Daily Archives: April 5, 2011

Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops discuss Big Society at Southwark summit

Church of England and Roman Catholic bishops are confused about the Big Society, claimed Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols during a visit to Southwark on Monday.

The Roman Catholic primate was speaking in Southwark’s St George’s Cathedral after the Anglican and Roman Catholic diocesan bishops of England had spent Monday meeting together at the Amigo Hall.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Unrest in Yemen Seen as Opening to Qaeda Branch

Counterterrorism operations in Yemen have ground to a halt, allowing Al Qaeda’s deadliest branch outside of Pakistan to operate more freely inside the country and to increase plotting for possible attacks against Europe and the United States, American diplomats, intelligence analysts and counterterrorism officials say.

In the political tumult surrounding Yemen’s embattled president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, many Yemeni troops have abandoned their posts or have been summoned to the capital, Sana, to help support the tottering government, the officials said. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the group’s affiliate, has stepped in to fill this power vacuum, and Yemeni security forces have come under increased attacks in recent weeks.

A small but steadily growing stream of Qaeda fighters and lower-level commanders from other parts of the world, including Pakistan, are making their way to Yemen to join the fight there, although American intelligence officials are divided on whether the political crisis in Yemen is drawing more insurgents than would be traveling there under normal conditions.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, Foreign Relations, Terrorism, Yemen

Anglicans around the world must tackle abuse in Communion churches "head on"

Sexual, physical and emotional abuse not only devastates the victims but damages God’s mission, according to the spokesman of an Anglican network working to protect the vulnerable.

As well as being chair of the Professional Standards Commission of the Anglican Church of Australia, Garth Blake is a founding member of the Anglican Communion Safe Church Consultation. This is an informal network of Communion members working to prevent abuse in churches and their surrounding communities.

“Some Anglican Provinces have seen highly publicised lapses in behaviour by some clergy and church workers with tragic consequences for those who have been abused”, he said. “Our growing international group is committed to the physical, emotional and spiritual welfare and safety of all people involved in churches throughout the Anglican Communion.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Sexuality, Violence

A BBC Radio Four Sunday Programme Section on Koran Burning and Violence

Herewith the BBC description of this section:

After 24 people died following two days of protests in Afghanistan in the wake of the burning of a copy of the Koran by a fundamentalist Christian church in Florida, William talks to Joel C Hunter, a pastor in Florida and a leader within the National Association of Evangelicals, to ask him how he reacted to the news that a pastor had burned a Koran.

William also reflects on the violence in Afghanistan which resulted from the Koran burning with the former bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, and he is joined by historian and analyst Professor Iftikhar Malik from Bath Spa University, to discuss what role the Taliban is thought to have played in these events.

Listen to it all (starts about 28:30 in and last about 15 1/2 minutes).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Afghanistan, America/U.S.A., Anglican Provinces, Asia, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Violence

Anita Desai on Joseph Lelyveld's "Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India"

Even in his lifetime the legend of Mahatma Gandhi had grown to such proportions that the man himself can be said to have disappeared as if into a dust storm. Joseph Lelyveld’s new biography sets out to find him. His subtitle alerts us that this is not a conventional biography in that he does not repeat the well-documented story of Gandhi’s struggle for India but rather his struggle with India, the country that exasperated, infuriated, and dismayed him, notwithstanding his love for it.

At the outset Lelyveld dispenses with the conventions of biography, leaving out Gandhi’s childhood and student years, a decision he made because he believed that the twenty-three-year-old law clerk who arrived in South Africa in 1893 had little in him of the man he was to become. Besides, his birth in a small town in Gujarat on the west coast of India, and childhood spent in the bosom of a very traditional family of the Modh bania (merchant) caste of Jains, then the three years in London studying law are dealt with in fine detail and with a disarming freshness and directness in Gandhi’s Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth. Lelyveld’s argument is that it was South Africa that made him the visionary and leader of legend. He is not the first or only historian to have pointed out such a progression but he brings to it an intimate knowledge based on his years as a foreign correspondent for The New York Times in both South Africa and India and the exhaustive research he conducted with a rare and finely balanced sympathy.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Books, Hinduism, History, India, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

Russell Blackford–The Mechanics of Moral Evaluation

Moral evaluations are important, then, but they are not radically different from all the other evaluations that we make every day, even if we have an ingrained wish they were or an ingrained tendency to think they are.

Moral discussion is a domain of ambiguity where our all-things-considered judgments can be underdetermined by the objective facts.

That’s the murky, complex reality. Somehow, I submit, we must learn to live with it.

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Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology

Gene Robinson to lecture at Cornell

Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson will speak about religion and young people April 6 at 4:30 p.m. in Sage Chapel and April 7 in New York City on advocacy for gay rights. Both programs are sponsored by Cornell United Religious Work (CURW).

Robinson’s talk, “How Religion Is Killing Our Most Vulnerable Youth,” is the 2011 Frederick C. Wood Lecture at Cornell. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Robinson is the first openly gay noncelibate priest ordained as a bishop in the United States, and he has more than 25 years of service in the Episcopal Church.

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I will take comments on this submitted by email only to at KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in Uncategorized

(NPR) The Future Of Libraries In The E-Book Age

A lot of attention has been focused on the way bookstores and publishing companies are managing the e-book revolution. The role of libraries has often been overlooked. But when HarperCollins Publishing Co. recently announced a new policy that would limit the number of times its e-books can be borrowed, it sparked a larger conversation about the future of libraries in the digital age.

These days, you don’t have to go anywhere near a library to check out an e-book. You can download one to your digital device in a matter of seconds. And there’s no more pesky overdue notices ”” the e-book simply disappears from your device when your time is up.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Books, Science & Technology

Local Paper Front Page–Food prices taking bite out of budgets

Mary Seabrook joked that she won’t have to go to Weight Watchers if food prices keep climbing.

“They are awful,” the Ladson resident said while shopping in a downtown Charleston grocery store. “I just shop for the stuff that’s on sale. I just won’t eat as much.”

Overall food prices will climb 3 percent to 4 percent this year as world demand in an economic recovery drives up the cost of fuel as well as basic commodities such as corn, wheat, soybeans and sugar, agricultural economist Chris Hurt of Purdue University said Monday during the Food Media Seminar at Charleston Place Hotel.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Personal Finance

Church of England Online video meets increased demand for information on church weddings

An online video promoting church weddings is launched today on the Church of England website, to meet an increase in demand for information on church weddings. Featuring vicars enthusiastic about weddings, couples who have rated their church weddings extremely highly, and the Bishop of Hertford, the professionally produced five-minute video explains how the church has a warm wedding welcome for all.

Read it all and take the time to watch the video (slightly under 5 minutes).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(ACNS) Jamie Callaway appointed General Secretary of CUAC

Canon Callaway, Deputy for Anglican Partnerships at Trinity Wall Street, is widely known throughout the Anglican Communion, particularly for his work in forging enduring links with the Church in Africa and establishing mutual partnerships as a model for ministry.

CUAC is a worldwide association of over 120 institutions of higher education and a network of the Anglican Communion. Its patron is the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams. Along with its predecessor, the Association of Episcopal Colleges, which consists mostly of the Episcopal colleges in the US, CUAC’s mission is promoting cross-cultural contacts and educational programs.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Latest News, Education

Presiding Bishop, House of Bishops issue letters requesting support for Bishop Dawani of Jerusalem

(ENS) Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

Notable and Quotable

What recompense then shall we give unto Him? Or what fruit worthy of
His own gift to us? And how many mercies do we owe to Him!

For He bestowed the light upon us; He spake to us, as a father to his
sons; He saved us, when we were perishing.

What praise then shall we give to Him? Or what payment of recompense
for those things which we received?

We who were maimed in our understanding, and worshipped stocks and
stones and gold and silver and bronze, the works of men; and our
whole life was nothing else but death. While then we were thus
wrapped in darkness and oppressed with this thick mist in our vision,
we recovered our sight, putting off by His will the cloud wherein we
were wrapped.

For He had mercy on us, and in His compassion saved us, having beheld
in us much error and perdition, even when we had no hope of
salvation, save that which came from Him.

For He called us, when we were not, and from not being He willed us
to be.

–2 Clement 1:3-8

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Pastoral Theology, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Grant us, O Lord, to rejoice in beholding the bliss of the heavenly Jerusalem; that as she is the home and mother of the multitude of the saints, we also may be counted worthy to have our portion within her; through thine only begotten Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

–Mozarabic Sacramentary

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Lent, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness; and all the peoples behold his glory.

–Psalm 97:5-6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Western New York Bishop Elect Visits St. Matthias

The future leader of the Episcopal Diocese for the Buffalo region has been on a tour, visiting the many parishes under his watch, meeting with congregation leaders and taking a moment to play any nearby organ.

The Rev. Dr. R. William Franklin is the bishop elect for the Diocese of Western New York. In that role he will act as the chief clergy officer for the area, which covers seven counties and has 63 different parishes. He’ll provide oversight to those congregations and act as the main bridge between church and community.

Franklin’s tour recently took him to St. Matthias Episcopal Church in East Aurora, where he met with parish directors and examined the building’s architecture, showing his general appreciation of church history. During that time, Franklin spoke of his goals when he officially becomes bishop next month, including welcoming a younger generation and providing another supportive voice for the community.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Parishes

The Ballad of God-Makers

A bird flew out at the break of day
From the nest where it had curled,
And ere the eve the bird had set
Fear on the kings of the world.

The first tree it lit upon
Was green with leaves unshed;
The second tree it lit upon
Was red with apples red;

The third tree it lit upon
Was barren and was brown,
Save for a dead man nailed thereon
On a hill above a town.
That night the kings of the earth were gay
And filled the cup and can;
Last night the kings of the earth were chill
For dread of a naked man.

”˜If he speak two more words,’ they said,
”˜The slave is more than the free;
If he speak three more words,’ they said,
”˜The stars are under the sea.’

Said the King of the East to the King of the West,
I wot his frown was set,
”˜Lo, let us slay him and make him as dung,
It is well that the world forget.’

Said the King of the West to the King of the East,
I wot his smile was dread,
”˜Nay, let us slay him and make him a god,
It is well that our god be dead.’

They set the young man on a hill,
They nailed him to a rod;
And there in darkness and in blood
They made themselves a god.

And the mightiest word was left unsaid,
And the world had never a mark,
And the strongest man of the sons of men
Went dumb into the dark.

Then hymns and harps of praise they brought,
Incense and gold and myrrh,
And they thronged above the seraphim,
The poor dead carpenter.

”˜Thou art the prince of all,’ they sang,
”˜Ocean and earth and air.’
Then the bird flew on to the cruel cross,
And hid in the dead man’s hair.

”˜Thou art the son of the world.’ they cried, `
”˜Speak if our prayers be heard.’
And the brown bird stirred in the dead man’s hair
And it seemed that the dead man stirred.

Then a shriek went up like the world’s last cry
From all nations under heaven,
And a master fell before a slave
And begged to be forgiven.

They cowered, for dread in his wakened eyes
The ancient wrath to see;
And a bird flew out of the dead Christ’s hair,
And lit on a lemon tree.

–G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Christology, Poetry & Literature, Theology