Saturday, December 09, 2006

He watches with Christ,
who, while he looks on to the future, looks back on the past, and does not so contemplate what his Saviour has purchased for him, as to forget what he has suffered for him. He watches with Christ, who ever commemorates and renews in his own person Christ's cross and agony, and gladly takes up that mantle of affliction which Christ wore here, and left behind him when he ascended. And hence in the Epistles, as often as the inspired writers show their desire for his second coming, so often do they show their memory of his first, and never lose sight of his crucifixion and in his resurrection. ...John Henry Newman icon

The Year Conservatives Saved Christmas
We bullied stores out of "'Happy Holidays.'" Hooray?
Ted Olsen

Glad tidings: Christmas is saved. Sure, this season has seen its grinches. But after last year's "holiday" attack, we've mostly run them back to Mt. Crumpit.
Wal-Mart has prominently replaced last year's "Happy Holidays" greetings with "Merry Christmas," and promises 60 percent more Christmas-labeled merchandise.

"We, quite frankly, have learned a lesson from last year," a spokeswoman told
USA Today. Target, Macy's, Carson Pirie Scott, and other stories are also getting out of the holiday spirit in favor of Christmas.

One of this year's early battles was short-lived. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation initially rejected a gift of 4,000 biblically themed dolls, then changed its mind after a brief uproar. "We realized it's a lot less time-consuming to find homes for the dolls than it is to answer media and complaints," foundation veep Bill Grein told
The Washington Post.

Meanwhile, last year's "holiday tree" at the
Michigan Capitol is once again a "Christmas tree," a once-banned nativity float has returned to Denver's Parade of Lights, and a momentary manger omission in St. Albans, West Virginia, has been rescinded.

the rest photo

Southwest Florida elects Dabney Smith as bishop coadjutor
By Mary Frances Schjonberg
Saturday, December 09, 2006

[Episcopal News Service] The Rev. Dabney Smith was elected on the first ballot December 9 as the bishop coadjutor of the
Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida.

Smith, 53, rector of
Trinity Episcopal Church, New Orleans, was elected out of a field of six nominees at St. Peter's Cathedral in downtown St. Petersburg. Smith was elected with 133 lay votes and 50 clergy votes. An election on that ballot required 107 votes in the lay order and 45 in the clergy order. A total of 301 votes were cast.

Smith will become the fifth bishop of the diocese when Bishop John Lipscomb, 56, retires in 2009. Lipscomb has been bishop since 1997.

Under the
canons the Episcopal Church (III.11.4(a)), a majority of the bishops exercising jurisdiction and diocesan Standing Committees must consent to Smith’s ordination as bishop.
The complete ballot results are available
here. the rest

NY Times: Religion for Captive Audience, With Taxpayers Footing the Bill
Published: December 10, 2006

Life was different in Unit E at the state prison outside Newton,

The toilets and sinks — white porcelain ones, like at home — were in a separate bathroom with partitions for privacy. In many Iowa prisons, metal toilet-and-sink combinations squat beside the bunks, to be used without privacy, a few feet from cellmates.

The cells in Unit E had real wooden doors and doorknobs, with locks. More books and computers were available, and inmates were kept busy with classes, chores, music practice and discussions. There were occasional movies and events with live bands and real-world food, like pizza or sandwiches from Subway. Best of all, there were opportunities to see loved ones in an environment quieter and more intimate than the typical visiting days.

But the only way an inmate could qualify for this kinder mutation of prison life was to enter an intensely religious rehabilitation program and satisfy the evangelical Christians running it that he was making acceptable spiritual progress. The program — which grew from a project started in 1997 at a Texas prison with the support of
George W. Bush, who was governor at the time — says on its Web site that it seeks “to ‘cure’ prisoners by identifying sin as the root of their problems” and showing inmates “how God can heal them permanently, if they turn from their sinful past.” the rest

Mary Cheney's pregnancy affects us all
By Janice Shaw Crouse
Thursday, December 7, 2006

Mary Cheney’s
pregnancy poses problems not just for her child, but also for all Americans. Her action repudiates traditional values and sets an appalling example for young people at a time when father absence is the most pressing social problem facing the nation. With 37 percent of American children born to fatherless families, Mary Cheney is contributing to a trend that is detrimental to all Americans who will live with the ramifications of millions of children whose anger and frustration at not knowing their father will be felt in the public schools and communities of our nation.

Mary Cheney is among that burgeoning group of adult women over age 20 that are driving the trend of women who don’t want a man in the picture, but want to have a baby. These older women are pushing out-of-wedlock birth statistics higher and higher. At a time when teen births and teen abortions are declining dramatically, older women are having more un-wed births and more abortions, including repeat abortions (indicating that they are using abortion as
birth control).

Well-educated, professional Mary Cheney is flying in the face of the accumulated wisdom of the top experts who agree that the very best family structure for a child’s well-being is a married mom and dad family. Her child will have all the material advantages it will need, but it will still encounter the emotional devastation common to children without fathers.
the rest

Christianity under siege
Anthony Gomes
Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Christianity is under siege the world over and Christians everywhere need to come together urgently, whether they like it or not, to defend against further erosion of the common faith.

A Christian's first duty is to Jesus Christ, to whom they will have to give an account, should they fail to defend his legacy established over 2000 years ago that is being dismantled by governments that were not elected to be their constituents' "moral tutors". Pope John Paul II was direct when he observed that "Christian lawmakers should not contribute to or approve any legal process which would promote any of the practices which were not in harmony with the divine plan".

Such discordant practices include euthanasia, now legal in the Netherlands, that "violates the dignity of human beings and goes against the natural law of individual conscience", according to the Vatican. It was reported that the initial version of the law would have allowed people over 12 years old and less than 16 years to request to be euthanised without their parents' agreement. However, the law was amended to require parental approval.
the rest

Conservatives Attack Use of Koran for Oath
Sacred and Secular Books Have Subbed for Bible

By Omar Sacirbey
Religion News Service
Saturday, December 9, 2006

When Keith Ellison, the Minnesota Democrat whose election last month will make him the first Muslim in Congress, announced he would take his oath of office on Islam's holy book, the Koran, he provoked sharp criticism from conservatives and some heated discussion on the blogosphere.
The discussion has revived the debate about whether the nation's values and legal system are shaped only by Judeo-Christian heritage or if there is room for Islamic and other traditions.

the rest

Christmas cards are losing their religious message

Only one in 100 Christmas cards sold in Britain contains any religious imagery or message, a Daily Mail survey has revealed.

Traditional pictures such as angels blowing trumpets over a stable, Jesus in his manager, the shepherds and three wise men following the star to Bethlehem are dying out.

Instead, scenes of the Nativity has been replaced on cards by designs or jokes with little or no relevance to the Bible story and the true meaning of Christmas.

One 'offensive' card risked provoking Christians by suggesting the shepherds only saw the angel appear on the hillside because they were hallucinating after smoking drugs.
The rest

Funny Anglican ads are 'pretty cool'
By Sharon Boase
The Hamilton Spectator
(Dec 9, 2006)

The Anglican Diocese of Niagara has joined the 21st century.

Loath to let the United Church of Canada (UCC) steal the limelight with their edgy magazine ads and website, local Anglicans have launched a media campaign of their own featuring the ever affable Bishop Ralph Spence.

In a series of newspaper and radio ads, the diocese uses lighthearted humour to promote its churches as a place to reconnect with the true spirit of Christmas.

One newspaper ad has a little girl on Santa's knee with the caption, "Jesus, on the other hand, loves you regardless of whether you're naughty or nice." A radio spot has Spence pledging to buy lunch for any church newcomer who isn't greeted with a smile. "My wife, Carol, is making an awful lot of peanut butter sandwiches," quipped Spence.
the rest

Church slow to gather statistics
Most recent data about Anglicans dates back to 2001

Solange De Santisstaff writer
Dec 8, 2006

“At that time, Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Roman Empire … Everyone, then, went to register himself, each to his own home town.” Luke 2: 1-3

How many Anglicans are there in Canada? How many Anglican priests? How many baptisms took place in Anglican churches in Canada last year? How many funerals? Finding the answers to these questions has become increasingly difficult in recent years since the national church’s statistics-gathering function has slowed significantly.

The 2007 Anglican Church Directory, an annual reference book published by ABC Publishing, in the section that normally carries national statistics, now carries a sentence that reads: “Figures will be available in 2008 after the installation of a new statistics-gathering system.” However, the same sentence, with the date reading “2007,” appeared in the 2006 directory. The church last published statistics in the 2005 directory and those were from 2001.

“I get comments from people: ‘Why don’t we have statistics?’” acknowledged General Synod treasurer Peter Blachford, whose financial management and development department is responsible for collecting the data.
the rest

Is she a religion?
Some see televangelism in TV host's focus, influence

At first glance, Oprah Winfrey is nothing more than a talk show host.

But she's also recognized as one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people, giving her the status of a religious high priestess.

Winfrey uses her daily TV show -- which draws audiences so huge that they could make the most pious televangelist fall prey to envy -- to explore topics of spirituality in both celebrities and housewives.

Winfrey's own authoritative word, O, The Oprah Magazine, this month features a "guide to good behavior," which is not uncommon territory for her.

And, like megachurches across the land, Winfrey has her own mission projects in places as far away as Africa and as close to home as the Gulf Coast and victims of Hurricane Katrina.

For these reasons and others, Indiana University religious studies scholar Kathryn Lofton finds that her students frequently ask her whether Winfrey constitutes a religion.
the rest

Friday, December 08, 2006

The voice of the Father will be heard as He sets before us a widely opened door and receives us into blessed fellowship with Himself. When we pray for the Spirit's help, it will no longer be in the fear that prayer is too great an effort for us. Instead, we will simply fall down at the Lord's feet in our weakness. There we will find the victory and power that comes from His love. ...Andrew Murray photo

Bishop Howard Attempts to Depose Six of “Florida Seven” Priests

Press Release from the Anglican Alliance of North Florida:

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA—The Anglican Alliance of North Florida is saddened to announce that six of the original “Florida Seven” priests have received a letter of deposition from Bishop John Howard of the Episcopal Diocese of Florida on the grounds of “abandonment of communion” (the letter is available here in electronic format). The deposition of a priest or a deacon is an ecclesiastical measure which strips someone of clergy status by nullifying his or her ordination.

All of the priests in question had requested that Bishop Howard provide alternative episcopal oversight in 2005, and were refused. All but one had applied to the Panel of Reference and the Archbishop of Canterbury for protection. All of them are now members of the Anglican Alliance of North Florida and are faithfully serving as priests under archbishops in other parts of the Anglican Communion. Not only have they not abandoned the communion of the Church, they have come under the authority of orthodox Anglican bishops precisely because of their desire to remain in that communion.

In addition, Bishop Howard sent out a letter announcing that he had accepted letters of renunciation of ministry from seven clergy. At least three of these clergy have never renounced their orders, either verbally or in writing, but rather have been accepted as clergy under an overseas Anglican authority and serve in parishes within the Anglican Alliance of North Florida; they have no intention of renouncing their orders and ask Bishop Howard to rectify his mistake.

the rest at titusonenine

WORLD's 2006 Daniels of the Year:
Peter Jasper Akinola and Henry Luke Orombi

Jesus asked His disciples, "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A man clothed in soft garments?" John the Baptist, of course, was no such man, and neither are WORLD's 2006 Daniels of the Year Peter Jasper Akinola and Henry Luke Orombi. Their biblical stands are making a difference not only in Africa but in the United States, as the crisis in the oldest American denomination reaches its climax.

By Mindy Belz in Kampala.

At twilight the marabou stork still sits atop the tallest tree on Anglican Archbishop Henry Orombi's compound in Kampala, waiting for prey to come into view. Inside his home the archbishop is talking about other flesh-eaters. He is describing the scene when Uganda tyrant Idi Amin sent men for Orombi's lifelong mentor, then-Archbishop Janini Luwam. "16 February 1977," he says, as though it were yesterday. "From this place, from where we are sitting, they took him and killed him."

Luwam was a popular clergymen, "a passionate preacher, a great pastor gifted in engaging people," according to Orombi. Luwam spoke out against Amin's murderous regime, attracting international attention. One night armed men from the defense ministry showed up just under the stork's tree with a political prisoner. His hands had been nearly cut off at the wrist but left dangling and bleeding as a way to lure Luwam from the house. When the archbishop came out, they beat him with gun-butts and demanded to search his home for weapons.
the rest

Don't miss this!

Episcopal bishop one of a dozen people arrested during war protest

SAN FRANCISCO An Episcopal bishop was one of a dozen people arrested during a war protest outside the San Francisco Federal Building.

The Right Reverend Marc Handley Andrus was taken into custody by Federal Protective Service officers when he and other protesters laid down and blocked the front of the building.

Andrus was arrested yesterday afternoon after he an about 200 protesters had marched from Grace Cathedral yesterday afternoon to join others in an anti-war rally outside the federal building on Golden Gate Avenue.

Official Response from The Falls Church/Truro To Bishop Peter Lee
December 2, 2006

Dear Bishop Lee,

We are profoundly grieved that we must send this letter. We feel compelled, however, to respond to your letter of December 1, 2006, in which you set forth your position on certain canonical and legal issues associated with the current situation. We are writing to you as the senior wardens of The Falls Church and Truro Church.

We respectfully request that you reflect on why it is that we all find ourselves in the current predicament. The Episcopal Church has departed from the basic tenets of historic Christianity, including the authority of the Holy Scriptures and the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as the only Lord and Savior of humankind. The actions of the Episcopal Church at its 2003 and 2006 General Conventions and the resulting division are simply the most visible symptoms of these grievous errors in doctrine. the rest (pdf)

Iris Godfrey: Advent Meditation

For Me

FOR ME!!! I realize this is an unusual picture to put on my blog at this season of the year. But I am so deeply grateful for my Lord Jesus Christ. I love to celebrate Christmas and all the arguments about His birth being a different time of the year do not really impress me, nor do they deter me. I know about all that stuff, but I am overwhelmingly thankful that He came and He came because He loved me. It is not a pagan holiday in my heart. It is the celebration of His coming and all the dimensions of that coming pile into me and out of me in praise and wonder.

As we gaze at the babe in the manger this season, let us remember that He will come again, and this time He will come as our Victorious King. For that is what He is. Read Revelation 1:9-20 and let that image fill your soul.

1. He is One like the a son of man -- One like me. I am included in Him -- He came like me, He is like me -- only better. So when I see those words, I know He has included me and is for me.

2. He was dressed in a robe extending down to his feet - He is wearing the linen robe of the High Priest. Glory! He is my Intercessor, never sleeping, day and night, keeping vigil for me and over me and mine. What absolute wonder! He is the One who takes care of my affairs. He doesn't make mistakes in those matters. I do, but He straightens the things I have made crooked and takes care of it all. He came for this.

3. He wore a wide golden belt around His chest - He is King, but not just any earthly king, He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He rules in all the affairs of men. They may or may not be aware of His Lordship, but He nonetheless is ruling. In Psalm 2, the Holy Spirit tells us that even though the nations of the earth gather against Him, He laughs at them. How very pitiable our preparations for safety and for government must seem in the light of His all powerful nature.

4. His head and His hair are as white as wool, even as white as snow . All the knowledge and wisdom that exists are His. He knows. He just knows. Whatever it is, He knows and He knows what is best in each and every situation. "If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives generously to all men..." What a wonderful gift you are Lord!

5. His eyes are like a fiery flame. He sees. That is probably enough to say -- He sees. Whatever, whenever, He sees. To be able to know, perceive, and see. Nothing hidden --everything out in the open. He sees.

6. His feet are like polished bronze refined in a furnace. In the Old Testament, bronze is always symbolic of judgment. So here we have the picture of our Lord Jesus with feet as polished bronze. Letting us know that whatever judgment was ours to reap, He has already stood in it, taken, it and pronounced it done. His feet are like bronze -- He stands in judgment for me.

7. His voice is like the roar of many waters. Like Niagara Falls. Oh what a sound. I love to get as close to the Falls as possible and just let the sound of the roar invade my being. That is what His voice is like. Many Christians make the mistake of thinking (and saying) that they do not hear God speak to them. Lie! That is a lie. At least according to the word of the Lord, it is a lie. You see, when this Son of Man speaks -- He sounds like roaring water -- Niagara Falls. In order to miss it you have to be deaf (spiritually deaf), if you are one of His. Now if you do not have the Lord as your Savior and do not have the Holy Spirit inside, then it will be quiet for you. You will not hear. But beloved Christian, you do hear at least according to John 10:27. If you are His, you hear.

8. A sharp double-edge sword extends out of His mouth. We know from Hebrews 4:12, that this two edge-sword is the Word of God. This is indeed the agent that is used to create, to bring life, to deliver, to restore, and to kill. John 3:16 is a double-edge sword. To all who receive -- eternal life; but to all who do not believe, the sword of His love brings the "perishing." He speaks and He has spoken. We have the privilege of reading the utterances of Almighty God, and of knowing His heart as He has written to us. So in voice, and in page. He is amazingly thorough.

9. His face shines like the sun shining at full strength. We do not look at our natural sun for it would literally blind us. Our Lord shines more brightly than any physical sun. Yet in His light we see and know light. If we get energy and life from the physical sun, then how much more from the One who created it all and shines more brightly than any of the creation. In His presence we become healed and restored through the light of that presence. It is better than any earthly day on the beach.

This is a brief summary of the One who describes Himself as "I am the First and the Last, and the One who was dead, but look, now I am alive -- forever and ever -- and I hold the keys of death and of Hades." This is Who we celebrate this season! Let us lift our eyes beyond the babe and greet our conquering King who lives forever more. Soon we will see Him as He is! Now that will really be Christmas! Found at MannaWord

Iris Godfrey. Iris is CEO of Psalm 19 Ministries, one of its founders, its primary visionary and Bible teacher. She serves as the President of the Board of Directors. Iris oversees the everyday functions of the ministry in all areas. She serves her local church (Church of the Resurrection A/G) as a Bible teacher.

Ireland: Poll Results Reveal Widespread Opposition to Sexual Orientation Regulations
An independent opinion poll commissioned by the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship has shown that the government’s efforts to push through the new Sexual Orientation Regulations are out of step with public opinion.
by Maria Mackay
Posted: Friday, December 8, 2006

An independent opinion poll commissioned by the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship has shown that the government’s efforts to push through the new Sexual Orientation Regulations are out of step with public opinion.

More than seven out of 10 in a poll of 1000 adults across Britain agreed with the statement, ‘Any law requiring people to promote homosexual practice should be applied selectively so as to ensure that people with strong religious beliefs are not forced to act against their conscience.’

The government has received widespread criticism for using its direct rule powers in Northern Ireland to fast-track laws making it illegal to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation.

LCF criticised the government for ignoring the concerns voiced by many faith groups in Northern Ireland and for failing to grant believers exception to the regulations on grounds of individual conscience.
the rest

"This is Something We Hadn’t Fully Thought Through, Frankly"
Albert Mohler
Posted: Friday, December 08

Just a month ago, the New York City Board of Health announced plans to let persons change the sex on their birth certificate -- even without a sex-change operation. The proposal was seen as a major advance for those seeking to separate gender from biological sex. The proposal was also -- and rightly -- seen as radical and unworkable. Now, reality has caught up with the proposal and it has been withdrawn.

The move to allow individuals to change the documented sex on their birth certificates was fueled by the "rights revolution" in matters of sexuality. The city's Health Commissioner,
Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, seemed very excited about the proposal. the rest

In Munich, Provocation in a Symbol of Foreign Faith
Published: December 8, 2006

MUNICH, Dec. 5 — Helga Schandl says she has nothing against Muslims. For three decades, she worked in Munich’s wholesale food market, where many of her colleagues were immigrants from Turkey. “I have experienced integration firsthand,” she said.

Yet Mrs. Schandl, a 67-year-old Bavarian, is leading a fierce campaign to halt plans to build a mosque in a working-class district here. “It is a provocation,” she said of the mosque, which would sit across a graceful square from her Roman Catholic church — its minarets an exotic counterpoint to the church’s neo-baroque steeples. “The mosque doesn’t have anything to do with religion,” she said. “It is a power play.”

Of the many ways that Christians and Muslims rub up against each other in this country, the construction of mosques has become one of the most contentious. Symbols of a foreign faith, rising in German cities, they are stoking anti-foreign sentiment and reinforcing fears that Christianity is under threat.
the rest

Delray Beach man sues over polling place at Catholic church
By Matt Sedensky
The Associated Press Posted
December 6 2006

MIAMI -- A nonobservant Jew whose voting precinct is in a Catholic church has sued, claiming that casting a ballot amidst crucifixes and anti-abortion banners amounted to a breach of church-state separation.

Jerry Rabinowitz of Delray Beach filed the lawsuit Friday in federal court here, saying elections officials refused to remove or cover religious materials at Emmanuel Catholic Church when he voted last month. The supervisor of elections for Palm Beach County, Arthur Anderson, is named as the defendant.
the rest

Numbers continue to show that Planned Parenthood is not welcome
By Joey Kerlin
Dec 7, 2006

In 1993, when Planned Parenthood operated 922 clinics in the United States, it began a campaign with the goal of having "2,000 clinics by the year 2000". Planned Parenthood was confident that it had the support of people in communities all across the country. Clinic numbers did, in fact, begin to rise over the next couple of years, growing to 938 clinics by 1995. However, Planned Parenthood found that the communities where it was attempting to expand wanted nothing to do with it. Furthermore, the people in the communities where Planned Parenthood had already established clinics were outraged as well. All over the country Planned Parenthood was finding that it was, in fact, not welcome.

Every year since then Planned Parenthood's clinics have been closing all over the country. American Life League's Stop Planned Parenthood department has been gathering research for 21 years on the actions of Planned Parenthood and has found that its 1995 total was the highest number of clinics it ever reached. After completing this year's comprehensive research on Planned Parenthood's clinic base, American Life League has found that clinics continue to close. With 13 clinics closing in seven states this year alone, the trend of a clinic closing on average every month continues.
the rest

Case of Dog Shot in Vermont Sparks Movement to Legally Recognize Bond Between People and Pets
Thursday, December 07, 2006
By Hannah Sentenac

The death of a family's beloved canine companion in Vermont has sparked a legal battle over pets' rights and the question of whether they should be recognized family members.

Denis and Sarah Scheele of Annapolis, Md., were moved to push for the courts to give legal recognition to the bond between humans and animals after they lost their "little boy," a mixed-breed adopted dog named Shadow on a family vacation in 2003. Legal recognition would allow people to sue for "loss of companionship" damages when their pets are the victims of animal cruelty.

"Pets give so much to us, unconditionally," Sarah Scheele said. "You can't put a price on that."
the rest

Local Episcopals OK with secession
San Joaquin diocese approves path to break from changing church
By Paul Burgarino , STAFF WRITER
Article Last Updated:12/08/2006

Church bells rang and pews were filled at Episcopal congregations throughout the Diocese of San Joaquin on Sunday, just as another day of worship.
But something was different.

The day before, the 48-parish diocese overwhelmingly passed resolutions at a convention in Fresno that put the diocese in a position to be the first to secede from the U.S. Episcopal Church and affiliate with conservatives in the global Anglican Communion.

I would say there is a lot of relief and happiness right now, said the Rev. Tom Foster of St. Marys Church in Manteca. Most people were tired of the incremental changes being made that were altering the fabric of Christianity.

There hasnt been a major uproar, the reaction was pretty mild and not all that verbose, said the Rev. Stanley Collins of St. Marks Church in Tracy. On Sunday, the congregation had some questions about it and we made the announcement.
the rest

Thursday, December 07, 2006

There is a time appointed in the history of our world, when that very Jesus who appeared on earth, "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief," shall reappear with all the circumstances of majesty and power, "King of kings and Lord of lords." We are led to expect a day when Christ shall find a home in the remotest hearts and families, and the earth in all its circumference be covered with the knowledge and the power of the Lord. ...Henry Melvill art

Lawsuits Against Los Angeles Congregations Dismissed

Lawyers for The Episcopal Church did not add "anything legally material" to the case against three former Episcopal congregations that left the Diocese of Los Angeles with their property in 2004, according to Orange County Judge David Velasquez, who dismissed the last remaining lawsuits against the congregations earlier today.

Judge Velasquez originally dismissed the appeal last October, but allowed lawyers to amend their complaints. The original suit was dismissed in favor of the parishes last year. California and a handful of other states rely on neutral principles of law in deciding property disputes among churches and similar voluntary organizations. The majority of states defer to the organization's hierarchical bylaws.

Neither the diocese nor the national church has a rightful claim on land, buildings or items such as hymnals and prayer books, Judge Velasquez ruled. The Dec. 7 hearing was attended by lawyers for St. James', Newport Beach; St. David's, North Hollywood; and All Saints', Long Beach. Lawyers for the national church and John Shiner, who represents the Diocese of Los Angeles, participated via teleconference.

The Living Church: the rest

Free "Plan B" doses handed out
Updated: 12/6/2006
By: Evan Axelbank

Saying accidents happen, Planned Parenthood is hitting the airwaves to advertise free morning-after pills to anyone with an ID.

"Everyone can get free EC to have on hand just in case," the ad says.
"It's an opportunity for more people to learn about EC; lots of people don't know about it, don't know when to use it, how to use it," said Betty DeFazio of Planned Parenthood.

They're trying to close a Plan B knowledge gap with two pills taken the morning after that are effective at warding off an unwanted pregnancy. But, pro-lifers are crying foul, saying Planned Parenthood is encouraging reckless sex.

"Planned Parenthood, unfortunately, has thrown in the towel and says well, they're going to do it anyway. So, we're going to give them whatever means we can, and I think that's the backwards approach," said Friends for Life's legal counsel Raymond Dague.
the rest

Powerful Magnetic Storm Approaches the Earth
Dec. 08, 2006

The largest electromagnetic energy emission in the last 30 years has been recorded on the Sun, the Shernberg State Astronomy Institute said on Thursday. This energy outburst may damage equipment of space satellites, the scientists say. Doctors warn that the emission is dangerous for those afflicted with cardiovascular illnesses as well as for healthy people.

Scientists at the Shernberg Astronomy Institute of the Moscow State University have reported record-high emissions of electromagnetic energy on the Sun, the biggest since the 1970s. Over the past few days, the volume of sun radiation, or X9, has exceeded the normal level 1,000-fold.

The scientists call this phenomenon an anomaly and say that the Sun is now in a stage when sunspots, sources of high electromagnetic radiation, are unusual. “Outbursts on the Sun like this have been extremely infrequent over the past 30 years,” said Igor Nikulin of the Shernberg Institute. “What is more, we have never had a chance to observe such emissions with the sun at its minimal activity.”
the rest

Manliness is next to godliness
By Jenny Jarvie and Stephanie Simon, Times Staff Writers
December 7, 2006

Nashville — THE strobe lights pulse and the air vibrates to a killer rock beat. Giant screens show mayhem and gross-out pranks: a car wreck, a sucker punch, a flabby (and naked) rear end, sealed with duct tape.

Brad Stine runs onstage in ripped blue jeans, his shirt untucked, his long hair shaggy. He's a stand-up comic by trade, but he's here today as an evangelist, on a mission to build up a new Christian man — one profanity at a time. "It's the wuss-ification of America that's getting us!" screeches Stine, 46.

A moment later he adds a fervent: "Thank you, Lord, for our testosterone!"

It's an apt anthem for a contrarian movement gaining momentum on the fringes of Christianity. In daybreak fraternity meetings and weekend paintball wars, in wilderness retreats and X-rated chats about lust, thousands of Christian men are reaching for more forceful, more rugged expressions of their faith.
the rest

Remains of St. Paul may have been found
Wed Dec 6

Vatican archaeologists have unearthed a sarcophagus believed to contain the remains of the Apostle Paul that had been buried beneath Rome's second largest basilica.

The sarcophagus, which dates back to at least A.D. 390, has been the subject of an extended excavation that began in 2002 and was completed last month, the project's head said this week.

"Our objective was to bring the remains of the tomb back to light for devotional reasons, so that it could be venerated and be visible," said Giorgio Filippi, the Vatican archaeologist who headed the project at St. Paul Outside the Walls basilica.

The interior of the sarcophagus has not yet been explored, but Filippi didn't rule out the possibility of doing so in the future.

Two ancient churches that once stood at the site of the current basilica were successively built over the spot where tradition said the saint had been buried. The second church, built by the Roman emperor Theodosius in the fourth century, left the tomb visible, first above ground and later in a crypt.
the rest

Canada looks set to keep gay marriage law
Thursday December 7, 2006
By Randall Palmer

OTTAWA - Parliament prepared today to revisit last year's decision to make gay marriage legal in Canada, but with much less fanfare and with virtual certainty that the new definition of marriage will be maintained.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives, most of whom oppose same-sex marriage, have only a minority of seats in the House of Commons and were getting little support from members of other parties on the issue.

Harper's team itself seemed to be going through the motions, arguing less about why gay marriage should be rescinded and more about his promise to let Parliament have a second look.
the rest

2 priests, members leave over doctrine
By Sandi Dolbee
December 7, 2006

In a solemn service last night at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in Rancho Peñasquitos, San Diego Bishop James Mathes said goodbye to the latest priests and parishioners breaking away from the diocese as part of ongoing divisions over the direction of the U.S. Episcopal Church.

“Tonight is a night of tears,” Mathes told about 70 people gathered in the sanctuary. “We have failed.”
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Bishop Defends ‘Christian Christmas’ as Society Fears Causing Offence
The Bishop of Lichfield has hit out at the growing tendency of local authorities and businesses to downplay Christmas for fear of offending people of other faiths.
by Daniel Blake
Posted: Thursday, December 7, 2006

The Bishop of Lichfield has hit out at the growing tendency of local authorities and businesses to downplay Christmas for fear of offending people of other faiths.

Recently the industrial reconciliation service Acas advised employers to use Christmas decorations which “are secular and not inherently religious” to avoid causing offence to non-Christians.

Reports claim that 74 per cent of businesses are worried that Christmas celebrations could make them fall foul of anti-discrimination laws.
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Diocese of San Joaquin - Article II

This is raw (unedited) footage from the Article II discussion and passage.
December 2, 2006
Fresno, CA

Courtesy of AnglicanTV

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

WOE to those who say,
"When shall the day of the Lord come?"
and they don't care to know and understand that day. For the Lord's Presence in the faithful has already come, and is continuously coming, and to all those who wish for it, has arrived and is firm. Because, if He is indeed the light of the world (John 8.12) and to His Apostles has said, that with us until the end of time will be (Matt. 28.20, cf. Matt. 1.23), how, with us being, will come? Not at all. For we are not sons of darkness and sons of night, in order for the light to overtake us, but sons of light and sons of the Lord's day, hence and living in the Lord we are, and dying in Him and with Him will live, as Paul says (Acts 17.28).
...St. Symeon the Theologian photo

Bishop-elect Lawrence Sees Election Resistance in Broader Context

The Very Rev. Mark Lawrence, rector of St. Paul’s Church, Bakersfield, Calif., recognizes that he is in a difficult position. Elected Bishop of South Carolina Sept. 16, Fr. Lawrence must receive consent from a majority of standing committees and bishops with jurisdiction within 120 days from Nov. 9, the date they were formally notified of an election.

Some Episcopalians note that Fr. Lawrence has supported the Diocese of South Carolina’s decision to request alternate primatial oversight (APO) and are concerned he will attempt to lead the diocese out of The Episcopal Church. Others have not forgotten that he helped write the minority report recommending against the New Hampshire consecration during the 74th General Convention in Minneapolis. Two groups have written to the standing committees and bishops expressing reservations.

“I don’t take this personally,” Fr. Lawrence said in a recent interview. “This whole question about consent has never been about Mark Lawrence. It’s about APO. It’s about uniformity. It’s about what boundaries we will accept as Episcopalians.”
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Christian fraternity sues University
Red & Black staff and wire reports
Published , December 06, 2006

(NEW) A Christian fraternity filed a federal lawsuit against the University on Wednesday, claiming that University officials refuse to recognize the fraternity as a registered student group because it requires its members and officers to share the group’s Christian beliefs.

A suit was filed on behalf of Beta Upsilon Chi by attorneys with the Christian Legal Society and Alliance Defense Fund in District Court for Middle District of Georgia. Defendents include University President Michael Adams, Vice President of Student Affairs Rodney Bennett and Ed Mirecki, Director of Student Activities and Organizations.

“Christian student groups cannot be singled out for discrimination. The right of association applies to all student groups on a public university campus,” said Timothy J. Tracey, litigation counsel for CLS’s Center for Law & Religious Freedom, on the ADl Web site. “The University of Georgia deprives Christian student groups of this right when they force them to open their membership and leadership to students who disagree with their Christian beliefs.”
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CENTRAL NEW YORK: Bishop calls church to mission without fear
By Mary Frances Schjonberg
Tuesday, December 05, 2006

[Episcopal News Service] The Episcopal
Diocese of Central New York, meeting November 17-18 in its 138th annual Convention, affirmed the church's support of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and heard Bishop Gladstone B. (Skip) Adams call the diocese to a strategic planning effort.

"It will be grass roots and give the opportunity to every person of the diocese to be a voice of God's Spirit among us," Adams said of the process.

"We must be places of bold and risky mission that trust God's promise of the Kingdom present among us and its fulfillment no matter what," he said during his convention address. "To do so will enable us to be about what Archbishop Rowan Williams calls the ‘art of ordinary living.'"

Williams, Adams explained, "says that we learn to live without fear of the complexity of everyday life. He goes on to say that the Church cannot fear having the conflicts necessary for peace. Moreover, if the Church is capable of such conflict, the Church cannot help but be deeply threatening to the world's systems of power, based on the fear of each other.

Among the resolutions the convention passed were ones to:

*affirm Resolution A008 of the 75th General Convention to make achieving the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) its top mission priority and commit the diocese's Global Mission Committee to work within parishes to raise awareness of the MDGS, support the MDGs at a minimum of 0.7% of the diocesan budget, and strongly recommend individuals and congregations be called to give at least 0.7% toward efforts to reduce global poverty;

*endorse the continuation of a companion relationship with the Diocese of El Salvador beginning January 1, 2007, and continuing until December 31, 2009;

*encourage Adams, the Standing Committee and all other diocesan boards and committees "to do all in their power to further inclusiveness in the ministry and life of the Episcopal Church;"

*set the 2007 clergy compensation schedule with a range from $30,900 to $66,744; and

*study the issue of how to deal with congregations which disagree with the stances of the Episcopal Church;

Complete information on all the resolutions passed by convention is available here.

The Diocese of Central New York comprises 19,900 Episcopalians worshipping in 98 congregations.

Source: ENS

By Tim Bueler
Dec 6, 2006

Christmas's moral code gets in the way of liberal agenda

Stories of nativity scenes, Christmas carols and Santa Claus being banned from the public square across the country make headlines daily, but one aspect of the story is not being reported - the effect on children.

The War On Christmas is sending the message to our children that Christ is a five-letter word," says children's author, Katharine DeBrecht.

Pointing to incidents such as:

. The city of Chicago's ban on the showing of clips from the movie The Nativity

. Santa was deemed too religious for a school fundraiser in Warwick, NY.

A Wisconsin high school informed student leaders that any religious symbols, decorating or wording associated with Christmas are prohibited.
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Muslim boys urinated on Bible
Cameron Stewart
December 06, 2006

TWO Muslim students have been expelled from an Islamic school in Melbourne for urinating and spitting on a Bible and setting it on fire.

The explosive incident has forced the East Preston Islamic College to call in a senior imam to tell its 650 Muslim students that the Bible and Christianity must be respected.

Anxious teachers at the school have also petitioned principal Shaheem Doutie, expressing "grave concern" about an "inculcation of hatred and radical attitudes towards non-Muslims" at the school, including towards non-Muslim teachers.

The Bible desecration took place last week at a school camp held near Bacchus Marsh, about 50km west of Melbourne, attended by 33 teenage Muslim boys ranging in age from Year7 to Year 10.
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Several Bishops Facing Health Setbacks

The day after the adjournment of a highly publicized diocesan convention, the Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield, Bishop of San Joaquin, was hospitalized Dec. 3 with what was later diagnosed as gall stones and a mild case of pneumonia in one lung. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Bishop Schofield was not the only episcopal leader to suffer a recent health setback, however. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams was forced to rearrange his schedule for the remainder of the week after undergoing a minor surgical procedure to have a small cyst removed from his left arm Dec. 5. The procedure was straightforward and he is making a good recovery, according to a press bulletin published on the official website for Archbishop Williams. He is expected to resume his duties Dec. 9.
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Archbishop Venables: Primates Coalition Will Support Second U.S. Jurisdiction

In a message to the Dec. 1-2 convention in the Diocese of San Joaquin, the Primate of the Southern Cone assured clergy and lay delegates that the Global South primates’ coalition will support pleas for a second Anglican jurisdiction in the United States—one independent of The Episcopal Church.

“Although you might need to separate from an agenda that long ago separated from the plan of God for the Christian Church, at no time will you have to separate from the Anglican Communion,” Presiding Bishop Gregory Venables said in a taped message shown at St. James’ Cathedral, Fresno, during a service at the start of convention.

In a 17 minute address from his office in Buenos Aires, Bishop Venables outlined the history of the disputes over doctrine and discipline within the Anglican Communion, citing the actions of the General Convention in sparking the current controversy. However, the current division ran deeper, he said, and displayed “two ways of defining Christianity.”

the rest at The Living Church

Archbishop Williams: Existing Communion Links No Longer Effective

The Archbishop of Canterbury has defended the selection of the Primate of the West Indies, the Most Rev. Drexel Gomez, as chair of the Anglican Covenant drafting committee.

Writing to Episcopal Majority, a church advocacy group, Archbishop Rowan Williams explained that a covenant among the churches of the Anglican Communion was necessary because the “existing historic links and bonds are not proving effective as expressions of mutual accountability.”
On Nov. 9, Episcopal Majority wrote to Archbishop Williams, urging him to remove Archbishop Gomez as chairman of the covenant drafting team because of his public statements on The Episcopal Church. The letter said by signing the
Kigali Communique, Archbishop Gomez had shown himself to be a partisan of the Anglican Communion Network, a group they claimed was “dedicated to isolating or even overthrowing the American Episcopal Church.”

the rest at The Living Church

Christian video game 'is a force for evil'
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent
December 06, 2006

A video game that depicts a crusade of violence by Christians could be heading for the bestseller charts this Christmas, even though it has been condemned by Muslims and secularists.

The game, Left Behind: Eternal Forces, is set in post-apocalyptic New York and features God’s army battling the Antichrist.

Based on Left Behind, the bestselling Christian fantasy book series created by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, it puts players in command of brainwashed legions fighting for Christianity.
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Church leaders to visit Bethlehem

The Archbishop of Canterbury and the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales are to lead a pre-Christmas pilgrimage to Bethlehem.

Rowan Williams and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor say the trip is in solidarity with Christians because of Israeli security measures there.

Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor has said the town is "blocked in" by the Israeli security wall and checkpoints.
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Religion finds firm footing in some offices
By Ellen Wulfhorst
Dec 6, 2006

NEW YORK - Attorney Dave Brown holds a Bible study group at his California firm and finds the weekly meetings grapple with everyday workplace quandaries as often as they look at religious issues.

'It's not just the Bible. A lot of the
books we study are just about being a good person and just being human and understanding how to relate to people,' he said. 'It gives you a forum to talk.'

The growth of diversity in the workplace, along with the influence of religion in America, has brought faith -- once as taboo in the office as talk of sex and politics -- to the job, experts say.
'Work is invading people's personal lives, so people are bringing more of their personal lives to the workplace,' said Paula Brantner, director of Workplace Fairness, a Washington, D.C.-based group that promotes employee rights.
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VIRGINIA: Lee warns dissenting congregations of separation vote's consequences
By Mary Frances Schjonberg
Tuesday, December 05, 2006

[Episcopal News Service] Bishop Peter Lee of the Episcopal
Diocese of Virginia has sent a letter to the rectors, vestries and wardens of congregations considering a change in their relationship with the diocese and the Episcopal Church, warning them of the potential legal and canonical consequences of a decision to separate from the Episcopal Church, especially with regard to property and personal liability.

The congregations have engaged in a "
40 Days of Discernment" program and some have chosen to conclude that program with votes to determine their future affiliations later this month. The vestries of Truro Church, Fairfax, and The Falls Church, Falls Church, voted November 13 to recommend to their congregations that they sever ties to the Episcopal Church. A number of the others are daughter congregations of Truro Church. the rest

A Statement by the Vestry of Truro Church
November 28, 2006

Excerpt: "We write now, with heavy hearts, to explain our unanimous conclusion that The Episcopal Church has determined to walk apart and divide itself from the rest of the Communion. We stand at a fork in the road and must choose whom we shall serve, and serve alongside. As did the prior Vestry, we choose to remain within the Anglican Communion in its adherence to the apostolic and historic Christian faith.

Therefore, following our unanimous preliminary recommendation on November 11 (of which we informed the Diocese), we unanimously resolved on November 19, 2006 to call a congregational vote pursuant to our Bylaws, at which we will ask the congregation to sever its denominational ties with The Episcopal Church and to affiliate with another branch of the Anglican Communion within the Commonwealth of Virginia. We have provided and will continue to provide written notice to the congregation, as well as announcements at public worship, with the vote scheduled to commence December 10, 2006. "
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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

We search for Thee in prayer, O Lord, for all is comprehended in Thee. May we be enriched by Thee, for Thou art wealth which diminishes not with the changes of time.

May Thy loving-kindness come to our aid! May Thy grace defend us! From Thy treasury pour out upon us restoration to heal our sores.

We must seek Thee above all else, and not seek anything but Thee, for he who seeks Thee finds all in Thee.

In Thee is wealth for the needy, heartfelt joy for the sorrowing, restoration for all the wounded, consolation for all who mourn.

Accept our prayer, O our Lord, and grant us Thyself. May we live in Thee, may we possess Thee instead of all else, for then all is ours.

Grant, O Lord, that we may be Thine. And according to Thy loving-kindness be Thou ours; for the righteous Father gave us Thee for the healing of our sores.

Thou art ours according to the will of Thy Father; and Thou art ours according to Thine own desire. Thou art with us, O Emmanuel! Thou art with us, as our Lord.

Accept these prayers from us, O our God, Who hast descended to us.

Accept the tears of sinners and show mercy to the guilty.

According to Thy desire Thou hast been united with us; be the intercessor of our prayer. Raise it up to Thy Father and establish peace in our souls. St. Ephraim the Syrian art

"Shall the Fundamentalists Win?"
An excerpt from Philip Jenkins' new book, The New Faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South.
Philip Jenkins
posted 12/05/2006

Our understanding of the Bible is different from them. We are two different churches.

—Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi (Kenya)

In recent years, gatherings of the worldwide Anglican Communion have been contentious events. On one occasion, two bishops were participating in a Bible study, one an African Anglican, the other a U.S. Episcopalian. As the hours went by, tempers frayed as the African expressed his confidence in the clear words of scripture, while the American stressed the need to interpret the Bible in the light of modern scholarship and contemporary mores.

Eventually, the African bishop asked in exasperation, "If you don't believe the scripture, why did you bring it to us in the first place?" Christian denominations worldwide have been deeply divided over issues of gender, sexual morality, and homosexuality. These debates illustrate a sharp global division, with many North American and European churches willing to accommodate liberalizing trends in the wider society, while their African and Asian counterparts prove much more conservative. These controversies are grounded in attitudes to authority and, above all, to the position of the Bible as an inspired text. Fifty years ago, Americans might have dismissed global South conservatism as arising from a lack of theological sophistication, and in any case, these views were strictly marginal to the concerns of the Christian heartlands of North America and Western Europe. Put crudely, why should the "Christian world" care what Africans think? Only as recently as 1960 did the Roman Catholic Church choose its first black African cardinal. Yet today, as the center of gravity of the Christian world moves ever southward, the conservative traditions prevailing in the global South matter ever more.
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found at titusonenine

First Things: Anderson: The Quiverfulls and the Future

Excerpt: "But have you heard about the students at Princeton? Frustrated with the sexual chaos on campus, they founded
the Anscombe Society, named for the Cambridge philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe, author of the famous essay “Contraception and Chastity.” Without appeals to revelation or authority—that is, by human experience and reason alone—members of the Anscombe Society are making the case on the Princeton campus for chastity, authentic feminism, and traditional marriage. And I believe that thinking through the case for traditional marriage may be a key element in the reevaluation of attitudes toward sex even within marriage.

All these groups have got me thinking. Although contraception was rejected as intrinsically immoral by Christians—Eastern and Western, Protestant and Catholic—for centuries, the juggernaut created by the invention of the anovulent birth control pill in the early 1960s drew hardly a word of criticism from Christian leaders. Yes, the Vatican made a ruckus; but no one listened, least of all Catholics. Now, after several generations, some Christians are beginning to reexamine the fruits of the pill. And for the Quiverfulls, the fruit is so sour that they have responded with a complete rejection of any human family planning. Of course, the Quiverfulls are a minority. Most Christians continue to accept contraception as morally legitimate. Some, like Southern Baptist theologian Albert Mohler, take
something of a critical stance, while not going so far as to reaffirm the traditional Christian teaching that contraception is intrinsically immoral. But other prominent groups of Christians are propounding traditional orthodox doctrine: See the United States Catholic Bishops’ statement released last month, “Married Love and the Gift of Life.”

As people continue to see the bad results of the sexual revolution, they are likely to reevaluate their current attitudes toward sex, and while doing so they may find that the logic of human sexuality leads right back to traditional Christian orthodoxy. Might the continued push for same-sex “marriage” and the normalization of homosexuality prove to be the tipping point, the catalyst for a widespread reexamination of Christian sexual practice? Might these issues push the envelope so far that, as faithful Christians reflect on the reasons why they must conclude that homosexual acts fail to embody the truth of human sexuality, they come to realize that these same reasons entail the immorality of contraception? (For the moment I’ll assume that anyone entertaining this line of thought has already concluded that premarital and extramarital sex likewise fail to embody the truth of human sexuality.)

Rest of the commentary

The Parent Hood
How technology and social progress are turning procreation into self-actualization.
by Claudia Anderson

Excerpt: "Around the world, the two-person, mother-father model of parenthood is being fundamentally challenged," begins the report. Produced by the Commission on Parenthood's Future, an independent, nonpartisan group of scholars and leaders, and written by Elizabeth Marquardt, the document is an appeal for "reflection, debate, and research about the policies and practices that will serve the best interests of children" at a time when a redefinition of parenthood is taking place "at breakneck speed around the world."

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Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act Could 'Backfire'

Christian Newswire/ -- Douglas R. Scott, Jr., president of Life Decisions International, said today that he has "mixed feelings" about the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act. The bill, S. 51, is sponsored by pro-life champion Senator Sam Brownback, R-Kan.

S. 51 would require those who commit abortions on preborn children who are at least 20 weeks old to tell the mother who is seeking the death of her child that her baby feels pain. This would be communicated verbally and through a brochure to be developed by the Department of Health and Human Services. The bill would also require that the mother be asked if she would like her child to be given anesthesia.

"I have no doubt that preborn children can feel pain," Scott said. "In fact, I believe our brothers and sisters who reside in the womb feel pain long before 20 weeks gestation. I also believe a mother should be given as much information as possible regarding method(s) used to kill her child and that true nature of the preborn life."
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In French-Speaking Canada, the Sacred Is Also Profane
Quebecers Turn to Church Terms, Rather Than the Sexual or Scatological, to Vent Their Anger
Doug Struck
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, December 5, 2006

MONTREAL -- "Oh, tabernacle!" The man swore in French as a car splashed through a puddle, sending water onto his pants. He could never be quoted in the papers here. It is too profane.

So are other angry oaths that sound innocuous in English: chalice, host, baptism. In French-speaking Quebec, swearing sounds like an inventory being taken at a church.

English-speaking Canadians use profanities that would be well understood in the United States, many of them scatological or sexual terms. But the Quebecois prefer to turn to religion when they are mad. They adopt commonplace Catholic terms -- and often creative permutations of them -- for swearing.
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The Big Guys May Leave

A parishioner at the Falls Church in Falls Church, Virginia, and one of our regular readers sent me the links to his parish's struggle with leaving the Episcopal Church, as described in
Episcopal churches to vote on departure in the Washington Post and Episcopalians warned against leaving diocese in the Washington Times.

You can find the parish's thinking on its
Anglican Realignment page. The latest document posted is I will welcome you, a statement to the parish by the clergy and wardens (the two leading laymen in a parish), subtitled "Finding a new home in the Anglican Communion." It quotes the parish's vestry's decision, reached on November 13th:

The Vestry’s conclusions and recommendation

The conclusions to which we have come, after this process of discernment, are reflected in the Resolution that we passed on November 13, 2006. We conclude:

• that the Episcopal Church has decisively walked apart from the historic Christian Faith and, in the process, has walked apart from the orthodox majority in the Anglican Communion, from the orthodox minority in the Episcopal Church,..

• that a division plainly exists within the Anglican Communion, within the Episcopal Church, and within our diocese.

• that, in view of this division, it is necessary–for the health of our congregation, the cause of the Gospel, and obedience to God’s Word–that we sever our ties with the Episcopal Church and make our home in an orthodox branch of the Anglican Communion in North America.

• that, after considering the options available to us, the affiliation that would best enable us to accomplish our part in the Great Commission is the Anglican District of Virginia, under the episcopal oversight of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (“CANA”).

The other big, active, and wealthy church thinking of leaving is Truro Church in Fairfax. Its vestry approved on November 28th a statement,
The source of divison.

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