Saturday, November 05, 2005

Visit, I beseech thee, O Lord, this habitation with thy mercy, and me with thy grace and salvation. Let thy holy angels pitch their tents round about and dwell here, that no illusion of the night may abuse me, the spirits of darkness may not come near to hurt me, no evil or sad accident oppress me; and let the eternal Spirit of the Father dwell in my soul and body, filling every corner of my heart with light and grace. Let no deed of darkness overtake me; and let thy blessing, most blessed God, be upon me for ever, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

... Jeremy Taylor, Holy Living

Wales Set for Church Revival in New Evangelical Enterprise
The Evangelical Alliance has announced its latest drive to re-ignite church growth in Wales. The new enterprise by the EAUK will look to bring about Church-life back to the formerly Christian-rich country.
Posted: Saturday, November 5 , 2005, 6:34 (UK)

The Evangelical Alliance has announced its latest drive to re-ignite church growth in Wales. The new enterprise by the EAUK will look to bring about Church-life back to the formerly Christian-rich country.

As part of the move, the Evangelical Alliance will hold a unique conference, being the first of its kind, on Nov. 8th to kick-start the initiative.

It is planned that leaders from 160 various evangelical churches will assemble to discuss options on how to plant workable churches in numerous regions in the country that are not currently being served.

In addition, the conference will look to find ways to encourage churches going through hard times, and facing declining congregant numbers.

Elfed Godding, the General Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance Wales stated, “There has been a huge decline in church attendance since 1904 and now there are many parts of Wales where there is no viable congregation.

“The only hope is for a fresh work to be started. This initiative is looking at planting new churches where there isn’t an active witness, and also helping struggling churches.” Story

Judge upholds Oregon's gay marriage ban

SALEM, Ore. -- Oregon's voter-approved ban on gay marriage was upheld Friday by a judge who turned aside arguments from gay-rights supporters that the measure is flawed and should not have been put to a statewide vote.

The state's largest gay-rights organization said later it would appeal the ruling while continuing its political fight in the Legislature to gain more rights and benefits for gay couples.

But the group that sponsored the gay marriage ban said the ruling honored the will of the voters and protected Oregonians' right to enact constitutional changes via the ballot.

In his ruling, Marion County Circuit Judge Joseph Guimond rejected opponents' arguments that Measure 36 contained too many changes that should have been voted on as separate amendments and that it was improperly submitted to voters.
The story

Billy Graham has held his last crusade
Official announcement comesas 87th birthday celebrated
Posted: November 5, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern
By Michael Ireland

As Billy Graham gets ready to celebrate his 87th birthday next week, official word has come from the
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association that his final large-venue crusade at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in New York in June was his last.

Graham, the friend and confidant of kings and presidents as well as one of America's most admired public figures, continues to enjoy quiet time at home in Montreat, N.C., for recuperation and reflection as he prepares to celebrate his birthday Monday.


God is "Not Locked Up" in the Bible --
Bishop Robinson Speaks His Mind
Posted: Friday, November 04, 2005 at 3:47 pm ET

The Guardian [London] reports that Bishop Gene Robinson -- the first openly homosexual bishop of the Episcopal Church USA, met this week with Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in London. According to the paper, the crisis sparked by Bishop Robinson's election and consecration was a primary focus of the meeting. From the report: During the meeting, officially described by Lambeth Palace as friendly but candid, Dr. Rowan Williams and Bishop Robinson discussed the crisis and also prayed together. The encounter coincided with a new escalation of the church's turmoil as three lay evangelicals, belonging to an Anglican church in south London, were ordained in an unofficial service by a bishop of a separate South African church during a ceremony attended by a number of Church of England conservative evangelical clergy.

More: Bishop Robinson, who was elected to head the diocese of New Hampshire in 2003 even though he lives with his male partner, told the Guardian yesterday he was not ashamed of his sexual orientation and believed he had no reason for repentence, as conservatives across the world have demanded. "It is not something of which I should repent and I have no intention of doing so," he said. "I have been led to understand that I am loved by God just as I am. That is not to say I am perfect but it is my belief that my orientation is value-neutral. It is what I do with my relationship that God really cares about.
The rest

America's Parents Served Notice
Albert Mohler
Author, Speaker, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Friday, November 4, 2005

Who decides what children will be taught about sex? The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals served notice on America's parents this week, ruling that parents of elementary-aged school children have no right to be the "exclusive providers" of sex information to their children.

The Ninth Circuit is generally considered to be America's most left-wing court. Nevertheless, the decision handed down on November 2 represents one of the most outrageous infringements upon parental rights ever made by an American court.

The case originated in California, where a group of parents filed suit against the Palmdale School District because their elementary-aged children had been asked questions about sexual topics without parental notification or control. In its decision, the court simply told the parents they had no right to complain.
the rest

French Police Arrest 250 As Arson Grows
By JOHN LEICESTER Associated Press Writer

Youths armed with gasoline bombs fanned out from Paris' poor, troubled suburbs to shatter the tranquility of leafier towns, torching 900 vehicles, a nursery school and other targets Saturday in the worst wave of arson since the urban violence began more than a week ago.

Police deployed a helicopter and small teams of officers to chase down youths who sped from one attack to another in cars and on motorbikes. The new security tactics yielded more than 250 arrests during the ninth straight night of unrest.

The violence _ originally concentrated in neighborhoods northeast of Paris with large immigrant populations _ is forcing France to confront anger long-simmering in its suburbs, where many Africans and their French-born children live on society's margins, struggling with unemployment, poor housing, racial discrimination, crime and a lack of opportunity.
the rest

Paris seeks "hidden hands" in riots Staff and agencies05 November, 2005
By Tom Heneghan

AULNAY-SOUS-BOIS, France - With every night that France‘s rundown suburbs burn, officials grow increasingly convinced that drug traffickers and Islamist militants are using frustrated youths to challenge law and order here.
Many people who watch their cars, shops and schools go up in flames, however, are not buying it. They blame unemployment, racial prejudice and widespread youth boredom for the outbursts.
Finding "hidden hands" behind the unrest seems like trying to catch the rioters as they rampage through the night. Some may get caught, but far more slip away in the darkness.
"Everybody is fed up seeing our town and our district trampled over daily by these organized gangs," declared Gerard Gaudron, conservative mayor of the northeastern Paris suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois after an hour-long march against violence.
The rest

Bishop Duncan's Address to the 140th Convetion
4-5 November, A.D. 2005

Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. (Matthew 8: 24-25)

The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew… The destructiveness of wind and flood and rain has been very much in our corporate consciousness during the last three months. After the regional devastation of last September’s Hurricane Ivan here in our area, all of us have, I think, been especially attentive and responsive to our brothers and sisters in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita along the Gulf Coast. We have grieved for them, prayed for them, sent aid to them, and even gone to them as Christian folk rightly would.

This Diocese is built on the rock of God’s Word. It is also on this rock that the tradition of the Church Catholic is built. It is within the limits of this rock that human Reason is constrained to function. This Diocese is built on the rock of God’s Word. Winds, rains and floods shake us, but we stand at storm’s end. For the heroes and heroines of the generations before us that laid this foundation – and for the good people of this generation who have dug even deeper footings into this rock, we ought always to be profoundly grateful, both to Almighty God and to these faithful witnesses who have so thoroughly undergirded us, who are the Episcopal Church in this place. (At this All Saints-tide it is so very fitting for us to remember this local part of the great cloud of witnesses.)
the rest

Friday, November 04, 2005

"Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you." James 4:8

It is essential to give people a chance of acting on the truth of God. The responsibility must be left with the individual, you cannot act for him, it must be his own deliberate act, but the evangelical message ought always to lead a man to act. The paralysis of refusing to act leaves a man exactly where he was before; when once he acts, he is never the same. It is the foolishness of it that stands in the way of hundreds who have been convicted by the Spirit of God. Immediately I precipitate myself over into an act, that second I live; all the rest is existence. The moments when I truly live are the moments when I act with my whole will.

Never allow a truth of God that is brought home to your soul to pass without acting on it, not necessarily physically, but in will. Record it, with ink or with blood. The feeblest saint who transacts business with Jesus Christ is emancipated the second he acts; all the almighty power of God is on his behalf. We come up to the truth of God, we confess we are wrong, but go back again; then we come up to it again, and go back; until we learn that we have no business to go back. We have to go clean over on some word of our redeeming Lord and transact business with Him. His word "come" means "transact." "Come unto Me." The last thing we do is to come; but everyone who does come knows that that second the supernatural rush of the life of God invades him instantly. The dominating power of the world, the flesh and the devil is paralysed, not by your act, but because your act has linked you on to God and His redemptive power.

Oswald Chambers

Evangelicals defy bishop by holding 'irregular' ordinations
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent

(Filed: 04/11/2005)

The Church of England's civil war over homosexuality escalated yesterday after conservative evangelical clergy staged an "irregular" ordination in defiance of their bishop.

In a revolt that threatens to embroil the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, three men were ordained as deacons in south London by a bishop "parachuted in" from South Africa.

The ordinations were backed by Reform, the evangelical network, whose 600 clergy members are increasingly rejecting the spiritual authority of their bishops in protest at their "unbiblical" stance on gays.

About 30 Reform clergy, a number of whom are General Synod members, attended the ordinations, and the event could lead to similar action across the country.

Controversial cult leader is allowed back into Britain
By David Rose

THE head of the so-called Moonies, one of the world’s most controversial cults, will fly into Britain today after the Home Secretary lifted a long-standing ban barring him from entering the country.

The Rev Sun Myung Moon, 86, founder of the Unification Church, was given an exclusion order ten years ago amid allegations that his church used underhand methods to manipulate and recruit members.

In 1995, Michael Howard, then Home Secretary, excluded Mr Moon from entering Britain on the ground that his presence would not be “conducive to the common good for reasons of public order”.
the rest

Anglicans Representing Two-Thirds of Global Body Reject Gay-Friendly North American Church
By Terry Vanderheyden

AIN EL-SUKHNA, Egypt, November 2, 2005 ( – Anglican prelates from Africa, Asia, and Latin America, meeting at a summit last week, condemned Canadian Anglicans and the US Episcopal Church’s willingness to ordain homosexual priests and to bless same-sex unions
In a statement released Sunday, the church leaders meeting at the 3rd annual Global South to South Encounter said the North American Church’s support for homosexuality is “a direct repudiation of the clear teaching of the Holy Scriptures, historic faith and order of the church.”
the rest

Packer Says, "The Dike Gave Way."

NEW YORK - "I greet you with a heavy heart," declared the Rev. Dr. J. I. Packer to an international gathering at the Metropolitan Club in New York City. "Like many of you, I am an Anglican, and I am caught up in the agony of world Anglicanism.

"Packer, a world renowned evangelical theologian and principal of Regent College in Vancouver, had come to New York on Sept. 8 to honor archbishops from the four corners of the world who have dared to challenge the decadence of the Episcopal Church (USA).

The award ceremony was sponsored by Kairos Journal, an online resource with subscribers in more than 80 countries that seeks to equip and support pastors and church leaders as they strive to transform the moral conscience of the culture and restore the prophetic voice of the church.

"I am struck by the fact that the Anglican story of the last ten to fifteen years is all too similar to what has happened recently to New Orleans," said Packer. "At one time the church had a system of dikes, and they were all anchored in the Word of God. We had a prayer book that confessed the gospel, but that dike gave way." Packer's words resonated with Presbyterians in the room, for the Presbyterian Church (USA) is also anchored in constitutional documents, The Book of Confessions and the Book of Order, that were adopted by its founders to safeguard Biblical faith and practice. the rest

Ruth Gledhill: Archbishop meets Gene Robinson
November 4th, 2005 at 6:50 am

It is right in the interests of dialogue and Christian brotherhood that Dr Williams should have met Bishop Robinson, although a shame that he couldn’t have been more open in advance about his intentions. Dr Williams is doing his best to be fair and even-handed in this desperate situation. He also met the deposed Bishop of Recife, Robinson Cavalcanti, during his recent visit here. Bishop Cavalcanti was removed from his post in Brazil by his province after he declared his diocese “out of communion” with the Episcopal Church of the US. He and large numbers of his clergy were recognised instead by the Right Rev Gregory Venables, Primate of the Southern Cone, from his base in Argentina.

English-born Bishop Venables, a friend of Dr Williams, is among the leaders of the Global South grouping that met on the shores of the Red Sea in Egypt last week and was addressed there by Dr Williams. The Global South archbishops are in the process of formalising their structure and, although not in a position to do anything yet, will in due course be working together to offer “oversight” to conservatives who want to distance themselves from liberal bishops but remain part of the Anglican Church.
The rest at titusonenine

United Methodist bishops affirm church membership open to all
November 3rd, 2005 at 9:59 pm
By Tim Tanton*

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS) - Homosexuality is not a barrier tomembership in the United Methodist Church, the denomination’s bishopssaid Nov. 2, two days after the church’s top court supported apastor’s refusal to allow a gay man to join.

“While pastors have the responsibility to discern readiness formembership, homosexuality is not a barrier,” the bishops said intheir pastoral letter to the people of the United Methodist Church.

In a ruling announced Oct. 31, the Judicial Council supported theRev. Ed Johnson of South Hill (Va.) United Methodist Church in hisdecision not to allow a gay man to join his congregation. The man wasa choir member and had been meeting with Johnson about transferringmembership from another denomination.

Johnson was placed on a yearlong involuntary leave of absence byfellow pastors during the clergy session of the Virginia Annual(regional) Conference last June. The Judicial Council upheldJohnson’s action, citing the authority given to clergy by thechurch’s Book of Discipline. The court ordered that the pastor bereinstated to his previous status.
The rest at titusonenine

Thursday, November 03, 2005

If you do not plan to live the Christian life totally committed to knowing your God and to walking in obedience to Him, then don't begin, for this is what Christianity is all about. It is a change of citizenship, a change of governments, a change of allegiance. If you have no intention of letting Christ rule your life, then forget Christianity; it is not for you.

Kay Arthur
Precept Ministries International

Official 'Listener' for Anglican Communion Appointed

The Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion,
announced recently the appointment of the Rev. Canon Philip Groves as the facilitator of the “listening process” that the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) requested in a resolution approved last June. He will work full-time as a staff member of the Anglican Communion Office effective Jan. 1. the rest

Archbishop Carnley: Panel of Reference Success Depends on Good Will
A “lot has been happening behind the scenes,” according to the Most Rev. Peter Carnley despite the fact that the panel of reference still has not received any
referrals from the Archbishop of Canterbury more than eight months after the primates unanimously called on the Most Rev. Rowan Williams to appoint “as a matter of urgency” a panel “to supervise the adequacy of pastoral provisions” made by any churches for “groups in serious theological disagreement.” Archbishop Carnley, chair of the panel and the retired Primate of Australia, was recently interviewed by the Anglican Communion News Service.
The rest

How Very Open-minded
Posted: Wednesday, November 02, 2005 at 12:25 am ET

The Los Angeles Times reports that an Irvine, California church has pushed its commitment to theological inclusivity to include opening its facility to a Jewish synagogue and an Muslim mosque.

From the
paper's report: There's an Irvine house of worship that changes religions at least once a week. Irvine United Congregational Church sports golden crosses for Sunday morning services. Jewish High Holidays see it transformed into a sanctuary for Congregation Kol HaNeshamah, filled with Torahs, ram's horns and yarmulkes. And Friday afternoons, worshipers carefully unroll prayer rugs onto the floor of what becomes the United Mosques of Irvine. "Our theology is inclusive," says the Rev. Steven Swope, acting minister of the Christian congregation that owns the church. He believes it is one of the few of its kind in the nation with a tripartite arrangement. "Jesus is our way," he said, "but other people have other ways. This is our way of living that out."

"Jesus is our way," explains the pastor. That's all -- just our way. Just think about how it would have looked if the Apostle Paul had taken that approach at Mars Hill in Athens [see Acts chapter 17]. Paul could simply have celebrated the fact that the Athenians were "very religious," told them to celebrate their diversity, suggested that they share altars, and thrown in a few words about Jesus being his way.

The rest: Albert Mohler

Global South holds back from action against liberal provinces
Date: Nov 2
By George Conger and Andrew Carey

Over 100 church leaders from the Global South condemned unilateral actions by Western provinces over sexuality, but stepped back from recommending punitive action. Their third South-to-South meeting since the early 1990s was held last week by the Egyptian Red Sea under heavy security. Delegates from 21 Anglican provinces celebrated the political and theological “coming of age of the Church of the Global South”. All 12 African Provinces were represented, as were a number of Asian, South American and Middle Eastern provinces. Observers from the American Episcopal Church, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Church of England were also in attendance, as were 18 of the Communion’s 38 Primates. However the presence of a significant delegation of Anglican Mission in America Bishops, under the auspices of the Province of Rwanda, and a large number of American hangers-on, caused consternation among Global South ranks. A number of leaders also resented the way the North American crisis figured so prominently in the final communiqué.

The rest

Court: It does take a village when it comes
to sexuality
Parents 'have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools'
Posted: November 3, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday against parents who sued their local school district after their elementary-age children were given a sexually charged survey, saying there is "no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children."

The three-judge panel of the full court further ruled that parents "have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools as to the information to which their children will be exposed while enrolled as students."
The rest

Police: Teacher had lesbian affair with girl, 15
Instructor allegedly had relations 50 times while other student present in next room
Posted: November 3, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern
School officials in the Tampa Bay area are dealing with yet another sex scandal, as a 28-year old teacher is accused of having an 18-month lesbian relationship with a teenage girl.
Jaymee Wallace, a math instructor and coach of the girls' varsity basketball team at
Wharton High School in Tampa, is facing 15 years in prison if convicted on felony charges of lewd and lascivious battery. The rest

Version of Bible due out to hear on iPods
Gazette-Times reporter

Come February, people will be able to use their iPods not only to listen to their favorite tunes, but to read the Bible as well.Zondervan, the world’s largest Bible publisher, has announced plans to release “Today’s New International Version Audio Bible for iPod” in February 2006. The company is partnering with Talking Panda, a leading developer of iPod software, to issue the first audio Bible available in Apple retail stores.

A single DVD will allow users to install both audio and text files onto their iPod. Once installed, they can choose a book, chapter or verse of the Bible to listen to or read along with on the iPod screen. Links to study notes from the Student Bible, a subject guide and topical reading guides also will be available.

Nothing Soft About This Patriarch

Evangelical blogger
Matthew Hall points out the latest example of protective patriarchy, from an Associated Press release: a man who killed, with his bare hands, a five-point whitetail buck in his daughter's bedroom. This was not some freak hunting experience. The deer crashed through the window, leaving confusion and wreckage in its wake.

I don't know anything about this father's spiritual state. But there is something to be said about a man who will protect his daughter to the point of tackling a deer for forty minutes with his bare hands, and prevailing. Like the Father, we want everyone to be a Christian. But, right now, if he's not already, I really want this man with us in the Kingdom struggle.

Mere Comments

Lost in the Sunni Triangle
Leaders of Baghdad church presumed dead.
by Dale Gavlak in Amman, Jordan
posted 11/02/2005 09:00 a.m.

The entire lay leadership of St. George's Memorial Church, the Anglican church in Baghdad, is presumed dead after the group went missing in mid-September. They were traveling in the Sunni Triangle, a 100-mile swath from Baghdad north to Tikrit, where 80 percent of insurgent attacks occur.

"There has been no further word about them," said Bishop Clive Handford, who is responsible for the Anglican diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf. "We have to presume that they have been killed. There has been no claim of responsibility. In this case, no news is bad news."

The team of five Iraqi-born Christians had been visiting Amman, Jordan, for a church conference.

Find Comfort and Strength in the Book of Psalms
David Jeremiah

Perhaps no other book can act as a such a companion in our daily lives-joy, heartache, drama, songs, prayers, poetry. Psalms takes us from the heights to the depths. We cry with the psalmists; we cry because of the psalmists. Most importantly, we feel that the psalmists-and God himself-cry with us.

The Why's of Wisdom In the Psalms, we find the answer to questions like: Who am I? Why am I here? (Psalm 8) Is my life valuable? (Psalm 139) Why do good things happen to bad people? (Psalm 73) How can I be happy? (Psalm 1)

Search the Psalms for stories and writings of real people in real difficulties and apply the lessons the psalmists learned from God.
The rest

Sacramento Catholic School Expels 15-year-old Student who Alerted Bishop to Abortion Activist Teacher
Bishop's Hands are Tied
By John-Henry Westen

SACRAMENTO, November 2, 2005 ( - A 15-year-old girl at a Catholic school who was responsible for alerting her bishop to the presence of a pro-abortion activist teacher on staff at her school has been expelled from the school. Katelyn Sills, was expelled from Loretto High School in Sacramento last week, two weeks after the teacher, who was found to be an abortion clinic escort, was dismissed at the behest of the local Bishop William Weigand.

Katelyn informed her mother after she recognized Marie Bain, one of the teachers at Loretto, as an escort at a Planned Parenthood abortuary where Katelyn and her family had regularly taken part in pro-life rallies. After unsuccessful attempts to quietly have the school address the situation of Mrs. Bain, Katelyn's mother Wynette Sills sent photos of Bain escorting women into the abortion center to Bishop Weigand.

Texas Southern Baptists Resolve to Investigate Homosexual Activism in Schools
By Jim Brown
November 2, 2005

(AgapePress) - The
Southern Baptists of Texas Convention has unanimously passed a resolution encouraging Christian parents to look into whether their local public schools are involved in homosexual activism and, where this is the case, to pursue alternative choices for their children's education.

The measure submitted to the convention by messenger Mark Cole urges Texas Southern Baptists to investigate whether the public schools in their area are promoting homosexuality and, if so, to seek more suitable options for their kids -- options such as private Christian schools or home education. Dr. Gary Ledbetter, a spokesman for the Texas Convention, says the public school resolution is similar to one passed last summer at the Southern Baptist Convention's
annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. Story

Boston Gay Activists Harass and Intimidate Focus on the Family Ex-Homosexual Conference
By Hilary White
November 2, 2005

( - The “Love Won Out” conference in Boston Massachusetts that teaches that homosexuality is frequently preventable and treatable was disrupted by shouting protesters while police stood by.

The October 29 conference, sponsored by Focus on the Family and the Tremont Temple Baptist Church in Boston was protested by a group of homosexual activists who objected to the conference message.

Spokesmen for the church said that radical homosexual activists had been harassing them for weeks preceding the conference. Protesters would come to stand outside the church holding signs and confronting worshippers as they left services.

Church court reinstates pastor who denied membership to gay man
Oct. 31, 2005
By Neill Caldwell*

HOUSTON (UMNS) — United Methodist ministers do have the power to decide who becomes a member of the local church, the denomination’s top court has ruled, supporting a pastor who blocked an openly gay man from joining the congregation.

The United Methodist Judicial Council, holding its regular fall meeting Oct. 26-29, issued two decisions related to the case of Rev. Ed Johnson, who was serving as senior pastor at South Hill (Va.) United Methodist Church until he was placed on involuntary leave of absence in June.

In Decision 1031, the council dealt with the due process problems in how Johnson was disciplined. Decision 1032 was the more sweeping ruling, saying that the church’s Book of Discipline “invests discretion in the pastor-in-charge to make determination of a person’s readiness to affirm the vows of membership.” Story

Council takes Christ out of Christmas
By Ruth Gledhill

THE festive season is not yet upon us, but Christmas has already been banned from some seasonal light displays.

The latest local authority to take the Christ out of Christmas is Lambeth in South London, where bureaucrats in all but one district are making sure their seasonal lights are bereft of any connotation of Christianity. Instead, council officials have used the words “Winter Lights” and “Celebrity Lights”.

Lambeth, once a Labour-controlled council, is now run by a joint Liberal Democrat and Conservative administration. Bernard Gentry, a Tory councillor and a Roman Catholic, said: “We should not be too scared to acknowledge the Christian festival of Christmas in the same way as we mark the Hindu festival of Diwali, the Muslim month of Ramadan and the Jewish Yom Kippur.”

A council spokesman said: “The term winter lights simply reflects the fact that a number of religious festivals take place over the winter period when the lights are switched on.”

Group takes offensive with Nativity scenes
Counters removal from public square with call for displays nationwide
Posted: November 3, 2005

1:00 a.m. Eastern

A group is launching a Christmas-season campaign to counter efforts to remove Christian symbols of the holiday from the public square.

Operation Nativity," a project of The Truth Matters, is urging Christians nationwide to set up nativity scenes on their own property.
The rest

Gay bishop at Oxford Union debate

The first openly gay Anglican bishop is to appear at the Oxford Union to debate the question of whether homosexuality is a bar to becoming a bishop.

The Bishop of New Hampshire in the US, Gene Robinson, had withdrawn from the original debate last year after the controversy caused by his appointment.

The Anglican Church remains divided over the ordination of gay priests.
Church traditionalists believe homosexuality is inherently sinful and bars gays becoming bishops.

Gay unions backed
November 2

The Church of Sweden will bless gay civil partnerships, the Church’s governing assembly, decided last week. By a vote of 160-81 the assembly, the Kyrkomötet, agreed to amend the title of Chapter 23 of its prayer book, from “Marriage” to “Marriage and Blessings” and has appointed a committee to draw up the appropriate rites. Swedish priests have long had informal permission to solemnise gay unions, and last Thursday’s vote, speakers during the debate noted, merely codifies existing practices. The measure passed with the unanimous support of Sweden’s bishops. Traditionalist members of the Kyrkomötet argued the move violated Scripture and the Church’s traditional teachings on marriage and imperiled ecumenical relations. The Church of England is in communion with the Church of Sweden through the 1992 Porvoo Common Statement. The Porvoo agreement holds that in the Nordic and Baltic Lutheran Churches and the Anglican Churches of Great Britain, Ireland, Spain and Portugal “the word of God is authentically preached” and that “all our churches share in the common confession of the apostolic faith”.


Fresh violence hits Paris suburbs
Rioting youths opened fire on police and set dozens of vehicles ablaze in a seventh night of violence in Paris.
In escalating scenes of unrest, four shots were fired while gangs besieged a police station, set fire to a car showroom and threw petrol bombs.
At least 15 people were arrested and nine injured across north-east Paris.
France's government is facing mounting criticism of its handling of the riots, which began after two teenagers of North African origin died one week ago.

New war fears in Horn of Africa
The troop build-up along the border between Ethiopia and Eritrea means a miscalculation by either side could result in open conflict, the UN warns.
Ethiopia is now estimated to have nearly half its armoured units in the area. Eritrea has sent troops into the demilitarised zone on the border.
UN troops say Eritrean restrictions on patrols and helicopter flights mean 60% of the border cannot be monitored.
Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a two-year war over the border that ended in 2000.
The rest

More than 30 Dead in New Iraqi Violence

Dozens of Iraqi civilians have been killed in a string of bombings and attacks, as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan comes to a close.
The deadliest attack Wednesday took place in Musayyib, south of Baghdad, where a car bomb exploded near a Shi'ite mosque and an outdoor market. Police said at least 21 people died and more than 60 others were wounded.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Britain's New Age Prince Comes to America
Albert Mohler
Author, Speaker, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

First, an admission--I am an unapologetic Anglophile. I love British history, celebrate our common roots, and would live in England if I could not live in America. Similarly, I am conservative enough to admit that I am sometimes given to romantic thoughts about a constitutional monarchy as a keeper of national tradition. All that conservative romanticism has its limits, however. And that limit is represented by the current Prince of Wales. Britain's Prince Charles is a walking refutation of a hereditary monarchy.

How did the House of Windsor come to this? As the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall make their visit to America this week, the royal couple will be attempting to buttress their image both at home and abroad. Such royal visits are usually opportunities for extended handshaking, baby kissing, and photograph taking. Of course, Prince Charles has a demonstrated knack for messing up just about any opportunity. This time, he intends to lecture Americans about our lack of appreciation for Islam.
The rest

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

All Saints' Day

Psalm 149
Cantate Domino

1 Hallelujah!

Sing to the LORD a new song; *
sing his praise in the congregation of the faithful.

2 Let Israel rejoice in his Maker; *
let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.

3 Let them praise his Name in the dance; *
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.

4 For the LORD takes pleasure in his people *
and adorns the poor with victory.

5 Let the faithful rejoice in triumph; *
let them be joyful on their beds.

6 Let the praises of God be in their throat *

and a two-edged sword in their hand;

7 To wreak vengeance on the nations *

and punishment on the peoples;

8 To bind their kings in chains *
and their nobles with links of iron;

9 To inflict on them the judgment decreed; *
this is glory for all his faithful people.

Revelation 7:2-4,9-17
I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to damage earth and sea, saying, "Do not damage the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have marked the servants of our God with a seal on their foreheads."

And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the people of Israel.

After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, saying,

"Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!" And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, singing,

"Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.

"Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, "Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from? "I said to him, "Sir, you are the one that knows. " Then he said to me, "These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

For this reason they are before the throne of God, and worship him day and night within his temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them. They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

The Full Text of Archbishop Rowan Williams’ Talk
n Egypt
One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church

Archbishop’s Address to the 3rd Global South to South Encounter

Ain al Sukhna, Egypt
28th October 2005

I count it a great privilege to spend sadly a short time, but hopefully a time of real sharing and fellowship with you. As has been said more than once, already, the focus the centre of Anglican energy in the world is very clearly in the global south in our time and it is therefore for me an experience of learning as well as of fellowship to be with you and to seek to understand better how it is that you witness to our one Lord Jesus Christ.

Now during the preparations for this meeting, a number of suggestions were made as to what I might speak about. I think it was suggested that I might speak about the oneness of the church, or about the holiness of the church, or about the catholicity of the church, or possibly about the apostolicity of the church. So I’m actually going to talk about all of them. You will already have heard from some very distinguished and very searching presentations on all these matters, and I’ve been greatly been helped by being able to read the notes of those other presentations. I want then, simply to suggest this morning one way of holding together the four marks of the church; one way which to me seems simply the best way of seeing them as essentially about the same thing and in the light of that to offer you some reflections on each of hose marks of the church in turn. But the simple thing I want to say is that all four marks of the church are about Jesus Christ. The church is one because Jesus Christ is one; the church is holy because Jesus Christ is holy; the church is catholic because Jesus Christ is the saviour of all; the church is apostolic because, as the Father has sent Jesus, so Jesus sends us. In other words, if we are to understand the nature of the church at all, we are to understand who Jesus Christ is and what he does.
The rest at titusonenine

Don't miss this!

Christmas stamp called 'offensive'
Hindus claim image showing worship of Jesus 'insensitive'
Posted: November 1, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern

A holy war of sorts is breaking out in Britain over a Christmas stamp which some say is offensive to members of the Hindu faith, purportedly showing Hindus worshipping Jesus Christ.

The stamp features a man and woman with Hindu markings adoring the baby Jesus, and is one of six mother-and-child stamps debuting today.

Hindus are now demanding
Royal Mail, the British postal system, withdraw the controversial depiction.

"Would the worldwide Christian community feel comfortable if the government of India issued a Diwali stamp with a Christian priest offering worship to baby Krishna?" asks Ramesh Kallidai, secretary general of the
Hindu Forum of Britain. The rest

Three kidnapped children rescued in Haiti
By ALFRED de MONTESQUIOU Associated Press Writer

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Police rescued two kidnapped children and a foster child of an American missionary couple during a raid on an apartment in Haiti's capital, officials said Monday.
Police said Hannah Lloyd, 3, her brother David, 5, and their Haitian foster sister Miriam Meinvil, 7, were unharmed.
The children of Pentecostal minister David Lloyd and his wife, Alicia, were abducted after they left school on Friday and rescued the next day. Police said they delayed in publicizing the crime until Monday to avoid jeopardizing an investigation.
Lloyd, of Claremore, Okla., told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that while the children weren't injured, "my little girl is still very scared."

President Bush Outlines $7.1 Billion Strategy to Prepare for Possible Flu Outbreak in U.S.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005 12:43:36 PM

President Bush outlined a $7.1 billion strategy Tuesday to prepare for the danger of a pandemic influenza outbreak, saying he wanted to stockpile enough vaccine to protect 20 million Americans against the current strain of bird flu as a first wave of protection.

The president also said the United States must approve liability protection for the makers of lifesaving vaccines. He said the number of American vaccine manufacturers has plummeted because the industry has been hit with a flood of lawsuits.

Bush said no one knows when or where a deadly strain of flu will strike but "at some point we are likely to face another pandemic."

The president, in a speech at the National Institutes of Health, said the United States must be prepared to detect outbreaks anywhere in the world, stockpile vaccines and anti-viral drugs and be ready to respond at the federal, state and local levels in the event a pandemic reaches the United States.

Anglicans 'Severely Wounded'
At a top summit in Egypt, conservatives call for a Scripture-affirming covenant.
by Timothy C. Morgan in Ain Sukhna, Suez, Egypt
posted 11/01/2005 10:00 a.m.

Some 103 top Anglicans, amid tight security and a media blackout, gathered last week on Egypt's Red Sea coast for the third Global South to South Encounter to address disunity in the 75-million-member Anglican Communion, the world's largest and one of the most influential Protestant bodies.

Gay ordinations, same-sex unions, and acceptance of the homosexual bishop, V. Gene Robinson, have sharply increased tensions among Anglicans worldwide. Talk of schism is no longer speculation.

The world's leading Anglican, Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury, joined the conference for a day. He gave little or no open encouragement to conservatives that the Episcopal Church (USA), the Anglican Church of Canada, or any other Anglican province would face meaningful penalties for participating in gay ordinations, same-sex unions, or the consecration of Robinson as bishop.
the rest at Christianity Today

American Academy of Pediatrics Caught in Abortion Deception Past President Suggests
Study is Distorted to Defeat Proposition 73
By Staff

SACRAMENTO, November 1, 2005 ( - The current president of the American College of Pediatricians and a past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), along with two other California physicians, has called on AAP to immediately withdraw "for correction and further study" its statement opposing parental involvement laws, including Proposition 73 in California. The physicians, all Fellows of AAP, cite "indisputable inaccuracy and bias" in an AAP study that is being used to distort the truth in effort to defeat Prop 73.

Joseph Zanga, M.D., FAAP, along with Jane Anderson, M.D., FAAP, a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, and Paul Macdonald, M.D., FAAP, a pediatrician in private practice in Ukiah, sent a letter Monday to the current AAP president challenging the numerous significant errors in the AAP statement, errors that have been repeated by Proposition 73 opponents and widely disseminated by the mass media.
the rest

Uganda Takes Up Abstinence Campaign
Activists say the nation's shift away from encouraging condom use threatens one of the world's most successful anti-AIDS programs.
By Edmund Sanders, Times Staff Writer

KAMPALA, Uganda — It's Saturday night at Makerere University and the "abstinence party" is in full swing around the campus swimming pool.

More than a thousand young men and women sway to the reggae sounds of local musicians and singers. Some dance. A few flirt. But the sexual tension ends there. At night's end, hundreds sign pledge cards vowing to shun sex until marriage.

We're waiting," says Sylvia Moos Muzaale, 25, a smiling library sciences major seated next to her boyfriend of three years. He gives a shrug that suggests he's less comfortable with the decision, but says nothing.

The weekly bash is part of a burgeoning anti-AIDS campaign in this East African nation, where virginity is fast becoming a national obsession.

Billboards with the logo "Abstinence: You Can!" dot the capital's streets, encouraging men to search for virgins. "Somewhere out there," one giant poster reads, "she's keeping herself for you." A member of Parliament is offering scholarships for young women who undergo gynecological exams to prove their chastity.
The rest

Alito Leans Right Where O'Connor Swung Left
By Charles Lane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 1, 2005

In 1991, Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. voted to uphold a Pennsylvania statute that would have required at least some married women to notify their husbands before getting an abortion; a year later, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor cast a decisive fifth vote at the Supreme Court to strike it down.

In 2000, Alito ruled that a federal law requiring time off for family and medical emergencies could not be used to sue state employers for damages; three years later, O'Connor was part of a Supreme Court majority that said it could.
The rest

The Baby Boomers and Their Times
Albert Mohler
Author, Speaker, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

"I hate the Baby Boomers. They're the most self-centered, self-seeking, self-interested, self-absorbed, self-indulgent, self-aggrandizing generation in American history . . ." Those words represent the assessment of Paul Begala, a former advisor to President Bill Clinton, himself the first Baby Boomer president. Evidently, it takes one to know one--Begala is a boomer himself.
The Baby Boomers represent the largest generation in American history, and their full impact is yet to be fully realized. After all, the first Baby Boomer will turn sixty years of age in just a few weeks. In one sense, the generation is just hitting its stride.

The designation of the Baby Boomers is a statistical abstraction, of course. According to those who track population trends, the Baby Boomers were born between January 1, 1946 and December 31, 1964. As such, they represent a generation that reaches all the way back to the conclusion of World War II, and is just now entering generational maturity. Of course, some would argue that the boomers are redefining maturity.
The rest

UMC Court Deals Multiple Blows to
Homosexual Agenda in the Church
Stroud's Credentials Stripped Again; Also, Minister's Right to Bar Homosexual's Membership Upheld
By Jim Brown and Jenni Parker
November 1, 2005

(AgapePress) - The Judicial Council, the
United Methodist Church's highest court, handed down another defeat to homosexual activists in the denomination yesterday when it defrocked Beth Stroud, a lesbian minister from Pennsylvania, for violating the UMC ban on "self-avowed, practicing, homosexuals" in ordained ministry.

At its regular fall meeting October 26-29, the United Methodist Judicial Council overturned the earlier appellate court ruling that had reinstated Stroud and
once again withdrew her ministry credentials. It was one of several cases involving homosexuality that the court considered during the meeting. Story

Monday, October 31, 2005

Drink Christ because He is the river
whose current gladdens the city of God;
drink Christ because He is peace;
drink Christ because from His side flow living waters;
drink Christ to drink the blood which redeemed you;
drink Christ to drink His words.

Lent and Beyond

Judge Rules Against NY Mayor Who Performed
Same-Sex 'Marriages'
Court Says New Paltz Public Official Unlawfully Exceeded His Authority
By Allie Martin and Jenni Parker
October 31, 2005

(AgapePress) - New York's highest appeals court has ruled that the mayor of one village does not have the legal right to perform homosexual "marriages." The Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court sided with
Liberty Counsel, a group that took legal action against a pro-homosexual official after he proceeded to solemnize same-sex weddings in defiance of the law.

In February 2004, Jason West, the mayor of New Paltz village near Rochester, announced he would solemnize same-sex marriages, even though state law defines marriage as being only between a man and a woman. However, a judge has now issued an injunction against West or any other village officials performing same-sex weddings.
The rest

ECUSA Average Sunday Attendance: Down as Expected

Well, at least as we expected.

Karen from
Lent & Beyond sends along this chart showing the steady decline since 2000. From my thumbnail calculation, there was a 7.2% decline in average Sunday attendance in between 2001 and 2004.

Of course, these are the numbers that reporting parishes and dioceses choose to report to 815. I know there are some folks out there on both sides of this debate waiting to spin these numbers up and down, so have at it.

Chart here at Stand Firm

Methodist Rulings Reinforce Traditional Church Policy on Ministers in Non-Celibate Same Sex Partnerships

An openly gay United Methodist minister lost her bid to return to the pulpit Monday (Oct. 31) when the church’s highest court upheld her conviction on charges of being a “self-avowed practicing” lesbian.

And, in a separate decision that could have even wider implications, the church’s Judicial Council said gays and lesbians have no automatic right to church membership and upheld the power of local pastors to turn them away.

The twin rulings represent a major setback for liberals who advocate greater inclusion of homosexuals in the nation’s second-largest Protestant denomination, and served to reinforce church policy on homosexuality as ironclad.
The rest at titusonenine

"Faith as a grain of mustard seed. . ." Matthew 17:20

We have the idea that God rewards us for our faith, it may be so in the initial stages; but we do not earn anything by faith, faith brings us into right relationship with God and gives God His opportunity. God has frequently to knock the bottom board out of your experience if you are a saint in order to get you into contact with Himself. God wants you to understand that it is a life of faith, not a life of sentimental enjoyment of His blessings. Your earlier life of faith was narrow and intense, settled around a little sun-spot of experience that had as much of sense as of faith in it, full of light and sweetness; then God withdrew His conscious blessings in order to teach you to walk by faith. You are worth far more to Him now than you were in your days of conscious delight and thrilling testimony.

Faith by its very nature must be tried, and the real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God's character has to be cleared in our own minds. Faith in its actual working out has to go through spells of unsyllabled isolation. Never confound the trial of faith with the ordinary discipline of life, much that we call the trial of faith is the inevitable result of being alive. Faith in the Bible is faith in God against everything that contradicts Him - I will remain true to God's character whatever He may do. "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him" - this is the most sublime utterance of faith in the whole of the Bible.

Oswald Chambers

Conservative Anglicans warn liberal churches in West
Mon Oct 31, 2005 1:26 PM GMT
By Edmund Blair

(Reuters) -Traditionalist Anglican clerics warned the U.S. and Canadian churches on Monday that their liberal actions over gay rights were tearing apart the 450-year-old church and told them to change their ways urgently.

In some of the strongest language they have used so far in an already acrimonious dispute, churches from Africa, Asia and Latin America said they saw no evidence yet that U.S. and Canadian Anglicans were responding to calls for "repentance".

The 77 million-strong Anglican church has been divided since 2003 when the U.S. Episcopal Church (ECUSA) ordained a gay bishop and Canadian Anglicans began blessing same-sex marriages.

The move outraged traditionalists who dominate southern hemisphere churches, the so-called Global South. They say the Bible condemns homosexuality and that liberals in the West have introduced unacceptable "innovations" into biblical teaching.

Anglican Global South Meeting Draws to End
The Anglican Global South to South Meeting has ended with a call for urgent steps to be taken by liberal provinces to meet the demands of the Windsor Report.
Posted: Monday, October 31 , 2005, 12:37 (UK)

The Third Anglican Global South to South Encounter has come to an end in Egypt, after five days of close consultation and deliberation between conservative members of the Anglican Communion.

A total of 103 delegates from 20 provinces in the Global South, comprising Africa, South and South East Asia, West Indies and South America, met for the Encounter at Ain El-Sukhna by the Red Sea in Egypt.

The theme of the gathering, also briefly attended by the Archbishop of Canterbury on Friday, was “One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church: Being a Faithful Church For Such A Time As This”.

“The world of the Global South is riddled with the pain of political conflict, tribal warfare and bloodshed. The moral and ethical foundations of several of our societies are being shaken.

“Many of our nations are beset by problems of poverty, ignorance and sickness, particularly the HIV and AIDS that threaten millions, especially in Africa,” read a statement by representatives of the Global South Encounter.

The gathered delegates offered their prayers to the thousands of people who have suffered from severe drought in Africa, earthquakes in South Asia, and the hurricanes in the Americas, before proceeding to address the problems facing the Anglican Communion.

Christianity and the Dark Side: What About Halloween?
Albert Mohler

Author, Speaker, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Monday, October 31, 2005

Over a hundred years ago, the great Dutch theologian Hermann Bavinck predicted that the 20th century would "witness a gigantic conflict of spirits." His prediction turned out to be an understatement, and this great conflict continues into the 21st century.

The issue of Halloween presses itself annually upon the Christian conscience. Acutely aware of dangers new and old, many Christian parents choose to withdraw their children from the holiday altogether. Others choose to follow a strategic battle plan for engagement with the holiday. Still others have gone further, seeking to convert Halloween into an evangelistic opportunity. Is Halloween really that significant? The rest

Casting a Spell
Chuck Colson

On Halloween night, and in Salem, Massachusetts, revelers gather at Gallows Hill, the site of the infamous witch hangings of 1692. Today – three centuries later – modern witches arrange an altar, form a circle, and begin to chant.

"Hear us, O great Goddess! Thou Great Mother whom we adore, grant us our passions," one woman shouts. Four hundred witches then join in. They link arms and dance to the beat of drums, as wide-eyed sightseers watch.

Welcome to witchcraft, twenty-first century style.

It's not just on Halloween that witches come out. Wicca has become hugely popular in recent years, attracting hundreds of thousands of young people. Our culture drives this interest through TV shows like "Charmed," about three witch sisters, and through films like "The Craft" and
"Bewitched." Many teen novels now feature witchcraft themes. Even pre-teens can get into the act through summer witch camps. The Internet makes it easy to seek out more information – or contact other witches across the country. And Wicca has been mainstreamed, with the military appointing Wiccan chaplains. The rest

Banned at the schoolhouse door: pint-size ghosts and goblins
Halloween gets a makeover at many schools, as religious parents object to the holiday.
By Patrik Jonsson

Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor RALEIGH, N.C. – School principals from Newton, Mass., to Denver find themselves increasingly haunted at Halloween by this refrain: Get out, ye ghoulies!
Bowing to concerns of a wide range of groups - from Christians who consider Halloween to have pagan or satanic overtones to church-state separatists who object to the holiday's religious roots - some elementary schools are canceling their customary costume parades and Halloween celebrations.

Portuguese abortion vote denied

Portugal's constitutional court has thwarted the government's plan to hold a referendum next month on relaxing the country's strict abortion laws.

Judges said the vote could not be held before September 2006 because the same referendum had been rejected by the president in the current legislature.

The government wants voters to decide whether abortions in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy should become legal.
The rest

Dutch Witches Get Tax Break for Studies
Oct 31 6:47 AM US/Eastern
Associated Press Writer

APPELSCHA, Netherlands
Dutch witches are getting a tax break. A court has ruled that the cost of witchcraft lessons can be taken as a tax deduction.

Learning to cast spells and brew potions doesn't come cheap. Margarita Rongen runs the "Witches Homestead" in a northern province. Her witchcraft workshops cost more than $200 a weekend or more than $2,600 for a full course.

Rongen says she been a witch for 38 years and has a duty to pass along her knowledge. She notes her black cauldron and crystal ball stand at the ready for the next full moon.

Westside Anglican Fellowship

What are you hearing from the Holy Spirit?

Sunday, October 30, 2005

When night comes, list thy deeds; make plain the way
'Twixt heaven and thee; block it not with delays;
But perfect all before thou sleep'st: then say:
There's one sun more strung on my Bead of days.
What's good, score up for joy; the bad, well scanned.
Wash off with tears, and get thy Master's hand.

... Henry Vaughan

Prince Charles to plead Islam's cause to Bush
By Andrew Alderson,
Chief Reporter(Filed: 29/10/2005)

The Prince of Wales will try to persuade George W Bush and Americans of the merits of Islam this week because he thinks the United States has been too intolerant of the religion since September 11.

The Prince, who leaves on Tuesday for an eight-day tour of the US, has voiced private concerns over America's "confrontational" approach to Muslim countries and its failure to appreciate Islam's strengths.

The Prince raised his concerns when he met senior Muslims in London in November 2001. The gathering took place just two months after the attacks on New York and Washington. "I find the language and rhetoric coming from America too confrontational," the Prince said, according to one leader at the meeting.

It is understood that Prince Charles did not - and does not - believe that the actions of 19 hijackers should tarnish the reputation of hundreds of millions of law-abiding Muslims around the world.
The rest

Dobson's lawyers nix homosexual name grab
'Gay' church agrees to drop'Focus on the Human Family'
Posted: October 30, 2005

The installation of a new leader of the predominantly homosexual Metropolitan Community Church, held at the Washington Cathedral yesterday, was to be accompanied by the announcement of a new program called "Focus on the Human Family," but attorney's for Dr. James Dobson's "Focus on the Family" intervened to protect the Christian ministry's trademarked name.

The Reverend Nancy Wilson was installed as the Presiding Bishop as scheduled, but not before MCC committed to removing the "Focus on the Human Family" name from its
website. The service's program followed the original theme of "Unfinished World, Unfinished Calling," but references to the disputed name were not to be found.

Wilson, who in 1976 became the youngest person ever elected to the MCC Board of Elders and has served as an Elder since that time, takes over the denomination from Troy Perry, who founded it in 1968. Wilson lives with her partner of 27 years, Dr. Paula Schoenwether.

Christian girls beheaded in grisly Indonesian attack

Three teenage Christian girls were beheaded and a fourth was seriously wounded in a savage attack on Saturday by unidentified assailants in the Indonesian province of Central Sulawesi.

The girls were among a group of students from a private Christian high school who were ambushed while walking through a cocoa plantation in Poso Kota subdistrict on their way to class, police Major Riky Naldo said.

Document reveals strategy to 'fight religion'
Communists plan to 'eradicate' places of Christian worship
Posted: October 29, 2005

Vietnam officials in tribal areas vow to "fight religion," according to a secret document obtained by a U.S. group.

The document issued earlier this year by a local Vietnamese Communist party branch reveals an official policy of forcing ethnic minority Hmong Christians to give up their faith and of "eradicating" Christian meeting places, reports
Freedom House's Center for Religious Freedom in Washington, D.C. The rest

School Permits 'Do-Over' After Previously Prohibiting Student Prayer Rally
By Jim Brown
October 28, 2005

(AgapePress) - Christian students in New Jersey have chalked up a big win. After initially being barred from holding a "See You at the Pole" (SYATP) prayer rally, a group of middle school has been permitted to hold a "do-over" prayer event.

Last month, administrators at Brackman Middle School in Barnegat, New Jersey, told three students they were "mixing church and state" by praying before school in front of the campus flagpole. The students were then ordered to stop praying and move around the corner so other students arriving at school on buses would not see them praying.
The rest

The Third Anglican Global South to South Encounter Communique
A Third Trumpet from the South


The Third Anglican Global South to South Encounter

Red Sea (Egypt), 25-30 October 2005
The Third Anglican South-to-South Encounter has graphically demonstrated the coming of age of the Church of the Global South. We are poignantly aware that we must be faithful to God’s vision of one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. We do not glory in our strengths but in God’s strength. We do not shrink from our responsibility as God’s people because of our weaknesses but we trust God to demonstrate His power through our weakness. We thank God for moving us forward to serve Him in such a time as this.

The rest at titusonenine

Leaving church is more than just using door
The Times-Union

Imagine worshiping in the same building where your parents and grandparents worshiped, where their names are etched in foundation stones or on the panes of stained-glass windows.

Perhaps they are even buried beside the church -- the same church where your children were baptized, confirmed and married.

Now picture turning your back forever on a place made sacred by such memories and history because you believe your denomination has strayed dangerously far from biblical values.

Could you do it?

That's the painful question roughly 4,000 North Florida Episcopalians may have to answer after six conservative congregations leave the Jacksonville-based Episcopal Diocese of Florida and the Episcopal Church USA by Jan. 6.
The rest at Connecticut Six

Theology pair flips Bible upside-down on sexuality
'We must reject at the outset any notion of the supreme authority of scripture'
Posted: October 29, 2005

If a pair of visiting scholars, speaking this week at Florida Southern College's annual Bible Symposium, are correct, practically everything most people believe the Scriptures teach about sex is wrong.

The topic of this year's symposium, the Lakeland Ledger reported, was "Sex, Love and Marriage in Scripture and Tradition." Two of the presentations, however, were less than traditional, and many would say, unscriptural.

James L. Crenshaw, professor of Old Testament at Duke Divinity School, questioned Scripture's authority to govern matters of sexuality – the Old Testament text, he argued, was written over 12 centuries under a variety of shifting circumstances. It is the reader, he argued, that determines the text's meaning.

"We possess no statement describing a normative practice" of sex and marriage, he told the attendees.
the rest