Daily Archives: August 6, 2013

Sydney Anglicans have a new Archbishop

A synod of more than 800 members has overwhelmingly elected Bishop Glenn Davies as the 12th Archbishop of Sydney.

Dr Davies replaced Dr Peter Jensen who held the post for 12 years. For much of Archbishop Jensen’s tenure, Dr Davies served with him as the Bishop of North Sydney.

Read it all and there is a biography here and the statement of Canon Rick Smith is here

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

(ACNS) A Final report from the World Anglican Youth Encounter in Rio

On Friday, the faithful throngs crowded along Copacabana beach to walk the Stations of the Cross, life-sized constructions along Avenida Atlantica, at which the cross of World Youth Day and the Icon of Our Lady paused and the dramatization of each station was televised on the multiple big screens along the beach. At the end of the procession, the cross was raised on the stage from which the Pope delivered a sermon in a mixture of Spanish and Portuguese. For Oliver Petter from the Diocese of London, currently in his second year of seminary in Oxford, Friday evening’s events were particularly impressive. The difference in the symbolism in Brazil was of note for him ”“ he commented that many countries perform the stations of the cross with a ”˜body’ present, but: “”¦to process with an empty cross here with a crown of thorns”¦ it symbolizes absence, loss”¦ and yet 1 million people there on the beach, such a manifestation of resurrection, in stillness and reverence”¦ that was very moving”¦”’

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Brazil, South America, Teens / Youth

Ezra Klein Talks some sense on the Affordable Care Act's Tax on so-called Cadillac Health Plans

That sets up one of the recurring problems in health-care policy, which is that the more you do to control costs, the more people will hate you. Insurers found this out in the 1990s, when HMOs managed to save a lot of money without doing any measurable harm to care, but the American people loathed them for it. Various provisions in the Affordable Care Act ”” or any serious cost-control effort ”” will end up proving it again.

This will present a useful test for seeing who’s serious about controlling health-care costs. Conservative economists, for instance, almost universally hate the fact that employer-provided health benefits aren’t taxed, and that public-sector workers have bargained so aggressively for generous benefits. John McCain’s 2008 health plan relied on ending the employer deduction entirely and converting it to a capped deduction for individuals ”” which is a much more violent version of this kind of change.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, House of Representatives, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Personal Finance, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Taxes, Theology

(ABC Aus.) The election of the next Anglican Archbishop of Sydney

While we contend with the election of the next federal government and Prime Minister of Australia, there’s another kind of political battle afoot in Sydney.

With the retirement of Peter Jensen last month, competition has been hotting up for who will be the next Anglican Archbishop of Sydney

ABC Religion & Ethics editor Scott Stephens outlined why the election is important and quirks of the Sydney Anglican community.

Listen to it all (a little under 16 minutes).

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

Robert Moynihan provides another full text english translation of Pope's in flight press conf.

Gian Guido Vecchi: Holy Father, during this trip you have spoken many times about mercy. In regard to access to the sacraments of divorced persons who have remarried, is there a possibility that something will change in the discipline of the Church? That these sacraments be an occasion to bring these people closer, rather than a barrier that separates them from the other faithful?
Pope Francis: This is a subject that is always asked about.
Mercy is greater than the case you pose.
I believe this is the time of mercy.
This change of era, also so many problems of the Church ”” such as the witness that’s not good of some priests, also problems of corruption in the Church, also the problem of clericalism, to give an example ”” have left so many wounds, so many wounds.
And the Church is Mother: she must go to heal the wounds with mercy.
But if the Lord does not tire of forgiving, we have no other choice than this: first of all, to cure the wounds. The Church is Mother and must go on this path of mercy. And find mercy for all.
But I think, when the Prodigal Son returned home, his father didn’t say: “But you, listen sit down: what did you do with the money?” No! He had a feast! Then, perhaps, when the son wished to speak, he spoke.
The Church must do likewise.

This is a useful resource for those of us following the story–check it out.

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

(CSM) Mental health in the US: New ideas on care emerge

[Patti] Sacher’s frustrations with the mental health care system in this country are typical. It’s a system nearly everyone agrees is fragmented, inadequate, and offers little help until someone reaches a crisis ”“ and often not even then.

Now, after a succession of shooting massacres ”“ by Adam Lanza in Newtown, Conn.; Jared Loughner in Tucson, Ariz.; James Holmes in Aurora, Colo.; and John Zawahri in Santa Monica, Calif. ”“ the mental health care system is in the limelight to a degree it hasn’t been in decades. In the case of Mr. Lanza, who killed 27 people, including 20 first-graders and his mother, before killing himself, there isn’t much conclusive known about his mental-health history ”“ and what information there is doesn’t explain what might have caused him to commit such violence. It is clear he was troubled, and the shooting sparked a massive outcry over the need for better treatment for the mentally ill.

President Obama called for a national conversation on mental health and sponsored a one-day conference on the issue in June, calling for more help for young people and veterans, in particular, and saying it’s time to “[bring] mental illness out of the shadows.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Mental Illness, Psychology, Theology

(Wash. Post) Al-Qaeda leader Zawahiri is said to have ordered terrorist attack

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri ordered the head of the terrorist group’s Yemen affiliate to carry out an attack, according to intercepted communications that have led to the closure of U.S. embassies and a global travel alert, said a person briefed on the case.

In one communication, Zawahiri, who succeeded Osama bin Laden, gave “clear orders” to Nasir al-Wuhayshi, the founder of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, to undertake an attack, the source said. McClatchy newspapers first reported the exchange on Sunday.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Terrorism

In Case You Missed it–Angel J.B. Shuck makes a phenomenal over the wall catch last Friday night

Watch it all–wowowow.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

Jessica Moore–Student life today is unrecognisably different to that of one generation ago

Higher education took a bit of a battering last year. The systems of fees and funding changed dramatically while the economy shuddered and the employment market shook, raising new concerns for both students and their parents. Twelve months on, the dust has settled ”” but do parents have any idea what student life looks like today?

“Many think back to when they were undergraduates. The situation today is unrecognisably different,” says Danny Byrne, editor of topuniversities.com. “In those days, 10 to 15 per cent of school-leavers went to university and tended to waltz into jobs at the end of it. Today, there’s a mass influx of graduates into the job market and it’s getting tougher to distinguish yourself, so parents feel they need to provide more hands-on direction.”

The university experience has changed too. Byrne says the focus has shifted from fun and study to employability and study, with students grabbing every possible opportunity to gain work experience and build networks.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Education, England / UK, History, Young Adults

(CNA) Same-Sex Couple to Sue Church of England for Marriage Rights

Following legislation that permits same-sex “marriage” in the U.K. yet prohibits the Church of England from performing the ceremony, two men are planning to sue to be able to marry in their church.

“We are happy for gay marriage to be recognized ”” in that sense, it is a big step. But it is actually a small step because it is something we still cannot actually do,” Barrie Drewitt-Barlow told the Essex Chronicle Aug. 1.

“We need to convince the church that it is the right thing for our community for them to recognize as practicing Christians.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality

(RNS) African chief evangelizes about adult circumcision

African Chief Jonathan Eshiloni Mumena will eagerly tell you about his ivory Star of David ring and the Texas flag on his tie.

…the tribal chief was not prepared for his son’s declaration that he wanted to get circumcised. Mumena read the pamphlets on circumcision’s health benefits, which argue that the procedure cuts HIV transmission by 60 percent, and agreed with his 18-year-old son.

Risking impeachment by the 60,000 members of his tribe, he had the procedure done in 2011 at the age of 47.

Mumena is among a growing number of Zambians opting for circumcision as a way to ward off HIV infection. In so doing, they are adding to the number of people who take on this ancient practice for cultural or religious reasons.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Health & Medicine, Religion & Culture, Zambia

(AP) Alex Rodriguez and 12 others suspended in Major League Baseball PED scandal

Alex Rodriguez was suspended through 2014 and All-Stars Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta and Everth Cabrera were banned 50 games apiece Monday when Major League Baseball disciplined 13 players in a drug case – the most sweeping punishment since the Black Sox scandal nearly a century ago.

Ryan Braun’s 65-game suspension last month and previous penalties bring to 18 the total number of players sanctioned for their relationship to Biogenesis of America, a closed anti-aging clinic in Florida accused of distributing banned performing-enhancing drugs.

The harshest penalty was reserved for Rodriguez, the New York Yankees slugger, a three-time Most Valuable Player and baseball’s highest-paid star. He said he would appeal his suspension, which covers 211 games, by Thursday’s deadline. And since arbitrator Fredric Horowitz isn’t expected to rule until November or December, Rodriguez is free to play the rest of this season.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Sports, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast of the Transfiguration

O God, who on the holy mount didst reveal to chosen witnesses thy well-beloved Son, wonderfully transfigured, in raiment white and glistening: Mercifully grant that we, being delivered from the disquietude of this world, may by faith behold the King in his beauty; who with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth, one God, world without end.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty God, who hast sent the Spirit of truth unto us to guide us into all truth: We beseech thee so to rule our lives by thy power that we may be truthful in word and deed and thought. Keep us, most merciful Father, with thy gracious protection, that no fear or hope may ever make us false in act or speech. Cast out from us whatsoever loveth or maketh a lie, and bring us all into the perfect freedom of thy truth; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord.

–B. F. Westcott

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

And when he wished to cross to Acha’ia, the brethren encouraged him, and wrote to the disciples to receive him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, for he powerfully confuted the Jews in public, showing by the scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.

–Acts 18:27-28

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Economist) The Pope wows Brazil. But battles””and traps””lie at home

On his debut abroad the first Latin American pope put a spring in the church’s step in the world’s largest Roman Catholic country. He also””with a long, informal press conference””underlined the new style that his papacy has brought, heralding a softer tone on sexual issues, and a tougher line on Vatican cliques.

Humble and plain-speaking, Francis drew huge crowds despite the wet and cold of the southern winter. His energy and urgency was a marked break with the sense of drift that has afflicted the Latin American church. And it contrasted with two lacklustre visits by his cerebral predecessor, Benedict. A final mass on Rio’s Copacabana beach drew 1m people: a record rivalled only by John Paul II’s trips to Poland. He told them: “Do not be afraid to go and to bring Christ into every area of life, to the margins of society, even to those who seem farthest away, most indifferent.” At a meeting of bishops, he called for a new “missionary spirit” and decried “obsolete structures”. He led by example, visiting a favela (slum) and meeting the sick, young offenders and former drug addicts.

In word and deed, that was a rebuke to the church for its retreat from the poor urban peripheries, where Pentecostalist competitors have flourished. He also, by implication, challenged the Pentecostalists’ theology, often a gung-ho message of prosperity through piety, with a forthright attack on capitalism’s “disposable” culture.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Brazil, Other Churches, Pope Francis, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, South America

TEC Catheral in Laramie, Wyoming, has a new Dean

Officials at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Cathedral in Laramie are pleased to announce that they have named the Rev. Canon Stephen Askew of the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Tennessee to serve as their dean. Askew will be joining the cathedral on Oct. 1, and will be seated as the dean on Oct. 11. Askew is replacing the previous dean, the Very Rev. Marilyn Engstrom, who retired on July 31, 2012.

According to Taimi Kuiva, senior warden at St. Matthew’s, the cathedral’s selection of Askew was received with excitement and hope at the church.

“The St. Matthew’s community is very excited to have Father Stephen joining us. Stephen shares our commitment to outreach and ministry beyond our four walls. Like the cathedral, Stephen truly embraces our theology of welcoming all at God’s table, which is not only important to St. Matthew’s but to Laramie as well. We look forward to the years ahead as our community and Stephen grow into the image that God has called us to be,” Kuiva said.

Read it all.

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

Episcopal Church in Southern Alabama develops outreach program for elderly, homebound

Rising healthcare costs for needed items such as shower chairs and grab bars gave parishioners at Immanuel Episcopal Church in Bay Minette the impetus to begin a new outreach ministry.

Offered as an idea at a church retreat held this past spring, the plan has developed into an active ministry with shower chairs, grab bars and commode chairs delivered and more shower chairs, commode chairs and grab bars purchased and ready for delivery.

“After a lifetime spent working hard, raising a family and contributing to their community, many of these people now face multiple health problems and mounting healthcare costs,” said Ryan Gillikin, Immanuel vestry member and coordinator of this ministry. “While Medicare and insurance cover many of these costs, there are certain things like shower chairs and grab bars that are no longer covered. These items can increase a person’s independence, improve quality of life and decrease fall risk.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, TEC Parishes, Theology

(ENS) Marriage study task force begins work by sharing experiences

The 12 Episcopalians given the task of exploring the “biblical, theological, historical, liturgical and canonical dimensions of marriage” and marriage’s “changing societal and cultural norms and legal structures” began their first face-to-face meeting July 29 by each talking in depth about their own experiences of marriage, divorce, singleness and lifelong committed relationships.

“It was a very moving and holy time,” the Rev. Brian Taylor, chair of the A050 Task Force on the Study of Marriage, told Episcopal News Service during an interview July 31 as the gathering neared its close.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Episcopal Church (TEC), Marriage & Family, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology

(CT) Company with Ties to Pastor whom some see in messianic terms buys Newsweek

…few sites are noting that IBT has significant ties to David Jang, the Korean pastor hailed by some of his followers as a messianic figure, a “Second Coming Christ.”

Christianity Today published two major articles on Jang last year, quoting multiple sources who described an international network with Jang as its spiritual””and sometimes even operational””leader.

Jang has been a controversial figure in Asia since 2008, when a committee of Hong Kong theologians and church leaders “unanimously expressed its serious apprehensions and concerns.” His views and influence continue to be debated in South Korea and in the U.S. And last year, the National Association of Evangelicals appointed a committee to determine “theological compatibility” between the Jang-founded Olivet University and the Southern Baptist Convention’s LifeWay Christian Resources. The findings of that committee have not been publicly released, but after reviewing the committee’s report LifeWay officials withdrew from plans to sell a 2,100-acre New Mexico conference center to the school.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Adult Education, Asia, Media, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, South Korea