Saturday, September 15, 2007

'Is our society broken? Yes, I think it is'
By Rachel Sylvester and Alice Thomson

Interview: Rachel Sylvester and Alice Thomson find the Archbishop of Canterbury in a reflective mood

Lambeth Palace is just across the Thames from the Palace of Westminster but it couldn't be more different. Even during recess the House of Commons is frenetic, but behind the wooden gates of the Archbishop of Canterbury's residence all is calm.

Have your say: Is our society broken?

Not for long. As politics concentrates increasingly on moral questions, so the church has become ever more political. Yesterday, Dr Rowan Williams met Gordon Brown for the first time since he became Prime Minister and the Archbishop clearly intends to get more involved in the national debate. "Politics is so much about human issues now," he says.

In his four years as head of the established Church, he has shied away from being a moral arbiter and rarely given an interview. When we meet him, however, he talks frankly about everything affecting society, from Pop Idol to gang culture.
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Friday, September 14, 2007

Bishops’ Report - Word File and PDF Scans

Here at Stand Firm

Comments at TitusOneNine

Pro-Life Group Wants Anglican Church to Have Stronger Abortion Stance
by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 13, 2007

Washington, DC ( -- A pro-life group working within the Anglican Church has launched a petition drive to ask the archbishops and bishops of the Anglican Communion to take a stronger stance against abortion. The group says the church has always enunciated a pro-life position but never an official one.

Georgette Forney, the president of Anglicans for Life, tells that her group hopes the Anglican Communion will proclaim that the Anglican Church affirms the sacredness of every life, including unborn children.
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Matt Kennedy: Preparing for New Orleans: Will there be a Communion after September 30th?

Were, in other words, the Archbishop and the PSC to stand the ground laid out by the body of the primates and then, subsequent to the House of Bishop’s all too predictable refusal to accede to the conditions of Dar and/or equally predictable attempt to offer a gutted “compromise” solution incorporating elements of Dar into a proposal that 1. refuses to “clarify” TEC’s stance on same sex unions and the interpretation of B033 and 2. grounds all power and accountability in the Episcopal Church office, call an emergency primates’ meeting, withdraw the previously issued Lambeth invitations, and issue invitations to Cana, Uganda, and ACK and AMiA bishops to attend the Conference, then unity might be restored.

The rest at Stand Firm

Lots of news over at CANN

TitusOne Nine: Interview with Bishop Bill Atwood: Why the US needs orthodox bishops
Posted by Kendall Harmon

September 14, 2007

One hundred years ago, Western missionaries were sent to Africa to convert the heathen and spread the gospel of peace. But now the tide has turned, according to conservatives, after a bumper crop of US priests were consecrated in the heart of Africa this month. Their mission? To head back to the States and minister to Anglicans disillusioned with the increasingly liberal Episcopal Church which, they claim, tore the Communion asunder with the consecration of a gay bishop in 2003.Last week the Churches of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda all consecrated their American ‘flying bishops’ on African soil ready to send them back to troubled traditionalist congregations in the US.

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Suffering at the heart of schism
Ruth Gledhill Weblog
September 14, 2007


"I was blessed to have the chance this week to speak to Bishop Keith Ackerman of the Quincy diocese. He says his diocese, on the Anglican-Catholic wing, has been 'reserved' in its response to the crisis and has not been aggressive in its pursuit of a solution. Nevertheless, the diocese has begun setting out plans that could see it leave TEC. 'We are throwing ourselves on Rowan Williams' mercy,' Bishop Keith told me. 'We want to persuade him to stop the haemorrhage that is taking place in The Episcopal Church. The haemorrhage is being grossly understated. There are now 53 denominations of continuing churches in the US. There are numerous parishes that are no longer under US jurisdiction. I'm led to believe there may be as many as 200 of these. One of the things that Lambeth 98 was terribly specific about was that the US needed to come up with a plan for them to re-enter the family. At Lambeth we said we would reach out to those who consider themselves of Anglican tradition. But there has been very, very little effort. More effort has been put into ecumenism with the Lutherans and United Methodists than with the various bodies of Anglican tradition. Frankly, I have much more in common with them than I do with Lutherans or Methodists."

Full story-Don't miss this!

Report: 40 years of Anglican-Catholic discussions
The Anglican Communion Office and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity released their definitive report on decades of ecumenical discussions. Report comments on issues such as cooperation and the Eucharist.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Martin Barillas

The Anglican Communion news service reported that on September 14, the Anglican Communion Office and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity's Information Service released a definitive text of the report of the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM).

The report, entitled “Growing Together in the Unity and Mission”, offers a concise summary of 40 years of Anglican-Roman Catholic theological dialogue. It sets out both areas of convergence and agreement, as well as outstanding areas of difficulty and continuing dialogue. It then proceeds to explore how Anglicans and Roman Catholics can work together towards Christian unity and in practical initiatives.
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Report here

Episcopal Church Faces Potentially Large Departures from Dioceses

"The Episcopal Church now faces potentially large numbers of departures that would make what has happened until now look like the calm before a storm." --Ralph Webb, IRD Director of Anglican Action

WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 /
Christian Newswire/ -- Within the last week, three dioceses have signaled that they are preparing to depart the Episcopal Church if it does not reverse its course away from the larger Anglican Communion. The dioceses of Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, and Quincy, all of which represent a more biblically orthodox element in the Episcopal Church, have indicated that they are preparing to potentially depart the denomination. Anglican Communion leaders (called "primates") have requested that the denomination's House of Bishops provide assurances, by September 30, that in the future it will not consent to the consecration of bishops living in a same-sex relationship or approve same-sex blessings. All three dioceses have indicated that their first choice would be for the Episcopal Church to repent of its actions. the rest

Episcopalians Head to High-Stakes Meeting
The years-long strife in the Anglican Communion could reach a breaking point next week in New Orleans.
Daniel Burke, Religion News Service

The Episcopal Church, the U.S. branch of the Anglican Communion, was given until the end of the month to state unequivocally that it will not ordain any more gay bishops or authorize rites to bless same-sex unions.

If the U.S. bishops refuse, overseas Anglican archbishops have promised unspecified "consequences" that could drive the U.S. church from the Communion or lead other Anglicans out the door.

Meanwhile, several conservative U.S. dioceses have recently threatened to leave the Episcopal Church if the meeting doesn't go their way.

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What future for Anglicanism?
Friday, 14 September 2007

By Christopher Landau
BBC News

When the American branch of the Anglican church appointed an openly gay bishop in 2003, conservatives said it could lead to a split in the worldwide denomination. Now African churches are taking the matter into their own hands.

People in Mbarara, a town in south-western Uganda, had long been looking forward to the appointment of their new bishop.

Such an appointment would normally pass without comment.

But then the Archbishop of Uganda told them that the consecration ceremony would be for two new bishops, not one - and the second new bishop was a white, American priest.
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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thou sweet beloved will of God,
My anchor ground, my fortress hill -
My spirit's silent, fair abode -
In thee I hide me, and am still.

O Will, that willest good alone,
Lead thou the way, thou guidest best;
A silent child, I follow on,
And trusting lean upon thy breast.

And if in gloom I see thee not,
I lean upon thy love unknown;
In me thy blessed will is wrought,
If I will nothing of my own.
...Gerhard Tersteegen

TLC: Modified Primatial Vicar Plan to Be Proposed to Bishops

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will offer a revamped primatial vicar plan to the House of Bishops at their meeting next week in New Orleans, sources who have been briefed on the broad outline of the new proposal told The Living Church.

The plan is said to call for a nominee of the Presiding Bishop’s to exercise delegated pastoral authority over those dioceses that had requested alternate primatial oversight from Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams following the 2006 General Convention.

However, the Rt. Rev. Jack L. Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth, said a plan that placed the ultimate authority in the hands of the Presiding Bishop was a non-starter. Fort Worth would not accept the “unilateral dictates” of the Presiding Bishop, he said.
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Chinese Catholic bishop dies in custody
Tue, Sep. 11, 2007
Associated Press Writer

BEIJING -- A bishop who led an underground congregation of Roman Catholics and was repeatedly detained in China for his loyalty to the Vatican died in police custody, a monitoring group said Tuesday.

Bishop Han Dingxiang, 71, was cremated within six hours of his death Sunday and buried in a public cemetery with no priests or other faithful present, both groups said.

Han, who had been under house arrest or other forms of detention for nearly eight years, died while being treated for an unspecified illness, the U.S.-based Cardinal Kung Foundation said. The group, which has long had close contacts with China's underground church members, did not cite sources for its information.
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Religious Faith Linked To Good Health
Mary Ann Childers

Sep 12, 2007

(CBS) For millions of Americans, religion is an important part of life. CBS 2 Medical Editor Mary Ann Childers reports, there's growing evidence that religion and spirituality can have a positive effect on your physical well-being.

Research scientist Dr. Louise Hawkley has been studying 200 Cook County residents for six years and believes people who have a strong relationship with God have more resilient nervous systems. They handle stress better and see significant health benefits.

"People who had this religious well-being, they had not had heart attacks," Hawkley said.
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The Non-Candidate God
Cal Thomas

The field of presidential candidates is nearly complete. Only Newt Gingrich remains to decide — or announce if he has decided — whether he, too, will run for president. His decision is expected in November

.There is one person who is definitely not running, but may be invoked as the ultimate adviser. That would be God.

Writing in Time magazine, essayist Michael Kinsley raises some questions about presidential candidates who want God as their “running mate.” Kinsley would like them to go beyond the superficial “God bless you and God bless America” benediction. He wants to know to what extent God and a candidate’s understanding of Him might affect public policy should that person be elected.
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4 New Bishops Elected to Serve CANA
September 13, 2007

The House of Bishops of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) met in Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria, on the 12th day of September 2007. They received a report from the Rt. Rev’d Martyn Minns, Missionary Bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), a missionary initiative of the Church of Nigeria in the USA. Acknowledging the significant growth of CANA that is taking place in the USA, the House of Bishops considered a request for additional bishops to further the work of CANA and the extension of God’s Kingdom.

After the meeting, the Primate, the Most Rev’d Peter J. Akinola, announced the election of four suffragan bishops and appointed them to serve in the USA. The bishops-elect are the Rev’d Canon Roger Ames (Akron, OH), the Rev’d Canon David Anderson (Atlanta, GA), the Ven. Amos Fagbamiye (Indianapolis, IN), and the Rev’d Canon Nathan Kanu (Oklahoma City, OK).

The consecrations will take place in the USA before the end of 2007, at a date and place yet to be determined. These four bishops-elect will join Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns and Suffragan Bishop David Bena in providing an indigenous ecclesiastical structure for faithful Anglicans in this country.

CANA currently consists of approximately 60 congregations and 80 clergy in 20 states. About a quarter of the congregations are primarily expatriate Nigerians. CANA was established in 2005 to provide a means by which Anglicans living in the USA, who were alienated by the actions and decisions of The Episcopal Church, could continue to live out their faith without compromising their core convictions. CANA is part of the Common Cause partnership that includes representatives of more than 250 Anglican congregations that are connected to the rest of the Anglican Communion, a worldwide fellowship of some 70 million, through various pastoral and missionary initiatives.

TLC: AAC's Anderson Among Four New CANA Bishops

The Rev. Canon David Anderson, president of the American Anglican Council, is one of four new bishops that the Anglican Church of Nigeria announced it is adding to the roster of CANA, the Convocation of Anglicans in North America.

The Rev. Roger Ames, rector of St. Luke’s Anglican Church, Akron, Ohio, is another American elected by the Nigerian House of Bishops on Sept. 12. The other two bishops-elect are Nigerian priests serving expatriate African congregations in the United States, the Ven. Amos Fagbamiye and the Rev. Canon Nathan Kanu.
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13th September, 2007

The Primate of Church of Nigeria , the Most Revd. Peter Jasper Akinola says the Church will not deviate from its vision programme of mission and evangelism, spirituality, self-reliance, caring and ecumenism despite the challenges being faced.

Archbishop Akinola in his opening remarks at the 2007 bi-annual Standing Committee holding in Osogbo, the Osun State Capital said all those accusing the Church of Nigeria for concentrating only on championing the crusade against homosexuality in the United States of America have forgotten to acknowledge how regular converts are being won, the strategies in church planting and evangelism through the creation of 19 missionary dioceses and five full-fledged dioceses alone in 2007.

The Anglican Archbishop however challenged the 121 dioceses in the Church of Nigeria to intensify efforts on winning souls, embark on projects that will have direct bearing for the increase of the present members of the Anglican church in Nigeria from the present 20 million to 50 million out of the present 150 million of the Nigeria Population.

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Why Pray?
by Jill Woodliff

In a recent conversation with a fellow Episcopalian, she said, “Jill -- it appears to me that God will do what God will do, no matter whether we pray or not.” . . . He is a sovereign God.

When I get to heaven, after the initial worship, dance, and celebration, the first question I'm going to ask is 'How does prayer work?' The reality is this—when it comes to understanding how the power of prayer is affected on earth, we know nothing.

So, why pray?
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40 Days of Anglican Prayer

NORTH KOREA: Religion spreading among soldiers, secret directive issued to eradicate it
by Joseph Yun Li-sun

A booklet prepared by the Propaganda Department of the North Korean Army titled ‘Saving Our Soldiers from the Threat of Religion’ acknowledges that religion is spreading among soldiers, issues orders to eradicate it without delay.

Seoul (AsiaNews) – Religion “is spreading like a cancer inside North Korea’s armed forces, whose mission is to defend Socialism;” for this reason it “must be eradicated without delay since it comes from our enemies from around the world,” this according to a booklet prepared by the Propaganda Department of the North Korean Army titled Saving Our Soldiers from the Threat of Religion. A copy reached a member of the Committee for the Democratisation of North Korea, a group of political exiles and refugees that had it translated and released.

“We should not look, listen, read the documents, broadcastings and video or audio materials made by the enemy. The enemy is using radio and TV to launch false propaganda through well-made, strategic news and intrigue,” the booklet warned. the rest image

Ruth Gledhill weblog

Robot Maker Builds Artificial Boy
Sep 13, 2007

RICHARDSON, Texas (AP) - David Hanson has two little Zenos to care for these days. There's his 18-month-old son Zeno, who prattles and smiles as he bounds through his father's cramped office. Then there's the robotic Zeno. It can't speak or walk yet, but has blinking eyes that can track people and a face that captivates with a range of expressions.

At 17 inches tall and 6 pounds, the artificial Zeno is the culmination of five years of work by Hanson and a small group of engineers, designers and programmers at his company, Hanson Robotics. They believe there's an emerging business in the design and sale of lifelike robotic companions, or social robots. And they'll be showing off the robot boy to students in grades 3-12 at the Wired NextFest technology conference Thursday in Los Angeles.
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Bishop Robert Duncan's Pre-Convention Report
11th September, A.D.2007


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Grace and Peace to you from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Each year my pre-Convention report takes the form of a pastoral letter. This year will be no different.

It appears to many of us – bishops, clergy, laity – that a moment of decision has arrived in the Anglican Communion. The Windsor Report and Primates Communiques from Dromantine and Dar es Salaam have asked The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada to take clear actions committing these two Provinces of the Anglican Communion to “walking together” with rather than “walking apart” from the Communion. After four years the official, as well as general, response from The Episcopal Church seems to be “we’ll do it our way.” Moreover rejection (by both the House of Bishops and Executive Council) of proposals to allow sufficient integrity to dioceses like Pittsburgh, concerning traditional Faith and Order, now seems all but final. A last minute reversal by the House of Bishops (prior to a September 30th deadline established by the Communion) seems most unlikely. In light of these events, with heavy hearts, and for the sake of our mission it appears the time has come to begin the process of realignment within the Anglican Communion.
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Huge Quakes Hit Indonesia; Christian Agencies Ready to Respond

Two powerful earthquakes, the first hitting magnitude 8.4, have struck the west coast of Indonesia Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, triggering numerous tsunami warnings and sending hundreds of people in affected cities fleeing into the streets.
by Daniel Blake & Michelle Vu

Posted: Thursday, September 13, 2007

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TLC: Invalid Trust
The Rev. Jack Estes

Trust is an essential principle of the spiritual life. Our relationship with God relies on the fact that he is trustworthy, and that we are willing to place our trust in him. Trust in his love. Trust in his provision. Trust in his word. In fact, trust is foundational to all healthy relationships — trust between friends, trust in marriage between husband and wife, trust between employer and employee.

Trust bonds us to one another. Every bond of trust exists with certain conditions that in turn promise certain benefits. Thus the bond of trust is covenantal by nature, flowing back and forth between those who have committed themselves to one another.

Trust also functions as a bond in the life of a community, and is closely tied to authority. In our society, individuals and agencies in which we invest authority are expected to act in accordance with the values of society, with righteousness, honesty, and responsibility. When and if they do not, the public trust is violated. Those at fault must be held accountable for trust to be restored.

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Pondering in my heart: Reflections on personal experiences of ECUSA, six years ago: Bishop Harold Miller - Church of Ireland
Wednesday September 12th 2007
by Bishop Harold Miller

Bishop of Down and Dromore, Church of Ireland.

From The Church of Ireland Gazette

I should probably have said all of this six years ago, when I had just returned from being in the United States on Sabbatical, but it all seemed very subjective. What I noticed then were several trends in the Episcopal Church in the USA which have probably become more pronounced over the intervening years. Some, if not all, of these first-hand but subjective observations bring into focus key issues which are at the heart of the new ways of understanding the faith in The Episcopal Church today. These highlight the fact that the divisions we are experiencing in the Anglican Communion are not simply to do with sexuality. I write about these because it is important to note that there really is the beginning of a new kind of religion in parts of The Episcopal Church - a religion which not only re-interprets the traditional central tenets of the Christian faith, but which in fact has the potential to jettison many of them altogether.

My first observation six years ago was the gradual replacement of the word ‘Lord’ in reference to Jesus Christ. There was a perceptible change as I travelled across from the east coast to the west, from the traditional: ‘The Lord be with you’ in the liturgy, to the revised version, ‘God be with you’, and eventually, on the west coast ‘God is in you….and also in you’! The reason for the change is relatively obvious: ‘Lord’ is not only male, it is also perceived as authoritarian. But there is a great seriousness about a simplistic removal of the word, which would eventually preclude rather than necessitating the basic early Christian declaration of faith ‘Jesus Christ is Lord’ - the very declaration which all will make when every knee bows and every tongue confesses him.

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New church offers traditional worship
St. Michael the Archangel is 3rd Orthodox Anglican church in Indiana

By Katie Merlie

September 13, 2007

NOBLESVILLE -- The pastor and parishioners at St. Michael the Archangel, a church that began serving Noblesville Sunday, are certain God has opened doors to a great future.

St. Michael the Archangel is an Orthodox Anglican church that was established in January as a mission of the Anglican Diocese of Bolivia. The mission church is the third one established in Indiana, with others in Nashville and Anderson. Sunday worship is held in the Winks Building at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds.

"We're looking to be a church that is Bible-based, traditional, not agenda driven and a place where families can raise their children and learn about Christ," said the Rev. Tom Tirman, pastor of all three Indiana Anglican churches.

Tirman served for eight years at St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Noblesville before going to Trinity Episcopal Church in Anderson. After retiring from the Episcopal church, Tirman found himself wishing to expand his faith and joined the Orthodox Anglican church.
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AnglicanTV: Bishop Murdoch Interview

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What I believe is so magnificent, so glorious, that it is beyond finite comprehension. To believe that the universe was created by a purposeful, benign Creator is one thing. To believe that this Creator took on human vesture, accepted death and mortality, was tempted, betrayed, broken, and all for love of us, defies reason. It is so wild that it terrifies some Christians who try to dogmatize their fear by lashing out at other Christians, because tidy Christianity with all answers given is easier than one which reaches out to the wild wonder of God's love, a love we don't even have to earn. ...Madeleine L'Engle image

Young Muslims begin dangerous fight for the right to abandon faith
David Charter in The Hague
September 11, 2007

A group of young Muslim apostates launches a campaign today, the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America, to make it easier to renounce Islam.

The provocative move reflects a growing rift between traditionalists and a younger generation raised on a diet of Dutch tolerance.

The Committee for Ex-Muslims promises to campaign for freedom of religion but has already upset the Islamic and political Establishments for stirring tensions among the million-strong Muslim community in the Netherlands.
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Quincy diocese may leave Episcopal Church
Consecration of actively gay bishops, blessings of same-sex unions at odds with local leadership

Wednesday, September 12, 2007
of the Journal Star

PEORIA - The Episcopal Diocese of Quincy said Tuesday it will consider proposals in October that would allow it to break away from The Episcopal Church in order to, diocesan leaders say, stay with the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Bishop Keith Ackerman and other leaders of the west-central Illinois diocese discussed the resolutions with clergy members Tuesday at St. Paul Cathedral. The proposals had to be filed one month in advance of the annual synod in October.
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Survey Assesses Where Episcopalians Stand in Anglican Divide
By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Wed, Sep. 12 2007

A group of orthodox Episcopalians is circulating a survey to lay people across the nation to assess how the 2.4-million member Episcopal Church might divide in the weeks ahead.

The Anglican Laity Fellowship (ALF) – formerly known as Lay Episcopalians for the Anglican Communion – sent out the survey to gauge the magnitude of the changes in The Episcopal Church as the denomination remains divided over homosexuality and Christian orthodoxy.

"For the first time in 40 years, the crisis has produced a really clear sense of where the opposing sides stand," said a statement by ALF.

While still a minority, a growing group of parishes have voted to dissociate from The Episcopal Church – the U.S. branch of Anglicanism – and joined conservative offshoots set up in the
United States by African Anglican leaders. Those that left said they want to remain faithful to the worldwide Anglican Communion and thus cannot remain in The Episcopal Church, which conservatives say has departed from Anglican tradition. the rest

Anglican Bishop sees hope of breakthrough on Gays and Zimbabwe
13 September 2007

The recently appointed Dean of Central Africa, the Rt Rev Trevor Musonda Mwamba, believes Anglican churches will soon return to their grassroots mission to alleviate poverty, disease and injustice and abandon their current "fixation" on homosexuality.

His words of optimism come against a background of growing concern that the on-going "rights for gays" debate in the 75 million-strong worldwide Anglican community could wreck unity in that church throughout Africa before next year's Lambeth Conference in Canterbury, England.
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African Anglicans Split Over Homosexuality

Anglican schism?
Archbishop Rowan Williams strives to preserve the communion


On Sept. 3 Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams came back from study leave to face the music. The primate of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion does not want to go down in history as the archbishop who presided over the disintegration of that communion. So far, against the odds, he has held together this worldwide grouping of 38 self-governing provinces counting more than 70 million Christians. He has sought to make space for all contending parties to be heard: notably the “inclusive” liberals led by the American Anglicans of the Episcopal church, who in 2003 ordained as bishop a divorced man, Gene Robinson, now living with a gay partner, and, at the other end of the spectrum, the conservative evangelicals, especially those of the “Global South” -- the expanding Anglican churches of the Third World, above all in Africa -- who have accused the North Americans of “following another religion.” A crunch is approaching at the end of September, when the Episcopal church has been asked to declare that it will no longer bring forward candidates for the episcopate who are living in same-sex unions, and that no bishop will authorize same-sex blessings.

Virtually no one thinks the church will comply. Even Williams, who will address the House of Bishops of the Episcopal church later this month when it meets in New Orleans to decide its position, and who will then find it harder to avert open schism. the rest

The Living Church:

Quincy, Pittsburgh to Reconsider National Church Ties

Deputies President Meets Supporters in Fort Worth

Bishop Robinson: 'I Heard God's Voice in Scripture'

California Supreme Court Unanimously grants Petition for Review in Church Property Case
Posted by Kendall Harmon

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – September 12, 2007 – The California Supreme Court today unanimously granted the petitions by St. James Anglican Church, Newport Beach, All Saints’ Church, Long Beach, and St. David’s Anglican Church, North Hollywood, to review the Fourth Appellate District decision of Episcopal Church Cases.

The grant of review has the effect of nullifying the Fourth Appellate District decision, meaning that no trial court or attorney can rely upon it until the Supreme Court ultimately decides the case. This is encouraging news to countless church congregations in California, including Russian Orthodox, Anglican, Presbyterian and Evangelical, who have been threatened with the loss of their property after trial courts began to rely upon Episcopal Church Cases.

the rest at TitusOneNine

Monday, September 10, 2007

I want deliberately to encourage this mighty longing after God. The lack of it has brought us to our present low estate. The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted. Too bad that with many of us He waits so long, so very long, in vain. ... Tozer, A.W. image

Young Woman Killed in Eritrea for Refusing to Renounce Jesus Christ
by Daniel Blake
Saturday, September 8, 2007

Christians have been left outraged by the death of a young woman in Eritrea, allegedly tortured to death in a military facility for refusing to renounce her faith in Jesus Christ, Open Doors has reported.

Migsti Haile, 33, died 5 September, at the Weaa Military Training Centre, and is the fourth Christian known to have been killed this way in the past year.

Open Doors, a Christian persecution and human rights watchdog, said Haile was tortured for refusing to “sign a letter recanting her faith”.
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Married man considers turn as Catholic priest
By Electa Draper Denver Post Staff Writer

Phil Webb knows the weight of a divided heart.

The 52-year-old husband, father and former Episcopal priest weighs it every day as he considers ordination to the Catholic priesthood after leaving a church he felt was in turmoil.

The little-known Pastoral Provision of the Catholic Church, approved by Pope John Paul II in 1980, permits former male Episcopal priests, even married men with children, to pursue two sets of vows - marriage and priesthood.

The pope granted the provision at the request of breakaway Episcopalians troubled by a 1976 decision to ordain women.
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Thousands Petition Episcopal Church for Financial Transparency
Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Mon, Sep. 10 2007

Over 5,000 people have signed a petition demanding financial transparency from The Episcopal Church as the threat of schism looms closer over the global Anglican Communion weeks ahead of a critical deadline.

The petition specifically demands The Episcopal Church – the U.S. branch of Anglicanism – reveal how much money it has spent since 2004 on litigation against individuals and parishes.
One of the largest lawsuits filed by the U.S. denomination involves 11 Virginia churches that voted to leave in December. The breakaway Anglicans argue that The Episcopal Church has departed from Anglican tradition and orthodox Christianity. Their split with the American denomination was to remain faithful to the 77-milllion member Anglican Communion.

The petition for financial transparency had begun about a month ago, asking Episcopalians and conservative Anglicans if they had any concerns over The Episcopal Church's funding in the string of lawsuits. The American Anglican Council (AAC), which is keeping the petition open to get more voices heard, will most likely reveal the signatories, said AAC communications assistant Robert H. Lundy.
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Red Rover, Red Rover
Touchstone Commentary

September 10, 2007

I saw something strange the other day, something I hadn't seen, outside of a school campus, in more than ten years. Two small boys were out in their front yard with a wiffle bat and ball.

That's it, no more than that. I've driven past a few games of touch football in the last decade, mainly in the back yards of a low-income housing development on my way to work. I have seen a few kids playing three-on-three basketball at a playground here and there -- that still seems common enough. Not so for football, and certainly not so for baseball. And not at all for those children's games that no adult ever invented, like Kick the Can or Simon Says. I can't remember the last time I saw any kids anywhere play anything of that sort.

Apparently some people in Britain
have noticed, and are worried that a "toxic childhood" is robbing children of their natural means of cognitive development. They cite a few typical culprits, among them the overuse of preschool, increased traffic on the streets, what they call an irrational fear of strangers, computer games, and other easy electronic stimuli. They're worried that the children aren't outdoors enough -- bully for them! -- and that as a result Britian is producing the unhappiest generation of youngsters in the civilized world. the rest image

Ancient Escape Tunnel Found in Israel

JERUSALEM (Sept. 9) - Under threat from Romans ransacking Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, many of the city's Jewish residents crowded into an underground drainage channel to hide and later flee the chaos through Jerusalem's southern end unnoticed.
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Christian surfers try to catch a wave of new beach recruits
Breakers attracting bigger congregations at resorts in Devon and Cornwall

Monday September 10, 2007
The Guardian

For just a moment, there is an awkward silence at the prayer meeting as the congregation is invited to shout out words of praise for Jesus. Then from the back, a boy chirps: "Thank you, Lord, for the surf." Welcome to the Jesus Surf Classic, the event of the year for those who are into waves, God, baggy shorts, bleached hair and crucifixes.

Organised by Christian Surfers UK, the competition started off small, attracting only 20 or so hardcore surfers. It is now one of the most popular events in the British surfing calendar. So many people entered this year that it had to be held at two venues - in Croyde, Devon, over the past weekend, and next month in Cornwall.
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Prisons Purging Books on Faith From Libraries
September 10, 2007

Behind the walls of federal prisons nationwide, chaplains have been quietly carrying out a systematic purge of religious books and materials that were once available to prisoners in chapel libraries.

The chaplains were directed by the Bureau of Prisons to clear the shelves of any books, tapes, CDs and videos that are not on a list of approved resources. In some prisons, the chaplains have recently dismantled libraries that had thousands of texts collected over decades, bought by the prisons, or donated by churches and religious groups.

Some inmates are outraged. Two of them, a Christian and an Orthodox Jew, in a federal prison camp in upstate New York, filed a class-action lawsuit last month claiming the bureau’s actions violate their rights to the free exercise of religion as guaranteed by the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
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Zimbabwe: Homosexuality Breaks Up Anglican Province
10 September 2007
Caesar Zvayi
Mangochi, Malawi

THE Anglican Province of Central Africa broke up yesterday following the withdrawal of Harare Diocese and expressions of intent to pull out by other dioceses that accused the province of failing to censure some bishops dabbling in homosexuality.

The Diocese of Manicaland also expressed its intention to quit the province along with one other Zimbabwean diocese.

Its bishop said he needed to report to his diocese first before going public, making it three out of Zimbabwe's five dioceses.
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Rwandan Politics Intrudes on American Church
Archbishop told Anglican congregation to cancel talk by Hotel Rwanda subject Paul Rusesabagina.
By Sarah Pulliam

A suburban Chicago church sought leadership from Rwanda amid theological disputes with the Episcopal Church. This week, it found itself in conflict with its leaders over Rwandan politics.

All Souls Anglican Church had invited Paul Rusesabagina, whose life was featured in the 2004 movie Hotel Rwanda, to speak during Sunday morning services. The Wheaton, Illinois, church, a member of the Rwandan-led Anglican Mission in America, invited him as part of a fundraiser to build a school in Gashirabwoba, Rwanda.

On Thursday, however, Emmanuel Kolini, the Anglican archbishop of Rwanda, asked All Soul's pastor J. Martin Johnson to rescind the invitation.

Rusesabagina has been at odds with the president of Rwanda. The archbishop feared that the event could create a strain in the relationship between the Anglican Church of Rwanda and the government.
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Extreme Christmas: Reclaim Joy, Peace by Thinking Ahead
Mary Hunt
Debt-Proof Living

The results are in and the news is shocking. Average spending per U.S. household for Christmas 2006 reached $1,000.

According to this study conducted by Unity Marketing’s Gift Tracker, the most popular gifts were gift certificates, bath and body gifts, luxury soaps, candles, home fragrances and take-home spa kits.

And how did we pay for all that loot? Americans added more than $8 billion to their bank credit-card revolving debt in November 2006 alone! God only knows how high that went by season’s end—or how much of that staggering increase remains unpaid six months later.

I know a thing or two about extreme holiday spending. For years I’d do my part to keep up with national averages. And it nearly killed me.
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Albert Mohler: Newsweek Celebrates Gay Rights Gains Worldwide
Monday, September 10, 2007

This week's cover story for
Newsweek magazine's international editions is an essay by writer Joseph Contreras celebrating gay rights gains worldwide. The article, "Legal in Unlikely Places," provides a glowing report on how homosexuality is becoming increasingly accepted around the world, "even in the land of machismo."

Contreras' article begins in Mexico City, but then moves to other locations around the globe. His argument is that the massive shifts in public opinion on homosexuality in the West are driving similar developments worldwide.
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Torkelson: Church breakup civil but still hurts
Jean Torkelson
September 10, 2007

In many sweet ways - little notes on the refrigerator, photos of kids on the walls - Holy Comforter parish in Broomfield resembles a happy family.

But next Sunday, this 49-year-old family faces something like a divorce.

That's when the Rev. Chuck Reeder and an unspecified number of parishioners join the national conservative flight out of the Episcopal Church because of its departure from traditional teachings on marriage and Scriptural authority.

"Very soon, this is not going to be the congregation it has been," Reeder told Sunday's Bible study crowd over pastries and coffee. He confessed to typos in this week's study outline and added, "Go easy on me. This has been a tough week."
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Congregation exits
'SAD TO LEAVE' /Gay clergy cemented departure from Episcopal Church
September 10, 2007


Christians often describe their faith journey as a spiritual walk.

On Sunday, a West Chicago congregation took a giant step in faith -- splitting from their denomination, the 2.2-million-member Episcopal Church.

Nearly 100 people turned out for the final service at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection. Afterward, they processed with crosses, candles and an altar down the street to their new worship space.

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Added 2:45pm:
'A new birth, a new start'
The Church of the Resurrection separates from Episcopal Church, find new home
By Rupa Shenoy and Hafsa Naz Mahmood Daily Herald Staff

In the sole local reverberation of an international rift, members of a West Chicago church left their home of 50 years Sunday and walked to a new one -- carrying their altar and vestments. the rest

AnglicanTV: Consecration of Bishop John Guernsey

Taped in Mbarara Uganda

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. John 14:1

For every fear we have, God has a promise.

There's something about who God is and about what He has promised that meets us at our points of deepest fear...Trust that God is who He says He is. Then step out and obey. Do what God is asking you to do. When you can't figure out how it's all going to work, step out and do it by faith. The more you get to know God, the more you can trust and obey....So we have His promises. We're to be content. We're not to worry about how our future needs will be met. Then when we have a need, rather than fretting or striving or manipulating, what are we to do? Simply ask Him to meet our needs and ask in faith, confident that if He knows this is a need, He will provide it. ...Nancy Leigh DeMoss image

'We're home now'
Sunday, September 9, 2007

With a sermon that was passionate, determined and, at times, pointedly humorous, Bishop Thaddeus Barnum welcomed parishioners of All Saints Anglican Church to their new home on Saturday, in a service that marked a new beginning for the church.

"There are many people in Attleboro who do not understand you or this journey," Bishop Barnum said. "But we have a generation to raise, and we are responsible for them. That generation needs to know the word of the Lord."

The church is scheduled to hold its first service at the 1188 South Main St. location, the former home of the Hebron United Methodist Church in the city's Hebronville section, today.
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East Haven priest retiring to start new congregation
Sept. 9, 2007

East Haven (AP) _ An East Haven Episcopal priest is leaving his parish to start a new congregation following a dispute with church leaders over the confirmation of an openly gay bishop on New Hampshire.

The Reverend Gilbert Wilkes of Christ and the Epiphany Episcopal Church will retire at the end of the month and lead a new congregation called Christ Church Anglican at an East Haven middle school beginning on October 14th.

The new congregation will be part of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, which was formed to offer an alternative to disaffected Episcopalians.
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Israelis shocked by discovery of neo-Nazi ring in Israel
The Associated Press
September 9, 2007

JERUSALEM: Police on Sunday said they have broken up a cell of young Israeli neo-Nazis accused of a string of violent racist attacks, shocking a nation that was founded 60 years ago as a refuge for Jews in the wake of the Holocaust.

The eight suspects, all immigrants from the former Soviet Union in their late teens or early 20s, are seen in homemade videos kicking helpless victims on the ground to a bloody pulp, hitting a man over the head with an empty beer bottle and proclaiming their allegiance to Adolf Hitler in a Nazi salute.

Israelis, living in a state created after the Nazi Holocaust in which 6 million Jews were killed, were shocked. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who viewed the footage with his ministers at the weekly Cabinet, reacted with outrage at what he called "violence for the sake of violence."
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Spy Satellites Turned on the U.S.
Dems Call for Moratorium on Program, Expressing Privacy and Legal Concerns
Sept. 6, 2007

Traditionally, powerful spy satellites have been used to search for strategic threats overseas ranging from nuclear weapons to terrorist training camps.

But now the Department of Homeland Security has developed a new office to use the satellites to secure U.S. borders and protect the country from natural disasters.

Department of Homeland Security officials testified Thursday before the House Homeland Security Committee about the program and faced extensive criticism about the privacy and civil liberty concerns of the new office, called the National Applications Office.
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Why We Love Football
Grace and idolatry run crossing patterns in the new American pastime
Eric Miller

It's a warm and hazy day, and Frank and I are at our sons' Little League practice, watching baseball but talking football. Nothing could be more typical of metro Pittsburgh in June. The Pirates, at 10 games below .500, are ambling toward their 15th straight losing season. The Steelers' training camp starts in six weeks. Hallelujah.

Frank knows football, and certainly knows western Pennsylvania football. He is Frank Namath, nephew of the man who some 40 years ago made our steel town, Beaver Falls, almost a household name. When "Uncle Joey" got big, Frank tells me, his mother had to move out of town and into a tiny house on a hill that overlooks it. Strangers from all over the place had been besieging her, gawking, poking, prodding. She, blue collar through and through, found herself suddenly the mother of an icon—presumably no easy thing. Especially here.
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A Common Faith, but Little Common Ground?
On Labor Day weekend, American Muslims gathered in the Chicago area for fellowship -- at two separate conventions. Some see a schism; other see 'different tracks of growth.'

By Omar Sacirbey
Religion News Service
Saturday, September 8, 2007

CHICAGO -- When black nationalist leader Timothy Drew founded the Moorish Science Temple of America in 1913, he predicted that Chicago would one day become an American Mecca, drawing Muslim pilgrims from across America much like Islam's holiest city.

And on Labor Day weekend for the past several years, Drew's prediction has seemingly come to life, as tens of thousands of North American Muslims descend on the Windy City seeking spiritual knowledge and fellowship.
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Religious leaders say prayers as glacier begins to slip away
Alex Kirby in Ilulissat, Greenland

September 8, 2007

They flew in from around the world, completing the final leg in a half-full charter from London that must have left an embarrassingly large carbon footprint.

But the leaders of six world religions paused for two minutes here yesterday under a grey sky, with a mirror-calm sea, and on an unseasonably warm day, to pray for the ailing planet.

The Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew, the leader of 250 million Orthodox Christians, was joined by Christian bishops and a cardinal, the Grand Rabbi of Paris, Sunni and Shia scholars, and by Hindu, Shinto and Zen Buddhist leaders. the rest

Canada: Anglican school's former students tell of brainwashing, abuse
Bishop begins inquiry involving Grenville Christian College

Neco Cockburn,
The Ottawa Citizen
Saturday, September 08, 2007

An Anglican bishop has begun meeting with people as part of an inquiry into allegations of abusive practices at a Brockville-area private religious school that shut its doors earlier this summer.

Grenville Christian College has faced numerous allegations since it closed at the end of July after citing changing demographics, declining enrolment and increasing operating costs.

Former students have flooded websites and told media of allegations including physical and psychological abuse.
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Episcopal church to tap suffragan bishop soon
Candidates gather here for 'walkabout'

Sunday, September 09, 2007
News staff writer

These are volatile, contentious times in the Episcopal Church, enough to make the process of electing a bishop potentially fraught with political overtones.

The Episcopal Diocese of Alabama plans to elect a suffragan, or assistant, bishop this month. On Saturday, the candidates gathered at St. Luke's Episcopal Church for a "walkabout," a chance to meet Episcopalians from across the state.

The pressing issue seems to be the looming showdown between the U.S. Episcopal Church and Anglican archbishops in other parts of the world who want the U.S. church to renounce its acceptance of openly gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson.
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AnglicanTV: Archbishop Henry Orombi Press Conference

After the consecration of Bishop Guernsey, Archbishop Orombi held an informal press conference/interview with the International press. AnglicanTV was joined by the BBC and the Wall Street Journal.