Daily Archives: April 10, 2013

(Globe and Mail) In Mississauga, Ontario, a crematorium battle beyond life and death

Rick Benisasia, who’s in the after-death business, is looking to build an empire.

Mr. Benisasia runs a South Asian-focused funeral home on Derry Road in Malton and wants to open a crematorium beside it. The land, money and demand is there, he says.

For more than three years, he’s waited for his rezoning application to be approved by the City of Mississauga. But a new Mississauga bylaw passed in March says new crematoriums must be a minimum of 300 metres from residential properties, due to concerns over the health effects from their emissions.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Canada, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Economy, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues

Doug Hankins–How Might Christians Respond To The Question of Same Sex Marriage?

Christians live in the tension of confidently proclaiming the Bible’s teaching while respectfully and lovingly pursuing relationships with those who identify as gay for the Glory of God.

I wholeheartedly affirm the third position on the gay marriage question and I commend it to Christians everywhere. I think it is the way forward, because it has historically been the way that Christians have approached these emerging issues. The Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 4:15, “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.”

When it comes to the gay marriage question, I think Christians would be wise to follow Paul’s advice:

Make growing in the satisfying relationship with Christ your daily goal.
Know truth and boldly speak truth.
Make “lovingness” your method and the manner in which you do all things.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Apologetics, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology

A Vermont mother's quest to save one son with M. Dystrophy while the other gets better with new Drug

The Leclaire boys share a cheerfully cluttered bedroom in their family’s modest ranch located in a rural village about 20 miles north of Brattleboro. A pair of twin beds line up against one wall and sky-blue curtains printed with planets frame the windows. Pet turtles, crabs and lizards inhabit a row of cages and stuffed animals and art projects fill corners.

The brothers have the same thatch of copper-brown hair, deep green eyes, freckled fair skin and they also share something else. Both Austin, 14, and Max, 11, have a rare genetic disease called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a fatal condition characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness due to lack of dystrophin, a protein that helps preserve muscle cells. There is no cure for DMD and standard treatments like steroids, heart medication and surgery only manage the symptoms. Typically, people with DMD die by their mid-20s.

There is, however, a new drug in trial that shows promise in stabilizing the disease and possibly even allowing some health improvement. The catch is that this is something the Leclaire brothers cannot share; only Max qualified for the trial, and though he has experienced significant health gains during the past 18 months, his older brother can only look on from his wheelchair as his physical condition continues to deteriorate.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Science & Technology

Father John Jillians–Slaying the Serpent

We are in a constant battle with a “twisted serpent” whose sole aim is to sow discord and enmity. And words are its main weapon.

We all deal with lots and lots of words every day. Speaking, reports, and waves of emails. And we all know that our words can be misinterpreted, feelings hurt, conclusions jumped to in an instant, especially in fast-paced email exchanges.

Proverbs has a lot to say about words…

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Orthodox Church, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Bishop Mark Lawrence's Easter Sermon from last Sunday–Jesus Brings Peace to the Disciples (John 20)

Listen to it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

Mark Tooley–Margaret Thatcher the Methodist

Margaret Thatcher was forever the thrifty Methodist grocer’s daughter of Grantham. Her father was both lay preacher and Conservative Party stalwart. They attended the Methodist church several times every Sabbath and heeded many then Methodist strictures against theater-going and dancing. Her family’s social life was enmeshed in the church’s sewing meetings, youth guilds, and missions work, as she recalled to the Catholic Herald 35 years ago.

“Methodism is the most marvelous evangelical faith and there is the most marvelous love and feeling for music in the Methodist Church which I think is greater than in the Anglican Church,” she then remembered. “But you sometimes feel the need for a slightly more formal service and perhaps a little bit more formality in the underlying theology too.”

Although married in John Wesley’s London Chapel, Thatcher later converted to her husband’s Anglicanism.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, History, Methodist, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God our Father, whose blessed Son, being falsely accused, answered nothing; being reviled, reviled not again: Give us faith, when others accuse us falsely, to go quietly on our way, committing ourselves to thee, who judgest righteously, after the pattern of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides for ever.

–1 John 2:15-17

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(RNS/USA Today) Cathy Grossman–Vitriol infests Rick Warren family’s grief

… a shocking number [of responses to the Warrens] are taking the moment of media attention to lash out at Warren on their digital tom-toms. The attacks are aimed both at him personally and at his Christian message.

Some unbelievers want to assure Rick and Kay Warren, his wife and Matthew’s bereaved mother, that there’s no heaven where they’ll meet their son again.

“Either there is no God, or God doesn’t listen to Rick Warren, despite all the money Rick has made off of selling false hope to desperate people,” one poster from Cincinnati wrote in to USA Today.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Young Adults

(CT) Ruth Moon–Is Concern Over the Rise of the 'Nones' Overblown?

“It is not a true sea change from seriously religious to unbelieving. It might actually helpfully clarify where people really stand. Still, behind all of this is a longer-term distancing of some from any association with religious faith and practice, which is significant.”
Christian Smith, sociologist, University of Notre Dame

“It’s an important shift, but it’s also important not to jump to conclusions about the meaning of this change. Even over the past five years, when the ‘nones’ have been going up””albeit at a slowing rate””there has been no change in Gallup’s measure of church attendance or importance of religion.”
Frank Newport, editor in chief, Gallup

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