Daily Archives: April 26, 2013

(WSJ) Jennifer Graham: Faith at the Finish Line in Boston

The Rev. John Wykes, director of the St. Francis Chapel at Boston’s soaring Prudential Center, and the Rev. Tom Carzon, rector of Our Lady of Grace Seminary, were among the priests who were turned away right after the bombings. It was jarring for Father Wykes, who, as a hospital chaplain in Illinois a decade ago, was never denied access to crime or accident scenes.

“I was allowed to go anywhere. In Boston, I don’t have that access,” he says.

But Father Wykes says he has noticed a shift in the societal role of clergy over the past few decades: “In the Bing Crosby era””in the ’40s, ’50s, ’60s””a priest with a collar could get in anywhere. That’s changed. Priests are no longer considered to be emergency responders.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic, Sports, Terrorism, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(Anglican Journal) Bishop Mark MacDonald–Kneeling before God

In recent years, I often recall the first time I saw my dad pray. It was unsettling. I came upon him in church, where he was kneeling, his hands shading his eyes. He had a type of intensity that, at three or four years old, I had never seen before. Nor had I had ever seen him kneel before his God””or anyone else, for that matter.

My mind drifts back, because what I witness today in times of worship is such a contrast. My father was spiritual, as we might say today, but he was not very religious. It is not the memory of his posture that remains vividly with me; it was the demonstration of an aspect of his heart””a spiritual point of view””that captured my budding spiritual imagination. Today, we may kneel, but so many of us, I fear, have strayed far from the reverence of heart that our elders knew, not so long ago.

Our worship has been deeply influenced by a culture that is immersed in the consumption of media. We bring that point of view to our worship. What will it give me? What will I learn? Is it helpful? The focus has shifted from deity to the consumer.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Canada, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

(Ottawa Citizen) New national Holocaust monument to be erected near Canadian War Museum

A national Holocaust monument is to be erected near the Canadian War Museum on LeBreton Flats, the government announced Tuesday.

The memorial, on federal land at Wellington and Booth streets, will honour the approximately six million Jews and others persecuted and murdered by Nazis and their collaborators during the Second World War.

It “will be a testament to the importance of ensuring that the memory of the Holocaust is never lost,” Tim Uppal, minister of state for democratic reform, said in a statement after announcing the location during a ceremony at the neighbouring Canadian War Museum. The monument will go across the street, on the northeast corner of Booth Street.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Canada, History, Judaism, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

([London] Times) Twitter on the trail of Syria hackers who crashed Wall Street

Security experts at Twitter were fighting a seemingly losing battle yesterday against the Syrian Electronic Army, a shadowy group that sparked panic on financial markets this week by faking a news report about an bomb attack on the White House.

The group, which purports to support the regime in Damascus, hacked the Associated Press news agency’s Twitter account and reported that explosions in the White House had injured President Obama, sending markets into a tailspin, and wiping $136 billion (£89 billion) off the [value of the top 500 U.S. stocks in seconds]….

Read it all (requires subscription) and there is a lot more there from the WSJ.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Economy, Media, Middle East, Science & Technology, Stock Market, Syria

(BBC News Magazine) From Belgian school to Syrian battleground

Hundreds of Europeans are fighting with rebel forces in Syria and intelligence agencies are concerned some could return home to launch terrorist attacks. One Belgian family says their son has joined rebels fighting Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

A camera shakily films a group of rebel fighters preparing to pray, lined up in rows, their weapons at their feet. A young man walks into shot and takes off his rifle before briefly turning towards the camera.

“That’s Brian,” says Ingrid de Mulder, pointing at her nephew in the online video on her computer. “I’m 100% sure. That’s him. No doubt.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Belgium, Children, Europe, Islam, Middle East, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Syria, Violence, Young Adults

(CEN) Barbados clergyman elected suffragan bishop of Toronto

A Barbados native has been elected suffragan Bishop of the diocese of Toronto. On 6 April 2013, the Ven. Peter Fenty, archdeacon of York and the executive officer to the Bishop of Toronto, was elected on the seventh ballot. Bishop-elect Fenty, (61) who was born and raised in Barbados and came to Canada in 1992, will be the first person of African descent to be a bishop in the Anglican Church of Canada.

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

(ACNS) Mozambique Bishop Mark Van Koevering calls for peace

“We are all saddened by the deaths of innocent people during the recent violence that took place in Muxungue, Mozambique,” said the Bishop. “We call on all to follow in the way of peace, creating space and opportunity for all voices to be heard in a transparent process that renounces violence and serves the common good.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Mozambique, Religion & Culture, Violence

(Church Times) Clergy: angels or enforcers?

The clergy’s is one of the few professions to show a higher level of care at work than in their personal lives, the findings of a psychometric test completed online by more than 80,000 people worldwide suggests. The drive to be obedient, however, is even stronger than the drive to care.

The MoralDNA test asks people to what extent they agree with a series of statements describing how they make decisions. For example: “I won’t take the easy option if it’s the wrong thing to do.” Some of these questions relate to the workplace. The answers are used to create a “Moral DNA profile” that reflects the user’s “decision-making preferences”: the ethics of obedience, care, and reason….

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology

Archbishop John Sentamu: Twenty years on, the lessons of love from the killing of Stephen Lawrence

Let me begin by telling you about Stephen, a mature intelligent man of 38, a successful architect, with a wife and children of whom he is very proud. A man loved and respected by his wider family and the community where he lives and in which he is a blessing to many.

This is one of the real possibilities that the future held for Stephen Lawrence who was murdered 20 years ago this Monday in an unprovoked racist attack by a gang of white youths in Eltham. An attack whose devastating effect not only tragically denied Stephen a future, but also reverberated through many lives, causing pain which cannot be calculated this side of the grave.

As we remember Stephen’s death at this time, we need to renew our determination to rid our communities of racism, hatred, fear, ignorance, stereotyping, and the advantaging or disadvantaging of others because of their colour or ethnic origin.

Read it all from the Yorkshire Post.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, England / UK, History, Race/Race Relations

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty and everlasting God, who resisteth the proud and givest grace to the humble: Grant, we beseech thee, that we may not exalt ourselves and provoke thy indignation, but bow down to receive the gifts of thy mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–William Temple (1881-1944)

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Colossians 3:1-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

The South Carolina House passes a bill to protect children against parental abuse

A state House bill aimed at giving S.C. courts clearer guidelines on when to terminate parental rights, especially in cases where parents or guardians have a history of child or drug abuse, passed a key vote in the House Thursday.

The House voted 104-0 to give second reading to the bill, named Jaidon’s Law after a toddler who died from a drug overdose a week after the state returned him to his parents, who had prior drug charges.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Children, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, State Government, Violence

A Joint statement from the Archbishops of Canterbury and Westminster on Syria

Since the very first days of the Syrian conflict in March 2011, we have prayed as we watched in horror and sorrow the escalating violence that has rent this country apart. We have grieved with all Syrians – with the families of each and every human life lost and with all communities whose neighbourhoods and livelihoods have suffered from escalating and pervasive violence.

And today, our prayers also go with the ancient communities of our Christian brothers and sisters in Syria. The kidnapping this week of two Metropolitan bishops of Aleppo, Mar Gregorios Ibrahim of the Syriac Orthodox Church and Paul Yazigi of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, and the killing of their driver while they were carrying out a humanitarian mission, is another telling sign of the terrible circumstances that continue to engulf all Syrians.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Defense, National Security, Military, Ecumenical Relations, Foreign Relations, Middle East, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Syria, Violence

The Curt Jester on Peter Kreeft's new book "Jacob’s Ladder: Ten Steps to Truth"

Like some of his previous books it is set around a dialogue between two characters. This time both characters are fully fictional and set in the year 1977. Libby Rawls is a young women that is a nominal Christian and a skeptic. The other is “Mother” an older mixed-race women who is willing to lead Libby along these steps of a Jacob’s Ladder. Each day they discuss a subject where the subjects build on each other leading to further truth. These two characters are also involved in his novel “An Ocean Full of Angels.”

This book takes a building block approach to understanding the faith and starts at what might seem to be an odd first step of “passion.” While common philosophical ideas are discussed it is also not standard apologetic fare and mostly deals with natural theology. The conversational dialogue mostly adds to the book and the back and forth between the two women helps to illustrate points. Some of the use of coincidences in the book are a bit heavy-handed at times. Also evident is Kreeft’s playful humor which was used at times and contributed to the banter between the two women.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Apologetics, Books, Other Churches, Philosophy, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

Mollie Hemingway–Questions abound in stories about Katherine Tsarnaeva, wife of the older Brother

We’d been learning so much about how the Tsarnaev brothers became more interested in radical Islam. I was curious about the spouse’s religious background and was fascinated to learn she “grew up Christian.” I know that can mean about a million different things so I read the story looking forward to additional details.

But those three words in the lede are all we have. I’d love even to know how we know this. She “grew up Christian” according to whom? I’d read elsewhere on the internet that she in fact hadn’t grown up in a family that was religious. It had better sourcing than this story but came from a site that is outside mainstream media.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Islam, Marriage & Family, Media, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture