Daily Archives: September 27, 2014

(BBC) Cheltenham church officials 'sold painting without permission'

Church officials were “stupid” and their conduct “dismal” when they sold a painting at auction for £20,000 without diocesan permission, an investigation has found.

The Gloucester Diocese church court report accepted that the vicar and wardens had not acted dishonestly.

The 19th Century Madonna and Child by Franz Ittenbach was sold by Emmanuel Church in Cheltenham last October.

A parish spokesman stressed that officials had acted properly.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Art, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Stewardship, Theology

The Bishops of Coventry and Derby speak in House of Lords Iraq debate

The Bishop of Coventry has spoken about the importance of a wider strategy to combat the “swinging axe of cruelty” wielded by Isis extremists.

Introducing his speech in the House of Lords, the Rt Rev Christopher Cocksworth quoted German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who said that when a madman “comes down the street” swinging an axe, it is our duty not just to apply plasters to the injured but to stop the madman with whatever means are expedient.

“The Government is seeking to join with others to stop the madman swinging the axe of cruelty, and stopped we are agreed he must be. The question is what are the expedient means for doing so?” Bishop Christopher said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Bloomberg) U.S. Outgunned by Extremists on New YouTube, Twitter Battlefield

Even with their technological head start, the U.S. and its allies are coming late to this battle for hearts and minds. Social media’s volume, velocity and verisimilitude have left the U.S. struggling to counter it and mine the communication for reliable information.

By the end of this year, the Geneva-based International Telecommunications Union projects that 55 percent of the world’s 2.3 billion mobile broadband subscriptions will be in developing countries, where unemployed youth can use them to access messages from Islamic State and other extremists.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, America/U.S.A., Blogging & the Internet, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Media, Photos/Photography, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Terrorism, Theology

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to visit with India's prime minister in NY

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is heading to New York this weekend to meet with India Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Haley’s office said Friday the governor will be joined by her husband and her parents, who were born in India. Haley will also spend some time in private discussions with Modi on Sunday.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, America/U.S.A., Asia, Economy, Foreign Relations, Globalization, India, Politics in General, State Government

(USA Today Editorial) Gambling states addicted to easy money

With Atlantic City casino revenue in a steep decline, last year New Jersey began offering online gambling to its citizens. It didn’t help much, so now the state wants to take a bigger step.

Gov. Chris Christie has given the go-ahead for casinos and racetracks to offer sports betting, despite a 1992 federal law that bans the practice in all but four states where it previously existed. A federal judge will hear Christie’s argument on Oct. 6. If he’s successful, online sports gambling will surely follow.

New Jersey is a prime example of how states are the worst offenders in the world of gambling. They are both addicts and pushers. They throw temper tantrums and upset settled policy when their fix of gambling revenue runs low. And rather than compensating for the effects, they encourage their own citizens to gamble more and in different ways.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Gambling, Pastoral Theology, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Poverty, State Government, Theology

The Diocese of Fort Worth Full 49-page Brief Mentioned in the Preceding Post

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth, Theology

Fort Worth Diocese files Brief in Opposition supporting Neutral Principles approach

(Via email–KSH).

In response to a request by the U.S. Supreme Court to file a brief in response to TEC’s June 19 appeal, attorneys for the Diocese and Corporation today filed our 49-page Brief in Opposition. TEC seeks reversal of the Texas Supreme Court’s ruling in our favor. Our Brief supports the Neutral Principles approach to church property disputes that was issued by the nation’s highest Court in 1979.

Aaron Streett, the diocesan Counsel of Record, offers the following timeline: “We anticipate TEC’s reply will be filed by October 14. We anticipate the Court will vote on whether to grant certiorari on Oct. 31. The outcome of that vote could be known as early as that afternoon or the following Monday. It is also possible the Court will “re-list” the case for consideration at future conferences, which could delay the decision.”

Similarly, attorneys for the Church of the Good Shepherd in San Angelo have filed a Brief upon the Court’s request. TEC and the Diocese of Northwest Texas appealed the Texas Supreme Court’s ruling in that case, too.

Please keep the Justices and their staff in your prayers.

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

”˜The Vicar of Baghdad’ Canon Andrew White bears witness to the present hell in Iraq

Colin Powell famously told President George W. Bush before the Iraq invasion, “If you break it, you own it.” Well, it’s safe to say we broke Iraq.

That’s the story I heard last week from two people who live there. I met with the Rev. Canon Andrew White ”” “The Vicar of Baghdad” ”” who serves as the chaplain to St. George’s Anglican Church in the heart of Baghdad. We were joined by Sarah Ahmed, a director at White’s Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East. Ahmed was born and raised in Iraq. White has lived there for 15 years.

“I was in favor of the U.S. invasion,” White told me. “But we are literally 5,000 times worse than before. If you look at it, you can see it was wrong. We have gained nothing. Literally nothing. We may have had an evil dictator, but now we have total terrorism. We used to have one Saddam. Now we have thousands.”

Read it all from USA Today.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Foreign Relations, Inter-Faith Relations, Iraq War, Islam, Ministry of the Ordained, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

Makes the Heart Sad Dept–The Mentally ill population in the lrgst U.S. jail systm is out of control

Inmates in suicide-proof gowns scream and bang on their cell doors one floor below Terri McDonald’s office in the Twin Towers Correctional Facility. The bedlam is a reminder, if she needs one, that the mentally ill population in the largest U.S. jail system is out of control.

It’s a “shameful social and public-safety issue,” said McDonald, the assistant sheriff who runs Los Angeles County’s jails. “I believe we can do better. I believe at some point in the future we’ll look back and wonder, ”˜What took so long?’”

That’s been a question for years. Conditions for mentally ill inmates in the county have been a focus of federal probes since 1997, and the number with psychiatric disorders was an issue in a recent debate over a new jail. Keeping a mentally ill person behind bars can cost more than $50,000 annually, while treatment could run two-thirds less. Criminal justice systems from Seattle to Miami with aggressive jail-diversion efforts have cut inmate headcounts — and lowered recidivism rates.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Mental Illness, Politics in General, Prison/Prison Ministry, Psychology, State Government, Theology

The Latest Edition of the Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Media, Parish Ministry, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Thou knowest, O heavenly Father, the duties that lie before me this day, the dangers that may confront me, the sins that most beset me. Guide me, strengthen me, protect me.

Give me Thy life in such abundance that I may this day hold my soul in Thy pure light. Give me Thy power, that I may become a power for righteousness among my fellows. Give me Thy love, that all lesser things may have no attraction for me ; that selfishness, impurity, and falseness may drop away as dead desires, holding no meaning for me. Let me find Thy power, Thy love, Thy life, in all mankind, and in the secret places of my own soul. Amen.

A Book of Prayers for Students

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

After the uproar ceased, Paul sent for the disciples and having exhorted them took leave of them and departed for Macedo”²nia. When he had gone through these parts and had given them much encouragement, he came to Greece. There he spent three months, and when a plot was made against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he determined to return through Macedo”²nia. Sop”²ater of Beroe”²a, the son of Pyrrhus, accompanied him; and of the Thessalo”²nians, Aristar”²chus and Secun”²dus; and Ga”²ius of Derbe, and Timothy; and the Asians, Tych”²icus and Troph”²imus. These went on and were waiting for us at Tro”²as, but we sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days we came to them at Tro”²as, where we stayed for seven days.
On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the morrow; and he prolonged his speech until midnight. There were many lights in the upper chamber where we were gathered. And a young man named Eu”²tychus was sitting in the window. He sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer; and being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. But Paul went down and bent over him, and embracing him said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.” And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed. And they took the lad away alive, and were not a little comforted.

But going ahead to the ship, we set sail for Assos, intending to take Paul aboard there; for so he had arranged, intending himself to go by land. And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mityle”²ne. And sailing from there we came the following day opposite Chi”²os; the next day we touched at Samos; and the day after that we came to Mile”²tus. For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hastening to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost.

–Acts 20:1-16

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Public Discourse) Patrick Lee–Marriage Redefinition and a Lifelong Commitment

…the high divorce rate has ceased to shock or even concern many people. Divorce has become an acceptable, normal fact of life. The predominant view is that many marriages break down through no fault on the part of either spouse: they simply “grow apart.” And so””the thinking goes””one cannot expect married men and women to keep their vows to remain devoted to each other until death parts them. If marriage is a love relationship, and the love has died, is it not pointless to continue with the charade of “marriage”?

But this conventional wisdom is based on a redefinition of what marriage is. In the traditional understanding, the term “marriage” is reserved for the comprehensive union of a man and a woman””bodily, emotional, and spiritual””of the kind that would be naturally fulfilled by conceiving and rearing children together (even though in some instances that fulfillment is not reached). In the alternative view, marriage is seen as an essentially emotional and sexual relationship that, by implication, can be dissolved when the relationship is no longer emotionally fulfilling.

This false view has caused marriage to be fragile and has led to immeasurable tragedy for children, wives, and husbands. In this view, children are only extrinsic additions””burdens or benefits. And if the emotional closeness has been lost, it seems to follow that the marriage itself has simply broken down of its own accord and can be dissolved. This view has led to the rising divorce rates we’re seeing reported.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Sociology, Theology

Joel Miller–What a California Charter School Banning "the Hiding Place" says

A California charter school has decided to pull Corrie ten Boom’s Holocaust memoir, The Hiding Place, from its library because the content was deemed too religious. Where to begin? It’s impossible to separate remembrance of the Holocaust from matters of faith; only a modern educator would try.

According to the report of a parent at the school, library staff were told to “remove Christian books, books by Christian authors, and books from Christian publishers.”

When the Pacific Justice Institute, a Christian legal defense group, sent a cease-and-desist notice, the school superintendent responded, “We . . . do not allow sectarian materials on our state-authorized lending shelves.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Education, Europe, History, Judaism, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Philosophy, Religion & Culture, Secularism, Theology