Daily Archives: July 25, 2013

(Church of England) Top 10 facts about Christenings

The Church of England carries out more than 10,000 christenings per month each year for babies and infants. This figure is made up of approximately 7,000 christenings per month for babies under one year old, and 3000 christenings per month for children aged 1 – 12 years. Everyone is welcome to have a christening in their parish church.

Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions about getting your baby or child christened.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Baptism, Children, Church of England (CoE), Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(RNS) Songwriter’s ode to heaven tops charts

A song about ascending to heaven written by a dying 18-year-old, has gotten 7.7 million YouTube hits and at one point reached No. 1 on the iTunes music charts.

Zach Sobiech, who died in late May, wrote the farewell song “Clouds” as an ode, in part, to his unwavering faith in God.

He is remembered for providing hope to people around the world, many of them facing similar situations.

Read it all and there is a link to the song provided at the bottom of the story.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, Eschatology, Health & Medicine, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Theology

Douglas Todd–Maybe it's time to teach a broader world view that includes Religion

When is ignorance bliss? For some it’s when the subject is religion.

How many times have you heard someone remark, almost proudly, they know virtually nothing about religion? As if the deep convictions of four out of five of the world’s inhabitants were beneath them. Resistance to inter-religious understanding remains strong, judging from continuing global conflicts – and the shortage of courses about religion in the vast majority of North American public schools.

And also judging by the rotten eggs some pundits and activists have tossed at Quebec’s five-year-old “ethics and religious culture” curriculum. It requires all students to take classes in religious and secular world views.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Canada, Children, Education, Globalization, Religion & Culture

(PA) Church of England wants to 'compete' Payday Lender Wonga out of existence

The archbishop of Canterbury has told Wonga that the Church of England wants to “compete” it out of existence as part of its plans to expand credit unions as an alternative to payday lenders.

The Most Rev Justin Welby said he had delivered the message to Errol Damelin, chief executive of Wonga, one of Britain’s best-known payday lenders, during a “very good conversation”.

“I’ve met the head of Wonga and we had a very good conversation and I said to him quite bluntly ‘we’re not in the business of trying to legislate you out of existence, we’re trying to compete you out of existence’,” he told Total Politics magazine.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Personal Finance, Theology

(FT) Robin Harding–A mysterious divergence: U.S. Company profits are high but investment is not

According to GMO, the asset manager, profits and overall net investment in the US tracked each other closely until the late 1980s, with both about 9 per cent of gross domestic product. Then the relationship began to break down. After the recession, from 2009, it went haywire. Pre-tax corporate profits are now at record highs ”“ more than 12 per cent of GDP ”“ while net investment is barely 4 per cent of output. The pattern is similar, although less stark, when looking at corporate investment specifically.

This change is profoundly odd. Economic theory says investment is driven by profitable opportunities on one side and the cost of capital on the other. High profits suggest there are decent opportunities to make money; historic lows in interest rates and highs in the stock market mean that capital is dirt cheap. Yet investment does not follow.

“We have this strange thing that the return on capital really does seem to be high, the cost of equity capital is low, and yet we’re getting a lot of share buybacks and not much investment,” says Ben Inker, co-head of asset allocation at GMO. “It just feels a bit weird.”

Read it all (if necessary another link may be found there).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Globalization, Psychology

(Post-Gazette Editoiral) Syria's cost: U.S. intervention would come at too high a price

The letter Friday from Gen. Martin E. Dempsey to Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., cited the experience of the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan and detailed the effort needed to overthrow the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Mr. Dempsey said hundreds of U.S. aircraft, ships and submarines would be used by thousands of American troops to make airstrikes, launch missiles, maintain no-fly zones and train Syria’s opposition forces. He said training alone would cost $500 million a year. Air action would cost $1 billion a month.

Mr. Dempsey said that such action would be “an act of war,” which would entail risks to Jordan, a neighboring U.S. ally, and could backfire in terms of overall U.S. policy.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Middle East, Politics in General, Syria

(Anglican TV) FIFNA Assembly 2013: Panel Discussion

See what you make of it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Ecclesiology, Theology

(Spectator) Ed West–Internet news is driving us apart, not bringing us together

Not everyone is so keen to join in, which is why The Guardian has been offering readers the chance to switch off all coverage of royalty with a ”˜republican’ button. It’s an interesting foretaste of newspapers tailoring news and comment towards an individual’s own interests. Facebook and Google already use filter bubbles, so that news feeds ”˜edit out’ the updates of people whose links you’re less likely to click on, in my case those Leftie friends’ posts about 38 degrees. They become like just a vague whisper of Thought for the Day on a radio turned down: you can sort of tell by the sanctimonious tone that your mate is having a go at the Tories about something, but only vaguely.

Newspapers have always focused on news and comment that appeals to the readers’ prejudices, but online news services can target their customers a lot more accurately. Reading that our prejudices are correct gives us a little dopamine hit, so a site that delivers that service has an advantage. The internet offers news designed towards self-actualisation, just like any other form of consumerism, and this explains why people get increasingly angry at the BBC, which can’t do all those things; Republicans are furious at the Beeb’s tone only because they’re so used to hearing news that confirms their views rather than being exposed to others.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Blogging & the Internet, England / UK, Media

(NC Reporter) John Allen–Cardinal Timothy Dolan: Francis is, and isn't, what we expected

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York was among the 114 cardinals who elected Pope Francis last March, so he’s in a unique position to answer a fascinating question about the recent conclave and its aftermath.

The question is: Did the cardinals really know what they were getting in Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina? Or, have the first four and a half months of his papacy been as much of a revelation to them as to the rest of the world?

According to Dolan, the answer lies somewhere in the middle.

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Pope Francis, Roman Catholic

Terry Mattingly–Goodbye to a radical Baptist patriarch, Will Campbell

Facing a nervous crowd, the guard ordered Campbell to walk through the gate. So the famous civil-rights activist ”” the only white leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. invited to the first Southern Christian Leadership Conference meeting ”” got down on the floor and crawled through. Then he retrieved his cane.

Campbell admitted, when telling this parable to Baptist progressives in 1994, that he then gave the cane a “sassy little twirl.” His wife asked: “Why do you do things like that?”

“Because, I’m a Baptist! I come from a long line of hell-raisers,” said Campbell. “I was taught that I wasn’t a robot ”” that I was a human being with a mind, capable of reason, entitled to read any book, including the Bible, and interpret it according to the ability of the mind I was given. That’s why I do things like that.”

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Posted in Uncategorized

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint James the Apostle

O gracious God, we remember before thee this day thy servant and apostle James, first among the Twelve to suffer martyrdom for the Name of Jesus Christ; and we pray that thou wilt pour out upon the leaders of thy Church that spirit of self-denying service by which alone they may have true authority among thy people; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Grant, O heavenly Father, that as we have each received any gift of thine entrusted to us, so we may minister the same one to another, as good stewards of thy manifold grace; that thy holy name may in all things be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever.

Posted in Uncategorized

From the Morning Scripture Readings

But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” And when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question. So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoeni’cia and Sama’ria, reporting the conversion of the Gentiles, and they gave great joy to all the brethren. When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them.

–Acts 15:1-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Toronto Star) Royal baby name unveiled: George Alexander Louis

The little prince has a name.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to announce that they have named their son George Alexander Louis, Clarence House says.

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

(Living Church) Will TEC Committees Perish?

The Rev. Gay Jennings, who helped lead the charge for structural reform at the 77th General Convention and now serves as president of the House of Deputies, says this reform may lead to fewer church committees.

“This may be hard for some of us to accept, but I think that we are in the death throes of the current standing commission and committee structure,” Jennings told Executive Council June 7. “Both those who are on TREC [the Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church] and those of us who aren’t need to begin imagining new ways of bringing together laypeople, clergy, and bishops to accomplish the work of General Convention.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, House of Deputies President