Saturday, October 20, 2007

No matter how lofty the doctrine preached,
or polished the rhetoric, or sublime the style in which the preaching is clothed, the profit does not ordinarily increase because of these means in themselves; it comes from the spirit of the preacher...We frequently see, insofar as it is possible to judge here below, that the better the life of the preacher the more abundant the fruit, no matter how lowly his style, poor his rhetoric, and plain the doctrine. For the living spirit enkindles fire. But when this spirit is wanting, the gain is small, however sublime the style and doctrine. Although it is true that good style, gestures, sublime doctrine, and well-chosen words are more moving and productive of effect when accompanied by this good spirit, yet, without it, even though delightful and pleasing to the senses and the intellect, the sermon imparts little or no devotion to the will. For the will in this case will ordinarily be left as weak and remiss as before, even though wonderful things were admirably spoken; and the sermon merely delights the sense of hearing, like a musical concert or sounding bells. But the spirit, as I said, will not leave its natural ties any more than previously, since the voice does not possess the power to raise a dead man from his sepulcher. ... St. John of the Cross art

British women treat abortion as the easy option, claims angry Archbishop
Jamie Doward and Denis Campbell
Sunday October 21, 2007
The Observer

The British public is in danger of losing its 'moral focus' on abortion and treating the procedure as normal, rather than a last resort, says the Archbishop of Canterbury.

With the 40th anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act less than a week away, Dr Rowan Williams uses an article in today's Observer to claim that people are close to slipping to a new 'default position' on the issue.

'There has been an obvious weakening of the feeling that abortion is a last resort in cases of extreme danger or distress,' Williams writes, noting that 'nearly 200,000 abortions a year in England and Wales tell their own story'. Instead, the leader of the Church of England claims the growing belief that 'abortion is essentially a matter of individual decision' means it is no longer 'the kind of major moral choice that should involve a sharing of perspective and judgment'.
the rest

Resolutions of the 133rd Annual Convention Of the Diocese of Fond du Lac
Posted by Kendall Harmon
October 20, 2007


PASSED by voice vote
Resolution 2007-01 “Pledge to National Church”Be it resolved, by the 133rd Annual Convention of the Diocese of Fond du Lac, that the system used for 2007 to adjust our pledge to the national church through individual restrictions be continued for 2008, andBe it further resolved that subsequent to the calculation of the 'restricted' pledge, that ten percent of the non-restricted operating diocesan income for 2006 become our pledge to the national church for 2008

the rest at Titusonenine

Episcopal Leaders in Separation Talks
By Cary McMullen
Saturday, October 20, 2007

LAKELAND Priests and lay leaders from nine Episcopal churches - including two with Polk County ties - have begun talks with the Diocese of Central Florida that could lead to them breaking away from the denomination.

Among the nine priests are the Rev. Andrew Doan, rector of Holy Cross Church in Winter Haven, and the Rev. Geoffrey Boland, who leads St. Nicholas, a newly planted church that meets at Liberty High School in Poinciana in Osceola County but draws members from Polk County.

The group has been critical of increasingly liberal policies in the Episcopal Church toward the role of homosexuals, including ordaining them as priests or bishops and using liturgies to bless same-sex unions.On Friday, Boland would say only that the priests and lay leaders had met Thursday with Bishop John Howe and other diocesan leaders and entered into "a process of conversation and negotiation."
the rest

A rift grows over Scripture
Presbyterians are latest mainline Protestant group with widening split over interpretations

By Bruce Schreiner Of The Associated Press
October 20, 2007

The Episcopal Church isn't the only mainline Protestant group shaken by open conflict between theological liberals and conservatives.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is facing similar trials, with traditionalist congregations planning to bolt and a conservative denomination preparing to take them in.

About 30 of the nearly 11,000 Presbyterian congregations have voted to leave the national church since the denomination's national assembly session in 2006, according to The Layman, a conservative Presbyterian publication that has been tracking the breakaways. Denominational leaders say they could lose an additional 20 congregations as a result of this latest rupture.
the rest

Scholars try to reconcile 'problematic' religious texts
Christian, Jewish and Muslim experts met this week to add context to passages that have been perceived as hostile toward other faiths.
By K. Connie Kang, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
October 20, 2007

Speaking with mutual respect and sensitivity, prominent Christian, Jewish and Muslim scholars and clergy from around the country met in Los Angeles this week to "wrestle" with what one rabbi described as the "dark side" of the three faith traditions.

Experts cited "problematic" passages from the Hebrew Scripture, the New Testament and the Koran that assert the superiority of one belief system over others.

As an example, the Rt. Rev. Alexei Smith, ecumenical and interreligous official of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, quoted from the Gospel of Mark: "Go into the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned."
the rest

TIME: When the Pope Comes to the Party
by Jeff Israely
October 19, 2007

ROME -It's hard not to notice when the Pope shows up. And you can sometimes say the same when he doesn't. Last fall, Pope Benedict XVI was a notable no-show at a September ceremony to mark 20 years since John Paul II had hosted a groundbreaking gathering of world religious leaders in Assisi, Italy. Some viewed the Pope's absence as a slap to those working for inter-faith dialogue, both inside and outside the Catholic Church,. On Sunday, however, Benedict will be center stage at the most lavish, and well-attended inter-religious ceremony of his papacy, organized by the same Sant'Egidio community that helped launch Assisi. What has changed? Why is Benedict marking 21 years since "the spirit of Assisi" was uncorked, after skipping out on the 20th anniversary?

First, let's turn back to that October 27, 1986 "prayer for peace" in the birthplace of St. Francis. The gathering in Assisi of monks and imams, rabbis and priests and prelates of all stripe has long been considered the catalyst that turned inter-religious dialogue into something of a worldwide, faith-based movement in its own right. But not all were impressed. Before becoming the current Pope, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was considered one of the Vatican officials most skeptical about the efforts spawned by Assisi, which risked clashing with the traditionalist theologian's conviction that differences among religions should not be glossed over for the sake of feel-good encounters.
the rest



Dancin' the Boogie

The Constitution of the Anglican Communion and the Current Crisis
Saturday October 20th 2007
Anglican Mainstream

Roger Beckwith argues that since the 1930 Lambeth Conference established the autonomy of individual provinces, it is entirely proper for a province to declare itself out of communion with another province. Cross boundary oversight does not apply because the boundary is no longer recognised.

His argument is that “The Lambeth Conference in 1998 passed by a very large majority resolution 1.10, opposing the ordination of practising homosexuals and the blessing of homosexual unions; the American and Canadian Churches appeared to defy this advice; the Primates Meeting several times reiterated the advice, and set a deadline for changing course and conforming to it; in the meantime, a number of individual Churches exercised their right of ‘formal action’ and excommunicated ( or declared themselves in impaired communion with ) ECUSA; having done so, they rightly regarded the Lambeth resolution against crossing boundaries as irrelevant, and (in the patristic manner) made separate Episcopal provision for orthodox adherents in areas dominated by heresy; and for this they were unjustly condemned by the Windsor Report, in language stronger than it uses for the heretics themselves, and the bishops they appointed have not been invited to the 2008 Lambeth Conference, though the erring American (and Canadian) bishops have.”

the rest

Fallout from Women Bishops Ruling
Natasha Percy
19 October 2007

As General Synod approaches, Sydney’s Standing Committee has made clear its “disappointment” with the majority opinion of the Appellate Tribunal on women bishops.

The “disappointment” concerns the Tribunal’s September 28 decision that there is nothing in the wording of the current Constitution which would prevent women becoming bishops.

This was a legal interpretation of a 1995 amendment to the definition of ‘canonical fitness’ originally given in the 1961 Constitution of the Anglican Church of Australia.

The original wording held that ‘maleness’ was a prerequisite for bishops in the Australian Anglican Church.
the rest (h/t Anglicans Ablaze)

Aligning Psyche and Sex
Methodists Meet to Evaluate Transgenderism, Starting With Baltimore Pastor

By Daniel Burke
Religion News Service
Saturday, October 20, 2007
BALTIMORE

The Rev. Drew Phoenix is many things to many people.

To congregants of St. John's of Baltimore, he's the fun-loving pastor who counsels them, takes their children hiking, explains Scripture and plunges into worthy causes.

To conservative Methodists,
Phoenix embodies another front in the culture wars: a rebel who has defied God and nature and should be removed from ministry.

To mainstream society, Phoenix is an enigma who transcends traditional sexual boundaries, provoking uncomfortable questions about the interplay between body, mind and soul.
the rest

Pope Benedict Moves Cautiously In Approaching Other Faiths
By Francis X. Rocca
Religion News Service
Saturday, October 20, 2007

VATICAN CITY -- Twenty-one years ago this month,
Pope John Paul II met in Assisi, Italy, with more than 150 leaders of different religions to pray for peace. Images of the white-robed pontiff worshiping in the Basilica of St. Francis alongside colorfully garbed Tibetan Buddhists, Japanese Shintoists and representatives of traditional African and American faiths captivated millions around the world.

Not everyone, however, was pleased -- including the man who would one day succeed John Paul.

"This cannot be the model," said
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), who was then head of the Roman Catholic Church's highest doctrinal body, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Ratzinger later wrote that it was "indisputable that the Assisi meetings, especially in 1986, were misinterpreted by many people." the rest

Friday, October 19, 2007

If your life consistently bears no fruit, God will intervene to discipline you. If your life bears some fruit, God will intervene to prune you. If your life bears a lot of fruit, God will invite you to abide more deeply with Him. ...Bruce Wilkinson photo

Revolutionary change in Anglican Church
By Channaka de Silva

October 20, 2007 -Winds of change have blown into the Church of Ceylon, better known as the Anglican Church, as the leaders of the traditionally conservative Christian denomination passed a seemingly revolutionary resolution that could shake the foundations of one of the oldest churches of the country.

Church clergy and lay leaders who gathered at the headquarters of the Church of Ceylon’s Colombo diocese for its annual council sessions passed this resolution through a majority vote which among other things called for a “paradigm shift” in the theology of the church’s mission and vision.

The resolution which was loaded with complicated wordings, passed with surprisingly less resistance last evening and justified the necessity for this fundamental “paradigm shift” as a necessity for the church “in the context of the present post-modern political, social, economic and cultural reality in Sri Lanka”. the rest

AnglicanTV: Anglican Report with Bishop Minns

San Francisco Considers Injection Room
By LISA LEFF Associated Press Writer
Oct 19, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- City health officials took steps Thursday toward opening the nation's first legal safe-injection room, where addicts could shoot up heroin, cocaine and other drugs under the supervision of nurses.

Hoping to reduce San Francisco's high rate of fatal drug overdoses, the public health department co-sponsored a symposium on the only such facility in North America, a four-year-old Vancouver site where an estimated 700 intravenous users a day self-administer narcotics under the supervision of nurses.

"Having the conversation today will help us figure out whether this is a way to reduce the harms and improve the health of our community," said Grant Colfax, director of HIV prevention for the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
the rest

Churches Hope for Gospelization of Korea
Koreans Hyped Up as Busan Franklin Graham Festival Opens

By
Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Fri, Oct. 19 2007

Churches in Busan, South Korea, have invited evangelist Franklin Graham to their metropolitan city in hopes of reviving a country that had once witnessed one of the greatest Christian movements in East Asia.

Sang Gyoo Lee, a professor of church history at Kosin University, Busan, stands outside Busan Asiad Stadium, where evangelist Franklin Graham kicked off a large-scale four-day evangelistic festival on Thursday, October 18, 2007. Sang has studied the historical backdrop for the Busan Franklin Graham Festival Oct. 18-21.

It's the centennial year of the great Pyongyang Revival, which had sparked a wave of audible prayers of repentance and rapidly grew Christianity from what is now the capital of North Korea to across the Korean peninsula. Pyongyang had earned the title "Jerusalem of the East" as it became the center of Christian activity up until the Korean War.

A century later, the Korean population is fervently praying for another revival today and Graham is in the country aiming to unite the citizens of Busan to God, he said at a press conference before kicking off a large-scale evangelistic festival on Thursday at Busan Asiad Stadium.
the rest

Explicit Sex-Ed Pamphlets Distributed To Pre-Teens
Brochures Detail Straight, Gay Sex Practices; Show Graphic STD Images

Oct 19, 2007

IRVINGTON, N.Y. (CBS) ―Children as young as 10-years-old in Westchester were among those mistakenly given graphic sex education material meant for adults, leaving parents furious and even more upset with answers they're getting about the incident.
the rest

Iceland: New Bible Translation Published
10/19/2007

A new and long-awaited translation of the Bible will be published today, the first complete translation of the holy book for almost a century.

Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland, received the first copy of the book at a ceremony in Reykjavík’s Cathedral earlier this morning. Afterwards, members of the parliament and government accepted their copies.

The translation work began in 1990 and the translation team has held over 700 meetings. Interviewed by Morgunbladid daily, Gudrún Kvaran, leader of the team, admitted she had mixed emotions.
the rest

Comcast blocks some Internet traffic
Tests confirm data discrimination by number 2 U.S. service provider

By Peter Svensson
Friday, October 19, 2007


NEW YORK - Comcast Corp. actively interferes with attempts by some of its high-speed Internet subscribers to
share files online, a move that runs counter to the tradition of treating all types of Net traffic equally.

The interference, which The Associated Press confirmed through nationwide tests, is the most drastic example yet of data discrimination by a U.S. Internet service provider. It involves company computers masquerading as those of its users.

If widely applied by other ISPs, the technology Comcast is using would be a crippling blow to the BitTorrent, eDonkey and Gnutella file-sharing networks. While these are mainly known as sources of
copyright music, software and movies, BitTorrent in particular is emerging as a legitimate tool for quickly disseminating legal content. the rest

Diocese of Central Florida: Seven Parishes Enter Negotiations to Leave Central Florida
Posted October 19, 2007

Stand Firm: A statement from the Diocese of Central Florida

Pope 'may visit Northern Ireland'
Friday, 19 October 2007

Pope Benedict XVI may visit Northern Ireland, according to a leading Irish clergyman.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said he interpreted the choice of Sean Brady as cardinal as an indication the pope wants to visit Northern Ireland.

He said such a visit would have "the symbolic meaning of ending an era of our history and opening to something new, north and south".
the rest

Alabama brings the Bible back
Written by Alisa Harris
October 18, 2007

Starting this year, Alabama public-schooled students will study the Bible with the State Board of Educations’ unanimous approval. Alabama is the first state to approve the Bible Literacy Project’s textbook, The Bible and its Influence, as part of its state curriculum.

Sheila Weber, Vice President of Communications for BLP, told WoW the BLP created the textbook “to give school boards a greater level of confidence, so they could see exactly how the subject matter was being presented.” The Bible and its Influence takes a non-devotional, academic approach to studying the Bible. It walks students through the Old and New Testaments, with side explorations of topics like “Milton and the Bible,” “Exodus and Emancipation,” and “Freedom and Faith in America.”
the rest

Head of Episcopal Church to visit Vermont
Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church, will be a special guest at the 175th Convention of the Diocese of Vermont in Burlington, Nov. 2-3.

She will lead a forum titled "What ONE Can Do: Global Poverty and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals" on Nov. 2, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the University of Vermont's Ira Allen Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.
the rest

Montreal Anglicans to tackle same-sex unions
Jasmin Legatos , CanWest News Service
d: Friday, October 19, 2007

MONTREAL -- The Montreal branch of the Anglican Church will vote Friday night on whether parishes in the diocese can formally bless same-sex unions, if they so choose.

The vote, which will take place at their annual meeting or synod, comes a week after the Ottawa diocese voted 177 to 97 in favour of a similar motion that asks delegates to vote their conscience.
The result of the vote is only a recommendation and if Montreal Anglicans follow their Ottawa brethren, Bishop Barry Clarke can either choose to accept or reject it.

Earlier this week, Clarke said he had not yet made up his mind about the controversial issue, but that he would be listening to what the 240 voting clergy and lay people present at the synod have to say.
the rest

Book Review: A Recovery Plan for Black America -- And a Courageous Message for All Americans
Albert Mohler
Friday, October 19, 2007

Bill Cosby worked his way into American hearts through his great talent as a comedian and actor, but there has always been more to Bill Cosby than any laugh line can convey. He is also a man of ideas and a man who cares deeply about his country.

Cosby is also a man who cares deeply about the breakdown of the family and social cohesion among black Americans -- especially among young black men and boys. In his new book,
Come on, People: On the Path from Victims to Victors [Thomas Nelson], Cosby teams up with Harvard University psychiatrist Alvin F. Poussaint to confront many of these issues head-on. The book is as courageous and it is timely.

"For the last generation or two, as our communities dissolved and our parenting skills broke down, no one has suffered more than our young black men," Cosby and Poussaint lament. They face the issues honestly and do not mince words. At the same time, they place these challenges within the context of what they also see as continuing prejudice against black Americans. The essence of their argument is that while black America can blame others for many of the challenges they face, they hold the key to their own recovery through personal and group achievement and responsibility.
the rest

O Cannabis!
Canada rethinks its drug policies

by Jonathan V. Last
10/19/2007

ONE OF THE UNTOLD successes of the Bush administration has been the progress made in the fight against illegal drugs. During the past six years, during which John Walters has been director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, drug use among the most critical American age groups, 12- to 17-year-olds and 18- to 25-year-olds, has fallen dramatically. Usage in these age groups rose between 1993 and 2001, but under Walters, teen drug use, for example, is down more than 20 percent.

Many European governments,
faced with the consequences of permissiveness and mounting data on the harmful effects of even soft narcotics such as cannabis, are turning against drugs, too. And now, the Great White North may follow suit. On October 4, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a change in direction for the government's drug policy.

Marijuana has been increasingly tolerated by Canadian authorities, with three bills aiming to legalize possession of the substance introduced in parliament during the last five years. Those measures stalled and Harper has now proclaimed that Canada will embark on a different course, emphasizing treatment for drug users and jail for dealers and producers.
the rest

Scouts must pay $200,000 for rent
Associated Press
October 19, 2007

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The city has decided that the Boy Scouts chapter here must pay fair-market rent of $200,000 a year for its city-owned headquarters because it refuses to permit homosexual scouts.

The organization's Cradle of Liberty Council, which pays $1 a year in rent, must pay the increased amount to remain in its downtown building past May 31, Fairmount Park Commission president Robert N.C. Nix said Wednesday.

City officials say they cannot legally rent taxpayer-owned property for a nominal sum to a private organization that discriminates.
the rest

Evangelicals Lukewarm Toward GOP Field
By Michael D. Shear and Perry Bacon Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, October 19, 2007

For months, Republican presidential candidates such as Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and John McCain have courted evangelical Christians, meeting with religious leaders throughout the Midwest and the South.

Today, thousands of Christian conservatives will gather in Washington to confront the fact that none of the candidates has won them over.
the rest

Flaming squirrel ignites car in Bayonne
by N. Clark Judd
Thursday October 18, 2007

It's Rocky the Frying Squirrel!

A kamikaze squirrel fell from the sky and detonated a Bayonne woman's car yesterday, police said today.

Lindsey Millar, 23, and her brother, Tony, 22, were both home Wednesday at about 12:45 p.m. when Lindsey's car suddenly started burning outside their 42nd Street home.

Tony Millar said firefighters told them it was the work of a buck-toothed saboteur that had been gnawing on overhead power lines connected to a transformer directly above the 2006 Toyota Camry.

"The squirrel chewed through the wire, was set on fire, fell down directly to where the car was," Tony Millar said. "The squirrel, on fire, slid into the engine compartment and blew up the car.
the rest

Thursday, October 18, 2007

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. Psalm 126:5

Weeping times are suitable for sowing: we do not want the ground to be too dry. Seed steeped in the tears of earnest anxiety will come up all the sooner. The salt of prayerful tears will give the good seed a flavor which will preserve it from the worm: truth spoken in awful earnestness has a double life about it. Instead of stopping our sowing because of our weeping, let us redouble our efforts because the season is so propitious.

Our heavenly seed could not fitly be sown laughing. Deep sorrow and concern for the souls of others are a far more fit accompaniment of godly teaching than anything like levity. We have heard of men who went to war with a light heart, but they were beaten; and it is mostly so with those who sow in the same style.

Come, then, my heart, sow on in thy weeping, for thou has the promise of a joyful harvest. Thou shalt reap. Thou, thyself, shalt see some results of thy labor. This shall come to thee in so large a measure as to give thee joy, which a poor, withered, and scanty harvest would not do. When thine eyes are dim with silver tears, think of the golden corn. Bear cheerfully the present toil and disappointment; for the harvest day will fully recompense thee. ...CH Spurgeon
photo

Anglicans Prepare to Fight Against 'Liberal Threat'
By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Thu, Oct. 18 2007

As the "liberal threat" in the Church of England increases, orthodox Anglicans warned that they may distance themselves from the church and carry out its own ordinations.

At an Oct. 16-17 meeting in Central London, the head of Reform – a traditionalist network of churches and individuals within the Church of England – said parishes discontent with the Church of England's liberal drift must prepare for "courageous action" which may include looking overseas for irregular ordinations in the future.

"As the Church gets more fractured maybe bishops or retired bishops will be able to help out so we can find an ‘English solution,’ but if not we may have to look overseas," the Rev. Rod Thomas, chairman of the Reform network, said to The Church of England newspaper. “This is not what we’re looking for but as the pressure from liberals increases it becomes more likely.
the rest

Motions from Reform Conference

Drought-Stricken South Facing Tough Choices
By BRENDA GOODMAN
October 16, 2007

ATLANTA, Oct. 15 — For the first time in more than 100 years, much of the Southeast has reached the most severe category of drought, climatologists said Monday, creating an emergency so serious that some cities are just months away from running out of water.

In North Carolina, Gov. Michael F. Easley asked residents Monday to stop using water for any purpose “not essential to public health and safety.” He warned that he would soon have to declare a state of emergency if voluntary efforts fell short. the rest

Chinese search engines "hijacked" : US analysts
Oct 18


US Internet search engines in China were being hijacked and directed to Chinese-owned Baidu, analysts said Wednesday, speculating that this may be retaliation for the White House award to exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama.

Analysts at Search Engine Roundtable, a website focusing on Internet search, said Chinese users trying to search on Google, Yahoo and Microsoft websites were being directed to the Chinese search engine.

"It seems like China is fed up with the US, so as a way to fight back, they redirected virtually all search traffic from Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to Baidu, the Chinese based search engine," the analysts wrote.

The authors said it was not clear exactly how or why the searches were being redirected, but China is known for tightly controlling the Internet and using a variety of filters to screen out search results for issues relating to dissidents or the Tibetan spiritual leader.

On Wednesday, US President George W. Bush called for an end to "religious repression" in China as he defiantly became the first US leader to appear in public with the Dalai Lama.
the rest

“People and parishes prepared for irregular action” Reform Chairman
Thursday October 18th 2007
Anglican Mainstream

The Church of England Newspaper reports:

THE new chairman of an Anglican traditionalist network seeking to uphold orthodox teaching in the Church of England warned that it may be forced to carry out irregular ordinations in the future. The Rev Rod Thomas, chairman of the Reform network after replacing the Rev David Banting, was due to say in his speech at the group’s national conference in London this week that as the ‘liberal threat’ in the Church of England increases, ‘people and parishes will have to be prepared for irregular action in response’. He was due to add: “Increasingly, parishes will want to distance themselves from those bishops whose teaching is unbiblical and divisive. “This may amount no more to an unwillingness to join such bishops around the Communion table. “But as we’ve seen in Chelmsford, even these actions can be costly when a bishop refuses to ordain bona fide candidates.”
the rest

India: Christian leader and wife are beaten
A group of Hindu fanatics who are trying to eliminate the Christian presence in the State, cut all power to the New Bible Church under the cover of dark and forced entry lynching the pastor and his wife.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007
By
Asia News

Rev. T. C. Joseph and his wife Ammini, of New India Bible Church, Mannanthavady, in the western state of Kerala, were cruelly attacked by a group of more than ten Hindu extremists at their church. Both have been hospitalised in serious conditions.

The assault took place during the early hours on Sunday the 14th October.

The extremists, wearing masks, first cut off power to the church building and parsonage breaking open into the pastor‘s residence. In the melee which followed, Joseph was repeatedly beaten with steel rods and stamped upon by boot wearing assailants.
the rest

Pope completes second encyclical, a meditation on Christian hope
By John Thavis
Catholic News Service
Oct-16-2007

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI has completed his second encyclical, a meditation on Christian hope, Vatican sources said.

The text, tentatively titled "Spe Salvi" ("Saved by Hope"), is about 65 pages, sources said Oct. 16. No release date has been set for the document.

The working title comes from St. Paul's letter to the Romans, in which he wrote: "For in hope we have been saved." The encyclical is said to explore the Christian understanding of hope, with reference to modern philosophy and the challenges of disbelief.
the rest

Kindergarten Children should be Encouraged to Dance Naked and Masturbate in Pre-Schools; Norwegian Child Expert
By Hilary White
OSLO, Norway, October 17, 2007

(LifeSiteNews.com) – An Oslo pre-school teacher, backed by child psychologists, has suggested that kindergarten children be encouraged to “express” their sexuality through “sex-play” and games, including dancing naked and masturbating, in pre-school and day-care centres.

The English language edition of Norway’s Aftenposten newspaper reports that Pia Friis, the respected operator of an Oslo kindergarten, told an interviewer that children should be able “to look at each other and examine each other's bodies. They can play doctor, play mother and father, dance naked and masturbate”.

“But their sexuality must also be socialized, so they are not, for example, allowed to masturbate while sitting and eating. Nor can they be allowed to pressure other children into doing things they don't want to,” Friis said.
the rest

Debate flies over 'sex play' in kindergartens

Albert Mohler: Parental Rights in Education -- Constant Vigilance Needed
: Thursday, October 18, 2007

Who makes the crucial decisions about the education of your children? The rights of parents to make these essential decisions must be asserted and defended in every generation. There are others who would wish to make those decisions concerning your children.

Jeff Jacoby of
The Boston Globe begins a recent column with these words, drawn from a national party platform:

"Freedom of education, being an essential of civil and religious liberty . . . must not be
interfered with under any pretext whatever. . . . We are opposed to state interference with parental rights and rights of conscience in the education of children as an infringement of the fundamental . . . doctrine that the largest individual liberty consistent with the rights of others insures the highest type of American citizenship and the best government."

Those impressive words are taken from a resolution adopted by the 1892 Democratic National Convention. Can you imagine the Democratic Party adopting similar language today? Not hardly.
the rest

Episcopal leader adds fuel to heated debate re: homosexuality
Allie Martin and Jody Brown
OneNewsNow.com
October 18, 2007

An official with a group of conservative pastors and laypeople from the Episcopal Church USA says it doesn't appear that Episcopal churches in North America will repent of their clear violation of scripture regarding homosexuality.

ECUSA Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori says the concession last month to Anglican conservatives to delay consecrating more openly homosexual bishops, or officially blessing same-sex couples, felt like a "crucifixion" to her. The ECUSA leader says the concessions were made so her denomination could remain part of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

"We reaffirmed commitments made at the last General Convention to wait and to consider carefully before consenting to the election of another openly gay and partnered bishop, and to wait before authorizing rights for blessing same-sex unions," Jefferts Schori said during a news conference in New York.
the rest

Atheist China Vows to Encourage Religion
By Michelle Vu
Christian Post Reporter
Thu, Oct. 18 2007

China has promised to offer religious services to foreigners at the 2008 Olympic Games and to have religion play a positive role in the future of the officially atheist country, the top religious affairs official said Wednesday.

A large number of religious athletes and tourists are expected at the Games and Beijing will “make sure” their religious needs are met, Ye Xiaowen, director-general of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, said to reporters at the ruling Communist Party’s 17th Congress, according to Reuters.

“Here I can promise that religious services we offer will not be lower than the level of any previous Games,” Ye said. He did not say, however, if China will allow proselytizing like other Olympic hosts.
Ye also urged the Vatican to establish diplomatic ties with China, where there are some 10 million Catholics either in state-approved churches or “underground” churches.
the rest

In Test of Religious Protections, Court Sides With Jewish School in New York
By
PAUL VITELLO
October 18, 2007

In a decision watched closely by religious rights groups and municipal officials, a federal court has ruled in favor of an Orthodox Jewish religious school that fought for five years with the village of Mamaroneck, N.Y., over its right to construct a new school building.

The case was seen as an important test of a 2000 federal law known as the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which extends broad protections to religious groups that claim their exercise of faith is “substantially burdened” by government land-use regulations. The law also extends similar protections to prison inmates. the rest

Going mainstream
Islamic school becomes first to gain accreditation

By Lisa Kocian, Globe Staff
October 18, 2007

It's located on 2.8 leafy acres in Shrewsbury, complete with a basketball court, small playground, and the traditional classes that can be found in any public school. But Al-Hamra Academy in Shrewsbury, a private school housed in a simple two-story brick building under an American flag, also teaches Arabic, Islamic studies, and the Koran. There are prayers during the school day.

Now, the academy has become the first Islamic school in New England to win accreditation, a milestone for the region's Muslim community.
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Feds Recommend Closing Saudi School in Va.

Why oppose abortion?
Because when you're uncertain, err on the side of caution

Jonah Goldberg, Tribune Media Services
October 18, 2007

I don't know if life begins at conception. I don't really know what "life" means. Consciousness? Possessing a soul? Well, if consciousness defines the issue, then life surely does not begin at conception. Not even the most adamant pro-lifer claims otherwise.

As for souls, I believe we have them, but I don't know how they work. Indeed, ensoulment -- the process by which God puts a soul in our bodies -- is a controversial topic among religious scholars, people who know a lot more about such things than I do. And I'm not sure any of them are right anyway.

If "life" simply means that fetuses are something more than inanimate objects, I'm with you. But that hardly seals the deal for me on the issue of abortion. After all, the world is filled with organisms that do not deserve any special consideration, let alone a claim on a human being's life or liberty.
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East Europe Abortion Rates Fall

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Defining marriage and considering its future
By TERRY MATTINGLY
Scripps Howard News Service
2007-10-10

The slogan on the white T-shirts for kids is short and bittersweet.

The simple blue letters declare, "My daddy's name is Donor." You can buy a baby bib with the same proclamation.

For a self-proclaimed "marriage nut" like David Blankenhorn, it's hard to see this consumer product as a positive statement about modern family life. Of course, America has been evolving for several decades after the cultural revolutions that changed how millions of people live together, break up, get married, get divorced, have children or some combination of all the above.

Thus, the president of the Institute for American Values keeps hearing this big question: "What is the future of marriage?" It's a logical question, since his most recent book is called "The Future of Marriage."
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UK: Bishops given power to choose their deans
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent of The Times

October 16, 2007

In one of the biggest shake-up to cathedral management for decades, diocesan bishops are for the first time to be given the power to choose the dean of their cathedrals.

The change threatens to shift dramatically the balance of ecclesiastical power in dioceses, where Deans and Bishops jealously guard the privileges and responsibilities of their separate empires.
Once installed deans are, and will remain, masters of all they survey, particularly in the old-foundation cathedrals that did not develop from former parish churches.

Bishops cannot preach in their cathedrals without invitation from the Dean, and when they are consecrated they have to knock three times on the cathedral door with their staff before they can be granted admission.
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Bethlehem Visit "Moving Experience" For Rice
By REUTERS
October 17, 2007

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (Reuters) - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice toured the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem on Wednesday, lit a candle and voiced hope that religion could be a force for reconciliation in the Middle East.

"Being here, at the birthplace of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, has been a very special and moving experience," Rice, the daughter and granddaughter of Christian clergymen, told reporters after visiting the church.
the rest

Are Some Now Understanding What Happened to Terri Schiavo Was Wrong?
by Wesley J. Smith
October 16, 2007

I think Bobby Schindler is right.

There have been a lot of stories of late about how supposedly vegetative patients could understand, or of "miraculous" awakenings by people who doctors were sure would never react consciously again.

Bobby, Terri Schiavo's brother, has noticed that whatever the condition of the patient whose story is being told, the reports all have a common sub theme--the awakening, comprehension, etc. has nothing to do with Terri, meaning it was right to dehydrate her to death.

It is as these reports, to quote Shakespeare, "doth protest too much," as if there is a subliminal realization that a terrible injustice was done to her.The latest almost unbelievable example is in an otherwise interesting and important (and long) piece in the New Yorker, byline Jerome Groopman. After describing how supposedly unconscious people have been misdiagnosed, the author quotes an unnamed neuroscientist about Terri.
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Silent Minds-What scanning techniques are revealing about vegetative patients.

Archbishop apologizes for giving Communion to gays dressed as nuns
Julian Guthrie, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 17, 2007

San Francisco -- It was a typical Sunday Mass until two men in heavy makeup and nuns' habits received Holy Communion from San Francisco's top Catholic official.

On Oct. 7, Archbishop George Niederauer delivered the Eucharist to members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence - an activist group whose motto is "go forth and sin some more" - prompting cries of outrage from conservatives across the country and Catholics in San Francisco.

In response to a request for comment, Niederauer released a letter of apology addressed to "Catholics of the Archdiocese of San Francisco and to Catholics at large" in which he said he did not realize his mistake until after the Mass at Most Holy Redeemer Church in the Castro district.
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Report highlights blog censorship
Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Bloggers are now finding themselves prey to censorship from repressive governments as much as journalists in traditional media, a report says.

Reporters Without Borders' annual study of press freedom says China is one of the worst offenders, having imprisoned 50 people for postings on the internet.

The report says governments realise the internet is now a key tool in promoting democracy and are moving to curb it.

Eritrea was ranked bottom on overall press freedom by the pressure group.
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Pope Benedict names 23 cardinals, 18 "electors"
Wed 17 Oct 2007

VATICAN CITY, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Pope Benedict named 23 new Roman Catholic cardinals on Wednesday, including 18 who will be members of a secret conclave to elect his successor.

The "cardinal electors", who are under 80 years old, come from Italy, Argentina, the United States, Germany, Poland, Spain Ireland, France, Senegal, India, Mexico, Brazil and Kenya.

The ceremony to install the cardinals, known as a consistory, will be held on Nov. 23, Benedict told tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists in St Peter's Square.
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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Infection Killed 19,000 in 2005, Study Says
By KEVIN SACK
October 16, 2007

ATLANTA, Oct. 16 — Nearly 19,000 people died in the United States in 2005 after being infected with a virulent drug-resistant bacterium that has spread rampantly through hospitals and nursing homes, according to the most thorough study to be conducted of the disease’s prevalence.

The study, which was published today in The Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests that invasive infections with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or M.R.S.A., may be twice as common as previously thought, according to its lead author, Dr. R. Monina Klevens. If the mortality estimates are correct, the number of deaths associated with M.R.S.A. each year would exceed those attributed to HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, emphysema or homicide.

By extrapolating data collected in nine locations, the researchers established the first true baseline for M.R.S.A. in the United States, projecting that 94,360 patients developed an invasive infection from the pathogen in 2005 and that nearly one of every five, or 18,650 of them, died.
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ENS: 'There will be no outcasts in this Church,' Presiding Bishop tells live webcast audience
Jefferts Schori reflects on Church's mission, House of Bishops meeting
By Daphne Mack
October 16, 2007

[Episcopal News Service] Opening with an overview of the mission-driven September 20-25 House of Bishops meeting in New Orleans, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori set the tone October 16 for her second webcast held at the studio facilities of Trinity Church, Wall Street, in New York City.

"We met intentionally in New Orleans, as an act of solidarity with the people of Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf coast, so that we might represent the prayers and concern of the whole church, and offer a small contribution to the rebuilding effort," said Jefferts Schori. "We were told that 100,000 housing units were lost during Katrina and its aftermath, displacing nearly 250,000 people. Of those housing units, only about 4,000 have been made habitable once again."

Many of the bishops, their spouses, "as well as a number of our Anglican Communion visitors", Jefferts Schori said, "participated in various rebuilding efforts on one day of meeting."
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The Rise of the Religious Left
By STEVEN MALANGA
October 16, 2007

Everyone knows the potent force of the Christian right in American politics. But since the mid-1990s, an increasingly influential religious movement has arisen on the left, mostly escaping the national press's notice.

This new religious left does not expend its political energies on the cultural concerns that primarily motivate conservative evangelicals. Instead, working mostly at the state and local level, and often in lockstep with unions, its ministers, priests, rabbis, and laity exert a major, sometimes decisive, influence in campaigns to enforce a "living wage," to help unions organize, and to block the expansion of nonunionized businesses like Wal-Mart.

The new religious left is in one sense not new at all. It draws its inspiration in part from the Protestant "social gospel" movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, especially Baptist Minister Walter Rauschenbusch, who believed that the best way to uplift the downtrodden was to redistribute wealth and forge an egalitarian society. Rauschenbusch called for the creation of a kingdom of heaven here on earth -- just as presidential candidate Barack Obama did last week at a church in South Carolina.
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Pius and Impious
Mugabe infiltrates churches, intimidates leaders.

Sheryl Henderson Blunt
10/16/2007

In July, the state-run media accused a leading opponent, Roman Catholic archbishop Pius Ncube, of committing adultery, leading to his resignation in September. More recently, Mugabe protégé Nolbert Kunonga, the Anglican bishop of Harare, pushed to disband the Central African province of which Zimbabwe's Anglican church is a member. Leaders within the province had angered Mugabe by denouncing his administration's corruption and economic mismanagement.

Zimbabweans contacted for this story said the president's desperation to stamp out opposition has increased as the country's economic crisis has deepened. Inflation reached 14,000 percent recently, and the International Monetary Fund predicts it could rise to 100,000 percent by year's end. Unemployment hovers around 90 percent.
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South Africa: Anglican Prelate Hails American Stand On Homosexuality
16 October 2007
Cape Town

The head of the Anglican Church in Southern Africa has said a decision by American bishops not to bless same-sex unions or ordain homosexual bishops provided an opportunity to bridge the rift in Anglicanism.

Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane of Cape Town said, "The Anglican Communion now has a basis for going forward together."

The consecration of an openly homosexual priest as bishop in America in 2003 split the 77-million-strong Anglican Communion, with churches especially in Africa cutting links with American dioceses that approved of the practice.
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Canadian move pushes Anglicans closer to schism
Tue 16 Oct 2007
By Paul Majendie

LONDON, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Faced with a bid from Canadian clerics to bless gay weddings, the worldwide Anglican Communion now faces a real risk of breaking apart over differences between its liberal and conservative wings.

"The train and the buffers are getting closer," said religious journalist and commentator Clifford Longley.

"The Anglican Church is unravelling," Longley concluded as Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams struggled to keep his global flock of 77 million Anglicans together in a bitter war of words over homosexuality.
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TAC Announcement: "Full, Corporate, Sacramental Union"
The Continuum
October 16. 2007

Two alert readers have already sent this along as comments, but I think it warrants a post of its own. It is a statement by the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) primate, Archbishop John Hepworth, on the much-awaited news from Portsmouth. It is just what he told me that he hoped would happen and the cause, hopefully, for much rejoicing.

"The College of Bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) met in Plenary Session in Portsmouth, England, in the first week of October 2007. The Bishops and Vicars-General unanimously agreed to the text of a letter to the See of Rome seeking full, corporate, sacramental union. The letter was signed solemnly by all the College and entrusted to the Primate and two bishops chosen by the College to be presented to the Holy See.The letter was cordially received at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Primate of the TAC has agreed that no member of the College will give interviews until the Holy See has considered the letter and responded."

+ John


Here and Here

Disney Bans “God” From The Ten Commandments Movie Ads
October 16, 2007
by Anita L. Staver

This report will leave you scratching your head in disbelief. In an incredibly irrational move that is shocking even by Disney standards, Radio Disney has required Promenade Pictures to remove the words “chosen by God” from radio ads promoting the new film, The Ten Commandments.”

The controversy was caused by an email from a Disney employee to a media buyer about the proposed ads, stating: “Our BS&P said both scripts need to include the studio mention and omit the following line: CHOSEN BY GOD … Please let me know if you have any questions.” Ok, I have a question. Why would anyone think it necessary or even rational to censor the word “God” from an ad about a Biblical film? The Disney/ABC BS&P (Bureau of Standards and Practices) censors have taken a misguided step off the politically-correct cliff.
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Prescribe 'the pill' at middle school?
By KELLEY BOUCHARD
October 16, 2007


Students who have parental permission to be treated at King Middle School's health center would be able to get birth control prescriptions under a proposal that the Portland School Committee will consider Wednesday.

The proposal would build on the King Student Health Center's practice of providing condoms as part of its reproductive health program since it opened in 2000, said Lisa Belanger, a nurse practitioner who oversees the city's student health centers.

If the committee approves the King proposal, it would be the first middle school in Maine to make a full range of contraception available to some students in grades 6 to 8, said Nancy Birkhimer, director of teen health programs for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Most middle schoolers are ages 11-13.
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Uruguay Will Vote on Legalizing Abortion Tomorrow
Pro-life leaders urge officials be contacted immediately

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
MONTEVIDEO, October 15, 2007

(LifeSiteNews.com)--The Senate of Uruguay is scheduled to vote on a bill to legalize abortion tomorrow at 4:00 pm. The measure would legalize abortion in practically all circumstances during at least the first three months of pregnancy.

According to the Uruguayan radio station Espectador, the bill is currently expected to pass by the narrow margin of 16-14, although at least two senators among the opposition have recently refused to state their positions before their vote. The majority group in the Senate, the leftist Broad Font coalition, generally supports the measure, although some members have switched their positions and now oppose the bill.
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Albert Mohler: Sign Your Way to a "Good Death?"
-- The Soft Slide to Euthanasia
Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Charlotte Allen doesn't want to sign a roadmap that could lead to euthanasia. That's why she refused to sign what is now commonly known as a "living will" when she was diagnosed last year with breast cancer. Writing in Sunday's edition of
The Washington Post, Allen recounted her experience overcoming "efforts to persuade me to sign onto the currently fashionable notion of a 'good death.'"

During her hospitalization, Allen was frequently asked to sign a living will. The suggestions came with the implication that such a step was the responsible thing to do -- just accepting one's own responsibility to tidy things up at the end of life. Eventually, she came to feel "ever-so-slightly harassed."

In reality, living wills are a central fact of life and death in medical centers, nursing homes, hospices, and hospitals. Groups such as the American Bar Association and the American Medical Association push living wills and advanced directives as a way of limiting some care at the end of life. In other words, the whole point of a living will is to allow medical personnel not to resuscitate or to deny "artificial" food, water, and breathing assistance.
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Abortion Consent Laws Also Cut Teen STD Rates
By Pete WinnCNSNews.com Staff Writer
October 16, 2007

(CNSNews.com) - State parental involvement laws are effective in reducing the incidence of risky sexual behavior among teenagers. That's the conclusion of a study to be published in January in the Journal of Law, Economics and Organization.

Florida State University law professor Jonathan Klick said the incidence of at least one sexually transmitted disease (STD) -- teen gonorrhea -- is dramatically reduced in states that have laws requiring minors to first notify a parent or seek permission before having an abortion.
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Ban on 'Mom' and 'Dad' sparks call for exodus
'Public districts no longer are safe environment for children'

Posted: October 16, 2007
By Bob Unruh

A call is being issued to Christians who have been engaged in the culture wars in California's schools to abandon the system, after
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a ban on "discriminatory bias" against homosexuals and others with alternative sexual lifestyles.

"We're calling upon every California parent to pull their child out of California's public school system," Randy Thomasson, president of
Campaign for Children and Families, told WND. the rest

Anglican bishop's wife in shock conversion to Rome
Tuesday October 16 2007

The wife of a Church of Ireland bishop has converted to Catholicism in a move unprecedented in modern Irish church history.

The close-knit Anglican community in the west has been stunned by the shock conversion of the wife of Richard Henderson, Bishop of the United Diocese of Tuam, Killala and Achonry.

African-born Anita Henderson -- who is also the daughter of a Church of Ireland clergyman in Cork -- was received into the Catholic Church at a Sunday evening prayer service in the private chapel of the Catholic Bishop of Killala, John Fleming.

Mrs Henderson's devoted husband, their two teenage daughters and their schoolboy son attended the service in Bishop Fleming's palace overlooking the River Moy in the market town of Ballina.
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Monday, October 15, 2007

The life of prayer is just love to God,
and the custom of being ever with Him.
... St. Teresa of Avila photo

TLC: Canadian Primate, Archbishop Williams to Discuss Same-Sex Blessings 10/15/2007

The Archbishop of Canterbury will welcome Canada’s new primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, to Lambeth Palace for a private meeting Tuesday. Archbishop Hiltz said recently he would raise the issue of gay blessings as a pastoral measure during the meeting.

The meeting was scheduled before the Diocese of Ottawa approved a resolution supporting same-sex blessings during its annual synod Oct. 13, becoming the first diocesan legislature in Canada to address the issue since the nationwide General Synod approved seemingly contradictory resolutions last summer.
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California Convention to Vote on Same-Sex Rites
10/15/2007

Clergy and lay delegates to convention in the Diocese of California will consider a resolution calling on Bishop Marc Handley Andrus to approve for trial use three same-sex blessing rites endorsed by the diocesan Commission on Marriage and Blessing. Convention meets Oct. 19-20 at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.
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'God has blessed our socks off'
A church is set to turn an important corner after a long, complicated spiritual journey.

By Lea Sitton Stanley

Oct. 14, 2007

Half a dozen years ago, a congregation looked one last time toward the building raised by members' hands and out across the graves in the churchyard, and wept. Then, the churchgoers turned and left.

This week, they'll install a new rector, welcome the public to a talk by an Anglican bishop from Rwanda, and play host for the second time to a regional meeting of their new affiliate, the Anglican Mission in the Americas.

"God has blessed our socks off," said the Rev. Kenneth Cook, assistant to the rector at what was St. John's Episcopal Church of Huntingdon Valley and now is St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church of Churchville.
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Mom who sued motel over porn film wins $85,000
By David Pierson, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
October 13, 2007

A mother who sued an Artesia motel after her two young daughters were exposed to a pornographic film on television was awarded $85,000 by a jury Friday.

In August 2006, Edwina McCombs of Nashville was visiting Southern California with her daughters, who were 8 and 9 at the time.

The family stayed at Value Lodge at 11854 Artesia Blvd. McCombs went to take a bath while the girls were watching a children's TV show. Soon after, the girls somehow changed the channel to a porn film, said Eliot F. Krieger, McCombs' attorney.

"It was unclear how long they were exposed to it, but they knocked on the bathroom door and said, 'Mommy, something's wrong,' " Krieger said.During the trial, a hotel expert testified that he had never heard of a family-style hotel or motel that did not require adult verification to access pornographic films, Krieger said.
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Irish Anglican bishop's wife joins Catholic Church
Dublin, Oct. 15, 2007

(CWNews.com) - The wife of an Irish Anglican bishop has entered the Roman Catholic Church, with her husband's public support.

Anita Henderson was received into the Catholic Church by Bishop John Fleming of Killala. Her husband, Bishop Richard Henderson of the Church of Ireland, attended the ceremony.

The two bishops, Catholic and Anglican, issued a joint statement after the ceremony, indicating that Anita Henderson's religious affiliation was a matter of private conscience that "deserves the respect of us all."

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New Anglican row emerges with gay blessing request
Mon 15 Oct 2007
By Randall Palmer

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Ottawa branch of the Anglican Church of Canada has thrown a challenge to the worldwide Anglican movement by asking the Ottawa bishop to authorize the blessing of homosexual marriages.

In a weekend vote, the Ottawa diocese voted 177 to 97 to ask Bishop John Chapman to allow clergy "to bless duly solemnized and registered civil marriages between same-sex couples, where at least one party is baptized."

If Chapman, an advocate of such blessings, approves the request, it will be a red flag to the conservative branches of the church in Africa, Latin America and Asia, and could hasten a split in the global Anglican church.

Chapman told a news conference it could take anywhere between a day to 10 years to make his decision and that he would consult Canada's bishops later this month.
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Governor Blasted for Signing 'Sexual Indoctrination' Bills
By Susan Jones
CNSNews.com Senior Editor
October 15, 2007

(CNSNews.com) - A conservative group says private schools and home schooling will be the only sanctuary for California parents when two "school sexual indoctrination" laws take effect on Jan. 1.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger -- without comment -- signed four bills backed by the homosexual community over the weekend, two of them dealing with public schools. (Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed similar bills last year when he was running for re-election, conservative groups noted.)

"Arnold Schwarzenegger has delivered young children into the hands of those who will introduce them to alternative sexual lifestyles," said Randy Thomasson, president of Campaign for Children and Families (CCF), which helped lead the statewide charge against these bills.
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David Steinmetz: Episcopalians now face a reunited opposition
Posted by Kendall Harmon
October 15, 2007

Until recently, fragmentation seemed to be the strategy du jour of traditionalists in the current Anglican crisis. This crisis was precipitated by the decision of the Episcopal Church to consecrate a divorced non-celibate gay man as the Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire and to allow the blessing of same-sex unions. A minority of Episcopalians in the U.S. and a majority of Anglicans worldwide disagreed strongly with this decision and set about to scupper it.

Offshore Anglican archbishops, mainly in Africa, came to the rescue of American traditionalists by offering membership in their own traditionalist provinces. It seemed like an almost perfect solution for American conservatives. Africans provided them with new missionary bishops to oversee their congregations in the United States, while providing a way for former Episcopalians to remain (more or less) in unbroken communion with the archbishop of Canterbury.

But therein lies the rub. The problem was not that American traditionalists lacked friends overseas but rather that they seemed to have far too many of them, including sympathetic archbishops from Bolivia and Singapore. By August, conservatives could choose between missionary bishops from Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya -- and many of them did. Once again an Anglican dissenting group seemed headed toward fragmentation and diminished influence.

That is, until Sept. 27-28, when Anglican conservatives made a move toward greater unity among themselves. Bishops and bishops-elect from the Episcopal Church, the Reformed Episcopal Church, the Anglican Mission in America, the Anglican Province of America, the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, the Anglican Network in Canada, as well as missionary bishops from Uganda and Kenya met in Pittsburgh as a Common Cause College of Bishops.


the rest at TitusOneNine

Gay couple buys twin baby boys
By Peta Hellard and Liam Houlihan
October 14, 2007

A MELBOURNE gay couple have travelled to the US to buy "designer twin boys" through a surrogate mother at a cost of up to $133,000.

Brian Sheldon and Matthew Shaffer are one of several gay Victorian couples taking advantage of California's liberal IVF laws.

The couple ordered the two babies - even choosing their preferred sex, male - through US IVF pioneer Dr Jeffrey Steinberg.

The Australian Family Association believed it was tantamount to "trafficking in children", while the two fathers yesterday defended their decision to start a family.
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