Daily Archives: June 24, 2015

20 surreal photos of Northern Lights glowing over Metro Vancouver

These are just amazing–enjoy them all.

Posted in * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Canada, Photos/Photography

[ACI] Ephraim Radner: Questions Facing the Episcopal Church Over Redefining Marriage

Written by: Rev. Dr. Ephraim Radner
At the root of the division over human marriage that proposed changes like TEC’s have engendered is a stark question regarding the status of the facts of mother-father-child marriage outlined above: do these facts have divine and thus revelatory significance? That is, does the fact that children (and thus the partners of future marriages) are physically born from male-female sexual coupling, or that mothers and their children are bound by the deepest of physiological and psychological ties, or that fathers have always had the strongest moral responsibilities towards their mates and children, or that the mother-father-child relationship has been both deeply given as well as protected in the experience of human beings ”“ does any of this in particular have divine revelatory significance? If it does have such significance, does it need to be examined, reflected upon, delighted in, cherished, and submitted to?

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Polity & Canons

[Andrew Symes] The Church of England: still a “safe place” for orthodox Christians?

…Eighteen months ago, the Archbishop of York stated publicly that the Church of England could not provide blessings for faithful, monogamous gay couples in civil partnerships or marriages. Yet here, in York, his staff, with his approval, have given a public blessing to a large number of people celebrating homosexual relationships and practice, many of whom are involved in lifestyles which do not fit in even to the more narrow category of “permanent, faithful, stable”. Some no doubt feel that this is a public demonstration of the effectiveness of the church’s witness to marginalised people, but for others it is a strong symbol of the church blessing immorality, and meekly capitulating to, and being willingly co-opted by, the dominant powers of the age who are in rebellion against God and his Anointed.

Many had hoped that while the new morality was rapidly taking hold in the C of E at least the Archbishops would hold the line. This statement will ensure that for orthodox Anglicans here and around the world, this hope is rapidly disappearing. Some might say that the C of E is becoming an increasingly unsafe place for bible-believing Christians.

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

ACNA Provincial Coucil in Vancouver

June 22-26 – Live Here:

This is being livestreamed by Kevin Kallsen here. Past videos including Tuesday’s address by Archbishop Foley Beach are available here

Update: For those of you on twitter follow #PCVan2015

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

(NYT) More Americans Are Renting, and Paying More, as Homeownership Falls

In the past, many families like the McDowells, whose household income is almost $100,000 a year, would already be nestled in a starter home, maybe even on the cusp of upgrading to something bigger and more expensive on the profits from their first house.

But even as the market continues to improve ”” sales of existing homes in May increased to their highest pace in six years, the National Association of Realtors reported on Monday, and first-timers make up 32 percent of the buyers ”” it is leaving millions of Americans unwillingly stuck in rental housing.

“It’s more of a new normal,” said Robert J. Shiller, an economics professor at Yale University and a Nobel laureate. “We went through a wrenching experience with the biggest housing bubble and the biggest collapse since 1890. This is an anxious time.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Personal Finance, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Theology

(Vat. Radio) WCC leader urges new ecumenical action on environment, migrants

The General Secretary of the World Council of Churches says Christians must grasp the “unique ecumenical momentum” created by Pope Francis’ new encyclical on the environment. He also believes it’s vital to respond in a more practical and pastoral way to migrants in Europe who are radically changing our “reflection about who is in communion with whom”.

Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit was in Rome on Tuesday to attend celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the Joint Working Group of the Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches. Set up just before the end of the Second Vatican Council, the Group is holding a plenary session in Rome this week to begin its tenth round of ecumenical conversations.

In a message to Rev Fykse Tveit to mark the occasion, Pope Francis said we should be encouraged by the collaboration the Group has promoted, “not only in ecumenical issues, but also in the areas of interreligious dialogue, peace and social justice, and works of charity and humanitarian aid”. But he stressed that despite the many ecumenical achievements, “Christian mission and witness still suffer due to our divisions”.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ecumenical Relations, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Science & Technology, Theology

(Telegraph) Facial recognition technology: Is Orwell’s fiction our reality?

How is it being used?

Last week, US government agency talks that were intended to create a code of conduct for the technology fell apart. Privacy campaigners walked out of the discussions, claiming that companies and government agencies were unwilling to accept that they must always seek permission before using facial recognition technology to identify someone.

Alvaro Bedoya, from Georgetwon University Law Centre in Washington DC, told New Scientist that “not a single company would support [the principle].”

Uses of the technology are becoming increasingly Orwellian. Tesco plans to install screens that scan customers’ faces, determine their age and gender, and show them a relevant advertisement.

In the United States, a company called Face First offers retailers the ability to “build a database of good customers, recognize them when they come through the door, and make them feel more welcome” (in other words, schmooze the big spenders). The product also sends alerts whenever “known litigious individuals enter any of your locations”. Another company, Churchix, uses facial recognition technology to track congregation church attendance.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

(Anglican Ink) Cry for help from St James Newport Beach

There is a lot of misinformation being published by the Los Angeles diocesan leadership about the status of St. James the Great as recent[ly] as this past week….

On May 17th, Bishop Bruno without warning or discussion told the parish he sold the building. Not only had he sold it, but there was no plan as to where anyone should go or do. The parish was devastated. To some this was the second time they had lost their building; to most, who were just starting to come back to church or who are unchurched, could not understand how one man could unilaterally make this decision, especially on a church with a 70-year legacy and *the* last church near Lido Isle.

The pastoral care I have had to administer as a result of this decision has been exhausting. I have had parishioners fall into my arms with tears of disbelief. One couple told me they waited 53 years to find a church they could both agree on and finally found it at St. James the Great.

When I asked what was to become of the 150 families Bishop Bruno said they could go to other churches in the area. This, after spending 18 months of their time, talent and treasure to rebuild a viable, *growing *church.

Read it all.

Update: Lawsuit filed to block the sale of St James Newport Beach

A California court has been asked to block the sale of St James Newport Beach by the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles to real estate developers.

On 22 June 2015 a coalition of parishioners called the Save the St James the Great coalition filed suit in the Orange County Superior Court against the Episcopal Bishop of Los Angeles and real estate developers Legacy Partners Residential. A hearing has been scheduled before the Hon. David McEachen for 9:00 am on 24 June 2015 in the matter: 30-2015-00794789-CU-OR-CJ

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Parishes, Theology

(Wash. Post) Once politically sacrosanct, Confederate flag moves toward an end

After decades of bitter debate over whether the Confederate battle flag is a proud symbol of regional heritage or a shameful emblem of this nation’s most grievous sins, the argument may finally be moving toward an end.

South Carolina is leading the way for other states, as it considers removing the flag from its capitol grounds in the wake of a horrific racial hate crime.

The historical poignancy is heavy and resonant, given that the killings last week of nine African Americans took place in a church basement just a few miles from where the first shots of the Civil War were exchanged in 1861. Photos that have since surfaced of the accused killer, Dylann Roof, show him posing with the Confederate flag.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Politics in General, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, State Government, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(Local paper) Funeral services for several victims of Charleston Massacre announced

The funeral services and arrangements have been confirmed for several of the nine victims who were killed by a gunman at Emanuel AME Church on June 17.

The service for the Rev. Sharonda Singleton will be Thursday at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, 7396 Rivers Ave., North Charleston. The viewing will from 10 a.m. until the funeral service, which begins at 2 p.m. Interment will be private. Arrangements are being handled by Murray’s Mortuary of North Charleston.

There will be a viewing for Ethel Lance on Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. at Royal Missionary Baptist Church, 4761 Luella Ave., North Charleston. The family will receive friends, beginning at 7 p.m. Her funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Royal Missionary. She will be buried at Emanuel AME Church cemetery, 110 Calhoun St., Charleston. Arrangements are being handled by The Palmetto Mortuary of Charleston…

Read it all and join me in praying for these services and the families involved.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Eschatology, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

N.T. Wright’s Talk at Google on “Simply Good News”

Watch and listen to it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Christology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of the Nativity of John the Baptist

Almighty God, by whose providence thy servant John the Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of thy Son our Savior by preaching repentance: Make us so to follow his doctrine and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and after his example constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth’s sake; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Family to Begin the Day from the Pastor's Prayerbook

Shed the bright rays of thy light, O Father, upon this family and household, that every member of the same, made confident by thy guidance, may fulfill his daily duty with pure motives and a gallant heart. Be close to us in times of stress and strain, that our courage and our hope may never fail. Let thy sheltering arm protect us, that we may be valiant in all peril. Turn for us sorrow into joy, darkness into sunshine, death into life; so that when the evening comes and our work on earth is done, we may pass triumphantly into the uplands of fellowship in thy family above; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Marriage & Family, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists murmured against the Hebrews because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the body of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” And what they said pleased the whole multitude, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Proch’orus, and Nica’nor, and Ti’mon, and Par’menas, and Nicola’us, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands upon them. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.

–Acts 6:1-7

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Sightings) Martin Marty on Robert Putnam's 'Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis'

Putnam, not first of all a complainer, this time reaches for extremes: “We” and “Our Kids” are not merely confused or apathetic or drifting. We are clearly in crisis. Or the book could get dismissed as one more complaint about social class and the economic debates connected with both, or all, sides of class division in America. Also, it could be ignored by those who tire of nostalgic reckonings about “the good old days;” Some celebrations of them do appear here.

Putnam lovingly invokes the past as he begins with references to his own childhood years and to locales like the town in which he grew up. Winsomely and with clarity he writes about a time when the boundaries between classes were not as defined and drastic as now. But as he looks at the contemporary scene, he finds plenty of reason to describe the class gulf as “in crisis” and the “American dream” not merely fading for millions, but becoming almost irretrievably out of range for their young.

What’s missing, especially for the millions of “Their Kids” in America today? They lack agencies where “social capital”””an old Putnam phrase””is tended to. Voluntary organizations, support groups, clubs, neighborhood places, which encourage bonding and interaction are disappearing from the scene for the millions who cannot advance.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Books, Children, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, History, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Poverty, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Sociology, Theology

(C of E) Government minister Ed Vaizey praises role of cathedrals

Living, breathing buildings which exist to serve God

Ed Vaizey, Minister of State for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries has praised the important role of cathedrals in national life, highlighting the Government’s award last year of £20 million for fabric repairs to cathedrals in the First World War Centenary Cathedral Fabric Repair Fund.

He was speaking at the launch of a new book showcasing the Church of England’s Cathedrals, today at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Cathedrals of the Church of England has been written by Janet Gough, who is the Director of ChurchCare, the Church of England’s Cathedrals and Church Buildings division. The book features short descriptions of each cathedral, and is illustrated with photographs including some specially commissioned images by Paul Barker (best known for his photographs over many years for Country Life)*.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues

The South Carolina Senate has introduced a bill on the removal of the Confederate Flag

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Politics in General, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, State Government, Theology, Violence