Daily Archives: September 4, 2015

(Telegraph) Evangelist Martin Cavender RIP

Martin Cavender, who has died aged 68, was one of the most charismatic evangelists who never wore a dog collar; his background was as a West Country solicitor specialising in ecclesiastical work, but it was as an evangelist with a gift for preaching ”“ a combination of encouragement and dynamism ”“ that he gained renown.

He was the first layman to preach in Westminster Abbey at a bishop’s consecration. Having asked an eminent churchman who loved his style what tone might be suitable, Cavender received the reply: “Give us both barrels.” Cavender obliged, concluding his address with a prayer “written by a friend of mine who is”¦ banged up in Dartmoor Prison”.

On behalf of the Church of England’s evangelical initiative Springboard, Cavender established links with Church groups around the world. He was sent to help rewrite the Church’s constitution in Rwanda after that country’s genocide.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Christology, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Evangelism and Church Growth, History, Ministry of the Laity, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Soteriology, Theology

(Telegraph) Britain will take in thousands of new Syrian refugees, David Cameron to announce

Britain will accept thousands more Syrian asylum seekers in response to the migration crisis engulfing Europe, David Cameron will announce in the coming days.

In a marked shift in tone, the Government is preparing plans to resettle the refugees fleeing Isil jihadists and conflict in the region in an attempt to fulfil its “moral obligation”.

Officials are working on a “detailed package” to give asylum to Syrians under the “vulnerable persons relocation scheme”, which has so far seen 216 people allowed to come to the UK.

It will be seen as a change of direction by Mr Cameron, who on Wednesday insisted that Britain would not accept “more and more” migrants.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Immigration, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby's statement on the refugee crisis

“As Christians we believe we are called to break down barriers, to welcome the stranger and love them as ourselves (Leviticus 19:34), and to seek the peace and justice of our God, in our world, today.

“With winter fast approaching and with the tragic civil war in Syria spiralling further out of control, we must all be aware that the situation could yet worsen significantly.

“I am encouraged by the positive role that churches, charities and international agencies are already playing, across Europe and in Syria and the surrounding areas, to meet basic humanitarian needs. These efforts may feel trivial in the face of the challenge, but if we all play our part this is a crisis that we can resolve.

“We need a holistic response to this crisis that meets immediate humanitarian need while tackling itsunderlying drivers.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Immigration, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(WSJ) Mixed Jobs Report Sets Fed Up for Close Call on Rates

U.S. employment growth slowed in August but the jobless rate fell to the lowest level since 2008, a mixed labor-market reading that leaves the Federal Reserve with a challenging decision on whether to raise short-term rates at its September meeting.

Nonfarm payrolls rose a seasonally adjusted 173,000 in August, the Labor Department said Friday. Revisions showed employers added 44,000 new jobs in June and July than previously estimated.

However, the unemployment rate, which comes from a separate survey of U.S. households, fell to 5.1%, from 5.3% the previous month. The unemployment rate is now lower than at any point since 2008 and right in the middle of the Fed’s long-run projections.

The decline in the unemployment rate strengthens the case for an interest rate increase at the Fed’s Sept. 16-17 meeting.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Federal Reserve, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The U.S. Government

(CT) Humbled Hustler–the wonderful story of the conversion of Manoj Raithatha

The credit crunch of 2008 was quick and brutal. With some 900 apartments coming up for imminent completion, I suddenly found myself in the firing line, facing a queue of creditors demanding their money. Any value in my business disappeared overnight as the property developers stripped the company of its cash. The next two years were the hardest of my life as our family adjusted to the dramatic change in our finances.

That same year, my 2-year-old son became critically ill. Ishaan was a sickly child and had been hospitalized many times with severe breathing difficulties. Now, with the nebulizer failing, he was rushed into resuscitation. Within minutes the ER teemed with doctors and nurses fighting for his life. His airways shut, and he was intubated to keep him alive. He was later transferred to a hospital in London.

Over the next four days, my wife and I wept uncontrollably. An American couple whom we had recently befriended began praying for Ishaan. They even got their families’ churches in the United States to pray for him. On the fourth day in the hospital, the doctor stated that it was unlikely that my son would open his eyes anytime soon. We were distraught.

But as the consultant continued doing her ward round on that fourth day, Ishaan suddenly sat bolt upright in bed. The only explanation was that we had witnessed a miracle.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Children, Christology, England / UK, Hinduism, India, Marriage & Family, Other Faiths, Soteriology, Theology

(NYT) Inside a Cloistered Monastery: Joy and Love

The idea of a cloistered life strikes some as one of severity and silence, of running away from a broken heart or a broken life. But as Toni Greaves discovered when she visited a community of cloistered nuns in New Jersey, it was a joyful embrace of a life that is in many ways countercultural given the me-first society that lurks beyond the convent’s walls.

At the Dominican Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary, the subject of her book “Radical Love,” she found women who despite having other chances for work, love and life in the secular world had embraced a simpler existence of prayer, study and meditation. A good number of them were young and learned about the religious life online, choosing to join a community of some 20 nuns at the Summit, N.J., cloister.

“We think of monasteries as these quiet places, and they are quiet, but I was surprised by the happiness, joy and love I saw there,” Ms. Greaves said. “We tend to think of these young nuns as having given something up, but what I saw was the opposite. It’s like being around a bunch of young women who were in love.”

Read it all and please do not miss the pictures.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Photos/Photography, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer

(ACNS) 2015 Anglican Standing Committee Bulletin – Day 1

Archbishop Idowu-Fearon attended the consecration of the first indigenous bishops in the Diocese of Peru in July, and noted the plans for the diocese of Peru to become its own province. He reported that the visit underlined the role of language in giving a sense of belonging to Communion and the continued need to explore ways of increasing the linguistic inclusiveness of the Communion.

Archbishop Idowu-Fearon attended the recent meeting of the provincial secretaries in Dublin. The gathering is an important opportunity to build relationships and hear about life and witness in the different contexts of the Communion.

The Secretary General also visited the Primate of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East, the Most Revd Dr Mouneer Hanna Anis, to explore opportunities to meet with primates and bishops at the planned Global South conference in October.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal

(CT Gleanings) The One Percent: Why So Few Pastors Quit A 'Brutal Job'

In a first-of-its-kind study, LifeWay Research surveyed 1,500 pastors of evangelical and historically black churches and found an estimated 13 percent of senior pastors in 2005 had left the pastorate 10 years later for reasons other than death or retirement.

“Pastors are not leaving the ministry in droves,” said vice president Scott McConnell.

Still, pastors say the role can be tough:

84 percent say they’re on call 24 hours a day.
80 percent expect conflict in their church.
54 percent find the role of pastor frequently overwhelming.
53 percent are often concerned about their family’s financial security.
48 percent often feel the demands of ministry are more than they can handle.
21 percent say their church has unrealistic expectations of them.

“This is a brutal job,” McConnell said. “The problem isn’t that pastors are quitting””the problem is that pastors have a challenging work environment….

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Sociology, Theology

(Telegraph) Jeremy Warner–China has created a monster it can't control

As recent events have demonstrated, we should not. China’s stock market crash is not the work of malicious financial journalists and short-selling hedge funds, but a signal of difficult time ahead and perhaps even of an economic road-crash to come. After nearly 35 years of spectacular progress, the Chinese economy faces multiple challenges on many fronts which are not going to be solved by denying harsh realities and imprisoning journalists.

The progress of recent decades belies an industrial sector which in truth has become quite seriously uncompetitive by international standards. Many of China’s factories need completely retooling to keep up with developments in robotics and other forms of mechanisation. Yet if industry is to get less labour intensive, this only further steepens the challenge of employment creation.

It is reckoned that China needs to create some 20 million jobs a year just to keep pace with employment demand as the population shifts from land to town, eight million of them in high-end professions to cater for the country’s burgeoning output of graduates. China’s modernisation has created a monster which it is struggling to feed.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, China, Economy, Foreign Relations, Globalization, History, Politics in General

(WSJ) Migrant Crisis Divides Europe

Germany and France pressed the rest of Europe to end squabbling over its exploding migration crisis that is sowing new political divisions across the Continent.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande called for a burden-sharing system to distribute across the European Union the swelling numbers of people arriving from violent regions in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

Their call for action came as hundreds of migrants faced off with Hungarian police and after a photograph of a Syrian boy lying dead on the beach in Turkey, drowned trying to reach a Greek island, appeared on the front pages of newspapers across Europe. The image sparked outrage at what critics say is the European Union’s timid response to the crisis.

“It’s a tragedy,” Mr. Hollande said of the boy’s death, “but it’s also an appeal to the European conscience.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, History, Immigration, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Psychology, Theology

(Church Times) C of E supports day of prayer for the environment

Churches in Britain on Tuesday joined in prayers dedicated to the environment.

The Church of England’s lead bishop in this area, the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, urged Anglicans on 1 September to “stop, fast, think, and pray about the need to care for God’s good but fragile creation”.

Bishop Holtam said: “Whatever the scientific, economic, and political difficulties, at root this is a spiritual problem. Prayer helps clarify what we want, and strengthens our determination for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

Bishop John Parkes–"same-sex marriage in Australia has become inevitable"

Wangaratta’s bishop has become the country’s first senior Anglican cleric publicly to recognise that the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Australia has become inevitable.

Bishop John Parkes ”“ a former barrister ”“ has told the Chronicle that he believes the country has “grown up” and that the federal government will be bound within a relatively short time to change the Marriage Act to enable people of the same gender to marry.

He admits that the challenge of such a move for religious faiths will be complex ”“ but does not believe that gay marriage will become “a betrayal of the Gospel or the end of the world”.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Australia / NZ, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer of John Wesley to Begin the Day

O holy and ever-blessed Jesus, who being the eternal Son of God and most high in the glory of the Father, didst vouchsafe in love for us sinners to be born of a pure virgin, and didst humble thyself unto death, even the death of the cross : Deepen within us, we beseech thee, a due sense of thy infinite love; that adoring and believing in thee as our Lord and Saviour, we may trust in thy infinite merits, imitate thy holy example, obey thy commands, and finally enjoy thy promises; who with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest, one God, world without end.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

But I trust in thee, O LORD, I say, “Thou art my God.” My times are in thy hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors! Let thy face shine on thy servant; save me in thy steadfast love!

–Psalm 31:15-16

Posted in Uncategorized

(NBC) Why This Barber Is Giving Free Haircuts to Kids Who Read to Him

[Courtney] Holmes tries to encourage the kids to do more than just read and sound out words ””he wants them to understand and learn from the books.

“Their memory is being challenged,” he said. At the end of each hair cut he asks, “What is this book about?”

“Trims 4 Tales” also sends each child home with a bag of books, encouraging them to keep reading until their next visit ”” which Holmes hopes will be very soon.

“The joy on their face ”” it makes me feel like a million bucks just to see that,” he said.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Books, Children, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Theology