Daily Archives: December 13, 2012

(Washington Post) Jennifer Huget–Physical activity may add years to your life

f you could convince yourself that spending time exercising is a sound investment in your future, would you be more inclined to make it part of your routine?

Maybe you will after you read this.

A study published Tuesday morning in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine calculates the benefits of moderate to vigorous physical activity in terms of its effect on life expectancy. The news is good for most of us who spend at least 150 minutes a week doing such activities.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine

[The Independent (Kampala)] New Ugandan Anglican Archbishop to be Enthroned on Sunday

His Grace Rev. Henry Luke Orombi announced his early retirement in January 2012. He was enthroned as Archbishop in January 2004 for a ten year term till 2014.

“My passion as a Christian and a leader is preaching the Gospel, and that has been my life-long calling. When I have been invited to our Dioceses on pastoral visits, I have always made it an opportunity to preach and invite people into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. So, I want to devote the rest of my life, while I am still able, to fulfilling this calling full-time,” said Orombi while addressing the press about his early retirement.

He has consecrated 26 new Bishops and launched four new Dioceses, made extensive travels and preached around the country. He has been a source of encouragement for the emergence of the Global South churches as leaders for Biblical faithfulness within the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda

(Ekklesia) Savi Hensman–Equal marriage: churches sharing or burying good news?

Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales, was unhappy with the decision, calling it a “step too far”. He said that, though the Church in Wales was not currently contemplating offering same-sex marriages, the law had “curtailed” the church’s freedom; “It should be left for us to opt in or opt out.”

To be fair to the government, it appears to have acted on this church’s official consultation response in June 2012, stating that “The Church in Wales is in an almost identical position to the Church of England with regard to the solemnisation of marriages” and “would seek assurances that the Government would specifically include the Church in Wales in any provisions for the Church of England under the proposed legislation.”

Given the Church of England’s influence and power, including seats in the House of Lords, the government was willing to go to considerable lengths to reduce the risk that the legislation as a whole would be blocked. Church of England official responses to proposals for marriage equality have tended to be highly negative, and to avoid recognising the diversity of views and reviews taking place of its position on civil partnerships and sexuality in general.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church of Wales, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Wales

(Bloomberg) Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke Wields New Tools to Reduce Unemployment Rate

The actions on the eve of the Fed’s centenary year underscore Bernanke’s hallmark commitment to experimentation and forceful action, derived in part from his research showing too little monetary stimulus produced large economic costs for the U.S. in the 1930s and for Japan in the 1990s. He called the current state of the labor market, with unemployment at 7.7 percent, “an enormous waste of human and economic potential” and said the benefits of more bond buying outweigh the potential risks.

“Bernanke is pulling out all the stops to kick this economy back into a higher gear,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in New York. “They are buying everything in sight — Treasuries, mortgage-backed securities — and will keep rates low until everyone who wants a job has one.”

Read it all.

Update: Brian Milner has some interesting thoughts on this there.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Federal Reserve, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

A Henry Whipple Sermon from the Opening of the Free Church of the Holy Communion, Chicago

This Free Church has a work to do. All around us are men for whom Christ died, and yet many only use that name to swear by. In sorrow and sickness, in pollution and sin, there are men who live as though they thought they could die like oxen in the stall. Our Master’s work is our work. “The poor ye have always with you, and when ye will ye may do them good.” Will the day ever come when our eyes shall be opened to believe with all our hearts in the brotherhood of Jesus? when we shall see the name of the Lamb written on the poor man’s forehead? Beloved, it is not alms alone that he needs; he needs a brother’s hand and a brother’s heart””cheerful words to make him braver in his sorrow””wise planning to lift him out of trouble””a God speed””a welcome; these, with alms, are blessed: without this, alms to-day needs alms to-morrow, and the poor sink deeper in poverty and woe. This city has thousands of young men: a stranger notices this as he walks the street. The clear eye and commanding step, the young man hopeful of the future, are with us. They have no homes. To many the Sunday comes without a thought of God. If they were sought after, this would be their home; for, beloved, there are few young men who do not remember a mother, and when at unlooked-for times they catch the tones of that mother’s voice, they feel that they ought to go where that voice would lead them, and become Christian men. This city is full of craftsmen, those workers in wood and iron, men of strong frames and busy brains””they are the very life of the nation. On every railway, in every shop, on our inland seas””they meet us everywhere. They have warm hearts, and are generous to a fault; they are men of the very best intellects; they belong to the thinkers of the age””quick to grasp a truth and ready to fulfill. Why are they not the Sons of the Church? The fault is not in the invitation. Read the sentence on these walls: “The Spirit and the Bride,” which is the Church of Christ, “say come; and let him that heareth, say come; and let him that is athirst come; and whosoever will, let him come and drink of the water of life freely.” The fault is ours. There is only one place to learn how to do this work. It is at the foot of the Cross.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Christology, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Soteriology, Theology

(Sightings) Martin Marty–Measuring Religious Intensity

Sciences live by measurement, be it of size, temperature, numbers, or pace. So do social scientists in the world of religion. David Gibson in Religion News and the Washington Post’s “On Faith” blog featured the concept of “intensity” in a much-noted recent item. “Catholic Intensity Fades as Evangelical Devotion Surges.” How is intensity measured? Is an ecstatic Pentecostal “intense” and a Quaker or contemplative mystic less so? Are fundraisers and public relations leaders intense and believers dying in hospices less so? Gibson did not have to answer such questions; he properly reduced “intensity” to degrees of participation in religious institutional life. What he saw was revealing.

Background: social scientists’ subtleties get reduced to short-hand and headlines when they identify the groups that make up such institutional life. Thus, “Catholic intensity” has to cover everyone from Dorothy Day or Thomas Merton and their acolytes to political interest groups which claim to speak for authentic Catholicism. Group two, “Mainline Protestant” was invented several decades ago to cover what was then thought of as an “establishment” brand. It includes congregations of Disciples of Christ in little churches on Oklahoma hilltops as well as High Church Anglicans, who may not even want to be thought of as Protestant. The third of the Big Three settles for the category “Evangelical,” and includes politically-connected Fundamentalists at one pole and an array of church-related colleges on the other. And then there is “Everyone Else.”

Read it all.

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

Scottish Church leaders demand more safeguards on same- sex marriage

The Scottish Government yesterday published draft legislation that could see gay marriage introduced in Scotland in 2014.

But Church leaders fear the new laws do not include enough “protections” for religious bodies and individuals and are calling for “more safeguards”.

The Church of Scotland and Roman Catholic Church, like other religions, will have to “opt in” if they want to carry out same-sex ceremonies under the SNP plans. Scottish ministers insist no part of the religious community would be forced to hold same-sex weddings in churches.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

(Scotsman) Tears as Tron congregation leave church for last time

A Glasgow congregation which is leaving the Church of Scotland because of the Kirk’s stance on [non-celibate] gay ministers held its last service in its building yesterday.

The pews of St George’s Tron in Buchanan Street were busy as 500 worshippers came to hear its minister, the Rev Dr Willie Philip, deliver the final sermon.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Philip said that church members had been frustrated by the way matter had been handled by the Kirk….

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Scotland, Theology

Allan Topol–The role of Islam and the possibility of Islam teaming up with China

In my two most recent novels, “The China Gambit,” and “The Spanish Revenge,” I deal with China’s rising military power, the growth of Islam, and the possibility of collaboration between Islamic nations and China. Based upon recent developments, there are strong reasons to believe that Islam and China will form an alliance.

As the 21st century unfolds, the trend is toward three major power blocs in the world: The West, led by the United States; China; and the Islamic nations. Increasingly, these nations are coming together for a common purpose, which was demonstrated by the recent cease-fire negotiations in which Turkey worked with Egypt to support Hamas, a pawn of Iran. What all of these have in common is their Islamic religion. In contrast, in China, Mao suppressed religion….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, China, Islam, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

ABC Nightline–A Veteran Gets Mentored by–Surprise!–Tom Hanks

Watch it all–heartwarming stuff.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Military / Armed Forces, Movies & Television, Young Adults

In North Carolina, an Historic Church Begins the Final Stages Of Move To Chapel Hill

Saint Philip’s Episcopal Church is ready to begin the final stages of its move to Chapel Hill from its original historic location in Germanton, North Carolina and will now be named the Episcopal Church of the Advocate.

The vicar of the Episcopal Church of the Advocate Lisa Fischbeck speaks about the churches arrival.

“The church left Germanton on Thursday the 29th of November and it arrived in Chapel Hill on Saturday December the eighth,” Fischbeck says. “That was a big day for us.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Parishes

A Prayer for the (Provisional) Feast Day of Saint Lucy

Loving God, who for the salvation of all didst give Jesus Christ as light to a world in darkness: Illumine us, with thy daughter Lucy, with the light of Christ, that by the merits of his passion we may be led to eternal life; through the same Jesus Christ, who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church History, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer, Women

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, by whose command the order of time runs its course: Forgive, we pray thee, the impatience of our hearts; make perfect that which is lacking in our faith; and, while we tarry the fulfillment of thy promises, grant us to have a good hope because of thy word; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Gregory of Nazianzus (329-c.390)

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling to meet him, we beg you, brethren, not to be quickly shaken in mind or excited, either by spirit or by word, or by letter purporting to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you this? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, and the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by his appearing and his coming. The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

–2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Baltimore Sun) Letters lament, explain closing St. George's Church in the diocese of Maryland

This is a difficult time for the wider church, not just St. George’s. The diocese is looking at all of our ministries and what our response might be to the world in which we now find ourselves witnessing. One thing is certain, the way we have done church the past 200 years is not working now.

Given your family history at Spesutia Parish, I can only imagine how this must feel. Just as your ancestors were the leaders who made decisions in their time, this is our time. We are the leaders who have been entrusted with the stewardship of the church. As the chief steward of the diocese, the bishop takes very seriously his charge.

That episcopal stewardship extends to all property in the diocese. Each parish holds its property in trust for the diocese and each diocese, in turn, holds all church property in trust for The Episcopal Church. That is a matter of canon law.

Read both letters carefully.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Bishops, TEC Parishes

Christ Episcopal Church in Avon, Connecticut, to Close

Christ Episcopal Church in Avon has announced it will be closing its doors for good at the end of this month.

According to Marge Griffin, senior warden at Christ Church, 35 members in good standing of the church voted at a special meeting on Nov. 18 to dissolve the parish. Years of declining membership, financial issues and changing demographics were given as the reasons for the closure.

David Paye, Christ Church assistant treasurer, said that in the beginning of 2012, membership totaled 110 people. That number has dropped throughout the year to below 100 people, he said. Griffin said 64 members left in 2010-2011 ”“ many of them with children in search of a church with more young families. At one point in the church’s history, said Karin Hamilton, director of communications for the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, membership was as high as 223 families.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, TEC Parishes

(WSJ) The Federal Reserve Extends its Bond Buying Program Into 2013, announces targets as basis

The Federal Reserve refashioned its bond-buying programs on Wednesday, extending its far-reaching effort to revitalize the jobs market and boost the economic recovery into 2013.

In addition, the Fed shifted its communications strategy by specifying the levels of unemployment and inflation that might prompt it to begin raising short-term interest rates, which are now near zero.

The central bank’s policy committee, in its final meeting of the year, said Wednesday it would “initially” begin buying $45 billion of long-term Treasury bonds each month. The latest stimulus from the Fed will replace an expiring program known as “Operation Twist,” in which the Fed has been buying about $45 billion of long-term Treasury bonds each month and selling about the same amount of short-term Treasurys.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Federal Reserve, Globalization, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government