Daily Archives: August 26, 2012

Unitarians Break With Tradition of Extended Time Off in Summer

“If you phone a Unitarian Church between the middle of June and Labor Day in September, the most you are apt to get is a recorded message,” Charles S. Slap said in his sermon at the First Unitarian Society of Schenectady, N.Y., on Sept. 8, 1985. “Our more orthodox friends never cease to be astounded by the contents of the message: ”˜This church is closed for the summer. If you are one of those people who actually need a church during the summer, try the Presbyterians.’ ”

Was he joking? Well, in part ”” Mr. Slap surely did not wish Presbyterianism on potential followers. But in the matter of his own church being closed for the summer, he was serious. “Indeed,” he added, “85 percent of Unitarian societies go into their strange ecclesiastical hibernation” in the summer months.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(Local Paper Faith and Values Section) New Anglican church consecrates Steve Wood

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

With the cost of food rising, consumers are cutting back, or doing without

The way food prices are these days, Sheanna Caban and her family have had to adjust to a life of meatless Mondays and a whole lot of pasta on the dinner menu.

The 32-year-old mother of two and her husband work behind the scenes at local television stations. But even with two incomes, they struggle to keep pace with the ever-rising cost of living and raising a family.

With staples like milk going for $3.50 or more per gallon, just putting food on the table leaves a big dent in the budget of middle-class families like the Cabans.

“It’s a big concern,” she said. “Our grocery bills are second on the list of expenses, right after rent.”

Read it all from the local paper.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * General Interest, Consumer/consumer spending, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Personal Finance

A Series on The Cultural Mandate from the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics

To find satisfaction and meaning in our vocational callings we must begin to understand the importance of the Cultural Mandate. It is the only way to see our work in a truly Biblical framework.

Through the lens of the Cultural Mandate we will finally see our work as “the full expression of the worker’s faculties, the thing in which he finds spiritual, mental, and bodily satisfaction, and the medium in which he offers himself to God.” (Dorothy Sayers, Unpopular Opinions)

Read it all (seven parts).

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Pastoral Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Nigel Cameron–On the Death of Neil Armstrong, the Man on the Moon

I had met him. Met him at an embassy in Washington, DC, where despite the fact he was guest of honor there seemed much more interest in the cocktails than in shaking his hand. So I shook it. And we talked. About the moon, about the occasion, and about C-PET. And our shared birthday. A man as modest as Steve Jobs, that other defining figure of our technological age, was self-absorbed. A man whose anguish as 43 years were spent by this allegedly visionary nation in failing to build on what he had signally achieved was kept almost entirely quiet (the Obama administration’s space strategy emerging in 2010 finally drew him and his fellow astronauts into polite regret). The first earth-man to set foot on another body in space; who for all we know was the first sentient being ever to do that in the vast expanses of the cosmos…

Andrew Keen’s brilliant and non-naive critique of naive digital culture has forcibly reminded us of the flawed genius of utilitarianism. If what truly matters is for us to be happy, if the summum bonum of Homo sapiens lies not in the beatific vision and the cultural mandate (and if, dear secular thinker, you don’t know what they mean, o boy, you should), or even a post-theistic re-statement of them both, but in a mirror and a merely social network, then who can challenge the Lotos-eaters or their chip-popping couch potato cognates, for whom the good life is merely the life at ease?…

This modest engineer became a Right Stuff pilot and the first walker on another world. 43 long years later we are ambling back into the game. There’s time to make up.

Read it all and do follow all the links.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Parish Ministry, Science & Technology

To Retain Young Workers, More Firms Bow to Generation Y's Demands; Some Older Employees Cry Foul

They’re often criticized as spoiled, impatient, and most of all, entitled.

But as millennials enter the workforce, more companies are jumping through hoops to accommodate their demands for faster promotions, greater responsibilities and more flexible work schedules””much to the annoyance of older co-workers who feel they have spent years paying their dues to rise through the ranks.

Employers, however, say concessions are necessary to retain the best of millennials, also known as Generation Y, which is broadly defined as those born in the 1980s and 1990s. They bring fresh skills to the workplace: they’re tech-savvy, racially diverse, socially interconnected and collaborative. Moreover, companies need to keep their employee pipelines full as baby boomers enter retirement.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Psychology, Young Adults

Tim Keller on Marriage and the Myth of Compatibility

In generations past, there was far less talk about “compatibility” and finding the ideal soul-mate. Today we are looking for someone who accepts us as we are and fulfills our desires, and this creates an unrealistic set of expectations that frustrates both the searchers and the searched for.

In John Tierney’s classic humor article “Picky, Picky, Picky” he tries nobly to get us to laugh at the impossible situation our culture has put us in. He recounts many of the reasons his single friends told him they had given up on their recent relationships:

“She mispronounced ”˜Goethe.’”
“How could I take him seriously after seeing The Road Less Traveled on his bookshelf?”
“If she would just lose seven pounds.”
“Sure, he’s a partner, but it’s not a big firm. And he wears those short black socks.”
“Well, it started out great … beautiful face, great body, nice smile. Everything was going fine””until she turned around.” He paused ominously and shook his head. ”… She had dirty elbows.”

In other words, some people in our culture want too much out of a marriage partner. They do not see marriage as two flawed people coming together to create a space of stability, love and consolation, a “haven in a heartless world,” as Christopher Lasch describes it. Rather, they are looking for someone who will accept them as they are, complement their abilities and fulfill their sexual and emotional desires. This will indeed require a woman who is “a novelist/astronaut with a background in fashion modeling,” and the equivalent in a man. A marriage based not on self-denial but on self-fulfillment will require a low- or no-maintenance partner who meets your needs while making almost no claims on you. Simply put””today people are asking far too much in the marriage partner.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Evangelicals, History, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology

How a Librarian, a Cartoonist and the Internet Saved a Piece of History–Nikola Tesla's Lab

The only remaining laboratory of one of the greatest American inventors may soon be purchased so that it can be turned into a museum, thanks to an Internet campaign that raised nearly a million dollars in about a week.

The lab was called Wardenclyffe, and it was built by Nikola Tesla, a wizard of electrical engineering whose power systems lit up the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 and harnessed the mighty Niagara Falls.

“He is the developer of the alternating current system of electrical transmission that we use throughout the world today,” says Jane Alcorn, president of a nonprofit group called The Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe, which wants to buy the site and preserve the lab by making it a museum.

Please if you can listen to (but if you can’t read) it all. Consider also following the links if you have time, they are great fun.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, America/U.S.A., Blogging & the Internet, History, Science & Technology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty God, who hast highly exalted thy Son Jesus Christ and given him the name which is above every name: Grant that we may ever acknowledge him to be the Lord, and offer to him both the homage of our hearts and the service of our lives; to the glory of thy holy name, who art our God and Father, now and for evermore.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Theology: Scripture

From the Morning Bible Readings

He went away from there and came to his own country; and his disciples followed him. And on the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue; and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get all this? What is the wisdom given to him? What mighty works are wrought by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands upon a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went about among the villages teaching.

–Mark 6:1-6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Neil Armstrong, First Man To Walk On The Moon, Dies

Former astronaut Neil Armstrong, known for his words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” has died. The first man ever to walk on the moon was 82.

Armstrong had cardiac bypass surgery earlier this month, as Mark wrote, and at the time, his wife said he was “doing great.” Former astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin tweeted that he planned on joining Armstrong on the 50th anniversary of the famous Apollo 11 mission in 2019.

Today his family said he died following cardiovascular procedures, according to AP….

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Parish Ministry, Science & Technology

PBS' Religion and Ethics Newsweekly–Faith, Politics, and the National Cathedral

[DEBORAH] POTTER: Twenty million dollars to repair a building is a lot of money. Is it worth it? Is there a real value to having cathedrals in the 21st century?

[FRANK] WADE: Cathedrals are part of where our culture restores its spiritual values and its sense of mystery. That’s really important. We need places like that, and the Washington National Cathedral plays that role in a peculiar way, in a particular way on the national scene””a great church for national purposes. So I think it’s very, very important. We would lose a great deal if we had no place to turn at key moments in our life when we want to remember God, remember mystery in the larger context of life.

POTTER: The Cathedral has always been a place where dialogue happens, and most recently, you’ve opened up the pages of your magazine to a dialogue, or at least a Q and A with the two presidential candidates about their faith. Why was that important?

WADE: It’s important because there’s no””while we separate church and state, there is no separation of faith and state. Faith is how you figure out life. It’s how you set priorities. The faith of our leaders is a very, very important part of the conversation. It’s how they will approach their job. So it’s a legitimate part of what goes on.

Read or watch it all and please note the link to the Cathedral Age issue which asks each of the parties’ prospective presidential nominees questions about their faith.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, TEC Parishes, Urban/City Life and Issues

New Zealand Anglican bishop gives up priesthood

In a rare move the former head of the Anglican Church in Wellington has surrendered his licence as a priest.

Bishop Tom Brown told The Dominion Post yesterday he voluntarily gave up his right to officiate earlier this month “to be loyal to the church and maintain the church’s integrity”.

The announcement comes amid speculation surrounding the 69-year-old’s split with wife Dwyllis Brown.

Members of the church community are said to be “deeply shocked and feel a bit let down” at Dr Brown’s decision, which comes only six months after he retired as Bishop of Wellington, a position he held since he was elected in 1998.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology

Steve Wood Consecrated first bishop of the Diocese of the Carolinas, ACNA

You can find individual photos here as well as a slideshow there. For any who did not see it earlier or who wish to be reminded, you can see some background on this event there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)