Daily Archives: November 23, 2011

All together now: Living Arrangements in Many Households has Changed

This Thanksgiving, many families are closer — really closer — than they’ve been in years.

An increasing number of extended families across the USA are under the same roof, living together either permanently or temporarily. Sometimes these arrangements are multigenerational, with adult children, grandchildren or an elderly parent sharing quarters. In other cases, an extended family bunks together, with siblings, cousins, nieces or nephews sharing space.

The reasons are economic, social and demographic. The recession and its aftermath have pushed extended families to share space at a time when the average age at first marriage has climbed to 28.7 for men and 26.5 for women. And life expectancy — now 75.7 for men and 80.6 for women in the USA — continues to rise. The flow of immigrants into this country also has been a factor; immigrants are more likely than other groups to live with members of their extended family.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, Personal Finance, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

An AP Article on Bishop Mark Lawrence and the Diocese of South Carolina

[Bishop Mark] Lawrence said the national Episcopal Church is threatening the unity of the Anglican communion. He said in the diocese “while we are in the vast minority of the Episcopal Church, we hold positions that Anglicans have held for the past 400 to 500 years.”

The 2 million-member Episcopal Church is the U.S. branch of the Anglican Communion, which has 77 million members worldwide.

“I don’t believe that the founders of the Episcopal Church ever envisioned a day when issues of theology and constitutionality would have arisen as they have arisen right now. I ask myself: ‘What are we here in the Diocese of South Carolina called to do?'” he asked. “My gut reaction was this day would come.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Global South Churches & Primates, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, TEC Parishes, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Windsor Report / Process

Mission and Public Affairs Council of the Church of England–No to proposed UK Bill of Rights

The Mission and Public Affairs Council of the Church of England has published its Response to the Discussion Paper from the Commission on a UK Bill of Rights.

Offering a clear “no” in answer to the question, “Do we need a UK Bill of Rights?”, the response goes on to argue that a UK Bill of Rights would either re-state the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights, in which case it would be superfluous, or would add to them, in which case the additional rights and obligations would not be binding in the same sense as the Convention and their status in UK law would be unclear.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Archbishop praises inter-faith work in Wales

“I want to thank the Muslim Council of Wales and Saleem Kidwai, its Secretary General, in particular, for all he has done to foster good interfaith relationships in Wales over the last decade. Because of his commitment to our common Faith journey and because the fostering of good interfaith relationships has been high on the agenda of our own Welsh Government, I also want to thank the First Minister for continuing the sterling work of his predecessor Rhodri Morgan for this. Wales has not seen some of the problems encountered in other parts of the United Kingdom.

“The purpose of an evening such as this is for both Christians and Muslims to set out as cogently as they can, the kernel of what they believe so that we can understand one another better. What I have deeply valued over the last ten years in our relationship is the willingness to be totally open and honest with one another. We have not attempted to gloss over our differences and pretended that there aren’t any. Although our two faiths have much in common there are crucial differences as well and it honours no-one to pretend that that is not the case.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of Wales, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths

(Christianity Today) David Zahl–The Gospel According to Jim Henson

G. K. Chesterton once wrote, “It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it.” If one can say with confidence that those on the extreme ends of the political and religious spectrum””left or right””are not known for their senses of humor, Henson surely must have been on to something. Where others found potential bitterness, he found the thread of human foibles; his lighthearted irreverence was as universal as the appeal of his characters.

Henson may have preached self-belief, but all his stories find people desperately in need of (and finding!) help from others. Despite the sometimes insufferable can’t-we-all-just-get-along aspect of Sesame Street (and let’s face it, Fraggle Rock) much of Henson’s work dealt more seriously with human suffering, both self-inflicted and otherwise. The Dark Crystal (1982) is nothing if not a parable of Fall and Redemption, and Labyrinth (1986) has a distinctly Pilgrim’s Progress-like, um, progression. Henson may have believed with all his heart in a “positive view of life,” but his work reflects a larger truth.

Indeed, Henson understood that to truly reach another person, you must aim beyond the intellect, at the heart””at the unguarded, joyful corner of the soul known as the inner child, which, incidentally, is where Jesus was especially focused.

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

Communiqué from the Episcopal Church of the Sudan Provincial Synod All Saints Cathedral, Juba

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --North Sudan, --South Sudan, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church of the Sudan, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sudan, Violence

Kayla Helferich of Summerville, S.C., wins the prettiest eyes in the Country Competition

It’s official: Kayla Helferich of Summerville has the prettiest eyes in the land.

Kayla, 8, won the designation during a Prevent Blindness America banquet in Chicago last week.

She won a $25,000 college scholarship and a spot as the face of the organization’s Star Pupils campaign, which promotes children’s eye health.

Read it all and you just have to love the picture.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Education, Rural/Town Life

Time Magazine–10 Questions for Daniel Kahneman

You say we often believe we’re thinking slow when we’re not. What are the biggest mistakes we make as a result?

We are normally blind about our own blindness. We’re generally overconfident in our opinions and our impressions and judgments. We exaggerate how knowable the world is.

What’s your favorite experiment that demonstrates our blindness to our own blindness?

It’s one someone else did. During [the ’90s] when there was terrorist activity in Thailand, people were asked how much they’d pay for a travel-insurance policy that pays $100,000 in case of death for any reason. Others were asked how much they’d pay for a policy that pays $100,000 for death in a terrorist act. And people will pay more for the second, even though it’s less likely.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Psychology, Theology

CBO: Stimulus hurts economy in the long run

The Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday downgraded its estimate of the benefits of President Obama’s 2009 stimulus package, saying it may have sustained as few as 700,000 jobs at its peak last year and that over the long run it will actually be a net drag on the economy.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Credit Markets, Economy, Federal Reserve, Globalization, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The Fiscal Stimulus Package of 2009, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, The United States Currency (Dollar etc)

(WSJ) Europe's Smart Money Votes With Its Feet

Euro-zone leaders say they are determined to save the single currency. But the smart money is voting with its feet. First, short-term U.S. dollar-funding markets effectively closed, then the senior unsecured-bond markets shut down, then the interbank market. Now, corporate customers appear to be withdrawing their deposits from some countries’ banks. With an estimated €1.7 trillion ($2.29 trillion) of funding to roll over in the next three years, the stresses in the euro-zone banking system look doomed to get worse.

In some cases, the drop in corporate deposits has been startling. In Italy, nonretail customers withdrew €56 billion in the three months to the end of September, a fall of 12%. Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit saw corporate deposits decline by 16% and 10%, respectively, according to Citigroup research. Similarly, in Spain, nonretail deposits fell by 20% in the third quarter, with Santander and BBVA losing 10% and 11%, respectively. Even the French banks weren’t immune: Société Générale and BNP Paribas saw their corporate-deposit balances fall by 7% and 6%, respectively.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Clement of Rome

Almighty God, who didst choose thy servant Clement of Rome to recall the Church in Corinth to obedience and stability: Grant that thy Church may be grounded and settled in thy truth by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and may evermore be kept blameless in thy service; 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

Eternal God, who art the light of the minds that know thee, the joy of the hearts that love thee, and the strength of the wills that serve thee: Grant us so to know thee that we may truly love thee, and so to love thee that we may fully serve thee, whom to serve is perfect freedom, in Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were no people but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy but now you have received mercy.

–1 Peter 2:9-10

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

European Banks Seek More Cash From Central Bank

Banks clamored for emergency funds from the European Central Bank on Tuesday, borrowing the most since early 2009 in a clear sign that the euro region’s financial institutions are having trouble obtaining credit at reasonable rates on the open market.

Indebted governments among the 17 members of the European Union that use the euro are also finding it harder to borrow at affordable rates as investors lose confidence in their creditworthiness.

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

(AllAfrica) Kenyan Anglican Church Bishops Decry Land Grabbing

Anglican church leaders in the North Rift region yesterday decried the increase in corruption and impunity in the country despite the promulgation of the new constitution that was expected to end the vices.

Bishops Stephen Kewasis and Christopher Ruto of Kitale and Eldoret dioceses respectively claimed that grabbing had continued to flourish unabated in the region, saying that the church was one of the victims.

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

Archbishop of York backs High Pay review findings and an end to corrosive pay deals

The Archbishop of York today welcomed today’s report of the High Pay Commission’s independent inquiry into high pay and boardroom pay across the public and private sectors in the UK. The Commission, established by Compass with the support of the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, is calling for an end to corrosive pay deals.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

A Look Back–Bishops Ok Review Of Episcopal Doctrine

Guess the year and then read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Religion & Culture, TEC Bishops, Theology

(AP) Italians want to cut debt but without sacrifices

Ninety-three percent of Italians believe cutting the country’s hobbling public debt is a top priority, but few are willing to make personal sacrifices to do so, according to an AP-GfK poll released Tuesday.

Only about a quarter of Italians favor reforming labor laws to make it easier to fire workers, or raising the retirement age from 65 (and sometimes lower) to 67 – two of the reforms considered critical to curb Italy’s public spending and boost economic growth.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Italy, Personal Finance, Politics in General