Daily Archives: November 3, 2015

(CT Gleanings) Massive Survey Shows How US Christians Changed from 2007 to 2014

While America’s “nones” keep losing their faith, a significant study finds that religious Americans are staying stable””and by some measures, even growing””in theirs.

“Among the roughly three-quarters of US adults who do claim a religion, there has been no discernible drop in most measures of religious commitment,” concludes the Pew Research Center in its latest report. “Indeed, by some conventional measures religiously affiliated Americans are, on average, even more devout than they were a few years ago.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Religion & Culture, Sociology

(W Post) A group of middle-aged whites in the U.S. is dying at a startling rate

A large segment of white middle-aged Americans has suffered a startling rise in its death rate since 1999, according to a review of statistics published Monday that shows a sharp reversal in decades of progress toward longer lives.

The mortality rate for white men and women ages 45-54 with less than a college education increased markedly between 1999 and 2013, most likely because of problems with legal and illegal drugs, alcohol and suicide, the researchers concluded. Before then, death rates for that group dropped steadily, and at a faster pace.

An increase in the mortality rate for any large demographic group in an advanced nation has been virtually unheard of in recent decades, with the exception of Russian men after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The rising death rate was accompanied by an increase in the rate of illness, the authors wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Death / Burial / Funerals, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Middle Age, Parish Ministry, Sociology, Theology

(Baltimore Sun) North Baltimore Episcopal, Lutheran churches combine

As the Sunday service began, two leaders stepped forward with pitchers full of holy water from their two churches. As the congregation gave thanks for the gift of baptism, they poured the water into one vessel.

The unusual ceremony was meant to mark the joining of two North Baltimore churches, the Episcopal Church of the Nativity and the Lutheran Church of the Holy Comforter, that had faced declining congregations and financial struggles. The leaders of the two churches see their melding as crucial to their survival and ability to attract new congregants.

“People are saying that we’re moving to a post-denominational time, that young people don’t care if you’re Baptist or Methodist or Presbyterian,” said the Rev. T. Stewart Lucas, the rector of Nativity. “They just want good, authentic worship and service to those who are in need. So, in a way, we’re going back to the basics of studying the Word, praying together and serving together, and I think there are lot of people who are hungry for that message.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lutheran, Other Churches, TEC Parishes

PBS Religion+Ethics Newsweekly–New Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

We talk with Michael Curry, who is being installed as the new presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church at a service on Sunday, November 1, at Washington National Cathedral. The work of the Episcopal Church, he says, is “to find ways to be a bridge community that brings differing people together under the rubric of love.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops

Richard Hooker on Richard Hooker's Feast Day

But I am besides my purpose when I fall to bewail the cold affection which we bear towards that whereby we should be saved, my purpose being only to set down what the ground of salvation is. The doctrine of the Gospel proposeth salvation as the end, and doth it not teach the way of attaining thereunto? Yes, the damsel possessed with a spirit of divination spake the truth: “These men are the servants of the most high God who show unto us the way of salvation” [Acts 16:17] — “a new and living way which Christ hath prepared for us through the veil, that is, his flesh,” [Heb 10:20] salvation purchased by the death of Christ.

–Learned Discourse on Justification (my emphasis)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Christology, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Soteriology, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Richard Hooker

O God of truth and peace, who didst raise up thy servant Richard Hooker in a day of bitter controversy to defend with sound reasoning and great charity the catholic and reformed religion: Grant that we may maintain that middle way, not as a compromise for the sake of peace, but as a comprehension for the sake of truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Spirituality/Prayer

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

Lord of all power and might, fill our lives with the joy of thy Word and the courage of thine apostles, that having caught the vision of thy Kingdom we may proclaim it with power and a glad heart, to the salvation of men’s souls and the creation of a better order more conformed to the pattern of thy Kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to thee, when my heart is faint. Lead thou me to the rock that is higher than I; for thou art my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in thy tent for ever! Oh to be safe under the shelter of thy wings!

–Psalm 61:1-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Monday Mental Health Break–Aerial photographer shares view from the sky

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Posted in * General Interest, Photos/Photography

(San Diego Reader) San Diego Area Episcopal churches to be sold

Two North County Episcopal churches, both over 60 years old, were told last week that due to declining attendance and compounding red ink, the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego has decided to fold them.

The land and the buildings that house St. Anne’s in Oceanside and All Saints in Vista will be sold.

A letter dated October 25 from the Rt. Rev. James Mathes, who oversees the San Diego Episcopal diocese, said that after 15 months “of discernment by clergy and lay leaders of the congregations themselves,” a sale was forthcoming. “The costs of maintaining separate properties, [and] compensated clergy and staff”¦is beyond the capacity of the congregations themselves and the diocese.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Episcopal Church (TEC), Religion & Culture, TEC Parishes

(LA Times) French doctor who gave comatose woman lethal shot reportedly attempts suicide

A French doctor convicted last week of having given an elderly patient a lethal injection was hospitalized in critical condition on Saturday after apparently trying to commit suicide, according to media reports said….

The drama came seven days after the doctor, described in court as a “militant supporter of euthanasia,” was convicted of deliberately causing the death of an 86-year-old woman who was in a coma after suffering a severe stroke. Bonnemaison gave her a fatal dose of sedative, the court was told.

He was given a two-year suspended sentence in the woman’s death, while cleared of six other charges of euthanasia involving elderly patients with fatal diseases at the hospital in Bayonne where he worked in 2010 and 2011.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, France, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Theology