Daily Archives: November 9, 2019

(AJ) “A searching world” still needs the church, new Canadian Primate Linda Nicholls reassures CoGS

In the face of falling membership and financial challenges, Canadian Anglicans should feel encouraged that there remains a role for their church in the world—and that their God will always be faithful to them, Archbishop Linda Nicholls, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, said Thursday, Nov. 7, in her first address as primate to the Council of General Synod (CoGS).

When General Synod’s planning and agenda team met to consider the work of CoGS for the next triennium—the three years until the next meeting of General Synod—it didn’t take long to come up with a theme, said Nicholls, who was elected primate at General Synod in July, succeeding Archbishop Fred Hiltz.

“We fairly quickly settled on… ‘A changing church. A searching world. A faithful God,’” she said. “For that theme sums up both the challenges and the possibilities that we will be encountering.”

The Anglican Church of Canada, the primate said, is changing in many ways, and it is declining in both membership and financial resources—a fact, she said, which should not come as a surprise, given a number of contemporary trends.

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church of Canada

(CNN) Meet Belfast’s ‘dementia-friendly barber’

In his home in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Lenny White gathers up his supplies for the day: a red, white and blue striped barber pole, hair clippers and a table-top jukebox — all the makings of a pop-up barbershop, catered to a very special group of clients.

White is known as the “dementia-friendly barber.” Along with his assistant, Jonathan Wray, he visits care homes across Northern Ireland to cut the hair of men living with dementia.

“When these men come into the room,” White said, “they think they are coming into the barbershop, which they really are. It is Lenny’s Barbershop, but it’s not on the Main Street. It’s in their living accommodations in the care home setting.”

White accomplishes that feeling by replicating a traditional barbershop, down to the music playing on the jukebox, from Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin to Elvis Presley.

Read it all.

Posted in --Ireland, Anthropology, Health & Medicine, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology, Stewardship

(Northern Echo) Stanhope church invites people to make bread for a stranger

People from all faiths, denominations and backgrounds are invited to take part in Weardale’s first bread church.

The idea came from a church in Liverpool which invited people to bake bread.

Each person would bake two loaves of bread, one for themselves and one for a stranger.

You don’t need any experience in baking, it will be for most people a chance to try something new.

Some of the bread would be handed out to the homeless or to foodbanks.

Whilst waiting for the bread to bake people have a chance to reflect and pray.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Parish Ministry

(New Atlantis) Jon Askonas–All Activities Monitored: How military drone technology is quietly creeping into policing, business, and everyday life

Around 2006, a holy terror must have seized Iraqi insurgents. It must have seemed that, just as at Homer’s Troy, the gods were watching the battle from above and took sides. Seemingly without regard to whatever precautions they might take, insurgents were being slaughtered left and right — not only those directly confronting American troops or government forces, but even the financiers, couriers, bomb builders, and bomb placers. Death might find insurgents in their cars via Hellfire missile or in their homes in the middle of the night. Friends and compatriots were disappearing, snatched up in the desert or arrested at checkpoints. Precautions like using burner phones or in-person messengers no longer seemed to be working nearly as well. Terrorist and insurgent networks were collapsing, and the numbers of successful attacks against Americans were dropping. Why?

Eyes in the Sky tells the story of a top-secret surveillance system that helped turn the tide in Iraq. In his debut book, Arthur Holland Michel investigates Gorgon Stare, an aerial surveillance system that uses drones or airplanes carrying massive cameras to observe areas as large as a major city. Images from the cameras are in turn fed to computer programs that allow analysts to track suspects, and even to rewind to look back over their paths, like watching TiVo. Gorgon Stare was first developed to disrupt attacks in Iraq by IEDs (improvised explosive devices), which had become the main cause of death among U.S.-led coalition forces. But Michel, who is among the most insightful writers today on how the technologies behind America’s War on Terror are shaping us, shows how similar systems are now being used by intelligence agencies, police departments, and companies — with dramatic consequences.

Gorgon Stare and several other programs like it allowed American forces in Iraq to continuously surveil cities in their entirety, unblinkingly and without forgetting. After an IED attack, analysts could look back over the video to find the insurgents who had placed the bomb, and then further to find all of the places they had visited. Analysts could also cross-reference this data to other intelligence or surveillance, and build up lists of likely insurgent hideaways. Algorithms could trace individual cars or people over time, and even highlight suspicious driving activity for further investigation, like cars that did U-turns or followed other cars. Operators of the system could do this work in real time as well, coordinating with troops on the ground to pass on fresh intelligence or transmit the live images.

The tactical impact was tremendous, both on its own and as part of a new way of doing counterterrorism.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day from B F Westcott

Blessed Lord, by Whose providence all Holy Scriptures were written and preserved for our instruction: give us grace to study them each day with patience and love; strengthen our souls with the fullness of their divine teaching; keep from us all pride and irreverence; guide us in the deep things of Thy heavenly wisdom; and, of Thy great mercy, lead us by Thy Word into everlasting life.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

For not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up; but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another…

Psalm 75:6-7

Posted in Theology: Scripture