Monthly Archives: May 2013

[Central African] Archbishop Chama: "Anglican Alliance a catalyst for change"

“A catalyst for change” across the Communion is how Archbishop Albert Chama of Central Africa describes the Alliance, as he takes on the position of Chair of the new Board of Trustees.

The Primate will be leading the Anglican Alliance into a new stage of its life as a charity with a global board, bringing forward a new programme for its development, relief and advocacy across the Anglican Communion.

“The Anglican Alliance can be a catalyst for change, bringing people together across the Communion in our shared mission to build a world free of poverty and injustice,” he said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of Central Africa, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Poverty, Theology

(WSJ) David Skeel: The Supreme Court Revisits a Religious Lemon

Only a fool would try to predict what the Supreme Court will say, but here goes: I suspect the court will signal that either or both of two approaches is acceptable. A local government can authorize a chaplain to open its sessions, if it does not permit openly sectarian prayer; or it can invite a variety of speakers to pray, as Town of Greece did, without policing the content of the prayers, so long as it does not discriminate in its selection.

As an advocate of a strict “wall of separation,” Alton Lemon might chafe at this approach. But it would fit the Supreme Court’s gradual and welcome shift toward treating religion and nonreligion evenhandedly.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

Self-Driving Cars for Testing Are Supported by U.S.

Companies from Silicon Valley to Detroit to Germany are developing cars that park, steer and even drive themselves. Now the federal agency for traffic safety has said it wants to come along for the ride.

On Thursday, the Transportation Department made its first formal policy statement on autonomous vehicles. In a nonbinding recommendation to the states, it said that driverless cars should not yet be allowed, except for testing. But it said that semiautonomous features, like cars that keep themselves centered in lanes and adjust their speed based on the location of the car ahead, could save lives.

The statement, from the department’s highway safety agency, comes as companies, led by Google, have made significant technological strides in making cars that drive themselves, but still face daunting legal, regulatory and cultural hurdles before the cars are widely available to drivers. It is the latest example of the tension between technological innovation and regulation, which move at very different speeds.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Science & Technology, Travel

(Church Times) Next step proposed on women bishops

The House of Bishops will bring a motion to the General Synod on Monday 8 July, at its sessions in York, requesting the drafting of new legislation to enable women to be consecrated to the episcopate. If it is passed, this will allow time for further debate in November, and the process could be concluded in 2015.

The Bishops envisage the legislation as “a measure and amending canon that made it lawful for women to become bishops”, and “the repeal of the statutory rights to pass Resolutions A and B under the 1993 Measure”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

(CSM) Stephen King's 10 favorite books

Read it all and see what you make of the list.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Books

(The Tennessean) A New Jersey man hands out Bibles in Nashville

Gary Kochman says that God saved him from a dark time in his life.

Now he wants other people to find that same grace.

The soft-spoken, retired mathematician from Tinton Falls, New Jersey, was in Nashville Thursday, handing out Gideon Bibles on Charlotte Avenue by the state capitol.

Read it all and check out the video.

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

A Prayer for the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Father in heaven, by whose grace the virgin mother of thine incarnate Son was blessed in bearing him, but still more blessed in keeping thy word: Grant us who honor the exaltation of her lowliness to follow the example of her devotion to thy will; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty God, who thyself art love, fill us with the spirit of thy holy love; that our hearts being enkindled by thee, we may for ever love thee, and each other in thee, and all men for thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

But I trust in thee, O LORD, I say, “Thou art my God.” My times are in thy hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors! Let thy face shine on thy servant; save me in thy steadfast love!

–Psalm 31:15-16

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Statement From The Archbishop of York on his Prostate Cancer Surgery

I am thankful and grateful for Mr Bill Cross, and his surgical team at St James’ Hospital Leeds, who today operated on me for a locally advanced cancer of the prostate. I am also grateful to the nursing staff who are caring for me.

I am thankful, too, for all of you who regularly pray for me and support me, especially my staff at Bishopthorpe Palace.

I will be out of action for some time, and will continue to value your prayers. I look forward to resuming my ministry as soon as possible….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Health & Medicine

Peter Ould responds to the Bishop of Salisbury–Nick Holtam’s Case for Polygamy

The ultimate irony of this line of argument (“stable, faithful, adult, loving” ”“ SFAL) is that it’s proponents blatantly do not believe what they say. If Nick Holtam really thought that all that was needed for marriage was stability, faithfulness, adults and love, then he would have to support such polygamous relationships, let alone familial sexual relationships which meet the same criteria. But in actuality, Bishop Nick would probably happily say he doesn’t support such marriages.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology

(LA Times Op-ed) Gordon Chang and James Lyons–America's China mistake

This spring, China’s navy accepted the Pentagon’s invitation to participate in the 2014 Rim of the Pacific ”” RIMPAC ”” naval exercise to be held off Hawaii. This will be the first time China takes part in the biennial event.

Our allies should signal their intent to withdraw from the exercise if China participates. Failing that, the invitation should be withdrawn. RIMPAC is for allies and friends, not nations planning to eventually wage war on the United States. Russia sent ships in 2012, but while its senior officers may occasionally utter unfriendly words, they are not actively planning to fight the United States. Analyst Robert Sutter was surely correct when he wrote in 2005 that “China is the only large power in the world preparing to shoot Americans.”

That assessment, unfortunately, remains true today.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, China, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Theology

The Latest Edition of the Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Theology

(Belfast Telegraph) London Notebook: 'Bishop' Durkan sends blessings

Mark Durkan recalled his days as a minister in the Executive during the debate on same-sex marriage.

“Under powers that came from the old position of Lord Lieutenant General in Ireland from the 17th century, I had to sign if a new Church of Ireland church was created,” he told MPs.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland, History

(CSM) Working moms as primary breadwinners: why the US is seeing so many more

“The decade of the 2000s witnessed the most rapid change in the percentage of married mothers earning more than their husbands of any decade since 1960,” said Philip Cohen, a University of Maryland sociologist who studies gender and family trends, in The Washington Post. “This reflects the larger job losses experienced by men at the beginning of the Great Recession. Also, some women decided to work more hours or seek better jobs in response to their husbands’ job loss, potential loss, or declining wages.”

There are substantial differences between single mothers, who make up nearly two-thirds of mom breadwinners, and the 37 percent of mothers who are married and primary breadwinners.

The median family income of married mothers who earn more than their spouses was about $80,000 in 2011, nearly four times the $23,000 median for families led by a single mother. In comparison, the national median family income for all families with children is $57,100.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, Personal Finance, Women

Lewis congregation may leave Church of Scotland over recent vote allowing same sex partnered Clergy

A congregation on Lewis has voted unanimously to consider leaving the Church of Scotland over the ordaining of gay ministers.

The session, minister and members of Kinloch Church of Scotland are unhappy with the way in which the Kirk has handled the issue.

Kinloch minister, the Rev Iain Murdo Campbell, said the General Assembly should not have tackled the matter.

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Posted in Uncategorized

(BBC Scotland) Church of Scotland General Assembly votes to embrace new sexual ethic, but gradually

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Right Reverend Lorna Hood, said: “This is a massive vote for the peace and unity of the Church.”

The Kirk said that after a “full but gracious debate” it affirmed its current doctrine and practice in relation to human sexuality but moved to permit sessions wishing to depart from the traditional position to do so.

Mrs Hood added: “This was a major breakthrough for the Church but we are conscious that some people remain pained, anxious, worried and hurt. We continue to pray for the peace and unity of the Church.”

Read it all and make sure to read Robert Piggott’s comments alongside also.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Ecclesiology, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Presbyterian, Religion & Culture, Scotland, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Salvation (Soteriology)

Pope Francis shunned official papal apartments to live 'normal life'

Pope Francis has revealed for the first time the reasons for his decision to shun the official papal apartments and instead live in a much more modest Vatican ‘hotel’.

He has told a friend that he likes being in daily contact with ordinary people, does not want to be isolated and enjoys sitting down to meals with visiting clergy.

The Pope, 76, who on first seeing the papal apartments reportedly exclaimed “But there is room here for 300 people!” hinted that the arrangement may be permanent.

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

(Reuters) Europe plans major scaling back of financial trading tax

European countries plan to scale back a proposed financial transactions tax drastically, initially imposing a tiny charge on share deals only and taking much longer than originally intended to achieve a full roll-out.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Stock Market, Taxes, The Banking System/Sector, Theology

(IBD) Financial Transactions Tax Will Not Make Markets More Stable And Might Hurt Economic Growth

There is no evidence that an FTT would moderate market volatility ”” and attenuate sudden shifts of mood on financial markets.

A recent report by Anna Pomeranets from the Bank of Canada concluded that there have been instances when an FTT led to an increase in volatility ”” most significantly on the New York Stock Exchange and the American Stock Exchange, between 1932 and 1981, where increases in the FTT were associated with rising volatility, increased bid-ask spreads, and lower trading volumes.

Similarly, the idea that capital is under-taxed in current tax regimes is mistaken.

Read More At Investor’s Business Daily:
Follow us: @IBDinvestors on Twitter | InvestorsBusinessDaily on Facebook

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Europe, Stock Market, Taxes, The Banking System/Sector

(GC Blog) Matt Smethurst–Are You Ready for the Urban Future?

Like it or not, it’s true: more people are living in cities than ever before. This migration cityward doesn’t appear to be waning, either; in fact, it’s projected that within the next 35 years our world will be 70 percent urban. (In 1800, that number was 2 percent. In 1900, it was 14 percent.)

So what bearing should this reality have on today’s church? In Why Cities Matter: To God, the Culture, and the Church (Crossway), Stephen Um and Justin Buzzard seek to address such pressing questions and trends. Their aim, as Um explains in the video below featuring Buzzard and Christ + City author Jon Dennis, isn’t to insinuate that city ministry is superior. It is, however, uniquely strategic.

“This book is not about why cities matter more. We need gospel-preaching, gospel-shaped churches wherever there are people,” Um says. “But more people are moving into cities than ever before. Around the world 5.5 million people per month are moving into cities. That’s another San Francisco every month.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Globalization, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Telegraph) A letter from the Bishop of Salisbury to Lord Alli of Norbury

You, as a gay Muslim, will not be surprised that there are a variety of views within the Church of England where we are experiencing rapid change similar to that in the wider society. This is complex to express, partly because there are those who see this issue as fundamental to the structure of Christian faith. It is also complex because of the worldwide nature of the Anglican Communion in which what might be said carefully in one cultural context (for example, the USA) can be deeply damaging in another (for example, parts of Africa). Change and development are essential in the Church, as they are in life, and part of the genius of a missionary Church is its ability to root the good news of Jesus Christ in varied cultures in every time and place. One of the difficulties now is that globalisation and communication mean it is much more difficult for Christianity to develop in this culturally sensitive way. There has been a very uncomfortable polarisation of views even in our own country.

Whilst marriage is robust and enduring, what is meant by marriage has developed and changed significantly. For example, the widespread availability of contraception from the mid- twentieth century onwards took several decades to gain acceptance for married couples by the Lambeth Conference in 1958. The newer forms of the Church of England’s marriage service have since recognised that the couple may have children. Over the last fifty years the Church of England has come to accept that marriages intended to be lifelong can break down and that on occasion marriage after divorce can be celebrated in the context of Church. It is also the case that most couples now live together before they marry. This happens without censure from the Church which continues to conduct these marriages joyfully even though the Church’s teaching is that sexual relationships are properly confined to marriage.

The desire for the public acknowledgement and support of stable, faithful, adult, loving same sex sexual relationships is not addressed by the six Biblical passages about homosexuality….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality

(Independent) The day Facebook changed its image

It is….no longer possible for a platform as large and influential as Facebook to distance itself from the content uploaded by its users.

This all has real implications, for forms of gender hate elsewhere. For too long, women who object to mainstream and accepted misogyny have been silenced with the mocking argument that they are uptight, overreacting, or need to learn to take a joke. It is an effective form of silencing ”“ by branding derogatory and hateful material “banter”’ or “distasteful humour” because you immediately isolate and alienate the objector as a bitter prude.

But, like any other form of bullying, this line immediately falls flat when challenged. And so many women are now combining their voices to achieve victory in cases like this one that they can no longer be silenced.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Violence, Women

(Pew Research) Mothers Are the Sole or Primary Provider in Four-in-Ten Households with Children

A record 40% of all households with children under the age of 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income for the family, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The share was just 11% in 1960.

These “breadwinner moms” are made up of two very different groups: 5.1 million (37%) are married mothers who have a higher income than their husbands, and 8.6 million (63%) are single mothers.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, Personal Finance, Women

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, we know and believe in the love thou bearest towards us. May we, by dwelling in that love, dwell in thee, and thou in us. We would learn to love and to serve him whom we have not seen, by loving and serving our brethren whom we have seen; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–William Knight

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Now if the dispensation of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such splendor that the Israelites could not look at Moses’ face because of its brightness, fading as this was, will not the dispensation of the Spirit be attended with greater splendor? For if there was splendor in the dispensation of condemnation, the dispensation of righteousness must far exceed it in splendor. Indeed, in this case, what once had splendor has come to have no splendor at all, because of the splendor that surpasses it. For if what faded away came with splendor, what is permanent must have much more splendor.

Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not see the end of the fading splendor. But their minds were hardened; for to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their minds; but when a man turns to the Lord the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

–2 Corinthians 3:7-18

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(CSM) Why Syria is (still) different for the West

The US position on Syria’s civil war remains, in public at least, much as it has long been: The end of President Bashar al-Assad’s rule via some sort of negotiated settlement between the rest of his regime and the patchwork of secular Syrians, mainstream Islamists, and jihadis fighting against him.

That’s the premise for a conference the US, France, and Britain have been pushing for in Geneva next month. But recent battlefield gains for Mr. Assad’s forces, a Russian promise of a delivery of advanced air defense systems to the government (which would make a US-led air campaign more dangerous), and a divided political leadership for the opposition all make it appear very unlikely that peace will break out next month in Switzerland.

Put simply, the Syrian opposition has not come together in the way the US had hoped ”“ not in its military composition, which now involves a lot of foreign travelers from a regional Al Qaeda affiliate, nor on the international diplomatic front, which is fraught with infighting and doubt about the worth of a conference far from the battlefield.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Middle East, Politics in General, Syria

(SHNS) Terry Mattingly: Religious-liberty wars wage on

Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller was already having a rough day at the House Ways and Means Committee when one particularly hot question shoved him into the lower depths of a church-state inferno.

The question concerned a letter sent by IRS officials in Cincinnati to the Coalition for Life of Iowa, linked to its application for tax-exempt status.

“Please explain how all of your activities, including the prayer meetings held outside of Planned Parenthood, are considered educational,” said the letter, which was released by the Thomas More Society, which often defends traditional religious groups.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

(Anglican Ink) Political test for new bishops proposed

New bishops in the Episcopal Church should be vetted for their political orthodoxy, a paper released by the House of Bishops’ Standing Committee on Pastoral Development has proposed. The call for conformity came in a 29 April 2013 letter released under the signature of the Rt. Rev. James Waggoner, Jr., Bishop of Spokane and was sent to the church’s bishops and standing committees.

However some of the questions were “so egregious” and so “thin in its substance as to be silly”. Dr. Ephraim Radner of the Anglican Communion Institute told Anglican Ink.

In his covering letter Bishop Waggoner wrote the committee had noticed “two extremes” in recent years of “intense scrutiny” and “uninformed consent” in the consent process for newly elected bishops. The ten questions offered by the committee were designed “to be an additional resource in your decision-making process.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops, Theology

”˜Bishop is damaging Church of England’s ministry in Jersey’

A ”˜divisive dispute’ between the Island and the Bishop of Winchester has caused ”˜substantial damage’ to the Church of England’s ministry in Jersey, according to a former Grouville churchwarden..

Bruce Willing has written to the Jersey Evening Post asking 20 questions of the Bishop, who withdrew the powers of the Dean, the Very Rev Bob Key, in March after a report was published criticising his handling of a complaint of sexual misconduct made by a vulnerable adult against a churchwarden.

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