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A Prayer to Begin the Day from Daily Prayer

O God, the Lord and leader of the hosts of the blessed: Instruct us in the spiritual warfare; arm us against all foes visible and invisible; subdue unto us our own rebellious affections; and give us daily victory in the following of him who vanquished sin and death, and now goeth forth with us conquering and to conquer, even thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ.

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

Posted in Uncategorized

From the Morning Bible Readings

And I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals; and I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I wept much that no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. Then one of the elders said to me, “Weep not; lo, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”

And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth; and he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints; and they sang a new song, saying,

“Worthy art thou to take the scroll and to open its seals,
for thou wast slain and by thy blood didst ransom men for God
from every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
and hast made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on earth.”

–Revelation 5:1-10

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(Archbp Stephen Cottrell) Watching and praying in hope for a positive outcome at COP26

In 2015 there was Pope Francis’ papal encyclical Laudato Si and the Lambeth Declaration on climate change, not to mention only last month we saw for the first time the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican Communion jointly warning of the urgency of environmental sustainability and its impact on the poor.

That impact was something I witnessed myself three years ago when travelling in a part of Northern Kenya where it hadn’t rained for 18 months. Seeing children waving empty plastic bottles at us, begging for water was one of the saddest things I have experienced. Every day the equivalent of 12 jumbo jets worth of people die because they do not have access to fresh water. This horror is only going to worsen without tackling the injustice of the climate crisis.

For me the challenge of the environmental emergency is captured in the Lord’s Prayer. We pray “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as in heaven.” If you look in the Book of Common Prayer you’ll notice it says “in earth, as it is in heaven.” Somewhere in the last hundred years or so “in earth as it is in heaven” has somehow changed to, “on earth as it is in heaven”. It was not an organized change by some church commission, it just happened.

We used to believe, and to know, that we lived in earth, that we were part of it, interdependent with it. And if we had a relationship with the earth it was to be its good stewards, living in it, and with it, and serving it. Then somewhere in the last couple of hundred years we moved to a position from living in the earth to living on the earth. And now I’m separate from the earth. The earth is mine, and I can do with it what I will. And from that, disaster upon disaster has flowed. We’ve been blind to the consequences of our actions, and we now live in a time where we must take action.

Read it all.

Posted in Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE), Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Stewardship

(NYT) Rising Prices, Once Seen as Temporary, Threaten Biden’s Agenda

At least once a week, a team of President Biden’s top advisers meet on Zoom to address the nation’s supply chain crisis. They discuss ways to relieve backlogs at America’s ports, ramp up semiconductor production for struggling automakers and swell the ranks of truck drivers.

The conversations are aimed at one goal: taming accelerating price increases that are hurting the economic recovery, unsettling American consumers and denting Mr. Biden’s popularity.

An inflation surge is presenting a fresh challenge for Mr. Biden, who for months insisted that rising prices were a temporary hangover from the pandemic recession and would quickly recede. Instead, the president and his aides are now bracing for high inflation to persist into next year, with Americans continuing to see faster — and sustained — increases in prices for food, gasoline and other consumer goods than at any point this century.

That reality has complicated Mr. Biden’s push for sweeping legislation to boost workers, expand access to education and fight poverty and climate change. And it is dragging on the president’s approval ratings, which could threaten Democrats’ already tenuous hold on Congress in the 2022 midterm elections.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Politics in General, President Joe Biden

The Guardian view on the Church of England: the numbers are not adding up

What would you be, you wide East Anglian sky / Without church towers to recognise you by?” Even when Sir John Betjeman spoke these lines during his 1974 BBC documentary A Passion for Churches, they struck an elegiac note. Traditional religious practice in the Church of England was already in significant decline. Half a century on, Anglicans find themselves at a historic crossroads – obliged by dire financial circumstance and sparse congregations to rethink what the church is for, and where it should be.

There are growing fears that at next month’s General Synod, measures will be taken to make it easier to close hundreds of parish churches, drastically reduce numbers of “vicars on the beat” and sell off assets to raise funds. Moving away from the traditional vision of providing for “the cure of souls” in every parish – with a Sunday service at the local church its focal point – the Anglican hierarchy envisions a future mixed ecology in which a variety of venues host groups of believers, some of which will be lay-led.

According to plans drawn up in Manchester diocese, for example, a gradually reduced number of stipendiary clergy would provide support and oversight over new “mission communities”, which would absorb existing parishes.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday sermon–What can we Learn from the Call of David to be Israel’s Next King (1 Samuel 16:1-13)?

Listen to it all there or there are other options here.

Posted in * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Theology: Scripture

(WSJ) Does Taiwan’s Military Stand a Chance Against China? Few Think So

The concern that China might try to seize Taiwan is preoccupying American military planners and administration officials. Few of them think Taiwan’s military could hold the line.

Soldiers, strategists and government officials in Taiwan and the U.S. say the island’s military is riven with internal problems, many of which have built up over years of calm and economic prosperity and now are eating away at Taiwan’s ability to deter China.

Among the most pressing concerns are poor preparation and low morale among the roughly 80,000 Taiwanese who are conscripted each year and the nearly 2.2 million reservists.

Xiao Cheng-zhi, a 26-year-old from central Taiwan, said his four months of basic training that ended last year mainly involved sweeping leaves, moving spare tires and pulling weeds. Aside from some marksmanship training, he said, his classes were meaningless.

Mr. Xiao dismissed his cohorts as strawberry soldiers, a term used in Taiwan to describe young people raised by overprotective parents who bruise easily. While he said he is willing to serve, he doubted the island would stand much chance against China’s People’s Liberation Army.

Read it all.

Posted in China, Foreign Relations, Military / Armed Forces, Politics in General, Taiwan

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Alfred the Great

O Sovereign Lord, who didst bring thy servant Alfred to a troubled throne that he might establish peace in a ravaged land and revive learning and the arts among the people: Awake in us also, we beseech thee, a keen desire to increase our understanding while we are in this world, and an eager longing to reach that endless life where all will be made clear; 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 Frank Colquhoun

Grant us, O Lord, the faith that rests not on signs and wonders but on thy love and faithfulness; that obedient to thy word and trusting in thy promises, we may know thy peace and healing power, both in our hearts and in our homes; for the honour of thy holy name.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

After this I looked, and lo, in heaven an open door! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up hither, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and lo, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne! And he who sat there appeared like jasper and carnelian, and round the throne was a rainbow that looked like an emerald. Round the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clad in white garments, with golden crowns upon their heads. From the throne issue flashes of lightning, and voices and peals of thunder, and before the throne burn seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God; and before the throne there is as it were a sea of glass, like crystal. And round the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like a flying eagle. And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all round and within, and day and night they never cease to sing, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever; they cast their crowns before the throne, singing, “Worthy art thou, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for thou didst create all things, and by thy will they existed and were created.”

–Revelation 4:1-11

Posted in Theology: Scripture

([London] Times) Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in fight to save job at Manchester United after players lose faith

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fears that he will be sacked as Manchester United manager after his side’s humiliating 5-0 defeat by Liverpool on Sunday.

The Times understands that a number of senior players have lost confidence in their manager, whose future was the subject of discussions between the club’s board of directors

Solskjaer, 48, told friends in the immediate aftermath of the 5-0 loss that he expected to be in charge for United’s next match, away to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

But the Norwegian is now concerned that he will be sacked in the coming days, partly as a result of the backlash that followed the humiliating defeat at Old Trafford.

Read it all (subscription required).

Posted in England / UK, Sports

(Pzephizo) Ian Paul–In which direction is Leicester leading the Church of England?

Behind all this are some bigger questions of strategic thinking. Is the Church of England actually thinking coherently about this challenge, across its different silos of the Archbishops’ Council, the Church Commissioners, the House of Bishops, individual dioceses, and those doing research on questions of ministry, mission and growth? If so, how come different dioceses are adopting such profoundly different approaches to the shared challenges that we all face?

For example, it has been clear for some time that reducing stipendiary posts will not lead to growth—yet now we have Chelmsford, Sheffield and Leicester radically cutting stipendiary numbers with Lincoln coming next, whilst others (at the moment Southwell and Nottingham, and St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, and possibly others) committing to retain them as part of a strategy for growth—based on the research evidence. On a smaller scale, Bob Jackson’s research demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that vacancies led to a decline in attendance and a loss of income, so that the best way to make the transition was to prepare ahead of time and appointment immediately, ensuring continuity of ministry within the parish. I have yet to come across even one diocese that does this.

I wonder what conversations the House of Bishops has about these things? Is there really no shared approach to these challenges? Is every bishop king or queen in his or her own diocesan castle? Does that make any sense?

And how does it connect to the notion that stipendiary clergy and a national resource, trained in a nationally coordinated way? As Mark Ireland comments again:

We have been praying and working for a 50% increase in vocations. Just when God seems to be answering our prayers and the number of vocations is increasing, we should be prayerfully trusting God to provide the finance to enable us to deploy these priests. What other organisation would go to the trouble and expense of recruiting and training new staff, only to tell them at the end of their trainee post that there was no job for them?

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(GR) Terry Mattingly–It’s an important political question: Are you a believer or a self-identified believer?

“All religious communities have lots of highly committed people, and all religious communities have their share of marginal members whose faith isn’t all that active,” said Green. For pollsters, the challenge is asking questions that help draw lines between “self-identified believers and those who are truly active” in their faith groups, he added.

The American Bible Society, in its “State of the Bible” surveys, has tried to document ways in which beliefs about the Bible, and personal interactions with scripture, separate “practicing Christians” from “self-identified Christians.” This matters, in part, because religious groups containing a high percentage of committed believers usually maintain their members, or even make converts, while other groups struggle to survive.

The most recent ABS survey (.pdf here) was completed last January, with data collected from 3,354 online interviews with adults in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The American Bible Society began studying these kinds of issues as early as 1812.

In this survey, a “practicing Christians” was defined as someone who “identifies as a Christian, attends a religious service at least once a month” and states that “faith is very important” in his or her life. Thus, said the report, practicing the faith affected their lives “in a transformative way.” Meanwhile, “self-identified Christians” were those who “simply say they believe.” According to this study, in America:

* Evangelical churches include 58% “practicing Christians” and 42% who are “self-identified.”

* Historically Black churches – evangelical, Pentecostal and “mainline” combined – are 31% “practicing” and 69% “self-identified” Christians.

* America’s more liberal “mainline” churches – many of which still contain significant numbers of evangelicals – include 28% “practicing” Christians and 72% “self-identified….”

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Religion & Culture, Sociology

(WSJ) Endemic Covid-19 Has Arrived in Portugal. This Is What It Looks Like

“Nobody will ever forget this past January, but now Covid is endemic and we need to learn to live with the virus,” said Dr. Mota. “Almost the whole population is vaccinated here and the virus still circulates, showing it won’t go away.”

As in other countries with a large proportion of the population vaccinated, a stubborn persistence of infections in Portugal hasn’t led to a significant increase in the rate of hospitalizations or deaths.

“Things are getting better, but it’s slow,” said Miguel Campos, who drives tourists around Lisbon in a tuk-tuk. “We are taking baby steps. We have a mix of optimism and hope that this return to normal will continue.”

Before the pandemic there were 800 rickshaw taxi drivers in Lisbon, but now only about 200 work during the week and 500 on weekends, said Valentim Gaspar, another rickshaw taxi driver. For now, the balance between drivers and tourists makes it possible to earn a decent living, he said.

The Portuguese almost universally attribute their vaccination success to Henrique Gouveia e Melo, an ex-submarine commander brought on to run the inoculation drive after a shaky start. He projected confidence and tapped into the population’s generally favorable attitudes to vaccinations, according to public-health experts. The vaccine rollout began in January just as the worst of the pandemic peaked in Portugal, providing a clear incentive for anybody who might have been unsure about getting vaccinated.

Read it all.

Posted in Health & Medicine, Portugal

(PRC) A Rising Share of U.S. Adults Are Living Without a Spouse or Partner

As relationships, living arrangements and family life continue to evolve for American adults, a rising share are not living with a romantic partner. A new Pew Research Center analysis of census data finds that in 2019, roughly four-in-ten adults ages 25 to 54 (38%) were unpartnered – that is, neither married nor living with a partner.1 This share is up sharply from 29% in 1990.2 Men are now more likely than women to be unpartnered, which wasn’t the case 30 years ago.

The growth in the single population is driven mainly by the decline in marriage among adults who are at prime working age. At the same time, there has been a rise in the share who are cohabiting, but it hasn’t been enough to offset the drop in marriage – hence the overall decline in partnership. While the unpartnered population includes some adults who were previously married (those who are separated, divorced or widowed), all of the growth in the unpartnered population since 1990 has come from a rise in the number who have never been married.

This trend has broad societal implications, as does the growing gap in well-being between partnered and unpartnered adults. Looking across a range of measures of economic and social status, unpartnered adults generally have different – often worse – outcomes than those who are married or cohabiting. This pattern is apparent among both men and women. Unpartnered adults have lower earnings, on average, than partnered adults and are less likely to be employed or economically independent. They also have lower educational attainment and are more likely to live with their parents. Other research suggests that married and cohabiting adults fare better than those who are unpartnered when it comes to some health outcomes.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Sociology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Tabitha (Dorcas) of Joppa

Most Holy God, whose servant Tabitha thou didst raise from the dead to display thy power and confirm thy message that thy Son is Lord; grant unto us thy grace, that aided by her prayers and example, we may be given a new life in thy Spirit to do works pleasing in thy sight; Through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord; who livest and reignest with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the ACNA Prayer Book

Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of your people, and in our time grant us your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

I John, your brother, who share with you in Jesus the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Per′gamum and to Thyati′ra and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to La-odice′a.”

Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden girdle round his breast; his head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters; in his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth issued a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand upon me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one; I died, and behold I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. Now write what you see, what is and what is to take place hereafter. As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

–Revelation 1:9-20

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(Foreign Affairs) John J. Mearsheimer: The Inevitable Rivalry–America, China, and the Tragedy of Great-Power Politics

Although their numbers have dwindled, advocates of engagement remain, and they still think the United States can find common ground with China. As late as July 2019, 100 China watchers signed an open letter to Trump and members of Congress rejecting the idea that Beijing was a threat. “Many Chinese officials and other elites know that a moderate, pragmatic and genuinely cooperative approach with the West serves China’s interests,” they wrote, before calling on Washington to “work with our allies and partners to create a more open and prosperous world in which China is offered the opportunity to participate.”

But great powers are simply unwilling to let other great powers grow stronger at their expense. The driving force behind this great-power rivalry is structural, which means that the problem cannot be eliminated with clever policymaking. The only thing that could change the underlying dynamic would be a major crisis that halted China’s rise—an eventuality that seems unlikely considering the country’s long record of stability, competence, and economic growth. And so a dangerous security competition is all but unavoidable.

At best, this rivalry can be managed in the hope of avoiding a war. That would require Washington to maintain formidable conventional forces in East Asia to persuade Beijing that a clash of arms would at best yield a Pyrrhic victory. Convincing adversaries that they cannot achieve quick and decisive wins deters wars. Furthermore, U.S. policymakers must constantly remind themselves—and Chinese leaders—about the ever-present possibility of nuclear escalation in wartime. Nuclear weapons, after all, are the ultimate deterrent. Washington can also work to establish clear rules of the road for waging this security competition—for example, agreements to avoid incidents at sea or other accidental military clashes. If each side understands what crossing the other side’s redlines would mean, war becomes less likely.

These measures can only do so much to minimize the dangers inherent in the growing U.S.-Chinese rivalry. But that is the price the United States must pay for ignoring realist logic and turning China into a powerful state that is determined to challenge it on every front.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., China, Foreign Relations, History, Military / Armed Forces, Politics in General

Prayers for the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina This Day

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Day from the Leonine Sacramentary

Grant us, O Lord, so to enter on the service of our Christian warfare, that, putting on the whole armour of God, we may endure hardness and fight against the spiritual powers of darkness, and be more than conquerors through him that loved us, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read?”And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”And he said to him, “You have answered right; do this, and you will live.”

But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed mercy on him.” And Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

–Luke 10:25-37

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(CBS) Saturday Morning encouragement–Some Louisiana Fathers transform life at a local school

‘When an SOS went up at a troubled Louisiana high school, who answered the call? A bunch of dads. Steve Hartman shares the story in “On the Road.”‘

Watch it all.

Posted in Children, Education, Marriage & Family, Men, Violence

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint James of Jerusalem

Grant, we beseech thee, O God, that after the example of thy servant James the Just, brother of our Lord, thy Church may give itself continually to prayer and to the reconciliation of all who are at variance and enmity; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Day from the Franciscan Breviary

We beseech thee, O Lord, to guide thy Church with thy perpetual governance; that it may walk warily in times of quiet, and boldly in times of trouble; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;

To the end that [my] glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

–Psalm 30:11-12 (KJV)

Posted in Theology: Scripture

The National Intelligence Estimate on Climate Change presents its Perspective heading into COP26

Key Judgment 1: Geopolitical tensions are likely to grow as countries increasingly argue about how to accelerate the reductions in net greenhouse gas emissions that will be needed to meet the Paris Agreement goals. Debate will center on who bears more responsibility to act and to pay—and how quickly—and countries will compete to control resources and dominate new technologies needed for the clean energy transition. Most countries will face difficult economic choices and probably will count on technological breakthroughs to rapidly reduce their net emissions later. China and India will play critical roles in determining the trajectory of temperature rise.

Key Judgment 2: The increasing physical effects of climate change are likely to exacerbate cross-border geopolitical flash-points as states take steps to secure their interests. The reduction in sea ice already is amplifying strategic competition in the Arctic over access to its natural resources. Elsewhere, as temperatures rise and more extreme effects manifest, there is a growing risk of conflict over water and migration, particularly after 2030, and an increasing chance that countries will unilaterally test and deploy large-scale solar geo-engineering—creating a new area of disputes.

Key Judgment 3: Scientific forecasts indicate that intensifying physical effects of climate change out to 2040 and beyond will be most acutely felt in developing countries, which we assess are also the least able to adapt to such changes. These physical effects will increase the potential for instability and possibly internal conflict in these countries, in some cases creating additional demands on US diplomatic, economic, humanitarian, and military resources. Despite geographic and financial resource advantages, the United States and partners face costly challenges that will become more difficult to manage without concerted effort to reduce emissions and cap warming.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Ecology, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Politics in General, Science & Technology

(Bloomberg) Winter Crisis Raises Prospect of Energy Blockades in Europe

Europe’s heading into winter facing an unprecedented energy squeeze, and politicians are trying to figure out how to stop their citizens freezing.

If the shortages worsen, European governments could resort to curbing sales of natural gas and power to other regions. An even more extreme scenario could see them halt flows to one another, triggering a political and economic crisis.

“If it gets very cold, even within Europe you will see countries say: ‘I have the gas inside my borders and I am going to pass an urgent safety measure that no one can export for the next two weeks’,” said Marco Alvera, chief executive officer of Italian energy-infrastructure company Snam SpA. “I have been threatened in several countries over the last 20 years. Political priority is to keep your constituency.”

The European Union’s gas tanks are around 77% full. That is way below what’s normal for this time of year and leaves members especially vulnerable if the winter is severe.

Read it all.

Posted in Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Europe, Foreign Relations, Politics in General

The Latest Edition of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

This past Saturday, October 16, 2021, during the special Electing Convention held at Christ Church in Mt. Pleasant, the Very Rev. Chip Edgar was elected Bishop Coadjutor of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina. Pending approval by the ACNA’s College of Bishops, who will meet in January 2022, Edgar will be in line to succeed Bishop Mark Lawrence who has served as the Diocesan Bishop since January of 2008….

Read it all.

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

Archbishop Justin Welby speaks on Assisted Dying Bill in the House of Lords

Sadly, I believe this Bill to be unsafe. As a curate and parish priest I spent time with the dying, the sick and the bereaved. I still do. All of us have personal experience. I have as well. We know that the sad truth is that not all people are perfect, not all families are happy, not everyone is kind and compassionate. No amount of safeguards can perfect the human heart, no amount of regulation can make a relative kinder or a doctor infallible. No amount of reassurance can make a vulnerable or disabled person feel equally safe, equally valued, if the law is changed in this way.

All of us here are united in wanting compassion and dignity for those coming to the end of their lives.

But it does not serve compassion if by granting the wishes of one closest to me, I expose others to danger.

And it does not serve dignity if in granting the wishes of one closest to me I devalue the status and safety of others.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Politics in General, Religion & Culture