Daily Archives: December 1, 2012

(CSM) For the Amish, fastest-growing faith group in US, life is changing

For Jacob Beachy, life moves along much as it always has. Every day, there are the 35 cows that need tending, as well as 90 acres of farmland. His is the life of an Amish farmer, in which family, work, and faith intertwine on one plot of Ohio land.

Yet across the street, on 60 acres that were once a farm, stands a sprawling new mansion, complete with a multidoor garage. A few years back, that land sold for $1.4 million.

“When we moved here in 1968, we thought we were in the sticks,” Mr. Beachy says, rocking in his living-room recliner. “All of this was working farms. It’s changed a lot.”

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

James V. Heidinger–The Legacy of Theological Liberalism

I am sometimes amazed at how patient the Church has been toward liberalism and its subsequent offspring….Of late, however, we seem to have become theological pacifists, no longer shocked or offended by theological distortions regardless of how bizarre they might be. We calmly, benevolently discuss liberalism or its latter-day derivatives as we would the Sermon on the Mount, not realizing that in liberalism, historic Christianity has been gutted.
And while they mean well, those who reduce the faith to make it more acceptable to the modern mind do the Church no service. Liberalism in its various shades is still a shrunken Christianity””the pathetic result of sinful men and women who, in their quests for intellectual autonomy, would make man the measure of all things. It is a halfway house from faith to unbelief, from Christianity to secularism.
One hears Dorothy Sayers imploring, “You do Christ no honor ”˜by watering down his personality’ so he will not offend. If the mystery of the ”˜divine drama’ of God enfleshed in Christ shocks and offends believers, ”˜let them be offended.’”
As long as our society is free, we will have those who wish to improve upon Christianity by restructuring it. But let’s be sure we know when this is happening.
In the meantime, let us boldly and unapologetically commend God’s revealed Word to our unbelieving world.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, Methodist, Other Churches

(Lawrence Journal-World) Task force told out-of-wedlock births to blame for child poverty

Gov. Sam Brownback’s newly formed task force on child poverty was told Monday that the increase in “non-marital births” was a leading cause of child poverty.

Ron Haskins, a senior fellow with The Brookings Institution, said that from a child’s perspective, “They need a mom, they need a dad, they need consistency ”¦ if that occurs it has major impacts on development.”

Haskins’ comments were made during the first meeting of the Governor’s Task Force on Reducing Childhood Poverty. Brownback appointed the group earlier this month.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Poverty, State Government, Theology

150 years ago–Abraham Lincoln's Second State of the Union Delivered Dec. 1, 1862

I do not forget the gravity which should characterize a paper addressed to the Congress of the nation by the Chief Magistrate of the nation, nor do I forget that some of you are my seniors, nor that many of you have more experience than I in the conduct of public affairs. Yet I trust that in view of the great responsibility resting upon me you will perceive no want of respect to yourselves in any undue earnestness I may seem to display.

Is it doubted, then, that the plan I propose, if adopted, would shorten the war, and thus lessen its expenditure of money and of blood? Is it doubted that it would restore the national authority and national prosperity and perpetuate both indefinitely? Is it doubted that we here–Congress and Executive can secure its adoption? Will not the good people respond to a united and earnest appeal from us? Can we, can they, by any other means so certainly or so speedily assure these vital objects? We can succeed only by concert. It is not “Can any of us imagine better?” but “Can we all do better?” Object whatsoever is possible, still the question recurs, “Can we do better?” The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.

Fellow-citizens, we can not escape history. We of this Congress and this Administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance or insignificance can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation. We say we are for the Union. The world will not forget that we say this. We know how to save the Union. The world knows we do know how to save it. We, even we here, hold the power and bear the responsibility. In giving freedom to the slave we assure freedom to the free–honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve. We shall nobly save or meanly lose the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just–a way which if followed the world will forever applaud and God must forever bless.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Office of the President, Politics in General

In North Carolina, Episcopal Church of the Advocate gets a new, old church

This morning, if all goes as planned, the new old church of the Episcopal Church of the Advocate will begin its journey from Germanton to Chapel Hill. Built in the early 1890s, the historic St. Philip’s Episcopal Church will take nine days to get here, traveling mostly rural roads.

Blake Moving Company is moving the building, which is scheduled to arrive on Dec. 8. Episcopal Church of the Advocate member Sam Laurent will be there to greet it. He’s a founding member of ECOTA, which, with the arrival of the chapel, will have its first real home.

“We call ourselves a nomadic church a lot of the time,” Laurent said.

Read more: The Herald-Sun – Episcopal Church of the Advocate gets a new old church

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Housing/Real Estate Market, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, TEC Parishes

(Washington Post) In Cairo, rival protests over the path forward

Tens of thousands of supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi were pouring into the streets Saturday evening in a bid to outmuscle his opponents, who held their own demonstration Friday.

For both sides, the issue was a decree Morsi issued last week, temporarily giving himself near-absolute powers in order to usher in the new national constitution that his Islamist supporters approved Friday.

But depending on where one stood in Cairo the past two days, Morsi’s moves were either a sign that Egypt’s revolution is degenerating or that it is blossoming into its democratic fruition.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Egypt, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Islam, Middle East, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

4 Year Old who Disappears is Found Because of the Family Dog who stays with him

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * South Carolina, Animals, Children, Marriage & Family

Leveson Report: the Bishop of Norwich calls for an end to current self-regulation

The Bishop of Norwich has today called for an end to the current self-regulation in light of the publication of the Leveson Report. The Rt Revd Graham James, who sits as a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on Communications and is the Church of England’s lead spokesman on media and communications policy, today commented on the need for a genuinely independent body which “must have as one of its primary tasks the protection of citizens from unfair and damaging portrayal in the press and give them a proper chance of redress. When members of the general public are unfairly traduced in a major press story, it is not a necessary consequence of press freedom but an abuse of it.”

In an article on the Leveson Report to be published in the Church Times next week, Bishop Graham says: “The Leveson Report must surely bring the era of self-regulation to an end. We do need a genuinely independent body able to investigate the practices of the press without the trigger of a complaint bringing it into action. It must be properly resourced by the industry itself but that doesn’t mean it needs to build a large bureaucracy.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Media

Notable and Quotable

“Over centuries, the human ear has evolved from a tuning device to a filtering device…These days it’s all just noise or silence, silence or noise.”

–Author Pamela Lu during a recent presentation at Brown University.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Poetry & Literature, Psychology

(NY Times) A Hospital War Reflects a Bind for Doctors in the U.S.

For decades, doctors in picturesque Boise, Idaho, were part of a tight-knit community, freely referring patients to the specialists or hospitals of their choice and exchanging information about the latest medical treatments.

But that began to change a few years ago, when the city’s largest hospital, St. Luke’s Health System, began rapidly buying physician practices all over town, from general practitioners to cardiologists to orthopedic surgeons.

Today, Boise is a medical battleground….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Health & Medicine, Personal Finance

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Nicholas Ferrar

Lord God, make us so reflect thy perfect love; that, with thy deacon Nicholas Ferrar and his household, we may rule ourselves according to thy Word, and serve thee with our whole heart; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, who hast commanded us to be perfect, as thou our Father in heaven art perfect: Put into our hearts, we pray thee, a continual desire to obey thy holy will. Teach us day by day what thou wouldest have us to do, and give us courage and strength to fulfill the same. May we never, from love of ease, decline the path which thou pointest out, nor, for fear of shame, turn away from it. We ask it for the honour of Jesus Christ our Saviour.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, 1that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

–Philippians 2:5-11

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Study: American Households Hit 43-Year Low In Net Worth

The median net worth of American households has dropped to a 43-year low as the lower and middle classes appear poorer and less stable than they have been since 1969.

According to a recent study by New York University economics professor Edward N. Wolff, median net worth is at the decades-low figure of $57,000 (in 2010 dollars). And as the numbers in his study reflect, the situation only appears worse when all the statistics are taken as a whole.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Economy, History, Marriage & Family, Personal Finance, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Episcopal, Lutheran presiding bishops issue World AIDS Day statement

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations, Episcopal Church (TEC), Globalization, Health & Medicine, Lutheran, Other Churches, Presiding Bishop

(RNS) Former rector of nation’s largest Episcopal church becomes a Roman Catholic

The former rector of the nation’s largest Episcopal church has become a Roman Catholic.

The Rev. Larry Gipson was dean of the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham from 1982-94. Gipson retired in 2008 from the 8,000-member St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, where his parishioners included former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara.

Last month, Gipson was accepted as a Catholic into the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, a structure set up by Pope Benedict XVI to accept former Anglicans into the Catholic Church.

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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, Theology

Archbishop of Canterbury's video message for World AIDS Day 2012

Speaking about the link between HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence, Dr Williams said ”˜HIV/AIDS is regularly both the cause and the result of gender-based violence. It results often from rape, from unacceptable and degrading sexual practices. It’s the result of attitudes towards women that demean them, that deny their human dignity”¦HIV/AIDS is also the cause of violence; it’s the cause of stigma and rejection, and suspicion.’

“I believe it’s crucial for governments, NGOs, civil society agencies worldwide, to keep their eyes firmly on the connection between ”¦ the challenges around HIV, and the challenges around gender equality; the challenges posed to the dignity and the freedom of women worldwide.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Rowan Williams, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Health & Medicine, Pastoral Theology, Theology