Saturday, May 12, 2007

Prayer projects faith on God, and God on the world. Only God can move mountains, but faith and prayer move God. In His cursing of the fig-tree our Lord demonstrated His power. Following that, He proceeded to declare, that large powers were committed to faith and prayer, not in order to kill but to make alive, not to blast but to bless. ...EM Bounds photo

A Mother's Role as Prayer Warrior
Maribeth Spangenberg
Guest Writer, TOS Magazine

"Thus saith the Lord God: Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!... Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord". (Ez. 13:3-5)

"Foolish mothers" is how the Lord spoke to my heart when I read this verse. Although the Scripture reference is to the false prophets of Israel and is addressing their hypocrisy and deception, I still felt the Lord's enlightenment as to a different message "between the lines" for mothers to heed. In my mind's eye I read the verse as "Woe unto the foolish mother that follows her own spirit and has seen nothing!"

While I am in no way attempting to misinterpret Scripture or add to God's Word, I am seeing a personal application here. Any woman, who has the blessed honor of birthing a child, has the immediate responsibility of caring physically for that child to the best of her ability. But for a Christian mother, one who knows the Lord Jesus personally as her Lord and Savior, this responsibility is also extended to the spiritual realm. Initiating at conception, this mother has the duty and obligation to "stand in the gap" for her child. She has the blessed opportunity to intercede for her child in prayer. the rest photo

Anglican Report Episode 26

Kevin and Bill Discuss:

Bishop Minn's Installation and response
2007 TEC Budget
Task Force Report
Panel of Reference Report
Fr. Zahl

Texas Stewardship Consultant Elected Bishop of Olympia

The Rev. Gregory Rickel, 43, rector of St. James’ Church, Austin, Texas, was elected Bishop of Olympia at a special convention May 12 at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle.

Needing 185 votes in the lay order and 104 in the clergy order, Fr. Rickel received 224 lay votes and 106 clergy votes on the third ballot. The nearest challenger was the Rev. Jeffrey D. Lee, rector of St. Thomas’ Church, Medina, Wash., who received 145 lay votes and 101 clergy.

Three other candidates withdrew after the second ballot: the Rev. Richard A. Burnett, rector of Trinity Church, Columbus, Ohio; the Rt. Rev. Bavi Edna (Nedi) Rivera, Bishop Suffragan of Olympia; and the Rev. Angela F. Shepherd, rector of St. Philip’s, Annapolis, Md.
the rest

Face of Abortion in China: Young and Unmarried
Published: May 13, 2007

QINGDAO, China — At an
abortion clinic in this seaside city, a young woman sat in the recovery room with an IV drip in one hand and a cellphone in the other. She was 22 and worked as a nurse. Her boyfriend, an information technology specialist, sat nearby. They both knew the routine: It was her second abortion in 18 months.

In the waiting room, a few other unmarried couples watched a DVD of a hit Chinese movie until they were called. The clinic, one of the few in China that focuses on reproductive health for single women, performed 65 abortions in March. Of those women, 42 were having at least their second abortion. One woman had her sixth.

Young and single is not the usual profile of a woman having an abortion in China. Far more often, abortion has been associated with married women complying, voluntarily or not, with the country’s one-child policy. But as society has rapidly changed, so has the face of abortion.

the rest

Ten hurt in Christian-Muslim clashes in Egypt
Sat 12 May 2007

CAIRO (Reuters) - Hundreds of Egyptian Muslims and Christians hurled bricks and firebombs at each other in clashes on Friday south of Cairo in a dispute over building a church that erupted after Muslim prayers, security sources said.

Ten Christians were injured in the clashes that broke out in the village of Behma, about 60 km (40 miles) from the Egyptian capital, and at least 10 Christian houses and shops were set ablaze before police quelled the violence, the sources said.

Relations between Muslims and minority Coptic Christians in Egypt are generally peaceful despite sporadic violence, and restrictions on building churches have been one of the main grievances of Egypt's mainly Coptic Christian community.
the rest

Thousands protest Italy rights bill for unmarried, same-sex couples
Family Day rally fills Rome piazza to protest legislation that would give legal rights to unmarried couples, including gay and lesbian partners

Associated Press
May 12, 2007

Hundreds of thousands of people, including families with their children, packed a Rome piazza on Saturday to protest legislation that would give legal rights to unmarried couples, including gay and lesbian partners.

The legislation has been at the centre of a debate dividing Italians. On one side are those who support calls by Pope Benedict XVI to defend the traditional family; on the other are those who say the measure would recognize the basic rights of people who live outside marriage.

The “Family Day” rally drew people from across Italy, who began pouring into the massive St. John Lateran piazza in the morning. By midday, a colourful crowd waving balloons, with children looking at clowns and jugglers, had filled the square. the rest

LAtimes: Key to prayer is understanding the ritual
It's vital to 'pray what's inside of us,' says one clergyman. Sometimes just listening to God is just as important, says a theologian.
By K. Connie Kang, Times Staff Writer
May 12, 2007

Prayer does not come easily for most people.

All too often, distracting thoughts and feelings surface, perhaps an unfinished project at work, lingering frustration over a spat with a loved one, or simply fatigue. So, how to pray when one doesn't feel like it?

By understanding what prayer is, experts say.

"Prayer is lifting mind and heart to God," said the Rev. Ronald Rolheiser, a Roman Catholic priest and an expert on prayer who is based in San Antonio.
the rest

Bill requires hiring 'gays,' cross-dressers'
Perceived sexual orientation or gender identity' protected
Posted: May 12, 20071:00 a.m. Eastern
By Bob Unruh

Following on the heels of
an 'anti-discrimination' plan Christians insist would virtually outlaw their religious beliefs comes another proposal – introduced by openly homosexual U.S. Rep. Barney Frank – that requires businesses to give special privileges to "gay" and "transgendered" individuals.

Shari Rendall, director of legislation and public policy for
Concerned Women for America, the nation's largest women's public policy group, said H.R. 2015, the "Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2007," would be a disaster.

"This bill would unfairly extend special privileges based upon an individual's changeable sexual behaviors, rather than focusing on immutable, non-behavior characteristics such as skin color or gender. Its passage would both overtly discriminate against and muzzle people of faith. Former Secretary of State Collin Powell put it well when he said, 'Skin color is a benign, non-behavioral characteristic. Sexual orientation is perhaps the most profound of human behavioral characteristics. Comparison of the two is a convenient but invalid argument,'" Rendall said.

the rest

Connecticut: Gay Marriage Off Agenda
Lawmakers Cite Timing In Removing Item From Consideration This Session
May 12, 2007
By DANIELA ALTIMARI, Courant Staff Writer

Close, but not there yet.That's where many state lawmakers view themselves in terms of support for same-sex marriage, leaders of the powerful judiciary committee say.

Rather than force a vote on a controversial gay marriage bill that would probably go down in defeat, Rep. Michael Lawlor and Sen. Andrew McDonald announced Friday that they are taking it off the legislature's agenda this session. Even if the bill did win approval in the House and Senate, it would surely draw a veto from Gov. M. Jodi Rell, who opposes gay marriage.
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The Pope Gives Many Something To Consider

Roman Catholic or not, it would be difficult for any serious person to not admire Pope Benedict XVI for his faith, courage and adherence to the teachings of the church. And even review their own beliefs in the shadow of those attributes.

The 80-year-old pontiff rattled liberal, secular and rationalist cages again earlier this week by simply repeating the teachings of the church and the Holy Bible.

The church is firmly in opposition to abortion, and those who support it are aiding in murder, a mortal sin. Simple enough, huh?

Pope Benedict added that Roman Catholic politicians and officials who support abortion should not take Holy Communion and stand at risk of being excommunicated from the church.
the rest

NYT: Pope Tells Brazil Bishops to Help Poor, Stop Exodus

Anglican Church at a `crossroads'
May 12, 2007
Stuart Laidlaw
faith and ethics reporter

LOWVILLE, Ont. — For conservative Canadian Anglicans, a rejection by their church of same-sex marriage blessings next month is no longer enough. They now want the clock turned back on how gays are ministered.

Rev. Canon Charlie Masters, the head of Anglican Essentials Canada, a leading orthodox group, is travelling the country to rally opposition to resolutions before the June synod in Winnipeg that would let local churches decide for themselves whether to bless same-sex unions.

the rest

China "Returns" Confiscated Church Properties After International Pressure "And Prayers"
Saturday, 12 May 2007

By BosNewsLife News Center

BEIJING, CHINA (BosNewsLife)-- Amid international pressure Chinese security forces have returned confiscated items to two house churches in the city of Kunshan in China's Jiangsu province, BosNewsLife established Saturday, May 12.

The move came shortly after Christian news agency BosNewsLife and its affiliates published an investigation by China Aid Association (CAA), a major religious rights group. Christians outside China also began a prayer 'campaign'. Jeff Burnsed, Senior
Pastor of Coral Ridge Baptist Ministries in Jacksonville, FL, USA, told that after the news broke his church had been praying for the "persecuted believers."

Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers told two church pastors Cui Chengnan and Liu Riguo, who planned to sue the authorities to regain the properties, "that the increasing international pressure after CAA's report and the fear of a negative impact on foreign investment in that area made them do so," CAA explained to BosNewsLife.
the rest

Christians in Pakistan told to convert
May 11, 2007

Christians have fled their homes in North Western Pakistan after receiving letters threatening to shut churches and ordering them to convert to Islam within 10 days, a rights activist said today.

The unsigned letters were distributed this week in the town of Charsadda where Pakistan’s interior minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao last month escaped a suicide attack that killed 28 people. Shahbaz Bhatti, head of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance claimed militants trying to impose Taliban-style social strictures were responsible for the letters. He said several families among the 500 or so Christians in the town had already migrated to other places and others are contemplating doing the same. Mr Bhatti appealed for President General Pervez Musharraf to take strong and immediate measures for the safety of the minority group. “These extremists are asking us to change our religion. We will not do it, even if we have to die,” he said.

Police said yesterday that they had stepped up security at churches in Charsadda.
the rest

Friday, May 11, 2007

When we are spiritually free, we do not have to worry about what to say or do in unexpected, difficult circumstances. When we are not concerned about what others think of us or what we will get for what we do, the right words and actions will emerge from the centre of our beings because the Spirit of God, who makes us children of God and sets us free, will speak and act through us. ...Henri J. M. Nouwen

Canadian March for Life Hits New Attendance Level of 7,000 With 75% Youth
By John-Henry Westen
May 11, 2007

( - This year's March for Life, the 10th annual march organized yearly by Campaign Life Coalition drew a record 7,000 participants and was populated mainly with youth, estimated at around 75% of the crowd. The rally began with speeches by various Members of Parliament, who told the assembled crowd how encouraged they were with the presence of so many young people determined to fight for the right to life of unborn children.

Wheel-chair bound, and witty Frank Mountain, the President of Campaign Life Ottawa, and the chief organizer of the March gave a special introduction to the daughter of new Conservative MP Pierre Lemieux. Elizabeth Lemieux, a dynamic, young and spirited pro-life activist who was the motivating force behind her father's entrance into politics. Elizabeth addressed the crowd with vigour spurring her youthful companions to enthusiasm.
the rest

Ugandan Archbishop Warns of God's Wrath in Homosexual Relationships
By Peter J. Smith
May 11, 2007

( - The Anglican Primate of Uganda warned Christians against practising homosexual acts saying that they violate God's purpose for marriage and attract His wrath. The New Vision, a Ugandan online journal, reports Rt. Rev. Henry Luke Orombi made his comments while preaching during his one-week tour of the Bukedi Diocese.

"People have abandoned relationships with the opposite sex. One wonders whether God was stupid to create Eve for Adam. Why isn't Eve beautiful any more? Eve is going out with Eve and Adam with Adam," Archbishop Orombi lamented.

Archbishop Orombi, also the Bishop of Kampala, decried the rise of homosexual activity in Uganda to the point where homosexuals have begun to demand special constitutional rights. Orombi cautioned audiences that just as God punished the biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah - destroyed by fire and brimstone for the sexual immorality of its inhabitants - he would not let this sin go unpunished either.
the rest

Ordaining Relativism
I was living in England and working as an Anglican priest when the Church of England finished debating the question of women’s ordination.


I was living in England and working as an Anglican priest when the Church of England finished debating the question of women’s ordination. The Church was in great turmoil over the question, and many priests and people threatened to leave if women were ordained. On the other side, many people were increasingly angry and upset at the Church of England’s slowness to move on this issue which seemed obvious to them.

Although my instinct was to be opposed to women’s ordination, I was determined to hear both sides of the argument and make up my mind accordingly.

The process left me increasingly confused. From a human point of view, both those who were in favor of women’s ordination and those who were opposed had strong arguments. Both sides attempted to marshal support from Scripture.
the rest

CNN Poll Finds Majority Say They're Pro-Life, Abortion Key 2008 Issue
by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 11, 2007

Washington, DC ( -- A new poll conducted by Opinion Research Corporation for CNN earlier this month find that a majority of Americans say they are pro-life when it comes to the issue of abortion. The survey also shows abortion is a key issue for the 2008 presidential campaign and that pro-life voters are more resolute than abortion advocates.

When asked to self-identify as "pro-life" or "pro-choice" on the issue of abortion, 50 percent of Americans call themselves pro-life while just 45 percent say otherwise.

Another two percent said they didn't know what the terms meant and two percent more felt they were a combination of the two.

Asked whether certain political issues were important to their vote for president next year, a majority said abortion was important and abortion was thought to be more pertinent than stem cell research.
the rest

Pope's outdoor mass in Brazil draws huge crowd
Fri May 11, 2007
By Todd Benson

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of Brazilians gathered in Sao Paulo on Friday to see Pope Benedict canonize the first native-born saint in the world's largest Roman Catholic nation.

The faithful came from all over Brazil and several other Latin America countries. Many camped out overnight on the Campo de Marte military airfield on the edge of the city, braving bitingly cold weather.

Police said close to 1 million people turned out to see the Pope, who on the first two days of his visit to Brazil has firmly reinforced the Church's opposition to abortion and called for a return to traditional family values.
the rest

Catalina fire lays siege to Avalon
Hundreds of residents and tourists are forced to flee the island.

By Louis Sahagun and Sam Quinones, Times Staff Writers
May 11, 2007

A roaring fire fueled by winds and dry brush burned a path through Santa Catalina Island and reached the edges of Avalon on Thursday night, prompting an urgent evacuation of hundreds of island residents and tourists.

At least 10 structures and more than 4,000 acres had burned by 10:40 p.m. despite an aerial and ground assault by firefighters that included crews shipped onto the island on military hovercraft and helicopters from Camp Pendleton.

A small armada of ferries loaded hundreds of people at Avalon Harbor and took them more than 20 miles to San Pedro and Long Beach, where shelters were set up.
the rest photo

RI Students Must Watch 'Inconvenient Truth' to Graduate
By Randy Hall Staff Writer/Editor
May 09, 2007

( - To receive a degree from Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, students are being forced to watch "An Inconvenient Truth," the documentary on global warming produced by former Vice President Al Gore.

The science class requirement has prompted one conservative student to declare that "we should stop calling these schools 'bastions of knowledge' since they're really bastions of leftist thought."
the rest

Elderly iPod users skip a beat

Apple’s iPod interferes with the electromagnetic functioning of heart monitoring devices, according to a study carried out on 100 pacemaker wearers with the average age of 77.

The study, led by Jay Thaker, a US high school student, whose father is an electrophysiologist and mother is a rheumatologist, concluded that iPod interaction with pacemakers can lead to a misdiagnosis in heart function.
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Christians React as Blair Announces Departure from Office
by Maria Mackay
Thursday, May 10, 2007

Christians have reacted to today's announcement from Prime Minister Tony Blair that he will leave office on 27 June after 10 turbulent years in power.

Blair told Cabinet of his plans to resign on Thursday morning before making the announcement in a speech to party members in his Sedgefield constituency.

According to the official spokesman for the Prime Minister, Blair was praised during the Cabinet meeting by his successor Gordon Brown for his “unique achievements” and “unique leadership”.
Speaking in his Sedgefield constituency, Blair admitted that his Government had not always lived up to high expectations but said he had felt very lucky to lead “the greatest nation on earth”, reports the BBC.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, issued a statement on Thursday in response to Blair's announcement.
the rest

Archbishop of Canterbury praises Blair and bypasses Iraq ammo
By staff writers
11 May 2007

Responding to Tony Blair's announcement yesterday that he will stand down as UK Prime Minister from 27 June 2007, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams praised his commitment to a plural society - while noting deep moral divisions over the Iraq war.

Speaking from Sri Lanka, where he is on a church visit, the Anglican leaders declared: “Tony Blair has understood as well as any Prime Minister in recent times why religion matters, how faith communities contribute to the common good and why religious extremism should have no place in a progressive society."

He continued: "As a man of genuine personal faith, he has not shied away from the risk associated with confronting extremism, while respecting difference."
the rest

Freed missionary hostage shares dramatic story with Bowie audience
By CHUCK MACDONALD For the Blade-News

The petite 5-foot-3-inch woman with honey-blonde hair stepped confidently to the podium at Grace Baptist Church Sunday evening. She never raised her voice. She didn't pace the stage. Instead she engaged the packed auditorium with conversational tones more in keeping with moms sharing a cup of coffee.

It was Gracia Burnham's story that held the crowd nearly breathless. It was a story of kidnapping, torture, terrorism, incredible deprivations, and eventually the death of her beloved husband Martin. For nearly 13 months, the Burnhams, a missionary couple from New Tribes Mission, had been held captive by the Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim terrorist group in the Philippines. The couple and their captors were on the move constantly in the jungles of southern Philippines, usually just ahead of the Philippine army that was trying to free the captives. Finally in the 17th gun battle of the captivity, June 7, 2002, the Philippine army killed several of the terrorists. In the battle Martin and another captive were killed and Gracia was wounded.
the rest

Video: Does God Exist?

'Alternative family' killing Europe?
Global gathering offers springtime for Western civilization
May 11, 2007
By Art Moore

WARSAW – In the late 1960s, warnings of a "population" bomb that would doom Earth's inhabitants spawned movements of fervent activists prone to wag a finger at strolling couples with multiple offspring in tow.

Nearly 40 years later, crunching the demographic numbers reveals a looming catastrophe – but of the completely opposite kind, some contend.

Conveyors of a major world gathering commencing today in the Polish capital argue Europe – the progenitor of Western civilization – is on a steep population decline that will make the continent increasingly hard to recognize in the coming decades.
the rest

Media Ignores Study Revealing Anti-Evangelical Bias
Isn't it newsworthy that a majority of American college faculty members hold unfavorable views of evangelical Christians?
By Colleen Raezler Culture and Media Institute
May 8, 2007

An astonishing 53 percent of American college faculty members hold unfavorable views of evangelical Christians, says a survey released by a Jewish organization – and the media have almost completely ignored the story.

Washington Post religion writer Alan Cooperman reported the story on May 5. The Post is the only major media outlet to report the results of this survey.

Gary A. Tobin, director of the Institute for Jewish and Community Research, told the Post, “When we ask questions like this, we’re asking the respondent to say how they feel about an entire group of people, and whatever image they have of that entire group comes through….There is no question this is revealing bias and prejudice.”
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Peggy Noonan: Everything Old Is New Again Europe--yes, even France--gives us a taste of the future.
Friday, May 11, 2007

Who woke up Old Europe? France, Ireland and England this week showed us the future. They were the center of the new. It looked good. We can learn from them.

First Ireland, which Tuesday formalized a peace that most who love that country would not have thought possible in our lifetimes. And it was barely noticed, as sometimes happens with good news. But the Protestants and Catholics of Northern Ireland ratified a power-sharing agreement in which they will govern together and forswear violence. Everyone knew it was coming--the voters had backed it--yet the sight of it, the Ulstermen and Catholics standing together in the Stormont, and the words, took one's breath away. Here is 81-year-old Ian Paisley, the Unionist firebrand whose life was shaped by his passionate advocacy for the Protestants and against the IRA. There was pain in the past, he said, but "that was yesterday. This is today. And tomorrow will be tomorrow. From the depths of my heart, I can say to you today that I believe Northern Ireland has come to a time of peace, a time when hate will no longer rule."

What a way to mark the new century. What an example for the world. We learn what we already know and need always to be reminded: Breakthroughs can happen even in the oldest, most tortured conflicts. Hearts change. So much of Ireland's energy the past hundred years, the past 500, has gone to conflict. What will that energy go to now? What will it make? It will be exciting to see.
the rest

Peace miracle: Blood turns into wine in Northern Ireland party

Surfing the Stars Google and NASA build a search engine for the universe
By Jonathon Keats
May 2007

Within a decade, a dream team of astronomers and computer geeks vows to bring a world-class observatory to every desktop, giving anyone with a PC access to remote galaxies and exploding supernovae. The pledge is the result of a partnership announced last winter between a network of 19 national research institutions and engineers from the search-engine giant Google. Their collective objective is to develop potent software to process the estimated 30 terabytes of astronomy imagery (think 12 billion five-megapixel photos) that will stream nightly from the newly built Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, or LSST, slated to go online in 2013.

Set atop Cerro Pachón Mountain in Chile, the LSST will be the largest survey scope of its kind, sequentially imaging nearly 20 billion astronomical objects in the night sky twice a week at least 2,000 times over the scope's 10-year lifetime. Google's role in this $350-million project (beyond the modest $25,000 annual dues payment) is still largely undefined, but Rob Pike, Google's principal engineer for the LSST, envisions a tool set akin to Google Earth, which combines a search tool with satellite imagery. So instead of killing time flying over your ideal vacation spot onscreen, you can opt for more productive surfing, such as scanning the skies for hazardous near-Earth asteroids.
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“Hands off our ovaries!”
Feminists, pro-lifers campaign together to stop egg harvesting for cloning research

May 11, 2007

Opposition to the abuse of women in the acquisition of human ova for research has brought together an unlikely coalition: pro-life and pro-choice activists. According to pro-family Cara Cook, conservative Christian activists like herself have been willing to work together with feminist women's health advocates on the single issue of opposing egg-harvesting because of health risks to women.

"In the last year alone, two women who have undergone egg extraction in the United Kingdom have died after developing severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), which causes rapid accumulation of fluid in the abdomen, chest, and around the heart. Symptoms include severe pelvic pain, nausea, vomiting, weight gain, ovarian enlargement, respiratory problems, blood clots and liver dysfunction," says Cook, who is operations assistant for Concerned Women for America and a graduate of Notre Dame University.

Opponents argue that if egg harvesting becomes widely used for the purposes of stem- cell research and therapeutic cloning, the number of cases of severe OHSS will rise considerably. Dr. David Prentice of the Family Research Council points out that of the 80 million women who would be required for egg harvesting to treat diabetes alone, as many as 800,000 would experience OHSS.
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DNC chair Dean says party needs to invite young evangelical Christians
Carla Marinucci, Chronicle Political Writer
Thursday, May 10, 2007

Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean - who once drew criticism by dismissing the GOP as a "white Christian party'' -- told a San Francisco audience that his party should open its arms to a new group of converts: young evangelical Christian voters.

"We ought to reach out to those folks ... and not be afraid,'' Dean told an audience of about 125 at a $50-a head Democratic National Committee fundraiser Wednesday night at the Palace Hotel. The national party chairman noted that in the wake of the 2006 midterm election, nearly 30 percent of evangelical Christians now identify themselves as Democratic voters, up 10 percentage points from the previous election.

Dean credited the jump in numbers to the party's recent aggressive outreach. "We went out and advertised on Christian broadcast networks ... because in the evangelical movement, young people are changing America -- and they're changing the evangelical movement.''
the rest

Colo. Episcopal diocese sues to regain breakaway church
By Jean Torkelson, Rocky Mountain News
May 11, 2007

The Episcopal Diocese of Colorado on Thursday made its first move to regain control of the venerable property that was known for much of its history as Grace and St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Colorado Springs.

The diocese filed documents in El Paso County District Court declaring it is the rightful owner of the 134-year-old church, which has been renamed by its current rector as Grace Church and St. Stephen's Parish.

"It is a shame that a small, misguided group has forced this litigation by illegally taking possession of the church property," said the chancellor of the diocese, Lawrence R. Hitt II, in a statement Thursday.
the rest

Thursday, May 10, 2007

When you suffer and lose, that does not mean you are being disobedient to God. In fact, it might mean you're right in the centre of His will. The path of obedience is often marked by times of suffering and loss. ...Charles (Chuck) Swindoll

Pope Benedict XVI urges Brazilian youth to resist 'snares of evil'
By Victor L. Simpson
May 10, 2007

SAO PAULO, Brazil – Pope Benedict XVI urged tens of thousands of young Catholics packing a soccer stadium Thursday to resist the temptations of wealth, power and other “snares of evil,” and told them to promote life from “its beginning to natural end.”

The references to church prohibitions against abortion and euthanasia came in Benedict's first major speech since arriving in Brazil, the world's largest Catholic country, on his first pilgrimage to Latin America.
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Bishops at odds with Pope over internet Mass

Stay off sex and drugs, Pope tells Brazil's youth

Patrick warns of 'circus' atmosphere if gay marriage is on ballot
The Associated Press
Published: May 10, 2007

BOSTON: Gov. Deval Patrick warned Thursday that Massachusetts will be crippled by a "political circus" if a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in the only U.S. state that currently allows it makes it to a statewide vote.

The Democratic governor, speaking to reporters a day after lawmakers delayed a vote on the proposed amendment, said he was actively lobbying legislators to kill the amendment.
the rest

Gay Anglican bishop plans civil union next year
Thu May 10, 2007
By Brian Early

MANCHESTER, N.H., May 10 (Reuters) - The openly gay Episcopal bishop at the center of the Anglican Church's global battle over homosexuality said on Thursday he hopes to enter into a civil union with his partner next year.

But New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson added that he wants to hold separate religious and legal ceremonies to set a precedent for how marriages and civil unions are performed in the United States.

Next week, New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch is expected to sign a bill that allows civil unions for same-sex couples, making his state the fourth in the nation to do so. The law would go into effect on Jan 1.
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China House Church Christians Sue Authorities Amid Police Crackdown
By BosNews
Life News Center
Le 10 mai 2007

BEIJING, CHINA (BosNewsLife)— Chinese Christians are suing authorities to regain items confiscated during a recent police raid on their congregation in China’s Jiangsu Province amid reports of an ongoing police crackdown on unregistered house churches, religious rights investigators said Wednesday, May 9.

China Aid Association, a US-based advocacy group which represents several house churches, told BosNewsLife that that house church members Cui Chengnan and Liu Riguo in the city of Kunshan demand that the Kunshan Municipal Public Security Bureau returns items and donated money confiscated during its raid on the house church on April 29.

About 20 policemen from Kunshan Municipal Public Security Bureau declared their meeting "an illegal assembly" and confiscated a notebook computer, a projector, a DVD player, a stereo installation, a microphone, Bibles and other materials, CAA said. "They also took away the donation box after failing to break it open," the group added.
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Dean of Trinity Seminary to Resign

The Very Rev. Paul F.M. Zahl has notified the board of trustees of his intention to resign as dean of Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pa. An announcement from the seminary is expected soon.

According to two independent sources, the decision was a personal one and came as a surprise to the board, which is meeting this week for its regularly scheduled spring convocation. The sources declined to be identified because they are not authorized to speak on behalf of the seminary.

the rest at The Living Church

Human sacrifice cult battles with police
By Nick Squires in Sydney

Police reinforcements have been rushed to a remote part of Papua New Guinea after officers clashed with a shadowy cult accused of beheading villagers and offering them as human sacrifices.

Several people were reportedly killed and many injured after gun battles broke out between police and members of the cult, based in the mountains of Morobe province on PNG’s north coast.

Religious cults flourish in many parts of the country, which is divided into more than 800 tribal groups and achieved independence from Australia in 1975.
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Faithful come to hear 'Antichrist'

Ruth Gledhill weblog: Malaysian malaise
May 10, 2007

Excerpt: "Conversion from Islam is still regarded as
apostasy in this country, and comes under the jurisdiction of Shariah courts. One Muslim woman [Lina Joy] who has been fighting through the courts to have her conversion from Islam to Christianity confirmed has become a cause celebre. Her case has been heard at every level of the secular courts and is now before the Federal Court but the hearing is indefinitely delayed despite protests from her lawyer.

"From a Christian perspective the cancellation of the seminar was disappointing. The seminar was an opportunity for Christian and Muslim scholars to meet together to discuss their scriptures and the human vocation in the world. For Christians such meetings are an opportunity to express a peaceable relationship to Islam and so witness to a different understanding of intereligious and intercultural relationships than the dominant frame of violent conflict sustained by the rhetoric and methods of the so-called 'war on terror'."

full article

A Letter to the Clergy of the Diocese of South Carolina from the Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, Jr.

Dear Friends,

I have just come from a meeting of the Standing Committee where critical decisions were made toward the re-election of the Very Rev. Mark Lawrence as the XIV Bishop of South Carolina. The position of the Standing Committee was that there was an overwhelming consensus that 1) the Holy Spirit had spoken in the election of Fr. Lawrence; 2) that the Bishops and Standing Committees had intended to consent to the election even though technicalities had prevented it; 3) and that we carefully follow our own Canons in order to strongly support the election.

In order to follow our Canons, it is necessary to re-convene the Diocesan Convention of November 2006, which according to the minutes was recessed, not adjourned. This means that the delegates from the November 2006 Convention are still in place. The date for convening this Convention is June 9, 2007. At that Convention, it will be necessary to suspend Rule 21; because it would require an entirely new election process duplicating the process we used in the first election. Rule 22 gives us the authority to suspend the Rule 21 by a 2/3 vote. After its suspension, the Convention can then call for an Electing Convention. This would then require our congregations to elect new delegates for this Convention. The former Electing Convention cannot be re-convened. It was called for the purpose of electing a Bishop for the Diocese, and this work was done.

the rest at Titusonenine

Study casts new doubts on HPV vaccine
The highly touted treatment to prevent cervical cancer may be less effective than previously thought, findings suggest.
By Thomas H. Maugh II and Jia-Rui Chong
Times Staff Writers
May 10, 2007

New data on the controversial HPV vaccine designed to prevent cervical cancer have raised serious questions about its efficacy, researchers reported today, potentially undercutting the efforts in many states to make vaccination mandatory.Although the vaccine, called Gardasil, blocked about 100% of infections by the two human papilloma virus strains it targets, it reduced the incidence of cancer precursors by only 17% overall.

Part of the reason was that many of the teenage girls and young women in the three-year study had already been exposed to the virus, according to the report in the New England Journal of Medicine.
But the data also hinted that blocking the targeted strains might have opened an ecological niche that allowed the flourishing of HPV strains previously considered to be minor players, partially offsetting the vaccine's protection.
the rest

Britain's Blair Says He Is Resigning
May 10,

TRIMDON, England (AP) - Tony Blair said Thursday he would step down as prime minister on June 27, closing a decade of power in which he fostered peace in Northern Ireland and followed the United States to a war in Iraq that cost him much of his popularity.

In a somber farewell, Blair made way for Treasury chief Gordon Brown to take the top post. The British leader looked overcome with emotion, struggling to retain his trademark broad grin as loud cheers rang out.

Following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, it was right, Blair said, to "stand shoulder to shoulder with our oldest ally, and I did so out of belief."

"Hand on heart, I did what I thought was right," Blair told party workers and supporters at Trimdon Labour Club in his Sedgefield constituency in northern England. "I may have been wrong, but that's your call. But believe one thing if nothing else. I did what I thought was right for our country."

the rest

Pro-family forces converge in Poland
Jim Brown
May 10, 2007

WARSAW - The largest international pro-family gathering in the world kicks off tomorrow in Poland, a country that is trying to maintain its commitment to traditional family values in the face of pressure from fellow European Union countries. World Congress of Families IV will address falling birth rates and a decreasing emphasis on marriage in much of the developed world.

More than 3,000 delegates from over 60 nations are expected to attend the three-day conference here in the Polish capital. The organizations, scholars, and leaders comprising the World Congress of Families (WCF) seek to restore the natural family as the fundamental social unit of civil society. Allan Carlson, WCF founder and international secretary, says the conference in Warsaw will focus on developing strategies to protect and strengthen the natural family. Specifically, it will confront the pressing problem of "demographic winter" -- or falling birthrates well below replacement level.
the rest

NASA Finds Extremely Hot Planet, Makes First Exoplanet Weather Map

Pasadena, Calif. – Researchers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have learned what the weather is like on two distant, exotic worlds. One team of astronomers used the infrared telescope to map temperature variations over the surface of a giant, gas planet, HD 189733b, revealing it likely is whipped by roaring winds. Another team determined that the gas planet HD 149026b is the hottest yet discovered. Both findings appear May 9 in Nature.

"We have mapped the temperature variations across the entire surface of a planet that is so far away, its light takes 60 years to reach us," said Heather Knutson of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., lead author of the paper describing HD 189733b.

The two planets are "hot Jupiters" - sizzling, gas giant planets that zip closely around their stars. Roughly 50 of the more than 200 known planets outside our solar system, called exoplanets, are hot Jupiters. Visible-light telescopes can detect these strange worlds and determine certain characteristics, such as their sizes and orbits, but not much is known about their atmospheres or what they look like.

story and image

Japan's first 'baby hatch' opens to controversy
May 10

Japan's first "baby hatch", where parents can drop off
unwanted infants anonymously, opened Thursday despite opposition from the conservative national government.

The baby hatch, modelled on a project in Germany, went into operation at a Roman Catholic hospital in the city of Kumamoto, some 900 kilometres (560 miles) southwest of Tokyo.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has urged Japan to return to "
family values," opposed the idea but found no legal grounds to stop it.

"A mother must not leave her child or abandon him or her anonymously,"
Abe told reporters. the rest

New York Bishop Expects More Assertive Canterbury Role

The recent exchange of letters between Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola indicates that Archbishop Williams will be exercising a more assertive voice on the issues that are dividing the worldwide Anglican Communion, according to the Rt. Rev. Mark Sisk, Bishop of New York.

On May 5, Archbishop Akinola installed the Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns as a missionary bishop for the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) at Hylton Memorial Chapel, a Christian event center in Woodbridge, Va. Before the service, Archbishop Williams sent a private letter to Archbishop Akinola that Archbishop Akinola
confirmed included a plea not to go through with the installation.

In an interview with Reuters news service, Bishop Sisk said it was significant that Archbishop Williams tried to prevent the installation.

the rest

The 'Son of so Many Tears': A Christian Mother's Story
Chuck Colson

This upcoming Sunday is Mother's Day. It's the day when Americans remember and celebrate the contributions and sacrifices their moms have made on their behalf.

In honor of Mother's Day, I'd like to tell you a story about one mother whose devotion shaped not only her son's life but countless others, as well.

Her name was Monica. A Christian, she was married to a prominent man who wasn't a believer. He was unfaithful and even beat her at times. Monica's response was to go to church every day and pray for his conversion. She hoped that by setting a godly example, even in the midst of her mistreatment, she might win him over. And that's exactly what happened.

The suffering and anguish caused by her husband paled before what Monica's oldest son put her through. He lived a dissolute life, devoted to pleasure. He left one mistress and took up with another. His only son was born out-of-wedlock. the rest art

Archbishop of Canterbury: "World Too Small for Conflict"
The world is too small for conflict, the Archbishop has told a congregation in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Thursday, May 10, 2007

The world is too small for conflict, the Archbishop has told a congregation in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

More that 2000 people gathered in the cathedral church of St Mary in Sri Lanka's capital to hear Dr Williams say that despite more efficient communication, divisions across the globe are increasing.

The fact is that in our age we seem in many ways to be growing further apart," he said, as he listed racial prejudice, national pride, and the division of class and wealth as just some of the global problems that were on the rise.
the rest

Vulnerability and Connection
By Peter Biggs

In her essay 'Thoughts on the Meaning of Frailty,' Wendy Lustbader, M.S.W. encapsulates many people's thoughts on aging, "We have come to fear frailty more than death. We imagine being "put" in a nursing home, like a jar on a lonely shelf. Will a parade of paid strangers take care of me someday? Such images have become the focal point of our fear. Frailty coupled with abandonment has become our most dire existential dread."

Compassion & honor

My own journey of care for my now deceased father taught me much. I had emerged into adulthood a rebellious long haired hippy that was both incomprehensible to my parents and profoundly rebellious and disrespectful of them. Oh there were reasons for my rebellion in my so called "dysfunctional" family. However despite the fact that relationship with my father had been fraught with conflict and periods of estrangement, his demise into painful failing health, coupled with his expressed emotional need of my support, allowed me to see him with more compassion than I had previously been able to muster. the rest

Thoughts on the Meaning of Frailty -very moving!

NCC's Bob Edgar Speaks at Pro-Homosexuality Rally in Philadelphia
David Sheaffer

As I wandered into Christ Church in Philadelphia past dozens of police and a few protestors on a warm sunny day in May, I could see the rainbow balloon arch in the background spanning across Market Street. This section of Philadelphia was shut down to traffic, and filled with thousands from the homosexual community celebrating SundayOUT the final day of the Equality Forum—a weeklong festival of the “gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered” communities that includes concerts, dinners, and parties searching for the “hottest lesbian in the USA.” About 150 individuals took an hour, to gather in historic Christ Church for an Interfaith Service.

A strong sense of irony overwhelmed me as I sat next to George Washington’s box, listening to quiet organ music, and read the memorials on the walls of the saints that served this congregation over its 300 plus years of history. I was sitting alongside individuals proudly wearing rainbow t-shirts, “Adam + Steve” t-shirts, “God Made Me Gay” stickers, and one woman wearing a t-shirt that asked, “What kind of Man are you?”

Historic Christ Church in Philadelphia was host to an interfaith worship service, in connection with the Equality Forum.That was just the beginning of a service that could have come out of what Seinfeld called “bizarro world.” For on this day Bob Edgar and the Institute on Religion and Democracy may have found common ground.
the rest

Baghdad Christian district besieged
Many flee Dora as militants insist on Islam or death

By Liz Sly, Tribune foreign correspondent;
Nadeem Majeed contributed to this report
Published May 9, 2007

BAGHDAD -- Christians are fleeing in droves from the southern Baghdad district of Dora after Sunni insurgents told them they would be killed unless they converted to Islam or left, according to Christian leaders and families who fled.

Similar episodes of what has become known as sectarian cleansing raged through Baghdad neighborhoods last year as Sunnis drove Shiites from Sunni areas and Shiites drove Sunnis from Shiite ones, but this marks the first apparent attempt to empty an entire Baghdad neighborhood of Christians, the Christians say.
the rest

Christian missionaries beaten in public for 'converting' Hindus

New Worm Targets Portable Memory Drives
Thursday, May 10, 2007
By Brian Prince

Researchers from security vendor
Sophos say a new worm targeting removable drives is an example of a potential security threat for businesses.

SillyFD-AA worm searches for removable drives such as floppy disks and USB memory sticks and creates a hidden file called autorun.inf so that a copy of the worm runs the next time the device is connected to a computer running Windows.

In addition, it changes the title of Internet Explorer windows to say that the computer has been "Hacked by 1BYTE."
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Sperm donor to lesbian couple ordered to pay support
Associated Press
Wednesday, May 9, 2007

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A sperm donor who helped a lesbian couple conceive two children is liable for child support under a state appeals-court ruling that a legal expert believes might be the first of its kind.

A Superior Court panel last week ordered a Dauphin County judge to establish how much Carl L. Frampton Jr. would have to pay to the birth mother of an 8-year-old boy and 7-year-old girl.

"I'm unaware of any other state appellate court that has found that a child has, simultaneously, three adults who are financially obligated to the child's support and are also entitled to visitation," said New York Law School professor Arthur S. Leonard, an expert on sexuality and the law.

But Frampton, 60, of Indiana, Pa., died suddenly of a stroke in March, leaving lawyers involved in the case with different theories about how his death may affect the precedent-setting case.
the rest

Churches to Provide Immigrants Sanctuary
Associated Press Writer
May 09, 2007

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Churches in five big U.S. cities plan to protect illegal immigrants from deportation, offering their buildings as sanctuary if need be, as they pressure lawmakers to create a path to citizenship for the nation's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants.

On Wednesday, a Catholic church in Los Angeles and a Lutheran church in North Hollywood each sheltered one person, and churches in other cities plan to do so in coming months as part of the "New Sanctuary Movement."

"We want to put a human face to very complex immigration laws and awaken the consciousness of the human spirit," said Father Richard Estrada of Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Los Angeles.
the rest

'Mercy killing' husband convicted
Wednesday, 9 May 2007

A husband who killed his wife after she begged him to help her die has been convicted of murder.

Frank Lund, 58, admitted suffocating wife Patricia, 65, with a plastic bag and a pillow at their home in New Brighton, Merseyside, last September.

He denied murder on the grounds that Mrs Lund had persuaded him to help her die after her life was made miserable by an irritable bowel condition.

Lund was convicted at Liverpool Crown Court and will be sentenced on 24 May.
the rest

Exception to the rule
Los Angeles archdiocese ordains first married priest

May 10, 2007

The 700 people who witnessed the ordination of the Rev. William Lowe to the Catholic priesthood on May 6 had plenty to chatter about afterwards, including the subject of what to call his wife. "Someone suggested ‘Mrs. Father.' She loves that one," Lowe told NBC4-TV. Lowe was an Episcopalian minister in Massachusetts for almost 30 years before retiring and moving to Southern California with his wife of 44 years, Linda. His ordination was made possible by a pastoral provision by Pope John Paul II that allows married Episcopalian priests to be ordained to the Catholic priesthood.

Lowe, the first married priest to be ordained in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, received the Sacrament of Holy Orders from Cardinal Roger Mahony at Blessed Junipero Serra Church in Camarillo.

“This is not a precedent that implies any diminishing of the value of celibacy in priestly ministry, but an instance in which the Church acts in an exceptional way to strengthen and ennoble the gifts brought by its newest members,” said Cardinal Mahony in a prepared statement released to the press.

Lowe's journey began in early 2001, after retiring from the 100-family Episcopal Parish of the Messiah in Newton, Mass. Lowe and his wife, Linda, began visiting various Catholic churches. The liturgical experience was familiar, but he noticed the parish pews overflowing with Catholics, something he had not experienced in the shrinking Episcopal Church.
the rest

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Psalm 33:21

The root of faith produces the flower of heart-joy. We may not at the first rejoice, but it comes in due time. We trust the Lord when we are sad, and in due season He so answers our confidence that our faith turns to fruition, and we rejoice in the Lord. Doubt breeds distress, but trust means joy in the long run.

The assurance expressed by the psalmist in this verse is really a promise held out in the hands of holy confidence. Oh, for grace to appropriate it. If we do not rejoice at this moment, yet we shall do so, as surely as David's God is our God.

Let us meditate upon the Lord's holy name that we may trust Him the better and rejoice the more readily. He is in character holy, just, true, gracious, faithful, and unchanging. Is not such a God to be trusted? He is all wise, almighty, and everywhere present; can we not cheerfully rely upon Him? Yes, we will do so at once and do so without reserve. Jehovah-Jireh will provide; Jehovah-Shalom will send peace; Jehovah-Tsidkenu will justify; Jehovah-Shammah will be forever near; and in Jehovah-Nissi we will conquer every foe. They that know Thy name will trust Thee; and they that trust Thee will rejoice in Thee, O Lord. ...CH Spurgeon

Clothing Created to Block Flu, Colds
Nanotech Fabric Grabs Airborne Bugs -- and You Don't Even Have to Wash It
May 9, 2007

Would you like a coat that can snatch viruses out of the air before they can give you a cold?
How about a shirt that eats smog, letting you breathe clean air? Or a dress that destroys harmful bacteria and even protects you from toxic gases?

And wouldn't it be nice if you never had to wash your duds again?

Well, guess what? Scientists and engineers and a clever design student at Cornell University have come up with clothes that do all of that and more.

"Initially we were just doing this for fun," said chemical engineer Juan Hinestroza, who specializes in fiber science. But as soon as a couple of outfits designed by Olivia Ong hit the runway during a fashion show at Cornell, it became a lot more than just fun.
the rest

Holy to the Core
We're tempted by moralism because we've forgotten what God wants at the center.

Joel Scandrett
posted 5/09/2007

Excerpt: "If we read the biblical understanding of holiness through the lens of our relationship to God, Jesus, as the unique revelation of God, becomes preeminent. Too often, our notions of holiness are lifted from the Old Testament without understanding them in light of God's self-revelation in Jesus. And those who have responded in faith to the revelation of God in Jesus Christ have been united with Christ. To be a Christian means far more than merely to believe in God—as if the Christian faith were reducible to a system of beliefs—it means to be united with Jesus in and through the Holy Spirit. "I have been crucified with Christ," says Paul, "and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me" (Gal. 2:20). Elsewhere, Paul tells us that our lives are "hidden with Christ in God" (Col. 3:3) and that we have been "seated with [God] in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:6). Passages like these convey the mysterious, yet utterly real fact that, by virtue of our union with Jesus, we participate in the life of God: He dwells in us, and we dwell in him. As such, we can say that in Christ, God's holiness is our holiness. In Christ, we are already holy. Any and all subsequent notions of what it means to be holy must be predicated on this truth."

The rest-excellent meditation!

ETS Resignation Triggers Tradition Discussion
Executive committee: Roman Catholics may not join.

Collin Hansen
posted 5/09/2007

The Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) indicated that its members will discuss the role of tradition in Protestant theology after president Francis Beckwith rejoined the Roman Catholic Church and resigned on May 5. Beckwith, a philosophy professor at Baylor University, also surrendered his ETS membership. He originally hoped to retain membership, but changed his mind after considering contentious ETS debates, the most recent of which is over open theism. Beckwith said that two past ETS presidents told him he would still be welcome to join those discussions.

"Because I deeply desire a public conversation among Christians about the relationship between Evangelicalism and the Great Tradition," Beckwith wrote, "a public debate about my membership status, with all the rancor and stress that typically goes with such disputes, would preempt and poison that important conversation."
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Q&A: Francis Beckwith
Former ETS president speaks about what he takes from evangelicalism back to the Roman Catholic Church.

Interview by David Neff

Francis Beckwith resigned on May 5 as president of the Evangelical Theological Society. One week earlier the Baylor University philosophy professor rejoined the Roman Catholic Church, his home until age 14. He spoke with Christianity Today editor David Neff about reaction to his decision, theological misconceptions, and evangelical strengths and weaknesses.
the rest

Presiding Bishop to preach Seabury-Western's commencement sermon
Jefferts Schori one of five to receive honorary degree

May 09, 2007

[Episcopal News Service] Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will preach the sermon and receive a Doctor of Divinity degree, honoris causa, at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary's 149th commencement ceremony on June 1 in Evanston, Illinois.

In addition to Jefferts Schori, the seminary will grant honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees honoris causa to Bishop Todd A. McGregor of Toliara in southwestern Madagascar, and Bishop John Elswood Privett of the Diocese of Kootenay, Canada. Both McGregor and Privett are Seabury alumni.
the rest

Judge Issues Final Ruling Favoring Pro-Life Activist in Abortion Protest Case
by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 9, 2007

Chicago, IL ( -- It's taken 21 years and three trips to the Supreme Court for Joe Scheidler to get his name cleared in a case involving allegations that his abortion protests constituted organized racketeering. Scheidler's Pro-Life Action League and Operation Rescue were sued in 1986 by the pro-abortion National Organization of Women.

NOW claimed Scheidler's organization participated in illegal and violent protests against abortion businesses and said the group should be prosecuted under federal RICO statutes that are used to target organized crime.

The Supreme Court ultimately rejected the argument and, on Tuesday, Federal Judge David Coar issued his final judgment in the case.

In a statement sent to, Scheidler said he never gave up fighting to protect the lives of women and unborn children despite pro-abortion attempts to stop him.
the rest

Episcopalians and tradition
Scripps Howard News Service
Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Connoisseurs of ecclesiastical humor can answer this question: "How many Episcopalians does it take to change a light bulb?" The most popular answers sound something like this: "Ten. One to change the bulb and nine to start a newsletter about the irreplaceability of the original bulb."

Episcopalians do love their traditions, a trait that they share with everyone else in the Anglican Communion. Nevertheless, the reason the world's 77 million Anglicans fight so much is that many cherish some traditions more than others or sincerely believe that, in changing times, some traditions trump others.

Consider, for example, the recent letter from Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to Nigerian Archbishop Peter J. Akinola, urging him not to visit the United States to lead rites installing a bishop here to minister to those who believe the Episcopal Church has veered into heresy. the rest

(Two part version of CANA Bishop Installation Sermon. 5th May, 2007)

By Rt. Rev Martyn Minns

Part 1. By their prayers Reading: John 17: 1-9, 18-21

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. 6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. 20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
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NYT: Prenatal Test Puts Down Syndrome in Hard Focus
Published: May 9, 2007

DETROIT — Sarah Itoh, a self-described “almost-eleven-and-a-half,” betrayed no trace of nervousness as she told a roomful of genetic counselors and obstetricians about herself one recent afternoon.

She likes to read, she said. Math used to be hard, but it is getting easier. She plays clarinet in her school band. She is a junior girl scout and an aunt, and she likes to organize, so her room is very clean. Last year, she won three medals in the Special Olympics.

“I am so lucky I get to do so many things,” she concluded. “I just want you to know, even though I have Down syndrome, it is O.K.”

Sarah’s appearance at Henry Ford Hospital here is part of an unusual campaign being undertaken by parents of children with
Down syndrome who worry about their future in the face of broader prenatal testing that could sharply reduce the number of those born with the genetic condition. the rest