Daily Archives: June 5, 2014

(Bloomberg) College Graduates Struggle to Find Employment Worth a Degree

This year’s college graduates will have to be more creative to land a job they want.

The unemployment rate for college graduates ages 22 to 27 fell to 5.6 percent in 2013 from 6.4 percent at the recession’s peak in 2009. Among 22-year-old degree holders who found jobs in the past three years, more than half were in roles not requiring a college diploma, said John Schmitt, a labor economist for the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington.

Many graduates have traveled nontraditional pathways to find employment in their desired fields. Rory Molleda, 22, started an unpaid internship at Washington’s D.C. United soccer team a week after finishing Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, a year ago.

Forty job applications later, he networked his way to a paid position at another company that wasn’t exactly what he wanted. In January, he landed his “dream job” as a team operations coordinator for D.C. United and said he feels lucky.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Education, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Young Adults

(TEC Diocese of Washington DC) Jason Cox–The Church Isn't Dying, Christendom Is

Anxiety about the state of the church is everywhere you look. Church professionals, lay and ordained, are constantly bombarded by books, articles, blog posts, Facebook updates, and on and on, all about how the church is dying, and why, and what we should do in response: save it! let it die! Often these recommendations come with a handy bulleted list.

I don’t think the church is dying, but it is changing. Or at least, the culture around us has changed, and we are–slowly, painfully–changing too. The question is, are these changes a cause for despair? Or hope?

We no longer enjoy the cultural hegemony that Christendom afforded–those many centuries when culture, political power, and the church were tightly intertwined. But I think this is actually a blessing.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Blogging & the Internet, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Secularism

(Bloomberg) Draghi Takes ECB Deposit Rate Negative in Historic Move

The European Central Bank cut its deposit rate below zero and said it would announce further measures later today as policy makers try to counter the prospect of deflation in the world’s second-largest economy.

ECB President Mario Draghi reduced the deposit rate to minus 0.10 percent from zero, making the institution the world’s first major central bank to use a negative rate. Policy makers also lowered the benchmark rate to 0.15 percent from 0.25 percent.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Globalization, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

(MNN) Negotiations underway for freeing Nigerian schoolgirls

Despite disappointment that word of his involvement in the negotiations for the release of the Chibok schoolgirls was leaked to media last week, the Australian cleric appointed as the Nigerian President’s envoy in the negotiations with Boko Haram remains hopeful that they will succeed in getting the girls released.

Dr. Stephen Davis, an Anglican cleric, told media the fact that his name was leaked is not helping the negotiations, but he remains confident nonetheless that they will succeed.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Teens / Youth, Terrorism, Theology, Violence, Women

(Local Paper) University of Charleston bill sees setback after emotional S.C. Senate debate

A bill that would have established the Lowcountry’s first comprehensive research university may have lost its best chance of passing Wednesday when some of the S.C. Senate’s most powerful voices put up a significant roadblock to the measure.

The lengthy Senate debate also featured an emotional plea from Sen. Harvey Peeler, R-Gaffney, the Senate majority leader, who lamented the aggressive, often personal politics that he said Charleston legislators employed to see the bill passed.

While the bill is not entirely dead, Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Charleston, who has fought for the measure, worries that a failure to get a vote on the bill with just one full day left in this year’s legislative session means the Senate may have lost its best chance to pass it.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, City Government, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, State Government, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Young Adults

(BBC) Nigerian villagers 'killed in Boko Haram church attack'

Suspected Boko Haram militants have killed dozens of villagers in fresh attacks in Borno state in north-eastern Nigeria, the BBC has learnt.

In one attack, gunmen disguised as soldiers fired on a crowd in a church compound, local MP Peter Biye said.

He said he had warned the army that the area was at risk after troops stationed nearby were withdrawn three months ago.

The latest attacks come as the army denied that several generals had been found guilty of aiding the militants.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

(Bloomberg) Highest and Cheapest Gasoline Prices by Country

The summer driving season is upon us, a time when road-trip dreams meet the open road. There’s just one thing standing in the way: the gas station.

Think filling up is expensive? It’s all relative. The cost of filling up the 39-gallon tank of a Chevrolet Suburban in [one country] is $381.81. In [another country], it’s just $1.56.

Read it all and try to guess your country’s rank before you look. Note also that the % of an average daily wage for one gallon of gas is yet another difference across the globe.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Personal Finance, Theology

(CNN) Inside Manhattan's most hipster-y megachurch

While some churches are struggling to attract younger members, 20 and 30-something-year-olds are waiting in long lines to get into Hillsong’s services….

Watch the whole video report.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Liturgy, Music, Worship, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues, Young Adults

World Cup 2014–Dare to Try to Predict the Outcome

The Telegraph has a chart there to help and Peter Ould is running a competition you can enter there.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Globalization, Sports

(C of E) The Dean of Lichfield reflects on the Stephen Sutton vigil and funeral

The Dean of Lichfield Cathedral reflects on the role the Church played in a vigil and service for Stephen Sutton, who died at 19, four years after being diagnosed with cancer. Stephen had written a ‘bucket list’ of things he wanted to achieve before he died, one of them was to raise £1000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust. The fundraising has topped £4m since his quest was endorsed by several celebrities and picked up by the media.

Read it all and please listen to the audio also.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Health & Medicine, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Young Adults

Sheila Hollins–can you really tell if someone's of sound and settled mind for asstd suicide?

As a psychiatrist I have spent my working life helping people to find a reason for living and to make sense of disability – not a reason to hasten their death. So imagine my concern to find yet another attempt to legalise what is euphemistically called ‘assisted dying’ planned for the new session of Parliament starting this week.

In practice, assisted dying means licensing doctors to supply lethal drugs to terminally ill patients to enable them to commit suicide. This is quite different from pain relief or sedation,which are of course perfectly legal, although sometimes under-used for fear of litigation. Make no mistake, this is no mere amendment of the law that is being proposed but a major change to it – as well as to the principles that underpin medical practice. It’s all very well to say there would be safeguards but there are no possible safeguards that would protect vulnerable, sick and elderly people.

Let’s look at two of the so-called safeguards in Lord Falconer’s Bill, tabled in the last session but not taken forward….

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Psychology, Suicide, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Boniface

Almighty God, who didst call thy faithful servant Boniface to be a witness and martyr in the lands of Germany and Friesland, and by his labor and suffering didst raise up a people for thine own possession: Pour forth thy Holy Spirit upon thy Church in every land, that by the service and sacrifice of many thy holy Name may be glorified and thy kingdom enlarged; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Into thy hands, O Lord, we commend ourselves this day. Let thy presence be with us to its close. Strengthen us to remember that in whatsoever good work we do we are serving thee. Give us a diligent and watchful spirit, that we may seek in all things to know thy will, and knowing it, gladly to perform it, to the honour and glory of thy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Gelasian Sacramentary

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. And behold, they brought to him a paralytic, lying on his bed; and when Jesus saw their faith he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ”˜Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ”˜Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins”””he then said to the paralytic””“Rise, take up your bed and go home.” And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

–Matthew 9:1-8

Posted in Uncategorized

(Gainesville, GA, Times) Eyes on churches in Georgia as they decide whether to allow guns

When Georgia’s new comprehensive gun laws go into effect July 1, many churches will opt out of allowing weapons into worship halls.

The Safe Carry Protection Act, sometimes called the “Guns Everywhere” law by opponents, goes into effect July 1. The language of the bill actually prohibits guns inside churches, unless the “governing body or authority of the place of worship permits the carrying of weapons or long guns by license holders.”

But it’s not even a concern for many Christian denominations, including in Catholic, Methodist and Episcopal churches. Leaders in all three organizations have pointed to no-weapons policies, and advised individual churches to follow the rules already in place.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Methodist, Other Churches, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Violence

(TLC) Samuel Keyes reviews Gary Wills' New book "Why Priests? A Failed Tradition"

The chief error in Wills’s attempt at primitivist reformation is the mistaken assumption that first-century people must be just like 21st-century people. The picture we get of the early Church in Why Priests? is a demythologized reversal of a fanciful Catholic Last Supper, with Jesus wearing a fiddleback chasuble, stole, and maniple. Rather than take pains to show why early Christians must have really meant and implied everything that the Council of Trent taught, Wills takes pains to show why early Christians must have really denied and abhorred everything that the Council of Trent taught.

Wills might consider the possibility that first-century people did not think and keep records like 21st-century people do. Not only was their culture more deeply oral; compared to ours, it was so saturated in ritual and cult that the unbloody “oblation” of Christians to their one God would have seemed utterly atheistic and anti-religious.

Pagans had trouble recognizing Christianity as a religion not, as Wills suggests, because it had absolutely no sacrifice and no priests, but because its sacrifice bore little resemblance to anything that they called sacrifice, its priests differed markedly from their own cultic leaders, and its God seemed unrecognizably divine.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Christology, Church History, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

(Fox Bus.) Overhauling Health Exchanges: A Pricey, Complex Maneuver

With five months to go until the Affordable Care Act’s 2015 open enrollment season, states that had troubled exchanges during the inaugural sign-up period are scrambling to either upgrade their sites or transition to the federal exchange””all on the taxpayer’s dime.

A new analysis from the Wall Street Journal finds that the cost for Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada and Oregon to overhaul their exchanges or transition to healthcare.gov will be as high as $240 million in total.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Senate, State Government, The U.S. Government, Theology

Ed Stetzer–MissionTrends: 4 Trends for Churches to Consider

4. More Robust Churches will Result from the Death of Nominalism.

It is beginning to cost something to be a Christian in America””not as much as in many places in the world or in much of history, but more than it used to. And, as living for Christ costs more in our culture, it will mean more in our context.

Churches that are preaching the Gospel and are focusing on biblical truths are going to become more clearly distinct from the culture around them. The end result? Robust Christian communities are going to get stronger.

These Gospel-preaching churches will have members who are more, not less, committed and these committed churches will have less nominal Christians in the years to come. Christianity will become more of a minority in culture, but more refined, more biblical, and more missional churches will be the result.

Read it all.

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