Daily Archives: October 3, 2022

The Bishop of Plymouth embarks on a prayer pilgrimage to mark start of his ministry

Read it all and there is more here.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Uncategorized

([London] Times) The Church of England threatens tech giants over child safety

The Church of England has threatened to use its influence as a multimillion-pound investor in companies such as Meta, Google and Amazon to challenge them if they fail to protect children from harmful content.

Investing in big technology firms and social media sites “may not be consistent with Christian values”, the Church said. It has issued a list of demands to the companies it invests in, including a call for “enhanced protections” for children.

It has £10.1 billion in assets and investments across a range of sectors, and already uses its clout as a big-money investor in oil firms to lobby them to step up their efforts to tackle climate change.

Among its 20 biggest equity holdings are Amazon, Microsoft, Alibaba, Meta and Alphabet, parent companyt of Google. It does not disclose how much it invests in each.

Read it all (subscription).

Posted in --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Children, Church of England, Corporations/Corporate Life, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture

(CLJ) Phil Davignon–Misunderstanding the Rise of the Nones

The assumption that proper catechesis produces assent to Catholic doctrine—which thereby fosters Catholic identity and practice—assumes that people choose their actions and identity primarily on the basis of theological beliefs. Yet this widely held assumption has come under fire recently. James K. A. Smith’s work on cultural liturgies draws on Augustine, cognitive psychology, and philosophies of action to challenge this myth: people’s behavior is not driven primarily by what they know and believe but by what they love and imagine as good. This is not to say that beliefs are unimportant, but that what gives shape to human action is primarily one’s imagination and enduring dispositions (habitus) rather than mere assent to doctrine.

This notion is consistent with St. John Paul II’s critique of modern culture in Evangelium Vitae, which focuses on “the eclipse of the sense of God” (§21). He argues that people do not lose their sense of God because of their beliefs, but due to a “loss of contact with God’s wise design,” which occurs “when nature itself, from being ‘mater’ (mother), is now reduced to being ‘matter,’ and is subjected to every kind of manipulation” (EV §22). John Paul II names this loss of the sense of God as “the deepest [root] of the struggle between the ‘culture of life’ and the ‘culture of death,’” which is characteristic of a “social and cultural climate dominated by secularism” (EV §21). People who lose “contact with God’s wise design” and their sense of God are prone to begin “living as if God does not exist,” (EV §21) also known as “practical atheism.” The most shocking aspect of this diagnosis of modern secularity is that it even describes many who maintain belief in God and superficial religiosity, since assenting to orthodox theology does not protect someone from losing their sense of God and living as if he does not exist.

This is not to say that beliefs are unimportant, but that one’s imagination—whether Catholic or secular—is ultimately more important for determining whether someone embodies a life of faith.

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Posted in Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Secularism

(CT) Vijayesh Lal–Brother Andrew Changed Me. His Approach Can Change India.

He counseled me to trust God for my provision and that God will take care of the ones he calls. But he also narrated his own life experience, when his wife asked him if the needs of the family were not met, what would he do? He had answered, “I would go back to the factory.” But he encouraged me by letting me know that he never had to do so; God had always provided.

As someone who delivered the precious Word of God to the church that needed it the most, Brother Andrew understood the importance of reading and studying the Bible as well as other books that can educate and disciple the believer. “Go through the Word of God and let the Word of God go through you,” he would tell us. He used to say that every Open Doors base should have a modest library where people can read and learn about ministry and topics in general.

Brother Andrew was very well read and informed. That is what perhaps helped him to focus on areas where many were oblivious. From the Iron Curtain to the “bamboo curtain” of China, from the Communist context to the context of the Muslim world, he always sought to carry Jesus and his gospel to people in need. He believed in the ministry being “lean and mean” and was not afraid to explore new frontiers or to have views that were less popular.

As I look back today, I am thankful to God for Brother Andrew and his life. For his simplicity and his matter-of-fact attitude, but most of all for his example in his obedience to Christ that allowed him to impact millions.

When he was once asked what he would like his epitaph to be, Brother Andrew answered, “He did what he couldn’t.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Death / Burial / Funerals, India, Missions

(NYT front page) ‘I Did All I Could’: As Floodwaters Rose, She Fought to Save Her Disabled Brothers

When the water slipped in, it was just a glimmer on the floor, a sign that it was time to go.

It was Wednesday, around noon, and Darcy Bishop roused her two brothers who had been resting after lunch. She pulled the wheelchair up to the oldest, Russell Rochow, 66, and heaved him into it before slipping his feet into black Velcro shoes.

Her other brother, Todd Rochow, 63, was in his room, changing out of pajamas. He could manage with a walker.

Both men had been born with cerebral palsy, and their mental development was like that of a young child. About 10 years ago, they started showing signs of Parkinson’s disease. But they found joy in their surroundings. Todd liked collecting cans at the beach and waiting for the mail carrier. Russell loved riding the bus and going to parks. And both had girlfriends. Ms. Bishop, 61, was their lifeline, their little sister who had long felt an obligation to keep them safe.

“We’ve got to get going!” she shouted to Todd. She went to open the door of their home in Naples, Fla. It would not budge. The weight of the water on the other side had cemented it shut.

Read it all.

Posted in Marriage & Family, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

A Prayer for the Feast Day of John Mott

O God, the shepherd of all, we offer thanks for the lifelong commitment of thy servant John Raleigh Mott to the Christian nurture of students in many parts of the world; and we pray that, after his example, we may strive for the weaving together of all peoples in friendship, fellowship and cooperation, and while life lasts be evangelists for Jesus Christ, in whom alone is our peace; and who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to begin the day from Thomas Merton

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Praise the LORD! O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures for ever! Who can utter the mighty doings of the LORD, or show forth all his praise? Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times!

–Psalm 106:1-3

Posted in Theology: Scripture