Daily Archives: November 9, 2014

Funeral industry meets growing demand for pet cremation and grief rituals

[Stacy Pride’s dog] Paco died this fall, two years after her husband’s death. Pride wanted a special way to say goodbye to a special pet.

Although the family had buried earlier pets, this time she went to McAlister-Smith Funeral & Cremations to have Paco cremated. She picked out a simple copper urn to keep Paco with her family forever. Her daughters bought her a charm with Paco’s nose print because he loved to kiss with his nose.

With that, the family joined a growing number of pet owners scampering for the same kinds of services for pets that they long have relied on to mourn human loved ones.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * South Carolina, Animals, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology

(NYRB) Rembrandt in the Depths

“Rembrandt: The Late Works,” an exhibition now on view at London’s National Gallery, will linger long in the mind of anyone who has the pleasure to see it. Bringing together approximately ninety paintings, prints, and drawings Rembrandt made at the end of his life, it reveals a great artist working with unprecedented technical command and emotional power, even as the world closes in around him.

In the fifteen years before his death in 1669, Rembrandt suffered one terrible reversal after another. In 1654, his common-law wife Hendrickje Stoffels was condemned as a whore for her relationship with Rembrandt, and this led some important clients to ostracize him. Ever a spendthrift, he went bankrupt two years later and was forced to auction off his house, art collection, and printing press. Despite such desperate steps, he plunged still further into poverty, becoming so destitute he even had to sell the grave of his first wife, Saskia. Worse still, Hendrickje died of the plague in 1663, and Rembrandt’s beloved son Titus died in 1668, leaving him all but alone.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Art, Books, History

Laura Vanderkam–Americans still value virtues, we are focused on the wrong ones

For millennia, scholars have debated what virtues should be part of the moral life. While the seven deadly sins might be more interesting, the virtues””such as prudence, justice and fortitude””have inspired a good deal of deliberation. Which are most important? Who embodies them, who doesn’t and what challenges do they present to mere mortals?

Into this eternal genre steps a team of right-of-center writers known to be more clever or ironical than your average talk-radio listener. (Think “South Park” conservatives, not the sort who hang out at the American Legion hall.) The stated thesis of “The Seven Deadly Virtues,” as editor Jonathan V. Last writes, is that modern Americans do still value virtue. “The problem is that we have organized ourselves around the wrong virtues.” Or at least our moral system has some serious problems. We’re appalled by Donald Sterling ’s racism but skim over his habit of bringing his mistress to basketball games. We like health and authenticity more than temperance and charity. Nonjudgmentalism seems to trump nearly everything, including courage.

It’s an engaging premise, and it is investigated occasionally in “The Seven Deadly Virtues.” But the book is better read for what it is: an excuse to bring more than a dozen talented writers together, give them fussy-sounding concepts such as “Forbearance” and “Chastity,” and see what happens.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Books, Ethics / Moral Theology, Psychology, Theology

The Rev. Billy Graham – Heaven – Are You Ready?

“We never know what we truly believe until it’s a matter of life and death. Billy Graham, along with a firefighter and a young woman forced to face the reality of death, share the Gospel message, and what really happens when we die.”

Watch it all and there is more here

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry

Sen. Tim Scott credits his single mother for his rise from poverty to the national stage

As a kid, Tim Scott badly wanted to fit in with the majority white kids at Stall High School, and the black kids, too. And he didn’t want any outward signs of his family’s poverty.

A pair of Converse high tops were the ticket.

But his mom said no.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Children, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, House of Representatives, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Senate, Theology, Women

The Royal British Legion–Remembrance Sunday

Remembrance Sunday, the second Sunday in November, is the day traditionally put aside to remember all those who have given their lives for the peace and freedom we enjoy today. On this day people across the nation pause to reflect on the sacrifices made by our brave Service men and women.

Remembrance Sunday will fall on Sunday 9 November in 2014.

Read it all and make sure to look at other links on the site including how the nation remembers.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, History, Religion & Culture

Remembrance Day poems: 10 poems for the fallen

Probably the most famous and widely read war poem in English and also known, in extract form, as the Ode of Remembrance, For the Fallen was first published in The Times on September 21 1914, just a few weeks after the First World War began on July 28 that year. Binyon was too old to enlist as a soldier in the Great War, but volunteered in hospitals helping wounded French soldiers, and wrote For the Fallen in Cornwall shortly after the Battle of the Marne.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

We will remember them.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, History, Parish Ministry, Poetry & Literature, Religion & Culture

(BBC) Remembrance Sunday: Nation falls silent as Queen leads commemorations

The Queen has led the nation in remembering service personnel who have died during conflicts, as Remembrance Sunday services are held around the UK.

A two-minute silence was observed before the monarch laid a wreath at the Cenotaph in central London.

Events are being held across the UK and abroad, including in Afghanistan.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, Eschatology, History, Military / Armed Forces, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Leonine Sacramentary

Grant us, O Lord, so to enter on the service of our Christian warfare, that, putting on the whole armour of God, we may endure hardness and fight against the spiritual powers of darkness, and be more than conquerors through him that loved us, Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the LORD on high is mighty! Thy decrees are very sure; holiness befits thy house, O LORD, for evermore.

–Psalm 93:4-5

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(AP) Health care volunteers grapple with Ebola quarantine mandates

Dr. Robert Fuller didn’t hesitate to go to Indonesia to treat survivors of the 2004 tsunami, to Haiti to help after the 2010 earthquake or to the Philippines after a devastating typhoon last year. But he’s given up on going to West Africa to care for Ebola patients this winter.

He could make the six-week commitment sought by his go-to aid organization, International Medical Corps. But the possibility of a three-week quarantine afterward adds more time than he can take away from his job heading UConn Health Center’s emergency department.

“I’m very sad that I can’t go, at this point,” said Fuller, who’s helping instead by interviewing other prospective volunteers. Nine weeks or more “gets to be a pretty long time to think about being away from your family and being away from your job.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Theology

(P Times) Three Generals escape death as Boko Haram intensifies attacks on Adamawa villages

Even as the Nigerian military stepped up efforts at beating back the extremist Boko Haram sect from the areas it currently occupies, including the commercial border town of Mubi in Adamawa state, the militants are intensifying attacks on remote communities and villages, residents have told PREMIUM TIMES.

Also, there are reports that three retired Generals of the Nigerian Army narrowly escaped death when Boko Haram insurgents stormed their village asking for their whereabouts.

The insurgents did not succeed in their mission as they (the army Generals) were reportedly not around when the Boko Haram terrorists struck their village of Gashala in Hong Local Government, few kilometers away from Mubi town.

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

(The State) ”˜We will not be silent:’ South Carolina pastors, congregations rally at State House

Pastors and congregations representing numerous Christian denominations from around the state gathered at the State House to declare their moral convictions at The Stand rally Saturday.

“We have gathered to declare there is a new day in South Carolina. There is a new day in this nation,” said Dr. Kevin Baird, pastor of Legacy Church in Charleston and director of the S.C. Pastors Alliance, which organized the rally. “We as pastors are here to say that we will not be silent. We will no

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, State Government

PBS ' Religion and Ethics Newsweekly–Millennials and Religion

GONZALEZ: Erwin McManus is MOSAIC church’s founder and pastor and a man who’s spent his religious career connecting faith to young adults, many of whom grew up with no strong religious beliefs. But McManus says they’re searching for a deeper meaning for their lives.

millenials-post01MCMANUS: You have a generation that is saying we are tapping out of religion in many ways. But what they are not saying is that we are tapping out of a serious search for meaning in life. They are not tapping out of a deep spirituality. In fact, if anything there is an incredible and profound hunger in millennials saying if there is something beyond this life I want to connect to it.

GONZALEZ: Most Americans in their 20s still describe themselves as religious, but according to a poll by the Pew Research Center and Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, one in three millennials has no affiliation with any house of worship. But that doesn’t rule out their embrace of religious beliefs and practices. Experts say the milennials just want to come to faith on their own terms.

BRIE LASKOTA: Millennials, if you had to sum them up in a word, you’d sum them up in terms of choice. Millennials are the most interested in choice. They see it as their American right.

Read or watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture, Young Adults