Daily Archives: May 13, 2020

(Local Paper) How Summerville, South Carolina businesses have managed amid the coronavirus pandemic

Like countless cities and towns across South Carolina and the world, Summerville was uprooted by a pandemic that left residents secluded at home and many businesses either adjusting their services or closing down shops.

It has led to a delay in the annual Flowertown Festival, an event that brings thousands of tourists and potential customers to Summerville in April. It’s also led to less foot traffic in a town with dozens of small businesses that rely on local customers.

For some owners, this has meant a complete remodeling of their business practices.

The Greater Summerville/Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce recently put out a survey to grasp how the pandemic has impacted local business owners in the area.

Seventy owners have responded so far. Around half were able to remain open while following guidelines. The rest had to either rely solely on new virtual services or close doors completely, like Sutton’s salon.

“It’s a very scary and very pressing time for people,” said Rita Berry, president of the chamber.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Health & Medicine

(NYT) The Covid19 Outbreak’s Untold Devastation of Latin America

When Aldenor Basques Félix, an Indigenous leader and teacher, fell ill in Manaus [Brazil] with coronavirus symptoms in late April, he was treated at home — he had no money for the bus ride to the closest hospital. As his condition deteriorated, his friends spent five hours trying to reach an ambulance, but couldn’t get through.

When his impoverished community finally got together the money for a taxi, Mr. Basques Félix, 49, was dead. At the hospital, attendants refused to take the body, saying the morgue was full. His friends had to wait with the corpse in an evangelical church until they could find undertakers to take it away.

“They refused to take his body away, they refused to do the tests,” said Mr. Tikuna said of the hospital workers.

Read it all.

Posted in Brazil, Chile, Economy, Ecuador, Globalization, Health & Medicine, Peru, Politics in General

A Prayer for the Day from the Church of England

Almighty God,
who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ
have overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life:
grant that, as by your grace going before us
you put into our minds good desires,
so by your continual help
we may bring them to good effect;
through Jesus Christ our risen Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

Edith Humphrey–Multiplication, Ministry, and Maturity: Some Thoughts on Acts 6 in Easter 2020

There is also the deep honor given to the deacons in this early scene. They are not primarily called to preach the word—though, interestingly, the protomartyr Stephen has the longest speech in the entire NT! But the work of helps and serving is ministry, too, and it requires wisdom and the presence of the Holy Spirit. Our faith is not a dualistic philosophy. It does not tell us that what affects the body is on a human level, but only what affects the soul and spirit is imbued with God’s power. No, these seven—and notice the holy number here—are selected for three things: their wisdom, their being indwelt by God’s Spirit, and the “witness of others” regarding their character. Three things come together—the witness of the Spirit, the witness of their own wise beings, and the witness of other Christians. And then, to this is added the laying on of hands, that is, the witness of the apostles. All this verification is given for those who will serve others on a practical level.

And there is one final thing to notice. Our passage begins and ends by speaking about the multiplication of the believers. The problem that they experienced was catalyzed by the rapid growth of the Church—would that we had similar problems everywhere today! But then, once the dispute is adequately addressed, we hear that the Church continues to multiply. Indeed, we hear that a large number of Christ’s original enemies from the Sanhedrin, the priests, become obedient to the faith, and join the early Church. What was it that attracted them to the early believers in Jerusalem? Of course, it must have been the new quality of life that they saw among these believers, just as Nicodemus was won over by Jesus’ instruction concerning a new birth from above. But, I suspect, it was also because the early Church was practical, and had all its ducks in a row. The priestly group put a great premium upon orderly life, and the way that things were done. Here was a winsome body of believers that was both teaming with life, and could manage its affairs—it had both the prophetic AND the priestly charism. It had soul AND body. And so it reached out to many, even to those who had been suspicious of the One who had come among them as Prophet, Priest, and King. Here were His very own, witnessing about Him as they multiplied, as they learned how to engage in ministry of every kind, and as they grew into maturity. May this also be true of us.

Shine, shine, O New Jerusalem!
The glory of the Lord has shone on you!
Exult now, and be glad, O Zion!
Be radiant, O pure Theotokos, in the Resurrection of your Son!

Read it all.

Posted in Easter, Theology: Scripture

Hope, nursing and Florence Nightingale: A Sermon by the Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally

The Rt Rev Sarah Mullally, Bishop of London, speaks of her nursing career, hope and Florence Nightingale, in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the nursing pioneer’s birthday.

Watch and listen to it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Health & Medicine, History, Religion & Culture

(Local Paper) South Carolina religious leaders hope for lasting change as people show renewed faith amid pandemic

Ben Phillips, dean of Christian studies at Charleston Southern University, said the point is not to be suspicious of reports of people’s faith increasing. Rather, it is to recognize that growing faith results in persistence when the crisis passes, while the momentary desire can fade, he said.

“There is a difference between the emotion of the moment and the enduring faith that changes a life,” Phillips said, noting it remains to be seen whether the crisis will bend the curve on the decline of Christianity.

In many instances, faith is being demonstrated in tangible ways as houses of worship come together to meet spiritual and physical needs in communities.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(Washington Post) Small business used to define U.S. economy, but pandemic could change that forever

The coronavirus pandemic is emerging as an existential threat to the nation’s small businesses – despite Congress approving a historic $700 billion to support them – with the potential to further diminish the place of small companies in the American economy.

The White House and Congress have made saving small businesses a linchpin of the financial rescue, even passing a second stimulus for them late last month. But already, economists project that more than 100,000 small businesses have shut permanently since the pandemic escalated in March, according to a study by researchers at the University of Illinois, Harvard University and the University of Chicago. Their latest data suggests that at least 2% of small businesses are gone, according to a survey conducted Saturday to Monday.

The rate is higher in the restaurant industry, where 3% of restaurant operators have gone out of businesses, according to the National Restaurant Association.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

(World) ‘When the help needs help’–why many smaller parishes are struggling

In mid-March, as the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths began to rise in Michigan, Kato Hart braced himself for a particularly grueling season for his community in Detroit. As the founding pastor of Hold the Light Ministries Church of God in Christ, a tiny storefront church of about 15 members, Hart knew that once again, the disaster would strike hardest the poor and the marginalized like those in his church neighborhood, which is about 94 percent black with a median household income of $20,502.

He was right: Over the next several weeks, Detroit became Michigan’s epicenter for COVID-19 cases and deaths. Although black people account for only 14 percent of Michigan’s population, they currently make up 41 percent of COVID-19-linked deaths in the state. Within Hart’s own social circles, a family friend lost her 5-year-old daughter to COVID-19. His denomination, Church of God in Christ (COGIC), which is the largest African American Pentecostal denomination with an estimated membership of 6.5 million, has reported at least a dozen bishops and clergymen who have died with the coronavirus. That list includes a prominent bishop in Detroit.

The pandemic has upended the economic stability of Hart’s community as well: After Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a statewide lockdown, Hart began receiving phone calls from anxious congregants who lost their minimum-wage jobs or faced significant pay cuts. Many are single mothers who live paycheck to paycheck, and now they have zero income, meager savings, and little social support to pay their rent, bills, and childcare. One church member, for example, takes care of a daughter and grandchildren by herself, and she cannot even afford to fix her furnace.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, America/U.S.A., Economy, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

A Prayer For Easter from Frank Colquhoun

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.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

–Matthew 6:19-24

Posted in Theology: Scripture