Daily Archives: September 4, 2013

(Ed Stetzer) Ten Things I've Learned on Twitter

2. To do well on Twitter (and in social media in general), you need a plan.

Tony Morgan taught me that. He wrote that he would focus on leadership and strategy, and he did. On my blog, I focus on church, culture, and leadership””and my tweets reflect the blog focus.

You need a plan that includes what you will focus on, how often you will tweet, etc.

If you are a pastor, you can’t just say, “I will focus on my church.” You need more than that. What is your church’s passion? Focus on that. Then tweet about it.

3. Social media needs personality….

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

(AP) World Economic Forum sees US rise in global competitiveness, but Europeans still top list

The United States’ competitiveness among global economies is rising again after four years of decline, though northern European countries continue to dominate the rankings published annually by the World Economic Forum.

In its latest survey, released Wednesday, the Forum ranked the U.S. ”” the world’s largest economy ”” in fifth place for overall competitiveness, up from seventh last year. The U.S. turnaround reflects “a perceived improvement in the country’s financial market as well as greater confidence in its public institutions,” the report concluded….

Six European countries dominated the top 10: Switzerland, Finland, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. The remaining three slots were Asian: Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Canada, Economy, Education, England / UK, Europe, Globalization, Science & Technology

(Reuters) Loan firm Wonga's CEO dismisses Justin Welby's criticism as profit jumps

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said in July that Wonga took advantage of poor households struggling to get by in austerity conditions, and pledged to drive the “morally wrong” company out of existence by launching the church’s own not-for-profit credit unions as an alternative for Wonga’s customers.

On Tuesday Errol Damelin, chief executive and founder of Wonga, described the challenge as “complimentary” and said he doubted it would have an impact on Wonga’s business.

“In the UK on the consumer side, we reject about two thirds of applicants we get. The market that the Church would be looking at, we think, is mostly the market for people who don’t get accepted for Wonga loans,” Damelin said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * 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, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Independent) Back at last, the holy book 'borrowed' from St Paul's Cathedral library in the 19th c.

…at some time during the 19th century, it disappeared. Officially listed as lost by a “Miss Shepherd”, and recorded in a hand that dates the disappearance to the early 19th century, mystery surrounds the book’s disappearance ”“ as no corroborating record of such a person working at the cathedral has ever been found.

While those working at St Paul’s would never say it publicly, there is a belief it may have left the cathedral premises under the cassock of a light-fingered priest.

Imagine their surprise, then, when the ancient tome was suddenly advertised for sale by the Law Society, as part of a wider summer sell-off of its Mendham collection ”“ a treasure trove of rare Reformation-era bibles and religious tracts amassed by the family of a 19th-century clergyman. It is unclear how the work came to be owned by the family.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Books, Church of England (CoE), History, Parish Ministry

Archbishop Justin Welby wishes Jewish communities 'every blessing' at Rosh Hashanah

One of the highlights of the Rosh Hashanah service for me is the thanksgiving song of Hannah, which speaks of God’s power to change, to give all that is needed and more. It is with this song as inspiration that I wish you every blessing. May we be able to say with Hannah, ”˜There is no Holy One like the LORD, no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God!’

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, England / UK, Inter-Faith Relations, Judaism, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

(C of E) Secretary of State receives Energy Project petition from David Shreeve

Church of England representative David Shreeve joined others today from the Community Energy Coalition to hand in a nearly 60,000 signature petition to the Department of Energy and Climate Change. It calls on the Government to provide greater support for co-operative and community-owned energy projects.

Ed Davey MP, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change received the petition which is one of the highlights of Community Energy Fortnight. The campaign aims to engage and inspire people about the wide-ranging benefits of community energy.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Energy, Natural Resources, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Former Roman Catholic parish) St. Stanislaus in discussions to join Episcopal Diocese of Missouri

St. Stanislaus Kostka Church is in discussions to join the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri, according to a letter by Bishop George Wayne Smith.

Smith sent the letter to the Episcopal Diocese’s clergy last week ”” and posted it online over the weekend ”” informing them that discussions with the former Catholic parish “could lead to the church coming into union with the Diocese, should both parties agree that this is in their best interests and in best service to Christ.”

In February, the Archdiocese of St. Louis dismissed its appeal of a 2012 St. Louis Circuit Court decision handing over control of St. Stanislaus Kostka, at 1413 North 20th Street, to its own lay board, and ending a decade-long legal battle between the church and the archdiocese.

Read it all and follow the link to read the letter from Bishop Smith.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic, Theology

David Brooks–The biggest threat to world peace right now is one big Middle eastern War

The Syrian civil conflict is both a proxy war and a combustion point for spreading waves of violence. This didn’t start out as a religious war. But both Sunni and Shiite power players are seizing on religious symbols and sowing sectarian passions that are rippling across the region. The Saudi and Iranian powers hover in the background fueling each side.

As the death toll in Syria rises to Rwanda-like proportions, images of mass killings draw holy warriors from countries near and far. The radical groups are the most effective fighters and control the tempo of events. The Syrian opposition groups are themselves split violently along sectarian lines so that the country seems to face a choice between anarchy and atrocity.

Meanwhile, the strife appears to be spreading. Sunni-Shiite violence in Iraq is spiking upward. Reports in The New York Times and elsewhere have said that many Iraqis fear their country is sliding back to the worst of the chaos experienced in the past decade. Even Turkey, Pakistan, Bahrain and Kuwait could be infected.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Egypt, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, History, Islam, Lebanon, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Syria, Theology, Violence

Fuller Theological Seminary has Redone Their Website

See what you make of it.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Blogging & the Internet, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

(Huffington Post) The World's 50 Most Unusual Churches

Enjoy the whole slideshow.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Globalization, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Help us this day, O God, to serve thee devoutly, and the world busily. May we do our work wisely, give succour secretly, go to our meat appetitely, sit thereat discreetly, arise temperately, please our friend duly, go to our bed merrily, and sleep surely; for the joy of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

–The Pastor’s Prayerbook

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

And as soon as it was morning the chief priests, with the elders and scribes, and the whole council held a consultation; and they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him to Pilate. And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” And the chief priests accused him of many things. And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate wondered.

–Mark 15:1-5

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Washington Post) For workers and the economy, autumn could be scary

“Unfortunately, we seem to be entering another of those periods of elevated risk,” economists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch wrote last week. Researchers at RBC Capital Markets sounded even more bleak. “Just when you thought the U.S. economy was ready to break out of its lackluster 2 percent growth pace that has dominated the recovery,” they wrote, “reality hits.”

More economic turbulence would be particularly tough for poor and middle-class American workers, who are still struggling amid the historically weak growth following the recession. The typical worker’s income has fallen since the recession ended more than four years ago, and the economy, still far from full employment, is creating far more low-paying jobs than good-paying ones. Polls show that workers remain discouraged by the economic picture, with more than half believing the United States is still in recession.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Budget, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, House of Representatives, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Personal Finance, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Taxes, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, Theology

(ACNS) Southern Africa's new app for better parish communications

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA) has launched a free cell phone application or ‘app’ to aid communication between parishes and parishioners in the Province.

The Dean of Christ Church Cathedral in the Polokwane area of South Africa, the Very Revd Luke Pretorius, is also a member of ACSA Media Committee.

“I am excited at what may be a world first from Africa,” he told ACNS, “and [also] for how this app will improve the communication between churches and people by using cell phone technology, an essential and already popular tool in Africa.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces, Blogging & the Internet, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

(Liv. Church) Jason Ingalls and Joseph Wolyniak on the Scholar-Priest Initiative

Many have mourned theology’s separation from the Church, but in the last 30 years we have witnessed resurgent efforts to reconnect academic theology to its ecclesial roots. The Scholar-Priest Initiative stands in this vein, endeavoring to be the servant in the background of Rembrandt’s picture: to do everything in our power to reintegrate theology back into the life of the parish; to rekindle theological vocation and imagination; in short, to welcome theology home.

The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada face three intractable and seemingly unrelated problems: the double bind of ordained parochial leadership, the diminishment of theological discourse in parish life, and the overall decline of North American theological education.

First, while debates rage on whether and to what extent North American Anglicanism is in decline (and what to do about it), we suffer from an undeniable and debilitating double bind in our parochial leadership. In the Episcopal Church nearly 40 percent of congregations operate without full-time, permanent ordained ministers. Our churches ”” ever increasingly, it seems ”” simply cannot afford full-time clergy. Many dioceses have accordingly found themselves with a glut of ordained ministers. Several have suspended their discernment processes because they already have too many unemployed and underemployed priests. We have an overabundance of well-trained, capable priests. We have too many congregations in need of priests. We need to somehow connect the dots.

Second, there is a disconnect between theological discourse and parish life….

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology