Daily Archives: October 2, 2014

(CT's Her.meneutics) Rosemary Blake–Ebola and the Clean Water Crisis

My motto has always been to “serve God and serve humanity.” There is no better time to stand with my country than now. Through Living Water, I’ve seen the women widowed and children orphaned by the outbreak. I’ve heard from people unable to afford food as prices rise in the midst of government lockdowns, surviving on rainwater alone.

As Jesus showed us, ministry is relational and asks standing with our neighbors and loved ones during challenging times. I can’t abandon my people. For my nation, Sierra Leone, I must serve as a change agent, just as Christ was, with love and compassion for the people. My desire is to see others live on in health and strength so that they can have the opportunity to hear and share the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

Rana Foroohar (Time) completely nails it on the struggling US economy: "very, very broken"

A little over three years ago, I wrote a column titled “The 2% Economy,” explaining how a recovery with only 2% GDP growth, no new middle-class jobs and stagnant wages wasn’t really a recovery after all. Like everyone, I hoped that once growth kicked up to about 3%, middle-class jobs and wages would finally revive.

But we’re now in a 3% economy, and I’m writing the same column. Only this time, the message is more disturbing. Growth is back. Unemployment is down. But only a fraction of the jobs lost during the Great Recession that pay more than $15 per hour have been found. And wage growth is still hovering near zero, where it’s been for the past decade. Something is very, very broken in our economy.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Federal Reserve, House of Representatives, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Politics in General, Senate, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government, Theology

NYT on the Gen. Seminary Crisis–Seeking Dean’s Firing, Seminary Professors End Up Jobless

The General Theological Seminary in Manhattan, the nation’s oldest Episcopal seminary, seemed to be regaining its footing after almost having to seek bankruptcy protection in 2010. It sold off some valuable real estate ”” its leafy campus in Chelsea is just steps from the High Line ”” and hired a new dean and president, the Rev. Kurt H. Dunkle, who promised to make the struggling institution a “joyful, thankful and useful” place.

A year after his arrival, however, the seminary has fallen into turmoil. Eight of its 10 full-time faculty members walked off the job on Friday to protest what they described in letters to the school’s board of trustees as Mr. Dunkle’s overly controlling management style, his habit of making vulgar and offensive remarks, and his frequent threats to demote or fire those who disagreed with him.

The work stoppage, faculty members said, was intended to force a dialogue with the board and, ideally, to lead to the firing of Mr. Dunkle. Instead, the tactic backfired. On Monday, the board dismissed the eight faculty members, leaving the seminary’s roughly 140 students, a month into their term, without professors to teach them.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Seminary / Theological Education, TEC Conflicts, Theology

(Reuters) ISIS In Iraq Carried Out Mass Executions, Abductions: UN Report

Islamic State insurgents in Iraq have carried out mass executions, abducted women and girls as sex slaves, and used children as fighters in systematic violations that may amount to war crimes, the United Nations said on Thursday.

In a report based on 500 interviews, it also said Iraqi government air strikes on the Sunni Muslim militants had caused “significant civilian deaths” by hitting villages, a school and hospitals in violation of international law.

At least 9,347 civilians had been killed and 17,386 wounded so far through September, well over half of them since the Islamic insurgents also known as ISIL and ISIS began seizing large parts of northern Iraq in early June, the report said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Iraq, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

[CT Gleanings] What Americans Pray For and Against (Per Max Lucado's LifeWay Survey)

When God answers prayer, he tends to do it in the South.

At least, so say Americans who participated in a new poll from LifeWay Research sponsored by popular pastor and author Max Lucado. Southerners (31 percent) are twice as likely as Northeasterners (15 percent) to say all of their prayers have been answered. African Americans (38 percent) also have a greater propensity to say this than whites (22 percent) and Asian Americans (19 percent).

Overall, one in four Americans report that God answers all their prayers, while eight in 10 say at least some of their prayers are answered. Protestants are just a tad more likely to sense a response: 30 percent said God answers all of their prayers, and 87 percent said God answers at least some. Only 3 percent of Protestants said their prayers are never answered.

Read it all.

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

(Law and Religion UK) Is a Church liable for a cleric’s adultery?

On Monday the Telegraph reported that the husband of a woman who earlier this year allegedly stayed for “at least three nights” at the house of Kieran Conry, until recently Roman Catholic Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, is threatening to sue the Roman Catholic Church. Bishop Conry stood down at the weekend after admitting he had broken his vows of celibacy; and the anonymous husband, who has filed for divorce, is claiming that the bishop’s penchant for women was well-known among the Roman Catholic hierarchy and that its failure to take action led directly to the break-up of his marriage. His solicitor, Ms Clare Kirby of Kirby and Co, said that he was considering an action against the Church, although the case was “in its infancy”:

“My client was trying to deal with this confidentially and went to the bishop for help in reconciling his marriage after he became aware that the bishop was the third person in his marriage. I first wrote to the bishop on behalf of my client some months ago, asking him to respond, but heard nothing back. I wrote again, but all we got was a menacing letter from the bishop’s lawyers indicating the possibility of defamation proceedings.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

(Bloomberg) Ebola Death Toll Passes 3,300 as The First U.S. Case Found

The death toll from Ebola in West Africa rose to 3,338, a sign the outbreak isn’t abating as the first case diagnosed outside Africa was confirmed in the U.S.

The U.S. case, in a Liberian man who recently traveled to Dallas, shows the difficulty of completely containing the outbreak and highlighted vulnerabilities in airport screening procedures designed to keep it from spreading globally.

The outbreak has spurred 7,178 infections through Sept. 28, the World Health Organization said yesterday in a statement. Almost all of the Ebola virus disease cases and deaths are in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Death / Burial / Funerals, Globalization, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry

Helena Bonham Carter reads Christina Rossetti's Song poem for National Poetry Day

Listen to it all and follow a very good discussion on Twitter for #Nationalpoetryday

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Poetry & Literature

(WWM) How the Arab region’s largest Christian minority is helping Iraqi Christians

As a coalition of Western and Arab countries continues military action to try to defeat Islamic State (IS), it’s timely to hear how the region’s largest Christian minority – in Egypt – is helping to provide humanitarian relief in Northern Iraq.

Coptic Christians themselves faced an onslaught from Islamic extremists only a year ago, but are now providing much-needed practical and psychological support to other Arab speakers in ways that Westerners cannot.

One of the biggest churches in the Arab world, Kasr el-Dobara church in Cairo, is delivering aid alongside agencies such as the UNHCR, Caritas and many others, thanks to its relatively well-paid and well-connected membership.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Coptic Church, Egypt, Ethics / Moral Theology, Iraq, Middle East, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

Archbishop Justin Welby sends good wishes for Yamim Nora’im

To Jewish friends and colleagues on the occasion of Yamim Nora’im, the Days of Awe 2014/5775,

I wish to express my most earnest and prayerful good wishes to Jewish colleagues and communities in this country and beyond, as you live through the spiritual intensity of the Aseret Yemei Teshuvah, the Ten Days of Repentance, between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. I know this to be a time not of frivolity, but of candid introspection – of repentance, prayer, and acts of charity and justice. Christians and others have much to learn from the seriousness and solemnity of this time, always set in a context confident of divine mercy and forgiveness.

This last year has been hard for both of our communities. I spoke earlier in the year of how unacceptable is the spike in violence and abuse against Jewish communities here in the UK.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Inter-Faith Relations, Judaism, Other Faiths

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Teach us, O God, to walk trustfully today in thy presence, that thy voice may encourage us, thine arm defend us, and thy love surround us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

O give thanks to the LORD, call on his name, make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him, tell of all his wonderful works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his presence continually!

–Psalm 105:1-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(BBC) China issues warning over Hong Kong 'illegal' protests

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi has issued a stern warning against any “illegal” protests in Hong Kong.

Visiting Washington, Mr Wang also warned that the matter was an “internal affair” for China.

His US counterpart, John Kerry, urged Hong Kong to exercise restraint in dealing with the protests.

Earlier, student demonstrators angry at China’s vetting of candidates for 2017 elections vowed to step up protests if Chief Executive CY Leung did not quit.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, China, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Theology

TEC Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop Ancement

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops

(ACNS) Despite ISIS threat, Baghdad Christians are still seeking baptism

Christians in Baghdad are still being baptised despite the threat of execution by the radical Islamist group Islamic State* (IS) which is currently fighting to get to the Iraqi capital.

The Anglican priest who has served the beleaguered city for more than a decade, Canon Andrew White, today told ACNS he thought the threat posed by IS was actually one reason the believers wanted to be undergo baptism.

“People really wanted to demonstrate their faith and that’s good,” he said. Publicly identifying oneself as a Christian is a particularly courageous move in a country where IS has been intentionally targeting religious minorities.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Baptism, Iraq, Middle East, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(Der Spiegel) The Road to Bamiyan: A Public Works Debacle that Defines Afghanistan

[Vittorio] Roscio hasn’t visited the construction site for ages because it is too dangerous. Instead, he reads the reports here, behind the walls of the Italian government’s campus in Kabul. Over the years, the walls became thicker and thicker, the barbed wire higher and the security protocols stricter. In 2007, Rocio could still walk relatively freely through the streets of Kabul. Now, though, he climbs into a bullet-proof Toyota SUV even for the 30 meters to the Italian Embassy.

Like all international workers in Kabul, Roscio lives in the equivalent of a high security cage and is rarely allowed to go out. As such, his influence over the road to Bamiyan has fallen markedly over the years.

“It is unfortunately extremely difficult to understand Afghanistan from the perspective of Kabul,” Roscio says tiredly. “And it is completely impossible to understand Afghanistan from Europe or America. No chance.” He gets into one of the bullet-proof Toyotas and is driven to the Italian Embassy. The wall opens briefly to let him out and closes again immediately.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, War in Afghanistan