Daily Archives: December 17, 2016

(NYT) An Artistic Discovery Makes a Curator’s Heart Pound

It’s an auctioneer’s jackpot dream. A man walks in off the street, opens a portfolio of drawings, and there, mixed in with the jumble of routine low-value items, is a long-lost work by Leonardo da Vinci.

And that, more or less, is what happened to Thaddée Prate, director of old master pictures at the Tajan auction house here, which is to announce on Monday the discovery of a drawing that a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art says is by Leonardo, the Renaissance genius and master draftsman. Tajan values the work at 15 million euros, or about $15.8 million. On Thursday, this reporter was ushered into Tajan’s private viewing room, where the drawing, of the martyred St. Sebastian, about 7½ inches by 5 inches, stood resplendent in an Italian Renaissance gold frame on an old wooden easel.

In March, Mr. Prate recalled being “in a bit of a rush” when a retired doctor visited Tajan with 14 unframed drawings that had been collected by his bibliophile father. (The owner’s name and residence somewhere in “central France” remain a closely guarded secret, at his request.) Mr. Prate spotted a vigorous pen-and-ink study of St. Sebastian tied to a tree, inscribed on the mount “Michelange” (Michelangelo).

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Art, Europe, France, History

(CEN) Andrew Goddard–Why 2017 will be a crunch year for the Church of England

One of CEEC’s tasks, prompted by “Guarding the Deposit”, is to consider together the various ways evangelicals will respond to this situation and how the wider church might face the reality of our diversity over human sexuality. “Guarding the Deposit” outlines three broad ways the church might act in 2017 and beyond.

Its hope is that the Church of England will maintain its current teaching and practice as the 2007 Synod committed us to do. Alternatively there may be a full acceptance of same-sex relationships as in a few other Anglican provinces. This would undoubtedly lead to major division within the CofE and the destruction of the Anglican Communion in its current form. There may therefore be an attempt ”“ as in the Pilling Report ”“ to offer some form of supposed via media with official permission for marking of same-sex relationships.

But, as “Guarding the Deposit” argues, this too would both represent a departure from apostolicity and lead to continuing conflict. It would therefore require some form of agreed visible differentiation and structural separation within the Church of England (and wider Communion).

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, - Anglican: Analysis, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), Eschatology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NPR) The Charleston Story: A Knotted Mix Of Race, Grace And Injustice

[Denmark] Vesey planned an audacious insurrection involving thousands of black people in the Charleston area, free and enslaved, whom he had quietly recruited. They would raid the city’s arsenals and burn the city to the ground. It was to be the largest, bloodiest slave revolt on American soil.

But another member of the African Church told his master about the plot, and Vesey and his fellow conspirators were rounded up, tried, convicted and hanged. The African Church was burned to the ground. The thwarted rebellion terrified Charleston’s white leaders and slave owners, who moved to outlaw black churches and forced the African Church’s congregation to worship for decades in secret. After Emancipation in 1865, the congregation formally reassembled. Vesey’s son was said to be among the people who helped build their new house of worship that the congregants called “Emanuel,” which means, “God with us.”

But to the folks in Charleston’s black community, it was known affectionately as Mother Emanuel.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, America/U.S.A., Church History, History, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Violence

(AJ) Perth archbishop retires early after admitting he let down abuse victims

The Archbishop of Perth, Roger Herft, is to take early retirement, he said December 15. The announcement comes two months after he voluntarily stood aside from his duties after admitting that he failed to act on repeated reports that some priests in his former diocese of Newcastle, in the Anglican Church of Australia, were sexually abusing children.

Roger told his diocesan council that he would continue to take accrued leave until he retires on July 7, 2017, a year ahead of schedule.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Theology

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

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tibe”²ri-us Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Iturae”²a and Trachoni”²tis, and Lysa”²ni-as tetrarch of Abile”²ne, in the high-priesthood of Annas and Ca”²iaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechari”²ah in the wilderness; and he went into all the region about the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be brought low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough ways shall be made smooth;
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

He said therefore to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits that befit repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ”˜We have Abraham as our father’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

–Luke 3:1-9

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(WSJ) The Children of the Opioid Crisis

The police officer who entered Mikaya Feucht’s Ohio apartment found it littered with trash, dirty dishes and plastic milk jugs full of the opioid addict’s vomit.

He also found two toddlers, aged 3 and 2, who watched as the officer uncovered the track marks on their mother’s arms and looked in vain for any food to feed them.

That was three years ago. By the time Mikaya overdosed and died from the elephant tranquilizer carfentanil this summer, her sons were living with their grandparents. But the chaos of watching their mother descend into addiction will burden them for years. They were often hungry and dirty in her care, and spoke of being hit with a belt by her boyfriend, according to their grandparents.
At the funeral home before Mikaya, 24 years old, was cremated, her younger son, Reed, clung to her through the open casket. “And it wasn’t just a quick hug. It was heartbreaking,” says Chuck Curran, his grandfather.

Widespread abuse of powerful opioids has pushed U.S. overdose death rates to all-time highs. It has also traumatized tens of thousands of children. The number of youngsters in foster care in many states has soared, overwhelming social workers and courts. Hospitals that once saw few opioid-addicted newborns are now treating dozens a year.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology