Saturday, March 11, 2006

How happy would you be if your hearts were but persuaded to close with Jesus Christ! Then you would be out of all danger: whatever storms and tempests were without, you might rest securely within; you might hear the rushing of the wind, and the thunder roar abroad, while you are safe in this hiding-place.

O be persuaded to hide yourself in Christ Jesus! What greater assurance of safety can you desire? He has undertaken to defend and save you, if you will come to him: he looks upon it as his work; he engaged in it before the world was, and he has given his faithful promise which he will not break; and if you will but make your flight there, his life shall be for yours; he will answer for you, you shall have nothing to do but rest quietly in him; you may stand still and see what the Lord will do for you.

Jonathan Edwards photo

Eric Swensson: Praising God (on the way to the killing ground)
This is the thirteenth in a series of daily Lenten devotionals by a
group of Anglican bloggers and friends. Today’s entry is by one of our non-Anglican friends, Eric Swensson of the Pietist blog. You can read other entries in the series here.

Excerpt: "How can we be proactive about what is going on the hearts of people? Well, we best start with our own. Hence, as you know, we are prone to say that God is good and has proven His goodness by giving us our focus on prayer and praise. After we are on the road to new life we can begin to lead the people by prayer and proclamation and praise, all always, since we are busy little pietists, the best is to turn minds through God through Scripture."
The rest at Lent and Beyond

Yesterday's meditation

Report Stresses Optimistic Interpretation of Church Statistics

The Rev. Reynolds Cheney delivered a March 8 report to Executive Council that details continued losses in the Episcopal Church’s count of baptized members and in average Sunday attendance (ASA).

Fr. Cheney, chairman of the House of Deputies’ Committee on the State of the Church, distributed a page of “Episcopal Fast Facts: 2002-2004” that showed the church’s membership at 2,247,819 as of 2004. That figure represents a 2 percent decrease from 2,284,233 members in 2003, a 4 percent drop over five years and a 7 percent drop in 10 years.

Decreases in ASA are similar. In 2004 ASA was 795,765, a decrease of 3 percent from 823,017 in 2003. It has decreased 5 percent in five years and 4 percent in ten years.

Fr. Cheney also distributed a page, in draft form, of the committee’s report to General Convention. The committee’s “Conclusions and Recommendations for the Next Triennium” stress an upbeat interpretation of the church’s health.

The rest at The Living Church

Growing Numbers of Churches Affiliating with the Network

Pittsburgh, PA – Since the beginning of 2006, eleven parishes with their clergy and ten individual clergy have affiliated with the Anglican Communion Network (ACN). Another eleven affiliates are slated to be approved within the week. This steady stream of new affiliate churches and individuals comes from within the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) and from those churches that are now under the authority of bishops from other parts of the Anglican Communion.

The ACN’s motto “Biblical, Missionary, United” points to some of the reasons that more and more orthodox Episcopal and Anglican churches and clergy are choosing to align themselves with the Network. Bill Stalcup, Senior Warden of Church of the Word in Gainesville, VA, which is part of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, reported that there was not one dissenting vote from the congregation of 150 when the parish decided to officially become a Network affiliate.

“The work of the Network is very encouraging for us,” said Stalcup. “It is reassuring that there is an organization uniting like-minded Anglican and Episcopal believers that we can be a part of. The Network really reached out to us, not just as an association, but personally, spiritually.”

The rest at the ACN website

Homosexual Adoption Ends 100 Years of Adoption Services by Boston Catholic Charities
By John-Henry Westen

BOSTON, March 10, 2006 ( - The board of directors of Catholic Charities today announced that Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Boston, will not seek a renewal of its contract with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to provide adoption services. Catholic Charities will work with the Department of Social Services and other appropriate agencies to make this transition as smoothly as possible.

Late last year, the Pope's representative to the United States asked the Boston Archbishop, now Cardinal, Sean O'Malley to end the practice of allowing homosexual adoptions.
Catholic Charities admitted last October that it was involved in the practice, which according to Catholic teaching is an abuse of children.Story

San Francisco to “Review” Gay Adoption Policy in Response to Levada Directive
by Hilary White

SAN FRANCISCO, March 10, 2006 ( - Archbishop William Levada, the current Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), has announced that no bishop should allow homosexual partners to adopt children through their charitable agencies.

The statement was sent in an email to the Archdiocese of San Francisco Catholic Charities citing recent documents from the CDF published under then-Cardinal Ratzinger. “Catholic agencies should not place children for adoption in homosexual households,” Levada wrote.
The rest

Anglican Teachings Rejecting Homosexuality Unchanged, Canterbury Says
The Archbishop of Canterbury has said the global communion has not changed its teachings rejecting homosexuality and does not plan to “reopen the discussion".
Posted: Saturday, March 11 , 2006, 11:12 (UK)

Despite the controversial election of a gay bishop in the U.S. Episcopal Church and the confirmation of gay unions in the Canadian Anglican Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said the global communion has not changed its teachings rejecting homosexuality and does not plan to “reopen the discussion” at its next decennial gathering in 2008.

“I do not hear much enthusiasm for revisiting in 2008 the last Lambeth Conference’s resolution on this matter,” Archbishop Rowan Williams wrote in a pastoral letter to the 38 Primates of the Anglican Communion on Thursday.

Canterbury’s comments serve to ratchet up pressure on the U.S. Episcopal Church for its upcoming 2006 General Convention, during which it will be forced to uphold a moratorium on the consecration of non-celibate homosexuals or choose to walk apart from the global communion.

The Episcopal Church has already been excluded from key international Anglican meetings, and the majority of churches in Africa have cut all ties with their U.S. counterpart. A complete division is likely to occur if the U.S. church ordains as bishop active homosexuals – two of whom were nominated last month in California.
the rest

Polygamy, Polyamory, and the Future of Marriage
Albert Mohler
Friday, March 10, 2006

"Think having three wives is a dream come true?" That is the question asked by HBO as it introduces its new series, "Big Love." Set to begin March 12, the show is about a man named Bill Henrickson (played by Bill Paxton), who is described as "a modern-day Utah polygamist who lives in suburban Salt Lake City with his three wives, seven children, and a mounting avalanche of debt and demands."

The executives at HBO obviously believe that the show will be a winner--and they are releasing it to great fanfare. The description of the series indicates something of how the show will combine elements of a soap opera with more serious drama. Of course, all this comes with a new twist, as HBO pledges to explore "the evolving institution of marriage through a typical atypical family."
The rest

'Mom,' 'dad' to be axed from school textbooks?
Zelda's revenge: Gender-neutralizing billcould also jeopardize prom kings, queens

A traditional-values organization in California is warning the state's residents that a bill pending in the Legislature, if approved, could remove all references to gender in public schools – threatening even references to "mom" or "dad" in textbooks.

If the bill, SB 1437, were to become law, warns the
Capitol Resource Institute, "it could potentially require gender-neutral bathrooms in our schools and all references to 'husband' and 'wife' or 'mom and dad' removed from school textbooks as the norm."

The rest

Billy Graham: God Will Help New Orleans Revive
Saturday, Mar. 11, 2006 Posted: 7:49:55AM EST

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The Rev. Billy Graham said he doesn't believe that God sent Hurricane Katrina, but he does believe God allowed it and will bring good out of New Orleans' revival. The 87-year-old evangelist spoke Thursday at a prayer service for hundreds of Gulf Coast pastors who have invited him and his son Franklin to preach this weekend at the New Orleans Arena.Graham needed help to shuffle to the pulpit, the same one he used during a 1954 revival.

But once he stood before the assembly, his voice was clear and strong.

the rest

God by the Numbers
Coincidence and random mutation are not the most likely explanations for some things.

by Charles Edward White
posted 03/10/2006 10:00 a.m.

Math and theology have had a long and checkered relationship. The Babylonians and Mayans both associated numbers with God. In fact, both societies named their gods with numbers. The Mayans used 13 and the Babylonians used 60. In the Greek world, followers of Pythagoras prayed to the first 4 numbers and thought they were the creator. On the other hand, in the 18th century, the French mathematician Laplace told Napoleon he had no need of God even as a hypothesis, and in 1744, John Wesley confessed: "I am convinced, from many experiments, I could not study either mathematics, arithmetic, or algebra … without being a deist, if not an atheist."

No one knows what Wesley saw in 18th-century mathematics that he feared would lead him away from the God of the Bible, but today, many Christian mathematicians think that numbers point to God. Three numbers in particular suggest evidence for God's existence. They are 1/1010123, 10162, and eπi.
the rest

Kids' TV Contains 'Dark, Sinister' Violence, Pro-Family Advocate Warns
By Mary RettigMarch 10, 2006

(AgapePress) - The director of research and publications for the Parents Television Council (PTC) says violence pervades children's programming -- and it's not the "cartoonish" kind of violence with which many adults are familiar from their own childhoods.

The PTC recently completed a study of television programming specifically created for young kids. The pro-family media watchdog group revealed its disturbing findings in a report called "Wolves in Sheep's Clothing: A Content Analysis of Children's Television" (
See related story).

According to the PTC's Melissa Caldwell, the not-so-surprising revelation of this study is that much of kid-targeted TV is not terribly child-friendly. In fact, she notes, the study found children's shows contain -- amid all kinds of offensive and troubling content -- twice the amount of violence to be found in adult primetime shows.
The rest

World Abortion Trend the Opposite of U.S.
By NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press Writer

ROME — Over the past 10 years, more than a dozen countries have made it easier to get abortions, and women from Mexico to Ireland have mounted court challenges to get access to the procedure.

The trend contrasts sharply with the United States, where this week South Dakota's governor signed legislation that would ban most abortions in the state, launching a bitter new battle that activists seem ready to take to the Supreme Court.

Abortion is far less divisive in the rest of the world.

the rest

Muslim's Blunt Criticism of Islam Draws Threats
Published: March 11, 2006

LOS ANGELES, March 10 — Three weeks ago, Dr. Wafa Sultan was a largely unknown Syrian-American psychiatrist living outside Los Angeles, nursing a deep anger and despair about her fellow Muslims.

Today, thanks to an unusually blunt and provocative interview on Al Jazeera television on Feb. 21, she is an international sensation, hailed as a fresh voice of reason by some, and by others as a heretic and infidel who deserves to die.

In the interview, which has been viewed on the Internet more than a million times and has reached the e-mail of hundreds of thousands around the world, Dr. Sultan bitterly criticized the Muslim clerics, holy warriors and political leaders who she believes have distorted the teachings of Muhammad and the Koran for 14 centuries.
The rest

SACRAMENTO: Hindu groups lose fight to change textbooks
But decision by state Board of Education is supported by some Hindu Americans
Charles Burress, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, March 10, 2006

Sacramento -- A tumultuous chapter in California textbook history reached a climax this week when the state Board of Education rejected demands from some Hindu groups for many changes in new textbooks' treatments of ancient India.

The 8-0 vote with two abstentions followed a passionate 90-minute public hearing Wednesday and capped months of other hearings and intensive lobbying by activists and scholars that attracted national attention.

"What is at stake here is the embarrassment and humiliation that these Hindu children (in America) continue to face because of the way textbooks portray their faith and culture," said Jihane Ayed of Ruder Finn, a New York-based public relations firm representing the Vedic Foundation and Hindu Education Foundation.
the rest

City to seize church by eminent domain
Using Supreme Court ruling to remove Baptist congregation
Posted: March 11, 20061:00 a.m. Eastern

The city of Long Beach, Calif., is using the power of eminent domain bolstered by last summer's U.S. Supreme Court ruling to condemn a Baptist congregation's church building.

city wants to remove the Filipino Baptist Fellowship's building to make way for condominiums, the Baptist Press reported.

The city will hold a hearing March 13 and vote on a resolution authorizing the city attorney to begin condemnation proceedings.
The rest

Thursday, March 09, 2006

There is a joy which is not given to the ungodly, but to those who love Thee for Thine own sake, whose joy Thou Thyself art. And this is the happy life, to rejoice to Thee, of Thee, for Thee; this it is, and there is no other.

... The Confessions of St. Augustine photo

David Ould: Being Molded by the Scriptures
This is the eleventh in a series of Lenten devotionals by a
group of Anglican bloggers and friends. Today’s entry is by David Ould of the Drinking at the Whitehorse Inn blog. You can read other entries in the series here.
9 March 2006

Excerpt: "The heavens declare the glory of God. It’s hard to deny, isn’t it, when standing upon a mountain peak or when looking out at the starry sky with stars too many to number and too beautiful to put into words, that there isn’t a God. The very Creation itself screams it out, it almost demanding that we give glory to God; that we acknowledge not only His existence but His right to be given all the glory honour and power (Rev. 4:11).

But the reality of the situation is that the vast majority of the population of the world do no such thing. There is little if no acknowledgement of a creator God and certain no affirmation of His true nature. Not that we are suprised, of course. Because lined up on the battlefield against the awesome truth of God declared in Creation is set up the most destructive power thatever took up battle with the Almighty; sin."

The rest at Lent and Beyond

Breaking News: Rapid Response
Matt Kennedy+

The Archbishop of Canterbury sent this amazing
letter (published this evening on titusonenine) regarding Lambeth 2008 to the primates of the Anglican Communion.

These are my immediate reactions as I posted them on titusonenine:The ABC says:There are many practical questions still to be settled, and the coming months will bring some of them into clear focus.

This is an oblique reference to GC2006.

The rest of what he writes is not dependent on the presence or nonpresence of ECUSA.

The rest at Stand Firm

Report Stresses Optimistic Interpretation of Church Statistics

The Rev. Reynolds Cheney was his humorous self March 8 while delivering to Executive Council a report that details continued losses in the Episcopal Church’s count of baptized members and in average Sunday attendance (ASA).

Fr. Cheney, chairman of the House of Deputies’ Committee on the State of the Church, distributed a page of “Episcopal Fast Facts: 2002-2004” that showed the church’s membership at 2,247,819 as of 2004. That figure represents a 2 percent decrease from 2,284,233 members in 2003, a 4 percent drop over five years and a 7 percent drop in 10 years.

Decreases in ASA are similar. In 2004 ASA was 795,765, a decrease of 3 percent from 823,017 in 2003. It has decreased 5 percent in five years and 4 percent in ten years.
The rest

AAC Statement on the Archbishop of Canterbury's Letter to the Primates
March 9, 2006
Cynthia P. Brust

Archbishop of Canterbury Says Sexuality Debate Will Not Be Reopened at Lambeth 2008
In a pastoral letter to Anglican Communion Primates issued last night, the Archbishop of Canterbury “set out his thinking” on Lambeth Conference 2008. Noting the “lack of enthusiasm for revisiting” decisions on sexuality made at Lambeth 1998, Archbishop Williams made clear that reopening the debate on sexuality, specifically Lambeth Resolution 1.10, would be neither proper nor useful. He also reiterated the fact that Lambeth 1.10 represents the mind of the Communion on sexuality, despite “bitter controversy” surrounding the issue.

This letter is consistent with recent comments from Archbishop Williams regarding the crisis within the Communion. In news reports during the last few weeks, he has expressed “deep unease” with the nomination as bishop of two partnered homosexuals in the Diocese of California, called on the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) to uphold a moratorium on the consecration of non-celibate homosexuals, and reiterated that the mind of the Communion on matters of sexuality cannot be changed by one Province.

Such statements by Archbishop Williams serve to ratchet up pressure on the Episcopal Church for General Convention 2006. With Lambeth 1.10 virtually deemed non-negotiable by the Archbishop of Canterbury for Lambeth 2008, the Episcopal Church is left with an even more strongly defined choice. The Church must abandon its agenda to revise Scripture and 2,000 years of teaching and practice on human sexuality, and it must affirm foundational tenets of Christian faith as well as uphold Lambeth 1.10. Any other course represents a decision to walk apart.
The rest at the AAC blogsite

Gay Rights Group Targets Christian Colleges
Schools' responses to Soulforce's Equality Ride will vary widely.
by Sarah Pulliam
posted 03/09/2006 09:00 a.m.

For the next seven weeks, the group Soulforce will test the hospitality of Christian colleges. Some schools have decided withdraw the welcome mat for the national pro-gay activist group, while others are accommodating the protesters with housing and events.

Sixteen Christian colleges are preparing for the uninvited guests from what Soulforce is calling Equality Ride. The seven-week bus tour launching today will take 35 gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and straight 18- to 28-year-olds to colleges with behavior codes that Soulforce calls discriminatory.

The religious schools Soulforce is protesting specifically ban homosexual behavior along with other non-marital sexual activity.

Soulforce will visit 12 members and three affiliates of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. CCCU president Bob Andringa told CT he has not seen protests at colleges like this in his 12 years heading the council. "I knew that none of our campuses would welcome that kind of outside [message]: 'We're coming, whether you want us to or not.'"
The rest

Uganda church crushes worshippers

At least 27 people have been killed after a church roof collapsed and crushed them during a service in Uganda's capital, Kampala.

At least 86 other worshippers were injured in the accident. Most of the dead were crushed when a wall crumbled during a heavy storm.

All the bodies have been removed and the remaining walls will have to be demolished for safety reasons.

The flouting of building regulations is a common problem, say reporters.

The accident occurred at about 1900 local time (1600 GMT) in the northern suburb of Kalerwe and it remains unclear how many worshippers, who were seated on plastic chairs, were present at the service when the wall collapsed.
The rest

By James Csank
Mar 8, 2006

The official position of the Catholic Church on gay marriage and the admission of homosexuals to the priesthood has stirred anger and resentment in the homosexual community. Given the arrogance of the militant segment of the homosexual community these days (enjoying as it does the "moral" support of the major media and of many politicians), it is not surprising that it would challenge the Church's actions and the teaching on which those actions are based. What is surprising are the challenges to the Church from some priests and bishops. Some current developments:

A. The bishops of Minnesota have endorsed and are actively supporting the passage of a proposed amendment to the state constitution that affirms that “marriage” is the union of one man and one woman.
The rest

Chertoff, U.N. Predict Deadly Bird Flu in U.S. Within Months
Thursday, March 09, 2006

WASHINGTON — A deadly strain of bird flu could appear in the United States in the next few months as wild birds migrate from infected nations, Homeland Security Michael Chertoff said Thursday, echoing a statement made earlier by the United Nations
Chertoff said "there will be a reasonable possibility of a domestic fowl outbreak" as migrating birds mix with ducks, chickens and other birds in the U.S. But he cautioned against panic, noting that the Agriculture Department has dealt with other strains of bird flu for years.

the rest

New York: Top jail imam in hate tirade

How many times is this sort of thing going to happen before officials learn how to ask the right questions -- questions that will expose, insofar as this can be done at all, whether or not an imam holds to the jihad ideology? Of course, they probably don't want to ask those questions, because they know what the answers will be. "Top Jail Imam In Hate Tirade," from the
New York Post:

March 9, 2006 -- WASHINGTON - The head of Islamic chaplains in the New York City Department of Correction said in a recent speech that the "greatest terrorists in the world occupy the White House," Jews control the media, and Muslims are being tortured in Manhattan jails.
The rest

It's Hard Out Here for a Wimp
Ann Coulter
March 9, 2006

In case you missed the Oscars last Sunday night, here are the highlights:
Best song went to a musical tribute to the overseers of human sex slaves, an occupation known as "pimping";

best picture went to a movie about racism in Los Angeles;

best supporting actor went to the movie about how oil companies murder people; and

best supporting actress went to the movie about how pharmaceutical companies murder people.
Curiously missing from Oscar night's festivities was any reference, even in passing, to the 150,000 brave Americans currently risking their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The rest

Hawaii to Become “Baby Killing Center of Pacific”
By Terry Vanderheyden

HONOLULU, March 9, 2006 ( – Hawaii has passed legislation to allow abortion as an in-office medical procedure as well as waiving a mandatory 90-day residency period, prompting one commentator to dub the island state as the “baby killing center of the Pacific.”

“While high-profile media attention has been focused on South Dakota’s effort to outlaw abortion, Hawaii is quietly set to become the baby killing center of the Pacific,” said Judie Brown, president of American Life League.

House Bill 1242 is predicted to pass Hawaii's state house this week and then proceed to almost certain passage in the state senate. This bill allows abortions to be performed in any doctor's office; current law requires it to be done in a hospital. Also, this bill would remove the 90-day residency period for a woman obtaining an abortion in Hawaii. Although an effort to expand legal abortion to include viable as well as non-viable babies was defeated in the house, senators may try to re-insert that provision in the bill.
The rest

Negative Perception Of Islam Increasing
Poll Numbers in U.S. Higher Than in 2001
By Claudia Deane and Darryl Fears
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, March 9, 2006

As the war in Iraq grinds into its fourth year, a growing proportion of Americans are expressing unfavorable views of Islam, and a majority now say that Muslims are disproportionately prone to violence, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The poll found that nearly half of Americans -- 46 percent -- have a negative view of Islam, seven percentage points higher than in the tense months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, when Muslims were often targeted for violence.

Marquette bans feminist play
University calls it too distracting; critics say move limits free speech
Posted: Mar. 8, 2006

Marquette University has prevented "The Vagina Monologues" from being performed on campus this month, joining half a dozen Catholic universities that have banned the feminist play.
Marquette's vice president of student affairs said he denied a student group's request to produce the "The Vagina Monologues" because he thought it would be too distracting. The move comes as a national organization works to make response to the play a litmus test for Catholic universities.

While the decision drew applause from the organization and some students, critics said Marquette had undermined its commitment to the free exchange of ideas.

In recent years, the administration has banned student organizations that support gay rights, birth control and military snipers in Iraq on the grounds that they are out of step with Catholic values. As critics see it, restricting free speech compromises the university's academic integrity.
The rest

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

THE RELINQUISHED LIFE"I am crucified with Christ." Galatians 2:20
No one is ever united with Jesus Christ until he is willing to relinquish not sin only, but his whole way of looking at things. To be born from above of the Spirit of God means that we must let go before we lay hold, and in the first stages it is the relinquishing of all pretence. What Our Lord wants us to present to Him is not goodness, nor honesty, nor endeavour, but real solid sin; that is all He can take from us. And what does He give in exchange for our sin? Real solid righteousness. But we must relinquish all pretence of being any thing, all claim of being worthy of God's consideration.

Then the Spirit of God will show us what further there is to relinquish. There will have to be the relinquishing of my claim to my right to myself in every phase. Am I willing to relinquish my hold on all I possess, my hold on my affections, and on everything, and to be identified with the death of Jesus Christ?

Oswald Chambers Photo

Pat Dague: Thirst
This is the one of two entries today in a series of

daily Lenten devotionals by a group of Anglican bloggers and friends. This entry is by Pat Dague of the Transfigurations blog.
The second post by Richard Kew follows below.
You can read all the other entries in the series here.

Excerpt: God thirsts for us
"I have always been drawn to the imagery of water in Scripture. Water flowing, filling, pouring out, baptizing, cleansing, healing. Without water, we become thirsty. How is it possible that God can thirst, we wonder, and yet we remember the words that Jesus spoke from His cross, “I thirst”. His was a desperate cry for souls, not just a physical need to be satisfied. The knowledge that God first loved us, and longs after us can barely be comprehended."
The rest at Lent and Beyond

Richard Kew: Are we like Joseph’s brothers?
This is the second entry today in a series of daily

Lenten devotionals by a group of Anglican bloggers and friends.
This entry is by the Rev. Richard Kew
of the Kew Continuum blog. You can read other entries in the series here.
Meditation here at Lent and Beyond

Dean Werner: Reform PB Election Process

The Episcopal Church spends too much money searching for and installing its Presiding Bishop, according to the president of the House of Deputies, who said he will urge the House of Bishops to change the process.

Expenses for the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop exceeded $200,000 this triennium, “and that is not a good use of our resources,” the Very Rev. George Werner told members of Executive Council on March 6.

Dean Werner proposed that when the Episcopal Church next searches for a Presiding Bishop, in 2015, it should abolish the nominating committee’s screening duties and allow open nominations.
The rest at The Living Church

Christians warned of threat of Islamic aims on society
Date: Mar 10
By Michael Brown

UNLESS Christians start taking their faith seriously, Britain could become a Muslim nation, a senior cathedral cleric has suggested. The warning is sounded by the Subdean of Lincoln Cathedral, Canon Alan Nugent, in this week’s Chapter Letter which will be distributed to members of the cathedral congregation this Sunday.

Canon Nugent says that during the demonstrations by Muslims following publication in some European newspapers of cartoons caricaturing the prophet Muhammad, “much was made” of some of the “brutal and violent” posters carried by protesters. But other posters were not commented on — and to Canon Nugent they were “significant”. He says: “They warned that Britain would before long become Islamic. There is no doubt that Islam is a missionary faith and the conversion of unbelievers is a major factor in its spread. It is not surprising that many Muslims may well harbour the hope that this country could be converted to the faith of the Prophet — especially when so often they encounter a Christian faith which could well be characterised as uncertain and in decline.”

Cells from Aborted Babies Transplanted into Brains of Huntington’s Patients
by Hilary White
March 8, 2006

( – Researchers in France have presented a long-term study of five Huntingdon’s patients who were injected with brain cells harvested from aborted foetuses in 1998. The scientists, reporting in The Lancet; Neurology, say that three of the patients have shown improvement in movement and brain function. Patients’ symptoms have continued, however and after a plateau, the deterioration has worsened.

Huntington’s Disease is a degenerative genetic neurological disorder. Huntington’s is an incurable and untreatable condition that slowly diminishes the affected individual's ability to walk, think, talk and reason. Death for Huntinton’s patients often results from complications such as choking, infection or heart failure.

The French research follows a number of similar experiments being done in the UK. The UK research began human trials in 2001.

The Limits of Conscience and the Authority of the Word of God
Albert Mohler
Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Last week Rev. Jane Adams Spahr was found not-guilty of ministerial misconduct, even after the openly lesbian Presbyterian minister had defied the teachings of her church by performing "marriages" for two lesbian couples. Given the current state of mainline Protestantism, the actions by the trial court were not completely unexpected. Nevertheless, this act of rebellion against the church's law and the clear teachings of Scripture sets the stage for an even larger conflict when the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) holds its General Assembly in June.

Rev. Jane Adams Spahr is no stranger to controversy. In 1991, the Downtown United Presbyterian Church in Rochester, New York called her as co-pastor. That call was subsequently invalidated by the denomination's General Assembly and its Permanent Judicial Commission. Nevertheless, the church then called her to serve as a "lesbian evangelist" and she established her ministry as the organization called "That All May Freely Serve." That ministry was formed in partnership with Westminster Presbyterian Church in Tiburon, California. As the denomination's news service, PCUSA News explained, "Since then, Spahr has traveled the country mustering support for the ordination of gay and lesbian Presbyterians and building a network of regional groups to help in the effort."

The current controversy emerged as Spahr was charged with breaking church law by marrying two homosexual men in Canada. Since her ordination was not recognized in that country, and therefore her name did not appear on the marriage certificate, a church court ruled that it could not prove that she had actually officiated at the wedding.
The rest

'Sex Worker' Art Shows Not Appropriate for Colleges, Says Activist
Caution...This article contains references that some may find offensive
By Ed Thomas and Jody Brown
March 8, 2006

(AgapePress) - A pro-family leader in Pennsylvania is condemning two art shows celebrating "sex workers" being held this month at college locations in her state. The shows, she explains, literally feature art related to professions glorifying sex.

The first show was held on March 1 at
Swarthmore College. On its website, the art show promised to celebrate, among other things, prostitution. The second show takes place today (March 8) at Bucknell University in Lewisburg. Diane Gramley, president of the American Family Association of Pennsylvania, says she was appalled at the notion of such a show.
The rest

'Embryo' out of legislation
By Jon Ward
March 8, 2006

ANNAPOLIS -- Democratic lawmakers have changed the word "embryo" to "material" in a bill for embryonic stem-cell research to secure the votes of Catholic senators who did not want to be viewed as supporting abortion-related legislation.

"They didn't want to vote for a bill that had the language embryo in it," said Sen. Paula C. Hollinger, Baltimore County Democrat and the bill's sponsor.

The bill, which appears certain of passage as early as today, calls for the state to spend $10 million for research on cells extracted from human embryos to create treatments for degenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease.

Changing the bill's wording angered Republicans and conservative Democrats, who think that a human embryo is a human life and embryonic research is a form of abortion.
The rest

Bishop John Shelby Spong: Soaking up bad theology
March 08, 2006 12:41 PM EST

Recently I received an E-mail message from an atheist correspondent, who presented me with the quote below. It was identified by E-mail as part of a letter from a Michigan pastor, to liberal iconoclast, Bishop John Shelby Spong.

"Overcoming the widespread Christian belief that 'Jesus died for my sins' seems an insurmountable challenge! Preachers, liturgical rites, hymns and religious education curricula continue to reinforce 'atonement theology/theories.' . . . Personally and pastorally, 'atonement' thinking creates a mire of destructive results and I, for one, would well appreciate your cogent analysis of how we might best approach this."

This was the response I sent back to my correspondent, as well as others on my mailing list:

"I talk about some Christians being 'humanists under a religious flag.' Spong is the laughable epitome of that ilk. The central message of Christianity IS atonement ˜ it is the concept more than anything else which separates the Christian faith from the gamut of 'works religions,' where man earns his own 'salvation,' whatever that is in Spong's warped theology. The 'atonement' is taught because it is biblical. Spong has made such a radical departure from sound doctrine, that whatever it is he believes, it can hardly be considered biblical Christianity. And yet Spong is the darling of the 'I want to do whatever I want, but still believe in God' crowd. Many mainline denominational churches in America today, to some degree, are partakers of this apostasy. That is why I claim that Bible-believing Christians are a minority in America. In an attempt to go wide instead of deep, the modern church has inhaled the poisonous gas of liberalism, making it all but irrelevant on the cultural landscape. These churches are easily recognizable. They talk about Jesus accepting everyone as they are ˜ but never get to the part where Christ says 'Go and SIN no more.' Less than half a Gospel. I saw this particular book by Spong in a thrift Store ˜ I read three paragraphs before shaking my head and casting it aside. I should have bought it so it didn't fall into the hands of someone looking for answers."
The rest

McNamara's shot not end to Syracuse's drama
Frank Burlison
For sheer conference tournament drama, it's going to be tough topping that Gerry McNamara 3-point push/floater that gave Syracuse a 74-73 victory over Cincinnati in a first-round game of the Big East tournament Wednesday afternoon in Madison Square Garden.

But Jihad Muhammad almost did just that, barely missing on his half-court heave at the buzzer.

By the way, watch the replay of McNamara's drive that culminated in his game-winning (and NCAA tournament bid-hope extending) shot. First Muhammad and then Cedric McGowan were in position to cut off McNamara's penetration but couldn't get it done.

So the Bearcats, who could have approached Sunday's NCAA Tournament bracket and pairings announcement with something approaching confidence if McNamara had not connected on his shot, will have a long and nerve-wracking at-large bid wait Sunday.

But Jim Boeheim's team didn't guarantee itself anything with the victory other than an opportunity to face the nation's best team — Connecticut — in a quarterfinal Thursday.
The rest

Hamas website: Kids, die for Allah
New Hamas website features animated figures calling on youngsters to fight Zionists, commit suicide for God
Dudi Goldman

A new, attractive website for children was recently launched on the net. The site features animated figures and stories that young children could easily relate to.

However, unlike ordinary sites catering for children, this particular one is operated by Hamas and its main objective is to advocate suicide and self sacrifice on behalf of Allah.

According to Israel's leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, the site, whose name means "The Victor," glorifies death and suicide for God.

In one instance, a caption that appears next to a picture of an animated girl throwing stones at IDF soldiers, reads: "Death for Allah is victory, the victory of the glorified heroes whose names will forever remain in the hearts of millions of Muslims across the world."
The rest

CAIR: Islamists Fooling the Establishment
Daniel Pipes and Sharon Chadha
Middle East Quarterly
March 8, 2006

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), headquartered in Washington, is perhaps the best-known and most controversial Muslim organization in North America. CAIR presents itself as an advocate for Muslims’ civil rights and the spokesman for American Muslims. “We are similar to a Muslim NAACP,” says its communications director, Ibrahim Hooper.[1] Its
official mission—“to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding”—suggests nothing problematic.

Starting with a single office in 1994, CAIR now claims thirty-one affiliates, including a branch in Canada, with more steadily being added. In addition to its grand national headquarters in Washington, it has impressive offices in other cities; the New York office, for example, is housed in the 19-story
Interchurch Center located on Manhattan’s Riverside Drive.

But there is another side to CAIR that has alarmed many people in positions to know. The Department of Homeland Security refuses to deal with it. Senator Charles Schumer (Democrat, New York) describes it as an organization “which we know has ties to terrorism.”[2] Senator Dick Durbin (Democrat, Illinois)
observes that CAIR is “unusual in its extreme rhetoric and its associations with groups that are suspect.” Steven Pomerantz, the FBI’s former chief of counterterrorism, notes that “CAIR, its leaders, and its activities effectively give aid to international terrorist groups.” The rest

Record Set for Hottest Temperature on Earth: 3.6 Billion Degrees in Lab
Ker Than
LiveScience Staff Writer
1 hour, 29 minutes ago

Scientists have produced superheated gas exceeding temperatures of 2 billion degrees Kelvin, or 3.6 billion degrees Fahrenheit.

This is hotter than the interior of our Sun, which is about 15 million degrees Kelvin, and also hotter than any previous temperature ever achieved on Earth, they say.
They don't know how they did it.

The feat was accomplished in the
Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories.

"At first, we were disbelieving," said project leader Chris Deeney. "We repeated the experiment many times to make sure we had a true result."
the rest

Vicar refuses to forgive, steps down at parish
By Kate Holton
March 8, 2006

LONDON -- A female vicar whose daughter was killed in the London suicide bombings last year has stepped down from her parish role, saying she cannot and does not want to forgive the killers.
The Rev. Julie Nicholson said she made the difficult decision after her 24-year-old daughter, Jenny, died in the July 7 bombings on the underground transport network.

She said she could not reconcile her faith with the feelings of hatred she has toward the killers.

"I rage that a human being could choose to take another human being's life," she told a regional British Broadcasting Corp. show. "I rage that someone should do this in the name of a god. I find that utterly offensive.

"Can I forgive them for what they did? No, I cannot. And I don't wish to. I believe that there are some things in life which are unforgivable by the human spirit."

Mrs. Nicholson was the vicar at St. Aidan in Bristol, western England. The city's bishop, Michael Hill, said he fully understood her decision and praised her honesty.
the rest

Three arrested in Alabama church fires
Wed Mar 8, 2006 2:22 PM ET
By Peggy Gargis

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama (Reuters) - Authorities have arrested three college students in connection with a spate of fires that damaged or destroyed 10 Baptist churches in Alabama, investigators said on Wednesday.

Prosecutors identified the suspects as Ben Moseley and Russell Debusk, 19-year-old students at Birmingham-Southern College, and Matthew Lee Cloyd, 20, who transferred last year from Birmingham-Southern to attend the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Federal and state investigators planned to release details at an afternoon news conference.

The pastor at one of the destroyed churches said investigators notified him of the arrests on Wednesday.

"We are relieved. We were fearful while they were on the loose because we did not know their agenda," said Jim Parker, pastor of the Ashby Baptist Church in Brierfield, Alabama, which was burned to the ground.
The rest

Students say church arsons meant as ‘a joke’
Third suspect arrested in torchings of nine Alabama places of worship

NBC News and news services
Updated: 4:32 p.m. ET March 8, 2006

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Three college students, including two aspiring actors known around campus as pranksters, were arrested Wednesday in a string of nine church fires across Alabama. Federal agents said the defendants claimed the first few fires were set as “a joke” and the others were started to throw investigators off the track.
The rest

When we look out towards this love that moves the stars and stirs in the child's heart and claims our total allegiance, and remember that this alone is Reality and we are only real so far as we conform to its demands, we see our human situation from a fresh angle; and we perceive that it is both more humble and dependent, and more splendid, than we had dreamed. We are surrounded and penetrated by great spiritual forces of which we hardly know anything. Yet the outward events of our life cannot be understood, except in their relation to that unseen and intensely living world, the Infinite Charity which penetrates and supports us, the God whom we resist and yet for whom we thirst; who is ever at work, transforming the self-centred desire of the natural creature into the wide spreading, outpouring love of the citizen of Heaven.
Evelyn Underhill, The School of Charity photo

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Jeffrey Steel: Remember Lot’s Wife
This is the eighth in a series of daily Lenten devotionals by a
group of Anglican bloggers and friends. Today’s entry is by Jeffrey Steel of the Meam Commemorationem blog. You can read other entries in the series here.

Excerpt: "This idea for my devotional for the ‘Collaborative Lenten Blogging Effort’ is taken from a sermon preached during Lent by Bishop Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626). It was preached at Hampton Court, the sixth of March, 1594, before Queen Elizabeth I. The call is for the virtue of perseverance in grace. We live in dangerous days and the danger we face is our falling away. There is much decline of truth, as well as hope, to the extent that we frequently become overwhelmed and feel directionless. It has the potential of causing us to question or doubt what we have been called to as Christians. The pressures of this world upon the Church corporately, and each of us individually, often seems to be more than we can bear. What has often happened is that we move the goalposts of faith around to such an extent that it makes one wonder if he or she is still playing on the original pitch and in the original game. Do we go forward to Zoar or back again to Sodom? This ‘directionlessness’ is proof that Lot’s wife has been forgotten. The scriptures are replete with stories of remembering. Remembering is an important part of our Christian journey."

The rest at Lent and Beyond

Presiding Bishop Faults U.S. for Cuban Misery

Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold blamed Cuba’s misery on U.S. foreign policy from the pulpit of Havana’s Holy Trinity Cathedral. The Ash Wednesday homily concluded a six-day pastoral visit to the Anglican Church in Cuba.

“I have been saddened to see the suffering caused by the policies of my country’s government,” Bishop Griswold said. “The Episcopal Church in the United States strongly opposes the blockade against Cuba. In the four decades of its existence, the blockade has done little except exacerbate the suffering of the Cuban people”.

Bishop Griswold said U.S. policies have driven wedges among the people of Cuba, “wedges that are profoundly at odds with the scriptural call to unity among all people in Christ.”

He praised Cuba’s educational and medical programs during his visit and condemned the U.S. embargo which he said, “has helped fuel inhumane poverty among your people, brought large parts of your magnificent cities and infrastructure to ruins, and cut off Cuban families from the support – financial and otherwise – of their loved ones in the United States.”

The rest at The Living Church

Life at the Edge of the Furnace
Matt Kennedy+

What should openly Network parishes in revisionist diocese expect after 2006?

No one can really answer that question. But there are six assumptions I believe ACN clergy in hostile diocese should adopt.

1. Assume you will be inhibited and ultimately deposed by your bishop. Whether it happens or not, if you mentally and spiritually accept this possibility threats will not frighten you.

2. Assume that some parishioners who seem solid will begin to break as inter-diocesan pressure mounts. As with any organism, the strongest drive within the parish body is the drive to maintain homeostasis. Change is dangerous. Any break (institutionally or relationally) between you and your diocese will cause even some who agree with you on the merits to align themselves with those who advocate compromise.

3. Assume that you will make a procedural error of some sort that can and most likely will be construed as a violation of canon by a hostile bishop/standing committee. Don’t let such mistakes cow you into surrender out of a misplaced sense of guilt.

4. Assume that you are facing powers and principalities. Are you feeling depressed? Is your family life increasingly marked by discord? Are you being tempted in ways and, to be honest, failing in ways you never imagined? You are under attack, the attacks will intensify. Daily time in prayer and the Word are absolute necessities.

The rest!

Anglican advisors reject divestment
Mar. 7, 2006 21:34

Divestment activists in the UK were handed a defeat today after the Church of England's financial advisors voted unanimously to reject the Church's call to divest from Caterpillar Inc.

The Ethical Investment Advisory Group [EIAG] voted unanimously on March 7 not to divest from Caterpillar, and said it would review the issue "if there are new sales of Caterpillar equipment to the Israeli Defense Forces for use in the demolition of Palestinian houses".

The recommendation repudiates a February 6 vote by the General Synod, the Church's parliament, to divest from Caterpillar and other companies whose products are used by the Israeli government in the territories. The vote sparked widespread opprobrium from Jewish and Christian leaders led by the Chief Rabbi of Britain, Jonathan Sacks, and the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, who denounced the divestment vote as feckless and ill-considered.

John Reynolds, chairman of the EIAG, acknowledged that divestment "is hugely contentious" and noted it had taken General Synod's call to divest "very seriously. He added that at its special meeting, EIAG had considered all the points made in the debate and given particular weight to the letter it had received" from the Jerusalem-based Anglican Bishop Riah Abu al-Assal in support of divestment.However, EIAG stated on March 7 it "could find no compelling evidence that Caterpillar is or has been complicit in human rights abuses."
The rest

Ohio justices rule parents can sue for fetal test error
By Andrew Welsh-Huggins
Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Parents can sue a doctor if a genetic screening misses a severe or fatal condition that would have caused them to seek an abortion, a divided state Supreme Court ruled Friday.

The 4-3 decision limited such lawsuits to costs associated with a pregnancy and birth, saying such parents could not sue for pain-and-suffering damages or repayment of the costs of raising a disabled child.

The decision was a partial victory for a Kentucky couple who sued a Cincinnati obstetrics practice and hospital that provided genetic counseling and told them their fetus did not have a genetic disorder that the mother carried. But the 8-year-old boy has the disorder and can’t speak or crawl.

The finding overruled a lower-court decision that Richard and Helen Schirmer could sue for the costs of raising their disabled son.
The rest

Episcopal Bishop Back to Work After Rehab
March 7, 2006, 5:01PM

CONCORD, N.H. — Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson is back on the job after spending a month receiving treatment for an alcohol problem.

"He is going to kind of ease back in to things," Robinson spokesman Mike Barwell said Tuesday.
The New Hampshire bishop returned from treatment last week and came into the office Monday for the first time in a month. Barwell said Robinson was catching up with work and was not granting interviews.

"We are going to keep a low profile," he said. The Diocese of New Hampshire planned an announcement on its Web site Wednesday.
The rest

Franklin Graham to Follow Largest Festival with New Orleans 'Celebration'
Tuesday, Mar. 7, 2006 Posted: 4:27:43PM EST

After visiting the U.S. Gulf Coast five times in relief efforts since Hurricane Katrina's landfall last year, evangelist Franklin Graham will be providing a spiritual anchor of hope for the storm victims this weekend.

Picking up the pace after his father Billy Graham said farewell at his final evangelistic crusade in New York, Franklin is making no pause this year to spread the message of hope. Just coming out of his first major festival in Asia, Franklin Graham is now headed to the New Orleans Arena where thousands of the Katrina-affected population will attend the Celebration of Hope on Mar. 11-12.

An added word of encouragement will also come from 87-year-old Billy Graham, if health permits, for those in the Gulf States.

More than 215 churches, many of which have opened their doors to provide relief and support, have joined in a larger effort to offer the acceptance of Jesus Christ to the tens of thousands who have lost virtually everything.

The New Orleans festival follows Franklin Graham's largest festival ever in Manila, Philippines this past month. At least 317,600 people attended the Metro Manila Franklin Graham Festival. Although the Asian land was familiar to the evangelist who has done continuous aid work with the evangelical aid organization Samaritan's Purse, it was Graham's first evangelistic event in Asia.
The rest

Anglican Consultative Head Apologizes for Ostracizing Episcopal Church
Tuesday, Mar. 7, 2006 Posted: 4:36:00PM EST

The head of the Anglican body that told the U.S. Episcopal Church to temporarily rescind its membership from key international Anglican gatherings apologized Monday and said the global communion “needs the Episcopal Church.”

"The Anglican Communion needs the Episcopal Church," said John Paterson, bishop of Auckland and chair of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC). "I would be so bold as to say that the reverse is also true. The Episcopal Church needs the Anglican Communion. The ACC needs the Episcopal Church.

"Speaking at the ECUSA Executive Council meeting in Philadelphia on Mar. 6, Paterson also apologized for the ACC’s decision to limit the participation of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada during the last ACC meeting in Nottingham, England in June 2005.

"I apologize and at the same time I commend your representatives for the manner in which they managed to somehow stay with the body that was treating them so badly," Paterson said.

His comments come at a time of heightened tension for the global Anglican Communion which has faced a serious threat of schism since the ECUSA ordained an openly homosexual bishop in 2003. They also come less than a month after the diocese of California nominated two openly gay candidates for bishop, rejecting an international plea to place a moratorium on ordaining any more homosexuals.

Despite such actions, Paterson ended his speech on a positive note, saying he hopes the Communion can be declared as a “living Communion.”
The rest

Pope: “Computer Technology is the Future”
At the Christian Resources Exhibition held last month, modern technology was showcased to adapt for Church purposes.
Posted: Tuesday, March 7 , 2006, 10:25 (UK)

At the Christian Resources Exhibition held last month, modern technology was showcased to adapt for Church purposes.

Features included demonstrations of instant hymn tunes downloaded from the Internet; Bible passages and hymn words mixed with video on a giant video screen; live prayers and greetings sent in from worshippers round the world joining in the service through the Internet; a Thought for the Day webcam from a worshipper in a remote location; and a demonstration of gospel magic from illusionist Steve Price.

Tim Finch, director of DirectCast, which provides on-location live Internet streaming, says: "Churches will be able to link live with congregations who remain at home using video, audio and two-way messaging links as easily as they can now use overhead projectors.

Pope Benedict XVI Gets an iPod
Tuesday, March 7, 2006 5:46 p.m. EST

Vatican Radio employees gave Pope Benedict XVI a new iPod nano loaded with special Vatican Radio programming and classical music to honor his first visit to broadcasting headquarters.

Vatican Radio offers podcasts in eight languages, so the pope can now plug in and import the broadcasting service's audio files.

Pope Benedict visited the programming and broadcasting hub on March 3 to mark the station's 75th anniversary.
The rest

The Grace and Greatness of True Humility
Albert Mohler
President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

CNN founder Ted Turner once remarked, "If I only had a little humility, I would be perfect." In a strange and almost perfectly ironic sense, this statement encapsulates the spirit of our age--an attitude that gives lip service to humility while celebrating self-promotion. Humility is hardly a hallmark of our age.

From the playing fields of athletics to the trading floors of Wall Street, humility appears to be an accessory few persons believe they can afford. The dominant personalities and cultural icons of our day are most often individuals adept at self-promotion and projection. Sadly, this confusion about the true calling of humility is found even in the church, where humility is too often seen as a gift granted to the few, rather than as the command addressed to all.
the rest

Pro-life women in South Dakota legislature destroying myths about abortion laws
Mar 7, 2006
By Michael Foust
Baptist Press

PIERRE, S.D. (BP)--Slowly but surely, female legislators in South Dakota are shattering the myth that says male politicians are the only ones who support abortion restrictions.

Of the 16 women in the South Dakota House and Senate, 11 voted in February for a bill that would ban all abortions in the state, unless it's necessary to save the mother's life. Signed into law Feb. 6 by Republican Gov. Mike Rounds, the effort is a direct challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide. The law would go into effect July 1, although it likely will be struck down before then in federal court. Supporters hope the high court takes the case and overturns Roe.

"I just turned 40 this year, and I think it's extremely important that women my age speak out and say that abortion hurts women," South Dakota state Rep. Keri K. Weems, a Republican who represents part of Sioux Falls and who voted for the bill, told Baptist Press. "We want to not only protect women but also to protect babies."
The rest

Hindu nationalists try to close Christian schools, hospitals and orphanages
March 6, 2006

Rajasthan (MNN) -- Christians continue to be the targets of violence in India's Rajasthan State. This time it's with the approval of the state government. It's hitting the ministry of
Hopegivers International especially hard.

Hopegivers Bill Bray tells Mission Network News Hindu nationals are upset with a book of comparative religions that takes a negative view of Hinduism. Bray says it's not even published by Hopegivers, but the Hindu government is reacting like they did. "In Cota, where our headquarters is located of Hopegivers, they have revoked all of the licenses of all of our institutions en masse. So, the police are going around, putting up cease and desist orders on the schools, on the hospital, on the orphanage."

Hopegivers health care workers and orphanage workers aren't giving in, though. "The doctors and the nurses said, 'well, you can take us and the patients to jail if you want, people will die. We can not close the hospital.' So, they just stood against them. Then, the orphanage with the 2,500 kids, all of our people are standing their ground," says Bray.

Woman loses European frozen embryo case
Tue Mar 7, 2006 10:57 AM GMT

LONDON (Reuters) - An infertile British woman on Tuesday lost her European Court of Human Rights challenge to British rulings which said she cannot use six frozen embryos fertilised by her ex-partner.

Natallie Evans, 34, had wanted to have the embryos implanted in a bid to have a baby naturally, despite opposition from the man who provided the sperm.

She spent years in the British courts seeking access to the embryos but the High Court and Court of Appeal both ruled she was not entitled to them because her former partner, Howard Johnston had withdrawn his consent for them to be used.
The rest

Annual pro-life rally draws hundreds to State House
By S.A. Miller
March 7, 2006

ANNAPOLIS -- Hundreds of pro-life activists attended an annual rally at the State House last night, a large turnout that organizers say highlights the movement's momentum -- even in heavily Democratic Maryland -- now that a more conservative U.S. Supreme Court will consider abortion laws.

"When Roe v. Wade does come down, we have to be ready for it," said Stephen G. Peroutka, chairman of the National Pro-Life Action Center, referring to the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

A challenge to Roe v. Wade also was set up yesterday, when South Dakota Gov. Michael Rounds signed into law a ban of nearly all abortions in that state. The law is expected to take effect July 1.
the rest

Healing through prayer
By Jen Waters
March 7, 2006

The Rev. Nigel Mumford said he is preaching the kingdom of God and healing the sick, as Jesus instructed his followers to do.

"Some churches preach the kingdom; even fewer heal the sick," said Mr. Mumford, director of healing ministry at Christ the King Spiritual Life Center in Greenwich, N.Y. "For some reason, the healing ministry has had a bad rap."

Because of scandals involving television evangelists, most Americans discount prayer for healing as nothing more than wishful thinking, Mr. Mumford said, but some Christians are trying to restore dignity to the notion that Jesus is a healer. In 2003, he said, he spoke to more than 400 physicians at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore.

As a former drill instructor for the Royal Marine Commando in Britain, Mr. Mumford said, he has seen man's inhumanity to man, but he also has seen God's healing grace to man. He describes his experiences in the book "Hand to Hand: From Combat to Healing."
The rest

Monday, March 06, 2006

Wherever... thou shalt be, pray secretly within thyself. If thou shalt be far from a house of prayer, give not thyself trouble to seek for one, for thou thyself art a sanctuary designed for prayer. If thou shalt be in bed, or in any other place, pray there; thy temple is there. ...
Bernard of Clairvaux photo

Lawyer for All Saints in Rochester, NY Comments on Bishop's Lawsuit

"It is no surprise that Jack McKelvey, the revisionist (charitably called reappraising) bishop of Rochester, has sued not only the parish, but also the rector and all of vestrymen individually of All Saints Church in Rochester, New York. In doing so he treats the scripture about not suing your Christian brother in a secular court (1 Corinthians 6:1-8) just the same as he treats the scripture about homosexual behavior being a sin (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). McKelvey is perfectly consistent in his contempt for God’s word. As is to be expected. Perhaps he learned this from Bishop Bennison of Philadelphia who once famously said, “the church wrote the Bible, so we can rewrite the Bible.” Or maybe he learned it in the nine years he was suffragan bishop of John Shelby Spong in the diocese of Newark. In any case he apparently knows how to ignore inconvenient biblical sayings."

Raymond Dague is the attorney for All Saint’s in Rochester, New York.

Rochester Diocese Sues Irondequoit Parish; Rector, Vestry Also Named

The Diocese of Rochester announced at a press conference Monday that it will be asking the New York State Supreme Court, Monroe County, to award it the property and records of the former parish of All Saints' Church, Irondequoit, N.Y., as well as unspecified personal damages from the former rector and vestry.

Last November the Rochester diocesan convention voted to terminate the All Saints' parish charter. The parish has continued to hold regular worship services, claiming affiliation and episcopal leadership from the Anglican Province of Uganda.

“We had hoped to come to an arrangement for receiving keys to come to an arrangement for receiving keys to the property and the records of people’s lives – baptisms, confirmations, marriages, burials, and financial records – without taking the action we have today,” the diocese said in a prepared statement. “But after repeated requests, the former rector and leadership continue to deny us access to both property and records, while continuing to meet in the space without our permission.”

The statement said the diocese is willing to withdraw the complaint if the parish leadership turns over the property and records and “take responsibility for dissolving the secular corporation that is All Saints' Protestant Episcopal Church.”

The rest at The Living Church