Daily Archives: March 21, 2012

Time Interviews Oregon Doctor Peter Goodwin on brain disease and facing the Hereafter

Does it worry you that there could be abuse? Patients could get the meds while they were lucid, but when they became a burden, someone else could administer them?
Theoretically there would be that possibility. For the most part, I’ve found when patients slip away in that way, the family becomes more concerned about their welfare and more likely to find help.

The only other states where patients can do this are Washington and Montana. Why hasn’t it spread further?
There’s tremendous opposition from the religious community, for reasons I accept. There’s built-in antagonism among the medical profession. “I think I’ve done all I can, and I’m not going to do any more” is not the sort of thing doctors say. And patients and their families have the hugest difficulty in accepting that they are beyond treatment in a curative sense.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, State Government, Theology

(ENS) TEC House of Bishops continues theme of ”˜Church for the 21st Century’

The Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops spent much of its five-day meeting at Camp Allen Conference & Retreat Center in Navasota, Texas, focusing on its ongoing theme of ’Church for the 21st Century and the Gift of Episcope’ and discussing issues related to the upcoming General Convention and same-gender blessings.

During its March 20 business meeting, the House of Bishops adopted a resolution to send greetings to Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams as he prepares to leave his post and return to academia at the end of the year.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops

Al Mohler–The Challenges We Face: A New Generation of Gospel Ministers Looks to the Future

Amidst the debris of postmodernism (a movement that has basically run its course) stands a great ambivalence about the nature of truth. The great intellectual transformation of recent decades produced a generation that is not hostile to all claims of truth, but is highly selective about what kinds of truth it is willing to receive.

The current intellectual climate accepts truth as being true in some objective sense only when dealing with claims of truth that come from disciplines like math or science. They accept objective truth when it comes to gravity or physiology, but not when it comes to morality or meaning.

One result of this is that we can often be heard as meaning less than we intend. When we present the gospel, it can easily be heard as a matter of our own personal reality that is, in the end, free from any claim upon others….

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Apologetics, Church History, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, History, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Philosophy, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology, Theology: Scripture

People of Faith Documentary Presents the Rich History of Christianity in America

As the first nation in the history of the world based on a concept of religious freedom, the United States became a place of unprecedented religious diversity and experimentation. Now, a new documentary series examines the history of Christianity in America, from the first European Christian settlers to the myriad expressions of the faith in the 21st century. Produced with the support of a grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc., People of Faith: Christianity in America (www.peopleoffaithseries.com) presents four hundred years of history in three hours. It’s a brisk and informative survey of the Catholic, mainline Protestant, and Evangelical Christian people and events that shaped the nation.

The series shows how American Christianity, woven into the nation’s fabric from its founding, morphed over the centuries. “America became a religious place from the very beginning…because the people who settled this country had a genius for framing questions in religious terms,” says Scott Appleby of the University of Notre Dame, one of many experts interviewed for the series.

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

(ACNS) Responses to the retirement of Rowan Williams from across the Anglican Communion

Check them out.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury

William Oddie–No Archbishop of Canterbury can succeed: but Rowan Williams has strongly failed

My…reaction is that though everyone is being very complimentary about his time at Canterbury ”” “As a man of great learning and humility,” said David Cameron, “he has guided the church through times of challenge and change. He has sought to unite different communities and offer a profoundly humane sense of moral leadership that was respected by people of all faiths and none” ”” despite all that, actually he has been a much greater disaster than was actually necessary. He hasn’t “guided” the Church of England at all. He has lurched, with it, from one crisis to another, as often as not making things a lot worse. He is supposed to be a distinguished theologian (a proposition about which there is, to say the least, more than one view) and also a man of integrity: but he has consistently failed to handle crises with any theological coherence (theology, incidentally, is supposed to clarify complex problems, not make them more obscure than they need be); and, as for integrity, instead of remaining true to his beliefs, he has sought to avoid conflict between opposing views in his Church not by attempting to convince those he believes are wrong but by retreating in the face of internal political pressure, sometimes changing direction in mid-stream.

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

Paul Ohio–Will a Black Man Be Allowed to Head the Church of England?

Against the background of increased anticipation of a black Archbishop of Canterbury, a backlash appears to be in full swing to deny Sentamu this appointment. Put simply, will the British Crown follow due process and Episcopal order and allow a Blackman head the Church?

Seven years ago, a black Catholic priest, Nigerian-born Cardinal Francis Arinze, was shortlisted as a possible successor of the late Pope John Paul II. But after the emission of an inexplicable black and white smoke, Arinze was dropped and the present Pope, Pope Benedict VI, was (s)elected as the pope.

According to theweek.co.uk, insiders regard the Ugandan-born Archbishop as too old, too undiplomatic and too ill. His.. [traditional] posture though applauded by the larger church, may also count against him.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, - Anglican: Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE)

(Guardian) The Church of England is a good brand says John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford

The Church of England, it is often said, is a broad church. You can’t get broader than John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford and chair of the church’s board of education since January 2011. When he went up to Oxford University, he joined the Conservative and Labour parties simultaneously, though today, he admits, quietly and a little grudgingly, to being “on the left”. In ecclesiastical terms, he is said to be an “open evangelical” which would mean, very loosely, that he is traditional in doctrine but liberal in political and social matters, including the ordination of women as bishops. He prefers, however, to resist even that label, perhaps understandably, since one clergyman described an open evangelical to me as “a bigot who wants a nicer title”. Pritchard says: “I am a Christian of the centre, the generous centre”.

The right man, you may think, to negotiate the turbulent currents of the education system, in which Pritchard plays a key role.

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

(Politico) Rick Santorum's faith journey takes center stage

Rick Santorum says he found God in an unlikely place: the U.S. Senate.

The former Pennsylvania senator’s faith has taken center stage in his presidential campaign as visits to evangelical churches, where he offers his personal testimony about how he came to know God, are a staple of his life on the trail.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Senate

In Western Australia, Anglicans raise questions about civil marriage

The head of Perth’s Anglican Church has dismissed civil marriage ceremonies as “sentimental fuzz” as new figures reveal more than 70 per cent of WA couples opt for civil celebrants over religious ministers to conduct their nuptials.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show just 27 per cent of weddings in WA were conducted by a religious official in 2010 – down more than 2 per cent on the previous year – while 78.2 per cent were overseen by a civil celebrant.

Anglican Archbishop of Perth Roger Herft said the statistics were a sign of the times but true commitment could only be forged in the house of God.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Secularism

A Florida Law Gets Scrutiny After a Teenager’s Killing

Seven years after Florida adopted its sweeping self-defense law, the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, has put that law at the center of an increasingly angry debate over how he was killed and whether law enforcement has the authority to charge the man who killed him.

The law, called Stand Your Ground, is one of 21 such laws around the country, many of them passed within the last few years. In Florida, it was pushed heavily by the National Rifle Association but opposed vigorously by law enforcement.

It gives the benefit of the doubt to a person who claims self-defense, regardless of whether the killing takes place on a street, in a car or in a bar ”” not just in one’s home, the standard cited in more restrictive laws. In Florida, if people feel they are in imminent danger from being killed or badly injured, they do not have to retreat, even if it would seem reasonable to do so. They have the right to “stand their ground” and protect themselves.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, City Government, Economy, Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Rural/Town Life, State Government, The U.S. Government, Violence

(BBC) Trayvon Martin: Probe into killing of Florida teenager

The US Department of Justice has announced an investigation into the shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Florida in February.

Trayvon Martin, 17, was killed by neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, 28, while walking through a gated community in a suburb of Orlando.

Mr Zimmerman says he was acting in self-defence.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, State Government, Violence

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Thomas Cranmer

Merciful God, who through the work of Thomas Cranmer didst renew the worship of thy Church by restoring the language of the people, and through whose death didst reveal thy power in human weakness: Grant that by thy grace we may always worship thee in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ, our only Mediator and Advocate, who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, --Book of Common Prayer, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord Jesus Christ, who didst feed the multitude by the lakeside, using the humble gifts of a boy’s generous impulse, and a disciple’s faith in thy power: Help us in thy Church to call forth such generosity in others, and strengthen our faith that the hungry millions can be fed; for thy name’s sake.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were heathen, you were led astray to dumb idols, however you may have been moved. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are inspired by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

–1 Corinthians 12:1-11

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Concord Monitor) New Hampshire Episcopal Bishop finalists selected

[Robert] Hirschfeld also described starting a “wedding fast” at his church five years ago. In it, he asked for support in a “moratorium on presiding at any wedding until we came to some resolution about the jarring practice of performing weddings for heterosexual persons . . . while maintaining that homosexuals are disqualified from such blessings.”

More than a decade before Hirschfeld refused to perform marriages for heterosexual couples, Rich, 59, was “raked over the coals” for presiding at a “holy union” of two lesbians at Memorial Episcopal Church in Baltimore in 1992.

Rich said he was “careful to obtain all the necessary permissions to do this, including tacit permission to ‘do what you think is best pastorally’ from the bishop.” But several months later “The Baltimore Sun got wind of what had happened” and ran a page one story about it.

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

(AP) Sweden moving towards cashless economy

Sweden was the first European country to introduce bank notes in 1661. Now it’s come farther than most on the path toward getting rid of them.

“I can’t see why we should be printing bank notes at all anymore,” says Bjoern Ulvaeus, former member of 1970’s pop group ABBA, and a vocal proponent for a world without cash.

The contours of such a society are starting to take shape in this high-tech nation, frustrating those who prefer coins and bills over digital money.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Economy, Europe, History, Sweden

(NPR) Anglicans To Get New Spiritual Head

….Churchwarden Jan Tellick thinks…[Rowan Williams has] done the right thing in stepping down.

JAN TELLICK: My personal view is it’s probably good. I think he’s a wonderful man, wonderfully intelligent, wonderful academic, but he’s not a great communicator.

BARKER: Here’s what Britain’s media have communicated about Williams: that his last-ditch attempt to prevent schism – a moratorium on appointing any more openly gay bishops – was about to be defeated, that he has ultimately failed to heal the breach between liberals in the shrinking North American Church and the far more conservative – and fastest growing – African congregations.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Global South Churches & Primates, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Archbishop Peter Jensen's Statement on the resignation of Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury

From here:

The Archbishop of Canterbury is universally admired for his intellectual stature and his personal warmth. In his time as Archbishop, the Anglican Communion has been subjected to unprecedented stresses which have hastened an inevitable tendency to regional independence and decentralisation. With the majority of Anglicans now from theologically conservative churches of the Global South, the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the future will demand a deepening appreciation of their place in the Communion.

–Dr Peter F Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury