Daily Archives: May 1, 2014

(C of E) Joint statement on the housing of the Bishop of Bath and Wells

The Church Commissioners for England and the Diocese of Bath and Wells have today issued a joint statement following the publication of the decision of the committee of the Archbishops’ Council.

“We thank the Archbishops’ Council for their consideration of the objections made by the Diocese to the Church Commissioners decision to house the next Bishop of Bath and Wells outside of the Palace.

“We appreciate the thoroughness of the Council’s consideration and the swiftness with which the decision has been reached.

“This outcome enables all concerned to look to the future, to celebrate the arrival of the new Bishop and to welcome Bishop Peter and his wife Jane when they arrive in June.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Housing/Real Estate Market, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, Theology

Gavin Williams' Sermon from Westminster Abbey Evensong last Sunday

For the early church, Jerusalem was a place of opposition and persecution. Galilee was where Jesus had preached his reckless and extravagant morality, a scandal to insurers and a stumbling block to estate agents:

”˜forgive your enemies’,
”˜give away your cloak as well as your coat’,
”˜turn the other cheek’,
”˜love those who insult you’,
”˜walk the extra mile’ and ”˜take no thought for tomorrow’.
Perhaps Galilee was a place where the hungry were fed, immigrants were welcomed, the sick were visited and the poor were protected from the violence of the rich.

Mark is saying to us, his audience, that if we are looking for the Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified, this is the Galilee to which we must direct our lives. Or to put it another way, if we are looking for this kind of society, Daniel is right. The God in whom he put his hope has provided a way of salvation, but we cannot bypass the tomb in which the mangled corpse of Jesus was laid. There will be a crucifixion before there is a resurrection.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Christology, Church of England (CoE), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(PR Facttank) on National Day of Prayer, 5 facts on its history+prayer habits of Americans

For many Americans, every day is a day of prayer. More than half (55%) of Americans said they pray every day, according to a 2013 Pew Research survey, while 23% said they pray weekly or monthly and 21% seldom or never. Even among those who are religiously unaffiliated, 21% said they pray daily. Another survey we conducted in 2012 found that 76% of Americans agreed with the statement “prayer is an important part of my daily life,” a percentage that has remained relatively stable over the last 25 years.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Religion & Culture, Sociology, Spirituality/Prayer

(C Herald) William Oddie–Why Rowan Williams is much more comfortable as an academic than as Archbp

When I read the headlines about Rowan Williams on Sunday and Monday I groaned; it all seemed so reminiscent of what we all got used to when he was archbishop of Canterbury. Here he was again, the agonised academic, clearly disheartened by the perceived impossibility (perceived by him, that is) of defending the Christian cause, either against the advancing tide of secularism, or even against the aggressive cultural imperialism of militant Islam. The Guardian gave the general flavour: “Britain is now ”˜post-Christian’, says ex-archbishop Rowan Williams” appeared with the stand-first “Lord Williams enters debate provoked by PM, saying UK is not a nation of believers”¦.”

If we have to have an established Church, what we need is someone who at least actually believes in the Christian religion in a way which can be generally understood, and who is prepared to go in to bat for it. Archbishop Carey did that, and still does, bless him. So, it seems, does Archbishop Welby….[but it is not what we] got from the fastidious Rowan Williams, whose instinct was always to see both sides of a question without ever really coming down firmly on either.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Religion & Culture

BBC Newsday: Nigerian Interior Minister on the abducted Nigerian schoolgirls

The BBC’s Will Ross speaks to Abba Moro, the Nigerian Interior Minister…

Listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Education, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Media, Nigeria, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Teens / Youth, Terrorism, Theology, Violence, Women

(Barna) Global Poverty Is on the Decline, But Almost No One Believes It

Did you know that, in the past 30 years, the percentage of people in the world who live in extreme poverty has decreased by more than half?

If you said no””if you thought the number had gone up; that more people, not less, live in extreme poverty””you aren’t alone. According to a recent Barna Group survey, done in partnership with Compassion International and the new book Hope Rising by Dr. Scott Todd, more than eight in 10 Americans (84%) are unaware global poverty has reduced so drastically. More than two-thirds (67%) say they thought global poverty was on the rise over the past three decades.

Similarly, while both child deaths and deaths caused by HIV/AIDS have decreased worldwide, many Americans wrongly think these numbers are on the rise: 50% of US adults believe child deaths have increased since 1990, and 35% believe deaths from HIV/AIDS have increased in the past five years.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Globalization, Poverty, Sociology

(CSM) How a 'deluge' of US military spending fed corruption in Afghanistan

The US government has inadvertently empowered warlords and nurtured corruption in Afghanistan, warns a strikingly candid new report from the Pentagon that offers a devastating window into worthy US intentions that ended in exorbitant waste.

The initial US focus on defeating the Taliban and Al Qaeda created mutually dependent relationships between the US government and Afghan warlords “that empowered these warlords” and “expanded their opportunities for financial gain,” according to the study, which was produced by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s “lessons learned” department.

This was caused in large part by a “deluge” of military spending that “overwhelmed” the Afghan government’s ability to absorb it and later encouraged spending habits and graft that impeded the US war effort, the report concludes.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, The U.S. Government, Theology, War in Afghanistan

Most U.S. Workers See Upside to Staying Connected to Work after business hours

Full-time U.S. employees are upbeat about using their computers and mobile devices to stay connected to the workplace outside of their normal working hours. Nearly eight in 10 (79%) workers view this as a somewhat or strongly positive development.

These findings are from Gallup Daily tracking interviews, conducted March 24-April 8, 2014, with 3,865 U.S. workers employed full-time by an employer.

While a strong majority of working Americans view the ability to work off-hours remotely in a positive light, far fewer say they regularly connect with work online after hours. Slightly more than one-third (36%) say they frequently do so, compared with 64% who say they occasionally, rarely, or never do. The relatively low percentage who check in frequently outside of working hours nearly matches the 33% of full-time workers who say their employer expects them to check email and stay in touch remotely after the business day ends.

Read it all from Gallup.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Psychology, Science & Technology, Theology

(TEC Diocese of Washington) 6 Ideas for Taking the Church Into the Streets

5. Blessings to Go: May 1 is the National Day of Prayer. On that day, congregations across the Diocese of Newark will take a different spin on Ashes-to-Go. Instead of ashes, participants will use oil, an ancient sign of anointing and healing in a public place in their community.

6. Sing and Dance!: Remember caroling? Of course, you do! Some parishes in our Diocese have started caroling in their neighborhoods, inviting listeners to join them as they move throughout the community. But this isn’t limited to the Advent season. On Mardi Gras, Epiphany Church took to the streets with singing and dancing. By the time they returned to their parish hall, they gained a few people who had joined in along the way.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(London Times) UK Forty-somethings are losing their faith, study finds

Forty-somethings are losing their religion, according to new figures from the study of a group of babies born in the 1970s.

Coming just days after the prime minister and the present and former Archbishop of Canterbury weighed in on a debate over whether Britain is a Christian country, the study found all denominations had lost support but that the Church of England lost most.

The findings are the latest from the UK Data Service’s British Cohort Study, which has been following the lives of more than 17,000 people born in England, Scotland and Wales in a single week of 1970. Of the original numbers in the study, 9,841 still remain, and are now aged 42.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Religion & Culture, Sociology

(NYT) A South Korean City With 250 Holes in Its Heart

Nearly three quarters of Danwon [High School]’s 11th graders died two weeks ago in the sinking of a ferry that ranks as one of the country’s deadliest disasters in recent decades.

“I’ve seen these kids grow up. I know each of their faces,” said Mr. Kim[In-jea], 57, who lives nearby and said seven of his neighbors lost their children. “To say that this neighborhood feels empty would be an understatement. This neighborhood feels like a morgue.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Education, Eschatology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, South Korea, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God our Father, whose blessed Son, being falsely accused, answered nothing; being reviled, reviled not again: Give us faith, when men accuse us falsely, to go quietly on our way, committing ourselves to thee, who judgest righteously, after the pattern of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD, who addressed the words of this song to the LORD on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said: I love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

–Psalm 18:1-3

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Harris poll–The Bible Remains America's Favorite Book but what are two and three

Guess before you look.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Books, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Reminder–Tomorrow marks the 63rd annual National Day of Prayer

Check out the website.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer

(BBC) Syria crisis: Children 'killed in Aleppo school strike'

At least 18 people, including 10 children, have been killed in a Syrian government air strike in the northern city of Aleppo, activist groups say.

A missile struck Ain Jalout school in the Ansari district, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

Images showed blood on corridor walls and debris in classrooms.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Children, Education, Foreign Relations, Middle East, Politics in General, Syria, Violence

New Fond Du Lac Episcopal bishop seeks to unite churches within diocese

On Saturday, former Glen Ellyn, Ill., priest [Matthew Gunter] was consecrated and ordained as the eighth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac, which is based in Appleton. The diocese has more than 5,700 members at 38 locations across the northeastern third of the state.

Those churches are a smorgasbord. Some are big, some small; they’re urban and rural. They’re not all economically vibrant, and perspectives vary both theologically and socially.

“But what I haven’t seen and haven’t heard is any evidence of deep divisiveness,” Gunter said. “There’s definitely disagreements about various things, but folks seem to be willing to engage one another with gentleness and reverence. I want to build on that, too, and figure out how to have conversations that might need to be had in ways that can bring us all together and move us forward together.”

Read it all from the Post-Crescent in Wisconsin.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Pastoral Theology, TEC Bishops, TEC Parishes, Theology

(AC) Rod Dreher–Twitter Is Not A Format For Complex Moral Discussion

Anyway, on the Twitter thing, inserting links to a document giving a more in-depth take on the subject of the tweet is badly needed.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Globalization, Marriage & Family, Media, Other Churches, Pope Francis, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sexuality, Theology