Saturday, February 03, 2007

They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support.
He also brought me out into a broad place;
He delivered me because He delighted in me.
2 Samuel 22:19-20
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.
...Ka­tha­ri­na A. von Schle­gel

Albany: Episcopal bishop to be installed
Saturday, February 3, 2007

The Right Reverend William Howard Love will be installed as the ninth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany during a ceremony at 4 p.m. Sunday in the Cathedral of All Saints. An organ recital will precede the ceremony at 3:30 p.m.

Elected by a majority of both lay and clerical deputies to the diocesan special convention last March, Love's election received the consent of the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church. He was consecrated bishop coadjutor for the diocese in September and automatically succeeded Bishop Daniel Herzog upon his retirement last month.

A native of Texas, Love previously served 14 years as rector of St. Mary's Church of Lake Luzerne. He is married to Col. Karen Love, New York Air National Guard, and they have two teenage children, Chris and Catie. the rest

Anglican Agenda Laid Out for Upcoming Meeting
By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Sat, Feb. 03 2007

The Church of England newspaper released the agenda for the global Anglican meeting that may determine the continued unity or break of the Communion.

According to the released report, the 2007 Primates meeting will devote four hours to discussing the Episcopal Church and its response to the Windsor Report – the 2004 compiled report that called for a moratorium on the consecration of homosexual candidates and for repentance by the parties who attended the ordination of openly gay bishop Gene Robinson in 2003.

Among the three sessions devoted to the Episcopal Church, U.S. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is reportedly scheduled for two of the sessions to respond to criticisms against the U.S. body for not honoring the recommendations of the Windsor Report.

Throughout the six-day meeting, Feb. 14-19, bishops representing the 38 Anglican provinces are scheduled to partake in a daily Eucharist. The Eucharist services are optional, according to the report, as they cater to some of the members of the Global South coalition who stated in a September 2006 communiqué that they would not break bread with Jefferts Schori, who supports the consecration of homosexuals and the blessing of same-sex unions.
the rest

Michigan court: No same-sex benefits
By DAVID EGGERT, Associated Press Writer
Fri Feb 2

LANSING, Mich. - Public universities and state and local governments would violate the state constitution by providing health insurance to the partners of gay employees, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled Friday.

A three-judge panel said a 2004 voter-approved ban on gay marriage also applies to same-sex domestic partner benefits. The decision reverses a 2005 ruling from an Ingham County judge who said universities and governments could provide the benefits.

"The marriage amendment's plain language prohibits public employers from recognizing same-sex unions for any purpose," the court wrote.

A constitutional amendment passed by Michigan voters in November 2004 made the union between a man and a woman the only agreement recognized as a marriage "or similar union for any purpose." Those six words led to the court fight over benefits for gay couples.
the rest

Ugandan archbishop: Militant Islam is century’s key challenge
Jan 31, 2007
By Gregory Tomlin
Baptist Press

NEW YORK (BP)--Much of the church is asleep or in “deep, dark denial” about Islam, Anglican Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi of Uganda said in New York City at the Kairos Journal Award dinner Jan. 26.

Orombi, named one of World magazine’s “Daniels of the Year” for 2006, has been at the forefront of the Anglican church’s controversy over the open acceptance and ordination of homosexual ministers, is one of Africa’s leading voices for biblical fidelity. He and Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria are under fire from European church leaders for offering assistance to Episcopal churches in the United States that have broken with the worldwide Anglican Communion since the consecration of openly homosexual New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson in 2003.

“The church’s one foundation has been torn asunder by heresy and distress,” Orombi said. “Since the beginning, the church has faced attacks from within and attacks from outside. This is nothing new.”
the rest

Chief Justice Roberts: Activist Court Spells Disaster
Friday, Feb. 2, 2007

CHICAGO - Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. on Thursday told students and faculty at the Northwestern University School of Law that he believes the high court functions best when justices focus narrowly on the case at hand.

Justices run great risks when they go beyond the specifics of the case and attempt to set public policy, said Roberts, a strict constructionist confirmed in his post in September 2005.

"Judges should act like judges, not like statesmen," Roberts said in response to a student question following a lecture at the university.

The talk concluded the first of Roberts' two days as Howard J. Trienens Visiting Judicial Scholar at Northwestern. He noted that the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist, for whom he served as clerk, was the first jurist to participate in the program.
the rest

US mayor converts to Islam
February 2, 2007

MACON, Georgia: Macon Mayor Jack Ellis has converted to Islam and is now working to legally change his name to Hakim Mansour Ellis.

Ellis, who was raised Christian, said Thursday that he became a Sunni Muslim during a December ceremony in the west African nation of Senegal.

"You do it because it feels right," said Ellis. "To me it's no big deal. But people like to know what you believe in. And this is what I believe in."

Ellis said he has been studying the Quran for years and that his new religion was originally practiced by his ancestors before they were brought to North America as slaves.
the rest

Religious battle in Attleboro
Saturday, February 3, 2007
By Richard C. Dujardin
Journal Religion Writer

ATTLEBORO — The fight between the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts and a dissident congregation that voted last October to drop its ties to the diocese and to align itself with a more conservative diocese in Africa has taken a new turn.

Until last month, leaders of All Saints Anglican Church were expressing hope that they could still work out a deal with Massachusetts Episcopal Bishop Thomas Shaw that would allow them continued use of their beloved fortress-like building on North Main Street, through either a lease agreement or a purchase similar to the one worked out between Rhode Island Episcopal Bishop Geralyn Wolf and the former St. Andrew and St. Philip Church in Coventry last year.

But those hopes evaporated when the diocese informed the rector, the Rev. Lance Giuffrida, two weeks ago that he and other dissidents would only have a week to turn over the keys and clear out so as to make room for a congregation wanting to remain loyal and faithful to the Episcopal Church.

Stunned parishioners held a teary-eyed farewell service last Sunday — one in which the rector assured nearly 200 in attendance that they would soon have a new home.
the rest

Local priest on high-power panel to ease rift among Episcopalians
Saturday February 03, 2007

A Pueblo pastor has been asked to bring his considerable talents and insights into play to find a way to bring a sense of harmony and unity to the worldwide Anglican church.

The Rev. Ephraim Radner, rector of Ascension Episcopal Church, is one of but two Americans on an international panel charged with designing a covenant to be proposed to the heads of all Anglican churches throughout the world - known as "primates" - that would serve as a vehicle to retain their communion in the face of disagreements, some of them extensive.

The American branch of the Anglican church, the Episcopal Church of the USA, was thrown into turmoil in 2003 when an openly gay, partnered Episcopal priest, Gene Robinson, was selected by his New Hampshire diocese to become its bishop.The Episcopalians' 2003 General Convention confirmed his election in August of that year by a vote of 62-45, but not without having created a sharp rift within the ECUSA and between it and the rest of the communion.
the rest

Bishop Minns: CANA No Different Than Diocese of Virginia

The Diocese of Virginia recently
filed suit to recover the real and personal assets of 11 parishes where the majority of the congregation voted to leave and affiliate with the Anglican Church of Nigeria. The Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns serves as rector of Truro Parish, one of the departing congregations and missionary bishop for the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA). He recently responded to a series of questions posed to him by a reporter for The Living Church.


Friday, February 02, 2007

And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation
that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.”
Luke 2: 22-32 art

Former Archbishop Says Anglicans 'Should Not Demonize One Another'
As a divided Anglican Communion nears a worldwide leaders gathering, the former head of the global denomination says they should not 'demonize one another.'
by Lilian Kwon
Friday, Feb. 2, 2007

As a divided Anglican Communion nears a worldwide leaders gathering, the former head of the global denomination says they should not "demonize one another."

Former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey told Duke University in an interview that the Episcopal Church broke from a 1998 resolution that all bishops in the Communion had agreed to when the U.S. body ordained an openly gay bishop. Nevertheless, Carey emphasized that "there are good, noble people on both sides of the argument."

Carey, who served as archbishop for over 11 years, had presided over the 1998 Lambeth Conference where bishops from Anglican provinces worldwide approved Lambeth Resolution 1.10. Among the resolution's seven points, two of them states that in view of the teaching of Scripture, the Communion:

1. while rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture, calls on all our people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn irrational fear of homosexuals, violence within marriage and any trivialization and commercialization of sex;

2. cannot advise the legitimizing or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions
the rest

American Genocide February 2007
By Charles & Donna James

Excerpt: "In the U.S. today 85 to 90 percent of Down syndrome babies are selectively put to death. They are selectively aborted by their own mothers, usually on the advice of their physician. Eighty-five to ninety percent! Given the fact that Down syndrome people share all the characteristics of a community, such as social cohesion, a shared knowledge (of the disability), and an utter abhorrence of the destruction of their community, I wondered whether America was practicing its own form of genocide. Recently, attending a Down Syndrome League dinner, I asked the families at my table the following question: "If you could go back and correct the genetic abnormality in your baby, would you do it?" Everyone said "No." They all said that they would not change their families at all. I then asked them if they would choose to have the same child, but without the genetic abnormality. They all said "No." They explained that the Down syndrome child is a unique individual and that Down syndrome defines the child as uniquely as any other genome (genetic pattern). I was amazed. Here were middle- to upper-class Americans who are accustomed to having everything they want, and they were telling me that what the world may call abnormal they call normal. But more than this, they told me that their child was an untold blessing to their families, bringing to it what their "normal" children could not provide. Moreover, the overwhelming number of people with Down syndrome will tell you that their life is good and that they experience happiness."

the rest-don't miss this!

Fr. Kroeger

St. John’s Anglican is in Fallbrook, California. The congregation voted in July of 2006 to move under the Bishop of Luwero in the Province of Uganda. The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego brought a lawsuit in September of 2006 against St. John’s to claim the property. In November, a San Diego Superior Court judge ruled against the Diocese and in favor of St. John’s. This AnglicanTV interview was done a few weeks after that ruling and right after the Diocese of San Joaquin convention, which Fr. Kroeger attended. The Diocese of San Diego then tried to revive its lawsuit and this was denied as well on February 1, 2007, by the same Superior Court judge.

Interviewed by Anne Coletta for AnglicanTV

Recorded at St. John’s in December, 2006

ENS: WASHINGTON: Convention supports Presiding Bishop, hears warning against congregationalism
By Mary Frances Schjonberg
Friday, February 02, 2007

[Episcopal News Service] The
Episcopal Diocese of Washington, meeting in its 112th annual Convention January 26-27 at Washington National Cathedral, went on record as supporting Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and hoping that the upcoming Primates Meeting "will provide our world and our Church with an example by responding positively to our Lord's desire that we be one as we work together to fulfill our common mission of witness and service."

The resolution expressed the diocese's appreciation to bishops from other parts of the Anglican Communion for participating in Jefferts Schori's November 4 investiture.

The convention also passed resolutions dealing with the equal status of men and women, the legacy of slavery, working toward achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, and the treatment of immigrants.

Bishop John Chane outlined the diocese's mission and ministry of the past year in his convention address, including celebrating the first new church construction in the diocese in 40 years --
Saint Nicholas Church in Darnestown, Maryland.

Chane also noted the decision to eliminate the position of Canon for Congregational Development.

"This decision was a painful one and was based on finances and our realization that expectations about the nature of supporting ‘congregational development' were so varied as to defy the prospect of successfully defining the work of this position," he said. "I concluded that it was just not helpful to fund a senior level staff position until such time as there exists greater clarity about the position's underlying rationale and priorities and until such time as additional financial resources surface to fund this position."

Chane urged congregations to "become more aware that no matter how great their individual resources of time, talent and treasure might be in comparison with other congregations, they must have a connection with all the congregations of the diocese."

"Congregationalism is not in the Anglican/Episcopal dictionary. Silos belong on farms, not in dioceses," he said. "All congregations in a diocese are connected one to another and all have a responsibility to one another, if we are to live well into the model of Christ's teaching. A diocese exists as shared residences, not as gated communities.

The full text of Chane's address is available

the rest

Judge says Episcopal Diocese can't amend lawsuit
By: SCOTT MARSHALL - Staff Writer
February 1, 2007

VISTA ---- A Superior Court judge Wednesday denied a request from the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego to raise new legal claims in a lawsuit against a Fallbrook church that already had been decided in the church's favor, an attorney for the church said.

Judge Jacqueline Stern's ruling means St. John's Anglican Church, which split from the diocese in July, continues to own the property at which the church meets, continues to meet at that location, and remains governed by the board of directors in place at the time of the split, attorney Eric Sohlgren said.

Stern ruled in November that a "purported election" Aug. 7, 2006, of a new board of directors for part of the congregation that wanted to remain part of the Episcopal Diocese was not valid, leaving the previous governing board in place.
the rest

Murders in China to harvest human organs
A report by Canadians David Matas and David Kilgour show systematic murder of Falun Gong members by Chinese government to "harvest" human organs; China admits to harvesting from "prisoners".
By Martin Barillas

February 01, 2007 -Canadian investigators released a report January 31 that makes shocking allegations about China’s totalitarian government. Long-rumored and feared, it appears that China may have indeed added to its catalogue of crimes against humanity that of actually “harvesting” – that is to say, removing – organs from unwilling human beings. According to the report, members of the Falun Gong cult of China – a native spiritual movement in opposition to the communist government – are especially targeted.

David Matas, a human rights lawyer from Ontario Canada, and David Kilgour, a former Canadian Secretary of State for the Asia Pacific region, conducted the investigation at the request of the Washington DC-based Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of the Falun Gong.

The Chinese Deputy Minister of Public Health, Huang Jiefu, admitted at a conference held in the Philippines in 2005 that organs are indeed taken from executed prisoners. However, it was this week that the Health Ministry spokesman Mao Qunan admitted, despite previous and repeated denials, that organs are being “harvested” from prisoners. That this unethical practice is extended specifically to Falun Gong members is an issue that this latter-day Mao has managed to skirt.
the rest

Current birth rates could produce Muslim domination
Chad Groening
February 2, 2007

The Population Research Institute says the Western world is facing a crisis as virtually every country has birth rates well below the replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman.

A pro-family organization has done extensive research into birth rates around the world and has concluded that if the Western world wants to survive, it better start having more children. The Population Research Institute says virtually every Western or Westernized nation on the planet is slowly dying off because birth rates have fallen below the 2.1-child-per-woman replacement level.

PRI spokesman Joseph D'Agostino says for the most part, only Muslims have high birth rates. "It's because Christians and Jews are refusing to have children, refusing to get married, [and] having such low birth rates that the Muslims are going to inherit the Earth," he explains. "It's not anything the Muslims are doing; it's what Christians and Jews are not doing."
the rest

Pastor facing loss of office
Friday, February 2, 2007

ATTLEBORO - The Rev. Lance Giuffrida, who broke away from the national Episcopal Church with his congregation from All Saints parish, may now be stripped of his standing as an Episcopal priest.

Bishop Thomas Shaw of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts has issued Giuffrida a temporary order prohibiting him from performing any ministerial acts in the diocese for 90 days, the first of two steps toward deposition, or removal as a priest.

The Rev. Gregory Jacobs, diocesan staff officer for urban ministry development, said that under canon law clergy can be deposed if they openly declare they are leaving the church, which Giuffrida has done.

The deposition will now go before the diocese's standing committee in two weeks to consider the charge that Giuffrida abandoned the worldwide Anglican Communion and violated his ordination vows by breaking with the Episcopal Church, the Anglican church in this country.
the rest

Episcopal Church faces threat
By Natasha AltamiranoT
February 2, 2007

The Episcopal Church, which recently lost 15 Virginia congregations over liberal policies, faces a possible expulsion from the worldwide Anglican Communion when the leaders of the communion's 38 national churches meet in Tanzania later this month, conservative Anglicans say.

A priority for this year's meeting in Dar es Salaam is dealing with the Episcopal Church, which has clashed with conservatives for decades over biblical authority and sexuality.

The debate reached a boiling point after the church's 2003 General Convention, where the denomination's first openly homosexual bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, was elected.

"The Episcopal Church is likely to get spanked at Dar es Salaam," said the Rev. Leslie Fairfield, professor of church history at Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry near Pittsburgh.
the rest

NFL: Sports bars in, churches out
Feb 1, 2007
By Michael Foust
Baptist Press

INDIANAPOLIS (BP)--The National Football League has told a Southern Baptist church in Indianapolis it will run afoul of federal copyright law if it hosts a Super Bowl party this Sunday, even though the league makes a major exception for such large-scale viewings at sports bars.

Fall Creek Baptist Church in Indianapolis was one of probably thousands of churches across the nation scheduled to host a party this Sunday evening as part of an outreach to the congregation and the community.

But now, the church -- whose hometown Colts will play the Chicago Bears -- has canceled the event under pressure from the NFL, which says large-group events can show the Super Bowl on a TV no larger than 55 inches wide. The church had planned on showing the game on a projector that would have resulted in a 12-foot screen. A 55-inch screen would be too small for the hundreds that were planning on attending. NFL policy also prohibits the use of multiple televisions. The league even said the church legally couldn't show a video highlighting the Christian testimonies of Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy and Chicago coach Lovie Smith.
the rest

Thursday, February 01, 2007

"They shall sing in the ways of the Lord."—Psalm 138:5.

The time when Christians begin to sing in the ways of the Lord is when they first lose their burden at the foot of the Cross. Not even the songs of the angels seem so sweet as the first song of rapture which gushes from the inmost soul of the forgiven child of God. You know how John Bunyan describes it. He says when poor Pilgrim lost his burden at the Cross, he gave three great leaps, and went on his way singing—

"Blest Cross! blest Sepulchre! blest rather be
The Man that there was put to shame for me!"

Believer, do you recollect the day when your fetters fell off? Do you remember the place when Jesus met you, and said, "I have loved thee with an everlasting love; I have blotted out as a cloud thy transgressions, and as a thick cloud thy sins; they shall not be mentioned against thee any more for ever." Oh! what a sweet season is that when Jesus takes away the pain of sin.

When the Lord first pardoned my sin, I was so joyous that I could scarce refrain from dancing. I thought on my road home from the house where I had been set at liberty, that I must tell the stones in the street the story of my deliverance. So full was my soul of joy, that I wanted to tell every snow-flake that was falling from heaven of the wondrous love of Jesus, who had blotted out the sins of one of the chief of rebels. But it is not only at the commencement of the Christian life that believers have reason for song; as long as they live they discover cause to sing in the ways of the Lord, and their experience of His constant lovingkindness leads them to say, "I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth." See to it, brother, that thou magnifiest the Lord this day.

"Long as we tread this desert land,
New mercies shall new songs demand."
CH Spurgeon

Honoring Anglicanism's History .
. .
Feb 1, 2007

Times-Dispatch Guest Column by The Falls Church's Senior Warden

Falls Church. This winter a dozen congregations in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia -- constituting perhaps 20 percent of the average Sunday attendance in the diocese -- have voted by overwhelming margins to sever our ties with the Episcopal Church (TEC) and to affiliate with another branch of the Anglican Communion. In doing so, these congregations have made a difficult decision that has prompted criticism and scorn, has invited challenges to our property rights, and has put strains on valued relationships. Why did we take this painful step?

The simplistic answer that one would gather from the headlines is that TEC consecrated a gay bishop. While sexual morality is indeed the flashpoint of the controversy, it is but one instance of the real, underlying issues: the authority of the Bible (which is very clear on the subject of sexual ethics) and the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

The church has tolerated bishops who deny the deity of Jesus Christ, deny His resurrection, and deny His being the unique and essential Savior for the whole world. The breaking point came in 2003 when the church defied the rest of the worldwide Anglican Communion by setting aside the Anglican standard, consecrating a non-celibate homosexual as a bishop, and condoning the liturgical blessing of same-sex unions -- all with the support of the bishop of Virginia and the majority of the Virginia delegation. In response to the Communion's subsequent call for repentance, TEC declined, and elected as its presiding bishop someone who had favored both of those aberrations. TEC's trajectory is clear.
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Bishops offer support of Lee

On January 26, sixteen bishops of Province III of the Episcopal Church issued a statement supporting Lee, the Executive Board and Standing Committee for the decisions and actions they have taken concerning the congregations where the majority membership has voted to leave the Episcopal Church. The complete statement, as it was read to Virginia’s recently concluded annual Council, follows.

January 26, 2007

We the Bishops of Dioceses in Province III (the Middle Atlantic area) of The Episcopal Church commend and support our brother The Right Reverend Peter J. Lee, Bishop of Virginia, the Standing Committee and the Executive Committee of the Diocese of Virginia in their recent action and statement concerning several parishes within the Diocese of Virginia which have withdrawn from The Episcopal Church. We support completely these decisions necessitated by the Canons of our Church and morally responsible. Moreover, we commend Bishop Lee for the many ways over several years in which he tried to pastorally minister to, find appropriate compromises, and charitably respond to his detractors. We are proud to be his colleagues.

The Right Reverend Robert W. Ihloff, President of Province III, Bishop of Maryland
The Right Reverend Nathan D. Baxter, Bishop of Central Pennsylvania
The Right Reverend Wayne P. Wright, Bishop of Delaware
The Right Reverend James J. Shand, Bishop of Easton
The Right Reverend John L. Rabb, Bishop Suffragan of Maryland
The Right Reverend Robert D. Rowley, Bishop of North West Pennsylvania
The Right Reverend Charles E. Bennison, Bishop of Pennsylvania
The Right Reverend Frank Neff Powell, Bishop of Southern Virginia
The Right Reverend David C. Jones, Bishop Suffragan of Virginia
The Right Reverend John B. Chane, Bishop of Washington
The Right Reverend A. Theodore Eastman, Bishop of Maryland, Retired
The Right Reverend Jane Holmes Dixon, Bishop Suffragan of Washington, Retired
The Right Reverend William Michie Klusmeyer, Bishop of West Virginia
The Right Reverend Michael W. Creighton, Bishop of Central Pennsylvania, Retired
The Right Reverend Charles L. Longest, Bishop Suffragan of Maryland, Retired
The Right Reverend David K. Leighton, Bishop of Maryland, Retired

Comments at titusonenine

The Tragedy of Untethered Science -- Chilling Examples
Albert Mohler
Thursday, February 01, 2007

Science and technology, once detached from moral constraints, can and will produce nightmares. Untethered from moral accountability, science becomes a threat to human dignity, rather than a means to knowledge and human happiness.

Consider these developments gathered from reports in major media in recent days. Standing alone, each would represent cause for deep moral concern. Taken together, these developments point to disaster.
the rest

Summary judgment sought in Kirk of the Hills case
By Patrick Jean Staff Writer
The Layman Online

Thursday, February 1, 2007

A lawyer for
Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian Church in Tulsa, Okla., is seeking a summary judgment for the church in its property ownership lawsuit against Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery and the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Attorney John O'Connor filed
the motion Jan. 22 in Tulsa County District Court. The presbytery and denomination were served the same day and have 15 days to respond, but O'Connor expects them to ask the court for up to 30 days.

The church then would have an opportunity to file a reply or rebuttal. "We expect the judge will want to have a hearing within 30 days of the filing of our reply or rebuttal," O'Connor said.

That would put the hearing date around mid-April. O'Connor anticipates Judge Jefferson D. "Jeff" Sellers will apply Oklahoma law and decide the case himself rather than defer to the decision of the presbytery's Administrative Commission, which is looking into the issue separately.

The judge also could move the case to trial, said Tom Gray, co-pastor of Kirk of the Hills. A trial could take up to two years, he said.Decision expected by mid-April the rest

Diocese Sues 11 Seceding Congregations Over Property Ownership
Michelle Boorstein and Jacqueline L. Salmon
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, February 1, 2007

The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia filed lawsuits yesterday against 11 conservative congregations that voted to leave the U.S. church and are fighting to keep their parish properties and assets.

The Circuit Court lawsuits, almost all in Northern Virginia, ask the court to declare the diocese the rightful owner of all property, which is worth well into the tens of millions of dollars. The suits also ask the court to force the breakaway congregations off the 11 properties, which they have occupied since the votes in December and January.
the rest

Clocks' Early Spring Forward May Bring About a Few Falls
Charles Babington
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 1, 2007

It seemed so simple and familiar: Spring forward, fall back. For 20 years, that's what Americans -- and their technology -- have done with their clocks on the first Sunday in April and the last Sunday in October.

No longer. When few people were paying attention in August 2005, Congress lengthened daylight saving time by four weeks in the name of energy efficiency.
the rest

No stoning, Canada migrants told
31 January 2007

Don't stone women to death, burn them or circumcise them, immigrants wishing to live in the town of Herouxville in Quebec, Canada, have been told.

The rules come in a new town council declaration on culture that Muslims have branded shocking and insulting.

Quebec is in the midst of a huge debate on integrating immigrant cultures.

Montreal police are investigating an officer who wrote a song called That's Enough Already, which says immigrants are undermining Quebec culture.
the rest

Kudzu Gets It

Too funny-Drell's Descants

Episcopal Diocese Files More Motions in its Lawsuit Against Syracuse Parish
Thursday, February 1, 2007

Contact: Raymond J. Dague 315-422-2052

The Episcopal Diocese of Central New York has filed yet another motion in its ongoing lawsuit to take over St. Andrews Church in Syracuse, New York. The motion is a procedural move for partial summary judgement on one of the various grounds for the lawsuit. Even if the diocese wins this round of motions, the parish will still be in their property at 5013 South Salina Street in Syracuse, New York for the time being. The latest filing yesterday comes just over a week after the diocese refused to negotiate with the parish. Several weeks ago, St. Andrews Church became the first parish in the country to be targeted by the new presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, The Rt. Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori. Her lawyers filed papers to try to sue the parish in mid-January.

The diocese filed the lawsuit against St. Andrews Church last July to take the property from the congregation which has been a Free Church since 1903. The New York courts have ruled that free churches affiliated with an Episcopal diocese can leave their affiliation with the Episcopal Church and retain their church building, but the Central New York bishop has requested that his lawyers to challenge that ruling in the Syracuse court. The Diocese sued the local church because the parish transferred its allegiance from Bishop Gladstone "Skip" Adams III of Syracuse to the Anglican Archbishop of Rwanda over a dispute of Biblical interpretation concerning whether homosexual behavior is a sin.

"The latest filing by the diocese is a clear attempt to wear down our people," said Raymond Dague, attorney for the parish. "We have already offered to give the bishop our buildings if he will just give us time to build another place to worship, but apparently Bishop Adams would rather see our church padlocked than give us any breathing room."

Until now, St. Andrews Church and its priest, Fr. Robert Hackendorf, have successfully resisted the attempt by the diocese to seize the parish through legal action, both last July and again last September. The lawsuit by the Episcopal Diocese sued the individual members of the church’s governing vestry in addition to suing the local congregation. In September, the judge dismissed 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 bishop of Virginia recently filed legal papers against 11 parishes which left his spiritual authority for the oversight of the bishops of the Anglican Province of Nigeria. The national Episcopal Church office in New York City has also filed papers against St. Andrews Church and the Virginia congregations in what is expected to be a nationwide avalanche of litigation by the Episcopal Church and some liberal dioceses against local congregations.

Bishop "Skip" Adams and the Virginia bishop are at odds with those parishes over homosexual bishops and the authority of Scripture which has for years engulfed the Episcopal Church. St. Andrews adheres to the traditional teaching of the church that sex outside of marriage is prohibited by the Bible, while the Bishop Adams, Presiding Bishop Schori, and the Virginia bishop have been outspoken supporters of the actively homosexual bishop of New Hampshire and a more liberal view of the Scriptures.

Priest suspended in evangelism row Suna Erdem in Istanbul
Cannon opposed convert’s ordination
Supporters brand bishop a ‘bully’

February 01, 2007

A London bishop has suspended the most senior Anglican priest in Turkey, who opposed the fast-track ordination of a Turkish evangelist. The dispute highlights a potential clash of cultures between the hands-off approach of the expatriate Anglicans and the missionary zeal of Turkish Protestant converts.

Istanbul Anglicans have branded the bishop “bullying”, “crazy”, “un-Christian” and “a scandal and a menace”. Their colourful language stems partly from the popularity of Canon Ian Sherwood, the Irish cleric at the centre of the battle.

Trey Farmer, a member of the church council, which has also been suspended, illustrated the strength of feeling. “We are not here to convert anyone, but to support what exists,” he said. “If anyone wants to engage in missionary work in Turkey they are going to have to do it over our dead bodies. I don’t want to get shot for going to church.”
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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Cultivate peace; be deaf to your too prolific imagination; its great activity not only injures the health of your body, but introduces aridity into your soul. You consume yourself to no purpose; peace and interior sweetness are destroyed by your restlessness. Think you God can speak in those soft and tender accents that melt the soul, in the midst of such a tumult as you excite by your incessant hurry of thought? Be quiet, and He will soon be heard. Indulge but a single scruple; to be scrupulously obedient. ...Francois Fenelon photo

+ Rowan Cantuar: Address at Evensong in Westminster Abbey
31 JANUARY 2007

In the presence of the Ecumenical Patriarch, His All-Holiness Bartholomew I, and the International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox for Theological Dialogue

Your All-Holiness, Your Eminences, dear brothers and sisters in Christ:

The dialogue between the Anglican and Orthodox families of churches is not a new thing. Only last year, we saw the publication of a fine collection of essays to mark the 300th anniversary of the short-lived but significant experiment of a ‘Greek College’ in Oxford; and the wide-ranging scholarship of the late Judith Pinnington gave us recently a comprehensive and quite challenging overview of some of the questions that had arisen for both ecclesial families in the course of their relationship over the centuries.

We have always had an instinct that at root, despite many superficial differences, our understandings of the Church of God have grown on the same soil. We have looked to the definitive moments of doctrinal history, in the early centuries of the Church, for our standards of faith and worship, recognising that the creeds and definitions of the Councils lay out for us a field large enough for the freedom of mind and spirit to flourish in the way God intends. We have striven to remain focused on these great central themes - of the revelation of the Threefold Godhead, and the inseparable yet distinct life of divinity and humanity in the one Person of the Eternal Son, in communion with whom through the Spirit we pray, act and love in the life of the Church.
the rest

Diocese of Virginia Files Suit Against Departing Congregations

The Diocese of Virginia has filed suit in various legal jurisdictions regarding real and personal property claims made by 11 congregations where the majority of the membership recently voted to leave The Episcopal Church.

The 11 new complaints seeking court action with respect to the real and personal property now held by the 11 congregations were preceded by legal filings last week in which the diocese objected to any transfer of property, citing both Virginia law and the canons of the diocese and the General Convention.

Following the votes to separate, eight of the congregations initiated proceedings in their respective local circuit courts in an effort to transfer ownership of their real properties away from the diocese and The Episcopal Church and to the Church of Nigeria through a missionary endeavor, the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA).

The clergy in charge and lay leadership of each of the 11 congregations have been named as defendants in the actions. The diocese is not asking the courts to impose any personal liability on any of the individuals named defendants at this time.
the rest

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Jack Bauer's Dilemmas--and Ours
Watching "24" as a primer on moral philosophy.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The current season of Fox's television series "24" began with a dilemma that will be familiar to long-time devotees of the program. A man's wife and child have been taken hostage by a terrorist. If the man does not help him carry out his plans, his family will be killed.

Yes, such a dilemma propels the show's pace and intensifies the dramatic ordeal. But it also points toward difficult ethical puzzles with profound implications for our current real-world moment. You don't need to watch "24" as a kind of primer on moral philosophy, but you probably should.

This season's opening predicament echoes the one into which the show's star, Jack Bauer, was thrust in the series' first season six years ago. Back then, the bad guys tried to compel Bauer, played by Kiefer Sutherland, to assist in the assassination of a presidential candidate. As a result, he was forced both to play along with the terrorists and seek a way to free his family. He succeeded, at least temporarily, in saving both the target of the assassination and his family.
the rest photo

"Please, I need your help""I have to finish this"

"You are going to tell me what I want to know, it's just a question of how much you want it to hurt"

"I'm done talking with you, you understand me? You've read my file..."

"Trust me, you don't want to go down this road with me"

more sound clips

Religious complex unearthed near Stonehenge
By Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer
January 31, 2007

Archeologists working near Stonehenge in England have discovered what appears to be an ancient religious complex containing a wealth of artifacts that may finally illuminate the lives and religious practices of the people who built the mysterious monument 4,600 years ago.

The circle of massive stone blocks on Salisbury Plain southwest of London is one of the most famous archeological sites in the world, but researchers know surprisingly little about the people who built it and lived in the region.

The discovery, reported Tuesday in a teleconference organized by the National Geographic Society, reconfigures the geometry of Stonehenge, indicating that it is not an isolated monument but part of a larger religious complex that may have encompassed the area.
the rest

Planned Parenthood Misleads Women on Abortion's Mental Health Risks
by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 30, 2007

Washington, DC ( -- The Planned Parenthood Federation of America is coming under fire for continuing to mislead women about the mental health risks associated with having an abortion. In a statement released Tuesday by PPFA medical director Vanessa Cullins, the abortion business claims there are no emotional or psychological concerns.

Cullins answered a sample question from a Planned Parenthood supporter asking if "having an abortion emotionally and psychologically dangerous."

"No. Most women feel relief after an abortion," Cullins responded.

"But anti-choice extremists make false claims about this. They want people to believe that most women who choose abortion suffer severe and long lasting emotional trauma. This is not true," Cullins added.

"For more than 20 years, most scientific studies have found that emotional reactions to having abortion are relatively positive," Cullins explains.

However, her statements run counter to the latest research studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals.
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Muslim nations move to prevent violence
By David R. Sands
January 31, 2007

Terrified that sectarian Muslim bloodshed could soon engulf the region, U.S. allies and adversaries in the Middle East have stepped up joint efforts to head off a religious civil war.

Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite Iran have held intensive talks in recent days on ways to tamp down sectarian violence in Iraq and Lebanon. Over the weekend, Saudi King Abdullah issued an unusual public call for calm.

Top Islamic clerics and scholars in Egypt, Qatar and Iraq also have issued statements urging Muslim unity, often blaming the United States and other outside actors of trying to divide the faithful.

"All scholars are condemning the ongoing sectarian war between Sunnis and Shi'ites as a threat to the unity of Iraq and drawing the attention of Muslims away from the real enemy of the [Islamic world]," Aisha al-Mannai, an Islamic law scholar at Qatar University, said last week at the conclusion of an emergency conference in Doha on the growing tensions among various strains of Islam.
the rest

Hawaii considers bill to allow civil unions for gay couples
Posted 1/31/2007

HONOLULU (AP) — Trying to avoid a heated battle over gay marriage, Hawaii lawmakers are considering a renewed push to grant same-sex couples similar benefits through civil unions.

Democratic legislators, who hold overwhelming majorities in both the state House and Senate, are supporting a proposed civil union bill as one of the party's top priorities for this year's legislative session. If it passes, Hawaii would become only the fifth state to recognize either civil unions or gay marriage.

"Committed couples, regardless of their sexual preference or orientation, should have the same rights. That's the bottom line — we should treat people equally," said Gary Hooser, the state senate majority leader. "There's broad support among Democratic party members."

He said if approved, the civil unions law would grant same-sex couples the same rights and benefits as married couples. Hawaii already gives some rights — in areas of insurance, property, pension and hospital visitation — to same-sex partners through its reciprocal benefits law.
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Anglican Meeting May Make or Break Communion
Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Wed, Jan. 31 2007

The upcoming global meeting of Anglican archbishops can be a make or break time for the 77 million-member Anglican Communion.

Archbishop Peter Akinola of the Church of Nigeria, reportedly the largest province in the worldwide communion, says the issue of homosexuality must be resolved before the 2008 Lambeth Conference. Otherwise, Akinola is counting his church out.

The bishop told the Guardian newspaper of Lagos that the conference is not worth attending if it will "not be able to guide the church in a way that the church will embrace" and "comply."

Division in the global body escalated when the Episcopal Church consecrated an openly gay bishop in 2003. Last November, the church invested its first female bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, who supports the consecration of homosexuals and the blessing of same-sex unions.
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Anglican Church Leader Discusses Homosexuality, Women, Scripture
George Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury, says The Episcopal Church broke from a resolution on sexuality.
By James Todd
Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The former leader of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop George Carey, will speak on campus on his church’s heritage and future Wednesday, Feb. 7, at 2:30 p.m. The address will be in room 0016 Westbrook in the Divinity School and is free and open to the public. Duke Today interviewed Carey by phone in London.

How do you understand the current debates in the church about homosexuality, unity and biblical authority?

All traditions, all denominations are having to face up to this issue of human sexuality. At the [worldwide meeting of bishops at the] Lambeth Conference, which I presided over in 1998 in Canterbury, there was a very remarkable resolution, which I was wholly in favor of, which expressed its view that practicing homosexuality was wrong, but we must listen to homosexuals and continue a journey together. That was overwhelmingly accepted. But then, of course, in 2003, the American church, The Episcopal Church of the United States, decided to break from that position and so Gene Robinson [an openly gay priest] was ordained bishop. That’s been the heart of the issue every since. There are very strong forces on both sides, and I would also want to emphasize that there are good, noble people on both sides of the argument. We should not demonize one another.
the rest

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

It is impossible to live the life of a disciple without definite times of secret prayer. You will find that the place to enter in is in your business, as you walk along the streets, in the ordinary ways of life, when no one dreams you are praying, and the reward comes openly, a revival here, a blessing there. ...Oswald Chambers photo

Hit TV series features mosque in Anglican church
The series is a humorous look at the efforts of a young imam to lead a small group of Muslims who have just persuaded the local Anglican priest to allow them to set up a mosque in the church basement
Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A new Canadian television series, "Little Mosque on the Prairie" has attracted worldwide media attention since its debut on 9 January. Coverage of the show has made the pages of newspapers such as The New York Times, the Jerusalem Post and the Saudi Arabian daily newspaper, Arab News, and further afield.

The series is a humorous look at the efforts of a young imam, fresh from a career as a big-city lawyer, to lead a small group of Muslims who have just persuaded the local Anglican priest to allow them to set up a mosque in the church basement.

The weekly social comedy about a small Muslim community inhabiting a town in the prairie region of western Canada was developed by a Muslim Canadian, Zarqa Nawaz, for broadcast on Canada's national public broadcast television network, CBC-TV.
the rest

Church loses opt-out fight over gay adoptions
By George Jones, Political Editor

Roman Catholic adoptions agencies yesterday lost their battle to opt out of new laws
banning discrimination against homosexual couples when Tony Blair announced that there would be "no exemptions" for faith-based groups.

The Prime Minister said in a statement that the new rules would not come into force until the end of 2008. Until then there would be a "statutory duty" for religious agencies to refer gay couples to other agencies.
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Doomsday cult said to be at center of Iraqi battle
Authorities say Iraqi and U.S. forces fought disciples of a renegade Muslim leader intent on killing Shiite pilgrims.
By Louise Roug and Saad Fakhrildeen, Special to The Times
January 30, 2007

NAJAF, IRAQ — In an era beset by war and confusion, a purported messiah rises from the sands of the desert promising to deliver the end of time. On the outskirts of a holy city, he gathers his fighters for the apocalypse. But his plan is betrayed.

By dawn, government forces surround the messiah and his followers, killing him and hundreds of others.

The apparent story line of the Heaven's Army cult and its leader, Dhyaa Abdul-Zahra, seems to belong to a long-ago epoch.

But the Iraqi and U.S. troops who fought an intense battle against hundreds of disciples of the renegade Muslim leader near the ancient city of Najaf on Sunday met a modern enemy. They were armed not only with an unorthodox religious fervor but also with high-tech weapons, Iraqi officials said.
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Why Roe vs. Wade is Losing Ground
By Sharon Hughes
Jan 30, 2007

Did you notice the decrease in news coverage of this year’s March for Life in Washington DC last week?

I tuned in to local and cable channels every day looking for news on the March for Life events.

I knew were being held in the nation’s capitol for the 34th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. But I could find little coverage, The same thing was true for print news.

Why? Because of the mainstream media’s liberal bias, many would say. And I would agree with that. the rest photo

Ruth Gledhill weblog: Casino 'will imprison your soul' says Archbishop
Tuesday, 30 January 2007

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has led Church of England bishops in attacking
the plans for a supercasino in Manchester, pictured here. Dr Williams, speaking at Lambeth Palace at a press conference with Patriarch Bartholomew who heads the Orthodox Church, said: “It’s quite clear from all the research figures that gambling is a more and more popular form of addiction in this country, and we must not underrate the seriousness of that."

He continued: “All addictions are imprisonments for the soul and therefore any form of addiction is something that ought to be of concern to the population at large and, as to the religious population in particular. It seems to me that any large, high profile development is going to attract attention and draw people in here. I know that the area of Manchester where this development is planned to take place, in Beswick, is one which has a long history of deprivation which is going through regeneration at the moment. I happen to have quite direct contact with one of the primary schools there, so it’s not quite an academic interest.”
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Moscow bans 'satanic' gay parade
Monday, 29 January 2007

Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov has said he will never allow a gay rights parade in the Russian capital.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Luzhkov described such events as "satanic".

Moscow banned a gay march in 2006, citing the threat of violence. People who ignored the ban were beaten up by counter-demonstrators and arrested.

Gay activists say the ban breaches their fundamental human rights. They say they intend to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
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Documentary: What Does the Bible Really Say about Homosexuality
Nathan Black
Christian Post Reporter
Mon, Jan. 29 2007

Excerpt: "While expressing regret over the misuse of Scripture, communications coordinator Jenny Noyes of the conservative Anglican Communion Network, which has yet to see the documentary, said the network disagrees with the position of the filmmakers who relayed that the worldwide Anglican body misinterprets Scripture. The film's central figure is openly gay bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire whose ordination widened rifts within the U.S. Anglican body.

"The Anglican Communion Network regrets along with the makers of this film the ways in which Scripture has been misapplied to seek to justify conduct or actions that are contrary to Scripture," said Noyes. "However, we disagree with the film’s makers that the theological position of the majority of the worldwide Anglican Communion on sexual orientation contained in Lambeth Resolution 1.10 and affirmed by the Windsor Report is similarly a misinterpretation of Scripture."

Lambeth Resolution 1.10 states that the communion rejects homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture. At the same time, it calls on their people to minister to all despite sexual orientation.

"Scripture is God’s Word written," stated Noyes. "Man’s sinful mis-application of Scripture does not negate the authority or truth of it today.”

The single most significant person who made the film happen, according to Karslake, is Robinson. Although theological disputes in the Episcopal Church go back decades, the consecration of Robinson in 2003 had triggered the departure of numerous congregations from the national Anglican body. The problem was not just homosexuality, many departed Anglican leaders have argued, but the continual drift in the church away from Scriptural authority." the rest

Stand Firm: Video: Bishop Jack Iker at 'Mere Anglicanism'

Jerusalem registers its first gay couple
Jan. 30, 2007

Jerusalem officially registered its first homosexual couple as married Monday, three months after a ruling by the High Court of Justice paved the way for same-sex couples to be listed in the Interior Ministry's Population Registry.

Binyamin and Avi Rose married on June 28 in Toronto, Canada, but immediately returned to Jerusalem to start building their life together.

"We did the civil ceremony in the hopes that we would eventually be able to make legal what we felt inside," said Avi, an informal Jewish educator for the Young Judaea youth movement.
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A Pastoral Letter from Bishop Robert Duncan

My beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. [I Cor 15: 58]

29th January, A.D. 2007
4th Monday After the Epiphany

Beloved in the Lord,

Writing from my hometown more than two hundred years ago, the great pamphleteer of the American Revolution, Thomas Paine, wrote these words: “Now are the times that try men’s souls.” The American Crisis called countless men and women to nobility and sacrifice in a very difficult season; the necessary recruits came forward, the against-the-odds successes of Trenton and Princeton followed, and the cause endured and eventually triumphed. We give thanks for the courage and tenacity of those long-ago heroes.
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Monday, January 29, 2007

Dear Jesus,
Help us to be small, like the meal and oil
belonging to the widow of Zarephath.
Help us to entrust the provision to You.
Help us to be small, like the yeast in the dough.
Help us to entrust the rising to You.
Help us to be small, like the mustard seed.
Help us to entrust the increase to You.
Use our smallness for Your glory, Lord.
May the Anglican Communion become
a home for the bereft,
a sustenance for body and soul, and a haven of peace. Amen.
1Kings 17:8-16, Matthew 13:31-33

Episcopal Church Figures Prominently on Primates' Agenda

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has been allotted two sessions of next month’s primates’ meeting to describe The Episcopal Church’s response to the Windsor Report.

Sessions on the “listening process,” the proposed Anglican Covenant, and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Panel of Reference, as well as social and development issues are on the agenda for the Feb. 12-19 meeting to be held at a hotel near Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, sources in London tell The Living Church.

Archbishop Peter Carnely, the former Primate of Australia and chairman of the Panel of Reference, will brief the primates and respond to criticism that the panel has been dilatory in its work. Established as a “matter of urgency” by the 2005 primates’ meeting, the panel has released recommendations on petitions received from the Diocese of Fort Worth and from traditionalist congregations in the Canadian Diocese of New Westminster. Petitions from the Dioceses of Florida and Lake Malawi are currently under review.
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Website helping families stung by elaborate birthdays
Ed Thomas
January 29, 2007

A Focus on the Family official says the "Birthdays Without Pressure" website, which explores pressure on parents to host elaborate and expensive child birthday celebrations, may not go far enough in probing the reasons behind this phenomenon.

Peer pressure for parents to host elaborate and expensive child birthday celebrations has become the springboard issue that has launched the "Birthdays Without Pressure" website and an accompanying media campaign.

The Birthdays Without Pressure site documents stories that include parents spending as much as $10 million for their child's birthday party. Other entries on the site recount the rental of a cougar, a llama, and a helicopter for entertainment at a children's party, as well as a fire station as a party location.
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Diocese of Pittsburgh Preparing Vigorous Defense of APO Request

The Diocese of Pittsburgh has released a
document detailing how its request for alternate primatial oversight (APO) fits in with its long-term strategy which includes having the “alternative primate convene an organizing convention for the purpose of forming a permanent constituent Anglican body in the U.S.”

The document was given to several Global South primates and discussed during a November meeting in Virginia with several bishops and other leaders of the Anglican Communion Network.

“As we await clarity regarding the consequences of the recent theological disputes between much of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, all in the diocese need to know that we will remain who we are and where we are,” said Pittsburgh Bishop Robert W. Duncan in an
article published on the diocesan website. “We have no plans to be anything but the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh as we seek spiritual oversight from a primate committed, as we are, to the historic faith and order of the church catholic.” the rest

Nigerian Primate: Consensus on Sexuality Necessary Before Lambeth Conference

The issue of homosexuality and the Anglican Communion must be resolved before the 2008 Lambeth Conference, if the Church of Nigeria is to participate, according to Archbishop Peter Akinola.

In a Jan. 14 interview with the Guardian newspaper of Lagos, Archbishop Akinola, the primate of the Communion’s largest province, said sending more than 100 Nigerian bishops to Lambeth would not be an act of prudent stewardship, if the conference was simply going to be an expensive episcopal jamboree.

“A Lambeth Conference that will not be able to guide the church in a way that the church will embrace” and “comply” is “not worth attending,” the archbishop said. The Church of Nigeria would be a “bad steward, to use God’s resources and waste it on jamboree. God will hold me responsible and accountable for spending money in that way.”
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