Daily Archives: February 6, 2014

More from Today's Bible Readings

Thou who hast made me see many sore troubles wilt revive me again; from the depths of the earth thou wilt bring me up again. Thou wilt increase my honor, and comfort me again. I will also praise thee with the harp for thy faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praises to thee with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.

–Psalm 71:20-22

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Great Opportunity–Baroness Caroline Cox Speaks in Charleston S.C. Tomorrow Night

Come hear Baroness Cox live on Friday, February 7
7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Thy Kingdom Come – A Call to Action
Charleston Music Hall – 37 John Street

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Globalization, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(Boston Globe) John Allen–UN report on Vatican and sex abuse may hurt reform cause

There’s a strong possibility the fusillade from the UN panel may backfire, however, by blurring the cause of child protection with the culture wars over sexual mores.

In several sections of its report, the committee joins its critique on abuse with blunt advice to Rome to jettison Church teaching on matters such as abortion, same-sex marriage, and contraception. At one stage the panel even recommends repealing a codicil of Church law that imposes automatic excommunication for participating in an abortion.

Not only are those bits of advice deeply unlikely to be adopted, they may actually strengthen the hand of those still in denial in the Church on the abuse scandals by allowing them to style the UN report as all-too-familiar secular criticism driven by politics.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sexuality, Theology, Violence

(Her.meneutics) Dorothy Greco–Toxic Leaders in Our Ranks

While I doubt that pastors and leaders intentionally hang up the phone on individuals who disagree with them or lack power and influence, that’s often what the experience feels like. True diversity”“of race, gender, education, and economic means”“distributes power and creates a more balanced system. A church that invites a diverse group of individuals to govern it and then affirms their voices prevents toxic leaders from gaining inordinate power in the first place.

If you are part of a leadership team, look around the room and ask the simple question, “Who’s missing?” Are the diverse voices of the Body of Christ truly represented by your team? In addition to the “visible” minorities, have you made space for the single parent, the disabled, the elderly, or other folks who are often pushed to the margins?

When a leader or organization begins to exhibit symptoms of toxicity, our voices can serve as a powerful antibiotic. Silence often empowers toxic leaders. (This is not to imply that any abuse of power is the fault of the victim or that speaking up will necessarily go well. It often goes so poorly we may regret that we didn’t simply keep quiet.) By raising thoughtful questions”“What would be the long-term impact of that change be on our congregation?”“and sharing concerns”“I don’t think those expectations are realistic”“parishioners and co-leaders eliminate the possibility of silence being interpreted as agreement.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

(NBC) How an American Speed Skater’s Family Was Given a Trip to Sochi to see her compete

An American family was able to live out their Olympic dream thanks to the generosity of their community.

Watch it all–heartwarming stuff.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Children, Europe, Globalization, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Rural/Town Life, Russia, Sports, Stewardship

(The Onion) Distant Planet Terrified It Might Be Able To Someday Support Human Life

Claiming that the mere thought is an “absolute nightmare,” WR 67c, a terrestrial planet from the distant Gamma Velorum star system, expressed its profound terror Wednesday at the possibility of one day gaining the capacity to sustain human life.

The 5.2-billion-year-old celestial body, which is located roughly 1,100 light years from Earth, said that for both its own sake and that of its entire solar system, it can only hope to never possess the necessary planetary characteristics and chemical elements needed to support either a deep-space human outpost or, more gravely, an entire human colony.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Humor / Trivia, Science & Technology

(Yorkshire Post) How a Russian speaking government spy became the new Bishop of Leeds

It was the 1980s, the Cold War was at its height, the Russians were the enemy, and even today Nick cannot talk about the work he did during his four years at Government Communication Headquarters, except to say that it involved his skills as a Russian linguist.

Move forward three decades and that very same Nick Baines is now in a different job. He is in fact the Right Reverend Nicholas Baines, who this week has been announced as the new Bishop of Leeds and put in charge of the newest and biggest diocese in the whole of England. You have to admit, it’s quite the change.

As to how it happened, well that’s a big question.

Bishop Nick, as he is now known, was an active church member but it was his experience of GCHQ that made him question the world more deeply.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Europe, Russia

([London] Times) Pill to check for early signs of Colon Cancer from within is Cleared For Use

A gentler way to conduct one of the most uncomfortable medical examinations may soon be available after a pill containing a camera that transmits images of internal organs was cleared for use.

The technology could avoid the need for hundreds of thousands of patients to have colonoscopies.

The device, created by the Israeli company Given Images, contains a tiny, battery-powered camera to help doctors to check for early signs of colon cancer.

Read it all (subscription required).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Health & Medicine, Science & Technology

A Super Encouraging 60 Minutes piece–Jobs program benefits Fortune 500 and underprivileged youth

Don’t let all the suits and ties fool you. Almost everyone at Year Up has faced almost unimaginable hardship in getting here. Poverty, drugs, foster care, men’s and women’s shelters””you name it.

Gerald Chertavian: We are going into a professional skills course.

This all out corporate training blitz is the brainchild of Gerald Chertavian — a Wall Street veteran who believes that he’s discovered an untapped source of talent among the poorest in the country.

Gerald Chertavian: A majority of the young adults growing up in isolated poverty, in our inner cities, want opportunity, want to be challenged, want to be held to higher expectations, and are motivated to actually get a good job. They haven’t had any exposure as to how do you do that.

Read it all or watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Young Adults

(ABC Aus.) Alain de Botton–The News: Its Uses, Abuses, and How it Should be Different

Modern societies are still at the dawn of understanding what kind of news they need in order to flourish. For most of history, news was so hard to gather and expensive to deliver, its hold on our inner lives was inevitably held in check. Now there is almost nowhere on the planet we are able to go to escape from it. It is there waiting for us in the early hours when we wake up from a disturbed sleep; it follows us on board airplanes making their way between continents; it is waiting to hijack our attention during the children’s bedtime.

The hum and rush of the news has seeped into our deepest selves. What an achievement a moment of calm now is; what a minor miracle the ability to fall asleep or to talk undistracted with a friend; what monastic discipline would be required to make us turn away from the maelstrom of news and to listen for a day to nothing but the rain and our own thoughts.

We may need some help with what the news is doing to us: with the envy and the terror, with the excitement and the frustration; with all that we’ve been told and yet occasionally suspect we may be better off never having learnt. So I wrote a little manual that tries to complicate a habit that, at present, has come to seem a little too normal and harmless for our own good. In what follows, I play the role of my own interlocutor in order to make clear just why I believe this to be so urgent.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Media, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology

(AP) Multiple bombings hit central Baghdad

Read it all and pray for Iraq this morning.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Iraq, Iraq War, Middle East, Violence

A Prayer for the Feast Day of the Martyrs of Japan

O God our Father, who art the source of strength to all thy saints, and who didst bring the holy martyrs of Japan through the suffering of the cross to the joys of life eternal: Grant that we, being encouraged by their example, may hold fast the faith that we profess, even unto death; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Church History, Death / Burial / Funerals, Japan, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Look upon our lives, O Lord our God, and make them thine in Lithe power of thy Holy Spirit; that we may walk in thy way, faithfully believing thy Word, and faithfully doing thy commandments; faithfully serving thee, and faithfully serving our neighbour; to the furtherance of thy glorious kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Diocese of York

Posted in Uncategorized

From the Morning Scripture Readings

For thou, O Lord, art my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth. Upon thee I have leaned from my birth; thou art he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of thee.

–Psalm 71:5-6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Ed Stetzer) New Research: Survey Says Spiritual Maturity Comes through Intentionality

Among 1,068 Canadian adults who go to church at least once a month:

29% say they set aside time daily to pray.
22% say they pray at a set time a few times a week.
18% say they rarely or never set aside time for prayer.
55% say they pray at the spur of the moment throughout the day.

Read it all and follow the links also.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Canada, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture