Daily Archives: August 11, 2015

Psalms on the go ”“ C of E launches new mobile app

The latest publication from the Church of England brings an ancient tradition of following the Psalms to mobile devices and e-readers.

Adding to the popular ‘Reflections’ series, Reflections on the Psalms is a standalone book, ebook and mobile app written for anyone wishing to follow the ancient practice of the Psalter, reading the Psalms of the Bible each morning and evening. The mobile app is available to buy on the iOS App Store, with an Android version coming soon.

Produced by Church House Publishing, the new publication provides short meditations on each of the Psalms written by Bishops, well-known writers, experienced ministers, biblical scholars and theologians. The book also contains an introduction to the Psalms by theologian Paula Gooder, and a guide to the Psalms in the life of the Church by the Bishop of Sheffield, Steven Croft. With the mobile app, users can save their favourite Psalms and share them via social media.

Read it all and follow the links.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Blogging & the Internet, Church of England (CoE), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Barna) Friendships Are the Top Thing People Love Most About Their Cities

There’s no place like home,” repeats Dorothy as she taps those famous ruby slippers together. The place to which she so desperately longs to return is Kansas, that little corner of the world she calls home. One might imagine the Depression-era dustbowl of Kansas is no match for the wonders of Oz, but it’s the place she feels rooted, attached and secure.

In literature and in cinema, there is no shortage of heroes’ journeys that end up back where they started. From Odysseus to Bilbo Baggins to Dorothy, wanderlust eventually turns to homesickness and the pull of the familiar overrides the glories of adventure. But what is it about home that’s such a draw? Dorothy’s repeated attempts to return to Kansas are less about the physical place itself and more about the meaning her attachments there bring to her sense of self. What most people seem to long for and grieve while in exile (even if it’s in the Technicolor land of Oz) are the social connections that friends, family and community bring to their sense of belonging.

Barna recently conducted research into this “sense of place,” asking Americans where they live, why they choose to live there and what they love most about the place they call home. We found that although Americans often move for different reasons, the most consistent characteristics that make a place worth staying in are relational.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Housing/Real Estate Market, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Sociology, Theology

Two Important Segments on the Anglican Communion from BBC's Sunday Programme

Worldwide Anglican Communion Feature: What are the main challenges for the new Secretary General? (about 6 minutes)


Anglican Communion Interview: Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon outlines his position on key issues (about 6 1/2 minutes)

You may find both audio links here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of Nigeria, Ecclesiology, Globalization, Religion & Culture, Theology

Tuesday Morning Mental Health Break–The Dash of the Dachshunds

Their legs may be short but they still have plenty of speed! The Calgary Herald was at the Running of the Dachshunds at the Strathmore Stampede last week.

it all.

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

(CSM) ISIS recruiters cause anguish in conservative Kurdish town

White-on-black Islamic calligraphy still adorns the establishment that the Islamic State used to recruit fighters and bombers in this town in southeast Turkey.

Known as the Islamic Tea House, it was a hub for bearded men in tunics, who lured young men for explosives training in Syria before complaints from the community led police to shut it down.

“It wasn’t exactly a tea house, but they did drink tea among themselves,” says Mahmoud Tunc, a chatty boy with a whisper of a mustache who works at a tiny tea shop across the street. “They were a carbon copy of the IS guys you see on social media. Even if you put a Quran in front of them, they wouldn’t read it. They would just parrot their stupid ideology. They were not harmful to us but they were very harmful to Adiyaman and Islam.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Europe, Foreign Relations, Islam, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Turkey, Violence, Young Adults

(NPR) New Research Explores Why The Universe Is Dying

An international team of astronomers says new data shows energy output measured across more than 200,000 galaxies is only about half as strong as it was two billion years ago. Scientists point to this latest study as further evidence that the universe is slowly dying.

The Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) project presented the data at an international astronomical gathering in Hawaii. The survey finds the universe’s fading is taking place “across all in wavelengths from the ultraviolet to the far infrared,” according to a press release.

“The Universe will decline from here on in, sliding gently into old age,” said Simon Driver a professor at The University of Western Australia who also leads the GAMA team. “The Universe has basically sat down on the sofa, pulled up a blanket and is about to nod off for an eternal doze,” Simon said in the statement.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, History, Science & Technology

Colby Alan Rawson, 21, RIP

Colby Alan Rawson JOHNS ISLAND – Colby Alan Rawson, 21, of Johns Island, South Carolina, entered into eternal rest Wednesday, August 5, 2015. His Celebration of Life service will be held Monday, August 10, 2015 in St. Michael’s Church, Meeting Street at Broad at 3:00 p.m. The committal service will follow in the churchyard. The family will receive friends Monday, in the church fellowship hall following the service. Arrangements by J. HENRY STUHR, INC., WEST ASHLEY CHAPEL. Colby was born July 12, 1994, in Charleston, South Carolina, son of Randall Allen Rawson and Barbara Corbett Rawson. He was an Arborist with Rawson Services, Inc. He is survived by his parents, Randall Allen and Barbara Corbett Rawson; sister, Miranda North Rawson all of Johns Island, SC; maternal grandparents, Johnnie L. and Jean North Corbett of Bamberg, SC; paternal grandmothers, JoAnn Parker of Milsap, TX, Mary Jane Rawson of Sheffield, IA; great-grandmother, Hazel H. North of Mt. Pleasant, SC; aunts, LeeAnn Rawson, Kris Guzzi, Shari Rogers, Stacy Byre; uncle, Walter C. Corbett (Tammy); cousins, Johnnie Corbett, Jameson Corbett and extended family. Colby was a creative young man, an avid outdoorsman and adventurer. He would light up the room with his smile, laughter, and happiness; he filled many lives with hope, and he taught us what love is. His friends were numerous and each has wonderful stories to tell about their time with Colby. He loved music, rollercoasters, animals, fishing, being on the water, cars, friends, and family. He loved people, and he loved life and lived it to the fullest with gusto. Because of Colby’s love for animals, especially for his cat Ibit, memorials may be made to the Charleston Animal Society, 2455 Remount Road, North Charleston, SC 29406. Also because of his love of feeding and nurturing others, memorials may be made to the Low Country Food Bank 2864 Azalea Drive, North Charleston, SC 29405. The family is asking those who will attend Colby’s service to please bring non-perishable food in honor of his legacy.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, Young Adults

(NP) A Profile of Corporate and political star Nigel Wright, an Anglican

Wright’s self-discipline, as demonstrated by his daily running routine, is legendary: when he lived in Ottawa, he’d set out every morning before work on a half-marathon from his condo at 700 Sussex Dr. next to the Château Laurier. It was such a reliable habit that CTV’s Danielle Hamamdjian once ambushed him as he loped by the Mac’s on Laurier Avenue in Sandy Hill, at 4 a.m., to ask him about Duffy. He didn’t say much, except that he’d made some mistakes and was co-operating with the authorities.

Succeeding in private equity, as Wright has, takes management talent, steel nerves, and a willingness to do hard things ”” to make deals worth billions with other people’s money, to combine and break up companies other people built, to cut other people’s jobs. In Wright, those qualities are combined with a moral code derived from his devotion to a traditionalist strain of Anglicanism. It’s a throwback to the faith’s Catholic roots followed in just a few Canadian churches (St. Barnabas in Centretown is the one in Ottawa), featuring ornate services and a social conservatism that’s in deepening tension with the Anglican Communion’s increasingly liberal positions on things such as homosexuality and the ordination of women.

Wright’s a graduate of Trinity College at the University of Toronto ”” known for its training of Anglican priests and its adherence to some of British academe’s more amusingly stuffy traditions ”” and has been a lay leader at his Toronto church. He raises money for charity, particularly Camp Oochigeas (for kids with cancer, where he’s also volunteered during his vacations), and serves at soup kitchens.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Stock Market

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Clare of Assisi

O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich: Deliver us, we pray thee, from an inordinate love of this world, that, inspired by the devotion of thy servant Clare, we may serve thee with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the age to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day from William Bright

We offer to thee, O Lord our God, the work which thou hast appointed for us. Help us to do it heartily and faithfully, as in thy sight and for thy glory, that so we may be drawn nearer to thee and confirmed in thy service, which alone is true freedom; in the name of our Master and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! Clouds and thick darkness are round about him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire goes before him, and burns up his adversaries round about. His lightnings lighten the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness; and all the peoples behold his glory.

–Psalm 97:1-6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Calgary Herald) Researcher alleges a positive role 'moderate viewing of legal pornography'

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Canada, Pornography

(Reuters) Humans may have adapted to walking while texting, study suggests

Texting while driving is clearly a bad idea, but it may be dangerously distracting while walking, too, a new study suggests.

Researchers asked 30 people to navigate an obstacle course three times and found they were significantly slower while texting and walking than when completing the route without any distractions.

When the researchers had people walk, text and do math quizzes on an iPhone all at the same time, it also slowed them down by about the same amount.

The lower speed was expected, said senior study author Conrad Earnest, an exercise researcher at Texas A&M University in College Station. What was surprising, however, is that staring at the tiny screen didn’t make people any more likely to crash into things.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Health & Medicine, Science & Technology, Theology

Sheila Fitzpatrick reviews Landscapes of Communism: A History through Buildings by Owen Hatherley

I’ve noticed before the strange tendency of hateful buildings to become almost lovable after the passage of decades. Not all of them, of course. Some, like the 1960s highrise clones lining Moscow’s New Arbat (Kalinin Prospekt) become more annoying as they get shabbier. But the Moscow State University building on Lenin Hills, one of Moscow’s seven late-Stalinist wedding cakes, has definitely undergone a metamorphosis in my mind. When I lived there in the late 1960s, I regarded it as an anti-people monster, guarded by dragons who, if you had lost your pass, would throw you out to die in the snow. (According to Hatherley, they now use swipe cards to protect the building against invasion.) But I noticed a while back that I had started regarding the wedding cakes with something like affection; apparently the passage of time has naturalised them.

But Hatherley is young, and so are the Poles who like the Palace of Culture; their reassessment must come from somewhere else. Actually it seems to come from two different places. One is the Western pop/youth phenomenon that might be called Soviet ruin chic ”“ a fascination with Soviet imperial ghosts or, as Hatherley puts it, ”˜tourism of the counter-revolution’. Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1979 film Stalker, with its memorable imagery of the Zone, is a reference point here, as is real-life Chernobyl, now a tourist destination for those with a ”˜ruin chic’ sensibility. Hatherley distinguishes his own position from that of the admirers of Totally Awesome Ruined Soviet Architecture, and his ideological and personal baggage is definitely not counter-revolutionary. But there’s some family ”“ or perhaps more accurately, generational ”“ resemblance.

The other place this re-evaluation comes from is Eastern Europe, specifically young people who grew up in the Soviet bloc at the end of the communist era, and don’t share their parents’ bad memories.

Read it all from the LRB.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Architecture, Atheism, Europe, History, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Russia, Theology

(RNS) Arian Foster: Can you be an atheist in the NFL?

Professional football isn’t known for being a place that encourages deep intellectual reflection. With its history of silence on head injuries, locker-room harassment, and macho culture, the NFL would be the last place you would expect to find a philosopher and a poet”“and an atheist to boot. But all of those things come together in Houston Texans running back Arian Foster, who was the subject of an ESPN feature yesterday in which he revealed that he didn’t believe in God. That’s unusual in a league where players regularly point to the sky (nevermind the questionable theology behind the assumption that heaven is somewhere up in the sky) and meet for regular Bible studies.

Foster, raised in New Mexico and San Diego, played for the University of Tennessee Volunteers before entering the NFL in 2009. His father was Muslim, and Foster grew up in that tradition, praying five times a day and asking God for help when he was in a difficult situation. He eventually garnered the courage to tell his father that he didn’t believe in God, and instead of a lecture, Foster’s father told him to ” Go find your truth.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Atheism, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Sports