Daily Archives: November 11, 2011

(WSJ Houses of Worship) Richard Stearns–Evangelicals and the Case for Foreign Aid

One objection that I often hear from evangelicals is that while aid is good, it is not the government’s job. Yes, individuals and churches play a vital role in aid and development. But governments play a unique and vital role that private organizations cannot. The poverty-focused programs in the foreign-aid budget are facing cuts of between $1.2 billion and $3.2 billion from 2010 levels. In comparison, the largest American Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, has a budget of $308 million for its missionary and aid organization.

We cannot let others suffer simply because times are tough in the U.S. All Americans must understand the urgency of the human need and the effectiveness of our government’s aid programs.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Budget, Economy, Evangelicals, Foreign Relations, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

AnglicanTV Interviews Archbishop Ben Kwashi on the recent history and violence in Nigeria

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Violence

Happy 11 11 11 to all Blog Readers– Fraternal twin sisters here turn 11 today

Read it all from the local paper.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * South Carolina, Blogging & the Internet, Children, Marriage & Family

Bishop C. FitzSimons Allison–Shrinking Jesus and Betraying the Faith

Christian faith, but not secular faith, now effectively banned from schools, colleges, and universities, has been relegated to the private and subjective arena. The result is the growing popularity of any who eliminate from Christian faith all that secular trust finds incompatible: miracles, the radical nature of sin and the consequent radical nature of grace, transcendence, holiness, and our human desperate need for God’s initiative action in Jesus.

The consequence of this secular replacement of Christianity over the years is that otherwise educated people can be bereft of any substantial grasp of scripture. One glaring example is Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori who tells us that Marcus Borg “opened the Bible to me.” (Acknowledgements A Wing and a Prayer). The Christian creed’s affirmation, to which she has repeatedly sworn, (but Borg negates) is that Jesus Christ is:

“the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made . . .”

Borg has not opened the scripture for Bishop Jefferts Schori but closed its revelation of Jesus’ divinity.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Christology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Presiding Bishop, Religion & Culture, Secularism, Seminary / Theological Education, TEC Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture

South Carolina Diocesan News–The Rev. Rob Sturdy to Leave Trinity, Myrtle Beach

“I love Trinity, Myrtle Beach. I love our Diocese and our Bishop, Mark Lawrence,” said Sturdy. “I was not looking to leave, but when Steve (Wood, Rector of St. Andrew’s) made the offer, I had to consider it. The job description (at St. Andrew’s) touched on two things I’m passionate about ”“ theological formation and church planting. The position will give me the opportunity to share the gospel and impact a much larger number of people in a broad level and my wife and I decided this was the best use of our gifts and talents at this time in our lives.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(CEN) Appeals court win for US Presbyterain congregation in Louisiana land battle

A Louisiana appeals court has opened the legal door for Episcopal churches in the state to quit the national Church and keep their properties.

On 14 September 2011 the First Circuit Court of Appeal in Baton Rouge upheld a lower court decision allowing a Presbyterian congregation to leave its presbytery and keep its property ”“ even though the Presbyterian Church’s constitutional documents claimed an interest in the property.

Relying upon the US Supreme Court’s decision in Jones v Wolfe, the appeals court in the case of Carrollton Presbyterian Church v the Presbytery of Southern Louisiana rejected the argument put forward by the presbytery that the addition of a trust clause in a denomination’s constitution was sufficient to create a valid and enforceable trust on property.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Housing/Real Estate Market, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Presbyterian, Religion & Culture, TEC Conflicts

Archbishop Ben Kwashi–Our Anglican Heritage–Continuity and Discontinuity

The evidence around us today points to the unwelcome fact that the message of the gospel can degenerate in just a few generations. It seems almost impossible for the missionary zeal of any congregation to rise above that of its priest. If this is correct, then most congregations will be operating at 50% of the missionary zeal of their priest – and this is only when they are doing very well, and where there is good teaching, good fellowship and good prayer meetings. A few from that congregation, a very few indeed, may rise up to 70% or 80% in their zeal towards that of the priest. Suppose that from this congregation there is recruited someone who goes for training for the priesthood. If this man is operating at 50% when he goes to the seminary, and if the seminary is very orthodox and non-evangelical or liberal, then he is panel-beaten and sprayed down to 25%, and in that state he is ordained and sent to another congregation. Since he is now operating at 25%, his congregation will be at 11.5%. As time goes by, a member of that congregation may be selected and sent for training, operating at the same 11.5% and comes out from the seminary operating at 5.75% It is only a matter of time, as the downward spiral takes its toll, that the work of mission and evangelism in his church will die. This is the end result of discontinuity!

The mission of the church, however, cannot, will not, and will never be discontinued. We may choose to neglect it and be careless about the whole mission of God, and indeed in a given generation with a particular group of people the baton could be dropped and the mission discontinued in that place and at that time. God.s mission, however, will move elsewhere and continue.

There is so much to be done in the church and world today. In the same way in which Jesus spoke concerning the harvest in Israel, “The harvest is plenty, but the labourers are few” (Matthew 9:37), so is he speaking in our time and in our context.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria

Church Times–Church support for camps is tested by protesters’ conduct

The Prime Minister said on Tues­day that people should “not be able to erect tents all over the place”, as the Occupy protest outside St Paul’s Cathedral continued into its fourth week. There are now an estimated 2000 Occupy protests around the world, including several in the UK.

During an appearance before the House of Commons liaison com­mit­tee, David Cameron said that protest “is certainly a right that people have. But I have got this rather quaint view ”” you shouldn’t be able to erect tents all over the place.

“I think protesting is something you, on the whole, should do on two feet, rather than lying down ”” in some cases in a fairly comatose state.”

Read it all.

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

Veterans Day Statistics

Check out the numbers for the six wars listed on page 17. The numbers that follow here are from the list in the previous article:

21.8 million: The number of military veterans in the United States in 2010.

1.6 million: The number of female veterans in 2010.

2.4 million: The number of black veterans in 2010. Additionally, 1.2 million veterans were Hispanic.

9 million: The number of veterans 65 and older in 2010. At the other end of the age spectrum, 1.7 million were younger than 35.

7.6 million: Number of Vietnam-era veterans in 2010. Thirty-five percent of all living veterans served during this time (1964-1975). In addition, 4.8 million served during the Gulf War (representing service from Aug. 2, 1990, to present); 2.1 million in World War II (1941-1945); 2.6 million in the Korean War (1950-1953); and 5.5 million in peacetime only.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, History

Veterans remember the sacrifices of war, and today we remember them

Most people can’t imagine the things veterans have seen.

They have slept the mud, with no assurance that they will live to see the dawn.

They have lost limbs in explosions of dirt and rock while trudging through hostile third-world villages.

They have spent countless nights on an endless sea, waiting for the enemy to appear on the horizon…..

Read all four stories.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Defense, National Security, Military

Veteran's Day Music–Fifty Thousand Names Carved In The Wall ~ George Jones

Listen to it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, Music, Parish Ministry

Notable and Quotable

“When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today”

— On many memorials to the dead in war worldwide, as for example that for the British 2nd Division at Kohima, India; there is a debate about its precise origins in terms of who first penned the lines

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, History, Parish Ministry

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

”“Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

In thanksgiving for all those who gave their lives for this country in years past, and for those who continue to serve”“KSH.

P.S. The circumstances which led to this remarkable poem are well worth remembering:

It is a lasting legacy of the terrible battle in the Ypres salient in the spring of 1915 and to the war in general. McCrea had spent seventeen days treating injured men — Canadians, British, French, and Germans in the Ypres salient. McCrae later wrote: “I wish I could embody on paper some of the varied sensations of that seventeen days… Seventeen days of Hades! At the end of the first day if anyone had told us we had to spend seventeen days there, we would have folded our hands and said it could not have been done.” The next day McCrae witnessed the burial of a good friend, Lieut. Alexis Helmer. Later that day, sitting on the back of an ambulance parked near the field dressing station, McCrea composed the poem. A young NCO, delivering mail, watched him write it. When McCrae finished writing, he took his mail from the soldier and, without saying a word, handed his pad to the Sergeant-major. Cyril Allinson was moved by what he read: “The poem was exactly an exact description of the scene in front of us both. He used the word blow in that line because the poppies actually were being blown that morning by a gentle east wind. It never occurred to me at that time that it would ever be published. It seemed to me just an exact description of the scene.” Colonel McCrae was dissatisfied with the poem, and tossed it away. A fellow officer retrieved it and sent it to newspapers in England. The Spectator, in London, rejected it, but Punch published it on 8 December 1915. For his contributions as a surgeon, the main street in Wimereaux is named “Rue McCrae”.

Posted in Uncategorized

A Personal Challenge to Blog readers: Listen to a War Letter some time Today

There is a fabulous resource for this courtesy of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. There are many themes from which to choose, and various letters to see the text of and listen to. Take a moment a drink at least one in, and, if you have a moment, tell us your thoughts in the comments.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, History, Military / Armed Forces

Veterans Day Remarks–Try to Guess the Speaker and the Date

In a world tormented by tension and the possibilities of conflict, we meet in a quiet commemoration of an historic day of peace. In an age that threatens the survival of freedom, we join together to honor those who made our freedom possible. The resolution of the Congress which first proclaimed Armistice Day, described November 11, 1918, as the end of “the most destructive, sanguinary and far-reaching war in the history of human annals.” That resolution expressed the hope that the First World War would be, in truth, the war to end all wars. It suggested that those men who had died had therefore not given their lives in vain.

It is a tragic fact that these hopes have not been fulfilled, that wars still more destructive and still more sanguinary followed, that man’s capacity to devise new ways of killing his fellow men have far outstripped his capacity to live in peace with his fellow men.Some might say, therefore, that this day has lost its meaning, that the shadow of the new and deadly weapons have robbed this day of its great value, that whatever name we now give this day, whatever flags we fly or prayers we utter, it is too late to honor those who died before, and too soon to promise the living an end to organized death.

But let us not forget that November 11, 1918, signified a beginning, as well as an end. “The purpose of all war,” said Augustine, “is peace.” The First World War produced man’s first great effort in recent times to solve by international cooperation the problems of war. That experiment continues in our present day — still imperfect, still short of its responsibilities, but it does offer a hope that some day nations can live in harmony.

For our part, we shall achieve that peace only with patience and perseverance and courage — the patience and perseverance necessary to work with allies of diverse interests but common goals, the courage necessary over a long period of time to overcome…[a skilled adversary].

Do please take a guess as to who it is and when it was, then click and read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, History

A Prayer for Veterans Day

Governor of Nations, our Strength and Shield:
we give you thanks for the devotion and courage
of all those who have offered military service for this country:

For those who have fought for freedom; for those who laid down their lives for others;
for those who have borne suffering of mind or of body;
for those who have brought their best gifts to times of need.
On our behalf they have entered into danger,
endured separation from those they love,
labored long hours, and borne hardship in war and in peacetime.

Lift up by your mighty Presence those who are now at war;
encourage and heal those in hospitals
or mending their wounds at home;
guard those in any need or trouble;
hold safely in your hands all military families;
and bring the returning troops to joyful reunion
and tranquil life at home;

Give to us, your people, grateful hearts
and a united will to honor these men and women
and hold them always in our love and our prayers;
until your world is perfected in peace
through Jesus Christ our Savior.

–The Rev. Jennifer Phillips

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Martin of Tours

Lord God of hosts, who didst clothe thy servant Martin the soldier with the spirit of sacrifice, and didst set him as a bishop in thy Church to be a defender of the catholic faith: Give us grace to follow in his holy steps, that at the last we may be found clothed with righteousness in the dwellings of peace; through 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

Equip us, O God, for the spiritual conflict with thine own armour: with the shield of faith, the sword of the Spirit, the helmet of salvation, the girdle of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, that we may be able to stand in the evil day; and grant that, having our feet shod with the gospel of peace, we may be able to maintain our ground unflinching to the end, through the might of Jesus Christ, the Captain of our salvation.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesare’a Philip’pi, he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Eli’jah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

–Matthew 16:13-20

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

With U.S. tech, Internet censorship continues in Syria, Burma

An investigation into commercial online filtering technology reveals the prevalence of devices from Blue Coat, an American firm, being used to censor the Web in Syria and Burma. Ron Deibert of Toronto’s Citizen Lab discusses the report’s importance.

If you live in Burma or Syria, good luck trying to access pro-democracy websites, overseas news networks, even dating websites. Thanks to devices made by Blue Coat Systems, portions of the Net are inaccessible to residents in these countries, and a recent report reveals how a number of these filtering devices have been found in the regions, despite the manufacturer claiming they never sell their products to embargoed countries.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Foreign Relations, Middle East, Myanmar/Burma, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Syria

Remains of war dead dumped in landfill

The Dover Air Force Base mortuary for years disposed of portions of troops’ remains by cremating them and dumping the ashes in a Virginia landfill, a practice that officials have since abandoned in favor of burial at sea.

The mortuary in Delaware, the main point of entry for the nation’s war dead and the target of federal investigations of alleged mishandling of remains, engaged in the practice from 2003 to 2008, according to Air Force officials. The manner of disposal was not disclosed to relatives of fallen service members….

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry

Paterno Is Finished at Penn State, and President Is Out

Joe Paterno, who has the most victories of any coach in major college football history, was fired by Penn State on Wednesday night in the wake of a sexual abuse scandal involving a prominent former assistant coach and the university’s failure to act to halt further harm.

Graham B. Spanier, one of the longest-serving and highest-paid university presidents in the nation, who has helped raise the academic profile of Penn State during his tenure, was also removed by the Board of Trustees. When the announcement was made at a news conference that the 84-year-old Mr. Paterno would not coach another game, a gasp went up from the crowd of several hundred reporters, students and camera people who were present.

“We thought that because of the difficulties that engulfed our university, and they are grave, that it is necessary to make a change in the leadership to set a course for a new direction,” said John Surma Jr., the vice chairman of the board.

Read it all.

Update: “After Joe Paterno is fired, Penn State and State College still coming to grips with his dismissal” in the Washington Post is of interest as well.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Men, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Sports, Theology, Young Adults

(NCR) New Washington D.C. Episcopal bishop inspired by 'progressive Catholics'

Rarely have I interviewed a religious leader as impressive as [Mariann] Budde. She built a small, struggling parish in Minneapolis into a growing, vibrant spiritual community. In person, she comes across as a deeply spiritual woman: caring, articulate, knowledgeable, democratic in spirit, with a sense of where she hopes to take the diocese.

Later in the interview, I asked her about early influences in her life, and it did my heart good to hear her say that “progressive Catholics” were a major influence in her life in the 1980s. She was referring to those who opposed the Reagan wars in Central America and the folks in the Catholic Worker Movement. She actually lived with homeless people at a Catholic Worker house in Rochester, N.Y. She later related to a Catholic Worker community in Tucson, Ariz., a city where she also found local Methodists inspiring. She says she was moved by the willingness of both to identify closely with the poor.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops