Wednesday, 13 May 2009
Tuesday, 12 May 2009
"Archbishop Williams said that Anglican provinces are “a bit reluctant” to engage the proposed Anglican Communion Covenant in greater detail..."
A very good summary of the Archbishop of Caterbury's little chat, yesterday, to the delegates in Gaidethia, can be found at ANGLICAN JOURNAL.
Personally, I've pretty much lost all interest in what the primates, their spin doctors and talking heads have to say about gay people and transsexuals. The game is over. It has been over since it became obvious that the US legal system was not going to hand TEC's property and pastoral responsibilities to the schismatics. The only thing left now is for the Anglican Communion to sort out what this means for individual provinces, individual dioceses and, above all, individuals. The only way that this process can go smoothly and with the minimum of damage to the credibility and pastoral effectiveness Anglicanism is if the AB of C and the ACC let go of the Covenant and their desire to control the situation. At the moment the ACC is a dam holding back the waters. If they continue to stop the natural flow, when the dam breaks the exploding torrent will cause all sorts of damage. It is always better to let water find its own level and shape.
It's amazing how our brain works. There really is no green dot, and the pink ones really don't disappear
Monday, 11 May 2009
This is brilliant, although the singin' isn't up to much! It may be tribalism, but it's what the Beautiful Game is all about!
Personally, I'm gutted that they don't do clergy shirts in red and yellow hoops, but if Carlsberg made clergy shirts, they probably would.
Good luck to The Magpies in their fight to avoid the dreaded "R" word. The Premiership would be poorer without them!
A church in Newcastle is to offer solar-powered baptisms.
Heaton Baptist Church's Life Centre has had solar panels installed on the roof, which will be used to warm the water for people being baptised.
The panels will also be able to provide heating for the baptistry of the adjoining church.
Most of the £1m cost of the new centre, which has two halls, rooms for small groups, a crèche, and offices for church staff, came from donations.
Heaton Baptist Church baptizes dozens of people each year, including an annual summer baptism in the rather cooler waters of the North Sea at Whitley Bay.
Mark Elder, Heaton Baptist Church's senior pastor, said: "I love it when ordinary people meet with our amazing God, and nowhere is this more evident than in the life-changing waters of baptism."
Comment: I think I'd opt for a winter date for my baptism!
Sunday, 10 May 2009
Saturday, 9 May 2009
Brilliant concert last night in Dumbarton's Denny Civic Theatre, featuring and organised by lots of very talented folk from St Augustine's and their pals. Half of the proceeds went to the Children's Hospice Association, and half towards the building of St Aug's new Community Hall. The total raised was probably not too short of £2k, before one or two expenses.
Friday, 8 May 2009
Thursday, 7 May 2009
I hope you can help me.
The other day I set off for work leaving my husband in the house watching TV. I hadn't gone more than a mile down the road when my engine conked out and the car stopped. I walked back home to get my husband's help.. When I got home I couldn't believe my eyes. He was in the bedroom with a lady neighbour. I am 32, my husband is 34 and we have been married for 12 years. When I confronted him, he broke down and admitted that he'd been having an affair for the past six months.
I told him to stop or I would leave him.
He was let go from his job six months ago and he says he has been feeling increasingly depressed and worthless. I love him very much, but ever since I gave him the ultimatum he has become increasingly distant.
Can you please help?
Dear Stella ,
A car stalling after being driven a short distance can be caused by a
variety of faults with the engine. Start by checking that there is no
dirt in the fuel line. If it is clear, check the jubilee clips
holding the vacuum pipes on to the inlet manifold. If none of these
approaches solves the problem, it could be that the fuel pump itself
is faulty, causing low delivery pressure to the carburettor float
I hope this helps,
Wednesday, 6 May 2009
The following rang so many bells with me, and worthy enough to share with other sufferers:
I've made opportunities to contend with this problem in my life, and I've also been offered a number of opportunities in my CPE program. I've also started on medication a few weeks ago. The reason for this was that I saw, and got a lot of feedback from other people around me, that my depression was having a lot of impact on the quality of my work and of my life.
Its been really interesting working with the inpatient and outpatient behavioral health groups at the hospital during this ongoing struggle in my own life and heart/mind. The obvious questions come up, like why am I in the position I'm in while they are labeled "patient" and in many cases they are in the hospital by court mandate.
What I've noticed in the past couple of days is that I'm feeling a bit better.
If you haven't experienced depression, I've found it hard to explain it so that I feel like its understood. It might just be one of those things. It feels like grief sometimes, except you're not grieving anything specific. But it has that crushing sensation in the chest, the sinking feeling in the stomach, the lack of energy and motivation, morbid thinking, flashes of anger - the things I associate with grief. Its also very individual. I don't want to out anyone, but I know a number of people who also struggle with depression, and we're all unique snowflakes as it were.
I've taken it as a sort of spiritual discipline, in the category of becoming more genuine and honest and direct, and in also being first in putting my neck out there when I feel strongly about something. I've been talking to my family (even the ones I don't like, or don't know that well) and friends and coworkers about what's going on with me. It has led me to reflect a lot about honesty, and I had a couple of things to share:
The experience this time, compared to the last time years ago when I went on meds for depression, has been more positive in every way - and you can perhaps imagine the irony there. I've found that either people are pretty accepting of what's going on with me because they care about me, or they aren't supportive, and that reveals to me how much they care. I have found people around me to be supportive in ways I hadn't even thought of.
I have found that this kind of sometimes-radical-seeming honesty has changed me. Its exciting and strange to find that I'm changing something about myself. I have consistently gotten feedback that I have never been more present and engaged with my colleagues and I have noticed that my interactions with patients and staff have suddenly changed in quality. I've said things I'd have hesitated to say in the past, and I trust my instincts more than I have.
Really, I trust myself more. Perhaps this is becomes I am working hard to be more honest, and an honest person is more trustworthy.
There's a lot here that is far beyond the scope of this blog post. But in feeling better, I feel like I have a little energy to do things beyond barely getting through day after day, which is how I've felt for a while now. And I suppose that this post counts as part of my spiritual practice of honesty.
What I've experienced, in theological terms, is grace. Not the sometimes-contrived grace of reading a prayer of confession from a bulletin and receiving a pre-prepared assurance of pardon, or the self-absorbed grace of silently confessing and pretending that is all that is needed. I've been forced by this practice to own up to things I realized I was doing that were damaging, and I examine my life a little differently now.
I've connected this with my love of Good Friday. Without Good Friday, the God of Easter has nothing to say to me. I have come to know God most fully through God's wounds, and my experiments in demonstrating this in my own life, by being more open about my wounds, has been like a sudden flash of light. By his stripes we are healed. Now I have a much better sense of what this means in my own life.
If this is what I was meant to learn here, then amen. Keep it coming.
But I don't think I'll drop the meds just yet.
In this time of gloom and doom, why not cheer yourself up by pre-buying that coffin or casket you've always promised yourself? Many of the most prudent saints of old kept a casket in their house, just to remind them of what lay ahead... so why not follow their inspiring example? You may live long and prosper – but you're just as likely to die soon and wither.
May we recommend the new Star Trek Casket (or indeed, the Urn, pictured above) for that final, "Beam me up, Lord" moment? The casket, which will debut later in 2009, is styled on the warp-capable photon torpedoes first used by the Klingons and as seen inStar Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. What better way to enter eternity than in an antimatter weapon? Dick Cheney has his ordered already.
Look great even when you're dead. Find out more about Star Trek deathware here – price to be confirmed.
The Church of England has announced that following its introduction of special swine flu prayers, new clergy vestments are now available in case of a further outbreak of the deadly virus.
The discreet vestments (see left) make it possible for church life to go on absolutely as normal. Each clergy suit is hermetically sealed to provide 8 hours of total biological protection from parishioners, visitors, Alpha group leaders, the organist, fellow clergy and other noxious hazards.
"I don't know why the Archbishop hasn't issued them before now – they would have been a life saver during after-church coffee," said Revd Ian Fluenza, who donned his new vestments as soon as he received them, and is said to be sleeping in them.
The vestments, which are in liturgical orange, are intended for use at the Service of Commemoration for the Loss of a Mexican Holiday, and other new Church of England liturgies.
Meanwhile night-time clubbing has been suspended and she's sleeping a lot, although in the day she's still desperate to get out and inspect her territory.
Archie, the Special One, has taken to try to bully her, but she's not that badly injured, and even just three sets of claws down his nose is enough to deter him. The other two dogs don't care. They're too busy trying to wolf down their food before Archie gets it.
Life in The Rectory is never boring!
Tuesday, 5 May 2009
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The swine flu virus that has sparked fear and precautions worldwide appears to be no more dangerous than the regular flu virus that makes its rounds each year, U.S. officials said Monday.
The flu has been blamed for 26 deaths: 25 in Mexico and one in the United States, according to the World Health Organization.
Still, Napolitano noted, the seasonal flu results in "hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations" and roughly 35,000 fatalities each year in the United States. There are still concerns that the virus could return in the fall, in the typical flu season, as a stronger strain.
"We are cautiously optimistic that this particular strain will not be more severe than a normal seasonal flu outbreak," Napolitano said.
Backing the 4 May 2009 'day of action' calling for undocumented migrants in the UK to have the opportunity to become citizens, Simon Barrow, co-director of the religion and society think-tank Ekklesia, commented:
"We need to understand that people movements are a fact of modern life. The problems around migration are caused by injustice and prejudice, not people. Poverty, violence, racism, human rights abuses, economic dislocation and environmental destruction uproot the vulnerable and enable criminality to prosper. These are what we should be targeting, not the vulnerable themselves."
Barrow says the Strangers into Citizens campaign - backed by senior church leaders and others - represents a "vital step in the right direction" toward a just migration policy. He adds that "welcome for the stranger, hospitality for the oppressed and justice for all regardless of nationality or ethnicity are moral imperatives deeply rooted in the Christian tradition, alongside those of other faiths and good faith."
More on Strangers into Citizens: http://www.strangersintocitizens.org.uk/
Monday, 4 May 2009
Director Ron Howard has accused the Vatican of trying to hamper the filming of his new movie, Angels & Demons, starring Tom Hanks.
The movie sequel to author Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code features symbolist Robert Langdon helping to rescue four kidnapped cardinals.
But Howard said the Vatican exerted its influence "through back channels" to prevent filming near certain churches.
A Vatican spokesman said the director's claims were purely a publicity stunt.
Howard told a news conference: "When you come to film in Rome, the official statement to you is that the Vatican has no influence.
"Everything progressed very smoothly, but unofficially a couple of days before we were to start filming in several of our locations, it was explained to us that through back channels and so forth that the Vatican had exerted some influence."
Last summer, Rome's diocese confirmed it had barred producers from filming inside two churches because the movie did not conform to the church's views.
The director also claimed the Vatican got an event related to the film's premiere in Rome cancelled.
"There was supposed to be a reception or screening here in Rome that had been approved and I suppose that the Vatican had some influence over that," he said.
Speaking to the Associated Press the Vatican spokesman, the Reverend Federico Lombardi, refused to comment on Howard's allegations about church interference, saying his charges were purely designed to drum up publicity for the film.
Science vs religion
Catholic critics were unhappy with The Da Vinci Code which suggests that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had children, creating a royal bloodline that Church officials kept secret for centuries.
But Howard challenged them to see the new movie before condemning it.
"My only frustration as a film-maker is that we actually reached out a couple of times, to sort of offer opportunities for bishops and others just to see the film. And those opportunities have all been declined," he said.
"So far all the criticism, all of the complaints about the film have been coming from people who haven't seen it."
Over the weekend, a 102-year-old Italian bishop was quoted in the Italian media calling the film "highly denigrating, defamatory and offensive to Church values".
However, the storyline of Angels & Demons does not raise questions about Jesus Christ - it is billed as a "science vs religion" thriller that deals with an attempt to hijack a papal election.
Howard's adaptation of The Da Vinci Code, which was panned by critics, earned more than $750m (£505m) at the box office worldwide.
Angels & Demons will be released in the UK on 19 May.
The party converged in Lagos to unfold its agenda to Nigerians who had lived (legally) in Britain for 10 years that they are eligible to vote, provided he or she have registered with the Electoral Commission before May 10. The party as part of its campaign has set up registration centres in Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt, where electorates would be able to fill necessary forms and be sent down to the UK electoral commission ahead of the election.
Hargreaves while addressing newsmen in Lagos said the party decided to launch its campaign in Nigeria because Nigeria has the largest number of Africans in the UK, as he called on prospective voters to support the party as part of its efforts to put wrongs in the British society right.
He said it was time for Africans to vote in the country’s election for better bargaining power in its politics, saying that if the party is elected it would fight against the British culture that denies parents the right to discipline their wards and empowers the social service workers to take possession of such children
Although, the party is a minor Christian Rights political organisation in Britain but Hargreaves said it has a chance at winning seats in the European elections, saying that “the method used in the European election is a proportional representation that has been introduced so that the major parties will not dominate the seats”.