Daily Archives: December 11, 2013

Economists project Charleston, S.C., area jobs and income growth in 2014

Bullish construction activity, new jobs and higher wages are expected to grow the Charleston region’s economy in 2014, mirroring – and even surpassing – projections for South Carolina as a whole.

That was the message given in the University of South Carolina’s annual economic outlook report, which was given Monday during the school’s 33rd annual Economic Outlook Conference in Columbia.

usiness school economists Douglas Woodward and Joseph Von Nessen are predicting job growth – the single best economic indicator – to increase by 1.7 percent in the Palmetto State during 2014. The two made the prediction barring major changes in the U.S. Federal Reserve’s massive economic stimulus program.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Economy

10th anniversary of the restoration of regular religious services in Berlin Celebrated

On Sunday 1 December, St George’s Anglican Church in Berlin celebrated the 10th anniversary of the restoration of regular services in central Berlin (Mitte).

The first St George’s in the city was built in 1885 under the patronage of the Crown Princess of Germany, Victoria (eldest daughter of Queen Victoria) who was married to the future Kaiser Friedrich III. It was the only Anglican Church in Germany to remain open during World War I, as the Kaiser was the Church’s Patron. It was closed in the Second World War and hit by allied bombing 24 Nov 1943 and the remains were pulled down by the East Berlin authorities. After World War II, new St George’s, a garrison Church, was built in the British sector. In 1994 the new St George’s became a civilian congregation of the Diocese.

Read it all and check out the pictures as well.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Europe, Germany, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

David Wolpe on Rabbi Shai Held's new book on Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

Held’s new book, Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Call of Transcendence, requires focused attention; it is an academic work with scores of footnotes. But it is also for the general reader who wants to know what exactly Heschel is trying to say in the sometimes repetitive maze of his beautiful utterances. What does Heschel mean when he insists, over and over again, that “God is in need of man?” What kind of reminder or awakening is Heschel proposing when he tells us, “We do not have to discover the world of faith, we only have to recover it. It is not terra incognita, an unknown land; it is a forgotten land.”

Held explains, patiently and clearly. He places Heschel’s thought against the background of other Jewish texts and thinkers from Maimonides to the Kotzker Rebbe, but also explains him in relationship to the Christian thought of his time: Merton, Underhill, Barth, Brunner, and others. How does a Jewish thinker differ from his Christian contemporaries, with whom he was close? (Heschel delivered a eulogy at the funeral of his friend, the great Christian thinker Reinhold Niebuhr).

Held’s emphasis is not on Heschel’s life but on his thought. How does he use the idea of ”˜hester panim,’ the concealment of God, to show God’s presence?

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Books, History, Judaism, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Theology

Archbishop Welby summons Big Six energy bosses to discuss price rises and their impact on the poor

The Archbishop of Canterbury has summoned the bosses of the ”˜Big Six’ energy companies to a private meeting on Wednesday to discuss fuel poverty and rising energy prices.

The meeting comes after the Most Rev Justin Welby said he understood why people felt above-inflation price rises were “inexplicable” and called on the companies to act with “generosity”.

Four of the Big Six supliers are believed to be sending their most senior UK executives, in contrast to a recent Commons select committee hearing where just one, E.On chief executive Tony Cocker, attended to face MPs.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, England / UK, Personal Finance, Poverty, Religion & Culture

(C of E) Next Bishop of Bath and Wells announced

The next Bishop of Bath and Wells has been announced. The announcement from Downing Street was made at 9am and confirms the next Bishop of Bath and Wells will be the Rt Revd Peter Hancock. His current role is Bishop of Basingstoke in the Diocese of Winchester, which he has held since September 2010.

Bishop Peter says he is “delighted” at the prospect of becoming the 79th Bishop of Bath and Wells.

Before his ordination to the episcopate, Bishop Peter served two curacies before serving as a parish priest for 13 years in the Diocese of Portsmouth. Later he became Archdeacon of the Meon – a position he held for 11 years.

Read it all.

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

(BBC) Guernsey and Anglican Church changes 'will be negotiated'

Guernsey will not be “forced” into any relationship change with the Anglican Church, the island’s Dean has said.

It follows questions raised over the relationship between Jersey and the Diocese of Winchester after a review of how an abuse complaint was handled.

Guernsey’s Anglican Dean the Very Reverend Canon Paul Mellor, said it was not clear if any changes would be made.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

Saint James Hampton Hill Celebrates its 150th Anniversary

Local dignitaries including cabinet minister and MP for Twickenham Vince Cable MP and Richmond Mayor Meena Bond came together for a special service to mark the 150th anniversary of the consecration of St James’s Church, Hampton Hill.

The service, presided over by the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, also brought together representatives from Hampton Hill Junior School and the school choir the mark the special occasion.

Read it all and enjoy the picture.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry

(UMNS) John Elford–Jesus Versus the Zombies

Rather than focusing on zombies as campy characters in B-movies, our sermon series reimagined zombies in a more symbolic way. Zombies became the bad ideas that have popped up at various misguided moments in the church’s history and, for whatever reason, can’t seem to die off. They keep coming back and, in some cases, exert a kind of stranglehold on the life of Christians and the ministry of the church.

And the way we fight off these zombies is with better ideas ”” with good, solid theology that reflects the grace of God, the compassion of Jesus and life of the Spirit.

During our six-week series, we exhumed and battled all kinds of zombies. One Sunday morning, we focused on belief. As Christians, does it matter what we believe? Most would answer in the affirmative. But are there times in the church’s life when Christian faith has become only about believing certain things to be true? Absolutely. Many de-churched folks can trace their journeys out of their congregations to the day that they stopped believing all of the fantastical things they were being asked to believe.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Christology, Methodist, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology

Former Married Anglican Priest Ordained Catholic by the Archdiocese for Military Services

Father Jerry Sherbourne, an active-duty U.S. Army Chaplain, and former Anglican priest, was ordained a Catholic priest Sunday, December 8, 2013 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Through the invocation of the Holy Spirit and the imposition of hands, Archbishop Broglio ordained him during a 10:00 a.m. Mass.

Father Sherbourne is now a Catholic priest, incardinated in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, a special Church jurisdiction established by Pope Benedict XVI for Anglicans entering full communion with the Catholic Church while maintaining distinctive elements of their theological, spiritual, and liturgical patrimony.

In preparation for his transition from Anglican to Catholic, Father Sherbourne underwent a two-year formation program approved by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Holy See, a process that included his ordination as a transitional Catholic deacon.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, Marriage & Family, Military / Armed Forces, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic

From 1937–J.R.R. Tolkien's original first page for Lord of the Rings

Fascinating–take a look.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, History, Poetry & Literature

(BBC) Six things you didn’t know about Nelson Mandela

Rolihlahla Mandela was nine years old when a teacher at the primary Methodist school where he was studying in Qunu, South Africa, gave him an English name – Nelson – in accordance with the custom to give all school children Christian names.

This was common practice in South Africa and in other parts of the continent, where a person could often be given an English name that foreigners would find easier to pronounce.

Rolihlahla is not a common name in South Africa.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, South Africa

(CT) Meet the Christian Reporter Climbing the Ladder at The New York Times

Michael Luo strolls through midtown Manhattan to a sushi lunch, musing about his latest apartment renovations and the New York Knicks. But when conversation turns to his work these days””reporting for The New York Times on loopholes in current gun laws””Luo turns serious. “My wife would much prefer it if I covered something else,” says Luo. “It has certainly led to some apprehension.” While working on a story about mental illness and guns, he had to notify his editor where he was going and when he left””similar to his reporting protocols while briefly working in The New York Times’s Baghdad bureau.

Yet it’s this kind of serious journalism that has earned Luo, 37, the George Polk Award for criminal justice reporting, the Livingston Award for Young Journalists while at the Associated Press, and a job at The New York Times, where he has worked since 2003. He has covered everything from the last two presidential campaigns to Hurricane Katrina to the war in Iraq. Most recently, Luo has zeroed in on the gun industry and the wide availability of firearms””earning him a Pulitzer Prize nomination and frequent spots on the paper’s front page.

Luo became a Christian as an undergraduate at Harvard University, and today attends Redeemer Presbyterian with his wife and daughter. He recently spoke with Paul Glader, a journalism professor at The King’s College and former staff writer at The Wall Street Journal, about his faith and his work.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Media, Religion & Culture, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord God, heavenly Father, who through thy Son hast revealed to us that heaven and earth shall pass away: We beseech thee to keep us steadfast in thy Word and in true faith; graciously guard us from all sin and preserve us amid all temptations, so that our hearts may not be overcharged with the cares of this life, but at all times in watchfulness and prayer we may await the return of thy Son and joyfully cherish the expectation of our eternal salvation; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

–United Lutheran Church, U.S.A.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Then said Jesus to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger.

–Matthew 23:1-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(C of E) The Church of England's House of Bishops meets

The House of Bishops of the Church of England met for two days in York on December 9 and December 10. This meeting was the first at which 8 women regional representatives attended the meeting as participant observers with the same rights as Provincial Episcopal Visitors.

Over its meeting the House covered a wide range of business including discussion of women in the episcopate, the Pilling report, the approval of experimental liturgy for Baptism, changes to legislative approaches on Safeguarding and discussion of the Anglican-Methodist covenant.

Read it all.

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

Charles Moore: What the Tories could learn from St Mellitus

St Mellitus College was formed in 2007 by Mellitus’s latest successor, Richard Chartres ”“ the man who preached at the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton and at the funeral of Margaret Thatcher. His diocese and that of Chelmsford got together with the famous evangelical church of Holy Trinity Brompton, which nurtured the Alpha Course and the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. They formed the first wholly non-residential theological college.

The idea ”“ which, like most “new” things, is actually extremely old ”“ is to train would-be priests in theology while at the same time making them work in parish churches. The study is academically rigorous ”“ Hebrew, Greek and all that ”“ but always balanced by ministering to actual people. It is the godly version of learning clinical medicine scientifically while also treating patients.

It is also new in combining the Anglo-Catholic wing of the Church of England with the evangelical Protestant wing. Two groups which had traditionally been at war had come to see that their differences were mostly trivial. They realised they were united in what they like to call “a generous orthodoxy”.

Read it all and their website is here

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

(Orlando Sentinel) Isaac Hunter, son of Evangelical Leader Joel Hunter, dead in apparent suicide

“We found out today that Isaac took his life,” says the email sent by Darling Murray, a coordinator at Summit Church in Orlando. “We are obviously deeply deeply devastated and saddened beyond words by this news. The tears keep coming and coming as we mourn. We are praying for his family and this congregation as we walk through this together.”

Officials of Northland, a Church Distributed, said they are still awaiting the police report on Isaac Hunter’s death, but the church confirmed his death in a statement posted on the Northland website.

“By now you may have heard that Pastor Joel and Becky’s son Isaac Hunter died today. All of us are grieving for the Hunter family, and we will deeply miss Isaac. Words cannot express the sorrow we’re feeling,” said the statement by Vernon Rainwater, a Northland pastor. “We love this family and are so grateful for the impact they have had on each of our lives. I have loved Isaac since he was a child, and I know this … Isaac loved Jesus. And we are assured of his continuing relationship with Christ now in heaven.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Death / Burial / Funerals, Evangelicals, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Suicide, Young Adults

(Washington Post) House, Senate negotiators reach budget deal

House and Senate negotiators have reached agreement on an $85 billion package to fund the government past Jan. 15, avoid another federal shutdown and end the cycle of budget crises that have dominated Washington for much of the past three years.

The deal did not include a key priority of House Democrats who wanted an extension of long-term benefits for the unemployed. But Democrats said they would continue to press Republicans on the issue in hopes of preventing more than 1 million people from losing their unemployment checks at the end of the month.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, House of Representatives, Politics in General, Senate, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

(Bloomberg) Wall Street faces more scrutiny as the era of the Volcker rule begins

Wall Street faces more intensive government scrutiny of trading after U.S. regulators issued what they billed as a strict Volcker rule today, imposing new curbs designed to prevent financial blowups while leaving many details to be worked out later.

The Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and three other agencies formally adopted the proprietary trading ban. The rule has been contested by JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and their industry allies for more than three years.

Wall Street’s lobbying efforts paid off in easing some provisions of the rule. Regulators granted a broader exemption for banks’ market-making desks, on the condition that traders aren’t paid in a way that rewards proprietary trading. The regulation also exempts some securities tied to foreign sovereign debt.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Theology

An Eleven Month FT Investigation into the scandal at the Vatican bank

On June 28 this year, Italian police arrested a silver-haired priest, Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, in Rome. The cleric, nicknamed Monsignor Cinquecento after the €500 bills he habitually carried around with him, was charged with fraud and corruption, together with a former secret service agent and a ­financial broker. All three were suspected of attempting to smuggle €20m by private plane across the border from Switzerland.

Prosecutors alleged that the priest, a former banker, was using the Institute for Religious Works ”“ the formal name for the Vatican’s bank ”“ to move money for businessmen based in the Naples region, widely regarded in Italy as a haven of organised crime. Worse still, Scarano (who, together with the other men, has denied any wrongdoing) had until only a month earlier been head of the accounting department at the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, the treasury of the Vatican.

The arrest, and the headlines that screamed across the Italian press, was the latest shock for the Holy See….

Read it all (if necessary, another link may be found there).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Globalization, Italy, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, The Banking System/Sector, Theology

(Many Horizons) Is Apologetics Dead?

The interplay between the experience of excessive phenomena and the power of distance is important. We naturally elevate presencing over distance””it’s better to know something, to gaze upon it and see it for what it is, than to be struck by the infinite distance that exists between us and particular phenomena. Western culture’s suspicion of universal claims of logic and reason has all at once created a concern for a subjective experience. We want something that strikes us personally, and I think Christianity affirms this in many ways.

The excessive phenomena, which philosopher Jean-Luc Marion calls “over-saturated phenomena”, are those things which overflow our intuition, and in their overflowing, we encounter a distance that can’t be traversed. By their nature, these phenomena demand an experience, and thus demand an openness to them. Distance is an important part of this over-saturation because it protects the divine; in a way, it does the exact opposite of what most apologetics do. Rather than formulating systems to make sense of the divine, these phenomena present to us an experience of God, while all at once protecting divine mystery. So despite the intense excessiveness of the experience, it also creates an infinite gap, which allows us to succumb to the experience, rather than ascend a ladder and intellectually confine it….So does this mean that apologetics have no place in Christianity? Absolutely not….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Apologetics, Religion & Culture, Theology