Daily Archives: September 17, 2013

The Diocese of Gloucester has started a blog–Hooray for them

See what you make of it (another link there where comments may be made).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Blogging & the Internet, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Media, Religion & Culture

Douglas Coupland on Generation X–Food for Thought for a Tuesday Morning

While the subject of his fiction has shifted in venue and somewhat in tone, it remains in a generational vein. Speaking of his work, Mr. Coupland explained: “I’m interested in people my age and younger who have no narrative structure to their lives. The big structure used to be the job, the career arc, and that’s no longer there. Neither is family or religion. All these narrative templates have eroded.”

–From a 1994 profile article in the New York Times (emphasis mine)

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, History, Marriage & Family, Middle Age, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Young Adults

(USA Today) Remarriage rate declining as more opt for cohabitation

The invitations are in the mail. Jennifer Beltz and T.J. Gurski of Commerce Township, Mich., are defying the odds ”” they’re taking the plunge a second time.

“When I got divorced, I said, ”˜I’m never getting married again,” says Beltz, 41, who works in marketing.

That sentiment seems to be quite common among those jaded by a failed first union: A new analysis of federal data provided exclusively to USA TODAY shows the USA’s remarriage rate has dropped 40 percent over the past 20 years.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Secularism, Theology

Windsor, Ontario, Anglican parish loses a court challenge

A breakaway group of Anglican parishioners in Windsor has been dealt another blow by the courts in the battle over ownership of a Wyandotte Street East church.

The Ontario Court of Appeal has dismissed the case involving a group of about 100 parishioners of St. Aidan’s church who broke away from the Anglican Church of Canada in 2008. A lower court ruled in 2011 that the church assets belong to the diocese of Huron, not the parishioners who amassed them.

The parishioners appealed the decision, and earlier this month had their appeal dismissed. The Ontario Court of Appeal worsened the blow, ruling the parishioners must pay $100,000 toward the diocese’s court costs in the lower court, as well as the diocese’s appeal costs which have yet to be determined.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, Theology

Navy Yard Shooting Prayers Take Place At Washington National Cathedral

Saying in a statement that church members reacted with “shock and sadness” to the violence, the church’s dean, the Rev. Gary Hall, said, “we mourn for those who have died, and we continue to grieve the persistence of gun violence in our nation.” He added that the cathedral “will hold the victims, first responders, and the Navy community in prayer, while also making the cathedral’s space and its ministries available today to all who seek consolation and refuge from this loss.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Episcopal Church (TEC), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, TEC Parishes, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(Arizona Republic) 3 churches in Tempe, Arizona, pledge their support for same-sex unions

Rachel Knowles is getting married next month.

It’s the final stretch before the Phoenix resident’s big day. Knowles and her fiancee, Rebecca Reeder, met with the photographer on Friday. The flowers will be peach and cream roses to match their wedding colors. The music will be a mix of ’80s hits….

The wedding will be a first for the Rev. Doug Bland of Community Christian Church in Tempe. He has never officiated a ceremony for a same-sex couple.

“They’ve chosen to call it a wedding even though it’s not in the eyes of the state,” Bland said. “They want to use the language of wedding rather than a union ceremony because … their relationship is a public commitment to each other.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, TEC Parishes, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(LA Times) St. James Anglican congregation moves out after court ruling

Parishioners from St. James Anglican Church in Newport Beach wiped tears from their eyes as they left the church after its final service, leaving a house of worship filled with memories.

Jim Dale, 63, said he had been attending church at St. James since he was a boy.

“Being in there today, all the memories came flooding back,” he said after services Sunday. “There are so many memories: my Communion, meeting my wife, marrying my wife.

“It all happened here,” he added.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles, TEC Departing Parishes, Theology

(OC Register) St. James' Anglicans bid farewell to special worship space of generations

About 80 people Sunday attended the last Mass that will be celebrated at St. James Anglican Church. It was a bittersweet service that brought some parishioners to tears.

The Anglican parish, which has been feuding with its parent affiliation for nearly a decade, was ordered by an Orange County Superior Court judge in May to surrender the property to the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.

“We’re obviously disappointed,” the Rev. Richard Crocker said….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles, TEC Departing Parishes, Theology

(Living Church) Andrew Petiprin reviews Samuel Wells Two recent Books

In 2012 Samuel Wells left his position as dean of Duke University Chapel and research professor of Christian ethics at Duke Divinity School to return to England, where he is now vicar of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London. After seven years in the American academy and the Episcopal Church, Wells developed a unique insider-outsider perspective from which those he leaves behind have much to learn. As parting gifts he offers two books with wide-ranging interest for American readers: What Episcopalians Believe and Learning to Dream Again.

What Episcopalians Believe, the American companion to Wells’s What Anglicans Believe, begins in a defiantly prudent place. Amid all of the controversy in the Episcopal Church, Wells “is not arguing that we live in especially momentous times” (p. xii). What interests Wells in this introductory work is not primarily to analyze positions on women’s ordination or same-sex blessings, but to understand and celebrate what God has done for the world in Jesus Christ.

Read it all.

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

(NBC) Some College graduates embrace Nannying as career

When American University graduate Elyse Barletta, 27, was looking for a full-time nannying position recently in Charlotte, N.C., three families wanted to hire her””all were impressed by her college education.

“They wanted someone who could help with their children’s homework,” said Barletta, a history major who made the dean’s list and is proficient in French.

Experts say young women like Barletta make up a fast-growing segment of the nanny industry: College graduates who could go into law, medicine or other fields but are choosing to become career nannies, sometimes because they struggled to find jobs in their desired professions. These highly credentialed child-minders are being greeted with open arms into middle-class and upper-class families who want to give their kids an edge in an increasingly competitive world.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Economy, Education, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, Young Adults

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Hildegard of Bingen

O God, by whose grace thy servant Hildegard, enkindled with the fire of thy love, became a burning and shining light in thy Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and may ever walk before thee as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee, in the unity of 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 knowest us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright; Grant to us such strength and protection, as may support us in all dangers, and carry us through all temptations; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–The Pastor’s Prayerbook

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

For consider your call, brethren; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth; but God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption; therefore, as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord.”

–1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Washington Post) At least 13 dead in Navy Yard shooting

At least 13 people are dead and several others were wounded after a gunman opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, police said, spreading fear and chaos across the region as authorities sought to contain the panic.

The incident, in which the death toll rose almost hourly, represents the single worst loss of life in the District since an airliner plunged into the Potomac River in 1982, killing 78.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier and Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced the mounting number of casualties in a series of news conferences. The suspected shooter, identified by the FBI as Aaron Alexis, 34, living in Fort Worth, is among the 13 dead. Alexis was a military contractor, one official said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(CC) Steve Thorngate–Revise us again: Should churches alter worship texts?

How many churches print or project copyrighted texts with unauthorized changes? I was curious, so I did a quick survey via social media. Though it was hardly a scientific sampling process, I did hear from about 200 (anonymous) pastors and worship planners. While only 8 percent of them say they alter texts every week, 57 percent do so at least a few times a year. They do this for lots of reasons, but the biggest issues are gendered language (81 percent of those who change words at all) and other theological objections (65 percent).

Notably, only 6 percent of respondents cop to printing or projecting copyrighted texts without holding any kind of license. But 24 percent admit that if a given piece isn’t covered by whatever licenses they have, they include it anyway. And even among the majority who only print the licensed stuff, 53 percent regularly change the words.

Of course, there’s little excuse for skipping the license when the publishers have made it so reasonable: one stop, no fuss, a fair price. Getting permission to change a text is less simple, making it that much more tempting to just skip that step.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Art, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Music, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology

(ABC Aus.) Samuel Tadros–The Coptic Church in peril: The Islamization of Egypt and the end of Egypt

Indisputably, there is today a Coptic nation. But it is not a nation that seeks to achieve independence and statehood. That nation is neither racial nor, after the loss of the Coptic language, is it based on a distinct language or on purely religious lines. Instead, it is a nation that is founded on the unique history of a church. It is a nation, as S.S. Hassan described it, whose topography is invisible. The nature of the dangers facing that nation have varied throughout its history from assimilation in an imagined liberal Egypt, to the erosion of Coptic uniqueness, the threat of Protestant missionaries and of modernity and its discontents.

Today, this nation faces a more serious threat. It can fight back against persecution, although overwhelming odds lined up against it assure its defeat. It can accept dhimmitude and live as second-class citizens, or it can withdraw inside the walls of its ancient church finding comfort within those walls.

The prospects for Copts in Egypt are, to say the least, bleak. Unlike the Jewish emigrants escaping Egypt in the 1940s and 50s, for Copts driven out of their ancestral homeland there is no Israel to escape to. Nor does their overall percentage in Egypt allow them to play a key role in shaping its future. The only option in front of them is to pack their bags and leave, putting an end to two thousand years of Christianity in Egypt.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Coptic Church, Egypt, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Violence

(NY Times Beliefs) Selling High Holy Days Tickets Is a Dilemma for Synagogues

Let’s say that your religion considers one day a year to be especially holy. On that day, people complete a 10-day period of self-examination and making amends. Meanwhile, God decides what is in store for the coming year. Members of the community ”” even many who rarely attend services ”” gather to chant special prayers.

ow imagine that, to be there on that day, you have to pay hundreds of dollars.

That is the situation faced by millions of American Jews every Yom Kippur. At most synagogues, to attend services on that holiday, which this year ends Saturday night, one must have paid annual dues or have bought special tickets. The fees also cover tickets for Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, which was last week.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Judaism, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture