Daily Archives: October 4, 2011

Tony Dungy: Engaged fathers improve kids' lives

I had the privilege of coaching in the NFL for 28 years. At the end of my career, one of the most frequent questions I would get asked was, “How have the players changed over the years?” My answer was that so many more of them were coming to us without the benefit of growing up with their dads….

Kids today need dads. They don’t need a perfect dad, but they need an involved dad. When a father can’t be involved, a mentor can be a wonderful surrogate. This is where so many athletes have benefited from that relationship with their coach.

But there’s no substitute for a full-time dad. Dads who are fully engaged with their kids overwhelmingly tend to produce children who believe in themselves and live full lives. And when dads are involved, we see direct correlations to decreases in gang activity, substance abuse and incarcerations.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Marriage & Family, Men, Sports

On Craigslist, the jobless and desperate plead for work

“Hungry” is the headline on a Craigslist post from Phoenix. In Boise: “I NEED WORK!!!” In Chicago: “Laid off vet needs to pay rent.” In Little Rock: “Please help us!!!” In Richmond, Va.: “Need a miracle.” In Oklahoma City: “Broke girl needs help fast.”

Craigslist, a network of online communities that offers free classified advertisements, is a portal into the misery of people who are struggling to find jobs. Posts from people who are desperate for work read like Haiku poems that detail hard times and fear.

Some people post sad tales that might or might not be true, and ask for cash donations or loans. Most, though, offer to do almost anything legal for pay. Need Ikea furniture assembled? The going rate is $20-$40. Need your garage organized? That will set you back as little as $10 an hour. Jobless people offer rides across town or to the airport. They’ll tend to aging parents, repair cars or replace kitchen faucets.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

(O.C. register) Lawsuit alleges Schullers flourished as the church suffered

A lawsuit filed by creditors against several members of Crystal Cathedral founder Robert H. Schuller’s family alleges that the older Schuller and his family members used their power and position to give themselves generous salaries, housing allowances and other benefits while the church struggled financially over the last nine years.

In addition, the complaint filed Friday states that Crystal Cathedral Ministries borrowed more than $10 million between 2002 and 2009 from endowment funds, which were meant to pay for specific items such as maintenance of the Walk of Faith memorial stones on the campus. The money was then used for regular church expenses and salaries, the lawsuit alleges.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, Theology

U.S. support for Iranian pastor continues to grow

Reports by the semi-official Fars News Agency indicated that the charges against Nadarkhani have since changed and the pastor is now charged with rape and extortion.

“He is a Zionist and has committed security-related crimes,” Gholomali Rezvanii said in the Fars News report. Renvanii is the deputy governor of Gilan province, where Nadarkhani was tried and convicted.

The White House and State Department released statements on Thursday and Friday, respectively. The White House stated that Nadarkhani “has done nothing more than maintain his devout faith, which is a universal right for people.”

Read it all and there is a lot more there.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Foreign Relations, Iran, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(World-Herald) Incoming Nebraska Episcopal Bishop explores his role

Earlier this year, before his election as the state’s 11th Episcopal bishop, Barker said he did some traveling through the western part of the state. What he heard forms a major part of his goals for his term in office and is the reason he was already spending time there last week.

The congregations he met with feel disconnected from the eastern third of the state, he said. “It became clear that I would come to that part of the state right away.”

He and his wife, Annie, made the trip last week with two objectives in mind: to learn as much as possible about the area and its churches and to signal that Barker had heard the parishioners’ concerns about feeling adrift.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

Charlottesville Episcopal Church Recognizes Same Sex Unions

A Charlottesville Episcopal church is taking steps toward recognizing same-sex unions.

“It is another step along the road that this church has had in opening its doors to people. Particularly people on the margins,” said Rector James Richardson.

St. Paul’s Memorial Church sits right across University Avenue from the UVA Rotunda. And after months of deliberation, it’s decided to stand up to officially recognize same-sex relationships.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Episcopal Church (TEC), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Parishes

An Interview With the Secretary of the Vatican's Unity Council

Q: Pope Benedict XVI has made this ecumenical dialogue – particularly with the Russian Orthodox Church – a priority of his pontificate. Why is this a priority for this Pope?

Bishop Farrell: Well, let me start by saying yes there is a certain priority [with the Russian Orthodox] because that is the biggest of all the Orthodox Churches. But, this interest and desire for greater communion with the Orthodox embraces the entire Orthodox world to the point where our theological dialogue with the Orthodox cannot be with individual Orthodox Churches. We have agreed from the very beginning that it has to be with all of them together because all of them together form a unity. They have the same principals, they have the same structures and they have the same tradition, the same liturgical values and beauty. So they work as one in the theological dialogue.

Now, in the meantime we also have bilateral or direct relationships with each one of these individual Orthodox Churches and since the Second Vatican Council, these relationships have developed enormously. With some Churches it has been faster than with others, with some it is deeper than with others, but we can say that with all of the Orthodox Churches, without exclusion, we have at this point very friendly, very open and very constant contact and collaboration in many ways. When Pope Benedict XVI says that yes, the dialogue with the Orthodox Churches is a priority, this is clear and if you ask me why I will simply say because they are so close to us. We have the same faith, we have the same sacraments, we have the same apostolic succession; therefore we absolutely consider that every one of their bishops and their priests are true bishops and true priests. In that we have a closeness that we do not have with any other Christian community.

Read it all.

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

Anglican Alliance Latin America and Caribbean consultation opens in Sao Paolo

The Anglican Alliance consultation in Latin America opened on Monday with a discussion on climate change and the launch of the Alliance website

The consultation in Sao Paolo includes participants from all the Anglican Communion provinces in Latin America and the Caribbean, and from Africa, south and south east Asia, the UK and from Anglican development agencies.

It will consider priorities for development and relief work across the Anglican Communion, the advocacy strategy for 2012, and hear plans for distance learning modules being devised by the Open University for use by faith-based development projects.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Latin America & Caribbean

(Globe and Mail) Neil Reynolds: Family breakdown is one cause of our economic woes

The wealth of nations, the [Social Trends Institute] report says, is inextricably associated with the health of families. And, amongst other factors, the global retreat from marriage and from family has depressed economic growth and has deeply hurt two generations of children.

“Evidence drawn from Europe and North America indicates that children who are raised in an intact married home are more likely to excel in school and be active in the labour force as young adults,” the report says. “An abundant social-science literature, as well as common sense, supports the claim that children are more likely to flourish, and to become productive adults, when they are raised in stable, married-couple households.” Yet, with the global decline of these households, “the sustainability of humankind’s oldest organization, the family ”“ the fount of fertility, nurturance and human capital ”“ is now an open question.”

The report cites studies that indicate that American children who are raised outside of “an intact married home” are two to three times more likely to suffer serious social and psychological problems….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, Canada, Children, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Marriage & Family, Pensions, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Psychology, Social Security, The U.S. Government

(LA Times) Many in Surt, Libya, don't trust revolutionary forces

As fighters loyal to Libya’s revolutionary government gain on the holdout city of Surt, residents are making it clear that the battle for hearts and minds is far from won.

The scrublands that surround Moammar Kadafi’s hometown have become a confused patchwork of loyalties. As vehicles of the revolutionary forces patrolled the dusty villages in newly seized territory Sunday, many residents peered angrily from their homes.

“The rebels are worse than rats. NATO is the same as Osama bin Laden,” said a father, his seven children crowding around him.

Read it all.

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

Episcopal Cathedral Church of Saint John to close in Wilmington, Delaware

A letter from the Cathedral Vestry begins as follows:

For several years the Cathedral has been having difficulty meeting the expenses of our beautiful buildings. Declining membership and an inability to attract new members and pledges in sufficient numbers has added to the financial uncertainty.

The Cathedral has been on the verge of closing several times over the last five years as it has used up its reserves. During that period, several committees and working groups from the Cathedral and Diocese have looked at options and ideas for bringing in additional funds. The Cathedral has also reduced expenses dramatically in an effort to balance its budget.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Parishes

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Francis of Assisi

Most high, omnipotent, good Lord, grant unto thy people grace to renounce gladly the vanities of this world; that, following the way of blessed Francis, we may for love of thee delight in thy whole creation with perfectness of joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord God, who never failest both to hear and to answer the prayer that is sincere: Let not our hearts be upon the world when our hands are lifted up to pray, nor our prayers end upon our lips, but go forth with power to work thy will in the world; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

A Song of Ascents. I lift up my eyes to the hills. From whence does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved, he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and for evermore.

–Psalm 121

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

South Carolina Bishop and Standing Committee Respond to Actions of Executive Council

On August 26, the Diocese received correspondence from the Secretary of Executive Council of The Episcopal Church that copied us, belatedly, on their correspondence with a third party. The correspondence informed us of actions taken by a Committee of the Executive Council regarding resolutions taken by the Diocese of South Carolina. The assertion was made there that those resolutions of our Convention “have no force or effect.”

The response of the Bishop and Standing Committee to those actions, along with the original correspondence from Executive Council, can be found at the link below.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Executive Council, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop issues pastoral letter on Israeli-Palestinian Peace

At the outset, it bears noting what The Episcopal Church has said repeatedly over the course of multiple decades: a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians can be achieved only by bilateral negotiations between the two parties themselves. This important principle was reaffirmed just last month by a joint communiqué of the Patriarchs and Heads of Local Churches in Jerusalem. The contours of what such negotiations must produce are as clear as ever: a two-state solution that provides for the security and universal recognition of Israel and the safety of all its people, the viability and territorial integrity of a state for the Palestinian people, and a sharing of the holy city of Jerusalem.

Unfortunately, the gulf between this outcome and the political and moral will needed to achieve it has proven wide. Only a year ago, hope existed that negotiations would commence, and that ”“ particularly with the involvement of the President of the United States ”“ the moment for a peaceful solution might finally have arrived. Tragically, the events of the past year have driven the parties further apart rather than closer together, leading some to question whether international efforts to support the peace process have lost credibility, and whether there is any meaningful path toward negotiations.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Foreign Relations, Israel, Middle East, Politics in General, Presiding Bishop, The Palestinian/Israeli Struggle