Daily Archives: September 1, 2013

Some (Very Sobering) Statistics on the Current life of American Children

From Childstats.gov and cited in this morning’s sermon by yours truly:

Sixty-four percent of children ages 0”“17 lived with two married parents in 2012, down from 77 percent in 1980….

The percentage of all births to unmarried women rose from 18 percent of total births in 1980 to 33 percent in 1994. From 1994 to 2002, the percentage ranged from 32 to 34 percent. The percentage increased from 2002 through 2008 and remained stable at 41 percent through 2011.

Between 1980 and 2011, the proportion of births to unmarried women rose for women in all age groups. Among adolescents, the proportion was high throughout the period and rose from 62 to 95 percent for ages 15”“17 and from 40 to 86 percent for ages 18”“19. The proportion more than tripled for births to unmarried women in their twenties, rising from 19 to 64 percent for ages 20”“24 and from 9 to 34 percent for ages 25”“29. The proportion of births to unmarried women in their thirties more than doubled, from 8 to 21 percent.

In 2011, the poverty threshold for a two-parent, two-child family was $22,811.

Twenty-two percent of all children ages 0”“17 (16.1 million) lived in poverty in 2011, which was not statistically different from 2010 but higher than the 16 percent of all children in 2001.

The percentage of children living in families in extreme poverty rose to 10 percent in 1992, decreased to 7 percent in 1999, and was back at 10 percent in 2011.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Economy, Marriage & Family, Poverty, The U.S. Government

Clergy At Higher Risk Of Depression And Anxiety, Study Finds

Clergy are often relied upon to guide others through difficult times, but a new study has found that the very nature of their work could put them at greater risk of developing depression and anxiety themselves.

Researchers from the Clergy Health Initiative at Duke Divinity School interviewed over 1,700 United Methodist pastors by phone and through online surveys, and found that the instances of depression were 8.7 percent and 11.1 percent, respectively, compared to the average national rate of 5.5 percent.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(Local Paper) A Summerville, S.C., parish urges $1 donations to fill critical local needs

Each Sunday, Ashley Ridge Church collects about $200 to $300 in its Change for a Dollar buckets.

Then, church members email requests or suggestions for how to use the money that week.

Church leaders pick someone, and then watch what happens.

Take a young man who recently suffered a seizure disorder but lacked the resources to see a neurologist. He had visited the Medical Outreach Clinic of Summerville but needed more specialized care than it could provide.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, Theology

The new Bishop of Wellington–Being Faithful and Following God's Call

SM Urban Vision has been a powerful community of faith and social action in Wellington. What do you think lies at the heart of its success?

JD Clumsy faithfulness. Living community in a world crying out for belonging. Finding God’s spirit actively at work on the margins of our society and dwelling with God there.

SM You’ve moving from being someone passionately on the margins of the Anglican Church to being the central figurehead and leader of the church. How do you make sense of that transition?

JD It’s always about faithfulness, responding obediently to what we believe God asks of us for each season of our lives.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces

In NZ, Christchurch Synod is coming up this Friday and Saturday

You may find preliminary documents there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces

(HBR Blog) There Really Is Such a Thing as the Protestant Work Ethic

The psychic harm from unemployment is about 40% worse for Protestants than for the general population, say André van Hoorn and Robbert Maseland of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Moreover, people living in Protestant societies are hurt more by being unemployed than people living in other societies….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Religion & Culture, Theology

(RNS) Religious diversity is increasing at the office, and so are pitfalls

The American workplace, like the rest of U.S. society, is becoming more religiously diverse and that is raising concerns about employer accommodations for believers ”” and increasing the odds for uncomfortable moments around the water cooler.

Yet one potential flashpoint among workers does not involve new immigrant faiths but rather two indigenous communities: white evangelicals and unaffiliated Americans who constitute one of the fastest-growing segments of the population.

A major factor contributing to workplace conflict, according to a survey released on Friday (Aug. 30), is that evangelicals ”” whose religious identity is tied to sharing their beliefs ”” are much more likely to talk about their faith at work than other religious and nonreligious groups.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Religion & Culture

(WINN FM) Anglican Church in the Caribbean: No to Same Sex Marriage

The Head of the Anglican Church in St. Kitts and Nevis Archdeacon Valentine Hodge is making it clear that the Church does not support gay marriage, or condone a homosexual lifestyle.

“I can only speak…on the behalf of the Anglican Church which is the church in the province of the West Indies”¦um at the moment we cannot marry in church two people of the same sex…We believe in indissoluble monogamous marriage that is something which should last for life.. indissoluble.. and, we also believe that it is something between a man and a woman,” the Archdeacon said, speaking on WINN FM’s Breakfast Show Thursday.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Caribbean, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Theology, Theology: Scripture, West Indies

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, who hast commanded us to walk in the Spirit and not to fulfill the lusts of the flesh: Perfect us, we pray thee, in love, that we may conquer our natural selfishness and give ourselves to others. Fill our hearts with thy joy, and garrison them with thy peace; make us longsuffering and gentle, and thus subdue our hasty and angry tempers; give us faithfulness, meekness and self-control; that so crucifying the flesh with its affections and lusts, we may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit to thy praise and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Henry Alford

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Have nothing to do with godless and silly myths. Train yourself in godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.

–1 Timothy 4:7-10

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Reuters) Pope Francis Names Diplomat as Chief Aide

Pope Francis attempted to set a new tone for a Vatican beset by scandals on Saturday by naming a veteran diplomat as secretary of state, a role often called the “deputy pope”.

Archbishop Pietro Parolin’s appointment ends the era of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who was widely blamed for failing to prevent ethical and financial scandals that marked the eight-year reign of former Pope Benedict, who resigned in February.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, Globalization, History, Italy, Other Churches, Politics in General, Pope Francis, Roman Catholic, Theology

Boeing picks a North Charleston, South Carolina, site for its new 737 MAX engine inlet plant

Boeing Co. has picked a site in North Charleston for a new factory that will design and make engine inlet components for the 737 MAX, its first major investment in the region not tied to the 787 jetliner.

The aerospace giant plans to build the previously announced propulsion design and assembly plant in Palmetto Commerce Park, between Ladson and Ashley Phosphate roads.

The 48-acre site is next door to Boeing’s two-year-old Interiors Responsibility Center, which makes bins, partitions and other parts for the 787 Dreamliner.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Science & Technology, Travel

PBS ' Religion and Ethics Newsweekly–Moral Questions on Syria Strikes

Does the US have a “responsibility to protect” now that the use of chemical weapons by Syria has been confirmed? Watch our discussion with University of Notre Dame peace studies professor George Lopez, who says, “Is there just cause and right intention? Yes, there’s a grave public evil with a chemical weapons attack. But on criteria of last resort, proportional response, probability of success, this strike idea really falls short of the mark.”

Read or watch and listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Syria, Theology, Violence

(Strange Herring) Anthony Sacramone–Is Anglicanism a Variant of Lutheranism?

It’s interesting that in the discussion of doctrinal incoherency, no one mentioned the Thirty-Nine Articles, perhaps because they’ve proved so inadequate a doctrinal foundation. Or perhaps the problem is that, as a 16th-century confessional statement, they no longer speak to the issues that are really shaking the Anglican Communion to its core today. (Although Reformed and Lutheran Christians would argue that their confessions are more than adequate in the 21st century, despite new and improved denominations popping up on a regular basis, not to mention disputes over how to interpret the confessions themselves: third use of the law, anyone? How about 2K theology?)

It seems to me that there are a couple of ways out of this mess, which undoubtedly have been tried and failed. But this is Anglicanism, so why let that stop us:

1. I don’t know what is demanded precisely of a prospective clergyman/woman in the CofE in regard to the Three Ecumenical Creeds. I doubt they are required to affirm them on all points in their literal sense, such that there is no hedging on the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, Ascension, and coming Judgment. “Born of the Virgin Mary””“yes or no? “On the Third Day, He rose again from the dead, He ascended into Heaven””“yes or no?

Here’s one way forward: If the response begins with ”It all depends on what you mean by””” deny them ordination. I certainly would expect this to be the case in “continuing” Anglican churches.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lutheran, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Theology