Daily Archives: November 8, 2011

Maryland Sisters Are First Episcopal Order to Become a Catholic Religious Community

A group of religious sisters in Maryland is believed to be the first U.S. Episcopal order to become a Catholic religious community.

On Nov. 1, the All Saints Sisters of the Poor professed their perpetual vows at the Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore.

Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, received the sisters into a newly erected diocesan priory at a special Mass on the feast of All Saints.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Spirituality/Prayer, Women

After three months in classrooms, iPads eliminate excuses and change learning

Ben White asked his sixth-grade students if his hair looked OK.

As he prepared to be on camera, his Webb School of Knoxville students opened video apps on their iPads to record White giving them their homework assignment.

At home, students could watch their teacher explaining exactly how to diagram nouns and verbs. The assignment was also loaded on iCalendar.

White said the iPad takes away excuses for not doing homework.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Education, Science & Technology

Prayers Requested for Allison Lawrence

Please keep Mrs. Allison Lawrence, wife of Bishop Mark Lawrence, in your prayers. She has suffered a back injury and will be recuperating at home. Please, no visitors at this time. We encourage you to add her to your parish prayer list. Cards of encouragement are welcome!

Her address is:

Mrs. Allison Lawrence
Diocese of South Carolina
PO Box 20127
Charleston, SC 29413

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Spirituality/Prayer, TEC Bishops

(Reuters) Super Committee Is in 'Critical Week,' Clock Ticking

A special U.S. committee charged with reducing the federal deficit is entering a critical week for reaching a deal but has not considered extending its Nov. 23 deadline, a panel member said Monday.

“Every member understands that time is running out,” House Democrat Chris Van Hollen, a member of the “super committee,” said in an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program. “This is the moment to get it (a deal) done if we’re going to get it done.

“The clock’s ticking. We’ve got just a little over two weeks and that includes the time that it will take to put the final touches on any agreement that we might be able to reach,” he said.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, Senate, Taxes, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

(WSJ) Is an Ivy League Diploma Worth It?

As student-loan default rates climb and college graduates fail to land jobs, an increasing number of students are betting they can get just as far with a degree from a less-expensive school as they can with a diploma from an elite school””without having to take on debt.

More students are choosing lower-cost public colleges or commuting to schools from home to save on housing expenses. Twenty-two percent of students from families with annual household incomes above $100,000 attended public, two-year schools in the 2010-2011 academic year, up from 12% the previous year, according to a report from student-loan company Sallie Mae.
Such choices meant families across all income brackets spent 9% less””an average of $21,889 in cash, loans, scholarships and other methods””on college in 2010-11 than in the previous year, according to the report. High-income families cut their college spending by 18%, to $25,760. The report, which is released annually, was based on a survey of about 1,600 students and parents.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Education, Marriage & Family, Personal Finance, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Young Adults

St Pauls Institute Report–Value and Values: Perceptions of Ethics in the City Today

Read it all and note the full pdf download is available at the bottom.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Independent on Sunday) We are paid too much, bankers confess in St Paul's survey

British bankers have admitted that they are paid too much, a report into moral standards in the City of London will reveal tomorrow.

A survey of 500 workers in City financial institutions, carried out for the Christian think-tank St Paul’s Institute, found that “a substantial number” believed they were overpaid compared with other professions ”“ particularly frontline workers including teachers and, most of all, nurses.

The results will fuel continuing bitterness towards the industry over its culpability for the financial crisis and its apparent failure to rein in huge salaries and bonuses . Last night The Sunday Times reported the publicly owned Royal Bank of Scotland is planning to pay its investment bankers about £500m in bonuses.

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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, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Urban/City Life and Issues

Local Paper front Page–18 South Carolina Hospitals to see 8% cuts

About a third of hospitals serving South Carolinians collected a combined $110 million in state and federal taxpayer money last year through a program designed to reward medical centers that provide high levels of uncompensated care.

But those 18 hospitals, which include three in the Charleston area, actually do not provide a disproportionate amount of care to uninsured South Carolinians and those enrolled in government-sponsored insurance programs.

Now the state is cutting payments to those hospitals by about 8 percent, saving taxpayers nearly $9 million annually.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Economy, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, State Government, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

More 25-34 Year Olds Living With Parents

The graph is a helpful one.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Young Adults

(BBC) Bishop of Chelmsford sets out 15-year transformation plan

The Anglican Bishop of Chelmsford has set out his strategy for how the Essex diocese should look by 2025.

Bishop Stephen Cottrell unveiled his ‘Transforming Presence’ paper at a meeting of the diocesan synod.

He said the church had to face the prospect of fewer paid clergy, and parishioners needed be more evangelical and more open about their faith.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry

Tuesday Morning Mental Health Break–Mary Gauthier's "Mercy Now"

This one was new to me, I bumped into it when watching PBS Mystery’s Case Histories recently. Listen to it all–KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Music

Notable and Quotable

“The only time I watch TV news now is when I’m staying in a hotel and I feel so old….There’s the stock ticker and the news crawl and those flashing graphics and eight heads screaming at each other and one’s in Tel Aviv and the other in Atlanta. It’s crazy. But after a week of it, I find myself craving it. I find my brain expanding in that chaos.”

–Composer Nico Muhly in this morning’s Wall Street Journal

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Media, Movies & Television, Music, Science & Technology, Young Adults

(NPR) China, Russia Top List Of U.S. Economic Cyberspies

Privately, U.S. officials have long complained that China and Russia are out to steal U.S. trade secrets, intellectual property and high technology. But in public they’ve been reluctant to point fingers, and instead have referred obliquely to “some nations” or “our rivals.”

That changed Thursday, with the release of a new report by the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive to Congress titled “Foreign Spies Stealing U.S. Economic Secrets in Cyberspace.” The report names China as the world’s leading source of economic espionage, followed by Russia.

“China and Russia, through their intelligence services and through their corporations, are attacking our research and development,” said Robert Bryant, U.S. national counterintelligence executive, during an event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., presenting the espionage report.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Blogging & the Internet, China, Defense, National Security, Military, Europe, Russia, Science & Technology

Christianity Today–Q & A: Tim Keller on 'The Meaning of Marriage'

You suggest that the Bible’s teachings come “not only in well-stated propositions, but also through brilliant stories and moving poetry.” Has the contemporary church been less effective in presenting good stories about marriage than in stating propositions?

I don’t know that I would say the church has been great at laying out rules, and I don’t think it’s actually been very practical. The theological tends to be propositions. The polemical tends to be arguments. The practical uses lots of stories to give you the gist of what a good marriage should be like. Somewhere in Mystery and Manners, Flannery O’Connor was asked to put the basic point of her short story in a nutshell. She said, ‘If I could put it in a nutshell, I wouldn’t have had to write the story.’

I believe she says a story can’t be paraphrased.
Yes, that’s right. I think what she means is a story gives you an excess of meaning that no proposition could possibly convey, or even a set of propositions. There’s meaning that comes with a narrative that is certainly somewhat propositional””you can put some of it into propositions””but the impact is greater.

On a practical level, the church doesn’t do a great job of giving people a vision for what God wants marriage to be.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Books, Evangelicals, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Religion & Culture

(RNS) Amid Tense Relations, Ireland Closes Embassy to the Vatican

After months of tense relations over the clergy sex abuse scandal, the Irish government announced [last] Thursday (Nov. 3) that it will close its embassy to the Vatican.

“The government believes that Ireland’s interests with the Holy See can be sufficiently represented by a non-resident ambassador,” said Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Foreign Relations, Ireland, Other Churches, Politics in General, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to thee, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly thine, utterly dedicated unto thee; and then use us, we pray thee, as thou wilt, but always to thy glory and the welfare of thy people; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

–William Temple (1881-1944)

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders which he has wrought. He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children; that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.

Psalm 78:4-8

Posted in Uncategorized

Russia: Israeli threat of strikes on Iran 'a mistake'

Military action against Iran would be a “very serious mistake fraught with unpredictable consequences”, Russia’s foreign minister has warned.

Sergei Lavrov said diplomacy, not missile strikes, was the only way to solve the Iranian nuclear problem.

His comments come after Israeli President Shimon Peres said an attack on Iran was becoming more likely.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Europe, Foreign Relations, Iraq, Israel, Middle East, Politics in General, Russia

Bede Parry’s Signed Statement

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Presiding Bishop, Roman Catholic, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

(Charlotte Observer) Billy Graham turns 93

Billy Graham caps an eventful autumn today with his 93rd birthday.

Despite diminished hearing and sight, the Charlotte-born evangelist published his 30th book this fall. “Nearing Home” is built around Graham’s thoughts about getting old and finishing life well, a task he admits caught him almost completely off guard.

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Other Churches

A Message from the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Chairman

We are immensely aware of being involved in a spiritual struggle. Our Global Anglican movement has made its stand on the gospel of Jesus Christ as expounded in the Jerusalem Declaration. This has united us. It has also divided us from those who promote a different ”˜gospel’.

Our twofold aim is to promote the preaching and defence of the Gospel of Jesus the Christ and to recognise and have fellowship with Anglican Christians whose spiritual lives are threatened by false teaching. We are longing for the spiritual reform of the Anglican Communion so that in a united partnership we can commend the Lord Jesus as the one and only Saviour of the world.

We have had reports from many parts of the Communion about the deliberate incursion of false teaching accompanied by offers of financial aid. We are aware of the conflict, which continues for so many as they struggle to maintain the faith once for all delivered to the saints. Sometimes this involves legal attacks. We offer our support and encouragement to those who make it clear that they will continue to teach God’s word whatever the opinion of a church which has allied itself to the world.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA)

A Third Way profile story on Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali

Is there anything the Church can learn from the umma, the worldwide community of Muslims?
Yes. I mean, this is one of the reasons for dialogue. For instance, when I am talking to Muslims I am remind-ed very strongly of the biblical doctrine of the unity of God. Christians sometimes talk of the Trinity in a kind of trigger-happy fashion but, whatever else we may say about God, our starting-point must be that God is one.

Is there anything Christians can do to help the umma to rid itself of religious extremism?
Well, in a way it’s up to Muslims themselves, but yes, I think we can, for instance, in the context of dialogue, urge Muslims to say something about freedom of be­l­ief: freedom to express one’s beliefs, freedom to change one’s beliefs. In my dialogue with [the ancient Islamic university] al-Azhar al-Sharif, which I led for the An­glican Communion for many years, freedom was al­ways on the agenda. Just before he died, I did a joint lecture in Cairo with the sheikh of al-Azhar, Sheikh [Muh­am­mad] Tantawi, and he said that people are free in Egypt to believe whatever they like – it is not the business of the state and it’s not the business of religion. I think that is a very significant ad­vance. Similarly, the Grand Mufti of Egypt has issued a very progressive fatwa declaring that apostasy from Islam is not punishable in this life.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths

David Gushee–Christian politics create unholy alliances

Precisely as a Christian, I call for my fellow Christians to try an experiment. For lack of a better term, let’s normalize, even secularize, our approach to the next election. Ask all candidates to drop the God talk. Recognize and reject all forms of religious pandering. Punish candidates who make base appeals to religious tribalism. Evaluate candidates according to their past performance and current policy proposals related to the major challenges facing our nation. Read the Declaration of Independence and Constitution for a refresher. Pastors, stay home and preach the Gospel rather than being precinct captains. If you want to engage in relevant political reflection, wrestle in your sermons with how constitutional democracy and broad Christian moral principles relate to each other.

Christian politics is corrupting both Christians and politics. Our nation is in too much trouble to endure another round of this sorry spectacle.

Let’s do better.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Politics in General, Religion & Culture