Saturday, February 24, 2007

O Thou who art my quietness, my deep repose,
My rest from strife of tongues, my holy hill,
Fair is Thy pavilion, where I hold me still.
Back let them fall from me, my clamorous foes,
Confusions multiplied;
From crowding things of sense I flee, and in Thee hide,
Until this tyranny be overpast,
Thy hand will hold me fast;
What though the tumult of the storm increase,
Grant to Thy servant strength, O Lord,
And bless with peace.
..Amy Carmichael photo

The Force of Wilberforce
By Jen Waters
February 20, 2007

When Sen. Sam Brownback, Kansas Republican, declared his candidacy for president last month, he referenced the inspiration of a little-known British parliamentarian named William Wilberforce.

In 1787, Wilberforce, a committed Christian, presented a bill to Parliament to abolish the slave trade. He fought for 20 years in what seemed like an impossible battle. Finally in 1807, the slave trade was outlawed. Four days before his death in 1833, Parliament passed a bill emancipating the slaves in the British Empire and outlawing slavery.

If Wilberforce were a politician today, fighting to end abortion and renewing the family and culture would be on his to-do list, Mr. Brownback says.

"He was the best public-policy expression of the renewal of faith in their society," Mr. Brownback says. "He did it in such a beautiful way on important topics that lined up with his faith. His faith drove him."

Mr. Brownback apparently isn't the only one taking notice of Wilberforce's heroic efforts. On Friday, Walden Media releases "Amazing Grace," a feature film directed by Michael Apted that chronicles Wilberforce's campaign against the slave trade.
the rest

News from The Living Church

Presiding Bishop Outlines Discernment Process, Schedules Webcast

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori delivered a 24-minute briefing on Feb. 23, telling members of the staff at the Episcopal Church Center in New York City that The Episcopal Church will lose its prophetic voice within the councils of the Anglican Communion if it is unable to give the reassurances requested of it by the primates.

“The reality is that the entire communion is caught up in our controversy in one way or another,” Bishop Jefferts Schori said in a
presentation that was recorded and made available by Episcopal News Service. “I believe it is The Episcopal Church’s charism or gift to the wider Communion and the world that this conversation that’s been going on here for at least 40 years won’t go away. God won’t let us let go of this. We would, I think most of us, like to have it finished and done with, but it doesn’t go away. God keeps bringing it back to us. It is a part of our mission as a Church.” the rest

Parish Unrest for 'Windsor Bishop' in Northwest Texas

The release of the primates’
communiqué on Feb. 19 appears not to have dissuaded the Rt. Rev. C. Wallis Ohl, Bishop of Northwest Texas, from pursuing litigation against a congregation which recently voted to leave The Episcopal Church. But the communiqué has injected a new ray of hope into another diocesan congregation which began a 40-day period of discernment regarding its future. the rest

Anglican Mainstream Statement on the Outcome of the Primates’ Meeting at Dar es Salaam
Friday February 23rd 2007

We thank God for this unanimous Communique.

We agree with Archbishop Orombi’s assessment that this Primates’ meeting has not solved the current crisis in the Anglican Communion but has ‘clarified the steps needed for trust to be restored, healing to take place, and for our full bonds of affection to once again flourish’.

the rest

LA Times: closer look at Anglican debate on gay issues
The Episcopal Church's presiding bishop asks for patience as the church -- and the denomination -- tries to forge a compromise.

By Rebecca Trounson, Times Staff Writer
February 24, 2007

Top Anglicans at a crucial meeting in Tanzania this week sternly rebuked their communion's American branch on issues involving sexuality and biblical interpretation. The decisions now facing the U.S. Episcopal Church and the global Anglican Communion may push them further down the road toward schism.

Who attended the Dar es Salaam gathering, and what happened?
the rest

Same-sex teaching upheld
Lexington parents say they'll appeal

By Jonathan Saltzman, Globe Staff
February 24, 2007

A federal judge yesterday dismissed a suit by two couples who contended that the Lexington public school system violated their constitutional rights by teaching their young children about same-sex couples, but the ruling is unlikely to end a controversy that has roiled the district for nearly two years.

The lawyer for the two couples said they would appeal the ruling, which was praised by Lexington educators and civil libertarians but skewered by supporters of the parents. The controversy has made the affluent town a lightning rod on talk shows and on blogs and prompted the school superintendent to defend the curriculum on national television and radio programs.

In his 38-page decision, Chief Judge Mark L. Wolf of US District Court said that under the US Constitution, public schools are "entitled to teach anything that is reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens in our democracy."

"Diversity is a hallmark of our nation," he said.
the rest

Judge orders 'gay' agenda taught to Christian children

Vermont May Be the Next State to Legalize Assisted Suicide
Gov. Jim Douglas opposed to the change

By Gudrun Schultz
February 23, 2007

( - The Vermont legislature is set to begin a week of debate on assisted suicide, following the introduction of a House bill that would see Vermont follow Oregon in authorizing doctors to prescribe lethal medication.

A bill mimicking Oregon’s physician-assisted suicide law was presented in the House early in the 2007-2008 legislative session. Entitled “Patient Choice and Control at End of Life,” House Bill 44 was signed by five sponsors including two Democrats, a Republican, a Progressive and an independent.

Debate on the volatile issue will open Friday with presentations from leaders on both sides of the argument before a House committee, the Associated Press reported earlier today, as well as a public hearing to gain a sense of public opinion on the issue.
the rest

Episcopal leader: Bishops can't dictate policy to American church
Anglican primates have demanded that U.S. church step back from its support of gay clergy, unions
Saturday, February 24, 2007

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- With the Episcopal Church in trouble again -- or still -- with the worldwide Anglican Communion, the Rev. Michael Delaney will tell his parishioners tomorrow not to worry.

"This is going to work itself out," predicted Father Delaney, pastor of the Church of St. Andrew in Richmond and dean of Staten Island's Episcopal clergy.
the rest

Moderate Virginia bishop illustrates Episcopal divide
By Michelle Boorstein
Washington Post
Sat, Feb. 24, 2007

WASHINGTON – If the Episcopal Church has been a rocky boat in recent decades, Virginia Bishop Peter James Lee has been one of its anchors.

Liberals and conservatives alike have described the white-coiffed Southerner – one of the most senior bishops in the U.S. church – as a moderate statesman. When a conservative group of parishioners split from his North Carolina church in the 1970s over women’s ordination, he was in the front pew when members opened their new church. Although he wouldn’t approve same-sex commitment ceremonies in Virginia, he encouraged clergy to bless couples’ homes instead.

But as the genteel bishop prepares to retire after almost 40 years, he has become a national lighting rod while leading the diocese in a bitter property dispute with a handful of breakaway conservative congregations. Suddenly a foe of traditionalists and the commander of an unsightly legal battle, Lee, a 68-year-old former newspaper reporter, is facing an unexpected closing chapter to his legacy.
the rest

Friday, February 23, 2007

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive
that the valley is the place of vision.

LORD, in the daytime stars can be seen from the deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;
Let me find thy light in my darkness,
thy life in my death,
thy joy in my sorrow,
thy grace in my sin,
thy riches in my poverty,
thy glory in my valley.
Valley of Vision

Poll: More Americans Prefer Focus on Personal Faith Over Changing Society
Audrey Barrick
Christian Post Reporter
Fri, Feb. 23 2007

Highly religious Americans are almost evenly split on whether it is best to live the best possible personally religious life or it is also necessary to spread their beliefs, a recent Gallup Poll found.

Polls conducted last fall found that the largest percentage of Americans label themselves as "somewhat religious" (39 percent). Those who classify themselves as "extremely" or "very religious" constituted 37 percent of polled Americans. And 23 percent say they are "not too religious" or "not religious at all."

Among the highly religious people, 48 percent say it is sufficient to live the best possible personal life based on their religious beliefs and principles without having to spread their faith.

An earlier study by the Barna Research Group had found similar figures with 46 percent of those who claim to be evangelicals being less likely to say they have a personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs with others.

Still, the Gallup Poll found that 49 percent believe it is necessary to attempt to spread their beliefs and principles to other people.
the rest

Amazing Grace
Review by Russ Breimeier
posted 2/23/07

Similar to Chariots of Fire and Shadowlands in tone, Amazing Grace balances faith and filmmaking in a historical drama that depicts an ordinary Christian doing extraordinary things because of his beliefs.

For those unfamiliar with the lead character, William Wilberforce was elected to British Parliament in the late 18th century at the age of 21. Some years after that, he underwent an experience that brought him back to the Christian faith—to the point where he was prepared to leave politics behind to fully devote his life to God as a clergyman or monk. His friend from college (and future Prime Minister) William Pitt tries to convince Wilberforce to stay in Parliament because he's such a gifted orator, as seen in several debates on the floor. Pitt asks, "Will you use your beautiful voice to praise the Lord or change the world?"
the rest

Colson: The Wilberforce Strategy

American Anglican Council Statement on the Primates’ 2007 Communiqué
AAC Press Release
February 23, 2007

The American Anglican Council (AAC) expressed this week its gratitude for the work of the Anglican primates during their meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, held Feb. 14-19, 2007, and applauded the strong stance taken in their final communiqué as well as the progress made on developing an Anglican Covenant.

“This is the most important decision taken by the global Anglican Communion since the last Lambeth Resolutions were issued in 1998,” said the Rev. Canon David C. Anderson, AAC president and CEO. “The clock is now running on The Episcopal Church, and it is running fast.”

The primates’ communiqué, issued later than expected on Monday, Feb. 19 due to last-minute deliberations, issues an ultimatum to The Episcopal Church (TEC) in the United States with regard to its stances on human sexuality. In particular, the church is given seven months (until Sept. 30, 2007) to convey its definitive position on the blessing of same-sex unions and the elevation to episcopal orders of a candidate living in a same-sex relationship.
the rest

Bishop Duncan's Pastoral Letter Regarding the Primates' Meeting
23rd February, A.D. 2007
First Friday in Lent
Eve of St. Matthias


Beloved in the Lord,

We continue in an extraordinary moment in church history. It is my conviction, with St. Paul, that “He who has begun a good work in [us] will complete it to the end.” [Phil. 1:6]

Resolution III.6 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference authorized the Primates’ Meeting to include among its responsibilities both “intervention in cases of exceptional emergency which are incapable of internal resolution within provinces, and giving of guidelines on the limits of Anglican diversity in submission to the sovereign authority of Holy Scripture and in loyalty to our Anglican tradition and formularies.” At Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the Primates Meeting of 15-19 February exercised these mandates in most significant fashion.

Following up on the historic appeal for intervention 20 other bishops and I made on August 5, 2003 – and responding directly to the Appeals for Alternative Primatial Oversight (or Relationship) lodged by eight Network dioceses between July and November of 2006, as well as to requests from the Windsor coalition of Bishops conveyed in a letter of January 2007 – the Primates Meeting acted to address the crisis in our Province, The Episcopal Church. The result can surely be described as an answer to prayer.
the rest

Sarah Hey: Fake Marriage between Usual Suspects in Los Angeles Described: Dog Bites Man

"So, what happens when there are two brides? Does that double the potential for a nuclear wedding meltdown? Should wedding planners run in fear from lesbian clients? Are lesbian weddings a recipe for disaster? Really, it depends on the lesbians; when the two women in question are both Episcopal clergy, that certainly changes things a bit."

the rest at Stand Firm

Americans given deadline to repent
Jeremy Halcrow
23 February 2007

Dr Peter Jensen, the Archbishop of Sydney, has described an ultimatum sent to the US Episcopal Church as an ‘answer to prayer’.

The Anglican Communion has given the Americans a September deadline to stop blessing same-sex unions. It is likely they won’t be invited to Lambeth – the key Anglican decision-making meeting – if they do not comply.

“It offers a chance to restore communion but on a biblical basis,” Dr Jensen said. “It doesn’t fudge the issue but calls on The Episcopal Church to take concrete action to restore the damage done.”

The Primates of the world’s 38 Anglican Provinces met in Tanzania from February 15 to 19 to resolve the tensions provoked by the consecration of openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson in 2003 and more recent decisions to bless same-sex unions.
the rest

African bishop optimistic on unity
By Wangui Kanina
Thu 22 Feb 2007

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Nigeria's Anglican archbishop on Thursday said he was hopeful talks between the Catholic and Anglican churches would lead to unity, but said it would take a long time to mend a split more than five centuries ago.

Issues surrounding a possible reuniting of the Catholic and Anglican churches are contained in a document due for publication later this year.

Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola said dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church had been going on for more than 40 years, and that much progress had been made in terms of finding ways to work around the divisive issues.
the rest

Williams gives stark warning over Church unity
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent

The Anglican Communion may still fall apart over homosexuality in spite of the eleventh-hour truce agreed by its leaders in Tanzania this week, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, warns today.

But the effort to keep the worldwide Church in one piece was worthwhile, even though it might look like a dysfunctional family heading for the divorce courts, Dr Williams said in an article for The Daily Telegraph.

The Archbishop said that the "painful intensity" of the talks, which very nearly ended in a split, had not represented the "easy option".
the rest

Winds of change
R. William Franklin
24 February 2007

Rather than be split by a much-trumpeted schism, the Anglican Communion emerged from its meeting in Tanzania this week as a new kind of twenty-first-century Church, reflecting changes in ecclesial and geopolitical power.

Will the Anglican Communion survive? Before the Primates' Meeting in Africa this week there was much discussion of schism, and an atmosphere of crisis prevailed. At the heart of the problem is how Anglicans reconcile the value they place on diocesan and provincial structure of autonomy at the national level with the legitimacy given to a comprehensive range of practices and positions with the bonds of ecclesial communion that allow the Communion coherence as one effective, united, interdependent worldwide body of Christians. Given that, what does the Anglican Communion mean? Is it a fellowship of independent national churches with historical roots in the Church of England that worship through a provincial expression of the Book of Common Prayer, or is it a hierarchical system with the Archbishop of Canterbury at the top as a sort of mini-Pope?
the rest

Sex Symbols: Messages Hidden In Jewelry
February 22, 2007

Jewelry may hide a secret message about some child molestors.

Some pedophiles are wearing symbols of their sexual attraction to kids as part of a bigger movement to justify who they are and what they want.

Pendants in the shape of a heart, for young girls, or a triangle, for young boys, are being worn by some pedophiles to show their preference as part of a pro-pedophile movment.
the rest

An Anglican future, made in Africa
The biblical drama of sin, mercy, healing, salvation and liberation will reassert itself

Father Raymond J. De Souza, National Post
Thursday, February 22, 2007

It has been remarked for a long time that the centre of gravity in the Christian world is shifting from north to south, from North America and Europe to Africa and Asia. The meeting of Anglican Primates this past week in Tanzania might be marked as the moment when that shift made its first global impact.

The Anglican Communion has been facing an insurmountable challenge these past few years. The small and getting smaller Anglican churches in the United States and Canada have decided, for the most part, that homosexual acts should be judged morally licit, and even sacramental. The big and getting bigger Anglican churches in Africa have kept to the constant Christian teaching that such acts are sinful. Between the two, the Archbishop of Canterbury has valiantly attempted to fashion a compromise. But of course something cannot be both a sacrament and a sin, so matters had to be resolved one way or the other.
the rest

Episcopalians at risk with support for gays
Anglicans threaten to cut off affiliation for stance

By Rachel Zoll
The Associated Press
February 23 2007

NEW YORK · Three years of emergency summits, nuanced apologies and behind-the-scenes negotiating failed. Anglican leaders this week gave the U.S. Episcopal Church an ultimatum: Halt your march toward full acceptance of gays, or lose your place in the global Anglican family.

"Now, Episcopalians are asking themselves whether the cost of membership has become too high.

We made our `yes' to gays and lesbians," wrote the Rev. Ann Fontaine of the Diocese of Wyoming, in an examination of the Anglican demands. "Let it stand."

The global Anglican Communion, represented in the United States by the Episcopal Church, has spent years debating how its 77 million members should interpret Scripture on salvation, truth and sexuality.
the rest

Row over Dutch Muslim ministers
By Geraldine Coughlan
BBC News, The Hague

The appointment of two Muslim politicians to the new Dutch cabinet has reawakened a row in the country over dual nationality.

Nebahat Albayrak and Ahmed Aboutaleb are both Dutch passport holders, but also have Turkish and Moroccan passports respectively.

Right-wing opposition parties want to see an end to dual nationality.
the rest

Egypt bloggers fear state curbs
By Heba Saleh
BBC News, Cairo

A court in the port city of Alexandria has sentenced a young Egyptian blogger to four years' jail for contempt of religion, insulting the president and spreading false information.

Abdel Kareem Nabil Soliman, 22, is the first Egyptian blogger to stand trial for views expressed on the internet.
the rest

AMiA Response to the Primates' Communique
The Anglican Mission in the Americas
Feb 22, 2007

In response to the 2007 primates' Communiqué, the Anglican Mission in the Americas has issued the following statement:

The Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA) commends the primates of the Anglican Communion for their strong resolve to demand clarity from The Episcopal Church (TEC) concerning adherence to the standards of the Communion regarding sexuality. The Communiqué issued a firm demand for reformation and repentance within TEC to be marked by specific commitments and actions, and we fully support this demand.

We believe it should always be remembered that while much of the focus of this recent primates' meeting has revolved around The Episcopal Church's violations of the 1998 Lambeth Resolution I.10 concerning human sexuality, those violations have, in fact, been only a painful symptom of the much greater crisis of faith and leadership that presently exists within TEC and the many questions that TEC has raised in recent years regarding the authority of the Scriptures as our "standard and ultimate rule of faith." [Lambeth Conference of 1888 – Resolution 11]
the rest

Thursday, February 22, 2007

"She hath wrought a good work on Me." Mark 14:6

If human love does not carry a man beyond himself, it is not love. If love is always discreet, always wise, always sensible and calculating, never carried beyond itself, it is not love at all. It may be affection, it may be warmth of feeling, but it has not the true nature of love in it.

Have I ever been carried away to do something for God not because it was my duty, nor because it was useful, nor because there was anything in it at all beyond the fact that I love Him? Have I ever realized that I can bring to God things which are of value to Him, or am I mooning round the magnitude of His Redemption whilst there are any number of things I might be doing? Not Divine, colossal things which could be recorded as marvellous, but ordinary, simple human things which will give evidence to God that I am abandoned to Him? Have I ever produced in the heart of the Lord Jesus what Mary of Bethany produced?

There are times when it seems as if God watches to see if we will give Him the abandoned tokens of how genuinely we do love Him. Abandon to God is of more value than personal holiness. Personal holiness focuses the eye on our own whiteness; we are greatly concerned about the way we walk and talk and look, fearful lest we offend Him. Perfect love casts out all that when once we are abandoned to God. We have to get rid of this notion - "Am I of any use?" and make up our minds that we are not, and we may be near the truth. It is never a question of being of use, but of being of value to God Himself. When we are abandoned to God, He works through us all the time. ...Oswald Chambers
web gallery

Human Like Me?
The New Jersey Supreme Court case that could define the fetus.
By Emily Bazelon
Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2007

What should doctors who perform abortions tell their patients beforehand? Of course women need to understand the risks of abortion in order to give their informed consent, as patients do for any medical procedure. But the risks of what, exactly, and to whom? In answering those questions, a case argued before the New Jersey Supreme Court on Tuesday could upend the practices of abortion providers in the state (and get the attention of the rest of the country) by enlisting juries in defining the nature of a fetus.

Rosa Acuna was a 29-year-old mother of two when she went to see her doctor, Sheldon Turkish, complaining of abdominal pain. An ultrasound test showed she was between five and seven weeks pregnant. Acuna says she asked Turkish if the "baby was already there," and that he responded, "don't be stupid, it is nothing but blood." Acuna signed a consent form and had an abortion. She says she then went to the library, read up on human development, and decided that her doctor had ended her relationship with a child she'd named Andres.
the rest

Kenya's Anglican Church Launches Plan to Combat AIDS, TB, Malaria
By Cathy Majtenyi Nairobi
22 February 2007

In Kenya, the Anglican Church has released its five-year plan to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria on the continent. Cathy Majtenyi reports for VOA from Nairobi.
The top priority of the $2.2 million plan will be to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa through education, leadership, and counseling, and to support those who are living with the virus.

The prevention and care of tuberculosis and malaria, diseases often associated with HIV/AIDS, are the next priorities in the plan, presented in Kenya's capital by the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA).
the rest

Bishop: Episcopal Church Would Not 'Abandon' Gays for Anglican Communion
By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Thu, Feb. 22 2007

If the Episcopal Church had to choose between the Anglican Communion and not "abandoning" homosexual Christians, it would choose the latter, one bishop believes.

The Anglican Communion is asking its U.S. wing to clarify its stance on same-sex unions and the consecration of homosexuals by Sept. 30. Some Episcopal leaders who support homosexual ordination are suggesting that the church should leave the communion, saying the demands of the Communion amount to bigotry.
the rest

First Things: The Anglicans: What Happened in Tanzania
By Jordan Hylden
Thursday, February 22, 2007

“We came very close to separation,” said Archbishop Gregory Venables of this weekend’s meeting of global Anglican leaders, “but Biblical doctrine and behavior have been affirmed as the norms in the Anglican Church.”

It could have gone the other way, and for a time it looked as if it would. But, in the end, Anglican conservatives everywhere
breathed a collective sigh of relief on reading the strongly worded statement issued unanimously by the Church’s thirty-eight primates, which bluntly called on the Episcopal Church—the province of the Anglican Communion in the United States—to reverse its course or face expulsion. Of course, it remains to be seen whether or not the liberal American church will decide to comply. But by avoiding schism and enacting meaningful discipline upon one of its errant members, the Anglican Communion proved itself to be a reality with substance rather than the failed experiment many feared it had become. Today, concluded the theologian Philip Turner, “Anglicanism remains a credible expression of Catholic Christianity.”

Those who follow the story know that the current crisis stems from the Episcopal Church’s decision in 2003 to consecrate a non-celibate homosexual as bishop of New Hampshire and to allow priests in several dioceses to bless same-sex unions formally. Global reaction was swift and sharp, with multiple Anglican provinces (notably Nigeria and Rwanda) immediately declaring a state of “broken” or “impaired” communion with the Episcopal Church. Tensions were high even within the Episcopal Church itself, as numerous conservative parishes began leaving or threatening to leave—with the national church office suing or threatening to sue all who tried it.

Although on its surface it all seemed to be an argument merely about sex, on a deeper level it was a crisis of unity and authority. Five years prior to Gene Robinson’s consecration as bishop,
the 1998 Lambeth Conference (a gathering of all Anglican bishops, which meets every ten years) had upheld the traditional Christian understanding of marriage and sexual ethics. Anglicans, who lack a central executive authority, have long depended on its thirty-eight member churches to abide by the decisions made together in council. The consecration of Gene Robinson called that expectation into question—and thereby the very idea of Anglican unity and authority. the rest

Matt Kennedy: Reading the Dar Es Salaam Communique: Part 1
February 22, 2007


"It is important to remember that the primates see the violation of the teaching of Lambeth 1.10 as core to our current turmoil. It should then be quite clear that when the primates call the bishops of the Episcopal Church to declare a moratorium on the authorization of same-sex blessings, they are interested in the cessation of same sex blessings altogether. We must not permit the facile distinction between “allowing” and “authorizing” such rites to be taken seriously. "

The rest at Stand Firm

Northern Ireland: Catholic bishops join gay protest

Catholic bishops have united with Protestant churches to oppose a new law outlawing gay discrimination in NI.

The Christian Institute and a number of churches are seeking a judicial review of the Sexual Orientation Regulations, which came into force last month.

They claim the six-week consultation period was inadequate, compared with the six-month period in Great Britain.
the rest

Gay groups condemn Polish leader

Christians jailed for walking near Olympic hotel
Persecution ramping up as 2008 Games in Beijing approach

Posted: February 22, 2007

A Christian house church leader in China and his mother are facing a criminal prosecution that appears to be part of that government's campaign to eliminate messages that are contrary to the official publicity releases as the 2008 Olympic Games in
Beijing approach.

According to reports from
Voice of the Martyrs, a Christian organization that works in support of persecuted Christians around the world, house church leader Hua Huiqi has been formally arrested and his 76-year-old mother arrested a second time for the offense of walking near a construction site for a hotel being built in preparation for the Olympics. the rest

New York's Episcopal bishop thinks all hope is not lost

February 22, 2007

If the Episcopal Church is heading toward some sort of schism over homosexuality - from the Anglican world, internally or both - Bishop Mark Sisk doesn't sound too worried.

Is he flustered by the need for better communication among Anglicans? Sure.

Is he concerned that some Anglican leaders will make demands of the Episcopal Church that church leaders can't meet? Probably.

But is the leader of the Episcopal Diocese of New York worried that Anglican bishops have given the Episcopal Church until Sept. 30 to place definitive bans on the consecration of gay bishops and the development of rites for same-sex couples?
the rest

Some U.S. Episcopalians welcome schism

U.S. priest takes world stage to confront Episcopal divide
The Washington Post

WASHINGTON -- 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, Va., 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.
the rest

DAR Final Press Conference

Primate Meeting Press Conference Final
FEB 20 11:00 PM

Courtesy of AnglicanTV

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

He enters by the door who enters by Christ, who imitates the suffering of Christ, who is acquainted with the humility of Christ so as to feel and know that, if God became man for us, men should not think themselves God, but men. He who, being man, wishes to appear God, does not imitate Him who, being God, became man. Thou art not bid to think less of thyself than thou art, but to know what thou art. ...Augustine photo

Rowan Sermon in Tanzania

FEB 20 10:00 AM
Courtesy of AnglicanTV

By J. Grant Swank, Jr.
Feb 20, 2007

England is known for its impressive churches. However, they have become increasingly void of worshipers. At the same time, Muslims with mosques have moved in.

Some Methodist churches are now inhabited by Muslims due to Methodist parishioners declining in number so as to sell properties.

Anglican sanctuaries cannot by "covenant" be used by other religions. When vacated, they are often used as restaurants and such.

Prince Charles, not known for his Christian morality, has stated that he thinks of himself more as the "Defender of the Faiths" than the traditional "Defender of the Faith," the latter meaning Christianity. He reads the Koran for devotional intake, he informs media.
the rest

Support Abortion with Every Phone Call you Make - 'Planned Parenthood Wireless'
By John-Henry Westen

NEW YORK, February 21, 2007 ( - America's largest abortion provider Planned Parenthood is launching a wireless phone business. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) which according to its 2004-2005 annual report showed a record income of $882 million dollars and a profit of $63 million.

The new service, Planned Parenthood Wireless, will provide 10% of revenues generated directly to PPFA. The wireless service which has permitted Planned Parenthood to profit is called Working Assets, a company which worked with Planned Parenthood for the defeat of the South Dakota abortion ban.

"Both our organizations are committed to preserving the right to choose and Planned Parenthood Wireless offers a powerful activism platform," said Working Assets CEO Laura Scher.
the rest

Former students at historic college upset over recent actions of administrators
Allie Martin and Jenni Parker
February 21, 2007

Recent events at William and Mary, one of the oldest colleges in the United States, have sparked a flurry of protest from conservative students, faculty and alumni. The school, which not long ago removed a cross from display in a campus chapel, has now hosted a show featuring performances by people employed in sexually-oriented, adult entertainment jobs.

Last week, the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, hosted an event called the "Sex Workers' Art Show." According to news reports, the visual and performance art presentation featured topless dancers and other sex industry workers -- this at the same campus that made headlines last fall when officials removed a cross from the college's Wren Chapel, claiming its display did not promote diversity.
the rest

Jim Lehrer Report: Anglican Church Demands End to Gay Unions
streaming video
February 20, 2007

Featuring Kendall Harmon and Susan Russell


Tanzania Primates Communique

The Living Church
House of Bishops Will Begin Response to Communiqué in March

A Church of England Newspaper Interview with Bishop Robert Duncan

Schori: A Season of Fasting: Reflections on the Primates Meeting
Audio: Presiding Bishop reflects on Primates' Meeting

The Christian Post
Episcopal Leader Asks for Time

The Washington Times
Episcopal diocese mum on lawsuits

Anglican Journal
Dispute over homosexuality not over yet, says Archbishop of Canterbury

Globe and Mail
Anglican rift may hit Canada, archbishop says

Difficult Choices

Ruth Gledhill's blog
J Wept

Usa Today
Anglicans 'in interpretive free-for-all' over their future

Washington Post
Some U.S. Bishops Reject Anglican Gay Rights Edict

NY Times
Many Episcopalians Wary, Some Defiant After Ultimatum by Anglicans

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Do you fast? Give me proof of it by your works.
If you see a poor man, take pity on him.
If you see a friend being honored, do not envy him.
Do not let only your mouth fast,
but also the eye and the ear and the feet
and the hands and all the members of our bodies.
Let the hands fast, by being free of avarice.
Let the feet fast, by ceasing to run after sin.
Let the eyes fast, by disciplining them
not to glare at that which is sinful.
Let the ear fast, by not listening to evil talk and gossip.
Let the mouth fast from foul words and unjust criticism.
For what good is it if we abstain from birds and fishes,
but bite and devour our brothers?

May HE who came to the world to save sinners strengthen us to complete the fast with humility, have mercy on us and save us.
St. John Chrysostom on Fasting [from Sermons on the Statutes] art

Lent and Beyond: More Lenten Resources:

Oasis Leads Rejection of Ban Against Episcopal Blessing of LGBT Couples
Tuesday February 20

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Bay Area Episcopalians reject a call from Anglican Primates for bans on the authorization of Rites of Blessing of gay and lesbians couples, and on partnered gay or lesbian bishops, as too high a price to pay for preserving the unity of the Anglican Communion.
the rest

Integrety Press release: Primates Choose Bigotry Over Baptized

“The primates of the Anglican Communion have utterly failed to recognize the faith, relationships, and vocations of the gay and lesbian baptized,” said Integrity President Susan Russell, responding to the communiqué released today from Dar Es Salaam.

“Let us pray it doesn't take another hundred years for yet-unborn primates to gather for a service of repentance for what the church has done to its gay and lesbian members today, as they repented in Zanzibar yesterday for what it did to those the church failed to embrace as full members of the Body of Christ.”
the rest

Bishop Martyn Minns responds to the Primates’ Communique
Tuesday February 20th 2007

After the Press Conference, Bishop Martyn Minns of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America who was attending the Primates Meeting with press credentials was surrounded by the Press. He commented:

This was a recognition of the division within the Episcopal Church. I believe they are trying to recognise serious problem. The fact that the gospel is in the Covenant I am pleased at.This communique is a serious recognition there is a difficulty. That is important. I hope Bishop Peter Lee of Virginia will recgnise this.
the rest

Matt Kennedy: The Dar Communique: Hope and a Future
Stand Firm
February 20, 2007

The orthodox in North America and, indeed, in the Communion world-wide needed three things from the primates meeting in Tanzania:

1. Recognition that the Episcopal Church has not sufficiently complied with the Windsor Requests as articulated by the Primates at Dromantine.
2. Substantive discipline
3. Protection for Windsor Compliant parishes and dioceses both within and outside the Episcopal Church. We have recieved all three.

Full commentary

Time: The Episcopals Under Fire Over Gays
Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2007

If the Episcopal Church in the U.S. was expecting a moderate message on homosexual equality from its Anglican counteparts at their annual meeting in Tanzania this week — or even some kind of benign stalling action — it was sorely mistaken. The communique issued by the Communion's collected primates (regional archbishops) ended up presenting a fairly stark choice for more the liberal-minded Episcopalians: either back off on officiating at gay commitment ceremonies and ordaining gay clergy — fast — or be shunned by the Anglican Communion.

The 38 primates of the Anglican Communion, the 77-million member body that includes the Episcopal Church in the U.S., gave the Episcopalians (with 2.2 million members) less than eight months to swear off officiating at gay commitment ceremonies and set in motion a system of "alternative oversight" for Episcopal congregations so disgruntled with the positions of the American church that they have been demanding their own set of conservative bishops as the price of staying within the church. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Anglicanism's first primate among equals and the man responsible for trying to hold the Communion together, made it clear in a press conference that he supported the communique.
the rest

Archbishop’s comments at the final press conference in Tanzania
20th February 2007

May I echo the thanks for your patience which Philip has already shared with you – we’re very appreciative of the fact that it is late and we’re all tired.

Also before I start, I went from one session just to check the BBC news and heard more details about he appalling bombing on the train in India and I know that all the Primates will want to put on record their grief and shock about this and their prayers for all involved and their families.

What I’d like to do is touch briefly – very briefly – on the issues in the final communiqué of our meeting. As usual, you’ll see elements there of narrative – this is what we did, these are the activities we shared and these were the subjects we covered. You’ll notice the reference there to the commissioning of our new representative at the United Nations, and following on form that, some discussion of future work that can be done on the Millennium Development goals by the Communion, especially in the forthcoming conference in Johannesburg in a few week’s time at which I hope to be present.
the rest

Primates Elect New Standing Committee Members and Alternates

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was elected Feb. 19 to represent the Americas on the primates’ standing committee, an interim body that meets in conjunction with the Anglican Consultative Council standing committee. In the past, the primates’ standing committee has served as a council of advice for the Archbishop of Canterbury and also helps to shape the agenda of the primates’ meetings.

The 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion are grouped together into five regional districts, and each district elects its own candidate.

Other elected regional representatives are: The Most Rev. Phillip Aspinall, Primate of Australia and Archbishop of Brisbane, representing East Asia and Oceana; the Most Rev. Mouneer Anis, Primate of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and in the Middle East and Bishop of Egypt, representing West Asia and the Middle East; the Most Rev. Henry Orombi, Primate of Uganda and Archbishop of Kampala, representing the African churches; and the Most Rev. Barry Morgan, Primate of Wales and Bishop of Llandaff representing Europe.
the rest

Uganda: Orombi to Represent Africa On Anglican Church Committee
The Monitor (Kampala)
February 20, 2007

Morris Mwavizo

THE archbishop of the Anglican church in Uganda Henry Orombi has been elected by other primates from Africa to represent them in the Primates standing committee.

Speaking during a press briefing, James Rosenthal, the communications director of the Anglican Church said five primates have been selected as regional representatives for their respective regions.

Bishop Orombi who is known for his hard stance against gay clergy in the church, will be on the Primates standing committee together with Katherine Jefferts Schori, the first woman Archbishop of Episcopal church of the United States and a liberal on gay rights who will represent the North, South and Central America and the Caribbean.
the rest

After Anglican meeting, Episcopal Church on notice
The leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion took steps to buy time for healing and avoid a schism
Jane Lampman
Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

Holding to goals of unity and reconciliation, the leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion have taken key steps that buy time for healing in the deeply divided global body.

But they also served notice on the Episcopal Church, Anglicanism's US branch, that it must give convincing proof of an intent to abide by traditional practices with regard to homosexuality.
the rest

Archbishop Hutchison says church must look 'seriously' at primates’ request
Marites N. Sison
staff writer
Feb 20, 2007

The Anglican primates’ directive for the U.S. church to unequivocally bar same-sex blessings and gay bishops is something that the Canadian church “will have to look at seriously,” according to Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.

Archbishop Hutchison acknowledged that while the Canadian church has not ordained a gay bishop nor decided as a national church to allow same-sex blessings, it could face the same consequences “if it were to follow the same path” as The Episcopal Church. The American church’s decision in 2003 to ordain Gene Robinson, the openly gay bishop of New Hampshire, has triggered near-schism in the Anglican Communion.
the rest

Praying Lent

Here is a great resource to give you a focused start to your Lenten journey:


Anglican Leaders Warn U.S. Church on Gay Unions, Bishops
Washington Post

Tuesday, February 20,

Anglican leaders concluded their five-day meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, yesterday by issuing a demand that the U.S. Episcopal Church unequivocally stop blessing same-sex unions and consecrating any more gay bishops.

In a statement issued in the final hour of the tense meeting, the Anglican Communion gave the U.S. church until Sept. 30 to comply. Otherwise, the leaders said, its relations with other Anglicans will remain "damaged at best."

the rest

Councillor Accused of “Heterosexism” for Suggesting Family-Sized Homes
By Hilary White
CAMBRIDGE, February 19, 2007

( – A former mayor of Cambridge, England, John Hipkin, is demanding an apology and a retraction after being accused publicly of “heterosexism” for suggesting that more homes need to be built to accommodate families.

Hipkin wondered aloud at a planning meeting last fall whether the preference of housing developers for one and two bedroom homes was not “putting huge pressure of a contraceptive nature on this city.”

Hipkin said at the time, “People presumably start off single or young marrieds and have children, don't they? Where are they going to go?”

The Daily Telegraph reports that a complaint was lodged by a homosexual activist group who said that his remarks betrayed heterosexism, defined as “unintentional discrimination towards or against non-heterosexuals due to cultural bias.”
the rest

Corporate America is Tracking Your Every Move
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Millennium Radio New Jersey
Kevin McArdle

It would be positively Orwellian if corporate America was using high technology to track your whereabouts without your knowledge. Welcome to "1984."

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology can be thought of as a next-generation bar code. A simple RFID tag consists of a microchip and antenna, which when stimulated by a remote "reader," sends back information via radio waves. Like a bar code, an RFID tag identifies the product it is attached to for inventory or purchasing purposes; but an RFID tag can do more. For example, RFID tags can hold information related to the expiration date of a product, record whether a product has been exposed to excessive hear, or could be used to assist with product recalls. An RFID-tagged product can be tracked as it moves in commerce, providing better ways to identify and meet consumer demand for products.

"If the device remains on the item," says Assembly Majority Leader Bonnie Watson Coleman, "it can also track the whereabouts of the individual who purchases it and I believe that's an invasion of privacy." Surely such technology is reserved for only hi-tech gizmos and the most expensive wares a store has to offer, right? Wrong? Watson Coleman says, "RFIDs are in your clothing, in your underwear, in your razor blade packages, any item that you purchase."
the rest

Interview with Archbishop Orombi

Premier Interview with Archbishop Orombi of Uganda

Tanzanian aftermath:

UK Telegraph, Jonathan Petre
Anglican Church leaders give ultimatum to liberals
Katharine Jefferts Schori: unapologetic feminist and pro-gay liberal

Gay ultimatum for Anglicans in US

The Living Church
Overtime Required for Primates to Agree on Communiqué Wording

Boston Herald
Anglican leaders say U.S. church must bar gay bishops and prayers for gay couples

Ruth Gledhill
Primates draw back from sanctions for liberal Anglican dioceses

No schism for now: Williams gets tough on liberals to save the church
Anglican Leaders Rule on Gay Bishops

Anglican Communion wants U.S. action in gay row

NY Times
Anglicans Rebuke U.S. Branch on Same-Sex Unions

LA Times
Anglicans tense but not split after talks

Tiny Baby to Leave Florida Hospital
By MATT SEDENSKY Associated Press Writer
Feb 19

premature baby that doctors say spent less time in the womb than any other surviving infant is to be released from a Florida hospital Tuesday.

Amillia Sonja Taylor was just 9 1/2 inches long and weighed less than 10 ounces when she was born Oct. 24. She was delivered 21 weeks and six days after conception. Full-term births come after 37 to 40 weeks.
the rest

Monday, February 19, 2007

All God's plans have the mark of the cross on them, and all His plans have death to self in them.... But men's plans ignore the offence of the cross or despise it. Men's plans have no profound, stern or self-immolating denial in them. Their gain is of the world. How much of these destructive elements, esteemed by men, does the devil bring into the church, until all the high, unworldly and holy aims, and heavenly objects of the church are retired and forgotten? ...EM Bounds photo

The Communique is Out

The Communiqué

Of the primates’ Meeting in Dar es Salaam

19th February 2007

1. We, the primates and Moderators of the Anglican Communion, gathered for mutual consultation and prayer at Dar es Salaam between 15th and 19th February 2007 at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury and as guests of the Primate of Tanzania, Archbishop Donald Leo Mtetemela. The meeting convened in an atmosphere of mutual graciousness as the primates sought together to seek the will of God for the future life of the Communion. We are grateful for the warm hospitality and generosity of Archbishop Donald and his Church members, many of whom have worked hard to ensure that our visit has been pleasant and comfortable, including our travel to Zanzibar on the Sunday.

2. The Archbishop of Canterbury welcomed to our number fourteen new primates, and on the Wednesday before our meeting started, he led the new primates in an afternoon of discussion about their role. We give thanks for the ministry of those primates who have completed their term of office.

3. Over these days, we have also spent time in prayer and Bible Study, and reflected upon the wide range of mission and service undertaken across the Communion. While the tensions that we face as a Communion commanded our attention, the extensive discipleship of Anglicans across the world reminds us of our first task to respond to God’s call in Christ. We are grateful for the sustaining prayer which has been offered across the Communion as we meet.

the rest at ACNS

comments at Stand Firm

Anglican crisis talks 'to last into the night'
By Jonathan Petre,
Religion Correspondent, in Dar Es Salaam
Last Updated: 7:56pm GMT 19/02/2007

The worldwide Anglican Church was struggling to reach a consensus tonight about how to resolve its bitter dispute over homosexuality.

The Church's primates, who are meeting in Tanzania, were deadlocked over key areas of their final communiqué, which is supposed to reflect the views of the whole gathering.

Embarrassed officials had to postpone a press conference at which they had intended to unveil the communiqué, explaining that talks were expected to go on into the night.

One said that if the primates failed to resolve their differences tonight, they may not release a communiqué at all, a development that would be regarded as signalling a profound split.
It was believed that the Primate of Nigeria, Archbishop Peter Akinola, is leading a rearguard action by a rump of hardline conservatives.

They were deeply unhappy with early drafts of the communiqué because it fails to rebuke the liberal American Episcopal Church for bringing Anglicanism to the brink of schism by consecrating its first openly gay bishop in 2003.
the rest

Reconstructing GC2006 for Communion Building:
Further Comments on the Communion Sub-group Report

by Michael Poon
Singapore at the verge of Ash Wednesday, 2007.


"The Sub-group’s brief was simple: Did the decisions at GC2006 meet the three specific Dromantine (Windsor) requests?

ECUSA did not. That is clear, even to those who wrote in defence of Canterbury in the last few days. Instead of giving a straight answer to that, the Sub-group offered – in Goddard’s words – “a hermeneutics of charity” to the GC2006 decisions – to the point of reconstructing what the Convention participants decided.

Why such complicity? Those who come to Canterbury’s defence argue it is a strategy for continuing engagement with ECUSA. Sam Wells’ strategy of “over-acceptance” comes into vogue. Dan Martins even optimistically concludes that “things are still breaking our [orthodox Anglicans?] way”! The Report could serve to persuade those in ECUSA who belong to Group IV (anti-1.10 and anti-Windsor) of Bishop of Exeter’s quadrant back to Group III (pro-Windsor).
Such lines of reasoning are problematic."

the rest

Press Conference Delayed until 20:00 GMT / 15:00 EST

From Anglican Mainstream:

More latest news

Monday February 19th 2007, 4:59 pm

Filed under: Primates Meeting Link to: this post

There will be no press conference until 11pm (Tanzania time). The Primates will break for dinner at 8.30pm, resume at 10.00pm and many will leave at 5.00am tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile we understand that the Covenant will be posted on the
Anglican Communion website at 17:00 GMT.

Anglican Mainstream

ACNS: Report of the Covenant Design Group
February 19, 2007

The Covenant Design Group, appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury on behalf of the Primates of the Anglican Communion, held its first meeting in Nassau, the Bahamas, between Monday, 15th and Thursday, 18th January, 2007. The Archbishop of the West Indies, the Most Revd Drexel Gomez, chaired the group.

The meeting discussed four major areas of work related to the development of an Anglican Covenant: its content, the process by which it would be received into the life of the Communion, the foundations on which a covenant might be built, and its own methods of working.

The JSC paper,
Towards an Anglican Covenant, was one of the initial papers tabled at the meeting, together with a wide range of responses to it from both individuals and from churches and other alliances within the Communion. In addition, a number of correspondents had been invited to submit reflections to the group. The group noted that there was a wide range of support for the concept of covenant in the life of the Communion, and although in the papers submitted there was a great deal of concern about the nature of any covenant that might be put forward for adoption, very few of the respondents objected to the concept of covenant per se, but rather saw the covenant as a moment of opportunity within the life of the Communion.

In their discussion, all the members of the group spoke of the value and importance of the continued life of the Anglican Communion as an instrument through which the Gospel could be proclaimed and God’s mission carried forward. There was a real desire to see the interdependent life of the Communion strengthened by a covenant which would articulate our common foundations, and set out principles by which our life of Communion in Christ could be strengthened and nurtured.
the rest

Stand Firm: Matt Kennedy

According to Anglican Mainstream, there should be a press conference at 10:45 am (eastern time). A five page communique (which, according to the report, is still being hashed out) is expected to be released along with the covenant.

Stay tuned to Stand Firm