'There is no scent so pleasant to my nostrils as that faint, subtle reek which comes from an ancient book.'
— Royal Society of Literature (@RSLiterature) May 22, 2019
Daily Archives: May 22, 2019
Christian leaders from across the world responded with warm tributes to the news of Prebendary Richard Bewes’ peaceful release from months of suffering from cancer at 6.25pm on Friday 9 May at his home in Virginia Water, surrounded by Timothy, Wendy, Stephen and his wife Pam.
A child of the East African Revival in the 1930s, he treasured his African roots and was the UK chairman of African Enterprise for 32 years. The son of missionary parents, Canon Cecil and Mrs Sylvia Bewes, he was born in 1934 in Nairobi and spent his first five years in what became (over 40 years later) the library of St Andrew College of Theology and Development in Kabare, founded by Archbishop David Gitari in 1977.
The family moved then to Weithaga where — along with his two brothers and sister — he had ‘the most tranquil upbringing a child could have’ on the lower slopes of Mt Kenya.
He told the story of how he first experienced revival as a child to the sound of thousands of African voices singing, in his most recent and final book Under the Thorn Tree – when Revival comes.
Coming to England at the age of 13, he was educated at Marlborough College, (and Iwerne Minster Camps), Emmanuel College and Ridley Hall, Cambridge. He was ordained by Bishop Chavasse of Rochester in 1959 and served a six-year curacy under Herbert Cragg at Christ Church, Beckenham. Then successively he was vicar of St Peter’s, Harold Wood, Emmanuel, Northwood and finally successor to Michael Baughen as vicar of All Souls, Langham Place.
Read it all (subscription).
— St Andrews Bookshop (@StAndrewsBooks) May 14, 2019
Another important figure at Lincoln Cathedral has been suspended pending an investigation.
William Harrison, the Chapter Clerk and Administrator at the cathedral, has become the fourth person at the diocese to step aside.
The cathedral has stated that the clerk has been suspended over “procedural matters” and that an investigation is under way.
It comes after the Bishop of Lincoln was suspended by the Archbishop of Canterbury over safeguarding concerns.
ANOTHER key figure at Lincoln Cathedral is suspended – https://t.co/q1PLxB9zfh
— The News Globe (@TheNewsGlobe) May 21, 2019
Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation Tuesday making Washington the first state to approve composting as an alternative to burying or cremating human remains.
It allows licensed facilities to offer “natural organic reduction,” which turns a body, mixed with substances such as wood chips and straw, into about two wheelbarrows’ worth of soil in a span of several weeks.
Loved ones are allowed to keep the soil to spread, just as they might spread the ashes of someone who has been cremated — or even use it to plant vegetables or a tree.
“It gives meaning and use to what happens to our bodies after death,” said Nora Menkin, executive director of the Seattle-based People’s Memorial Association, which helps people plan for funerals.
Supporters say the method is an environmentally friendly alternative to cremation, which releases carbon dioxide and particulates into the air, and conventional burial, in which people are drained of their blood, pumped full of formaldehyde and other chemicals that can pollute groundwater, and placed in a nearly indestructible coffin, taking up land.
— Gene Johnson (@GeneAPseattle) May 21, 2019
In a media landscape awash in flame wars and polarizing punditry, it’s a bit surprising that the topic of character formation is making a comeback. “Building character” is the stuff of childhood chores and onerous school projects, completed out of duty and little delight. Yet according to new research presented in the book The Fabric of Character, published by the DC-based Philanthropy Roundtable, character formation is a top concern among today’s leaders and charitable givers across the ideological spectrum. According to researcher Anne Snyder, anyone paying attention to social trends in the West recognizes that “the conditions under which good character is forged are in trouble—weakened as much by the decline of traditional institutions as by a culture that promotes ‘I’ before ‘we,’ pleasure before purpose, self-expression before submission to a source of moral wisdom beyond oneself.”
In the book, Snyder highlights several institutions—including schools, neighborhood renewal projects, and the Boy Scouts—as case studies of how organizations strengthen the moral fiber of their members. Snyder, the newly named editor-in-chief of Comment magazine, recently spoke with CT about why faith-based institutions are particularly good at teaching character.
When I hear the word “character,” I think of the dad in the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip who is always making Calvin shovel snow because it builds character. It’s not a sexy topic. Yet as you note, there seems to be a resurgence of interest in it. Why?
I started this particular project for the Philanthropy Roundtable in early 2016. I used to joke that Donald Trump is a huge gift to my work because suddenly a lot of people who I never would have anticipated being interested in character, regardless of where they fell politically—even if they voted for him—began to say, “Actually, we really do care about it in our leaders.” When I began figuring out how to build a bridge between philanthropists and practice, a lot of people wanted to talk to me because they had a lot of worries about what was going on at the top of national leadership.
More broadly, as people look at social trends—everything from rising mental illness to widening and debilitating anxiety, particularly among young people, to what I would call hyper-emphasis on achievement alone as the only way to define what the good life is—a variety of those social trends have raised alarm bells about how we’re raising our kids and telling them what to value. Whether people would say there’s a moral vacuum, there’s definitely been a realization that we haven’t attended to the whole person. As a society, we’ve somehow not attended to the deeper, often invisible moral fiber of life.
In a media landscape awash in flame wars and polarizing punditry, is character formation is making a comeback?
— Christianity Today (@CTmagazine) May 21, 2019
(FT) Financial groups in the front of fight against climate change–‘Policymakers essentially leverage the sector to help push for action’
The international Financial Stability Board was established by the G20 after its London summit in 2009. In 2015 it tasked Mark Carney and Michael Bloomberg, the Bank of England governor and former New York mayor respectively, to lead the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.
The cross-sector TCFD has since developed a standard for voluntary disclosures to help businesses align their climate change statements relating to governance, strategy (including scenario analysis), risk management and metrics. As the move towards a lower carbon economy gains pace, policymakers and investors are using the TCFD as the basis for making changes to disclosure requirements
We can see more climate-related litigation globally, particularly in the US. Shareholder activism is also growing: institutional investors led by the Church of England are encouraging energy and energy-intensive companies to increase their ambition over tackling climate change. In Australia, lawyers are debating the ambit of fiduciary duty after the publication of a lawyer’s opinion which argues that climate has to be considered in relevant business decisions, a debate likely to spread to other countries.
Regulatory changes in the EU and UK, which come into force in the next 18 months, will nudge large corporates, asset owners, institutional investors and asset managers to explain publicly how the financial risk of climate change is treated in their business strategy.
Read it all (subscription).
Financial groups in the van of fight against climate change https://t.co/NRxPQci2ut
— Financial Times (@FT) May 22, 2019
Hawes is a poised writer and a patient observer who trains her focus on the present. She gestures briefly to Charleston’s role as the epicenter of the nation’s slave trade (“as the Civil War approached almost three in four white families here had owned slaves”) and the long history of attacks on black churches, including Emanuel, which was first burned to the ground in 1822. Her primary interest is in the lives of the survivors and the families of the victims, “the people who will live this story forever.”
For most, trauma begat trauma: health problems, even sudden deaths. One widower lost 60 pounds and became unable to return to work. Bitter divisions flared. Eleven months after the shooting, Sharon Risher and Nadine Collier, two daughters of Ethel Lance, one of Roof’s victims, couldn’t even agree on a headstone for their mother. When Risher finally had one erected over the grave, Collier installed her own version directly in front of it. At one point, according to the author, Risher felt it was more likely that she might forgive Dylann Roof than her sister.
Even those who fought to return to some semblance of normalcy found that their lives had become uncomfortably public. Private people felt forced into activism and advocacy even as the shootings had left them adrift — and they felt spiritually abandoned by their church (which itself became mired in controversy after donations went missing).
Roof remains a shadowy figure in the narrative (see the journalist and critic Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah’s Pulitzer Prize-winning profile for a more detailed look at his life and radicalization). He is not even named at first, referred to only as “a young white man, lean of frame…”
Congrats @jenberryhawes on the @nytimes review of your fine forthcoming book about the Mother Emanuel tragedy and aftermath. Available 6-4-19! ‘Grace Will Lead Us Home,’ an Intimate Look at Forgiveness, Anger and Trauma After the Charleston Massacre https://t.co/ugubHjqCpf
— Kevin Sack (@ksacknyt) May 21, 2019
(Ely Standard) Science festival at Ely Cathedral – a ‘seamless mix of reverence and awe’ celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing
Launch night for the Ely Cathedral science festival began with choral evensong that included the first performance of the anthem ‘The Ordinances of Heaven’, a piece commissioned especially for the festival.
It has been written by Tim Watts, artist-in-residence at the Institute of Astronomy and a fellow at St John’s College, Cambridge, set to the words from the Book of Job.
Once over the choristers were among those cheerfully and gleefully enjoying the delights of the science festival.
Not only is there plenty to see and to do but exhibitors actively encourage audience participation – such as discovering, for scientific purposes, who can refrain from blinking the longest.
Science festival at Ely Cathedral – a ‘seamless mix of reverence and awe’ celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing https://t.co/0IFjLuKRqw
— Covalence (@LuthCovalence) May 21, 2019
Forty-five percent of adults say they find it difficult to make new friends, according to new research.
A new study into the social dynamics of 2,000 Americans revealed that the average American hasn’t made a new friend in five years.
In fact, it seems for many that popularity hits its peak at age 23, and for 36 percent, it peaks even before age 21.
Fascinating article on the nature of friendships today, for many people: https://t.co/XgO6nAHlVV
— Russ Ramsey (@russramsey) May 20, 2019
O Lord Jesus Christ, who didst say to thy disciples, Whatever you shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son: Give us grace, we beseech thee, to ask aright; teach us to bring our requests into harmony with thy mind and will; and grant that both our prayers and our lives may be acceptable in thy sight, to the glory of God the Father.
Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Besides this you know what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.