Daily Archives: November 14, 2013

(Gallup) Americans' Approval of Healthcare Law Declines

Americans’ views of the 2010 healthcare law have worsened in recent weeks, with 40% approving and 55% disapproving of it. For most of the past year, Americans have been divided on the law, usually tilting slightly toward disapproval. The now 15-percentage-point gap between disapproval and approval is the largest Gallup has measured in the past year.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General

(FT) Boeing work to head south after union vote

Among the potential sites for the work are the South Carolina plant opened in 2011 where Boeing assembles some 787s, as well as plants in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Huntsville, Alabama. All of those sites are in “right to work” states with weak union rights and are currently unionised.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

Bishop Richard Chartres–In the beginning was communication

Last Saturday was All Souls’ Day. After a bare mention on Twitter, 1500 names and tributes were sent to St Paul’s and put into a Book of Remembrance which was presented at the altar during the liturgy. As we all know Twitter shares soared when they were floated on the Stock Market during the week and clearly investors believe that we are only just at the beginning of the evolution of the Twitter-sphere.

It is obvious to the most technically maladroit Christian that the church porch is now located on the web. Yet too often we have found it hard to re-locate resources and re-design the training of those in ministry to recognise the fact. Much of the time ministers are still being trained in methods which would have been familiar to the church in Jacobean England. Your important conference is doing something to redress the deficit.

It is of course true that lives are most profoundly transformed spiritually not so much by more information as by relationships.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

(CC) Molly Worthen–Billy Graham and the fracture of American evangelicalism

[Billy] Graham was hardly the first evangelist to cast himself as an ecumenically minded apostle. But his role as “America’s pastor” had unique power in a time when Christians of all stripes battled over God’s desires for their country. The neo-evangelical movement gave fellow believers a mirror in which to reflect on their own traditions. If Graham has been the symbol of evangelical unity, he is also part of the reason why today’s evangelicalism is more fragmented than ever.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Religion & Culture

(CT) Ken Walker–Foreclosures are slowing””except for congregations

Hundreds of congregations have filed for bankruptcy or defaulted on loans. University of Illinois law professor Pamela Foohey, who tracks church bankruptcies, says more than 500 congregations filed Chapter 11 between 2006 and 2011””and the pace hasn’t slowed since. About 90 congregations filed for bankruptcy in 2012, even as the overall rate of bankruptcy filings declined 13.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the church bond market, once a refuge for cautious investors, is now a black hole, says Rusty Leonard, CEO of Stewardship Partners, a Christian investment management firm.

Before the 2008 economic crash, church bonds had strong investment appeal due to a decades-long safety record. Now, “the market has disappeared,” said Leonard. “The options for a new church trying to build a building are significantly reduced. We’ll see fewer buildings.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, The Banking System/Sector

Andrew Purves Installed as Jean and Nancy Davis Professor of Historical Theology

A native of Edinburgh, Scotland, Purves received degrees in philosophy and divinity from the University of Edinburgh, and a Th.M. from Duke Divinity School. His Ph.D. is from the University of Edinburgh. Purves came to the US in 1978 and was ordained by Philadelphia Presbytery. He served as minister of the Hebron Presbyterian Church, Clinton, Pa., until 1983, when he was called to join the faculty of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Purves has a long list of publications, both books and articles, academic and popular. His books include The Search for Compassion: Spirituality and Ministry, Union in Christ (with Mark Achtemeier), A Passion for the Gospel (with Achtemeier), Encountering God: Christian Faith in Turbulent Times (with Charles Partee), Pastoral Theology in the Classical Tradition, Reconstructing Pastoral Theology: A Christological Foundation, The Crucifixion of Ministry, and The Resurrection of Ministry.

The Jean and Nancy Davis Chair of Historical Theology was established at Pittsburgh Seminary in 2013.

Read it all from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and make sure to see who founded the chair–a great story.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Parish Ministry, Seminary / Theological Education, Stewardship, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Samuel Seabury

Eternal God, who didst bless thy servant Samuel Seabury with the gift of perseverance to renew the Anglican inheritance in North America; Grant that, joined together in unity with our bishops and nourished by thy holy Sacraments, we may proclaim the Gospel of redemption with apostolic zeal; through Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Spirituality/Prayer, TEC Bishops

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Heavenly Father, the Father of all wisdom, understanding, and true strength: We beseech thee look mercifully upon thy servants, and send thy Holy Spirit into their hearts, that when they must join to fight in the field for the glory of thy holy name, then they, strengthened with the defence of thy right hand, may manfully stand in the confession of thy faith, and continue in the same unto their lives’ end; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Nicholas Ridley (c.1500-1555)

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the LORD delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. Evil shall slay the wicked; and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

–Psalm 34:17-22

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(CSM) As Nigeria battles Islamist Boko Haram, an imam and pastor spread tolerance

Here in Africa’s most populous country, where an insurgency by the brutal Islamist group Boko Haram has killed hundreds of people in recent months, it is easy to despair over sectarian strife between Muslims and Christians ”“ and between Muslims.

Yes, easy to despair, were it not for the remarkable example set by an imam and pastor in Nigeria, an oil-producing country on the West African coast whose population is evenly split between Muslims and Christians. The two men are former militia leaders whose forces directly fought each other, yet they reconciled after each was moved by a sermon on forgiveness ”“ one preached in a mosque, and one in a church. They have been spreading the practice of tolerance and reconciliation for nearly two decades since forming the Interfaith Mediation Center here in Kaduna, in northern Nigeria, where I train staff in dialogue techniques that bridge divides of ethnicity and religion.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Violence

(Ahram Online) Egyptian Copts 'Scream' against discrimination

As the drafting committee entrusted with creating Egypt’s new constitution, which is to be put to a national referendum next month, races against time to conclude its final product, concern runs high in most rights quarters about what the expected bill would bear for civil, political and other liberties.

Despite the active engagement of the Coptic church in the committee, representing the vast majority of Egyptian Christians, serious concerns remain in numerous Coptic quarters about the new bill’s ability to attend to the grave citizenship issues that have plagued them in past decades ”“ not least of which those added during the Muslim Brotherhood’s one-year rule and its now suspended 2013 constitution, on whose drafting committee the liberal forces and representatives of the Coptic church had walked out.

“We are concerned, and for a very simple reason: in its entirety, the text of the proposed constitution ”“ as we have been able to figure out depending on the access we have to the committee’s work ”“ is not at all successful in eliminating the key causes for compromised citizenship rights that Copts, and Christians in general, have been facing,” said Coptic activist Marceiliano Youssef, a member of the Maspero Youth Union and the Egyptian Centre for Human Rights.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Coptic Church, Egypt, Ethics / Moral Theology, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology, Violence

Fantastic Heart Warming Story–Hundreds go to Funeral to Say Adieu to WWII Veteran They Didn't Know

Harold Jellicoe Percival died aged 99 without close friends or relatives at hand at a nursing home, where staff worried no one would be at his funeral to mark his passing.

But after a public appeal in The Gazette and on social networks for the Second World War veteran, roads were blocked with traffic and the crematorium unable to hold the numbers of mourners at his funeral, poignantly beginning at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

As millions marked Armistice Day across the world, members of the public, old soldiers and serving servicemen and women, stood in silence for the arrival of Mr Percival’s funeral cortege at the crematorium in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, in keeping with the Ode of Remembrance, “We will remember them”.

Read it all from the Blackpool Gazette (and the video is very moving).

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, History, Military / Armed Forces, Parish Ministry

"Anarchy is imminent" Anglican bishop of Enugu North warns Nigeria

Bishop of Enugu North Diocese, Anglican Communion, Rt Rev Sosthenes Eze has warned that Nigeria may be thrown into anarchy leading to disintegration if nothing is done now to stem the many crises the country is facing.

Bishop Eze who gave this warning yesterday during the first session of the Second Synod of the Diocese which held at St. Luke’sAnglican Church, Okpatu, Enugu North decried the awkward state of the nation.

He said that unless Christians and indeed all Nigerians turn to seek the face of God, the nation would surely slide into anarchy that would tear it apart.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

Archbishop Wabukala's Full Text from November 12th–In Defense of GAFCON

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates