Monthly Archives: October 2011

(CEN) US Diocese asked to rehabilitate Pelagius

The Diocese of Atlanta has been asked to rehabilitate Pelagius.

Delegates to the diocesan convention will be asked to reverse the condemnation of the Council of Carthage upon Pelagius, and to explore whether the Fifth century heretic may inform the theology of the Episcopal Church.

Resolution R11-7 before the convention states in part:

“Whereas the historical record of Pelagius’s contribution to our theological tradition is shrouded in the political ambition of his theological antagonists who sought to discredit what they felt was a threat to the empire, and their ecclesiastical dominance, and whereas an understanding of his life and writings might bring more to bear on his good standing in our tradition;”

“And whereas his restitution as a viable theological voice within our tradition might encourage a deeper understanding of sin, grace, free will, and the goodness of God’s creation, and whereas in as much as the history of Pelagius represents to some the struggle for theological exploration that is our birthright as Anglicans, Be it resolved, that this 105th Annual Council of the Diocese of Atlanta appoint a committee of discernment overseen by our Bishop, to consider these matters as a means to honor the contributions of Pelagius and reclaim his voice in our tradition….”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Pastoral Theology, Soteriology, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, Theology

Archbishop Rowan Williams's statement on resignation of the Dean of St Paul's

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury

Dean of St Paul's Cathedral announces intention to resign

St Paul’s, 31 October 2011 The Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, the Rt Rev Graeme Knowles, announced his intention to resign from his post this afternoon. He made his decision known to the Chapter and to the Bishop of London last night and has removed himself from Cathedral operations with immediate effect. He intended to submit his resignation as Dean of St Paul’s to HM the Queen today.

In the light of the Dean’s resignation, the Chapter has unanimously voted to request the Bishop of London to assist them in providing an independent voice on the ongoing situation at St Paul’s. The Bishop has had no part to date in the discussions and decisions made by Chapter and it is felt his input is now required.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Economy, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(RNS) Lawyer Charges Catholic University with Civil Rights Violations

A famously litigious lawyer has filed charges against the Catholic University of America (CUA) for not providing Muslim students with prayer rooms that are free of Catholic iconography.

John F. Banzhaf III, a law professor at George Washington University who had earlier filed charges over CUA’s switch to same-sex dorms this summer, filed the new 60-page complaint with the Washington, D.C. Office of Human Rights.

“It shouldn’t be too difficult somewhere on the campus for the university to set aside a small room where Muslims can pray without having to stare up and be looked down upon by a cross of Jesus,” Banzhaf told Fox News.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Education, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Anglican Church of Canada joins faith communities in call for climate justice at COP17

Earlier this week, leaders from diverse faith traditions and communities launched a Canadian Interfaith Call for Leadership and Action on Climate Change. The statement represents a convergence of Canadian faith-based traditions around a common conviction that climate change is an ethical and moral issue that requires greater governmental action, both domestically and globally.

The statement aims to strategically pressure the Canadian government as it prepares for the upcoming United Nations’ negotiations on climate change in Durban, South Africa (COP17). Based on the ”˜spiritual deficit’ and individualism witnessed within society, communities of faith are reasserting the messages of their respective sacred texts to live in harmony with the earth and be good stewards of creation.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Energy, Natural Resources, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

(CNS) Among Assisi participants, a sense of deeper crisis in modern society

A common thread ran through many of the speeches and invocations of this year’s “prayer for peace” encounter in Assisi: the uneasy sense that the world is facing not merely conflicts and wars, but a much broader crisis that affects social and cultural life in every country.

Environmental damage, the rich-poor divide, erosion of cultural traditions, terrorism and new threats to society’s weakest members were cited as increasingly worrisome developments by speakers at the interfaith gathering in the Italian pilgrimage town Oct. 27.

Pope Benedict XVI, addressing the 300 participants, echoed those points in his own analysis of the state of global peace 25 years after Blessed John Paul II convened the first Assisi meeting.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Globalization, Inter-Faith Relations, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

The American Savings Rate Is Dropping, and Experts Are Puzzled

Scott Hoyt, an economist at Moody’s Analytics who specializes in consumer spending, said there were two competing hypotheses as to why the savings rate had dropped. “One is that consumers have just decided that they need to spend ”” they need to replace the car, the appliance, they want a new wardrobe.” The other, he said, is that the data, which is often revised months down the road, is simply incorrect.

“There have been several times where we spent a year or more talking about a negative savings rate” ”” meaning consumers spent more than they took in ”” “only to get benchmark revisions to the data,” Mr. Hoyt said. “The savings rate’s never been negative.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Personal Finance, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Christchurch Cathedral rebuild could cost $50m

Christ Church Cathedral leaders could have to find up to $50 million to rebuild their quake-damaged building.

The cathedral will be deconsecrated and partially demolished at the cost of $4m to make it safe, Anglican Bishop Victoria Matthews announced yesterday.

A final decision would be made once the controlled demolition and temporary holding measures were completed.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * General Interest, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

(Washington Post) The graying of the Planet–World population not only grows, but grows old

The aging of the human race has been faster than anyone could have imagined a few decades ago. Fertility rates have plunged globally; simultaneously, life spans have increased. The result is a re-contoured age graph: The pyramid, once with a tiny number of old folks at the peak and a broad foundation of children, is inverting. In wealthy countries, the graph already has a pronounced middle-age spread.

This is, in many respects, very good news. Longer life is a blessing of modern medicine and improvements in nutrition. Lower fertility rates have corresponded to more educational opportunities for women and greater prosperity for societies in general.

But the unexpectedly abrupt demographic transition has created economic upheaval. For the countries that hit the fertility brakes the hardest, the graying of society has become a full-blown crisis. They’re suddenly desperate for babies. They need more workers to provide goods and services to huge numbers of pensioners….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, Economy, Globalization

Kendall Harmon's Sermon from this past Sunday: Love and Vulnerability

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Theology

Cate MacDonald (Mere Orthodoxy)–To Laugh at Death

There’s something very primitive, and distinctly human about Halloween. For all the modern world’s enlightened thinking and secular commitments, we spend a day tramping around in costumes and decorating our homes, stores, and neighborhoods with trappings of physical death and afterlife.

But what strikes me most is how distinctly earthbound these images of death are. Zombies, ghosts, vampires, wiggling gravestones, animated skeletons, and haunted mirrors all display an afterlife which is, in it’s own way, very understandable. We have turned the dead into extensions of our earthly existence. We are frightened of them, sort of, but only enough to think it’s fun to talk about them and display them, which, I think, means we’re not actually scared at all.

Death, on the other hand, is truly unknowable and beyond our comprehension….

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Death / Burial / Funerals, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Secularism

(Patheos Blog) Do Seminaries as we now Know them have a Future?

In recent months, we have been listening to ongoing discussions about the problems and promises of seminary education. Some of the talk is fraught with anxiety, and some of it is filled with hope, but it is all marked by a sharp awareness that seminaries must adapt to an increasingly complex world.

What challenges do seminaries face in the coming years? How are they””and the churches and communities that are the focus of their mission””preparing for those challenges? What signs of transformation can we see as we survey the horizon of theological education? What will seminary look like 10 years from now, and what purposes will it serve?…

Read it all (numerous contributions).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

(CEN) Tanzanian Archbishop calls for government to return nationalised schools

Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa has urged a leading candidate for president to promise to return to the church mission schools nationalized by the government.

Speaking at a school fundraising event on 24 Oct 2011 in Dar es Salaam, Dr. Mokiwa asked Edward Lowassa MP to return the schools if he wins the presidency. Elections are scheduled in the east African nation in 2015 to succeed President Jakaya Kikwete. While Mr. Lowassa has not formally announced his candidacy, he is considered a front runner for the post.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Anglican Provinces, Education, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Tanzania

(Wash. Post) The Debt Fallout: How Social Security went ”˜cash negative’ earlier than expected

For most of its 75-year history, the program had paid its own way through a dedicated stream of payroll taxes, even generating huge surpluses for the past two decades. But in 2010, under the strain of a recession that caused tax revenue to plummet, the cost of benefits outstripped tax collections for the first time since the early 1980s.

Now, Social Security is sucking money out of the Treasury. This year, it will add a projected $46 billion to the nation’s budget problems, according to projections by system trustees. Replacing cash lost to a one-year payroll tax holiday will require an additional $105 billion. If the payroll tax break is expanded next year, as President Obama has proposed, Social Security will need an extra $267 billion to pay promised benefits.

But while talk about fixing the nation’s finances has grown more urgent, fixing Social Security has largely vanished from the conversation.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, Budget, Economy, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Social Security, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

(Chicago Tribune) Muslim sues bottling company over Prayer time

A former delivery driver has filed a federal lawsuit against a soft-drink bottling plant in a Chicago suburb that he said fired him shortly after he asked to time his lunch break to attend weekly prayers at a mosque.

According to the lawsuit, Nathan Henderson had worked for the American Bottling Company in Harvey for only a month in early September 2007 when his boss pulled him aside to discuss reports that Henderson was taking time to say his five daily prayers during the workday. Because those breaks lasted only a minute or two and didn’t interfere with Henderson’s work, his boss added that he didn’t have a problem with it, the suit said.

The suit alleges that when Henderson then asked permission to take his lunch break in time to correspond with the Friday Jumma prayers, the weekly congregational prayer in the Muslim faith, his superior told him he could not do so.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Islam, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture