Daily Archives: November 21, 2011

Local paper Article: "S.C. Episcopal Diocese releases property claim"

This article put me in an awkward position. Because the article is poor and misleading, I do not want to post it. However because I have an Episcopal/Anglican related site and a contextual site, and I am located in the area where this is the local paper which comes to the end of our driveway daily, I feel I have no choice. Once again I trust readers to be discerning and thorough–KSH.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to at KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, TEC Parishes

(USA Today) Hospitals try to find savings, cut unnecessary care

At five Bon Secours Health System hospitals on the East Coast, giving fewer blood transfusions during heart surgeries has had some counterintuitive results: Not only did costs fall, but care improved, officials say.

“People think transfusions are good, but ”¦ the higher rate of transfusions that people get, that’s associated with a longer hospital stay and a higher death rate,” chief medical officer Marlon Priest says.

Bon Secours’ campaign to reduce blood transfusions during heart bypass and valve replacement surgeries is part of a growing national trend to standardize care and rein in differences in how doctors and hospitals practice medicine.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Health & Medicine, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Georgia Supreme Court Rules Against Christ Church Savannah

Here is the opinion–read it all if you so desire (warning: long pdf).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Georgia, TEC Departing Parishes

Mormons Use Big Ad Campaign to Counter 'Cultish' Perceptions

After Sunday worship in recent months, Mormon bishops around the country gathered their congregations for an unusual PowerPoint presentation to unveil the church’s latest strategy for overcoming what it calls its “perception problem.”

Top Mormon leaders had hired two big-name advertising agencies in 2009, Ogilvy & Mather and Hall & Partners, to find out what Americans think of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Using focus groups and surveys, they found that Americans who had any opinion at all used adjectives that were downright negative: “secretive,” “cultish,” “sexist,” “controlling,” “pushy,” “anti-gay.”

On seeing these results, some of those watching the presentation booed while others laughed, according to people at the meetings. But then they were told that the church was ready with a response: a multimillion-dollar television, billboard and Internet advertising campaign that uses the tagline, “I’m a Mormon.” The campaign, which began last year but was recently extended to 21 media markets, features the personal stories of members who defy stereotyping, including a Hawaiian longboard surfing champion, a fashion designer and single father in New York City and a Haitian-American woman who is mayor of a small Utah city.

Read it all.

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

(Anglican Journal) Balanced 2012 budget approved by Ang Ch. of Canada Council of General Synod

The Council of General Synod (CoGS) has approved a balanced 2012 budget for the national church of $12.698 million.

At its Nov. 18-20 meeting here, a balanced budget was also forecast for 2013 with “no further staffing cuts” before 2016.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that declining revenues coupled with cost-push inflation could mean that General Synod will once again face a deficit budget in 2014. This deficit could balloon to $1 million by 2016, according to a report submitted to CoGS by the church’s Financial Management Committee (FMC).

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Economy, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Pope Benedict XVI's Christ the King Homily in Benin

This morning, I invite you once again to rejoice with me. One hundred and fifty years ago the cross of Christ was raised in your country, and the Gospel was proclaimed for the first time. Today, we give thanks to God for the work accomplished by the missionaries, by the “apostolic workers” who first came from among you or from distant lands, bishops, priests, men and women religious, catechists, all those who, both yesterday and today, enabled the growth of the faith in Jesus Christ on the African continent. I honour here the memory of the venerable Cardinal Bernardin Gantin, an example of faith and of wisdom for Benin and for the entire African continent.

Dear brothers and sisters, everyone who has received this marvellous gift of faith, this gift of an encounter with the risen Lord, feels in turn the need to proclaim it to others. The Church exists to proclaim this Good News! And this duty is always urgent! After 150 years, many are those who have not heard the message of salvation in Christ! Many, too, are those who are hesitant to open their hearts to the word of God! Many are those whose faith is weak, whose way of thinking, habits and lifestyle do not know the reality of the Gospel, and who think that seeking selfish satisfaction, easy gain or power is the ultimate goal of human life. With enthusiasm, be ardent witnesses of the faith which you have received! Make the loving face of the Saviour shine in every place, in particular before the young, who search for reasons to live and hope in a difficult world!

The Church in Benin has received much from her missionaries: she must in turn carry this message of hope to people who do not know or who no longer know the Lord Jesus.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Benin, Christology, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Preaching / Homiletics, Roman Catholic, Theology

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial–Health insurance costs are crushing American families

The impact on family finances has been direct and dismaying: In 2003, 14 percent of the average Missouri worker’s median household income went to cover premium costs for health insurance through her employer. By 2010, that household was paying 19.6 percent of its income for health insurance.

The more of a family’s income that’s spent on health insurance costs, the less there is to pay for housing expenses, utilities, transportation, college education for children and savings for emergencies and retirement. Instead of looking toward for the future, families find themselves scrambling to cover the rising expenses of the present.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Children, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Personal Finance, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(Barna Group) U.S. Lacks Notable Christian Leaders

A new Barna Group study illustrates that no single Christian leader captures the attention of the nation’s population. When asked to identify the single most influential Christian leader in the U.S. today, two out of every five Americans (41%) are unable to think of anyone who would meet that description.

Billy Graham is the name mentioned most often in response to the unaided survey question (a measure often described as “top-of-mind” awareness). One out of five Americans names the octogenarian evangelist, with 19% of adult residents identifying Mr. Graham as the nation’s most influential Christian leader.

Half as many adults (9%) believe “the Pope” or Pope Benedict to be the most significant Christian leader in the nation. Nearly the same proportion (8%) considers President Barack Obama to hold this prominent role.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Evangelicals, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

(WSJ) U.S. Will Take Further Steps to Isolate Iran

The Obama administration on Monday will name Iran, including its central bank, as a territory of “primary money laundering concern,” say senior U.S. officials, in an effort to further pressure Tehran after recent disclosures about its alleged role in terrorism and nuclear weapons proliferation.

The U.S. Treasury Department won’t formally sanction Iran’s central bank, Bank Markazi, as many Republican and Democratic lawmakers are demanding.

But U.S. officials said this new action would serve as a warning to governments and businesses in Europe, Asia and Latin America to wind down their ties to Bank Markazi and their purchases of Iranian crude oil, as even tougher actions likely will be coming down the road.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Iran, Middle East, Politics in General

(NPR) Roman Catholic Church To Buy Famed Crystal Cathedral

The Roman Catholic Church is about to buy a beacon of Protestant televangelism.

The Crystal Cathedral, a temple of glass in Garden Grove, Calif., will be sold to the Catholic Church for $57 million ”” a decision that left some congregants furious and their future up in the air.

When the Crystal Cathedral declared bankruptcy last year, it soon became clear that the legendary building would have to be sold. There were several offers, but in the end, the church’s board favored the Catholic diocese in Orange County.

Sheila Schuller Coleman, the cathedral’s pastor, said in a videotaped message that it was the best way to save the church.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

(NY Times) Thomas Friedman–How About Better Parents?

In recent years, we’ve been treated to reams of op-ed articles about how we need better teachers in our public schools and, if only the teachers’ unions would go away, our kids would score like Singapore’s on the big international tests. There’s no question that a great teacher can make a huge difference in a student’s achievement, and we need to recruit, train and reward more such teachers. But here’s what some new studies are also showing: We need better parents. Parents more focused on their children’s education can also make a huge difference in a student’s achievement.

How do we know? Every three years, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or O.E.C.D., conducts exams as part of the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, which tests 15-year-olds in the world’s leading industrialized nations on their reading comprehension and ability to use what they’ve learned in math and science to solve real problems ”” the most important skills for succeeding in college and life. America’s 15-year-olds have not been distinguishing themselves in the PISA exams compared with students in Singapore, Finland and Shanghai.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Education, Marriage & Family

On the Move, in a Thriving Tech Sector

When the tech firm Yipit moved last month from General Assembly, a communal office campus on 20th Street and Broadway, to its own loft space on 18th Street and Fifth Avenue, its 14 employees simply grabbed their coffee cups and MacBook Airs and did the job on foot.

Arriving at their new home, they milled about, admiring the water-cooler, and the breath mints in the bathroom, and then got down to work, requiring no more than a power source and a pass code for the Wi-Fi. By the time the two guys from Moishe’s Moving Company arrived with a half-dozen boxes of office sundries, Yipit was back in business. There had already been a staff meeting, conducted while a handyman knelt in the rec room setting up a Ping-Pong table. All told, the move took about 10 minutes.

With a recent $6 million Series-B (or second round) financing deal, and plans to double its workforce in a year, Yipit sits in the mid-to-low range of New York’s thriving tech spectrum, below the behemoths, like AOL and Twitter, and the happily mid-sized, like Foursquare and Gilt Groupe, but above the sort of start-ups that had been their neighbors at General Assembly’s shared tables.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Science & Technology, Urban/City Life and Issues

(WSJ) My Teacher Is an App

In a radical rethinking of what it means to go to school, states and districts nationwide are launching online public schools that let students from kindergarten to 12th grade take some””or all””of their classes from their bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens. Other states and districts are bringing students into brick-and-mortar schools for instruction that is largely computer-based and self-directed.
Journal Community

In just the past few months, Virginia has authorized 13 new online schools. Florida began requiring all public-high-school students to take at least one class online, partly to prepare them for college cybercourses. Idaho soon will require two. In Georgia, a new app lets high-school students take full course loads on their iPhones and BlackBerrys. Thirty states now let students take all of their courses online.

Nationwide, an estimated 250,000 students are enrolled in full-time virtual schools, up 40% in the last three years, according to Evergreen Education Group, a consulting firm that works with online schools.

Read it all.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Heavenly Father, who hast called us by thy grace to be a colony of heaven here on earth: Deepen within us, we beseech thee, a sense of our citizenship with the saints in glory; and grant that through all the days of our pilgrimage in this world we may humbly walk with thee in the way of holiness, and faithfully care for the needs of others, till we come to thy everlasting kingdom; through the mercy of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Frank Colquhoun (1909-1997)

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Without having seen him you love him; though you do not now see him you believe in him and rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy. As the outcome of your faith you obtain the salvation of your souls.

–1 Peter 1:3-8

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Man Arrested and Charged in Bomb Plot

The defendant in the case, identified as Jose Pimentel, 27, had bought bomb-making materials and “began to build them,” said one person briefed on the case, who added that the Police Department had had the man under surveillance for about a year.

“The Police Department basically had an informant with this guy,” said a second law enforcement official familiar with the investigation. “The guy is sort of giving to the informant all of these material on bomb building and talking about building a bomb and supporting the mujahedeen by targeting ”” he’s kind of all over the place; sometimes it’s targeting servicemen and women returning from Afghanistan, sometimes it’s the police, sometimes its build it and test it, but it’s all over the place.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Law & Legal Issues, Terrorism, Urban/City Life and Issues

(NPR) Pearl Harbor Survivors Meet For The Last Time

ROBERT BENTLEY: My father never talked about it until he joined the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. We were in school. If we were studying World War II, you ask him a question about it, he said, read your history book. That was the only answer we got.

SWEENEY: I hear a lot of this from family members here, who say the survivors group gave their fathers and husbands a place where they could finally open up and begin to heal.

This group plans to continue to meet unofficially as the Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors. Al Pomeroy is another of these sons. He says keeping the group going is a matter of respect.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, Children, Defense, National Security, Military, History, Marriage & Family, Military / Armed Forces

Anglican Church of Canada Council of General Synod highlights: Nov. 18

Ms. [Michèle] George emphasized that from 2014 onward, General Synod needs to stabilize revenues. Currently proportional giving from dioceses makes up 67% of General Synod’s budget. This giving has been decreasing by 3% annually. If this trend continues, by 2014 COGS may once again face the reshaping of national programs.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces

Lawmakers Concede Budget Talks Are Close to Failure

Conceding that talks on a grand budget deal are near failure, Congressional leaders on Sunday pointed fingers at each other as they tried to deflect blame for their inability to figure out a way to lower the federal deficit without having to rely on automated cuts.

The testy exchanges ”” which dominated the Sunday talk shows ”” made clear that leaders in both parties now see the so-called sequester ”” a term meaning an automatic spending cut ”” as the most likely solution to reduce the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion over 10 years, instead of a negotiated package of spending reductions and tax increases, something they have been unable to achieve over the last 10 weeks.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Budget, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Economy, House of Representatives, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Taxes, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

The Bishop of London's (recent) Pastoral Letter–Do this in remembrance of me

The Pope has recently issued an invitation to Anglicans to move into full communion with the See of Rome in the Ordinariate where it is possible to enjoy the “Anglican patrimony” as full members of the Roman Catholic Church. Three priests in the Diocese have taken this step. They have followed their consciences.

For those who remain there can be no logic in the claim to be offering the Eucharist in communion with the Roman Church which the adoption of the new rites would imply. In these rites there is not only a prayer for the Pope but the expression of a communion with him; a communion Pope Benedict XVI would certainly repudiate.

At the same time rather than building on the hard won convergence of liturgical texts, the new Roman rite varies considerably from its predecessor and thus from Common Worship as well. The rationale for the changes is that the revised texts represent a more faithful translation of the Latin originals and are a return to more traditional language.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecumenical Relations, Eucharist, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

PBS' Religion and Ethics Newsweekly: Spirituality and Humor

[KIM] LAWTON: Father James Martin says humor is an underappreciated value in the spiritual life. Martin has written a new book called Between Heaven and Mirth. He says humor, laughter and joy are essential elements of spiritual health.

[THE REV. JAMES] MARTIN [SJ]: If you’re not finding joy in your faith, there’s something wrong with the way you are looking at your faith. And humor keeps us human, basically, brings us down to earth and reminds us that we’re not God.

LAWTON: Martin says all too often, joy has a “disreputable reputation” in religious circles.

MARTIN (in speech): Have you ever been to Mass where the priest says (in boring voice) “And so we join with choirs of angels and their unending hymn of praise, holy, holy, holy Lord?” And you think, if that’s the way the choirs of angels are singing their praise we are in big trouble. (laughter)

Read or watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Humor / Trivia, Religion & Culture

(BBC) Cairo's Tahrir Square reoccupied by defiant protesters

Thousands of Egyptian protesters have re-occupied Tahrir Square in the capital, Cairo, after a violent attempt by troops and police to evict them.

They returned less than an hour after the assault, chanting against Egypt’s ruling military council.

Demonstrators earlier fled as security forces fired tear gas and beat them with truncheons. At least four people have died since Saturday, reports say.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Egypt, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Politics in General, Violence