Posted by The_Elves

In Kendall's absence, none of us elves have felt comfortable posting on the shooting of Michael Brown and the Ferguson MO situation, not having found any single article or commentary that really seemed worth recommending and up to T19 standards. But it seems a glaring absence on the blog this week NOT to have posted about Ferguson. So, we'd like to ask T19 readers: what links might you recommend? Especially welcome would be articles / commentaries that get beyond the headlines and give some context or offer a Christian perspective on the events. Thanks in advance. - the elves.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchRace/Race RelationsReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

5 Comments
Posted August 23, 2014 at 7:17 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Most people spend their Saturdays relaxing, especially when the weather looks grim. However, people driving through Durham's Woodcroft Shopping Center saw a small group of dedicated volunteers handing out copies of a police missing person message.

The handbills have two pictures of Kent Torrey Hickson, the 71-year-old Anglican priest who's been missing since Monday.

Hickson's son-in-law Maurice Perry told ABC11, "We've searched around his house, searched around where the car was found. And now, looking between the bank where he was last seen and where the car was found."

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The men in charge of Liverpool's two cathedrals have abseiled down the city's Anglican cathedral, to raise money for charity.

Cathedral Dean Rev Peter Wilcox and his Roman Catholic counterpart, Father Anthony O'Brien, joined an abseil down the cathedral on Saturday.

As part of a two-weekend event, the 150 ft (45m) leap has helped to raise about £48,000 for the cathedral,

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchCharities/Non-Profit OrganizationsReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

1 Comments
Posted August 9, 2014 at 12:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Southern hospitality lives on. Eight of the 10 friendliest cities in the USA are in the South, according to a new survey by Conde Nast Traveler.

Charleston, S.C., was named the friendliest city and recognized for its culture, history, natural beauty, and food scene, the magazine said in its 2014 Readers' Choice Awards. Charleston earned top honors last year as well.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchTravelUrban/City Life and Issues* South Carolina

1 Comments
Posted August 6, 2014 at 1:04 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Detroitis the destination this weekend for Pastor Stephen Shaw and more than a dozen members of his Alabama church.

They’re joining an estimated 7,000-10,000 visitors expected at the 99th annual convention for the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World Inc., which begins Saturday at Cobo Center.

The mission is to learn, pray, find fellowship and more. But for Shaw and others, it’s also an opportunity to lift the city with spiritual support.

Read it all.


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

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Posted August 4, 2014 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

True to stereotype, San Francisco is the most leftie city in the union. But would people expect Washington, DC, to come second, ahead of Seattle (where it is legal to smoke pot) or the Democratic stronghold of Boston? On the other end of the scale, Mesa, Arizona is the most conservative large city, with a slew of Texan and Oklahoman municipalities high on the list. The data come from a study appearing this month in the American Political Science Review by Chris Warshaw of MIT and Chris Tausanovitch from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We visit the Islamic Center of Greater Miami to look at the rising number of Latino Muslims in the US—as many as 250,000, according to estimates. Some of the converts say that in Islam they have found theological simplicity and “no intermediaries with God.” The Islamic Circle of North America reports that more than half of the US Latino converts are women. “I just felt that the minute I put my head down to the ground,” says Nadia Echevrria, “I felt like I was really talking to God.”

Read or watch and listen to it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted July 27, 2014 at 11:19 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

With safe passage promised by a 12-hour humanitarian cease-fire, residents of the areas hardest hit in Gaza fighting returned to their homes on Saturday. They could not believe what they saw.

Many roads were barely passable, and almost quiet. Women did not wail. The men looked stunned. Their neighborhoods were reduced to ugly piles of gray dust, shattered cement block and twisted rebar.

Huge bomb craters marked the spot where on Friday four-story apartment blocks stood. On some streets, it seemed as if every house was either riddled with bullet holes or shrapnel spray, charred by flames, or leveled.

The scale of the damage from Israeli airstrikes and artillery fire was the worst seen in 19 days. Much of the damage witnessed Saturday occurred in the past 24 to 48 hours, as diplomats debated the terms of a possible truce.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIsraelThe Palestinian/Israeli Struggle* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 26, 2014 at 10:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

With his waxed moustache and tattoos, Darren Wolf could be either the founder of a tech start-up or a cage fighter, depending on your view of London’s East End.

In fact he is a Cambridge graduate, a former director of the Terrence Higgins Trust and last month became one of the latest batch of vicars enlisted to revamp church services in the Diocese of London.

His first posting as an ordained minister is to Christ Church Spitalfields, the Nicholas Hawksmoor-designed masterpiece that sits at the border between the City’s banks, Brick Lane’s curry houses and the tech companies of Shoreditch.

Rev Wolf’s first assignment at this striking white temple is to launch an informal 5pm service.

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

0 Comments
Posted July 25, 2014 at 10:34 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For the past several years, the conversation about gay life has been, to a large degree, a conversation about gay marriage. This summer—on social media, on Fire Island, at the Christopher Street pier, and in certain cohorts around the ­country—what many gay men are talking about among themselves is Truvada. And what’s surprising them is how fraught the conversation can be. For some, like [Damon] Jacobs, the advent of this drug is nothing short of miraculous, freeing bodies and minds. For doctors, public-health officials, and politicians, it is a highly promising tool for stopping the spread of HIV.

But for others, a drug that can alleviate so much anxiety around sex is itself a source of concern. They worry that Truvada will invite men to have as much condom­less sex as they want, which could lead to a rise in diseases like syphilis. Or they fret that not everyone will take it as religiously as they ought to, reducing its effectiveness and maybe even creating resistance to the drug if those users later become HIV-positive and need it for treatment.

Read it all.

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

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineMenSexualityUrban/City Life and IssuesYoung Adults* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology


Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:09 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A clergyman who led a huge downtown congregation in Chicago has been appointed minister of the most important Presbyterian church in Scotland.

The Rev Calum MacLeod, 46, was chosen as minister of St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, in succession to the Very Rev Dr Gilleasbuig Macmillan, after preaching at the weekend to his new Edinburgh congregation.

Yesterday, in an interview with The Times, he signalled his intention to confront what is widely perceived in the Kirk as raucous secularism within wider society and to seek to increase his congregation.

The contrast between the minister’s new parish and his old church could hardly be stronger. Though both are important city-centre institutions, the Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago has a membership of 5,500, about 11 times larger than St Giles.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.England / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsSecularism* Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 16, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Recently we learned that]...a critical threshold has now been reached in the 10,000-year history of urban civilization. On Thursday, the United Nations declared for the first time that more than half of the people on the planet live in cities. Only 70 years ago, less than a third did. And by 2050, two-thirds of people will be living in cities.

The rapid pace in urbanization has many causes, such as better transportation and a rise in manufacturing. China, for example, has seen the world’s largest migration as more than 150 million rural people have moved to cities in recent decades for factory jobs and better education after the country embraced a market economy.

But a deeper cause likely drives people to live in close proximity to each other and put up with noise, traffic, pollution, and high prices....Cities are escalators to the good life. They are dream factories. Urban migrants put up with squalor in order to lift their families out of generations of rural stagnation.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeHousing/Real Estate MarketLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPolitics in GeneralCity Government* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 13, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The journey to St. Lydia’s began when Emily Scott and Rachel Pollak came from the Western United States to the East Coast to attend St. Lawrence College. Scott, an Episcopalian, hailed from Bothwell, Washington. Pollak, a Unitarian, came from Salt Lake City, Utah. Both also went on to complete graduate degrees at Yale Divinity School in 2007. By this time they were friends sharing ideas about what “doing church” would look like in the Twenty-first Century.

Scott graduated from the Institute of Sacred Music as a liturgist and musician. She had a passion for worship, arts and liturgy that emerged from her upbringing as an Episcopalian. Pollak received a Master of Arts and Religion from Yale. However, their paths diverged after Pollak moved to study at the Art Institute of Chicago while Scott stayed on the East Coast to work at a local church in New York City.

After she moved to the massive city, Scott began holding more and more dinner parties. The first traces of an idea about a new church can be seen in those friendly gatherings....

Part one is here and part two is there. Read them both.



Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchDieting/Food/NutritionReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesLutheran* Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 11, 2014 at 6:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Today is Saturday. This is evident on the face of my sleep-deprived neighbor, here in the fluorescent hallway, shifting her whining toddler impatiently from one hip to the other, scowling at the elevator doors which refuse to open. It is also evident in my own frustration at being obliged to wait several minutes before embarking on errands—jingling the keys in my pocket and watching the painfully slow sequence of floor numbers on the elevator panel. I am caught in the human traffic jam that visits my 20-story building every weekend.

Why the hold up? I live in a historically Jewish building in New York City. On most days, its two elevators service each section of this rather monolithic structure—just enough to keep up with the flow of residents going up and down. But come Friday evening, one of the cars is switched into Shabbos mode, meaning that it stops at every single floor automatically, backing the tenants up like resentful clogs in beige-yellow arteries. It does so for religious reasons, since many observant Jews avoid pressing electric buttons on Shabbat.

Read it all from the Atlantic.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Politicians around the country speak of him reverently, casting him as the sagacious Obi-Wan Kenobi (or maybe Yoda) of local government and noting that no current mayor of a well-known city has lasted so long.

“To maintain enormous popularity in your city and equal reservoirs of respect professionally among your peers — I don’t think there’s anyone who’s been able to do that like he has,” Stephen Goldsmith, the former mayor of Indianapolis, told me.

I had to visit him. I was exhausted with all the cynicism, including my own, about politics and politicians, and I craved something and someone sunnier. I was curious about the perspective of a leader who had clearly gotten a whole lot right.

What makes for good governance? Riley’s observations warranted attention.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryRace/Race RelationsUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralCity Government* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 6, 2014 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A church centre in Norwich that helps homeless people, stranded strangers and elderly people is to shut after landlords rejected a rescue plan.

The All Saints Centre needs £100,000 a year to keep going but has hit money difficulties because of the recession.

A plan by Bishop of Norwich Graham James to assume the lease, which could have brought a rent cut, was rejected by Norwich Historic Churches' Trust.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchPovertyReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralCity Government* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted July 1, 2014 at 7:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For Jerry Conkle, life in America’s fastest-growing metropolitan area moves as slowly as the golf carts that meander through his palm-lined neighborhood at dusk. Most days, he wakes early, reads the newspaper, and then hops into his four-wheeled buggy for a 20-mile-per-hour ride to one of the 42 golf courses that surround his home.

“It’s like an adult Disney World,” Conkle, 77, said of The Villages, Florida, whose expansion has come with virtually no crime, traffic, pollution -- or children.

The mix has attracted flocks of senior citizens, making The Villages the world’s largest retirement community. Its population of 110,000 has more than quadrupled since 2000, U.S. Census Bureau data show. It rose 5.2 percent last year, on par with megacities like Lagos, Nigeria, and Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyHousing/Real Estate MarketPolitics in GeneralCity Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

4 Comments
Posted June 27, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Justin Prim isn’t just a bike messenger. He’s part of a new wave of self-employed go-getters, some making six figures, who are capitalizing on something called “the sharing economy.”

“For two years, this has been my main source of income -- just riding my bikes around, seeing the sights, picking up random stuff,” Justin said.

Online marketplaces where you rent out things you own have become booming businesses. You can rent out your home with AirBnb, Roomorama, Wimdu and BedyCasa, or your car with Buzzcar, Getawround and RelayRides, or even random stuff lying around with SnapGoods, Rentoid and Parking Panda.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spending

0 Comments
Posted June 21, 2014 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Last week, the Bishop of London and the General Secretary of the Diocese, Andy Brookes, joined young would-be clergy from across the Diocese of London in the Wren Suite of St Paul's Cathedral, to promote young vocations. Young people from a number of vocational schemes around the Diocese, including the North London, Kensington and Stepney Schemes, attended the event.

These schemes offer one- or two-year programmes of theological teaching, practical experience, vocational discernment and personal development for young people exploring their calling and considering future ministry in the church. As part of these schemes, regular sessions are run for the pastoral assistants, offering a programme of Christian formation as well as specific support for those who are at different stages on the journey to test a call to ordained ministry.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesYoung Adults* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

0 Comments
Posted June 20, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, has preached at choral evensong to over 150 parishioners and members of the community at St Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its rebuilding and re-consecration, after the Wren church was almost completely destroyed during the Blitz in 1941.

The 50th anniversary celebrations began earlier this year with a concert of German music given by the Deutsche Bank Singers, reflecting British-German reconciliation and peace.

Subsequent events have included a lecture on the City Churches and the impact of the Blitz, given by historian and author Juliet Gardiner and a unique opportunity for members of the public to visit the tower and try their hand at bell ringing.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchHistoryUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

1 Comments
Posted June 17, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Mosul's fall matters for what it reveals about a terrorism whose threat Mr. Obama claims he has minimized. For starters, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) isn't a bunch of bug-eyed "Mad Max" guys running around firing Kalashnikovs. ISIS is now a trained and organized army.

The seizures of Mosul and Tikrit this week revealed high-level operational skills. ISIS is using vehicles and equipment seized from Iraqi military bases. Normally an army on the move would slow down to establish protective garrisons in towns it takes, but ISIS is doing the opposite, by replenishing itself with fighters from liberated prisons.

An astonishing read about this group is on the website of the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War. It is an analysis of a 400-page report, "al-Naba," published by ISIS in March. This is literally a terrorist organization's annual report for 2013. It even includes "metrics," detailed graphs of its operations in Iraq as well as in Syria.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralOffice of the PresidentPresident Barack ObamaTerrorism* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIraq

3 Comments
Posted June 12, 2014 at 6:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“Ninety-nine percent of the Christians have left Mosul,” pastor Haitham Jazrawi said today following the takeover of Iraq’s second largest city—and its ancient Christian homeland—by al-Qaeda-linked jihadist militants.

A mass exodus of Christians and Muslims is underway from the city of 1.8 million after hundreds of gunmen with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) overran the city and forced out the Iraqi army and the police. Reports indicate Iraqi army units abandoned their posts, in the process giving up U.S.-provided weapons and vehicles, including Humvees, in what was a key base of operations for U.S. military forces throughout the Iraq war. Long a city of diverse religious and ethnic makeup—with Arabs and Kurds, and a large population of Assyrian Christians—Mosul was a flashpoint during the eight-year conflict.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIraq* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

2 Comments
Posted June 12, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Q. What is the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria?

A. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has been designated by the United States as an international terrorist organization. It operates in Iraq and Syria and has as its goal the establishment of an Islamic caliphate, or state, in the area now occupied by Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. It is also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and sometimes as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria.

Q. What is its relationship to al Qaida?

A. ISIS was once considered an affiliate of al Qaida, but the two groups have broken over ISIS’ role in Syria. Al Qaida has criticized ISIS for being too brutal and has complained that ISIS’ zeal to establish an Islamic state has distracted from the current push to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad. Last year, al Qaida chief Ayman al Zawahiri ordered ISIS’ leader, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, to withdraw his forces from Syria. Baghdadi ignored the order.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIraq* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted June 11, 2014 at 6:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

So delighted to see"A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder" win Best Musical. We saw it and recoomended it last year BEFORE it opened. Do please put it on your list and check out the other winners.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMusicTheatre/Drama/PlaysUrban/City Life and Issues* General InterestHumor / Trivia

0 Comments
Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Militants in Iraq have stormed a university campus in the western city of Ramadi, taking dozens of students and staff hostage.

One student at the Anbar University campus said "everybody is in panic".

One report said some guards had died and that the militants were from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.

The western province of Anbar is a focal point of Iraq's rising sectarian violence, with a number of areas controlled by Sunni militants.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationUrban/City Life and IssuesViolenceYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIraq* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When Ray Cannata reads the Bible, he is often struck by how rooted it is in specific places. The pastor of Redeemer New Orleans, an evangelical Presbyterian church near Tulane University, notes that in almost any biblical passage you are likely to be told where something occurred—"to remind you," he says, that the Gospels are "an earthly thing. . . . It's not a fairy tale. It's not 'Once upon a time.' " The Rev. Cannata and other religious leaders—like the theologian Fred Sanders at Biola University outside Los Angeles—have taken that message to heart, calling it "the theology of place."

"We believe Jesus is God in the flesh, breaking into time and place in history," Rev. Cannata says. "He didn't pick Greece. He didn't pick Illinois. He picked Bethlehem...."

People behave a certain way when they expect they will run into their fellow churchgoers, notes Will Tabor, a campus minister at Tulane University and a Redeemer member, who says he also often sees other congregants during the week.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyHousing/Real Estate Market* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted June 6, 2014 at 11:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A bill that would have established the Lowcountry's first comprehensive research university may have lost its best chance of passing Wednesday when some of the S.C. Senate's most powerful voices put up a significant roadblock to the measure.

The lengthy Senate debate also featured an emotional plea from Sen. Harvey Peeler, R-Gaffney, the Senate majority leader, who lamented the aggressive, often personal politics that he said Charleston legislators employed to see the bill passed.

While the bill is not entirely dead, Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Charleston, who has fought for the measure, worries that a failure to get a vote on the bill with just one full day left in this year's legislative session means the Senate may have lost its best chance to pass it.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationUrban/City Life and IssuesYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifePolitics in GeneralCity GovernmentState Government* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

While some churches are struggling to attract younger members, 20 and 30-something-year-olds are waiting in long lines to get into Hillsong's services....

Watch the whole video report.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Nigerian police have banned public protests in the capital Abuja for the release of more than 200 schoolgirls seized by Islamist militants in April.

Abuja police commissioner Joseph Mbu said the rallies were "now posing a serious security threat".

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireTeens / YouthUrban/City Life and IssuesViolenceWomen* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted June 2, 2014 at 3:50 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Fellowship at Two Rivers divested itself Sunday of a Donelson campus exponentially larger than the former megachurch needs, voting to sell its 220,000-square-foot building and 37.5-acre grounds to the Catholic Diocese of Nashville.

The diocese will pay $12.5 million and move operations from the Catholic Center at 2400 21st Ave. S., spokesman Rick Musacchio said. He said the relatively small center has forced the diocese to spread programs among locations across the city.

The vote, taken after a morning sermon stressing that every Christian — not just the biblical "superheroes" — has the power to enact change, was nearly unanimous. Only one obvious "no" hand went up.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyHousing/Real Estate Market* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesBaptistsRoman Catholic* Theology

0 Comments
Posted June 2, 2014 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A group of Anglicans in a small Canterbury community are vowing to take the battle for Christ Church Cathedral to the court of public opinion after a judge lifted a stay on a planned demolition of the 110-year-old building.

Justice Graham Panckhurst released findings on Friday lifting the stay on demolition of the cathedral.

However a small group of Anglicans say the fight is not over.

Akaroa resident Mike Norris organised a group of parishioners to meet and discuss what the decision meant for their battle to restore the cathedral.

"This is the beginning of the next stage of the campaign," he said. "We have gone through the courts, which has not advanced our cause, now it is time to go through the court of public opinion."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchHistoryUrban/City Life and Issues* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

0 Comments
Posted May 31, 2014 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Although parishioners at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church held their last service there in November, hymns might be heard again from the nearly 100-year-old church as soon as this fall. Riverview Presbyterian Church, now on Kanawha Boulevard, plans to buy the church building and move in.

“It had always been the hope of folks from St. Paul and Trinity [Evangelical Lutheran Church] that it would be purchased by a church or a community organization, so this is a real godsend,” said Trinity Lutheran’s Rev. Randy Richardson.

The Trinity and St. Paul congregations joined last year because of St. Paul’s dwindling membership. There were only about 40 voting members when the church closed.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyHousing/Real Estate Market* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesLutheranPresbyterian

0 Comments
Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...the ministry will today face further revolt over its decision to let developers turn 7 acres of church land near Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire into an out-of-town retail park.

Campaigners, who will march on Westminster Abbey at lunchtime, say the £15m development, in conjunction with Claymore Group, will “go against Christian beliefs” by damaging trade for small businesses in the town centre.

But the church is keeping faith in the controversial project, despite the fact it has been put on hold due to an ongoing legal challenge by protester Victoria Harvey.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingHousing/Real Estate MarketStock MarketThe Banking System/Sector* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted May 28, 2014 at 4:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Jos, Most Reverend Benjamin Kwashi, has instructed security agencies to comb Jos for 6 out of the 10 bombs planted in the city by Boko Haram as confessed by one of the suspects arrested in connection with the twin bomb blast that rocked the city last week.

He gave the instruction on Sunday in Minna when delivering sermon titled “the good shepherd” at the dedication of the Minna Cathedral of the Anglican Communion and the presentation of four Archbishops.

“There was a twin bomb blast few days ago in Jos in which many people were killed. Just yesterday when I was about to come to Minna, another bomb exploded in Jos again. We are aware that one of the Boko Haram arrested by the security has confessed that they planted 10 bombs in the city. We are also aware that one of the bombs has been seen and detonated by the police. But where are the remaining six? The police must urgently search and recover the hidden bombs to save lives and property”, he said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Nigeria* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted May 25, 2014 at 4:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

An explosion has shaken Jos in central Nigeria, days after a twin car bomb attack killed 118 people in the city.

Police said the blast happened near an open-air TV viewing centre where people were watching the Champions League footbal final.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria

0 Comments
Posted May 24, 2014 at 4:50 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

THE Anglican Bishop of Portsmouth unveiled a new £60,000 outdoor learning area for children in Rowlands Castle.

The Rt Rev Christopher Foster formally opened the worship circle at St John’s Primary School.

The area is just one part of an outdoor facility at the school, which will ultimately include an outdoor amphitheatre, art traversing wall and learning hut.

The worship circle – which has been named the Garden of Peace by the children – is a quiet reflective area.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues

0 Comments
Posted May 23, 2014 at 7:14 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Over the years, there have been many attempts to assess the impact of Dr Graham's ministry - particularly that first crusade of 1954 - on the British Church and people. There is no doubt about its immediate effect.

A former Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Michael Baughen, was a theology student in 1954, and fondly remembers Underground trains crowded with hymn-singing passengers. He spoke for many when he recalled: "It was like divine adrenalin for a jaded Church."

As far as the nation was concerned, if the national press is to be any guide, initial hostility - "Yankee spellbinder", and "hot-gospeller" were two of the milder epithets, while one columnist suggested that the Home Secretary should refuse him entry - gave way to grudging, and in some cases warm-hearted, approval. For example, a Sunday Graphic columnist, whose initial reaction was "This Billy Graham line just won't do," 11 weeks later expressed thanks to Graham, saying: "You've done us a power of good."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyChristologySoteriology

2 Comments
Posted May 23, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

St Paul’s Anglican Church in Monaco is getting geared up for a busy few days. On Sunday 25 May normal services of worship are being curtailed as the roads of the Principality will be taken over by the Grand Prix so worshippers are being encouraged to pray early by attending the 8am service on that day.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchSportsUrban/City Life and Issues

0 Comments
Posted May 22, 2014 at 6:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The bodies of at least 118 people have now been recovered from the sites of twin bombings in the central Nigerian city of Jos, the nation's emergency management agency says.

The first blast was in a busy market, the second outside a nearby hospital.

No group has said it was behind the attack but Boko Haram militants have carried out a spate of recent bombings.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria

0 Comments
Posted May 20, 2014 at 5:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I am grateful to 24-7 Prayer who are again setting up and hosting a prayer space inside the Cathedral during the day time. 24-7 Prayer are also providing online booking facilities for one-hour sessions either in the Cathedral during the day time or for local prayer across the Diocese during the evening and night to ensure that we cover every hour of the week.

I ask you all to join with others across this Diocese and beyond in this great wave of prayer, for I am convinced that there is nothing that is impossible for a Church that is confident, compassionate and creative in the power of the Spirit and in union with Jesus Christ our Lord.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistrySpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyTheology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)

0 Comments
Posted May 18, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Morgan travels to Nashville, TN – the buckle of the Bible Belt – to become a guest preacher at an atheist church, a controversial and growing movement in the U.S. Along the way, he visits evangelical mega-churches, Baptist gospel churches, mosques, Mormon gatherings, and more to try and figure out exactly why people need religion in their lives, why it creates so much conflict in this world, and what his own message is for his Sunday sermon.

(You can also find a brief Tennessean article there).

Read the program transcipt here.

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

1 Comments
Posted May 16, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Watch it all.


"Take from us all doubt and mistrust. Lift our thoughts up to thee...." as the prayer said this morning. Don't miss the shot in the middle of Saint Paul's Cathedral. Watch it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues* General InterestPhotos/Photography* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

2 Comments
Posted May 15, 2014 at 1:34 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

After a decade marked by deep grief, partisan rancor, war, financial boondoggles and inundation from Hurricane Sandy, the National September 11 Memorial Museum at ground zero is finally opening ceremonially on Thursday, with President Obama present, and officially to the public next Wednesday. It delivers a gut-punch experience — though if ever a new museum had looked, right along, like a disaster in the making, this one did, beginning with its trifurcated identity.

Was it going to be primarily a historical document, a monument to the dead or a theme-park-style tourist attraction? How many historical museums are built around an active repository of human remains, still being added to? How many cemeteries have a $24 entrance fee and sell souvenir T-shirts? How many theme parks bring you, repeatedly, to tears?

Because that’s what the museum does....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchArtHistoryUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted May 15, 2014 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

April was one of the most successful months in the South Carolina Aquarium's 14-year history, thanks to a rare visit from a band of dancing mermaids.

The aquarium, which is a nonprofit organization, saw record attendance during the month it played host to the World Famous Mermaids of Florida's Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, a team of female entertainers who wear elaborate fish-tailed costumes and perform synchronized underwater dances.

Read it all from the local paper and you have to love the picture.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomy* General InterestAnimals* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted May 4, 2014 at 4:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Scott] Claassen serves in a street-focused...[Episcopal] community in Los Angeles called Thad's, which refers to the often-forgotten disciple Thaddeus, Claassen said. He described the community as “not your grandmother’s Episcopal church," which is not to say the church is radical, he said, but that it is "not what you’d expect from an Episcopal church... We prioritize seeking to make a love-spreading difference while living in authentic community with one another."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues

0 Comments
Posted May 3, 2014 at 9:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyHousing/Real Estate Market

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

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

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Washington pastor Amy Butler is a search committee’s candidate to be the next senior minister at Riverside Church in New York City, one of the most prominent congregations in mainline Protestantism.

The search committee’s selection of Butler, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, was announced April 27. The first woman pastor in the church’s history, she will be formally introduced to the congregation May 4, with a vote expected June 8.

Since it opened its doors in 1930, Riverside has been a bastion of progressive Christianity. Officially affiliated with both the American Baptist Churches USA and the United Church of Christ, it describes itself as interdenominational. The church’s neo-gothic tower is a visible landmark in its Manhattan neighborhood which includes Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary. Its pastors — including Harry Emerson Fosdick, William Sloane Coffin and James Forbes Jr. — have been influential voices in American theological and political life.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Theology

1 Comments
Posted April 29, 2014 at 11:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

While out on an unrelated assignment, CBS 2 investigative reporter Dave Savini decided to stop by a South Side Subway sandwich shop for a meal.

Savini was struck by the fact that the counter of the store at 116th Street and South Halsted was encased in bullet-proof glass.

Such a sight would be common at crime magnets like gas stations or currency exchanges, but a Subway?

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted April 24, 2014 at 2:16 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

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

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all and enjoy the great pictures.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEasterHoly WeekLentParish Ministry* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaUrban/City Life and Issues* Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 23, 2014 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

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

0 Comments
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

0 Comments
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

0 Comments
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

0 Comments
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

0 Comments
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

0 Comments
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

0 Comments
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

0 Comments
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

0 Comments
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

0 Comments
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

0 Comments
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

0 Comments
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.

0 Comments
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

0 Comments
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

0 Comments
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

0 Comments
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.

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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]




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