Daily Archives: August 11, 2011

US Catholic Bishops Issue Aid Appeal For Drought and Famine Victims

“Every day we are seeing more and more heartbreaking news about the drought and famine in Somalia and the eastern parts of Africa. We see millions of people being forced from their homes, leaving behind what meager possessions they had, and walking for days over rough terrain,” wrote Archbishop Dolan and Bishop Kicanas.

“There are parents whose little children have died, and children who have been orphaned. They are suffering from hunger, thirst, disease, and drought,” they said. “It is a humanitarian crisis that cries out for help to Christians throughout the world. The Holy Father, on several occasions, has asked Catholics to respond generously to the desperate needs of our brothers and sisters in East Africa.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Other Churches, Poverty, Roman Catholic, Somalia

(USA Today) Processed, red meat linked to diabetes

Eating processed meats and red meat regularly increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, a large study shows.

Harvard School of Public Health researchers analyzed dietary-intake data from more than 200,000 people in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and the Nurses’ Health Studies. The participants have been tracked for a decade or more.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Science & Technology

Anglicans find a home in Old Torrance, California

This Sunday, the local Anglican church, Christ Our Savior, will hold services in its first permanent home in Old Torrance. The Rev. Dale Smith, a former Episcopal priest from South Pasadena, has led the church for more than a year.

“It’s been a difficult time for more than 50 years during this gradual split,” Smith said.

After 2003, he said, “We knew there were effectively two churches, one that believed the historic faith and one that didn’t.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles, TEC Departing Parishes, Theology

An excerpt from Christopher Dawson's "Christianity and the History of Culture"

The history of Christianity is the history of a divine intervention in history, and we cannot study it apart from the history of culture in the widest sense of the word. For the word of God was first revealed to the people of Israel and became embodied in a law and a society. Secondly, the word of God became Incarnate in a particular person at a particular moment of history, and thirdly, this process of human redemption was carried on in the life of the Church which was the new Israel–the universal community which was the bearer of divine revelation and the organ by which man participated in the new life of the Incarnate Word.

Thus Christianity has entered into the stream of human history and the process of human culture. It has become culturally creative, for it has changed human life and there is nothing in human thought and action which has not been subjected to its influence, while at the same time it has suffered from the limitations and vicissitudes that are inseparable from temporal existence.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Books, Church History, Religion & Culture

David Baker–Riots and Responsibility

As I write these words, there have been four nights of rioting in various parts of the UK. When you read these words, will the situation have escalated ”“ or died down?

It has been fascinating to hear the different solutions that have been put forward. Perhaps more money needs to be spent in deprived areas, it is suggested. Perhaps police need more powers, or stronger methods of enforcement. Others suggest that families need to take more responsibility. All these things may be true. However, most of the comments on the riots ignore the basic diagnosis that Jesus gives us, because they focus on external solutions. Jesus makes it clear that the basic problem is an internal one ”“ within people: “For from within,” he says, “out of people’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside,” (Mark 7v20-23).

The Christian diagnosis is that our hearts are infected by “sin” ”“ that little word with “I” in the middle.

Read it all.

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

The Prime Minister's Statement on Disorder in England

Finally, Mr Speaker, let me turn to the deeper problems.

Responsibility for crime always lies with the criminal. But crime has a context. And we must not shy away from it.

I have said before that there is a major problem in our society with children growing up not knowing the difference between right and wrong.

This is not about poverty, it’s about culture. A culture that glorifies violence, shows disrespect to authority, and says everything about rights but nothing about responsibilities.

In too many cases, the parents of these children ”“ if they are still around ”“ don’t care where their children are or who they are with, let alone what they are doing.

The potential consequences of neglect and immorality on this scale have been clear for too long, without proper action being taken.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Children, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Theology, Violence

Patrick Allen–Let us Think Carefully about the True and Full Meaning of Freedom

…the implication that Jesus is making [in Matthew 11] by calling his yoke “easy” and burden “light” is that we are, all of us, apart from him, striving under a cruel yoke and a crushing burden. And maybe one way to say that, and to see it, is to say ”“ as Jesus elsewhere did ”“ that knowing the truth will set us free, and that lies, falsehoods, not only deceive, they enslave.

But to make any sense of that, we have to understand what freedom is. Our modern, evolved notion of freedom is largely, I think almost exclusively, negative. It is always freedom from something: freedom from moral or legal restraint, freedom from limit, from being told what to do. So, it’s “Keep your laws off my body,” or, “The government can’t make me buy health insurance,” to choose left and right examples.

But there is another and older idea of freedom. It conceives of freedom as a positive capability. It is freedom for. It has to do with understanding what sort of a creature I am, and then the pursuit of those good things to which my being, my nature, is ordered.

In other words, a fish is not more free if it decides to forsake the limits of water and flop up on the dock and go for a stroll; it is decidedly less so.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Preaching / Homiletics, TEC Parishes, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Bloomberg) Jonathan Weil: Is There Enough Money to Save the Banks?

Bank of America would have us believe the goodwill by itself was more valuable than what the market says the entire company is now worth. Investors don’t buy that. They see a company that needs to raise fresh capital, judging by the discount to book value, in spite of the company’s claims it doesn’t need to. The more the stock price falls, the more shares Bank of America would need to issue to appease the markets, leading to fears of even more share dilution.

The same story is playing out in Europe, driven by the sovereign-debt crisis. The 32 companies in the Euro Stoxx Banks Index yesterday had a stock-market value of 313.2 billion euros ($444 billion) and a combined book value of 620.5 billion euros. France’s Credit Agricole SA (ACA), the index’s third-largest bank by assets, trades for just 34 percent of book.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Federal Reserve, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

In South Carolina, a New Prison Ministry Fulfills Inmate’s Dream

The ministry called Joseph’s Promise, inspired by the…scriptures, cannot be explained without introducing William, an inmate at Lieber Correctional Institution, who received a life sentence two decades ago. Many years ago, William gave his life to Christ and has since faithfully served as a Chaplain’s assistant at Lieber.

A few years ago Tom Blazer, a member of Church of the Holy Cross, Sullivan’s Island, renewed his relationship with William, his boyhood friend. at some point William told tom that he was troubled by what happened to
inmates’ remains when they died.

Read it all (starts page one on the left).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Death / Burial / Funerals, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Prison/Prison Ministry, TEC Parishes, Theology

Archbishop Henry Orombi Urges Ugandans To Be More Prayerful

The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda (COU), Henry Luke Orombi has urged the members of the Anglican Church to be more prayerful like their counterpart Muslims, Catholics and born again Christians.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, Uganda

(ENS) As drought situation worsens, church leaders launch 'Call to Action' in the Horn of Africa

In Somalia, 3.2 million people — by some estimates almost half the East African country’s population — are in need of “immediate life-saving assistance” and another 11 million in the Horn of Africa have been affected by the region’s worst drought in 60 years, according to news reports and the United Nations.

Famine and conflict have driven hundreds of thousands of Somalis across the nation’s borders in search of asylum and assistance, with some 400,000 inhabitants at Dadaab, the largest refugee camp in the world, located in northeastern Kenya, according the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Poverty, Religion & Culture

A Prayer for the people of the Horn of Africa

From here:

God, our refuge and strength,

we pray for the people of Somalia and the Horn of Africa

as they face drought, famine and hardship.

Bring near the day when wars shall cease

and poverty and pain shall end,

that earth may know the peace of heaven

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Poverty, Somalia, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Clare of Assisi

O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich: Deliver us, we pray thee, from an inordinate love of this world, that, inspired by the devotion of thy servant Clare, we may serve thee with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the age to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer, Women

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Set free, O God, our souls from all restlessness and anxiety; give us that peace and power which flow from thee; keep us in all perplexities and distresses, in all fears and faithlessness; that so, upheld by thy power, and stayed on the rock of thy faithfulness, we may through storm and stress abide in thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

O give thanks to the LORD, call on his name, make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him, tell of all his wonderful works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his presence continually! Remember the wonderful works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered, O offspring of Abraham his servant, sons of Jacob, his chosen ones! He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth.

–Psalm 105:1-7

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(CNS) Vatican aims to regain trust of U.S. religious women, official says

In the final stage of the apostolic visitation of U.S. women’s religious communities, the Vatican congregation overseeing the study not only is facing mountains of paper, but must try to rebuild a relationship of trust with the women, said the congregation’s secretary.

U.S.-born Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin, secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, said, “I believe a visitation has to have a dialogical aspect, but the way this was structured at the beginning didn’t really favor that.”

Read it all.

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

(NY Times) Babies to Heroes: A Field Guide to Big-Screen Men

The male archetypes populating contemporary movies don’t line up with reality, yet they offer clues about what the men of our dreams look like, or at least what moviemakers are trying to sell us. What do men want? What does it mean to be a man? How does a man relate to other men? And perhaps above all, how does he relate to women, who increasingly occupy a separate sphere on the big screen even as they appear to have more room on television, for themselves and in their relationships with men? There are no simple answers to these questions, but following many grueling, air-conditioned, popcorn-fueled hours of research, we have assembled enough data to offer an abridged field guide to the Hollywood male animal.

Their categories are: the big baby; the brave boy; the bachelor; the husband; the hero; and the wimp. Read it all–KSH..

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Men, Movies & Television

(WSJ) France Fights to Keep Its Rating

The market has effectively downgraded French debt already. The spread between 10-year French government bonds and German bunds has widened to 0.85 percentage point this week, three times wider than a year ago. Some of this is down to concern about France’s own credit quality: France’s debt to GDP ratio is forecast to hit nearly 90% in 2013, the highest among remaining triple-A rated countries. Last year, France ran a budget deficit of 7%; only Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ireland among euro-zone countries were higher.

True, Paris has a plan””a crucial difference between France and the recently downgraded U.S., according to Standard & Poor’s. The government has pledged to cut the deficit to 4.6% of gross domestic product next year and 3% in 2013 even if growth falters. But its forecasts are based on an optimistic assumption of annual GDP growth of at least 2% for the next three years; French taxes are already high so if growth falls short the bulk of any further fiscal tightening will need to be via politically tricky spending cuts.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Economy, Europe, France, The Banking System/Sector

(RNS) States Scramble to Find Prison Chaplains After Cuts

In the two months since North Carolina’s legislature laid off most of its prison chaplains, Betty Brown, director of prison chaplaincy services, has been crisscrossing the state searching for volunteers who can attend to the religious needs of Native American, Wiccan and Rastafarian prisoners.

State legislators had assumed volunteer ministries would jump in and help prisoners meet the ritual and devotional needs of their faiths. But so far, that hasn’t happened.

“It’s been tough locating volunteers for those faith groups,” said Brown, whose department lost 26 full-time prison chaplains as part of an effort to close a $2.6 billion state budget gap.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Prison/Prison Ministry, Religion & Culture, State Government, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--