Daily Archives: January 5, 2015

(NYT Mag.) Rise and Shine– What kids around the world eat for breakfast

Americans tend to lack imagination when it comes to breakfast. The vast majority of us, surveys say, start our days with cold cereal ”” and those of us with children are more likely to buy the kinds with the most sugar. Children all over the world eat cornflakes and drink chocolate milk, of course, but in many places they also eat things that would strike the average American palate as strange, or worse.

Breakfast for a child in Burkina Faso, for example, might well include millet-seed porridge; in Japan, rice and a putrid soybean goop known as natto; in Jamaica, a mush of plantains or peanuts or cornmeal; in New Zealand, toast covered with Vegemite, a salty paste made of brewer’s yeast; and in China, jook, a rice gruel topped with pickled tofu, strings of dried meat or egg. In Cuba, Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America, it is not uncommon to find very young children sipping coffee with milk in the mornings. In Pakistan, kids often take their milk with Rooh Afza, a bright red syrup made from fruits, flowers and herbs. Swedish filmjolk is one of dozens of iterations of soured milk found on breakfast tables across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. For a child in southern India, the day might start with a steamed cake made from fermented lentils and rice called idli. “The idea that children should have bland, sweet food is a very industrial presumption,” says Krishnendu Ray, a professor of food studies at New York University who grew up in India. “In many parts of the world, breakfast is tepid, sour, fermented and savory.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Children, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Marriage & Family, Theology

(New Statesman) Rowan Williams: why we need fairy tales now more than ever

In 1947, J R R Tolkien published a celebrated essay on fairy tales in which he insisted that their association with childhood was recent and unfortunate; it misled us into thinking that the genre was not worth serious analysis, not something to “think with”. Marina Warner’s wide-ranging and handsomely produced book Once Upon a Time will reinforce Tolkien’s insistence that these stories are very far from being a simple style of narrative to be outgrown. She surveys the literary history of the fairy tale, from the elegant fables of 17th-century French aristocrats to Angela Carter and beyond, discusses the feminist move to reclaim women’s agency from generations of patronising images of languishing princesses, and offers a parti­cularly interesting analysis of recent film treatments of the classic tales. Her conclusion is that “fairy tales are gradually turning into myths”: paradoxically, in our day, it is adults who seem most to need and use them, because they are just about the only stories we have in common with which to think through deep dilemmas and to keep alive registers of emotion and imagination otherwise being eroded. The fairy tale now has to carry an unprecedented burden of significance, and it is not surprising that modern versions ”“ retellings or radical rewritings, like those of Angela Carter ”“ produce a darker, more complex, less resolved narrative environment than hitherto.

The point is that myths don’t need happy endings; they are not ways of resolving the unfairness of our experience or the frustration of our emotions. They provide a framework for imagining our human situation overall. But the fairy tale has its roots in a mixture of what Warner calls “honest harshness” and “wishful hoping”, depicting the hardest challenges we face as human beings and the possibility of “alternative plot lines”, ways out or through. But when we become culturally more suspicious of ways out, something changes: stories have to be coloured with a tragic palette, a recognition of what can’t be wished away.

This is fair comment up to a point, but there is a bit more to it….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Rowan Williams, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Books, History, Poetry & Literature, Theology

(Economist) Rise of the on-demand economy poses difficult qtns for workers+companies+politicians

In the early 20th century Henry Ford combined moving assembly lines with mass labour to make building cars much cheaper and quicker””thus turning the automobile from a rich man’s toy into transport for the masses. Today a growing group of entrepreneurs is striving to do the same to services, bringing together computer power with freelance workers to supply luxuries that were once reserved for the wealthy. Uber provides chauffeurs. Handy supplies cleaners. SpoonRocket delivers restaurant meals to your door. Instacart keeps your fridge stocked. In San Francisco a young computer programmer can already live like a princess.

Yet this on-demand economy goes much wider than the occasional luxury. Click on Medicast’s app, and a doctor will be knocking on your door within two hours. Want a lawyer or a consultant? Axiom will supply the former, Eden McCallum the latter. Other companies offer prizes to freelances to solve R&D problems or to come up with advertising ideas. And a growing number of agencies are delivering freelances of all sorts, such as Freelancer.com and Elance-oDesk, which links up 9.3m workers for hire with 3.7m companies.

The on-demand economy is small, but it is growing quickly….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, History, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Theology

(BBC) Winston Churchill commemorated with stained glass window

A stained glass window design commemorating Winston Churchill has been revealed.

It will be installed at St Martin’s Church in Bladon, Oxfordshire, where the wartime prime minister is buried.

The window includes imagery of a Spitfire, a gas mask and a cat.

Robert Courts, chair of the parochial church council, described it as a “rich mixture of the Bulldog Churchill… and equally Churchill the man”.

Read it all.

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

(Daily Mail) Church of England to 'legalise' suicide in historic U-turn on funerals

The Church of England is embroiled in a row over proposals to sweep away laws that forbid a full Christian funeral to people who have taken their own lives.

Most clergy now regard suicide with far more sympathy than when ”˜self murder’ was still a crime, and the move will be seen as reflecting a growing acceptance as more Britons choose to end their lives in clinics such as Dignitas in Switzerland.

But some critics within the Church say the reforms will ”˜legalise’ suicide, which should still be regarded a serious sin.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, Eschatology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Suicide, Theology

(II) Church of Ireland Archbishop Richard Clarke profiled in the Irish Catholic–Lambeth 2018

Archbishop of Armagh Richard Clarke said he believes that Dr Welby will “evaluate the situation” before confirming a date for the next Lambeth Conference which is due to be held in 2018.

Dr Clarke told The Irish Catholic that Archbishop Welby is still a relatively short time in office and that he needed some time to hear the views of the different Provinces about “what kind of Lambeth do we want, what would be appropriate.”

He said: “I think Archbishop Welby, like the good hard-headed businessman that he was, is taking a step back, trying to survey the scene, and seeing what is the best way for us to take counsel together and in what format.

“He is not a man who is going to be wrong-footed, nor is he going to be frog-marched,” Dr Clarke said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of Ireland, England / UK, Ireland

(I) Church of Ireland Archbishop Richard Clarke profiled in the Irish Catholic

“At my age, [Armagh] didn’t seem an obvious career opportunity” he chuckles, and one is left with the impression that having lost Linda, his wife, and mother of their two grown-up children, after a long illness in 2009, he would have remained content in Meath and Kildare until perhaps retiring in his late sixties.

He would have been expected to maintain his sustained ecumenical outreach and perhaps to have increasingly indulged his love for writing about theology and history, having written three books already, including A Whisper of God (Columba 2006).

But now, health permitting, he can remain in the top post in the Church of Ireland until he is 75. While there is little time for writing and scholarship, there are even greater opportunities for ecumenical endeavour for a Church leader who trained as an historian at Trinity College Dublin and as a theologian at King’s College London.

His role involves doing three jobs: being diocesan bishop in Armagh where he doesn’t have an assistant bishop, being a national Church leader/Primate of All-Ireland and being an Anglican bigwig, one of 38 Primates in the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland, England / UK, Evangelism and Church Growth, Ireland, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(Local Paper) Gun violence fuels 40 percent surge in Charleston-area killings

The greater Charleston area saw a surge in homicides last year, with a steady parade of violence from Jan. 1 until Christmas Day, when a 17-year-old was cut down by gunfire on the streets of the Holy City’s East Side neighborhood. In all, 66 people died in homicides in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties – a 40 percent increase from 47 deaths in 2013.

The death toll is even more staggering when placed in context with the region’s murder count for the past 14 years. Since 2001, 709 people have been slain in the greater Charleston area at a rate of about one every seven days, a Post and Courier analysis has found. The review also determined that:

Gun violence fueled much of the bloodshed in 2014, accounting for nearly eight out of every 10 killings. Since 2001, guns have been used in 76 percent of all killings in the three counties.

Read it all from the front page of yesterday’s local paper.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, America/U.S.A., City Government, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(Tanzania Daily News) Anglican Church of Tanzania Hailed Over Marriage Stand

Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Bernard Membe has hailed the Anglican Church of Tanzania (ACT) for standing firm and rejecting same sex marriages unlike some other churches in the West.

Mr Membe told the congregation that had gathered to mark the 50th anniversary of the Dar es Salaam Diocese in the city that he was encouraged when the church in Tanzania stood firm and stressed to its foreign counterparts that same sex marriages will not be allowed in this country.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Africa, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Anglican Provinces, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Tanzania, Theology

Jon Zeiglar–Why I Am Becoming Anglican: a Brief Explanation for my Assemblies of God family

During this year past year, I made a very difficult decision to leave the only church I have known. I grew up in an Assemblies of God (AG) church. My family has been AG since the 1930s and is one of the oldest Pentecostal families in New Orleans. My father is an AG pastor and I have two brothers who are ordained AG ministers. I have held AG ministerial for a couple of years, but with the recent transition of the New Year (2015), my AG ministerial credentials have lapsed. God willing, I will be confirmed on January 25th into the Anglican Church by Bishop Todd Hunter at Holy Trinity in Costa Mesa.

I am not leaving with hurt, bitterness, or resentment. Quite the contrary, I maintain a deep love and respect for the church that taught me the name of Jesus. The last AG congregation I was a part of (in Pasadena, CA) was a wonderful group of people led by a theologically capable pastor that I appreciate greatly. I am excited about the direction of the AG (under George Wood) and I am confident that it will continue to thrive in the decades to come.

Because of my positive wishes toward my friends and family in the AG, I was not planning on sharing publicly my reasons for leaving. That is, I am not trying to convince people to leave the AG or even that it was a good idea for me to leave the AG. I actually want people to stay and make the AG even better. (I tried myself really hard to stay, and finally had to acknowledge that God was calling to the Anglican Church””or perhaps more accurately, God was making me into an Anglican). However, my friend (and fellow AG minister) Dan suggested that I give a public explanation for why I am leaving. His reasoning was that if people continue to leave silently, how will the AG address those issues which led to their exit from the church? I think Dan is right and so I am taking some time to explain how I became Anglican.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Identity, Ecclesiology, Other Churches, Pentecostal, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Merciful and most loving God, by whose will and bountiful gift thine eternal Son humbled himself that he might exalt mankind, and became flesh that he might renew in us the divine image: Perfect us in thy likeness, and bring us at last to rejoice in beholding thy beauty, and, with all thy saints, to glorify thy grace; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

—-Prayers for the Christian Year (SCM, 1964)

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Christmas, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons

From the Morning Bible Readings

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

–Hebrews 12:1-2

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Congratulations to Dallas, Indianapolis, Baltimore and Charlotte who move on in the NFL Playoffs

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

ESPN's Stuart Scott RIP

Stuart Scott, a longtime anchor at ESPN, died Sunday morning at the age of 49.

Among the features of the new ESPN studio in Bristol is a wall of catchphrases made famous by on-air talent over the years. An amazing nine of them belong to one man — from his signature “Boo-Yah!” to “As cool as the other side of the pillow” to “He must be the bus driver cuz he was takin’ him to school.”

That man is Stuart Scott, and his contributions to the sports lexicon are writ large. But they are only one aspect of his legacy. When he passed away, he left behind so much more. He inspired his colleagues with his sheer talent, his work ethic and his devotion to his daughters, Taelor, 19, and Sydni, 15. He defied convention and criticism to help bring this network into a new century. He spoke to the very athletes he was talking about with a flair and a style that ESPN president John Skipper says, “changed everything.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, Media, Movies & Television, Parish Ministry, Sports

(BBC) Boko Haram seizes army base in Nigeria town of Baga

The militant group Boko Haram has seized a town and key multinational military base in north-eastern Nigeria, officials and eyewitnesses say.

A senator in Borno state said troops had abandoned the base in the town of Baga after it was attacked on Saturday.

Residents of Baga, who fled by boat to neighbouring Chad, said many people had been killed and the town set ablaze.

Baga, scene of a Nigerian army massacre in 2013, was the last town in the Borno North area under government control.

Read it all.

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

Roberta Green Ahmanson–Dreams Become Reality; Citizens of this world””and of the New Jerusalem

My aim this evening is to remind and challenge each of us to remember and to take up the responsibilities of our founding Dream that became Reality””the Incarnation, Crucifixion, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the promise of the New Jerusalem, our template for how to live and work on this earth.

The Grammy Award-winning band Mumford & Sons has a song that goes:

You are not alone in this.
You are not alone in this.
As brothers we will stand.
I will take your hand.
You are not alone in this.

Indeed. We are far from alone in our endeavors””either horizontally across the geography of the world today or vertically through time and eternity. I hope to give you a richer sense of how very not alone we really are.

“Think Different.” With those two words, Steve Jobs created a vision, not only for his then-faltering company but also for every person who buys an Apple product. People who buy Apple think different. And, different is cool. But, the verb in those two words is where I want to start. THINK. How we think matters. The way you think got you here today. But the way we think also matters eternally. Perhaps more than we know.

We become what we worship. Our vision shapes our concrete future. The Bible is very clear on this. Today we live in a world languishing for lack of genuine prophetic vision, based in reality, a world threatened by false visions. This affects our lives, our nations, and our world. God has given us a heavenly vision, the New Jerusalem. Christians in the past understood that they were citizens of two countries””this world and the New Jerusalem. We need to reclaim and live in that vision””for our own sakes and for the sake of the world.
In 2008, when American novelist David Foster Wallace died a suicide at the age of 46, the New York Times’ obituary described him as “a titanically gifted writer with an equally troubled soul.” In 2005, the author of Infinite Jest had given the commencement address at Kenyon College. Wallace said:

This, I submit, is the freedom of a real education ”¦ . You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn’t. You get to decide what to worship ”¦ . In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.

And what we worship makes a difference in who we are and what we do in the world. Proverbs 29:18 says this: “Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint.”

We live in a time when we are “casting off restraint” and “perishing,” as the King James Version put it, because we have lost touch with the prophetic vision, the vision of the New Jerusalem. Scholars talk about the “de-mystification” of reality in the West. By that they mean that a materialist worldview has captured our imaginations. God and his vision are comforting lies. As the writer of Proverbs knew, matter is not the ultimate reality. So, we seek other ways to meet a real longing. We work and work to buy more and more things. Shopping is legitimate 24/7; any laws to restrict this are considered oppressive. James Davison Hunter explains: “we invest enormous resources and energies to encourage people to engage in “materialistic” consumption and spend nothing comparable on encouraging them to take their civic, public, and political””not to speak of religious””responsibilities seriously.”

And we, as a culture, avoid reality and deaden the longing inside however we can””with work, with sex, with drugs, with alcohol, with distraction….

Read it all from Books and Culture; this was also quoted in the morning sermon by yours truly.

Posted in Uncategorized

King's College Choir – Once in Royal David's City

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Christmas, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons

A 2006 Christianity Today Article interviewing John Stott on Where We've Been and Where We're Going

What about what some call the greatest mission field, which is our own secularizing or secularized culture? What do we need to do to reach this increasingly pagan society? I think we need to say to one another that it’s not so secular as it looks. I believe that these so-called secular people are engaged in a quest for at least three things. The first is transcendence. It’s interesting in a so-called secular culture how many people are looking for something beyond. I find that a great challenge to the quality of our Christian worship. Does it offer people what they are instinctively looking for, which is transcendence, the reality of God?

The second is significance. Almost everybody is looking for his or her own personal identity. Who am I, where do I come from, where am I going to, what is it all about? That is a challenge to the quality of our Christian teaching. We need to teach people who they are. They don’t know who they are. We do. They are human beings made in the image of God, although that image has been defaced….

Read it all–quoted in part in the morning sermon by yours truly.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, History, Other Churches

The Artful hand of God: The story behind the Nativity

The stained glass Nativity that graces the front page of The State’s Christmas Day edition was made by Chapin resident Ruthanne Nicholson.

Her artistic story ”“ and her love of the sacred Bethlehem manger scene ”“ is rooted in the life of her late mother, an Easley resident who was the first of the family’s stained glass artists.

“My story is my mother’s story,” Nicholson said. Her mother, Ruth Gettys, was a member of Easley Presbyterian Church when it burned in 1983, reducing the church to rubble and mounds of broken stained glass.

Read it all and see what you make of her rendition.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Art, Christmas, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons

An NBC story on San Francisco Schools Use of Meditation to Help Students

Silence isn’t something people usually associate with middle school, but twice a day the halls of Visitacion Valley School in San Francisco fall quiet as the sixth, seventh and eighth grade students meditate for fifteen minutes.

And school administrators tell NBC News that the violence outside of the school, which is situated in one of San Francisco’s poorest neighborhoods, was spilling into the school and affecting the students’ demeanor.

“The kids see guns on a daily basis,” the school’s athletic director, Barry O’Driscoll said, adding, “there would be fights here three-to-five times a week.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, Education, Health & Medicine, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

Edward Herrmann, Actor With a Noble Air, Dies at 71

Edward Herrmann, a stalwart American actor of patrician bearing and earnest elocutionary style who became familiar across a spectrum of popular entertainment, from movies and television shows to plays, audiobooks and advertisements, died on Wednesday in Manhattan. He was 71.

The cause was brain cancer, his son, Rory, said.

Well over six feet tall, broad-shouldered and, especially in later years, hefty, Mr. Herrmann could be formidable or friendly, authoritative or milquetoast, insistent or obsequious. He was often cast in the role of an affluent or privileged personage; he played lawyers, judges, headmasters, executives, a lot of millionaires.

More often than most actors, he had a tuxedo ”” or at least a suit ”” as a costume, but his characters could be comic or dramatic, as likely to be stuffed shirts as genuinely commanding men.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, Movies & Television, Parish Ministry