Daily Archives: February 11, 2013

Aberdeen Church considers breaking with Kirk over lifting of ban on ministers in same sex unions

A church in Aberdeen wants to break away from the Church of Scotland because of the institution’s decision to lift its ban on appointing gay ministers.

Reverend Dominic Smart said elders at Gilcomston South Church in Aberdeen, pictured, disagreed with the General Assembly’s resolution, feeling it had “marginalised” the Bible.

He insisted the assembly’s May decision on same-sex partnerships represented a “clear and deliberate move away from the authority of scripture”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Presbyterian, Scotland, Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Washington Post Op-ed) George Will–Time to break up the big banks

The 20 largest banks’ assets total 84.5”‰percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.

Such banks have become bigger, relative to the economy, since the financial crisis began, and they are not the only economic entities to do so. Last year, the Economist reported that in the past 15 years the combined assets of the 50 largest U.S. companies had risen from around 70 percent of GDP to around 130 percent. And banks are not the only entities designated TBTF because they are “systemically important.” General Motors supposedly required a bailout because a chain of parts suppliers might have failed with it.

But this just means that the pernicious practice of socializing losses while keeping profits private is not quarantined in the financial sector.

To see why TBTF also can mean TBTM ”” too big to manage ”” read “What’s Inside America’s Banks?” in the January/February issue of the Atlantic….

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

Local Paper–Walterboro. S.C., man, 87, finally gets PTSD benefits from World War II service

Nearly 70 years later, Chaney is among the dwindling number of South Carolinians who fought in World War II. And at 87, he may be among the oldest to receive post-traumatic stress disorder benefits for it.

After decades of nightmares and sessions with doctors, Chaney last year was approved based on his World War II experiences that, according to some of the paperwork involved, included much more than spanning Europe’s rivers and streams.

“My unit was involved in the release of prisoners of war at the Buchenwald concentration camp,” he said in one account his family provided to the Department of Veterans Affairs. “The prisoners looked like walking skeletons and some died while I was there. We used big earth moving machines to dig massive graves.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Psychology, Theology

(Radio NZ) Cardboard tubes being fitted onto Auckland Cathedral frame

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * General Interest, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Parish Ministry

A Message from the Archbishop of Canterbury on Pope Benedict's resignation

It was with a heavy heart but complete understanding that we learned this morning of Pope Benedict’s declaration of his decision to lay down the burden of ministry as Bishop of Rome, an office which he has held with great dignity, insight and courage. As I prepare to take up office I speak not only for myself, and my predecessors as Archbishop, but for Anglicans around the world, in giving thanks to God for a priestly life utterly dedicated, in word and deed, in prayer and in costly service, to following Christ. He has laid before us something of the meaning of the Petrine ministry of building up the people of God to full maturity….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecumenical Relations, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

South African Archbishop calls for Carbon Fast for Lent

“Lent is a time of repentance and fasting, of turning away from all that is counter to God’s will and purposes for his world and all who live in it”, he said. “This year, I invite Anglicans to focus their Lenten ”˜acts of love and sacrifice’ on our contribution to climate change, and on those most impacted by it.”

Archbishop Makgoba chairs the Anglican Communion Environmental Network (ACEN) and is Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa which includes some of the countries most vulnerable to climate change. Two of the Church’s dioceses, Lebombo and Niassa in Mozambique, have recently been hit by devastating floods, leaving more than 150,000 people homeless.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Lent, Religion & Culture, Theology

Down Under, the new Bishop of Bathurst humbled by his welcome

Bishop [Ian] Palmer said the church needed to focus on its core roles during difficult times.

“I think we can meet the challenges we face by concentrating on our core business, which is drawing people into the worship of God and living in a way that expresses our love for God in and through our love for our neighbours,” he said.

A packed cathedral welcomed Bishop Palmer as the 10th Bishop of Bathurst.

Read it all and please note there is a slideshow with 14 different pictures available.

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

(Roanoke Times) A once fiery pastor is now an Anglican bishop

…that turned-out parish, the Church of the Holy Spirit, not only survived, but under Lawrence’s leadership it has grown from a puny 45 members when he arrived to 1,500. It spawned three daughter churches, too.

Lawrence himself has matured into a wiser leader, more focused on bringing people to Jesus Christ than pounding the pulpit over those hot button issues.

For all those things, Lawrence was consecrated Monday evening as the fifth and newest bishop in the Province de L’Eglise Anglicane au Rwanda and in the Anglican Church in North America.

“He’s a good guy,” said Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje, archbishop of the Rwandan church, who joined in Lawrence’s consecration, along with Bishop Richard Duncan of the North American church. “He’s a pastor, a committed leader to his flock. I saw how he cares for his church, the members of his church.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

Pope Benedict XVI's resignation letter in full

Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.

Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.

From the Vatican, 10 February 2013


Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Pope Benedict XVI to resign February 28th

Pope Benedict XVI is to resign at the end of this month in an unexpected development, saying he is too old to continue at the age of 85.

He became Pope in 2005 following John Paul II’s death.

Resignations from the papacy are not unknown, but this is the first in the modern era, which has been marked by pontiffs dying while in office.

Read it all.

Update: A papal timeline from Vatican Radio.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

William Doino–The Christian Dreams of Roberto Clemente

When baseball legend Roberto Clemente died in a plane crash in 1972, on a mission of mercy to victims of a Nicaraguan earthquake, the world not only lost a great man, but someone with extraordinary dreams. Well before his passing, Clemente had plans to open up clinics, schools, charities, and an ambitious sports complex in his native Puerto Rico, to help rescue underprivileged and misdirected youth. His sudden death appeared to end all that. But””as so often happens””God brings triumph out of tragedy, and in the years that followed, he did just that.

Today, many of Clemente’s most ambitious plans have come to pass, including a magnificent 304-acre Ciudad Deportiva (Sports City) in his native city of Carolina, overseen by his family and friends. The scope of Clemente’s legacy has become global, with his name attached to countless institutions, awards and events. What is less well known is where Clemente’s inspiring vision actually came from: his profound Christian faith.

Read it all.

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

Kendall Harmon's Sermon from (a week ago) Sunday–The Call of Jeremiah (Jer. 1:1-9)

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anthropology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O gracious and holy Father, give us wisdom to perceive thee, diligence to seek thee, patience to wait for thee, eyes to behold thee, a heart to meditate upon thee, and a life to proclaim thee; through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power.

–Hebrews 1:1-3a

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Manchester United grab initiative as Sir Alex Ferguson keeps one eye on Real Madrid prize

Jose Mourinho described Manchester United’s visit to the Bernabeu on Wednesday night as “the game the world is waiting for” but in the meantime the world had to make do with Everton, although not the same kind of Everton that upset the applecart at Old Trafford last season.

It was asking too much for this game to be as thrilling as the 4-4 draw in April, last season, when United twice squandered a two-goal lead and eventually had to acknowledge that it was the day when the title started to slide away from them. Even so, taking a 12-point lead in the title race was never supposed to be as easy as this.

Read it all.

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

(Toronto Blue Jay) R.A. Dickey tells of his journey to rescue India's youth from sex slavery

(Note that last season Dickey played with the New York Mets and he will be with Toronto this season–KSH).

This is Kamathipura, the red light district of Mumbai, among the most notorious sex-trafficking locations in the world. I am here as a guest of Bombay Teen Challenge (BTC), a charity that has been fighting human trafficking for more than 20 years, one I joined forces with last year, when two friends and I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and raised $130,000 , much of it from generous and kind-hearted Mets fans. I have come with my two daughters, Gabriel, 11, and Lila, 9, to witness the fruits of our climb ”“ the conversion of a former brothel to a health clinic. I want my daughters to share the experience not so much as a gratitude check, but to learn that each of us has a capacity to make a difference in this world, and to see that God’s grace makes that possible.

Read it all, noting please that its content may not be appropriate for some blog readers.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Asia, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, India, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Sports, Teens / Youth, Theology

([London] Times) Archbishop Welby escapes Church ”˜civil service’ and clears his diary

The new Archbishop of Canterbury has taken control of his work diary after Lambeth Palace officials presented him with a “monster” list of engagements for his first few months in office.

The scaling back of commitments by Justin Welby is in marked contrast to his predecessor Dr Rowan Williams, who ran a packed schedule.

Dr Williams diary for March last year contained 15 events, sometimes two in the same day…

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

(NPR) As Islam Grows, U.S. Imams In Short Supply

Islam in America is growing exponentially. From 2000 to 2010, the number of mosques in the United States jumped 74 percent.

Today, there are more than 2,100 American mosques but they have a challenge: There aren’t enough imams, or spiritual leaders, to go around.

Read or listen to it all.

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

Nigeria wins the Africa cup of Nations

Burkina Faso played wonderfully well with a great deal of heart.

My thanks to ESPN 3 for making it possible for me to watch my first ever Africa Cup of Nations final–KSH.

Update: There is a lot more there.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Sports

(Salt Lake Tribune) A Mormon and a Baha’i go to an Episcopal church, elbow rubbing ensues

A Mormon couple, an Episcopalian, a Baha’i, other Protestants, a religious seeker and others gathered on a snowy Saturday morning adjacent to St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Salt Lake City to learn how to transcend their differences.

The dozen participants at the four-hour Human Rights workshop, part of a monthlong celebration sponsored by the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable, explored questions of faith and hope, perceptions of themselves and others, and their thoughts about how to find common ground with those from different, even opposing, traditions.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Hinduism, Inter-Faith Relations, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry

Abiding: The Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent Book for 2013

Check it out and see what you think.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, Books

Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani–In Nigeria, You’re Either Somebody or Nobody

In America, all men are believed to be created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. But Nigerians are brought up to believe that our society consists of higher and lesser beings. Some are born to own and enjoy, while others are born to toil and endure.

The earliest indoctrination many of us have to this mind-set happens at home. Throughout my childhood, “househelps” ”” usually teenagers from poor families ”” came to live with my family, sometimes up to three or four of them at a time. In exchange for scrubbing, laundering, cooking, baby-sitting and everything else that brawn could accomplish, either they were sent to school, or their parents were sent regular cash.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Poverty, Theology

(The State) Methamphetamine Cases soar in South Carolina as cooks get trickier

The tell-tale empty box of decongestant pills lay crumpled and damp in the woods behind an abandoned trailer, and the people who used it to make methamphetamine were long gone.

Their trash pile was evidence of a quick method of cooking methamphetamine that is gaining popularity in South Carolina ”“ causing the number of meth cases to skyrocket and allowing “cooks” to be more mobile.

Last year, six years after South Carolina made people show an ID to buy pseudoephedrine, the key ingredient in meth, the State Law Enforcement Division reported 538 meth-related incidents in the state. That’s four times the number reported in 2010.

Read it all–makes the heart sad; KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Church/State Matters, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Law & Legal Issues

(Local Paper front Page) Disparities divide South Carolina into 2 worlds

Take interstate highways between South Carolina’s largest metropolitan areas and the scene remains similar ”” thick forests, meandering rivers and lush farms punctuated with thriving suburbs and vibrant downtowns.

Get off those interstates and something else emerges ”” towns where poverty rules, illiteracy passes to children like an inherited disease, and diabetes strikes 9-year-olds because of bad diets and obesity.
This is the other South Carolina. It runs along the “Interstate-95 Corridor” through the mostly majority black counties made infamous by the “Corridor of Shame” documentary about inequities in public schools. It also includes the “Mill Crescent,” the swath of rural, largely white, old textile mill counties between the I-85 economic powerhouse and greater Columbia.

If you took this other South Carolina away, the state would no longer rank at the bottom of nearly every list you want it to be at the top of. Instead, it would basically mirror the nation as a whole in income, education and health.

Many crippling disparities linger in these metropolitan counties, but the areas have been pushed into the national mainstream by four decades of economic growth, desegregation and an influx of people from other states and countries with new ideas and high expectations.

The other South Carolina remains shrouded in despair by the legacies of slavery, dependence on a marginally educated workforce, and political and economic domination by an elite few.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Children, Economy, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Marriage & Family, Poverty, Theology

China Eclipses U.S. as Biggest Trading Nation Measured in Goods

China surpassed the U.S. to become the world’s biggest trading nation last year as measured by the sum of exports and imports of goods, official figures from both countries show.

U.S. exports and imports of goods last year totaled $3.82 trillion, the U.S. Commerce Department said last week. China’s customs administration reported last month that the country’s trade in goods in 2012 amounted to $3.87 trillion.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, China, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Foreign Relations, Globalization, History, Politics in General