Daily Archives: August 26, 2013

(CNS) 'Mystery priest' at Missouri accident hopes media hype won't obscure message of God's love

An unlikely chain of events made him not only a national celebrity but a stand-in for every priest who has ever ministered to the faithful in an emergency.

But Father Patrick Dowling — who was dubbed a “mystery priest” and a “guardian angel” after praying with a woman trapped in a wrecked car in northeastern Missouri — hopes all the hype surrounding his simple deed won’t overshadow the real message.

“God loves us, he is here close to us, and when we’re in trouble, he’s there,” said Father Dowling.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Media, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

(NPR) Ancient African Religion Finds Roots In America

In the suburbs of Seattle, an ancient West-African religion is gaining followers. Yoruba, from the Yoruba people of Nigeria, has been spreading across the U.S. for the last 50 years.

The religion is particularly popular with African-Americans who find it offers a spiritual path and a deep sense of cultural belonging.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, America/U.S.A., History, Nigeria, Religion & Culture

Monday Morning diversion–a 9 year old Boy Steps Into His Own Imagination

14 photos in all–they are really fascinating.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Children

(Baptist Standard) Many ministers saddled with seminary debt

When Congress overwhelmingly approved a measure last month to relieve spiraling student debt, churches probably didn’t realize the problem hits closer to home than expected””many pastors are leaving seminary and divinity school with tens of thousands of dollars in loans.

“It’s becoming a huge issue,” said Bill Wilson, president of the Center for Congregational Health. “I’ve heard of totals approaching $60,000. I had one resident who showed up with $40,000 between school and credit cards.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Personal Finance, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, Stewardship, Theology

(NY Times) Egyptian Military Enlists Muslim Scholars to Quell Ranks

The Egyptian military has enlisted Muslim scholars in a propaganda campaign to persuade soldiers and policemen that they have a religious duty to obey orders to use deadly force against supporters of the ousted president, Mohamed Morsi.

The effort is a signal that the generals are worried about insubordination in the ranks, after security forces have killed hundreds of their fellow Egyptians who were protesting against the military’s removal of the elected president ”” violence by the armed forces against civilians that is without precedent in the country’s modern history.

The recourse to religion to justify the killing is also a new measure of the depth of the military’s determination to break down the main pillar of Mr. Morsi’s support, the Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood. Indeed, after ousting Mr. Morsi in the name of tolerance, inclusiveness and an end to religious rule, the military is now sending religious messages to its troops that sound surprisingly similar to the arguments of radical militants who call for violence against political opponents whom they deem to be nonbelievers.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Egypt, Islam, Middle East, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Bishop Mouneer Anis Makes a practical Plea for Help for Egypt

Dear brothers and sisters,

Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

The past week has been traumatic for Egyptians. We witnessed bloodshed on our streets, vandalism and the deliberate destruction of churches and government buildings in lawless acts of revenge. One of our Anglican Churches was attacked, and other ministries received threats. We praise God that our churches and congregations are safe, but we grieve for the loss of life and for the churches which were burnt over the past week in Egypt.

The Anglican Church in Egypt serves all Egyptians, especially the disadvantaged and marginalized, through our educational, medical and community development ministries. We seek to be a light in our society, and we continue to serve our neighbours in the difficult situation which surrounds us. Unemployment is at a record high, there is a lack of security on the streets, the economy is in decline, and poverty is crushing for many people in Egypt.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Egypt, Ethics / Moral Theology, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Poverty, Religion & Culture, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Theology, Violence

(SMH) Vic Alhadeff –Mahalia Jackson's Much unnoticed Role in Martin Luther King's "Dream" speech

If anyone warrants a footnote in history, it’s Mahalia Jackson. If anyone deserves a modicum of recognition for what transpired before 250,000 people crammed at the foot of Washington’s Lincoln Memorial on a sweltering afternoon 50 years ago, it’s surely Mahalia Jackson.

Yet her story remains unsung, her involvement in one of the greatest speeches of all time unheralded.

Jackson was a gospel singer blessed with a contralto voice, album sales in the millions. Yet she was more than that – an activist who lent her formidable presence to the awakening civil rights movement and was described as ”the most powerful black woman in the US”.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Music, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Theology, Women

(Christian Today) Permanent home found for Sisters who left Anglican community

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecclesiology, Ecumenical Relations, England / UK, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology, Women

(Boston Globe) Anglican priest, flock cross a welcoming bridge

Pope John Paul II extended to Anglicans, including married priests, the opportunity to become Catholic in 1980. During the next 30 years, 100 or so Anglican priests entered the Catholic Church and were incorporated into local dioceses.

But some in the worldwide Anglican Communion ”” particularly the Episcopal Church, the religious body’s US province ”” wanted to make it easier for whole congregations to come in, and to be part of a group of like-minded churches.

At their request, Pope Benedict XVI established special “ordinariates” ”” basically superdioceses ”” especially for Anglican priests and congregations. The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, which spans the United States and Canada, was created last year. It includes more than 30 congregations, including [ Jurgen] Liias’s St. Gregory the Great, which held its first Mass in April.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecclesiology, Ecumenical Relations, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, Theology

Matthew Franck and Robert Royal respond to Joseph Bottum's Commonweal Piece

Read it all. Also, Robert Royal has responded in the Catholic Thing in an argument which notes:

…let’s start by getting the record straight: if you take his argument seriously, which I mostly do not, Jody is not saying that he “supports” gay marriage, which the New York Times headline, as is its wont in matters Catholic, gets wrong.

He is saying that the Church cannot win this cultural battle, indeed is being harmed by it, given the forces arrayed against Her. Our bishops should not waste time on it and instead focus on the deep “re-enchantment of the world,” which is what it will take to get people to see the real point of the Church’s richer notions of Creation ”“ and sexuality….Bottum’s argument is the equivalent of saying: fighting terrorism will not establish the peace that passeth all understanding, so we shouldn’t bother with such skirmishes. Leave aside that a large and sophisticated entity like the Catholic Church can walk and chew gum at the same time. Walking away from this fight will not gain the Church friends or placate her enemies.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Commonweal) Joseph Bottum–The Things We Share: A Roman Catholic's Case for Same-Sex Marriage

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Sexuality, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord our God, give us more love, more denial of self, more likeness to thee. Teach us that it is better to give than to receive, better to forget ourselves than to put ourselves forward, better to serve than to be waited on; and unto thee, the God of love, be praise and glory for ever.

Posted in Uncategorized

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

The wicked are not so, but are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

–Psalm 1

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(BBC) Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks says society is 'losing the plot'

Society is “losing the plot” as it becomes more secular and less trusting, the UK’s outgoing Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks has said.

Lord Jonathan Sacks told the BBC the growth of individualism over the past 50 years was responsible for a pervasive breakdown in trust.

He highlighted the 2008 financial crisis and the declining marriage rate.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Children, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Judaism, Marriage & Family, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

Retired bishop brings personal and Anglican history to Rapid City, South Dakota

Bishop Frank Gray is down to just one remaining copy of “For Thou Art With Me: Interned in the Philippines,” the self-published memoir that chronicles his family’s three years in a Japanese concentration camp in the Philippines during World War II.

And after three months of filling in at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Rapid City, he plans to leave it as a farewell gift to his adopted congregation.

“We’ve loved the community and are happy to experience this beautiful part of the country,” Gray said recently of his summer filling in as rector at St. Andrew’s for the Rev. Kathy Monson Lutes, who was awarded a $50,000 Lilly Foundation travel sabbatical.

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

(RNS) Churches raised funds, encouraged crowds at ’63 march

For weeks leading up to the March on Washington, the Rev. Perry Smith urged his congregation to join the landmark civil rights event happening a few miles away.

“We felt it was something that needed to occur because of the absence of the rights of African Americans in this country,” recalled Smith, 79, who recently retired as pastor of First Baptist Church of North Brentwood in Maryland after more than 50 years. “We wanted to emphasize the need for change, jobs and education.”

Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2013/08/22/2934866/churches-raised-funds-encouraged.html#storylink=cpy

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church History, Parish Ministry, Race/Race Relations

NY Times Letters–Medical Care and the Mentally Ill

(We posted the article to which these respond there)–KSH.

Read them all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Mental Illness, Psychology

(BBC) Syria to allow UN to inspect 'chemical weapons' site

The UN’s disarmament chief negotiated with the Syrian government, as the BBC’s Yolande Knell in Beirut explains

The Syrian government has agreed to allow UN inspectors to investigate allegations of a suspected chemical weapon attack near Damascus.

The team is to begin work on Monday. Activists say Syrian forces killed more than 300 people in several suburbs east and west of the capital on Wednesday.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Middle East, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Syria, Violence