Daily Archives: March 6, 2012

(Saratoga Springs, New York) Bread and Butter Parish Priest, Thomas Parke, RIP

The Rev. Thomas Parke, 72, the spiritual leader of the Bethesda Episcopal Church on Washington Street for 44 years, died Monday after a battle with cancer.

“The Saratoga community, Bethesda Church and the Diocese of Albany have lost a faithful priest and a wonderful man,” said the Rev. Marshall Vang, who has been serving as the church’s rector since Parke’s retirement eight weeks ago. He was also friends with Parke for many years.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(RNS) Virginia Anglican Churches ordered to return property by April 30

A Virginia judge has ordered seven congregations that broke from the Episcopal Church to return all property to the local diocese — from valuable land to sacred chalices — by April 30.

The Diocese of Virginia had wanted the properties returned by March 30, a week before Easter. But Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Randy Bellows agreed to give the breakaway congregations more time.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), CANA, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia, TEC Departing Parishes

The Latest from Intrade on the American Presidential Election Process as of SuperTuesday Morning

Mitt Romney to win the Ohio Primary as of now 86.1

Mitt Romney to be Republican Presidential Nominee is 87.8

Barack Obama to be re-elected President in the Fall of 2012–60.6

If interested, you may find a lot more there.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Office of the President, Politics in General

Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides For 80 Years–Here is a Video of One Hatching

Lord Howe Island Stick Insect hatching from Zoos Victoria on Vimeo.

Wowowow. Totally Cool! Watch it all.

Now, go and read the whole stunning story.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, History, Science & Technology

(Running with a Book Cart) Holly–Becoming Episcopalian: my journey

My faith journey is taking me on a path I never thought I’d ever take. I was (and still am) very Catholic, but for a variety of reasons, I felt like I could no longer be part of the Roman Catholic Church. I will delve more into the reasons as I write, but yes, one of the reasons has to do with the quite baffling outrage on part of the bishops regarding the “contraception mandate.” I had been publicly disagreeing with a few things on my Facebook, questioning the soundness of some of the Church’s moral theology. I am not the first, nor am I the only one to publicly call out the bishops’ idiocy and point out the political maneuverings behind some of these decisions.

I know many Catholics are in a similar situation. Quite frankly, the vast majority of dissenters are silent, or at least shouted down by the vociferous minority. Some people are able to just roll their eyes and continue being Catholic, despite being at odds with some of the theology. I tried to do this, but I couldn’t sustain it. I just could not consciously say I’m Catholic and and yet dissent, even if I do believe the Church is wrong. It just seemed…hypocritical, maybe. I don’t know what word best describes it. Quite simply, there was no room for me if I wanted to keep on growing spiritually and intellectually….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

Karen Prior–What the 'After-Birth Abortion' and 'Personhood' Debates Have in Common

Of course, as the… [Journal of Medical Ethics]’ editor notes, after-birth abortion isn’t really new: “The arguments presented, in fact, are largely not new and have been presented repeatedly in the academic literature and public fora by the most eminent philosophers and bioethicists in the world, including Peter Singer, Michael Tooley, and John Harris in defence of infanticide.” And let’s not forget that the ancient Greeks left their unwanted children on the mountainside to die, too, Mr. Editor.

This makes it even more noteworthy that the article concedes that a fetus is, in fact, a human being: “Both a foetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life’.” They go on to argue that “the interests of actual people override the interest of merely potential people. Since non-persons have no moral rights to life, there are no reasons for banning after-birth abortions.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Children, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

Task force appointed to ”˜re-envision and restructure' the National Council of Churches

The National Council of Churches Executive Committee has created a 15-member task force to “re-envision and restructure” the 62-year-old ecumenical body.

The appointment of the task force came at a three day gathering Feb. 22-24 of more than 30 denominational leaders who have been laying the groundwork for change over the past several months….

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations, Parish Ministry, Stewardship

Archbishop Sentamu–Lent – Be Each Other's Keeper

The special prayer for this Second Sunday of Lent (Lent 2) invites us to admit that we “have no power of ourselves to help ourselves”; and therefore we need God to protect us “from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul.”

Lent 2 wants us to recognise our powerlessness.

There is much to be thankful for: like the advances we see in science ”“ especially in medicine. But haven’t we also seen our spiritual poverty ”“ having lost what makes us really human: love of God and neighbour?

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Lent

(Vancouver Sun) Evangelical group gets the boot from Delta, B.C. , Public Schools

Donald Grayston, an Anglican priest who taught religious studies at Simon Fraser University before his retirement, said the assumption that the young evangelicals are not proselytizing is naive. “If they are not attempting to convert, they would be unfaithful to their mandate.”

Evangelical theologian John Stackhouse warned schools that if they welcome evangelical volunteers, they must be equally open to other groups such as Mormons, Muslims or Marxists. “If you can be confident that these Christian missionaries [as they call themselves] are not going to cross the line into proselytizing, then would you be equally confident of the circumspection of volunteers from points of view you do not share ”” and especially ideologies that are as ”˜missionary-minded’ as evangelical Christians typically are?”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Canada, Children, Education, Religion & Culture

A story about Norwich, Connecticut, A Couple from South Africa, a Drug Dealer–And God's grace

Watch it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Baptists, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Evangelism and Church Growth, Missions, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Soteriology, South Africa, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Foreign Policy) Daniel Levy–Netanyahu Won't Attack Iran (Probably)

Curiously missing in this flurry of coverage has been a more considered assessment of the internal dynamics in play for Israeli decision-makers and how those might be most effectively influenced. Too often, the calculations of Israel’s leaders are depicted as if this were a collection of think-tankers and trauma victims given a very big and high-tech army to play with. Netanyahu represents the latter, guided by his “existentialist mindset” and his 101-year-old historian father. (The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg drew heavily on the father-son relationship in his assessment 18 months ago that an Israeli strike on Iran was imminent.) Peter Beinart has written, “Benjamin Netanyahu has only one mode: apocalyptic.” And the prime minister often depicts contemporary realities as akin to 1938.

In Shalom Auslander’s new novel, Hope: A Tragedy, the lead protagonist, Solomon Kugel, discovers a living and elderly Anne Frank in his attic, at one level seemingly a metaphor for the identity politics of contemporary American Jewry — we all carry Anne Frank around with us in our heads. Bibi Netanyahu can sometimes sound like an Israeli version of Solomon Kugel, the difference being that in the Israeli “attic” we keep both Anne Frank and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the two apparently merging when it comes to the prime minister’s depiction of the threat posed by Iran and how it should be handled….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Iran, Israel, Middle East, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Sexuality

(Anna Williams) Monks, nuns fight poverty until it hurts

Meanwhile, hidden from the public eye are a few people striving to live out St. Paul’s “more excellent way” of love. They don’t argue about poverty; they try to alleviate it. They’ve dropped out of the rat race, given up their possessions and taken new names.
They’re Catholic monks and nuns.
And while their commitment might seem radical, they could offer all of us ”” faithful and secular alike ”” a few timely lessons about devotion, generosity and genuine freedom.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

I.B.M. Takes ”˜Smarter Cities’ Concept to Rio de Janeiro

Not far from Copacabana Beach here is a control room that looks straight out of NASA.

City employees in white jumpsuits work quietly in front of a giant wall of screens ”” a sort of virtual Rio, rendered in real time. Video streams in from subway stations and major intersections. A sophisticated weather program predicts rainfall across the city. A map glows with the locations of car accidents, power failures and other problems.

The order and precision seem out of place in this easygoing Brazilian city, which on this February day was preparing for the controlled chaos that is Carnaval. But what is happening here reflects a bold and potentially lucrative experiment that could shape the future of cities around the world.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Brazil, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire, Science & Technology, South America, Urban/City Life and Issues

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Lord, for thy tender mercies’ sake, lay not our sins to our charge, but forgive us all that is past; and give us grace to amend our lives, to decline from sin and incline to virtue, that we may walk with a perfect heart before thee, now and evermore.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to thee, when my heart is faint. Lead thou me to the rock that is higher than I; for thou art my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in thy tent for ever! Oh to be safe under the shelter of thy wings!

–Psalm 61:1-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(CSM) Mary Beth McCauley–The etiquette gap: From Newt and Mitt to Facebook and texting

For all her family’s generations of well-mannered breeding, Lizzie Post is not immune to the awkward moment. She was out to dinner not long ago with friends, and as the hour grew late, the wine flowed, and so did the foul language coming from her group. A man from another table came over and asked that they tone things down because he had children with him.

“I was really embarrassed,” winces Ms. Post, great-great-granddaughter of the legendary etiquette giant Emily Post.

But not so for one of her table mates. He said that it was the father who was out of line, that people curse, and that if the man wanted to take his children out in public, they’d better get used to it….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Media, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Science & Technology, Theology

A Lengthy Post-Gazette Article on the upcoming Pittsburgh Episcopal Election

Lionel Deimel, a member of St. Paul’s in Mt. Lebanon who blogs on church matters from a liberal perspective, declared his opposition to any local candidate before Father [Scott] Quinn was named. He argued that all local priests carry factional baggage and that the diocese was too ingrown….

The Rev. James Simons, a theological conservative who had a leading role in reorganizing the diocese after the split, hasn’t chosen a candidate yet, and said that the value of an inside candidate depends on the person.

“It can be argued both ways,” he said. “When you elect from within the diocese, the learning curve is less steep. You don’t have to learn the history because you lived the history. On the other hand, sometimes it’s good to have someone looking at things with fresh eyes. It all depends on who that individual is.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Pastoral Theology, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, Theology

Notable and Quotable

”Tall, handsome, well-built, articulate, intelligent, sensitive, yet often grossly inaccurate man, 21. Cynics (and some cheap Brentwood psychiatrists) may say ‘pathological liar’ but I like to use ‘creative with reality’. Join me in my 36-bedroomed mansion on my Gloucestershire estate, set in 400 acres of wild-stag populated woodland.”

–A real personal ad from the London Review of Books from “new book taking Britain by storm” (do you know what it is?)

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Books, England / UK

The Bishop of Chelmsford's Diocesan Synod Address from this Past Weekend

There are also strong voices in society questioning the place of religion in public life. The barbarians of Bideford are at the gate. They say that faith is a private thing, and they imagine for themselves superior neutrality. Well, part of the Act of Uniformity was that we should live together under a rule of law, but this was a rule of law that included an established church, a set liturgy and a boundary commission for belief. These things have indeed gone on to shape our nation in countless ways. We should not lose them without a fight; though I for one intend to trust in the armour of the Holy Spirit, which of course looks to the world like nakedness. In other words we cannot expect a secular world not to challenge people of faith, and we will win our argument not by endless appeals to tradition, custom, or even law, but by living and proclaiming the truth of Jesus Christ. It is only when people are converted to Christ that they will see the logic of prayer at public meetings, and everything else that follows from it. In the meantime we can work together with all people of goodwill, and especially people of other faiths, to guard our historic position as best we can.

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