Monthly Archives: July 2012

Mental Health Break *** Watch U.S. Gymnast Aly Raisman’s Parents React to Her Bar Routine***

Watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Marriage & Family, Sports

(Post-Dispatch) Missouri's proposed Amendment 2 on prayer gets mixed reviews

A proposed amendment to the state Constitution that supporters say would protect Missourians’ right to pray in public will pass by a mammoth margin if numbers from a Post-Dispatch poll hold until Aug. 7.

That’s when the so-called “right to pray” ballot measure ”” known as Amendment 2 ”” will go before voters.

The measure’s champions say it better defines Missourians’ First Amendment rights and will help to protect the state’s Christians, about 80 percent of the population, who they say are under siege in the public square.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Church/State Matters, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, State Government

An Easy Way to Find Kendall Harmon's Sermons & Teachings – A New Blog Category

We elves are thrilled that Kendall is posting more of his sermons and Bible teaching on the blog, and we thought it would be helpful to create an easy way for blog readers to find all those excellent resources with one click.

There is now a blog sub-category under the “By Kendall” category, called “sermons and teachings”

Here’s the link so you can bookmark it: Kendall’s Sermons and Teachings

Posted in * Admin, * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, Biblical Commentary & Reflection, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings

Washington National Cathedral Announces New Dean–Canon Gary Hall

The Cathedral Chapter is pleased to announce the nomination of the Rev. Canon Gary R. Hall as the tenth dean of Washington National Cathedral. Hall has been an ordained minister for more than 35 years and currently is serving as rector of Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. A search committee recommended him from among a diverse pool of candidates from across the country in a process that spanned more than seven months….

Read it all.

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

Anglicans in Zimbabwe threatened with arrest, barred from shrine once again

Anglicans in Zimbabwe’s Diocese of Masvingo may once again face arrest for trying to commemorate the life and ministry of Arthur Shearly Cripps1 and for carrying out their ministry.

As ACNS reported last year, clergy and pilgrims were prevented from holding their celebrations at the Shearly Cripps Shrine by excommunicated bishop Dr Norbert Kunonga supported by police. Dr Kunonga claimed to be in charge of the shrine and 78 Anglican churches in Masvingo Diocese.

The Bishop of Masvingo, the Rt Revd Godfrey Tawonezwi has revealed that this year they have had to move the event to the beginning of August for the same reasons, but that the police have labelled the planned gathering “illegal”. No-one knows whether meeting at the shrine will end in arrests.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Zimbabwe

Bishop Lawrence Meets with Clergy of the Diocese of South Carolina Following General Convention

Note that this post was made “sticky” at the top of the blog for a good while in the summer of 2012.
Dear Brother and Sister Clergy,

On Wednesday, July 25th, the Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence met with the clergy of the Diocese of South Carolina at St. Paul’s Church, in Summerville, to discuss decisions made at General Convention 2012 and their significance for us as a diocese. In particular, he shared the address he made to the House of Bishops, while in executive session, announcing his decision to depart from Convention with five members of our deputation.

The central purpose of his presentation to the Bishops was to convey his understanding that with the passage of Resolutions D002 and D019 (making all possible variations of “gender identity and gender expression” protected categories in the canons of the church), and the adoption of authorized provisional rites to bless same gender relationships, the doctrine, discipline and worship of this church have been profoundly changed.
He told the Bishops that the magnitude of these changes was such that he could no longer in good conscience continue in the business of the Convention. In fact, he was left with the grave question of whether he could continue as a bishop of an institution that had adopted such changes. It was with that question on the table that he took his leave from the House of Bishops.

Since that time, and in the gathering of the Diocesan Clergy, the Bishop stated that he believes the Episcopal Church has crossed a line he cannot personally cross. He also expressed to the clergy that though he might act one way if he were a priest in a diocese, as a Bishop he feels deeply his vow before God to faithfully lead and shepherd the Diocese of South Carolina. Both dimensions of this dilemma weigh upon him at this time.

The Bishop has asked for a period of grace as he prayerfully seeks the face of the Lord, and asks for God’s direction (Psalm 27:7-9,14 or BCP Ps 27: 10-13, 18). He left yesterday evening, July 29, to begin several weeks of vacation. It will be a time spent on mountaintops and in deserts where the Bishop will seek refreshment and discernment. Upon his return at the end of August he will meet with the Standing Committee and the clergy of the diocese to share that discernment and his sense of the path forward.

In the interim, the Bishop has asked that we hold this process in our prayers and pledge that there will be “no golden calves” or departures during his absence. Those present heartily agreed to both requests. He would also encourage the clergy as they are able to gather in deaneries for prayer and intercession. I commend the prayers below as pillars around which to order your prayers for the Diocese in the coming weeks.

–(The Rev. Canon) Jim Lewis, Canon to the Ordinary, Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina

FOR BISHOP LAWRENCE:
O Father, give to our Bishop Mark, in the midst of the stresses of his position, a daily renewal in your presence, that upheld in your peace, enlightened by your Word, and strengthened by your grace, he may be a true shepherd, enabling your church to fulfill the mission you have given us, for Jesus’ sake. AMEN.

FOR THE CLERGY OF THE DIOCESE:
Almighty and everlasting God, from whom comes every good and perfect gift; send down upon our bishops and clergy, and upon the congregations committed to their charge, the healthful spirit of your grace; and, that they may truly please you, pour upon them the continual dew of your blessing. Grant this, O Lord, for the honor of our Advocate and Mediator, Jesus Christ. AMEN.

FOR THE PARISHES OF THE DIOCESE:
Almighty and ever living God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth, hear our prayers for our parish families. Strengthen the faithful, arouse the careless, and restore the penitent. Grant us all things necessary for our common life, and bring us all to be of one heart and mind within your holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.

FOR THE LEADERSHIP OF THE DIOCESE:
Gracious Father, we pray for your holy Catholic Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son our Savior. AMEN.

FOR THE DAYS AHEAD:
O God, you have bound us together in a common life. Help us, in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront one another without hatred or bitterness, and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.

Almighty God, give us a new vision of you, of your love, of your grace and power; and then give us a new vision of what you would have us to do as your church in this nation at this time, and an awareness that in the strength of your Spirit we can do it, to your glory, in Jesus name. AMEN.

Link

Posted in * Admin, * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, --Gen. Con. 2012, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Featured (Sticky), General Convention, Liturgy, Music, Worship, TEC Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Morning Data Mine–Historical GDP Numbers for the United States from 1930 until 2011

See if you can take a guess at one of these before you look–the Top Five Years for GDP Expansion, the Top Five Years for GDP Contraction, the Top Five Quarters for GDP Expansion (Annualized), or the Top Five Quarters for GDP Contraction (Annualized). Then go and check it out.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, History, The U.S. Government

([London] Times) Alan Posener–Germany reaches its Eurosceptic Moment

The anger within the three parties of the ruling coalition is understandable. These are the parties of the German taxpayer, after all, and ever since the sovereign debt crisis began they have been reciting the mantra that the eurozone is not and will not become a “transfer union”; that there will be no mutualisation of debt; that Mediterranean sloth and tax evasion will not be rewarded by payments from hardworking, honest Nordic Germany.

If this sounds racist, it’s because the debate is tinged on all sides by nationalist stereotypes. The German middle class feels it has been had and the country is digesting Moody’s downgrading of its credit rating. “Is this what we get for saving the Greeks?” asks the tabloid Bild. Good question….

It is impossible to explain to a German who has had her retirement age upped to 67, or an unemployed German whose benefits have been cut to balance the budget, why billions of euros should go south to support governments that didn’t have the guts to slash social spending or who let their citizens retire to the beach at 55.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, England / UK, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Foreign Relations, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Politics in General, Portugal, Psychology, Spain

(Beliefnet) Chad Bonham–A conversation with U.S. Olympian Missy Franklin

Bonham: Can you tell me about your faith journey?

Franklin: Religion was not important in my parents’ upbringing. Therefore I never had a church home. We occasionally attended a church service but I felt so uncomfortable and self-conscious as I didn’t know what was expected. Before my freshman year I visited Regis Jesuit High School. As I walked in the main door, I felt at peace and knew I belonged there. From that first moment, I knew God was with me. Every day over the last three years, my faith has grown. One of my favorite times is going to our beautiful school chapel and spending time with God. This year, I attended Kairos with my Regis Jesuit sisters and it changed my life forever. I now really work on keeping my faith strong.

Bonham: How has your faith in God specifically helped you deal with the challenges you’ve faced as an Olympic hopeful?

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture, Sports

(AP) Pedestrians distracted by electronic devices stumble into danger, raising safety concerns

A young man talking on a cellphone meanders along the edge of a lonely train platform at night. Suddenly he stumbles, loses his balance and pitches over the side, landing head first on the tracks.

Fortunately there were no trains approaching the Philadelphia-area station at that moment, because it took the man several minutes to recover enough to climb out of danger. But the incident, captured last year by a security camera and provided to The Associated Press, underscores the risks of what government officials and safety experts say is a growing problem: distracted walking.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Psychology, Science & Technology, Travel, Urban/City Life and Issues

Shay Gaillard–“…[Bishop Mark Lawrence], Camp and Chick-Fil-A”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Ignatius of Loyola

O God, by whose grace thy servant Ignatius, enkindled with the fire of thy love, became a burning and a shining light in thy Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and may ever walk before thee as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, liveth and reigneth, one God, now and for ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Grant, O heavenly Father, that by the guidance of the Holy Spirit we may be enabled to discern thy holy will; and that by the grace of the same Spirit we may also be enabled to do it, gladly and with our whole hearts; for the glory of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture 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

(RNS) Scotland to legalize Same Sex Marriage by 2015

Scotland has announced it will allow same-sex weddings as early as 2015, becoming the first country in the United Kingdom to do so.

“We are committed to a Scotland that is fair and equal, and that is why we intend to proceed with plans to allow same sex marriage and religious ceremonies for civil partnerships,” said Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who made the announcement on Wednesday (July 25).

The Church of Scotland and the Roman Catholic Church were against the move, but gay-friendly Christian groups said they were “relieved” by the announcement.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Scotland, Sexuality

(Sightings) Martin Marty on the Episcopal Church, Ross Douthat, and the responses thereto

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Commentary, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, History, Media, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Secularism, Theology

(USA Today) Henry Brinton–Olympics' religious roots

When the Summer Olympics opened in London last Friday, there was a version of a religious ritual in the Olympic oath, procession of athletes and lighting of the flame. This was no accident because the modern Olympics have religious roots, though they appear to have largely secular fruits.

I’m reminded of this fact because it was in London in 1908 that an Anglican bishop named Ethelbert Talbot first said, “The most important thing in these Olympics is not so much winning as taking part” ”” a phrase that became part of the Olympic creed. He was following in the footsteps of Catholic priest Henri Didon, who gets credit for the official Olympic motto citius, altius, fortius (faster, higher, stronger). When Didon was a seminarian in the mid-1800s,his superiors organized “Olympic games” for the students, years before the first modern Olympiad in 1896.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Globalization, History, Religion & Culture, Sports

Video Poker 2.0? South Carolina sees spread of new computer gaming machines

Seated in front of a colorfully lit desktop computer playing “Shamrock,” hair stylist Constance Washington says her dream is to hit it big.

But like most pay-to-play games, things haven’t gone so well. Of the 1,000 hours she has spent inside a recently opened arcade on McMillan Avenue in North Charleston, hitting a touch screen over and over, Washington estimates that she is down about $300.

“I’m a gambler,” she admits. “I’m not going to lie to you.”

Read it all from the front page of yesterday’s local paper.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Gambling

Giving Vacation Bible School an Update for the 21st Century

When Ed Young was growing up in small-town Mississippi, a boy far more interested in baseball than the state of his immortal soul, his mother asked him to attend Vacation Bible School. He put her off until a friend of his passed along a secret: all the students were going to make shoeshine boxes.

On that basis alone, Mr. Young spent the summer of 1947 at First Baptist Church in Laurel, Miss. He indeed made the shoeshine box. And he also learned the basics of Christianity from the pastor’s wife. During the Bible school’s commencement ceremony, he stepped forward to be baptized.

Exactly 65 summers later, the Rev. Ed Young has reapplied the principle of evangelical enticement as the pastor of Second Baptist Church in Houston, a megachurch of five campuses and 58,000 members. He has overseen the creation of Vacation Bible School for the 21st century ”” an over-the-top amalgam of Christian rock, humorous skits, Broadway-style musicals and, lest we forget, strobe lights and fog machines.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Children, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Mollie Hemingway–Roman Catholic marriage chief Salvatore Cordileone sent to San Francisco

Read it all.

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

Doctor Shortage Likely to Worsen With Health Law

In the Inland Empire, an economically depressed region in Southern California, President Obama’s health care law is expected to extend insurance coverage to more than 300,000 people by 2014. But coverage will not necessarily translate into care: Local health experts doubt there will be enough doctors to meet the area’s needs. There are not enough now.

Other places around the country, including the Mississippi Delta, Detroit and suburban Phoenix, face similar problems. The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that in 2015 the country will have 62,900 fewer doctors than needed. And that number will more than double by 2025, as the expansion of insurance coverage and the aging of baby boomers drive up demand for care. Even without the health care law, the shortfall of doctors in 2025 would still exceed 100,000.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, America/U.S.A., Economy, Health & Medicine

(SMH) Has sponsorship spoilt the Olympic spirit?

An interesting discussion–read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Globalization, Media, Sports

([London] Times) Tzipi Livni–A terrorist is a terrorist. Europe got it wrong

Last week the EU rejected Israel’s request to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organisation. The recent attack in Bulgaria, in which five Israeli tourists were killed and 30 others wounded, and the concern that Syria may provide Hezbollah with chemical weapons, added urgency to Israel’s request. Nonetheless, Europe, which is vulnerable to terrorism on its own soil, refused the request, in part on the grounds that Hezbollah is also a political party.

Hezbollah does indeed play on both fields: it is a terrorist organisation operated by Iran and a Lebanese political party. But the EU’s stance, whereby political activity is regarded as sound defence against being declared a terrorist organisation provides legitimacy to terrorism, encourages violence, and fatally harms moderates.

Europe, the cradle of democracy, should have stated unequivocally: one cannot be involved in terrorism and enjoy the legitimacy of a political party….

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Israel, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Politics in General, Terrorism

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard–Only Mario Draghi's ECB can avert global calamity before the year is out

Mario Draghi has promised the moon. The European Central Bank’s council had better deliver on his pledge this week. If it does not, the crisis will surely escalate out of control in August or soon after.

We are beyond the point where a quarter point rate cut will achieve anything. Nor will it help to launch a fresh round of “temporary and limited” bond purchases – to use the self-defeating language that Mr Draghi is forced to utter.

The only issue that matters at this late stage is whether Germany is willing to let the ECB step up to its responsibility as a global central bank after two years of ideological posturing and take all risk of sovereign default in Spain and Italy off the table – which it can do easily enough once it stops playing politics and obeys the “financial stability” clause (Article 127) of the Lisbon Treaty.

Read it all.

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, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Kendall Harmon's Sermon from Yesterday–Discipleship as Testing and Dying

Listen to it all if you care to do so.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Sermons & Teachings, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Peter Edelman–Poverty in America: Why Can’t We End It?

The lowest percentage in poverty since we started counting was 11.1 percent in 1973. The rate climbed as high as 15.2 percent in 1983. In 2000, after a spurt of prosperity, it went back down to 11.3 percent, and yet 15 million more people are poor today.

At the same time, we have done a lot that works. From Social Security to food stamps to the earned-income tax credit and on and on, we have enacted programs that now keep 40 million people out of poverty. Poverty would be nearly double what it is now without these measures, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. To say that “poverty won” is like saying the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts failed because there is still pollution.

With all of that, why have we not achieved more? Four reasons: An astonishing number of people work at low-wage jobs. Plus, many more households are headed now by a single parent, making it difficult for them to earn a living income from the jobs that are typically available. The near disappearance of cash assistance for low-income mothers and children ”” i.e., welfare ”” in much of the country plays a contributing role, too. And persistent issues of race and gender mean higher poverty among minorities and families headed by single mothers.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Poverty

(Post-Dispatch) Susan Goff first female bishop of Episcopal Diocese of Virginia

Susan E. Goff became the first female bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia when she was consecrated Saturday in Richmond.

The elaborate ceremony, which lasted more than two hours, reflected Goff’s goal of reaching out to Latinos, Asians and other people of color.

A Gospel selection, for example, was read in Korean, Spanish, Vietnamese and English.

Read it all.

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

A Prayer for the Feast Day of William Wilberforce

Just and eternal God, we offer thanks for the stalwart faith and persistence of thy servants William Wilberforce and Anthony Ashley-Cooper, who, undeterred by opposition and failure, held fast to a vision of justice in which no child of yours might suffer in enforced servitude and misery. Grant that we, drawn by that same Gospel vision, may persevere in serving the common good and caring for those who have been cast down, that they may be raised up through Jesus Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Almighty and merciful Lord, who givest unto thy faithful people the Holy Spirit as a sure pledge of thy heavenly kingdom: Grant unto us this same Spirit, that he may bear witness with our spirit that we be thy children and heirs of thy kingdom; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

–Godly Prayers

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Be gracious to me, O God, for men trample upon me; all day long foemen oppress me; my enemies trample upon me all day long, for many fight against me proudly. When I am afraid, I put my trust in thee. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust without a fear. What can flesh do to me?

–Psalm 56:1-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture