Daily Archives: July 16, 2011
New York–After same-sex marriage becomes legal here on July 24, gay priests with partners in the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island will head to the altar. They have to. Their bishop set a nine-month deadline for them to marry or stop living together.
Next door, meanwhile, the Episcopal bishop of New York says he also expects gay clergy in committed relationships to wed “in due course.” Still, this longtime supporter of gay rights says churches in his diocese are off limits for gay weddings until he receives clearer liturgical guidance from the national denomination.
As more states legalize same-sex marriage, religious groups with ambiguous policies on homosexuality are divided over whether they should allow the ceremonies in local congregations. The decision is especially complex in the mainline Protestant denominations that have yet to fully resolve their disagreements over the Bible and homosexuality. Many have taken steps toward acceptance of gay ordination and same-gender couples without changing the official definition of marriage in church constitutions and canons. With the exception of the United Church of Christ, which approved gay marriage six years ago, none of the larger mainline churches has a national liturgy for same-sex weddings or even blessing ceremonies.
If we continue as now seems likely, a crunch is coming ”“ in fact three crunches ”“ our global footprint greatly exceeding what the Earth can support, climate destabilisation becoming severe, and fresh water becoming insufficient to feed the Earth’s large population. These crunches will not, by themselves, destroy humanity but they will cause a Darwinian situation; when the going gets tough there will be survival of the fittest. By mid-century, the Earth could be like a lifeboat that’s too small to save everyone.
To be politically correct, organisations don’t use the term ”˜Darwinian’ or talk about ”˜survival of the fittest’, but I am increasingly finding that at elite dinner parties there is already discussion of who the survivors will be. China has enormous fighting spirit and will soon be the world’s largest economy. In 2030 it will have 1.4 billion people. The average footprint of a Chinese person is a small fraction of an average American. The Chinese government does more detailed future planning than perhaps any other government and is determined that China will be one of the survivors. China has been buying the steel and resources it will need in the future. To the largest extent possible it has already cornered the market in rare Earth metals needed for high technology.
The USA combined with Canada will be a survivor, because it is economically powerful and resourceful, and with Canada it has a large amount of land, much of which will benefit from global warming ”“ the breadbasket of the future. Europe, in my mind, is a question mark. Japan will struggle….
A decision by Prime Minister Najib Razak to meet with Pope Benedict XVI on Monday signals a wish to mend ties with Malaysia’s Christians following a series of incidents, including the firebombing of churches, that have strained interfaith relations in this Muslim-majority nation, analysts say.
Mr. Najib is scheduled to visit Benedict at Castel Gandolfo, the pope’s summer residence near Rome, for talks that are expected to touch on the possibility of Malaysia establishing diplomatic relations with the Vatican.
The segment description is as follows:
Fr Joseph Marious is a priest with the young Uganda-based congregation, the Apostles of Jesus. Originally from Juba in South Sudan, he worked in the Nuba mountains as a missionary before coming to Rome, where he’s studying at the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies. He talked to Philippa Hitchen about his hopes for the birth of the new nation and about the ongoing plight of the people in the resource-rich Nuba mountain region….
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, hosted a roundtable meeting on South Sudan today at Lambeth Palace, with participants from government, NGOs, churches, media and academia.
The meeting, chaired by Baroness Kinnock, focused on the links between large scale development needs of the world’s newest state, and ongoing governance, peace and security issues. The Archbishop spoke about the urgent need for peace dividends to be delivered in South Sudan in education and health, in order to foster long term peace.
U.S. employers have added 757,000 jobs to their payrolls in the first half of this year. That actually wouldn’t be so bad if there weren’t so many people out of work. The June unemployment rate of 9.2% was well above the 5% it logged in December 2007, when the recession got under way.
What would it take to get the unemployment rate back down to 5%? Much stronger growth in jobs ”” or a whole lot of time. Here’s a back-of-the-envelope calculation….
This is the video mentioned in the prior audio piece from Vatican Radio. Watch it all–KSH.
Herewith the accompanying blurb:
The Anglican archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams and the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols are to host an international conference on the Holy Land next week, aimed at raising awareness of the plight of Christians there.
The conference, to be held on Monday and Tuesday at Lambeth Palce in London, includes Anglican and Catholic bishops from many different countries, together with Jewish and Muslim delegates who will stress the vital role that Christians continue to play in the land where Christ was born.
The head of Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran will be representing the Holy See at the conference, while the delegation of Christian leaders from Jerusalem will be headed by Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal and Anglican bishop Suheil Dawani.
To properly remember September 11, 2001, I would like to encourage all Churches in the Diocese to:
– See this Sunday as an opportunity to invite the First Responders and their families to your church
– Invite Honor Guards to participate in your Sunday service (most police, fire and EMS departments have Honor Guards, as well as the Armed Serves and ROTC who would be honored to participate in your service)
– Have special prayers for those who continue to protect us
– Have a reception after the service to thank the First Responders and their families for the job they do every day in your community
Half of Charleston County’s high schools face a daunting challenge in educating the new crop of freshmen they will welcome this fall.
Twenty percent of their ninth-graders won’t be able to read better than a fourth-grader, but those students will be expected to learn and perform at a high-school level. Many of these teenagers likely will struggle to simply read the words on their teachers’ SmartBoards, much less understand and analyze the information being conveyed.
The Charleston County School Board recognized the severity of this problem last year by declaring literacy its top priority. Their decision followed a series of Post and Courier stories that revealed nearly 20 percent of the county’s ninth-graders read on a fourth-grade level or worse.
Her career trajectory shifted early in 2008, after Ryan’s contract was not renewed and Pia Sundhage became the United States coach. Sundhage made a simple calculation: nobody wins anything in soccer without a capable goalkeeper. And [Hope] Solo was ”” is ”” considered by many to be the best female keeper in the world.
“Whatever happened in 2007, I respectfully listened to the stories,” Sundhage said. “I asked them not to forget ”” because probably that’s impossible ”” but I wanted them to forgive going forward. This team is not about one player or an individual. It’s about the team.”
Read it all (my emphasis).
Almighty God, who by the washing of water and the Word hast made us members of the mystical body of thy dear Son: Grant us grace, we beseech thee, to continue steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers; that united in love one to another we may with one mind and one mouth glorify thee, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“Brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you that fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation. For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him nor understand the utterances of the prophets which are read every sabbath, fulfilled these by condemning him. Though they could charge him with nothing deserving death, yet they asked Pilate to have him killed. And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead; and for many days he appeared to those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people. And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus; as also it is written in the second psalm, ‘Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee.’
Less than a week after South Sudan celebrated its long-awaited independence, Bishop Andudu Adam Elnail of the Episcopal Diocese of Kadugli has said it is “devastating and saddening” to learn that his people of the South Kordofan region, “friends, brothers and sisters, children, my flock, have been killed mercilessly and are lying now in mass graves in Kadugli.”
Elnail was responding to the Enough Project’s Satellite Sentinel report that revealed the extent of the atrocities committed along the north-south border in recent weeks and identified what it says are three vast excavated sites used to dump the bodies of those who’ve been slaughtered.
Some will cite the 2003 General Convention, which approved the Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop, as the turning point, and The Episcopal Church Annual again shows an important decline (see p. 21): we have lost more than 250,000 baptized members (from 2,284,233 to 2,006,343) and 325 parishes and missions (from 7,220 to 6,895). “Episcopal Congregations Overview” records that 89 percent of Episcopal congregations reported conflicts or disagreements in the last five years, and adds: “The ordination of gay priests or bishops was the most frequently mentioned source of conflict” (p. 3).
But the essential elements of decline began in the mid-1970s. In 1970, TEC had an all-time high of 3,475,164 members. Within five years, it had lost nearly half a million, down to 3,039,136 (Episcopal Church Annual, p. 21). In the four decades since then, we bled out more than one-third of our members. Some will blame this drastic period of anemia on divisions over women’s ordination, prayer book revision and even fallout from the civil rights movements of the 1960s, but it is probably not that simple either. A massive loss between 1970 and 1975 occurred before the height of divisions over women’s ordination and prayer book revision….
Our many-faceted attempts to scramble for some method that will recharge, reawaken and revitalize the church are simply not working. What are we to do?…