Daily Archives: May 14, 2013

(AP) National Cathedral wins contest for preservation funding

Washington National Cathedral and George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate each won $100,000 grants Monday, among 24 sites around the nation’s capital competing for historic preservation funds.

The earthquake-damaged National Cathedral won the most votes from the public over the past three weeks, earning nearly 1.4 million points in the Partners in Preservation program. The National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express announced the winners, awarding $1 million in preservation funds to sites in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

(WSJ) Holly Finn–Online Pornography's Effects, and a New Way to Fight Them

Today 12% of websites are pornographic, and 40 million Americans are regular visitors””including 70% of 18- to 34-year-olds, who look at porn at least once a month, according to a recent survey by Cosmopolitan magazine (which, let’s face it, is the authority here). Fully 94% of therapists in another survey reported seeing an increase in people addicted to porn. It has become a whole generation’s sex education and could be the same for the next””they are fumbling around online, not in the back seat. One estimate now puts the average age of first viewing at 11. Imagine seeing “Last Tango in Paris” before your first kiss.

Countless studies connect porn with a new and negative attitude to intimate relationships, and neurological imaging confirms it. Susan Fiske, professor of psychology at Princeton University, used MRI scans in 2010 to analyze men watching porn. Afterward, brain activity revealed, they looked at women more as objects than as people. The new DSM-5 will add the diagnosis “Hypersexual Disorder,” which includes compulsive pornography use.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pornography, Psychology, Sexuality, Theology

(Christian Post) Church of the Incarnation of Dallas plans Sigificant Expansion

Anthony J. Burton, Rector of The Church of the Incarnation, said in a statement that despite the encouraging numbers his congregation’s focus “is not about growth, but changed lives.”

“Size does not make a church better, but if its clergy and parishioners are sensitive to the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives, God can cause their work in His name to grow a parish that is a resource of great blessing to its community and denomination,” said Burton.

Based in the Uptown neighborhood of Dallas, The Incarnation is looking to add three new buildings: another worship facility, a welcome center, and an educational facility.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, TEC Parishes

Two Missouri Episcopal Churches Set to Merge May 19

Facing a declining and aging membership, members at St. Matthew’s began a discernment process last year to map out a strategy for their future. The parish considered many options, and decided that merging with another church was the best way to fulfill their mission.

In September of 2012, St. Matthew’s invited Grace Church to enter into a discernment process towards a merger. After a faithful discernment, Grace’s clergy and lay leadership approved the merger and the two parishes began preparing for their future together.

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Posted in Uncategorized

(Telegraph) Charles Moore–David Cameron would like to forget same sex marriage, but it haunts him

…[the Government’s] difficulty, however, is that if you are trying to make a really radical change in human society, you must understand what you are doing and argue your case with conviction in public. With gay marriage, the Coalition proposes to alter fundamentally the most important social structure ever known to mankind. If it hopes to slip this quietly past the country over the summer, without any serious consequences, it is being not only dishonest, but stupid….

[Nowhere is this clearer than on the question of]…the nature of marriage itself. Most advocates of gay marriage have not previously given much thought to this. Nor, over the years, have many of them done anything to advance its cause ”“ although, to be fair, Mr Cameron himself has always been a strong advocate of wedlock. Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats, for instance, are passionately opposed to helping marriage through the tax system. Obloquy has been poured on the heads of those who argue that marriage is a better way of bringing up children than cohabitation or single parenthood.

When such people start calling for gay marriage, then, it is reasonable to conclude that it is not marriage itself that they are interested in, but Equality for homosexuals. The Government has listened too much to pressure groups and far too little to people who know about marriage….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Bishop Wallace Benn's Public Statement on all the dismissal of all complaints against him

It is a matter of deep regret that some of those with knowledge of the fact of and the substance of the complaints against me have repeatedly chosen to leak information, much of it partial and inaccurate, during the formal legal process.

Apart from an admission by Lambeth Palace in November 2011 of a leak to a journalist by a member of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s staff, the source of the leaks has not been identified amongst the small group privy to the relevant information. After November 2011, the leaks did not stop. This has led to repeatedly unfair media reporting, in circumstances where, on advice, I have been unable publicly to defend myself.

The media coverage during the process did not escape the attention of Lord Justice Mummery. With the process complete, I can now quote from Lord Justice Mummery’s decision letter dated 29 January 2013 addressed to Mr Akerman and Mr Perkins by which he refused to allow the bulk of their complaints to proceed. He said this, under the heading “Coverage in the media”:

“I should add that this letter is sent only to the persons directly concerned with its contents. It is an impartial judgment on disciplinary matters. It is made by an independent judge. The decision is based on a full and careful consideration of the relevant evidence submitted and the legal arguments advanced.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Media, Religion & Culture, Theology

"We need to be a risk-taking church": Archbishop opens international Christian conference

Archbishop Justin has prayed for Christian unity and told church leaders that “we need to be a risk-taking church”.

The Archbishop was speaking this morning before an audience of more than 5,000 Christians on the first day of HTB’s annual leadership conference.

“We need to be a risk-taking Church. There is no safety in Christ – there is absolute security, but there is no safety,” he said during a question and answer session with the Rev Nicky Gumbel, vicar of HTB.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Peter Moore–The Future of Christian Witness in North Africa

Set in a garden-like enclosure in a rough section of Tunis sits a really beautiful Anglican Church ”“ St. George’s. Some of the people buried in its cemetery died more than 250 years ago, and its congregation today numbers around 300.

But don’t think this is some colonial outpost where English-speaking ex-pats sip tea or sherry after Matins. This is a vibrant congregation of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, many of whom are Arab-speaking or come from Sub-Sahara Africa. The Arab-speakers are converts ”“ mainly young. The Africans are bank workers from nations far to the South. Services are in both English and Arabic.

On a recent visit to Charleston Archbishop Mouneer Anis waxed eloquent about his vision, and that of the people of this lonely outpost in the middle of Muslim North Africa. They are dreaming of a vibrant center of theology, community outreach and hospitality rising in the very land that produced St. Augustine in the 4th and 5th Century.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Theology

The prom, American relic: It takes us back to a time when sexual relations were less confusing

…today’s prom is serious business. And I do mean business: The credit-card company Visa reports that prom spending will reach an average of $1,139 per family this year, up 5 percent since 2012. Most of that spending is still done by girls, who post their dresses on Facebook in the hopes that no one else will purchase the same one.

Meanwhile, boys now compete to devise the most elaborate ways to ask girls to prom. Two years ago, a student who serenaded his intended date in class — backed up by a cappella singers — ended up on “Good Morning America.” So-called “promposals” have since become ubiquitous on the Internet, generating millions of Youtube hits.
What’s going on here?

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Education, Sexuality, Teens / Youth

(NY Times Op-Ed) Molly Worthen on evangelicals, Immigration, and the question of change

Indeed, evangelical elites have a rosier view of immigrants than do the Republican rank and file. According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 55 percent of Republicans view immigrants as a “burden because they take jobs, housing, and health care.”

“Leaders are usually ahead of the laity ”” that’s called leadership,” Richard Land said. “But the gap is closing.”

This debate is not just about immigration policy. For Latino evangelicals, making life better for immigrants requires investment in education and the social safety net as well as legal reform. If demographers are right, and America’s political future lies in the hands of Latinos and other minorities, conservative evangelicals cannot resurrect the Republican Party without following their political campaign to its theological conclusion.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Immigration, Other Churches, Religion & Culture

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, who didst ordain thine only-begotten Son to be the Saviour of mankind, and didst command that his name should be called Jesus: Mercifully grant that as we do love and honour his holy name upon earth, so we may evermore enjoy the vision of him in heaven; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to come. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.

–Luke 10:1-3

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(BBC) Penna. Doctor Kermit Gosnell guilty of three murders in late-term abortions

A Philadelphia doctor has been convicted of the first-degree murders of three babies delivered and killed with scissors in late-term abortions.

Dr Kermit Gosnell, 72, was acquitted on another charge of killing a fourth baby, who let out a whimper before he cut its neck, prosecutors said.

He was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter of an adult patient who died of an overdose.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Theology

([London] Times) Extremists preaching to students in Britain

Radical and intolerant Islamist leaders preached to crowds of students at almost 200 official events in the past year, according to a study of external speakers at universities including Cambridge, Birmingham and University College London.

Segregated seating for male and female students is understood to have been implemented for at least a quarter of those public meetings held by the Islamic societies at 21 universities.

Two institutions have announced investigations into segregated meetings. But research by Student Rights, which was set up to tackle extremism on campus, indicates that the practice is prevalent across Britain, despite university equality rules forbidding it.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Education, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Islam, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence, Young Adults

Dying Matters – Church of England supports national awareness week

Don’t be afraid to talk about death and funerals, advises the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Revd James Langstaff, writing in support of Dying Matters Awareness Week (13-19 May 2013), at http://www.churchofengland.org/our-views/medical-ethics-health-social-care-policy/dying-matters-end-of-life-care.aspx.

Bishop James, the Chair of the Churches Funeral Group, said: “”¦This week encourages us all to think about how we approach the prospect of our own death and that of those closest to us; it is good and healthy to talk about these things together”¦”

Dying Matters, a broad-based and inclusive national coalition of 28,000 members, including the Church of England, aims to change public knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards dying, death and bereavement.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Death / Burial / Funerals, Eschatology, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

(BBC) Inquiry into CofE cleric abuse claim set up

Archbishop of York John Sentamu is setting up an independent inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse made against a Church of England cleric.

A former Archbishop of York has denied being negligent by failing to notify police when made aware of the claims.

Dr Sentamu’s office said the probe would look “specifically into the issues surrounding the reports” and the findings would be made public.

It said child abuse allegations were treated “with the utmost seriousness”.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Sexuality, Theology, Violence

Carl Yastrzemski’s grandson profiled, a Vanderbilt senior playing on the #2 team in the country

One September day in eighth grade, when he was walking home from school, Mike saw his maternal grandfather, Charlie Wesson, pull up beside him in a car. Wesson had always been there for Mike, attending his games, winking when he faked a fever in grade school so they could spend the day together. This time, the news was bad. He needed to go home, immediately.

Young Mike saw a crowded house and knew something was wrong. His father had died of a heart attack after hip surgery. A short and difficult life was over, at 43, but the son thought largely about his mother. His parents were not married anymore, but he knew her life would change, too.

“I just felt like I had to pick myself up and my mom up,” he said. “It was a very tough time for her. I felt like I was trying to take control of my life and not rely on other people to do things for me.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Education, History, Marriage & Family, Sports, Young Adults