Daily Archives: September 5, 2011

(RNS) Roman Catholics Pitch In to Repair National Cathedral

The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington is donating $25,000 to help repair the Washington National Cathedral, which sustained millions of dollars in damage in the earthquake that rocked the East Coast on Aug. 23.
“The National Cathedral holds a special place in the hearts of all of us in Washington,” said Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington.

“So many recognize it as a national house of prayer, and indeed its magnificent Gothic spires are a reminder of our constant need to raise our hearts in prayer to God in the midst of all our daily preoccupations.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * General Interest, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations, Episcopal Church (TEC), Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Other Churches, Roman Catholic, TEC Parishes

John Stackhouse on John R. W. Stott (1921-2011)–We’ll Miss You, Uncle John

[John] Stott meant a lot to me, and in several respects.

First, he modeled intelligent preaching, preaching that implied that both preacher and congregation were intelligent people who were concerned to understand difficult and important matters, and that patient and skilled interpretation of the difficult and important texts of the Bible was not only possible, but to be expected from sermons on every occasion. Preachers I have heard since then, and that’s the majority, who fail to interpret the text intelligently, fail to treat their audiences as intelligent people, and fail to express themselves intelligently, earn either my pity (if they can’t help it) or my contempt (if they can). But they do not get a pass: John Stott showed us what could be done, and we ought to do it, even if few of us can do it so well.

Second, he showed that smart and educated people could be evangelicals and remain evangelicals. In my young adult years, many upwardly mobile evangelicals were hitting the “high road,” so to speak, on their way to Anglo-Catholicism, Catholicism, or even Orthodoxy, but Stott”“whose church services at All Souls Langham Place were like InterVarsity meetings with robes”“was irrefutably sophisticated and unapologetically low-church evangelical.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Church of England (CoE), Evangelicals, Globalization, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Terry Mattingly–Are Churches ignoring online playgrounds?

While many pastors and parents have heard horror stories about children straying into dark corners online, few are aware of just how common these problems have become ”” even in their sanctuaries and homes.

This is the kind of danger and sin that religious leaders often fear discussing, precisely because these realities have not remained bottled up in the secular world. Thus, Heil urged his listeners to ponder the following statistics in his presentation, drawn from mainstream research in the past year:

Ӣ Two-thirds of Americans under the age of 18 have reported some kind of negative experience while online. Only 45 percent of their parents are aware of this.

Ӣ Forty-one percent of children say they have been approached online by some kind of stranger, possibly an older predator.

Read it all, another from the long line of should-have-already-been-posted material.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Children, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Teens / Youth, Youth Ministry

(NY Times) A Profile Article on an Interfaith Women's Group that Emerged Post 9/11

In Syracuse, as in countless other communities, 9/11 set off a phenomenon that may seem counterintuitive in an era of increasingly vocal Islamophobia. A terrorist attack that provoked widespread distrust and hostility toward Muslims also brought Muslims in from the margins of American religious life ”” into living rooms, churches, synagogues and offices where they had never set foot before.

American Christians and Jews reached out to better understand Islam and ”” they will admit ”” to find out firsthand whether the Muslims in their midst were friends or foes. Muslims also reached out, newly conscious of their insularity, aware of the suspicions of their neighbors, determined that the ambassadors of Islam should not be the terrorists.

“Before 9/11 we were somewhat timid,” said Saad Sahraoui, president of the Islamic Society of Central New York, the largest mosque in Syracuse, when the attacks occurred in 2001. “We just kept to ourselves, just concerned with our families and our children….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, History, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Judaism, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Women

Euro Zone Leaders Get Warning From Central Bankers

Germany is divided over Europe’s bailout fund. Finland may be jeopardizing Greece’s latest rescue. And Italy is suddenly backpedaling on austerity.

Jean-Claude Trichet and Mario Draghi, the current and incoming presidents of the European Central Bank, had a sharp message for Europe’s leaders Monday as financial markets swooned: Get your act together.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector

(AP) This Labor Day, we need to Understand the Job market is even worse than 9.1 percent unemployed

The job market is even worse than the 9.1 percent unemployment rate suggests.

America’s 14 million unemployed aren’t competing just with each other. They must also contend with 8.8 million other people not counted as unemployed ”” part-timers who want full-time work.

When consumer demand picks up, companies will likely boost the hours of their part-timers before they add jobs, economists say. It means they have room to expand without hiring.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The U.S. Government

Boeing ramps up charitable giving: 787 manufacturer seeks to expand goodwill in S.C

Boeing has only been in South Carolina a few years, depending on how you count its ownership interest in suppliers it eventually acquired entirely, but it’s already making its mark on the community.

As it ramps up production of the 787 Dreamliner at its campus next to the Charleston International Airport, it seems the company is also ramping up its giving, especially to area civic events and various health and education initiatives.

Last year, for example, Boeing gave $25,000 to the Trident Technical College Foundation as one of several sponsors of the organization’s ‘A Night in the Valley’ wine dinner and auction. This year, Boeing’s doubled its giving to become the sole presenting sponsor, said Meg Howle, vice president for advancement at the college.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy

Local Newspaper Editorial–A Labor Day pain: the National Labor Relations Board

Perhaps Secretary [Hilda] Solis, in her zeal to bolster U.S. manufacturing, could use her influence in high places to urge an NLRB retreat on this absurd action against Boeing — and on similarly misguided administration pandering to organized labor.

After all, as she writes in her column: “In the Charleston area alone, more than 900 manufacturing jobs have been added since July 2010 — an increase of 4.3 percent.”

In other words, President Obama’s labor secretary is bragging, in part, about jobs added in the Charleston area by Boeing, even as President Obama’s NLRB acting general counsel takes Boeing to court for adding those jobs.

And that, by any logical analysis, doesn’t add up.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Law & Legal Issues, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, State Government, The U.S. Government

Anglican Churches of Burundi and Rwanda co-host church leaders conference against sexual violence

(ACNS) The Archbishop of the Province of the Anglican Church of Burundi, the Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi, and the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Rwanda, the Most Rev. Onesphore Rwaje, have co-hosted an interdenominational conference for Church leaders in collaboration with UNAIDS and Tearfund in Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura, to consider the role of the Church in the fight against sexual violence in Burundi and Rwanda.

In March 2011 the Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi, along with the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Congo, was present at the launch at Lambeth Palace of the ”˜We Will Speak Out’ coalition, initially comprising the Anglican Communion, Tearfund, Christian Aid, and Restored. The coalition was established to urge the Church to speak out against sexual violence and came about as a response to the findings in Tearfund’s research report, ”˜Silent No More’, which documented the role of the church in response to sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Liberia, with some later study in Burundi. It concluded that the Church had largely failed to respond adequately to sexual violence and had sometimes been unintentionally instrumental in marginalising those who have experienced its devastating consequences.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church of Burundi, Anglican Provinces, Church of Rwanda, Sexuality, Violence

In Canada Anglican Churches gear up for Back to Church Sunday

They will be hard to miss in their pointy hats and long robes, standing at a train station at 5:00 a.m.

On Sept. 22, Archbishop Fred Hiltz and Bishop Michael Pryse (ELCIC) will visit the Brampton, Ont. train station””wearing copes and mitres””and invite commuters to Back to Church Sunday (B2CS). They will join thousands of Canadian Anglicans who are inviting friends to check out church Sept. 25.

2011 is the third official year of Back to Church Sunday in the Anglican Church of Canada. Founded in 2004 in the Church of England, “B2CS” encourages people to invite just one person to church, whether a friend, neighbour or co-worker.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry

A Prayer for Labor Day

Almighty God, you have so linked our lives one with another that all we do affects, for good or ill, all other lives: So guide us in the work we do, that we may do it not for self alone, but for the common good; and, as we seek a proper return for our own labor, make us mindful of the rightful aspirations of other workers, and arouse our concern for those who are out of work; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philip’pi, with the bishops and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, thankful for your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

–Philippians 1:1-6

Posted in Uncategorized

(CNN Religion Blog) Four ways 9/11 changed America's attitude toward religion

Most Americans had not lived with…vulnerability until 9/11, says Mathew Schmalz, a religion professor at Holy Cross University in Massachusetts who once lived in Karachi, Pakistan.

“We had this sense of specialness and invulnerability that 9/11 shattered,” he says. “Given that a large section of the world’s population deals with random violence every day, one of the outcomes of 9/11 should be a greater feeling of solidarity with people who live in cities like Karachi in which violence is a part of everyday life.”

Recognizing that vulnerability, though, is difficult for some Americans because of how they see their country, Schmalz and others say.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Globalization, History, Religion & Culture, Terrorism

(Allafrica) Malawi: A Very Reverend Dialogue Begins

On the other side of the table the extra-parliamentary dialogue group ”“ also led by an Anglican bishop ”“ has been consciously constructed to accommodate government sensitivities. To avoid antagonising [President Bingu wa] Mutharika’s government, key activists Undule Mwakasungula (Malawi Centre for Human Rights and Reconciliation), Rafik Hajat (Institute for Policy Interaction) and cleric Moses Mkandawire (Church and Society) have been kept out of the six-person team.

It is headed by current Anglican Bishop James Tengatenga and includes: Martha Kwataine (Malawi Health Equity Network), Robert Mkwezalamba (Malawi Congress of Trade Unions), Dorothy Ngoma (Nurses’ Union), Robert Phiri (Public Affairs Committee) and group spokesperson Voice Mhone (Council of NGOs of Malawi).

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of Central Africa, Malawi, Religion & Culture

Scary and Sad picture of the front Page of Tomorrow's (London) Times

“Headline: Prosecutors clear way for assisted suicides…”

Check it out.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Life Ethics, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Suicide, Theology

California Employment Level Sinks to Record Low as Fewer Women Find Jobs

The percentage of working-age Californians with jobs has fallen to a record low, and employment may not return to pre-recession levels until the second half of the decade, according to a research group.

Just 55.4 percent of working-age Californians, defined as those 16 or older, had a job in July, down from 56.2 percent a year earlier and the lowest level since 1976, the Sacramento- based California Budget Project said in a report released late yesterday.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General, State Government, Women

(WSJ) Libya Rebels Poised to Attack Gadhafi Stronghold

Thousands of Libyan rebel fighters have encircled the pro-Gadhafi stronghold of Bani Walid waiting for orders to attack as negotiations to resolve the standoff peacefully appeared to founder on Sunday.

Bani Walid, a city of 100,000 residents 90 miles southwest of Tripoli, stands as a first test of rebels’ ability to assert control over a large swath of central Libya still controlled by Col. Moamar Gadhafi’s loyalists and dominated by the three tribes that formed the backbone of his regime….

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Libya

(SMH) John Howard–A decade on, the resolve to fight terrorism must remain the same

Now, 10 years on, the mood is different. Like all military commitments that last a long time, the war in Afghanistan has less public support.

But the merits have not altered: the safe haven must still be denied. There is, in fact, the added dimension of a nuclear-armed Pakistan, now more fragmented and unstable than in 2001. If the United States and her allies leave Afghanistan prematurely, the terrorist cause in neighbouring Pakistan will receive a huge boost.

Rather, the perspective has changed. Americans and others have lost their fear of further terrorist attacks….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, History, Terrorism

Terry Mattingly: Texas Baptist to become an Orthodox saint?

[Archbishop] Dmitri [Royster] made that Knoxville trip to ordain yet another priest in his diocese, which grew from a dozen parishes to 70 during his three decades. The 87-year-old missionary died last Sunday (Aug. 28) in Dallas, in his simple bungalow ”” complete with leaky kitchen roof ”” next to Saint Seraphim Cathedral, the parish he founded in 1954.

Parishioners were worried the upstairs floor might buckle under the weight of those praying around his deathbed.

The future archbishop was raised Southern Baptist in the town of Teague, Texas, before moving to Dallas. As teens, Royster and his sister became intrigued with the history of the major Christian holidays and began visiting a variety of churches, including an Orthodox parish. The services were completely in Greek, but they joined anyway ”” decades before evangelical-to-Orthodox conversions became common….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Evangelicals, Orthodox Church, Other Churches, Religion & Culture

(Zenit) US Roman Catholic Bishops Blast Plan to Force Abortions Into Insurance

The U.S. bishops are objecting to a Health and Human Services mandate that will force private insurance plans to cover abortions and sterilizations, with an exemption for religions so narrow that not even Jesus would qualify.

In a statement to the HHS today, Anthony Picarello, USCCB general counsel, and Michael Moses, associate general counsel, called the mandate an “unprecedented attack on religious liberty.”

The mandate would force private insurance plans to cover contraception — including abortifacients — and sterilization.

And the narrow “religious employer” exception provides “no protection at all for individuals or insurers with a moral or religious objection to contraceptives or sterilization,” instead covering only “a very small subset of religious employers,” the bishops’ representatives declared.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Anglicans in Canberra and Goulburn agree to trim costs

The aftermath of drought and the global financial crisis has led to a proposed rationalisation of church institutions and management across the three Anglican dioceses of Canberra and Goulburn, Bathurst and Riverina.

The proposal was supported yesterday after a day-long debate by the synod of Canberra and Goulburn, meeting in Goulburn. Synods of Bathurst and Riverina are still to meet, but as they are the major beneficiaries of the proposed changes, there seems little likelihood they will oppose them.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Parish Ministry, Stewardship