Daily Archives: September 9, 2013

Anglican TV Interviews the new Archbishop of Sydney

Watch it all (about 14 1/3 minutes).

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

Forbes Names what it Thinks are America's Fifteen Prettiest Towns

….we went looking for…towns [that] seemingly custom-designed for soaking in the sights, with charming main streets, a variety of activities and beautiful vistas. Whether it’s the fresh air, authenticity or lack of skyscrapers, these enchanting locales deserve a spot on your travel to-do list. To designate Breckenridge and the rest of America’s most picturesque towns, we called on travel experts from Frommer’s, National Geographic, Fodor’s, and Midwest Living magazine, all of whom shared with us selections of what they consider to be among America’s prettiest towns.

Of course, “prettiest” is subjective, and there are many other towns around the country that would fit the bill ”“ but we chose 15 that we think would not only stand out in a beauty pageant, but also provide great options for your next getaway.

Check out the slideshow and see what you make of the list.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Rural/Town Life

(America) Joseph Creamer reviews John Guy's new book on Thomas Becket

In a vivid new biography of Becket, the Tudor historian John Guy clearly and concisely traces the steps of the long and complicated controversy, as well as its role in international politics. Guy sets out to draw a balanced portrait of Becket, sifting the hagiographers’ accounts and the post-Reformation biases of English historians. A confessional divide overshadowed interpretations of Becket ever since another King Henry VIII declared Becket a traitor to king and country. Henry VIII destroyed Becket’s shrine and attempted to erase all images and mention of him in England. Even in the 20th century, English historians concluded that Becket was the cause of his own troubles, picking fights and remaining obstinate when compromise was needed. Becket’s speedy rise from commoner to chancellor had made him arrogant and proud, these critics say; he was no saint, but brought on his own martyrdom through his self-righteousness. Guy does not play the blame-the-victim game. He balances the duplicitous and untrustworthy behavior of Henry II with attention to Becket’s missteps and failures.

Guy tries to show that Becket was “far from saintly or infallible.” He avoids “the trap” Becket’s hagiographers’ fell into””of “writing the history of the saint without his shadow.”

Read it all.

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

Worried new S.C. TEC Diocese Brings in Bishops in visits to New Parish

Two Episcopal bishops will hold Sunday services this fall at The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, a new worship community in Summerville.

Read it all.

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

Anyone think the Toy Maltisse Needs a Haircut?

Posted in * By Kendall, * General Interest, Animals, Harmon Family

(NY Times Opinionator) Robert Gordon–The Great Stagnation of American Education

There are numerous causes of the less-than-satisfying economic growth in America: the retirement of the baby boomers, the withdrawal of working-age men from the labor force, the relentless rise in the inequality of the income distribution and, as I have written about elsewhere, a slowdown in technological innovation.

Education deserves particular focus because its effects are so long-lasting. Every high school dropout becomes a worker who likely won’t earn much more than minimum wage, at best, for the rest of his or her life. And the problems in our educational system pervade all levels.

The surge in high school graduation rates ”” from less than 10 percent of youth in 1900 to 80 percent by 1970 ”” was a central driver of 20th-century economic growth. But the percentage of 18-year-olds receiving bona fide high school diplomas fell to 74 percent in 2000, according to the University of Chicago economist James J. Heckman.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Children, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, History, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Theology

David Anderson–Religious Freedom in America Today

In New Mexico, the state Supreme Court has held that a Christian photographer who was asked by a same-sex couple to take photos of their “nuptials” was wrong to decline on religious grounds and that it constituted illegal discrimination. The fact that Elane Photography, and by extension the owners, Jonathan and Elaine Huguenins, declined because they would have had to be present and involved with an event that they felt violated their religious beliefs, didn’t matter to the New Mexico judges. Justice Richard Bosson wrote that the case “teaches that at some point in our lives all of us must compromise, if only a little, to accommodate the contrasting values of others.”

If I recall correctly, a similar pitch was made to early Roman Christians by the authorities, just burn a small pinch of incense in front of the statue of Caesar and all will be fine, refuse this little pinch and you and your family will be killed. Most who were faced with this refused and were martyred. The Supreme Court of New Mexico is attempting to martyr Jonathan and Elaine Huguenins, and if they succeed, why should you and I feel safe?

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, History, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(AP) Islamists Seize Town in Southern Egypt and Attack Christians

The Coptic Orthodox priest would talk to his visitor only after hiding from the watchful eyes of the bearded Muslim outside, who sported a pistol bulging from under his robe.

So Father Yoannis moved behind a wall in the charred skeleton of an ancient monastery to describe how it was torched by Islamists and then looted when they took over this southern Egyptian town following the ouster of the country’s president.

“The fire in the monastery burned intermittently for three days. The looting continued for a week. At the end, not a wire or an electric switch is left,” Yoannis told The Associated Press. The monastery’s 1,600-year-old underground chapel was stripped of ancient icons and the ground was dug up on the belief that a treasure was buried there.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Coptic Church, Defense, National Security, Military, Egypt, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Theology, Violence

(First Things On the Square) Wesley Smith–The Case That Destroyed Marriage

How did marriage lose most of its meaning? How has it gone from being regarded as an institution that formed the conjugal bond, established nuclear families, knit vital social ties across extended familial units, and forged the necessary social cohesion for the sheltering and rearing of children, to a more-or-less optional affirmation of love?

True, the same-sex marriage debate has rekindled some interest in the institution and its purposes. But that imbroglio seems more like the last flaring of a star before it goes cold rather than a true rekindling.

The weakening of the institution has been ongoing for so many years that it is difficult to discern the proverbial tipping point. But I have a good candidate: The 1976 California Supreme Court case, Marvin v. Marvin.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Men, Sexuality, Theology, Women, Young Adults

A Local Paper Article on the Bishop of the new TEC Diocese in S.C., Charles vonRosenberg

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(ESPN) Serena Williams beats Victoria Azarenka to win her Fifth US Open Title

The best of them don’t always do it on their best days. They are champions because they win when their games aren’t always there, when the wind is annoying and their skirts are flying and, worse, when it plays havoc with their stroke and their serve and their nerves.

The finest among them prevail when they look across the net and see someone as tough as they are, someone capable of wearing them down and making them look bad but ultimately bring out their best.

Serena Williams is the greatest because of days like Sunday, when her body language was flagging, opportunities were squandered and she had to snap herself out of it.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports, Women

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Constance and her Companions

We give thee thanks and praise, O God of compassion, for the heroic witness of Constance and her companions, who, in a time of plague and pestilence, were steadfast in their care for the sick and the dying, and loved not their own lives, even unto death. Inspire in us a like love and commitment to those in need, following the example of our Savior Jesus Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer, Women

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, who by the lowliness of thy Son hast raised a fallen world: Grant to thy faithful people perpetual gladness; and as thou hast delivered them from eternal death, so do thou make them partakers of everlasting joys; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Roman Breviary

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philip’pi, with the bishops and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, thankful for your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

–Philippians 1:1-6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Bishop Jack Iker–Living with Litigation

Living with litigation has become a way of life for us as members of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. For the past 4 ½ years, we have been under the cloud of a lawsuit brought against us by The Episcopal Church and its local supporters, seeking to deprive us of our buildings and assets. This has been a huge distraction from our focus on spreading the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and making new disciples for the Kingdom of God. What a relief and a blessing it was to have the Texas Supreme Court overturn the trial court judgment against us on August 30. So now we head back to the local court for a reconsideration of the dispute ”“ based this time upon neutral principles of law, and under this methodology we are confident we will prevail. Life goes on ”“ the litigation continues ”“ and we learn again how important it is to trust in the Lord in the midst of distractions and threats to our security.

The national leadership of TEC has misguided and misled local Episcopalians by encouraging them to support its litigation strategy, which sought to undermine the laws of the State of Texas regarding property, trusts and corporations.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth, Theology

(Independent) Church of England has up to £10m invested in arms firm

The Church of England has invested up to £10m in one of the world’s major arms firms, which supplies systems and technology for unmanned drones and jets to conflicts around the world. The discovery, on the eve of what is set to be the biggest day of protests against DSEi ”“ the UK’s leading arms fair ”“ in Docklands, London, tomorrow, has led worshippers to accuse church leaders of profiting from conflict.

The Church Commissioners and Church of England Pensions Board are both shareholders in General Electric (GE), with shareholdings up to £10m. Yesterday, the Church defended the investment, claiming less than 3 per cent of GE’s business was based in arms sales.

But the firm, along with its key subsidiary General Aviation, is a leading supplier of “integrated systems and technologies” for combat aircraft, military transport, helicopters, land vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles ”“ better known as drones.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Stock Market

Hilarious Video–A Bear Removes an Entire dumpster from a Restaurant

Watch it all.

Posted in * General Interest, Animals, Humor / Trivia

Richard Kauffman with a Reminder about the Importance of Reading Scripture in Worship

Over time I have come to believe that the reading of scripture in public worship is as important as expounding on scripture (i.e., preaching). As a friend says, “A good reading is expounding.”

I am appalled at the way some traditions and congregations take such a casual attitude toward the reading of scripture in worship. It’s treated sometimes as the role “anybody can do.” Not anybody can do it, and it takes practice. I get the sense sometimes that people are reading the assigned text for the first time when they read it in worship.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Books, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture