Daily Archives: March 5, 2012

Archbishop Rowan Williams' Homily from Morning Prayer at the WCC on Christian Unity

So in our service to one another, in not seeking to please ourselves, what we are trying to discern is what it is that frustrates or destroys the joy of the neighbour. What is it that holds them back from the full enjoyment of their humanity before God? Our service of the neighbour is the service that seeks to do away with what frustrates the joy of the neighbour before God, and thus builds them up in the fullness of their humanity. Our service to one another as Christians, and our service to one another as Christian communities, thus involves a real act of intelligence and discernment.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecumenical Relations, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

(RNS) Muslims launch campaign to 'understand' Shariah

Against a backdrop of heartland fears that U.S. Muslims seek to impose Islamic law on American courts, a leading Muslim group will launch a campaign on Monday to dispel what it called misconceptions about Shariah.

The “Defending Religious Freedom: Understanding Shariah” campaign comes at a time when more than 20 states are considering or have passed laws forbidding judges from considering Shariah in their deliberations…

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

James Q. Wilson RIP

James Q. Wilson, a political scientist who coauthored the influential “Broken Windows” article in The Atlantic Monthly in 1982, which became a touchstone for the move toward community policing in Boston and cities across the country, died early this morning in Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

He was being treated for leukemia, according to a family friend.

Dr. Wilson, who was 80 and lived North Andover, returned to Boston a few years ago to become the first senior fellow at the Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy at Boston College, and a distinguished scholar in the college’s political science department.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, City Government, Death / Burial / Funerals, Education, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Philosophy, Police/Fire, Politics in General

(Guardian) Legal aid bill fails domestic abuse victims, faith leaders warn

Prominent faith leaders have joined together to warn the justice secretary, Ken Clarke, that his legal aid bill will prevent domestic abuse victims from escaping violent partners.

The sharply worded letter has been released as the House of Lords begins a series of crucial votes on Monday on government reforms aimed at saving £350m from the Ministry of Justice’s annual legal aid budget.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

(Oregonian) William Hamilton, who said `God is Dead,’ dies at 87

William Hamilton, the retired theologian who declared in the 1960s that God was dead, died Tuesday (Feb. 28) in his downtown Portland apartment. He was 87.

Hamilton said he’d been haunted by questions about God since he was a teenager. Years later, when his conclusion was published in the April 8, 1966, edition of Time Magazine, he found himself at the center of a theological storm.

Time christened the new movement “radical theology,” and Hamilton, one of its key figures, received death threats and inspired angry letters to the editor. He lost his endowed chair as a professor of theology at what was then Colgate Rochester Divinity School in 1967.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church History, Death / Burial / Funerals, Episcopal Church (TEC), Media, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

George Pyle on How Easy it is to Get Sources Confused in the Information Age

It is an example of how hard it can be to keep your sources of information straight, even when you’ve only got two newspapers to mix up. Our own editorial board meetings are often punctuated with statements on the order of, “Gee. I know I saw that somewhere. Where did I read that? Or was it on NPR?”

Not only do we read a lot of newspapers, magazines and books, as editorial writers always have, now we’ve got websites and Twitter feeds to follow, and to keep straight.

And it is our job to follow this stuff. It’s going to be increasingly hard for people who just try to be good consumers of news and information to keep all these sources straight.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, History, Media

(SHNS) Terry Mattingly–An early glimpse at U2's soul

Yes, the band 30 years ago was U2, and its mysterious second album was called “October.” Both were surrounded by clouds of rumors, which I explored in a News-Gazette column on Feb. 19, 1982. What I needed to do was meet the band before its Feb. 23 concert in Champaign-Urbana.

Luckily, the 20-year-old Bono was willing to discuss “Gloria” and “October.” Describing that interview, the reference book “U2: A Diary” notes: “Although the band have gone out of their way to avoid talking about their faith up to this point, they speak candidly now.”

That column ran on March 5 and it apparently was the first mainstream news piece in which Bono and company discussed their faith.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, History, Music, Religion & Culture

The Bishop of Pennsylvania on Discussion with those of other Faiths

…for the Apostle Paul, diversity, not uniformity, in every aspect of human life and language and culture, characterizes the unity and catholicity of the church (1 Corinthians 12:12-31). His own speech, he admits, is “not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Corinthians 2:4).

“Interestingly,” Tim [Griffin] writes, “for purposes of both ecumenical and interfaith discussions, this approach of humble shared ignorance provides a basis of shared experience. We can begin to see that the categories from which we, as Christians and as Episcopalians, have expressed our understanding of the Holy are limited and provisional. When we acknowledge that, we may be more willing to “listen and listen” and hear, to paraphrase Isaiah. And we will no doubt be more willing to show radical hospitality when we acknowledge that our practices are simply ways of clothing the mystery.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Inter-Faith Relations, Orthodox Church, Other Churches, TEC Bishops, Theology

Aussie purged as global head of Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC)

Anglican breakaway archbishop John Hepworth has been removed from his post as the global primate of the church at a meeting of bishops in South Africa.

Archbishop Hepworth, the Australian leader of the Traditional Anglican Communion, last year claimed he was raped by three Catholic priests nearly 40 years ago.

He had planned to step down at Easter after bishops in several countries lost confidence in him and opposed his attempts to reunite with Rome.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Other Churches

Legal action possible to save ChristChurch Cathedral

A Christchurch councillor believes legal action could be taken against the decision to partially demolish ChristChurch Cathedral.

The Bishop of Christchurch, Victoria Matthews, announced on Friday the 131-year-old building will be deconstructed down to two or three metres.

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

Worshippers look forward to opening of first Anglican church in Ras Al Khaimah

The first Anglican church in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) will be consecrated at the new church complex ”” which can accommodate up to 2,000 people at one time ”” in Al Jazeera Al Hamra on March 9.

Bishop Michael Lewis, Anglican Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf, will facilitate the consecration and open the church and its facilities to the public.

The new church is built on a 5,600-square-metre land given by His Highness Shaikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah. It is the fifth and northernmost church under the Chaplaincy of Dubai and Sharjah.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Middle East, Parish Ministry, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East, UAE (United Arab Emirates)

Samuel Auchmuty–Sermon Preached at the Opening of St. Paul’s Chapel, New York, October 30, 1766

We readily allow that the sacred offices of our most holy religion, may be performed in private Houses; but it is evident from the Prayer at the Dedication of Solomon’s Temple, that religious services performed in the House of God are more effectual in removing Judgments, and procuring Mercies, than those offered in private Places. The Goodness of the Lord never shines with a greater lustre, than when the united Devotions of his faithful Servants, wrestle as it were with the Almighty in his own House.

We find that our blessed Saviour paid particular Respect to Places dedicated to the Service of God. The sacred Jesus coming to Jerusalem, was filled with a pious indignation at seeing his Father’s House vilely prostituted. When his Person was treated in the most cruel and ungrateful manner, he bore it with wonderful patience; but when the Temple of God was prophaned, an holy Zeal instantly kindled in his breast. The meek Lamb of God, thus provoked, had Recourse to holy Violence, and whipped the impious merchants out of the Temple….

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Write deeply upon our minds, O Lord God, the lesson of thy holy Word, that only the pure in heart can see thee. Leave us not in the bondage of any sinful inclination. May we neither deceive ourselves with the thought that we have no sin, nor acquiesce idly in aught of which our conscience accuses us. Strengthen us by thy Holy Spirit to fight the good fight of faith, and grant that no day may pass without its victory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–C. J. Vaughan

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed; also from Judea and Jerusalem and Idume’a and from beyond the Jordan and from about Tyre and Sidon a great multitude, hearing all that he did, came to him. And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they should crush him; for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him. And whenever the unclean spirits beheld him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” And he strictly ordered them not to make him known. And he went up on the mountain, and called to him those whom he desired; and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, to be with him, and to be sent out to preach and have authority to cast out demons: Simon whom he surnamed Peter; James the son of Zeb’edee and John the brother of James, whom he surnamed Bo-aner’ges, that is, sons of thunder; Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. Then he went home….

–Mark 3:7-19

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Independent) Scientists shocked to find antibiotics alleviate symptoms of schizophrenia

A cheap antibiotic normally prescribed to teenagers for acne is to be tested as a treatment to alleviate the symptoms of psychosis in patients with schizophrenia, in a trial that could advance scientific understanding of the causes of mental illness.

The National Institute for Health Research is funding a £1.9m trial of minocycline, which will begin recruiting patients in the UK next month. The research follows case reports from Japan in which the drug was prescribed to patients with schizophrenia who had infections and led to dramatic improvements in their psychotic symptoms.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Health & Medicine, Psychology, Science & Technology

Susan Gregory Thomas–Why baby boomers are breaking up late in life like no generation before

For the new generation of empty-nesters, divorce is increasingly common. Among people ages 50 and older, the divorce rate has doubled over the past two decades, according to new research by sociologists Susan Brown and I-Fen Lin of Bowling Green State University, whose paper, “The Gray Divorce Revolution,” Prof. Brown will present at Ohio State University this April. The paper draws on data from the 1990 U.S. Vital Statistics Report and the 2009 American Community Survey, administered by the U.S. Census Bureau, which asked all respondents if they’d divorced in the past 12 months.

Though overall national divorce rates have declined since spiking in the 1980s, “gray divorce” has risen to its highest level on record, according to Prof. Brown. In 1990, only one in 10 people who got divorced was 50 or older; by 2009, the number was roughly one in four. More than 600,000 people ages 50 and older got divorced in 2009.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, History, Marriage & Family, Middle Age, Psychology

(Telegraph) Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams Likely faces defeat on Anglican Covenant

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has given his backing to a deal intended to prevent a split between the Church’s traditionalist and liberal wings, by effectively preventing openly gay clergy from becoming bishops.

However, last night the proposed Anglican Covenant stood on the brink of failure, after worshippers and clergy rejected it in votes up and down England. Two bishops voted against it.

Supporters of Dr Williams said that a defeat would be a “devastating” blow to him after he staked so much of his authority on the Covenant.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Global South Churches & Primates, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Windsor Report / Process

(Daily Mail) 2030: The year Britain will cease to be a Christian nation with the march of secularism

The march of secularism means Britain may no longer be a Christian country in just 20 years, a report said yesterday.
If trends continue, the number of non-believers is set to overtake the number of Christians by 2030.
Christianity is losing more than half a million believers every year, while the count of atheists and agnostics is going up by almost 750,000 annually.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Atheism, England / UK, Islam, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Secularism

(Washington Post) U.S. officials: Iran is stepping up lethal aid to Syria

U.S. officials say they see Iran’s hand in the increasingly brutal crackdown on opposition strongholds in Syria, including evidence of Iranian military and intelligence support for government troops accused of mass executions and other atrocities in the past week.

Three U.S. officials with access to intelligence reports from the region described a spike in Iran­ian-supplied arms and other aid for Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad at a time when the regime is mounting an unprecedented offensive to crush resistance in the key city of Homs.

“The aid from Iran is increasing, and is increasingly focused on lethal assistance,” said one of the officials, insisting on anonymity to discuss intelligence reports from the region.

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

(Reuters) Saudi Arabia raises Arab light oil price to Asia

Saudi Arabia has raised the price of its flagship Arab Light crude oil for customers in Asia, who buy more than half its crude exports, by $1.25 a barrel for April….

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Foreign Relations, Middle East, Politics in General, Saudi Arabia

(FT) Putin wins comfortably, say exit polls

Vladimir Putin was poised to win a third term as Russian president but the opposition vowed to continue protests on Monday amid claims that the election was marred by widespread violations.

Two exit polls released after Russia’s 95,000 polling stations closed showed that the former spy who has dominated politics for the past dozen years gaining about 59 per cent of the vote. If confirmed by the final results, that would represent a comfortable victory for Mr Putin with no need to go into a second round of voting.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Politics in General, Russia

Some Young adults suffer social network fatigue

Colleen Andrews, 24, a graphic designer from Far Hills, N.J., was spurred by a breakup: “I didn’t want to be tempted to look at his profile,” she said. She dumped her own Facebook profile in September.

Laura Amatulli, a senior at the College of New Jersey, has given up the site for Lent four times.

Dan Granados, 17, of Levittown, Pa., stopped using his account a few weeks ago. For him, it’s a personal challenge. “I just decided to deactivate it, see how long I could go.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Young Adults