Daily Archives: June 21, 2011

Kenya: Anglican Head Backs Graft War

The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams began his Kenyan tour on Sunday with a plea to the African church to take a firm stand against corruption.

Speaking at Nakuru’s ACK Cathedral in a commemoration of the church’s 50th anniversary, Archbishop Williams told church leaders they must stand up against land and money grabbers. “It will pit you against some of the most powerful individuals but God is always on the side of the righteous,” the principal leader of the Church of England said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ethics / Moral Theology, Kenya, Politics in General, Theology

(RNS) Minister to Face Methodist Church Trial for Celebrating a same-sex marriage

United Methodists will begin a trial Tuesday (June 21) against a Wisconsin minister who’s accused of breaking church rules by celebrating a same-sex marriage and being in a lesbian relationship.

The Rev. Amy DeLong, 44, of Osceola, Wis., could be defrocked if the 13-member jury composed of local clergy finds her guilty of either charge.

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Methodist, Other Churches, Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

Canada’s new plastic banknotes will be nearly impossible to fake

Canada’s gradual shift to slick, cleaner, synthetic banknotes won’t just mean your money can stand more wear, will not tear and, for the first time, will be recycled into other products instead of destroyed.

The Bank of Canada and the RCMP hope that once the polymer-based notes are in circulation ”“ starting in November with the $100 bill ”“ they’ll also be all but impossible to fake.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Canada, Economy, Science & Technology, The Banking System/Sector

(BBC) Church of England concerned over academies and RE

A leading bishop has warned that the Church of England must “act now” to secure its role in education amid swift policy change.

Rt Rev John Pritchard, who chairs the Church’s education board, said “very short notice” changes were “not the best way to build for the future”.

He expressed concern about support for Church-run academies and the exclusion of RE from the English baccalaureate.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Education, Religion & Culture

One Local Episcopal Rector and the Bishop of Atlanta comment on Same Sex Unions Blessings Decision

Bishop J. Neil Alexander, who leads the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, which includes some 55,000 members in 96 congregations in Middle and North Georgia, told Northeast Cobb Patch, “The Episcopal Church’s General Convention has not approved rites for same-sex blessings, although it has encouraged bishops and clergy to give appropriate pastoral care to gay and lesbian people. In the Episcopal Church our pastoral care is ritually rooted. This is why liturgies exist for various circumstances, such as ministering to the sick and taking communion to people in the hospital.”

(The) Reverend Paul McCabe, Rector at the Episcopal Church of the Annunciation, said, “Bishop Talton has not deviated from what we are already doing in the Episcopal Church, that is to say, he has not advocated liturgy for same sex marriages, he has only stated that priests may bless individuals who are in same sex civil unions. Blessings then, are prayers for individuals who are seeking pastoral responses to their relationships and relationships they may be involved in. Prayers for all of God’s children is what we are called to do, prayers which means we don’t pick and choose who deserves them or not.”

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Posted in Uncategorized

Cafe at New Orleans' St. George Episcopal Church helps feed the hungry

The café was started after Hurricane Katrina to feed those without kitchens, said the Rev. Jim Quigley, pastor of St. George’s.

Soon, it was serving up to 10,000 meals a year ”” mostly on Thursday and Friday nights ”” but as funding dried up, the church cut back to one day a week.

Quigley said St. George’s opted to make that meal breakfast, to give those in need a hearty start to their day.

“No one leaves hungry,” he said. “They can stay for seconds as well, and we treat everyone with dignity and respect.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Poverty, TEC Parishes

New New Hampshire Budget Means Grim Outlook For Those In Need, Workers Say

Even before the state’s new budget is formally adopted social-service providers in the North Country were struggling. Now with more cuts expected they are worrying that the new budget will make things much worse.

A dozen or so representatives from various social service agencies got together last Friday in Berlin at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church.

They invited some North Country legislators to discuss what they see as a grim outlook for helping those who are down on their luck

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General, Poverty, State Government, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Kendall Harmon and [now Washington Bishop-elect] Mariann Budde go toe to toe on same sex unions

(The original blog post on this from August, 2009 is there.)

Budde: I’m not disagreeing with that, either, except that I think it is very dangerous to take our understanding of marriage and fidelity in relationships and try to imagine that even what Jesus was saying when he spoke the words that you quoted earlier because understandings of marriage in that time and that eras is very different from how people may experience marriage today. And to imagine that Jesus was speaking to the kind of realities that we are addressing now in same-gender, lifelong, committed relationships is just a huge distortion of the Palestinian world view that he was addressing.

He was addressing property issues. He was addressing men treating women like property and disposing of them at will and calling for a more egalitarian and respectful way that — and loving way — that men and women were to deal with one another. This is a time when women were treated like chattel and to have that idea of marriage held up to the standard that God calls us to now is, I think, is trying to take any view of order which was true in the Biblical era and make that standard for us now. It flies in the face of everything we know about now about how the Holy Spirit moves and works with us over time.

Harmon: This is exactly the kind of argument I think we need to have, by the way. The difficult here is the context that becomes the trump card, notice in her remarks, is the modern context. And so the Biblical context in the ancient world gets derated and we somehow suddenly know better how the Holy Spirit works in this modern era.

What’s so crucial to point out is there is such a thing as the history of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit works through the church, especially the church globally and the church historically through time. And the church historically through time that has always understood that this kind of behavior is out of bounds and marriage is the context and what’s the height of the arrogance is that you impose this new understanding on the shoulders of the all the Christians we now understand, all the Christians around the world who haven’t been persuaded by these arguments.

Read it all or better yet listen to the whole program.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, Christology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Same-sex blessings, Sermons & Teachings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Many boomers not prepared for elder care: survey

While most of the 76 million baby boomers are no longer caring for their children, more and more of them are playing the role of caretakerfor an older generation: their parents. But how ready are they for this role?

A new survey by Home Instead Senior Care, an in-home care company, shows that an alarming number of those caring for their aging parents are under-prepared.

Almost half of those surveyed by Home Instead said they couldn’t name a single drug their parents took. Also, 34 percent said they don’t know whether their parents have a safe deposit box, and 36 percent said they don’t know where their parents’ financial information is located.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Aging / the Elderly, Children, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Middle Age

(Our Sunday Visitor) Editorial: Combatting the decline of Catholic marriages

….there is another fidelity crisis in the Catholic Church that is not only ongoing and gaining in strength, has potentially even greater long-term consequences and yet is virtually ignored and unremarked on: the radical decline in the number of Catholics marrying in the Church….

“Sometimes [marriage preparation] is not as conducive as it might be in showing hospitality and welcoming people to marry in church,” Msgr. James Tarantino, the San Francisco archdiocesan vicar for administration and moderator of the curia, told Catholic San Francisco.

Making marriage preparation programs more inviting (but no less challenging) is surely part of the solution. But for every couple that approaches the Church to marry, there are many others who never take even that first step. That suggests a much deeper problem: Many Catholics seem unaware of what the Church means by a sacramental marriage, of its opportunities for grace and its advantages over civil marriage.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

(Our Sunday Visitor) National Roman Catholic marriage rate plummets

It is June ”” that time of year when many of us will be receiving wedding invitations. One thing that may have changed from years past is the likelihood that the address on that invitation is for a country club, beach or community center rather than a Catholic parish.

The number of marriages celebrated in the Church has fallen from 415,487 in 1972 to 168,400 in 2010 ”” a decrease of nearly 60 percent ”” while the U.S. Catholic population has increased by almost 17 million. To put this another way, this is a shift from 8.6 marriages per 1,000 U.S. Catholics in 1972 to 2.6 marriages per 1,000 Catholics in 2010.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Morning Quiz–What Percentage of the current Corn Crop of America goes to Ethanol production?

Fill in the blank: Just one short decade ago, about 10 percent of America’s corn went to ethanol. Now, the number is closer to _____ percent….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, History, Science & Technology, The U.S. Government

(NY Times Style section) How Divorce Lost Its Groove

Ever since her divorce three years ago, Ms. Thomas said, she has been antisocial, “nervous about what people would say.”

After all, she had gone from Park Slope matron, complete with involved husband (“We had cracked the code of Gen X peer parenthood”) and gut-renovated brownstone, to “a Red Hook divorcée,” she said, remarried with a new baby and two children-of-divorce barely out of preschool. “All of a sudden, this community I’d lived in for 13 years became this spare and mean savannah,” she said.

It was as if, she said, everyone she knew felt bad for her but no one wanted to be near her, either. Even though adultery was not part of the equation, Ms. Thomas said, “I feel like I have a giant letter A on my front and back.”
That a woman who has been divorced should feel such awkwardness and isolation seems more part of a Todd Haynes set piece than a scene from “families come in all shapes and sizes” New York, circa 2011. But divorce statistics, which have followed a steady downward slope since their 1980 peak, reveal another interesting trend: According to a 2010 study by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, only 11 percent of college-educated Americans divorce within the first 10 years today, compared with almost 37 percent for the rest of the population.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Marriage & Family, Men, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology, Women

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Lord God Almighty, who hast given to us the vision of thy holiness, and therewith of our unworthiness to be thy witnesses: Touch, we pray thee, our lips with thy cleansing fire; that so cleansed and hallowed, we may go forth amongst men as those whom thou hast sent; for Jesus Christ’s sake.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the passover for us, that we may eat it.” They said to him, “Where will you have us prepare it?” He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him into the house which he enters, and tell the householder, ‘The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I am to eat the passover with my disciples?’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished; there make ready.” And they went, and found it as he had told them; and they prepared the passover.

–Luke 22:8-13

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

The Story of Ernie Els and His Autistic Son–A Father's Love

ESPN’s Between the Lines at its best–watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Children, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Psychology, South Africa, Sports

A Washington Post Article on the new Bishop Elect of Washington D.C.

“I am honored and overjoyed to accept the call to serve as the next bishop of Washington,” [ Mariann] Budde said in a statement. “I pledge to serve God, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and people and ministries of the diocese with my whole heart, doing everything I can to support and strengthen the mission God has entrusted to you.”

Her consecration and installation as bishop is scheduled for Nov. 12.

“We’re thrilled,” said the Rev. Joan Beilstein, rector of the Church of the Ascension in Silver Spring.

Budde was chosen on the second ballot from a field of five nominees. Under church law, her elevation must win the consent of a majority of bishops and diocesan standing committees.

Read it all.

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

(RNS) Black Churches Push Prostate Cancer Awareness

Thomas A. Farrington isn’t looking for cards or a tie this Father’s Day. What he really wants, he says, is for other black men sitting in the pews with a prostate cancer diagnosis to know they’re not alone.

Two years ago, Farrington, the founder of the Boston-based Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN), launched Father’s Day Rallies Against Prostate Cancer to raise awareness””and emotional support””in black churches and civic groups.

Any given Sunday, he said, “you can be sitting next to a fellow member and not know that you both have prostate cancer or that he has survived what you’re going through.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Health & Medicine, Men, Other Churches, Parish Ministry