Bishop Little sets policy on blessing same-sex unions

The Rt. Rev. Edward S. Little, Bishop of Northern Indiana, has issued a pastoral letter on the provisional liturgy of blessing same-sex unions.

Bishop Little first recaps what happened at General Convention, before turning to his diocese:

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A New Christian Convergence

Brian McLaren writes on the Patheos "Future of Mainline Protestantism" blog of his thoughts on the future of Christianity.

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Nominees considered for special task force on church structural reform

The Episcopal Church
Office of Public Affairs

Authorized by General Convention Resolution C095
August 1, 2012

Episcopalians wishing to be considered to serve on a General Convention-mandated task force focusing on church restructure may access an online nomination form at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Nominations_Structure_TF

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Talk more chickin: lots of opinions on boycott/support day

Lots of commentary on Chick-fil-A from all over the country.

Here are some of the opinions and points being made:

1) Bringing politics into unrelated business is not a good idea

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The religious spirit of the Olympic Games

USA Today as a multimedia slideshow entitled "The Religious Spirit of the Olympic Games."

The introduction says:

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New National Cathedral dean: We are a 'pragmatic, evolving tradition'

The newly selected dean of Washington National Cathedral, the Rev. Canon Gary Hall, believes that mainline churches face "a crisis of credibility." He writes in the Washington Post:

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This month, take the 'Gratitude Challenge'

Jana Reiss, author of the wise and irreverent book "Flunking Sainthood," offers an opportunity to join her this month in a disciplined effort to practice gratitude. She writes:

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The right's appropriation of the 'Christianity' mantle

Zack Ford at Thinkprogress.org notes he received some flak from a reader who complained about his characterizing Chick-Fil-A as a "Christian-run company." He admits this perspective has merit, and goes on to describe how conservatives have appropriated the mantle of Christianity specifically to advance an agenda hostile to the gay community and progressive Christians:

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Presiding Bishop promotes 2012 'Hours Against Hate'

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is among leaders touting 2012 Hours Against Hate, a U.S. State Department initiative to promote diversity:

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The tainted case against gay marriage

While it's possible to make a case against gay marriage that does not rely on fear or loathing of gay people, but Andrew Brown says homophobia has made the current case untenable.

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The call to be one flock under the one shepherd

Andrew Sullivan points us to a review written by Christopher Benson of Church in Crisis: The Gay Controversy and the Anglican Communion by Oliver O'Donovon:

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Halfway through a task, we're more likely to cheat

When we cheat, we apparently do so in the middle of a series of events, rather than at the beginning or end. This extends even to religious observance, apparently. Wall Street Journal blogger Christopher Shea reports:

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Five ways the church failed

Matthew Paul Turner blogs that the church failed in five ways when so many Christians showed up at their local Chick-fil-A on Wednesday.

One: It may not have been hate, but it sure did not look like love.

Two: "People felt hate and we ignored that."

Three: "By rallying behind CFA, Christians put an issue above people."

Four: "Once again, the mass actions of Christians built another wall of distrust between the Church and the GLBTQ communities."

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We want more equality, we just don't know it.

Americans want to live in a much more equal country. Dan Ariely of Duke University asked thousands of people to describe their ideal distribution of wealth, from top to bottom. The vast majority -- rich, poor, GOP and Democrat -- imagined a far more equal nation.

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New survey of millennials released

Every four years, the Public Religion Research Institute and the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University take the pulse of 18-24 year old Millennials. Their latest survey gives us insight into this newest set of young American voters.

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Presiding Bishop reflects on General Convention 2012

The Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori reflects on General Convention 2012. Episcopal News Service:

Message to the Church

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America is not a Christian nation say evangelical leaders

In 2006, then-Senator Obama said that America wasn't only a Christian nation but a religiously diverse one. Many conservative Christian circles criticized him. Now, it turns out, many evangelical Christian leaders agree with him.

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Giving thanks for the Olympic opening ceremonies

The Olympic Games opening ceremonies celebrated workers' rights and the dignity of human labor in a deeply spiritual way according to a report from Ekklesia:

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Another mass shooting: 7 dead at Sikh temple in Wisconsin

Updated at 5:27

USA Today's Melanie Eversley filed this story. which includes this important paragraph:

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Bishop Rob Hirschfeld consecrated Bishop Coadjutor of New Hampshire

The Concord Monitor gave considerable coverage to the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire: for all the right reasons.

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When "hate" is the right word

Elizabeth Drescher takes a hard look at the use of words like "hate" and "homophobia" in the wake of the Chick-fil_A controversy, and takes issue with Rick Warren's attempts to paint himself and his followers as folks who love LGBT people, but simply disagree with those people and their advocates about their place in society. She writes:

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Three religious leaders frame gun control debate as NRA v. common good

In the wake of what the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is now reporting was a hate crime carried out by a white supremacist against members of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, some religious leaders have renewed their pleas for tougher gun control laws. In a column written for the Huffington Post in the wake of the previous mass killings in Aurora, Colorado, the Rev. Peter Laarman, Imam Jihad Turk and Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater framed the argument in terms of justice. They wrote:

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Joplin, Mo., mosque razed by second fire within a month

The Associated Press has the story:

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Church seeks input to shape role in UN's "Status of Women" meeting

From the Episcopal Church's Office of Public Affairs:

[August 6, 2012] The Episcopal Church, joining with other advocacy partners, is requesting input from members across the church in ascertaining information that will form the foundation of the church’s presence and participation at the 2013 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) meeting.

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"Wealth worship, war worship, and the permanent culture war"

Mike Lofgren, who spent almost three decades working for Republican leaders on Capitol Hill has thrown up his hands at the "politicized religious fundamentalism" of his former party. Salon is carrying an excerpt from his new book The Party's Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Irrelevant and the Middle Class Got Shafted. He writes:

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+Douglas to permit same sex blessings and civil marriage in CT

Ian Douglas, Bishop of Connecticut, is a member of the Anglican Communion Standing Committee. His letter on same-sex blessings is below.

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Badminton anyone?

This is a post about the Anglican Covenant. Bear with me.

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5 new Young Adult Service Corps workers deployed

Five new workers in the Young Adult Service Corps sent to Kenya, Japan, Hong Kong and The Philippines:

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School encourages MBA with MDiv

Inside Higher Ed reports that North Park University is encouraging ministry degree students to pursue a business degree in conjunction with their theological studies:

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The disturbing reach of "hate rock"

The recent shooting in the Sikh temple in Wisconsin has focused the media on a genre of American music that promotes hate and violence.

Matt Smith writes in CNN.com:

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Continuing dialogue on privilege and diversity

The Center for Courage and Renewal, founded by Parker J. Palmer, includes this in the "about" section of its website:

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James Solheim, retired Episcopal News Service director, dies at 73

[Episcopal News Service] James E. Solheim – the Episcopal Church’s news director in an era bookended by the election of Anglicanism’s first female bishop and the ordination of its first openly gay bishop – died August 8 after several weeks’ hospitalization. A resident of Trenton, New Jersey, Solheim was 73 and suffered respiratory failure, said his nephew, Kurt Kaisler.

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Gabby Douglas historic win (and why some focus on her hair)

Gabby Douglas is the first African American to win the women's gymnastics all-around gold medal, which she won in addition to her women's team gold medal.

Yet the talk of many has been on her hair.

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Catholic nuns gather to discern path forward

Catholic nuns maligned by the Vatican are gathering this week in St. Louis. From the National Catholic Reporter:

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Episcopalians becoming more engaged in Anglican Communion

From Episcopal News Service:

The world’s 80 million Anglicans are much more aware today than they were 10 years ago that they belong to a global communion, a realization that has led to a flourishing of international relationships between the Episcopal Church and other provinces, dioceses and individuals.

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Straub retires as Exec. Officer of General Convention

The Rev. Canon Dr. Gregory Straub, Executive Officer of the Episcopal Church General Convention, has announced his retirement effective January 1, 2013. From the Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs:

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What if the boss' "North Star" is not yours?

How does one judge a CEO? On the one hand, amoral leadership can lead one to excessively take advantage of the system. Immorality in pursuit of profit leads to News Corp behavior. We want CEOs to have a good moral compass. But what happens when that compass comes with "faith" that conflicts with ours?

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Church of England sells off NewsCorp shares

The Church of England has sold its $3 million worth of shares in Rupert Murdoch's News Corp due to concerns about the company's ethics.

RNS:

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Nelson pulls "The Jefferson Lies" from the shelves

David Barton wrote a book about Thomas Jefferson that turns the founding father into a person a modern day evangelical would not only recognize but love. His publisher, Thomas Nelson, listened to historians, reviewed the material and pulled the books from the shelves and ceased publication saying "basic truths just were not there."

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Nuns will dialogue but not at the expense of mission

The organization which represents the majority of U.S. Catholic sisters said Friday afternoon it would continue discussions with church officials regarding a Vatican-ordered takeover, but “will reconsider” if it “is forced to compromise the integrity of its mission.”

NCR:

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Reaching out to Latinos

NPR notes how the Episcopal Church is actively reaching out to Latinos, telling the story of one congregation Saints Peter and Paul Episcopal Church in Portland, Oregon.

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Summary of General Convention actions available

The Summary of Actions, detailing the resolutions, elections and other matters from the 77th General Convention held in July 2012, is now available in English from the Episcopal Church General Convention office.

According to a news release from the Episcopal Church, Office of Public Affairs:

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Olympics and exploitation

War on Want is pressuring the Olympics to stand for fair wages for those who make the athletic clothing for the games according to Ekklesia:

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Bread? Again?

Three weeks of "bread" gospels makes one wonder what to preach on tomorrow. Karyn Wiseman has some thoughts at Huffington Post:

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Episcopal Public Policy Network
and General Convention 2012

From the Episcopal Public Policy Network reflecting on General Convention and the next triennium:

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Who chooses assisted suicide?

The New York Times reports on assisted suicide and who chooses and uses it:

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Nigeria: Big slump in church attendance and finance due to violence

PM News Nigeria reports that The Most Rev. Josiah Ferson, Diocesan Bishop of the Kaduna Diocese of the Church of Nigeria, attributes drops in church attendance (30%) and giving (60%) to the violence of the current national security challenge:

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What's the problem?

Alban Institute on "fixing problems":

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Kenyan bishop refutes anti-gay comments attributed to him

Changing Attitude reports a correction to a statement attributed to Bishop Julius Kalu of Mombasa:

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Mission Trips: what should you strive to do?

Outreach Magazine published an article by Dan King called "Why You Shouldn't Build a House on Your Next Mission Trip":

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Atheist group takes aim at religion of Obama, Romney

Fr. James Martin, SJ, takes issue with a billboard campaign launched by American Atheists attacking the faith of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney."That billboard makes the most common high-school error when it comes to atheism. It's not arguing against the existence of God, but against religion. The American Atheists need to go back to school on this one."

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Fracking or quaking the earth?

The Rev. John Burkhart questions our need for fracking at the Times Tribune of Corbin, KY:

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Issues remain for deferred deportation program

Catholic News Service reports on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

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Camps for kids at risk

Sharon Sheridan reports at Episcopal News Service on summer programs that make a difference in kids lives:

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Bon Appétit: celebrating Julia Child

August 15 is the 100th anniversary of Julia Child's birth:

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"An American Tragedy"

Naunihal Singh, in The New Yorker, has written a powerful op-ed on the Oak Creek shootings. Singh's entire article is complete and compelling, looking closely at the media coverage and the failure of both campaigns to fully incorporate the tragedy into necessary healing as a nation, but what follows is the most troubling part of his insight:

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"Stars Earn Stripes" misses on every level

From The Rev. Susan Russell's own admission in the Huffington Post, watching Olympic commercials with her must not have been fun...

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Occupy the tension: an interview with Jim Cooper

Nathan Brockman interviews the rector of Trinity Wall Street, The Rev. Dr. James Cooper, on the tension of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

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What is the role of catechism in our churches?

Leroy Huizenga offers interesting perspective on the role of cathechetics, writing on Krista Tippitt's blog, On Being. While his piece centers mostly on practices in the Catholic Church, I'm interested in how Episcopal churches are incorporating old-fashioned cathechism into religious education. He writes:

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New Orleans activist and deacon Lydia Hopkins dies

From the Times-Picayune in New Orleans:

Lydia Elliott Hopkins, an Episcopal deacon and longtime activist who plunged into volunteer work after Hurricane Katrina pummeled New Orleans, died Aug. 8 of a heart attack while on vacation with her family at Grayton Beach, Fla. She was 63.

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Mother Julia: Priest, acupuncurist, Tai Chi instructor

Julia Fritts McWilliams "represents that postmodern eclectic spirit that isn’t afraid of drawing from different traditions and incorporating that into what she does," says the rector of the church where she works as a priest associate.

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Reaching out to the prostitutes of Nashville

NPR profiles Magdalene House, a private residential rehab center for women who've been arrested for prostitution and drug addiction.

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Hooligans or prophets? What's the difference?

A Russian judge convicted the three singers known as Pussy Riot to two years in jail for "hooliganism" because they sang (or at least videotaped themselves singing) a protest song in a Moscow cathedral. Were they hooligans or prophets?

Two commentators think they were prophets whose act of hooliganism was challenging the abuse of the holy to prop up the political.

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Archbishop Makgoba condemns violence at South African mine

The Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Rev. Dr. Dr Thabo Makgoba, has condemned the violence and deaths at Lonmin’s Mine, and called for ‘strong, but measured and proportionate’ interventions from Government, police and unions, to end the ‘senseless loss of life’.

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As Ramadan ends, Muslims brace for violence

RNS reports that many Muslim Americans are approaching the end of Ramadan on Sunday (Aug. 19) under a cloud of fear as Muslim groups try to increase security without spurring panic.

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Most Americans keep their faith private on-line

A recent Pew survey says one-third of adults who use the Internet do not use social networking sites. And a significant minority of Americans do not access the Internet. And among Facebook users, half don't list their religious affiliation on their profile.

RNS:

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Silver Tsunami

New resources are available from The Episcopal Church Older Adult Ministries for ministry in the midst of the "silver tsunami." As the population of the US ages perhaps the Episcopal Church is well positioned for growth in this demographic as well as opportunities for ministry:

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Diocese of Lexington elects Douglas Hahn

The Diocese of Lexington has elected the Very Rev. Dr. Douglas Hahn as their next bishop on the second ballot:

Results of Ballot 2 in alphabetical order (C=clergy, L=lay):

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Ed Bacon and Oprah

The Rev. Ed Bacon of All Saints in Pasadena, CA will be on the air with Oprah tomorrow (Sunday August 19). Check out the preview of the show at:
Faith and Spirituality.

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8 ways to keep people out of church

Thinking Anglicans highlights the blog Missional Musings

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Backpacks

Molly Wolf who writes at Scrambling Towards Zion reflects on giving out backpacks for school children. Many churches prepare backpacks of school supplies or food for the weekends in this time of budget cuts and unemployment. What is your experience of this project? Wolf writes:

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Unholy Mess: churches and finance

The Economistreports findings about the finances of the Roman Catholic Church:

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Church of England: prayers of thanksgiving for cows

The Telegraph reports on a new Church of England liturgy that gives thanks for cows:

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Structure task force deadline approaches

The deadline for nominations for the special task force that will present recommendations on restructuring the Episcopal Church to the 2015 General Convention is Thursday.

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United Church of Canada will boycott goods from Israeli settlements

One of the larger denominations in Canada has taken a different tack than the Episcopal Church took at its General Convention on issues relating to Israel and Palestine. Haaretz has the story:

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Faith Day at Coors Field

The Rockies sponsored the Faith Day at Coors Field but forgot to invite all faiths -- a day of celebration at the ball park for Christians with Christian rock band, testimony by a Christian player, Christian prayers. A great day for Christian ecumenism but not really a "faith" day for anyone else:

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Todd Akin has an MDiv

Updated with Garance Frank-Ruta's article on The Atlantic's website, which demonstrates that Akin's views are hardly those of a solitary loon. It contains this citation: "According to a 1996 article in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 'among adult women an estimated 32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year.' "

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Mega-churches are intoxicating

Huffington Post reports that worship at a mega-church evokes intoxication:

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National Cathedral Q and A with Obama and Romney on their faith

USAToday reports "In the newsest issue of the quarterly magazine, Cathedral Age, [Obama and Romney} say their faith in God sustains and guides them, that faith has a role to play in the American public square, and that service to others -- motivated by faith -- is one of the great contributions of religious groups to the life of the nation."

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The geography of charitable giving

Interesting statistics and patterns of charitable giving are reported by NPR on a new study by the Chronicle of Philanthropy:

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Rat visits General Theological Seminary

In a scenario similar to one experienced by the Episcopal Church Center, General Theological Seminary was visited by a giant inflatable rat according to DNAinfo:

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Are you a slacktivist?

Slactivism is the term used for doing social action from one's keyboard according to National Catholic Reporter. It is a lazy way to feel better or does it change the world?

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Inclusive church torched in southern Ohio

The Logan Daily News writes a story on a small Ohio church that was destroyed by fire:

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Struggling with work-life balance

The Alban Institute has an article by David Edman Gray on our seemingly never ending struggle to balance "work" and "life":

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Rape can make you pregnant (and why some want to say otherwise)

Dr. Aaron E. Carroll, in an op-ed to CNN, begins with the scientific basics: Rep. Todd Akin is simply wrong with his idea that women do not get pregnant from rape:

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Divest? Foreclose? Reinvest? Renew?

It seems clear enough - from my chair anyway - that churches unwilling to undergo some phase of intentional redevelopment these days could be headed for rough waters. Perhaps it's a false choice with many more nuances than this, but it appears there's a fork in the road for many of us: innovate/rebrand/recommit - in short, get really entrepreneurial really fast - or else face the eventual possibility of a period of decline at the end of which may be a divestment or even foreclosure of some sort.

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Lilly gives National Cathedral $5 million for earthquake repairs

The Lilly Endowment is donating $5 million for repairs to Washington National Cathedral, exactly one year after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake severely damaged the historic structure. From the Washington Post:

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Akin & Augustine: Scholars muse about early church views on rape

What does Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) have in common with St. Augustine? More than you might think. Scholars Thomas Laqueur and Virginia Burrus chatted via e-mail with Sarah Morice-Brubaker of Religion Dispatches about what Augustine and other leaders of the early church had to say about rape. Laqueur notes that when he first heard Akin's comments about "legitimate rape" and a woman's ability to "shut that whole thing down," his first thought was "Good God, ... seventeenth-century forensic medicine is alive and well in Missouri. There must be a folk tradition that quietly perpetuates these views beneath the surface of science." Burrus had this to say:

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The Bishop of Buckingham is @Out4Marriage

The Standard reports

A Church of England bishop today supported gay marriage, saying God is not “an angry old man out to get us”.

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Take my Vicar...please!

More wisdom from Bishop Alan Wilson. He reflects on what really might be going on when someone asks the Bishop of Buckingham to sack the local vicar.

He writes "How to change your vicar (Part One):"

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Will on-line giving replace the collection plate?

If you think about, the offering plate is at once a ritual and a technology for collecting money. Ron Lieber of the New York Times asks how churches and synagogues are adapting to electronic giving and the decreasing reliance on cash.

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Heaven's Field

The West Bank has become, more and more, a seemingly permanent patchwork of Israeli settlements and nearby Palestinian towns and villages. Neighbors share many of the same roads, but almost never meet face-to-face.

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Watching the odds on the next ABC

You can not only see the current line the bookmakers have on who might be the next Archbishop of Canterbury but you can look at the history of those odds.

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More stupid "science" from a politician

Tennessee state Sen. Stacey Campfield (R) falsely claimed on Thursday that it was nearly impossible for someone to contract AIDS through heterosexual contact.

The Raw Story reports:

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The particular gifts of high school youth

Matt Marino writes:

Sr. High youth are the church’s best bellwether. They have just learned to think critically and have neither the patience nor the filter to be very kind in their critique. Help your parish both listen to their voice and lead those young people toward adulthood as committed Christians in the Anglican tradition.

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Talking about race in America

Chris Hayes gathers MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry, The Atlantic magazine editor Ta-Nehisi Coates, Totally Biased host W. Kamau Bell and WBAI-FM host Jay Smooth to talk about Coates' latest article "Fear of a Black President."

The video clip runs 13 minutes. The discussion is drawing praise on social media. What are your thoughts?

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Faith, politics and Washington National Cathedral

The Rev. Frank Wade, interim dean of Washington National Cathedral, talks with Deborah Potter of Religion and Ethics Newsweekly about the cathedral's recent $5 million gift from the Lily Foundation for earthquake repairs, and its correspondence with President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney about the the role of faith in their lives.

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The pervasive influence of the Book of Common Prayer

James Fallows of The Atlantic on Rhythm, Reception and the Book of Common Prayer

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Gene Robinson's Straight Talk about Gay Marriage

G Jeffrey McDonald interviewed Bishop Gene Robinson about his new book God Believes in Love: Straight Talk about Gay Marriage for Publishers Weekly. Here is some of what they said:

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The next Archbishop of Canterbury: surveying the field

We don't know who is going to be the next Archbishop of Canterbury, and we know little about some of Rowan Williams' most likely successors. That's why we find Laura Sykes' ongoing evaluation of the field so helpful. Visit Lay Anglicana and have a look.

Of Bishop James Jones of Liverpool she writes:

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Joplin rallies to support Muslims in wake of suspected mosque arson

Reuters has some good news:

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Neil Armstrong: to stardust you shall return

MoonRock.jpegOver the weekend many mourned the death of Neil Armstrong, the first human from Earth to walk on the moon. The National Cathedral in Washington DC posted a photo of the "space window" - a stained glass window that contains a moon rock:

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Episcopal priest asks Publix to pay 1¢ more for tomatoes

Ocala.com reports on the Rev. Les Singleton and the campaign to help tomato workers have fair wages:

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Discernment: revisited

Alban Institute is re-issuing Charles M. Olsen's and Danny Morris' Discerning God’s Will Together "with a new introduction and updating of the text. The cover is changed from a mosaic of three attentive sheep in the presence of the shepherd to three loping gazelles, indicating community and graceful, forward motion. But why? What have we learned over the fifteen years of attempting to practice discernment in leadership circles of congregations and assemblies? And why now? What still needs to be engaged and instilled?" Olsen writes:

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Rowan Williams' fear of the mob

Editorial thoughts about Theo Hobson on Rowan Williams in The Guardian.

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Do you give less than you think you give?

"Churchgoers like to think of themselves as generous and cheerful givers, but for many the flesh appears to be weak when it comes to living up to their own standards for charitable giving" according to a report in The Association of Religion Data Archives:

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Multi-site churches increase

Ekklesia reports a new church growth phenomenon:

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Bible game show - will you watch?

Religion News Service reports on a new game show:

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The last word on "that word"

Why some words (like the "N" word) are allowed for some people to use and why it is not "unfair" that other people cannot use it.

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Prayers for all those in the hurricane's way

From CNN on Hurricane Isaac:

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"Best hope against the zombies"

Rachel Mann has a provocative article in The Guardian claiming that zombies are an apt metaphor for those who feel the emptiness of consumerism.

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New language for congregational development

Greg Syler asks if there is another way of talking about and doing congregational development in an article for Episcopal News Service

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Why are Christians so mean?

Christians can be remarkably mean-spirited, notes the Rev. Kimberly Hyatt of Jacksonville, Fl., blogging at patheos.com:

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Franciscan characterizes sex-abuse victims as seducers

Writing in the National Catholic Reporter, Tom Robert rightly slams Franciscan leader Fr. Benedict Groeschel for remarks that place blame for clergy sexual abuse squarely at the feet of young victims:

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New breed of street evangelists share ministry of presence

A new breed of evangelism is hitting the streets, characterized by progressive Christians sharing a ministry of prayer and presence. Adrian Dannhauser says this is not about "trying to change anyone’s mind or belief system. I will pray with anyone of any faith in whatever mode they’re comfortable.” From Episcopal News Service:

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Strutting our materialistic selves on Facebook

Bishop Kirk Smith of Arizona ponders the eagerness with which we tend to share the extravagance of our lives via social media. Describing what he calls "Facebook bragging," he notes that Christians, especially those who are ordained, are not doing the church or themselves any favors by posting photos of luxury travel, expensive meals, and parties among a "huge number of happy, wine-drinking friends" for all their Facebook followers to see and envy.

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Who knew? Mitt Romney, Bain Capital and the Episcopal Church Pension Fund

In accepting the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney said:

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Diocese of Chichester reports on child sex abuse failures

The initial results of an inquiry into the diocesan child protection policies in the Diocese of Chichester in the Church of England was published yesterday.

The Huffington Post reports:

The theology behind the speeches

Two posts in Religion Dispatches describe the the theology that underlies the ideologies at the Republican National Convention that just wrapped up in Tampa. First, Joanna Brooks talks about the presentation of Mormonism at the Convention. Next, Sarah Posner looks at how Roman Catholicism is interpreted to match the politics of the GOP candidates.

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Is the Episcopal Church invested in Bain?

Elizabeth Drescher posts in Religion Dispatches:

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In Sydney, brides may "submit" rather than "obey"

There's good news and bad news: if you get married in an Anglican Church in the Diocese of Sydney, Australia, the bride no longer has to promise that she will "obey" her husband. Instead, she has the option of "submitting" to him.

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Building for mission

The Anglican Journal reports on the Rt. Rev. Victoria Matthews, bishop of Christchurch, New Zealand and her decision to take down the collapsing Christchurch Cathedral, despite formidable opposition.

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Hell is for bad guys, but not me

In the film Hellbound?, writer/director Kevin Miller asks why it is so important for some people to believe that God will consign evil-doers to an eternal, conscious hell and for others to believe that God will eventually welcome everyone into heaven.

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