Daily Archives: March 2, 2012

(WSJ Houses of Worship) Naomi Schaefer Riley: Not Your Grandfather's Southern Baptist

Meet the Rev. Fred Luter Jr., pastor of New Orleans’s 4,500-member Franklin Avenue Baptist Church””and the man who this spring will likely become the first black president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He announced last month that he was putting himself in the running, and the convention’s movers and shakers seem almost unanimous in their support.

The SBC was born in 1845 after Baptists from the Northern states refused to appoint slaveholders to missionary posts, and the Southern states decided to break off. Like many Protestant denominations in America that split over the issue of slavery, the Baptists remained separate long after the Civil War. Though the leadership of the SBC supported an end to segregation even before Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the denomination’s churches in many cases remained hotbeds of racial animus.

It wasn’t until 1995 that the SBC issued a resolution on racial reconciliation….

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Baptists, Church History, Other Churches, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture

(Charlotte Observer) Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Cuts about 10% of its Work Force

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Charlotte has laid off about 10 percent of its workers, which it says is part of a strategic move to emphasize its online ministry and other priorities.

The agency said fewer than 50 employees lost their jobs. Fewer than 20 of the layoffs involved Charlotte operations, an agency spokesman said.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Economy, Evangelicals, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Other Churches, Religion & Culture

(OSV) ”˜Survival guide’ for single Roman Catholic women

More and more young Catholics (and Americans in general) are delaying marriage than ever before. Some 43 percent of Americans are unmarried, and 61 percent of those have never walked down the aisle.

That has spawned a host of challenges for parish ministries, but also for singles themselves ”” there’s not much wisdom to turn to for guidance.

That may be changing, with books like “The Catholic Girl’s Survival Guide for the Single Years…”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Books, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sexuality, Women, Young Adults

Postgraduate course developed for Church communicators in the UK

In a first for the UK, a professional qualification in Theology and Communication is in development by the University of Chester, in partnership with the Church of England.

Launching in the autumn of 2013, this postgraduate qualification will be aimed at Church communication professionals, clergy and others, including those working for religious charities, NGOs and faith-based schools.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Education, England / UK, Media, Religion & Culture

Sprightly Harmon RIP

There is no way I can do justice to how I truly feel about losing our cat of eighteen years and a bunch of months and going on nineteen years. When we moved back to Summerville, South Carolina, in 1993 from Oxford, England, we got her from the SPCA.

She was there through it all–three places to live, the children going from 4, 2 and not yet 1 to where they are now, my living through three rectors in three years in one parish (and living to talk about it), Elizabeth going back to graduate school at MUSC, her graduation, all three secondary school graduations, and all the current twists, turns and travails of the Episcopal Church, the Anglican Communion, and the diocese of South Carolina.

So many things changed, but except for our faith and our family, she was the only constant, friendly, joyful, content, present, glad to be alive and part of it all. The world is a sadder place because she is gone, but we are all the better from having been given God’s gift of Sprightly–KSH.

Posted in * By Kendall, * General Interest, Animals, Harmon Family

(Christian Today) Christians reject ”˜after-birth abortion’ claim by two Ethicists in Major Journ

In an article published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva argue that newborn babies do not have a “moral right to life” because they are not “actual persons” but rather “potential persons”.

“The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual….”

Nick Pollard, co-founder of The Damaris Trust, criticised the claim.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Science & Technology, Theology

Cathedral Square Proposal in Christchurch Meets Strong Resistance

On Wednesday the Anglican Bishop of Christchurch Victoria Matthews said the proposal, mooted by owners of buildings in the Square, could help make the earthquake-damaged area “welcoming and engaging” again.

“People [are] saying, ‘What would happen if this became a place of creativity and not a ruin?’ ”

However, residents and city councillors did not warm to the idea yesterday.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues

([London] Times) Church of England apologises for allowing paedophile to become priest

The Church of England has issued a rare national apology for child abuse by some of its clergy.

The “unreserved” apology came on the day a damning report was finally published, months after its completion last year, detailing how a convicted paedophile persuaded the Church he was suitable to be ordained as a priest.

Roy Cotton went on to be approved as a Scout leader on the Church’s recommendation and to hold several jobs as a clergyman in the Chichester diocese where he abused at least 12 boys.

Read it all (requires subscription). Also, please note that you can read the full report mentioned here.

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

(BP) Appeals court: New York City churches can meet in schools (for now)

New York churches gained a victory in the courts yesterday (Feb. 29) as the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district judge’s injunction against the city’s enforcement of a ban to keep churches from meeting for worship in public schools.

The Second Circuit, though, instructed U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska to act quickly on the case, encouraging her to issue a final decision by mid-June so the matter can be resolved before the next school year.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Education, Law & Legal Issues, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Post-Gazette) Crafton Priest is candidate for Episcopal Bishop of Pittsburgh

A local priest, the Rev. Scott Quinn, has been added to the slate of candidates for bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Father Quinn is rector of the Church of the Nativity in Crafton. The election will be held on April 21.

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

Tedd Levy-Looking Back: An Episcopal Minister and his wife Divorce in Connecticut in the19th Century

Their marriage had all the appearances of an arrangement made in heaven. He was the son of the second Episcopal Bishop of Connecticut, graduate of Yale, wealthy, an ordained and scholarly minister. She was a beautiful and spirited oldest daughter of Elisha Hart, a prominent Saybrook merchant.

And, on a warm summer day in July 1810, the Rev. Samuel F. Jarvis (1786-1851) married Miss Sarah McCurdy Hart (1787-1863) at St. Michael’s Church in Bloomingdale, New York, his first parish.

But, as sometimes happens, this was a mismatch that was made far from heaven.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

American Household Incomes Down over the Last Year Due to Rising Prices

Rising prices took a toll on Americans’ incomes as the year began, halting a four-month streak of gains and renewing concerns about the consumer’s resilience amid higher gas prices.

That’s according to a report Tuesday that found real median annual household income in the U.S. declined by 1.3% in January from December, to $50,020 from $50,673.

The tick downward follows monthly increases in income from September through the end of 2011, according to the analysis of Census Bureau data conducted by Sentier Research, an Annapolis, Md., firm run by two former Census officials.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Personal Finance

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Chad

Almighty God, whose servant Chad, for the peace of the Church, relinquished cheerfully the honors that had been thrust upon him, only to be rewarded with equal responsibility: Keep us, we pray thee, from thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, and ready at all times to give place to others, (in honor preferring one another,) that the cause of Christ may be advanced; in the name of him who washed his disciples’ feet, even the same thy Son 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

O Lord our God, grant us, we beseech thee, patience in troubles, humility in comforts, constancy in temptations, and victory over all our spiritual foes. Grant us sorrow for our sins, thankfulness for thy benefits, fear of thy judgment, love of thy mercies, and mindfulness of thy presence; now and for evermore.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If any one destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are. Let no one deceive himself. If any one among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” So let no one boast of men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apol’los or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future, all are yours; and you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.

1 Corinthians 3:16-23

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

In New Zealand, Christchurch Cathedral Demolition 'heart-breaking'

“The Anglican Diocese is facing a hard reality – the Cathedral is the revered “Mother Church” but is not the only church in the diocese to have sustained damage, in some cases irreparable or too costly to repair,” Bishop Victoria Matthews of the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch said.

She said it would be deconstructed with “the utmost care and respect” to a level of 2-3 metres for safety and to retrieve heritage items.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * General Interest, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Parish Ministry

For Syrians, Homs offensive provokes memories of 1982 Hama massacre

The ground assault by Syrian forces in central city of Homs has evoked memories of a massacre 30 years ago in nearby Hama.

At least 10,000 people were killed in February 1982 during the three-week pounding of the city by government artillery and tanks that was ordered by Hafez al-Assad, the father of the current president.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, History, Middle East, Politics in General, Syria, Violence

Please Consider Lending your Voice to Support Iranian Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Death / Burial / Funerals, Iran, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(ACNS) Consultants reinstated as full members on IASCUFO

Two consultants of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order (IASCUFO) have been reinstated as full members at the request of the Commission’s chairman.

The redesignation of Dr Katherine Grieb and Archbishop Tito Zavala as consultants took place as a result of the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams’ Pentecost letter to the Anglican Communion issued in May 2010.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecumenical Relations, Episcopal Church (TEC), Instruments of Unity, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Windsor Report / Process

For Impatient Web Users, an Eye Blink Is Just Too Long to Wait

Google and other tech companies are on a new quest for speed, challenging the likes of Mr. Jain to make fast go faster. The reason is that data-hungry smartphones and tablets are creating frustrating digital traffic jams, as people download maps, video clips of sports highlights, news updates or recommendations for nearby restaurants. The competition to be the quickest is fierce.

People will visit a Web site less often if it is slower than a close competitor by more than 250 milliseconds (a millisecond is a thousandth of a second).

“Two hundred fifty milliseconds, either slower or faster, is close to the magic number now for competitive advantage on the Web,” said Harry Shum, a computer scientist and speed specialist at Microsoft.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Blogging & the Internet, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, History, Science & Technology