Monthly Archives: October 2013

(FT) Paolo Scaroni–Russia and shale can solve Europe’s energy problem

So what can we do about this? One idea would be to look for ”“ and then exploit ”“ shale gas in Europe. We may have quite a lot of it ”“ for instance in France, Germany and the UK. But to produce it we need a public consensus ”“ and there is still a lot of opposition in western Europe. Of course, the opposition is understandable ”“ fracking is loud and invasive, and the continent is densely populated. But if Europe is serious about creating wealth and jobs, it is an option worth exploring.

The country that is furthest along the road to consensus-building is the UK, which can count on political will, tax incentives and even a blessing from the Archbishop of Canterbury. If it does manage to create a healthy shale gas industry, it could pave the way for continental Europe to follow.

Other potential components of the solution for Europe are nuclear power, energy efficiency, better use of conventional hydrocarbons ”“ in short, anything that can make energy cheaper and more readily available.

Read it all (if necessary another link Read it all.)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Theology

Diane Medved–Divorce is Good and Other Myths

The books just keep coming: Collaborative Divorce,Happy Divorce,The Good Karma Divorce, The Creative Divorce. Reading the articles and books, you might get the idea that The Good Divorce is a sacrament, not a disaster…

[So why are they wrong?]

Heartache, financial loss and time detangling bring irreparable setbacks. Lots of spouses get dumped. Eighty percent of U.S. divorces “are unilateral, rather than truly mutual decisions,” notes researcher Maggie Gallagher. Still, healthy people can wade through the hurt and make the best of the situation.

That doesn’t ameliorate the damage. Children, who never have a say in their parents’ parting, become collateral damage and dismissed with the dubious phrase “kids are resilient.” Judith Wallerstein, whose landmark 25-year study of divorced families convinced her of its ongoing harm, found that “many of these . . . children forfeited their own childhoods as they took responsibility for themselves, their troubled, overworked parents; and their siblings.” The trauma peaks in adulthood, she cautions, undermining love, sexual intimacy and commitment.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology

Archbishop Justin Welby's sermon this week at the Cathedral in Hon Kong–We must be a repentant chur

…the first thing that God’s people are meant to be, day to day, week to week, month to month, year to year, is we are meant to be a people who know our own failure, and who come to God with nothing in our hands, with no strength of our own, simply seeking his forgiveness, admitting our weakness. One of the great failures of the church in European history is that too often it is taken in by the appearance of strength and forgets its need of God. Over recent years we’ve done that over issues of the abuse of children in Europe. We’ve failed to say where we’ve gone wrong. We are to be a repentant church.

It is very easy to be confident in your own resources. When I was at university, which was sadly a very long time ago, two friends and I decided to walk across Scotland. It was about 230 miles, so it took about two weeks. We were good walkers but bad map readers. So we probably did 300 miles because we kept going one way and having to come back another. And on one occasion we were walking in western Scotland, and we came to a valley that split into two bits, and after a little while we realised that the valley we’d taken after about four miles ended in a cliff, and the other one had the main road. So we went back, and as we were going back we met some other people coming along the same bad route. And so being nice people we said to them, ”˜This is the wrong way, there’s just a cliff at the end.’ And they said, ”˜No there isn’t. We know this is the right way.’ So we smiled politely and we went on, and when we got back to where we should have gone from, we sat down and made a cup of tea and waited for them to appear, looking embarrassed.

Repentance is when you know you’re going the wrong way and, rather than going on, you turn round and go back and take the way that God has shown you. We are to be a repentant church. That is part of the culture of Christian faith.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

New Jersey author’s latest book confronts Episcopal Church's challenging past

Millburn Township resident T. Felder Dorn will present his latest book, “Challenges on the Emmaus Road: Episcopal Bishops Confront Slavery, Civil War, and Emancipation,” Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m., at the Millburn Free Public Library, 200 Glen Ave….

Dorn, who grew up as a Southern Baptist in South Carolina, converted to the Episcopalian faith soon after he landed his first faculty position at Sewanee: The University of the South, an institution of the Episcopal Church, located in Tennessee. “Challenges on the Emmaus Road” covers the period between 1840 and 1875 as it examines the words and actions of Episcopal bishops of that era, first concerning slavery, and then concerning the events and issues spawned by that institution. The responses to these events and issues by both Southern and Northern bishops are discussed.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Books, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, TEC Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(ACNS) Church in Southern Africa challenged to care for the environment

The Anglican Church in Southern Africa has called on all Churches on the continent to get involved in the care for creation through worship, local church action and advocacy.

The Environmental Co-ordinator for the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA), the Revd Dr Rachel Mash made the call in a statement to ACNS yesterday.

“This can start with a simple energy and water audit to establish the extent of a parish environmental foot-print,” she said. “A congregation can also commit to celebrating Season of Creation, or World Environment Day among many other environmental events.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

(Daily Post) Retired Nigerian Bishop Peter Adebiyi: Our leaders are 95% of our problems

The Bishop of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Lagos-West Diocese, Rt. Rev. Peter Adebiyi (retd.) has condemned the plan by President Goodluck Jonathan to send the outcome of the proposed national conference to the National Assembly.

Adebiyi, who stated this while speaking on the state of the nation in Lagos, Tuesday said the federal lawmakers were not capable of addressing the many problems currently confronting the nation.

According to him, those who caused Nigeria’s problems should not be allowed to be part of those finding solution to the problems.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Ethics / Moral Theology, Nigeria, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Church of England) Pilling Commission on human sexuality

Statement from William Fittall, Secretary General of the General Synod and Archbishops’ Council, placing recent media and blog speculation in context:

“At last Friday’s Synod press conference a national journalist asked me to confirm the now widely held story that the Pilling Group on human sexuality had been scrapped. I said that, on the contrary, the Group was still meeting and was due to complete its report in time for the House of Bishops to consider it at its meeting in December.

“Then on Monday a clergyman posted a blog saying: “I have now confirmed from a number of sources what the Pilling Report is going to recommend. The final draft is ready and it will propose that the Church of England introduce some form of liturgy that will bless same-sex relationships. There is absolutely no doubt that this is what the outcome of the committee’s deliberations will be – This is not spin, it is not trying to influence the outcome, it is the real deal.” Our Communications Office responded to this by saying that, on the contrary, “the final draft of the Pilling report has not yet been completed or signed off.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Media, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(USA Today) Married Cancer Patients Are More Likely to Survive

Scientists say they may have found the key to surviving cancer: marriage.

Married people with cancer were 20% less likely to die from their disease, compared to people who are separated, divorced, widowed or never married, according to study published online Monday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Married people in the study fared better than singles no matter what type of cancer. In certain types of tumors ”” prostate, breast, colorectal, esophageal and head/neck cancers ”” the survival benefits of marriage were larger than those from chemotherapy.

“Improving social support for our patients may be equally important as providing effective therapy, and it is less costly to develop and implement,” said senior author Paul Nguyen, a radiation oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, in a statement.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Theology

(Wash. Post) NSA infiltrates links to Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say

The National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world, according to documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and interviews with knowledgeable officials.

By tapping those links, the agency has positioned itself to collect at will from hundreds of millions of user accounts, many of them belonging to Americans. The NSA does not keep everything it collects, but it keeps a lot.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Sexuality, The U.S. Government, Theology

(Boston Globe) Tested and triumphant, the Red Sox win the World Series in Game 6 at Fenway

When Red Sox starter John Lackey left the dugout alone at 7:38 p.m. to warm up for Game 6 of the World Series on Wednesday night, the fans along the first base line at Fenway Park stood and applauded. Every fan in the old ballpark was cheering as Lackey arrived in right field and he smiled, just a little. Exactly three hours later, when Lackey left the mound in the seventh inning with glory well in hand, the applause was thunderous. The Red Sox finished their improbable last-to-first journey with a 6-1 victory against the Cardinals before a crowd of 38,447. Most Valuable Player David Ortiz was walked four times, three intentionally. Shane Victorino drove in four runs and Stephen Drew homered….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

(Palm Beach Post) Frank Cerabino–Losing bet: Florida Lottery a tax on the poor

The state lottery functions as a voluntary tax with a disproportionate burden on the poor.

This is especially onerous in Florida, which is one of the most regressive tax states in the nation, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

Because Florida relies on raising money from sales tax and excise taxes on cigarettes, alcohol and gasoline instead of a progressive income tax, the poorest 20 percent of the population pay about 13.5 percent of their income in taxes, while the middle 60 percent pay 7.8 percent and the top 1 percent pay 2.6 percent, the institute found in a 2009 study.

The lottery makes that regressive tax burden even worse.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Politics in General, Poverty, State Government, Theology

(SHNS) Terry Mattingly: Military chaplains confront polarizing issues

Clearly, the nation’s two largest churches {Roman Catholic and Southern Baptist] do play crucial roles in the chaplaincy program. A mere 234 priests serve the 25 percent of all military personnel who are Catholics. The Southern Baptist Convention has more than 1,500 approved chaplains, more than any other faith group.

America’s military leaders will have to decide if doctrinally conservative chaplains will be allowed to honor their religious vows or not, said the Rev. Russell Moore, leader of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, in a forum last week.

The current trend, Moore said, is to view chaplains as “carriers of the American civil religion, in a way that seeks to counsel and to do some religious duties but not to actually be Roman Catholics or Evangelicals or Latter-day Saints or Muslims or what have you. I think that is troubling. … I believe in religious pluralism in the public square where everyone comes as he or she is into the public square for more dialogue and not less.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Military / Armed Forces, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Holy Father, to whom we draw near with boldness through our Lord Jesus Christ: Look, we beseech thee, on his merits and not on our unworthiness; and grant that our prayers, being asked in his name, may be accepted for his sake; to whom with thee and the Holy Spirit be all praise and glory, now and for evermore.

–Frank Colquhoun

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High; and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.

–Psalm 50:14-15

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Peter Moore and Charles Waring–Standing Together: A Call To Save The Church

Actions of General Convention and the presiding bishop have led us to conclude, along with a growing number of other parishes across the nation, that the direction of TEC is incompatible with historic Christian faith and practice. So today we face litigation that could potentially decimate our corporate life and witness. It’s hard to imagine that the body we helped form some 224 years ago would resort to the secular law courts to take all this away from us; but it’s true.

Let’s step up to this challenge together, and by God’s grace see a victory for the things we hold most dear. Ponder these facts:

We are not going against Scripture by using the secular courts. Paul himself appealed to Roman courts when the Gospel he preached was at stake.
Our team of lawyers says that this case is winnable. Recent legal wins in Texas and Illinois encourage us.
Our parish continues to grow, especially in generous giving. This year it will mean a stretch for each of us.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, - Anglican: Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, Theology