Daily Archives: November 10, 2011

A Look at a TEC Parish Based on the Latest Data–Trinity Cathedral in Columbia, S.C.

If you go to the link toward the end of this sentence and enter “Upper South Carolina” as the name of the diocese and then go to “Church” (the third possible entry line) and enter “Trinity (Columbia, SC) ” underneath the entry point (where you will see a list of parishes alphabetically in the diocese) then you can see in pictorial form some of the data from 2000-2010.

You may find the parish website there.

Alert blog readers may recall an earlier look at this parish on the blog in October 2010. A commenter on that thread captured the 1999-2009 data.

For the purposes of reference on the chart(s), the Episcopal Church Annual of 2007 (which is based on parochial reports of 2005) lists parish membership at 4000.

Posted in Uncategorized

NCC Leader to Step Down

The National Council of Churches announced on Wednesday (Nov. 9) that General Secretary Michael Kinnamon is resigning due to health reasons.

Kinnamon, 63, told the ecumenical group’s governing board that he must “immediately and significantly” reduce his activity, especially the frequent travel required by the job, under the advice of his cardiologist.

A minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Kinnamon was elected to lead the New York-based NCC in 2007, amid staff layoffs and budget cuts.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations, Health & Medicine, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, United Church of Christ

Anglican Church's Peter Catt backs civil same sex unions at Queensland Parliamentary Hearing

The Anglican Church of Australia’s Very Reverend Peter Catt says a same-sex marriage Bill would not deny or denigrate the legitimacy of marriage.

Addressing the parliamentary hearing on same-sex marriage on behalf of the church’s social responsibilities committee, Dr Catt said civil unions instead extended the liberties of same or opposite-sex couples.

“I really don’t see that this impinges on marriage at all,” he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality

George Weigel–John Paul II–The Pope Who Rescued Western Humanism

… it [does not] seem appropriate to call “premodern” one of the most intellectually engaged bishops in Europe in the years before and after Vatican II. Karol Wojtyla was a man who deliberately sought the intellectual companionship of philosophers, theologians, historians, scientists and artists from a wide range of intellectual perspectives; a man who, as both pastor and scholar, displayed a deep human sympathy for those caught in the modern crisis of belief; a man who was an avid reader of contemporary philosophy for more than a half century.

Then there is the record of the pontificate itself. Would a pope with a “premodern” intellectual perspective have written the first papal encyclical on Christian anthropology, making the renovation of Christian humanism the leitmotif and program of his pontificate? It seems unlikely.

Would a “premodern” pope have defended the universality of human rights before the United Nations in 1979 and 1995, while transforming the Catholic Church into perhaps the world’s foremost institutional promoter of the democratic project? It seems unlikely.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Europe, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Philosophy, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Secularism, Theology

(RNS) Study says religious services make some women happier

Got the blues? Go to church.

A new study in the Journal of Religion and Health suggests that ”” at least for some women of a certain age ”” there’s a link between optimism and attendance at religious services.

“We looked at the religious practices of nearly 100,000 women and ”” like it or not ”” found a strong connection between going to church or synagogue or any other house of worship and a positive outlook on life,” said Eliezer Schnall, clinical associate professor of psychology at Yeshiva University.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Women

(FT) Nouriel Roubini–Why Italy’s days in the eurozone may be numbered

With interest rates on its sovereign debt surging well above seven per cent, there is a rising risk that Italy may soon lose market access. Given that it is too-big-to-fail but also too-big-to-save, this could lead to a forced restructuring of its public debt of €1,900bn. That would partially address its “stock” problem of large and unsustainable debt but it would not resolve its “flow” problem, a large current account deficit, lack of external competitiveness and a worsening plunge in gross domestic product and economic activity.

To resolve the latter, Italy may, like other periphery countries, need to exit the monetary union and go back to a national currency, thus triggering an effective break-up of the eurozone.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Foreign Relations, Italy, Politics in General, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(London Times Front Page) Roman Catholic Church is told to give up control of schools

The Roman Catholic Church should give up control of schools if it wants to ensure that pupils will be protected from paedophile priests, an investigation into one of Britain’s worst clerical abuse scandals has concluded.

A report into decades of child abuse at Ealing Abbey made clear that there were nationwide consequences for the Church, Catholic education and, in particular, two of the country’s most famous independent schools, Downside and Ampleforth.

The inquiry, prompted by revelations in The Times, said the fact that St Benedict’s school in West London was under the total control of the Benedictine monks at Ealing was a major cause of the failure to detect, investigate and stop the sexual and physical abuse of pupils.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, Education, England / UK, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Teens / Youth

(LA Times) Spain paying the price of regional overspending

Through heavy social spending and investments in major building projects, Spain is one country whose regional authorities have been living beyond their means and racking up large budget deficits. Those gaps were sustainable during boom times, but in the current economic climate, they threaten to push Spain toward a financial reckoning that could have consequences far beyond its borders.

Regional overspending is likely to cause the central government in Madrid to miss its target of bringing the nation’s overall deficit down to 6% of gross domestic product this year, considered crucial to maintain investor confidence. For that reduction to happen, Spain’s 17 regional governments were told to post budget shortfalls amounting to no more than 1.3% of GDP, but they almost reached that level after just the first six months of the year.

“If the regions surpass their deficit limits, then they can send Spain as a whole off course,” said Ismael Sanz, an analyst at King Juan Carlos University in Madrid.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Economy, Europe, Politics in General, Spain

(Reuters) Religious minorities put faith in Tunisia's democracy

Minority Jews and Christians are putting their faith in Tunisia’s nascent democracy to ensure its new Islamist-led leadership respects their rights in this traditionally secular state.

Religious minorities in the Arab world have mostly lost out when dictators are toppled and radical Islamists exploit the power vacuum to attack non-Muslims. The targeting of Christians in Iraq and Egypt constitutes a frightening example.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Inter-Faith Relations, Judaism, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Tunisia

(RNS) Survey Finds Deep Challenges for Romney

More than four in 10 American voters say they are uncomfortable with the idea of a Mormon in the White House, a reflection of the steep challenge facing Mitt Romney in the GOP primary.

According to a survey released Tuesday (Nov. 8) by the Public Religion Research Institute, Romney faces an identity problem among those who already know he’s a Mormon, and those who don’t but generally have qualms about the faith.

The poll found evangelicals are warming to Romney’s chief rival, businessman Herman Cain, and are also the group that harbors the most unease with Mormonism among all religious groups surveyed.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Mormons, Office of the President, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

For Inquiring Minds–What was the Outcome of the Diocese of Atlanta Resolution on Pelagius?

From here:

Contributions of Pelagius

Amended as follows (otherwise unchanged):

Be it resolved, that this 105th Annual Council of the Diocese of Atlanta recommend that the bishop appoint and oversee a committee of discernment overseen by our Bishop, to consider these matters as a means to understand [previously was “honor”] the contributions of Pelagius [previously was:”and reclaim his voice in”] to our tradition.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Leo the Great

O Lord our God, grant that thy Church, following the teaching of thy servant Leo of Rome, may hold fast the great mystery of our redemption, and adore the one Christ, true God and true Man, neither divided from our human nature nor separate from thy divine Being; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord Jesus Christ, Wisdom and Word of God, fill our hearts, we beseech thee, with thy most Holy Spirit, that out of the abundance of our hearts our mouths may speak thy praise in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs; to thy everlasting glory.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for his judgments are true and just; he has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication, and he has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” Once more they cried, “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who is seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” And from the throne came a voice crying, “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great.” Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunderpeals, crying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure” –for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.”

–Revelation 19:1-9

Posted in Uncategorized

Debt crisis: while Rome burns, the Eurozone fiddles

Italy on Wednesday became the first major economy to require an international bail-out as its debts hit “totally unsustainable levels”.

The country’s escalating crisis prompted questions about whether European leaders had sufficient will or financial firepower to rescue it.

The interest rate at which the Italian government borrows on the international bond markets hit seven per cent ”“ the point at which the smaller eurozone economies of Ireland, Portugal and Greece had to be rescued.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Foreign Relations, Italy, Politics in General, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Jefferson County, Alabama, Votes to Declare Biggest Municipal Bankruptcy in US History

The vote by officials in Alabama’s most populous county occurred about a month after Pennsylvania’s capital of Harrisburg sought court protection citing millions in overdue bond payments tied to a trash-to-energy incinerator. A Jefferson filing would eclipse that of California’s Orange County in 1994. The action might reignite concerns among investors over defaults in the $2.9 trillion U.S. municipal bond market.

“It’s going to create attention-grabbing headlines, and the question is how retail investors react,” Peter Hayes, a managing director at BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest asset manager and the owner of $95.6 billion of municipal bonds, said before today’s decision.

Read it all.

Update: I found the following map helpful in terms of locating where Jefferson County is.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, City Government, Credit Markets, Economy, Politics in General, Rural/Town Life, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Rachel White–The Role Non-Monogamy Will Play in the Future of Marriage

When did we begin to see an opening up of non-monogamy in marriage?

My argument is that in the 1970s free love and non-monogamy had a certain chic to them, but they didn’t have solid foundations in demography, economy, or technology.

Today, the idea of openly non-monogamous marriages has no political chic to it, but it does have a more solid foundation in demography (we live longer and are healthier than ever), economy (women earn their own paycheck, and don’t rely on the sexual contract in marriage for their meal ticket), and technology (we’re connected to people more than ever).

So marital monogamy is under greater stress today. And I think it’s being deliberately rethought and re-evaluated by a post-romantic generation that sees the main function of marriage as friendship, an establishment of a home base — not sexual passion and fidelity, per se.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology

The WCC and Roman Catholic Church's Joint Working Group recently issued Communiqué

Our deliberations were guided by the words of St. Paul to “receive one another just as Christ has received you, for the glory of God” (Rom 15:7).

This verse of St. Paul’s letter has guided the work of the JWG in the present mandate. Under the leadership of the two co-moderators Archbishop and Metropolitan Nifon of Targoviste (Romania) and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin (Ireland), the group finalized its work on two study documents on Reception and the Spiritual Roots of Ecumenism and reflections on the current issues of An Ecumenical Response to Migration and on The Church in the Life of Youth and Youth in the Life of the Church. The texts are addressed to the two parent bodies to inspire and activate the ecumenical life of the churches.

Both the harvesting of the fruits of many years of ecumenical dialogue and attention to the important role of shared spiritual life and values for ecumenism are vital for the future of the ecumenical movement and progress towards the goal of visible unity.

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations, Other Churches, Roman Catholic

(Reuters) Key political risks to watch in Saudi Arabia

The world’s leading oil exporter Saudi Arabia faces rising tensions with regional rival Iran and turmoil in two neighbouring countries hit by the wave of Arab unrest this spring as it tackles changes at the top of its ruling family.

The death of Crown Prince Sultan in October led to conservative Interior Minister Prince Nayef’s promotion to King Abdullah’s heir only a week after the octogenarian monarch had his third back operation within a year.

The stability of Saudi Arabia is of global importance since the kingdom sits on more than a fifth of the world’s oil reserves, is a significant owner of dollar assets and acts as Middle East lynchpin of U.S. security policy.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Foreign Relations, Middle East, Politics in General, Saudi Arabia

Episcopal Diocese of Texas Office of Communications has a Blog

See what you think.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Episcopal Church (TEC), Media