Daily Archives: August 4, 2012

Archbishop Sentamu's Big Questions Interview in The Independent

Would it be a bad thing if the Church of England were disestablished?

It would be a very bad thing. I don’t think that we always appreciate as a society the role that the Church of England plays in being there for us all. Being the spiritual glue that cements the social fabric of our society. It’s not just about the important role that Bishops play in the House of Lords or on state occasions, the Church of England has a far wider role than that.

Did you know that more people volunteer for church organisations than any other organisation or group in the country? Up and down the country the Church of England is present in every community, in the North and in the South, in rural and urban settings, everywhere ”“ it has a unique role to play in maintaining and promoting community.

It’s not just about tradition, it’s about recognising that even on a basic societal level the Church of England by Law Established is looking out for those in need. As Archbishop William Temple once said, the Church is the only organisation that exists for the wellbeing of its non-members….

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

(Telegraph) Anglican authorities Seek to Use 500 Year Old Law to Help rescue Rural Parishes

[This one story illustrates the]…crisis facing the custodians of the 12,000 listed Anglican parish churches around the country, two thirds of which are in rural areas with tiny and dwindling congregations struggling to pay maintenance bills. The desperation caused by this funding shortfall has been brought into sharp relief this week by the news that thousands of homeowners living near ancient churches potentially face large bills for the upkeep of their fabric, even if they never set foot inside them.

The Anglican authorities are currently writing to parochial church councils to encourage them to register what are called “chancel repair liabilities”. These date back more than 500 years to the Reformation period and the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Those who took over what had been monks’ land took on the responsibility for repairing the chancel (the area around the altar) in the local church. These remain on the statute book, even though they have fallen into abeyance.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, History, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

(Ch. of Ireland) Report On Violence In Nigeria Published By Taskforce Including Archbishop Jackson

The religious aspect of the violence, the report says, is reinforced by radical Islamist groups like Boko Haram which, the task force believes, exploits the secular issues, and the revenge killings by Christians and Muslims.

The report states: ”˜The joint delegation believes that the primary causes of the current tension and conflict in Nigeria are not inherently based in religion but rather, rooted in a complex matrix of political, social, ethnic, economic, and legal problems, among which the issue of justice””or the lack of it””looms large as a common factor. Nevertheless, the joint delegation acknowledges that there is a possibility that the current tension and conflict might become subsumed by its religious dimension (especially along geographical ”˜religious fault”“lines’) and so particularly warns against letting this idea””through misperception and simplification”” become a self”“ fulfilling prediction.’

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Violence

PBS' Religion and Ethics Newsweekly–Episcopal-to-Catholic Converts

[MARK] LEWIS (St. Luke’s Parish): We left the Episcopal Church not because we were running away from the issues of the Episcopal Church. We left the Episcopal Church because we were running to the Catholic Church. We came to the point where we realized the theology of the Episcopal Church is what was lacking. The theology of Rome, the authority of Rome, the unity in the Holy See and in the bishops: that was appealing to us.

[BOB] FAW: Former Episcopal priest, Father Scott Hurd, married with three children, also found the move to Catholicism seamless. He was ordained into the Catholic Church in 2000 and acted as the chaplain here while Father Lewis waited to be ordained.

FATHER SCOTT HURD (US Ordinariate): There is a real hunger amongst some Episcopalians and Anglicans for authority. It was the question of where can true Christian authority be found that was a key element in this community’s journey.

Read or watch it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecclesiology, Ecumenical Relations, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, TEC Parishes, Theology

Evangelical leaders don't think US is a Christian nation, survey finds

In a statement issued Tuesday, the National Association of Evangelicals said that when it surveyed selected evangelical leaders about whether the United States was a Christian nation, 68 percent said no.

“Much of the world refers to America as a Christian nation, but most of our Christian leaders don’t think so,” said Leith Anderson, the association’s president. “The Bible only uses the word ‘Christian’ to describe people and not countries. Even those who say America is a Christian nation admit that there are lots of non-Christians and even anti-Christian beliefs and behaviors.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Evangelicals, Other Churches, Religion & Culture

The Latest London Bookmakers' Odds on the Next Archbishop of Canterbury

Check it out.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury

A ([London] Times) Article on the Alleged shortlist for next Archbishop of Canterbury

The Church of England took a significant step towards choosing the next Archbishop of Canterbury… [in late July] when the 16-person committee responsible for the decision met in secret to draw up a shortlist.

Candidates have been interviewed for the first time as the Crown Nominations Commission tries to find someone who can succeed Rowan Williams and bring peace to the Church’s warring parties in battles over homosexuals and women bishops, while helping the Church in its fight against “militant secularism”.

Among those in the running are the Bishop of Coventry, the Right Rev Christopher Cocksworth ”” the favourite ”” the Bishop of Norwich, the Right Rev Graham James, and the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu. Also in contention are the Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Rev James Jones, and the Bishop of Durham, the Right Rev Justin Welby. Bishop Welby was recently appointed to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards to help to investigate the Libor rate-fixing scandal, a move that is thought to have increased his chances of taking the top job.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE)

Oscar Pistorius makes Olympic history in the 400 Meters Sprint at London 2012

South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius made history by becoming the first amputee sprinter to compete at the Olympics.
The four-time Paralympic champion, 25, whose legs were amputated below the knee as a baby, finished second in his 400m heat in a time of 45.44 seconds to reach Sunday’s semi-final.
“I didn’t know if I should cry or be happy. It was such a mix of emotions,” Pistorius told BBC Sport.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Globalization, Health & Medicine, Sports

Bishop Peter Selby–Time for a fundamental shift in our attitude to debt and money in general

If our behaviour patterns have shaped our consciousness towards money-domination, it is new behaviour patterns that will be the form of our resistance. Naming the idol and its power is a start. Insisting that our congregations see money as a spiritual issue, to be struggled with in Lent, for instance, is another step forward. Joining the Christian Council for Monetary Justice (www.ccmj.org) or other campaigns that help us to rehearse for a different world is next. Supporting actions that will rein in the debt explosion and restore to the people and their representatives control over the instruments of exchange is the aim.

When, last autumn, St Paul’s Institute published “Value and Values”, its survey of the ­attitudes of finance-sector ­professionals, one aspect was enormously striking. While the majority of those surveyed thought they were overpaid, they also admitted that it was the money that kept them in the work. And while they thought deregulation was vital, they also thought it lowered ethical standards. It is this sense of lived contradiction that tells us that we need to stop shouting “greed” and work with the professionals to understand this trap. After all, bankers reflect our values too.

Our slavery to the principalities and powers represented by what money has been allowed to become has to be broken. Among the blandishments of choice that money seems to offer, one choice is often hidden: “You cannot be slave to God and Mammon.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

Andrew Root–Why Divorce Calls Children's Existence into Question

I don’t wish to diminish the psychological and economic impact of divorce. But if we truly are relational beings, then divorce is centrally an issue not of psychology nor of economics but of ontology””an issue of our very being. It therefore feels a little like being erased, like losing our being in the deep divide that separates our divorcing parents.

When a young person is informed of her parents’ divorce, it might be that her deepest questions are about her being: How can I be at all now that Mom and Dad aren’t together? Now that they are two, she is unavoidably divided. She has one room at Mom’s and another at Dad’s, one schedule at Dad’s and another at Mom’s. As philosopher Martin Heidegger said, we have our being in our practical way of living, in our actions. And now post-divorce, because this young person’s action and living is divided, so too is her very being. Her parents are seeking to reverse, to go back, to be as if the two never became one. But she can’t do this because she belongs (in the very material of her person that acts with and for them) to both of them.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Children, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Theology

Gallup–World Pessimistic About Job Prospects

Most of the world was pessimistic about the job market last year, according to Gallup surveys conducted in 146 countries in 2011. Fifty-seven percent of adults worldwide, on average, said it was a bad time to find a job in their local communities, while 33% said it was a good time. Europeans were the most pessimistic, with 72% saying it was a bad time. Optimism was highest in the Americas, where a still dismal 38% said it was a good time.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Globalization, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Psychology, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord Jesus Christ, thou good shepherd of the sheep, who didst come to seek and to save that which was lost: Inspire us and thy whole Church, we beseech thee, with thine own compassion for those who have wandered from thy fold and are lost; help us to be witnesses to them of thy love; and teach us what thou wouldest have us to do towards leading them home to thee; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So they took the money and did as they were directed; and this story has been spread among the Jews to this day. Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

–Matthew 28:11-20

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

83 Million Facebook Users Are Not Real People

Wondering just who everyone is on Facebook? Well, wonder about 83 million fewer of them. Via Mashable, Facebook revealed in their 10-Q that 4.8 percent of the site’s worldwide monthly active user accounts are “duplicate,” meaning “an account that a user maintains in addition to his or her principal account.” The rest are deemed “false” and fall under two headings ”” 1.5 percent are “undesirable,” used for terms of service violating activities like spamming, and 2.4 percent are “user-misclassified” meaning an account wherein “users have created personal profiles for a business, organization, or non-human entity such as a pet.” No matter how cute it is, little Fido’s profile might be deceiving people! So all told, 8.7 percent of Facebook’s users do not correspond to actual people. But considering it has 955 million users, that adds up fast.

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

Nigel Biggar–Why an Established Church of England is good for a liberal society

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, - Anglican: Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church/State Matters, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

Jonathan Chaplin–Time for the Church of England to cut the knot of Establishment

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, - Anglican: Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church/State Matters, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

(WSJ) Hiring Climbs but Jobless Rate Ticks Up in July

The report provides the latest evidence that the economy lacks the momentum to make a dent in the unemployment rate. It takes roughly 100,000 to 120,000 new jobs a month just to keep unemployment from rising, which the economy failed to do in July. That is because despite July’s impressive gains the U.S. economy has added an average of only 105,000 jobs a month over the past three months.

“We’re treading water,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Pierpont Securities. “We’re not falling down, but we’re also not making up any ground. We’re not getting any closer to a normal type of employment reading.”

Read it all, and make sure to focus on the rate that matters, which is U-6 as we have discussed many times before, it ticked up to 15% this month; in March it was 14.5%–KSH.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--