Posted by Kendall Harmon

(The title of the video by ABC is "Miracle in Hell"--KSH).

A New Zealand pastor and his wife have made it their mission to take on India’s billion-dollar sex industry by rescuing young prostitutes from one of the largest "red light" districts on Earth.

The streets of Sonagacchi in Kolkata, India, are home to more than 10,000 prostitutes, many of whom are teenage girls. Most are sold into the sex trade by their families.

Pastor Kerry Hilton and his wife, Annie, who have lived in Sonagacchi for about 15 years, said they were shocked when they first moved to India and stumbled upon them. They had no idea their apartment overlooked the largest sex bazaar in India -- until the sun went down.

"We felt that these women straight away were our neighbors," Kerry Hilton said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeMissionsParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchPovertyReligion & CultureSexualityTeens / YouthUrban/City Life and IssuesYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndiaAustralia / NZ

0 Comments
Posted April 24, 2014 at 4:41 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rev. Jimmy Gallant, Vicar of St. Andrew's Mission Church in Charleston, and the members of St. Andrew's were honored on April 22, 2014 during the Charleston County Sheriff's Office Awards Presentation. Gallant and members of his parish were recognized for the actions they took in caring for a homeless family this past January.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral Care* Culture-WatchChildrenDieting/Food/NutritionMarriage & FamilyPoverty* South Carolina

2 Comments
Posted April 23, 2014 at 5:59 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This Lent we, and thousands of others, made the rise of hunger in the UK the focus of our fasting. It has been a time of sorrowful and deep reflection on a rise we see every day in the numbers visiting food banks in towns and cities across the country.

The Trussell Trust figures, released today, only further illustrate this terrible rise, from 350,000 last year to over 900,000 this year. This figure, shocking as it is, is far from the total number of people going hungry in our country today – from those too ashamed to visit their local food bank to those many families not in crisis but ever more worried about keeping the cupboards full. One in four is cutting portion sizes and half are cutting their household food budgets.

Lent has finally seen the beginning of a real national discussion on what this hunger means, what causes it and how we as a society can begin rising to the challenge of this national crisis.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsHoly WeekLent* Culture-WatchDieting/Food/NutritionGlobalizationHunger/MalnutritionPovertyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 17, 2014 at 6:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The founder and CEO of FreshMinistries, a Jacksonville-based nonprofit that works to eradicate poverty, recently met with the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Rev. Dr. Robert V. Lee III and FreshMinistries Chief of Staff Shelly Marino met the Most Rev. Justin Welby, spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, at Lambeth Palace in England, according to a news release.

During the meeting, the three had "substantive discussions about replicating in other areas of the globe the successful efforts by FreshMinistries to eradicate poverty in marginalized areas," according to the release.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchGlobalizationPovertyReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 9, 2014 at 4:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On the first day of Archbishop Justin and Cardinal Nichols's week of prayer for the church's work serving the poor, watch Cardinal Nichols reflecting on today's prayer (Psalm 72) and Bible reading (John 13:2b-5, 12-15)

Listen to it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchPovertyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyTheology: Scripture

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Local people facing homelessness soon will be able to earn money by selling a news magazine with content about challenges they face and various social justice issues.

Founder Paul Gangarosa put up his own money and time to create The Lowcountry Herald, a monthly news magazine whose first 16-page issue should be published this week.

"I saw through the Great Recession how easy it is for anyone to become homeless," says Gangarosa, an adjunct professor at the College of Charleston who teaches public health. He also saw the concept of so-called street newspapers.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaPovertyUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

1 Comments
Posted March 30, 2014 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When smoking first swept the United States in the early decades of the 20th century, it took hold among the well-to-do. Cigarettes were high-society symbols of elegance and class, puffed by doctors and movie stars. By the 1960s, smoking had exploded, helped by the distribution of cigarettes to soldiers in World War II. Half of all men and a third of women smoked.

But as evidence of smoking’s deadly consequences has accumulated, the broad patterns of use by class have shifted: Smoking, the leading cause of preventable death in the country, is now increasingly a habit of the poor and the working class.

While previous data established that pattern, a new analysis of federal smoking data released on Monday shows that the disparity is increasing. The national smoking rate has declined steadily, but there is a deep geographic divide. In the affluent suburbs of Washington, only about one in 10 people smoke, according to the analysis, by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. But in impoverished places like this — Clay County, in eastern Kentucky — nearly four in 10 do.

Read it all (from the front page of the paper copy of today's New York Times).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicinePoverty* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingPersonal Finance

0 Comments
Posted March 25, 2014 at 11:25 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In March 1965, [Daniel Patrick] Moynihan, then 37 and assistant secretary of labor, wrote that “the center of the tangle of pathology” in inner cities — this was five months before the Watts riots — was the fact that 23.6 percent of black children were born to single women, compared with just 3.07 percent of white children. He was accused of racism, blaming the victims, etc.

Forty-nine years later, 41 percent of all American children are born out of wedlock; almost half of all first births are to unmarried women, as are 54 percent and 72 percent of all Hispanic and black births, respectively. Is there anyone not blinkered by ideology or invincibly ignorant of social science who disagrees with this:

The family is the primary transmitter of social capital — the values and character traits that enable people to seize opportunities. Family structure is a primary predictor of an individual’s life chances, and family disintegration is the principal cause of the intergenerational transmission of poverty.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyPoverty* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentPolitics in General* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 23, 2014 at 11:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There have long been stark economic differences between Fairfax County and McDowell. But as their fortunes have diverged even further over the past generation, their life expectancies have diverged, too. In McDowell, women’s life expectancy has actually fallen by two years since 1985; it grew five years in Fairfax.

“Poverty is a thief,” said Michael Reisch, a professor of social justice at the University of Maryland, testifying before a Senate panel on the issue. “Poverty not only diminishes a person’s life chances, it steals years from one’s life.”

That reality is playing out across the country. For the upper half of the income spectrum, men who reach the age of 65 are living about six years longer than they did in the late 1970s. Men in the lower half are living just 1.3 years longer.

This life-expectancy gap has started to surface in discussions among researchers, public health officials and Washington policy makers.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPovertyPsychology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingHousing/Real Estate MarketLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPersonal FinanceThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--Politics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 20, 2014 at 3:09 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of Leicester, Rt. Revd. Tim Stevens and the Bishop of Birmingham, Rt. Revd. David Urquhart, have released a joint statement today in response to the draft child poverty strategy issued by the government.

The Bishops said: "We welcome the Government's firm commitment to ending child poverty by 2020. The measures announced in this paper are a step in the right direction, though much more will need to be done to enable us to come close to achieving this very ambitious target. As the economy recovers we encourage the Government to pursue policies to ensure that the proceeds of growth will be shared by low income families with children, and by other groups that have been most adversely affected by the recession."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchPovertyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 1, 2014 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The impression is that if only poor people would organise their lives more effectively, work harder at work or at finding work, and help each other out a little more, the problems would disappear.

This is not just a comforting fantasy for the comfortably-off, it’s a dangerous delusion. It ignores the huge structural changes affecting the British economy, thanks to technology, international competition and immigration. The top 1 per cent have seen their share of earnings increase from 7 to 10 per cent in two decades, but median pay has been static or falling for ten years. The decline is sharpest for those at the bottom of the scale.

Poor people are getting poorer because full-time jobs are disappearing or wage rates are being cut. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows that the income of those in the bottom tenth of the income range peaked in 2004 and has been falling ever since. At the same time there have been above-inflation rises in essential costs. Since 2008 gas and electricity prices have risen by almost two thirds, food by a third, transport by a quarter. The result is that incomes and wealth are being squeezed as never before. Half of all families on average to low incomes have no savings whatsoever.

Read it all (subscription required).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchDieting/Food/NutritionGlobalizationPovertyReligion & CultureScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 27, 2014 at 6:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A row has broken out between faith leaders and the Government over the impact of reforms to the welfare system.

The war of words was sparked by a letter in the Daily Mirror last week, signed by 27 Anglican bishops, which accused the Government of creating a food-poverty crisis by changing and restricting various benefits.

David Cameron denied that his government was to blame for up to 500,000 visits to foodbanks last year. He said that he was on a "moral mission" to end dependency on welfare payments.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchDieting/Food/NutritionPovertyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted February 26, 2014 at 11:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I applaud the 27 bishops of the Church of England for drawing attention to the phenomenon of hunger. Churches and clergy are present in all communities throughout the land and observe at first hand the plight of families facing shortages of money and food. They are right in describing a serious problem but only partially correct in their analysis. It is much too simplistic to blame these problems on cutbacks to welfare and “failures in the benefit system, whether it be payment delays or punitive sanctions”.

The problems relate to a great variety of factors, including the loss of essential family networks in which basic skills such as cooking, household management and budgeting are no longer passed down the generations. The welfare system is being asked to replace kinship and neighbourliness and, in contrast to these, it is never going to pass muster as the ideal vehicle to deliver aid to those in greatest need when they most need it.

There is something Canute-like about resistance to welfare cuts. All three political parties acknowledge the need for reductions to welfare spending, wastage and fraud in the system and have all talked about the dangers of welfare dependency and the need to get people into work. They are not agreed on precisely where the axe should fall,...

Read it all (subscription required).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchChildrenDieting/Food/NutritionMarriage & FamilyPovertyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 26, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of Truro, Rt Rev Tim Thornton, is to co-chair a major parliamentary inquiry into foodbanks and food poverty in Britain.

The inquiry, which will involve MPs and Peers from all parties, will focus on the underlying causes of food poverty and reasons for the growth in food banks.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchDieting/Food/NutritionPovertyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 26, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Francis presided over a consistory on Saturday, the event in which a pope creates new cardinals, surrounded by almost 200 other cardinals as well as his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. (It was the first time new cardinals have been created in the presence of two popes.) The 19 new princes of the church included churchmen from Haiti, Burkina Faso, and Ivory Coast, all three among the world’s most desperate societies.

In Haiti, the pope bypassed the leaders of the country’s two archdioceses, who according to the usual logic would have had better claim to the honor, in order to tap the bishop of a small diocese in the country’s southwest, a man who was himself born into a poor family.

In effect, Francis seemed to want his first consistory to embrace the “periphery” in every possible sense.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationPovertyReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis

1 Comments
Posted February 24, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of Wakefield will fast for a day to highlight the plight of starving people.

Bishop Stephen Platten is one of 27 Anglican bishops and 16 other clergy who have accused the government of ‘creating hardship and hunger’ in a letter to a national newspaper.

The letter, which slams benefit cuts, is part of the national End Hunger Fast campaign which launches on March 5 – the first day of Lent.

The letter says: “We must, as a society, face up to the fact that over half of people using foodbanks have been put in that situation by cut backs to and failures in the benefit system, whether it be payment delays or punitive sanctions.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchDieting/Food/NutritionPovertyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted February 23, 2014 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Forty-two Christian leaders, including 24 Anglican bishops, have signed a letter urging David Cameron to ensure everyone in the UK gets enough to eat.

They argue that "cutbacks and failures" in the benefits system are forcing thousands of people to use food banks.

The End Hunger Fast campaign called the situation "truly shocking". It wants a national day of fasting on 4 April.

But the government said it wanted to help people "stand on their own two feet" by cutting welfare dependency.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchDieting/Food/NutritionPovertyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted February 19, 2014 at 3:16 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Bruce] Longenecker's careful analysis of the ambiguities surrounding Paul's commitment to the care of the poor is not meant to challenge the general presumption that Paul and the early church in general did not assume that Christians had an obligation to care for the poor. Indeed, he argues that, though economic assistance to the poor was not exhaustive of the good news of Jesus, neither was it peripheral to that good news. "Care for the poor was thought by Paul to be a necessary hallmark of the corporate life of Jesus followers who lived in conformity with the good news of the early Jesus movement."

I call attention to Longenecker's account of the commitment to the poor by the early followers of Jesus to remind us of the commonplace presumption by Christians that we are a people of charity. We are supposed to care for those less well off. Almsgiving is constitutive of what it means to be a Christian. Yet how Christians have cared for those who have less has recently come under severe criticism. I want to explore that critique and hopefully provide a constructive response.

One of the reasons I am intent to address questions surrounding what it means to remember the poor - or, in other terms, why charity is at the heart of Christian living - is I do not think I have adequately dealt with the challenge that Christians must be a community of the poor that cares for the poor.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchPoverty* TheologyAnthropologyChristologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted February 11, 2014 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPoverty* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaSudan--South Sudan* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 2, 2014 at 6:24 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionPovertyRural/Town Life* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPersonal Finance

0 Comments
Posted January 23, 2014 at 9:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

More than five years later, there is still no answer to perhaps the most critical question raised by the man-made disaster: How much did it all cost?

In July, three economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Tyler Atkinson, David Luttrell and Harvey Rosenblum, gave it a shot, at least as far as the United States economy goes.

...their examination offers a panoramic view of the variety of ways in which the financial crisis diminished the nation’s standard of living. At a bare minimum the crisis cost nearly $20,000 for each American. Adding in broader impacts on workers’ well-being — an admittedly speculative exercise — could raise the price tag to as much as $120,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States. With this kind of money we could pay back the federal debt or pay for a top-notch college education for everyone.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryMarriage & FamilyPovertyPsychology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeHousing/Real Estate MarketLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPersonal FinanceThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--The U.S. GovernmentFederal ReserveThe National DeficitPolitics in General* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

5 Comments
Posted January 22, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I was a senior at the College of Charleston (CofC) when a few friends and I started the “Hot Dog Ministry” as it became known. It began with a few like-minded Christians with the vision of simply loving people and showing them Jesus Christ through our actions.

The idea first came to me when I ran into a non-Christian friend on the campus of CofC. We met over a cup of coffee and began discussing his issues with Christianity. The main thing that he shared with me was that he could not understand or ever agree with a religion that preached such strong messages,but spent so much time doing nothing to help the people in need living around them. He said that he didn’t understand why Christians dedicated an hour or more every week to sitting in
cushioned chairs with their latte’s and Sunday best only to accomplish the task of leaving and feeling better about themselves. He proposed the idea that Christians who really believed what they preached should be out in the streets on Sunday morning, sharing Christ with the lost and helping those who needed it most.

This conversation penetrated my heart and God began to call me to the streets, away from comfort. God told me during my time of prayer to simply step out and He would reveal His vision in Charleston....

Read it all (page `0).

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchDieting/Food/NutritionPovertyUrban/City Life and Issues* South Carolina* Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 21, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In 1973, Evelyn Wynn-Dixon was standing at the Pryor Street Bridge overlooking Atlanta’s I-75, preparing to jump. She had four babies, no husband, no job and no self-esteem. At the time, she never would have believed what her life would become decades later.

If she killed herself, she thought, her children “would be rich” from her insurance policy. “I saw a tractor-trailer comin’. I said, ‘I am not gonna be able to do that.’ So I went home and I had a .22. It had no bullets.”

She also tried over-dosing on aspirin and cutting her wrist, without success. After those suicide attempts, she says she heard her late mother’s voice telling her, “School is the answer.”

Read it all (also the video report is highly recommended).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyPovertyWomen* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralCity Government

0 Comments
Posted January 19, 2014 at 11:44 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“St. Paul’s has always had a social-ministry conscience,” says Rector, Mike Lumpkin. “We house Meals on Wheels, we host the free medical clinic, the office of Help of Summerville is on our campus, but we’ve not always been as
welcoming as we are now. We’ve intentionally created pathways through our campus so folks who wouldn’t normally come here would feel welcomed.”

In the last year St. Paul’s has become home to the office of the Salvation Army and it opened its doors to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). With over 120 people coming to weekly meetings, St. Paul’s has the largest AA chapter in the area.
In April they added food distribution to theirefforts and since that time they have provided 21,600 lbs of food for 764 families....

Read it all (page 3).

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchDieting/Food/NutritionPoverty* South Carolina* Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 18, 2014 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

His story has been told often, but only from the age of 11 onward. Family members preferred it that way. The story always made passing reference to a father and a mother and to the construction of Knowshon's unusual name, but only began in earnest when he was in middle school in New Jersey, living with McQueen, his maternal grandmother, outrunning his classmates in furious games of tag, hinting at the athletic skills that would carry him all the way to the NFL. But there is more.

Sitting in the glass lobby of the Broncos' practice facility, Moreno sketches the edges of a life he lived as a child. He tells the story only because he was asked, and he tells it without pause or drama, with the same smile he wears for most of every day. He sheds no tears, alligator or otherwise. Afterward, Moreno's mother, grandmother and his uncle Gary, three relatives with whom he has close relationships, fill in more details about Knowshon's early life. His father does not participate in the retelling of this story.

Moreno was born as the child of two children: His mother, Varashon McQueen, was 16 when Knowshon was conceived; his father, Freddie Moreno, was 17. Both teenagers lived in the Bronx. Varashon, one of three children, was named after a character in a short story written by her father, William McQueen. Freddie was called Knowledge, a name he received as a member of the Five Percent Nation, an offshoot of the Nation of Islam that was founded in the 1960s; he was the second of five children born to Puerto Rican immigrants and was raised by his mother at a housing project on Fish Avenue. The young couple gave their son a name built from their own: Know for Knowledge, Shon for Varashon.

His story has been told often, but only from the age of 11 onward. Family members preferred it that way. The story always made passing reference to a father and a mother and to the construction of Knowshon's unusual name, but only began in earnest when he was in middle school in New Jersey, living with McQueen, his maternal grandmother, outrunning his classmates in furious games of tag, hinting at the athletic skills that would carry him all the way to the NFL. But there is more.

Sitting in the glass lobby of the Broncos' practice facility, Moreno sketches the edges of a life he lived as a child. He tells the story only because he was asked, and he tells it without pause or drama, with the same smile he wears for most of every day. He sheds no tears, alligator or otherwise. Afterward, Moreno's mother, grandmother and his uncle Gary, three relatives with whom he has close relationships, fill in more details about Knowshon's early life. His father does not participate in the retelling of this story.

Moreno was born as the child of two children: His mother, Varashon McQueen, was 16 when Knowshon was conceived; his father, Freddie Moreno, was 17. Both teenagers lived in the Bronx. Varashon, one of three children, was named after a character in a short story written by her father, William McQueen. Freddie was called Knowledge, a name he received as a member of the Five Percent Nation, an offshoot of the Nation of Islam that was founded in the 1960s; he was the second of five children born to Puerto Rican immigrants and was raised by his mother at a housing project on Fish Avenue. The young couple gave their son a name built from their own: Know for Knowledge, Shon for Varashon.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationMarriage & FamilyPovertySportsUrban/City Life and IssuesYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted January 15, 2014 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Here’s what we learned from the in-depth report on how women are doing in post-recession America.

--1 in 3 American women, 42 million women, plus 28 million children, either live in poverty or are right on the brink of it. (The report defines the “brink of poverty” as making $47,000 a year for a family of four.)
--Nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women, and these workers often get zero paid sick days.
--Two-thirds of American women are either the primary or co-breadwinners of their families.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyPovertyWomen* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingHousing/Real Estate MarketLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPersonal Finance* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

3 Comments
Posted January 15, 2014 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Something is going right with the British economy, and Chancellor George Osborne is keen to take the credit, “The plan is working”, he announced a few days ago in a speech in the West Midlands. But for many of those I meet, as I visit church supported projects across the Diocese of Manchester, if the plan really is working, then it’s the wrong plan.

I can offer one cheer for the chancellor. The figures for non-welfare related public spending grew year on year under the previous government in a quite unprecedented fashion, one that could only ever be sustained by a continuous rise in national wealth. Once the banker led scandals of six years ago broke, and plunged much of the globe into deep recession, that was never going to remain affordable. Deep cuts in public expenditure became inevitable; someone would have to bear the brunt. As the chancellor said this week, there are no easy answers; tough decisions still need to be made. In an economy that can never be trusted to grow consistently it is fair to say that the proportion of national income spent by government will need at some stage to return to something closer to the historic post-war average. Whether it should be falling so quickly, and whether Mr Osborne has in his head a long term target for it rather lower than the norm, are matters worthy of public debate.

I can raise a rather bigger cheer for British workers and their employers. Unlike many previous recessions this one was not a result of a systemic lack of international competitiveness. And so the solution didn’t have to be, and wasn’t, mass unemployment. A combination of loss of overtime, shorter working hours, miniscule pay increases and early retirement has allowed many British families to tighten their belts and survive. The independent decisions of the Bank of England to keep interest rates, and thereby mortgage payments, low have played an important part too. All of this has placed the nation in a better state of readiness to expand output now that the global economic climate is becoming warmer.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchPoverty* Economics, PoliticsEconomy* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 14, 2014 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Do higher living standards for the poor mean that the war on poverty has succeeded? No. To judge the effort, consider LBJ's original aim. He sought to give poor Americans "opportunity not doles," planning to shrink welfare dependence not expand it. In his vision, the war on poverty would strengthen poor Americans' capacity to support themselves, transforming "taxeaters" into "taxpayers." It would attack not just the symptoms of poverty but, more important, remove the causes.

By that standard, the war on poverty has been a catastrophe. The root "causes" of poverty have not shrunk but expanded as family structure disintegrated and labor-force participation among men dropped. A large segment of the population is now less capable of self-sufficiency than when the war on poverty began.

The collapse of marriage in low-income communities has played a substantial role in the declining capacity for self-support. In 1963, 6% of American children were born out of wedlock. Today the number stands at 41%. As benefits swelled, welfare increasingly served as a substitute for a bread-winning husband in the home.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryMarriage & FamilyPoverty* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentPolitics in GeneralHouse of RepresentativesOffice of the PresidentSenate* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted January 10, 2014 at 11:06 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Governor [Peter] Shumlin hauled out his own list of grim statistics. In Vermont, treatment for opiate abuse has risen 770 percent since 2000. In just the past year, treatment for heroin addiction has risen a dramatic 40 percent, and deaths from heroin overdoses have doubled. Nearly 80 percent of those jailed in Vermont, he said, are now or have been drug addicts.

Perhaps even more sobering were the stories he told of lives ruined by drug addiction. One Vermont teen started using Oxycontin in the 10th grade and was soon addicted to a $500-a-day habit. He stole $20,000 in farm equipment from his own family to pay for his drugs. And not long ago another young man, an undergraduate at the University of Vermont who was a science major and member of the school’s ski team, died of a heroin overdose. Because the quality and potency of each batch of black-market heroin varies widely, even those who think they are cautious users can accidentally and suddenly overdose at any time.

Both stories sought to shatter perceptions that heroin addiction is a problem only for large urban areas. In fact, Vermont represents a particularly lucrative market for heroin dealers, the governor said, who find that they can sell a bag of heroin that would fetch $6 on the streets of New York City for $30 or more there. Each Vermont addict yields five times the income from the same amount of “product.”

Read it all and you call find the full text of Governor Peter Shumlin's 2014 State of the State Address there.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenDrugs/Drug AddictionLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyPoverty* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralState Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

2 Comments
Posted January 10, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As many participate in religious celebrations at this time of the year, our country, the Central African Republic, remains on the brink of religious warfare. In a place that most of the world struggles to find on a map, more than 2 million people, nearly half of the nation’s population, are in desperate need of aid. As we write, approximately 40,000 people without shelter or toilets are crammed into the airport compound in the capital, Bangui. In just the past week in Bangui, hundreds have been killed, including patients dragged out of hospitals and executed. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said that he is “gravely concerned about the imminent danger of mass atrocities.” We fear that without a wider international response, our country will succumb to darkness .

As the most senior faith leaders of our country’s Christian and Muslim communities, respectively, we recognize our responsibility to help define a path away from violence. Our colleagues, priests and imams alike, have paid the ultimate price for taking on their own part of this responsibility, and we fear the worst is yet to come.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationPovertyReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaCentral African Republic* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther ChurchesRoman CatholicOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 28, 2013 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As the sky darkened outside Saturday, commencing the longest night of the year, the City Mission’s chapel in Washington also dimmed its lights. Faces bowed in prayer were dimly illuminated by flameless candles dotting the pews and Christmas decorations strung along the wall.

In addition to City Mission’s regular church services, the nonprofit organization held a “longest night vigil” Saturday for the winter solstice in remembrance of those who have died, and to recognize others still battling homelessness, addiction or illness.

Names were read aloud: Richard, Jack, Maggie, Papa, Pap Pap, Kenny and the list went on. Some people became emotional during the candlelit vigil as the names they had written down – of loved ones lost, or still struggling – were read from slips of paper placed in a basket.

Read it all.



Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchPoverty* TheologyPastoral Theology

3 Comments
Posted December 23, 2013 at 7:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Yogi Omar was so strapped for cash that he nearly didn't stop to help a scruffy panhandler who asked him for change on a downtown street corner just after midnight Thursday.

But just as he was about to walk away, something compelled him to turn around and offer the man food and clothing.

"I wanted to give him food more than anything else, really," Omar, 30 said.

He stopped in his tracks, though, when the man refused his offer of help — and instead asked Omar what he could do for him.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsAdventChristmas* Culture-WatchCharities/Non-Profit OrganizationsPovertyUrban/City Life and Issues* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 21, 2013 at 10:25 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

(Please note the headline above is from the Internet edition of the story, the print edition uses "Hundreds hungry, homeless in city" as its headline--KSH)>

"One hundred and fifty-six people slept here last night," said Amy Zeigler, vice president for development at the Crisis Ministries shelter on Meeting Street. "And the reality is that 156 people will be sleeping here tonight...."

In terms of providing meals to the hungry in Charleston, access to healthy, nutritious and affordable food still remains a factor. And the Lowcountry Food Bank reported that difficulties in food delivery could arise even further as the climate of federal cutbacks continues to be fought in Washington.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP and formerly known as the federal food stamp program, is part of the philosophical battleground.

Read it all from the front page of the local paper.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPovertyUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralCity Government* South Carolina* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 12, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury has summoned the bosses of the ‘Big Six’ energy companies to a private meeting on Wednesday to discuss fuel poverty and rising energy prices.

The meeting comes after the Most Rev Justin Welby said he understood why people felt above-inflation price rises were “inexplicable” and called on the companies to act with “generosity”.

Four of the Big Six supliers are believed to be sending their most senior UK executives, in contrast to a recent Commons select committee hearing where just one, E.On chief executive Tony Cocker, attended to face MPs.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchPovertyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifePersonal FinanceEnergy, Natural Resources* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

5 Comments
Posted December 11, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Children raised in single-parent households in the U.S. are far more likely to live in poverty than children with both parents present, according to Census figures released Monday. As a result, far more black and Hispanic children are raised in poverty than white kids.

Among all children living only with their mother, nearly half — or 45% — live below the poverty line, the Census Bureau said. For those living with just the father, about 21% lived in poverty. By comparison, only about 13% of children with both parents present in the household live below the poverty line.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyPoverty* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentCensus/Census Data* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted November 25, 2013 at 6:53 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

WHAT if America were to scrap all its anti-poverty programmes—welfare, food stamps, unemployment benefits, the works—and replace them with an unconditional basic income (UBI) for everybody? Even in a Congress beset by less extraordinary levels of dysfunction, the idea would have little chance of becoming law. It’s fun to theorise, though. And if Switzerland approves a referendum to send all of its citizens $2,800 a month, the debate will have a fascinating new reference point.

Annie Lowrey’s article in the New York Times Magazine explains that both the left and the right have reason to favour a basic income. Liberals support the idea because it would elevate 50m Americans above the poverty line overnight. Some on the right, like Charles Murray, are keen to eliminate rent-seeking—and much of the federal bureaucracy—with a UBI that gives everyone the same government benefit. “A single father with two jobs and two children would no longer have to worry about the hassle of visiting a bunch of offices to receive benefits,” Ms Lowrey writes. “And giving him a single lump sum might help him use his federal dollars better. Housing vouchers have to be spent on housing, food stamps on food. Those dollars would be more valuable—both to the recipient and the economy at large—if they were fungible.”

The economic effects of a basic income are debatable. Some economists think a UBI would disincentivise work; others argue that it would enhance entrepreneurialism by easing the path to start a small business or switch careers.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPoverty* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPersonal FinanceThe U.S. GovernmentPolitics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted November 19, 2013 at 8:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Archbishop of York John Sentamu* Culture-WatchPoverty

0 Comments
Posted November 19, 2013 at 12:53 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Guess what you would say if you had to name five and then go read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationPoverty* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted November 10, 2013 at 12:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At Turning Point United Methodist Church, there are hot meals for the hungry, roundtables for women and after-school programs for children — and for the downtrodden there is hope.

Led by their newly installed pastor, the Rev. Annie Allen, the church has taken on an increasingly involved role in reaching out to the city’s poor in spirit.

Allen has called on her background in social services and government for her new mission. She has worked by a favorite, oft-repeated statement: “Out of the pulpit, onto the pavement.”

“I love the cities, and I’m not afraid to be in the cities,” Allen said. “I want to nurture our community and be seen to be part of downtown Trenton.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchPovertyUrban/City Life and Issues* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesMethodist

0 Comments
Posted November 3, 2013 at 2:28 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The state lottery functions as a voluntary tax with a disproportionate burden on the poor.

This is especially onerous in Florida, which is one of the most regressive tax states in the nation, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

Because Florida relies on raising money from sales tax and excise taxes on cigarettes, alcohol and gasoline instead of a progressive income tax, the poorest 20 percent of the population pay about 13.5 percent of their income in taxes, while the middle 60 percent pay 7.8 percent and the top 1 percent pay 2.6 percent, the institute found in a 2009 study.

The lottery makes that regressive tax burden even worse.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGamblingPoverty* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPolitics in GeneralState Government* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

13 Comments
Posted October 31, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A stable home might be the single most critical piece of the mental illness recovery puzzle — and often the hardest to come by, especially the affordable kind.

Yet [David] Rosier is one of a growing number of chronically homeless disabled residents finding help through a program called Lease on Life. It was created in 2008 by Family Services Inc., a North-Charleston-based nonprofit that operates several programs to help disabled people become self-sufficient.

The program helps find permanent housing for the chronically homeless who have disabilities such as mental illness or substance abuse — or both, as often is the case.

Today, the program is at capacity assisting 46 households. Since its birth, Lease on Life has served 117 people, Executive Director David Geer said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPovertyPsychologyMental Illness* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted October 27, 2013 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of England is investigating the reasons for the dramatic spread of food banks, and will examine the impact of benefits cuts on their use.

The move emerged as David Cameron was questioned in the Commons over the soaring numbers of families requesting emergency help from the banks.

The Independent reported this week that food bank use had more than tripled over the last year. Shrinking pay packets, as well as the benefits squeeze and the rising cost of basic groceries, have been cited as reasons for the increase.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchDieting/Food/NutritionPoverty* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted October 17, 2013 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[A family of Syrian refugees]...briefly described their life in Syria as farmers on fertile land that produced crops like barley, tomatoes and potatoes in good supply. Theirs was a good life, and they had been happy there.

But the good life disappeared. The people living in the area were soon surrounded by government forces commanded by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and supplies were cut off. The family’s teenage daughter demonstrated how troops intentionally trampled the crops, cutting off residents’ food supply.

The family fled to Jordan several months ago.

The family’s 14-year-old son described the chilling experience on June 1, 2012, when soldiers opened fire and bullets struck him in the leg and tore through the tendon of his then 6-year-old brother’s leg behind the knee. The older brother had thrown himself onto his younger sibling to protect him from further harm.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPovertyReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.Middle EastSyria* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesBaptists* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 13, 2013 at 12:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Since the war started in Syria, the country has slowly disintegrated. More than one-third of hospitals have been destroyed, according to the World Health Organisation. According to Save the Children, 3900 schools have been destroyed, damaged or are occupied for non-educational purposes since the start of the conflict.

Syria today is no place for a child and, outrageously, more than 1 million have already been forced to flee with their families to camps and host communities in neighbouring countries. Those are the lucky ones - thousands upon thousands have already been killed. Where is the outrage?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Southern Africa* Culture-WatchChildrenGlobalizationPovertyViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastSyria

0 Comments
Posted September 26, 2013 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Evangelical adoptions picked up in earnest in the middle of the last decade, when a wave of prominent Christians, including the megachurch pastor Rick Warren and leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, began to promote adoption as a special imperative for believers. Adoption mirrored the Christian salvation experience, they argued, likening the adoption of orphans to Christ’s adoption of the faithful. Adoption also embodied a more holistic “pro-life” message — caring for children outside the womb as well as within — and an emphasis on good deeds, not just belief, that some evangelicals felt had been ceded to mainline Protestant denominations.

Believers rose to the challenge. The Christian Alliance for Orphans estimates that hundreds of thousands of people worldwide participate in its annual Orphan Sunday (this year’s is Nov. 3). Evangelicals from the Bible Belt to Southern California don wristbands or T-shirts reading “orphan addict” or “serial adopter.” Ministries have emerged to raise money and award grants to help Christians pay the fees (some $30,000 on average, plus travel) associated with transnational adoption.

However well intended, this enthusiasm has exacerbated what has become a boom-and-bust market for children that leaps from country to country. In many cases, the influx of money has created incentives to establish or expand orphanages — and identify children to fill them.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenGlobalizationPovertyReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

7 Comments
Posted September 22, 2013 at 11:06 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A barrage of new statistics on American living standards offers some grounds for optimism. A typical American household’s income has stopped falling for the first time in five years, and the poverty rate has stopped rising. At last, it seems, the expansion is strong enough at least to stabilise ordinary people’s incomes.

But the main message is a grim one. Most of the growth is going to an extraordinarily small share of the population: 95% of the gains from the recovery have gone to the richest 1% of people, whose share of overall income is once again close to its highest level in a century. The most unequal country in the rich world is thus becoming even more so.

You do not have to be an egalitarian to worry about this trend. Although some degree of inequality is good for an economy, creating incentives to work hard and take risks, the recent concentration of income gains among the most affluent is both politically dangerous and economically damaging.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryMarriage & FamilyPoverty* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPersonal FinanceThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--Politics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted September 22, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

More Americans are struggling to afford food -- nearly as many as did during the recent recession. The 20.0% who reported in August that they have, at times, lacked enough money to buy the food that they or their families needed during the past year, is up from 17.7% in June, and is the highest percentage recorded since October 2011. The percentage who struggle to afford food now is close to the peak of 20.4% measured in November 2008, as the global economic crisis unfolded.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenDieting/Food/NutritionMarriage & FamilyPoverty* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeHousing/Real Estate MarketLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPersonal FinanceThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted September 18, 2013 at 5:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his fight against apartheid in South Africa, continues to speak around the globe on justice and peace. Butler University and neighboring Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis announced Thursday (Sept. 12) that they would name a center for the 81-year-old icon.

Just before the announcement of the new center, Tutu spoke with Religion News Service about faith and justice, Israel and Palestine and Pope Francis’ recent selfie and lifestyle choices. Some answers have been edited for length and clarity.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Southern Africa* Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesPovertyPrison/Prison MinistryRace/Race RelationsReligion & CultureSexualityViolence* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastSyria* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted September 15, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Jenny Herrera, Director of Acts 435, said:

“It is important that people realise that their contribution, no matter how small, can make a real practical difference in the lives of others. The #LittleActs campaign is a great way for people to engage and encourage others to help transform the lives of others.

“Every week during the campaign, I will be blogging on the Acts website about the progress that little acts can make in the fight against poverty. It is wonderful that Acts 435 has already helped hundreds of people across the country, and we want to inspire others to do the same....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Archbishop of York John Sentamu* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchPovertyReligion & Culture* Theology

0 Comments
Posted September 6, 2013 at 6:44 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Filed under: * By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* Culture-WatchChildrenPoverty* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.Middle EastSyria* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted September 3, 2013 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From Childstats.gov and cited in this morning's sermon by yours truly:
Sixty-four percent of children ages 0–17 lived with two married parents in 2012, down from 77 percent in 1980....

The percentage of all births to unmarried women rose from 18 percent of total births in 1980 to 33 percent in 1994. From 1994 to 2002, the percentage ranged from 32 to 34 percent. The percentage increased from 2002 through 2008 and remained stable at 41 percent through 2011.

Between 1980 and 2011, the proportion of births to unmarried women rose for women in all age groups. Among adolescents, the proportion was high throughout the period and rose from 62 to 95 percent for ages 15–17 and from 40 to 86 percent for ages 18–19. The proportion more than tripled for births to unmarried women in their twenties, rising from 19 to 64 percent for ages 20–24 and from 9 to 34 percent for ages 25–29. The proportion of births to unmarried women in their thirties more than doubled, from 8 to 21 percent.

In 2011, the poverty threshold for a two-parent, two-child family was $22,811.

Twenty-two percent of all children ages 0–17 (16.1 million) lived in poverty in 2011, which was not statistically different from 2010 but higher than the 16 percent of all children in 2001.

The percentage of children living in families in extreme poverty rose to 10 percent in 1992, decreased to 7 percent in 1999, and was back at 10 percent in 2011.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyPoverty* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe U.S. Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted September 1, 2013 at 12:49 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Mother Teresa is a profound example of someone who chose to follow Jesus’ example of love and concern by caring for the needs of people living in poverty in Calcutta, India. Mother Teresa’s birthday today reminds us of her profound efforts of love, mercy, and kindness during her many years of service among the poorest of the poor.

Where did Mother Teresa find the strength and the ability to continue to serve in such a life-giving way for so many years? How did she develop her heart and love for the poor? And where did her strength of character and passion for service come from?....

The answers are found in the actions of her daily life, particularly in her regular devotion to prayer and entering into the presence of God by practices of the faith, most remarkably silence.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchPovertyWomen* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 27, 2013 at 5:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Dear brothers and sisters,

Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

The past week has been traumatic for Egyptians. We witnessed bloodshed on our streets, vandalism and the deliberate destruction of churches and government buildings in lawless acts of revenge. One of our Anglican Churches was attacked, and other ministries received threats. We praise God that our churches and congregations are safe, but we grieve for the loss of life and for the churches which were burnt over the past week in Egypt.

The Anglican Church in Egypt serves all Egyptians, especially the disadvantaged and marginalized, through our educational, medical and community development ministries. We seek to be a light in our society, and we continue to serve our neighbours in the difficult situation which surrounds us. Unemployment is at a record high, there is a lack of security on the streets, the economy is in decline, and poverty is crushing for many people in Egypt.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesThe Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchPovertyReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastEgypt* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 26, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Beating the odds--a young man from California learning some tough lessons about life heading to a college education; a remarkable turn of events in the last week, as Nbc's Miguel Almaguer reports.

Watch it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetEducationPovertyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingPersonal Finance

0 Comments
Posted August 19, 2013 at 4:14 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As the new spiritual head of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts, Bishop Douglas J. Fisher pledged to immerse himself in the fight for social justice causes that affect the needy.

Bishop Fisher, who was ordained a prelate in December, said he eagerly wanted to rally his flock to advocate for issues such as real immigration reform, gun control, and food, health and other programs geared to help the less fortunate.

However, he didn't think that he'd be spending a chunk of his time, during his fledgling episcopate, battling developers interested in building gambling complexes around his diocese.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Culture-WatchPoverty* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted August 12, 2013 at 7:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Right now the remains of about 100 people are lined up neatly in small white boxes, waiting for their turn to be buried. Finegan says it's basic, but it helps to keep costs down, allowing his funeral home and the county to afford the things they think are far more important, like the grave site and the memorial service. This is something Pamela Hirst, who couldn't pay for a friend's burial, says she doesn't take for granted.

"It is a great burden when you can't properly do what you want to do in your heart for someone that you've loved so much," she says.

For Hirst, that someone was Joe Speer. He was a poet who lived his life performing and traveling the country in a green Volkswagen van. Hirst still has trouble talking about Speer. Two years ago, he died from pancreatic cancer. And for a while, Hirst says she carried around a lot of guilt because she couldn't afford to give him a proper burial.

Read or listen to it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchPovertyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralCity Government

0 Comments
Posted August 9, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Anglicans and Catholics alike, said Pope Francis, should give "a voice to the cry of the poor, so that they are not abandoned to the laws of an economy that seems at times to treat people as mere consumers."

This well-intentioned statement could have also come from his counterpart, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, since March the head of the Church of England and supreme spiritual leader of about 80 million Anglicans worldwide. Welby, 57, has addressed issues of justice in capitalism ever since he was a theology student, and he rewrote his doctoral thesis into a treatise that poses the question: "Can Companies Sin?"

Of course they can. Unlike his predecessors, Welby can draw on his own experience to answer such questions. Before beginning his church career, Welby worked for 11 years as a financial manager in the oil industry: five years at Elf Aquitaine in France, followed by six years in London and, most recently, with Enterprise Oil, a production company that is now part of the Shell conglomerate.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchPovertyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifePersonal Finance* International News & CommentaryEuropeGermany* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted August 7, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

How does this affect our understanding of poverty? There is one group of Christians who tend to think of Christianity as an exclusively spiritual matter, where we are all equal spiritually and the church community is secondary and not the primary social focus. That can sometimes translate into an individualist approach to social policy.

On the other hand, there has been another tendency since the nineteenth century to hand over the incarnational mission of the church to the state - in other words, to see the state as the more complete realisation of the church's social mission than the church itself. It is sometimes said that we can't stop at charity, and that all Christian reformers have wanted to go onto law. One can see the serious point of this and in certain respects such an advance is crucial, and yet there is a profound question mark over that whole tradition which William Temple exemplified. It is a rather Hegelian one that tends ultimately to surrender things to the state, as if the political lay beyond the social. Modern Anglican social thought has always been divided between that approach and one (associated with J.N. Figgis and Vigo Demant) which less stresses state intervention, but much more interpersonal action and people taking the initiative to do things for themselves.

The temptation to advocate legislation often means losing focus on interpersonal relationships, and losing focus on the notion that you treat recipients of charity as human beings. It is because the Christian vision keeps people's humanity central that we accord them the dignity of demanding something from them. The problem with the dominant alternatives to this vision is that they are devoid of this social concern and therefore deeply impersonal. We either get the pure market theorists who think welfare will trickle down in a perfect economy and it will all sort itself out, or else you get a left-wing version of the same impersonality where you want to redress the balance so that everyone can act equally in the same depersonalised market - an approach with dire consequences for the inevitable "losers" in such a agonistic game.

If the church is confused about its response to poverty, then more specific confusion exists over how to approach the issue of child poverty in particular.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenPoverty* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 22, 2013 at 3:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Climbing the income ladder occurs less often in the Southeast and industrial Midwest, the data shows, with the odds notably low in Atlanta, Charlotte, Memphis, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Columbus. By contrast, some of the highest rates occur in the Northeast, Great Plains and West, including in New York, Boston, Salt Lake City, Pittsburgh, Seattle and large swaths of California and Minnesota.

“Where you grow up matters,” said Nathaniel Hendren, a Harvard economist and one of the study’s authors. “There is tremendous variation across the U.S. in the extent to which kids can rise out of poverty.”

That variation does not stem simply from the fact that some areas have higher average incomes: upward mobility rates, Mr. Hendren added, often differ sharply in areas where average income is similar, like Atlanta and Seattle.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyPoverty* Economics, PoliticsEconomyHousing/Real Estate MarketLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPersonal Finance* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted July 22, 2013 at 5:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Americans tend to think of poverty as urban or rural—housing estates or shacks in the woods. And it is true that poverty rates tend to be higher in cities and the countryside. But the suburbs are where you will find America’s biggest and fastest-growing poor population, as Elizabeth Kneebone and Alan Berube of the Brookings Institution explain in their book “Confronting Suburban Poverty in America”. Between 2000 and 2010 the number of people living below the federal poverty line ($22,314 for a family of four in 2010) in the suburbs grew by 53%, compared with just 23% in cities. In 2010 roughly 15.3m poor people lived in the suburbs, compared with 12.8m in cities

Suburban poverty began to rise before the recession. As American cities have grown safer and richer, homes there have become less affordable. During the subprime bubble, many people with bad credit scores got mortgages and moved to the suburbs. A shift towards housing vouchers and away from massive urban projects encouraged people in subsidised housing to make the same move. Immigrants, too, chased the American dream of neat lawns and picket fences. Now 51% of immigrants (who are more likely than the native-born to be poor) live in suburbs, compared with just 33% in cities.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyPoverty* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPersonal FinanceThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

0 Comments
Posted July 20, 2013 at 1:14 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Terwillegar church at the centre of a debate over plans for a supportive housing complex in the neighbourhood has been vandalized.

The words “No Homeless” were spray painted in three spots on the exterior walls of the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, at 1428 156 Street in Terwillegar Towne.

[The] Rev. Nick Trussell said he was informed of the vandalism Wednesday evening when he got a call from the instructor of a Highlands dance group that uses the church for its practices.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchPoverty

0 Comments
Posted July 16, 2013 at 3:36 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is in talks with Pope Francis about a new initiative that would link the Anglican Communion with the Vatican in the fight against poverty.

It is understood that the plan, which emerged from meetings between Archbishop Welby and the Pope in June, will focus on how both Churches can work together to help those in poverty around the world.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchPoverty* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis

0 Comments
Posted July 11, 2013 at 3:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[The] Rev. Nick Trussell was humbled last year when members of his Terwillegar Towne church turned down a developer’s offer to buy the whole property in favour of leasing some unused land for a housing development catering to the formerly homeless.

“I walked into the meeting, selfishly hoping we would sell,” Trussell said Sunday, explaining he had great visions for expansion of the church at a new location.

“When they all spoke in favour of leasing I was humbled and then I realized; we are the only place where this could happen.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Culture-WatchPoverty

0 Comments
Posted July 9, 2013 at 12:17 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Every weekday, the Nehemiah Project partners with Turner Memorial A.M.E. Church to provide free lunches to as many as 250 children and adults in West Columbia. Local businesses donate the food, and volunteers prepare it in a tiny kitchen next to a multipurpose space with folding tables and chairs.

When a volunteer cook didn’t show up on a recent morning, the Rev. Kenneth Taylor, the church’s pastor, stepped in to pick up the slack. A big pot of macaroni and cheese warmed on the stove and black-eyed peas simmered in a slow-cooker while residents from the surrounding community trickled in for what Taylor said was often their only meal of the day.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPovertyReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted July 6, 2013 at 2:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Overcoming divisions between Anglicans and Roman Catholics will require a "self-giving love" characterised by "hospitality and love for the poor", the Archbishop of Canterbury said on Friday, at his first meeting with Pope Francis.

Archbishop Welby, accompanied by his wife, Caroline, met Pope Francis at the Apostolic Palace on Friday morning, after meeting the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal Kurt Koch. The Archbishop and the Pope had a private conversation, after which they gave public addresses and attended a service of midday prayer together.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchPoverty* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis

0 Comments
Posted June 17, 2013 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, in an article for the Daily Telegraph talks about his support for the IF Campaign, calling on global leaders to ensure that on issues of aid and taxation that the poorest get a fair deal.

The Archbishop explains that we all have a responsibility for our neighbours, that tax evasion should be tackled and speaks about the importance of transparent public budgets. In his article, Dr John Sentamu outlines the vast disparities between the rich and the poor and the need to send a united message to end the extremes of inequality around the planet.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of York John Sentamu* Culture-WatchDieting/Food/NutritionGlobalizationPoverty* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted June 10, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury has spoken out in support of a campaign encouraging world leaders to tackle hunger, saving the millions of lives it claims each year.

Archbishop Justin spoke via video to thousands gathered in Hyde Park..[Saturday] to launch the IF campaign, of which the Church of England is a member. The IF campaign is made up of more than 200 charities, faith groups and organisations. The campaign is urging G8 leaders to take big steps that will tackle the global injustice of hunger.

He said: “We’ve come to celebrate the opportunity we have to end hunger in our lifetimes. The only way that’s going to happen is by mass movements of people, like yourselves, getting together”.

Read it all and check out the video also.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchDieting/Food/NutritionGlobalizationPoverty* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted June 10, 2013 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Today, three to 25 volunteers from local churches show up to serve nearly 350 hot dogs most weekday evenings.

As more volunteers came, [Nathan] Mansell took time to talk with the people gathered, to learn their stories, to know them as more than masses at the ketchup line.

All signs warned him to stay away from [Mikell] Felder.

“Nobody wanted to talk to him because he was so mean to everybody,” Mansell recalls. “But for some reason, I felt called or led to help him.”

Mansell struck up some small talk and showed his concern.

“I’ve been an angry person. I would fight with you in a heartbeat,” Felder admits. “But he showed me love and cared about me.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicinePovertyReligion & Culture* South Carolina

1 Comments
Posted June 9, 2013 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Vice President Kiwanuka Ssekandi has told African churches to work with governments to ensure socio-economic transformation of Africa by placing emphasis on integration and unity of African people.

He made it clear that for the continent’s states to handle poverty, churches need to join governments in that fight.

“Government, through various interventions, is empowering every household to produce not only for subsistence, but have surplus for sale,” said the VP.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPovertyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAfricaKenya* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted June 6, 2013 at 5:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In their letter, the church leaders commended the G-8 officials for focusing on agriculture and nutrition ahead of the summit and called for particular emphasis to be placed on Africa, where the need to improve local agriculture is great and, according to the World Food Program, 23 million primary-school-age children attend classes hungry.

The church leaders cited G-8 plans to address tax evasion by wealthy individuals and large corporations in a world facing severe financial shortfalls to address poverty.

Citing the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, the prelates wrote that "it is a moral obligation for citizens to pay their fair share of taxes for the common good, including the good of poor and vulnerable communities."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationLaw & Legal IssuesPoverty* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted June 4, 2013 at 4:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

wenty six percent of all children under five are stunted, according to the annual “State of Food and Agriculture” (SOFA) report, issued by the UN’s Food and Agriculture organization.
The report “Food systems for better nutrition” notes that although some 870 million people were still hungry in the world in 2010-2012, this is just a fraction of the billions of people whose health, wellbeing and lives are blighted by malnutrition.
Two billion people suffer from one or more micronutrient deficiencies, while 1.4 billion are overweight, of whom 500 million are obese, according to SOFA. Twenty six percent of all children under five are stunted and 31 percent suffer from Vitamin A deficiency.

The cost of malnutrition to the global economy in lost productivity and health care costs are "unacceptably high" and could account for as much as 5 percent of the global gross domestic product.
Making food systems enhance nutrition is a complex task requiring strong political commitment and leadership at the highest levels, broad-based partnerships and coordinated approaches with other important sectors such as health and education, according to SOFA.

"A great many actors and institutions must work together across sectors to more effectively reduce undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and overweight and obesity," the report says.

Listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDieting/Food/NutritionGlobalizationPoverty

0 Comments
Posted June 4, 2013 at 2:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On economic life, Pope Francis sees his responsibility in clear terms:
The Pope loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but the Pope has the duty, in Christ’s name, to remind the rich to help the poor, to respect them, to promote them. The Pope appeals for disinterested solidarity and for a return to person-centred ethics in the world of finance and economics. (5/16/213)
This strong call for ethics in economics is not new. He stands in continuity with his predecessors, particularly Pope Benedict in Deus Caritas Est and Caritas in Veritate. Francis’ mind is with the Church and its constant teaching. Where Francis is unique is his directness, urgency and passion. It’s where he comes from and where he stands that makes a difference. Francis’ heart is with the poor; his feet were planted in the villas miseriasof Latin America. He calls for a Church “of and for the poor” that is not turned in on itself, but “in the streets.”

He has lived the Church’s social teaching in his own ministry so he speaks confidently and bluntly on its demands. Having challenged the Marxist temptations of some elements of liberation theology, he is more than comfortable challenging some elements of “savage capitalism” (5/21/13). He refused to worship at the altar of Marxist utopianism; he won’t bend a knee to the utilitarian advocates of the invisible hand of the market. As someone who challenged government corruption and overreach in Argentina, Francis recognizes the limitations of the state, but won’t abandon Catholic teaching on the obligation of government to protect the poor and seek the common good in economic life.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPovertyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeHousing/Real Estate MarketLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis * TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

4 Comments
Posted June 4, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, Bishop of Derby, has welcomed the post-2015 development agenda report of the UN Secretary General's High Level Panel, co-chaired by David Cameron. The report, A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development, builds on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals experiment and calls for an end to absolute poverty by 2030.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchPoverty* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted June 2, 2013 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"A catalyst for change" across the Communion is how Archbishop Albert Chama of Central Africa describes the Alliance, as he takes on the position of Chair of the new Board of Trustees.

The Primate will be leading the Anglican Alliance into a new stage of its life as a charity with a global board, bringing forward a new programme for its development, relief and advocacy across the Anglican Communion.

"The Anglican Alliance can be a catalyst for change, bringing people together across the Communion in our shared mission to build a world free of poverty and injustice," he said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Central Africa* Culture-WatchGlobalizationPoverty* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted May 31, 2013 at 12:16 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[It is worth noting]... the Talmudic ruling that one of the duties of a parent is to teach your child a craft or trade through which he can earn a living. More pointed still was Maimonides’ famous statement that “The highest degree of charity, exceeded by none, is that of one who assists a poor person by providing him with a gift or a loan or by accepting him into a business partnership or by helping him to find employment – in a word, by putting him where he can dispense with other people’s aid.” The supreme act of welfare is to help people into work so that they no longer need the help of others.

Judaism recognises that unemployment has a psychological as well as economic dimension. Jewish law represents the sustained attempt to create a society that honours human dignity, and an essential part of this is that everyone should have the opportunity to contribute to the common good through their own endeavour. As Psalm 128 says, “When you eat from the labour of your hands, you will be happy and it will be well for you.”

As a matter of religious principle, job creation must be at the centre of any long-term welfare policy. Human dignity requires no less.

Read it all.



Filed under: * Culture-WatchPovertyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsJudaism

0 Comments
Posted May 19, 2013 at 11:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Humanitarian agencies are running low on funds to help millions of people affected by the war in Syria, prompting one United Nations official to warn: “Our capacity to do more is diminishing.”

Syria's two-year-old war has fueled a humanitarian catastrophe in the region, U.N. officials say. The U.N.’s Security Council has demanded an end to the escalating violence and condemned human rights abuses by all sides.

“Our agencies and humanitarian partners have been doing all we can. The needs are growing, while our capacity to do more is diminishing,” U.N. Under-Secretary General Valerie Amos said in a video appealing for worldwide support of aid efforts.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchCharities/Non-Profit OrganizationsPovertyViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastSyria

0 Comments
Posted April 24, 2013 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Some dodge the stones and bottles thrown at their tents in the dead of night, others watch helplessly as their tarpaulin shelters, huddled in camps sprawled across the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, are destroyed with knives and sticks.

Rights group Amnesty International has collected dozens of such testimonies from Haitians who have been kicked out of makeshift camps set up by those left homeless by the January 2010 earthquake. Many camp residents have moved out, but just over 320,000 Haitians still live in them.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchCharities/Non-Profit OrganizationsPoverty* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.* International News & CommentaryCaribbeanHaiti

0 Comments
Posted April 23, 2013 at 6:37 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts, which includes Worcester and surrounding communities, said today that he is against the proposal to locate at $200 million slots parlor on the former Wyman-Gordon Co. parcel in Green Island.

"For those who have little, the illusory chance that they can gain much, even in a game stacked against them, is tempting and ultimately destructive," said Bishop Douglas J. Fisher. "Our churches stand with the economically poor of our society, and that always means taking a stand against gambling establishments in our cities."

Bishop Fisher is the latest prominent church leader to take a stand against the proposal.


Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchGamblingPoverty* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifePersonal Finance* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 18, 2013 at 3:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby are among 80 religious leaders who have written to the G8 heads of government urging them to keep promises on foreign aid and to “help to create an environment that encourages the conditions for inclusive, equitable and sustainable economic growth.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationPovertyReligion & Culture* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted April 5, 2013 at 4:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When Leonard Williams attends the Easter service today at Shepherd's Heart Fellowship, an Anglican church for the homeless in Uptown, like Christians everywhere he will be celebrating the resurrection of Christ from the tomb.

But Mr. Williams, 53, and others who attend Shepherd's Heart also will be celebrating the new life that has been breathed into their church after a recent significant agreement between Pittsburgh's Episcopal and Anglican dioceses. A long-running conflict in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh resulted in a 2008 split, with many of the churches leaving and creating the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh, linked to the theologically conservative Anglican Church in North America.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchPovertyUrban/City Life and Issues* TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 3, 2013 at 3:18 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

(Note that last season Dickey played with the New York Mets and he will be with Toronto this season--KSH).

This is Kamathipura, the red light district of Mumbai, among the most notorious sex-trafficking locations in the world. I am here as a guest of Bombay Teen Challenge (BTC), a charity that has been fighting human trafficking for more than 20 years, one I joined forces with last year, when two friends and I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and raised $130,000 , much of it from generous and kind-hearted Mets fans. I have come with my two daughters, Gabriel, 11, and Lila, 9, to witness the fruits of our climb – the conversion of a former brothel to a health clinic. I want my daughters to share the experience not so much as a gratitude check, but to learn that each of us has a capacity to make a difference in this world, and to see that God’s grace makes that possible.

Read it all, noting please that its content may not be appropriate for some blog readers.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenGlobalizationLaw & Legal IssuesPovertyReligion & CultureSexualitySportsTeens / Youth* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaIndia* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

1 Comments
Posted February 10, 2013 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In America, all men are believed to be created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. But Nigerians are brought up to believe that our society consists of higher and lesser beings. Some are born to own and enjoy, while others are born to toil and endure.

The earliest indoctrination many of us have to this mind-set happens at home. Throughout my childhood, “househelps” — usually teenagers from poor families — came to live with my family, sometimes up to three or four of them at a time. In exchange for scrubbing, laundering, cooking, baby-sitting and everything else that brawn could accomplish, either they were sent to school, or their parents were sent regular cash.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyPoverty* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 10, 2013 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Take interstate highways between South Carolina's largest metropolitan areas and the scene remains similar — thick forests, meandering rivers and lush farms punctuated with thriving suburbs and vibrant downtowns.

Get off those interstates and something else emerges — towns where poverty rules, illiteracy passes to children like an inherited disease, and diabetes strikes 9-year-olds because of bad diets and obesity.

This is the other South Carolina. It runs along the “Interstate-95 Corridor” through the mostly majority black counties made infamous by the “Corridor of Shame” documentary about inequities in public schools. It also includes the “Mill Crescent,” the swath of rural, largely white, old textile mill counties between the I-85 economic powerhouse and greater Columbia.

If you took this other South Carolina away, the state would no longer rank at the bottom of nearly every list you want it to be at the top of. Instead, it would basically mirror the nation as a whole in income, education and health.

Many crippling disparities linger in these metropolitan counties, but the areas have been pushed into the national mainstream by four decades of economic growth, desegregation and an influx of people from other states and countries with new ideas and high expectations.

The other South Carolina remains shrouded in despair by the legacies of slavery, dependence on a marginally educated workforce, and political and economic domination by an elite few.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationHistoryMarriage & FamilyPoverty* Economics, PoliticsEconomy* South Carolina* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted February 10, 2013 at 1:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Rev Stephen Platten, has called on people to pray for the whole food production chain from struggling farmers, in the UK and elsewhere, to those that do not have enough to eat.

Backing the Enough Food For Everyone If campaign, the Bishop emphasised the call for governments, companies and individuals to work together to take the necessary steps to reduce the millions currently going hungry and the amount of food wasted.

At the other end of the food chain, he added, those who produce food also need prayers. Farmers in the UK, for example, are facing cuts in their income of up to 50 per cent due to weather damage, according to latest estimates from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Read it all and see what you make of the prayers.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchDieting/Food/NutritionPoverty

1 Comments
Posted February 4, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Imagine you were forced to leave your home? Given no option but to pack everything into one bag and to leave Northern Ireland.
That is exactly the situation that more than 500,000 Syrians have been forced into.

Into Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan they continue to pour, in search of safety and shelter from the bombs and bullets that have killed 60,000 people. Three-and-a-half thousand crossed into Jordan last Wednesday alone.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchCharities/Non-Profit OrganizationsPovertyViolence* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastSyria

0 Comments
Posted February 2, 2013 at 12:16 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A coalition of leading human rights activists and scholars has asked that Congress press the Obama administration to end the growing humanitarian crisis in the largely Christian areas of southern Sudan, saying that the administration’s response to the crisis has been non-existent.

U.S. policy toward the continuing human tragedy in Sudan is “in the worst place it’s ever been,” said Mark C. Hackett, CEO and executive director of Memphis-based Operation Broken Silence. “It’s extremely disappointing.”

Hackett and other activists — at a Jan. 11 forum organized by the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. — said that they had spent Jan. 10-11 on Capitol Hill calling for the United States to intervene to stop the systematic attacks of villagers in the Nuba Mountains of southern Sudan by the forces of President Omar al-Bashir.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPovertyViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaSudan--North Sudan--South SudanAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted January 15, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

(ACNS) West Africa’s new archbishop , the Most Revd Solomon Tilewa Johnson [in an interview this week] explained that one major priority was responding to issues of “abject poverty”, which is perhaps to be expected considering the countries that comprise the Anglican Province of West Africa: Cameroon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

More surprising, however, was a priority to retain congregants who might be tempted away to non-Anglican churches by newer forms of praise and worship. “We all have our priorities and the key issues for us in West Africa as far as I can see is the threat posed to us by the new churches for example,” he said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Province of West Africa* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship* Culture-WatchPoverty* International News & CommentaryAfricaGambia* Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 13, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

No one can celebrate a genuine Christmas without being truly poor. The self-sufficient, the proud, those who, because they have everything, look down on others, those who have no need even of God—for them there will be no Christmas. Only the poor, the hungry, those who need someone to come on their behalf, will have that someone. That someone is God, Emmanuel, God-with-us. Without poverty of spirit, there can be no abundance of God.

--Archbishop Oscar Romero (1917-1980)

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas* Culture-WatchPoverty

0 Comments
Posted December 25, 2012 at 12:12 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Brian Rants never thought his contribution to the world would be a $15 lamp. But for schoolchildren in Swaziland and earthquake survivors in Haiti, these solar lamps have made all the difference. Rants's Denver-based company—Nokero, short for "no kerosene"—have allowed African students to read at night and increased safety for Haitian families living in tent cities. As vice president of marketing, Rants's job is to get these lamps into the hands of millions of families in the developing world.

Since its founding in 2010, Nokero has sold over half a million solar lights and chargers in 120 countries, but Rants believes their work has just begun. With over a billion people worldwide still using kerosene as their primary fuel source, the need is vast. In a comprehensive study on the industry, The Economist lauded solar lights as the next big innovation for the world's poor, noting that solar lighting is "falling in price, improving in quality and benefiting from new business models that make it more accessible and affordable to those at the bottom of the pyramid. And its spread is sustainable because it is being driven by market forces, not charity."

Nokero's lamps replace the need for kerosene lighting and eliminate the sweeping problems that accompany its use.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPovertyReligion & CultureScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life

1 Comments
Posted December 22, 2012 at 10:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Watch the whole video (just under 7 1/2 minutes).

To find Mundri on a map of South Sudan, go here. Then find Uganda and the part of South Sudan that borders Uganda. About in the middle and slight up to the left from the border you will see the major city of Juba. Now head northwest (follow yellowish line) to the next city on the map which is Mundri (Town)

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeMissionsParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchPovertyViolence* International News & CommentaryAfricaSudan--North Sudan--South Sudan* Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 7, 2012 at 7:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The humanitarian crisis in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo was top of Pope Benedict XVI’s concerns this Wednesday as he began his greetings in Italian with another appeal for aid for the people of the nation, the scene of armed clashes and violence. Emer McCarthy reports:

“A large part of the population lacks the primary means of subsistence” said the Pope, adding that “thousands of residents have been forced to flee their homes to seek refuge elsewhere”.

Read and listen to it all and there is more here.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDieting/Food/NutritionPovertyReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaRepublic of Congo* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

0 Comments
Posted December 6, 2012 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There are still far too many children in need today and I find it moving that Judaism and Christianity focus on their holiest days on the birth of a child. On the first day of the Jewish year we tell the story of the birth of the first Jewish child, to the elderly Abraham and Sarah who had almost given up hope. And Christmas tells the Christian story in a very similar way through the birth of a child – because nothing more powerfully symbolises the miracle of every new human life, and at the same time its intense vulnerability. Children more than anything else evoke our sense of compassion, but their very powerlessness places them at the great risk of our neglect.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsAdvent* Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryMarriage & FamilyPovertyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsJudaism* TheologyAnthropology

0 Comments
Posted December 5, 2012 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Emmanuel] Davidenkoff says the Socialist government doesn't seem to understand the concerns of the working and middle class and in the name of equality, got it all wrong.

"Mostly, wealthy people don't want homework because when the kids are at home, they make sports or dance or music. They go to the museums, to the theater. So they have this access to culture, which is very important," he says. "In poor families, they don't have that, so the only link they have with culture and school is homework."

Elisabeth Zeboulon sits in her office over the playground. Today, she's the principal at a private, bilingual school in Paris, but she spent most of her career in French public schools. Zeboulon says the centralized French education system doesn't leave much room for trying different teaching methods....

Read or listen to it all (audio highly recommended).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationMarriage & FamilyPoverty* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPersonal Finance* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 3, 2012 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Q. Describe what you call the breakdown of marriage.

A. When the war on poverty began in the mid-'60s, about 7 percent of children were born outside of marriage. Today, that number is 42 percent. To discuss poverty in the United States and to leave out the decline of marriage is sort of like talking about geography and leaving out the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. The breakdown of marriage is the overwhelming reason why child poverty exists.

Q. Are people living together and not getting married?

A. You have a large number of single mothers. Sometimes, they are cohabitating with the father or a series of boyfriends. Those relationships are extremely unstable and won't last. In New Jersey, roughly a third of all the families with children are single-parent families - and three out of four poor families....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyPoverty

5 Comments
Posted December 2, 2012 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Gov. Sam Brownback's newly formed task force on child poverty was told Monday that the increase in "non-marital births" was a leading cause of child poverty.

Ron Haskins, a senior fellow with The Brookings Institution, said that from a child's perspective, "They need a mom, they need a dad, they need consistency … if that occurs it has major impacts on development."

Haskins' comments were made during the first meeting of the Governor's Task Force on Reducing Childhood Poverty. Brownback appointed the group earlier this month.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyPoverty* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralState Government* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted December 1, 2012 at 11:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Ottawa’s homeless community has a brand new “living room” in the revamped basement of St. Alban’s Anglican Church at 454 King Edward Ave.

Centre 454, which provides a safe space for people in Ottawa who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, started its life in that basement in 1976, but moved to 216 Murray St. in 2000.

Now, after 12 years and more than a million dollars in renovations, the centre — and all its services — will again be located in St. Alban’s Anglican Church, Ottawa’s oldest surviving church, which was built in 1867 and attended by Sir John A. Macdonald.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchPovertyUrban/City Life and Issues

0 Comments
Posted November 19, 2012 at 5:55 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There were nearly 50 million Americans living in poverty in 2011, under an alternative measure released by the Census Bureau Wednesday.

That's 16.1% of the nation, higher than the official poverty rate of 15%. The official rate, released in September, showed 46.6 million people living in poverty.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPoverty* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPersonal FinanceThe U.S. GovernmentCensus/Census Data

4 Comments
Posted November 14, 2012 at 3:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Iranian warships have arrived in Port Sudan in an apparent show of support for the government in Khartoum, one week after it accused Israel of bombing an arms factory in the Sudanese capital.

Iran's state news agency confirmed yesterday that two vessels, a destroyer and a helicopter carrier have docked in Sudan's main port on the Red Sea and their commanders will be meeting Sudanese officials.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPovertyViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaSudan--North Sudan--South SudanMiddle EastIranIsrael

1 Comments
Posted October 31, 2012 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For 33 years, Sánchez Gordillo has been mayor of Marinaleda, pop. 2,700, another farming settlement about 100 miles west of Jódar. Like Jódar, Marinaleda is mostly inhabited by jornaleros. Over the decades, Sánchez Gordillo has transformed the poor village into an islet of social justice and relative prosperity, with almost full employment through communal farming, low taxes, a salary of €1,200 ($1,572), food and housing considered as rights, and “direct democracy” exercised through frequent general assemblies. Sánchez Gordillo and his townsmen launched their movement to build what he calls “a communist utopia” after the death of general and dictator Francisco Franco in 1975, occupying land owned by a member of the royal family and distributing it for communal ownership as well as taking over local airports.

His efforts in Marinaleda long ago earned him a regional following, but Sánchez Gordillo and his lieutenant, the 57-year-old Diego Cañamero, the SAT union’s national spokesman, have gained renown in recent months with a series of controversial protests against the austerity measures embraced by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and the Spanish government. On Aug. 7, the two led union members on raids on Carrefour (CA) and Mercadona supermarkets, leaving the stores with shopping carts full of “expropriated” food they gave away to the hungry poor.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPoverty* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankHousing/Real Estate MarketLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketThe Banking System/SectorThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--Politics in General* International News & CommentaryEuropeSpain

0 Comments
Posted October 23, 2012 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A German-American nun will become a saint Sunday, nearly a century after her death. Mother Marianne Cope is the second person to be honored in this way for caring for people in Hawaii with leprosy, now known as Hansen's disease.

During a tragic era in Hawaiian history, more than 8,000 people with leprosy were banished to Kalaupapa, a remote peninsula on the island of Molokai. Back then, there was no cure. The patients were treated as outcasts until a Belgian priest, Father Damien, came to care for them in 1873. Eventually he contracted the disease himself and died. He was canonized by the pope in 2009.

Just five months before Damien's death, Cope arrived in Kalaupapa. She worked in Hawaii in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Sister Alicia Damien Lau says Cope risked her life to care for people with leprosy.

Read or listen to it all and do not miss the picture.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineHistoryPovertyReligion & CultureWomen* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

0 Comments
Posted October 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




Return to blog homepage

Return to Mobile view (headlines)