Daily Archives: November 1, 2011
As a pastor, the trends that interest me most involve the sharp decline of marriage in the USA and the rise in non-clergy-officiated weddings.
These are the changes that matter, rather than the modern substitution of cupcakes for a wedding cake. The dropping number of marriages and changing face of officiants will shape the lives of American couples ”” and their children ”” for decades to come. These shifts merit some thought as we wrap up this year’s wedding season, which runs May through October and typically covers 70% of all ceremonies.
Fifty years ago, about three-quarters of American adults 18 and older were married. Today, about half are. Nearly 40% of respondents to a Pew Research Center survey last year said marriage is becoming obsolete.
South Carolina’s teachers and state employees are willing to pay more to fix the retirement system ”” but only if they get a raise first.
That’s the plan endorsed by the S.C. State Employees Association and the S.C. Education Association, which together represent 30,000 of the state’s 141,000 teachers and state employees.
The plan, which the groups submitted in writing to House and Senate subcommittees studying the retirement system, says teachers and state employees are willing to increase their contribution to the retirement system by 0.5 percent, but only if they receive at least a 2 percent raise ”” a “cost-of-living adjustment” for state employees and a “step increase” for teachers.
St Paul’s appeared today to try to wash its hands of responsibility for the enforcement action to evict the economic protesters camped outside the cathedral.
A spokesman for St Paul’s said that the cathedral was not taking joint action with the Corporation of London, which is expected to serve notices on the protesters today.
“The Chapter have not yet sought an injunction, nor are they serving notices on the protesters today,” the spokesman said.
Read it all (requires subscription).
A crisis of leadership enveloped the Church of England yesterday, after the resignation of the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral over his handling of the protest camp on its doorstep.
The Archbishop of Canterbury was facing criticism for his failure to intervene earlier in the protracted decision-making process over whether to evict demonstrators or to engage with them.
But as the Church struggled to contain the fallout from the Occupy protest, some genuine campaigners left the camp in disgust over its descent into what one described as a place for bawdy hedonism, drink and drugs.
Interested readers may note that this was the top story on the front page of he ipad edition of the Times for me this morning. Read it all –KSH(requires subscription).
Dr Halapua acknowledges that Tuvalu’s present plight has been brought on by drought.
It rained in Tuvalu last Thursday for about three minutes ”“ and that’s the first rain they’ve seen during their rainy season. There’s no more forecast for the next three months, either.
There are, as far as Archbishop Halapua knows, very few ”“ if any ”“ Anglicans living on Tuvalu.
But that doesn’t mean he didn’t need to go there.
Germans expressed fury and frustration at Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou’s shock decision to call a referendum on the latest aid package, with some saying the gamble would push Greece out of the euro zone.
“You can’t help thinking that they should be grateful as Europe is trying to help,” said Konstanze Pilge, a 26-year old student, walking near the Brandenburg Gate in central Berlin. “Now it looks like they are going to mess things up.”
Papandreou dropped his bombshell on Monday evening, less than a week after European leaders agreed the outlines of a second bailout for Athens.
More Oregon public schools are opening up their buildings for church services to bring in extra income.
Eight of the state’s 10 biggest districts rent out buildings for services.
While some believe that school-based churches violate the Constitutional separation between church and state, courts generally have found the practice to be legal. The U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that as long as districts are renting out spaces to outside organizations, it would be discriminatory to ban religious groups.
In a statement responding to the resignation, Occupy London described the management of St Paul’s Cathedral as “deeply divided” over its response to the protests.
“But our cause has never been directed at the staff of the cathedral,” the statement added.
The statement went on to urge an “open and transparent dialogue” involving all parties.
Update: I see USA Today also has a story there.
Kansas City Chiefs lend a helping hand to the members of Joplin High School displaced by the tornado
Watch it all–tremendous stuff.
The bell rings, and 19 middle school girls shuffle into Room 405 at the Solomon Schechter School of Westchester, slinging backpacks over chairs and sliding behind desks.
After quickly taking attendance, the teacher gets down to business.
“What’s the first step in a manicure?” she asks. Hands fly up; answers are blurted out.
It’s the Midrash Manicures club at Schechter, a Jewish day school here, where the weekly club offerings include math club, glee club, sports writing club and this one, in which Rabbi Yael Buechler teaches girls in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades how to do their nails with designs inspired by the weekly Torah portion.
Almighty and Everlasting God,
who dost enkindle the flame of Thy love in the hearts of the saints,
grant unto us the same faith and power of love;
that, as we rejoice in their triumphs
we may profit by their examples, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
who hast knit together thine elect
in one communion and fellowship
in the mystical body of Your Son, Christ our Lord:
Give us grace so to follow Your blessed saints
in all virtuous and godly living,
that we may come
to those ineffable joys
that thou hast prepared for those
who unfeignedly love thee;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord,
who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth,
one God, in glory everlasting. Amen
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of David. Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to thee, when my heart is faint. Lead thou me to the rock that is higher than I; for thou art my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in thy tent for ever! Oh to be safe under the shelter of thy wings! For thou, O God, hast heard my vows, thou hast given me the heritage of those who fear thy name. Prolong the life of the king; may his years endure to all generations! May he be enthroned for ever before God; bid steadfast love and faithfulness watch over him! So will I ever sing praises to thy name, as I pay my vows day after day.
A Gilded-Age Ohioan educated at Kenyon’s Bexley Hall seminary, Brown cut a broad swath through life, a man of God who morphed into a man of Marx-and Darwin, too. He was the first… [Episcopal] bishop, and only one so far, to be tried for heresy.
Bexley Hall, a fixture at Kenyon until 1968, holds few stories as fascinating as Brown’s. His career-part Willy Loman meets Elmer Gantry, with touches of Horatio Alger Jr. and Jay Gatsby-reflects both the meandering path of an individual life and the winds of social change that swept across the land in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Above all, Brown strove to hold sway among those around him. “It’s a constant in his life, this business of wanting to be somebody,” said historian Ronald M. Carden, author of William Montgomery Brown (1855-1937): The Southern Episcopal Bishop Who Became a Communist.
Osteen just stated his belief that Mormons are Christians. He then expressed the thought that Mormonism “might not be the purest form of Christianity, like I grew up with,” but he affirmed Mormon statements that Jesus is the Son of God and that He is Savior.
Evaluating Osteen’s boyhood understanding of Christianity would be a project unto itself, given the shifting theology of his preacher father, the late John Osteen.
The main point of concern in Joel’s latest comment is the lack of any biblical standard of judgment and the total abdication of theological responsibility. He relegates doctrinal disagreements between Christians and Mormons to the status of theological debates between Protestant denominations and then includes Roman Catholicism. There are plenty of issues there, and the issues are not the same when comparing Baptists to Methodists, on the one hand, and Protestants and Roman Catholics, on the other. Comparing any form of Trinitarian orthodoxy with Mormonism is another class of question altogether.
ChristChurch Cathedral ”“ the icon of that quake-crippled city, and the most recognised church in New Zealand ”“ is to be deconsecrated ahead of partial demolition.
Bishop Victoria Matthews confirmed in a press conference in Christchurch today that the cathedral would have to be partly demolished, and further engineering measures taken to make the rest of the building safe.
Until the demolition work is actually underway it won’t be clear how much more of the cathedral will have to be brought down.