Daily Archives: January 15, 2012

Yiddish language seeing revival at colleges

A group of American college students stands in a semicircle, clapping and hopping on one foot as they sing in Yiddish: “Az der rebe tantst, tantsn ale khsidim!”

In English, the lyrics mean: “When the rebbe dances, so do all the Hasidim.”

This isn’t music appreciation or even a class at a synagogue. It’s the first semester of Yiddish at Emory University in Atlanta — one of a handful of college programs across the country studying the Germanic-based language of Eastern European Jews….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Education, Judaism, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Young Adults

(NY Times) Evangelicals Unease with Mitt Romney is Theological

On the most fundamental issue, traditional Christians believe in the Trinity: that God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit all rolled into one.

Mormons reject this as a non-biblical creed that emerged in the fourth and fifth centuries. They believe that God the Father and Jesus are separate physical beings, and that God has a wife whom they call Heavenly Mother.

It is not only evangelical Christians who object to these ideas.

“That’s just not Christian,” said the Rev. Serene Jones, president of Union Theological Seminary, a liberal Protestant seminary in New York City. “God and Jesus are not separate physical beings. That would be anathema. At the end of the day, all the other stuff doesn’t matter except the divinity of Jesus.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Mormons, Office of the President, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology

'I'll sue Church of England if it bars me from being bishop,' Says Jeffrey John

The Very Rev Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans, has instructed an eminent employment lawyer to complain to Church officials after being rejected for the role of Bishop of Southwark.

Sources say the dean, one of the most contentious figures in the Church, believes he could sue officials under the Equality Act 2010, which bans discrimination on the grounds of sexuality. Such a case could create a damaging new rift within the CoE.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Theology

Congratulations to the New England Patriots for their Decisive Playoff Win

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Blessed Jesus, who by the shining of a star didst manifest thyself to them that sought thee: Show thy heavenly light to us, and give us grace to follow until we find thee; finding, to rejoice in thee; and rejoicing, to present to thee ourselves, our souls and bodies, for thy service for evermore: for thine honour and glory.

–Edward Hawkins

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Epiphany, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens, praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host! Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars! Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the LORD! For he commanded and they were created. And he established them for ever and ever; he fixed their bounds which cannot be passed. Praise the LORD from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling his command! Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! Beasts and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds! Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth! Young men and maidens together, old men and children! Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven. He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his saints, for the people of Israel who are near to him. Praise the LORD!

–Psalm 148

Posted in Uncategorized

San Francisco 49ers Wow!

What a terrific game that was, and what a wonderful win for the home team and their new coach.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

Episcopal dioceses in Wisconsin consider cooperative ministry

Two of the three Episcopal dioceses in Wisconsin voted narrowly to remain separate dioceses last year but are studying ways they can combine programs.

Delegates of the dioceses of Fond du Lac and Eau Claire, at their conventions in October, turned down the opportunity to merge their administrative functions under one bishop. But Bishop Russell Jacobus of the Diocese of Fond du Lac said discussions are ongoing about cooperative ministry.

“The decision to become one diocese has not been approved so it’s no longer on the table,” Jacobus said. “However, one of the things we discovered was the possibility of doing ministry together.”

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

Erie-based Episcopal diocese continues efforts to prevent sexual abuse

The Erie-based diocese recently revised its Policy for the Protection of Children and Youth from Abuse and Policies for the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation of Adults and of Sexual Harassment of Church Workers.

“They’re trying to create an environment and an awareness that makes the churches as safe as we can make it for children and for anyone with regard to matters of sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, sexual harassment,” said the Rev. John Downey, dean of the cathedral.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Children, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Sexuality

(Buffalo News) Buffalo's Blogging Episcopal Bishop

Bishop R. William Franklin, the lifelong theologian and esteemed academic who was installed as the 11th Episcopal bishop of Western New York last spring, has 894 Facebook friends.

“That’s a pretty good number,” says the jovial Franklin during an interview at the diocese’s Tonawanda offices. “My children say that I have more Facebook friends than they do.”

But Facebook is just one of the modern media that Franklin uses to communicate with his flock. His personal website, rwilliamfranklin.org, includes links to email for comments, questions or prayer requests. Franklin writes longer pieces and appears in video chats on a popular blog, jerusalem-crossing.com, named for the Jerusalem Cross he has chosen as his bishop’s cross.

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

Thomas Jefferson's Private, Personal Bible offers a case study in politics and faith

Rick Santorum’s near-miss in Iowa provides a reminder that, for many Republican voters (and not a few candidates), religion and politics overlap. If you need another reminder, though, consider this: recently, the Smithsonian has restored and put on display a weird and fantastic 19th-century book known as “The Jefferson Bible.” That’s Jefferson as in Thomas, and this private, personal document offers a useful case study in how politics and Christianity have mixed it up in American history, right up to today.

To understand Jefferson’s Bible, you need to start with the one book he published in his lifetime: “Notes on the State of Virginia.” Jefferson wrote this survey in the 1780s, organizing it around topics like “The different religions received into that State.” But the book came back to haunt him two decades later when he was battling John Adams for the presidency. Indeed, long before Rick Perry’s and Mitt Romney’s books caused them trouble on the campaign trail, Jefferson had to deal with some very specific attacks on what he’d written about religion.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, History, Office of the President, Politics in General, Religion & Culture