Thursday, September 10, 2009

Todays stories at the Episcopal Cafe

Today was my first day doing the "news blogging" at the Episcopal Cafe. If you don't know about Episcopal Cafe, it is an online news, opinion, and art blog sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. Every day the Episcopal Cafe has an opinion/reflection essay from a wide variety of writers who write "The Daily Episcopalian," there are also news stories posted at "The Lead" each day, there is a daily reflection on the saints and feasts of the church, "Speaking to the Soul," and there are also periodic videos and art posted on the site.

My role today was to find and post news stories in the "Lead" section of the Cafe. It was good fun, and I am excited to be working with some great folks who are the other newsblogging editors.

Here is a roundup of what's been going on at The Episcopal Cafe today, and if you don't read it daily, you really should!

The Daily Episcopalian today was a wonderful piece written by Daniel Schell, who tells of his participation in a peace witness in Basque:

"We’d just arrived in the Basque country for a visit with my daughter when an ETA car bomb killed Eduardo Puelles Garcia, a Spanish police anti-terrorism investigator in Bilbao. Patxi Lopez, newly elected president of Spain’s Basque autonomous region (Uskadi/Communidad Autonoma Vasca) called for a peace witness, and my daughter and her partner asked if we wanted to join them in the march, which is how we found ourselves marching with 60,000 secular and Catholic Basques and Spaniards to reclaim their city and community of for peace.

Half an hour before the witness was scheduled to begin we joined the growing crowd outside government offices by the Plaza Sagrado Corazon. A police line diverted traffic from the Gran Via de Diego Lopez, a broad two kilometer long boulevard across the city, and though the anti-terrorism squad had taped garbage cans and bins shut, I wondered what we were risking - were we and the Basque President making ourselves targets? Was it too easy to join this crowd? No random searches. Not even any evident perimeter security or observation."

The Lead had the following stories today:

Protecting oneself in worship, weapons or helmets?

"On Faith" at the Washington Post/Newsweek blog notes that some worshipers are bringing weapons to worship in order to protect themselves.

"Some New York-area rabbis are planning to bring weapons to High Holy Day services this month to guard against terrorist threats. In June, a Kentucky pastor invited his congregation members to bring their firearms to church to celebrate the Second Amendment."

Angel in the airport

NPR online

Chester Cook knows he can always find a lost soul at the re-ticketing counter in Terminal A at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. So he goes there each day, plants himself near the line and scans faces.
"I'm normally looking for someone who's having a meltdown," Cook says.

Bishops care about health care

From Episcopal News Service

A group of Episcopal bishops plan to travel to Washington, D.C., the week of September 14 to lobby on Capitol Hill in support of health-care reform.

Anglican imaginations run wild
After yesterday's Daily Episcopalian essay by Frank M. Turner, the blog-landscape was buzzing with responses, applauds, critiques, hand-wringing, and much good thought, all in all.

Women targeted by religious leaders

Many Women Targeted by Faith Leaders, Survey Says
By Jacqueline L. Salmon writing in The Washington Post's "On Faith" blog

One in every 33 women who attend worship services regularly has been the target of sexual advances by a religious leader, a survey released Wednesday says.

Obama preaches the moral we

"Episcopalian Diana Butler Bass notes that President Obama urged the nation to see health care through the lens of the "moral we"

"Tonight was about the moral "we." President Obama delivered a hope-filled speech that called us to stop being part of a camp--and instead see our "camp" as the wider American family. Those of us who are rich, who are poor, who are in-between, those who are ill, who are healthy, who one day may be infirm. We are in this together. He made the case that we need each other, that we have a common purpose of caring for each other and making a better future together. He did it inclusively--inclusive in his ethical reach, inclusive in his political reach, inclusive in his reach toward civility."

Unintended alliances

In The Guardian (UK), Episcopal Cafe Senior Editor Jim Naughton writes a response to the Question of the Week, "What is the future for Anglican conservatives?"

...if Rowan Williams succeeds in his misguided effort to establish a single-issue magisterium that determines a church's influence within the communion, a significant risk remains. That risk is run not by the Anglican left, which has nothing practical to lose, nor by the Anglican right, whose leaders embarrass less easily than Donald Trump and don't fear public opprobrium. Rather, the parties at risk are the Church of England and the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury, which may find themselves at the head of a communion synonymous with the agenda of the American right.

The Video section is running a fine youtube video of the Rev. Frank Wade speaking about the theology of General Convention:

"God speaks through every level of the Church, and we cannot be confident of God's direction until we have heard from all the levels," says the Rev. Frank Wade.

The Speaking to the Soul was a reflection on Alexander Crummell, here is a bit of it:

Daily Reading for September 10 • Alexander Crummell, 1898

"So the man groped for light; all this was not Life,--it was the world-wandering of a soul in search of itself, the striving of one who vainly sought his place in the world, ever haunted by the shadow of a death that is more than death,--the passing of a soul that has missed its duty. Twenty years he wandered,--twenty years and more; and yet the hard rasping question kept gnawing within him, “What, in God’s name, am I on earth for?” In the narrow New York parish his soul seemed cramped and smothered. In the fine old air of the English University he heard the millions wailing over the sea. In the wild fever-cursed swamps of West Africa he stood helpless and alone. . . .The Valley of the Shadow of Death gives few of its pilgrims back to the world."

The Art Blog is running art about "dissolving barriers" as a part of the Ubuntu art project:

"The new exhibition opening at Episcopal Church & Visual Arts this week is titled 'Art as Public Narrative: ECVA Imaging Ubuntu.' Designed as a visual collaboration with the work of TEC's Executive Council, the show's call challenged artists around the country to submit work that illustrated the Zulu concept of Ubuntu."

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