Daily Archives: December 9, 2016

(C of E) New Director of Churches and Cathedrals announced

Becky Clark has been appointed to be the new Director of Churches and Cathedrals for the Archbishops’ Council. Becky has been Senior Cathedrals Officer and Deputy Secretary of the Cathedrals Fabric Commission since 2013. Prior to starting this role she worked at English Heritage, Surrey County Council and the National Trust.

In her new role Becky will be Secretary to both the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England (CFCE) and Church Buildings Council (CBC) as well as a member of the Archbishops’ Council senior management team and the NCI Senior Leadership Group (SLG).

Secretary General, William Nye, said: ‘I know that Becky’s wealth of experience working in the heritage sector, leadership qualities, personal faith and her commitment to church buildings, equip her admirably to support the Church as it is transformed through Renewal and Reform.’

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Architecture, Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

(WSJ) About Those 'Imperialistic' Christian Missionaries+Williams College today

How might Williams go about “contextualizing” the Haystack Monument?

The monument’s bicentennial celebration in 2006 provides clues. The weekend events included twilight vespers, panel discussions on the meaning of mission work today, and Sunday worship services. But the event also featured a critical reflection in which Prof. Denise Buell argued that Christian missionary work is “a justification” for violent forms of cultural imperialism.

All of this reflects what Glenn Shuck, a scholar who taught courses on the history of Christianity at Williams for over a decade, calls the college’s “ironic relationship” with the monument: It is a memorial to something important that happened on campus””but not something of which the college’s faculty is necessarily proud. According to Mr. Shuck, many Williams faculty members regard efforts to translate the Bible into other languages to spread Christianity as inherently racist and imperialist, a view he does not share.

Despite the recent media tempest about the Haystack Monument, the statue seems relatively uncontroversial among students. I spoke with about 15 students walking by the monument this week, and none knew what it represented. Once told, not one took offense.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Church History, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Missions, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology, Young Adults

([London] Times) Children’s charities sound alarm over self-harm epidemic

Self-harm among children has reached “epidemic levels” with almost 19,000 under-18s ending up in hospital for their injuries last year, a report says.

Figures obtained using Freedom of Information requests found a growing number are being treated after cutting or burning themselves to try to cope with mental health problems.

In all, 18,778 children aged 11 to 18 were admitted to hospital for self-harm in the year to March 2016, compared with 16,416, two years previously, a 14 per cent rise.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Children, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology

(Church Times) Integration is failing many, Casey review says

Bishops and clergy have given a cautious welcome to a strongly worded government review of the integration of minority communities into British society.

Dame Louise Casey, an experienced civil servant, published The Casey review: A review into opportunity and integration, on Monday. She concludes that work needs to be done to “repair the sometimes fraying fabric of our nation”.

The unprecedented scale of immigration and demographic change in recent decades has led to segregation and division in some deprived communities in the UK, the review states.

“Problems of social exclusion have persisted for some ethnic-minority groups, and poorer white British communities in some areas are falling further behind,” Dame Louise writes in her introduction.

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

South Carolina Clergyman Pete Cooper (December 6, 1944 – December 7, 2016) RIP

The Rev. Charles D. Cooper (Pete) died on December 7, 2016. A memorial service will be held at St. John’s Church (252 South Dargan Street) at 11:00 am on Monday, December 12, 2016, with burial immediately following the service, in the St. John’s Memorial Garden. A reception will follow in the St. John’s Fellowship Hall.

Mr. Cooper was born in Lancaster, SC and was raised in Great Falls and Clinton, SC. A 1963 graduate of Clinton High School, Pete was a member of the Class of 1967 at the Citadel. He also received postgraduate degrees from Furman University and the University of the South (Sewanee) and was ordained in the Episcopal Church, 1981.

Pete served in the United States Marine Corps and was most proud of his fellow Marines. He spent many years as priest, teacher, coach, chaplain, assistant headmaster of several schools beginning his career with Christ Church Episcopal School in Greenville, SC and ending with Trinity Byrnes Collegiate School near Florence. He loved all of his school families. He also served in the Church as Assistant and Rector of several Parishes beginning at St. John’s Church in Columbia, retiring as Rector of St. John’s Church in Florence after 20 years, and continuing as Interim at The Church of the Ascension in Hagood, SC until the time of his death. His other service included St. David’s in Cheraw, SC and St. Cyprian’s in Lufkin, TX. Again, he loved all of his parish families.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Theology

(WSJ) Michael Lewis’s ”˜Brilliant’ New Book About Cognitive Bias


Michael Lewis’s brilliant book celebrates Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, Israeli-American psychologists who are our age’s apostles of doubt about human reason. The timing is fortunate, given that overconfident experts may have caused and then failed to predict such momentous events as Brexit and the election of Donald Trump.

Mr. Kahneman and Tversky (who died in 1996) first started working together in 1969. They were well-matched. The Holocaust survivor Mr. Kahneman chronically doubted even himself. The brash Tversky targeted his doubts toward others, especially (as one acquaintance noted) “people who don’t know the difference between knowing and not knowing.” Testing people with quizzes in their laboratory, they found a host of “cognitive biases” afflicting rational thinking.

One bias they found is that we underestimate uncertainty. In hindsight bias, for example, test subjects misremembered their own predictions as being correct. As Tversky explained, “we find ourselves unable to predict what will happen; yet, after the fact we explain what did happen with a great deal of confidence. . . . It leads us to believe that there is a less uncertain world than there actually is.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Books, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Israel, Middle East, Psychology, Science & Technology, Sports, Theology

Prayers for Others to Begin the Day

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 Theology, Theology: Scripture

Methodist Theologian Thomas Oden 1931-2016, RIP, Champion of Christian Orthodoxy

Theologian Thomas C. Oden, one of Methodism’s and American Christianity’s most esteemed theologians, passed away at his home in Oklahoma last night.

An emeritus board member who chaired the board of the Institute on Religion & Democracy in Washington, D.C. for six years, Oden was also professor emeritus at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.

Oden remained a prolific writer in his final years. A scholar of the Early Church Fathers, he edited the nearly two dozen volume Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. His most recent books are on early African Christianity and on the social ethics of John Wesley, including Systematic Theology and most recently Turning Around the Mainline and How Africa Shaped the Christian Mind.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Books, Church History, Death / Burial / Funerals, Methodist, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

John Glenn, American Hero of the Space Age, Dies at 95

In just five hours on Feb. 20, 1962, Mr. Glenn joined a select roster of Americans whose feats have seized the country’s imagination and come to embody a moment in its history, figures like Lewis and Clark, the Wright brothers and Charles Lindbergh.

To the America of the 1960s, Mr. Glenn was a clean-cut, good-natured, well-grounded Midwesterner, raised in Presbyterian rectitude, nurtured in patriotism and tested in war, who stepped forward to risk the unknown and succeeded spectacularly, lifting his country’s morale and restoring its self-confidence.

It was an anxious nation that watched and listened that February morning, as Mr. Glenn, 40 years old, a Marine Corps test pilot and one of the seven original American astronauts, climbed into Friendship 7, the tiny Mercury capsule atop an Atlas rocket rising from the concrete flats of Cape Canaveral in Florida.

Read it all from the NYT.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Parish Ministry, Science & Technology