Daily Archives: February 3, 2013

Bishop installs new dean at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral in Oklahoma City

The Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma recently gathered for the installation of the new leader of a prominent downtown Oklahoma City church.

The Rev. Justin Lindstrom was installed as the dean of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral on Jan. 26 in a ceremony that highlighted the diversity of the diocese, among other things.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops

(AP) New Episcopal bishop installed in NYC

The Episcopal Diocese of New York has installed a new bishop in an elaborate ceremony at a cathedral in Manhattan.

The Rev. Andrew Dietsche became the 16th bishop of the diocese Saturday in a service at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in Morningside Heights.

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

(WJTV) Mississippi Episcopal Church to Allow Same-Sex Marriage Blessings

The Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Mississippi announced Friday that he will allow some congregations to bless same- sex unions.

The Right Reverend Duncan M. Gray III made the announcement in his opening address to the 186th Annual Council of the Diocese of Mississippi in Jackson.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(SF) Bishop of Mississippi Breaks Long-Time Promise, Allows Same-Sex Blessings

Update: We are told the bishop will use his address to the annual council tonight at 8:00pm to announce that he will allow same-sex blessings under a plan similar to the one in the Diocese of Texas. Parishes wishing to perform same-sex blessings will need their vestries to pass a resolution, which the rector may present to the bishop, who will have the final decision.

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

Local Paper front page–Pain pill addiction drives Lowcountry pharmacy robberies, burglaries

…unlike other holdups, this robber isn’t after cash. He wants painkillers, primarily oxycodone, and the pharmacist is the only one who can access it.

Unprepared for such a threatening scenario, the pharmacist complies, and the robber flees with hundreds, if not thousands, of pills.

This scenario happened at least 13 times at Lowcountry pharmacies in 2012, up from about four in 2011. It’s a trend that’s been spreading across the country over the past few years, and it’s indicative of just how addictive these drugs can be and the profits thieves stand to make by stealing them.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord, who alone canst cast out the evil passions and desires of the soul: Come among us, we pray thee, and by thy mighty power subdue our spiritual enemies, and set us free from the tyranny of sin. We ask it in thy name and for thy glory.

–Henry Alford

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was to go.

–Hebrews 11:8

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Timothy Burke–Facebook… as a Window Into Social Media

Why is Facebook such a repeatedly bad actor in its relationship to its users, constantly testing and probing for ways to quietly or secretly breach the privacy constraints that most of its users expect and demand, strategems to invade their carefully maintained social networks? Because it has to. That’s Facebook’s version of the Red Queen’s race, its bargain with investment capital. Facebook will keep coming back and back again with various schemes and interface trickery because if it stops, it will be the LiveJournal or BBS of 2020, a trivia answer and nostalgic memory.

That is not the inevitable fate of all social media. It is a distinctive consequence of the intersection of massive slops of surplus investment capital looking desperately for somewhere to come to rest; the character of Facebook’s niche in the ecology of social media; and the path-dependent evolution of Facebook’s interface.

Analysts and observers who are content with cliches characterize Facebook as sitting on a treasure trove of potentially valuable data about its users, which is true enough. The cliched view is that what’s valuable about that data is names associated with locations associated with jobs associated with social networks, in a very granular way. That’s not it.

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

(CNN Belief Blog) Former Saint, Super Bowl great discusses new book, big game, father's struggles

As the 49ers and Ravens take the field in New Orleans’ Super Dome for Super Bowl XLVII, a man very familiar with that field, Chris Reis, will be watching the game with his family.

It was only three years ago that Reis was playing in the big game for the New Orleans Saints. He burst into the national spotlight with one unusual, but game-changing play, an onside kick recovery that surprised the opposition and many say paved the path for the Saints’ 31-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

It was an unlikely position for a kid who grew up in a broken family, with a father who was in and out of his life and addicted to sex and alcohol. Reis broke through the obstacles to succeed, he says, in part by finding God in high school. He went on to play for Georgia Tech where he served as president of the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He was briefly signed as a free agent by the Atlanta Falcons, but the team cut him loose before he even saw field time. The Saints then signed him as a free agent, but sent him to play in the NFL Europe league. Later that year the team called him back to New Orleans where he played the next four years with the Saints.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture, Sports

New Book to Consider–Handbook for Battered Leaders (IVP)

See what you think.

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

C.S. Lewis on the Difference between a Biblical World Picture and a Christian Worldview

Many theologians and some scientists are now ready to proclaim that the nineteenth century “conflict between science and religion” is over and done with. But even if this is true, it is a truth known only to real theologians and real scientists-that is, to a few highly educated men. To the man in the street the conflict is still perfectly real, and in his mind it takes a form which the learned hardly dream of.

The ordinary man is not thinking of particular dogmas and particular scientific discoveries. What troubles him is an all-pervading difference of atmosphere between what he believes Christianity to be and that general picture of the universe which he has picked up from living in a scientific age. He gathers from the Creed that God has a “Son” (just as if God were a god, like Odin or Jupiter): that this Son “came down” (like a parachutist) from “Heaven,” first to earth and later to some land of the dead situated beneath the earth’s surface: that, still later, He ascended into the sky and took His seat in a decorated chair placed a little to the right of His Father’s throne. The whole thing seems to imply a local and material heaven-a palace in the stratosphere-a flat earth and all the rest of those archaic misconceptions.
The ordinary man is well aware that we should deny all the beliefs he attributes to us and interpret our creed in a different sense. But this by no means satisfies him. “No doubt,” he thinks, “once those articles of belief are there, they can be allegorized or spiritualized away to any extent you please. But is it not plain that they would never have been there at all if the first generation of Christians had had any notion of what the real universe is like? A historian who has based his work on the misreading of a document may afterwards (when his mistake has been exposed) exercise great ingenuity in showing that his account of a certain battle can still be reconciled with what the document records. But the point is that none of these ingenious explanations would ever have come into existence if he had read his documents correctly at the outset. They are therefore really a waste of labor; it would be manlier of him to admit his mistake and begin all over again.”

I think there are two things that Christians must do if they wish to convince this “ordinary” modern man. In the first place, they must make it quite clear that what will remain of the Creed after all their explanations and reinterpretations will still be something quite unambiguously supernatural, miraculous, and shocking. We may not believe in a flat earth and a sky palace. But we must insist from the beginning that we believe, as firmly as any savage or theosophist, in a spirit world which can, and does, invade the natural or phenomenal universe. For the plain man suspects that when we start explaining, we are going to explain away: that we have mythology for our ignorant hearers and are ready, when cornered by educated hearers, to reduce it to innocuous moral platitudes which no one ever dreamed of denying. And there are theologians who justify this suspicion. From them we must part company absolutely. If nothing remains except what could be equally well stated without Christian formulae, then the honest thing is to admit that Christianity is untrue and to begin over again without it.

–”˜Horrid Red Things’ in God in the Dock (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970), pp. 68-69 (originally from the Church of England Newspaper, October 6, 1944, pp.1-2) [emphasis mine]

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Apologetics, History, Philosophy, Psychology, Science & Technology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Manchester United Survive Against Fulham–but only Just

It was an excellent game at Craven Cottage today with lots of chances at both ends–KSH. Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Men, Sports

(Globe and Mail) How our brains deal with the chaos of city life

…attentiveness has a complicated relationship with memory. While the brain can’t store all of the city’s potential information at the level of instant accessibility, we realize as we navigate neighbourhoods that we’ve held onto knowledge we didn’t realize we had ”“ the location of a dry cleaner en route to work, the eerie feeling that a certain street is coming up on the right.

“There are arguments in cognitive literature that we encode sequence information virtually for free ”“ that it’s almost automatic even if it’s of no immediate use to you,” says [University of Waterloo] Prof. [Colin] MacLeod.

In this sense, our brains are hungry for what a city provides. “Humans enjoy being engaged,” says Prof. Pratt. “We don’t like living in sparse environments.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Psychology, Science & Technology, Urban/City Life and Issues