Daily Archives: January 17, 2012

(RNS) Survey: Half of Churchgoers’ Lives not Affected by Time in Pews

Almost half of churchgoing Americans say their life has not changed a bit due to their time in the pews, a new survey shows.

Barna Group, an evangelical company based in California, found that 46 percent reported no change. About a quarter of Americans said their life was greatly affected by church attendance and another quarter said it was somewhat influential.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Terry Mattingly on a recent Washington Post Story on Marriage, Faith and a Difficult Decision

The essential question [the article explores is]: Is it ever justified for a spouse to divorce his or her mate when, via health or accident, that spouse suffers from dementia and/or some other similar condition or handicap?….
Year’s after Robert’s collapse, it is clear that he has stabilized in terms of his physical condition. He can talk. He remembers some things, but not others. His wife visits him frequently in his assisted-living home. There is no question that he is being taken care of, with loving attention.

Then a man from the wife’s past comes back into her life and that of her family. Eventually, they face the big question.

Page felt 30 again but was racked with guilt. “I believed my vows so strongly that they just kept ringing in my ears.”

She consulted her minister, who told her that by continuing to take care of Robert, she was still honoring those vows.

And that’s that. That’s all that we learn.

There is, in other words, no other religious content to the discussion….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Aging / the Elderly, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Media, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Postmedia) Elizabeth Payne: In praise of the church ladies

When my mother, a youthful 88, poured her last cup of tea as president of her local Anglican Church women’s organization last year after 19 years at the helm, the group also went into retirement.

Many of its former members had died or were in nursing homes by then, and there was no one able or willing to take on the rigours of making sandwiches for funerals and organizing fundraising bazaars. After more than a century, the organization that had been home to generations of volunteers was no more.

It is a story being played out across the country, especially in smaller communities with older populations. Church ladies are, literally, a dying breed, and if you have ever watched them at work, or enjoyed the occasional cup of tea offered by one, you will share in a nostalgia and admiration of their generosity and work ethic.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Canada, Church History, Ministry of the Laity, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Women

(NPR) Teachers Discuss How They Approach MLK Day

For teachers, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday comes with some heavy challenges. One reporter sat down with a group of teachers, who talked about keeping the lesson fresh ”” and whether white teachers are prepared to teach about civil rights.

Listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Education, History, Race/Race Relations

Mitt Romney price on Intrade in the Race to be the Republican Presidential Nominee

Check it out.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Politics in General

C of E hails new course for pioneer ordinands from Church Mission Society

A groundbreaking course from Church Mission Society in partnership with the Oxford Ministry Course at Ripon College Cuddesdon has received official approval as a training pathway for Ordained Pioneer Ministry in the Church of England.

For the first time, candidates for ordained pioneer ministry in the Church of England will be able to train on a course that has been designed entirely for pioneer leaders by Church Mission Society, one of the country’s leading mission agencies, in partnership with Cuddesdon.

The Church of England’s ministry division has given the CMS Pioneer Mission Leadership Training course its official seal of approval as a training pathway. C of E mission leaders and pioneers alike have expressed delight at the news.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ministry of the Ordained, Missions, Parish Ministry

Big Mere Anglicanism 2012 Conference This week; we invite your prayers

You can find the speakers and agenda here. You all know enough about a conference like this to know that there is much more to it than simply the presentations. Please pray for the speakers travel and ministry here (a number are serving in Sunday worship after the conference locally), the time to develop new friendships and renew old ones, for the Bishop and his wife Allison in their hosting capacity, and especially for the the Rev. Jeffrey Miller of Beaufort, who has the huge responsibility of coordinating it all–KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church of Nigeria, CoE Bishops, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops, Theology

RNS–Supreme Court Sides with Churches in Employment Fights

“The court hasn’t spoken this clearly on a church-state matter in almost 20 years,” said Rob Garnett, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame who wrote an amicus brief on the case in support of the Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School.

“This is bedrock,” Garnett continued. “All the justices came together to say if religious freedom means anything, it means governments can’t interfere with religious institutions’ decisions on who is going to be their minister or teacher.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

Alan Haley's Detailed Analysis of the most recent Episcopal/Anglican Court decision

Thus what the Diocese asked Judge Bellows to do is precisely what Judge Bellows did, and now the Diocese has to admit that it will have to sell some of the properties in order to pay off its debts. This is not acting prudently, or even out of a sense of fiduciary duty — a fiduciary acts to conserve assets, and does not sacrifice them to solve troubles of one’s own devising. This is more the story of the dog in the manger, only written on a truly grand scale. Nevertheless, like the proverbial dog, the Episcopal Diocese will now pretend that it really wanted that hay all along, even though it can make no use of it.

And what, in the end, has Judge Bellows accomplished? Did he uphold Virginia law and precedent? Yes, he certainly did — once he was instructed by his superiors that the division statute did not apply to the facts of this case. But by awarding all the property to the people least able to maintain it and keep using it for church purposes, he took “neutral principles of law” to a truly Pyrrhic level. And in the process, the decision makes a mockery of all the hundreds of years of tradition which it claims to honor and uphold….

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

Altar from St. John's Episcopal Church in Jersey City ends up on eBay for $49,500

An altar from the shuttered St. John’s Episcopal Church in Jersey City has turned up on eBay, for sale by a New York importer at a nearly $50,000 price tag.

The eight-foot-high altar has an inscription on the bottom in memory of Edward F.C. Young, a banker and power broker who was one of the most influential people in Jersey City at the end of the 19th Century.

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Posted in Uncategorized

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Antony

O God, who by thy Holy Spirit didst enable thy servant Antony to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil: Give us grace, with pure hearts and minds, to follow thee, the only God; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, who hast made the heaven and the earth and all that is good and lovely therein, and hast shown us through Jesus our Lord that the secret of joy is a heart free from selfish desires: Help me to find delight in simple things, and ever to rejoice in the riches of thy bounty; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.

–John 3:16-21

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

S&P downgrades euro zone's EFSF bailout fund

Rating agency Standard & Poor’s cut its credit rating of the European Financial Stability Facility, the euro zone’s rescue fund, by one notch to AA+ on Monday, three days after it cut the ratings of France and Austria by the same margin….

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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--

(SMH) Julia Baird on the U.S.A.–Going sour on taste for war

America, I thought I knew you. In all the bluster of the Republican primaries going on in the US, the talk of gaffes, polls, religion, attack ads and true conservatism, it would be easy to overlook a fascinating development. In a country that has long identified patriotism with fighting the right wars, people are tired of war. More importantly, soldiers are tired of war….

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

TEC Diocese of Pittsburgh Announces Preliminary Slate for Bishop Election

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

Monday Afternoon Mental Health Break–Great Scenery and Snow Acrobatics

Season Recap 2011 – Kristofer Fahlgren from Kristofer Fahlgren on Vimeo.

Watch it all–the pictures of Norway alone make it worth the time.

Posted in * General Interest

(NY Times Magazine) Adam Davidson–What Does Wall Street Do for You?

Hating Wall Street is an American tradition that dates back even to the days when Thomas Jefferson cursed that money lover Alexander Hamilton. And for centuries, the complaints about it have largely stayed the same: It does nothing! It creates chaos! It’s a parasite that sucks hardworking Americans dry! (Or something to that effect.) But these are distortions of a fundamentally beneficial business. The country’s largest investment banks, commercial banks and a few big insurance companies (what we generally refer to as Wall Street) play the crucial role of intermediation ”” matching borrowers with lenders. Most of the time, the industry does this extremely well (though in the case of matching homeowners’ debt to the global financial system, too enthusiastically). Perhaps the best way to really appreciate what Wall Street does is to imagine life without it….

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector