Daily Archives: July 27, 2013

(AP) Carolinas work to lure visitors off beaten path

Tourism officials in both Carolinas are working to get visitors down roads less traveled this summer.

A $2.5 million spring advertising campaign touting “Undiscovered South Carolina,” is already showing positive results, and Duane Parrish, director of the state’s tourism department.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Economy, Media, Rural/Town Life, Travel

New Zealand Court gives green light to 'deconstruct' Christ Church Cathedral

Campaigners battling to save the quake-crippled Christ Church Cathedral have vowed to keep fighting, despite a court ruling its demolition can legally go ahead.

Bulldozers won’t be allowed to roll over the stricken landmark Christchurch building until outstanding legal wrangles are sorted out.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Law & Legal Issues, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Parish Ministry

(NY Times) Scientists Trace Memories of Things That Never Happened

The vagaries of human memory are notorious. A friend insists you were at your 15th class reunion when you know it was your 10th. You distinctly remember that another friend was at your wedding, until she reminds you that you didn’t invite her. Or, more seriously, an eyewitness misidentifies the perpetrator of a terrible crime.

Not only are false, or mistaken, memories common in normal life, but researchers have found it relatively easy to generate false memories of words and images in human subjects. But exactly what goes on in the brain when mistaken memories are formed has remained mysterious.

Now scientists at the Riken-M.I.T. Center for Neural Circuit Genetics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say they have created a false memory in a mouse, providing detailed clues to how such memories may form in human brains.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Psychology, Science & Technology, Theology

Philip Jenkins–Remembering the Hamburg Air Raids of 70 years Ago

If the Hamburg raid was so effective, why is it so little remembered? Partly, it was overshadowed by later raids, especially the twin nuclear attacks on Japan in 1945. But much like those later episodes, Gomorrah raised immense moral difficulties. Already during the war, some British thinkers were horrified by the indiscriminate nature of the bombing, and pleaded for more consideration of civilians. In 1944, Anglican Bishop George Bell used the Hamburg attacks as a central point in his mighty denunciation of Allied bombing strategy.

Post-Hiroshima concerns about civilian losses further aroused popular concerns about such raids. Not until 2012 did the British erect an official memorial to RAF Bomber Command.

It was difficult, then, to admit that the attacks might really have had the impact that they did, and that they significantly shortened the war. Had these raids not been eclipsed by the atomic bombs, we would assuredly remember Gomorrah as a grim turning point in military history, and indeed in the history of humanity.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Dozens Killed As Egypt Demonstrations Turn Deadly

At least 37 people have been killed in bloody clashes overnight in and around Cairo after protests escalated into violence, with supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi saying police shot at demonstrators.

NPR’s Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson confirmed the number of dead at one field hospital alone, and said that the toll is likely much higher. Doctors at the field hospital are telling reporters that many of the injuries were caused by live ammunitio

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

(ACNS) Prince George of Cambridge: churches celebrate royal birth

Prince George is expected to be baptised by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Autumn. Traditionally royal babies have been baptised in a private ceremony in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace; but some news reports suggest that a more open service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle is being considered.

The British Monarch’s position as Supreme Governor of the Church of England (or, rather, the English Monarch’s position ”“ Scotland was a separate country at the time) dates back to Henry VIII’s declaration that he, not the Pope, was head of the Church in England. Henry retained the title Defender of the Faith that Pope Leo X had bestowed on him for his outspoken attack on Luther’s 95 Theses. This title, Fidei Defensor in Latin, has been part of the English monarch’s official titles ever since.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Children, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Notable and Quotable–William Reed Huntington from his most famous work

Dissatisfaction is the one word that best expresses the state of mind in which Christendom finds itself today. There is a wide-spread misgiving that we are on the eve of momentous changes. Unrest is everywhere. We hear about Roman Councils, and Anglican Conferences, and Evangelical Alliances, about the question of the Temporal Power, the dissolution of Church and State, and many other such like things. They all have one meaning. The party of the Papacy and the party of the Reformation, the party of orthodoxy and the party of liberalism, are all alike agitated by the consciousness that a spirit of change is in the air.

No wonder that many imagine themselves listening to the rumbling of the chariot- wheels of the Son of Man. He Himself predicted that ” perplexity” should be one of the signs of His coining, and it is certain that the threads of the social order have seldom been more seriously entangled than they now are.

A calmer and perhaps truer inference is that we are about entering upon a new reach of Church history, and that the dissatisfaction and perplexity are only transient. There is always a tumult of waves at the meeting of the waters; but when the streams have mingled, the flow is smooth and still again. The plash and gurgle that we hear may mean something like this.

At all events the time is opportune for a discussion of the Church-Idea ; for it is with this, hidden under a hundred disguises, that the world’s thoughts are busy. Men have become possessed with an unwonted longing for unity, and yet they are aware that they do not grapple successfully with the practical problem. Somehow they are grown persuaded that union is God’s work, and separation devil’s work ; but the persuasion only breeds the greater discontent. That is what lies at the root of our unquietness. There is a felt want and a felt inability to meet the want; and where these two things coexist there must be heat of friction.

Catholicity is what we are reaching after….

–William Reed Huntington The Church Idea (1870)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Books, Church History, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Theology

William Reed Huntington–Twenty Years of a New York Rectorship, A Sermon from 1903

My aim has been to set forth God in Christ as the highest attainable good of the soul. I have taught, or tried to teach, the doctrine of a divine friendship made possible through the Incarnation of God’s Son. I have seemed to find in the simple Creed which tells of a Word made flesh and dwelling among us, not a key which readily unlocks all the closed doors of this mysterious house our souls inhabit, but one to which more bolts yield than yield to any other key that the busy, searching intellect of man has found. The warrant for this belief in “God-with-us” I have sought, and, at least to my own thinking, found, in Holy Scripture, in history and in human nature. The Christ of the Gospels has been the centre of all my theologizing and the authority for all my teachings. If I speak of history as one of the warrants of faith, it is because of the discernible presence in its pages of the Son of Man steadily at work, century by century, building up the walls of his fair City. If I speak of human nature as another one of these warrants, it is because I observe in human nature capacities and desires, sympathies and affections, such as only a humanized God, a God whose being is at some point tangent to our own, can meet and satisfy. In a word, to get away from metaphysical abstractions, and to stick close to personality, to use the filial and brotherly vocabulary in all my speech and to avoid, as far as possible, a philosophical phraseology, which, while it may overawe, can scarcely enlighten, has been my steadfast aim. For, after all, the most cultured congregations are human; and thoughts which cannot be expressed in the words our mothers taught us, may as well be held in reserve, so far as preaching is concerned. Prattle about the Infinite and the Absolute is an easy accomplishment for men who have been to college; but what people need to be persuaded of is that they have a Father in heaven, Who knows them and Who may, in some measure, by them be known; Who loves them and Who may, in some measure, by them be loved.

If to this doctrine of “God in Christ” I have not, in my teaching, linked as closely as some would have liked to see me do, a philosophy of sacramental grace, it has not been from any disposition to undervalue the place of sacraments in religion, but rather from a reluctance to narrow to one channel a stream which so very evidently flows through many.

These last twenty years, be it candidly confessed, have been a rather arduous time for preachers. Not only have they had to encounter far greater difficulty than of old in getting a hearing, because of the increased number of voices in the world, but, even when listened to, they have been almost as men under trial upon the charge of concealing their real beliefs….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Wiiliam Reed Huntington–The Permanent and the Variable Characteristics of the Prayer Book

We pass on to consider the present usefulness of the Prayer Book and the possibility of extending that usefulness in the future. And now I shall speak wholly as an American to Americans, not because the destinies of the Prayer Book in the new world are the more important, though such may in the end turn out to be the fact, but simply because we are at home here and know our own wants and wishes, our own liabilities and opportunities, far better than we can possibly know those of other people. As a Church we have always tied ourselves too slavishly to English precedent. Our vine is greatly in danger of continuing merely a potted ivy, an indoor exotic. The past of the Common Prayer we cannot disconnect from England, but its present and its future belong in part at least to us, and it is in this light that we are bound as American Churchmen to study them. Let us agree then that the usefulness of [15/16] the book here and now lies largely in the moulding and formative influence which it is quietly exerting, not only on the religion of those who use it, but also largely on the religion of the far greater number who publicly use it not. It has interested me, as it would interest almost any one, to learn how many prayer books our booksellers supply to Christian people who are not Churchmen. Evidently the book is in use as a private manual with thousands, who own no open allegiance to the Protestant Episcopal Church. They keep it on the devotional shelf midway between Thomas a Kempis and the Pilgrim’s Progress, finding it a sort of interpreter of the one to the other, and possessed of a certain flavor differencing it from both. This is a happy augury for the future. Much latent heat is generating which shall yet warm up the chillness of the land. The seedgrain of the Common Prayer will not lie unproductive in those forgotten furrows. The fitness of such a system of worship as this to counteract some of the flagrant evils of our popular religion, can scarcely fail to commend it to the minds of those who thus unobserved and “ as it were in secret,” read and ponder. Much of our American piety, fervid as it is, shows confessedly a feverish, intermittent character which needs just such a tonic as the Prayer Book provides in what Keble happily called its “sober standard of feeling in matters of practical religion.”

Then, too, there is the constantly increasing interest…which it is such a pleasure to observe among Christians of all names in the order of the ritual year, in Christmas and Easter, Lent and Good Friday””who can tell how much of this may not be due to the leavening influence of the Prayer Book, over and above what is effected by the public services of the Church? “I wonder,” said a famous revivalist to a friend, a clergyman of our Church, “I wonder if you Episcopalians know what a good thing you have in that year of yours. Why don’t you use it more?”

And true enough, why do we not?

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Liturgy, Music, Worship

A Prayer for the Feast Day of William Reed Huntington

O Lord our God, we thank thee for instilling in the heart of thy servant William Reed Huntington a fervent love for thy Church and its mission in the world; and we pray that, with unflagging faith in thy promises, we may make known to all peoples thy blessed gift of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us, that in thy light we may see light: the light of thy grace today, and the light of thy glory hereafter; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Lancelot Andrewes

Posted in Uncategorized

From the Morning Bible Readings

Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsab’bas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren, with the following letter: “The brethren, both the apostles and the elders, to the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cili’cia, greeting. Since we have heard that some persons from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions, it has seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men who have risked their lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth. For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from unchastity. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.” So when they were sent off, they went down to Antioch; and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. And when they read it, they rejoiced at the exhortation. And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, exhorted the brethren with many words and strengthened them. And after they had spent some time, they were sent off in peace by the brethren to those who had sent them. But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.

–Acts 15:22-35

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

[Cranmer] Willy Wonga and the CofE's Investment Factory

First the Archbishop of Canterbury’s systematically-misleading statement: “We’re not trying to legislate Wonga out of business; we’re trying to compete Wonga out of business.” We should be thankful for that we have for Archbishop no Regius Professor of Obfuscation but a man who speaks as we speak in the street. Any reasonable person hearing his plain declaration of intent would conclude that the Church of England is about to compete with the payday loan company Wonga by offering clients lower interest rates on their repayments. Not so. The Church isn’t actually going to lend any money but only to make premises available for the use of credit unions. After the systematically-misleading statement, the scandal: it turns out that the Church itself is an investor in Wonga.

Read it all and there is a clarification from the Archbishop of Canterbury here

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

Standing Committee of the (TEC) Diocese of Fond du Lac Announces Bishop Finalist's Names

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

More from Upper South Carolina–Geoff Taylor on Learning in the Face of Adversity

As a portion of my work involves finding strategies to build up the congregations in our own Diocese, my recent trip to Okatie begs the question, “What can we learn from the Church in the face of Adversity?”

I submit that there are several lessons that we can learn from such churches, and if we can find a way to incorporate those lessons into our own congregations, we stand to grow at an unprecedented rate. Some of the lessons we all know but have not found a way to embody. Some of these lessons are what I like to refer to as “blinding glimpses of the obvious,” and some of these lessons will be new to many of us.

We worship God, not buildings. The people of the Episcopal Church in Okatie came from an historic building in which their families had worshipped for generations. As painful as it was for them to leave that building, they quickly realized in a visceral and personal way that the Church truly is comprised of the people. As comforting and meaningful as their historic home had been to them, they learned that it was in the liturgy (performed anywhere) and in the act of being joined together in the Holy Sacrament, and in the bond of fellowship that is often sealed in crisis that the true Church exists.
The laity is the highest order of the Church. There is no question that strong and competent clergy leadership can effect great change in a congregation.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Parishes

Upper South Carolina TEC Bishop's Status Update on the Diocese, July 2013

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

I hope that you and your families had a blessed 4th of July weekend and that each of you is making Sabbath space and time always to give thanks to God for the many blessings we receive. I pray also that, in your reflections, you are also giving prayerful intention to God’s call to you as a disciple of Christ.

Across the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, we continue striving to build up God’s Church and to fulfill our calling to become mature disciples of Jesus Christ, as articulated in our Strategic Visioning Process. That process is now being engaged by 23 of our 61 congregations, 7 of which are aligning alternate strategic planning initiatives with our stated trajectory to “Make, equip and send mature disciples in order to serve Christ not only with our lips but in our lives.” This is a substantial increase in strategic visioning and planning across the diocese, a trend we expect to continue over the coming year.

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

([London] Times) Muslims ”˜are Britain’s top charity givers’

Muslims are among Britain’s most generous givers, topping a poll of religious groups that donate to charity, according to new research.

Muslims who donated to charity last year gave an average of almost £371 each, with Jewish givers averaging just over £270 per person.

Nearly one in ten of Jewish givers donated more than £1,000. Among Muslim givers, most donated between £300 and £500.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, England / UK, Islam, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture