Saturday, January 27, 2007

"But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart."—Luke 2:19.

Here was an exercise, on the part of this blessed woman, of three powers of her being: her memory—she kept all these things; her affections—she kept them in her heart; her intellect—she pondered them; so that memory, affection, and understanding, were all exercised about the things which she had heard. Beloved, remember what you have heard of your Lord Jesus, and what He has done for you; make your heart the golden pot of manna to preserve the memorial of the heavenly bread whereon you have fed in days gone by. Let your memory treasure up everything about Christ which you have either felt, or known, or believed, and then let your fond affections hold Him fast for evermore. Love the person of your Lord! Bring forth the alabaster box of your heart, even though it be broken, and let all the precious ointment of your affection come streaming on His pierced feet. Let your intellect be exercised concerning the Lord Jesus. Meditate upon what you read: stop not at the surface; dive into the depths. Be not as the swallow which toucheth the brook with her wing, but as the fish which penetrates the lowest wave.

Abide with your Lord: let Him not be to you as a wayfaring man, that tarrieth for a night, but constrain Him, saying, "Abide with us, for the day is far spent." Hold Him, and do not let Him go. The word "ponder, ' means to weigh. Make ready the balances of judgment. Oh, but where are the scales that can weigh the Lord Christ? "He taketh up the isles as a very little thing:"—who shall take Him up? "He weigheth the mountains in scales"—in what scales shall we weigh Him? Be it so, if your understanding cannot comprehend, let your affections apprehend; and if your spirit cannot compass the Lord Jesus in the grasp of understanding, let it embrace Him in the arms of affection. ...CH Spurgeon
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Internet to revolutionize TV in 5 years: Gates
Sat Jan 27, 2007
By Ben Hirschler

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - The Internet is set to revolutionize television within five years, due to an explosion of online video content and the merging of PCs and TV sets, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said on Saturday.

"I'm stunned how people aren't seeing that with TV, in five years from now, people will laugh at what we've had," he told business leaders and politicians at the World Economic Forum.

The rise of high-speed Internet and the popularity of video sites like Google Inc.'s YouTube has already led to a worldwide decline in the number hours spent by young people in front of a TV set.
the rest

Iran prepares people for 'messiah miracles'
Government broadcasts series on imminent appearance of apocalyptic Islamic 'Mahdi'
January 27, 2007
WorldNetDaily.com

Official Iranian radio has completed broadcasting a lengthy series on the imminent appearance of a messianic figure who will defeat Islam's enemies and impose Islamic Shiite rule over the entire world – even speculating on specific dates the so-called "Mahdi" will be revealed.

English-language transcripts of "The World Toward Illumination" programs can be found on the website of IRIB, a public broadcast arm of Tehran.

"Be joyous my heart, miracles of the Messiah will soon be here," reads a poem used to conclude the first broadcast. "The scent of breaths of the One we know comes from near. Grieve not of sorrow and melancholy, as assured I was … last night that a Savior will come, it's clear."

After the coming of the 12th imam, or Mahdi, "liberal democratic civilization" will be found only in "history museums," explained the program.
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Despite modern influences, 'spirit churches' popular in South Africa
By TERRY LEONARD
Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA — On a rocky hilltop in Johannesburg a priest leads his congregation in an all-night prayer vigil. His is not a religion for the fainthearted: At the core of his faith is the unshakable conviction that the Bible is a simple, straightforward road map to the hereafter.

"The Bible is the way it is. It doesn't change. It needs no explanation. You just have to follow it," said Molefa Mojela, the priest of the Edumisweni Apostolic Church of Christ.

Yet the congregation also holds beliefs many consider outside the bounds of mainstream Christianity.

Members of Mojela's church venerate and fear ancestors who they believe can help or harm them. They are convinced witches and evil spirits walk among them. They look to prophets to heal the sick, and trust in the power of magic and the benefits of animal sacrifice.
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Anglican bishop of Bolivia in town
By Sandi Dolbee
UNION-TRIBUNE RELIGION & ETHICS EDITOR
January 27, 2007

When some conservative congregations and their priests began seceding from the U.S. Episcopal Church, they transferred their allegiance to sympathetic bishops elsewhere in the global Anglican Communion.

One of these recipients: Anglican Bishop Frank Lyons of Bolivia, who has five churches back home (counting one that will open later this year) but supervises 35 breakaway congregations, by his count, in the U.S.

This hasn't made the 52-year-old, American-born Lyons popular among Episcopal bishops. Chicago Bishop William Persell has called Lyons “schismastic,” and San Diego Bishop James Mathes says he has “exacerbated the conflict.” A church spokesman in Washington, D.C., once suggested Lyons is using the conflict to promote himself.
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Episcopalians Debate Property Issues
Bishop John Howe and diocesan churches may struggle over property.
By

Ledger Religion Editor

The Episcopal Church has had heated public disputes about the role of gays over the past several years. Now the battles are shifting from theology to more practical and secular grounds - property, money and the specter of lawsuits.

Parishes in California and Virginia, disgruntled by the national church's leniency toward gays in leadership roles, are seeking to leave the denomination while holding on to their buildings and property, a move resisted by diocesan and national church leaders.
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Anglican Archbishop Invites Other U.S. Bishops to Primates Table
By
Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Sat, Jan. 27 2007

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams invited two other Anglican representatives other than the head of the Episcopal Church from the United States for a worldwide meeting in February.

The Rt. Rev. D. Bruce MacPherson, bishop of Western Louisiana and president of the Presiding Bishop's Council of Advice, and the Rt. Rev. Robert W. Duncan, bishop of Pittsburgh and moderator of the conservative Anglican Communion Network, will join Anglican leaders from around the world as "the other voices" from the Episcopal Church at the Primates meeting.

The invitation by the archbishop comes as some Global South Anglican leaders said they would not recognize Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of the Episcopal Church as a representative of the U.S. body. Jefferts Schori supports the ordination of homosexuals and the blessing of same-sex unions.

Also, the departure of numerous churches from the Episcopal Church since the consecration of an openly gay bishop in 2003 has resulted in a number of separate conservative groups in the United States, including the Anglican Communion Network and the Convocation of Anglicans in North America – an outreach initiative of the Church of Nigeria.
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Albany Intercessor (click on picture to enlarge)

David Roseberry: Euntes Docete Omnes
The Journey of Christ Church Plano: Part VI
Stand Firm

Excerpt: Our vestry met on Monday evening, January 22. Our clergy team submitted an encouraging letter to our vestry recommending that the parish join the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA). With joy and thanksgiving for God’s great guidance over these years and most especially in the past six months, the vestry voted unanimously to join the AMiA.

We make this choice with great delight and anticipation. On that boulder in the Holy Land I was told what to do with the rest of my ministry and with the parish of Christ Church: Euntes Docete Omnes. The AMiA has the perfect set-up for us to continue this ministry with integrity and freedom in the Lord. It is my hope that Christ Church, which has become so well known for a “stand” against the dominant forces of ECUSA, will become better known for its commitment to the mission of Jesus Christ that so deeply and wonderfully touched me almost 13 years ago.

I greet this decision with great relief. I recently attended the AMiA’s winter conference (also at a Florida hotel…irony?) I attended the great plenary sessions and I met old friends and linked arms with new brothers and sisters in ministry. It was a great time for fellowship and joy. I finally felt what I had been told I would feel after a few months of being out of ECUSA and away from the constant contention: I felt happy. I listened very carefully to the speakers and most especially to the leadership of the AMiA describe their mission and their goals and their hopes for the coming year. I did not hear a reference to the Episcopal Church drama or warring contentions and factions that have so paralyzed and pulverized my former denomination. I am sure it is there, but it is in the rear view mirror and the prospects ahead are too exciting to pay much attention to what we’ve left behind.

We have been wonderfully welcomed by this organization. The leadership has been extremely respectful of my need to sniff around, ask questions, write blog articles and invite others into the equation. They have not pressured me or shunned me. They have prayed for me and for our parish.

I would invite my readers to visit
our website for the complete details about our decision. I am so very happy to have a personal video greeting from the Chairman of the AMiA, Chuck Murphy, and a personal welcome from the Archbishop of Rwanda, Emmanuel Kolini. You will find a letter from me, a blessing from our “outgoing” bishop, Bill Godfrey, links to the AMiA, and a few other things of interest. the rest

Friday, January 26, 2007

When Christ was in the world, He was despised by men; in the hour of need He was forsaken by acquaintances and left by friends to the depths of scorn. He was willing to suffer and to be despised; do you dare to complain of anything? He had enemies and defamers; do you want everyone to be your friend, your benefactor? How can your patience be rewarded if no adversity tests it? How can you be a friend of Christ if you are not willing to suffer any hardship? Suffer with Christ and for Christ if you wish to reign with Him. ... Thomas à Kempis photo

Virginia Diocese Elects Bishop Coadjutor, Conducts Annual Business
Friday, January 26, 2007

News Release from the Communications Office of The Diocese of Virginia

In his pastoral address to the delegates and attendees at The Diocese of Virginia’s Annual Council, Bishop Peter James Lee noted that Council “is an opportunity to reaffirm mission and unity.” Delegates and visitors gathered at the Richmond Marriott and Richmond Convention Center Friday, Jan. 26 to work towards reaffirming that sense of mission and unity at the diocesan 212th Annual Council.

The principal order of business at Council was the election of a bishop coadjutor to succeed Bishop Lee upon his retirement. The Very Rev. Shannon S. Johnston was elected from a pool of five candidates on the third ballot. An election on that ballot required 135 lay votes and 128 clergy votes. Mr. Johnston, 48, currently serves as rector of All Saints’, Tupelo, Miss. He will be consecrated on Saturday, May 26 at Washington National Cathedral.

In reference to the churches that recently voted to leave the Diocese and The Episcopal Church, Bishop Lee said that our differences “are not about property but about legacy.” He added, “The church buildings of the Diocese of Virginia were given by generations past to be Episcopal Churches for generations to come and we are committed to protecting that legacy.”
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Religion and science
JOANN LOVIGLIO
Fri, Jan. 26, 2007


AP- PHILADELPHIA - Religion and science can combine to create some thorny questions: Does God exist outside the human mind, or is God a creation of our brains? Why do we have faith in things that we cannot prove, whether it's the afterlife or UFOs?

The new Center for Spirituality and the Mind at the University of Pennsylvania is using brain imaging technology to examine such questions, and to investigate how spiritual and secular beliefs affect our health and behavior.

"Very few are looking at spirituality from a neurological side, from the brain-mind side," said Dr. Andrew Newberg, director of the center.

A doctor of nuclear medicine and an assistant professor at Penn, Newberg also has co-authored three books on the science-spirituality relationship.

The center is not a bricks-and-mortar structure but a multidisciplinary team of Penn researchers exploring the relationship between the brain and spirituality from biological, psychological, social and ideological viewpoints. Founded last April, it is bringing together some 20 experts from fields including medicine, pastoral care, religious studies, social work and bioethics.
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Property fight looms in U.S. Episcopal split
Fri Jan 26, 2007
By Michael Conlon, Religion Writer

Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Gay issues splintering the U.S. Episcopal Church appear to be pushing it into a divorce and, like many separations, there is property at stake -- in this case worth millions.

Leaders of its 2.4 million members and conservative elements disagree over who owns the property, as the dispute over homosexuals in the church heats up. Already about 100 parishes have placed themselves under foreign jurisdiction.

Barring a compromise -- and given that property disputes are a matter of local, not U.S. national law -- it is a battle likely to be fought in the courts, state by state, for years.
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Details on Tanzania Meeting Few For Western Louisiana Bishop
01/26/2007

The Rt. Rev. D. Bruce MacPherson, Bishop of Western Louisiana and president of the Presiding Bishop’s Council of Advice, has accepted an invitation to attend the primates’ meeting in Tanzania on Feb. 14. He joins the Rt. Rev. Robert W. Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh and moderator of the Anglican Communion Network, as the other voices from The Episcopal Church that Archbishop of Canterbury proposed including in an Advent letter to the primates.

“The Episcopal Church (TEC) is not in any way a monochrome body and we need to be aware of the full range of conviction within it,” Archbishop Rowan Williams
wrote. “I am sure that other primates, like myself, will welcome the clear declarations by several bishops and diocesan conventions (including those dioceses represented at the Camp Allen meeting earlier this year) of their unequivocal support for the process and recommendations of the Windsor Report. There is much to build upon here. There are many in TEC who are deeply concerned as to how they should secure their relationships with the rest of the Communion; I hope we can listen patiently to these anxieties.” the rest at The Living Church

He Who Pays the Piper . . .
By Richard John Neuhaus
Friday, January 26th 2007

One of the most dramatic stories of religious and cultural change in recent American history is the collapse of what was viewed as the Protestant establishment. Its main institutional embodiment was the National Council of Churches (NCC), established in 1950 as the successor to the Federal Council of Churches. The NCC, like its predecessor body established in 1908, was part of the American establishment in a way comparable to, say, the American Medical Association. Over the years, I have written about how the NCC has become barely a skeleton of its former self. By the late 1990s, it was in severe financial crisis, laying off staff, shutting down programs, and struggling to pay the phone bills. the rest

Methodism Madness
A group of Methodist bishops tries to keep the Bush presidential library out of SMU.
by Mark D. Tooley 01/26/2007

LATE LAST YEAR, dozens of faculty members at Southern Methodist University publicly opposed plans by President Bush to locate his presidential library on SMU's campus in Dallas.
Now, ten bishops of the United Methodist Church, which owns the school, and of which President Bush is a member, are urging SMU to reject the library and are circulating a petition for others to sign.

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Interview with U.S. Presidential Candidate Sam Brownback: Unequivocally Pro-Life, Passionately Pro-Family
By John-Henry Westen
WASHINGTON, DC, January 26, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - He is seen by supporters as a man of wisdom and intelligence, not too old and not too young, with stamina and good looks and the determination it takes to become the President of the United States of America. Sam Brownback and his team of youthful volunteers were all over the March for Life in Washington DC this week.
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Making Airwaves
Goodbye Old-Fashioned Revival Hour. Hello 'safe for the whole family.' Meet the company that's transforming Christian radio.
Madison Trammel 1/26/2007
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If it's rated 'R,' who brought all these children?
By Amanda Paulson Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
The movie industry is considering adding a specific admonishment to parents on the unsuitability of the films for youngsters.
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A fractured church
Western Kansas bishop's letter voices his disapproval of Episcopal Church's leader
By Kathy Hanks
The Hutchinson News

The bishop of western Kansas has jumped into a national dispute over theology dividing the Episcopal Church.

Bishop James Adams has caught the attention of the newly appointed Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori with a letter stating he disapproves of her theology.

In response, the first female primate in the 500-year history of the Anglican Church has offered to visit the Western Kansas Diocese, which has about 2,500 members.

The issues that separate Adams and Jefferts Schori are part of the new face of the Episcopal Church, according to Ian Douglas, professor of mission and world Christianity at Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Mass.

"Until recently it was pretty clear what Episcopalians looked like and where they resided. They were overly educated, financially secure," Douglas said.

But in the past 40 years, membership has branched out to include African Americans, women and most recently, gay and lesbian people, Douglas said.
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An Anglican Missionary order in the Americas
Source:
Anglican Mainstream
Thursday January 25th 2007

Chris Sugden reports on the AMiA Conference in Jacksonville

North American Anglicans do religion in Conventions. 1600 people from all over the world gathered at the seventh Winter Conference of the Anglican Mission in the Americas in a Convention Hotel in Jacksonville Florida from January 17-20. For efficient use of time, ease of communication and organisation a convention hotel is hard to beat. Everyone felt at home and was most accessible.

The flavour spoke of a Global Anglican family, facilitated by North American hosts. At the opening Eucharist, seven African and Asian primates stood behind the Communion table.
See
Picture Gallery for photographs

In the opening sermon, Archbishop Yong Ping Chung, a former chair of the Anglican Consultative Council said: “In January 2000 when Archbishops Kolini and Tay shocked the Anglican world, many had doubts whether this mission would survive the onslaught of the revisionist tradition in the USA. Orthodox Anglicans condemned it or distanced themselves from it. Their considered conclusion was that AMiA would disappear as fast as it had come. After 6 years it has grown tremendously. It must remain a vital and effective missionary movement. It must reach out to the 130 million lost souls who need Jesus in the Americas.”
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Judge lets ousted priest sue in test of First Amendment
The Episcopal bishop had denied the Montco cleric a church trial.
By David O'Reilly
Inquirer Staff Writer

Clearing the way for a landmark test of the First Amendment, a Montgomery County Court judge has allowed an Episcopal priest to sue his bishop for removing him from priesthood.

In a decision released yesterday, Judge Thomas Branca rejected Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr.'s argument that the Rev. David Moyer had no right to settle their differences with a civil trial.

Bennison's lawyers had argued in four appearances before Branca that the First Amendment barred civil courts from deciding cases involving religious personnel disputes.

But Moyer's lawyers replied that the priest had no other remedy because Bennison denied him due process by removing him without a church trial, as church law requires.
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Gender and the Pulpit
Workplace difficulties can arise for trangendered persons in nearly all professions, but what about those who are called to work for God?
WEB EXCLUSIVE
By Lauren McCauley
Special to Newsweek

Jan. 23, 2007 - In 1973, Eric Karl Swenson was ordained in the Presbyterian Church and went to work doing what he’d always dreamed of: ministering to a congregation of the Southern Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. More than 20 years later, one dream almost ended when another began. When the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta discovered in 1996 that Swenson had finally fulfilled another lifelong desire—having sex-change surgery to become a woman—it started proceedings to revoke Swenson’s ordination.


At the time of her “transition,” Swenson did not resist the church’s questions nor blame its reluctance. “I had been in the closet for 30 years, learning to accept myself,” she says. “It is difficult for me to be angry at others for not accepting.” Married with two daughters before her transition, Swenson described her struggle, years later, in a sermon: “I had spent the better part of four decades wrestling secretly with the unreasonable and incorrigible desire to be female.” After almost three years of grueling questions and debate, the Presbytery finally agreed, 181-161, to sustain her ordination, making Swenson the first known Protestant minister to transition from male to female while remaining in office. Now 59, Swenson is tall and blond, with shoulder-length hair and an assertive manner. Erin, as she’s called, continues to work as a pastoral counselor and, she hopes, as an inspiration for others who find themselves living out, what may be, the last taboo in society, let alone organized religion. the rest

Episcopal priest's 'inhibition' riles congregation
By Valerie Richardson
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
January 26, 2007

COLORADO SPRINGS -- The suspension of a popular Episcopal priest here has touched off outrage among his parishioners and some national leaders, who say the rector has been targeted for his conservative views.

The Rev. Don Armstrong, longtime head of Grace and St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, was placed on administrative leave, or "temporary inhibition," by the Colorado Episcopal Diocese last month over accusations that he misused church funds.

But some parishioners, citing Mr. Armstrong's past clashes with Bishop Rob O'Neill over issues such as the church's 2003 decision to ordain active homosexuals as clergy, say the whole thing smells of political persecution.
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Anglican bishop confronts Episcopal division
By: GARY WARTH - Staff Writer

Visiting with local Anglican churches that he oversees from his diocese in Bolivia, Bishop Francis Lyons this week said he sees a day when former Episcopalians will again have their own American leadership.As for the Episcopal Church U.S.A., he is not so optimistic.

"This is just temporary, emergency oversight that we are providing," said Lyons, a native of Maryland who has lived in Bolivia since 2001.

In North County, Lyons oversees St. Anne's in Oceanside, Holy Family in Vista, Church of the Resurrection in San Marcos, Sts. Timothy and Titus in Poway and Good Shepherd in Encinitas.

Creating a new American province would mean those churches would no longer have to turn to a foreign diocese for oversight, and Lyons would tend only to his five churches in Bolivia. Lyons oversees 35 congregations in the United States, including the five North County churches and Holy Faith in Bonita.
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Thursday, January 25, 2007

For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man's gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus,

Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord's brother. (In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!) Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. And I was still unknown in person to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God because of me. Galations 1:1-11

“Faith, as Paul saw it, was a living, flaming thing leading to surrender and obedience to the commandments of Christ.” ...AW Tozer art

Bishop Duncan, Another Bishop Will Attend Primates' Meeting
01/25/2007

Invitations to the primates’ meeting next month in Tanzania, in the form of a draft agenda, propose setting aside Wednesday, Feb. 14 in order to hear from others, including two bishops of The Episcopal Church. The invitations were emailed by a member of Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams' staff within the past few days.

Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan has accepted an invitation which was made to him earlier this week, according to a source who wished to remain anonymous. The identity of the second bishop of The Episcopal Church could not be confirmed at the time of publication.

Unlike Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, who usually attended primates’ meetings with one or more staff members, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will not have any aides present. Bob Williams and Matt Davies will be present as working journalists for Episcopal News Service. The Rev. George Conger will report from the Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam, for The Living Church. It is expected that a number of other media representatives will also be reporting on location.
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CNY Diocese: Episcopal Diocese Refuses to Settle its Lawsuit Against Syracuse Parish

Thursday, January 25, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Raymond J. Dague 315-422-2052
http://www.DagueLaw.com

After six months of litigation by the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York to take over one of its former parishes in Syracuse, that parish has offered to settle the case by giving their property to the diocese, but the diocese has refused. The diocese filed the lawsuit against St. Andrews Church last July to take the property from those who have worshiped in the local congregation since 1903. The Diocese did this because the parish transferred its allegiance from Bishop Gladstone "Skip" Adams, III of Syracuse to the Anglican Archbishop of Rwanda.

"We thought we were making a very generous and charitable offer to settle their lawsuit against our people," said Raymond Dague, attorney for the parish. "They would get the buildings which are owned by us and for which they have sued us. This would have spared everyone the continuing scandal of a bishop suing a local church to assert spiritual authority in the civil courts."

St. Andrews Church at 5013 South Salina Street in Syracuse, New York offered to stop defending the lawsuit and deed the church building, the parish hall, and the rectory over to the diocese in exchange for a nominal lease arrangement of up to five years so the people in the local congregation could find another place to worship. During the time of the lease, the local congregation and not the diocese would have been responsible to maintain the buildings, and then turn the keys over to the diocese once the congregation built a new church.

Until now, St. Andrews and its priest, Fr. Robert Hackendorf, have successfully resisted the attempt by the diocese to take the parish through legal action, both last July and again last September. The lawsuit became highly acrimonious when the Episcopal Diocese sued the individual members of the church governing vestry in addition to suing the local congregation. In September, the judge dismissed the part of the lawsuit where the diocese sued individual members of the parish vestry, and also denied a request for a preliminary injunction against the local church. The lawsuit against the parish and the rector was allowed to continue.

The settlement was patterned after a deal worked out last fall between All Saints Church in Woodbridge, Virginia and the Diocese of Virginia. But since the All Saints deal, the Virginia Episcopal bishop has now signaled his intention to sue up to 11 parishes which have separated from that diocese. The Virginia bishop has also refused to negotiate with those parishes, indicating a more aggressive posture against local parishes. The lawsuits in Syracuse and Virginia are part of a national trend of some Episcopal dioceses suing parishes. In California the Diocese of Los Angeles has unsuccessfully sued several churches, and those cases are now on appeal.

Bishop "Skip" Adams and the Syracuse parish are on opposite sides of a controversy over homosexual bishops and the authority of Scripture which has for years engulfed the Episcopal Church, and which is now heating up with more lawsuits by some dioceses. St. Andrews adheres to the traditional teaching of the church that sex outside of marriage is prohibited by the Bible, while the Bishop and the leaders of the larger church have been outspoken supporters of the actively homosexual bishop of New Hampshire and a more liberal view of the Scriptures.

Press Release: AAC President Clarifies Status of CANA
January 25, 2007

For Immediate Release

Who is really Anglican? Would the real Anglicans please stand up!A Statement by the Rev. Canon David C. Anderson, AAC President and CEO

In recent pronouncements, the Episcopal Bishop of Virginia, the Rt. Rev. Peter Lee, has stated that the new Anglican organization called CANA (Convocation of Anglicans in North America) is not a part of the Anglican Communion. He says this to undermine the credibility of the northern Virginia district of CANA (the Anglican District of Virginia) in the eyes of Virginians and others. This is in part because he feels that he has a franchise right to Anglicanism in his part of the state, much as a medieval lord might have rights to his domain, his serfs, and the property located therein. Bishop Lee feels that in the Anglican world one piece of land can only have one jurisdiction, or at least one Anglican jurisdiction (since the Methodists, Lutherans, Baptists and Roman Catholics seem to have overlapping jurisdiction on land he claims).


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English Archbishops Defend Conscience for Traditionalists
01/24/2007

The civil rights of gay and lesbian couples cannot be afforded privilege over the rights of conscience of traditionalist Christians, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York stated in a Jan. 23 letter to British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

While the letter was issued in response to a domestic political dispute over the proposed Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations, or SORs, the arguments proffered by the archbishops track closely those made by the
Panel of Reference and its support of the Diocese of Forth Worth. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has not responded to the panel’s recommendations, or the subsequent objections offered by the President of the House of Deputies, Bonnie Anderson, but his refusal to privilege legislation over the right of conscience has been seen by some observers as an indication of his likely actions. the rest

Presiding Bishop Eager to Build Relationships in Tanzania
01/24/2007

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said she has not taken personally statements by some Global South primates that they will “refuse to sit with her” during the meeting of Anglican leaders next month in Tanzania, but she expressed concern that such comments were “disrespectful” of her office.

“I wonder how they would feel if someone said things like that about them,” she said.

Lately the Anglican Communion has exhibited multiple personalities, according to Bishop Jefferts Schori. “In some places it seems anxious and distracted and in others it appears to be engaged and focused. Parish-to-parish contacts and diocese-to-diocese relationships remain strong, she said.

“I’m a person who lives in hope. I expect that I’ll meet some new friends [in Tanzania] and have some challenging encounters. That keeps life interesting.
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Archbishop of Canterbury - Holocaust needs to be remembered as 'real event'
ACNS
25 January 2007

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams has said that the Holocaust needs to be remembered as a real, historical and well-documented event. In a statement to mark the UK’s Holocaust Memorial day, he said that the day should be marked for future generations.

“We need … to ensure that, when in future we have no survivors physically amongst us, the evidence that has been so painstakingly collected by organisations such as the Yad Vashem Foundation continues to be available to all who wish to approach and study it with the respect that is due.

Attempts to challenge the Holocaust as history, such as the recent conference in Iran, brought disgrace on those who sought to do so for political purposes:

“The clear implication was that if it had happened at all, it had been greatly exaggerated from motives to do with Zionism and a European guilt complex. It cannot be acceptable to treat the systematic murder of six million Jews and others as a propaganda issue for a particular cause..”
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Holy See hoping that anglicans avoid split
January 25,2007

VATICAN CITY (Zenit.org) -- The Holy See, hoping that the Anglican Communion can avoid an internal schism, signaled its own desire to be able to continue on the path toward Christian unity.

So said Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, at a meeting Tuesday with journalists in the Vatican press office.

Some archbishops of the Anglican Communion refuse to recognize Katharine Jefferts Schori, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, the U.S. member of the Anglican Communion.

The Episcopal Church sparked a crisis in the Anglican Communion in 2003 when it chose Gene Robinson of New Hampshire as bishop, the first ordained prelate to declare himself a practicing homosexual.

On Tuesday, a journalist asked if the Vatican follows closely the Episcopalians in the United States who are protesting against these decisions of their church.

Cardinal Kasper responded that the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity maintains relations with the Anglican Communion as a whole, not with its various member churches. The Episcopal Church is not a direct partner of the pontifical council; its partner of reference is the U.S. Catholic bishops' conference.
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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Therefore, in a post-Christian world and in an often post-Christian church it is imperative to point out with love where apostasy lies. We must openly discuss with all who will listen, treating all men as fellow men, but we must call apostasy, apostasy. If we do not do that, we are not ready for reformation, revival, and a revolutionary church in the power of the Holy Spirit. We are all too easily infilitrated with relativism and synthesis in our own day. We tend to lack antithesis.
...Francis Schaeffer

Oh! men and brethren, what would this heart feel if I could but believe that there were some among you who would go home and pray for a revival-men whose faith is large enough, and their love fiery enough to lead them from this moment to exercise unceasing intercessions that God would appear among us and do wondrous things here, as in the times of former generations. ...Charles Spurgeon

Revival is a renewed conviction of sin and repentance, followed by an intense desire to live in obedience to God. It is giving up one's will to God in deep humility. ...Charles Finney

Defining Literacy Down -- Do Your Kids Read Books?
Albert Mohler
Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Every generation worries about the next -- and usually with good reason. Here is another reason for worry about today's adolescents and young adults -- they don't read. That is a generalization, of course. But the generalization seems to be holding true.

Thomas Washington, librarian at a Washington, DC area private school, recently contributed a "
lament" to The Washington Post. The kids are privileged and have no problem of access to books, but they do not read. As he reports:

I'm a librarian in an independent Washington area school. We're doing all the right things. Our class sizes are small. Most graduating seniors gain admission to their college of choice. The facilities are first-rate.

Yet from my vantage point at the reference desk, something is amiss. The books in the library stacks are gathering dust. the rest

Microwaves turn kitchen cloths into germ killers
24th January 2007

Two minutes in the microwave can kill 99 per cent of the germs harboured by kitchen sponges, scientists have found.

Dishcloths and sponges are known to breed microbes such as E. coli and salmonella, that can cause potentially lethal food poisoning.

But researchers in the U.S. have found that the microwave is an effective weapon against them.
the rest

OFFICIAL CORRECTION: Correcting to add additional advisory in fourth and fifth paragraphs issued by the university that sponge should be wet when heated.)

My Ministry Space
Youth pastors track popular networking website.

Chansin Bird, RNS
1/24/2007

Youth minister Lara Blackwood starts her day the same way most of the young people at her church do—she signs on to MySpace.com.

"Any time they post a new blog, I get a message in my e-mail and cell phone," said Blackwood, the youth minister at First Christian Church of Fayetteville, Arkansas.

"If the title tells me, 'Gosh, prom was fun,' I'll read it within a couple days. If it says, 'I hate my life, I want to die'—and I've read some similar to that—I'm on it immediately."

More youth ministers are using social networking websites such as MySpace to stay connected with their students. MySpace is one of the hottest sites on the Web—hitwise.com rated it No. 1 for November, accounting for nearly 5 percent of all U.S. Web traffic. MySpace has more than 100 million accounts with a demographic that is dominated by teens and 20-somethings. Other social networking sites like Friendster and Facebook also claim millions of young users.

"Social networking is what being a teenager is about," said Kenda Creasy Dean, associate professor of youth, church, and culture and director of the Tennent School of Christian Education at Princeton Theological Seminary. "For people my age (in their 40s), technology is a tool. For kids, technology is the air they breathe. It's social glue."
the rest


Christian Youth Challenge Blasphemy on YouTube
By
Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Wed, Jan. 24 2007

More than a month ago, atheists began to blaspheme the existence of God on the popular YouTube network. Today, Christians are turning the tables and taking up the challenge to stand up to their faith in Jesus Christ publicly.

"I'd like to personally praise the Lord for all He does for me," said one young participant in the newly launched "Praise the Lord Challenge" on YouTube. "He's done so much for me and I've only known him a few years."

The Praise the Lord Challenge counters a $25,000 campaign launched before Christmas where atheists, many of whom are young students, videotape their blasphemy, denying the existence of the trinity. "The Blasphemy Challenge" is giving away 1,001 DVDs of the documentary "The God Who Wasn't There" to participants. The only price, the campaign states, is "your soul."
the rest

Oak Hill parish leaves Episcopal Church
By: Gregg MacDonald
01/23/2007

The Church of the Epiphany in Oak Hill has left the Episcopal Church, according to its rector. The church has joined the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), which is part of the Church of Nigeria, led by controversial Archbishop Peter J. Akinola, who has openly called for outlawing same-sex relationships in his own country.

Many conservatives were outraged in 2003 when the Episcopal Church, which is the American branch of the Worldwide Anglican Communion, installed an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire.
the rest

FDA says San Antonio embryo broker isn't in its jurisdiction
Associated Press
Jan. 24, 2007

SAN ANTONIO — The Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday that a broker offering ready-made embryos to prospective parents does not fall under its jurisdiction.

An FDA spokeswoman in Dallas confirmed this month that the agency was investigating Jennalee Ryan's Abraham Center of Life but would not elaborate. It was unclear what laws or regulations were the focus of the investigation.

An FDA statement today said that "the investigation determined that the facility was not currently engaged in practices that fall under FDA jurisdiction."
the rest

Islam converts change face of Europe
By
ETGAR LEFKOVITS
January 23, 2007

As many as 100,000 French and British citizens have converted to Islam over the last decade, according to a new book by an Israeli historian.

The figures cited by Hebrew University Prof. Raphael Israeli in his upcoming book The Third Islamic Invasion of Europe are representative of the fast-changing face of Europe, which the Islamic history professor says is in danger of becoming "Eurabia" within half a century.

He noted that about 30 million Muslims currently live in Europe, out of a total population of 380 million., adding that with a high Muslim birthrate in Europe, the number of Muslims living in the continent is likely to double within 25 years.

Israeli also cited massive immigration and Turkey's future inclusion in the EU as the primary reasons why the face of Europe will be indelibly changed within a generation.

European concerns over a fast-growing Muslim population is at the center of opposition to Turkey's entry into the EU, he said, as the inclusion of Turkey into the EU will catapult the number of Muslims to 100 million out of a total population of 450 million.
the rest

Cruise: The Christ of Scientology?
23/01/2007

Tom Cruise is not just one of Hollywood's leading actors, he is also the new 'Christ' of Scientology, leaders of the religion apparently believe.

Reports in the Sun newspaper claim that he has been told he is the "chosen one" to spread news about the faith.

Leader David Miscavige also believes that in years to come the Mission: Impossible actor will be worshipped like Jesus for his efforts to raise the profile of the religion, according to the British tabloid.

A source said to be close to Cruise told the paper: "Tom has been told he is Scientology's Christ-like figure.
the rest

Homosexual activist challenges Christian video
Claims fraud for program of ex-'gays' that included one man who backslid

January 24, 2007

It's probably just a public relations stunt, but an Illinois ministry offering help to those who choose to leave the homosexual lifestyle says a new complaint a "gay" activist has filed with the state attorney general has to be taken seriously.

The complaint was filed by activist and columnist Wayne Besen against
Americans for Truth, a group set up by Peter LaBarbera to confront the homosexual agenda and provide alternatives for those who feel trapped in their choices.

"We're getting to the point where 'gay' legal activists are going to try to shut down pro-family groups," LaBarbera told WND in an interview. "That speaks to the impulses of the other side."

The complaint centers on a video that Americans for Truth advertised as available on its website, which included the story of Michael Johnston. He is a man who came out of the homosexual lifestyle to work with a Christian ministry. But, LaBarbera said, he fell back into sin and lost his ministry before seeking help to regain his footing on the "straight and narrow."

The attack is the result of the homosexual advocates wanting to shut down or shout down any message but their own, a "totalitarian" approach to conflict, LaBarbera said.
the rest

Churches unite over adoption row
Wednesday, 24 January 2007

The Church of England has backed the Catholic Church in its bid to be exempt from laws on adoption by gay couples.

Catholic leaders in England and Wales say its teachings prevent its agencies placing children with homosexuals and they will close if bound by the rules.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, have written to the PM.

They say "rights of conscience cannot be made subject to legislation, however well-meaning".
The Equality Act, due to come into effect in England, Wales and Scotland in April, outlaws discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities and services on the basis of sexual orientation.
the rest

Washington Post Coverage of March for Life Criticized as Biased
by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 23, 2007

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- The national media appears to be providing less and less coverage of the national March for Life even though it continues to attract a couple hundred thousand pro-life advocates from across the country every year. One media watchdog singled out the Washington Post for its biased coverage of the pro-life event.

Tim Graham of the Media Research Center says the Post buried its coverage of the pro-life march on A-10 of the newspaper, putting it in the national section but well after other, lesser important news stories.

Graham said reporters Michael Alison Chandler and Michelle Boorstein gave a "respectful" account of the march and provided a balanced story, but added that the pictures accompanying the article didn't give the proper sense of how many pro-life people attended.

"The story was illustrated by color photos, but in a far too common tactic, the Post balanced a picture of four pro-life demonstrators ... against a photo of four or five feminists," he explained. "One side turns out tens of thousands, and the other turned out tens."
the rest

Anglican parish evicted
BY GLORIA LaBOUNTY
SUN CHRONICLE STAFF
Wednesday, January 24, 2007

ATTLEBORO - Parishioners of All Saints church have been ordered by Episcopal Bishop Thomas Shaw to vacate the church property on North Main Street by Jan. 31 because of their decision to separate from the national Episcopal Church and to align with orthodox Anglicans.

The Rev. Lance Giuffrida, rector of All Saints, said parishioners will abide by the order and hold their last service at the church at 9 a.m. Sunday, then meet to decide where they will worship in the future.

"This is our last Sunday," said Giuffrida, who plans to later turn over the keys and all the parish property and assets to Shaw as head of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.

The order, he said, was not a surprise, and the parish was already preparing to leave."We knew this," Giuffrida said. "Mostly, I'm relieved that we finally are able to move on into our future."
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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Waiting for God means power to do nothing save under command. This is not lack of power to do anything. Waiting for God needs strength rather than weakness. It is power to do nothing. It is the strength that holds strength in check. It is the strength that prevents the blundering activity which is entirely false and will make true activity impossible when the definite command comes. ...G. Campbell Morgan

How byte-size temptations ruin a marriage
By Jennifer Harper
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
January 23, 2007

Flirtations and indiscretions with other humans may not be the most vexing problem facing American couples anymore. Computers and telephones are horning in on that loving relationship.

In a new survey of 1,001 adults, 65 percent said they spent more time with their computers than their spouse or significant other, according to Los Angeles-based Kelton Research, which released the findings yesterday.

The computer/user "relationship" is intensifying, the survey found, noting that 84 percent say we've grown more dependent on our computers in the last three years. Harmony is not a built-in feature either: 52 percent of us take our computer's failures personally, feeling anger, sadness or alienation if the computer did not cooperate or perform well. An additional 19 percent admitted they have wanted to strike their computers.

Ironically, we seek sympathy for such "cyber stress" from a spouse or family.
the rest

Virginia Anglican Controversy: Who is Guilty of Abandonment?
By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Tue, Jan. 23 2007

Breakaway Anglican congregations in Virginia were deemed "abandoned" by the Episcopal diocese in a push toward recovering church property. But one Christian leader asks, who has done the abandoning here?"

It must not be forgotten that many faithful and even lifelong Episcopalians voted for the parishes’ departures," said Ralph Webb, Anglican Action Director for the Institute on Religion and Democracy. "They did this out of a strong conviction that the Episcopal Church has abandoned the Anglican Communion.

"Nine congregations, including two megachurches, overwhelmingly voted to leave the Episcopal Church in December because of the church's departure from Scriptural authority. The congregations joined the U.S. outreach arm of the Anglican Church of Nigeria called the Convocation of Anglicans in North America.

Both the breakaway Anglicans and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia had agreed to avoid litigation over church property, but before the 30-day standstill expired, the diocese called off negotiations believing they would become cumbersome and alienate Episcopalians who remained, Virginia Bishop Peter Lee said. The churches were then declared "abandoned" as the diocese decided to take steps to court to recover and secure the property. the rest

Letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to the Prime Minister
23 January 2007

The following is the text of a letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Tony Blair.

Dear Prime Minister,

The Church of England, along with others in the voluntary sector, including other churches and faith communities, have been in discussion with the government for some time over what has become known as the Sexual Orientation Regulations. Those discussions have been conducted in good faith, in mutual respect and with an appropriate level of confidence on all sides.

Last week that changed. Speculation about splits within government, fuelled by public comment from government ministers, appears to have created an atmosphere that threatens to polarise opinions. This does no justice to any of those whose interests are at stake, not least vulnerable children whose life chances could be adversely, and possibly irrevocably, affected by the overriding of reasoned discussion and proper negotiation in an atmosphere of mistrust and political expediency.

The one thing on which all seem able to agree is that these are serious matters requiring the most careful consideration. There is a great deal to gain. It is becoming increasingly evident, however, that much could also be lost, as the letter from Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor makes clear.
the rest

Bishop Lee Inhibits 21 Priests
01/23/2007

In a letter sent Jan. 22 to 21 priests under license in the Diocese of Virginia, the bishop and standing committee informed the group they had been inhibited for the next six months.

“Your association with a group of people that has abandoned the Communion of the Episcopal Church and rejected its authority and the authority of the Diocese of Virginia constitute your abandonment of the Communion of the Episcopal Church,” states a letter signed by Virginia Bishop Peter James Lee. “If, in the next six months, you retract your actions of abandonment, this inhibition may be lifted. But at the end of six months, if you have not retracted your actions, you may be released from the obligations of priesthood in this church and removed from the ordained ministry.”

Bishop Lee concluded the brief letter by noting how deeply saddened he was by this development. He said he believed “the actions that the Standing Committee and I are taking are necessary for the discipline and unity of the church.”
the rest at The Living Church

Comments at Stand Firm

Comments at titusonenine

At The Center Of The Divide
Hartford Courant
By JOEL LANG
January 23, 2007

Gene Robinson, the openly gay
Episcopal bishop at the center of the rift over homosexuality that has led some Virginia parishes to align themselves with the Anglican Church of Nigeria, stopped in Hartford Monday to deliver a message of reconciliation for the church and some news about himself.

'I believe with my whole heart that the Archbishop of Nigeria [Peter Akinola] and I are going to be in heaven together. And we're going to get along together, because God won't have it any other way. So we better start practicing now,' Robinson said at a luncheon attended by a dozen local church leaders at Real Art Ways.

He was responding to a plea from The Very Rev. Mark Pendleton, dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford, who told Robinson, 'You've been demonized by so many. ... How do you help me to not demonize others?'


[Another excerpt] "'I think everybody is doing the best we can. We're all trying to figure life out,' Robinson said.

'The thing that has sustained me through all this is God has seemed so very close that prayer has seemed almost redundant. ... Sometimes God calms the storm and sometimes God lets the storm rage, and calms the child.'

Personally, 'I couldn't be happier. I think that's the best revenge,' he said."


the rest

New Passport Rules to Go Into Effect
By GIOVANNA DELL'ORTO
ASSOCIATED PRESS

ATLANTA (AP) - Americans flying to Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean made sure to bring their passports Monday because of a new rule going into effect Tuesday that requires them to show one to get back into the country.

Only about a quarter of U.S. citizens hold valid passports, and most Americans are accustomed to traveling to neighboring countries with just a driver's license or birth certificate, which have long been sufficient to get through airport customs on the trip home.

The new regulations requiring passports were adopted by Congress in 2004 to secure the borders against terrorists.
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Materialism spikes in a generation
January 23, 2007

CHICAGO (AP) -- Melissa Greenwood sees it every day at her high school: the hyper-focus on designer labels, the must-have trendy cell phones, the classmates driving sport utility vehicles.

"It bothers me because I would like to think I am the opposite," said Melissa, a 16-year-old high school junior from Arlington Heights, an affluent suburb of Chicago. She says she sometimes finds it difficult to avoid the urge to fit in.

"Let's face it," she said. "Honestly, what teenage girl doesn't want to look cute and have the latest accessories?"

Polls show that the obsession with material things is growing and that being rich is more important to young people today than in the past.

The University of California at Los Angeles released its annual survey of college freshman last week and found that nearly three-quarters of those surveyed in 2006 thought it was essential or very important to be "very well-off financially." That compares with 62.5 percent who said the same in 1980 and 42 percent in 1966, the first year the survey was conducted.
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Segregated schools 'should close'
Monday, 22 January 2007

Schools with an overwhelmingly Muslim intake should be replaced by academies serving a mixed community, says a government adviser.

Sir Cyril Taylor, who heads the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, highlighted problems of policing young people in such "segregated" areas.

Academies shared between different faith groups should be created to help integration, says Sir Cyril.
the rest

Catholic threat on gay rights law
Tuesday, 23 January 2007

The head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales has said adoption agencies will close if they cannot opt out of new gay rights laws.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor has written to Cabinet ministers saying church teaching prevented its agencies placing children with homosexuals.

Forcing people to act against their consciences would mean discrimination on the grounds of belief, he added.

No 10 said Tony Blair had not decided whether to exempt Catholic agencies.
the rest

Episcopal Church Encounters Opposition to Apartment Plan in Chelsea
By GABRIELLE BIRKNER
Staff Reporter of the Sun
January 23, 2007

Neighbors are vowing to fight the construction of a 15-story apartment tower in
Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood on the campus of the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church, which says the building is needed to raise funds to keep the seminary operating in New York City.

The seminary has already scaled back its proposal to build a cooperative apartment tower, but some neighbors say the proposed housing complex is still too large and too contemporary to inhabit Chelsea's historic district.

The 19th-century seminary has fallen into disrepair, and church officials say that selling their development rights will help fund building restoration and maintenance. If the institution fails to raise tens of millions of dollars in short order, the institution will have to leave Chelsea, the seminary's dean, Ward Ewing, told about 250 people who came to last night's
Community Board 4 meeting at the Hudson Guild – Fulton Center on Ninth Avenue. the rest

Gay bishop says divisiveness in Episcopal church is exaggerated
Associated Press
Published January 23 2007

HARTFORD, Conn. -- The openly gay bishop, whose election spurred a schism in the Episcopal church that has played out in Connecticut and elsewhere, said the scope of the rift has been exaggerated in the media.Gene Robinson, bishop of New Hampshire, said there are a small minority of parishes at odds with the national church's liberal stance on homosexuality.

The parishes are "seeking to get themselves recognized as the true expression of Anglicanism in this country and not inconsequentially get the Episcopal Church - I don't know what the word is - unrecognized as that legitimate expression. And I think they are using more conservative churches around the globe to support that claim," he said.

Robinson, leader of a 15,000-member diocese, was in Hartford Monday to speak at a luncheon attended local church leaders.

"In a world facing 40 million people dying of AIDS and an increasing gap between rich and poor, this seems like a waste of our time and energy, debating the rightness and wrongness of gay and lesbian people and their relationships," he said. the rest

Jamaica: Anglican Church wants to halt decline in membership
Says 'gay split' not responsible
ALICIA DUNKLEY, Observer staff reporter
Tuesday, January 23, 2007

THE Anglican Church yesterday announced that it would be focusing its energies on revitalising its congregations which "are suffering a decline in membership".

But in making the announcement, National President of the Brotherhood of St Andrew Oswald Seymour insisted that the slide was in no way linked to the split in the worldwide Anglican community over the 2003 consecration of the first openly gay bishop, V Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.

According to Seymour, Robinson's appointment which has sent the church body into a tailspin "has nothing to do with the diocese of Jamaica". In fact, he said the split abroad has had "no impact" on the Anglican church in Jamaica.

Rather, he said that Jamaica's dwindling congregations - especially in rural areas - was due in part to population shifts and urbanisation which have taken a toll on their membership.
the rest

Monday, January 22, 2007

Holy Spirit of God, visit now this soul of mine, and tarry within it until the eventide. Inspire all my thoughts. Pervade all my imaginations. Suggest all my decisions. Lodge in my soul's most inward citadel, and order all my doings. Be with me in silence and in my speech, in my haste and in my leisure, in company and in solitude, in the freshness of the morning and the weariness of the evening. Give me grace at all times to rejoice in Thy mysterious companionship. ...John Baillie photo

IRD Press Release: “Abandoned” Is in the Eye of the Beholder

"Who is guilty of abandonment here?"
-Ralph Webb, IRD Anglican Action Director

Washington, DC—The Diocese of Virginia announced on Thursday, June 18, that its Executive Board had passed a resolution declaring the property of the 11 Virginia parishes that recently had left the diocese as "abandoned" and "authorize[d] [Bishop Peter Lee] to take such steps as may be necessary to recover or secure such … property."

The rest at IRD

GetReligion: Update on Episcopal/ Anglican language land
January 22, 2007

It’s time for a quick update from the Anglican/Episcopal wars in northern Virginia.

No, this doesn’t have anything to do with the lawyers for the churches or the national Episcopal Church establishment. This has to do with the other major player in this battle — The Washington Post.

As I mentioned the other day, it does appear that some people at the Post now grasp that the battles between Anglican conservatives around the world and the liberal Episcopal Church establishment here in North America didn’t start a few years ago with the consecration of one noncelibate gay bishop in New Hampshire. The fighting has been going on for decades and focuses on some very basic issues — which is that whole “tmatt trio” thing again. (Drinking game alert!) Here is a short version of those questions again:

(1) Are biblical accounts of the resurrection of Jesus accurate? Did this event really happen?

(2) Is salvation found through Jesus Christ, alone? Was Jesus being literal when he said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6)?

(3) Is sex outside of marriage a sin?

And then there is my Episcopal bonus question: “Should churches in the Anglican Communion ban the worship, by name, of other gods at their altars?”

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Future of Anglican Communion Unpredictable
Weeks remain before Anglicans worldwide meet at the Primates table, and conservative Anglicans say they are ready to "act together," even if they are seated next to Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.
Lillian Kwon
Monday, Jan. 22, 2007

Weeks remain before Anglicans from around the globe meet at the Primates table, and conservative Anglicans say they are ready to "act together," even if they are seated next to Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

"In Africa whether you are a friend or [enemy] normally we welcome you, but welcoming you does not mean we agree with what you are doing," said Kenyan Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi at an Anglican Mission in America conference last week. "When you are called to a meeting you don't say ‘no,’ but you can say ‘no’ to the agenda for that meeting."

We can begin the meeting, but the agenda itself will tell whether we can continue with everybody or not."

Global South Anglican leaders had stated earlier that they would not be able to recognize Jefferts Schori as a representative of the Episcopal Church at the mid-February Primates meeting in Tanzania.
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Why Do Good? Brain Study Offers Clues
01.22.07

MONDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- People may not perform selfless acts just for an emotional reward, a new brain study suggests.

Instead, they may do good because they're acutely tuned into the needs and actions of others.
Scientists say a piece of the brain linked to perceiving others' intentions shows more activity in unselfish vs. selfish types.

"Perhaps altruism did not grow out of a warm-glow feeling of doing good for others, but out of the simple recognition that that thing over there is a person that has intentions and goals. And therefore, I might want to treat them like I might want them to treat myself," explained study author Scott Huettel, an associate professor of psychology at Duke University Medical Center, in Durham, N.C.
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