Yes, Tracie Prays, though Not in the Conventional Way

At the Emergent Village Blog, Tracie Giesbrecht responds at length to my query about if you do or do not pray:

Praying words in personal prayers feels manipulative to me these days.  I lack so much confidence in my ability to know what would be good (“God help me get that job” etc) that any words I say to that effect ring hollow. It also feels more like incantation to believe that my words could steer events. I haven’t been able to reconcile praying for outcomes. I would if I felt incredibly compelled to do that. I’d say that’s happened a handful of times – at most.

Read the Rest: Do I Pray?.

Religion Makes You Healthier

Canadians who attend religious services — and there aren’t many — are healthier than their compatriots:

People who attend religious services regularly are less likely than others in this country to develop diabetes or high blood pressure, a new study suggests, adding a Canadian dimension to the growing but contentious body of research linking faith and good health.

The authors, from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., theorize that Christian and other religious gatherings help stave off disease by offering a stress-reducing social-support network, frowning on risky behaviour like smoking and drinking and encouraging good diet and exercise.

‘It is the religious belief system that is driving people to care for one another and love one another’

They suggest that doctors take advantage of the findings by urging religious patients to tap into the health-promoting traditions of their faith.

via Attending religious services linked to better health | Holy Post | National Post.

Courtney Is a Bible Covergirl

Well, not Courtney herself, but one of her photos is on the cover of a Bible edited by our friend, Mark Oestreicher:

This is not her first cover image. For more, see herehere, here, and here.

Forcing Priests to Wear Robes Is Right Wally

Yep, it’s “right wally,” according to one Anglican bishop. Repeatedly over the years, some Anglican leaders have attempted to remove the requirements that clergy wear vestments when performing sacred acts. Repeatedly, their attempts have been rejected.

Over the last four decades a number of attempts to amend the legislation have been thwarted.

During one debate in 1988 Bishop Pete Broadbent, a supporter of change, said: “Let members ask themselves whether there are not occasions…when they have been embarrassed by, or found evangelism hindered by, the clergyman up front in robes, looking a right wally?”

Fourteen years later an opponent of new legislation said it could lead to “shell-suits in the sanctuary”.

Mr Atherstone, who is also an assistant curate of Eynsham and Cassington, near Oxford, said robes “built barriers” between minister and worshipper.

Robes can be a form of power dressing – they can reinforce the divisions of a stratified society, where deference to rank and authority is key,” he said.

via Forcing priests to wear robes ‘absurd’, says theologian – Telegraph.