Daily Archives: April 5, 2013

(WSJ) Naomi Schaefer Riley: Synagogue-Hopping With Generation Y

Erica Brown, a prominent rabbi in Washington, recently wrote an article complaining about a “customer service” problem in the Jewish community. “We walk into synagogues and schools . . . and no one says hello. Few know our names (maybe for months or years). A friend in an interfaith marriage says that when he takes his wife to shul, no one talks to them. When he goes to his wife’s church, everyone comes over to greet them.”

David Polonsky, director of communications at Adas, tells me that when he moved to Washington a few years ago and called around to find out about high-holiday services, he was told they would cost him hundreds of dollars. “I’m a young person calling them and asking them for a Jewish experience,” he recalls, yet no one asked for his name, let alone invited him to the synagogue. Shabbat-Hopping at least makes people feel welcome.

The conservative Adas Israel, the reform Washington Hebrew Congregation, and the nondenominational Sixth & I Historic Synagogue have all made a big deal of welcoming young professionals””even when there is no Shabbat-Hopping event.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Judaism, Other Faiths, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Young Adults

(Reuters) Weak job gains cast shadow on U.S. economic outlook

American employers hired at the slowest pace in nine months in March, a sign that Washington’s austerity drive could be stealing momentum from the economy.

The economy added just 88,000 jobs last month and the jobless rate ticked a tenth of a point lower to 7.6 percent largely due to people dropping out of the work force, Labor Department data showed on Friday.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a gain of 200,000.

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

Local paper–New TEC Diocese in South Carolina asks for federal jurisdiction

“We have carefully examined the claims made against The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, and inherent in all these claims are federal statutory and constitutional issues that must be decided in a federal court rather than in South Carolina state court,” said Thomas Tisdale, chancellor of the continuing diocese, in a statement.

[Mark Lawrence and the diocese of South Carolina]…. has 30 days to respond to the notice of removal.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, Theology

(CEN) City workers flock to church

According to figures released by the Diocese of London attendance at City churches has risen by a almost a quarter since the start of the financial crisis in 2008. The most recent figures show 3,566 people as registered members of City churches in 2011, an increase of 24 per cent on the figures for 2007. In the rest of the Church of England membership figures were stable or showed only a slight decline in the same period. One City clergyman, the Ven Peter Delaney, who is the priest in charge of St Stephen Walbrook and a former Archdeacon of London told the ”˜Financial Times’ that stress and anxiety were causing financial workers to seek comfort in the Christian faith. James Gerry, a churchwarden at St Mary Woolnoth, who works in the insurance industry, told the same newspaper that “People are facing more pressures, fuses are short, there is tension in the workplace, and people are struggling to cope”.

He said that some people are also seeking moral guidance.

Read it all (may require subscription).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Church Times) Durham Dean welcomes Di Canio's rejection of fascism

The Dean of Durham, the Very Revd Michael Sadgrove, has welcomed a statement issued by the new manager of Sunderland Football Club, Paolo Di Canio, on Wednesday, saying that he does “not support the ideology of fascism”.

Dean Sadgrove wrote an open letter to Mr Di Canio on Tuesday, seeking clarification whether he held fascist beliefs. Mr Di Canio, whose appointment as Sunderland manager was announced on Sunday evening, gave a straight-arm salute more than once when he was a player, and said in his autobiography that he was “fascinated by Mussolini”.

The former Foreign Secretary David Miliband resigned from the board of Sunderland FC because of “past political statements” made by Mr Di Canio.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, History, Italy, Media, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sports, Theology

Must not be Missed–ESPN 30 for 30's Survive and Advance on NC State and Jim Valvano in 1983

You can find the the basic information about this there. But make sure, too, to watch this whole excerpt and then find it and try to absorb the whole thing–just an incredible story all the way through.

Update: The official trailer may be watched there.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, Health & Medicine, History, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Sports

PBS ' Religion and Ethics Newsweekly–Holy Week 2013

REV. KENNETH SEMON (The Church of the Holy Faith, Sante Fe, NM): I try to tell people””don’t just come on Sunday, you know, you’ll miss it. You’ll miss everything that this means and all that leads up to it.

They’re called the three solemn days. To go through the experience of the three days is really to go through what changes life for people. And it starts Maundy Thursday with the washing of the feet and the last supper and Jesus’ institution of the Holy Eucharist.

REV. ROCKY SCHUSTER (Episcopal Priest, Taos, NM): Jesus gives the new commandment””love one another as I have loved you, as opposed to as you would have others love you. You serve one another, you feed one another, you take care of one another, even to the point of death. And in the process of doing that, you’ll find new life, you’ll get the Easter experience, you’ll discover what eternal life is really all about.

Read or watch it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Episcopal Church (TEC), Holy Week, Parish Ministry

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty God, whose blessed Son did, in this season, burst the bonds of death, because it was not possible that he should be holden of it: Grant that we may be risen with him and walk henceforth in newness of life; and bring us at last to the joy of thy eternal kingdom. Hear us, O Father, for the sake of him who is the firstborn from the dead, and is now alive for evermore, even the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Lo! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

–1 Corinthians 15:51-58

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

In New Zealand, a Public vote on the Christchurch cathedral design

The Anglican Church has revealed three options for the rebuild of the ChristChurch Cathedral.

The public can now vote for their favourite, before the church leaders make the final decision.

The fate of the most well-known church in the country has been tied up in court cases and shrouded in secrecy since the big quake in 2011, but today the three final options for the cathedral’s future were unveiled to the public.

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

Anglican Church of Polynesia to debate Same Sex Marriage Later this year

The leader of the Anglican Church of Polynesia is calling for an open debate about same-sex marriage when church leaders meet in Suva next month.

The leader of the Anglican Church of Polynesia is calling for an open debate about same-sex marriage when church leaders meet in Suva next month.

Archbishop Winston Halapua says it’s important the church responds to changes in public opinion and that it is not static.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality

Desmond Tutu wins the 2013 Templeton prize for advancing 'spiritual progress'

Desmond Tutu, a clarion voice from the pulpit during South Africans’ struggle against racial apartheid, has won the £1.1m Templeton prize for advancing the “spiritual liberation” of people around the world.

The John Templeton Foundation describes the 40-year-old prize as the world’s biggest annual monetary award for individuals. Tutu, who adds it to honours including the Nobel peace prize, said he was “totally bowled over”.

The former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town helped keep the struggle alive during the dark years when Nelson Mandela and other activists were jailed or exiled. He went on to chair the post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Ever outspoken, he has admitted sometimes feeling angry with God and two years ago wrote a book with the provocative title God is Not a Christian.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces, Globalization, Religion & Culture

Sarah Coakley–Easter Day Homily from Salisbury Cathedral, 2013

In the light of this Easter morning that is now dawning, I want to ask you, especially those of you gathered here to make your new commitment to Christ in baptism or confirmation: Do you expect, do you long, with Mary Magdalene, to ”˜see the Lord’ in this life? And if so, what can this mean? What is it so to ”˜see’ the resurrected Jesus, to commit yourself to a belief in him, and his life beyond death? What is it to assert, with this, that there is a divine, transcendent force in our universe which rises beyond death, tragedy and failure, which captivates our hearts and minds and turns our lives out of darkness into light?

Everything hangs on this question for us as Christians. If there is no resurrection, if ”˜one did not rise from the dead’, then our faith is indeed ”˜in vain’, as St. Paul puts it. The problem only comes ”“ let us be honest ”“ in clarifying what, exactly, we are being asked to do in believing this….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Christology, Church of England (CoE), Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Eschatology, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology

Peter Moore–Machine Gun Preacher ”“A must see movie

In 2004 Sandra and I flew to the northernmost part of Uganda to visit a couple of theological seminaries in the city of Arua. The Ugandan seminary was relatively well appointed. Its faculty joyful. Its students adequately fed and eager to learn. The Sudanese seminary, across town, was a study in contrasts. Bare buildings, dirt floors, underfed students, listless faculty were all testimony to the suffering of Sudanese people who had sought refuge across the Uganda border to save their lives.

Today South Sudan is its own country, thanks to the accord in 2011, by which 8 million Sudanese ”“ mostly African and Christian (as opposed to northern Sudanese who are Arab and Muslim) ”“ ceded from Sudan. People like the seminarians we saw are now moving back home and rebuilding the decimated southern part of the country. When we lived in Pittsburgh we got to know many of the so-called “Lost Boys” who had come to America back in the 1980’s and ”˜90’s as refugees. Beautiful young men, many of them had seen the most brutal atrocities the human mind can imagine.

These atrocities are paraded across the wide-screen in a new movie from Relativity Media called Machine Gun Preacher. Starring Gerard Butler as Sam Childers and Michelle Monagan as his longsuffering wife Lynn, the movie tells the true story of one man’s effort to help the suffering children of Sudan….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --South Sudan, Africa, Movies & Television, Religion & Culture, Sudan, Violence