Daily Archives: March 22, 2012

Anglican leaders gather to work towards visionary future

More than 200 delegates from 30 Provinces of the Anglican Communion will gather in London in April to build on the work of the GAFCON conference in Jerusalem and in the words of the organisers to ”˜help turn the present crisis moment into a visionary future’.

The leaders are clergy and laity, men and women from 29 countries.

“We are committed to building networks and partnerships of orthodox Anglicans, strong in their witness to Jesus Christ and the transforming power of His Spirit, to face the challenge of mission around the world” said the Most Rev’d Eliud Wabukala, Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates

Thursday Afternoon Mental Health Break–A Day in the Life of a Financial Advisor

A Day in the Life of a Financial Advisor
by: seyah21

Watch it all–lol.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * General Interest, Economy, Humor / Trivia, Personal Finance

(NY Times Op-Ed) Ross Douthat–Agonies of an Archbishop

Bearded, kindly and theologically subtle, the archbishop has spent the last 10 years trying to bring an academic’s finesse to issues where finesse often just looks like evasion ”” the spread of Islam in a de-Christianizing Europe, the divides within the Anglican Communion over homosexuality and women’s ordination, the rise of a combative New Atheism.

The result has been a depressing public ineffectuality for a man charged with leading the world’s third-largest Christian body. Whether he was talking vaguely about “interactive pluralism” as a way of avoiding tackling issues like forced marriages and honor killings in Muslim immigrant communities, answering “pass” to a journalist’s pointed question about his own views on sexually active gay clergy, or offering unreciprocated olive branches to proselytizing atheists, Williams rarely missed an opportunity to soft-pedal around an important debate.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Archbishop of Canterbury, Globalization, Religion & Culture, Theology

The Latest Numbers from Intrade on the Republican Nomination Process and the Fall Election

Mitt Romney to be Republican Presidential Nominee in 2012–92.1

Barack Obama to be re-elected President in 2012–59.2

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

Wesley Hill on a New Collection of Essays by Marilynne Robinson

In her new collection of essays, When I Was a Child I Read Books, Robinson examines that unfortunate dichotomy from all angles. On one side, the “new atheists” and their ilk badly caricature religion as an explanation of the world that competes with other explanations from disciplines of physics, biology, psychology, and so on. Viewed from another vantage point, religion itself often colludes with this ill-conceived critique, betraying its highest vision with sound-bite answers to genuinely open questions and hitching its wagon to dubious causes (like the defense of a historically novel “capitalism”). Science is equally misunderstood when its practitioners and its fundamentalist detractors alike view it as a way of understanding that can dispense with religion, as if the latter were a veneer obscuring a more persuasive, secularized explanation of life. In this spiral of mutual misunderstanding, the humanist ideal of deepening appreciation for the awe and “depth dimension” of human existence is curtailed.

Robinson offers her essays in the face of this confusion, as “night thoughts of a baffled humanist,” which is how she referred to her musings in a recent Internet excerpt from the book. She aims to defend both religion and humanism from their not-quite-so cultured despisers, many of whom may be found self-identifying as “religious” or as “humanists.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Books, Religion & Culture, Theology

A Pastoral Letter from the Episcopal Bishop of Maine–Covenant, Same Sex Unions Addressed

(Please note that the page from the diocese introducing the letter with accompanying links may be found there).

This summer’s General Convention may authorize the use of a blessing service for those dioceses where the bishop gives permission, but that matter has yet to be decided.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops

An Interview with Msgr. Charles Pope – Blogging, Preaching, and Doubling the Size of Your Parish

What if your pastor stood up next Sunday and said he wanted to double the size of the parish within one year? That’s exactly what happened at Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian Catholic parish in Washington DC, a predominantly African-American parish. Monsignor Charles Pope made that bold challenge last September and then got to work….

Read it all and watch the interview and check out the blog also.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Blogging & the Internet, Evangelism and Church Growth, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic

(CDN) Simba Tian–Christians Targeted in Sudan's 'Ethnic Cleansing'

“The ongoing war against Christians and African indigenous people is more of an ”˜ethnic cleansing’ in that they kill all black people, including Muslims, but they give specific connotation to the war in targeting Christians to secure funding and support from the Arab and Islamic world by saying this war is a religious war,” he said. “And in so doing, they get huge support from those countries.”

Aerial bombardment killed the five members of the Asaja Dalami Kuku family, which belonged to the Episcopal Church of Sudan, in Umsirdipa in the Nuba Mountains on Feb. 25, the source said.

The government in Khartoum is using Antonov airplanes to drop bombs, “coupled with state-sponsored militia targeting churches and Christian families,” said the humanitarian worker.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church of the Sudan, Religion & Culture, Sudan, Violence

(CBS/AP) French Terrorist Suspect Goes Down Shooting

The French Interior minister says Mohammed Merah, the prime suspect in seven murders in and around Toulouse, died Thursday morning in a jump from an apartment window after “shooting madly” at police who raided the building.

French Interior Minister Claude Gueant said police entered the apartment Thursday after hearing nothing from Merah overnight, only to be ambushed by the suspect who “came out of the bathroom shooting madly at everybody.”

“At the end, Mohammed Merah jumped out of the window with a weapon in hand, continuing to shoot. He was found dead on the ground below,” said Gueant.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Europe, France, Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire, Terrorism, Violence

(NY Times Fifth Down Blog) Did Punishment Fit Crime for the New Orleans Saints?

The sanctions for individuals were more harsh than most people probably expected, and perhaps lighter in terms of money and draft picks lost.

Read it all and make sure to follow the links.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Sports, Theology

(Reuters) New Orleans Saints pay heavy price for bounty program

New Orleans Saints’ Super Bowl winning head coach Sean Payton has been suspended for a year without pay by the National Football League (NFL) after an investigation into ‘bounty’ schemes which rewarded players for hurting opponents.

Former Saints defensive co-ordinator Gregg Williams was also suspended, indefinitely, while the team was fined $500,000 and will forfeit their selections in the second round of the 2012 and 2013 NFL drafts.

“Let me be clear. There is no place in the NFL for deliberately seeking to injure another player, let alone offering a reward for doing so,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement on Wednesday.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

Charles Cooke on Rowan Williams' Announcement–The Turbulent Priest

Much of what Rowan Williams writes and says carries the air of a man who has grown accustomed to being received seriously regardless of the soundness of his ideas, and who is used to having even the most incomprehensible of his pronouncements met by the irritating acquiescence common to other “bearded lefties.” But sounding profound is not the same thing as being profound, and we should not let the man’s spiritual standing distract us from the reality that he is wholly dangerous to the power of Western ideas.

Documenting his many missteps is a little like cataloguing the utterances of Prince Phillip, but without the compensation of the consort’s dry sense of humor. An example: In response to protesters whose actions were steadily destroying the income, and thus upkeep, of London’s St. Paul’s cathedral, Williams claimed that Jesus Christ would have been an Occupier. Former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey took a different view, noting that the protesters were “opportunistic and cynical,” and questioning the way in which senior clergy “mismanaged” the situation; his skepticism was vindicated when protesters began to defecate inside the cathedral and spray-paint graffiti ”” including “666” ”” on its walls.

With all of this in mind, Rowan Williams will, no doubt, fit in nicely in his new post as master of Magdalene College at the University of Cambridge

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

John O'Sullivan on Rowan Williams' Announcement–Exit the Archbishop

….his resignation seem[s], however regrettably, the right decision.

His tenure had been littered with avoidable errors ”” mainly bold statements that needed immediate corrections that themselves then needed further corrections. He was the angel who rushed in where journalists, policemen, politicians, and cynics of every kind feared to tread. He would then fall with innocent surprise through a series of trapdoors marked “partisan politics,” “Islam,” and, riskiest of all, “sexual politics.”

The trapdoor through which he plunged most frequently was partisan politics. Like almost all Anglican bishops, he was a man of the Left, and his political sermons reflected the fact. Like his fellow bishops too, he seemed more self-confident breezily issuing pronouncements on political questions than agonizing over religious ones.

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

(WSJ) Kay Hymowitz–Where Have The Good Men Gone?

…for all its familiarity, pre-adulthood represents a momentous sociological development. It’s no exaggeration to say that having large numbers of single young men and women living independently, while also having enough disposable income to avoid ever messing up their kitchens, is something entirely new in human experience. Yes, at other points in Western history young people have waited well into their 20s to marry, and yes, office girls and bachelor lawyers have been working and finding amusement in cities for more than a century. But their numbers and their money supply were always relatively small. Today’s pre-adults are a different matter. They are a major demographic event.

What also makes pre-adulthood something new is its radical reversal of the sexual hierarchy. Among pre-adults, women are the first sex. They graduate from college in greater numbers (among Americans ages 25 to 34, 34% of women now have a bachelor’s degree but just 27% of men), and they have higher GPAs. As most professors tell it, they also have more confidence and drive. These strengths carry women through their 20s, when they are more likely than men to be in grad school and making strides in the workplace. In a number of cities, they are even out-earning their brothers and boyfriends.

Still, for these women, one key question won’t go away: Where have the good men gone?

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Marriage & Family, Men, Psychology, Young Adults

A Prayer for the Feast Day of James de Koven

Almighty and everlasting God, the source and perfection of all virtues, who didst inspire thy servant James de Koven to do what is right and to preach what is true: Grant that all ministers and stewards of thy mysteries may afford to thy faithful people, by word and example, the knowledge of thy grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Into thy hands, O Lord, we commend ourselves and all who are dear to us this day. Be with us in our going out and in our coming in. Strengthen us for the work which thou hast given us to do. And grant that, filled with thy Holy Spirit, we may walk worthy of our high calling, and cheerfully accomplish those things that thou wouldest have done; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–F. T. Woods

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiph’rah and the other Pu’ah, “When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, she shall live.” But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live. So the king of Egypt called the midwives, and said to them, “Why have you done this, and let the male children live?” The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous and are delivered before the midwife comes to them.” So God dealt well with the midwives; and the people multiplied and grew very strong. And because the midwives feared God he gave them families.

–Exodus 1:15-21

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NC Reporter) John Allen on the Upcoming Papal Transition and Other Matters

By itself, Benedict’s advanced age [of 85] probably would invite speculation about what comes next, even though there’s no indication of a health crisis. This is, after all, a pontiff who departs next week for a six-day trip to Mexico and Cuba.

Yet it’s not just a birthday that has people thinking about succession. There’s also a mounting perception that for all of Benedict’s brilliance as a teacher, something isn’t working in the internal governance of the Vatican, and it’s not likely to be fixed on his watch. The tawdry “Vatileaks” scandal is the most recent symptom of a series of maladies — an inability to keep personal conflicts under control (the Boffo affair), to anticipate the foreseeable results of policy choices (the Holocaust-denying bishop debacle) and to tell even positive stories effectively (the pope’s role in the sex abuse crisis).

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

For Syrians, No Easy Exit From Conflict

Syria is locked in an ominous and violent stalemate: With overwhelming firepower and a willingness to kill, President Bashar al-Assad could hold on to power for months or even years, keeping the opposition from controlling any territory and denying it breathing space to develop a coherent, effective leadership, according to analysts, diplomats and Syrians involved in the uprising.

Syrians and regional analysts say sheer force alone is unlikely to eradicate what has become a diffuse and unpredictable insurgency, one able to strike out even after the government has used crushing force against centers of resistance like Homs, Idlib and Dara’a. Broad areas of the country are hostile territory for government troops, and attackers have managed to hit centers of power, even in the capital, Damascus.

But with so much blood spilled, diplomacy stalled and both sides refusing to negotiate, there is no obvious path out….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Syria, Violence

(BP) Researcher Kara Powell on why teens leave the faith & what can be done about it

A new longitudinal study of 500 youth group graduates may provide some answers. Conducted by the Fuller Youth Institute at Fuller Theological Seminary, the study followed the graduates through their years in college or vocational school. The results are compiled in a book, “Sticky Faith: Everyday ideas to build lasting faith in your kids” (Zondervan).

Some of the suggestions aren’t surprising (for instance, the level of church involvement by parents plays a key role in a teen maintaining their faith walk). Other suggestions, though, may surprise Christian leaders.

Baptist Press asked Sticky Faith co-author Kara E. Powell — executive director of the Fuller Youth Institute — about the research….

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Children, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Teens / Youth, Young Adults, Youth Ministry

Barry Spurr–Suffering Prayer: T.S. Eliot, His Poetry and his Christianity

Eliot presented a post-Christian world, despairing of human and divine love or redemption from its despair. The best expression of this diagnosis, in his verse, came in “The Hollow Men” (1925), where Eliot’s speakers are discovered hopelessly – but, paradoxically, with an extraordinary lyrical beauty – on the brink of Hell.
Here was a poet, according to Eliot’s contemporaries, who had evoked the nihilism of modern lives and societies. Phrases from these poems still resonate powerfully, nearly a century later: “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons,” “This is the way the world ends / Not with a bang but a whimper,” “After such knowledge, what forgiveness?” and so on.

It might have been expected, after Eliot’s conversion a few years later, that his recognition of the promise of salvation which Christianity proposes would have been reflected in revolutionary changes in his poetic subjects and techniques. Instead, it is the consistency of Eliot’s poetry, from 1927 onwards, with what he had been writing before that most often strikes us. Several powerful metaphors remain, such as, for example, that of the journey (which we encounter, for instance, in “Prufrock” and in the quest-motif in The Waste Land).

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