Daily Archives: July 14, 2016

In Senate floor speech, Tim Scott recalls ”˜sadness and humiliation’ of being targeted by police

“I shuddered when I heard Eric Garner saying ”˜I can’t breathe.’ I wept when I watched Walter Scott turn and run away and get shot and killed from the back. And I broke when I heard the 4-year-old of Philando Castile’s girlfriend tell her mother, ”˜It’s OK. I’m right here with you,’ ” said Scott, referencing three of the dozens of black men killed by policemen over the past two years.

Scott found an outlet for his pain in a series of scheduled floor speeches this week aimed at starting an honest, if also difficult, conversation about race relations in the United States. His first speech Monday focused on how the wrongful actions of police officers should not overshadow the heroism of others. On Wednesday, Scott expounded on the theme in deeply personal terms.

“While, thank God, I have not endured bodily harm, I have felt the pressure applied by the scales of justice when they are slanted,” he said. “I have felt the anger, frustration, sadness and humiliation that comes with feeling like you’re being targeted for nothing more than being yourself.”

In addition to sharing his own experiences being profiled by law enforcement because of his skin color, he mentioned his brother, a sergeant major in the Army, who was accused of stealing his Volvo on a road trip from Texas to Charleston. He also spoke of a former staffer who was stopped so many times he felt compelled to buy a different automobile to avoid further scrutiny.

Read it all and take them time to watch the whole speech.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Race/Race Relations, Senate, Theology, Violence

Archbishop Welby asks a question on South Sudan in the House of Lords

Archbishop Justin Welby: My Lords, having been in the South Sudan twice in the last two years and in Kenya a week ago, is the Noble Lord the Minister encouraging the government of Kenya to use the powers it has in its own area ”“ as most of the leaders of South Sudan have their families, their farms, their education of their children in Kenya ”“ to use that pressure to encourage them to observe their ceasefire? And what is Her Majesty’s Government doing to support the work of the peace and reconciliation commission led by the Anglican Archbishop of South Sudan and Sudan?

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, --South Sudan, Africa, Archbishop of Canterbury, Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Sudan, Theology

(Guardian) If Pokémon Go feels like a religion, that's because it kind of is

Over the past week, tens of thousands of people have taken to roaming the streets, interacting with invisible beings that now inhabit our cities.

These fanatics speak in a special language, undertake hours of devotional activity, and together experience moments of great joy and great sorrow.

It is an obsession, many say, that has taken over their lives, and for which they will sacrifice their bodies. They understand the world in a way the uninitiated cannot.

What sounds like a sudden global religious conversion, is, of course, the launch of Pokémon Go, an augmented reality smartphone game that has restarted the popular culture phenomenon of Pokémon. In many ways, however, Pokémon and religion are not so far apart.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Blogging & the Internet, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology, Travel

(C of E Comm Blog) Why your church needs to know about Pokémon GO

First of all, what is Pokémon GO?
Pokémon GO is a mobile and tablet app game which lets players find Pokémon (Animated creatures, first created in the 90”²s, which players have to catch, train and battle with). The game takes place in augmented reality (meaning the game combines real life action with virtual gaming) by using GPS as you walk around towns, cities and other locations to find the Pokémon.

The game has been an overnight sensation with millions playing it around the world.

Why does your church need to know?
Your church might be a ”˜PokéStop’ – real life buildings and landmarks that players have to visit to get certain items they need to play the game. Your church could also be a ”˜Gym’ where players can battle their Pokémon. (Being Gym means people spend significantly more time battling Pokémon.)

Pokémon Go is therefore giving churches around the country a great opportunity to meet people from their area who might not normally come to church.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, England / UK, Religion & Culture, Travel

AS Haley-San Joaquin Appeal Rebuffed in Anglican/Episcopal Legal fracas by California Supreme Court

I have held off writing about the case of the Episcopal Church (USA)’s lawsuit against the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin as it was going through its final stages in the California courts. Today I can do so no longer, because today the California Supreme Court slammed the door shut by denying review of the abysmally egregious decision by the Fifth District Court of Appeal that I wrote about in this post, and this one. Naturally, it wrote no opinion justifying its refusal to grant review, but just issued a one-sentence order.

The result is that the Episcopal Church (USA)’s Machiavellian strategy of organizing a minority group that pretends to be the only diocese in the region after one of its former dioceses votes (by an overwhelming majority of laity and clergy) to realign with a more orthodox denomination has succeeded in California, much the same as it did in Pittsburgh. (But not — Deo gratias — in Illinois (Quincy), or [yet] in Fort Worth or in South Carolina [whose highest court has yet to issue its decision, ten months after the oral argument].) So the lawyers for 815 Second Avenue managed to hoodwink the highest judges in both Pennsylvania and California, but not everywhere.

In Pennsylvania, the appellate decisions were unpublished, so no lasting precedent was (thankfully) created….

Read it all and there is more there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

A lack of jobs in the middle of the labor market is fueling the rise of young, unmarried parents

America’s widening income divide is contributing to the rise of unmarried parents, new research shows.

A study led by Andrew J. Cherlin, professor of public policy at Johns Hopkins University, finds men and women in counties with greater income inequality were less likely to marry before having a child. The finding pertained mostly to those who hadn’t graduated from college.

Prof. Cherlin and his co-authors concluded that a lack of jobs in the middle of the labor market was the main reason these young adults were delaying marriage and moving straight to having children. The paper was published in the American Sociological Review.

Read it all from the WSJ.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Theology, Young Adults

Charge by the Most Revd Jackson Ole Sapit at his enthronement as 6th Archbishop of Kenya

Today, more than any other time in its history, the Church must go beyond herself and reach out to the poor, the outcast and all in the periphery of society as well as to the affluent. Through this outreach, the Church shares their concerns, identifies with their sufferings and worries and helps them to meet their various needs. In this way, we shall let the kingdom of God come and allow His will to be done in the lives of all. This is the essence of mission, which is the core business of the Church.

God’s will in this prayer is that all creation, and mankind in particular, look up to Him for all their needs. Moreover, God desires that all give him glory and honour as they seek to live in harmony with their neighbours. This harmony calls on us to forgive each other’s wrongs as we seek to be forgiven by others even as we ask God to forgive us and daily accept us as His children.

The mandate of the Church at all times is to preach the good news of the kingdom to all God’s people, healing them and socially transforming their lives. This Good News reconciles us with our creator and brings reconciliation to a broken humanity and in the power of the Holy Spirit, even as she exercises her responsibility in stewardship over creation.

For the Church to remain true to her calling she must remain a credible witness to a broken world. As she calls for justice in every sphere, the Church must remain accountable in all her endeavours. Only in this way will she have a basis for holding others to account. In this respect the Church must constantly be on a mission to rally men, women, youth and children of faith to be alert, vigilant and diligent in their witness. Such are the witnesses Christ desires, who will never become complacent and live as if their Lord and Master is never coming back.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Kenya, Religion & Culture

ACNA Leader Bill Atwood–What Horrific Circumstances Can reveal

In aircraft, like in life, problems fall into two categories. Horrible problems and not horrible problems. There are two different approaches to the issue depending on whether the problem is horrible or not.

If it is a “horrible problem,” pilots call that a “Bold Face Emergency.” It is so named because the checklists to handle life threatening problems are written in Bold Print. Bold Face emergency procedures must be learned verbatim. Any deviation in wording, punctuation, or even spelling, is punished by getting a failing grade. Before, during, or after a flight, a flight examiner can ask what the procedures are for one of the Bold Face procedures. Any mistake gets an “F.”

Other issues that are less critical only require a 70% grade to pass. Those situations can be addressed more leisurely and not quite as critically. Naturally, it is very bad to misdiagnose a situation as non-critical when it actually is critical. It is equally foolish to treat something peripheral as though it deals with essentials.

In the Anglican Communion, we are dealing with many problems. Some are in the category of horrific, and deal with issues of salvation. Other issues are more peripheral, and their pursuit does not result in a loss of salvation. Scripture is clear that there are some things which are so egregious that their pursuit separates us from the redeeming love of Christ. When those things come up, we need to treat them like the Bold Face emergencies that they are, and say, “No!” To do less is not loving. It is not loving to offer to bless that which God says should be redeemed.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Theology

Micah Dennis examines three recent introductions to theology

Just as Rowan Williams makes words strange, Robert Jenson makes doctrine strange. At a few points he makes claims that make me genuinely uneasy ”” God’s identity occasionally sounds like it depends on the world’s ”” but his vast knowledge of theology makes engaging with him fruitful, even if doing so knocks me off balance. He shows what it is like to talk about a God that has “thrown everything off balance” (in the memorable words of one of Flannery O’Connor’s characters).

Each of these books is a fine introduction in its own right. If you want a primer in Christian belief, or a graceful re-imagining of the same, Tokens of Trust is the choice. If its imaginative life you seek, look no further than Hunting The Divine Fox. And if you need to be knocked out of complacency, read A Theology in Outline. Each offers, in Jenson’s words, a “taste of Christian theology, that unaccustomed food.” With so many books that make theology just another very serious chore, each of these is a welcome reprieve from all that, an invitation to (in the words of one of my favorite theologians) “a rowdy banquet of those who gather, famished and thirsty, around Christ.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Books, Theology

A Prayer to start the Day from John Calvin

My God, my Father and Preserver, who of thy goodness hast watched over me during the past night, and brought me to this day, grant also that I may spend it wholly in the worship and service of thy most holy deity. Let me not think, or say, or do a single thing which tends not to thy service and submission to thy will, that thus all my actions may aim at thy glory and the salvation of my brethren, while they are taught by my example to serve thee. And as thou art giving light to this world for the purposes of external life by the rays of the sun, so enlighten my mind by the effulgence of thy Spirit, that he may guide me in the way of thy righteousness. To whatever purpose I apply my mind, may the end which I ever propose to myself be thy honour and service. May I expect all happiness from thy grace and goodness only. Let me not attempt any thing whatever that is not pleasing to thee.

Grant also, that while I labour for the maintenance of this life, and care for the things which pertain to food and raiment, I may raise my mind above them to the blessed and heavenly life which thou hast promised to thy children. Be pleased also, in manifesting thyself to me as the protector of my soul as well as my body, to strengthen and fortify me against all the assaults of the devil, and deliver me from all the dangers which continually beset us in this life. But seeing it is a small thing to have begun, unless I also persevere, I therefore entreat of thee, O Lord, not only to be my guide and director for this day, but to keep me under thy protection to the very end of life, that thus my whole course may be performed under thy superintendence. As I ought to make progress, do thou add daily more and more to the gifts of thy grace until I wholly adhere to thy Son Jesus Christ, whom we justly regard as the true Sun, shining constantly in our minds. In order to my obtaining of thee these great and manifold blessings, forget, and out of thy infinite mercy, forgive my offences, as thou hast promised that thou wilt do to those who call upon thee in sincerity.

(Ps. 143:8.)””Grant that I may hear thy voice in the morning since I have hoped in thee. Show me the way in which I should walk, since I have lifted up my soul unto thee. Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord, I have fled unto thee. Teach me to do thy will, for thou art my God. Let thy good Spirit conduct me to the land of uprightness.

–John Calvin (1509-1564)

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
so you will dwell in the land, and enjoy security.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.

–Psalm 37:3-5

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Remembering Bishop Maurice Arthur Ponsonby Wood (1916-2007) [II]–the Essence of Evangelicalism

The Church is an evangelistic movement. In verse 41 they gladly heard the word and in verse 46 with gladness they went about their business and in verse 47 they praised God. Here was an evangelistic movement which had about it the breath of God’s joy; Christianity in those early days was caught even more than it was taught. Already the Church of God had recognized itself as the agency through which God means to reach and challenge and capture the world for the Cross. We too have to recognize that the whole Church is a joyful army on the march, reaching out constantly to new triumphs of the Cross.

Read it all from the Churchman.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Christology, Church History, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology), Theology: Scripture

Remembering Bishop Maurice Arthur Ponsonby Wood (1916-2007) [I]–His Obituary

He landed with an RN beach commando on D-Day, with responsibility for the care and evacuation of the wounded. Memorably, he transported a portable harmonium on to a French beach just after D-Day and claimed to have held the first Anglican service on French soil after the landings.

In July 1944 he joined 48 (RM) Commando, participating in the landing at Walcheren, when he swam ashore and accompanied the unit as far as the Rhine. He was awarded the DSC.

In early 1945 he went to the Far East and Hong Kong as senior chaplain of the Commando Brigade. He maintained his connection with the Royal Marines to the end of his life.

On leaving the Navy in 1947 Wood became rector of St Ebbe’s, Oxford, and exercised an influential ministry among the first generation of postwar students, most of them ex-servicemen like himself.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Death / Burial / Funerals, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Parish Ministry