Daily Archives: January 7, 2015

Archbishop Justin Welby condemns Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris as 'barbaric'

“This is an act of the most extraordinary brutality and barbarity This violence is demonic in its attack on the innocent, and cowardly in its denial of the basic human right of freedom of speech.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Europe, France, Islam, Other Faiths, Terrorism

An NPR Story on Ebola and Trinity Episcopal Church in Washington DC

On a typical Sunday, the pews in Trinity Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. are almost full. But a few months ago, the large stone church with stained glass windows in northwest Washington, D.C. began looking rather empty. Roughly a quarter of the congregation ”” 50 people ”” had stopped showing up.

At first, [the] Rev. John Harmon, the head of the church, wasn’t sure what was going on. Then he started getting phone calls from parishioners. “Some folks called to say, I’m not coming to church because I don’t know who’s traveling [to West Africa],” Harmon says.

The congregation at Trinity is an international crowd. More than 20 countries are represented, including several in West Africa. Reverend Harmon himself was born in Liberia before moving to the U.S. in 1982, when he was 18.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, TEC Parishes, Theology

(Daily Independent) Nigerian Anglican Primate Okoh says let the 2015 Polls Decide his country's Fate

Primate of the Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, has said that the 2015 elections will determine Nigeria’s future.

Okoh, who spoke at the dedication and hand-over of St. Peter’s Church, Umuchu, Anambra State, built and donated by a philanthropist, Godwin Ezeemo, at the weekend, said the importance of the election is one reason why nobody should sit on the fence.

“Nigeria has a very big project this year and that is the elections. You cannot be neutral. Get your own voter’s card to decide who will rule over you”, he said.

Okoh, however, also predicted that the country will be greater than what it is now and that the evil of insurgency “cannot be the end of Nigeria. Everybody must join hands and fight evil of insurgency”.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Ethics / Moral Theology, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology

Asante Mampong Anglican Diocese inaugurated in Ghana

The Asante-Mampong Diocese of the Anglican Church has been inaugurated amid outpouring of joy and praises to God.

The diocese is the second to be created in the Ashanti Region after Kumasi and comes over a century after the introduction of the Anglican faith to the region.

The Asantehene, Otumfo Osei Tutu 11, was among traditional rulers, the clergy and other high profile personalities in public service, politics and business who joined in the celebration of the occasion at a special church service held on the theme “Working together to grow the harvest”.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Province of West Africa, Anglican Provinces, Ghana, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

United Van Lines' Annual National Movers Study Shows South Carolina as #2 most moved into State

Oregon holds on to its title as “Top Moving Destination” and continues to pull away from the pack, while the Northeast loses residents for the third consecutive year.

Those are the key findings from United Van Lines’ 38th Annual National Movers Study, which tracks customers’ migration patterns state-to-state during the course of the past year. The study found that Oregon is the top moving destination of 2014, with 66 percent of moves to and from the state being inbound ”” that’s a nearly 5 percent increase of inbound moves compared to 2013. Arriving at No. 2 on the list was South Carolina (61 percent inbound), followed closely in third by its northern neighbor, North Carolina (61 percent).

The District of Columbia, which held the top spot on the inbound list from 2008 to 2012 and ranked fourth last year, fell to No. 7 this year with 57 percent inbound moves. New additions to the 2014 top inbound list include Vermont (59 percent), Oklahoma (57 percent) and Idaho (56 percent).

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, America/U.S.A., Children, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, Sociology, Theology, Travel

(CSM) Paul Revere's time capsule unveiled in Boston

More than 200 years ago in Boston, a prominent silversmith, a political philosopher, and a local real estate developer conspired to leave trinkets for future generations. Placing a capsule of keepsakes inside the cornerstone of the Massachusetts State House, the three men left the items to be uncovered at a later date.

The men were Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and William Scollay, three important figures of early American history. Adams was the governor of Massachusetts at the time, and construction on the State Building had just begun. Revere would later go on to overlay the State House dome with copper.

Throughout the years, the time capsule lay encased in plaster along with an assortment of coins. Now, 220 years later, the lid of the capsule has been painstakingly pried open by Pamela Hatchfield, head of objects conservation at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History

(Law & Religion UK) CofE services after suicide not what headlines imply

In summary, the rationale behind the PMM is:

funeral services of suicides conducted by Church of England clergy may be in contravention of Canon B38; and
removing this canonical bar [on the use of “the rites of the Church of England” in these circumstances] “would send a very positive message to society at large, particularly if presented in the context that it was actually recognising current practice.”

Not quite the “legalization of suicide” or a “U-turn on funerals” of the headline; essentially an alignment of canon law with current custom and practice that will have little perceptible impact on the families of those involved. If clergy adherence to canon law were a major concern to the Church, infractions such as these are not necessarily the place at which one would start. As the Revd Gavin Foster has observed[1]:

“the requirements of Canon Law were perceived by clergy to be distant, ”˜other’, far away and irrelevant to the everyday life of the Church. [Anglican] clergy seemed to be only vaguely aware of the requirements of canon law and would frequently (and quite often knowingly) breach them.”

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

(Independent) Detention: the black hole at the heart of British justice

Jonathan Clark, the Bishop of Croydon who is backing the drive, said: “Detaining people indefinitely in prison-like conditions without judicial oversight is unjust, ineffective and inhumane.That’s why Citizens UK are calling on people of goodwill across the country to join them in taking this issue to their parliamentary candidates.

“We will ask politicians to pledge their support for a time limit on the detention of adults ”“ and to work with us”¦ to make it happen.”

Separately, more than 30 charities and organisations are now calling for a time limit of 28 days’ detention.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Immigration, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Theology

([London Times]) Malaria deaths soar as fear of ebola keeps sick at home

The world’s worst ebola outbreak, which has killed more than 8,000 people, is masking a far greater death toll as hospitals across west Africa struggle to cope with the region’s other deadly disease: malaria.

The mosquito-borne infection, which kills up to 584,000 people a year, can easily be defeated with a cocktail of drugs that is widely available in west Africa ”” but patients in the countries worst affected by ebola are now terrified of hospitals because of a widespread belief that medical staff are spreading the disease, according to Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, head of the UN’s Roll Back Malaria Partnership.

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Posted in Uncategorized

(NYT) Alcohol Poisoning Kills 6 Americans a Day, a Federal Report Finds

Six Americans die from alcohol poisoning daily on average, and mortality rates are highest among middle-aged men, federal health authorities reported on Tuesday.

The report is the first in a decade by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to tally alcohol poisonings for the entire American population. Most previous analyses looked at certain groups, in particular young people.

The agency found that an average of 2,221 people died of alcohol poisoning annually between 2010 and 2012. Three-quarters of the deaths occurred among 35- to 64-year-olds, the report found, and about three-quarters were men. The death rate was highest among men ages 45 to 54.

“Most previous studies have looked at college kids and young people, but the problem is bigger than that,” said Dr. Robert Brewer, who heads the alcohol program at the C.D.C. “It was surprising that the number of deaths was so concentrated among middle-age adults.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Alcohol/Drinking, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Middle Age, Theology

(Washington Post) Robert Samuelson: Is the economic slog really over?

Hello, 2015.

We now are in the sixth year of economic recovery since the end of the “Great Recession” in mid-2009, says the National Bureau of Economic Research, a group of academic economists that dates business cycles. But, if upbeat economic forecasts come true, this could be the first year that feels like a recovery. There would be huge implications. It would soothe Americans’ bruised sense of self-worth and alter popular psychology for the 2016 elections.

It has been a slog. Below, you’ll find some economic indicators comparing where we are now with the peaks of the last economic expansion, which ended in the fourth quarter of 2007. Generally, the numbers aren’t impressive. At best, they show modest gains from those previous peaks.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Personal Finance, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Lord Jesus Christ, who in the offerings of the wise men didst receive an earnest of the worship of the nations: Grant that thy Church may never cease to proclaim the good news of thy love, that all men may come to worship thee as their Saviour and King, who livest and reignest world without end.

–George Appleton

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Epiphany, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

–Psalm 103:1-5

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NPR) In Reversal, Belgium Denies Inmate's Request To Die

Days before he was scheduled to die, inmate Frank Van Den Bleeken has been told he won’t be allowed to die from an assisted suicide, despite his request. Last fall, a court approved a deal that would have allowed him to end his life.

The planned euthanasia was called off this week, after the doctor who was to oversee the procedure backed out. Belgian justice officials said Tuesday that they will work out a better solution for Van Den Bleeken.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Belgium, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Parish Ministry, Prison/Prison Ministry, Psychology, Theology

(FT) Churches join the fossil fuel debate

The world’s churches have become an arena for the debate over whether it is better to tackle global warming by divesting from fossil fuel companies or by holding shares and engaging with energy groups to spur more climate-friendly business models.

The World Council of Churches, which represents around 560m Christians in 140 countries, has adopted a divestment strategy for its SFr16.7m investment portfolio. Its finance policy committee decided in July that fossil fuels should be added to the list of sectors in which the council would not invest.

“The use of fossil fuels must be significantly reduced and by not investing in those companies we want to show a direction we need to follow as a human family to address climate changes properly,” said Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, WCC general secretary.

But the Church of England, which has an investment portfolio worth around £9bn, has opted for engagement. It announced last month it would use its stakes in Royal Dutch Shell and BP to urge the companies to cut their carbon emissions and invest more in renewables.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Theology

(BBC) Germany Pegida protests: 'Islamisation' rallies denounced

Politicians and celebrities in Germany have joined a media campaign against Pegida, a group protesting against what it sees as the “Islamisation” of Europe.

Former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and retired footballer Oliver Bierhoff are among 80 figures to back a petition in German newspaper Bild.

It comes after rival rallies took place across the country.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Germany, History, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(F Things) Brian Grim–What Christianity Contributes to China’s Economic Rise

What has fueled China’s remarkable economic growth that has lifted more than 500 million people out of abject poverty and positioned it to become the world’s largest economy?

In part, it’s been fueled by the pipeline of market mechanisms, modern technology and Western management practices that former paramount leader Deng Xioaping untapped in the 1980s.

But according to Yukong Zhao, a China expert at Siemens Corporation, these explanations are insufficient given the potential drags on the economy from government inefficiency and corruption, which President Xi Jinping is struggling to contain.

Zhao argues that Western learning and pro-growth government policies have set loose the real creators of China’s economic success””its people and the largely Confucian culture that makes them, in his words, “ambitious, hardworking, thrifty, caring for their families and relentlessly pursuing good education and success.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Asia, China, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology