Saturday, May 31, 2008

China crackdown hits house churches hard

by Daniel Blake
Saturday, May 31, 2008

House churches across China have been hit by a wave of arrests and detentions, says China Aid Association (CAA), the leading support group for China’s persecuted Christians.

CAA said that the sudden increase in incidents throughout May involving the Religious Affairs Bureau and the Public Security Bureau is “indicative of a crackdown”.

House church meetings have been disbanded and a number of Christians have been arrested, including two Christians in Xinjiang province who were charged with being “separatists”. Throughout the province, officials have posted signs asking citizens to report any “evil cult activity”, a label which encompasses house churches. the rest

Vatican: Excommunication for female priests

By VICTOR L. SIMPSON
Associated Press Writer
Fri May 30, 2008

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican insisted Friday that it is properly following Christian tradition by excluding females from the priesthood as it issued a new warning that women taking part in ordinations will be excommunicated.

The move dashed the hopes both of women seeking to be priests and of Catholics who see that as an option for a church struggling to recruit men.

A top Vatican official said the church acted after what it described as "so-called ordinations" held in various parts of the world. the rest image

Friday, May 30, 2008

Devotional: Christ is like a river...

Christ is like a river. A river is continually flowing, there are fresh supplies of water coming from the fountain-head continually so that man may live by it, and be supplied with water all his life. So Christ is an ever-flowing fountain; he is continually supplying his people, and the fountain is not spent. They who live upon Christ, may have fresh supplies from him to all eternity; they may have an increase of blessedness that is new, and new still, and which never will come to an end. ...Jonathan Edwards image

Rome’s Calling, But Lambeth Won’t Answer

Response To Catholic Leader’s Appeal For Clarity From Lambeth ‘08 Likely To Be Blocked By Conference Structure
Report/Analysis By Lee Penn
The Christian Challenge
May 27, 2008

A Roman Cardinal with a liberal reputation – Walter Kasper, head of the Pontifical Council on Christian Unity – has called on the Anglican Communion to clarify its identity at the once-a-decade Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops, and to align itself with Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox rather than Protestants.

Kasper warned that any continued effort to avoid resolving Anglican conflicts over issues of doctrine and discipline would only serve to perpetuate the Communion’s crisis, and impede ecumenism between Canterbury and Rome.

There’s just one problem. The Anglican establishment, led by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, has sought to ensure that Lambeth 2008 in Canterbury will – by design – make no substantive decisions. the rest image

Belgian Legislators Seek to Legalize Euthanasia for the Unconscious and Children

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

BRUSSELS, May 29, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A group of legislators in Belgium is seeking to expand the practice of euthanasia to include those who are unconscious, as well as minors, according to a recent article in the Spanish newspaper Hoy.

The initiative, spearheaded by former Senator Jean-Jacques de Gucht, was originally launched in 2004 and failed, the article states.

The new proposed legislation will allow people to create a type of "living will" that will allow doctors to euthanize them if they are unconscious and unable to give consent.

While euthanasia has been legal in Belgium 2002, the existing law has prohibited the practice under the above-mentioned circumstances.

Doctors who refuse to kill their patients under the law will be required to refer them to a doctor who is willing to do it, reports Hoy. story

Rick Warren Goes Global

By DAVID VAN BIEMA
Tuesday, May. 27, 2008

Already established as perhaps the most important voice in contemporary American Evangelical Christianity, Rick Warren last week pressed the button that he hopes will take his "brand" to the ends of the earth. Almost offhandedly at the conclusion of a three-day meeting of 1,700 pastors that Warren later told TIME was "the most important conference of my life," the author of the Purpose Driven Life threw open participation in his PEACE coalition to the wider Evangelical community. It was the Evangelical equivalent of a long-awaited IPO of a tech start-up whose brand the cognoscenti have predicted will become a global juggernaut: The PEACE coalition is a plan of epic ambition, to turn at least half of the world's tens of millions of Christian churches into a giant "network of networks" dedicated to relieving the poverty and misery of the developing world. the rest image

First openly gay chancellor to lead UW-Madison

5/29/2008

Back in 1994, Carolyn "Biddy" Martin was part of a Cornell University committee that was in charge of drafting a policy to make health insurance and other benefits available to same-sex partners.

At the time, Cornell was joining a growing number of universities and businesses that were recognizing homosexual couples.

Flash-forward 14 years, and Martin now finds herself days away from being appointed the next chancellor at UW-Madison, which still doesn't provide domestic partner benefits despite years of attempts by UW officials to secure such benefits from the state Legislature. the rest image

California Catholic Nurses Don't Want Pro-Abortion Union Representing Them

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 29, 2008

Fresno, CA (LifeNews.com) -- Nurses at a Catholic hospital in Fresno have voted against participating in the California Nurses Association because the union takes a pro-abortion position. The close vote came after a heavy lobbying campaign by both pro-life advocates and leaders of the state labor organization.

This is the second time nurses at St. Agnes Medical Center have voted against allowing CNA to represent them after a first vote failed in 1998.

According to a California Catholic Daily report, 94 percent of the 844 registered nurses participated in the vote and pro-life advocates won the day 452-327. the rest

Anglican Men's Weekend 2008: Bishop David Anderson

AngicanTV: here

Albert Mohler: Are Humans Unique? -- The Question Secular Science Can't Answer

Friday, May 30, 2008

Few questions are more important than this -- Are humans unique? Or, put in other words, is there any basis for human dignity and for treating humans with special respect? It is now frighteningly clear that secular science is inadequate to answer that question.

The May 24-30, 2008 edition of New Scientist, an influential British journal of science, features a cover story that raises this very question. "Human beings are obviously unique," the headline declares. "But it's surprisingly hard to say why." As the actual cover article indicates, there is very little that makes humans "obviously unique."

The article, written by Christine Kenneally, is truly fascinating. In "So You Think You're Unique" [available only by subscription], Kenneally addresses the question head-on. "We humans are not as special as we might like to think," she argues. "Over the past decade, hard scientific fact has steadily chipped away at our supposedly unique qualities, revealing many of them to be just more sophisticated versions of traits found elsewhere in the animal world." the rest image

Why Algeria Has Begun Clamping Down on Christians

Increase in converts apparently alarms Islamic nation.
Michael Donovan
May 29, 2008

ALGIERS, Algeria (Compass Direct News) – The debate was urgent and often heated at the annual meeting of the Protestant Church of Algeria (EPA) earlier this month. The looming question: whether to obey or disobey government orders that have closed over half of the North African country’s 50 Protestant churches in the past six months.

Algerian pastors argued the merits of reopening all their churches in a unified protest before EPA leadership elected to leave the difficult decision in the hands of each congregation.

“We have two choices: close down and hand over the keys, or we fight until the end when we get our rights,” said Mustapha Krim, president of the Protestant umbrella network. “Each church should decide for itself.” the rest image

Algeria's Christians Under Fire

Teens: Rebels with a Good Cause

Teens Doing Hard Things
By Chuck Colson
5/30/2008

This week on “BreakPoint,” we have been talking about teens and the particular challenges facing them. But did you know that the word teenager did not even exist until the twentieth century? That’s what teenage authors Alex and Brett Harris share in their new book called Do Hard Things, which they wrote for their fellow teenagers.

Apparently, the first documented use of the word occurred in an issue of Reader’s Digest in 1941. David Barnhart and Allan Metcalf in the book America in So Many Words, tell us that before the twentieth century, “we had thought of people in just two stages: children and adults. And while childhood might have its tender moments, the goal of the child was to grow up as promptly as possible. . . .”

When child-labor laws rightly created restrictions to protect the physical well-being of children, and mandatory education was extended through high school, an unintended by-product was the creation of a new sub-category: the teenager. the rest

Great NPR Interview!

Teen Blog: TheRebelution

Modernity meets monasticism in Egypt's desert

Wed May 28, 2008
By Will Rasmussen

AL ZAAFARANA, Egypt (Reuters) - A speck of green in a sea of sand, St. Anthony's Monastery in Egypt welcomes those seeking God in silence broken only by the whisper of the wind.

Monks at what is considered by many to be the world's oldest active Christian monastery still rise before dawn to chant and pray just as their predecessors did for more than 1,500 years.

Now, they also carry mobile phones, send e-mails and maintain a website (here), embracing modernity that has helped sustain the ancient monastery, nestled beside a spring where Egypt's eastern desert meets the craggy Red Sea mountains. the rest/image

California State Supreme Court may give gays a medical victory

Justices appear to be leaning toward forbidding doctors from denying treatment based on their religious views.
By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
May 29, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO -- Two weeks after deciding same-sex couples are entitled to marry, the California Supreme Court appeared ready Wednesday to rule that physicians have no constitutional right to refuse medical treatment to gays on grounds it would violate their religious beliefs.

The justices' inclination emerged as the state high court heard arguments in a case that pits the religious freedom of physicians against the right of gays to be free from discrimination. the rest

Canada: Anglicans invited to reflect on what 'we're called to be and do'

May 30, 2008
Mississauga, Ont.

Anglicans across Canada will be invited to “help shape the mission priorities” for 2010 to 2019 of General Synod, the governing body of the Anglican Church of Canada, by participating in a voluntary, congregation-based Lenten study next year. The study will allow participants to share their vision for their church’s work.

This process, developed to guide the work of General Synod, was approved by the Council of General Synod (CoGS) at its meeting last May 23 to May 25. CoGS is the governing body of the Anglican church in between triennial meetings of General Synod.

“This (discussion of mission) has the potential to bring us together across theological lines,” said Dean Peter Elliott, chair of the 2019 Visioning and Planning Task Group. “It can lead us to many exciting possibilities. There’s a great future for our church. We can sometimes get discouraged and depressed, but there’s a fresh wind blowing in the life of the Anglican Church of Canada to engage us again in this important reflection on God’s mission and what it is we’re called to be and do.” the rest

Women Bishops in CofE: 'Chaos’ warning as rumours fly after Bishops’ meeting

by Bill Bowder
30 May, 2008

CAMPAIGNERS who are opposed to women bishops warned of financial chaos and a mass walk-out, if rumours prove to be true that the Church of England House of Bishops voted last week to consecrate women bishops without making acceptable provision for those who object.

Margaret Brown, the chairman of the Third Province Movement, said on Wednesday that the Bishops appeared to be ready to break the promise made by the General Synod that objectors would have “an honoured place” in the Church. It would be unchristian to leave them out in the cold, she said.

“There are 900 parishes, of various shades of churchmanship, who are opposed to women in the episcopate, and they are a force to be reckoned with. There could be very serious consequences if the reports turn out to be true,” Mrs Brown said. There would be “vast legal costs”, as parishes struggled with questions about property while seeking to leave the Church of England. the rest image

Comments at Titusonenine

South Africa: Anglican Archbishops Phone UN Secretary-General on Zimbabwe

30 May 2008
Cape Town

The following is a statement from the Anglican Archbishops of Canterbury and Cape Town on human rights abuses in Zimbabwe:

The Archbishops of Canterbury and Cape Town yesterday spoke to Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations, to express their grave concern about the increasing violence of what appears to be a sustained campaign against the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe. On May 18 there was a sharp escalation of violence when Sunday services were disrupted and worshippers beaten or prevented from attending church by security and police force attacks on churches across Harare diocese.

Harassment and intimidation is their daily bread; and there is a continuing failure to enforce court orders permitting Anglicans to worship in their Cathedral church in Harare and other parishes. the rest

Rowan Williams: Church turns to UN over Zimbabwe

Court sides with Anglican Church against breakaway B.C. parish

Louise Dickson , Canwest News Service

VICTORIA - The Anglican Church of Canada has won, at least temporarily, a legal tug-of-war over a breakaway parish in Metchosin, just west of Victoria.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has decided it would be unjust to grant exclusive use of St. Mary's of the Incarnation to those parishioners who had elected to split from the national church. That, Madam Justice Marion Allan ruled, would be unfair to the 14 remaining parishioners now relegated to a smaller, heritage church.

The dispute, largely centred on the issue of same-sex marriage, is part of a larger schism rocking the Anglican Church across Canada. Last June, the general synod of the Anglican Church of Canada voted narrowly not to bless same-sex unions. Still, the dioceses of Ottawa, Montreal and Niagara later decided to do so, following the lead of the Lower Mainland. the rest

Assisted Suicide Bill Passes California Assembly

Democrats voted for the bill, Rebublicans voted against it
By Tim Waggoner
SACRAMENTO, May 29, 2008

(LifeSiteNews.com) - An assisted-suicide bill that allows doctors and nurses to suggest death by unconscious dehydration has barely passed the California State Assembly.

AB 2747 would authorize total sedation without nutrition and hydration for depressed and confused patients, whether or not their natural death was imminent. The bill would also allow family members to order the death of a mentally disabled person when a nurse opines they have less than a year to live, similar to Terry Schindler Schiavo's death at the hands of her husband.

AB 2747 passed the Democrat-controlled Assembly Wednesday afternoon on a 41-32 vote, a one-vote margin of victory in the 80-member lower house. The vote was virtually party line, Democrats for, Republicans against. AB 2747 is authored by the same Democrats who unsuccessfully carried physician-assisted suicide bills for the last three years. the rest

Order to recognize gay marriages in N.Y. denounced

By Michael Gormley
Associated Press / May 30, 2008

ALBANY, N.Y. - Opposition surfaced yesterday against Governor David Paterson's directive to New York agencies to recognize gay marriages legally performed in other states and countries.

The Rev. Duane Motley of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms said the Democrat "slapped the people in the face by circumventing their representatives," while New York's Catholic bishops said "just as the state cannot declare a man to be a 'mother' or a woman to be a 'father,' it cannot declare a same-sex union to be a 'marriage'."

Paterson issued a memo earlier this month saying gay New Yorkers who marry where it is legal will have the right to share family healthcare plans, receive tax breaks by filing jointly, enjoy stronger adoption rights, and inherit property. the rest

Climate concern ripped as 'religion'

Czech leader condemns it
David R. Sands
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Friday, May 30, 2008

Environmentalism, says Czech President Vaclav Klaus, is the new communism, a system of elite command-and-control that kills prosperity and should similarly be condemned to the ash heap of history.

The provocative Mr. Klaus, an economist by training and former prime minister, said in an interview that today's global warming activists are the direct descendants of the old Marxists who trampled on individual freedoms and undermined free markets in pursuit of a greater good.

"I understand that global warming is a religion conceived to suppress human freedom," he told editors and reporters at The Washington Times. "It is used to justify an enormous scope for government intervention vis-a-vis the markets and personal freedom." the rest

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Obama Criticized Traditional Black Churches for "Homophobia"

By Penny Starr
CNSNews.com Senior Staff Writer
May 29, 2008

(CNSNews.com) - In an Apr. 10 interview with The Advocate magazine, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said "homophobic" messages are coming from the pulpits of black churches because blacks attend church more regularly than other people and interpret the Bible more traditionally. In the same interview, Obama praised the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright, his former pastor and long-time spiritual adviser, for being on the right side of the homosexual debate.

"There's plenty of homophobia to go around, but you have a unique perspective into the African-American community," Kerry Eleveld, news editor of The Advocate , a homosexual publication, said to Obama, during the interview.

"I don't think it's worse than in the white community," Obama replied. "I think that the difference has to do with the fact that the African-American community is more churched and most African-American churches are still fairly traditional in their interpretations of Scripture." the rest image

Gay rights advocates score wins in NY, Calif.

By MICHAEL GORMLEY, Associated Press Writer

ALBANY, N.Y. - Gay rights advocates had reason to celebrate on both coasts Thursday, with New York set to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere and California preparing to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples on June 17.

Hours after California issued a directive Wednesday authorizing that date, word came that New York Gov. David Paterson instructed state agencies — including those governing insurance and health care — to immediately change policies and regulations to recognize gay marriages...

...The move by Paterson's administration does not legalize same-sex marriage in New York. The state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, has said it can only be legalized by the Legislature, which failed to pass a proposed measure last year.

The memo, one of the strongest steps the state can take short of action by the Legislature, cited a Feb. 1 ruling by a New York Appellate Division court in a case involving a woman wed in Canada who was denied benefits by her partner's employer.

The appellate judges determined that there is no legal impediment in New York to the recognition of a same-sex marriage. The state Legislature "may decide to prohibit the recognition of same-sex marriages solemnized abroad," the ruling said. "Until it does so, however, such marriages are entitled to recognition in New York." Full Article

Constitution argued in Episcopal case

Julia Duin
Thursday, May 29, 2008

Lawyers for the Episcopal Church and a group of dissident congregations that split off to form a new denomination tangled in court yesterday over the constitutionality of a 141-year-old Virginia law that deals with the disposal of church property.

At issue is the Civil War-era "division statute" that says if a division occurs in a denomination, a congregation or a group of congregations, by majority vote of their members, may break away while retaining church property.

The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia is suing 11 conservative congregations in Northern Virginia that left 18 months ago over issues of biblical authority and the 2003 consecration of an openly gay Episcopal bishop. the rest

Church In Bristol Settles Dispute With Episcopal Diocese

By ELIZABETH HAMILTON
Courant Staff Writer
May 29, 2008

In the end, former members of Trinity Church in Bristol decided it wasn't worth the fight.

The parishioners have settled their legal dispute with the Episcopal Diocese by agreeing to relinquish their historic church home. In return, both the diocese and the national Episcopal Church will withdraw their lawsuit against Trinity's priest and its leaders.

The diocese took legal action last year after the congregation defected from the Episcopal Church in a theological dispute and aligned itself with a more conservative Anglican group, but refused to leave the property.

The settlement was not unexpected. Negotiations have been underway since the beginning of this year to resolve the case before it went to trial. the rest

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Devotional: To accept the will of God...

To accept the will of God never leads to the miserable feeling that it is useless to strive anymore. God does not ask for the dull, weak, sleepy acquiescence of indolence. He asks for something vivid and strong. He asks us to cooperate with Him, actively willing what He wills, our only aim His glory.
...Amy Carmichael image

Pittsburgh Diocese Standing Committee Statement on Threatened Deposition of Bishop Duncan

The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh is saddened to learn the Presiding Bishop and her chancellor will continue to press for the deposition of our Diocesan Bishop, Robert W. Duncan, Jr. for the Abandonment of Communion at the September 2008 House of Bishops Meeting. Although we recognize the authority of the Episcopal Church to discipline and remove its ministers for violations of its canons, we believe Canon IV.9, Sec.1 has been misapplied and Canon IV.9, Sec.2 has been misinterpreted in this instance.

Should our Diocesan Bishop be validly deposed pursuant to the requirements set forth in the canons, the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh is prepared to exercise its role as the Ecclesiastical Authority of this diocese.

Unanimously affirmed by the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, May 27, 2008. Here

NPR: 50,000 to 100,000 Muslims in U.S. Quietly Engage in Polygamy

by Barbara Bradley Hagerty
May 28, 2008

Although polygamy is illegal in the U.S. and most mosques try to discourage plural marriages, some Muslim men in America have quietly married multiple wives.

No one knows how many Muslims in the U.S. live in polygamous families. But according to academics researching the issue, estimates range from 50,000 to 100,000 people.

You can see some of the women involved in polygamous marriages in the lobby of Sanctuary for Families, a nonprofit women's center in New York City. It bursts with color as a dozen women in bright African dresses and head wraps gather for a weekly noon meeting for West African immigrants. The women come each week to this support group where they discuss hard issues, such as domestic abuse, medical problems, immigration hurdles and polygamy. the rest

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali: Radical Islam is filling void left by collapse of Christianity in UK

By Martin Beckford, Religious Affairs Correspondent
29/05/2008

The decline of Christian values is destroying Britishness and has created a "moral vacuum" which radical Islam is filling, one of the Church of England's leading bishops has warned.

The Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, claimed the "social and sexual" revolution of the 1960s had led to a steep decline in the influence of Christianity over society which church leaders had failed to resist.

He said that in its place, Britain had become gripped by the doctrine of "endless self-indulgence" which had led to the destruction of family life, rising levels of drug abuse and drunkenness and mindless violence on the streets.

The bishop warns that the modern politicians' catchphrases of respect and tolerance will not be strong enough to prevent this collapse of traditional virtues, and said radical Islam is now moving in to fill the void created by the decline of Christianity. the rest

Thousands of Young Christians Adopt 'Humble Orthodoxy'

By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Wed, May. 28 2008

Sometimes, Christians get so concerned with what's right and wrong, we lose our humility, said one Washington pastor and author.

"We think that we see what's right and therefore we become self righteous thinking 'I am clever enough to know this. I am clever enough to figure this out," said Mark Dever, senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.

Over the last four days, some 3,500 young adults engaged in the study Scripture while leaving the self righteousness at home. The young Christians traveled to Louisville, Ky., for the 2008 New Attitude conference to focus on "God's Word" and take up "humble orthodoxy" – believing, living and representing biblical truth with humility. the rest

Lesbian's Lawsuit Against Christian Doctor Back in Court This Week

By Lisa Leff, Associated Press
CNSNews.com
May 28, 2008

San Francisco (AP) - Guadalupe Benitez claims that after being treated with fertility drugs for nearly a year, her Christian doctors refused to inseminate her because she is a lesbian.

She sued and a San Diego County trial judge sided with her. But an appeals court reversed the ruling, and her lawsuit is scheduled to be heard by the California Supreme Court this week.

The case is closely being watched by civil rights and physician groups who think it could have consequences for other medical procedures, including abortion and end-of-life decisions. the rest

War-bound soldiers are banking their sperm

Wednesday, May 28, 2008
By Dave Tobin Staff writer

Before male soldiers head to war zones, some are taking an extra precaution: They freeze their sperm.

Staff Sgt. Clifton Brown, of the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, served in Iraq in 2003-2004 and left in April for Kuwait. Before leaving for Kuwait, he went to CNY Fertility Center in Syracuse and banked his sperm.

He would have done it before going to Iraq, if he had known what he knows now, he said in an email from Kuwait. the rest image

Dio. of Virginia: Judge hears arguments in Episcopal Church split

By MATTHEW BARAKAT
Associated Press Writer
May 28, 2008

FAIRFAX, Va. - A Virginia law that allows certain church congregations to vote to separate themselves from their parent denominations is an unconstitutional infringement on freedom of religion, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia argued Wednesday.

Eleven conservative church congregations have invoked the law and voted to disaffiliate from the U.S. Episcopal Church in a dispute over homosexuality and other theological issues. Thursday's hearing in Fairfax County Circuit Court was to determine whether the law is unconstitutional...

... But the departing congregations, part of a newly formed Anglican District of Virginia, argued that the law requires no meddling into religious affairs. Instead, argued lawyer Steffen Johnson, it merely provides a neutral way for the state to settle property disputes between opposing factions.

"In order to resolve the issue at hand, there is no need for civil courts to wade into issues of theology or doctrine," said Jim Oakes, vice-chairman of the Anglican District of Virginia.

Virginia's attorney general, Republican Robert McDonnell, intervened in the case to support the breakaway congregations' stance and defend the law's constitutionality.

The departing congregations voted in 2006 and 2007 to break away from the Episcopal Church and realign under conservative Anglican bishops from Africa. The dispute was precipitated by the Episcopal Church's consecration of an openly gay bishop in 2003.

The Episcopal Church has refused to recognize the split and sued to reclaim church property. the rest

Bishop Bena: The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia Is Attacking the Faithful

May 25, 2008
By DAVID BENA
TIMES-DISPATCH COLUMNIST

ALBANY, N.Y. It's a sad day for Christendom when a national church attacks faithful Christians instead of encouraging them in the faith. Typically, churches attack the sins of this world and offer solutions to the world's problems.

Yet this is the situation that 11 Anglican churches find themselves in since the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and the Episcopal Church attacked us with lawsuits.

Our churches were undergoing amicable property settlement negotiations with the Diocese in January 2007 when it and the Episcopal Church abruptly broke off those discussions. They then filed lawsuits against our churches, our ministers, and more than 100 volunteers serving on our vestries (governing boards).

Our congregations simply wished to remain faithful to the historic teachings of the Anglican Communion and could not in good conscience follow the revisionist direction of the Episcopal Church. Unfortunately, the Episcopal Church and the Diocese walked away from us and the worldwide Anglican Communion by choosing to reinterpret Scripture on a number of issues. They sued us when we refused to follow them on that prodigal path. the rest

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Devotional: If thou wilt bend thyself to obedience...

If thou wilt bend thyself to obedience, and to a virtuous and godly life, thou shalt ever have him a strong rock, whereupon thou mayst boldly build a castle and tower of defence. He will be unto thee a mighty pillar, bearing up heaven and earth, whereto thou mayst lean and not be deceived, wherein thou mayst trust and not be disappointed. ...Robert Cawdray image

JI Packer: Up, Down and Out In Canada: A Personal Retrospect

Special to VirtueOnline
5/26/2008

My mind, like everyone else's, I suppose, resembles a manufacturing site where all sorts of planned movements and processes take place in the illuminated foreground, while at the rear, more or less in the dark, are piled heaps of clutter; clutter, however, of which various bits may pop up into consciousness through one or other of the processes that we label association of ideas. As I wondered what to call this piece, two such items popped up into my mind together. One was the haunting KJV version of Acts 27:27, where we read that before the shipwreck "we were driven up and down in Adria (the Adriatic)" - a rare case, incidentally, of KJV over-translation, for "driven across" is all that the Greek means.

The other was the equally haunting title from the pen of old Etonian, social critic, beautiful writer, master satirist George Orwell, "Down and Out in Paris and London". Suddenly my own title was fully formed in my mind. Earlier I had thought I might steal Duke Ellington's "Echoes of the Jungle" but this fits even better.

So now, my story. the rest at Virtueonline

Huron says yes to same-sex blessings

Bishop concurs with motion but will not act on decision
Solange De Santisstaff writer
May 27, 2008

London, Ont.The diocese of Huron’s annual synod, or governing convention, voted on May 26 to ask the bishop to give clergy permission to bless same-sex marriages, “where at least one party is baptized” and to authorize an appropriate rite.

The margin in favour was 72 per cent in both clergy and lay houses (97 clergy in favour, 36 against; 227 lay people in favour, 87 against).

The diocesan bishop, Bruce Howe, said he “gave concurrence” to the motion based on the large percentage in favour, but he added that he intended to consult with other bishops before acting on the vote. the rest

Gay bishop of New Hampshire says no progress on homosexual issue at Lambeth

May 27, 2008

The gay bishop of New Hampshire, the Right Rev Gene Robinson says no progress on the issue of homosexual clergy will be made during the Lambeth Conference this summer.

“We won’t move forwards or backwards in terms of any official stand. There are to be no decisions made, no statements issued,” said Bishop Robinson, who in 2003, became the first openly gay bishop in the Anglican Communion.

Speaking at the Hay Festival on Sunday, Bishop Robinson said: “The way it’s designed [the conference] is simply about conversations; deepening relationships.” Were a statement to be published, he added, it would mean that “a coup has taken place and that the Archbishop of Canterbury has not had the courage to rule it out of order”. the rest

GAFCON Geared For Action

Russell Powell
27 May 2008

The Global Anglican Future Conference is just three weeks away and there are growing indications that participants will push for concrete action to be taken at the gathering.

More than 1,000 senior leaders from seventeen provinces in the Anglican Communion, representing 35 million church-going Anglicans, have registered for the meeting in Jerusalem from June 22nd to 29th.

They include 280 bishops, almost all accompanied by their wives.

More than 60 will travel from Australia including Archbishop Jensen and the five Sydney bishops, as well as Bishop David Mulready from the Diocese of the Northwest and Bishop Peter Brain of Armidale.

One of the leaders, Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda, says there’ll be an urgency about the talks. the rest

Secret lives of students

How sex and spirituality relate (or fail to) on campus.
By Jane Lampman
May 27, 2008

It began in a college course on dating, where students’ honest feelings dribbled out about the sexual ethos on campus. Most were quite unhappy with the “hookup culture” – the casual sex many felt pressed to participate in but secretly hated. That class at a Roman Catholic college gave birth to a national research project and to this candid, disturbing, yet ultimately hopeful new book by Donna Freitas: Sex & the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance, and Religion on America’s College Campuses.

Freitas, now an assistant professor of religion at Boston University, raises a clarion call. Her engrossing book captures the poignant, intimate struggles of students at a variety of colleges and universities, many of whom find that their religious upbringing has not given them the resources to navigate a destructive social environment.

Today’s college students are intrigued with religion and spirituality – particularly spirituality, studies show. Yet Freitas found that her own students – students at a religious college – saw little or no connection between their faith and their decisions on sexual behavior. She wondered if it might be different on other campuses. the rest

More Americans Condemn Fur Clothing Than Divorce or Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Finds Americans Still Divided on Abortion
By Michael Baggot
PRINCETON, NJ

May 27, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - More Americans condemn wearing clothes made of animal fur than divorce or embryonic stem cell research, according to the recently released annual Gallup Values and Belief (GVB) survey.

An unprecedented 70 percent of Americans polled May 8-11 for the renowned survey declared that divorce was "morally acceptable." American tolerance for divorce has increased 11% since the same Gallup poll in 2001.

While only 22% of Americans morally condemned divorce, 39% found purchasing and wearing clothing made from animal fur "morally wrong." While almost four in ten Americans expressed moral qualms with killing animals for clothing, only three in ten objected to destroying human embryos for stem cell research. the rest image

Iraqi Christians Warn of 'New Catastrophe for Humanity'

By Patrick Goodenough
CNSNews.com International Editor
May 27, 2008

(CNSNews.com) - Days before Sweden hosts an international conference aimed at pushing ahead the political and economic reform process in Iraq, hundreds of exiled Iraqi Christians demonstrated outside the country's parliament Sunday to draw attention to the minority's plight in their homeland.

"A new wave of ethnic cleansing is going on in Iraq," Iraqi Christian representative Behiye Hadodo told the gathering. "If these atrocities continue, the Chaldean, Syriac and Assyrian communities there will be wiped out altogether, creating a new catastrophe for humanity."

Iraq's Assyrians are a non-Arab ethnic minority located mainly in northeastern Iraq, and adherents of Christian denominations including the Chaldean Catholic and Syriac Orthodox churches. the rest image

1-child policy has exceptions after China quake

By CARA ANNA

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese officials said Monday that the country's one-child policy exempts families with a child killed, severely injured or disabled in the country's devastating earthquake.

Those families can obtain a certificate to have another child, the Chengdu Population and Family Planning Committee in the capital of hard-hit Sichuan province said.

With so many shattered families asking questions, the Chengdu committee is clarifying existing one-child policy guidelines, said a committee official surnamed Wang.

"There are just a lot of cases now, so we need to clarify our policies," said Wang, who declined to elaborate. the rest image

One-Child Policy Lifted for Quake Victims' Parents - New York Times

Albert Mohler: CofE Salvation through Christ Alone? -- A Moment of Decision

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Church of England faces yet another theological challenge as it prepares for the meeting of its General Synod in July. This time the issue is the Gospel itself and the specific question concerns the evangelization of Muslims. In the end, the outcome of this debate may, more then anything else, determine the future viability of the Church of England.

Paul Eddy, a lay theology student from Winchester who aspires to the priesthood, has entered a Private Member's Motion and has secured the signatures necessary to force the General Synod to deal with his motion.

The text of his motion sets the issue clearly:

'That this Synod request the House of Bishops to report to the Synod on their understanding of the uniqueness of Christ in Britain's multi-faith society, and offer examples and commendations of good practice in sharing the gospel of salvation through Christ alone with people of other faiths and of none.'

Mr. Eddy's motion has been roundly denounced by many in the church and the Daily Mail [London] reports that liberal bishops attempted to dissuade members from signing the motion. Nevertheless, the motion is now set and the General Synod will effectively vote on whether the Church of England should seek to evangelize Muslims. the rest image

Marriage still sacred in Oregon

Jeff Johnson
OneNewsNow
5/27/2008

Oregon's marriage protection amendment has been upheld by a state appeals court there.

Measure 36, the amendment to Oregon's constitution declaring that marriage may only be the union of one man and one woman, was ruled constitutional last week by the Court of Appeals for the State of Oregon. Brian Raum, senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), praised the ruling.

"We're very happy that the court ruled that the marriage amendment in Oregon is valid and upheld that amendment," Raum explains. the rest

Boy Scouts sue Phila. to stay in headquarters

By Joseph A. Slobodzian
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Tue, May. 27, 2008

The Boy Scouts of America's Philadelphia chapter has sued the City of Philadelphia in federal court to block the city's May 31 deadline for the scouts to open membership to gays and atheists, or vacate their historic 1928 headquarters off Logan Square.

The civil rights lawsuit, filed Friday in federal court in Center City, contends that the city's ultimatum violates the scouts' rights under the U.S. and Pennsylvania Constitutions.

"The City has imposed an unconstitutional condition upon Cradle of Liberty's receipt of a benefit that Cradle of Liberty has enjoyed for nearly eight decades, and that many other organizations that limit members or services to members of a particular group continue to enjoy without punishment or the threat of punishment," the scouts' lawsuit reads. the rest

Monday, May 26, 2008

Devotional: ... stooping very low, He engraves with care

... stooping very low, He engraves with care
His Name, indelible, upon our dust,
And, from the ashes of our self-despair,
Kindles a flame of hope and humble trust.
He seeks no second site on which to build,
But on the old foundation, stone by stone,
Cementing sad experience with grace,
Fashions a stronger temple of His own.
... Patricia St. John
image

China Sends Troops as Quake Waters Threaten 700,000

By Tian Ying and Paul Tighe

May 26 (Bloomberg) -- China sent troops and police to try to prevent floods threatening more than 700,000 survivors of the country's deadliest earthquake in 32 years in Sichuan province, as weather forecasters said thunderstorms were on the way.

Military engineers carrying dynamite arrived early today at the site of a lake created by landslides that lies 3.2 kilometers (2 miles) from Tangjiashan in Beichuan County, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Helicopters also dropped men and equipment, it said.

The lake is one of 34 in Sichuan posing a danger to people, E. Jingping, deputy minister of the Ministry of Water Resources, said yesterday. While the lakes are ``under control,'' there is a high danger from flooding, he said. the rest

Yoga and horoscopes can lead to possession by Devil, claims Cardinal's exorcist

By Jonathan Petre
24th May 2008

It is a physical workout enjoyed by millions and its devotees include Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and Sting.

But yoga enthusiasts have been warned by a leading Roman Catholic clergyman that they are in danger of being possessed by the Devil.

Father Jeremy Davies, exorcist for Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the leader of Catholics in England and Wales, says that activities such as yoga, massage therapy,reiki or even reading horoscopes could put people at risk from evil spirits.

In a new book, he also argues that people with promiscuous lifestyles could find themselves afflicted by demons.

And he says that the occult is closely linked to the scourges of ‘drugs, demonic music and pornography’ which are ‘destroying millions of young people in our time’. the rest image

PCUSA 'waving the flag of God and country' in joining Episcopal property lawsuit in Virginia, attorney says

By Patrick Jean
Staff Writer
The Layman
Friday, May 23, 2008

The Presbyterian Church (USA) is "waving the flag of God and country" in joining the Episcopal Church's legal fight against a Virginia law that grants property to congregations departing a divided denomination, a legal counsel for many PCUSA congregations said.

"If the case was just about the statute, then its effect would stop at the borders of Virginia because the statute in question is very specific to that particular state," said Lloyd Lunceford, an attorney in Baton Rouge, La., and an elder of First Presbyterian Church of Baton Rouge. "This question, however, of constitutionality has much wider significance."

On April 3, a circuit court judge in Fairfax County, Va., ruled that Virginia's Civil War-era "division statute" applies to 11 northern Virginia congregations that were taken to court by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia after they left the diocese in late 2006 for the Convocation of Anglicans in North America.

"The court finds that a division has occurred in the diocese," Judge Randy Bellows wrote. That finding means the congregations get to keep their property under state law – at least until a trial to resolve the property issue, which is scheduled for October.

The diocese and the Episcopal Church are challenging the division statute. They say there shouldn't be a property trial this fall because the statute is unconstitutional, Lunceford said. the rest

Church of England told to stop watering down faith

by Ethan Cole, Christian Post
Monday, May 26, 2008

The Church of England is divided over a proposed motion urging it to proclaim Christianity as the only way to salvation and offer strategies on how to evangelise Muslims.

Senior church leaders as well as some Muslim figures have voiced anger at the motion proposed by Paul Eddy – a lay member of the church’s General Synod, according to the BBC. Eddy, along with traditionalist Anglicans, argues that the Church should stop avoiding hard questions about its beliefs.

The Church of England must make it clear that it believes in what the Bible says about Jesus being the only way to salvation, he said. Currently training to become a priest, Eddy believes that being upfront about the Church’s beliefs will be helpful to Muslim-Christian relations. the rest

Woman Wakes Up After Family Says Goodbye, Tubes Pulled

Patient Brought To Cleveland Clinic
May 25, 2008

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A West Virginia woman is at the Cleveland Clinic after walking the line between life and death.

Doctors are calling Val Thomas a medical miracle. They said they can't explain how she is alive.
They said Thomas suffered two heart attacks and had no brain waves for more than 17 hours. At about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, her heart stopped and she had no pulse. A respiratory machine kept her breathing and rigor mortis had set in, doctors said.

"Her skin had already started to harden and her fingers curled. Death had set in," said son Jim Thomas.

They rushed her to a West Virginia hospital. Doctors put Thomas on a special machine which induces hypothermia. The treatment involves lowering the body temperature for up to 24 hours before warming a patient up. the rest image

Rescue of Christian Girls from Muslim Kidnappers Triggers Destructive Tempest in Nigeria

Joseph Grieboski
May 26th 2008
Cutting Edge Foreign Editor

Police in Nigeria on May 12 rescued two kidnapped Christian teenage girls – Mary Chikwodi Okoye, 15, and Uche Edward, 14. They girls were kidnapped in the Islamic enclave of Ningi three weeks ago in an attempt to force them to marry Muslim men. Police transported the two rescued girls to safety in southeastern Nigeria where their biological parents live.

Kidnapping of teenage Christian girls by Muslims has become a regular practice in Ningi. Muslims have kidnapped at least 13 Christian girls in the town, Christian sources said.

But after the two most recent girls were rescued, the Hisbah Command, a paramilitary arm of Kano state’s Sharia Commission, went on a rampage, attacking Christians and setting fire to churches. Damaged churches include the Deeper Life Bible Church, St Mary's Catholic Church, All Souls Anglican Church, Church of Christ in Nigeria, Redeemed Christian Church of God, and the Redeemed Peoples Mission. the rest

Mars lander prepares for digging mission

ALICIA CHANG
posted May 26, 2008

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander spent its first full day in the Martian arctic plains checking its instruments in preparation for an ambitious digging mission to study whether the site could have once been habitable.

Sol 1, as the days are known on Mars, was a busy time for the three-legged lander, which set down Sunday in relatively flat terrain cut by polygon-shaped fissures. The geometric cracks are likely caused by the repeated freezing and thawing of buried ice.

"We've only looked at one tiny little slit" of the landing site, principal investigator Peter Smith of the University of Arizona, Tucson said Monday.

Phoenix planned to take more views of its surroundings to help scientists zero in on a digging site and also take images of its onboard instruments, including its trench-digging robotic arm. the rest/image

Canada: Primate cites pastoral visit as a highlight of first year in office

National leader vows to ‘beat the drum’ on MDGs
Marites N. Sisonstaff writer
May 26, 2008
Mississauga, Ont.

Displaying a Bible, a clay chalice and communion plate from the diocese of Cuba, photographs, posters, books, and documents, Archbishop Fred Hiltz offered members of the Council of General Synod (CoGS) a glimpse of the places he’s been, and the people he’s met almost a year into his primacy.

“There were many things that were quite moving for me,” said Archbishop Hiltz, primate (national archbishop) of the Anglican Church of Canada, during a reflection on his work on the first day of the spring meeting of CoGS, the church’s governing body between meetings of General Synod. the rest image

A lunch date with the Pope

Annabel Stafford
May 27, 2008

WHEN Teresa Wilson got a call from the Archbishop of Melbourne on Saturday night asking if she wanted to have lunch with the Pope, she was taken aback.

"As they say, when the archbishop calls you, it's either really, really good or really, really bad," the East Bentleigh woman said.

"I was definitely speechless for a few minutes, then … I said definitely." the rest

Anglican leader won't roll out welcome mat

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Devotional: Ye people that today hear the words of Jesus!

Ye people that today hear the words of Jesus!
Ye are now this day invited to come to the mountain of his church on which stands his cross and his throne. Ye weary, heavy laden, sin-destroyed, sin-ruined souls; ye that know and feel your need of Jesus; ye that weep because of sin; ye are bidden to come now to Christ's cross, to look to him who shed his blood for the ungodly, and looking to him, you shall find peace and rest; so that when he cometh with rainbow wreath and robes of storm, you shall be able to see him not with alarm and terror, but with joy and gladness. For you shall say, "Here he is, the man who died for me has come to claim me, he who bought me has come to receive me; my judge is my Redeemer, and I will rejoice in him." Oh! turn ye...turn ye unto God!...O Lord Jesus! by thy grace turn every one of us to thyself! ...CH Spurgeon image

Amazing 11 yr-old guitarist:Sungha Jung



Again about Sungha Jung

Having trouble with the meaning of life? Perhaps you should see a philosopher

Sunday, May 25, 2008
By Rebecca James Staff writer

Excerpt:
"The critical part of philosophical counseling is helping clients to articulate their world views, Fitz-Gibbon said. Then clients look to see how their world view influences how they deal with problems. The clients then consider whether they need to alter that way of seeing the world.

Someone considering taking a job and coming out of retirement might say he or she mainly wants to be happy. Fitz-Gibbon said he might ask the client to write down each possibility and describe how much happiness each choice would create and for whom.

One advantage of talking with a philosopher is that it can help people weighing choices, such as moving or going back to school, while others are discouraging them, Russell said.

"When you talk about your beliefs with a philosopher and lay them out on the table, you can increase your confidence that this is what you want to believe," she said.

Philosophers challenge irrational assumptions, such as the idea that people ought to live forever, Fitz-Gibbon said." the rest

Bible guides some in fitness routines

By Teri Greene, Montgomery Advertiser

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — More and more health pros and enthusiasts are taking the biblical principle, "your body is a temple" and running with it, offering believers church-hosted group exercise classes and diet support groups as well as community gyms that offer faith-based wellness and training programs.

"We need to take care of God's temple, which is us," said Kim Melchor, the facilitator of the First Place program at Taylor Road Baptist Church in Montgomery. "God is the potter. He made our bodies, we don't own them, and we need to serve God as long as possible on this earth. Making positive, healthy choices will be a glorification to Him."

The First Place program, which has about 35 participants, emphasizes weight control through a series of weekly sessions of Bible studies, daily scripture reading and commitment to prayer, exercise and proper nutrition.

This is a far cry from old-time church traditions, especially in the South — the lavish after-the-service dinners on Sunday, laden with fried chicken, biscuits and heavy desserts, or potluck Wednesday night dinners in the fellowship hall. the rest image

Pasadena Rector: Gay Unions will 'Support Sanctity of Marriage'

May 25, 2008

Following the California Supreme Court decision removing restrictions on state recognition of same-sex marriage, the vestry and rector of All Saints’ Church, Pasadena, announced May 22 that it would “treat equally” all couples presenting themselves for the rite.

“As a priest and pastor, I anticipate with great joy strengthening our support of the sanctity of marriage as I marry both gay and straight members and thus more fully live out my ordination vow to nourish all people from the goodness of God’s grace,” said the Rev. Ed Bacon, rector.

Massachusetts is the only other state where gay marriage is legally recognized. After it was legalized in 2003, Bishop J. Thomas Shaw, SSJE of Massachusetts said only General Convention could permit The Episcopal Church to extend the liturgical sacrament of marriage to homosexuals. Bishop Shaw does permit priests under his authority to bless a same-sex relationship in which a civil marriage first has been performed.

A spokesperson for Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said the announcement by All Saints’ was a matter to be dealt with at the diocesan level. the rest

China Aftershock: 70,000 Houses Collapse



Sunday May 25, 2008

Thousands of buildings have collapsed and hundreds of people are injured after an aftershock hit China's Sichuan province - two weeks after the massive earthquake struck.

State television said 70,000 houses collapsed, killing one person and injuring around 200.

Measured at a magnitude of 6.4, this morning's aftershock was the strongest of a series of tremors that have hit China since the May 11 quake. the rest

Church of England faces exodus over women bishop reforms

By Jonathan Wynne-Jones
Religious Affairs Correspondent
25/05/2008

The church of England faces a mass exodus of priests and worshippers after plans were approved to allow women to become bishops without protection for traditionalists.

At a confidential meeting, bishops narrowly voted to proceed with the historic reforms and to resist pressure to create separate dioceses free of women clergy.

The decision will dismay hundreds of priests who could defect to the Roman Catholic Church, which refuses to ordain women. It was taken at a meeting of about 50 members of the House of Bishops, at a hotel in Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, last week, and has set the stage for a showdown with traditionalists when the General Synod, the Church's parliament, is next convened, in July.

During the meeting, the bishops were deeply divided over ways of solving the issue, which has engulfed the Church in bitter debate for decades. Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, argued that making women bishops could exclude from the Church those opposed to the idea, unless proper provisions were made for them. the rest

Pastors pose problems for McCain and Obama

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
May 25, 2008

Republican Sen. John McCain and Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, both seeking to use religion to their advantage in the presidential campaign, have learned painful lessons about the risks of getting too close to religious leaders.

Both now realize that sermons given to a narrow audience on Sundays don't always play as well on the national stage, where context can be a casualty. And McCain's rejection of endorsements from two evangelical pastors puts into relief the candidate's problems with that core GOP constituency.

McCain, the Republican nominee-in waiting, and Obama, who is closing in on the Democratic nod, both have been slowed by their respective pastor problems. Whether the controversies will play a role in the months ahead remains unclear, but the two candidates face decisions about how clergy fit into their efforts to reach voters informed by faith. the rest image

Women Injured by Abortion Confront Florida Barack Obama Supporters

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 23, 2008

Tampa, FL (LifeNews.com) -- Four women who were injured emotionally and spiritually by their abortions and regret their decisions confronted supporters of Barack Obama at a rally this week in Florida. The members of the post-abortion group Operation Outcry stood on the sidewalk holding signs that read “My Abortion Hurt Me."

They were able to share their message of abortion's destructive effects with over 6,000 people attending the rally.

“I wanted the people to realize what their support of Obama means when you think about the damage abortion does to the thousands of women and men daily in our nation and the loss of our children," Rebecca Porter told LifeNews.com. the rest image

Church of England to debate convert motion

25 May 08

A traditionalist Anglican has said he will continue with a campaign for the Church of England to work explicitly to convert Muslims to Christianity.

Paul Eddy, a lay member of the General Synod, has come under intense pressure from bishops to withdraw his plan.

But he has secured enough support for his motion to be debated at the next meeting of the Church's ruling body.

The motion calls on the Church to proclaim Christianity as the only route to ultimate salvation.
Mr Eddy, who is training to become a priest, has been denounced by some Muslims, but says the Church can no longer avoid hard questions about its beliefs. the rest


Church is not doing enough to convert UK Muslims, says bishop
By Jonathan Petre
25th May 2008

The Church of England was accused by one of its most senior bishops yesterday of failing in its duty to convert British Muslims to Christianity.

The Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, said Church leaders had rightly shown sensitivity towards Muslims as part of efforts to welcome minority faiths.

But he said: ‘I think it may have gone too far and what we need now is to recover our nerve.’
Dr Nazir-Ali, who faced death threats earlier this year after saying that some parts of the country had become ‘no-go areas’ for non-Muslims, said that it was important for faiths to talk to one another without diluting their core beliefs. the rest

Canon Doyle Elected Bishop Coadjutor of Texas

May 24, 2008

The Rev. Canon C. Andrew Doyle, canon to the ordinary for the Diocese of Texas, was elected Bishop Coadjutor of that diocese from a field of six candidates on the fourth ballot in a special convention May 24 at Christ Church Cathedral in Houston.

Except for his three-year seminary education at Virginia Theological Seminary from 1992-1995, Canon Doyle, 41, has spent nearly his entire life in the Diocese of Texas. He has served as canon to the ordinary since 2003. Prior to that, he was vicar of St. Francis Church in College Station from 1997 until 2003.

On the first ballot, Canon Doyle had a nearly two-to-one lead over his nearest challenger among the lay delegates. Canon Doyle had 183 lay votes and 82 clergy votes with 242 lay and 123 clergy needed to elect. On the fourth ballot he received 264 lay and 128 clergy votes. the rest

Burmese Anglican clerics tell of relief struggle in cyclone aftermath

By Ed Beavan
May 23, 2008

THE Archbishop of Burma and a Burmese priest who is visiting the UK have described the devastation wrought by Cyclone Nargis in their country. One aid worker called the scene he found there a “nuclear landscape”.

In a statement issued on Monday, the Archbishop of Myanmar, the Most Revd Stephen Than Myint Oo, said that the official number of deaths was 78,000, and more than 56,000 were counted as missing. Aid agencies estimate that deaths are nearer to 128,000, and the UN says that 2.4 million people are in grave need of aid.

The Archbishop said that the Church had formed a relief committee and had sent four teams to the affected areas. “In some places, entire villages have been devastated, with few if any survivors. In other places, survivors have huddled together in makeshift shelters awaiting aid.

“Travel in that area is very difficult, and villages are often in very isolated and remote areas, accessible only by boat. The overall situation is still relatively fluid, with government policy shifting in response to new developments.” the rest image

Conforming to the spirit of the age?

Sat, May. 24, 2008
By Steve Banner
Special to the Star-Telegram

Given Fort Worth's long history as a home for independent thinkers, it probably comes as no surprise to most readers that the city is close to the center of a national debate with international ramifications: the future of the Episcopal Church.
That denomination is the American branch (or province) of the worldwide Anglican Communion, based in Canterbury, England. More than 80 million Anglicans are spread over 160 countries, according to the church's Web site, including some 2.3 million in the United States.

As a lifelong Anglican who has traveled extensively on business during my adult years, I have been a member of congregations in Australia, Canada, Sweden, Florida and Fort Worth. I also have attended worship services in a number of other countries I visited, but in each case I found a common thread of liturgy and theology that could be traced back well beyond my ancestors William Connor Magee (bishop of Peterborough, 1868-1891, and archbishop of York, 1891) and his grandfather William Magee (archbishop of Dublin, 1822-1831).

I have felt that sense of consistency begin to wane during the past few years as the teachings of the Episcopal Church have drifted away from the traditions of the past centuries. the rest image