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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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So you’ve accepted social media into your hearts and you’re beginning to employ them as part of your church’s communication strategy. What are the Gospel underpinnings for ministry in social media? Are your current efforts effective? Could they use a shot in the arm? What would that look like?
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet --Social Networking Media Religion & Culture
The Episcopal Church has held an ongoing debate regarding gay clergy for decades and began ordaining openly gay priests in the ‘90s, a gay bishop in 2003 and a lesbian bishop in 2010, but the issue of homosexuality continues to elicit debate.
Individual rectors will get to choose whether to offer the new rites for same-sex couples—if approved—at their congregations.
“While I long for the day when there will be full marriage equality in the Church and in the State, I consider this a very important step in that process,” said the Rev. Lisa Hunt, rector at St. Stephens, in a letter to parishioners. “St. Stephen’s has an opportunity to witness to the action of God in our midst in the lives of couples in our community.”
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What you will learn:
The general principles behind good communicationsRead it all.
How to identify your audiences and the communication tools that might work for them
How to build a communications strategy for your church
How to use symbols, images and stories just like Jesus did...
On the eve of the Vatican's doctrinal investigation in 2009, Sister Sandra M. Schneiders published a letter to her Leadership Conference associates in which she sounded loaded for bear. Declaring that her community and others had "birthed a new form of religious life," she referred to the Vatican's attempt at assessment as "a hostile move" and one that would do "violence" to all that newness.
Not all sisters have been as combative. Two years earlier, in a thoughtful presentation that some believe spurred the investigation, then-Leadership Conference president Sister Laurie Brink had acknowledged that while many sisters walked unevenly with Rome, some had moved "beyond the church, even beyond Jesus." She called that a post-Christian mind-set that might ethically require those who held it to leave the church.
That assessment by Sister Brink was quoted in the Congregation's findings, but the document says nothing ill of Sister Brink. Rather, it worries that post-Christian mind-sets too often "go unchallenged" by the Leadership Conference—that it is falling down on the job of bringing Christian witness to its own members.
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GAFCON 2008 declared it was ‘not just a moment in time but a movement of the spirit’. Now, at a conference in London, 200 Anglican leaders committed to mission and mutual support.
The Global Anglican Future Conference in Jerusalem established a Primates Council representing the majority of the world’s Anglicans and set up a global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans as a movement within the Communion.
The leaders met at St Mark’s Battersea Rise in London for five days of prayer, planning and plenary sessions. Seminars ranged over key topics such as evangelism, family, economic empowerment, the Gospel, church and spiritual leadership under pressure.
Opening the event, GAFCON/ FCA Chairman Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya, told the delegates they were called to “a great prophetic purpose at this critical point in the life of our communion.” The Archbishop outlined the extent of unbiblical teaching in the communion and declared “The heart of the crisis we face is not only institutional, but spiritual.”
“After some 450 years it is becoming clear that what some have called the ‘Anglican experiment’ is not ending in failure, but is on the verge of a new and truly global future in which the original vision of the Reformers can be realized as never before” the Archbishop said.
In a plenary address, Bishop Michael Nazir?Ali concluded that the Anglican “Instruments of Unity” have failed dramatically and that the FCA is called to model an alternative way for the churches of the Anglican Communion to gather and relate to one another in such a way as to carry out the Great Commission in the coming decades.
In their final conference ‘Commitment’, the leaders resolved to work together in an ever?strengthening partnership, to stand by each other and to engage in a battle of ideas on behalf of the Biblical Gospel.
The next Global Anglican Future Conference was also announced. The event, with invitees including clergy and lay people, as well as bishops, is scheduled for May 2013.
“One delegate came up to me and said ‘Now I know that I am not alone’. Though they are the majority, the orthodox often feel isolated.” said FCA general secretary Archbishop Peter Jensen. “There are people everywhere who believe the same gospel, preach the same thing and stand for the same truths. That is the dynamic of this conference. People who felt powerless have now been given confidence.”
The Primate of the Church of Nigeria has denounced as “satanic” the calls for the impeachment of the President of Nigeria after an Italian construction firm refurbished a church in the president’s home town.
Speaking to reporters last week, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh said the claim put forward by the opposition ACN party that there was an element of corruption in the refurbishment of a church was nonsense.
“The call for the impeachment of the president over the renovation of the church in his town is satanic and it is capable of causing religious bigotry which we don’t want. The ACN should apologise and retract the statement. We call on the National Assembly to disregard the call,” the archbishop said.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of Nigeria * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Politics in General * International News & Commentary Africa Nigeria * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
The religion of Utopia is not unlike that of the Roman Empire, in that there is a state religion. "No one is forced to belong to it," Dr. Boyle explains, "but in Utopia – where everyone is reasonable and rational – most people do because it is a reasonable and rational religion in accord with nature and philosophy." All other religions, while tolerated and permitted, are considered to be superstitious. The only requirement is that all people must hold to the immortality of the soul, and to a final judgment of some kind. This is so as to motivate moral behavior. "It's not a religious claim. It's a social claim."
"It's very interesting when they talk about worship in Utopian religion," Dr. Boyle notes, "They have very little to say about the object of that worship; they practice confession in Utopia, and the one person who is not confessed to is God. Children confess to their parents, wives confess to their husbands: nobody confesses to God."
There is, however, an ironic application of the way Utopia enforces freedom of religion, as recounted by the character of Raphael Hythloday. "He tells the story of bringing Christianity to Utopia, and many Utopians apparently converted. But one convert's apparently an obnoxious, overzealous convert, because he insists on the exclusive character of Christianity. He's banished from Utopia on the grounds of the principle which is that no one should suffer for his religion."
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More than 1 million Americans who have taken out mortgages in the past two years now owe more on their loans than their homes are worth, and Federal Housing Administration loans that require only a tiny down payment are partly to blame.
That figure, provided to Reuters by tracking firm CoreLogic, represents about one out of 10 home loans made during that period.
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Looking at the spectrum of candidates today, there is again hope that the first free presidential elections will not intensify already existing tensions in Egyptian society. Still, there are many issues unresolved. With the constituent assembly in tatters over its composition and legality, it is unlikely that there will be a decision on the constitutional framework before the presidential elections. What does seem likely is that, despite the Brotherhood’s domination of the political scene, Egypt is not about to become an Islamic state.
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary Middle East Egypt * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Islam
Americans' financial comfort is the lowest Gallup has measured to date, with 60% saying they currently have enough money to live comfortably and 39% saying they do not. Americans' peace of mind with their finances was fairly stable at a high level from the first asking of the question in 2002 through 2007, but has since faltered.
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The bishop was on good form at the launch, telling of an amusing encounter with a US immigration official. Looking at the passport in front of him and realising that Tom [Wright] was a bishop, the officer asked him to recite John 3:16. The bishop obliged – in Greek.
--Church of England Newspaper, April 27, 2012, edition, page 10
The Primates of Nigeria and Kenya suggested this week that the Archbishop of Canterbury should no longer chair the Primates’ Meeting. The chairman should instead be elected by the Primates themselves, they said.
The Archbishop of Nigeria, the Most Revd Nicholas Okoh, and the Archbishop of Kenya, Dr Eliud Wabukala, suggested the idea at a press briefing on Monday, shortly before the start of a leadership conference of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) at St Mark’s, Battersea Rise, in London (News, 6 April). A spokesman for the FCA said that delegates from about 30 countries were attending the conference, representing about 55 million “of all churchgoing Anglicans”.
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A rupture between France and Germany would come at a dangerous time. Until recently, voters in the euro zone seemed to have accepted the idea of austerity and reform. Technocratic prime ministers in Greece and Italy have been popular; voters in Spain, Portugal and Ireland have elected reforming governments. But nearly one in three French voters cast their first-round ballots for Ms Le Pen and Mr Mélenchon, running on anti-euro and anti-globalisation platforms. And now Geert Wilders, a far-right populist, has brought down the Dutch government over budget cuts. Although in principle the Dutch still favour austerity, in practice they have not yet been able to agree on how to do it.... And these revolts are now being echoed in Spain and Italy.
It is conceivable that President Hollande might tip the balance in favour of a little less austerity now. Equally, he may scare the Germans in the opposite direction. Either way one thing seems certain: a French president so hostile to change would undermine Europe’s willingness to pursue the painful reforms it must eventually embrace for the euro to survive. That makes him a rather dangerous man.
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Filed under: * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life Credit Markets Currency Markets Euro European Central Bank The Banking System/Sector The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- Foreign Relations Politics in General * International News & Commentary Europe --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010 France Germany
Spain's sickly economy faces a "crisis of huge proportions", a minister said on Friday, as unemployment hit its highest level in two decades and Standard and Poor's weighed in with a two-notch downgrade of the government's debt.
Spain's unemployment rate shot up to 24 percent in the first quarter, the highest level since the early 1990s and one of the worst jobless figures in the world. Retail sales slumped for the twenty-first consecutive month.
"The figures are terrible for everyone and terrible for the government ... Spain is in a crisis of huge proportions," Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said in a radio interview.
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Filed under: * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life Credit Markets Currency Markets Euro European Central Bank The Banking System/Sector The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- Foreign Relations Politics in General City Government * International News & Commentary Europe --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010 Spain
O God, whom heaven cannot hold, who didst inspire Christina Rossetti to express the mystery of the Incarnation through her poems: Help us to follow her example in giving our hearts to Christ, who is love; and who is alive and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
O Holy Father, give me grace to praise thee not only with my lips but also with my hearts and mind; and grant that when this day is ended I may faithfully continue to glorify thee, to the honour of Jesus Christ my Lord.
O give thanks to the LORD, call on his name, make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him, tell of all his wonderful works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his presence continually!
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