Monthly Archives: June 2013

(Telegraph) Obama calls for calm as Egypt braces for more violence

Previous demonstrations have led to violence, and these are intended to be the biggest since the January 25 revolution which overthrew President Hosni Mubarak. Three people, including an American student who stopped to take photographs of protests in Alexandria, were killed on Friday alone.

The American, Andrew Pochter, 21, was working in the city over the summer as part of a volunteer scheme.

“As we understand it, he was witnessing the protest as a bystander and was stabbed by a protester,” his family said in a statement on Saturday from their home in Ohio.

Read it all and please join us in praying for Egypt.

Update: There is more from Reuters there.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Egypt, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology, Violence

[SunLive NZ] Redemption for Reverend

A former Tauranga pastor convicted of fraud and burglary is embarking on new adventures after being appointed the new Anglican Dean of Wellington

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces

[Economist] There will always be an England

IT WOULD make a perfect story-line for a soap opera set in Anytown, Middle England. The church of Saint Barnabas, in Gillingham south-east of London, is an imposing red-brick structure of the Victorian era. It hasn’t had a permanent vicar since 2007, but a retired one has kept up a decent cycle of services. The permanent congregation is small (there is an electoral roll of 39) but dedicated, and there is a much larger group of people who appreciate the building. A maiden lady recently bequeathed part of her savings to the church and the money helped restore some fine stained-glass windows. It’s within walking distance of several schools. Earlier this month, the church had an open weekend, and lots of local folk came to enjoy harmless pleasures like a treasure-hunt, bingo and a barbecue.

If it were up to the congregation, the church would surely survive. But the Church of England system vests huge power in the bishop ….

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

Three Day Celebration to Honor 75th Anniversary of St. Christopher Camp

High School student North Wilkins is baptized by the Rev. Chris Warner

Prayer before the race begins
The three-day celebration kicked off on Saturday with the Barrier Island 5K Run/Hike with more than 150 runners and hikers traveling through the forest. It ended with a ½ mile stretch on the beach. Chad Bateson, 15, a rising sophomore at Socastee High School in Myrtle Beach came in first with a time of 19:53. “This was my first time doing a 5K,” said Chad. “It was a really interesting, cool trail.”

The Senior High School Session of summer camp ended on Saturday so those attending the anniversary festivities were invited to the closing ceremony where students spoke about their weeklong experience. Afterwards the group moved to the beach where they shared in the baptism of a fellow camper.
On Monday the first event of the day was the unearthing of a time capsule, which had been buried 25 years earlier. A crowd gathered under the picnic pavilion to recover the red tube. Some of those present had been there when the capsule was buried.

Read more

Posted in * South Carolina

RA Torrey: What to do when we don't feel like Praying

Oftentimes when we come to God in prayer, we do not feel like praying. What shall one do in such a case? Cease praying until one does feel like it? Not at all. When we feel least like praying is the time when we most need to pray. We should wait quietly before God and tell Him how cold and prayerless our hearts are, and look up to Him and trust Him and expect Him to send the Holy Spirit to warm our hearts and draw them out in prayer. It will not be long before the glow of the Spirit’s presence will fill our hearts, and we will begin to pray with freedom, directness, earnestness and power. Many of the most blessed seasons of prayer I have ever known have begun with a feeling of utter deadness and prayerlessness; but in my helplessness and coldness I have cast myself upon God, and looked to Him to send His Holy Spirit to teach me to pray, and He has done it. …RA Torrey [h/t with thanks to Transfigurations]

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

Psalm 86

1 Hear me, Lord, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
2 Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; 3 have mercy on me, Lord,
for I call to you all day long.
4 Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
for I put my trust in you.

5 You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
6 Hear my prayer, Lord;
listen to my cry for mercy.
7 When I am in distress, I call to you,
because you answer me.

8 Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;
no deeds can compare with yours.
9 All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.
10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
you alone are God.

11 Teach me your way, Lord,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths,
from the realm of the dead.
14 Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God;
ruthless people are trying to kill me””
they have no regard for you.

15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me;
show your strength in behalf of your servant;
save me, because I serve you
just as my mother did.
17 Give me a sign of your goodness,
that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

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

(WSJ) Ruth Wisse: Going to Synagogue, With a Punch Line

The fact that comedian Jackie Mason has begun talking about retiring only after nearly a half century in the business is a reminder of how conspicuously Jews have figured in modern comedy. A question also arises: What was a former rabbi doing in that showbiz job to begin with? Did Jackie think the comic was replacing the preacher? And why should Jewish-Americans, from Jack Benny to Jerry Seinfeld, have poured their soul into comedy the way African-Americans did into jazz?

Some Jews may use comedy as a means of reconciling their contradictory roles in history. According to the Hebrew Bible, the children of Israel agreed to be chosen by God of the universe as bearers of his civilizing law. Yet somehow the Jews’ exalting and exalted mission resulted in their being targeted by some of the world’s most determined aggressors””not once, but persistently, and with escalating intensity to the present day.

Since humor thrives on incongruity, it is perhaps no surprise that Jews should specialize in laughing at the fundamentally incongruous consequence of the divine promise….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * Religion News & Commentary, Humor / Trivia, Judaism, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

Bishop Mouneer Anis writes a letter on the Grave Situation in Egypt as June 30th approaches

What is going to happen on the 30th of June? We do not know! All what we know is that when emotions run high, anything can happen. However, we trustthat God is in control and we are in His hands.Two days ago during his visit to Egypt, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby encouraged us by using St. Paul s words, while in the middle of a storm, “But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost (Acts 27:22).

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Egypt, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Psychology, Religion & Culture, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Violence

Inspiration from Down Under–Duct Tape Surfing

Duct Tape Surfing from Mark Tipple on Vimeo.

Watch it all-wonderful!

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Health & Medicine

Philip Jenkins–G.K. Chesterton's Nightmare

Thirty years ago, a British newspaper took an unscientific survey of current and former intelligence agents, asking them which fictional work best captured the realities of their profession. Would it be John Le Carré, Ian Fleming, Robert Ludlum? To the amazement of most readers, the book that won easily was G.K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday, published in 1908.

This was so surprising because of the book’s early date, but also its powerful mystical and Christian content: Chesterton subtitled it “a nightmare.” But perhaps the choice was not so startling. Looking at the problems Western intelligence agencies confront fighting terrorism today, Chesterton’s fantasy looks more relevant than ever, and more like a practical how-to guide.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Books, Church History, Religion & Culture

Lovely NY Times profile piece on Father Peter Colapietro–Last Call for ”˜the Saloon Priest’

For 18 years as pastor of Holy Cross ”” and three more as parish administrator ”” he has presided over one of the most varied congregations in the city. In the pews at Mass, he sees actors and stagehands from the nearby Broadway theaters. He sees workers from the post office across 42nd Street. He sees bus drivers and commuters from the Port Authority Bus Terminal. He sees young Wall Street types from the new apartment buildings that tower over the old Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. And then there are the worshipers of Times Square in the 21st century: the tourists.

Father Colapietro is as distinctive as the congregation. “A Damon Runyon character in robes,” the writer Brian McDonald called him. Lili Fable, 73, a lifelong member of Holy Cross who runs the Poseidon Bakery a few blocks from the church, said he was “a character and an old-fashioned priest, all at the same time.” Newspaper writers called him “the saloon priest” ”” he was a bartender before he became a priest, and for years he was a regular at Elaine’s, the celebrity hangout on the Upper East Side that closed in 2011.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Urban/City Life and Issues

Bishop Mouneer Anis on the Crisis Facing Egyptian Christians

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Egypt, Middle East, Religion & Culture, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

A Prayer for Monday – the Birth of John the Baptist

Almighty God,
by whose providence your servant John the Baptist
was wonderfully born,
and sent to prepare the way of your Son our Saviour
by the preaching of repentance:
lead us to repent according to his preaching
and, after his example,
constantly to speak the truth, boldly to rebuke vice,
and patiently to suffer for the truth’s sake;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever

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

Anglican Unscripted Episode 75

Thanks to Kevin Kallsen and Fr George Conger at Anglican TV

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary

Arvo Pärt: Bogoroditse Djevo and some Tavener for Sunday

More Sunday Worship here

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Liturgy, Music, Worship

A Communique from the College of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

Lee DeYoung's Interview with [retired Ugandan Archbishop] Henry Luke Orombi

We in Africa and in Uganda in particular look to the West for the gospel because they brought the gospel to us. And when the gospel was opened to us, we looked at what God is saying to us through the Scriptures. We embraced it, we loved it, we proclaimed it. Eventually the West began to put aside the Bible. They picked up human wisdom and understanding.

Thinking of believers, now I believe that is where the problem started. The moment you’re far away from your Bible and you are not making a difference with your Bible, then you are losing God’s wisdom to help you to walk righteously before Him. Now that began to be the thinking of the leadership in the West. People went to human understanding, human philosophy and interpretation.

People forgot that many years ago their ancestors died for this gospel. They came into Africa which was so hostile and difficult to come in. They saw their life for the gospel. Dr. David Livingstone died in Africa, Bishop James Huntington, we killed him here in Uganda. But the love of God had driven him to come to Uganda. Now that initial love begun to go, lukewarmness became to come into churches in the West.

Read and watch it all.

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

Saturday Afternoon Joy–It happened one Day at Heathrow Airport!

Watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Music, Travel

On Vacation so Throttling the Blogging Way Back

I know you understand. Posts will be catch as catch can. I am considering open thread topics on an edifying subject so if you have suggestions for such threads please post in the comments below. Also, please pray for Elizabeth and me. I do not in any way exaggerate when I say there is no time when we have more needed prayer than now. Among many other things there have been: two graduations, a knee operation for Kendall, Elizabeth preparing to start a new job teaching at MUSC (starting July 1), and Kendall’s father having a shunt put in his brain. We need refreshment and rest. Many thanks–KSH.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Education, Harmon Family

(Catholic Herald) Anglican Dean of King’s College, London, wins Ratzinger Prize

The 2013 Ratzinger Prize for Theology will be given to an Anglican minister and to the lay German theology professor who is helping publish the complete works of Joseph Ratzinger-Pope Benedict XVI.

The Rev Richard Burridge, an Anglican professor of New Testament studies at King’s College, London, is the first non-Catholic to receive the prize. The other winner, Christian Schaller, is vice director of the Benedict XVI Institute in Regensburg, Germany, which is publishing critical editions of the pope’s writings.

Cardinal Camillo Ruini, president of the scientific committee of a foundation established to promote the study of the retired pope’s theological work, announced the prize winners during a Vatican press conference. The event also included the announcement on plans for a three-day conference in Rome in October to focus on the retired pope’s Jesus of Nazareth books.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Books, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(WSJ) Americans Worked Less, Watched More TV in 2012

The recovery has basically been a recovery for a tiny fraction of the population,” said Geoffrey Godbey, professor emeritus at Pennsylvania State University and co-author of “Time For Life: The Surprising Ways Americans Use Their Time.” “What you’re seeing is people who might want more work but aren’t getting it,” he said.

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(RNS) Bono: David sang the blues and Jesus did some punk rock

U2 frontman Bono exchanged Bible references and bantered about music, theology and evangelicals’ role in AIDS activism in a recent radio interview with Focus on the Family president Jim Daly….

“First of all, David’s a musician so I’m gonna like him,” Bono said. “What’s so powerful about the Psalms are, as well as they’re being gospel and songs of praise, they are also the Blues. It’s very important for Christians to be honest with God, which often, you know, God is much more interested in who you are than who you want to be.”

As Bono praised David’s “honest language with God,” Daly noted that “sometimes it gets you into hot water with the more orthodox folks, because they see you as edgy, maybe too edgy at times.”

It’s a criticism that Bono’s used to hearing.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Music, Religion & Culture

(ACNS) New Primate for Papua New Guinea

Anglican Board of Mission reports that Bishop Clyde Igara from Dogura Diocese was elected as the new Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea on Friday 14th June, 2013.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News

Cristina Odone–As Guides say goodbye to God, is there any Christianity left in public life?

Guides have dropped “God” from their Girl Guides’ Promise. In a multicultural and individualist age, the thinking goes, the movement should pledge “to be true to myself and develop my beliefs”. None of that guff about God and country. It’s now all about “Me” and the anything goes spirituality. Hindu, Druid, New Ager, Muslim, Christian: everything’s the same these days.

We’ve seen it elsewhere. Druids and Christians are accorded equal rights in the workplace: when a Druid employee, say, wants time off to go to Stonehenge for the Solstice, the boss must treat her the same as a Christian wanting time off to attend Mass at Easter. Crystal-gazing is regarded as the same as prayer ”” except that when a district nurse offers to pray for a patient, she is suspended from work, whereas a crystal-carrying sister can go about as she pleases.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Religion & Culture

(WSJ) Drew Boyd and Jacob Goldenberg–Think Inside the Box

The traditional view of creativity is that it is unstructured and doesn’t follow rules or patterns. Would-be innovators are told to “think outside the box,” “start with a problem and then brainstorm ideas for a solution,” “go wild making analogies to things that have nothing to do with your product or service.”

We advocate a radically different approach: thinking inside the proverbial box, not outside of it. People are at their most creative when they focus on the internal aspects of a situation or problem””and when they constrain their options rather than broaden them. By defining and then closing the boundaries of a particular creative challenge, most of us can be more consistently creative””and certainly more productive than we are when playing word-association games in front of flip charts or talking about grand abstractions at a company retreat.

Our method works by taking a product, concept, situation, service or process and breaking it into components or attributes. Using one of five techniques, innovators can manipulate the components to create new-to-the-world ideas that can then be put to valuable use.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Books, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Philosophy, Psychology, Science & Technology

Bishop Mark Lawrence–S.C. Diocesan Delegation Observers at ACNA's Provincial Council

As many of you know I am at Nashotah House in Wisconsin at the Anglican Church in North America’s Provincial Council (which just concluded yesterday with a Festival Eucharist””an inspiring and joyful worship). This morning they will begin their House of Bishops Meeting. I am present as an observer. Joining me at the Provincial Council was The Very Rev. Peet Dickinson, Dean of the Cathedral, and Mrs. Suzanne Schwank, a member of our diocesan Standing Committee. They returned this morning to South Carolina and I will stay on for the House of Bishops Meeting and return on a late flight Friday in order to be at St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center for its 75th anniversary this weekend.

As I told the Diocesan Council last month and said at various deanery gatherings, not to mention many parish forums, it has been my intention to attend various gatherings within what I’ve referred to as the Anglican Diaspora in North America to learn the various players and seek greater unity as may be appropriate. So when I met with Archbishop Robert Duncan at the recent New Wineskins Conference, he invited me to attend this Council as an observer and bring a delegation. This struck me as a good way to follow-up on my expressed intentions.

It has been an enlightening and, frankly, encouraging few days.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

Archbishop Justin Welby On World Refugee Day

On World Refugee Day we are urged to remember the millions of people who have been forced from their homes and homelands, out into a world that is unfamiliar, frightening and dangerous. This year we are especially asked to consider the impact on families who must care for each other despite having left behind every source of comfort and security. Under these desperate pressures families can find themselves pulled apart, creating deep suffering that doesn’t just hurt now, but wounds generations to come.

Providing sanctuary to the stranger has always been a core Christian value. Every day churches around the world care for people who have been forced into becoming ”˜strangers’. They offer a welcome to people who have been robbed of their homes, their societies and their cultures.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Theology

(Christian Post) John Stonestreet –The Government, the Pill, and Our Daughters

The only thing that stands between the individual and a power-hungry government are what is known as “intermediate institutions.” Churches, civic associations, clubs, business groups, and especially families, are all institutions that claim a certain level of allegiance from individuals, and help us govern ourselves. As Alexis de Tocqueville noted in his masterful Democracy in America, they provide the best protection from an over-reaching government.

But when those institutions-especially the family–abandon their responsibility, the government is only too happy to step in. Too many parents have ceded their responsibility to disciple, educate, feed, train and care for their children to others, especially the government. The government has been talking to our kids about sex for years. So it’s not that difficult to see why they would think they have the prerogative to “fix” the consequences of that behavior also.

I’m not saying government is bad: it’s not, it’s biblically ordained for a specific purpose. And Chuck [Colson] described that purpose a few years ago: “I’ve said it until I’m blue in the face,” he said, “and I’ll say it until I’m purple: The biblical view of the role of government is to preserve order, restrain evil, and promote justice. Government has no legitimate interest in running car companies, the healthcare industry, or taking over student loans.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Media, Sexuality, Teens / Youth, The U.S. Government, Theology

The full Text of Archbishop Justin Welby's Talk on good banks is now Available

About 10 days ago I was speaking at a service in another large building in London, and I used the phrase about liberty under authority as being one of the ways in which we are structured to live in this country. I tried to suggest that we sit in a hierarchy of authority in this country that is presented in our constitution as beginning with God and cascading downwards through contemporary and historic institutions, with delegated powers, and which gives an environment of liberty, experiment and development in our nation, which is limited by authority and has boundaries.

But the trouble with that is that we always have to ask ourselves about the liberty to do what? About 30 years ago a famous Board of Trade enquiry into a takeover remarked that in that particular transaction everyone asked whether something was legal, and nobody ever asked whether it was right.

So we may have liberty to do all kinds of things, but are they good? Jesus in one of his best known stories, the story of the Good Samaritan, which I won’t repeat to you, because I am sure you all know it”¦ well I am not actually but I am still not going to repeat it to you. The story of the Good Samaritan gives, among other things, a parable of liberty used in association with financial power, to enable health and healing of someone who is wounded and struggling. In that parable liberty is at the service of love and gratuity, a free gift ”“ a picture of Jesus himself, of course, in his relationship to us.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

(BBC Magazine) The Greeks who worship the ancient gods

The summer solstice, 21 June, is one of the most important dates in the calendar for many followers of ancient religions, and it’s a special time for people in Greece who worship the country’s pre-Christian gods.

“I love the energy this place has,” says Exsekias Trivoulides who has pitched his tent on what he considers to be the holy site of Mount Olympus.

Trivoulides is a sculptor who studied art history and classics, and these days, he is living his passion….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, Greece, History, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture