Saturday, October 9, 2010

Micah Challenge - Praying for the poor

Micah Challenge - Praying for the poor

An article from Britain and the worldwide prayer for justice tomorrow.

In the light of recent discussion of prayers, it's worth considering that 60 million evangelical Christians around the world will be praying tomorrow for justice around the world in the hope of abolishing extreme poverty. Leaving God out of it, as they would not wish to do, this is still an impressive and potentially important ritual, because it marks a turn towards social justice from one of the most traditionally conservative kinds of Christianity.
The prayer will be used in churches around the globe on 10.10.10. A children's prayer is also available.

O Lord, our great and awesome God, loyal to your promise of love and faithful to all who honour and obey you, hear our prayer.

We pray for those who live in poverty,

we cry out for those who are denied justice and

we weep for all who are suffering.

We confess that we have not always obeyed you.

We have neglected your commands and have ignored your call for justice.

We have been guided by self-interest and lived in spiritual poverty.

Forgive us.

We remember your promises to fill the hungry with good things, to redeem the land by your mighty hand and to restore peace.

Father God, help us always to proclaim your justice and mercy with humility, so that, by the power of your Spirit, we can rid the world of the sin of extreme poverty.

As part of your global church, we stand with millions who praise and worship you.

May our words and deeds declare your perfect goodness, love and righteousness to both the powerful and the powerless

so that your Kingdom may come on earth as it is in heaven. Amen

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Repurpose, Emerging, Christ

The word “repurpose” came up on TV as a substitute for the word recycle and reuse. I heard the word and thought of the emerging church movement that wants to adapt to a post modern way of doing things in worship.

The word repurpose touches something in me that says that maybe the emerging church movement should step back and look at the original purpose of Jesus and his gospels and look less at institution(s) that have in fact emerged around Jesus and his message over the centuries.

Indidvidually, people should decide what is needed in their hearts in response to the message of Jesus. Then institutions should recycle tradition around repurpose together with the individual and grow into the next centuries long phase of the Christian Spirit and Church.

Amanpour and the “Radical Mosque”

In her approach to reshape her new anchor of This Week on ABC, Christiane Amanpour should be applauded for her efforts to increase the dialogue in the public forum. No statue of George Will this week to parrot the right view.

The “radical Mosque” is a term used by evangelical Gary Bauer on ABC’s This Week with Christiane Amanpour to describe the average place of Muslim worship infiltrated by “radical Islam”.

The show this week was a forum format – a “digital town hall” - with many people in the news discussing among other things the proposed Islamic Center proposed for two blocks from the new World Trade Center.

In the move forward toward the future, there is still a lot of anger in America and fear toward the religion of Islam.

I have no answers. The act of violence of 911 opened a door to America whereby its basic beliefs among them the concept of the freedom of Religion was brought to the forefront to include a once foreign to Europeans belief of Islam.

Time will hopefully heal the wounds of 911. Time will hopefully make it okay to have an historically alien to European culture religion exist in Ameria.

I believe that the Islamic Cultural Center in lower Manhattan will be built. The original presentation had too many loose ends that eventually invited dissent on the matter. Too many things to mention. The location of two blocks from the old WTC is the main trigger for a lot of people who are still lingering in the past and have not addressed the new world of post 911 reality.

A globally small world of the future will have to feel comfortable with all beliefs and religions. It is hard ground to take or shape in that possible new Global Village reshaped after 911.

America’s traditional isolation ended 911 and a brave new world was born. Practicing one’s religion will continue in America. Tolerance has to make a notch or two upward on our scales of recognition. The whole thing to heal takes time and effort. Think positively.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

thoughts of the day

Shades of color and subtlety count.

Metaphors and symbols matter.

Gelt lends credence to any idea.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Pew Forum Test on Religion

More on the Pew Forum Survey regardng ignorance about religion in America.  Take an abbreviated test from the same longer survey.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What do you know about God?

An interesting article about stats and who knows what etc. about God and religion.  The numbers are an interesting insight into the whole complex matter of ideas and realities regarding religion.

Atheists, agnostics most knowledgeable about religion, survey says

A majority of Protestants, for instance, couldn't identify Martin Luther as the driving force behind the Protestant Reformation, according to the survey, released Tuesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Four in 10 Catholics misunderstood the meaning of their church's central ritual, incorrectly saying that the bread and wine used in Holy Communion are intended to merely symbolize the body and blood of Christ, not actually become them.

Atheists and agnostics — those who believe there is no God or who aren't sure — were more likely to answer the survey's questions correctly. Jews and Mormons ranked just below them in the survey's measurement of religious knowledge — so close as to be statistically tied.

So why would an atheist know more about religion than a Christian?

Monday, September 27, 2010

"Beloved and Respected Teachers"

A lot a talk about improving education these days.  Here is something from the past regarding something perhaps missing in the modern education equation.

Boston English High school is listed as the oldest public high school in the United States founded in 1821.

Most notable among its alumni are J. P Morgan, financier, Louis Sullivan, architect, Leonard Nimoy, actor, Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam and two American Generals, William H.C.Whiting CSA, and Matthew Ridgway.

The school started out to give a practical no frills Yankee style education for those going beyond grade school in the early part of our republic. No frills meant that it taught English but no Latin as in a more traditional academic setting of the time.

I was not familiar with the history of the institution until I ran across some documents in a flea market. The penmanship alone of one bygone document overwhelmed me. I will shortly share some of the words attached to that bygone penmanship.

You can look back on your own education. You can look at the education your child is receiving. You see many discrepancies in how a newer generation is being taught and wonder what values taught to you have been discounted in the process of the progress of American civilization.

Your child's homework makes them busy. Assignments on the Internet and cardboard story boards that the parent should not but does invariably finish for the child seem the norm. But is the child being taught? What do teachers do these days besides measure your child in standardized tests and following the current flavor of the decade teaching modi operandi?

Let me step back and not take away from anyone's credentials or their attempt to educate in this bizarre new global existence.

I was taken aback by the Valedictory speech of a graduating student from "English High School" in July 1852. The words here say a lot about teachers and the gratitude that students should return to efforts made on their behalf. The following is an example of Yankee no frills education.


"The class of which I am a member, has now completed the usual academic course, in this Institution. We are about to separate and enter other spheres of duty. But before that separation takes place, one last office still remains to be performed. It is to take leave of our friends. It is to testify our gratitude to those who have helped us onward during our past lives and to encourage each other, in the onward path, which each of us may have chosen.

Beloved and respected teachers -To you, who have so faithfully attended to your arduous duties, we must first testify our gratitude.

You have endeavored to instill into our minds, those principles, and form in us, those habits, which would most securely stand against temptations and evils by which we may be assailed. You have instructed us on those things, which would qualify us for pursuing an honest and useful life. You have in all things, sought our good.

Nor, under Providence, shall your labor be in vain. If successful in our future lives, much of our success must be attributed to your aid. We are now to redesign your guidance and instruction. The happy hours we have here enjoyed, will never be repeated.

But though removed from your immediate influences, yet the lessons you have given, will still continue to teach us. We shall hear their echo, telling us what path of life and duty to choose. We shall feel their influence, continually urging us forward in all good deeds, and warning us to reflect, when temptations shall beset our paths. In more advanced periods, when we come to reflect upon our past lives, we shall refer to this portion, with pleasure. We shall recall the many pleasant hours we have here enjoyed, and the many valuable instructions we have received. Our teachers will be remembered with feelings of gratitude and respect.

We shall remember this devotedness to our happiness and welfare. We would say then, - go on in the work , the noble useful work, in which you are engaged.

Continue your endeavors to improve the young, and although your reward may not be immediate, yet it will be certain. And you, who are to continue your studies in this school, especially you, who are so soon to occupy our places in this room, we would exhort, to make the best use of your time, improve every opportunity and you will not regret it. Your advantages for obtaining a good education, are unusual.

Do not then, by neglecting them, bring regret and sorrow upon yourselves, in after years. Consider that, although one neglected advantage may seem but a small loss, yet it serves to swell, and may very seriously increase the aggregate of losses. Remember, that the cares of your teacher are very great. Do not, therefore, multiply them, by misconduct on your part, but rather alleviate them, by your attention to his instructions, and to your duty. And when, in future years, you come to look back upon your school days, may you be comforted by the reflection, that you have, in all things, endeavored to do your best.

Fellow Classmates, we now part with this school and with each other..."

Valedictory. Composed and spoken by C.F.Wyman, July 26, 1852, Boston, Mass.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Church vs. Facebook and Social Networks

There is a movie out about Facebook, “The Social Network”. If you know anything about Facebook you know it is a place where people hangout with “friends” on a computer and not necessarily in real life. Though photos of a party or two appear, this is the modern version of the town square for a lot of young people.

Don’t know is this electronic trend to know people on a tube will last. It seems to me that if you want to meet people, the best place still available is in a church setting and not just on a Sunday. Church is real. Facebook is a social blur. The pendulum may swing back and people may want to touch other people for real in person like the old fashioned way.

Church or churches if they still are open may be the place in the future for reality and a real true social network for many as they grow older and as they continue to be for many more to this day.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

More excuse – Less abuse ?

Pope expresses sorrow for abuse

The pope has done his mandatory apology for institutional and personal failure in the ongoing breakdown of abuse in the church.

Pope Benedict XVI expressed his "deep sorrow" Saturday for the child sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church, the first time he has publicly addressed the issue on his four-day trip to Britain.

"I think of the immense suffering caused by the abuse of children, especially within the church and by her ministers," Benedict said during Mass at Westminster Cathedral. "Above all, I express my deep sorrow to the innocent victims of these unspeakable crimes, along with my hope that the power of Christ's grace, his sacrifice of reconciliation, will bring deep healing and peace to their lives.

"I also acknowledge with you the shame and humiliation which all of us have suffered because of these sins; and I invite you to offer it to the Lord with trust that this chastisement will contribute to the healing of victims, the purification of the church, and the renewal of her age-old commitment to the education and care of young people.
The apology was made during his current trip to Scotland and England.

The circus continues.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Joe the Pope does England and Scotland

You don’t need a copy of the show business magazine Variety to know that Joe the Pope’s floating circus is about to arrive in Great Britain.

A trip that looked promising mining for women hating COE priest types has gotten down to the nitty gritty stuff of everyday life.

Remarks from Cardinal Kaspar comparing Britain to a third world country has seen him pardon himself out of the pope’s entourage.

Remarks about wearing crosses on British Airways and getting discriminated against coincides with talk of the so called aggressive Atheism breeding on British shores.

The pope should promise to get more info out about the Church’s abuse scandals.

There’s all sorts of goodies to give out and receive in the media in the next few days.

Pope's Visit