Saturday, January 19, 2008

"I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send?" Isaiah 6:8

When we speak of the call of God, we are apt to forget the most important feature, viz., the nature of the One Who calls. There is the call of the sea, the call of the mountains, the call of the great ice barriers, but these calls are only heard by the few. The call is the expression of the nature from which it comes, and we can only record the call if the same nature is in us. The call of God is the expression of God's nature, not of our nature. There are strands of the call of God providentially at work for us which we recognize and no one else does. It is the threading of God's voice to us in some particular matter, and it is no use consulting anyone else about it. We have to keep that profound relationship between our souls and God.

The call of God is not the echo of my nature; my affinities and personal temperament are not considered. As long as I consider my personal temperament and think about what I am fitted for, I shall never hear the call of God. But when I am brought into relationship with God, I am in the condition Isaiah was in. Isaiah's soul was so attuned to God by the tremendous crisis he had gone through that he recorded the call of God to his amazed soul. The majority of us have no ear for anything but ourselves, we cannot hear a thing God says. To be brought into the zone of the call of God is to be profoundly altered. ...Oswald Chambers

TIME: Will the New "Black Pope" Work?
Saturday, Jan. 19, 2008

The Jesuits were once such a powerful force in the Roman Catholic Church that their elected leader was unofficially called the "black pope" a nod both to his influence and to the order's predeliction for simple black cassocks. Indeed, it is said that the rest of the Church never allowed a Jesuit to be elected to the real papacy for fear of concentrating too much power in the hands of the order. On Saturday, Jan. 19, the Society of Jesus — the order's formal name — elected a new "black pope." Will he be able to help them regain the influence they've lost over the last few decades as their increasingly progressive reputation has clashed with recent traditionalist popes?

The gathering of 217 Jesuit leaders in Rome chose little-known Father Adolfo Nicolas, 71, as their new "Superior General", a position which has historically been a lifetime posting. The leader of the Jesuits has sway over a network of priests, universities, hospitals and other missionary institutions around the globe. the rest

Women priests become Catholics
Posted by
Damian Thompson
15 Jan 2008

At least two Anglican women priests have become Roman Catholics because they are “fed up with being treated like dirt in their own Church,” according to Fr Michael Seed, the Franciscan friar who is ecumenical adviser to Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor.

Fr Seed – a deeply inspiring priest who has received many Anglicans into communion with Rome – reveals this extraordinary detail in an
interview with the Independent, which has buried it away in a feature. He received two women himself – and has now told the Catholic Herald that other female priests have come over to Rome as a result of “persecution”. the rest

The Widow's Might
My husband's death forced me to change in ways I never wanted to.

Miriam Neff

I am part of the fastest growing demographic in the United States. We are targeted by new-home builders and surveyed by designers. We are a lucrative niche for health and beauty products, and financial planners invite us to dinners. It's no wonder the marketers are after us: 800,000 join our ranks every year.

Who are we? We are the invisible among you—the widows.

Studies show that widows lose 75 percent of their friendship network when they lose a spouse. Sixty percent of us experience serious health issues in that first year. One third of us meet the criteria for clinical depression in the first month after our spouse's death, and half of us remain clinically depressed a year later. Most experience financial decline. One pastor described us by saying we move from the front row of the church to the back, and then out the door. We move from serving and singing in choir to solitude and silent sobbing, and then on to find a place where we belong.
the rest-excellent! image

OKLAHOMA: Oldest Bishop in the Episcopal Church Served Deposition Papers
By David W. Virtue

The oldest bishop in the history of The Episcopal Church who has served as both priest and bishop for more than half a century has been served a notice of deposition by Mrs. Jefferts Schori, the Episcopal Church's Presiding Bishop for abandoning the communion of the Episcopal Church.

The Rt. Rev. William A. Cox, 87, now a resident in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and one of the senior statesman bishops of The Episcopal Church told VOL that he had been served the papers and had 60 days to respond on why he should not be tossed out of the church.

"I resigned from the Episcopal Church House of Bishops last year and was offered a safe spiritual haven to minister by the Archbishop of the Southern Cone," Cox told VOL. "He has included me as one of his own under his jurisdiction."
the rest at Virtueonline

Somerset congregation splits
Daily American Staff Writer
Saturday, January 19, 2008

Starting Sunday, members of St. Francis-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church in Somerset will have two options for church services.

The Rev. Mark Zimmerman announced he is leaving the church to start the Somerset Anglican Fellowship, which will still be governed under the Anglican Communion.

St. Francis released a statement Friday stating: “As in most religious communities, there are current issues in the Episcopal Church that are being faced, discussed, and acted upon on an international, national, state, diocesan and local level. Time and space constraints limit a full explanation/discussion of the actual issues in this forum. Suffice it to say there have been two primary groups at St. Francis who now desire to follow separate paths along a fork in the road.”

Zimmerman said the two groups both needed some space to grow.

the rest

Vatican condemns cloned human embryo research
Fri Jan 18, 2008
By Phil Stewart

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican on Friday condemned the cloning of human embryos, calling it the "worst type of exploitation of the human being".

"This ranks among the most morally illicit acts, ethically speaking," said Monsignor Elio Sgreccia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, the Vatican department that helps oversee the Church's position on bioethics issues,.

A U.S. company said on Thursday it used cloning technology to make five human embryos, with the eventual hope of making matched stem cells for patients.
the rest

Starting a church from scratch
Jan 19, 2008
Stuart Laidlaw
Faith and Ethics Reporter

WATERFORD, Ont.–An altar from a nearby decommissioned church, the pulpit borrowed from a Baptist congregation in Owen Sound, a lectern and kneelers made by a parishioner, the minister's own piano and a box of prayer books salvaged from curbside in Brantford and destined for the landfill.

With these gathered things, conservative Anglicans in this southwestern Ontario town are striking out on their own.

"We left everything behind when we left our former churches," says Jim Blumer, a parishioner and spokesperson for St. Barnabas Anglican Church, part of the conservative breakaway group Anglican Coalition in Canada.
the rest

Orlando-area church that left Episcopal diocese finds home with Pentecostals
Pentecostal church serves as shelter for former St. Edward's Episcopal members
Rosemarie Dowell Special To The Sentinel
January 19, 2008

MOUNT DORA - The only Episcopal congregation in Lake County to leave the national denomination over the issue of homosexuality and other doctrines has found a new home and ally in its quest to begin worshipping anew -- a tiny Pentecostal congregation.

The Rev. Woodleigh Volland and an overwhelming majority of his congregation at St. Edward's Episcopal Church departed the national Episcopal Church in late October but remained with the 77-million-member worldwide Anglican community.

The dissidents regrouped and formed a new church, Epiphany Celebration Anglican Church, but quickly found themselves with nowhere to worship or hold services.
the rest

Episcopal Headquarters Takes Steps to Remove Conservative Bishops
One has led a diocese out of the national Anglican body, two others are preparing to go.

George Conger

Three conservative bishops of the Episcopal Church are under fire from the church's national leaders and are being threatened with dismissal for seeking to pull their dioceses out of the church in protest of its leftward drift.

The attempted purge of conservative bishops Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh, Jack L. Iker of Fort Worth, and John-David Schofield of Fresno from Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori marks a new stage in the battle over church doctrine and discipline that has threatened to split the Episcopal Church since the hotly contested 2003 consecration of a non-celibate gay priest as bishop of New Hampshire.
the rest

Friday, January 18, 2008

Priest, author "Father Joe" dies in Syracuse
Douglass Dowty
January 17, 2008

A 10-year rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception known for his compassion, prolific writing and battle against bone marrow cancer died tonight, a spokeswoman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse said.

Monsignor Joseph Champlin, 77, retired from the cathedral and, in 2006, became priest in residence at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Warners.

He died about 7 p.m. at University Hospital, after a long hospitalization, spokeswoman Danielle Cummings said.

"Here in Syracuse, he is most remembered as Father Joe -- our spiritual leader and friend," Cummings said.
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Raymond and I had met Fr. Champlin several times over the years (Raymond more than I) and we used one of his many books as part of our premarital counseling. He was truly a living saint of God. Please read the comments at the end of the article and you will be amazed to see how his life blessed so many people. -Pat Dague

Updated 1/19/08
Father Champlin made kids' dreams a reality

Champlin helped

Diocese of Virginia, Episcopal Church, Other Faith Groups Oppose Attorney General Intervention
January 17, 2008

Today, The Diocese of Virginia and The Episcopal Church filed their opposition to the motion by Virginia Attorney General Robert McDonnell to intervene in the consolidated church property cases currently being heard in Fairfax Circuit Court by the Hon. Randy I. Bellows.

In stating their opposition, the Diocese and the Church noted that the Commonwealth had failed to meet the requirements that govern intervention in such a dispute and that the state “lacks any right or interest in the subject matter,” namely the property unlawfully occupied by individuals in the CANA breakaway congregations. The Diocese and the Church raised no objections, however, to the Attorney General filing an amicus curiae or friend of the court brief on the matter of the constitutionality of section 57-9 of the Code of Virginia which is at issue at this stage in the case.
the rest

TLC: Bishops to Focus on Media Relations at Spring Meeting
January 17, 2008

The spring House of Bishops’ meeting will include development of a media strategy for next summer’s Lambeth Conference of Bishops, according to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. Bishop Jefferts Schori briefed bishops on the agenda for the March 7-13 meeting at Camp Allen in an email message dated Jan. 10.

“With over 100 [TEC] bishops consecrated since the 1998 gathering, it is helpful to offer some historical perspective, as well as consider the practical realities of our time there,” wrote Bishop Jefferts Schori, who was not consecrated Bishop of Nevada until two years after the conclusion of the 1998 conference. “As part of preparing for Lambeth, we will also discuss communications strategies and reflect on how best to work with the media both leading up to and following the conference.”
the rest

Episcopal aide seeks to mend relations
House of Deputies president visits Albany as church faces rift

MARC PARRY, Staff writer
Friday, January 18, 2008

ALBANY -- The highest-ranking lay officer of the national Episcopal Church will be in Albany Saturday for an event organized to build bridges between different wings of the church.

Episcopal House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson will speak at 2 p.m. at St. Andrew's Church, focusing on the state of the church and the broader Anglican Communion -- and how that affects the Albany diocese.

The address will be preceded at 1 p.m. by a celebration of the Eucharist, led by Albany Bishop William Love. the rest

States try to pull plug on 'robo-calls'
Millions of automated political pitches tie up Americans' phones

By Dennis Cauchon

States are trying to disconnect computer-generated political calls that are flooding the nation's households at election time.

More than 5 million automated "robo-calls" have been made to potential voters in early primary states. The number of robo-calls could run into the hundreds of millions this election year as the political parties battle for control of the White House, Congress and state governments.

the rest

Church is full of challenges and possibilities, primate tells students
Marites N. Sison staff writer
Jan 17, 2008

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, the primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has urged divinity students from Trinity and Wycliffe Colleges in Toronto not to be discouraged by wrangling in the Anglican Communion over the issue of sexuality, saying he remains optimistic about the fate of Anglicanism.
“Be strong and of good courage,” Archbishop Hiltz told about 60 students, most of them candidates for ordination to the Anglican priesthood. “You’re stepping into a church that’s facing lots of challenges but also grand possibilities.
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Shunning a truth-seeker
January 17, 2008
Father Raymond J. De Souza

It's a combustible combustion, the pope and the university. The serene priest-scholar provokes the most frenzied reactions.

Today, Pope Benedict XVI was scheduled to give a magisterial address at Rome's most venerable university, La Sapienza. It promised to be one of the set-piece academic masterpieces for which Benedict is renowned. The Holy Father was to explore the relationship of faith and reason in the search for truth, the purpose for which universities exist.
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Text of the address that the Holy Father Benedict XVI was supposed to have given during a visit to Rome's Università degli Studi

Kan. abortion foes use 1887 law against clinics
Citizens launch grand jury probes

By Roxana Hegeman
Associated Press / January 18, 2008

WICHITA - Religious conservatives have dusted off a largely forgotten 1887 state law that allows citizens to launch grand jury investigations, and they are using it to help turn Kansas into one of the nation's biggest abortion battlegrounds.

A grand jury that was impaneled Jan. 8 by way of a citizen petition drive is investigating Dr. George Tiller, a Wichita clinic operator abhorred by antiabortion activists because he is one of the nation's few physicians who perform late-term abortions. This is the second such citizen investigation of Tiller since 2006.
the rest

Woman jailed for refusing court-required psych exam
Ordered tested after conviction for sidewalk counseling at abortion business
January 18, 2008
By Bob Unruh
© 2008

An Iowa grandmother has been banished to jail, including a night in isolation, after refusing to give in to a judge's demand that she submit to a
psychiatric exam and take psychotropic drugs if prescribed to mitigate her opposition to abortion, her husband has confirmed.
the rest

4th-century Egyptian monastery attacked by armed Muslims
January 17th, 2008
By StatGuy

The Abu Fana Monastery, El Minia, Egypt, has been struck by heavily armed Muslims twice this month.

Story: Magic Statistics

Doctor clones human embryo from his own skin cell
Mark Henderson, Science Editor of The Times

January 18, 2008

A human embryo has been cloned from a named person for the first time, in an experiment that also advances research aimed at creating replacement tissue that is genetically matched to individual patients.

One of three cloned embryos created by Stemagen Corp carries DNA from a skin cell donated by Samuel Wood, a fertility doctor who is the California-based company’s founder.

“Initially it was a practical matter, but once I saw the blastocyct and I looked at it and realised that I may well have looked something like that a long time ago, it was quite an interesting experience,” Dr Wood said. the rest

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Too many Christians become bitter and angry in the conflict. If we descend into hatefulness, we have already lost the battle ... We must cooperate with God in turning what was meant for evil into a greater good within us. This is why we bless those who would curse us: It is not only for their sakes but to preserve our own soul from its natural response toward hatred.
...Francis Frangipane image

UK: First animal-human embryo trials to go ahead
Mark Henderson, Science Editor of The Times
January 17, 2008

Experiments to create Britain’s first embryos that merge human and animal material will begin within months after a Government watchdog today approved two research teams to carry out the controversial work.

Scientists at King’s College London and the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne will now inject human DNA into empty eggs from cows, to create embryos known as cytoplasmic hybrids that are 99.9 per cent human in genetic terms.

The experiments are intended to provide insights into diseases such as Parkinson’s and spinal muscular atrophy by producing stem cells containing genetic defects that contribute to these conditions.
the rest image

2008 Presidential Candidate Selector

Very interesting!

First Things: Why We Whisper: Restoring Our Right to Say It’s Wrong
By Jim DeMint and J. David Woodard
Thursday, January 17, 2008

Excerpt: "A country once confident is its values and optimistic about its future is now pessimistic, nervous and confused. Traditional American institutions like the Boy Scouts, churches, businesses, college campuses, and public schools are routinely targeted for attack and expanding government regulation. Morally responsible Americans are forced to withdraw into the shadows of public opinion, where their freedoms of speech are reduced to whispers. The culmination of this silence portends a frightening future.

After World War II, an American journalist returned to Germany to live in a remote town in hopes of discovering why law-abiding citizens followed the leadership of Adolf Hitler. Milton Mayer interviewed ten average families, and in one of the more revealing sections of his book,
They Thought They Were Free, he asked why the townspeople didn’t protest the abuses of the state. A policeman related the story of a local leader who was arrested in 1933 and “taken away” without being charged with anything. When Mayer asked why there was no outcry from citizens, the policeman told him that the people, by their silence, had given the government that right. There were “no open trials for enemies of the state,” he said. “They had forfeited their right to it.” the rest

Women Set to Proclaim: I Regret My Abortion
Christian Newswire

Priests for Life and Anglicans for Life will again sponsor a major gathering of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign in Washington DC this Tuesday, January 22. Men and women who have lost children to abortion will gather in front of the Supreme Court at 4:00 PM and begin sharing publicly their testimonies of pain and healing. Fifty-seven people are scheduled to speak.
the rest

'Big Science' in America is Killing 1st Amendment, Says Actor Ben Stein
By Kevin Mooney Staff Writer
January 17, 2008

( - Intelligent design theory, or ID, is opening new doors of scientific research, particularly in cancer and other disease research, according to its adherents, but a new movie, "
Expelled" starring Ben Stein explores how an "elitist scientific establishment" is apparently muzzling and smearing scientists who publicly discuss ID.

The First Amendment is under brutal attack in the scientific community, Ben Stein, a former presidential speechwriter-turned-actor and commentator, says in the film, which opens in theaters on Feb. 12.

"I always assumed scientists were free to ask any question, pursue any line of inquiry without fear or reprisal," he says. "But recently, I've been alarmed to discover that this is not the case."

In an exclusive interview with Cybercast News Service - with audio clips below - Stein contends that rigid Darwinists are silencing their critics in academia, which the film explores, and discusses how ID ideas are helping in cancer research and similar work.

Interview image

First Temple seal found in Jerusalem
Jan 17, 2008

A stone seal bearing the name of one of the families who acted as servants in the First Temple and then returned to Jerusalem after being exiled to Babylonia has been uncovered in an archeological excavation in Jerusalem's City of David, a prominent Israeli
archeologist said Wednesday.

The 2,500-year-old black stone seal, which has the name "Temech" engraved on it, was found earlier this week amid stratified debris in the excavation under way just outside the Old City walls near the Dung Gate, said archeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar, who is leading the dig.

According to the Book of Nehemiah, the Temech family were servants of the First Temple and were sent into exile to Babylon following its destruction by the Babylonians in 586 BCE.

The family was among those who later returned to Jerusalem, the Bible recounts.
the rest

Albert Mohler: Is Matriarchy the Shape of the Future?
Thursday, January 17, 2008

Some social changes creep along and are barely perceptible. Others are marked by the instantaneous arrival of a new technology, an earthquake, or an earth-shaking event like World War II. Some are foreseen, while others are surprises. Some should have been foreseen.

This is surely the case with one of the most significant social changes of our times -- the emergence of a new American matriarchy.
the rest

TLC: Dissident Groups Organize to Oppose Diocesan Departures
January 17, 2008

In conjunction with disciplinary actions initiated by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, groups in the dioceses of San Joaquin, Pittsburgh, and Fort Worth are proceeding with strategies to oppose plans by the dioceses to dissociate from the Episcopal Church.

On Jan. 11 Bishop Jefferts Schori
inhibited Bishop John-David Schofield of San Joaquin, whose diocese left the Episcopal Church in December, charging him with abandonment of communion after securing the unanimous consent of three senior bishops with jurisdiction. She recently appointed the Rev. Canon Bob Moore as an ‘interim pastoral presence’ in the diocese.

A website maintained by the group Remain Episcopal in the Diocese of San Joaquin reports that Canon Moore will embark on a five-day listening tour of the diocese from Jan. 21-25. The tour is scheduled to conclude with a day-long rally at Church of the Saviour, Hanford, Calif., on Jan. 26. The Remain Episcopal announcement states that “the title of this event, ‘Moving Forward, Welcoming All,’ expresses the desire of Remain Episcopal membership that their diocese be rebuilt with an inclusive and Christ-centered message of love and salvation, rather than a judgmental attitude that demands schism.”
the rest

Grace Episcopal's split becomes official Feb. 3
Departing members will form new church



OCALA - Feb. 3 will be a day of change and challenges for Grace Episcopal Church.

On that day, the Rev. Donald J. Curran will resign as rector of the historical church. The 12-member vestry board will follow. And so will several staff members, the musicians and a big chunk of the congregation.

Those leaving will make up a new church, Christ the King Anglican Church. Those staying will remain members of Grace Episcopal.

In recent years, many Episcopalians have been frustrated with the direction of The Episcopal Church (USA). They believe the church is losing its biblical and traditional roots, and are upset with the church's acceptance of gay clergy and blessing of same-sex unions. As a result, parishes across the country are leaving the denomination, which is the U.S. branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion. In October, Grace Episcopal and seven other parishes told Bishop John W. Howe, head of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida, they wanted to leave the diocese and the national church.
the rest

Religious freedom in Fresno
Andrew Fiala
Thursday, January 17, 2008

Episcopalian Church in Fresno shows us the complexity of the ideal of religious liberty. Americans are right to celebrate the separation of church and state. But we must acknowledge that religious liberty means that religions are free to espouse views that many of us believe are intolerant. This works so long as church and state remain separate.

Last month, a substantial majority of Episcopalians here in Fresno voted to leave the American Episcopal Church and align with the Church of the Southern Cone. The immediate cause of this fissure was the Episcopal Church's changing view of homosexuality and marriage. According to the more conservative reading of the Bible propounded by the Fresno Episcopalians, the church should not approve homosexual relationships or ordain homosexual clergy.

The Episcopal Church responded last week by "inhibiting" John-David Schofield, the bishop of San Joaquin. This means that he is prohibited him from carrying out his ministerial duties. In reply, Schofield claims that because he is no longer a member of the Episcopal Church, the order of inhibition does not apply to him.
the rest

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shalt be delivered. Joel 2:32

Why do I not call on His name? Why do I run to this neighbor and that when God is so near and will hear my faintest call? Why do I sit down and devise schemes and invent plans! Why not at once roll my self and my burden upon the Lord? Straightforward is the best runner—why do I not run at once to the living God? In vain shall I look for deliverance anywhere else; but with God I shall find it; for here I have His royal "shall" to make it sure.

I need not ask whether I may call on Him or not, for that word whosoever is a very wide and comprehensive one. Whosoever means me, for it means anybody and everybody who calls upon God. I will therefore follow the leading of the text and at once call upon the glorious Lord who had made so large a promise.

My case is urgent, and I do not see how I am to be delivered; but this is no business of mine. He who makes the promise will find out ways and means of keeping it. It is mine to obey His commands; it is not mine to direct His counsels. I am His servant, not His solicitor. I call upon Him, and He will deliver me.

...CH Spurgeon image

Episcopal church cracks down on dissidents
Wed Jan 16, 2008
By Michael Conlon, Religion Writer

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Leaders of the U.S. Episcopal Church have stepped up a crackdown on conservative dissidents, ordering one bishop to stop his religious work and threatening a second with the same thing.

Both rebuffed the moves.

The worldwide Anglican church and its U.S. branch have been fractured since 2003 when the Episcopal Church consecrated Gene Robinson of New Hampshire as the first bishop known to be in an openly gay relationship in over four centuries.

There are also divisions over interpreting the Bible, the ordination of women and the blessing of same-sex unions.
the rest

Singapore plans to create animals with human DNA
Irish Sun
Wednesday 9th January, 2008

Scientists eager to splice human genes with animal cells are seeking public feedback on the prospect of such controversial research, a news report said Wednesday.

'As Singapore moves into performing clinical trials for drugs, research in this field could prove to be a boon for scientists,' The Straits Times quoted Lim Pin, chairman of the Bioethics Advisory Committee (BAC), as saying.
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Exploring 12 common myths about legal abortion
Special to Florida Baptist Witness
Published January 17, 2008

In the past decade, a growing mountain of scientific facts, books and testimonies have helped unravel a three decades' assault on unborn life and the victimization of frightened, expectant mothers. However, it appears many Christians are still at a loss at how to speak from a pro-life position to people who disregard biblical principles.

If our biblical references are rejected, do we know enough about this overwhelmingly strong evidence to address someone's pro-choice viewpoint? We need solid, statistical—what the world calls "logical"—information to help change the hearts of people with other worldviews.
And it must be done while showing God's love and understanding to post-abortive women and those considering abortion. This vital information could lighten their load, help them make better choices, and change their future.
the rest

Survey: Majority of Americans support religious expression in the public square
Posted on Jan 15, 2008
by Staff

PHOENIX (BP)--Most Americans believe it should be legal to have voluntary student-led prayers at public school events, display the Ten Commandments inside a court building and allow religious displays on city-owned property, according to research released by Ellison Research of Phoenix.

As part of the survey, Ellison presented a number of scenarios to a representative sample of 1,007 American adults and asked whether various modes of religious expression generally should or should not be legal in the United States.
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Same-Sex Marriage Issue Could End in a Big Divorce
By Brian Adeba
January 16th, 2008

Matters of the bedroom have played a pivotal role in shaping the Anglican Church. Almost 500 years ago, the controversy that helped create the church was over whether it was lawful for King Henry VIII to marry Anne Boleyn, one of his queen's ladies-in-waiting. Desperate for a male heir, whom his wife Catherine of Aragon could not produce, Henry VIII sought an annulment to the marriage so he could marry Ms. Boleyn. Pope Clement VII of the Roman Catholic Church, which all of England subscribed to at the time, refused to grant permission for the annulment. Furious, Henry VIII declared independence from Rome and so the Anglican Church was born.

This time around, a bedroom matter perhaps more radical than Henry VIII could ever have fathomed threatens to leave another historical landmark on Anglicanism. But rather than rally the Anglican Church under one roof, this modern-day bedroom controversy threatens to tear the church apart. And into this fray entered the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa when last October it voted 177 to 99 to recognise the blessing of marriage for same-sex couples who have been civilly married. Ottawa became the first diocese to do so in Canada. Other dioceses with similar inclinations include Montreal and Niagara Falls.
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Against the Trend, U.S. Births Way Up
Jan 16, 2008
AP Medical Writer

ATLANTA (AP) - Bucking the trend in many other wealthy industrialized nations, the United States seems to be experiencing a baby boomlet, reporting the largest number of children born in 45 years.

The nearly 4.3 million births in 2006 were mostly due to a bigger population, especially a growing number of Hispanics. That group accounted for nearly one-quarter of all U.S. births. But non-Hispanic white women and other racial and ethnic groups were having more babies, too.
the rest

Magic Statistics: Central and Eastern Europe’s impending population implosion

In Child Porn Case, a Digital Dilemma
U.S. Seeks to Force Suspect to Reveal Password to Computer Files

By Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The federal government is asking a
U.S. District Court in Vermont to order a man to type a password that would unlock files on his computer, despite his claim that doing so would constitute self-incrimination.

The case, believed to be the first of its kind to reach this level, raises a uniquely digital-age question about how to balance privacy and civil liberties against the government's responsibility to protect the public.
the rest

Irondequoit church granted appeal for land
Stephanie Veale
Staff writer

(January 16, 2008) — All Saints Anglican Church in Irondequoit has another chance to argue that it should keep what it believes is its property.

New York state's highest appellate court, the Court of Appeals, agreed Tuesday to hear the case between the congregation and the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester following the church's request to appeal earlier decisions issued at the state Supreme Court and Appellate Division levels.

The Court of Appeals is expected to hear the case sometime this year.

The church, formerly known as All Saints Protestant Episcopal Church, has been fighting to hold on to property at 759 Winona Blvd. since the diocese ousted the church more than two years ago. The congregation disagreed with the diocese over the larger body's support of the ordination of a gay bishop in New Hampshire in 2003.
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Stand Firm: +Schori to +Iker: You Misunderstood

January 9, 2008
The Rt. Rev Jack L. Iker, D.D.
The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth
2900 AlamedaFort Worth, TX 76108

Dear Jack,

Thank you for your letter.

I believe you have misinterpreted my previous letter. I gave no "acknowledgement that dioceses can and do leave the Episcopal Church." On the contrary, I continue to aver that individuals may leave, but congregations and dioceses do not. I continue to urge you to withdraw from any encouragement of such a belief, or action toward departure, as i believe it to be a violation of the vows we have both repeatedly taken to "conform to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Episcopal Church."

I lament your belief that clergy and laity with your theological position are being systematically eliminated from positions of leadership and influence. If they are disappearing, it is by their own decision and at their own hands. I note how carefully the current and former Presidents of the House of Deputies have been to ensure broad representation in appointment to various church bodies, and know that my predecessors and I have also sought to include all theological positions in appointments within our purview.
the rest

Bishop Iker has released this statement on the Fort Worth web site.

Episcopal Church Attempts to Ban Another Bishop
By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Wed, Jan. 16 2008

An effort to ban another bishop from his religious duties was not supported by The Episcopal Church's senior bishops.

Diocese of Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan received a letter Tuesday from the head of the national church, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who said she had sought permission from the three senior bishops to inhibit him.

The bishops did not give such consent but certified that Duncan had "abandoned the Communion of this Church."

Duncan received the letter just days after the senior bishops gave their consent to inhibit Bishop John-David Schofield whose San Joaquin, Calif., diocese voted last month to break from the national church.

the rest

ENS:Pittsburgh's Duncan, Progressive Episcopalians react to Review ...

Episcopal Church bans Pittsburgh bishop after he pushed secession

George Conger: Bid to depose US Bishop backfires

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The ability to hear what God is saying, to see what God is doing, and to move in the realm of the miraculous comes as an individual develops the same intimacy with and dependence upon the Father. How did Jesus do what He did? The answer is found in His relationship with the Father. How will we do the 'greater works than these' which Jesus promised? By discovering the same relationship of intimacy, simplicity and obedience.
...John Wimber

"Oprah and Friends" to teach course on New Age Christ
By Warren Smith
November 2007

Oprah Winfrey will be letting out all the stops on her XM Satellite Radio program this coming year. Beginning January 1, 2008,
“Oprah & Friends” will offer a year-long course on the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles.1 A lesson a day throughout the year will completely cover the 365 lessons from the Course in Miracles “Workbook.”

For example, Lesson #29 asks you to go through your day affirming that “God is in everything I see.”2 Lesson #61 tells each person to repeat the affirmation “I am the light of the world.”3 Lesson #70 teaches the student to say and believe “My salvation comes from me.”4 By the end of the year, “Oprah & Friends” listeners will have completed all of the lessons laid out in the Course in Miracles Workbook. Those who finish the Course will have a wholly redefined spiritual mindset—a New Age worldview that includes the belief that there is no sin, no evil, no devil, and that God is “in” everyone and everything. A Course in Miracles teaches its students to
rethink everything they believe about God and life. The Course Workbook bluntly states: “This is a course in mind training”5 and is dedicated to “thought reversal.”the rest

Cultural Architect: Why Churches are Declining in America
By Michelle A. Vu
Christian Post Reporter
Tue, Jan. 15 2008

A cutting-edge church leader known for his innovative ideas on reaching a post-modern generation for Christ contends the reason why churches are declining in America is because they are self-centered.

“My primary assessment would be because American Christians tend to be incredibly self-indulgent so they see the church as a place there for them to meet their needs and to express faith in a way that is meaningful for them,” said cultural architect Erwin McManus, lead pastor at Mosaic Church in Los Angeles, to The Christian Post Monday.

“There is almost no genuine compassion or urgency about serving and reaching people who don’t know Christ,” he added.
the rest

Spanish Homosexuals File Criminal Charges Against Bishop for Condemning Sodomy
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
Janauary 11, 2008

( - The Spanish State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals (FELGT) has filed a criminal complaint against the Catholic bishop of Tenerife, Bernardo Álvarez, for making statements against homosexual behavior and comparing it to child sexual abuse.

Since making the statements in late December, Bishop Álvarez has been widely criticized throughout the mainstream Spanish media for reiterating the Catholic Church's consistent teaching on the subject.
the rest

UK: Christians to protest over ‘hybrid’ embryos Bill
by Jennifer Gold
Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Around 1,000 people, including many Christians, are expected to rally outside Parliament today in opposition to the Government’s plans to allow research on human-animal “hybrid” embryos.

The Time to Stand rally is the first in a series of rallies planned by Christian Concern For Our Nation (CCFON) in protest of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, which the Lords will be voting on later on Tuesday.
the rest

Outsourcing pregnancies, a growing trend
by Kim Trobee
January 15, 2008

Renting out one’s womb provides Indian women with more money than they can make in 15 years. It’s the moral cost that has not yet been calculated.

Forget outsourcing service calls to India, now you can let them bear your children. In Anand, India, at least 50 women are pregnant with the children of couples from the U.S., Great Britain and other countries. Doctors call the field ‘pioneering,’ but Clark Forsythe with Americans United for Life has a different definition.

“It’s clearly exploiting them and taking advantage of their poverty.”
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S.F. gay community an epicenter for new strain of virulent staph
Sabin Russell, Chronicle Medical Writer
Tuesday, January 15, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO -- A new variety of staph bacteria, highly resistant to antibiotics and possibly transmitted by sexual contact, is spreading among gay men in San Francisco, Boston, New York and Los Angeles, researchers reported Monday.

The study released online by the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found the highest concentrations of infection by the drug-resistant bug in and around San Francisco's Castro district and among patients who visit health clinics that treat HIV infections in gay men in San Francisco and Boston.
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Albert Mohler: Does Marriage Matter?
Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The "
My Turn" column in each week's issue of Newsweek is always one of the most interesting features in the magazine, and it is often the first page I read. The January 14, 2008 edition featured a column that demands attention -- and has attracted plenty.

In her article, "
Yes to Love, No to Marriage," Bonnie Eslinger writes of choosing love but insists that she has absolutely no need of marriage. "I am a 42-year-old woman who has lived life mostly on my own terms," she explains. "I have never sought a husband and have still experienced intense, affirming love. I have explored the world and myself and sought understanding, knowledge and a sense of how I can best contribute. Ten years ago I left a New York career to return to California and pursue a writer's life." the rest

Canadian Catholic magazine faces legal attack for criticizing homosexuals
Alan Borovoy
Toronto, Jan 14, 2008

CNA).- A Catholic magazine in Canada faces severe legal attack and possible censorship after a complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission alleged it made derogatory comments about homosexuals.

In February 2007 Rob Wells, a member of the Pride Center of Edmonton, filed a nine-point complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission alleging that Catholic Insight had targeted homosexuals as a powerful menace and innately evil, claiming it used inflammatory and derogatory language to create a tone of “extreme hatred and contempt.”
the rest

Lack of Supervision Noted in Deaths of Home-Schooled
January 12, 2008

Ten states and the
District of Columbia, where Banita M. Jacks was charged on Thursday with four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of her four daughters, have no regulations regarding home schooling, not even the requirement that families notify the authorities that they are educating their children at home.

The lack of supervision of the home-schooling process, some experts say, may have made it easier last year for Ms. Jacks to withdraw her children from school and the prying eyes of teachers, social workers and other professionals who otherwise might have detected signs of abuse and neglect of the girls. the rest

Leaders of various religions blessed new Episcopal Bishop of Nevada
By: Rajan Zed
Feb, 2008

In a marvelous gesture, the new tenth Episcopal Bishop of Nevada, Right Reverend Dan Thomas Edwards, was blessed by a Catholic Bishop, Hindu chaplain, Muslim Imam, Jewish Rabbi, Bahai leader, Baptist minister, and a Native American faith leader here.

During the interfaith blessing of his new Episcopal ministry, Bishop Edwards sat on a chair below the podium to receive the blessings in a ceremony held at the chapel of Bishop Manogue Catholic High School. He was rector of St. Francis Episcopal Church in Macon Georgia before coming to Nevada.

Starting with Most Reverend Randolph Calvo, Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Reno; other leaders who blessed the Episcopal Bishop included Buddhist Priest Reverend William Bartlett, Jewish Rabbi Elizabeth Beyer, Hindu chaplain Rajan Zed, Imam of Northern Nevada Muslim Community Abdul Barghouthi, Bahai leader Trip Barthel, Reverend Onie Cooper of Second Baptist Church, and Native American faith leader Reynalda James.
the rest

Church brands draw members
Faiths market themselves by taking on names that define their beliefs, message

Staff Writer
Tuesday, 01/15/08

On Sunday morning, just past the signs for Red Roof Inn and Go USA Fun Park on Armory Drive in Murfreesboro, and in the shadow of a billboard for Verizon Wireless, 110 people met to celebrate the first worship service of Faith Anglican Fellowship.

A temporary banner, with the church's name, stood in front of Integrity House, where worshippers gathered after leaving behind their former home, Holy Cross Church.
the rest

Monday, January 14, 2008

Anglican Mainstream: Canadian Parish votes to defy ban on gay blessings
January 14th, 2008

(Toronto, Ontario) One of the oldest Anglican parishes in North America has become the first to approve holding weddings for same-sex couples. The vote by parishioners of Toronto’s Church of the Holy Trinity poses a direct challenge to the leaders of the Anglican Church of Canada, which tonight begins its annual synod in Winnipeg.

The resolution says that the parish will “continue to exercise its conscience and bless same-sex unions and marry same-sex couples.”
the rest

Obama's 'unashamedly black' church escapes media scrutiny
Jeff Johnson
January 14, 2008

A conservative watchdog group is criticizing the media for questioning GOP presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney about their religious beliefs while asking no questions about the controversial teachings of the church of which Democrat Barack Obama is a member.

Former pastor and Arkansas Baptist state convention president Mike Huckabee has been asked about abortion, homosexuality, creation, and the role of women in society since he became a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination. Just last week during a debate on the Fox News Channel, he was asked to defend the Bible verse that calls for a wife to submit to her husband. the rest

You can be like God: Bishop Robinson tells us what the Scriptures really mean
By Alisa Craddock
web posted January 14, 2008

Here's a pop quiz for you. What was the original sin? Disobedience to God, of course, but what precisely is the nature of the offense? Let that question roll around in your mind. We'll come back to it later.

I recently listened to a
speech on C-Span by Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, the first "openly gay" bishop, speaking to students of Nova University in Florida about the issue of religion and homosexuality (what else would he be talking about?), the civil rights of gay and lesbian people, and, most particularly, his view as a clergyman concerning the Scriptures as they relate to the issue of homosexuality. Never before have I heard such a tangled morass of deceptions from someone representing himself as a man of God. I found as I listened again and again to his speech that it was so laden with misinformation and outright falsehood that I became bogged down and found it difficult to choose which deceptions to focus on. the rest image

Stand Firm:

Video: Presiding Bishop Schori’s Deposition in Virginia Property Trial

Video: Schori Deposition, Parts 1 - 3

Video: Schori Deposition, Parts 4 - 6

Video: Schori Deposition, Parts 7 - 9

Video: Schori Deposition, Parts 10 - 12

TLC: Bishop Schofield Will Ignore Inhibition

The Diocese of San Joaquin and its Bishop, John-David Schofield, will not participate in any ecclesiastical disciplinary action brought against them by The Episcopal Church, according to statements released by the diocese and Presiding Bishop Gregory Venables, Primate of the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone.
Posted on January 14, 2008


Once homosexuality is condoned, pedophilia to be legalized, Metropolitan Kirill believes
Moscow, January 10, 2008

Interfax – Head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations (DECR) Metropolitan Kirill thinks that if society stops considering homosexuality a sin, the next step will be general excuse of various sexual perversions.

‘Moral is either absolute or it does not exist. If you excuse homosexuality, why not to excuse pedophilia?’ Metropolitan Kirill stated in an interview published on Thursday by German magazine Spiegel.

When the journalist pointed to a ‘great difference’ between homosexuals and pedophiles as the latter violate ‘personal freedom’ raping children, Metropolitan Kirill said that it will be explained in several years that ’12-year-old girls were considered children before, but now they develop much faster’.
the rest

Bishop speaks out against taking organs without consent
By Stephen Adams

Hospitals must not be allowed to take
organs from dead patients without them having consented before every effort is made to help people "opt in" to the current donation system, a leading Anglican bishop has said.

The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Rev Tom Butler, was speaking after Gordon Brown
signalled his support for changing the system to one of "presumed consent".

Mr Brown said such a system, where hospitals would be able to use organs unless family members objected, could help avert the "avoidable tragedy" of more than 1,000 people dying every year awaiting organ donation.
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One word could rewrite whole book of Mormon
Some say inclusion of word "among" is concession to DNA refutation of beliefs.

Jennifer Dobner
The Associated Press
Saturday, January 12, 2008

Salt Lake City — The introduction to the 2006 edition of the Book of Mormon has a new word: among.

It sounds trivial, but to some it represents a huge change to teachings that have been passed on for generations within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The new wording comes in a passage about American Indians, who have long been presented by Mormon leaders as direct ancestors of a lost tribe of Israel known as the Lamanites.

"After thousands of years all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are among the ancestors of the American Indians," the new introduction reads.

In previous editions, the phrase was "are the ancestors."
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Christian delegation meets with Indian president
Catholic bishops called on President Pratibha Patil - India's first woman president - to draw attention to wanton destruction of Christian homes and places of worship. They provided a list of churches and other property destroyed by Hindu nationalists.
Sunday, January 13, 2008

CBCI delegation led by the Secretary General Archbishop Stanislaus Fernandes called on President Mrs. Pratibha Patil on Friday, Jan. 11 and sought her “kind intervention in Orissa to protect the fundamental rights of Christians to practice their faith without fear”.

The delegation included Archbishop of Delhi Vincent Concessao, Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar Raphael Cheenath, Bishop of Behrampur Sarat Chandra Nayak and others.
the rest

An all-Christian village in Gujarat

Public Radio Broadcast 'Deep Fried Christ' Skit
By Penny Starr Senior Staff Writer
January 11, 2008

( - Some of the people who tuned into public radio station KCPW in St. Lake City, Utah, recently weren't laughing at the satire poking fun at a Mike Huckabee "family recipe." More than a few of them, in fact, were outraged by the "Huck and the Eucharist" skit, which aired Jan. 7 on the "Fair Game with Faith Salie" program.

the rest

Hopes of custom-built organs as scientists create beating heart
Sarah-Kate Templeton, Health Editor
January 13, 2008

SCIENTISTS have created a beating heart in the laboratory in a breakthrough that could allow doctors one day to make a range of organs for transplant almost from scratch.

The procedure involved stripping all the existing cells from a dead heart so that only the protein “skeleton” that created its shape was left.

the rest

'Islamic Jesus' hits Iranian movie screens
Jan 13, 2008

A director who shares the ideas of Iran's hardline president has produced what he says is the first film giving an Islamic view of Jesus Christ, in a bid to show the "common ground" between Muslims and Christians.

Nader Talebzadeh sees his movie, "Jesus, the Spirit of God," as an Islamic answer to Western productions like Mel Gibson's 2004 blockbuster "The Passion of the Christ," which he praised as admirable but quite simply "wrong".

"Gibson's film is a very good film. I mean that it is a well-crafted movie but the story is wrong -- it was not like that," he said, referring to two key differences: Islam sees Jesus as a prophet, not the son of God, and does not believe he was crucified.
the rest

Pope celebrates Mass ad orientem, speaks on Baptism
Vatican, Jan. 14, 2008

( - Pope Benedict XVI baptized 13 infants, the children of Vatican employees, in keeping with a Vatican tradition on the feast of the Baptism of Christ.

The Holy Father used the ad orientem posture, facing in the same direction as the congregation, using the magnificent altar of the Sistine Chapel rather than portable altar that had been set up in previous years. This provoked widespread comment, with many journalists reporting that the Pope had revived an old liturgical tradition. (In fact, the ad orientem posture was never abolished.)
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Schismatic Groups Coming Home, Reports Vatican
Cardinal Assesses Impact of "Summorum Pontificum"

By Mary Shovlain
ROME, JAN. 13, 2008

( Six months after Benedict XVI issued an apostolic letter on the extended use of the 1962 missal, the Vatican says it is seeing fruits of reconciliation with Catholics who objected to the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council. the rest

Churches raided in Zimbabwe for opposing disgraced bishop
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent of The Times
January 14, 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, issued an unprecedented condemnation of a former Anglican bishop today after police in Zimbabwe used force to intervene and stop official Anglican church services from going ahead.

Dr Williams said he was "appalled" by reports of Zimbabwe police forcibly stopping Anglican church services where clergy had publicly refused to acknowledge the authority of the deposed Nolbert Kunonga.
the rest

SEC Response to Draft Anglican Covenant
Monday 14 January 2008

The Faith and Order Board of the Scottish Episcopal Church has issued the following response to the draft
Anglican Covenant published at the Anglican Primates Meeting at Dar es Salaam in February 2007.


Banned Episcopal Bishop Fights Back
By John-Thomas Kobos

KFSN - Jan 13, 2008 -- The Episcopal Church ordered John-David Schofield to stop ministerial work on Friday January 11th. Bishop Schofield was given 2 months to reconsider the decision to break away from the national church. The bishop says he no longer answers to the national church and expects a lawsuit to wind up on his doorstep any day.

A December 8 vote by members of the San Joaquin Episcopal Dioceses led to a split from the national church. On that day, Valley Episcopalians joined with the Anglican Church in South America.

But in a letter Friday, the national Episcopalian church asked Bishop Schofield to repent and rejoin the national church and re-adopt its constitution.

For now, the church believes Schofield has abandoned his post as bishop. If he doesn't return, Schofield says he could face legal issues.
the rest

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,
and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
blessed are all those who wait for him.

For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Isaiah 30:18-21