We (sorta) want God!

A bit of humor and truth floating around the blogosphere in comic form:

God for President?

Found on on Andrew Plus and "Of course, I could be wrong" among others.

Generations at Odds: The Millennial Generation and the Future of Gay and Lesbian Rights

Public Religion Research Institute (PPRI) reports that there is at least a 20-point generation gap between Millennials (age 18 to 29) and seniors (age 65 and older) on every public policy measure in the survey concerning rights for gay and lesbian people.

in addition to the generation gap, "the Executive Summary also looks at a number of assumptions concerning the views of religious groups and the public perception of these groups.

Here are the links to the full report as well as the press release.

Encountering the "spiritual but not religious"

UCC pastor Lillian Daniel writes on the regular encounters with the person who, upon hearing she's a minister, declares him/herself to be "spiritual, but not religious."

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Guiding Children Through Religion

Thoughtful dialogue on NPR's Tell Me More

Some parents feel responsible to shape their children's religious foundations while others prefer to let kids explore faith for themselves.

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Naming most names

It's been about ten years since news of sexual abuse of children clergy and the systematic protection of offenders in the Archdiocese of Boston was first exposed. Now the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has released a list of accused sex offenders in the Archdiocese.

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One-sided Covenant study guide criticized

The No Anglican Covenant Coalition is unhappy with they see as a one-sided and biased presentation by the Diocese of Oxford regarding the Anglican Covenant, describing parts of it as "shallow and superficial."

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You like us!

Woo-hoo! We just crossed the 5000 mark. As of this morning, 5011 people "like" the Episcopal Cafe on Facebook. Thanks everyone!

Catholic diocese donates to National Cathedral recovery

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington has donated $25,000 to the Washington National Cathedral towards recovery and restoration of the earthquake damaged building.

Episcopal News Service:

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Irene visits Eden

Jay Parini, author. Vermont resident and Episcopalian, reflects on the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene which devastated his state.


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South African civil union pastoral guidelines proposed

The Anglican Church of South Africa has released a guide to the proposed pastoral guidelines in response to South Africa's civil union law.

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Christian-Muslim violence kills 21 so far in Nigeria

Religious violence between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria is spreading and is so far uncontrollable despite government efforts. The violence in Jos, in the middle of the country where the Christian south and Muslim dominated north meet, began on Monday.

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Controversy erupts over lack of formal prayer at 9/11 ceremony in NYC

Some Christian religious groups are protesting Mayor Michael Bloomberg's decision to not include formal religious prayer as part of the ceremonies marking the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Towers.

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Cross disciplinary religious thought lacking

Speaking from personal experience, there's a great deal of commentary about religion made by scholars who don't have any. While the lack of any personal faith doesn't necessarily disqualify someone from having an opinion, most commonly negative, about how people of faith should comport themselves; in most other fields, the lack of personal experience with the subject would make it much harder for a person's views to be taken seriously.

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Religious experiences viewed through Burning Man

This weekend the desert in Nevada hosts a veritable Brigadoon as the Burning Man festival rises from the shimmering heat in its annual manifestation. There's been much written over the years decrying the hedonism and anarchist impulse that, at least on the surface, typifies so much of the event. But Jay Michaelson sees a deeper truth in the event, a truth which has deep connections to the way religious life is experienced today.

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News about Proposed Anglican Covenant

Two New Zealand dioceses oppose the proposed Anglican Covenant, Canon John Rees says it is both "insignificant and vital," and The Living Church takes No Anglican Covenant Coalition's challenge and offers some reasons to support it.

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The working class gone missing

There was news last month that contrary to most people's expectation, the more educated an American is, the more likely that person is to attend church regularly. So why are the mainstream churches in the U.S. losing membership across the board? Apparently it's because the working class Americans are less and less likely to be found in congregations.

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Cynthia Zarin remembers 9-11 with this essay in the New York Times:

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A second Bill of Rights

Happy Labor Day.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, January 11, 1944:

"It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known.

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Labor Day Playlist #1

Millworker by James Taylor. Sung by Emmy Lou Harris

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Labor Day Playlist #2

Youngstown by Bruce Springsteen

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Labor Day Playlist #3

Working Man's Blues by Merle Haggard

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Labor Day Playlist #4

Working Class Hero by John Lennon

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Labor Day Playlist #5

He Thinks He'll Keep Her by Mary Chapin Carpenter

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Labor Day Playlist #6

Paul Robeson sings Joe Hill.

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In Libya, a focus on reconciliation

Tom Heneghan of Reuters has some hopeful news:

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UU president convicted for protesting AZ laws

Morales.jpgThe Seattle Post-Intellegencer reports that among those convicted of charges made during the protests of the new Arizona immigration laws is the Rev. Peter Morales, president of Unitarian Universalist Association (similar to TEC's Presiding Bishop):

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Jesus Facebook most "liked"

The New York Times reports that more people have "liked," shared content and commented on Jesus Daily page than any other:

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Diocese of Texas confronts fires

943.pngThe Diocese of Texas is confronting the devastating fires in their area:

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Macho Jesus

Andrew Sullivan reports on the "macho Jesus" movement.

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Anglican Covenant: Don't Panic

Helpful reflection on the Anglican Covenant, entitled, "Don't Panic"...posted at No Anglican Covenant:

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Rowan Williams reflects on 9/11

Posted yesterday on the LambethPress YouTube channel, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams reflects in an interview on his experiences on September 11, 2001 nearby the World Trade Center.

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UPDATED: Crane collapses at National Cathedral

A crane set up to repair earthquake damage at the National Cathedral collapsed this morning:

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Today is End Malaria Day

Today is "End Malaria Day" and a group of authors have written a book and are donating $20 from each sale to "Malaria No More". Consider buying it, and/or donating:

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10 Lessons in 10 years since 9/11

Tom Ehrich reflects on 10 lessons he believes we have learned since 911:

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A Lenten course for the Anglican Communion

This project of the Anglican Communion Office looks interesting:

“And it was good ….” - a Communion wide Lent course for 2012
ACNS: Anglican Communion News Service

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9/11 Changed nothing

Did "the world" change after 9/11? Perhaps yes, perhaps no:

Why 9/11 Changed [Everything] Nothing
From Religion Dispatches

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Using this Sunday's Gospel on September 11th, 2011

At first glance, it looks like a great text for this Sunday:

Peter came and said to Jesus, "Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times. (Matthew 18:21-22)

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BREAKING: National Cathedral Sept. 11th event moved to Kennedy Center

The Washington Post reports of the change due to Wednesday's crane accident at the National Cathedral.

Camp Allen is being evacuated due to nearby fires

The Episcopal Diocese of Texas reports that Camp Allen had to be evacuated this morning due to the wildfires in Texas.

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Food & Faith: A Theology of Eating

Norman Wirzba's new book, Food & Faith: A Theology of Eating was reviewed by Mary Bowling on Englewood Review of Books.

Bowling writes that the new book is more of a Christian theology book than a book for foodies:

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Persecution of Anglicans in Zimbabwe continue

As the Archbishop of Canterbury prepares to visit Zimbabwe, persecution of Anglicans by the Mugabe government continues. Yesterday, the home of the Bishop of Harare, the Rt. Rev. Nicholas Chad Gandiya, was invaded and robbed of money and communications equipment on the same day as an Anglican priest was released from jail after being arrested for setting foot on his own church's property.

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Interfaith worship grows but religious isolation persists

Interfaith worship services have doubled in the decade since the 9/11 attacks, even as more than seven in 10 U.S. congregations do not associate with other faiths.

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Religious controversy over major 9/11 events

Some evangelical groups and conservative commentators complain that evangelicals--and even religion itself--is being excluded from some of the major commemorations set to take place this weekend in New York and Washington a decade after the 9/11 attacks.

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Chaplains bear witness

Five chaplains who served first responders, loved ones and the community in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks tell their stories to the Huffington Post.

The Rev. Dr. Martha Jacobs, BCC wrote:

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Episcopal Church responds in Texas fires

Episcopalians across Texas are scrambling to aid people who have lost homes or businesses or family members because of the historic wildfires sweeping across the State. And the Episcopalians are organizing their congregations in case they are the next to be threatened.

Lisa Hines, the rector of Calvary Church, Bastrop Texas is quoted in an Episcopal News Service article:

""You find hope in the community, because people are calling from all over wanting to know what they can do to help us," she said. "Those of us who are all in the same boat, are supporting each other. No one is feeling isolated or without possibilities -- that's the hope.

"It's sad, it's very sad. It's grim, but no lives (here in Bastrop) have been lost and that's good news," she added."

More here.

The article reports on the way that the Diocese of Texas and the Diocese of Fort Worth has been organizing, and the response efforts of the parishes, as well at what individuals, including firefighters are doing.

Please keep the whole region in your prayers.

9/11 remembrances, reflections and cheeseburgers

There's no shortage of services planned and being held this weekend in observance of the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Of special note are those being held at Trinity Wall Street and St. Paul's Chapel because they both became an intimate participant in the events of the day and the still on going recovery efforts.

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The role of doubt in science and religion

There's a well known saying that doubt isn't the opposite of faith, certainty is. (It's generally attributed to Anne Lamott, but there are versions traced back to Voltaire.) Science is about finding certainty, or something close to it at any rate. Christian faith would seem to then to be a whole different sort of thing. Can the two talk to each other?

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Rowan Williams stepping down soon? A quick look at a possible scoop

Jonathan Wynne-Jones' story on Rowan Williams' future plans is careening around the internet. It begins as so:

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Quiet to mark the moment

Stop. Listen. Is it at all silent where you are?

It still seems impossible for most of us to forget where we were ten years ago and how, amidst everything else, there was an edgy stillness at the heart of it.

Writer Suzi P. remembers:

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You remember a little ... I'll add a piece

On his blog Becoming, hospice physician and Episcopal priest Steve Thomason recounts some of his memories of what happened at the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest on 9/11/2001.

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Should religious change be driven by technology?

Is culture, driven to change at a breakneck speed by revolutions in technology and communications, moving so quickly that faith and religion are about to drop out of sight? Can (should?) religion in America change quickly enough to keep that from happening if it's a real threat?

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The Rt Rev. Walter Righter, Rise in Glory

UPDATE: funeral arrangements below

Word has been received that Bishop Walter Righter, retired of Iowa, died this morning. May the saints in light greet him as he leaves this life to enter a greater one.

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'Shalom, salaam, may your peaceful kingdom come' - Presiding Bishop preaching in New York City

At St. Paul’s Chapel in the shadow of Ground Zero, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said at the 7:30 am service:

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'Forgiveness is a trainable life skill'

Rev. Lyndon Harris, who was the priest at St. Paul's Chapel (across Church Street from the World Trade Center) on September 11, 2001, reflects on his process so far and has some things to say about forgiveness.

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9/11 sermon reflections

UPDATED 9/15: 9/11 sermons from bloggers Nick Knisley and Kurt Wiesner are now available online.


Monday morning often brings new light to yesterday's sermon, both for the preacher and the listener. Then, for the preacher, inevitable wonderment about the coming week's lessons begins, and the cycle starts over, while the listener-participant can keep chewing on a substantial homily.

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A bishop, a rabbi and an imam walk into a cathedral

Sifting through the coverage of yesterday's 9/11 memorial services, we found this excellent video shot by NJ.com in the Episcopal Diocese of Newark.

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If Rowan Williams steps down, who will succeed him?

Blogger Chris Hansen was underwhelmed by Jonathan Wynne-Jones' thinly-sourced story this week in which it was "understood" (by someone or other) that Rowan Williams had told friends he was planning to step down as Archbishop of Canterbury before his term ends 10 years from now, and possibly next year.

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The Bishop of Vermont tours his flood-ravaged diocese

Bishop Tom Ely of Vermont has been making his way, as best as possible, around this flood ravaged diocese. He blogs about it here.

The Presiding Bishop wins praise from the right

Here is something you don't see every day. Or, for that matter, any day. A writer from the National Review liked the sermon that Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori gave yesterday at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.

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The Democrats' marriage equality moment

John Wagner of The Washington Post relates the story of soon-to-depart Baltimore Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien's unsuccessful effort to change Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley's mind about supporting same-sex marriage in an article that tracks the Democratic party's growing comfort with marriage equality.

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GOP debate generates no new ideas on immigration

Except for Newt Gingrich, who said there must be a more humane way of dealing with "illegal" immigrants, all the Republican candidates at the debate the other night offered only unworkable, expensive or down right silly ideas about solving what should be a simple issue. The Washington Post reports:

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Kill Committees

Derek Penwell, Disciples of Christ, writing at the DMergent blog reflects on church organization and whether we need to change the way we do the "business" of church:

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Abuse victims case filed at The Hague against Vatican

National Catholic Reporter Online reports breaking news seeking justice from the Vatican for victims of abuse by Roman Catholic priests.

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No movement on "Kill the Gays" bill in Uganda

The US Embassy in Uganda reports that there is no serious move to bring up the virulently anti-gay bill in the Ugandan Parliament. The Petrelis File blog reports:

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Census Bureau report: Poverty, Income and Health Insurance

The US Census Bureau has released the latest income, poverty and health insurance statistics.

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If it makes you happy...

...it can't be that bad?

Forbes.com reports that those of us are clergy are the "Happiest" profession. Agree? Disagree? What say you?

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Introverts need care, too

How do we care for introverts? Jonathan Rauch writes about this "little-undertood group" in The Atlantic:

Caring for your introvert
The habits and needs of a little-understood group
From The Atlantic online

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If it feels right, is it right?

David Brooks has written another fine piece that explores whether we have become so reluctant about ethics that our young people can't even identify moral dilemmas, let alone be equipped to wrestle with them:

If it feels right
From the New York Times

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Three (Episcopal) cups of coffee?

Miguel Escobar was inspired by Fr. Tim Schenk's idea of "3 Cups of Coffee" and reflects on the thought that the church could cultivate a practice of "Three cups of coffee"...a slightly different take on Mortensen's "Three cups of tea":

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Religious leaders oppose anti-LGBT legislation in NC

Religious leaders in North Carolina line up to oppose the anti-LGBT legislation:

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Video: Alabama Bishops fight tough immigration law

Odyssey Networks released an exclusive story illuminating the issues from the perspectives of both the church and the state in their video "The Immigration Debate: Alabama Bishops Unite to Fight Tough New Law." One vision seeks to dissipate the fear of seeking spiritual and material support for the "least of these"; the other seeks to alleviate the fear of declining job prospects for the 10% of the state's population who are unemployed.

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Pray for Texas rain?

The Dallas Morning News "Texas Faith Blog" wonders: "Should we pray for rain?"

William McKenzine writes:

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Scott Kirby nominated for VP of the House of Deputies

ENS reports that House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson has nominated The Very Reverend H. Scott Kirby, the retired Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Eau Claire, WI, to fill the vacancy of Vice-President.

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Making vows

Kate Soles describes her struggle as she and her partner prepared to stand in front of their congregation at the baptism of their child.

She writes in the Toronto Globe and Mail "I was unsure about baptizing our son:"

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Bishops begin their meeting in Quito

The House of Bishops is meeting in Quito, Ecuador.


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Building churches in Africa, restricting religion at home

The Chinese may not welcome religion at home but they love to build churches in Africa.

Fredrick Nzwili writes for Ecumenical News International about how more and more church building contracts in Africa go to Chinese firms:

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Irish priests question mandatory celibacy

The Irish Times reports that an organization of Roman Catholic priests calls for the end of mandatory celibacy for priests in that Church.

Fr Brendan Hoban told the paper that "many Catholic priests were 'mesmerised' by the Vatican’s recent creation of a new personal prelature for disaffected married Anglican clergy, now recognised as Catholic priests.

“They cannot understand how the rule can be ignored or disposed with in cases and yet not be acceptable generally,” he said.

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Against abortion and for the death penalty?

At the Republican debates this week, Texas Governor Rick Perry, defended before a cheering audience his stance on the death penalty. In the past, he has stood before crowds proclaiming himself staunchly "pro-life" when it comes to abortion. How can the two views be reconciled?

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Speaking frankly about the Anglican Mission in England

In an essay titled "AMIE is a game-changer" Canon Chris Sugden and Vinay Samuel explain the next steps of the newly formed Anglican Mission in England (AMIE) which is modeled on the AMIA (Anglican Mission in America) a movement with deep connections with the Anglican Church in Rwanda and the Global South.

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Government plans to strengthen marriage equality in the U.K.

Earlier today a number of reports were been filed that the government of the United Kingdom has decided to press forward with a broader legal recognition for same-sex marriage.

As Thinking Anglican's has it:

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Christianity in China; it's complicated

How many Christians are there in China? It depends what you mean when you say "Christians". It depends if you're going to count recognized official congregations and/or the unofficial ones. And then there's the question of the houses churches which spring into existence constantly.

The BBC has an excellent essay on the whole situation which begins by pointing out that the Chinese government sees Roman Catholicism as a separate religion from "Protestantism".

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One's faith can kill one as well as heal

The placebo effect is widely recognized and frequently utilized in modern medicine. People given a "sugar" pill but told it's a powerful antidote to their illness very frequently experience a cure rate similar to those given a real medical proven treatment. Our minds seem to have a degree of control over our health that we don't understand.

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At Canterbury Cathedral, banter and practical theology

A good public conversation noted on Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams' site:

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Church social media as Sunday-to-Sunday 'connective tissue'

Elizabeth Drescher's name (and recent book Tweet if you (Heart) Jesus: Practicing Church in the Digital Reformation) seem to keep coming up a lot lately. Recently, in conversation with the question of how churches might more effectively be using their digital presences, she says,

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AFP: Bishop Chane in Iran for talks on hikers' release

AFP reports that Bishop John Chane of the Diocese of Washington and three other Americans are in Tehran for talks that they hope will facilitate the release of two American hikers and lead to better relations between the U. S. and Iran.

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Giving forgiveness a try

CNN has begun a series on the book The Devil in Pew Number Seven by Rebecca Nichols. Devil is known in the part of the country in which it's set as simply The Book - as auspicious a nickname as it is potentially stress-inducing.

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Dispatches from the atheism debates

In The New York Times (remember - you only get so many free views per month unless you subscribe), Gary Gutting describes a series of perhaps subtle points of thought being refined within self-selected spheres of atheism.

Gutting takes us to Columbia philosophy prof Philip Kitcher, who's trying to find a way through the Dawkinses and Hitchenses and the chilling bluntness of their God-is-not-so-get-over-it routine:

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Gledhill says Williams' resignation is likely

In an interview on William Crawley's Sunday Sequence program on BBC Radio Ulster, Ruth Gledhill, religion correspondent of The Times of London said she believes reports indicating that Rowan Williams will resign as Archbishop of Canterbury next year. You can listen here by clicking on the Listen Now button in the second box on the left.

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Chane, McCarrick, CAIR leaders release statement on Iran talks

CNN International has the most recent story on the Christian-Muslim delegation that traveled to Iran for conversations regarding the release of the American hikers who have been held for two years. In addition, the delegation has released the following statement:

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Managing decline

Over on the video blog, Rod Webster, vice president and general manager of the Church Insurance Companies, lays out some depressing statistics about the decline of the Episcopal Church. Have a look, and let us know how you think the church should respond.

John Chilton, in a comment on the video blog, calls attention to the excellent point that Webster makes about the energy that declining parishes require from their bishop and his or her staff:

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Responding to those who approach us for money on the street

Jesus instructed his disciples to give to those who asked of them. Does that extend to panhandlers? Churches in Sacramento find themselves mulling this issue.

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Presiding Bishop preaches in Quito

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori preaches Sept. 18 at Catedral de El Señor in Quito, Ecuador, on the fourth day of the House of Bishops' fall meeting.

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Is "Christian capitalism" Christian?

Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, writing in the Washington Post, discusses "Christian capitalism." Is it Christian? Is it an oxymoron?
Read it all here.

h/t to Susan Russell

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"Don't Ask Don't Tell" is dead

AP reports on the end of the U.S. policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" for gays and lesbians serving in the military:

After years of debate and months of final preparations, the military can no longer prevent gays from serving openly in its ranks.

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The Church, repentance, and racial reconciliation

Dr. Catherine Meeks, writing in the Huffington Post, urges Christians to takes steps to reconciliation:

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Breaking: A special convention to restructure the church?

UPDATED: Report on plan from ENS

Neva Rae Fox's helpful summary from today's House of Bishops meeting begins as follows:

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Dispatches from Quito

A roundup of thoughts from the House of Bishops' meeting in Quito, Ecuador:

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Diocese of Central Ecuador leadership to resign

And, more news from the House of Bishops' meeting:

Diocese of Central Ecuador leadership to resign
Presiding bishop appoints Victor Scantlebury interim bishop
From Episcopal News Service

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Defending the status quo?

Does the church spend more time defending the status quo than living out the gospels? What are the warning signs of defending the status quo?

Seth Godin has this list of signs that we may be defending the status quo; how's your church doing?

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Using email to reach out to visitors

From the "Church Marketing Sucks" blog, this article suggests that email may be utilized to bring back new visitors. How does your church use (misuse?) email to reach out to visitors to your church?

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Counting the tithe

An important question to consider as many churches begin to enter stewardship season: Does the tithe count if some of the 10% does not go to the church? The Rev. Canon Frank Logue of the Diocese of Georgia reflects on this important question in his "Loose Canon" blog. What say you, good Episcopal Cafe readers? How do you "count the tithe" at your church?

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Religious dialogue a key to release of U.S. hikers

Diocese of Washington Bishop, the Rt. Rev. John Chane, engaged in religious dialogue with Iranian officials to help bring about the release of U.S. hikers:

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The execution of Troy Davis

After a back and forth day of an execution being on and on hold, Troy Davis was put to death by lethal injection as he proclaimed his innocence.

Beyond questions of whether the death penalty is ever warranted (The Episcopal Church has affirmed over and over again a position against the death penalty), the very least that can be said concerning this execution is that there are many conflicting opinions as to Davis' guilt.

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Episcopal School of Dallas found grossly negligent for millions

The Episcopal School of Dallas is liable for $9 million for how it dealt with the sexual abuse of a 16-year-old female student by a 34-year-old male teacher.

The jury found that the school was not liable for failing to prevent the relationship, but was grossly negligent in how it handled the incident when the relationship was discovered.

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Poverty an invisible issue in GOP race

Roland S. Martin writes for CNN that poverty is being ignored in the GOP primaries.

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Bishop Sauls' resolution for a Special Convention

At the recent House of Bishops meeting, Bishop Stacey Sauls, Chief Operating Officer for The Episcopal Church, distributed a "model resolution for structural reform" for dioceses to discuss and submit to the 77th General Convention." The resolution is available here.

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Red door = Safe haven

A service in memory of Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers student who took his own life, was held last night at St. John the Evangelist Church in New Brunswick, NJ. It was part of a campaign in the Diocese of New Jersey called "Red Door=Safe Haven."

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Hunger hidden in plain sight

Hunger is visible if you have the eyes to see.

While reflecting on the millions spent to make the El look better in Chicago while the infrastructure is falling apart, Chicago columnist James Warren sees another kind of infrastructure that is both neglected and falling apart: our people.

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Bishop Stacy Sauls' presentation to House of Bishops

From the Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs: (revised)

Bishop Stacy Sauls presents to the House of Bishops:
Becoming A Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society:
An Adaptive Moment

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Five cultural shifts

At Duke Divinity's Call and Response Blog, Presbyterian minister Carol Howard Merritt notes five changes in our culture that every congregation should pay attention to.

It's not a new list, but it is a good summary of what is going on.

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Religion and pop-culture mash up

Some glimpses at the interesting ways that religion and culture meet up in America.

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Presbyterians to ordain first openly gay man

A Wisconsin Presbyterian church is planning to ordain the first openly gay minister in the history of the denomination early next month. This is the first such ordination since the vote this summer that opened the Presbyterian Church to gay and lesbian clergy.

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No wine for you

The Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix has announced that it his policy that the wine consecrated during Mass is no longer to be shared among the laity present. Reaction has been pretty uniformly negative in Catholic circles.

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How do Anglicans read the Bible?

One of the take-aways from controversies within the Anglican Communion is the recognition that there is no agreed upon Anglican method of "reading" Holy Scripture. That lack has frequently stymied attempts to get disagreeing bodies within the Communion to speak with each other about what the Bible is saying to the Church today.

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Irish clergy unwilling to wait for action

UPDATED 9/25: George Conger reports: "The outcry over the Bishop of Cashel & Ossory’s support for an Irish dean’s gay civil union has forced the bishop to skip the consecration of the Bishop of Tuam, Killala and Achonry."

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Choosing church over jail

Would you choose to attend church every Sunday for a year if it meant you didn't have to serve your jail sentence? Some offenders in an Alabama town are having this option offered.

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Five common questions from those opposing GLBT inclusion

Presbyterian minister Dr. Janet Edwards writes in the Huffington Post's religion section that pretty much all of the opposition to including GLBT folks in the fullest life of the church comes down to five basic questions, each of which betrays its own bias in the asking:

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Archbishop of Canterbury on Fresh Expressions and clergy

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams sends a video greeting to the Vital Church Planting Conference on September 5.

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No shortage of opinion over Office of Communication's new style guide

The Episcopal Church's Office of Communication recently published "Brand Guidelines for the Episcopal Church," intended to foster greater awareness of its overall branding effort.

The document allows that questions of who owns and controls what are longstanding:

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Episcopal charity The Ark keeps afloat for homeless kids' sake

In The Baltimore Sun, Jean Marbella writes about The Ark, a program of Episcopal Community Services of Maryland.

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'Reflect the love of God, not the tyranny of God' - Bishop Michael Curry

In a brief interview with Trinity Wall Street's Jim Melchiorre from June, Bishop Michael Curry of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina reflects on the value of The Episcopal Church in a multicultural, pluralistic society.

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Parsing the latest from the GAFCON Primates

A few weeks ago, the primates of the Global South Anglican group released a statement from their meeting in China.

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Bishop Sauls' reform proposal, I: the political context

Bishop Stacy Sauls’ presentation to the House of Bishops last week in Quito, Ecuador has stirred significant comment, not to mention anxiety, in the church. We hope to devote significant time and space to discussing his proposals in the days ahead, and would like to begin by describing the context in which it has landed.

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Bishop Sauls' proposal, II: assumptions about mission

In my last post, I promised that we would attempt a substantive discussion of Bishop Sauls' proposals for reforming the governance of our church. With your forbearance, I'd like to begin on the abstract level. The bishop suggests that our church is too top-heavy in its governance--an assertion with which I agree--and that we should be diverting more resources to mission.

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Defending the right to heckle

Episcopal Church leaders in California have voiced strong support for 10 Muslim students who were convicted on Friday of heckling the Israeli ambassador to the United States during a speech at the University of California's Irvine campus last year.

Pat McCaughan writes:

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Can religious leaders point the way in immigration debate?

Marcos Breton, writing in the The Sacramento Bee wonders if religious leaders can lead the way in finding answers for the immigration debates:

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Bishop Dawani gets permit to stay in Jerusalem

bishop_suheil.jpgAnglican Communion News Service (ACNS) is reporting that the Rt. Rev. Suheil Dawani, Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem and his family may remain in Jerusalem:

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God and the global markets

Is God to blame for the global market meltdown? Charles Kenny writing in Foreign Policy magazine looks at the current discussion of God's involvement in economics and the "prosperity gospel:"

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Transgender kids: painful quest to be who they are

CNN reports on transgender children and their quest for acceptance.

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The Rt. Rev. Jane Holmes Dixon honored

The Rt. Rev. Jane Holmes Dixon and Jim Lehrer will receive the Faith and Freedom Award according to Episcopal News Service:

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An overall decline in #s of the faithful

There is an overall decline in numbers of the faithful, according to "FaithCommunities.org."

Does this mirror what's going on in your local communities?

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Bishop Sauls' proposal, III: reducing overhead

In his presentation on reforming the structures of the Episcopal Church, Bishop Stacy Sauls argues that our overhead is too high. He suggests several way to reduce it, giving particular attention to the cost of the General Convention, and the various bodies that either help to govern the church or prepare resolutions when the convention is not in session. He identifies certain savings that could be realized by having fewer interim bodies, and having the convention meet less frequently.

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Honoring Wangari Maathai

In Kenya, church leaders pay tribute to Wangari Maathai, the first African woman Nobel Peace prize winner who died on September 25th:

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Is Constantinianism all bad?

"Is "Constantinianism" all bad?" asks this provocative blog piece over at The Christian Century...

Is Constantinianism all bad?
By David Heim in The Christian Century

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Rosh Hashanah and incomplete repentance

Rosh Hashanah: The Incomplete Repentance
From the Huffington Post

Rosh Hashanah is tonight and the buzz word throughout Jewish media and, of course, on the lips of rabbis everywhere, is repentance. As familiar as we all are with the word repentance, it is a difficult concept to truly wrap one's minds around.

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Former COO joins conversation on Episcopal Church "overhead"

Linda Watt, who retired as chief operating officer of the Episcopal Church earlier this year commented on our earlier item examining various way to cut the "overhead" of the Episcopal Church. We thought her remarks were substantial enough to merit their own entry.

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Archbishop of Canterbury, among others, speaks concerning condemned Christian pastor in Iran

Archbishop Williams expressed "deep concern" over Iran's movement towards executing a Christian pastor who has refused to renounce his faith.

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Stewardship requires clarity

It is "stewardship season" in many churches. This piece in "Leadership Matters" reflects on the need for clarity when leading a stewardship campaign:

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Liturgy, "the work of the people"? or not?

Theologian and writer, Maggie Dawn, reflects on the often quoted translation of "liturgy" as "the work of the people," and argues that we may not be understanding this in the correct way.

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Bringing bullying to light (even inside the church)

Bullying continues to be a major issue in our society today.

Most recent in the news is the sad death of Jamey Rodemeyer, who killed himself after being bullied relentlessly. The story made national news when Lady Gaga dedicated her song "Hair" to him at the iHeart Music Festival (chronicled by many, including the website Bullying Stories)

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Ministry and community banking

What might be the relationship of ministry and community banking? This piece from Duke's "Faith and Leadership" blog explores this question about community banking in Durham, NC.

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Kunonga scorns ABC visit.

Deposed Bishop Nolbert Kunonga is unhappy that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, is coming to Zimbabwe.

Kunonga talking points are as follows: he is not a puppet of the Mugabe regime, and that Williams is coming to Zimbabwe to spread colonialism and to promote homosexuality.

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Delaware Cathedral to close

The Cathedral Church of St. John in Wilimington, Delaware, has voted to close after a request for ongoing funding from the Diocese to meet their shortfall was turned down.

Delaware online reports:

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President of House of Deputies responds to Sauls' proposal

Bonnie Anderson, President of the House of Deputies, sent a letter to Deputies and First Alternates regarding the "model resolution" proposed to the House of Bishops by Bishop Stacy Sauls, chief operating officer of the Episcopal Church. Here is the text:

September 30, 2011

Dear Deputies and First Alternates,

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Retired Bishop Warner of Olympia restricted from ministry

Bishop Greg Rickel of the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia announced today that his immediate predecessor, the Rt. Rev. Vincent W. Warner, has been restricted from exercising his ministry as a bishop or priest by the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. Warner is under investigation by the presiding bishop’s office following a credible allegation of recurrent marital infidelity, Rickel said.

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Baseball: making meaning out of unexpected outcomes

The day after the most incredible day of baseball in memory, members of the Church of Baseball are trying to make meaning out of the unexpected.

Wednesday saw two of the most historic collapses and one of the most remarkable comebacks in the modern era come together in the space of a few hours. What does one make of this?

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Connecticut Supreme Court rules in favor of the Episcopal Church

The Supreme Court of Connecticut today decided in favor of the Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut in a dispute arising when a number of former Episcopalians claimed ownership of the building and property of the parish they had attended.

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