Saturday, May 17, 2008

Devotional: All hail, adorèd Trinity...

All hail, adorèd Trinity;
All hail, eternal Unity;
O God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, ever One.

Behold to Thee, this festal day,
We meekly pour our thankful lay;
O let our work accepted be,
That sweetest work of praising Thee.

Three Persons praise we evermore,
One only God our hearts adore;
In Thy sure mercy ever kind
May we our true protection find.

O Trinity! O Unity!
Be present as we worship Thee;
And with the songs that angels sing
Unite the hymns of praise we bring.
Unk­nown au­thor, 11th Cen­tury image

Anglican Men's Weekend 2008 Archbishop Henry Orombi Talk 1

Here

Pope restates gay marriage ban after California vote

Fri May 16, 2008
By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict, speaking a day after a California court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, firmly restated on Friday the Roman Catholic Church's position that only unions between a man and a woman are moral.

Benedict made no mention of the California decision in his speech to family groups from throughout Europe, but stressed the Church's position several times.

"The union of love, based on matrimony between a man and a woman, which makes up the family, represents a good for all society that can not be substituted by, confused with, or compared to other types of unions," he said. the rest

Church of Ireland General Synod: Speech on Changing Attitude

May 16th, 2008
By Dermot O’Callaghan

Dermot O’Callaghan has been a member of the General Synod of the Church of Ireland for over thirty years. His speech was greeted with warm applause by most of the 400 members of General Synod.

Archbishop and members of Synod

I would like to ask if any criteria will be applied in permitting organisations to exhibit on stands at Synod in 2009.

I believe in freedom of speech, but I am concerned at some of the doctrines being promoted by the organisation called Changing Attitude. I should say that (a member of Changing Attitude) was on duty yesterday at the CA stand, and I had a long friendly chat with him. He knows that my concerns are driven by compassion, not homophobia. Indeed I met him again this afternoon and said that I intended to make a speech against CA, but that he should know that it was not against him personally. I asked him to pray for me as I made my speech, and he promised to do so.

The current CA Newsletter (Spring 2008, No.40, available free on the CA stand at Synod) contains a defence by Rev Colin Coward of CA’s document called Sexual Ethics. He describes it as “a well-written, serious contribution” to the church’s debate on sexual ethics.

The document says that:

-exploration of our sexual selves can be something which benefits from involvement with more than one person
-serial commitments and serial faithfulness may be a more realistic aspiration than permanent faithful stable relationships - clearly moving on from Jeffrey John’s position.

These are deadly doctrines. (Last night I rang my wife and asked how she would react if I ‘changed my attitude’ and proposed to involve more than one person in my sex life. I thought she would say she would have my guts for garters, but she said simply, “I would just walk. No woman would put up with such a thing.”

the rest at Anglican Mainstream

Thousands flee as China lake bank feared broken

By John Ruwitch and Jason Li
Reuters
Saturday, May 17, 2008

BEICHUAN, China (Reuters) - Thousands of Chinese fled to the hills on Saturday amid fears a lake formed near the epicenter of this week's earthquake would burst its banks.

The water level at the lake formed after aftershocks blocked a river was rising rapidly in Beichuan and "may burst its bank at any time," the official Xinhua news agency said.

A paramilitary officer told Reuters the likelihood of the lake bursting its banks was "extremely big."

A witness said by telephone the military was evacuating everyone in Beichuan, even rescue workers. the rest

China on alert for nuclear accidents after quake

China earthquake death toll rises to 28881

China's old ways shaken by quake-LA Times

Abortion debate: Gordon Brown warned that abortion limit will be cut to 22 weeks

The abortion limit will almost certainly be cut to 22 weeks when Parliament votes next week, Labour whips have warned Gordon Brown.
By Rosa Prince, Political Correspondent
16/05/2008

This week, the Prime Minister voiced his opposition to any reduction in the 24-week limit, saying he would vote against attempts by pro-life MPs to change the law.

MPs of all parties will have a free vote on amendments on abortion tabled to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, which comes before the House of Commons on Tuesday, meaning they can vote according to their consciences. the rest

Australia: Church split over woman bishop

Gail Williams
May 17, 2008

A BREAKAWAY group of Anglicans will snub the historic ordination of Australia's first woman bishop, West Australian Kay Goldsworthy, this week.

They claim the event is the death of traditional religion as stated in the Bible.

Kay Goldsworthy -- who will become assistant bishop to Archbishop Roger Herft -- is being consecrated amid pomp and theatre in a ceremony in St George's Cathedral on Thursday.

As the church loses relevance and the number of worshipping Anglicans dwindles around Australia, the ceremony is being described by those who have waited 30 years for the moment as a big cause for celebration.

For others, it means "disaster''. the rest

Episcopal Seminaries Struggle With Costs

Long-Held Training Model Faces an Uncertain Future
By G. Jeffrey MacDonald
Religion News Service
Saturday, May 17, 2008

In the cloistered world of Episcopal seminaries, time sometimes seems to stand still as clergy-in-training gather in stone chapels to pray in ways familiar to their forebears centuries earlier.

But the semblance of timelessness can be deceiving.

Some of the 11 seminaries affiliated with the Episcopal Church are slashing core programs, while others report rapid growth in enrollment. Still others are reexamining conventional wisdom about what it takes -- and how much it costs -- to shape a faithful priest.

The Episcopal method of training clergy "is a very expensive way to do theological education," said Daniel Aleshire, executive director of the Pittsburgh-based Association of Theological Schools. "There is significant financial stress in the Episcopal seminary system." the rest

Anglican Acceptance of both Abortion and Sanctity of Life will Allow the Creation of a Gay Church: Gene Robinson

By Hilary White

LONDON, May 16, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Anglican Church is the perfect vehicle for creating a new “gay” Christianity by virtue of the fact that it is the only church that accepts the logical contradiction of asserting both the sanctity of human life and the existence of a right to abortion.

Episcopal bishop Gene Robinson, whose ordination to the episcopate has precipitated the ongoing schism between traditionally Christian Anglicans and its ultra-liberal, secularized branches, is in London to talk about his vision for the homosexual future of the Anglican Church. He was visiting and promoting his cause in preparation for the upcoming Lambeth Conference in July.

He told an admiring audience in Putney, in southwest London, that Anglicanism is uniquely suited to the establishment of the contradiction of homosexual Christianity. “The Anglican tradition is uniquely capable of holding two seemingly contradictory ideas together. Its position on abortion, for example is that all human life is sacred. And, that no one has the right to tell a woman what to do with her body. Both are true,” he said. the rest image

Cardinal's warning over Anglican disunity

Saturday, 17th May 2008
by George Conger

THE ANGLICAN Communion’s divisions over doctrine and discipline are a hindrance to Christian unity, a top Vatican official said last week. In an interview with the Catholic Herald, Cardinal Walter Kasper, the president of the Pontifical Council of Christian Unity, urged Anglicans to put their house in order.

The Roman Catholic Church would “work and pray” for clarity from the Anglican Communion on the divisive issues of doctrine and discipline that were dividing the church, he said. He urged this summer’s Lambeth Conference, where he will address the gathered bishops, to settle its disputes over homosexuality as it was “not sustainable to keep pushing decision-making back because it only extends the crisis.”

Cardinal Kasper said the divisions within Anglicanism were theological and structural. “It is a question of the identity of the Anglican Church. Where does it belong?”

"Does it belong more to the churches of the first millennium -- Catholic and Orthodox -- or does it belong more to the Protestant churches of the 16th century? At the moment it is somewhere in between, but it must clarify its identity now and that will not be possible without certain difficult decisions,” he said. the rest image

Episcopalian [sic] bishops urge unity, say feuds distract from work

Gay ordination is still hot topic
By BOB SMIETANA
Staff Writer
May 17, 2008

The ongoing struggle over differing interpretations of Scripture has a stranglehold on the worldwide Anglican Communion.

On one side are conservative bishops, particularly from Uganda, Nigeria and Rwanda. They believe the Episcopal Church has lost its biblical moorings, so they have teamed up with breakaway U.S. congregations, such as Faith Anglican Fellowship in Murfreesboro and Christ the King Anglican Church in Winchester. the rest

Los Angeles County gearing up for homosexual marriage licenses

By Jean-Paul Renaud
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
May 17, 2008

Marriage license officials across Southern California scrambled Friday to prepare for an anticipated crush of same-sex couples rushing to the altar now that the Supreme Court has lifted the state's gay marriage ban.

In Los Angeles County, supervisors asked Dean C. Logan, acting registrar-recorder and county clerk, to report back Tuesday on what needs to be done before the order takes effect. the rest

Friday, May 16, 2008

Devotional: Content yourself with leading a simple life...

Content yourself with leading a simple life according to your circumstances. For the rest, obey the Lord and bear your little daily crosses. You need them, and God gives them to you only out of pure mercy. The great thing is to make light of yourself sincerely, and to consent to be made light of by others if God permits it. Nourish yourself with him alone. ...Francois Fenelon image

Trinity School for Ministry: The Rev. Dr. Justyn Terry Named Dean and President

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ambridge, PA

(May 16, 2008) – The Trinity School for Ministry Board of Trustees announced today that the Rev. Dr. Justyn Terry has accepted an enthusiastic call by the board to become the new Dean and President, succeeding the Rt. Rev. Dr. John H. Rodgers, Trinity’s second Dean and President, who left retirement to serve as Interim Dean/President beginning in August 2007.

Chairman of the Board of Trustees the Rev. Canon David Roseberry said, “The Lord has blessed us indeed, as Justyn will assume the awesome responsibility of Trinity’s vital role as a bearer of an orthodox evangelical witness in North America.” the rest image

Rt. Rev. Jane Alexander: New Anglican bishop 'will play by the rules'

Don Retson
Friday, May 16, 2008

EDMONTON - Edmonton's new Anglican bishop won't be bending the rules in the local diocese for gay couples wishing to exchange marital vows in church.

"Basically, I'm a play-by-the-rules girl," the Rt. Rev. Jane Alexander said.

"At the present time the national church has said we're going to talk about this and we will vote again and look at this in 2010. And so that's what we'll do." the rest

CANA Expands as New Church Leaders Are Ordained to the Priesthood and to the Diaconate

via email-press release

HERNDON, Va. (May 16, 2008) – The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) will ordain five candidates to the Sacred Priesthood and three candidates to the Sacred Order of Deacons on Saturday, May 17. The candidates represent five Virginia parishes and Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester , N.Y. The celebrant and ordaining bishop is the Rt. Rev’d David Bena, Suffragan Bishop of CANA, who will perform the ordinations at a 1:00 pm service at The Falls Church, in Falls Church , Va.

“ CANA is committed to providing the church with the next generation of American Anglican clergy who are well-trained, Spirit-filled, and mission driven. These new ordinands are certainly no exception. The fact that CANA ’s 60 congregations with an average Sunday attendance of 8,600 are thriving, despite relentless opposition and some of the largest lawsuits ever mounted by The Episcopal Church, speaks volumes to the faith of our parishioners and our commitment to the Scriptural foundation of the Anglican tradition,” said CANA Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns.

On Saturday evening, five candidates who were ordained to the diaconate in October of 2007 will be ordained to the priesthood, including: the Rev’d Robert Hillis Fickley, the Rev’d James Levi Guthrie, Jr., and the Rev’d Charles Larry Shrum all of the Falls Church in Falls Church, Va., the Rev’d James Walter Brown of Church of the Messiah in Chesapeake, Va., and the Rev’d William Edwin Wilson of Church of Our Saviour, Oatlands in the Leesburg, Va., area.

In addition, Vanessa A. Bickle of Church of the Apostles in Fairfax , Va. , John Elgin Kurcina of Christ the King in Alexandria , Va. , and Jeffrey Harrison Altman of Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester , N.Y. , will be ordained to the diaconate.

“This ordination ceremony is yet another testament to the tremendous growth that CANA is experiencing. We are grateful for the commitment these new clergy members have made to serve God’s church and to stand firm in orthodox Anglican faith. We are also blessed by numerous other applicants who have expressed interest in ordination through CANA as we look forward to building our ministry in the days ahead,” concluded Bishop Minns.

The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (www.canaconvocation.org)


ADV Welcomes New Clergy Members
press release

FAIRFAX , Va. (May 16, 2008) – The Anglican District of Virginia (ADV) is celebrating the ordinations of several new clergy members who will be ministering to its member parishes. The candidates for ordination will be ordained by the Rt. Rev’d David Bena, Suffragan Bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) at 1:00 pm on Saturday, May 17. Seven of the candidates to be ordained at The Falls Church in Falls Church , Va. , are from ADV member parishes.

“We are pleased to welcome these highly qualified clergy members into the ranks of our collective parish leadership and to celebrate this achievement with them. This new growth is a testament to the boldness and faith of our local clergy and parishioners who will continue to hold fast to the authority of Scripture,” said Jim Oakes, vice-chairman of ADV.

CANA Suffragan Bishop David Bena added, “It will be an honor to ordain these faithful servants to the priesthood and to the diaconate. We are grateful these strong, Bible-centered Anglicans have chosen to minister to the faithful flock of believers here in Virginia . There is no question that CANA and ADV are at the forefront of the orthodox movement and this ceremony is further evidence of the growth of Anglicanism here in the U.S. Within the last year alone, CANA has ordained 27 people.”
After being ordained to the diaconate in October of 2007, five candidates will be ordained to the priesthood on Saturday. The Rev’d Robert Fickley and the Rev’d Larry Shrum of The Falls Church in Falls Church, Va., along with the Rev’d James Brown of Church of the Messiah in Chesapeake, Va., will be ordained to the priesthood with a wealth of experience in ministry from other denominations. They will be serving as advisors to their parishes and to the Anglican District of Virginia.

The Rev’d James Guthrie, Jr., of The Falls Church, currently works for the Anglican District of Virginia. After being ordained to the priesthood, he will continue his work with the organization while ministering to several mission fellowship groups in the area. These fellowships consist of small groups of people who are currently meeting in homes or schools after departing from The Episcopal Church to remain faithful to their Anglican heritage.

In addition, the Rev’d William Wilson of Church of Our Saviour , Oatlands in Leesburg, Va., will be ordained to the priesthood after attending Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry and will continue serving as a chaplain at a Veterans Affairs Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pa. John Kurcina, who will be ordained to the diaconate, has been assisting in lay ministry while he completes his PhD in New Testament from Trinity College in Bristol, England. He will serve as a church planting assistant at Christ the King in Alexandria , Va. Vanessa Bickle is an experienced engineer and project manager at Boeing Aircraft Corporation. She will continue her work in the public sector while serving her parish, Church of the Apostles in Fairfax , Va. , as a deacon.

The Anglican District of Virginia (www.anglicandistrictofvirginia.org)

China earthquake: Nearly five million homeless

By Richard Spencer in Yingxiu and agencies
16/05/2008

The earthquake in China has left almost five million people homeless, officials said today.

A total of 4,807,200 people have been forced into “temporary shelter” in Sichuan, said Li Chengyun, the province’s vice-governor.
the rest photo gallery

The Economist: Days of disaster
Two natural disasters; two very different responses. We look first at the government's response to the earthquake in China, then at poor Myanmar

China earthquake - the survivors' tales

Civilian heroes everywhere in China's earthquake calamity

Zimbabwe’s Rulers Unleash Police on Anglicans

By CELIA W. DUGGER
May 16, 2008

JOHANNESBURG — The parishioners were lined up for Holy Communion on Sunday when the riot police stormed the stately St. Francis Anglican Church in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital. Helmeted, black-booted officers banged on the pews with their batons as terrified members of the congregation stampeded for the doors, witnesses said.

A policeman swung his stick in vicious arcs, striking matrons, a girl and a grandmother who had bent over to pick up a Bible dropped in the melee. A lone housewife began singing from a hymn in Shona, “We will keep worshiping no matter the trials!” Hundreds of women, many dressed in the Anglican Mothers’ Union uniform of black skirt, white shirt and blue headdress, lifted their voices to join hers. the rest

The Search For An Anglican Future

Special Report/Analysis by Robert Hart and Auburn Traycik
The Christian Challenge
(Washington, DC)
http://www.challengeonline.org/
May, 2008

“See you in court.” That seems, increasingly, to be the pastoral response of The Episcopal Church to those who act in institutionally irregular ways in order to defend orthodox belief. But while the pressure of North American woes will be evident this summer, as separate meetings in Jerusalem and Canterbury seek to shape the future of Anglicanism, could the tide be turning a bit for an under-attended Lambeth Conference?

Analysis here

Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali: Bishop denies gay prejudice claims - but protest is planned

Thursday 15 May 2008

One of the county's cathedrals will be the stage for a gay rights group's demonstration this weekend.

International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) is angry at the Bishop of Rochester's opposition to an homosexual American bishop attending a key church meeting.

But the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali said he respected all people no matter their sexuality. the rest image

Anglican Mainstream: Bishop of Rochester’s statement about the demonstration planned against him on May 17

Integrity: Church group welcomes California ruling on same-sex marriage

Friday, 16th May 2008
By: Judy West

The gay movement in the Episcopal Church, Integrity, has welcomed yesterday’s California Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-gender marriage as "a giant step closer to 'liberty and justice for all'."

"The California Supreme Court today ruled in favour of marriage and against bigotry," said the Rev Susan Russell, Integrity president and an assisting priest at All Saints Church in Pasadena, California.

"Integrity is proud to have signed the interfaith amicus brief that helped influence this decision which we celebrate as a giant step closer to "liberty and justice for all." the rest

Stand Firm: The Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles is so pleased that he's rewritten a Scripture passage just for the occasion...

Want to Avoid Arthritis? Breastfeed, Have More Children and Don’t Take the Pill

By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

SWEDEN, May 15, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - New research at Malmö University Hospital has revealed that mothers who have more children and especially those who breastfeed their babies have a significantly lowered risk of arthritis later in life. Use of oral contraceptives, on the other hand, is of no benefit.

The study, which was funded by Lund University, The Craaford Foundation and the Swedish Rheumatism Association, wanted to determine whether breast-feeding or the use of oral contraceptives (OC) could affect the future risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in a community-based prospective cohort.

Researcher Dr. Mitra Pikwer found that breastfeeding for more than a year reduced women's risk of rheumatoid arthritis 54% and breastfeeding for at least a month tended to reduce the risk 26 percent. the rest

Their Own Private Apocalypse-The Cyclone in Burma

By Chuck Colson
Christian Post Guest Columnist
Thu, May. 15 2008 ;

With each passing day, the news from Myanmar—that is, Burma—gets worse: As of Sunday, May 11, nearly 300,000 people were reported as dead or missing. The United Nations estimated “that between 1.2 million and 1.9 million were struggling to survive in the aftermath of the storm . . .”

As appalling as these numbers are, what is equally, if not more appalling, is the conduct of the Burmese junta: It is actively hindering relief efforts. Late last week, the UN’s World Food Program stopped sending food aid after the junta seized previous shipments.

However this particular controversy is eventually resolved, the world has already learned what some Christians already knew: The junta does not value the lives of its people. the rest

New 'Narnia' film reflects modern spiritual battle

by Jennifer Riley, Christian Post
Thursday, May 15, 2008

The second instalment of CS Lewis’ beloved “Chronicles of Narnia” is about to be released across the US this week and the UK next month, once again exposing moviegoers to the truths of the Christian faith.

“The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian”, opening in theatres in the UK on June 26, is the follow-up to the 2005 box-office hit “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe”.
the rest image

Christianity Today review

California Court Strips Children of Right to Mother and Father

By Terence P. Jeffrey
CNSNews.com Editor in Chief
May 16, 2008

(CNSNews.com) - In Thursday's 4-3 decision legalizing same-sex marriage, the California Supreme Court stripped children of the right to be raised by a mother and a father.

Most of the media coverage of the California Supreme Court's decision has focused on the court's declaration that there is a right to same-sex marriage. The ruling invalidated California's Proposition 22, a state ballot initiative that passed with 61 percent of the vote in 2000, and which banned same-sex marriage in the state.

But the California Supreme Court decision goes beyond simply giving same-sex couples the right to call their unions a "marriage." It also strips children of the right not to be artificially conceived or adopted by people other than a mother and a father.

Indeed, the court does not recognize that children have any right whatsoever to a mother and a father. the rest

UC Berkeley Staff Face Lawsuit Over Pro-Evolution Bias

By Alexander J. Sheffrin
Christian Post Reporter
Thu, May. 15 2008

Staff members at the University of California-Berkeley are being sued in court over a pro-evolution Web site, hosted by the school’s science program, that ridicules religious denominations that do not agree with evolution.

The Pacific Justice Institute, a religious liberties group, claims that the Web site – which was designed with $500,000 in federal backing – endorses religious views that support evolution while deriding those that do not, thus constituting an illegal and public endorsement of religion by the university.

The group also points to parts of the site that feature pro-evolution religious denominations alongside faiths that the site says adhere to creationism and "explicitly contradict science.” the rest

Albert Mohler: California Supreme Court Redefines Marriage

Friday, May 16, 2008

The California Supreme Court's 4-3 decision striking down the state's definition of marriage as a union of a man and a woman throws open the door for a massive redefinition of human relationships. The people of California approved Proposition 22 by a huge margin in 2000, clearly stating their understanding of marriage and their desire to protect marriage from legal revision. By a one-vote margin, their state Supreme Court renounced the will of the people. The ruling is both revolutionary and radical. It sets the stage for a much broader reorganization of human society.

Chief Justice Ronald M. George, writing for the majority, pushed the argument for same-sex marriage far beyond where any court had taken it before. The decision identified marriage as a "fundamental right," thus opening the door for infinite challenges beyond same-sex marriage.
the rest image

NRO: Supreme Overreach
But not the last word on Golden State marriage

By William C. Duncan
May 16, 2008

Thursday’s 4-3 decision in the California supreme court that the state’s constitution mandates a radical redefinition of marriage had its genesis in executive lawlessness and ended with judicial overreaching.

The decision was handed down in a case that began in the aftermath of the decision of the mayor of San Francisco to offer marriage licenses to same-sex couples in contravention of state law; a law enacted by voters in March 2000. When the California supreme court said the mayor did not have the right to unilaterally decide the validity of state law, it also allowed the mayor’s argument that the marriage law was unconstitutional to be tested in a lower court. the rest

Delay gay marriage, California court urged- Washington Times

Christian couple believe court ruling goes against God's plan-LA Times

Gay marriage opponents vow to fight Calif. ruling-AP

Ruling Could Revive Gay Marriage Issue in Campaign-NYT

Episcopal property dispute must go to trial, judge rules

The Denver Post
05/14/2008

COLORADO SPRINGS — An El Paso County District judge ruled Tuesday that the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado and officials of Grace Church and St. Stephen's Parish in Colorado Springs must resolve their $17 million property dispute at trial.

District Judge Larry E. Schwartz concluded that he cannot make a decision based solely on matters of law because "there is virtually no agreement as to the facts."

In May 2007, the pastor, Don Armstrong, and most voting congregants of Grace Church and St. Stephen's Parish voted to leave the American Episcopal Church and Denver diocese to join the more conservative Convocation of Anglicans in North America.

Breakaway parishioners filed a lawsuit on April 6, 2007, asking the court to determine ownership of the parish's property. Episcopal Bishop Rob O'Neil countersued the parish and 18 members to gain possession of the $17 million landmark church.
Here

Obama: Is the Democratic Frontrunner Most Pro-Abortion Ever?

Tom McFeely
NCRegister.com

WASHINGTON (NCRegister.com) - Veteran Democrat David Carlin knows what he’s going to do if Illinois Sen. Barack Obama becomes his party’s presidential nominee

He’s going to vote for the presumptive Republican nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain.

“Any Catholic who takes the abortion issue seriously will not vote for Obama,” said Carlin, who served as majority leader of the Rhode Island Senate in 1989-90.

Pro-life leaders describe Obama — who is now the heavy favorite to defeat New York Sen. Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination — as the most pro-abortion presidential candidate in American history.

“Based on his record he appears to be the most pro-abortion candidate ever to seek the presidency,” said David O’Steen, executive director of the National Right to Life Committee. “It’s hard to be more pro-abortion than Hillary Clinton, but he seems to have managed to do that.”
the rest image

'Sweetie' leaves bad taste for Obama critics

"Sweetie"-youtube

Gerard Baker, Times of London:
Obama: The New Great Redeemer

Presbyterian Church USA: Church to keep property

Stow Presbyterian severs its ties to denomination
By Colette M. Jenkins Beacon Journal staff writer
Thursday, May 15, 2008

The regional governing body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and representatives of the Stow Presbyterian Church have reached an agreement that allows the local congregation to keep the church property.

The pact comes after 18 months of discussions between the Stow church and the Eastminster Presbytery, according to the Rev. Dan Schomer, who leads the Mineral Ridge-based presbytery, which includes 55 churches in Summit, Portage, Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties.

''The action to dissolve the congregation effectively severs the ties of the church to the denomination and permits it to continue its ministry as an independent congregation,'' Schomer said in a prepared statement.

As part of the deal, the presbytery agreed not to pursue legal action for property rights to the church facility based on the constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) that states the property is held in trust for the denomination. the rest

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Devotional: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name...

I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. Psalm 91:14

Does the Lord say this to me? Yes, if I have known His name. Blessed be the Lord, I am no stranger to Him. I have tried Him, proved Him, and known Him, and therefore do I trust Him. I know His name as a sin-hating God, for by His Spirit's convincing power I have been taught that He will never wink at evil. But I also know Him as the sin-pardoning God in Christ Jesus, for He has forgiven me all trespasses. His name is faithfulness, and I know it, for He has never forsaken me though my troubles have multiplied upon me.

This knowledge is a gift of grace, and the Lord makes it to be the reason why He grants another grace-gift, namely, setting on high. This is grace upon grace. Observe that if we climb on high, the position may be dangerous; but if the Lord sets us there it is safe. He may raise us to great usefulness, to eminent experience, to success in service, to leadership among workers, to a father's place among the little ones. If He does not do this, He may set us on high by near fellowship, clear insight, holy triumph, and gracious anticipation of eternal glory. When God sets us on high, Satan himself cannot pull us down. Oh, that this may be our case all through this day! ...CH Spurgeon
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California Supreme Court Imposes Homosexual 'Marriage' on State

LOS ANGELES
May 15, 2008

(LifeSiteNews.com) - Today the California Supreme Court imposed, through judicial fiat, so-called same-sex marriage on Californians, thus totally disregarding the sanctity of marriage and the will of the people. In 2000, Californians adopted Proposition 22 to protect marriage and maintain its definition as a union between one man and one woman, and expressly prohibiting the state from recognizing same sex marriages.

To ensure that marriage is protected and the voice of the people is heard, a constitutional marriage amendment must be placed on the November ballot and national efforts need to be made to generate a federal constitutional marriage amendment. The decision must be removed from the hands of judicial activists and returned to the rightful hands of the people.

Matt Barber, CWA Policy Director for Cultural Issues, said "The California Supreme Court has engaged in the worst kind of judicial activism today, abandoning its role as an objective interpreter of the law and, instead, legislating from the bench. It's absurd to suggest that the framers of the California state constitution could have ever imagined there'd be a day when so-called 'same-sex marriage' would even be conceptualized, much less seriously considered. If anyone then had suggested the ridiculous notion, early Californians would have laughed their smocks off. the rest

California Supreme Court by 4-3 decision proclaims a constitutional right to homosexual marriage

May 15, 2008

California's supreme court ruled that a ban on gay marriage was unlawful Thursday, effectively leaving same-sex couples in America's most populous state free to tie the knot in a landmark ruling.

In an opinion that analysts say could have nationwide implications for the issue, the seven-member panel voted 4-3 in favor of plaintiffs who argued that restricting marriage to men and women was discriminatory.

"... limiting the designation of marriage to a union 'between a man and a woman' is unconstitutional and must be stricken from the statute," California Chief Justice Ron George said in the written opinion. the rest

California Supreme Court overturns gay marriage ban

California lifts gay marriage ban

California Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage, Strikes Ban

Myanmar cyclone death toll soars above 43,000

YANGON, Myanmar - Myanmar's junta warned Thursday that legal action would be taken against people who trade or hoard international aid as the cyclone's death toll soared above 43,000.

It was the first acknowledgment by the military government, albeit indirectly, of problems with relief operations in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis.

The warning came amid reports that foreign aid was being sold openly in markets, and that the military was pilfering and diverting aid for its own use.

The ruling junta has been blasted by aid agencies for refusing to allow most foreign experts into the hard-hit Irrawaddy delta and not responding adequately to what they say is a spiraling crisis.
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Anglican Church in Canada: A house divided

A breakaway Anglican faction is protesting what they believe is the church's veering from traditional teachings
May 15, 2008
Rachel De Lazzer
The Hamilton Spectator
(May 15, 2008)

It was an awkward Sunday.

Church members divided, sharing the same building.

One service run by a priest from the national church body, the other by the church's pastor.

Kay Mighton attended the first service at St. George's Anglican in Lowville on February 24 and thought it was "beautiful." A priest from the Niagara diocese presided. the rest

Stand Firm: Archbishop Orombi Responds to the Presiding Bishop

Thursday, May 15, 2008
via email

14th May 2008

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
The Episcopal Church USA
815 Second Avenue
New York, NY

Dear Bishop Katharine,

I received word of your letter through a colleague who had seen it on the internet. Without the internet, I may never have known that you had written such a personal, yet sadly ironic, letter to me.

Unfortunately, you appear to have been misinformed about key matters, which I hope to clear up in this letter.

1. I am not visiting a church in the Diocese of Georgia. I am visiting a congregation that is part of the Church of Uganda. Were I to visit a congregation within TEC, I would certainly observe the courtesy of contacting the local bishop. Since, however, I am visiting a congregation that is part of the Church of Uganda, I feel very free to visit them and encourage them through the Word of God.

2. The reason this congregation separated from TEC and is now part of the Church of Uganda is that the actions of TEC's General Convention and statements of duly elected TEC leaders and representatives indicate that TEC has abandoned the historic Christian faith. Furthermore, as predicted by the Primates of the Anglican Communion in October 2003, TEC's actions have, in fact, torn the fabric of the Communion at its deepest level. the rest

Comment at Stand Firm:
Dear Saints:

It is my pleasure to report to you the visit of His Grace, Henry Luke Orombi, to Christ Church, Savannah. The Archbishop enjoyed our hospitality, dined with lay leadership and our staff, toured our city, and enjoyed breakfast with our Vestry. Wednesday evening, we enjoyed a wonderful reception in Johnson Square, blessed by beautiful weather and a good turnout. The Archbishop addressed our congregation for approximately one hour, and encouraged us from Luke 8:22-39. Approximately 320 were in attendance (the meeting was open to the public). The exercise of his pastoral leadership, encouragement, love, and biblical guidance were an enormous encouragement to us and to many others. After his address, the congregation was dismissed, but an invitation was made for those who wished to receive prayer and ministry at the Lord’s altar to come forward after the closing hymn. Over twenty people responded, and this ministry continued for almost another hour. Our hearts are full and our souls are refreshed. We give thanks to God for His grace poured out upon us through the godly leader.

—Marc Robertson, Rector
Christ Church, Savannah

Think Twice Before You Give to the Door-to-Door Cancer Research Canvassers

By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
WASHINGTON, D.C.
May 14, 2008

(LifeSiteNews.com) - The cancer research fund-raising season is well under way and many people, by contributing to door-to-door solicitation, cancer walk-a-thons and other venues for raising money, are unknowingly providing funds for human embryonic stem cell research.

One of the USA's major cancer research fund-raising groups, the “Susan B. Komen for the Cure” breast cancer organization, which endorses embryonic stem cell research and denies the connection between abortion and breast cancer as well as the connection between chemical contraception and breast cancer, has given significant sums of money to cancer research organizations which focus their efforts on human embryonic stem cells.

Komen's 2007 Parent tax return, indicates that the American Association for Cancer Research, whose research position statement says: "Stem cell research - including research involving human embryonic stem cells - is essential to the advancement of cancer research, according to a position statement adopted by the Board of Directors of the American Association for Cancer Research," received $2.5 million. the rest

First Things: Assisted Suicide and the Corruption of Palliative Care

By Wesley J. Smith
Thursday, May 15, 2008

For the past two decades, euthanasia/assisted-suicide ideologues have worked overtime to conflate palliative care—the medical alleviation of pain and other distressing symptoms of serious illness—with intentionally ending the life of the patient. The movement’s first target was the hospice, a specialized form of care for the dying created forty years ago in the United Kingdom by the late, great medical humanitarian Dame Cicely Saunders. Determined to treat what she called the “total pain” of dying patients, Saunders’ great innovation was to bring a multidisciplinary team to the task of ensuring that their physical pain, existential suffering, spiritual needs, and mental health are all properly attended.

Saunders believed that suicide prevention, when needed, is an essential part of the package, crucial to fulfilling a hospice’s call to value the lives and intrinsic dignity of each patient until the moment of natural death. Indeed, when I was trained as a hospice volunteer, my instructor pounded into my head the importance of reporting to the hospice team any suicide threats or yearnings my patient might express so they could initiate proper intervention. As a consequence of this philosophy, many patients who might have killed themselves were later very glad still to be alive to get the most of the time they had remaining.

But assisted-suicide advocates wish to transform hospice into “hemlock” (as one advocate once put it), a facilitator of suicide rather than a preventer. They believe that access to lethal prescriptions should be considered merely another menu item available for dying patients (and ultimately others) “to control the timing and manner of their deaths.” the rest

Willow Creek's 'Huge Shift'

Influential megachurch moves away from seeker-sensitive services.
Matt Branaugh
5/15/2008

After modeling a seeker-sensitive approach to church growth for three decades, Willow Creek Community Church now plans to gear its weekend services toward mature believers seeking to grow in their faith.

The change comes on the heels of an ongoing four-year research effort first made public late last summer in Reveal: Where Are You?, a book coauthored by executive pastor Greg Hawkins. Hawkins said during an annual student ministries conference in April that Willow Creek would also replace its midweek services with classes on theology and the Bible.

Whether more changes are in store for the suburban Chicago megachurch isn't clear. Hawkins declined CT's interview request, and senior pastor Bill Hybels was unavailable for comment. the rest image

California's top court to rule on gay marriage

May 15, 2008
By LISA LEFF
Associated Press Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Both sides in the gay marriage debate will be watching California's highest court Thursday to see if the nation's biggest state goes the way of Massachusetts and legalizes same-sex marriage.

The California Supreme Court was scheduled to rule on a series of lawsuits seeking to overturn a voter-approved law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

If the court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, California could become the second state after Massachusetts where gay and lesbian residents can marry. the rest

Persecuted to Powerful: Exhibiting a History of New York’s Catholics

By GLENN COLLINS
May 15, 2008

Hundreds of years ago, there was a tiny religious minority so despised and persecuted that it was forced to build its own educational, social-welfare and political infrastructure just to survive in the city of New York. Improbably enough, this subculture ultimately seized power from the entrenched majority, became the city’s largest Christian group, created institutions that affected everyone in the five boroughs and permanently changed what it meant to be a New Yorker.

Yet a museum has never devoted a major exhibition to the history of this transformational group — that is, until Friday, when “Catholics in New York, 1808 to 1946,” opens to the public at the Museum of the City of New York.

the rest image-museum link

China earthquake: Blogs claim 'swarming toads' warned of Sichuan disaster

15/05/2008

Chinese internet blogs and media are awash with claims that “swarming” toads, falling water levels and the erratic behaviour of zoo animals were portents to the country’s worst earthquake in 30 years.

The first sign came about three weeks ago, when a large volume of water suddenly disappeared from a pond in Enshi, Hubei province, around 350 miles east of the epicentre of the May 12 quake in Sichuan, according to media reports.

Three days before the earthquake, thousands of toads roamed the streets of Mianzhu, a hard-hit city where at least 2,000 people have been reported killed. the rest image

China earthquake: Small miracles recovered from China quake debris

Rescuers struggle to reach China quake victims

Rescuers fear 40000 buried in epicentre

The only ones: how China's single-child policy doubled the agony of parents

Ants swarm over Houston area, fouling electronics

May 14, 2008
By LINDA STEWART BALL
Associated Press Writer

DALLAS (AP) - In what sounds like a really low-budget horror film, voracious swarming ants that apparently arrived in Texas aboard a cargo ship are invading homes and yards across the Houston area, shorting out electrical boxes and messing up computers.

The hairy, reddish-brown creatures are known as "crazy rasberry ants"—crazy, because they wander erratically instead of marching in regimented lines, and "rasberry" after Tom Rasberry, an exterminator who did battle against them early on.

"They're itty-bitty things about the size of fleas, and they're just running everywhere," said Patsy Morphew of Pearland, who is constantly sweeping them off her patio and scooping them out of her pool by the cupful. "There's just thousands and thousands of them. If you've seen a car racing, that's how they are. They're going fast, fast, fast. They're crazy." the rest

Are our girls getting more violent?

Thursday, 15 May 2008
By Dominic Casciani
BBC News

The number of crimes committed by girls has jumped by a quarter over three years, figures show - so is there something to be worried about?

Ten years ago there was a spate of headlines warning that so-called "girl crime" was on the march - that girls were becoming violent and guilty of anti-social behaviour.

That was before "anti-social behaviour" was a phrase as commonplace as cheap lager in the hands of street corner yobs.

Now, in May 2008, fresh figures on offending show another stark increase - in percentage terms at least - in the number of crimes committed by young girls. the rest

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Devotional: Prayer has mighty power to move mountains...

Prayer has mighty power to move mountains
because the Holy Spirit is ready both to encourage our praying and to remove the mountains hindering us. Prayer has the power to change mountains into highways. ...Wesley L. Duewel image

Honda robot conducts Detroit Symphony to warm response

By DEE-ANN DURBIN
AP Auto Writer
Wed May 14 2008

DETROIT - The lights dimmed, the sold-out hall grew hushed and out walked the conductor — shiny, white and 4 feet, 3 inches tall.

ASIMO, a robot designed by Honda Motor Co., met its latest challenge Tuesday evening: Conducting the Detroit Symphony in a performance of "The Impossible Dream" from "Man of La Mancha."

"Hello, everyone," ASIMO said to the audience in a childlike voice, then waved to the orchestra.
As it conducted, it perfectly mimicked the actions of a conductor, nodding its head at various sections and gesturing with one or both hands. ASIMO took a final bow to enthusiastic shouts from the audience. the rest

Toronto-area Lutheran church to ordain gay minister

Charles Lewis, National Post
Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Toronto-area Lutheran church parish plans on ordaining a married gay man despite warnings it is breaking church teachings and it will face disciplinary action, including expulsion, if it goes ahead.

Lionel Ketola will be ordained Friday night by a non-traditional American Lutheran group that ordains gay candidates. Their ordinations are not officially recognized in Canada or the United States. But despite that, he will then be hired by Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Newmarket, Ont., as an associate pastor, where he has interned for the past two years. Members of Holy Cross will also take part in the ordination ceremony. the rest

The idea that a university education is for everyone is a destructive myth

In the Basement of the Ivory Tower
by Professor X
June 2008
Atlantic Monthly

I work part-time in the evenings as an adjunct instructor of English. I teach two courses, Introduction to College Writing (English 101) and Introduction to College Literature (English 102), at a small private college and at a community college. The campuses are physically lovely—quiet havens of ornate stonework and columns, Gothic Revival archways, sweeping quads, and tidy Victorian scalloping. Students chat or examine their cell phones or study languidly under spreading trees. Balls click faintly against bats on the athletic fields. Inside the arts and humanities building, my students and I discuss Shakespeare, Dubliners, poetic rhythms, and Edward Said. We might seem, at first glance, to be enacting some sort of college idyll. We could be at Harvard. But this is not Harvard, and our classes are no idyll. Beneath the surface of this serene and scholarly mise-en-scène roil waters of frustration and bad feeling, for these colleges teem with students who are in over their heads. the rest image

Hills of the North: The trashing of parliamentary procedure

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Parliamentary procedure is at its core about democracy at its best: achieving in decent and orderly fashion the will of the majority while fully respecting and protecting the minority (or as one writer put it, "to give the minority a fighting chance.") There is a reason that every democratic voting organization uses a form of parliamentary procedure (in this country, usually Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised), whether it be church, or city council, or stockholders' meeting, or legislature. Those who object to parliamentary procedure, or who abuse it, are almost inevitably those who have no patience for democracy or dissent, or those who simply do not like the result that would be forthcoming when the ayes and nays aren't to their liking.

In our church we have two recent and regrettable examples of antipathy toward parliamentary procedure. The first, of course, is the Presiding Bishop, who has lawlessly decided to ignore the very basics of Robert's and the canons themselves in a whole range of actions where she can't be bothered to follow the rules, or where she worries she might not get the votes necessary to do what she wants. She has, in essence, with the apparent acquiescence of a majority of bishops, turned parliamentary procedure into a sham--something no more meaningful to them than, say, a Book of Common Prayer liturgy. This certainly reflects her anger at, disrespect for, and, some say, hatred of the minority orthodox, who after all have the temerity to do what minorities generally do--object and disagree and attempt to obstruct the majority. And in a sense her suspension of parliamentary procedure (for that is what she has done) is evidence of her own weakness, her inability to reason with those with whom she disagrees, and her intolerance of those who do not see the world exactly as she does. It is a rejection of democracy, since the rules came about by democratic vote, not by fiat. And it is with her, as with Mugabe in Zimbabwe and every other tinhorn dictator who cannot accept the norms of democratic procedure, an unequivocal admission of defeat.

the rest at Hills of the North blog

Presiding Bishop to address the media on Lambeth Conference

May 14, 2008

[Episcopal News Service] Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will address members of the media about the Lambeth Conference on Tuesday, May 20 in a live webcast at the Episcopal Church Center, 815 Second Ave., New York City. The webcast will begin at 2 p.m. Eastern time (1 p.m. Central, noon Mountain, 11 a.m. Pacific).

Joining the Presiding Bishop will be the Rev. Dr. Ian Douglas of Episcopal Divinity School, who is a member of the Lambeth Conference Design Group. the rest

Obama and the Cross

May 14, 2008

I have been telling Brody File readers for months that if Barack Obama becomes the Democratic nominee he will make a pitch to win over independent/moderate Evangelicals. Well, we now have evidence.

In Kentucky, he is making a direct appeal to Evangelicals with flyers that mention his conversion experience and they highlight a big old cross. Remember Mike Huckabee’s supposed subliminal cross in his Christmas campaign ad? Well, Obama campaign ditches the subliminal and goes for the in your face cross. Look at the flyer here.

The Obama campaign has consistently believed that their candidate can compete for the “religious vote”. A lot has been made about how Obama hasn’t done as well with Catholics compared to Clinton. But let’s remember one thing: Obama has a story to tell about how Jesus came into his life. You can bet we will be hearing more details about it on the stump in the fall. (if Obama is the nominee) the rest

Barack Obama's Catholic Backers Dodging His Favoring Abortion ...

This says it all: NARAL endorses Obama

Women priests write protest letter to Anglican bishops

Ruth Gledhill,
Religion Correspondent
From Times Online
May 14, 2008

Women priests in the Church of England say they would rather never be bishops at all than have to accept special arrangements for opponents of women’s ordination.

Nearly half of all the serving women priests in the Church of England have signed an open letter to the Church’s bishops warning that the entire integrity and mission of the Church is at stake.

The women say they support those in the Church in Wales who a few weeks ago defeated a proposal to ordain women bishops because it included protections to safeguard opponents. the rest

CNY Diocese: Letter to the Editor re: congregation leaving the Episcopal Church

Church compassion begins with proper direction
Syracuse Post Standard
May 14, 2008

To the Editor:

I'm writing in response to Mary Mol's May 8 letter, "Church played major role in building gays' closets." In her letter, she states that she felt profoundly disappointed that another church congregation is leaving the Central New York diocese because of its opposition to the church's policy on homosexuality.

As a Christian, I, too, am profoundly disappointed that a church congregation is leaving the CNY diocese. However, as I see it, the congregation that's leaving really didn't have much of a choice if they truly wanted to adhere to the truth of Scripture.

It is quite evident that the Episcopal Church (as well as many others) as a whole, has truly lost its way in the wilderness of today's secular world in regards to the whole issue of homosexuality.

In contrast, I applaud the congregation who had the courage to take the stand they did by choosing to leave the CNY diocese. In my opinion, the congregation didn't leave the church, the church left them when the majority of the church (people) voted to allow homosexuality to spread into the church (i.e. election of Gene Robinson as bishop, etc.).

As for the issue of compassion and exclusion: There are conditions for entering God's kingdom (heaven). In Revelation, Chapter 21, God clearly states a serious warning about the kinds of people who will be excluded from heaven and the sexually immoral (homosexuals/adulterers) are amongst them. Compassion can only begin with love for others.

When you see someone heading for destruction, you should have enough compassion (love) to guide them in the right direction.

Joe Traver
Ministry of Sharing
link

10-year-old scholar takes Calif. college by storm

May 14, 2008
By JOHN ROGERS

DOWNEY, Calif. (AP) - With the end of another school year approaching, college sophomore Moshe Kai Cavalin is cramming for final exams in classes such as advanced mathematics, foreign languages and music.

But Cavalin is only 10 years old. And at 4-foot-7, his shoes don't quite touch the floor as he puts down a schoolbook and swivels around in his chair to greet a visitor.

"I'm studying statistics," says the alternately precocious and shy Cavalin, his textbook lying open on the living room desk of his parents' apartment in this quiet suburb east of Los Angeles.

Within a year, if he keeps up his grades and completes the rest of his requirements, he hopes to transfer from his two-year program at East Los Angeles College to a prestigious four-year school and study astrophysics. the rest

'Personhood' amendment backers submit signatures

By Jean Torkelson
Rocky Mountain News
Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Supporters of a movement to declare a fertilized human egg a person in the state constitution turned in 131,235 voter signatures Tuesday to get a measure on the November ballot.

They called it a historic step toward Colorado becoming the first state to pass a "personhood amendment."

Opponents said it's an attempt to erode abortion rights.

"Colorado will become ground zero for the issue of life in the United States of America," supporter Mark Hoteling told an ebullient crowd of more than 100 people at the Knights of Columbus Hall near the Capitol. the rest

Albert Mohler: The Archbishop and the Embryo

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Archbishop Rowan Williams, Primate of the Church of England and leader of the Anglican Communion was once a human embryo. So was I. So were you. So also were those who would now reduce human embryos to the status of a commodity to be used and destroyed in the name of medical progress.

This archbishop is known for taking tepid and confusing positions on any number of issues. But in response to a proposal to create human-animal hybrid embryos in Great Britain, Rowan Williams has staked out a position that at least protests the subversion of human dignity.
the rest

China earthquake: Race to plug dam as death toll rises to 15,000


By Richard Spencer in Wudu, Sichuan
14/05/2008

Two thousand Chinese soldiers are working to plug an "extremely dangerous" cracks in a dam upriver from the earthquake-hit town of Dujiangyan.

The official Xinhua news agency said that 2,000 troops had been sent to work on the Zipingku Dam, just north of the provincial capital of Chengdu.

The new criss comes as rescue workers are struggling to reach nearly 60,000 people who remain missing near the epicentre of the Sichuan earthquake, prompting fears that the death toll will continue to soar.
the rest

China earthquake: In city of the dead, 19000 lie buried beneath rubble

International Aid Offered to China Earthquake Survivors

'Entire generation wiped out' as China counts toll of earthquake ...

Christians Respond Promptly to China Earthquake

Joshua Goldberg
Gospel Herald Correspondent
Tue, May, 13 2008

The world watched in horror Monday as a jolting 7.9 magnitude earthquake – the latest in a series of global natural disasters – wreaked havoc across China’s southwestern Sichuan province.

The earthquake, the worst natural disaster to strike the Middle Kingdom in over three decades, left an estimated 12,000 dead, with thousands more reportedly injured and desperately trapped under the debris of fallen buildings. Xinhua News Agency reported that 18,645 people were still buried in and around Mianyang, a city about 60 miles east of the epicenter.

As condolences and aid began pouring in from other countries, Christian groups were among the first to respond.

World Vision, which has a community development center just 200 kilometers from the earthquake’s epicenter, was just one of the many Christian organizations that said that it had relief and aid workers ready to deploy at any notice. the rest

Consumers ditching land-line phones

1 in 6 homes have only wireless; cable gains, too
By Leslie Cauley
USA TODAY
5/14/08

Traditional land-line phones, once the bedrock of communications in the USA, are quickly going the way of eight-track tapes as consumers go wireless or choose Internet-based phone calling.

According to a report due to be released today by the National Center for Health Statistics, nearly one out of every six homes in the USA — 15.8% — had only wireless telephones during the second half of 2007, up from 6.1% during the same period in 2004. the rest image

Study: Over half of Americans on chronic medicines

By LINDA A. JOHNSON
The Associated Press
Wednesday, May 14, 2008

TRENTON, N.J. -- For the first time, it appears that more than half of all insured Americans are taking prescription medicines regularly for chronic health problems, a study shows.

The most widely used drugs are those to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol _ problems often linked to heart disease, obesity and diabetes. the rest

The Less the Education, the Higher the Risk of Dying Early

Time Magazine: "Want to wreck the environment? Have a baby." - Prince Philip Concurs

LONDON, May 13, 2008

(LifeSiteNews.com) - A feature in the current issue of Time Magazine asks a rhetorical question, "What's an an environmentally conscious parent to do?" Time's Pamela Paul gives the response most frequently pushed by radical environmentalists, saying the answer is 'don't have children'.

In a television interview this week, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, concurs, saying the recent increase in global food prices is due to too many children. At the same time, the Italian Prime Minister is seeking ways to turn around his country's disastrously low birth rate that currently stands at well below replacement level.

"Want to wreck the environment?" the Time feature starts, "Have a baby."

"Each bundle of joy gobbles up more of the planet's food, clogs garbage dumps with diapers, churns through plastic toys and winds up a gas-guzzling, resource-consuming grown-up like the rest of us. Still, babies are awfully cute. Given that most people still intend to procreate, what's an environmentally conscious parent to do?"

The Duke of Edinburgh followed the same environmentalist playlist when he said this week that the only way to save the planet is for people to stop having babies. the rest image

TIME magazine article

EU report charts the collapse of family life

Report unveiled by the European Parliament says there is one marital breakdown and one abortion in Europe every 30 seconds
May 8, 2008

BRUSSELS There is one marital breakdown and one abortion in Europe almost every 30 seconds, a report that claims to chart the collapse of family life said yesterday.

In a survey of life in the 27 European Union countries, the Institute for Family Policy said that pensioners now outnumbered teenagers, and more people were living alone.

The report, The Evolution of the Family in Europe 2008, which was unveiled in the European Parliament in Brussels, described the European birth rate as “critical”. the rest

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Devotional: Is my ear so keen to hear the tiniest whisper of the Spirit...

Is my ear so keen to hear the tiniest whisper of the Spirit that I know what I should do? "Grieve not the Holy Spirit." He does not come with a voice like thunder; His voice is so gentle that it is easy to ignore it. The one thing that keeps the conscience sensitive to Him is the continual habit of being open to God on the inside. When there is any debate, quit. "Why shouldn't I do this?" You are on the wrong track. There is no debate possible when conscience speaks. At your peril, you allow one thing to obscure your inner communion with God. Drop it, whatever it is, and see that you keep your inner vision clear. ...Oswald Chambers image

Post-Decision Briefs Filed in Virginia Property Cases

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Attorney General's Office for the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia have all filed their post-decision briefs in advance of the scheduled May 28 hearing on who owns the property of the 11 parishes that have departed the Diocese of Virginia.

The Attorney General's brief is a defense of Virginia statute 57-9, the so-called "division statute" on which part of the Virginia parishes' cases rest, the applicability of which Judge Bellows ruled overwhelmingly in favor of the parishes a few weeks ago. Bellows will issue his ruling on the constitutionality of the statute at a date following the May 28 hearing.

the rest at Stand Firm

The Attorney General's brief is here [480Kb PDF].

CANA's brief is here [204Kb Word doc].

Colorado Springs church battle to go to trial

05/13/2008

An El Paso County District Court judge ruled today that the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado and officials of Grace Church and St. Stephen's Parish in Colorado Springs must resolve their $17 million property dispute at trial.

District Judge Larry E. Schwartz concluded, after reviewing six volumes of documents filed in the last year, that he cannot make a decision based solely on matters of law because "there is virtually no agreement as to the facts."

In May 2007, the pastor, Don Armstrong, and most voting congregants of Grace Church and St. Stephen's Parish voted to leave the American Episcopal Church and Denver diocese to affiliate instead with the more conservative Convocation of Anglicans in North America.

After the congregation broke away but kept the church, Episcopal Bishop Rob O'Neill sued Grace Church and 18 lay leaders and parish members for possession of the $17 million landmark church building in downtown Colorado Springs.

Parish spokesman Rev. Alan R. Crippen said Tuesday he believes the trial will begin in early 2009. the rest

Catholic League accepts Hagee apology

May 13, 2008

The Rev. John Hagee -- who in some eyes threatened to become to John McCain what the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. became to Barack Obama -- has apologized for remarks that offended many Catholics.

Catholic League President Bill Donohue said in a statement today that he accepted the apology and any dispute is over.

"After weeks of meeting with various Catholic leaders, and accessing scholarly literature on Catholic-Jewish relations, Pastor John Hagee has demonstrated an improved understanding of the Catholic Church and its history. In his letter to me, Hagee says, 'I want to express my deep regret for any comments that Catholics have found hurtful.' He specifically cites his emphasis of 'the darkest chapters in the history of Catholic and Protestant relations with the Jews,' and has pledged to provide a more complete and balanced portrayal going forward that will not reinforce mischaracterizations of the Catholic Church. And while he stresses that his invocation of terms like 'apostate church' and the ‘great whore’ were never meant by him to describe the Catholic Church, he acknowledges that anti-Catholics have long employed such language," Donohue said in his statement.

"The tone of Hagee’s letter is sincere. He wants reconciliation and he has achieved it. Indeed, the Catholic League welcomes his apology. What Hagee has done takes courage and quite frankly I never expected him to demonstrate such sensitivity to our concerns. But he has done just that. Now Catholics, along with Jews, can work with Pastor Hagee in making interfaith relations stronger than ever. Whatever problems we had before are now history. This case is closed." the rest image