Daily Archives: October 17, 2011

(Reuters) Church of England edges nearer to women bishops

The Church of England cleared another legislative hurdle to appointing women bishops, but traditionalist opponents warned on Monday the move was not a foregone conclusion.

Some Anglican provinces already have women bishops, including Australia, the United States and Canada, but the ordination of women and homosexuals as bishops as well as same-sex marriages remain the most divisive issues facing the Anglican Communion, which has 77 million members worldwide.

The Church of England has voted in principle for women to be consecrated, and draft legislation is currently being looked at by its 44 dioceses, or groups of parishes, as part of its long legislative process.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

(Washington Post) Veterans’ unemployment outpaces civilian rate

Despite the marketing pitch from the armed forces, which promises to prepare soldiers for the working world, recent veterans are more likely to be unemployed than their civilian counterparts.

Veterans who left military service in the past decade have an unemployment rate of 11.7 percent, well above the overall jobless rate of 9.1 percent, according to fresh data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The elevated unemployment rate for new veterans has persisted despite repeated efforts to reduce it.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Iraq War, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Military / Armed Forces, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, War in Afghanistan

Ken Carter–Why congregations need Denominations

I share these two experiences alongside a comment I came across years ago: every church and every member of the clergy, over a span of time, needs to belong to a denomination. I serve as a district superintendent, and I am aware of the church’s imperfections, and my own. I watch over 69 local churches and a few assorted institutions within our geographical boundaries, and we are at work on the development of a new church plant and the development of a missional church network. At any given time about 3-5 of these churches are in real crisis: they are in need of outside intervention, mediation, conflict resolution and spiritual guidance. A denomination, at its best, provides a framework for the protection of the clergy in a workplace and supervision of even the most powerful clergy leaders. In addition, a denomination works out the implications of a missional strategy in an area that is more nuanced than simply whatever the market can bear.

I share these experiences at a time when there is much rhetoric around moving energy, resources and attention to the local church. I love the local church. It is the basic context for the mission of making disciples for the transformation of the world. At the same time, the local church will, on occasion, be stronger as it accomplishes mission that is beyond its own capacity, and as it is accountable to a wisdom that is outside its own day to day movements.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Baptists, Consumer/consumer spending, Disciples of Christ, Ecclesiology, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lutheran, Methodist, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Psychology, Reformed, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology, United Church of Christ

(Living Church) Attorney J.B. Burtch Returns to Bishop Mark Lawrence Case

J.B. held the equivalent position with the Review Committee under the previous version of Title IV. As “Lay Assessor” to the Review Committee, he did the same work that the “Church Attorney” now does for the Disciplinary Board. While in that position, he did preliminary work on the Bishop Lawrence information, so he is already more than familiar with that information and the task which is now ours.

Read it all.

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

Anglican Unscripted Episode 14 for October 17, 2011 with Kevin Kallsen and George Conger

Watch it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, - Anglican: Latest News

David Goldman–The Scandal of the Secular Mind

It speaks volumes for the state of America’s political dialogue that a new book defending nation-building mentions the word “Islam” in passing just twice, not counting footnotes or index. Robert Kagan reviews Prof. Jeremi Suri’s little tome entitled Liberty’s Surest Guardian: Nation-Building From the Founders to Obama in Sunday’s New York Times….

It is astonishing that Prof. Suri, who holds an important chair at the University of Texas at Austin, could publish a book on the subject without so much as a nod towards the cultural, religious, and sociological issues that make democracy in the Muslim world a vastly different proposition than in Italy. And it is just as lamentable that Robert Kagan would lump the Catholic Philippines of 1900 together with the Muslim Afghanistan of 2011, as if such issues made no difference at all.

To Kagan, Suri, and most of the nation-builders, religion does not make a difference, for they all come out of a school of “political philosophy” that believes (with Thomas Hobbes) that religion is useful for socializing the masses but never to be taken seriously, and that what human beings really care about is individual self-preservation.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Books, History, Islam, Other Faiths, Philosophy, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(Washington Post) Robert Samuelson–Why our children’s future no longer looks so bright

A specter haunts America: downward mobility. Every generation, we believe, should live better than its predecessor. By and large, Americans still embrace that promise. A Pew survey earlier this year found that 48 percent of respondents felt that their children’s living standards would exceed their own. Although that’s down from 61 percent in 2002, it’s on a par with the mid-1990s. But these expectations could be dashed. For young Americans, the future could be dimmer.

Along with jobs, the 2012 presidential election could be fought over this issue. “Can the Middle Class Be Saved?” worried a recent cover story in the Atlantic. Pessimism rises with schooling. In the Pew poll, 54 percent of respondents with a high-school diploma or less felt their children would do better; only 35 percent of graduate school alums agreed. “A kind of depression has set in,” writes Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen. “We’ve lost our mojo, our groove.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Economy, History, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, Psychology, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(PA) Trial Parenting Classes To be Offered by Coalition Government

Children’s minister Sarah Teather said the trials would start next summer and run for two years. The scheme will cost £5 million for the vouchers plus set-up costs.

“The overwhelming evidence from all the experts is that a child’s development in the first five years of their life is the single biggest factor influencing their future life chances, health and educational attainment,” she said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Children, Education, England / UK, Marriage & Family, Politics in General

An Interview with Adam Thomas–Digital Disciple

As a Christian and a leader, what does it mean to use technology well?

As a follower of Christ, I have to be diligent at following him in all facets of my life. The fastest growing new area of existence is the virtual existence. I have had to increase my awareness of the presence of God when I use technology, the Internet especially. I discovered a couple of years ago, much to my chagrin, that when I would go online for extended periods of time, I would unconsciously shut off the part of my brain that searched for God. Somehow I decided that God wasn’t there; I wasn’t looking for him. But now I try to incorporate into my virtual existence all of the things I do in my physical existence in practicing the presence of God. I found that online, it can happen just as well as it can in real life. The barriers online that don’t exist in real life have to do with embodiment””not being able to be with the other person that you’re engaged with face to face. That kind of challenge is an added dimension that makes practicing the presence of God online harder. As I say in my book Digital Disciple, there are tremendous opportunities for connection online, but every connection comes attached with the danger of isolation. So we have to work on moving toward those connections and not ignoring the nature of those dangers. If we believe that God is who God says God is, then we have to believe that God is in all things, including the things that humans have created, like virtual reality.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, America/U.S.A., Blogging & the Internet, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

Bishop (Suffragan of Alabama) John Sloan–Liberal or Conservative

In 30 years of serving the Episcopal Church in ordained ministry, I’ve encouraged people to be honest with me, to tell me what they think . . . and some folks have. I have at one point or another been told that I am too liberal, not liberal enough, too conservative. and not conservative enough. Maybe I am; I might be any one of those things at any one moment on any one issue, but surely I can’t be all of those things at once, all the time. I think the real truth of it is that as Episcopalians, and as Americans, we are encouraged to think for ourselves, which means that we will inevitably disagree from time to time. Sometimes when we disagree it is convenient to choose up sides and label who’s on my team and who’s on yours. Then we have not only a disagreement but also a competition, with winners and losers; we can make almost anything competitive….

I’ve heard Bishop [Henry] Parsley say several times that he is “radically moderate,” which I think is an apt description of him. I think my grandfather used to tell us to be “moderate in all things, including moderation.” Perhaps unlike my radical friend Henry, I can only be moderately moderate””trying to find the middle ground most of the time, hoping to bring together people who have the freedom to disagree so that we can talk to each other without attaching labels or calling names or tearing apart the Church we love so that together we can join together to serve God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Episcopal Church (TEC), Religion & Culture, TEC Bishops, Theology

Bishop Michael Ingham Consults Rowan Williams about the Vacancy at Saint John's, Shaughnessy

From here:

Bishop Michael had two conversations with Archbishop Rowan who was well aware of the diocese’s situation regarding recent court decisions. Bishop Michael asked him if he would consider casting his eye around the communion for a possible interim appointment for St John’s, Shaughnessy. Archbishop Rowan said that he would and when he bid Bishop Michael farewell he told him that “thoughts were forming.” Since then, he has been very busy preparing for his African trip. Bishop Michael has followed up on the conversation with a letter.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

A.S. Haley Responds to An Embarrasingly Inaccurate Piece by Andrew Gerns on the S.C. Matter

Stuff and nonsense, Mr. Gerns. A complaint is made up of allegations. Allegations are charges — claims that what is stated is true. Bishop Lawrence has been charged by persons undisclosed with “abandonment of communion” under Canon IV.16. Had he not been so charged, the Disciplinary Board for Bishops would never have gotten involved. (And by the way, Mr. Gerns: just how does a Bishop go about abandoning his Church by “inaction”? Wouldn’t that happen only if the Church in question first abandoned that particular Bishop, and he did “not act” so as to follow them?)…

More stuff and nonsense. The charges have already been filed — that is how the Board gets to investigate them. (What? — you thought they acted only on rumors, and not charges? Well, actually, the Canon lets them act on anything that comes to their attention. But in this instance, as Bishop Henderson stated, they are acting on complaints brought by persons unknown — to us, but not to the Disciplinary Board — within Bishop Lawrence’s Diocese.)

And the charges will not get “filed” again. Instead, by a simple majority vote of its members, the Board will either certify that “abandonment” has occurred, or it will not. There will be no further investigation. There will be no “attempts at reconciliation.” And there will certainly be no hearing, because the Canon (IV.16) does not provide for one.

Read it all (being sure to follow the link to Mr. Germs piece to which it is responding).

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

Terry Mattingly–It was Steve Jobs’ ”˜Zen-like’ state of mind that kept Apple rolling

“The Macintosh is Catholic,” wrote [Umberto] Eco. “It tells the faithful how they must proceed step by step to reach ”” if not the kingdom of Heaven ”” the moment in which their document is printed. It is catechistic: The essence of revelation is dealt with via simple formulae and sumptuous icons.”

Nearly two decades later, the hagiographers producing eulogies for Steve Jobs produced evidence that Eco was close ”” but that he needed to soar past Rome and around the globe to India and Japan. In essay after essay, journalists have argued that the so-called “cult of Mac” was driven by the Apple leader’s “Zen-like” state of mind.

It seems those iMacs, iPods, iPhones, iPads and MacBooks really were religious objects after all, with their gleaming surfaces of glass, aluminum and white or black plastic. There must have been a grand scheme behind that yin-yang minimalism.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Spirituality/Prayer

In Pictures: Berlin's Festival of Lights

Check it out.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Europe, Germany

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Ignatius of Antioch

Almighty God, we praise thy name for thy bishop and martyr Ignatius of Antioch, who offered himself as grain to be ground by the teeth of wild beasts that he might present unto thee the pure bread of sacrifice. Accept, we pray thee, the willing tribute of our lives, and give us a share in the pure and spotless offering of thy Son Jesus Christ; 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 God, who hast made the earth so fair, and written thy glory in the heavens: Help us inwardly to respond to all that is outwardly true and beautiful, so that as we pass through things temporal we may never lose the vision of the things eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Make me to know thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me, for thou art the God of my salvation; for thee I wait all the day long. Be mindful of thy mercy, O LORD, and of thy steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, or my transgressions; according to thy steadfast love remember me, for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD! Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

–Psalm 25:4-10

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Another (longish) AP article on The Episcopal Church's South Carolina Investigation

After years of controversy over Episcopal Church policy of ordaining gays and sanctioning same-sex unions, the conservative bishop of one of the oldest dioceses in the United States finds himself the focus of a rare investigation to determine whether he has abandoned the church.

A church disciplinary board is investigating Mark Lawrence, the bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina, based on information passed to the national church from parishioners in the diocese.

Read it all.

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

Pope announces a "Year of Faith" for 2012 to 2013

It was in a packed St Peter’s Basilica on Sunday that Pope Benedict XVI declared that the year 2012 to 2013 was to be a”Year of Faith”. The Holy Father made the announcement during his homily at a mass for the New Evangelisation. The Eucharistic celebration marked the conclusion of a meeting organised by Pontifical Council for the New Evangelisation, which the Pope addressed on Saturday.

Speaking about his decision to invoke this “Year of Faith” Pope Benedict said it was “to give new impetus to the mission of the whole Church to lead men out of the desert in which they often find themselves, to the place of life, of friendship with Christ”.

The Pope explained that the year would be “a moment of grace and commitment to a more complete conversion to God, to strengthen our faith in Him and to proclaim Him with joy to the people of our time.”

Read and listen to it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

(Politico) Dianna Feinstein: U.S. and Iran on 'collision course'

The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee says the thwarted Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States shows the “collision course” that awaits unless Iran changes directions.

“To cross to the other side of the world and try and attack in this country is an escalation,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said on “Fox News Sunday.” “And that’s what concerns us.”

U.S. officials revealed last week that two men have been charged in New York federal court with conspiring to kill the Saudi diplomat, Adel Al-Jubeir. Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite are Islamic rivals in the Middle East.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Iran, Middle East, Politics in General, Senate

(RNS) ”˜Protest chaplains’ shepherd movement’s spiritual side

…protestors rounding the corner of Zuccotti Park encountered dozens of white-robed worshipers singing spirituals and blessing the demonstrators while holding signs reading “Blessed are the poor” and brandishing handmade Christian crosses.

The group, calling themselves the “Protest Chaplains,” traveled from Boston to join the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, which claims to advocate for “the 99 percent” of Americans against the “1 percent” who control much of the country’s wealth.

The Protest Chaplains, a loose group of mostly Christian students, seminarians and laypeople organized though Facebook, expressed support for the movement the best they knew how: through their faith.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Education, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector