Saturday, November 24, 2007

"Have mercy upon us, 0 Lord, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly piled with contempt." Psalm 123:3

The thing of which we have to beware is not so much damage to our belief in God as damage to our Christian temper. "Therefore take heed to thy spirit, that ye deal not treacherously." The temper of mind is tremendous in its effects, it is the enemy that penetrates right into the soul and distracts the mind from God. There are certain tempers of mind in which we never dare indulge; if we do, we find they have distracted us from faith in God, and until we get back to the quiet mood before God, our faith in Him is nil, and our confidence in the flesh and in human ingenuity is the thing that rules.

Beware of "the cares of this world," because they are the things that produce a wrong temper of soul. It is extraordinary what an enormous power there is in simple things to distract our attention from God. Refuse to be swamped with the cares of this life.

Another thing that distracts us is the lust of vindication. St. Augustine prayed - "O Lord, deliver me from this lust of always vindicating myself." That temper of mind destroys the soul's faith in God. "I must explain myself; I must get people to understand." Our Lord never explained anything; He left mistakes to correct themselves.

When we discern that people are not going on spiritually and allow the discernment to turn to criticism, we block our way to God. God never gives us discernment in order that we may criticize, but that we may intercede. ...Oswald Chambers

The Segmented Society
Published: November 20, 2007

Excerpt: "The 1970s were a great moment for musical integration. Artists like the Rolling Stones and Springsteen drew on a range of musical influences and produced songs that might be country-influenced, soul-influenced, blues-influenced or a combination of all three. These mega-groups attracted gigantic followings and can still fill huge arenas.

But cultural history has pivot moments, and at some point toward the end of the 1970s or the early 1980s, the era of integration gave way to the era of fragmentation. There are now dozens of niche musical genres where there used to be this thing called rock. There are many bands that can fill 5,000-seat theaters, but there are almost no new groups with the broad following or longevity of the Rolling Stones, Springsteen or U2."
the rest photo

J. I. Packer: Global Realignment; Who We Are and Where We Stand
November 23rd, 2007

Presentation at Anglican Network in Canada Launch Conference

Do you remember Peter Sellers, creator of Dr. Strangelove and Inspector Clouseau, man of a thousand voices as they called him? He was once asked to record the whole Bible on disc, and he refused. “To do something like that,” he said, “you need to know exactly who you are. I don’t know who I am.”

Do we know who we are? I think we do, and I will state what I think straight away. We are sinners, miserable and hell-deserving, saved by the glorious grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are orthodox biblical Christians, members of the worldwide Anglican Communion, who value the Anglican heritage of wisdom and faithful devotion, and who cannot in good conscience go along with the increasing slippage from Anglican standards of the Anglican Church of Canada. We are in fact increasingly isolated in our church, much as Jeremiah long ago was isolated in Jerusalem - and if we do not feel something of Jeremiah’s distress at being so placed, I would say there is something wrong with us.
the rest

Two churches shun Canada Anglicans over gay unions
Fri Nov 23, 2007
By Janet Guttsman

TORONTO (Reuters) - Two congregations with roots in the Anglican Church of Canada have joined a bishop who abandoned the church because of its position on homosexuality, deepening divisions within the worldwide Anglican movement.

The two churches, both in British Columbia, oppose the blessing of gay marriages and will serve under a more orthodox archbishop in Argentina.
the rest

Anglicans, archbishop up in arms over schism in church
November 24th, 2007

TORONTO — The schism in Canadian Anglicanism turned ugly at week’s end with threatened fights over ownership of church buildings, hints of swift punishment for rebellious priests and the uncrating of an alternative church structure for clergy and laity who reject openness toward homosexuals.

As conservative denomination members attending a two-day conference in Burlington, Ont., heard plans for the orthodox Anglican Church in South America to establish a parallel jurisdiction in Canada, the primate of the Canadian church announced he would issue a letter next week to be read in all Anglican parishes.
the rest

Conservative Christians to challenge Tutu on homosexuality
by Daniel Blake
Posted: Saturday, November 24, 2007

Archbishop Desmond Tutu is to feature in on a BBC Radio 4 programme next week in which he will be challenged by a number of conservative Christians over his views on homosexuality.

Archbishop Tutu recently criticised the Anglican Communion for being “homophobic” and “obsessed with sexuality when he was interviewed by veteran reporter Michael Buerk, who has since invited more conservative Christians to respond to Tutu’s views, reports Church Times.

The programme, “From Calvary to Lambeth”, will be broadcast on Tuesday at 8:00pm.
the rest

Episcopal bishop reaches out far for peace
By James Giannini
November 24, 2007

WASHINGTON – Between trips to the Middle East and Africa to across the United States, John Bryson Chane, Episcopal bishop of Washington, D.C., and former dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in San Diego, has been busy.

His most recent venture: Iran, where he met with religious officials to discuss similarities between Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
the rest

Dallas Theological Seminary offering online class to students in China
Online class may be a 1st for nation wary of Christianity's spread

Saturday, November 24, 2007
By SAM HODGES / The Dallas Morning News

On the first day of fall classes, Mark Bailey, dressed in a sleeveless sweater, white shirt and no tie, sat behind a desk in a Dallas Theological Seminary lecture hall and told students what to expect from his Bible study methods course.

Some students were inches away. Others were, literally, in China, and watched via Internet as he delivered the happy news of no pop quizzes, his words translated into Chinese across the screen like movie subtitles.
the rest

Pope Benedict Installs 23 New Cardinals
By VOA News
24 November 2007

Pope Benedict has urged an end to the war in Iraq and the suffering of Iraqi Christians during a ceremony elevating 23 clerics from around the world to the elite Catholic rank of cardinal.

In a sermon at Saint Peter's Basilica Saturday, the pontiff said he is praying for peace and reconciliation in Iraq.

He specifically mentioned the 80-year-old Chaldean patriarch of Baghdad, Emmanuel Delly, saying he chose the cleric to join the rank of cardinal as an expression of the Vatican's spiritual closeness with Iraq's Christians.
the rest

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Bible calls the good man's life a light; and it is the nature of light to flow out spontaneously in all directions, and fill the world unconsciously with its beams. ...Horace Bushnell image

Peggy Noonan: People Before Prophets
We're making too much of politicians' religious faith.

Friday, November 23, 2007

I was talking with an old friend, a longtime Democrat, and she asked if I knew what religion a certain presidential candidate was. I replied that I didn't know and hoped I'd never find out. We started to laugh, and she nodded.

I didn't mean it and yet I meant it, for we have come to an odd pass regarding candidates and their faith. It's not as if faith is unimportant, it's always important. But we are asking our political figures--mere flawed politicians--to put forward and talk about their faith to a degree that has become odd. We push them against the wall and do a kind of theological frisk on them. We didn't use to.
the rest

Presiding Bishop: “I ordered U-turn on deal”
November 23, 2007
Posted by geoconger
Church of England Newspaper

In testimony before a Virginia court last week, US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori stated she had directed the Diocese of Virginia to sue the clergy and lay leaders of 11 congregations after they had quit the Episcopal Church for the Churches of Nigerian and Uganda.

In video taped testimony presented to the Fairfax County Circuit Court, Bishop Schori said she ordered Virginia Bishop Peter Lee to break a verbal agreement allowing the 11 parishes to withdraw from the diocese so as to prevent “incursions by foreign bishops.”
the rest

Comments at Stand Firm

Comments at TitusOneNine

Pope, cardinals discuss ties with other Christians
Fri Nov 23, 2007
By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict and his cardinals discussed Catholic relations with other Christians on Thursday, highlighting efforts to work closely with the Orthodox and to meet the challenge of fast-growing Protestant churches.

The closed-door meeting, held on the eve of a ceremony to install 23 new cardinals, took place amid progress with the Orthodox -- who broke from Rome in 1054 -- but growing fragmentation in the Protestant and Anglican world.
the rest

Meet the women who won't have babies - because they're not eco friendly
21st November 2007

Had Toni Vernelli gone ahead with her pregnancy ten years ago, she would know at first hand what it is like to cradle her own baby, to have a pair of innocent eyes gazing up at her with unconditional love, to feel a little hand slipping into hers - and a voice calling her Mummy.

But the very thought makes her shudder with horror.

Because when Toni terminated her pregnancy, she did so in the firm belief she was helping to save the planet.
the rest

Portuguese Government to Prosecute Doctors Group Over "Illegal" Anti-Abortion Ethics Policy
Medical Association says "doctors must maintain respect for human life from its beginning"

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
PORTUGAL, November 22, 2007

( October of this year the Portuguese Medical Association has resisted repeated threats of legal action by the socialist-dominated government for refusing to accept abortion in its code of ethics. Now, the pro-abortion Portuguese Health Minister Antonio Correia de Campos says he he will begin procedures against the organization through the office of the Attorney General. the rest

Letter of support for ANC from Primates of Central Africa, Kenya, Uganda, West Africa
November 22nd, 2007

To our Dear Canadian Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

We have heard of the recent decision and willingness of Archbishop Gregory Venables and the Province of the Southern Cone to provide a safe haven and Communion connection for those biblically faithful Canadian Anglicans who wish to be recognized as “in full Communion with the Church of England throughout the world”.

(Signed by: The Most Revs Justice Akrofi, Bernard Malango, Henry Orombi, Benjamin Nzimbi)
the rest

Greetings to the Anglican Network in Canada meeting from two CofE Bishops and Network leaders

Letter to Anglican Network in Canada from Archbishop Ian Ernest of the Indian Ocean

Letter from Archbishop Gregory Venables, read 22 November 2007 at the Anglican Network in Canada national conference in Burlington, Ontario

Prayer at Lent and Beyond

First Things: The Most Beautiful in All Christendom
By Michael Linton
Wednesday, November 21, 2007

It’s probably the best music in New York. OK, I’m not in New York, I’m in Tennessee. And, even if I were in New York, I wouldn’t be able to hear all the music in the city to say which was the best—but I bet I’m right anyway. And I’m not talking about
the Metropolitan Opera or the New York Philharmonic or the revival of A Chorus Line. I’m talking about the music at services at Saint Thomas Church [Anglican] on Fifth Avenue. And unlike those other venues, it’s free, and you can hear it now.

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ACNS: ACC/Primates Consultation following the New Orleans meeting of the TEC House of Bishops
November 22, 2007

The Archbishop of Canterbury has written to Anglican Communion Primates and members of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) with a summary of their individual responses to the outcome of September House of Bishops meeting of the Episcopal Church (USA). He made it clear that he was not at this stage advancing his own interpretation of these responses.

the rest

Ruth Gledhill Weblog: Pope prepares to pounce as Anglican haemorrhage begins
November 22, 2007

Looks welcoming doesn't he? Temptingly so. And it seems as if he is preparing to be just that. Rorate Caeli reports that tomorrow, Pope Benedict XVI will, on the eve of the consistory for creating new cardinals, hold a meeting of the existing ones. And on the agenda is how to deal with the numerous requests for reception from Anglicans deserting their own fast-sinking ship. Meanwhile, in Canada tonight, the Anglican Network, headed by the back-from-retirement orthodox Bishop Donald Harvey is to announce shortly that it has formally left the Canada province and re-aligned as a fellowship under the Southern Cone's Gregory Venables. Another retired bishop, former Bishop of Brandon Michael Harding, has joined Bishop Harvey under the oversight of Archbishop Venables and is helping lead the exodus. As many as 20 parishes are expected to go with the Network. At least one priest anticipates immediate deposition and a lawsuit. the rest

Video: Shoppers Rush Texas Mall

Catholics write to back Iker
by Pat Ashworth
23 November, 2007

THE Catholic Group on the General Synod has initiated a letter of support for the Bishop of Fort Worth, the Rt Revd Jack Iker. He has been warned by the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori, of disciplinary action if his diocese changes its constitution to effect secession from the Episcopal Church.

The letter has 51 signatories. It applauds Bishop Iker’s “stand for scripture and traditional Faith and Order” and describes the Episcopal Church’s “departure” from this as “deeply damaging and divisive within the Anglican Communion and in our relationships with major ecumenical partners”. It describes the leadership’s use of litigation as “nothing short of a scandal”.
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Second Anglican Network in Canada bishop received into Southern Cone

The Backlash Against Tithing
As Churches Push Donations, Congregants Balk; 'That's Not the Way God Works'

November 23, 2007

Can you put a price on faith? That is the question churchgoers are asking as the tradition of tithing -- giving 10% of your income to the church -- is increasingly challenged. Opponents of tithing say it is a misreading of the Bible, a practice created by man, not God. They say they should be free to donate whatever amount they choose, and they are arguing with pastors, writing letters and quitting congregations in protest. In response, some pastors have changed their teaching and rejected what has been a favored form of fund raising for decades.

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Canada: Anglican Church offshoot launched
Liberal 'poison' blamed for schism
Charles Lewis, National Post
Friday, November 23, 2007

BURLINGTON - A parallel national Anglican Church was launched yesterday amid charges by a leading theologian that the Anglican Church of Canada has been poisoned by liberalism and that is the real cause of the schism now underway.

"Schism means unwarranted and unjustified separation from the rest of the Church [structure], causing an indefensible breach of unity," said J.I. Packer, a Canadian who Time magazine called one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America. "Those who are unfaithful to the heritage are the schismatics. It is not we who are the schismatics."

Prof. Packer said the Anglican Church of Canada has been "poisoned" by a liberal theology that "knows nothing of a God who uses [the Bible] to tell us things and knows nothing of sin in the heart and in the head." He said the Church is being ruined by its attempts to "play catch-up with the culture" by adopting whatever "is the in-thing."
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Pope's second encyclical out next week
Fri Nov 23, 2007

(Reuters) - Pope Benedict's second encyclical will be released next week, the Vatican said on Friday.

The encyclical, called "Spe Salvi" (Latin for "Saved by Hope"), is expected to be a largely philosophical and theological work but also touch on themes such as the role of political systems in building a better world.
the rest

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The heart must be alive with gracious gratitude,
or the leaf cannot long be green with living holiness.
...C. H. Spurgeon image

Remember God's bounty in the year. String the pearls of His favor. Hide the dark parts, except so far as they are breaking out in light! Give this one day to thanks, to joy, to gratitude!
~Henry Ward Beecher photo

Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence. ~Erma Bombeck

U.S. Theologian: Africans Understand Old Testament Better than Westerners
By Jennifer Riley
Christian Post Reporter
Tue, Nov. 20 2007

Christians in
Africa understand the Old Testament better than their Western counterparts, said a well-respected evangelical scholar at a recent meeting on theology.

Dr. Philip Jenkins, a distinguished professor of religious studies and history at
Pennsylvania State University, told fellow members of the Evangelical Theological Society that the culture of African Christians assists them in understanding stories in the Old Testament, according to the Associated Baptist Press.

Jenkins spoke Thursday at the Evangelical Theological Society’s 59th annual meeting in San Diego under the theme “Teaching Them to Obey.”

Africans can understand ideas and concepts difficult for modern Westerners such as animal sacrifice, dietary restriction, polygamy, and sacred rocks, the professor said, according to ABP.
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Church battles for land rights
Newport’s St. James argues in Supreme Court it has the right of ownership to church property.

By Brianna Bailey

Nov 20, 2007

Attorneys for St. James Anglican church in Newport Beach recently filed the opening brief in a California Supreme Court property dispute case that could affect churches statewide.

The Newport Beach church, which has severed its ties to the Episcopal Church, hopes to have overturned a July appellate court decision giving control of the church property to the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles County.

“I think some people might think this only involves Episcopal or other hierarchical churches,” said attorney Eric Sohlgren, who represents St. James. “The language of the opinion is so broad, it could be used by any organization of churches to argue that they hold the property, not the local church.”
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Virginia: Episcopal suit testimony ends
By Julia Duin
November 21, 2007

Testimony in the largest property trial in the history of the Episcopal Church ended quietly yesterday after two prominent witnesses managed to avoid the withering cross-examinations that had been typical in the bitter dispute.

Virginia Episcopal Bishop Peter J. Lee, whose diocese, along with the national Episcopal Church, is suing 11 breakaway congregations, was only asked basic questions about his occupation by his attorney, Brad Davenport.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Charlotte Episcopalians Defect to Province of West Africa
By David W. Virtue

For the Rev. Canon Filmore Strunk, 55, it was a painful but strangely exhilarating moment in his life and ministry. For 19 years he had been a priest in the Episcopal Church. It had been his life's work and ambition - to bring the unchanging gospel of Jesus Christ to the folks at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Waxhaw, a growing and thriving suburb on the outskirts of Charlotte, North Carolina.

On November 1 all that changed. The abandonment of the historic Christian faith, the sexuality mess and the Episcopal Church's embracing of Gnosticism finally proved too much for the evangelical pastor of his 600-member orthodox congregation. He walked away from a newly built, 22,000 sq. ft property valued in excess of $4 million taking half his congregation with him.

the rest at Virtueonline

Stand Firm: St Matthew’s, Westerville, (S. Ohio) Votes to affiliate with CANA

The congregation has voted by more than a two to one margin to authorize the Vestry to negotiate with the Bishop and Diocese to disaffiliate our association with and participation in the Diocese and thereby The Episcopal Church in order to establish association with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA).
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Titusonenine: An Open Letter to the diocese of Southwest Florida from Bishop John Lipscomb
Posted by Kendall Harmon

November 20, 2007,

Dear Friends in Christ,

I have communicated to the Presiding Bishop my request to be released from my ordination vows and the obligations and responsibilities of a member of the House of Bishops. I have taken this step in order to be received into the Catholic Church. Through a long season of prayer and reflection Marcie and I have come to believe this is the leading of the Holy Spirit and God’s call to us for the next chapter of our lives. We are grateful to our brother in Christ, the Most Rev. Robert N. Lynch, the Bishop of St. Petersburg, for his openness to our request and for his prayerful support.

I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home where I was given the gift of a deep love for the Lord Jesus Christ and a reverence for God’s revelation of his love and redemptive purpose in the Word written, as well as the Word made Flesh. I was blessed to be brought into the family of the Episcopal Church 40 years ago. I have a deep love for the sacramental life, most especially the Eucharistic sacrifice through which God continues to pour his grace into our lives in the Word that needs no words.
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Added from TLC: Bishop Lipscomb to Leave Episcopal Church for Rome

Christian seeks to bring blasphemy case vs BBC
By Mike Collett-White
Tuesday, November 20, 2007

LONDON (Reuters) - A Christian activist sought on Tuesday to use blasphemy laws to prosecute a top BBC executive over the broadcaster's decision to screen "Jerry Springer-The Opera," a musical many Christians found offensive.

Stephen Green of Christian Voice said he was at High Court to try to overturn a decision by a district judge not to allow him to pursue his case against BBC director-general Mark Thompson and Jon Thoday, the musical's producer.

Green joined protests against the BBC in 2005 over its decision to air "Jerry Springer - The Opera," which he has said likened Jesus to "the perv in a nappy."
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ELECTION 08: Democratic candidates pledge to nominate only justices who support Roe
Nov 19, 2007
by Michael Foust

LAS VEGAS (BP)--U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton and the other Democratic presidential candidates pledged Nov. 15 that if elected they would only nominate justices to the Supreme Court who support the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

The candidates were asked during a debate in Las Vegas if they "would require" their "nominees to support abortion rights."
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Minneapolis Archbishop Condemned for Giving Catholic Teaching on Homosexuality
His column harshly criticized for "spiritual violence" and "persecution" toward homosexuals

By Meg Jalsevac
November 19, 2007

( - In a recent column in the local diocesan newspaper, Minneapolis/St. Paul Coadjuter Archbishop John C. Nienstedt concisely explained the Church's teaching regarding both a homosexual's obligation to chastity and the Church's obligation to support and encourage such a chaste lifestyle. The column has caused a backlash of harsh criticism from the 'homosexual community' in what has until recently been known as a notoriously liberal Catholic diocese.
the rest

British cardinal objects to plan aiding lesbians in achieving pregnancy

Presbytery is pushing to redefine marriage
By Liz F. Kay Sun reporter
November 20, 2007

Members of the largest denomination of Presbyterian churches in Baltimore are calling on their national body to change the definition of marriage to permit same-sex couples -- the first time the national group has considered such a change, local advocates said.

Delegates in Baltimore have approved a petition seeking to remove references that restrict marriage to a man and a woman in the Presbyterian Book of Order, which serves as the denomination's constitution.
the rest

Relief camps overrun in Bangladesh
By JULHAS ALAM Associated Press Writer
Nov 21, 2007

PURBA SARALIA, Bangladesh (AP) -- Overburdened relief centers scrambled to help tens of thousands of cyclone survivors Wednesday, and fist fights broke out among victims waiting for rice at a food distribution center.

Nearly 2,000 people descended on a government-run relief camp in Purba Saralia, hurriedly set up in a firehouse, where officials only had food for 1,200.
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Albert Mohler: "Freak Dancing" -- When Parents Advocate Misbehavior
Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Wall Street Journal is out with one of the those eye-opening stories that defies common moral sense. It seems that Jason Ceyanes, the 35-year-old superintendent of schools in Argyle, Texas, decided to crack down on sexually-suggestive dancing at the local high school. But, when the superintendent banned "freak dancing," he got into trouble with some of Argyle's parents. the rest

Survey: Many Christian Parents Choose to Satisfy Children Over God

Excerpt: "Millions of Christian parents want to appear to be relevant in their children’s eyes, and to provide gifts that fit within the mainstream of postmodern society," George Barna, lead researcher of the latest study, noted. "The problem is that many of the entertainment products that meet those criteria conflict with the moral precepts of the Christian faith. Parents have to make a choice as to what is more important: pleasing their kids’ taste and sensibilities, or satisfying God’s standards as defined in the Bible. When the decision made is to keep their children happy, the Christian parent is often left with a pit in their stomach."
the rest

Pro-Life Advocates Say New Embryonic Stem Cell Research Method Ethical
by Steven ErteltLife Editor
November 20, 2007

Washington, DC ( -- Pro-life groups are responding to today's news that two teams of scientists have been able to create embryonic stem cells without destroying human life.

The destruction of days-old unborn children has been the chief obstacle preventing pro-life advocates from supporting the controversial research.

as reported Tuesday, scientists in Japan and Wisconsin say they have been able to get adult human skin cells to revert to their embryonic state.

Pro-life advocates initially appear to support the new process and say it could be an alternative way to use embryonic stem cells in research that could bridge the stem cell research divide.
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Lead me not into temptation -excellent !

Litigating Christ Church mess is a lose-lose proposition
herbert guerry
Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Christ Church pull-out from local diocese headed to court.

Just when I was about to commend our Episcopal Bishop of
Georgia for his moderate stance in agreeing that our orthodox friends over at Christ Church continue to hold services on the property during the dispute over its ownership, I read that, contrary to Biblical warnings against Christians going to court with fellow Christians, he has decided to litigate his differences with Christ Church.

His initial position was especially to be commended because The Episcopal Church's (TEC's) Presiding Bishop and other radical TEC bishops have been quick to urge the very strongest measures against those parishes that leave TEC.

Our bishop, of course, is not one of the radicals, some of whom now so reinterpret classic Christian doctrine that, even though they dress up in traditional garb and recite a somewhat familiar sounding liturgy, they are, in fact, like the pagan priests of the late Roman Empire whom Gibbon so devastatingly described as, "Viewing, with a smile of pity and indulgence, the various errors of the vulgar, they digilently practiced the ceremonies of their fathers, devoutly frequented the temples of the gods; and sometimes condescending to act a part on the theater of superstition, they concealed the sentiments of an Atheist under sacerdotal robes."
the rest

Conservative faction hints it will announce the formation of breakaway body over issue of same-sex unions
From Wednesday's Globe and Mail
November 21, 2007

The Anglican Bishop of New Westminster says the division over homosexuality in the Canadian church is now "a full-blown schism" and a conservative Anglican faction has hinted at an announcement this week on the formation of a breakaway body.

Right Reverend Michael Ingham, whose Greater Vancouver diocese became the first Anglican jurisdiction to formally authorize the blessing of same-sex unions, reacted forcefully to a retired Newfoundland bishop's intention to come into the diocese and ordain priests who oppose the blessings.

Diocesan turf-poaching is the biggest bureaucratic sin in the decentralized Anglican Communion, the world's third largest Christian church. Authorizing same-sex blessings may represent a theological difference of opinion, but one bishop taking his episcopal authority into another bishop's diocese is clearly a schismatic act.
the rest

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

If a child is in its father's arms, nothing can touch it without that father's consent, unless he is too weak to prevent it. And even if this should be the case, he suffers the harm first in his own person before he allows it to reach his child. If an earthly parent would thus care for his little helpless one, how much more will our heavenly Father, whose love is infinitely greater and whose strength and wisdom can never be baffled, care for us! He, who counts the very hairs of our heads and suffers not a sparrow to fall without him, takes note of the minutest matters that can affect the lives of his children, and regulates them all according to his perfect will, let their origin be what they may.
...Hannah Whitall Smith photo

Virginia: Phase 1 of Church Property Trial Ends, 1st Amendment Issues Next

Written by Nicholas F. Benton and Roy Levy
Thursday, 22 November 2007

Phase One of a three-phase legal process to determine ownership of the property of 11 Virginia congregations that voted to leave the Episcopal Church – including The Falls Church – ended abruptly in a Fairfax circuit courtroom Tuesday. Constitutionality arguments, pertaining to the First Amendment and the separation of church and state, are up next.

Bishop Peter James Lee of the Diocese of Virginia, who was expected to be a major witness in defense of the Episcopal Church, was on the witness stand less than five minutes, as attorneys for the diocese apparently moved to shield him from cross-examination by dismissing him from the stand before making any substantial statements.

That marked an end to five days of testimony before Judge Randy I. Bellows aimed at establishing whether or not an 1867 Virginia statute applies to the circumstances that occurred last December, when the majority of parishioners from 11 Episcopal congregations in Virginia voted to defect from the mainstream denomination.

Their claim, reiterated in a press release issued yesterday by those congregations’ new “Council of Anglicans in North America” (CANA) affiliation, was not that the defectors left the church, but that “the Episcopal Church and the diocese walked away from the worldwide Anglican Communication by choosing to reinterpret scripture.” In particular, the so-called “reinterpretation” claim is centered on the move by bishops of the Episcopal Church to elevate an openly-gay clergyman to standing as a bishop in 2003. the rest

Washington Times: Episcopal trial weighs concept of division

Congress Urged to Defund Planned Parenthood
Melanie Hunter
Senior Editor

( - The nation's largest pro-life group is calling on Congress to stop giving taxpayer dollars to organizations that perform abortions by passing one of two bills designed to ban the funding of abortion.

The Title X Family Planning Act (S.351) sponsored by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), or the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act (H.R. 4133) sponsored by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), would deny federal family planning funds to non-hospitals that perform abortions, with narrow exceptions.
the rest

First Things: Embryonic Stem Cells and Those Pro-Science Pro-Lifers
By Joseph Bottum
Tuesday, November 20, 2007

If the news of major breakthroughs in cell research should turn out to be correct, we are about to witness something like victory in the fight over embryonic stem cells.

And that will open a nest of interesting questions, beginning with this one: All those editorialists and columnists who have, over the past ten years, howled and howled about Luddites and religious fanatics thwarting science and frustrating medicine—were they really interested in technology and health, or were they just using all that as a handy stick with which to whack their political opponents?

The news actually broke this summer, when Japanese researcher Shinya Yamanaka announced that he had found a technique to transform cultured mouse skin cells into cells nearly identical to embryonic stem cells. As Nature magazine, pointed out, if something similar works in humans, a simple skin biopsy could be used to create embryonic stem cell equivalents “without using embryos or even eggs.” the rest-excellent! photo

Colorado city considers ban on red and green Christmas lights
Allie Martin
November 20, 2007

A Colorado city is considering a plan that one attorney calls the epitome of the war against Christmas.

Tonight, the Fort Collins City Council will meet and decide the fate of a task force report that urges the city to decorate with white lights, winter symbols not traditionally associated with any particular holiday, and unadorned garlands of greenery. City staffers are also encouraged to remove ornaments or stars from trees and red ribbons from wreaths.
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23AndMe Will Decode Your DNA for $1,000.
Welcome to the Age of Genomics
By Thomas Goetz

Excerpt: " Reading your genomic profile — learning your predispositions for various diseases, odd traits, and a talent or two — is something like going to a phantasmagorical family reunion. First you're introduced to the grandfather who died 23 years before you were born, then you move along for a chat with your parents, who are uncharacteristically willing to talk about their health — Dad's prostate, Mom's digestive tract. Next, you have the odd experience of getting acquainted with future versions of yourself, 10, 20, and 30 years down the road. Finally, you face the prospect of telling your children — in my case, my 8-month-old son — that he, like me, may face an increased genetic risk for glaucoma."
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Quincy church reaches deal to split with main Presbyterian denomination
Saturday, November 17, 2007
By Steve Eighinger
Herald-Whig Staff Writer

First Presbyterian Church of Quincy and the Presbytery of Great Rivers have reached an agreement that will allow the church an orderly transfer to a different denomination while keeping its building and grounds.

First Presbyterian will pay the presbytery $196,000 on Jan. 9, a figure that allows the church to be sole owner of the property and facilities at 1027 S. 24th. The agreement also releases both parties from any future claims, damages or demands.
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Botswana: The Truth About the
Anglican Diocese of Botswana
20 November 2007
Fr. Benjamin T. Moleko

The Diocese of Botswana has not passed a vote of no confidence in their Bishop. As the Diocesan Secretary, I would like to clarify recent media articles, especially the one that appeared in the Monitor of November 12, 2007.

Firstly, it is important to note that any policies or positions made outside the Anglican Church Diocesan Synod or Diocesan Standing Committee are not policies or positions of the Anglican Diocese of Botswana.

The Anglican Church, Diocese of Botswana, has procedures and structures about policy matters. The Diocese is governed by the Diocesan Synod, which is a meeting of representatives of all Church structures. The only organ that legitimately represents the Diocese between Synods is the Diocesan Standing Committee. Legitimate representative bodies are elected at Synod or appointed by the Diocesan Standing Committee.
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In under a year over 190 cases of Hindu persecution of Christians
by Nirmala Carvalho

A report by All India Catholic Union, into anti Christian persecution gathered data with the aid of leading National groups. The report underlines widespread marginalisation of non Hindus, and government apathy which protects aggressors.
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Albert Mohler: Never in the Closet . . . The New Face of Homosexuality
P Monday, November 19, 2007

The moral landscape of the culture usually shifts slowly, with barely perceptible changes that accumulate over a long period of years. This is not the case in our own times, for the pace of moral change now defies the imagination.

This is especially true when it comes to the issues related to sexuality in general and homosexuality in particular. The pace of moral change is now accelerated to the point that it is clearly visible and undeniable.

Evidence for this is found in a recent article published in
The Boston Globe Magazine. Entitled, "Easy Out," the article makes the case that today's gay teenagers in Massachusetts find leaving the "closet" very easy -- because they never thought themselves to be closeted as homosexual in the first place. the rest

Children at higher risk in nontraditional homes
Abusive-boyfriend syndrome part of broader trend, experts worry

Sun., Nov. 18, 2007

NEW YORK - Six-year-old Oscar Jimenez Jr. was beaten to death in California, then buried under fertilizer and cement. Two-year-old Devon Shackleford was drowned in an Arizona swimming pool. Jayden Cangro, also 2, died after being thrown across a room in Utah.

In each case, as in many others every year, the alleged or convicted perpetrator had been the boyfriend of the child's mother — men thrust into father-like roles which they tragically failed to embrace.

Every family is different. Some single mothers bring men into their lives who lovingly help raise children when the biological father is gone for good.
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ROCHESTER: Diocese announces five nominees for eighth bishop
By Matthew Davies
November 19, 2007

[Episcopal News Service] The Standing Committee of the
Episcopal Diocese of Rochester November 19 announced a slate of five nominees for the election of the eighth bishop of Rochester. The new bishop will succeed the Rt. Rev. Jack M. McKelvey who is set to retire in April 2008 after eight years as Rochester's diocesan. here

Monday, November 19, 2007

Gratitude... goes beyond the "mine" and "thine" and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy. ...Henri J. M. Nouwen photo

Get Religion: LA mangles some Anglican lingo
Posted by tmatt
Monday, November 19, 2007

This weekend, I went out of my way to praise a Washington Post story covering the Anglican property and doctrine wars here in the greater Washington, D.C., area. The discussion of that post rolls on and you can follow that by
clicking here.

However, let me flip the coin over and briefly note an article that I think does a rather bad job of covering some similar territory. This article by Rebecca Trouson ran in the Los Angeles Times under the headline, “
Episcopal leader seeks to mend church rift — In the face of defection threats, the bishop urges members to look beyond divisive issues and focus on helping people in need.”

This is a perfect example of a story that covers the Episcopal/Anglican wars only from the perspective of the national church and from those who share its viewpoints. What made the Washington Post story so good was the attention it gave to all four levels of the combat — local, regional, national and global. In America, the rebels are a small band of traditionalists, defending what they see as the
Anglican approach to 2,000 years of Christian doctrines and moral theology. Obviously, the left disagrees with that stance. the rest

The Golden Compass, Phillip Pullman,
and The God-Killing Books for Kids
by Marc T. Newman, Ph.D.

“My books are about killing God.”
* Phillip Pullman

Are you concerned with the witchcraft and dark themes embodied in the Harry Potter book and film series? If you are a Christian and your answer is "Yes" then Phillip Pullman thanks you.

Sort of.

Identifying J.K. Rowling's stories about the boy wizard as covering fire, drawing away the ire of concerned Christians, Phillip Pullman – the author of the best-selling His Dark Materials trilogy – has been slowly advancing what he identifies as an even more subversive philosophy: the need for children and adults alike to kill God. Of course, Pullman also seems to be a little miffed at the universal attention that Rowling has enjoyed – describing his books as “flying under the radar” despite their theocidal themes.

Not any more.
the rest at Movie Ministry

Food pantries struggling with shortages
Mon Nov 19, 2007

CINCINNATI - Operators of free food banks say they are seeing more working people needing assistance. The increased demand is outstripping supplies and forcing many pantries and food banks to cut portions.

Demand is being driven up by rising costs of food, housing, utilities, health care and gasoline, while food manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers are finding they have less surplus food to donate and government help has decreased, according to Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks.
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Syracuse, NY: Salvation Army runs short of food this year
Monday, November 19, 2007
By Pam Lundborg Staff writer

Officials at The Salvation Army say they may not have enough food donations for Christmas Distribution Day - only about half the usual number of schools and companies have signed up for food and fund drives.

Nancy Kronen, Salvation Army's director of development, said last year 240 schools and companies had food or fundraising drives. This year, she said, the number has inexplicably dropped to 128.
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ACNS: Diamond wedding anniversary
November 19, 2007

Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary with a service at Westminster Abbey today.

They were married on Thursday 20th November 1947 and the service of celebration for their diamond anniversary was held a day early to allow them to leave for a return visit to Malta – their first home as a married couple.

The service was attended by TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall together with TRH Prince William and Prince Harry and many other members of the Royal Family. the rest photo

Archbishop of Canterbury
Sermon given at the Service of Celebration to mark the Diamond Wedding Anniversary

Excerpt: " And Christian marriage goes that one step further and says that for those who can grasp it this relationship between a man and a woman is now a living sign of God's relation to the world, and of what God thinks about human capacity and dignity. It is a sign telling us that God is to be trusted to be faithful - and that God trusts us to echo that faithfulness."

The Aquarian Gospel:
Hollywood takes action hero Jesus to India
Nov. 19, 2007
Randeep Ramesh in New Dehli
Monday November 19, 2007

Hollywood is to fill in the Bible’s “missing years” with a story about
Jesus as a wandering mystic who travelled across India, living in Buddhist monasteries and speaking out against the iniquities of the country’s caste system.

Film producers have delved deep into revisionist scholarship to piece together what they say was Jesus’s life between the ages of 13 and 30, a period untouched by the recognised gospels.
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UK:The cloning revolution: Ministers to back controversial change to law
18 November 2007

Within 10 years, doctors could transplant embryos created by three 'parents' – so eliminating genes that lead to life-threatening conditions – under plans to be debated by MPs tomorrow. Opponents fear this will pave the way for human cloning. Marie Woolf reports

Pope condemns groups "promoting" abortion in Africa
Mon 19 Nov 2007

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict accused international agencies on Monday of promoting abortion in Africa and blamed the spread of sexually transmitted diseases partly on "disordered notions" of marriage and the family.

"The globalised secular culture is exerting an increasing influence on local communities as a result of campaigns by agencies promoting abortion," the Pontiff said in an address to bishops from Kenya.

"This direct destruction of an innocent human life can never be justified, no matter how difficult the circumstances," he said.
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The end of a sane society?
By Kelly Boggs / Baptist Press
Friday, November 16, 2007

ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP)--The Court of Appeals for the U.S. Ninth Circuit upheld this summer an Oakland, Calif., city government declaration that the phrase "marriage is the foundation of the natural family and sustains family values" was inflammatory and promoted harassment based on so-called sexual orientation. The phrase was also deemed to be homophobic and disruptive.
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Bishop Iker's Address-don't miss this!

Young people reading a lot less
Report laments the social costs

By David Mehegan
Globe Staff / November 19, 2007

We know what young people are doing more of: watching television, surfing the Web, listening to their iPods, talking on cellphones, and instant-messaging their friends. But a new report released today by the National Endowment for the Arts makes clear what they're doing a lot less of: reading.

The report - a 99-page compendium of more than 40 studies by universities, foundations, business groups, and government agencies since 2004 - paints a dire picture of plummeting levels of reading among young people over the past two decades.
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Bangladesh cyclone death toll hits 15,000
By Peter Foster, South Asia correspondent

Up to 15,000 people were killed and seven million lives left devastated by the cyclone in Bangladesh last week, aid agencies have said as the full extent of the disaster became clear.

The Bangladeshi Red Crescent Society, the country's main humanitarian group, said that more than 3,000 bodies had already been recovered from villages shattered by Cyclone Sidr's 150mph winds.

While the official death toll remains low, Save the Children last night said that it feared that 15,000 people could have died while the Red Crescent estimated around 10,000.
the rest

Philadelphia Gives Boy Scouts Ultimatum
City Solicitor Tells Branch to Renounce Its Ban on Gays or Lose Rent Subsidy
By Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 19, 2007

PHILADELPHIA -- This may be the last free Thanksgiving dinner for the Boy Scouts of Philadelphia.

Citing a local 1982 "fair practices" law, the city solicitor has given the Scouts until Dec. 3 to renounce its policy of excluding homosexuals or forfeit the grand, Beaux-Arts building it has rented from the city for $1 a year since 1928.
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Philadelphia: Mayor's gay about-face

Dr Rowan Williams to target pro-gay bishops
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent

The Archbishop of Canterbury is preparing to target individual bishops whose pro-gay policies threaten to derail his efforts to avert schism, The Daily Telegraph has learnt.

In a high-risk strategy, Dr Rowan Williams may even snub them by withdrawing their invitations to next year's Lambeth Conference.

He has told friends he will challenge any bishop he believes is coming to the conference with an agenda "very much at odds" with his attempts to maintain unity in the worldwide Church.
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Carey and Tutu wade into conflict over gays

LA Times: Episcopal leader seeks to mend church rift
By Rebecca Trounson, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
November 19, 2007


Nonetheless, on Saturday, representatives from Fort Worth approved constitutional amendments that are the first steps toward that departure. The diocese joined others in San Joaquin and Pittsburgh in granting the preliminary approval."She's playing hardball, and that's not going down very well, in this country or in the communion," said the Rev. Canon Kendall Harmon, a leading church traditionalist from South Carolina who runs a popular Episcopal blog. "She's apparently opted for a power strategy and a public legal strategy, and that's a great disappointment."

But Jefferts Schori explains her strategy in different terms.

In her Nov. 9 meeting with about 100 leaders of the El Camino Real Diocese, she said she believed strongly in reaching out and listening to Episcopalians frustrated by what they see as the church's too-liberal direction.
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Sunday, November 18, 2007

If you have not much time at your disposal, do not fail to profit by the smallest portions of time which remain to you. We do not need much time in order to love God, to renew ourselves in His Presence, to lift up our hearts towards Him, to worship Him in the depths of our hearts, to offer Him what we do and what we suffer. ...Francois Fenelon photo