Daily Archives: October 10, 2011

Lest I Forget–Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to all Blog Readers!

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Canada

(AFP) Anglican leader visits displaced flock, meets Mugabe

The Archbishop of Canterbury on Monday visited Anglicans booted from their Zimbabwe cathedral by a renegade bishop, before meeting President Robert Mugabe about the “godless” assault on his followers.

Rowan Williams, the spiritual leader of Anglicans worldwide, had for weeks sought a meeting with the 87-year-old president about the politically charged Church split led by excommunicated bishop and vocal Mugabe ally, Nolbert Kunonga.
An audience was finally granted, and Mugabe received the archbishop on Monday afternoon, an Anglican spokesman said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Archbishop of Canterbury, Zimbabwe

The Latest Anglican Unscripted

Watch it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, - Anglican: Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina

Maria Tatar on Today's Children's Books–No More Adventures in Wonderland

…the savagery we offer children today is more unforgiving than it once was, and the shadows are rarely banished by comic relief. Instead of stories about children who will not grow up, we have stories about children who struggle to survive.

In 2009, Neil Gaiman won the Newbery Medal, the most distinguished award in the field of children’s literature, for “The Graveyard Book,” a work that makes no bones about its subject matter. Here is what children read on Page 1: “There was a hand in the darkness and it held a knife.” A few paragraphs later, the wielder of the knife has finished off three family members and is on his way to the nursery to slash the throat of the fourth. It is up to the hero, Bod ”” short for Nobody ”” to find the killer.

These books frequently offer expansive meditations on mortality, with heroes on crusades against death. J. K. Rowling described the Harry Potter books as “largely about death.” The drama of the series begins with the murder of Harry’s parents and turns on an emphatically humorless villain who seeks immortality at any price. Philip Pullman’s trilogy, “His Dark Materials,” takes on similar themes. It rewrites the Fall of Man ”” instead of being expelled from Paradise, the disobedient, curious heroine seeks redemption by journeying to the desolate Land of the Dead.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Books, Children, History

****Urgent Message from the Diocese of South Carolina Bishop and Standing Committee****

October 5, 2011

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On Thursday, September 29, 2011, the Bishop received communication from the President of the Disciplinary Board for Bishops that “serious charges” have been made under Title IV of the Canons of The Episcopal Church. These are allegations that he has abandoned The Episcopal Church. Since several of these allegations also include actions taken by the Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina, after sustained prayer and discernment, it has seemed appropriate to both the Bishop and the Standing Committee to make these allegations available to the members of the Diocese. These allegations may be found on the Diocesan website”¦here.

Subsequently, the President of our Standing Committee, the Very Reverend Paul C. Fuener, received a letter from the Church Attorney assisting the Disciplinary Board seeking “Records maintained by the Standing Committee of the Diocese of South Carolina.” This letter may be found on our diocesan website”¦here.
In order to understand the possible implications and to engage in corporate prayer for the diocese, I, as Bishop, have called a meeting of all our active and canonically resident clergy for this coming Tuesday, October 11, 2011 from 10 a.m. ””12:00 noon at the Ministry Center of St. James Episcopal Church, James Island.

Rest assured we will do all in our power to defend gospel truth and catholic order. We and the members of our Standing Committee ask your prayers for God’s guidance and wisdom.

Yours in Christ,

The Right Reverend Mark J. Lawrence
XIV Bishop of South Carolina

The Very Reverend Paul C. Fuener
President of the Standing Committee

Readers are asked to please note there are two documents to read in the links provided, the first of which is a 63 page pdf–KSH.

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

Phillip Jensen–The Tale of Two Pastors: Terry Jones and Yousef Nadarkhani

In the last year, two pastors have caused sufficient international concern that the White House has spoken about them. But only one has been mentioned in the Australian media.

Both pastors profess to lead Bible-believing churches. Both have come into conflict with Islam. Both have been criticised by their own governments.

Yet, in many respects, they are very different. One operates freely in an open society, while the other is imprisoned by an Islamic regime. One is proud of the actions he is accused of, while the other suffers from trumped up accusations. One is an embarrassment to the Christian cause; the other is a hero whose stand for the gospel gladdens the heart of all who love the truth.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Iran, Law & Legal Issues, Media, Middle East, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Recession Officially Over, U.S. Incomes Kept Falling

In a grim sign of the enduring nature of the economic slump, household income declined more in the two years after the recession ended than it did during the recession itself, new research has found.

Between June 2009, when the recession officially ended, and June 2011, inflation-adjusted median household income fell 6.7 percent, to $49,909, according to a study by two former Census Bureau officials. During the recession ”” from December 2007 to June 2009 ”” household income fell 3.2 percent.

The finding helps explain why Americans’ attitudes toward the economy, the country’s direction and its political leaders have continued to sour even as the economy has been growing. Unhappiness and anger have come to dominate the political scene, including the early stages of the 2012 presidential campaign.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Personal Finance, Psychology, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(National Post) Alberta doctor aims to treat childhood depression with magnetic stimulation

Dr. Frank MacMaster wants people to rethink mental illness in children.

“The knee-jerk reactions are, ”˜They must be terrible parents, or ”˜The kid’s just faking, stop it.’ How do you tell a kid with obsessive compulsive disorder to just stop it? Or, worse, ”˜Don’t tell anyone, keep it a secret,’” says MacMaster, a pediatric neurobiologist and researcher recruited from Detroit a year ago to work at Alberta Children’s Hospital.

He points to a 2008 poll that found 46% of Canadians think people use the term mental illness as an excuse for bad behaviour.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Canada, Children, Health & Medicine, Psychology

Religion and Ethics Newsweekly–Supreme Court: Ministerial Exception

KIM LAWTON, correspondent: The case involves Cheryl Perich, a fourth-grade teacher at a Lutheran Church Missouri-Synod school in Michigan who mainly taught secular subjects, but also taught religion and led prayers. She took a leave of absence to get treatment for a sleep disorder. When the school was reluctant to let her return, she threatened to sue for violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

CHERYL PERICH: I can’t fathom how the Constitution would be interpreted in such a way as to deny me my civil rights as an elementary school teacher. I sure hope the Court agrees.

LAWTON: Lawyers for the school said Perich was considered a commissioned minister, and therefore she was covered by a legal doctrine known as the ministerial exception. That exception says religious groups don’t have to follow anti-discrimination laws in employment decisions about their leaders.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

The Vatican Reiterates its Appeal for the Horn of Africa

The Vatican is calling particular attention to the dire circumstances of the peoples of the Horn of Africa, in particular Somalia, who have been facing a severe drought and food crisis since July.

The press office published an informative noted on the “Efforts and Commitment of the Catholic Church in the Horn of Africa,” which is issued in conjunction with a press conference held today by the Pontifical Council Cor Unum on the plight of several East African countries.

Presented in a question-and-answer format, the note summarized the situation in countries such as Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia: “A severe drought, conflict and lack of governments have led to massive numbers of people going hungry.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Other Churches, Poverty, Roman Catholic, Somalia, Weather

(The Australian) Local Islamists draw on British success in bid for sharia law

The push to recognise sharia law in Australia has entered an ambitious new phase that draws on the tactics that have handed success to Islamists in Britain.

The latest move, under the guise of helping Muslim women, would give sharia law priority over Australian divorce law.

If enacted, this plan would prevent Muslims from obtaining a civil divorce unless they first divorce under Islamic law.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

Pastor and People from Former Episcopal Parish Received into Catholic Church

On Sunday morning, October 9, almost 80 parishioners of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Bladensburg, Maryland were received into full communion with the Catholic Church by Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington during Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

St. Luke’s parish is a small, tight-knit congregation with a majority of their members from Africa and the Caribbean. While enjoying a rich cultural diversity, the church has been unified in it’s one dream – becoming a part of the new Anglican Ordinariate as Catholics in full-communion with the Church.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, Roman Catholic, TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes

Notable and Quotable

The true wisdom of man is piety. You find this in the book of holy Job. For we read there what wisdom itself has said to man: “Behold, the fear of the Lord [pietas], that is wisdom.” [Job xxviii. 28] If you ask further what is meant in that place by pietas, the Greek calls it more definitely θεοσέβεια, that is, the worship of God. The Greeks sometimes call piety εὐσέβεια, which signifies right worship, though this, of course, refers specially to the worship of God. But when we are defining in what man’s true wisdom consists, the most convenient word to use is that which distinctly expresses the fear of God. And can you, who are anxious that I should treat of great matters in few words, wish for a briefer form of expression?

–Saint Augustine, Enchiridion, Chapter 2

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Pastoral Theology, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Lord, who hast warned us that without thee we can do nothing; and by thy holy apostle hast taught us that in thy strength we can do all things: So take and possess us, that our weakness may be transformed by thy power; that we be no longer our own, but thine; that it be not we who live, but thou who livest in us; who now reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, world without end.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

–Psalm 1

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Bishop Mouneer Anis–On the Demonstrations in Egypt

(Via email–KSH).

Dear Friends,

Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

I do request your urgent prayers as the situation here in Cairo is very inflamed. Many Christians demonstrated after the incident of the burning of a church building in Mari Nab near Aswan (Egypt). The demonstrations started peacefully as the people were requesting that investigations for the incidents of burning and demolishing churches would be completed and the new law for building churches, that was promised four months ago, would be passed.

This evening it turned to be very violent between demonstrators and the military. More than 20 people were killed and more than 100 were injured.
Tomorrow there will be a large meeting for the House of Bishops of the Coptic Orthodox Church and political leaders will have a separate meeting to discuss a way out of this very difficult situation. I would appreciate your prayers for our beloved country.

We will hold prayer meetings tomorrow and I hope that I can meet with Muslim religious leaders in order to discuss a way forward for the situation.

Thank you for your prayers.

–The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis

Bishop of the Episcopal / Anglican Diocese of Egypt

with North Africa and the Horn of Africa

President Bishop of the Episcopal / Anglican

Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Coptic Church, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Violence

CSW on How to Email the Iranian Embassy on Behalf of Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Iran, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Religion & Culture

(FT) Concerns grow over Fannie and Freddie debt

HMany foreign investors are not reassured by the increasingly explicit US government guarantee, and are wary of the debt that the two housing agencies issue. The political fallout over the US debt ceiling this summer and the consequent Standard & Poor’s downgrade of US sovereign debt intensified fears that politics might derail the US government promise to guarantee the debt.

“We have become hostage to the irresponsible behaviour of politicians,” said Bader al-Saad, head of the KIA, in a New York speech last month. “What happened during the debt negotiations will make many countries think twice about the investment environment of the US.”

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Globalization, Housing/Real Estate Market, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

NYT Book Review on Christopher Hitchens–A Voice, Still Vibrant, Reflects on Mortality

In his hospital room he suggested that an awareness of mortality was useful for a writer but ideally it should remain latent. “I try not to dwell on it,” he said, “except that once in a while I say, O.K., I’m not going to make that joke, I’m not going to go for that chortle. Or if I have to choose between two subjects, I won’t choose the boring one.”

He added, talking about an essay on Philip Larkin that made it into “Arguably”: “I knew the collection was going to come out even if I did not, and I was very pleased when I finished that one, because of the way it ends: ”˜Our almost-instinct almost true:/ What will survive of us is love.’ I remember thinking, if that’s the last piece I write, that will do me.” After a moment he went on: “The influence of Larkin is much greater than I thought. He’s perfect for people who are thinking about death. You’ve got that old-line Calvinist pessimism and modern, acid cynicism ”” a very good combo. He’s not liking what he sees, and not pretending to.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Books, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Parish Ministry

U.S. seeks to redraw Iraq training plan

U.S. officials have scrambled this past week to redraw a 2012 military training plan after Iraqi leaders announced they would not grant immunity to troops who remain past the Dec. 31 deadline for withdrawal.

Since Tuesday, when Iraqi leaders formally requested that U.S. military training continue into next year, military and diplomatic officials in Washington and Baghdad have been sketching alternative proposals that could place training in the hands of private security contractors or NATO, entities that can be legally covered some other way.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Iran, Iraq, Iraq War, Middle East, Politics in General

(Belfast Telegraph) Church of Ireland Clergy told: watch what you say on same sex unions

Church of Ireland bishops have urged their members to refrain from actions or language which could deepen the controversy of same-sex relationships within the Church.

In their Pastoral letter issued yesterday, the 12 bishops from all over Ireland also confirmed that there will be a major conference next spring on the issue, and also committed themselves to additional meetings, including a retreat where they will study and pray together.

They ask people of all shades of opinion within the Church of Ireland to refrain from any actions or the use of emotive or careless language which may further exacerbate the situation.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland, England / UK, Ireland, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

A Pastoral Letter from the Bishops of the Church of Ireland

It is helpful, at the outset, to affirm clearly the teaching of the church on marriage. The Book of Common Prayer describes marriage as ”˜part of God’s creation and a holy mystery in which man and woman become one flesh.’ It is to be monogamous, with a publicly declared intention that it be life”“long. The church’s teaching has been faithfulness within marriage as the normative context for sexual expression.

The state, in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, has provided in law for civil partnerships between persons of the same gender. Such partnerships are one means of conferring specific legal rights, but may not necessarily involve sexual expression. It is clear that they are not recognised by the church as marriage. Indeed they are not recognised by the state as marriage in either jurisdiction. However, because civil partnerships are narrowly limited to people of the same gender, they are often perceived as an equivalent to or imitation of marriage for same sex couples.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of Ireland, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

(Reuters) Archbishop of Canterbury denounces attacks on Zimbabwe church

The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams Sunday issued a strong criticism of the government of Robert Mugabe and told thousands of cheering Anglican members in Harare not to retaliate against attacks on the church in Zimbabwe.

Williams’ comments risk angering the Zimbabwean president who has not yet confirmed whether he would meet the Anglican archbishop, on a rare visit to Zimbabwe.

Williams, who travelled with police escort, was greeted by thousands of singing and cheering Anglican members at an indoor sports centre in Harare where he delivered a sermon attended by bishops from South Africa, Zambia, Bostwana and Tanzania.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Archbishop of Canterbury, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Zimbabwe