Saturday, May 19, 2007

We say, then, to anyone who is under trial, give Him time to steep the soul in His eternal truth. Go into the open air, look up into the depths of the sky, or out upon the wideness of the sea, or on the strength of the hills that is His also; or, if bound in the body, go forth in the spirit; spirit is not bound. Give Him time and, as surely as dawn follows night, there will break upon the heart a sense of certainty that cannot be shaken.
...Amy Carmichael photo

HOUSTON: Katharine Jefferts Schori on the future of the Episcopal Church
First woman to preside as bishop talks with Statesman religion reporter

By Eileen Flynn
American-Statesman Staff
May 19, 2007

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori gave the commencement address for the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest on Tuesday. She took office in a time of worldwide tensions in the church.

American-Statesman: I realized on my way over here I didn't prepare any questions about what it's like to be the first woman to hold this job. I think part of that is maybe we've come to a place where we're not as surprised.

Katharine Jefferts Schori: My sense, though, is, for women who grew up without female role models in the church, it's a big deal. For children, who are growing up with more egalitarian models of leadership, it's not likely to be such a big deal. I'm aware that I represent something because of who I am, my gender. That's important to some people. It's certainly not a focus of mine.


the rest at Virtueonline

Panelists Address Homosexuality's Place In Episcopal Church
Matt Radler
Issue date: 5/18/07
By Matt Radler
the Daily Northwestern

A panel of clergy, professors and students discussed the consequences and conflicts of the Episcopal Church's acceptance of homosexuality Thursday night at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary.


In front of about 50 people, the Rev. Liz Stedman, chaplain at Northwestern's Episcopal Campus Ministry, led the discussion titled "Beyond Us and Them: How the Episcopal Church's embrace of LGBT people is invigorating its proclamation of the Gospel." The event was sponsored by Rainbow Alliance as part of its series of Rainbow Week events.

Stedman, an ordained Episcopal priest and a lesbian, said the church's public acceptance of gay clergy has brought both spiritual benefits and controversy. the rest

Katharine Jefferts Schori on the future of the Episcopal Church
First woman to preside as bishop talks with Statesman religion reporter

By Eileen Flynn

American-Statesman Staff
Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, addressed the graduates of the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest on Tuesday in Northwest Austin. After the commencement, Jefferts Schori, the first woman to lead the national church, sat down with an American-Statesman reporter to talk about her denomination's challenges, including tensions within the 2.4 million-member American province and with Anglicans worldwide and her recent public row with Nigerian bishop Peter Akinola. Jefferts Schori, 53, also touched on her view of smart church growth and why this is the "most exciting time to be an Anglican in generations." She's most passionate about what her church is doing that doesn't make headlines: feeding the hungry, empowering the poor, educating children.
the rest

Successful churches provide meaning and belonging
By Ken Camp
Managing Editor

WACO—Successful congregations do two things well; they provide people with meaning and with a sense of belonging, said religious researcher Kevin Dougherty.

“To succeed, a church must provide meaning. It must make a compelling case there is something worth believing—worth sacrificing for,” said Dougherty, assistant professor of sociology at Baylor University and a researcher in the school’s
Institute for the Studies of Religion.

For congregations to communicate meaning, they need to grasp clearly their own mission and purpose, he added.

The clarity of a church’s mission and purpose relates directly to the church’s vitality and its growth, Dougherty told a symposium on congregational renewal, sponsored by Baylor’s
Center for Ministry Effectiveness and Educational Leadership.

Older churches—congregations removed by at least one generation from their founding vision—find it more difficult to agree on their purpose and adapt to changing circumstances, he observed.

“The gospel is timeless. Your church is not,” he said. “Your congregation was relevant for its founding generation. But the further away you get from the founding, the more squabbles arise about who and what a congregation should be about.”

Churches succeed when their members feel they are a valuable part of a family that cares about them and involves them in meaningful ministry, he added.
the rest

AnglicanTV Exclusive!!! Anne Coletta interviews Archbishop Orombi

Video here

Saskatoon Anglican priest resigns over same-sex issue
Wednesday, May 16, 2007

SASKATOON, Sask. (CP) - Rev. Shawn Sanford Beck, a priest in the Anglican Church of Canada's Saskatoon diocese, has quit the ministry over the same-sex marriage issue.

Beck, who told church officials that he intended to marry gay couples if asked, had been requested by his bishop to reconsider his position by March 31 or lose his licence to minister, reports the Anglican Journal on its website
www.anglicanjournal.com.

"To my knowledge, the Rev. Shawn Sanford Beck has not presided at a same-sex blessing or a same-sex marriage," said Bishop Rodney Andrews in a statement.
the rest

House wants preachers to tone it down
Some clerics have ignored guidelines

Friday, May 18, 2007
By
Jim Siegel
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

Excessive evangelizing.

Too many controversial topics.

And way too much Jesus.

Growing concern that prayers recited at the start of Ohio House sessions are potentially offensive to some members has pushed leaders to insist that all prayers be turned in for review at least three days in advance.

Too many guest ministers are invoking the name of Jesus during their prayers, a no-no under House guidelines, which, based on a 1983 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, requires such prayers to be nondenominational, nonsectarian and nonproselytizing.

Guidelines also say prayers should avoid contentious subjects.
the rest

China News: "Evil Cult" Church Leaders Released
CBN News
May 19, 2007

Due to intense international pressure, five Chinese house church leaders were released Wednesday and Thursday after being held in custody for one month.

Police arrested and detained approximately 30 major house church pastors during an April 19 meeting with four American Christian leaders in Akesu City, Xinjiang province.

Even though most of the 30 detainees were released within days of their arrest, at least five remained under lockup.

They were issued criminal detention papers binding them to 37 days of incarceration under the charge of being "suspects involved in evil cult activities."

The leaders' connection with American Christians was another strong factor in their arrest and detainment, which was expected to result in harsh prison sentences.
the rest

Chinese writing '8,000 years old'

Catholic college cancels speaker after pro-life protests planned
OMAHA, Nebraska

(CNA): The College of St. Mary, in Omaha, Nebraska has decided to withdraw its invitation to Roberta Wilhelm, the scheduled speaker for Sunday's commencement out of concern that threatened protests might disrupt the ceremony.

The college had invited Ms. Wilhelm, who is the executive director of Girls Inc. in Omaha, to give the address. The controversy was caused by Girls Inc.'s national advocacy positions, which include statements on contraception, abortion and sexual orientation that are contrary to Catholic beliefs.Last weekend, the college began receiving e-mails, faxes and telephone calls, some of which threatened to picket, demonstrate or shout down Wilhelm, said Sister Maryanne Stevens, the college's president.
the rest

Thursday, May 17, 2007

There is nothing that pleases the Lord so much as praise. There is no test of faith so true as the grace of thanksgiving. Are you praising God enough? Are you thanking Him for your actual blessings that are more than can be numbered, and are you daring to praise Him even for those trials which are but blessings in disguise? Have you learned to praise Him in advance for the things that have not yet come? ...Anonymous photo

AUTONOMY OR COMMUNION?: Archbishop Gomez in Central Florida
Commentary
By Canon Gary L'Hommedieu
www.virtueonline.org
5/16/2007

Excerpt: "Archbishop Gomez' presentation was hard-hitting and illuminating throughout. The audience of diocesan clergy and lay leaders was not accustomed to frankness that was not politically charged and manipulative, after the manner of American politicians, which seems to be mimicked by leaders in the church. His criticisms of recent American Primates, including the present Presiding Bishop, were withering, but without the scorn and sarcasm his audience was accustomed to -- or perhaps even had developed a taste for.

One moment in the morning session brought the house to a standstill. In a long series of illustrations of the principle that "Covenant is making promises and keeping promises", Archbishop Gomez related how TEC has earned the distrust of the rest of the Communion. He recalled how former Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold had agreed that proceeding with the consecration of Gene Robinson would "tear the fabric of the Communion at the deepest level," then thirty minutes later told a press conference that the American Church had no intention of canceling its plans to proceed with the consecration a month later.

His next illustration was the real shock. He explained that at the recent Primates' Meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the Archbishop of Canterbury had broken the usual precedent of decision by consensus and required each of the Primates to stand and declare whether or not he (or she) agreed to the text of a Communique that contained the Primates' shared commitments for the future. Each of the 38 Primates said "yes" to the Communique. The American Primate, The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, said "Yes, but I'll have trouble selling it" to her fellow American bishops.

The point is, as Archbishop Gomez stressed, she said "Yes." She could have, but did not, issue a minority report. When she returned, and when the House of Bishops Convened in March, Jefferts Schori claimed she had only consented to present the text of the Communique to her bishops. She took no responsibility for agreeing to it. One of the conference participants recalled she had claimed that "she never signed it." Archbishop Gomez cut in: "None of the Primates signed it." The Primates' Communiques are never signed. Their verbal responses are taken at face value. The Presiding Bishop's public statement that she hadn't signed it would appear to be a deliberate misrepresentation of the process.

One of the diocesan clergy stood in stunned amazement, and fluttering with emotion said he didn't realize the extent to which we had been lied to. Bishop Howe stood, and with equal emotion insisted that the Presiding Bishop may very well have believed that she was agreeing to deliver the message and not that she was agreeing to the content itself, and that we should be very careful not to infer that she was lying."


The rest at Virtueonline

More comments at Stand Firm

Bible Curriculum Dispute Heats Up in Texas Town
By SUZANNE SATALINE
May 16, 2007

Lori White thinks high school students should study a variety of religions, including Christianity. But the Bible curriculum used in Odessa, Texas, and a growing number of other schools, she says, is aimed at instilling faith, not knowledge.

"It's a curriculum that proselytizes," says Ms. White, whose son graduated from Odessa's Permian High School last year.

The text used in Odessa high schools, developed by the nonprofit National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools, represents as fact that the Bible was a "foundational text" in the framing of the U.S., that the King James Bible "remains one of the...most-loved books in the history of the world," and that "the sun went black" when Jesus was crucified. Critics say that such statements represent the views of some believers, not necessarily scholars.
the rest

The black and white of racist culture
Kathleen Parker
Published May 16, 2007

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- In a new twist in American race relations, a federal court has ruled that a white teacher in a predominantly African-American school was subjected to a racially hostile workplace.

The case concerned Elizabeth Kandrac, who was routinely verbally abused by black students at Brentwood Middle School in North Charleston. Their slurs make shock jock Don Imus look like a church deacon.

Nevertheless, despite frequent complaints, school officials did nothing to intervene on Kandrac's behalf, arguing that the racially charged profanity was simply part of the students' culture. If Kandrac couldn't handle cursing, school officials told her, she was in the wrong school.
the rest

Report: Hong Kong Authorities Ponder Labeling Bible 'Indecent'
Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Good Book isn't clean enough for Hong Kong.

Residents of the city are calling for an "indecent" label for the Bible, saying the text contains passages that are too gory for young eyes, Reuters reports.

At least 838 complaints had been registered Wednesday with the city's Television and Entertainment Licensing authority after an anonymous Web site, truthbible.net, said the Bible "made one tremble" with its sexual and violent content, including rape and incest, the news agency reports.
the rest

Petitions ask for grand juries on indecency question
Ed Thomas
OneNewsNow.com
May 17, 2007

A simultaneous effort to fight sexually-oriented businesses in six jurisdictions, including counties in Kansas and Missouri, kicked off today. The head of a national pro-family group will join at least 75 pastors and other representatives from over 130 Catholic and Protestant fellowships in the metro Kansas City area at a Thursday news conference announcing the start of a grand jury petition process targeting adult bookstores, strip clubs and other adult-oriented businesses in the region.

Petitions with signatures of over 20,000 registered voters will be given to the pastors and group representatives to take back to prosecutors in Wyandotte and Johnson Counties in Kansas and Platte, Clay, Jackson and Cass Counties in Missouri.
the rest

Dog Nurses Tiger Triplets at China Zoo
May 17

BEIJING (AP) - It's a
dog's life for three newborn tiger triplets in eastern China. The cubs, whom officials at the Jinan Paomaling Wild Animal World in Shandong province are so far just calling "One," "Two" and "Three," have been nursed by a dog since they were rejected by their tiger mother shortly after birth, said Paomaling manager Chen Yucai.

The trio's adoptive mother, a mixed breed farm dog called "Huani," is expected to nurse them for about a month or until their appetites outpace her supply, Chen said.
the rest-cute!

Canada: CBC TV Offends Catholics with Show Mocking Sacraments in “The Altar Boy Gang”
By Gudrun Schultz
TORONTO, Canada
May 16, 2007

(LifeSiteNews.com) - The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is coming under fire for a new show that depicts the Catholic Mass as a background for drug and gang-related activities, in what the Catholic Civil Rights League has called blasphemy of the sacred rituals of Catholicism.

Titled The Altar Boy Gang, the show features a group of Montreal altar servers who use their role in the parish to cover up their involvement in the drug trade. Two 30-minute pilot episodes of the show were aired at nine p.m. on Friday.

CBC’s program description at CBC.ca says the show is about “Teenage boys who use their “vocation” as altar boys to be bad.”
the rest

Surviving a Family-Wrecking Economy
What the church can do about working mothers.
Mark Galli
5/17/2007

Mother's Day is past, and mothers are back to work, some in the home, some outside of the home, some doing both. And that's something to ponder.

As we might have guessed, Mother's Day is not only good for mothers, it also helps the economy. To be exact, it's worth $15.7 million to retailers, according to the National Retail Federation. But it's not as helpful to as the mothers who, on Monday, went back to work. They earn an estimated $476 billion annually.

Without women in the workplace, "it's fair to say America's economy would grind to a halt." So says Jessika Auerbach in a recent USA Today piece. So also says Carol Evans, CEO and president of Working Mother magazine: "If the 71 percent of all women with children who work lose their ability or inclination to work, then we will have a loss of economic strength in this country." the rest photo

CRE is a ‘Christian Supermarket’, says Williams
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has called the National Christian Resources Exhibition a “Christian Supermarket” as he opened the massive event earlier this week.
by Jennifer Gold
Posted: Thursday, May 17

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has called the National Christian Resources Exhibition a “Christian Supermarket” as he opened the massive event earlier this week.

Helping to celebrate the richness of Christian organisations throughout the UK, Dr Williams led the launch of the event saying, “For those who say ‘We have nothing to wear, nothing to eat, nothing to excite us’ it says ‘Let me show you’.”

The head of the Church of England told hundreds of Christians gathered at Sandown Park in Esher: “God wants his people to be resourced - and the church in this country is richly blessed. There are helpful resources everywhere you look. And in many ways they mirror the divine richness that God pours out for us every day.”
the rest

More info on Global Day of Prayer

Millions Worldwide to Join Global Day of Prayer 2007
by Jennifer Gold
Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2007

Millions of Christians spanning 176 nations will stop and pray for the needs of the world on Pentecost Sunday as part of one of the largest global prayer events to ever take place.

The Global Day of Prayer on 27 May will be the culmination of thousands of 24-hour-a-day prayer watches taking place around the world in the 10 days running up to the event.

Prayer events are expected to take place across 30 locations in the UK alone as part of GDOP, including a major open-air prayer rally in Edinburgh to cap a mammoth 50-day prayer march across the whole of Scotland organised by Pray for Scotland.
the rest

Last One Off Earth, Turn Out the Lights
Modern Desperation

By
Chuck Colson
Christian Post Guest Columnist
Thu, May. 17 2007

A few weeks ago, the world famous physicist Stephen Hawking came one step closer to his dream of going into space: He took a flight in a “specially modified aircraft” that allowed him to experience weightlessness.

Hawking, who is almost completely paralyzed by Lou Gehrig’s disease, said that the purpose of his flight was to “encourage public interest in space.” Not out of the kind of “new frontier” optimism, but out of a despairing view of humanity.

For Hawking, the goal for space travel isn’t to seek out new life or even to boldly go where no man has gone before—it’s to ensure the survival of the human race.

the rest

South Africa: Churches bar gay marriages
May 17 2007
By Leila Samodien

Six months after gay marriages were legalised, at least four leading denominations are refusing to conduct same-sex unions.

The national leadership of the Anglican Church, as well as the provincial offices of the Catholic Church, Baptist Church and Presbyterian Church, all confirmed their clergy were not allowed to officiate at or bless gay marriages.

The Methodist Church - which has been embroiled in a row with 19 of its ministers over whether to conduct civil unions - has implemented an interim policy that prohibits gay marriages in its churches.

According to the Civil Union Act, if a religious institution does not wish to conduct civil unions, it must submit a letter to Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula explaining why.

The department of home affairs recently told the Cape Argus that six Christian denominations had submitted letters, but department spokesperson Mantshele Tau could not provide updated figures on Thursday.
the rest

Stop doing that which is pulling us apart - Archbishop of Canterbury appeals in interview

During the Archbishop Rowan Williams’ recent visit to Singapore, he shared his thoughts in an interview with Lucilla Teoh for the Diocese of Singapore’s Diocesan Digest.

Q – Firstly, what are your first impressions of the Anglican Church in Southeast Asia?

A – What strikes me most is the tremendous commitment of the church here to growth. I have been hearing quite a little bit about the outreach of Singapore to Cambodia, Thailand, to the Karen refugees in Thailand, to Nepal, all the work around the whole region. I think it is a wonderful model and I am very impressed with the energy, and the
Cathedral seems to be very much. It is at the heart of that energy, thanks to the work of the Dean.
the rest

Global Day of Prayer: 10 Days of Prayer, Day 1
Lent and Beyond

Some of you may be aware of the Global Day of Prayer movement, which seeks to unite Christians around the world in prayer on the day of Pentecost, this year, May 27.

This year, there is also a 10 day prayer campaign from Ascension to Pentecost. Today, being Ascension, is Day 1 of this 10 day prayer effort. My teammates and I here in Africa, as well as the local believers we work with, are participating in this effort and this morning we used the prayer themes in the 10 Day Prayer guide as part of our prayer focus in our team morning prayer time.

You can learn more about the Global Day of Prayer here.
the rest

Please visit Lent and Beyond to give you guidance and resources as you participate in this prayer effort

Albert Mohler: Jihad and the Weakness of the West
Thursday, May 17, 2007

Bernard Lewis, professor emeritus at Princeton University, is one of today's most influential experts on the Middle East. In the May 16, 2007 edition of
The Wall Street Journal, Professor Lewis explains that the Islamic Jihadists and the West read history very differently.

The fact that Muslims and the West read the history of epochs like the crusades differently is hardly news. But Professor Lewis is looking at a far more recent historical development, and his argument is both haunting and fascinating. As he explains, the Jihadists wanted to launch a battle against their two great enemies -- the Soviet Union and the West. In effect, they adopted a two-stage strategy. As they see it, the first stage was stunningly successful.
the rest

Video: Stand Firm Roundtable: Fort Worth on the Move

Matt Kennedy, David Ould, Ruth Gledhill

And it came to pass, while He blessed them, He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven." Luke 24:51

We have no corresponding experience to the events in Our Lord's life after the Transfiguration. From then onwards Our Lord's life' was altogether vicarious. Up to the time of the Transfiguration He had exhibited the normal perfect life of a man; from the Transfiguration onwards - Gethsemane, the Cross, the Resurrection - everything is unfamiliar to us. His Cross is the door by which every member of the human race can enter into the life of God; by His Resurrection He has the right to give eternal life to any man, and by His Ascension Our Lord enters heaven and keeps the door open for humanity.

On the Mount of Ascension the Transfiguration is completed. If Jesus had gone to heaven from the Mount of Transfiguration, He would have gone alone; He would have been nothing more to us than a glorious Figure. But He turned His back on the glory, and came down from the Mount to identify Himself with fallen humanity.

The Ascension is the consummation of the Transfiguration. Our Lord does now go back into His primal glory; but He does not go back simply as Son of God; He goes back to God as Son of Man as well as Son of God. There is now freedom of access for anyone straight to the very throne of God by the Ascension of the Son of Man. As Son of Man Jesus Christ deliberately limited omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience in Himself. Now they are His in absolute full power. As Son of Man Jesus Christ has all power at the throne of God. He is King of kings and Lord of lords from the day of His Ascension until now. ...Oswald Chambers
art

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Furious Love of God

"Justification by grace through faith" is the theologian’s learned phrase for what Chesterton once called ‘the furious love of God.’ He is not moody or capricious; He knows no seasons of change. He has a single relentless stance toward us: He loves us. He is the only God man has ever heard of who loves sinners. False gods – the gods of human manufacturing – despise sinners, but the Father of Jesus loves all, no matter what they do. But of course this is almost too incredible for us to accept. Nevertheless, the central affirmation of the Reformation stands: through no merit of ours, but by His mercy, we have been restored to a right relationship with God through the life, death, and resurrection of His beloved Son. This is the Good News, the gospel of grace."
...Brennan Manning photo

Ft. Worth: Options Include Oversight Outside Episcopal Church
05/16/2007

The executive council of the Diocese of Fort Worth on May 16 adopted a
statement of the diocesan standing committee, which met two days earlier, calling for the diocese to move forward with its appeal for alternative primatial oversight (APO).

“While we remain open to the possibility of negotiation and some form of acceptable settlement with [The Episcopal Church], it appears that our only option is to seek APO elsewhere,” the statement said.

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth, and the standing committee of the diocese appealed for APO in June 2006. The appeal was endorsed by the diocesan executive council in September and by the diocesan convention in November. The APO requests from Ft. Worth and other appellant dioceses were presented to the primates’ meeting in February.
the rest

Stand Firm

BREAKING: Statement from the Diocese of Fort Worth Standing Committee Regarding APO

Statement from The Rev. Mark Lawrence on Fort Worth

Sarkozy sworn in as France president
(AP)Updated: 2007-05-16

PARIS - Nicolas Sarkozy took office as France's president on Wednesday, waving farewell to outgoing leader Jacques Chirac and promising to move quickly and boldly to equip the nation for a new era.

Chirac, ending 12 years in power, transferred the nuclear codes to President Sarkozy in a private meeting that was a high point of the transfer of power.

A 21-gun salute signaled the change in leadership after the 74-year-old Chirac took leave with a handshake at the entrance of the ornate Elysee Palace and walked alone to a waiting car. Sarkozy, with a clenched jaw, returned the wave before turning to enter his new home for the next five years.

The blunt-talking, pro-market Sarkozy, 52 - the sixth president of the Fifth Republic, founded by Charles de Gaulle in 1958 - won election May 6 on pledges of market reforms and a break with the past.
the rest

Perspectives: Oprah's 'Secret' deceives millions
Rebecca Grace - Guest Columnist
OneNewsNow.com
May 16, 2007

The Gospel According to Oprah is more than just a book title; it's a mindset that has created quite a following for the billionaire talk-show host. And her promotion of a philosophy extolling the "Law of Attraction" has added to millions who are being led away from the teachings of Christ.

According to a May 2006 article titled "The Divine Miss Winfrey" in USA Today, "Over the past year, Winfrey ... has emerged as a spiritual leader for the new millennium, a moral voice of authority for the nation."

There's no doubt that Oprah is spiritual, but the philosophy she pushed on the February 8, 2006, broadcast of The Oprah Winfrey Show couldn't place her farther from the truth. During the show, Oprah interviewed a panel of teachers who appear in a 93-minute film called The Secret.

The Secret, also a book which has sold two million copies, is promoted as "a feature length, historic and factually based account of an age old secret, said to be 4,000 years in the making, and known only to a fortunate few. The Secret reveals this great knowledge to the world -- The Secret to wealth, The Secret to health, The Secret to love, relationships, happiness, eternal youth ... The Secret to life itself."

the rest

Ruth Gledhill weblog: Fort Worth, Quincy break away
May 16, 2007

Sensational news from the US. Forth Worth is to seek 'alternative primatial oversight' from an African primate. Quincy and at least three others of the
Network dioceses are expected to follow suit. (Some of the Network affiliates want to continue to work it out with TEC.) I don't know which African Primate is to be approached, save that it is not Peter Akinola. Being Forward in Faith dioceses, they'll be looking in a catholic rather than evangelical direction. Malango perhaps? Fort Worth's standing committee and executive are meeting this afternoon, and we can expect a statement after that, around midnight GMT. According to StandFirm, what I'm saying here comes close to, but does not precisely match, what they have been hearing.

An impeccable source within TEC told me: 'Fort Worth is in conversation with four other dioceses about seeking alternative primatial oversight outside The Episcopal Church. They have yet to come to an agreement with an African Primate.' the rest

Update from David Virtue: Saying that he was baffled by reports that the Diocese of Quincy and the Diocese of Ft. Worth were seeking immediate Alternative Primatial Oversight Bishop Keith Ackerman said: "I am with the president of the Standing Committee and I am as baffled as anyone about these reports in The London Times and on the conservative blog Stand Firm. Any such announcement or action is premature."

"What I can say I know is that all of us in the Network who have requested APO have to understand what we have all along been asking for (APO) is because the HOB was less than conciliatory. The humor for me is that might lead to that some day. But to even to be talking about this now amazes me."

Comments at Stand Firm

We are Palestinian, we are women, we are gay'
May 16

Battling against a deeply patriarchal society, Arab Israeli and Palestinian lesbians are uniting to break the taboo of homosexuality and politicise the right to be female and gay.

"We are Palestinian, we are women and we are gay," is the slogan coined by Aswat, the association campaigning for lesbian Arabs to be accepted in Israeli and Palestinian society, and whose name in English means "voices".

"A lot of lesbians and Arab homosexuals have double lives, marry and lead a secret existence. People say it is forbidden by religion," says Rauda Morcos, Aswat coordinator, at its headquarters in Israel's northern city of Haifa.

"Society is hyprocritical. But we are against this issue remaining secret. We want it dealt with as a political and social issue," she said.
the rest

Liberal Archbishop Reflects on Divided Anglican State
By
Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Wed, May. 16 2007

As the world’s Anglicans remain divided over orthodoxy and human sexuality issues, center stage is increasingly being given to the Anglican leaders of the worldwide denomination, noted a liberal Anglican archbishop.

"[A]nd I very much regret this," commented the Most Rev. Njongonkulu Ndungane, archbishop of Cape Town and Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, who recently spoke at a Bishop's Forum.

Amid reports indicating the 77 million-member Anglican Communion is on the verge of a split, Ndungane noted that the current difficulties among the Anglican churches should not primarily be handled by the Primates (Anglican leaders), but by the Anglican Consultative Council, which meets approximately every three years with episcopal, clerical and lay representatives from each of the 38 provinces across the more than 160 countries that make up the Anglican Communion.

"[My] conviction is that this (Anglican Consultative Council) is the Instrument of Unity which should primarily be the place for handling the current difficulties and the inter-Anglican, provincial and relationships that are affected by them," Ndungane said.
the rest

ACNS:The Most Revd Njongonkulu Ndungane Speech at Bishop's Forum

Guardian attack on Wycliffe Hall
article

16 May 2007--The Guardian today carries an article attacking Richard Turnbull the Principal of Wycliffe Hall. The author, Stephen Bates, is well known for his venom against orthodox Christianity and his attempts to portray evangelicals as extremists because of their opposition to homosexual immorality.
Anglicans Ablaze

Bishop Dorsey Henderson: A Pastoral Letter to the Church in Upper South Carolina

titusonenine

The Subjection of Islamic Women
And the fecklessness of American feminism.
by Christina Hoff Sommers
05/21/2007

The subjection of women in Muslim societies--especially in Arab nations and in Iran--is today very much in the public eye. Accounts of lashings, stonings, and honor killings are regularly in the news, and searing memoirs by Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Azar Nafisi have become major best-sellers. One might expect that by now American feminist groups would be organizing protests against such glaring injustices, joining forces with the valiant Muslim women who are working to change their societies. This is not happening.

If you go to the websites of major women's groups, such as the National Organization for Women, the Ms. Foundation for Women, and the National Council for Research on Women, or to women's centers at our major colleges and universities, you'll find them caught up with entirely other issues, seldom mentioning women in Islam. During the 1980s, there were massive demonstrations on American campuses against racial apartheid in South Africa. There is no remotely comparable movement on today's campuses against the gender apartheid prevalent in large parts of the world.

It is not that American feminists are indifferent to the predicament of Muslim women. Nor do they completely ignore it. For a brief period before September 11, 2001, many women's groups protested the brutalities of the Taliban. But they have never organized a full-scale mobilization against gender oppression in the Muslim world. The condition of Muslim women may be the most pressing women's issue of our age, but for many contemporary American feminists it is not a high priority. Why not?
the rest

One Pastor Reflects upon Falwell's Legacy
Ray Pritchard
Keep Believing Ministries

Jerry Falwell died Tuesday at the age of 73. He will be chiefly remembered for two enormous accomplishments:

First, he led the fundamentalist movement out of the wilderness and won for it a seat at the table of public discourse. Looking back, it is hard to remember what things were like 35 years ago. Mainstream evangelicals had their leaders, most notably Billy Graham who traveled the world filling enormous stadiums for his crusades. But fundamentalists had no one comparable to Dr. Graham. Then Jerry Falwell stepped onto the scene, and he did it from the pulpit of a Baptist church in Lynchburg, Virginia. Using his televised sermons as a base, he rallied conservative Christians in a way that no leader had done before. Seizing the moment, he created the Moral Majority, a broad-based coalition of fundamentalists, evangelicals, conservative Catholics, conservative Jews, and he even included the Mormons, which was, to put it mildly, shocking. I recall attending one rally in the late 70s where he offered this simple defense for including the Mormons. The Moral Majority was not a religious organization, the nation is in trouble, and if people who agree on traditional values rally together, we can elect people who reflect those values. And, he said, after we get the ship of state turned around, we can have a debate with the Mormons if we want to, but for the moment, we’ve all got to work together. That sort of pragmatic populism worked for a while, certainly long enough to elect Ronald Reagan.
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Some Gay New Yorkers Gain in Ruling on Marriages
By
PAM BELLUCK
Published: May 16, 2007

BOSTON, May 15 — A little-noticed resolution to a case involving same-sex couples from New York will allow dozens of them to be considered legally married in Massachusetts, and apparently in their home state as well.

The matter, resolved in a Boston courtroom last week, had its roots in a 2004 decision by
Mitt Romney, then the governor. Soon after Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage by court order in May of that year, Mr. Romney, invoking a 1913 law, proclaimed that same-sex couples from out of state could not marry here unless they intended to move to Massachusetts or their home state did not prohibit their marriage. the rest

Wiccans Keep the Faith With a Religion Under Wraps
By
NEELA BANERJEE
Published: May 16, 2007

DUMFRIES, Va. — Above the woman’s fireplace hangs her wedding picture, taken in a Lutheran church years ago. Below it, on the mantelpiece, is a small Wiccan altar: two candles, a tiny cauldron, four stones to represent the elements of nature and a small amethyst representing her spirit.

The wedding portrait is always there. But whenever someone comes to visit, the woman sweeps the altar away. Raised Southern Baptist in Virginia and now a stay-at-home mother of two in this Washington suburb, she has told almost no one — not her relatives, her friends or the other mothers in her children’s playgroups — that she is Wiccan.
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Al-Qaida tentacles invade Jesus' birthplace
Terrorists distribute materials in Bethlehem teaching jihad, kidnappings, 'infidel' beheading
By Aaron Klein
Posted: May 15, 2007

BETHLEHEM – Al-Qaida training videos and literature were recently distributed to Palestinians in Bethlehem, according to local sources speaking to WND.

The information prompted some leaders there to express deep concern about the growing trend of what they said was Islamic extremism and Christian intimidation in one of the holiest cities for Christianity.

Missionaries in Northern Virginia
By Michael Gerson
Wednesday, May 16, 2007

An epoch-dividing event recently took place in the religion that brought us B.C. and A.D. Too bad hardly anyone noticed.

For years, a dispute has boiled between the American Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion it belongs to, with many in the global south convinced that Episcopalians are following their liberalism into heresy. This month, Archbishop Peter Akinola, shepherd of 18 million fervent Nigerian Anglicans, reached the end of his patience and installed a missionary bishop to America. The installation ceremony included boisterous hymns and Africans dressed in bright robes dancing before the altar -- an Anglican worship style more common in Kampala, Uganda, than in Woodbridge.

The American presiding bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, condemned this poaching of souls on her turf as a violation of the "ancient customs of the church." To which the archbishop replied, in essence: Since when have you American liberals given a fig about the ancient customs of the church?
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School ban for crosses but not Muslim lockets
Julie Henry, Education Correspondent,

Sunday Telegraph
12/05/2007

Schools have been told that they should ban crosses and crucifixes, but allow Muslim children to wear symbols, even though they are not compulsory.

Jewellery in general should be forbidden, although there are "exceptional circumstances" where schools need to be sensitive towards those from other faiths, according to draft guidance sent out by one local education authority.

These are outlined as: rakhi, a cotton bracelet worn by Hindus; kara, a metal bracelet that is put on the arms of Sikh children when they are young and is impossible to remove; and taweez, religious lockets worn by some Muslim pupils on a string around the neck, arm or stomach. The latter item is not regarded as compulsory.

The document, sent out in Croydon, Surrey, makes no mention under "exceptional circumstances" of Christian symbols such as crosses or the chastity rings that some teenagers choose to wear.
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China Says Women's Rights Improving, Forced Abortions Refute Claims
by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 15, 2007

Beijing, China (LifeNews.com) -- China is trying to shed its image as a desolate place for human rights and the rights of women in advance of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The Asian nation said Tuesday that women's rights are advancing but recent forced abortion campaigns contradict their claims.

Huang Qingyi, vice chairwoman of the State Council's National Working Committee on Children and Women, defended China's record.

"They consider that China has achieved obvious results in promoting women's development and protecting their rights and is a model for other countries to use," Huang told a news conference about the UN recognizing advances China has made.
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"Stand up and fight"
Abortion survivors plan training camp June 27-July 8 in Long Beach

May 16, 2007

Danielle White Versluys and her friends are running a pro-life training camp, and they say they expect participants to come out champions. Versluys has been working for ten years for the Survivors, a group that represents Americans 34 and younger who realize that one-third of their generation has been wiped out by abortion since the U.S. decided Roe v. Wade in 1973.

"Many young people know that abortion is wrong, that it must be stopped, and that their generation is crying out for truth – but they simply do not know how to go about education and activism," says Versluys, who serves on the board of directors for Survivors. "So we're running 10 days of intense training and activism to prepare the next generation to stand up and fight the worst evil of our day."
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Christian Right Looking Beyond Falwell
By RACHEL ZOLL

AP Religion Writer
May 16, 2007

Even in his final years, the Rev. Jerry Falwell personified the religious right for many Americans. But the pastor, who died Tuesday at age 73, was from a generation of leaders that many evangelicals came to view as members of an "old guard" whose approach was outdated.

Many conservative Christians active in politics today believe that the way Falwell confronted political foes made evangelicals seem hateful. The younger leaders also have been pressing for a broader policy agenda beyond abortion and traditional marriage by trying to include AIDS care, environmental protection and education.

"It's a very important debate about the future of the movement," said John Green, senior fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
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Planned Parenthood Threatens to Sue Undercover Activist
By Nathan Burchfiel
CNSNews.com Staff Writer
May 15, 2007

(CNSNews.com) - Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles is threatening to sue a student pro-life activist who recorded an abortion clinic employee encouraging her to lie about her age to avoid being reported as a victim of statutory rape.

Lila Rose, an 18-year-old sophomore at the University of California Los Angeles, is the founder of a pro-life magazine on campus. In March, she entered a Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles (PPLA) clinic, posing as a pregnant 15-year-old and said her boyfriend was 23 years old.
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Ohio Teen Sues Planned Parenthood Over Child Abuse

Hubble team discovers 'ring of dark matter'
16/05/2007

For decades, it has been the mysterious, invisible material that makes up most of the cosmos. Now, astronomers have produced the strongest evidence that “dark matter” really exists, after initially writing off the discovery as an error in their measurements.

A team using Nasa’s Hubble Space Telescope has discovered a ghostly ring of dark matter that formed long ago during a titanic collision between two clusters of galaxies.

It created a remarkably uncluttered picture of an elusive substance that was first postulated in 1933 and provides new opportunities to figure out what it is. Astronomers have long suspected the existence of the invisible substance as the source of additional gravity from “dark matter”.
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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

God formed us for His pleasure, and so formed us that we as well as He can in divine communion enjoy the sweet and mysterious mingling of kindred personalities. He meant us to see Him and live with Him and draw our life from His smile. But we have been guilty of that `foul revolt' of which Milton speaks when describing the rebellion of Satan and his hosts. We have broken with God. We have ceased to obey Him or love Him and in guilt and fear have fled as far as possible from His Presence.

Yet who can flee from His Presence when the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him? when as the wisdom of Solomon testifies, `the Spirit of the Lord filleth the world'? The omnipresence of the Lord is one thing, and is a solemn fact necessary to His perfection; the manifest Presence is another thing altogether, and from that Presence we have fled, like Adam, to hide among the trees of the garden, or like Peter to shrink away crying, `Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.' So the life of man upon the earth is a life away from the Presence, wrenched loose from that `blissful center' which is our right and proper dwelling place, our first state which we kept not, the loss of which is the cause of our unceasing restlessness.

The whole work of God in redemption is to undo the tragic effects of that foul revolt, and to bring us back again into right and eternal relationship with Himself.This required that our sins be disposed of satisfactorily, that a full reconciliation be effected and the way opened for us to return again into conscious communion with God and to live again in the Presence as before. Then by His prevenient working within us He moves us to return. This first comes to our notice when our restless hearts feel a yearning for the Presence of God and we say within ourselves, `I will arise and go to my Father.'
AW Tozer photo

ENS: Executive Council continues to invite response to draft Anglican Covenant
Bishops theology committee to offer Primates' communiqué study document

By Mary Frances Schjonberg
May 15, 2007

[Episcopal News Service] Episcopalians have begun responding to questions in a study guide aimed at helping the Episcopal Church consider the draft version of a proposed Anglican Covenant.

Congregations, diocesan deputations to General Convention and individuals can all submit comments between now and the June 4 deadline.

House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson said May 14 that some General Convention deputations have already met and formulated responses with the help of the study guide.
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An open letter from the Zacchaeus Fellowship responding to the "Statement from the House of Bishops to the Members of General Synod"
May 14, 2007

To the National House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada:


We write to you out of our painful sense of rejection caused by the statement in the name of the Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada issued on April 30. Our response to your statement has taken two weeks as we have needed to recover from our shock and discouragement. One of our members wrote, "When I first read the HOB statement, it felt like someone had just spit in my face! I was not angry; just gravely disappointed and yes, surprised.

"What little comfort we can take is in the knowledge that some of you have encouraged us in the past and continue to assure us of your support. We thank you for standing with us. Sadly, though, it seems we are now the new marginalized minority.

On October 27, 2005, several members of the Zacchaeus Fellowship made a presentation to the House of Bishops (available at
www.zacchaeus.ca/hob.html), in which we spoke about our pasts, our struggles, our hopes and our hurts. Every member of the House of Bishops has also received a copy of our booklet Transformed by an Encounter with Christ.

Your statement has betrayed our witness to the House of Bishops. You bent over backwards to express sympathy for our brothers and sisters who openly espouse the gay lifestyle, yet your statement held not one word of pastoral sensitivity towards us. In the name of pastoral care, you have left us feeling spiritually bulldozed and utterly deserted by our church. We are not at all able to agree with the statement's claim to consistency with paragraph 143 of the Windsor Report, which affirms "the duty of pastoral care that is laid upon all Christians to respond with love and understanding to people of all sexual orientations." We point to your lack of so much as an acknowledgment that the Anglican Church of Canada contains a constituency of individuals who are ex-gay, ex-lesbian, or living chastely with same-sex desires.
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h/t: Virtueonline

Book Review: Faith Severed from Reason
G. Tracy Mehan III

Faith and Politics: How the ‘Moral Values’ Debate Divides America and How to Move Forward Together
Sen. John Danforth, Viking Adult, $24.95, 256 pages

Sen. John Danforth—Missouri Republican, stalwart defender of Justice Clarence Thomas, special envoy to the Sudan, and ambassador to the United Nations—has led an exemplary life. A lawyer, an Episcopal priest, devoted husband and father of five children, Jack Danforth (his customary name) led the resurgence of the GOP in Missouri. Elected state attorney general in 1968, he was the first Republican elected statewide in over two decades. He defended a state law restricting abortion, personally arguing the case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1976, with the overwhelming support of the fledgling right-to-life movement which was made up mostly of Catholic (often Labor) and Baptist “Reagan Democrats.” In later years he labored to provide food to Cambodians ravaged by Pol Pot and to further the peace process in Sudan.
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Gays take Connecticut to court
May 15, 2007

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- An attorney for eight homosexual couples told the Connecticut Supreme Court yesterday that their constitutional rights have been violated by the state's refusal to grant them marriage licenses.

Connecticut was the first state to allow civil unions without court pressure, but the couples say that's not enough.

They want the court to rule that the state's marriage law is unconstitutional because it applies only to heterosexual couples, effectively denying homosexual couples the financial, social and emotional benefits of marriage.

"What is denied to these families is something that goes to the heart of equal protection, which is the right to be part of the fabric of society when they are just the same as other couples and other families," said their attorney, Bennett Klein.
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Lawyers Argue Legal Status of Gay Unions

Satan lovers deface church
Four busted after boasting about attack on Net
BY RICHARD WEIRDAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Tuesday, May 15th 2007

A group of devil-worshiping vandals who spray-painted a church with satanic markings gave themselves away by boasting about it on the Internet, police said yesterday.

William Santariello, 22, documented his and his buddies' "tagging" of the Middle Island Baptist Church on his MySpace.com page, which features a revolving, upside-down crucifix and the numbers "666," Suffolk Police said.

The Lucifer-loving Santariello, who uses the MySpace name Blazfemur, and his pals said they were heading to a local cemetery but got lost and stumbled on the church, according to Detective Sgt. Robert Reecks, head of the Suffolk hate crimes unit.
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Standup desk that fits over treadmill lets workers walk while they work
Published: Monday, May 14, 2007
Canadian Press: SHERYL UBELACKER

TORONTO (CP) - There's no doubt that sitting on one's butt all day at a desk or in front of a computer is hardly conducive to weight loss. But what if employees could exercise while they work?

That's the aim of a specially designed vertical workstation that can be locked in place over a treadmill, allowing employees to work at a computer while simultaneously walking on the spot at a speed of their own choosing.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic who designed the standup "walk-and-work" desk suggest it could help overweight workers shed pounds as they perform what are traditionally sit-down tasks.
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ENS: An exciting time to be an Episcopalian, Presiding Bishop tells lay group
At annual Church Club dinner, Jefferts Schori notes Communion is alive and well

By Neva Rae Fox
May 15, 2007

[Episcopal News Service] This is one of the most exciting times in history to be an Episcopalian and an Anglican, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said during a May 9 presentation to the Church Club of New York, a 120-year-old layperson's group.

"The Communion is moving, in what some people see as seismic kinds of ways, but it's moving. It's not a dead and dormant thing," she said to applause.

A multimedia presentation of the Presiding Bishop's speech is available
here.

While many tell her she has a "challenging job," Jefferts Schori answered: "I don't think that's a bad thing. I think we are meant to be challenged in the varieties of work and ministry in which we are engaged. If we're not challenged, we're likely bored, and that's not healthy for anyone."
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Television Evangelist Falwell Dies at 73
May 15, 2007
By SUE LINDSEY

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) - The Rev. Jerry Falwell, the television evangelist who founded the Moral Majority and used it to mold the religious right into a political force, died Tuesday shortly after being found unconscious in his office at Liberty University. He was 73.

Ron Godwin, the university's executive vice president, said Falwell was found unresponsive late Tuesday morning and taken to Lynchburg General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead about an hour later.

"I had breakfast with him, and he was fine at breakfast," Godwin said. "He went to his office, I went to mine, and they found him unresponsive."

Dr. Carl Moore, Falwell's physician, said the evangelist had a heart rhythm abnormality. He said Falwell was found without a pulse and never regained consciousness.
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Three days left to convert to Islam, or else
By StatGuy
14 May 2007

Christians in a small north-western Pakistan town have received an unsigned, hand-written note
warning them to shut their churches and convert to “the true Muslim faith” by 17 May.

Copies of handwritten letter with a May 17 ultimatum were reportedly delivered to two churches and several Christians' homes in Charsadda, a northwestern Pakistan town where the federal interior minister last month escaped a homicide attack that apparently killed 28 people.

"The ultimatum has further aggravated the sense of insecurity and fear among the Christians of Charsada," of Taliban style social structures imposed by militants, said Shahbaz Bhatti, the chairman of All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA), a major advocacy group here. Christians are "spending their day and night in fear and many are thinking to vacate the area due to threats and possible attacks," Bhatti told BosNewsLife.
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Pope ends Brazil trip with fierce speech
Benedict laments lax morals and urges bishops to do better in building up the church. His last Mass attracts only 150,000.

By Tracy Wilkinson,
Times Staff Writer
May 14, 2007

APARECIDA, BRAZIL — Pope Benedict XVI ended his first pilgrimage to the Americas much as he began it: with a searing attack on diverse forces, from Marxism and capitalism to birth control, that he believes threaten society and the Roman Catholic faith.

And in comment likely to generate controversy in Latin America, the pope said the New World's indigenous population, "silently longing" for Christianity, had welcomed the teachings that "came to make their cultures fruitful, purifying them." Many indigenous rights groups say the conquest ushered in a period of disease, mass murder, enslavement and the shattering of native cultures.
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Albert Mohler: Sliding Fast Down the Slippery Slope
Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Just days after reporting that 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are now aborted, Amy Harmon reports in
The New York Times that the real reach of the question goes far beyond Down syndrome. Now, some babies are aborted for virtually any trait considered undesirable by the mother or parents -- and ethicists seem unwilling to draw any clear lines.

As Harmon
reports:

Abortion rights supporters -- who believe that a woman has the right to make decisions about her own body -- have had to grapple with the reality that the right to choose may well be used selectively to abort fetuses deemed genetically undesirable. And many are finding that, while they support a woman's right to have an abortion if she does not want to have a baby, they are less comfortable when abortion is used by women who don't want to have a particular baby.

"How much choice do you really want to give?" asked Arthur Caplan, chairman of the department of medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "That's the challenge of prenatal testing to pro-choicers."

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Church's ban on gay ministers is clarified
Presbyterian court rules on candidates
By Peter Smith
The Courier-Journal
Monday, May 14, 2007

The ban on ordaining non-celibate gays and lesbians in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) extends to those seeking to become candidates for the ministry, the highest court of the Louisville-based denomination says.

The statement came in a ruling issued last week by the Permanent Judicial Commission of the church's General Assembly.

The case involved a woman who was accepted in 2005 as a "candidate" for ministry -- a formal step toward ordination -- by the Mission Presbytery, a local governing body in Texas. the rest

Clinton Urged to Remove Mother Teresa's Image From Campaign Ad
By Susan Jones
CNSNews.com Senior Editor
May 15, 2007

(CNSNews.com) - A Catholic advocacy group is urging Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign to remove an image of Mother Teresa from a campaign video narrated by former President Bill Clinton.

"It is wholly inappropriate, disrespectful and disturbing that Hillary Clinton is using an image of Blessed Mother Teresa as a political tool, especially given their radically different views on abortion," said Fidelis President Joseph Cella.

He noted that Mother Teresa fought to protect unborn children, while Hillary Clinton "staunchly supports abortion on demand in all nine months of pregnancy, including partial birth abortion and taxpayer funding of abortion.
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School Workers Suspended in Fake Attack
May 14, 2007

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) - Two school employees who staged a fake gun attack on a group of students during a field trip have been suspended, school officials said Monday.

During the last night of a weeklong trip to a state park, staff members convinced 69 sixth-grade students from Scales Elementary School that there was a gunman on the loose. One official has said the exercise was intended as a teaching tool.

The students were told to lie on the floor or hide underneath tables and stay quiet. After the lights went out, some of the children began to cry. A teacher, disguised in a hooded sweat shirt, pulled on locked doors.
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Monday, May 14, 2007

"For if these things are yours and abound, they make you to be not idle nor unfruitful." 2 Peter 1:8 (R.V.)

When we begin to form a habit we are conscious of it. There are times when we are conscious of becoming virtuous and patient and godly, but it is only a stage; if we stop there we shall get the strut of the spiritual prig. The right thing to do with habits is to lose them in the life of the Lord, until every habit is so practised that there is no conscious habit at all. Our spiritual life continually resolves into introspection because there are some qualities we have not added as yet. Ultimately the relationship is to be a completely simple one.

Your god may be your little Christian habit, the habit of prayer at stated times, or the habit of Bible reading. Watch how your Father will upset those times if you begin to worship your habit instead of what the habit symbolizes - I can't do that just now, I am praying; it is my hour with God. No, it is your hour with your habit. There is a quality that is lacking in you. Recognize the defect and then look for the opportunity of exercising yourself along the line of the quality to be added.

Love means that there is no habit visible, you have come to the place where the habit is lost, and by practice you do the thing unconsciously. If you are consciously holy, there are certain things you imagine you cannot do, certain relationships in which you are far from simple; that means there is something to be added. The only supernatural life is the life the Lord Jesus lived, and He was at home with God anywhere. Is there anywhere where you are not at home with God? Let God press through in that particular circumstance until you gain Him, and life becomes the simple life of a child. ...Oswald Chambers photo