Saturday, August 16, 2008

Devotional: God will not turn away from doing you good...

God will not turn away from doing you good. He will keep on doing good. He doesn't do good to His children sometimes and bad to them other times. He keeps on doing good and He never will stop doing good for ten thousand ages of ages. When things are going bad that does not mean God has stopped doing good. It means He is shifting things around to get them in place for more good, if you will go on loving Him. ...John Piper image

Malaysian court denies woman’s appeal to leave Islam

Muslim protestors disrupt public forum on dual legal system’s jurisdictional disputes.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, August 15, 2008

(Compass Direct News) – A civil court on Aug. 5 denied a woman’s appeal to renounce Islam in favor of Christianity, highlighting the jurisdictional disputes in Malaysia’s dual legal system.

Lim Yoke Khoon had filed a suit in her original ethnic Chinese name to renounce Islam and embrace Christianity. In a 2-1 majority ruling, the Shah Alam Court of Appeal denied her case on a technicality: According to judges Tengku Baharudin Shah Tengku Mahmud and Sulong Mat Jeraie, Lim had ceased to exist under her original name when she converted to Islam and assumed a new name, Noorashikin Lim binti Abdullah.

The 35-year-old Lim is reportedly expected to appeal to the country’s top civil court.

After marrying a Muslim man in 1994, Lim converted to Islam and obtained a new identity card with her Muslim name. She divorced three years later. In 2003, she applied for a change to her name and religion on her identity card, but the National Registration Department told her she must get permission from the Islamic sharia court to renounce Islam. the rest

A third of British Muslim students back killing in the name of Islam

Saturday, 16th August 2008
By Roberto Sanchez Guevara

London: Some 32 per cent of British Muslim students believe that killing in the name of Islam is justified, according to a poll by YouGov, a British polling agency.

The study, commissioned by the Centre for Social Cohesion, further indicated that 40 per cent of Muslim students agree with the introduction of Islamic law (Sharia) in Britain. the rest

McCain, Obama to Face Questions on their Faith

By Rachel Zoll
AP Religion Writer
Fri, Aug. 15 2008

The Rev. Rick Warren is so prominent and respected that just being seen with him is a boon for any presidential candidate.

For Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, their appearances at a forum Saturday night at Warren's evangelical California megachurch bring risks along with rewards.
The event will play to one of Obama's strengths, talking about his Christian faith, but it will also underscore the gulf between his views and those of the most conservative Christian voters.

Many of McCain's positions are more in line with the evangelical worldview, but he is uncomfortable — and some critics say unconvincing — while talking about his personal beliefs.
The candidates will appear separately, spending one hour each with Warren, before coming together on stage for a handshake. The pastor, who does not endorse candidates, will be the only one asking questions. the rest image

Where to find it
"The two hour event, held from 5-7 p.m. (PDT: 8.57, -0.01, -0.11%), will be uplinked in both HD and SD formats, and broadcast live -- in real time across all zones starting 8 p.m. (EDT) -- on CNN, FOX News Channel and Daystar Television Network, as well as Southern California's KDOC-TV. America can also watch the event via live streaming at SaddlebackCivilForum.com, ReadersDigest.com and MySpace.com/Impact or listen on the FamilyLife, Moody and Pilgrim Radio Networks and select Salem Radio Network stations through Southern California affiliate, KKLA-Radio."

Evangelicals rip Obama's abortion votes

Youth prayer rally set for Mall
Julia Duin
Saturday, August 16, 2008

Evangelical Christian leaders of TheCall DC, a large youth prayer rally slated for Saturday on the Mall, criticized presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama on Friday for his liberal votes on abortion.

"We're not endorsing a candidate," lead organizer Lou Engle said. "We're challenging politicians who say they're Christian but have voted 100 percent for late-term abortions and partial-birth abortions."

He added, "I don't want to be courted by his Christianity or his charisma, but by his voting record."

Their Friday news conference, billed as a walk-up to Saturday's gathering, quickly turned into a discussion of what kind of presidential candidate America's evangelicals would rally behind and on presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain considering a pro-choice running mate. the rest

Friday, August 15, 2008

Devotional: But how may we know God's will?

But how may we know God's will? That is not always easy. Yet the difficulty is not in Him. He does not wish us to grope painfully in the dark...There is a more excellent way. Let the heart be quieted and stilled in the presence of God...Let the voice of the Son of God hush into perfect rest the storms that sweep the lake of the inner life and ruffle its calm surface...Let the whole being be centered on God Himself. And then, remembering that all who lack wisdom are to ask it of God, and that Jesus Christ is already made unto us wisdom, let us quietly appropriate Him, in that capacity, by faith; and then go forward. ...It is an immense help in any difficulty to say, "I take thee, Lord Jesus, as my wisdom," and to do the next thing, nothing doubting, assured that He will not permit those who trust in Him to be ashamed.
...FB Meyer image

NY: Insurance provider grants 'family' status to lesbian couple

Jeff Johnson
OneNewsNow
8/15/2008

Pro-family advocates say the choice by a New York insurance carrier to grant "family" benefits to a homosexual couple "married" in Canada is further evidence of the decline of morality in corporate America.

BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York made the decision after the New York Civil Liberties Union filed suit on behalf of an insured lesbian who sought coverage for her partner and the partner's infant daughter. Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, says this is the sad reality of effective homosexual propaganda and activism. the rest

Abortion: Is this what you mean?

Penna Dexter
Aug 14, 2008

DALLAS (BP)--A Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Sioux Falls, S.D., the only abortion clinic in the state, temporarily closed last month, pro-lifers in the state reported.

It was either that or comply with a law recently upheld by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. The law requires abortionists in the state to tell women seeking their services that "the abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being" and that the woman has an "existing relationship with that unborn human being." In addition, she must be told about the physical and psychological risks related to the abortion. The physical risks, she must be told, include hemorrhage, infection, danger to subsequent pregnancies, infertility, and an increase risk of suicide. The psychological risks, she must be told, include depression. The abortion clinic also must provide a "scientifically accurate statement describing the development of the unborn child." the rest

Episcopal Church official joins call for 'interest section' in Tehran

August 15, 2008

[EPPN] Maureen Shea, director of the Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations, has joined an effort calling for the U.S. State Department to open an "interests section" in Tehran, Iran.

Shea, Mary Ellen McNish, general secretary of the American Friends Service Committee and Ron Flaming, director of international programs for the Mennonite Central Committee, have sent a letter to President George Bush and presidential contenders senators John McCain and Barack Obama, writing, “For too long, the U.S. policy of non-engagement with Iran has brought us inflammatory words and provocative actions and has failed to reduce tensions or move toward a more just and peaceful relationship."

The three, who were part of an ecumenical delegation to Iran in 2007, say in their letter that "based on our own experience, we write to support such action as an important step toward positive engagement between our two nations."

Their letter follows a number of press reports that the State Department is seriously considering opening an interest section in Tehran, interests now handled by the Swiss Embassy there. Such an opening would mean that U.S. diplomats would be stationed in Iran for the first time since the hostage crisis of 1979. the rest

Pittsburgh Assisting Bishop Henry Scriven to Step Down

August 15, 2008

Assisting Bishop Henry Scriven of Pittsburgh will be leaving the diocese and returning to his native England to take up a new position as part of plans to integrate the South American Missionary Society (SAMS) and the Church Mission Society (CMS).

The CMS and SAMS are planning to join together progressively from January 2009, subject to final negotiations and decisions by their respective governing bodies.

Bishop Scriven will initially work in a leadership role within SAMS but it is planned that he will ultimately become the Mission Director for South America for the new joint entity, according to release prepared by the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

“My decision does not reflect any change of heart regarding realignment, or my confidence in the vision and leadership of the diocese,” Bishop Scriven said in an Aug. 15 letter announcing the pending change. “I know realignment will bring fresh incentive for mission, both local and worldwide. My experience at both GAFCON and [the] Lambeth [Conference] assure me that orthodox, biblical Anglicanism is very much alive and ready to continue God’s mission.” the rest

Obama Supporter: Jesus Would Be O.K. With Abortion

By Dave Pierre
August 14, 2008

Un-be-liev-a-ble. Jesus would be O.K. with abortion. Not only that, Jesus's position on abortion would be even "more radical" than Barack Obama's! That was the wild, and patently false, assertion from Barack Obama supporter Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, a guest on Wednesday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC (8/13/08). (Dr. Hill appears regularly on the program.)

Dr. Hill, an Assistant Professor of Urban Education and American Studies at Temple University and self-described "hip-hop intellectual," was defending Senator Obama's unwavering history of championing the right to terminating unborn humans through all nine months of pregnancy.

Dr. Hill reveals a mind-blowing ignorance of first-century Jewish and Christian teaching. That Hill would air such a preposterous assertion on a national television program is brazen, to say the least. the rest

Pitt letters focus spotlight on Archbishop of Canterbury’s view of gay sex

Friday, 15th August 2008
By: George Conger

London: Correspondence between the Archbishop of Canterbury and a former member of the Church in Wales published in national newspaper last week has focused the spotlight on Dr Rowan Williams’ evolving views on homosexuality.

In an exchange of letters eight years ago with Dr Deborah Pitt, an evangelical member of the Church in Wales, Dr Williams stated that by the late 1980s he had “definitely come to the conclusion” that Scripture did not condemn faithful same-sex sexual relationships.

After years of study, “I concluded that an active sexual relationship between two people of the same sex might therefore reflect the love of God in a way comparable to marriage, if and only if it had about it the same character of absolute covenanted faithfulness,” he wrote. the rest

Why I leaked the Archbishop’s letters

Billy Graham: The Movie Hits Theatres This Fall

By Havonnah Johnson
August 14, 2008

GARDENDALE-- You may think you know all about evangelist Billy Graham, but a new movie hitting theatres this fall will give you a deeper look. Preacher Films produced the movie, “Billy The Early Years.” It’s a fictional love story based on fact and research about Graham’s childhood, his courtship with his wife and his call to the ministry.

Evangelist Billy Graham preached to hundreds of millions and advised ten American presidents. Audiences find the story of his early years both charming and funny. Graham’s story appealed to all ages. the rest

Archbishop praises Lambeth Palace Library's 'Back-a-Book' scheme

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has praised the generosity of contributors to the ‘Back-a-Book’ scheme, which encourages members of the public to sponsor the repair of books in Lambeth Palace Library, the principal library and record office for the history of the Church of England.

The Archbishop said: “Lambeth Palace Library has an unrivalled collection of books relating to the Church of England and the Anglican Communion.

"The Library greatly appreciates the generosity people are showing by participating in ‘Back-a-Book’ to ensure that these books can be preserved for future generations." the rest

John McCain and the POW church riot

'There were many times I didn't pray for another day and I didn't pray for another hour -- I prayed for another minute to keep going.'
By Jill Zuckman
Chicago Tribune correspondent
August 15, 2008

HARRISBURG, Pa. — They called it the church riot.Sen. John McCain, who is known for his reticence and even discomfort invoking faith on the campaign trail, was once dubbed a "Hell's Angel" for rioting against his captors in Vietnam in order to hold Sunday church services.

It is a story unknown by a public still getting to know McCain and searching for shared values with the candidates. This Saturday, McCain and Sen. Barack Obama will separately answer questions from evangelical leader Rick Warren at his Saddleback Church in Southern California.

In an extended interview, McCain talked about how his faith was tested during his years as a prisoner of war from 1967 to 1973, said God must have had a plan for him to have kept him alive, and reminisced about his appointment as informal chaplain to his cellmates. the rest image

Albert Mohler: "American Teen" -- Not a Pretty Picture

Friday, August 15, 2008

Nanette Burstein's American Teen documentary has hit the big screen with a limited release in major American cities. The film purports to be a realistic view of American adolescence, as Burstein went to Warsaw, Indiana in order to follow five teenagers through their senior year in high school. Parents who see the film will wonder if the documentary is as realistic as Burstein claims -- but they will worry that it is true.

American Teen won the Best Directing award for Burstein at the Sundance Film Festival, where the documentary was enthusiastically received. The big question now is whether the public will pay theater prices to see a film about what goes on at the local high school. Time will tell. In the meantime, the film is attracting controversy. the rest

Evidence in Georgia Belies Russia's Claims of 'Genocide'

By ANDREW OSBORN in Tskhinvali, Georgia,
and JEANNE WHALEN in Moscow
August 15, 2008

Russia's assertions that it was provoked into war by "genocide" in South Ossetia and that it is observing a cease-fire in Georgia came under new challenge Thursday, as the U.S. stepped up diplomatic pressure on Moscow.

Washington agreed to base missile interceptors on Polish soil, in a new sign of how Russia's invasion of Georgia is redrawing the geopolitical map. the rest

Russia: Poland risks attack because of US missiles

Bishops offer lead to Catholics: Wait and be charitable

by Pat Ashworth
15 August, 2008

TRADITIONALIST Anglo-Catholic bishops have reached out to a wing of the Church of England that they describe as shocked, bewildered, and disappointed after the General Synod’s vote in July for a statutory code of practice for objectors to the ordination of women as bishops. They are advising like-minded clergy that all may not yet be lost.

But the Manchester Group and the House of Bishops must be “in no doubt about the seriousness of the situation”, insist the Bishops of Bever­ley, Blackburn, Burnley, Chi­chester, Ebbsfleet, Edmonton, Ful­ham, Gib­ral­tar in Europe, Horsham, Ply­mouth, Pontefract, Richborough, and Whitby, and the Assistant Bishop of Newcastle. the rest

Other Church Times Articles:
Robust responses to ‘low blow’ of leaked Williams letters

Lambeth allowed too many opinions, says Bishop of Winchester

Anglican bishops say ‘irreconcilable differences’ driving out some of the ‘faithful'

London, Aug 15, 2008

(CNA).- Fourteen traditionalist bishops in the Church of England have written a letter to 1,400 clergy explaining that some faithful Anglicans are faced with “apparently irreconcilable differences” in matters of faith and order. Arguing that the plans to ordain women bishops will exclude substantial numbers of Anglicans, the letter calls for the respect of those who have come to believe they can no longer remain within the Anglican Communion.

The bishops write that they will support clergy who are unable to remain in the Church of England, but they also pledge to reach a better agreement for traditionalists who do not believe women should be consecrated to the episcopacy.

The letter is signed by three senior bishops: Bishop of Chichester John Hind; Bishop of Blackburn Nicholas Reade; and Bishop in Europe Geoffrey Rowell, the UK Telegraph reports. the rest

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Devotional: I love you, O Lord, my strength...

I love you, O Lord, my strength;
through you every hostile power yields to me, worm that I am, and the guile of the ancient Serpent is laughed to scorn by the angels you send to minister to us, so that his desire to hurt is turned to our advantage instead.

I love you, Lord, my powerful defender,

wise guide, gentle consoler, generous rewarder. Confident, I cast all my care on him whose strength cannot be overthrown, whose wisdom cannot be led astray, whose loving kindness cannot be exhausted in fulfilling my every need. How much better, how much safer it is to have him caring for me than to be looking after myself. How much better it is to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in man. How justly cursed is the man who, trusting in man, makes flesh his arm, whose heart turns away from the Lord. Indeed I am poor and needy but if the Lord takes thought for me I am rich and blessed; no mistake, everything works for good in me.

Therefore let those who know your name

put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not forsake those who put their trust in you. ...Blessed Guerric of Igny image

Bishop Lamb: Unlikely to Depose San Joaquin Clergy Friday

August 14, 2008

Bishop Jerry Lamb, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, said it is unlikely that there will be any action taken Aug. 15 at a meeting of the standing committee to depose clergy who failed to reply to a letter sent with an Aug. 5 deadline.

Bishop Lamb said it was within his canonical authority as the elected bishop of the Episcopal diocese to proceed to depose all clergy who did not respond affirmatively to the first of three options he outlined in a July 10 letter. But he said it was very unlikely that the standing committee would take any action toward that purpose at this time. He said a more likely prospect would be the issuance of another invitation leading to reconciliation.

Shortly before he left for England to attend the Lambeth Conference, Bishop Lamb sent a letter to all clergy canonically resident in the Diocese of San Joaquin prior to the vote last December to amend the diocesan constitution and disaffiliate from The Episcopal Church by the majority of clergy and lay delegates. The July letter stated, in part:

“We come to places in our lives when we are faced with a choice. It is time for you to make that decision as a member of the clergy of the Diocese of San Joaquin. Enclosed with this letter is a form with three choices, “(1) I want to remain a member of the clergy of the Episcopal Church and adhere to my ordination vows; (2) I no longer wish to exercise my ordained ministry in of the Episcopal Church, and desire to be removed therefrom for reasons not affecting my moral character; or (3) I do not consider myself a clergy member of the of the Episcopal Church, nor do I believe I am obligated to conform to the doctrine, discipline, or worship of the Episcopal Church.” the rest

Study Finds Vast Majority (84%) of Down Syndrome Babies Aborted in Norway

Study also says "prenatal detection rate was poor", that is, screening many have led to abortion based in inaccurate data
By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
TRONDHEIM, Norway, August 13, 2008

(LifeSiteNews.com) - A recently published Norwegian study of prenatal detection of trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) reveals that 84% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the country are aborted. The study also concludes with the observation that "based solely on maternal age and second-trimester ultrasound imaging, the prenatal detection rate of trisomy 21 cases was poor and remained unchanged throughout the 18-year study period."

The study was conducted by the Norwegian National Center for Fetal Medicine and published in the August 2008 issue of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology. the rest

Netherlands Recognises Polygamous Marriages of Muslims

ROTTERDAM, 12/08/08 - Although polygamy is banned in the Netherlands, the marriages of Muslims who have several wives are recognised by Dutch authorities.

Registrars in the major cities, in particular, record dozens of bigamous or polygamous marriages per year. These marriages are prohibited and an offence in the Netherlands. However, polygamous marriages that take place in countries where more than one wife is permitted, such as Morocco, are accepted, newspaper NRC Handelsblad reports.

If immigrants with several wives settle in the Netherlands, the local authorities register all the marriages. However, the Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS), where all marriages are registered nationally, removes these bigamous or polygamous marriages from its files, on the assumption that administrative errors have occurred. As a result, it is not known how common the phenomenon is in the Netherlands. the rest

A Catholic Case Against Barack

Tue Aug 12, 2008

In the Pennsylvania primary, Barack Obama rolled up more than 90 percent of the African-American vote. Among Catholics, he lost by 40 points. The cool liberal Harvard Law grad was not a good fit for the socially conservative ethnics of Altoona, Aliquippa and Johnstown.

But if Barack had a problem with Catholics then, he has a far higher hurdle to surmount in the fall, with those millions of Catholics who still take their faith and moral code seriously.

For not only is Barack the most pro-abortion member of the Senate, with his straight A+ report card from the National Abortion Rights Action League and Planned Parenthood. He supports the late-term procedure known as partial-birth abortion, where the baby's skull is stabbed with scissors in the birth canal and the brains are sucked out to end its life swiftly and ease passage of the corpse into the pan. the rest

The Economist: Obama fatigue

Bishops vote to revise U.S. catechism on Jewish covenant with God

By Nancy Frazier O'Brien
Catholic News Service
08/12/2008

Excerpt:
The change, which must be confirmed by the Vatican Congregation for Clergy, would remove from the catechism a sentence that reads: "Thus the covenant that God made with the Jewish people through Moses remains eternally valid for them."

Replacing it would be this sentence: "To the Jewish people, whom God first chose to hear his word, 'belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ'" (Rom 9:4-5; cf. CCC, No. 839). Full story

Gay bishop attacks Diocese of Sydney

Thursday, 14th August 2008
By Ben Terranova

Sydney: Gene Robinson, the first openly-gay Bishop in the Anglican Communion, has slammed the Anglican Diocese of Sydney.

Speaking about the diocese with Sydney's weekly gay magazine "SX News", he said: "It is ironic that the Sydney Diocese, taking in one of the great gay cities of the world, is also among the most bigoted." Robinson claimed that the Anglican Church had "abused" gay people and said, "God and the church aren't the same thing. The church has gotten this and many other things wrong.

God hasn't gotten it wrong."Robinson also predicted that he would be the first of many gay bishops, discussed his ban from the once-in-a-decade Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops, and revealed that he has had three one-on-one meetings with US Presidential candidate Barack Obama. the rest image

'Substantial number' of clergy will leave over plans for women bishops

A "substantial number" of clergy are poised to leave the church as a result of plans to allow women bishops, the Archbishop of Canterbury has been warned by senior clergy.
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Religious Affairs Correspondent
14 Aug 2008

A group of 14 traditionalist bishops claim that there are "irreconcilable differences" over historic reforms that would introduce women as bishops without giving proper concessions to oponents of the move.

In a letter to 1,400 clergy who have indicated that they are considering defecting from the Church of England, they are highly critical of a decision by the General Synod - the Church's parliament - to ignore proposals for a compromise over the divisive issue.

The Anglo-Catholic bishops have vowed to support clergy who feel unable to remain in the Church, but have pledged to fight for a better deal for traditionalists who do not believe women should be consecrated. the rest

Ministry finds fault with Yale Christian-Muslim declaration

by Ethan Cole, Christian Post
Thursday, August 14, 2008

A leading ministry that works to support the persecuted church found parts of a declaration recently adopted by Christian and Muslim leaders troubling because it did not emphasise the differences between the two religions enough and gave too much credit to Islam.

Barnabas Fund’s international director, Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, a former Muslim, says the inclusion of the Koranic commandment to speak to Christian and Jews (K 3:64) in the opening passage of the “Final Declaration" of the Yale Common Word Conference held last month actually calls for the conversion of Christians and Jews to Islam. the rest

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Devotional: You will not stroll into Christlikeness...

You will not stroll into Christlikeness with your hands in your pockets, shoving the door open with a careless shoulder. This is no hobby for one's leisure moments, taken up at intervals when we have nothing much to do, and put down and forgotten when our life grows full and interesting... It takes all one's strength, and all one's heart, and all one's mind, and all one's soul, given freely and recklessly and without restraint. This is a business for adventurous spirits; others would shrink out of it. And so Christ had a way of pulling up would-be recruits with sobering and disconcerting questions, of meeting applicants - breathless and panting in their eagerness - by asking them if they really thought they had the grit, the stamina, the gallantry, required. For many, He explained, begin, but quickly become cowed, and slink away, leaving a thing unfinished as a pathetic monument of their own lack of courage and of staying power. AJ Gossip image

Quincy Delegates will Consider Separation in November

August 13, 2008
The Living Church

Delegates to the annual synod in the Diocese of Quincy will consider a second and decisive vote to leave The Episcopal Church when the annual meeting of the diocese is held Nov. 7-8 at St. John’s Church, Quincy.

“No formal resolutions have been drawn up or submitted yet,” said the Rev. James Marshall, president of the standing committee, “but I don’t see how it could not happen.”

At the diocesan synod last year, delegates voted by substantial majorities to amend parts of the canons and chose not to elect a slate of deputies for the 76th General Convention to be held July 8-17, 2009 in Anaheim, Calif. With anxiety in the diocese already high over recent innovations to church teaching by General Convention, the recent inhibition and pending ecclesiastical trial of retired Bishop Edward MacBurney has made the national church even less popular within the diocese, according to Fr. Marshall. the rest

Quincy, Springfield Plan Joint Meeting
Two of the three Episcopal dioceses in Illinois will hold a joint meeting of clergy and lay leadership Aug. 30 in Springfield.
Posted on August 13, 2008

'Slow' light to speed up the net

By Jason Palmer
Technology reporter
Wednesday, 13 August 2008

A huge increase in the speed of the internet could be produced by slowing parts of it down, say researchers.

Applying the brakes could be the "metamaterials" that may make it possible to create invisibility cloaks.

The net's speed limit comes about not in transporting information, but in routing it to its various destinations.

Metamaterials could replace the bulky and slow electronics that do the routing, paving the way for lightning fast speeds. the rest image

Albert Mohler: The Strange Persistence of Moral Sanity

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The fall of yet another politician in a sex scandal has added a note of Schadenfreude to the political season. Coming so quickly after the fall of former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer, the admission by former Senator John Edwards of an affair during his presidential campaign seemed to catch many observers off-guard.

Sexual immorality crosses all partisan lines. Spitzer and Edwards are prominent Democrats, but equally prominent Republicans have been caught in the same web. There is no room for partisan calculation here.

One interesting aspect of the Edwards saga is the near-universal assumption that, had Edwards won the primary race for the Democratic presidential nomination, he (and his party) would have been fatally wounded in terms of the November election. This assumption, revealed in media coverage of the scandal, seems to be common to both liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats. The assumption is probably valid. the rest image

No 'Yahweh' in songs, prayers at Catholic Masses, Vatican rules

by Nancy Frazier O'Brien
Catholic News Service
Aug-12-2008

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In the not-too-distant future, songs such as "You Are Near," "I Will Bless Yahweh" and "Rise, O Yahweh" will no longer be part of the Catholic worship experience in the United States.

At the very least, the songs will be edited to remove the word "Yahweh" -- a name of God that the Vatican has ruled must not "be used or pronounced" in songs and prayers during Catholic Masses.

Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of Paterson, N.J., chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Divine Worship, announced the new Vatican "directives on the use of 'the name of God' in the sacred liturgy" in an Aug. 8 letter to his fellow bishops. the rest

Visits by McCain, Obama underscore Pastor Rick Warren's prominence

Backers say the Saddleback Church leader and 'The Purpose Driven Life' author puts social justice ahead of partisanship. Others say he's strayed from the core Gospel or is a spiritual entrepreneur.
By Duke Helfand, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
August 13, 2008

When John McCain and Barack Obama appear on the same stage Saturday at the sprawling religious campus of Orange County's Saddleback Church, their presence will vividly underline the reach that has made Pastor Rick Warren among the most significant evangelists of his generation.

But the joint appearance -- one of Warren's highest-profile endeavors -- will also underscore a tension that is central to his role. the rest

Terri Schiavo's Death and the Misdiagnosis of a Persistent Vegetative State

by Dr. Michael Egnor
August 12, 2008

Excerpt:
"In my view, the political efforts to save Ms. Schiavo’s life were well-intentioned and completely justified. I believe that many of the medical opinions offered publicly by physicians who favored withdrawal of Ms. Schiavo's hydration and nourishment were rank pseudoscience. What was done to Ms. Schiavo was an atrocity." the rest

Democrats shift platform to woo pro-lifers

Donald Lambro
Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Excerpt:
Despite the Democrats' efforts to seek "common ground" with pro-lifers, the party's campaign document reaffirmed that it "strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of the ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right."

The Conference of Catholic Bishops said it hasn't changed the Democratic Party's position.

"The Democratic platform persists in its unapologetic promotion of abortion, which kills unborn children and harms all those involved. Affirming the good of childbirth and adoption does not justify — or in any way soften — the party's official support for an intrinsic evil," said Deirdre McQuade, spokeswoman for the Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Some women's groups within the Democrats' liberal ranks were not happy with the direction of their party's abortion language.

"It's been our view as Democrats that women should make their decisions based on their moral values," former NARAL Pro-Choice America President Kate Michelman told the New Republic in this week's issue.

"The pro-life Democrats' language is a means to an end, and the end is to limit abortion." the rest

Reflecting on a "blogging" Lambeth

ALI SYMONS
GENERAL SYNOD WEB WRITER

AUGUST 12, 2008 -- When Bishop Sue Moxley got back to Halifax after the Lambeth Conference, she was surprised at how popular her blog (online journal) had been. People in her diocese, particularly those under 35, were quite excited, and friends further afield, in Ireland and South Africa, had enjoyed keeping up. "Even when I went to get my hair cut, the hairdresser had been reading it!" she said.

Bishop Moxley was one of dozens of bishops who blogged during this once-a-decade meeting of all Anglican bishops in Canterbury, England. No one knows exactly how many of the 670 bishops in attendance were blogging. Some were linked officially to their provinces (the Episcopal Church had 8 official bloggers, for instance), but many more blogged from their diocesan websites, or independently. Most bloggers represented the Global north. the rest

Lambeth Conference shortfall plugged by Church charities

Celina Ribeiro
13 August 2008

The Archbishops Council of the Church of England and the Board of Governors of the Church Commission have stepped in to plug a £1.2m deficit left after this year’s Lambeth Conference in Kent.

After a meeting on Monday morning, August 11, the Board of Governors agreed to match the August 8 offer made by the Archbishops’ Council of up to £600,000 in interest-free loans to the Lambeth Conference Company, the part of the Anglican Communion responsible for the running of the conference.

In a statement, the Church of England said that the Company had given assurances that it would continue to seek support from the Anglican Communion to cover the debts, but that “it cannot, however, be confident that these [efforts] will generate funds sufficiently quickly for it to meet all of its obligations as they fall due over the coming weeks and months”.

The Lambeth Conference Company has accepted the loan. the rest

Episcopalians speak for and against Pa. Bishop Bennison

By David O'Reilly
Inquirer Staff Writer
Wed, Aug. 13, 2008

Episcopal Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. should be removed from church office, according to the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church USA and the victim of Bennison's brother's sexual abuse.

But a special church court - which in June found Bennison guilty of failing to protect a girl in his parish from his brother John's sexual abuse decades ago - has also received dozens of letters from Bennison's admirers asking that he be allowed to continue to lead the five-county Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania he has headed since 1998.

"His ministry is a gift the Episcopal Church so desperately needs," wrote one.

In October, the Episcopal Church suspended Bennison, 62, on two charges of "conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy" and called for a trial. the rest image

Kendall Harmon: Lambeth Questions (IV)

Posted August 13, 2008

Earlier we noted a blog entry from the Bishop of Lichfield about Lambeth 2008 in which he said:

We are told that in the lawsuits in America between parishes and their dioceses it is the dioceses who are the defendants and the conservative parishes who are the accusers..

This led one of our blog readers to write the bishop to correct this misinformation. As A. S. Haley has shown comprehensively, the facts are entirely the opposite of this assertion cited by the Bishop of Lichfield.

We now know from conversations with bishops at Lambeth that this was not something isolated to the Bishop of Lichfield, but that other bishops at Lambeth were given this misinformation as well. This raises disturbing questions, namely, who were the TEC bishops giving out this misinformation? And perhaps more important: can we look for reappraising blogs and leaders who claim to care about justice to denounce the injustice of spreading untruths like this at a once a decade bishops meeting? Who were the bishops providing this misinformation and why were they doing so? Can we look for them to come clean and apologize?

And perhaps most importantly, can we look for a denunciation from the national leadership of this unchristian practice at a Christian meeting? TEC often provides itself on its "prophetic" witness, but a close reading of the prophets shows that almost nothing concerns them more than dishonesty and lack of truth--KSH.

TitusOneNine

Anglican Diocese of Fort Worth ‘is not moving to Rome’

Wednesday, 13th August 2008
By George Conger

Texas: the Bishop of Fort Worth has denied published reports in Texas newspapers that his diocese is set to go over to Rome.

In a statement released on Aug 12, the Rt Rev Jack Iker stated “there is no proposal under consideration, either publicly or privately, for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth to become part of the Roman Catholic Church.” Speculation that Fort Worth, one of two American dioceses that does not ordain women, was Rome-ward bound arose after a memorandum detailing the meeting of four senior Fort Worth clergy and the Roman Catholic bishop of Fort Worth was released over the weekend.

The memorandum summarized a June 16 meeting by the four priests with Catholic Bishop Kevin Vann, and presented arguments in support of submission to Rome by Anglo-Catholics. the rest

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Devotional: For thou art my lamp, O Lord...

For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness. 2 Samuel 22:29

Am I in the light? Then Thou, O Lord, art my lamp. Take Thee away and my joy would be gone; but as long as Thou art with me, I can do without the torches of time and the candles of created comfort. What a light the presence of God casts on all things! We heard of a lighthouse which could be seen for twenty miles, but our Jehovah is not only a God at hand, but far off is He seen, even in the enemy's country. O Lord, I am as happy as an angel when Thy love fills my heart. Thou art all my desire.

Am I in the dark? Then thou, O Lord, wilt lighten my darkness. Before long things will change. Affairs may grow more and more dreary and cloud may be piled upon cloud; but if it grow so dark that I cannot see my own hand, still I shall see the hand of the Lord. When I cannot find a light within me, or among my friends, or in the whole world, the Lord, who said, "Let there be light," and there was light, can say the same again. He will speak me into the sunshine yet. I shall not die but live. The day is already breaking. This sweet text shines like a morning star. I shall clap my hands for joy ere many hours are passed. ...CH Spurgeon
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Albert Mohler interviews George Conger

The Collapse of Anglicanism
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
by Albert Mohler

In the aftermath of the most recent Lambeth Conference of the Anglican Church, Albert Mohler interviewed Rev. Canon George Conger. He is an Episcopalian Priest with the Diocese of Central Florida and the Chief Correspondent of “The Church of England Newspaper.”

Albert Mohler:
Every 10 years the bishops of the Anglican Communion gather for what is known as the Lambeth Conference named for the palace across the Thames River from Central London which is the traditional and historic home of the Archbishop of Canterbury who is the leader of the Anglican movement worldwide. The Archbishop of Canterbury is now Rowan Williams. As the bishops gathered, there was much controversy that had been boiling for some years, but the focus of the controversy is the issue of local authority. The specific exploding point here—or the fuse on this bomb—is the issue of human sexuality and homosexuality, and the catalyst for all of this was what happened five years ago.

Five years ago in Minneapolis, the Episcopal Church, U.S. confirmed Jean Robinson as the first openly gay bishop of any Anglican Communion—and that set the stage for what happened and didn’t happen in London at the Lambeth Conference. What didn’t happen is that all the bishops attended. Jean Robinson was there and he was not invited to participate in the conference. There were others who were not invited. Over 200 conservative bishops met earlier and then boycotted, more or less, the Lambeth meeting out of their frustration with the fact that pro-homosexual bishops, especially of North America, would be attending.

Interview here

A Statement from Bishop Jack Iker on Roman Catholic Dialogues

TitusOneNine
August 12, 2008

I am aware of a meeting that four priests of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth have had with Bishop Kevin Vann of the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth on June 16, 2008. After a year of studying various agreed statements that have come out of ecumenical dialogues between Anglicans and Roman Catholics on the national and international level, these clergy expressed an interest in having a dialogue on the local level and asked my permission to make an appointment to talk with Bishop Vann. The stated goal of these official Anglican/Roman Catholic dialogues (which have been going on for over 40 years) has been full, visible unity between the two communions.

The priests who participated in this meeting with Bishop Vann have my trust and pastoral support. However, in their written and verbal reports, they have spoken only on their own behalf and out of their own concerns and perspective. They have not claimed to act or speak, nor have they been authorized to do so, either on behalf of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth or on my own behalf as their Bishop. the rest

TLC: Ft. Worth Bishop: No Plans for Diocese to Join Roman Catholic Church

Prayer for GAFCON Primates

O Lord,
Surely Your salvation is near to them that fear You–You look down from heaven, give that which is good, and set us in the way of Your steps. May Your Truth spring out of the earth where the GAFCON primates meet.

You beckon us to come to You, to slake our thirst in You, to take the water of life freely. You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Be present at this meeting, we pray.

Lord, we in the Anglican Communion are a church of factions. We pray that all those who fear You will meet in mercy and truth. We yearn to be pleasing in Your eyes, a Communion holy and set apart for Your delight.

You are the Prince of Peace. Clothe the Anglican Communion in righteousness. Peace and righteousness kiss each other. O Lord, our Crucified Prince, we long for Your kisses. Kiss us, O Lord, for Your love is better than wine. Kiss us with many kisses. In Your love, help us to crucify all that which separates us from You. Forgive us of our sins. May Your glory dwell in the Anglican Communion on this day. Amen.

Psalm 85:9-13, Song of Solomon 1:2, Revelation 22:17
Found at Lent and Beyond image

There is a post-Lambeth Conference lull in activity. I think it important for us to be vigilant in our prayers as the consequences of the GAFCON and Lambeth Conferences unfold.
The GAFCON primates will meet on August 20-24.

Tony Seel+: Adams the Cultural Christian

DCNY blog
August 12, 2008

You'll find in the interview interview posted below that Bishop Adams makes a number of appeals to culture as he discusses the Anglican crisis that he helped create. Despite the exhortations in the Old and New Testaments against adopting cultural mores, Adams appears quite comfortable in choosing cultural norms over biblical ones.

A second issue that I found interesting was Adams dismissal of the possibility of schism. It's as if he were reading off the talking points that were distributed to American bishops prior to Lambeth. As a number of less public relations minded bishops have pointed out the GAFCON movement is the elephant in the room and Adams will certainly not want to even concede that the GAFCON elephant is seated in front of him. the rest

China and the Church

WALL STREET JOURNAL ASIA
August 12, 2008

President Bush attended church in Beijing on Sunday. He worshipped alongside Chinese Christians and sang "Amazing Grace." But what happened outside the church says more about the state of the millions of Christians in China.

Earlier that morning, the pastor of an illegal underground Christian church, Hua Huiqi, was detained by police as he was biking to the service that Mr. Bush was to attend. His whereabouts are still unknown. Mr. Hua's brother, who was briefly detained, said Mr. Hua only wanted to worship at the church where he was baptized.

China's constitution ostensibly allows freedom of religion, but events like this show the real extent of this "freedom." On the mainland, religion is tolerated only insofar as it is controlled by the state. The only legal churches are those run by the State Administration of Religious Affairs, a government bureau. Those who choose to attend "house" churches -- roughly half of China's Christians -- face the prospect of harassment or detention. Dozens of Christians remain under arrest. the rest

Billboards announce: 'Sharia law is hate'

Group hopes to spark debate over accepting Islamic rules in U.S.
August 08, 2008
By Drew Zahn
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

An organization in Florida plans to educate what it perceives as an increasingly culture-tolerant public about the horrific dictates of Islamic law by purchasing billboard space with a simple, but confrontational message: "Sharia law is hate." Story

Christian Missionaries Fear Escalating War In Georgia; Churches Damaged

Monday, 11 August 2008
By BosNewsLife News Center

TBLISI/MOSCOW/BUDAPEST (BosNewsLife)-- A major Christian missionary group in Russia said Monday, August 11, it is trying to reach survivors of clashes between Russian and Georgian troops in and around the breakaway region of South Ossetia, amid reports that several churches have been damaged.

At least three evangelical churches, with which the group has worked, were damaged over the weekend in fighting in the town of Zhinvali in South Ossetia, Russian Ministries said. The group made the announcement as Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili said Russian troops have effectively cut the country in half by seizing a strategic city that straddles the country's main east-west highway. the rest

German 'Nazi' youth camp raided

Monday, 11 August 2008

A youth camp run by a neo-Nazi group has been broken up by police near Rostock in northern Germany.

Thirty-nine teenagers and children who were attending the camp have been returned to their homes, police said.

The neo-Nazi group that ran the camp had described it as a youth adventure holiday. The police raid uncovered racist propaganda and Nazi material.

The head of Germany's equivalent of the FBI told a newspaper neo-Nazis were adopting increasingly violent tactics. the rest

The Lambeth Conference 2008 – and the future of the Anglican Communion

The Rt Revd Michael Scott-Joynt
Winchester, August 11th 2008

A Report to the Diocese of Winchester

On May 17th I devoted half of my Presidential Address to the Diocesan Synod to the Lambeth Conference, then still two months away. I begin this review of the Conference with what I said that day, because it describes the hopes, fears and convictions with which I went to Canterbury; so I hope that it will help those who read what follows to the end to evaluate my particular experience of the Conference. the rest

Comments at Stand Firm

Comments at TitusOneNine

Could Obama strike down all state pro-life laws?

Jim Brown
OneNewsNow
8/12/2008

The editor of a pro-life news service says a draft copy of the proposed Democratic Party platform that will be approved later this month in Denver continues the party's historic pro-abortion stance and mirrors Barack Obama's extreme support for abortion.

The proposed Democratic Party platform announces unequivocal support for Roe v. Wade and direct taxpayer funding of abortions. Steven Ertelt, editor of LifeNews.com, obtained the draft platform from a pro-life group that is urging the Democratic Party to moderate its stance on abortion. the rest image

The 'Making Abortion Rare' Hoax
Are pro-life Obama supporters so selfishly hooked on a feeling -- the euphoric state of Obamamania -- that they'll back Obama and his party in the most immoral crusade since slavery? It appears so.

Michelle Malkin: Obama’s abortion lies

Obama Cover-up Revealed On Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Bill

An Interview with a Former Anglican

By Ed West
8/12/2008

LONDON (The Catholic Herald) - As the Church prepares for a new wave of converts we sometimes forget how many ex-Anglicans clerics we have already, and how far many have risen.
Few have risen higher than Canon Christopher Tuckwell, Administrator of Westminster Cathedral since June. As sub-administrator he was expected to take over the role from Mgr Mark Langham, but he says, in his measured drawl, that he was surprised by the appointment.

"I thought that at 62 I was a bit long in the tooth," he says. "Also, as a fairly recent arrival, I thought it was one of the appointments that would not be given to a convert." the rest

Episcopal priests from Fort Worth may be looking at Catholicism

Tuesday, August 12, 2008
By SAM HODGES / The Dallas Morning News

A delegation of Episcopal priests from Fort Worth paid a visit to Catholic Bishop Kevin Vann earlier this summer, asking for guidance on how their highly conservative diocese might come into "full communion" with the Catholic Church.

Whether that portends a serious move to turn Fort Worth Episcopalians and their churches into Catholics and Catholic churches is a matter of dispute.

The Rev. William Crary, senior rector of the Fort Worth diocese, confirmed that on June 16 he and three other priests met with Bishop Vann, leader of the Fort Worth Catholic diocese, and presented him a document that is highly critical of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.

The document states that the overwhelming majority of Episcopal clergy in the Fort Worth diocese favor pursuing an "active plan" to bring the diocese into full communion with the Catholic Church. the rest

Monday, August 11, 2008

Devotional: You can also offer your prayers...

You can also offer your prayers, obedience, and endurance of dryness to Our Lord, for the good of other souls, and then you have practiced intercession. Never mind if it all seems for the time very second-hand. The less you get out of it, the nearer it approaches to being something worth offering; and the humiliation of not being able to feel as devout as we want to be, is excellent for most of us. Use vocal prayer...very slowly, trying to realize the meaning with which it is charged and remember that...you are only a unit in the Chorus of the Church, so that the others will make good the shortcomings you cannot help.
...Evelyn Underhill image

Bush warns Russia to pull back in Georgia

Aug 11, 2008
By MATTHEW LEE
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush on Monday demanded that Russia end a "dramatic and brutal escalation" of violence in Georgia, agree to an immediate cease-fire and accept international mediation to end the crisis in the former Soviet republic.

Almost immediately after his return from the Olympics in China, Bush warned Russia in his strongest comments since the fighting erupted over Georgia's separatist South Ossetia region last week to "reverse the course it appears to be on" and abandon any attempt it may have to topple Georgia's pro-western government.

"Russia has invaded a sovereign neighboring state and threatens a democratic government elected by its people. Such an action is unacceptable in the 21st century," the president said in a televised statement from the White House, calling on Moscow to sign on to the outlines of a cease-fire as the Georgian government has done. the rest

… but Williams kept his flock together

RIAZAT BUTT
Aug 12 2008

The Lambeth conference, one of the most important symbols of Anglican unity, takes place every 10 years in Canterbury. But the 2008 summit, which finished two weeks ago, was held amid an atmosphere of boycotts and recrimination over the 230 bishops who stayed away ­- and the one who was never invited.

It was seen as a crucial test of Rowan Williams’s leadership and an indication of whether the worldwide Anglican family could stay together in spite of irreconcilable differences between conservatives and liberals over specific issues. So after hours of Bible study, daily indabas and a deficit of nearly £2-million, what is the outcome? the rest

Statement by the NW Recife Clergy Cluster on GAFCON & the North American Anglican Province

August 11th, 2008
Anglican Mainstream

We are clergy and lay leaders of the NW Recife cluster, along with guests from other Anglican Groups (Anglican Province of America, Diocese of the West; Communion of Christ the Redeemer; Anglican Coalition in Canada), gathering in retreat in Spokane, August 6, 2008, the Feast of the Transfiguration.

1. We give thanks to God for the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit in GAFCON resulting in the Jerusalem Declaration, which we affirm as the basis for our unity and mission together in Christ’s Name.

2. We give thanks for the courageous and visionary leadership within Common Cause for beginning the process of uniting our continuing and newly emerging Anglican groups in North America.

3. We give thanks for the call to the GAFCON Primates’ Council to form a North American Anglican Province and fully endorse the formal request from the leadership of the Common Cause Partnership to move in this direction. the rest

Bp. John Rodgers: There is no via media between incompatible Convictions

A brief comment about Lambeth 2008
8/9/2008

In the present, there seem to be three distinct groups in the Anglican Communion, each thinks out of a key presupposition, and believes that it is the true bearer of the Anglican Vision or Spirit. There are the Revisionists who interpret Scripture, tradition and institutional authority in the light of culturally dominated reason. There are the so called moderates or corporatists who accommodate their view of and interpretation of Scripture, tradition and reason to secure their supreme value of institutional unity, by seeking a middle ground and moderate change. And there are the historic Anglicans who view things in the light of the Apostolic Faith as set forth in Scripture, read in the light of the Catholic Creeds and the Anglican Formularies. Given these key assumptions, most of the actions of the groups are rather predictable, as is also the result of a gathering of all three i.e. the 2008 Lambeth Conference.

The truth of the matter is that these three positions are incompatible and the sooner that we in the Anglican Communion face that fact and take the responsible action to negotiate a godly and charitable separation, the better off all of us will be. To continue to be formally bound together, while struggling for dominance while calling it unity, fools no one, hinders each group from expressing its vision and from carrying out its mission, with whatever effectiveness the Lord of history will allow. It also kills serious ecumenical discussion with the Orthodox, Roman Catholic and faithful Reformation Churches. In addition, it spends a great deal of money, time and effort, which could be put to far more productive use.

As one reads the lengthy Lambeth 2008 Statement, with its stating the obvious, vagueness in key terms, additional commissions, utterly unrealistic demands (moratoria), and the lengthy approval process, one can only wonder and sigh at the slowness with which we Anglicans face the inevitable. Consider the protracted pain which the delay will cause, the loss of membership it will produce and the damage to mission that will ensue. To value unity above the revealed Truth of Christianity is, of course, utterly wrong, and aiming for unity between incompatible visions is entirely futile. There is no unifying via media between incompatible key convictions, even as there is no escaping our Lord's clear teaching that "a house divided cannot stand".
the rest at Virtueonline

Some Protestants find spiritual appeal in natural family planning

Taking a page from Catholic doctrine, Protestants are avoiding artificial contraception for religious reasons
By Eileen E. Flynn
Sunday, August 10, 2008

Phaedra Taylor abstained from sex until marriage. But she began researching birth control methods before she was even engaged, and by the time she married David Taylor, she was already charting her fertility.

Taylor, a fresh-faced 28-year-old who would blend in easily with South Austin bohemians, ruled out taking birth control pills after reading a book that claimed the pill could, in some cases, make the uterus uninhabitable after conception occurred. She viewed that as abortion, which she opposes.

"I just wasn't willing to risk it," she said. the rest

Episcopal Bishop Catherine Roskam stirs more controversy

BY TERRY MATTINGLY
Scripps Howard News Service
Saturday, August 9, 2008

The career of Bishop Catherine Roskam of the Diocese of New York has been built on her skills as a cross-cultural ambassador for the modern Episcopal Church.

She led the International Concerns Committee of her denomination's executive council, helped create her diocese's Global Women's Fund and has worked as a consultant on issues of cultural sensitivity. In some circles, she is known as the bishop who dared to rap during a "Hip-Hop Mass" a few years ago in the Bronx.

"My sistas and brothas, all my homies and peeps, stay up - keep your head up, holla back and go forth and tell it like it is," proclaimed the bishop, in her benediction.

Thus, the diminutive, white-haired assistant bishop was an unlikely figure to inspire bold, angry headlines during the recent Lambeth Conference of bishops from the global Anglican Communion. This 20-day gathering had been carefully planned by the archbishop of Canterbury and his staff to focus on prayer, Bible study and small-group sessions called "Indabas" - a Zulu term for tribal meetings - in private settings that did not include journalists. the rest image

Cease-fire proposed as Russia bombs Georgia

TBILISI, Georgia (CNN) -- Georgia's president says he has signed an international-brokered proposal for a cease-fire with Russia in their conflict over the breakaway province of South Ossetia.

President Mikheil Saakashvili said Monday that the proposal would be taken to Moscow by the French and Finnish foreign ministers.

"We are trying to stop this as soon as possible," Saakashvili said during a conference call with Western journalists.

Saakashvili said that Georgian troops had downed "18 or 19" Russian warplanes, killed hundreds of Russian troops and repelled a Russian assault on the Georgian city of Gori.

He later said in a television broadcast that the conflict was similar to the Balkans war in the 1990s and accused Russia of ethnic cleansing -- a charge the Russians have repeatedly leveled at Georgia.

Saakashvili claimed Russia had 500 tanks and 25,000 troops inside Georgia. the rest

Pope urges end to hostilities in South Ossetia

Catholic Relief Services Readying Response in Georgia

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Devotional: Is the Lord Jesus Christ being abundantly satisfied in your life...

"Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me." John 11:41

When the Son of God prays, He has only one consciousness, and that consciousness is of His Father. God always hears the prayers of His Son, and if the Son of God is formed in me the Father will always hear my prayers. I have to see that the Son of God is manifested in my mortal flesh. "Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost," i.e., the Bethlehem of the Son of God. Is the Son of God getting His chance in me? Is the direct simplicity of the life of God's Son being worked out exactly as it was worked out in His historic life? When I come in contact with the occurrences of life as an ordinary human being, is the prayer of God's Eternal Son to His Father being prayed in me? "In that day ye shall ask in My name. . . ." What day? The day when the Holy Ghost has come to me and made me effectually one with my Lord.

Is the Lord Jesus Christ being abundantly satisfied in your life or have you got a spiritual strut on? Never let common sense obtrude and push the Son of God on one side. Common sense is a gift which God gave to human nature; but common sense is not the gift of His Son. Supernatural sense is the gift of His Son; never enthrone common sense. The Son detects the Father; common sense never yet detected the Father and never will. Our ordinary wits never worship God unless they are transfigured by the indwelling Son of God. We have to see that this mortal flesh is kept in perfect subjection to Him and that He works through it moment by moment. Are we living in such human dependence upon Jesus Christ that His life is being manifested moment by moment?
...Oswald Chambers image

Interview with CNY Episcopal Bishop Skip Adams

CNY leader Skip Adams one of 670 bishops to attend once-in-a-decade session.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
By Renée K. Gadoua, Staff writer
Syracuse Post-Standard

Excerpt:
Is the church heading to schism?
My sense, speaking as Skip Adams, is it's the opposite of that. Some of the alarmist press bore no fruit.

But you agree this was an important step in the life of the church. There's no question of that, but as they say, 'Reports of one's demise were greatly exaggerated.' The most important sense I got out of this conference is that it's clear to me that most members of the communion want to stay together, that there's as much or more about we agree than about what we disagree, and most want to work together to figure this out.

Discussions about sexuality came at the end. Was there an elephant in the room, a sense that you were putting off the difficult questions?
The process we were in had the primary purpose of listening to other people, don't speak too much. It wasn't to avoid anything. It was clear we were going to be talking about hard issues.
The beginning of the conference was to focus on things on which we do agree so that based on those places then we can have the more difficult conversations because a relationship has been established.

What did you hear?
In my Bible study group were members from Sudan. I heard their ministry context, the things they have to deal with day to day, HIV/AIDS, extremist parts of the Muslim community, issues about disease and poverty and illiteracy. People there, when they make a decision to get baptized, know they are putting their life at risk.

What else did you learn about how life is different in the United States?
I live in a culture that is used to exercising its freedom. We live in cultural context where those conversations can be had.
When you talk with people in other parts of the world, they are dealing with life and death issues. The conversations about human sexuality, they often don't have time to deal with it, and when it comes up they are dealing with a context in which homosexuality is criminalized.

What did you bring to the table in terms of explaining the American experience?
They were able to hear from me and other bishops from the U.S. about the possibility of the holiness of life of GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) people.
We're accused of not embracing the authority of Scripture. I was able to explain to them I do embrace the authority of Scripture, but I understand some parts of Scripture differently because of my cultural context.

What do you make of the 200 bishops who boycotted the meeting?
I'm sorry they made the decision to stay home. I'm told that this was not a decision necessarily forever. I am aware there was a bishop from Nigeria who came in defiance of his archbishop whose wife was threatened and he had to leave.

What was the significance of Gene Robinson's presence?
I expressed my sadness that he wasn't a part of the regular invitation, but he got to talk with folks who wanted to hear from him about his ministry and his context and how he sees the work of the church in New Hampshire. I hear they're just busy doing God's work. They don't talk about sex every day.

How will this play out locally?
That's obviously yet to be. This will be in my conversations when I do parish visitations. I shared some of these things with the staff. I will share these things with the clergy. Because it affects me, it's going to affect the whole diocese.
What is also clear to me is I continue to want us to be a diocese where many theological perspectives can be held in tension and the center of who we are is Christ. We need to keep our eyes there as we figure out things. Full article

Comments at Stand Firm

Comments at TitusOneNine

Lopez Lomong: U.S. flag-bearer found new life in New York foster family

By Maureen Sieh

TULLY, N.Y. -- Robert Rogers was intrigued seven years ago by the advertisement in a church bulletin seeking foster parents for "Lost Boys" from Sudan."

This looks interesting," he told his wife, Barbara, at the end of Mass at St. Leo Church.

He still remembers her reaction: "You're out of your mind."

He was out of town on the day of the meeting about the foster children, so his wife went. "When I came home ... we were all signed up and ready to go," he said. the rest image

GetReligion: The triumph of Lopez Lomong

Strife Inside the Anglican Church

On matters of faith, is compromise possible?
By Jay Tolson
Posted August 8, 2008

But with close to one fourth of the bishops boycotting the meeting, including every bishop from Uganda and many others who had attended GAFCON, give-and-take with the most determined conservatives was limited. And even before Lambeth commenced, a number of conservative Anglicans said they saw little point in attending a meeting that was designed to avoid decisions. Most scathing of all, perhaps, were the words of the archbishop of Uganda, the Most. Rev. Henry Luke Orombi, appearing in the Times of London as Lambeth entered its last days. In addition to repeating the charges of betrayal by the Episcopal Church, he faulted the "instruments" of the communion (namely, Lambeth, the Anglican Consultative Council, the primates' meetings, and the archbishop of Canterbury) for failing to address the crisis. His harshest words were reserved for the archbishop, selected not by his peers but by a secular British government exercising what Orombi called "a remnant of British colonialism." the rest