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The Archbishop of York writes about his Friend, Sir David Amess, RIP

He and I did not see eye to eye on some political issues. But this didn’t matter. Or rather, the fact that it doesn’t matter matters hugely for the flourishing of our democracy. Disagreement wasn’t a cause of enmity or division. Disagreement didn’t mean separation. Yet it is precisely this that we see around us in so much of the trench warfare of current public and political discourse, the vitriolic and ever amplifying echo-chambers of social media now invading other areas of life.

How do we counter this?

David Amess was a kind man.

The word kind is related to the word kin. When we are kind to someone, it doesn’t mean we necessarily agree with them, or even like them, but that we recognise a kinship, a common humanity and treat them accordingly; or as we sometimes say, ‘treat them in kind.’

David’s robust kindness came from his Christian faith. He was a devout Christian, a Roman Catholic. But the idea that we human beings belong to one another and have a responsibility to each other is not self evident. Observation of our behaviour and attitudes shows us the opposite. Our worst desires can be seen everywhere, leading us to separation, fuelled by selfishness, and bearing fruit in hatefulness and the possession of each other.

The picture of humanity that God gives us in Jesus Christ offers something else. In this regard, perhaps the most radical words Jesus ever spoke are the ones most of us know and many of us say every day: ‘Our Father’. In saying these words we don’t just acknowledge we belong to God, we acknowledge our belonging to each other as kith and kin.

Read it all.

Posted in Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism

(WSJ) As Afghanistan Sinks Into Destitution, Some Sell Children to Survive

Desperate to feed her family, Saleha, a housecleaner here in western Afghanistan, has incurred such an insurmountable debt that the only way she sees out is to hand over her 3-year-old daughter, Najiba, to the man who lent her the money.

The debt is $550.

Saleha, a 40-year-old mother of six who goes by one name, earns 70 cents a day cleaning homes in a wealthier neighborhood of Herat. Her much older husband doesn’t have any work.

Such is the starkness of deepening poverty in Afghanistan, a humanitarian crisis that is worsening fast after the Taliban seized power on Aug. 15, prompting the U.S. to freeze $9 billion in Afghan central-bank assets and causing a halt in most foreign aid.

Read it all.

Posted in Afghanistan, America/U.S.A., Asia, Foreign Relations, Military / Armed Forces, Politics in General, Poverty, War in Afghanistan

(CT CS) Is Texting the Next Big Thing for Churches?

“A simple ‘I love you! Thanks for getting up with the baby last night’ can do wonders for my mood,” says Carla Wiking in “How Texting Has Improved my Marriage.” Though she was initially resistant to embracing texting as more than a way to send succinct updates, Wiking now sees it as an important third party in her marriage. For Wiking, texting offers vital connection: “I feel appreciated and thought of, which can be extra nice on long lonely days caring for kids at home.” Because of its connective power, texting can smooth and soften in ways other mediums may not. “We aren’t simply better coordinated,” writes Wiking. “We feel more love and appreciation and joy. Who knew a tiny keyboard could do all that?”

Healthier marriages aren’t the only beneficiary of SMS (Short Message Service). Hannah Natanson reports in The Washington Post that texting has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on our healthcare system, lowering communication hurdles and increasing provider availability. Natanson notes that texting allows hospitals and doctors’ offices to gather more accurate patient history, and instant-response crisis text lines provide support for individuals facing acute mental-health crises.

The opportunity to text with medical professionals offers a life-changing difference for many people. Jeffrey Millstein, Anish Agarwal and Lillian Sun—a primary care physician, an ER physician, and a medical student—wrote in the Philadelphia Inquirer that they “constantly combine hands-on care with digital technology” in their work with patients. Texting is growing to be the most accessible form of communication as “font size can be adjusted for those who are visually impaired, and voice commands through digital assistants such as Siri can be used if vision or finger dexterity are limitations.” All these features, especially when combined with texting’s ability to overcome language barriers via translations apps, make it easier to contact patients of every age, background, and income level.

Even while relationships and businesses benefit from this new touchpoint, people still want more texts. 75 percent of clients say that they would like to receive offers via SMS, but only 30 percent frequent businesses that offer this service.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Language, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

(Local Paper) South Carolina Teacher survey shows educators struggled with school leadership, added work last year

A South Carolina teacher exit survey revealed many of the state’s educators struggled to find reasons to stay in their jobs last year because of concerns with school leadership, their workload and other COVID-related conditions.

Last month, the South Carolina Teacher Education Advancement Consortium released the results of a 2020-21 exit survey revealing why teachers in five school districts across the Midlands region decided to leave their jobs. The survey comes a year after the Center for Education Recruitment, Retention & Advancement found nearly 6,000 teachers left their jobs over the 2019-20 school year.

The survey, which was conducted anonymously, asked 224 teachers about their level of experience, reasons for leaving and plans going forward. Most respondents said a desire to move or take an early retirement were the top reasons they left their jobs. Some 14 percent indicated they were dissatisfied with the school administration and leadership.

The survey also asked teachers how the COVID-19 pandemic factored into their decision to leave. The results showed the consequences of the virus, including added workload, an inability to connect with students and a lack of support from the community, pushed more people out of their jobs than safety concerns surrounding the virus itself.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Education, Health & Medicine

(NYT) Threats, Resignations and 100 New Laws: Why Public Health Is in Crisis

As she leaves work, Dr. Allison Berry keeps a vigilant eye on her rearview mirror, watching the vehicles around her, weighing if she needs to take a more circuitous route home. She must make sure nobody finds out where she lives.

When the pandemic first hit the northern edge of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, Dr. Berry was a popular family physician and local health officer, trained in biostatistics and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University. She processed Covid-19 test kits in her garage and delivered supplies to people in quarantine, leading a mobilization that kept her counties with some of the fewest deaths in the nation.

But this summer, as a Delta variant wave pushed case numbers to alarming levels, Dr. Berry announced a mask mandate. In September, she ordered vaccination requirements for indoor dining.

By then, to many in the community, the enemy was not the virus. It was her.

Read it all.

Posted in Health & Medicine

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Luke

Almighty God, who didst inspire thy servant Luke the physician to set forth in the Gospel the love and healing power of thy Son: Graciously continue in thy Church the like love and power to heal, to the praise and glory of thy Name; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Christina Rossetti

O Lord God of time and eternity, who makest us creatures of time that, when time is over, we may attain thy blessed eternity: With time, thy gift, give us also wisdom to redeem the time, lest our day of grace be lost; for our Lord Jesus’ sake.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

To thee, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in thee I trust,
let me not be put to shame;
let not my enemies exult over me.
Yea, let none that wait for thee be put to shame;
let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

Make me to know thy ways, O Lord;
teach me thy paths.
Lead me in thy truth, and teach me,
for thou art the God of my salvation;
for thee I wait all the day long.

–Psalm 25:1-4

Posted in Theology: Scripture

The Rector of Holy Cross Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, writes the parish

Dear Holy Cross Family,

I’m pleased to tell you that the Very Rev. Chip Edgar was elected Bishop Coadjutor of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina today during a special Electing Convention held at Christ Church in Mt. Pleasant. Pending approval by the Anglican Church in North America’s College of Bishops, who will meet in January 2022, Reverend Edgar will be in line to succeed Bishop Mark Lawrence who has served as the Diocesan Bishop since January of 2008.

You can read the official announcement from the Diocese HERE.

While it stings a bit that I was not selected, I’m thrilled that I will continue with my beloved Holy Cross. It is a joy and honor to be your Rector and I’m very hopeful about what’s ahead for us. The best is surely yet to come.

Given that this has been a long and taxing process, I’m excited to say that Catherine and I will be taking a few days vacation to recoup and pray. When we return, we’ll continue making disciples who make disciples of others.

–The Rev. Chris Warner is rector, Holy Cross, Sullivan’s Island, SC

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

A Prayer to Begin the Day from E. M. Goulburn

O Blessed Jesus, who hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, and hast consecrated us in baptism to be temples of the Holy Ghost: Make us, we beseech thee, both in body and soul, meet for thy dwelling place; that our hearts may be houses of prayer and praise, of pure desires and holy thoughts of thee, whose we are and whom we serve, and to whom be glory, now and for evermore.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens,
praise him in the heights!
Praise him, all his angels,
praise him, all his host!

Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars!
Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of the Lord!
For he commanded and they were created.
And he established them for ever and ever;
he fixed their bounds which cannot be passed.

–Psalm 148:1-3

Posted in Theology: Scripture

Chip Edgar Elected Bishop Coadjutor of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina

Today, during a 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 Anglican Church in North America’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.

“You have bestowed a trust in me and I promise I will do everything I possibly can to live in to that trust,” said Edgar, following the election. “I am deeply, deeply humbled.” Quoting Second Samuel he said, “Who am I that you have brought me this far? And who is my family?” I trust this is the Lord’s will for the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina and this is the Lord’s will for me and for my family… I covet your prayers. From this point forward I covet your prayers. Thank you very much.”

Once consecrated as Bishop Coadjutor, in March of 2022, Edgar will, for a season, serve alongside Bishop Lawrence….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley and Thomas Cranmer

Keep us, O Lord, constant in faith and zealous in witness, after the examples of thy servants Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley, and Thomas Cranmer; that we may live in thy fear, die in thy favor, and rest in thy peace; for the sake of Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day for the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina

Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a Bishop for this Diocese that we may receive a faithful pastor who will preach the Gospel, care for your people, equip us for ministry, and lead us forth in fulfillment of the Great Commission; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Now I know that the LORD will help his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with mighty victories by his right hand. Some boast of chariots, and some of horses; but we boast of the name of the LORD our God. They will collapse and fall; but we shall rise and stand upright. Give victory to the king, O LORD; answer us when we call.

–Psalm 20:6-9

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(Washington Post front page) College students struggle with mental health as pandemic drags on

People handed flowers to strangers on campus this week, and wrote encouraging notes in chalk. Students played with baby goats and tail-wagging dogs brought in to comfort them. Classes were canceled Tuesday, pop-up counseling centers appeared in dorms and concerned parents brought cookies and hugs to campus.

It has been a week of grief and disbelief at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There have been reports of two deaths by suicide since the semester began, according to the university, and an attempted suicide last weekend that prompted an outpouring of sadness and worry.

The reasons behind any suicide are complex, and little is publicly known about these deaths. But the response on the Chapel Hill campus has been immediate and intense. And it has resonated nationally, coming at a time when many young people are feeling particularly burdened.

College students nationwide are more stressed — with the coronavirus pandemic adding loneliness, worry about illness, economic distress, relentless uncertainty and churn to a time of life that is already challenging for many. Demand for mental health services had already been high, but a recent study of college students found increased levels of anxiety and isolation during the pandemic.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Psychology, Theology, Young Adults

Archbp Foley Beach writes about Michael Nazir-Ali’s decision to join the Roman Catholic Church

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecumenical Relations, GAFCON, Roman Catholic

(AP) New wind farms would dot US coastlines, including Carolinas, under Biden plan

Seven major offshore wind farms would be developed on the East and West coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico under a plan announced Wednesday by the Biden administration.

The projects are part of President Joe Biden’s plan to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, generating enough electricity to power more than 10 million homes.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said her department hopes to hold lease sales by 2025 off the coasts of Maine, New York and the mid-Atlantic, as well as the Carolinas, California, Oregon and the Gulf of Mexico. The projects are part of Biden’s plan to address global warming and could avoid about 78 million metric tons of planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions, while creating up to 77,000 jobs, officials said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Ecology, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, President Joe Biden, Science & Technology

(NYT front page)–Hopes Are Rising As Brutal Surge Starts To Recede

After a brutal summer surge, driven by the highly contagious Delta variant, the coronavirus is again in retreat.

The United States is recording roughly 90,000 new infections a day, down more than 40 percent since August. Hospitalizations and deaths are falling, too.

The crisis is not over everywhere — the situation in Alaska is particularly dire — but nationally, the trend is clear, and hopes are rising that the worst is finally behind us.

Again.

Over the past two years, the pandemic has crashed over the country in waves, inundating hospitals and then receding, only to return after Americans let their guard down.

Read it all (the headline is from the print edition).

Posted in America/U.S.A., Health & Medicine

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Teresa of Avila

O God, who by thy Holy Spirit didst move Teresa of Avila to manifest to thy Church the way of perfection: Grant us, we beseech thee, to be nourished by her excellent teaching, and enkindle within us a lively and unquenchable longing for true holiness; through Jesus Christ, the joy of loving hearts, who with thee and the same Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

Please pray for the Election Convention of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina tomorrow

From there:

We’re days away from our Electing Convention and have just a few reminders:

1) Only one delegate from each parish or mission will be seated inside the sanctuary with the clergy – this is in response to a request for social-distancing protocols. Remaining delegates will be seated outdoors under a tent with access to the live-streamed meeting.

2) The Convention will be live-streamed from this link.

2) Masks must be worn inside throughout the convention, except for those who are speaking from the podium microphone.

3) Following registration we will have a service of Holy Eucharist. After the election and brief response from our Bishop Coadjutor Elect, we will enjoy a celebratory luncheon on the grounds.

4) View the video below for an explanation of how votes are tabulated.

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

A prayer for the day from Daily Prayer

O God, who desirest no sacrifice, but a humble and contrite spirit; who wilt accept no gifts, but such as come from a good and honest heart: Save us, we pray thee, lest we come before thee with hands not free from stain; and mercifully accept the offering of ourselves, who have nothing worthy to offer but what is from thee, and dare not offer what is not hallowed by thee; for Jesus Christ’s sake.

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

I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved….Thou dost show me the path of life; in thy presence there is fulness of joy, in thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.

–Psalm 16:7-8;11

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(Bloomberg) Steaks Could Soon Become Champagne-Like Luxury

The boss of Europe’s top meat processor said beef will become a luxury like champagne because of the climate impact of producing it.

“Beef is not going to be super climate friendly,” Danish Crown Chief Executive Officer Jais Valeur said in an interview with Danish newspaper Berlingske. “It will be a luxury product that we eat when we want to treat ourselves.”

Read it all.

Posted in Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Ecology

(TLS) Giles Foden on the salient ideas, elegant writing and ethical commitment of this year’s Nobel laureate, Abdulrazak Gurnah

ew announcements could give greater pleasure to followers of the broad church of African literature than that of the East African-born novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah as winner of this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature. We would all like to give the honorific Swahili greeting shikamoo – “I touch your feet” – but we can’t do that literally right now, and he wouldn’t like it anyway, I reckon, being a very self-effacing man, despite his great talent.

Born in 1948 on Zanzibar, then still a British colony, Gurnah came to the United Kingdom in 1968. This was the year of Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” speech and four years after the violent Zanzibar revolution that eventually led to the union of Zanzibar and Tanganyika as present-day Tanzania – a moment later dramatized in his debut novel, Memory of Departure (1987). He studied at Canterbury Christ Church University and earned a PhD at the University of Kent in 1982, before teaching for a few years at a university in northern Nigeria. He then returned to Kent, rising through troublesome academic ranks to become Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, until his retirement in November 2018, an occasion on which I was honoured to give a valedictory lecture. At the end of that peroration, I rashly predicted the likelihood of Nobel laurels. The best bet I never made. Gurnah’s academic work during this period, like that of his fellow laureate J. M. Coetzee, focused on colonial and post-colonial writing – branching out, when the field went mainstream, into some creative-writing tuition.

All through this time – the early part of which saw post-colonial writing going against the grain of predominantly white, neocolonial establishment authority – Gurnah was writing groundbreaking fiction. To date, he has produced ten novels that grapple with the subjects of the immigrant experience, displacement, memory and colonialism. These concerns – the transnational, the trauma narrative – are very current now, but they were just a speck on the horizon when Gurnah began developing his oeuvre. He was a prime mover in this respect, and that is part of what has catalysed this award. As the chair of the Nobel committee, Anders Olsson, remarked, “Gurnah has consistently and with great compassion penetrated the effects of colonialism in East Africa, and its effects on the lives of uprooted and migrating individuals”.

This element of compassion was clearly an important factor for the Nobel committee.

Read it all (subscription).

Posted in Books, England / UK, History, Tanzania

Bishop Andrew Forster’s Presidential Address to the Diocesan Synod of Derry and Raphoe in 2021

It’s no exaggeration to say that all our lives have been dominated by Covid since March 2020. It has certainly overshadowed my first two years almost as Bishop. I was only able to enjoy a very short window of normality before events took their course and everything changed.

In that almost year and a half since, I have looked on with admiration and a true sense of pride at the way our diocese has responded to a challenge unprecedented in our lifetimes. I want to place on the record my deep and heartfelt appreciation to those of you, right across the diocese, who made sure that both the worship of God and the ministry of the church were able to continue in the most harrowing of circumstances.

In next to no time, many of our clergy familiarised themselves with previously alien platforms like Facebook Live and YouTube, using them to provide online services. Parishioners supported food banks. Parishes provided meals for the elderly housebound. Church members supported the lonely through regular phone calls, collecting medicines and delivering shopping. Sunday schools moved online and ‘home packs’ were provided for children. People showed their Blitz spirit. They rallied round.

The enforced and, indeed, unwelcome changes that the pandemic demanded of us nevertheless showed us that we are far more capable, far more adaptable and far more creative than we ever could have believed.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of Ireland

(NPR) Eddie Jaku, Holocaust survivor and self-proclaimed happiest man on Earth, dies at 101

Despite his experiences, he refused to let loss or hate consume him.

“I do not hate anyone,” Jaku said. “Hate is a disease which may destroy your enemy but will also destroy you in the process.”

Choosing kindness and tolerance was also the premise of Jaku’s memoir, The Happiest Man on Earth, which he published last year at age 100.

Jaku was also part of the group of survivors that co-founded the Sydney Jewish Museum in 1992, and volunteered there for the past three decades, according to a remembrance from Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

Read it all.

Posted in Australia / NZ, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Judaism

Church of England Evangelist Rico Tice on what is the gospel

It starts at about 32:15 in and is worth its weight in gold.

Posted in Anthropology, Christology, Church of England (CoE), Eschatology, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Soteriology, Theology

Prominent Anglican bishop Michael Nazir-Ali received into Catholic Church

A prominent Anglican bishop once considered a potential future Archbishop of Canterbury has entered into full communion with the Catholic Church.

The Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, the former bishop of Rochester, England, has joined the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, The Spectator reported on Oct. 14.

The magazine said that Nazir-Ali could be ordained as a Catholic priest as early as the end of October within the ordinariate, a body created by Benedict XVI in 2011 for groups of former Anglicans wishing to preserve elements of their patrimony.

In an Oct. 14 statement, the ordinariate said that Nazir-Ali was received into full communion by the group’s Ordinary, Msgr. Keith Newton, on Sept. 29, the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecumenical Relations, Roman Catholic

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky

O God, who in thy providence didst call Joseph Schereschewsky from his home in Eastern Europe to the ministry of this Church, and didst send him as a missionary to China, upholding him in his infirmity, that he might translate the holy Scriptures into languages of that land: Lead us, we pray thee, to commit our lives and talents to thee, in the confidence that when thou givest thy servants any work to do, thou dost also supply the strength to do it; 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