Saturday, June 17, 2006

Our Field of Battle

For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you. (Deuteronomy 20:4)

We have no enemies but the enemies of God. Our fights are not against men but against spiritual wickednesses. We war with the devil and the blasphemy and error and despair which he brings into the field of battle. We fight with all the armies of sin—impurity, drunkenness, oppression, infidelity, and ungodliness. With these we contend earnestly, but not with sword or spear; the weapons of our warfare are not carnal.

Jehovah, our God, abhors everything which is evil, and, therefore, He goeth with us to fight for us in this crusade. He will save us, and He will give us grace to war a good warfare and win the victory. We may depend upon it that if we are on God's side God is on our side. With such an august ally the conflict is never in the least degree doubtful. It is not that truth is mighty and must prevail but that might lies with the Father who is almighty, with Jesus who has all power in heaven and in earth, and with the Holy Spirit who worketh His will among men.

Soldiers of Christ, gird on your armor. Strike home in the name of the God of holiness, and by faith grasp His salvation. Let not this day pass without striking a blow for Jesus and holiness
.
CH Spurgeon

Episcopalians to Choose New Leader
Saturday June 17, 2006 9:46 PM
By RACHEL ZOLL
AP Religion Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Episcopal General Convention is choosing a new presiding bishop during a critical meeting on its future in the global Anglican family.

Seven candidates to become chief pastor were introduced to delegates Saturday, one day ahead of the election, in a short session without any comment from the nominees. Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold is ending his nine-year term.

The candidates are Bishop Edwin Gulick of Kentucky; Bishop Stacy Sauls of Lexington, Ky., which is a separate diocese; Bishop Charles Jenkins of Louisiana; Bishop Neil Alexander of Atlanta; Nevada Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori; Alabama Bishop Henry Parsley and Bishop Francisco Duque-Gomez of the Episcopal Church in Colombia, which is part of the U.S. church.
the rest

COLUMBUS, OH: The Episcopal Church Is Now That "Gay Church,' Says AAC Leader
Faithful will find it increasingly hard to remain in ECUSA after convention, Anderson says
By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
6/17/2006

Even as the Episcopal General Convention's full response to the wider Anglican Communion remains at this point incomplete, the president of the American Anglican Council (AAC) sees no turnaround in ECUSA's pursuit of the homosexual agenda, noting that nationally the denomination is now known as "the gay church."

"To have a sexual agenda attached to the church is truly unfortunate. When neighbors ask what church you belong too, there is a catch in your throat, you tell them, and then wait for a response. 'Isn't that the gay church of Gene Robinson?' And then you have to explain that that is not my personal belief."
the rest at Virtueonline

Split now inevitable, saving miracle'
Saturday, 17 June 2006
Ruth Gledhill weblog

First it was John Sentamu, then Rowan Williams in a message read by Sentamu, then Tom Wright. Now the Bishop of Rochester Dr Michael Nazir-Ali has caused a stir with a strong sermon at GenCon06. Yet as the final version of the key Windsor resolution shows, and as others also reveal, The Episcopal Church is bent on going its own way. The Church of England's most senior leaders have done their best to save their daughter church from schism. Sadly, their best, it seems, has not been enough. The Classical Anglican GenCon weblog, named best weblog of the convention by the BBC, reports the latest developments.

the rest

Is ECUSA Taking the WR Seriously?
6/17/06

So far the key issues of authority, salvation, Jesus, and the nature of Communion have not be seriously addressed by General Convention and it has become clear that ECUSA has no interest in addressing these issues. The ECUSA platform is built on a new religion and as Dr. Peter Toon points out, the sides are separated by a grand canyon.

We wonder how must this recalcitrant assembly appear to our Anglican brethren overseas?

the rest at Drell's Descants


Be strong!
We are not here to play, to dream, to drift,
We have hard work to do, and loads to lift.
Shun not the struggle; face it. 'Tis God's gift.

Be strong!
Say not the days are evil, - Who's to blame?
And fold not the hands and acquiesce, - O shame!
Stand up, speak out, and bravely, in God's name.

Be strong!
It matters not how deep entrenched the wrong,
How hard the battle goes, the day, how long.
Faint not, fight on! To-morrow comes the song.
Maltbie Davenport (Mattie D) Babcock

AAC MEDIA ADVISORY: AAC TO HOST MEDIA CONFERENCE

The House of Bishops will meet in special session to elect the 26th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) on Sunday, June 18, 2006 at 10:30 AM. Upon completion of the election process, the Presiding Bishop-elect will be presented to the House of Deputies.

The American Anglican Council will host a media conference at the Nationwide Arena (in the same space in which the AAC holds its daily deputies’ briefings), 30 minutes following the conclusion of the Episcopal News Service (ENS) media conference.

Canon David C. Anderson and other AAC leaders will be available for comment as well as questions from the media.
the rest

Episcopalians Told: 'Choose You This Day Whom You Will Follow'
by Pete Winn, associate editor


Episcopal Church USA conference considers whether to elect more gay leaders.

Leaders of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America (ECUSA), meeting this week in general convention at Columbus, Ohio, are poised to decide whether the denomination will swear-off installing any more gay bishops -- in an attempt to appease the mother church, the nearly 80-million strong Worldwide Anglican Communion.

Bishops of the Anglican Communion have asked the American church to express regret -- "repentance" -- for installing in 2003 Bishop V. Gene Robinson, as the first openly gay bishop in the church's history. The communion is also asking ECUSA to not do it again.

Is the American church repentant?

"Absolutely not," The Rev. Canon David Anderson of the American Anglican Council told CitizenLink. "They are committed to their trajectory of heading further and further away from historic Christianity and into things that are culturally derived."
the rest

Bishops Oppose Gay Marriage Ban
06/17/2006

The House of Bishops endorsed a resolution opposing a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage during its June 16 afternoon session at the 75th General Convention in Columbus, Ohio. Traditionalists called the vote a “back-door” endorsement of gay marriage -- a proposition denied by gay and lesbian activists who argue the language speaks only to the church’s concern for equal protection for all people under law.

Proposed by the Standing Committee on Social and Urban Affairs, Resolution A095 sought to reaffirm the church’s “support of gay and lesbian persons as children of God,” and stated its opposition to “any state or federal constitutional amendment that prohibits same-sex civil marriage or civil unions.”

The Bishop of Vermont, the Rt. Rev. Thomas Ely, rose in support, endorsing the promotion of civil and constitutional protections for gays and lesbians. “I hope it might encourage us to support” the full inclusion of gays and lesbians into the life of the church," he said.

the rest at The Living Church

Anglican uproar draws divided response
By RICHARD VARA
Houston Chronicle

June 17, 2006

COLUMBUS, OHIO - An Episcopal Church committee fashioning a response to Anglican Communion concerns about sexuality issues will work during the weekend as the denomination's national assembly tensely awaits its action.

The 18-member committee appeared divided Friday about requests by the worldwide church to put a moratorium on gay candidates for bishop and on public rites for the blessing of same-sex unions.
the rest

U.S. church heads for deadlock on split with Anglican communion
Stephen Bates in Columbus, Ohio
Saturday June 17, 2006
The Guardian

The American Episcopal church appeared to be heading for deadlock at its general convention in Ohio last night as it discussed how to appease the rest of the Anglican world over its election of a gay bishop.

This weekend will see a vital moment in the life of the 77 million-strong worldwide Anglican communion, as the members of the US church, sister to the Church of England, debate effectively whether they wish to remain within membership.
the rest

Ky. School Board Votes Unanimously to Keep Christ in Calendars
Saturday, Jun. 17, 2006

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The state school board on Wednesday scrapped a plan to teach students about an alternative to the calendar terms B.C. and A.D., which carry religious overtones.

The board, with six new members appointed by Gov. Ernie Fletcher, reversed a decision two months ago that had sparked a religious debate in Kentucky.

The traditional B.C. and A.D. designations mean Before Christ and Anno Domini, Latin for "in the year of the Lord." The board on April 11 adopted curriculum changes that included teaching the designations B.C.E., for Before Common Era, and C.E., for Common Era.

The change drew criticism from some activist ministers and religious groups. Some conservative Christians complained the change was an attempt to sterilize a reference to Christ.
the rest

Top U.K. Anglicans Boost Pressure on Episcopalians
Saturday, Jun. 17, 2006
Posted: 9:02:07AM EST

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Top British Anglican leaders are bringing new pressure on the Episcopal General Convention to enact a ban on electing gay bishops before the assembly ends next week.

If the legislative body fails to endorse a moratorium, the overseas bishops fear the divide in the global Anglican Communion over homosexuality will escalate to a full-blown schism.

Church of England Bishop N.T. Wright of Durham said in a statement being widely circulated at the meeting that prohibiting gay bishops — for now, anyway — is "the least that can be done that will restore the unity that has already been lost.

"The crisis erupted in 2003, when the Episcopalians consecrated New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson, who lives with his longtime male partner. The move shocked conservative Anglicans around the world, who believe gay sex violates Scripture.
the rest

3 Million Evangelical Protestants Rally in Brazil
A huge rally with 3 million evangelical Protestants has taken place this week in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the country’s biggest city.
Posted: Saturday, June 17 , 2006

A huge rally with 3 million evangelical Protestants has taken place this week in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the country’s biggest city
.

The gathering revealed the growing influence of the Protestant Church in the world’s largest Roman Catholic country.

Christian music was played, and thousands wore T-shirts in the nation’s famous green and yellow colours, as marchers looked to advertise their yearly ‘March for Jesus’ campaign.As the rally went on, evangelicals sung hymns and gathered at Agenda Palest, which is Sao Paulo’s financial centre.

The rally proved a great success, as the crowd was estimated by police to be up to 3 million people, which is double that of the 2005 rally.

The day has become a massive religious day in Brazil, as the Catholic Church celebrates the Corpus Christi holiday, and the evangelical Protestants take part in the march. the rest

Scrap marriage, says Christian group
( Filed: 17/06/2006)

Marriage should be abolished and replaced by a variety of civil partnerships, a progressive religious think-tank has suggested.

Christian group Ekklesia said the abolition of legal marriage would allow couples to specify the type of legal commitment they wished to make to one another.

Under their proposals, couples would still be allowed to marry if they wished but the legal aspect would be removed from the ceremony and they would then have to register their partnership under law in a separate process.

The group believes the current situation is confused by attempts to fuse Christian and civil concepts of marriage into a "one-size-fits-all" arrangement.

Under existing law, if a couple marries in a Church of England ceremony they are simultaneously legally and religiously married because of its status as the Established Church.
the rest

Episcopalians debate sexuality issues
By Julia Duin
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
June 17, 2006

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Four days into their triennial General Convention, Episcopalians are nowhere close to resolving the sexuality issues that have alienated the Episcopal Church from much of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Late yesterday afternoon, Episcopal bishops approved a nuanced resolution agreeing to take part in a "listening process" on homosexuality throughout the 70-million-member Anglican Communion. It was the first -- and the tamest -- of 11 resolutions that will be voted on in the next five days dealing with the denomination's decision in 2003 to consecrate Canon V. Gene Robinson as Anglicanism's first openly homosexual bishop.

Episcopal deputies will now consider the resolution. The Episcopal Church is a bicameral body structured like Congress, where both houses must pass a resolution before it takes effect.
the rest

Sarah Hey: Participating in the "Sea Change" of ECUSA History: Trend Spotting and Media Analysis

Not the miracle that we asked for . . . so what's different about this General Convention?
June 17, 7:16 am

I promised a report on the two hour stretch of time that covered the Larry King Live show and its aftermath.

You may recall that we last left Matt and me kneeling in front of the television, adding comments to the live thread at Stand Firm and viewing 7 members of different denominations duke it out on national television.

I won’t go into analysis of the arguments and effectiveness of the seven warriors. That has already been accomplished in various other online venues. I do need to say something nice about our Presiding Bishop here -- or at least something even-handed. It is well-nigh impossible to explain his theology of “pluriform truths” in brisk soundbytes on a 43 minute show, sharing that space with 6 other people, all the while making it peppy, articulate yet not-boring, and winning. It is also well-nigh impossible to do that with 2000 years of church history and scripture, on the other, traditional side of the fence. It appeared to me that both Presiding Bishop Griswold and Canon David Anderson were dealing with a time lag between the question being asked by Larry King and their actually hearing that question, since they were not in real-presence, real-time with Larry King. I didn't notice it with the others [and not all of them were live either] but I did notice the gap with both of those two.
the rest

Matt Kennedy+: SCECAC Saturday Morning: How to Say You're Sorry?
June 17, 7:34 am

It’s 7:18am. I forgot to mention yesterday that the hearing is being moved down to the Hayes room which means that live-blogging is impossible. The connection in this room is spotty and weak at best.

This morning will, perhaps be the most important committee meeting of all. What we saw last night was incredible. With +Lee’s suggested language, and the work done overnight in special committee, I believe there is at least a good possibility that Windsor compliant language will emerge from the special committee. There is no chance I would have said that before last night.

If this happens the work is still far from over. Not only should we expect some pushback this morning, there are two hurdles, make that Himalayan mountain passes, still to jump: the HOB and the HOD.

The victory would simply be getting WR compliant language out of committee so that both houses would be presented with a clear choice. There is also hope and I’ll name it: a coalition between the center left and the full spectrum of the orthodox who together work for compliance.
the rest

Friday, June 16, 2006

Word received:
CRY OUT TO ME FOR MY CHURCH.

Lord, hover over your church meeting in Columbus to accomplish your will. Pour out your Spirit of Truth and repentance. Convict your people of rebellion and unbelief. Reveal both your love and your righteousness. Touch every heart that is still capable of repentance. You are Lord of your church. Have your way with them Lord. Pour out your anointing on your faithful ones; clothe them with your armor, your holy boldness and strength. Give them words to say and your timing. Have mercy on all who have been led astray and all who have led others astray in ignorance. Heal those who have looked for love and affirmation in all the wrong places. Bring them to healing, repentance and wholeness. "Cry out to Me for My church." Protect and defend your faithful ones from all the attacks and traps of the Enemy. We pray that in your straight path your faithful ones will not stumble.

Albany Intercessor photo

Matt Kennedy+: AAC Press Conference: Voting with Their Feet
Canon Anderson: On average 700 people have left the Episcopal Church every week since 1965

June 16, 11:19 am

It's 1:22 and I'm at the Nationwide Arena for the AAC daily briefing. I just met Kevin Kalleson from CT6. He's going to video today's briefing so I'll be sure and link his stuff.

E Brust+ is at the podium to open the events. He launches into his devotion. Dt 10

Since it is posted on the AAC General Convention website, I'll simply
link it. Today's devotion is very good, as usual, and its better to listen to these sorts of things than to blog them....

Ugh...I’m having computer problems and I’ve had to miss a significant portion of the briefing getting unfrozen. I’ve missed report…so I’ll just make sure I get it tomorrow.

the rest at Stand Firm

CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Gays in the Church?
Aired June 15, 2006

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LARRY KING, HOST: Good evening. Like so much of the country, the Episcopal Church is in turmoil over gay rights. It first came to a head three years ago when openly gay Gene Robinson was confirmed as the church's ninth bishop of New Hampshire. His confirmation at an official Episcopal gathering in 2003 triggered a walk out by some conservatives and at the Episcopal General convention now going on in Columbus, Ohio, many church officials are saying that a split is inevitable. We have a major panel to discuss this. In Columbus is Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church. Here in Los Angeles, Reverend Jo Hudson. Joe is pastor of the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, Texas, one of the Texas's largest predominantly gay churches in the United States. She's an ordained member in the United Church of Christ in Washington is Andrew Sullivan, "Time" magazine columnist, openly gay Catholic. His blog site by the way is andrewsullivan.com. In Columbus, Ohio is Reverend Canon David Anderson, president and CEO of the Anglican American Council who opposes gay clergy in the church, in Los Angeles, Father Michael Manning, Roman Catholic priest, host of the Word and the World, and in Roanoke, Virginia, Reverend Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

the rest here

Milwaukee Diocese: Grace members fire back at bishop
By Pat Schneider

Fourteen members of the Grace Episcopal congregation and Associate Pastor Roman Shemayev brought a complaint today against Bishop Steven A. Miller, accusing him of violating church law in bringing charges against Grace Rector Martha Ann Englert.

The complaint alleges that Miller, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee, which includes Madison, abused the authority of his office. The complaint alleges he tried to sway the church body that would consider accusations that Englert had disclosed confidential information about and made inappropriate remarks regarding Grace parishioners and staff members.

Miller also told congregation members at a May 7 meeting that the allegations against Englert constituted the offense of conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy, never advising parishioners that Englert was to be presumed not guilty unless the church met its burden of proof, the complaint says.
the rest

The New Cathedrals? Suburban mega-churches move into public life.
by Mark D. Tooley
06/16/2006

WHEN TWO FAIRFAX COUNTY POLICE OFFICERS were slain by a deranged teenager in mid-May, their funerals were both held at the 10,000-member McLean Bible Church in Vienna, Virginia, about 15 miles outside Washington, D.C.

Detective Vicky Armel, the mother of two young children, was a recent convert to Christianity and an active member at an evangelical church in Culpepper, Virginia. Master Police Officer Michael Garbarino was a faithful member of St. Mark Orthodox Church in Bethesda, Maryland. His priest presided over an Orthodox funeral service in McLean Bible's enormous auditorium, where 2,400 mourners had gathered, with over a thousand more seated in viewing rooms.

The funerals of both officers Armel and Garbarino were understandably public events, attracting thousands of grief-stricken friends and respectful strangers, along with politicians and civic leaders. Such funerals in the past may have been held at a cathedral or a traditional Gothic structure belonging to Episcopalians or Presbyterians, or perhaps a tall-steepled Baptist structure.
the rest

Bishops will choose church’s new leader Sunday
Friday, June 16, 2006
By Dennis M. Mahoney
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

Bishops of the Episcopal Church USA will cloister Sunday morning inside Trinity Church Downtown to elect the denomination’s new leader.

About 300 bishops will vote on the successor to Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, who was elected in 1997. The presiding bishop serves nine years and is limited to one term.

the rest

Undecided, oblivious, or utterly entrenched
Commentary by Ruth Gledhill

TO OBSERVERS of the General Convention in Ohio it looks as though the US Anglicans have already decided to “walk apart”.

The Episcopal Church of the USA, known by the unwieldy acronym Ecusa, has been renamed the Episcopal Church. This is ostensibly because it includes more than a dozen other countries besides the US. But to many it looks as though an alternative structure, or communion, is being prepared to sit alongside the Anglican Communion should the US be asked to leave the worldwide church.

Schism is not a foregone conclusion, however. Resolutions are currently being “perfected” in a drawn-out committee process that should come to an end soon. They will then be voted upon by bishops and deputies.

In the next few days, delegates will be asked to decide whether the US church should “repent” of its actions in pursuing the liberal gay agenda, or merely of their effect. And they will be asked to decide whether a formal moratorium should be imposed on the consecration of any more gay bishops.
the rest

Deadlock looms over response to gay cleric
Stephen Bates, religious affairs correspondent in Columbus, Ohio
Friday June 16, 2006

The American Episcopal Church appeared to be heading for deadlock at its general convention in Ohio tonight as it discussed how to appease the rest of the Anglican world over its election of a gay bishop.

This weekend will see a vital moment in the life of 77 million-strong worldwide Anglican communion as members of the US church, sister to the Church of England, effectively debate whether they wish to remain within the communion or not.
the rest


God has wisely kept us in the dark concerning future events and reserved for himself the knowledge of them, that he may train us up in a dependence upon himself and a continued readiness for every event.

Matthew Henry
photo

Sharing Bishop Duncan’s Pain
Dr. Peter Toon+

I believe, with the greatest of heartbreak and sadness, that the day has arrived where those who have chosen the Episcopal Church because of its catholic and evangelical reliability, and those who have chosen the Episcopal Church for its revolutionary character, can no longer be held together. For which Episcopal Church will the Committee, and then this Convention, decide? The future in Communion rests only with the former of the two. It cannot be both ways into the future.

Not a few people of varied persuasions believe that the Episcopal Church stands on the brink of being unable to find a way to achieve a common mind on how to respond to the requirements of The Windsor Report. And, thus, not a few also share the pain expressed by the Bishop.

Let us examine the position of each side.

the rest at General Convention 2006 website

The Other Is Never Wrong
By R. Andrew Newman
Published 6/15/2006

The Episcopal Church's fight over gay marriage and its strained relations with a sizeable swath of the Anglican Communion will dominate the headlines for yet another General Convention.

That, I'm afraid, is old news. The battle's been decided, only a matter of when, not if, same-sex ceremonies receive the national church's imprimatur. For the meantime, American bishops will continue to offer bafflegab (pluriform truth, I believe the Presiding Bishop calls it) and expressions of "regret" to the outraged Anglicans of Africa and Asia.

Reading through the resolutions and reports for this year's triennial convention, which opened Tuesday and concludes June 21, something
else struck me. I could say politics struts center stage in Columbus, Ohio, or that nothing seems to stand outside of ECUSA's competence. In Olympian fashion, resolutions and reports call for an end to global poverty, Israel to halt its "occupation" and stop oppressing the Palestinians, full civil rights for same-sex couples, making it easier to cast a ballot for President of the United States than to write a check at the Piggly Wiggly, support for sustainable agriculture, the elimination of racism, and waging peace in Iraq. the rest

Full Compliance is Sought
6/16/06

On Wednesday night, June 14, in the Hyatt Ballroom in downtown Columbus, more than 1,500 people came to hear testimonies before the Special Committee on the resolutions of the Windsor Report concerning the blessing of same-sex unions, election of bishops in same-sex relationships, and the need for repentance. Seventy people were given two minutes each to speak to the committee. Less than half of those who testified expressed an orthodox stand.

Network bishops and affiliates urge full compliance with the Windsor Report so that ECUSA’s may remain in fellowship with the Anglican Communion. Network bishops, priests, deacons and lay persons believe that the resolutions as they stand fall short of what the Windsor Report requires and have asked for clarity and honesty. This is the time when it must be made clear whether ECUSA chooses to walk with or apart from the Anglican Communion.

The Windsor Report is the work of a special commission called for bythe Archbishop of Canterbury in response to the unprecedented actions of the General Convention in 2003 in approving the consecration of an openly homosexual bsihop for New Hampshire, in contradiction to 2000 years of Church doctrine and discipline. The Windsor Report recommendations call for a moratorium on the blessing of same-sex blessings, a moratorium on the election of bishops in same-sex relationships, and a statement of regret for these actions which have “torn the fabric” of the Communion.

The rest at Drell's Descants

New book tells Robinson's story
By ANNMARIE TIMMINS
Monitor staff
June 16. 2006 8:00AM

Gene Robinson's story has been told so many times since New Hampshire Episcopalians chose him bishop three years ago, it's hard to imagine there's anything new to say. But Elizabeth Adams, a member of a Hanover parish, has found a fresh story in her new book.

Titled Going to Heaven: The Life and Election of Bishop Gene Robinson, it's no surprise that Adams's account is a loving and sympathetic one. She introduces readers to Robinson, the talented and charismatic priest, and describes his homosexuality as a footnote for New Hampshire's Episcopalians - when it mattered at all.

But her book should interest more than Robinson supporters. Through Robinson's life, Adams has told a wider story: that of the Episcopal Church's longtime struggle with homosexuality and the ordination of women. Adams said the debate over the ordination of women was a telling parallel for her, and she hoped it would be a way for readers to appreciate the current debate over Robinson's election.
the rest

Episcopal House Affirms Commitment to Remain with Anglican Communion
Friday, Jun. 16, 2006

The Episcopal Church's top policymaking body was wrestling Friday with demands from fellow Anglicans to bar gays from the office of bishop for now.

A committee shepherding the General Convention response was considering whether it should revise a proposal that stops short of a moratorium. The legislation asks dioceses only to "exercise very considerable caution" when choosing their leaders.

Supporters of gay clergy have pleaded with Episcopalians not to create new barriers for homosexuals to maintain the church's role as the U.S. arm of the global Anglican Communion.

However, convention delegates have been coming under pressure from leading Anglican officials to toughen their legislation. Archbishop of York John Sentamu, the second-highest ranking cleric in the Church of England, is observing the meeting and has told Episcopal leaders that the measure does not go far enough toward healing Anglican divisions.
the rest

Courage and Compassion on Homosexuality
Albert Mohler
Friday, June 16, 2006

The church's engagement with the culture involves a host of issues, controversies, and decisions--but no issue defines our current cultural crisis as clearly as homosexuality. Some churches and denominations have capitulated to the demands of the homosexual rights movement, and now accept homosexuality as a fully valid lifestyle. Other denominations are tottering on the brink, and without a massive conservative resistance, they are almost certain to abandon biblical truth and bless what the Bible condemns.

Within a few short years, a major dividing line has become evident--with those churches endorsing homosexuality on one side, and those stubbornly resisting the cultural tide on the other.

The homosexual rights movement understands that the evangelical church is one of the last resistance movements committed to a biblical morality. Because of this, the movement has adopted a strategy of isolating Christian opposition, and forcing change by political action and cultural pressure. Can we count on evangelicals to remain steadfastly biblical on this issue?
the rest

Episcopalians debate issue of gay bishops
Friday, June 16, 2006

The Episcopal Church's top policymaking body was wrestling Friday with demands from fellow Anglicans to bar gays from the office of bishop for now.

A committee shepherding the General Convention response was considering whether it should revise a proposal that stops short of a moratorium. The legislation asks dioceses only to "exercise very considerable caution" when choosing their leaders.

Supporters of gay clergy have pleaded with Episcopalians not to create new barriers for homosexuals to maintain the church's role as the U.S. arm of the global Anglican Communion.
the rest

Court to Consider Oceanside Lesbian's Rights vs. Fertility Doctors' Religious Freedom
By Tony Perry, Times Staff Write
rJune 15, 2006

SAN DIEGO -- The state Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear a lawsuit by a lesbian against two fertility doctors who refused to artificially inseminate her on religious grounds.

Without comment, the court said it will hear the appeal by attorneys for Guadalupe T. Benitez, 34, of Oceanside in her lawsuit against Vista-based North Coast Women's Care Medical Group and Dr. Christine Brody and Dr. Douglas Fenton.

An appeals court ruled last year against Benitez, saying that the doctors could use religious freedom as a defense against her lawsuit. The doctors say their refusal was based on the fact that Benitez was unmarried, not because she's a lesbian.
the rest

Danforth says Episcopalians too focused on gay issues

COLUMBUS, Ohio Former Senator John Danforth, an Episcopal priest, says his denomination risks irrelevance by focusing on divisive issues such as gay clergy and same-gender couples.Instead, Danforth says Episcopalians should put their energy behind reconciling a world increasingly polarized by politics and religion.

Danforth made the comments during the Episcopal General Convention in Ohio, where delegates are deciding whether they should stop electing gay bishops for now and put restrictions on same-sex blessing ceremonies to appease irate fellow-Anglicans around the world.

The Episcopal convention runs through next Wednesday, but church leaders hope voting on the issue will be completed before the election of their new presiding bishop on Sunday.
link

Clinton Praises Evangelical Christians
By KAREN MATTHEWS
ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK (AP) - Former President Bill Clinton praised evangelical Christians on Thursday for their recent efforts on global warming and debt relief for poor nations and said he sees growing understanding between people of different faiths.

Clinton made the remarks while accepting an award from the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding. He said that as president he had "a consuming interest in the intersection of religion and politics."

He said evangelicals, few of whom voted for him, "were instrumental in the biggest debt relief initiative in history in my last year as president because they believed in the admonition of the Scripture to alleviate the burdens of the poor."
the rest

Ruling on marriage called 'real shocker'
By Charlie Brennan,
Rocky Mountain News
June 16, 2006

A common-law marriage in Colorado between a 14-year-old boy and 12-year-old girl is possible in the wake of an appellate court ruling Thursday.

That's the potential fallout from a Colorado Court of Appeals decision that overturned a lower court finding that 15 is too young for a girl to enter into common-law union.

"This is a real shocker," said Stephen Harhai, a Denver attorney and past chairman of the family law section of the Colorado Bar Association. "Under this action, this means your 12-year-old can, with whomever, say, 'I intend to be married to you,' and that's it, (they're) married. That's a little shocking."

The decision by a three-judge panel reversed a Weld County case in which a judge ruled that a 15- year-old girl was too young to consent to a common-law marriage.

It does not affect state law regarding "statutory" or conventional marriage in Colorado, which sets the minimum marriage age at 16 and requires either parental or judicial approval for 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds.
the rest

Episcopal deputies try to mend ties
RESOLUTION IS AIMED AT CONSERVATIVES
By Frank E. Lockwood
HERALD-LEADER RELIGION WRITER

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Deputies to the Episcopal Church's 75th general convention approved a resolution yesterday aimed at mending ties with more conservative Anglican churches around the world.
But more contentious issues relating to human sexuality lie ahead.

Conservatives and liberals called for the 2.2 million-member U.S. denomination "to seek to live into the highest degree of communion possible" with the 37 other national churches that make up the 77 million-member Anglican communion.

The churches, which trace their roots to the Church of England, have been divided since 2003, when the Episcopal Church voted to approve the ordination of an openly gay bishop, Lexington native Gene Robinson. The vote sparked an international controversy and warnings of schism.

The Rev. Ellison Pogo, primate and archbishop of the Church of Melanasia, said he is encouraged by yesterday's vote for greater communion.

"It is a very important sign," said Pogo, who is attending the convention. "Dialogue and conversation can only truly take place if we stay together."

The leader predicted the international communion won't crumble.
the rest

Author Wants to Enlighten Christians About Yoga's Demonic Influence
By Natalie Harris

June 15, 2006
(AgapePress) - Christian author Dave Hunt, co-founder of the Oregon-based ministry,
The Berean Call, has written a new book called Yoga and the Body of Christ. In it, he contends that yoga is a spiritually dangerous practice designed to expose people to demonic influences.

While conducting research for the book, Hunt says he studied the roots of yoga and interviewed many people who have practiced it. As a result of his investigation, he says he has concluded that the techniques employed in yoga are not designed primarily to promote health but to put participants in a mental state similar to that of hypnosis.

And it is not those critical or skeptical of yoga who are confirming these conclusions, the author points out. "These are the yogis, now. These are the people who developed it," he insists. "These are the people who practiced it, and they warned [that] you must always have your guru present when you get into this state of consciousness, because you could be taken over by some evil entity."
the rest

Anglican church in crisis debate
By Robert Pigott
BBC News, Columbus, Ohio

The Anglican Church in the United States is holding what is arguably the most important meeting in its history.

The Episcopal Church has been given until the end of its governing Convention to toe the traditionalist line of the rest of the Anglican Communion or face expulsion.

The crisis in the worldwide Anglican Church - which claims 75 million members - started when the Episcopal Church ordained the first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, in November 2003.

Since that event traditionalist Anglicans - many of them in the populous churches in developing countries - have been trying to get rid of the Episcopal Church.
the rest

U..S. bishops agree to alter Catholic prayers
Vatican called for action to move closer to Latin wording
By Gillian Flaccus
The Associated Press

Los Angeles - The nation's Roman Catholic bishops signed off Thursday on a new English translation for the Mass that would change prayers ingrained in the memories of millions of American parishioners.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted at its biannual meeting for a new translation after a brief but vigorous debate over several small changes in wording.

The 173-29 vote on the Order of the Mass was aimed at satisfying Vatican calls for a translation that's closer to the Latin version.

Before Mass changes at the parish level, the Americans' version must go to offices in the Holy See for final approval.
the rest

Thursday, June 15, 2006


A man may blaspheme against the Son of Man and be forgiven; but the sin against the Spirit of Truth -- what can God Himself do with or for the man who will not acknowledge the truth he knows, or follow the light he sees? ... Alexander Miller

"An Impossible Moment"
By Hans Zeiger and Auburn Traycik
www.VirtueOnline.org

COLUMBUS, OH, 6/14/06--The breadth of the chasm over homosexuality in the U.S. Episcopal Church (ECUSA) was on full display here Wednesday evening, at a General Convention legislative committee hearing that filled a 1,500-seat hotel ballroom and overflowed into the hall outside.

During a two-and-a-half hour meeting that heard comments from nearly 70 bishops, deputies and others - including the Archbishop of York, a guest at the convention - it became painfully clear how difficult it will be for the convention to find agreement on legislation that could determine whether ECUSA remains part of the "official" Anglican fold.

"I think we've reached an impossible moment in holding it together," said Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan, Moderator of the conservative Anglican Communion Network. Duncan cited Dr. N.T. Wright, the Church of England's Bishop of Durham, who called on ECUSA in an essay published Wednesday to repent or face the alienation of the Anglican Communion. Wright was a member of the panel that produced the 2004 Windsor Report, which recommended steps for ECUSA to take help repair damage to Anglican relationships caused by its 2003 approval of actively gay bishop V. Gene Robinson and same-sex blessings.

the rest at Virtueonline

Bishop warns of schism
Date: June 16

By George CongerThe Anglican Communion as it now exists is finished, the Bishop of Lewes has warned, unless the American Church’s General Convention accepts the recommendations of the Windsor Report. Speaking to Anglican Media Sydney last week, Bishop Wallace Benn stated, “Internationally, the Anglican Communion is in crisis.”

“If the North American radical liberals are not disciplined, it is almost inevitable there will be a major split,” he said. President of the Church of England Evangelical Council, Bishop Benn was in Sydney to attend the Australian chapter meeting of EFAC: the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion. He urged Australian evangelicals to hold fast and to “network, to share fellowship and to encourage each other” in the battle for the soul of Anglicanism. “The future of the Communion is a return to biblical and orthodox faith and if our leaders stand firm on that we won’t split…other than the North American churches,” Bishop Benn told Anglican Media Sydney.
the rest

Episcopal boredom
Hans Zeiger
Posted: June 15, 2006

Let me see if I can capture the mood at the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Columbus, Ohio.

The main thing about it is the generation. It is a gathering, chiefly, of baby boomers on the older end of their cohort. If they preceded the boom, they at least participated in the '60s. I half expected the long hair and dope to flow with the crowds that came yesterday to hear the debates about homosexuality and the consequently precarious relations of the Episcopal Church to the global Anglican Communion. But these are bald and gray heads, most of them.

It is not exactly the grayness and baldness of Rotary and Kiwanis. It has some resemblance to a university faculty lounge, or a mainstream pressroom, or a bureaucratic social service agency conference. It is at once endowed with the sanity of political correctness and the boredom of disappointed age. One committee report to the convention declares, "The Episcopal Church has the lowest birth rate and highest mean age of any mainline denomination."
the rest

Episcopal Unity, Anglican Ties at Risk Over Gay Row
Thursday, Jun. 15, 2006

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The threat of a split in the worldwide Anglican family hovered over a national meeting of the Episcopal Church, as delegates considered whether they should preserve unity by temporarily barring gays from becoming bishop.

New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, pleaded with the church General Convention not to enact a ban.

If Episcopalians "see Christ in the faithful lives of our gay and lesbian members," they should have the courage to say so, no matter the potential consequences, he said.

"Please, I beg you, let's say our prayers and stand up for right," he said, at a hearing Wednesday night on the issue that drew a capacity crowd of 1,500 people.

Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan, head of a network of conservative Episcopal dioceses that opposed Robinson's consecration, told delegates the progressive and conservative wings of the church should acknowledge their differences and part.

"We've reached a moment where it is very difficult, indeed I think we've reached an impossible moment, in holding it together," Duncan said.
the rest

Seven-Year-Old Beaten at School For Father's Stand Against Homosexual Activism
By John-Henry Westen and John Jalsevac

LEXINGTON, Massachusetts, June 14, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - On May 17—the two-year anniversary of same-sex "marriage" in Massachusetts—the first-grade son of a prominent pro-family advocate was dragged and beaten behind the Estabrook Elementary School in Lexington during recess, receiving multiple blows to the chest, stomach, and genital area.

Jacob Parker, the 7-year-old who was attacked, is the son of David Parker. LifeSiteNews.com readers will recall that David Parker objected to homosexual curriculum in his son's kindergarten class. At a meeting with the principal of the school last year Parker requested that the school inform him of when homosexual discussions would take place, so he could exclude his son from the activity. The principal refused and Parker said he would not leave until his request was granted. School administration called the police and had Parker charged with trespassing.


Brian Camenker the President of MassResistance, a pro-family group, that has worked with Parker to have the rights of parents in Massachusetts respected told LifeSitenews.com that the school system has since continued to refuse to notify parents of such material being presented in class. On April 27, 2006, Parker, his wife, and another family filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the school system.
the rest

New Sexual Orientation Regulations a Threat to Religious Freedom
Scotland's leading Catholic figure has strongly condemned the government's new sexual orientation regulations warning that they are a threat to the religious freedoms of all persons.
Posted: Thursday, June 15 , 2006

The leader of Scottish Catholics has delivered a strongly worded homily to a congregation of Catholic Peers and MPs in Westminster Wednesday in which he voiced his fierce opposition to the government’s sexual orientation regulations.

In his homily, Cardinal Keith O’Brien warned that the government’s proposed regulations designed to outlaw “sexual orientation discrimination” constitute a “threat to freedom of conscience” and “a threat to religious freedom”.

The Equality Act 2006, which means that the government can now prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in the provision of goods and services, could come into effect by October this year.
the rest

False foundations
'Three of Hearts'
Jun 15, 2006
by
Chuck Colson

Note: The subject matter of this commentary may not be suitable for children. Please use parental discretion.

Earlier this week, the cable network Bravo aired the documentary Three of Hearts: A Postmodern Family. The film is designed “to challenge conventional ideas of family,” according to director Susan Kaplan.

Three of Hearts shows two gay men, Steven Margolin and Sam Cagnina, bringing a woman into their relationship. For several years, the director followed Steven and Sam—and the woman they called their “wife,” Samantha Singh. (Sam actually married her, presumably on behalf of both men.) We see them interact with their families, run a business, and have a daughter, Siena. We do not find out until later which man is her father.
the rest

Moderate Quake Shakes San Francisco
June 15, 2006

By Sher Zieve – A moderate earthquake woke up residents of the South San Francisco bay area on Thursday. The quake’s magnitude has been placed at 4.7.

Hitting at 5:24 a.m. local time, the epicenter is said to have been located in the town of San Martin. The quake was also felt in San Francisco. There are, currently, no reports of injuries or damage.

link

Jonah Goldberg: Abortion rhymes with death
Let's cut the euphemisms and start debating abortion for real.

June 15, 2006

PRINCETON professor Robert George, one of the nation's leading moral philosophers, recently visited the Vatican for an audience with the pope. He faced an age-old dilemma: "What's a good gift for the pope?" George settled on Ramesh Ponnuru's new book, "The Party of Death."

Ponnuru, my close friend and colleague at National Review, has written the first serious defense of life for a general audience in decades. The book is a humane, sustained and, most of all, respectful argument about preserving life from abortion, eugenics and euthanasia.


the rest

Episcopal battles hit cyberspace
By Julia Duin
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
June 15, 2006

The battle of the blogs is in full swing at the Episcopal General Convention meeting in Columbus, Ohio.

Dozens of deputies, at least 11 bishops and a multitude of other hangers-on are using the Internet to slug it out over the same issues that the convention is considering through its conclusion Wednesday.

"It's a whole different game now," said a Canadian clergyman operating one of the sites. "It's 'The people's revolution hits the ground.' "

Local blogs include Daily Episcopalian (blogofdaniel.com), operated by Diocese of Washington spokesman Jim Naughton, and Baby Blue Online (babybluecafe.blogspot.com), written by Mary Ailes, a vestrywoman at Truro Episcopal Church in Fairfax.

The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia is maintaining centeraisle.net, which, although not a blog, posts daily commentaries, one of which jabs the Rev. Martyn Minns, Truro's rector, for calling on the Episcopal Church to "repent."
the rest

Episcopal priest facing discipline says he'll quit
Lexington Herald-Leader
By Frank E. Lockwood
June 14, 2006

An
Episcopal priest, accused of repeatedly disobeying Lexington Bishop Stacy Sauls and of acting inappropriately, said this week he is resigning from the church.

But under church law, the Rev. William Lee Hodges, 58, cannot derail the church's legal process by resigning once formal denominational charges have been brought, diocese attorney Buck Hinkle said.

Diocesan documents say Hodges refused to submit to church oversight and supervision for years and Hodges' service as a priest has been 'severely marred by problems of substance abuse.'

'Your behavior, now and in the past, exposes the church, its ministry and those in our care to danger,' Sauls wrote in an Oct. 8, 2004, letter to Hodges.

The diocese released the letter and a copy of the charges Hodges faces after the priest told the Herald-Leader he was leaving the church largely because of doctrinal differences.
the rest

Episcopalians in Debate Over Gay Bishops
By RACHEL ZOLL

ASSOCIATED PRESS
June 15, 2006


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The threat of a split in the worldwide Anglican family hovered over a national meeting of the Episcopal Church, as delegates considered whether they should preserve unity by temporarily barring gays from becoming bishop.

New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, pleaded with the church General Convention not to enact a ban.

If Episcopalians "see Christ in the faithful lives of our gay and lesbian members," they should
have the courage to say so, no matter the potential consequences, he said. the rest

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


PEACE, PERFECT PEACE

Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin?
The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.

Peace, perfect peace, by thronging duties pressed?
To do the will of Jesus, this is rest.

Peace, perfect peace, with sorrows surging round?
On Jesus’ bosom naught but calm is found.

Peace, perfect peace, with loved ones far away?
In Jesus’ keeping we are safe, and they.

Peace, perfect peace, our future all unknown?
Jesus we know, and He is on the throne.

Peace, perfect peace, death shadowing us and ours?
Jesus has vanquished death and all its powers.

It is enough: earth’s struggles soon shall cease,
And Jesus call us to Heaven’s perfect peace. link

View from the floor
Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Excerpt: "Yesterday, as we were heading to the Special Committee on Communion Matters hearing, we passed the entry to the hall where the ECW (Episcopal Church Women) was having their Eucharist. Lined up out in the hallway were the most unlikely lines of women.
The woman at the head of the line was resting a massive lit Paschal Candle on the floor, behind her were those carrying stones (I discovered later), followed by a group carrying pitchers of water, followed by a bearer of windchimes.

The stones were supposed to represent sins, after being placed in a basin, the water was poured over them to cover them, (covering is not the same as absolving) and then, I suppose, the windchimes were representative of some spirit. But as one Apostle was heard to remark, "There are spirits, and then there are well,... spirits."

the rest at Apostolicity

GenCon bloggers
Ruth Gledhill Weblog

June 14, 2006

There are some beautiful blogs coming out of GenCon. They are like a separate convention taking place in virtual reality, alongside the "realtime" convention. As
Episcopod tells us: "The wonderful thing is that so many people are using new technology to tell the world about GC. Priests are blogging to their congregations, bishops are blogging to their dioceses, lay people are blogging to the world, and the love of Jesus Christ is present in all of these blogs in different ways." I am going to post from time to time some extracts from the ones that amuse or inform. But you can see why Americans blog so much. This picture shows the Columbus Convention Centre where it is all happening. It's not much like Church House in Westminster, surrounded by Starbucks, bookshops, churches and even an Abbey to tempt one into realtime gossip, literature and spirituality. I suddenly have a new compassion for The Episcopal Church and its delegates. What suffering, nine days in a building like that. No wonder they're all surfing off into cyberspace. the rest

Integrity Press Release: here

Jesus is the Gay Agenda says Bishop Robinson

SCECAC: Wednesday Night Live
June 14, 4:04 pm
Matt Kennedy+

I'm kneeling on the third floor carpet outside the Hyatt Regency ballroom. It's 6:04. The lines are already starting to form. There are three lines. One for deputies signing up to speak.

Another for visitors registering to speak. One just to get in. Jim Workman+ just came over and pointed out that Susan Russell+ and Michael Hopkins+ are already in line to speak.

He now tells me that bishops Howe and Lipscomb are in line.

I'm in the one to get in. I missed my chance to get a press pass because the registration for these passes began at 3:00pm. The SCECAC afternoon session began at 2 and ended at 4. There were only 50 press tickets issued. They were long gone by the time I got there. So I'm going in with the "hoi poloi" as Martyn+ likes to say. But I have been assured by the room monitor that there is plenty of in there for a blogger on the floor next to an outlet.

This is really amazing. The hall outside the ballroom is already standing (or kneeling room only).

Raymond Dague is holding my place in line while I write.
the rest

Pensive Mood in House of Bishops
06/14/2006

The opening legislative day of the 75th General Convention in Columbus, Ohio, was marked by a somber, pensive mood in the House of Bishops, as its members prepared for debate on the Windsor Report.

The mood on June 13 was akin to “collectively passing a kidney stone,” one bishop told The Living Church, while a second commented there was a noticeable lack of energy and enthusiasm during the morning and afternoon sessions. While the public face of the meetings was cordial, tensions were high in some corners of the room, with some bishops distressed at the absence of some of their colleagues.

Canon Robert Williams, director of communications for the Episcopal Church, noted the first day of convention would be a “pro forma, learning day” in both houses that would set the agenda and perform legislative housekeeping.

Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold gaveled the opening session of the House of Bishops into order at 11:05 a.m., and after the agenda for the day was adopted held the formal roll call of bishops. The roll call proceeded in order of seniority, the secretary of the House of Bishops, the Rt. Rev. Kenneth Price, acting Bishop of Southern Ohio, noted, with retired bishops cited by name and active bishops cited by title. There were 151 bishops reported present, and Bishop Griswold reported that the Rt. Rev. Frederick Putnam, retired Bishop of Minnesota, was the senior bishop present.
the rest

Williams appeals for gay compromise as US dioceses plan split
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent, in Columbus, Ohio
(Filed: 15/06/2006)

A number of conservative Anglican dioceses are poised to break-away from the liberal American Church over the issue of homosexuality, The Daily Telegraph has learnt.

In a development that will dismay the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, several American dioceses have held secret discussions about leaving the Episcopal Church and
realigning themselves to a sympathetic conservative province.

So far only individual parishes have split from their mother Church because they reject its liberal stance, but entire dioceses would represent a huge escalation in the
fracturing of the 70 million-strong global Anglican communion.

Insiders said that up to three dioceses were advancing with their plans and others were exploring the possibility, but they faced complex legal and practical hurdles.


The disclosure came at the start of a critical few days for the worldwide communion, during which the Episcopal Church's General Convention, its General Synod, will decide whether to rein back its liberal agenda or risk schism.
the rest

Rice: Debate 'Gay Marriage' With Respect
Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday urged respect and sensitivity in the debate over gay marriage, but ducked a question about her own views on the question.

"This is an issue that can be debated and can be discussed in our country with respect for every human being," Rice told a newspaper interviewer.

"When we get into difficult debates about social policy, we get into difficult debates that touch people's lives, the only thing that I ask is that Americans do it with a kind of sensitivity that real individuals and real human beings are involved here."

The Senate rejected a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage by a wide margin last week. It was a defeat for President Bush and other Republicans who hope the issue will rally GOP voters for the November elections. The amendment could be brought up again.
the rest

Bishop Gene Robinson, Gay Rights Leaders to Reject Discrimination; Urge Full Inclusion in Episcopal Church
6/13/2006

News Advisory:
On Wednesday June 14, the Rt. Rev. Bishop Gene Robinson will lead a press conference with the president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Joe Solmonese; the president of Integrity USA, Rev. Susan Russell; and HRC Religion and Faith Director Harry Knox, to urge the Episcopal Church to stay the course towards equality and reject discrimination based on sexual orientation.

"It's time we took the Bible back," said Bishop Robinson. "It's time we took our faith back and stopped having to apologize for being Christian or Jewish or Muslim without having to explain, 'No, we're not that kind of a Jew, we're not that kind of a Christian.'"

The press conference will be held during the General Convention of the Episcopal Church USA. During the event, Joe Solmonese and Harry Knox will bring greetings on behalf of the national LGBT movement, and Rev. Susan Russell will speak on behalf of all volunteers, activists and donors at Integrity USA.
the rest

A Proposed Resolution on Lambeth 1:10
Topic/Title: An Embrace of Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10 as the Teaching of The Episcopal Church
Proposer: The Rev. Canon Dr. Kendall S. Harmon (South Carolina)


Resolved, the House of ______ Concurring, That the 75th General Convention endorses, embraces, and pledges to uphold in its teaching and practice of common life Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference.

Explanation:


The full text of the resolution referred to above is as follows:


”Lambeth Conference 1998: Resolution 1.10 Human Sexuality

This Conference:
1commends to the Church the subsection report on human sexuality;2in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union, and believes that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage;3recognises that there are among us persons who experience themselves as having a homosexual orientation. Many of these are members of the Church and are seeking the pastoral care, moral direction of the Church, and God’s transforming power for the living of their lives and the ordering of relationships. We commit ourselves to listen to the experience of homosexual persons and we wish to assure them that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ;4while rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture, calls on all our people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn irrational fear of homosexuals, violence within marriage and any trivialisation and commercialisation of sex;5cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions;6requests the Primates and the ACC to establish a means of monitoring the work done on the subject of human sexuality in the Communion and to share statements and resources among us;7notes the significance of the Kuala Lumpur Statement on Human Sexuality and the concerns expressed in resolutions IV.26, V.1, V.10, V.23 and V.35 on the authority of Scripture in matters of marriage and sexuality and asks the Primates and the ACC to include them in their monitoring process.”

Asked to describe the task of the Lambeth Commission in producing the Windsor Report, the Rev. Canon Gregory Cameron said: “Given the standard of teaching adopted on human sexuality at the Lambeth Conference of 1998, how could the communion maintain the highest degree of communion possible in the face of the consecration of a Bishop whose lifestyle challenged that teaching” (New Directions, October 2004, page 20). Lambeth 1.10 is not only the standard of teaching on which the Windsor Report is based, but it has been regularly reaffirmed as the standard of the Anglican Communion by a number of Anglican Instruments of Unity in recent years.

In paragraph 16 of THE REPORT OF THE SPECIAL OMMISSION ONTHE EPISCOPAL CHURCH AND THE ANGLICAN COMMUNIONit is noted that the Primates meeting at Dromantine underscored Resolution 1.10 of Lambeth 98 as ‘the standard of Christian teaching on matters of human sexuality’. However, this point is not picked up in the rest of the report and is not reflected in any of the currently proposed resolutions to General Convention 2006.
If the Episcopal Church is to truly embrace the autonomy-in-communion to which we are called by the Windsor Report, we need to affirm the mind of the Communion in the area of human sexuality.

Endorsed by: The Very Rev. John Burwell (South Carolina), The Very Rev. Mark Goodman (South Carolina)


titusonenine


It is sometimes said that even if no rules were laid down for the conduct of its affairs, the Church, being created by Jesus to "further the work of the Kingdom of God", can be judged by the extent to which it is successful in continuing his work. This supposition rests upon a misunderstanding of what is meant by "the Kingdom of God"... The Kingdom itself is not something to be "furthered" or "built" by men's efforts. It is something which we are invited to recognize as already present, after a manner, in the life and work of Jesus. It is something to be inherited or entered into by those who believe. The task of the Church, in other words, is not to set the stage for a better world than this one but to draw the curtain from it, to reveal something that is already there. ... Nick Earle


To every toiling, heavy-laden sinner, Jesus says, "Come to me and rest". But there are many toiling, heavy-laden believers, too. For them this same invitation is meant. Note well the words of Jesus, if you are heavy-laden with your service, and do not mistake it. It is not, "Go, labour on," as perhaps you imagine. On the contrary, it is stop, turn back, "Come to me and rest." Never, never did Christ send a heavy laden one to work; never, never did He send a hungry one, a weary one, a sick or sorrowing one, away on any service. For such the Bible only says, "Come, come, come."
James Hudson Taylor

AAC briefing blog: Wednesday
Matt Kennedy+
June 14, 11:27 am


I’m here at the Nationwide Arena for the AAC luncheon and news briefing. I’m in something of a time crunch. The SCECAC meeting starts at 2:00pm and lasts until 4:00pm. Strangely, press registration for the big SCECAC hearing this evening is at 3:00pm. And, to top it off, the press seating will be assigned according to protocol: the big guys first AP, Networks, CNN, FOX etc…bloggers, are waaaay down the list. So, while I am reporting on the committee meeting this afternoon, I may emerge to find that there are no press spots left. What this means is that as soon as the afternoon session is over, I’ll have to dash off to the press office to see if there are any spaces left. I’ve noticed that ECUSA or TEC or whatever you want to call it has not exactly gone out of the way to accommodate information gatherers. In my discussions with people today, that seems to be a common theme.

In any case, Ellis Brust, wearing a bowtie, is has ascended the podium to make some preliminary announcements. Each day, the crowd at these hearings has grown. Today, it seems as though we have 200 or more.
the rest

Christians Urged to Take Action Against PG Rating for "Overtly" Christian Film
HOLLYWOOD
June 14, 2006


(LifeSiteNews.com) - On June 7, Scripps Howard ran a story about a ruling by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) awarding a PG rating to a new movie by Provident Films, "Facing the Giants." The film, which opens September 29, received the PG rating because of its allegedly "religious" character. Over the past week, the Catholic League made several inquiries regarding the matter, and now its president, Bill Donohue, is asking MPAA chairman and CEO, Dan Glickman, to launch a probe.

"The Scripps Howard story quoted Kris Fuhr, vice president for marketing of Provident Films (owned by Sony), as saying that the MPAA "decided that the movie was heavily laden with messages from one religion and that this might offend people from other religions," said Donohue. "Fuhr said that she was told that the movie was guilty of 'proselytizing.' The film includes answered prayers, a miracle and references to Jesus."
the rest

Wow, the Archbishop of York is a black guy!
Ruth Gledhill Weblog
Wednesday, 14 June 2006

Most of us in the Church of England are thousands of miles away from the meeting that will determine the future of the Anglican Communion, but we are still shaking them up over there! Hats off to our most beloved John Sentamu, who has astounded some in The Episcopal Church - by being black! No, I am not kidding. You can
read about the astonishment of some of bloggers in one of the world's most PC countries on the Classical Anglican gencon site. Some of the choicest examples are reproduced below. But while not minimising the stir created by Sentamu, who is there representing himself, if you believe his office, and representing the Archbishop of Canterbury, if you believe Frank Griswold (and I know who I would rather believe), the other really important contribution has come today from an Anglican who is not even in Columbus, Ohio at all, the Bishop of Durham, Tom Wright. This picture of Griswold greeting my hero is taken from The Episcopal Church's own gencon news service. The latest story ENS reports is the playing of Bob Dylan's Love Rescue Me at a gencon service styled a "U2charist". Well, as the farmers' wives used to say to me on market day in Uttoxeter, Staffs when my mum trailed her five kids and three foster kids around the cow and sheep pens, "You better pray love rescues you ducky, because nothing else will!" Meanwhile, I really recommend a listen to an audio of Gene Robinson, recorded by Classical Anglican and linked to by Anglican Mainstream, in which the Bishop of New Hampshire at an Integrity press conference describes how he heard God say to him: "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." He also said there would be no saying sorry, because that would mean The Episcopal Church was sorry, "and we're not."

the rest