Daily Archives: October 15, 2015

(NYT) Afghan Taliban’s Reach Is Widest Since 2001, U.N. Says

The Taliban insurgency has spread through more of Afghanistan than at any point since 2001, according to data compiled by the United Nations as well as interviews with numerous local officials in areas under threat.

In addition, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan over the past two weeks has evacuated four of its 13 provincial offices around the country ”” the most it has ever done for security reasons ”” according to local officials in the affected areas.

The data, compiled in early September ”” even before the latest surge in violence in northern Afghanistan ”” showed that United Nations security officials had already rated the threat level in about half of the country’s administrative districts as either “high” or “extreme,” more than at any time since the American invasion ousted the Taliban in 2001.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, America/U.S.A., Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Terrorism, Theology

Meeting the faces of homelessness makes it real for congregations

In our community, the reality of homelessness remains largely hidden and relegated to the East Lancaster Avenue corridor. Unless we travel to that area of Fort Worth, it’s easy to dismiss the faces of homeless people.

But, for the past eight years, homeless men and women have found a hospitable overnight welcome in area houses of worship during the hottest and coldest months. It’s through a ministry called Room in the Inn.

Room in the Inn began in Nashville in 1987 as a way to offer a warm and welcoming respite to those on the streets. Nashville became the model for similar initiatives in 20 other communities in the U.S. and Canada.

Fort Worth is fortunate to be one of them, since 2007.

Read it all and for more information about this ministry please go there.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Parish Ministry, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues

(SNS) Terry Mattingly–A Case for Cellphone Doctrines in Church Pews

“Everyone used to know the worship rules, and now we don’t. It’s that simple, which means that things are getting more complex,” said Lee Rainie, the Pew Research Center’s director of Internet, science and technology research. He is also the co-author of the book “Networked: The New Social Operating System.”

Every venue in public life “has its own context,” he said, “and you can’t write a set of social-media rules that will apply in all venues. Using technology to enrich our own spiritual experiences is one thing, while interrupting corporate worship is another. … People are going to have to ask if that phone is pulling them deeper into worship services or if they’re using it to disengage and pull out of the experience.”

This storm has been building in the pews for more than a decade, and religious leaders will not be able to avoid it, according to new work by the Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel. A survey found that 92 percent of adults own cellphones and 90 percent carry them most of the time. Nearly half say they rarely turn off these devices and nearly a third said they never turn them off — period.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Media, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

Diocese of Sydney Synod reaffirms marriage

“If we don’t do this – what will our silence say?” argued Tara Sing, who spoke as seconder of the reaffirmation motion.

Mrs Sing echoed a call from Archbishop Glenn Davies, in his Presidential Address to the Synod, when he said “It is time that all Christians, especially Anglicans, should enter the discussion and graciously and sensitively explain the reasons why our good Creator has made marriage the way he has.”

Canon Sandy Grant, of Wollongong, moved the resolution, which “affirms once again that marriage, as a gift from God who made us male and female, is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life” and urged the Federal Parliament to uphold that definition.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Australia / NZ, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Telegraph) Rowan Williams: celebrity culture as damaging to future generations as pollution

Britain’s shallow, celebrity-obsessed culture could leave as toxic a legacy for future generations as the pollution of the planet, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Williams of Oystermouth has warned.

Today’s children are growing up in a culture with few if any real “heroes”, he said, while ideas of “nobility” and even “honour” are quietly disappearing.

The result could be as damaging to the nation’s “moral and imaginative ecology” as the destruction of the environment, he argued.

Britain is in danger of become a more “boring” and “mean-minded” place as a result, he added.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Rowan Williams, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Energy, Natural Resources, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Movies & Television, Religion & Culture, Theology

Archbishop Welby at the Council for Foreign Relations (2): An ACNS article about the interview

Reflecting on the geographical make-up of the Anglican Communion, the Archbishop explained that the average Anglican today is “an African woman in her thirties, living in sub-Saharan Africa on less than four dollars a day.”

By comparison Anglicans in the global north have become “the exception”, he said, adding: “On the whole we are, to use Pope Francis’ phrase, a poor church with the poor.”

Asked about the challenges facing such a diverse Communion in the 21st century, the Archbishop highlighted the way that technology has intensified global awareness of diversity.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Blogging & the Internet, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology, Violence

Archbishop Welby at the Council for Foreign Relations (1): The Full Youtube of the Interview

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, explained how Anglican churches are “deeply involved” in reconciliation work in conflict zones around the world, during an interview at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington.

The Archbishop also said the mainstreams of all faiths must “challenge and subvert” radicalisation and religiously-motived violence within their traditions.

Watch it all (a little over an hour).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, America/U.S.A., Archbishop of Canterbury, Blogging & the Internet, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology, Violence

(NPR) An Evangelical Leader's Changing Views On Gun Ownership

On his calls for gun control on a personal level rather than a legal level

Ultimately, we’ll all make the decision what we will do, whether we’ll own a lethal weapon and use it or not. We’ve had a long discussion in this country ”” decades-long ”” on gun control, that is government gun control. For me, this is a question of self-control regardless of what the law may allow me to do. I appeal to a higher law. … I’ve said publicly, that in our respecting of the Second Amendment, we have to be very careful we don’t break the second commandment, which is the commandment against idolatry. We can set up our own idolatry when we declare ourselves the arbiters of right and wrong, and especially, of the value of a human life.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology, Violence

(W Post) First black Episcopal Church leader will continue his father’s teachings

Bishop Michael Curry vividly remembers growing up in segregated Buffalo in the 1950s and ’60s, where on one bright morning in 1963, he crossed Main Street from East Buffalo to West Buffalo to attend an integrated school.

As an Episcopal priest and civil rights activist, his late father, Kenneth Curry, helped lead the boycott of the city’s segregated public schools. And yet, like the larger culture at the time, worship in the Episcopal Church he so loved was largely segregated. As leader of a black congregation in Buffalo, he never would have been called to the pulpit of a white Episcopal church.

Five decades later, Kenneth Curry probably would never have imagined that his son would be chosen to lead the entire denomination.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Theology

Gov. Nikki Haley: South Carolina recovering swiftly after historic floods

South Carolina is returning to normal quickly from the historic, damaging flooding, Gov. Nikki Haley said on Wednesday.

Road closures are down 48 percent, from 541 to 281, Haley said during a press conference from the S.C. Emergency Management Division’s headquarters. Of the roads that are closed, 84 have bridges.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control is also moving swiftly to inspect the state’s dams, having already assessed 147 of 357, she added. The state is also “reconfiguring the way that we do dams in South Carolina.”

“We are looking at, do we have enough engineers to monitor those dams, how are we going to go maintain those dams going forward and what’s the new plan for the new South Carolina as we go forward with that,” she said.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

Inaugural Peter Moore DMin Scholars Appointed at Trinity School for Ministry

Named after the Rev. Dr. Peter Moore, one of Trinity’s founders and the fourth Dean/President, this new merit scholarship is awarded to outstanding pastoral leaders who exemplify the values of Trinity School for Ministry in their contexts of ministry: Evangelical Anglican identity, Three Stream graciousness, servant heartedness, excellence in scholarship, community concern, a passion for discipleship, dedication to lifelong learning, and faithfulness to the provision of God. Peter Moore Scholars are expected to have a Master of Divinity degree prior to appointment, and a track record for being a leader who plants, renews, and grows churches that make disciples of Jesus Christ. …he Rev. Jeffrey Scott Miller is the Rector of St. Helena’s parish church in Beaufort, SC. St. Helena’s was established in 1712 as a colonial parish of the Church of England. The church was built in 1724 and is one of the oldest active churches in North America. The vision at St. Helena’s is to be like the Church at Antioch where the disciples were first called Christians; Antioch was a culturally, ethnically, and socio-economically diverse church where all were welcome to seek the Lord. They encapsulate their vision in the words “Proclaim, Equip, Pray, Send & Go.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

(AI) Archbp Welby off to Cairo for Global South/GAFCON meeting

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, is travelling to Cairo to meet with the primates of the Global South and GAFCON movements. In a roundtable discussion organized by the Council on Foreign Relations held in Washington on 13 Oct 2015, Archbishop Welby stated he would be flying Cairo to join a meeting of the conservative and center-right primates of the Anglican Communion.

Archbishops from Asia, Africa, North and South America are meeting this week at All Saints Cathedral, Cairo, to discuss a common response to Archbishop Welby’s invitation to attend a primates’ gathering in January in Canterbury. Sources tell Anglican Ink that no decision has yet been reached, but the working understanding among the group is that they will act as a bloc.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Egypt, Ethics / Moral Theology, Global South Churches & Primates, Middle East, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Teresa of Avila

O God, who by thy Holy Spirit didst move Teresa of Avila to manifest to thy Church the way of perfection: Grant us, we beseech thee, to be nourished by her excellent teaching, and enkindle within us a lively and unquenchable longing for true holiness; through Jesus Christ, the joy of loving hearts, who with thee and the same Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever.

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

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

Jesus, our Master, do thou meet us while we walk in the way and long to reach the heavenly country; so that, following thy light, we may keep the way of righteousness, and never wander away into the darkness of this world’s night, while thou, who art the Way, the Truth, and the Light art shining within us; for thy mercy’s sake.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD, who addressed the words of this song to the LORD on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said: I love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

–Psalm 18:1-3

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(FT) Isis Inc: how oil fuels the jihadi terrorists

Oil is the black gold that funds Isis’ black flag ”” it fuels its war machine, provides electricity and gives the fanatical jihadis critical leverage against their neighbours.
But more than a year after US President Barack Obama launched an international coalition to fight Isis, the bustling trade at al-Omar and at least eight other fields has come to symbolise the dilemma the campaign faces: how to bring down the “caliphate” without destabilising the life of the estimated 10m civilians in areas under Isis control, and punishing the west’s allies?
The resilience of Isis, and the weakness of the US-led campaign, have given Russia a pretext to launch its own, bold intervention in Syria.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Middle East, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

(BBC) Boko Haram crisis: US deploys troops in Cameroon to help in the fight

US President Barack Obama has announced that US armed forces have been deployed to Cameroon to help fight against the Islamist militants Boko Haram.
The force, which will be 300 strong, will conduct airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations in the region.
Cameroon and Chad have been targeted by the Islamist militants from northern Nigeria.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, America/U.S.A., Chad, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Nigeria, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence