Daily Archives: February 25, 2014

Bishop Graham Kings: Life, Justice and Peace through Mission and Dialogue

..After a four year curacy in Harlesden, a multicultural and multireligious parish in North West London, my wife and I were Church Mission Society (CMS) mission partners at St Andrew’s College, Kabare, in the foothills of Mount Kenya (1985-91). The college trained theological students, community health workers and secretaries…

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

(Globe and Mail) Margaret Wente–Will a calorie law work? Fat chance

Philadelphia, which imposed a calorie-label law in 2010, provides a good case study of the law’s impact. Researchers studied 2,000 McDonald’s and Burger King customers after it went into effect. The law made virtually no difference in the calorie count of food that people purchased or the number of times they ate at the restaurants. About 60 per cent of them didn’t even notice.

In another study, researchers at Carnegie Mellon wondered whether more information might help. So they gave McDonald’s customers pamphlets with recommended calorie intakes for a single meal and for a day. Nothing changed. Despite their new-found knowledge, a third of the customers continued to eat 1,000-plus-calorie meals. The researchers also found that people of healthy weights made the same choices as obese people.

“It is hard to counteract the fact that fast food is cheap and tastes pretty good,” Dr. Brian Elbel, lead researcher for the Philadelphia study, was quoted as saying. “We need to consider other, more robust interventional policies in places where obesity is most prevalent.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Canada, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Theology

Young priests represent more than one fifth of new clergy in the C of E

New statistics for 2013 show that the number of young people (under 30s) accepted for training for the Church of England ministry continue to be the highest number in the past 20 years. Young people now represent 23% of those entering training.

The Ministry Division of the Archbishops’ Council is continuing to be proactive in recruiting young ordinands through providing conferences and training opportunities such as the Ministry Experience Scheme being piloted in 2013/14, which is looking to be extended from four Diocese for the academic year 2014/15.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Young Adults

(Telegraph) Church of England launch app to encourage stressed commuters to pray

Travelling by public transport can be enough to tempt even the most mild-mannered commuter into calling down curses on their fellow passengers.

But now the Church of England hopes to help soothe frayed nerves on the nation’s trains and buses by encouraging rush hour travellers to pray on their way to work.

It has created a new app to enable workers to follow its centuries-old tradition of morning and evening prayers on their smartphones or tablet devices such as iPads.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Spirituality/Prayer

Pentagon calls for reductions that could deeply affect Major Areas of South Carolina

South Carolina’s military communities are bracing for an uncertain future after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday called for deep cuts to the Army in 2015.

While Fort Jackson in Columbia – where more than 45,000 recruits are trained annually – is the obvious target, Charleston’s and other installations also may be in the cross hairs since Hagel also called for a new round of base-closure reviews in 2017.

Still, the decision on rekindling a Base Realignment and Closure Commission depends on Congress, which has delayed the assessments in recent years in the interest of protecting jobs at home.

Read it all from the local paper.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, City Government, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Rural/Town Life, State Government, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Wash. Post) Pentagon blueprint would cut Army size as military adjusts to leaner budgets

The Defense Department on Monday proposed cutting the Army to its smallest size in 74 years, slashing a class of attack jets and rolling back personnel costs in an effort to adjust a department buoyed by a decade of war to an era of leaner budgets.

The five-year budget blueprint outlined by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel reflects a willingness by the Pentagon to make deep cuts to personnel strength to invest in technology and equipment as it eases off a war footing.

“The development and proliferation of more advanced military technologies by other nations mean that we are entering an era where American dominance on the seas, in the skies and in space can no longer be taken for granted,” Hagel told reporters at an afternoon news conference.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, The U.S. Government, Theology

(Sightings) Martin Marty–Niebuhrian Irony and Drones

Niebuhr would ask, about drones: “given the resentments among local populations,…how many terrorists are we creating for every one we kill?” What sort of precedents are we creating with a program of “targeted assassinations?” “Will targeted assassinations ever eliminate or even reduce the causes of violent Islamic radicalism?”

So [Andrew] Bacevich thinks that Niebuhr would condemn the drone campaign as ill-conceivedand immoral.

Yes, after 9/11 “doing nothing may not be an option,” but is it the only option? Let the questioning and debate continue, with IRONY not only on our sweatshirts, but as a perspective on what has to be on the minds of the thoughtful. – See more at: http://divinity.uchicago.edu/sightings/niebuhrian-irony-and-drones-%E2%80%94-martin-e-marty#sthash.P1sXnXFg.dpuf

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Iraq War, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Terrorism, Theology, War in Afghanistan

(BBC) Nigeria's Boko Haram crisis: Anger over second Izghe raid

A Nigerian senator has expressed outrage over the security forces’ failure to prevent a second attack on a town by suspected Islamist militants.

Gunmen believed to be from the Boko Haram group killed several residents and burnt down Izghe over the weekend.

A week earlier, 106 people were killed by gunmen in a raid on Izghe.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Nigeria, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

15% of health-care professionals May be addicted to prescription drugs at some point in their career

Pharmacy chiefs say the new systems also help improve patient safety by helping to identify staffers who are siphoning drugs for their own use, a problem known as “diversion.” By some estimates, 15% of health-care professionals may be addicted to prescription drugs at some point in their career. Drugs may also be stolen by patients and visitors. Secure dispensing systems and tracking programs make it easier to meet increasingly strict federal regulations for documenting “chain of custody” for controlled substances.

Although there are no precise figures for drug diversion from hospitals, industry experts say drug-inventory losses cost hospitals millions of dollars a year. The most commonly diverted drugs are narcotic painkillers such as hydrocodone and morphine and the sedative fentanyl. In Minnesota, there were 250 reports to the Drug Enforcement Administration concerning theft or loss of controlled substances from 2005 to 2011. Reports grew to 52 in 2010 from 16 in 2006.

A 2011 study in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy noted that widespread adoption of automated dispensing machines has greatly improved the security of controlled substances and made it possible to electronically document the dispensing of doses and the disposal of unused medications and expired medications.

Read it all from the WSJ.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Health & Medicine

(Books and Culture) Alan Jacobs–The sciences, the humanities, and their common enemy

I don’t suppose anyone today would say that the problem with our politicians is that they are too deeply immersed in humanistic learning. Even in Snow’s time and in Britain, the picture was far more complicated than he let on. When Snow delivered his Rede Lecture, the prime minister of the United Kingdom was Harold Macmillan, an Old Etonian who read classics at Oxford (and received a first-class degree); Macmillan fit to a T Snow’s picture of the “traditional culture,” But by the time Snow died in 1980, the holder of that office was Margaret Thatcher, who often said that she was less proud of being the first female prime minister than of being the first with a science degree. I suspect that Snow, a lifelong member of the Labour Party, was not especially consoled by Thatcher’s status as a chemist. Moreover, the P.M. who made Snow minister of technology and elevated him to the peerage was Harold Wilson, the most academically gifted of 20th-century British politicians, who read Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Oxford and then became a lecturer in economic history there at the ripe old age of twenty-one. (Wilson’s father was a chemist, though.) The arrows here point in many directions; they don’t tell the coherent story that Snow would like them to tell. It is hard to discern what connects politicians’ academic training with their political judgments.

Snow wanted to believe something like this: political decisions in the modern world often concern how to deploy science and technology, so people well-trained in science and technology will be better prepared to make those decisions. But that’s a syllogism without a minor premise. And before we fill in that minor premise, we might reflect on one little story, which I offer, though it’s a true story, as a kind of parable. At the height of the Red Scare in the 1950s, J. Robert Oppenheimer, who had directed the American atomic bomb program during World War II, found himself under scrutiny for alleged Communist sympathies. He was interviewed at length, and at one point found himself reflecting on how he and his people had made their decisions. Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That’s the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Education, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Philosophy, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Grant, O Lord, we beseech thee, that we who are called to the course of the Christian life may so run the race that is set before us as to obtain the incorruptible crown which thou hast promised to them that love thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–The Rev. James Mountain (1844-1933)

Posted in Uncategorized

From the Morning Bible Readings

So we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

–1 John 4:16

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(BBC) Ukraine crisis: Russia steps up Ukraine rhetoric

Russia has stepped up its rhetoric against Ukraine’s new Western-leaning leadership as tensions rise over the ousting of President Viktor Yanukovych.

Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev said interim authorities in Kiev had conducted an “armed mutiny”.

And the Russian foreign ministry said dissenters in mainly Russian-speaking regions faced suppression.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Russia, Theology, Ukraine

Harold Ramis, Who Helped Redefine What Makes Us Laugh on Screen, Dies at 69

In 2004, The New Yorker magazine quoted the screenwriter Dennis Klein as saying that Mr. Ramis rescued comedies from “their smooth, polite perfection” by offering a new, rough-hewn originality. The writer of the article, Tad Friend, compared Mr. Ramis’s impact on comedy to that of Elvis Presley on rock and Eminem on rap.

“More than anyone else,” Paul Weingarten wrote in The Chicago Tribune Magazine in 1983, “Harold Ramis has shaped this generation’s ideas of what is funny.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Humor / Trivia, Hunger/Malnutrition, Movies & Television, Parish Ministry

An incredible 60 minutes Profile of coach Frank Hall and the Chardan High School Shooting

In the cafeteria, through the door on the left, a 17-year-old boy who went by the inititals “TJ” was shooting to kill. He’d put 10 rounds in his gun and six letters across his shirt. “Killer,” it said.

Frank Hall: I saw a young man firing into a crowd. I just stood up, shoved my table out of the way and started after him.

It’s tough even now for Frank Hall to speak of it. But with the support of his wife, he told us what happened when he charged at the boy with the gun.

Frank Hall: He raises his weapon at me, I jumped behind a Pepsi machine, I hear another fire.

That bullet missed Hall, so he kept chasing the student down the corridor.

Yes, I know, you are busy–but this is a must not miss. Really. Read (or better watch) it all–KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Sports, Teens / Youth, Theology, Violence

Frank Cranmer–An error in the House of Bishops’ Guidance on Same Sex Marriage? ”“ perhaps not

It would be pure cheek for me, as a Quaker, to comment on the substance of an internal matter for Church of England but I am not convinced that the statement by House of Bishops “is in error”. The extract quoted by Professor Woodhead is about what it says it’s about: “the general understanding and definition of marriage in England as enshrined in law”; Archbishop Davidson, however, was commenting on “the law of the State” in relation to whom one could legally marry, not on the definition of marriage itself.

The Deceased Wife’s Sister’s Marriage Act 1907 did not change the definition of marriage: what it did do was to remove a particular bar in the Table of Kindred and Affinity. Nor did it have anything to do with the indissolubility of marriage as such because, by definition, the man whose wife had died was free to remarry someone: the issue was whether or not he could marry his wife’s sister.

Read it all and take the time to read through the comments.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, - Anglican: Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

Bomb blasts at Zanzibar's Anglican cathedral and tourist bar: Police

Two homemade bombs exploded on Monday on the popular Indian Ocean tourist island of Zanzibar, but with no casualties, police said, in the latest in a series of attacks.

“Investigations are ongoing to find out details of the blasts and the motive behind them,” assistant police commissioner Mkadam Khamis told reporters.

One blast took place at the Anglican cathedral, a historic building in the heart of the narrow and winding ancient streets of Stone Town, the UNESCO-listed historical centre of the capital of the semi-autonomous Tanzanian archipelago.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Anglican Provinces, Ethics / Moral Theology, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Tanzania, Theology, Violence