Daily Archives: October 6, 2011

One Sperm Donor, 150 Offspring

Today there are 150 children, all conceived with sperm from one donor, in this group of half siblings, and more are on the way. “It’s wild when we see them all together ”” they all look alike,” said Ms. Daily, 48, a social worker in the Washington area who sometimes vacations with other families in her son’s group.

As more women choose to have babies on their own, and the number of children born through artificial insemination increases, outsize groups of donor siblings are starting to appear. While Ms. Daily’s group is among the largest, many others comprising 50 or more half siblings are cropping up on Web sites and in chat groups, where sperm donors are tagged with unique identifying numbers.

Now, there is growing concern among parents, donors and medical experts about potential negative consequences of having so many children fathered by the same donors, including the possibility that genes for rare diseases could be spread more widely through the population. Some experts are even calling attention to the increased odds of accidental incest between half sisters and half brothers, who often live close to one another.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Science & Technology, Theology

L. Gregory Jones–Lessons in forgiveness from an Amish school

Almost five years ago, Charles Carl Roberts IV entered an Amish school in Nickel Mines, Pa., and shot 10 girls – mortally wounding five – before killing himself. This quiet, rural community in Lancaster County suddenly became a place of unprecedented contrasts: violence amid peaceful people, hordes of satellite trucks in a place that favors simplicity.

Most striking, in a world of deep division and blame-offering, was the nearly immediate forgiveness the Amish community expressed to the Roberts family. This was not forgiveness offered in a prepared statement, delivered by lawyers or news crews, but forgiveness offered in person, from one human being to another.

What the Amish consider to be “standard Christian forgiveness” can teach all of us, in our own personal and political conflicts, that forgiveness is a way of life learned and lived in community.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

Steve Jobs–Apple’s Visionary Redefined the Digital Age

Steven P. Jobs, the visionary co-founder of Apple who helped usher in the era of personal computers and then led a cultural transformation in the way music, movies and mobile communications were experienced in the digital age, died Wednesday. He was 56.

The death was announced by Apple, the company Mr. Jobs and his high school friend Stephen Wozniak started in 1976 in a suburban California garage.

A friend of the family said that Mr. Jobs died of complications from pancreatic cancer, with which he waged a long and public struggle, remaining the face of the company even as he underwent treatment. He continued to introduce new products for a global market in his trademark blue jeans even as he grew gaunt and frail.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Economy, Parish Ministry, Science & Technology

In Jamaica, Bishop Reid still burning with the fire

The Right Reverend Alfred Reid, Bishop of Jamaica and The Cayman Islands, has dedicated his life to selflessly ministering to the spiritual and physical needs of others for more years than he can remember.

Enthroned as the 13th Bishop of Jamaica in the Cathedral Church of St Jago de la Vega on January 25, 2001, succeeding the Reverend and Honourable Neville deSouza, Bishop Reid joins a list of several outstanding Anglican leaders who have been change agents in the Anglican movement in Jamaica.

In fact, Bishop Reid has been credited with revolutionising the way the Anglican faith is practised in Jamaica.

Read it all and please note you may find out more about the diocese at their website here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Provinces, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, West Indies

(Globe and Mail) Ottawa weighs creating ambassador for religious freedom

The Harper government is looking to attach some heft to an international religious freedom watchdog that it’s installing within the Department of Foreign Affairs.

But it’s still pondering how to build sufficient independence into the DNA of this new Office of Religious Freedom, a promise from the 2011 election campaign.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Canada, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Anglican Leader to Seek Meeting With Mugabe

The Most Rev. Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, plans to travel to Zimbabwe this weekend as part of a central African tour and will seek to persuade President Robert G. Mugabe to help end a bitter rift among the country’s Anglicans, according to the archbishop’s office here.

Archbishop Williams, the spiritual head of the world’s Anglicans, wrote to Mr. Mugabe earlier this year, urging him to stop “the continuing bullying, harassment and persecution” of Anglicans who support the global Anglican Communion rather than a breakaway group led by Nolbert Kunonga, an excommunicated bishop and close ally of the president.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Archbishop of Canterbury, Foreign Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Violence, Zimbabwe

(RNS) National Cathedral needs ”˜tens of millions’ in quake repairs

The Washington National Cathedral will need “tens of millions of dollars” over “numerous years” to repair extensive damage to the nation’s second-largest church following an Aug. 23 earthquake, church officials said Tuesday (Oct. 4).

The landmark church requires $25 million “just to get to June 2012, for the first phase of work and to resume worship and programming. We know it will ultimately be much more,” says Richard Weinberg, a spokesman for the cathedral.

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

A Statement From The Archbishops And Bishops Of The Church Of Ireland

We met over three days in an atmosphere of prayer and worship to reflect on current disquiet in the Church caused by disagreements on the matter of human sexuality. We acknowledge that this tension is a cause of distress to many.

Our discussions were frank and careful and, at times, painful. We committed ourselves to listen carefully to one another and speak openly about our differences within the context of a variety of reactions within the Church. Strengthened by our honest interchange of views, we corporately agreed a way forward.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland, England / UK, Ireland, Law & Legal Issues, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Local Paper–Episcopal Church investigates Bishop Mark Lawrence

The Episcopal Church has launched an investigation of Bishop Mark J. Lawrence a year after the Diocese of South Carolina voted to distance itself from the national church because of disagreements stemming from the 2003 consecration of an openly gay bishop.

Two years ago, the diocese, under the leadership of Lawrence, voted to strengthen its autonomy and “begin withdrawing” from the church. In February, it changed its constitution, asserting the authority of the local diocese over the national church. The national church’s accusation of abandonment sets the stage for disciplinary action.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, TEC Polity & Canons

A.S. Haley on South Carolina–Episcopal Church Foments Strife and Civil War

To anyone who still cares about what was once a fine old and traditional church, I will say only this: what the present leadership of the Episcopal Church (USA) is sowing, so shall they also reap. To invade one of its existing Dioceses in a bid to overthrow its diocesan officers, its infrastructure and its stalwart Christian supporters is utter madness. It will produce only an orgy of self-destruction, from which the Church herself cannot emerge intact.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

South Carolina: Praying for the Diocesan Leadership

Read it all and please share the names with those you know.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Spirituality/Prayer, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina

A Prayer for the Feast Day of William Tyndale

Almighty God, who didst plant in the heart of thy servants William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale a consuming passion to bring the Scriptures to people in their native tongue, and didst endow them with the gift of powerful and graceful expression and with strength to persevere against all obstacles: Reveal to us, we pray thee, thy saving Word, as we read and study the Scriptures, and hear them calling us to repentance and life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Give us, O Lord, a steadfast heart, which no unworthy thought can drag downwards; an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out; an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside. Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God, understanding to know thee, diligence to seek thee, wisdom to find thee, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

A Song of Ascents. Of David. O LORD, my heart is not lifted up, my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a child quieted at its mother’s breast; like a child that is quieted is my soul. O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.

–Psalm 131

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Steve Jobs RIP

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, Science & Technology