Daily Archives: May 4, 2020

(AP) South Carolina restaurants, parks reopen as virus restrictions loosened

South Carolina has officially begun loosening restrictions on travel, commerce and recreation implemented during the initial spread of the coronavirus, as the state tries to regain its economic footing ahead of the summertime tourist season.

Monday marked the end of Gov. Henry McMaster’s stay-at-home order, which placed a $100 fine on anyone outside their home for a reason other than work, visiting family, exercising alone or going to an essential business such as a grocery store.

Dine-in restaurants and close-contact businesses such as barbershops and gyms remain closed, along with playgrounds and nightclubs. But restaurants were being allowed to begin serving people in outdoor dining areas Monday, as long as tables were at least 8 feet (2.4 meters) apart, parties were limited to eight people and strict sanitation guidelines were followed.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Economy, Health & Medicine, State Government

Virtual Service from Ripon Cathedral Later this week to commemorate 75th Anniversary of VE Day

The Archbishop of York will speak at a virtual service from Ripon Cathedral at 11am on Friday May 8 to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day.

It’s hoped that people from communities across the region will join the Dean of Ripon and regional leaders for this service to remember those who lost their lives opposing tyranny and evil and give thanks to God for the peace that Europe has enjoyed since the end of WW11.

The Archbishop of York, the Most Rev Rt Hon Dr John Sentamu, will give a brief reflection and a blessing. He said: “As we commemorate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day I hope that we can use this opportunity to remember all those who have made sacrifices during past and current conflicts across the globe.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Military / Armed Forces, Parish Ministry

(DW) Germans go back to worship–but no singing allowed

Many German churches reopened on Sunday morning after most remained closed for more than a month in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Worshippers will have to wear masks, respect social distancing, and no singing will be allowed amid fears that it spreads the virus more easily.

Cologne Cathedral, Europe’s largest church and Germany’s most visited landmark, has planned a special ceremony for friends of the church. Workers, choir members, lay readers and altar boys were invited to a ceremony of only 122 people in the enormous medieval cathedral which normally received 20,000 visitors a day.

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Posted in Germany, Health & Medicine, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(NYT) 15 Funerals a Day: The Pace of Death Stuns Brooklyn Muslims

All day long, wood coffins are carried in and out of Al-Rayaan Muslim Funeral Services in Brooklyn. What is meant to be a peaceful, reflective moment for grieving families has given way to a chaotic rhythm. Workers climb into a refrigerated truck and carefully carry the dead into the funeral home for a prayer, then back out to be transported to their final resting place.

They do this an average of 15 times a day in recent weeks. Before coronavirus hit, the home was holding only 20 to 30 funerals a month.

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Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, Health & Medicine, Islam, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues

Monday Food for Thought–When Death Comes by Mary Oliver

When it’s over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, Poetry & Literature

More Music for Easter–Even Unto Death – Audrey Assad


Jesus the very thought of You it fills my heart with love
Jesus You burn like wildfire and I am overcome

Lover of my soul even unto death
With my every breath I will love You

Jesus You are my only hope and You my prize shall be
Jesus You are my glory now and in eternity

In my darkest hour
In humiliation
I will wait for You
I am not forsaken
Though I lose my life
Though my breath be taken
I will wait for You
I am not forsaken
One thing I desire
To see You in Your beauty
You are my delight
You are my glory
You my Sacrifice
Your love is all-consuming
You are my delight
You are my glory

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

(NY Mag) What the Coronavirus Models Can’t See

Pulling up short of 75,000 deaths means, in other words, an incredibly abrupt conclusion to the pandemic, with deaths going all the way to zero very soon and staying there permanently. That is not going to happen. For about the last two weeks, the country has been on a roughly flat trajectory of about 2,000 deaths per day. If it stays on that plateau through August 4, it would mean not 12,000 more deaths, but 180,000. And the pandemic wouldn’t simply end on August 4 just because the modeling does.

Of course, we may well not stay on that pace, but decline. How quickly? According to a New York Times survey of five major models, published last week, all of the models project a quite rapid decline — as rapid as the ascent was. As for how quickly that decline would begin, a model based at the University of Texas, which has won praise as an alternative to the IMHE, now says with 100 percent certainty that the country has passed its peak — this despite the fact that just on Wednesday we reached a new peak, and despite the likelihood that no more than 5 percent of the country, at most, has been exposed to the disease.

So, what is happening? Why is it that nearly all efforts to project the future shape of the pandemic seem unable to see more than a week or two into the future? And why, even in that time frame, are they almost unanimous in projecting a precipitous decline that is almost every day contradicted by the number of new deaths?

There are two big explanations. The first is that even under present conditions, in which the spread of infection is being dramatically constrained by shutdowns, the disease is not behaving as we expected.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, City Government, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, Science & Technology, State Government

(Guardian) British public turn to prayer as one in four tune in to religious services

A quarter of adults in the UK have watched or listened to a religious service since the coronavirus lockdown began, and one in 20 have started praying during the crisis, according to a new survey.

The findings of the poll reinforce indications of an increase in the numbers of people turning to faith for succour amid uncertainty and despair.

The Church of England has said that unexpectedly high numbers of people are tuning into online or broadcast services, and 6,000 people phoned a prayer hotline in its first 48 hours of operation. Other faiths have also reported surges in people engaging with online religious activities as places of worship have been closed during the lockdown.

The survey of more than 2,000 people, commissioned by the Christian aid agency Tearfund and carried out last weekend, found that a third of young adults aged between 18 and 34 had watched or listened to an online or broadcast religious service, compared with one in five adults over the age of 55.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, England / UK, Health & Medicine, Religion & Culture

Another Prayer for Easter from the Prayer Manual

O Risen Lord, Who after Thy passion didst show Thyself alive unto Thine Apostles by many infallible proofs, and didst speak unto them the things that concern the kingdom of God: speak unto us also who wait upon Thee, and fill us with joy and peace in believing; that we may abound in hope, and knowing Thy will may faithfully perform it, even unto the end; through Thy grace, Who livest and reignest, Lord of the dead and of the living.

–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 Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

–Matthew 5:1-10

Posted in Theology: Scripture