Daily Archives: May 7, 2014

ABC Nightline–Obama Sends Team to Help Kidnapped Nigerian Girls

Nearly 300 girls are still missing after being abducted by a terror group in Nigeria three weeks ago….

ABC US News | ABC Business News

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Teens / Youth, Terrorism, Theology, Violence, Women

NT Wright: St Paul and Christian Theology

Lecture by N.T. Wright from Lanier Theological Library on Vimeo.

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(USA Today) For NBA teams, religion can be unifying or divisive

Long before head coach Doc Rivers found himself defending his Los Angeles Clippers players who were the unwelcome participants in team owner Donald Sterling’s racist comments all week, he was concerned about another sensitive subject: religion.

It was late 1999, the start of Rivers’ first season as coach of the Orlando Magic, and he saw a situation in the locker room that he felt needed to be addressed.

As his players took part in the pregame prayer that was part of their routine, Rivers noticed something he didn’t like.

“I looked up in one of the prayers, and Tariq (Abdul-Wahad) had his arms folded, and you could see that he was really uncomfortable with it,” Rivers said. “So the next game, we were standing up in a circle, and I said, ”˜Hey guys, we’re no longer praying.’”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, Sports

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba Condemns Abductions of Nigerian Schoolgirls as 'Outrage'.

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town today called for “all of Africa, and especially South Africa” to rise up and demand the release of hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls who were abducted from their school three weeks ago.

The Anglican archbishop was preaching at the 150th anniversary celebrations of St John’s Church, Bellville in Cape Town.

During his sermon, he called on the congregation to “voice your outrage at the killings in northern Nigeria, and at the recent abduction of hundreds of schoolgirls there.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces, Nigeria, Teens / Youth, Terrorism, Violence, Women

(BBC) Syria conflict: Rebels evacuating Old City of Homs

The BBC’s Paul Wood in Beirut says the rebel fighters and their families are sad and bitter as they say goodbye to a place they swore they would never leave.

They buckled finally, our correspondent adds, after two years of siege – the government’s forces following a tactic of what some Syrian army officers called “surrender or starve”.

The siege of the Old City was tightened in recent months with intense shelling and air strikes.

“The rest of the world failed us,” one activist told the BBC by Skype as he prepared for the evacuation.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Middle East, Politics in General, Syria, Theology, Violence

Greg Goebel–now that I’m an Anglican am I Still Charismatic?

Having grown up in and pastored in the Pentecostal/Charismatic tradition, people often ask if I am still a charismatic, now that I’m an Anglican. Fortunately, to be Anglican does not require one to cease being charismatic, and I feel I’ve continued in that.

But being Anglican has changed my understanding of what it means to be charismatic. I tend to tell folks that I believe that most of the charismatic experience and renewal over the past century has been a move of the Holy Spirit, and has had a miraculously good effect. And yet at the same time, I tend to not agree with much of the theology and practice of the charismatic movement. When I share that, though, the reaction is often “Wait a minute. Can you do that? Can you be a charismatic who doesn’t wholly subscribe to charismatic practice or theology?”

I think so. Let me explain.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pentecostal, Theology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)

Missing mothers: Plea to include mothers’ names on marriage certificates passes 25,000 signatures

The petition, published on change.org, appeals for a move away from the view in which marriage is seen as “a business transaction between the father of the bride and the father of the groom”. Currently, in England and Wales, marriage certificates include space for the name of the Father of the Bride and the Father of the Groom, with separate boxes allocated to each of their occupations. The mothers of the happy couple are excluded from this official documentation. In contrast, civil partnership certificates, as well as Scottish and Northern Irish marriage certificates, do supply room for the names of the bride and groom’s mothers.

According to the petitioner, the lack of mothers’ names on marriage certificates in England and Wales “is part of a much wider pattern of inequality. Women are routinely silenced and written out of history.”

Read it all from The Independent.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Living Church) Canon Andrew White and Costly Reconciliation

When someone asked the Rev. Canon Andrew White why members are so happy at St. George’s Church in war-torn Baghdad, the response came from Lina, whom White considers his adopted Iraqi daughter: “When you’ve lost everything, Jesus is all you have left.”

The question was not a theoretical one for Canon White (more popularly known as the “Vicar of Baghdad”), his loved ones, or his parishioners. St. George’s Church is a cathedral that has suffered the loss of 1,276 congregants during the last decade. And yet he declares with joy and a tinge of wonder in his voice, “I have one of the most wonderful congregations you can imagine.”

Visiting Washington, D.C., to receive the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview’s William Wilberforce Award, White spoke on “Reconciliation and Peacemaking in the World, Church, and the Anglican Communion” at Truro Anglican Church on May 1. He is the author of several books, including Father, Forgive: Reflections on Peacemaking (Monarch, 2013).

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Christology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Inter-Faith Relations, Iraq, Iraq War, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Theology, Violence

(NPR) Boko Haram's Local Fight in Nigeria Suddenly Gets International Scrutiny

The radical Islamist group Boko Haram isn’t new. The group has been around for more than a decade and has waged a bloody insurgency in northeastern Nigeria for the past five years. But it has suddenly achieved international notoriety by kidnapping more than 200 schoolgirls who have now been missing for more than three weeks.

Read it all. Mother Jones has a helpful explanatory piece also that includes this:

Why did the foreign press decide to start paying attention now?

Part of the reason is the sheer scale of the kidnapping. According to the latest numbers, nearly 300 schoolgirls were abducted on April 15 from Chibok boarding school in the northern Nigerian state of Borno. Last year, Boko Haram abducted handfuls of children, as well as Christian women, whom the group converts to Islam and forces into marriage. The group attacked 50 schools last year too, killing more than 100 schoolchildren and 70 teachers. The number of kids taken during the raid on the Chibok school is staggering, however. “It is the largest number of children abducted in one swoop in the country,” says Nnamdi Obasi, a senior Nigeria analyst for the International Crisis Group, a nonprofit conflict resolution organization. “Certainly not a minor incident that could be ignored.”
But it’s not just the shock value of the Chibok school attack that’s put a recent spotlight on Boko Haram. The group has terrorized the country on this scale before, having killed thousands over the past five years. In November 2011, the militants attacked police facilities in the northern state of Yobe, killing 150. That year, the group also carried out a brazen attack on the UN compound in the capital city of Abuja. In January 2012, coordinated bombings by the Islamist militants in the city of Kano killed about 150. And in July of that year, the group attacked multiple Christian villages in the north, killing more than 100. Those attacks prompted obligatory reports by the likes of the New York Times, the Associated Press, Reuters, and the BBC.

he real reason for the disproportionate amount of press coverage and outrage this time around, experts say, has to do with a combination of things: the Nigerian government’s tepid response to the missing girls, the international media’s initial indifference, and Nigerians becoming fed up with both.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Media, Nigeria, Politics in General, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

(McClatchy) Large employers could shift nearly all workers’ health coverage to marketplace by 2020

If realized, the larger move to marketplace coverage would shift more of the cost and responsibility for employee health insurance to workers themselves.

“Once a few notable companies start to depart form their traditional approach to health care benefits, it’s likely that a substantial number of firms could quickly follow suit,” the report noted. “The result would be a dramatic departure from the legacy employer/employee payroll deduction benefit provision relationship, and could quickly be the modern day equivalent of companies moving from defined benefit pension plans to defined contribution programs.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Personal Finance, The U.S. Government, Theology

The next Bishop of Liverpool is to be the Right Revd Paul Bayes

Bishop Paul was introduced to the city at St Andrews Clubmoor where he toured the Foodbank meeting staff, clients and local clergy. He continues his day by travelling to Wigan, receiving Communion at Wigan Parish Church before visiting the Deanery High School for a question and answer session with a group of pupils. The Bishop then returns to Liverpool to meet diocesan staff at St James House before visiting Liverpool Cathedral. He concludes his day by attending Evening Prayer at the cathedral.

Bishop Paul said “This is a great city and a great region with great people. It deserves a great church. I’m beginning to learn just how much the people of our Diocese, alongside our friends and colleagues from other Christian traditions, contribute to this fantastic community. It’s a huge privilege to be invited to come among them, to learn from them, and to work with the team here to give some guidance and leadership for the future. No new bishop should stand alone, and I’m very grateful for the quality of the leaders of the Diocese. Bishop Richard and Archdeacons Ricky and Peter, supported by many others, are sustaining and carrying forward the vision of the Diocese in a way that’s very impressive. I support that vision for growth and I’m looking forward to carrying it forward.

Read it all.

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

Local Paper Front Page–Federal report on Climate Change raises Alarm Bells for the South

Some current and former Republican lawmakers from South Carolina say that climate change does pose a threat, but that more regulations aren’t the solution.

“The assessment that came out today is another reminder that climate change is going to present real challenges for the Lowcountry, and the nation as a whole,” said U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, South Carolina’s former governor. “I’ve watched rising sea levels play out at our family farm in Beaufort over the last 50 years, and I think others in our area could also point to impacts they’ve seen.

“As Congress confronts these challenges, I think we should be searching for solutions that embrace free market principles, rather than increasing already burdensome government regulations,” he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Politics in General, Science & Technology, The U.S. Government, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

–Thomas Merton (1915-1968)

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities””all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent. For in him all the fulness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

And you, who once were estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him, provided that you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

–Colossians 1:15-23

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NBC) U.S. Forming 'Coordination Cell' in Nigeria to Find Abducted Girls

American military and law-enforcement personnel will coordinate with Nigerian officials in a stepped-up effort to find nearly 300 schoolgirls who were abducted by Islamic terrorists in the country last month, President Obama and John Kerry said Tuesday.

The United States first publicly announced an offer for help last week, but on Tuesday Kerry spoke with Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan and a plan was put in action.

“So what we’ve done is ”” we have offered, and it’s been accepted ”” help from our military and our law enforcement officials,” Obama told NBC News’ Al Roker on Tuesday. “We’re going to do everything we can to provide assistance to them.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Nigeria, Teens / Youth, Terrorism, Theology, Violence, Women

South Sudan's Rival Leaders to Hold Direct Talks on Friday

South Sudanese president Salva Kiir has agreed to meet face to face with former vice-president turned rebel leader Riek Machar on Friday, senior diplomats in Juba disclosed on Monday.

“The Ethiopian prime minister in his capacity as the chairperson of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has notified the government of the meeting which the president had accepted to take place between him and Riek Machar,” a senior diplomat told Sudan Tribune on Monday.

“I am told the meeting will take place [this] Friday 9 [April],” added the official who requested anonymity.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --South Sudan, Africa, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, History, Politics in General, Sudan, Theology, Violence

The ENS Article on the Recent Meeting of the new TEC Diocese in South Carolina

Read it all.

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

Three TEC Diocese of Massachusetts Parishes to be merged

Three Episcopal churches in Easton, Mansfield and Taunton will close this spring and be put up for sale while their congregations merge into the Bristol Trinity Episcopal Church.

A series of farewell services began Sunday at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Easton.

Others will be held in the coming weeks at St John’s in Taunton and St. John the Evangelist in Mansfield.

Rising costs to maintain and repair the church buildings led to the decision in March to merge, said Bristol Cluster Episcopal Ministry Council representative Sandy Rollo of Easton. The decision to close all three and find a new locale was made just two weeks ago.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Parishes