Posted by Kendall Harmon

From Saint John's, Vancouver, Bruce Hindmarsh, the James M. Houston Professor of Spiritual Theology, speaks on the Book of Common Prayer which he first encountered as a teenager at a bookstall in a mall in Winnipeg. Listen to it all--wonderfully nurturing and encouraging stuff.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryLiturgy, Music, Worship--Book of Common PrayerSpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyChristologyEcclesiologySeminary / Theological EducationTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted August 13, 2014 at 5:49 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

You need to fill in all three blanks first:
At least ______ % [of] adolescent students in Canada have reported being bullied recently

Among adult Canadians, _____% of males and _____% of females reported having experienced occasional or frequent bullying during their school years

_____% of Canadian workers experience bullying on a weekly basis
Now, see how you did and read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingChildrenEducationHealth & MedicineMarriage & FamilySociology* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 2, 2014 at 11:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeThe Banking System/Sector* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

1 Comments
Posted August 2, 2014 at 9:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Should a fertility treatment clinic implement a policy requiring patients to use only ethnically or racially matched gamete donors? If the idea of such a policy already triggers some element of moral revulsion, you need not read further. But for argument’s sake, here’s why a controversial policy that was in effect until last year at Calgary’s only fertility clinic, and which requires patients to use racially matched sperm donors, is morally, ethically, and legally objectionable.

The policy suggests that a child is disadvantaged by not having an ethnically matched parent. This is a dangerous idea that stigmatizes children who are part of ethnically mixed families. Besides, there is not a shred of evidence that suggests the welfare of a child born (with or without donor gametes) to a person of different ethnicity or race is diminished by the mere fact of that difference.

Individuals who do not have fertility issues are free to seek out partners of any race, colour, ethnicity or creed for procreation purposes. Why then should those seeking fertility treatment be limited to ethnically matched donors? Such limitation stifles patient choice and makes a mess of the ethical and legal concept of autonomy, which is fundamental to medical decision-making in our society. Indeed, it violates professional practice guidelines issued by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, which stipulate that patients should “be provided with the opportunity to consider and evaluate treatment options in the context of their own life circumstances and culture.” Simply put, decisions regarding a future child’s ethnicity should be made by parents, not by doctors.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 30, 2014 at 5:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Although we may refer to militants in eastern Ukraine as “pro-Russian separatists,” we are not confused by who, and what, they really are: an extension of the Russian state. They derive their material, political and logistical support from the Putin regime, and their criminal aggression and recklessness reflect the values of their Russian benefactors. Some have suggested that these agents of the Putin regime may have shot the plane down by accident. We do not, and may never, know. But accident or no accident, the blood is on the hands of the men who took such a risk and of the government that encouraged them to do so. Even if they did not intend to kill hundreds of innocent civilians, there is no denying their intent to continue waging a war on behalf of a regime that remains in violation of international law for its illegal occupation of Crimea.

Russia’s aggressive militarism and expansionism are a threat to more than just Ukraine; they are a threat to Europe, to the rule of law and to the values that bind Western nations. Canada will not stand idly by in the face of this threat.

That is why we have taken a strong stand, imposing a broad range of sanctions against those entities and individuals responsible for the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Since the start of the crisis in Ukraine, Canada has imposed sanctions on nearly 150 individuals and entities. Earlier this week we broadened our approach, announcing economic sanctions against key sectors of the Russian economy.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryCanadaEuropeRussiaUkraine

0 Comments
Posted July 27, 2014 at 11:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Police had warned the B.C. Muslim Association to keep an eye on Hasib Yusufzai long before the Burnaby man was charged with leaving Canada to join a terrorist group in Syria.

"The authorities contacted us a long, long time ago about this individual, saying that they were concerned about him and just kind of warning us," Aasim Rashid, a spokesman for the association, said in an interview Friday. His group is the largest Sunni Muslim organization in the province, representing about 80,000 Sunnis.

Yusufzai, 25, had attended the Al-Salaam mosque in Burnaby before leaving Canada in January, but Rashid said he was not a member. RCMP allege he left the country to join an group of Islamist fighters and charged him on July 17 with acting "for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist group."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryCanada* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

0 Comments
Posted July 26, 2014 at 12:35 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

So much soot belched from the old power plant here that Mike Zeleny would personally warn the neighbors.

“If the wind was blowing in a certain direction,” Mr. Zeleny said, “we’d call Mrs. Robinson down the street and tell her not to put out her laundry.”

That coal plant is long gone, replaced by a much larger and cleaner one along the vast Saskatchewan prairie. Sooty shirts and socks are a thing of the past.

But as with even the most modern coal plants, its smokestacks still emit enormous amounts of carbon dioxide, the invisible heat-trapping gas that is the main contributor to global warming. So this fall, a gleaming new maze of pipes and tanks — topped with what looks like the Tin Man’s hat — will suck up 90 percent of the carbon dioxide from one of the boilers so it can be shipped out for burial, deep underground.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeEnergy, Natural Resources* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

15 Comments
Posted July 23, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A woman in her late 20s came to see me recently because her back hurt. She works at a child care center in town where she picks up babies and small children all day long.

She felt a twinge in her lower back when hoisting a fussy kid. The pain was bad enough that she went home from work early and was laid out on the couch until she came to see me the next day.

In my office she told me she had "done some damage" to her back. She was worried. She didn't want to end up like her father, who'd left his factory job in his mid-50s on disability after suffering what she called permanent damage to his back.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetHealth & MedicinePsychologyScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.Canada* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 20, 2014 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The conventional wisdom holds that, as societies become affluent, their fertility rate — the number of babies per woman — drops. Children are no longer needed to support their parents in old age, some conventionals say. Some also say that women, once affluent, liberated and armed with contraceptives, eschew pregnancies.

Such reasoning is ahistorical, thinly rationalized by statistics spanning decades rather than centuries. In fact, populations have waxed and waned throughout time, with periods of low population growth often spelling hardship, and those marked by high population growth often signifying good times.

Even the post-World War II baby boom, often explained as an anomaly caused by soldiers returning home from war, is more accurately seen as part of a post-Great Depression boom. U.S. fertility rates began rising in 1938, as the U.S. economy brightened and couples began to believe they would be able to support families. The fertility rates kept rising until the late 1950s, when the average number of children peaked at 3.7, up from 2.3 in 1933.

Read it all from the Financial Post.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenGlobalizationHealth & MedicineMarriage & Family* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 16, 2014 at 4:50 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The US Supreme Court yesterday vindicated two Christian-owned companies, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods, that have a pro-life objection to including in their employee health plans certain contraceptive drugs and devices. In a 5-4 decision, the Court said that the government did not meet the test set up by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a 1993 law passed with overwhelming support in Congress and proudly signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

The controversy is over the contraceptives mandate in the 2010 health care reform law, which requires employers’ health plans to cover a wide range of contraceptive drugs and devices, including some the companies and others regard as abortifacients. Churches are exempt from the mandate; after widespread protest, religious nonprofits such as colleges and hospitals were offered an “accommodation”: the insurer provides to the organization a health plan excluding objectionable contraceptives and then announces to the employees that those contraceptives will be paid for by the insurer. No relief at all was offered to companies like those in the cases decided yesterday: religion has no place in commerce, the government claimed. Some 100 lawsuits, by businesses as well as religious nonprofits, have been launched against the contraceptives mandate.

Besides the relief granted to the two companies and others with similar religious claims, what’s most important is the Supreme Court’s rejection of the government’s effort to make business a religion-free zone.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.Canada* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 10, 2014 at 3:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Barristers’ Society will admit Christians who, as individuals, have practiced their beliefs about sexuality and marriage while attending any Canadian law school other than TWU’s. It is only when these same individuals, adhering to the same beliefs and committed to the same lifestyle, associate with each other in a community to study law, that the Barristers’ Society considers them unfit to practice law in Nova Scotia. Essentially, the Barristers’ Society is punishing the choice to share beliefs and pursue common goals in community. This attacks Charter-protected freedom of association....

Freedom of association is a two-way street: a private institution enjoys the freedom to determine and live out its beliefs, and individuals have the freedom not to join it. Rejecting this two-way street, the Barristers’ Society would deny TWU its freedom to create and operate a law school, only because the Barristers’ Society disagrees with TWU’s beliefs about marriage and sexuality. This is a demand for conformity, and a rejection of the authentic diversity that characterizes our free society.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted July 9, 2014 at 6:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Filed under: * International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted July 1, 2014 at 2:27 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Grammar teachers may need to amend their lesson plans after the Vancouver school board approved Monday a policy change that welcomes a brand-new string of pronouns into Vancouver public schools: “xe, xem, and xyr.”

The pronouns are touted as alternatives to he/she, him/her, and his/hers, and come as last-minute amendments to the board’s new policy aimed at better accommodating transgender students in schools.

The vote came after a brief debate that sparked unrest among opponents of the policy who shouted “dictator” and “liar” at trustees, as security guards and police officers watched from their posts at council doors. But supporters waved pink and blue-coloured flags and drowned out the detractors with their cheers once the policy passed. Three previous public meetings were similarly rowdy.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationSexuality* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted June 27, 2014 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Canadian surgeons are confident they could soon perform what has never before been attempted anywhere in the world — face transplants in children.

The highly complex surgeries, which have so far only been performed in adults, are now “technically feasible” in children and could be life transforming for those with devastating facial deformities and disfigurements for whom no other reconstructive alternatives exist, a team from Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children reports in the journal, Plastic Surgery.

But the risky surgeries are fraught with profound ethical and moral challenges, including issues surrounding personal identity, informed consent and the possibility of “future resentment,” the team writes.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicinePsychologyScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted June 23, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Betty Seaborn was especially attached to the old black and white photograph of her husband, Robert, displayed on a cluttered wall, amid artworks and other mementos, at the family cabin on Lake Bernard near Sundridge, Ont.

He was always being photographed doing something since, as his eldest son Dick Seaborn explains, his life with the Anglican Church of Canada, including serving as the bishop of Newfoundland until his retirement in 1980, was a full one.

“Dad didn’t dwell on the past, much,” Mr. Seaborn says. “But my mum was always particularly pleased with that one photograph.”

She was thrilled her husband survived D-Day and all that came after.

Read it all and that picture really is worth 1000 words.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryCanadaEuropeFrance

0 Comments
Posted June 6, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Christ Church in Calgary is one of a very few Anglican churches in Western Canada that continues the practice of holding the service of Choral Evensong on a regular basis.

Its final one for this year will be held Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

“Choral Evensong is a quiet, reflective service of sacred choral music with readings from the Bible,” says Margaret Newman, director of music for the church located at 3602 8th St. S.W.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada

1 Comments
Posted June 1, 2014 at 5:58 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

So often, when faced with their own limits, the young people I meet turn to music. They turn to the artists who can articulate (perhaps more clearly than they can) precisely what they’re feeling. So how do we engage?

It all starts with listening. It always starts with listening. Listening to young people, listening to their music and listening to the struggles and joys of their daily lives.

What comes next is the hard part: accompanying young people in the midst of the pains and struggles of everyday life, and welcoming them into the story we call our own: the story of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.

I said earlier that this is hard. But it shouldn’t be. In fact, in my experience, it isn’t hard at all. Looking for companions when forced to confront the limits of human existence, young people constantly blow me away with their deep desire for some good news. We’re good-news people. We’ve got plenty to share.

And yet we need to start by listening.

Read it all from the Anglican Journal.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryYouth Ministry* Culture-WatchMusicReligion & CultureTeens / Youth* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyAnthropologySoteriology

0 Comments
Posted May 31, 2014 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

–Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

In thanksgiving for all those who gave their lives for this country in years past, and for those who continue to serve–KSH.

P.S. The circumstances which led to this remarkable poem are well worth remembering:

It is a lasting legacy of the terrible battle in the Ypres salient in the spring of 1915 and to the war in general. McCrea had spent seventeen days treating injured men -- Canadians, British, French, and Germans in the Ypres salient. McCrae later wrote: "I wish I could embody on paper some of the varied sensations of that seventeen days... Seventeen days of Hades! At the end of the first day if anyone had told us we had to spend seventeen days there, we would have folded our hands and said it could not have been done." The next day McCrae witnessed the burial of a good friend, Lieut. Alexis Helmer. Later that day, sitting on the back of an ambulance parked near the field dressing station, McCrea composed the poem. A young NCO, delivering mail, watched him write it. When McCrae finished writing, he took his mail from the soldier and, without saying a word, handed his pad to the Sergeant-major. Cyril Allinson was moved by what he read: "The poem was exactly an exact description of the scene in front of us both. He used the word blow in that line because the poppies actually were being blown that morning by a gentle east wind. It never occurred to me at that time that it would ever be published. It seemed to me just an exact description of the scene." Colonel McCrae was dissatisfied with the poem, and tossed it away. A fellow officer retrieved it and sent it to newspapers in England. The Spectator, in London, rejected it, but Punch published it on 8 December 1915. For his contributions as a surgeon, the main street in Wimereaux is named “Rue McCrae”.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchPoetry & Literature* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted May 26, 2014 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This is just wow--watch it all.

Filed under: * General InterestAnimalsPhotos/Photography* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted May 21, 2014 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The announcement by Quebec radio host Joel Legendre that, later this summer, he and his male partner, Junior Bombardier, would become the parents of twin baby girls has received much media attention. It’s reported that the babies were conceived using “an ovum bought from an American [gamete] bank” (if only one ovum was used, they are identical twins, if two, they are sibling twins) and are being carried by a Quebec surrogate mother, who became pregnant though in vitro fertilization (IVF) paid for by the Quebec government healthcare fund (RAMQ). What ethical issues does this scenario raise?

How should we view surrogate motherhood?

Quebec’s Civil Code provides that surrogate motherhood contracts are null and void ab initio, that is, cannot be enforced. That reflects the view that surrogacy is contrary to public policy and, therefore, not to be condoned or facilitated. Paid surrogacy degrades and exploits women, especially under-privileged ones who become a “breeder class”, commodifies children, and denigrates human reproduction.
- See more at: http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/surrogate_motherhood_creates_an_ethical_minefield#sthash.V24fFEst.Na6AyEv9.dpuf

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyScience & TechnologySexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted May 18, 2014 at 2:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Province of British Columbia formally apologized to Chinese Canadians Thursday for historical wrongs and racism dating back to Confederation.

Premier Christy Clark read the apology into the legislature, which was supported by the Opposition NDP and other MLAs.

“On behalf of the Province of British Columbia, and on behalf of the entire legislative assembly, we sincerely apologize for the provincial government’s historical wrongs,” said Clark.

“We are sorry for the discriminatory legislation and racist policies enacted by past provincial governments. We will ensure that this never happens again.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* International News & CommentaryAsiaChinaCanada* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted May 15, 2014 at 2:14 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the front rows, the graduating class sat enthralled. At the back other students shifted excitedly in their seats, some whispering agreement as Provan's language soared.

“I charge you, most seriously . . . [to] be dangerous to all who, in the pursuit of [false] gods, damage other people, and damage God's good creation. Be dangerous to the powerful who want to use and oppress the weak, and to the rich who want to use and oppress the poor.

“Be dangerous to those who diminish the importance of the individual person, in the womb or in the twilight years, or in between – to those who trample the individual soul, out of deference to the convenience of other family members, the health of the economy, the good of the state, or the well-being of the planet.” An Australian listening may be forgiven for thinking that Provan is calling for his young charges to oppose pretty well everything that marks business as usual on Macquarie Street. Normally it might not be fair to use a young man's education as predictive of his future course, but Regent College is not a normal school. Unlike most seminaries, Regent was created not to prepare its graduates to become clergy, but to give them an evangelical Christian education with a view to returning them to the secular world to serve God in their chosen professions.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZCanada* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologySeminary / Theological Education

2 Comments
Posted May 10, 2014 at 10:18 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The General Synod stipulated that the preparation of this motion should include a process of broad consultation. To facilitate this, a Commission on the Marriage Canon was formed. An important part of its mandate includes inviting submissions on the proposed change to Canon XXI (“On Marriage in the Church”).

Input from members of the Anglican Church of Canada is vital as the church enters this time of discernment. Commission chair, Canon Robert Falby, encourages broad participation in this process. “Commission members are aware of the strong feelings that many Anglicans have on the issues which it is looking at and we hope that we will receive input which reflects that spectrum.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted April 30, 2014 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Holy Trinity Cathedral is a monument to New Westminster’s past.

But to restore it to its former glory may require a modern solution.

The Anglican/Episcopalian church sits regally perched above Downtown at the top of Church Street.

It’s tucked away, surrounded by the police station, a nightclub, the Columbia SkyTrain station and high rises.

And now the congregation is hoping the city will be open to the idea of a plan that would put a residential tower on the site, and help them fix their church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyHousing/Real Estate Market* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted April 29, 2014 at 3:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Note that the content is not easy here--KSH.

As you can see in the graph below, regardless of the proposed relationship type, very few women showed interest in having a threesome with two men if given the opportunity....

Men’s desires told a different story. In the casual-sex context, men leapt at the opportunity to have a threesome with two women, their desires far surpassing the midpoint of the scale. Although this desire was lower for more involved relationship categories, men’s interest in an FMF (female-male-female) threesome still hovered at or slightly below the mid-point of the scale for both dating and committed relationship partners.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMenPsychologySexualityWomen* International News & CommentaryCanada


Posted April 6, 2014 at 7:32 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“We came to accept and to understand that we needed strengths beyond our awareness and resources to restore us to sanity.”

Six men who admit they are “powerless over alcohol” recited these words from Step 2 of a Canadian-created, secular Twelve Step program at the beginning of a recent meeting in West Vancouver.

Alcohol has devastated their lives; the impact extending to their partners and children. Yet over many years these men of various ages have got back on their feet — with the help of fellow members of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Not, they believe, with the help of God.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchAlcoholismReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsAtheismSecularism

3 Comments
Posted April 6, 2014 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Lord works in mysterious ways — but clearly, steeple builders are known to make some confounding decisions themselves.

It was just after the Second World War when the Town of Midnapore lost its most prominent symbol of heavenly devotion, the majestically tall steeple atop St. Paul’s Anglican Church.

Already 60 years old then, the little church beside Macleod Tr. had fallen victim to one of God’s creatures, great in number, and small enough to be a nuisance....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted April 5, 2014 at 2:29 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bob Kuhn, Trinity Western University’s newly-named president, says the degree of outright opposition to its new law school could mark the beginning of “a new era of persecution” against the Church in Canada.

“It’s sudden and swift and very powerful,” says Kuhn. “Having practiced law for close to 34 years, I have never seen anything quite like it in terms of the sea-change, a tsunami of societal offence against Christians and Christian views.”

In December, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada gave the school the green light. Now, three of its member-societies (British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia) are in the process of debating whether to allow TWU law school grads to article in their provinces. At issue is the university’s community covenant, which upholds biblical values on sexual relations. Many in the legal community interpret that as “anti-gay.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 3, 2014 at 6:56 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...there have been losses and disappointments along the way. Sirman highlighted the three biggest:

Artists and creators have lost their collective voice, the Canadian Conference of Arts. It predated the Massey Commission by four years. In its heyday it spoke for 400,000 artists and creators. Two years ago, it closed its doors. “It would be unfathomable (to Massey) that Canada’s cultural well-being is not sufficiently supported to sustain a national advocacy organization,” [Robert] Sirman said.

The second is Ottawa has lost interest in nurturing and showcasing Canadian culture. “We are living through an era of Own the Podium, not welcome the world,” he noted sadly.

The third is that Canadians don’t seem to care. “Canada has become a materialistic society.” The desire for a balance between what Massey called spiritual assets and economic assets no longer exists.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchArtHistoryMusicPoetry & LiteratureReligion & CultureTheatre/Drama/Plays* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted April 2, 2014 at 3:19 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When Anglicans and Catholics recently gathered to discuss their differing beliefs about the Eucharist, the atmosphere was notably friction-free.

"It's awkward to talk about our differences because we can't do anything about them in terms of resolving them," said Christophe Potworowski, Redeemer Pacific College theology professor. "It's not really in our hands. The point is really how to live with those differences."

He and the Rev. Richard Leggett of St. Faith's Anglican Church shared their ideas about communion with about 100 hundred people March 23. Much of what they discussed covered areas of mutual agreement.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* International News & CommentaryCanada* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologySacramental TheologyEucharist

0 Comments
Posted March 31, 2014 at 3:18 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I have been called several times in the last few days, including by journalists, for opinions on our involvement in Afghanistan. The most often asked question is rather simplistic – understandable when a story has to fit into the bookends of other news events, but revealing in that Canadians desire that 12 years should be summarized into a thumbs-up or thumbs-down question. It is also indicative of the collective national withdrawal symptom and its accompanying amnesia.

To that simple question – “Was it worth it?” – the answer is yes. Afghanistan is far better off than what it was in 2001 by almost every possible metric. Certainly, many have died and continue to do so through insurgent actions and improvised explosive devices. Undeniably governance is weak and corruption embedded, but there are no longer public amputations and executions, there is no longer ethnic repression on the scale there once was, health care has improved and there remains a sense of hope. Hope that women won’t just be chattel once again and girls can continue to be schooled, hope that governance will improve, and hope that the roots of democracy and of an improving economic condition can continue to grow.

The Canadian Forces, our police and our diplomats did what they were asked and aside from the broader legacy it can be said that Canada’s presence in Kandahar prevented a Taliban takeover and that Canada set the conditions for the subsequent U.S. surge.

Read it all from the Globe and Mail.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralWar in Afghanistan* International News & CommentaryAsiaAfghanistanCanada

0 Comments
Posted March 15, 2014 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Robed in a flowing, full-length purple cassock, the Rev. Canon Melissa Skelton stood with her back to the crowd of over a thousand people in Vancouver's Convention Centre last Saturday and faced her inquisitors: fifteen bishops of the Anglican Church. She answered each of their questions in a clear, confident voice.

The slim, grey-haired grandmother was about to be ordained as Vancouver's first female Anglican bishop. Formerly a brand manager for Procter & Gamble, Skelton is also the first businessperson -- and first American -- to be made Bishop of the Diocese of New Westminster, headquartered at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Vancouver.

As a Roman Catholic, I attended Melissa Skelton's investiture partly out of curiosity and partly in solidarity. It was the first time I'd participated in an Anglican service and I was struck by the similarities with my own tradition; the prayers and responses were practically identical.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

1 Comments
Posted March 10, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Anglican Archbishop Stanley Ntagali of Uganda was a strong supporter of the final bill there. He was among the religious leaders who recommended changes in 2010 to make it less harsh by removing the death penalty, reducing the sentencing guidelines and deleting a clause on reporting homosexual behavior.

On Wednesday (March 5), Ntagali denied reports that the province was considering breaking away from the Anglican Communion. According to the primate, the fabric of the Anglican Communion was torn in 2003 when the Episcopal Church in the United States consecrated Gene Robinson as bishop in New Hampshire.

“Not only was this against the Bible, but it went against the agreed position of the Anglican Communion,” Ntagali said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsImmigrationPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaAmerica/U.S.A.CanadaEngland / UKEurope* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted March 7, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Canadians are in a funk. Things are better than ever, but people are feeling worse. “The trend lines are disturbing,” EKOS pollster Frank Graves wrote recently, reporting that public pessimism is deepening. “… Only around 10 per cent of Canadians and Americans think the next generation will enjoy a better quality of life.”

Well, maybe they will or maybe they won’t. Meantime, this generation is doing pretty well. Despite recessions, globalization and the inexorable rise of the robots, most of us never had it so good. In 2011, the median real income for Canadian two-parent families with two earners was $100,000 – $13,000 higher than in 2000. The annual average unemployment rate is down to 7 per cent. Despite the soaring cost of housing, nearly 70 per cent of us have an ownership stake in our own homes.

So what’s our problem?...

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenGlobalizationMarriage & FamilyPsychologyScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeHousing/Real Estate MarketLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPersonal Finance* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 6, 2014 at 3:34 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Canadians are “split into haves and have-nots by marriage lines,” the report concludes. “The big story is that Canadian are divided along marriage lines by income, and that share of marriage has remained remarkably stable among high income earners,” says co-author Peter Jon Mitchell, a senior researcher.

Among its recommendations: The government should “consider tax initiatives and youth education campaigns that promote marriage,” better work-life balance in workplace practices, and even support for marriage counselling, an approach adopted recently in Australia. Certainly, there’s an economic and social value in helping families stay together, especially when kids are involved.

But are Canadians split along marriage lines, or is income influence how they approach marriage? The Institute study argues “there is evidence for both.” But if it’s the latter, then encouraging the swapping of vows is not a particularly useful poverty measure on its own, as researchers in the United States have observed.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilySociology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPersonal Finance* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 1, 2014 at 10:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Married couples will be able to draft their own DIY divorce settlements using an officially-approved financial formula without having to fight over details in court under plans put before ministers today.

Under proposals put forward by the Government’s legal reviewer, prenuptial agreements would become legally binding in England and Wales for the first time.

The Law Commission is also urging the Government to consider devising a specific numerical formula which separating couples could use to calculate how to divide their assets.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyPsychology* International News & CommentaryCanadaEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 27, 2014 at 4:34 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Philadelphia, which imposed a calorie-label law in 2010, provides a good case study of the law’s impact. Researchers studied 2,000 McDonald’s and Burger King customers after it went into effect. The law made virtually no difference in the calorie count of food that people purchased or the number of times they ate at the restaurants. About 60 per cent of them didn’t even notice.

In another study, researchers at Carnegie Mellon wondered whether more information might help. So they gave McDonald’s customers pamphlets with recommended calorie intakes for a single meal and for a day. Nothing changed. Despite their new-found knowledge, a third of the customers continued to eat 1,000-plus-calorie meals. The researchers also found that people of healthy weights made the same choices as obese people.

“It is hard to counteract the fact that fast food is cheap and tastes pretty good,” Dr. Brian Elbel, lead researcher for the Philadelphia study, was quoted as saying. “We need to consider other, more robust interventional policies in places where obesity is most prevalent.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDieting/Food/NutritionLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted February 25, 2014 at 11:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Roman Catholics in Ottawa are no longer permitted to deliver eulogies during funeral Masses, the local archbishop has decreed.

The Feb. 2 decree from Archbishop Terrence Prendergast reminds the faithful that Catholics gather at funerals “not to praise the deceased, but to pray for them.”

Contrary to popular belief, eulogies “are not part of the Catholic funeral rites, particularly in the context of a funeral liturgy within Mass,” the decree stated. Many Catholics, it pointed out, do not know this.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

2 Comments
Posted February 24, 2014 at 11:22 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A cradle Anglican who grew up in the small, progressive congregation of Christ the King Church in Burnaby, B.C., Clark has since attended every type of Anglican church and pretty well every other type of worship site, from temples to synagogues and mosques. Once a student of comparative religion at the University of Edinburgh, the premier remains fascinated by other traditions of worship and the doctrines that underpin them. She considers it a privilege of her office that when she travels, she's often invited to worship with people of other faiths.

Still, she finds plenty of variety in her own fold. "The Anglican church has many different faces of worship, but whether the service features a rock band, a beautiful choir or a spare liturgy, there is always the same basic element of tradition, which for me is very important," she says. The familiar patterns offer her a respite from the agendas and stratagems of political office and an entry point into meditation. "The repetitiveness of worship helps draw us into a space where we are thinking about faith and what it means," she says. "The prayers, the psalms draw me to the familiar and make it much easier for me to be contemplative."
- See more at: http://www.anglicanjournal.com/articles/christy-clark-natural-born-politician-of-faith#sthash.SeCGNYN4.dpuf

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted February 19, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For those in positions of leadership in over a dozen churches in..[Pictou County] it’s been a tough job knowing when to do what.

Declining membership, coupled with population decline, migration, rising heating costs and a decline in those practising Christianity, has caused churches of all stripes to re-examine themselves, their mission and their facilities.

Archdeacon Peter Armstrong of Christ Anglican Church in Stellarton believes this is part of a continuing cultural shift that began 40 years ago.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyHousing/Real Estate Market* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted February 12, 2014 at 7:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Among 1,068 Canadian adults who go to church at least once a month:

29% say they set aside time daily to pray.
22% say they pray at a set time a few times a week.
18% say they rarely or never set aside time for prayer.
55% say they pray at the spur of the moment throughout the day.


Read it all and follow the links also.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted February 5, 2014 at 3:21 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted February 5, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[In this next video report]...one brother competes and the other is cheering him on, that could be said of a lot of olympic athletes, but for Alex Bilodeau who won a gold medal in Canada yea years past it is all about the remarkable bond we first learned about in the last winter games; Bob Costas has more.

Watch it all--fantastic and heartwarming.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineMarriage & FamilyPsychologySports* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 1, 2014 at 2:27 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“Welcome. God’s Peace to All who enter this place,” reads Rev. Canon John Wilton’s message posted on a sign near the church’s front doors.

Wilton took over as interim pastor two years ago following a controversy in which the Anglican diocese removed the church’s former rector.

Its parishioners come from all walks of life. Some reside in the area and have been members of the congregation for a half-century. Others live in neighbourhoods across Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville and Stouffville. Many are former members of St. Agnes’ Long Branch, which the Diocese closed several years ago, and of Christ Church Mimico, lost in recent years to fire.

Most of the parish’s leadership are 15- to 20-year congregants.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchMusicReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted January 27, 2014 at 6:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On Tuesday, a National Assembly committee will begin hearings on Quebec’s secular charter bill, setting off another round of fiery public debate over freedom of conscience and religion versus gender equality. The proposals tabled by the Parti Québécois minority government – which include prohibiting public servants from wearing overt religious symbols such as the hijab, kippa or crucifix – have deeply divided Quebeckers, even within the sovereignty movement.

More than 250 individuals and groups have submitted briefs, and most requested to appear before the committee. With more than 200 hours set aside for the submissions, the hearings will last several weeks and could become a backdrop to an early spring election. Some groups and individuals have influenced the debate, even though they may not appear before the committee.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 14, 2014 at 10:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Enjoy it all (hat tip: BC).

Filed under: * General InterestAnimals* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted January 10, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In much of the world this is a time of new beginnings. In Afghanistan, it is time to mark the beginning of an end: A dozen year commitment of foreign troops to fight the Taliban will wind down this year, meaning 51,000 American soldiers are poised to take their leave from a conflict that appears to be stumbling towards a stalemate, or worse.

The Afghanistan mission has been the longest military engagement in American history. For Canada, which saw 30,000 of its soldiers pass through the country over nine and a half years, it is the largest military operation since the Second World War. One hundred and fifty-eight Canadian soldiers and four civilians died, and by the end of 2010, a total of 1,859 military members had been wounded.

Those grim figures are just part of the reason why Afghanistan’s future should still matter – to Canada and its allies.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralWar in Afghanistan* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaAfghanistanCanada* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 6, 2014 at 3:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Critics had specifically pointed to Trinity's Community Covenant Agreement, which says students should abstain from "sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman".

The university "reserves the right to discipline, dismiss or refuse a student's re-admission" if the agreement is broken.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted December 21, 2013 at 10:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Not only did the British Columbia Court of Appeal rule recently to uphold the Criminal Code section banning assisted suicide and euthanasia, key parts of the majority decision echoed the actual words of pro-life intervenors in the case.

“To see the court reflect very closely the language we introduced in our oral arguments concerning the Charter values of the sanctity and dignity of human life is incredibly satisfying,” says Evangelical Fellowship of Canada legal counsel Faye Sonier.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 17, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Watch it all--thoughtfully and carefully.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

1 Comments
Posted December 12, 2013 at 6:57 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The female American priest chosen as the new bishop for the Vancouver-area Anglican diocese says she attracts people to her church who have been “wounded” by other Christian traditions.

Rev. Melissa Skelton, who leads St. Paul's Episcopal parish in Seattle, Washington, was elected a bishop in Canada on the third ballot at a vote held Saturday at Christ Church Anglican Cathedral in downtown Vancouver.

Skelton will replace retired Anglican bishop Michael Ingham, who was at the centre of a storm within the 60-million-member worldwide Anglican communion when he became the first Anglican bishop to formally support the blessing of same-sex couples.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada

3 Comments
Posted December 1, 2013 at 12:16 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Remembrance Day is one of the most important days we have on our national calendar – a time, as the leaves fall and take us into winter, to reflect back on the men and women who have given it all for their country, community, family and friends.

It’s a tribute to a simple truth in life: Ordinary men and women are what make a difference in the world, in big and small ways.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted November 11, 2013 at 5:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Quebec’s governing party introduced legislation Thursday that would ban public employees from wearing “overt and conspicuous” religious garb, such as headscarves, yarmulkes, large crosses and turbans.

The so-called “Charter of Values” also would require all Canadians living in the province of Quebec to have their faces uncovered when they receive state-funded services, including health care and education. Several other countries have considered restrictions on religious attire, including France, which has banned full veils in public places and headscarves in schools.

The Quebec proposal already has sparked protests and political opposition. Much of the public debate over the charter has focused on the measure’s potential impact on immigrants and their religious beliefs and practices.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryCanada

1 Comments
Posted November 9, 2013 at 12:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

After it sparked controversy and opposition from a number of area residents, the Anglican diocese is scrapping plans to build a subsidized housing facility in a south west Edmonton neighbourhood....

The decision came after news of the project sparked rising tensions in the neighbourhood.

“We don’t think the project can be successful in this particular place,” Anglican Bishop Jane Alexander said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyHousing/Real Estate Market* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted November 6, 2013 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Like lots of people, when October 31 rolls around, Trey Capnerhurst dons a pointy hat and doles out candy to children who darken the door of her cottage in Alberta.

But she’s not celebrating Halloween. In fact, she kind of hates it.

Capnerhurst says she’s a real, flesh-and-blood witch, and Halloween stereotypes of witches as broom-riding hags drive her a bit batty.

“Witches are not fictional creatures,” the 45-year-old wrote in a recent article....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsWicca / paganism* Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 31, 2013 at 3:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Anglican bishops in Quebec have urged the provincial government to withdraw its controversial “medical aid in dying” bill saying it could present risks for the vulnerable, including the elderly, people suffering from clinical depression and those with disabilities.

Bishops Dennis Drainville (Diocese of Quebec) and Barry Clarke (Diocese of Montreal) acknowledged, “the emotional and challenging circumstances that have led the government to consider the legalization of physician-assisted suicide.”

However, they said, “we share, with other members of society, concern for the protection of human persons from chronic pain and respect for human dignity.”


Read it all and follow the link to the Bishop's full open letter.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted October 16, 2013 at 4:18 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There is a new and significant piece of evidence in the social science debate about gay parenting and the unique contributions that mothers and fathers make to their children’s flourishing. A study published last week in the journal Review of the Economics of the Household—analyzing data from a very large, population-based sample—reveals that the children of gay and lesbian couples are only about 65 percent as likely to have graduated from high school as the children of married, opposite-sex couples. And gender matters, too: girls are more apt to struggle than boys, with daughters of gay parents displaying dramatically low graduation rates.

Unlike US-based studies, this one evaluates a 20 percent sample of the Canadian census, where same-sex couples have had access to all taxation and government benefits since 1997 and to marriage since 2005.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & Family* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted October 16, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Filed under: * International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted October 14, 2013 at 7:39 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, bishop of the diocese of Kaduna in Nigeria, said he believes there are extreme conservatives and liberals within the Communion, but a majority of about 70 per cent of Anglicans are in the middle and want the Communion to hold together.

Idowu-Fearon, in speaking about the Communion’s instruments of unity—the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Primates’ Meeting and the Anglican Consultative Council—offered suggestions for making them more effective, including creating a commission to decide whether the Lambeth Conference should be designed for talk or decision-making; giving the Archbishop of Canterbury direct oversight of the Anglican Consultative Council; and the idea that each primate could come to the Primates’ Meeting, accompanied and advised by both a liberal and a conservative on controversial issues.

“I think, as Anglicans, it is about time we stopped running away from the fact that we are two groups—the liberal and the conservatives,” Idowu-Fearon said. The primates might not agree, but there is an opportunity for building understanding, he said, adding that recommendations from the Primates’ Meeting could then be taken to the Anglican Consultative Council, like a synod. “If this Communion has a mission, which is to unite the church, we must learn to accommodate one another,” he said. “The conservatives have been very arrogant, the liberals have been very despotic, and I believe we both need to ask the world for forgiveness…”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Culture-WatchGlobalizationHistory* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyEcclesiology

0 Comments
Posted October 7, 2013 at 8:36 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Even though its most virulent critics raise the spectre of “Canadian-style” health care, “Obamacare” does little to change the enduring differences between the two health care system. What, exactly, does “Obamacare” look like compared to Canada?...

Not cost containment: The sharpest critics of Obamacare argue it does little to address the fundamental challenge of cost control. The new law includes a review of Medicare reimbursement and the expansion of Accountable Care Organizations to reward cost-effective care. But it doesn’t grapple in a systematic fashion with the overall inefficiencies in health care delivery and financing, the administrative burden of multiple payers, providers and plans, and the cost pressures of defensive medicine. Governments in Canada know that health care is a searing financial responsibility, but they have at their disposal cost containment measures – monopoly fee negotiations with providers, global budgets for hospitals – that remain unfathomable in the American context.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & Medicine--The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeThe U.S. GovernmentPolitics in GeneralHouse of RepresentativesOffice of the PresidentSenate* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.Canada* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted October 3, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I write to you at a time when the question of the values that underpin society are under active discussion in Quebec in response to the proposed Charter of Quebec Values. The churches of Synode Montréal & Ottawa Conference are in my prayers, as are all the people in Quebec in all their diversity.

The debate about the charter offers our church the opportunity to clearly express its values and beliefs—to state publicly our commitment to creating inclusive and respectful communities with our neighbours of all faiths and of no faith. Therefore, I am grateful to Synode Montréal &Ottawa Conference for its open letter to Quebec Premier Pauline Marois and to Montreal Presbytery for its news release on the matter. I am aware that Quebec-Sherbrooke Presbytery and the Consistoire Laurentien are also discussing responses.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada* Religion News & CommentaryOther Churches

0 Comments
Posted October 2, 2013 at 9:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"Any time you can take an insult and make it your own, it's a win," explains Bolz-Weber, who speaks in Winnipeg Friday, Oct. 4 and Saturday, Oct. 5.

And she's not the only one who believes in transforming words, and even lives. On her recent book tour promoting her new bestselling memoir, Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint, the recovering alcoholic and former stand-up comic has attracted crowds of up to 900 people wanting to hear her story, and maybe share some of theirs.

"I think people are eager to have a whole life faith, to have the sacred story connected with their reality," explain Bolz-Weber of the huge response to her book, which exposes her struggle with drugs and alcohol, her move to faith, and her efforts to stay there.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* International News & CommentaryCanada* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesLutheran

1 Comments
Posted September 29, 2013 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Perhaps what we’re seeing is a schism in the atheist church between the crushers and the appeasers. Prof. Dawkins loathes my own brand of happy-clappy, can’t-we-all-just-get-along atheism, which sees room in the world for the believer and the non-believer alike. “These vicarious second-order believers,” he writes in The God Delusion, “… their zeal pumped up by ingratiating broad-mindedness.” If you want to infuriate him, just say, “I’m an atheist, but …”

The thing is, if the crushers want to draw people to a life based on reason and not faith, you’d think they would learn from religion’s mistakes – contempt and recrimination are not great seduction techniques. Much better to take a lesson from the Sunday Assembly, the atheist congregation in London, which wants people to “live better, help often and wonder more.” As long as they show up on time, that is: “Latecomers go straight to hell!” Now those are people I wouldn’t mind having over for dinner.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsAtheism

0 Comments
Posted September 25, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Watch and listen to it all and then you may Read all about it there (via Robert Krulwich) in which among other things is said: "With no apologies to Queen, this is Tim's "A Capella Science" take on String Theory set to Bohemian Rhapsody. He calls it "Bohemian Gravity." He's 23. He wrote this. He sang this. He designed this. He's amazing."

WOWOW.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMusicScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryCanada

1 Comments
Posted September 25, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

More than 15,000 packed Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens. Crowds thronged the lobby of the Royal York Hotel. Two hundred reporters scrambled for news and The Globe and Mail splashed the story on its front page.

Not for the Beatles or Muhammad Ali, but a congress of the Anglican Church.

It was late summer, 1963...Today, the church lives in reduced circumstances. The latest figures from the National Household Survey showed just more than 5 per cent of Canadians identify as Anglican, and only a third of those are actually on parish rolls.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted September 21, 2013 at 8:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The unexpectedly rapid civil acceptance of same-sex marriage in the West may lead one to imagine that the issue is somehow already settled. Whatever doubts one may have had, they have been swept away by the overwhelming flood of changed public opinion. Fait accompli. Traditional Christians must simply step aside now.

Such a judgment would be a mistake. Indeed, far from the matter being settled, at least form a Christian perspective it has hardly been engaged, despite claims to the contrary by proponents of same-sex marriage. What we have had instead is a bait-and-switch set of tactics, first seeking civil and religious recognition and affirmation somehow of same-sex attractions, then pressing for ordinations, then blessings of unions. What comes next? The question of a “slippery slope” is hardly a fallacy here, for in this case we have a historical track-record of legal advocacy and movement that stands as quite rational “evidence” for the slope’s existence.

All the while, most discussions claimed that “marriage” was never nor could be ever the issue at stake. But here we are: changes to “marriage canons” and Prayer Books are now in the works. At this stage the advocates of change are merciful enough to suggest “conscience clauses” for those who disagree.

“Disagree” how, exactly? What happened? Was a carefully developed argument offered, studied, engaged consultatively across lines of commitment and ecclesial fellowship, and then adopted by a kind of consensual accord? Of course not! Failure to persuade on the part of same-sex advocates has simply been reinterpreted as “legitimate decision in the face of minority dissent”.

What is key to remember is that no sustained argument or persuasive action has taken place on the matter of same-sex marriage.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyPsychologyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.Canada* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologySacramental TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted September 17, 2013 at 3:51 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Quebec’s government this week introduced its much-discussed Charter of Quebec Values, which would ban “overt and conspicuous” religious symbols worn by government employees.

Pushing the twin ideals of secularism and separation from Canada, the Parti Quebecois’ plan would prohibit public employees from wearing large crosses and crucifixes, Islamic headscarves, Sikh turbans and Jewish yarmulkes as a way to establish “religious neutrality” in public.

The prohibitions would apply to civil servants, teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, doctors, nurses and public day care employees.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

3 Comments
Posted September 13, 2013 at 11:14 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The old church, built in 1894, has been a centre of controversy in the town for several years. The Anglican diocese wants to tear down the building, but the Town of Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s has passed motions to have it preserved due to its heritage.

In March 2010, the issue made national headlines when an unknown person, or persons, sawed through the church’s steeple, sending it toppling to the ground, where it remains.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & CultureRural/Town Life* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted September 13, 2013 at 6:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The United States' competitiveness among global economies is rising again after four years of decline, though northern European countries continue to dominate the rankings published annually by the World Economic Forum.

In its latest survey, released Wednesday, the Forum ranked the U.S. — the world's largest economy — in fifth place for overall competitiveness, up from seventh last year. The U.S. turnaround reflects "a perceived improvement in the country's financial market as well as greater confidence in its public institutions," the report concluded....

Six European countries dominated the top 10: Switzerland, Finland, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. The remaining three slots were Asian: Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationGlobalizationScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomy* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.CanadaEngland / UKEurope

1 Comments
Posted September 4, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

All of our students are at-risk. For what, you might ask? Because of illiteracy or low literacy, many are at risk for dropping out of school, getting involved in gang life, substance abuse and addiction, jail, domestic violence, sexual exploitation, pregnancy, STDs, and death.

But our staff—missionaries, really—love the students with the love Jesus has poured into them. We feed the students breakfast and lunch, or some would have nothing. We teach them to read and do math. We study the Bible and sing worship songs. We play games with these children who haven't really ever had a childhood....

We are St. Aidan's Christian School. Our city? Not Khartoum, Sudan. Not El Salvador. No, it's Winnipeg. In Canada.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationReligion & CultureTeens / Youth* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted August 27, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"Everyday there's someone who comes into the store [and asks], 'Do you know who is selling the church?' And I said, 'You're looking at her' and then the questions come, they give me their names and numbers," Shanoha said.

[Denise] Shanoha said some, like her, want to turn the old church into a business, but she added that others have expressed interest in converting it into a residence.

Converting old churches into homes is happening in other Manitoba communities, like in Garson, where a century-old limestone building was purchased by Paul Bilsky in 2004.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyHousing/Real Estate Market* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted August 20, 2013 at 11:12 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Canadians are increasingly working while on vacation, according to a recent study by Regus PLC, a global provider of flexible workplaces. The study found that 53 per cent of the Canadian professionals who responded would work one to three hours a day while on holiday. While entrepreneurs and freelancers have been taking so-called “workations” for years, now more Canadian nine-to-fivers are using the increased flexibility that technology offers to travel while continuing to work at their full-time jobs from the road. Workations allow people to travel the world without sacrificing their careers, explains Wes Lenci, a vice-president at Regus Canada, who cites significant benefits such as boosted creativity from the exposure to different cultures as well as stress reduction for employees.

But while Mr. [Tony ] Vlismas confirms technology is “absolutely important” to a workation, he found he wasn’t as reliant on technology as he expected. When in Toronto, where he also keeps a flexible schedule, he’s constantly available on his devices, but when he travels to places such as that remote Greek island, he’s in a different time zone and has limited Wi-Fi and spotty cellphone coverage. He simply makes do by setting up his calls in advance or letting people know the best times to reach him.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyAnthropology

1 Comments
Posted August 2, 2013 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the Rev. Laurette Glasgow's world things may always be changing, but the basic realities tend to stay the same. As special advisor for government relations for the Anglican Church of Canada since March 2012, Glasgow has seen her position evolve as both she and the church learned what it was to have an ‘ambassador' to the federal government.

"Sometimes it grows organically," says Glasgow, "and that's what we always thought... that two years down the road we'd look back and say ‘it's a bit different than what we thought it was.' But the fundamental elements are the same, the fundamental elements of relationship building, of building bridges, or interpreting the church to power, and interpreting power to the church."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 28, 2013 at 11:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When is ignorance bliss? For some it's when the subject is religion.

How many times have you heard someone remark, almost proudly, they know virtually nothing about religion? As if the deep convictions of four out of five of the world's inhabitants were beneath them. Resistance to inter-religious understanding remains strong, judging from continuing global conflicts - and the shortage of courses about religion in the vast majority of North American public schools.

And also judging by the rotten eggs some pundits and activists have tossed at Quebec's five-year-old "ethics and religious culture" curriculum. It requires all students to take classes in religious and secular world views.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationGlobalizationReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted July 25, 2013 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The main plotline is the continued falling away of Canadians from the Christian religion. From the 1860s to the 1960s, Canada was one of the most observant Christian countries on earth. Through the 1940s, weekly church attendance was well above 60% (versus about 40% in the U.S.) and a broad cultural consensus existed around Christian values, institutions, customs, and religious language. As late as the 1970s, Canadian public school children recited the Lord's Prayer at the start of every morning, and into the 1980s the Lord's Day was observed by acts that bore its name—businesses were kept closed and entertainments curtailed to foster both worship for the faithful and rest for the weary.

The tight link between Canada and Christian piety has evaporated as Canadians have raced the Dutch for the fastest de-Christianization since the French Revolution. Yes, Quebec led the way with its Quiet Revolution—its rapid and radical secularization in the 1960s. The national story is simply an Even Quieter Revolution of slow, but sure, abandonment of Christian identity by older people and an increasing number of younger people who have never known the inside of a church and are in no hurry to see it.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada

1 Comments
Posted July 24, 2013 at 9:04 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

One of the best new books out there – “something close to a non-fiction masterpiece,” according to a New York Times reviewer – is The Unwinding by George Packer....The book’s author is not an American declinist. There have been other unravellings; rebuilds inevitably follow. But the context is different now. America’s greatest century is behind it. Its degree of dominance will likely never be the same.

In response to all this, how does Canada, the big neighbour to the north, position itself?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.Canada

0 Comments
Posted July 23, 2013 at 3:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

They sing from the United Church hymnbook, practise communion according to Anglican traditions, organize themselves according to Mennonite sensibilities and are served by a Presbyterian minister.
For half a century, the folks at Pinawa Christian Fellowship -- PCF for short -- have been happily multidenominational, and they have no plans to change their ecumenical ways.

"It works this way because we've done it for 50 years," says retired scientist Roger Dutton, an Anglican member of PCF for 45 years.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted July 22, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“These things always start with budget cuts, don’t they?” Baroness Diana Warwick said with a wry, not-quite-cynical smile over a cup of tea in the restaurant of an Ottawa hotel.

She was starting an explanation of how tuition fees of more than $15,000 a year became the poster child for change in higher education in a country once known as the birthplace of the welfare state, and still famously associated with the origins of the modern university.

But the former head of the umbrella group Universities UK might as easily have been talking about the reason she was in Ottawa this late June morning: a conference organized in part by the University of Alberta to discuss the forces sweeping post-secondary education around the world.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducation* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted July 20, 2013 at 10:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The BC Coroners Service has confirmed the cause of death for Cory Monteith.

Post-mortem testing, which included an autopsy and toxicological analysis, found that Mr. Monteith, aged 31, died of a mixed drug toxicity, involving heroin and alcohol.....

It should be noted that at this point there is no evidence to suggest Mr. Monteith’s death was anything other than a most-tragic accident. When the investigation is concluded, a Coroners Report will be issued.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchAlcohol/DrinkingDrugs/Drug AddictionMovies & TelevisionYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted July 17, 2013 at 6:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Musi-Café in Lac-Mégantic was always the sort of place where people liked to gather on a summer night. The music was good, the food hit the spot, and the taps ran 25 brands of draft beer. Three years ago, when he was 32, the club’s owner, Yannick Gagné, got tired of leasing, bought the building and doubled the club’s floor space in time for its 10th anniversary. Friday, July 5, seemed like another good day. At lunch Gagné had his photo taken with Christian Paradis, the federal industry minister, who happened to be in town. Later, crowds gathered for two different birthday parties.

The place was at its capacity of around 180 for dinner, but started to quiet down later in the evening. “It was a beautiful evening, but the place wasn’t completely packed,” Gagné said later. He went home shortly after midnight. There were perhaps 50 people still inside and another 30 on the patio. When he got home, Gagné emailed his pregnant wife, 23-year old Lisandra Arencibia Tamayo, telling her she should stop collecting the cover charge at the door and join him at their home less than 700 m from the Musi-Café. Tamayo arrived, fell asleep on the couch—and minutes later, they heard an explosion.

That fireball was only the first of many as a pretty summer night turned to hell. A 72-car train with five locomotives had rolled downhill, unattended, from Nantes, the next town up the road. Each of the tanker cars held tens of thousands of litres of light crude oil.

Read it all.


Filed under: * International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted July 13, 2013 at 12:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This is no ordinary choir.

Formed two years ago as part of Theatre Terrific’s mandate to provide inclusive arts education to adults with physical and mental disabilities, as well as anyone else interested in learning to sing, the choir includes a diverse membership. Four members sit in wheelchairs with various conditions such as muscular dystrophy or adrenoleukodystrophy, also known as locked-in body syndrome. Others have developmental challenges such as autism or Down syndrome, while others still have no diagnosed labels at all.

“It’s a place where anyone from any background and any sort of various challenges that they have, they can come and sing,” explains [James] Coomber, the choir’s musical director and executive director of Theatre Terrific.

Read it all (and I sure loved the video).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineMusicPsychologyUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted July 9, 2013 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In spite of assurances from Bishops and senior church officers that a change to the marriage canon would not be pursued at the 2013 General Synod, two members from the Diocese of Nova Scotia will do exactly that.

The motion reads:
Be it resolved that this General Synod direct the Council of General Synod to prepare and present a motion at General Synod 2016 to change Canon XXI on Marriage to allow the marriage of same sex couples in the same way as opposite sex couples . . . (Resolution #C003)

It offers this defense:
It has been 6 years since General synod last debated this issue. Since then, some dioceses have proceeded in a manner they deemed necessary to meet the local pastoral and other needs with respect to the blessing of same sex civil marriages. It has been over 10 years since such civil marriages were legal in Canada. The general public has become much more accepting of same sex unions since we last discussed it. This is also true of the church, though not, of course, universally so....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

1 Comments
Posted July 6, 2013 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In Canadian eyes, Calgary has not exactly been synonymous with cosmopolitanism.

Located some 200 miles north of Montana, the western city has long been condescended to by eastern elites in metropolitan cities like Toronto and Montreal, who cringed at its cowboy heritage, oil corporations, and conservative politics.

But these days, with Toronto's mayor stumbling through scandal and the now ex-mayor of Montreal facing corruption charges, many in the east look with envy at the wildly popular Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, a Harvard Kennedy School graduate, the first Muslim mayor of a major North American metropolis, and symbol of a city moving from cow-town stereotypes to something more cosmopolitan....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryCanada* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

0 Comments
Posted July 5, 2013 at 12:55 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Less than half of the Anglican Church's 30 Canadian dioceses bless same-sex marriages and not one performs same-sex marriages. The Saskatoon diocese does not bless same sex marriages.

[The Rev. Emily} Carr was married in a United church, not an Anglican Church.

"Getting married was a priority for me. It was something that I wanted to do. If it were to happen that I would lose my job - that was a possibility - I had to understand that was the decision I was making," she said. "Fortunately for me, that didn't happen."

She believes the Anglican Church still has a long way to go in terms GLBT rights.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryCanada


Posted June 9, 2013 at 1:08 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A few years ago, after one corruption scandal too many, the then Liberal government in Canada announced that, to prevent further outbreaks of malfeasance, it would be hiring 300 new federal auditors plus a bunch of ethics czars, and mandating “integrity provisions” in government contracts, including “prohibitions against paying, offering, demanding or accepting bribes.” There were already plenty of laws against bribery, but one small additional sign on the desk should do the trick: “Please do not attempt to bribe the Minister of the Crown as a refusal may offend. Also: He’s not allowed to bribe you, whatever he says.” A government that requires “integrity provisions” is by definition past the stage where they will do any good.

I thought of those Canadian Liberal “integrity provisions” passing a TV screen the other day and catching hack bureaucrats from the IRS Small Business/Self-Employed Division reassuring Congress that systems had now been put in place to prevent them succumbing to the urge to put on Spock ears and moob-hugging blue polyester for the purposes of starring in a Star Trek government training video. The Small Business/Self-Employed Division had boldly gone where no IRS man had gone before — to a conference in Anaheim, where they were put up in $3,500-a-night hotel rooms and entertained by a man who was paid $27,500 to fly in and paint on stage a portrait of Bono. Bono is the veteran Irish rocker knighted by the Queen for his tireless campaign on behalf of debt forgiveness, which doesn’t sound the IRS’s bag at all. But don’t worry, debt forgiveness-wise Bono has Africa in mind, not New Jersey. And, as Matthew Cowart tweeted me the other day, he did have a big hit with “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” which I believe is now the official anthem of the IRS Cincinnati office....

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchPsychology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe U.S. Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.Canada* TheologyAnthropology

3 Comments
Posted June 8, 2013 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

–Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

In thanksgiving for all those who gave their lives for this country in years past, and for those who continue to serve–KSH.

P.S. The circumstances which led to this remarkable poem are well worth remembering:

It is a lasting legacy of the terrible battle in the Ypres salient in the spring of 1915 and to the war in general. McCrea had spent seventeen days treating injured men -- Canadians, British, French, and Germans in the Ypres salient. McCrae later wrote: "I wish I could embody on paper some of the varied sensations of that seventeen days... Seventeen days of Hades! At the end of the first day if anyone had told us we had to spend seventeen days there, we would have folded our hands and said it could not have been done." The next day McCrae witnessed the burial of a good friend, Lieut. Alexis Helmer. Later that day, sitting on the back of an ambulance parked near the field dressing station, McCrea composed the poem. A young NCO, delivering mail, watched him write it. When McCrae finished writing, he took his mail from the soldier and, without saying a word, handed his pad to the Sergeant-major. Cyril Allinson was moved by what he read: "The poem was exactly an exact description of the scene in front of us both. He used the word blow in that line because the poppies actually were being blown that morning by a gentle east wind. It never occurred to me at that time that it would ever be published. It seemed to me just an exact description of the scene." Colonel McCrae was dissatisfied with the poem, and tossed it away. A fellow officer retrieved it and sent it to newspapers in England. The Spectator, in London, rejected it, but Punch published it on 8 December 1915. For his contributions as a surgeon, the main street in Wimereaux is named “Rue McCrae”.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchPoetry & Literature* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted May 27, 2013 at 6:06 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Spring may have sprung, but not all economists are sprightly about the outlook for the global economy.

In fact, as a Toronto audience heard Wednesday morning, the risk of a recession in Canada is “higher than normal,” the U.S. is set for “unspectacular” growth, Europe is poised for another downturn and even the BRIC countries will not be the economic drivers they had been in the past decade.

Those are the views of one of the more Eeyore-ish research firms around: London-based Capital Economics, whose conference Wednesday was entitled: “Is the world on the road to recovery?” (The answer: Sort of. But it will be a “long and fairly bumpy” road, one in which Europe is in danger of veering off).

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeHousing/Real Estate MarketLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* International News & CommentaryAfricaAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaCanadaEngland / UKEurope

1 Comments
Posted May 16, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A new national study shows that while Canada remains overwhelmingly Christian, Canadians are turning their backs on organized religion in ever greater numbers.

Results from the 2011 National Household Survey show that more than two-thirds of Canadians, or some 22 million people, said they were affiliated with a Christian denomination.

At 12.7 million, Roman Catholics were the largest single Christian group, representing 38 percent of Canadians; the second largest was the United Church, representing about 6 percent; while Anglicans were third, representing about 5 percent of the population.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted May 16, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As we prepare for the first Joint Assembly of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, we know that there are some who, like our ancestors in the faith, may be just a little dispirited as we face the challenges of our times. But just as surely as God's Spirit inspired the fi rst generation of believers, that same Spirit is working in us to give us the words to speak to one another and to those who are seeking something-dare we say, "Someone"-to believe in.

Our coming "Together for the Love of the World" will be a visible sign of the Spirit working in and among us. It will be time to take counsel together for the common good of both our churches and for the common good of our world. It will be a time to set our fears aside and arise with "bold new decisions."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsPentecost* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesLutheran

0 Comments
Posted May 15, 2013 at 6:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I stand before you not in any way a self-made man. I have been a product of a lot of people who have loved me and poured into me in a way that is transformed my life, not only as a small child, but as I’ve grown as an adult, and I would be remiss if I didn’t share . . . with you about that, in the hopes of leaving you with what I feel could be something that you could take and remember in an effort to make a difference in the lives of other people, which you inevitably will be called to do in some capacity.

So to that end, I got to a place where I was in my life about six years ago where I was at the end of myself. I have spent some time — I became a Christian when I was 13, but I didn’t have the follow-through that I needed — but nonetheless I found myself in the fall of 2006 at the steering wheel of a car with all the windows rolled up and a garden hose attached from the muffler to the passenger-side window in the hopes of ending it all. Why? Because I had done some things in my life and come to a place in my life where I had realized that I had made a lot of mistakes, and not only had I made a lot of mistakes, but I had been the victim of some things that are tough to wrap your arms around, a Christian or not. So I was in that place and I was about to turn the key and I really felt the Holy Spirit saying, “R.A., I’m not done with you yet. Don’t do that.” Like literally those words: “Do not do that.” And so as lonely as I felt in that moment at the steering wheel of a Chevrolet Cavalier, I never felt truly alone. I think there’s something to be said in that.

I share that with you and I’m vulnerable with you in this moment because I really believe that God has called me to be here for a reason. I do believe in divine appointments, I believe this is one of them.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureSports* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

0 Comments
Posted May 15, 2013 at 5:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Andrew Bennett, Canada’s Ambassador for Religious Freedom, today issued the following statement:

“Canada condemns the ongoing violence in Syria in light of the rise in attacks on religious groups over the last few weeks....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryCanadaMiddle EastSyria

0 Comments
Posted May 4, 2013 at 12:54 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of Niagara is suing a blogger over online material he claims was fashioned to hold the spiritual leader of 25,000 Anglicans up to ridicule and contempt.

The defamation lawsuit claims that Michael Bird, Hamilton-based bishop for the 90 parishes in the diocese, which includes Hamilton, has been pilloried on the blog as a weak, ineffectual leader, portrayed as a thief, described as having a sexual fetish and labelled an atheist.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetLaw & Legal IssuesChurch/State MattersReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada

6 Comments
Posted May 1, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In recent years, I often recall the first time I saw my dad pray. It was unsettling. I came upon him in church, where he was kneeling, his hands shading his eyes. He had a type of intensity that, at three or four years old, I had never seen before. Nor had I had ever seen him kneel before his God—or anyone else, for that matter.

My mind drifts back, because what I witness today in times of worship is such a contrast. My father was spiritual, as we might say today, but he was not very religious. It is not the memory of his posture that remains vividly with me; it was the demonstration of an aspect of his heart—a spiritual point of view—that captured my budding spiritual imagination. Today, we may kneel, but so many of us, I fear, have strayed far from the reverence of heart that our elders knew, not so long ago.

Our worship has been deeply influenced by a culture that is immersed in the consumption of media. We bring that point of view to our worship. What will it give me? What will I learn? Is it helpful? The focus has shifted from deity to the consumer.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spending* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 26, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A national Holocaust monument is to be erected near the Canadian War Museum on LeBreton Flats, the government announced Tuesday.

The memorial, on federal land at Wellington and Booth streets, will honour the approximately six million Jews and others persecuted and murdered by Nazis and their collaborators during the Second World War.

It “will be a testament to the importance of ensuring that the memory of the Holocaust is never lost,” Tim Uppal, minister of state for democratic reform, said in a statement after announcing the location during a ceremony at the neighbouring Canadian War Museum. The monument will go across the street, on the northeast corner of Booth Street.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsJudaism

0 Comments
Posted April 26, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Canadian police and intelligence agencies will announce later today they have thwarted a plot to carry out a major terrorist attack, arresting suspects in Ontario and Quebec, CBC News has learned.

Highly placed sources tell CBC News the alleged plotters have been under surveillance for more than a year in Quebec and southern Ontario.

The investigation was part of a cross-border operation involving Canadian law enforcement agencies, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesViolenceYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted April 22, 2013 at 12:52 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A major new study that tracked more than 12,000 Canadians over a period of 14 years has found that regular attendance of religious service offers significant protection against depression.

In an article published in the April issue of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, researchers at the University of Saskatchewan write that incidence of clinical depression was 22% lower among those who attended religious services at least once a month compared with people who never attended.

“Significantly fewer monthly attenders reported having episodes or a diagnosis of depression,” the authors write. “This … suggests a protective effect of religious attendance.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPsychologyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted April 15, 2013 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

St. Luke’s parishioners are renovating their old stone and brick church to reduce energy consumption and maximize their use of the space after an energy audit discovered they were practically throwing money out the front door.

“It was a wake up call more to realize that of course this is a serious issue,” said the minister at St. Luke’s Anglican Church, Rev. Gregor Sneddon. “Churches these days, which were at one time almost the fabric of culture and society, are now struggling for their existence and how they’re relevant and meaningful in a secular Western society. So the free lunch is kind of over and we’re wrestling with how do we be efficient and lean in our costs and how we operate.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEnergy, Natural Resources* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted April 13, 2013 at 12:19 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Rick Benisasia, who’s in the after-death business, is looking to build an empire.

Mr. Benisasia runs a South Asian-focused funeral home on Derry Road in Malton and wants to open a crematorium beside it. The land, money and demand is there, he says.

For more than three years, he’s waited for his rezoning application to be approved by the City of Mississauga. But a new Mississauga bylaw passed in March says new crematoriums must be a minimum of 300 metres from residential properties, due to concerns over the health effects from their emissions.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted April 10, 2013 at 1:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The local diocese of the Anglican Church has gone to Federal Court in a bid to reverse the federal health-care cuts to the refugee program.

In a hearing Wednesday in Federal Court in Winnipeg, the Rupert's Land Diocese made an application for judicial review, effectively asking the court to rule the Harper government cuts are a breach of contract with sponsoring organizations and order the government to keep them in place.

"All we want is a declaration of a breach (of contract)," lawyer David Matas told Federal Court Judge James O'Reilly during a two-hour hearing.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted February 9, 2013 at 11:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On Saturday, Feb. 2, the Anglican Church of Canada’s first National Indigenous Bishop, Mark MacDonald, will receive the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal at Queen’s Park, Toronto.

Created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne as Queen of Canada, the medal honours Canadians who have made significant contributions and achievements to the country.

MacDonald is being recognized for his “spiritual leadership while serving Aboriginal communities and his contributions to environmental awareness of Canadians,” said NDP MP Craig Scott (Toronto-Danforth), who nominated MacDonald. MacDonald will join 29 other community leaders who will be awarded the medal by Scott. Each Member of Parliament was given 30 medals to present to outstanding constituents in their communities.

“I am very blessed and surprised to receive this honour and very grateful to Craig Scott for his nomination,” said MacDonald in an interview. “It means a lot at a number of levels to me, some very personal, but, most importantly, recognizes and honours the vision of the elders for the future of the People of the Land.”

Congratulations to Bishop Macdonald--read it all (another from the long queue of should-have-already-been-posted material).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanadaEngland / UK

1 Comments
Posted February 8, 2013 at 6:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




Return to blog homepage

Return to Mobile view (headlines)