Saturday, June 21, 2008

Devotional: O God our Father...

O God our Father, history and experience have given us so many evidences of Thy guidance to nations and to individuals that we should not doubt Thy power or Thy willingness to direct us.

Give us the faith to believe that when God wants us to do or not to do any particular thing, God finds a way of letting us know. May we not make it more difficult for Thee to guide us, but be willing to be led of Thee, that Thy will may be done in us and through us... Peter Marshall
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Sun sets on Church of England

Jason Koutsoukis, Jerusalem
June 22, 2008

THE Anglican Archbishop of Sydney has declared a formal split in the worldwide Anglican communion over the consecration of openly gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex unions.

Speaking in Jerusalem before the opening today of a conference of 1000 conservative Anglican leaders, including 280 bishops, Dr Peter Jensen said the split had been triggered by the ordination in the US five years ago of the gay bishop, the Reverend Gene Robinson. "What the Americans did in 2003, and what the Canadians did, was to rip the communion," Dr Jensen said.

"If we're talking about schism and the break-up of the communion, that's where it starts and that is where the responsibility is." the rest

Leading Anglican bishops to boycott Lambeth Conference over gay clergy

By Jonathan Wynne-Jones
Religious Affairs Correspondent
21/06/2008

The Church of England will be thrown into turmoil this summer following the decision of leading bishops to boycott a landmark Anglican summit in protest at the presence of pro-gay bishops.

In a move that marks a significant split in the established Church, at least three bishops, including the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, will decline an invitation from Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, to attend the Lambeth Conference.

Up to six more bishops are understood to be considering similar action because of Dr Williams's decision to allow controversial figures to be at the gathering of worldwide Anglican bishops, which meets only once in 10 years.

The boycott will intensify the row over gay clergy, which was reignited when The Sunday Telegraph disclosed last week that two gay priests had exchanged vows in a version of the marriage service. the rest

Archbishop of Canterbury's control over Anglicans 'is ending'

By Martin Beckford
Religious Affairs Correspondent
21/06/2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury's control over the worldwide Anglican Communion is ending as the balance of power shifts to developing countries, according to a leading conservative.

The Rt Rev Robert Duncan, the Bishop of Pittsburgh, echoed the words of other traditionalists who have warned this week that the church is "disintegrating" and faces a historic split over homosexuality and same-sex unions. the rest

Head of Episcopal Church to lead Native convocation

About 3,000 people are expected at Eagle Butte for Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.
By Mary Garrigan, Journal staff
Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dozens of tiny Episcopal congregations scattered across South Dakota’s nine Native American reservations will get a big blessing this weekend when the top cleric of the Episcopal Church in America comes to Eagle Butte for the Niobrara Convocation...

...“My primary purpose is to be with the people, to listen to their experience and to learn about this diocese,” Jefferts Schori said after arriving at the Pierre airport Thursday. She’ll be on the Cheyenne Eagle Butte Reservation through Sunday, where she’ll preach at the closing Eucharist. “I’m still working on it,” the bishop said of her Sunday sermon. “I’m going to do a lot of listening in the next few days so that what I say is relevant.”....

...“I can’t speak directly to the Lakota tradition, but many aboriginal traditions have a place for gay and lesbian people, so that there may be a different understanding than there is in many Anglo cultures,” Jefferts Schori said about homosexuality. “But at the same time, many Native communities are very traditional from a Christian perspective.” Full Article

San Diego Episcopal Diocese ordains its first openly gay deacon

By Jenifer Goodwin
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
June 21, 2008

The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego took another step toward the full acceptance of gays with the ordination of its first openly gay deacon.

During a month in which thousands of same-sex couples were able to marry in California, Thomas Wilson was ordained to the transitional diaconate by San Diego Bishop James Mathes at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral. Wilson, who moved to San Diego eight years ago with his partner of 20 years, is expected to serve as a deacon for six months to a year before becoming a priest, Mathes said.

Yet the bishop downplayed the significance of Wilson's sexual orientation.Mathes said he was not aware that a press release had been sent by the diocese with the headline: “Openly Gay, Partnered Deacon Ordained! First One in This Diocese Ever!” the rest

Pew Forum surveys denominations' views on gay marriage

Study finds a wide range of attitudes on same-sex unions from tolerance and support to strong opposition.
By Steve Padilla
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
June 21, 2008

So what do the country's leading religious denominations have to say about gay marriage?

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life compiled a report on the question last year and updated it in May, the same month the California Supreme Court cleared the way for gay weddings, which began this week.

Although attitudes toward same-sex marriage will vary among individuals, the Pew Forum assessed the positions of various denominations and religious groups. the rest

More backing for breakaway Anglicans in Canada

Friday, 20th June 2008
By: George Conger

A second Canadian diocese has given its backing to the breakaway parishes of the Anglican Communion in Canada (ANiC), affirming their place within the Anglican Communion.

The Synod of the Diocese of the Arctic, meeting in Iqaluit on Baffin Island from May 27 to June 3 adopted a resolution affirming its “strong support” for the ANiC congregations, “recognizing them as members of the Anglican Communion.”

On April 26 the Athabasca became the first Canadian diocese to break ranks and recognize the ANiC congregations as being part of the Communion. Opponents of ANiC led by Archbishop Fred Hiltz and the Bishop of New Westminster had charged the parishes had quit the Communion when they seceded from the Anglican Church of Canada for the oversight of the Province of the Southern Cone. the rest

Archbishop Jensen: Global Anglican Future Press conference

Dr Jensen addresses British press reports that claimed Gafcon leaders were planning 'schism'

"What the Americans did in 2003 and what the Canadians did was to rip the communion. If we're talking about schism and the breakup of the communion – that's where it starts and that is where the responsibility is. What GAFCON is doing is saying that given that new state of affairs, how now can we live together and how can we sustain the highest level of communion and work well together. My way of putting it is to say that the British Empire has now ceased to be and the British commonwealth of nations has come into existence or the nuclear family has turned into an extended family. This is the new reality. I don't hear GAFCON saying or GAFCON being a further cause for schism." the rest

Phillip Jensen on the Anglican family

Robert Gagnon: Why a New Translation of the Heidelberg Catechism Is Not Needed...

...And Why Homosexualist Forces in the PCUSA Seek It
by Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D.
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Pittsburgh, PA 15206-2596
June 19, 2008

Homosexualist forces (i.e. groups advocating for full acceptance of immorality of homosexual practice) have pushed through seven overtures seeking a retranslation of the Heidelberg Catechism. In my presbytery, the Pittsburgh Presbytery, the overture was sponsored by two homosexualist “Covenant Network” churches (East Liberty Presbyterian and Sixth Presbyterian).

Here

Friday, June 20, 2008

Devotional: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem...

"Try this recipe, O believer, whenever you are sad of heart and in heaviness of spirit. Forget yourself and your little concerns and seek the welfare and prosperity of Zion for the people of God. When you bend your knee in prayer of God, limit not your petition to the narrow circle of your own life, tried though it be, but send out your longing prayers for the church’s prosperity. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and your own soul shall be refreshed.”
…CH Spurgeon image

TIME: Are the Anglicans About to Split?

Friday, Jun. 20, 2008
By DAVID VAN BIEMA

The schism long forecast for the Anglican Communion over the church's liberal stand on homosexuality may be getting closer. A document released by a group of conservative churchmen called the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFcon) made it clear that the more than 250 bishops who belong to the group intend to transform the 77-million-member global Communion, the world's third-largest affiliation of churches, because of their differences over the church's stance on gay priests and other issues. the rest

Albany resolutions mesh with Episcopal Church

THE REV. PAUL J. HARTT
Friday, June 20, 2008

Lately, there has been a tendency to confuse the Episcopal Church's nondiscrimination policies on sexual orientation with rights to certain behaviors. However, there is a world of difference between an orientation and a behavior.

A college professor may have an "orientation" toward an attractive student in her or his class. Yet she or he is not responsible for the orientation, but for any behavior toward that student.

Likewise, the resolutions passed at our Episcopal Diocesan Convention concern appropriate clergy behavior. The Episcopal Diocese of Albany does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in allowing men or women into the ordination process. But that does not mean, for example, that a man of heterosexual orientation would be a suitable candidate for ordination if his behavior included adultery. He is to be an example to the flock. the rest

Anglican conference to 'set the future course of the Church'

Friday, 20th June 2008
By George Conger

Gafcon will prove to be “one of the most important events in the next two or three decades” of the Anglican Communion, the Archbishop of Sydney has predicted, and will set the future course of the church.

In an interview with Anglican Media Sydney before his departure for the June 22-29 gathering in Jerusalem, Dr Peter Jensen said the 1,000 delegates --- including 280 bishops --- will be “working out where [Anglicans] go from here.”

He dismissed suggestions that Gafcon was a stalking horse for a conservative schism, saying evangelicals “are Anglicans and intend to remain so.”

Gafcon, the Global Anglican Future Conference, will work towards shaping an “Anglican future in which the Gospel is uncompromised and Christ-centred mission [is] a top priority,” Dr Jensen, the chairman of the conference’s programme committee, said. the rest

Conservative Anglicans Plan Rival Conference as Split Over Homosexuality Grows

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
June 20, 2008

Once a decade, hundreds of bishops of the international Anglican Communion meet in Canterbury, England, for the Lambeth Conference.

This summer, in the most tangible demonstration yet of the church’s divide over homosexuality, more than a quarter of the invited bishops are expected to boycott the conference and attend a rival meeting for conservative Anglicans in Jerusalem, called the Global Anglican Future Conference.

Setting the tone for the meetings that begin next week, the conservatives released a strongly worded theological manifesto on Thursday, declaring that they see no possibility for reconciliation with the Episcopal Church in the United States and the Anglican Church of Canada, which have accepted a gay bishop and same-sex unions. the rest

Albert Mohler: Another Chilling Precedent -- A Court Undermines a Parent

June 20, 2008

A recent court decision in Canada should send chills down every parent's spine. The ruling is so out of bounds that the news story sounds like a parody -- but it isn't. A Canadian judge ruled that a 12-year-old girl was "excessively" punished when her father told her she could not go on a school camping trip because she had broken rules for use of the Internet. the rest

Group Sues to Keep Cross Off Car Plates

By SEAN D. HAMILL
June 20, 2008

An organization that advocates for the separation of church and state filed a federal lawsuit Thursday asking that South Carolina not be allowed to produce license plates that feature a Christian cross with the phrase “I Believe.”

The license plate was approved unanimously by the state’s Legislature earlier this year, and Gov. Mark Sanford, a Republican, allowed the bill to become law, but without his signature. the rest

Euthanasia Provider to Alzheimer's Patients: The Best Remedy is Death

Friday June 20, 2008
By Tim Waggoner

SYDNEY, June 20, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Euthanasia provider and activist Dr. Philip Nitschke has released controversial statements that essentially instruct anyone who believes they are suffering from Alzheimer's disease to avoid obtaining a diagnosis in favour of seeking a doctor who can help them commit suicide as quickly as possible. These comments come on the heels of yesterday's New South Wales jury ruling that convicted two women for the "euthanasia" death of a 71-year old Sydney man, Graeme Wylie, in 2006.

As reported by the news service, The Age, Shirley Justins, the wife of Wylie, was convicted of manslaughter for giving him a suicide drug, and Caren Jenning, who journeyed to Mexico to purchase the lethal drug, Nembutal, was convicted as an accessory to manslaughter. Both women, who claimed Wylie wanted to die this way, face up to 25 years in prison and will likely receive their sentences in November. the rest

Anglican Leaders Gather for Mideast Conference

June 20, 2008

As participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) began their gathering, a number of conference organizers and others sought to correct several published reports about the direction and purpose of the conference .

Approximately 1,000 attendees, including nearly 300 bishops, have registered for the conference, including a number of current and former Episcopalians.

“I’m not hearing anything about breaking up the Anglican Communion, or anything of the sort,” Bishop Martyn Minns told The Living Church. Bishop Minns, formerly rector of Truro Episcopal Church in Fairfax, Va., is the founding Missionary Bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), an outreach of the Anglican Church of Nigeria. the rest

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Devotional: How incomprehensible is the love of God!

How incomprehensible is the love of God! His ways are indeed past finding out. How many of His providences are like the cloud between the Israelites and the Egyptians - if looked on by unbelievers, or without faith, it is a cloud of darkness; but if viewed according to the privilege of the Lord's people, it is no longer darkness, but light and safety. May this be your experience; may you feel that the Hand which inflicts the wound supplies the balm, and that He who has emptied your heart has filled the void with Himself. ...James Hudson Taylor image

Albany NY: More than 250 ministers decry gay marriage

By Jay Gallagher • Albany Bureau
June 19, 2008

More than 250 evangelical Christian ministers from around the state came to the Capitol today to blast Gov. David Paterson for requiring state agencies to recognize same-sex marriages and to back the Senate for its opposition to legalizing the same-sex unions.

“We’re here to take a stand for the righteous,” said the Rev. Tom Stiles of Rochester. “This is just the beginning of what we’re calling a revival.”

Rev. Jason McGuire of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, the evangelical churches’ lobbying arm, said today’s demonstration was organized after Paterson’s decision to have state agencies recognize the unions was disclosed on May 28. Same-sex marriages are banned in New York, but are now legal in Massachusetts, California, Canada and some European countries.

Paterson’s directive affects same-sex couples married elsewhere who have moved to New York. It was spurred by a court decision in Monroe County that found a gay couple had the right to equal benefits from the county. He said he would be violating state law if he didn’t extend the benefits to others. the rest image

Bishop Duncan: Anglicanism Come of Age: A Post-Colonial and Global Communion For The 21st Century

Opening Plenary Address in Jordan
The Global Anglican Future Conference
18th June A.D. 2008

Excerpt:
The whole world is watching. This gathering is about the future. In my travels around North America this spring it has become increasingly clear just how much faithful Anglicans are looking to what we will do here. In contrast, there is almost no popular expectation surrounding Lambeth.

We are here on pilgrimage. With the author of the Letter to the Hebrews, we know ourselves to be strangers and exiles, aliens here. We are headed to a lasting city.

We know that everything we do has to do with the story: the old, old story. Finally, it is not about England, or Canterbury, though these relationships matter to us. Our life, our witness, our leadership, our pilgrimage here is all about Jesus.

What comes out of this gathering we cannot predict. But we are confident that God is not done with Anglicanism. We are confident that GAFCON is one piece of what God already has in mind as part of a Global Settlement of Anglicanism. This Global Settlement of Anglicanism we also understand to be but one aspect of a 21st century Reformation of the whole Christian Church. the rest -pdf.

Comments at Titusonenine

ENS: Conservative Anglicans, former Episcopalians arrive in Jerusalem for GAFCON

Organizers release document 'defining authentic Anglicanism'
By Matthew Davies
June 19, 2008

[Episcopal News Service] Conservative Anglicans and former Episcopalians started to arrive in Jerusalem June 19 in anticipation of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), a controversial summit regarded by some critics as a rival to the 2008 Lambeth Conference.

The GAFCON event, set for June 22-29, is expected to draw 1,000 participants, including former Episcopal priests, some of whom are currently engaged in litigation concerning Episcopal Church property.

A closed-door pre-conference consultation in Amman, Jordan, was promptly wrapped up June 18 after key participants, including Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, were denied entry for lacking the necessary diplomatic paperwork, according to news reports. the rest

The Economist: Two weddings and a divorce

Jun 19th 2008
From The Economist print edition

Storm clouds gather as Anglicanism prepares for its high noon

IT USED to be said that Anglicanism was open-minded on almost every theological question, but rather strict when dealing with marital breakdown. More recently, though, most Anglican priests have grown emollient on that issue too: they accept that, in some circumstances, the least harmful course is to bring a civilised end to an arrangement that is causing pain to all concerned. There is, they reluctantly concede, little merit in staying grumpily together for the sake of the children, or indeed for the sake of anything else that the family may once have jointly possessed and treasured. Has the time come for the Anglican Communion to apply that lesson to itself?

The depth of the crisis facing Anglicans was underlined by two recent ceremonies, one discreet and the other flamboyant. Both involved a sealing of the relationship between pairs of men. Gene Robinson, the openly gay American bishop whose consecration in 2003 plunged Anglicanism into crisis, formalised his partnership with Mark Andrew, first with a civil ceremony, and then with a service of thanksgiving at a New Hampshire church that was described as private but “absolutely joyful”. the rest

Teens Had Pact To Get Pregnant

Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2008
By KATHLEEN KINGSBURY

As summer vacation begins, 17 girls at Gloucester High School are expecting babies—more than four times the number of pregnancies the 1,200-student school had last year. Some adults dismissed the statistic as a blip. Others blamed hit movies like Juno and Knocked Up for glamorizing young unwed mothers. But principal Joseph Sullivan knows at least part of the reason there's been such a spike in teen pregnancies in this Massachusetts fishing town. School officials started looking into the matter as early as October after an unusual number of girls began filing into the school clinic to find out if they were pregnant. By May, several students had returned multiple times to get pregnancy tests, and on hearing the results, "some girls seemed more upset when they weren't pregnant than when they were," Sullivan says. All it took was a few simple questions before nearly half the expecting students, none older than 16, confessed to making a pact to get pregnant and raise their babies together. Then the story got worse. "We found out one of the fathers is a 24-year-old homeless guy," the principal says, shaking his head. story

Hewitt: Obama's Fantasy Islands

Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Hugh Hewitt

Excerpt:
But the pattern reflects a life lived in the world of the left where facts just don't matter much when it comes to policy. When you are just building a career for yourself out of nonsense peddled to voters who want to believe tall tales, the cost is limited.

But as president, the toll brought about by a chief executive completely given over to the idea that if enough people repeat fantasy the fantasy will come true would be enormous. full commentary image

Off Label Use of Abortion Pill Linked to Deadly Infections

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Early studies conducted by University of Michigan scientists point to rare, fatal infections in off-label use of misoprostol, a drug used to cause abortion. When taken orally, RU-486’s companion drug—misoprostol—is safe; however, vaginal use may undermine the body’s immune responses and is now believed to be linked to the deadly infections seen in women taking the drugs since 2000. Misoprostol is US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved to be taken orally with RU-486 for pregnancy termination; however, many women have received the drug vaginally as part of a two-drug combination. The vaginal delivery method has not yet been evaluated by the FDA.

Lab research indicated that when misoprostol is administered directly in the reproductive tract, it weakened key immune defenses; suppressed macrophages, the immune cells that attack and kill bacteria; suppressed neutrophils; and inhibited other immune defenses such as production of anti-bacterial chemicals normally produced in the uterine lining. Administered vaginally, misoprostol also allows a normally non-threatening bacterium, Clostridium sordellii, to run amok and cause life-threatening infection. When administered orally and absorbed through the stomach, misoprostol did not mitigate immune defenses or cause illness. the rest image

Study Shows Adult Stem Cells Can Heal

Wednesday June 18, 2008
By Peter J. Smith

CHAPEL HILL, NC, June 18, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Scientists have continued to expand the horizons for adult stem-cell therapies, with new research revealing the latest stem-cell breakthrough for people whose broken bones fail to heal, especially sufferers of osteoporosis.

Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have unveiled research that shows transplantation of adult stem cells to the site of a fracture can improve vastly the healing of broken bones and give real hope to those who suffer from them.

"This finding is critical to patients who lack the proper healing process and to individuals prone to broken bones, such as those with osteoporosis and the rare genetic condition known as brittle bone disease," said Dr. Anna Spagnoli, an associate professor of pediatrics and biomedical engineering in the UNC School of Medicine and senior author of the UNC study.

The study reveals that normally in the course of healing a fracture, a person's stem cells migrate to the site of the break, where they form the cartilage and bone that will knit the broken bones back together. However, more than 600,000 Americans every year suffer from fractures that do not heal according to this process, meaning these bones stay broken, and can cause severe pain, bone deformities, and even death. the rest image

Albert Mohler: Full Citizens at Last? Who is Next?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The news coverage and media analysis that followed the arrival Monday of same-sex marriage in California was absolutely predictable. There was the inevitable flood of profiles and personal stories, along with celebratory reportage.

The general theme of much of the coverage was that same-sex marriage had become a reality and yet civilization continues. The same theme predominated after the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts in 2004.

Yet, even with that theme expected, The Los Angeles Times went even further over the top with its editorial comment. The editors celebrated the first same-sex marriages in the state and declared that the same-sex marriages meant that "these couples stand together as full citizens at last."

Full citizens at last? These Americans were not full citizens at 5:00 pm on June 16, 2008, but they were a minute later when they were granted legal marriage applications? the rest image

Has Your Flock Already Yielded to Gay Marriage?

GAFCON book released: The Way, The Truth and the Life

Here-pdf file

Washington Times: Julia Duin on GAFCON

Julia Duin
Thursday, June 19, 2008
The Washington Times

Julia Duin's Stairway to Heaven column on faith runs on Thursdays and Sundays.
One of the area's luxury hotels - the Jordan Valley Marriott Resort & Spa - was the site of a secret meeting of conservative world Anglican leaders that suddenly ended Wednesday.

How many were attending? We don't know. They said they are not plotting the overthrow or replacement of Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, head of some 80 million Anglicans.

The Anglican Communion is the world's third-largest Christian denomination after the Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox Church, though the number of Anglicans who actually attend church might be closer to 55 million.

The group decamped when one of their main leaders, Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, was not given a visa allowing him into the country. Why the Jordanians would pull this is anyone's guess. Another famous conservative Anglican leader - Archbishop Gregory J. Venables of the Southern Cone [Latin America] - also had to skip the Jordan meeting. the rest

Anglican summit hit by leader's visa problem

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Devotional: What matters is the faith which lays hold on God...

"The Christian needs to be alone during a definite period of each day for meditation on scripture...and for prayer...even during times of spiritual dryness and apathy.

It matters little what form of prayer we adopt...or how many words we use. What matters is the faith which lays hold on God, knowing that He knows our needs before we even ask Him. That is what gives Christian prayer its boundless confidence and its joyous certainty. We simply make petitions and requests to One who has the heart of a Father.

Of course, God's will must be the primary object of our prayers... and we must recognize prayer as an instrument of God's will. Therefore, we pray that God's will may be done throughout the world...and in intercessory prayer we bring people... from around the world...into the presence of God. ~ Dietrich Bonhofer image

Hardline archbishops declare Anglican split

By Tim Butcher in Jordan and Martin Beckford
19/06/2008

Hardline Church leaders have formally declared the end of the worldwide Anglican Communion, saying they can no longer be associated with liberals who tolerate homosexual clergy.

The traditionalists dealt a serious blow to Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, by claiming that he can no longer hold the Church together.

They warned that the Church was gripped by its most serious crisis since the Reformation.
It could only be saved by the repentance of the Americans who triggered the row by ordaining a homosexual bishop, the Rt Rev Gene Robinson, five years ago. the rest

Episcopal Church Rift Really over Scripture
CBN: It's one of the country's smaller but more influential denominations. And it's breaking apart. Deep-seated differences over theology have led to the rift in the Episcopal church.

Now, many break-away churches believe their future may lie in the Third World. In the last several years, some 800 churches have left the Episcopal church.

Pete Akinola Refused Entry into Jordan: GAFCON preliminaries moved to Jeruselam Ahead of Schedule

Press Release:

The pre-GAFCON preparatory consultation in Jordan wound up early, and the participants moved to Jerusalem on Thursday, 19th June. Hotel and meeting rooms previously unavailable in Jerusalem became available at the same time GAFCON leaders learned that previously granted permission for the Jordan consultation was deemed insufficient.

The time in Jordan was very valuable for prayer, fellowship, and networking. The group made pilgrimages to Mt. Nebo and the Baptism Site of Jesus. GAFCON Chairman Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, and Archbishop Greg Venables of Southern Cone, were for different reasons unable to be in Jordan. Both are, however, expected to play significant roles at GAFCON in Jerusalem. the rest

Virtueonline: AMMAN: PRE-GAFCON CONSULTATION RELOCATED: Nigerian Primate Refused Entry into Jordan

Added 9:07 pm:
Alternative Lambeth' conference forced to move
Gledhill at Times Online: The "alternative Lambeth" conference organised by conservative evangelicals in the Anglican church in Amman has been forced to up sticks and move to a different country after the Archbishop of Nigeria was denied entry to Jordan...

China Detains Church Leader Due To Meet EU Official

Wednesday, 18 June 2008
By BosNewsLife Asia Service
Stefan J. Bos

BEIJING, CHINA (BosNewsLife)-- The president of the Chinese House Church Alliance, a major umbrella group of underground churches, has been detained along with his interpreter while on his way to meet a senior European Union official, fellow Christian workers said.

Police arrested Pastor Zhang Mingxuan and his unidentified interpreter Wednesday, June 18, around noon local time while they were travelling in a bus to meet European Parliamentarian Bastiaan Belder, who is the European Parliament's Rapporteur on China-EU relations, BosNewsLife learned. the rest image

Muslims barred from picture at Obama event

By BEN SMITH
6/18/08

Two Muslim women at Barack Obama’s rally in Detroit on Monday were barred from sitting behind the podium by campaign volunteers seeking to prevent the women’s headscarves from appearing in photographs or on television with the candidate. The campaign has apologized to the women, both Obama supporters who said they felt betrayed by their treatment at the rally.

“This is of course not the policy of the campaign. It is offensive and counter to Obama’s commitment to bring Americans together and simply not the kind of campaign we run,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton. “We sincerely apologize for the behavior of these volunteers.” the rest

Bishop of London Richard Chartres attacks gay priests' 'wedding'

From Times Online
June 18, 2008
Ruth Gledhill

The Church of England priest who carried out a church “wedding” for two Anglican clergy has been admonished by his bishop for running his parish as if it were a “personal fiefdom”.

The Bishop of London, the Right Rev Richard Chartres, says that “at first sight” the Rev Martin Dudley, Rector of St Bartholomew the Great in London, appears to have broken Church guidelines against blessings for civil partnerships.

Bishop Chartres says he finds it “astonishing” that Father Dudley, who is heterosexual, did not consult him.

The service of blessing for the Rev Peter Cowell, a Church of England hospital chaplain and the Rev David Lord, a priest from New Zealand, has plunged the Anglican Communion into fresh turmoil over homosexuality. the rest

Ecuadorian Obstetricians and Gynecologists Issue Thundering Manifesto Against Abortion

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR
June 17, 2008

(LifeSiteNews.com) - At a recent meeting held to discuss abortion, Ecuadorian obstetricians and gynecologists issued a declaration denouncing abortion as "not only an illegal act, but a criminal one" and stating that "under no circumstances should abortion be decriminalized" (see full English translation here).

The Ecuadorian Federation of Societies of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FESGO), made the statement at a "workshop" on the subject of abortion held in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The document begins by stating that "we are not in agreement with any form of induced abortion; life is inviolable from the moment of conception. The elimination of an innocent human being is always unacceptable, ethically and medically speaking." the rest

In Hard Times, the Truck Stop Offers a Place to Pray

By IAN URBINA
June 18, 2008

BREEZEWOOD, Pa. — More than six million souls pass through this quarter-mile strip of all-night waffle houses and gas stations each year. The Rev. Shannon Rust hopes to save at least a few of them.

For nearly two decades, he has pulled the chapel inside his 18-wheel tractor-trailer twice a week to this bustling truck stop where the Pennsylvania Turnpike meets Interstate 70.

To most people, this place between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg is neither here nor there. It is a tank of gas, a bathroom break and a coffee refill. But to Mr. Rust, the diesel-soaked lot alongside the All-American Petro is a parish ideal for preaching to the traveling masses about life’s ultimate arrival.

“They all have auto insurance,” he said. “I’m trying to tell them about soul insurance.” the rest

Norma McCorvey Makes National Pro-Life TV Ad

6/17/2008
Catholic PRWire

Roswell, GA (JUNE 17, 2008) - VirtueMedia, Inc. (www.virtuemedia.org) - Norma McCorvey appears in her first-ever TV commercial speaking out against abortion, and denouncing her role as “Jane Roe”, the plaintiff in the supreme court case Roe v. Wade, which paved the way for so called “legal” abortion in America.

McCorvey states in the television message, “back in 1973 I was a very confused twenty-one year old with one child and facing an unplanned pregnancy. At the time I fought to obtain a legal abortion, but truth be told, I have three daughters and never had an abortion”. She continues with “upon knowing God. I realize that my case which legalized abortion on demand, was the biggest mistake of my life.” McCorvey is now an active Roman Catholic.

Since the ruling of the Roe v. Wade case in 1973, industry statistics show that documented abortions have terminated the lives of more than 50 million unborn babies in the United States. the rest

View video here

Canada: Human rights body to review Internet role

Joseph Brean, National Post
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE - Faced with a growing controversy over human rights complaints and freedom of speech, the Canadian Human Rights Commission yesterday launched a major independent review of how it deals with hate messages on the Internet.

"I'm a free speecher. I'm also a human rightser," said Jennifer Lynch, chief commissioner of the CHRC. "We have a responsibility to lead the debate on how we can keep our policy up to date to effectively regulate hate on the Internet."

Headed by Richard Moon, a law professor at the University of Windsor, the review will involve a reanalysis of Section 13-1 of the 1977 Canadian Human Rights Act, which applies to "telecommunication" of any material "that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or
contempt," based on 11 specific grounds such as race, gender or religion. the rest

First Things: The War on Abstinence

By Ryan T. Anderson
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Excerpt:
And yet most people don’t realize what’s at stake in rejecting abstinence education. Huber puts the alternative in stark terms: Comprehensive sex ed would be better called contraceptive sex ed, she insists. “After making the obligatory statement that ‘abstinence is the only way to avoid pregnancy and STDs,’ they typically spend the rest of their time instructing teens on how to engage in high-risk behaviors that will not result in pregnancy, but can have other serious consequences, including the acquisition of lifelong STDs. Comprehensive sex ed makes the dangerous allegation that using a condom makes sex safe. At best, this is misleading; at worst, it is dangerous to the health of youth.” In their discussion of abstinence, one prominent comprehensive program has students come up with various sexual activities they could engage in while still being abstinent. The suggested activities include: “cuddling with no clothes on,” “masturbating with a partner,” “rubbing bodies together,” and “touching a partner’s genitals.” Not surprisingly, the curriculum quickly turns to “the endless possibilities of outercourse” and “making the transition from sexual abstinence.” the rest

The Bishop of London writes the rector of St. Bartholomew's

18th June 2008

The Reverend Dr Martin Dudley,
St Bartholomew the Great Parish Office,
6 Kinghorn Street,
London,
EC1A 7HW.

Dear Martin,

You have sought to justify your actions to the BBC and in various newspapers but have failed more than two weeks after the service to communicate with me.

I read in the press that you had been planning this event since November. I find it astonishing that you did not take the opportunity to consult your Bishop.

You describe the result as “familiar words reordered and reconfigured carrying new meanings.” I note that the order of service, which I have now received, includes the phrase “With this ring I thee bind, with my body I thee worship”.

At first sight this seems to break the House of Bishops Guidelines which as I explained in my letter of December 6th 2005 apply the traditional teaching of the Church of England to the new circumstances created by the enactment of Civil Partnerships.

The point at issue is not Civil Partnerships themselves or the relation of biblical teaching to homosexual practice. There is of course a range of opinion on these matters in the Church and, as you know, homophobia is not tolerated in the Diocese of London. The real issue is whether you wilfully defied the discipline of the Church and broke your oath of canonical obedience to your Bishop.

The Archbishops have already issued a statement in which they say that “those clergy who disagree with the Church’s teaching are at liberty to seek to persuade others within the Church of the reasons why they believe, in the light of Scripture, tradition and reason that it should be changed. But they are not at liberty simply to disregard it.”

St Bartholomew’s is not a personal fiefdom. You serve there as an ordained minister of the Church of England, under the authority of the Canons and as someone who enjoys my licence. I have already asked the Archdeacon of London to commence the investigation and I shall be referring the matter to the Chancellor of the Diocese. Before I do this, I am giving you an opportunity to make representations to me direct.

Yours faithfully.
The Rt Revd & Rt Hon Richard Chartres DD FSA

Thinking Anglicans

Matt Kennedy+: The “Ick Factor”

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The “ick” factor, at least as the term is used in the narrow confines of revisionist blogdom, usually refers to the sense of revulsion that the “unenlightened” experience when considering what actually occurs during a sexual encounter between members of the same sex. The “ick” factor is the outward and visible sign of the inward and invisible homophobia animating those who stand in the way of “justice” and “inclusion”.

the rest at Stand Firm

San Joaquin: A coup, Episcopal style

Church governance dispute leads to seizure of Church property
June 18, 2008

The dispute between the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin and the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin has become a range war. Bishop Jerry Lamb of the Fresno-based Episcopal diocese has seized an Anglican mission church in Taft (in Kern County, south of Bakersfield) and dismissed the priest-in-charge.

Last December, then-Episcopal Bishop John-David Schofield, along with a large majority of both lay representatives and clergy of the San Joaquin diocese, voted to leave the U.S. Episcopal Church and join a South American Anglican jurisdiction on account of the Episcopal Church’s toleration and promotion of homosexuality and other issues which, says the Fresno-based diocese, depart from biblical orthodoxy. Schofield’s diocese now calls itself Anglican.

According the Anglican San Joaquin diocese’s web site, Schofield allowed individuals and parishes that wanted to remain with the Episcopal Church to do so and to keep all their real and personal property. the rest

Blessings and Anguish for Pastors in California

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
June 18, 2008

Some clergy members in California spent Tuesday officiating at same-sex weddings made legal by a State Supreme Court ruling that took effect on Monday night. Others spent the day speaking out against same-sex marriage.

And there were those who spent the day in anguish, torn between the laws of their state and the laws of their church.

The Rev. Kimberly A. Willis said she had not decided what to do because she wanted to be able to minister to all of her congregants at Christ Church United Methodist, in Santa Rosa, about 10 percent of whom are gay. But if she officiates at a same-sex wedding, she could be charged with violating the United Methodists’ Book of Discipline, put on trial and defrocked. the rest

Anglican Bible conservatives hold strategy summit

By RACHEL ZOLL
posted June 18, 2008

Less than a month ahead of a global gathering of Anglican leaders, conservative bishops angry about the liberalism of churches in the United States, Canada and elsewhere are meeting for a strategy summit in Jordan and Israel.

Organizers of the Global Anglican Future Conference say they will not formally break with the 77 million-member Anglican family when the meeting ends June 29. Even so, the gathering is a clear challenge to Anglicans who want their fellowship to remain unchanged.

"This is a show of force, unity and global significance," said the Rev. Peter Moore, former dean of Trinity Episcopal School of Ministry, a conservative Pennsylvania seminary. "The Anglican Communion is in the process of breaking up. What will emerge from that, I don't know." the rest

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Devotional: Living in truth has consequences on many levels...

As we have seen, living in truth has consequences on many levels, but it all begins and ends with the personal - with each of us as we really are when we stand alone before God. As the Apostle John wrote, in words that are magnificent but searching, "God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to be sharing in his life while we go on living in darkness, our words and our lives are a lie. But if we live in the light as he himself is in the light, then we share a common life, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin." ...Os Guinness image

Prospect of gay Lutheran bishop divides Germans

By Madeline Chambers
Tue Jun 17, 2008

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany could elect its first openly gay Lutheran bishop next month, a move conservatives say would alienate many Christians and open divisions in the Church.

The July 12 election brings to Germany the question of gay clergy and same-sex unions which has caused rifts in several countries and faiths, including the Anglican community.

Horst Gorski, a senior cleric from Hamburg, is standing for the post of bishop of Schleswig in northern Germany against Gerhard Ulrich, a senior cleric from the Schleswig area. The incumbent bishop is retiring in September.

Gorski is a widely respected theologian and he helped set up a centre for gay and lesbian Lutheran pastors. the rest image

‘The Sky Is Not Falling’ – Yet

Get used to hearing this term in the coming weeks, as the media interview pro-homosexual spokesmen about same-sex marriage in California.
By Robert Knight
Culture and Media Institute
June 17, 2008

Now that the media have shared with us their joy over the advent of homosexual “marriage” in California, here’s the other shoe that will drop in the next few weeks.

Get used to this term: “The sky is not falling.” It will be used by pro-gay spokespeople that the media showcase to make the point that nobody will be substantially affected.

Shortly after May 17, 2004, when Mitt Romney’s administration began handing out same-sex marriage licenses in Massachusetts despite no legislative action on the law, which was required under the Massachusetts Constitution, the media eagerly showcased gay activists who said, on cue, “See, the sky is not falling.” the rest image

Midwest Flooding: 27 levees could overflow if sandbags fail

Jun 17, 2008
By ALLEN G. BREED

OAKVILLE, Iowa (AP) - As southeastern Iowa and other parts of the Midwest prepared for the Mississippi River's wrath, the rest of Iowa began the slow move from protection to cleanup.

The federal government predicts that 27 levees could potentially overflow along the river if the weather forecast is on the mark and a massive sandbagging effort fails to raise the level of the levees, according to a map obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

Officials are placing millions of sandbags on top of the levees in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri to prevent overflowing. There is no way to predict whether these levees will break, said Ron Fournier, a spokesman with the Army Corps of Engineers in Iowa. the rest image

Grand Juries Become Latest Abortion Battlefield

By MONICA DAVEY
June 17, 2008

WICHITA, Kan. — Opponents of Dr. George Tiller and his clinic here, one of the nation’s few providers of late-term abortions, have tried many ways to stop him over three decades. They have held protests, lobbied lawmakers and complained persistently to state regulators and prosecutors. There have also been several acts of violence, including one in which Dr. Tiller was shot in both arms.

Now his opponents are using a legal tactic that some find startling and others consider inspired. They have turned to an unusual state statute, adopted in 1887, that allows ordinary citizens who gather enough signatures on a petition to demand that a grand jury investigate an alleged crime, a decision usually left to a prosecutor.

Inside a courthouse along Main Street here, 15 grand jurors have been meeting for months, convened under the statute by ordinary Sedgwick County residents to investigate whether Dr. Tiller’s clinic has illegally performed second- and third-trimester abortions. Their deliberations are scheduled to end next month. the rest

Archbishops issue statement about London church service

Tuesday 17th June 2008
For immediate use

Joint statement by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York regarding St Bartholomew-the-Great

“We have heard the reports of the recent service in St Bartholomew the Great with very great concern. We cannot comment on the specific circumstances because they are the subject of an investigation launched by the Bishop of London.

On the general issue, however, the various reference points for the Church of England’s approach to human sexuality (1987 Synod motion, 1991 Bishops’ Statement- Issues in Human Sexuality- , Lambeth motion 1:10, House of Bishops’ 2005 statement on civil partnerships) are well known and remain current.

Those clergy who disagree with the Church’s teaching are at liberty to seek to persuade others within the Church of the reasons why they believe, in the light of Scripture, tradition and reason that it should be changed. But they are not at liberty simply to disregard it.”

Thinking Anglicans

UK: Priests in civil partnership blessing were reckless, says bishop

Riazat Butt
The Guardian
Tuesday June 17 2008

Two gay priests who exchanged rings and vows in a wedding-style ceremony were reckless and self-indulgent, the Bishop of London said last night.

The Right Rev Richard Chartres made the comments during a sermon at evening prayer, while leading a conference of some of his diocesan clergy in Swanick, Derbyshire. It was the first time he has spoken about the service held at St Bartholomew the Great, in the City of London where the Rev Peter Cowell and his partner, the Rev Dr David Lord, tied the knot last month.

Neither could have predicted the hostility they would arouse when news of the service emerged. Within 48 hours of details being published about their service, Chartres launched an investigation into the occasion, the rector who "married" them faced calls for his resignation, and Lord returned his licence, preventing him from performing any clerical duties. the rest

Why I blessed a gay relationship
The rector of St Bartholomew the Great in the City of London, in the eye of storm over gay 'marriage', explains why he decided he must bless a gay relationship

Church leaders fear summer of strife over women and gay clergy

Anglican Unity Strained As Conservatives Prepare for Key Conference

By Patrick Goodenough
CNSNews.com International Editor
June 17, 2008

(CNSNews.com) - Conservative Anglican leaders from around the world are preparing for a gathering to discuss the way ahead amid a deepening rift over homosexuality, just days after news broke about the "wedding" of two male Anglican priests in Britain.

More than 1,000 Anglicans clergy and laity, including 280 bishops, many from Africa, are planning to attend the invitation-only Global Anglican Future Conference, to be held in Jerusalem from June 22-29.

The meeting could help decide the fate of the 77 million-strong worldwide Anglican Communion. The denomination has been deeply divided over the 2003 consecration by the affiliated U.S. Episcopal Church (ECUSA) of an openly homosexual priest, Gene Robinson, as bishop of New Hampshire, and the blessing of same-sex unions by some Canadian dioceses. the rest

Muslims oppose California gay marriage

Muslim participants in Catholic-Islamic dialogue asked for support of traditional marriage, in wake of CA gay marriage decision.
Monday, June 16, 2008
By Spero News

Catholic and Muslim scholars met May 27-28, 2008 in Rancho Palos Verdes CA as part of a dialogue that has been ongoing since March 2000 and undertaken by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Islamic Shura Council of California, the Islamic Society of Orange County, and the Islamic Education Center of Orange County. The discussion centered on the story of the Patriarch Abraham as understood by these distinct traditions.

Keynote messages by Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi and Imam Sayed Mostafa Qazwini emphasized the importance of the April 2008 visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United States as a new phase in Muslim-Christian relations. Rev. Francis Tiso of the USCCB Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs spoke of the Biblical narratives about Abraham in Genesis. the rest

Barbarians Such as the World Has Never Known?

June 14, 2008
by Anthony Esolen

I hesitate to use the word "barbarian" to describe our current state of amnesia -- or, worse, our current pleasure in deriding our civic, intellectual, and spiritual forefathers. That's because barbarians did not do that. The change from nomadic tribesman to citizen does not mark the beginning of chronicles and memorials and feasts to honor the legendary heroes of one's people. What changes is the form of the memorial -- in stone, perhaps, rather than merely in orally bequeathed poetry -- and the reasons for celebrating the virtue; no longer mere courage in the battlefield, but courage shown for the sake of one's country. In other words, there is a fine continuity between celebrating the strength of Achilles and celebrating the bravery of Horatius at the bridge. the rest-great comments image

CofE sees difficult debate on women bishops

by Maria Mackay
Tuesday, June 17, 2008

“There is no doubt that we are at an unsettled moment in the Church of England,” the Secretary General of the Church of England General Synod told journalists on Monday.

Outlining the agenda for the July Synod in York, William Fittall said that tension over the scheduled four-day debate on women bishops was being compounded by weekend reports of an unauthorised church ‘wedding’ blessing for two homosexual clergymen last month, and an imminent conference of conservative Anglicans in the Holy Land.

The Global Anglican Future Conference will bring conservative Anglican clergy to Jerusalem from 22 to 29 June to “prepare for an Anglican future in which the Gospel is uncompromised” - referring to their dissatisfaction with the US Episcopal Church’s decision to embrace homosexuality. The conference takes place just weeks before the Lambeth Conference, a meeting of bishops from around the Anglican Communion once every 10 years. the rest

Albert Mohler: The Equal Parenting Movement Meets Reality

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Will dad ever do his share? That is the question asked by the cover article in Sunday's edition of The New York Times Magazine. Reporter Lisa Belkin takes a look at the movement for what is called "equal parenting." The most obvious problem with "equal parenting" is that it doesn't turn out to be very equal in reality. the rest

Groups Plan Major Pro-life Witness at the Democratic National Convention

DENVER, June 17
Christian Newswire

The organizations will hold a news conference on Wednesday, June 18, at 11:00 A.M. in front of the entrance to the Pepsi Center in downtown Denver to discuss in detail their plans for the DNC.

The name of the event is called "A Prayer for Change," and the press can go to Aprayerforchange.com for more information.

The Christian Defense Coalition, Survivors, Operation Rescue and other pro-life groups plan to have a series of prayer vigils, rallies, demonstrations, concerts and public events at the DNC to expose the radical pro-abortion of Senator Barack Obama at the Democratic Party. the rest

'One Child' Policy Weakens Chinese Economy, Expert Says

By Josiah Ryan
CNSNews.com Staff Writer
June 16, 2008

(CNSNews.com) - China's "one-child" per couple population control policy may be costing the Chinese economy billions of dollars, Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, said at a lecture in Washington, D.C., on Friday.

During his talk, which was entitled "Population Control: Real Costs, Illusory Benefits," Mosher also said the policy has led to a huge unbalance in China's gender ratio, a booming sex trade around its borders and vast human rights abuses in the name of reproductive health.

"By eliminating a couple of hundred million people, China has made itself poorer," Mosher told Cybercast News Service on Friday after speaking at the conservative Heritage Foundation. the rest

Vatican bans Dan Brown film Angels & Demons from Rome churches

The Times
June 17, 2008
Richard Owen in Rome

The Vatican has banned the makers of a prequel to The Da Vinci Code from filming in its grounds or any church in Rome, describing the work as “an offence against God”.

Angels and Demons, the latest Dan Brown thriller to be turned into a film, includes key episodes that take place in the Vatican and Rome’s churches. Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, the head of the Vatican’s Prefecture for Economic Affairs, said that Brown had “turned the gospels upside down to poison the faith”.

“It would be unacceptable to transform churches into film sets so that his blasphemous novels can be made into films in the name of business,” he said, adding that Brown’s work “wounds common religious feelings”. the rest image

Oil prices fuel fury from the pulpit

Some clergy question the car's role in society as gasoline costs keep some of the faithful away from services.
By Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
June 17, 2008

Excerpt:
Pastor Matthew Barnett is spending nearly $11,000 a week to power a fleet of aging trucks and buses that ferry members to his megachurch at the historic Angelus Temple in Echo Park.

The buses also are used to give teens in troubled neighborhoods an all-day respite at the church's Dream Center and to deliver food and medical care to the poor. Financial advisors and other church leaders have suggested diverting the money spent on the fleet to a television ministry.

Barnett doesn't think so.

"I know a lot of churches that are folding up their bus ministries, but when you're called to do God's work, you have to weather the hard times," Barnett said. "The way to impact a community is to keep showing up and being consistent. We have to be a positive force, and there's no amount that gas prices can go up to that will stop that." the rest image

Gay advocacy group thankful for Saddleback Church meeting

"The Saddleback staff was very friendly, welcoming and very attentive," one attendee says.
By ALEJANDRA MOLINA
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

LAKE FOREST – The conversation dealt with transgendered individuals, homosexuality, and theology.

Representatives of the gay community today shared their "coming out" stories and discussed religious attitudes toward homosexuality with Saddleback Church staff.

"I feel the foundation is being built for other dialogue between Saddleback and the gay community," said Richard Finch, a Lake Forest resident who participated in the session. the rest

Monday, June 16, 2008

Devotional: Only when a man tries to live the divine life...

Only when a man tries to live the divine life can the divine Christ manifest Himself to him. Therefore, the true way for you to find Christ is not to go groping in a thousand books. It is not for you to try evidences about a thousand things that people have believed of Him, but it is for you to undertake so great a life, so devoted a life, so pure a life, so serviceable a life, that you cannot do it except by Christ, and then see whether Christ helps you. See then whether there comes to you the certainty that you are a child of God, and the manifestation of the child of God becomes the most credible, the most certain thing to you in all of history. ...Phillips Brooks image

Solstice Moon 'Illusion' Coming June 18

Monday, 16 June 2008

Sometimes you just can't believe your eyes. This week is one of those times.

On Wednesday night, June 18th, step outside at sunset and look around. You'll see a giant form rising in the east. At first glance it looks like the full Moon. It has craters and seas and the face of a man, but this "moon" is strangely inflated. It's huge!

You've just experienced the Moon Illusion.

There's no better time to see it. The full Moon of June 18th is a "solstice moon", coming only two days before the beginning of northern summer. This is significant because the sun and full Moon are like kids on a see-saw; when one is high, the other is low. This week's high solstice sun gives us a low, horizon-hugging Moon and a strong Moon Illusion.
the rest image

Competent Enough to Live

Commentary by Bobby Schindler
Monday June 16, 2008

June 16, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Recently, yet another situation similar to that of my sister Terri Schiavo has made headlines. In West Palm Beach, Florida, Raymond Weber is asking the court to dehydrate his disabled wife, Karen, to death.

If you have read any of the reports in mainstream media, it’s just another case of a husband looking out for the “best interest” of his spouse. And just as in Terri’s case, Raymond Weber is asking the government to deliberately kill his wife who is not dying and is guilty of nothing more than having difficulty swallowing and therefore needing help, in the form of a feeding tube, to eat.

Not surprisingly, in a story by the AP, was a quote from the husband’s attorney who so touchingly referred to his client’s brain-injured wife as a “vegetable,” thus offending the tens of thousands of people and their families who do live with a profound brain injury.

The reporter also wrote that the decision whether Karen should live or die will depend upon whether or not a committee finds her “competent” to go on living. Yes, that is correct, competent enough to live. I guess passing an IQ test will be next. the rest

Bishop Duncan Appoints Vicar for Western Anglicans (CCP)

NEWPORT BEACH, CA — June 14, 2008–- Bishop Robert Duncan, Moderator of The Common Cause Partnership (CCP), appointed a “Collegiate Vicar” for The Association of Western Anglican Congregations. The decision was announced to the Western Anglicans House of Delegates meeting in Newport Beach today. As the Collegiate Vicar, The Rev. Bill Thompson, Rector of All Saints Anglican Church in Long Beach, California, will serve as an ambassadorial link between Western Anglicans — a cluster of 21 orthodox Anglican congregations in Southern California and Arizona — and the Common Cause Partnership (CCP).

“The appointment of the Collegiate Vicar is a wonderful step in the process of unifying orthodox Anglican believers in North America,” said Ron Speers, Western Anglicans President. “We are modeling at the grass roots what CCP is doing at the national and international level.” Thus far Western Anglican member congregations have canonical ties to the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone of South America, The Anglican Province of Uganda, and The Reformed Episcopal Church. All Common Cause Partners churches in the region, whatever their jurisdiction, are invited to participate. the rest

'Pro-Life' Drugstores Market Beliefs

No Contraceptives For Chantilly Shop
By Rob Stein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 16, 2008

When DMC Pharmacy opens this summer on Route 50 in Chantilly, the shelves will be stocked with allergy remedies, pain relievers, antiseptic ointments and almost everything else sold in any drugstore. But anyone who wants condoms, birth control pills or the Plan B emergency contraceptive will be turned away.

That's because the drugstore, located in a typical shopping plaza featuring a Ruby Tuesday, a Papa John's and a Kmart, will be a "pro-life pharmacy" -- meaning, among other things, that it will eschew all contraceptives.

The pharmacy is one of a small but growing number of drugstores around the country that have become the latest front in a conflict pitting patients' rights against those of health-care workers who assert a "right of conscience" to refuse to provide care or products that they find objectionable. the rest image

Tim Russert's son shares memories of his dad

Archbishop Peter Jensen: What GAFCON is all about

Video Interview Here

GAFCON: A Buzz About the Future

Russell Powell
16 June 2008

The massive undertaking that is the Global Anglican Future Conference or (GAFCON) is days away from starting in Jerusalem.

Archbishop Peter Jensen, along with the Bishop of North Sydney, Glenn Davies and the Academic Dean of Moore College, Dr Mark Thompson will be meeting this week in Jordan with the conference leadership team in preparation for the seven days of prayer, bible study and fellowship that will follow in Israel.

Dr Jensen has told sydneyanglicans.net that he’s expecting to find a buzz among the 1000 who will gather.

“I’m expecting to find a great number of people thoroughly committed to the Bible and to the Lord Jesus Christ, fellowshipping together, working on who we are as Anglicans and then working on the future. It’s going to be one of the most significant events, I think, in the Anglican Communion, at least in this next two or three decades.” the rest

Adventures in Discipline with Jon & Kate Plus Eight

Laura MacCorkle
Crosswalk.com Entertainment Editor

“Eight times the laughs. Eight times the love. Eight times the fun. How much can two parents possibly take?”

That’s the latest voiceover promoting one of my favorite television shows of the moment: TLC’s Jon & Kate Plus Eight.

If you’ve not seen it, and you are someone who is easily amused by regular people just trying to do life (like the rest of us … well, sort of), then you should make some time to see this series.

Yes, it’s a reality show—but it’s not scripted. Really, how could it be when it’s a family with four-year-old sextuplets (Aaden, Collin, Joel, Alexis, Hannah, Leah) and seven-year-old twins (Mady and Cara)? You do the math. the rest

Albert Mohler: Why Secularism Will Not Work

Monday, June 16, 2008

"As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for," warns Katha Pollitt. Writing in The Nation, Pollitt is warning Democrats that their embrace of religious leaders and symbols will lead to embarrassment and disaster. Her proposal -- embrace secularism.

Pollitt is one of the most predictably liberal columnists in America. Her periodic articles in The Nation offer a window into the logic of a liberal mind unconstrained by political considerations. She does not trim her sails or pull punches.

As she explains the challenge of the Democratic Party, the Democrats "have been trying to shed their secular image in order to appeal to voters who think Jesus is a Republican." Well, no political party has any legitimate claim on Jesus, but this doesn't stop the parties from attempting to position themselves with Christian voters. the rest

Canada: Free Speech on Trial

By Jacob Laksin
FrontPageMagazine.com
Monday, June 16, 2008

Earlier this month, the columnist Mark Steyn went on trial for being mean. Steyn’s offense was to have published, in the fall of 2006, an excerpt from his book, America Alone, in the Canadian newsweekly Maclean’s. In it, Steyn advanced the provocative but by no means untenable argument that plunging birthrates in Europe would precipitate a demographic decline, forcing Continental countries to reach an “accommodation with their radicalized Islamic compatriots.” Europe’s future, Steyn suggested, “belongs to Islam.”

Islamic radicals, one might think, would be heartened by the backhanded vote of confidence. Instead, led by a group called the Canadian Islamic Congress, they elected to take offense. Had they limited their remonstration to an angrily worded letter to the editor or a rebuttal in another magazine, they would have been unobjectionably within their rights. But several of the group’s more aggrieved members decided to press things further. First, they demanded that Maclean’s publish an equal-length rejoinder to Steyn’s article – a crude attempt to dictate content no independent publication would accept. Failing to hijack the magazine’s pages, Steyn’s disgruntled detractors did the next best thing: they took the author and the publication to court.

The resulting case brings into bold relief the outsize power that political correctness and its more ardent executors wield in Canada. In the United States, a suit purporting to seek justice for a perceived slight involving nothing more than a difference of opinion would be laughed out the docket. But tolerance for legal frivolity seems to increase above the 49th parallel. A subsection of Canada's Human Rights Act defines hate speech as speech “likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt.” By that impossibly opaque standard, Steyn’s article – or, indeed, any article – could theoretically be considered hate speech. In practice, as well, that has been the case. The Canadian Human Rights Commission, which enforces the act, has a record of conviction that recalls the awful efficiency of Soviet courts: In over three decades of existence, the commission has yet to find someone innocent. the rest