Daily Archives: May 26, 2011

Pottsville, Pennsylvania's, Trinity Episcopal Center for Children to close

Due to declining enrollment and a lack of funding, the preschool at Trinity Episcopal Church in Pottsville will close June 3.

“I think it’s a shame because there aren’t many programs in the area that offer a spiritual component to a sound educational background,” said Tiffany L. Reedy, Pottsville, whose daughter, Samarra, 5, is a preschool student there. Reedy is also principal of D.H.H. Lengel Middle School, Pottsville.

“The school’s been operating in the red for the last three years,” said the Rev. James Rinehart, a member of Trinity Center for Children’s board of directors. “We had some money invested, but we’ve gone through our investments … Last year, we didn’t even hold our summer program because of lack of registration.”

Read it all.

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

(USA Today) Fewer couples embrace marriage

Marriage is losing ground to a grinding economic slowdown that has prompted more couples to live together without tying the knot.

The share of couples who are not married has risen in many places but is highest in areas that offer many people grim prospects for a better financial future: old industrial cities and the Mississippi Delta.
Unmarried couples made up 12% of U.S. couples in 2010, a 25% increase in 10 years, according to Census data out today.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Marriage & Family

(RNS) Christians Shatter Taboos in Talking about Money

No sooner had 29-year-old Graham Messier joined a small group at his church earlier this year than he found himself breaking an American taboo: talking about how much he earns, and where it all goes.
Others in the group did likewise as they kicked off an eight-week program aimed at reconciling personal finances with Christian rhetoric about economic justice.

It’s countercultural, they said, but it works.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Parish Ministry, Stewardship

(CEN) Faith, not fear, the key to Uganda’s future

“Ugandans, your faith is under test,” Archbishop Henry Orombi has warned, as spiralling food and fuel prices have led to political and economic unrest in the East African nation.

Prices for basic foodstuffs and fuel have risen sharply over the past year in Africa. Following weeks of demonstrations, riots erupted in the centre of Kampala on April 29, the day after opposition leader Kizza Besigye was arrested by police for protesting the sharp increase in food and fuel prices.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda

Local Newspaper Editorial–The Libyan 'witching hour'

As NATO’s military campaign against Moammar Gadhafi’s Libyan regime continued last week, the 60-day deadline for U.S. participation expired, based on the 1973 War Powers Resolution. So it’s debatable whether President Obama has the legal authority for continued use of U.S. forces in the Libyan campaign.

The “witching hour” has arrived.

So far, the president hasn’t made a persuasive case for ignoring the deadline. He owes the American people an explanation.

Polls show declining public support for this intervention, despite the president’s repeated upbeat assessments of its progress….

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Libya, Politics in General

Top Serbian War Crimes Suspect Caught

Serbian President Boris Tadic announced at a news conference in Belgrade on Thursday that Ratko Mladic, the fugitive accused of masterminding the massacre at Srebrenica in 1995, had been captured but refused to give details.

Mr. Mladic, a former Bosnian Serb general, was one of the world’s most wanted criminals, evading capture for more than 15 years despite an increasing international effort to hunt him down. Serbian news reports said that he was living under the name of Milorad Komadic and was captured after a tip that he had identification documents for Mladic and appeared physically similar.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Law & Legal Issues

Chasing Riches From Africa to Europe and Finding Only Squalor

….for Mr. Jallow and for many others who arrived before them, often after days at sea without food or water, Europe has offered hardships they never imagined. These days Mr. Jallow survives on two meals a day, mostly a leaden paste made from flour and oil, which he stirs with a branch.

“It keeps the hunger away,” he said.

The authorities estimate that there are perhaps 10,000 immigrants living in the woods in the southern Spanish province of Andalusia, a region known for its crops of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, and there are thousands more migrants in areas that produce olives, oranges and vegetables. Most of them have stories that echo Mr. Jallow’s.
From the road, their encampments look like igloos tucked among the trees. Up close, the squalor is clear. Piles of garbage and flies are everywhere. Old clothes, stiff from dirt and rain, hang from branches.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Economy, Europe, Spain

Less Active at Work, Americans Have Packed on Pounds

Looking beyond poor eating habits and a couch-potato lifestyle, a group of researchers has found a new culprit in the obesity epidemic: the American workplace.

A sweeping review of shifts in the labor force since 1960 suggests that a sizable portion of the national weight gain can be explained by declining physical activity during the workday. Jobs requiring moderate physical activity, which accounted for 50 percent of the labor market in 1960, have plummeted to just 20 percent.

The remaining 80 percent of jobs, the researchers report, are sedentary or require only light activity. The shift translates to an average decline of about 120 to 140 calories a day in physical activity, closely matching the nation’s steady weight gain over the past five decades, according to the report, published Wednesday in the journal PLoS One.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Health & Medicine, History, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Psychology

Kendall Harmon–What I remember about Mark Haines

Yesterday was a travel day but the news of his passing at age 65 really served as a shock. He certainly recently hadn’t looked well to me.

As one of the morning television fixtures of the past decade and a half, there were a lot of things which rushed to mind in terms of images and memories about him, but one stood out above the others. Mark was the anchor on my TV on 9/11. I remember it so well because it was a Tuesday, my day off, which is the only reason I had the TV on and was watching. He shifted in the midst of an interview and said there was a hole in the World Trade Center. He handled the rest of the morning with poise and grace.

The Lord be with his family and friends especially in the days ahead–KSH.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Death / Burial / Funerals, Economy, Media, Parish Ministry, Stock Market

CNBC Anchor Mark Haines RIP

As an interviewer, Mr. Haines was acerbic and skeptical, known for taking the wind out of the sails of over-optimistic executives.

Eastman Kodak Co.’s CEO George Fisher in a 1998 interview denied rumors of an impending film price war. Days later, Kodak kicked off a discount campaign. Mr. Haines repeatedly ran the soundbite on subsequent shows, denouncing Mr. Fisher.

“Rule one is don’t lie,” Mr. Haines said in a 2001 interview with Investor Relations Business magazine. “If you do, I’ll kill you.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Death / Burial / Funerals, Economy, Media, Parish Ministry, Stock Market

Brendan Keenan–Real surprise is Europe enjoyed so much trust from citizens for so long

The EU is complex — horribly complex — and now divided by income as well, and it would be hard to find a better description of its current crisis.

It would also be hard to find a better example of the nature of the crisis than the disputes over Ireland’s corporation tax and bailout interest rate.

They encompass the two great flaws which this crisis has exposed. There is insufficient commonality in Europe to make the citizens of one member state feel that they have some obligation towards the citizens of others.

Nor do the institutions exist which might drag the citizens along while it met obligations on their behalf, without them interrogating too much.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Europe, Ireland, Politics in General

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Augustine of Canterbury

O Lord our God, who by thy Son Jesus Christ didst call thine apostles and send them forth to preach the Gospel to the nations: We bless thy holy name for thy servant Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury, whose labors in propagating thy Church among the English people we commemorate today; and we pray that all whom thou dost call and send may do thy will, and bide thy time, and see thy glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Be thou thyself, O Lord, we beseech thee, the shepherd of thy people; that we who are strengthened by thy risen presence may in our daily life walk with thee, and in humble trust seek to follow thee, as thou callest us by name and dost lead us out; for thy glory’s sake.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

Romans 14:7-9

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(USA Today) Americans say no to electric cars despite gas prices

Nearly six of 10 Americans ”” 57% ”” say they won’t buy an all-electric car no matter the price of gas, according to a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll.

That’s a stiff headwind just as automakers are developing electrics to help meet tighter federal rules that could require their fleets to average as high as 62 miles per gallon in 2025. And President Obama has set a goal of 1 million electric vehicles in use in the U.S. by 2015.

The anti-electric sentiment unmasked by the poll shows that pure electrics ”” defined in the poll question as “an electric car that you could only drive for a limited number of miles at one time” ”” could have trouble getting a foothold in the U.S.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Travel

Sarah Hey–A Look At One Episcopal Parish in East Tennessee

Before I get into that, lets look at a few quotes from the [parish] report, which acknowledges “a steady decline in attendance over the past 18 months” and “Overall, our participation numbers in children’s choirs has dropped dramatically since 2008, although a slight recovery appears to be underway.” I have to wonder if any of the report readers recognize the correlation between program and attendance/involvement. I won’t point out those correlations — I’ll just let you view them and hopefully comment.

Let me say, as an aside, that this parish is not unique at all within TEC. All over the US, Episcopal parishes are trying to figure out what on earth is going wrong. Parishes are declining in droves — and many of them are in death spirals. As I shared with someone recently [edited slightly]:

“I personally believe that TEC will continue to decline rapidly, and most of the “hinterland” parishes will die. That is certainly what is happening within my diocese. We’ll end up with some parishes in Greenville, Columbia, Aiken, one in Rock Hill [which is dying] and a couple in Spartanburg — and that will be it. Our “natural size” now in our diocese is around 12 functional/healthy parishes, with the rest on life support until the older generations die out. And I think that’s the level that dioceses of that size will eventually decline to over the next 10-20 years.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, - Anglican: Analysis, Episcopal Church (TEC), Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Data, Theology

(Living Church) Chicago Diocese Prepares Holy Union Rite

When a new state law goes into effect June 1 that grants legal recognition to same-sex couples, clergy in the Diocese of Chicago are permitted to use a rite called “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Holy Union” [PDF].

The rite also has its roots in General Convention’s Resolution C056 in 2009, which said that bishops, “particularly those in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same-gender marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships are legal, may provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this Church.”

The diocese has sent its clergy a 29-page document consisting of a theological reflection by the Rt. Rev. Jeffrey D. Lee, Bishop of Chicago; guidelines for solemnizing holy matrimony and holy unions; a question-and-answer discussion; and the rite itself.

Read it all and follow the accompanying links.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops

(RNS) Oops! Printing Errors in the Original KJV

In the days before spell check, printer errors occasionally crept into the King James Version of the Bible. Here are some of the most notable:

— In a 1612 edition, Psalm 119:161 read “Printers have persecuted me without cause,” instead of “princes.” Perhaps a Freudian slip by the copy editor.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Church History, England / UK, Poetry & Literature, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture