Daily Archives: April 15, 2011

Anglican Alliance calls for Anglican Bank, financial literacy and rights campaign

Delegates attending the first consultative conference for the Anglican Alliance in Nairobi have called for the Communion initiative to have as two of its key priorities the development of an Anglican Bank for savings and loans and a public education campaign on financial literacy and rights.

The consultation to take forward proposals for development, relief and advocacy across the Anglican Communion yesterday (April 14th) received a strong endorsement from Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, the Primate of Kenya.

Yesterday’s economic empowerment workshop heard presentations from Peter Warutere of the World Bank, Moses Ochieng of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor and Peterson Kamau from the church’s own micro-finance agency Five Talents. They set out the challenges facing developing countries and set out strategies to overcome poverty globally, nationally and locally.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, - Anglican: Primary Source, Economy, Education

Diane Cole: Is Passover the New Christmas?

Of all Jewish holiday traditions, the most popular remains the Passover seder””the festive ritual meal, celebrated next week, at which family and friends gather to recount the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt and deliverance from bondage to freedom. It’s so popular, in fact, that these days more and more of those seated at seder tables are non-Jews. Not only that: An increasing number of churches now offer their own versions of the Passover seder.

The Passover seder’s embrace by Christians seems an unlikely phenomenon. The Passover haggadah””the book that guides the seder service as prescribed by Jewish tradition””is designed to fulfill the Torah’s commandment that Jews remember and retell the journey from slavery to freedom every year. The haggadah’s reminder is explicit: “If the most holy, blessed be He, had not brought forth our ancestors from Egypt, we, and our children, and children’s children, had still continued in bondage to the Pharaohs in Egypt.” Jews are taught to celebrate each Passover as if they themselves were embarking on that journey from Egypt.

What makes Christians’ embrace of Passover all the more unusual is that for centuries””even into the 20th””the holiday’s proximity to Good Friday and Easter routinely sparked violent anti-Jewish riots and pogroms, especially in Europe.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Inter-Faith Relations, Judaism, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

The Federal Reserve's Jeffrey Lacker Sees Risk That Price Rises Accelerate

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker Thursday said U.S. firms are increasingly looking for an opportunity to raise prices as more expensive commodities squeeze profit margins, raising the risk of inflation.

“In the absence of further energy-price increases, most forecasters do not foresee a significant acceleration in prices this year. We should not take that outcome for granted,” Lacker said at the University of Baltimore.

Earlier Thursday, the Labor Department said prices U.S. manufacturers and wholesalers pay for goods and materials rose a seasonally adjusted 0.7% in March as gasoline prices jumped and food prices fell.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Federal Reserve, Personal Finance, The U.S. Government

(ACNS) Other Japanese dioceses send people to help in disaster-affected areas

The overall impact of earthquake and tsunami according to the government has been:

Death: about 13,200 people
Missing: about 14,300 people
Displaced: about 167,000 people
Totally demolished homes: 52,800 homes

Most damage has been caused by the tsunami rather than earthquake itself. In addition we are facing the potential impact of nuclear radiation caused by malfunction of the nuclear power plant. We are experiencing many aftershocks with some of them causing more damage to already weakened structures.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Japan, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

(CEN) Theologians gather to consider preaching

Charles Haddon Spurgeon in the Victorian era, preachers, pastors and students recently gathered at Spurgeon’s College in South London for the preaching conference entitled: Preaching: Past, Present and Future.

The speakers challenged today’s preachers to look at new approaches to speaking to modern Christians, all with a similarly unique message: step back in order to charge forward.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

(Evening Standard) Archbishop John Sentamu–Only the parents can end the horror of gang violence

The justice system has its place, but I would argue if you want long-term solutions, then you must instead look at the root cause of the problem….

…we should not pretend that these crimes are caused solely by failures of society. These crimes are caused by the choices made by those holding the gun. They are caused by families not intervening. They are caused by those who turn a blind eye.

The role of the family is key. Parents must shoulder the responsibility for where their children are, who they are with and what they are doing.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Children, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Violence

Local Paper Photo Gallery–the Civil War commemoration in Charleston

Check out all 21 shots.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, America/U.S.A., History, Military / Armed Forces, Race/Race Relations

Ben Kwashi: Other Anglicans are Missing the challenge of 'Anglican solidarity’ with Nigerians

The Archbishop of the province of Jos, Dr Benjamin Kwashi, said that “solidarity” with Christians in Nigeria, who have been subjected to violence in recent years, “is missing” from the wider Anglican Commun­ion.

Speaking in London on Thursday of last week, during his two-week visit to the UK, Dr Kwashi said that the Primate of Nigeria, the Most Revd Nicholas Okoh, had “shown deep interest and concern over the situation in Jos”. The Primate had “not only visited but . . . made rehabilitation possible for some of the displaced and suffering people.
“Unfortunately, you can’t say the same thing for the rest of the Anglican Communion,” Dr Kwashi went on. “We do get letters and encourage­ment, which is wonderful . . . but the solidarity is missing.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Violence

(The Tablet) Liam Walsh–A taste of the future: The Theology of the Sacraments

[Herbert] McCabe’s starting point in the essay “Transubstantiation and the Real Presence” is a straight affirmation of standard Catholic teaching. He contrasts it with an understanding of the presence that is, at one extreme, metaphorical, and at the other extreme, materialistic. He talks about the food and drink of the Eucharist being “radically or as we say ”˜substantially’ transformed”, and about it not “remaining ontologically the same”.

Early on he makes an important distinction between what it means to say “Christ” is present in the Eucharist and to say “the body of Christ” is present. It is by speaking of “body of Christ”, rather than just of “Christ” that he can make the most of the word “sacramental” that defines the mode of presence that is believed to occur in the Eucharist.

His theology of the Eucharist is a theology of it as sacrament of the body, and blood, of Christ. His concern with the bread and wine will not be directly with what happens to them, but with what it means to say they are sacraments of the body and blood of Christ.

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(Reuters) BRICS demand global monetary shake-up, greater influence

The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa also called for stronger regulation of commodity derivatives to dampen excessive volatility in food and energy prices, which they said posed new risks for the recovery of the world economy.

Meeting on the southern Chinese island of Hainan, they said the recent financial crisis had exposed the inadequacies of the current monetary order, which has the dollar as its linchpin.

What was needed, they said in a statement, was “a broad-based international reserve currency system providing stability and certainty” — thinly veiled criticism of what the BRICS see as Washington’s neglect of its global monetary responsibilities.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Brazil, China, Economy, Europe, Globalization, India, Politics in General, Russia, South America, The U.S. Government

Study suggests: Lose weight, improve memory

Here’s another good reason to lose weight: It may improve your memory and concentration, new research suggests.

Scientists know that overweight and obese people are at a greater risk for memory problems and other cognitive disabilities, but the latest study is one of the first to indicate that substantial weight loss improves brain health.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Health & Medicine, Psychology, Science & Technology

Friday Morning it Helps to Laugh Break–J John on Doughnuts

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * General Interest, Humor / Trivia, Parish Ministry, Stewardship

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O thou high and lofty one that inhabitest eternity, whose name is holy, who hast promised to dwell with those that are of a contrite and humble spirit: Cleanse our hearts, we pray thee, from every stain of pride and vainglory; that though the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee, yet thou wouldest consent to abide with us for ever; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Now when Jesus came, he found that Laz’arus had already been in the tomb four days. Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, [and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother.
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary sat in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

–John 11:17-23

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Barack Obama, David Cameron, and Nicolas Sarkozy: Libya's Pathway to Peace

There is a pathway to peace that promises new hope for the people of Libya ”” a future without Qaddafi that preserves Libya’s integrity and sovereignty, and restores her economy and the prosperity and security of her people. This needs to begin with a genuine end to violence, marked by deeds not words. The regime has to pull back from the cities it is besieging, including Ajdabiya, Misurata and Zintan, and return to their barracks. However, so long as Qaddafi is in power, NATO must maintain its operations so that civilians remain protected and the pressure on the regime builds. Then a genuine transition from dictatorship to an inclusive constitutional process can really begin, led by a new generation of leaders. In order for that transition to succeed, Qaddafi must go and go for good. At that point, the United Nations and its members should help the Libyan people as they rebuild where Qaddafi has destroyed ”” to repair homes and hospitals, to restore basic utilities, and to assist Libyans as they develop the institutions to underpin a prosperous and open society.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, Europe, Foreign Relations, France, Libya

(CEN) Dorset dog walker saves church from fire

An early morning stroll saved a 12th century Dorset church from destruction last week, when a dog-walker saw smoke rising from St Mary’s Church in Maiden Newton and called for help.

While out walking his spaniel, Alex Adair-Charlton (39) of Maiden Newton saw a cloud of smoke or mist hovering above the village’s medieval church. His curiosity turned to alarm, however, when he saw flames rising from the church’s roof, and he telephoned the fire services from his mobile phone.

A team from the village fire service arrived within four minutes of the 6:20 am alarm, and by the end of the day approximately 30 firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze. An aerial platform was brought in to fight the blaze, so as not to damage the church’s wooden doors, believed to be among the oldest in England.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * General Interest, Anglican Provinces, Animals, Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry

Robert Hart–Soteriology in Anglican Liturgy

Soteriology is the study of salvation, coming from the Greek word σωτηρία (sōtēria). As such the very word implies the name of our Lord himself, inasmuch as Jesus 1 (Ἰησοῦς) comes from the Hebrew word for salvation, (yĕshuw`ah). The name Joshua, or Jesus, is a form of the very word itself. In fact, if you meet someone named Salvatore, his name means the same thing. In short, this matters because human salvation is only through Jesus Christ, and without him there is no hope. Salvation is not available through a process, and cannot be manufactured from below. It had to come from above. 2 Although some religious teachers may say that life on this earth is a test, the fact is that life on this earth is not a test. If this life were a test, we would all receive an F, and go to Hell. This life is a shipwreck, and we are all in need of the Rescuer, without whom we would be lost to sin and death.

A while back, I heard an Episcopal priest who is better known for talk radio in Maryland (where I used to live) than for ministry, staunchly defending his disbelief in the Virgin Birth (and using the Bible with all the deft precision of a bull- a raving bull at that- in a china shop). And yet this same man openly professes his faith in the resurrection of Christ, having no problem with miracles. Yet, on two very important doctrines concerning our salvation in Christ he is completely without understanding. He does not believe that Christ died for our sins, and he does not believe in the Virgin Birth. What these two doctrines have in common is that they require our humility as well as our faith. Man could not create or even beget his own salvation, but needed God to intervene by sending his Son through the miracle of the Incarnation, as the Seed of the woman, 3 having no earthly father, coming as God of God the only and eternally begotten Son, and also being sent into the world (two very different facts). This forever teaches our impotence in this matter; we cannot keep ourselves alive. We had no strength from within ourselves to produce our own salvation. The fact that we needed to have our sins taken away by this same Savior, himself free from the defects of sin and death in every way, by giving his life, giving up his spirit in order to die, is equally humbling to an honest mind. Both doctrines, the Virgin Birth and the Atonement, put us in our place. It is only by the gift from the Father, and not by our own power.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Soteriology, Theology

Chelmsford Cathedral becomes a Grade I listed building

The Dean of Chelmsford, the Very Reverend Peter Judd, said the diversity of the building was the reason for the change in status.

“Some of the architecture in the chancel is from 1450 or so, but there are earlier bits dotted about,” Mr Judd said.

“One of the reasons for upgrading it is because it’s got a combination of medieval past, Georgian additions which are unusual, a Victorian extension and had a huge refurbishment in 1983.

“With the addition of the modern bits of art, all of that together makes it very special.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry