Daily Archives: April 16, 2012

Mark Andrus–Anglican Covenant statment made at the House of Bishops meeting

I also want to remember the statement of the Primate of Korea, who with two other primates addressed our House of Bishops on the subject of the proposed covenant. He strikingly said that the province he served would reject the proposed covenant, because, in their considered opinion, to accept would be to internalize the colonialism the has inhered in the historical relationship between the Anglican provinces of the West and their province.

My own memory is of having participated in the Lambeth Conference, 2008, a conference where it was made widely clear that we would have a non-legislative meeting ”“ no voting. There were a series of meetings held on the proposed covenant, all of which I attended. The points of view expressed about the fourth part of the proposed covenant, which contains a mechanism whereby errant (in the judgment of some larger part of the Communion) provinces could have their status as full and equal members of the Communion reduced, were strongly negative. In our daily Indaba groups (discussion groups of about 40 bishops each), the proposed covenant was a discussion topic on one day. Though there was no voting, as advertised, amazingly the report that came out from Lambeth regarding the content of the conference said that a majority of participants favored an Anglican covenant. No mention was made of the opinions expressed in the meetings focused on the proposed covenant.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lambeth 2008, TEC Bishops

Anglicans welcome International Development Select Committee's report on South Sudan

The recommendations come in the report from the UK Parliament’s International Development Select Committee who held an inquiry into prospects for peace and development in the world’s newest country. The Anglican Alliance brought together the Episcopal Church of Sudan, the Diocese of Salisbury and Lambeth Palace to provide evidence to the inquiry.

Rebecca Coleman, representing the Episcopal Church of Sudan, and Canon Ian Woodward of the Diocese of Salisbury, gave oral evidence to the Select Committee, focusing especially on the church’s education services in South Sudan, and the role played by the Church, in particular by Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul Yak, in peace-building.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --South Sudan, Africa, Politics in General, Sudan, Violence

Pope Benedict marks milestones this week amid signs of frailty and succession talk

Pope Benedict marks two milestones this week and while his health appears stable, signs of frailty have again prompted speculation over whether he will be the first pontiff in seven centuries to resign.

Benedict, one of the oldest popes in history, turns 85 on Monday, and on Thursday he marks the seventh anniversary of his election as successor to the immensely popular John Paul II.

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

(NPR) The 2080 Census: The World As We (Don't) Know It

…imagine how cool it would be if, by some twist of time, the National Archives were to make available detailed census information from nearly 70 years in the future ”” the 2080 census.

We asked James Dator, director of the Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies, what kind of information census takers will be soliciting seven decades in the future. Dator says that possible questions might include:

””Do you have a home, or “biophysical domicile”? If so, is it on Earth, the moon, Mars or elsewhere?

””What is your current sex?

””What is your permission number for drinking water?…

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Census/Census Data, Economy, History, Philosophy, Psychology, Science & Technology, The U.S. Government

With Italy and Spain, Further Tests for Europe

Is the euro crisis back with a vengeance, or do investors have a needless case of anxiety?

Until very recently, the gloom over the Continent had seemed to be lifting, with the conclusion of Greece’s second bailout and the calming effect on the financial sector of cheap loans from the European Central Bank. But last week’s jump in borrowing costs for Spain and Italy provided a clear signal that the euro’s problems are far from solved….

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Italy, Spain, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(Atlantic) Stephen Marche on Facebook and the Internet Paradox–More Connected but Even More Lonely?

We are now in the middle of a long period of shuffling away. In his 2000 book Bowling Alone, Robert D. Putnam attributed the dramatic post-war decline of social capital””the strength and value of interpersonal networks””to numerous interconnected trends in American life: suburban sprawl, television’s dominance over culture, the self-absorption of the Baby Boomers, the disintegration of the traditional family. The trends he observed continued through the prosperity of the aughts, and have only become more pronounced with time: the rate of union membership declined in 2011, again; screen time rose; the Masons and the Elks continued their slide into irrelevance. We are lonely because we want to be lonely. We have made ourselves lonely.

The question of the future is this: Is Facebook part of the separating or part of the congregating; is it a huddling-together for warmth or a shuffling-away in pain?

Well before Facebook, digital technology was enabling our tendency for isolation, to an unprecedented degree. Back in the 1990s, scholars started calling the contradiction between an increased opportunity to connect and a lack of human contact the “Internet paradox….”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, America/U.S.A., Blogging & the Internet, Children, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, History, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

A Guardian Article about the Jeffrey John Letter–Halt Church of Eng leaks before Next Archbishop

An inquiry into the 2010 leak was carried out by Lady Fritchie, a crossbench peer, but its findings were never published. A Church of England spokesman said on Sunday the report was never intended to be made public and was “a private document for the archbishop and CNC members”.

The spokesman added that there were no plans to start a fresh investigation into the 2010 leak. “In these sorts of situations anyone on a committee could theoretically have spoken to a third party who then passed it on. That means we are talking about potentially hundreds of people,” he said.

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

A Jeffrey John letter to the Guardian on Crown Nominations Commission Leaks

There is a matter which ought to be cleared up before the Crown Nominations Commission meets to nominate the next archbishop of Canterbury (Panel choosing archbishop includes advocate of therapy for gay clergy, 10 April). In July 2010 someone on the CNC leaked to the press the fact that I was a shortlisted candidate for the See of Southwark. The archbishop of Canterbury set up an inquiry into the leak under Baroness Fritchie. This inquiry was never published, and was said to have been unable to reach a conclusion.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(Project Syndicate) Fiorello Provera–Persecution against Christian minorities in the world

Recently, the human-rights activist, former Dutch politician, and Somali exile Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote about a global war on Christians in Muslim countries. She discussed at length the appalling phenomenon of violent intolerance towards Christian communities, and cast blame on the international community and prominent NGOs for failing to address this problem….

As bad as anti-Christian violence and intimidation is, indifference to the plight of Christian groups under threat is widespread among governments, the media, and even ordinary citizens. A smattering of Christian NGOs works to publicize the issue, but mainstream human-rights organizations have largely neglected to highlight cases of explicit anti-Christian attacks and persecution.

There is an obvious reticence by international bodies even to acknowledge the problem. But according to the Pew Forum, at least 10 percent of the world’s Christians ”• 200 million people in 133 countries ”• live in societies as a minority group.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Inter-Faith Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Media, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Violence

Bishop Mark Lawrence–"Anglicanism: Biblical truth, Authentic tradition, Catholic Order"

You may go here to find the audio link (MP3).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, - Anglican: Analysis, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, Theology

Economist on Sudan and South Sudan–Giving divorce a bad name

The cold war between Africa’s newest neighbours is heating up. South Sudanese troops advanced deep into Sudan on April 10th, capturing its most valuable oilfield, Heglig, in the biggest clash since the south seceded from the north last July. Southern troops claimed to be responding to air and ground attacks from their former master, but the scale of the offensive is unprecedented. A fragile peace process that has survived several bumps in the past few months may now falter. Sudan has suspended its participation in the divorce negotiations in neighbouring Ethiopia. Parliaments in both countries are calling for military mobilisation. The drums of war beat ever louder.

The last straw could be South Sudan claiming Heglig as its own. A ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in 2009 appears to put the field in the Sudanese state of Southern Kordofan. But the south now disputes this. “Heglig is deep inside our borders,” says Colonel Philip Aguer, a spokesman for South Sudan’s army, adding that its troops have moved farther north. Sudan will not accept this, and for once it seems to be getting some international support. The African Union is calling on the south to withdraw its soldiers immediately and unconditionally. Sudan has complained to the UN Security Council.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --North Sudan, --South Sudan, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, History, Politics in General, Sudan, Violence

Al Zadig's Easter 2012 Sermon–"A Dangerous Man"

See what you make of it (Vimeo video).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, TEC Parishes

Fort Wayne LCMS parishes plan show of support for Catholics on religious freedom

Pastors and members of several Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod congregations will gather Tuesday to show support for the Catholic Church’s opposition to federal Health and Human Services department rules requiring many religious institutions to provide employees with health insurance that includes contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs.

“We see this HHS contraceptive mandate as an attack on freedom of religion,” said Christopher Barnekov, a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church on Barr Street who is helping to organize the event.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Economy, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Other Churches, Politics in General, Roman Catholic, The U.S. Government

(Stars and Stripes) Military marriages show a surprising level of resilience

Despite enormous stress on military families from repeated wartime deployments and long periods living apart, service marriages are showing a level of resilience that social scientists can’t yet explain.

Military divorce rates have climbed only gradually in recent years and, according to a report in the Journal of Family Issues this month, have not exceeded the rate of broken marriages reported among civilian peers.

Competitive wartime pay, extra allowances for being married in service and family support programs could be factors. Another might be the respect service people hold toward institutions in general, including marriage.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Marriage & Family

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord God, who hast revealed in holy Scripture what conquests faith has made both in doing, and in suffering: Grant us no smaller faith than that which overcometh the whole world, that Jesus thy Son is God, very God from the beginning, the First and the Last, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, world without end.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

–Psalm 1:1-3

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Ed Stetzer–New Research: Pluralism, Pastors, and the People

We released some new research yesterday at LifeWay Research showing 84% of Protestant pastors disagree that eternal life can be obtained through religions other than Christianity. That view is generally called “universalism” or “pluralism” (though technically not the same thing, they are often used interchangeably and relate to one another). So, based on this data, Protestant pastors are overwhelmingly not pluralist/universalist.

However, the same cannot be said of their church members. When presented with the same statement, just 48 percent of adults who attend a Protestant church once a month or more disagree strongly and 9 percent disagree somewhat.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology

NY Times Letters Respond to Daniel Ross on the Role of Faith in Public Policy

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Rabbi Daniel Ross–Invitation to a Dialogue: Religion in Public Life

Some people suggest that faith should be confined to the home and the house of worship, and play no role in public life. I believe that every person has a right, really a responsibility, to contribute his or her perspectives to the public forum, including perspectives of faith. But faith must never be the final word when it comes to writing the law.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Judaism, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(Jerusalem Post) David Geffen–The Titanic and Jews

On my late summer visits to Bubbie Birshtein in Norfolk Virginia, my mother’s mother, a surprise was in store for me. The Titanic words became real when I was introduced to a man in his forties, Mr. Aks, a family friend, and I was told that he was one of the babies who survived the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.

Amazingly, he was taken from his mother’s arms that terrible night as the ship began to carry its passengers under water and thrown overboard.

He was caught by a woman in a lifeboat, whose last name was Astor. She wrapped him in a blanket since he was only nine months old. Later he was returned to his mother, who did survive.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Judaism, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

Peter Moore–Canterbury to Bid Adieu

Saying that he hopes that his successor has the constitution of an ox and the skin of a rhinoceros. Rowan Williams, the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, will resign at the end of this year and return to academics. He will become the Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge where he can meander along the River Cam and take tea at the Orchard Garden in Grantchester far away from the turbulence of the 85-million member Communion he leaves behind. When an archbishop retires at the usual age of 70, no one bats an eyelash. But when he resigns in good health nearly a decade before normal retirement age, people sit up and take notice. It evokes the image of a battle weary pugilist whose “sponger” looks at the condition of his man and tosses his sponge in the air. The fight is over. We might as well declare defeat.

The battle, of course, was his to lose. Anyone with half an eye could see the turbulence that lay ahead for someone assuming the role of leader of the world’s second largest Communion. The same year he took office an openly gay man, Gene Robinson, was consecrated bishop of New Hampshire despite public assurances from Frank Griswold, the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, that he would not participate in the consecration. Griswold went right ahead and did just that. With one part of his Communion going its own way, and thumbing its noses at the rest, while the vast majority were profoundly upset, Williams was forced to choose. Either he would take a self-imposed mediatorial role, and desperately try to keep all parties at the table. Or he would take sides, and do what he could to bring the truculent back in line.

He chose the former, with the result that no one was satisfied. Privately he held to a liberal position on sexuality, as enunciated in his well-known, though highly inscrutable, paper entitled The Body’s Grace. Publicly, he towed the line that was spelled out by Lambeth Resolution 1:10, which stated as the official position of the Communion that “homosexuality was imcompatible with Scripture.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, --Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury