Saturday, October 25, 2008

Devotional: Don't think that love, to be true, has to be extraordinary...

Don't think that love, to be true, has to be extraordinary. What is necessary is to continue to love. How does a lamp burn, if it is not by the continuous feeding of little drops of oil? When there is no oil, there is no light and the bridegroom will say: "I do not know you". Dear friends, what are our drops of oil in our lamps? They are the small things from every day life: the joy, the generosity, the little good things, the humility and the patience. A simple thought for someone else. Our way to be silent, to listen, to forgive, to speak and to act. That are the real drops of oil that make our lamps burn vividly our whole life. Don't look for Jesus far away, He is not there. He is in you, take care of your lamp and you will see Him." ...Mother Teresa image

THOUGHT CRIME AND THE PROSECUTION OF ROBERT DUNCAN

Commentary
By Canon Gary L'Hommedieu
10/25/08

"When the wicked rise, people hide themselves." (Proverbs 28:28 ESV)

The prosecution of thought crime has become commonplace in formerly democratic societies.

That we are unwilling to acknowledge the assaults not only on speech but on the thought that gives rise to it is evidence that we live in dangerous times -- so dangerous that we don't dare think it.

The deposition of Bishop Robert Duncan was not a particularly dangerous or violent act. Given the travesties of truth and justice that are becoming common in our society, it smacked of a certain pathetic mediocrity. It was a very small act by a very unexceptional group huddling together to protect its interests.

It did, however, set an important precedent. And it was possible only because similar precedents have been set not only in the church but even more in the society at large.

The rest at Virtueonline

DUIN: Episcopal Church losing members

Julia Duin
Sunday, October 26, 2008

Several people told me I needed to check out columnist George Will's recent column on the fading away of the Episcopal Church, once "America's upper crust at prayer," as he termed it.
His depressing statistics actually were out of date.

The denomination sunk to 2.1 million active, baptized members in 2006, down from 2.4 million. Average Sunday attendance is 765,326, one-third of the membership. Sixty-three percent of its congregations have fewer than 100 people attend Sunday morning services.

By the end of 2006, there were 7,095 parishes and missions, down 60 congregations from the previous year. During that same period, membership dropped 2 percent, which works out to 50,804 people leaving the church -- 1,000 a week. the rest

Robert Gagnon: Obama ‘Grossly Distorts’ Scriptures to Support Homosexual Cause

by Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D.
October 23, 2008

Presidential candidate Barack Obama has written in The Audacity of Hope—a book that perhaps should have been entitled The Audacity of Portraying Myself Messianically as the Herald of Audacious Hope—that he is not “willing to accept a reading of the Bible that considers an obscure line in Romans [about homosexual practice] to be more defining of Christianity than the Sermon on the Mount.”[1] He repeated this line in a campaign appearance in Ohio this past March. He stated that if people find controversial his views on granting the full benefits of marriage to homosexual unions, minus only the name, “then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which I think is, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an obscure passage in Romans.”[2] These remarks by Obama represent a gross distortion of the witness of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures.

Essay

Diocese of Pennsylvania: Rector loses fraud suit against Episcopal bishop

Sat, Oct. 25, 2008
By David O'Reilly
Inquirer Staff Writer

In a verdict based on a narrow legal question, a Montgomery County Court jury found yesterday that Episcopal Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. did not commit fraud in the process that led to the defrocking of a priest in the Pennsylvania Diocese.

In a potentially precedent-setting civil case, the Rev. David Moyer, rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, alleged that Bennison, head of the five-county diocese, fraudulently removed him from the priesthood in 2002. Moyer's lawsuit asked for unspecified damages for loss of employment and mental suffering.

Moyer v. Bennison attracted international attention, especially in the theologically fractured Anglican Communion, to which the two-million-member Episcopal Church USA belongs. the rest

Christ Church, Savannah, seeks new Anglican alliance

Dana Clark Felty
Saturday, October 25, 2008

Leaving the Episcopal Church was about more than just leaving a denomination, Gene Prevatt says.

It was also about rejecting "the corruption of the church."

"One does not have to look too far to see the continuing erosion of our freedoms, rising paganism, and an increasing hostility to the Gospel," Prevatt wrote in an April church newsletter to fellow members of Christ Church in Savannah.

"God has called us out, and to those who are moving away, we have said, 'No. We will not go with you.' This is our turning point in history."

For Christ Church in Savannah, that turning point began just over a year ago when leaders voted to sever ties with the Episcopal Church, claiming the denomination has failed to honor the authority of the scriptures. the rest

Friday, October 24, 2008

AnglicanTV: Livestream San Joaquin Convention 2008




Beginning Friday afternoon at 3:00pm PST October 24th, AnglicanTV will be live streaming the Diocese of San Joaquin's 2008 Convention.

Please help with AnglicanTV's Travel Expenses:





Concluding Message of the Synod of Bishops

"Let Us Approach the Table of the Word of God"

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 24, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Here is the concluding message of the 12th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which was approved today at the 21st general congregation.

The theme of the assembly was "The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church."

Here

San Joaquin: Breakaway Anglicans, Episcopal Faithful Build New Future

By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Fri, Oct. 24 2008

Anglicans in the Diocese of San Joaquin will be doing a lot more celebrating and a lot less business this year as they hold their first annual convention since severing ties with The Episcopal Church.

The breakaway Anglicans, who voted in December 2007 to disaffiliate from the U.S. church body and realign with the more conservative Anglican Province of the Southern Cone in South America, open their meeting Friday at St. James' Cathedral in Fresno, Calif.

Also celebrating in that same weekend will be Episcopalians who voted to remain with The Episcopal Church – the U.S. arm of Anglicanism. The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin is meeting at Church of the Saviour in Hanford where they will discuss rebuilding their diocese. the rest

Two PCUSA presbyteries reject pro-gay clergy measure

Two regional bodies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have rejected a proposed amendment that would allow non-celibate gays and lesbians to be ordained.
Friday, October 24, 2008

WASHINGTON, USA - Two regional bodies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have rejected a proposed amendment that would allow non-celibate gays and lesbians to be ordained.

Majorities in the Presbyteries of Central Washington in Washington state and Palo Duro in Texas voted against the measure on Oct. 18. They were among the first, out of the denomination's 173 presbyteries, to vote on the controversial amendment.

In June, the General Assembly – PC(USA)'s highest governing body – approved an overture that would delete a requirement that clergy live in "fidelity within the covenant of marriage between and a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness" and replace it with language that would not single out a sexual conduct standard. the rest

U.S. condemns beating of sons of Chinese pastor

Thu Oct 23, 2008
By Sue Pleming

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States strongly condemned on Thursday the "brutal beating" of two sons of a detained Beijing pastor and voiced concern over what it said was a pattern of intimidation of religious leaders in China.

State Department spokesman Robert Wood said Beijing-based pastor Zhang Mingxuan, president of the China House Church Alliance, had been detained along with his wife, and their two sons were beaten up this month by public security officials.

"We are gravely concerned by the brutal beating of Pastor Zhang 'Bike' Mingxuan's two sons by public security officials," said Wood, who did not provide details of the beatings. the rest

China's Christian Crackdown

Peggy Noonan: 43% Isn't Nothing

Obama looks like a winner, but it's not over yet.
October 24, 2008

Excerpt:
Mr. McCain has endless faith in his ability to come back. He's been doing it for 40 years, from Vietnam, where, with the injuries he'd sustained and the torture he experienced, he might have died, was likely to die, and yet survived, to exactly a year ago, when he was out of money and out of luck. And then he won New Hampshire. When he says, "We got 'em where we want 'em" he must mean: They think they are looking at a corpse. No one in politics has so repeatedly relished coming back from the dead.

Not a single poll has Mr. McCain ahead. The RealClearPolitics average of national polls as I write, rounded off, is Obama 50%, McCain 43%. Actually Mr. Obama has 50.1%, and if that is true and holds, it would make him the first Democratic presidential nominee since Jimmy Carter to break 50%. But I find myself thinking of what that 43% means. It's a big number, considering that this is the worst Republican year in generations. Amid two wars, a deep economic crisis, a fractured base, too much cynicism, and a campaign with the wind not at its back but head on in its face—with all of that working against Mr. McCain, 43% of the American people say, right now, in these polls, they are for him. And there are a significant number of undecideds. Four years ago about 122 million people voted. Forty-three percent of 122 million is 52 million people, more or less. A huge group, one too varied to generalize about because it includes flinty elderly Republicans from New England, home-schooling mothers in Ohio, libertarianish Republicans in Colorado, suburban patriots outside the big cities, and many others.

They are the beating heart of conservatism, and to watch most television is to forget they exist, for they are not shown much, except at rallies. But they are there, and this is a center-right nation, and many of them have been pushing hard against the age for 40 years now, and more. For some time they have sensed that something large and stable is being swept away, maybe has been swept away, and yet you still have to fight for it. They will not give up without a fight, and they will make their way to the polls. the rest

Charles Krauthammer: McCain for President

Hollow Men, Lambeth 2008. What Happened and Why

Special Report/Analysis By George Conger

“MORALITY, LIKE ART, means drawing a line someplace,” Oscar Wilde once observed. Anglican bishops historically wield the pen, drawing the line between error and truth, between right and wrong doctrine.

Yet at some point in the mid-20th century, the bishops of the church began to abdicate this responsibility - even before the American Church reformed its ordinal in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, removing the injunction to bishops that they “banish and drive away from the Church all erroneous and strange doctrine contrary to God’s Word.”

Where once the church celebrated Anglican comprehensiveness, it now celebrated diversity. Confessionalism morphed into conversation, as those charged with guarding the faith suffered a loss of nerve. The church, like the universities, the arts, literature and other repositories of high culture in the West, was trampled underfoot by the long march of the left through the institutions. the rest

UK: Clergy numbers up, but laity down

24 October, 2008
by Bill Bowder

MORE CLERGY are being trained and ordained in the Church of England than for a decade, but the numbers worshipping have con­tinued to drop, says the Church Statistics report for the year 2006-07, which was issued this week.

There were also more younger clergy (under 40) being accepted for training. Over three years, their numbers rose from 188 in 2004 to 243 last year. The Church recom­mended 595 candidates for training during the year — the greatest number in a decade. In 1994, only 408 candidates were recommended for training.

To support these and other in­creasing costs, the average parish­ioner gave £5.38 a week to the Church in 2006 (the figure based on the numbers on parish electoral rolls). But parish expenditure grew faster than giving.

In the nine years between 1998 and 2006, recurring expenditure in­creased by 49 per cent, but recurring income increased by 45 per cent. Over the same period, the amount the Church spent on capital costs increased by 70 per cent, while its “one-off income” (for instance, from appeals to meet those costs) increased by 66 per cent. the rest

Religious Intelligence: Church of England reports declining attendance, but increased ordinations

Bp. Duncan warns the English

by Bill Bowder
24 October, 2008

THE Rt Revd Bob Duncan, the former Bishop of Pittsburgh in the Episcopal Church in the United States, deposed from holy orders by the Presiding Bishop last month for “abandoning communion” after his diocese realigned itself with the Province of the Southern Cone, has warned that English traditionalists could find themselves similarly threatened (News, 10 October), .

At a press conference in London last Friday, Bishop Duncan said that the Episcopal Church in the US had treated him “unjustly and uncan­on­ically”. He had been deposed, two weeks after his diocese’s vote to leave the Episcopal Church, under a canon designed to remove those who had become RCs or Pres­byterians or who had lost their faith. But he expected to be re-elected by the diocese at a Convention on 7 November. “I will have been both the 7th Bishop of Pittsburgh and the 8th Bishop of Pittsburgh, and I didn’t die in between.”

Many English bishops had refused to accept his deposition as valid, including the bishops of Blackburn, Chester, Exeter, Rochester, and Win­chester. They signed a public letter to say that they believed he was still “a bishop in good standing in the Anglican Communion”. the rest

NY's highest court affirms Dennis Canon

NY court: Episcopal diocese owns church building

A copy of the entire decision can be found at the Court of Appeals website here .

This is a very sketchy court decision by New York’s highest court. There is very little analysis, other than for the court to observe that there is a Dennis Canon which gives the diocese and the “National Church” an express trust in all of the parish property, and to say that a 1979 US Supreme Court case allows, or perhaps even mandates, this result.

Why does the Dennis Canon prevail over deeds and certificates of incorporation which do not have any such trust language? Just because they do, says the court, and because the parish concerned was an Article 3 church (the Episcopal Church article of the Religious Corporations Law) under New York Law. There is little explanation as to how the court arrived at this decision, other than to merely proclaim it. One would have hoped for far better from the highest court of one of the largest states.


-Raymond Dague

Executive Council promises support, money to continuing Episcopalians

Members commit church to search for reconciliation
By Mary Frances Schjonberg
October 23, 2008

[Episcopal News Service, Helena, Montana] The Episcopal Church's Executive Council October 23 renewed its ongoing support of dioceses in which the leadership has left or plans to leave the church, and pledged the church to seek reconciliation "without precondition on our part."

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori told council members that she appreciated their sense that irreconcilable differences are inconsistent with the gospel. "It is profoundly unchristian and unhopeful to say that differences can be irreconcilable," she said.

House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson echoed that sentiment during a post-meeting news conference, noting that the remaining members of the Diocese of San Joaquin "have done some very, very hard work … in reconciliation in trying to draw in people who were, shall we say, on the fence." Executive Council said October 23 that "it stands ready to help," Anderson added. the rest

Canada: Anglican bishop seeks OK to bless same-sex marriages

If approved, rite could be offered at designated parish
Jennifer Green, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Friday, October 24, 2008

An Anglican church in Ottawa may soon be the second in Canada to bless same-sex marriages.

Bishop John Chapman plans to ask the Canadian House of Bishops next week if he can develop an appropriate rite, then designate one parish -- possibly Saint John the Evangelist on Somerset Street -- to offer blessings to gay couples already married in a civil ceremony.

He told several hundred people gathered at Christ Church Cathedral yesterday for an annual synod, or general meeting, that he wants to take it slowly. the rest

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Devotional: I cannot think that God would be content...

I cannot think that God would be content
To view unmoved the toiling and the strain,
The groaning of the ages, sick and spent,
The whole creation travailing in pain.
The suffering God is no vast cosmic force,
That by some blind, unthinking, loveless power
Keeps stars and atoms swinging in their course,
And reckons naught of men in this grim hour.
Nor is the suffering God a fair ideal
Engendered in the questioning hearts of men,
A figment of the mind to help me steel
My soul to rude realities I ken.
God suffers with a love that cleanses dross;
A God like that, I see upon a cross.
... Georgia Harkness
image

A thousand questions

Episcopal Executive Council hears that 2009 budget could run a deficit

Shortage of $2.5 million would be balanced by surpluses in 2007, 2008
By Mary Frances Schjonberg
October 22, 2008

[Episcopal News Service] [Helena, Montana] The Episcopal Church's Executive Council heard October 22 that the church's 2009 budget, if council members approve it, will have a $2.5 million deficit.

However, Treasurer Kurt Barnes told council members that the entire 2007-2009 triennial budget will be balanced, as required by the Episcopal Church's Constitution and Canons. There were surpluses of $1.2 million in 2007 and $2 million in 2008, Barnes said.

Projections for the 2009 budget anticipate $54.6 million in revenues compared to $57.1 million in expenses. Barnes said that, given the triennial nature of the budget and the previous surpluses, the 2009 budget "could suffer a deficit of $2.8 million" and still be balanced.
the rest

Comments at StandFirm

Bennison civil trial: Judge decides to keep hearing church case

Thu, Oct. 23, 2008
By David O'Reilly
Inquirer Staff Writer

Midway through a civil trial in which a priest is suing the Episcopal bishop who defrocked him, the judge hearing the unusual case suggested yesterday that the dispute might belong in a church court, and he appeared close to throwing it out of Montgomery County Court.

The Rev. David Moyer, rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, alleges that Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr., suspended head of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, "fraudulently" removed him from the priesthood six years ago without a hearing before diocesan officials. Moyer seeks unspecified damages for loss of employment and mental suffering.

The case could establish a legal precedent allowing clergy in hierarchical religious institutions to sue their superiors in civil court. American courts have a long tradition of not intervening in churches' internal affairs.

Judge Joseph Smyth said the case, already in its third day, raised "important" legal issues regarding separation of church and state, but he decided to allow the trial to proceed. the rest

San Francisco Measure Seeks to Decriminalize Prostitution

If passed San Francisco would be the first US city to do so
By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

SAN FRANCISCO, October 22, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Voters in this west coast city that celebrates sadomasochism, homosexuality and pornography are being asked to decide whether they would like to become the first major U.S. city to decriminalize prostitution.

Approval of ballot measure Proposition K would effectively decriminalize prostitution in the city by preventing the Police Department from arresting and prosecuting prostitutes; the measure, however, does not go so far as to actually legalize the sex trade because state law still prohibits it.

The San Francisco Chronicle said the measure is being alternately hailed as a human rights landmark or a misguided venture that will turn San Francisco into a playground for sex tourists and pimps. the rest

A Reverent Maverick

Anne Graham Lotz says her success is due to God. Yes. But she is still an extraordinary preacher.
Keri Wyatt Kent 10/21/2008

Though we are sitting in her office, Anne Graham Lotz is beginning to preach, in the best sense of the word.

"You remember in the Old Testament when Elijah had the contest with the priests of Baal? And all day long they tried to get the fire to come down and they couldn't. And then Elijah said, 'All right, now it's my turn.' And he dug a trench around the altar and had water poured on the altar until the sacrifice was soaked, the wood was soaked, the stones were soaked, and water filled the trench?

"Elijah was making it impossible for anything to happen unless God did it. If God didn't send down the fire, that thing was never going to catch fire. He wanted all the glory going to God, so when the fire came down, everybody would know it was the Lord." the rest image

Calif. brings back music-making asphalt

LANCASTER, Calif. (AP) — The folks who silenced the nation's first "musical road" are singing a different tune.

Workers on Wednesday began carving grooves on Avenue G that will produce notes of the "William Tell Overture" when cars drive over them.

The high desert city north of Los Angeles placed the grooves on another road, Avenue K, last month for a Honda commercial. The quarter-mile strip was engineered to play the notes — better known as the theme for The Lone Ranger— when motorists in Honda Civics hit them at 55 mph. the rest

Albert Mohler: Rights Talk Right to Death -- Euthanasia and "Religious Primitivism"

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Several years ago, Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon offered the persuasive argument that America has embraced what she calls "rights talk." The assertion of rights is now the standard way to effect social change or, in the case of individuals, to have your own way. "Rights talk" is what remains when a cultural consensus about right and wrong evaporates.

Fast-forward to 2008 and rights talk is, if anything, even more ingrained in the American character. Battles over competing and conflicting assertions of rights now emerge over some of the hottest and most contentious issues of the day. When we have run out of other arguments, all we have left is to assert that what we demand is, after all, only our right. the rest

Charles Colson: A Demented Idea
Human Dignity on the Sceptred Isle
10/23/2008

The Brits may be losing their marbles. The distinguished Baroness Warnock, labeled by the Daily Telegraph as Britain’s leading moral philosopher, ought to be ashamed of herself.

You see, Lady Warnock once chaired a government committee that helped legalize embryonic research. She’s known for supporting assisted suicide for people don’t want to burden their caregivers.

But now Lady Warnock has gone a step further. She says elderly people who suffer from dementia are “wasting people’s lives”—that is, the lives of those who care for them—and ought to choose to die even if they’re not suffering.

And even if they aren’t a burden on their families, they ought to “off” themselves anyway, as she puts it, because they’re a burden on the public, which, under British national health care, pays for their treatment. According to the Daily Telegraph, Warnock hopes people will soon be “licensed to put others down.” the rest

Financial worries hit Episcopal Church, but pensions are secure

Thursday, 23rd October 2008
By George Conger

The pension benefits of the American Church’s clergy are fully secure, the president of the Church Pension Fund (CPF) said in an Oct 2 letter to Episcopal clergy receiving benefits, but the downturn in the stock market along with declining membership rolls has begun to impact the finances of a number of American dioceses.

The CPF’s “financial condition remains very strong, with assets well in excess of liabilities," T Dennis Sullivan stated. While the value of the fund’s investments will be adversely impacted by the turmoil in the world’s stock markets, “the Clergy Pension Plan maintains substantial reserves, and the recent volatility does not begin to call into question the soundness of the fund.

The pension benefits of the Clergy Pension Plan are fully secure."As of the end of its fiscal year in March, the CPG had £5.13 billion in assets to fund an anticipated £2.9 billion in pension liabilities...

... In an Oct 15 letter to his diocese, the Rt Rev Gladstone Adams of Central New York stated that in developing a budget for 2009, “it became clear that the financial realities of today's economy are creating challenges for our congregations in terms of assessment and investment revenue.” To make ends meet, the diocese was making redundant its diocesan youth minister, director of Christian formation, and property and benefits administrator...

the rest

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Devotional: God has work to do in this world...

God has work to do in this world; and to desert it because of its difficulties and entanglements, is to cast off His authority. It is not enough that we be just, that we be righteous, and walk with God in holiness; but we must also serve our generation, as David did before he fell asleep. God has a work to do; and not to help Him is to oppose Him. ...John Owen image

What same-sex "marriage" has done to Massachusetts

It's far worse than most people realize
October 20, 2008
by Brian Camenker

Anyone who thinks that same-sex “marriage” is a benign eccentricity which won’t affect the average person should consider what it has done in Massachusetts. It’s become a hammer to force the acceptance and normalization of homosexuality on everyone. And this train is moving fast. What has happened so far is only the beginning.

On November 18, 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court announced its Goodridge opinion, ruling that it was unconstitutional not to allow same-sex “marriage.” Six months later, homosexual marriages began to be performed.

the rest-a must read!

UK: Lawmakers back human-animal embryo research

Oct 22, 2008

The lower house of parliament approved legislation Wednesday allowing scientists to create animal-human embryos for medical research, in the biggest shake-up of embryology laws in two decades.

Despite opposition from religious and pro-life groups, MPs in the House of Commons backed the Human Embryology and Fertilisation Bill by 355 votes to 129. It will now go to a vote in the House of Lords, and could be law by November.

The wide-ranging bill, which has been debated for months, would also allow "saviour siblings" -- children created as a close genetic match for a sick brother or sister so their genetic material can help treat them. the rest

Rt Revd N. T. Wright: The Fourfold Amor Dei and the Word of God

intervention by the Rt Revd N. T. Wright, Bishop of Durham (Church of England)
Synod of Bishops, 14 October 2008

Your Holiness; your Eminences and Excellences; brothers and sisters in Christ:

It is an honour and privilege to be here, and to bring you greetings from the Archbishop of Canterbury.

We face the same challenges as you: not only secularism and relativism, but also postmodernity. Challenges, though, bring fresh insights and opportunities. Uncritical rejection of cultural pressures is as unwise as uncritical embracing. Uncertainy here breeds anxiety, and I have detected some anxiety in this Synod: anxiety that the Bible might tell us things we didn’t expect or want to hear, and also anxiety lest the Bible’s powerful message should be stifled. the rest

The Church in Vietnam Isn't Afraid. But the Communist Regime Is

Because it sees the Catholic Church as a place of the freedom desired by all. That's why it's oppressing it, to stop the contagion. The report from a correspondent on the ground
by Sandro Magister
chiesa vietnam

ROMA, October 22, 2008 – At the synod taking place at the Vatican, there are two bishops from Vietnam: the bishop of Nha Trang, Joseph Vo Duc Minh, and of Thanh Hóa, Joseph Nguyên Chi Linh.

The latter of these, speaking on the morning of October 13, called the Church of Vietnam "one of the Churches most harshly tested by bloody and uninterrupted persecution."

But immediately after this, he encouraged those present with this passage from the conciliar constitution "Gaudium et Spes":

"The Church admits that she has greatly profited and still profits from the antagonism of those who oppose or who persecute her." the rest

Conflict resolution methods recommended for warring bishops

Times Online
October 22, 2008
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

Warring Anglican bishops could be forced to confront each other in divorce-style "mediation" or conflict resolution, under proposals published today.

Theologians and canon lawyers responsible for drawing up the drafts of a new covenant, a document which is intended to re-unite the divided Anglican Communion around agreed practices and beliefs, have proposed that different forms of conflict resolution be examined to see if any might be suitable for use by Anglican bishops.

The document, drawn up after consultations with the bishops attending Lambeth Conference earlier this year, discusses the various types of conflict resolution that might be suitable.
Possible models include professionals involved in arbitration, mediation and reconciliation. the rest

Obama's Citizenship Scandal Sparks Another Lawsuit

By John P. Connolly, The Bulletin
10/22/2008

A second lawsuit has been filed against Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama over his lack of evidence of U.S. citizenship.

Steven Marquis, a resident of Fall City, Wash., a town about 30 miles southeast of Seattle, filed a suit this month against Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed, demanding he verify Mr. Obama's citizenship status.

The complaint seeks specifically that the office of the Washington Secretary of State verify and certify that Mr. Obama is or is not a "natural born" citizen by producing original or certified verifiable official documents. The lawsuit argues that this certification should take place before the election to preclude a constitutional crisis.

Mr. Marquis argues the secretary of state has the authority and duty to not only certify the voters but also and most importantly the candidates and in so doing prevent the wholesale disenfranchisement of voters who would had had an opportunity to choose from qualified candidates had the certification preceded the election process. the rest

Obama 'admits' Kenyan birth?
Campaign doesn't respond to claims in lawsuit over birth certificate

Bennison trial: Bishop, ex-priest spar at trial

Wed, Oct. 22, 2008
By David O'Reilly
Inquirer Staff Writer

Taking turns yesterday on the witness stand, the Rev. David Moyer and Episcopal Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. each sought to present himself as the more pastoral, principled clergyman in their unusual civil trial.

Moyer, conservative rector of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, is suing Bennison, the suspended bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania, on grounds that the more liberal Bennison improperly defrocked him as a priest six years ago.

He seeks unspecified damages, saying that Bennison improperly denied him a church trial and appeals process that could have vindicated him and kept him a diocesan priest. the rest

Diocese Of Dallas Disassociates From HOB Attempt To Depose Bishop Duncn

Stand Firm
Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Received via email:

Resolution 2008 R06
Regarding Bishop Robert Duncan

Be it RESOLVED, that this 113th Convention of the Diocese of Dallas express its gratitude to Bishop Stanton and Bishop Lambert for voting No to the deposition of the Rt. Rev’d Robert Duncan, Bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, at the Fall 2008 House of Bishops Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah. We are grateful for their faithful exercise of episcopal ministry in this matter and we encourage them to continue to witness for truth and fidelity in our Diocese and The Episcopal Church, and convey our support and encouragement to Bishop Duncan during this difficult time and be it

Further RESOLVED that this Convention disassociates itself from this action and denounces the House of Bishops’ effort to depose Bishop Robert Duncan. the rest

No debate on Covenant, suggests Presiding Bishop

Wednesday, 22nd October 2008
By Nick Mackenzie

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the USA has signaled her opposition to a discussion of the proposed Anglican Covenant, perceived by many to be the last hope for keeping the fractious worldwide Anglican Communion together.

Currently, the plans are for the final draft of the Covenant to be issued next May, meaning it could be debated by the Episcopal Church’s three-yearly General Convention, planned for next July.

But yesterday the Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev Katharine Jefferts Schori indicated she will "strongly discourage" any effort to bring that request to the 76th General Convention in California in July. the rest

The Living Church: P. B. to Discourage Covenant Consideration by Convention

ENS: General Convention should not consider Anglican covenant, Presiding Bishop tells Executive Council

Conservative talk radio on the chopping block?

Jim Brown and Jody Brown
OneNewsNow
10/22/2008

A conservative author and columnist predicts that if Barack Obama is elected president, the Democratic-led Congress will mount a legislative effort next year to wipe out political talk radio in its current form. He calls it a "lurking threat to the freedom of the airwaves."

Barack Obama's campaign has said the Democratic presidential nominee is not seeking to reinstate the "Fairness Doctrine," but top Democratic leaders such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator John Kerry, and Al Gore have expressed support for mandating equal air time for all political views.

Brian Anderson is editor of City Journal, a quarterly cultural and political magazine published by the Manhattan Institute, and co-author of A Manifesto for Media Freedom (Encounter Books, September 2008). He says Democrats in Congress are getting set to "muzzle" right-wing radio and TV commentators. the rest

How Former Witches Want You to Celebrate Halloween

Rebekah Montgomery
Contributing Writer

If you are looking for lurid tales of infant sacrifice or ritual rapes of 13-year-old virgins, you won't find them recounted here. Those horrors may have happened somewhere on October 31st, but the tragedy remembered by some former witches is that Halloween traditions and symbols often can provide too handy of a gateway to the occult. And some children are simply spiritually unprotected because no one ever prays for them.

Writes one former witch on the Exwitch Ministries website: "Many kids get their first exposure to the occult at horror movies at Halloween parties. After the initial exposure to the occult some children are attracted to the occult because of the power it offers them. Others see it as the ultimate means of rebelling against their parents."

Exwitch Ministries was founded to reach occultists, Wiccans, Witches, Pagans, and others through consistent witness, the demonstration of Christ-like character, apologetics, and genuine love and concern. They also support those who choose to embrace Jesus through discipling, networking, and fellowship. the rest

Are Universities Above the Law?

For the sake of liberal education they shouldn't be.
by Peter Berkowitz
10/27/2008

Three lawsuits--against Dartmouth College and Duke and Princeton universities--may be the best things to happen to higher education in decades. The Dartmouth suit, though recently withdrawn, focused attention on the role of alumni in college affairs. The Duke case raises the question of the extent to which courts will require universities to observe their own rules and regulations. The Princeton case puts at issue the enforceability of restricted gifts. All three expose the often opaque governing structures under which colleges and universities operate and bring into focus the need for transparency and accountability in higher education.

More than the scope of universities' legal responsibilities is at stake here. That's because upholding the rule of law on campus can contribute to the reform of university governance--and the reform of university governance is an indispensable precondition for the restoration of a liberal education -worthy of the name. the rest image

The increasingly erratic, super-gaffetastic Joe Biden

By Michelle Malkin
October 22, 2008

A heartbeat away…

My syndicated column today takes you through a tour of all the latest Joe Biden gaffes that aren’t getting replayed endlessly on the nightly news and comedy shows. I said yesterday that the McCain camp ought to toss the “erratic” label right back in Joe Biden’s face and defuse that rhetorical bomb. Right on cue, Team Obama has released a new ad called…”Erratic.”

Ball’s in your court, McCain. Or will it be left to Sarah again to strike back? the rest image

Flip-flop: Now Biden Supports Homosexual "Marriage"

Full house greets 'faith-based' pharmacy

Bishop blesses pro-life Chantilly drugstore
Julia Duin
Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Divine Mercy Care Pharmacy, one of fewer than a dozen pharmacies in the country that refuse to stock any kind of birth control, cigarettes, pornography or condoms, opened with a Catholic bishop's blessing and sprinklings of holy water Tuesday in Chantilly.

About 100 people, half of them children, crammed into the DMC Pharmacy in Sully Place Shopping Center to hear Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde preach about "transforming hearts through health care" amid boxes and bottles of Clearasil, Neutrogena and St. Ives Apricot Scrub.
"The most fundamental illness in our contemporary society is a pervasive disrespect for the intrinsic worth and dignity of every human person, whose life begins at conception," the bishop said. the rest

There's a God-shaped hole in Westminster

Today's politicians - whose favourite summer reading was The God Delusion - have never been more fearful of faith
Rachel Sylvester
October 21, 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury likes to say that religion is getting increasingly political just as politicians become ever more interested in subjects that have traditionally been the domain of religion. For once, he has never been more right.

This week the House of Commons will vote on government proposals to allow the creation of human-animal hybrid embryos for scientific research. At the same time, MPs are pushing for changes to the law on abortion. The assisted suicide of the rugby player Daniel James has reopened the debate about euthanasia. The rows over headscarves, the blasphemy law, science education and Lords reform all show how the boundaries have been blurred. the rest

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

AnglicanTV: Ruth Gledhill reports on Bishop Duncan's recent visit

Bacterium 'to blame for Crohn's'

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Researchers believe the lack of a specific bacterium in the gut may be a cause of Crohn's disease.

A shortage of naturally-occurring bacteria is thought to trigger the inflammatory gastrointestinal disorder by over-stimulating the immune system.

Now a French team has highlighted the bug, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, which they show secretes biochemicals that reduce inflammation.

The study appears in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. the rest

Canada: National office asked to slash $1.3 million from budget

Marites N. Sisonstaff writer
Oct 21, 2008

Directors at the General Synod office have been asked to slash $1.3 million from the 2009 budget, a move designed to break a recurring pattern in recent years of huge budget deficits.

Incurring yearly deficits is “not a healthy direction for us to keep moving; some would say it’s irresponsible,” Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, said in a meeting with staff at the national office in Toronto. “There are dioceses where deficit budgeting is forbidden. It doesn’t look good for us to be doing it.”

Last year, the Council of General Synod (CoGS), the church’s governing body between General Synods, approved a 2008 budget that already projected a net operating loss of $1.3 million. An undesignated bequest of $4 million from the Dashwood estate helped bridge the deficit, the seventh in as many years. the rest

Monday, October 20, 2008

Devotional: God does hear our prayer...

God does hear our prayer, but He may not answer it at the precise time we have appointed in our own minds. Instead, He will reveal Himself to our seeking hearts, though not necessarily when and where we expect. Therefore we have a need for perserver- ence and steadfast determination in our life of prayer.
...CH Spurgeon image

CCHD ends funding to ACORN over financial irregularities

By Dennis Sadowski
Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON

(CNS) -- The Catholic Campaign for Human Development suspended funding a nationwide community organizing group after it was disclosed June 2 that nearly $1 million had been embezzled.

Funding was suspended for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, popularly known as ACORN, because of the financial irregularities, said Ralph McCloud, executive director of CCHD, the U.S. bishops' domestic anti-poverty and social justice program.

"We're not funding them at any level," McCloud told Catholic News Service Oct. 15. the rest

Senate Republicans Demand ACORN Investigation

Obama Messiah

A picture at a street fair at Hayes and Octavia in San Francisco

Defrocked Episcopal priest sues church

NORRISTOWN, Pa., Oct. 20 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania lawsuit pitting a former Episcopal priest against his archdiocese may be the first U.S. case involving church discipline, experts say.

The Rev. David Moyer has brought a civil suit against the financially struggling Diocese of Pennsylvania, saying he was illegally defrocked because of his views opposing gay clergy, and is asking the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas in Norristown, Pa., for millions of dollars in damages, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Monday.

Moyer's attorney, John Lewis, told the newspaper the case appears to be the first trial in U.S. jurisprudence involving "the ecclesiastical discipline of a priest in a hierarchical church."

Church officials fought to block the trial, arguing that the First Amendment precludes civil courts from ruling on religious institutions' personnel matters. But Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas Branca sided with Moyer, who alleges that archdiocese improperly denied him a church trial. the rest

It's the sun, stupid: Thirty years of warmer temperatures go poof

October 20, 2008
Lorne Gunter

In early September, I began noticing a string of news stories about scientists rejecting the orthodoxy on global warming. Actually, it was more like a string of guest columns and long letters to the editor since it is hard for skeptical scientists to get published in the cabal of climate journals now controlled by the Great Sanhedrin of the environmental movement.

Still, the number of climate change skeptics is growing rapidly. Because a funny thing is happening to global temperatures -- they're going down, not up.

On the same day (Sept. 5) that areas of southern Brazil were recording one of their latest winter snowfalls ever and entering what turned out to be their coldest September in a century, Brazilian meteorologist Eugenio Hackbart explained that extreme cold or snowfall events in his country have always been tied to "a negative PDO" or Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Positive PDOs -- El Ninos -- produce above-average temperatures in South America while negative ones -- La Ninas -- produce below average ones. the rest image

ENS: "Storytelling" transforms Europe's Episcopalians

By Matthew Davies,
October 20, 2008

Excerpt:
New model of formationThe convention's new storytelling model is based on the Transformed by Stories (TBS) program currently being developed by the European Institute of Christian Studies (EICS), the education department of the convocation, as "an attempt to approach formation differently," said Felicity Handford, EICS chairman. "The wonderful thing about stories is that you can go to places that you wouldn’t ever dream of."

The program, made possible in part through financial support from the Episcopal Church's Office of Ministry Development and a Constable Fund grant, works as a three-part series:

telling God's story as my story;
telling my story as God's story;
and telling our story as God's story.

Describing the initiative as a good way to share and build up community," the Rev. Bill Franklin, a member of the TBS development team and associate director for external affairs at the American Academy in Rome, said, "At this convention we are telling stories that define who we are as a people in Europe at a pivotal moment in the history of the Episcopal Church."

Some delegates described the story of the convocation as dynamic and representing the Episcopal Church at its best, on its mission frontier in Europe. The TBS storytelling format, they say, allows them to tell the convocation story in an interesting and innovative fashion...

Another quote:
Schori: "When we connect the stories that we know with great faith stories, we are doing the work of the gospel," Jefferts Schori told the delegates. "We are telling the world and each other how we know God. I give thanks to you and celebrate what is going on here."
the rest

[Once upon a time....telling your story as my story as God's story as our story as the church's story...Arrrrrgh!!!!! I feel dizzy...]

Schori's puppet committee "ousts" clergy in San Joaquin

Monday October 20, 2008

(RNS) An Episcopal Church committee voted Friday (Oct. 17) to oust more than 50 California clerics who left the denomination last year to join a more conservative province in the Anglican Communion.

The 16 deacons and 36 priests have six months to recant and return to the Episcopal Church before they are defrocked by Bishop Jerry Lamb of the Fresno-based Diocese of San Joaquin, according to Episcopal News Service.

Charged with "abandoning" the Episcopal Church, the 52 deacons and priests would no longer be allowed to function as Episcopal clergy.

Diocesan spokeswoman Nancy Key said two clergy have decided to rejoin the Episcopal Church since the committee began considering charges against them. the rest

Finally, "Straight Talk" From the Homosexual Agenda

Monday, October 20, 2008
by Austin Nimocks

We all love and appreciate honesty, and it’s finally coming from the most unlikely of sources—the homosexual agenda. No matter what side of the issues of homosexual behavior you may find yourself supporting, a standing ovation is appropriate.

John Corvino, I salute you.

You see, back in August, my jaw hit the floor when I read a column Corvino wrote that was breathtakingly honest. You see, for many years, the homosexual agenda’s intentions, goals, and beliefs have been shrouded in smokescreens of “equality,” “benefits,” and “fairness.” Yet Corvino provided a breath of fresh air, telling us what those who engage in homosexual behavior really want: moral approval.

Of course, many of us have known this all along, but it’s nice to finally hear about it from the other side. This groundbreaking concession now provides an opportunity for an honest public discourse on what homosexual advocates are really after. They want your heart and soul. It’s not enough to just be tolerant. the rest

Sydney Synod has overwhelmingly endorsed the Jerusalem Declaration

Russell Powell
21 October 2008

The Synod of the Diocese of Sydney has overwhelmingly endorsed the Jerusalem Declaration, the key document to emerge from GAFCON earlier this year.

Debate on the motion was begun by the Bishop of North Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, who was on the Gafcon committee which drafted the Jerusalem Declaration.

The Bishop described it as an honour to serve on the commitee, saying the statement itself was not pre-written but was developed word for word during the week. the rest

Human tissue could be taken from the infirm without their consent

Human tissue could be taken from the mentally infirm without their consent and used to create embryos for experimentation, under Government proposals added to a controversial bill.
By Laura Donnelly, Health Correspondent
19 Oct 2008

On Wednesday MPs will vote on a bill which would allow the creation of human/animal hybrid embryos to be used for stem cell research, change the conditions for granting IVF, and possibly liberalise the abortion laws.

The passage through Parliament of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill has been dogged by controversy. Failed attempts to outlaw late abortion have dominated the debate, while scientists, medical ethics experts and religious leaders have clashed over the hybrid embryo issue.

Defenders of the bill have repeatedly stressed the importance of gaining consent from anyone whose tissue is taken for the creation of human/animal hybrid embryos. the rest

Traditionalists warn church of evangelism threat

Monday, 20th October 2008
By Michael Brown

An extraordinary claim that if traditionalist Anglicans are "destroyed", the Gospel in England "will suffer" because no one else is evangelising, was issued by the Bishop of Fulham, the Rt Rev John Broadhurst, last weekend.

Bishop Broadhurst, a one-time member of the General Synod who now heads Forward in Faith, the Anglo-Catholic umbrella body, was giving a keynote address at the opening of the movement's annual assembly in London.

He told the 400 delegates --- and was loudly applauded by them --- "If we are destroyed, the Gospel in this country will suffer. If we are not allowed to live, the Gospel will suffer. If we don't do it, who is going to do it? Who else is evangelising except us?"

The London suffragan's allegations came towards the end of an impassioned address in which he also declared: "The Anglican Communion is over. It is finished. It has been tested --- at the Lambeth Conference --- and found wanting." the rest

Albert Mohler: So, What's Really at Stake in the Gay Marriage Debate? Part Two

Monday, October 20, 2008

Same-sex marriage is, for now, legal in three of fifty states in the United States. Beyond our borders, it is legal in the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, South Africa, Canada and Norway. This represents a very small percentage of the world's population. Same-sex marriage is, by any measure, the exception rather than the rule. Even when legalized civil unions and domestic partnerships are thrown into the mix, the countries that consider same-sex unions and heterosexual marriages to be equal before the law represent a small percentage of the world's nations. the rest

AS Haley: In the Land of the Canon-Eaters

Anglican Curmudgeon
October 18, 2008

A few posts back, I warned that the result of TEC's piling irregularity upon irregularity would be "a murder of crows, a scold of jays, and a sneak of weasels." The unorganized group that styles itself "the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin" continues to make my point.

In the post just linked, I pointed out the charade behind the Remain Episcopal group's calling itself a "diocese" of TEC---with TEC's complicity, because it needed a plaintiff in a lawsuit to claim the property that went with the Diocese that left. The "diocese" that remains is not a proper Diocese of The Episcopal Church, because only General Convention can make it so, and General Convention does not meet until next year. As much as TEC and Remain Episcopal would like to wish it were not so, the Diocese that was a proper diocese of TEC amended its own Constitution and canons to put itself under the authority of the Province of the Southern Cone. Those amendments were perfectly proper and legal under California law, and they violated no language in TEC's own Constitution and Canons. TEC itself is a "voluntary association" of member dioceses, and members of voluntary associations are, as the name itself says, free to decide to leave at any time.

Since the only legal entity under California law which had been a TEC diocese chose lawfully to amend its governing documents, there is no legal entity left under California law in that region to fulfill the function of a diocese in TEC. Such an entity will have to be newly organized from scratch under California law, and when it has so organized and can be recognized as a legal entity, it can apply to GC 2009 to be admitted as a diocese (provided GC 2009 makes a few further canonical modifications, the details of which I have discussed here). Only then will there be a properly constituted Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin once again.

Neither TEC nor the Remain Episcopal crowd, however, gives a fig for the Constitution and Canons of TEC when they constitute an obstacle to TEC's gay-rights agenda. I shall say it again: TEC, and those who collude with it, such as Bishop Jerry Lamb and the whole Remain Episcopal crowd in San Joaquin, are no longer interested in being a church in the Anglican Communion if it means they cannot promote a gay-rights agenda. So TEC is transmuting into, as one commenter at StandFirm aptly put it, "a gay religion club." the rest image

Unusual civil trial reflects Episcopal divide

Mon, Oct. 20, 2008
By David O'Reilly
Inquirer Staff Writer

Just three weeks after a church court ruled that he should be removed from office, Episcopal Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. faces the start of an unusual civil trial today that could cost the financially struggling Diocese of Pennsylvania millions of dollars.

Bennison, 63, is being sued for damages in Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas by the Rev. David Moyer, who alleges that Bennison used fraud and deception to defrock him as a priest of the diocese six years ago.

Moyer's attorney, John Lewis, said that Moyer v. Bennison appears to be the first trial in American jurisprudence involving "the ecclesiastical discipline of a priest in a hierarchical church." the rest

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Devotional: My kingdom is not of this world...

"My kingdom is not of this world." John 18:36

The great enemy to the Lord Jesus Christ in the present day is the conception of practical work that has not come from the New Testament, but from the Systems of the world in which endless energy and activities are insisted upon, but no private life with God. The emphasis is put on the wrong thing. Jesus said, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation, for lo the kingdom of God is within you," a hidden, obscure thing. An active Christian worker too often lives in the shop window. It is the innermost of the innermost that reveals the power of the life.

We have to get rid of the plague of the spirit of the religious age in which we live. In Our Lord's life there was none of the press and rush of tremendous activity that we regard so highly, and the disciple is to be as His Master. The central thing about the kingdom of Jesus Christ is a personal relationship to Himself, not public usefulness to men...

...You have no idea of where God is going to engineer your circumstances, no knowledge of what strain is going to be put on you either at home or abroad, and if you waste your time in over-active energies instead of getting into soak on the great fundamental truths of God's Redemption, you will snap when the strain comes; but if this time of soaking before God is being spent in getting rooted and grounded in God on the unpractical line, you will remain true to Him what ever happens. ...Oswald Chambers image

Archbishop Charles Chaput criticizes Obama, Catholic allies

Oct 19, 2008

DENVER (AP) - Denver Roman Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput labeled Barack Obama the "most committed" abortion-rights candidate from a major party in 35 years while accusing a Catholic Obama ally and other Democratic-friendly Catholic groups of doing a "disservice to the church."

Chaput, one of the nation's most politically outspoken Catholic prelates, delivered the remarks Friday night at a dinner of a Catholic women's group.

His comments were among the sharpest in a debate over abortion and Catholic political responsibility in a campaign in which Catholics represent a key swing vote. the rest

Iraq's Christians "sacrificial lambs" as attacks mount

Sun Oct 19, 2008
By Missy Ryan

AL-QOSH, Iraq (Reuters) - A Christian family huddles in an austere room in a monastery in northern Iraq, their belongings piled up around them. It is now home, since members of their religious minority became targets of sectarian attacks.

The father, an engineer who was so scared that he asked to keep his name and that of his family unidentified, rushed his wife and two daughters to the Chaldean Catholic al-Saida monastery at the foot of arid mountains in northern Iraq on October 9, a day after hearing that four fellow Christians were killed.

"The explosions continue. There is no safety," he says with his youngest daughter draped on his lap.

Such is the plight of some 1,500 Christian families who in the past two weeks have fled homes in Iraq's ethnically mixed, and stubbornly violent, city of Mosul. the rest

The 'how-to' plan to criminalize Christianity

'Homosexuals know they must silence the church and that's what's behind this'
October 18, 2008

A growing movement that experts believe could end up in the criminalization of Christianity in the United States is being exposed in a new documentary being prepared for airing on October 26, officials at Coral Ridge Ministries have announced.

"Hate Crime Laws" is a half-hour exposé that shows how Christians in America, Canada, Australia, and Sweden have been arrested and prosecuted for expressing opinions that are rooted in the Bible regarding homosexual conduct, Islam or other topics about which Scriptures express clear teachings.

"On the surface, hate crime laws might sound like a good idea," said Jerry Newcombe, of Coral Ridge, who hosts the special. "After all, none of us advocates hatred or violence against another person. But if you look below the surface, suddenly you realize that these laws are really thought crime laws." the rest

Assisted Suicide: People With Disabilities Are in the Crosshairs

Sunday, October 19, 2008

This is how the culture of death moves toward cultural hegemony: The first step is to claim that killing (which is descriptive and accurate in that it means "to end life") will be reserved for the very rare case. But as soon as that premise is accepted, the acceptable category of killable people steadily increases.

Now in a tragic case in the UK, we see that very process in action. An athlete who became paralyzed and subsequently suicidal, was taken by his parents to Switzerland for an assisted suicide. the rest

Open Communion trend stirs hearts, a quiet controversy

Who is worthy to receive?
By Michael Paulson
October 19, 2008

Communion, the central ritual of most Christian worship services and long a members-only sacrament, is increasingly being opened to any willing participant, including the nonbaptized, the nonbeliever, and the non-Christian.

The change is most dramatic in the Episcopal Church, particularly in liberal dioceses like Massachusetts. The denomination's rules are clear: "No unbaptized person shall be eligible to receive Holy Communion in this Church." Yet, a recent survey by the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts found that nearly three-quarters of local parishes are practicing "open Communion," inviting anyone to partake.

"Who am I to say who should be at God's table?" said the Rev. Gale Davis Morris, rector of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Acton. "Most of Scripture is pretty clear about who the ultimate judge is, and it's not anybody that's human. And I would much rather err on the side of inclusion than exclusion." the rest

Illinois Episcopalians face historic vote

By Deirdre Cox Baker
Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Episcopal Church of the United States dates back almost as far as the Revolutionary War. In Illinois, it was organized 173 years ago. And the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy, Ill., has existed for well more than a century.

But if all goes as expected, the Diocese of Quincy will soon leave the parent church and align itself with the Anglican community based in South America.

A rift that has existed for decades broke open in 2003 after the Episcopal Church of the United States consecrated its first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.

“This is an example of how far the Episcopal Church has moved to a contemporary liberal theology,” said the Rev. John Spencer, a spokesman for the diocese that includes Christ Church, Moline; Trinity Church, Rock Island; and St. Mark’s Church, Silvis, Ill. “It’s just not grounded in Scripture anymore.”

A formal vote is scheduled Nov. 7-8. If approved, the western Illinois diocese would join others — based in Fresno, Calif., Pittsburgh and 15 parishes in Virginia — that have found a new home with the conservative Anglican Province of the Southern Cone in Argentina. A diocese in Fort Worth, Texas, also will vote on realignment in November. the rest

Hindu, Episcopal Leaders Engage in Dialogue

October 19,2008

Nevada (USA) - In a remarkable interfaith gesture, acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed and Bishop Dan Edwards of Episcopal Diocese of Nevada met in Nevada recently and had a dialogue.

Topics discussed were notion of God and idea of devotion to him, spirituality, ultimate reality, similarities/differences between Christianity and Hinduism, living together with seriously different traditions, etc.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, says that dialogue brings us reciprocal enrichment. In our shared exploration for truth, we should learn from each other and thus come nearer to the truth. the rest