Daily Archives: June 29, 2014

(Economist) As the Islamist insurgency spreads its net, more and more in Nigeria are fleeing

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.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Hinduism, Law & Legal Issues, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

The Dutch Survive a Mexico Scare to go on to the World Cup Quarterfinals

It was really quite a game.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Men, Sports, The Netherlands

(Gallup) Majority Still Says Religion Can Answer Today's Problems

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say that religion can answer all or most of today’s problems, while 30% say that religion is largely old fashioned and out of date.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become gradually less likely to say that religion can answer today’s problems and more likely to believe religion is out of date.

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

(AP) Europe euthanasia rulings stir debate

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.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, France, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Parish Ministry, Theology

Two recent Church of England ordinands tell their stories

Watch and listen to it all from Vimeo.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(CNA) Vatican Releases Working Document for October Synod on the Family

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.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Adult Education, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

Archbishop Peter Jensen and Archbishop Ben Kwashi with South Carolina Bishop Mark Lawrence

(Craige Borrett photo)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * General Interest, * South Carolina, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Photos/Photography

A Prayer to Begin the Day

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

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

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

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

ACNS: Canterbury course moves Anglican Communion from the head to the heart

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”…..

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

(BBC) The day a premature baby is born is the most dangerous of its life

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.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family

Congratulations to Colombia who go on to the World Cup Quarterfinals

James Rodriguez wow; just wow.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Colombia, Men, South America, Sports, Uruguay

([London] Times) The last full-time family chaplain robes up for the lord’s prayer time

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.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, History, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

Brazil Beat Back the tension to reach the quarterfinals of the World Cup

Penalty shoot outs are so tough.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Brazil, Chile, Men, South America, Sports