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February
2006
Science and religion: Friends or foes?
The recently published Catechism of Creation, with its typically Anglican answers and explanations about the hows and whys of life on earth, may provide a path through the emotionally charged battles over what children are taught and what our society believes.
Excerpts from Catechism of Creation
Episcopalians believe that the Bible “contains all things necessary to salvation” (BCP page 868): it is the inspired and authoritative source of all truth about God, Christ and the Christian life … The Bible, including Genesis, is not a divinely dictated scientific textbook. We discover scientific knowledge about God’s universe in nature, not Scripture.
Darwin, the tremulous troublemaker
He didn't set out to upset people. He was, after all, a strict creationist himself, on his way toward becoming an Anglican clergyman, when he embarked at age 22 on the odyssey of naturalistic observations that would provide the grist for his revelation. His inscribed Bible was among the few belongings he brought along for his seminal journey aboard the H.M.S. Beagle.
Weathering the Storms
Leaving more than 90,000 square miles of horrific damage in late August, Hurricane Katrina swept through dioceses in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The destruction came as states on the Gulf of Mexico from Texas to Florida still were cleaning up from 2004’s hurricanes Charley, Frances and Ivan. Following Katrina, Hurricane Wilma caused multi-million dollar damage in south Florida and elsewhere.
Haitian turmoil continues
Anglicans in Haiti and officials of Episcopal Relief and Development were shocked at news of the death of Edward Emmanuel Corneille, director of the diocese’s Bishop Tharp Institute of Business and Technology. Corneille was shot and killed in Pétion-Ville, just outside of Port-au-Prince, on Jan 5.
Time to reflect
Since 1964, the Episcopal chaplaincy at MIT has sponsored the Technology and Culture Forum, which brings together experts for public conversation about the role of science and technology in achieving positive social change.
Educational resurrection
Cuttington University in Liberia has many reasons to celebrate: new students, new programs and new life following civil unrest and severe destruction that forced it to close for more than a decade.
Growing new disciples
Rapid growth challenged St. Philip’s “to keep our whole community focused on the mission of Jesus Christ and to take the huge steps in faith that God has asked of us,” Lein says. But the main challenge “has been to figure out how to be the diocese’s seventh largest parish inside an elementary school.”
Since you asked...
The Rev. Charles Shipley III, head verger of Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, responds.
Celebrating Bonhoeffer
Martin Doblmeier, director of the critically acclaimed documentary Bonhoeffer, says the German theologian’s struggle against Nazism leading up to and during World War II speaks to every Christian today who struggles with how to respond to evil and to understand at a deep level the cost of following God.
Infuriating or inspiring?
“Nine million people saw the debut episode,” said the “real” Daniel Webster, an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Utah who, coincidentally, also has a woman as his bishop. “If any of them contact us to inquire about our church, and I know they are going to, then NBC has catapulted our 2020 evangelism effort like we never could. “It doesn’t matter how bad the show is, this is the best evangelism opportunity I think our church has ever had.’
Faith in foxholes
Sometimes I think I have not learned very much about the church, in spite of several decades of trying. But this I know: The opposite of love is not hate. The opposite of love is fear, and hate is only its stepchild.
Something about Mary
The two doctrines are in question. The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception states “that the most blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and in view of the merits of Christ Jesus the Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.”
Condemned by truth
Since I was a tiny child, I have felt myself called to the priesthood.  Not once have I been deeply drawn to other work.  There came a time, though, when I accepted that it was not to be.  It took me a long, long time, but finally and sadly I gave up.
Resting on God’s arm
Within the rhythm of my relationship with God, there are times when prayer and meditation seem too ethereal but the concrete act of gripping a pen seems just right.  It's as if whatever is churning in me flows through my arm, cascades through my fingers into the pen and splashes onto the page.  There it is for God to see, for me to see.
Voicing our darkest pain
The authors of the Psalms were not reluctant to express pain and desolation in the form of lament. Giving voice to the deepest human emotions of grief and loss is part of the warp and woof of the psalter.
Letters to the Editor
Episcopal Life welcomes letters and will give preference to those in response to stories. Letters should be no longer than 250 words and must include the writer’s name, address, phone number for verification. Pictures are welcome. Send to Letters, Episcopal Life , 815 Second Ave., New York, N.Y. 10017; or e-mail to letters@episcopal-life.org. All letters will be edited for brevity and clarity.