Daily Archives: January 14, 2013

(America) Mental Illness–Can Parishes Do More to Help?

Nancy Kehoe, a Sacred Heart sister and clinical psychologist, is the author of Wrestling With our Inner Angels: Faith, Mental Illness, and the Journey to Wholeness. When she began working with people with mental illness 30 years ago, faith issues were ignored because mental health professionals were not trained to respond adequately when a patient spoke about spirituality, she said.

“It was really unheard of in 1981 to have anyone suggest that it would be worthwhile to have a conversation with people with serious mental illness about religion because up until then, it was really just seen as part of their symptoms or a defense,” she said. “Either people pathologized [faith] or they ignored it.”

Contrary to the prevailing belief that faith was a part of a patient’s mental illness, Sister Nancy soon discovered that it was often part of an individual’s inner strength.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Health & Medicine, Mental Illness, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

Anglican Unscripted Episode 63

‘This week Kevin and George cover the international outrage over Civll Partnered Gay Bishops in the Church of England… and in the Palaces. They also spend time analyzing the sound approach the Anglican Church in North America is applying to the difficult topics of Multi-jurisdictional Dioceses and Women’s Ordination. Story three covers the folly of the Episcopal Church’s legal strategy in South Carolina and the Quorum problem. In Episode 63s final story we learn about how North America is able to Bless something without actually do it… we know… weird.’

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina

(El Paso Times) In New Mexico and parts of Tex. TEC priests can now bless same-sex relationships

Bishop Michael L. Vono of the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande, which includes El Paso, said the liturgy is an issue of human dignity that breaks barriers for the gay community.

“I’m very positive about it,” he said. “We live in an age where there is still a lot of judgment, still a lot of discrimination that happens within Christianity. We exclude people that are not like ourselves.

“So this may be the Jesus thing to do in our age because Jesus forced the issue that no one is rejected by God and that all people are loved. And if you have two responsible people, whether heterosexual or gay, who love in a Christian way — which is responsibly and exclusively monogamous and help each other and forgive each other — what more can we ask for?”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, --Gen. Con. 2012, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, General Convention, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Parishes, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(WSJ Front Page) Ugly Choices Loom Over Debt Clash

In the House, the majority Republican party says it won’t raise the debt limit without spending cuts of equivalent amounts. Mr. Obama has said he won’t negotiate over the matter, saying it is the responsibility of Congress to enable the government to pay bills it has incurred.

The government spends 40% more than it takes in and borrows money to cover the difference. Without an increase in the debt ceiling, the Treasury won’t be able to borrow the additional money needed to pay all its bills.

Failure to make payment on even some of its obligations could wreak havoc in the economy and financial markets and possibly trigger another financial crisis and recession, analysts have warned.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, House of Representatives, Medicare, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Social Security, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

(IBD) Social Security A Big Deficit Driver

The Congressional Budget Office projects that over the next decade Social Security’s annual cash deficit will rise by nearly $100 billion, reaching $155 billion a year. The cost of servicing the extra public debt tied to cashing in $1 trillion worth of Social Security’s intragovernmental IOUs over the 10 years would add $40 billion to the deficit in 2022 alone, an IBD analysis finds.

Overall, Social Security would account for nearly $200 billion in annual deficits or nearly 20% of the $1 trillion-plus deficit that would occur under current policies, including fiscal-cliff tax hikes.

Then, over the following decade, the retirement program’s impact on deficits would really balloon.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, Budget, Economy, History, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Social Security, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

(Daily Mail) Former Archbishop Lord Carey warns over crucial court cases

On Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg will sit in judgment on a series of cases that have far-reaching implications for religious freedom in this country. Two of the cases involve devout women who were banned from wearing the most important symbol of the Christian faith ”“ the cross.
Shirley Chaplin, an experienced nurse, had worn her confirmation cross on a small chain around her neck, without incident, throughout nearly 30 years of frontline nursing. Then, one day, she was told to remove it.

In the case of British Airways check-in clerk Nadia Eweida, a national campaign was mounted when BA banned her from wearing her cross. But the airline refused to compensate her for months of being suspended without pay and subsequent tribunals have disputed her claims of discrimination.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, England / UK, Europe, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

(Sun. Telegraph) Paul Diamond–Christians' rights: Martyred on a cross of secular liberalism

Since the [Harry] Hammond case just over a decade ago, the British courts have become a battleground for the clash of secular and Christian viewpoints.
The battle has been almost universally one way as the rights of Christians, in terms of the ability to practise their faith in the public sphere, have been eroded to the point where they have virtually no protection.

The cases that I have been instructed in are alarming- and it’s not just the “little people”: health workers or junior civil servants. It’s also the top accountant being told he’s lost his job because a public authority disapproves of his church’s website.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Europe, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

(Daily Mail Editorial) Praying for Calm

The new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, must be hoping that his tenure will not be dogged and disrupted by rows about homosexuals and women bishops.

His forerunner, Rowan Williams, was almost completely derailed by such quarrels. Much of the rest of what he had to say was drowned by the din of factional infighting, baffling to the uncommitted.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, --Rowan Williams, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE)

(Anglican Journal) Robert Hartley–Common myths about preaching

The second myth is particularly applicable for Anglicans. William Vaughan Jenkins and Heather Kayan published a fascinating piece of homiletic research, “Sermon Responses and Preferences in Pentecostal and Mainline churches, in the Journal of Empirical Theology.

Three conclusions from their research stand out. First, “The data showed that Anglicans desired significant intellectual content”¦compared to Pentecostal members.” Second, “Participants from both churches responded to sermons in a predominantly emotional way.” Third, members of “both churches wanted to hear sermons on grace and forgiveness” above all other topics. Despite our preference for cognitive material, we clearly judge sermons by their emotional appeal, and prefer homilies on personal faith issues. It is a myth that the sermon must be aimed at people’s heads rather than equally at the mind and the heart.

The third myth grows out of the second. It is that a university education is extremely important in preparing one to be a good preacher. If this is true, how does one harmonize the postgraduate education of Anglican priests with the poor quality of the average Anglican sermon? A survey of 20 randomly chosen Anglican sermons from Nova Scotia to British Columbia produced the lowest ratings of any group studied. Apparently the worst preaching in Canada comes from our pulpits!

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology

(Nigerian Guardian) Bishops’ Retreat 2013: Anglican Church Seeks Reward For Faithful Clergy

”˜It’s Opportunity For Mutual Assistance’

([THE] RT. REV. JOSEPH N. MUSA, Bishop of Idah)

THE work we do is such that only God rewards our labour. But God always raises up people to support the work. We have discovered, often, that many Bishops do not take the issue of rewarding workers very seriously. Our first priority should be satisfying our congregation, and Priests are our immediate congregation. Inability to meet the need of workers would invariably affect the work.

Of course, there are dioceses that are not very viable. Apart from receiving assistance from other dioceses that are buoyant, there are some lay workers who are ready to offer services at no cost. Engaging such would reduce overhead cost.

A significance of the retreat is that when we come together like this, dioceses are able to help one another out of problems.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

Notable and Quotable

The Church of Nigeria has about 17 million members and Uganda another 8 million. As in other African provinces, most members in these two countries are regular churchgoers.

The Church of England counts about 26 million baptised members, but says only about a million of them attend services every Sunday.

Reuters from a story last week entitled “African Anglicans denounce Church of England gay bishop rule”

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * General Interest, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church of Nigeria, Church of Uganda, Notable & Quotable

Religion and Ethics NewsWeekly: Look Ahead 2013

ABERNETHY: Do you all find people saying, perhaps not with the right words, but a feeling that underneath all these particular issues there’s just something wrong? There’s something wrong in this country?

ECKSTROM: I think there’s a wide sense that we’ve somehow gotten off track. You know, after the shootings in Connecticut Mike Huckabee said it was because we removed God from schools. Other people thought that was ridiculous. But there’s a, you know, you can look at Congress, and why can’t we get anything done? But the bottom line is we can”˜t get anything done. We can’t make big decisions anymore, at least it seems that way, and so the debate is not necessarily if we’re on track, but how do we get back? How do we fix it? And that’s I think where the debate is.

DIONNE: You know, whenever we get into pessimistic moods I always think of my favorite Churchill line that Americans always do the right thing after first exhausting all of the other possibilities. And we’ve been through a rough time.

Read or watch it all and note the section on Anglicanism.

Posted in Uncategorized

(CBS Marketwatch) The 10 quirkiest gadgets of the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Science & Technology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Thou, in whom we live and move and have our being: We offer and present unto thee ourselves, all that we are and have, our thoughts and our desires, our words and our deeds, to be a living and continual sacrifice. We are not our own; therefore we would glorify thee in our bodies and our spirits, which are thine; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Epiphany, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

–Psalm 1

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Patriots do it Again, Beat the Texans

Congratulations to them–it sets up an exact rematch of last year’s NFC Championship game.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

(FT) Can the ancient rules most monks still live by really make spiritual sense in today’s world?

“Monks are just a joke,” sighs Father Stephen. “In the modern mind, it’s just fat friars in brown habits with white cords around their waists.” There’s some truth in the words of this slim Benedictine, who is sporting a white habit and brown leather belt. We don’t notice the jeans peeping out from underneath until he points them out, but they are the kind of trivial curiosity some secular visitors focus on when they come to the Subiaco Benedictine monastery of Prinknash Abbey, deep in the rolling green countryside of Gloucestershire. Yet in recent years, the comedy element has begun to subside and the outside world has started taking monasticism seriously again.

Organised religion has lost its central place in most European countries, but it has not necessarily been replaced by atheism. The confused majority is “spiritual but not religious”, hungry for alternatives to the perceived materialism of modern life. “The more we’re distracted by stuff,” suggests Father Stephen, “the more we’re also attracted by what we’re missing.”

Read it all [or if that link causes difficulty, please try there].

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Church History, History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

My Goodness another great NFL game as the Falcons Nudge Seattle at the very end

The Falcons’ playoff drought under head coach Mike Smith and quarterback Matt Ryan is over.

Just barely.

Kicker Matt Bryant banged a 49-yarder through the uprights with eight seconds to play to lift the Falcons to hard-fought 30-28 victory over Seattle in the NFC divisional round of the playoffs at the Georgia Dome on Sunday.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Men, Sports

All the Rest of the Questions on the TEC General Ordination Exam for 2013

Instead of reposting the texts of all the questions which I had by email, I see Tom Ferguson already has them all posted, so I will link to him–KSH.

Here is question two and you can find all the rest of the questions there (scroll down if necessary).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

Dan Carter on the Distance Between Too Many Movie and TV portrayls of History and the actual events

In the end, [ John] Frankenheimer’s film [about Geroge Wallace] not only distorts history, it even fails to take advantage of the strengths of the book on which the film was based, Marshall Frady’s 1968 biography, Wallace. Frady had little insightful to say about the major political events of the era, but the South Carolina-born writer helped his readers understand just how this proud and insecure southerner wrestled with contradictory emotions: shame and pride, kindness and cruelty, generosity and greed. Above all, he brilliantly evoked the demons that carried his subject from a small southern town to a critical role in reshaping American politics. Instead of Frady’s insights into Wallace’s character, however, we are too often treated to self-conscious musings about Wallace’s motivation and wooden agitprop political speeches by Jim Folsom, the political conscience of the film.

To those who care about the integrity of the historical past, the ultimate flaw lies in the form of the docudrama itself as it has evolved over the past 20 years. Robert Penn Warren, the author of All the King’s Men–arguably the greatest novel ever written about southern politics–was clearly inspired by the story of Huey Long. As a novelist, however, he believed that he could best illuminate the historical drama and tragedy of Long’s rise and fall by freeing himself from the factual constraints of one man’s story, using his imagination to take the bits and pieces of actual history and remolding them with the imagination of the artist into a more universal tale of ambition and retribution.
The novelist and the historian had equally important roles to play in understanding our past, said Warren, but they traveled on separate roads toward the truth. The mass audience of the commercial docudrama (not to mention its financial rewards) is a tantalizing lure, but it has become–with rare exceptions–a soap opera substitute for real engagement with the past. When asked to become a part of such productions, the greatest contribution historians can make is to take the advice of a former First Lady: “Just say no.”

I’ve taken the pledge.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

(ABP) Tony Campolo sees future ”˜red letter’ church

[Tony] Campolo said he has noted a shift over the decades away from a faith composed primarily of beliefs about Jesus toward taking Christ’s teachings both literally and seriously.

“I grew up at a time when the church was organized around the theologies of the Apostle Paul,” Campolo said. “Every Bible study I ever went to growing up was on Paul. We studied Ephesians and Philippians and Romans, and we went through Paul verse by verse.”

“Being solid theologically was of crucial significance,” he continued. “It still is. The shift that has taken place, however, is a shift away from the Pauline epistles to the Gospels.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Christology, History, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Young Adults

(CNN) Gun issue divides the religious community

There is a split in American pews over gun control. In the weeks since the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, many Christians are wrestling with gun control, an issue they once held as a sacred, untouchable right.

For years gun control was championed by Catholic and mainline Protestant churches, but now many evangelicals are joining the growing choir of Americans asking what can be done.

“Maybe the most interesting meeting we had was with the interfaith group,” Vice President Joe Biden told reporters after meeting with a wide range of interest groups on guns. Biden was tasked by President Barack Obama to head up a task force to provide recommendations to reduce gun violence….

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to at KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, History, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Violence