Daily Archives: May 16, 2011
The word “cafeteria” just doesn’t cut it. The Bear’s Den in the South 40 dorm complex at Washington University is really more like a collection of high-end mini-restaurants, serving everything from fresh seafood to vegetarian.
And like the student body it serves, the Bear’s Den has become increasingly diverse, a place that needs to please more palates and ideologies.
So, early this year, when the campus’ Muslim Student Association approached the school’s food service provider, Bon Appetit, and asked it to provide halal options ”” food prepared in accordance with Islamic law ”” the company agreed. In April, with the Student Union’s support, the Bear’s Den launched a halal food service, making Washington University the first school in the state to offer halal food, according to organizers.
Around the world, entire nations are losing their Christian identity. Countries that once spread the Gospel world-wide now see missionaries coming to them. Many churches, once full on Sunday mornings, are now shuttered or used by another religion or remodeled as museums and homes. In America, Christianity’s influence on society is less and less recognizable. In this crucial hour, Christ’s imperative to “hold fast the profession of our faith” is even more urgent.
Hold Fast: An Urgent Call to the Western Church features the preaching and teaching of Dr. Michael Nazir-Ali, someone who’s shared the Gospel around the world despite countless challenges.
Watch it all.
Church leaders in India have called upon the government to ban the pesticide Endosulfan, saying its health hazards far outweigh its benefits to farming.
However, India’s agriculture ministry ”” which manufactures the pesticide via the government-owned Hindustan Insecticides Ltd ”” claims there is no scientific evidence the chemical agent is harmful to humans, and has so far resisted local and international pressure to stop production.
In a 20April statement Bishop Thomas K Oommen of Central Kerala, the chairman of the Church of South India’s Ecological Concerns Committee, urged the Union Ministry for Environment and Forests to ban Endosulfan.
“This is a form of economic stimulus that goes to Main Street rather than Wall Street,” says Nicholas Carroll, a journalist on consumer finance and author of Walk Away From Debt for a Better Future. When freed from a mortgage payment, people’s first purchases tend to be necessities, such as socks and underwear, he says.
Homeowners have trimmed interest payments alone by 11% ”” or $67 billion a year ”” from the peak in 2008, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The savings come equally from grabbing lower interest rates and reducing what’s owed by paying down principal or defaulting on loans.
Scores of mostly Coptic Christian protesters were injured when their weekend demonstration blocking a street near the heart of downtown Cairo was attacked by motorists and residents as riot police stood by, prompting new questions about the ability and willingness of Egypt’s military-led government to maintain security.
The attacks came hours after an explosion at the tomb of a Muslim saint in the northern Sinai town of Sheik Zweid and a week after sectarian clashes left 15 dead and 200 injured.
During a daylong trial Friday, there wasn’t much disagreement about whether a 74-year-old at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church was bumped by her pastor hard enough that she lost her balance.
But it took a Kalamazoo District Court jury less than 45 minutes to decide that the incident didn’t rise to the level of assault and battery. That cleared the Rev. Jay R. Lawlor of the misdemeanor charge.
“I’m very relieved,” Lawlor, 41, said of the not guilty verdict. “I feel vindicated.”
Among the important responsibilities of the Diocesan Bishop in his task of assuring the common good of the faithful and, especially, the protection of children and of the young, is the duty he has to give an appropriate response to the cases of sexual abuse of minors by clerics in his diocese. Such a response entails the development of procedures suitable for assisting the victims of such abuse, and also for educating the ecclesial community concerning the protection of minors. A response will also make provision for the implementation of the appropriate canon law, and, at the same time, allow for the requirements of civil law.
The proposed women bishops’ legislation provides “adequate provision” for those unable to accept the ministry of women, the Bishop of Dover has said.
Speaking to members of the Canterbury Diocesan Synod who voted in favour of the suggested legislation on women bishops at the weekend, Bishop Trevor Willmott said that for a long time God had been calling women to share in ordained ministry.
However, traditionalists in the Church say that Bishop Willmott has been steadfast in refusing to even listen to their objections….
In the course of the Synod debate it was stressed that the word ‘subscribe’ in relation to the Covenant, rather than ‘adopt’, was important.
O God, steadfast in the midst of persecution, by whose providence the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church: As the martyrs of the Sudan refused to abandon Christ even in the face of torture and death, and so by their sacrifice brought forth a plenteous harvest, may we, too, be steadfast in our faith in Jesus Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Almighty Father, who hast given thine only Son to die for our sins, and to rise again for our justification: Grant us so perfectly, and without all doubt, to believe in his resurrection, that our faith in thy sight may never be reproved; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
On a sabbath, while he was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked and ate some heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands. But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the sabbath?” And Jesus answered, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God, and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those with him?” And he said to them, “The Son of man is lord of the sabbath.”
French voters expressed disbelief as well as imaginative plot theories Sunday after waking up to the revelation that Dominique Strauss-Kahn was being held by police in New York on charges of sexual assault.
“This is completely surreal””politics is turning into a play,” said Hakim Bouras, 24, a bank information-technology technician, who said he voted for Socialist candidate Segolene Royal in the 2007 presidential elections.
In the hours since New York City police said Mr. Strauss-Kahn had been arrested after allegedly forcing a cleaning woman onto his bed and sexually assaulting her inside his room at the Sofitel Hotel near Times Square, images of the International Monetary Fund president have flooded the airwaves in France and dominated news coverage.
When it comes to economic recovery, Minnesota is about as good as it gets….
According to government data, which show that state unemployment peaked at 8.5 percent in the downturn, employers slashed roughly 154,000 jobs but have added back fewer than 27,000 ”” or only about 18 percent of those lost.
Big local employers including Medtronic, a medical device maker, and Hutchinson Technology, which makes components for disk drives, have announced layoffs in recent weeks. Small to medium-size companies say they are nervous about government policy and are reluctant to hire.
A depressed real estate market remains a drag on the local economy ”” as it does in many other places.
The economic differences among the country’s various religions are strikingly large, much larger than the differences among states and even larger than those among racial groups.
The most affluent of the major religions ”” including secularism ”” is Reform Judaism. Sixty-seven percent of Reform Jewish households made more than $75,000 a year at the time the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life collected the data, compared with only 31 percent of the population as a whole. Hindus were second, at 65 percent, and Conservative Jews were third, at 57 percent.
On the other end are Pentecostals, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Baptists. In each case, 20 percent or fewer of followers made at least $75,000. Remarkably, the share of Baptist households making $40,000 or less is roughly the same as the share of Reform Jews making $100,000 or more. Overall, Protestants, who together are the country’s largest religious group, are poorer than average and poorer than Catholics. That stands in contrast to the long history, made famous by Max Weber, of Protestant nations generally being richer than Catholic nations.
[BOB] ABERNETHY: As Peterson compares life on Flathead Lake in Montana to life in the rest of the country, he does not like what he sees.
[EUGENE] PETERSON: American culture is probably the least Christian culture that we’ve ever had because it is so materialistic and it’s so full of lies. The whole advertising world is just, it’s just intertwined with lies, appealing to the worst of the instincts we have. The problem is people have been treated as consumers for so long they don’t know any other way to live.
ABERNETHY: The antidote, for Peterson, is what pastors can teach.
PETERSON: Introduce them to a living Christ, a Christ who makes life livable in the terms in which you are living””that everything in the gospel is livable, not just true.
Peterson, too, sets himself against the dominant trends in both church and culture. “The vocation of pastor has been replaced by the strategies of religious entrepreneurs with business plans,’’ he writes early on in a scathing critique of much of what passes for pastoral ministry in contemporary American culture. Indeed, he says, it is that very culture the pastor must navigate and resist.
“I love being an American,’’ Peterson writes. “I love this place in which I have been placed””its language, its history, its energy. But I don’t love ”˜the American way,’ its culture and values. I don’t love the rampant consumerism that treats God as a product to be marketed”¦.The cultural conditions in which I am immersed require, at least for me, a kind of fierce vigilance to guard my vocation from these cultural pollutants so dangerously toxic to persons who want to follow Jesus in the way that he is Jesus.’’
Peterson takes for the book’s epigraph a sentence from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick: “To insure the greatest efficiency in the dart, the harpooners of this world must start to their feet from out of idleness, and not from out of toil.”