Daily Archives: November 16, 2011

Episcopal clergy continue support following Occupy Wall Street camp breakup in New York

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Theology

Demolition of Rose Bay Anglican churches to go ahead

Two of the oldest churches at Rose Bay will be demolished to make way for residential flats and a new childcare centre.

Plans from the Greek Orthodox Church to tear down the former St Paul’s Anglican Church, as well as the parish hall and two neighbouring houses, were given the green light in a tight vote at a Joint Regional Planning Panel meeting on Thursday.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Parish Ministry

Bishop Mark Sisk–We must not serve capitalism ”“ we must make it serve us

There can be little doubt that capitalism is a productive way to order economic life. But we need to remember, as the protestors have reminded us, that that is all that it is — an economic system based on the entirely reasonable propositions that capital has value, and that supply and demand are the most efficient way to set prices. Capitalism is of no help at all in determining what is morally good — that is something that must instead be determined by the community’s wider values.

And there should be no question that when an economic system fails to reflect those communal values, it should be modified and governed until it does. To say, as some do, that any attempt to control or guide our economic system is neither wise nor possible is to admit that an economic system has decisive control of our lives. For a Christian, such an admission would be nothing less than to yield to idolatry. (Though I do not claim deep knowledge of other religious traditions, I suspect that this is true for them as well.) God alone is the One, and the only One, to whom we can concede such ultimate authority. For the non-theist to make the argument that the laws of economics are immutable is to concede that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves. That is the same argument that those in the grip of various kinds of addiction make: “I am not in control, my addiction made me do it.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Stock Market, TEC Bishops, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Theology

(USCCB) Anglican Ordinariate for U.S to be established January 1

Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington announced November 15 that the new ordinariate for former Anglicans in the United States will be established January 1, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.

At the same time he confirmed that Bishop Kevin Vann of Fort Worth, Texas, will succeed Archbishop John Myers of Newark as Ecclesiastical Delegate for the Pastoral Provision, through which married Anglican priests become diocesan priests in the Catholic Church.

Cardinal Wuerl, who is the delegate for the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the head of an ad hoc committee of U.S. bishops to lead efforts in the United States to receive Anglican groups into the Catholic Church, made the announcement during the fall plenary meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in Baltimore. Bishop Vann is a member of the ad hoc committee.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Down Under Catholics, Anglicans unite for prayer

Catholics and Anglicans gathered at St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane, on November 10 for the annual service of Prayer for Reconciliation for the Brisbane and Toowoomba dioceses of the two Churches.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Ecumenical Relations, Other Churches, Roman Catholic

Barna Group–Five Myths about Young Adult Church Dropouts

The Barna Group team spent much of the last five years exploring the lives of young people who drop out of church. The research provides many insights into the spiritual journeys of teens and young adults. The findings are revealed extensively in a new book called, You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving Church”¦and Rethinking Faith.

The research uncovered five myths and realities about today’s young dropouts.

Myth 1: Most people lose their faith when they leave high school.
Reality: There has been considerable attention paid to the so-called loss of faith that happens between high school and early adulthood. Some have estimated this dropout in alarming terms, estimating that a large majority of young Christians will lose their faith. The reality is more nuanced. In general, there are three distinct patterns of loss: prodigals, nomads, and exiles.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Young Adults

Thanksgiving store hours irk some

As stores up the ante with earlier holiday hours that creep into Thanksgiving night, Black Friday is turning into Black Thursday, and some shoppers and employees aren’t happy about it.

ӢToys R Us said Monday it will open at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving, an hour earlier than last year.
”¢Walmart will open at 10 p.m., two hours ahead of last year’s midnight opening.
”¢Other stores — including Target, Macy’s, Best Buy and Kohl’s — will open at midnight.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy

Insurance Mandate May Be Health Bill’s Undoing

As Barack Obama battled Hillary Rodham Clinton over health care during the Democratic presidential primaries of 2008, he was adamant about one thing: Americans, he insisted, should not be required to buy health insurance.

“If things were that easy,” Mr. Obama told the talk show host Ellen DeGeneres in February of that year, “I could mandate everybody to buy a house, and that would solve the problem of homelessness. It doesn’t.”

Now President Obama may wish he had stuck to those words. On Monday, the Supreme Court agreed to take up a constitutional challenge to his landmark health care bill, and a decision could come in the midst of Mr. Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama

R.C. Bishops Welcome Dialogue with Obama as Concerns Remain

The standoff between the White House and the nation’s Catholic bishops over gay marriage and other hot-button issues may be easing after a quiet Oval Office meeting between President Obama and the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Still, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York and other prelates made it clear at their annual meeting on Monday (Nov. 14) that they still see an array of threats that pose an imminent danger to the church’s freedom unless sufficient religious exemptions are granted.

Dolan, president of the bishops’ conference, described his Nov. 8 meeting with Obama””first reported on Saturday by the National Catholic Reporter””as “extraordinarily friendly.”

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Posted in Uncategorized

(Christian Century) Amy Frykholm–Commodity dating?

My husband and my marriage are not prizes, lottery tickets or possessions. I did not win or purchase him in the marketplace of courtship. She did not lose in the marketplace of life. I didn’t bargain with marriage for my career; she didn’t trade in anything. We use these metaphors all the time as if they don’t have power, yet we forget that we are talking about are humans. “Dating and mating” is only a marketplace if we consent to being commodities.

To think outside the marketplace is tricky in our society….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Men, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Women, Young Adults

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Margaret of Scotland

O God, who didst call thy servant Margaret to an earthly throne that she might advance thy heavenly kingdom, and didst give her zeal for thy church and love for thy people: Mercifully grant that we who commemorate her this day may be fruitful in good works, and attain to the glorious crown of thy saints; though 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, * International News & Commentary, Church History, England / UK, Scotland, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Grant, O heavenly Father, that by the guidance of the Holy Spirit we may be enabled to discern thy holy will; and that by the grace of the same Spirit we may also be enabled to do it, gladly and with our whole hearts; for the glory of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues, and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And in the Spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed; on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

–Revelation 21:9-14

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

US Catholic church formalizes Anglican conversions

Anglicans in the United States who want to become Roman Catholic will have a formal structure to oversee the conversion starting New Year’s Day.

Catholic Cardinal Donald Wuerl announced Tuesday the equivalent of a diocese for converts who want to retain some of their Anglican heritage.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Primus and Dean of Edinburgh Visit Occupy Edinburgh

The Most Rev David Chillingworth, Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Very Rev Dr John Armes, Rector of St John’s Episcopal Church, Princes Street and Dean of Edinburgh met yesterday with members of Occupy Edinburgh in St Andrews Square.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Economy, Politics in General, Scottish Episcopal Church

Pittsburgh Anglican Bishop’s Address at 146th Diocesan Convention

We are eighty-two congregations as this convention opens. We have grown by thirty congregations since realignment. This is the largest number of congregations ever for the Diocese of Pittsburgh. We lost a third of our congregations at realignment, but here is the Lord’s promise working itself out. We are more than we were three years ago! For those willing to leave what they have ”“ whatever they have ”“ to follow Jesus the restoration is a hundredfold. Deep ecumenical friendships and partnerships have also been added. Anglican congregations are in partnership with Methodist congregations, Presbyterian congregations, Non-denominational congregations, and Catholic congregations for new homes and meeting places, and even some shared ministries. We meet here in this Benedictine Abbey and College as a sign of what has happened. God has provided new friends and encouragers for our post-exodus journey. We are much more ”“ yet possessing much less ”“ than we were before. (2 Cor.6.10)

This past Sunday I was in one of the two new full parishes coming into union with our Convention tomorrow, St. Michael’s Nashotah. There were scores more in attendance than their recent average of 105 at worship. I confirmed eight, received one and re-affirmed fifty. The most frequently repeated motto of my time there was “We’ve thrown away the rear-view mirror.” The Israelites looked back to Egypt and murmured (about how good it once was and how much difficulty their leaders had gotten them into). The people of St. Michael’s have determined not to look back.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

(AP) Russell Contreras–Arab Christians, minorities, reshaping US enclaves

Jordanian immigrants take Communion at an Arabic-language Mass in Albuquerque. Lebanese-Americans help raise nearly $2 million for major improvements to a West Virginia church. Iraqi refugees who practice an ancient religion that views John the Baptist as their teacher hold baptisms in a Massachusetts pond popular for rowing regattas.

As war, the economy and persecution by Muslim extremists push Arab Christians and religious minorities out of the Middle East, the refugees and immigrants are quietly settling in small pockets across the U.S. They are reviving old, dormant churches, bringing together families torn apart by war and praying collectively in Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus. Religious experts say their growing presence in the U.S. is all about survival as Christians and religious minorities continue to get pushed out of the Holy Land.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Middle East, Religion & Culture

ACI on Nevada and its Many Questions–Following The Canons To Bede Parry

In response to any claim that ours is a tendentious reading of these TEC policies, it is sufficient merely to note that we are addressing vigorous claims that the knowing reception into the priesthood of a child sex abuser was fully in accord with these policies. We can only conclude that to the extent the inexplicably bad judgment exercised in the case of the reception of Bede Parry was fully in accord with TEC’s canons and policies, this serves not to exonerate that judgment but only to indict those policies. When TEC revised its canons and policies in recent years in light of public scandals, it chose to adopt the model of discretion formerly used by Catholic bishops instead of the strict policy those bishops themselves adopted in response to these scandals. The result is Bede Parry as an Episcopal priest. We have little doubt that most TEC bishops would exercise better judgment than that shown in Nevada, but the biggest scandal in the Parry affair is that after the events of the last decade it can plausibly be claimed that receiving a known child abuser as a priest is fully consistent with TEC’s revised policies.

This analysis reveals serious problems with our canons as they now stand. Clearly they need review and revision. It is also the case, however, that the most adequately drawn laws require for their implementation leaders who exercise judgment in prayer and with accountable concern for Christ’s body. In the case of Bede Perry, the best one can say is that the judgments involved, although layered, were poor. Much is simply unknown with the result that many legitimate questions remain unanswered. Despite the seriousness of the questions, the Presiding Bishop, who had the final decision in this matter, has remained silent. Nevertheless, given the serious nature of the issue involved in this case, the Episcopal Church is right to ask for a more adequate accounting of the reasoning behind the decisions that were made in this case.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Children, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Presiding Bishop, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

Amy Sherman reviews Robert Lupton's Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help

[In this work]… the 40-year veteran urban minister “takes the gloves off” and argues that much of Americans’ charitable giving “is either wasted or actually harms the people it is targeted to help.”

The reason is that the “compassion industry” is “almost universally accepted as a virtuous and constructive enterprise,” but its “outcomes are almost entirely unexamined.” Years of charitable giving at home and abroad, Lupton contends, have made barely a dent in reducing poverty and often encourage dependency. Toxic Charity offers some statistics, but more stories, as evidence that both our philosophy and practice of charity are frequently misguided.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Books, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Theology

Vatican cardinal urges priests to spice up ”˜dull, irrelevant’ sermons

A Vatican cardinal has appealed to clergy to liven up “dull, flavourless” sermons in an address at a conference in Rome.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, claimed that homilies had become “irrelevant” to worshippers who were used to the thrill and excitement of modern technology such as the television and the internet. He said: “The advent of televised and computerised information requires us to be compelling and trenchant, to cut to the heart of the matter, resort to narratives and colour.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Roman Catholic