Saturday, November 04, 2006

And he said, Thus saith the Lord, Make this valley full of ditches. For thus saith the Lord, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts. (2 Kings 3:16-17)

Three armies were perishing of thirst, and the Lord interposed. Although He sent neither cloud nor rain, yet He supplied an abundance of water. He is not dependent upon ordinary methods but can surprise His people with novelties of wisdom and power. Thus are we made to see more of God than ordinary processes could have revealed. Although the Lord may not appear for us in the way we expect, or desire, or suppose, yet He will in some way or other provide for us. It is a great blessing for us to be raised above looking to secondary causes so that we may gaze into the face of the great First Cause.

Have we this day grace enough to make trenches into which the divine blessing may flow? Alas! We too often fail in the exhibition of true and practical faith. Let us this day be on the outlook for answers to prayer. As the child who went to a meeting to pray for rain took an umbrella with her, so let us truly and practically expect the Lord to bless us. Let us make the valley full of ditches and expect to see them all filled. ...CH Spurgeon

Evangelical Leader Resigning From Church
Nov 04 5:34 PM
Associated Press Writer

Rev. Ted Haggard agreed to resign as leader of the New Life Church after its independent investigative board recommended removal, saying he was guilty "of sexually immoral conduct."

"We, the Overseer Board of New Life Church, have concluded our deliberations concerning the moral failings of Pastor Ted
Haggard," a statement from the church said. "Our investigation and Pastor Haggard's public statements have proven without a doubt that he has committed sexually immoral conduct." the rest

press release

New pain staggers New Life
As pastors gather to decide how to deal with media and logistics, an unprecedented Sunday worship looms large.
By Eric Gorski Denver Post Staff Writer

Colorado Springs - The meeting place is the same as always: their boss' corner office on the second floor of New Life Church, with its wall-to-wall bookcase and sweeping views of Pikes Peak and the Air Force Academy chapel spires in the distance.

Seated around a long wooden conference table handcrafted by a parishioner, members of the Rev. Ted Haggard's inner circle sit before laptops and buzzing Blackberrys on Friday, contemplating the unthinkable.

Their spiritual leader and friend had been disgraced, his future is uncertain, the church's future is uncertain ... and then there is the matter of planning an extraordinary Sunday service.

"This is going to be like an unprecedented family meeting," said Lance Coles, who knew Haggard back when the church was no more than a few lawn chairs and paint buckets in a garage. "Sunday is a day of worship, a sacred day. It's when they'll find out what they've lost."
the rest

Videos of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s investiture and sermon

found here (middle of page)

Episcopalians install female leader
Nov. 4, 2006
AP Religion Writer

WASHINGTON — Katharine Jefferts Schori took office Saturday as the first female leader of The Episcopal Church and the first woman priest to head an Anglican province, two landmarks that could quickly be overshadowed by divisions over the Bible and sexuality throughout world Anglicanism.

Jefferts Schori, who supports ordaining gays, acknowledged the rift in an elaborate ceremony at the Washington National Cathedral, urging parishioners to "make peace" with those who oppose the direction of the U.S. church. In 2003, the denomination consecrated its first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.

"If some in this church feel wounded by recent decisions, then our salvation, our health as a body, is at some hazard, and it becomes the duty of all of us to seek healing and wholeness," Jefferts Schori said during her ceremony.

the rest

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s investiture sermon
4 November 2006

National Cathedral

Where is home for you? How would you define your home? A friend in Nevada said to me just before I left that he had thought I would only leave Nevada to go home, and in his mind, that meant Oregon. But in the six years I spent there, Nevada became home. The state song is even called, “Home means Nevada.” And for a place filled with folk who have come from elsewhere, that is quite remarkable – all sorts and conditions of rootless people trying to grow new roots in the desert.

So where is home for you? Des Moines or Anchorage or Taipei or San Salvador or Port au Prince?

What makes it home? Familiar landscape, a quality of life, or the presence of particular people?
Some people who engage this journey we call Christianity discover that home is found on the road, whether literally the restless travel that occupies some of us, or the hodos that is the Way of following the one we call the Christ. The home we ultimately seek is found in relationship with creator, with redeemer, with spirit. When Augustine says “our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee, O Lord” he means that our natural home is in God.

the rest at titusonenine

Pittsburgh Episcopalians vote to withdraw from national church
Associated Press

PITTSBURGH - The Episcopalian Diocese of Pittsburgh voted Friday in favor of withdrawing from the national church province and requesting alternative oversight, a vote that came a day before a new presiding bishop for the church is to be installed.

Clergy and lay deputies voted 214-54 in favor of the resolution, with 10 abstentions, at the annual convention of the diocese.

Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan and the leaders of six other conservative dioceses have said they do not want to be overseen by the new Episcopal presiding bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori.
the rest

New era in Episcopal Church
For the first time, a woman will lead the American arm of the Anglican Communion
By Manya A. Brachear
Chicago Tribune staff reporter
Published November 4, 2006

When Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori takes hold of the staff that symbolizes her rise in rank on Saturday, she will turn the tables on five centuries of Anglican history and quite possibly alter its course.

Three decades after the Episcopal Church resolved to ordain women, the landmark decision that instilled hope for many has made only a small difference in the life of the church. Women fill a majority of the church pews and seminaries but account for a fraction of its bishops.
the rest

Anonymous: Commentary on Bp-Elect Schori's Mother Jesus Eucharist
Connecticut Six
November 3, 2006

With commentary in highlight.

This last Sunday morning I woke very early, while it was still dark. I wanted to go for a run, but I had to wait until there was enough light to see. When the dawn finally began, I ventured out. It was warm, and still, and very quiet, and the clouds were just beginning to show tinges of pink. I ran by the back of the Hyatt just as two workers were coming out one of the service doors. They were startled, I'm afraid, but I nodded at them, and they responded. I went west over the freeway, and encountered a man I'd seen here in the Convention Center. Neither of us stopped, but we did say a quiet good morning. Then I found a lovely green park, and started around it. There was a man with a reflective vest, standing in the street by some orange cones, as though he were waiting for a run or a parade to begin. I said good morning, and he responded in kind. Around the corner I came to a bleary-eyed fellow with several bags who looked like he'd just risen from sleeping rough. I said good morning to him too, but I must admit I went past him in the street instead of on the sidewalk. Then I met a rabbit hopping across the sidewalk, and though we didn't use words, one of us eyed the other with more than a bit of wariness. Around another corner, a woman was delivering Sunday papers from her car. She was wary too, and didn't get out of her car with the next paper until I was a long way past her. Back over the freeway, and a block later, two guys seemingly on their early way to work. We nodded at each other.

The rest at Connecticut Six

Friday, November 03, 2006

"When the principles that run against your deepest convictions
begin to win the day,
then the battle is your calling,
and peace has become sin.
You must at the price of dearest peace
lay your convictions bare before friend and enemy
with all the fire of your faith."
...Abraham Kuyper

Archbishop of Canterbury to Meet Anglican Leaders on Split from Liberal Church
Conservative Anglican leaders will meet the Archbishop of Canterbury later in the month for key talks on the possibility of a formal split from the liberal wing of the Anglican Communion.
by Maria Mackay
Posted: Friday, November 3, 2006

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, is to discuss a formal split in the worldwide Anglican Communion with Conservative Anglican leaders in a confidential meeting scheduled for later in the month.

The outspoken Archbishop Peter Akinola, Primate of Nigeria, will be among the group of conservative archbishops who will meet Dr Williams at Lambeth Palace to consider the creation of a parallel body for conservatives in America, reports The Telegraph.

The latest development in the crisis over homosexuality in the Anglican Communion follows the release of the Kigali communiqué by Global South leaders in Africa last month.

The communiqué proposed “a separate ecclesiastical structure" to accommodate opponents of the pro-homosexuality leadership of the Episcopal Church in the US.
the rest

Indonesia charges 3 Muslims over beheading of Christian schoolgirls
November 3, 2006

JAKARTA, Indonesia: Three Muslim men have been charged in connection with the beheading of three Christian school girls last year in an Indonesian province fraught with sectarian tension, and face possible death sentences if convicted, their lawyer said Friday.

The three men — Hasanuddin, Lilik Purnomo and Irwanto Irano — are being charged under Indonesia's harsh anti-terrorism law for their roles in the deaths of three girls and the injuring of a fourth in Indonesia's Central Sulawesi province, a statement from the Attorney General's Office said.
the rest

By J. Grant Swank, Jr.
Nov 3, 2006

"The dominant ethos is perfectly voiced by the stupid blonde woman author with whom I recently debated. She said that it is sometimes better to let yourself be raped than to risk serious injuries while resisting. She said it is sometimes better to avoid fighting than run the risk of death." So spoke a realist, German author Henryk M. Broder, when confronting Europe going Muslim — lazily.
Paul Belien reports on "The Rape of Europe." Europe has lost its Christian conviction along with biblical morality. In that loss the demons rush in seven times over — via Muslims taking over Europe.

Those who are wise to what is going on are leaving Europe for other housing. They are not going to fight the Islamic devotees; they are going to leave Europe to the cowards. So be it.

Belien predicts: "Europe as we know it will no longer exist 20 years from now. Whilst sitting on a terrace in Berlin, Broder pointed to the other customers and the passers-by and said melancholically: ‘We are watching the world of yesterday.’"
the rest

Baby Girl born alive and killed after surviving late-term abortion
2nd degree murder charges may be laid
By Hilary White

HIALEA, November 2, 2006 ( – Two Co-owners of a Miami-area abortion facility called Ginecologia may be charged with second-degree murder for killing a baby girl born alive in a recovery room. Co-owners Belkis Gonzalez and Siomara Senises are being investigated after Miami-Dade County police found the badly decomposed body of a baby girl at the facility.

A search warrant reported that there was “probable cause” to pursue a second degree murder investigation.

A woman identified by Operation Rescue in their October 23 report as Ms. Betty Rojas informed police that a child had been killed by “a doctor” by drowning after being born alive.

18-year old Sycloria Williams, told police that she had arrived at the facility July 20 for the second half of a late-term abortion. She says she gave birth to a living baby girl while sitting in a recliner in the facility’s recovery room. Ms. Williams told police that she had watched her daughter moving and gasping for air for approximately five minutes.

The warrant says that the staff “began screaming that the baby was alive.” Then, “Ms. Belkis Gonzalez cut the umbilical cord, threw it into a red bag with black printing. Ms. Gonzalez then swept the baby, with her hands, into the same red bag along with the gauze used during the procedure.”
the rest

Former All Saints priest begins new Anglican church in Vista
By: GARY WARTH - Staff Writer
November 2, 2006

Three months after resigning from his post at All Saints Episcopal Church in Vista, the Rev. Joe Rees is returning to the city to hold services in a new location this Sunday.The new church is called Holy Family Anglican, and while Rees said he is far from having an actual chapel, he does have a congregation, which will meet at 10 a.m. Sunday in the lecture hall of Rancho Buena Vista High School.

"We're hoping to generate the spirit of family, and that's why we're calling ourselves Holy Family," Rees said. "We hope to be a family of God for the community."
the rest

Christian Author Warns Of Growing Atheist Backlash
Atheists Become Organized To Fight Religious Influence
November 3, 2006

VIENNA, Va. -- Christian author and philosopher
Os Guinness warns of a growing atheist backlash to the political strength of Christian conservatives.

In an interview with a radio station in St. Paul, Minn., Guinness said he doubts that atheists have grown more numerous, but he believes they're now more organized and determined to press their case against religion and its influence in society.

He cited the best-selling books by atheists Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris. Both reject religion as an irrational delusion that indoctrinates children, poisons cultures and holds back science.
the rest

New Episcopal Church head says dissent limited
Fri Nov 3, 2006
By Michael Conlon, Religion Writer

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The Episcopal Church will not abandon its support for diversity and those threatening a schism over gay issues are a small segment of the membership, the incoming head of the U.S. church said on Friday.

Katharine Jefferts Schori, who will become the first woman to head a branch of the worldwide Anglican Church when she is installed at Washington's National Cathedral on Saturday, also said the fact that she is a woman has added fuel to the fires of division in the church.

Asked during an interview aired on the NBC-TV "Today" show how she hoped to reach conservative dissidents in the 2.4 million-member U.S. church, she said she would "reach out, trying to accompany them in their pain, to say that I understand how difficult this change is being for you, and to say that we're not going to abandon anyone.
The rest

Court halts N.C. school district policy used to prohibit student from distributing “Day of Truth” cards
ADF attorneys represent student at Midway High School
Thursday, November 02, 2006

WILMINGTON, N.C. — A federal judge today issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting the Sampson County Board of Education and Midway High School officials from enforcing two policies used to prohibit a student from distributing “Day of Truth” message cards to other students. Officials prohibited the student, represented by attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund, from distributing the cards outside of class time during the event April 27 and suspended him from school.

“Christian students are entitled to the same First Amendment rights as other students. No student should be suspended for exercising those rights,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Cortman. “The court’s ruling today prohibits the school district, while the case moves forward, from censoring a student flyer simply because it has religious content.”

“It’s clearly unconstitutional when students participating in the Day of Silence, which supports the homosexual agenda, observe their event by distributing flyers and so forth, but a student with an opposite perspective is prevented from communicating it during non-instructional time,” Cortman added.
the rest

Thursday, November 02, 2006

"Know ye not that . . ye are not your own?" 1 Corinthians 6:19

There is no such thing as a private life - "a world within the world" - for a man or woman who is brought into fellowship with Jesus Christ's sufferings. God breaks up the private life of His saints, and makes it a thoroughfare for the world on the one hand and for Himself on the other. No human being can stand that unless he is identified with Jesus Christ. We are not sanctified for ourselves, we are called into the fellowship of the Gospel, and things happen which have nothing to do with us, God is getting us into fellowship with Himself. Let Him have His way, if you do not, instead of being of the slightest use to God in His Redemptive work in the world, you will be a hindrance and a clog.

The first thing God does with us is to get us based on rugged Reality until we do not care what becomes of us individually as long as He gets His way for the purpose of His Redemption. Why shouldn't we go through heartbreaks? Through those doorways God is opening up ways of fellowship with His Son. Most of us fall and collapse at the first grip of pain; we sit down on the threshold of God's purpose and die away of self-pity, and all so called Christian sympathy will aid us to our death bed. But God will not. He comes with the grip of the pierced hand of His Son, and says - "Enter into fellowship with Me; arise and shine." If through a broken heart God can bring His purposes to pass in the world, then thank Him for breaking your heart. ...Oswald Chambers

Massachusetts Opts for More Study on Marriage
The Living Church

The Diocese of Massachusetts approved three marriage-related resolutions when its convention met Oct. 27-28 at Trinity Church, Boston.

The most controversial of the resolutions, which garnered national media attention, would have expressed the convention's sentiment “that beginning January 2008, Episcopal marriages be presided over by an agent of the state” and that the clergy's role “be limited to the blessing of the union as a holy act.” That resolution was replaced by a substitute that called for the diocese to engage in “study and dialogue about the nature of Christian marriage and civil marriage in order to clarify and articulate our understanding of the theology and ethics of Christian marriage.”

In presenting the substitute, the Rev. Margaret “Mally” Lloyd of Christ Church, Plymouth, who was one of five clergy who submitted the original resolution, said that after listening to much pre-convention discussion generated by the original resolution, its sponsors realized “more listening and theological debate in different forums” was necessary before decisive action could be taken on the issue.
the rest

Cathedral bans Carey as a 'divisive force'
By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey of Clifton, has been banned from one of the oldest cathedrals in Britain after accusations that he has become an “instrument of disunity”.

Lord Carey, who has become a champion of orthodoxy in the Anglican Church since stepping down from the top job in 2002, was due to speak at Bangor Cathedral, North Wales, in February. The Dean of Bangor, the Very Rev Alun Hawkins, is understood to have imposed the unprecedented ban because he feels that Lord Carey has become a “divisive force” and has been “disloyal” to his successor, Dr Rowan Williams, who was born in Wales.

Relations have been strained since Lord Carey blocked the appointment of Dr Williams as Bishop of Southwark because he believed that he was too liberal on the gay issue.
the rest

ECUSA's Incoming Leader: Homosexuality Not a Choice, Jesus Not the Only Way
Comments by Jefferts-Schori During Interview Appear to Contradict Scripture
By Jody Brown and Allie Martin
November 2, 2006

(AgapePress) - She says she doesn't consider Jesus Christ to be the only way to God. She says she believes God makes some people "gay." And she's soon to be the leader of a mainline Protestant denomination in America.

In his letter to the Colossians, the Apostle Paul writes that "in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form" (Col. 2:9, NIV). But in an interview this week with Associated Press, Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori -- who is to be installed on Saturday as the first female presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church USA -- stated that Christians should not say that Jesus is the only way to God. "If we insist we know the one way to God," she said, "we've put God in a very small box."

In John 14:6, Jesus -- in responding to a question posed by the disciple Thomas -- said: "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me." But Jefferts-Schori says she disagrees with the idea that salvation comes only through trusting in Jesus Christ. "It's this sense that one person can have the fullness of truth in him or herself, rather than understanding that truth is -- like God -- more than any one person can encompass," stated the soon-to-be ECUSA leader.
The rest

New Zealand: Gay ordination threatens to split church
From correspondents in Wellington
November 03, 2006

PLANS to ordain a gay man threaten to split the Church of England in New Zealand, clergy were reported saying today.

The conservative group, Anglican Mainstream, is opposing the ordination of Juan Kinnear as a deacon in the southern city of Dunedin on Saturday.

Christchurch clergyman Reverend Malcolm Falloon told the Otago Daily Times the ordination could split the church and the group had written to the country's archbishops to have it stopped or postponed.

Bishop George Connor, who will conduct the ordination, accepted the move would be controversial, but said the Dunedin diocesan council were satisfied it was in line with past practice and the rules of the church.

Rev Kinnear was in a "committed same-sex relationship", he said.

the rest

Anglican chief to meet pope
Meeting marks landmark 1966 visit

(ANSA) - Vatican City, November 2 - Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams will meet with Pope Benedict XVI later this month to boost ties strained by the Anglican church's position on women and gay priests .

The meeting will take place on November 23 to mark the 40th anniversary of a landmark visit to Rome by then Anglican chief Michael Ramsay, the Vatican said Thursday .

"My visit to the Vatican represents an opportunity to pursue the rich tradition of exchange between Canterbury and Rome, to reflect on the steps taken in these last 40 years and the future of our relations," said Williams, head of the world's 80 million Anglicans .

the rest

WESTERN NEW YORK: Diocese readjusts its constitution and canons, looks to Future
Mary Frances Schjonberg
Thursday, November 02, 2006

Episcopal Diocese of Western New York, meeting in Cheektowaga in its 169th annual Convention October 27-28, heard a report about its present and future, and approved a series of canonical changes.

A diocesan Futures Committee, appointed by Bishop J. Michael Garrison to explore the diocese's present tense and to plan for its future, began its work early in 2005. The committee hosted five listening events, followed last September by a daylong diocesan discussion involving nearly 200 individuals. Using the information gained from these events, the committee forged the vision, mission statement, and goals that they will be proposing to Convention for the next phase of the life of the diocese, according to a diocesan news release.

Convention delegates were asked to take lead roles in involving their respective congregations in the ongoing development and implementation of this plan.

"For me one of the ongoing sad dichotomies of our life together has been a failure to affirm and live the following: 'We are the Diocese of Western New York.' The diocese is too often seen as the office on Delaware Avenue, or maybe the diocesan staff, or sometimes even just me, your bishop," Garrison said during his address. "Friends, none of these are the Diocese of Western New York. We, all of us here today in this room along with all other members of our 63 parishes and missions, are the Diocese of Western New York. If we are ever going to move into the deeper realms of 'community,' that must be our entry point. For any vision, mission, or goal to be implemented, it will take the commitment of all of us."

The full text of Garrison's address is available

the rest

Archbishop to meet leaders seeking split from liberal Church
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent

Conservative Anglican leaders are to flesh out plans for a
formal split in the worldwide Church at a confidential meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, later this month.

A group of conservative archbishops, including the Primate of Nigeria, Archbishop Peter Akinola, will meet Dr Williams at Lambeth Palace to discuss the creation of a parallel body for conservatives in America.

The development follows a summit of 20 "Global South" leaders in Africa last month, which opted for "a separate ecclesiastical structure" to accommodate opponents of the pro-gay leadership of the American Church.
the rest

Orders of service for Presiding Bishop liturgies available
Katharine Jefferts Schori website debuts
Wednesday, November 01, 2006

November 4th Investiture Service Leaflet (pdf)

November 5th Installation Service Leaflet (pdf)

Democrats find religion, churchgoing voters
By Thomas Ferraro
Thursday, November 2, 2006

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic politicians have found religion and that may help explain why they are suddenly more popular among churchgoing Americans.

As they push to win control of the U.S. Congress in Tuesday's elections from Republicans, who have long enjoyed support among conservative religious voters, more and more Democrats have shed a reluctance to talk about their faith.

"What we're doing is paying real dividends in the faith community," said
Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, who heads the House of Representatives Democratic Faith Working Group, an outreach effort by lawmakers to ministers from the left and right. the rest

Presiding Bishop invites fellow Primates into dialogue
Jefferts Schori writes to archbishops of Kenya, Nigeria, West Africa and West Indies
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Episcopal News Service

Emphasizing her commitment to reconciliation and shared mission across the Anglican Communion, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori -- in one of the first actions on the initial day of her nine-year term -- sent on November 1 the following letter to four fellow Primates.
1 November 2006

The Most Rev. Peter Akinola, Primate of Nigeria
The Most Rev. Drexel Gomez,Primate of the West Indies
The Most Rev. Benjamin Nzimbi, Primate of Kenya
The Most Rev. Justice Akrofi, Primate of West Africa


To my esteemed brothers in Christ:

While I have not yet had the privilege and honor to meet all of you, I very much look forward to working with you in the coming years as we endeavor to lead the Body of Christ in this portion called the Anglican Communion. I deeply value the possibilities we have in the Anglican Communion for addressing the mission God has given us to reconcile the world he has created.

In the spirit of Lambeth 1998, the Episcopal Church has identified the Millennium Development Goals as the framework for our missional work in the coming years. I would hope we might see the common interest we all have for seeing those Goals met, as they provide a concrete image of the Reign of God in our own day, where the hungry are fed, the thirsty watered, and the prisoners of disease and oppression set free.

I understand that you will be in the United States in mid-November for a gathering at Falls Church, Virginia. Considering the difficulty and expense of such a journey, I hope that during your visit you might be willing to pay a call on me, so that we might begin to build toward such a missional relationship. If that is a possibility, I hope you will contact this office as soon as possible. I would be more than happy to alter my schedule to accommodate you.

I look forward to hearing from you, and meeting you. May God bless your ministries and your travels.

I remainYour servant in Christ,
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate

ENS (HT to Connecticut Six)

Episcopalians to consecrate female bishop
By Julia Duin
November 2, 2006

Episcopal Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, a former oceanographer who still pilots her own plane, will be consecrated the world's first female presiding bishop Saturday morning at the Washington National Cathedral.

Since her election June 18 at the Episcopal General Convention in Ohio, an unprecedented seven Episcopal dioceses have declared that they will not accept her leadership because she allowed same-sex blessings during her 2001-06 tenure as bishop of Nevada.

Her 2003 vote in favor of V. Gene Robinson, the denomination's first openly homosexual bishop, and her statement that "our mother Jesus gives birth to a new creation" in a sermon three days after her election, elicited protest as well.
the rest

Gay Episcopal bishop says communities of faith may be at crossroads
Gay clergy and same-sex marriage, among issues roiling his Episcopal and other denominations, may cause major shifts, V. Gene Robinson says.
By Louis Sahagun, Times Staff Writer
November 2, 2006

Prepared for the worst, V. Gene Robinson wore a bulletproof vest under a simple white monk's cassock when he was consecrated as the first openly gay Episcopal bishop in the history of the Anglican Communion.

Interview here

Archbishop Williams: Anglican Stand on Gays Will Not Be Debated
By Daniel Burke
Religion News Service

Anglican leaders will not reopen debate on a resolution that condemns homosexuality and discourages the blessing of same-sex unions at their next meeting in 2008, according to the archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of world Anglicanism.

In 1998, representatives from the Anglican Communion's 38 provinces approved a resolution that rejects homosexual acts as "incompatible with Scripture," and advises against the "legitimizing or blessing of same-sex unions." The Lambeth Conference meet every 10 years in England.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has "ruled out (for the time being) reopening of the resolution ... on human sexuality from the previous Lambeth Conference," according to a statement from the archbishop's office.
the rest

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lovely prayers at Lent and Beyond

Bishop Griswold Accepts St. John the Divine Role

Bishop Frank Griswold, whose nine-year term as Presiding Bishop ended Oct. 31, has accepted an invitation to serve as Canon for International and Interfaith Ministry at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York.

In making the announcement, the Very Rev. James Kowalski, the cathedral’s dean, noted that “this ministry is about building upon relationships, and especially upon the work that Bishop Griswold has been doing for some years to bring people of all faiths together for reconciliation and justice without participating in divisiveness.”

the rest at The Living Church

Lambeth Conference preparations continue as the St Augustine’s Seminar approaches
ACNS Special Report
Lambeth Conference 2008

The St Augustine’s Seminar, to be held next week in London, has as its task the fine-tuning of the programme of the Lambeth Conference 2008. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said, in a recent pastoral letter, ‘the St Augustine’s Seminar, in a new format, will be digesting what emerges from the process and working towards a full programme. The Lambeth Conference 2008 should reflect the discernment of the wider Communion, and it is essential that your agenda should be addressed, in a way that is fruitful for everyone. The proposed focus on theological formation and development is a way of trying to encourage you to explore what are your own most important needs, as individual bishops and as churches, not to impose a plan from outside.’

The first session of the seminar is to begin on the 5th of November where they will be some thirty participants from various parts of the Anglican Communion including Africa, India, Mauritius, Australia, Pakistan, South America, New Zealand, Canada, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Solomon Islands, USA and the UK. Staff from Lambeth Palace and the Anglican Communion Office will also be present. From the Anglican Communion office at St Andrew’s House, London, preparatory work has begun by the Lambeth Conference Manager Ms Sue Parks and her new assistant Mr David Craig. Members of the Lambeth Conference Design Group and members from Theological Education in the Anglican Communion (TEAC) will also attend, as will Bishop Thabo Makgoba from the Design Group and Canon Kenneth Kearon, Secretary of the Lambeth Conference who are both the co – chairs for the seminar.
the rest

Nearly half of Americans uncertain God exists: poll
Oct 31

Nearly half of Americans are not sure God exists, according to a poll that also found divisions among the public on whether God is male or female or whether God has a human form and has control over events.

The survey conducted by
Harris Poll found that 42 percent of US adults are not "absolutely certain" there is a God compared to 34 percent who felt that way when asked the same question three years ago. the rest

The Pornography Crisis: A Time for Candor
R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
Christian Post Guest Columnist
Wed, Nov. 01 2006

Pornography, once peddled only in darkened back alleys, is now a great American success story. In the span of a few short years, the scourge of pornography has been transformed from a vice to a commodity – one more line of merchandise on the shelf, and on the screen.

America has become a pornographic society, where shocked expressions long ago gave way to sighs of resignation. Pornographic images fill the movie screens, the magazine racks, the bookstore shelves, and the computer screens of the nation.

According to a report broadcast in November 2003 on CBS's flagship 60 Minutes, Americans spend "somewhere around $10 billion a year" on so-called "adult entertainment" products. As correspondent Steve Kroft reported, "Consumer demand is so strong that is has seduced some of America's biggest brand names, and companies like General Motors, Marriott, and Time Warner are now making millions selling erotica to America." the rest

This article was originally published on Tuesday, December 2, 2003.

School 'Ethics' Group Punishes Student for Opposing Homosexual Adoption
She Sues Missouri State U., Claiming First Amendment Violations
By Jim Brown
November 1, 2006

(AgapePress) - A social work student at Missouri State University has filed a lawsuit alleging the school required her to adopt a position in support of homosexual adoption as a precondition to getting her degree.

According to news reports, Dr. Frank Kaufman -- an assistant professor in MSU's
School of Social Work on the Springfield campus and a member of the Faculty Senate at MSU -- assigned his students a project promoting homosexual foster homes and adoption. The students were required to write and individually sign a letter to the Missouri legislature in support of homosexual adoption. Emily Brooker says she refused to sign the letter because of her religious convictions, and alleges she was punished for taking that stand.

Brooker says the school subjected her to a grievance hearing where school officials told her she had violated three of the "Standards of Essential Functioning in Social Work Education": diversity, interpersonal skills, and professional behavior. The social work student is now suing the university for a violation of her First Amendment rights. Her attorney, David French with the
Alliance Defense Fund, claims his client was interrogated for two-and-a-half hours by faculty members about the matter. the rest

Ministers Can Shun Gay Marriage, Say Canadians
November 1, 2006

Many adults in Canada believe religious officials should be allowed to steer clear from holding ceremonies for gay or lesbian partners, according to a poll by Compas Inc. published in the National Post. 58 per cent of respondents think individual ministers should definitely have the freedom not to marry a same-sex couple if this is against their beliefs.

In July 2005, Canada legalized same-sex marriage. The legislation covers civil ceremonies, and states that no members of the clergy would be forced to perform a same-sex wedding unless they so desire.
the rest

Bishop ready to pass his pulpit
Albany Episcopal Diocese leader Daniel Herzog to retire next year

Albany Times-Union
MARC PARRY, Staff writer
Wednesday, November 1, 2006

ALBANY -- Albany Episcopal Bishop Daniel Herzog announced this week that he plans to retire early next year, well short of when he is required to step down.

That means the 19-county diocese is on the cusp of concluding a long transition that began in March when clergy and lay deputies elected the Rev. William Love to succeed Herzog.

Herzog and his assistant, Suffragan Bishop Dave Bena, will retire on Jan. 31. Church rules mandate that Herzog, 65, retire within three years of Love's consecration, which took place in September.
the rest

Objective Assist Christian Parents in Navigating the Video Game Arena

WDC Media News

(AgapePress) - Helping parents make informed decisions about interactive entertainment for their children -- that's the purpose of the
Christian Game Developers Foundation.

The non-profit CGDF was formed to help parents track trends and to provide resources for video and computer games. Co-founder Ralph Bagley, known for developing the first high-quality Christian-themed video game, says parents must be informed and educated about video games.

"The video game industry is a dark, violent, satanic, sexually explicit place that is full of dangerous traps," says the video game veteran. "And so the CGDF is dedicated to informing and educating parents about that -- and also pointing them in the direction of some good, high-quality, alternative games."

According to Bagley, because of the popularity of video games among children -- Christian and non-Christian alike -- parents need to know what their children are getting into.
the rest

Episcopal Bishop Apologizes for Handling of Brother's Sex Abuse Case
By The Associated Press
Wed, Nov. 01 2006

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The leader of the Episcopal Church's five-county Diocese of Pennsylvania sent an e-mail to clergy and lay leaders apologizing for failing to properly investigate or report sexual abuse of a minor by his brother during the 1970s.

"I sincerely apologize if any lack of action on my part 30 years ago has caused hurt or distress," Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. wrote.The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Sunday that while he was a young rector in a California parish, Bennison failed to contact law enforcement or church officials when he discovered that his brother, a parish youth minister, had sexually abused a 14-year-old girl.

Bennison said in an e-mail Tuesday that "to the best of my memory," he learned of the abuse in 1974 when the girl's mother informed him. He said he confronted his brother and "told him to leave the parish's employ." He said he did not report the abuse to civil or church authorities because the girl's parents had not chosen to do so.
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Schori Interview: “What are you: a Unitarian?!?”
Wednesday November 01st

October 18th NPR interview with +Schori
Transcribed by the CaNN News Editor

Interview at CANN here

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

'Take my soul and body’s powers;
Take my memory, mind, and will;
All my goods, and all my hours;
All I know, and all I feel;
All I think, or speak, or do;
Take my heart—but make it new.’
[C. Wesley]

Bishop Iker’s Interview On Public Radio

Have a listen.

Found at Drell's Descants

Cross Free Chapels

One by one, they disappear. They go into storage, closets, or God knows where. Crosses, I mean. Some "churches" even remove them from their own buildings, sanctuaries. Some are removed by judicial fiat from municipal logos. St. Paul said the Cross is offensive, a stumblingblock.

God truly have mercy upon those who chose to remove the sign of atonement from their eyes, their lives, and their hearts. While it may be for them merely an ornament, they still know not what they do. When the symbol of the Cross is gone, that for which it stands will fade from the memory and imagination. In many cases the removal, perhaps, follows the latter. Still, some child may look and ask someone, what is that symbol? If he finds the answer, he may come to embrace it. "Better, Screwtape, that we put the Cross into a childproof closet." We wouldn't want someone to get the Wrong Idea.

The latest Removal took place, it is reported here by
Todd Starnes, from the chapel of the College of William and Mary. While it may seem more inclusive to remove the Cross of Jesus, He would disagree, He who intends to draw all men, all nations, every tribe and tongue, to the sign of the Divine Mercy and forgiveness that all men need.

Mere Comments

'The Unpaid Bills of the Church'
Wicca's Charm

Chuck Colson

"Imagine losing all your friends at once," a woman named Margaret Ann told Catherine Edwards Sanders, the author of Wicca's Charm. Margaret Ann was talking about her decision to leave her Baptist faith and become a Wiccan during her college years. "My family ganged up on me and refused to discuss it with me at all," she recalls.

Sanders adds, "All of her friends, except one, deserted her. Not one of the members of the Christian group [on campus] bothered to ask why she liked Wicca. . . . Other Christian students would only talk to her to tell her that they were praying for her.

"At another point in the book, Sanders tells the story of what happened to a group of Wiccans in Orange County. As they were practicing a sunrise ritual, a group of Christians surrounded the Wiccans with their cars and blared loud Christian rock music at them.

What's wrong with this picture?

To begin with, we need to understand that Wicca and its power are real. Marketers of popular kids' books and TV programs about Wicca told Sanders that it's all fake and something kids do just for fun. But as both current and former Wiccans report, Wicca is a real, powerful, and dangerous thing. Laura, a high school student, told Sanders that she "had a very bad experience" during a Wiccan ritual and is now "haunted by a scary presence." Kathleen and Paula, two former Wiccans, also report "negative experiences too frightening to describe." Others have similar accounts.

the rest

Why is Sexuality so Important to the Church?
Albert Mohler
Posted: Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Dr. Peter Jensen, the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, is one of the most influential evangelical leaders in the worldwide
Anglican Communion. The archdiocese he leads is among the most conservative within the Communion and, not surprisingly, one of the healthiest as well.

In a
recent address to the synod of his archdiocese, Archbishop Jensen explained why issues of human sexuality are so important to the Christian church. A church that will abandon biblical truth on issues of sexuality will set the pattern for denying biblical authority when addressing any issue. Consider this passage from his address:

As you know, I have taken the view from the beginning that the crisis over human sexuality is a very deep one indeed. The idea that we are somehow to blame for making so much fuss about sex is ludicrous. Human sexuality is so powerful a gift and so basic to our human nature, and so fraught with both good and ill, that it is bound to occupy a large part of our thinking. Indeed it is all part of our cultural reappraisal of the roles of men and women, with vast consequences for the quality of family life and the good of the begetting and nurturing of the race. In the end, it is also a crisis over biblical authority and its clarity; hence the importance of Biblical Theology. Here is a crucial sticking point. To accept various contemporary ways of reading scripture will leave us vulnerable at all points. We will not defend the uniqueness of Christ, if we will not defend the plain teaching of scripture on human sexuality.

the rest

U.S. Marriage Decline Seen as Foreboding Sign for Society's Future
By Allie Martin
October 31, 2006

(AgapePress) - A leader in the pro-family movement says a new Census Bureau report points to dark days ahead for American society. The recently released America Community Survey found that for the first time in the nation's history, married couples represent a minority of U.S. households.

According to the recently released report on the survey, marriage has been in decline during the past 50 years and has fallen from 76 percent of all U.S. households in 1957 to just below 50 percent today.

Dr. Allan Carlson is founder of the
World Congress of Families (WCF), an international network of pro-family organizations and leaders whose goal is to restore the natural family as society's fundamental unit. He says the U.S. needs to rediscover the importance of marriage if the current pattern of decline in married households is to be turned around.

What cultural analysts are seeing at present, Carlson says, is "a greater trend towards an extreme form of individualism, a reluctance to make binding commitments." And a binding commitment is, "in fact, what a marriage is," he points out.
the rest

The Confession
Have same-sex-marriage advocates said too much?
By Stanley Kurtz

Suppose a large group of same-sex-marriage activists came together and made the following confession to a group of same-sex-marriage skeptics:

“Look, we’re going to level with you in a way that we haven’t up to now. We all support same-sex marriage, but for many — even most — of us, gay marriage isn’t an end in itself. It’s a way-station on the path to a post-marriage society. We want a wide range of diverse families — even ‘polyamorous’ groupings of three or more partners — to have the same recognition, rights, and benefits as heterosexual married couples. In short, your worst fears are justified. The radical redefinition of marriage you’ve been worried about for so long is exactly what we want.

“Oh sure, some of us are more radical than others. But even the most committed and prominent mainstream advocates of same-sex marriage largely support a radical family agenda. A few advocates who back a ‘conservative’ interpretation of same-sex marriage may regularly engage you in debate, yet their views carry relatively little weight within the gay community. Some of these ‘conservative’ supporters of same-sex marriage have claimed that there is no significant political constituency for polygamy-polyamory, or for a general legal deconstruction of marriage. That’s just wrong. As gay marriage gains acceptance, we’re going to have a polygamy-polyamory debate in this country. And among those sponsoring that debate will be many of the very same people and groups who’ve already pushed for same-sex marriage.
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Hundreds of haredim riot against gay parade in J'lem
Protest against upcoming gay pride parade in capital becomes violent as hundreds of ultra-Orthodox gather on main traffic route in town, block road, torch trash cans and throw stones. Four policemen hurt by stone throwing
Neta Sela

Several hundreds haredi rioters blocked one of Jerusalem's main traffic routes, road number one connecting the western and eastern parts of the city, Tuesday evening, in protest of the plan to hold the gay pride parade in the capital next Friday.

Four policemen were lightly injured from rocks thrown by Haredi rioters and received medical treatment at the scene.

The Jerusalem police have detained nine haredim during the protests.
the rest

Abstinence message goes beyond teens
Millions in federal money targeting adults up to 29
By Sharon Jayson

The federal government's “no sex without marriage” message isn't just for kids anymore.

Now the government is targeting unmarried adults up to age 29 as part of its abstinence-only programs, which include millions of dollars in federal money that will be available to the states under revised federal grant guidelines for 2007.

The government says the change is a clarification. But critics say it's a clear signal of a more directed policy targeting the sexual behavior of adults.

“They've stepped over the line of common sense,” said James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth, a Washington, D.C.-based group that supports sex education. “To be preaching abstinence when 90% of people are having sex is in essence to lose touch with reality. It's an ideological campaign. It has nothing to do with public health.”

Abstinence education programs, which have focused on preteens and teens, teach that abstaining from sex is the only effective or acceptable method to prevent pregnancy or disease. They give no instruction on birth control or safe sex.

The National Center for Health Statistics says well over 90% of adults ages 20-29 have had sexual intercourse.
the rest

Pagan inmates to observe festival

Pagan prisoners in Britain are to be given time off work duties to allow them to observe a religious festival on the day of Halloween.

Pagans observe the Celtic New Year's Eve on 31 October, which they see as Britain's indigenous New Year event.

The Home Office, which agreed to the move, said it was committed to treating all prisoners with decency, which included respecting all religions.

There are more than 300 registered Pagans in Britain's prisons.
the rest

Episcopal leader`s gay stance irks flock
Oct 31, 2006

NEW YORK, NY, United States (UPI) -- The new leader of the Episcopal Church has revealed a part of her agenda with letters written to two out-of-favor bishops.

Katharine Jefferts Schori is days away from becoming the leader of the left-wing denomination, whose promotion of homosexuality has put it at odds with most of the 77-million member worldwide Anglican communion. Most of that 450-year-old church refuses to accept the Episcopal denomination`s promotion of homosexuality. The Episcopal denomination is regarded, currently, as the U.S. province of the Anglican Church.

The election this summer of Schori, an active supporter of consecrating homosexuals as bishops and same-sex marriage, to Episcopalianism`s top job has prompted numerous bishops and their dioceses to seek alternative spiritual oversight from the Anglican Communion`s nominal head, England`s Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.
the rest

Monday, October 30, 2006

Religion today is not transforming people; rather it is being transformed by the people. It is not raising the moral level of society; it is descending to society's own level, and congratulating itself that it has scored a victory because society is smilingly accepting its surrender. ... A. W. Tozer

US ‘Foreign Aid’ Consists of Billions of Condoms
Despite AIDS program abstinence emphasis US is still largest condom donor in the world
By Meg Jalsevac
EUFAULA, Alabama,
October 30, 2006

( – An Oct. 28 New York Times article has exposed the self-serving business and political interests behind the U.S. export of billions of condoms to under-developed and developing countries as part of the nations’ foreign aid and international AIDS programs.

Despite the detrimental effects, both societal and physical of such so-called aid, the past two decades have seen both Republican and Democratic senators alike treating the manufacture of billions of condoms as a purely economic perk and fighting for the manufacturing to remain in the US.

The Bush administration has spent billions of dollars in its global AIDS plan. Of that money, one-third must be spent on promoting abstinence programs such as the Ugandan ABC program. However, that still leaves billions of dollars for family planning and population control programs.
the rest

In Touch With Jesus
Sugarcoated, MTV-style youth ministry is so over. Bible-based worship is packing teens in pews now

Sometimes a scavenger hunt is just a scavenger hunt. That's all it is at many churches, where the frenzied chase to collect trinkets and complete silly tasks is a perennial activity aimed at getting teenagers into their doors. But at Calvary Baptist Church in Bellflower, Calif., a scavenger hunt is also a metaphor for the lifelong pursuit of meaning and happiness that begins in adolescence--and rich grist for a sermon targeted to teens. "A scavenger hunt is a search," youth leader Doug Jones, 20, tells the 80 teens who have just returned from a race through this working-class city 30 miles east of Los Angeles. Quoting from Romans 10: 13 ("Anyone who calls on the Lord will be saved") and Matthew 7: 7 ("Ask, and God will give to you. Search, and you will find"), he urges them to "ask God to come into your life and rescue you, and bring your personal scavenger hunt to an end."

the rest

Albert Mohler commentary here

Presiding Bishop's Chancellor Threatens Fort Worth, Quincy Dioceses

On the eve of Nevada Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s investiture as the 26th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, her chancellor, David Booth Beers, has written identical letters to the chancellors of two traditionalist dioceses demanding that they change language “that can be read as cutting against an ‘unqualified accession’ to the Constitution and Canons of the General Convention of The Episcopal Church.

“The timing of this letter is shocking,” Fort Worth Bishop Jack L. Iker told The Living Church. “Some of the changes he refers to go back as far as 1989. All this was done completely out in the open and news of it was distributed widely. We have kept the Presiding Bishop informed at every step.

“We are still contemplating our response, but I think we will refuse to take the ‘bait’ by responding in kind,” Bishop Iker said. “We will probably refer him to our website where our constitution and canons are published.”

the rest at The Living Church (HT to Connecticut Six)

Albany Diocese: Bp. Herzog and Bp. Bena to retire
via email-Priests and Deacons update

At the meeting of the Standing Committee today (Oct 30) Bishop Dan Herzog and Bishop Dave Bena advised the members that they each intend to retire in early 2007.

“We have both prayerfully considered what God’s will is, and believe that this is the right time to pass on the apostolic ministry.

We have discussed this with Bishop William Love, the Coadjutor of the Diocese, and he is ready to assume leadership as Ninth Bishop of Albany. By the time we retire on January 31, over ten months will have elapsed since his election.

Bishop Bill was for some time a member of the Standing Committee and the Diocesan Council and therefore well acquainted with the vision and operations of the diocese. Since March he has been able to participate in many meetings, ministries and events along side us. He is an able leader, committed to Christ and His kingdom.

Each of us has been especially blessed by having a supportive and prayerful wife. Carol Herzog and MaryEllen Bena have sacrificed time and companionship so we could carry out this ministry. Words are inadequate to express our gratitude.

Both of us have been blessed to labor together in this portion of the Lord’s vineyard. We have been particularly blessed by our fellow disciples, both lay and ordained. Both of us are deeply grateful for the help of so many as we endeavored to carry our episcopal ministry across this vast diocese.

In Christ Jesus,

+ Bishop Dan Herzog

+ Bishop Dave Bena

3 Episcopalian groups worship as one in Vista
By Sandi Dolbee
October 30, 2006

VISTA – In ordinary times, Episcopal Bishop James Mathes would have been in Fallbrook yesterday, presiding over services at the church there as part of his rotating visit of parishes in the San Diego diocese.

These are not ordinary times.

Instead, Mathes found himself at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Vista, where three congregations have taken sanctuary from the departures and dissension afflicting the U.S. Episcopal Church.

He brought words of encouragement during what he called “a time of conflict and confusion.” And he suggested good things would come.

“In your future, as you separate back to your home communities, I don't think you'll ever be the same again – in a very positive way,” Mathes said.

Since December, six priests have left the San Diego diocese as part of a national division over such issues as the ordination of an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire, the election of the denomination's first female presiding bishop and other disagreements.
the rest

Sunday, October 29, 2006

And I will put a division between my people and thy people: tomorrow shall this sign be. (Exodus 8:23)

Pharaoh has a people, and the Lord has a people. These may dwell together and seem to fare alike, but there is a division between them, and the Lord will make it apparent. Not forever shall one event happen alike to all, but there shall be great difference between the men of the world and the people of Jehovah's choice.

This may happen in the time of judgments, when the Lord becomes the sanctuary of His saints. It is very conspicuous in the conversion of believers when their sin is put away, while unbelievers remain under condemnation. From that moment they become a distinct race, come under a new discipline, and enjoy new blessings. Their homes, henceforth, are free from the grievous swarms of evils which defile and torment the Egyptians. They are kept from the pollution of lust, the bite of care, the corruption of falsehood, and the cruel torment of hatred, which devour many families.

Rest assured, tried believer, that though you have your troubles you are saved from swarms of worse ones, which infest the homes and hearts of the servants of the world's prince. The Lord has put a division; see to it that you keep up the division in Spirit, aim, character, and company. ...CH Spurgeon

Church says sorry to bullied priests
October 29, 2006

ANGLICAN priests "silenced, bullied or threatened" when they tried to report child sex abuse have received a public apology.The annual Synod of the Diocese of Adelaide has endorsed a report urging it to "acknowledge and apologise for the distress experienced by some clergy who attempted to report abuse in the past and were silenced, bullied or threatened".

The apology was among measures approved by Synod at the weekend to overhaul the church's handling of child sex abuse allegations, including the adoption of a new code of conduct for priests, church officials and church workers.

The strategy - developed over 12 months by a special working party - included the introduction of mandatory reporting of child abuse to church and welfare authorities.

Archbishop Jeffrey Driver yesterday described the measures as "one of the best models for best practice in professional conduct of any diocese in Australia".
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Muslim Riots Renew in France
October 29, 2006

By Sher Zieve – Muslim riots began again in France, overnight on Sunday. Fox News reports the riots are being described as well-planned, “commando style” and designed to “overthrow governments”.

Bombs were thrown and buses were burned overnight and the violence is said to be increasing. The rioting is reported to be occurring in predominantly North African and Arab Muslim neighborhoods outside Paris. French police have said that the continuing conflagrations and violence have created police “no-go zones” in Muslim suburbs.
the rest

In Teens' Web World, MySpace Is So Last Year
Social Sites Find Fickle Audience
By Yuki Noguchi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 29, 2006

Teen Web sensation MySpace became so big so fast,
News Corp. spent $580 million last year to buy it. Then Google Inc. struck a $900 million deal, primarily to advertise with it. But now Jackie Birnbaum and her fellow English classmates at Falls Church High School say they're over MySpace.

"I think it's definitely going down -- a lot of my friends have deleted their MySpaces and are more into Facebook now," said Birnbaum, a junior who spends more time on her Facebook profile, where she messages and shares photos with other students in her network.

From the other side of the classroom, E.J. Kim chimes in that in the past three months, she's gone from slaving over her MySpace profile up to four hours a day -- decorating it, posting notes and pictures to her friends' pages -- to deleting the whole thing.

"I've grown out of it," Kim said. "I thought it was kind of pointless."

Such is the social life of teens on the Internet: Powerful but fickle. Within several months' time, a site can garner tens of millions of users who, just as quickly, might flock to the next place, making it hard for corporate America to make lasting investments in whatever's hot now.
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Caffeine-stoked energy drinks worry Docs
Associated Press Writer 1

CHICAGO - More than 500 new energy drinks launched worldwide this year, and coffee fans are probably too old to understand why.

Energy drinks aren't merely popular with young people. They attract fan mail on their own MySpace pages. They spawn urban legends. They get reviewed by bloggers. And they taste like carbonated cough syrup.
the rest

Faithful seek communion
Defiant Catholics create new home
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Star-Ledger Staff

She grew up Roman Catholic, but like millions of others, Rebecca Ortelli came to disagree with church teachings on contraception, communion and priestly celibacy, among other things.

Many like-minded Catholics drift away from the church or join other denominations. But Ortelli, 57, wanted to maintain both her Catholic identity and her world view. And she didn't want to feel one was inconsistent with the other.
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Bearing witness to a sea change in Unitarian practice
The usually low-profile church now spreads its message with mass mailers, radio spots, newspaper ads.
By David Haldane, Times Staff Writer
October 28, 2006

A devout Baptist, Larry Kuechlin believes he knows the source of the proselytizing postcard he recently received from a church that embraces homosexuals.

The mailer's architect, the Long Beach man says, is "the devil himself."

In fact, the direct mail campaign was masterminded by a force no one would suspect: Unitarians.

A denomination with no formal creed, a low profile and a strong tradition against proselytizing, Unitarian Universalists — Unitarians for short — are trying something new: a splashy dose of evangelism. Using radio spots, newspaper ads and mass mailers, they hope to spread the word (lower case) about their faith's openness, diversity and undogmatic approach.
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