Daily Archives: February 8, 2012

(NPR) Helicopter Parents Hover In The Workplace

With millennial children now in their 20s, more helicopter parents are showing up in the workplace, sometimes even phoning human resources managers to advocate on their child’s behalf.

Megan Huffnagle, a former human resources manager at a Denver theme park, recalls being shocked several years ago when she received a call from a young job applicant’s mother.

“An employee was hired as an IT intern, and the parent called and proceeded to tell me how talented her son was, and how he deserved much more [compensation], and that he could make much more money outside of this position,” Huffnagle says.

Read (or better listen to) it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Young Adults

Discover U.S. Spending Monitor Consumer Confidence Jumps in January

Consumer confidence jumped in January, with more consumers saying the general economy and their personal finances are improving. The Discover U.S. Spending Monitor, a 4-year-old daily poll tracking economic confidence and spending intentions of nearly 8,200 consumers throughout the month, recorded a 5.5-point jump from the previous month to 90.5. This is the first time since May 2010 that the index has topped 90.

Nearly 30 percent of consumers felt the overall economy is getting better, a jump of more than 6 percentage points from December and the highest figure in the last year. At the same time, those who reported their personal finances were improving rose nearly 5 percentage points to 23 percent ”“ also the highest figure since February 2011.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Personal Finance, Psychology, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Archbishop Rowan Williams' Address at the wreath laying ceremony for Charles Dickens

Dickens is the enemy not so much of an unjust view of human beings, as of a boring view of human beings. He loves the poor and the destitute, not from a sense of duty but from a sense of outrage that their lives are being made flat and dead. He wants them to live. He wants them to expand into the space that should be available for human beings to be what God meant them to be. In Hard Times, he left us, of course, one of the most unforgettable pictures of what education looks like if it forgets that exuberance and excess, and treats human beings as small containers for information and skill.

And that sense of the grotesque is, strange as it may sound to say it, one of the things that makes Dickens a great religious writer. As we’ve heard [in the earlier reading from The Life of Our Lord] he could write simply and movingly about Christ.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, England / UK, History, Poetry & Literature, Religion & Culture

(NY Times) Mindful Eating as Food for Thought

Try this: place a forkful of food in your mouth. It doesn’t matter what the food is, but make it something you love ”” let’s say it’s that first nibble from three hot, fragrant, perfectly cooked ravioli.

Now comes the hard part. Put the fork down. This could be a lot more challenging than you imagine, because that first bite was very good and another immediately beckons. You’re hungry….

The concept has roots in Buddhist teachings. Just as there are forms of meditation that involve sitting, breathing, standing and walking, many Buddhist teachers encourage their students to meditate with food, expanding consciousness by paying close attention to the sensation and purpose of each morsel.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Buddhism, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

(BBC) Syria: Homs under 'heaviest' shelling yet

The Syrian city of Homs has come under renewed bombardment for the fifth day running – the heaviest so far, residents have told the BBC.

Activists say more than 40 people have died as a result of the new shelling, but this is difficult to verify.

The attacks come a day after President Bashar al-Assad promised the Russian foreign minister in Damascus that he would end violence and start dialogue.

Read it all and please join me in prayer for the people and situation in Syria.

Posted in Uncategorized

(BBC) General Synod discussing women bishops compromise bid

A compromise to try to meet objectors’ concerns will be presented by the Manchester Diocesan Synod at a meeting of the Church’s ruling council later.

It would give a greater measure of autonomy to male bishops appointed to oversee traditionalist parishes.

But many supporters of women bishops oppose the plans, saying they would make women second-class bishops.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

Archbishop Rowan Williams' contribution to debate on Assisted Dying

The full text is now avilable–read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Guardian) Church of England General Synod debates female bishops – live blog

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

Blog Followers please note–C of E General Synod has a live Audio Feed

This is the link for those of you (like yours truly) who like to follow this sort of thing.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Blogging & the Internet, Church of England (CoE), Media

C of E General Synod – Summary of business conducted on Tuesday 7th February

The report on the morning is here and the afternoon report is there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers Performs the National Anthem before a Mariner's Baseball Game

Stunning stuff–listen to it all–KSH (Hat Tip: NPR).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Music

(LA Times Op-Ed) John Barry–A Puritan's 'war against religion'

Reverence for both Scripture and freedom led [Roger] Williams to his position. His mentor was Edward Coke, the great English jurist who ruled, “The house of every one is as his castle,” extending the liberties of great lords ”” and an inviolate refuge where one was free ”” to the lowest English commoners. Coke pioneered the use of habeas corpus to prevent arbitrary imprisonment. And when Chancellor of England Thomas Egerton said, “Rex est lex loquens; the king is the law speaking,” and agreed that the monarch could “suspend any particular law” for “reason of state,” Coke decreed instead that the law bound the king. Coke was imprisoned ”” without charge ”” for his view of liberty, but that same view ran in Williams’ veins.
Equally important to Williams was Scripture. Going beyond the “render unto Caesar” verse in the New Testament, he recognized the difficulty in reconciling contradictory scriptural passages as well as different Bible translations. He even had before him an example of a new translation that served a political purpose. King James had disliked the existing English Bible because in his view it insufficiently taught obedience to authority; the King James Bible would correct that.

Given these complexities, Williams judged it impossible for any human to interpret all Scripture without error. Therefore he considered it “monstrous” for one person to impose any religious belief on another.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Church History, Church/State Matters, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

The Episcopal Bishop of California Chimes in on some recent Developments

There is enough energy – human, the earth’s, the infinite energy of the divine, to cope with the enormous problems of the world today, chiefly climate change and related human poverty and suffering. It is necessary, though for this energy to be applied and applied wisely for the saving effects to be brought forth. It is too bad that the Roman Catholic Church has chosen to expend funds of its available energy (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/02/us/catholic-church-unveils-order-for-ex-episcopalians.html) including what might be viewed as a kind of low-level creativity on making a national refuge for disaffected Episcopal priests and the lay people who follow them.

Make no mistake, these angry ex-Episcopal priests and their flocks are not victims; they have not suffered persecution of any sort other than that they are repulsed by the stance of The Episcopal Church on the status of women and of lesbian, gay, transgendered and bisexual people in the Church and in the world. I can speak with some authority on this, having served in the Episcopal House of Bishops since 2002, a period spanning the explosive events around the election, confirmation, and consecration of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops

The final day of the 11th CAPA Council Meeting

The Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi continued reflections on the life of Peter from John 21 v 15-19 focusing on the “double call” of Jesus to follow and be trained by Him. Jesus transformed Peter from fisherman to shepherd and called him to servant leadership. As followers of Jesus we need to remain rooted in Christ through prayer and the Word of God and move outwards in self-giving love so that the lives of individuals, local Churches and local communities are impacted and strengthened.

The review of the CAPA Constitution was presented by the Rt. Rev. Trevor Mwamba from Botswana diocese, the Province of Central Africa. It was agreed that the current Constitution should remain in place so that further discussion can take place in the Provinces.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Burundi, Anglican Provinces

(RNS) New Orleans Pastor poised to be first black to lead Southern Baptists

After months of urging from other Baptists around the country, the Rev. Fred Luter told his African-American congregation that he will seek to become the first black man to lead the predominantly white Southern Baptist Convention.

Several Baptist leaders said Luter becomes the prohibitive favorite for the post, to be filled in a potentially historic election at the Southern Baptists’ annual meeting here in June.

SBC Today, a Baptist-focused news website, carried the announcement on Wednesday. Youth pastor Fred “Chip” Luter III separately confirmed Luter’s announcement to his church on Sunday.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Church History, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Almighty God, eternal, righteous, and merciful, give us poor sinners to do for thy sake all that we know of thy will, and to will always what pleases thee; so that inwardly purified, enlightened, and kindled by the fire of thy Holy Spirit, we may follow in the steps of thy well-beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

–Francis of Assisi (c. 1181-1226)

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him.

–Romans 12:1-3

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

11th CAPA Council Meeting – Day 1

The Chair’s address noted that there is a process of profound change taking place in Africa as well as other parts of the world and that CAPA is called to be a transforming agent especially in places where people have no voice. Among the many issues that need to be addressed are the proclamation of the Gospel and the nurturing and training of Christians; strengthening organs of management in the provinces of Africa; the role of the Church in nation building and where there is turbulence such as North Africa; mechanisms for conflict management and transformation; accountability of leaders; mechanisms for sharing ideas on issues of concern; the proliferation of arms in the Continent; relationships between Christians and Muslims; and the means to strengthen fellowship, solidarity and unity especially where there are doctrinal and other differences.

The Chair acknowledged the role of the Church in the creation of South Sudan as a new nation. He congratulated the new Primates of Central Africa, DR Congo, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria. He also registered appreciation of the contribution to the life of CAPA from former members who have recently retired.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Burundi, Anglican Provinces, Global South Churches & Primates

California Roman Catholic Conference–Response to Proposition 8 Ruling

From here:

“We are disappointed by the ruling today by a panel of the Ninth Circuit that would invalidate the action taken by the people of California affirming that marriage unites a woman and a man and any children from their union. However, given the issues involved and the nature of the legal process, it’s always been clear that this case would very likely be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Marriage between one man and one woman has been””and always will be””the most basic building block of the family and of our society.

“In the end, through sound legal reasoning, we believe the court will see this as well and uphold the will of the voters as expressed in Proposition 8. We continue to pray for that positive outcome.”

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sexuality, State Government

Court Strikes Down Prohibition of marriage between two people of the same sex in California

A federal appeals court panel ruled on Tuesday that a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage in California violated the Constitution, all but ensuring that the case will proceed to the United States Supreme Court.

The three-judge panel issued its ruling Tuesday morning in San Francisco, upholding a decision by Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who had been the chief judge of the Federal District Court of the Northern District of California but has since retired. The panel found that Proposition 8 ”“ passed by California voters in November 2008 by a margin of 52 percent to 48 percent ”“ violated the equal protection rights of two same-sex couples that brought the suit. The proposition placed a specific prohibition in the State Constitution against marriage between two people of the same sex.

But the 2-1 decision was much more narrowly framed than the sweeping ruling of Judge Walker, who asserted that barring same-sex couples from marrying was a violation of the equal protection and due process clauses of the Constitution. The two judges in this case stated explicitly they were not deciding whether there was a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry, instead ruling that the disparate treatment of couples under California law since the passage of Proposition 8 violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, State Government, Theology

(RNS) Chaplains Hear Call to Serve God While Serving Country

Growing up in Kuwait, Asif Balbale thought he wanted to become a chemical engineer. He never imagined enlisting in the U.S. Navy, much less becoming an imam.

Balbale got his engineering degree after immigrating to the U.S. at age 21. With jobs hard to come by, he tried to enlist in the Army, but didn’t weigh enough. Instead, he met the Navy’s minimum requirements.

He was sworn in as a U.S. citizen in 2005 while deployed aboard the USS Boxer. Intending to apply for an officer program, Balbale, 31, mistakenly emailed a recruiter for the chaplain corps.

“God, I think, had better plans for me,” Balbale said, looking back.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture