AU Episode 121: Saving the Soul of the Anglican Communion
Posted by The_Elves

With thanks to Kevin Kallsen and George Conger at Anglican TV

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Commentary

September 22, 2014 at 6:16 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Music for Monday Evening: Old Man River
Posted by The_Elves

Filed under: * General Interest

September 22, 2014 at 6:14 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

The story of What one Texas HS Principal calls his greatest moment in that capacity
Posted by Kendall Harmon

A group of girls at Grand Prairie High School, in North Texas, nastily pranked their classmate, 17-year-old Lillian Skinner, by falsely telling her she’d been nominated for homecoming queen. When Skinner’s two longtime friends, Anahi Alvarez and Naomi Martinez, who actually were nominated, heard about the prank they vowed to do something to help their friend.

Do not miss it--watch it all and you can Read about it there also.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationPsychologyTeens / YouthWomen* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

September 22, 2014 at 4:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Archbishop Welby urges prayers on the anniversary of the Peshawar church bombings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

"As we approach the first anniversary of the horrific suicide bombings at All Saints Church, Peshawar – which made martyrs of more than 100 Christians and wounded many more – firstly our thoughts and prayers are with all those who were bereaved and injured in these terrible attacks. As we have done, so must we continue to pray fervently for Jesus Christ to comfort all those whose lives were changed forever by these evil acts. Meanwhile we must continue to pray and call for justice, and for the peace of Pakistan and the protection of Christ’s people there.

"In May I visited Pakistan’s Anglican community – who number 800,000 in a population of 180 million – and I was appalled to hear and see evidence of the hatred, violence and persecution they face. As I sat among them, I heard the searing anguish in their cry for the right to worship in freedom and safety. But I was also moved and inspired by their steadfastness and courage, which is grounded in deep and unshakable faith in Jesus Christ.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther Faiths

September 22, 2014 at 3:16 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Mark Avera’s Sunday Sermon: “Delighting in his Grace” (on Jonah+Matthew 20:1-16)
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all (starts about 7:15 in). Also note there is a download option.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* South Carolina* TheologyChristologySoteriologyTheology: Scripture

September 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Betsy Childs reviews Marilynne Robinson new Novel “Lila”
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Lila expresses some unorthodox ideas, but they didn’t spoil the book for me in the way they would have if I’d felt like Robinson was using her as a mouthpiece for heresy. Rather, as Lila reads the Bible for the first time, starting with Ezekiel then Job (instead of Matthew as her husband suggests), she encounters the strangeness of God and tries to work him out according to her own logic. Lila has far to go before she grasps the justice of God, and even farther before she understands his mercy. Lila doesn’t come at the Scriptures from a position of arrogance, but of ignorance, a condition of which she is keenly and painfully aware.

Lila is not a cheerful book, but it is a beautiful book. Robinson writes as convincingly as a sinner lately-loved as she did in the voice of a third-generation pastor. As I neared the end of the book, my reading slowed—not because I grew disinterested, but because I was sorry to see it end.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksReligion & Culture* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

September 22, 2014 at 12:02 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Pew Res.) Public Sees Religion’s Influence Waning
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Nearly three-quarters of the public (72%) now thinks religion is losing influence in American life, up 5 percentage points from 2010 to the highest level in Pew Research polling over the past decade. And most people who say religion’s influence is waning see this as a bad thing.

Perhaps as a consequence, a growing share of the American public wants religion to play a role in U.S. politics. The share of Americans who say churches and other houses of worship should express their views on social and political issues is up 6 points since the 2010 midterm elections (from 43% to 49%). The share who say there has been “too little” expression of religious faith and prayer from political leaders is up modestly over the same period (from 37% to 41%). And a growing minority of Americans (32%) think churches should endorse candidates for political office, though most continue to oppose such direct involvement by churches in electoral politics.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureSociology* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

September 22, 2014 at 11:31 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

([London] Times) Plan to send 300,000 new Bibles into Iran
Posted by Kendall Harmon

A new Persian translation of the Bible will be smuggled into Iran to feed a growing Christian community in the Islamic republic, defying a campaign of persecution by Tehran.

Publishers of the new edition, unveiled at a ceremony in London today, plan to ship 300,000 copies into Iran over the next three years. Iranian clerics have denounced the text, but missionary groups claim Iran’s Christian community is the world’s fastest growing, rising by 20 per cent a year.

More than 60 Christians are being held in Iranian jails, and police continue to target the “house churches” where small groups gather for prayer and Bible study.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksGlobalizationLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIran* TheologyTheology: Scripture

September 22, 2014 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Independent) Religion can be ‘dangerous and lethal’, warns Bishop of London
Posted by Kendall Harmon

“Much religion is really dangerous and I would say lethal,” he told the blog Philosophy for Life. “We project parts of ourselves – our anger, all kinds of personal psychic material – into the middle distance, deifying it.”

Bishop Chartres – who previously caused controversy by saying that flying to go on holiday was “a symptom of sin” – says religion in the West “has become ideas in the mind”, a development he describes as “a very modern tragedy”.

Read it all and take the time to read the full blog report linked in the article.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & CultureViolence* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 22, 2014 at 7:30 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(God and Politics UK)  The Church has a unique role to play in healing Scotland’s wounds
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Reconciliation in its widest sense is about the restoration of relationships that have been badly damaged and broken. Jesus taught us to love and forgive those who hurt us. There can be no reconciliation without forgiveness – this is love in practice.

The bonds that unite this country have been tested to near breaking point this week. We will now be together for a long time to come and it is important for the sake of our future that we move forward without carrying heavy baggage full of resentment and distrust along with us.

Politicians have been given a sharp shock and need to wake up to the disillusionment felt by many voters. The incredible turnout in Scotland has engaged an entire population. Fears for some have been dissipated, but hopes for others have been shattered. Politicians cannot ignore those desires for change. They can work towards building a politically fairer society, but reconciliation has a spiritual dimension. If Scotland is to become a united country once again in a United Kingdom, then Christians will need to play their part, pouring out an unconditional love that dissipates resentment and reminds factions who have fought against each other how much they still have in common.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* TheologyPastoral Theology

September 22, 2014 at 7:01 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Music for Monday Morning - Sabre Dance from Khachaturian’s Gayane
Posted by The_Elves

Filed under: * General Interest

September 22, 2014 at 6:48 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon—The Challenge of Trials (James 1)
Posted by Kendall Harmon

You may find the audio link here if you wish to suffer listen to it.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* By KendallSermons & Teachings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* South Carolina* TheologyChristologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

September 22, 2014 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(CEN) Jerry Kramer—The ‘Suffering of Iraqi Christians is beyond description’
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The suffering of Iraqi Christian refugees fleeing the depredations of the Islamic State (ISIS) are beyond description, the vicar-general of the Diocese of Zanzibar reports following a visit to Kurdistan last week. The Rev Jerry Kramer writes: “Right now we’re processing all that we saw and experienced firsthand. Honestly, we don’t have the words at the moment. The suffering is so immense. The magnitude of the disaster is beyond comprehension.” Fr Kramer, who served as the rector of an Episcopal congregation in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and was one of the leaders in the grassroots campaign to rebuild the city, but currently is a missionary in Tanzania with Love for the Least ministries stated: “Christians were given 48 hours to leave their homes. “Some paid to stay or converted to Islam.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaTanzaniaMiddle EastIraq* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations

September 22, 2014 at 5:45 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(AP) Pope in Albania urges Muslims to condemn extremism
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Pope Francis called Sunday for Muslims and all religious leaders to condemn Islamic extremists who "pervert" religion to justify violence, as he visited Albania and held up the Balkan nation as a model for interfaith harmony for the rest of the world.

"To kill in the name of God is a grave sacrilege. To discriminate in the name of God is inhuman," Francis told representatives of Albania's Muslim, Orthodox and Catholic communities during a half-day visit to Tirana in which he recalled the brutal persecution people of all faiths suffered under communism.

Francis wept when he heard the testimony of one priest, the Rev. Ernest Troshani, 84, who for 28 years was imprisoned, tortured and sentenced to forced labor for refusing to speak out against the Catholic Church as his captors wanted.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryEuropeAlbania* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis Other FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 22, 2014 at 5:30 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Economist) Ebola—Chasing a rolling snowball
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The dispatch of troops to west Africa may seem an odd priority when American forces are preparing to confront jihadists in Iraq and Syria and are stretched thin elsewhere. Ebola is a disease that is usually absent from human populations, has been quickly stamped out in the past and in its worst recorded outbreak has thus far caused 3,000 known deaths (see article). Moreover it is unlikely to spread widely in rich countries with good health-care systems. Set against killers such as HIV, the virus that kills some 1.6m people a year, or tuberculosis (TB), which takes another 1.3m lives, an expensive fight against Ebola may seem a misallocation of resources.

Yet Ebola is now growing exponentially, with the number of new cases roughly doubling every three weeks or so. In Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, it is thought to be doubling every two weeks. Previous outbreaks were usually in rural villages where it was easier to contain. At this rate of progress, small numbers quickly become big ones, and there is a real risk of the disease spreading to cities such as Lagos, which is home to more than 10m people. The longer Ebola is allowed to replicate in humans, the greater the risk that it will become more contagious. Some virologists fret that it might even acquire the ability to be transmitted through the air by coughs and sneezes. Although this seems unlikely, nobody wants to find out just how quickly Ebola can adapt to humans.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationHealth & Medicine* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 22, 2014 at 5:15 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(NPR) “God’s story doesn’t need to be True to Be Believed”
Posted by Kendall Harmon

(Please note that the above headline is the one given by NPR to the piece as it appear on thier main page--KSH).

Believing in God isn't like believing, correctly or incorrectly, that there are brick houses on Elm Street. What's at stake is not a simple proposition whose meaning is understood and whose truth is up for discussion. God is an idea that is made intelligible, to the degree that it is intelligible, only thanks to the stories we tell about Him or about ourselves and our history. Believing in God is more like believing that a story is true, or that a story is compelling or worthwhile or worth learning or caring about, than it is like believing some fact.

Herodotus said that history is the history of lies. This is a bit of an overstatement. But I get the point. History is made up of stories and stories are often slightly less than, or maybe slightly more than, the truth.

A story teller, like a bank teller, aims at a good count, a well balanced, transparent accounting. And the value of a good story doesn't ever consist in its matching all the facts....

Read or listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaPhilosophyPsychologyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyApologetics

September 22, 2014 at 5:00 am - 3 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Matthew
Posted by Kendall Harmon

We thank thee, heavenly Father, for the witness of thine apostle and evangelist Matthew to the Gospel of thy Son our Savior; and we pray that, after his example, we may with ready wills and hearts obey the calling of our Lord to follow him; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* TheologyTheology: Scripture

September 22, 2014 at 4:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer to Begin the Day
Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Eternal Lord God, without whose aid we cannot do the things that we would: Look mercifully upon the waywardness of our hearts, and strengthen us against evil; that as citizens of thy holy kingdom we may walk henceforth in the power of the Spirit, and bring forth fruit to thy glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

--Frank Colquhoun

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

September 22, 2014 at 4:19 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Scripture Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou who leadest Joseph like a flock! Thou who art enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth before E'phraim and Benjamin and Manas'seh! Stir up thy might, and come to save us!

--Psalm 80:1-2

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

September 22, 2014 at 4:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A new site from Stephen Trott with Commentary on Sunday’s Readings
Posted by The_Elves

The Reverend Stephen Trott, Bible teacher, canon lawyer, longtime lectionary contributor to the Church of England Newspaper and Rector of Pitsford with Boughton in Northamptonshire has started a new service online with commentary on each Sunday's readings - Check it out and wish him well
Jonah 3.10 – 4.11 Philippians 1.21-30 Matthew 20.1-16

Humanly speaking, we often expect things to happen in a certain way, or at least we think they should, or we hope and pray for a particular outcome, and yet we are disappointed. But Jonah’s reply to the Lord goes far beyond disappointment or even frustration: “Yes, angry enough to die.” He is angry because he has experienced great hardship, and despite all that he has been through he has still not understood why he finds himself in apparent confrontation with the Lord, who has ultimately forgiven the people of Nineveh, seeing their repentance. It had seemed appropriate to Jonah that Nineveh should perish at the Lord’s hand, but it is through Jonah’s reluctant obedience to his calling to prophesy there, that the city has been saved. Repentance first saved Jonah, in the belly of the great fish, and now the Lord has looked in mercy upon Nineveh. The Lord seeks always to save those who repent, however grave their rebellion against him, and he chooses Jonah and many more in his footsteps to proclaim repentance and salvation to his people in each generation.

Centuries later, Paul opens up his own heart and mind in his letter to the Philippians, as he wrestles with his calling and his hopes and expectations of the Lord...

Read it all

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeBiblical Commentary & Reflection

September 21, 2014 at 7:29 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(CEN) The battle for the soul of the Church
Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Linda] Woodhead sees Fresh Expressions and other forms of missionary outreach as attempts to boost the God-fearers. She puts her faith in both the churchgoing and non-churchgoing mainstream. There are several problems with this strategy. With admitted exceptions, clergy tend to be recruited from the committed. As numbers shrink, it becomes more difficult to recruit able candidates, especially able young candidates. Studying American evangelicals, Christian Smith has suggested, teaches us that churches thrive when they have a distinctive message but remain in dialogue with the secular society. What is crucial is that Christians choose the right issues on which to make a stand. Woodhead ignores signs that the number of those who claim church affiliation but are not active members or believers is in decline as more claim to be ‘spiritual’ but not ‘religious’. Woodhead herself has studied this pattern in Kendal. One move would be to make the Church more welcoming of spiritual seekers and turn clergy into what the NHS already terms ‘spiritual care givers’. Questions need to be asked about how far the Church can go in this direction and still be Christian.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther Faiths* TheologyChristologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologySoteriologyTheology: Scripture

September 21, 2014 at 6:30 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Down Under, Bathurst’s Anglican synod grapples with $24m debt
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The gravity of the financial situation facing the Bathurst Diocese of the Anglican Church hit home this weekend for members of the 47th Synod.

Bishop of Bathurst Ian Palmer implored representatives of parishes from Bourke to Bathurst to accept the need for fresh approaches to ministry across the Central West.

He said the Diocese needs to look at where its resources are spent and ask itself if there are resources that are no longer needed.

Bishop Palmer said the mood of the Synod was one of grappling with, or coming to terms with, the enormity of the financial problems currently facing the Diocese.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 21, 2014 at 5:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Sunday on T19
Posted by The_Elves

Available Now:
Sunday Services, Talks and Resources

+ Dr Kendall Harmon - The Book of James: Trials [James 1]
+ Bishop Rennis Ponniah - What counts with God
+ Prayers for Iraq - Lent and Beyond
+ Prayers for South Carolina - Lent and Beyond

[The live broadcast from St Helena's, Beaufort will be available to listen to next Sunday at 10:15 am Eastern Time [3:15 pm London Time] here]


Filed under: * AdminFeatured (Sticky)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

September 21, 2014 at 4:58 pm - 6 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Telegraph) How Qatar is funding the rise of Islamist extremists
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Barely three years after Britain helped to free Libya from Col Gaddafi's tyranny, anti-Western radicals hold sway. How could Britain's goal of a stable and friendly Libya have been thwarted so completely?

Step forward a fabulously wealthy Gulf state that owns an array of London landmarks and claims to be one of our best friends in the Middle East.

Qatar, the owner of Harrods, has dispatched cargo planes laden with weapons to the victorious Islamist coalition, styling itself "Libya Dawn".

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaEngland / UKMiddle EastQatar

September 21, 2014 at 4:00 pm - 4 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Bloomberg) Ebola Worst-Case Scenario Has More Than 500,000 Cases
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa could spread to hundreds of thousands more people by the end of January, according to an estimate under development by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that puts one worst-case scenario at 550,000 or more infections.

The report, scheduled to be released next week, was described by two people familiar with its contents who asked to remain anonymous because it isn’t yet public.

The projection, which vastly outstrips previous estimates, is under review by researchers and may change. It assumes no additional aid or intervention by governments and relief agencies, which are mobilizing to contain the Ebola outbreak before it spirals further out of control in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationHealth & Medicine* International News & CommentaryAfricaGuineaLiberiaNigeriaSierra Leone

September 21, 2014 at 3:00 pm - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Leicester City scores four second-half goals to shock Manchester United
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Painful to watch after returning home, yuck. Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMenSports* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

September 21, 2014 at 2:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

PBS ’ Religion and Ethics Newsweekly—Depicting Jesus
Posted by Kendall Harmon

[PROF. EDWARD] BLUM: Jesus matters so much because of the incarnation, because of this belief that he’s the fleshed body of God. And so if God takes a particular body with particular hair length and particular eye color, then perhaps that says something about the value of that body.

[KIM] LAWTON: The Gospels give no indication of what Jesus may have looked like. Many Christians over the centuries have been reluctant to portray him at all.

BLUM: When we go back to the Renaissance, and we get painters like Da Vinci and Michelangelo, oftentimes their Jesus is quite feminine with really long hair. I mean, he’s typically pretty emaciated, pretty small physically. In many ways, he looks like a Renaissance painter, you know, he looks kind of like they saw themselves.

Read or watch and listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchArtHistoryReligion & Culture* TheologyChristology

September 21, 2014 at 1:45 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Karenna Gore and Serene Jones—Religions for the Earth: Redefining the Climate Crisis
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Religions for the Earth initiative at Union seeks to create a place where visionary religious and spiritual leaders from around the world will convene to find common ground and offer new strategies to deal with a crisis that politicians have been unable to solve.

In meeting after meeting, from Rio to Kyoto to Copenhagen to Durban, politicians and technocrats have been thwarted, because at its core, climate change is not just about science, or zero-sum financial negotiations between emitters: it’s about values. It relates profoundly to the meaning of life rather than just its mechanics—to the essence of how we experience our being, share our resources, and regard one another across space and time. It has implications for the existence of the world itself, and humanity’s place within it.

It will take a values-driven conversation to change the materialistic and consumer-oriented culture that assigns worth only to financially quantifiable things. The unchecked profit-driven model of maximum production devours what we care most about: clean air, clean water, and the wellbeing of the most vulnerable families. We need a new moral equation.

Read it all from Time Magazine.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeEnergy, Natural Resources* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 21, 2014 at 1:00 pm - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Marvin Olasky on the Anchoress—Blogging toward humility
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Folks still speak of “the blogosphere,” but it no longer is one sphere (if it ever was). Many readers have feeds of their favorite blogs, and that’s true of the religious realms as well. The 1994 document “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” is now 20 years old, but in blogging, evangelicals and Catholics tend to be far apart.

And so, as a public service, I hereby introduce evangelicals to the best-written Catholic blog I’ve seen: The Anchoress. It comes from the mind and heart of Elizabeth Scalia (not one of the justice’s nine children), and it’s not only counter-conventional regarding the world at large but sometimes regarding Roman Catholicism as well. One of her articles asked, “Is the world making an idol of Pope Francis?”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* Theology

September 21, 2014 at 12:29 pm - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Surrogates and Couples Face a Maze of Laws, State by State
Posted by Kendall Harmon

“My sense of the big picture is that we’re moving toward laws like the one in Illinois, which accepts that the demand for surrogacy isn’t going away but recognizes the hazards and adds regulations and protections,” said Joanna L. Grossman, a family law professor at the Hofstra University law school.

The Illinois law requires medical and psychological screenings for all parties before a contract is signed and stipulates that surrogates be at least 21, have given birth at least once before and be represented by an independent lawyer, paid for by the intended parents.

The law allows only gestational surrogacy, in which an embryo is placed in the surrogate’s uterus, not the traditional kind, in which the surrogate provides the egg. In addition, it requires that the embryo created in a petri dish must have either an egg or a sperm from one of the intended parents.

“That eliminates some of the concerns about designer babies,” Professor Grossman said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralState Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 21, 2014 at 12:02 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

St. Michael’s Church bells and clock have survived 250 years of war, fires, earthquake and storms
Posted by Kendall Harmon

A tour guide hollers over the clip-clop of his carriage horse passing St. Michael's Church that the iconic white building at the Four Corners of Law is the city's oldest surviving church structure in a place rich with historic structures.

Tourists peer over the carriage rails, then up and up the steeple soaring 186 feet high, perhaps to see the oldest tower clock in North America or in hopes of hearing bells imported from England in 1764.

From Charleston's poorest days to its wartime sagas to these prosperous tourist-ladened years, St. Michael's bells have announced the city's routine life events, not to mention hurricanes, earthquakes, fires and two war-time bombardments.

Read it all from the Faith and Values section of the local paper.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* South Carolina

September 21, 2014 at 11:45 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Vancouver Sun) Douglas Todd—The uses and abuses of Charles Darwin
Posted by Kendall Harmon

I’m at the Cambridge University college that Charles Darwin attended before heading off on a ship to change the world’s views about the origin of the species, particularly the evolution of humans.

Darwin’s theories have been used and abused for many things in the past century or two — to promote racism and defeat racism, promote competition and encourage cooperation, to treat humans as objects and see them as special, to believe humans are machines and to say they have free choice, to attack religion and advance religion (particularly through a movement sometimes known as ‘theistic evolution”).

A conference at Christ’s College in Cambridge, organized by The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion and sponsored by the Templeton Foundation, is actually titled “The uses and abuses of biology.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchHistoryScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Theology

September 21, 2014 at 11:32 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Local paper—Rememberging Hugo—A Storm that big today would be ‘total devastation’
Posted by Kendall Harmon

It's been 25 years since Hugo tore into the Lowcountry, its eye passing just north of Charleston Harbor and leaving an indelible scar on the lives of the people who lived it.

If a storm that powerful made landfall today just south of Hugo's path, at Kiawah Island, the buzz saw of its worst, north-side winds would shear nearly all of the Charleston metro area and the storm surge would submerge the barrier islands.

According to an experimental Hazus computer model run by a College of Charleston team, a landfall just south of the city from a Hugo-scale hurricane could tear up nearly half the homes in the region and destroy tens of thousands of them. Tens of thousands of people would be homeless, at least temporarily, and thousands forced to shelters. Businesses and jobs could come to a standstill, and the loss to the economy alone could be far more than $2 billion.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.* South Carolina

September 21, 2014 at 11:15 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Wisdom from M. Scott Peck on a Sunday Morning
Posted by Kendall Harmon

“Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”

--M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Travelled

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksPsychology* General InterestNotable & Quotable

September 21, 2014 at 5:08 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Fulcrum) Bishop Grahams Kings Review of ‘Being Christian’ by Rowan Williams
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Like prayer according to George Herbert, this is ‘something understood.’ His writing is eminently sensible, with light touches of humour and irony, and only hints of a vast hinterland of learning.

There are four chapters: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist and Prayer. Neatly alternating sacrament and word, the heart of the Christian faith is circulated. The questions for reflection or discussion at the end of each chapter, and the notes for further reading, are enticing and challenging.

He suggests, ‘Perhaps baptism really ought to have some health warnings attached to it: “If you take this step, if you go into the depths, it will be transfiguring, exhilarating, life-giving and very, very dangerous.”’

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church Life* Culture-WatchBooks* Theology

September 21, 2014 at 4:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer to Begin the Day
Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Our God, we believe in thee, we hope in thee, and we love thee, because thou hast created us, redeemed us, and dost sanctify us. Increase our faith, strengthen our hope, and deepen our love, that giving up ourselves wholly to thy will, we may serve thee faithfully all the rest of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

September 21, 2014 at 4:20 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Scripture Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the LORD on high is mighty! Thy decrees are very sure; holiness befits thy house, O LORD, for evermore.

--Psalm 93:4-5

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

September 21, 2014 at 4:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Daily Mail) C of E may axe 400-year-old sacred law to let clergy report serious crimes
Posted by Kendall Harmon

For centuries the secrecy of the confessional has been sacrosanct, but the Church of England may relax the rules to allow clergy to reveal serious crimes such as child abuse.

Former Bishop of Chelmsford John Gladwin – who last year led an inquiry into clerical sex abuse in the Church of England – is pressing for the changes, along with members of the Church’s ‘parliament’, the General Synod.

But any change will be fiercely resisted by traditionalists who think clergy should retain the trust of worshippers. It will also cause tensions with Roman Catholics, who believe the seal of the confessional should remain inviolable.

Bishop Gladwin’s moves follow a decision by the Anglican Church of Australia to allow its priests to report crimes they hear during confession to the police.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of AustraliaChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologySacramental Theology

September 20, 2014 at 5:00 pm - 13 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(NYT) Panel Urges Overhauling Health Care at End of Life
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The panel, which included doctors, nurses, insurers, religious leaders, lawyers and experts on aging, said Medicare and other insurers should create financial incentives for health care providers to have continuing conversations with patients on advance care planning, possibly starting as early as major teenage milestones like getting a driver’s license or going to college.

It called for a “major reorientation and restructuring of Medicare, Medicaid and other health care delivery programs” and the elimination of “perverse financial incentives” that encourage expensive hospital procedures when growing numbers of very sick and very old patients want low-tech services like home health care and pain management.

And it said that medical schools and groups that accredit and regulate health providers should greatly increase training in palliative care and set standards so that more clinicians know how to compassionately and effectively treat patients who want to be made comfortable but avoid extensive medical procedures.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsMarriage & Family* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentMedicaidMedicarePolitics in General

September 20, 2014 at 4:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Fire destroys St. John the Baptist church in Edmundston, New Brunswick
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The church was built in 1873 and classified as a historical site in 1991. The building was still used as a church, but was empty at the time of the fire. The former church hall, destroyed by fire earlier this month was a centre for Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* International News & CommentaryCanada

September 20, 2014 at 2:52 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]