Saturday, July 26, 2008

Devotional: If we would indeed know God in growing intimacy...

If we would indeed know God in growing intimacy, we must go this way of renunciation. And if we are set upon the pursuit of God, He will sooner or later bring us to this test. Abraham's testing was, at the time, not known to him as such, yet if he had taken some course other than the one he did, the whole history of the Old Testament would have been different. God would have found His man, no doubt, but the loss to Abraham would have been tragic beyond the telling. So we will be brought one by one to the testing place, and we may never know when we are there. At that testing place there will be no dozen possible choices for us; just one and an alternative, but our whole future will be conditioned by the choice we make. ... A.W. Tozer image

Archbishop: Communion Faith and Order Commission Gains Momentum

July 25, 2008

If the Anglican Communion is to survive, another Instrument of Unity may need to be created, according to a paper prepared by the Windsor Continuation Group.

“We commend the suggestion for the setting up of an Anglican Communion Faith and Order Commission that could give guidance on the ecclesiological issues raised by our current ‘crisis’,” the group wrote in a working paper distributed on July 25.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams established the six-member group earlier this year to help implement some of the longer-term recommendations made in the Windsor Report. Archbishop Williams said the plan was a very preliminary one, but that it seemed to have broad support among bishops during a Lambeth Conference media briefing this afternoon. the rest

Vatican approves new English translation for Mass

Vatican, Jul. 25, 2008

(CWNews.com) - The Vatican has given formal approval to a new English translation of the central prayers of the Mass for use in the United States.

In a June 23 letter of Bishop Arthur Serratelli, the chairman of the US bishops' liturgy committee, the Congregation for Divine Worship announces its recognitio for the translation, which had already won the approval of the US bishops' conference, despite strong protests from some liberal prelates.

The new translation adheres more closely to the Latin of the Roman Missal. Since the 2001 publication of Liturgiam Authenticam, the instruction on the proper translation of liturgical texts, the Vatican has pressed for more faithful translations of the official Latin texts. the rest image

At nation's churches, guys are few in the pews

By Cathy Lynn Grossman
USA TODAY

Churches nationwide are fretting and sweating to reel men into their sanctuaries on Sundays.
Women outnumber men in attendance in every major Christian denomination, and they are 20% to 25% more likely to attend worship at least weekly.

Although every soul matters, many pastors say they need to power up on reaching men if the next generation of believers, the children, will find the way to faith. So hundreds of churches are going for a "guy church" vibe, programming for a stereotypical man's man.

"I hear about it everywhere I go," says Brandon O'Brien, who detailed the evolution of the chest-thumping evangelism trend this spring in Christianity Today. the rest

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules that Homosexual 'Hate Crimes' Law Violates Pennsylvania Constitution

By John Jalsevac

WASHINGTON, July 25, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - On Wednesday the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued a short per curiam order, in which it agreed with the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania that the state legislature violated the Pennsylvania Constitution when it added "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to Pennsylvania's "ethnic intimidation" law.

Eleven Christians of the evangelical group Repent America were arrested due to that same law in 2004 for reading the Bible and singing hymns at Outfest, a homosexual rally. Though the case was eventually dropped, Repent America filed legal action in 2005 against the act, citing its unconstitutional nature.

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania agreed last November that the law was unconstitutional and struck it down. On appeal the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania sided with the Commonwealth Court, saying on Wednesday: "The order of the Commonwealth Court is AFFIRMED for the reasons ably set forth in the opinion of the Honorable James Gardner Colins, which opinion is adopted as that of the Supreme Court." the rest

Steven Colbert: The Definitive Commentary on Lambeth



(h/t titusonenine)

Lambeth News at Stand Firm

Book of Common Law Principles Released Here

Saturday Morning Press Conference: On the Reflections Group Members & the Book of Common Law Principles
Here

Release of the Names on the Reflections Group [the group that will be writing the document from Lambeth]
Here

Friday, July 25, 2008

Devotional: Health for the whole man is God's gracious purpose for us...

We should not draw too sharp a distinction between this "barren land" or "wilderness" of our pilgrimage, and the sweet home that God has prepared. We all know the changes and chances of this troublous life; but we can also know in this vale of tears the healthful spirit of His grace. Health for the whole man is God's gracious purpose for us here and now, often frustrated, often prevented by unbelief. The life of the saints in light must not emphasize for us simply the contrast between their state and ours, but rather the beginning of the gift of eternal life and all its benefits of inner strength and peace amid earthly vicissitudes.
... David Head image

Judges Favor The Profane

Friday, July 25, 2008
by Brent Bozell III

For the second time this year, a federal court has ruled against Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and ruled in favor of shattering every barrier of decency on television. A few months ago, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled in favor of fleeting profanities thrown carelessly on network TV. Given that Hollywood could defend all profanities as "fleeting," that ruling opens the door for F-bombs galore, any time, anywhere.

Now, the Third Circuit in Philadelphia has ruled the same for fleeting nudity. Nothing is sacred on television -- except the profane. the rest

Muslims Adopt Megachurch Multi-Site Model for Mosques

By Jennifer Riley
Christian Post Reporter
Thu, Jul. 24 2008

Mosques are multiplying across the country and their inspiration may come as a bit of a surprise – Christian megachurches.

Similar to many megachurches, new mosques are popping up as extension campuses to a main mosque with the stated goal of making it more convenient for Muslims in an area to worship. These extended mosque sites are sometimes referred to as “mosque chains” and tend to be adopted by more progressive Muslim congregations.

"Because of how streamlined we are, you can get off the highway from anywhere and find a mosque that is well-maintained, well-structured and that will always be open," said Abeer Abdulla, media specialist for the nine mosques owned by the Islamic Society of Central Florida in Orlando, according to Religion News Service. the rest

What's tougher to get than a same-sex marriage? A same-sex divorce

By Sue Horton, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
July 25, 2008

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- On the morning of May 26, 2004, Cassandra Ormiston and her long-time partner Margaret Chambers arose early, hopped in the car and raced across the border into Massachusetts.

Then-Gov. Mitt Romney, a staunch opponent of same-sex marriage, had already ordered some Massachusetts cities to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples who lived outside the state, and Ormiston and Chambers hoped to get to nearby Fall River before the ban took effect there. the rest

Beijing smog persists with Games just around corner

Jul 25, 2008

Beijing was swathed in smog on Friday just two weeks ahead of the Olympics as its notorious pollution defied aggressive steps aimed at clearing the air for next month's Games.

However, Chinese officials brushed off concerns over the city's stubborn smog, which has triggered a warning by IOC chief Jacques Rogge that some events could be postponed if air quality is poor.

"Sometimes it looks like it's a foggy day, but the air quality is actually good," Sun Weide, a spokesman for the Beijing Olympic Organising Committee, told AFP. the rest image

He ventured forth to bring light to the world

The Times
July 25, 2008
Gerard Baker

And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.

The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical white person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow.

When he was twelve years old, they found him in the temple in the City of Chicago, arguing the finer points of community organisation with the Prophet Jeremiah and the Elders. And the Elders were astonished at what they heard and said among themselves: “Verily, who is this Child that he opens our hearts and minds to the audacity of hope?”
the rest image

Cherie Wetzel: Friday Morning Lambeth Report

July 25, 2008
Canterbury, England

It has been beehive of activity here since I wrote to you last. On Wednesday evening, Anglican-Mainstream had their reception for orthodox bishops and had 70 Bishops and a few wives in attendance, 10 press and staff from Anglican Mainstream.

After a Bible study on the book of Jude by Bishop Wallace Benn, President of the Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC), we heard from the various bishops who cared to speak. Since the press had been invited, we were asked to stand, introduce ourselves and promise that we would not identify any bishop present or attribute what they said. All the press did so.

Then the fun began. How is the conference? Worrisome. the rest

Rowan Williams backs 'Anglican Inquisition'

By Martin Beckford
Religious Affairs Correspondent
25 Jul 2008

Dr Rowan Williams said there was a "very strong feeling" within the 80 million-strong Communion that guidance is needed on questions of Biblical teaching, which have led it to the brink of schism over sexuality.

He said he was "enthusiastic" about the idea of a Faith and Order Commission that has been proposed by a group set up to resolve the crisis triggered by liberal Americans, who in 2003 elected an openly gay bishop, the Rt Rev Gene Robinson.

But liberals claim the Commission - which would be based on a code of Canon Law and which is being proposed in addition to a new set of rules to bind the provinces of Anglicanism - has echoes of the medieval Inquisition, which was used to enforce Roman Catholic doctrine and punish those condemned as heretics. the rest

CANA: Common Cause Acts on GAFCON

On July 24, 2008, the Common Cause headquarters released a statement seeking to act on the GAFCON initiatives. The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) echoed the Common Cause Partnership’s desire to embrace the invitation by the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) leadership to recognize Common Cause as an Anglican province in North America. Common Cause is petitioning the Primates Council formed at GAFCON for this status.

CANA’s Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns, also a Common Cause Executive Committee member, said, “The Statement on the Global Anglican Future and the Jerusalem Declaration presented at GAFCON has given orthodox Anglicans a path towards the future. As we set forth plans for the future of Anglicanism in North America, our prayer is that our Common Cause federation will continue to grow and mature as an Anglican province. We are living in a critical time in the global Anglican community and we want our future to be secure. Now is the time to lay a foundation that will support generations to come — and given the scores of young Anglican leaders I have met in the past couple years, our future is bright and filled with hope!”

CANA is a founding member of the Common Cause Partnership. Bishop Minns, CANA’s suffragan bishops, and other CANA leaders have invested significant time in the past year building up relationships with Common Cause partner bishops and leaders. Here

Common Cause wants to be Gafcon Province

Dreading Lambeth’s Outcome, and for Good Reason

Andrew Carey
Stand Firm
July 25, 2008

Having spent what seems like years of my life at Anglican conferences I dread them these days. On a spiritual level they are deeply depressing. I found at one point, particularly in the late 1990s and early years of this century that I was swapping my faith and family life for an unhealthy adrenaline addiction to Anglican conflict. The 1998 Lambeth Conference, in particular, was both a high and a low point in my life.

At the beginning of the conference my wife, Helen, and I received an appointment date to attend King’s College Hospital Assisted Conception Unit, to investigate further our childlessness. This felt like something final to us and left us both with a feeling of deep despair. Yet in the final week of the conference we attended the Unit. We were both taken aback when during the first procedure tears came to the eyes of the nurse, and she left the room to get a second opinion from a colleague. We were then told that Helen was in fact pregnant. the rest

Ruth Gledhill: Anglican 'Holy Office'

July 25, 2008

The Anglican Communion is on the rack and the torture continues. It surely cannot be stretched much longer before it is torn apart.

The second observations document of the Windsor Continuation Group has just dropped. It gives more detail of the Principles of Canon Law Project, which we wrote about earlier and which is being talked of by primates as the 'Fifth Instrument of Communion'. I am told it will not be so much a Catholic-style 'Code of Canon Law' as a 'blueprint' of Canon Law. However, comparisons with the Roman Church will become even more inevitable because of another plan, to set up a new Faith and Order Commission. the rest

Palau to distribute 'Friendly Dialogue' book at Olympics

Friday, July 25, 2008
by Michelle A Vu, Christian Post

The Chinese Government has granted a major evangelist permission to distribute a Christian-atheist book to athletes and coaches during the Beijing Summer Olympics.

Evangelist Luis Palau will be giving a copy of his book, A Friendly Dialogue Between an Atheist and a Christian, to athletes attending the Games.

The book records a conversation between atheist Chinese diplomat Zhao Qizheng – a high-ranking Chinese government official – and the Christian evangelist. It offers both the basic beliefs of Christianity and a unique perspective on Christianity and philosophy of religion as seen from Chinese culture and beliefs.

Palau’s distribution approval comes just one month after China announced plans to print and distribute 50,000 Gospel booklets in Chinese and English for the Olympics. China said it will also print 30,000 Chinese-English New Testaments and 10,000 Chinese-English complete Bibles especially for the Games. the rest

U.N. crackdown on Christians to get review?

July 24, 2008
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

Excerpt:
"Around the world, Christians are being increasingly targeted, and even persecuted, for their religious beliefs. Now, one of the largest organizations in the United Nations is pushing to make a bad situation even worse by promoting anti-Christian bigotry," the group said.

"We must put an immediate end to this most recent, dangerous attack on faith that attempts to criminalize Christianity." story

Senator Obama and the Wall of the Womb

By Deacon Keith Fournier
7/25/2008
Catholic Online

Excerpt:
Senator Obama does not acknowledge that an entire class of persons, children in the first home of the human race their mother’s womb, are our neighbors. He speaks of inalienable rights, but fails to include these children in the first among them, the right to life.

He also does not include these little persons in his claims to care about the poor and his concern for the immigrants. Yet, they are, in the words of a great treasure of our age, the late “Mother” now “Blessed” Teresa of Calcutta, the “poorest of the poor”.

These little boys and girls are being evicted from their first home, the womb,every day by the thousands. No, they are actually being killed, burned, and dismembered, in a war being waged upon the womb complete with surgical strikes and chemical weapons. And, he supports it all, calling this evil a “right”. the rest image

FOX News Poll: No Bounce for Obama From Overseas Trip

Hugh Hewitt: Obama In Berlin

Anglican version of the 'inquisition' proposed to avoid future schism

Times Online
July 25, 2008
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

An Anglican version of the Roman Catholic church's "inquisition" is proposed today in a document seen by The Times.

Bishops are urging the setting up of an Anglican Faith and Order Commission to give "guidance" on controversial issues such as same-sex blessings and gay ordinations.

The commission was put forward as a proposal this week to the 650 bishops attending the Lambeth Conference as a way of preserving the future unity of the Anglican Communion. Insiders compared it with the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the body formerly headed by the present Pope as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and previously known as the Holy Office or Inquisition.

This morning's "observations" document is the second in a series of three. The third will be published next week. The document says: "Anglicans are currently failing to recognise Church in one another." the rest

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Devotional: "How vast are the possibilities of prayer!

"How vast are the possibilities of prayer! How wide is its reach! What great things are accomplished by this divinely appointed means of grace! It lays its hand on Almighty God and moves Him to do what He would not otherwise do if prayer was not offered. It brings things to pass which would never otherwise occur. The story of prayer is the story of great achievements. Prayer is a wonderful power placed by Almighty God in the hands of His saints, which may be used to accomplish great purposes and to achieve unusual results. Prayer reaches to everything, takes in all things great and small which are promised by God to the children of men. The only limits to prayer are the promises of God and His ability to fulfill those promises. 'Open thy mouth wide and I will fill it.'" ...EM Bounds image

The Lambeth Conference: Keeping the media at arm’s length

24/07/2008
By Pat Ashworth

If you’d seen me sitting on a bench in the sunshine here in Canterbury today, Wednesday, you’d have thought it was a pretty enviable place to be. It’s around teatime. Picture me in a garden space with dappled light on the grass, three plump rabbits motionless under a tree and hymn singing floating out of the Big Top.

It’s important to mention that I’m eating another salad out of another box. This is because I have, upon recommendation, just trekked across the campus to the Keynes building and its Italian restaurant, La Dolce Vita, only to be told by an officious member of the university catering team that I can only eat in the Tex-Mex restaurant in Darwin, the building where I am living in my sixties student room.

But what if I don’t like Mexican – or at least, not every night for a fortnight, I plead? She gives me a cold stare and repeats her mantra: you can only eat in Darwin. She flicks a cloth across the counter and I leave. The restaurant, by the way, is almost empty of diners.

I go into this sorry detail because after a week in residence, I hit a new low tonight. I am hearing the worship borne so tantalisingly on the air but I can’t attend it because journalists are not to be trusted near the bishops when they are worshipping. The paths around the Big Top are ringed with security fencing. We are allowed in for selected plenaries but only with an escort and only en masse. the rest

Covenant is flawed and colonialist, says GAFCON

25 July, 2008
by Ed Beavan

THE GAFCON group has rejected the St Andrew’s draft text of the Anglican Covenant, describing it as “seriously limited and severely flawed”.

The draft forms the latest version of the document which is being considered by the Lambeth Conference as a means to steer the Communion through its current difficulties.

The GAFCON response comes at the same time as its reply to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s comments on GAFCON’s Jerusalem Statement (News, 4 July).

The GAFCON Theological Resource Team says the document is “defective”, “theologically incoherent” and its proposals are “unwork-able”. Their response alleges seven serious theological flaws in the draft, the first being that it does not recognise “the mischief it seeks to address”, which they describe as “a crisis of obedience to scripture . . . or apostasy”, prompted by the “determined departures from the teaching of scripture on human sexuality by the Episcopal Church [in the US] and the Anglican Church of Canada”. the rest

Bishop accuses church of manipulating summit over 'tolerance guide' to gay clergy

Riazat Butt/religious affairs correspondent
The Guardian
Friday July 25 2008

A US bishop yesterday accused his own church of manipulating the Lambeth summit by providing its 125 representatives with briefing notes explaining how to promote liberal attitudes towards gay clergy.

The US Episcopal church has the largest presence at Lambeth, a once-a-decade gathering of the world's Anglican bishops in Canterbury, and has provided each prelate with a "messaging strategy" that tells them how to present a cogent, persuasive argument in favour of diversity and tolerance in their discussions with other bishops.

Liberals form the majority voice in the US church and are eager to liberalise attitudes towards sexuality, given the divisive furore that has ensued following the 2003 consecration of Gene Robinson, an openly gay man, as bishop of New Hampshire.

The document handed out to the Episcopal church's Lambeth contingent encourages bishops to promote the idea of diversity by using examples from the Bible and scripture.

"God made a diverse creation who reveals many gifts but the same spirit. Jesus calls a diverse witness into being and sends them into witness. St Paul called a diverse church to unity in Christ." the rest

Common Cause Partnership Welcomes Jerusalem Declaration

The Common Cause Partnership leaders issued a statement today welcoming the Jerusalem Declaration and the statement on the Global Anglican Future and pledging to move forward with the work of Anglican unity in North America.

We, as the Bishops and elected leaders of the Common Cause Partnership (CCP) are deeply grateful for the Jerusalem Declaration. It describes a hopeful, global Anglican future, rooted in scripture and the authentic Anglican way of faith and practice. We joyfully welcome the words of the GAFCON statement that it is now time ‘for the federation currently known as the Common Cause Partnership to be recognized by the Primates Council.’

The intention of the CCP Executive Committee is to petition the Primates Council for recognition of the CCP as the North American Province of GAFCON on the basis of the Common Cause Partnership Articles, Theological Statement, and Covenant Declaration, and to ask that the CCP Moderator be seated in the Primates Council.

We accept the call to build the Common Cause Partnership into a truly unified body of Anglicans. We are committed to that call. Over the past months, we have worked together, increasing the number of partners and authorizing committees and task groups for Mission, Education, Governance, Prayer Book & Liturgy, the Episcopate, and Ecumenical Relations. The Executive Committee is meeting regularly to carry forward the particulars of this call. The CCP Council will meet December 1–3, 2008.

The Common Cause Partnership links together nine Anglican jurisdictions and organizations in North America. Together, the American Anglican Council, the Anglican Coalition in Canada, the Anglican Communion Network, the Anglican Mission in the Americas, the Anglican Network in Canada, the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, the Federation of Anglican Churches in the Americas, Forward in Faith North America and the Reformed Episcopal Church represent more the 1,300 Anglican parishes in the United States and Canada.

The Common Cause Partnership Executive Committee is:
The Rt. Rev’d Robert Duncan, Moderator;
The Venerable Charlie Masters, General Secretary;
Mrs. Patience Oruh, Treasurer;
The Rt. Rev’d Keith Ackerman, Forward in Faith North America;
The Rt. Rev’d David Anderson, American Anglican Council;
The Rt. Rev’d Donald Harvey, Anglican Network in Canada;
The Rt. Rev’d Paul Hewett, Federation of Anglican Churches in the Americas;
The Rt. Rev’d Martyn Minns, Convocation of Anglicans in North America;
The Rt. Rev’d Chuck Murphy, Anglican Mission in the Americas;
The Rt. Rev’d Leonard Riches, Reformed Episcopal Church;
The Rt. Rev’d Bill Atwood, Anglican Church of Kenya
The Rt. Rev’d John Guernsey, Church of the Province of Uganda.
link

Comments at Stand Firm

Lambeth: Why many bishops did not come

By Chris Sugden
July 24, 2008

In his opening sermon at the Lambeth Conference, the bishop of Colombo, the Right Reverend Duleep de Chickera, insisted that the Anglican tradition was to welcome everybody. It is, he said, "an inclusive communion, where there is space equally for everyone and anyone, regardless of color, gender, ability, sexual orientation. Unity in diversity is a cherished Anglican tradition."

Given this shared tradition, why did some 230 of the Communion's 650 bishops choose not to come? Because they hold that - above anything else - the unifying, formal commitment of the Anglican Church is to Scripture and its teaching, and that those who are endorsing blessing same-sex relationships and consecrating active gay men as bishops are innovators who are setting the teaching of the Bible aside. For these 230 bishops this is a matter of conscience - obedience to the Bible and the continuous teaching of the Church. the rest

Appeals Court Bans Prayer 'In Jesus' Name'

WASHINGTON, July 23 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled that the city council of Fredericksburg, Virginia had proper authority to require "non-sectarian" prayer content and exclude council-member Rev. Hashmel Turner from the prayer rotation because he prayed "in Jesus' name."

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, writing the decision, said: "The restriction that prayers be nonsectarian in nature is designed to make the prayers accessible to people who come from a variety of backgrounds, not to exclude or disparage a particular faith."

Ironically, she admitted Turner was excluded from participating solely because of the Christian content of his prayer. the rest

“An Open Door, Pittsburgh Laity Discuss Realignment”



July 23, 2008

A ten minute video produced by Jim Forney, a parishioner at St. Stephen’s in Sewickley and narrated by Dr. Edith Humphrey of Church of the Ascension in Oakland, features laity from parishes of the diocese of Pittsburgh discussing their support for realigning the diocese to another province of the Anglican Communion. link

Sudanese Bishop Explains Release of Letters

July 23, 2008

Members of the House of Bishops of The Church of the Sudan knew that The Episcopal Church would attempt to make the exclusion of Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire an issue at the Lambeth Conference, and so they prepared the two letters released yesterday before they departed for the England.

“This was our unanimous position that we agreed to,” said the Rt. Rev. Benjamin Mangar Mamur, Bishop of Yirol. As to the timing of their release, he said the Sudanese bishops left that decision to their primate, Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams acknowledged receiving the letters before they were released, but they came as a surprise to a number of other African bishops. Bishop Mangar said the letters, especially the one on human sexuality, were not meant to be hurtful. Instead they were intended as a plea to come back to the fold from one group of Christians to another. the rest

A Glance at the Media Covering the Lambeth Conference

Sarah Hey
Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Story at Stand Firm

(If you are not already aware of it, both Matt Kennedy+ and Sarah Hey from Stand Firm are at Lambeth-check out their stories there.)

Akinola: Lambeth Conference attendance 'is immaterial'

Wednesday, 23rd July 2008
George Conger

Canterbury: One Rwandan bishop and five Kenyan bishops have broken ranks, defying their House of Bishops to attend the 2008 Lambeth Conference. However, no Nigerian or Uganda bishop has defied his church’s decision not to attend the every-10-year conference due to the presence of the American bishops.

“We’re sorry they are not here,” Archbishop Rowan Williams said, of the approximately 250 bishops from the four African provinces, Sydney and other evangelical dioceses who are absent.

Initial claims that a Nigerian bishop had bucked his Church have proven false. the rest

Lambeth Conference’s legitimacy ‘called into question’

California court drops charges against home schoolers

Jeff Johnson
OneNewsNow
7/22/2008

The battle against the legality of home schooling in California may be coming to an end as a family court decides not to pursue charges against a home-schooling family.

In late February 2008, the California 2nd District Court of Appeals ruled that parents have no right to home school their children. Since then, pro-family attorneys have been preparing and delivering briefs in defense of a parents' rights to control the education of their children. the rest

Why It’s So Hard to Teach Students These Days

Professor Mark Bauerlein looks at “The Dumbest Generation.”
By George Leef
July 22, 2008

Several years ago, Tom Brokaw wrote a best-seller, The Greatest Generation, a tribute to the Americans of the World War II era. After reading Mark Bauerlein’s new book The Dumbest Generation, you have to wonder if history wouldn’t have turned out much worse if the “Millennial Generation” – today’s youth and young adults – had been in charge during the 1940s. We might be taking orders from Berlin.

Bauerlein, a professor of English at Emory University, has dealt with young people for years and is dismayed at what he sees: “While the world has provided them with extraordinary chances to gain knowledge and improve their reading/writing skills, not to mention offering financial incentives to do so, young Americans today are no more learned or skillful than their predecessors, no more knowledgeable, fluent, up-to-date, or inquisitive, except in materials of youth culture…."

He continues: "They read less on their own, both books and newspapers, and you would have to canvass a lot of college English instructors and employers before you would find one who said they compose better paragraphs.”A strong indictment, but Bauerlein backs it up. the rest image

Civil rights group denounces 'gay pride' parade in Spain for inciting religious hatred

Madrid, Jul 23, 2008

(CNA).- The civil rights watchdog organization Hazteoir.org filed a complaint with Spain’s Attorney General this week against the organizers of a July 5 “gay pride” parade for inciting religious hatred.

The gay pride parade, which took place in Madrid, is renowned not only for its graphic and violent displays of homosexual sex, but also for its open aggression against the Catholic faith. Many participants dress up in clerical or religious garb combined with sexual objects, and others carry signs that insult the Pope, the bishops and Catholics in general. the rest

Will Pro-Choicers Respect Conscientious Choice?

Cardinal Addresses Possible Regulations on Abortion Funding

WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 23, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The chairman of the U.S. bishops pro-life committee says an issue is being discussed by members of Congress that should be a matter of agreement between "pro-lifers" and "pro-choicers": respect of conscience.

Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia, chairman of the bishops' Committee for Pro-Life Activities, affirmed this in a letter Friday to members of Congress. The cardinal's letter responded to a debate that arose when the New York Times reported on July 15 that it had a draft of proposed federal regulations on the conscience rights of health care providers.

According to the Times article, "The Bush administration wants to require all recipients of aid under federal health programs to certify that they will not refuse to hire nurses and other providers who object to abortion and even certain types of birth control." the rest

Vatican urges Anglican Communion to heal deep division

Marites N. Sison
staff writer
Jul 24, 2008

Canterbury, England: A high-ranking Vatican Cardinal Tuesday called for greater unity between Anglicans and Catholics but at the same time gave veiled advice that the Anglican Communion must address deep division within its ranks.

Evangelization is “possible in the measure in which there is unity and cohesion between the members of the Church, between them and their shepherds, and, above all, between the shepherds themselves, both within the community as well as with the other Christian confessions,” Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Rome-based Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, told the world’s Anglican bishops gathered here for the Lambeth Conference. the rest

The Death of Protestant America: A Political Theory of the Protestant Mainline

First Things
August/September 2008


Essay here-Excellent!
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Anglican bishops share their views with Faith Online

July 23. 2008
We have asked a selection of Anglican bishops attending the Lambeth Conference, a once-a-decade gathering of the Anglican episcopate, to share their views on the meeting as it progresses
Here

Anglican bishops lead "poverty march" through London (Extra)

Jul 24, 2008

London - More than 600 Anglican bishops led a protest march through central London Thursday urging world governments to tackle global poverty and fulfil pledges made for the new millennium.

The colourful march, snaking through the government centre of Whitehall under sunny skies Thursday, was led by Rowan Williams, the head of the Anglican Church, and joined by hundreds more faith leaders, politicians, diplomats and charity groups. the rest_

Press Association: Brown hails Anglican bishops' march

BBC: Bishops march for poverty action

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Devotional: Christ's call is to save the lost...

Christ's call is to save the lost, not the stiff-necked; He came not to call scoffers but sinners to repentance; not to build and furnish comfortable chapels, churches, and cathedrals at home in which to rock Christian professors to sleep by means of clever essays, stereotyped prayers, and artistic musical performances, but to capture men from the devil's clutches and the very jaws of Hell. This can be accomplished only by a red-hot, unconventional, unfettered devotion, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to the Lord Jesus Christ. ...CT Studd image

Following Lambeth

Jordan Hylden
July 21, 2008

Bloggers and reporters innumerable are churning out reports and commentary on the ongoing Lambeth Conference, and I’ve been dutifully reading as much of it as I can stand. My job, you see, is to spend too much time on the Internet, so that you don’t have to. (At least, that’s how I justify it to myself.)

Reading it all is a bit like wading through a marsh, or picking one’s way through a thicket, except with more pointy bishop’s hats and English accents. Much of what’s out there is either of little use, strongly biased, or hopelessly misleading (especially in the British press), but every now and again one runs into something truly worthwhile. Herewith my guide to must-read Lambeth news and comment...the rest

Bp. Nazir-Ali: Conscience and logic: ‘I can do no other’

23rd July 2008
by Jenny Taylor

The Bishop of Rochester Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, one of just two bishops in the Church of England to boycott the Lambeth Conference entirely, insisted today that he is being true to biblical authority.

Explaining a decision that he admits has been painful for a man who sought refuge in Britain from persecution, and who has been at the heart of the two previous convocations at Canterbury – first as Coordinator in 1988 and then as a Member of the Steering Committee in 1998 - he said it was a matter of ‘conscience and logic’.

He said that ‘persistent false teaching’ and ‘persistent sexual immorality without repentance’ had both led to his decision

‘I have before me a pastoral letter from the bishops of California instructing their clergy on how to take gay weddings in their churches. These people are here. How can I have fellowship with them and still teach my people what the church has always taught?’ the rest

A blogger reflects on Lambeth and prayer

posted July 23, 2008
Karen B.

While browsing the web tonight looking for the latest blog entries about Lambeth, particularly trying to find perspectives a bit “off the beaten track” and from folks other than TEC and CoE bishops (who seem to be monopolizing the Lambeth blogosphere), I came across an intriguing blog entry by a woman who gave a workshop on intercessory prayer to the Lambeth Spouses Conference.

The whole post is interesting, but it was the final section that caught my eye and I thought I’d post here as food for thought.

the rest at Lent and Beyond

A fair dinkum Pope

Thu, 24 Jul 2008
Editorial

Excerpt:
In the wash-up to this remarkable gathering, perhaps aided and abetted by the sort of relaxed friendliness and ambience that so becomes our Australian cousins, it is being said that in Sydney the Pope began, finally, to reveal the hallmarks of his papacy.

To date, he has been, possibly unfairly, characterised by the most pronounced public qualities of his former self: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a cool and austere intellectual German theologian - and an arch-conservative one at that.

But in the company of so many tens of thousands of smiling young pilgrims, and blessed by five days of clement Sydney winter sun, he reportedly showed a sense of humour and common humanity, allied to a genuine personal warmth. There were even flashes of charisma.

In the vernacular of the land, the Pope seemed to become, if not a superstar, a fair dinkum good bloke.

But World Youth Day 2008 was not simply a prayer party. There were serious matters for the Pontiff to attend to, not least the legacy of sexual abuse which he has inherited. Such "misdeeds, which constitute so grave a betrayal of trust, deserve unequivocal condemnation", he said. the rest

Church factions keep their frenemies close

Those divisions at Canterbury keep on coming, but at least someone's working things out
July 23, 2008

The spat between the Sudanese and the Americans has added a new meaning to the word "frenemy". A few weeks ago the Africans enjoyed the hospitality of the Salisbury diocese with - wait for it - members of the US Episcopal church.

Fast-forward to Lambeth and it is mitres at dawn - well, from the Sudanese, anyway.

But what will happen on Saturday, at a cheese and wine party the Africans have been invited to? Will there be razors in the Roquefort? Bleach in the Burgundy?

And those divisions at Canterbury keep on coming. First there were flying bishops, then super bishops, and now there are secret bishops. Organisers will confirm how many bishops have registered but, unlike at previous conferences, will not name them. "Unspecified security reasons" prevent the release of their identities. the rest

Colson: What's the Matter With Canada?

Monday, July 21, 2008
by Chuck Colson

How is this for irony? Recent actions by Canadian human rights groups have observers alarmed for the state of human rights in Canada. That is because the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal do not give a fig about protecting human rights. Their mission is suppressing free speech.

Maclean’s magazine was hauled before these two “quasi-judicial” bodies when it published excerpts from Mark Steyn’s popular book America Alone. Mohamed Elmasry of the Canadian Islamic Congress charged that the content of these excerpts about the expansion of radical Islam “subjects Canadian Muslims to hatred and contempt.”

The Canadian Human Rights Commission dismissed the complaint, but the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal got in on the act. It investigated the charges in what bloggers on the scene called a “kangaroo court,” and has yet to issue a ruling. But there is a greater cause for concern here: As the Calgary Herald pointed out, Maclean’s has the money to fight the charges—but not everyone does. The Herald gloomily predicted, “Let a citizen of modest means utter a politically incorrect thought: He will be crushed.” the rest

Archbishop of Canterbury says: 'Now we must work out what is really important'

From The Times
July 23, 2008
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

Anglicans stand in the middle of “one of the most severe challenges” to have faced the Church in history, the Archbishop of Canterbury said last night.

Dr Rowan Williams, addressing 650 bishops at the ten-yearly Lambeth Conference, at the University of Kent in Canterbury, set out his vision for the Church. He said that there had never been a golden age for Anglicans and the Church because its very foundation was divided by dispute.

He said that the Church was at a “deeply significant turning point” and that the controversies over same-sex blessings and gay consecrations demanded a new approach.

Advocating the path of council and covenant, meaning the agreement of a unifying set of doctrines and principles to help to prevent discord, Dr Williams said: “We cannot ignore the fact that what is seen to be a new doctrine and policy about same-sex relations, one that is not the same as that of the vast majority at the last Lambeth Conference, is causing pain and perplexity.” the rest

Bishop of Sudan's Press Conference



The first phrase of the title of this post is a phrase from a song that a priest introduced to the Cursillo movement some time ago in this Diocese. That priest is my good friend Hal Hutchinson. However, I am ashamed to be an American Episcopalian today, because I realize I am an Episcopalian in the Anglican World, a family, due to the remarks of the Presiding Bishop of Sudan who repeatedly today reference the Anglican world. Watching this is what shamed me...

the rest at Drell's Descants

Longer video at ENS

Gay 'Marriage' and Soft Despotism

Chuck Colson
July 22, 2008

In Michigan, a homosexual man is suing two Christian publishers—Zondervan and Tyndale House—for $70 million dollars. Bradley Fowler claims they violated his constitutional rights and caused him "emotional distress" by publishing versions of the Bible that call homosexuality a sin.
In my view, Fowler is suing the wrong party, but perhaps he realizes he is likely to have difficulty hauling the real author into court.

While the lawsuit may strike us as funny, we ought to take such attacks on Christian teaching seriously: We are going to see many more of them if same-sex "marriage" is foisted upon us by the courts.

As Seana Sugrue explains in The Meaning of Marriage, edited by Robert George and Jean Bethke Elshtain, marriage is a pre-political institution, rooted in biology and moral obligations. Sugrue writes, "The reality of sex differences between men and women, leading to the potential for offspring, is essential to the pre-political foundation of marriage." the rest

McDonald's hears: 'I'm NOT lovin' it!'
In front of local restaurants, fed-up Christians protest company's support of same-sex marriage

LAPD Chief Bratton backs gay marriage with checkbook - Los Angeles Times

John McCain's Remarks on Abortion in Speech to National Pro-Life Convention

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
July 22, 2008

Note: The following is the text of Senator John McCain's remarks to the National Right to Life convention earlier this month. You can read LifeNews.com's coverage of McCain's speech to the pro-life event here.

Thank you for inviting me to address the 2008 National Right to Life Convention, I'm sorry I'm not able to be there in person to address you.

More than two-hundred years ago our nation's founders declared, that we are endowed by our Creator, with certain and unalienable rights, and that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It was no accident, that they cited life as the first, and most basic right.

For without recognition of the right to life, we are not guaranteed any other rights. Sometimes all wisdom asks of us, is that we recognize common-sense. But sometimes wisdom, as to all other virtues requires courage. the rest

Church officials questioning 110 priests, deacons

Friday, July 18, 2008
FRESNO, Calif.

Officials at the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin in Stockton are asking 110 priests and deacons in the diocese to clarify whether or not they wish to remain in the U.S. Episcopal Church.

The Episcopal Church and Bishop John-David Schofield of the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin, have been at odds since Schofield led a secession movement prompted in part by the church's ordination of women and an openly gay bishop.

The Episcopal Church filed a lawsuit in April and expanded it in June to attempt to reclaim property from the breakaway diocese.

In letters mailed July 10, Bishop Jerry Lamb of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin asks priests and deacons to clarify whether they want to remain, or not remain, clergy in the Episcopal Church and "adhere to their ordination vows." the rest

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Devotional: We dare not steel ourselves against our trials...

For how is one to appreciate the contrast of light's dawning hope if his soul has never trembled through the dark hours of a nightmare's watch? Or how can one prove God's faithfulness if he never is granted the privilege of wandering through a barren desert, where only pools of Christ's Presence can possibly provide survival? It is a great honor to be apportioned pain. Christ Himself, though God incarnate, learned obedience through what He suffered. Dare we assume that we as His children can be taught by any wiser or kinder instructor than the severity of unwanted pain? We dare not steel ourselves against our trials, running away from the fires where our pruned branches crumble to ashes. For if we escape those flames, we will risk barrenness of soul and will miss out on the beauty that only is born through the ashes of yesterday's grief. ... Cammie Van Rooy image

Cherie Wetzel: Briefing with the Archbishop of Sudan

July 22, 2008
Canterbury, England

We have just had a briefing with the Archbishop of the Sudan, the Most Reverend Dr. Daniel Deng Bul. He informed the press room this morning that he would come and speak with us, since the Anglican Communion News Bureau running this conference, would not schedule a time for him to address the press.

The archbishop is young – I would guess that he is in his 40’s. He is very articulate and has an earned Ph.D. By his own admission, he has been an Anglican since he was a very small child.
His words are responses to questions asked. I think the questions are self-evident.

“Gene Robinson should resign for the sake of the Church and the entire Anglican Communion. We are pleading with them (the others at this conference) for the Anglican World, to not throw that away.

“We do not want to throw any people away, either. But we are here to determine how to remain united. That begins with forgiving one another for errors made. Gene Robinson is an error. The American church has not admitted they are wrong and we cannot forgive them until they do. the rest image

Pope John Paul's tree blossoms: 'a miracle'

Tel Aviv- A tree blessed eight years ago by Pope John Paul II during his visit to the Holy Land was the only one in its plot of land to produce olives this year, a Jewish National Fund official said. "It is a miracle," Yossi Karni from the JNF, which maintains the plot, told local media.

During a visit to northern Israel, near the Sea of Galilee, John Paul blessed a tree that was planted on the Mount of Beatitudes, where according to Christian beliefs Jesus gave his Sermon on the Mount.

Karni noted that all the trees on the plot were treated equally, but the ones that did not receive the blessing have not given fruit this year.

"They get treated the same, watered the same," he said, adding that some trees had even started to wither, which he could not explain.

When asked what he would do with the olives, Karni, with a wry smile, told Israel's Channel 10 he might market their "holy oil." link image

Gay bishop should resign for good of the church, says African archbishop

Riazat Butt
religious affairs correspondent,
guardian.co.uk
Tuesday July 22, 2008

The gay bishop of New Hampshire should resign in order to save the Anglican Communion, a senior African archbishop said today.

The call came from the Rt Rev Dr Daniel Deng, the archbishop of Sudan, and followed a strongly worded statement that accused the US Episcopal church of exposing Anglicans to ridicule and damaging their credibility in a multi-religious environment.

African bishops who signed the statement rejecting homosexual practice said they could not accept it as part of their church. They reiterated their opposition to developments in the US and Canada, where gay clergy are ordained and where same-sex relationships are blessed.

"This has not only caused deep divisions within the communion but it has seriously harmed the church's witness in Africa, opening the church to ridicule and damaging its credibility in a multi-religious environment."

The statement was endorsed by more than 150 bishops attending Lambeth, who represent 17 of the 38 provinces in the Anglican Communion. the rest

Gledhill's Lambeth Diary: Into the 'Miry Pit' of Chaos

July 22, 2008

It's about a hundred degrees and getting hotter in the Big Top at Lambeth but the £1 million black hole in the budget at the Lambeth Conference means they can't afford air conditioning. Expect fainting bishops to be ferried out by ambulances any moment now, if they don't start shooting each other first. The press conference this morning was a farce. Excommunications officers declined to comment on who is here for reasons of 'security' but declined to say what the 'security' issues were. Apparently there are some Nigerian bishops at the conference but we are not allowed to know who they are. Even the totally harmless and innocuous Church Press here are being denied access to the evening Eucharists. As for me, I was told yesterday that it was worth applying to attend the afternoon indaba groups. Today there is one called 'Never say No to Media', led by Rev Dr Joshva Raha, tutor at the Centre for Mission Studies at Queen's, Birmingham. I applied and they said no. The conference is falling apart and it is only day two of official business. The Sudanese bishops, who were, astonishingly, stationed as Salisbury with the US Presiding Bishop and her team before the conference, have almost derailed the whole thing by virtually calling for Gene Robinson's resignation. One of their two statements today is here.
link

Media barred from most Lambeth events
Eucharist celebrated behind closed doors
Marites Sison
staff writer
Jul 22, 2008

Canterbury, England-Frustration is rising among members of the media here who have been barred from attending a majority of events at the 2008 Lambeth Conference, including the daily eucharist, and who have not been furnished a list of bishops who are present or absent for unspecified “security reasons.”

“All I can say is that all provinces are represented except Uganda,” said Archdeacon Paul Feheley, principal secretary to Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, who is acting as a conference spokesperson. “There were nearly 750 bishops at the 1998 Lambeth. This year, 670 are registered at this point.”

In a press conference, Mr. Feheley said it was not possible to release the names of the bishops present for “security reasons.” He would not elaborate. the rest

Religious Intelligence: Lambeth film to reveal African gay Christians

Great Pictures at George Conger's blog:
Here

Reuters: Anglicans could one day be led by a woman: bishop

US Bishops drop bid to have Robinson admitted to Lambeth Conference

Tuesday, 22nd July 2008
George Conger

Canterbury: The push to seat Gene Robinson at Lambeth Conference failed yesterday after the American bishops declined to force the issue. At their July 21 provincial meeting at the Lambeth Conference the American bishops declined to take action on a request by liberal members of their caucus to ask the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, to seat the New Hampshire bishop.

Bishops attending the closed meeting tell ReligiousIntelligence.com that some bishops pushed for Bishop Robinson to be extended an invitation. There followed a substantive discussion of the Robinson issue with several bishops expressing their anger and hurt over his exclusion.

However, the American leadership declined to take up the issue and a growing number of bishops appear to be distancing themselves from the controversial New Hampshire cleric in a bid to avoid conflict with the conference organizers.

Bishop Robinson was forbidden to attend the meeting of his own House of Bishops, writing on his blog the conference organizers do not consider the American meeting to be a meeting of the American House of Bishops but a meeting of American bishops at Lambeth. the rest

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

What the Internet is doing to our brains
by Nicholas Carr

Excerpt:
Over the past few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isn’t going—so far as I can tell—but it’s changing. I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I’d spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.

I think I know what’s going on. For more than a decade now, I’ve been spending a lot of time online, searching and surfing and sometimes adding to the great databases of the Internet. The Web has been a godsend to me as a writer. Research that once required days in the stacks or periodical rooms of libraries can now be done in minutes. A few Google searches, some quick clicks on hyperlinks, and I’ve got the telltale fact or pithy quote I was after. Even when I’m not working, I’m as likely as not to be foraging in the Web’s info-thickets—reading and writing e-mails, scanning headlines and blog posts, watching videos and listening to podcasts, or just tripping from link to link to link. (Unlike footnotes, to which they’re sometimes likened, hyperlinks don’t merely point to related works; they propel you toward them.) the rest image

Yancey: How C. S. Lewis has shaped my faith and writing

Found in space
Philip Yancey
7/22/2008

I first encountered C. S. Lewis through his space trilogy. Though perhaps not his best work, it had an undermining effect on me. He made the supernatural so believable that I could not help wondering, What if it's really true? What if there is a God and an afterlife and what if supernatural forces really are operating behind the scenes on this planet and in my life?

I was attending college in the late 1960s, just a few years after Lewis's death. I ordered more of his books from second-hand bookshops in England because many had not yet made it across the Atlantic. I wrestled with them as with a debate opponent and reluctantly felt myself drawn, as Lewis himself had, kicking and screaming all the way into the kingdom of God. Since then Lewis has been a constant companion, a kind of shadow mentor who sits beside me, urging me to improve my writing style, my thinking, and my vision. the rest image

President Obama already? No vote first?

July 22, 2008
STEVE HUNTLEY

The way Barack Obama is acting, and the way the news media are reacting, it seems like the candidate and his adoring press corps have concluded the election of the Illinois senator as the 44th president of the United States is a foregone conclusion.

Take his trip to Iraq. It was billed as a congressional visit (a couple of other senators tagged along) but, as the Washington Post observed, "in many ways, from the red carpet rolled out for the group at [President Nouri al-Maliki's] residence, to his seat of honor next to Maliki during a brief photo-opportunity -- he is being treated like a visiting head of state."

One can hardly call it a fact-finding trip because Obama declared before leaving U.S. soil his timetable for a 16-month troop withdrawal was all but written in stone. Al-Maliki seemed to get the message, as he was quoted in a German magazine sounding like he endorsed that timetable. The Iraqi government, however, aware of the realities of a precipitous pullout and perhaps prodded by the Bush administration, quickly sought to distance the Iraqi political leader from his own comments. the rest image

Anglican Agonies

22 July 2008
By William Murchison

History's humongous wheel turns and turns and turns again. Over time, mud and sludge accumulate on even the sprucest institutions. Take the 500-year-old Anglican family of churches, Christianity's third-largest, after Rome and Eastern Orthodoxy.

With Anglicanism's biggest family event under way -- the every-10-years gathering of bishops and archbishops in England -- what the world sees, accurately or not, is a family in moral and spiritual disarray.

Anglicans -- whose main American franchise is the two-century-old Episcopal Church -- seem unable to agree on anything. Especially on religion -- an odd state of affairs for a religious enterprise. The steady, stately commitments that Anglicans formerly took for granted in the Christian message cut little ice today. Observers see the communion as likely to split -- to the extent it hasn't split already, “liberals” on one side, “conservatives” on the other.

Political labels of this sort have obvious limitations in a religious context. Would the bodily resurrection of Christ be a “conservative” doctrine? A liberal one? What about the atonement? What does Ronald Reagan have to do with all this anyway?!

For all that, Anglicanism's public troubles proceed from the takeover of Western Anglicanism by theological activists whose purpose is the remolding of Christianity into something less like the old-time religion than like the platform on which Barack Obama will run for president. the rest

Monday, July 21, 2008

Devotional: One of the cardinal rules of the spiritual life...

One of the cardinal rules of the spiritual life is that we are to live in the present moment. You remember that the Israelites in the desert followed the pillar of fire or cloud, not knowing where it was leading them. They had a supply of manna but for one day, and any they gathered for the next day became useless.

There is no need to move in haste. Think only of laying a solid foundation. See that it is deep and broad by an absolute renunciation of self, and by abandonment without reserve to the requirements of God. Then let God raise upon this foundation such a building as He pleases. Shut your eyes and commit yourself to Him. How wonderful is this walking with Abraham in pure faith, not knowing whither we go! And how full of blessings is the path!


God will be your Guide. He himself will travel with you, as we are told he did with the Israelites, to bring them step by step across the desert to the Promised Land. Ah! what will be your blessedness if you will but surrender yourself into the hands of God, permitting Him to do whatever He will, not according to your desires, but according to His own good pleasure!
...Francois Fenelon
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"Anglican Use" provision expanding

July 22, 2008

The US Catholic Church is set to expand its use of the so-called "Anglican Use" provision instituted by Pope John Paul II which allows communities of Anglicans to join the Catholic Church as a bloc while retaining some of their traditions.

Catholic Online reports Pope John Paul II instituted what is also called the "Pastoral provision", and placed it under the jurisdiction of the Sacred Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.

The "Pastoral provision" has provided a means for Anglican or Episcopal Priests, married or celibate, seeking to come into the full communion of the Catholic Church, to be considered for Ordination in the Catholic Church.

Though it has been in effect for almost three decades, it has been little used to date, the paper says. the rest image

Statement of the Sudanese Bishops to the Lambeth Conference

Statement of the Sudanese Bishops to the Lambeth Conference on the ECS Position on Human Sexuality
July 2008

In view of the present tensions and divisions within the Anglican Communion, and out of deep concern for the unity of the Church, we consider it important to express clearly the position of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan (ECS) concerning human sexuality.

We believe that God created humankind in his own image; male and female he created them for the continuation of humankind on earth. Women and men were created as God’s agents and stewards on earth We believe that human sexuality is God’s gift to human beings which is rightly ordered only when expressed within the life-long commitment of marriage between one man and one woman. We require all those in the ministry of the Church to live according to this standard and cannot accept church leaders whose practice is contrary to this. the rest

Lambeth: bishops divided over opening Eucharist

Monday, 21st July 2008
By George Conger

Canterbury: The opening Eucharist service of the 2008 Lambeth Conference exemplified everything that is wrong with the Communion and the Conference, with substance given a second place to ceremony, one Global South primate told ReligiousIntelligence.com.

While much was said about transforming the world through social action, nothing was said about personal transformation and renewal of life, the archbishop said following the July 20 ceremony.

The tensions have led to three primates and an undisclosed number of bishops declining to receive the sacraments during the opening Eucharist, highlighting the tensions lurking beneath the surface of the every ten year gathering of the bishops of the Anglican Communion. the rest

Warring Anglicans must 'find solutions beyond schism'

BY RACHEL ZOLL
IN CANTERBURY
22/07/2008

The head of the Anglican Communion said the global fellowship faced ''one of the most severe challenges'' in its history, and told bishops at their once-a-decade Lambeth Conference that they must find solutions beyond schism.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said that the most immediate Anglican need was for ''transformed relationships'' so their fellowship didn't break apart because of disputes over issues such as attitudes to the Bible, female priests and homosexuality. The communion has been in an uproar since 2003 when the Episcopal Church, the US Anglican body, consecrated the first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.

''We all know that we stand in the middle of one of the most severe challenges to have faced the Anglican family in its history,'' he said in a speech to the 650 bishops at the assembly.

But he said the communion had survived other crises in its centuries of existence, and could overcome these troubles. The 77 million-member communion is a global fellowship of churches that trace their roots to the missionary work of the Church of England. It is the second-largest group of churches in the world, behind Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians. the rest

GAFCON responds to Canterbury

Monday, 21st July, 2008

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.

Faith and false teaching
We warmly welcome the Archbishop’s affirmation of the Jerusalem Statement as positive and encouraging. 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

Local Anglicans face crossroads over gay clergy, teachings

Conference comes as some struggle with which path to follow
BY NIRAJ WARIKOO
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
July 21, 2008

For years, worshippers at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Livonia patiently put up with their diocese as it adopted a series of liberal changes that clashed with biblical tradition. But the breaking point came in 2003, when the Episcopal Church -- with the approval of the local diocese -- consecrated an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire.

After a testy meeting with Episcopal leaders, about two-thirds of the 300-member congregation bolted in 2006, leaving a church many of them grew up in. Two years later, they said they have no regrets. the rest

Oldest New Testament Bible heads into cyberspace

BERLIN (Reuters) - More than 1,600 years after it was written in Greek, one of the oldest copies of the Bible will become globally accessible online for the first time this week.

From Thursday, sections of the Codex Sinaiticus, which contains the oldest complete New Testament, will be available on the Internet, said the University of Leipzig, one of the four curators of the ancient text worldwide.

High resolution images of the Gospel of Mark, several Old Testament books, and notes on the work made over centuries will appear on www.codex-sinaiticus.net as a first step towards publishing the entire manuscript online by next July. the rest image

Ex-Anglicans will bring new life to our Church

This time, former C of E traditionalists must be allowed to stay together, says Damian Thompson
11 July 2008

"Most of all we ask for ways that allow us to bring our folk with us." Well, you can't put it plainer than that. The Rt Rev Andrew Burnham, Bishop of Ebbsfleet and one of the Church of England's three "flying bishops", wants to lead his people to Rome. And - this time round - Rome seems ready to provide the "ways" that will allow the exodus to consist of more than simply a mass of individual conversions.

On Monday night the General Synod of the Church of England, meeting in York, voted to consecrate women bishops without offering objectors anything more than a flimsy code of practice. "Make no mistake," wrote George Pitcher in the Daily Telegraph, "the Anglo-Catholics were done over." But with love, mind you: as Pitcher nicely put it, the Synod is like a mafia movie "where the luckless are stabbed in the back while they're being hugged". the rest

Chavez Church ‘not recognised by Canterbury’

Monday, 21st July 2008
By: George Conger

HUGO CHAVEZ’S Anglican Church is not a recognized part of the Anglican Communion, a spokesman for the Anglican Consultative Council said.

“We have no knowledge of them at all,” the Rev Canon James Rosenthal told ReligiousIntelligence.com on July 15, while the Episcopal Diocese of Venezuela denied any link to the self styled Iglesia Católica Reformada de Venezuela Rito Anglicano (ICARVEN).

Formed by clergy loyal to the regime of Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez by disgruntled Roman Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran clergy, ICARVEN consecrated Monseñor Jon Jen Siu-García as Bishop Coadjutor, Monseñor Enrique José Albornoz-Cano as Bishop and Monseñor Alexis José Bertis-Vargas as Suffragan Bishop last month. the rest