Daily Archives: October 10, 2014

(WSJ) Bob Greene–Off of Rough Streets, Into a Haven for Learning

Most of the tutors, not all of whom are church members, have just finished a full day at work. “We never start by just opening the books,” said Jon Findley, a bank data-base manager who has been volunteering for 24 years. “These kids bring their day with them. So you listen. It’s important that they know someone wants to hear about their lives. I don’t want to be another person who lets them down.”

Since the program started in 1964””one night a week, that first year, in the church basement””more than 6,000 children have been taught. Now tutoring is available four nights a week. The children who journey downtown from some of the city’s bleakest, most dangerous neighborhoods could be excused for complaining about the hand life has dealt them. But complaining is easy; working to better oneself is hard. The volunteers could be excused””even commended””if they chose only to give money to charities instead. But writing a check is easy; being the person who does something””the one who shows up””is hard.

The rewards, though, are lasting. Tamatha Webster’s daughter no longer has to struggle to learn in chaotic classrooms. She has been a faithful attendee on tutoring nights for seven years now, and because of her intelligence and diligent work has been awarded a scholarship to one of Chicago’s finest private schools.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Books, Children, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Laity, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

Brave New World Dept–Tara Prescott: In Vitro in Vegas

Las Vegas is such an impossible, unlikely place, a neon metropolis in the middle of the desert. Equally marvelous and unlikely is the technology that allows me to safely retrieve and freeze my eggs for future use, without a single incision. Because egg freezing only recently lost its “experimental” status and the success rates are not as well known as with embryo freezing, I decided to keep my options open and freeze both eggs and embryos. It feels a little bit like I’m living in a science fiction novel.

Now, a few months post-retrieval, I wonder when and how I will decide to use the eggs I’ve just nourished, protected, collected, and frozen. It’s possible I’ll meet someone and have children the traditional way. It’s possible I’ll marry in time for one child, but need to return to my frozen eggs for a second one. It’s possible I’ll decide to be a single mother, the way my mother was for many years. It’s possible I’ll adopt or decide not to have children at all, and be equally happy. But if I do have a daughter or son some day from the eggs I retrieved, I look forward to telling my child about the unexpected summer night in Vegas when it all started.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Other Faiths, Psychology, Science & Technology, Theology, Women

Archbishop of Canterbury encourages ordinands in his address at Trinity, Bristol

“If there’s one thing that is essential in ministry it’s knowing that you are in the hands of, and that you belong to, God Himself. That He’s chosen you, that He’s called you, that you are precious to God.”

With these powerful words the Archbishop of Canterbury began his address to the Trinity College community at the start of their new term, speaking to a packed chapel of women and men heading towards leadership in the Church of England.

His message followed the theme of Isaiah 44, where God reaffirms Israel’s chosen status and reminds them that the One they belong to is more powerful than the mess they’re in, and so commands them not to be afraid.

Read it all and you can watch the whole Youtube video (about 12 1/2 minutes).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

South Carolina Supreme Court puts same-sex marriage licenses on hold

No same sex weddings are on the immediate horizon in South Carolina, as the state’s top court ruled Thursday that its 46 probate court judges may not issue marriage licenses to such couples until a federal case is settled.

The S.C. Supreme Court’s ruling came one day after Charleston County Probate Judge Irvin Condon said he would issue licenses to same sex couples in the wake of Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision not to review a case overturning Virginia’s gay marriage ban.

Condon indicated Thursday he would abide by the top state court’s ruling.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Sexuality, State Government

WCC staff member appointed Unity, Faith and Order Director for the Anglican Communion

The Revd Canon Dr John Gibaut has been appointed to succeed the Revd Canon Dr Alyson Barnett-Cowan in March as Director for Unity, Faith and Order of the Anglican Communion.

Canon Gibaut is currently the Director of the World Council of Churches’ Commission on Faith and Order based in Geneva Switzerland. Faith and Order is the theological commission that resolves issues of Christian disunity, and promotes a vision of the Church as a communion of unity in diversty.

Read it all from ACNS.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Ecumenical Relations, Theology

(AP) Malala Yousafzai, Kailash Satharthi win Nobel Peace Prize

Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for their work for children’s rights.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee cited the two “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”

Malala, 17, is the youngest ever winner of a Nobel Prize. A schoolgirl and education campaigner in Pakistan, she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman two years ago. She.

Satyarthi, 60, has maintained the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi and headed various forms of peaceful protests, “focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain,” the Nobel committee said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Children, Education, Globalization, Middle East, Pakistan, Syria, Violence, Women

The power of personal Stewardship–Friday Encouragement from an NBC story on the Maimi Zoo

Albert and Winnie Sami gave nearly $5 million to Zoo Miami on the condition that they remain anonymous until after their deaths.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Animals, Children, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Stewardship

(Anglican Ink) Papal greetings for newest ACNA Leader Foley Beach

Pope Francis has communicated his personal greetings and blessings for the new ministry of the Most Rev. Foley Beach, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America [ACNA].

Speaking to the congregation of over 1500 gathered at the Church of the Apostles in Atlanta on 9 Oct 2014 for the installation of Archbishop Beach as leader of the ACNA, the Anglican Bishop of Argentina, the Rt. Rev. Gregory Venables stated that he had received a telephone call last week from “Fr Jorge”, the former Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires Jorge Bergoglio — now Pope Francis. Bishop Venables noted that he had long had a warm personal relationship with Pope Francis from his days as leader of the Argentine Catholic Church, and added Anglicans should rejoice in the current occupant of the chair of St Peter as he was a “Bible-believing, born again Christian.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Ecumenical Relations, Other Churches, Pope Francis, Roman Catholic, Theology

Is There anything quite Like Walking into a Great Booktore?

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Books, Globalization, Photos/Photography

A Local Paper article on ACNA, Anglicanism+Archbishop Justin Welby's recent interview

In essence, [Justin] Welby’s comments have re-stirred a critical question: Is being Anglican about being in communion with Caterbury, or is it about holding certain shared theological views?

Wood noted that Welby also said in the interview, “There is no Anglican Pope,” and that “decisions are made collectively and collegially.”

“The status of the ACNA within the Anglican Communion would, by extension of the same logic, be dependent upon the decisions of the primates and not solely upon the personal opinion Archbishop Justin,” [Steve] Wood said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, --Justin Welby, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Identity, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Theology

(Church Times) Survey finds C of E clergy wedded to the parish system

Church of England clergy are overwhelmingly committed to the parish system, despite the challenges it poses, a new survey by YouGov suggests.

This is one of the clearest findings to come out of new research devised by the team behind last year’s Westminster Faith Debates.

The survey asked 1500 Anglican clergy, chosen at random…how important the parish system was to them: 83 per cent said important, 12 per cent said not important, and five per cent held no strong view.

The only other of the 29 questions asked that generated such unanimity, regardless of church tradition, concerned the nature of God: 83 per cent believed in a personal God; nine per cent answered: “No one can know what God is like.”

Read it all.

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

The Investiture Sermon of new ACNA Leader Foley Beach

What is the kind of Church that He wants us to be? I’m sure there are many things we could say in answer to this question, but I am going to have the audacity to use an historic term to help us move forward together in the power of the Holy Spirit, as we seek to make the Father famous, and glorify Jesus Christ.

I will call these the “Four Marks of Continuing a Spirit-filled Movement” or rather “Four Marks of Modern Anglicanism.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, our Father, we are exceedingly frail, and indisposed to every virtuous and gallant undertaking: Strengthen our weakness, we beseech thee, that we may do valiantly in this spiritual war; help us against our own negligence and cowardice, and defend us from the treachery of our unfaithful hearts; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Saint Augustine

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Surely the righteous shall give thanks to thy name; the upright shall dwell in thy presence.

–Psalm 140:13

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Damon Linker–Why do so many in the elite who claim the name "liberal" despise Christianity?

Liberalism seems to have an irrational animus against Christianity. Consider these two stories highlighted in the last week by conservative Christian blogger Rod Dreher.

Item 1: In a widely discussed essay in Slate, author Brian Palmer writes about the prevalence of missionary doctors and nurses in Africa and their crucial role in treating those suffering from Ebola. Palmer tries to be fair-minded, but he nonetheless expresses “ambivalence,” “suspicion,” and “visceral discomfort” about the fact that these men and women are motivated to make “long-term commitments to address the health problems of poor Africans,” to “risk their lives,” and to accept poor compensation (and sometimes none at all) because of their Christian faith.

The question is why he considers this a problem.

Palmer mentions a lack of data and an absence of regulatory oversight. But he’s honest enough to admit that these aren’t the real reasons for his concern. The real reason is that he doesn’t believe that missionaries are capable “of separating their religious work from their medical work,” even when they vow not to proselytize their patients. And that, in his view, is unacceptable ”” apparently because he’s an atheist and religion creeps him out. As he puts it, rather wanly, “It’s great that these people are doing God’s work, but do they have to talk about Him so much?”

Read it all and make sure to read the Rod Dreher article and the Slate article mentioned.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Law & Legal Issues, Media, Missions, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(NPR) 'Mass Mobs' Aim To Keep Pews Full At Old Churches

In Detroit, a group of Catholics borrowed the idea of flash mobs for “Mass mobs” to help revitalize urban churches.

Every month, a group called Detroit Mass Mobs picks a church, spreads the word on Facebook ”” and just like that, it fills up and buzzes with the energy it once had.

St. Florian Catholic church is an eight-story, red-brick church built in 1908 by the Polish families who flocked here to work for Dodge, Ford and Packard. It seats 1,500 people, but normally only about 200 people attend noon Mass. On a recent Sunday, Thom Mann, an organizer with Detroit Mass Mob who’s not a regular at St. Florian, had to get here early because, he says, “there’ll be standing room only.”

“People are upset that the churches are closing, but the simple reason is, people don’t go,” Mann says.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology