Monthly Archives: February 2021
Eternal God, who has made all things for man, and man for thy glory: Sanctify our bodies and souls, our thoughts and our intentions, our words and actions. Let our body be a servant of our mind, and both body and spirit servants of Jesus Christ; that doing all things for thy glory here, we may be partakers of thy glory hereafter; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
Sunrise bursting through lighting up Wexford Town
KENNY G PHOTOGRAPHY pic.twitter.com/tqi1OfFnAQ
— Kenny Goodison (@Gkenny_72) February 27, 2021
Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you you shall go, and whatever I command you you shall speak. Be not afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.”
Beautiful sunrise and Mount Athos, #Greece
Good morning everyone!
📷 Stefan Zahariev pic.twitter.com/6OFjKHX8Fp
— Sydney Park (@SydneyPark18) February 28, 2021
In January of this year, the College of Bishops released a statement on human sexuality and identity which reiterated the biblical position that the Province was founded upon in 2009, a position fully aligned with the Jerusalem Declaration and Lambeth 1.10. While the culture in North America has moved further away from the biblical understanding of sexuality and human identity, the Anglican Church in North America has not moved.
This week, a lay person dissented from the College of Bishop’s statement in a public letter and instigated the very confusion that the College of Bishops warned would happen if its members did not heed this pastoral advice. The confusion was made worse by a misleading claim that Provincial approval had been given for the letter; it had not.
We encourage those who have concerns to again read the Statement itself, “Sexuality and Identity: A Pastoral Statement from the College of Bishops,” rather than be distracted by inaccurate commentary and misleading open letters. For additional context we also commend the letter, “Identity Matters,” from the bishop who chaired the taskforce. If you continue to have questions or concerns, please contact your local bishop. If you are an international partner, you can contact the Provincial Office at email@example.com
The Anglican Church in North America remains committed to being a place where Christians who experience same-sex attraction can come alongside other brothers and sisters in Christ seeking to be more closely conformed to the character of Jesus, and grow in biblical holiness, righteousness, and godliness. Together, we will continue to reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.
Oh King of grief! (a title strange, yet true,
To thee of all kings only due)
Oh King of wounds! how shall I grieve for thee,
Who in all grief preventest me?
Shall I weep blood? why thou has wept such store
That all thy body was one door.
Shall I be scourged, flouted, boxed, sold?
‘Tis but to tell the tale is told.
‘My God, my God, why dost thou part from me? ‘
Was such a grief as cannot be.
But how then shall I imitate thee, and
Copy thy fair, though bloody hand?
Surely I will revenge me on thy love,
And try who shall victorious prove.
If thou dost give me wealth, I will restore
All back unto thee by the poor.
If thou dost give me honour, men shall see,
The honour doth belong to thee.
I will not marry; or, if she be mine,
She and her children shall be thine.
My bosom friend, if he blaspheme thy name,
I will tear thence his love and fame.
One half of me being gone, the rest I give
Unto some Chapel, die or live.
As for thy passion – But of that anon,
When with the other I have done.
For thy predestination I’ll contrive,
That three years hence, if I survive,
I’ll build a spittle, or mend common ways,
But mend mine own without delays.
Then I will use the works of thy creation,
As if I us’d them but for fashion.
The world and I will quarrel; and the year
Shall not perceive, that I am here.
My music shall find thee, and ev’ry string
Shall have his attribute to sing;
That all together may accord in thee,
And prove one God, one harmony.
If thou shalt give me wit, it shall appear;
If thou hast giv’n it me, ’tis here.
Nay, I will read thy book, and never move
Till I have found therein thy love;
Thy art of love, which I’ll turn back on thee,
O my dear Saviour, Victory!
Then for thy passion – I will do for that –
Alas, my God, I know not what.
–George Herbert (1593-1633)
Today we remember #GeorgeHerbert, priest and poet.
A pivotal figure and one of Britain's foremost devotional lyricists. After much soul searching he gave up his political aspirations and became a priest at the age of 36. He died just 3 years later. pic.twitter.com/HRAwp2oYHj
— St Bride's Church, Fleet Street (@stbrideschurch) February 27, 2021
Our God and King, who didst call thy servant George Herbert from the pursuit of worldly honors to be a pastor of souls, a poet, and a priest in thy temple: Give unto us the grace, we beseech thee, joyfully to perform the tasks thou givest us to do, knowing that nothing is menial or common that is done for thy sake; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
— John McCafferty (@jdmccafferty) February 25, 2021
O Lord God, keep ever in our remembrance the life and death of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Make the thought of his love powerful to win us from evil. As he toiled and sorrowed and suffered for us, in fighting against sin, so may we endure constantly and labour diligently, as his soldiers and servants, looking ever unto him and counting it all joy to be partakers with him in his conflict, his cross, and his victory; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
I took lots of misty photos today at sunrise. In the opposite direction was the moon setting over the mists of Avalon, complete with the shadow of Glastonbury Tor and the church peeping through. pic.twitter.com/AqS73PDaPA
— Michelle (@Glastomichelle) February 27, 2021
For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is bound to offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. And one does not take the honor upon himself, but he is called by God, just as Aaron was.
So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him,
“Thou art my Son,
today I have begotten thee”;
as he says also in another place,
“Thou art a priest for ever,
after the order of Melchiz′edek.”
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard for his godly fear. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and being made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchiz′edek.
— Claude Monet (@artistmonet) February 27, 2021
The number of couples considering divorce dropped by two-thirds compared to before the pandemic according to a new study.
The study, from the Marriage Foundation, looked at 3,005 parents who completed the UK Household Longitudinal Coronavirus survey from the ONS. The data, which covers the period up to the end of September found little change since June.
Just 1 per cent of married dads and 0.7 per cent of married mums said they were considering divorce. This compared to 0.6 per cent and 1.1 per cent in June. Both these figures were lower when compared to pre-COVID times. Asked the same question between 2017-19, an average of 2.5 per cent of married dads and 5.6 per cent of married mums said they were considering divorce.
Harry Benson, the Marriage Foundation’s Research Director commented: “This data busts the myth that there is going to be a divorce boom anytime soon. Both this study and the previous one, published last year suggests the opposite, that spending more time with your husband or wife is beneficial for many of the UK’s 12.8 million married couples.
As a father, grandfather, pastor and community leader, I grasped the importance of understanding the vaccine. That meant getting the facts early on from the most qualified scientists and doctors. A panel discussion I hosted early in January with several of the nation’s leading infectious-disease experts—including Anthony Fauci, Kizzmekia Corbett and Yale medical professor Onyema Ogbuagu —provided a thorough description of the vaccine-development process. Particularly helpful were the details supplied by Dr. Corbett, a young black woman and key scientist behind the development of Moderna’s novel mRNA vaccine.
I received invaluable advice from my longtime physician, a black woman and member of my church who has herself received the vaccine. Because I believe in the multitude of counsel, I also spoke with several leading infectious-disease specialists here in the Dallas area, a metropolis that is home to many globally renowned health-care facilities.
Eventually, it came down to common sense. I am a 63-year-old black man, a little overweight and with an underlying health condition. The vaccine has been proven to diminish chances of people like me getting the virus. To date, the vaccine’s side effects have been minimal or nonexistent. It’s true that no one knows anything about potential long-term side effects. But here’s what we do know: The virus has killed more than 500,000 people in this country alone, but the vaccine has yet to kill a single person. Moreover, there is a great deal of information about lingering debilitating symptoms among those who survive the virus.
— WSJ Editorial Page (@WSJopinion) February 26, 2021
“I’m almost at a loss for words at how amazing it is and how exciting,” said Dr. David Gifford, the chief medical officer for the American Health Care Association, which represents thousands of long-term care facilities across the country.
“If we are seeing a robust response with this vaccine with the elderly with a highly contagious disease,” he said, “I think that’s a great sign for the rest of the population.”
Experts attribute the improvements in large part to the distribution of vaccines. About 4.5 million residents and employees in long-term care facilities have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including about 2.1 million who have been fully vaccinated.
Other factors, including the steep drop in new infections nationwide in recent weeks, may have contributed as well.
New coronavirus cases among nursing home residents in the U.S. have dropped more than 80% since vaccines became available. Deaths have decreased by more than 65%. https://t.co/MyLvAxdGFx
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 25, 2021
The Ecclesiastical Law Society (ELS) working group that is looking at a replacement for the Clergy Discipline Measure (CDM) produced its final report…[this past] Wednesday.
The working group, chaired by Peter Collier QC, the Vicar-General of York, calculates that its proposed scheme will cost the Church an average of £652,000 p.a. This includes £294,000 to provide legal aid for all respondents accused of serious misconduct.
The group reckons that the average annual cost of the existing, discredited system under the CDM to be approaching £900,000, with only £104,325 allocated for legal aid (2019 figure).
The working group predicts a saving even if legal aid is offered in minor as well as serious complaints. This would put the annual legal aid bill at £438,000, making the total cost of dealing with complaints £796,000.
The chief purpose in forming an ELS working group was concern about injustices of the existing system. These have been acknowledged by another working group chaired by the Bishop at Lambeth, the Rt Revd Tim Thornton (News, 11 December 2020). The final report of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) also addressed the issue of clergy discipline and supervision.
“We feel confident that we have reached final decisions on a scheme that will enable complaints of all levels of seriousness to be dealt with.” https://t.co/7graHGFUQ1
— Church Times (@ChurchTimes) February 26, 2021
Most churches have found a way to continue meeting despite the ongoing pandemic, but fewer met in person in January as COVID-19 cases spiked across the country.
A new study from Nashville-based Lifeway Research found 76% of U.S. Protestant pastors say their churches met in person in January, down from 87% who said the same in September.
Even among those who are holding in-person services, few are near pre-pandemic attendance levels. Around 3 in 10 pastors (31%) say their attendance in January 2021 is less than half what it was in January 2020, months before the coronavirus prompted national lockdowns.
Slightly more (37%) note attendance between 50% and 70%. Another 3 in 10 say attendance is close to normal (70%-100%). Few (2%) have grown in their in-person attendance compared to one year ago.
— Jonathan Norris (@jnorris849) February 26, 2021
The Atlantic Ocean circulation that underpins the Gulf Stream, the weather system that brings warm and mild weather to Europe, is at its weakest in more than a millennium, and climate breakdown is the probable cause, according to new data.
Further weakening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) could result in more storms battering the UK, more intense winters and an increase in damaging heatwaves and droughts across Europe.
Scientists predict that the AMOC will weaken further if global heating continues, and could reduce by about 34% to 45% by the end of this century, which could bring us close to a “tipping point” at which the system could become irrevocably unstable. A weakened Gulf Stream would also raise sea levels on the Atlantic coast of the US, with potentially disastrous consequences.
Stefan Rahmstorf, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, who co-authored the study published on Thursday in Nature Geoscience, told the Guardian that a weakening AMOC would increase the number and severity of storms hitting Britain, and bring more heatwaves to Europe.
Atlantic Ocean circulation at weakest in a millennium, say scientists
— Professor Peter Strachan (@ProfStrachan) February 25, 2021
Almighty and everlasting God, who for the well-being of our earthly life hast put into our hearts wholesome desires of body and spirit: Mercifully increase and establish in us, we beseech thee, the grace of holy discipline and healthy self-control; that we may fulfill our desires by the means which thou hast appointed, and for the ends thou ordainest; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
— Sam Li (@TheSamLi) February 25, 2021
Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, that no one fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
A magical misty start to the day in Glastonbury at sunrise. pic.twitter.com/j2kabSTxuZ
— Michelle (@Glastomichelle) February 26, 2021
As the nation passed 500,000 coronavirus deaths this week, government data revealed that the life expectancy for African American men dropped three years—triple the decline among Americans overall during the first half of 2020.
In an effort to help reach minority communities that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 but less likely to get the shot, a coalition of 150,000 churches recently announced its plan for vaccinating over 100 million black and Latino churchgoers.
The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI), which represents historic black denominations and partners with Latino leaders, has been lobbying the federal government for a more comprehensive plan to address disparities in COVID-19 vaccine uptake. NBCI president Anthony Evans wants to see the government more deliberately use churches’ built-in trust and familiarity to make the vaccine more accessible for minority populations.
Evans said at a press conference at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Washington, DC, last week that he supports Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for who should become vaccinated first but worries that African Americans and Latinos who qualify because of their age or underlying medical conditions aren’t getting the vaccine.
💉 This black church group is giving its best shot at closing the vaccine gap for minority communities: https://t.co/Aj6gW1Cgeg
— Christianity Today (@CTmagazine) February 25, 2021
(WyoHistory.org) An Article on John Roberts+his remarkable 66 yr ministry as a Missionary to the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes
The Reverend John Roberts also officiated at two prominent funerals. The first occurred on April 10, 1884. A woman known as “Wad-ze-wipe,” mother of Baptiste and stepmother of Bazil, died at about age 100. According to Shoshone tradition and early Wyoming historian Grace Raymond Hebard, this was Sacagawea of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Many modern scholars argue that Sacagawea died shortly after her historic journey and is buried in what’s now South Dakota. Roberts believed that “Wad-ze-wipe” was the true Sacagawea and recorded her as such in the church burial records.
The second funeral was that of the venerable Washakie, on February 22, 1900. Washakie, said to be 102, was buried with full military honors at the post cemetery. He had served the United States Army for many years as a scout. The Reverend Coolidge assisted Roberts in the service. In 1897, before his death, Chief Washakie summoned Roberts to his home for a visit. There, on January 25, Washakie officially became a Christian through baptism at the age of 97. He became active in this faith for his remaining three years and encouraged other Shoshones to become Christians as well.
Roberts served his people for as long as he was able. He served as became a bridge for Indian people with the white culture that surrounded the reservation. His style could best be described as “loving paternalism.” In his later years, he suffered from blindness. It was said he could identify visitors to his log home by the sound of their footsteps on a creaking floor. He died on January 22, 1949, and is buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Lander. His Wyoming ministry lasted 66 years.
The Episcopal Church also commemorates John Roberts, Priest, 1949
John Roberts (1853-1949) was a Welsh Anglican priest & missionary, initially in the Bahamas, later in the USA, ministering from 1883 to the Shoshone & Arapahoe tribes in Wyoming https://t.co/bXvS8Q7isu pic.twitter.com/wQ4k55DEuU
— The Anglican Church in St Petersburg (@anglicanspb) February 25, 2019
Almighty God, who didst raise up thy servant John Roberts to be a witness among the Shoshone and Arapahoe peoples: May we, inspired by his example and prayers, invite all people to the riches of thy grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Creator God, we humbly thank thee that of thy goodness thou didst bring thy missionary John Roberts from his native shore that he might live and teach thy Gospel among the Shoshone and Arapahoe peoples in a spirit of respect and amity, and in their own tongue. Grant,… pic.twitter.com/9tPRqoy8IS
— тнєℓαуαятιѕтє.com (@TheLayArtiste) February 25, 2021
(H Post) Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishop of Kensington: Only A Shared Long-Term Vision Will End Our Housing Crisis
To solve the housing crisis, we need a similar long-term goal. Our housing crisis is really an affordability crisis. We don’t just need more houses, we need more good quality houses that people can genuinely afford.
What if we were to set a target for the number of truly affordable homes we need in 20 years’ time? What if we were to work out the financial gap between the cost of providing them and what they would cost at normal market prices? What if successive governments then had the task of planning ahead how to meet that gap by whatever means necessary?
The Church of England is stepping up to play its part. We own land and property and are looking to make some of that land available for affordable housing, and inviting others to do the same, even though it is bound to mean an element of sacrifice. Jesus taught us that there are two simple tasks at the heart of human life: to love God and to love our neighbour, whoever they happen to be. If that neighbour doesn’t have somewhere safe, stable and satisfying to live in, then we must do all we can to help them find that.
Thirty years ago, ideas such as the minimum wage as a way of fighting poverty and the need for radical policies on climate change seemed fringe issues – cranky policies proposed by a few wild and weird figures on the edges of political life. Now they are mainstream, and every government has to sign up to them. We need the same for housing.
"What has been lacking in the housing sector is any idea of a long-term strategy" – my article with @JustinWelby on what it will take to heal the housing crisis and the role the church can play in that. #ComingHomeReport https://t.co/NazyykZYzL
— Graham Tomlin (@gtomlin) February 24, 2021
The Bishop of Norwich, Graham Usher, has accepted the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury to lead the Church of England’s Environment Programme with a charge to lead bold, deliberate, collaborative action across the Church to tackle the grave existential crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.
Bishop Graham will work with the Mission and Public Affairs department of the Church of England to lead the Church of England’s Environment Programme, including the commitment to net-zero carbon impacts across the Church of England by 2030 set by General Synod in February 2020.
He will succeed the Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam, who retires later in the year.
Delighted that @bishopnorwich will be leading @churchofengland's Environment Programme. We can already see the devastating effects of climate change around the world – my prayers are with Bishop Graham as he embarks on this vital role at a crucial time. https://t.co/En7JjdIbcK
— Archbishop of Canterbury (@JustinWelby) February 25, 2021
According to the 2018 religious affiliation report of the CIS, 1.96% of the population in Spain identifies as protestant or evangelical. In the last 20 years, this group has multiplied eightfold, being the denomination with the highest percentage growth.
This figure is significant when compared with that of the majority religion, Roman Catholicism, which in the same period has gone from 83.7% to 64.8%, a loss of almost 20 percentage points.
Neverthless, the “confession” that has grown most is that of those who do not identify with religion, going from 10,25% to 28,6% in only 20 years (this percentage include atheists – those who do not believe in God, a 16,8%- and agnostics – those who do not know if there is a God or do not believe there is a way to know, a 11,2%).
Read it all.
SPAIN: New official data show that evangelicals have multiplied eightfold in the last 20 years. The evangelical places of worship keep also growing, there are over 4,200 throughout Spain. https://t.co/GXCso9aHEr
— Evangelical Focus (@Evan_Focus) February 24, 2021
Almighty and eternal God, who has so made us of body, soul and spirit, that we live not by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from thee: Make us to hunger for the spiritual food of thy Word; and as we trust thee for our daily bread, may we also trust thee to give us day by day the inward nourishment of that living truth which thou hast revealed to us in thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
Sunrise in Mombasa pic.twitter.com/VyRhj8W41j
— Kenya Pics (@kenyapics) February 25, 2021
Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest remains, let us fear lest any of you be judged to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them; but the message which they heard did not benefit them, because it did not meet with faith in the hearers. For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said,
“As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall never enter my rest,’”
although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way, “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” And again in this place he said,
“They shall never enter my rest.”
Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he sets a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted,
“Today, when you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.”
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not speak later of another day. So then, there remains a sabbath rest for the people of God; for whoever enters God’s rest also ceases from his labors as God did from his.
— Leonor🌷💜👠 (@Leonor72473379) February 25, 2021
Commemoration of Polycarp Bishop of Smyrna Martyr, 156
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I am writing today to address a letter which was put out yesterday via social media. A group led by aspirant, Pieter Valk, has put out a letter entitled, Dear Gay Anglicans, in response to the College of Bishops’ pastoral letter on identity. If you have not seen the letter, you can find it HERE.
While it says they are not undermining our Pastoral Statement, they actually are. Replacing “gay Christian” with “gay Anglican” is pretty much in your face. My immediate reaction to the letter was that it was pretty benign and wasn’t going to change anything about what we teach.
However, it has already had international ramifications. I have had to deal with two provinces already (actually now three as of a few minutes ago) — and this is just the first day. In many of our partner provinces, the practice of homosexuality is against the law, and to make matters more difficult, they usually don’t understand the nuances of the word “gay” or “homosexual attraction” — they just hear the practice of same-sex immorality.
In the province, the expected hard rhetoric is coming from both sides in reaction to this. I find our lack of charity in the province a serious blind spot we need to address. Many of our bishops, and rightly so, feel this is an attempt to undermine our roles as guardians of the Faith and teachers of the doctrine of the Church. Some individuals have expressed that we are now TEC 2.0. Some think this is going to break the ACNA apart — one quote I received tonight: “If I had to guess what might fracture the ACNA I would’ve said women’s ordination. I never would have thought it would be homosexuality. We gave up everything to take a clear stand on this. It is disheartening to have it being taken away.” I could go on, but you get the point.
This is serious enough, however, that I am writing this at 1:15 am.
Kudos to @FaithoftheIRD: Archbishop Foley Beach in his @gafconference Chairman's November letter commends to us the work of the Suffering Church Network led by Bishop Adam Andudu Elnail and Faith McDonnell. https://t.co/NuXoG2Q8m0
— Jeff Walton (@jeffreyhwalton) November 13, 2020
Though primarily places of worship, Black churches have long played prominent roles in African American communities, offering services such as job training programs and insurance cooperatives, and many of their pastors have advocated for racial equality. Today, around three-quarters of Black adults say predominantly Black churches have done either “a great deal” (29%) or “some” (48%) to help Black people move toward equality in the United States, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
That is lower than the share of Black adults crediting civil rights organizations a great deal or some (89%) but higher than the share who credit the federal government (55%), predominantly Black Muslim organizations such as the Nation of Islam (54%), or predominantly White churches (38%).
Majorities of Black adults, irrespective of the racial composition of their house of worship or whether they attend one at all, say predominantly Black churches have done at least some to help Black Americans. Even 66% of Black Americans who are religiously unaffiliated – describing themselves as atheists, agnostics or “nothing in particular” – hold this view, according to the survey of 8,660 Black American adults conducted Nov. 19, 2019, through June 3, 2020.
Around three-quarters of Black Americans (77%) say Black churches have helped promote racial equality in the United States, according to our recent survey. https://t.co/eedwFnt2UU
— Pew Research Fact Tank (@FactTank) February 23, 2021
The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN picked up the story of a young female student harassed by white workers. The American Civil Liberties Union, which took the student’s case, said she was profiled for “eating while Black.”
Less attention was paid three months later when a law firm hired by Smith College to investigate the episode found no persuasive evidence of bias. Ms. Kanoute was determined to have eaten in a deserted dorm that had been closed for the summer; the janitor had been encouraged to notify security if he saw unauthorized people there. The officer, like all campus police, was unarmed.
Smith College officials emphasized “reconciliation and healing” after the incident. In the months to come they announced a raft of anti-bias training for all staff, a revamped and more sensitive campus police force and the creation of dormitories — as demanded by Ms. Kanoute and her A.C.L.U. lawyer — set aside for Black students and other students of color.
But they did not offer any public apology or amends to the workers whose lives were gravely disrupted by the student’s accusation.
This is a tale of how race, class and power collided at the elite 145-year-old liberal arts college, where tuition, room and board top $78,000 a year and where the employees who keep the school running often come from working-class enclaves beyond the school’s elegant wrought iron gates. The story highlights the tensions between a student’s deeply felt sense of personal truth and facts that are at odds with it.
This reporting from @powellnyt on the aftermath of an incident of alleged racism at Smith College and how these eventually discredited charges ruined the lives of working class staff is damning and heartbreaking. Shame on the ACLU btw. Read the whole thing https://t.co/lbc2LgrTKi
— Eli Lake (@EliLake) February 24, 2021
I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.
The government has been urged to close a loophole in the law that allows extremists to operate with impunity, spreading hateful ideologies without fear of prosecution.
The Commission for Countering Extremism wants to see the introduction of a legal framework, enabling authorities to prosecute those who propagate harmful and hateful extremist views.
It said the “gaping chasm” in existing legislation meant many groups – from radical Islamists to far-right neo-Nazis – were able to spread hatred and radicalise others.
The commission – which was formed in the wake of the 2017 London Bridge attacks – said current legislation was focused on dealing with the threat of terrorism.
However, it meant that much extremist activity – so long as it did not cross a certain threshold – was not covered by the law.
The government has been urged to close a loophole in the law that allows extremists to operate with impunity, spreading hateful ideologies without fear of prosecution https://t.co/4slhnCpMDO
— Sky News (@SkyNews) February 24, 2021
Wednesday Food for Thought–Tim Keller on the Holy Spirit as our Second Advocate and a story from the 18th century Welsh Church
” … your defense lawyer may have hard and challenging things to say to you, yet always in order to help you case and cause. And he or she does not merely speak to you – but also speaks to the powers that be for you. This is why the translations of John 14:16-20; 25-27 that call the Holy Spirit the Advocate are also, I believe, on the right track. That’s how God’s Spirit is defined, or described, in the word Jesus uses to talk about him. But we must notice also that Jesus calls the Spirit another Advocate or counselor. Who, then, is the first Advocate? The only other place in the New Testament where the word paraklete is used is in 1 John 2:1-2: ‘If anyone does sin, we have an advocate (paraklete) with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins.’ So Jesus is the first Advocate, and the Spirit is the second. And I want you to know that in this word – advocate, counselor – we have the key to understanding not only Jesus’ work on the cross but also the Spirit’s work in our hearts. Indeed, I’d argue that unless you know that Jesus was the first Advocate, you won’t understand the work of the Holy Spirit as the second Advocate at all….”
“The first Advocate is speaking to God for you, but the second Advocate is speaking to you for you. Throughout the Farewell Discourse, Jesus keeps saying that the job of the Spirit is to take all the things Jesus has done on our behalf – all the things that the apostles had still not yet grasped – and to ‘teach you’ and ‘remind you’ and enable the apostles to finally understand all that Jesus had taught them about his saving work (John 14:26).”
“I love the fact that the Holy Spirit is not merely an instructor, but an Advocate. Though he is ‘the Spirit of truth,’ he does not merely teach and inform us; he calls us to live according to what he is telling us. He convicts us and challenges us (John 16:8-11). He says in effect, ‘You are a sinner – are you living with the humility and dependence on God that results from that fact? Yet you are also righteous in Christ – adopted and accepted into the family. Are you living with the boldness and freedom that should accord with that fact? Are you as free from the need for worldly power and approval and comfort as you should be?’ He argues with us, he exhorts, beseeches, and entreats us (all good translations of parakleo), to live lives in accordance with the accomplishments and realities of Christ’s love. And this is why Jesus says that through the Holy Spirit he will finally ‘show’ himself to his friends (John 14:21). They will finally see him and know his loving presence. … it’s natural for us to believe that it would have been better to have lived during the time of Christ and to have actually met him and heard him with our ears and seen him with our eyes. You might believe that you could know him better that way than you do now – but you would be wrong. Before he died, the Holy Spirit had not been released into the world in this powerful way, and you can only know Jesus fully through the Spirit’s influence, as he shows you in the shadow of the cross how high and long and wide and deep his love is for us. In other words, right here and now, through the Holy Spirit, you can see Christ and know his presence and his love better than the apostles could in that moment in the upper room.”
“This week, somebody criticized you. Something you bought or invested in turned out to be less valuable than you thought. Something you wanted to happen didn’t go the way you wanted it to. Someone you counted on let you down. These are real losses – of your reputation, of your material wealth, of your hopes. But what are you going to do, if you’re a Christian? Will this setback disrupt your contentment with life? Will you shake your fist at God? Toss and turn at night? If so, I submit that it’s because you don’t know how truly rich you are. You are not listening to the second Advocate about your first Advocate. You are not living in joy. You are forgetting that the only eyes in the universe that matter see you not as the ‘phony little fake’ you have sometimes been, but as a person of captivating beauty. If you’re that upset about your status with other people, if you’re constantly lashing out at people for hurting your feelings, you might call it a lack of self-control or a lack of self-esteem, and it is. But more fundamentally, you have totally lost touch with your identity. As a Christian, you’re a spiritual billionaire and you’re wringing your hands over ten dollars. It’s the job of the second Advocate to argue with you in the court of your heart, to make the case about who you are in Christ, to show you that you’re rich. And it’s your job to listen. How can you listen better? That’s a big subject, but if you are a believer, then the Holy Spirit will do his work as you use the ‘means of grace’ – reading and studying the Word by yourself and in community, prayer, worship, and the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper….”
“I once heard a story of an eighteenth-century Welsh preacher who, when he was just a teenager, was standing with his family around the deathbed of one of his aunts. His aunt had been a strong Christian, but she was slipping away. Everyone thought she was unconscious and some said out loud, ‘It’s a shame; she’s had such a hard life. She’s seen two husbands die, and she’s often been sick, and on top of it all she has died poor.’ Suddenly she opened her eyes, looked around, and said, ‘Who calls me poor? I am rich, rich! And I will soon stand before Him bold as a lion.’ And then she died. Understandably, that had quite an effect on the young man. This woman had the peace that Jesus spoke of because she had listened to the Advocate. She was saying, ‘I’ve got the only husband who can’t die. I’ve got the only wealth that can never go away. And my Savior dealt long ago with sin – the only disease that can really and truly kill me. How can you call me poor?’ The second Advocate had told her about the first Advocate, so she could say in the face of great loss, as the hymn writer did, ‘It is well, it is well with my soul.'”
–Timothy Keller, Encounters with Jesus (New York: Penguin Books, 2013), pp.34-147, quoted by yours truly in this past Sunday’s sermon
We shouldn’t confuse authoritarianism with tightness.
Following rules in terms of wearing masks and social distancing will help get us back faster to opening up the economy and to saving our freedom. And we can also look to other cultures that have been able to open up with greater success, like Taiwan for example. Increased self-regulation and [abidance of] physical distancing, wearing masks and avoiding large crowds allowed the country to keep both the infection and mortality rates low without shutting down the economy entirely. We need to think of this as being situation-specific in terms of following certain types of rules.
It requires using cultural intelligence to understand when we deploy tightness and when we deploy looseness. And my optimistic view is that we’re going to learn how to communicate about threats better, how to nudge people to follow rules, so that people understand the danger but also feel empowered to deal with it.
[In the U.S., for example, we] need to have national unity to cope with collective threat so that we are prepared as a nation to come together like we have in the past during other collected threats, such as after September 11.
Read it all (my emphasis).
can a culture change save us from the pandemic? My story for NPR https://t.co/NRnBmbGKp1
— fran kritz (@fkritz) February 24, 2021