Philippians 2


Arlin Sorensen's Thoughts on Scripture

Philippians 2 has Paul exhorting us on a number of different areas around how we should live.  He just completed telling them how to address external conflicts in the prior chapter, and now turns his attention to how they should deal with internal conflicts in the Body.  “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind”.  He focuses them on deep, abiding, internal unity, based on the reality of their walk with Christ and the fullness of the Spirit.

The problems we have in the Body are often about power and selfish focus.  Paul addresses it head on.  “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in  humility count others more significant than yourselves”. …

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OPEC Is Set to Extend Its Oil Output Cut Deal With Russia


6:10 AM EST

OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers look poised to agree on Thursday to extend output cuts until the end of 2018 to finish clearing a global glut of crude while signaling they could exit the deal earlier if the market overheats.

Non-OPEC Russia, which this year reduced production significantly with OPEC for the first time, has been pushing for a clear message on how to exit the cuts so the market doesn’t flip into a deficit too soon.

The producers’ current deal, under which they are cutting supply by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in an effort to boost oil prices, expires in March.

As the 14-country OPEC‘s meeting started in Vienna, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said he favored extending cuts by nine months until the end of 2018.

He said it was premature to talk about exiting the cuts at least for couple of quarters and added that OPEC would examine progress at its next meeting in June.

“When we get to an exit, we are going to do it very gradually … to make sure we don’t shock the market,” he said.

The Iraqi, Iranian and Angolan oil ministers also said a review of the current deal was possible at the next OPEC meeting in June in case the market becomes too tight.

“The main parameters that could warrant a review are changes in the market and changes to prices,” Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said.

Iran’s Bijan Zanganeh said $60 a barrel was a good price. International benchmark Brent crude is trading at around $63, while West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark U.S. blend, is trading at $57.73 early Thursday in New York. That’s just shy of the 30-month high it hit last week on optimism about an extension of the OPEC-led deal.

The meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will be followed by a gathering of OPEC and non-OPEC producers led by Russia at around 0900 Eastern Time.

ReadThe U.S. Is on the Threshold of the Biggest Oil and Gas Boom Ever

With oil prices rising above $60, Russia has expressed concerns that such an extension could prompt a spike in crude production in the United States, which is not participating in the deal.

Russia needs much lower oil prices to balance its budget than OPEC‘s leader Saudi Arabia, which is preparing a stock market listing for national energy champion Aramco next year and would hence benefit from pricier crude.

“Prices will be well supported in December with a large global stock draw. The market could surprise to the upside with even $70 per barrel for Brent not out of the question if there is an unexpected interruption in supply,” said Gary Ross, a veteran OPEC watcher and founder of Pira consultancy.

Kuwaiti Oil Minister Essam al-Marzouq said OPEC would debate capping Nigerian and Libyan output at 1.8 million bpd and 1 million bpd respectively, having exempted the two countries so far due to unrest and lower-than-normal production.

The production cuts have been in place since the start of 2017 and helped halve an excess of global oil stocks although those remain at 140 million barrels above the five-year average, according to OPEC.

Russia has signaled it wants to understand better how producers will exit from the cuts as it needs to provide guidance to its private and state energy companies.

“It is important … to work out a strategy which we will follow from April 2018,” Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Wednesday.

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By Reuters

6:10 AM EST

OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers look poised to agree on Thursday to extend output cuts until the end of 2018 to finish clearing a global glut of crude while signaling they could exit the deal earlier if the market overheats.

Non-OPEC Russia, which this year reduced production significantly with OPEC for the first time, has been pushing for a clear message on how to exit the cuts so the market doesn’t flip into a deficit too soon.

The producers’ current deal, under which they are cutting supply by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in an effort to boost oil prices, expires in March.

As the 14-country OPEC‘s meeting started in Vienna, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said he favored extending cuts by nine months until the end of 2018.

He said it was premature to talk about exiting the cuts at least for couple of quarters and added that OPEC would examine progress at its next meeting in June.

“When we get to an exit, we are going to do it very gradually … to make sure we don’t shock the market,” he said.

The Iraqi, Iranian and Angolan oil ministers also said a review of the current deal was possible at the next OPEC meeting in June in case the market becomes too tight.

“The main parameters that could warrant a review are changes in the market and changes to prices,” Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said.

Iran’s Bijan Zanganeh said $60 a barrel was a good price. International benchmark Brent crude is trading at around $63, while West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark U.S. blend, is trading at $57.73 early Thursday in New York. That’s just shy of the 30-month high it hit last week on optimism about an extension of the OPEC-led deal.

The meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will be followed by a gathering of OPEC and non-OPEC producers led by Russia at around 0900 Eastern Time.

ReadThe U.S. Is on the Threshold of the Biggest Oil and Gas Boom Ever

With oil prices rising above $60, Russia has expressed concerns that such an extension could prompt a spike in crude production in the United States, which is not participating in the deal.

Russia needs much lower oil prices to balance its budget than OPEC‘s leader Saudi Arabia, which is preparing a stock market listing for national energy champion Aramco next year and would hence benefit from pricier crude.

“Prices will be well supported in December with a large global stock draw. The market could surprise to the upside with even $70 per barrel for Brent not out of the question if there is an unexpected interruption in supply,” said Gary Ross, a veteran OPEC watcher and founder of Pira consultancy.

Kuwaiti Oil Minister Essam al-Marzouq said OPEC would debate capping Nigerian and Libyan output at 1.8 million bpd and 1 million bpd respectively, having exempted the two countries so far due to unrest and lower-than-normal production.

The production cuts have been in place since the start of 2017 and helped halve an excess of global oil stocks although those remain at 140 million barrels above the five-year average, according to OPEC.

Russia has signaled it wants to understand better how producers will exit from the cuts as it needs to provide guidance to its private and state energy companies.

“It is important … to work out a strategy which we will follow from April 2018,” Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Wednesday.

Collaboration: Bangladeshi Islamic leaders to give signed fatwah against extremism to Pope Francis


Islamic Leader: For Pope Francis a fatwa against extremism signed by 100,000 imams

Anna Chiara Filice

Allam Majharul Islam is the great guardian of the Amber Shah Shahi Jami Mosque. An interreligious group to promote harmony between the faiths. Sorrow for attack on Sinai. To curb terrorism, “focus on education in the madrasas and control sermons in the mosques”. From our envoy on the ground

Dhaka (AsiaNews) – “We will deliver a letter to Pope Francis containing a fatwa against extremism signed by 100,000 imams” announces,  Allamma Majharul Islam, Grand Khatib (great guardian) of Amber Shah Shahi Jami Mosque, in the Kawran Bazaar area in Dhaka speaking in an exclusive interview with AsiaNews.

We meet him in the mosque of which he is guardian in the evening, while the students of his madrassa (Koranic school) recite Islamic prayers (see photo). Over a cup of tea and a pastries prepared by the wife of an imam who accompanies him, he reflects on interreligious harmony, how to build peace in Bangladesh, Islamic fundamentalism. Above all, he emphasizes: “Islam does not allow any form of terrorism. As a preacher, I teach my students that Islam means peace, and to not offend anyone’s religious feelings. ” Below our interview.

 

Grand Khatib, how will you welcome the Pope and what do you want to say to him?

We welcome Pope Francis with immense joy. He is a world leader. He comes to a small Islamic country. His visit honors us, because he is not only the head of Christians, but a leader of all the faithful. Each religion brings with it a message of peace, and the Holy Father promotes it in an appropriate manner. I will be one of the 500 Islamic religious people who will meet Pope Francis [during the interreligious and ecumenical rally for the peace on December 1st, in the archbishopric garden]. On that occasion we will hand him a letter containing a fatwa against Islamic extremism signed by 100,000 Muslim religious leaders.

What do you expect Pope Francis will say to Muslims?

The Holy Father will bring a message of love, especially for the Rohingya, and will help them solve their refugee problem. Surely his visit will lead to a rapid resolution of the crisis [Muslim refugees fleeing from Myanmar and camped in makeshift shelters in Cox’s Bazaar]. At the same time, as an Islamic leader, I believe that they should return to Myanmar because they have never been citizens of Bangladesh. And above all because everyone has the right to live in their own place of origin.

In your opinion, how can one encourage the harmony and coexistence between religions in Bangladesh? And among the Shiite, Sunni and Sufi Muslim faithful?

We have created the World Religious Forum (WRF), which brings together Muslim, Christian, Hindu and Buddhist religious leaders. I am the coordinator. With this forum we do not just want to build relations of brotherhood between Sunni and Shi’ite, but also among other religions. We organize programs for interreligious dialogue with those who practice the true religion that is peace. Also Card. Patrick D’Rozario [Dhaka’s Archbishop] is part of the group and is directly involved in the initiatives. We have also received numerous letters of thanks from the Vatican for our great contribution to the building of interreligious harmony.

Can you give us some concrete examples of coexistence and respect between religions?

In recent years, some comments on religious violence at Cox’s Bazar, or against Rongpur’s Christians, or that justified the murder of Sunil Gomes, a Catholic in Natore, were published on Facebook. We organized a march of protest, attended by 5,000 imams and faithful. It was the first time the WRF protested against sectarian attacks on the faithful of other religions. The interreligious program has also resonated in all the media and we have received appreciation from several sides.

You will have heard of the recent attack in Sinai, which left more than 300 people dead and targeted a Sufi Mosque. What are your feelings about it?

When I heard the news, I felt a deep pain in my heart. They are terrorists. We are against violence. We are saddened by all the atrocities that occur in the world, not only towards Muslims but also towards Christians, Buddhists and Hindus.

How can we ensure peace and social justice in your country?

We work to ensure social justice and in this we are supported by government policies. I maintain that everyone should enjoy their rights, including the Rohingya. We also support women’s development and help widows. To ensure peace, we work together with other religious leaders so that they enjoy the freedom to preach according to the values ​​of their religion. No faith promotes religious violence. And as far as Islamic terrorism is concerned, no religion allows conflict and killing.

And how can we curb terrorism?

We have to start from education. We teach our values ​​in the madrasse. We teach the students the true teachings of Islam. We motivate young people and tell them there is no place for weapons or attacks on other believers. I am proud to say that 90% of WRF members are Koranic students. Fundamentalism in this country is rooted in an incorrect education. Then we also have to be careful about the sermons. In Bangladesh there are about 300,000 mosques, of which 10,000 in Dhaka alone. In my mosque about 8,000 Muslims pray, including several government ministers. I am a consultant to the Minister of the Interior and I have the task of controlling the preaching, in order to prevent the imams from indulging in hate speech. If we realize that someone teaches the wrong lessons and encourages extremism, we must act against them.

Islamic Leader: For Pope Francis a fatwa against extremism signed by 100,000 imams

Anna Chiara Filice

Allam Majharul Islam is the great guardian of the Amber Shah Shahi Jami Mosque. An interreligious group to promote harmony between the faiths. Sorrow for attack on Sinai. To curb terrorism, “focus on education in the madrasas and control sermons in the mosques”. From our envoy on the ground

Dhaka (AsiaNews) – “We will deliver a letter to Pope Francis containing a fatwa against extremism signed by 100,000 imams” announces,  Allamma Majharul Islam, Grand Khatib (great guardian) of Amber Shah Shahi Jami Mosque, in the Kawran Bazaar area in Dhaka speaking in an exclusive interview with AsiaNews.

We meet him in the mosque of which he is guardian in the evening, while the students of his madrassa (Koranic school) recite Islamic prayers (see photo). Over a cup of tea and a pastries prepared by the wife of an imam who accompanies him, he reflects on interreligious harmony, how to build peace in Bangladesh, Islamic fundamentalism. Above all, he emphasizes: “Islam does not allow any form of terrorism. As a preacher, I teach my students that Islam means peace, and to not offend anyone’s religious feelings. ” Below our interview.

 

Grand Khatib, how will you welcome the Pope and what do you want to say to him?

We welcome Pope Francis with immense joy. He is a world leader. He comes to a small Islamic country. His visit honors us, because he is not only the head of Christians, but a leader of all the faithful. Each religion brings with it a message of peace, and the Holy Father promotes it in an appropriate manner. I will be one of the 500 Islamic religious people who will meet Pope Francis [during the interreligious and ecumenical rally for the peace on December 1st, in the archbishopric garden]. On that occasion we will hand him a letter containing a fatwa against Islamic extremism signed by 100,000 Muslim religious leaders.

What do you expect Pope Francis will say to Muslims?

The Holy Father will bring a message of love, especially for the Rohingya, and will help them solve their refugee problem. Surely his visit will lead to a rapid resolution of the crisis [Muslim refugees fleeing from Myanmar and camped in makeshift shelters in Cox’s Bazaar]. At the same time, as an Islamic leader, I believe that they should return to Myanmar because they have never been citizens of Bangladesh. And above all because everyone has the right to live in their own place of origin.

In your opinion, how can one encourage the harmony and coexistence between religions in Bangladesh? And among the Shiite, Sunni and Sufi Muslim faithful?

We have created the World Religious Forum (WRF), which brings together Muslim, Christian, Hindu and Buddhist religious leaders. I am the coordinator. With this forum we do not just want to build relations of brotherhood between Sunni and Shi’ite, but also among other religions. We organize programs for interreligious dialogue with those who practice the true religion that is peace. Also Card. Patrick D’Rozario [Dhaka’s Archbishop] is part of the group and is directly involved in the initiatives. We have also received numerous letters of thanks from the Vatican for our great contribution to the building of interreligious harmony.

Can you give us some concrete examples of coexistence and respect between religions?

In recent years, some comments on religious violence at Cox’s Bazar, or against Rongpur’s Christians, or that justified the murder of Sunil Gomes, a Catholic in Natore, were published on Facebook. We organized a march of protest, attended by 5,000 imams and faithful. It was the first time the WRF protested against sectarian attacks on the faithful of other religions. The interreligious program has also resonated in all the media and we have received appreciation from several sides.

You will have heard of the recent attack in Sinai, which left more than 300 people dead and targeted a Sufi Mosque. What are your feelings about it?

When I heard the news, I felt a deep pain in my heart. They are terrorists. We are against violence. We are saddened by all the atrocities that occur in the world, not only towards Muslims but also towards Christians, Buddhists and Hindus.

How can we ensure peace and social justice in your country?

We work to ensure social justice and in this we are supported by government policies. I maintain that everyone should enjoy their rights, including the Rohingya. We also support women’s development and help widows. To ensure peace, we work together with other religious leaders so that they enjoy the freedom to preach according to the values ​​of their religion. No faith promotes religious violence. And as far as Islamic terrorism is concerned, no religion allows conflict and killing.

And how can we curb terrorism?

We have to start from education. We teach our values ​​in the madrasse. We teach the students the true teachings of Islam. We motivate young people and tell them there is no place for weapons or attacks on other believers. I am proud to say that 90% of WRF members are Koranic students. Fundamentalism in this country is rooted in an incorrect education. Then we also have to be careful about the sermons. In Bangladesh there are about 300,000 mosques, of which 10,000 in Dhaka alone. In my mosque about 8,000 Muslims pray, including several government ministers. I am a consultant to the Minister of the Interior and I have the task of controlling the preaching, in order to prevent the imams from indulging in hate speech. If we realize that someone teaches the wrong lessons and encourages extremism, we must act against them.

ASIA/INDIA – The Pope will not visit India: Catholic community disappointed


Tuesday, 28 November 2017pope   pope francis   local churches   christianity   politics   violence  

New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) – The Catholic Church of India said it was disappointed that Pope Francis will not be visiting India as part of his South Asia trip. During his visit he will go to Myanmar and Bangladesh. The leaders of Indian Catholics were in touch until recently with the government to bring the Pope to a country where Catholics constitute the third largest group, with about 28 million followers. But they were not able to obtain a commitment.
Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, Secretary General of the Indian Bishops’ Conference (CBCI), told Fides: “It was with a heavy heart, we received the news that the Holy See cannot visit India. A Holy Visit would have been a prestige for the whole country in the eyes of the world. The Pope is visiting two smaller countries and not India: as an Indian, it hurts”.
The previous papal visit to the sub-continent was in January 2015, when Pope Francis visited Sri Lanka for the canonization of India-born priest Joseph Vaz. Consultations for the papal visit began in earnest a year ago, when Pope Francis declared in October 2016, on the papal plane on his way back from Azerbaijan, that he would “almost certainly” visit India and Bangladesh next year.
According to protocol, a papal visit is a “state visit” and the Head of State must send an invitation to the Vatican asking to host the Pope. Archbishops and Cardinals had formed delegations to meet President Pranab Mukherjee and the Prime Minister’s Office, but they returned without a commitment from either office.
Bishop Mascarenhas said: “In this climate of vigilantism and murderous lynchings, the Pope would have come as a Messenger of Peace, bringing a salve to the people who are powerless in the face of the forces of hate and evil, we are really disappointed that the Pope Francis will not visit India”. He added: “The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister have never said ‘no’ to a papal visit, only that they are always considering it. I am hopeful the Holy See can visit us soon as we are in continuous talks with the government. A papal visit would be a pride for India and all Indians”. (PN-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 28/11/2017)

Map data ©2017 Google, Mapa GISrael, ORION-ME, ZENRIN

Map

Satellite

ASIA/INDIA – The Pope will not visit India: Catholic community disappointed

Tuesday, 28 November 2017pope   pope francis   local churches   christianity   politics   violence  

New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) – The Catholic Church of India said it was disappointed that Pope Francis will not be visiting India as part of his South Asia trip. During his visit he will go to Myanmar and Bangladesh. The leaders of Indian Catholics were in touch until recently with the government to bring the Pope to a country where Catholics constitute the third largest group, with about 28 million followers. But they were not able to obtain a commitment.
Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, Secretary General of the Indian Bishops’ Conference (CBCI), told Fides: “It was with a heavy heart, we received the news that the Holy See cannot visit India. A Holy Visit would have been a prestige for the whole country in the eyes of the world. The Pope is visiting two smaller countries and not India: as an Indian, it hurts”.
The previous papal visit to the sub-continent was in January 2015, when Pope Francis visited Sri Lanka for the canonization of India-born priest Joseph Vaz. Consultations for the papal visit began in earnest a year ago, when Pope Francis declared in October 2016, on the papal plane on his way back from Azerbaijan, that he would “almost certainly” visit India and Bangladesh next year.
According to protocol, a papal visit is a “state visit” and the Head of State must send an invitation to the Vatican asking to host the Pope. Archbishops and Cardinals had formed delegations to meet President Pranab Mukherjee and the Prime Minister’s Office, but they returned without a commitment from either office.
Bishop Mascarenhas said: “In this climate of vigilantism and murderous lynchings, the Pope would have come as a Messenger of Peace, bringing a salve to the people who are powerless in the face of the forces of hate and evil, we are really disappointed that the Pope Francis will not visit India”. He added: “The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister have never said ‘no’ to a papal visit, only that they are always considering it. I am hopeful the Holy See can visit us soon as we are in continuous talks with the government. A papal visit would be a pride for India and all Indians”. (PN-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 28/11/2017)

Map data ©2017 Google, Mapa GISrael, ORION-ME, ZENRIN

Map
Satellite

Pope urges Myanmar Bishops to continue to provide prophetic voice


Bishop Felix Lian When Thang and Bishop John Saw Yaw Han, President and General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Myanmar - EPA

Bishop Felix Lian When Thang and Bishop John Saw Yaw Han, President and General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Myanmar – EPA

29/11/2017 11:55
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday met with the 22 Catholic Bishops of Myanmar and reflected with them on the joys and challenges of their ministry in the nation.

The meeting took place in Yangon’s Cathedral Complex. After addressing those present he was introduced personally to each Bishop and symbolically blessed the corner stones of 16 Churches, of the Major Seminary and of the Apostolic Nunciature.

The Catholic Church in Myanmar includes 3 Archdioceses and 13 Dioceses. The President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Myanmar is Archbishop Felix Lian Khen Thang.

The Pope focussed his discourse to the Bishops on the concepts of healing, accompaniment and prophecy.

He spoke of the need for healing and reconciliation in a country that is working to overcome deeply-rooted divisions and build national unity and he highlighted the precious value provided by cultural and religious diversity and the bishops’ responsibility to help foster healing and communion at every level.

Regarding his focus on ‘accompaniment’, Pope Francis reminded the bishops that a good shepherd must constantly be present to his flock. He said that the Church is called to ‘go forth’ bringing the light of the Gospel to every periphery and he urged them to make a special effort to accompany the young and to be “concerned for their formation in the sound moral principles that will guide them in confronting the challenges of a rapidly changing world.”

Finally, the Pope spoke of the prophetic voice of the Church that “witnesses daily to the Gospel through its works of education and charity, its defence of human rights, its support for democratic rule”. He encouraged the bishops – and Catholic communities – to continue to play a constructive part in the life of society and to stand by the poorest and the most vulnerable as well as helping to protect the environment.

Pope urges Myanmar Bishops to continue to provide prophetic voice

Bishop Felix Lian When Thang and Bishop John Saw Yaw Han, President and General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Myanmar - EPA

Bishop Felix Lian When Thang and Bishop John Saw Yaw Han, President and General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Myanmar – EPA

29/11/2017 11:55
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday met with the 22 Catholic Bishops of Myanmar and reflected with them on the joys and challenges of their ministry in the nation.

The meeting took place in Yangon’s Cathedral Complex. After addressing those present he was introduced personally to each Bishop and symbolically blessed the corner stones of 16 Churches, of the Major Seminary and of the Apostolic Nunciature.

The Catholic Church in Myanmar includes 3 Archdioceses and 13 Dioceses. The President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Myanmar is Archbishop Felix Lian Khen Thang.

The Pope focussed his discourse to the Bishops on the concepts of healing, accompaniment and prophecy.

He spoke of the need for healing and reconciliation in a country that is working to overcome deeply-rooted divisions and build national unity and he highlighted the precious value provided by cultural and religious diversity and the bishops’ responsibility to help foster healing and communion at every level.

Regarding his focus on ‘accompaniment’, Pope Francis reminded the bishops that a good shepherd must constantly be present to his flock. He said that the Church is called to ‘go forth’ bringing the light of the Gospel to every periphery and he urged them to make a special effort to accompany the young and to be “concerned for their formation in the sound moral principles that will guide them in confronting the challenges of a rapidly changing world.”

Finally, the Pope spoke of the prophetic voice of the Church that “witnesses daily to the Gospel through its works of education and charity, its defence of human rights, its support for democratic rule”. He encouraged the bishops – and Catholic communities – to continue to play a constructive part in the life of society and to stand by the poorest and the most vulnerable as well as helping to protect the environment.