Monthly Archives: June 2014
Melbourne archbishop Philip Freier was today chosen to lead the Anglican Church in Australia, elected by a special synod of laymen, clergy and bishops from across the country, convened in Adelaide.
He said sustaining a national presence and strengthening the church’s contribution to rural communities were among the most important challenges facing the Anglican Church.
“The church across its parishes, schools and service agencies makes a powerful contribution to Australian society,” Dr Freier said.
He takes over from Brisbane archbishop Phillip Aspinall, who is stepping down after nine years.
The Supreme Court says corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women.
The justices’ 5-4 decision Monday is the first time that the high court has ruled that profit-seeking businesses can hold religious views under federal law. And it means the Obama administration must search for a different way of providing free contraception to women who are covered under objecting companies’ health insurance plans.
Algeria coach Vahid Halilhodzic refused to divulge which of his Muslim players are observing Ramadan ahead of Monday’s World Cup last-16 meeting with Germany.
The 30-day dawn-to-dusk fast began on Sunday and Halilhodzic, 61, bristled at a routine question about the subject in his pre-match news conference.
“This is a private matter and when you ask this you lack respect and ethics,” said the Bosnian.
“The players will do as they wish and I would like to stop this controversy.”
Archbishop Peter Jensen and Archbishop Benjamin and Gloria Kwashi are visiting the Diocese. Both Archbishops preached in Diocesan churches on Sunday, June 29.
Coming from a wide range of backgrounds including the Army, banking, social media consultancy and racecourse management, new deacons and priests will be celebrating their new roles as “Reverends” within the Church of England.
As part of the celebrations those being ordained (ordinands) their friends, family, congregations and clergy are being encouraged to use twitter to congratulate and celebrate these #NewRevs.
As part of the ordination service, the new priests and deacons are addressed by a Bishop of the diocese in which they will serve who will say: “They are to proclaim the gospel in word and deed, as agents of God’s purposes of love. They are to serve the community in which they are set, bringing to the Church the needs and hopes of all the people. They are to work with their fellow members in searching out the poor and weak, the sick and lonely and those who are oppressed and powerless, reaching into the forgotten corners of the world, that the love of God may be made visible.”
How shocking: Facebook had the temerity to conduct an experiment on its users without telling them and now the results have been published in the Proceedings of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Actually, no one should be surprised.
For a week in 2012, the social network’s staff scientist Adam Kramer and two collaborators used algorithms to doctor the news feeds of 689,003 English-speaking Facebook users. They reduced the number of posts containing “positive” and “negative” words, tracked their lab rat users’ own posts, and found that their mood was influenced by that of the news feed. The term, well-known to psychologists studying real-world communications, is “emotional contagion.”
The Church of England has today published the next steps in its process for shared conversations on Sexuality, Scripture and Mission.
A short paper from the Bishop of Sheffield outlines the next steps for the Church following the publication of the Pilling report in November 2013 which recommended that the church’s internal dialogue on human sexuality might be best addressed through a process of conversations across the Church.
Read it all and follow the link to the full document.
Almighty God, whose blessed apostles Peter and Paul glorified thee by their martyrdom: Grant that thy Church, instructed by their teaching and example, and knit together in unity by thy Spirit, may ever stand firm upon the one foundation, which is Jesus Christ our Lord; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
O Lord our God, grant us grace to desire thee with our whole heart; that so desiring thee we may seek and find thee; and so finding thee may love thee, and loving thee may hate those sins from which thou hast redeemed us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Praise the LORD! O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures for ever! Who can utter the mighty doings of the LORD, or show forth all his praise? Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times!
You have a long-running relationship with Young Life. What could an Anglican parish relationship with Young Life or similar parachurch ministries look like?
Young Life has church partnerships with congregations where they work together trying to reach high school kids in that area. The bottom line is that we can learn a lot from these people about how to reach people in that demographic. Young Life and some of these other organizations are just so skilled in how to reach the youth culture, and we’re oblivious to it.
People will tell me, “We don’t have any teenagers in our church” and don’t know how to get any. Yet there is a high school down the street with 2,000 teenagers in it and it’s like come on now, wake up, they are right there. But they don’t know how to go there and get involved in youth culture. The same could be said with children’s ministry. I think we have a lot of work to do there, and part of the role of the province is to help the dioceses be good at equipping their churches.
We have a lot to learn from parachurch ministries, and many of them theologically are right where we are and are opening to sharing ministry and doing things together.
What do you do in your spare time that is not church-related?
I run, ride a Harley, work in the yard. My son and I have taken up kiteboarding, we actually went to kiteboarding school in Honduras….
But [Judge] Goodstein ruled, and reaffirmed this month in order denying reconsideration of her ruling, that adding the parties to the lawsuit with new counterclaims “would unduly complicate this matter, especially at this state of the litigation.” The judge noted that the request to add the parties had already been denied by the court three other times.
Her ruling was appealed this week to the South Carolina Court of Appeals, putting the trial, for now, on hold.
“We are disappointed that The Episcopal Church filed another appeal, but not surprised,” said a statement from Jan Pringle, a spokeswoman for The Diocese of South Carolina. “This is the 4th time they have attempted to unnecessarily add additional parties.”
She said the diocese has filed a court response and hopes that the trial will not be delayed. She noted two of the people named in the motion no longer have leadership roles in the diocese.
You may find the audio link here if you wish to listen to it all. Also note that there is an option to download it there (using the button which says “download” underneath the link which says “listen”).
Why are people dishonest? From Main Street to Wall Street, at home and at work, questionable behavior defies people’s best intentions. Now experts in the social sciences are examining why people so often behave contrary to their own ethical aims and what can be done about it, especially in the world of business. “What we find is that when people are thinking about honesty versus dishonesty,” says Dan Ariely, a professor of behavioral economics at the Duke University Fuqua School of Business, “it’s all about being able, at the moment, to rationalize something and make yourself think that this is actually okay.”
Speak to sexually active teenage girls today, as I have been lately while researching a book, and it is evident that many feel the only means they have to beguile men is through sex. And even then, they feel a need to be overt with their flirt.
All those too-tight, too-short and too-low dresses aren’t, as I once thought, what girls wear to be appear fashionable to their female peers. They wear them, I’m informed, to look sexy to men.
”˜”˜I don’t really care what my friends wear out,’’ one young lady told me, ”˜”˜unless it makes them look hotter than I do.’’
”˜”˜You have to be hot to attract a guy,’’ another 16-year-old girl asserted. ”˜”˜If you don’t look sexy, then they won’t think you are interested in them.’’
And once you attract said guy? ”˜”˜You need to have sex with them. If you don’t, they’ll just go with someone who will.’’
It was late when John heard a knock at the door of his house in a village in Borno state, north-eastern Nigeria. “Today”, a voice outside shouted, “will be the end of your life”. Nine gunmen then burst into his house and dragged him outside. After setting fire to his car, they beat him to the ground, shot him twice in the head and left him for dead. Rushed to the nearest decent hospital, he was lucky to survive. A pair of cavernous scars bears testimony to his ordeal. That was two years ago. He is still too frightened to go home.
He is one of a rising tide of people who have been forced out by members of Boko Haram, the extreme Islamist group that has been tightening its stranglehold across the country’s north, while the armed forces strive heavy-handedly and in vain to bring it under control. It has attacked targets farther south, too. On June 25th a bomb it was presumed to have planted went off in Abuja, the capital, killing at least 21 people.
No one is certain how many people have been uprooted. The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, a Swiss-based, Norwegian-backed group, reckons that 3.3m Nigerians have fled their homes, not just because of Boko Haram. Inter-communal fighting and floods have added to the toll of families forced to flee. If this figure is correct, Nigeria now has the world’s third-highest number of displaced people, after Syria and Colombia.
It was really quite a game.
Fifty-seven percent of Americans say that religion can answer all or most of today’s problems, while 30% say that religion is largely old fashioned and out of date. Americans have in recent decades become gradually less likely to say that religion can answer today’s problems and more likely to believe religion is out of date.
One French court acquitted a doctor of poisoning seven terminally ill patients while another ordered physicians to suspend treatment for a comatose man, while Britain’s top court said the country’s ban on assisted suicide may be incompatible with human rights.
The decisions of the past week are fueling the arguments of Europeans who say the duty of doctors is to end the suffering of those beyond treatment.
But emotions run high on all sides around the issue of euthanasia and assisted suicide, as is shown by the bitter case of the comatose Frenchman, Vincent Lambert. Hours after the French court sided with his wife in ordering an end to treatment, the European Court of Human Rights blocked the move at the request of his parents, in a rare late-night ruling.
Watch and listen to it all from Vimeo.
In his address, Cardinal Baldisseri revealed that the outline for the bishops’ October discussion is divided into three parts, the first focusing on the communication of the Gospel in today’s world, while the second part addresses the pastoral program for the family in light of new challenges.
The instrumentum concludes with the third part, which centers on an openness to life and parental responsibility in the upbringing of children.
“Dedicated to the Gospel of the family,” the first part of the outline “relates to God’s plan, biblical and magisterial knowledge and their reception, natural law and the vocation of the person in Christ,” the cardinal explained.
“The difficulties that arise in relation to natural law can be overcome through more attentive reference to the biblical world, to its language and narrative forms and to the proposal to thematize and deepen the biblically inspired concept of the ”˜order of creation,’” he explained.
O God, the God of all goodness and of all grace, who art worthy of a greater love than we can either give or understand: Fill our hearts, we beseech thee, with such love toward thee that nothing may seem too hard for us to do or to suffer, in obedience to thy will; and grant that thus loving thee, we may become daily more like unto thee, and finally obtain the crown of life which thou hast promised to those that love thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
–B. F. Westcott
Bless our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept us among the living, and has not let our feet slip.
–Psalm 66: 8-9
The Anglican Communion has gone from a concept to a reality thanks to a two-week course for new clergy and seminarians run by Canterbury Cathedral.
The course is one part of the Canterbury Scholars’ programme which “provides opportunities for Anglican/Episcopalian Christians from around the Anglican Communion to pray, study and live together.”
This year’s group comprises 29 men and women from countries including Sri Lanka, Ghana, Hong Kong, the USA, India and England
The two-week programme at Canterbury Cathedral Lodge included sessions on such topics as ”˜What is Anglicanism?’, ”˜Vocation, called and accepted’, ”˜Preaching the Word’, ”˜Being formed in the likeness of Christ’, and the ”˜Ministry of Reconciliation’.
There was also a trip to London to visit the Anglican Communion Office (ACO), the Secretariat for the Instruments of Communion.
The international visitors were welcomed by the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Canon Kenneth Kearon. They heard about how Anglican Communion Office staff members support the Communion and work to promote the bonds of affection between Anglicans and Episcopalians around the globe.
During their time with ACO staff, the visitors identified a host of things to celebrate as common to all Anglicans/Episcopalians. These included a “supple approach to tradition”…..
The day a premature baby is born is the most dangerous of its life. That’s when the risk of death and disability is greatest. But doctors around the world are working to help more babies survive that day.
Of the 15m premature babies born every year around the world, one million will die.
Babies born too soon are vulnerable to infection and breathing can be difficult because of their underdeveloped lungs.
It’s not always fully understood why babies are born early – but things which increase the likelihood include the age of the mother, some infections and if the woman has already had a premature baby.
James Rodriguez wow; just wow.
Fr [Carl] Garner, 71, is walking back from morning prayers to his private apartment at the Hertfordshire estate of the family, which traces its direct ancestry back to Queen Elizabeth I’s trusted chief adviser William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley. The chapel, which celebrates its 400th anniversary this year, follows the example of Good Queen Bess, the Protestant queen who was said to hang crucifixes and light candles in her private chapel while fellow Protestants had stripped altars in outrage at such idolatry. Original stained glass and paintings of the apostles are “proto-Laudian”, laughs Canon Garner, resplendent in his dark robes with red buttons and traditional Church of England square cap.
“Many visitors see me in my formal robes and think I’m part of a film set,” says Canon Garner, who used to be a parish priest in Welwyn Garden City. “The service at 8.45am takes 12 minutes and comprises verses from the Book of Common Prayer. We say prayers to the Queen. Lord Salisbury has a busy day, so it’s deliberately short. It’s a bit like school prayers.” During the service the family dogs often lie solemnly under the pews. On major feast days and saint’s days, a communion service is held.
His predecessor, Canon John Laird, says, “The family believe in the beauty of the traditional language and the King James Bible. They appointed me because I’m a traditionalist.”
Read it all (subscription required).