Daily Archives: March 4, 2014

Ashes to go at Anglican Liverpool Cathedral

Ashes to Go is a national movement that aims to allow as many people as possible to participate in the start of Lent.

Canon Paul Rattigan, Liverpool Cathedral’s Canon for Discipleship said:“Ashes to Go provides the opportunity for people to take part in the Lent tradition even if they can’t get to a service. You can call in to the cathedral in your lunch hour or whenever you can during the day.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Lent, Parish Ministry

Mark Joseph Stern Really Really Didn't Like Ross Douthat's NYT Op-ed on Same Sex Unions

In his most recent column, Douthat strives to reframe the current debate about anti-gay discrimination (and even segregation) into one about sincere believers being brutally trampled by gay rights activists eager to bury religious freedom. It’s a failed effort, but a useful failure nonetheless. Arizona’s anti-gay bill may be dead, but several more are alive and kicking, and Douthat neatly anticipates the many straw men, euphemisms, and verbal chicanery anti-gay forces will deploy to make their case.

In fact, Douthat’s column is such an effective piece of homophobic apologia that I expect many red state politicians to borrow from its playbook in the coming months and years. To make their job easier, I’ve laid out the most effective means of disguising raw hatred as religious liberty and rounding discrimination down to “dissent.” If you’re thinking about introducing an anti-gay discrimination bill to your own state’s legislature, you should pay close attention.

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I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology

North Korea releases Australian missionary

In a surprise move Monday, North Korean officials freed a Christian missionary from Australia who was arrested for handing out Bibles in Pyongyang.

John Short, 75, allegedly apologized for his behavior and begged for his freedom.

“I now realize the seriousness of my insult to the Korean people on Feb. 16 because I made the Korean people angry, and for this I truly apologize,” Short said, according to a report on the state news agency. “I am willing to bow down on my knees to request this tolerance of (North Korea) and the Korean people.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Australia / NZ, Missions, North Korea, Religion & Culture

C of E Dioceses seek to build on Olympic success

A gathering of church representatives from around the country have set out plans for a sports conference to be held in a number of dioceses, where sports advisers will link churches with local sporting opportunities.

The national event was convened by the Bishops of Barking and Stepney, in Chelmsford and London respectively – the host dioceses for the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games – in partnership with Christians in Sport.

Churches were successful in engaging with the London 2012 Games in all the places where they took place and can continue to build on this Olympic legacy and use sport to serve their local communities and increase their witness across the country as a whole.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Religion & Culture, Sports

iBenedictines with Thoughts on Shrove Tuesday 2014

While we pray today for the people of Ukraine we might also examine our own consciences about the ways in which we have lived a double-standard and the consequences for others of our own sins. Repentance isn’t just about saying sorry to God and having a firm purpose of amendment.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Anthropology, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Epiphany, Lent, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

(FT) Rapid advances in artificial intelligence now threaten white collar jobs

If Daniel Nadler is right, a generation of college graduates with well-paid positions as junior researchers and analysts in the banking industry should be worried about their jobs. Very worried.

Mr Nadler’s start-up, staffed with ex-Google engineers and backed partly by money from Google’s venture capital arm, is trying to put them out of work.

Its algorithms assess how different securities are likely to react after the release of a market-moving piece of information, such as a monthly employment report. That is the kind of work usually done by well-educated junior analysts, who pull data from terminals, fill in spreadsheets and crunch numbers. “There are several hundred thousand people employed in that capacity. We do it with machines,” says Mr Nadler. “We’re not competing with other [tech] providers. We’re competing with people.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Science & Technology, Theology

(Washington Post) Robert Samuelson: America’s demographic denial

Just why is American politics so dysfunctional? One answer is that both parties, for different reasons, have created self-serving mythologies that reward them for not dealing with pressing problems that, though daunting, are hardly sudden or secret. For proof, see Paul Taylor’s new book, “The Next America.” Taylor oversees many of the Pew Research Center’s opinion surveys. His masterful synthesis of polls shows that three familiar mega-trends lie at the core of America’s political and social stalemate.

First, immigration….

Second, family breakdown. In 2011, unmarried women accounted for 41 percent of U.S. births, up from 5 percent in 1960….

Finally, aging. Every day 10,000 baby boomers turn 65. The retiree flood is swamping the federal budget. By 2022, Social Security, Medicare and the non-child share of Medicaid will exceed half the budget, up from 30 percent in 1990, projects an Urban Institute study. To make room for the elderly, defense and many domestic programs are being relentlessly squeezed.

There’s no generational justice, argues Taylor: “The young today are paying taxes to support a level of benefits for the old that they themselves have no prospect of receiving when they become old.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Immigration, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Theology

(CT) Wes Anderson: King of Empathy

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Posted in Uncategorized

A Prayer to Begin the Day

God our Father, who hast created us in thine own image, with a mind to understand thy works, a heart to love thee, and a will to serve thee: Increase in us that knowledge, that love and that obedience, that we may grow daily in thy likeness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith; that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

–Philippians 3:7-11

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(SMH) Nick O'Malley–War of words at UN over Russia's Crimea move

Russia has told the United Nations Security Council that it has occupied Crimea at the request of the ousted Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovich, in order to protect civilians from armed extremists….

The American ambassador, Samantha Power, dismissed the Russian position. “Listening to the representative of Russia, one might think that Moscow had just become the rapid response arm of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights,” she said. “So many of the assertions made this afternoon by the Russian Federation are without basis in reality.

“It is a fact that Russian military forces have taken over Ukrainian border posts. It is a fact that Russia has taken over the ferry terminal in Kerch. It is a fact that Russian ships are moving in and around Sevastapol. It is a fact that Russian forces are blocking mobile telephone services in some areas. It is a fact that Russia has surrounded or taken over practically all Ukrainian military facilities in Crimea. It is a fact that today Russian jets entered Ukrainian airspace.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Europe, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Politics in General, Russia, Ukraine

Church of England launches a year long project on Twitter

The Church of England is launching a year long project on Twitter to tell the story of the Church of England through the eyes of its people, providing a daily insight into modern faith in action.

The Project – @OurCofE – will be launched on 3rd March 2014 where over the course of a year, bishops, clergy, chaplains, youth workers and churchgoers from around the country will be given a week each to tweet about their life inside the Church of England.

The project is inspired by similar twitter accounts such as @sweden which was set up by the Swedish tourist board who invited people to take turns in tweeting their life in Sweden for a week, each with their own unique view of the country.

Read it all and Kate Reynolds has comments there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Anglican Provinces, Blogging & the Internet, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Media, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Post-Gazette Editorial) After Newtown: Rep. Tim Murphy proposes a different sort of remedy

On the first anniversary of the Newtown shootings, Rep. Tim Murphy, a Republican from Upper St. Clair, rose in the House to propose a bill in response to this tragedy and others like it. As the only clinical psychologist in Congress, and in a party that has resisted gun control efforts, his suggestion may seem to some beside the point. That would be a mistake.

The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, the result of a yearlong investigation by a House subcommittee led by Mr. Murphy, is a serious attempt to reduce gun violence by another means.

Although Mr. Murphy’s HR 3717 may not fix every defect in the mental health system, it is a bold, sweeping attempt at reform. It comes at a time when governments have cut their mental-health budgets for community care, leaving the nation’s prison system the last hope for many with mental illness (up to an estimated 50 percent of inmates have a mental illness).

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, House of Representatives, Mental Illness, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Prison/Prison Ministry, Psychology, Theology, Violence

A British philanthropist pledges $4 million to help NZ's Christchurch Cathedral

Hamish Ogston pledged the money to the Anglican Church shortly after the February 2011 quake and, after seeing nothing had been done with the building, has reiterated his offer.

Mr Ogston says there is only a $15 million shortfall after his pledge, other offers and insurance money.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * General Interest, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Parish Ministry, Stewardship, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Glenn Packiam) Why I'm Becoming an Anglican Priest…at New Life Church

1. Is new life downtown becoming an Anglican Church?
No. New Life Downtown is a parish of New Life Church. Your giving goes 100% to New Life Church. I am “sent” as an Anglican priest to serve New Life Church. As such, I continue to be under Pastor Brady’s covering and authority, along with the elders of New Life Church. While New Life Downtown does not come under any Anglican authority, I personally hold a “dual citizenship” of sorts, with Bishop Ken Ross as my covering in the Anglican world.

2. What do Anglicans believe?
Anglican theology is, to put it simply, Protestant theology. Their central document is the Bible — they are committed to the Bible as the Word of God — it is God breathed and it is the truth by which we order our lives. They also believe that Jesus is the unique Son of God — that salvation is found only in His sacrificial death and resurrection. This faith in what the Bible reveals is summed up in the historic statements of belief such as the 39 Articles and the Nicene Creed.

Because Anglicanism is not a denomination with a solitary authority figure””it is a communion of bishops””the diversity within Anglicanism worldwide is rich and varied. The majority of Anglicans are in the global south””in Africa and Asia”” where Christian orthodoxy and missionary zeal are combined in ways reminiscent of the early church. The majority of them are Evangelicals who affirm the authority of Scripture and embrace the work of the Holy Spirit.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of Rwanda, Evangelicals, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry