Posted by Kendall Harmon

Apartment vacancy rates have dropped so low that forecasters at Capital Economics, a research firm, said rents could rise, on average, as much as 4 percent this year, compared with 2.8 percent last year. But rents are rising faster than that in many cities even as overall inflation is running at little more than 1 percent annually.

One of the most expensive cities for renters is Miami, where rents, on average, consume 43 percent of the typical household income, up from a historical average of just over a quarter.

Stella Santamaria, a divorced 40-year-old math teacher, has been looking for an apartment in Miami for more than six months. “We’re kind of sick of talking about it,” she said of herself and fellow teachers in the same boat. “It’s like, are you still living with your mom? Yeah, are you? Yeah.” After 11 years as a teacher, Ms. Santamaria makes $41,000, considerably less than the city’s median income, which is $48,000, according to Zillow.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingHousing/Real Estate MarketPersonal FinanceThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 16, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rev David Smith from Oakfield Methodist Church, Rev Kelvin Bolton from Christ Church and Holy Trinity and Father Stephen Maloney from All Saints Church Anfield led the service and read the names of the 96 from the Book of Remembrance.

It took eight poignant minutes.

The stadium then fell silent for a minute in memory of the victims of that terrible day in Sheffield at the FA Cup semi-final in 1989.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireReligion & CultureSportsUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 15, 2014 at 4:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all (every photo has a story just click on each person)

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineHistoryUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 15, 2014 at 7:10 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Watch it all and I recommended Kleenex.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMusicSportsUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted April 14, 2014 at 12:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Dozens of people have been killed in two blasts that rocked a crowded bus station on the outskirts of Nigeria's capital, Abuja, officials say.

The blast happened as commuters were about to board buses and taxis to go to work in central Abuja, the BBC's Haruna Tangaza reports.

Eyewitnesses say there are dead bodies scattered around the area.

This may have been another attack by the Islamist militant group known as Boko Haram, correspondents say.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted April 14, 2014 at 6:55 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Jeff Bauman knows the exact moment his life was changed forever. It was the moment he looked Boston Bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the face.

“He just seemed out of place,” said Bauman in his most recent interview with Brian Williams. “Everybody there was having fun, you know, clapping, taking pictures, and he was just standing there with a backpack ... he just looked really odd. So I looked at him and I stared at him.”

And then, in an instant: a flash, and what sounded like a pop, and he was lying flat on his back.

Watch and/or read it all from NBC.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineMarriage & FamilyPsychologyUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 11, 2014 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A plan to build a skyscraper near Liverpool Street railway station, slated to be the tallest in the City of London, may be revived this year as rising occupancy rates in the financial district draws investors, according to Peter Rees, the City’s former planning officer.

Work on the Pinnacle, an office tower designed to have a height of about 288 meters (945 feet), was halted in 2012 after the economic crisis roiled financial markets.

“There is a will to go forward, there is a demand for the space and there’s no difficulty at all in finding funding to build the project,” Rees said in a March 21 interview ahead of his retirement last week.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyHousing/Real Estate Market* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 10, 2014 at 5:45 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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

God of justice and truth, let not thy Church close its eyes to the plight of the poor and neglected, the homeless and destitute, the old and the sick, the lonely and those who have none to care for them. Give us that vision and compassion with which thou didst so richly endow William Augustus Muhlenberg and Anne Ayers, that we may labor tirelessly to heal those who are broken in body or spirit, and to turn their sorrow into joy; through Jesus Christ, who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues

0 Comments
Posted April 8, 2014 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Revd Ric Thorpe, Vicar of St Paul's Shadwell

I love the English trait of laughing at ourselves whilst allowing a deeper dig at something we hold very dearly. Whether it's Rev. or the Vicar of Dibley, the Church too is not afraid of caricature or teasing or showing our weak side. It's a sign of confidence and security. Also it's not the whole story.

The Church in London is growing in many ways – not least its confidence. Our own church, and three we have partnered with, have grown from 50 members to over 600 in the last nine years. The Church of England has been around for centuries and it is not afraid of change or challenge. Here, the Bishop of London is leading the way forward in raising the profile of the Church's confidence, compassion and creativity through our strategy for London - Capital Vision 2020.

Instead of closing churches, the Diocese of London is planning 100 new churches in the capital over the next seven years....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 3, 2014 at 7:55 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Waking at 4.30am every day she says her prayers before getting ready to make the trip from the flat she shares with her sister’s family in Walworth Road, south London, to get to work by 7am. The best bit of her job is the pay. She earns the so-called living wage, which in London is set at £8.80 an hour. The boost in her pay – which was previously the adult minimum wage rate of £6.31 – has made her “lighter” and “happy inside”, less stressed over financial struggles.

A secondary school teacher with a degree in social and political science as well as a masters in education, she came to Britain in 2005 from Nigeria to improve her living standards. She has always been resourceful. In Nigeria, as well as teaching, she ran a catering company and imported fashion accessories from Europe.

Her first few months in London were spent finding her feet in a city she found unwelcoming. It is the social life she misses: in Nigeria “we live like brothers and sisters”, she says. There she could rely on neighbours to watch her children; here she has never even met the person who lives next door. The local Anglican church has proved her social salvation. “That is where my happiness lies. When I go to church, it’s like I’m back in Africa.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistrySpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeriaEngland / UK

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Posted April 1, 2014 at 5:00 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

With the start of the baseball season set for this weekend, TripAdvisor has announced its Top 10 Ballparks in America.

Chicago's Wrigley Field was listed 8th, with PNC Park in Pittsburgh taking the top spot.

1. PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Located on Pittsburgh's North Shore, this ballpark offers stunning views of the Steel City skyline, the Allegheny River, and the Roberto Clemente Bridge. Fans can chow down on local fare including potato pirogues and Primanti Brothers sandwiches stuffed with French fries and coleslaw. One TripAdvisor reviewer commented, "Beautiful city views during the game. Plenty of food options and short lines for the bathrooms - not a bad seat in the stadium!"
2. Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland....

Read it all.



Filed under: * Culture-WatchSportsUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

1 Comments
Posted March 28, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

South Carolina was home to all three of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas on the Atlantic Coast in 2013, new Census Bureau estimates say.

Greater Charleston is the largest of those metro areas, and it has accounted for nearly a third of the state's population growth since the last census in 2010.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentCensus/Census Data* South Carolina

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Posted March 27, 2014 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Parish mergers in the Diocese of Pittsburgh will mean the closure of two churches in East Pittsburgh and another in Monongahela next month, the result of dwindling numbers of parishioners and priests as well as financial concerns.

Bishop David Zubik broke the news in letters read at Masses over the weekend to hundreds of parishioners of Holy Cross Parish in East Pittsburgh and Good Shepherd Parish in Braddock, and in person during a Saturday Mass in St. Damien of Molokai Parish in Monongahela. The merger and closures will take effect April 28.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

0 Comments
Posted March 23, 2014 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For many years I worked in New York City and counseled at my office any number of people who were wrestling with this yes-or-no decision. Often I would suggest they walk with me from my office down to the RCA Building on Fifth Avenue. In the entrance of that building is a gigantic statue of Atlas, a beautifully proportioned man who, with all his muscles straining, is holding the world upon his shoulders. There he is, the most powerfully built man in the world, and he can barely stand up under this burden. 'Now that's one way to live,' I would point out to my companion, 'trying to carry the world on your shoulders. But now come across the street with me.' On the other side of Fifth Avenue is Saint Patrick's Cathedral, and there behind the high altar is a little shrine of the boy Jesus, perhaps eight or nine years old, and with no effort he is holding the world in one hand. My point was illustrated graphically. We have a choice. We can carry the world on our shoulders, or we can say, 'I give up, Lord; here's my life. I give you my world, the whole world.'"
--Bruce Larson Believe and Belong (Power Books, 1982) and quoted by yours truly in this morning's sermon

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksUrban/City Life and Issues* TheologyChristology

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Posted March 23, 2014 at 1:28 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Aging baby boomers want to stay in their own homes as long as possible and a way to do that, the so-called village concept, is catching on in South Carolina.

Experts say it's less expensive for baby boomers as they age to live at home than in nursing homes, and people who remain in their homes are often happier and live longer. Some 8,000 baby boomers reach retirement age each day in the U.S.

"The baby boomers do not intend to go into nursing homes," said Janet Schumacher, the coordinator of the Office on Aging in Charleston. "They are looking to each other to provide support."

Virtual villages are associations set up to provide help to members with everything from transportation and home repairs to social and cultural connections. The first was started on Beacon Hill in Boston 13 years ago.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyHealth & MedicinePsychologyRural/Town LifeUrban/City Life and Issues* South Carolina

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Posted March 17, 2014 at 5:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Churches under Bishop Rimbo's purview are trying some unorthodox measures. In Williamsburg, Mr. McKelahan organized a life-size crossword puzzle inside the Lorimer Street/Metropolitan Avenue subway stop, where topics included Mexican art and nuclear physics, along with a few biblical questions. (Clue: Hebrew name meaning "He will laugh." Answer: Isaac.)

Another interactive art project used giant dye-filled soap bubbles on foam at an event on Governor's Island. Mr. McKelahan said that, while not explicitly religious, soap bubbles carry a spiritual message in that they must burst "if they are to leave a lasting impression"—referring to a passage in the Book of John.

"Did most people pick up on this spiritual message? Probably not," he said. "But hopefully they see that the church is inviting them to work together in bringing joy and beauty into the world."

Mr. McKelahan, who at 28 is one of the New York metro area's youngest ordained Lutheran ministers, said it was Bishop Rimbo's idea to send him to Williamsburg.

"I met with Bishop Rimbo and explained to him, 'I'm really interested in making art as worship, all my friends are atheists,'" Mr. McKelahan said. "Bishop Rimbo said, 'There's this neighborhood in Brooklyn called Williamsburg where lots of young creative people are moving. We are trying to figure out how to minister to them. Would you like to do something with them?' Even though I'd never heard of Williamsburg, I couldn't say yes fast enough."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesLutheran* Theology

1 Comments
Posted March 17, 2014 at 11:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Growing up, was it harder to be really tall or to be a practicing Mormon?

I think just tall, because in Chicago, people really don’t know what Mormons are. And being a basketball player, I didn’t really have to face a lot of struggles, because a lot of people around me respected me. I really didn’t get heckled or looked down upon. But being tall was a mixed blessing. Off the court, I felt kind of shy because I wasn’t average. I wasn’t able to be a part of being normal in my classroom.

What music do you listen to before games? Would hip-hop be too explicit for Mormons?

I’m a really big fan of hip-hop, and I can listen to it before the game, but I’m not that into a lot of profane music. Sometimes you can’t get the clean things, so I just make sure that it’s as conservative as possible and make sure the message is there if profanity is present.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureSportsUrban/City Life and IssuesYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsMormons

0 Comments
Posted March 10, 2014 at 4:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

KIM LAWTON, correspondent: New York has been called the most secular city in America. But don’t tell that to Tony Carnes. He has made it his mission to systematically document all the religious sites in New York’s five boroughs, as he puts it, block by block, alleyway by alleyway. He and his team of freelancers have found a lot to document.

TONY CARNES (Editor and Publisher, A Journey Through NYC Religions): New York is experiencing a religious surge.

LAWTON: The project is called “A Journey Through NYC Religions.” Since they began in July of 2010, Carnes and his team have visited nearly 7,500 houses of worship and other religious sites. He estimates that’s more than 77percent of them [Editor's note: Numbers updated as of 2014]. They interview, photograph, videotape, even draw, and post their articles and other material on their website, nycreligions.info. Carnes says he launched the project because he believed a vital part of New York life was being given short shrift.

Read or watch and listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted March 9, 2014 at 12:59 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...Father Luke is still planning to run this year — along with hundreds of other service members — as part of a “shadow” Boston Marathon in Afghanistan. “After I qualified for 2014, I knew I couldn’t run in Boston this year,” he said. “But I could bring Boston to Afghanistan.”

On Friday, in a telephone interview from Afghanistan, Father Luke said registration for “Boston Marathon/Afghanistan” had opened on Thursday. “And the response has been overwhelming,” with members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines signing up from throughout Afghanistan, he said.

He said military commanders and Boston Athletic Association officials embraced the idea when he proposed it. (Bagram also hosted a “shadow” Boston Marathon a couple of years ago). So when service members cross the finish line in Afghanistan, they’ll receive the same medals handed out on Boylston Street.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureSportsUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaAfghanistan* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

0 Comments
Posted March 4, 2014 at 1:55 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Hamish Ogston pledged the money to the Anglican Church shortly after the February 2011 quake and, after seeing nothing had been done with the building, has reiterated his offer.

Mr Ogston says there is only a $15 million shortfall after his pledge, other offers and insurance money.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyHousing/Real Estate Market* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

0 Comments
Posted March 3, 2014 at 3:25 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

South Carolina's military communities are bracing for an uncertain future after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday called for deep cuts to the Army in 2015.

While Fort Jackson in Columbia - where more than 45,000 recruits are trained annually - is the obvious target, Charleston's and other installations also may be in the cross hairs since Hagel also called for a new round of base-closure reviews in 2017.

Still, the decision on rekindling a Base Realignment and Closure Commission depends on Congress, which has delayed the assessments in recent years in the interest of protecting jobs at home.

Read it all from the local paper.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchRural/Town LifeUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryEconomyHousing/Real Estate MarketLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPersonal FinancePolitics in GeneralCity GovernmentState Government* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

3 Comments
Posted February 25, 2014 at 6:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A midnight blue Chevy rolls slowly down a snow-covered street, an emergency strobe light on its roof and a sign on its side that promises this is “official business.” At each house, business, even vacant lot, workers in the car pause to decide whether someone lives there and what shape the place is in before snapping a photo and beaming it to “mission control” miles away.

All over Detroit, scores of these workers — on some days as many as 75 three-person teams — have been wending their way through the streets since December, cataloging on computer tablets one of this bankrupt city’s most devastating ailments: its tens of thousands of abandoned and dilapidated buildings.

Everyone here has long known that Detroit is plagued by emptying neighborhoods, but this expedited, top-to-bottom analysis of all 380,217 parcels of land in the city, which is to be finished in a matter of weeks, will quantify the state of blight here with a level of detail rare for an American city.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues

2 Comments
Posted February 22, 2014 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

50% of GDP comes from orange areas, 50% from blue.

Look at the map and read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchRural/Town LifeUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeHousing/Real Estate MarketLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPersonal FinanceThe U.S. Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

2 Comments
Posted February 19, 2014 at 3:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Damon Stang, whom Mr. English affectionately calls the “shop witch,” is the resident tarot card reader. Mr. Stang, a 30-year-old South African, is the founder of Kings County Coven No. 1, and he leads the Witches’ Compass series with Katelan Foisy on each full moon.

“There’s been a magical revival happening in New York City for two to three years,” Mr. Stang said. “I think it’s a nostalgia that people have for a sense of enchantment with the world.”

Athena Dugan, 51, who came from Lincoln Square to play the drums during the ceremony, said the long trip was worth it. “The connection I get when I’m here, and the trueness and honesty that it creates to being pagan, Wiccan, is here,” she said. “The minute I walk in, it’s like I’m stepping into a different world.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsWicca / paganism

1 Comments
Posted February 17, 2014 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The amount of coverage of Rocco's untimely death -- including that in the Post-Gazette -- was mentioned almost everywhere I went last week. No one called the coverage unseemly exactly, but it was often called excessive. Even PG political cartoonist Rob Rogers, who can reliably be counted on to offer a contrarian view on almost everything, penned a genuinely sentimental cartoon in honor of Rocco.

One of my colleagues, a fellow dog lover, said that the Rocco story struck a chord because whatever one's view of police and their tactics in any given neighborhood, it is difficult to find people who don't like dogs. YouTube probably wouldn't exist if it weren't for our tendency to anthropomorphize our pets' behavior. A cat playing a piano is one of the most viewed videos in history.

Heartwarming videos of dogs going bonkers greeting their masters returning from stints in Iraq and Afghanistan garner millions of hits, "likes" and tweets on social media. It is impossible to witness such deep cross-species friendship in these videos without shedding a tear if you're a dog lover.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireUrban/City Life and Issues* General InterestAnimals

0 Comments
Posted February 11, 2014 at 11:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Religion Writer Peter Smith covers the diverse spiritual scene of Southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond.

I was messing around with this site again last night and realized I have not mentioned it as of yet. Check it out.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues

1 Comments
Posted February 11, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The pope's choice will likely signal how he intends to steer the Catholic Church in America. "I think this is going to be the most important decision by Pope Francis for the U.S. church," Massimo Faggioli, an assistant professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, told the Associated Press last week.

Mr. Faggioli might be right. Chicago is regarded by many Catholics as America's premier archdiocese. Its bishops become leaders of the church in the U.S., either in name or through influence. Cardinal Francis George, who has held that position since 1998 and is the former president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (2007-10), has become an intellectual hero for conservatives. One of his most prominent messages has been to decry the mounting dangers to religious freedom in the West. Liberals have often found him wanting, and fondly recall his predecessor, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, as an example of the sort of new leader in Chicago that Pope Francis should select. As so often happens with those trying to interpret Pope Francis, on the left and the right, they see in him a reflection of their own hopes.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis

1 Comments
Posted February 7, 2014 at 11:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The outpouring of grief all around the country, but especially in the environs of New York City where "Phil" lived and worked, has been extraordinary and has, perhaps, taken some observers by surprise. The acute pain of my own grief has not abated for days; indeed, it has grown. I loved this actor beyond all others. There was a core of sensitivity and empathy at the heart of everything he did, even when playing the most unattractive characters. I was collecting his films, but in a desultory way, assuming that there was no particular urgency. Like many others who knew his work but not his personal story, I had no idea of the struggle he'd had. The idea that there will be no more performances is almost unbearable. He wasn't just a "character actor," though he certainly played a lot of characters; he had a range that, the more I think about it, was Shakespearean in its humanity. I can't even name a favorite performance; it was true of him across the board (or boards). I was looking forward to whatever he did next; now we can only play his old movies and suffer our loss. Now we will never see him play King Lear, a dismal thought that has occurred to several theatre critics who have lamented in print.

James Lipton, dean emeritus of the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University in New York City, widely known as the creator and host of Inside the Actors Studio on Bravo, was interviewed by CNN (I think it was). I don't remember ever seeing a scheduled television appearance at the time of a death that was so ferociously in the moment, not studied, not thought out ahead of time, just pure rage and grief. He seemed to be gripping the table (he may not have been, but it seemed that way) as he almost spat out his fury at "god-damned drugs." He was liberal on most things, he said, but when it came to drugs he felt nothing but implacable opposition and hatred. It was good to hear that. We don't hear it often enough. I remember when Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning after years of drug abuse. Someone said, "She made bad choices." As if a person in the throes of addiction has a choice! This isn't about choices or "free will." This is about the bondage of the will by demonic powers.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchDieting/Food/NutritionMovies & TelevisionTheatre/Drama/PlaysUrban/City Life and Issues* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

3 Comments
Posted February 6, 2014 at 3:49 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Don’t let all the suits and ties fool you. Almost everyone at Year Up has faced almost unimaginable hardship in getting here. Poverty, drugs, foster care, men's and women's shelters—you name it.

Gerald Chertavian: We are going into a professional skills course.

This all out corporate training blitz is the brainchild of Gerald Chertavian -- a Wall Street veteran who believes that he’s discovered an untapped source of talent among the poorest in the country.

Gerald Chertavian: A majority of the young adults growing up in isolated poverty, in our inner cities, want opportunity, want to be challenged, want to be held to higher expectations, and are motivated to actually get a good job. They haven't had any exposure as to how do you do that.

Read it all or watch it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicinePsychologyUrban/City Life and IssuesYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 6, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Watch and listen to it all. "Overcheering"--LOL.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMovies & TelevisionSportsUrban/City Life and Issues* General InterestHumor / Trivia

1 Comments
Posted February 3, 2014 at 3:14 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When Mr. [David] Dyson announced his retirement in 2011, a committee was formed to find someone to fill in during the arduous process — involving exhaustive surveys and self-examination — of finding a permanent pastor. The Session, 15 people elected by the congregation, chose Ms. Mason-Browne and gave her the standard contract for a one-year term. It was later renewed for a year.

Many saw parallels between the pastors. “Both have big personalities,” Joy Bell, a member since 1997, said. “Both are well read, well educated and demonstrate what Christianity should be about.”

But when her contract came up again at the end of 2013, the Session declined to renew it. With that, the number of black female pastors, like Ms. Mason-Browne, leading Presbyterian congregations in New York City dropped to five, though minorities are close to half of church members citywide. Nationally, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is 90 percent white.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesPresbyterian* TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted February 3, 2014 at 11:22 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

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

Read it all.

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

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Posted January 27, 2014 at 6:06 pm [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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the past three weeks, Charlton Fisher went from wanting to die to wanting desperately to live.

From his bed at Forbes Hospice, Mr. Fisher, a maintenance worker from Jamaica whose heart is nearly nonfunctional, made a dying wish -- to see his wife, Marion, and daughters, Ashley, 11, and Asha-kay, 3, one last time.

The anticipation of their visit from Jamaica and Saturday night's reunion has revived Mr. Fisher. Where on Dec. 31, his first day in hospice care, his skin was gray and he was unable to stand up or talk without sacrificing too much energy, on Sunday he was walking around, slow and weak, but improved.

That's not the typical trajectory of a hospice patient.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineMarriage & FamilyUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryCaribbeanJamaica

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Posted January 20, 2014 at 9:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Lisa Washam, who drove 500 miles from Lima, Ohio, to see the panda’s debut, had tears in her eyes as looked at the photos she took in her two minutes at the window watching Bao Bao.

“She’s so beautiful,” she said. “I feel she’s looking at me....”

[Lisa] is pursuing a doctorate in education, and she said watching the panda cam has helped relieve some of the stress. In the past year, she said, she has visited all four U.S. zoos with giant pandas as well as one in Canada.

“It’s a better way to relax than drinking,” Washam said. “It’s very peaceful.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues* General InterestAnimals

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Posted January 18, 2014 at 11:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Beijing's skyscrapers receded into a dense gray smog Thursday as the capital saw the season's first wave of extremely dangerous pollution, with the concentration of toxic small particles registering more than two dozen times the level considered safe.

The air took on an acrid odor, and many of the city's commuters wore industrial strength face masks as they hurried to work.

"I couldn't see the tall buildings across the street this morning," said a traffic coordinator at a busy Beijing intersection who gave only his surname, Zhang. "The smog has gotten worse in the last two to three years. I often cough, and my nose is always irritated. But what can you do? I drink more water to help my body discharge the toxins."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchScience & TechnologyTravelUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeEnergy, Natural Resources* International News & CommentaryAsiaChina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 16, 2014 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The anonymous diner famous for leaving huge tips in the name of Jesus — or, perhaps, a copycat — paid a visit to a San Francisco sushi restaurant Tuesday night, forking over a $3,000 tip on a $147 bill.

Employees at the high-end Japanese restaurant Roka Akor on Montgomery Street confirmed a “tall, dark and handsome” man dined with one other person before signing over the obscenely generous gratuity with the note “Tips for Jesus.” He also picked up the $389 tab for the table next to his — leaving before his waitress could thank him.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchDieting/Food/NutritionReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingPersonal Finance* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted January 16, 2014 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When Congress authorized the creation of Washington National Cathedral in 1893, it envisioned a national spiritual home. Decades later, it became a setting for presidential funerals, sermons by the likes of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and worship services for epic national tragedies such as Newtown and Sept. 11.

But would it have thought of tai chi and yoga mats?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralHouse of RepresentativesOffice of the PresidentSenate* Theology

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Posted January 16, 2014 at 4:40 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.

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Charleston Police Department is seeking to set up a family violence squad to combat often hidden crimes that scar families, turn children into tomorrow's criminals and contribute to the state's dubious distinction as the nation's No. 1 place for women killed by men.

The 433-officer police department is applying for a nearly $150,000 federal grand to hire, train and equip a full-time investigator to handle criminal domestic dispute cases as the first step toward what Chief Greg Mullen envisions as establishing a special family violence squad.

Mullen said the plan is to focus exclusively on family violence so police can investigate better, prepare for more effective prosecutions, be more supportive of victims and possibly head off more violence.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireMarriage & FamilyUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralCity Government* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 13, 2014 at 11:10 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"Witnesses to the Light: An Adventure into God's Workmanship Past, Present and Future," was written and compiled by the Rev. John Harper, who was interim dean of Cathedral Church of the Advent in 2004-05.

"It took me two and a half years," Harper said. "It has been a labor of love. It has been a joy from the very beginning. Anytime you start to do something for the Lord, it works that way."

The 290-page book, nine by 12 inches with full-color photography, documents every window in the cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama. It also features every priest who served as dean or rector, and explanations for the needlepoint artwork and designs in the wood such as the altar shields.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish Ministry* Culture-WatchArtBooksReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* General InterestPhotos/Photography

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Posted January 10, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On October 6th Tammy Wang attended an evangelical church, New Life Fellowship of Elmhurst Queens, that didn’t exist when she arrived in the city in the Fall of 1975. Furthermore, she hadn’t heard of the church until recently. And yet today this congregation of 1400 regular attenders was inaugurating a leadership succession to the founding leaders Pete and Geri Scazzero. This congregation is one of several thousand such evangelical churches that have grown up since her move to the city.

Scazzero told the congregation that New Life Fellowship’s multi-class, multiracial, international community (37+ nationalities) with its contemplative, emotionally reflective life-style “is a gift of hope to many around the world. Our community offers a glimpse of what is possible by the power of God, and is a taste of heaven itself.”

A New York City church “a taste of heaven itself’? A place that has become an inspiration for churches around the world? What is happening here? What does it mean for the future of the city?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

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Posted January 7, 2014 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Hymns echoed down the stairwell on a cold December morning. But they were not in English, or in the Norwegian of the Knudsens, Pedersens and other long-dead Scandinavians who are commemorated on the faded stained-glass windows.

Downstairs the descendants of the Norwegians continued to worship as they have done for decades at Our Saviour’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brooklyn’s Bay Ridge neighborhood.

But the Arabic prayers and responses heard upstairs were from a newer congregation that shares the building. The Salam Arabic Lutheran Church has become a home for Arab Christians, many of whom fled the Middle East. Some escaped violence in Syria and Iraq. Others say life was made difficult by armed gangs, kidnappers and extortionists, jihadi extremists or Israeli soldiers and settlers.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryPreaching / Homiletics* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.Middle East* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesLutheran* Theology

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Posted December 24, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Chicago in winter is not known for being a great place to camp out, much less on top of a building, much less on a former bordello.

Pastor Corey Brooks spent nearly three months in arguably one of the worst campsites ever: the roof of the Super Motel. Even so, he found inspiration in his rooftop tent.

The run-down motor hotel across the street from his church had long served as a hub of drug dealing and prostitution. To shut it down, Pastor Brooks and his parishioners protested every Friday and Saturday night for a year and a half.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* TheologyChristologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted December 21, 2013 at 4:55 pm [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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Cecil] Williams fainted at the 125th Street platform in Manhattan on Tuesday, and as he tumbled forward, Orlando landed in the tracks alongside him. Orlando tried to rouse Williams, who was unconscious. They lay there as the train passed above them.

Both survived. But because Orlando is slated to retire in January, and Williams' insurance won't pay for a non-working dog, they would have had to part ways.

Now, thanks to several anonymous donations to Guiding Eyes for the Blind, all of Orlando's expenses will be covered.

Read it all (the video is just wonderful as well).

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchCharities/Non-Profit OrganizationsHealth & MedicineUrban/City Life and Issues* General InterestAnimals

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Posted December 19, 2013 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When I first met Tamerlan Tsarnaev, now familiar as the elder of the two alleged Boston Marathon bombers, he gripped my hand like he was wringing out a rag. It was 2004, and Tamerlan had been in the U.S. for about a year, but he already had an outsize American dream. He planned to box for the U.S. Olympic Team one day, and he wanted to earn a degree, perhaps at Harvard or MIT, and to hold a full-time job at the same time, so he could buy a house and a car. I suggested he forget the house and the car during college, as most American students do. He didn't see why he should.

I was on sabbatical that year, taking classes at Harvard on a journalism fellowship, and had wanted to meet some of the refugees from Russia's war to reconquer the breakaway Muslim region of Chechnya. I expected to write about Russia's Islamist insurgency in the future, and I thought some Chechen expatriates might help me with my stories.

A friend told me that his mother had rented an apartment to some Chechens. He drove me to a weather-beaten three-family home crammed between others in a tattered corner of Cambridge, Mass. I was led up a narrow stairway, littered with shoes and slippers, to their third-floor apartment—the start of a relationship that came full circle last April, when I encountered the Tsarnaevs again under very different circumstances.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilySportsUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism

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Posted December 14, 2013 at 1:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

May 11, 1942: Five months into World War II, a young Coast Guardsman from Iowa was shown in a photo feature exhibiting the “typical actions and reactions of the thousands of service men from small towns who, since the war began, have made their maiden journey to the ‘big city.’”

Check it out.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed ForcesUrban/City Life and IssuesYoung Adults

4 Comments
Posted December 13, 2013 at 3:15 pm [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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Dear Father,—Do not be grieved at the slanderous libel in this week's Express. Of course, it is all a lie, without an atom of foundation; and while the whole of London is talking of me, and thousands are unable to get near the door, the opinion of a penny-a-liner is of little consequence.

I beseech you not to write: but if you can see Mr. Harvey, or some official, it might do good. A full reply on all points will appear next week.

I only fear for you; I do not like you to be grieved. For myself I WILL REJOICE; the devil is roused, the Church is awakening, and I am now counted worthy to suffer for Christ's sake... Good ballast, father, good ballast; but, oh! remember what I have said before, and do not check me.

Last night, I could not sleep till morning light, but now my Master has cheered me; and I "hail reproach, and welcome shame." Love to you all, especially to my dearest mother. I mean to come home April 16th. So amen.

Your affectionate son, C. H. Spurgeon.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted December 4, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Supreme Court has rejected a final bid to preserve the quake-damaged ChristChurch Cathedral.
This means the Diocese of Christchurch is free to demolish the Cathedral and to move ahead with plans for a replacement.
The Great Christchurch Buildings Trust (GCBT) earlier contested a Court of Appeal decision that demolition of the landmark could go ahead.
The Court of Appeal had upheld a High Court decision clearing the way for demolition to continue after the lawfulness of a decision to bring it down to a safe level was challenged by the GCBT.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesUrban/City Life and Issues* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ

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Posted December 2, 2013 at 3:19 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A 76-year-old woman who was knocked to the ground by a stranger yesterday is thought to be the latest victim in a dangerous 'knock out' game in New York.

Yvonne Small was walking through Brooklyn at about 11.30am when an unidentified person punched her in the back of the head.

Ms Small, who was knocked to the ground in the unprovoked attack, is believed to the the tenth victim in a sick craze.

Read it all from the Daily Mail.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyUrban/City Life and IssuesViolenceYoung Adults* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 1, 2013 at 11:14 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Today, the Philadelphia City Council voted unanimously to ban the manufacturing of guns by 3-D printers, making Philly the first city to do so. Which is interesting, because the author of the bill, Kenyatta Johnson, isn’t aware of of any local gun-printing 3-D printers. ”It’s all pre-emptive,” says Johnson’s director of legislation Steve Cobb. “It’s just based upon internet stuff out there.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesScience & TechnologyUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingPolitics in GeneralCity Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted November 24, 2013 at 4:38 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Facing crowded pews and heavy hearts, Dallas clergy took to the pulpits on Nov. 24, 1963 to try to make sense of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy just two days before.

“The ministers saw the assassination as an unwelcome opportunity for some serious, city-wide soul-searching,” said Tom Stone, an English professor at Southern Methodist University, who has studied the sermons delivered that day.

“Though Dallas could not be reasonably blamed for the killing, it needed to face up to its tolerance of extremism and its narrow, self-centered values,” Stone said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologySoteriologyTheodicy

4 Comments
Posted November 23, 2013 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For 50 years, Dallas has done its best to avoid coming to terms with the one event that made it famous: the assassination of John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963. That’s because, for the self-styled “Big D,” grappling with the assassination means reckoning with its own legacy as the “city of hate,” the city that willed the death of the president.

It will miss yet another opportunity this year. On Nov. 22 the city, anticipating an international spotlight, will host an official commemoration ceremony. Dallas being Dallas, it will be quite the show: a jet flyover, a performance from the Naval Academy Men’s Glee Club and remarks from the historian David McCullough on Kennedy’s legacy.

But once again, spectacle is likely to trump substance: not one word will be said at this event about what exactly the city was in 1963, when the president arrived in what he called, just moments before his death, “nut country.”

Read it all.





Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralOffice of the President* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

With the help of thousands of volunteers, San Francisco transformed itself into Gotham City to grant a special wish to a 5-year-old boy. NBC’s Joe Fryer reports.

Watch it all--makes the heart glad.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchCharities/Non-Profit OrganizationsChildrenHealth & MedicineUrban/City Life and Issues

0 Comments
Posted November 17, 2013 at 12:19 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In 2007, members of Evangel Ministries in northwest Detroit went out into the surrounding neighborhoods to share the gospel in a summer-long program called Dare to Share. They came back with reports of new connections and conversions—and new questions. Many of their neighbors had voiced powerful objections to the faith.

Senior pastor Christopher Brooks realized that the apologetics he had studied at Biola University, and later at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics, needed to be placed in a new context. "We realized that we needed to respond to not just the historic topics of theology and philosophy, but also to the pressing, present question: 'Does the Lord see what's happening in the hood?'"

Brooks's forthcoming book, Urban Apologetics (Kregel Publications), tells the story of how Evangel enthusiastically embraced that challenge. The newly appointed campus dean of Moody Theological Seminary–Michigan recently spoke with CT executive editor Andy Crouch.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues* TheologyApologetics

0 Comments
Posted November 17, 2013 at 6:18 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In a San Francisco hotel room not long ago, I absently flipped through one of those forgettable in-room lifestyle magazines aimed at the casual visitor. Set amid ads for marbled steak and glistening sushi, a tourist map occupied the last pages. As do most urban maps, it had segmented the city into its various and iconic neighborhoods—Pacific Heights, the Mission, Haight-Ashbury.

Gazing at this depiction of a city I know only from a smattering of disjointed visits and impressions, I was struck by the regularity in the distribution and size of its neighborhoods. I had the sense that what I was looking at was the expression of some kind of logic—but whether it was the result of government fiat or some curious social alchemy was beyond me. It left me wondering: Is there some human penchant for breaking up space to better fit our cognitive maps?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted November 10, 2013 at 12:32 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, has launched a campaign to conserve 100 treasures in Anglican churches, and the Church of England hopes to raise £3m for their conservation.

Church Care, the central Anglican organisation that runs the campaign, points out that caring for over 16,000 churches in England is an enormous burden. Repairs to buildings cost a total of £115m a year, “to keep them watertight and fit for the 21st century”. Too often, there are simply no funds left for conserving works of art.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchArtHistoryReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

1 Comments
Posted November 6, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From here:
On November 5th, New York voters will be presented with Proposal 1, the New York Casino Gambling Amendment, which would allow the legislature to authorize up to seven new casinos in the state. The stated purposes of this constitutional amendment are to promote job growth, increase funding to schools, and permit local governments to lower property taxes. These are more than reasonable goals, but what is not said is that in places where casino gambling has been introduced, almost all gains have come at the high social cost of addiction and family disintegration, and deepening poverty. Some of these casinos are targeted for regions in New York, including in our diocese, characterized by entrenched poverty. The infusion of such false hopes into communities of economic desperation will, we are convinced, prove ruinous to people and families who will turn to the empty promises of casino gambling. There are no quick fixes to the challenges of struggling cities and towns, and we call on our elected leaders instead to focus on the kind of investment and hard work that build sound, long-term economic health and the self-sufficiency of communities. The Episcopal Church has long opposed casino gambling for all of these reasons, and so we stand in opposition to Proposal 1.

The Right Reverend Andrew M. L. Dietsche
Bishop of New York


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Culture-WatchGamblingReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralState Government* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted November 4, 2013 at 5:16 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Elizabeth and I at the new 9/11 memorial this past Saturday morning--KSH.

Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family* Culture-WatchHistoryUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* General InterestPhotos/Photography

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Posted November 4, 2013 at 6:01 am [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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The dean of St John's Cathedral must curb plagiarism by its preachers by setting up strict guidelines and a committee to investigate the practice, a Baptist University academic says.

The call from Chan Sze-chi, a senior lecturer in the school's religion and philosophy department, comes amid new evidence of plagiarism by several senior priests at the Anglican cathedral and its affiliate, Emmanuel Church, in Pok Fu Lam.

Reverend John Chynchen delivered a sermon at St John's Cathedral in August that was written by an American pastor in 2004 and published on a website called Sermons That Work.

Read it all and for those interested the website for the Cathedral in Hong Kong is there.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryAsiaChina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

3 Comments
Posted November 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Anne Stoehr, a one-time resident of Detroit who now lives in nearby Grosse Pointe Woods, is tired of the doom and gloom she keeps reading about Detroit. “Keep telling people that it’s hopeless, they’re going to believe it,” she says. “It’s not true; not if we just pull together.”

Indeed, not all the news from Detroit is bleak. Local corporations have joined in an $8 million campaign to provide 23 new emergency medical service vehicles and up to 100 new police cars to replace the city’s aging and poorly maintained municipal fleet. Quicken Loans brought its headquarters and 7,000 jobs to downtown Detroit in 2010, inspiring a rush of tech start-ups to join in. Cafes and restaurants are opening. New jobs are being created by entrepreneurs attracted to the city by its low overhead.

Mrs. Stoehr is volunteering along with some friends on a Tuesday morning at On the Rise, a bakery sponsored by the Capuchins. The business provides its east side community with wholesome fare that would otherwise be completely lacking and offers its employees, one-time inmates of Michigan’s jails and prisons, steady work and new, marketable skills.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralCity Government* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted November 1, 2013 at 5:11 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...the first thing that God’s people are meant to be, day to day, week to week, month to month, year to year, is we are meant to be a people who know our own failure, and who come to God with nothing in our hands, with no strength of our own, simply seeking his forgiveness, admitting our weakness. One of the great failures of the church in European history is that too often it is taken in by the appearance of strength and forgets its need of God. Over recent years we’ve done that over issues of the abuse of children in Europe. We’ve failed to say where we’ve gone wrong. We are to be a repentant church.

It is very easy to be confident in your own resources. When I was at university, which was sadly a very long time ago, two friends and I decided to walk across Scotland. It was about 230 miles, so it took about two weeks. We were good walkers but bad map readers. So we probably did 300 miles because we kept going one way and having to come back another. And on one occasion we were walking in western Scotland, and we came to a valley that split into two bits, and after a little while we realised that the valley we’d taken after about four miles ended in a cliff, and the other one had the main road. So we went back, and as we were going back we met some other people coming along the same bad route. And so being nice people we said to them, ‘This is the wrong way, there’s just a cliff at the end.’ And they said, ‘No there isn’t. We know this is the right way.’ So we smiled politely and we went on, and when we got back to where we should have gone from, we sat down and made a cup of tea and waited for them to appear, looking embarrassed.

Repentance is when you know you’re going the wrong way and, rather than going on, you turn round and go back and take the way that God has shown you. We are to be a repentant church. That is part of the culture of Christian faith.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues* TheologyAnthropology

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Posted October 31, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"It's all about trust," says David Beidel, founding pastor of New Hope Community Church in Staten Island's West Brighton neighborhood. "We have known each other for years. Some of us even grew up together. We have a level of trust that can only come through years of laboring together toward the common goal of seeing the gospel flourish in our city."

However, Beidel says, newly arrived leaders in Staten Island are also welcome. "I just had lunch this week with a young pastor who planted a church here not too long ago," he adds. "He has been really impressed by how we have worked together to rebuild after Sandy."

The storm also prioritized corporate prayer among the SIAE pastors. Their monthly prayer meetings have become weekly. "I believe the fact that we worked together so much after Sandy, and the fact that we were overwhelmed together by Sandy, caused this awareness of our being called to pray together," says Dave Watson, pastor of Calvary Chapel in Staten Island's Mariners Harbor neighborhood. Beidel agrees. "Our weekly prayer meetings for the past several months have been a very sweet time of fellowship."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.* TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted October 30, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Religious faith is a “powerful and increasingly influential global reality” which must be taken seriously, especially in the City of London, according to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Most Rev Justin Welby said God and mammon – material wealth or greed – are not mixable, but this did not mean there was no place for faith in the City.

“That’s on the authority of Jesus Christ who said you can’t serve God and mammon. God and the City, by contrast I think, are eminently mixable.”

He was speaking at a Mansion House dinner hosted by Roger Gifford, a senior banker and Lord...

Read it all (subscription required).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsStock MarketThe Banking System/Sector* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted October 29, 2013 at 7:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...according to Barna Research’s survey of more that 3,400 residents in the New York media market, New York City is more spiritually active today than in the late 1990s or even 2001 in the wake of 9/11. Barna reports that church attendance is increasing, the number of “unchurched” residents is decreasing, and the number of “born again” Christians is on the rise, surging from 20% in the late 1990s to 32% today.

According to Barna, born again Christians are “individuals who said they have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in the life and who believe they will go to Heaven because they have accepted Christ and been forgiven of their sins.”

Possible explanations for New York’s Christian renaissance are numerous, but the city’s crop of increasingly influential Christian pastors, educators, and thought leaders is partially responsible. Here are at least 16 leaders–in unranked order–who are contributing to the city’s Christian revival....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted October 20, 2013 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Federal grants of $7 million awarded to this city were meant largely to help thwart terror attacks at its bustling port. But instead, the money is going to a police initiative that will collect and analyze reams of surveillance data from around town — from gunshot-detection sensors in the barrios of East Oakland to license plate readers mounted on police cars patrolling the city’s upscale hills.

The new system, scheduled to begin next summer, is the latest example of how cities are compiling and processing large amounts of information, known as big data, for routine law enforcement. And the system underscores how technology has enabled the tracking of people in many aspects of life.

The police can monitor a fire hose of social media posts to look for evidence of criminal activities; transportation agencies can track commuters’ toll payments when drivers use an electronic pass; and the National Security Agency, as news reports this summer revealed, scooped up telephone records of millions of cellphone customers in the United States.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FirePsychologyScience & TechnologyUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted October 14, 2013 at 7:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Jorge Fuentes did things his own way. “If you’re not being yourself, you’re not having fun,” he would say, flashing a smile.

As a contrarian kid, he sometimes drove his mother and teachers and pastors crazy. But by his late teens, he was a standout counselor at his church’s youth programs. He traveled everywhere on mission trips, doing farm work in Virginia, feeding poor people in New York. He planned to join the Marines.

Then, just over a year ago, came the stray shot, fired from a stranger’s gun, that hit the 19-year-old in the head as he walked his dog across the street from his family’s home in Dorchester.

The death of Fuentes was a loss of incalculable proportions, not only for his close-knit family, but for Episcopalians across Eastern Massachusetts.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted October 10, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It has been almost six months since the Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and left many others horribly injured. the phrase, "Boston strong" with are heard a lot in the days after the tragedy. and recently we saw just how strong are some of them who took the next big steps in their lives....

Watch it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism

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Posted October 9, 2013 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The small, quiet town in Fairfield County is a world away from the streets of Dorchester, but the two communities are, in a sense, linked: Both mourn the innocent children they have lost to gun violence.

Bishop M. Thomas Shaw, leader of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, saw that connection when he and his staff were putting together a day of workshops aimed at helping church members — including many small-town dwellers and suburbanites — find ways to help end violence, part of the B-PEACE for Jorge campaign.

“When Newtown happened, it was three months after Jorge’s death, and it was so clear to all of us that this was not something that just happens in the city,” Shaw said in an interview in his office last month. “This happens everywhere.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted October 9, 2013 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

One swing from No. 22's bat could tie or win the game, a tantalizing proposition that grew more likely with each pitch from Mr. Rosenthal. The count moved to 3-0, and Mr. [Andrew] McCutchen showed great restraint by taking a strike.

"Because I knew he still had to come to me," Mr. McCutchen said.

At 3-1, he liked his chances of being able to rifle a ball to right-center field. The pitch came to the outside, and he swung, uncorking those wrists through the hitting zone. But the wood simply did not touch enough of the ball.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/bucs-mvp-moment-was-not-to-be-706636/#ixzz2h7dXgwp8


Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMenSportsUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted October 8, 2013 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In September 2010, The New York City Leadership Center in partnership with Redeemer City to City hosted the inaugural Movement Day congress at Calvary Baptist Church in New York City. Since then, cumulatively 3,200 catalytic leaders representing Christian ministries, churches, businesses, seminaries, universities and foundations have convened at Movement Day to collaborate on urban ministry and leadership, to hear from the best Christian thinkers, to study effective models of urban Gospel Movements, and to find new ways to reach and renew metropolitan communities....

You can find out about it here and there. A good place to focus your prayers--KSH.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Theology

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Posted October 8, 2013 at 5:55 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It’s a grand opening three months in the making. The city’s oldest church welcomed parishioners back inside this weekend.

Gigi Barnett reports the Old St. Paul’s Church has a brand new look.

Trumpets marked the occasion at Old St. Paul’s Church in the heart of Baltimore. After three months of renovations, the city’s first and oldest church reopened this weekend.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted September 30, 2013 at 3:19 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There are two ways Christians tend to see the city and God in the city. The first peers through a lens that sees primarily what is wrong with it. It can miss seeing the city as God's good gift, and the church already active in the city. Because it often moves quickly into problem-solving, like a missions trip to "save" or "bring God to" New York, it can overlook what many churches are already doing and the dynamic ways that cities work.

The second way is to try to see the city through the eyes of God. Listening to the Holy Spirit, it seeks to build on what is already happening, working within existing structures and relationships. Change comes from the inside out, through people who know and live there. They can make a longer commitment and deeper difference than those who stop in and just as quickly leave.

Many forces can prevent outsiders from seeing what God is doing in New York. The city's booming media industry, from television to film, to fashion and music, has reinforced for many non–New Yorkers an image of sophistication on one hand or urban grit on the other. But rarely does pop culture capture the religious ferment going on underneath.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Theology

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Posted September 30, 2013 at 11:11 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Many times, the start of Steelers training camp would signal the end of the Pirates season. Today, we have the start of a Pirates post-season pretty much marking the end of the Steelers for 2013.

For the first time in 45 years, back to when miniskirts were all the rage and pro football in Pittsburgh was not, the Steelers lost for the fourth straight time to open a season.

The previously winless Minnesota Vikings turned the trick this time, on another continent but in an all-too familiar way. The Vikings parlayed big plays against a shaky Steelers defense to pull off their first win, 34-27, turning back a furious Steelers comeback that ended when Ben Roethlisberger was sacked from the Minnesota six on their final play and lost a fumble.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMenSportsUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted September 29, 2013 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all; appropriate especially for any leading prayers tomorrow.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaKenya

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Posted September 28, 2013 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Did the masterminds of the Westgate terror escape within an hour of launching the attack? Could the terrorists who remained behind to continue the senseless killing and repulse security forces also slip away unnoticed?

And what is the fate of the hostages thought to have been held in the siege? What about the destruction of the mall, did the military bomb it? And who looted the shops?

These are some of the hard questions that Kenyans are seeking answers to as sources reveal new accounts that have not been formally released by the government, further intensifying the mystery that surrounds the four-day siege.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaKenyaSomalia* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted September 28, 2013 at 4:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Dear Diary:

While I was riding the subway home after a delightful dinner with a visiting friend, the young woman seated opposite me noticed my cast and asked how I injured my leg. I replied that it was my foot that was injured and that I had fractured my fifth metatarsal.

She asked if she could say a healing prayer for me. I said if she thought that would help, sure, go ahead. She then asked if I would mind if she touched my foot and said a prayer right now....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineReligion & CultureTravelUrban/City Life and Issues

1 Comments
Posted September 22, 2013 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A push to forge community partnerships and attack lawlessness at its roots helped Charleston buck a national trend and post substantial declines in violent crime and property offenses last year, according to FBI statistics released Monday.

Charleston saw a 26 percent drop in violent crime in 2012, despite having one more killing than in the previous year. Driving the decline were noticeably fewer rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults than in 2011, the FBI numbers show.

The total number of property crimes such as burglaries and car thefts in the city also dropped, by 10 percent, during the same time period.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralCity Government* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted September 18, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Saying in a statement that church members reacted with "shock and sadness" to the violence, the church's dean, the Rev. Gary Hall, said, "we mourn for those who have died, and we continue to grieve the persistence of gun violence in our nation." He added that the cathedral "will hold the victims, first responders, and the Navy community in prayer, while also making the cathedral’s space and its ministries available today to all who seek consolation and refuge from this loss."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At least 13 people are dead and several others were wounded after a gunman opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, police said, spreading fear and chaos across the region as authorities sought to contain the panic.

The incident, in which the death toll rose almost hourly, represents the single worst loss of life in the District since an airliner plunged into the Potomac River in 1982, killing 78.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier and Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced the mounting number of casualties in a series of news conferences. The suspected shooter, identified by the FBI as Aaron Alexis, 34, living in Fort Worth, is among the 13 dead. Alexis was a military contractor, one official said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted September 16, 2013 at 4:40 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As a college student I attended a campus Christian fellowship that always, at every meeting, had a book table of literature for purchase. On the table there was a little booklet called Doubters Welcome. I remember my surprise at the title, because as a young believer I thought that Christians frowned on doubters and wanted them to just take that leap and have faith. But I came to realize that the Bible had a more balanced view. While we want doubts to give way to faith (John 20:28; James 1:6), we should be merciful and patient with those who are still in their doubt-troubled period. (Jude 1:22). On that campus the Christian fellowship was very inviting to skeptics and doubters, and there were always a lot of them mixed in with the believers.

I always wanted to be part of a church that had that same spirit. When we began Redeemer Church in Manhattan in 1989, one of the first “core values” was that we wanted to be a place where those who were not believers (or who were not sure what they believed) would find their questions welcomed and addressed, their doubts and difficulties respected, and their struggles and concerns anticipated. We soon became aware of and glad for the presence of many, many doubters and spiritual inquirers in our midst. Over time, many of them discovered the Redeemer community to be an “incubator” where they were able to see the reasonable beauty of the Christian gospel and discover their own faith developing and growing.

However, the only way we were able to have a community filled with questioners was because believers at Redeemer were not afraid to identify themselves publicly as Christians to others that they worked with and lived near.

Read it all (his emphasis).

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* Theology

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Posted September 15, 2013 at 1:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York, Washington and Somerset County by al-Qaida terrorists reminds the United States of the life-changing aspects of what happened that day.

It is useful that Americans are probably more vigilant as a result of the fatal assaults. Unfortunately, repeated words of caution and fear are frequently used by politicians and others to further their own ambitions.

The length of the ensuing Afghanistan War and the Iraq War, with the loss of life and expenditure of resources, is attributable to the 9/11 attacks. It is inconceivable that the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama could have initiated or maintained either conflict if there had been no 9/11 and resulting U.S. insecurity....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted September 11, 2013 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Take a look at all the pictures and note there is an autoplay option.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* General InterestPhotos/Photography* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

1 Comments
Posted September 11, 2013 at 3:09 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Look at them all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* General InterestPhotos/Photography* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.Australia / NZ

0 Comments
Posted September 11, 2013 at 1:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMusicUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

With the anniversary of 9/11 days away, high school and middle school students mostly too young to remember the terrorist attacks gathered on the aircraft carrier Yorktown and met one woman who will never forget.

Melodie Homer is the widow of LeRoy Homer, co-pilot of United Airlines Flight 93, one of four the planes hijacked and crashed by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001.

“For many of us who experienced that day, the word ‘closure’ doesn’t really exist,” said Homer, who now lives in North Carolina with her children.

Read it all from this past's weekend's local paper.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryMarriage & FamilyUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* South Carolina

1 Comments
Posted September 11, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We forgot. It doesn’t seem possible, but we forgot. I forgot.

I didn’t forget in the strictest meaning of the word, but I forgot some things. I forgot the anger. I forgot the anxiety and the worry. It’s all still there; it’s just not out on my sleeve where I can see it and know it and live it all the time. But it’s there. It’s in every perfect day, when the skies are blue and the clouds are perfect and the warmth is soft and comforting in an autumn kind of way. Some things were okay to forget or let go of. I swore after 9/11 that I would never set foot in another airplane.

I am writing this on a flight from New York to California.

Is it a good thing to forget pain? Is it something we need to keep in our hearts as a reminder, something to keep us awake, alert, and ever vigilant?

No, I don’t want to remember that.

I want to remember the way the skyline looked before, with the Twin Towers intact. I want to remember a time when most people didn’t know who bin Laden was. I want to know that time when the country wasn’t a place of divide, when terrorism and war didn’t separate us into with us/against us.

But I forgot so much. Seven years have come and gone. In those years we moved on, we lived, we put 9/11 aside with all our other memories that we like to keep at bay. Time is the best medication of all. It dulls the pain, eases the hurt, and assuages the guilt. It makes me forget it could happen again. Time brings complacency.

In that small space between three hijacked planes and color-coded terror alerts, between a small field in Pennsylvania and conspiracy theories, there was a brief, lit-up moment when we felt like one. I remember thinking that this tragedy would fix us instead of break us. I want so much to feel again that hope and unity that existed in the days after the attack. There was proof, ever so briefly, that we could come together as a nation to help and comfort each other, when we were all just human beings on common ground instead of left or right, Democrat or Republican.

Never forget, indeed. Never forget that out of the rubble of tragedy arose a moment when we put everything aside to be one whole nation.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The day after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the headline in Paris' Le Monde newspaper read "We are all Americans". Liane Hansen speaks with Jean-Marie Colombani, who wrote the article that ran beneath that headline about his reflections on that time.

Read or listen to it all from NPR.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.EuropeFrance

0 Comments
Posted September 11, 2013 at 6:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

(You may find the names of all 343 firefighters here--KSH).

On Monday this week, the last of the 343 firefighters who died on September 11th was buried. Because no remains of Michael Ragusa, age 29, of Engine Company 279, were found and identified, his family placed in his coffin a very small vial of his blood, donated years ago to a bone-marrow clinic. At the funeral service Michael’s mother Dee read an excerpt from her son’s diary on the occasion of the death of a colleague. “It is always sad and tragic when a fellow firefighter dies,” Michael Ragusa wrote, “especially when he is young and had everything to live for.” Indeed. And what a sobering reminder of how many died and the awful circumstances in which they perished that it took until this week to bury the last one.

So here is to the clergy, the ministers, rabbis, imams and others, who have done all these burials and sought to help all these grieving families. And here is to the families who lost loved ones and had to cope with burials in which sometimes they didn’t even have remains of the one who died. And here, too, is to the remarkable ministry of the Emerald Society Pipes and Drums, who played every single service for all 343 firefighters who lost their lives. The Society chose not to end any service at which they played with an up-tempo march until the last firefighter was buried.

On Monday, in Bergen Beach, Brooklyn, the Society therefore played “Garry Owen” and “Atholl Highlander,” for the first time since 9/11 as the last firefighter killed on that day was laid in the earth. On the two year anniversary here is to New York, wounded and more sober, but ever hopeful and still marching.

--First published on this blog September 11, 2003

Filed under: * By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireMusicUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted September 11, 2013 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Remember that the more specific you can be, the more the rest of us will get from your comments--KSH.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetHistoryUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted September 11, 2013 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

(History Channel) For 102 minutes on September 11, 2001, the world looked on in horror as terrorists flew hijacked passenger planes into New York City's mighty twin towers, destroying the iconic buildings and killing more than 2,700 people. Watch unfiltered videos from nine New Yorkers who witnessed the day that changed America.

Watch them all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted September 11, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It is not upon you alone the dark patches fall,
The dark threw its patches down upon me also
,
The best I had done seem'd to me blank and suspicious,
My great thoughts as I supposed them, were they not in reality meagre?
Nor is it you alone who know what it is to be evil,
I am he who knew what it was to be evil,
I too knitted the old knot of contrariety,
Blabb'd, blush'd, resented, lied, stole, grudg'd,
Had guile, anger, lust, hot wishes I dared not speak,
Was wayward, vain, greedy, shallow, sly, cowardly, malignant,
The wolf, the snake, the hog, not wanting in me.
The cheating look, the frivolous word, the adulterous wish, not wanting,

Refusals, hates, postponements, meanness, laziness, none of these wanting,
Was one with the rest, the days and haps of the rest,
Was call'd by my nighest name by clear loud voices of young men as
they saw me approaching or passing,
Felt their arms on my neck as I stood, or the negligent leaning of
their flesh against me as I sat,
Saw many I loved in the street or ferry-boat or public assembly, yet
never told them a word,
Lived the same life with the rest, the same old laughing, gnawing, sleeping,
Play'd the part that still looks back on the actor or actress,
The same old role, the role that is what we make it, as great as we like,
Or as small as we like, or both great and small.

--Walt Whitman, Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryPoetry & LiteratureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted September 11, 2013 at 4:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Dear God:

Thou who has been our help in ages past, thou who dispenses your comfort to all those who mourn. We seek your grace to strengthen us as we commemorate the lives of loved ones who have been lost on this day of anguish for our country and our world.

Wipe away the blinding tears that plummet down our cheeks like gushing streams of an overflowing riverbank. Our heavy hearts still search for the solace of your guidance through the maze of pain and the myriad of complex issues such tragedy releases.

Though hurt, we are compelled to commemorate those who are fallen on this day. Remember those who may not have lost a life but instead they lost a limb, those who gave their health for our wholeness, those who lost their emotional stability to help us regain our national security.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchHistoryUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted September 11, 2013 at 4:46 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Through the eyes of a child--take a look (she was a student at Sequoyah Elementary School).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted September 11, 2013 at 4:42 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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