Daily Archives: July 13, 2013

(CNA) Pope Modifies Norms for Catholics Seeking to Join an Anglican Ordinariate

Baptized Catholics can now join Anglican ordinariates, according to a modification to the norms made by Pope Francis.

“This confirms the place of the personal ordinariates within the mission of the wider Catholic Church, not simply as a jurisdiction for those from the Anglican tradition, but as a contributor to the urgent work of the New Evangelization,” the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham announced July 9.

A term coined by Blessed Pope John Paul II, the New Evangelization is the common term for bringing the Gospel to formerly Christian nations, and it can be seen in the new outreach to people who were baptized as Catholics but who never completed the process of Christian initiation.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/pope-modifies-norms-for-catholics-seeking-to-join-an-anglican-ordinariate/#ixzz2YzTVcgvK

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, Other Churches, Pope Francis, Roman Catholic

The number of college students majoring in humanities is falling. Why that's a good thing.

You’ve probably heard the baleful reports. The number of college students majoring in the humanities is plummeting, according to a big study released last month by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. The news has provoked a flood of high-minded essays deploring the development as a symptom and portent of American decline.

But there is another way to look at this supposed revelation (the number of humanities majors has actually been falling since the 1970s).

The bright side is this: The destruction of the humanities by the humanities is, finally, coming to a halt. No more will literature, as part of an academic curriculum, extinguish the incandescence of literature. No longer will the reading of, say, “King Lear” or D.H. Lawrence’s “Women in Love” result in the flattening of these transfiguring encounters into just two more elements in an undergraduate career””the onerous stuff of multiple-choice quizzes, exam essays and homework assignments.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Education, History, Poetry & Literature, Young Adults

(Macleans) Remembering the terror in Lac-Mégantic

The Musi-Café in Lac-Mégantic was always the sort of place where people liked to gather on a summer night. The music was good, the food hit the spot, and the taps ran 25 brands of draft beer. Three years ago, when he was 32, the club’s owner, Yannick Gagné, got tired of leasing, bought the building and doubled the club’s floor space in time for its 10th anniversary. Friday, July 5, seemed like another good day. At lunch Gagné had his photo taken with Christian Paradis, the federal industry minister, who happened to be in town. Later, crowds gathered for two different birthday parties.

The place was at its capacity of around 180 for dinner, but started to quiet down later in the evening. “It was a beautiful evening, but the place wasn’t completely packed,” Gagné said later. He went home shortly after midnight. There were perhaps 50 people still inside and another 30 on the patio. When he got home, Gagné emailed his pregnant wife, 23-year old Lisandra Arencibia Tamayo, telling her she should stop collecting the cover charge at the door and join him at their home less than 700 m from the Musi-Café. Tamayo arrived, fell asleep on the couch””and minutes later, they heard an explosion.

That fireball was only the first of many as a pretty summer night turned to hell. A 72-car train with five locomotives had rolled downhill, unattended, from Nantes, the next town up the road. Each of the tanker cars held tens of thousands of litres of light crude oil.

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Posted in * International News & Commentary, Canada

(Living Church) Philip Turner–Undeniable Death

It’s been almost 40 years since Dr. Ernest Becker published his Pulitzer Prize-winning study, The Denial of Death. Unlike Becker, three recent books do not attribute the denial of death to more or less universal psychological mechanisms. They lay death’s denial at the feet of sociological and technological developments characteristic of the modern world. Nevertheless, they agree with Becker on one basic point: American society lives in denial that we all die. Further, all three agree that churches have colluded with ”” perhaps have even been captured by ”” this pervasive habit of avoidance. All three authors have had scrapes with death, which drove them from denial. In response, each has issued a call to churches to reclaim their ministry to the dying….

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Books, Death / Burial / Funerals, Eschatology, Parish Ministry, Theology

The New website for the other [still in the Anglican Church of Canada] Saint John's

From here:Our Mission is Jesus Christ

St. John’s Shaughnessy is a small but flourishing congregation,
living our calling as Christians by faithfully walking the Anglican path.
Our road is less travelled.

We do not claim absolute knowledge of the Divine.

We really welcome everyone and are enriched by the dynamic tension of differing beliefs.
We embrace doubt. Pray hopefully. And celebrate diversity.
We practise our faith in our every day lives. Are strongly committed to social justice.
And believe in the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to transform lives.

Come as you are. Leave uplifted.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Multiculturalism, pluralism, Parish Ministry, Theology

A Church That Embraces All Religions and Rejects ”˜Us’ vs. ”˜Them’

Some of the congregants began arriving to help. There was Steve Crawford, who had spent his youth in Campus Crusade for Christ, and Gloria Parker, raised Lutheran and married to a Catholic, and Patrick McKenna, who had been brought up as a Jehovah’s Witness and now called himself a pagan.

They had come together with about 20 other members to celebrate the end of their third year as the congregation of the Living Interfaith Church, the holy mash-up that Mr. Greenebaum had created. Yearning for decades to find a religion that embraced all religions, and secular ethical teachings as well, he had finally followed the mantra of Seattle’s indie music scene: “D.I.Y.,” meaning “do it yourself.”

So as the service progressed, the liturgy moved from a poem by the Sufi mystic Rumi to the “passing of the peace” greeting that traced back to early Christianity to a Buddhist responsive reading to an African-American spiritual to a rabbinical song.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Multiculturalism, pluralism, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

David Short writes his parish in Vancouver, B.C.

Dear Friends,

I’m often asked “What does it mean to be a member of St. John’s?” and I usually answer, “it all depends.” Of course it is possible to wax theological about the fact that through the resurrection, God put all things under Jesus’ feet “and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all” (Eph 1:22-23). Clearly, the church is at the heart of God’s eternal purposes and infinitely precious to Christ. But I think people are usually after a more concrete and practical answer.

There is a very helpful answer to this question on p. 555 of our Book of Common Prayer which enunciates six practical commitments. It states:

Every Christian man or woman should from time to time frame for himself or herself a RULE OF LIFE in accordance with the precepts of the Gospel and the faith and order of the Church; wherein he or she may consider the following:
The regularity of attendance at public worship and especially at the Holy Communion;
The practice of private prayer, Bible-reading, and self-discipline;
Bringing the teaching and example of Christ into everyday life;
The boldness of spoken witness to our faith in Christ;
Personal service to the Church and the community;
The offering of money according to our means for the support of the work of the Church at home and abroad.

“Rule of Life” is an unfortunate title, conjuring images of monastic asceticism and itchy clothing, or more commandments to make us feel guilty, or worse””a list of duties to tick so I can know God cannot ask any more from me. That is not what the Prayer Book intends.
Everything we do in the Christian life is in response to the grace and goodness of God. In the death of Jesus we are remade and flooded with the Holy Spirit, who spreads the love of God and the obedience to God in our hearts. It is true that most monastic orders have a “Rule of Life” (usually poverty, chastity, and obedience), but the old Latin word for ”˜Rule’ is ”˜Regula’””which means a pattern or model to regulate our lives.

So the six principles in the BCP “Rule of Life” are intended to show what a “cross-shaped life” looks like. They are not meant to be read legalistically or as a means to gain God’s favor, but as a way to nourish our love for God and one another in practice precisely because we know God’s favour in Jesus Christ. They are the visible, realistic, and balanced behaviours of those who have been gripped by God’s grace.

I commend them to you for your summer meditation.

–(The Rev.) David Short is rector, Saint John’s, Vancouver, B.C.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology

(Telegraph) Jenny McCartney–Never mind wedlock, marriage is not a prison, but a pledge

By the year 2016, it was predicted last week, the majority of children in Britain will be born out of wedlock. At the moment, the rate of babies with unmarried parents is running at 47.5 per cent, and heading upwards. It’s a funny word, “wedlock”, reeking of ancient custom, with echoes of a key turning inexorably in a heavy door slammed shut on the single life.

The marital state of Britain today suggests that many people, when they hear “wedlock”, react as one might to the ominous clang of prison gates, and retreat. They find it much easier to have a baby together than to tie the knot, even though marriages can be broken, but a baby means (in theory, at least) that you are forever connected in some style to the other parent. There are couples who, if they crave a public statement of permanence, are more likely to seek it in the tattoo parlour than the registry office. Yet, in fact, there is no true “lock” in “wedlock”: the word grew out of the Old English “wedlac”, or pledge-giving, and the “lac” suffix means “offering”: more volition, less imprisonment.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Theology

Derek Rishmawy–That Time C.S. Lewis Got ”˜Total Depravity’ Wrong (Like Everybody Else)

While Lewis is making a very a good point about our relative/analogical knowledge of good and evil, he happens to do so by trading on a widely-popular caricature of the doctrine of total depravity.

Most people are introduced to the teaching by hearing something along the lines of, “That John Calvin, he was such a pessimist. Did you know that he taught that we were totally depraved? That all of us are about as awful as it gets, none of us knows right from wrong, and we’re born simply and utterly wicked? No wonder he was a jerk.” Or something like that.

The problem is, that is neither what total depravity, properly understood, nor John Calvin teach with respect to human nature.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Theology

PBS ' Religion and Ethics Newsweekly–Egypt's Turmoil

ABERNETHY: You’ve been to Egypt many times. As you look at it from here, what do you see? How do you characterize the mess it’s in?

[KATE] SEELYE: Well Egypt is facing a very challenging situation as it transitions from an authoritarian regime to a democracy in the future. It’s still very much along a transitional path.

ABERNETHY: But, how do you describe what’s going on?

SEELYE: Well, you know, there are two different views of what just happened. There are those who say that a coup just took place, that a legitimately elected government was just overthrown. You now have the military in office that is rounding up the very Islamists that were ruling Egypt just, you know, a few weeks ago, putting them in prison and closing down the media. You have liberals on the other hand, who supported the recent popular uprising, who say this is the very best thing that could have ever happened to Egypt. They say Morsi, the president, was incompetent, that he was authoritarian, as authoritarian as Mubarak. And they note that the economy was collapsing. There were two months left of wheat supplies. Now, in response to what’s just happened, Gulf countries have committed twelve billion dollars to Egypt. The new prime minister is a renowned economist and the liberals say there’s hope that Egypt will become prosperous and stable once again.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Egypt, Middle East, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Violence

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, by whose command the order of time runs its course: Forgive, we pray thee, the impatience of our hearts; make perfect that which is lacking in our faith; and, while we tarry the fulfillment of thy promises, grant us to have a good hope because of thy word; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Gregory Nazianzen (329–c.390)

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

And they went into Capernaum; and immediately on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching! With authority he commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.

–Mark 1:21-28

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(UM Reporter) What will the ACA Mean for Methodist Churches?

In the near future, he said, United Methodist annual conferences may be able to reduce health coverage costs by allowing local churches to send lower-paid clergy and lay employees to the exchanges.

However, [Andrew Q.] Hendren warns that conferences also should be wary of sending too many church employees onto the exchanges or they may have too small a pool of people to buy affordable insurance.

“The conferences will have to balance that potential savings with the risk to the remaining smaller plan made up of a few large churches and small churches with higher paid clergy and lay employees,” he said. “The smaller plan may be less cost-effective, and appointment frictions may develop as local churches may prefer premium tax-credit-eligible clergy over higher paid clergy ”” two concerns in a connectional system like ours.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Health & Medicine, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Personal Finance, Stewardship

(Telegraph) Most children in Britian will be born out of wedlock by 2016

The proportion of children born to unmarried mothers hit a record 47.5 per cent last year, according to the Office for National Statistics. The figure has risen from 25 per cent in 1988 and just 11 per cent in 1979.

If the trend continues at the current rate, the majority of children will be born to parents who are not married by 2016.

Conservative MPs and experts warned that the stark decline of marriage is likely to lead to more family breakdowns and damage children’s prospects.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Children, England / UK, Marriage & Family

(NPR) Robert Krulwich–The Hardest Thing To Find In The Universe?

What is rarer than a shooting star?

Rarer than a diamond?

Rarer than any metal, any mineral, so rare that if you scan the entire earth, all six million billion billion kilos or 13,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 pounds of our planet, you would find only one ounce of it?

What is so rare it has never been seen directly, because if you could get enough of it together, it would self-vaporize from its own radioactive heat?

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Science & Technology

Religion Scholar Randall Balmer speaks on ”˜God in the White House'

Asked in a 1999 Republican debate in Iowa who his favorite political philosopher was, then-candidate George W. Bush said that it was Jesus.

“And like a lot of people I kind of scratched my head at that,” said religion scholar Randall Balmer. “I don’t fault Governor Bush for that answer. It’s a legitimate answer. What are you going to say to a question like that? ”˜Machiavelli’ is probably not going to win you a lot of votes. So I’m not criticizing the answer.”

However, this answer got him thinking about “how 40 years earlier the Democratic nominee for president, John Kennedy of Massachusetts, had to address the so-called religion issue in the 1960 presidential campaign.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Episcopal Church (TEC), History, Politics in General, Religion & Culture