Weekly Meanderings, 20 January 2018

Ah, a group of men after our own heart — libraries and books, by Spencer Feingold and Hande Atay Alam:

(CNN)A library in Ankara gives new meaning to the notion that books are timeless.

Garbage collectors in the Turkish capital have opened a public library comprised entirely of books once destined for the landfills.
The library, located in the Çankaya district of Ankara, was founded after sanitation workers started collecting discarded books.
For months, the garbage men gathered forsaken books. As word of the collection spread, residents also began donating books directly. [HT: JS]

Kristin E. Holmes:

At the invitation of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput in 2014, the Martins and another missionary family settled in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to advance theNeocatechumenal Way, a program of immersive spiritual development practiced in small groups. Its followers make a lifetime commitment to not only study the Catholic faith, but also to share it. They do so with an evangelical zeal that is uncommon in traditional parishes — and occasionally unsettling for their congregations, including St. Charles’.

“The Way” began in Spain in 1964, but got the Vatican’s imprimatur only in 2008 under Pope Benedict XVI. It now claims more than one million adherents in 6,000 parishes worldwide, making it one of the “most important in a galaxy of new movements and associations” within Roman Catholicism, said Massimo Faggioli, a Villanova University theology professor and author of two books on the subject.

In the Philadelphia Archdiocese, the movement is a presence in a dozen parishes, with a total of about 300 followers. The first group was formed 25 years ago at St. Dominic in Torresdale.  The two congregations with missionary families — St. Charles and St. Michael, in Northern Liberties — also are led by priests schooled in the Way.  The movement operates more than 100 seminaries, one of which opened four years ago on the grounds of the former St. Louis parish in Yeadon.

In the St. Charles and St. Michael parishes, both of which had suffered flagging attendance, the missionary families “get to know neighbors, interact in different ways, on the street, in the supermarket, at a kid’s soccer game,” said Bishop John J. McIntyre, head of the archdiocese’s Secretariat for Evangelization. “They might go to a public park and sing.”

Christian Smith is P-O’ed!

I have had nearly enough bullshit. The manure has piled up so deep in the hallways, classrooms, and administration buildings of American higher education that I am not sure how much longer I can wade through it and retain my sanity and integrity.

Even worse, the accumulated effects of all the academic BS are contributing to this country’s disastrous political condition and, ultimately, putting at risk the very viability and character of decent civilization. What do I mean by BS?

BS is the university’s loss of capacity to grapple with life’s Big Questions, because of our crisis of faith in truth, reality, reason, evidence, argument, civility, and our common humanity.

BS is the farce of what are actually “fragmentversities” claiming to be universities, of hyperspecialization and academic disciplines unable to talk with each other about obvious shared concerns.

BS is the expectation that a good education can be provided by institutions modeled organizationally on factories, state bureaucracies, and shopping malls — that is, by enormous universities processing hordes of students as if they were livestock, numbers waiting in line, and shopping consumers.

BS is universities hijacked by the relentless pursuit of money and prestige, including chasing rankings that they know are deeply flawed, at the expense of genuine educational excellence (to be distinguished from the vacuous “excellence” peddled by recruitment and “advancement” offices in every run-of-the-mill university).

BS is the ideologically infused jargon deployed by various fields to stake out in-group self-importance and insulate them from accountability to those not fluent in such solipsistic language games.

BS is a tenure system that provides guaranteed lifetime employment to faculty who are lousy teachers and inactive scholars, not because they espouse unpopular viewpoints that need the protection of “academic freedom,” but only because years ago they somehow were granted tenure.

Graham Hill:

I don’t agree with everything R.T. Kendall writes; and I don’t always agree with his interpretation of Scripture. But his primary thesis has struck me forcefully: There has been a “silent divorce” in the church between Word and Spirit, and these must be brought back together for the church to be healthy and biblical. Today, the church must recover the power of the combined and inseparable Word and Spirit.

I can see the separation R.T. Kendall is talking about, in my own life and experience of the church. I came to faith in Pentecostalism and spent years experiencing the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in prophecy, spiritual passion, healings, boldness for witness, and expectant faith. But the attention to sound biblical knowledge and interpretation was often weak. I then moved across to Evangelical churches, and spent years experiencing solid teaching, expository preaching, sound interpretation, and a high view of Scripture. But the attention to the power and presence and leading and renewal of the Holy Spirit was often non-existent or weak. In other words, I experienced first-hand the effects of the separation of Word and Spirit in the church.

So, I’ve been asking myself more and more lately, “How can we bring the Word and the Spirit back together, so that Christians can know the life-changing, world-transforming effects of God’s truth and power?”

Here are four ways we can do this.

Is North America 11 nations?

Wonderful story about Mona Zipay:

JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. — Mona Zipay was there almost from the beginning when her boss decided to become an independent insurance adjuster 1955.

Fifty-eight years later, she decided it was time to retire from Dorner Adjustment Co.

“I love what I did,” said Zipay, 83, of Whitney Point, N.Y., who retired Dec. 29. “I still do. But it’s time to stay home now.”

The secretary has helped customers through natural disasters and fires, outlived boss John M. Dorner and remembers when women were not allowed to wear pants to work.
Not only has she used manual typewriters, electric typewriters and computers, but she’s also adapted to a wave of technology so she could transcribe reports sent to insurers:

• Notes taken by hand in shorthand, which she learned in high school.

• Dictaphone machines with wax cylinders that could be reused after she shaved the cylinders in another machine.

• A Philips tape recorder plus a large-format Polaroid camera to photograph damage.

“When I stop and think of it, I don’t know how we did it,” Zipay said of the old technology. “In that span of time you can really see things, how they have progressed.”

But what has served her well through the years has been her typing and customer-service skills, said MaryAnn Dorner, daughter-in-law of John Dorner.

“She’s a phenomenal typist,” MaryAnn Dorner said. “She’s accurate, and she’s fast.”

She can transcribe as many as 30 dictations in one day.

She’s professional on the phones, keeping an even temper when dealing with irate customers, said Patrick Dorner, who along with his brother Mike now heads the company that’s located about 150 miles northwest of New York City near the New York-Pennsylvania border.

Sea lions on the prowl:

Since December, there have been four sea lion attacks in San Francisco Bay.

On Thursday, a sea lion attacked a woman at Aquatic Park, a popular spot for swimming along the northern waterfront. She was swimming when a sea lion bit her knee and tried to drag her under water,San Francisco Chronicle reports.

“She was bleeding pretty badly,” Lee Hammack, who was swimming nearby, told the Chronicle.

A retired paramedic on shore helped treat her until help arrived. The San Francisco Fire Department said the injury wasn’t life threatening.

In December, two people, one near Pier 45, were attacked with “serious bites” near the same spot in less than 24 hours, KRON 4 News reported. After those incidents, Aquatic Park Cove closed for at least four days. The station said another person was also attacked by a sea lion and almost bitten around the same time.

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