Daily Archives: May 15, 2013

Pew poll shows Europeans losing faith in the E.U.

Five years after the financial crisis first hit Europe, citizens of European Union member states are growing increasingly wary of the body that was supposed to provide them with economic benefits. Public confidence in the E.U. has dropped to staggering new lows, according to an annual survey conducted by the nonpartisan, Washington-based Pew Research Center.

“The European Union is the new sick man of Europe,” according to Pew’s report of the survey results. “The effort over the past half century to create a more united Europe is now the principal casualty of the euro crisis. The European project now stands in disrepute across much of Europe.”

Support for the EU has taken a huge hit over the past year, falling in five of the eight E.U. countries surveyed by Pew.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Politics in General, Psychology

(Business Green) How the Church of England is spreading the energy efficiency gospel

Imagine your company has more than 16,000 buildings in the UK alone, many built years before energy efficiency became a hot topic for corporates, and some that predate the industrial age altogether.

How would you even begin to start lowering their energy consumption given that each and every one of those buildings is an independent entity in control of its own operation and finances?

This is the precise challenge facing David Shreeve, environmental adviser to the Church of England, who has to steer the Church towards meeting its self-imposed goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 42 per cent by 2020, before then delivering an 80 per cent reduction by the middle of the century.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, Theology

(CEN) Canterbury calls for peace in Korea

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has added its voice to the call for peace in Korea. In a message read to the Second Worldwide Anglican Peace Conference held in Okinawa from 16 ”“ 22 April 2013 Archbishop Welby lauded the work of the Korean and Japanese churches to foster peace in Northeast Asia.

“Your gathering has come at the most needful time,” Archbishop Welby wrote, in a statement read by his representative to the conference Bishop John Holbrook of Brixworth in the diocese of Peterborough.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Asia, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Korea, North Korea

(Northern Echo) Church schools welcome report which places them at the 'heart of the nation'

Key figures within North-East Church of England schools have welcomed a report which places their work at the heart of education.

Senior Anglican figures make the comments in a YouTube video based on a conference staged by the Durham and Newcastle Diocesan Education Boards.

The event, attended by everyone from headteachers to governors, was in response to publication of the Church of England’s Chadwick Report, entitled The Church School of the Future, which said they are at the heart of the nation and should robustly assert their Christian ethos.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Education, England / UK, Religion & Culture

Joe Evans with Some Important Thoughts for the Easter Season

It is God who governs our existence, and it is hope and not disappointment that defines who we are as the people of God…..

We are resurrection people, and so we encounter our mistakes, not as lost opportunities, not as wrong turns that have led us off course, but as a part of an unavoidable process God is working in us and in the world.

We are resurrection people, and so we look out into the world, not as disappointed judges of the failings of society, but as the hopeful trusting people of the God whose plans will not be thwarted.

We are resurrection people who, like an expectant mother, know that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us, because we are a people with a reason to hope.

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Posted in Eschatology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

U.S. Special Operations Step Up in Afghanistan

One day this month, a pair of Russian Mi-17 assault helicopters delivered two teams of Afghan commandos, their faces obscured by black masks, in a touch-and-go landing at this camp in a lush valley encircled by frosty peaks about 50 miles from Kabul.

A training squadron drawn from the most secretive counterterrorism units fielded by the United States and its NATO allies watched as the Afghan commandos stormed and cleared a three-story office building that was left conspicuously unfinished ”” the kind of structure favored by insurgents.

This is the combination of Afghan and allied troops that the Obama administration and the government in Kabul say will assume an increasing share of the combat burden in Afghanistan as the NATO alliance gradually hands over responsibility for security operations to Afghan troops.

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

Joint Pentecost letter from Anglicanand Lutheran leaders in Canada

As we prepare for the first Joint Assembly of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, we know that there are some who, like our ancestors in the faith, may be just a little dispirited as we face the challenges of our times. But just as surely as God’s Spirit inspired the fi rst generation of believers, that same Spirit is working in us to give us the words to speak to one another and to those who are seeking something-dare we say, “Someone”-to believe in.

Our coming “Together for the Love of the World” will be a visible sign of the Spirit working in and among us. It will be time to take counsel together for the common good of both our churches and for the common good of our world. It will be a time to set our fears aside and arise with “bold new decisions.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Ecumenical Relations, Lutheran, Other Churches, Pentecost, Religion & Culture

(Telegraph) Pope Francis elected after supernatural 'signs' in the Conclave says Cardinal Schönborn

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, the Archbishop of Vienna, who was himself widely tipped as a possible successor to Pope Benedict, said he had personally had two “strong signs” that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was “the chosen one” in the run up to vote.

He said only divine intervention could explain the speed with which the Argentine Cardinal – who did not feature on any of the main lists of likely candidates compiled by Vatican experts – was elected.

Speaking to an Anglican conference in London, he also said the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, had a “strange similarity” to the new Pope.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, Other Churches, Pope Francis, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

(McClatchy) Most doctors still reject Medicaid as program expansion nears

Sandra Duck thinks she’s the victim of an undeclared Medicaid boycott. And she’s probably right.

When her artificial right hip became infected with the superbug MRSA in late 2009, Dr. Dale Mitchum, a general surgeon, drained, cleaned and closed the infected area. But when the infection returned in early 2010, Mitchum knew Duck needed another hip replacement surgery, which he couldn’t perform. He tried to find an orthopedic surgeon who would operate. More than a year later, he’s still trying.

“I cannot find a living soul that will touch her,” he said recently. “And I’ve tried everywhere, from Tallahassee to Pensacola.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Medicaid, Personal Finance, The U.S. Government, Theology

(Toronto Star) Blue Jay R.A. Dickey’s speech to graduates of the U of T’s Wycliffe College

I stand before you not in any way a self-made man. I have been a product of a lot of people who have loved me and poured into me in a way that is transformed my life, not only as a small child, but as I’ve grown as an adult, and I would be remiss if I didn’t share . . . with you about that, in the hopes of leaving you with what I feel could be something that you could take and remember in an effort to make a difference in the lives of other people, which you inevitably will be called to do in some capacity.

So to that end, I got to a place where I was in my life about six years ago where I was at the end of myself. I have spent some time ”” I became a Christian when I was 13, but I didn’t have the follow-through that I needed ”” but nonetheless I found myself in the fall of 2006 at the steering wheel of a car with all the windows rolled up and a garden hose attached from the muffler to the passenger-side window in the hopes of ending it all. Why? Because I had done some things in my life and come to a place in my life where I had realized that I had made a lot of mistakes, and not only had I made a lot of mistakes, but I had been the victim of some things that are tough to wrap your arms around, a Christian or not. So I was in that place and I was about to turn the key and I really felt the Holy Spirit saying, “R.A., I’m not done with you yet. Don’t do that.” Like literally those words: “Do not do that.” And so as lonely as I felt in that moment at the steering wheel of a Chevrolet Cavalier, I never felt truly alone. I think there’s something to be said in that.

I share that with you and I’m vulnerable with you in this moment because I really believe that God has called me to be here for a reason. I do believe in divine appointments, I believe this is one of them.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, Sports, Theology

(AP) Convicted Pennsylvania Abortion doctor gets life in prison

A Philadelphia abortion doctor convicted of killing three babies who were born alive in his grimy clinic agreed Tuesday to give up his right to an appeal and faces life in prison but will be spared a death sentence.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, was convicted Monday of first-degree murder in the deaths of the babies who were delivered alive and killed with scissors.

In a case that became a flashpoint in the nation’s abortion debate, former clinic employees testified that Gosnell routinely performed illegal abortions past Pennsylvania’s 24-week limit, that he delivered babies who were still moving, whimpering or breathing, and that he and his assistants dispatched the newborns by “snipping” their spines, as he referred to it.

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

(The State) Cindi Scoppe–Why the S.C. budget hasn’t recovered, even as that of most states has

There are several reasons we trail most states, beginning with our continuing struggle with the remnants of the recession. We’ve made solid gains, but our unemployment rate is still nearly a percentage point higher than the national average, which means South Carolinians have less income on which to pay taxes and less income to spend on taxable goods.

In addition, our state relies far too heavily on the sales tax, and the Legislature by both its actions (creating more loopholes) and its inaction (refusing to tax services) has steadily eroded the tax base. Today only 35 percent of goods and services sold in South Carolina are taxed; that’s down from 48 percent in 2000.

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Posted in Uncategorized

(SHNS) Terry Mattingly: Zombies, spirituality intertwined

It seems to happen whenever Steve Beard hangs out with friends — especially folks who don’t go to church — talking about movies, television and whatever else is on their minds.

“It may take five minutes or it may take as long as 10, but sooner or later you’re going to run into some kind zombie comment,” said Beard, editor of Good News, a magazine for United Methodist evangelicals. “Someone will say something like, ‘When the zombie apocalypse occurs, we need to make sure we’re all at so-and-so’s house so we can stick together.’ It’s all a wink-and-a-nod kind of deal, but the point is that this whole zombie thing has become a part of the language of our time.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, Movies & Television, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

A Prayer to Begin the Day

We give thee thanks, O heavenly Father, who hast delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of thy Son; grant, we pray thee, that as by his death he has recalled us to life, so by his presence abiding in us he may raise us to joys eternal; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

And the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, your brethren, even your brethren, your fellow exiles, the whole house of Israel, all of them, are those of whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, ”˜They have gone far from the Lord; to us this land is given for a possession.’ Therefore say, ”˜Thus says the Lord God: Though I removed them far off among the nations, and though I scattered them among the countries, yet I have been a sanctuary to them for a while in the countries where they have gone.’ Therefore say, ”˜Thus says the Lord God: I will gather you from the peoples, and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.’ And when they come there, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations. And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them; I will take the stony heart out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my ordinances and obey them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. But as for those whose heart goes after their detestable things and their abominations, I will requite their deeds upon their own heads, says the Lord God.”

–Ezekiel 11:14-21

Posted in Uncategorized

Bishop Stanton Announces His Retirement

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

(Washington Post Editorial) The IRS’s turn to answer questions

Washington is now sinking its teeth into a real scandal: the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) using ideological criteria to choose the targets of its attention. What we already know is bad enough. Given the seriousness of the charges and the unreliability of IRS disclosures so far, purposeful, sober investigation is exactly what is needed.

At first, the IRS’s admission that it flagged applications for tax-exempt status from tea party-type groups brought reaction that broke along partisan lines. But on Monday, President Obama called the news “outrageous,” adding: “I’ve got no patience with it. I will not tolerate it. And we will make sure that we find out exactly what happened on this.” Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) joined other Democratic lawmakers to support an investigation in his chamber, something Republican leaders in the House had pledged on Friday.

Any unequal application of the law based on ideological viewpoint is unpardonable ”” toxic to the legitimacy of the government’s vast law-enforcement authority.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Taxes, The U.S. Government, Theology

Google Set to Introduce Music Service to Compete With Spotify

Google is set to introduce a subscription music feature to compete against fast-growing new streaming services like Spotify, according to several people briefed on its plans.

Google is planning to introduce the new service on Wednesday at Google I/O, the company’s annual conference for software developers. The subscription feature will be connected to Play, Google’s online media hub, complementing its download store and “locker” feature, which lets people store their digital entertainment collections in the cloud, according to these people, who spoke on condition of anonymity before Google’s official announcement.

News of the announcement first appeared on The Verge. A Google spokeswoman declined to comment.

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

Future home of Ribble Valley Anglican parishes hangs in balance as C of E seeks reorganization

The future home of six Ribble Valley Anglican parishes is hanging in the balance due to a row over Church of England reorganisation in Yorkshire.

Blackburn Diocese unanimously voted ”˜yes’ at the April synod meeting to accept the parishes of Hurst Green; Mitton; Waddington; Grindleton; Bolton by Bowland, and Gisburn within its boundaries.

It is otherwise unaffected by the plans to reorganise the church structure in Yorkshire.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Rural/Town Life

Anglican Church in Nigeria Rejects Call for Emergency Rule in Some Parts of the Country

The Primate of All Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Nicholas Okoh, on Monday opposed the call for emergency rule in parts of the country affected by armed conflict.

Mr. Okoh said this in Abuja at a press conference on the forthcoming 2013 Synod session of the Abuja Diocese of the Anglican Communion.

He said that government should rather support a national dialogue by various interest groups to address the myriad of problems militating against the country’s quest for socio-economic development.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Nigeria, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology, Violence

Brisbane Anglican synod to face tribunal over bullying accusations

BRISBANE’s Anglican Archbishop Dr Phillip Aspinall has been accused of bullying in a discrimination complaint brought by a former church director, a tribunal has heard.

Lawyers for the Archbishop and the synod of Brisbane diocese have failed to get key elements of the sexual harassment and discrimination case thrown out of Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Peta Smith, former executive director of the Anglican Schools Commission, lodged Anti-Discrimination Commission complaints in 2009, shortly before her five-year contract expired.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology

United Methodist woman helps arrange burial of Boston Marathon suspect

A United Methodist woman in Richmond, Va., said she was acting out of Christian compassion in helping to arrange the burial of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.

“Jesus tells us to love our enemies, not hate them after they’re dead,” said Martha Mullen, in a phone interview. “That’s why I kind of got this ball rolling.”

Ms. Mullen, a 48-year-old counselor in private practice who studied at a United Methodist seminary, was distressed at news accounts about the difficulty of finding a burial place for Tsarnaev, who died in an April 19 shootout with police.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology