Monthly Archives: June 2011

(ENS) Episcopalians stand up for ethical behavior and justice in the financial world

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, Theology

(USA Today) Cities turn deeper shades of green

On trash day in San Francisco, bins in three colors line the streets, each with a different purpose.

The city requires residents to put recyclable materials into a blue bin, compostables into a green one and regular old garbarge into a black one.

“We even recycle batteries,” says Johanna Partin, the mayor’s director of climate protection initiatives, adding they can be placed in a clear bag on top of any bin.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., City Government, Energy, Natural Resources, Politics in General, Science & Technology

Muslim charity's work, reputation at stake over IRS filings

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has earned a fierce reputation for defending Muslim civil rights.

Middle Tennessee Muslims turned to the group this year over a proposed state law they feared would threaten their faith. When vandals torched a Columbia mosque and construction equipment at the new Islamic Center of Murfreesboro site, CAIR demanded authorities investigate both incidents as hate crimes.

But the Washington, D.C.-based group’s work is being threatened as it faces scrutiny for failing to file tax returns.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Economy, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Taxes

Follow up on Washington State Taxes

This came in this morning from a friend who lives in Washington:

WA state is so good. I got my new property tax assessment yd, house and land dropped 8.3% but property will will actually be $194.67 higher each 6 months. ggggg what a deal

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Politics in General, State Government, Taxes

The Latest Edition of the Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

Perhaps of interest–

November 14-16: Clergy Conference
The Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali will be the guest speaker at the upcoming Clergy Conference to be held at St. Christopher. Online registration will open soon. Additional details to follow.

January 19-20: Mere Anglicanism
Mere Anglicanism will be held at St. Philip’s, Charleston. The theme is “The Once and Future Church.” Registration will be online starting September 1, and further details will be available at

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops, TEC Parishes

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga rallies for upset over Roger Federer at Wimbledon

For two superb sets Wednesday, everything looked so routine for Roger Federer, precisely the way it did for so many years at Wimbledon — and nearly everywhere else, too.

Little comes easily for Federer anymore, even at the All England Club, where he’s won six of his record 16 major championships.

Before Wednesday, Federer was 178-0 when taking the first two sets of a Grand Slam match.

Now he’s 178-1.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Sports

(WSJ) Al Qaeda Remains Top Threat to U.S.

The Obama administration said Wednesday that al Qaeda and its acolytes””including radicalized Americans””remained the “preeminent security threat to the United States” even after the death last month of Osama bin Laden.

In its first formal document on counterterrorism strategy, the administration said direct attacks on the homeland by foreigners or homegrown militants were its top priority, ahead of such militant-heavy regions as Yemen and the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

“We seek nothing less than the utter destruction of this evil that calls itself al Qaeda,” John Brennan, the president’s chief counterterrorism adviser, said in a speech Wednesday.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Politics in General, Terrorism, The U.S. Government

Ed West–The Church of England needs to be cut free of the state and its perverse religion

It seems strange that the Church of England seems intent on embracing perverse disincentives just as everyone else has woken up to their destructive effects.

These perverse disincentives are what wrecked the welfare system, ruining social housing by encouraging pathological behaviour. They have promoted long-term unemployment by making low-paid work less rewarding than idleness. They have countered and reversed the financial pressures that traditionally encouraged marriage and male parental investment.

Even the Labour Party realises what has gone wrong ”“ but not the Anglicans.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(Zenit) Vatican Expands Online Presence at Pope's Wishes

Benedict XVI is pushing Vatican communication to take “enormous steps,” according to the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

Archbishop Claudio Celli affirmed this today when he presented, the Vatican’s new Web portal that will bring news from various Church sources to the same site.

Read it all and check the new website.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Blogging & the Internet, Globalization, Media, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Science & Technology

(USA Today) Poll shows support for Afghanistan plan

President Obama’s plan to withdraw thousands of U.S. troops from Afghanistan this year and next wins broad approval from Americans who are increasingly ready for the nation’s longest war to end, a Gallup Poll finds.

The survey, taken after the president’s nationally televised address on Afghanistan last Wednesday, shows an overwhelming 72% favor his blueprint, including 50% of Republicans. Those who support it include a significant number who would like to see a faster withdrawal than he has proposed.

Twenty-three percent of those polled oppose the president’s plan.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, War in Afghanistan

Report: Troubled Mortgages Still Plague Banks

The nation’s banks are holding a much higher rate of defaulted mortgages on their books than mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to a report released Wednesday by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which regulates national banks.

The report said that some 19.7% of mortgages held in banks’ portfolios were delinquent at the end of March. By contrast, nearly 6.8% of mortgages backed by mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were nonperforming, and 11.4% of all mortgages that are serviced by banks.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, The 2009 Obama Administration Bank Bailout Plan, The 2009 Obama Administration Housing Amelioration Plan, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Bishop Cordileone Expresses Grave Disappointment over NY Bill Redefining Marriage

“Marriage, the union of a man and a woman, forms the foundation of social well-being by promoting love and respect between the two most fundamental representatives of the human community,” he said. “The institution of marriage also affirms the vital and unique importance to children of receiving care from both their mother and father together. Making marriage law indifferent to the absence of either sex creates an institutional and cultural crisis with generational ramifications yet to be seen. To eliminate marriage’s very essence ”“ its essence as the union of husband and wife ”“ from its legal definition is to ignore not only basic anthropology and biology but also the purpose of law generally. Law is meant to uphold the common good, not undermine it. Now, New York’s government will be forced to ignore that children have a basic right to be raised by their mother and father together. Also, as demonstrated in other states where marriage redefinition has occurred, officials there will be in a position to retaliate against those who continue to uphold these basic truths. This is a mark of a profoundly unjust law.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sexuality, State Government

Greece approves austerity bill, setting in motion brutal budget cuts

Greece has approved an austerity bill that helps pull the debt-ridden country back from the brink of an immediate default. After days of public unrest and impassioned debate, the Greek parliament voted 155-138 on Wednesday in favor of the controversial bill, which authorizes $40 billion in brutal budget cuts and tax hikes over the next several years for a nation already reeling from previous belt-tightening measures.

The tense legislative showdown came as the country continued to squirm in the grip of a 48-hour nationwide strike and as tens of thousands of angry protesters thronged downtown Athens in noisy opposition to the austerity package. Police in riot gear scuffled with some demonstrators and tried to contain the kind of violence that on Tuesday left dozens of people injured, shop windows smashed and tourists running to escape tear-gas fumes.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, G20, Greece, Politics in General, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(NPR) Facebook's Newest Challenger: Google Plus

Google is trying once again to challenge Facebook’s domination of the social networking business. Its main social networking site “Orkut” is very popular in Brazil, but in the rest of the world, Google trails Facebook.

But the company has a new attempt to catch up.

The new social network is called Google Plus, and you’re not allowed to join it. At least, not yet.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Science & Technology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God our heavenly Father, who hast taught us by thy Son Jesus Christ that the true worshippers are those who worship thee in spirit and truth: Grant that we may not draw near to thee with our lips while our hearts are far from thee, but that all that is within us may magnify thy holy name; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go up and join this chariot.” So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless some one guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of the scripture which he was reading was this: “As a sheep led to the slaughter or a lamb before its shearer is dumb, so he opens not his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken up from the earth.” And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, pray, does the prophet say this, about himself or about some one else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this scripture he told him the good news of Jesus.

–Acts 8:29-34

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Diocesan Statistics for the Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s figures, Knoxville, the see city of the diocese, has grown in population from 173,890 in 2000 to 185,100 in 2009. This represents a population growth of approximately 6.45% in this time frame.

According to Episcopal Church statistics, the Diocese of East Tennessee went from Average Sunday Attendance (or ASA) of 6,376 in 1998 to 5,649 in 2008. The finally released 2009 numbers shows a small further decline in ASA to 5645 in 2009. This represents an ASA decline of about 11.65 % over this eleven year period. Please note that if you go to the link toward the end of this sentence and enter “East Tennessee” as the name of the diocese and then “View Diocese Chart” underneath on the left you can see in pictorial form some of the data from 1999-2009.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Census/Census Data, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops, TEC Parishes, The U.S. Government

Episcopal Church Statistics–Afternoon Quiz

Corporate-sized congregations with 351 or more in worship represent…._____% of Episcopal congregations.

Please note the reference is to those in worship. What % do you guess?

No looking, the answer comes later.

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

George Young Becomes Fourth Bishop Of The Episcopal Diocese Of East Tennessee

Bishop Young was presented with a ring ”“ placed on his finger by his wife during the service ”“ that was designed and made locally by the Eppersons. It features the diocesan seal: Three crosses on the background of a shield symbolize the three dioceses now present in Tennessee, accompanied by representations of mountains and dogwood blossoms. The dogwood blossom is a symbol of Christianity and of the East Tennessee region. The ring also has a crossed key and crosier which represent the bishop. Young’s gold pectoral cross was a gift from the clergy of the diocese. Several of Young’s vestments were gifts from Bishop Keyser, St. Peter’s Church in Fernandina Beach, Florida, where Young was formerly rector, and the Diocese of Florida. The new bishop’s wife, daughter Lucy, and son George, clothed Young with his stole, chasuble, pectoral cross and miter during the service.

Bishop Young succeeds the Rt. Rev. Charles G. vonRosenberg, who has served the diocese as its third bishop since 1999.

Read it all.

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

South Carolina Episcopal priest Chad Lawrence, Robbed and Held at Gunpoint, tells his Story

Watch it all (video lasts 2 3/4 minutes)–KSH.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

S.C. Clergy and Lay Leaders Examine Shifts in Church and Society in Workshop

Over 100 clergy and lay leaders attended the second offering of “The Future and Your Church” workshop, June 2, at the Church of the Redeemer, Orangeburg. They heard about the changing societal landscape churches face and what they can do to fulfill the gospel-mandate to make disciples while stemming the tide of declining church attendance and involvement.

“The world isn’t the way it used to be,” said the Very Rev. John Burwell, Rector of the Church of the Holy Cross, Sullivan’s Island and Daniel Island, during a presentation in which he used visuals to illustrate changes in culture. “What people want from their church is different. If we want our churches to thrive we can’t do things the way we used to do them.”

Bishop Lawrence told of the disturbing decline in average median Sunday church attendance in the Episcopal Church, from 74 in 2002 to 66 in 2009. “That statistic is stunning,” he said. “It used to be that a typical Episcopal congregation of 70 could afford a full-time clergy person…but because of demographics that’s becoming increasingly difficult. When you can’t afford a full time priest a church begins to just maintain. We work to keep the doors open, so someone’s here to bury me.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Evangelism and Church Growth, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops

(Northern Indiana) Episcopal Bishop Edward Little–Ayn Rand Led Me to Christ

Ayn Rand changed my life. When I embraced her philosophy, Objectivism, the conversion was far more dramatic than my decision, several years later, to follow Jesus Christ””more dramatic, but in the end transitory. Yet Rand, the novelist, philosopher, and uncompromising atheist, inadvertently opened a door for the gospel. I don’t believe dead people spin in their graves, but if they did and she could read these words, I imagine Rand would be twirling violently.

As many have noted, Rand’s ethic of rational self-interest is incompatible with the gospel, and leads to social as well as spiritual disaster. “Most observers see Rand as a political and economic philosopher,” wrote Gary Moore last year in Christianity Today. “I believe that she was first and foremost an anti-Christian philosopher.” A six-foot dollar sign wreath towered over her casket, Moore pointed out, an icon of the false gospel she labored to proclaim. I agree entirely that Christianity and Objectivism are utterly incompatible. But my gratitude to Rand remains profound.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Philosophy, TEC Bishops, Theology

Al Mohler–New York State Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

It will be difficult to exaggerate the impact of New York’s move to legalize same-sex marriage. The statistics tell part of the story. New York State becomes the sixth state to recognize same-sex marriage, but its population is greater than that of the other five combined. When same-sex marriage is legal in New York next month, fully one in every nine Americans will live in a state or jurisdiction where same-sex marriage is legal. By any measure, this is a massive development in the nation’s legal and moral life.

Add to this the fact that California, the nation’s most populous state, is hanging in the balance as Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment passed by the state’s voters defining marriage as exclusively the union of a man and a woman, is now an issue before the Ninth U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco. It arrived at the appellate court after a federal judge in California ruled that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. If California is added (again) to the states with legal same-sex marriage, more than a third of the nation’s citizens will live where same-sex marriage is the law of the land.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, State Government, Theology

Does David Cameron want to reduce the power of the Church of England in the House of Lords?

Three weeks after the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, condemned the “frightening” Coalition, David Cameron’s wider family is lending him support. .

Viscount Astor, who is married to the Prime Minister’s mother-in-law, Annabel, has made a rare speech in the House of Lords, calling for an end to the Church of England’s privileged position in public life.

Lord Astor proposed that in any reform of the Upper House, the Church should lose its unique position on the Benches Spiritual. “Other churches and faiths should be represented here,” he said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(ENS) Majority of New York Episcopal Bishops praise state passage of same-gender marriage

At least one Episcopal Church bishop in the state of New York has said that clergy in his diocese may solemnize same-gender marriages as soon as the state’s recently passed Marriage Equality Act goes into effect.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), State Government, TEC Bishops

Sudan’s Episcopal Church consecrates new bishop in Mundri East county, South Sudan

The Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS) consecrated Stephen Dokolo as the new Rt. Rev Bishop for the Diocese Lui in Mundri East, Western Equatoria stae, South Sudan, …[this past] Sunday.

The consecration came after his appointment by Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul to succeed the late Bishop Bullen Doli.

The co-consecrators were bishops from all the Episcopal dioceses in Western Equatoria, including Bishop Peter Munde of Yambio and Bishop Samuel Enos Peni of Nzara. Foreign church leaders included Swiss missionaries and the World Gospel Mission from Arua, Uganda.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church of the Sudan, Religion & Culture, Sudan

Connecticut Episcopal Church basement yields trove of headstones

Several years ago, Christ Episcopal Church property warden Stanley Stanley was working on the gas furnace in the dirt basement when he felt a poke in the back.

He reached around and pulled a human femur out of the dirt, then a rib bone.

“I didn’t go digging around there anymore,” said Stanley, now retired at age 82.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Death / Burial / Funerals, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Parishes

Change in church policy Allows CLU Professors in Same Sex partnerships to be ordained

For years, Guy Erwin worked toward becoming a Lutheran minister, knowing the whole time his church wouldn’t ordain him because he is gay.

Now Erwin, 53, is one of two California Lutheran University professors who were ordained recently because the Lutheran and Episcopal churches changed their policies on ordaining [non-celibate] gay and lesbian clergy.

“I had thought, ‘Maybe it’s too late for me,'” said Erwin, who was ordained at CLU in May. “But my friends said, ‘The church has been calling you all these years.’ It has ended up being a point of great joy.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lutheran, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

(Living Church) Lawsuit Prompts Nevada Episcopal Priest’s Resignation

“The results of this testing revealed that Fr. Parry was a sexual abuser who had the proclivity to reoffend with minors,” the lawsuit said, adding that the results were provided to the abbey, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas and the Diocese of Nevada. Parry began working as music director at All Saints in 2000.[[Katharine] Jefferts Schori was consecrated Bishop of Nevada in 2001.

Parry said he felt called back to priestly ministry when an opening arose at All Saints’ Church.

“I talked to the bishop, and she accepted me,” he told The Kansas City Star. “And I told her at the time that there was an incident of sexual misconduct at Conception Abbey in ’87. The Episcopal Church doesn’t have a ”˜one strike and you’re out’ policy, so it didn’t seem like I was any particular threat. She said she’d have to check the canons, and she did.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Presiding Bishop, Religion & Culture, TEC Bishops, Theology

(RNS) Orthodox Rally to Rebuild Ground Zero Church

With cries of “Rebuild now! Rebuild Now!” parishioners and supporters of a Greek Orthodox church that was destroyed in the 9/11 attacks rallied at Ground Zero on Sunday (June 26) in hopes of resuming negotiations to rebuild the church.

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have been at odds for several years over the cost and exact location of the rebuilt church.

“Shame on the Port Authority to take this long to rebuild our church,” Nicholas A. Karacostas, supreme president of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, a national Greek-American group, at a rally that drew about 100 people to the site of the former World Trade Center.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, City Government, History, Orthodox Church, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture