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A Prayer for the Feast Day of James Weldon Johnson

Eternal God, we give thanks for the gifts that thou didst bestow upon thy servant James Weldon Johnson: a heart and voice to praise thy Name in verse. As he gave us powerful words to glorify you, may we also speak with joy and boldness to banish hatred from thy creation, in the Name of Jesus Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Language, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Cambridge Bede Book

O LORD, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, who wast with us in our birth, be with us through our life; thou who art with us through our life, be with us at our death; and because thy mercy will not leave us then, grant that we die not, but rise to the life everlasting with thee and in thee; who livest and reignest in the glory of the eternal Trinity, one God, world without end.

Daily Prayer, Eric Milner-White and G. W. Briggs, eds. (London: Penguin Books 1959 edition of the 1941 original)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For he who has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

–Romans 6:1-11

Posted in Theology: Scripture

A Church Times Article on the upcoming Partial Lambeth Gathering

THE Lambeth…[Gathering] will “look outwards” at issues such as evangelism, climate change, and economic injustice — but will also address matters of sexuality, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

Archbishop Welby was speaking at a virtual press conference on Wednesday afternoon, alongside the organisers of the Conference.

He said that the “basic aim” of the Conference would be “to look outwards”. The Church should express its “evangelistic mission and its life of discipleship through engagement with the great challenges that the next 30 or 40 years will impose upon the vast majority of Anglicans, especially those in areas of climate fragility, and of political and other fragility.

“But the knock-on impact of those crises will reside around the world, and it’s something that all God’s people in this world, all the Churches, are called to respond to, and to respond to prophetically and also, above all, compassionately with the love of God in Jesus Christ.”

With this in mind, he said, some of the “key themes” of the Conference would be “evangelism and witness”, and “reconciliation, both within the Church . . . but also as a reconciling agent in a world torn by war”.

Read it all.

Posted in - Anglican: Latest News, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

(The Verge) Amazon shows off Alexa feature that mimics the voices of your dead relatives

Amazon has revealed an experimental Alexa feature that allows the AI assistant to mimic the voices of users’ dead relatives.

The company demoed the feature at its annual MARS conference, showing a video in which a child asks Alexa to read a bedtime story in the voice of his dead grandmother.

“As you saw in this experience, instead of Alexa’s voice reading the book, it’s the kid’s grandma’s voice,” said Rohit Prasad, Amazon’s head scientist for Alexa AI. Prasad introduced the clip by saying that adding “human attributes” to AI systems was increasingly important “in these times of the ongoing pandemic, when so many of us have lost someone we love.”

“While AI can’t eliminate that pain of loss, it can definitely make their memories last,” said Prasad.

Read it all.

Posted in Corporations/Corporate Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Science & Technology

(ACNA) Anglicans React To Supreme Court Dobbs Decision

Today the United States Supreme Court ruled that “the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion,” overruling Roe v. Wade (1973). The decision will “return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives … to be resolved like most important questions in our democracy: by citizens trying to persuade one another and then voting.” In the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a five Justice majority of the Supreme Court overruled both Roe and the 1992 decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey.[1]

The inherent value of human life is revealed in the Scriptures, and this biblical commitment is reflected in the Anglican Church in North America’s Constitution and Canons which calls all members and clergy “to promote and respect the sanctity of every human life from conception to natural death” (Title II.8.3).

Archbishop Beach commented:

While this decision doesn’t end abortion in the U.S., it will lead to fewer children being killed through abortion. We thank God for this limited victory, and the Anglican Church in North America recommits itself to serving mothers so they can embrace motherhood and welcome their children. We also continue to point the way to God’s healing and forgiveness for all who suffer physically and emotionally from their abortion experiences.

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Children, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Supreme Court

(Scotus Blog) Supreme Court argues that constitutional right to abortion did not and does not exist

The Supreme Court on Friday eliminated the constitutional right to obtain an abortion, casting aside 49 years of precedent that began with Roe v. Wade.

The decision by Justice Samuel Alito will set off a seismic shift in reproductive rights across the United States. It will allow states to ban abortion, and experts expect about half the states to do so.

In one of the most anticipated rulings in decades, the court overturned Roe, which first declared a constitutional right to abortion in 1973, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which re-affirmed that right in 1992. The decision followed the leak in early May of a draft opinion showing that a majority of the justices were privately poised to take that step. On Friday, they made it official.

The vote was 6-3. Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett joined Alito’s opinion. Chief Justice John Roberts did not join the opinion but agreed with the result and filed a separate opinion. The court’s three liberals, Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan, filed a joint dissent.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Supreme Court, Theology

(Eleanor Parker) Ælfric of Eynsham’s Homily for the Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist

The holy church celebrates the birth-tide of three people: of the Saviour, who is God and man, and of John his herald, and of the blessed Mary his mother. Of other chosen people, who have gone to God’s kingdom through martyrdom or other holy merits, we celebrate as their birth-tide their last day, which, after the fulfilment of all their labours, bore them victorious to eternal life; and the day on which they were born to this present life we let pass unheeded, because they came here to hardships and temptations and various dangers. The day is worthy of memory for God’s servants which sends his saints, after victory won, from all afflictions to eternal joy, and that is their true birth – not tearful, as the first, but rejoicing in eternal life.

But the birth-tide of Christ is to be celebrated with great care, through which came our redemption. John is the ending of the old law and the beginning of the new; as the Saviour said of him, “The old law and the prophets were till the coming of John.” Afterwards began the preaching of the gospel. Now, because of his great holiness, his birth is honoured, as the archangel promised his father with these words, “Many shall rejoice in his birth-tide.” Mary, parent of God, is like to none other, for she is maiden and mother, and bore him who created her and all creation: therefore she is most worthy that her birth should be honourably celebrated…

He was sent before the Lord, as the day-star goes before the sun, as the beadle goes before the judge, as the Old Testament before the New; because the old law was like a shadow, and the New Testament is the truth itself, through the grace of the Saviour.

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Preaching / Homiletics

A Prayer for the Feast Day of the Nativity of John the Baptist

Almighty God, by whose providence thy servant John the Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of thy Son our Savior by preaching repentance: Make us so to follow his doctrine and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and after his example constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth’s sake; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Day from Thomas Trahern

Praise to you, O Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for the jewel of sight, the treasure of hearing and the glory of speech. Open our eyes to your glory, our ears to your word and our mouths to proclaim your goodness; now and for ever. Amen (slightly edited-KSH).

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet unborn may praise the LORD: that he looked down from his holy height, from heaven the LORD looked at the earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die; that men may declare in Zion the name of the LORD, and in Jerusalem his praise, when peoples gather together, and kingdoms, to worship the LORD. He has broken my strength in mid-course; he has shortened my days. “O my God,” I say, “take me not hence in the midst of my days, thou whose years endure throughout all generations!” Of old thou didst lay the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They will perish, but thou dost endure; they will all wear out like a garment. Thou changest them like raiment, and they pass away; but thou art the same, and thy years have no end.

–Psalm 102:18-27

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(Guardian) Christians in Oxford asked to commit to protecting environment

The addition to the liturgy comes as the Oxford diocese announces plans to spend £10m improving the energy efficiency of its vicarages in an effort to hit net zero emissions by 2035. It is one of 10 dioceses to have divested from fossil fuel companies, making commitments not to invest in coal, oil and gas in the future.

At a national level, the Church of England has been criticised for not acting quickly enough to cut its links with fossil fuel companies. It began to cut ties to coal and other heavily polluting industries in 2015, then pledged in 2018 to divest by 2023 from high-carbon companies that were “not aligned with the goals of the Paris agreement”. But as the deadline approaches, the organisation has said it is still “engaging” with key oil and gas interests, rather than cancelling all of its holdings.

Chris Manktelow, of the Young Christian Climate Network, told the Guardian earlier this year that that was not good enough. “The church should be moving quickly and showing moral leadership, and is just not going fast enough. We are not happy with this response [to the calls to divest].”

On Wednesday, Greenpeace welcomed the Oxford decision.

“The diocese of Oxford is moving away from fossil fuels, which is essential, but this liturgical change goes deeper,” said a spokesperson. “Today’s lesson is that, in a climate and nature emergency, you need to make environmental considerations central to your project right from the very beginning and keep them in mind the whole way through. That sounds very much like wisdom worth listening to.”

Read it all and you can see the additional wording in the liturgy there.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Climate Change, Weather, Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Theology

(Economist) How to fix the world’s energy emergency without wrecking the environment

Energy shocks can become political catastrophes. Perhaps a third of the rich world’s inflation of 8% is explained by soaring fuel and power costs. Households struggling to pay bills are angry, leading to policies aimed at insulating them and boosting fossil-fuel production, however dirty.

Mr Biden, who came to power promising a green revolution, plans to suspend petrol taxes and visit Saudi Arabia to ask it to pump more oil. Europe has emergency windfall levies, subsidies, price caps and more. In Germany, as air-conditioners whine, coal-fired power plants are being taken out of mothballs. Chinese and Indian state-run mining firms that the climate-conscious hoped were on a fast track to extinction are digging up record amounts of coal.

This improvised chaos is understandable but potentially disastrous, because it could stall the clean-energy transition. Public handouts and tax-breaks for fossil fuels will be hard to withdraw. Dirty new power plants and oil- and gasfields with 30- to 40-year lifespans would give their owners more reason to resist fossil-fuel phase-outs. That is why, even as they firefight, governments must focus on tackling the fundamental problems confronting the energy industry.

One priority is finding a way to ramp up fossil-fuel projects, especially relatively clean natural gas, that have an artificially truncated lifespan of 15-20 years so as to align them with the goal of dramatically cutting emissions by 2050.

Read it all.

Posted in Corporations/Corporate Life, Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, Globalization, Politics in General, Science & Technology

Jeremy Shelton announced to be the new rector of Saint John’s Anglican Church, Johns Island SC

From here:

A Letter from our Sr. Warden
Regarding the New Rector

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Brothers and Sisters of St John’s Parish Church,
On May 3, 2022, Father Greg Snyder announced to the Wardens of St John’s that he would be leaving his position as Rector, that God had called him to a new ministry, a ministry which God has been preparing him for nearly 5 years. A ministry in the academy to young scientists and their professors. As Senior Warden, it was my responsibility to consult with the Bishop to determine what our options were going forward. Bishop Edgar explained the search process to me, that the Vestry should form a nominating committee that would prepare a parish profile, identify and screen candidates, interview them and present their recommendation to the Vestry for vote. Bishop Edgar also informed me that, given all else going on, if the Vestry chose to, we could vote to accept our associate Rector as our next Rector, and the process would be completed. After considerable thought and prayer, I chose not to pursue this option, as I felt we needed to be sure of who we are as a parish, and who we wanted as our next Rector. I instructed the Vestry to appoint a nominating committee, one that the Vestry voted should be comprised of members of the Vestry, as was recommended by Fr Greg and confirmed by Bp Edgar. The appointed nominating committee was made up of five members: Lindy Reynolds, Ann Edenfield, Todd Young, Jane Vaughan, and Jay Withington. As Senior Warden, I served as an ex-officio
member of the nominating committee.

The Nominating Committee identified five potential candidates to interview as the next Rector of St John’s. After much prayer and consideration, the committee voted unanimously to interview only one. Using input from several members of the parish, some of whom were not members of the Vestry, the nominating committee provided the interviewee with the parish profile, as well as the position description for Rector of St John’s Parish Church and spent the next two weeks in prayer and consideration over the process. The nominating committee conducted its final interview on Tuesday, June 14th, and presented their recommendation to me.

On Thursday, June 16th I brought the recommendation to the entire Vestry for a vote. The vote was unanimous, in favor of the recommended candidate. I then contacted Bp Edgar and informed him that the Vestry had made the decision for the next Rector of St John’s Parish Church. We discussed the decision, and he concurred with our decision. Bp Edgar also instructed me to make this announcement as soon as practical, that continuity of leadership was crucial in these days.

Therefore, it gives me great pleasure to announce that the Wardens and Vestry of St John’s Parish Church has voted unanimously to call Father Jeremy Shelton as our next Rector, and that after discussion on Friday, June 17, Father Jeremy has accepted the call. Fr Jeremy will be conducting his first service as Rector of St John’s Parish Church on Sunday, July 17 at Haut Gap Middle School, and I invite all of you to join us in worship as we move forward into this next chapter of the life of this Parish.

In Christ,

Ben Dixon
Senior Warden, St John’s Parish Church

Please read all the additional documents at the link above

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Parish Ministry

(Local Paper) Senate gun bill supported by Lindsey Graham addresses Charleston loophole

The Senate’s bipartisan gun safety bill, which has the backing of South Carolina’s senior Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, includes a pair of provisions that would address two issues of tremendous importance in the Palmetto State:

1. Closing the so-called “Charleston loophole” that allowed a young white supremacist to buy a gun on a technicality before going on a hate-fueled rampage inside a downtown Charleston church in 2015, and

2. Expanding the definition that determines which domestic abusers are barred from getting guns, an issue of significance in a state that ranks sixth-worst in the nation for women killed by men.

Graham was one of 14 Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who joined all 48 Democrats and two independents in advancing the bill June 21 for debate.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Senate, Violence

(NYT front page) Linchpin of Ukrainian Defiance, a Southern City Endures Russian Barrage

MYKOLAIV, Ukraine — There is no door on Anna Svetlaya’s fridge. A Russian missile blew it off the other day. The detached door saved her, protecting her chest from shrapnel as she passed out in a pool of blood.

It was just before 7 a.m. in a residential district here in the southern Ukrainian port city of Mykolaiv when Ms. Svetlaya, 67, felt her world explode in a hail of metal shards, glass and debris as she prepared breakfast.

Her face a mosaic of cuts and bruises, her gaze dignified, Ms. Svetlaya said: “The Russians just don’t like us. We wish we knew why!” A retired nurse, she surveyed her small apartment, where her two sisters labored to restore order.

“It’s our ‘brother Russians’ who do this,” said one, Larisa Kryzhanovska. “I don’t even hate them, I just pity them.”

Read it all.

Posted in Military / Armed Forces, Russia, Ukraine

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Frank Colquhoun

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who hast taught us by love to serve one another: Give us eyes of compassion for human suffering and need wherever it is found, and especially for that which lies nearest to our own doors; save us from neglecting life’s opportunities; and grant that while we have time we may do good to all men, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.

While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man, though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we are now justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. Not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received our reconciliation.

–Romans 5:1-11

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(BBC) Salisbury bishop marks appointment with cash giveaway

A new bishop says parishioners cheered after they were surprised with a gift of £10 each at his inauguration.

Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Stephen Lake, said it was the first time he had seen a congregation “burst out in applause”.

He said the money, given by two anonymous donators, was to show people can make the most of what they have been given.

Bishop Lake said: “It was a great start to a new ministry.”

He added: “They [the congregation] were given the £10 because we were living out the gospel, read out in the service. Taken from Luke, The Parable of the Talents, also known as The Parable of the Pound.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

(Gallup) Americans Have Close but Wary Bond With Their Smartphone

The percentage of U.S. adults saying they use their smartphone “too much” has increased markedly in recent years, rising from 39% when Gallup last asked this in 2015 to 58% today.

This sentiment was strongly age-contingent in 2015 and remains so now; however, all age groups have become more likely to express this concern. Also, this belief is pervasive not only among 20-somethings; smartphone users aged 30 to 49 (74%) are nearly as likely as those 18 to 29 (81%) to say they are on their phone too much. This contrasts with 47% of those 50 to 64 and 30% of those 65 and older.

As in 2015, there is little difference by gender in whether adults think they overuse their smartphone, with 60% of women and 56% of men now saying this.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Science & Technology

(Telegraph) Ambrose Evans-Pritchard–The US recession is here, and central banks are still fighting the last war

The US is either in recession already, or probably will be by early autumn. This has sweeping consequences for the world’s dollarised financial system, for commodity demand, and for global inflation.

The New York Federal Reserve’s internal model is flashing an 80pc risk that the US economy will enter a sustained contraction in the second half of this year, much sooner than presumed just weeks ago. The chances of a “soft landing” have dropped to 10pc. If so, you can stop worrying about an inflationary spiral.

The institution’s “dynamic stochastic general equilibrium” model (DSGE) points to an outright fall in GDP of 0.6pc this year and a further fall of 0.5pc next year. It likens the current picture to the 1990 recession under George Bush senior, triggered by the First Gulf War.

Monetarists think the DSGE model understates the danger since it entirely ignores the role of money in the economy. It treats the abrupt switch from extreme quantitative easing to extreme quantitative tightening – a $2.4 trillion reversal, annualised – as mostly background noise. This New Keynesian blind spot on how QE works (through the banking multiplier) has misled the Fed before, and may be misleading the Fed now.

Read it all (registration or subscription).

Posted in * Economics, Politics, America/U.S.A., Economy, Federal Reserve

(Naija News) Anglican Archbishop Chukwuma Tells Pres. Buhari he must take Action Over Insecurity Problem in Nigeria

[Emmanuel] Chukwuma said that his ministry is very much concerned about the state of the nation. He, however, admonished citizens to prepare for a revolution if the government is not ready to do the needful.

“This is because of the security situation in Nigeria; kidnappings and killings have become the order of the day. Nigerians, for the past 23 years, have endured enough insult, abject poverty and suffering. They have so much been taken for granted.

“The Government of Buhari has not done enough to protect the people. I say this because the number of people killed under the Buhari Government is more than in any other country,” the Archbishop said.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of Nigeria

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Alban

Almighty God, by whose grace and power thy holy martyr Alban triumphed over suffering and was faithful even unto death: Grant to us, who now remember him with thanksgiving, to be so faithful in our witness to thee in this world, that we may receive with him the crown of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Daily Prayer

O Lord Christ, Son of the living God, who at the last assize wilt acknowledge all deeds of mercy to others as done unto thee: Grant, in this world of sin and pain and want, that we may never pass by the poor and helpless whose cry is thine own; for the honour of thy holy name.

Daily Prayer, Eric Milner-White and G. W. Briggs, eds. (London: Penguin Books 1959 edition of the 1941 original)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

The promise to Abraham and his descendants, that they should inherit the world, did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants–not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham, for he is the father of us all, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations” –in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations; as he had been told, “So shall your descendants be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead because he was about a hundred years old, or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was “reckoned to him as righteousness.” But the words, “it was reckoned to him,” were written not for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him that raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

–Romans 4:13-25

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(BBC) Channel Islands will be equal players, says Bishop of Salisbury

He said Jersey and Guernsey will be treated as equals players.

Bishop Stephen [Lake] said: “The two deans will be sat around the table with my senior team as equal players, and in that sense I am absolutely only going to be looking forward in this relationship.

“I look forward to coming over, and not just to the important but sometimes slightly grand occasions, but also being able to just be with the parish at an important time.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

Archbishop Welby presents The Queen with Canterbury Cross for ‘unstinting service’ to Church of England

The Archbishop of Canterbury has presented HM The Queen with a special ‘Canterbury Cross’ for Her Majesty’s ‘unstinting’ service to the Church of England over seventy years.

The Archbishop made the presentation during an audience with Her Majesty at Windsor Castle today.

The Canterbury Cross was given to The Queen in recognition and gratitude for Her Majesty’s “unstinting support of the Church throughout her reign” and to mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year.

Archbishop Justin Welby gave the Cross as “a heartfelt symbol of the love, loyalty and affection in which the Church of England holds Her Majesty”.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, History, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(Local Paper) Mental health experts say deep TMS therapy should have a larger public health impact

He and his wife had just welcomed a new baby boy. Life was supposed to be good, he thought.

“I found myself, in the moments that should’ve been the most joy-filled moments in my life, just feeling absent or despondent,” Hogan said.

Hogan is part of an estimated 10-30 percent of patients with major depression who don’t respond to typical antidepressant medications like Zoloft or Prozac.

But since starting a rather new therapy in 2020, deep transcranial magnetic stimulation, he’s felt better than he ever has.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Anthropology, Health & Medicine, Psychology

(CT) Supreme Court Rules Against Maine Policy Denying Christian School Aid

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a Maine policy covering tuition for private schools but not religious schools violates the First Amendment.

Maine offers the tuition assistance in rural districts that do not have public schools. The challenge involved two private Christian schools, Bangor Christian Schools and Temple Academy, which didn’t meet the state’s “nonsectarian” requirement for families to qualify.

The court said such a requirement infringes on free exercise protections and that there was “nothing neutral” about the program.

Read it all.

Posted in Education, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, State Government, Supreme Court

(I E) A new plant-based material can replace plastic food packaging for keeps

Interestingly, they observed a decline in the populations of these pathogens after the introduction of APFs. The researchers further deposited the antimicrobial fibers on avocados. They noticed that the APF coating prevented the growth of pathogens on the fruit and protected the same from spoilage and damage. Thus increasing the shelf life of avocados by about 50 percent.

Whereas plastic packets often release harmful chemicals into our food and take more than 400 years to biodegrade, the APF coating is a naturally derived biodegradable and non-toxic biopolymer that does not impact the quality of the edible it covers (a previous study also highlights that humans can digest pullulan). Moreover, according to the researchers, it can be easily washed off from a food item using water and takes only three days to completely decompose in the soil.

Excited with these results, Demokritou wrote, “What we have come up with is a scalable technology, which enables us to turn biopolymers, which can be derived as part of a circular economy from food waste, into smart fibers that can wrap food directly. This is part of the new generation, ‘smart’ and ‘green’ food packaging.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Ecology, Economy, Science & Technology