Daily Archives: May 28, 2020

South Carolina Daily Reported Cases of Covid19 take an encouraging turn down

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) today announced 156 new cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and 4 additional deaths.

This brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in South Carolina to 10,788 and those who have died to 470.

The deaths occurred in 4 elderly individuals from Chesterfield (1), Fairfield (1), Greenville (1), and York (1) counties.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, State Government

Preparing for Pentecost: Reflections on the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit with Bishop Mark Lawrence

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Theology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology), Theology: Scripture

Archbp John Sentamu: Carers who risk their lives need funding, not applause

“I feel like a Roman gladiator in the ring, clapped by cheering crowds as I risk death.” These words from a brave care worker stopped me in my tracks. I heard them through my work with the Living Wage Foundation. This person, who asked to remain anonymous, does vital work on a zero-hours contract, paid just £8.72 an hour. The clapping on a Thursday is a kind gesture – but it won’t pay the rent.

The fate of the country is in the hands of people like this brave care worker. It is just morally wrong for them to face infection and potential death and to do it for poverty pay. Almost half of all care workers are earning below the foundation’s Real Living Wage.

For me this is simply unacceptable. And while so many of us across the country take to our doorsteps every Thursday at 8pm to clap for carers and other key workers, this week my prayer is that we begin to show real compassion and protect our key workers – whether British, European or even former refugees – who are the most at-risk group when it comes to catching Covid-19.

They are literally risking their lives for us, day in, day out, and they do it for a wage that means they struggle to stay afloat financially.

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Posted in Anthropology, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Corporations/Corporate Life, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Personal Finance, Religion & Culture

(FT) David Pilling–No lockdown, few ventilators, but Ethiopia is beating Covid-19

Ethiopia’s technocratic government decided it could not afford a rich-country response to the virus. Though its economy has grown rapidly in recent decades, Ethiopia remains a poor country with a per capita income — adjusted for prices — of just $2,500. When the pandemic began, it had 22 ventilators dedicated to Covid. 

Arkebe Oqubay, senior minister and special adviser to the prime minister, says the government concluded early it could not afford a lockdown that would be difficult to enforce and socially costly. Nor did it immediately stop direct flights from China, a stance for which it was much criticised. Instead, temperature checks were imposed at the international airport. Its first case came from Japan, he says, with later imported infections mainly from Europe.

Instead of strict lockdown, Ethiopia chose a response built around public messaging. “This is not a disease you fight by ventilators or intensive care units,” says Mr Arkebe, “90 per cent of the solution is hand washing and social distancing. The only way we can play and win is if we focus on prevention.”

The government has leaned heavily on a community-based health system built by Meles Zenawi, prime minister until his death in 2012, and his health minister, one Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, now director-general of the World Health Organization. Shunning flashy hospitals, Ethiopia has instead poured what money it can into basic healthcare: vaccination campaigns and child and maternal support.

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Posted in Ethiopia, Health & Medicine, Politics in General

(PBS News Hour) Dr. Fauci on the ‘terrible hit’ of 100,000 deaths and being realistic about the fall

Well, Judy, what’s happening right now — and we were just at a meeting down at the White House yesterday, one of our meetings, where we went over with several of the governors the kinds of things that are in place. The testing is getting better and better and better.

I mean, I have always been publicly skeptical about that. But, right now, what I’m seeing is that the kinds of testing availability is getting better and better. And, as the weeks go by, I believe strongly that we’re going to be able to address that.

But you make a very good point. When I see some of those pictures of how people are congregating, at a time when there are still infections around, that’s not prudent, and that people need to really take a step back and look at that.

I mean, everybody wants to see us get back to some sort of normality. Everybody wants to open up the country, including an economic rebound. But we need to be really careful that we don’t do it in a way that is, in some respects, stepping over the prudent steps.

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Posted in America/U.S.A., Anthropology, City Government, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, State Government

(CC) Three women in Cleveland who are serving the most vulnerable

So has Cleveland activist Yvonne Pointer, who spearheads several programs. She founded Positive Plus, an organization for women whose lives have been touched by violence. She built and maintains a school for young children in Ghana: the Gloria Pointer Memorial School, named for her young daughter who was raped and murdered in 1984.

During the pandemic, Pointer has added another project: she’s begun attending to essential workers. Like Hall, Pointer tapped into her network to provide lunch for staff at some local hospitals and police precincts. Restaurants, such as Angie’s Soul Food and the Harvard Park Chick-fil-a, have pitched in with matching contributions. “Essential workers don’t have time to go out for lunch,” Pointer noted. This wave of giving started when Pointer teamed up with another Christian woman, Victoria L. Davis, to provide food to the local women’s shelter at the onset of the pandemic.

Both Hall and Pointer bear earthly riches—creativity, charisma, generosity—that are unquantifiable yet priceless. In the face of a death-dealing pandemic, fear has not stymied either one.

Serving in a place like Cleveland is so very necessary. The city has experienced eight straight decades of population loss as jobs from the steel and auto industries diminished. Children grow up and leave the city for education and opportunity.

The pandemic has provided the church with “an opportunity to connect to what is relevant and real,” said Frances Mills, director of the Cleveland Office of Mi­nority Health and an associate minister at New Freedom Ministries in Cleveland.

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Posted in Urban/City Life and Issues

Food for Thought from John Calvin on his Feast Day—-Do We see The Truth About Ourselves?

For (such is our innate pride) we always seem to ourselves just, and upright, and wise, and holy, until we are convinced, by clear evidence, of our injustice, vileness, folly, and impurity. Convinced, however, we are not, if we look to ourselves only, and not to the Lord also—He being the only standard by the application of which this conviction can be produced. For, since we are all naturally prone to hypocrisy, any empty semblance of righteousness is quite enough to satisfy us instead of righteousness itself….

So long as we do not look beyond the earth, we are quite pleased with our own righteousness, wisdom, and virtue; we address ourselves in the most flattering terms, and seem only less than demigods. But should we once begin to raise our thoughts to God, and reflect what kind of Being he is, and how absolute the perfection of that righteousness, and wisdom, and virtue, to which, as a standard, we are bound to be conformed, what formerly delighted us by its false show of righteousness will become polluted with the greatest iniquity; what strangely imposed upon us under the name of wisdom will disgust by its extreme folly; and what presented the appearance of virtuous energy will be condemned as the most miserable impotence. So far are those qualities in us, which seem most perfect, from corresponding to the divine purity.

–John Calvin, Institutes I.1.2

Posted in Church History, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of John Calvin

Sovereign and holy God, who didst bring John Calvin from a study of legal systems to understand the godliness of thy divine laws as revealed in Scripture: Fill us with a like zeal to teach and preach thy Word, that the whole world may come to know thy Son Jesus Christ, the true Word and Wisdom; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, ever one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Day from the Mozarabic Sacramentary

O Christ, the King of Glory, who through the everlasting gates didst ascend to thy Father’s throne, and open the Kingdom of heaven to all believers: Grant that, whilst thou dost reign in heaven, we may not be bowed down to the things of earth, but that our hearts may be lifted up whither thou, our redemption, art gone before; who with the Father and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, ever one God, world without end.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each man teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ”˜Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

–Jeremiah 31:27-34

Posted in Theology: Scripture