Daily Archives: December 1, 2013

(Vancouver Sun) TEC priest Melissa Skelton elected bishop of Vancouver-area Anglican diocese

The female American priest chosen as the new bishop for the Vancouver-area Anglican diocese says she attracts people to her church who have been “wounded” by other Christian traditions.

Rev. Melissa Skelton, who leads St. Paul’s Episcopal parish in Seattle, Washington, was elected a bishop in Canada on the third ballot at a vote held Saturday at Christ Church Anglican Cathedral in downtown Vancouver.

Skelton will replace retired Anglican bishop Michael Ingham, who was at the centre of a storm within the 60-million-member worldwide Anglican communion when he became the first Anglican bishop to formally support the blessing of same-sex couples.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

([London] Times) Drug wars in Mexico fuel exorcism craze

Mexico’s deadly drugs war is not just a question of supply and demand but a symptom of the rise of Satan, according to some Catholic leaders. With the death toll at about 80,000 and counting, the number of exorcisms is rising.

Father Carlos Triana, an exorcist in Mexico City, said: “We believe that behind all these big and structural evils there is a dark agent and his name is The Demon. As much as we believe that the Devil was behind Adolf Hitler, possessing and directing him, we also believe that he [the Devil] is here behind the drug cartels.”

Exorcisms and spiritual cleansings are common in Mexico, a superstitious country where Catholicism overlaid the religious beliefs of its indigenous inhabitants, including the Aztecs.

Read it all (subscription required).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Mexico, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Police/Fire, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theodicy, Theology

(LA Times) Roman Catholic renovation of Crystal Cathedral to begin

The former Crystal Cathedral will close to the public as it undergoes a transformation from a space built as a television studio as much as a sanctuary into the spiritual home for the Orange County Catholic community of more than 1.2 million people.

Beginning Sunday, the newly named Christ Cathedral will be closed for construction as crews launch a $29 million effort to restore the more than 75,000-square-foot space.

The Diocese of Orange has been working with liturgical consultants and architects to modify the church built in the vision of the Rev. Robert Schuller into one that meets the requirements of a Catholic cathedral.

“The beauty and inspiration evoked by the cathedral grounds and its architecture are only surpassed by the extraordinary communities of faith that now call this campus home,” Bishop Kevin Vann said in a statement. “The cathedral will be an international center of faith and evangelization, a vessel for the love of God, a beacon of faith, a home for neighbor and traveler, and a sanctuary for the human spirit.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic

No. 10 Gamecocks beat No. 6 Clemson, 31-17, extend South Carolina rivalry winning streak to 5 games

No. 10 South Carolina beat No. 6 Clemson, 31-17, before a crowd of 84,174 at Williams-Brice Stadium. The Gamecocks forced six turnovers, including three from Boyd in the fourth quarter. After Boyd’s fumble, he threw two interceptions.

USC (10-2) won its fifth straight game over Clemson for the first time in the rivalry’s 111-game history. It’s the furthest one team has extended a streak since 1940, when Clemson (10-2) won its seventh straight.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Education, Sports, Young Adults

Elderly woman punched to the ground in New York is city's 10th victim of sickening 'knock out' craze

A 76-year-old woman who was knocked to the ground by a stranger yesterday is thought to be the latest victim in a dangerous ‘knock out’ game in New York.

Yvonne Small was walking through Brooklyn at about 11.30am when an unidentified person punched her in the back of the head.

Ms Small, who was knocked to the ground in the unprovoked attack, is believed to the the tenth victim in a sick craze.

Read it all from the Daily Mail.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Aging / the Elderly, Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence, Young Adults

Melbourne’s St Paul’s Cathedral to hold Ecumenical service on World AIDS Day

Andreas Leowe, the Dean of Anglican cathedral, will deliver the morning sermon and he spoke to the Star Observer about why they felt it was an important event to host.

“Anglicans live with HIV. That’s the most basic reason, and Anglicans also do a lot of work with overseas HIV communities,” said Leowe, describing work the church does in the Solomon Islands and Kenya.

“There’s a fortunate combination this year in that World AIDS Day falls on a Sunday, which helps us put on a much larger celebration than we usually do,” he added.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Globalization, Health & Medicine

NZ Anglican same sex marriage decision 'independent' of the Pilling Report

The Anglican Church in New Zealand says its decision on whether to bless same-sex marriages is unlikely to be affected by a Church of England report.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty and everlasting God, who orderest all things in heaven and on earth: We give thee thanks and praise that thou didst make all ages a preparation for the coming of thy Son, our blessed Redeemer. Prepare us for the coming of him whom thou dost send, and grant that of his fullness we may all receive; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Advent, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

But, since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we wake or sleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

–1 Thessalonians 5:8-11

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

What A Stunning end to the Auburn-Alabam Football game

I am still sitting here trying to recover.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

(Charisma) Diana Anderson–5 Reasons You Should Take a Hike

…in this article, I want us to suspend the popular perception of this acerbic idiom and replace it with a sunnier interpretation. I want us to consider how something as simple and carefree as a half-hour trek through nature can reap tremendous benefits for body, mind and soul.

This positive spin on a negative phrase carries encouraging news, especially for those who sometimes shudder at the thought of a fast-paced kickboxing class at 6 a.m. after a sleepless night with a sick child, or who just can’t seem to motivate themselves to hit the weights in a packed and noisy gym after a stressful day at the office. With just a little bit of time and a trusty pair of tennis shoes, we can literally walk our bad moods, bad habits and worries all away!

Today, I’m advising you””lovingly””to take a hike, and here are my top five reasons why….

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Health & Medicine, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology

The Church of England Evangelical Council responds to the Pilling Report

We are concerned that the media is already focussing on the proposal in recommendations 16 and 17 for permitting public services “to mark the formation of a permanent same sex relationship”, including potentially same-sex civil marriages. The CEEC’s St Matthias Day Statement of 2012, which we submitted in evidence to the Pilling Group, sets out clearly why we believe this would mark a departure from biblical truth and Anglican teaching. It concludes by stating that “Redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships or affirming or blessing sexual activity outside marriage is contrary to God’s word. When a church does either of these things it therefore becomes difficult to recognise it as part of the visible Church of Christ”. The fact that such recommendations can be made is, we believe, a surface sign that there are deeper and more serious flaws in the report as a whole.

It is clear that the Church of England is going to face difficult discussions and decisions about human sexuality in the coming year. We look to our bishops, individually and corporately, to be faithful to Scripture, to continue upholding the practice of the Anglican Communion as set out in Lambeth I.10, and to encourage all their clergy and people to do the same.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

Changing Attitude’s initial reaction to the Pilling Report

In our submission to the Review Group we said the need for a radical change in Christian attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGB&T) people is now urgent. We asked whether the members of the review group are going to advocate that the Church of England recognises the reality of the presence of LGB&T people in the Church or whether they are going to maintain the present culture of secrecy, denial of reality, suppression of identity and the unhealthy attitudes in which many LGB&T Christians remain trapped.

This report does not herald radical change and does not therefore fulfil the expectations of Changing Attitude. There are no practical proposals which will begin to dismantle the present culture of secrecy, denial of reality, suppression of identity and the maintenance of unhealthy attitudes. The group has met people and listened and the unhealthy attitudes remain unchanged as the report demonstrates….

Changing Attitude is disappointed that the Report deals so superficially with transgender (198) and intersex people (197) despite having received a submission from the Sibyls. Changing Attitude England and other LGB&T Christian organizations also identified the need to address transgender and intersex experience and expectations in our submissions. The reality of transgender and intersex experience is directly relevant to the question asked in paragraphs 195/6 ”“ are human beings sexually dimorphic, and in paragraphs 199/200 ”“ is sexual attraction fixed and immutable.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

Janet Henderson is (Initially at least) Disappointed with the Pilling Report

My first reaction to seeing the Pilling Report was disbelief that in the twenty first century any church could put out a report on human sexuality written by a group that appears to have consisted of 8 men and 2 women and expect it to be taken as a serious contribution to the subject….

The notion that marriage is the only way that sexually active people express themselves is surely just one of many strands in the Judaeo-Christian tradition, aimed at the ability to control knowledge of the paternity of children. Its predominance has come about in cultural settings and for cultural reasons that do not always have a great deal to do with faith or with the teachings of Jesus or interpretation of the whole spectrum of biblical, rabbinic and apocryphal texts.

The report, then, is interesting for two reasons. It is the first time that such a report by a Church of England working party contains an open acknowledgement that, where there is a massive shift in social perception such that a practice or set of practices that were previously not acceptable have come to be seen not only as acceptable, but as desirable, then this can leave the church with a problem if it does not listen and engage.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(First Things First Thoughts Blog) Collin Garbarino–Flunking Mark Driscoll for Plagiarism

I’m a university professor. I have no tolerance for this kind of nonsense. I’ve failed students for less flagrant plagiarism. So, it’s my duty, as a member of my professing profession, to give Driscoll an “F.”

Mark Driscoll, you have failed.

I’ve dealt with a number of plagiarists, and it seems to me that plagiarism stems from two issues. I’ll let you decide which problem Driscoll suffers from, because there obviously is a problem.

1. Laziness. Writing is hard work, so some writers don’t want to do it right. Laziness also leads to procrastination. Getting behind schedule causes writers to cut corners and plagiarize.

2. Ignorance. I don’t mean ignorance of the conventions of proper citation. Everyone knows not to steal other people’s words. I mean ignorance of the topic.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Books, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology

(WSJ) On Black Friday, the Real Fight Was Online

In the early predawn hours of Thanksgiving, Jason Goldberger huddled with his team on the 20th floor of a Target Corp. building in Minneapolis to make sure everything was ready at the chain’s most important store: Target.com.

The stakes were high. Online shoppers accounted for 40% of the $59 billion in sales racked up over the four-day Black Friday weekend last year, up from 23% in 2006, according to the National Retail Federation. Store traffic this year has been sluggish

Mr. Goldberger, who runs Target’s website and mobile business, arrived at 2 a.m., His staff split into two conference rooms. One held a technology team responsible for the workings of the site. The other had people comparing Target’s deals with offers from Amazon.com and Walmart.com.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Media, Psychology, Science & Technology