Daily Archives: October 13, 2012

(AJC) Robert Wright becomes first African-American Episcopal bishop for Atlanta diocese

(From last night) The Rev. Robert C. Wright will be ordained as the 10th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta in a ceremony Saturday at the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College.

The ceremony, which begins at 10:30 a.m., will be held at the chapel, 830 Westview Dr. S.W.

Wright, 48, a Howard University and Virginia Theological Seminary graduate, will become the first African-American bishop to lead the diocese, which is among the largest in the world. The Atlanta diocese, which covers middle and north Georgia, has 96 parishes and 56,000 members.

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

The [Mark] Regnerus Affair (II)–[Today's] New York Times' Beliefs Article

Because Dr. Regnerus would not be interviewed, it is impossible to know his latest views about the relationship between his faith and research. But we can still ask if, in principle, belief in the divinity of Jesus could affect one’s social science. Put another way: Is there a Christian way to crunch numbers?

“The answer, in my personal opinion, is no,” said Mark Chaves, a sociologist of religion at Duke Divinity School. But, he added, religious concerns “can very profoundly shape the kinds of questions we ask, and what we’re interested in, what we think is important and so on.” So while “in the narrowest sense it doesn’t affect his computations,” Dr. Regnerus’s Christian faith may have drawn him to questions about same-sex relationships and family structure.

And a religious worldview, like any worldview, can dispose a researcher toward certain mistakes in thinking….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Children, Education, Evangelicals, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Sociology

The [Mark] Regnerus Affair (I)–Christianity Today

If you want to know how University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus’s summer has gone, look no further than The Weekly Standard. On the cover of the conservative magazine’s July 30 issue are two hooded henchmen impishly turning the gears on a medieval torture wheel holding Regnerus, sweating beads as he tries to stay in one piece. The cover copy”””Revenge of the Sociologists: The perils of politically incorrect academic research”””hints at the situation sparked by the publication of Regnerus’s newest research as well as the broader political discourse over same-sex marriage.

The survey, known as the New Family Structures Study (NFSS), is remarkable in its scope. It’s a random national sample, considered “the gold standard” of social science surveys. NFSS measures the economic, relational, political, and psychological effects on adults ages 18 to 39 who grew up in families where the father or mother engaged in homosexual behavior. Despite Regnerus’s repeated caution that the NFSS does not account for stable same-sex marriages (since same-sex marriage as such didn’t exist when the survey participants were children), he has undergone professional censure. Social Science Research conducted an internal audit on the peer-review process of the NFSS, and the University of Texas at Austin investigated Regnerus following allegations of “scientific misconduct.” (The school has since cleared Regnerus of the allegations.)

Regnerus agreed to an e-mail interview with Christianity Today associate editor Katelyn Beaty to set the record straight on the NFSS and its many discontents.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Children, Education, Evangelicals, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Sociology

Must not miss audio from NPR–Emma Thompson Revives Anarchist 'Peter Rabbit'

Emma Thompson isn’t just an Oscar-winning actress; she’s also an Oscar-winning writer. Thompson authored the 1995 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, and now she’s taken on another period project ”” reviving the classic children’s book character Peter Rabbit.

Beatrix Potter first brought the mischievous bunny to life in 1902 with tales of stealing lettuce and making trouble. Now, Thompson’s version takes Peter Rabbit across the Scottish countryside. Not surprisingly, it opens with Peter Rabbit contemplating an adventure in which he’s sure to break a lot of rules.

“Peter is sort of anarchistic, which I love,” Thompson tells NPR’s Renee Montagne….

Listen to it all at the link provided here (a little under 8 minutes).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Animals, Books, Children, England / UK, History

(Post-Gazette) Episcopal Diocese settles on Uptown property in Pittsburgh

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh has reached a settlement with Shepherd’s Heart Fellowship in Uptown, giving that ministry to the homeless clear title to all of its property and assets despite its affiliation with the rival Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh.

A joint statement from the Episcopal Diocese and Shepherd’s Heart stressed that its ministry to the poor was unique and “this agreement should not be interpreted as a model for resolving other property disputes.”

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh split in 2008, with the majority of its parishes leaving the Episcopal Church for the theologically conservative Anglican Church in North America. The Episcopal Diocese won a court battle awarding it all centrally held diocesan assets, but parish property is to be settled on a case-by-case basis.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh, TEC Departing Parishes

Best Tweet of the Year So Far in the 2012 Presidential Election Cycle Ending with the November Vote?

The. Polls. Have. Stopped. Making. Any. Sense.

–From Nate Silver of the New York Times 538 blog on the day in September where one poll had President Obama 14 ahead in Wisconsin, and another had Romney ahead by 3 in New Hampshire.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, America/U.S.A., Blogging & the Internet, Media, Politics in General, Psychology, Science & Technology, Sociology

Anglican Communion Institute–Polity Politics or The Rule Of Law? A Response To Bishop Whalon

This last point brings us to the crux of our disagreement with Bishop Whalon: does TEC’s Constitution create a “metropolitical authority” superior to the diocesan bishop? Bishop Whalon thinks it does. Without citing or alluding to a single provision of the Constitution, he merely asserts: “the metropolitical authority”¦ resides in the General Convention”¦.The General Convention is at the top of our hierarchy.” We disagree. And it is important to emphasize that our disagreement with this conclusion is based fundamentally on an undeniable legal fact: nowhere does TEC’s Constitution state what Bishop Whalon asserts.

“Metropolitical authority” is a very precise and technical ecclesiological term. “Top of the hierarchy” is a very colloquial allusion to a legal concept that is widely used and readily identified in constitutions and legal documents. The legal term most often used to express this concept is “supremacy,” as in the English Act of Supremacy by which the Church of England separated from Rome and the oath of supremacy that all Church of England bishops continue to swear to this day. There are also other terms that are recognized legally as expressing this concept, but none of them is used in TEC’s Constitution. If there were any constitutional article stating that the General Convention is the supreme or highest or metropolitical authority in the church, we can be quite confident that Bishop Whalon would have quoted it rather than relying on mere colloquial assertion.

Again it is important to stress the context of this debate: a legal brief to a civil court. Given the constraints of the First Amendment, secular courts of law can draw conclusions about church polity only when those conclusions are stated plainly in recognizable legal language in the church’s governing instruments””in other words “on the face of it.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, - Anglican: Analysis, --Aggressive Title IV Action Against Multiple Bishops on Eve of Gen. Con. 2012, America/U.S.A., Church History, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, TEC Bishops, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

Bishop Pierre Whalon [The Episcopal Church's] Polity Politics

The first constitution of the church, ratified in 1789, reflects these foundational principles. Parishes were led jointly by rectors and vestries: clergy overseeing worship and education, and elected laypeople managing finances and property, as well as calling new rectors. The tradition of colonial conventions led to state conventions, which were what we now call dioceses, presided by the bishop but that have power to determine the life of the diocese. The annual diocesan convention oversees finances, elects a bishop when necessary and a standing committee and other governing bodies (depending on the dioceses) to exercise jurisdiction.

So far these were not very different than the features of English church life. It was the creation of a “general convention” endued with specific powers that marked the American Episcopal revolution. In short, while the Church of England and most of the churches that came from it have an archbishop who serves as the metropolitical authority, that authority resides in the General Convention.

Thus on the face of it, the seven bishops [signed an amicus curiæ brief submitted to the Texas Supreme Court] are right. In The Episcopal Church, the classic church hierarchy of deacon ”” priest ”” diocesan ”” archbishop ends at the diocesan level. But this is to misunderstand what a hierarchy is.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Aggressive Title IV Action Against Multiple Bishops on Eve of Gen. Con. 2012, America/U.S.A., Church History, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Religion & Culture, TEC Bishops, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

CC Sabathia pitches Yankees into ALCS with 3-1 win over Orioles

More than honoring his status as staff ace, the lefthander pitched the Yankees into the ALCS against Detroit with a dominating complete-game effort in a 3-1 victory over the Orioles Friday night in front of 47,081 chilly fans at the Stadium.

“CC was unbelievable tonight,” said Raul Ibañez, whose single off Jason Hammel in the fifth broke a scoreless tie. “That performance was a tremendous warrior, a tremendous competitor. He willed that to happen. That’s what it looked like.”

Orioles manager Buck Showalter compared Sabathia’s performance (one run, four hits, two walks, nine strikeouts) to Justin Verlander’s in leading the Tigers past the A’s in Game 5.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

Meanwhile, in Washington D.C.–Nationals fall one strike short against St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5

The question of how baseball could be so cruel to this city may be answered some day. It existed in horrible form in the nation’s capital for decades, and then it vanished for 33 years. It came back gnarled and wretched for seven more seasons, only to yield to this blissful summer, to the moment Friday past midnight when Drew Storen stood on the mound at chilled Nationals Park and, with two outs in the ninth inning, threw 13 pitches that could have moved the Washington Nationals four wins from the World Series.

The St. Louis Cardinals would not allow it. Baseball, this town’s cold mistress, the sport that dares you to love it, would not let it happen. The Nationals led the Cardinals by six runs after three innings. They led by two runs after eight innings. Washington’s miserable relationship with baseball had been exorcised, until it materialized in a more wrenching, twisted fashion than ever seen before….

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Posted in Uncategorized

Saint Louis Post-Dispatch–Once again, resilient Redbirds refuse to lose

On a bracing Friday night that felt chilled and charmed, just like the enchanted autumn of 2011, the Cardinals gave us one of the all-time shockers. It was something out of the imagination, a baseball fable that couldn’t be real. Except it did really happen, and if you closed your eyes and listened intently, you may have heard the echoes of the late Jack Buck barking “Go crazy, folks. Go crazy.”

In one of the most amazing, improbable, remarkable, miraculous, incredible, unbelievable, astonishing and stupefying comebacks in MLB postseason history, the Cardinals came up with the 2012 version of Game 6.

This was another October, in a new year and in a different city. The retired future Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa wasn’t here to push them on, and the menacing Albert Pujols wasn’t waving a bat at the Nationals, playing his customary role of enforcer. None of it mattered during this 3 hours and 49 minutes of mayhem and madness. The Cardinals are still the team that wouldn’t die.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

Sexting, cyberbullying among technology-related issues facing (South Carolina) Lowcountry students

Detective Doug Galluccio hadn’t finished unpacking his new desk when he got his first call from a school resource officer about a sexting incident.

A seventh-grader at C.E. Williams Middle School had taken nude photos of herself and sent them by cellphone to five male classmates. Those ended up posted online.

That was in 2010 when Galluccio became Charleston’s first full-time police officer dedicated to the Internet Crimes Against Children task force. It was his job to help investigate the incident….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Children, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Teens / Youth, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Almighty God, from whom every good prayer cometh, and who pourest out on all who desire it the spirit of grace and supplication: Deliver us, when we draw near to thee, from coldness of heart and wanderings of mind; that with steadfast thoughts and kindled affection we may worship thee in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–William Bright

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Now you are walled about with a wall; siege is laid against us; with a rod they strike upon the cheek the ruler of Israel. But you, O Bethlehem Eph’rathah, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in travail has brought forth; then the rest of his brethren shall return to the people of Israel. And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth.

–Micah 5:1-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

TEC Diocese of Pittsburgh Settles with Shepherd's Heart Fellowship

(Please note you may find more about this ministry here and there–KSH).

The agreement builds on a long-standing support of the Shepherd’s Heart ministry by many parishes of the Episcopal Diocese, who, along with individual parishioners, regularly donate, prepare and serve meals to the Shepherd’s Heart congregation. This has continued in spite of differences over whether Shepherd’s Heart Fellowship validly withdrew from the Episcopal Church in October 2008 and is now part of the Anglican Church in North America. The agreement sets this issue aside in favor of mutually serving the homeless, the poor, and the addicted. Both parties recognize the new relationship between the Episcopal Diocese and Shepherd’s Heart Fellowship is not of an ecclesiastical nature, such as would normally exist between a diocese and a parish, but one of cooperation and collaboration in a specialized ministry. Because of this unique use of the Shepherd’s Heart property, the parties have agreed that this agreement should not be interpreted as a model for resolving other property disputes.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Housing/Real Estate Market, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Poverty, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh, Urban/City Life and Issues