Saturday, April 26, 2008

Devotional: You will never find Jesus so precious...

You will never find Jesus so precious as when the world is one vast howling wilderness. Then he is like a rose blooming in the midst of the desolation, a rock rising above the storm.
...Robert Murray M'Cheyne image

Methodists defend Episcopal Church in land battle

Apr 26, 2008
by William C. Flook
The Examiner

Virginia- The United Methodist Church and a handful of other religious bodies have rallied to the side of Virginia's Episcopal Diocese as it seeks to reclaim millions of dollars worth of property from breakaway congregations in court.

The U.S.-based Methodists, as well as two African branches and the Worldwide Church of God, joined the Episcopal Church this week in challenging the constitutionality of a Civil War-era Virginia law on which the case likely hinges.

"This case raises the question of the appropriateness of the government's intrusion into the freedom of any church body to organize and govern itself according to its own faith and doctrine," top Methodist officials said. the rest

Canada won’t talk to ANiC

April 27, 2008
George Conger

The Canadian House of Bishops has rebuffed a request from the breakaway Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) to negotiate a settlement of property disputes, saying the national church has no power to act.

Property issues “are always resolved within dioceses” Archbishop Fred Hiltz said following the April 15-18 meeting in Niagara Falls, Ontario. “I don’t hold any title to property. General Synod doesn’t hold any title to property,” explained the Canadian church leader.

Bishop Don Harvey of ANiC said he was disappointed the bishops would chose litigation over dialogue, but was not surprised. “I had hoped the Primate would have attempted to facilitate negotiations between the dioceses and the Anglican Network parishes.” Four parishes in British Columbia and Ontario are currently in court with their dioceses, and more lawsuits are expected from dioceses seeking to regain control of breakaway congregations. the rest

Holy See: Biofuels Shouldn't Block Right to Food

BRASILIA, Brazil
APRIL 25, 2008

(Zenit.org).- The Holy See is asking for measures to keep the production of biofuels from bringing about increased food prices to the point of threatening starvation in many countries.

Monsignor Renato Volante, the permanent observer of the Holy See at the Rome-based U.N. Organization for Food and Agriculture (FAO), participated in the FAO Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean, which was held in Brasilia, Brazil, April 17-18.

Monsignor Volante proposed that the production of biofuels should not bring about a decrease in the production of agricultural products destined for the food market. the rest image

McCain doesn't put his faith out front

By Maeve Reston
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
April 26, 2008

Not long after he became the presumed Republican nominee, John McCain flew to New Orleans to face a skeptical audience -- conservative leaders of the Council for National Policy.

A questioner zeroed in on a topic McCain rarely addresses on the campaign trail, asking him to explain his faith in God.

McCain, an Episcopalian who attends a Baptist church in Phoenix, turned to a well-worn tale of the guard he met when he was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. The man once loosened the ropes binding McCain, and later shared his Christian faith with McCain by silently sketching a cross in the prison yard with his sandal. the rest image

Huge Christian Ministry to Disabled Fined $23,000 For Rejecting Homosexual Employee

Human Rights ruling also mandates all managers and employees receive a pro-homosexuality "human rights training program"
By John-Henry Westen
TORONTO, April 25, 2008

(LifeSiteNews.com) - In what is being described as "another blow to religious liberty" in Canada, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has ordered a Christian organization to cease using an employment contract which has staff promise they will not engage in "homosexual relationships." Moreover, the ruling demands that the organization pay $23,000, plus two years wages and benefits to a woman who signed onto the contract and then entered a homosexual relationship and was subsequently dismissed.

In an April 15 ruling, released today, the Tribunal ruled against Christian Horizons, an Evangelical Christian Ministry that provides care and residential services to 1,400 developmentally disabled individuals with over 180 residential homes across Ontario, and 2,500 employees. the rest

Reno urged to prepare for worse as earthquakes continue

By MARTIN GRIFFITH

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Scientists urged residents of northern Nevada's largest city to prepare for a bigger event as the area continued rumbling Saturday after the largest earthquake in a two-month-long series of temblors.

More than 100 aftershocks were recorded on the western edge of the city after a magnitude 4.7 quake hit Friday night, the strongest quake around Reno since one measuring 5.2 in 1953, said researchers at the seismological laboratory at the University of Nevada, Reno.

The latest quake swept store shelves clean, cracked walls in homes and dislodged rocks on hillsides, but there were no reports of injuries or widespread major damage.

Seismologists said the recent activity is unusual because the quakes started out small and continue to build in strength. The normal pattern is for a main quake followed by smaller aftershocks. the rest

Friday, April 25, 2008

Episcopal church sues deposed Calif. bishop over property

By AMANDA FEHD

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin has sued a deposed bishop, demanding he vacate his offices and turn over financial accounts for leading a secession last year prompted by the church's ordination of women and gays.

The diocese said in its lawsuit, filed Thursday in Fresno County Superior Court, that John-David Schofield breached his duties to the church.

National church leaders removed Schofield as the head of the Fresno-based diocese after he led parishioners to align themselves with the conservative Province of the Southern Cone, an Argentina-based member of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Last month, Jerry Lamb, a bishop loyal to the U.S. church, was elected to head the San Joaquin diocese. Schofield, however, maintains he is an Anglican bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin under the worldwide church. the rest

ENS: San Joaquin diocese, Episcopal Church file suit to regain property

Episcopal Church sues rebel California bishop

The Complaint in the Lawsuit pdf

Devotional: O my Lord, would that I could come away...

"Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away."
—Song of Solomon 2:10
O, I hear the voice of my Beloved! He speaks to me! Fair weather is smiling upon the face of the earth, and He would not have me spiritually asleep while nature is all around me awaking from her winter's rest. He bids me "Rise up," and well He may, for I have long enough been lying among the pots of worldliness. He is risen, I am risen in Him, why then should I cleave unto the dust? From lower loves, desires, pursuits, and aspirations, I would rise towards Him. He calls me by the sweet title of "My love," and counts me fair; this is a good argument for my rising. If He has thus exalted me, and thinks me thus comely, how can I linger in the tents of Kedar and find congenial associates among the sons of men? He bids me "Come away." Further and further from everything selfish, grovelling, worldly, sinful, He calls me; yea, from the outwardly religious world which knows Him not, and has no sympathy with the mystery of the higher life, He calls me. "Come away" has no harsh sound in it to my ear, for what is there to hold me in this wilderness of vanity and sin?

O my Lord, would that I could come away, but I am taken among the thorns, and cannot escape from them as I would. I would, if it were possible, have neither eyes, nor ears, nor heart for sin. Thou callest me to Thyself by saying "Come away," and this is a melodious call indeed. To come to Thee is to come home from exile, to come to land out of the raging storm, to come to rest after long labour, to come to the goal of my desires and the summit of my wishes. But Lord, how can a stone rise, how can a lump of clay come away from the horrible pit? O raise me, draw me. Thy grace can do it. Send forth Thy Holy Spirit to kindle sacred flames of love in my heart, and I will continue to rise until I leave life and time behind me, and indeed come away. ...CH Spurgeon
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Chinese-Christians Are Paying a High Price for the Olympics

By John W. Whitehead
Christian Post Contributor
Fri, Apr. 25 2008

The world is finally seeing China for what it is: a totalitarian dictatorship.

It's widely known that China has been rounding up and persecuting First Amendment advocates. These Chinese dissidents who use the Internet and demonstrations to protest what China has been doing often disappear or are sent to re-education camps.

Little, however, is said about China's religious persecution, especially of Christians. Yet it is on par with, if not worse than, the harsh and oppressive treatment of demonstrators in Tibet that has received widespread news coverage and caused public outrage. And it's been happening for years.

Nevertheless, the 2008 Olympic Games were awarded to China in July 2001, with the expectation that the Games would act as a catalyst for the improvement of human rights in China and cause China to change its image. And over the past seven years, China has invested huge amounts of time and resources in preparing for the Olympics in order to make a good impression on the world. Unfortunately, these preparations have included the "religious repression, torture, sexual abuse and arbitrary detention" of many religious individuals, particularly Chinese Christians. the rest

TV has never seen more transgender characters

Fri Apr 25, 2008
By P. Ryan Baber

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Although long known to the gay community, breakout star Candis Cayne became a household name this year with her recurring role as the male-to-female transgender character Carmelita on ABC's "Dirty Sexy Money."

She also made history as the first transgender actress to play a transgender character in primetime, and she even shared an onscreen kiss with William Baldwin.

"It just never would have occurred to me to cast a person that wasn't transgender," says creator and executive producer Craig Wright. "The minute Candis walked through the door, there wasn't a single ounce of opposition." the rest

NORTH KOREA: REPORT DETAILS TARGETING OF CHRISTIANS

Refugees describe criminalization of faith; execution possible for owning Bible.

BANGKOK, April 25 (Compass Direct News) – Refugee testimonies in a report released this month by a U.S. government body confirm severe persecution of Christians throughout North Korea.

In the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom’s (USCIRF) report, refugees said that Christianity remained a key factor in the interrogation of people repatriated from China to North Korea. Border guards reserved the harshest punishment for those who admitted having any contact with Chinese or South Korean Christians.

The report, released April 15, found that consequences are harsh for those found violating state policies on religion.

“For example, recently many North Korean refugees have Bibles with them when they are repatriated,” one refugee said. “In North Korea you can get away with murder if you have good connections. However, if you get caught carrying a Bible, there is no way to save your life.” the rest

Virginia Anglican Churches Respond to Ruling on Discovery

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2008
CONTACT: Kelly Oliver (ext. 140) or
Caitlin Bozell (ext. 119) at (703) 683-5004

FAIRFAX , Va. (April 25, 2008) – The 11 Anglican churches being sued by The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia responded to the Fairfax County Circuit Court decision to open discovery around the Contracts Clause, congregational votes and related questions.

“Today’s Court ruling is part of the process which will prove that the 11 churches own their property and that they followed proper procedures when an overwhelming majority in each church voted to disaffiliate from The Episcopal Church and Diocese of Virginia,” said Jim Oakes, vice-chairman of the Anglican District of Virginia. The 11 churches being sued by The Episcopal Church are a part of ADV.

“Judge Randy Bellows has indicated that he would like to see the entire case resolved soon after the October hearing. We welcome that news as we have consistently stated our belief that this litigation is a regrettable distraction from our core mission as a church. He also invited the parties to submit lists of issues that can be decided as a matter of law without any further discovery. On the remaining issues, Judge Bellows indicated that he would be receptive to motions for protective orders should discovery become too burdensome, which we appreciate.

“Let’s be clear - our churches’ own trustees hold title for the benefit of their congregations. The Episcopal Church and Diocese of Virginia have never actually owned any of the property, and their names do not appear on the deeds to the property. The Virginia Supreme Court has consistently stated that Virginia does not recognize denominational trusts of the sort asserted by The Episcopal Church and the Diocese.

“We are grateful that Judge Bellows already ruled that the Virginia Division Statute applies to our situation. Virginia has a long history of deferring to local control of church property, and the Division Statute says that the majority of the church is entitled to its property when a group of congregations divide from their former denomination and form or join a new one. The Episcopal Church’s own complaint acknowledges that it does not hold title to any property of these eleven churches and that the churches’ own trustees hold title to all such property for the benefit of the congregations. Moreover, it is the congregations and their members – not the denomination -- who have contributed the funds that built and maintained these churches over the years. Some of the churches—like The Falls Church and Truro —actually predate the denomination and helped establish it.”

To comply with the requirements of the Virginia Division Statute, Virginia Code § 57-9, which recognizes the right of a congregation to keep its property when a majority votes to separate from a divided denomination, the voting churches reported to their local circuit courts their votes to disaffiliate from The Episcopal Church and the Diocese and to affiliate with CANA through membership in ADV.

“In most of these churches, 90% or more of the members voted to leave the denomination due to the clear division within The Episcopal Church, which the Court recently confirmed. The Diocese of Virginia and The Episcopal Church broke their relationship with the worldwide Anglican Communion and fell out of step with much of Christendom by choosing to redefine and reinterpret Scripture,” Oakes said.

The Episcopal Church and the Diocese abruptly broke off settlement negotiations in January 2007 and filed lawsuits against the Virginia churches, their ministers and their vestries. The decision of The Episcopal Church and the Diocese to redefine and reinterpret Scripture caused the 11 Anglican churches to sever their ties.

ADV

Dr JI Packer speaks at launch of Anglican Network in Canada

April 25th, 2008

May I begin by saying where I come from. If a certain dignitary kept his word and threat, I am here under false pretences. Two days ago I will have been deprived of the ministry to which I was ordained in 1952 and I ought not to be wearing a clerical collar. It is utterly tragic. This led me to resonate deeply with the way AB Venables presented in his talk. I have a joyful heart. One cannot be seeking to live under the leading and power of the Holy Spirit without joy in one’s heart. Joy has been added to my state of mind. Despite the fact that in Acts 27 the ship was wrecked, everyone was saved and got safe to land, and we have got safe to land in the same way through the generous offer of jurisdiction from AB Venables which we have settled for most gratefully. I want to celebrate the goodness and graciousness of AB Venables. This is not two Brits together but two Christians together. AB Venables has lightened my gloom considerably. As he illuminated what has gone wrong, I was saying Amen sir you are right, but oh dear.

the rest at Anglican Mainstream

New York Abortion Clinic Closes Today; Facility Was Site of 40 Days for Life Vigil

WASHINGTON, April 25 /Christian Newswire/ -- "We rejoice with pro-lifers in Rockland County, New York today," said David Bereit, national campaign director of 40 Days for Life, "as they celebrate the closing of an abortion facility that was responsible for ending the lives of untold numbers of innocent unborn children over its many years of operation. The unceasing prayers of these faithful people have been answered."

Abortion Services at 200 East Eckerson Road in New City, N.Y., was one of more than 50 clinics across the nation where 40 Days for Life prayer vigils were conducted this spring. "My family and I visited that particular clinic vigil on a snowy night earlier this year," said Bereit. "My wife and children were photographed alongside a young man who carried a sign reading, 'Nothing is impossible with God.' That is certainly the case here. The prayerful efforts of many pro-lifers over the years have won this victory. We are humbled to know that people participating in the 40 Days for Life campaign may have played a role in the peaceful closure of this abortion center." the rest

Unchurched prefer cathedrals to contemporary church designs

Written by Tobin Perry

NASHVILLE, Tenn.-- People who don’t go to church may be turned off by a recent trend toward more utilitarian church buildings. By a nearly 2-to-1 ratio over any other option, unchurched Americans prefer churches that look more like a medieval cathedral than what most think of as a more contemporary church building.

The findings come from a recent survey conducted by LifeWay Research for the Cornerstone Knowledge Network (CKN), a group of church-focused facilities development firms. The online survey included 1,684 unchurched adults – defined as those who had not attended a church, mosque or synagogue in the past six months except for religious holidays or special events.

"Despite billions being spent on church buildings, there was an overall decline in church attendance in the 1990s," according to Jim Couchenour, director of marketing and ministry services for Cogun, Inc., a founding member of CKN. "This led CKN to ask, ‘As church builders what can we do to help church leaders be more intentional about reaching people who don’t go to church?’" the rest image

Gay Bishop Plans His Civil Union Rite

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
April 25, 2008

Bishop Gene Robinson, the openly gay Episcopal prelate whose consecration led conservatives to split from the church, said in an interview on Thursday that he and his partner of 20 years were planning a civil union ceremony to be held in his home church in the diocese of New Hampshire in June.

Bishop Robinson said that by scheduling the ceremony for June, he did not intend to further inflame conservatives just before the Anglican Communion gathers in August in Cambridge, England, for the Lambeth Conference, which happens only once every 10 years.

He planned his civil union for June, he said, because he wanted to provide some legal protection to his partner and his children before he left for England for the conference. Bishop Robinson has received death threats, and he wore a bulletproof vest under his vestments at his consecration in 2003. the rest

Qatar to get a second church

Friday, 25th April 2008
By: George Conger

Ground-breaking for Qatar’s second purpose-built Christian church will take place next month, the Anglican chaplain of Doha, the Rev Canon Bill Schwartz, reports.

Built on land donated by Emir Amir Hamad bin Al Thani, the Church of the Epiphany will house all of Qatar’s Protestant Christians. On March 15 over 15,000 people attended the first mass at Qatar’s first Roman Catholic Church, Our Lady of the Rosary. Christians account for approximately 10 per cent of Qatar’s 800,000 residents --- almost all of whom are foreign workers from the Philippines and India.

While public Christian worship has been held in the Persian Gulf country for almost 80 years, the two new buildings are the first purpose-built Christian churches in the emirate in the modern era. the rest

300 Schools to Close in Ontario because of Birth Rate Crash

By Hilary White
TORONTO, April 24, 2008

(LifeSiteNews.com) - Plummeting birth rates have resulted in the closure of over 300 schools in Ontario and half of the province's school boards have 90,000 fewer students than they did six years ago. 300 schools are slated to be closed in the province simply because there are not enough children to go into them according to a report by People for Education.

"Much of the funding that school boards receive is based on numbers of students," the report said. "As a result, fewer students equals less funding, fewer programs and, in many cases, closing schools." The losses in this report are in addition to the 110 school closures in Ontario between 2004 and 2005. the rest

Curse Not the Day of Small Beginnings

Sandra Gilmore

I love that particular paraphrase of Zechariah 4:10, “Curse not the day of small beginnings.” Do you have a job that is “small”, maybe even unfulfilling? Do you dread going in to work? Can’t stand your boss? Does a minute seem like an hour? (Do I sound like one of those info-mercials? Just call in the next 15 minutes and we’ll double your order . . .!)

The Scripture says to “curse not” which means, in essence, do bless the day of small beginnings. When a situation has been blessed, it has pulled the best out of something. Have you blessed your job? Have you pulled the best out of it? How can you do this? Only with God’s insight and He speaks through His Word. the rest image

Some Young Religious Voters Focus on Social Justice

By Lillian Cunningham
Medill News Service for The Associated Press
Fri, Apr. 25 2008

CHICAGO (AP) - Beau Underwood is putting his faith in politics. He's a 22-year-old at the University of Chicago Divinity School, an active member of the Disciples of Christ and — in his spare time — he's showing candidates that the path to political righteousness doesn't always veer right.

Underwood and a growing number of other young, left-leaning believers are entering the political arena as campaign aides, lobbyists, grass-root activists and engaged voters. They are trying to expand the focus of faith-based politics beyond the religious right's hot-button issues of abortion and gay marriage. And they are placing social justice issues, like poverty and war, at the intersection of their moral and political decision making. the rest

Benedict XVI, CEO

Hugh Hewitt
Thursday, April 24, 2008

Today I gave a speech to the Orange Catholic Foundation's annual Conference on Business and Ethics. After some thoughts on choosing to work with good people, treating clients with good faith, and being open to Good Samaritan moments (see the movie, The Visitor), I reviewed the baker's dozen of boardroom lessons that could be derived from Benedict XVI's extraordinarily successful visit to the U.S.

1. Patience and calm in the face of a crisis allows for an intervention at the exact moment of opportunity.Benedict has been pope for three years, and the U.S. Church in a deep crisis for far longer, but he did not rush a visit here, but waited until a moment when his presence could achieve a change in momentum. Sometimes leaders have to wait out the very worst crises or risk premature and ineffective attempts at crisis management.

2. Good planning makes for incredible successes.I was in St. Patrick's in New York on Friday at noon when the monsignor saying the noon Mass used the homily to review the incredible amount of rehearsal and preparation that went into the Saturday morning Mass at the Cathedral. And that was just one of many events, each one of which went off with an amazing precision. The pope's journey was incredibly successful because of the massive amount of practice and attention to detail that preceded it.

the rest-Excellent! image

Justice Antonin Scalia Says Constitution Neither Allows Nor Bans Abortion

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 24, 2008

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, in a CBS News interview that will air on Sunday, says the Constitution neither allows legal abortions nor does it prohibit them. Scalia has been outspoken recently about how the Constitution does not guarantee any abortion rights.

During the "60 Minutes" interview with correspondent Lesley Stahl, Scalia said the Constitution is silent on the issue of abortion.

He said he favors overturning Roe v. Wade, which has ushered in 35 years of unlimited abortions, but says states aren't forced to ban abortions if the case is reversed. the rest image

Will Methodism Tilt Right? The African evangelicals arrive.

by Mark Tooley
04/24/2008

THE GOVERNING CONVENTION of America's third largest religious body meets this week. And the results might be a pleasant surprise for conservatives.

Like the elites of other Mainline Protestant denominations, officials of the United Methodist Church have served as an amen corner for the secular left in America for more than 50 years. Episcopalians have imploded in schism since the 2003 election of their first openly homosexual bishop. Presbyterians and Lutherans are locked in gridlock over sex issues. And the more liberal-than-thou United Church of Christ has fully embraced the Rev. Jeremiah Wright as a suitable spokesman.

United Methodism, whose quadrennial General Conference convenes April 23 to May 2 in Fort Worth, is heading in a different direction. Like the other Mainline Protestants, its U.S. membership has plummeted continuously for 44 years, falling from 11 million to 7.9 million. But unlike the other Mainline Protestants, United Methodism has become an international denomination. Over 3 million United Methodists now live outside the United States, mostly in Africa, brining the church total global membership to over 11 million. Over 1 million live in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And the formerly British affiliated Methodist Church of the Ivory Coast, with over 600,000 members, has switched to U.S.-based United Methodism.

Nearly 300 of the 990 delegates who meet in Fort Worth next week will be from outside the United States, up from just 20 percent only 4 years ago. At the current rate of membership decline in the United States, and membership increase in Africa, a majority of United Methodists might soon be outside the United States. This contrasts with the U.S. Episcopal Church, which belongs to the global Anglican Communion, but whose membership is almost entirely American, and whose governing General Convention is not directly accountable to overseas Anglicans. the rest image

Faculty at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary to lose jobs

Officials at Evanston Episcopal school insist it is not closing
By Manya A. Brachear Tribune reporter
April 25, 2008

Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, one of 11 schools in the U.S. dedicated to preparing Episcopal priests, told tenured faculty on Thursday that their jobs would end next year.

Officials at the Evanston seminary insist the school is not closing, but that it is redefining its approach for preparing men and women for priesthood. Earlier this year, the school stopped accepting new candidates and advised first-year students that they should enroll in other seminaries if they wish to earn their degrees from an Episcopal institution. the rest

Episcopal leader Jefferts Schori picks predominantly gay parish for first official appearance in Dallas

By John Wright
Apr 24, 2008

The Episcopal Church of St. Thomas the Apostle was the first local parish to desegregate, one of the first local parishes to elect a woman to its governing council, and one of the first mainline churches in Dallas to open its doors to people dying from AIDS.

So perhaps it’s only fitting that on Monday, April 28, St. Thomas will be the first congregation in the Dallas Episcopal Diocese to receive a visit from Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the national church. the rest image

Southern Cone bishop lends support to breakaway Anglicans

Douglas Todd, Canwest News Service
Thursday, April 24, 2008

VANCOUVER - Why can't Canada's infighting Anglicans just love each other?

That's the question one of South America's high-level Anglicans is bringing to the country - even while he accuses Vancouver-area Anglican Bishop Michael Ingham of not being an authentic Christian for allowing the blessing of same-sex relationships.

"I tell people in Canada not to get filled up with bitterness about the homosexual issue, to just try to allow Christ's love and generosity to come through," says Gregory Venables, who was elected primate (senior archbishop) of the Southern Cone in 2001.

"There's all this silly acrimony. It's like a ping-pong game. But instead of throwing sweets around, we're throwing hand grenades," Venables said in an interview Thursday in a large home in the Oakridge neighbourhood of Vancouver, where a local Anglican has provided the prelate and his wife a place to sleep. the rest

Archbishop of Canterbury says debt is crippling the young

Joanna Sugden and Agencies
April 25, 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, struck out at Britain’s credit crisis today and said that debt was crippling young people and eroding family life.

Dr Williams attacked loan sharks who prey on the vulnerable. He also urged the Government to do something about the excessive salaries enjoyed by workers in the City.

The Archbishop, who leads a Church of England campaign to help people to manage their money, said that debt was leading to “the erosion of family life and the erosion of self-confidence among the poorest people”. the rest

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Devotional: It is only when we see things in the light of God...

Here is the great truth that, only when we see things in the light of God, do we see things as they are. It is only when we see things in the light of God that we see what things are really important, and what things are not. These things seem vastly important, things like ambition, and prestige, and money and gain, lose all their value and importance when they are seen in the light of God. Pleasures and habits and social customs which seem permissible enough, are seen for the dangerous things they are when they are seen in the light of God. Things which seem evils, hardship, toil, discipline, unpopularity, even persecution, are seen in their glory when they are seen in the light of God.
...William Barclay image

“Ubuntu” is 2009 General Convention Theme

April 24, 2008

Now that most dioceses have elected their deputations, House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson said she will increasingly dedicate her time to preparing for the 76th General Convention, which will be held July 8-17, 2009, in Anaheim, Calif.

“I will work on educating the church specifically about General Convention, our bicameral system, and our theology of governance,” she said in an address to the annual Episcopal Communicators’ Conference in Seattle recently. “The circular model of ministry – clergy, laity, bishops working together, using their gifts to be the ministers of the church that attracted me to The Episcopal Church over 35 years ago – has somewhat morphed itself into a pyramidal structure with the largest order, the laity, being at the bottom of a top-down approach to ministry.”

Mrs. Anderson, who is also chairwoman of the 17-member Joint Standing Committee on Planning and Arrangements, said the theme of the 76th General Convention will be Ubuntu, a Zulu word that describes humaneness encompassing a sense of caring, sharing and being in harmony with all of creation, according to an article in Episcopal Life, which noted that finding an exact translation for the word in English is difficult.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori told Episcopal Life that she suggested Ubuntu as the convention theme for a variety of reasons.

“Because it is unfamiliar, it may be able to invite us into a larger and more expansive way of understanding identity in community,” she said.

In comments to Episcopal Life, Mrs. Anderson said Episcopalians often struggle to describe the identity of The Episcopal Church and relationships within it. She and other planners envision a deeper understanding of the church’s identity and relationships by having convention engage in a process known as public narrative.

Marshall Ganz, lecturer in public policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School and consultant to the planning and arrangements committee, described public narrative as the art of using stories to translate articulated values into action. Mrs. Anderson has invited Prof. Ganz to explain the use of public narrative on June 16 during a meeting of Executive Council in Albuquerque, N.M. Planning and arrangements committee members, members of Executive Council, as well as other invited deputies and bishops will learn the technique during the workshop. The skills learned could have future application at the pre-convention provincial synod meetings, as well as during General Convention, according to organizers.

The transforming power of public narrative is something people have to experience, Mrs. Anderson said. “They have to get involved. They have to use it. This is a skill that needs to be developed and in developing that skill, relationships are built. The ultimate goal is to truly become a people of mission,” she added. link

Can anyone find any reference to God or Jesus or the power of the Gospel in this? The transforming power of public narrative!!!???
Arrrgh!!! -PD


Ubuntu (philosophy) - Wikipedia
Ubuntu, pronounced [ùbúntú], is an ethic or humanist philosophy focusing on people's allegiances and relations with each other. The word has its origin in the Bantu languages of Southern Africa. Ubuntu is seen as a traditional African concept.

An attempt at a longer definition has been made by
Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1999):

“ A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed."

Mueller: 'We're Losing' the Child Porn War

FBI Director Says Task Forces, More Record Retention Could Help Combat the Problem
By JASON RYAN
WASHINGTON
April 23, 2008

U.S. law enforcement is losing the battle to combat child pornography and child exploitation on the Internet, FBI Director Robert Mueller said today during a House Judiciary Committee hearing.

"We're losing," Mueller said bluntly when asked about the issues of computer crime and child pornography on the Web by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz.

"It is growing on the Internet, exponentially is probably too strong a term, but just about every crime there is has gravitated to the Internet, and in certain cases, the Internet has provided the vehicle for expansion that otherwise would not be there, and that's certainly true with child pornography," Mueller told Franks and the rest of the committee.
the rest image

San Joaquin Incorporation Likely Faces Court Test

April 23, 2008

Civil litigation to determine who is legally authorized to make decisions affecting property and other assets belonging to the Diocese of San Joaquin appears increasingly likely following a filing with the state on April 8 by the Rt. Rev. Jerry A. Lamb, who in March was appointed provisional Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.

California law provides a somewhat unique form of incorporation for church denominations. Under a “corporation sole,” there is one shareholder, one officer and one director, who are one and the same person, usually the diocesan bishop in an Episcopal diocese.

After a majority of clergy and lay delegates voted to leave The Episcopal Church and affiliate with the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone last December, Bishop John-David Schofield filed an amendment to the diocese’s charter, changing the name of the corporation from “The Protestant Episcopal Bishop of San Joaquin, a Corporation Sole” to “The Anglican Bishop of San Joaquin, a Corporation Sole.” the rest

Singing priests to become chart stars

Anita Singh
24/04/2008

Three singing priests are set to become unlikely chart stars after signing a £1 million record deal with the label behind Britney Spears and Bruce Springsteen.

Fathers Eugene O'Hagan, Martin O'Hagan and David Delargy make a somewhat unusual boyband, but executives at record giant Sony BMG have every faith in their talents.

They are set to release a debut album under the name The Priests which will include parts of the Latin Mass, the traditional Catholic hymns, Ave Maria and Panis Angelicus, and a selection of opera classics.

The trio - dubbed 'Father Ted meets Westlife' - travelled from their parishes in the diocese of Down and Connor, Northern Ireland, today to sign their record contract on the steps of Westminster Cathedral in London. the rest image

Video

eHarmony and 'one-night stands' incompatible

Jim Brown
OneNewsNow
4/24/2008

eHarmony has retracted a column advocating "one-night stands" after a newlywed Christian couple who met on the popular website accused the online dating service of departing from its "Christian, pro-marriage beginnings" and embracing the "hook-up" culture.

J.P. and Amanda Duffy say on their wedding day last November, they shared with their family and friends how they had met through eHarmony and "praised the matching service for promoting healthy, life-long marriage relationships." But their high view of eHarmony changed last week when they learned its most recent e-newsletter included an article titled "Navigating the one-night stand."the rest image

Muslim Rioters Attack Christians in Kano, Nigeria

Written by Obed Minchakpu
Wednesday, 23 April 2008

KANO, Nigeria,--(Compass Direct News) – Hundreds of Muslims took to the streets of this northern Nigerian city on Sunday (April 20), attacking Christians and their shops and setting vehicles on fire on claims that a Christian had blasphemed Muhammad, the prophet of Islam.

Thousands of Christians were trapped in churches until police dispersed rioters. Fearing that Muslims may attack again, many Christians have relocated to army and police barracks in the city. An as yet unidentified Christian was said to have written an inscription on a shop wall that disparaged the prophet of Islam. Muslims at a market in the Sabon Garia area of the city reportedly attacked the Christian, whom police rescued and took to the area police station. the rest

How Gay Activism Shapes U.S. Politics

By Heather Sells
CBN News Reporter
April 23, 2008

CBNNews.com - He's considered to be America's biggest gay donor. And his out-of-the-box political strategies are reshaping public policy in the areas of marriage, family and gay rights.

You probably haven't heard the name Tim Gill. And that's just the way he wants it.

Carrie Earll, Senior Director of Issues Analysis for Focus on the Family explains, "Tim Gill is stealth. He's under the radar. When he goes after a candidate he doesn't make homosexuality the issue. He picks something else because he knows the issue of homosexuality is still risky among the electorate." the rest

Another excerpt:
Perhaps one of Gill's smartest strategies is staying behind the scenes. In Albany, CBN News had a hard time finding a lawmaker who knew his name, let alone anything about his influence.

Even the hard-charging Senate Majority leader Joseph Bruno who stands to lose the most knew little - at least before CBN News alerted him.

When we asked Bruno about Gill he said he was not "intimately aware" of him. But on hearing of his campaign contribution to the Senate Democrats, Bruno asserted, "we're not going to be influenced by pressure from people from out of state and especially just trying to jam and ram legislation through the legislature with dollars."

Infanticide candidate for president

By Nat Hentoff
April 24, 2008

Excerpt:
I admire much of Obama's record, including what he wrote in "The Audacity of Hope" about the Founders' "rejection of all forms of absolute authority, whether the king, the theocrat, the general, the oligarch, the dictator, the majority ... George Washington declined the crown because of this impulse."

But on abortion, Obama is an extremist. He has opposed the Supreme Court decision that finally upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act against that form of infanticide. Most startlingly, for a professed humanist, Obama — in the Illinois Senate — also voted against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. I have reported on several of those cases when, before the abortion was completed, an alive infant was suddenly in the room. It was disposed of as a horrified nurse who was not necessarily pro-life followed the doctors' orders to put the baby in a pail or otherwise get rid of the child.

As a longtime columnist, John Leo has written of this form of fatal discrimination, these "mistakes" during an abortion, once born, cannot be "killed or allowed to die simply because they are unwanted."
the rest image

British Anglican leaders warn Zimbabwe on brink of catastrophe

British Anglican leaders warn Zimbabwe on brink of catastrophe
LONDON, April 24 (AFP)

Zimbabwe is on the brink of "national disintegration" and could face the sort of communal violence seen in Rwanda and Kenya, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York warned on Thursday.

Rowan Williams, the leader of the worldwide Anglican communion, and Ugandan-born John Sentamu added their voices to calls for an arms embargo against Zimbabwe and urged the international community to find a solution to the post-election crisis.

The archbishops said the electoral process in Zimbabwe was now "without credibility" because of vote-rigging, violence and delays in announcing results from the March 29 vote. the rest


Torture victims seen in Zimbabwe
By Geoff Hill
April 24, 2008

JOHANNESBURG — Doctors at a secret medical center set up in Harare say they have been inundated with patients suffering burns, beatings and wounds received during torture sessions by youth militia and aging veterans loyal to President Robert Mugabe.

A doctor at the clinic who asked not to be named told The Washington Times that he and his staff were working "impossible hours" to cope with admissions.

"All the private clinics across the country are receiving people burned, whipped and women who have been raped by militias," he said.
the rest

Ban on Genetic-Test Bias May Pass Senate

By Rick Weiss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 24, 2008

Capping 13 years of political wrangling, the Senate today is slated to pass landmark legislation that would prevent employers and health insurance companies from discriminating against people on the basis of genetic test results.

The House and Senate have passed similar legislation on several occasions over the years, but never in the same congressional session. Now, a number of political and economic forces have converged to assure passage, several Hill sources said yesterday. They include the decision of Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) to put the legislation on the front burner, and the growing use of DNA tests in modern health care. the rest

Two Retired Female Anglican priests-legally married -- in a nursing home

Pioneering women make statement about justice, equality
The Province
Thursday, April 24, 2008

VICTORIA -- With popping corks and tinkling glasses, with laughter and with tears, Ruth Pogson, 83, and Beth Aime, 79, exchanged simple loving vows in Island View nursing home yesterday.

The two retired Anglican priests, committed to each other since 1995, wanted to make the reality of their relationship legal, said Pogson.

"In the church, ritual is important as rites of passage. And this for us is a rite of passage. It's a whole new stage of life. It changes everything," she said.

Pogson and Aime were married in a civil ceremony in front of a small group of family and friends. the rest

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Devotional: We have no right to judge where we should be put...

Beware of any work for God which enables you to evade concentration on Him. A great many Christian workers worship their work. The one concern of a worker should be concentration on God, and this will mean that all the other margins of life, mental, moral and spiritual, are free with the freedom of a child, a worshipping child, not a wayward child. A worker without this solemn dominant note of concentration on God is apt to get his work on his neck; there is no margin of body, mind or spirit free, consequently he becomes spent out and crushed. There is no freedom, no delight in life; nerves, mind and heart are so crushingly burdened that God's blessing cannot rest. But the other side is just as true - when once the concentration is on God, all the margins of life are free and under the dominance of God alone. There is no responsibility on you for the work; the only responsibility you have is to keep in living constant touch with God, and to see that you allow nothing to hinder your co-operation with Him. The freedom after sanctification is the freedom of a child, the things that used to keep the life pinned down are gone. But be careful to remember that you are freed for one thing only - to be absolutely devoted to your co-Worker.

We have no right to judge where we should be put, or to have preconceived notions as to what God is fitting us for. God engineers everything; wherever He puts us our one great aim is to pour out a whole-hearted devotion to Him in that particular work. "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might." ...Oswald Chambers
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Benedict's Secret

April 27-May 3, 2008 Issue
National Catholic Register
Legionary Father John Bartunek

Two things stand out from the Pope’s visit. First, his power of attraction. From the welcoming ceremony at the White House to the Youth Rally in New York, Benedict XVI drew tremendous, overflowing crowds. And their size was matched by their enthusiasm.

The thousands of priests and religious who gathered with him in St. Patrick’s Cathedral gushed with three separate standing ovations and deafening applause that went on, and on, and on. The U.N. General Assembly gave him a standing ovation. The 20,000 young people who squeezed onto the rally lawn at Dunwoodie cheered so loudly and so often that the elderly Pope spent more time grinning than talking.

How to explain such power of attraction? the rest image

Eleven clergy resign in New Westminster

Solange De Santis
staff writer
Apr 23, 2008

Eleven members of the clergy in the Vancouver-based diocese of New Westminster on April 21 resigned due to theological conflicts with the diocese and Bishop Michael Ingham, but said they intend to continue their parish ministry under the jurisdiction of an Anglican province in South America.

The nine priests and two deacons, in a letter to Bishop Ingham, said “it is our intention to remain members of the Anglican church” but “we cannot continue the Anglican ministry to which we were ordained under your jurisdiction.” the rest

Kidzui: New Internet browser for kids designed to screen out the bad stuff

Kidzui is an Internet browser and service that preapproves and categorizes approved Internet sites based on an age appropriateness. Parents are given a password protected control account that allows further customization of approved content for their children. A free trial download is available. The system supports Windows and Macintosh.

The content policy page is here.

This certainly seems like a great idea if it is implemented well. Any parents familiar with this product are encouraged to post comments below. link

Schori Interview: Episcopal bishop wades into issues

By JANET I. TU
The Seattle Times
April 23. 2008

SEATTLE — She was an oceanographer who once worked in Seattle before she became a priest, then a bishop and, eventually, head of her national denomination.

Now, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has a chance to merge the two parts of her life.

Jefferts Schori, 54, who heads the Episcopal Church in the United States, came to Seattle for a conference recently, urging her denomination — and those of other faith traditions — to take action on climate change.

One goal is for national religious assemblies to commit to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by 50 percent in 10 years at every church, synagogue or facility they maintain. the rest

Archbishop of Canterbury pleads for prayers for Lambeth Conference



Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent of The Times
April 23, 2008

For more click here to read Ruth Gledhill's blog on the lead up to Lambeth

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has issued a plea for prayers to be said all over the world to prevent this summer’s meeting of hundreds of Anglican bishops from being “besieged by problems”.

Dr Williams, whose communion of 75 million Anglicans is facing a rift over the issues of gay ordinations and same-sex blessings, says in an online broadcast that the three-week Lambeth Conference in Canterbury in July is intended to equip bishops for their “mission”.

In a video message to the entire church posted on YouTube, Dr Williams says his aim in planning the conference has been to make it essentially a “spiritual encounter”. He says this the conference should not be “a time when we are being besieged by problems that need to be solved and statements that need to be finalised, but a time when people feel that they are growing in their ministry.” the rest

Nigeria: Archbishop Denies Attack On Homosexuals

23 April 2008
Abuja

Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi, of the Jos province, (Anglican Communion), has denied allegations that the leader of a group representing "Anglican" homosexuals in the country was attacked.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Abuja, Kwashi rebuffed a statement credited to the Archbishop of Canterbury (ABC) on the alleged attack.

Kwashi was reacting to an allegation by Mr Davis Mac-Iyalla, leader of Changing Attitude Nigeria, that homosexuals were being physically assaulted in the country.

Iyalla had requested the intervention of the ABC as the 'spiritual leader' of the global Anglican Communion.

According to Kwashi, the ABC criticised the alleged assaults on gay Anglicans in Nigeria , describing it as " latest round of unchristian bullying ."

However, the Jos archbishop said: "I have personally tried to discover the place or nature of the attacks and threats without success. the rest

Related: Changing Attitudes’ Latest Charge of Syringe “Attack”: FALSE

Muslims scholars want to replace Greenwich with Makkah Time

04/22/2008

QATAR -A proposal to replace GMT is made at a conference titled “Makkah, the Centre of the Earth, Theory and Practice” attended by Muslim clerics and scientists.

Doha (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Muslim scientists and clerics have called for the adoption of Makkah time in lieu of GMT, arguing that the Saudi city is the true centre of the Earth. The call was issued at a conference held in the Gulf state of Qatar under the title: Makkah, the Centre of the Earth, Theory and Practice. the rest image

Sacramento-area church wins summary judgment in property ownership lawsuit against presbytery

By Patrick Jean
Staff Writer
The Layman Online
Monday, April 21, 2008

One down, one to go. That's the feeling after a victory in court for one of two large churches in Sacramento Presbytery that are seeking to leave the Presbyterian Church (USA) with their properties for the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

A judge ruled April 8 in favor of the motion for a summary judgment filed six months earlier by First Presbyterian Church in Roseville, Calif., which had been seeking quiet title to its property, as well as declaratory and injunctive relief, since March 2007. She also ruled against a competing motion for a summary judgment filed by the presbytery.
the rest

Chinese rearrest businessman for printing Christian materials

Apr 22, 2008 by Staff

BEIJING (BP)--Shi Weihan, a Chinese bookstore owner in Beijing, has been rearrested for publishing Bibles and Christian literature during a time when a shortage of such materials has been reported in China.

Shi, a 37-year-old father of two daughters, was taken into custody for a second time March 19 and has been held without family visits, China Aid Association said in a news release April 22.

"His wife said she received no word on her husband's condition, and she has been prevented from bringing any food or change of clothing since his rearrest," Daniel Burton, a spokesman for China Aid, told Baptist Press. "She is very concerned about his health due to his diabetes and the deprivation and torture that's often used by Public Security Bureau officials on the arrested." the rest

46 Christians Arrested in Kashi, Xinjiang; 2 Detained for 15 Days

Big rise in Italian doctors refusing to perform abortions

ROME (AFP) — Nearly 70 percent of Italian gynecologists now refuse to perform abortions on moral grounds and the number is increasing, a report by the country's ministry of health said Tuesday.

Abortion was legalised in 1978 in Italy but pressure from the Vatican -- which is strongly opposed to abortion -- enabled doctors to claim a "conscientious objection" clause and refuse to carry out terminations.

Between 2003 and 2007 the number of gynecologists claiming the conscience clause to avoid carrying out abortions rose from 58.7 percent to 69.2 percent, according to the report. the rest

Pennsylvania Church-Goers Turn Their Backs on Obama

By Terence P. Jeffrey
CNSNews.com Editor in Chief
April 23, 2008

(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-Ill.) soundly defeated Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) among church-going voters in Tuesday's Pennsylvania presidential primary, exposing a potential weakness in the Democratic frontrunner among northern church-going voters, particularly Catholics, who have been a key swing vote in recent presidential elections.

Clinton beat Obama in Pennsylvania among all voters who said they attend church, even if they do so only a few times a year, according to the exit poll conducted for the major television networks. Obama, by contrast, beat Clinton among voters who said they never go to church. (See Pennsylvania exit poll) the rest image

United Methodists to Debate Transgender Clergy

Church court in October backed pastor who underwent sex change.
Religion News Service
4/22/2008

The decades-old discussion of sexuality in the United Methodist Church will include a new wrinkle — transgender laypeople and clergy — when the nation's second-largest Protestant denomination meets next week in Texas.

Methodists will meet for their quadrennial General Conference from April 23-May 2 in Fort Worth, Texas. Beyond sexuality, they are expected to discuss possible divestment from companies operating in Israel, questions related to their increasingly international membership, and possible statements on the Iraq war.

Resolutions related to sexuality and gender number in the hundreds, but an increasing number deal with transgender people after the church's highest court permitted Baltimore pastor Drew Phoenix to remain in his pulpit. Gender change had not been addressed in the church's constitution, the Judicial Council ruled last October. the rest

Oprah's 'Church' Video Draws Over 5 Million to YouTube



By Elena Garcia
Christian Post Reporter
Wed, Apr. 23 2008

A YouTube video which features talk show host Oprah Winfrey denying Jesus as the only way to God and promoting New Age ideas has received over 5 million views and is still climbing.

The under seven-minute video montage, entitled "The Church of Oprah Exposed," was posted about month ago and has since claimed the Top Favorites spot in the Web site's News & Politics category.

According to statistics posted on YouTube, the latest streams of visitors are coming from PerezHilton.com, a Hollywood gossip blog. The author of the blog wrote that "crazy Christians" are behind the effort to demonize Oprah as a "conduit of evil."

But many Christians say New Age teachings espoused by Oprah in the video are a cause for concern. They believe the day-time host is distorting Christianity and leading many into spiritual confusion.

the rest

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin Gives Birth to Down Baby Despite Abortion Pressure

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 22, 2008

Juneau, AK (LifeNews.com) -- As many as 80 percent of unborn children diagnosed with Down syndrome become victims of abortion, but Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin didn't let her child become a statistic. Palin, who has deeply-felt pro-life views, gave birth to her fifth child this week and the baby was diagnosed with the condition.

On Tuesday, Palin confirmed her baby, named Trig Paxson, has Down syndrome.

"Trig is beautiful and already adored by us," Palin said in a statement LifeNews.com obtained.
"We knew through early testing he would face special challenges, and we feel privileged that God would entrust us with this gift and allow us unspeakable joy as he entered our lives," she said. the rest image

Deputies President Seeks Input on Covenant

April 22, 2008

Bonnie Anderson, president of the House of Deputies, has written to all deputies to General Convention to enlist their help in preserving the three-fold form of governance under which The Episcopal Church is currently structured.

“In The Episcopal Church, the belief that God speaks uniquely through bishops, laity, priests and deacons, enables our participatory structure and allows a fullness of revelation and insight that must not be lost in this important time of discernment,” she wrote in an e-mail letter sent April 21 to deputies and first alternates. “The joint work of the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops is the institutional expression of this belief.

“It is thus crucially important that our bishops go to Lambeth with a sense of where their General Convention deputations (and their diocese) are with respect to the current state of the Anglican Covenant.” the rest

Pro-Family Coalition Urges 'Day of Silence Walkout'

WASHINGTON, April 22 /Christian Newswire/ -- This Friday, April 25, 2008, the pro-homosexual indoctrination of children in our public schools comes to a boil. Homosexual activists and like-minded liberal educators will be pushing the so-called "Day of Silence" on kids in thousands of schools across the country.

The "Day of Silence" (DOS) is organized by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), one of the most militant and well-funded of the powerful homosexual pressure groups. DOS purports to confront the alleged systematic harassment and bullying of children who self-identify as homosexual, bisexual or "transgender." (For a sampling of the kinds of things GLSEN teaches children, click here.)

To be sure, bullying and harassment should not be tolerated against anyone, anywhere, for any reason, and those who engage in such activities should be firmly disciplined. However, DOS has very little to do with "bullying" and has everything to do with propaganda. the rest

Mohler vs. Gene Robinson: Symposium on Homosexuality and Religion

April 22, 2008
by Josh Montez

The American Psychiatric Association has agreed to host a discussion on religion and therapy for homosexuality. Next month they'll bring in conservative theologians and pro-gay voices to duke it out in two debates.

When it comes to the kinds of counseling therapists can ethically offer those struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction, the Psychiatric Association usually takes its cues from the gay community. But a spiritual component will be offered by Dr. Al Mohler of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Spokesman Bob Stith.

“The APA is getting, I believe, a lot of pressure from within their own ranks of people who feel that they are shutting out the religious dimension. I think they are beginning to heed that.”
The highlight of the event will be a debate between Mohler and gay Episcopal Bishop, Gene Robinson.

“There are a lot of general statements made that if you take it apart, it doesn’t hold water," says Stith. "And Dr. Mohler’s very good at being able to do that. I think he’s going to be very good at being able to diffuse both the theological smokescreen and the fact that the actual science doesn’t support what they say it does.”

Robinson was not available for comment. On the under-card is another debate between pro-gay psychiatrist, David Scasta and Dr. Warren Throckmorton of Grove City College.

“I think what this symposium signals is that religion as a core variable of personality is being taken more and more seriously them at the health professions.”

The symposium will take place in Washington DC on May 5th. the rest

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Devotional: A genuine revival without joy...

A genuine revival without joy in the Lord is as impossible as spring without flowers, or day-dawn without light. ...CH Spurgeon image

The Split Widens: Archbishop Venables-Leader of Traditional Anglicans to Speak in Vancouver Friday

By Hilary White

VANCOUVER, April 22, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - This weekend, the Anglican Network in Canada will welcome one of the leading lights in the movement within the Worldwide Anglican Communion to steer the denomination away from the left-liberal and anti-family direction taken by its North American and British branches. Archbishop Gregory Venables will speak at a conference in Delta British Columbia, which is being organised by the Anglican Network as part of the group's efforts to build a coalition of biblically-faithful Anglican parishes and individuals in Canada.

The primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Fred Hiltz, wrote a public letter to Venables on Monday asking him to "stop interfering" in the Canadian branch of the church.

"While we recognized that your motivation may be pastoral," Hiltz wrote, "there was a strong consensus that your visit at this time will further harm the strained relations between the Anglican Church of Canada and the Anglican Network in Canada."

The National Post reports that Archbishop Venables responded by asking if Hiltz' letter was a "publicity stunt". the rest

ENS: Ohio Bishop comments on lawsuit filed against breakaway congregations

By Joe Bjordal
April 22, 2008

[Episcopal News Service] Saying that "we have a canonical, fiduciary and moral responsibility to protect and preserve," the Right Rev. Mark Hollingsworth, Jr., Bishop of Ohio, has made his first public comment on a lawsuit filed in late March against five congregations that have separated themselves from the Diocese of Ohio and the Episcopal Church.

Bishop Hollingsworth noted there have been "extensive negotiations," but that the parties are at an impasse on questions of property ownership.

"In order to achieve the mutually respectful resolution we have sought all along, we need clarification from the court regarding who has the responsibility of ownership in these deliberations," said Hollingsworth.

"This is not a change in our commitment, but the next necessary and reasonable step," he said. the rest



Vatican cardinal weighs in on pro-abortion politicians and Communion

California Marriage Amendment Headed to Ballot

by Jennifer Mesko, managing editor
4-22-2008

'We look for Christians to stand up, to represent biblical truth and God's will for marriage.'
Five months and 1.1 million signatures later, the California marriage amendment is headed to the November ballot.

The last of the petitions are being boxed up and will be delivered to county registrars around the state this week.

Ron Prentice, executive director of the California Family Council, said he was "thrilled."

"The fact that we will turn in 1.1 million signatures is unprecedented, coming from the grassroots and the churches of this state," he said. "We know that the road ahead will be especially quarrelsome, but we look for Christians to stand up, to represent biblical truth and God's will for marriage." the rest

AnglicanTV: Interviews from Western Anglicans

Here

Canadian Anglican Clergy (JI Packer) deny charges

Clergy in six Lower Mainland Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) churches today denied charges they have abandoned their ministry.
April 22, 2008
Anglican Network in Canada
21 April 2008

In February, Bishop Michael Ingham of the Anglican Church of Canada Diocese of New Westminster issued a “Notice of Presumption of Abandonment of the Exercise of the Ministry” to nine Anglican priests and two ordained deacons. These priests and deacons – including world renowned theologian, the Rev Dr J I Packer – all serve in churches where parishioners had voted to join the Anglican Network in Canada.

In their response, the clergy and deacons point out the glaring lack of evidence as required by church canons (bylaws). They then declare that they continue to be actively engaged in the Anglican ministry to which they were ordained and intend to continue to minister in the Anglican Church – however, not under the jurisdiction of Bishop Ingham and his diocese, both of which have departed from historic orthodox Anglican teaching and practice in defiance of the Lambeth Conference, the Windsor Report and the Primates of the global Anglican Communion. the rest image

Statement by Nine Anglican Network in Canada Clergy to Bishop Michael Ingham

Diocese of New Westminster:
Archbishop of Canterbury recognizes only Anglican Church of Canada

Southern Cone Primate, Already En Route, Urged to Cancel Canada Visit

April 22, 2008

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has written Presiding Bishop Gregory Venables, Primate of the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone, asking him to cancel his April 25-26 visit to a
conference in Vancouver sponsored by the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC).

But a spokesman for Bishop Venables told The Living Church April 21 that he had already departed for his overseas trip, and Bishop Venables later said he planned to go through with the visit because he would not be ministering to or with members of the Anglican Church of Canada.

“Your visit to Canada is without any reference to or consent from my office or that of the Bishop of the Diocese of New Westminster,” Archbishop Hiltz wrote in a letter dated April 21. “This represents a breach in what is considered normative in protocol among primates and bishops throughout the Communion.

“I brought this matter before the House of Bishops’ meeting in Niagara Falls, Ont., last week. While we recognized that your motivation may be pastoral, there was a strong consensus that your visit at this time will further harm the strained relations between the Anglican Church of Canada and the Anglican Network in Canada.”

The rest at The Living Church

Canada: Anglican primate blasts South American rival
MICHAEL VALPY
April 22, 2008

Leaders of the Anglican Church in Canada and South America drew beads on each other yesterday with Canadian primate Fred Hiltz posting a letter on the Internet telling South America's Gregory Venables to stay out of the country and Archbishop Venables icily criticizing Archbishop Hiltz's manners in reply.

"My number is there on the Anglican Communion network," Archbishop Venables said in a telephone interview from Buenos Aires. "I mean, this is only my humble opinion, but if somebody really wants to talk to me, they can pick up the phone and talk to me.

"Do you write a personal letter, between primates, on the Internet if you seriously want a personal dialogue?" the rest

Anglican leader pulls rival's welcome mat