Saturday, October 11, 2008

Devotional: Let a man set his heart...

Let a man set his heart only on doing the will of God and he is instantly free. If we understand our first and sole duty to consist of loving God supremely and loving everyone, even our enemies, for God's dear sake, then we can enjoy spiritual tranquility under every circumstance. ...AW Tozer image

Brad Drell: Interview With Canon Gregory Cameron

October 11, 2008

Of course, I was extremely nice and cordial and didn’t openly disagree with him in the interview. However, he seriously underestimates TEC’s ability to say they believe in the creeds and the “truth” when in fact they don’t. It remains of critical importance to the inside strategy to show otherwise - we have to keep pounding the message.

I have decided that indecisiveness is an Anglican genetic trait. Canon Cameron confirms that.
In any event, below is a link to another Windows media file from my handy dandy digital voice recorder which gave us the audio coverage for the convention. For the next Diocesan convention I plan on moving on to video, but I think I will need an assistant. the rest

Interview with Gregory Cameron

Mark Steyn "Not Guilty" of "Islamophobia": Human Rights Commission

Friday October 10, 2008
By John Jalsevac

TORONTO (October 10, 2008) - The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal today handed down a not-guilty verdict in the case against Maclean's magazine and its columnist Mark Steyn.

Maclean's and Steyn faced charges of "Islamophobia" in the wake of Maclean's decision to republish an excerpt from Steyn's best-selling book "America Alone." In the excerpt Steyn argued that Europe, and Western post-Christian civilization on the whole, are experiencing a civilisational exhaustion that has led, in particular, to a demographic crisis. This demographic crisis, contended Steyn, exposes the West to the ambitions of an increasingly vocal and increasingly violent Islamic minority in Europe.

Following the publication of the excerpt Dr. Mohamed Elmasry, the National President of the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC), and Dr. Naiyer Habib, filed nearly identical complaints with the human rights commission arguing that the article exposed Muslims in British Columbia to "hatred and contempt."

The tribunal that reviewed the case, however, "has concluded that the complaints are not justified because the complainants have not established that the Article is likely to expose them to hatred or contempt on the basis of their religion." the rest image

The Kingston Trio (1966)



Kingston Trio's Nick Reynolds (on right) dies at 75

Uganda synod gives backing to US traditionalists

October 9, 2008
by George Conger

The general synod of the Church of Uganda has backed the call for the creation of a second Anglican province in the United States and Canada for traditionalists.

Meeting from Aug 26-28 at Uganda Christian University in Mukono, clergy and lay delegates to the 19th Provincial Assembly overwhelmingly endorsed Archbishop Henry Orombi’s participation in the Gafcon primates’ council, affirmed the Jerusalem Declaration, and pledged to support the Common Cause Partnership in North America’s transition into the 39th province of the Anglican Communion.

The synod also took up Archbishop Orombi’s call for a “Decade of Mission,” while approving in principle proposed changes to the church’s Anglican ecclesiology—making shared doctrine rather than communion with Canterbury, the defining relationship of the church. the rest

English Church discusses 'complementary' bishops plan

Saturday, 11th October 2008
By Toby Cohen.

As the English House of Bishops met to discuss the Church of England’s future, a Synod insider revealed that plans are already in place to provide ‘flying bishops’ for those who cannot accept women bishops.

The bishops gathered in London earlier this week with a series of momentous debates to be thrashed out, on topics including women bishops, complementary or ‘flying’ bishops, Anglican governance, and the broken state of the Communion following the divisions in The Episcopal Church. The agenda for the discussions is supposedly kept private, but several of the debates have already spilled out into the public domain.

An anonymous bishop revealed last weekend that flying bishops would be provided for those who could not accept the authority of women bishops. Synod lay member, Paul Eddy, has now confirmed to Religious Intelligence that the reports were true, although he was not at liberty to reveal the identity of the Bishop. the rest

Virginia: Episcopal parishes in Emporia, Purdy quit over gay issue

By Steven G. Vegh
The Virginian-Pilot
October 11, 2008

Two small parishes in the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia have quit the denomination because of objections to gay ordination and have joined a like-minded group of dissident churches based in Northern Virginia.

The break away Anglican District of Virginia announced Friday that Christ Church in Emporia and Grace Church in Purdy had become members. The district now includes 23 parishes that have cut ties with the Episcopal Church.

The Southern Virginia diocese has about 120 parishes, including more than two dozen in South Hampton Roads.

Church of the Messiah in Chesapeake quit the Episcopal denomination in 2006. Grace Episcopal Church in Newport News left a couple of years earlier. the rest

Pittsburgh: Episcopal division expected to carry over to property dispute

Saturday, October 11, 2008
By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Early wrangling has begun in what will ultimately be a decision by a civil court over which Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh inherits the property of the diocese that voted Oct. 4 to secede from the Episcopal Church into the more theologically conservative Anglican Province of the Southern Cone in South America.

The Episcopal Church has recognized a remnant of about 20 churches that refused to secede with more than 50 others. Both sides claim to be "The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America" that in 2005 signed a legal stipulation saying that it owned diocesan property. The same stipulation said parishes wishing to disassociate from that diocese could apply to it for parish property. This week the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh (Anglican) wrote to churches aligned with the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, telling them to apply to the Anglican diocese for their property. the rest

Friday, October 10, 2008

Devotional: Let God's truth work in you...

All God's revelations are sealed until they are opened to us by obedience. You will never get them open by philosophy or thinking. Immediately you obey, a flash of light comes. Let God's truth work in you by soaking in it, not by worrying into it. The only way you can get to know is to stop trying to find out and by being born again. Obey God in the thing He shows you, and instantly the next thing is opened up. One reads tomes on the work of the Holy Spirit, when one five minutes of drastic obedience would make things as clear as a sunbeam. "I suppose I shall understand these things some day!" You can understand them now. It is not study that does it, but obedience. The tiniest fragment of obedience, and heaven opens and the profoundest truths of God are yours straight away. God will never reveal more truth about Himself until you have obeyed what you know already. Beware of becoming "wise and prudent." ...Oswald Chambers image

Reservation Churches Prepare Lawsuits to Halt Closings

October 10, 2008

The decision to close nine churches on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota has sparked a growing controversy, with the congregations now preparing to file lawsuits in tribal court to keep their churches open.

The strongest public challenge to the closings to date has come from members of Christ Church, Red Shirt Table, who sent a six-page letter to Bishop Creighton Robertson dated September 10. When asked to comment on the letter, South Dakota diocesan administrator Randy Barnhardt said the bishop's office had not received a copy. But Lorri Ann Two Bulls, a member of Christ Church, reported that the certified letter sent to Robertson "was returned and had been refused by the bishop's office." Mr. Barnhardt subsequently confirmed that the diocese had refused to receive the letter. Copies were also sent to members of South Dakota's Standing Committee, as well as national church officials and the local media.

In its letter, Christ Church members questioned the closing of "these particular churches when it is a reality that financial hardship and low attendance are real and the same for all the churches on all the reservations." It also questioned why the action was being taken just as the diocese is beginning a search for a new bishop. The congregation noted that Bishop Robertson "has not once crossed the threshold of Christ Episcopal Church, Red Shirt, for a visitation since he became bishop” more than 14 years ago. the rest

Northern Plains Anglicans

Pro-Life Petition to United Nations Beats Pro-Abortion Petition by 40-1 Count

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 9, 2008

New York, NY (LifeNews.com) -- Abortion advocates operating on an international scale outpace the pro-life movement financially, but not when it comes to the support of real people. A leading pro-life group has proved that by outpacing its pro-abortion opponents 40-1 in a petition campaign slated for the United Nations in December.

The British-based abortion business Marie Stopes International launched a petition effort and, after a year of campaigning, only gathered 500 signatures.

MSI now reportedly has just 650, but that pales in comparison to the 26,000 the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute has compiled. the rest

Hopelessly Devoted to You, You and You

By ALEX WILLIAMS
October 3, 2008

LIKE many considerate boyfriends, Ed Vessel, a cognitive neuroscientist who lives in Brooklyn, bought a toothbrush for his steady girlfriend Diana Adams to keep at his apartment when she sleeps over. While Ms. Adams, a Cornell-educated lawyer, considered this touching, she was less pleased when she noticed the toothbrush that Mr. Vessel had bought for his other steady girlfriend when she slept over.

That Mr. Vessel had a second girlfriend was not the issue. All parties here are committed to polyamory, which for them means maintaining multiple steady relationships, with the knowledge and consent of all involved. The problem was that the other woman’s toothbrush was “a really fancy one that says ‘Primo’ on it, and mine is a junky one that says ‘Duane Reade,’ ” said Ms Adams, 29. For about a month, she was a little miffed every single time she brushed her teeth.

The two eventually talked — polyamory involves a lot of talking — and they now laugh about it. “I just decided that this was an example of a jealousy that is not warranted,” Ms. Adams said. the rest

Doctors help depressed to die

By Simon Caldwell
10 October 2008

Doctors in America are helping depressed people to kill themselves, according to research published this week.

A law in the state of Oregon allows terminally ill patients to request a lethal dose of medicine when physical suffering becomes unbearable.

It stipulates that doctors must determine that the patient is not afflicted by a state of mind that might impair their judgment.

But a study published on Wednesday in the British Medical Journal shows that a quarter of all people who ask doctors to help them to die are suffering from depression.

Of those who successfully acquired the toxic cocktails needed to kill them nearly one in five was suffering from mental health problems which might have affected their judgment. the rest

"Fireproof": It’s a Healthy Marriage of Faith and Filmmaking

By JULIE BLOOM
October 5, 2008
NYT

An almost all-volunteer cast and crew, including a star who was an ’80s teen heartthrob, and a plot about a firefighter who saves his marriage by turning to God — it hardly sounds like a recipe for box office success, let alone a best-selling book. But that’s what the film “Fireproof” has spawned.

The movie features Kirk Cameron, an alumnus of the television show “Growing Pains,” as the firefighter, and it cost just $500,000 to produce. Yet it opened two weekends ago with $6.5 million in ticket sales, good for No. 4 at the box office, just a few spots behind the No. 1 big-budget action thriller “Eagle Eye” and five spots ahead of Spike Lee’s World War II epic, “Miracle at St. Anna.” This past weekend “Fireproof” made $4.1 million more and so far has about $12.5 million total, according to estimates by Media by Numbers, a box office tracking company. the rest

Connecticut court overturns gay marriage ban

Fri Oct 10, 2008

BOSTON (Reuters) - The Connecticut Supreme Court overturned a ban on same-sex marriage on Friday in a victory for gay-rights advocates that will allow couples to marry in the New England state.

The court found that the state's law limiting marriage to heterosexual couples discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation.

Connecticut is now the third state in the country to allow gay marriage, following neighboring Massachusetts, the first state to allow it, and California. the rest

Colson: Voting Like It Matters

It's not only our civic duty — it's a sacred one.
Charles Colson with Anne Morse
10/10/2008

I have been surprised by the number of Christians who have given up on politics this year. "I don't like either candidate, so I'm staying home," some say.

I get fed up with the vain posturing and empty promises, too. But not voting is not an option—it's both our civic and sacred duty. Voting is required of us as good citizens and as God's agents for appointing leaders.

How do we go about choosing the best candidates? Not by pulling a partisan lever—that's knee-jerk ideology. Christians live instead by revealed truth, never captive to any party. Thus, the best place to go for wisdom is not the candidates' websites, but the Bible. the rest image

Albert Mohler: When Plants Have Rights . . . An Idea Gone to Seed

Friday, October 10, 2008

Worldviews are constantly in motion. New issues arise and new questions present themselves. In one sense, worldviews operate as idea factories, as primary ideas work themselves out into related ideas. The basic framework of convictions that lies at the heart of a worldview always works outward toward implications of those key convictions.

Keep that in mind when you read of developments in Switzerland. As previously reported, Switzerland amended its constitution to require that "the dignity of creation" must be taken into account "when handling animals, plants, and other organisms." In order to meet this constitutional provision, the Swiss government commissioned the Swiss Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology and asked that body to produce guidelines. The result was a report that is among the most radical ever adopted by any government. "The Dignity of Living Beings with Regard to Plants" is nothing less than clear evidence of what happens when the Christian worldview is completely eclipsed by secular thought. the rest image

R-e-s-p-e-c-t: The next stage in litigating same-sex marriage.

by Robert F. Nagel
10/13/2008

Excerpt:
Proponents of same-sex marriage often claim that allowing gays to marry cannot damage heterosexual marriages. They ask rhetorically, "How will allowing us to marry affect your marriage?" The California Supreme Court itself asserted, "Extending access to the designation of marriage to same-sex couples will not deprive any opposite-sex couple .  .  . of any of the rights and benefits conferred by the marriage statutes." But the institution of marriage is not defined or sustained only by law. It is also defined and sustained by literature, by music, by religion, and-less grandly-by the terms of ordinary conversations and everyday interactions. If same-sex marriage advocates continue to rely on courts to change the legal definition of marriage, these cultural supports will come under intensified attack. And that will harm a vitally important but already beleaguered institution. the rest

Episcopal/Muslim priest given ultimatum

Six months away from what is almost certain to be her defrocking, the Rev. Ann Holmes Redding, the Episcopal priest who announced she was both Christian and Muslim, remains steadfast in her belief that she was called to both faiths but acknowledges her decision to follow that call has been exceedingly painful at times.
By Janet I. Tu
Seattle Times religion reporter
Friday, October 10, 2008

There are moments these days when the Rev. Ann Holmes Redding sits outside a church or a Muslim gathering, wondering if she will be welcome at either.

It didn't use to be this way. But now, six months away from what is almost certain to be her defrocking, the Episcopal priest who announced last year that she had also become a Muslim remains steadfast in her belief that she was called to both faiths but says her decision to follow that call has been exceedingly painful at times.

In a letter mailed last week to national and local church leaders, Bishop Geralyn Wolf of Rhode Island, who has disciplinary authority over the Seattle priest, said a church committee had determined that Redding "abandoned the Communion of the Episcopal Church by formal admission into a religious body not in communion with the Episcopal Church." the rest

Berlusconi Says Leaders May Close World's Markets

By Steve Scherer

Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said political leaders are discussing the idea of closing the world's financial markets while they ``rewrite the rules of international finance.''

"The idea of suspending the markets for the time it takes to rewrite the rules is being discussed,'' Berlusconi said today after a Cabinet meeting in Naples, Italy. A solution to the financial crisis "can't just be for one country, or even just for Europe, but global.''

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell as much 8.1 percent in early trading and pared most of those losses after Berlusconi's remarks. The Dow was down 0.5 percent to 8540.52 at 10:10 in New York.

Group of Seven finance ministers and central bankers are meeting in Washington today, and will stay in town for the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings this weekend. European Union leaders may gather in Paris on Oct. 12, three days before a scheduled summit in Brussels, Berlusconi said today, while Group of Eight leaders may hold a meeting on the crisis "in coming days,'' he said. the rest

Obama's Staff Slips Up With Muslim Outreach

OCTOBER 10, 2008
By SUSAN SCHMIDT

The Obama campaign said it was a mistake for an outreach coordinator to join a meeting last month attended by leaders of two controversial Muslim groups as it seeks votes from large Muslim populations in swing states.

Minha Husaini, newly named as head of the campaign's outreach coordinator to Muslims, attended a discussion session Sept. 15 with about 30 Muslim leaders and community members in suburban Washington, the Obama campaign confirmed. Participants included leaders of the Council of American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim American Society, which have been cited by the government in the past for ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

In August, the campaign's previous coordinator, Mazen Asbahi, resigned over a similar issue, pointing up one kind of challenge facing the campaign: pursuing the votes of the Muslim community while not perpetuating any misunderstandings about Sen. Barack Obama's religion. Sen. Obama is a Christian. the rest

Pittsburgh: Minority recognized as 'true' Episcopal Diocese

Friday, October 10, 2008
By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has recognized as the true Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh those who refused to secede Saturday with the majority of local Episcopalians into the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone in South America.

She confirmed the Rev. James Simons and two others as the "rightful Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh." The Standing Committee governs in the absence of a bishop. The Rev. Simons, rector of St. Michael of the Valley, Ligonier, was the only member of the previous Standing Committee to oppose secession.

Both dioceses now call themselves "the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh." the rest

ENS: Pittsburgh Standing Committee fills vacancies, seeks Presiding Bishop's assistance

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Episcopal Church's new website in Pittsburgh

Letter From The President of the Standing Committee of The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh of The Episcopal Church of the United Sates [sic] of America

Here

The Buffalo News: St. Bartholomew’s breaks away from Episcopal Diocese

Tonawanda parish splits over issue of gay bishop
By Jay Tokasz
NEWS STAFF REPORTER
10/09/08

The area’s largest Episcopal parish plans to split from the Diocese of Western New York and leave behind the Town of Tonawanda church buildings it has called home for 48 years.

Members of St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church will become the first local congregation to break ties with the Episcopal Church since the contentious 2003 ratification of an openly homosexual bishop by the national governing body.

“The gay issue is the straw that broke the camel’s back,” said the Rev. Arthur W. Ward Jr., rector of St. Bartholomew’s Church. “The Episcopal Church from our perspective has turned its back on the Lord, it’s turned its back on scripture and the word of God.” the rest

Diocese of Western NY: St. Bartholomew's quits Episcopal Church

Thursday, 9th October 2008
By George Conger

The largest parish of the Diocese of Western New York has quit the Episcopal Church for the Province of the Southern Cone.

Meeting at the diocesan offices in Buffalo on Oct 7, the Rev Arthur W Ward, Jr, rector of the 1,100-member St Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Tonawanda, informed the Rt Rev Michael Garrison that the parish clergy and congregation would vacate the parish properties by early December and form a new congregation affiliated with an overseas province of the Anglican Communion. The defection of St Bartholomew’s represents a significant loss, as it provides approximately ten per cent of the diocese’s communicants and was asked to provide eight per cent of its income.

“People may come and go, but St Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Tonawanda will continue,” Bishop Garrison said after the meeting.

The Diocese of Western New York is “ready and able to carry on with worship, pastoral care and administration. We stand ready to support and work with continuing Episcopalians who have been a part of St Bartholomew’s, as well as those who have felt disenfranchised by the position of its leadership.

Bishop Garrison said he it was his intention to handle the secession “as sensibly and amicably as possible” and would grant letters dimissory for the parish’s six clergy to transfer to the Diocese of Argentina. The rector of St Bartholomew’s has “indicated to me that the time has come for him to seek to continue his priesthood in a different branch of Anglicanism. I respect his right to follow his personal conscience in this matter,” the bishop said. The new congregation has leased a former synagogue, Temple Beth-El and will begin holding services in Advent. the rest

TONAWANDA, NY: Largest Parish in NY Votes to Leave The Episcopal Church

Norway: Bishops say no to gay church weddings

Thursday October 09 2008

Despite a gender-neutral marriage law coming into force in January, Norwegian bishops have decided to say no to church weddings for gay couples. the rest

Nebraska Pro-Abortion Man Tries to Hit Pro-Life LifeChain Participants With Vehicle

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 8, 2008

Nebraska City, NE (LifeNews.com) -- A pro-abortion Nebraska man upset that pro-life advocates were lining the streets of this eastern city drove his vehicle on the sidewalk and nearly came in contact with participants. The pro-life people were participating the in the annual Life Chain, silently holding pro-life signs opposing abortion.

Rex Peterson, 25, faces charges of terroristic threats after attacking the pro-life advocates with his vehicle. the rest

Praying woman scares off robber

by Clarissa Dodge
Oct. 8, 2008
The Arizona Republic

A man who tried to steal a woman's car in a church parking lot Tuesday might have been scared off by the power of prayer.

The woman told police the man approached her vehicle about 1 p.m. outside St. Timothy Catholic Community in the 1700 block of West Guadalupe Road, across from Dobson High School.

The man demanded the woman's car, flashed an air pistol and threatened her, according to police.

The woman refused to give up her vehicle and began to pray in front of the man, according to the report. The man fled and the woman contacted police. the rest

Gay-friendly high school may open here in 2010

PRIDE CAMPUS Would provide 'heroes,' seek to combat bullying
October 9, 2008
BY ROSALIND ROSSI Education Reporter

A "gay-friendly'' Chicago public high school that will weave gay and lesbian "heroes" -- from James Baldwin to Gertrude Stein -- into its curriculum was among 20 new school proposals unveiled Wednesday.

The Pride Campus of Social Justice High School would be open to all students citywide but would provide a safe, "gay-friendly'' atmosphere to combat the high bullying, dropout and depression rate many gay and lesbian students experience nationwide, advocates say.

In U.S. history and other classes, "gay and lesbian historical istorical figures'' would be taught so gay youth "have heroes,'' said Bill Greaves, Chicago's liaison on issues affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. the rest

Vatican: statements from Synod of Bishops

ROME
8 October 2008

The Fourth General Congregation of the Twelfth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops took place yesterday afternoon in the presence of 240 Synod Fathers. The president delegate on duty was Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, Australia. Bishops made the following statements:

BISHOP MAURICE PIAT, CSSP OF PORT-LOUIS, MAURITIUS. "The crisis of the transmission of the faith in the societies of Christendom can be largely explained by the fact that in these societies the Church enjoys relative security and tends to take the faith for granted, to privilege the teaching of doctrine and to neglect the Word of God in the process of transmission. If not built on the rock of the Word of God, the doctrinal and moral edifice remains founded upon sand and with difficulty resists the tsunami of modern digital culture. Hence the urgent need to find a place for the Word of God as the foundation for the life and mission of the Church. The Word becomes a foundation when it is welcomed as the event of God speaking to us about Himself, addressing us as friends and inviting us to share His life. This Word does not seek to convince the curious but to arouse faith in the hearts of the humble. Thus, in presenting the faith we are not simply transmitting a tremendous message, but an invitation united to the promise: 'come and you will see'". the rest

China's Catholics of Guizhou: Three Days with Three Bishops
Anthony E. Clark, Ph.D.
October 3, 2008

In the nineteenth century several intrepid French missionary priests from the Paris Foreign Missions Society (M.E.P.) traveled to China's southern Guizhou province, where many holy Chinese Catholics later sacrificed their lives rather than apostatize. Just one hour outside of Guizhou's capital city, Guiyang, rests the grave of four Chinese saints who were beheaded in 1861 when a Qing dynasty official led a persecution against Catholic believers.

Despite repeated challenges, the Church has continued in Guizhou ever since the Gospel was planted there nearly two centuries ago. The Catholic faithful there have a turbulent history, but in spite of two hundred years of suffering the Church in Guizhou can now boast a flourishing community.

I was recently granted audiences with the three bishops of Guizhou during a three-day visit to the cathedral in Guiyang, the provincial capital. I was first granted an audience with the ninety-year-old principle bishop of Guiyang, His Excellency Wang Chongyi. Second, I was granted a private interview with the eighty-year-old "underground" bishop, His Excellency Hu Daguo. And finally, I had a brief interview with the young, recently consecrated bishop, His Excellency Xiao Zejiang. The situation in Guizhou with the bishops is complex, but the devotional life of the faithful is rich. the rest

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Devotional: By gracious powers so wonderfully sheltered...

By gracious powers so wonderfully sheltered,
and confidently waiting come what may,
we know that God is with us night and morning,
and never fails to greet us each new day.

Yet is this heart by its old foe tormented,
still evil days bring burdens hard to bear;
Oh, give our frightened souls the sure salvation
for which, O Lord, You taught us to prepare.

And when this cup You give is filled to brimming
with bitter suffering, hard to understand,
we take it thankfully and without trembling,
out of so good and so beloved a hand.

Yet when again in this same world You give us
the joy we had, the brightness of Your Sun,
we shall remember all the days we lived through,
and our whole life shall then be Yours alone.
...written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

in the concentration camp, shortly before his death. image

On the campaign trail: Obama vs. McCain

Reporter's Notebook: Seeing How The Other Half Lives
by Dean Reynolds
October 7, 2008

(NASHVILLE, TENN.) - After most of the previous 12 months covering Barack Obama's campaign for the presidency, it was interesting, instructive and, well, relaxing to follow John McCain for the last few days. The differences between the two are striking.

Obama is the big time orator, McCain is the guy who struggles with a teleprompter or even note cards strategically placed nearby. Obama's crowds are larger, more enthusiastic. McCain's events are smaller, but to my eye, better choreographed. And now with the addition of Sarah Palin to some of his events, McCain can boast of crowds that match Obama's in energy.

There is an urgency to the McCain campaign now that I don't think was there before. Due to the fact that he is running second, no doubt, but it may also be because McCain has a finishing kick. Whatever the case, he is sharper on the stump than he was before. (Though I would suspect a candidate running behind would want to schedule two or three appearances per day, instead of the one McCain usually does.) the rest

In early centuries, being a 'gladiator' prohibited a person from becoming Christian, expert says

CNA STAFF
Oct 7, 2008

(CNA).- An expert in the history of the Catholic Church, Domingo Ramos-Lissón, explained in an interview that the preparation of the early Christians for baptism could last up to three years, and that many professions prohibited a person from registering as a catechumen.

"If we follow the path taken by someone who wanted to become a Christian in the fourth century, initially we will see a thorough examination of his life, family conditions and aspiring profession," Ramos-Lissón said in an interview with the website PrimerosCristianos.com (First Christians).

In that regard, he explained, "some family situations, such as polygamy and concubinage, or professions, such as theatrical actor, magician, guardian of idols, gladiator and other offices, prevented that person from being considered a catechumen. However, once they changed their lifestyle, they were given the chance to be baptized. the rest image

While Rome Talks, Québec Has Already Been Lost

It was the most Catholic region of North America, but today is the most secularized. It's where Cardinal Ouellet is from, a relator general at the synod of bishops on the Word of God. And Benedict XVI is also looking to it, as to a new missionary territory
by Sandro Magister

ROMA, October 8, 2008 – In his homily at the opening Mass for the synod of bishops dedicated to the Sacred Scriptures, Benedict XVI recalled that from the first proclamation of the Gospel, "Christian communities arose that at first were flourishing, but later disappeared and are now remembered only in the history books."

And he added:

"Could not the same thing happen in our time? Nations that once were rich in faith and vocations are now losing their identity, under the harmful and destructive influence of a certain modern culture."
the rest image

The great Anglican divide

Lowville split a 'microcosm'
October 08, 2008
Jon Wells
The Hamilton Spectator
LOWVILLE (Oct 8, 2008)

It looked the same as any perfect Sunday morning at the stone church on a hill -- sunshine backlighting the Niagara Escarpment, leaves starting to blush with fall colours in the bucolic village nestled between Milton and Burlington.

As usual, there was Edgar Stokes helping out at St. George's Church in Lowville as he's done for decades, the diminutive man with white hair brushed back handing out service pamphlets, wearing a red pinstriped shirt and bolo tie with a Christian dove design.

But things are not the same at St. George's, and likely never will be.

While about 20 parishioners pray under the old wooden beams of the church, most of the congregation is farther south, inside the natural light and modern teal and white colours of a chapel in the Crossroads Centre along the QEW. the rest

Group drafts GAFCON theology for churches

Natasha Percy
8 October 2008

The Rev Dr Mark Thompson has been working with GAFCON’s Theological Resource Group to draft a commentary applying the Jerusalem Declaration to church life.

Speaking after his return home from a three-day conference at Uganda’s Christian university, Dr Thompson said the group, part of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, had gathered to put together a commentary for use by churches.

The commentary – which is expected to be circulated in the coming months – will lay out the theology of GAFCON and its practical outworkings in church life, Dr Thompson says.

“A number of people who had seen the [Jerusalem Declaration] statement greeted the statement positively but needed to know what it meant and what were the implications of saying yes to this statement – they wanted those things spelt out,” he says. “Here was an opportunity for a group of theologians to help unpack the statement for people.”
the rest

Open letter asks King of Spain not to sign decree allowing aborted babies to be ground up

Madrid, Oct 7, 2008 / 06:35 am (CNA).- Father Joan Manuel Serra, a priest of the Diocese of Sant Feliu de Llobregat, has asked King Juan Carlos of Spain not to sign a royal decree that would modify mortuary policies and would make it legal to use “baby crushing machines” that would be used on the remains of babies aborted up to the seventh month of pregnancy in abortion clinics.

In an open letter, Father Serra recalled that current policy “obliges abortion ‘clinics’ to consider the remains of an abortion as cadavers, when they are human remains ‘of a sufficient entity,’ that is, at eleven or twelve weeks of pregnancy, and transfer them to a cemetery for their posterior dignified incineration or burial.” the rest

Albert Mohler: The End of Evolution?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The evolutionist is locked into an intellectual box from which there is no rescue. Evolutionary theory is naturalistic by necessity -- everything must be explained in purely naturalistic terms. Only nature can explain nature, and there is no other source of meaning or truth. Thus, in the end the theory of evolution -- and the theory of evolution alone -- must explain everything about humanity.

This predicament was made clear in a lecture recently given by geneticist Steve Jones at University College London. Speaking on his chosen topic, "Evolution is Over," Jones argued that human evolution has reached an end because of changes in human health and human behavior. the rest image

Paging Rick Warren

Why did a town hall debate in Nashville revolve around what interests an East Coast newsman?
by Fred Barnes
10/08/2008

Excerpt:
It's true that presidential debates usually don't generate campaign breakthroughs--gaffes maybe, but not moments that change the course of a campaign. But with the right questions, they can be a lot more interesting than last night's drowser in Nashville. As imperfect as debates are, they can help voters gain some insight into the candidates.

Oddly enough, it wasn't a journalist who staged the best debate between McCain and Obama. It was an ordained minister, Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California, the author of best-selling The Purpose-Driven Life. In separate sessions, he asked the same questions, first of McCain, then of Obama.

Their answers gave voters a far better idea of what makes the two candidates tick than all the policy-reality questions asked in the two official presidential debates and one vice presidential debate. the rest

Michelle Malkin: The ACORN/Obama Voter Registration "Thug Thizzle"

$2 trillion wiped out of retirement funds

Nest eggs dwindle by 20% in 15 months
By Sandra Block
USA TODAY
10/08/2008

The financial meltdown has demolished Americans' retirement savings, wiping out $2 trillion — or about 20% of value — in the past 15 months, Congress' top budget analyst said Tuesday.

This estimate probably comes as no surprise to millions of Americans who have reviewed their 401(k) statements in recent weeks.

"This is a financial panic right now, and one reason it feels so bad is that everything is going down," says Kurt Brouwer, a financial planner in San Francisco. the rest

Iceland teeters near the brink of bankruptcy

Nikkei Dives 9.4 Percent in Biggest 1-Day Fall Since '87

The government bails out Britain's banks and the world's big central banks cut interest rates (The Economist)

3-Year-Old Appointed Living Goddess

Tuesday, October 07, 2008
By Yuvraj Acharya, Associated Press

Katmandu, Nepal (AP) - Hindu and Buddhist priests chanted sacred hymns and cascaded flowers and grains of rice over a 3-year-old girl who was appointed a living goddess in Nepal on Tuesday.

Wrapped in red silk and adorned with red flowers in her hair, Matani Shakya received approval from the priests and President Ram Baran Yadav in a centuries-old tradition with deep ties to Nepal's monarchy, which was abolished in May.

The new "kumari" or living goddess, was carried from her parents' home to an ancient palatial temple in the heart of the Nepali capital, Katmandu, where she will live until she reaches puberty and loses her divine status.

She will be worshipped by Hindus and Buddhists as an incarnation of the powerful Hindu deity Taleju. the rest

Va. Episcopal church joins land dispute

Diocese will cite 1746 deeds
Julia Duin
Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Christ Episcopal Church of Alexandria, one of the most venerable parishes in the Diocese of Virginia, has joined a historic lawsuit against several Northern Virginia parishes attempting to leave the denomination.

Members of the 235-year-old parish were informed Sunday at a parish meeting that the diocese will represent them in the largest property dispute in Episcopal Church history, taking place at the Fairfax County Courthouse. The multi-trial case will resume Oct. 14.

Circuit Court Judge Randy I. Bellows has dealt three consecutive defeats to the diocese and the denomination in their battle to retain millions of dollars of property held by 11 churches that fled over issues of biblical authority and the 2003 election of the openly gay Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.

The diocese will cite 18th-century cases to argue that the Falls Church, a 276-year-old congregation that is the oldest of the departing parishes, cannot lay claim to its property on 5.5 acres in the city of Falls Church. Attorneys have produced two 18th-century land deeds that say Christ Church possesses the property. the rest

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Syracuse: Van Norstrand brothers love to play the Redhouse

by Mark Bialczak
October 07, 2008

Brothers Noah and Andrew VanNorstrand play Friday night at the Redhouse in Syracuse.

Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand will bring their exhilarating bluegrass/Celtic/Appalachin sound to the Redhouse in Armory Square at 8 p.m. Friday.

The brothers from Fulton love the 100-seat art house in Syracuse.

"We are extremely excited to be returning to one of our favorite Central New York concert venues, and we've got a great set planned with tunes off our latest album, 'A Certain Tree,' as well as some brand new material,'' says Andrew, who recently moved to Manlius with his wife...

... On their new CD, "A Certain Tree, " the brothers VanNorstrand show the style, talent and savvy of acoustic music veterans.

Their 13 original songs are chock-full of gorgeous fiddles, beautiful mandolins and, in lyrics and vocals, a sweet outlook on life.

Andrew, 19, and Noah, 17, split the writing duties and share in the joy of making string music that shows respect for and talent in Appalachian, Celtic, old-time string and contra styles that go way beyond the years of the siblings from Fulton. the rest

Listen to excerpts from their CD A Certain Tree-here

Mosul, the relentless slaughter of Iraqi Christians

10/05/2008

Mosul (AsiaNews) - A new attack against the Christians in Mosul: yesterday afternoon, an armed group assassinated Hazim Thomaso Youssif, age 40. The ambush took place in front of his clothing store in Bab Sarray; it is not yet known who ordered the killing, but it is suspected that it is the work of Islamic fundamentalists, in a city that has long been the theater of deadly attacks on the Christian community.

On the same day, 15-year-old Ivan Nuwya, also a Christian, was killed. The young man was shot to death in front of his home in the neighborhood of Tahrir, in front of the local mosque of Alzhara. the rest

Video Catches Planned Parenthood Covering Up Statutory Rape

ARLINGTON, VA
October 6, 2008

(LifeSiteNews.com) - Students for Life of America (SFLA) has released a video exposing two Planned Parenthood clinics in Winston-Salem and Charlotte, North Carolina covering up statutory rape of young girls. To view the video, go here: Video

In June of 2008, two college women volunteering for Students for Life of America entered two clinics in North Carolina posing as underage girls, 15 and 14, who just had unprotected sex with their mother's live-in boyfriend who was in his 30s. Each girl told the clinic workers that he suggested she come get the morning the Morning After Pill. According to N.C. Gen. Statue 7B-301 and 7B-101, this information was enough to trigger North Carolina statutory rape reporting laws, obligating any person who learned of this story to report the crime to authorities. In both visits, Planned Parenthood staffers acknowledged that what was happening to the girls was statutory rape and in one case even repeatedly admitted that they were required to report the incident. the rest

First Things: A Home for Homeschoolers

Tuesday, October 7, 2008
By Sally Thomas

Gregory and Martine Millman did not set out to homeschool their children, at least not consciously. When they became parents in the mid-1980s, their plan to was to lead “a normal yuppie life,” upwardly mobile, working their way into a neighborhood with good schools which of course their children would attend. “The only question we asked,” they write, “was ‘which school,’ not ‘whether school.’”

How, then, did they come to write a book called Homeschooling: A Family’s Journey? Two factors intervened in their quest for a mainstream middle-class life, sending them down an unanticipated long-term detour. The first was their decision to live on one income, with Martine a stay-at-home mother to their six children, a choice that put both private schools and neighborhoods with good public schools well out of their financial reach. The second was an incident that occurred at their eldest daughter’s inner-city Catholic school. Their daughter, a second-grader, had answered a test question correctly, but the answer had been marked wrong. After much wrangling for an explanation from the school, they were told that she had given a “fourth-grade answer” to a second-grade question; that she was “not supposed to know that yet”; and that it would be unjust to her “less-advantaged” classmates to reward her for knowledge that they did not possess. “By the time we got back into our car,” they write, “we had decided to homeschool.” the rest

In California, 'Gay Rights' Now Superior to Everyone Else's Rights

Schwarzenegger signs Democrats' homosexual-bisexual-transsexual bills

SACRAMENTO, California,
October 6, 2008

Christian Newswire/ -- Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed three bills squashing moral values and religious freedom. By elevating the homosexual-bisexual-transsexual agenda above the rights of everyone else, Schwarzenegger has confirmed his legacy is being the most anti-family Republican governor in California history.

"There is no gay gene, but religious freedom is a God-given right enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. So it's wrong and unfair to create new laws which make homosexual-bisexual-transsexual 'rights' superior to everyone else's rights," said Randy Thomasson, president of Campaign for Children and Families, a leading West Coast family issues organization.

"The words 'discrimination,' 'harassment,' and 'tolerance' have been redefined and are actually resulting in reverse discrimination and intolerance against people with moral values," said Thomasson. "Under these new laws, foster parents, nurses, doctors, health insurance plans, city and county commissions, and court-appointed children's advocates must abandon their moral, social or financial values at the alter of the homosexual-bisexual-transsexual agenda. This crate load of homosexual-bisexual-transsexual laws embodies the same intolerant spirit of the recent California Supreme Court ruling that trampled the religious freedom of doctors at the behest of homosexual 'rights.'" the rest image

Indian Christians Report 'Peculiar' Police Behavior

By Michelle A. Vu
Christian Post Reporter
Mon, Oct. 06 2008

Police in India responsible for protecting Christians against the onslaught of Hindu-led attacks are reportedly neglecting their duties or turning a blind eye to the violence, an Indian Christian group reported.

Thousands of central and state law enforcement troops have been deployed to squelch the violence in the eastern state of Orissa, but to not much effect. The Orissa anti-Christian violence continues unabated for the seventh week, with most of the victims being Dalits, formerly known as untouchables.

“The events of the last month, not only the attacks but the negligence of government, would be sad if it happened in a dictatorship or a totalitarian regime,” said Dr. Joseph D’souza, president of the All India Christian Council, on Saturday. “The fact that it’s happening in the world’s largest democracy makes it infinitely sadder.” the rest

Pro-Obama, Muslim-led voter registration in mosques

Chad Groening
OneNewsNow
10/6/2008

A leading critic of Islam isn't surprised there has been virtually no coverage or action taken against a Muslim group that has been running an illegal "get out the vote" campaign in swing-state mosques.

The group, Muslim Americans for Obama [MAFO], insists that all of its voter registration activity is non-partisan, despite the fact that its mission statement says it was launched in August 2008 "to provide a vehicle for Muslim-American supporters of Barack Obama to organize and mobilize our fellow citizens to get out the vote to elect Barack Obama the next president of the United States."

Continuing, the group's website states: "Although there is only a short period of time until the election..., there is much work to be done for supporters of Barack Obama's candidacy. [MAFO] was formed to offer a vehicle for Muslim-Americans to mobilize quickly and effectively so that our community turns out in great numbers for Barack Obama on Election Day." the rest

Canada: Anglicans not leaving -- just joining new network

October 07, 2008
Rachel De Lazzer
The Hamilton Spectator
Oct 7, 2008

A Hamilton church that voted on the weekend to leave the national Anglican church body and join the small but growing Anglican Network in Canada, says it is not breaking away.

"We are aligning with the worldwide Anglican church," said Rev. Sandy Copland of the Church of St. Peter in Hamilton, which was part of the Niagara diocese.

"It's the Canadian church or parts of it that have broken away." the rest

Let's share, says church in split: Anglicans seek deal with diocese

Timothy Fountain+ reports on the South Dakota Diocesan Convention

South Dakota Convention Rejects Calls for Financial Accountability, Christian Reconciliation; Declares Presiding Bishop Infallible

The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Acts 5:41

It was a strange experience, but our delegation left the Diocese of South Dakota Convention feeling peace and joy about our witness.We left after both of our resolutions were defeated - although we were pleasantly surprised by the number of folks who voted for them and who listened to what we had to say.

The first resolution called for detailed accounting of the Episcopal Church's lawsuits against Christians. As debate went on, a motion was made to remove any specific dates as to when the information should be requested and provided. That amendment passed on a close vote, 62 - 51.

This left a weakened resolution - but even so one that had sparked the interest of the people. At this point, the Chancellor of the Diocese asked to speak, but not as a parliamentarian. He opined that budget info can be "extrapolated" from national church figures, and that asking the Presiding Bishop for such information would be taken as "disrespect."

Bishop Robertson, the chair, then asked for a point of personal privilege and made two points. 1) He announced that some of the funds that had been cut from Native American ministry had been temporarily restored - "So what Tim says about the National Church taking away funds is false." 2) He said that he'd spoken with Helen Leonard of the Church Pension Group, and that no CPG money had been used for lawsuits. He then implied that I'd made up the well-documented quote from Bp. Stacy Sauls about having CPG funds available for the lawsuits. the rest

Comments at Stand Firm

Monday, October 06, 2008

AnglicanTV: Pittsburgh Diocesan Convention 2008



Obama Campaign Won't Say if Health Care Plan Would Cover Abortions

Posted by John McCormack on October 6, 2008

A new Obama-Biden campaign ad says that, unlike John McCain, "Barack Obama would require insurance companies to cover routine treatments like vaccines and mammograms"...

Leaving aside the question of whether or not it's a good idea to mandate coverage for particular procedures, Obama's health care plan goes far beyond requiring coverage for "routine treatments." Following a speech to Planned Parenthood in July 2007, Obama made a controversial pledge to require private insurers to cover abortions. He said:

In my mind reproductive care is essential care. It is basic care, and so it is at the center, the heart of the plan that I propose. …
we’re going to set up a public plan that all persons and all women can access if they don’t have health insurance. It’ll be a plan that will provide all essential services, including reproductive services...
We also will subsidize those who prefer to stay in the private insurance market except the insurers are going to have to abide by the same rules in terms of providing comprehensive care, including reproductive care.


Just in case there's any doubt that Obama's reference to "reproductive services" meant that he intends to mandate coverage for abortion, the Chicago Tribune's Mike Dorning reported after the speech:

Asked about his proposal for expanded access to health insurance, Obama said it would cover "reproductive-health services." Contacted afterward, an Obama spokesman said that included abortions. the rest

Transgender Ga. official wins legal battle

By GREG BLUESTEIN
Associated Press Writer
Oct 6, 2008

ATLANTA (AP) -- Georgia's top court ruled in favor of a transgender politician who was slapped with a lawsuit by two political opponents who claimed she misled voters by running as a woman.

The Georgia Supreme Court's unanimous ruling on Monday found that the two political opponents who filed the lawsuit failed to produce evidence of fraud, misconduct or illegal action after claiming that Michelle Bruce bamboozled voters by identifying herself as female.

"This is a great victory for me and anyone who believes in equality," Bruce said in a statement. "It gives me hope that the Georgia Supreme Court did what was right and did not buy into hate-based politics." the rest

CANA Offers Support for Diocese of Pittsburgh

October 6, 2008

HERNDON, Va. (October 6, 2008) – The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) issued a statement of support for the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, which voted to separate from The Episcopal Church (TEC) and join the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone due to TEC’s refusal to affirm the authority of Scripture.

“We support the leaders and members of the Diocese of Pittsburgh in their journey to abide by the clear teaching of Scripture and to remain steadfast in their faith. It is sad that the Diocese was forced to come to this vote, but they could not in good conscience follow the direction embraced by the current leadership of The Episcopal Church,” said CANA Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns.

“This vote represents a large and growing reality within The Episcopal Church that its leaders have tried to ignore. Their only solution is to seek to remove orthodox Anglican leaders from their ranks and to sue orthodox Anglican congregations. We will continue to pray that TEC leadership would reverse their prodigal course and align with the rest of the Anglican Communion.”

The Convocation of Anglicans in North America currently consists of approximately 70 congregations and 150 clergy in 21 states. CANA was established in 2005 to provide a means by which Anglicans living in the USA who were alienated by the actions and decisions of The Episcopal Church could continue to live out their faith without compromising their core convictions. Created as a missionary initiative of the Church of Nigeria, about a dozen of the congregations are primarily expatriate Nigerians. CANA is part of the Common Cause Partnership that includes representatives of more than 250 Anglican congregations. CANA website

Pope says world financial system 'built on sand'

From Times Online
October 6, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI today said that the global credit crisis shows that the world's financial systems are "built on sand" and that only the works of God have "solid reality".

Opening a Synod of Bishops in the Vatican the Pope referred to a passage from St Matthew's Gospel on false prophets, saying ''He who builds only on visible and tangible things like success, career and money builds the house of his life on sand''.

He added: ''We are now seeing, in the collapse of major banks, that money vanishes, it is nothing. All these things that appear to be real are in fact secondary. Only God's words are a solid reality''. the rest

Panic engulfs global stock markets

Oct 6, 2008

World markets suffered massive losses Monday, striking four-year lows, as panic-stricken investors doubted whether a Wall Street bailout package would stem the global financial crisis.

London, Frankfurt and Paris all tumbled more than six percent approaching the half-way mark while a 15-percent dive in Moscow forced a halt to Russian trading. the rest

Church pressing abortion fight

By Michael Paulson
Globe Staff / October 6, 2008

As Catholic bishops ratchet up their antiabortion arguments on the eve of the presidential election, Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley told hundreds of people gathered on Boston Common yesterday that Trig Palin, the child with Down syndrome whom Governor Sarah Palin chose not to abort, was the "star" of the political conventions this year.

"I very seldom get to see any television, but I did watch part of the political conventions, and for me the star of the conventions was Trig Palin, whose mother said that he was 'beautiful' and 'perfect,' " O'Malley said. "And when his little sister used that spit to slick his hair down, I mean, I stood up and applauded." the rest

After Theological Split, a Clash Over Church Assets

By SEAN D. HAMILL
October 5, 2008
MONROEVILLE, Pa. — After an overwhelming vote here over the weekend by the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh that created the second schism with the national church since the 2003 election and consecration of an openly gay Episcopal bishop, both sides were hoping for a simple resolution.

“If the national church would stay out of it, we could work it out,” said the Rev. Jonathan Millard, who favored secession and led the convention on Saturday. “And I think 90 percent of the churches here would agree with me.”

Mr. Millard was referring to that most secular of issues: resolving who owns what among the millions of dollars’ worth of diocesan and parish property. the rest

Pope Benedict XVI starts off marathon Bible reading

For seven days and six nights, more than 1,000 people will read from Genesis to Apocalypse live on state television. The first segment ends with a spirited Roberto Benigni.
By Maria de Cristofaro and Sebastian Rotella
Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
October 6, 2008

ROME -- In the beginning Pope Benedict XVI read these words: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth."And the pope and millions of viewers watching him on Italian television Sunday night saw that it was good.

The pontiff launched a marathon reading of the Bible, from Genesis to Apocalypse, broadcast live on state television. It will last seven days and six nights. The roster of about 1,300 readers features former Italian presidents, current Cabinet ministers, soccer stars, foreign diplomats, cardinals, intellectuals, actors and opera singers as well as ordinary citizens. the rest

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Devotional: The truths that I know best...

The truths that I know best I have learned on my knees. I never know a thing well, till it is burned into my heart by prayer. ...John Bunyan image

Yoga at NY high school causes stress among critics

10/3/2008

MASSENA, N.Y. - A group of parents and religious leaders in upstate New York want yoga classes out of public schools, saying the instruction violates boundaries between church and state.

Two high school teachers began using yoga last year to help students relieve stress before exams. Special education teacher Martha Duchscherer and Spanish teacher Kerry Perretta also were developing a districtwide program.

But those plans were halted after parents and others in the community complained students were being indoctrinated in Hindu rites. the rest

Lesbian demands 6-year-old be taken from mom

Soured same-sex relationship leaves custody nightmare behind
October 03, 2008
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

Judges in Vermont who already have declared a legal stranger a "parent" to another woman's child could grant the stranger full custody at an upcoming hearing.

The non-profit legal group Liberty Counsel has been working on the case involving the 6-year-old, Isabella, and her biological mother, Lisa.

"Lisa Miller left the homosexual lifestyle and became a Christian when Isabella was 17 months old," Liberty Counsel explained. "Janet Jenkins, who was Lisa's same-sex partner when Lisa gave birth to Isabella, then sought full custody of Isabella, claiming she was a parent even though she was not biologically related to Isabella and never sought to adopt her." the rest

Broker turned monk now tends to the soul

ANNA MUDEVA
Reuters
October 1, 2008

TSURNOGORSKI MONASTERY, Bulgaria — Brother Nikanor, a Nasdaq broker turned monk, advises former colleagues to put a jar with soil on their desks to remind them where we are all heading and what matters in life.

As western banks fold into each other and commentators portray the current crisis as the last gasp of modern capitalism, Hristo Mishkov, 32, shares the pain - and offers home truths.

His story partly resembles that of Brother Ty, the monk-tycoon protagonist of the 1998 satire “God is my Broker” by U.S. writers Christopher Buckley and John Tierney - he failed on Wall Street and became a monk. the rest

National Cathedral Sunday Forum: Guest PB Schori

The State of the Episcopal Church: 2008 according to the PB

Join Dean Sam Lloyd and Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori as they explore the state of the church in the twenty-first century. link

Watch the Sunday Forum on-demand

Episcopal leader calls diocese secession illegal
Oct 5 2008 Associated Press
Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori (SHOHR'-ee) says the Diocese of Pittsburgh probably won't be the last to vote to leave the U.S. branch of the world Anglican Communion. Story

ONTARIO, CA: Two More Parishes Join Anglican Network in Canada

ANiC Release
October 5, 2008

The congregations of St George's in Ottawa and the Church of St Peter in Hamilton both voted with overwhelming majorities today to come under the episcopal oversight of Bishop Donald Harvey, Moderator of the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) and under the Primatial authority of Archbishop Gregory Venables of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.

The two congregations demonstrated strong unity in making these decisions. At St George's the vote was 130 in favour and 27 opposed, while at St Peter's, 42 voted in favour and one was opposed. Attendance at both parish vestry meetings was unexpectedly high.

With the addition of these two parishes, ANiC now comprises 21 parishes, 13 of which were former Anglican Church of Canada parishes at the time of their votes.

"It is a great joy to welcome the people of St George's and St Peter's into a faithfully Anglican and unabashedly Christian organization," said the Venerable Charlie Masters, Executive Archdeacon of the Anglican Network in Canada. "By aligning with the Anglican Network in Canada, they join a growing movement of Anglicans throughout North America seeking to remain in the mainstream of global and historic Anglicanism." the rest at Virtueonline

NYT: Pittsburgh Episcopal Diocese Votes for Split

By SEAN D. HAMILL
October 4, 2008

MONROEVILLE, Pa. — A wide majority of clergy and lay members of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh voted Saturday to leave the national church and align with a more conservative South American branch, adding to the fallout from the 2003 election and consecration of an openly gay bishop.

“We have had a historic day here in Monroeville,” said Robert W. Duncan, who was removed by the national church as the diocese’s bishop on Sept. 18 because of his push for secession.

Mr. Duncan, who is expected to be returned to his post as the diocese realigns with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, based in Argentina, concluded a speech Saturday with a salutation in Spanish: “Buenos días.” the rest

Pope laments decline of scripture

Sunday, 5 October 2008
By David Willey BBC News, Rome

Pope Benedict XVI has opened a synod of more than 200 cardinals and bishops from around the world to examine the modern lack of interest in the Bible.

The Pope lamented what he called the harmful and destructive influence of some forms of modern culture.

This, he said, had decided that God was dead, and man was the sole architect of his destiny and master of creation. the rest

Church of England clergy 'flying bishops' opt-out proposed to aid move to women bishops

Church leaders will propose allowing a number of "flying bishops" to serve male clergy in an effort to prevent the exodus of traditionalists from the Church of England over plans for women bishops.
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Religious Affairs Correspondent
05 Oct 2008

Male clergy who oppose the ordination of women would be given their own bishops to perform duties such as confirmation and ordination. Diocesan bishops would lose their authority over those traditionalist clergy. They would be told that they must delegate powers to flying bishops chosen by the archbishops of Canterbury and York.

Liberals will be infuriated by the proposal, which represents a concession to traditionalists. the rest