Saturday, June 09, 2007

Albany Diocese Adopts Pro-Life Convention Resolution
Sarurday, June 9, 2007
Camp-of-the-Woods in Speculator, NY

The Episcopal Diocese of Albany adopted the following resolution on a voice vote at its annual convention today:

Resolved, That the 2007 Convention of the Diocese of Albany dissaciates our Diocese from any participation in or support of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice; and

Resolved, That the 2007 Convention of the Diocese of Albany affirms the sancity of human life as a gift of God from conception to natural death. (reported by Raymond J. Dague, assistant chancellor)

I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord. (Zephaniah 3:12)

When true religion is ready to die out among the wealthy it finds a home among the poor of this world, rich in faith. The Lord has even now His faithful remnant. Am I one of them?

Perhaps it is because men are afflicted and poor that they learn to trust in the name of the Lord. He that hath no money must try what he can do on trust. He whose own name is good for nothing in his own esteem, acts wisely to rest in another name, even that best of names, the name of Jehovah. God wilt always have a trusting people, and these will be an afflicted and poor people. Little as the world thinks of them, their being left in the midst of a nation is the channel of untold blessings to it. Here we have the conserving salt which keeps in check the corruption which is in the world through lust.

Again the question comes home to each one of us. Am I one of them? Am I afflicted by the sin within me and around me? Am I poor in spirit, poor spiritually in my own judgment? Do I trust in the Lord? This is the main business. Jesus reveals the name, the character, the person of God; am I trusting in Him? If so, I am left in this world for a purpose. Lord, help me to fulfill it.
...Oswald Chambers photo

Religion and politics grow inseparable
Democratic presidential candidates talk of faith, focus on religious voters
Friday, June 8, 2007
By Joan Lowy
ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON -- The personal faith of candidates has become a very public part of the 2008 presidential campaign.

Seven years after George W. Bush won the presidency in part with a direct appeal to conservative religious voters -- he cited Jesus Christ as his favorite philosopher during one debate -- it seems that all the leading presidential candidates are discussing their religious and moral beliefs, even when they'd rather not.

Democratic Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama have hired strategists to focus on reaching religious voters. Obama's campaign holds a weekly conference call with key supporters in early primary and caucus states. Their role is to spread the candidate's message to religious leaders and opinion-makers and report their concerns to the campaign.
the rest

PCUSA loses another 46,544 members in 2006
By Craig M. Kibler Staff Writer
The Layman
Friday, June 8, 2007

The Presbyterian Church (USA) lost 46,544 more members in 2006, continuing an ongoing decline that has seen the loss of 225,308 members in just the past five years.

Membership in the denomination dropped from 2,313,662 in 2005 to 2,267,118 in 2006, according to annual
statistics released by the Office of the General Assembly.

That membership total is a drop of almost half – 45.7 percent – of the 4,254,597 members it had in 1965, the year that the PCUSA and its predecessor denominations reached their highest total numbers of members.
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Bishop led without losing his humanity
Friends say he always had time to lend an ear and a helping hand.

By Jeff Brumley

The Times-Union
6/9/2007

The Right Rev. Stephen Jecko, former bishop of the Jacksonville-based Episcopal Diocese of Florida, died Thursday night in Dallas after a bout with cancer. He was 67.

Friends and colleagues described Bishop Jecko as a quiet, compassionate leader who had a pastoral touch in leading the Northeast Florida diocese from 1994 to 2004.

Bishop Jecko, who was assistant bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas when he died, also was a leader in efforts to move the Episcopal Church USA in a more conservative theological direction.

"I am deeply distressed for the church and for his family," said the Right Rev. Frank Cerveny, the bishop who preceded Bishop Jecko in Jacksonville.
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Albert Mohler: Books for the Backpack -- Recommended Summer Reading
Posted: Friday, June 08, 2007

Summer is supposed to be a season of rest and relaxation -- at least in theory. As one wit remarked, "A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken."

Fair enough. But even on less promising summer days there may be an opportunity for reading books for sheer pleasure and enjoyment. Several readers have asked for a list of books profitable for summer reading, and so I offer the following list of more recent titles, drawn from the nonfiction category.
List here

Teens get formal introduction to Christian adulthood
Ceremonies honor completion of spiritual training
By Robin Roenker
SPECIAL TO THE HERALD-LEADER
Sat, Jun. 09, 2007

Roseshay Hudson, 18, will do up her hair up this afternoon in a fancy coif and don a formal white gown. The Midway College sophomore will look the part of a true debutante. And that's just what she'll be. But not in the formal, society-party sense.

Hudson will be honored tonight as a Christian Debutante in the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church. It's a title that signifies the culmination of six months of training as she assumes an adult role within her church community at Lexington's Greater Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church.

"It's been very helpful," Hudson said of her training, which included classes on topics such as etiquette, withstanding peer pressure, self-esteem and core Christian beliefs. "It's about trying to work in ways to implement the Christian walk within your everyday life."

The 4 p.m. ceremony, called a Christian Debutante-Master Dedication Ceremony, is the first of its kind for Greater Quinn Chapel, though the formal event has been a part of the A.M.E. Church's history since 1952.
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Hindu appointed to run Christian religion studies
New church college leader says 'proselytization' produces violence

June 8, 2007
By Bob Unruh

Anantanand Rambachan, a Hindu who will lead the religion department at St. Olaf College
A college affiliated with a Christian denomination has appointed to head its religion department a practicing Hindu who believes that some forms of Christian ministry produce violence.

Anantanand Rambachan, who has taught religion and philosophy at
St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., since 1985, now will become the first non-Christian to head the religion department in the school's 133-year history. the rest

Williams Not 'Absolutely Confident' Anglicans Can Avoid Schism
by Lillian Kwon, Christian Today Correspondent
Saturday, June 9, 2007

The spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion is hopeful, but not "absolutely confident" that the global church body, which many say is on the brink of division, can stay together.

The Anglican head added, however, "If you're asking am I absolutely confident that we can get it together after the Lambeth Conference? No. I'm not absolutely confident." the rest

Anglican Church is 'fragile' over gay split
By Jonathan Petre
09/06/2007

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has described the worldwide Anglican Church as "very vulnerable and very fragile" and admitted that he was hopeful rather than optimistic that he can avert a schism over the issue of homosexuality.

In an interview with Time magazine at the start of a three-month break from work, Dr Williams said he did not want to be pressured by conservatives or liberals over who should come to next year's Lambeth Conference, the gathering of Anglican bishops in Canterbury.

The Archbishop has angered both sides by refusing to invite either Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Anglican bishop, or Martyn Minns, a bishop who is the leader of a breakaway movement for American conservatives who reject the authority of liberal leaders.
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Episcopal bishop to lead convention in Speculator
The Rev. William Love plans to get back to basics after turmoil

By
MARC PARRY
Friday, June 8, 2007

SPECULATOR -- Bishop William Love will preside over his first diocesan convention this weekend against a backdrop of ongoing problems in the Episcopal Church.

The three-day meeting is expected to bring more than 900 people from the 19-county diocese to the Hamilton County village of Speculator. Highlights include the ordination of five deacons and a guest speech by Bishop D. Bruce MacPherson of the Diocese of Western Louisiana.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Cool under pressure – Pope’s guards handle pilgrims discreetly
By John Thavis
6/8/2007
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Pope Benedict XVI's security guards are known for composure under pressure, and they showed it when a deranged German tried to jump onto the pope's jeep at a general audience.

Within seconds, 11 Vatican plainclothes agents – Swiss Guards and policemen – subdued the 27-year-old man and pinned him to the ground. He was unarmed, and the pope was unharmed in the June 6 incident.

The whole thing happened so quickly and quietly that it went unnoticed by most people in the square, including the pope. No guns were drawn and no alarms were sounded. The pope's jeep never sped up, and most of the faithful, even those right in front of the scene, just kept snapping pictures of the pontiff.

It was a classic display of the Vatican's elegant and understated approach to security, which relies more on intuitive alertness than a show of force.
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Bishop Steve Jecko RIP

His cancer apparently progressed rapidly, and the Lord took him home peacefully. More details will be forthcoming later from appropriate sources. Funeral arrangements are pending.


TitusOneNine

What they don’t tell you at the clinic
Melanie McDonagh
June 6, 2007

Some backbench Bills are destined for stillbirth, and Ann Winterton’s Bill yesterday was one of them. It would have compelled women who wanted an abortion to have counselling and to be given information about the possible effects. It was seen off, terminated, 107 votes for, 182 against. Pity. There was a useful point of principle there.

It is that abortion has its own costs, not all of which are obvious, but which you jolly well ought to know about before you have one. You can take what view you like of the main effect, namely, that at the end of an abortion, you’re minus one human foetus. But there are other implications, apart from the predictable risk of depression.

A couple of weeks ago I went to a lecture by a specialist in high-risk obstetrics, Byron Colhoun, the joint head of the department of obstetrics and gynaecology at West Virginia University. His subject was not, on the face of it, a must-listen, being about the association between abortion and premature birth.
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A DROUGHT FOR THE AGES
From the dried lake beds of Florida to the struggling ranches of California, a historic lack of rain is changing how Americans live.

By Patrick O'Driscoll
USA TODAY

DENVER — Drought, a fixture in much of the West for nearly a decade, now covers more than one-third of the continental USA. And it's spreading.

As summer starts, half the nation is either abnormally dry or in outright drought from prolonged lack of rain that could lead to water shortages, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, a weekly index of conditions. Welcome rainfall last weekend from Tropical Storm Barry brought short-term relief to parts of the fire-scorched Southeast. But up to 50 inches of rain is needed to end the drought there, and this is the driest spring in the Southeast since record-keeping began in 1895, according to the National Climatic Data Center.

California and Nevada just recorded their driest June-to-May period since 1924, and a lack of rain in the West could make this an especially risky summer for wildfires.
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Now Phila. is officially 'pro-choice'
Cardinal Justin Rigali immediately criticized Council's 9-8 vote, which has no practical meaning.
By Patrick Kerkstra
Inquirer Staff Writer
Fri, Jun. 08, 2007

Already this year, more than 50 resolutions have sailed through City Council, including those that honored Miss Philadelphia, chastised Don Imus, and designated "Safe Kids Week." With rare exception, these purely symbolic gestures are approved by unanimous voice vote.

That wasn't the case yesterday, as Council proclaimed Philadelphia a "Pro-Choice City," which supports "women's reproductive rights and freedom" and defends "the right to choose a legal and safe abortion as a final but critical option for women."

Though the resolution has no practical implications, it was strongly opposed by eight of 17 Council members and generated an immediate and sharply worded rebuke from Cardinal Justin Rigali, who urged "people of good will" to reject the "divisive and erroneous label that Philadelphia City Council has forced upon the citizens of Philadelphia."
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'March for Jesus' Draws Over 1 Million Evangelicals in Brazil
By
Jennifer Riley
Christian Post Reporter
Fri, Jun. 08 2007

Evangelicals from across Brazil flooded San Paulo Thursday for the “March for Jesus” event as live Christian bands accompanied the more than one million marchers.

The annual march, organized by evangelical churches, featured a concert with 30 Christian bands carried on 17 flatbed trucks performing live as participants marched through Brazil’s financial capital, according to Agence France-Presse. Participants also protested homosexuality ahead of what some regard as the world’s largest gay pride parade on Sunday.

In 2006, some 2.8 million marched in the Gay Pride parade in Brazil. Organizers say they expect even more protestors at this year’s event.

Although “March for Jesus” organizers said 3.5 million participants were expected for this year’s evangelical event, police estimated a lower number of about one million marchers on Thursday, according to AFP.
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Proposal could fine pharmacists $500,000
Christians ordered to provide abortifacients on demand

June 8, 2007

Democrats in Congress have proposed a plan to fine pharmacies up to $500,000 if the pharmacists follow their conscience and decline to dispense abortifacient chemicals.

"Pharmacists are professionals, not vending machines," said Wendy Wright, president of
Concerned Women for America. "The FDA has been known to make mistakes in approving drugs, and doctors have made mistakes in prescribing. Pharmacists provide a line of defense to ensure that patients' lives and health are protected and can make patients aware of ethical concerns.

"Yet this bill would punish pharmacists up to $500,000 for acting on their ethical duty," she said.
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Faith-based fare may get made-in-Mass. tag
Producer envisions $150m studio, jobs for 1,500

By Steve Bailey, Globe Staff
June 6, 2007

Hollywood executive David Kirkpatrick has a vision: To make Massachusetts, the home of the Puritans that grew up to be the bluest of the blue states, into a hotbed of faith-based multimedia entertainment production.

Kirkpatrick, a former president of Paramount Pictures and a cofounder of the year-old Good News Holdings, whose mission is to produce "spiritainment" that will "please God," is in search of 100 acres in his native Massachusetts to build a $150 million-plus studio to produce films, television shows, and commercials, both religious and otherwise. His ambitious plans call for 14 sound stages, a "huge" back lot for filming and as many as 1,500 jobs. This is phase one, he says, which he wants to have "fully operational" by 2009.

"Our focus is on values-based entertainment across all platforms," Kirkpatrick, whose credits as a producer include "The Brady Bunch Movie" and "Big Night," said yesterday. "We are not Republicans, not Democrats. But people who want to make a difference in the culture."
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Faith Leaders Debate Effects Of Limits on Emissions
By
Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 8, 2007

Excerpt: "Trading the same admonitions from Jesus to protect "the least of these," the climate-change activists said the poor would suffer most from extreme weather; skeptics of climate change said the poor would be hit hardest by the cost of shifting to cleaner energy sources.

Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church and a former oceanographer, argued that "global poverty and climate change are intimately related."

She said that changing rain patterns would increase droughts in Africa and that the poorest Americans would be disproportionately affected by heat waves, extreme storms and the spread of infectious diseases. "I want to be absolutely clear: Inaction on our part is the most costly of all courses of action for those living in poverty," she said."
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Looking for the Light
Thursday, Jun. 07, 2007
By DAVID VAN BIEMA
CATHERINE MAYER / LONDON

For his last official act before a three-month sabbatical, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams ordained a new bishop in London's St. Paul's Cathedral. Williams, the tousle-haired leader of the Church of England and titular head of its global offshoot, the Anglican Communion, performed the liturgy of ordination: "Will you strive for the visible unity of Christ's Church?" he asked. Answered the new bishop: "By the help of God, I will."

By the help of God, indeed. Almost from the day he took over, in 2002, Williams, now 56, has been attempting to prevent a schism among the world's 79 million Anglicans. It has been a horrible task. Within months of his taking the job, a simmering debate on homosexuality exploded into a brutal battle, pitting some of the wealthiest and most liberal of the church's 38 provinces, notably those in North America, against a more socially conservative group mostly concentrated in Africa and Asia and known as the Global South. The latter's views were reflected in 1998 in language at the communion's once-a-decade Lambeth Conference, calling homosexual practice "incompatible with Scripture." But in 2003 the Episcopal Church, the Anglican body in the U.S., ordained Gene Robinson, an openly gay man, as bishop of New Hampshire. Unlike the Pope, the Archbishop makes no claims to infallibility and cannot dictate to his flock. The years since have featured angry meetings, threats of secession and unmet deadlines. The next full-scale opportunity to negotiate will be at the Lambeth meeting in July 2008--if Williams can keep all parties on board.
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After the storm -- All Saints Episcopal replaces priest who left church last year
By: GARY WARTH - Staff Writer
June 7, 2007

The Rev. Michael Carr knows his predecessor left abruptly because of a theological dispute. He knows his new church's congregation is small because some church members also left. And he knows he is moving into an area where his denomination has been affected by a nationwide schism.But all that is in the past. Carr said his focus is on the future.

"We'll be worshipping together, praising God together, and making a joyful noise in the future," said Carr, 50, about his plans at All Saints Episcopal Church in Vista, where he led his first service Sunday.
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Thursday, June 07, 2007

"Pray without ceasing." 1 Thessalonians 5:17

We think rightly or wrongly about prayer according to the conception we have in our minds of prayer. If we think of prayer as the breath in our lungs and the blood from our hearts, we think rightly. The blood flows ceaselessly, and breathing continues ceaselessly; we are not conscious of it, but it is always going on. We are not always conscious of Jesus keeping us in perfect joint with God, but if we are obeying Him, He always is. Prayer is not an exercise, it is the life. Beware of anything that stops ejaculatory prayer. "Pray without ceasing," keep the childlike habit of ejaculatory prayer in your heart to God all the time.

Jesus never mentioned unanswered prayer, He had the boundless certainty that prayer is always answered. Have we by the Spirit the unspeakable certainty that Jesus had about prayer, or do we think of the times when God does not seem to have answered prayer? "Every one that asketh receiveth." We say - "But . . . , but . . ." God answers prayer in the best way, not sometimes, but every time, although the immediate manifestation of the answer in the domain in which we want it may not always follow. Do we expect God to answer prayer?

The danger with us is that we want to water down the things that Jesus says and make them mean something in accordance with common sense; if it were only common sense, it was not worth while for Him to say it. The things Jesus says about prayer are supernatural revelations. ...Oswald Chambers
photo

Pakistan's Blasphemy Laws Strike Again--and May Get Worse
Christian sentenced to death, nursing school shut down.

Elizabeth Lawson
6/07/2007

Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws have been used against Christians in two recent incidents, prompting a louder by groups who say the laws are abusive.

Younis Masih, a 29-year-old Christian from Lahore, was sentenced to death on Wednesday, May 30, for allegedly making derogatory remarks about Muhammad in September 2005.

On September 9, 2005, a neighbor of Masih's demanded that Christians gathering in their town observe Muslim and not Christian rituals, precipitating an argument between him and Masih, according to Masih's lawyer. The resident accused Masih of blasphemy two days later, and a lower-ranking officer investigated and arrested him.
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Faith leaders call for climate policy to help people in poverty
Date Thu, 7 Jun 2007
(NCC News)
Washington D.C.

Testifying before the Environment and Public Works Senate Committee today, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, joined with other major faith leaders representing Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish organizations to call for the U.S. Congress to alleviate the burden on people in poverty by reducing U.S. carbon emissions through mandatory climate policy.

The testimony of the Most Reverend Jefferts Schori, a trained oceanographer who testified on behalf of the National Council of Churches USA (NCC), comes on the heels of a global warming resolution passed by the NCC's General Assembly in November 2006 and a Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas statement issued at their May 23, 2007, session held at St. Vladimir's Seminary in Crestwood, NY.

"As a priest, trained as a scientist, I take as a sacred obligation the faith community's responsibility to stand on the side of truth--whether that be the truth of science or the truth of God's unquenchable love for God's children," said Bishop Jefferts Schori. "Science has revealed that global warming is real, caused by human activities and is a threat not only to God's good creation but to all of humanity."
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Anglican schism not inevitable says Williams
By Michael Conlon, Religion Writer
Thu 7 Jun 2007

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, in an interview to be published on Friday, says he is not optimistic about the future of the Anglican Church but adds that a schism over gay issues is not inevitable.

The state of the 77-million-member global church "feels very vulnerable. I can't, of course, deny that. It feels very vulnerable and very fragile, perhaps more so than it's been for a very long time," Williams told Time Magazine.

But he also said:

"I don't think schism is inevitable. The task I've got is to try and maintain as long as possible the space in which people can have constructive disagreements, learn from each other, and try and hold that within an agreed framework of discipline and practice."

Asked if was optimistic, Williams said "I'm hopeful. Not optimistic," agreeing that "hopeful" was a "safer" word.
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Church split hangs over retreat
By Daniel Divilio
Staff Writer
June 7, 2007


Members of the gay and lesbian community held a day for spritiual reflection and a discussion of the discord within the Episcopal Church and its other affiliates at All Saints' Epicopal Church.

On June 2, a "Day of Spirituality" for the local gay and lesbian community was held at All Saints', located in Rehoboth Beach.

The event began with guest speaker and moderator Rev. Dr. Richard P. Smiraglia and also featured a special service of meditation, music and communion.

Smiraglia is the Convener of the Episcopal Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Outreach, as well as a staff member at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Philadelphia.

Smiraglia said that he had felt the calling to the priesthood as a youth, but due to his sexual orientation did not follow it through, as the Church would not accept it.

"And I knew at that point that there was no future in the Church for me. Because I was out and proud to be out and that was just how it was going to be in my life," Smiraglia said.
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Guidance from God
By Rob Des Cotes

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Isaiah 30:21

LISTEN AND you will hear. Could it really be that simple? God, directly influencing our way, whether we turn to the right or to the left? In this passage we find encouragement that, no matter which way we go, we can always hope to hear the Lord's assurances in our prayers: "This is the way, walk in it."

How often do we carry in our minds the image of a fork in the road? We assume that one way is necessarily God's will and that the other will lead us away from his presence.


Report: More Media Consumption, Less Commitment to Traditional Values
By
Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Thu, Jun. 07 2007

WASHINGTON – Americans who watch more hours of television tend to be less committed to classical virtues such as honesty and fairness and less likely to value religious principles, according to a conservative media watchdog.

In a study commissioned by the Culture and Media Institute (CMI), 47 percent of light TV viewers (one hour or less per evening) attend church frequently compared to 28 percent of heavy TV viewers (four or more hours). And while 29 percent of light TV viewers rarely or never attend church, the number jumps to 51 percent among heavy TV viewers.

Moreover, 43 percent of light TV viewers try to live by God's principles compared to 32 percent of heavy TV viewers.

Measuring how the general American public perceives the impact of news and entertainment media, the study found the majority of Americans believe the media have a negative effect on moral values in America.
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Genes behind serious illnesses discovered
By Roger Highfield and Stephen Adams
07/06/2007

A dramatic genetic breakthrough has paved the way for potential new treatments of seven common diseases that could help more than 20 million people.

The largest ever study of its kind has found 10 new genes linked to seven of the most common ailments: heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, bipolar disorder and Crohn’s disease.

Some 200 British scientists from 50 research groups collaborated to discover the genes after screening DNA from 17,000 people.

In two years, the £9 million investigation analysed 10 billion pieces of genetic information.
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Richard Kew+ Launches New Blog:
Being A Man In This Brave New World
June 05, 2007

Many things have either died or been stillborn as a result of the Episcopal Church's tragedy that has been unfolding since August 2003. For me one was a book I was in process of writing following a powerful gathering of men that took place in Florida in early 2002.

Convened by Bishop John Lipscomb and Jay Crouse, who worked in men's ministries in the Diocese of Southwest Florida, it was an attempt to assess what must happen if we were to give ministry among the male half of the population its rightful place in the church's life. I remember enjoying that gathering almost more than any I have ever participated in, and came away with quantities of material and research ideas that we hoped would result in a book that would have a profound impact on ministry amongst men in North American Anglicanism.

Alas, we were derailed. Our intentions were diverted by the slow motion train wreck that has been taking place ever since the Episcopal Church declared, in effect, that it was totally confused about what it means to be a man, to be a woman, and how we human beings of differing genders relate to one another. I sometimes wonder how many other magnificent Kingdom opportunities were lost as Gospel-inspired dreams have given way to the banality of keeping up with a crumbling culture?
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Being a Man In This Brave New World

Christian author examines ways to please God through worship
Allie Martin
OneNewsNow.com
June 7, 2007

In his new book, Christian author Dean Merrill is challenging believers to put more emphasis on transparent, heartfelt prayer and to seek God with a whole heart.

In When God Comes to Church, Merrill and co-author Pastor Steve Gaines encourage Christians to earnestly seek God's presence. Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, and Merrill urge churches to design their worship services not to attract people,
but to attract God's presence. They discuss the things that they believe attract God to churches -- such as sincere prayer, true repentance, tithing, fasting, unity, and the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Merrill says it is vital for churches to sincerely seek after God. He recalls the account in the Gospel of Luke, when Jesus came to John the Baptist to be baptized in the Jordan River.

"Luke 3 says while [Jesus] was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him like a dove," says Merrill. "While he was praying," he repeats for emphasis -- "the idea of the heavens just opening up happened. There's a principle there that's really, really important." And that principle, he says, involves "not trying to put on airs" when talking to the Lord, but "simply welcoming him and saying I really want to be close to you."
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Peru trekker's mystery bug is new to science
UCSF researchers identify bacterium as cause of ailment

Sabin Russell, Chronicle Medical Writer
Thursday, June 7, 2007

UCSF researchers have identified a new species of bacteria, similar to the bug that caused trench fever in World War I, in an American tourist who was sickened after a spending three weeks trekking in Peru.

The culprit is a microscopic bacterium resembling a baked bean with a straggly beard. The university scientists have named it Bartonella rochalimae (ro-cha-li-ma-e), after a prominent Brazilian scientist, Henrique da Rocha-Lima, who decades ago identified the bacterium that causes typhus, and named the bacteria that caused trench fever, a painful scourge that immobilized tens of thousands of World War I soldiers.
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Court grants asylum over forced abortion
By PAUL ELIAS
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER
June 6, 2007


SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that women who are forced to abort their pregnancies by governments such as China's can be awarded asylum in the United States.

Courts previously have allowed victims of forced sterilization to seek asylum here. On Wednesday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the same protection should be given to victims of forced abortions and their spouses.

"Both forms of persecution have serious, ongoing effects," the three-judge panel wrote in its unanimous decision. "We see no way to distinguish between the victims of forced sterilization and the victims of forced abortion for withholding of removal eligibility purposes."
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Albert Mohler: A Tale of Two Crises? America, Europe, and Secularism
Thursday, June 07, 2007

America is becoming more secular while Europe is growing less secular? That counter-intuitive analysis of offered by Ross Douthat in the current issue of
The Atlantic. In "Crises of Faith," Douthat argues that secularism is on the rise in the United States even as Islam expands across Europe and some forms of Christianity appear newly resurgent.

The differences between America and Europe when it comes to secularization are well known and undeniable. As he explains:

Nothing divides the United States from Europe like religion. America has its public piety and its multitude of thriving sects, Europe has its official secularism and its empty, museum-piece churches. Ninety percent of Americans say they believe in God, while only about 60 percent of Britons, French, and Germans say the same. American politics is riven by faith-based disputes that barely exist across the Atlantic, while European debates take place under a canopy of unbelief that's unimaginable in the United States, where polls show that a Muslim or a homosexual has a better chance of being elected president than an acknowledged atheist.
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The Revenge of Conscience —Albert Mohler
From Townhall Commentary email

Something noteworthy is happening in the mainstream media. First, The Los Angeles Times ran a story that, in all its horrible brutality, attempted to defend a couple's decision to kill selected fetuses in the woman's womb by means of what is euphemistically called "selective reduction."

The article was chilling in its cold honesty and grotesque morality.Then The New York Times runs a pair of articles that dealt honestly with the fact that 90 percent of fetuses with Down syndrome are being aborted.Then The Washington Post Magazine published an extensive report on the practice of a doctor who specializes in targeting unborn babies in multiple pregnancies--killing them with a shot of potassium chloride to the heart. The article is one of the most chilling reports ever written on what really happens in these abortions.

This is evidence of the revenge of conscience. We can deny moral knowledge for only so long, and there is no denying the horror of what we now allow.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

He knows when we go into the storm, He watches over us in the storm, and He can bring us out of the storm when His purposes have been fulfilled. ...Warren W. Wiersbe photo

Remembering D-Day
By Kerry Byrne
June 06, 2007

Over the past 1,000 years, only two military men have successfully crossed the English Channel. One is called the Conquerer. The other is called Eisenhower.

Maybe that's why I've been utterly fascinated by D-Day -- 63 years ago today -- ever since I was a small child. I was there, on June 6, 2004, at St. Mere Eglise, the French village liberated by American paratroopers on D-Day and immortalized in the book and movie "The Longest Day." The entire town today is a shrine to the lost, confused and heroic American boys who took the economy flight on their first trip to Europe. Monuments and markers signify the spots where many of them fell -- and many of them died. An effigy of an American paratrooper hangs from the church bell tower, a constant reminder of Pvt. John Steele, who was caught in that precarious position on the day the town was freed from the Nazis. The French have not forgotten, folks, certainly not in Normandy.

Everything about D-Day blows my mind: the organization, the creativity, the deception, the overpowering industrial might, the sheer logistics -- hell, they laid a gas pipeline under the channel to power all the tanks and trucks landing on the other side -- and, mostly, the humanity and inhumanity of it all, the horror and, yes, the heroism. I can barely juggle a few writing gigs. Eisenhower organized the largest invasion force and logistical enterprise ever assembled and ordered millions of men into battle. One historian or politician (who it was escapes me) described D-Day as the most unselfish act in the history of man. Tossing a buck to the guy panhandling outside Starbucks just doesn't compare. the rest

Audio: FDR's D-Day prayer

Porn Addiction Flooding Culture, Church
by Audrey Barrick
Christian Today US Correspondent
Posted: Wednesday, June 6, 2007

In a culture where sexuality and porn is now a part of everyday life, porn addiction in the church is escalating, according to a new survey.

In a poll of 1,000 respondents, 50 percent of Christian men and 20 percent of Christian women were found to be addicted to pornography. Conducted by ChristaNet.com, a popular Christian marketplace website, the poll asked visitors about their personal sexual conduct.

"There have been dynamic paradigm shifts in the behaviour of Christians over the last four years," said Clay Jones, founder and president of Second Glance Ministries, which partnered with ChristiaNet.com to evaluate poll responses.

Many point to the Internet for the pervasive problem of sexual addiction.
the rest

Evangelistic Festival, Gay Pride Fair to Hit Southern New York
Lillian Kwon
Tuesday, Jun. 5, 2007

Tens of thousands of people are expected to hear the message of sin and salvation at an evangelistic festival in Binghamton, N.Y., this weekend. Also coming to town that same weekend is a gay pride fair.

The NYPENN Franklin Graham Festival will hit Binghamton this Friday for a three-day event complete with popular Christian music artists, KidzFest and free admission. It's the first time a Graham festival is landing in the Southern Tier and local organizers are readying two additional overflow venues at the Binghamton University Events Center.

With praying and preparation months into the event, John O'Neil, chairman of the event's executive committee of local volunteers, says the festival is to "reach the un-churched, to provide a message of love, a message of hope, a message of meaning," according to the local Press & Sun-Bulletin.
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California Assembly for Second Time Adopts Gay Marriage Bill
Samatha Young
Wednesday, Jun. 6, 2007

SACRAMENTO — The state Assembly on Tuesday voted to allow gay couples to marry in a challenge to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has said he would veto the bill if it passes the full Legislature.

Lawmakers approved the measure on a party-line vote, with the majority saying the

Legislature should not to wait for the state Supreme Court to act on the issue. It passed 42-34. "This does in fact provide equal marriage rights for all citizens of California," bill author Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, said as he began what marked the lengthiest debate so far this year on the Assembly floor.
the rest

Researchers make stem cells from skin
By Clive Cookson in London and Rebecca Knight in Boston
Published: June 6 2007
June 6 2007

Three scientific teams published separate studies on Wednesday showing that embryonic stem cells can be made by reprogramming some of the genes in adult skin cells, without having to create an embryo – at least in mice.

Separately, a fourth scientific paper showed that newly fertilised eggs could be used instead of unfertilised eggs to produce cloned mice. If this technique were extended to humans, it might open up a new source of stem cells for therapeutic cloning research: frozen ­early-stage human embryos, which are much more plentiful than human eggs.

The animal research, carried out in the US and Japan and published in the journal Nature, will encourage opponents of human embryo experiments. But the scientists involved in the studies said it was far too early to tell whether the same procedures would work with adult human cells, let alone whet­her it would be safe to use clinically to treat disease.
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More Lambeth Invitations Likely
06/06/2007

The invitation list for the 2008 Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops is not complete, according to Canon James Rosenthal, communications director for the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC).

Invitations were sent May 22. The initial invitation list was compiled based on past precedent and the recommendations of the Windsor Report, according to Canon Rosenthal and other aides to Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams who spoke with The Living Church.

Bishops who have not received invitations included those whose consecrations are valid but whose jurisdictions are anomalous, bishops not engaged in stipendiary episcopal ministry, and a handful of bishops whose manner of life or public actions are cause for concern. Invitation also were not extended to retired but semi-active bishops known as “assisting bishops” in The Episcopal Church or “honorary assistant bishops” in the Church of England.

Some previous Lambeth Conferences included bishops holding administrative positions within their national churches, but no such invitations have yet been extended for 2008. Episcopal bishops in this group include the Rt. Rev. C. Christopher Epting, the Presiding Bishop’s deputy for ecumenical and interfaith relations; the Rt. Rev. F. Clayton Matthews, director of the Office of Pastoral Development at The Episcopal Church Center; and the Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston, dean of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass. All three are actively engaged in stipendiary church ministry and are active members of the House of Bishops, but are not directly engaged in “episcopal ministry,” the ACC said.
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BabyBlueOnline:

Bishop David Bena Confirms nearly 80 at The Falls Church on Trinity Sunday

Please Pray for Bishop Steve Jecko


Also, lots of new stuff at CANN

Episcopal Priest Sees No Barrier To Also Practicing Islam

The June 2007 issue of Episcopal Life (go to pg. 9) has an interview with the Rev. Dr. Ann Holmes Redding.

A little more than a year ago, the Rev. Dr. Ann Holmes Redding found herself at the doorway of a new world, Islam, and wasn’t quite sure how she got there. As she reflected on her journey, she realized Jesus was her guide. Now both a practicing Muslim and an Episcopal priest, Redding shares her thoughts on how the two faiths inform each other. “The way I understand Jesus is compatible with Islam,” Redding explains, “and although there are Christians and Muslims who think I must convert from one to the other, the more I go down this path the more excited I am about both Christianity and Islam.”

Comments at Stand Firm

Lambeth Can Be What It Wants To Be
Written by Rev. Dr. Ephraim Radner
Tuesday, 05 June 2007

Why the wrangling over Lambeth? If nothing else, the present debate over invitations to and attendance at the upcoming Lambeth Conference offers an important opportunity to reflect on the character of the Church as a body that gathers, takes common counsel, and makes representative decisions. Specifically, some of the public statements over these matters being offered by various parties within the Anglican Communion expose some deep misunderstandings as well as some marvelous opportunities. One of the main expressions of misunderstanding lies in the stated desire – first declared by certain American liberals, and now taken up from their own side by some American and some African conservatives – to leave the Lambeth Conference behind as a gathering unworthy of their attendance. Writing as a conservative myself, I must address the latter group most explicitly.

It is true that we find that it is hard and perhaps impossible any longer to “recognize” our church within the liberal hegemony dominating TEC. And it is natural that we would feel, as a result, a certain anger driven by sadness, disappointment, and alarm. It is even natural that such feelings would motivate us to seek separation from that which seems alien and heretical to us, and to attempt to forge links with a form of Christian belief and practice that coheres with our own self-recognition. But all of this need not and should not drive us to refuse to meet within the larger church in a Christian spirit and confront our differences and their effects. Such refusal, it seems, runs counter both to Christian charity and to the way in which Christians have sought to settle differences over the ages (see below): namely, by gathering in council to deal face to face with matters that divide.
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An Overview of Canada's Future in Light of Abortion
Coming collapse of entire feminist-secularist philosophy predicted while its effects will have brought nation to its knees
By Father Alphonse de Valk, C.S.B.
Catholic Insight, June 2007 Edition

The National Post’s May 5, 2007 front-page story, continued inside on pages 10 and 11, carried the title, in large letters, “How did abortion, that most contentious of issues, become one that is simply not discussed publicly?” Vertically woven through the title from left to right was “THE a WORD.” The story appeared just a few days ahead of Campaign Life Coalition’s annual rally, the National March for Life on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, in memory of May 14, 1969, when Trudeau’s Liberals made the killing of the preborn legal.

The reference to public silence about abortion was in the context of Canada, not the United States, where, the reporter Anne-Marie Owens noted, in the previous few months three major news magazines — Time, Newsweek and the New York Times Magazine — had devoted cover stories to aspects of abortion. In Canada, only the Canadian Medical Association Journal recently touched off a controversy in its pages, but its readership is largely comprised of insiders.
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Blame your bill on corn, weather
Shoppers already dealing with high gasoline prices face surging costs for groceries driven partly by demand for biofuels
June 6, 2007
BY
JANET RAUSA FULLER Staff Reporter

With coupons in hand, Sharon Piejko walked the aisles of a downtown Dominick's on her lunch hour and fretted over the high prices.

"It's very painful," said Piejko, 55, of Calumet City. "I mean, a dollar for a can of cat food? I have two cats, and I have two adult kids living with me, so budgeting for food is difficult right now. If I don't see a really good sale, I don't go."
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BBC news:

Abortion 'is a conscience issue'
.
Bid to change abortion law fails

Church aims to 'understand gays'

Censorship 'changes face of net'

Pakistanis executed for adultery

Vatican to build solar panel roof



Lightning Strikes as Rudy explains abortion stand...

Electrical glitch worries Giuliani at debate

God's plan
Episcopal pastor extends pursuit of bishophood

BY LOUIS MEDINA, Californian staff writer
Tuesday, Jun 5 2007

A visiting minister opened his mouth to sing and instead brought a personal revelation from God to the Very Rev. Mark Lawrence.

"The journey begins. Pack your things. Give your children your blessing. You've been in one place long enough," recalled Lawrence.

No one else heard this same message, as the minister was singing in tongues.

Lawrence began to weep.

"A sense of God's presence came over me," he said.

Over the year that followed, the journey would take Lawrence -- and the entire U.S. Episcopal Church -- on an exhilarating yet disquieting, headline-making ride of faith and church politics.
the rest

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Fall on your knees and grow there. There is no burden of the spirit but is lighter by kneeling under it. Prayer means not always talking to Him, but waiting before Him till the dust settles and the stream runs clear. ...FB Meyer photo

Christian School Teacher Brutally Murdered by Extremists in Nigeria
by Daniel Blake
Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Sixteen suspects in the murder of a Christian secondary school teacher in the northern Nigerian state of Gombe, have been released without charge. The decision has caused dismay in local Christian circles.

Married mother of two, Christiana Oluwatoyin Oluwasesin, was brutally murdered on 21 March 2007 after a Muslim student falsely accused her of having torn a copy of the Quran. The student had been caught cheating in an exam at Gandu Government Day Secondary School.

Mrs Oluwasesin had confiscated a paper with Arabic inscriptions which the student had hidden in a book. Despite another teacher showing that the book was not the Quran and had not been torn, a mob of students attacked Mrs Oluwasesin, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has reported.
the rest

The Cross and the Star
June 5, 2007

In the July/August 2007 Atlantic, Adam Minter
tells the story of Father Aloysius Jin Luxian, a Catholic Bishop in Shanghai who has undertaken the difficult task of leading China’s Catholics while complying with the strictures of the Chinese Communist Party. In bridging the deep chasm between Christianity and Chinese politics, Jin, who spent nearly three decades in prison for his beliefs, must help his countrymen address certain fundamental questions: Is the Church an asset to Chinese culture? Or is it a “hostile, foreign-controlled entity” whose widespread acceptance could only undermine the Chinese way of life?

Atlantic authors have been tackling these questions since the magazine's very beginnings. In
an 1870 report, journalist Lydia Maria Child noted that Christianity held little appeal for the Chinese people. Content with their Buddhist religion, they were unconvinced that the followers of Jesus had anything to offer them. Ironically, Child believed that Roman Catholicism was too similar to Buddhism to attract much notice. “In some particulars,” she wrote, “the parallel [between Buddhism and Catholicism] is so close that it is difficult to perceive any difference, except in names.” She likened Buddha—as a holy man revered by a group of followers—to Jesus, and noted that Buddhists, like Christians, believe in a holy trinity. Buddhists also honor a wide array of saints, she pointed out, and the most religious Buddhists gather in monasteries for communal worship. the rest

'Lost Boy' from Sudan Still Running with God's Gift
Lopez Lomong was six years old when, in the dark of night, he and three older boys crawled through a small hole in a fence and ran barefoot for three days to escape their Sudanese rebel captors.
Bob Baum
Monday, Jun. 4, 2007

Excerpt: "On July 31, 2001, he arrived at the lakeside home of Robert and Barbara Rogers near Tully, N.Y."

We picked him up in a car," Robert Rogers recalled, "and he said 'You have a car?' I said actually I have three or four of them. Then we took him to McDonald's. He thought it was a fancy restaurant, because he hadn't been inside a restaurant before.

"Hot and cold running water, light switches, microwave ovens and a refrigerator filled with food were a puzzle to the 16-year-old African. The Rogers patiently helped him adjust."

They are such nice people, such awesome people," Lomong said. "For like a month, I thought this was probably something I was dreaming about. I didn't know it was actually real."

Lomong was the first of six Sudanese taken in by the Rogers. full story

Indian pastor, missionary receive death threat
By StatGuy
4 June 2007

Hindu extremists have issued death threats against two Indian Christian leaders—one a pastor, the other a missionary.

Pastor Pabitra Kata was himself once a Hindu radical, but his life has been transformed by the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. Since becoming a Christian and a preacher in 1999, at least 15 people have become believers through his ministry and several have been baptised.

Early last month, he was set upon by a mob of radical Hindus and
mercilessly beaten.

the rest at Magic Statistics

ETA Ends Truce With Spanish Government
Fears That Basque Separatist Group Will Resume Frequent Attacks After 15 Months

MADRID, Spain, June 5, 2007

(AP) The armed Basque separatist group ETA called off its 15-month-old cease-fire with the Spanish government in a statement Tuesday, formalizing what many saw as the demise of a once-promising peace process already struck down by a deadly bombing in December.

ETA said the truce it called in March 2006 would end at midnight Tuesday, and that after that it would be "active on all fronts to defend the Basque homeland." The move could mean a quick resumption of violence, and authorities say they are on high alert.

In a statement sent to two Basque newspapers, it blamed the government — and particularly Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero — for the failed peace process, accusing the Socialist leader of becoming a fascist.
the rest

1st Benedict-Bush meeting to focus on split over Iraq war, shared values
By John Thavis
6/5/2007
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – U.S. President George W. Bush is coming to the Vatican for his first formal audience with Pope Benedict XVI, a meeting seen on both sides as immensely important.

Vatican officials said the June 9 encounter would give the pope and the president a chance to sit down for a survey of dramatic situations around the world, including Iraq, where thousands of Christians have been forced to flee.

The Bush administration believes the audience will highlight the shared values and common objectives of the Vatican and the United States.

In an interview June 1, the U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, Francis Rooney, said the meeting was "a hugely important reflection" of the president's respect for the role of the pope and Vatican agencies around the world.
the rest

The Mission of the Trinity
Singaporean theologian Simon Chan says 'missional theology' has not gone far enough.

Interview by Andy Crouch
posted 6/04/2007

Simon Chan may be the world's most liturgically minded Pentecostal. The Earnest Lau professor of systematic theology at Trinity Theological College in Singapore is both a scholar of Pentecostalism and a leader in the Assemblies of God, but his recent books, Spiritual Theology and Liturgical Theology, engage with wider and older Christian traditions as well. Worship, Chan believes, is not just a function of the church, but the church's very reason for being. Our big question for 2007 focuses on global mission: What must we learn, and unlearn, to be agents of God's mission in the world? Christian Vision Project editorial director Andy Crouch interviewed Chan while Chan was a visiting scholar at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, to find out whether fully joining God's mission may require that we unlearn some of our assumptions about mission itself.

Interview here-excellent!

HOB Theology Committee Releases Study Document
06/04/2007

The House of Bishops theology committee has released its study document aimed at helping the bishops respond to the requests made to them by the Primates of the Anglican Communion.

The 15-page “Communion Matters: A Study Document for the Episcopal Church” contains three chapters followed by a series of eight questions for reflection with some background on each question. A page of online resources are included for background information.

the rest at The Living Church

The study guide is available online in both color PDF and black-and-white PDF document formats.

AMIA precedence? - Former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey Offers his Thoughts
This letter appears in the Church of England Newspaper, June 1, 2007


The case for the defence

Sir, Kenneth Kearon suggests (CEN May 25) that the decision not to invite AMiA bishops, or the recently consecrated CANA Bishop, to the Lambeth Conference relates to a precedent I set in 2000. This set my mind flashing back to the circumstances of that period. My opposition to the consecration of the two AMiA Bishops related to the setting up of Episcopal activity in the United States which I regarded as unconstitutional and unnecessary (at least at that period). Although I regarded these bishops (both honourable and good men) as ‘irregularly’ consecrated, there was no question about the validity of their consecrations.

This, of course, was before 2003 when the Episcopal Church clearly signalled its abandonment of Communion norms, in spite of warnings from the Primates that the consecration of a practising homosexual bishop would ‘tear the fabric of the Communion’. It is not too much to say that everything has changed in the Anglican Communion as a result of the consecration of Gene Robinson. The Archbishop of Canterbury’s prerogative to invite bishops to the Conference is a lonely, personal and important task. Before each Conference a number of careful decisions have to be taken, with the focus being on the well-being of the Communion. The circumstances facing each Archbishop of Canterbury will vary according to the needs of the hour. For these reasons, I believe, that Dr Rowan Williams should not regard the advice he has evidently received that this matter is ‘fixed’ as necessarily binding on him in the very different circumstances of 2007. He and all his colleagues will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Lord Carey of Clifton London
Global South Anglican

Israel Museum Displays Rare Old Testament Text
By Ben Hubbard
Associated Press Writer
Tue, Jun. 05 2007

JERUSALEM (AP) - A rare Old Testament manuscript some 1,300 years old is finally on display for the first time, after making its way from a secret room in a Cairo synagogue to the hands of an American collector.

The manuscript, containing the "Song of the Sea" section of the Old Testament's Book of Exodus and dating to around the 7th century A.D., comes from what scholars call the "silent era" — a span of 600 years between the third and eighth centuries from which almost no Hebrew manuscripts survive.

It is now on public display for the first time, at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

"It comes from a period of almost darkness in terms of Hebrew manuscripts," said Stephen Pfann, a textual scholar at the University of the Holy Land in Jerusalem. Scholars have long noted the lack of original biblical manuscripts written between the time of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the latest of which come from the third century, to texts written in the ninth and 10th centuries, Pfann said.
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Extraordinary letters in the laundry room
The Telegraph Group
05/06/2007

One of the greatest collections of historical letters ever amassed has been found in a laundry room. Susannah Morris was called in to examine the hoard after the death of the secretive collector and was astonished to be led not into a library or a safe room but to the basement.

In the laundry room, wedged between a washing machine and a tumble dryer, was a plain metal filing cabinet. Morris, who works for the auction house Christie's, opened it and could not believe her eyes.

Inside was the most remarkable collection of letters she had seen outside a national institution: a love letter by Napoloen; a diplomatic note to the king of France in the hand of Elizabeth I; a letter of condolence by John Donne; a tragic account written in 1545 by John Calvin, the theologian of the Reformation, about the suicide of a friend; and a withering letter by Charlotte Bronte on male shortcomings.
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Court deals serious blow to FCC expletive policy
By Kara Rowland
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
June 5, 2007

Broadcasters scored a major victory yesterday when a federal court invalidated a Federal Communications Commission indecency ruling against Fox Television, calling the regulator's policy of punishing "fleeting expletives" "arbitrary and capricious."

The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York ruled the FCC did not "articulate a reasoned basis for this change in policy" when it began penalizing broadcasters in 2004 for accidentally airing expletives.

The case stems from two broadcasts of the Billboard Music Awards on Fox. In the 2002 show, Cher lashed out at critics, saying: "[Expletive] 'em." The next year, Nicole Richie said: "Have you ever tried to get cow [dung] out of a Prada purse? It's not so [expletive] simple."
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Michigan’s ban on late-term abortion unconstitutional, federal appeals court rules
June 4, 2007
By DAWSON BELL
FREE PRESS LANSING BUREAU

LANSING — A Michigan law enacted by petition drive in 2004 to ban some late-term abortions was declared unconstitutional today by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Although intended to prohibit the procedure commonly called partial-birth abortion by abortion foes, the Michigan law is more sweeping than a partial-birth abortion ban passed by Congress and upheld in April by the U.S. Supreme Court, the appeals court ruled.

The appeals court found that Michigan's Legal Birth Definition Act could apply to abortions using other methods earlier in pregnancy and places an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to choose abortion. The appeals panel affirmed a Detroit district judge’s opinion.
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Monday, June 04, 2007

Lord, I know not what I ought to ask of you.
O, Father, give to your child
what he himself knows not how to ask.
Teach me to pray.
Pray yourself in me.
François Fenelon photo

Richard Kew+: The Scriptures & Preaching in hard times

The other day I was doing due diligence checking up what was going on in the confused and confusing world of Anglicanism when I came across a powerful article on TitusOneNine that dealt with the issue of preaching. It was written by a Roman Catholic priest from Rhode Island, David Lewis Stokes, Jr. here . The trigger for the piece, published in the Providence Journal, was a story of a local minister had recently been caught "recycled sermons without acknowledging his sources."

The outcome was a thoughtful analysis of preaching and its decline in our culture for, as Fr. Stokes says, "To climb up into a pulpit week after week has become much like the tight-rope artist who must amaze a demanding audience with ever more daring routines.

"Stokes' piece was timely and well-modulated, producing several helpful insights that everyone who undertakes the weekly spiritual striptease of preaching would do well to meditate upon. While he skirts around what it might be that reduces preachers to wrapping themselves in someone else's rags, it is implicitly a warning to each of us that we should engage the world of the Bible that it might engage and shape the lives we live in the world of today.
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