Daily Archives: October 19, 2011

Pittsburgh area parishes square off against hunger

Members of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh are in a race where the winners are people who otherwise would be hungry.

Twenty-two of the 31 parishes in the diocese, assigned to one of two teams, have been competing in the diocese’s Race Against Hunger. The teams earn points as they host food drives, educate the public about hunger and food sources, cook at soup kitchens and repack food at the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank in Duquesne. The points are symbolic, serving only to spur volunteers on in a friendly competition.

“It’s outreach. We’re reaching out beyond the walls of our own church, our own parish, so we are taking care of people within the Western Pennsylvania diocesan area,” said Judy Rosensteel of North Versailles, a member of All Souls Episcopal Church.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Poverty, Urban/City Life and Issues

(NPR) U.S. Hispanics Choose Churches Outside Catholicism

As their numbers grow, Latinos are not only changing where and how they worship; they’re also beginning to affect the larger Christian faith.

You can see evidence of that in the Assemblies of God, once a historically white, suburban Pentecostal denomination. When you walk into the denomination’s largest church, it’s sensory overload: The auditorium is jam-packed with hundreds of Latino worshipers singing in Spanish, swaying and dancing.

In little more than a decade, New Life Covenant Church in Chicago has grown from 68 people to more than 4,000 members; it had to abandon its old building and meet in Clemente High School. When you include the other churches New Life has started, its membership comes to some 12,000 people.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pentecostal, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

(RNS) Under Pressure, D.C. Shelter Ends Church-service Requirement

Prompted by civil liberties groups, a taxpayer-supported homeless shelter in the nation’s capital will no longer require its clients to attend religious services.

“We’re pleased that the D.C. government will no longer be supporting such religious coercion,” said Arthur Spitzer, legal director of the Washington, D.C., branch of the American Civil Liberties Union.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, City Government, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Poverty, Religion & Culture

Church of England Launches Guide commissioning new art for Churches

The Church Buildings Council of the Church of England will launch their Guide on Commissioning New Art for Churches today (Wednesday, October 19, 2011) at St Stephen Walbrook, London (EC4N 8BN), to encourage parishes to embark on the adventure of commissioning new art for their churches.

Much of the information in the guide is aimed at parishes, but it will also provide an insight for artists and other interested parties. It is not only promoting the commissioning of artwork such as painting, stained glass or sculpture, but also wants parishes to consider other options such as kneelers, processional crosses or vestments.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Art, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

The Anglican Church of Nigeria Condemns Prevailing atmosphere of Violence

The Church at its second Synod in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, also expressed concern over the fact that the reports of panels set up to investigate major crisis in the country have not been released to the public.

This may have also contributed to the reuption of more violence.

Delivering the Bishop’s Charge at the Synod, the Bishop of the Diocese of Egba West, Anglican Communion, Rev. Samuel Ogundeji, deplored the spate of violence and other forms insecurity in the land. He named Boko Haram, post election killings, bloodletting in Jos, the beleaguered Plateau State State capital and other parts of the city, as well as other forms of insecurity rocking parts of the country.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Nigeria, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Violence

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Statement on Egypt

Along with countless Christians and Muslims alike throughout the world, I want to express my deep concern about the current situation in Egypt as it affects all our Christian brothers and sisters and to promise our continuing prayers and support especially for His Holiness Pope Shenuda and the community he serves. In modern times the significant Coptic Christian population in Egypt has been free from repression ; Muslims and Christians have happily shared a loyalty to the one Egyptian state….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Coptic Church, Egypt, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

Pittsburgh's religious leaders express joy at Israeli's release

Two Pittsburgh religious leaders said they felt joy and relief when they learned an Israeli soldier held captive for five years by Hamas had been freed.

“I’m thrilled that that’s happened for the family, but I certainly hope and pray not just for his welfare, but that we don’t have to face this situation again,” said Bishop David Zubik of the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese.

Zubik and Aaron Bisno, senior rabbi of Rodef Shalom Congregation in Shadyside, discussed their reactions on Tuesday after Israel exchanged more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for Gilad Schalit, 25, an Israeli soldier held captive since 2006.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, City Government, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Inter-Faith Relations, Israel, Middle East, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, The Palestinian/Israeli Struggle

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Rejects ACNA's Appeal

Read it all (pdf from the court).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh

(ENI) "Occupy" protesters welcomed at St. Paul's Cathedral in London

Scores of anti-corporate demonstrators invaded London’s historic St. Paul’s Cathedral on 16 October, but police who tried to stop them were told to leave by church officials, Religion News Service reports.

The protesters — who were targeting the global financial system as part of worldwide demonstrations against corporate greed ”“ were welcomed into the 17th-century cathedral, and Sunday services went on uninterrupted. The protesters were allowed to continue their presence into 17 October, provided they did not interfere with tourists.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Economy, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Budget cuts hit county, city jobs

Local governments, once a steady source of employment in tough economic times, are shedding jobs in unprecedented numbers, and heavy payroll losses are expected to persist into next year.

The job cuts by city and county governments are helping offset modest private-sector employment gains, restraining broader job growth.

“They’ll continue to be a drag on the overall (employment) numbers and the economy,” says Wells Fargo economist Mark Vitner.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, City Government, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

In Uganda, Kigezi Diocese wins water, sanitation excellence award

The Diocese of Kigezi has once again been recognised by the Ministry of Water and Environment for its outstanding performance in the Water and Sanitation sector.

The Diocese received an award as the ‘Most Outstanding NGO’ in Water and Sanitation promotion for the financial year 2010/2011 during the just concluded Joint GoU/Development Partners’ Water and Environment Sector Review held at Imperial Royale Hotel, Kampala from 11th -13th October 2011.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda, Energy, Natural Resources

US forces 'massing on Afghanistan-Pakistan border'

US forces are massing on the Pakistan border in eastern Afghanistan amid reports of an imminent drone missile offensive against fighters from the feared Haqqani Network, a Taliban faction which operates from safe havens in Pakistan’s North Waziristan Agency, Pakistan Army sources have confirmed.

The scale of the American build-up, including helicopter gunships, heavy artillery and hundreds of American and Afghan troops, caused panic in north Waziristan where tribal militias who feared they could be targeted gathered in the capital Miranshah to coordinate their response.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, America/U.S.A., Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Pakistan, Politics in General, War in Afghanistan

Michael Nugent–Atheists and religious alike seek to identify foundation of morality

: In his Rite and Reason articles last July/August, Prof James Mackey’s central thesis is that the theory of evolution (which he describes as “Dawkins’s Darwinism”) is unfit to serve as a moral code for the human race.

I agree. It is not. And no atheist that I know, particularly Richard Dawkins, has ever suggested that it is or should be or even could be.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Atheism, Ethics / Moral Theology, Other Faiths, Philosophy, Religion & Culture, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Henry Martyn

O God of the nations, who didst give to thy faithful servant Henry Martyn a brilliant mind, a loving heart, and a gift for languages, that he might translate the Scriptures and other holy writings for the peoples of India and Persia: Inspire in us, we beseech thee, a love like his, eager to commit both life and talents to thee who gavest them; 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, Church History, Missions, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty Father, God of the spirits of all flesh, thyself unchanged abiding: We bless thy holy name for all who have completed their earthly course in thy faith and fear, and are now at rest. We remember before thee this day thy servant Irene Deenihan, rendering thanks to thee for the gift of her friendship, and for her life of service and devotion. And we beseech thee, in thy loving wisdom and almighty power, work in her, as in us, all the good purpose of thy holy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Lo! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

–1 Corinthians 15:51-58

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

No TV for Children Under 2, Doctors’ Group Urges

Watching television or videos is discouraged for babies younger than 2 because studies suggest it could harm their development, a pediatricians’ group said Tuesday.

Instead of allowing infants to watch videos or screens, parents should talk to them and encourage independent play, said the first guidelines on the subject issued in more than a decade by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Movies & Television, Psychology

(RNS) Orthodox Get Green Light to Rebuild at Ground Zero

Ten years after tiny St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church was destroyed by falling rubble from the World Trade Center towers, church leaders reached an agreement Friday (Oct. 14) to rebuild at Ground Zero.

The church, founded by Greek immigrants in 1916, sat in the shadow of the twin towers and was the only religious building to be completely destroyed during the 9/11 attacks.

Under the agreement brokered by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the church agreed to drop a lawsuit filed in February against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls rebuilding at Ground Zero.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, City Government, History, Orthodox Church, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism