Daily Archives: January 29, 2013

The New York Times Book Review Interviews Alain de Botton

What were your favorite books as a child? Did you have a favorite character or hero?

I was a very un-literary child, which might reassure parents with kids who don’t read. Lego was my thing, as well as practical books like “See Inside a Nuclear Power Station.” It wasn’t till early adolescence that I saw the point of books and then it was the old stalwart, “The Catcher in the Rye,” that got me going. By 16, I was lost ”” often in the philosophy aisles, in a moody and melodramatic state. I was impressed by Kierkegaard’s claim that he was going to read only “writings by men who have been executed.”

What books had the greatest influence on you when you were a student?

The French essayist Roland Barthes was, and in many ways continues to be, my greatest influence.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Books, History, Philosophy

The Archbishop of York's recent Sermon–Working Together For The Glory of God

Our bible reading in Church today is a letter from St Paul’s to the church in Corinth, in which he is trying to encourage church-members to work together for the glory of God. Everyone has different gifts and talents, Paul tells them. Each one of you is a body-part of the whole. Don’t all think you have to be the one who leads the prayers, or the one who preaches, the one who does the flowers, or the one who plays the music. He reminds them that our bodies are a marvellous piece of collaborative and co-ordinated working. We may think our eyes are our best feature. But if we decided we just wanted to be all eye, we wouldn’t be able to hear or speak. Similarly, though our football teams need to score goals to win games, if all our players were strikers, where would the defence be!

At the end of this week of prayer for Christian Unity, we need to remember that God has given us all wonderful gifts, but he’s given them to us not just for our own pleasure, and certainly not for our personal pride, but so that we can work together to do more wonderful things than we can do alone. Saint Teresa of Avila’s poem describes the miracle of how the world is changed by each one of us using our gifts and bringing them together to serve others.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Ecclesiology, Ecumenical Relations, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A.S. Haley on the Latest in the Ongoing South Carolina Episcopal Church Mess

…then a true confusion results: since the remnant group sees themselves as “the Episcopal Church in South Carolina”, and are indifferent to using the adjective “Protestant”, they could not distinguish themselves from a group which called itself “the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, also known as the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina.” The former group sees the word “Protestant” as outdated, and superfluous to their identity, while the latter group sees the word as referring to the tradition they still uphold, and hence as still descriptive of their identity. Neither group rejects the adjective as part of their heritage.

The confusion appears to be intended, and not accidental. The “omission” of the single word “Diocese” from their official title turns out to have been a sham. An examination of the remnant group’s Website demonstrates that it has not really tried to comply with the TRO, even after the changes made to it on the surface. If one visits their website and chooses the browser option “View Page Source”, the following lines of code are right at the very top

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Analysis, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, House of Deputies President, Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, Theology

The AAC's Phil Ashey Comments on the Presiding Bishop's recent sermon in South Carolina

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, recently addressed a gathering in the Diocese of South Carolina. During her sermon, Jefferts Schori said the following:

…I tell you that story because it’s indicative of attitudes we’ve seen here and in many other places. Somebody decides he knows the law, and oversteps whatever authority he may have to dictate the fate of others who may in fact be obeying the law, and often a law for which this local tyrant is not the judge. It’s not too far from that kind of attitude to citizens’ militias deciding to patrol their towns or the Mexican border for unwelcome visitors. It’s not terribly far from the state of mind evidenced in school shootings, or in those who want to arm school children, or the terrorism that takes oil workers hostage….

Read and watch it all.

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

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Presiding Bishop, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina

(Bloomberg) Village People: Community Networks Help Boomers 'Age in Place'

Single and retired, with no family nearby, 64-year-old Lorna Grenadier knows she’ll need a better support system if she wants to grow old in her apartment in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.C., where she has lived for 40 years. So she’s added community organizing to her list of interests and is helping create a service network she hopes will enable her and others like her to remain in their own homes as they age.

For the past 18 months, Grenadier has been working with other volunteers to research and launch the Foggy Bottom West End Village network. The group aims to provide paying members ($600 a year for singles; $900 for households) a range of services, including transportation and connections to vetted local businesses, as well as serve as a contact point for emergencies. Some of the annual fee will also cover social activities for members.

“It’s also about providing peace of mind,” says Grenadier — a sort of insurance policy should someone need help. In a survey of potential members in the her area, 75 percent said they were interested in the concept, though just 50 percent said they would need the services today.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Personal Finance, Psychology

(SHNS) Terry Mattingly: Pastors struggle with being honest about their imperfections

The bottom line for many pastors, said Bales, is that they are afraid to level with their people ”” person to person.

“Let’s face it. Your people can run you crazy. But that’s really not where ministers get into deep trouble,” he said. “Through the years, I have been especially interested in all the ways that ministers struggle with their own humanity. You see, they expect so much out of themselves, which can be hard since their people keep trying to hold them to standards higher than the saints and the angels.”

Try to imagine, he said, a pastor speaking these words to the faithful: “Dear friends, I am undone. My marriage is in shambles and things aren’t going great with my kids, either. My emotions are wracked. I’m stressed out. … You see, I’m prepared to minister to you, but who is going to minister to me?”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology

The Final Nominees For The election of the 12th Episcopal Bishop Of New Jersey

The Episcopal Election Committee is pleased to submit the names of the following persons to be nominated for election as the 12th Bishop of the Diocese of New Jersey at the Electing Convention.

The Reverend David Anderson
The Reverend Dr. Joan Beilstein
The Reverend Dr. Allen F. Robinson
The Reverend Canon Melissa M. Skelton
The Reverend Canon William Stokes
The Reverend Martha Sylvia Ovalle Vásquez

Read all about them here (a pdf of some 16 pages).

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

(Church of England) Free Church of England Orders recognised

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have recognised the Orders of the Free Church of England under the Overseas and Other Clergy (Ministry and Ordination) Measure 1967. The Measure gives the Archbishops authority to determine whether the Orders of any Church are ‘recognised and accepted’ by the Church of England.

The recognition of the Orders of the Free Church of England follows approximately three years of contact between the bishops of the Free Church of England, the Council for Christian Unity and the Faith and Order Commission, which recommended that the Orders of the Free Church of England be recognised. That recommendation was subsequently endorsed by the Standing Committee of the House of Bishops.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

Tuesday Morning Diversion–the 100 Greatest Sports Photos of all Time

Check them out.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, History, Sports

Today in History January 29th

You can check here and there. This is what stood out to me:

1844–Richard Theodore Greener became the first African American to graduate from Harvard University.

1882–Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States (1933-1945), was born in Hyde Park, N.Y.

1981–An estimated two million New Yorkers turned out for a ticker-tape parade honoring the freed American hostages from Iran.

1994–The Dallas Cowboys repeated as NFL champions as they defeated the Buffalo Bills, 30-13, in the Super Bowl. It was the fourth straight Super Bowl loss for the Bills.

What stood out to you–KSH?

Posted in * Culture-Watch, History

(Smithsonian) Jenny Woolf–Lewis Carroll's Shifting Reputation

The Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was a teacher of mathematics at Oxford and a deacon of the Anglican Church. Some colleagues knew him as a somewhat reclusive stammerer, but he was generally seen as a devout scholar; one dean said he was “pure in heart.” To readers all over the world, he became renowned as Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Alice was popular almost from the moment it was published, in 1865, and it has remained in print ever since, influencing such disparate artists as Walt Disney and Salvador Dali. Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, just released in movie theaters nationwide, is only the latest of at least 20 films and TV shows to be made from the book. But if Alice has endured unscathed, its author has taken a pummeling….
In 1999, Karoline Leach published yet another Dodgson biography, In the Shadow of the Dreamchild, in which she quoted the summary of the missing diary information and argued that her predecessors, misunderstanding the society in which Dodgson lived, had created a “Carroll myth” around his sexuality. She concluded that he was attracted to adult women (including Mrs. Liddell) after all.

The reaction among Dodgson scholars was seismic. “Improbable, feebly documented…tendentious,” thundered Donald Rackin in Victorian Studies. Geoffrey Heptonstall, in Contemporary Review, responded that the book provided “the whole truth.”

Which is where Dodgson’s image currently stands””in contention””among scholars if not yet in popular culture. His image as a man of suspect sexuality “says more about our society and its hang-ups than it does about Dodgson himself,” Will Brooker says.

Read it all (in honor of his birthday this past weekend, and, yes, the emphasis is mine).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Books, Children, Church of England (CoE), Education, History, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Sexuality, Theology

(ACNS) "Repent, fast, lament for your nation" – Sri Lanka bishop

The Bishop of Colombo has called members of the Church of Ceylon to fast, pray and lament over the state of the nation of Sri Lanka after what he described as “the complete collapse of the rule of law” there.

[the] Rt. Revd Dhiloraj Canagasabey was writing after the Government impeached Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake over allegations of financial and official misconduct. She denies the allegations and her removal was pronounced unlawful by the courts and condemned by the opposition.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Sri Lanka

Peter Mullen–Condemning evil, without advertising it

…surely some things should be left to the imagination? The ancient Greeks knew the meaning of the word “obscene” and obscene acts ”“ castrations, rapes, beheadings and the like ”“ were not depicted in the theatre, but had to be imagined as having taken place offstage, the literal meaning of “obscene.”

Unfortunately for us, we live in the age of blatancy. Everything must be seen in all its disgusting horror or squalor ”“ and usually both. We have been taught since Freud to think that this is somehow good for us. But all it has done is corrupt our morality and obliterate our powers of imagination. We live in an age where every image is an advert. Now I’ve gone and said it: we have forgotten the prohibition on the making and worshipping of images.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Media, Movies & Television, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theatre/Drama/Plays, Theodicy, Theology

(Anglican Samizdat) Canadian Anglican Primate, Fred Hiltz, preaches at St. John’s Shaughnessy

Read it all and listen to the audio links.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Parish Ministry

Two new Church of England parish publications go online

Two new monthly publications, specifically designed for Church of England parishes, have been posted online on the Church’s website.

In Review and In Focus concentrate on the work of the national Church. The front pages of both first editions feature news of the Confirmation of Election of the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the parliamentary launch of the national Lent campaign, “Love Life Live Lent” by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Media

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Most merciful Lord, who hast taught us that the pure in heart shall see God: Cleanse our hearts from all impurity; give us such hatred of all that is evil, and such love of all that is beautiful and good, that we may be delivered from temptation, and become a strength to others who are tempted; for the glory of thy name.

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

From the Morning Scripture 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.

–Mark 6:1-5

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Letter from the Episcopal Bishops in Ohio (Dio. of Ohio and S. Ohio) on Medicaid Expansion

Every day more than 1.5 million Ohioans, nearly 14 percent of our population, wake up without health insurance coverage. As a result, many of them go without treatment until their condition becomes more severe and more costly to address. Often when they do seek treatment, it is in the most expensive way possible: through emergency rooms and hospitals. The cost of caring for the uninsured falls to everyone. Those with health coverage pay more in treatment costs, and we all pay more in taxes to support local and state public health programs.

This budget cycle the Governor and legislature have an opportunity to control health care costs for the benefit of all Ohioans by expanding our Medicaid program, as provided for in the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). To do so is consistent with Gov. Kasich’s efforts over the last two years to transform Medicaid in Ohio – reducing costs and improving the program’s efficiency.
As Christian leaders, we hear the call of Jesus to reach out to the poor and those on the margins of society. We believe that Medicaid Expansion will help stabilize health care to the poor and marginalized among us. We are leaders of a faith community that believes all are equal in the sight of God.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Health & Medicine, Medicare, TEC Bishops, The U.S. Government

A Profile Article on new TEC Bishop of Western Mass. Doug Fisher

In a lengthy interview, he said it’s very important that he urge the local members of the Episcopal Church to get involved in spreading Christ’s message through community engagement and involvement.

He said the church sits on a three-legged stool that is made up of the scriptures, tradition and the wisdom of holy men and women.

Bishop Fisher said he believes that small churches and even a single individual can impact the community.

“After all, Jesus changed the world with just twelve disciples,” he noted.

Read it all.

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