Daily Archives: May 27, 2016

(WSJ) Meir Y Soloveichik –The Jews of the American Revolution

New Yorkers strolling through Chinatown in downtown Manhattan last Sunday might have noticed an unusual flurry of activity: Jewish men and women, a rabbi in a clerical gown, and a color guard gathering in graveyard tucked away behind a wrought-iron fence. Members of the New York synagogue Shearith Israel, the oldest Jewish congregation in North America, were visiting their historic cemetery at Chatham Square.

In an annual ritual ahead of Memorial Day, they were there for a ceremony that few other synagogues in America could perform: honoring the members of their congregation who had fought in the Revolutionary War.

For Shearith Israel, where I am the rabbi, what is most striking is not that its history stretches back to the Colonial period, but rather that so many of its congregants sided with George Washington against England. New York was known as a Tory stronghold: When English forces expelled Washington’s troops from the city, King George III’s soldiers were greeted with a “Declaration of Dependence” signed by hundreds of New Yorkers, declaring their allegiance to Great Britain.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., England / UK, History, Judaism, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Do not Take Yourself Too Seriously Dept–Jimmy Fallon on Dumb things People do

Posted in * General Interest, Humor / Trivia

(Guardian) Giles Fraser–The world is getting more religious, because the poor go for God

In fact, God’s prospects look a lot better than mammon’s. Projections from the Pew Research Center show that by 2050 Christians will have grown to near 2.9 billion and Muslims to 2.8 billion. With the oil price still low, the property bubble reaching pop, and many economists predicting yet another stock market crash, I’d say that God is holding up pretty well against his old enemy. Moreover, even the heartlands of the new atheism are not future proof against religious revival. On boats throughout the Mediterranean, growing numbers of religious poor are risking everything to make the journey to Europe to share in the wealth we have long been hoarding. In the Calais refugee camp, for example, it feels obvious that this is also a battle between makeshift cardboard churches and mosques and a secular France that is totally puzzled by the resurgence of religious values it has sneered at for centuries. From the favelas of Brazil, to the Mothers’ Union of the sub-Saharan Bible belt, to the archipelago Islam of Indonesia, the poor go for God. And they have more children. Europe will be 10% Muslim by 2050.

Christianity is currently dying in Europe and the US may gradually follow suit. Pew Research predictions have US Christianity declining from three-quarters today to two-thirds in 2050. But Christianity has been around for centuries, and it remains by far the largest ideological collective the world has ever known. This hasn’t died at all. It has simply shifted its global centre of gravity south and east. And the future is China. What has died in Europe is the cosy link between church and state that was first established by the Emperor Constantine. And good riddance. For this link confused the issue, long associating God with the ruling class. With that gone, God is once again released to have a preferential option for the poor. Don’t let this local atheist lull fool you. Religion remains the future.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Globalization, Islam, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Ch Times) Anglican Church in Wales+England contains hardly any converts, report suggests

Only two per cent of Anglicans in England and Wales are converts, a new study suggests.

The director of the Benedict XVI Centre at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, Dr Stephen Bullivant, has gathered statistics on religious affiliation from the annual British Social Attitudes surveys. His report, Contemporary Catholicism in England and Wales, launched on Tuesday in the House of Commons, deals mainly with the Roman Catholic Church, but looks at other denominations for comparisons.

His deduction is that, in a group of 100 Anglicans, 93 will have been brought up as such, five will have started life in another Christian denomination, and only two would have belonged to no religion. (The sample group was 1681 Anglicans.)

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church of Wales, England / UK, Religion & Culture, Sociology, Wales

Morning Food for Thought–Michael Novak on the nature of a Calling

…a calling requires certain preconditions. It requires more than desires; it requires talent. Not everyone can be, simply by desiring it, an opera singer, or professional athlete, or leader of a large enterprise. For a calling to be right, it must fit our abilities. Another precondition is love — not just love of the final product but, as the essayist Logan Pearsall Smith once put it, “The test of a vocation is love of drudgery it involves.” Long hours, frustrations, small steps forward, struggles: unless these too are welcomed with a certain joy, the claim to being called has a hollow ring.

–Working: Its Meaning and Its Limits, ed. Gilbert C. Meilaender (Notre Dame: Notre Dame University Press, 2000), pp.124-125, emphasis mine

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Books, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Religion & Culture, Theology

Bp Matt Hunter–Why Anglican? Anglican Values

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Identity, Church History, Theology

Christine Wilson appointed new Dean of Lincoln

In 2008, Christine was appointed Vicar of St Mary and St Lawrence, Goring-by-Sea, and it was during this period that her middle daughter died from cancer. Within a year of being at Goring-by-Sea, she was recruited as Archdeacon of Chesterfield in 2010.

Christine is also a non-executive director of Ecclesiastical Insurance, and has held several national church posts, including membership of the General Synod, the Anglican Communion Indaba conversations that seek to energise mission and build the international community of Anglican Christians through respectful listening, one of the eight female participant observers on the House of Bishops, and as a vocations consultant and selector, helping to discern those who are to be recommended for ordination. Christine has also been a member of Derby Cathedral Council.

“I was thrilled, and a little daunted, to be offered the post of Dean of Lincoln,” said Christine.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

A Doxology from Thomas Ken to begin the Day

To God the Father, who first loved us, and made us accepted in the Beloved; to God the Son, who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood; to God the Holy Ghost, who sheddeth the love of God abroad in our hearts: to the one true God be all love and all glory for time and for eternity.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology

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 Theology, Theology: Scripture

(WSJ) ISIS Executioner Linked to Belgian Arrestees

An Islamic State executioner from Belgium who announced the group’s responsibility for the March 22 terror attacks in Brussels was communicating recently with several young Belgians arrested this week for plotting further attacks, according to officials briefed on the probe.

Four adults and several teenagers were arrested in and around the northern Belgian city of Antwerp on Wednesday after authorities intercepted their communications with Islamic State operative Hicham Chaib, the official said. While Belgian authorities officially acknowledged they arrested four adults on Wednesday, they wouldn’t comment on the minors.

Belgian authorities found evidence that the group had plans to strike densely populated targets, including the central train station of Antwerp, but investigators doubt that those plans were fleshed out. “It’s better to have a less strong judicial file than a terror attack,” the official said.

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

Bishop Mouneer in Iran

(Diocese of Egypt)

Bishop Mouneer wrote :

I am now in a pastoral visit to our churches in Iran. Yesterday was the first service in St Paul Church in Tehran. The people in this church reminded me with the ” Faithful Remnants ” who waiting for the Lord. I rejoiced and prayed so that the Lord may bless them and send servants to encourage them.


Read it all and please consider joining Bishop Mouneer in his prayers. There are some more prayers here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East