Saturday, July 19, 2008

Devotional: He whose life is one even and smooth path...

He whose life is one even and smooth path, will see but little of the glory of the Lord, for he has few occasions of self-emptying, and hence, but little fitness for being filled with the revelation of God. They who navigate little streams and shallow creeks, know but little of the God of tempests; but they who "do business in great waters," these see His "wonders in the deep." Among the huge Atlantic-waves of bereavement, poverty, temptation, and reproach, we learn the power of Jehovah, because we feel the littleness of man. Thank God, then, if you have been led by a rough road: it is this which has given you your experience of God's greatness and lovingkindness. Your troubles have enriched you with a wealth of knowledge to be gained by no other means: your trials have been the cleft of the rock in which Jehovah has set you, as He did His servant Moses, that you might behold His glory as it passed by. Praise God that you have not been left to the darkness and ignorance which continued prosperity might have involved, but that in the great fight of affliction, you have been capacitated for the outshinings of His glory in His wonderful dealings with you. ...CH Spurgeon image

Hundreds of thousands gather for pope's youth finale

posted July 19, 2008

SYDNEY (AFP) — Up to half a million Catholic faithful began gathering in Sydney to see Pope Benedict XVI lead a giant mass Sunday that will provide a dramatic finale to a week of World Youth Day festivities.

The final mass, at which the pope will announce the host city of the 2011 World Youth Day, came a day after the pontiff issued a historic apology, saying he was "deeply sorry" about the "evil" of child sex abuse by Catholic priests

More than 235,000 singing and chanting pilgrims from Australia and around the world braved icy temperatures to camp out overnight in a Sydney racecourse and park ahead of the finale of the largest Christian gathering on earth.

"It's really the opportunity for us to build up our faith more deeply, especially for my children," said Corry Setio, an Indonesian-born Australian, as she and her daughter jostled for a vantage point to see the pope. the rest

Anglican Curmudgeon: A Bandit Bishop?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

It is interesting that the Presiding Bishop should raise the issue of "standing." It was, of course, she who, without any "standing" to do so under the Constitution and Canons, intervened in the Diocese of San Joaquin to call a "Special Convention" on just seventeen days' notice, with no quorum, to confirm her uncanonical choice as "Provisional Bishop"---a man whom she had selected because he was willing to act as a puppet plaintiff in the lawsuit she wanted to be immediately brought. Her letter to Central Florida may show that she knows how to raise the topic, but her actions in San Joaquin demonstrate beyond cavil that she has no understanding of or respect for what it means.

(Note: I realize that Archbishop Rowan Williams is holding up as a model for inter-Church relations today the Desert Fathers, who were extremely critical of themselves and never judgmental of others. I am judging the Presiding Bishop harshly here not as a bishop per se, but as one who has the ultimate say, for better or worse, on Church canon law and what it means. Her obstinate persistence in refusing to undo her illegal actions---when she alone has the power to correct them---brands her as a fitting object for the scorn of those who have given their lives to the practice of law. Nothing arouses this curmudgeon's ire more than a bishop who defies (and thereby defiles) the canons.) the rest

Church of England unrest threatens to harm links with Vatican

Riazat Butt
religious affairs correspondent
guardian.co.uk
Sunday July 20, 2008

One of the highest ranking officials in the Vatican has warned that problems plaguing the Anglican Communion pose a 'further and grave challenge for full and visible' unity with Rome.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of state and second in command at the Holy See, made the comments in a previously unpublished letter that was issued yesterday to delegates attending the Lambeth conference, a once-a-decade summit of the world's Anglican bishops.

In the letter, which was largely supportive of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Bertone said: 'New issues that have arisen in our relationship pose a further and grave challenge for full and visible unity.' the rest

Robert Munday: I really never thought it would come to this...

Friday, July 18, 2008

I first attended an Episcopal Church a little over 30 years ago. I joined the Episcopal Church 22 years ago, and I was ordained 19 years ago. Looking at the developments that have occurred over this period, someone might draw the analogy that I was a newly commissioned officer who sailed out in a fast speedboat to catch my ship that had already left port; and I took my place as a crew member on the Titanic just moments before it hit the iceberg. the rest

GAFCON: Prelates 'are justifying sin'

Riazat Butt
The Guardian
Saturday July 19, 2008

Bishops at the Lambeth conference were accused last night of promoting a "false teaching that justifies sin in the name of Christianity". Leaders of a conservative breakaway faction said the prelates' actions had led to "unbiblical" practice resulting in "impaired and broken communion".

The statement, issued by the Global Anglican Future Conference, attacked liberals and called on "all orthodox Anglicans to resist this development".

The Gafcon rebels said: "Leading bishops in the Episcopal church, the Anglican Church of Canada, and even the Church of England have denied the need to evangelise among people from other faiths, promoted and attended syncretistic events and, in some cases, refused to call Jesus Lord and Saviour." They also rejected a draft covenant designed to unify the 80 million-strong Anglican church. the rest

Photo: Albany Bishop Love at Lambeth

Here!

Archbishop of Canterbury: I am no magician

Saturday, 19th July 2008
By: Michael Brown

London: The Archbishop of Canterbury has admitted that he is "no magician" and compared himself to a canary -- the bird miners used to send down a pit ahead of them in case of gas.

Dr Rowan Williams has also revealed that he asks himself "about once a day" whether he has an impossible job.

The primate made the comparison and the admission last week in his first major interview after what he called the "very difficult" General Synod at York.

And in another disclosure, the leader of the divided Church of England and head of the fractured Anglican Communion said he occasionally fantasises about escaping from Lambeth Palace to a smallholding in his native Wales. the rest

Ruth Gledhill: Invited bishop told: 'Go home!'



Story

Tax Rates For New Yorkers Would Top 50% Under Obama

'Significant Difference' Is Seen For High-Income Areas Like the City
By JULIE SATOW
Staff Reporter of the Sun
July 18, 2008

New York tax filers reporting more than $375,000 a year in earned income may end up paying nearly 60% of their wages in taxes to the government under a Barack Obama presidency, economists who have analyzed his plan said.

The Democratic presidential candidate is proposing not only raising the federal income tax, but also adding a Social Security tax for those Americans earning more than $250,000 a year. For New Yorkers, that could mean that if the current Social Security rate is applied, the marginal tax rate, or rate on every extra dollar earned, could rise to 58%.

"This is a very eye-popping number," a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, Alan Viard, said. the rest image

WSJ: Obama's 'Judgment'

Boycott over McDonald's 'gay' promotions grows

Ronald 'needs to end corporate subsidies for homosexual and transsexual behavior'
July 19, 2008
By Bob Unruh
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

Your dollars for Happy Meals and Big Macs could end up paying for sex-change operations of McDonald's employees if the home of the Golden Arches continues its promotion of homosexuality, according to a pro-family group that has joined an expanding boycott of the fast-food restaurants and its Ronald McDonald's mascot.

"If McDonald's restaurants and franchises … follow the small business advice of the company's new homosexual partner – the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), which received a $20,000 grant from McDonald's – there would be chaos," said Peter LaBarbera, chief of Americans for Truth. the rest image

Lambeth: A Crucial Moment for Anglicans

Conservative-Liberal Divide Roils Canterbury Gathering
By Daniel Burke
Religion News Service
Saturday, July 19, 2008

For centuries, Anglicans have prided themselves on finding the via media -- the middle way -- through theological and political thickets.

But the decades-long debate on homosexuality within the worldwide Anglican Communion seems stuck in a cul-de-sac, many say.

As Anglican bishops from around the world converge on Canterbury, England, for the three-week Lambeth Conference that began Wednesday, their 77 million-member communion again finds itself at a crossroads. the rest

J.I. Packer on Homosexuality



Found here-read the comments

Wu Challenges Obama and McCain to Stand Up for Religious Freedom

Jul 17, 2008

Angela C. Wu, international law director at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, today (July 17, 2008) challenged U.S. presidential candidates Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain to support legislation currently before Congress that is designed to protect Americans from defamation judgments of foreign courts that violate the U.S. Constitution. The legislation would protect individuals who are charged with what are essentially blasphemy laws that protect religions from so-called defamation.

"Freedom of religion and the freedom to speak openly about ideas and beliefs here and abroad should be a high priority for the next president of the United States," said Ms. Wu, speaking before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus' conference on "Religious Freedom in a Post-9-11 World. "I call on Sens. Obama and McCain to take a stand for a traditional American understanding of free speech rights and sponsor this legislation in the Senate," she said.

Ms. Wu said if "defamation of religions" resolutions currently before the United Nations went into effect in member states, any religious speech another group or individual found "offensive" could be criminalized. the rest

Friday, July 18, 2008

Devotional: Meditate upon the love of Christ to you...

Meditate upon the love of Christ to you. It is a love ancient and venerable, tried and proved. He loved you when you were not; he loved you when you were, but were not what you should be. ....He loved you so as to suffer and to die, and he loves you so as to permit you to suffer for his sake. He has loved you so well as to bear with your ill manners, your shortcomings, and your transgressions, your coldness, your backsliding, your lack of prayer, your hardness of heart, your little love to your brethren, and all the other sins of which I will not now accuse you, for it is a time of love. He has loved you right on without pausing or slackening. Some of you have known his love these twenty, thirty, forty, fifty years; yes, some of you even more than that. It is no new thing with us to sing, "Jesus loves me." All this while he has never failed us once, nor done us an ill turn. ...CH Spurgeon image

Credo: the average Anglican is a black, female teenager

From The Times
July 19, 2008
Cathy Ross

Recently a friend informed me that missiology is really just “a white man’s theology.” As a student of missiology and a woman, I felt the need to counter this. Yet what is missiology? Well, my friend was right that it began with white men taking Christianity, commerce and civilisation beyond Europe. This is exactly what missiology endeavours to study. It is a critical reflection on theories of mission, research into mission and critique on how mission is done.

This may sound rather theoretical, but the current Lambeth Conference, with its theme of empowering bishops for mission, demonstrates the importance of missiology in how we live out the Gospel in our world.

Current missiological studies now identify migration as a key mission issue. One in five Europeans migrated between 1800 and 1925, the largest migration movement in history. This coincided with the high tide of the Western missionary movement as well as Empire. These movements unleashed powerful forces of change which we have felt the impact of in Europe, and in particular in England, ever since. the rest

From Lambeth: The Rev. Todd and Cherie Wetzel

Canterbury I - The Rev. Todd H. Wetzel, July 18, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
the Rev. Todd H. Wetzel, reporting from Canterbury, England

Lambeth #2: Friday July 18 How Deep is the Ocean?
Friday, July 18, 2008
by Cherie Wetzel, reporting from Canterbury, England

Today at Lambeth: Friday, July 18, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Cherie Wetzel, reporting from Canterbury, England

Presiding Bishop Schori–no compromise

July 18, 2008
George Conger

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has rebuffed pleas for compromise from conservatives and rejected calls for the American Church’s House of Bishops to revisit the cases of deposed Bishops John-David Schofield and William Cox, saying the matter is closed.

“I have no ability to reverse or set aside any decision of the House of Bishops, nor does the House once the meeting [of bishops] is adjourned,” Bishop Schori wrote to the Diocese of Central Florida on June 2. However, should the two bishops “wish to re-enter” the Episcopal Church and “seek reinstatement, that is eminently possible,” she said.

Central Florida and four other American dioceses have objected to the procedural irregularities used to remove the two bishops saying it violated canon law. Questions over the legality of the proceedings have dogged the Presiding Bishop after it was revealed she neglected to follow the canons governing proceedings. the rest

Is this the end of the Communion?

Rowan Williams takes up the cross of diplomacy

From The Times
July 19, 2008
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

Williams likes to tell the story of Pope John XXIII, who woke up worrying about a problem. He said to himself: “I'll consult the Pope about that.” Then he thought: “Wait a minute, I am the Pope.”

The Archbishop may reflect in days to come, as he tries to avert schism in an unravelling Anglican Communion, on the vicissitudes of his job.

When he was marked out as a frontrunner for the role of leading the Anglican Church five years ago, Dr Williams said that he did not want the job. Yet Dr Williams as reluctant appointee does not fit entirely with the image described by those who attended the 1998 Lambeth Conference. the rest

Church Times: Bishops rally behind Dr Williams as Conference starts

GAFCON responds to the Archbishop of Canterbury

July 18 2008

The Global Anglican Future Conference gathered leaders from around the Anglican Communion for pilgrimage, prayer and serious theological reflection. We are grateful to the Archbishop of Canterbury for engaging with the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration. We wish to respond to some of his concerns.

On faith and false teaching. We warmly welcome the Archbishop's affirmation of the Jerusalem Statement as positive and encouraging and in particular that it would be shared by the vast majority of Anglicans. We are however concerned that he should think we assume that all those outside GAFCON are proclaiming another gospel. In no way do we believe that we are the only ones to hold a correct interpretation of scripture according to its plain meaning. We believe we are holding true to the faith once delivered to the saints as it has been received in the Anglican tradition. Many are contending for and proclaiming the orthodox faith throughout the Anglican Communion. Their efforts are, however, undermined by those who are clearly pursuing a false gospel. We are not claiming to be a sinless church. Our concern is with false teaching which justifies sin in the name of Christianity. These are not merely matters of different perspectives and emphases. They have led to unbiblical practice in faith and morals, resulting in impaired and broken communion. We long for all orthodox Anglicans to join in resisting this development. the rest

Signed
The Most Rev Peter Akinola, Primate of Nigeria
The Most Rev Justice Akrofi, Primate of West Africa
The Most Rev Emmanuel Kolini, Primate of Rwanda
The Most Rev Valentine Mokiwa, Primate of Tanzania
The Most Rev Benjamin Nzmibi, Primate of Kenya
The Most Rev Henry Orombi, Primate of Uganda
The Most Rev Gregory Venables, Primate of The Southern Cone

Response of GAFCON to the St Andrew's Draft Text of an Anglican Communion Covenant

Changes between the Nassau and St Andrew's Drafts of an Anglican Covenant

The Pope, negative press and World Youth Day, Sydney

The media has given unfair coverage of World Youth Day focussing on paedophile scandals rather than the joy of pilgrims says the Abbot of Worth
Times Online
July 18, 2008

Sydney has never seen anything like it since the Olympics. Not even that event, however, could match the spectacle of a papal ‘boatacade’ gliding past the bridge and the opera house to deliver Pope Benedict into the cheering embrace of 150,000 young people from around the world. The Pope’s arrival at World Youth Day had a theatrical quality worthy of the media world in which today’s young people live. By contrast, his message to them was delivered in a self-effacing, direct manner, making clear that the Pope refuses to cast himself as a rock star; he is a teacher and he set about teaching. The young listened with great respect, some closing their eyes, concentrating deeply on his words. He commended to them the care of the planet that he had flown over, inviting them to live by the values of truth, beauty and goodness as the way to heal the scars not only of our planet but also of our souls. Cries of delight erupted as the Pope concluded by greeting the different language groups. The final singing of the World Youth Day anthem, Receive the Power of the Holy Spirit, had the crowd in full voice, hands lifted high and swaying gently in time with the simple alleluia of the chorus, all nationalities united in one word and one gesture. the rest

TIME: Making a Pilgrimage for the Pope

The Australian: Pope resurrects old rituals for mass

Dr Jefferts Schori: ‘We can get beyond sexuality’

by Rachel Boulding
18 July, 2008

IT IS “very awkward” that a “duly elected bishop” has been banned from the Lambeth Conference, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori, said this week. She was referring to the Bishop of New Hampshire, the Rt Revd Gene Robinson.

She believes that the decision will backfire, as he will now be given greater media attention. Yet she believes that Lambeth will not be dominated by debates about sexuality, but by “issues of life and death”, such as poverty and suffering in the developing world.

Dr Jefferts Schori was speaking at a press conference in Salisbury on Monday, sitting alongside the first woman bishop of the Anglican Church of Australia, the Rt Revd Kay Goldsworthy, an assistant bishop in the diocese of Perth, and the Dean of Salisbury, the Very Revd June Osborne, one of the most senior female clerics in the Church of England. the rest

Albert Mohler: Integrity -- What's in a Word?

Friday, July 18, 2008

According to The Los Angeles Times, scores of United Methodist pastors in Southern California are planning to defy church law by performing same-sex marriages. The paper provides rather extensive detail about these plans, acknowledging that performing same-sex marriages could lead to disciplinary action against the pastors.

In addition, a large group of retired United Methodist ministers in the region has volunteered to perform the marriages on behalf of pastors who might be defrocked or disciplined if they performed the marriages themselves.

The paper's report includes some fascinating statements from pastors who plan to defy the discipline and doctrine of their church -- and the clear teachings of the Bible. the rest

Pastors defy United Methodist officials to conduct gay weddings
Some have officiated at such ceremonies, some plan to and 82 retired ministers have offered their services. Bishop warns that violating church guidelines has consequences.
By Duke Helfand, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
July 17, 2008

Scores of United Methodist Church ministers in California are putting their careers on the line in an open revolt against religious edicts that forbid them to conduct weddings for gay and lesbian couples.

The pastors could lose their jobs and clerical credentials in the church, the nation's second-largest Protestant denomination. the rest

Roman Catholics for Obama '08

by Paul Kengor
June 2008

Excerpt:
The United States Congress has also learned about this grisly reality, and finally, in 2002, passed the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, requiring that babies like Tiny Tim who survive abortions receive medical care from the medical professionals in their midst—medical professionals who suddenly must morph from killers to their traditional roles of healers and helpers.

The bill was so obviously necessary and became so popular that it faced no real opposition, even from the most fanatical of Congress’ pro-abortion extremists, including Hillary Clinton, Barbara Boxer, and Ted Kennedy. Even NARAL, the National Abortion Rights Action League, supported the legislation.
Indeed, who could ever oppose such legislation? Actually, there is someone: Barack Obama, who appears as of May to be the frontrunner for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, and possibly the next president of the United States.

Obama was not a member of the US Senate at the time that the Born Alive Infants Protection Act passed unanimously through both chambers of Congress. But he was a member of the Illinois state legislature, where similar legislation was introduced at the state level. There, Obama twice voted against the legislation, in 2002 and 2003, and as chair of the Health and Human Services Committee blocked another attempt to bring the legislation to the floor of the Illinois Senate.

The pro-life community in the state of Illinois was aghast, and pro-life Catholics were horrified. Yet today Catholics around the country are lining up to endorse Barack Obama’s candidacy for president of the United States. They are stumping hard for Obama, who, if elected, has promised to do whatever he can to appoint justices and support legislation guaranteeing decades of protection for Roe v. Wade. the rest image

Jeffrey Steenson on Anglocatholicism

Former Anglican Bishop Jeffrey Steenson is widely revered among Anglicans as a man of profound integrity and service in the Lord’s vineyard. Last week he spoke at the Anglican Use Conference. He spoke with his usual clarity and Anglican eloquence. Welcome home, Jeffery.

His full address can be found here.

It all begins with the conviction that the Catholic Church simply is. She is not one option amongst many. People who become alienated from their own churches will sometimes think that the next step is to go down to the marketplace and see what is on offer: which church is going to give me the best deal? Those people seldom find the Catholic Church because they have missed the essential point – the fullness of Christ’s blessings is not distributed across the ecclesial landscape but flows from the one Church. the rest

Digital libraries: Is the web narrowing scientists’ expertise?

Great minds think (too much) alike
Jul 17th 2008
From The Economist print edition

ONLINE databases of scientific journals have made life easier for scientists as well as publishers. No more ambling down to the library, searching through the musty stacks and queuing up for the photocopier. Instead, a few clicks of a mouse can bring forth the desired papers and maybe others that the reader did not know of—the “long tail” of information that the web makes available.

Well, that is how it is supposed to work, but does it? James Evans, a sociologist at the University of Chicago, decided to investigate. His conclusion, published in this week’s Science, is that the opposite is happening. He has found that as more journals become available online, fewer articles are being cited in the reference lists of the research papers published within them. Moreover, those articles that do get a mention tend to have been recently published themselves. Far from growing longer, the long tail is being docked. the rest image

Archbishop of Canterbury faces calls to stop American clergy defecting

By Martin Beckford, Religious Affairs Correspondent
18/07/2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury will be told this week to stop conservative clergy leaving their national churches and becoming bishops in other countries.

Dr Rowan Williams is to be lobbied by liberals who are dominating the ten-yearly Lambeth Conference, because more than 200 traditionalist bishops have boycotted the gathering as a result of divisions on gay clergy and women bishops.

He will be told that the process of conservative American clergy opting out of their national body and becoming bishops in African and South American churches goes against tradition and must be stopped.

Dr Williams will also be urged to prevent orthodox Anglicans, who believe the Bible teaches that homosexuality is wrong, from setting up a new province in North America to rival the Episcopal Church of the USA, which triggered the current crisis by electing the first openly gay bishop in the worldwide Communion. the rest

Episcopal Church under fire for parolee priest

Matthai Kuruvila, Chronicle Religion Writer
Friday, July 18, 2008

James Tramel went from convicted murderer to priest while in prison, a transformation that the Episcopal Church used to successfully lobby for his parole and celebrate him before politicians and the press.

But the church is now grappling with the sexual abuse of a parishioner under his care. Tramel has been suspended for sexual misconduct, temporarily stripped of his priestly authority and left searching for a new job. the rest

180 Mosques planned: Not in My Backyard, Say an Increasing Number of Germans

By Jochen Bölsche
July 16, 2008

The planned construction of over 180 mosques in Germany is mobilizing right-wing xenophobes but also an increasing number of leftist critics. They fear the Muslim places of worship will facilitate the establishment of a completely parallel society.

The issue at hand wasn't the construction of a missile base or a new nuclear power plant. Yet the media reported "turmoil" and an "enraged" audience in a school auditorium in Ehrenfeld, a district of the German city of Cologne. The mood was almost comparable to that of the protest gatherings once held against nuclear missiles or reactors. the rest

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Devotional: Wherever thou goest...

Wherever thou goest, whatever thou dost at home, or abroad, in the field, or at church, do all in a desire of union with Christ, in imitation of His tempers and inclinations, and look upon all as nothing, but that which exercises, and increases the spirit and life of Christ in thy soul. From morning to night keep Jesus in thy heart, long for nothing, desire nothing, hope for nothing but to have all that is within thee changed into the spirit and temper of the holy Jesus. This new birth in Christ, thus firmly believed and continually desired, will do everything that thou wantest to have done in thee, it will dry up all the springs of vice, stop all the workings of evil in thy nature, it will bring all that is good into thee, it will open all the gospel within thee, and thou wilt know what it is to be taught of God. ...William Law image

Cherie Wetzel: Lambeth Report #1 : It has begun!

July 17, 2008
Cherie Wetzel reporting from Canterbury, England
July 17, 2008

Two years of planning culminated Tuesday morning as Father Wetzel and I boarded the plane. Dallas to Atlanta to London, we arrived in England on Wednesday morning at 7:30. We made our way to the train to Canterbury, sinking into the seat and watching the English countryside roll past the windows. For you farm buffs, the first cutting of hay is done and the timothy is knee high and lustrous green. Rivers and ponds are full. Meadows were filled of sheep and cattle. The landscape is verdant from rain, something we lack in Texas. The world outside the train’s windows looked deceptively peaceful and serene.

The dorm at Canterbury Christ Church University is pretty modern, very secure and loaded with Techie delights including wi-fi Internet access and multiple electrical plugs at each of the two desks. It is even insuite, which we did not expect.

Canterbury is just like the pictures in the book. The Cathedral tower dominates the landscape. The Cathedral itself is the walled attraction of the city. The streets are cobbled, narrow and winding. This is rolling country, with the village in the valley and the University of Kent, where the Lambeth Conference is actually held, on the top of the hill. From our window, you can see the buildings at the University and the flags on the “big top,” a giant blue tent erected to hold the conference. More about that in a minute. the rest

Comments at Stand Firm

Archbishop of Canterbury: Lambeth Conference won't solve church's problems

By Martin Beckford
Religious Affairs Correspondent
17/07/2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury has admitted that the crises in the "wounded" church will not be ended by the gathering of Anglican bishops which began this week.

Dr Rowan Williams said at the start of the ten-yearly Lambeth Conference that he felt "great grief" that one in four church leaders are boycotting it because of deep divisions over homosexuality and women bishops.

But he added that he still respected the conservatives who are staying away, and urged delegates at the first session of the meeting in Canterbury on Wednesday night to "mend relations that have been hurt".

More than 200 Anglican bishops from around the world, including many from Africa and at least three from within the Church of England, have refused to attend Lambeth because of the presence of liberal leaders from America and Canada who broke with tradition and church guidelines by electing an openly gay bishop and by blessing same-sex unions. the rest

ACNS: The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams opens the Lambeth Conference

Praying for Lambeth

Please take some time, even a few minutes, to pray for Lambeth.

Read through some of the prayers
here, make them your own. Ask the Holy Spirit to pray in you for His will to be done among the bishops . In faith, believe that the Lord hears and wants to do a mighty work in the hearts of His people, especially in the areas where repentance is needed.

Give the Lord Praise and Glory!
image-Albany Intercessor

George Conger's blog: Great pictures of Lambeth

Here

Techno Pope texts the faithful

Lara Sinclair
July 17, 2008

HE'S known in some circles as the "techno Pope", but not because of a love of dance music -- his holiness is more of a Beethoven or Mozart fan.

Rather, it's Pope Benedict XVI's penchant for text-messaging the masses, his iPod (with the Papal coat of arms engraved on the back) and the Catholic Church's increasing use of social networking media that have earned him the moniker, according to World Youth Day spokesman Father Mark Podesta.

An undisclosed number of WYD followers have opted to receive a text message about 10am each day.

Yesterday's message assured followers that "the Holy Spirit gave the Apostles and gives u the power boldly 2 proclaim that Christ is risen! -- BXVI".

"It's not the first SMS (Pope Benedict) has sent but it is the first time they've done it every day for a World Youth Day," Podesta says. "He composes them himself. In some circles he's known as the techno Pope." the rest

Ex-Anglican communities to become Catholic, Rome confirms

Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Damian Thompson

The Catholic Church will expand its provision of "Anglican Use" parishes in the United States in order to allow whole communities of traditionalist Anglicans into the Roman fold, a senior Catholic archbishop has announced.

The Most Rev John J Myers, Archbishop of Newark and Ecclesiastical Delegate for the Pastoral Provision, told a conference of ex-Anglicans on Friday that "we are working on expanding the mandate of the Pastoral Provision [of Catholic parishes using Anglican-inspired services] to include those clergy and faithful of 'continuing Anglican communities'. the rest

Priest Expert Says Infanticide is 50 Years Away from Being Normalized

By Tim Waggoner
SYDNEY, July 16, 2008

(LifeSiteNews.com) - The Catholic organization, Regnum Christi, ran a workshop in Sydney over the weekend, leading up to World Youth Day, in which physician and bioethicist Father Joseph Tham predicted that, unless a dramatic change came about, in 50 years infanticide would be a normal reality.

As reported by Special Broadcasting Services, Father Tham, who did his PhD thesis on bioethics, said that there is a growing belief in society that religion has no place in science. "Because of secularization, the Church is having less and less say on these debates," he said.

"What we are seeing is that there is a religious voice in the public square, between faith and reason - whether religious people or religious views should be private, or at the place in the public square," he added. the rest

California Supreme Court rejects effort by homosexual activists to keep marriage amendment off November ballot

July 16, 2008

The California Supreme Court has issued a terse ruling turning down a request by homosexual activists to prevent voters from deciding the fate of a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages.

“The Application for Stay and Petition For Extraordinary Relief, Including Writ of Mandate, filed June 20, 2008, is DENIED,” said the court’s web site in a ruling dated July 16. the rest

Lambeth Conference: ‘Efforts must be made to preserve integrity of Church’

Thursday, 17th July 2008
By George Conger

Canterbury: The 14th Lambeth Conference will not settle the disputes dividing the Anglican Communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said last night, but an effort must be made to keep the conversation going to preserve the integrity of the Church.

Speaking to the some 600 bishops and their spouses at the opening session on the evening of July 16, Dr Williams outlined his vision for the conference around the theme of “building relationships.”

Forming personal relations among the college of the Anglican Communion’s bishops by itself will not settle the disputes of doctrine and discipline, he acknowledged, but “it is certain that without the building of relationships the challenges will never be resolved," he said according to bishops present at the opening session. the rest

Clarion Call: An Education Without Much Learning

A student returning to college at forty finds ECU's distance education program too unchallenging to continue
By Robert Faulkner
July 11, 2008

Robert Faulkner has worked in information technology for the past fifteen years. He is married and is currently working in the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina, where he continues to enjoy the IT profession.

In August 2004, I made the decision to return to college and finish my formal education as an undergraduate. I was 40 years old with an associate’s degree from an out-of-state community college. the rest

Brazil: Offend a homosexual ... Go to prison for 5 years

July 16, 2008
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

Christians will face prison for speaking out against homosexuality if Brazil's Senate passes a bill approved unanimously by its House of Representatives.

The measure is considered the country's newest attempt to promote homosexuality, disguised as an act to prevent discrimination, the Catholic News Agency reports. the rest

Lambeth Diary: the 'Clean and the Unclean'

Ruth Gledhill
July 17, 2008

My suspicions have been alerted by the helpful comment from 'anon' on the previous post. At Lambeth, the journos have been divided into the 'clean' and 'unclean'. You can guess which mob I'm corralled in with, and some of you probably think I deserve it. See my latest here. But pause to think for a moment. After dealing with a thankfully long-gone staff member at Lambeth Palace, a former senior editor at The Times told me, his voice shaking with stunned incredulity: 'They're just like the Communist Party.' He meant the Communist Party before the wall came down. Read and believe if you like the official stuff trickling in a tghtly-controlled way out of Jim Rosenthal's entirely independent press operation operating from a place I've yet to track down somewhere on the university campus. This is where the 'on side' 'journalists', many of whom seem by coincidence to wear episcopal clerical collars, are permitted to hang out. I am sure the citizens of the former USSR were similarly enlightened by what Pravda produced on a daily basis. The real operation, the concrete prison where proper journalists do their work, is being run by the staff from Church House. Peter Crumpler and his minions, themselves shut away in an even more terrible bleak hole of a broom cupboard than our own, are brilliant. (Update: Incredibly, TEC might be coming to our rescue. A series of unofficial bishop briefings is to be organised, beginning this evening. I've been asked to make clear that these are nothing at all to do with the official Lambeth press operation.)

There's nothing like a Lambeth Conference or two to swing me back into the conservative camp. Here I am, separated from the leaders of the Anglican Communion, of which I happen to be a covenanting member, by a ten foot wall. I've helped pay for this! Oh it makes me so cross. the rest

Bp. David Bena: Church Faces a Critical Moment

Thursday, Jul 17, 2008
By DAVID BENA
TIMES-DISPATCH COLUMNIST

ALBANY, N.Y. There is no question that we have reached a critical juncture within the international Anglican Communion. Each step forward from this point will inevitably affect even the smallest Episcopal and orthodox Anglican parishes in Virginia.

With Lambeth, the once-a-decade gathering of Anglican bishops starting this week in England, the future of Anglicanism will once again be a topic of conversation. However, it's unfortunate that when the Anglican Communion is in such dire need of action, the Lambeth gathering is poised to deliver nothing more than two weeks of conversation.

The organizers of the conference have stated as much, making it abundantly clear that they have no plans to pass any resolutions or take any action at all that would help repair the Communion.

While Lambeth is poised to disappoint, I cannot help but contrast the event with a very different meeting. the rest

US Bishop John Chane hits out at 'demonic' African church leaders

Riazat Butt
religious affairs correspondent
Guardian
Thursday July 17, 2008

An influential US bishop has attacked African leaders for treating him and his church as a "punchbag".

The Right Rev John Chane, the Bishop of Washington, said neither he nor the Episcopal church deserved the treatment, accusing the leaders of "demonic and dangerous" behaviour. the rest image

Pope issues tough warning over pop culture, environment

posted July 17, 2008

SYDNEY (AFP) — Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday warned Catholics of the perils of pop culture and pillaging the earth's resources after a rapturous welcome at the world's biggest Christian festival in Australia.

Speaking against the spectacular backdrop of Sydney's famous harbour, the pontiff told hundreds of thousands of pilgrims in Australia's biggest and trendiest city that "something is amiss" in modern society.

"Our world has grown weary of greed, exploitation and division, of the tedium of false idols and piecemeal responses, and the pain of false promises," the pope said after a welcoming ceremony by Aborigines in tribal paint.

Benedict told a vast sea of youths from around the world, gathered under a forest of national flags for World Youth Day, that humanity was squandering the earth's resources to satisfy its insatiable appetite for material goods. the rest

NYT: Pope Assails Moral Relativism
By TIM JOHNSTON
July 18, 2008
SYDNEY, Australia -- Pope Benedict XVI laid out a modern agenda Thursday for the event that the Catholic Church is describing as the largest gathering of young people on the planet, putting social justice and the environment center stage and attacking moral relativism.

First stone laid for Louvre's Islamic art gallery

By Gaelle Faure
Associated Press Writer / July 16, 2008

PARIS—The first stone was laid Wednesday at the Louvre's new Arts of Islam gallery, the first major modern architectural addition to the museum since its famed glass pyramid was built in the 1980s.

President Nicolas Sarkozy and a major donor for the project, Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, took part in the ceremony to start work on the addition, which includes a shimmering glass wave hanging over a 19th-century courtyard. The project's architects say it resembles a cloud or a flying carpet. the rest

San Francisco Court Debates Religions’ Right to Oppose ‘Gay’ Adoption

Wednesday, July 16, 2008
By Randy Hall, Staff Writer/Editor

(CNSNews.com) - Was a resolution by the city of San Francisco condemning the Catholic Church’s teachings on homosexuality a violation of the U.S. Constitution or an expression of free speech? Oral arguments on this issue will be heard Wednesday by a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The debate is a result of Resolution 168-06, which was passed unanimously on March 21, 2006, by the board of supervisors of the city and county of San Francisco and which urged the archbishop of San Francisco and Catholic Charities of San Francisco to defy church directives. the rest

San Francisco officially condemns Catholic Church

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Devotional: God often takes a course for accomplishing His purposes...

God often takes a course for accomplishing His purposes directly contrary to what our narrow views would prescribe. He brings a death upon our feelings, wishes, and prospects when He is about to give us the desire of our hearts. ...John Newton image

Bishops 'weakening body of Christ' in row over gays and women

From The Times
July 17, 2008
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

Conservative bishops have been accused of breaching their duties and damaging the welfare of Christians as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, fights back against his critics.

Anglican bishops arriving for the Lambeth Conference yesterday were told to stop their backstabbing and in-fighting if they were not to “weaken the body of Christ”.

A background paper distributed to 650 bishops and archbishops attending the ten-yearly conference in Canterbury told them to remember that their relationships with each other were “fragile and tainted by sin”.

Anglican rows over ordaining gay priests and women bishops were damaging for “all the baptised”, it said. But the most stinging criticism was for conservative bishops, of whom 230, mainly from Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda, are boycotting Lambeth. the rest

Ruth Gledhill: Lambeth Diary

The Pope meets the serpent ... and the koala and the parrot

16.07.08

The image was practically Biblical: Pope Benedict XVI face to face with a serpent.

But the hint of a good vs evil face-off dissipated when the pontiff next squared up against a koala - and, smiling, gave the fuzzy furball a little scratch behind the ears.

The Pope was meeting native Australian animals during the World Youth Day celebration in Australia, where young Roman Catholic pilgrims attended religious classes then chowed down on sausages at barbecues. the rest/images

Pope urges Anglicans to "avoid schism"

Bess Twiston Davies
Times Online
July 16, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI has urged hundreds of Anglican bishops attending the Lambeth Conference to find a “mature” way to avoid “schism.”

Nearly a quarter of the Anglican Bishops worldwide – 230 out of the 880 in the Anglican Communion – have shunned the once-a-decade gathering which began today, over disagreements about the Church’s stance on homosexual clergy.

In a message to Dr Rowan Williams, sent from Australia where Benedict XVI is attending World Youth Day, the Pope said: "The words and the message of Christ are what offer the real contribution to Lambeth and only in being faithful to the message ... and God's words can we find a mature way ... to find a road together.”

His words have been interpreted in some quarters as indicating that Pope Benedict will not welcome Anglican traditionalists at odds with the Church of England over women bishops and homosexual clergy into the Catholic Church. Last week, following the General Synod's vote to ordain women bishops, a leading Anglican traditionalist, Bishop Andrew Burnham of Ebbsfleet said he would consider defecting to the Roman Catholic Church. the rest

Lambeth: News Reporting or Editorializing?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Commentary by Robin G. Jordan

In their coverage of the 2008 Lambeth Conference the American and British media appears to be intent upon shaping public opinion rather than informing the public about current events. It is very evident from the content and tone of their articles where their sympathies lie. They would have the public believe that the issue of "full inclusion" of gays and lesbians into the life, ministry, and sacraments of the Anglican Church is an issue of social justice, that what the LGTB community is confronting is prejudice, irrational fear, and deep-seated hatred in the Anglican Church.

Most articles that I have read are one sided, do not tell the whole story, or give all the facts. Half-truths are often treated as truths. The boundary between news reporting and editorializing is blurred. They seem intent upon generating sympathy and support for the LGTB community, producing antipathy and antagonism toward those whose understanding of the Bible and its authority cause them to oppose the normalization of homosexuality in the Church and society, and putting pressure upon the Anglican bishops gathered for the 2008 Lambeth Conference to adopt a policy that would give Anglican provinces like the Anglican Church of Canada and The Episcopal Church, in which the liberals have a hegemony, "space" to make their own decisions in regards to LGTB issues. the rest image

Bishop Schofield Withdraws from Lambeth

July 15, 2008

Bishop John-David Schofield of the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin was thrilled to learn that Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams continues to recognize him as a bishop in good standing and in communion with the See of Canterbury, according to the Rev. Canon Bill Gandenberger, canon to the ordinary of the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin.

Because of health concerns about the effect of another long trip so soon after the Global Anglican Future Conference, and with his primary concern about his status with the Communion already settled, Bishop Schofield has decided to withdraw from the Lambeth Conference. The decision was announced in a letter written July 15 by Presiding Bishop Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone. the rest

Prayer for Lambeth!

From Lent and Beyond:

Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.”
Joshua 3:5 (NIV)

O Lord, teach us today what You would have us do to purify ourselves. We beseech You to perform amazing things in the Anglican Communion tomorrow. Commission Your Son Christ Jesus, raised from the dead, to drive out the demonic forces that have laid claim to Your church. He has been given all authority in heaven and on earth, and we will know that He is among us, when His priests step out in faith. Amen.
Joshua 3:1-13, Matthew 28:18

All of Lent & Beyond’s Lambeth prayers and resources are here.
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One of my favorite quotes:
There is no power like that of prevailing prayer - of Abraham pleading for Sodom, Jacob wrestling in the stillness of the night, Moses standing in the breach, Hannah intoxicated with sorrow, David heart-broken with remorse and grief, Jesus in sweat and blood. Add to this list from the records of the church your personal observation and experience, and always there is cost of passion unto blood. Such prayer prevails. It turns ordinary mortals into men of power. It brings power. It brings fire. It brings rain. It brings life. It brings God. ...Samuel Chadwick

On Lambeth

(I will update as news becomes available-PD)

CNN: Anglicans meet amid gay bishop row

Scotsman: Bishops braced for a battle

BBC: Lambeth diary: Anglicans in turmoil
Bishops gathering for conference
What is the Lambeth Conference?

AFP: Anglican bishops gather for key summit

Reuters: Quarter of world's Anglicans boycott conference

Telegraph: Bishops arrive at Lambeth Conference as schism threat looms

Timesonline: Public excluded as bishops gather for conference

The Lambeth Conference Official Website

Episcopale Cafe: Blogging bishops and other Lambeth resources

Added 3:00 pm ET:
AP: Anglicans meet as schism threat looms

Anglicans Eye Canterbury as Bishops Gather for Lambeth

Benedict is encouraging Anglican converts

Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Damian Thompson

More evidence this morning that Catholic liberals are panicking at the prospect of an influx of conservative Anglicans. They want us to believe that Pope Benedict is "shunning defectors" in an attempt to shore up the position of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Not true.

On his way to Australia, the Pope was asked about the Lambeth Conference. He replied that the Catholic Church should not intervene in its deliberations and that he was praying that there would be no more schisms and fractures. Lambeth Palace and its liberal Catholic allies have now spun this into a papal message of support for Rowan Williams in his attempts to persuade Anglicans not to convert to Rome. the rest

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Being Set in a Broad Place

Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Margaret Manning

Excerpt:
But God’s deliverance is a mighty deliverance! God doesn’t come quietly to rescue. God doesn’t slip quietly through the back door. David writes, “Then, the earth shook and quaked, the foundations of heavens were trembling and were shaken...God bowed the heavens and came down with thick darkness under his feet....The Lord thundered from heaven, and the Most High uttered his voice...the foundations of the world were laid bare” (2 Samuel 22:8, 10, 14, 16). God’s deliverance creates a cosmic earthquake on behalf of “the man after his own heart.” Sent from on high, God draws David out of the many waters of despair and destruction. Even though confronted by powerful forces at work against him, David affirms that “The Lord was my stay. He brought me forth also into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me” (Psalm 18:19).

If only God would shake the heavens like this in our day and return our fortunes! If only God would save in a way that shores up our financial collapses, and transforms our economic hardships! If only God would deliver us in the same way God delivered David!

If this is the way we see God’s rescue, only as a return to the “way things were” or to a renewed sense of comfort and ease, then we have missed the point of the song altogether. God’s rescue shakes our foundations; it creates cosmic earthquakes overturning and upending all the things in which we place our hope apart from God. David tells us that The Lord was his stay. And David would come to need God’s earth-shaking deliverance again and again, as he lost focus and put his trust in security, and comfort, and the things of this world.

Ultimately, salvation does not come from the things God does for David, or for us. Salvation comes in the Lord as our stay and our total support. While worry and anxiety choke us and narrow our focus, reliance upon God brings us to that broad and spacious place David describes as God’s deliverance and rescue. This is not to say that God brings us right back to that specific place that once was--the place of comfort, of ease, or safety. But God opens up new worlds in which we can trust no matter what we are experiencing. As one commentator notes, the psalmists’ chief concern to give thanks to God are not chiefly found in regaining “physical health, or adding more years to life, or by enhancing the life they now enjoy with greater comfort or security. That is a modern conception of life, whose emptiness is eventually disclosed. According to Israel’s way of thinking, life is missed when people do not choose it: ‘See, I have set before you life and death....Therefore, choose life.’ Moreover, the life of ‘the righteous’ is eroded in vitality when death works its power.” the rest-Excellent! image

(Scripture verses from 2 Samuel 22:19-20 were given to me at a difficult time in my life and their promise and comfort have been fullfilled many times over...thank you Nancy!-PD)

Archbishop of Canterbury: 'Christian doctrine is offensive to Muslims'

By Steve Doughty
15th July 2008

Christian doctrine is offensive to Muslims, the Archbishop of Canterbury said today.

Dr Rowan Williams also criticised Christiaity in history for its violence, harsh use of punishments, and its betrayal of its peaceful principles.

His acknowledgement of Christian faults came in a highly conciliatory letter to Islamic leaders calling for an alliance between the two faiths for 'the common good'.

It risked fresh controversy for the Archbishop in the wake of his pronouncement earlier this year that a place should be found for Islamic sharia law in the British legal system. the rest

Stand Firm: Bishop Schofield’s “exact status… remains unclear”

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Archbishop Gregory Venables write to the diocese of San Joaquin:

Excerpt:
In addition, I have been in conversation with Archbishop Rowan. Over the weekend I received the following message from him: "I understand that Bishop John-David Schofield has been accepted as a full member of the episcopal fellowship of the Province of the Southern Cone within the Anglican Communion and as such cannot be regarded as having withdrawn from the Anglican Communion. However, it is acknowledged that his exact status (especially given the complications surrounding the congregations associated with him) remains unclear on the basis of the general norms of Anglican Canon Law, and this constitutes one of the issues on which we hope for assistance from the Windsor Continuation Group. Bishop Schofield has elected to decline the invitation to the Lambeth Conference issued to him last year although that decision does not signal any withdrawal from the Communion. I hope there may be further careful reflection to clarify the terms on which he will exercise his ministry."

This statement from the Archbishop of Canterbury is clear, even though we are in somewhat new territory; you remain within the Anglican Communion. Given the rigors of international travel and the work that there is to do in the Diocese, I am in agreement with Bishop John-David's decision not to attend the Lambeth Conference. I am also aware of statements by Bishop Jerry Lamb in which he makes statements and demands that miss the mark of Christian leadership and fall short of what many consider propriety. I would encourage the clergy and lay members of the diocese to ignore this. We are glad to have you as full members of the Southern Cone. As you can see, you are well regarded as members of the Anglican Communion. May God richly bless you! the rest/comments at Stand Firm

ACNS: Countdown to Lambeth 2008: Equipping Bishops for Mission

July 15, 2008

Some 650 Anglican bishops from all over the world are making their way to Canterbury for the Lambeth Conference 2008 focussing on the theme: Equipping Bishops for Mission.

The Conference will begin with a three-day retreat and, as in previous Conferences, every day will begin with Eucharist and Bible study in small groups.

More than 75% of Anglican bishops worldwide have now registered for the Conference, representing 36 of the 38 provinces of the world-wide Anglican Communion. There will be 10 husbands among the 550 spouses taking part in the parallel conference, God’s People for God’s Mission.

The Lambeth Conference this year has two key points of focus: strengthening the sense of a shared Anglican identity among the bishops from around the world, and helping to equip bishops for the role they increasingly have as leaders in mission, involved in a whole variety of ways in helping the Church grow. the rest

Main players at the Lambeth conference

Lambeth conference: the absentees

Pope's first text message

"YOUNG friend, God and his people expect much from u because u have within you the Fathers supreme gift: the Spirit of Jesus - BXVI." image

Wild cheers for biggest youth mass in Australian history

Losing God the Father

July 14, 2008
by S. M. Hutchens

Since the canonical expulsion of orthodox Christianity from the Episcopal Church my wife and I have worshipped with an Evangelical congregation, primarily because of its pastor--a friend whose thoughtful, learned, and judicious preaching is always worth hearing. Like nearly everyone who has spent years with the Book of Common Prayer, however, we badly miss a thoughtful, learned, and judicious service of worship to accompany it. While this church, is much, much better than most of its kind, it is still subject to the many vaguaries of a free-form worship, undisciplined by any tradition but its own.

Because of this it would take a visitor a while to confirm that the church is trinitarian. The Creed is not regularly repeated, and the hymnody strongly favors the worship of Jesus. The pastor is aware of the problem, so frequently invokes the Name of the Holy Trinity. But there’s not much of this in what Evangelicals call “worship,” which has lately become almost synonymous with the singing of “praise choruses.” The Father and Spirit are not ignored in these, but the praise usually goes to Jesus.

In the paths I travel have heard from time to time some muted remarks about the tendency of Evangelicals to direct their worship to Jesus rather than the Father. This never seemed to me much cause for concern because the Son and the Spirit are to be worshipped with the Father, and Evangelical churches are by definition trinitarian. the rest image

Churches seek legal protection from same-sex activists

Allie Martin
OneNewsNow
7/15/2008

Pastors in California are learning how to avoid lawsuits in the wake of the legalization of same-sex "marriage" in that state.

Legal briefings being conducted by the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) are meant to give practical counsel to pastors to limit legal liability to churches as they face requests to perform same-sex ceremonies. PJI president Brad Dacus says the Supreme Court's ruling caught many pastors by surprise.

"Pastors need to amend their policies and their statement of faith on a number of different issues, including events that are put on, who puts them on, the qualifications of the people participating in those events or marriage ceremonies, the usage of their facilities," Dacus contends. "They need to have real tight policies in place." the rest

Death Wish: The Impending Suicide of a Once Great Nation

Monday July 14, 2008
By Rev. John A. Corapi, SOLT

Excerpt:
The United States of America seems to have a death wish, and we have traveled far down the road to having that wish realized.

When law divorces itself from common sense and spawns the illegitimate offspring of distortions of law, resulting in illegal laws - based neither on the natural law nor divine law - this undermines law itself, generating disdain for the law. Erosion of trust in the courts, or the system in general, is inevitable.

The genesis of the death wish is rooted in the fall of man that we see in the Book of Genesis. The substance of the fall is wrapped up in Lucifer's pride, transferred to Adam and Eve - "You can be like gods, knowing good and evil." The unholy, yet inevitable, consequence of that pride is disobedience - eating the forbidden fruit. The ultimate end is death, as God said it would be.

That's the way it was in the beginning. That's the way it is now. That's the way it will be until time breathes forth its last moment.

The prototypical sin is pride, the pride that seeks to exalt the creature above the Creator: "I can be like God." Then, subjectively and arbitrarily, man tries to assert himself, imagining that he knows what's good and evil for himself without reference to God and God's law. This was the fall of the angels and the fall of man. The attempt by creatures to usurp what is only the province of God. Only God knows what is good for His creation. the rest image

More than a dozen churches have left PCUSA with their property this year

By Patrick Jean
Staff Writer The Layman
Monday, July 14, 2008

Since 2005, more than 50 Presbyterian Church (USA) congregations have voted to leave the denomination.

List

Sexuality stance 'embarrasses' Anglicans

By Christopher Landau
BBC World Service religious affairs correspondent
Monday, 14 July 2008

The head of the Anglican church in the US has said that her church has embarrassed other parts of the Anglican Communion with its approach to sexuality.

Speaking ahead of the Lambeth Conference, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori defended churches that had confronted the controversial issue.

She said she hoped that Anglican bishops gathering in Canterbury this week would not be distracted by discussions about sexuality, but rather would focus on more important matters like international development and climate change.

But she admitted it was "very awkward" that the Anglican Communion's only openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, had not received an invitation to the once-a-decade gathering. the rest

Anti-pope activists given legal right to 'annoy' Catholic pilgrims

July 15, 2008
Roy Eccleston, Adelaide

Australian anti-pope activists have won the right to “annoy” Catholic pilgrims at the week-long World Youth Day celebrations in Sydney after a court struck down a new law and backed their right to hand out condoms and coat-hangers.

The decision by three judges in the Federal Court embarrassed the New South Wales Government, which introduced the new regulations this month, providing a fine of up to $5500 for anyone causing “annoyance” to the estimated 225,000 pilgrims who have flocked to Sydney to celebrate with Pope Benedict XVI. the rest

Monday, July 14, 2008

Devotional: We often pray to be delivered from calamities...

We often pray to be delivered from calamities; we even trust that we shall be; but we do not pray to be made what we should be, in the very presence of the calamities; to live amid them, as long as they last, in the consciousness that we are, held and sheltered by the Lord, and can therefore remain in the midst of them, so long as they continue, without any hurt.

For forty days and nights, the Saviour was kept in the presence of Satan in the wilderness, and that, under circumstances of special trial, His human nature being weakened by want of food and rest. The furnace was heated seven times more than it was wont to be heated, but the three Hebrew children were kept a season amid its flames as calm and composed in the presence of the tyrant's last appliances of torture, as they were in the presence of himself before their time of deliverance came. And the livelong night did Daniel sit among the lions, and when he was taken up out of the den, "no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God." They dwelt in the presence of the enemy, because they dwelt in the presence of God. ...Streams in the Desert
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Williams needs a miracle to keep church intact

Church of England: Beset by liberals, hounded by conservatives, Williams needs a miracle to keep church intact
Stephen Bates
The Guardian
Tuesday July 15, 2008

The archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams. Photograph: Lewis Whyld/PA
When Rowan Williams was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury almost exactly six years ago, one Church of England bishop is said to have rolled his eyes heavenwards and murmured: "God save us from a holy bishop."

That was not the general view at the time. Williams's appointment as the 104th archbishop since St Augustine was broadly welcomed, both within the church and even from the massed choir of leader-writers and commentators, as an inspirational one.

At last, after decades of decline, dismay and disillusionment under dull, wily or managerial primates, there was to be a leader who was not only an intellectually brilliant theologian, but someone who was a wonderful speaker, almost ostentatiously spiritual, a deep thinker and self-evidently holy. the rest