Daily Archives: April 2, 2015

[BBC] Kenya attack: Garissa University assault 'leaves 70 dead'

At least 70 hostages have been killed in an attack by al-Shabab Islamist militants on a university in north-eastern Kenya, officials say.

At least 79 were injured while more than 500 students were rescued from the Garissa University College campus, disaster management officials said.

Interior Minster Joseph Nkaiserry said four of the attackers had been killed, and security operations were ongoing.

Read it all and there are live updates here. Please pray for the situation.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Africa, Kenya

Music for Maundy Thursday: Paul Mealor – Ubi Caritas

Where charity and love are, God is there

Where charity and love are, God is there.
Christ’s love has gathered us into one.
Let us rejoice and be pleased in Him.
Let us fear, and let us love the living God.
And may we love each other with a sincere heart

Where charity and love are, God is there.
As we are gathered into one body,
Beware, lest we be divided in mind.
Let evil impulses stop, let controversy cease,
And may Christ our God be in our midst.

WHERE charity and love are, God is there.
And may we with the saints also,
See Thy face in glory, O Christ our God:
The joy that is immense and good,
Unto the ages through infinite ages. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Holy Week

(DotCommonweal) Peter Steinfels–Any liberals for religious freedom?

The whole point of freedom of religion is that it protects an extraordinary gamut of differing, frequently conflicting cosmologies, spiritual disciplines, and moral codes. They may include refusing to fight in defense of the nation, rejecting certain foodstuffs or medical treatments, discouraging young people from secondary or higher education, honoring celibacy or condemning a variety of sexual practices, sacrificing animals, drinking alcohol, or ingesting hallucinogens for ritual purposes, prescribing certain head coverings or hairstyles despite school or occupational rules, insisting on distinct roles for men and women, withdrawing from friends and family for lives of silence and seclusion, marching in prayer through neighborhoods on holy days, preaching on street corners or otherwise trying to convert others to these persuasions.

A great many of these beliefs and practices I disagree with. Some I deplore. Religious freedom means I live with the fundamentalists who describe the pope as anti-Christ and my kind as hell-bound””and with the black nationalist sects who consider me a white devil. Religious freedom means that I don’t have to send my children to the state schools if I choose not to nor does my Darwin-phobic neighbor. It also means state schools or state events or state laws should not force people to participate in religious rituals or practices contrary to their consciences.

Religious freedom means that I may very well want to question, critique, refute, moderate or otherwise alter religious beliefs and practices that I find irrational or unhealthy or dehumanizing or, yes, bigoted; but knowing how deeply rooted and sincerely held these convictions are, and how much about the universe remains in fact mysterious, and how much about my own perceptions of reality could in fact be mistaken, and how much religions do in fact evolve over time, I accommodate myself in the meantime to peaceful coexistence and thoughtful engagement. In particular I refuse to coerce religiously sincere people into personal actions that violate their conscience. And I refuse to dismiss their resistance to such coercion as nothing but bigotry.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Media, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology

(Pew R) The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050

If current trends continue, by 2050 ”¦

The number of Muslims will nearly equal the number of Christians around the world.
Atheists, agnostics and other people who do not affiliate with any religion ”“ though increasing in countries such as the United States and France ”“ will make up a declining share of the world’s total population.
The global Buddhist population will be about the same size it was in 2010, while the Hindu and Jewish populations will be larger than they are today.
In Europe, Muslims will make up 10% of the overall population.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Globalization, Religion & Culture, Sociology

Kendall Harmon's Sermon from Sunday for Holy Week–'It is finished'

You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anthropology, Christology, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Holy Week, Sermons & Teachings, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(N Post) Canadian medical schools readying doctors to talk to patients about assisted suicide

Canada’s medical schools are preparing for what was once unimaginable ”” teaching medical students and residents how to help patients take their own lives.

As the nation moves toward legalized physician-assisted death, Canada’s 17 faculties of medicine have begun to consider how they will introduce assisted dying into the curriculum for the next generations of doctors.

It is a profound change for medical educators, who have long taught future doctors that it is immoral to end a life intentionally.

“If legislation passes, and if it becomes a standard of practice in Canada for a small subset of patients who desire assisted death, and where all the conditions are met, would we want a cadre of doctors that are trained in the emotional, communicative and technical aspects of making those decisions, and assisting patients,” said Dr. Richard Reznick, dean of the faculty of health sciences at Queen’s University in Kingston. “We would.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, Canada, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology

Great Anglican Resources Dept–An Entire Series on the 39 Articles from Saint Andrew's, Mt Plsnt

Rob Sturdy writes about them–‘I had almost forgotten about this sermon series we did preaching through the 39 Articles of Religion a few years ago with Peter Moore, Kendall Harmon, Justyn Terry and Chris Hancock. You’ll notice we were a bit more rock n’ roll then. My hair was longer and Steve [Woods]had a goatee…. Go back and check some of them out.’

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Theology

(Wash Post) Brad Wilcox–Why married men work harder and smarter and make more money

Men who are reluctant to settle down until they make more money ”“ and women who spurn low-wage men ”“ could benefit from what Taulbee has discovered: Marriage has a transformative effect on adult behavior, emotional health, and financial well-being””particularly for men. (Parenthood is more transformative for women.)

Men who get married work harder and more strategically, and earn more money than their single peers from similar backgrounds. Marriage also transforms men’s social worlds; they spend less time with friends and more time with family; they also go to bars less and to church more. In the provocative words of Nobel Laureate George Akerlof, men “settle down when they get married; if they fail to get married they fail to settle down.”

Research findings on heterosexual marriage are surprisingly consistent with Akerlof’s insight, especially when it comes to engaging the world of work.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Children, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, Men, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Psychology, Theology

(Spectator) Michael Gove–Christians in the UK face a tidal wave of prejudice and negativity

Praying? What kind of people are you?

Well, the kind of people who built our civilisation, founded our democracies, developed our modern ideas of rights and justice, ended slavery, established universal education and who are, even as I write, in the forefront of the fight against poverty, prejudice and ignorance. In a word, Christians.

But to call yourself a Christian in contemporary Britain is to invite pity, condescension or cool dismissal. In a culture that prizes sophistication, non-judgmentalism, irony and detachment, it is to declare yourself intolerant, naive, superstitious and backward.

It was almost 150 years ago that Matthew Arnold wrote of the Sea of Faith’s ”˜melancholy, long, withdrawing roar’ and in our time that current has been replaced by an incoming tide of negativity towards Christianity.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Media, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

First female bishop welcomed with open arms in Shropshire

[Bishop Mark Rylands]…said: “I have long been a supporter of including women as bishops in the Church and it is very good to see Libby called to serve as Bishop of Stockport.

“I welcome this move.”

He said he believed it was as good move for the church moving forward.

He added: “The Church of England is for everyone because God is for everyone.

“And whilst we are now clear that women will be bishops in the Church of England, we want to include those who, for theological reasons, cannot accept this move and make sure there is still a place for them in the church.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

Nigerian bishop to be the Anglican Communion's next Secretary General

The Most Revd Dr Josiah Atkins Idowu-Fearon has been appointed to be the next Secretary General of the Anglican Communion.

Dr Idowu-Fearon currently serves as Bishop of Kaduna in the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) where he has earned a global reputation in the Church for his expertise in Christian-Muslim relations.

He was selected out of an initial field of applicants from Oceania, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.

Since 1998 the Most Revd Dr Idowu-Fearon has been Bishop of Kaduna, and he is the current Director of the Kaduna Anglican Study Centre. Before that he served as Bishop of Sokoto, Warden at St Francis of Assisi Theological College in Wusasa, and Provost of St. Michael’s Cathedral in Kaduna.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Church of Nigeria

A Prayer to Begin the Day from The Royal Maundy

Lord Jesus Christ, who when thou wast about to institute thy holy Sacrament at the Last Supper didst wash the feet of the apostles, and teach us by thy example the grace of humility: Cleanse us, we beseech thee, from all stain of sin, that we may be worthy partakers of thy holy mysteries; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Of old thou didst lay the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They will perish, but thou dost endure; they will all wear out like a garment. Thou changest them like raiment, and they pass away; but thou art the same, and thy years have no end.

–Psalm 102:25-27

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

The Bp of Chelmsford–An act of love or a photo opp?

Knowing that his hour had come to depart from this world; and knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, on the night before he dies Jesus rises from table, and as he does this we rather assume it might be in order that a throne be set in place for him to receive the homage of his followers. It is, therefore, something of a shock to discover that on the contrary he takes off his outer robe, ties a towel around his waist and washes his disciples’ feet. Such an act of provocative charity raises as many questions as it answers. Peter isn’t the only person to find this difficult. ”˜Are you going to wash my feet?’ he asks. Jesus replies enigmatically: ”˜You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’ When Peter continues to object, Jesus says, ”˜Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.’

So the first question for us might be this: ”˜Will we let Jesus wash us? Will we humble ourselves before him, and let him minster to us?’ And then there is his deeply uncomfortable new commandment: ”˜Love one another, as I have loved you. If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.’ Which leads me to ask: ”˜whose feet have I washed lately?

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Christology, Church of England (CoE), Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, CoE Bishops, Holy Week, Theology

(CNA) Is Indiana that controversial? Poll finds Americans support religious freedom laws

Indiana’s passage of a Religious Freedom Restoration Act last week has created havoc and been met with loud opposition from gay rights activists. But a poll this month found that most Americans agree with such religious freedom laws.

Fifty-four percent of respondents to a Marist Poll survey, commissioned by Catholic News Agency, support or strongly support First Amendment religious liberty protections or exemptions for faith-based organizations and individuals, “even when it conflicts with government law.”

About 65 percent of Marist Poll respondents opposed or strongly opposed penalties or fines for individuals who refuse to provide wedding-related services to same-sex couples “even if their refusal is based on their religious beliefs.” Only 31 percent supported or strongly supported such penalties.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, State Government, Theology