Daily Archives: July 26, 2014

(Vancouver Sun) Police warned B.C. Muslim group to watch Burnaby man facing terrorism charges

Police had warned the B.C. Muslim Association to keep an eye on Hasib Yusufzai long before the Burnaby man was charged with leaving Canada to join a terrorist group in Syria.

“The authorities contacted us a long, long time ago about this individual, saying that they were concerned about him and just kind of warning us,” Aasim Rashid, a spokesman for the association, said in an interview Friday. His group is the largest Sunni Muslim organization in the province, representing about 80,000 Sunnis.

Yusufzai, 25, had attended the Al-Salaam mosque in Burnaby before leaving Canada in January, but Rashid said he was not a member. RCMP allege he left the country to join an group of Islamist fighters and charged him on July 17 with acting “for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist group.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Canada, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Urban/City Life and Issues

Quad City Anglicans celebrate Illinois appeals court decision

An Illinois appeals court has ruled in favor of an Anglican Church in North America diocese and against the Episcopal Church in a case that highlights theological differences between the two sides.

The ruling over the ownership of money and endowments as well as the property of parishes and missions was handed down Thursday in Springfield by the Illinois 4th District Appellate Court.

Locally, members of the Trinity Anglican Church in Rock Island celebrated the decision.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, Theology

(FT) EU chiefs back tough new curbs on Russia

Two of the EU’s most senior figures have urged the bloc’s prime ministers to approve a sweeping set of new sanctions against Russia next week.

The move marks the clearest signal to date that Europe is prepared to change its cautious approach towards the Kremlin over the Ukraine crisis.

In a letter sent late on Friday to Europe’s prime ministers, Herman Van Rompuy, the European Council president, said the sanctions package ”“ which is directed at Russia’s financial, energy and defence industries ”“ “strikes the right balance”.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Russia, The Banking System/Sector, Theology, Ukraine, Violence

(Washington Post) Depth of Gaza devastation becomes clear after cease-fire

With safe passage promised by a 12-hour humanitarian cease-fire, residents of the areas hardest hit in Gaza fighting returned to their homes on Saturday. They could not believe what they saw.

Many roads were barely passable, and almost quiet. Women did not wail. The men looked stunned. Their neighborhoods were reduced to ugly piles of gray dust, shattered cement block and twisted rebar.

Huge bomb craters marked the spot where on Friday four-story apartment blocks stood. On some streets, it seemed as if every house was either riddled with bullet holes or shrapnel spray, charred by flames, or leveled.

The scale of the damage from Israeli airstrikes and artillery fire was the worst seen in 19 days. Much of the damage witnessed Saturday occurred in the past 24 to 48 hours, as diplomats debated the terms of a possible truce.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Israel, Middle East, Politics in General, The Palestinian/Israeli Struggle, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

An AP Article on the South Carolina Episcopal Court Case as it Wound up this week

Before the split, the diocese had 70 congregations with about 29,000 parishioners. It dates to the 1700s and is one of the original dioceses that joined to form the Episcopal Church. The national church contends that the departure of a diocese requires the consent of the church’s General Convention, which was not consulted.

[Bp Mark] Lawrence later told reporters “I’m hopeful and will continue to pray for Judge Goodstein and guidance as she rules on this.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, Theology

New TEC Diocese in SC offers More Reports from the trial in Dorchester County

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Presiding Bishop, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, Theology

(BBC) Nigeria 'on red alert' over Ebola death in Lagos

Nigeria says it has put all entries into the country on red alert after confirming the death of a Liberian man who was carrying the Ebola virus.

The man died after arriving at Lagos airport on Tuesday, in the first Ebola case in Africa’s most populous country.

Surveillance has been stepped up at all “airports, seaports and land borders”, says Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu.

Since February, more than 660 people have died of Ebola in West Africa – the world’s deadliest outbreak to date.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Health & Medicine, Nigeria

South Carolina Diocesan Trial Day 14–Drama Ends with the Testimony of Bishop Mark Lawrence

The Right Rev. Mark J. Lawrence, 14th bishop of the Diocese of SC, whom TEC supporters have accused of plotting to lead the Diocese out of the denomination, was the only witness called during the final day of the trial. Diocesan attorneys asked him several questions about TEC’s authority and the process followed to punish him.

When asked if he had planned to lead the diocese out of TEC, he said, “Absolutely not.” He explained that no one had ever asked him to lead the diocese out and said it only decided to leave after TEC had taken steps to remove him as bishop ”“ violating its own process for doing that.

The bishop also contradicted testimony from earlier in the week, in which TEC witnesses claimed that the denomination has supreme authority over its dioceses and congregations. The bishop said that he shared the opinion of 14 other bishops that TEC has no actual authority over its member dioceses.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of the Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Almighty God, heavenly Father, we remember in thanksgiving this day the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary; and we pray that we all may be made one in the heavenly family of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer of Thanksgiving to Begin the Day

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we thank thee for all thou hast given and for all thou hast forgiven; for thy hidden blessings and for those which in our negligence we have passed over: for every gift of nature or of grace: for our power of loving: for all which thou hast yet in store for us: for everything, whether joy or sorrow, whereby thou art drawing us to thyself through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–The Pastor’s Prayer Book

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

“And now I am about to go the way of all the earth, and you know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God promised concerning you; all have come to pass for you, not one of them has failed. But just as all the good things which the LORD your God promised concerning you have been fulfilled for you, so the LORD will bring upon you all the evil things, until he have destroyed you from off this good land which the LORD your God has given you, if you transgress the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them. Then the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you, and you shall perish quickly from off the good land which he has given to you.”

–Joshua 23:14-19

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(RNS) A ban on new church construction angers Sudanese Christians

Christians in Sudan frequently face arrests, impromptu questioning and expulsion. But this month, conditions worsened after the government announced a ban on the construction of new churches.

Shalil Abdullah, the Sudanese minister for guidance and religious endowments, made the announcement on July 12, sparking criticism from top Christian clerics who warned of shrinking worship space in the mainly Muslim and Arab north.

After South Sudan’s independence in 2011, many Christians moved to the newly formed country, which has a large Christian population. But a sizable number remained.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --North Sudan, --South Sudan, Africa, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sudan, Theology

Music for Friday Evening: Joshua fought the battle of Jericho

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Liturgy, Music, Worship

(NYT) Marijuana Is a Welcome Wedding Guest in Colorado and Washington State

Earlier this month, when Ellen Epstein arrived at the Devil’s Thumb Ranch in Tabernash, Colo., for the wedding of her friends Lauren Meisels and Bradley Melshenker, she, like the other guests, found a gift bag waiting for her in her hotel room. But rather than a guide to activities in the area or a jar of locally made honey, the canvas bag contained a rolled joint, a lighter and lip balm infused with mango butter and cannabis, along with this note: “We wanted to show you some of the things we love the best.”

She knew then that the wedding of her fellow Boulder residents would be just a little different from the ones she had attended in the past.

The Meisels and Melshenker nuptials looked as if their inspiration had come not from the pages of Martha Stewart Weddings but from High Times. All of the floral arrangements, including the bride’s bouquet, contained a variety of white flowers mixed with marijuana buds and leaves. Mr. Melshenker and his groomsmen wore boutonnieres crafted out of twine and marijuana buds, and Mr. Melshenker’s three dogs, who were also in attendance, wore collars made of cannabis buds, eucalyptus leaves and pink ribbons.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Drugs/Drug Addiction, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, State Government, Young Adults