Daily Archives: April 13, 2013

In Ottawa, St. Luke’s Anglican Church goes lean and green

St. Luke’s parishioners are renovating their old stone and brick church to reduce energy consumption and maximize their use of the space after an energy audit discovered they were practically throwing money out the front door.

“It was a wake up call more to realize that of course this is a serious issue,” said the minister at St. Luke’s Anglican Church, Rev. Gregor Sneddon. “Churches these days, which were at one time almost the fabric of culture and society, are now struggling for their existence and how they’re relevant and meaningful in a secular Western society. So the free lunch is kind of over and we’re wrestling with how do we be efficient and lean in our costs and how we operate.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Energy, Natural Resources, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues

Mary McConnell–A review of Homeschooling in America and The Year of Learning Dangerously

I remain an enthusiastic advocate of homeschooling, but recent years have found me occupied with reforming “real” school. Two much-heralded but very different books, Joseph Murphy’s new survey of the professional literature on homeschooling, Homeschooling in America, and Quinn Cummings’ story of homeschooling her daughter Alice, The Year of Learning Dangerously, rekindled my interest in the movement that once so engaged my family.

A professor of education at Vanderbilt, Murphy is a social scientist, not an advocate, which makes his generally positive evaluation of homeschooling all the more significant. His survey of the social science literature on the topic usefully, if sometimes turgidly, compiles the growing evidence that homeschooled children learn more than their counterparts, at least to the extent that standardized tests measure learning, and are emotionally healthier as well, at least to the extent that psychologists’ “self-esteem and self-concept” scales truly capture emotional health. They volunteer many more hours in their communities and even spend more time participating in extracurricular activities.

While these findings have been widely reported, some of the other studies he describes deserve more attention. For example, low-income children who are homeschooled often reach or exceed national academic averages, whereas the average low-income children in public schools score “considerably below” the national norm.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Books, Children, Education, Marriage & Family

A Video of the Four Anglican Bishops visiting Charleston, S.C., this past week

This entry is Sticky at the head of the page

Watch it all courtesy of Anglican TV and see also Anglican Bishops Express Strong Support for Bishop Lawrence and the Diocese of South Carolina

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Anglican Provinces, Church of Rwanda, Episcopal Church of the Sudan

Conor Friedersdorf–Why Dr. Kermit Gosnell's Trial Should Be a Front-Page Story

(Please be advised that the specifics of the subject matter in this trail may not be appropriate for some blog readers–KSH).

The dead babies. The exploited women. The racism. The numerous governmental failures. It is thoroughly newsworthy….

[Yet]…this isn’t solely a story about babies having their heads severed, though it is that. It is also a story about a place where, according to the grand jury, women were sent to give birth into toilets; where a doctor casually spread gonorrhea and chlamydiae to unsuspecting women through the reuse of cheap, disposable instruments; an office where a 15-year-old administered anesthesia; an office where former workers admit to playing games when giving patients powerful narcotics; an office where white women were attended to by a doctor and black women were pawned off on clueless untrained staffers. Any single one of those things would itself make for a blockbuster news story. Is it even conceivable that an optometrist who attended to his white patients in a clean office while an intern took care of the black patients in a filthy room wouldn’t make national headlines?

But it isn’t even solely a story of a rogue clinic that’s awful in all sorts of sensational ways either. Multiple local and state agencies are implicated in an oversight failure that is epic in proportions! If I were a city editor for any Philadelphia newspaper the grand jury report would suggest a dozen major investigative projects I could undertake if I had the staff to support them.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Science & Technology, Theology

TV Worth Considering? A Six-Part Miniseries Event on the 1980's on the NGC

It’s, like, totally tubular. The ’80s: The Decade That Made Us isn’t about nostalgia; it’s about the history of our modern world that spawned political, technological, cultural, and social revolutions that began in the United States and went on to dominate the world. This cultural programming event is the defining biography of a generation. It’s about a decade of people, decisions, and inventions that changed our future, told from the perspective of the unknowing history makers who lived these iconic moments. We worked out, worked harder, played harder and consumed more””because the 1980s was the decade when we went forward to the future….

Read it all.

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

A.S Haley on recent Anglican/TEC legal news in Calif.–Same Facts, Different Outcomes

The Litigation Lottery for the parishes of the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin continues in the courts of California. I mentioned in an earlier post that as a result of a poorly reasoned decision by a trial court judge in Bakersfield, which granted summary judgment to Bishop Talton’s rump diocese, two parishes in Kern County had decided to move out of their church buildings rather than carry the fight on to the appellate level — even though the decision was so obviously wrong.

Now comes another trial court decision — based on exactly the same underlying facts — which denies summary judgment to Bishop Talton and his diocese. The Superior Court of Tulare County ruled on Tuesday of this week that there were disputed issues of fact remaining with regard to the ability of St. John’s in Porterville to disaffiliate from ECUSA.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

Master's Tournament Does an Awful Job in interpreting the Rules, Hitting a 14 year old for slow play

Gary Player writes:

I’ve seen a lot of great shots and great rounds at Augusta. In 1978, I closed in 30 and shot 64 to win the Masters by one. But that doesn’t compare to what Tianlang Guan is doing at the age of 14. Mark my words: We are witnessing the most historic moment golf has experienced in my lifetime. And giving him the slow-play penalty on Friday is one of the saddest things I’ve seen in golf. When I heard, I prayed that he would make the cut. I am thrilled he did, because having him play the weekend will do miracles for the game. Golf’s popularity is as low as it’s ever been. Fewer and fewer people are playing the game. This will encourage young boys and girls around the world to play the game. Imagine it! Everyone will benefit — courses, manufacturers, some day even fans.

Now, you cannot criticize the rule. It’s in the book for a reason. I believe the officials when they say Guan broke it. But you’ve got to be consistent. If you had a stopwatch, you could time many players in the last 20 years who have been well over their time but have not been penalized. Slow-playing tournament leaders have not been penalized. If the rule is applied arbitrarily, it is meaningless. The tragedy is that this could cause a stir. Imagine what the Chinese are going to think?

I agree. Say it again with me, the rules were made for Golf, not Golf for the rules–KSH. Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Sports, Teens / Youth, Theology

Toomas Ilves–Cybersecurity: A View From the Front

Cybersecurity needs to be taken seriously by everyone. We continue to think of cyberthreats in military or classical warfare terms, when in fact cyber can simply render the military paradigm irrelevant. The whole information and communication technologies (ICT) infrastructure must be regarded as an “ecosystem” in which everything is interconnected. It functions as a whole; it must be defended as a whole.

Today, almost everything we do depends on a digitized system of one kind or another. Our critical infrastructure ”” our electrical, water or energy production systems and traffic management ”” essentially interacts with, and cannot be separated from, our critical information infrastructure ”” private Internet providers, lines of telecommunications and the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (Scada) systems that run everything from nuclear power plants to delivery of milk to our supermarkets.

Understanding that cybersecurity means defending the entirety of our societies, we need to re-examine many assumptions of security. In cyberwarfare, it is much harder to identify the attacker, and therefore to know how to retaliate.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Blogging & the Internet, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Theology

Pope appoints Group of Eight Cardinals to advise on Curia reform

Pope Francis has appointed a Group of Eight cardinals to advise him in the governance of the Universal Church. In a communique issued Saturday the Secretariat of State announced that the Holy Father decided to set up the Council following on from discussions that emerged during the General Congregations in the lead up to the Conclave which elected him the 265th Successor to St Peter.

The group of Cardinals will be coordinated by Card. Oscar Andrés Maradiaga Rodríguez and is drawn from across the Universal Church. It will also help Pope Francis revise the Apostolic Consitution on the Roman Curia Pastor bonus.

Read it all.

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


We wish Kendall a very Happy Birthday today.

Posted in * By Kendall, Harmon Family

(LA Times) Egypt's Coptic Christians live in fear of Islamic extremists

The Mass was celebrated as if from centuries past: A bearded priest veiled in incense chanted for grace in a church along the Nile, near the spot where Christians believe Jesus and his mother sought refuge in an earlier age of bloodshed and uncertainty.

Marianne Samir knelt and prayed for the Coptic Christians killed in a spasm of sectarian violence that has further shaken a nation engulfed in economic and political anxieties.

“I feel unsafe,” said Samir, a high school philosophy teacher with a cross tattooed on her wrist. “The Islamists want war. They want strife. But this is our land too. It is a country blessed by God, and there’s no way we’ll leave it to them.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Coptic Church, Egypt, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Violence

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, who by the glorious resurrection of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ hast destroyed death, and brought life and immortality to light: Grant that we, being raised together with him, may know the comfort and strength of his presence, and rejoice in hope of thy everlasting glory; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be dominion and praise for ever and ever.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Then Nebuchadnez’zar was full of fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed’nego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was wont to be heated. And he ordered certain mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed’nego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their mantles, their tunics, their hats, and their other garments, and they were cast into the burning fiery furnace. Because the king’s order was strict and the furnace very hot, the flame of the fire slew those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed’nego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed’nego, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace. Then King Nebuchadnez’zar was astonished and rose up in haste. He said to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered the king, “True, O king.” He answered, “But I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.”

–Daniel 3:19-25

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Gleanings) Should Teachers at Christian Schools, Daycares Have Unemployment Benefits?

An Arizona bill that could leave many employees of religious schools and daycares ineligible for unemployment benefits is on the verge of becoming law.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Education, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, State Government

Nigeria: Anglican Cleric Condemns Proposed Amnesty for Boko Haram

An Anglican Communion clergy[man], Godwin Daramola, has condemned the Nigerian government for its inability to prevent many woes befalling the nation.

Mr. Daramola, who delivered the sermon at the 10th year remembrance service held in honour of Atinuke Ige, late daughter of the slain Governor of the old Oyo State and former Attorney-General of the Federation, Bola Ige, at the St. Anne’s Church, Molete, Ibadan on Wednesday, identified some of the social ills defying government’s efforts as corruption, insecurity, materialism and selfishness.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

Anglican Bishops Express Strong Support for Bishop Lawrence and the Diocese of South Carolina

Amidst allegations that Anglicans worldwide do not recognize the Diocese of South Carolina and its Bishop, Anglican Bishops from East Africa strongly announced their support for the Diocese’s dissociation from The Episcopal Church Tuesday during comments at the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul in Charleston. ”¨

The Bishops from Sudan, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania proclaimed unqualified endorsement of Bishop Mark Lawrence and the Diocese. Their comments seemed to dispute the claims of Bishop Charles vonRosenberg, the newly elected Bishop of the recently formed Diocese – The Episcopal Church in South Carolina. In January, vonRosenberg announced that the Anglican Communion has not acknowledged Lawrence’s Diocese, even though it represents the vast majority of local Anglicans. However the four Bishops, all members of the Anglican Communion in good standing, specifically recognized the Diocese during the gathering.”¨

The four were guests of the Diocese following their participation in the New Wineskins Conference in Ridgecrest, North Carolina, the largest Anglican missions conference in the world.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Anglican Provinces, Church of Rwanda, Episcopal Church of the Sudan, Evangelism and Church Growth, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(Christian Century) "Letter from Birmingham Jail" at 50

Fifty years ago, in June 1963, the Christian Century found itself near the center of American public debate when it was the first large-circulation magazine to publish the full text of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” The letter would shortly thereafter stand as the manifesto of those King led in pursuing African-American civil rights in the mid-1960s by means of nonviolent direct action. And it eventually assumed pride of place alongside Henry David Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” as a touchstone for the theory and practice of civil disobedience in American protest politics.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Church History, History, Politics in General, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture

Archbishop Justin Welby–When aid works and why

But so often the critics ignore the many instances where aid truly works ”“ especially in vulnerable conflict and post-conflict situations. Certainly that was what I saw during more than a decade of working in Africa.

When money is put in the hands of faith-based and civil society networks, it can be utterly transformative. Because these organisations are highly accountable, very little money is lost to corruption. Local clergy know exactly what their communities need and how to spend funds wisely.

Read it all.

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

Floyd Norris–Americans Lose Jobs at Lower Rates, but Hiring Is Also Down

American workers are being fired or laid off less often than at any time in the last decade, the government reported this week. But companies are also less willing to hire than they used to be.

The Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for February showed that during that month the total number of people who were either discharged or laid off totaled just 0.9 percent of all job holders in the United States. It was the first month since that survey began in 2000 that the figure dipped below 1 percent.

Over the most recent 12 months, the Labor Department figures show, only 15.1 percent of workers lost their jobs because of layoffs or discharges. Until this year, the lowest figure for any 12 months had been 15.3 percent, during the period ending in September 2006. That came as the economic boom was cresting before the recession that began at the end of 2007.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, History, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Personal Finance, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--