Daily Archives: October 16, 2011

David Brooks on the Occupy Wall Street Movement–The Milquetoast Radicals

Realistically, not much is going to be done [in America] to address the short-term problems, but we can at least use this winter of recuperation to address the country’s underlying structural ones. Do tax reform, fiscal reform, education reform and political reform so that when the economy finally does recover the prosperity is deep, broad and strong.

Unfortunately, the country has been wasting this winter of recuperation. Nothing of consequence has been achieved over the past two years. Instead, there have been a series of trivial sideshows. It’s as if people can’t keep their minds focused on the big things. They get diverted by scuffles that are small, contentious and symbolic.

Take the Occupy Wall Street movement….[their] core theme…is that the virtuous 99 percent of society is being cheated by the richest and greediest 1 percent.

This is a theme that allows the people in the 99 percent to think very highly of themselves. All their problems are caused by the nefarious elite….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, History, Politics in General, Psychology, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(Local Paper Faith and Values Section) East Cooper-based agency tries to save lives in Sudan

Begun in October 2006 by Mount Pleasant-based Mustard Seed International, a Christian, all-volunteer ministry, the Akot clinic has become an all-consuming focus of Deans, Mustard Seed’s president, and a vital player in the lives of South Sudan’s residents.

Since 2009, its medical director, Dr. Clarke McIntosh, has contended with South Sudan’s 25 percent child mortality rate, malnutrition that affects about half the population and a high demand for basic medical care in an impoverished country that lacks infrastructure and basic social services.

Christian faith is what drives Deans and McIntosh. The men are responding to a clear calling, they said, and have devoted themselves to the task at hand: to improve the lives of the region’s people and introduce them to the word of God.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Africa, Health & Medicine, Missions, Parish Ministry, Sudan

(CNS) Assisi III: Pope puts his own mark on prayer summit's third edition

Slowly and carefully, the Vatican is setting the stage for the third edition of the interreligious “prayer for peace” encounter in the Italian pilgrimage town of Assisi.

The Oct. 27 event marks the 25th anniversary of the first such gathering. As in 1986, it is expected to draw representatives from many Christian denominations and more than a dozen other faiths.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Globalization, Inter-Faith Relations, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Spirituality/Prayer

Bishop Mouneer Anis Writes His Diocese upon return from China

September 2011

My dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

As I stood in front of the binding machine and watched the Bibles coming out, I started to think of the time when these very Bibles were forbidden, and sometimes burnt, in China. God can transform nations!
He has a big plan for the whole universe and no one can change this plan. Things can happen which make us ask, “where is God?” But at the end His plan will be completely fulfilled. The Church in China once persecuted and suppressed, is now the fastest growing in the world. Huge church buildings and large seminaries are being erected. No one can believe this, but this is what I have seen by my eyes!

It was an honour for us, the Primates of the Global South Anglicans, to be invited and hosted by the Ministry of Religious Affairs in China. We are grateful to Archbishop John Chew, highly respected by the
Chinese Government, who organized this visit.

For many years China was closed but it was Deng XiaoPing who said in 1976, “I don’t care if the cat is white or black, as long as it catches mice.” This new dictum opened the doors of China to the world””and
now it leads the world in many ways. The impact of China on Africa is remarkable! While the United States of America invests 17 billion USD in Africa each year, China invests 127 billion USD!

It was a true joy for me to hold in my hands an Arabic Bible, printed in China! While many countries print currency 24 hours a day, China is now printing Bibles 24 hours a day (in fact, one every two seconds).
They are third in the world (in printing Bibles) only behind Brazil and Korea.

If God transformed China, the largest Communist country in the world, can He change the whole region of the Middle East, so that all citizens can enjojoy democracy, freedom, and more important, the love
of God?

–The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer H. Anis is Bishop of the Episcopal/Anglican Diocese of Egyptwith North Africa and the Horn of Africa, and President Bishop of the Episcopal/Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

Kendall Harmon's Sermon from this past Sunday on 'Forgiveness' Luke 7

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Posted in * By Kendall, Sermons & Teachings

Kendall Harmon–My Wife's Mother, Irene Deenihan, RIP

Faithful mother of 7, married 63 years to Ed her husband who survives her, she was 89. We shall definitely miss her but her place in the world to come is secure.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Harmon Family, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic

(ACNS) Good news for Zimbabwe Anglicans tempered by reports of orphan abuse

Stories of child abuse and neglect at an Anglican orphanage have tempered Zimbabwe Anglican’s celebrations at legal decisions provisionally returning church property to them.

Today the Anglican Diocese of Harare revealed that children at the Shearly Cripps Children’s Home–an orphanage taken from the church by supporters of the excommunicated bishop Nolbert Kunonga–have been suffering under those who replaced the legitimate staff.

“It has been brought to the attention of the Anglican Diocese of Harare (CPCA) that orphaned children at Shearly Cripps are being ill-treated, under-fed and have become exposed to all forms of threats,” said a spokesperson for the diocese. “Reports indicate that one child allegedly drank a harmful substance and was rushed to hospital for urgent medical attention.”

Read it all.

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

Australian Doctor says parents should be able to select baby's sex

Parents should be able to choose the sex of any babies after their first child to ”gender balance” their family, says a leading Sydney obstetrician.

The head of women’s and children’s health at the University of NSW, Professor Michael Chapman, says Australians are more concerned about achieving a desired ratio of girls to boys in their families than wanting first-born sons.

”In this country it’s more about gender balance than selecting the sex of one child,” he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Children, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Health & Medicine, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Sexuality

(Sky News) Appeal As Food Crisis Worsens In East Africa

The crisis is deepening for some of the 13m East Africans worst-hit by one of the most devastating droughts in 60 years, aid agencies have warned.

World Food Day is being marked nearly three months since the UN declared a famine in parts of the Horn of Africa.

But people in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and the newly-formed Republic of South Sudan remain in desperate need of food, water and emergency healthcare.

Read it all.

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

Seeing Jesus with Bishop Mark Lawrence

Walkabout 2010: Seeing Jesus with Bishop Mark Lawrence from Your Cathedral on Vimeo.

Watch it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Christology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops, TEC Parishes, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, who hast given us not the spirit of bondage, but the Spirit of adoption into thy family: Grant us the witness of thy Spirit within our hearts, testifying that we are thy children; and give us that fellowship with the sufferings of Christ which shall end in our being glorified with him; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Henry Alford

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

“Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams which they dream, for it is a lie which they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, says the LORD. “For thus says the LORD: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfil to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

–Jeremiah 29:4-14

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

New Bishop Consecrated to lead the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin

More than 800 people –including 80 from Bakersfield and Kern County — celebrated the consecration of the Rev. Dr. Eric Menees recently at the Peoples Church in Fresno.

Bishop Menees formally will become the fifth bishop of the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin when he will be enthroned as diocesan bishop next Saturday when the current bishop, John-David Schofield, retires. Bishop Schofield has led this diocese since Oct. 9, 1988.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

Javier Solana–Failing the Syria Test

In recent years, with countries such as China, India, and Brazil taking their rightful place on the international scene, the G-7 has given way to the G-20. Likewise, an ambitious reform of the International Monetary Fund was adopted in 2010 to reflect changes in the global distribution of power.

But this change in global governance must not be limited to economic policymaking. After all, globalization has brought many overall benefits, but also less friendly aspects, such as the ones dealing with global security. Despite our growing interconnectedness, the UN Security Council has not yet been unable to achieve sufficient consensus to resolve pressing matters such as Syria.

Nobody ever said that the road to stronger global governance would be straight or simple to navigate. But there are no detours: without effective structures of power and a genuine commitment from all players, the future does not look promising for global stability and prosperity.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Foreign Relations, Middle East, Politics in General, Syria

The Church of England and 'Time to Change' join forces to tackle the stigma of mental illness

“It’s really exciting to be working with Time to Change in this important campaign,” said Eva McIntyre. “Statistics tell us that one in four people in the UK will suffer from a form of mental illness during their lives – in every 20 people in church, four are likely to have experienced some form of mental illness.

“That statistic is based just on the people who go to the GP for help, so the real figure is probably even higher. If we can take away the stigma associated with talking about mental illness, more people will feel able to access help, support and justice.

Read it all and take a look at the free download material.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Psychology

(Zenit) Leader of Egypt's Catholics Urges Fraternity After Attack

Cardinal Naguib’s statement condemned “all acts of violence and all those who commit such acts,” and called on officials “to take the necessary steps and firm measures to provide security and safety, establish clear and stable solutions to the problems that cause tension and conflict, uphold the law’s supremacy in dealing with conflicts and crimes, and ensure the objectivity of the media.”

“We have full confidence that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the Government and the Judiciary, are able to lead the country to stability and security, ensuring the well-being and dignity of all citizens,” the cardinal added.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Egypt, Middle East, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

TEC Standing Commission agrees to ask convention for trial use of same-gender blessing rite

(ENS) The Episcopal Church would spend three years using a rite for same-gender blessings and studying its application under a resolution that the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music has agreed to propose to the 2012 meeting of General Convention.

During that same time period the church also would reflect on its understanding of marriage in light of changes in both societal norms and civil law if convention agrees to a related resolution the commission will propose, according to the Rev. Ruth Meyers, SCLM chair.

The SCLM’s decisions are the outcome of 18 months of work in response to General Convention’s mandate (via Resolution C056) that it work with the House of Bishops to collect and develop theological resources and liturgies for blessing same-gender relationships, and report to the 77th General Convention in 2012 in Indianapolis.
The commission will present convention with 176 pages of material, including a rite of blessing, a theological essay on the issues involved in blessing same-gender relationships, a pastoral resource to guide clergy and trained lay people who would prepare same-gender couples to receive a blessing (the church requires heterosexual couples to engage in pre-marital counseling as well) and a discussion guide for helping congregations and other groups to discuss the rite and other materials.

The resolution that would authorize a three-year trial use of the liturgy also will ask for the continuation of the “generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this church,” called for in C056, Meyers said, including allowing for adaptation of the rite for local use. And, the resolution would have the commission report to the 2015 meeting of convention on how all the materials are used.

Meyers said Oct. 15 that she and the commission want to invite the church to “receive the [blessing] material prayerfully as a resource that we hope will be useful for the church but [also] as work along the way and not as a final, finished product and a definitive statement.”

“We have had a wide consultative process and so have got input from a number of people, and it still needs to be received by the wider church,” she told Episcopal News Service during a telephone interview from the commission’s meeting in Bloomington, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. “This is new territory for the Episcopal Church and so as we use material we expect we will learn more that will influence the content of the material that will help us refine the liturgy even further.”

The commission decided to call for a three-year study of marriage as a result of feedback it received during the months it spent developing the C056 resources, according to Meyers.

“Throughout the triennium as we did our work on this people asked us questions about how this related to the understanding of marriage that the church has had up until this point and whether this liturgy itself was intended to be a marriage,” she said. “The resolution called for us to develop a liturgy of blessing and that is what we have done, but we realized there is great need for the church to reflect more generally – in light of changing societal and cultural realities, and a whole range of changes in civil law – on how we understand marriage.”

The commission’s C056 work will become part of a report it must submit to convention detailing both its work on all matters referred to it during the triennium and any resolutions it proposes for convention to consider. Such reports of all the church’s committees, commissions, agencies and boards are assembled into what is known as the Blue Book and the collection is released some months before each meeting of convention.

Meyers said the commission plans to ask the General Convention office to release the C056-related materials prior to the anticipated publication of the Blue Book so that it can be discussed at the March 2012 meeting of the House of Bishops and at the General Convention deputy training sessions during pre-convention provincial meetings.

Since the commission began discussing how to proceed to C056’s mandate, the SCLM has conducted the “open process” called for in the resolution, Meyers said. Four task groups that included people from outside the commission worked on the topics of liturgy, theology, pastoral concerns and legal and canonical concerns. The liturgical task group received what Meyers said were hundreds of blessing rites, some dating to the 1970s. After the group developed a set of principles for reviewing the rites, they read each one and borrowed from some of them, she said.

The SCLM completed a first draft of all the materials in June and then invited 133 Episcopalians to review them. Using an online process, the reviewers made “extensive comments totaling in the thousands,” Meyers said. The task groups then made major revisions based on those comments.

The rite and the theological essay were discussed during the House of Bishops meeting in September, according to Meyers. SCLM members, including the three bishops who serve on the commission (Tom Ely of the Diocese of Vermont, Pierre Whalon of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe and John McKee Sloan of the Diocese of Alabama), have reported to the House of Bishops on a regular basis.

In October 2010, the commission met for five hours with representatives of the church’s Province I to hear about their experience with same-gender blessings.

Nearly 200 members of the House of Deputies met March 18-19 in Atlanta for a historic churchwide consultation on same-gender blessings sponsored by the commission. The SCLM had invited one lay and one clergy deputy from each of the church’s 109 dioceses and three regional areas to hear about and reflect on its work to date on the mandate given to it in General Convention 2009.

House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson said that the Atlanta consultation was historic both for its topic and because a large group of deputies have never before gathered together outside of General Convention for church business and to discuss a topic due to be taken up at the next meeting of convention.

Resolution C056 also asked the SCLM to invite theological reflection and dialogue about its work from around the Anglican Communion. Episcopal Church bishops were asked to discuss the church’s work on C056 with the bishops of any companion diocese relationships they may have and with the members of their so-called “indaba groups” from the 2008 Lambeth Conference of bishops.

In addition, the theological and liturgical principles for evaluating rites for blessing same-gender relationships that the SCLM developed for its C056 work were turned into a survey to which Anglican Communion bishops were asked to respond, either electronically or on paper or during conversation with commission members or other bishops.

In August, Meyers and Ely spent a half day in Canterbury, England, presenting the commission’s work to that point to the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation. The communiqué from the IALC meeting noted that the two SCLM members “hear[d] from IALC members in response to that province’s [the Episcopal Church’s] exploratory theological rationale and liturgical principles for the development of rites for the blessing of committed same-gender relationships.”

Much of the SCLM’s work on C056 has been funded in a unique way. In July 2010, Church Divinity School of the Pacific was awarded a $404,000 grant by the Arcus Foundation to support the work. Through a contract with the Episcopal Church, the grant made it possible for the Berkeley, California-based school to help facilitate the commission’s work. Meyers is the CDSP Hodges-Haynes Professor of Liturgics and the Rev. Louis Weil, Hodges-Haynes Professor Emeritus, is a SCLM member.

In July 2011, CDSP received an additional $90,000 from the Arcus Foundation and a $75,000 grant from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation to support the completion of the C056 work.

Posted in Uncategorized