Daily Archives: October 14, 2011

Social Security kept silent about private data breach

The Social Security Administration has failed to inform tens of thousands of Americans that it accidentally released their names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers in an electronic database widely used by U.S. business groups.

The federal agency has kept silent about a potentially harmful security breach of the personal data of about 14,000 people each year, ignoring recommended reporting guidelines for such confidentiality breaches and violating the intent, at least, of the U.S. Privacy Act which protects personal information of private citizens.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Law & Legal Issues, Science & Technology, Social Security, The U.S. Government

Charles Alley–The Injustice of it All!

Regardless of theological allegiances, ideological positions and ecclesiological affiliations, a lack of justice is a lack of justice and unacceptable in the Church that professes to live in obedience to a just God. Anyone who is seeking justice needs to speak up on behalf of justice and the victims of injustice wherever it is found.

Today it is the Diocese of South Carolina and Bishop Lawrence. It is relatively easy to predict the population which will be targeted next. The only question is, when will it be you?

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, TEC Parishes, TEC Polity & Canons

Stephen Schwager–A Miraculous Post-Soviet Religious Revival

As Jews around the world gather to celebrate Simchat Torah next week””the raucous holiday marking the completion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings””I am reminded of one of the more curious practices among Soviet Jews in the final decades of the Communist regime.

Living under duress, these Jews gathered illegally in homes or even in the streets to celebrate a holiday for an object that most had never seen, let alone read from. Such celebrations persisted despite systematic anti-Jewish persecution by the Soviets, including university quotas, discouragement from certain jobs, and an all-out effort to eradicate Jewish culture and religion.

And yet 20 years after the Soviet Union’s fall, this act of defiance has taken on an entirely different character….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, Judaism, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Russia

Christ Episcopal in Maryland to celebrate 200-year anniversary

When the Rev. Richard A. Ginnever first arrived at Christ Episcopal Church in Columbia in 2001, the history of its “Old Brick” church building ”” which dates to 1809 and was consecrated in 1811 ”” was immediately on his mind.

He wondered what he and the parish could do to show “a gratefulness to those who came before us and a hopefulness for those who come after,” he said.

Two years later, during his 2003 annual address to parishioners, he spoke of restoring the building in preparation for the 200th anniversary of its consecration, in 2011, he said….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Parishes

A.S. Haley on the Disciplinary Board, Their Chosen Lawyer, and the South Carolina Process

Your Curmudgeon takes pride in his attention to details — and he does not like being misled. He is always happy to correct his mistakes, once they are pointed out to him, because no one should have a vested interest in spreading untruth. Thus when somebody feeds him wrong information, he cannot refrain from asking why they would have done so.

Consider the latest snafu over the “mistaken” listing of Ms. Josephine Hicks, the Church Attorney to the Disciplinary Board of Bishops, on the Official Roster of that Board as published on ECUSA’s Website. She was still shown as a “Member” (i.e., a participant with a vote) as late as October 12, and yet on the previous September 30, she authored a letter to the President of South Carolina’s Standing Committee, which she signed as “Church Attorney to the Board”.

Now the Rt. Rev. Dorsey Henderson, former (resigned) Bishop of Upper South Carolina, is a canon lawyer. He has served on the predecessor to the Disciplinary Board (the former “Title IV Review Committee”). As such, he participated in the proceedings against Bishops Schofield and Duncan for so-called “abandonment of communion”, which resulted in their faux “deposition” by a tiny minority of the full membership of the House of Bishops who are actually entitled to vote under ECUSA’s Constitution, notwithstanding what the vindictive Presiding Bishop or her financially very interested Chancellor chooses to opine. So he is no stranger to the canonical process, especially in so-called cases of “abandonment.”

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, - Anglican: Analysis, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, TEC Polity & Canons

(Times and Democrat) Orangeburg, S.C., Area Episcopal clergy: Probe 'not a healthy situation'

Nearly 100 clergy from the diocese met Tuesday to pray and discuss the situation surrounding Diocese of South Carolina Bishop Mark Lawrence. Father Jimmy S. Gallant, vicar of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Orangeburg, was at the meeting. He said all of the clergy in attendance were supportive of Lawrence.

“I take a stand because this is all based on the biblical passage that says all who live godly in Christ shall suffer persecution,” Gallant said. “This is persecution by the national church. Bishop Lawrence is godly, and he also has an eye for the poor and minorities….

The other accusation against Lawrence allegedly involves his abandonment of the church. The Dr. Rev. Frank Larisey of the Church of the Redeemer in Orangeburg said that is patently false.

“Neither the bishop nor the diocese has left or abandoned (the Episcopal Church),” Larisey said. “He has done anything but….”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(RNS) Report Says Tithing, Church Spending Hit Record Low

Tithing to mainline Protestant churches as a percentage of income is at its lowest level in at least 41 years, according to a new report, and churches are keeping a greater share of those donations for their own needs.

Parishioners gave about 2.38 percent of their income to their church, according to “The State of Church Giving through 2009,” a new report being released Friday (Oct. 14) by Empty Tomb inc., a Christian research agency in Champaign, Ill.

Just over 2 percent of income went toward congregational finances, such as operating costs and building expenses. Only 0.34 percent of parishioner income went to what Empty Tomb calls “benevolences,” such as charities and seminary training beyond the four walls of the church.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Personal Finance, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(Church Times) National Health Service is not a supermarket, Archbishop John Sentamu warns

Bishops have voiced concerns about the Government’s proposals to reform the NHS, and have demanded significant changes to the Health and Social Care Bill.

The Bill went to the Lords on Tuesday, and peers rejected a motion to delay it by referring it to a select committee. Ministers have warned that any delay could kill off the Bill, which would increase competition in the NHS with more private providers, and put GP-led consortia in charge of buying care in their areas.

The Bill has already been altered substantially after extensive criticism from NHS staff and Liberal Demo­crat MPs.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Anglican Church dossier details Kunonga abuse

THE Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and Bishops of the Anglican Province of Central Africa on Monday submitted a dossier to President Robert Mugabe detailing the alleged abuse of Zimbabwe’s Anglicans over the past four years at the hands of the excommunicated former Bishop of Harare, Nolbert Kunonga.

The bishops asked Mugabe to use his powers as head of state to guarantee the security of those who worship with the Anglican Church and put an end to all unacceptable and illegal behaviour. Kunonga has denied all the allegations labelled against him. Below is an edited version of the dossier presented to Mugabe….

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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, Religion & Culture, Zimbabwe

Scottish Episcopal Church considers changing stance on same sex marriages

The head of Scotland’s Episcopal Church has launched a veiled attack on the opposition from senior Catholics to same-sex marriage, claiming it raises “significant issues” about the “relationship between church and state”.

In an intervention that shows the deepening split in Scotland’s faith communities over the issue, the Most Rev David Chillingworth, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, defends the SNP government’s “right” to give full legal status to gay wedding ceremonies.

Writing in The Scotsman today, Rev Chillingworth, who is also the Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane, hints that his church may “consider changing our canonical definition of marriage”.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Scotland, Scottish Episcopal Church, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky

O God, who in thy providence didst call Joseph Schereschewsky from his home in Eastern Europe to the ministry of this Church, and didst send him as a missionary to China, upholding him in his infirmity, that he might translate the holy Scriptures into languages of that land: Lead us, we pray thee, to commit our lives and talents to thee, in the confidence that when thou givest thy servants any work to do, thou dost also supply the strength to do it; 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, * International News & Commentary, Asia, China, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God our Father, we believe in thee, we hope in thee, and we love thee, because thou hast created us, redeemed us, and dost sanctify us. Increase our faith, strengthen our hope, and deepen our love, that giving up ourselves wholly to thy will, we may serve thee faithfully all the rest of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

–1 Corinthians 15:3-8

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

'Catch-22': A Paradox Turns 50 And Still Rings True

Fifty years ago, a new phrase began to make its way into American conversations: “Catch-22.” Joseph Heller’s irreverent World War II novel ”” named for the now-famous paradox ”” was published on Oct. 11, 1961. His take on war meshed perfectly with the anti-authoritarian generation that came of age in the 1960s. And now, a half-century later, the predicament of a no-win trap still resonates with a new crop of young people distrustful of their elders.

In August 1944, Heller flew on a mission over the French town of Avignon. Sitting in the plexiglass nose cone of a B-25 bomber, Heller faced the very real possibility of death for the first time. That mission, says Heller biographer Tracy Daugherty, shaped the way Heller thought about war, a sensibility that permeates his novel.

“After that mission over Avignon, Heller really understood that this is not an abstraction,” Daugherty says. “They are out to kill me personally, and he didn’t like it ”” and Yossarian doesn’t either.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Books, Defense, National Security, Military, History

Living Church–Bishop: Attorney Never on Disciplinary Board

Church Attorney Josephine H. Hicks performs legal work for the Episcopal Church’s Disciplinary Board for Bishops but is not a member of it, the Rt. Rev. Dorsey Henderson said in an interview with The Living Church.

The board is in the early stages of investigating allegations that the Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence, Bishop of South Carolina, has abandoned the Episcopal Church. Unnamed parties within the diocese made the allegations.

A roster on a webpage of Episcopal Church’s General Convention was incorrect in listing Hicks as a member through 2015, Bishop Henderson said. The Rt. Rev. Clayton Matthews, Bishop of the Office of Pastoral Development, also appeared on the roster. That too was mistaken, Henderson said, and the roster was changed Oct. 12.

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Anglican Down Under has a post on this.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, TEC Polity & Canons