Saturday, February 02, 2008

On the Transfiguration
From a homily by Saint Gregory Palamas

Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up a high mountain where they were alone. There before them he was transfigured; his face shone like the sun.

Now is the favorable time; this is the day of salvation, God's new and eternal day, which is not measured by hours, which does not get longer or shorter, which is not interrupted by night, since it is the day of the Sun of Righteousness with whom there is no alteration nor shadow of change.

Through this day, by the Father's decree and the Holy Spirit's cooperation, he benevolently shed his radiance on us and led us out of darkness into his wonderful light; and since he is the Sun that knows no setting, he will continue to shine upon us for ever.

But because he is the Sun of Righteousness and of truth, he will not shine upon or be clearly recognized by those who admire falsehood or who are unrighteous in the way they address God or in their actions. He shows himself, however, to those who act righteously and love the truth and believe in him, and he gladdens them with his splendor. As Scripture says; Light dawns for the righteous, and joy for the upright. And so, prophesying, the Psalmist also sings to God: Tabor and Hermon will rejoice in your Name, foretelling the joy which the transfiguration on the mountain would one day bring to those who witnessed it.

Now Isaiah says: Loosen every unjust bond, untie the knots of forced transactions, tear up every unjust contract. Then what will happen? Your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your health rapidly return; your righteousness shall go before you and the glory of God shall cover you. Moreover, if you put an end to the yoke of oppression, the pointing finger and the complaining word and generously give bread to the hungry and relief to the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and your night be as bright as midday. For this Sun makes all those it shines upon into other suns; The righteous shall shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.

Let us have done with the works of darkness, then, and practice the works of light, in order not only to live decently as we should on such a day, but also to become children of the day. And come, let us go up the mountain where Christ became resplendent to see what took place there; or rather, when we have become children of the day and are worthy of such a day, at the appropriate time the Word of God will himself lead us up. But now I exhort you to make every effort to raise the eye of your mind toward the light of the gospel message, so that you may in the meantime be transformed by the renewal of your minds and, by drawing the divine radiance down upon yourselves from heaven, come to share in the glory of the Lord whose face shone like the sun today on the mountain. link art

Statement from Archbishop Peter Jensen on Attending Lambeth
Speaking after the service of ordination of 48 deacons at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney
Saturday 2nd February 2008

‘With regret, the Archbishop and Bishops of the Diocese of Sydney have decided not to attend the Lambeth Conference in July. They remain fully committed to the Anglican Communion, to which they continue to belong, but sense that attending the Conference at this time will not help heal its divisions. They continue to pray for the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lambeth Conference.’


Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, faces death threats
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent
February 2, 2008

The Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, is under police protection after he and his family received death threats over his claim that parts of Britain had become “no-go areas” for non-Muslims.

The Bishop is also facing anger from the most senior members of the Church of England hierarchy for his comments on Islam.
the rest

Book Reveals Fetal Soup Served in Chinese Restaurants
The Seven Sorrows of China gives heart-wrenching accounts of the brutality of China's one-child policy
By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
February 1, 2008

( - Dr. Mark Miravalle's sobering book, The Seven Sorrows of China, gives, in heart-wrenching detail, accounts of the brutality of the one-child policy and its effects on the Chinese people.

Dr. Miravalle's account of his often intense experiences as he travels through modern China provides a disturbingly realistic picture of life outside of Beijing.
the rest

Judges: 'Gay' exposure OK for kindergarteners
Parents citing religious beliefs vow to take case to U.S. Supreme Court

February 1, 2008
© 2008

In a case that could wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court, an appeals panel upheld dismissal of a lawsuit by Massachusetts parents seeking to prevent discussion of homosexual families in their children's elementary school classrooms.

A Return to Barbarity
Quest for Perfection Leads to Selective Killing of Unborn

By Father John Flynn, LC
ROME, JAN. 28, 2008

( The quest for a perfect child is leading to the increasing use of techniques to discover possible health problems in the unborn. Normally this is not done with a view to healing, and results in the deaths of embryos considered imperfect.

It Italy court decisions are in effect undoing a legal prohibition against the use of such screening programs, known as preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). A 2004 national law vetoes screening embryos before they are implanted in the mothers' womb.
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Men No Longer Needed?: Scientists Use Female Adult Stem Cells to Create "Female Sperm"
By John Jalsevac
U.K., February 1, 2008

( - "'Female sperm', 'male eggs' and 'same-sex reproduction' - whether these terms fill you with hope or disgust, a reproductive revolution is already in progress," begins a recent New Scientist report on some of the most bizarre and disturbing scientific research being conducted by stem cell scientists.

"In a handful of labs across the world, biologists are trying to make genetically male cells develop into eggs, and female cells into sperm. If successful, their efforts might one day allow lesbian and gay couples to have children that are genetically their own," the report continues.
the rest

Candlemas and Ashes
American Lutheran Publicity Bureau
1 February 2007
Rev. J. Thomas Shelley, STS


The change has been slow, yet unrelenting. Since the Winter Solstice, the sun’s setting has daily delayed, if even by one minute, so that journeys and chores once completed in darkness now are accompanied by brilliant twilight.

Yet, even as this change in evening’s day length has been progressing, mornings remain as dark and foreboding as they had a month before. Morning journeys and chores are still completed in darkness. The morning darkness has been unrelenting and slow to change.

But as January ends the mornings too will brighten. With increasing rapidity the sunrise will advance, first by five minutes each week, then nearly by ten. The lengthening of the daylight at morning and night will become obvious.

Because the lengthening of the morning light first becomes obvious around the beginning of February, it is very probable that this helped inspire the tradition of candlelighting that begins the festival of the Presentation of Our Lord on February 2. Surely the brightening of the morning sky would add cheer to the day when the faithful--like the Biblical Simeon-- hail Jesus as “the light of all nations and the glory of Israel” (Luke 2:32). As the great hymnwriter Charles Wesley has declared:

Christ, whose glory fills the skies,
Christ the true and only light,
Sun of righteousness, arise,
Triumph o’er the shades of night.
Dayspring from on high, be near,
Daystar, in my heart appear.
the rest-Excellent!

Seeing pope takes miracle
Manya A. Brachear
February 1, 2008

Before you plunk down your plane fare to New York and make a reservation at the Ritz so you can celebrate mass with Pope Benedict XVI, make sure you're one of the 100 lucky winners to score a ticket.

That's approximately how many Chicago Catholics will be admitted to see the pontiff in Yankee Stadium on April 20. Even fewer are expected to get into the Nationals Park mass in Washington, D.C., on April 17.

Pastors at each of Chicago's 363 parishes have been asked to submit four nominees to Cardinal Francis George, whose office will choose the winners by lottery.
the rest

An open letter to the planners of Pope Benedict's pastoral visit to the US

Friday, February 01, 2008

But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings. Malachi 4.2

Fulfilled once in the first advent of our glorious Lord, and yet to have a fuller accomplishment in His second advent, this gracious word is also for daily use. Is it dark with the reader? Does the night deepen into a denser blackness? Still let us not despair: the sun will yet rise. When the night is darkest, dawn is nearest.

The sun which will arise is of no common sort. It is the Sun—the Sun of Righteousness, whose every ray is holiness. He who comes to cheer us, comes in the way of justice as well as of mercy, comes to violate no law even to save us. Jesus as much displays the holiness of God as His love. Our deliverance, when it comes, will be safe because righteous.

Our one point of inquiry should be—"Do we fear the name of the Lord? Do we reverence the living God and walk in His ways?" Then for us the night must be short; and when the morning cometh, all the sickness and sorrow of our soul will be over forever. Light, warmth, joy, and clearness of vision will come, and healing of every disease and distress will follow after.

Has Jesus risen upon us? Let us sit in the sun. Has He hidden His face? Let us wait for His rising. He will shine forth as surely as the sun. ...CH Spurgeon

The Global Anglican Communion and the Anglican Orthodoxy
The Rev. Prof. Stephen Noll
Vice Chancellor, Uganda Christian University
Mukono, Uganda

It is a daunting task to be asked to define orthodoxy.
[1] Such a task has occupied the minds of great theologians and councils throughout Christian history, and I consider myself hardly up to the task. However, in looking to the future of Global Anglicanism, it is necessary to put one’s hand to the plough and begin a furrow.

The need to define or describe Anglican orthodoxy today has an urgency about it, because of the actions of the Episcopal Church (TEC) and other Provinces of the Communion in blessing homosexuality against the clear teaching of Scripture, the historic Church and the Resolution of the Lambeth Conference 1998. Although this issue has dominated discussions, it is clear that it is symptomatic of a larger abandonment of biblical teaching and authority on fundamental matters of the faith. The fact that Bishop John Spong, a man who has denied virtually every article of the Christian faith, continues a bishop in good standing in TEC, while orthodox bishops are threatened with deposition for their witness speaks for itself.
the rest

From the Standing Committee of the Diocese of San Joaquin
February 1, 2008

As sent and posted to the Presiding Bishop’s email address earlier this morning, 02/01/08. The letter sent from the Presiding Bishop is in the next post down.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Office of the Presiding Bishop
The Episcopal Church Center
New York City, New York
Friday, February 01, 2008

We have received your letter dated January 25 in which you state that you do not recognize us individually as members of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of San Joaquin. We find your statements, published by ENS on the internet and read in Hanford prior to most of us receiving the actual letter, to be unhelpful. While you may hold any personal opinion you wish as an individual, the office of Presiding Bishop does not have the legal, canonical or moral authority to proclaim for the Episcopal Church non-recognition of duly elected members of a diocesan Standing Committee. Without having any canonical or constitutional authority to refuse to recognize us, we cannot accept your opinion as changing our status as the canonical Standing Committee of the Diocese.
the rest

Comments at Stand Firm

TLC: Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin Responds to Presiding Bishop

Microsoft Makes $42B Bid for Yahoo
Friday February 1, 2008
By Michael Liedtke, AP Business Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Unable to topple Google Inc. on its own, Microsoft Corp. is trying to force crippled rival Yahoo Inc. into a shotgun marriage, betting nearly $42 billion that the two companies together will have a better chance of tackling the Internet search leader.

Microsoft's audacious attempt to buy Yahoo, spelled out in an unsolicited offer announced Friday, shows just how much Google threatens the world's largest software maker's grip on how people interact with computers.
the rest

Flickr Rebellion Brews at Specter of M$ Acquisition flickr image

Court: Gay marriage in Canada should be recognized in New York
February 1, 2008

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - An appeals court has ruled that a gay couple's marriage in Canada should be recognized in New York.

The Appellate Division of state Supreme Court on Friday reversed a judge's ruling in 2006 that Monroe Community College did not have to extend health benefits to an employee's lesbian partner.

Patricia Martinez, a word processing supervisor, sued the school in 2005, arguing that it granted benefits to heterosexual married couples but denied them to Martinez and her partner, Lisa Ann Golden.
the rest

Jerusalem Bishops trade charges
Tuesday, 29th January 2008
By: George Conger.

Charges of fraud and misconduct are being traded between the current and former Anglican Bishops in Jerusalem.

Already internally conflicted over its relationship with the diocese of Los Angeles, and the political implications of the June GAFCON conference, the civil war between current Bishop Suheil Dawani and former Bishop Riah Abu Al-Assal (pictured) adds a further burden to the weakened Anglican presence in the Holy Land.

On Jan 20, Bishop Riah’s office released an “urgent” petition calling for Bishop Suheil to “step down” after he allegedly colluded in the beatings of two Nazareth Anglicans.
the rest

Kenya: Post-Mayhem Woes
Tribal rivalries — including Christian-on-Christian violence — hamper healing.

Sheryl Henderson Blunt, with reporting by Sue Sprenkle in Nairobi, Kenya

Victims of Kenya's post-election violence are attempting to return to normal life, but Christian workers say wounds caused by the ongoing turbulence will take a long time to heal. More than 600 people were killed by roaming mobs during the first week of conflict, and some 250,000 were driven from their homes.

"The depth of the hatred that flared up … was a shock to many of us," said Ngari Kariithi, senior pastor of Karura Community Chapel in northern Nairobi, a hosting site for hundreds of internally displaced Kenyans.
the rest

Kenya's parties agree to stop violence
Fri 1 Feb 2008
By Duncan Miriri

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya's feuding parties agreed on Friday to a framework for talks to resolve a violent political crisis, in which some 850 people have died, within 15 days, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said.
story image

LONG ISLAND, NY: Episcopal Diocese Settles Property Dispute in Favor of Parish
By David W. Virtue

St. Joseph's Anglican Church, Brooklyn, formerly Trinity Church of East New York, which broke with the diocese in 1977, settled its case with the diocese in a Brooklyn court recently with the parish keeping its property.

The settlement was for $275,000.00, an amount considerably less than the market value of the property as recently appraised, said the attorney for the parish Eugene Voorhis.

"We are delighted that this has finally come to a close," Voorhis told VirtueOnline. "We cut a deal cut with diocese wherein everyone wins."

the rest at Virtueonline

Matt Kennedy+: Bishop Duncan at Mere Anglicanism: It’s time for a New Settlement
(very important address)
Posted February 1, 2008

This is my live-blog of Bishop Duncan's very important address. Read it carefully. He said that he did not have a text, so this is it. Remember it is live-not memorex.

It is good to see you all. Quotes 1940 hymnal, “The Church…thousand years the same”. A better text would come from the book of Hebrew’s “We seek the city that has foundations whose builder is God”…The assignment I’ve been given is to talk about the developments since Sept 30th. I want to say that it has been a delight to get to know the Network lay leaders here in SC. I am still, Ill say for my own part, the bishop of Pittsburgh, applause

the rest at Stand Firm

A Man For All Seasons: Mark Lawrence
Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina
By James Rembert

The conservative Episcopal Church in America has no reason to be defensive because we have done nothing wrong, and no reason to believe we are a minority because we are not.— Mark Lawrence

We who believe in true Christianity as passed to us over 2000 years, said the Reverend Mark Lawrence to the Mercury two weeks before his consecration as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, are like a struggler against the tide in a rowboat. Our duty is to continue rowing to home port, never stopping, because in time the tide will turn and again we will be in that majority in our country who will join the current of sound doctrine. The Diocese of South Carolina seems to be in the Episcopal minority in our view of God’s plan for mankind, Jesus’ mission and human salvation. We are in the minority in the U.S.A., he said, but we are in the majority in the worldwide Anglican Church and in worldwide Christianity. We have no need to be defensive. In the end we will prevail as the Christian church has done for two millennia.
the rest

comments at TitusOneNine

CANADA: Right to Decide When to End Treatment is Doctor's, not Family's: Physician's Guidelines
By Hilary White

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, January 31, 2008 ( - At the same time that a Canadian hospital is still engaged in a court battle over whether or not doctors can starve and dehydrate to death an 84-year-old Orthodox Jewish man who was brain injured, the Manitoba College of Physicians and Surgeons has issued guidelines for doctors that says that doctors have the right - not patients or their families - to decide when life-sustaining treatment can be withdrawn.
the rest

Abortionist: "World is a Kinder, Gentler Place" because of Abortion

The Legacy of William Wilberforce' Airs Nationwide on Public Television
Beginning in February, 2008

NEW YORK, Feb. 1 /
Christian Newswire/ -- In time for Black History Month, an inspiring, new one-hour television documentary, "THE BETTER HOUR: The Legacy of William Wilberforce," will appear nationwide on public television beginning in February, 2008. The film was produced to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the 1807 abolition of British and American slave trade in a 20-year heroic effort led by British Parliamentarian William Wilberforce. (Effective date of U.S. legislation was January, 1808.)

Once, everyone knew the name William Wilberforce. Frederick Douglas said, "Let no man forget the name of William Wilberforce." A quarter century after Wilberforce's death, Abraham Lincoln said, "Every school boy knows the name of William Wilberforce." Yet "few American today understand why, or even know Wilberforce's name," explains THE BETTER HOUR executive producer Cullen Schippe.

Shot in high definition, "THE BETTER HOUR: The Legacy of William Wilberforce" is an engaging documentary, rich with content and commentary, that can inspire people with the remarkable story of William Wilberforce.
the rest image

(So far, I have been unable to find out if it will be shown in the Syracuse area-PD)

'No one leaves Islam,' judge rules
Egyptian court bans convert to Christianity from changing ID card

February 1, 2008
© 2008

No one ever leaves Islam, according to a judge in Egypt who has cited Islamic religious law in rejecting a request from a Muslim convert to Christianity to be allowed to change his religious affiliation on his national identification card.

Too Funny!
We REALLY are the weakest link - the hilariously wrong quiz show answers that prove Britain is dumbing down

(h/t Magic Statistics)

A Rebellion and an Awkward Embrace

February 1, 2008

In the most exciting and confounding election cycle of my lifetime, Rudy Giuliani, the Prince of the City, is out because he was about to lose New York, John Edwards is out, the Clintons are fighting for their historical reputations, and the stalwart conservative New York Post has come out strong and stinging for Barack Obama. If you had asked me in December if I would write that sentence in February, I would have said: Um, no. the rest

Analysis: Romney Opens Up About Mormons
February 1, 2008
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The death of Mormon church President Gordon B. Hinckley renews attention on Mitt Romney's little-known religion -- yet rather than being reluctant to discuss it, he's making a public embrace that shows some shifting political attitudes.
the rest

Al Gore called 'prophet' at liberal Baptist meeting
Al Gore has used a speech to hundreds attending Jimmy Carter's liberal Baptist meeting in Atlanta to sell his global warming campaign.

For Jimmy Carter, a more personal mission

Carter Launches Bold Baptist Movement to End Factions

Pope says some science shatters human dignity
Thu Jan 31, 2008
By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict said on Thursday that embryonic stem cell research, artificial insemination and the prospect of human cloning had "shattered" human dignity.

In an address to members of the Vatican department on doctrinal matters, Benedict said the Church had a duty to defend the "great values at stake" in the field of bioethics.
the rest

NFL Pulls Plug On Big-Screen Church Parties For Super Bowl
By Jacqueline L. Salmon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 1, 2008

For years, as many as 200 members of Immanuel Bible Church and their friends have gathered in the church's fellowship hall to watch the Super Bowl on its six-foot screen. The party featured hard hitting on the TV, plenty of food -- and prayer.

But this year, Immanuel's Super Bowl party is no more. After a crackdown by the National Football League on big-screen Super Bowl gatherings by churches, the Springfield church has sacked its event. Instead, church members will host parties in their homes.

Immanuel is among a number of churches in the Washington area and elsewhere that have been forced to use a new playbook to satisfy the NFL, which said that airing games at churches on large-screen TV sets violates the NFL copyright.
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Anglican Report January 2008

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Modern Christianity is crucially weak at three vital points. The first is its compromised, deficient understanding of revelation. Without Biblical historicity and veracity behind the Word of God, theology can only grow closer to Hinduism. Second, the modern Christian is drastically weak in an unmediated, personal experiential knowledge of God. Often, what passes for religious experience is a communal emotion felt in church services, in meetings, in singing or contrived fellowship. Few Christians would know God on their own. Third, the modern church is often pathetically feeble in the expression of its focal principle of community. It has become an adult social club, preaching shop, or minister-dominated group. With these weaknesses, modern Christianity cannot hope to understand why people have turned to the East, let alone stand against the trend and offer an alternative. ...Os Guinness image

Church Times: UK Evangelicals ask conservative Primates to rethink
by a staff reporter

1 February, 2008

A GROUP of Evangelical bishops in the Church of England have written to conservative Primates urging them to rethink their objections to the Lambeth Conference.

The group, seven diocesan bishops and 13 suffragans, wrote to the Primates of Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and the Southern Cone of America that they “long to share with you in fellowship and in celebration at Lambeth”. To stay away, they suggest, “would inevitably split apart those who share an equally high regard for scriptures [sic] and for the historic faith of the Church”.
the rest

TLC: English Bishops Urge Primates to Attend Lambeth Conference

Outrage in New Hampshire: Lawmakers Consider Measure Endangering Minors and Trampling Parental Rights
By Denise Burke January 30, 2008

New legislation under consideration in New Hampshire would require guidance counselors or healthcare providers to counsel teenage girls before they undergo an abortion, but effectively denies parents or guardians the right to be consulted and involved in this major medical decision.

In 2007, New Hampshire lawmakers repealed the state’s parental notification statute that required an abortion provider to notify a girl’s parent or guardian when she requested an abortion. However, several lawmakers are currently attempting to revive the requirement.
the rest

Hindu chants invocation in Colorado Senate
Now lawmaker suggests 'om' opens door for prayers 'in Jesus name'
January 31, 2008
By Bob Unruh
© 2008

A Nevada Hindu who has opened the U.S. Senate with a faith-specific chant now has provided the invocation to open the state senate in Colorado, and a senator is suggesting since "om" has been cited, perhaps prayers "in Jesus name" again should be allowed.

The comments came after Rajan Zed, a Hindu from Reno who is making a series of appearances at state legislatures to promote Hinduism, was allowed to open the Colorado Senate, under the leadership of Senate President Peter Groff, with a Hindu chant of the "om" syllable that, according to his belief system, contains the universe.
the rest

GAFCON Press Conference
30th January 2007

The Primate of Nigeria, the Most Reverend Peter Akinola, gave a press conference in Lagos, Nigeria on January 30 announcing the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in the Holy Land. The occasion was a gathering of the GAFCON Theology Resource Team.

Statement and Interview

Christian Photographer Hauled before Commission for Refusing Same-Sex Job
By John Jalsevac
New Mexico, January 30, 2008

( - The case of a Christian photographer who refused to photograph a same-sex "commitment ceremony", was heard before the New Mexico Human Rights Division on Monday.

A same-sex couple asked Elaine Huguenin, co-owner with her husband of Elane Photography, to photograph a "commitment ceremony" that the two women wanted to hold. Huguenin declined because her Christian beliefs are in conflict with the message communicated by the ceremony.
the rest

Tainted Drugs Tied to Maker of Abortion Pill
January 31, 2008

BEIJING — A huge state-owned Chinese pharmaceutical company that exports to dozens of countries, including the United States, is at the center of a nationwide drug scandal after nearly 200 Chinese cancer patients were paralyzed or otherwise harmed last summer by contaminated leukemia drugs.

Chinese drug regulators have accused the manufacturer of the tainted drugs of a cover-up and have closed the factory that produced them. In December, China’s Food and Drug Administration said that the Shanghai police had begun a criminal investigation and that two officials, including the head of the plant, had been detained.

The drug maker, Shanghai Hualian, is the sole supplier to the United States of the abortion pill, mifepristone, known as
RU-486. It is made at a factory different from the one that produced the tainted cancer drugs, about an hour’s drive away. the rest

Anglican Covenant Design Group meets in London
by Jennifer Gold
Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Anglican Covenant Design Group is in London this week to review responses to the draft Covenant and fashion steps towards a final document.

The Covenant was first proposed in the 2004 Windsor Report as a means of rebuilding trust and cooperation between the churches in the Anglican Communion after relations became strained over a number of contentious issues, most notably homosexuality.

The 70 million-strong Anglican Communion has been in consultation on the draft Covenant since it was presented by the Covenant Design Group at the Primates Meeting at Dar es Salaam in February 2007.
the rest

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The blessed Lord condensed it all into one single message of eternal comfort spoken to the disciples on the Sea of Galilee: "It is I, be not afraid."

He is the antidote to fear; He is the remedy for trouble; He is the substance and the sum of deliverance. We should, therefore, rise above fear. Let us keep our eyes fastened upon Him; let us abide continually in Him; let us be content with Him. Let us cling closely to Him and cry, "Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea". (Psalm 46:2) ...AB Simpson

Rare snowstorm hits the Middle East
By IAN DEITCH, Associated Press Writer
Wed Jan 30, 2008

JERUSALEM - A rare snowstorm swept the Middle East on Wednesday, blanketing parts of the Holy Land in white, shutting schools and sending excited children into the streets for snowball fights.

The weather in Jerusalem topped local newscasts, eclipsing a government report on Israel's 2006 war in Lebanon.

Men in long Arab robes pelted each other with snowballs in the Jordanian capital, Amman, and the West Bank city of Ramallah, seat of the Palestinian government, came to a standstill.
the rest

TLC: PB Recognizes Remaining San Joaquin Episcopalians
January 30, 2008

During videotaped remarks shown Jan. 26 at the Church of the Saviour in Hanford, Calif., Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori recognized Episcopalians gathered there as the legitimate members of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. Bishop Jefferts Schori also announced that she had written to the eight standing committee members informing them that she did not “recognize” them as the standing committee of the diocese.

“I understand that these have included voting to amend the diocese’s constitution and canons and attempting to organize as the standing committee of an entity that identifies itself as an Anglican diocese of the Province of the Southern Cone,” Bishop Jefferts Schori wrote. “These actions directly conflict with the constitution and canons of The Episcopal Church,” she added, citing as justification for her action Canon 1.17.8, which requires those holding office in The Episcopal Church to “perform the duties of that office in accordance with the constitution and canons of this church and of the diocese in which the office is being exercised.” The canons are silent as to who determines whether or not an individual has “well and faithfully” performed the duties of office and since in the case of a standing committee it calls into question the fiduciary responsibilities of individuals charged with oversight of a non-profit corporation, it may be necessary to obtain a court order before the six can be “officially” decertified.
the rest

Abortionist Inflicts Demonic Psycho-terror on
Pro-life Protestors in Vienna
By Peter J. Smith
VIENNA, January 25, 2008

( - Austrian pro-life demonstrators outside the clinic of Austria's most notorious abortionist, Dr. Christian Fiala, are now enduring his latest infliction of demonic psychological terror from paid clinic escorts, who have in the past abused and assaulted both physically and sexually the praying peaceful protestors.

Video footage from Gloria TV shows Fiala's goons trying to intimidate the demonstrators outside his clinic with an intense form of psychoterror and hatred aping the demonic. The video records the clinic escorts swaying side to side, contorting their faces into snarls, howling like wolves, grunting heavily, uttering screams and wailing moans, chanting fiercely, breaking into hyena-like laughs and heaping other such psychological abuse in an unnatural manner for human beings.


the rest

Christians 'fleeing from Iraq'
Wednesday, 30th January 2008
By: Nick Mackenzie

CHRISTIANS are on the verge of being wiped out from Iraq, and from ‘the entire region where Jesus Christ lived and worked,’ an Archbishop has warned.

The startling claim came from Archbishop Avak V Asadourian, a leader in the Armenian Church in Iraq. Speaking to Ecumenical News International, the church leader said that Christians are fleeing the country and now make up less than three per cent of the country’s 27.5 million population.He said of Iraqi Christians: "They are faced each day with being kidnapped or facing the agony of having a loved one who is kidnapped."
the rest

What some biblical scenes might have looked like from a Google Earth satellite
(h/t Touchstone)


Oxford clergyman attacks Muslim plans for calls to prayer
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent
January 30, 2008

The clergyman who runs one of Oxford’s largest and most successful churches has attacked Muslim plans to begin calls to prayer from the city’s Central Mosque.

The Rev Charlie Cleverley, Rector of St Aldate’s, a thriving charismatic evangelical church in the heart of Oxford, claims non-Muslim residents will be driven away by the thrice-daily calls to prayer over the eastern part of the city.

In coming out against the proposals, Mr Cleverley, who previously worked at a church in a Muslim area of Paris, is going against the views of his own bishop.

The Bishop of Oxford, the Right Rev John Pritchard, has backed the plans, to be submitted to the city council by leaders of the mosque later this year.
the rest

CANA Grows Pulling in Archbishops and Bishops to Priestly Ranks Leader Confident in Virginia Lawsuits.
"We are moving forward"
By David W. Virtue

The leader of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, a Nigerian church plant of orthodox Anglicanism in the US says his church is growing with some 60 parishes (20 more in the pipeline), 120 plus clergy, and some 8,000 in attendance all in two years, making it one of the fastest growing body of orthodox Anglicans in North America. In an interview with the Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns at the Anglican Mission in the Americas Winter Conference in Dallas, David W. Virtue talked with Bishop Minns about the present state of Anglicanism in North America and CANA.

Interview at Virtueonline

US Envoy Calls Kenya Violence 'Ethnic Cleansing,' Not Genocide
By VOA News
30 January 2008

A senior U.S. diplomat says "ethnic cleansing" is underway in Kenya's Rift Valley in the aftermath of last month's disputed presidential election, but she says the violence does not rise to the level of genocide.

Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer told reporters Wednesday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that the aim of the violence in the Rift Valley is to push certain people out of the region.

Frazer said the United States is reviewing its aid to Kenya in light of the political turmoil there.
the rest

Added: Kenyan pastors tell of surviving the violence

Letter shows rift among Episcopal conservatives
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
By Steve Levin, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

In the first public sign of disagreement among theologically conservative clergy in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh over the leadership of Bishop Robert W. Duncan Jr., 12 such rectors and priests told him this week they disapprove of his effort to remove the diocese from the Episcopal Church and will, instead, remain with the denomination.

The 12, including the president of the diocese's clergy association and its longest-tenured rector, mailed a signed, one-paragraph letter yesterday to the diocese's 66 churches saying that while they supported the "reformation of the Episcopal Church ... we have determined to remain within, and not realign out of" it.
the rest

TLC: Bishop Howe: Church Litigation a Travesty
January 29, 2008

The Diocese of Central Florida is “poised for a new round of significant growth,” after three months of tense negotiations with clergy and lay leadership from nine congregations seeking to leave The Episcopal Church, according to Bishop John W. Howe.

At the conclusion of the diocesan convention Jan. 25-26 at St. James’ Church, Ormond Beach, Bishop Howe told a reporter for The Living Church that though exhausted, he was pleased with the negotiations.

“We are on the best of terms with all those leaving,” he said. “And we are committed to rebuilding where there have been losses.”

In his address to convention, Bishop Howe said the last three months had been the worst period of his life. However, amicable solutions had been reached with the members of the eight congregations who sought to withdraw from the diocese.
the rest

McCain wins in Florida with seniors, Hispanics, moderates
January 29, 2008

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- Drawing heavily on votes from senior citizens, Hispanics and moderates, Arizona Sen. John McCain won Tuesday in Florida, the biggest prize thus far in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

But exit polling by CNN suggests that McCain scored points in areas he wasn't expected to. He outpaced chief rival Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who campaigned as a successful businessman, among voters who cited the economy as their chief concern.
the rest

WSJ: Judging John McCain

Ruth Gledhill Reports from England for AnglicanTV
January 29, 2008

Ruth Gledhill has graciously volunteered to be an AnglicanTV Correspondent in Britain. After the Lambeth press conference last week Ruth recorded a couple interviews and gave us some important insight into the press conference.

Here is her first interview with Simon Sarmiento of

The video is great -- but Ruth and I need to work a little on the sound and uploading it to the AnglicanTV servers. My apologies to both Ruth and you for not being able to post this sooner.


New Blog!

Check out the new blog called Anglican Revivalist by Robert S. Munday, Dean of Nashotah House.

The focus is on revival, evangelism & missions. Dean Munday talks about it

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision." 1 Samuel 3:15

God never speaks to us in startling ways, but in ways that are easy to misunderstand, and we say, "I wonder if that is God's voice?" Isaiah said that the Lord spake to him "with a strong hand," that is, by the pressure of circumstances. Nothing touches our lives but it is God Himself speaking. Do we discern His hand or only mere occurrence?

Get into the habit of saying, "Speak, Lord," and life will become a romance. Every time circumstances press, say, "Speak, Lord"; make time to listen. Chastening is more than a means of discipline, it is meant to get me to the place of saying, "Speak, Lord." Recall the time when God did speak to you. Have you forgotten what He said? Was it
Luke 11:13, or was it 1 Thess. 5:23;? As we listen, our ear gets acute, and, like Jesus, we shall hear God all the time.

Shall I tell my "Eli" what God has shown to me? That is where the dilemma of obedience comes in. We disobey God by becoming amateur providences - I must shield "Eli," the best people we know. God did not tell Samuel to tell Eli; he had to decide that for himself. God's call to you may hurt your "Eli;" but if you try to prevent the suffering in another life, it will prove an obstruction between your soul and God. It is at your own peril that you prevent the cutting off of the right hand or the plucking out of the eye.

Never ask the advice of another about anything God makes you decide before Him. If you ask advice, you will nearly always side with Satan. "Immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood."
...Oswald Chambers

I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". ... C. S. Lewis image

DOSC 2008: Bishop-Elect Mark Lawrence
Courtesy of AnglicanTV

Bishop Salmon's Final Address
Courtesy of AnglicanTV

Benedict XVI's Lenten Address:
"Almsgiving, According to the Gospel, Is Not Mere Philanthropy"

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 29, 2008 ( Here is the text of Benedict XVI's message for Lent, dated Oct. 30 and released today by the Vatican.

Ash Wednesday is Feb. 6.

Text image

Young evangelicals could be key in GOP race
Mark I. Pinsky Sentinel Staff Writer
January 26, 2008

Lauren McLaughlin and Jeremiah Shaw spent Friday morning supporting efforts to sign up new voters through a Christian program called "Redeem the Vote."

They're members of Northland, A Church Distributed, and committed evangelical Christians. But like many other Central Florida evangelicals, they haven't figured out how they'll vote in Tuesday's presidential primary.

McLaughlin, 19, a student at the University of Central Florida, said Friday that she was "still researching. The compassion issues and global policy are most important to me."
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The World's First Pro-Life Film Festival
Cinema Vita means "Films for Life"

January 11, 2008

Film festivals are more popular than ever. A
Google search for the term "film festival", for example, produces 23 million links. Some festivals specialize in a particular theme or genre (horror movies or documentaries), while many cater to independent films, some of which reflect certain cultural or ideological viewpoints. For young filmmakers, festivals can be valuable avenues for presenting their work to a wider audience and gaining financial backing, as well as the attention of critics. And well-known festivals such as Cannes (France), Sundance (United States), and Raindance (England) have a tremendous influence on the movie industry, especially in shaping critical expectations.

But what about a pro-life film festival? Has one ever been held? It doesn't appear that such a festival has ever existed—until now, with the first annual
Cinema Vita Film Festival, to be held on March 7, 2008, in San Francisco. the rest

The PB Looks a Gift Horse in the Mouth

... and then declines the offer.The San Joaquin drama took another turn yesterday--one that I have to say caught me by surprise, and very little surprises me anymore.

The Standing Committee of the Diocese of San Joaquin (whatever that may be--we'll just leave it alone for the moment) has accomplished a noteworthy feat. Six of the eight elected members have been "de-acknowledged" by not just one, but two Primates of the Anglican Communion. How did they manage such an accomplishment?
the rest
(h/t Anglicans Ablaze)

"Liberal theology without the gospel has the smell of death rather than of life" -- J.I. Packer

In a wide-ranging interview, the Canadian Anglican theologian J.I. Packer talked with David W. Virtue about the state of the Anglican Communion at the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA) Winter Conference in Dallas, Texas.

Interview at Virtueonline

TLC: Bishop Chane ‘Sick of Reports of Decline’
January 29, 2008

The Episcopal Church can be viewed as one large community that is well positioned to compete with non-denominational megachurches, said Bishop John Bryson Chane of Washington during his address to the convention of the Diocese of Washington Jan. 26 at Washington National Cathedral.

“I am so sick and tired of reading reports about the statistical decline of The Episcopal Church that I no longer read them,” Bishop Chane said. “You can do anything you want with statistics.” He said that when he visits parishes around the diocese someone will sometimes say, “Bishop, we just can’t compete with the non-denominational megachurches that seem to be surrounding us on every side.” While he said at first glance this may seem to be true – since megachurches have jammed parking lots “like huge hockey rinks … often with local police directing traffic,” Bishop Chane urged convention goers to look beyond the crowded parking lots and concentrate on the bigger picture.
the rest

Archbishop of Canterbury calls for new law to punish 'thoughtless or cruel' words
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent
January 29, 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has called for new laws to protect religious sensibilities that would punish “thoughtless and cruel” styles of speaking.

Dr Williams, who has seen his own Anglican Communion riven by fierce invective over homosexuality, said the current blasphemy law was “unworkable” and he had no objection to its repeal.

But whatever replaces it should “send a signal” about what was acceptable.
This should be done by “stigmatising and punishing extreme behaviours” that have the effect of silencing argument.
the rest

City Pastors Switch Pulpits for Solitude, Renewal
By Katherine T. Phan
Christian Post Reporter
Tue, Jan. 29 2008

MT. BETHEL, Pa. – When city folk want a refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city and the laundry list of demands from daily life they come to the quiet hills of Pennsylvania. For
New York pastors, finding renewal is also as simple as going back to the basics.

"Silence and solitude are the two most difficult spiritual disciplines in the West," Pete Scazerro, author of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, told a crowd of 300 New York church leaders who kicked off their annual prayer retreat at Mt. Bethel, Pa., on Monday.

As a pastor himself, Scazerro said there were times he was so busy fulfilling the demands of his position that it was hard for him to find time alone with God. He could be preparing a sermon for hours and still not think about God, he said to acknowledging grunts and chuckles.

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Babies feel pain before 24 week abortion limit
28 January 2008

Unborn babies can experience pain before the upper age limit for abortion, a world expert in foetal pain will tell MPs.

Professor Sunny Anand, from the University of Arkansas, will address MPs at a discussion group on abortion on Monday, 28 January 2008.

The meeting has been organised ahead of expected attempts to change the law on abortion when the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill comes before the Commons.
the rest

Robot scribe copies the Bible as a performance art event
Mon, Jan 28, 2008

Karlsruhe (Germany), Jan 28 (DPA) After seven months of writing day and night, a robot in Germany clutching a fountain pen has completed a 'manuscript' Bible in cursive handwriting.

The exercise was a piece of performance art by the Centre for Art and Media in the German city of Karlsruhe, which uses state funds to explore new art ideas.

The machine, dubbed 'Bios (Bible)', began copying the Bible in June onto a 900-metre-long roll of paper, with its arm forming each letter with the pen after all 66 books of scripture had been loaded into its memory. the rest

Sentamu stands the Pope a beer
Riazat Butt
Tuesday January 29, 2008
The Guardian

When meeting the Pope it is customary to offer him a gift, and Benedict XVI has amassed many tokens of esteem. Tony Blair gave him a painting of the Catholic convert Cardinal Newman and Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah presented him with a jewelled scimitar.

When the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, met the pontiff he gave him the Holy Grail, a beer brewed in Masham, North Yorkshire.

It was the highlight of the archbishop's first trip to Rome to celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and to cement cordial relations between the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches.
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Trinity Episcopal Church's proposed break from the national church has divided Vero Beach congregation
By Elliott Jones
Tuesday, January 29, 2008

VERO BEACH — Opponents of Trinity Episcopal Church's proposed break from the Episcopal Church turned down the church leadership's latest offer: $1.3 million for a new church, representatives said Monday.

Last week, opposition from a minority of the church's membership prompted the Central Florida Diocese to withdraw an earlier proposal that included letting the majority keep the existing church property. However opponents would have gotten an historic chapel next to the main sanctuary, church and diocese officials said.
the rest

Monday, January 28, 2008

Australia: Agreement will be signed by local Anglican and Roman Catholic heads
Christian Today Australia
Tuesday, 29 January 2008

In a sign of warming relationship between the Anglicans and the Catholics in NSW, a formal covenant will be signed between them with the Anglican Archbishop of Newcastle, Dr Brian Farran, saying it was an indication of the common value they shared together and a step towards ‘healing’ the differences.

This covenant, the second time it was agreed upon in Australia, would be signed by three regional heads of the two largest Christian denominations, spanning areas around Newcastle. A Fairfax newspaper reported the agreement will entail holding an annual ecumenical service of worship, an annual joint clergy day, annual exchange of pulpits and examining the possibilities of sharing church planting. the rest

Polling station at Mass. Catholic church won’t cover crucifix
West Boylston, MA
Jan 28, 2008

(CNA)- A Catholic church to be used as a polling site for the Massachusetts presidential primary will not have to cover up or remove its crucifixes or other religious images, countering an earlier decision that could have required such action, the Telegram and Gazette reports.

Our Lady of Good Counsel was chosen as a primary polling site after a municipal building was condemned because of structural problems. “The church provided a safe and reasonable alternative to the voters of West Boylston, and we thank them for stepping up and assisting the town in our hour of need,” town administrator Leon A. Gaumond said, according to the Telegram and Gazette. the rest

Albert Mohler: Old and Alone?
Monday, January 28, 2008

For many years now, Elizabeth Marquardt has been producing some of the most compelling research on the children of divorce. As her research makes clear, the children of divorce leave no doubt about the negative -- indeed devastating -- effects of divorce among their parents.

Now, Marquardt has turned the research tables, so to speak, looking at what happens when divorced parents age -- a significant demographic trend in a world of aging baby boomers.

In "
The New Alone," published by The Washington Post, Marquardt reports on the research she has been conducting with Norval Glenn, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin. As Marquardt and Glenn report, divorce often leads to permanent changes in the relationship between children and parents. As they summarize, "the divorce itself has a lot to do with how parents and children get along." the rest

Homosexuals Squelch Facts About MRSA Outbreak, Conservatives Say
By Pete Winn Senior Staff Writer
January 28, 2008

( - Conservative groups say the truth about a new "multi-drug resistant microbe" prevalent among homosexual men is not being presented to the public because of political correctness.

Almost two weeks ago, researchers announced they have isolated a new form of MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, an infection that is spreading through San Francisco's homosexual community and could spread to the general community.
the rest

Al Gore backs homosexual 'marriage'
Jim Brown - 1/28/2008

Al Gore, the most recent Democratic vice president of the United States, has announced his support for same-sex "marriage," saying the legalization of such unions does not threaten heterosexuals. Conservative activist Peter LaBarbera says it was only a matter of time before Gore openly offered up such an endorsement.

Gore has joined New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and other leading Democrats in calling for the legalization of homosexual marriage. Commenting in a video featured on his Current TV network, the former Democratic member of Congress and nominee for president says it is wrong for the government to "discriminate" against individuals because of their sexual orientation.
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Rick Warren: Mainline Church Problems Need Evangelical Solution
Michelle A. Vu
Christian Post Reporter
Mon, Jan. 28 2008

WASHINGTON – Megachurch pastor Rick Warren suggested Sunday that mainline churches need to reconcile with evangelicals to counter its mounting problem of membership decline.

“The reconciliation is that in a pluralistic world…we (Christians) need to be on the same team because we share the same savior,” Warren contended Sunday, as he spoke with the dean of the Washington National Cathedral, Samuel T. Lloyd III, who observed that evangelical churches are thriving and full of vitality, while most mainline denominations are confronting worrisome membership decline.

During the Cathedral’s weekly Sunday Forum: Critical Issues in the Light of Faith, Lloyd asked Warren how mainlines should tackle the problem.

“100 years ago the phrase ‘social gospel’ first came out,” Warren responded. “Some people took that to mean only if we reform the social government and society and not personal faith in Christ Jesus – that is, if we make the world a better place – we don’t need personal redemption.”

That idea led to mainline churches going “one way” and evangelical churches another way, he said.
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