Daily Archives: July 15, 2011

Archbishop Dolan Offers 7-Point Response to Same-Sex Legislation

He first noted that New York passed the legislation, “hauntingly, on the Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist, whom King Herod would behead because the saint dared to defend the God-given truth about marriage.”

Then he offered a variety of reflections, ranging from gratitude for “those courageous millions who valiantly fought this unfortunate project of social engineering” to worry over the future of religious freedom in New York.

“If the experience of those few other states and countries where this is already law is any indication, the churches, and believers, will soon be harassed, threatened, and hauled into court for their conviction that marriage is between one man, one woman, forever, bringing children into the world,” he said.

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

(IBD) 'Amazon Taxes' Fail To Deliver As Retailers Cut Ties

Several states have passed laws requiring affiliates of online retailers like Amazon (AMZN) to collect and remit sales taxes. “Amazon tax” laws have passed in California, New York, Colorado, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Connecticut and Illinois. Lawmakers have tried in at least 14 other states.

But in nearly every case, online retailers have cut ties with their state affiliates. Residents can still buy from the e-tailers, but the affiliates lose business or move.

“The nation’s first few Amazon taxes have not produced any revenue at all, and there is some evidence of lost revenue,” according to a National Tax Foundation study last year.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Politics in General, Science & Technology, State Government, Taxes

(NPR) In Russia, Space Ride For U.S. Spurs Nostalgia, Hope

“We were first and could not be beaten,” she said. “But that was the Soviet Union.” She feels her country now lags behind in science and technology, but adds she’s happy her country is no longer feared by the West.

That was the theme Thursday when a new statue of Gagarin was unveiled ”” not in Moscow, but in London, near Buckingham Palace, right by a statue of the great British explorer James Cook.

Sergei Krikalyov, who heads Russia’s Gagarin Center for Cosmonaut Training, was there for the unveiling. He called the setting appropriate.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Europe, Foreign Relations, History, Russia, Science & Technology

New Director of Ministry announced in the Church of England

The Venerable Julian Hubbard, Archdeacon of Oxford and Canon of Christ Church, Oxford since 2005, is to be the Archbishops’ Council’s new Director of Ministry. He succeeds the Ven Christopher Lowson, who will become Bishop of Lincoln in September 2011.

Julian Hubbard’s responsibilities will include acting as the principal adviser to the Archbishops’ Council, the House of Bishops and the Ministry Council on all ordained and licensed lay ministry issues. He will also help shape ministry for the needs of the Church in the 21st century, including by promoting more vocations – particularly of younger people to full-time ordained ministry – and by seeking to ensure that a mission focus is at the heart of the Church’s approach to ministry.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Anglican Church of Nigeria elects four bishops and an Archbishop

The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) at its Episcopal meeting held at IBRU Centre Agbarha-Otor has elected four new Bishops and an Archbishop.

The new Archbishop for Aba Province is the Rt Rev Ikechi Nwosu, the incumbent Bishop of the Diocese of Umuahia.

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

(Bloomberg) Euro Crisis in ”˜Uncharted Territory’ Menaces Eastern States

The European debt crisis has entered “uncharted territory,” rekindling concern it will spread eastward through banking and trade links, according to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Italy’s Unicredit SpA (UCG) and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP), two of eastern Europe’s biggest lenders, fell to the lowest in more than two years July 11 as political infighting threatened to delay efforts to cut the budget deficit in the country with Europe’s largest debt burden. European leaders this week failed to agree on a new aid package for Greece.

“We are in uncharted territory,” Erik Berglof, chief economist at the London-based EBRD, which invests in eastern Europe and Central Asia, said in a July 12 interview. “The source of the contagion seems to be in worse shape.”

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

(Church Times) Archbishop Rowan Williams: Focus on South Sudan to prevent genocide

The international community must not take its “eyes off Southern Sudan at the moment”, the Archbishop of Canterbury warned on Saturday, the day the new African republic was founded.

Dr Williams told the General Synod in York that the situation in the region could not be ignored, as there was still the threat of “genocidal violence”, after reports of unrest in border regions, including Abyei and south Kordofan.

He said that he would write to the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, “celebrating the inauguration of the republic, but urging the same level of international attention at this critical period” as in the run-up to the referendum in January. He would also register “profound concern” over the instability in Abyei and south Kordofan, and the “deliberate tar­geting” of the Nubian people.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --South Sudan, Africa, Archbishop of Canterbury, Politics in General, Sudan, Violence

(CEN) Questions remain for Nevada on abuse case

The former rector of All Saints Church in Las Vegas, Fr. Eldwin Lovelady told CEN that during the five years Fr. [Bede] Parry was his assistant “I found him to be faithful to his priestly ministry, a wonderful pastoral presence to me and to members of the parish, and a friend.”

In an apparent contradiction to the bishop’s claim that restrictions were placed on Fr. Parry’s ministry and the “reasons for it conveyed” by Bishop Jefferts Schori to his supervisors, Fr. Lovelady said he “never had even the smallest hint of any kind of inappropriate behavior, or any inclination to such. I was not aware of anything in his past and now that I’ve been made aware of these allegations, I have not changed my opinion about Bede in any way and if I were still in the diocese of Nevada, I would be supporting him.”

Bishop Edwards’ claim the diocese did not receive the 2000 psychological profile of Fr. Parry is at odds, as he notes, with the claim made in a lawsuit filed last month in Missouri, which stated the Episcopal Diocese was given a copy of the report. However, the bishop’s further contention that any psychological profile conducted in 2000 that indicated a predilection for abuse would be “dubious” as such tests would not be developed until “20 years later” appears to be a misstatement.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Presiding Bishop, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, TEC Bishops, TEC Parishes, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

Kurt Brouwer–Americans distrust a deal on Debt and Default

….Americans are skeptical with good reason and that level of distrust will not go away if all we get is another bipartisan approach to kicking the debt problem down the road. In case you have forgotten, we raised the debt ceiling as recently as February 2010.

When will we gain control of our budget? We routinely hear about trillions in spending cuts, yet we spend more and more each year. Lip service is paid to cutting back, but we all know that spending cuts never, ever happen in Washington DC.

With a slowing economy, the argument is often made that government has to step in and do something. As you can see from the list above, our government has been doing exactly that. Yet, those policies have been ineffective so far.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Budget, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, European Central Bank, House of Representatives, Medicare, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Psychology, Senate, Social Security, Taxes, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, The United States Currency (Dollar etc)

Sandi Holmberg's recent presentation at Total or Shared Ministry Summits in the Diocese of Minnesota

Here is a little of my personal history and reflections. I am at a point in my own journey where I find myself reflecting deeply on how God is calling us to be church. When I went to Divinity School or seminary, the model was to have a seminary trained priest for each congregation. Even in those days, there were congregations who had to share in yoked ministries or in clusters. When the Bishop of North Dakota asked me in the mid-80’s, to work with him in ministry development, a new vision opened for me. Now I believe what we are doing is part of a larger thing that God is doing. In the last few years there has been considerable talk about emergent church, sometimes called emerging church, as well as talk about the Missional Church. As I read and talk with people, my sense is that all of this is part of a broader movement led by the Spirit that is affecting Christian churches. Changes are occurring in the Anglican Communion, as well as in other branches of the Christian Church. I believe what we are doing in Total or Shared Ministry is part of this broader movement.

I believe that this is all about transformation initiated by God and led by the Holy Spirit.

First, I want to mention the terms we use in Minnesota. We use the terms “Total Ministry” and “Shared Ministry,” and while they are very similar, there is a little difference in connotation. When all this was getting started in Minnesota back in the ”˜90’s, the term Total Ministry was used. When Total Ministry got started, it was in small congregations who no longer had a vicar or rector. Then several years ago, St. Luke’s in Hastings came along as a new variation. They had had a full time rector but because of economic factors, they could not afford that model any more. Their rector agreed to go to half time and they called a ministry team to work with her. They decided the term Shared Ministry worked better for them because it indicated that they had a half time rector who shared the ministry with the team, and then by extension, all the baptized in the congregation. Whether we call it Total Ministry or Shared Ministry, most of what I have to say today applies equally to both. The process of how it works is pretty much the same either way.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, TEC Parishes, Theology

Spotify live in U.S.; a vision realized for Sean Parker

Spotify in now playing in the U.S.

The online music service, hugely popular in Europe, is now live in the States. But to start using Spotify, users need to be invited in — a very Google-esque move. Well, that is unless you’re willing to sign up and pay for Spotify.

The music-streaming service has been expected for more than a year now as Spotify had to reach agreements with record labels over licensing rights to songs on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, England / UK, Europe, Music, Science & Technology

Virginia bishop, ecumenical leaders join senator on Capitol Hill to launch 'Dream Sabbath' campaign

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, TEC Bishops

(DJ) IRS Didn't Notify Some Taxpayers When Data Released

The Internal Revenue Service didn’t always properly notify taxpayers after inadvertently disclosing personal information, according to a Treasury Department audit released Thursday.

Not all citizens were notified that their personal information had been released, in a sample of 98 case files from the 2009 and 2010 fiscal years that the IRS had flagged as inadvertent disclosures of personal taxpayer information, according to a report from the Treasury Inspector General for Taxpayer Administration.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Blogging & the Internet, Economy, Law & Legal Issues, Personal Finance, Science & Technology, Taxes, The U.S. Government

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Lord, increase our faith; that relying on thee as thy children, we may trust where we cannot see, and hope where all seems doubtful, ever looking unto thee as our Father who ordereth all things well; according to the word of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

But I trust in thee, O LORD, I say, “Thou art my God.” My times are in thy hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors! Let thy face shine on thy servant; save me in thy steadfast love!

–Psalm 31:15-16

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

DJN: *DJ S&P Places U.S. 'AAA/A-1+' Rtgs On CreditWatch Negative

DJN: *DJ S&P: At Least 50% Chance Of Lowering US L/T Rtg Within 90 Days

*DJ S&P: US S/T Rtg Watch Reflects View Of Significant Uncertainty Of US Creditworthiness


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Budget, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, European Central Bank, Globalization, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, The United States Currency (Dollar etc)

(WSJ) Deterrence Is New Focus Of U.S. Cyberwar Plans

The military must move from defending against cyberattacks to actively deterring such attacks, a top general said Thursday as the Pentagon unveiled a new strategy for dealing with threats from computer hackers.

Under the strategy, the military will seek to develop new protections for military and defense-contractor computer networks. Officials say they will also develop strategies for employing U.S. cyberweapons to retaliate against major cyberattacks.

The Pentagon has concluded that the laws of armed conflict apply in cyberspace, as was previously reported by The Wall Street Journal.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Blogging & the Internet, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Science & Technology

(FT) Debt fears drive US youth away from college

The eldest of Pamela Fettes’ three sons only recently celebrated his 15th birthday, but she is already worrying about the cost of their college education.

Ms Fettes, a 46-year-old single mother, lives in Belvidere, a blue-collar town 70 miles north-west of Chicago. She earns $50,000 a year as a regional healthcare co-ordinator, putting her right at the US’s median household income ”“ although she also works two nights a week as a hospital clerk and decorates cakes on the side. She took on the extra work after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and getting divorced last year, both of which involved considerable expense.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Education, Personal Finance, Teens / Youth, Young Adults

Vicars deny predictions of Church's demise by 2030

Grim forecasts indicating the Church of England will die in 20 years’ time are exaggerated, Burton clergy have suggested.

They spoke after a Norwich vicar, Reverend Dr Patrick Richmond, told the Church’s ruling body that some projections claimed the ”˜perfect storm’ of ageing congregations and falling clergy numbers would kill Anglicanism by 2030.

“It’s possible to read current trends and reach that conclusion, but at the same time my congregations at St Paul’s and St Modwen’s have actually seen noticeable growth over the last few years,” countered Reverend Paul Farthing.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture