Daily Archives: April 14, 2015

(Anglican Journal) Bishop of Montreal announces retirement

Bishop Barry Clarke of the diocese of Montreal announced yesterday that he would be retiring as of August 31.

While noting in a letter read in congregations across the diocese on April 12 that this “has not been an easy decision,” he said he believes that “it is the right one for me and it is a good time for a new direction in the diocese.”

Clarke said that it “has been a busy episcopacy with many challenges of stabilizing finances, leadership, ministry, theological issues and challenges of buildings, whilst continuing to do God’s mission and ministry as we see it in our area of God’s world.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces

(PA) Maggie Smith, Archbishop of Canterbury Welby among the Queen's Dinner guests

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have invited the “Dowager Countess of Grantham” to dine at Windsor Castle this evening.

Acclaimed actress Dame Maggie Smith – who plays acerbic matriarch Violet Crawley in the hit period drama Downton Abbey – is among 20 guests the monarch and Philip have asked to a private dinner party at the historic Berkshire residence.

Among those at the soiree will be the Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney and his wife Diana, and the Archbishop of Canterbury and his wife Caroline.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, England / UK, History, Movies & Television, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(IBD) Insurance Companies Discover People Bahvior better with machine Monitoring

Technology has cut its transformative swath through the media, transportation and hospitality industries. Insurance could be next.

Telematics, the long-distance transmission of computerized information, is a small but growing element of the insurance business. If adopted on a widespread basis, it could revolutionize the underlying risk-spreading methods used for generations, analysts say….

Progressive (NYSE:PGR) has been among the leaders in this area, permitting its customers to insert a “Snapshot” gadget into their cars in order to provide increasingly sophisticated information about their driving habits.

“It made more sense to price premiums on how you actually drive,” said David Pratt, Progressive’s general manager of user-based insurance.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Psychology, Science & Technology, Theology, Travel

Kendall Harmon Birthday Follow up

Since a number of you were kind enough to inquire, Elizabeth and I went out to eat at the new Five Loaves Cafe in Summerville, South Carolina. For those of who in the South Carolina Lowcountry (or for any who plan to visit) I can recommend it highly–the food, ambience and service were excellent. We later went to the movie Kingsman:The Secret Service–we had heard that is was “fun,” and indeed it was!

Posted in * By Kendall, * Culture-Watch, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Harmon Family, Marriage & Family, Movies & Television

(TSM) Justin Terry on Bp Alf Stanway–Living by Missionary Principles

Bishop Alf Stanway, founding Dean/President of Trinity School for Ministry, previously served for over thirty years in East Africa with the Church Missionary Society. He brought that society’s missionary principles with him and they remain firmly embedded in our corporate life.

I have come to see that they have wider implications for all who wish to live as the disciples of Jesus. You may even see them as a brief summary of Christian discipleship.

1–Follow God’s leading. Jesus repeatedly called people to follow Him (e.g. Matt 4:19). We are to turn from our selfish preoccupations to live with Him and for Him. It is a call to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7). John Venn, who first articulated these principles in 1799, explained that this means to “Look for success only by the Spirit.”
2–Start small, while intending great things.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Missions, Pastoral Theology, Theology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)

From the Do not Take Yourself too Seriously Department–The Apple Pocketwatch sketch from CONAN

Watch it all (Hat tip: DR).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Humor / Trivia, Science & Technology

(WSJ) Tumbling interest rates in Europe leaves some banks owing money on loans to borrowers

Tumbling interest rates in Europe have put some banks in an inconceivable position: owing money on loans to borrowers.

At least one Spanish bank, Bankinter SA, the country’s seventh-largest lender by market value, has been paying some customers interest on mortgages by deducting that amount from the principal the borrower owes.

The problem is just one of many challenges caused by interest rates falling below zero, known as a negative interest rate. All over Europe, banks are being compelled to rebuild computer programs, update legal documents and redo spreadsheets to account for negative rates.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Housing/Real Estate Market, Personal Finance, The Banking System/Sector

(CBC) Portugal Cove-St. Philip's looking for solution on fate of Anglican church

There’s a new development in the five-year-old stalemate over what to do with an old Anglican church in Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s.

The church parish and a local committee have been in disagreement over what to do with the church.

The parish has applied for a permit to demolish the building, much to the dismay of the committee that wants it preserved.

Now, the Town of Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s, which has found itself caught in the middle of the dispute, is proposing a mediation meeting with the two groups.

Read it all.

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

(USA Today) World marks one year since Nigerian girls' abduction

Events are taking place around the world to mark one year since Boko Haram militants abducted nearly 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria, sparking global outrage.

The girls were kidnapped from their school in Chibok, in the northeast of the country, leading millions around the world to call for their return as the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag exploded on social media.

A number of girls later escaped the militants, who often force those abducted to convert to Islam and fight or work as sex slaves, but 219 remain missing.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Islam, Marriage & Family, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Teens / Youth, Theology, Violence, Women

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Gothic Missal

O Almighty God, hear thy people who are met in this season to celebrate the glorious resurrection of thy Son our Lord; and lead them on from this festival to eternal gladness, to the joys that have no end; through the same our Saviour Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we may be sure that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He who says “I know him” but disobeys his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps his word, in him truly love for God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him: he who says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new commandment, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. He who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in the darkness still. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and in it there is no cause for stumbling. But he who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

–1 John 2:1-11

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Nicholas Kristof–Meet Dr Foster–the liberal caricature of evangelicals is incomplete and unfair

I have little in common, politically or theologically, with evangelicals or, while I’m at it, conservative Roman Catholics. But I’ve been truly awed by those I’ve seen in so many remote places, combating illiteracy and warlords, famine and disease, humbly struggling to do the Lord’s work as they see it, and it is offensive to see good people derided.

On a recent trip to Angola, the country with the highest child mortality rate in the world, I came across a rural hospital run by Dr. Stephen Foster, 65, a white-haired missionary surgeon who has lived there for 37 years ”” much of that in a period when the Angolan regime was Marxist and hostile to Christians.

“We were granted visas,” he said, “by the very people who would tell us publicly, ”˜your churches are going to disappear in 20 years,’ but privately, ”˜you are the only ones we know willing to serve in the midst of the fire.’ ”

Foster, the son and grandson of missionaries, has survived tangles with a 6-foot cobra and angry soldiers. He has had to make do with rudimentary supplies: Once, he said, he turned the tube for a vehicle’s windshield-washing fluid into a catheter to drain a patient’s engorged bladder.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Evangelicals, Globalization, Health & Medicine, Missions, Other Churches, Religion & Culture

Ian Paul–Why we should care about church numbers

Yet failure and smallness is only one part of the story. In contrast to John’s depiction of Jesus as a lonely hero, the synoptic gospels frequently emphasise the size of the crowds that follow him and hang on his every word. And the account in Acts is punctuated by summary statements showing how much the message has spread and how many have come to follow ‘The Way’. A recent critique of Church of England statements dismissed the language of discipleship and growth as belonging to ‘only one section of the New Testament’. But when that section is the synoptic gospels and Acts, I think we need to take notice of it! Even today, this fondness for failure is in marked contrast to the vibrant growth of Christian faith seen in many parts of the world.

And the focus on failure doesn’t actually make much sense. Fraser comments that, on the cross, ‘failure is redeemed’. But redeemed into what exactly? More failure? Held Evans notes that ‘the New Testament church grew when Christians were in the minority’ but that very growth changed the church’s minority status. This highlights a basic misunderstanding of a key saying of Jesus in which he explains in advance the meaning of Easter: “Very truly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24).

The ‘failure’ here is not about lack of growth or fruitfulness; the death of the grain of wheat is about rejecting self-interest and turning from attempts at self-preservation. As we let go of our own agenda and focus on God’s agenda in the kingdom (Matt 6:33), the result will be fruitfulness. And the whole purpose of fruit is the production of more seeds, more plants and further fruitfulness. Dying to self, in Jesus’ teaching, should not lead to empty churches, but to a crop of thirty-, sixty- or a hundred-fold (Mark 4:8).

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, Sociology

(CHE) Can Matthew Crawford Deliver Us From Distraction?

Matthew B. Crawford burst upon the scene in 2009 with a compact, powerful book, Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work (Penguin), a macho denunciation of the contemporary world of cubicle life and an ode to the joys of mechanical dexterity and productivity. Having grown up for a time in a California commune, and having filed off (some of) his rough edges while earning a Ph.D. in political philosophy at the University of Chicago, he found his deepest satisfactions in solving engine problems for motorcycle riders, those who took up what he called the “kingly sport that is like war made beautiful.” He doesn’t sound like somebody who has much acquaintance with war, but no matter. When his customers rode off, he knew ”” and they knew ”” that the problem had been solved.

Now, in his new book, The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Crawford expands on his notion of knowing and problem-solving to offer a critique of contemporary manipulated attention and self-formation. Shop Class contrasted skill-based, craft-oriented knowledge and the satisfaction it brings with the kind of understanding he acquired studying physics as an undergraduate at the University of California at Santa Barbara or philosophy at Chicago. The certainties of physics might establish an intellectual foundation, and philosophical ambiguities may delight, but not much compares to the roar of a bike.

In both books, Crawford writes in the tradition that defends crafts and guilds while denouncing the evils of mechanization and alienation, free trade and modernization. You can find conservatives and radicals in this tradition, and Crawford has expressed delight at having been called both a Marxist and a neocon. In Shop Class he went for grit, and it mostly worked. He talked “craft,” but it was noisy, scruffy craft with tough old masters and eager, reverential apprentices getting grimy while sharing dirty jokes. Kelefa Sanneh, in The New Yorker, ungenerously but not inaccurately called the book “in large part a treatise on the joys and frustrations of manliness in a postmanly age.”

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

(Telegraph) Britain one of the 'world's least religious countries', says poll

Britain is one of the least religious countries in the world, with two thirds of the population describing themselves as atheist or “not religious”, a new survey has disclosed.

Only 30 per cent of Britons interviewed by pollsters as part of a world-wide project said they would describe themselves as religious, regardless of whether they attended a place of worship.

It compared with 53 per cent who said they were “not religious” and 13 per cent who said they were a “convinced atheist”. The remainder were “don’t knows”.

The study appeared to show significantly different results to other research conducted in 2013 – the British Social Attitudes Survey – which said 52 per cent of the population associated with any religion while 48 per cent described themselves as having no faith.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Religion & Culture