Daily Archives: April 22, 2012

St. James Episcopal Church starts a community orchestra on a fractured island

What do you get when you combine faith, a sense of community, love of music, an experienced music director and a generous church facility?

You get the St. James Community Orchestra, founded last year by members of St. James Episcopal Church.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Episcopal Church (TEC), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Music, Parish Ministry

(Economist) Some Germans worry about the distribution of free Korans

The Gideons in Germany give away 2,000 Bibles a day and nobody complains. The Koran is another matter. A group called the True Religion has handed out 300,000 copies, many from “information stands” in shopping areas. All told, it wants to give away 25m in German-speaking Europe. Intelligence agencies are alarmed; politicians have condemned the plan. The printing firm has even cancelled its contract. “The public pressure was too great,” it explained.

The problem, critics say, is not the gift but the giver. The True Religion espouses Salafism, a fundamentalist branch of Islam. Its leader is Ibrahim Abu Nagie, a Palestinian-born, Cologne-based preacher with intolerant views and a knack for getting others to embrace them. The Cologne prosecutor wanted to try him for inciting violence against Christians and Jews but could prove nothing worse than predictions that they would end in hell. The case was dropped in January.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, Germany, Islam, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

([London] Times) God’s grace seen in same sex marriage, say some Anglican Bishops and Deans

Senior bishops and clergy call today on the Church of England to “rejoice” at the prospect of gay marriage, rather than to condemn or disdain it.

In a challenge to the next Archbishop of Canterbury, influential Anglicans say in a [Saturday] letter to The Times that “God’s grace” is at work in same-sex partnerships.

The signatories include members of the General Synod ”” the governing body of the Church ”” and significant clergy from across its doctrines. The move is headed by Dr Jeffrey John, the openly gay Dean of St Albans, but is also supported by Canon Giles Goddard, chairman of the progressive Anglican group Inclusive Church, five former bishops and the serving Deans of Portsmouth, Norwich and Guildford.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Sandi Villarreal–How Do We Engage Young Millennials?

As part of the rollout for “Millennial Values Survey” from Public Religion Research and the Berkley Center, I sat at Georgetown University and listened to a very long list of what pollsters think makes up college-age millennials. I’m in the right age bracket, but I couldn’t stop thinking about what a difference just a few years makes.

I’m part of the millennial generation, albeit at the high end of the spectrum. At 29, my attitudes and behaviors look completely different to those on the lower end. Part of it, of course, is phase of life. I’m a professional, married, with a few life experiences under my belt. Most of the respondents of the survey are in college or recently graduated””half live with their parents.

In discussing the survey results with a 23-year-old friend, we worked through both obvious and subtle differences.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Young Adults

A Collection of Some of the Tributes For Chuck Colson

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Other Churches

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Look, we beseech thee, O Lord, upon the people of this land who are called after thy holy name, that they may ever walk worthy of their Christian profession. Grant unto us all that, laying aside our divisions, we may be united in heart and mind to bear the burdens which are laid upon us, and be enabled by patient continuance in well-doing to glorify thy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides for ever.

–1 John 2:15-17

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NY Times) Quentin Hardy–Don’t Be Evil, but Don’t Miss the Train

Back in 2004, as Google prepared to go public, Larry Page and Sergey Brin celebrated the maxim that was supposed to define their company: “Don’t be evil.”

But these days, a lot of people ”” at least the mere mortals outside the Googleplex ”” seem to be wondering about that uncorporate motto.

How is it that Google, a company chockablock with brainiac engineers, savvy marketing types and flinty legal minds, keeps getting itself in hot water? Google, which stood up to the Death Star of Microsoft? Which changed the world as we know it?

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy

NY Times Metropolitan Diary–The Many Traditions of Passover

Overheard next to me last week while getting a facial on West 72nd Street on the Upper West Side:

Woman in her 80s reclining next to me with green cream on her visage asking her facialist: “So, do you Russians have brisket for Passover?”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, Judaism, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Russia, Urban/City Life and Issues

Vanderbilt anti-bias policy comes under attack before meeting

State Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville, and other lawmakers sent the Board of Trust a letter with legislation attached, threatening to block the policy because Vanderbilt receives state funds.

Wednesday morning, Vanderbilt students from 11 Christian organizations began handing out 4,000 MP4 players loaded with a seven-minute video outlining their objections. The video, also on YouTube, features alumnus Tom Singleton, a retired health-care executive, who said later he won’t so much as renew his football season tickets until the school backs off.

The university’s provost said Vanderbilt stands by the policy.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Education, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, State Government, Young Adults

Thomas Friedman–Down With Everything

Does America need an Arab Spring? That was the question on my mind when I called Frank Fukuyama, the Stanford professor and author of “The End of History and the Last Man.” Fukuyama has been working on a two-volume opus called “The Origins of Political Order,” and I could detect from his recent writings that his research was leading him to ask a very radical question about America’s political order today, namely: has American gone from a democracy to a “vetocracy” ”” from a system designed to prevent anyone in government from amassing too much power to a system in which no one can aggregate enough power to make any important decisions at all?

“There is a crisis of authority, and we’re not prepared to think about it in these terms,” said Fukuyama. “When Americans think about the problem of government, it is always about constraining the government and limiting its scope.” That dates back to our founding political culture. The rule of law, regular democratic rotations in power and human rights protections were all put in place to create obstacles to overbearing, overly centralized government. “But we forget,” Fukuyama added, “that government was also created to act and make decisions.”

That is being lost at the federal level.

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

(CT Liveblog) Sudanese Christians Fear Forced Exodus As War Looms

As war looms between Sudan and South Sudan, Christians of southern origin living in Sudan fear retribution from its Islamic government.

As of April 8, at least half a million ethnic southerners (the majority of whom are Christian) living in Sudan are now considered foreigners if they have not registered for citizenship. Officials in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, gave southerners another 30 days to register or leave the country.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --North Sudan, --South Sudan, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sudan, Violence

(ENS) Executive Council: Gay Jennings’ sermon at closing Eucharist

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Executive Council

(ENS) Episcopal Diocese of Virginia elects Susan Goff as bishop suffragan

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

(ENS) TEC Diocese of Pittsburgh elects Dorsey W. M. McConnell as 8th bishop

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

(ENS) Episcopal Diocese of Western Louisiana elects Jacob W. Owensby as bishop

Read it all and note you can see the ballots there.

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

Charles W. Colson, Watergate Felon Who Became Evangelical Leader, Dies at 80

Mr. Colson was sent to prison after pleading guilty to obstructing justice in the Watergate affair. After having what he called his religious awakening behind bars, he spent much of the rest of his life ministering to prisoners, preaching the Gospels and helping to forge a coalition among Republican politicians, evangelical church leaders and Roman Catholic conservatives, helping to change the dynamics of American politics.

It was a remarkable reversal….

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Death / Burial / Funerals, Evangelicals, History, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Politics in General