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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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Dear Father,—Do not be grieved at the slanderous libel in this week's Express. Of course, it is all a lie, without an atom of foundation; and while the whole of London is talking of me, and thousands are unable to get near the door, the opinion of a penny-a-liner is of little consequence.
I beseech you not to write: but if you can see Mr. Harvey, or some official, it might do good. A full reply on all points will appear next week.
I only fear for you; I do not like you to be grieved. For myself I WILL REJOICE; the devil is roused, the Church is awakening, and I am now counted worthy to suffer for Christ's sake... Good ballast, father, good ballast; but, oh! remember what I have said before, and do not check me.
Last night, I could not sleep till morning light, but now my Master has cheered me; and I "hail reproach, and welcome shame." Love to you all, especially to my dearest mother. I mean to come home April 16th. So amen.
Your affectionate son, C. H. Spurgeon.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics * Culture-Watch Children History Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues * International News & Commentary England / UK
The Supreme Court has rejected a final bid to preserve the quake-damaged ChristChurch Cathedral.
This means the Diocese of Christchurch is free to demolish the Cathedral and to move ahead with plans for a replacement.
The Great Christchurch Buildings Trust (GCBT) earlier contested a Court of Appeal decision that demolition of the landmark could go ahead.
The Court of Appeal had upheld a High Court decision clearing the way for demolition to continue after the lawfulness of a decision to bring it down to a safe level was challenged by the GCBT.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Urban/City Life and Issues * General Interest Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc. * International News & Commentary Australia / NZ
A 76-year-old woman who was knocked to the ground by a stranger yesterday is thought to be the latest victim in a dangerous 'knock out' game in New York.
Yvonne Small was walking through Brooklyn at about 11.30am when an unidentified person punched her in the back of the head.
Ms Small, who was knocked to the ground in the unprovoked attack, is believed to the the tenth victim in a sick craze.
Read it all from the Daily Mail.
Today, the Philadelphia City Council voted unanimously to ban the manufacturing of guns by 3-D printers, making Philly the first city to do so. Which is interesting, because the author of the bill, Kenyatta Johnson, isn’t aware of of any local gun-printing 3-D printers. ”It’s all pre-emptive,” says Johnson’s director of legislation Steve Cobb. “It’s just based upon internet stuff out there.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Science & Technology Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Politics in General City Government * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
Facing crowded pews and heavy hearts, Dallas clergy took to the pulpits on Nov. 24, 1963 to try to make sense of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy just two days before.
“The ministers saw the assassination as an unwelcome opportunity for some serious, city-wide soul-searching,” said Tom Stone, an English professor at Southern Methodist University, who has studied the sermons delivered that day.
“Though Dallas could not be reasonably blamed for the killing, it needed to face up to its tolerance of extremism and its narrow, self-centered values,” Stone said.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics * Culture-Watch History Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Soteriology Theodicy
For 50 years, Dallas has done its best to avoid coming to terms with the one event that made it famous: the assassination of John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963. That’s because, for the self-styled “Big D,” grappling with the assassination means reckoning with its own legacy as the “city of hate,” the city that willed the death of the president.
It will miss yet another opportunity this year. On Nov. 22 the city, anticipating an international spotlight, will host an official commemoration ceremony. Dallas being Dallas, it will be quite the show: a jet flyover, a performance from the Naval Academy Men’s Glee Club and remarks from the historian David McCullough on Kennedy’s legacy.
But once again, spectacle is likely to trump substance: not one word will be said at this event about what exactly the city was in 1963, when the president arrived in what he called, just moments before his death, “nut country.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch History Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * Economics, Politics Politics in General Office of the President * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
With the help of thousands of volunteers, San Francisco transformed itself into Gotham City to grant a special wish to a 5-year-old boy. NBC’s Joe Fryer reports.
Watch it all--makes the heart glad.
In 2007, members of Evangel Ministries in northwest Detroit went out into the surrounding neighborhoods to share the gospel in a summer-long program called Dare to Share. They came back with reports of new connections and conversions—and new questions. Many of their neighbors had voiced powerful objections to the faith.
Senior pastor Christopher Brooks realized that the apologetics he had studied at Biola University, and later at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics, needed to be placed in a new context. "We realized that we needed to respond to not just the historic topics of theology and philosophy, but also to the pressing, present question: 'Does the Lord see what's happening in the hood?'"
Brooks's forthcoming book, Urban Apologetics (Kregel Publications), tells the story of how Evangel enthusiastically embraced that challenge. The newly appointed campus dean of Moody Theological Seminary–Michigan recently spoke with CT executive editor Andy Crouch.
Read it all.
In a San Francisco hotel room not long ago, I absently flipped through one of those forgettable in-room lifestyle magazines aimed at the casual visitor. Set amid ads for marbled steak and glistening sushi, a tourist map occupied the last pages. As do most urban maps, it had segmented the city into its various and iconic neighborhoods—Pacific Heights, the Mission, Haight-Ashbury.
Gazing at this depiction of a city I know only from a smattering of disjointed visits and impressions, I was struck by the regularity in the distribution and size of its neighborhoods. I had the sense that what I was looking at was the expression of some kind of logic—but whether it was the result of government fiat or some curious social alchemy was beyond me. It left me wondering: Is there some human penchant for breaking up space to better fit our cognitive maps?
Read it all.
The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, has launched a campaign to conserve 100 treasures in Anglican churches, and the Church of England hopes to raise £3m for their conservation.
Church Care, the central Anglican organisation that runs the campaign, points out that caring for over 16,000 churches in England is an enormous burden. Repairs to buildings cost a total of £115m a year, “to keep them watertight and fit for the 21st century”. Too often, there are simply no funds left for conserving works of art.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Art History Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues * International News & Commentary England / UK
After it sparked controversy and opposition from a number of area residents, the Anglican diocese is scrapping plans to build a subsidized housing facility in a south west Edmonton neighbourhood....
The decision came after news of the project sparked rising tensions in the neighbourhood.
“We don’t think the project can be successful in this particular place,” Anglican Bishop Jane Alexander said.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues * Economics, Politics Economy Housing/Real Estate Market * International News & Commentary Canada
On November 5th, New York voters will be presented with Proposal 1, the New York Casino Gambling Amendment, which would allow the legislature to authorize up to seven new casinos in the state. The stated purposes of this constitutional amendment are to promote job growth, increase funding to schools, and permit local governments to lower property taxes. These are more than reasonable goals, but what is not said is that in places where casino gambling has been introduced, almost all gains have come at the high social cost of addiction and family disintegration, and deepening poverty. Some of these casinos are targeted for regions in New York, including in our diocese, characterized by entrenched poverty. The infusion of such false hopes into communities of economic desperation will, we are convinced, prove ruinous to people and families who will turn to the empty promises of casino gambling. There are no quick fixes to the challenges of struggling cities and towns, and we call on our elected leaders instead to focus on the kind of investment and hard work that build sound, long-term economic health and the self-sufficiency of communities. The Episcopal Church has long opposed casino gambling for all of these reasons, and so we stand in opposition to Proposal 1.
The Right Reverend Andrew M. L. Dietsche
Bishop of New York
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops * Culture-Watch Gambling Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues * Economics, Politics Politics in General State Government * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Elizabeth and I at the new 9/11 memorial this past Saturday morning--KSH.
At Turning Point United Methodist Church, there are hot meals for the hungry, roundtables for women and after-school programs for children — and for the downtrodden there is hope.
Led by their newly installed pastor, the Rev. Annie Allen, the church has taken on an increasingly involved role in reaching out to the city’s poor in spirit.
Allen has called on her background in social services and government for her new mission. She has worked by a favorite, oft-repeated statement: “Out of the pulpit, onto the pavement.”
“I love the cities, and I’m not afraid to be in the cities,” Allen said. “I want to nurture our community and be seen to be part of downtown Trenton.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Poverty Urban/City Life and Issues * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Methodist
The dean of St John's Cathedral must curb plagiarism by its preachers by setting up strict guidelines and a committee to investigate the practice, a Baptist University academic says.
The call from Chan Sze-chi, a senior lecturer in the school's religion and philosophy department, comes amid new evidence of plagiarism by several senior priests at the Anglican cathedral and its affiliate, Emmanuel Church, in Pok Fu Lam.
Reverend John Chynchen delivered a sermon at St John's Cathedral in August that was written by an American pastor in 2004 and published on a website called Sermons That Work.
Read it all and for those interested the website for the Cathedral in Hong Kong is there.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics * Culture-Watch Urban/City Life and Issues * International News & Commentary Asia China * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Anne Stoehr, a one-time resident of Detroit who now lives in nearby Grosse Pointe Woods, is tired of the doom and gloom she keeps reading about Detroit. “Keep telling people that it’s hopeless, they’re going to believe it,” she says. “It’s not true; not if we just pull together.”
Indeed, not all the news from Detroit is bleak. Local corporations have joined in an $8 million campaign to provide 23 new emergency medical service vehicles and up to 100 new police cars to replace the city’s aging and poorly maintained municipal fleet. Quicken Loans brought its headquarters and 7,000 jobs to downtown Detroit in 2010, inspiring a rush of tech start-ups to join in. Cafes and restaurants are opening. New jobs are being created by entrepreneurs attracted to the city by its low overhead.
Mrs. Stoehr is volunteering along with some friends on a Tuesday morning at On the Rise, a bakery sponsored by the Capuchins. The business provides its east side community with wholesome fare that would otherwise be completely lacking and offers its employees, one-time inmates of Michigan’s jails and prisons, steady work and new, marketable skills.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues * Economics, Politics Politics in General City Government * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
...the first thing that God’s people are meant to be, day to day, week to week, month to month, year to year, is we are meant to be a people who know our own failure, and who come to God with nothing in our hands, with no strength of our own, simply seeking his forgiveness, admitting our weakness. One of the great failures of the church in European history is that too often it is taken in by the appearance of strength and forgets its need of God. Over recent years we’ve done that over issues of the abuse of children in Europe. We’ve failed to say where we’ve gone wrong. We are to be a repentant church.
It is very easy to be confident in your own resources. When I was at university, which was sadly a very long time ago, two friends and I decided to walk across Scotland. It was about 230 miles, so it took about two weeks. We were good walkers but bad map readers. So we probably did 300 miles because we kept going one way and having to come back another. And on one occasion we were walking in western Scotland, and we came to a valley that split into two bits, and after a little while we realised that the valley we’d taken after about four miles ended in a cliff, and the other one had the main road. So we went back, and as we were going back we met some other people coming along the same bad route. And so being nice people we said to them, ‘This is the wrong way, there’s just a cliff at the end.’ And they said, ‘No there isn’t. We know this is the right way.’ So we smiled politely and we went on, and when we got back to where we should have gone from, we sat down and made a cup of tea and waited for them to appear, looking embarrassed.
Repentance is when you know you’re going the wrong way and, rather than going on, you turn round and go back and take the way that God has shown you. We are to be a repentant church. That is part of the culture of Christian faith.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics * Culture-Watch Urban/City Life and Issues * Theology Anthropology
"It's all about trust," says David Beidel, founding pastor of New Hope Community Church in Staten Island's West Brighton neighborhood. "We have known each other for years. Some of us even grew up together. We have a level of trust that can only come through years of laboring together toward the common goal of seeing the gospel flourish in our city."
However, Beidel says, newly arrived leaders in Staten Island are also welcome. "I just had lunch this week with a young pastor who planted a church here not too long ago," he adds. "He has been really impressed by how we have worked together to rebuild after Sandy."
The storm also prioritized corporate prayer among the SIAE pastors. Their monthly prayer meetings have become weekly. "I believe the fact that we worked together so much after Sandy, and the fact that we were overwhelmed together by Sandy, caused this awareness of our being called to pray together," says Dave Watson, pastor of Calvary Chapel in Staten Island's Mariners Harbor neighborhood. Beidel agrees. "Our weekly prayer meetings for the past several months have been a very sweet time of fellowship."
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues * General Interest Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc. * Theology Pastoral Theology
Religious faith is a “powerful and increasingly influential global reality” which must be taken seriously, especially in the City of London, according to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Most Rev Justin Welby said God and mammon – material wealth or greed – are not mixable, but this did not mean there was no place for faith in the City.
“That’s on the authority of Jesus Christ who said you can’t serve God and mammon. God and the City, by contrast I think, are eminently mixable.”
He was speaking at a Mansion House dinner hosted by Roger Gifford, a senior banker and Lord...
Read it all (subscription required).
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Credit Markets Currency Markets Stock Market The Banking System/Sector * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
...according to Barna Research’s survey of more that 3,400 residents in the New York media market, New York City is more spiritually active today than in the late 1990s or even 2001 in the wake of 9/11. Barna reports that church attendance is increasing, the number of “unchurched” residents is decreasing, and the number of “born again” Christians is on the rise, surging from 20% in the late 1990s to 32% today.
According to Barna, born again Christians are “individuals who said they have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in the life and who believe they will go to Heaven because they have accepted Christ and been forgiven of their sins.”
Possible explanations for New York’s Christian renaissance are numerous, but the city’s crop of increasingly influential Christian pastors, educators, and thought leaders is partially responsible. Here are at least 16 leaders–in unranked order–who are contributing to the city’s Christian revival....
Read it all.
Federal grants of $7 million awarded to this city were meant largely to help thwart terror attacks at its bustling port. But instead, the money is going to a police initiative that will collect and analyze reams of surveillance data from around town — from gunshot-detection sensors in the barrios of East Oakland to license plate readers mounted on police cars patrolling the city’s upscale hills.
The new system, scheduled to begin next summer, is the latest example of how cities are compiling and processing large amounts of information, known as big data, for routine law enforcement. And the system underscores how technology has enabled the tracking of people in many aspects of life.
The police can monitor a fire hose of social media posts to look for evidence of criminal activities; transportation agencies can track commuters’ toll payments when drivers use an electronic pass; and the National Security Agency, as news reports this summer revealed, scooped up telephone records of millions of cellphone customers in the United States.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Police/Fire Psychology Science & Technology Urban/City Life and Issues * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Jorge Fuentes did things his own way. “If you’re not being yourself, you’re not having fun,” he would say, flashing a smile.
As a contrarian kid, he sometimes drove his mother and teachers and pastors crazy. But by his late teens, he was a standout counselor at his church’s youth programs. He traveled everywhere on mission trips, doing farm work in Virginia, feeding poor people in New York. He planned to join the Marines.
Then, just over a year ago, came the stray shot, fired from a stranger’s gun, that hit the 19-year-old in the head as he walked his dog across the street from his family’s home in Dorchester.
The death of Fuentes was a loss of incalculable proportions, not only for his close-knit family, but for Episcopalians across Eastern Massachusetts.
Read it all.
It has been almost six months since the Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and left many others horribly injured. the phrase, "Boston strong" with are heard a lot in the days after the tragedy. and recently we saw just how strong are some of them who took the next big steps in their lives....
Watch it all.
The small, quiet town in Fairfield County is a world away from the streets of Dorchester, but the two communities are, in a sense, linked: Both mourn the innocent children they have lost to gun violence.
Bishop M. Thomas Shaw, leader of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, saw that connection when he and his staff were putting together a day of workshops aimed at helping church members — including many small-town dwellers and suburbanites — find ways to help end violence, part of the B-PEACE for Jorge campaign.
“When Newtown happened, it was three months after Jorge’s death, and it was so clear to all of us that this was not something that just happens in the city,” Shaw said in an interview in his office last month. “This happens everywhere.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
One swing from No. 22's bat could tie or win the game, a tantalizing proposition that grew more likely with each pitch from Mr. Rosenthal. The count moved to 3-0, and Mr. [Andrew] McCutchen showed great restraint by taking a strike.
"Because I knew he still had to come to me," Mr. McCutchen said.
At 3-1, he liked his chances of being able to rifle a ball to right-center field. The pitch came to the outside, and he swung, uncorking those wrists through the hitting zone. But the wood simply did not touch enough of the ball.
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/bucs-mvp-moment-was-not-to-be-706636/#ixzz2h7dXgwp8
Read it all.
In September 2010, The New York City Leadership Center in partnership with Redeemer City to City hosted the inaugural Movement Day congress at Calvary Baptist Church in New York City. Since then, cumulatively 3,200 catalytic leaders representing Christian ministries, churches, businesses, seminaries, universities and foundations have convened at Movement Day to collaborate on urban ministry and leadership, to hear from the best Christian thinkers, to study effective models of urban Gospel Movements, and to find new ways to reach and renew metropolitan communities....
You can find out about it here and there. A good place to focus your prayers--KSH.
It’s a grand opening three months in the making. The city’s oldest church welcomed parishioners back inside this weekend.
Gigi Barnett reports the Old St. Paul’s Church has a brand new look.
Trumpets marked the occasion at Old St. Paul’s Church in the heart of Baltimore. After three months of renovations, the city’s first and oldest church reopened this weekend.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Parishes * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
There are two ways Christians tend to see the city and God in the city. The first peers through a lens that sees primarily what is wrong with it. It can miss seeing the city as God's good gift, and the church already active in the city. Because it often moves quickly into problem-solving, like a missions trip to "save" or "bring God to" New York, it can overlook what many churches are already doing and the dynamic ways that cities work.
The second way is to try to see the city through the eyes of God. Listening to the Holy Spirit, it seeks to build on what is already happening, working within existing structures and relationships. Change comes from the inside out, through people who know and live there. They can make a longer commitment and deeper difference than those who stop in and just as quickly leave.
Many forces can prevent outsiders from seeing what God is doing in New York. The city's booming media industry, from television to film, to fashion and music, has reinforced for many non–New Yorkers an image of sophistication on one hand or urban grit on the other. But rarely does pop culture capture the religious ferment going on underneath.
Read it all.
Many times, the start of Steelers training camp would signal the end of the Pirates season. Today, we have the start of a Pirates post-season pretty much marking the end of the Steelers for 2013.
For the first time in 45 years, back to when miniskirts were all the rage and pro football in Pittsburgh was not, the Steelers lost for the fourth straight time to open a season.
The previously winless Minnesota Vikings turned the trick this time, on another continent but in an all-too familiar way. The Vikings parlayed big plays against a shaky Steelers defense to pull off their first win, 34-27, turning back a furious Steelers comeback that ended when Ben Roethlisberger was sacked from the Minnesota six on their final play and lost a fumble.
Read it all.
Read it all; appropriate especially for any leading prayers tomorrow.
Did the masterminds of the Westgate terror escape within an hour of launching the attack? Could the terrorists who remained behind to continue the senseless killing and repulse security forces also slip away unnoticed?
And what is the fate of the hostages thought to have been held in the siege? What about the destruction of the mall, did the military bomb it? And who looted the shops?
These are some of the hard questions that Kenyans are seeking answers to as sources reveal new accounts that have not been formally released by the government, further intensifying the mystery that surrounds the four-day siege.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Police/Fire Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Politics in General Terrorism * International News & Commentary Africa Kenya Somalia * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
While I was riding the subway home after a delightful dinner with a visiting friend, the young woman seated opposite me noticed my cast and asked how I injured my leg. I replied that it was my foot that was injured and that I had fractured my fifth metatarsal.
She asked if she could say a healing prayer for me. I said if she thought that would help, sure, go ahead. She then asked if I would mind if she touched my foot and said a prayer right now....
Read it all.
A push to forge community partnerships and attack lawlessness at its roots helped Charleston buck a national trend and post substantial declines in violent crime and property offenses last year, according to FBI statistics released Monday.
Charleston saw a 26 percent drop in violent crime in 2012, despite having one more killing than in the previous year. Driving the decline were noticeably fewer rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults than in 2011, the FBI numbers show.
The total number of property crimes such as burglaries and car thefts in the city also dropped, by 10 percent, during the same time period.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Police/Fire Urban/City Life and Issues * Economics, Politics Politics in General City Government * South Carolina * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Saying in a statement that church members reacted with "shock and sadness" to the violence, the church's dean, the Rev. Gary Hall, said, "we mourn for those who have died, and we continue to grieve the persistence of gun violence in our nation." He added that the cathedral "will hold the victims, first responders, and the Navy community in prayer, while also making the cathedral’s space and its ministries available today to all who seek consolation and refuge from this loss."
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Parishes * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
At least 13 people are dead and several others were wounded after a gunman opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, police said, spreading fear and chaos across the region as authorities sought to contain the panic.
The incident, in which the death toll rose almost hourly, represents the single worst loss of life in the District since an airliner plunged into the Potomac River in 1982, killing 78.
D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier and Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced the mounting number of casualties in a series of news conferences. The suspected shooter, identified by the FBI as Aaron Alexis, 34, living in Fort Worth, is among the 13 dead. Alexis was a military contractor, one official said.
Read it all.
As a college student I attended a campus Christian fellowship that always, at every meeting, had a book table of literature for purchase. On the table there was a little booklet called Doubters Welcome. I remember my surprise at the title, because as a young believer I thought that Christians frowned on doubters and wanted them to just take that leap and have faith. But I came to realize that the Bible had a more balanced view. While we want doubts to give way to faith (John 20:28; James 1:6), we should be merciful and patient with those who are still in their doubt-troubled period. (Jude 1:22). On that campus the Christian fellowship was very inviting to skeptics and doubters, and there were always a lot of them mixed in with the believers.
I always wanted to be part of a church that had that same spirit. When we began Redeemer Church in Manhattan in 1989, one of the first “core values” was that we wanted to be a place where those who were not believers (or who were not sure what they believed) would find their questions welcomed and addressed, their doubts and difficulties respected, and their struggles and concerns anticipated. We soon became aware of and glad for the presence of many, many doubters and spiritual inquirers in our midst. Over time, many of them discovered the Redeemer community to be an “incubator” where they were able to see the reasonable beauty of the Christian gospel and discover their own faith developing and growing.
However, the only way we were able to have a community filled with questioners was because believers at Redeemer were not afraid to identify themselves publicly as Christians to others that they worked with and lived near.
Read it all (his emphasis).
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Evangelicals * Theology
The 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York, Washington and Somerset County by al-Qaida terrorists reminds the United States of the life-changing aspects of what happened that day.
It is useful that Americans are probably more vigilant as a result of the fatal assaults. Unfortunately, repeated words of caution and fear are frequently used by politicians and others to further their own ambitions.
The length of the ensuing Afghanistan War and the Iraq War, with the loss of life and expenditure of resources, is attributable to the 9/11 attacks. It is inconceivable that the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama could have initiated or maintained either conflict if there had been no 9/11 and resulting U.S. insecurity....
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch History Law & Legal Issues Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * Economics, Politics Politics in General Terrorism * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
Take a look at all the pictures and note there is an autoplay option.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch History Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * Economics, Politics Terrorism * General Interest Photos/Photography * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
Look at them all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch History Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * Economics, Politics Terrorism * General Interest Photos/Photography * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. Australia / NZ
Listen to it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch History Music Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * Economics, Politics Defense, National Security, Military Terrorism * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
With the anniversary of 9/11 days away, high school and middle school students mostly too young to remember the terrorist attacks gathered on the aircraft carrier Yorktown and met one woman who will never forget.
Melodie Homer is the widow of LeRoy Homer, co-pilot of United Airlines Flight 93, one of four the planes hijacked and crashed by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001.
“For many of us who experienced that day, the word ‘closure’ doesn’t really exist,” said Homer, who now lives in North Carolina with her children.
Read it all from this past's weekend's local paper.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Children History Marriage & Family Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * Economics, Politics Terrorism * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * South Carolina
We forgot. It doesn’t seem possible, but we forgot. I forgot.
I didn’t forget in the strictest meaning of the word, but I forgot some things. I forgot the anger. I forgot the anxiety and the worry. It’s all still there; it’s just not out on my sleeve where I can see it and know it and live it all the time. But it’s there. It’s in every perfect day, when the skies are blue and the clouds are perfect and the warmth is soft and comforting in an autumn kind of way. Some things were okay to forget or let go of. I swore after 9/11 that I would never set foot in another airplane.
I am writing this on a flight from New York to California.
Is it a good thing to forget pain? Is it something we need to keep in our hearts as a reminder, something to keep us awake, alert, and ever vigilant?
No, I don’t want to remember that.
I want to remember the way the skyline looked before, with the Twin Towers intact. I want to remember a time when most people didn’t know who bin Laden was. I want to know that time when the country wasn’t a place of divide, when terrorism and war didn’t separate us into with us/against us.
But I forgot so much. Seven years have come and gone. In those years we moved on, we lived, we put 9/11 aside with all our other memories that we like to keep at bay. Time is the best medication of all. It dulls the pain, eases the hurt, and assuages the guilt. It makes me forget it could happen again. Time brings complacency.
In that small space between three hijacked planes and color-coded terror alerts, between a small field in Pennsylvania and conspiracy theories, there was a brief, lit-up moment when we felt like one. I remember thinking that this tragedy would fix us instead of break us. I want so much to feel again that hope and unity that existed in the days after the attack. There was proof, ever so briefly, that we could come together as a nation to help and comfort each other, when we were all just human beings on common ground instead of left or right, Democrat or Republican.
Never forget, indeed. Never forget that out of the rubble of tragedy arose a moment when we put everything aside to be one whole nation.
Read it all.
The day after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the headline in Paris' Le Monde newspaper read "We are all Americans". Liane Hansen speaks with Jean-Marie Colombani, who wrote the article that ran beneath that headline about his reflections on that time.
Read or listen to it all from NPR.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch History Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * Economics, Politics Terrorism * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. Europe France
(You may find the names of all 343 firefighters here--KSH).
On Monday this week, the last of the 343 firefighters who died on September 11th was buried. Because no remains of Michael Ragusa, age 29, of Engine Company 279, were found and identified, his family placed in his coffin a very small vial of his blood, donated years ago to a bone-marrow clinic. At the funeral service Michael’s mother Dee read an excerpt from her son’s diary on the occasion of the death of a colleague. “It is always sad and tragic when a fellow firefighter dies,” Michael Ragusa wrote, “especially when he is young and had everything to live for.” Indeed. And what a sobering reminder of how many died and the awful circumstances in which they perished that it took until this week to bury the last one.
So here is to the clergy, the ministers, rabbis, imams and others, who have done all these burials and sought to help all these grieving families. And here is to the families who lost loved ones and had to cope with burials in which sometimes they didn’t even have remains of the one who died. And here, too, is to the remarkable ministry of the Emerald Society Pipes and Drums, who played every single service for all 343 firefighters who lost their lives. The Society chose not to end any service at which they played with an up-tempo march until the last firefighter was buried.
On Monday, in Bergen Beach, Brooklyn, the Society therefore played “Garry Owen” and “Atholl Highlander,” for the first time since 9/11 as the last firefighter killed on that day was laid in the earth. On the two year anniversary here is to New York, wounded and more sober, but ever hopeful and still marching.
--First published on this blog September 11, 2003
Filed under: * By Kendall * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch History Law & Legal Issues Police/Fire Music Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * Economics, Politics Terrorism * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
Remember that the more specific you can be, the more the rest of us will get from your comments--KSH.
(History Channel) For 102 minutes on September 11, 2001, the world looked on in horror as terrorists flew hijacked passenger planes into New York City's mighty twin towers, destroying the iconic buildings and killing more than 2,700 people. Watch unfiltered videos from nine New Yorkers who witnessed the day that changed America.
Watch them all.
It is not upon you alone the dark patches fall,
The dark threw its patches down upon me also,
The best I had done seem'd to me blank and suspicious,
My great thoughts as I supposed them, were they not in reality meagre?
Nor is it you alone who know what it is to be evil,
I am he who knew what it was to be evil,
I too knitted the old knot of contrariety,
Blabb'd, blush'd, resented, lied, stole, grudg'd,
Had guile, anger, lust, hot wishes I dared not speak,
Was wayward, vain, greedy, shallow, sly, cowardly, malignant,
The wolf, the snake, the hog, not wanting in me.
The cheating look, the frivolous word, the adulterous wish, not wanting,
Refusals, hates, postponements, meanness, laziness, none of these wanting,
Was one with the rest, the days and haps of the rest,
Was call'd by my nighest name by clear loud voices of young men as
they saw me approaching or passing,
Felt their arms on my neck as I stood, or the negligent leaning of
their flesh against me as I sat,
Saw many I loved in the street or ferry-boat or public assembly, yet
never told them a word,
Lived the same life with the rest, the same old laughing, gnawing, sleeping,
Play'd the part that still looks back on the actor or actress,
The same old role, the role that is what we make it, as great as we like,
Or as small as we like, or both great and small.
--Walt Whitman, Crossing Brooklyn Ferry
Thou who has been our help in ages past, thou who dispenses your comfort to all those who mourn. We seek your grace to strengthen us as we commemorate the lives of loved ones who have been lost on this day of anguish for our country and our world.
Wipe away the blinding tears that plummet down our cheeks like gushing streams of an overflowing riverbank. Our heavy hearts still search for the solace of your guidance through the maze of pain and the myriad of complex issues such tragedy releases.
Though hurt, we are compelled to commemorate those who are fallen on this day. Remember those who may not have lost a life but instead they lost a limb, those who gave their health for our wholeness, those who lost their emotional stability to help us regain our national security.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch History Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * Economics, Politics Terrorism * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
Through the eyes of a child--take a look (she was a student at Sequoyah Elementary School).
(Courtesy of Nathaniel Harmon)
Another historic Euclid Avenue church is facing demolition, now that a marketing effort by the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio appears to have netted a big buyer: the Cleveland Clinic.
The diocese recently applied for a demolition permit for the Church of the Transfiguration, a shuttered Gothic Revival building that occupies 0.83 acres on the northwest side of the Clinic's main campus. The Cleveland Landmarks Commission, which exerts some control over significant buildings and historic districts in the city, expects to consider the demolition request at its Thursday meeting....
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Parishes * Culture-Watch Health & Medicine Urban/City Life and Issues * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Housing/Real Estate Market
Read it all.
When Hurricane Katrina destroyed Nikki Moon's Bay Town Inn bed and breakfast resort in Bay St. Louis, she knew she'd return to Old Town some day.
Eight years later, the resort is back with more amenities and a unique space.
"I knew in my heart that I wanted to do it again," Moon said. "I just had to wait for the timing to be right."
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Hurricane Katrina Urban/City Life and Issues * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life * General Interest Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.
In retirement, ...[Juanita O’Neal] bought some acreage in the flatlands 60 miles south of Chicago and plunged her hands back into the soil. On a recent Saturday morning, like all the Saturday mornings of the summer, she had driven with a contingent of black farmers to sell their bounty at a market sponsored by one of Chicago’s most formidable black churches, Trinity United Church of Christ.
“I can’t correct the past,” said Ms. O’Neal, 68. “I can’t blame anyone for the past. I have to take the accountability. But if my grandparents are looking down on me, they’re saying, ‘Good job.’ ”
The collaboration with Ms. O’Neal and a half-dozen other black farmers from an area known as Pembroke Township fulfills two missions for Trinity’s leaders.
Read it all.
Southern church culture, including Birmingham, celebrates nearly anyone who claims to reach teenagers. We often assume the inherent goodness of any ministry that draws large numbers. And we idolize reaching the next generation to the point that we largely ignore what we are winning them with and what we are winning them to. Despite warning signs, youth pastors continued to take busloads of teenagers to The Basement and Christian radio relentlessly promoted Pitt's meetings.
All the while The Basement's theology was largely ignored. Viewing the videos on The Basement's website reveals an exciting atmosphere that lacks substantial understanding of God as revealed in his Word. Pitt's sermons might have been "in your face," but they did not point teens to the Bible and the gospel message revealed in it. Much of the public also ignored the Bible's teaching about character in leaders because Pitt claimed to have a "calling" from God to lead this ministry. And who could question his results?
But internal calling is only part of what it means to be a gospel minister.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Youth Ministry * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Police/Fire Religion & Culture Teens / Youth Urban/City Life and Issues * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
It's been over a year since the Archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Francis George, submitted his resignation letter—mandatory when princes of the Catholic Church turn 75—to then- Pope Benedict XVI. In a highly unusual turn of events, Benedict was the one who resigned. That left Cardinal George—whose intellectual vigor is matched by a forceful defense of the church—still on the job.
Some wish he weren't. In late July, eight Illinois state lawmakers signed an open letter criticizing Cardinal George, among others, for threatening to end the church's financial support for a rights group. The church had cited the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, because the group came out for the legalization of same-sex marriage in May. The politicians—all Catholic Democrats—said the threat of a funding withdrawal was "not worthy of the church we know, love and respect." They said Cardinal George and others were using "immigrants and those who seek to help them as pawns in a political battle."
But the decision had nothing to do with politics. The church doles out money to organizations on the assumption that they will not violate church teachings. If a church-funded environmental group announced its support for abortion, for instance, it could lose funding.
Read it all.
Scott Pelley: What do you see when you look around the city?
Paul Tudor Jones: I see people in pain, people in need, people at times without hope, looking for something that will give them some compelling future. I see too many people in homeless shelters, on food stamps. I think a lot of us don't like to focus on it, but it's a significant part of this country that needs to be addressed....You cannot have significance in this life if it's all about you. You get your significance, you find your joy in life through service and sacrifice. It's pure and simple.
Read or watch it all (video highly recommended).
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Charities/Non-Profit Organizations Education Urban/City Life and Issues * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Personal Finance * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
Janet Engel knelt at the Communion rail at Bethlehem Lutheran Church on Sunday, tears welling in her eyes.
At 85, she'd built a lifetime of memories in this sacred space. She was confirmed here. She attended its grade school. Every Christmas, every Easter was celebrated in these pews.
And on Sunday, for the last time, Engel knelt to receive the Holy Eucharist here.
"It's heartbreaking," said Engel, who gathered with hundreds of current and former members for final services at Bethlehem, which closed its doors Sunday after 125 years.
Read it all.
Each morning, to summon the spiritual energy to activate the crystals and heal another wave of New Yorkers, he prays to spirits of nature and of his ancestors. On Wednesday morning, he swigged from a gallon jug of gin and spewed a mouthful of it in a sputtering mist over the shrine as an offering.
“They love gin — it revives them,” he said, and then he lighted candles, rang bells and chanted prayers in Spanish to the spirits.
“I just told them I’m going to heal in Union Square today, and I asked the spirits to enter this stone so they could come with me,” he said, putting the stone in his pocket. Then the self-described witch doctor grabbed his skateboard and headed to the N train to reach Union Square in time for the lunch crowd.
Read it all.
Ask Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney why his football team has been training at St. Vincent College since 1966, and he says that the campus has the right facilities, it's close to Pittsburgh and "for many reasons, it works well."
Then he adds with a laugh, "And it helps that it's the Benedictines."
For the past 48 preseasons, the college and archabbey have welcomed the six-time Super Bowl winners with the spirit of hospitality written in the Rule of St. Benedict.
Read it all.
Now 64 years old, Hall has white hair, an angular face and thin-rimmed glasses. He looks, well, like a traditional Episcopalian. But he doesn’t talk like one. He is friendly and funny, smart and very, very frank. Boy, is he frank. Don’t be fooled by the white collar he wears. On a scorching summer day, Hall strides into Le Zinc, a French restaurant close to the cathedral and one of his favorite hangouts, in an Oxford blue shirt with white clerical collar and seersucker jacket. He settles down to lunch and a long conversation that culminates in a description of what he calls “bar theology.”
“Part of being a priest,” says Hall, “is being a cultural anthropologist.” Pastors, he thinks, should devote time — perhaps once a week — to going around to bars and engaging customers in conversations about religion. This is the thinking behind the Arlington Catholic diocese’s regular “Theology on Tap” — conversations, often clergy-led, in bars that are among the diocese’s most popular programs.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology
Washington police arrested a 58-year-old woman after two chapels in the Washington National Cathedral were defaced with green paint Monday afternoon.
The arrest follows similar vandalism Friday to the Lincoln Memorial and a statue near the Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall. Police are testing paint samples to determine whether the three incidents are connected.
Read it all.
Well, for one thing, did you know there is a show on television on this subject going into its second season? (I refuse to provide the link [but I bet you knew it was on cable]).
For another thing, guess what one of the current issue of the Washingtonian's feature articles this month is?
"Married, but not Exclusive.
For some couples, one relationship is not enough. By Brooke Lea Foster...."
And it includes content such as the following:
Polyamorists don’t think monogamy is wrong; they simply believe it’s not for everyone. But hearing “poly” couples speak of monogamy is like listening to an ex-con reflect on his years in prison....Aldous Huxley, call your office...KSH.
When Greece ran into financial trouble three years ago, the problem soon spread. Many observers were mystified. How could such a little country set off a continental crisis? The Greeks were stereotyped as a nation of tax-dodgers who had been living high on borrowed money for years. The Portuguese, Italians and Spanish insisted that their finances were fundamentally sound. The Germans wondered what it had to do with them at all. But the contagion was powerful, and Europe’s economy has yet to recover.
America seems in a similar state of denial about Detroit filing for bankruptcy.... Many people think Motown is such an exceptional case that it holds few lessons for other places. What was once the country’s fourth-most-populous city grew rich thanks largely to a single industry. General Motors, Ford and Chrysler once made nearly all the cars sold in America; now, thanks to competition from foreign brands built in non-union states, they sell less than half. Detroit’s population has fallen by 60% since 1950. The murder rate is 11 times the national average. The previous mayor is in prison. Shrubs, weeds and raccoons have reclaimed empty neighbourhoods. The debts racked up when Detroit was big and rich are unpayable now that it is smaller and poor.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Urban/City Life and Issues * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life Credit Markets Housing/Real Estate Market Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market Personal Finance Taxes The Banking System/Sector The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- Politics in General City Government * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
"We spent five months at Harper High School in Chicago, where last year alone 29 current and recent students were shot. 29. We went to get a sense of what it means to live in the midst of all this gun violence, how teens and adults navigate a world of funerals and Homecoming dances. We found so many incredible and surprising stories, this show is a two-parter...."
You can find the link to part one here and part two is there. I finally got to this during some recent driving--very hard to listen to, very important to try to ponder--KSH.
[The] Rev. Steven Kelly of St. John's Episcopal Church told the Free-Press, "The churches can help by giving a purpose and direction that's grounded in good morals."
The more people are involved in the life of a church, the more positive the impact."
The Detroit Free-Press reported that some churches are helping in unique ways.
Christ Church Detroit, for example, is planning to open a daytime homeless shelter. Another church, Fort Street Presbyterian Church, which has been at the same location since 1855 - serves food to 400 needy people every Thursday.
Read it all.
The bankruptcy of Detroit, confirmed in 16 pages filed at 4:06 p.m. Thursday, marks an epic fall for an iconic American city even as it opens a new chapter whose ending is decidedly uncertain.
No one really knows how the largest municipal bankruptcy in the nation’s history will end and when — not Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, who recommended the step Tuesday, not his lawyers, and not Gov. Rick Snyder, who said he approved the filing “as a last resort to return this great city to financial and civic health for its residents and taxpayers.”
“This decision comes in the wake of 60 years of decline for the city, a period in which reality was often ignored,” the governor wrote in his authorization. “Without this decision, the City’s condition would only worsen. With this decision, we begin to provide a foundation to rebuild and grow Detroit.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Urban/City Life and Issues * Economics, Politics Economy Credit Markets The Banking System/Sector The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
Once the very symbol of American industrial might, Detroit became the biggest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy Thursday, its finances ravaged and its neighbourhoods hollowed out by a long, slow decline in population and auto manufacturing.
The filing, which had been feared for months, put the city on an uncertain path that could mean laying off municipal employees, selling off assets, raising fees and scaling back basic services such as trash collection and snow plowing, which have already been slashed.
“Only one feasible path offers a way out,” Gov. Rick Snyder said in a letter approving the move.
Read it all.
This is no ordinary choir.
Formed two years ago as part of Theatre Terrific’s mandate to provide inclusive arts education to adults with physical and mental disabilities, as well as anyone else interested in learning to sing, the choir includes a diverse membership. Four members sit in wheelchairs with various conditions such as muscular dystrophy or adrenoleukodystrophy, also known as locked-in body syndrome. Others have developmental challenges such as autism or Down syndrome, while others still have no diagnosed labels at all.
“It’s a place where anyone from any background and any sort of various challenges that they have, they can come and sing,” explains [James] Coomber, the choir’s musical director and executive director of Theatre Terrific.
Read it all (and I sure loved the video).
Start to finish, this is a brilliant portrait — pointillist, you might say, or modern realist. So brilliant that once it lands on a front table at the Politics & Prose Bookstore on upper Connecticut Avenue, Mr. Leibovich will never be able to have lunch in This Town again, not that there is a respectable nonexpense-account lunch to be had in those precincts.
That said, this is a different Washington from the one I departed from a decade ago (Pittsburgh: what a relief!) and surely a different one from the era when, among the Washington royalty, only Alsop (and not Reston, Broder, Kraft, Evans or Novak) required a first name, and only because there were two of them (Stewart and Joseph).
The partisanship is worse, in part because the parties are different, with no liberal wing to the Republicans and hardly a conservative wing to the Democrats. And the rhetoric is mean, in part because it is less elegant.
Read it all.
Every weekday, the Nehemiah Project partners with Turner Memorial A.M.E. Church to provide free lunches to as many as 250 children and adults in West Columbia. Local businesses donate the food, and volunteers prepare it in a tiny kitchen next to a multipurpose space with folding tables and chairs.
When a volunteer cook didn’t show up on a recent morning, the Rev. Kenneth Taylor, the church’s pastor, stepped in to pick up the slack. A big pot of macaroni and cheese warmed on the stove and black-eyed peas simmered in a slow-cooker while residents from the surrounding community trickled in for what Taylor said was often their only meal of the day.
Read it all.
In Canadian eyes, Calgary has not exactly been synonymous with cosmopolitanism.
Located some 200 miles north of Montana, the western city has long been condescended to by eastern elites in metropolitan cities like Toronto and Montreal, who cringed at its cowboy heritage, oil corporations, and conservative politics.
But these days, with Toronto's mayor stumbling through scandal and the now ex-mayor of Montreal facing corruption charges, many in the east look with envy at the wildly popular Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, a Harvard Kennedy School graduate, the first Muslim mayor of a major North American metropolis, and symbol of a city moving from cow-town stereotypes to something more cosmopolitan....
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet --Social Networking Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary Canada * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Islam
Biola President Barry H. Corey decided that a replica "Jesus saves" sign would create "a fitting reminder" that the school's core values have not changed in the 105 years since the school's founding. The Bible Institute of Los Angeles eventually shortened its name to Biola and moved from downtown to La Mirada in 1959.
The sign, one-third the scale of the originals, is incorporated into a 38-by-59-foot photographic mural of the original Bible Institute building and displayed on the side of a parking structure in the interior of the university's 95-acre campus.
"The placement and size needed to abide by our city's codes and requirements, including height limitations and sightlines that restricted visibility to our campus boundaries," Corey said.
Read it all.
The Anglican Church in Zambia has welcomed the news that the country's tourist capital Livingstone has partnered with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to fight child trafficking and child labour there.
“Being a border town, Livingstone is a fertile ground for human trafficking,” said Livingstone West parish priest Fr Emmanuel Chikoya. “Just recently 32 children were almost trafficked into a neighbouring country and members of the church were among those that exposed the incident.”
The city of Livingstone is preparing to co-host the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly in August this year. Fr Emmanuel Chikoya has urged his parishioners to be vigilant as some visitors may take advantage of the event as an avenue for human trafficking.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of Central Africa * Culture-Watch Children Urban/City Life and Issues * International News & Commentary Africa Zambia * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
For 18 years as pastor of Holy Cross — and three more as parish administrator — he has presided over one of the most varied congregations in the city. In the pews at Mass, he sees actors and stagehands from the nearby Broadway theaters. He sees workers from the post office across 42nd Street. He sees bus drivers and commuters from the Port Authority Bus Terminal. He sees young Wall Street types from the new apartment buildings that tower over the old Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. And then there are the worshipers of Times Square in the 21st century: the tourists.
Father Colapietro is as distinctive as the congregation. “A Damon Runyon character in robes,” the writer Brian McDonald called him. Lili Fable, 73, a lifelong member of Holy Cross who runs the Poseidon Bakery a few blocks from the church, said he was “a character and an old-fashioned priest, all at the same time.” Newspaper writers called him “the saloon priest” — he was a bartender before he became a priest, and for years he was a regular at Elaine’s, the celebrity hangout on the Upper East Side that closed in 2011.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic
Despite repeated requests from religious leaders and anti-abortion activists, city officials in Philadelphia plan to cremate and bury the 47 bodies from abortion provider Kermit Gosnell's case.
In May, Gosnell was convicted on three counts of first-degree murder. He waived his rights to appeal but has 30 days to reconsider his decision.
Once the appeal period is over on Saturday, the city will follow its normal procedures by conducting cremation and burial, city spokesman Mark McDonald said. McDonald did not have information on when it would take place.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Children Health & Medicine Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
The city of Philadelphia has rejected overtures made by Archbishop Charles Chaput and others to give the babies killed by notorious “House of Horrors” abortionist Kermit Gosnell a fitting burial.
For now, the unclaimed fetal remains of Gosnell’s victims, once stored in the abortionist’s freezer, will have their final resting place at the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office.
At the close of the trial that resulted in Gosnell’s conviction on three charges of first-degree murder, Archbishop Chaput renewed the archdiocese’s request made back in 2011 to gain custody of the bodies of Gosnell’s fetal victims and bury them.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Health & Medicine Law & Legal Issues Life Ethics Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
Oh boy, he’s having a baby.
It’s hard to ignore these images of teenage boys sporting “pregnant” bellies and that’s exactly the intent of Chicago’s new eye-catching teen pregnancy prevention campaign.
Launched last month, it aims to “spark conversations among adolescents and adults on the issue of teen pregnancy and to make the case that teen parenthood is more than just a girl’s responsibility,” according to the Chicago Department of Public Health....
Read it all.
Beginning this summer, [William “Chip”] Stokes, who will head a diocese that stretches from Elizabeth to Cape May and encompasses two-thirds of the state, will be living in the city of Trenton.
He will be the first diocesan bishop in 40 years to do so.
“There was some hope in the diocese that the next bishop would live in Trenton, and we’re very comfortable with that,” Stokes said.
“I think I was chosen in part because of my commitment to urban ministries. I grew up in New York City. I’ve been blessed to do a lot of work with diverse communities.
Read it all.
In 2011, for the first time in more than 90 years, America’s largest cities registered higher population growth than their combined suburbs, according to William Frey, a leading demographer. The signs are this will continue. While the cities are gentrifying, many of America’s suburbs are heading downmarket. It is the invisible side of the same coin. Frey writes: “This puts the brakes on a longstanding staple of American life – the pervasive suburbanisation of its population which began with widespread automobile use in the 1920s, to the present day, where more than half the US population lives in suburbs.”
Students of the “new urbanism”, such as Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class, which argues that cities are the best Petri dishes for new ideas and innovation, say their revival is assisted by a generational shift in US culture as well as deeper economic trends. Florida, who now lives in Toronto, just 250 miles north of Detroit (but still a million miles in terms of its vibrancy), grew up in suburban New Jersey in a second-generation Italian-American family. Like so many other immigrants, his parents fled the claustrophobia of Newark for the freedom of the suburbs. “To them the city was a ghetto – it was stifling and crowded and dangerous,” says Florida. “But to my generation, the suburbs represent a kind of poverty of living and it is the cities, rather than the suburbs, where you can breathe freely.”
In despair over City Hall’s standard revival package – often little more than tax breaks for new sports stadiums and Vegas casinos – the new urbanists believe the only worthwhile goal is to attract talent. Good jobs will follow. As Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York, told the FT last year: “Talent attracts capital, not the other way round.”
Read it all.
During the testosterone-fuelled boom years, Christian faith was about surviving in the City, but since 2008 and the revelation that it was all built on sand, Christians have been saying unequivocally that the gospel is non-negotiable, that working in commerce isn’t about surviving as a Christian but about transforming the way we do business, that Christianity is disruptive of systemic greed and corruption: that, in short, their work serves their faith and not the other way round. They are converting markets, not just people. These are the new Power Christians.
Welby is their spiritual, as well as titular, leader. Born in 1956 into a privileged, if eccentric family, he has managed a tension between descent from a powerful Conservative dynasty (on his mother’s side, he is a scion of the Butler family, which gave us Rab Butler, the deputy prime minister to Harold Macmillan) and skeletons in the family cupboard (it was seen fit to conceal his paternal Jewish-immigrant lineage from him until he became an adult).
This background may have contributed to Welby the Outsider, part of the establishment but also a thorn in its side. It is no surprise that the relentlessly bourgeois HTB couldn’t contain him. Note that he considerably widened not only his social but his theological circle after he left the Knightsbridge church. Via Africa and the Middle East, he arrived as dean of Liverpool Cathedral, where he operated what he and Dr Williams have dubbed a “mixed economy” of traditions. Now add that eclecticism – one might even call it a catholic taste in denominations – to the can-do attitude of the City whizz-kid and you have someone who can tap effortlessly in to the energy of any kind of Christian witness....
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Credit Markets Currency Markets Stock Market The Banking System/Sector * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
The sprawling compound [of Norton Manor] is a product of Washington's Gilded Age—a time of lush business profits initially fueled by government outsourcing and war. Some demographers predicted the boom here would ebb as federal spending shrank amid troop withdrawals from the Middle East and efforts to trim the deficit.
Instead, the region has shown surprising resilience, thanks to an economy that has steadily broadened beyond the government. More than a generation of heavy federal spending, it turns out, has provided the seed money for a Washington economy that now operates globally—less tied to the vicissitudes of the capital's political rhythms.
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Globalization Urban/City Life and Issues * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life Housing/Real Estate Market Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market Politics in General
Members of a local congregation are finding themselves without a church.
Saint Andrews Episcopal Church in east Charlotte shut its doors this week, catching many people by surprise.
"It's terribly disappointing, terribly disappointing," said Tom Brice, a church member.
Tom Brice says he's shocked and hurt over the news that St. Andrew's Episcopal Church is shutting down.
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Like it or not, it's true: more people are living in cities than ever before. This migration cityward doesn't appear to be waning, either; in fact, it's projected that within the next 35 years our world will be 70 percent urban. (In 1800, that number was 2 percent. In 1900, it was 14 percent.)
So what bearing should this reality have on today's church? In Why Cities Matter: To God, the Culture, and the Church (Crossway), Stephen Um and Justin Buzzard seek to address such pressing questions and trends. Their aim, as Um explains in the video below featuring Buzzard and Christ + City author Jon Dennis, isn't to insinuate that city ministry is superior. It is, however, uniquely strategic.
"This book is not about why cities matter more. We need gospel-preaching, gospel-shaped churches wherever there are people," Um says. "But more people are moving into cities than ever before. Around the world 5.5 million people per month are moving into cities. That's another San Francisco every month."
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"The city," says Harvard economist Edward Glaeser, "is humanity's greatest invention."
Not everybody agrees with Glaeser's glowing assessment, but judging by recent population trends, most do. Every day 180,000 people move into cities, and in 2011, for the first time in world history, the majority of the world's population became urban. It's estimated that in 2050, 86.2 percent of the population of developed countries will reside in cities. As magnets for talent, engines of innovation, and centers of culture, cities have eclipsed the nation-state as the primary sculptors of modern life.
Following tightly on the heels of urbanologists like Edward Glaeser, Richard Florida, and Joel Kotkin, evangelicals have recognized a golden opportunity. Two new books—Stephen T. Um and Justin Buzzard's Why Cities Matter: To God, the Culture, and the Church (Crossway) and Jon M. Dennis's Christ and City: Why the Greatest Need of the City Is the Greatest News of All (Crossway)—herald both the unprecedented importance and unmistakable biblical significance of the city. But only Why Cities Matter strikes the right balance between social analysis and ministry focus, encouraging readers not just to live in the city but also to engage its people and culture with the gospel.
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The mystery surrounding the burial of the body of Tamerlan Tsarnaev has come to an end. The Boston Marathon bombing suspect was buried this week at a small Muslim cemetery in Doswell, Va.
According to his completed death certificate, which was released on Friday, Mr. Tsarnaev was buried on Thursday at Al-Barzakh Cemetery, about half an hour north of Richmond. Officials in Massachusetts had said the body was moved to a burial site out of state. But they had refused to disclose where.
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * Economics, Politics Terrorism * Theology Anthropology Pastoral Theology
Cemeteries and even some mosques have refused to take his body. His city, Cambridge, has urged family members to bury him elsewhere. Republican U.S. Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez and local talk radio host Dan Rae want him dumped in the ocean, like Osama bin Laden. Clergy have largely kept mum.
“The only signs of people who are showing some sort of moral conscience are those few who stand with a card near the funeral home saying (burial) is a corporal work of mercy,” said James Keenan, a moral theologian at Boston College. “To say, ‘we won’t bury him’ makes us barbaric. It takes away mercy, the trademark of Christians. … I’m talking about this because somebody should.”
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Urban/City Life and Issues * Economics, Politics Terrorism * Religion News & Commentary Inter-Faith Relations Other Faiths Islam * Theology Anthropology Eschatology
BOB ABERNETHY, host:....The president referred to self-radicalizing. What—how does that work, and what can the Muslim community do to prevent it?
HARIS TARIN (Muslim Public Affairs Council): Well, the phenomenon of self-radicalization is where individuals who do not find a place in mainstream Muslim institutions, places like mosques and organizations, they don’t find a place for their fiery rhetoric, for their violent, extremist rhetoric, so they go online, and they listen to sermons, and they listen to individuals like Anwar al-Awlaki or Adam Gadahn or other folks who misinterpret the religion to give it a violent, violent ideology, and they fall prey to these individuals who are basically online predators, and they get influenced by these individuals to address their grievances through violence....
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he surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings told F.B.I. interrogators that he and his brother considered suicide attacks and striking on the Fourth of July as they plotted their deadly assault, according to two law enforcement officials.
But the suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, told investigators that he and his brother, Tamerlan, 26, who was killed in a shootout with the police, ultimately decided to use pressure-cooker bombs and other homemade explosive devices, the officials said.
The brothers finished building the bombs in Tamerlan’s apartment in Cambridge, Mass., faster than they had anticipated, and so decided to accelerate their attack to the Boston Marathon on April 15, Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts, according to the account that Dzhokhar provided to authorities.
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[KIM] LAWTON: On Thursday May 2nd, “The Children’s March” began. Students left their classrooms mid-day and gathered in Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. They came out marching and singing, row after row after row of them, some as young as six years old. Waiting police arrested them for parading without a permit, but the kids kept coming, and when the paddy wagons were full, the police had to get a school bus to take them all away. Nearly a thousand children had signed up to march, and more than 600 were taken into custody on that day.
LAWTON: As hundreds and hundreds more children showed up to demonstrate and face possible arrest, Bull Connor was anxious to restore order. He instructed his forces to bring out the fire hoses and the dogs.
Some of the most shocking confrontations happened in Kelly Ingram Park, across from the church, where monuments to the marchers now stand. Officials aimed the water hoses full blast at the marching children. McKinstry was among those hit.
[CAROLYN] MCKINSTRY: The water came out with such tremendous pressure and, uh, it’s a very painful experience, if you’ve never been hit by a fire hose and I thought, whoa.
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * Culture-Watch Race/Race Relations Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
The community of Roxbury had high hopes for its newest public school back in 2003. There were art studios, a dance room, even a theater equipped with cushy seating.
A pilot school for grades K-8, Orchard Gardens was built on grand expectations.
But the dream of a school founded in the arts, a school that would give back to the community as it bettered its children, never materialized.
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[Neil] Diamond flew his private jet to Boston. He showed up unannounced to Fenway about 30 minutes before start time, called the control room and asked if he could sing.
When the eighth inning came, Neil walked out in a Red Sox cap and the 35,000-strong crowd cheered. ''What an honour it is for me to be here today!'' Diamond told them. ''I bring love from the whole country.''
Then they sang along, out of sync to the backing track but that hardly mattered. Neither did the fact the Red Sox beat the Royals something to something else.
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In ways both big and small, both fleeting and transformational, this time simply felt different.
On the lawn of the First Baptist Church in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston, Eve Nagler stood at a prayer vigil two days after terrorists attempted to shred the joy of Boston's biggest day with nails and BB's and bits of hurtling metal.
This, she knew, was not 9/11 – the scale, the shock, the fear were nothing like people had felt 12 years ago. Yet something else had shifted, too – something perhaps less easily definable but no less palpable to many of those at the vigil and across the suburbs that bound themselves together as "Boston Strong."
There was a calm, not only in the streets but in raw and wounded hearts.
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The Loma Prieta earthquake tore through northern California in 1989, shaking the ground for 10 to 15 seconds, killing 63 people and doing extensive damage to bridges, roads and buildings. Much of the worst damage was in built-up areas around San Francisco Bay, including Oakland.
This could be sounding like a familiar story by now. One of the casualties was a 96-year-old Gothic brick church, the Catholic diocese of Oakland's Cathedral of St Francis De Sales. Rather than simply rebuild, the diocese opted to be even more radical: it built a new cathedral on an entirely new site. In 2008, the Cathedral of Christ the Light opened on the shores of Oakland's Lake Merritt and it is already regarded as one of the greatest of contemporary church buildings.
It has been called the first cathedral to be built in the 21st century, and that has become a symbolic value as well as a chronological fact. It says to others that this is the future of church buildings.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues * General Interest Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc. * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. Australia / NZ
The Rev. John Wykes, director of the St. Francis Chapel at Boston's soaring Prudential Center, and the Rev. Tom Carzon, rector of Our Lady of Grace Seminary, were among the priests who were turned away right after the bombings. It was jarring for Father Wykes, who, as a hospital chaplain in Illinois a decade ago, was never denied access to crime or accident scenes.
"I was allowed to go anywhere. In Boston, I don't have that access," he says.
But Father Wykes says he has noticed a shift in the societal role of clergy over the past few decades: "In the Bing Crosby era—in the '40s, '50s, '60s—a priest with a collar could get in anywhere. That's changed. Priests are no longer considered to be emergency responders."
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There has never been any doubt that Trinity Church is wealthy. But the extent of its wealth has long been a mystery; guessed at by many, known by few.
Now, however, after a lawsuit filed by a disenchanted parishioner, the church has offered an estimate of the value of its assets: more than $2 billion.
The Episcopal parish, known as Trinity Wall Street, traces its holdings to a gift of 215 acres of prime Manhattan farmland donated in 1705 by Queen Anne of England. Since then, the church has parlayed that gift into a rich portfolio of office buildings, stock investments and, soon, mixed-use residential development.
Read it all from today's New York Times.
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The CIA pushed to have one of the suspected Boston Marathon bombers placed on a U.S. counterterrorism watch list more than a year before the attacks, U.S. officials said Wednesday.
Russian authorities contacted the CIA in the fall of 2011 and raised concerns that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed last week in a confrontation with police, was seen as an increasingly radical Islamist who could be planning to travel overseas.
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In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings that left three dead and more than 260 injured, perhaps none face more significant adjustments or a longer road ahead than the 14 amputees who lost a limb.
For these victims, the path forward involves relearning almost everything, from getting out of bed to getting in a car. Whether they go on to lead satisfying lives depends largely on how they handle the spiritual challenges at hand, according to amputees and researchers.
Losing a limb is like losing a family member: It involves grief and mourning, according to Jack Richmond, a Chattanooga, Tenn., amputee who leads education efforts for the Manassas, Va.-based Amputee Coalition. When one’s body and abilities are radically changed, questions of meaning are suddenly urgent: Why did this happen? Why am I here?
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch Health & Medicine Psychology Sports Urban/City Life and Issues Violence Young Adults * Economics, Politics Terrorism * South Carolina * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theodicy
The security planning for last week's Boston Marathon, where two bombs went off killing three people and wounding 264, included preparation for such an emergency, a top Massachusetts public safety official said on Wednesday.
"We spend months planning for the marathon. We did a tabletop exercise the week before that included a bombing scenario in it," Kurt Schwartz, the state's undersecretary for homeland security, told a panel at Harvard University.
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U.S. Pastor Saeed Abedini, who is currently suffering from internal bleeding in Iranian prison, said that he is praying for America in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and left over 200 injured last week.
"Pastor Saeed told family members he had heard about the terrorist bombings in Boston on the prison radio, expressed his concern, and told them he is praying for the victims and their families during this very challenging time for our nation," the American Center for Law and Justice revealed on Monday.
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