Daily Archives: July 3, 2015

Anonymous donors give $3M for Clementa Pinckney scholarship fund

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, City Government, Death / Burial / Funerals, Education, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence, Young Adults

(NPR) Hours From Greek Bailout Vote, 2 Sides Evenly Divided

Greece’s prime minister has put his political clout behind the “no” camp in a referendum to decide whether the country should accept the terms of an international bailout. But the people appear to be evenly split on the issue, according to two new opinion polls.

One survey, conducted by the respected ALCO institute just 48 hours before the referendum that could decide Greece’s economic fate and future in the eurozone, gives the “yes” camp 44.8 percent against 43.4 percent for the “no” side, according to Reuters.

But a second poll, conducted by Public Issue and published in the ruling party’s newspaper, reports a 0.5-percentage-point lead for those opposed to the bailout.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Foreign Relations, Greece, Politics in General, The Banking System/Sector

Are Homeownership and the Middle Class Out of Reach for Millennials?

Nearly seven in 10 millennials, or 69% of those ages 18 to 34, say they have it harder than previous generations in securing a middle-class lifestyle. But the story doesn’t stop at younger Americans feeling they have it harder than older generations. Seventy-seven percent of seniors say that young people today have a harder time achieving a secure middle-class lifestyle compared with their counterparts 20 or 30 years ago. The share of seniors with this view is striking, particularly given that many of them have lived through the Great Depression, World War II, Stagflation, the stock market crash of 1987, and, most recently, the Great Recession.

More than seven in 10 Americans also believe that millennials have it harder when it comes to saving for retirement (81%); owning a home (76%); having a stable, decent-paying job (71%); and having stable, affordable housing (71%).

These are some of the findings from a recent Hart Research survey conducted for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s How Housing Matters Initiative. It also found that millennials are concerned about their housing situation and that many have had personal experience with housing distress. This has caused them to re-assess the feasibility of homeownership, with many millennial homeowners considering whether to rent in the future.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Children, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, Personal Finance, Theology, Young Adults

(Church Times) Tunisians are apologetic over Islamist beach murders

The Area Bishop of North Africa, and Rector of St George’s, in the capital Tunis, the Rt Revd Bill Musk, visited survivors of the attack in intensive care at hospital. He said that they were still deeply in shock.

“It’s very humbling – you just go to listen,” he said. “Everyone wants us to pray with them. When you have come very close to dying, or someone you love has, we are all vulnerable.”

The overwhelming response from Tunisians has been one of shame, Bishop Musk said. One of the nurses at the bedside of a British victim of the shooting was continually apologising and explaining how Mr Rezgui did not represent true Islam, he said.

The attack was also a disaster for Tunisia, as it would lose billions of pounds if tourists decided to stay away.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Ethics / Moral Theology, Islam, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Tunisia, Violence

A.S. Haley–Sweet Poetic Justice for TEC Bishop of LA

And now — enter God’s poetic justice. It seems that Bishop Bruno, who is as quick as any Episcopal Church diocesan to recognize a Dennis Canon interest in property when he comes across one, forgot about an earlier reversionary interest in the St. James parish property. It turns out that the original developer of the area, Griffith Company, donated in 1945 the land on which the beautiful St. James building was erected, to the Protestant Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles, upon “the condition, covenant and restriction” that

The property conveyed shall be used for church purposes exclusively and no building other than a church and appurtenances shall be erected, placed or maintained thereon. The foregoing restriction shall be binding upon the [Bishop], his successors and assigns. Upon the breach of the foregoing condition, the title to said property … shall become at once divested from the [Bishop], his successors and assigns, and shall revert and revest in the grantor [Griffith Company], its successors or assigns.

Thus if Bishop Bruno carries out his plans to sell the property to the current developer, the only thing that developer could do with the property is maintain the existing church building on it (or build a brand-new one). And thus there is no way a developer would pay $15 million for land that is so encumbered.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Housing/Real Estate Market, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles, TEC Departing Parishes

(NYT) Full Toll From Colorado Theater Shooting Goes Untold at Trial

Before the bullets and bloodshed in the movie theater, Stefan Moton was a teenager who did push-ups and boxing exercises in his bedroom, his dreams fixed on becoming a mixed martial arts fighter. Now, his goals are humbler: Strengthen the sections of his upper body that he can still move. Maybe get a new tattoo. Feed himself again.

“I just try to push it aside and move on,” he said. “Focus on getting better.”

Mr. Moton, 21, who was shot through the spine and left paralyzed from the chest down, is among scores of survivors who have taken the witness stand in the murder trial of James E. Holmes, the former neuroscience graduate student charged with carrying out the midnight rampage at a multiplex here in July 2012. But testimony is narrowly focused on the scene inside Theater 9 and whether the gunman was legally sane or insane when he opened fire. Many stories of Aurora’s painful legacy, which families say remains as raw and urgent as ever, have gone untold in court.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology, Young Adults

Today in Christian History

From here:

July 3, 529: The Synod of Orange convenes in southern France. Led by a forcefulAugustinian, Caesarius of Arles, the synod upheldAugustine’s doctrines of grace and free will while condemning the views of Semi-Pelagians (including John Cassian and Faustus of Riez), who believed the human will and God’s grace work together…

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the American Prayer Book

O God of peace, who hast taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and confidence shall be our strength: By the might of thy Spirit lift us, we pray thee, to thy presence, where we may be still and know that thou art God; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Surely the righteous shall give thanks to thy name; the upright shall dwell in thy presence.

–Psalm 140:13

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

David Jenkins: Primate hopes marriage canon debates will be respectful

The object on which an Anglican bishop rests his hope rarely fails to confirm my low expectations.

Fred Hiltz could be hoping that the outcome of the debate will align with the Biblical understanding of marriage or, to say it another way, with God’s will for a Christian marriage. Instead, he hopes that there will not be too much squabbling.

From here:

Archbishop Fred Hiltz said he is aware that there is anxiety among Anglicans about how the 2016 General Synod will deal with a motion amending the marriage canon (church law) to allow the marriage of same-sex couples.

Hiltz expressed hope that the debates that will precede any decision will be conducted with respect and patience.

He is praying, he added, that people will “know the leading of the Holy Spirit” and that there will be “grace in the midst of what will be a very difficult and challenging conversation.”

…It’s hard to take the prayer “know the leading of the Holy Spirit” seriously, since the “conscience clause” (not that anyone takes that particularly seriously since those that exercise it will be ridiculed, ostracised and eventually driven out) anticipates disunity, something that would not be present if the delegates were more interested in being informed by the Holy Spirit than in using him as rubber stamp for their own opinions.

Read it all

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

Lent and Beyond: A Call to Prayer ”“ Fearless Faith in Turbulent Times

A great article by Scott Ward of the ACNA Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic. Here’s an excerpt (bold added):
..Daniel and his friends had unwavering clarity about their priorities, even in the face of the idols of their age and no matter the cost. As Daniel’s three friends eloquently explained, “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Dan. 3:17-18).

Most of all, Daniel had great faith in a great God ”“ and he prayed like it. Daniel was wholeheartedly devoted to prayer. He prayed and gave thanks regularly throughout every day and he did so without regard to what others might think or do. Indeed, his primary response to hostile legal changes ”“ changes specifically designed to use his faithfulness to God as a weapon against him ”“ was simply to pray to God, just as he had always done.

“Now when Daniel knew that the document [requiring that all people, on penalty of death, worship an idol of the present ruler] was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously.” (Daniel 6:10) (italics added).

But Daniel not only prayed regularly, he engaged in deep, prolonged, fervent, humble intercessory prayer, repenting of his people’s sins and imploring God’s grace and mercy upon them..

Read it all

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Liturgy, Music, Worship

[Robert Gagnon] American Tragedy: Now Gird Up Your Loins

To propose, as some revisionists now do, that “gay marriage” and the elimination of a male-female prerequisite is a new work of the Spirit overlooks the fact Jesus moved in the opposite direction by tightening the implications of a male-female requirement. It is likely, then, that those who view “gay marriage” as a new work of the Spirit have confused a work of the flesh with the work of the Spirit and disregarded the Lordship of Jesus Christ so far as the definition of marriage (and thus acceptable sexual relations) is concerned.

Read it all

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Marriage & Family

O Lord, Rebuke Me Not

O Lord, rebuke me not in thine indignation: neither chasten me in thy displeasure.
Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am weak: O Lord, heal me, for my bones are vexed.
My soul also is sore troubled: but, Lord, how long wilt thou punish me?
Turn thee, O Lord, and deliver my soul: O save me for thy mercy’s sake. Amen. [BCP 1662]

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, --Book of Common Prayer, Liturgy, Music, Worship

Statement by the Central American and Communion Partner Bishops

…We are mindful that the decisions of the 78th General Convention do not take place in isolation. The Episcopal Church is part of a larger whole, the Anglican Communion. We remain committed to that Communion and to the historic See of Canterbury, and we will continue to honor the three moratoria requested in the Windsor Report and affirmed by the Instruments of Communion.

We invite bishops and any Episcopalians who share these commitments to join us in this statement, and to affirm with us our love for our Lord Jesus Christ, our commitment to The Episcopal Church, and the Anglican Communion, and our dissent from these actions.

Read it all [pdf]

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

(Independent) Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life

Doctors in Belgium have granted a medically depressed woman the right to end her own life.

The 24-year-old woman, named only as ”˜Laura’, told doctors she had suffered from depression since she was a child and wished to end her life, local newspaper De Morgen reported.

Laura, who entered a psychiatric facility when she was 21, told the publication: “life, that’s not for me.”

“Death feels to me not as a choice. If I had a choice, I would choose a bearable life, but I have done everything and that was unsuccessful,” she told the newspaper.

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

(Wash Post) TEC approves religious weddings for same-sex couples after controversial debate

The bishops agreed to allow clergy to begin offering same-sex marriages using the new rites after Nov. 1. However, no clergy could be compelled to perform a same-sex marriage, and a bishop had the authority to forbid his clergy from celebrating gay marriages.

The former bishop of Virginia, Peter Lee, explained to the bishops in Salt Lake City the accommodation meant that a conservative priest in a liberal diocese would incur no penalty if he refused to perform a same-sex marriage. The priest would, however, have to pass a couple seeking to be married on to another church or priest to perform the ceremony.

Priests in dioceses where the bishop forbid same-sex marriages may not solemnize gay marriages. A priest who did so would be liable for punishment for disobeying the bishop. A diocese that does not perform gay marriages must pass the couple on to another part of the church that permits gay marriage.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Church History, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, General Convention, Law & Legal Issues, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Sexuality, TEC Bishops, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology, Theology: Scripture