Saturday, February 17, 2007

Prayer is surrender - surrender to the will of God and cooperation with that will. If I throw out a boathook from the boat and catch hold of the shore and pull, do I pull the shore to me, or do I pull myself to the shore? Prayer is not pulling God to my will, but the aligning of my will to the will of God. ...Eli E. Stanley Jones photo

Methodist bishop opposes proposed New Mexico bill that would apply 'neutral principles of law' in church property cases
By Craig M. Kibler
Staff Writer
The Layman Online
Friday, February 16, 2007

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The bishop of the New Mexico Conference of the United Methodist Church has come out in opposition to
proposed legislation in the New Mexico state legislature that would require the use of "neutral principles of law" in cases involving church property rights

.The proposed legislation,
Senate Bill 230, was introduced by state Sen. Leonard Lee Rawson, R-Las Cruces.

Bishop D. Max Whitfield, in an e-mail sent to Methodist ministers, states that, "The implications of this bill are significant."

The e-mail, a copy of which was obtained by The Layman Online, goes on to say that, "It implies that unless the local church enacts a resolution, they could ignore The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church. At the very least, it would require a significant amount of paperwork to satisfy the State of New Mexico that we are United Methodists. At the worst, it could spawn lawsuits about whether local United Methodist Churches must abide by The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church."
the rest

Same-sex civil unions could pass in 4 states this year; activists optimistic about chances
Feb 16, 2007
By Michael Foust
Baptist Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--After suffering a series of stinging defeats last year, homosexual activists may be on the verge of significant victories this year as state legislatures consider passing same-sex civil unions bills.

Legislators in at least four states -- Hawaii, New Hampshire, Oregon and Rhode Island -- are examining civil unions bills that would grant homosexual couples the legal benefits of marriage. A fifth state, Washington, is considering a domestic partnership benefits bill that would give same-sex couples some of marriage's legal benefits.
the rest

Greg Griffith: The Anglican Communion's 'Bishop Pike' Moment

If it fails to enforce discipline at this time, and in the face of this challenge, its future will be Pike writ large, and we all know where that leads.

the rest at Stand Firm

Telegraph editorial: Divided communion

What on earth is going on at the meeting of Anglican primates in Tanzania? One virtually needs a doctorate in ecclesiology to answer that question. Hard-line liberal and conservative factions are threatening to walk out of the Anglican Communion (which really no longer exists, since they decline to take Communion with each other) unless complicated theological demands are met. The word "schism" is flying around Dar Es Salaam - but it seems to mean something different every time it is used.
the rest

The Primates: Moving to a more serious level


DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA, FEB. 17, 2007 -- "The Primates moved from the intense listening mode to much more discussion, exchange of views and debate. We heard free and frank views as well as areas of concern and tension that still need to be worked through." were the opening words of Archbishop Phillip Aspinall of Australia the spokesperson for the Primates’ Meeting is Tanzania. His words indicated that the meeting have moved into a more serious level from the opening day of cordial listening.
the rest

News from Tanzania

Anglican primates visiting Zanzibar tomorrow

Archbishops protest U.S. church leader

Reeling on the Ropes

Dr Williams will find little comfort

DAR Press Conference Feb 17

Primate Meeting Press Conference (4)
FEB 16 7:45 PM

Courtesy of AnglicanTV

Anglican Report Episode 20

Tanzania: Kevin and special Guest Rev George Conger discuss:

Report on TEC's response to Windsor Report
Paparazzi and Akinoloa
Have we been Sold Out?

Courtesy of AnglicanTV

Friday, February 16, 2007

Faith is not a refuge from reality. It is a demand that we face reality, with all its difficulties, opportunities, and implications. The true subject matter of religion is not our own little souls, but the Eternal God and His whole mysterious purpose, and our solemn responsibility to Him. ... Evelyn Underhill photo

With a weak faith and a fearful heart, many a sinner stands before the Lord. It is not the strength of our faith, but the perfection of Christ's sacrifice that saves! No feebleness of faith, nor dimness of eye, no trembling of hand can change the efficacy of Christ's blood. The strength of our faith can add nothing to it, nor can the weakness of our faith take anything from Him. Faith (weak or strong) still reads the promise, "the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin." If at times my eye is so dim that I cannot read these words, through blinding tears or bewildering trials, faith rests itself on the certain knowledge of the fact that THE PROMISE IS THERE, and the blood of Christ remains in all its power and suitableness upon the altar, unchanged and unaffected. ...Horatius Bonar

Network Leadership Calls for Patience and Continued Prayer for Primates' Meeting

In a short communication to the Anglican Communion Network office today, Bishop Duncan said he wanted to thank all members of the Network for the tremendous outpouring of prayer support this week. He added that he was who he needed to be during his presentation to the primates of the Anglican Communion which took place on Thursday, February 15 in Tanzania.

“Please keep praying for Bishop Duncan, and everyone involved in this critical moment in the history of Anglicanism. There is still much work to be done. We must be patient and trust that God’s good purposes will be accomplished in Tanzania,” said the Rt. Rev. Jack Iker, Network Bishop of the diocese of Fort Worth.

As is customary, the primates of the Anglican Communion and all others participating in this meeting have been asked not to comment on the meeting itself until its conclusion. The meeting ends on February 19.

Posted 2/16/07

The Primates Meeting

Very funny-check it out!

Communion Broken, Says Global South

Members of the Global South coalition of Anglican primates, meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, released a statement today stating they could not share “in the Holy Communion” with their fellow primates today due to the presence of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

Released via the Church of Nigeria’s website on the afternoon of the second day of the conference, the question of corporate communion services arose when the seven refused to receive the sacrament Friday in the first Eucharist of the five-day meeting.

The primates of Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Southeast Asia, the Southern Cone, Uganda, and West Africa released a statement saying their “deliberate” stance was a “poignant reminder” of the brokenness of the Anglican Communion.

“We are unable to come to the Holy Table with the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church because to do so would be a violation of Scriptural teaching and the traditional Anglican understanding,” the seven primates wrote, citing words of the prayer book, “Ye that do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins, and are in love and charity with your neighbors, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in his holy ways; Draw near with faith”.

the rest at The Living Church

Va. Traditionalist Represents Developing World
Martyn Minns
Michelle Boorstein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 16, 2007

Shortly after becoming an Episcopal priest in the late 1970s, Martyn Minns visited Tanzania and was changed forever.

"I was just blown away by the faith, the commitment, the cost of being a Christian" on a continent where the religion's followers are an embattled minority in some places.

The image of an intense, miracle-working God worth fighting for has fueled the conservative Fairfax City priest for decades as he and those like him have felt increasingly sidelined in the Episcopal Church, with its progressive politics and sometimes staid worship style.

But the dry-witted native Brit isn't feeling isolated lately.

With bonds growing between conservative Protestants in the West and the booming, traditional Christian churches in the developing world, Minns has become an international power player. This week, the 63-year-old former Mobil Oil executive is in Tanzania at a meeting of top leaders of the Anglican Communion, which includes the Episcopal Church. He is there as an adviser to clergy from African, Asian and Latin American countries.
the rest

Moderate Bishop Takes Unexpected Turn
Peter James Lee


Statement from Global South Primates

A number of the Global South Primates have not shared in the Holy Eucharist today with their fellow primates. They include Abp. Peter Akinola, Abp John Chew, Abp. Benjamin Nzimbi, Abp Justice Akrofi, Abp. Henry Orombi, Abp. Gregory Venables, and Abp. Emmanuel Kolini. They represent more than 30 million faithful Anglicans. They have released this statement:

"We each take the celebration of the Holy Eucharist very seriously. This deliberate action is a poignant reminder of the brokenness of the Anglican Communion. It makes clear that the torn fabric of the Church has been torn further. It is a consequence of the decision taken by our provinces to declare that our relationship with The Episcopal Church is either broken or severely impaired.

Scripture teaches that before coming to sit with one another at the Lord's Table we must be reconciled. (Matthew 5:23-26 and 1 Corinthians 11:27-29)

We have made repeated calls for repentance by The Episcopal Church and its leadership with no success. We continue to pray for a change of heart.

We are unable to come to the Holy Table with the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church because to do so would be a violation of Scriptural teaching and the traditional Anglican understanding, "Ye that do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins, and are in love and charity with your neighbours, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in his holy ways; Draw near with faith" (Book of Common Prayer)

This is a painful decision for us and also for our host and brother, the Most Rev¹d Donald Mtetemela. He understands our painful dilemma and accepts our decision. Pray for the Church."

Friday, February 16, 2007
White Sands Hotel, Jangwani Beach, Tanzania


Families ask court to shield kids from homosexual indoctrination
Jim Brown
February 15, 2007

Two Massachusetts couples are waging a federal court battle for the right to opt their elementary school children out of classroom discussions on homosexuality. U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf will soon decide whether Lexington school officials must stand trial in connection with a federal civil lawsuit brought by the Parker and Wirthlin families.

The two Bay State couples claim Lexington school officials violated their parental rights by refusing to notify them when homosexuality was discussed favorably in their children's classrooms. David Parker says his five-year-old son was even sent home with a "diversity book bag" that included a book about a homosexual family.

Attorneys for the Lexington School District claim introducing homosexuality to children five years old and up is a "legitimate state interest." But Parker says there is “an undue burden on parents when teachers continuously are affirming and celebrating homosexual relationships and gay marriage behind their backs. the rest

Anglican Report Episode 19

With Guest Host Rev George Conger

Kevin and George discuss:

primates meeting
2 Churches in USA

Courtesy of AnglicanTV

Anglican Report Avoids Schism, Snubs Conservatives
Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Fri, Feb. 16 2007

There has been no talk of schism at the global Anglican meeting at all, said one of the archbishops.

Rather, after its first day, the critical meeting that many predicted to be a make-or-break time avoided a split and has been described as one of "patience, graciousness, care and respect," said Archbishop Phillip Aspinall of Australia, according to the Episcopal News Service.

Before addressing other global issues, Anglican primates from 35 provinces on Thursday went into sessions on the Episcopal Church and its response to the 2004 Windsor Report, which called for a moratorium on consecrating homosexuals and blessing same-sex unions.

The long-awaited response from U.S. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was revealed in a report by the Anglican Communion sub-group, headed by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual leader of the world's 77 million Anglicans. According to the report, the Episcopal Church expressed "regret for straining the bonds of affection in the events surrounding the General Convention of 2003 and the consequences which followed." The 2003 consecration of an openly gay bishop was at the height of the controversy, causing divisions within the Anglican Communion.
the rest

News from the blogs: Primates meeting in Tanzania

Stand Firm's Matt Kennedy: Response to and Refutation of the Wholly Inadequate Communion Sub-Group Report

The Telegraph: Primates consider 'parallel' Church

Mark Harris: Dan Martins & Kendall Harmon give us reason to be vigilant.

NYT: A Move to Heal Anglican Rift, but Short of Conservatives’ Goal


Primate Meeting Press Conference (3)
FEB 15 6:45 PM

Courtesy of AnglicanTV

DAR Press Conference 2

Primate Meeting Press Conference (2)
FEB 14 6:45 PM

Courtesy of AnglicanTV

Anglican leaders avoid church split over homosexuals
· US Episcopalians take steps to avoid rift
· Archbishop's report seen as rebuff to conservatives
Stephen Bates in Dar es Salaam
Friday February 16, 2007
The Guardian

The primates of the worldwide Anglican communion appeared last night to have stepped back from moves to exclude the US Episcopal church over its liberal position towards gay people.

A report by a group headed by Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, given to the churches' archbishops and presiding bishops at their biannual meeting in Tanzania yesterday said the Americans had largely done everything required of them in reining back on consecrating gay bishops and expressing their regret for straining relations with other Anglicans.
the rest

Thursday, February 15, 2007

There come times when I have nothing more to tell God. If I were to continue to pray in words, I would have to repeat what I have already said. At such times it is wonderful to say to God, "May I be in Thy presence, Lord? I have nothing more to say to Thee, but I do love to be in Thy presence." ...O. Hallesby photo

A Statement by the AAC on the Communion Sub-Group Report
AAC Press Release
February 15, 2007

A Statement by the American Anglican Council on the Communion Sub-Group Report

The American Anglican Council (AAC) finds a report released today by the Anglican Communion Sub-Group highly inadequate in its assessment of the U.S. Episcopal Church’s response to requests made of the church by the Anglican Communion primates. The sub-group – which consists of Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Central Africa Bernard Malango, Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan, Chancellor of the Province of West Africa Philippa Amable, and Church of England representative Elizabeth Paver – was charged with assisting Dr. Williams and Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general for the Anglican Communion, in evaluating the U.S. Episcopal Church’s response to the 2004 Windsor Report and February 2005 primates’ requests. The report was completed last fall but has just now become available to both the primates and the public.
the rest

Cordial Day of Listening Marks Opening Sessions in Tanzania

An opening-day impasse was averted after pre-meeting negotiations led to a relaxation of demands from the Global South primates’ coalition that the question of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s attendance at the meeting be the first order of business during their meeting in Tanzania.

In what was described by Australian Archbishop Phillip Aspinall as a “day of intense listening” characterized by “graciousness, patience and care,” the primates gathered at a hotel near Dar es Salaam heard an address by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, received a
report from an advisory group appointed by the joint standing committee of the primates and Anglican Consultative Council on The Episcopal Church’s response to the Windsor Report, and heard presentations from three American bishops and Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori.

In his opening remarks, described as “moving” by one listener, Archbishop Williams welcomed the primates and spoke to the importance of their work and collegiality. He also spoke to his great affection for The Episcopal Church.
the rest

First Things: Anglican Storm Clouds
By Jordan Hylden
Thursday, February 15, 2007

“I fear schism,”
Rowan Williams told the BBC, and with good reason. Today the annual meeting of the Anglican Communion officially begins in Tanzania, and it is not at all clear that the communion will last the week. No fewer than thirty-seven Anglican archbishops have assembled at a hotel in Dar-es-Salaam, charged with the task of deciding what to do about the communion’s recalcitrant American branch, otherwise known as the Episcopal Church.

Archbishop Williams’ biggest problem is that not all the archbishops are on speaking terms with one another. “I fear the situation slipping out of my control,” he went on to tell the BBC. Indeed, it may already have done so.

Archbishop Williams, in a sermon last summer titled “The Challenge and Hope of Being an Anglican Today,” noted that Anglicans have uneasily coexisted for generations as three distinct groups in one church:
evangelicals, catholics, and liberals. Part of being an Anglican, he argued, is believing that all three groups have something to learn from one another. Most Christians would agree with his point. But the practical difficulty of it is that the three groups increasingly live in separate thought-worlds, each with its own distinct vocabularies and ideas about what it means to be a Christian. These divisions, long simmering beneath the surface of the maddeningly diverse Anglican brew, have now come to the surface in Tanzania. If this week’s meeting results in serious schism—which is a very distinct possibility—it will be because the three camps finally prove unable to talk to one another, and hence go their separate ways.

The liberal camp is best represented by
Katherine Jefferts Schori and her Episcopal Church, over which she presides as top bishop. In recent years, Episcopalians have made headlines for the ordination of Gene Robinson, a non-celibate gay man, as bishop of New Hampshire. This in fact is the presenting problem for Anglicans this week in Tanzania. Against the repeatedly expressed wishes of international Anglican bodies, Schori, along with most of the Episcopal Church, continues to defend Robinson’s consecration. But the problem, unfortunately, goes far deeper than that. In essence, the theological position represented by Schori has reached the point at which it no longer exists in the same thought-world as traditional Christianity.

Perhaps the best examples of this are
Marcus Borg, an influential Episcopalian biblical scholar, and John Shelby Spong, the outspoken former bishop of Newark. Neither Borg nor Spong believe in doctrines such as the Resurrection, the Atonement, the authority of Scripture, or the divinity of Christ. Spong, in fact, does not believe in God. Most Christians think these matters are absolutely essential, but in the thought-world of theological liberalism they are not. Much more central, from this point of view, is the Church’s role as servant to the world. Rather than preach the repentance of sin and forgiveness of Christ, the liberal church primarily exists to help create the “kingdom of God” by advocating for social justice, inclusion, and so on. In Schori’s new book, A Wing and a Prayer, it seems that she does, in fact, affirm doctrines like Christ’s divinity and resurrection. But for liberals such as Schori, such matters are relatively unimportant. For Schori, disagreement on such issues is possible, even desirable, within the Church. The only nonnegotiable doctrines have to do with the Church’s new central mission, defined as matters like gay rights and the UN Millennium Development goals.

the rest-Excellent!

Ruth Gledhill weblog: TEC 'regret' ok, says Gang of Four
Thursday, 15 February 2007

' Worryingly for a contemporary religion correspondent, I find myself in the journalistically ambivalent position of having to report that peace has broken out among Archbishops of the Anglican Church.'

That's what I wrote at 4.30pm.

Reassuringly, half an hour later, battle has recommenced. I can now report that the unity of the Anglican Communion is once more 'hanging by a thread.' Schism looms again. Phew, what a relief.

report of the 'Gang of Four', the group set up to look at TEC's response to Windsor, has been presented to the Primates meeting in Tanzania today, Thursday. At first glance, it looked good and augured well for future unity. But initial responses from the orthodox are not promising. 'Chilling,' is how Kendall Harmon described it, warning that schism now was even closer than before. This report would have the effect of propelling TEC further away from the centre and hasten any breach that is looming, he said. The responses on the conservative site StandFirm support Kendall's analysis. the rest

ACNS: Report of the Communion Sub-Group
The following is the report given to the Anglican Communion Joint Standing Committee of the Primates meeting and the Anglican Consultative Council.
15 FEBRUARY 2007


At their meeting in London in March 2006, the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates and the Anglican Consultative Council nominated four of its members to assist the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion in discerning the response of the Anglican Communion to the decisions of the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church. Some of these decisions related to requests made of the Episcopal Church in the Primates’ Statement of February 2005 at Dromantine, which incorporated the Primates’ response to the recommendations of the Windsor Report. The group appointed met in London in September 2006.

  • At the Primates’ meeting in Dromantine, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church had made it abundantly clear that only General Convention was empowered under the constitution of the Episcopal Church to give a response to the sorts of undertakings requested in the Windsor Report on behalf of the Episcopal Church. The Primates at Dromantine therefore decided to give the Episcopal Church (and the Anglican Church of Canada – although that Church is not the focus of current consideration) space to allow its proper processes to function.

the rest

First on Anglican Agenda: The Episcopal Church
Christian Post
Lillian Kwon
Thu, Feb. 15 2007

The Anglican Primates meeting officially opened on Thursday reportedly heading straight into sessions on the Episcopal Church and its long awaited response to what many bishops see as violations of Scripture.

Although many of the 35 Anglican heads present say such global issues as poverty and AIDS deserve more attention than the controversy over homosexuality in the United States, the Anglican agenda placed the issue of sexuality and the Episcopal Church's controversial views ahead of other pressing issues.
the rest

Wiping out Christians: Brutality in Burma
Published February 15, 2007

A few years ago, I told "BreakPoint" listeners and readers the story of Burma's Christians, in particular the ethnic group called the Chin. As I said, "for many years, crosses dotted the mountaintops and villages in the Chins' homeland," which made sense in a region where 90 percent of the population is Christian.

That's changing, not because the Chin have lost their faith—quite to the contrary. It's changing because the Chin, along with other Burmese Christians, are the preferred targets of one of the world's most brutal regimes.

Things have not gotten better since that first "BreakPoint" broadcast. In fact, according to a leading British newspaper, things have gotten much worse.
the rest

Episcopal Church leader will not soften views on gays at Anglican conference, aide says
By Elizabeth A. Kennedy, Associated Press Writer

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania - The head of the U.S. wing of the Anglican church, who supports ordaining gays and allowing blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples, will not soften her views, even as the issues threaten to break apart the Christian denomination, her aide said Thursday.

The leaders of the world's 77 million Anglicans, who are holding a closed meeting this week in Tanzania, said they would discuss the U.S. response to a 2004 report by an Anglican panel that called for a moratorium on consecrating gay bishops and blessing same-sex unions.
the rest

Presiding Bishop Attends Primates' Orientation Session

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori attended her first session of meeting of Anglican primates Wednesday in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, participating in an orientation session for the 14 new primates.

Led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, the primates “worked through” a paper on the nature and role of a primate, prepared by the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC), Archbishop Phillip Aspinall of Australia said. Following Archbishop Williams’ tutorial and introductions, each of the new primates spoke to the “issues and concerns” they faced in their provinces.

Militant Islam, poverty, drought and climate change were among the concerns shared by the new primates, Archbishop Aspinall said. However, “progress” on the Windsor Report “will be at the heart of the primates’ deliberations” in the coming days, deputy General Secretary Canon Gregory Cameron said.
the rest

Tanzania Will Reveal True Anglican ‘Communion’
All eyes are on Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania this week, as the worldwide Anglican Communion comes together for a summit which could see the Communion splinter amid the continuing row over homosexuality in the Church.
by Jennifer Gold
Posted: Thursday, February 15, 2007

All eyes are on Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania this week, as the worldwide Anglican Communion comes together for a summit which could see the Communion splinter amid the continuing row over homosexuality in the Church.

Standing in one corner is one woman who has certainly flamed the fires of debate since she was appointed as the first-ever female leader of the American Episcopal Church (ECUSA). Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has outraged traditionalists within the Church with the outspoken manner in which she has firmly backed same-sex unions and gay clergy. Even more extraordinarily for a Christian leader, she even clearly stated in one interview that she did not believe that Jesus was the only way people can go to God.

The result of such comments? Hundreds of churches in the Episcopal Church have walked out on her leadership, and found solace in a man opposing the liberal agenda picked up by Bishop Schori. Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola, a firm believer in the traditional faith as observed in the Church for centuries, has spoken out with equal clarity against same-sex unions.
the rest

News from The Living Church

On Day 1, Spotlight on The Episcopal Church
The Episcopal Church's response to the Windsor Report will be the focus of the first two sessions of the full primates' meeting in Tanzania on Feb. 15.

Bonnie Anderson Criticizes San Joaquin's Strategy
Bonnie Anderson, president of the House of Deputies of General Convention, lent her presence and voice to a rally organized by members of the Diocese of San Joaquin who oppose recent moves by Bishop John-David Schofied to align with the objectives of the Anglican Communion Network and which some conference organizers fear is a prelude to leading the diocese out of The Episcopal Church.

ENS: Letter to Williams calls for rejection of alternative primatial oversight
By Mary Frances Schjonberg
Wednesday, February 14, 2007

[Episcopal News Service] More than 900 Episcopal clergy and laity have signed on to an open letter developed by a coalition of Episcopal peace and justice organizations and sent it to the Archbishop of Canterbury before he left England for the Primates Meeting in Tanzania.

The letter calls on Archbishop Rowan Williams to reject requests for alternative primatial oversight because they "would pose a grave danger to the Anglican Communion."

According to information released with the letter, the effort originated from the Consultation Steering Committee, a network which includes representatives from Integrity, Episcopal Urban Caucus, Episcopal Peace Fellowship, Episcopal Women's Caucus, Union of Black Episcopalians, Episcopal Ecological Network, National Episcopal AIDS Coalition, Province VIII Indigenous Ministries, Episcopal Church Publishing Company, Episcopal Network for Economic Justice, Episcopal Asiamerica Ministry Advocates, and Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission.
The effort to solicit signatures for the letter began in late 2006.

The dioceses of Pittsburgh, Central Florida, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Joaquin, South Carolina, and Springfield asked Williams in writing for alternative primatial oversight on July 20, 2006. The Diocese of Quincy joined the appeal September 16.
the rest

Kendall Harmon: The Episcopal Church has Failed to Respond Adequately to the Calls of Windsor

"The Anglican Communion remains torn at our deepest level, and the Windsor Report’s thrust remains our only way forward. The Episcopal Church had one last chance, and they failed, indeed they failed nearly completely. Now some very difficult and painful decisions fall to this Primates meeting because the final opportunity was seized upon and not received, and this grieves my heart as it does the hearts of Anglicans throughout the world who are watching and praying for these deliberations at the present time. Indeed, one cannot but believe that the actions and decisions of The Episcopal Church grieve the Holy Spirit in whom we were sealed for the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30). I pray that that same Holy Spirit will give the Anglican Primates wisdom now to deal with this huge crisis with the proper balance of truth and love to take all Anglicans into the future God has for us at the beginning of the twenty first century."

the rest

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

"What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops." Matthew 10:27

At times God puts us through the discipline of darkness to teach us to heed Him. Song birds are taught to sing in the dark, and we are put into the shadow of God's hand until we learn to hear Him. "What I tell you in darkness" - watch where God puts you into darkness, and when you are there keep your mouth shut. Are you in the dark just now in your circumstances, or in your life with God? Then remain quiet. If you open your mouth in the dark, you will talk in the wrong mood: darkness is the time to listen. Don't talk to other people about it; don't read books to find out the reason of the darkness, but listen and heed. If you talk to other people, you cannot hear what God is saying. When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you get into the light.

After every time of darkness there comes a mixture of delight and humiliation (if there is delight only, I question whether we have heard God at all), delight in hearing God speak, but chiefly humiliation - What a long time I was in hearing that! How slow I have been in understanding that! And yet God has been saying it all these days and weeks. Now He gives you the gift of humiliation which brings the softness of heart that will always listen to God now. ...Oswald Chambers

Albert Mohler: Anglican Crisis Reaches African Summit -- Pray for this Church to Stand Firm in Truth
Posted: Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Thirty-five of the Anglican Communion's Thirty-Eight primates, each presiding over a national church, are meeting this week in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The meeting is a last-ditch effort to avoid a total meltdown in the communion over the issue of homosexuality. Of course, the deeper issue is biblical authority -- and many of the bishops attending the meeting are only too aware of this fact.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, is going to the meeting as the traditional leader of the Anglican Communion, though his leadership may undermined even before the meeting starts. The Anglican experiment is now called into question. The American church, The Episcopal Church USA [ECUSA], effectively detonated a bomb at the heart of the worldwide Anglican community by electing an openly-homosexual man as Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.

Since then, the American church has done almost everything within its power to antagonize the global church and to make ever more clear its determination to normalize homosexuality. The Windsor Report, fashioned as an attempt to hold the Communion together, demanded that ECUSA cease and desist from electing any further homosexual bishops and apologize to its sister churches. The ECUSA response has fallen far short of those demands. Then, to add insult to the wounds, the American church elected a woman, Katharine Jefferts Schori, as its Presiding Bishop.
the rest

Network of Homosexual Political Donors Influencing State Election Campaigns
Campaign aimed at toppling from political positions anyone opposed to homosexuality
By Gudrun Schultz
DENVER, Colorado, February 13, 2007

( - A powerful initiative to influence American politics toward pro-homosexual policies was recently exposed in extensive coverage by The Atlantic Monthly’s Joshua Green, in an article published in the March 2007 issue.

Green’s article revealed a network of wealthy homosexual philanthropists, led by Colorado technology billionaire Tim Gill, who joined forces in the last election to target state level politicians opposed to homosexuality by donating to competing candidates.

The campaign was conducted “stealthily”, says Green, with little fanfare to alert those targeted by the nationally-based campaign working against them.
the rest

Alantic Monthly Article

German HomeSchool Teen Moved, Parents not Informed, Local Media Refuse Coverage
By John-Henry Westen
NUREMBERG, February 13, 2007

( - The horrific situation which exploded in Germany last week with the forced removal by police of 15-year-old Melissa Busekros from her home to a psychiatric institution, has escalated. New reports from Germany indicate that the child has been transferred from the clinic to another location and the German Youth Welfare Office authorities are refusing to inform the parents of Melissa's location.

Another very disturbing revelation, which comes from an interview given by Melissa's father Hubert Busekros with the German Catholic news service, is that local media are refusing to cover the matter. "The local papers have determined that there will be no report," he said. "It is about a personal affair that is not of public interest."
the rest

U.S. Evangelist, a Critic of Islam, Reaches Out to Sudan's President
Stephanie McCrummen
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, February 14, 2007

KHARTOUM, Sudan, Feb. 13 -- The first time that Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the Muslim president of Sudan, met Franklin Graham, the prominent evangelical Christian, the conversation came to a kind of standoff.

Graham, who has called Islam an "evil and wicked" religion, told Bashir in the 2003 meeting that he wanted to persuade him to become a Christian. Bashir, at the time fighting a civil war in the southern region of the country, told Graham that he wanted to make him a Muslim, Graham recalled.
the rest

Controversial priest weighing legal options
Diocese refuses to lift restrictions on parish contact

By Jean Torkelson, Rocky Mountain News
February 13, 2007

Embattled Episcopal priest Don Armstrong is consulting with civil and church attorneys about his legal options after a church panel refused to lift restrictions on him.

Armstrong wanted the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado to back off while it investigates an allegation of "misapplied funds" at his Colorado Springs parish.

Although he is presumed innocent under church law and not charged with any crime, Armstrong is forbidden to live as a priest or even speak to anyone at his 2,400-member parish while the investigation is under way.
the rest

U.S. pro-gay bishop attends Anglican meeting
By Katie Nguyen
Wednesday, February 14, 2007

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - The Anglican Church's spiritual leader on Wednesday defended the presence of a pro-gay U.S. bishop at a summit to prevent schism over homosexuality, despite pressure from conservatives to have her banned.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who admits he fears losing control over the row dividing the world's 77 million Anglicans, has insisted Katharine Jefferts Schori meet her critics face to face.
the rest

Anglican conference opens in Tanzania amid struggle over the Bible and homosexuality The Associated Press Published: February 14, 2007

Here is love, vast as the ocean
Loving kindness as a flood
When the prince of life our ransom
Shed for us His precious blood
Who His love will not remember
Who can cease to sing His praise
He will never be forgotten
Throughout heaven’s eternal days

On the mount of crucifixion
Fountains opened deep and wide
From the floodgates of God’s mercy
Flowed a vast and gracious tide
Grace and love like mighty rivers
Flowed incessant from above
Heaven’s peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love art
Happy Valentine's Day !

Daily Update, 2-14-07

Anglican News Update
Stand Firm: Matt Kennedy
Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Today's Guests: David Ould and Ruth Gledhill

TLC: Global South will Propose a Two-Province Solution
TLC: Alternative Agenda Proposed by Primates
Peter Jensen: Church Must Confront Clash of Convictions
Gledhill: Archbishop Okoh Flown to Tanzania
Gledhill: Time for Anglicans to Divorce

Tanzania bishop breaks ranks in gay Anglican row
14 Feb 2007 09
By George Obulutsa

DAR ES SALAAM, Feb 14 (Reuters) - In the Anglican Communion's bitter row over gay priests and marriage, which threatens to split the church's 77 million faithful, Tanzanian Bishop Mdimi Mhogolo seems an unlikely rebel.

In December, the conservative Anglican Church of Tanzania declared it would no longer accept funding from dioceses in the U.S. Episcopal Church that condone homosexual practices or bless same-sex unions.

However, Mhogolo says it is with a clear conscience that his diocese of Central Tanganyika continues to accept money from its liberal counterpart in New York.

With individual donations of $50 a year, hundreds of Americans provide shoes, clothes, food and exercise books so that AIDS orphans in the impoverished Tanzanian diocese may attend primary school.
the rest

Ruth Gledhill: Archbishop faces boycott at gay summit
February 14, 2007

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has flown nearly 5,000 miles to attend the controversial Anglican summit on gays in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

But the Ugandan-born Archbishop could tomorrow find himself “excluded” from the meeting after protests from African and Asian archbishops representing the conservative Global South.

The meeting, which begins tomorrow and lasts until Monday is crucial for the future of the Anglican Communion, facing a schism over the gay issue.

On Friday, the primates will debate a new document, an Anglican Covenant, designed to set out a framework of faith and unity to avoid future schismatic actions.
the rest

Ruth Gledhill weblog: Time for Anglicans to divorce

This is a longer version of an oped in the paper today. There is also a news story about the Primates, on how Sentamu might be excluded from the meeting and the significance of Archbishop Okoh's arrival in Tanzania.

There come times when organisations and the factions within them naturally start to drift apart, for reasons that cannot be wished away by the greater organisation itself. The Primates of the Anglican Communion might wish to consider the benefits of schism when they meet in Tanzania from tomorrow, Thursday. There have been many schisms in the Christian Church. The Great Schism was between East and West in 1054. The Reformation was a whole series of disruptions between the 14th and 17th centuries. In both, the seeds were sown long before the splits. Just as now, the differences were deep-seated and often cultural as well as theological. In retrospect, it is possible to argue that these schisms were necessary to allow the different churches to go their own way in freedom and faith. There seems little purpose in unity if the factions within an organisation cannot see eye to eye with each other any more. the rest

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Faith is also a plea for the everlasting light, a thirst for this illumination and transfiguration. This light continues to shine, through the darkness and evil, through the drab grayness and dull routine of this world, like a ray of sun piercing through the clouds. It is recognized by the soul, it comforts the heart, it makes us feel alive, and it transfigures us from within.
...Alexander Schmemann photo

The real Mr Big?
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, is the nominal head of the world's 78 million Anglican Christians. But he now faces a challenge from Nigerian archbishop Peter Akinola, whose fiercely anti-gay stance could tear the Communion apart.
By Stephen Bates
Wednesday February 14, 2007
The Guardian

Mention the name of the Most Rev Peter Jasper Akinola, the primate of Nigeria, to Rowan Williams, our Archbishop of Canterbury, and you tend to get a twitch of his luxuriant eyebrows, a quizzical look and, maybe, just the hint of a rolling of the eyeballs. Dr Williams is, by virtue of his position, nominal head of the 78 million-strong Anglican Communion, the world's third largest Christian denomination. But it's an open question today, as the church's archbishops from around the world meet in an agreeable hotel complex overlooking the shimmering Indian Ocean outside Dar es Salaam, whether the most important man in the church now - and therefore one of the most influential Christians on the planet - is actually the Archbishop of Abuja.

Affable, if slightly sinister looking thanks to his tinted glasses, the 63-year-old primate of Nigeria now heads what is almost certainly the largest national Anglican Church in the world - 18.5 million Nigerians at the last count. That's fewer than the 27 million who officially belong to the Church of England, but, as we know, only 5% of them make it through the doors on any given Sunday.

Today it will be Akinola calling the shots among the bishops gathered in Tanzania, and he is enjoying his new-found eminence. After more than a century of being patronised, overlooked and ignored by their white proselytisers, the church's black brethren are not going to take it any more. And none is more powerful than Akinola. "If the Church is not evangelising, it is like a dead fire," he says. His voice booms out from the Nigerian capital; the bishops of the Church of England, the Episcopalians of the United States and the Anglicans of Canada can announce where they stand on civil partnerships, the election of a gay bishop or the ordination of homosexual people and within hours, sometimes within minutes, Akinola's response comes hurtling back over the internet.
the rest

News from The Living Church

UN Anglican Observer May Brief Primates
The Archbishop of Canterbury is proposing that Mrs. Hellen Wangusa, the Anglican Observer to the United Nations, participate with the leaders of the Anglican Communion in a discussion on poverty and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) during their Feb. 14-19 meeting in Tanzania.

Primates' Session with Episcopal Bishops Changed to Thursday
The extra-curricular session with three bishops from The Episcopal Church has been changed from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday morning, according to the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh and moderator of the Anglican Communion Network. The change of date for the special session during the Anglican primates’ meeting was announced last week, but was not widely publicized. No further information was available at press time.

Alternate Primates’ Meeting Agenda Proposed
The dismissal of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Archbishop of York John Sentamu will be among the first items under discussion in an alternate agenda proposed by the Global South coalition for the primates’ meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Global South Will Propose Two-Province Solution
Anglican primates of The Global South will propose a two-province solution to the divisions of doctrine and discipline confronting The Episcopal Church at this week's primates' meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Ruth Gledsill weblog: It is time for the Anglican Luthers to divorce
February 14, 2007

The primates of the Anglican Communion may wish to consider the benefits of schism when they meet in Tanzania tomorrow. There are now people in the Church who see so far from eye to eye that it is right that they should go their separate ways. And there is no shame in that.

There have been many schisms in the past. The Great Schism was between east and west in 1054. The Reformation was a whole series of disruptions between the 14th and 17th centuries. In both, the seeds were sown long before the splits. Just as now, the differences were deep-seated and often cultural as well as theological. It is possible to argue that these splits were necessary to allow the different Churches to go their own way in freedom and faith.

In the West, there has been sexual emancipation in all walks of life. It is no longer a crime to be homosexual, though the Churches have been determined to ensure the sin remains. So it is no surprise that it has now become an issue of such combustibility in the Anglican Church, which is no longer solely the child of its Western birthplace. Anglicans in the African and Asian provinces outnumber those in the West, and are appalled at the Western Church’s accommodation of liberal ideals.
the rest

National church backs diocese vs. breakaways
By Natasha Altamirano
February 13, 2007

The Episcopal Church is backing the Virginia diocese in suing 11 breakaway congregations over millions of dollars worth of property.

The national church on Friday filed a lawsuit in Fairfax County similar to ones filed last month by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.

The 20-page suit seeks "preliminary and permanent injunctions" prohibiting the breakaway congregations from accessing the physical church property and other assets, according to the Episcopal News Service.

Leaders of the Falls Church in Falls Church and Truro Church in Fairfax, two of the largest and most historic congregations that voted to leave, called the Episcopal Church's actions "un-Christian and heavy-handed."

The lawsuits come on the eve of a meeting of the leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion's 38 national churches, where a major agenda topic is how to deal with the Episcopal Church and its perceived liberal views on biblical authority and sexuality.
the rest

Alice Linsley - Lies They Love to Tell About Akinola - Part One

When feelings run strong in times of crisis, a scapegoat is often selected to carry blame or as the target of demonizing rhetoric. Archbishop Peter Jasper Akinola DD has achieved the status of both scapegoat and demonized individual. Such treatment doesn’t detour him, however, from defending Christianity and his fellow Anglicans who are marginalized and mistreated by The Episcopal Church.

+Peter Ajuba is a Christian whose authority has been recognized by Time Magazine, The New York Times, The London Times, and The Christian Science Monitor. His detractors, mainly American and British, are lesser figures who take pleasure in perpetuating lies about him. Some, such as Bishop John Chane, do so as officials of the Episcopal Church establishment. Others post pseudonymous blog comments full of vitriol and misrepresentation. They favor lies that portray the bishop as naïve, selfish, unsophisticated, manipulative and cruel. In reality, the target of their outrage is a well-informed, generous, and humble man whose churchmanship is world-wise, conciliar and apostolic.

the rest at Drell's Descants

Alternate Primates’ Meeting Agenda Proposed

The dismissal of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Archbishop of York John Sentamu will be among the first items under discussion in an alternate agenda proposed by the Global South coalition for the primates’ meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Following two days of meetings at a hotel near the Tanzanian capital, Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria wrote to Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams on Feb. 12 setting forth the Global South’s concerns over the agenda and structure of the Feb. 14-19 meeting of the leaders of the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion.

While the text and form of the letter, which was received by Archbishop Williams shortly before he left London for Tanzania, has not been made public, its contents are understood to follow upon correspondence between the two church leaders focusing on The Episcopal Church, the primates’ meeting, the Lambeth Conference of Bishops in 2008, and the structures of the Communion.
the rest

Ruth Gledhill weblog: In case of spiritual crisis....
Tuesday, 13 February 2007

This cross in a glass case, photographed by the
AAC's David Anderson, happens quite by chance to be in the Beach Comber hotel in Dar es Salaam where the Global South lobby has been staying. Things are really hotting up over there. An unexpected visitor at the White Sands resort is Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Archbishop of Bendel in Nigeria. He is one of the nine archbishops in the Church of Nigeria who are led by the Primate of All Nigeria, Peter Akinola. He has nine dioceses in his province. Before becoming a Bishop, Archbishop Okoh was a colonel in the Nigerian army. Global South delegates are saying privately that his presence is in response to the trend begun by Rowan Williams in flying in with the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu. Expect all Archbishop Okoh's military expertise to be brought to bear in this war when battle commences tomorrow, Thursday morning. "Something is afoot," an insider told me. "Nigerians do not fly Archbishops around the world just to carry their bags." Dr Rowan Williams, who as Archbishop of Canterbury and the Communion's "focus for unity", asked for prayers when he flew in this morning. He's going to need them, I fear. the rest

Onondaga County

*A Heavy Snow Warning remains in effect from 3 PM this afternoon to 7 PM EST Wednesday.*

Snow is expected to begin late this afternoon and early evening. Snow will move into the Montrose... Elmira... and Hornell areas around 3 PM... Binghamton... Ithaca and Penn Yan by 5 PM... and Oneonta and Syracuse by 7 PM. The snow will become heavy at times from late evening through Wednesday. The snow will taper off to snow showers Wednesday evening from southwest to northeast.

By the time the snow ends Wednesday night... 16 to 24 inches of snow accumulation is possible.

A Heavy Snow Warning is in effect because heavy snow is expected in the warning area. Roads will be snow covered and slippery with poor visibility. Travel is discouraged... unless it is an emergency. If you must travel in the warning area... use extreme caution.

animated map

Europe's Muslims find ally in U.S.
By Nicholas Kralev
February 13, 2007

The State Department, concerned about a "nativist surge" in Western Europe, has created a position to coordinate efforts to reach out to European Muslims and help them better integrate into society, a senior official said yesterday.

Daniel Fried, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, said U.S. embassies and consulates in Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands and other countries will decide what exactly they can do, instead of "Washington bureaucrats dreaming this up."

The growing Muslim presence in Europe is "a fascinating issue and one that the American government is just now trying to get its mind around," Mr. Fried told editors and reporters at The Washington Times. "It's a huge problem, we are thinking about it seriously, and we've tried to do some intellectual framing-up."
the rest

The Episcopal Church's struggles concern us all
The Right Rev. Barry L. Beisner

Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California
Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Excerpt: "Anglicanism, when it is truest to its own nature, is comprehensive, celebrating diversity in thought and practice, and forever seeking to include all at the table. That, too, is part of the shared heritage of Anglicanism.

As Queen Elizabeth I said in establishing our Book of Common Prayer, Anglicans may believe what they wish, as long as they pray together. It is why Episcopalians and Anglicans have been drawn to the idea of the via media -- the middle way -- understanding itself to be a bridge between churches of widely divergent opinion.
the rest

Stand Firm Update, 2-13-07

Sarah Hey and Rith Gledhill join Matt Kennedy for a look at current events.

Church must confront this clash of convictions
Peter Jensen
February 13, 2007

I have worshipped God in Anglican churches in places as remote from each other as Punta Arenas at the southern tip of Chile, Darwin, Cape Town, Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia, Oxford, Washington and Vancouver. I could visit many more places, in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere. In all there is a family resemblance stemming from origin, relationships, teaching and practice.

These churches are in communion with each other. As an Anglican clergyman, I was welcome to minister with few questions asked.

In a world of division, great international movements such as churches are precious reminders that we all belong to the same human race. Through them, people from around the world care for each other in practical and effective ways. Christians are world citizens. Unity matters.
On the other hand, the church is not infinitely flexible. It cannot be, if it is to be true to its calling. It has a task to bear witness to the truth that is in Jesus Christ. There are boundaries to that truth, and hence boundaries to the Christian fellowship.
the rest

Anglican leader faces tough summit to avoid schism
Tue Feb 13, 2007
By Katie Nguyen

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - The spiritual leader of the world's 77 million Anglicans invoked the power of prayer on Tuesday to help him save the church from schism over gay priests and same-sex marriages at a crucial meeting this week.

Some commentators say it will be a personal disaster for Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams if he fails to reconcile a liberal minority and conservative majority spilt over the issues during a six-day summit that opens in Africa on Wednesday.

"We have a difficult meeting ahead of us with many challenges and many decisions to make," he told reporters as he arrived in the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam, which means "abode of peace" in Arabic.

"I hope that all the people of the church will be praying for us as we meet together as the leaders of the Anglican Church worldwide and that God's will be done," he said.

The Tanzania meeting is shaping up to be the biggest clash yet between Global South conservatives in Africa, Asia and Latin America -- where the Anglican church is growing -- and liberals in the more affluent West -- where congregations are shrinking.
the rest

N.J. gay marriage foes gather signatures
February 13, 2007

Same-sex marriage opponents launched a petition drive Monday in hopes of persuading lawmakers to amend the state constitution to include a definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

The drive comes a week before New Jersey begins to allow gay couples to legally unite in civil unions.

Legislative leaders have refused to allow lawmakers to vote on a proposal to amend the state constitution to include the traditional definition of marriage. Unlike other states where citizens can gather petitions and get a measure on the ballot, New Jersey has no referendum provision.

John Tomicki, president of the New Jersey Coalition to Preserve and Protect Marriage, said his group will try to get at least 20,000 signatures, hoping to persuade legislative leaders to allow a vote on the proposal.

''Let's have the people decide this issue, once and for all,'' said Assemblyman Michael Doherty, a Republican.
the rest

Cohabitation, church style
Joel Connelly
February 12, 2007

OAK HARBOR - Two signs can be found outside a modern church building in this Navy town: One announces "St. Stephen's Anglican Church," the other "St. Stephen Episcopal Church."A case of cross purposes?

Nope, the signs are a symbol of divisions that have split some parishes off from the Episcopal Church. And they signal a bid to avoid - albeit with major concessions - the kind of rancor seen elsewhere in the country.

On Sunday afternoon, the Rev. Rachel Taber-Hamilton was installed as the rector (pastor) at St. Stephen. The parish is made up of those in the Oak Harbor area who stayed loyal to the Episcopal Church after fellow parisoners at St. Stephen's decided to pull out of the church and place themselves under the "alternative oversight" of an Anglican bishop in Recife, Brazil.

About 250 people showed up, including 35 members of the clergy and two Episcopal bishops: It was a welcome display of support for the loyalists, who found themselves largely abandoned by the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia after their brethren decamped late in 2003.
the rest

Monday, February 12, 2007

The chief danger of the Church today is that it is trying to get on the same side as the world, instead of turning the world upside down. Our Master expects us to accomplish results, even if they bring opposition and conflict. Anything is better than compromise, apathy, and paralysis. God, give to us an intense cry for the old-time power of the Gospel and the Holy Ghost!
...A.B. Simpson photo