Category : Urban/City Life and Issues

(Local Paper) Remembering the Charleston 9 two Years Ago Today

Drums beat, a trumpet bellows and voices rise up in jubilant greeting of the morning, Pentecost Sunday. It’s a joyful day in the Christian church. Yet, here at Emanuel AME, sorrow still clings to the atmosphere, even two years later.

Memories of the nine who died here linger everywhere. They rest in worn spots on the pews. They float from the choir loft and resound from the pulpit. Downstairs in the fellowship hall, where blood flowed that night, bullet holes remain in the walls and tiles.

The date — June 17, 2015 — doesn’t feel very far away.

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Posted in * South Carolina, America/U.S.A., Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

Bp of Kensington Graham Tomlin–Thoughts on Hope in Grenfell

In our community over the past few days we have been through a range of emotions that we rarely experience so close together. Even now as we meet and pray, there are people here in this church, in the surrounding streets wondering how to make sense of this.

How do you put into words what people here have experienced, the story of the past few days?

First there was Shock. As we woke up on Wednesday morning, there was that numb feeling, incredulity that something like this could happen in our modern, C21st sophisticated city. Looking up at the Tower and imagining what the people in there was going through was almost unbearable and so hard to even imagine how awful that must be.

Then there was Compassion. Alongside the tragedy, one of the remarkable things has been to see the amazing outpouring of compassion in this community over the past couple of days.

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Posted in Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Marriage & Family, Police/Fire, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues

(ACNS) Church of England parish at heart of relief efforts following London inferno

In the hours since a massive blaze ripped through a tower block in west London early on Wednesday, nearby St Clement’s Church has been rapidly turned into an emergency relief centre. It sheltered more than 100 residents as the blaze raged and has subsequently been overwhelmed with donations. People have given clothes, bedding and toiletries for the residents of the tower, many of whom fled the block in their nightwear and have lost everything. Volunteers from churches throughout the area are running the relief operation.

[The] Revd Alan Everett described how events unfolded in the hours after the devastating blaze: “I opened the church at half three in the morning and within minutes the local community started bringing in supplies – the tables are now completely overflowing. The response has been overwhelming” he said. St Clement’s has now reached saturation point and has simply run out of room to store any more supplies.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Church Times) Conflicting views aired on who should follow ‘significant presence’ as Bishop of London

Should the next Bishop of London continue the London Plan or begin to ordain women priests, affirm gay clergy, do more to attract children and teenagers into church, or value pastoral diligence as much as high-profile mission? These were among the issues raised at a public consultation held on Tuesday evening.

Twenty-one people spoke during the meeting at St Alban’s, Holborn. It was chaired by the chairman of the vacancy-in-see committee, the Dean of St Paul’s, the Very Revd Dr David Ison. The Prime Minister’s Appointments Secretary, Edward Chaplin, and the Archbishops’ Appointment Secretary, Caroline Boddington, were present to hear the debate.

Dean Ison set out nine priorities set out in the Statement of Need, which will shortly be published, alongside a profile of the diocese. The first was evangelism: “to proclaim the historic and eternal Gospel in a changing world and society”. Another was: “to ensure we live in generous orthodoxy . . . enabling mutual flourishing of all the whole Christian church, recognising that there is a diversity of views on various matters across the diocese, but we want to live together as the people of Christ”….

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Urban/City Life and Issues

(YB news) A Profile of Liverpool Dean Pete Wilcox as he leaves to become new Bp of Sheffield

Dean Pete said two events stick out in his mind – the funeral service for PC Dave Phillips, who was killed in a hit and run by a stolen vehicle while on duty in 2015, and the service for the 2014 Battle of the Atlantic commemorations, which was broadcast live by the BBC.

“The funeral of PC Phillips was a day when I think we served the whole of Merseyside,” he said.

“I think we do those big, set-piece liturgical occasions really well. There is something really special about this cathedral when it is full of people.”

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Urban/City Life and Issues

Wednesday Morning Mental Health Break–A Taste of New York

A Taste of New York from FilmSpektakel on Vimeo.

Enjoy it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Photos/Photography, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Sky News) London attack: What happened where in eight minutes of terror

From 10.08pm, police responded to reports of a vehicle hitting pedestrians. Paramedics and specialist response teams arrived in six minutes, the London Ambulance Service said. At least 48 people were taken to five hospitals across London.

Nick Archer, who was in the London Bridge area, told Sky News: “We came out (of a bar) on to the road and looked to my left and there was a guy, I thought he was just drinking but he was lying on the floor.

“And then a couple of seconds later, about three police vans flew past. He looked in a bad way.”

A taxi driver called Chris told LBC said he saw men armed with foot-long knives after a van drove on to the pavement. He told the station: “I didn’t see the van mount the kerb, but I saw everything else….

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Posted in England / UK, Police/Fire, Terrorism, Urban/City Life and Issues

(ABC Aus.) Anna Rowlands–The Mancunian Way: Manchester Shows How to Live Together in an Age of Terror

ISIS is very clear in its propaganda that this was an attack on a group of “Crusaders.” In fact, it was an attack on innocence, pleasure and ordinary happiness. It aimed to transform a group of gathered young people into scattered, anxious and dismembered individuals. It was intended as an epiphany of death and fear.

It is important to also understand that this was an attack on young people way beyond Manchester itself – it ripples through the cities of the North. Many of those attending the concert were pupils or students from surrounding Northern cities, Liverpool, Harrogate, Bolton, Leeds, Newcastle and Durham, and from as far away as the Hebrides. This was a particularly pernicious act among a generation of young people for whom mental health problems appear to be on the rise and where the search for places of rest, solidarity and communal pleasure are yearned for and seem oddly hard to find. To strike at the heart of these youthful desires is cruel, indeed evil – for it strikes at the heart of our desire for the good in its ordinary, mundane forms.

Given that in the aftermath of such a horrific event the focus of care and support is rightly with those who have been injured, bereaved and distressed, it can be politically unpopular to rush too quickly to address the fears and concerns of the community with whom the bomber will – fairly or unfairly – be identified. Nonetheless, I know from my work in the North East that the backlash and reprisals are often experienced disproportionately by younger, headscarf wearing Muslim women, and tend to be perpetrated by older men.

When the bombing took place in Manchester in 1996, the Leader and Deputy Leader of the City Council acted swiftly to make clear that they would not tolerate reprisals – something the Manchester Irish community were understandably fearful about. Today, that fear will be felt by another community and a generation later leaders and members of the public in Manchester need to find creative and kind ways to echo the public and private solidarity that the city’s leaders showed.

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Posted in England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(MG) Our spire could topple, Montreal’s Christ Church Cathedral officials warn as they launch campaign

Christ Church Cathedral is asking the public for $8 million to save its spire and for other repairs to the 158-year-old building.

The Anglican church’s steel spire is corroded and could topple unless it is rebuilt, officials said at a launch of the fundraising campaign at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Earlier, Parks Canada and the Historic Monuments Board of Canada unveiled a plaque recognizing the historic significance of the 1859 church, which played a key role in expanding the city from Old Montreal to today’s downtown.

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Stuff) Christchurch religious leaders rally for Anglican bishop Victoria Matthews in her Cathedral Battle

Christchurch religious leaders have rallied to support Anglican bishop Victoria Matthews in her battle over the Christ Church Cathedral.

Eight religious leaders from all the major Christian denominations – including Presbyterian, Methodist and Catholic – have written a letter to The Press calling for Anglicans to be “left to make decisions as to the future of the cathedral”.

“The role of the wider community (including other Christian denominations) is to respect their decision (whatever it might be) as being one that is true to their understanding of their call from God, in this place, at this time,” the letter states.

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Posted in Aotearoa, New Zealand & Polynesia, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Provinces Other Than TEC, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Church Times) We will repair damage done to our city and its people, Bishop tells Manchester

The killing of 22 people in a suicide bombing in Manchester on Monday had provoked “proper anger and rage” that must be directed into a “force for good”, the Bishop of Manchester, Dr David Walker, said this week.

In the worst terrorist attack in the UK since the London bombings of July 2005, a lone attacker, Salman Ramadan Abedi, detonated an im­­provised explosive device at Man­chester Arena at the conclusion of an Ariana Grande concert. Among those killed were children, and parents waiting to collect their children. In addition to the deaths, 59 people were injured. Many are being treated for life-threatening conditions.

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister announced that the threat level in the UK had been raised to “critical”, indicating that a further attack might be “imminent”. For the first time since 2003, troops were being de­­ployed to join the police’s armed patrols. “It is a possibility we cannot ignore that there is a wider group of individuals linked to this attack,” Theresa May said. On Wednesday afternoon, the Manchester police chief, Ian Hopkins, said: “I think it’s very clear that this is a network that we are investigating.” Islamic State has claimed responsibility.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(WSJ) Remembering the Manchester Victims

Some were teenagers—and younger children—excited to see a favorite pop star. Some were parents coming to pick up concertgoers. The Monday attack outside Manchester Arena claimed 22 lives, some of whose stories are below. Some ages are as reported in local media accounts.

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Posted in Terrorism, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

Please Join us in praying for Manchester, UK, as they seek to recover from the recent terrorist attack

Posted in England / UK, Spirituality/Prayer, Terrorism, Urban/City Life and Issues

(BBC) Manchester attack: Vigil finds city defiant in the face of terror

The silence held for a full five minutes before the Lord Mayor Eddy Newman began to speak.
His was a message of thanks for the emergency services and defiance in the face in the terrorism, words that were met with cheers and loud applause.
He was followed by others with equally unbending speeches.
The Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Rev David Walker, spoke of the city’s unerring belief in diversity and unity and said those who would seek to destroy such things were “the very few, but we are the many, we are Manchester”.

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Posted in England / UK, Terrorism, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

PM Theresa May’s Statement this Morning on the Manchester Attack in Full

At terrible moments like these, it is customary for leaders, politicians and others to condemn the perpetrators and declare that the terrorists will not win. But the fact that we have been here before, and the fact that we need to say this again, does not make it any less true. For as so often while we experience the worst of humanity last night, we also saw the best. The cowardice of the attacker met the bravery of the emergency services and the people of Manchester. The attempt to divide us met countless acts of kindness that brought people closer together. And in the days ahead, those must be the things we remember. The images we hold in our minds should not be those of senseless slaughter, but of the ordinary men and women who put concerns about their own safety to one side and rushed to help, of the men and women of the emergency services, who worked tirelessly to bring comfort, to help and to save lives, of the messages of solidarity and hope of all those who opened their homes to the victims, for they are the images that embody the spirit of Manchester and the spirit of Britain. A spirit that through years of conflict and terrorism has never been broken and will never be broken.

There will be difficult days ahead. We offer our thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of those affected. We offer our full support to the authorities, the emergency and the security services as they go about their work. And we all, every single one of us, stand with the people of Manchester at this terrible time. And today let us remember those who died, and let us celebrate those who helped, safe in the knowledge that the terrorists will never win and our values, our country and our way of life, will always prevail.

Please take the time to read or watch it all.

Posted in Anthropology, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Terrorism, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence