Daily Archives: August 19, 2012

Two More Churches in Indonesia Forced to close

Two more churches in Indonesia’s West Java province have been forcibly closed amid opposition and disputes over paperwork.

A large tent used for services by St Johannes Baptista Church in Bogor was sealed off by the authorities on 7 August. The congregation has been using the tent since 2006 as a temporary measure while the church awaits a permit for a proper building, which it applied for in 2000.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Libyans Eye New Relations With the West

As Libya faces enormous challenges in establishing security and laying the groundwork for a stable and prosperous state, Gallup surveys show Libyans are reaching out to the West for increased partnership. The U.S. in particular has an excellent opportunity to build a mutually beneficial, productive relationship with Libya for the first time in decades and could potentially find itself with a new, democratic ally in North Africa. A majority of Libyans (54%) surveyed in March and April 2012 approve of the leadership of the U.S. — among the highest approval Gallup has ever recorded in the Middle East and North Africa region, outside of Israel.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, America/U.S.A., England / UK, Europe, Foreign Relations, Libya, Politics in General

Anglican priest at Sonora's Red Church gets fantasy adventure published

The Rev. Wolfgang Krismanits clearly remembers the first time he thought about writing a fantasy novel. He was walking on the beach near San Diego with his oldest son, then 2, when the boy ran after a group of seagulls, crying out “Dak, Dak” (his word for duck).

“I thought I’d like to write a children’s book about a seagull,” said Krismanits, the Anglican priest at the historic Red Church in Sonora.

Although it’s taken him 25 years to revise his original concept and complete his quest, Krismanits’ “The Seven Scrolls: Sword of Pantok” finally made it to print, released in May by Tate Publishing.

Read it all and you can find the parish website there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Books, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Steve Wood of St. Andrew’s Church to lead new Anglican Diocese of the Carolinas

Q: You have been one of the area’s more visible and respected church leaders, and now you’re taking on more responsibility. But you’re also a family man with a wife, Jacqui, four sons and interests in sports, music, travel and more. Your life must be a constant balancing act. How do you manage it?

A: You forgot a daughter-in-law and a grandson! I think, fundamentally, that I’ve discovered a heavenly Father who has reliably and consistently communicated himself to me, thereby shaping and imparting my self-understanding and my self-identity.

I’ve defined, a very long time ago, what success looks like to me. I’ve found satisfaction in Christ and, possessing him, I find satisfaction in life. Also, fortunately, my family enjoys many of the same things, so spending time together, praying, enjoying the outdoors, traveling ”” all of these things are things we enjoy together and that help us to stay connected.

At the beginning and end of the day, though, my life, my family’s life, are in the hands of the Lord. I have great confidence in his desire and ability to see us through the sorrows and joys of this life.

Read it all from the local paper Faith and Values section.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Parish Ministry, Theology

Richard Mammana reviews John Hall's "Queen Elizabeth II and Her Church…"

Dean Hall’s wide-ranging review takes in the queen’s anointing and coronation in 1953, her commemoration of the Slave Trade Act’s 200th anniversary, her 50th wedding anniversary, regular observances of Commonwealth Day and Remembrance Sunday, her historic meeting and prayer with Pope Benedict XVI, and of course the recent royal wedding.

The most significant and meaningful chapter, however, discusses the Royal Maundy, an annual ceremony during Holy Week in which the English monarch gives alms to a large group of poor or elderly men and women. (The older ceremony of foot-washing by the king or queen in emulation of Jesus Christ at the Last Supper seems to have ended around 1730.) The Royal Maundy service celebrated each year includes the following collect as both a description of the queen’s role within it, and a lofty example for those who hear it and read about it:

“Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who hast given thy Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins, and hast commanded us to love one another as thou hast loved us: make us, we beseech thee, so mindful of the needs of others, that we may ever be ready to show them compassion and, according to our ability, to relieve their wants; for the sake of the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.”

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

Peter Moore–Remembering George Gallup

During his college years he thought deeply about entering the ordained Episcopal ministry, but chose instead to follow in his father’s footsteps and enter the inner sanctum of the Gallup Organization. There he labored until in 1977 when others stepped in to run the family business. While continuing to have a relationship with the parent organization, he started the Princeton Religion Research organization that explored not just the usual religious statistics, but plumbed into the depths of what people actually felt about their faith and how it translated into their lives. It served as a model for other such research organizations like the one George Barna founded with Gallup’s encouragement.
This period of his and his wife Kinny’s lives coincided with a remarkable spiritual transformation that led this dynamic duo into wholly new and uncharted territory. Through rediscovering the Gospel, especially within the context of small groups that met for Bible study and prayer, they recommitted their lives to Christ and began a whirlwind life of speaking, writing, sharing, and serving on countless boards that were dedicated to the furtherance of the Gospel.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Church History, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

(NPR) Pakistani Televangelist Is Back On Air, Raising Fears

As Pakistan’s media has expanded in recent years, there’s been a rise in Islamic preachers with popular TV call-in talk shows. And they’ve had their share of scandal. One famous TV host fled the country after embezzlement allegations. Others are accused of spewing hate speech.

That’s the case for Pakistan’s most popular televangelist, Aamir Liaquat, who’s just been rehired by the country’s top TV channel despite accusations that he provoked deadly attacks in 2008.

Read (or listen to) it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Movies & Television, Other Faiths, Pakistan, Religion & Culture, Violence

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord, we most humbly beseech thee to give us grace not only to be hearers of the Word, but also doers of the same; not only to love, but also to live thy gospel; not only to profess, but also to practise thy blessed commandments, unto the honour of thy holy name.

–Thomas Becon (c. 1511”“1567)

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his steadfast love endures for ever! Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures for ever.” Let the house of Aaron say, “His steadfast love endures for ever.” Let those who fear the LORD say, “His steadfast love endures for ever.” Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free. With the LORD on my side I do not fear. What can man do to me?

–Psalm 118:1-6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Phil. Inquirer) Empty sacred spaces become white elephants

Hunger, health care, and urban violence are the usual subjects of concern when the Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia gathers for its semiannual meetings.

But at the spring 2011 session, a new topic was cast into the mix: real estate.

A member noted that he was grappling with a growing stock of vacant churches. Hoping for a solution from his high-placed peers at the conference table, he got instead a chorus of me-toos.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, TEC Bishops, Urban/City Life and Issues

(NY Times Opinionator Blog) Benjamin Hale–The Veil of Opulence

The idea behind the veil of ignorance is relatively simple: to force us to think outside of our parochial personal concerns in order that we consider others. What Rawls saw clearly is that it is not easy for us to put ourselves in the position of others. We tend to think about others always from our own personal vantage; we tend to equate another person’s predicament with our own. Imagining what it must be like to be poor, for instance, we import presumptions about available resources, talents and opportunities ”” encouraging, say, the homeless to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and to just get a job, any job, as if getting a job is as simple as filling out an application. Meanwhile, we give little thought to how challenging this can be for those who suffer from chronic illnesses or disabling conditions. What Rawls also saw clearly was that other classic principles of justice, like the golden rule or mutual benevolence, are subject to distortion precisely because we tend to do this.

Nowadays, the veil of ignorance is challenged by a powerful but ancient contender: the veil of opulence. While no serious political philosopher actually defends such a device ”” the term is my own ”” the veil of opulence runs thick in our political discourse. Where the veil of ignorance offers a test for fairness from an impersonal, universal point of view ”” “What system would I want if I had no idea who I was going to be, or what talents and resources I was going to have?” ”” the veil of opulence offers a test for fairness from the first-person, partial point of view: “What system would I want if I were so-and-so?” These two doctrines of fairness ”” the universal view and the first-person view ”” are both compelling in their own way, but only one of them offers moral clarity impartial enough to guide our policy decisions.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Philosophy, Politics in General, Psychology, Theology

(BBC) South Africa Lonmin killings: Anger over missing miners

Many families of miners caught up in violence at a platinum mine in South Africa are unaware of their fate, two days after 34 people were killed when police opened fire at striking workers.

Angry relatives say the authorities have not produced a list of the dead.

At least 78 people were also injured and more than 200 people arrested.

Meanwhile, thousands of the miners have cheered on controversial youth leader Julius Malema who called for the president to resign over the clashes.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Children, Corporations/Corporate Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, South Africa