Daily Archives: August 7, 2011

(CEN) America tries to Don the victim’s mantle in church wars

The murders, beatings and state-sanctioned violence suffered by Anglicans in Harare under the Mugabe regime are akin to the discomforts faced by Episcopalians loyal to the national Church who reside in dioceses that have departed for the Anglican Church in North America.

This summary of the situation in Harare from Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori came in an August 2 report released by the Episcopal News Service (ENS) summarizing her trip to Central Africa. Her remarks are similar to claims made at the Jamaica meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in 2009. However, in Kingston delegates from the Global South rejected the Presiding Bishop’s attempt to cloak the Episcopal Church with the victim’s mantle, arguing in the United States it was the Episcopal Church who was the aggressor in its legal battles….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Presiding Bishop, TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes, TEC Parishes

San Joaquin Valley churches move on after splits on values

Some national church denominations have changed their standards in recent years ”“ stirring debate among congregations about whether to stay or find a new path.

In the central San Joaquin Valley, some congregations have chosen to leave their denominations because, they say, it doesn’t represent their traditional values. The goodbyes have worked out for the churches, but they have been difficult.

The trend has reached three major denominations ”“ the U.S. Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church (USA) and most recently the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

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

Redevelopment aims to welcome all to Episcopal church in NW Pennsylvania

On a recent hot Sunday morning, 73 people sat down to worship at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church with the Revs. Don Baxter and Melissa Adzima.

Fans circulated air in the sanctuary where, not too long ago, regular attendance was hitting a high around 40, maybe 50 on a good day.

“We’re hoping to get 100 people by Christmas,” Adzima said.

The growth at the Millcreek Township church has followed the start of a redevelopment led by the youngest bishop in the Episcopal Church. He’s created a three-member leadership team at St. Mark’s that includes one of the youngest Episcopal priests.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops, TEC Parishes, Young Adults

Western Paralysis, Financial Panic, Walter Russell Mead and the book of Daniel

This was the subject of today’s Adult Sunday school. Make sure you did not miss Walter Russell Mead‘s piece wherein he uses Daniel 5 as a means by which to understand our times. His reflections formed the basis of our deliberations–KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Adult Education, America/U.S.A., Asia, China, Episcopal Church (TEC), Europe, History, Japan, Parish Ministry, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NPR) A National Debt Of $14 Trillion? Try $211 Trillion

[Boston University’s Laurence] Kotlikoff explains that America’s “unofficial” payment obligations ”” like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits ”” jack up the debt figure substantially.

“If you add up all the promises that have been made for spending obligations, including defense expenditures, and you subtract all the taxes that we expect to collect, the difference is $211 trillion. That’s the fiscal gap,” he says. “That’s our true indebtedness.”

We don’t hear more about this enormous number, Kotlikoff says, because politicians have chosen their language carefully to keep most of the problem off the books.

Read (or much better) listen to it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, House of Representatives, Medicare, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Social Security, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, Theology

Euthanasia issue won’t be reopened, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson says

Canada’s Justice Minister says the Conservative government won’t be revisiting the question of assisted suicide despite a B.C. Supreme Court ruling to expedite a case on the matter.

Rob Nicholson was commenting Thursday on the case of Gloria Taylor. The 63-year-old resident of Westbank, near Kelowna, is seeking the right to commit suicide given the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, she is suffering from, and this week the B.C. court agreed to expedite her case….

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Canada, Death / Burial / Funerals, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Glenn Reynolds in 2010–Consent of the governed – and the lack thereof

…among the rulers, only 63 percent — triple the fraction of the general populace but still less than two-thirds of the political class — regard the federal government as legitimate by the standards of America’s founding document. The remainder, presumably, are comfortable being tyrants.

These numbers should raise deep worries about the future of our republic. A nation whose government does not rest on the consent of the governed is a nation whose government holds sway only by inertia, or by force.

It is a nation vulnerable to political shocks, usurpation, or perhaps even political collapse or civil war. It is a body politic suffering from a serious illness. Those who care about America should be very worried.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Economy, History, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, Psychology, Senate, The U.S. Government

Washington Post Editorial–Without reform, the U.S. faces a slow-growth future

The global economy faces a deep crisis ”” deeper, in some ways, than the panic that struck financial markets in August 2008. At least then there was the prospect of short-term government action: tax cuts and spending increases, quantitative easing, and the like. Those measures averted total meltdown, yet the United States, Europe and Japan failed to restore strong, self-sustaining growth, leaving governments so deeply indebted that aggressive new policy interventions are probably not feasible for now. Indeed, what seems to have sent markets panicking last week is a dawning sense that capitalist democracies may have made more promises than their economies are capable of fulfilling ”” without significant growth-generating structural reforms. Or so it would appear from the recent dramas over bailing out Greece and raising the U.S. debt ceiling.

For Americans, a dead-in-the-water economy would be not only a colossal waste of productive potential but also a human tragedy, as Friday’s announcement of another U.S. unemployment rate above 9 percent cruelly demonstrated. “We need to create a self-sustaining cycle where people are spending, companies are hiring and our economy is growing,” President Obama said.

Well said. But how?….

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, House of Representatives, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Grant, O blessed Lord, that thy Church in this our day may hear anew thy call to launch out into the deep in the service of thy glorious gospel; that souls for whom thou hast died may be won for thee, to the increase of thy kingdom and the glory of thy holy name.

–Frank Colquhoun (1909-1997)

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

–Romans 15:4-6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

The Rev. Charles Marshall Furlow RIP

He was ordained as a Deacon in the Episcopal Church on June 11, 1959 at St. Phillips Church, Charleston, S.C., Reverend Furlow, in his 50+ years of ministry, served the following churches in the Charleston, SC area: Grace Episcopal Church, Chaplain to the Episcopal cadets at the Citadel, St. Jude Church in Walterboro, Sheldon Chapel in McPhersonville, Porter Gaud School, and Calvary Episcopal Church. In the Asheville, NC, area Reverend Furlow provided service to Christ School in Arden and Calvary Episcopal Church in Fletcher. He retired from the active ministry and the United States Naval Reserve Chaplain Corps in 1989. He was married to Jo Marie Harris on November 9, 1968 at Grace Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Death / Burial / Funerals, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

US mourns biggest loss of life in Afghanistan

The United States vowed to “stay the course” in Afghanistan after 31 US soldiers were killed when, according to local officials, the Taliban shot down their helicopter.

It is the biggest single loss of coalition lives since the war was started a decade ago when US and other international forces invaded Afghanistan to oust the Taliban in 2001 after the September 11 attacks.

The Taliban claimed its fighters shot down the Chinook during a night operation in the Saydabad district in the eastern province of Wardak.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, War in Afghanistan

In Libya’s Capital, Straight Talk From Christians and a Prayer for Qaddafi

“You have seen the strong man judged in a bed in Egypt,” he told the two dozen immigrant members of his congregation who braved the city’s checkpoints to make it to Anglican Mass on Friday. “And so it works that the weak can overthrow the strong,” he added. “This is what is happening in our Middle East.”

In a city of tapped phone lines and ubiquitous government informers, the weekly Mass at the Church of Christ the King is a rare sanctuary: a place to speak freely with a group of Tripoli residents about the anxious, ever-shifting mood of the city.

“When NATO bombs at night, I hear my neighbors clap and cheer ”˜bravo,’ and in the morning they are with the rebels,” a leading parishioner said, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals from the government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. “People are very, very down, and they are depending entirely on NATO.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Islam, Libya, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence