Daily Archives: June 19, 2013

(NPR) Parvum Opus: Followers Flock To Pope's Latin Twitter Feed

Against all Vatican expectations, the pope’s has gained more than 100,000 followers in six months and continues to grow.

Followers are not exclusively Roman Catholics or Latin scholars, but represent a wide variety of professions and religions from all over the world. Some go so far as to claim that the language of the ancient Romans is perfectly suited to 21st-century social media.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Globalization, Other Churches, Pope Francis, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Wednesday Morning Pick me Up Story–New Programms Welcome Pets to the Hospital to help Healing

Watch it all. So encouraging!

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Animals, Children, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family

Robert Duncan Addresses the 5th Provincial Council of the Anglican Church in North America

The Bishop and a member of the Clergy of the Diocese of South Carolina are with us as observers. Will they find us the kind of Church they believe they are being called into union with? I surely hope so. Whether we keep the main thing the main thing will affect their assessment, I am sure. An observer from the Jubilee Pentecostal Fellowship of Churches is also here. That Fellowship is on the Nairobi (Canterbury) trail. Will the Anglican Church in North America be found to be the body with whom they can journey forward? Can we keep the main thing the main thing in order to find a godly, creative and Anglican way for such a union to take place? As with South Carolina, I hope so. Imagine what these two unions would say ”“ in very different ways ”“ about 21st century Anglicanism and about the place the Anglican Church in North America might have in the effort to re-evangelize this continent. “A biblical, missionary, and united Anglicanism.” “Reaching North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.”

In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus instructs the twelve that they are to:

Preach as you go, saying, ”˜The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Take no gold, nor silver, nor copper in your belts”¦
[Matthew 10:7-9]

As it turned out, few of us got to take any gold or silver or copper”¦ But our whole story has been that “freely [we] have received.” That’s our story as a Province.

Read it all.

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

Fathers deserve greater recognition for holding society together, says Archbishop of Westminster

The Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Rev Vincent Nichols, will portray good fathers as the unsung heroes of modern Britain ”“ having a direct positive effect on crime rates, school results and even the nation’s mental health.

In a speech in London, he will urge politicians to take “every opportunity” to support fathers and call on families to “celebrate” fatherhood.

Crucially, he will also argue that employers have a moral responsibility to pay fathers who work them a proper wage to enable them to support their families with “pride and dignity”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, England / UK, Marriage & Family, Men, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Andrew Brown–John Sentamu and the Church of England's slow retreat on Same Sex marriage

The archbishop, John Sentamu, asked: “What do you do with people in same-sex relationships that are committed, loving and Christian? Would you rather bless a sheep and a tree, and not them? However, that is a big question, to which we are going to come. I am afraid that now is not the moment.”

No. It isn’t. That moment passed years ago, when civil partnerships were first brought in, and the archbishop’s was one of the loudest voices demanding that the Church of England have nothing to do with them. The bishops still don’t realise what damage they did then.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Archbishop of York John Sentamu speaks in House of Lords on Same Sex Marriage

It really matters that we recognise this as a new social institution. As a Christian I would argue that being a man or a woman is not incidental to the human relations a person may engage in, but formative of them.

In Christian understanding the human meaning of sexual difference is rooted in the good gift of God in creation. The male-femaleness of the human race is given to us, it is where we are placed, in common with the whole human race in every generation, and our role is to be thankful for it and to understand how it helps us to live the human lives we are given.

This task of appreciating our sexual difference weighs equally on married and unmarried, on gay and straight, on children and adults – on all who have the gift of being human.

Christians, in common with Jews and Muslims, understand marriage as essentially representative of this good gift of sexual difference. This understanding flows from an undivided and unbroken tradition which has helped to define the unity of the human race, uniting nations, religions, cultural traditions and periods of history. – See more at: http://www.archbishopofyork.org/articles.php/2919/same-sex-marriage-bill-committee-stage#sthash.YGO8QtJO.dpuf

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(ACNS) Primate of Hong Kong Paul Kwong tells Anglicans to "do-it-yourself"

Archbishop Paul Kwong, who was recently re-elected for a second six-year term as Primate, has called Anglicans in Hong Kong to “do-it-yourself”*, to fulfil their own ministries rather than rely on external assistance.

The Church’s Echo Magazine revealed that, in a speech following his re-election, the Primate said he “deplored” the reliance on non-Anglican staff to perform ministerial work. This, he suggested, contravened the Anglican tradition of passing on faith from one generation to another.

“Those who come to the Anglican Church expect to be nurtured in the Anglican way by Anglicans,” Archbishop Kwong said. “”˜Nurturing’ not only is the duty of priests, but also that of every layperson. The Church is your family and you must assume your responsibility as a family member.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Asia

(First Things On the Square Blog) Elizabeth Scalia–Gay Marriage: Whose Yes, Whose No?

I recently received the following message from a stranger: “So basically, the ”˜orthodox Catholic’ game you all play is just that . . . a game?” It was in reference to a Catholic man with whom I am friendly, and like very much. She had apparently read on social media that this man was planning to marry another man.

My friend had never “come out” to me, and””call me old-fashioned, or call me incurious””it had never occurred to me to ask, so the wedding plans were mildly surprising. But reading the email I thought, “Yes, so? What does this woman want me to do? Should I now hate him? Am I supposed to ”˜un-friend’ him (that ridiculous term) or even publicly denounce him in order to demonstrate sufficiently ”˜orthodox’ Catholic bona fides for her satisfaction? Is that what she wants?”

Well, I couldn’t do that….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, --Social Networking, Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Roman Catholic, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(RNS) Philadelphia plans to cremate, bury 47 Gosnell bodies

Despite repeated requests from religious leaders and anti-abortion activists, city officials in Philadelphia plan to cremate and bury the 47 bodies from abortion provider Kermit Gosnell’s case.

In May, Gosnell was convicted on three counts of first-degree murder. He waived his rights to appeal but has 30 days to reconsider his decision.

Once the appeal period is over on Saturday, the city will follow its normal procedures by conducting cremation and burial, city spokesman Mark McDonald said. McDonald did not have information on when it would take place.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

(CC Blogs) Carol Merritt–How do you close a church? When do you start having the conversations?

My first congregation was located in a diminishing rural area, but after a year, we were growing. We began a youth group. Families and young members began attending. More people started commuting from the larger city to attend the church.

Then the local governing body put a minimum salary in place that was 10k above what I made. I applied for a grant that got me enough money for the next three years, but a struggle at the church arose between those who wanted to “go out with a bang” and those who wanted to hold onto the little bit in the bank account. There was an idea that having money in the bank was going to keep the church alive for an eternity. So I got a better job. (And yes, it was a better job at a more stable church. I don’t want to spiritualize it too much by saying it was God’s calling.)

When I look back, I’m sad about how it all went down. Not to overblow my importance, but it was as if the church didn’t buy the prescription medicine that they needed to live well, because it would cost too much.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology

(WSJ) Why Teenagers Need Peer Pressure

New studies on peer pressure suggest that teens””who often seem to follow each other like lemmings””may do so because their brains derive more pleasure from social acceptance than adult brains, and not because teens are less capable of making rational decisions.

And scientists say facing the influence of friends represents an important developmental step for teens on their way to becoming independent-thinking adults.

Peer pressure is often seen as a negative, and indeed it can coax kids into unhealthy behavior like smoking or speeding. But it can also lead to engagement in more useful social behaviors. If peers value doing well in school or excelling at sports, for instance, it might encourage kids to study or train harder. And both peer pressure and learning to resist it are important developmental steps to self-reliance, experts say.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Psychology, Teens / Youth

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God in whom all fullness dwelleth, who givest without measure to them that ask; Give us faith to ask, and faith to receive, all that thy bounty giveth; that being filled with all thy fullness we may as thy faithful stewards impart thy gifts to all thy children; for Jesus Christ’s sake, Amen.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

–Acts 2:1-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Google pledges $5m to battle child pornography on the web

Google is to spend $5m (£3.1m) fighting child pornography and abuse, the company will announce today, after criticism that it is not doing enough to prevent the spread of harmful online imagery.

With a Whitehall summit on online protection set for…. [today], chaired by the Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, the internet giant has pledged to tackle child sex abuse images through “hashing” technology that gives each picture a web “fingerprint” that can be identified and removed.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Blogging & the Internet, Children, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Pornography, Theology

(SHNS) Terry Mattingly: A case for the common hymnal

There was a time when the faithful in the heavily Dutch corners of the Midwest would not have been able to sing along if the organist played the gospel classic “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.”

True, some may have recognized the hymn that Mahalia Jackson sang at the 1968 funeral of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., since this was the civil rights leader’s favorite: “Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, let me stand. I am tired, I am weak, I am worn. Through the storm, through the night, lead me on to the light. Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.”

But by 1987, this beloved African-American spiritual had been added to the Christian Reformed Church hymnal. A generation later, it has achieved the kind of stature that puts it in the core of the “In Death and Dying” pages of the church’s new “Lift Up Your Hearts” hymnal.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(CT) Jen Michel–The Feel-Good Faith of Evangelicals

Think of how evangelicals may describe the Bible: unchanging, inerrant, authoritative, truth.

Well, “in the world we are entering, the concept of the Bible will be completely different,” said David Parker, theology professor at the University of Birmingham. Speaking recently at the Hay Festival in England, Parker predicted that technology will prompt personalized digital versions of the Scripture, “like an individual copy” of the Bible.

If Parker is right, we evangelicals might have some major questions. How would this editorial control affect our faith? Could it lead to an eventual erosion of sound doctrine? Would the capacity for changing our sacred texts ultimately diminish their authority?

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Evangelicals, Other Churches, Religion & Culture