Daily Archives: March 19, 2014

(S.C. Priest) Marcus Kaiser: An Open letter to the Board of Trustees of Nashotah House

Seven board members, of which I am one, made a request privately to the Chairman of the Board for a special meeting. That request was denied on both procedural and substantive grounds, with a response to the later questions coming from the Chairman alone even though questions were specifically put to the Dean. The seven then made a second request for a meeting, this time appealing to legal arguments to attempt to affect some discussion. That request was denied by the Secretary on legal grounds, with no mention of the merit of the concerns. One bishop then sent a personal request that we have a face-to-face meeting. The result was an invitation to discussion only, about which I shall say more.

Of the Dean’s video defense of the invitation, the obvious logical and theological issues are manifold and have been covered with far more alacrity and in far more depth than I am able. Suffice it to say that the idea that a seminary’s pulpit is somehow more resilient to heresy than a parish’s is indefensible. The idea that seminarians are more immune to heresy than are “ordinary” parishioners is both demeaning and unjustifiable. If the history of our tradition over the last half century has taught us nothing else, it has at least taught us that our seminaries are precisely where erroneous doctrines are incubated. The idea that professional and courteous attention to one known to present a false gospel will somehow be a witness and corrective thereto defies logic and is in violation of the clear injunctions of Holy Writ.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Seminary / Theological Education, TEC Conflicts, Theology

(Bloomberg) Robots to Aid Walking Offer New Tool to Aging and/or Disabled

“The demand for rehabilitation robots is very high as societies around the world are aging,” said Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Investment Management Co. in Tokyo, who says he is considering buying Cyberdyne shares.

A 54-year-old paraplegic, strapped into a white exoskeleton made by Cyberdyne, recently walked slowly forward — covering about a foot — during rehab at Fukuoka University Hospital before collapsing on his physiotherapist. The suit he used has been approved for use as a medical device in Europe, and Cyberdyne said it may seek clearance this month to sell the product in the U.S.

Widespread use of the Cyberdyne device is some distance away. It is presently used in 170 hospitals and nursing homes across Japan, and it costs about 1.8 million yen ($17,700) annually to lease each suit. While founder Yoshiyuki Sankai’s ambition is to make the robots cheap enough for home use, he doesn’t have a specific time frame. For now, a Cyberdyne rehab center south of Tokyo makes them available to individuals at 10,000 yen ($98) per 60-minute training session.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Aging / the Elderly, Health & Medicine, Science & Technology

(WSJ) In Business Roundtable survey, CEOs See No Quick Increase in Hiring

U.S. business leaders, encouraged by the recent break in Washington’s budget gridlock, are increasingly looking to boost spending. But that probably won’t come in ways that would drive rapid hiring or economic growth, according to a new Business Roundtable survey of top CEOs….

Nearly half of CEOs surveyed by the Washington trade group said they expect to boost U.S. capital spending in the next six months, compared with only 39% eyeing higher spending three months ago. But while 72% of CEOs see an increase in sales in the next six months, only 37% expect to boost U.S. employment, according to the survey released Tuesday. Forty-four percent see their U.S. payrolls unchanged.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Theology

Local Newspaper Editorial on Obama Admin. Foreign Policy–Trimming the 'Big Stick'

For decades a school of American strategists has bewailed what they call the nation’s military “overreach” and urged a radical reduction in defense spending as good for world peace.

We are about to find out if they were right.

On the other side of the argument, proponents of a strong military noted that it is the U.S. military’s presence abroad, backed by strong reinforcements, that has put a lid on regional wars and kept the sea lanes open.

And that, in turn, has created peaceful conditions necessary for an historic expansion of world trade that has lifted billions out of poverty and kept the United States the world’s strongest economy.

We are also about to find out if they were wrong.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama

Diocese of South Carolina Convention – Links Roundup

Here is a list of recent stories with news, sermons, resolutions, etc. related to this past weekend’s convention of the Diocese of South Carolina:

Featured Entries:
The Diocese of South Carolina Formalizes Wordwide Anglican Ties at 2014 Convention

Bishop Mark Lawrence’s Address to the 223rd Diocese of South Carolina Convention

Bishop Mark Lawrence’s Message Regarding Resolution R-3 for the Upcoming SC Convention

Other Posts:
A Whole lot of Pictures from the South Carolina 2014 Convention (#223)
Wonderfully Encouraging Camp St. Christopher Video from SC Convention
John Barr’s South Carolina Convention Sermon, “I am the Door”
Kendall Harmon’s recent SC Convention Presentation on the Jerusalem Declaration
(Local paper) Diocese of South Carolina accepts provisional oversight from Global South primates
Proposed Resolutions for the Diocese of South Carolina Convention upcoming this Fri/Sat
More Detailed Information about the upcoming Diocese of South Carolina Convention

Posted in * Admin, * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Resources & Links, * South Carolina, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Bishops, Featured (Sticky), Sermons & Teachings

(NYT) Many Denominations Downsizing and Selling Assets in More Secular Era

The American Unitarian Association, peopled and powered by this city’s Brahmin elite, announced its presence here in 1886 with a grand and stately headquarters at the very top of Beacon Hill, right next door to the Statehouse.

If anyone doubted the denomination’s might, its next move made it clear: In 1927, strapped for space, the Unitarians finished building a new home next to the capitol on the other side, even persuading the legislature to change the street’s numbering so they could take their address with them.

But the Unitarian Universalist Association, as the denomination is now known, is selling its headquarters building, as well as two grand homes and an office building it owns in the same neighborhood. It is leaving behind the red brick sidewalks, gas streetlamps and superrich neighbors for a section of South Boston the city has designated an “innovation district,” home to up-and-coming technology and arts businesses.

The move ”” expected to bring tens of millions of dollars to the denomination ”” puts the Unitarians in increasingly familiar company.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Housing/Real Estate Market, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Secularism, Stewardship, Theology

(DFP) Head of Southeast Michigan Episcopal Church backs same-sex marriage

The head of the Episcopal Church in southeastern Michigan announced Tuesday that he strongly supports same-sex marriage, indicating to 70 churches that marrying people of the same in gender is in line with their denomination’s beliefs.

But the Rt. Rev. Wendell Gibbs stopped short of saying gay marriages could be performed immediately in local churches because the Episcopal Church technically still doesn’t formally approve of them, and they are illegal under Michigan law.

Noting that public opinion is shifting rapidly on the issue, Gibbs, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan, said that “picking and choosing whose rights should be protected or which civil rights the church will support is neither American ”˜justice for all’ nor supported by the God of salvation history.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Whole lot of Pictures from the South Carolina 2014 Convention (#223)

Check them out.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Theology

Wonderfully Encouraging Camp St. Christopher Video from SC Convention

Watch it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Energy, Natural Resources, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

Nigeria's Federal Government Announces its 'Soft' Counter-Terror Strategy

The Federal Government yesterday unveiled a new approach to tackling insurgency in the country.

National Security Adviser Mohammad Sambo Dasuki announced the new strategy in Abuja.

He said said the new approach, dubbed “Nigeria’s Soft Approach to Countering Terrorism”, includes adopting a means of de-radicalising extremists and stopping others from being radicalised.

Other items in the strategy plan are news ways of mobilising the society, strategic public communication and economic revitalisation of the North-East states affected by insurgency.

Read it all.

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

(PBS Newshour) Calculating a U.S. response to ”˜new reality’ of Russia’s claim in Crimea

RICHARD HAASS, Council on Foreign Relations: Not a lot to add, actually, Judy.

The real question for all of us is whether what we’re hearing is one of what you might call a Crimea exceptionalism. He did this in order, say, to compensate for the loss of Kiev. And this was his way of saving face and saving some strategic position.

That’s one ”” it’s one set of problems that poses to us, mainly the way he went about it. On the other hand, if this presages something more, an effort to rebuild parts of a lost empire, then, obviously, it’s far more worrisome.

We simply don’t know. Interestingly enough, I’m not sure Mr. Putin knows. One always assume that the adversary, the guy across the table has a fully articulated and elaborated game plan. It’s quite possible he’s improvising and making this up as he goes along, and what he does next will depend in part upon what domestic reactions are and obviously, even more, what the international response is.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Russia, Theology, Ukraine, Violence

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Joseph

O God, who from the family of your servant David raised up Joseph to be the guardian of your incarnate Son and the spouse of his virgin mother: Give us grace to imitate his uprightness of life and his obedience to your commands; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Christmas, Church History, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, fountain of love, pour thy love into our souls, that we may love those whom thou lovest with the love thou givest us, and think and speak of them tenderly, meekly, lovingly; and so loving our brethren and sisters for thy sake, may grow in thy love, and dwelling in love may dwell in thee; for Jesus Christ’s sake.

–E. B. Pusey

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown; when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word which is sown in them. And these in like manner are the ones sown upon rocky ground, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; and they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are the ones sown among thorns; they are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world, and the delight in riches, and the desire for other things, enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. But those that were sown upon the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”

–Mark 4:13-20

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

The Bishop of St Albans, Alan Smith: Ukraine Crisis – the Religious Dimension

The referendum will have done nothing to have diminished the risk of inter-ethnic violence.

Against this uncertain and volatile background, the Christian churches of Europe, through the Conference of European Churches, have been in contact with the All Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organisations, a body that includes Jewish and Muslim representatives as well as Christian churches. A letter signed by the present CEC president, known to many Members of your Lordships’ House as the recently retired Bishop of Guildford, expresses solidarity and support, urges an end to further polarisation in Ukrainian society and assures them that churches elsewhere in Europe are urging a democratic and diplomatic solution to the problems facing Ukraine. I know that Bishop Christopher Hill will be talking later this week to other European church leaders about how this solidarity and support can be given more tangible shape through the Conference of European Churches.

Even if this crisis has cast a Cold War shadow over Europe, it is important that we remain in dialogue with the Russian Orthodox Church. That is not always an easy task given the Russian orthodox world view. I am encouraged that only last month the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of London met representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church to discuss the theological education of students from the Russian Orthodox Church here in the UK. However this crisis plays out, and I pray as I am sure many of us do for a speedy and peaceful resolution, it is important that we do not sanction measures that put such dialogue at risk.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), City Government, CoE Bishops, Ecumenical Relations, England / UK, Europe, Foreign Relations, Orthodox Church, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Russia, Ukraine, Violence

(WSJ) Food Prices Surge as Drought Exacts a High Toll on Crops

Surging prices for food staples from coffee to meat to vegetables are driving up the cost of groceries in the U.S., pinching consumers and companies that are still grappling with a sluggish economic recovery.

Federal forecasters estimate retail food prices will rise as much as 3.5% this year, the biggest annual increase in three years, as drought in parts of the U.S. and other producing regions drives up prices for many agricultural goods. The Bureau of Labor Statistics on Tuesday reported that food prices gained 0.4% in February from the previous month, the biggest increase since September 2011, as prices rose for meat, poultry, fish, dairy and eggs.

Globally, food inflation has been tame, but economists are watching for any signs of tighter supplies of key commodities such as wheat and rice that could push prices higher.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * General Interest, Corporations/Corporate Life, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Personal Finance, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Weather

SC Court of Appeals Denies TEC Appeal

The Court of Appeals effectively said it will not tolerate legal shenanigans to delay a trial to decide whether the denomination may seize South Carolina property, including churches and the diocesan symbols. In asking the Court of Appeals to dismiss the action, the Diocese of South Carolina argued that TECSC is appealing a court order that is “unappealable”.

South Carolina’s Court of Appeals justices agreed.

“We are grateful that the court recognized that TEC and TECSC are misusing the judicial system to delay resolution of this case,” said the Rev. Jim Lewis, Canon to the Ordinary of the Diocese. “Their strategy of using legal motions to delay court decisions caused eight months to be wasted when they asked the federal court to override the state court injunction. As in that matter, the courts sided with the Diocese of South Carolina.”

TEC has a long history of dragging out legal battles, apparently in hopes of draining the resources of parishes and dioceses it seeks to punish for leaving the denomination. According to the latest published reports, TEC has spent more than $40 million on litigation in the past few years. TEC routinely appeals court decisions in hopes of wearing down its opposition ”“ and to intimidate parishes and dioceses that wish to leave the denomination.

Read it all.

The background to this story is here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Presiding Bishop, Stewardship, Theology

John Barr's South Carolina Convention Sermon, "I am the Door"

Where are you with the door?”

“It may be some of you have been around door talk so much you’ve thought by osmosis you’ve gone through the door yourself.

And permit me Just tell you about what happened to me. It may be that some of you are continuing in a life you never began ”“ doing Christian things but you never went through the door.

Read it all and then listen to the whole thing using the audio link.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology, Theology: Scripture