Daily Archives: April 15, 2013

(WSJ) South Carolina Episcopal Church Fight Heads to Court

Episcopalians along the South Carolina coast are battling in court to determine which of two factions owns an estimated $500 million in church buildings, grounds and cemeteries, following an acrimonious split last year over social issues.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, Theology

Mortgages with 10% or less down are on the rise

In another sign of the housing market’s brightening outlook, more home buyers are discovering conventional loans with down payments well below the 20% or higher levels of recent years.

Until recently, many borrowers had to go through a government guaranteed loan program, such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or the Department of Veterans Affairs, to get a mortgage with less than a 10% down payment.

Now, a growing number of lenders are offering such mortgages without the backing of a government guarantee ”” the definition of a conventional loan.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Personal Finance, The Banking System/Sector

(NPR) Pastor, Mentor And Social Activist: Remembering Gordon Cosby

When the Rev. Gordon Cosby founded Church of the Saviour in the late 1940s, it was one of the first interracial churches in the still-segregated District of Columbia. Cosby, who died last month at the age of 95, is remembered not only for his work as a pastor, but also for his commitment to social change.

“Many people have never heard of him, but he shaped the vocations of so many of us that he shaped the church more than any pastor of his generation,” says Jim Wallis, a prominent Christian writer and evangelical leader, and one of the many pastors whom Cosby mentored over his life.

Cosby was born in Lynchburg, Va., and raised Southern Baptist. When he was 16, he and his brother, P.G., were walking through the African-American part of town and came upon a small church.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Church History, History, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(Alister McGrath) What Christianity feels like: The Chronicles of Narnia and the power of myth

Why are C.S. Lewis’s “Chronicles of Narnia” – especially their showcase opener, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – so popular, fifty years after their author’s death? Many answers might be given, from the obvious fact that they are stories well told, to the suggestion that they call us back to a lost childhood. But perhaps there is something deeper going on here.

To understand the deep appeal of Narnia, we need first to appreciate the place of stories in helping us to make sense of reality, and our own place within it. The “Chronicles of Narnia” resonate strongly with the basic human intuition that our own story is part of something greater and grander – something which, once we have grasped it, allows us to see our situation in a new and more meaningful way. A veil is lifted; a door is opened; a curtain is drawn aside; we are enabled to enter a new realm. Our own story is now seen to be part of a much bigger story, which both helps us understand how we fit into a greater scheme of things, and discover the difference we can make.

Like his Oxford friend J.R.R. Tolkien, Lewis was deeply aware of the imaginative power of “myths” – stories told to make sense of who we are, where we find ourselves, what has gone wrong with things, and what can be done about it. A “myth,” as Lewis uses the term, is not a false story told to deceive, but a story that on the one hand resonates with the deepest structures of reality, and on the other has an ability to connect up with the human imagination.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Books, Church History, England / UK, History, Religion & Culture, Theology

Movie Recommendation–The Intouchables

A wonderful French comedy-drama film based on a true story. Terrific acting, lovely music, great scenes from Paris, and all deeply touching. The official website is here. Check it out if you have not done so–KSH (Hat tip: Abigail Harmon).

Posted in * By Kendall, * Culture-Watch, Movies & Television

A Profile of Ontario Anglican Minister Bob Hudson–sailing between different waters

St. Luke the Evangelist Anglican Church, the 106-year-old church at Brock and Elgin streets, brought in Hudson after months of searching and interviewing.

“It takes a very special individual to work here because we have a lot of ceremony,” says parish council warden Jim Blyth.

“We needed an individual who is passionate about living the ceremony and we had a difficult time finding a clergyman with that skill set and passion, but we found Bob.”

Hudson, 63, has just shepherded his new flock through the extensive and almost daily services of Easter week but continues to fulfil his duties as the chaplain at the Mission to Seafarers in Hamilton.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Look, we beseech thee, O Lord, upon the people of this land who are called after thy holy name, that they may ever walk worthy of their Christian profession. Grant unto us all that, laying aside our divisions, we may be united in heart and mind to bear the burdens which are laid upon us, and be enabled by patient continuance in well-doing to glorify thy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–The Irish BCP

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Make me to know thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me, for thou art the God of my salvation; for thee I wait all the day long.

–Psalm 25:4-5

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Adam Scott Becomes the first Australian Ever to win the Master's Tournament


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, History, Sports

(Adam Caress) Why We Need Orthodoxy: A Response to Sessions’ Review of “Bad Religion”

In other words, [David] Sessions seems to be fine with Christian doctrine so long as it doesn’t contradict what he sees to be the higher authority of modern liberalism, which has a whole different set of doctrines it regards as absolute, including many which are at odds with Orthodox Christian doctrine: the right to an abortion, the right to same-sex marriage, and all the other hot-button issues that garner headlines. And so the question isn’t one of “absolutism,” the only dispute between Douthat and Sessions seems to be which set of absolute doctrines supersedes the other: Orthodox Christianity or modern liberalism.

While it’s easy to make the case in secular America that Christian doctrine should be made subservient to modern liberalism, it is harder to make that case within the Church. This is especially true in denominations where Orthodox doctrine has been passed down through the centuries and carries the weight of both revealed truth and apostolic tradition. And it is in light of the weight of Orthodoxy’s historic lineage that Sessions’ claim that Douthat ascribes to a “religious ideology that is unable to see past its own particular politico-cultural moment” rings most hollow.

Seeing past its own particular politico-cultural moment is precisely what Orthodoxy does. As Chesterton once said of his own Orthodox Catholicism, “It is the only thing that frees a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age. It is the only thing that talks as if it were the truth; as if it were a real messenger refusing to tamper with a real message.” And to that end, Bad Religion is nothing if not a compelling case for a Christian doctrine that transcends time and place ”” particularly our time and place.

Read it all.

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

In Melbourne, an Upcoming open Conversation on Youth, mental health and spirituality

Among the statistics cited are theses:

One in every four young people will experience a mental disorder in any 12 month period (most commonly substance abuse or dependency, depression or anxiety, or a combination of these).

Depression and anxiety are the most prevalent mental health issues experienced by young people, with around 30% of
adolescents experiencing a diagnosable depressive episode by the age of 18 years.

Mental disorders were the leading contributor to the burden of disease and injury (49%) among young Australians aged
15”“24 years in 2003, with anxiety and depression being the leading specific cause for both males and females

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Children, Education, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Teens / Youth

(TLS) Eric Naiman–Unveiling the Falsehoods behind the hoax that Dickens met Dostoevsky

Late in 2011, Michiko Kakutani opened her New York Times review of Claire Tomalin’s biography of Charles Dickens with “a remarkable account” she had found in its pages. In London for a few days in 1862, Fyodor Dostoevsky had dropped in on Dickens’s editorial offices and found the writer in an expansive mood….

I have been teaching courses on Dostoevsky for over two decades, but I had never come across any mention of this encounter. Although Dostoevsky is known to have visited London for a week in 1862, neither his published letters nor any of the numerous biographies contain any hint of such a meeting. Dostoevsky would have been a virtual unknown to Dickens. It isn’t clear why Dickens would have opened up to his Russian colleague in this manner, and even if he had wanted to, in what language would the two men have conversed? (It could only have been French, which should lead one to wonder about the eloquence of a remembered remark filtered through two foreign tongues.) Moreover, Dostoevsky was a prickly, often rude interlocutor. He and Turgenev hated each other. He never even met Tolstoy. Would he have sought Dickens out? Would he then have been silent about the encounter for so many years, when it would have provided such wonderful fodder for his polemical journalism?

Several American professors of Russian literature wrote to the New York Times in protest, and eventually a half-hearted online retraction was made, informing readers that the authenticity of the encounter had been called into question, but in the meantime a second review of Tomalin’s biography had appeared in the Times, citing the same passage….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Books, Education, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, History, Media, Poetry & Literature, Russia, Theology