Daily Archives: August 27, 2011

For Psychiatric Patients, Faith, Hope and a Writing Workshop

Six chaplains serve Creedmoor, a state hospital with 400 residents and 10,000 outpatients. The majority of those patients have received diagnoses of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. The chaplains represent Judaism, Islam, Catholicism and both mainline and evangelical Protestantism. They lead worship services, text study groups, spirituality discussions. They will soon hold a 9/11 memorial event. And up and down the corridors and through the wards they offer pastoral counseling.

A black spiritual, drawing on the prophet Jeremiah, has a refrain for this work: “There is a balm in Gilead, to make the wounded whole.” Rabbi Benjamin A. Samson, the chief chaplain at the hospital, has his own description: chicken soup.

“We provide a sense of almost refuge,” said the Rev. Jeff C. Williams, an evangelical Protestant minister. “It’s nonjudgmental, nonconfrontational. In all the other parts of their lives, there are limitations based on their diagnoses.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Psychology

The Latest Edition of the Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops

Survey: Roman Catholic Infant Baptisms Decline

A new study shows that infant baptisms in the Catholic Church have been declining year by year along with the birth rate in the U.S.

The numbers “are generally moving in step with the overall fertility rate, which has also been falling, more so since the recession in 2008,” said researchers from Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate on Aug. 24.

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

Church of England–Religious Education is vital to a healthy society

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Dr Rowan Williams and Dr John Sentamu, both expressed their concern about the current changes in education and RE during the House of Lords debate on the riots earlier this month. Dr Williams said that the current system had less room for the building of character and virtue. Dr Sentamu said that religious knowledge formed and created a culture and asked the Government how they planned to now fill the void.

Commenting on this year’s A-level/GCSE RE results, the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd John Pritchard, who chairs the Church of England’s Education Division and National Society said: “Education is about the whole person, not just results and targets. RE is an academic subject that not only teaches pupils about different faiths and cultures but gives room for discussion that develops values, understanding and responsibility. We only have to look at the events of recent weeks to see how important this is. This is not about the church guarding its territory but about safeguarding a subject that has value to all. We shall continue our conversation with the Government on this.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Education, England / UK, Religion & Culture

The US Catholic Bishops Conference Respect Life Program "takes us back to the basics"

The Respect Life Program begins anew each year on Respect Life Sunday, the first Sunday in October. The program is highlighted in liturgies and marked by special events. The USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities publishes a program packet each year to call attention to numerous human life issues. These materials are especially helpful for priests, parish groups and other organizations.

This year’s Respect Life Program takes us back to the basics. Eight pamphlets discuss the main attacks on human life and dignity. Click around to find more information, order Respect Life Program packets, single or grouped items, or find clip art, free bulletin inserts and more information for your parish.

Check it out and there is also an article here about this.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Life Ethics, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

(LA Times) Tom Petruno–Bernanke and Buffett try the feel-better approach

Squeezed into a corner, Ben S. Bernanke tried a classic escape tactic: Create a diversion.

With financial markets hoping for something of substance in the Federal Reserve chairman’s speech on the economy Friday, Bernanke instead cooked up some comfort food. The near-term outlook is a struggle, he allowed, but over the long term the U.S. has the wherewithal to return to a healthy pace of growth.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Europe, Federal Reserve, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

In Arkansas, a Rogers' Anglican community is a on journey to the Roman Catholic Church

St. George Anglican Church in Rogers is one of 100 traditionalist Anglican parishes in the United States seeking to join the Catholic Church as a group.

According to Father Bob Hall, pastor of St. George Anglican Church, the small parish of 17 members was established in 2004 when the ordination of women and the ordination of an openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church came into the public spotlight.

The Traditional Anglican Communion, which St. George Church belongs, is a group of churches that separated from the worldwide Anglican Communion in 1991. It claims 400,000 members worldwide, including Australia, Canada, Puerto Rico and England.

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Roman Catholic

Jay Rosen–Why Political Coverage is Broken

…this is my theme tonight: how did we get to the point where it seems entirely natural for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to describe political journalists appearing on its air as “the insiders?” Don’t you think that’s a little strange? I do. Promoting journalists as insiders in front of the outsiders, the viewers, the electorate”¦. this is a clue to what’s broken about political coverage in the U.S. and Australia. Here’s how I would summarize it: Things are out of alignment. Journalists are identifying with the wrong people. Therefore the kind of work they are doing is not as useful as we need it to be.

Part of the problem was identified by Lindsay Tanner in his book, Sideshow: Dumbing Down Democracy. He points out how often the Australian press reframes politics as entertainment, seizing on trivial episodes that amuse or titillate and then blowing them up until they start to seem important. I’m not going to dwell on this because Tanner has it well covered. So did my mentor in graduate school, Neil Postman, in his 1985 classic, Amusing Ourselves to Death.

From a TV programmer’s point of view the advantage of politics-as-entertainment is that the main characters, the politicians themselves, work for free! The media doesn’t have to pay them because taxpayers do. The sets are provided by the government, the plots by the party leaders, back benchers and spin doctors. Politics as problem-solving or consensus-building would be more expensive to cover. Politics as entertainment is simply a low cost alternative.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Australia / NZ, Media, Politics in General

(BBC) Google's Eric Schmidt criticises education in the UK

Google chairman Eric Schmidt has said education in Britain is holding back the country’s chances of success in the digital media economy.

He made his comments at the MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh International Television Festival.

Dr Schmidt said the UK needed to reignite children’s passion for science, engineering and maths.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Education, England / UK

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, who art Spirit, and willest to be worshipped in spirit and in truth: Grant to us that, loving thee in all things and above all things, we may please thee by our prayers and by our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–William Bright

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Some boast of chariots, and some of horses; but we boast of the name of the LORD our God. They will collapse and fall; but we shall rise and stand upright. Give victory to the king, O LORD; answer us when we call.

–Psalm 20:7-9

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

NPR–Magician Penn Jillette Says 'God, No!' To Religion

Even if you believe in God, you might still be atheist. That’s what Penn Jillette argues in his new book God, No! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales.

The louder half of the magician duo Penn & Teller ”” of Showtime’s Pen & Teller: Bull – – – – ”” frames his new book as the atheist’s Ten Commandments. In it, he wanders from rants about the war on drugs to stories of eating shellfish and bacon cheeseburgers with Hasidic Jews….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Atheism, Books, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

(BBC) Abuja attack: Car bomb hits Nigeria UN building

At least 18 people have been killed in an apparent suicide car bombing at the United Nations headquarters in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

The powerful blast destroyed the lower floors of the building. Dozens have been injured, some critically.

A spokesman for the Islamist group Boko Haram told the BBC in a phone call that it had carried out the attack.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Nigeria, Terrorism