Saturday, November 15, 2008

Devotional: 'Strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us...

'Strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us.'
Psalm 68:28

It is our wisdom, as well as our necessity, to beseech God continually to strengthen that which He has wrought in us. It is because of their neglect in this, that many Christians may blame themselves for those trials and afflictions of spirit which arise from unbelief. It is true that Satan seeks to flood the fair garden of the heart and make it a scene of desolation, but it is also true that many Christians leave open the sluice-gates themselves, and let in the dreadful deluge through carelessness and want of prayer to their strong Helper. We often forget that the Author of our faith must be the Preserver of it also. The lamp which was burning in the temple was never allowed to go out, but it had to be daily replenished with fresh oil; in like manner, our faith can only live by being sustained with the oil of grace, and we can only obtain this from God Himself. ...CH Spurgeon image

Anglican Church lacks leadership, say bishops

The Archbishop of Canterbury has failed to provide leadership in the Anglican Church's war over homosexuality, according to two of his bishops.
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Religious Affairs Correspondent
15 Nov 2008

In a speech to conservative evangelicals, who debated proposals for a new "church within a church", the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali said that there has been a lack of discipline.

Traditionalists have been upset that the Episcopal Church escaped punishment despite consecrating Gene Robinson as Anglicanism's first openly gay bishop.

The Bishop of Rochester told clergy that the new movement was equivalent to the Reformation in the sixteenth century, which led to the establishment of the Church of England.

He said that the Church has become too "wishy-washy" and urged evangelicals to stand against the liberal agenda.

"No Church can be effective without discipline," said Dr Nazir-Ali.

"That is what this situation is about. We are warned in the Bible about false teaching and persistent immorality. the rest

Why Tolkien said No to Narnia

The personal differences between renowned authors J.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis go deeper than issues of analogy and allegory. They go to the roots of Christianity.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
By Dwight Longenecker

If I had a time machine that could not only set me down not only in a particular date, but a particular place, I’d choose the Eagle and Child pub in Oxford on a Tuesday night in 1950 when C.S.Lewis was reading selections from his Chronicles of Narnia. He’d be there before a roaring fire with Tolkien and the other Inklings who gathered at the Bird and Baby, to drink beer, smoke pipes and read excerpts from their work. Tolkien would listen quietly, then pitch in with his intelligent and well-aimed criticisms.

Alas, I would not only need a machine that visited the past, but a machine that changed the past. The scholars tell us that the Inklings had pretty much gone their separate ways by 1949, and Lewis’ Narnia stories were never read aloud to the group. Nevertheless, Tolkien did have firm opinions about his friend’s children’s stories. He didn’t like them.

Why did Tolkien dislike Narnia? Was it a case of sour grapes? By the mid 1950s Lewis’ Narnia tales were being written and published. By this time Lewis was a hugely popular writer while Tolkien had only just published his masterpiece, and it would be another ten years until it hit the big time. About that time Tolkien and Lewis’ famous friendship cooled. the rest image

Bishop Jack Iker's Convention Address

NOVEMBER 15, 2008

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:2)

As we all know, this 26th annual meeting of our Diocesan Convention is anything but “business as usual.” Through a long process of spiritual discernment and prayer over the past year and a half or more, we have come to this historic moment of decision making. The eyes of many others beyond our own diocese are upon us today, and we are deeply grateful for their prayers and support as we deliberate on the matters that are before us.

At our first Convention in 1982, we voted to accede to the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church and to “be admitted into union with the General Convention.” Today, as a matter of conscience and conviction, we will vote to rescind that action and to align ourselves instead with an orthodox Province of the Anglican Communion, the Province of the Southern Cone.

I will not attempt to rehearse all of the reasons and explanations for this course of action. By now, we have heard them many times before, and most of us are tired of debating them. The clergy and lay delegates to this Convention are probably the most well informed and best prepared in the history of this diocese when it comes to the issues that are before us. I doubt that anyone’s vote will be changed by any of the debates that take place here today. Our minds are made up. The time for discussion has come to an end, and the time for decision is upon us.

This past year has been a tense and at times contentious period in the life of our diocese. Every one of our congregations has engaged the controversies that are before us, some more than others. Most of our churches have hosted forums and conducted study groups on why we are doing what we are doing. Differences of opinion remain in our church family, but we cannot avoid the decision that is before us. Some can no longer remain within the structures of The Episcopal Church, and others cannot bring themselves to leave TEC, even though they may disagree with the direction it is headed. Some have encouraged us to stay and fight as the faithful remnant in TEC, to work for reform from within. I can only reply by quoting the saying that “the definition of insanity is to keep on doing the same thing, expecting different results.” The time has come to choose a new path and direction, to secure a spiritual future for our children and our grand-children. the rest

Fort Worth is 4th Episcopal diocese to break away

By RACHEL ZOLL
November 15, 2008

NEW YORK (AP) — The theologically conservative Diocese of Fort Worth voted Saturday to split from the liberal-leaning Episcopal Church, the fourth traditional diocese to do so in a long-running debate over the Bible, gay relationships and other issues.

About 80 percent of clergy and parishioners in the Texas diocese supported the break in a series of votes at a diocesan convention.

The Steering Committee North Texas Episcopalians, an umbrella group for those who want to stay with the denomination, plans to reorganize the diocese. They promised that "the Episcopal Church's work of Christian ministry and evangelization will go forward" in the region.

A lengthy, expensive legal battle is expected over who owns Episcopal property and funds. The Fort Worth diocese oversees more than 50 parishes and missions serving about 19,000 people. The Steering Committee estimates that at least five parishes and hundreds of other churchgoers will remain with the New York-based national church.
the rest

Serbian Abortionist Who Aborted 48,000 Babies Becomes Pro-Life Activist

MADRID, November 13, 2008 (CNA) - The Spanish daily "La Razon" has published an article on the pro-life conversion of a former "champion of abortion." Stojan Adasevic, who performed 48,000 abortions, sometimes up to 35 per day, is now the most important pro-life leader in Serbia, after spending 26 years as the most renowned abortion doctor in the country.

"The medical textbooks of the Communist regime said abortion was simply the removal of a blob of tissue," the newspaper reported. "Ultrasounds allowing the fetus to be seen did not arrive until the 80s, but they did not change his opinion. Nevertheless, he began to have nightmares."

In describing his conversion, Adasevic said he "dreamed about a beautiful field full of children and young people who were playing and laughing, from 4 to 24 years of age, but who ran away from him in fear. A man dressed in a black and white habit stared at him in silence. The dream was repeated each night and he would wake up in a cold sweat. One night he asked the man in black and white who he was. 'My name is Thomas Aquinas,' the man in his dream responded. Adasevic, educated in communist schools, had never heard of the Dominican genius saint. He didn't recognize the name." the rest

Fort Worth Diocese to officially split from Episcopal Church today over social issues

Saturday, November 15, 2008
By SAM HODGES
The Dallas Morning News

Lanette Carpenter can't say enough about the people of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Hurst, especially choir members she has sung with for years.

They've walked with me through the best and worst times of my life," she said.

But the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, including St. Stephen's, is to break officially from the Episcopal Church today, becoming the fourth diocese in the nation to leave since last year over such issues as the ordination of female priests and the acceptance of an openly gay bishop.

Though Ms. Carpenter doesn't agree with everything the Episcopal Church does, she loves it, and doesn't want to leave. the rest

Friday, November 14, 2008

Devotional: Do not scrutinize so closely whether you are doing much or little...

Do not scrutinize so closely whether you are doing much or little, ill or well, so long as what you do is not sinful and that you are heartily seeking to do everything for God. Try as far as you can to do everything well, but when it is done, do not think about it. Try, rather, to think of what is to be done next. Go on simply in the Lord's way, and do not torment yourself. We ought to hate our faults, but with a quiet, calm hatred; not pettishly and anxiously. ...St. Francis de Sales image

AnglicanTV: Diocese of Fort Worth Convention





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New Legal Study Indicates Approval Of Same-Sex Marriage Would Trigger Discrimination Suits

Nov 10, 2008

Over 350 separate state anti-discrimination laws would likely be affected by the legal recognition of same-sex marriage, according to a new study by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

The Becket Fund surveyed over 1,000 state anti-discrimination laws -- specifically those prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender, or marital status -- to assess how those laws would affect religious dissenters to same-sex marriage if same-sex marriage were legally recognized.

The study found that all 50 states prohibit gender discrimination in some way, and only 37 states have explicit religious exemptions to these provisions, many of them quite narrow. This lack of robust exemptions could become a problem if (as has happened in some instances) religious objections to same-sex marriage are treated as a kind of gender discrimination. In addition, 33 states prohibit at least some discrimination based on marital status, and only 13 of these states provide religious exemptions, some with a wide latitude of exemption, others with only narrow exemptions. Of the 20 states that prohibit sexual orientation-based discrimination, 18 provide exemptions for religious objection.

Based on the data, The Becket Fund concludes that if same-sex marriage is recognized by courts or legislatures, people and institutions that have conscientious objections to facilitating same-sex marriage will likely be sued under existing anti-discrimination laws—laws never intended for that purpose. the rest

Hawaii Newspaper Wants State to Become Third to Legalize Assisted Suicide

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
November 13, 2008

Honolulu, HI (LifeNews.com) -- Now that Washington voters made it the second state to legalize assisted suicide, the Honolulu Star Bulletin wants Hawaii to be the third. The island state's legislature has narrowly defeated previous attempts to legalize assisted suicide but the paper wants it to try again.

"Hawaii has come close to doing the same since a gubernatorial panel recommended it 10 years ago and should give serious consideration to the issue in the coming legislative session," the newspaper writes. the rest

Radical homosexuals plan day of 'intolerance'

Activist homosexual leaders are planning a day of protest this Saturday over losing the traditional marriage battles in three states.
Charlie Butts and Marty Cooper
OneNewsNow 11/14/2008

The homosexual movement for special rights has become louder, and in some cases violent, in the aftermath of losses at the ballot box in Florida, Arizona, and California. Florida Family Association notes the increased intensity in rhetoric from the self-proclaimed "champions of tolerance" and diversity. The National Day of Protest's logo is a clenched fighting fist and features phrases such as "Fight the H8" (Fight the Hate) and "Ready to Rumble."

Florida Family Association notes the irony in that the homosexual movement that formerly preached diversity and tolerance has now become increasingly disorderly and aggressive, even intolerant, of supporters of traditional marriage by vandalizing property and staging protests at and inside churches. Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel says the demonstrations ought to be taken seriously, especially this Saturday.

"There have been threats of church burnings. There have been threats of violence, even murder against Christians," he explains. "There has been vandalism already of a number of churches." the rest

Palestinian Christians Suffering ‘Severe Blows’ From Muslims, Muslim Says

Friday, November 14, 2008
By Julie Stahl

Jerusalem (CNSNews.com) – Palestinian Christians are suffering “severe blows” at the hands of Muslims, a Palestinian wrote in an exceptionally candid column about the situation of Christians in Arab countries.

“Let us be honest with ourselves and courageously say out loud that Palestinian Christians are taking many severe blows, yet are suffering in silence so as not to attract attention,” wrote Abd Al-Nasser Al-Najjar in the P.A. daily Al-Ayyam. (A translation was provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute this week.)

Muslims and most Christians in Palestinian areas tell journalists that they are all Palestinians. Publicly, they usually deny that there are any problems or differences between them. They say that they get along fine and the main problem is the Israeli “occupation” of the West Bank.

Privately, however, some Christians admit to job losses, land seizures, attacks on churches, intimidation, torture, beatings, kidnappings, forced marriage and sexual harassment of Christian women. Some Christians have been killed. the rest

Woman Attacked by Gay Activists May Press Charges

Thursday, November 13, 2008

An elderly woman who attended a gay rights protest carrying a cross to voice her support of the new California ban on gay marriage says she was attacked by demonstrators and now may press charges.

Palm Springs Police Department spokesman Sgt. Mitch Spike told FOXNews.com no arrests had been made as of Thursday evening and added that victim Phyllis Burgess still is deciding whether she'll press assault charges.

"The investigation is proceeding as it should," Spike said.

Asked if the charges could be elevated to include hate crime penalties, Spike told FOXNews.com, "That's a possibility. That's one of the things we're looking at." the rest

Where are the hate-crime cops when you need them?

Chemical Attack on Pro-lifers at Abortion Clinic Sickens Two

Catholic Priest Faces Excommunication

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
November 13, 2008

The Vatican has informed a Roman Catholic priest in the United States that he will be excommunicated next week for participating in a ceremony it considers illicit and invalid: the ordination of a woman as a priest.

The priest, the Rev. Roy Bourgeois, 69, has been a member of the Maryknoll religious order for 36 years. He said he was anguished at the thought of excommunication, but could not disavow his actions.

“Who are we as men to say that we are called by God to the ministry of priesthood, but women are not? That our call is valid, but theirs is not?” he said in an interview. “We profess as Catholics that the invitation to the priesthood comes from God, and it seems to me that we are tampering with the sacred.” the rest

Methodist group ordains lesbian for inclusivity's sake

Catholic Priest Tells Obama Backers Not to Receive Communion Over Abortion

Bishop Bennison: ‘A Monstrous Sin,’ But ‘Charges Are Not True’

November 14, 2008

The Rt. Rev. Charles E. Bennison, Jr., Bishop of Pennsylvania, has expressed remorse for the emotional trauma inflicted on a teenage girl who was sexually abused by his brother at a California parish where Bishop Bennison served as the rector in the 1970s. But he maintains the charges against him “are not fair and are not true.”

A nine-member church court ruled unanimously in October that Bishop Bennison should be deposed from ministry in The Episcopal Church for failure to report his brother and to protect the girl.

“This was a terrible, monstrous sin,” Bishop Bennison told The Living Church. “I have always expressed remorse for my direct responsibility in this tragedy, especially hiring my brother as the youth director, inadequately supervising him and not thoroughly investigating the situation when it was first brought to my attention in 1976.” the rest

Illinois: New Anglican Church meeting in Elburn

By Nancy Gier
Daily Herald Columnist
11/14/2008

Excerpt:
Kletzing said he came into contact with others who were looking for an alternative to the mainstream Episcopal Church when he saw a bumper sticker that said "Orthodox Anglican," and began a conversation.

"For three months we prayed together and talked about what we had in common," Kletzing said. "We studied the Bible and we knew we wanted to be on the same page."

According to Kletzing, the biggest differences between his congregation and other Episcopal churches is the "uniqueness of Jesus Christ and the Bible being the authority for our lives."

Kletzing says that the U.S. Episcopal Church, under Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori, holds other religions other than Christianity at equal value.

"We believe that Jesus is unique, the only way to get to God and to have a relationship with God," Kletzing said. Full story

Episcopalian realignment vote will affect local church properties

By Ann Work
Friday, November 14, 2008

A vote this weekend will determine where Wichita Falls’ Episcopalians sit in church Sunday.
Disagreements that have been festering for years in the Episcopal Church will be addressed today and Saturday at the annual convention of the Diocese of Fort Worth at St. Vincent’s Cathedral in Bedford, Texas.

The published agenda includes a vote on a constitutional amendment that would remove the Fort Worth diocese — including its church property in the diocese — from the Episcopal Church and tuck it under the South American-based Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, a realignment under the branch of the church that is headquartered in Argentina.

Who will own the actual buildings in Wichita Falls — All Saints Episcopal at 2606 Southwest Parkway, Church of the Good Shepherd at 1007 Burnett, and St. Stephen’s Episocopal Church at 5023 Lindale Drive near Rider High School — is in question and may require a court to decide, officials say.

The Very Rev. Scott Wooten, who favors the move, said his parishioners are not leaving the Episcopal Church but realigning themselves under the Archbishop Gregory Venebles, who supports a set of traditional beliefs, such as the inerrancy of the Bible, the divinity of Christ, and that the Bible says homosexuality is sin. the rest

Episcopal Church Departures Accelerate with Anticipated Loss of Fort Worth Diocese

"Suing four different dioceses simultaneously is going to be the least of Jefferts Schori's problems if Episcopalians continue to die off, stop going to church or leave for more vibrant communities of worship."
-- Faith J.H. McDonnell, Director of the IRD's Religious Liberty Program

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth is expected to vote during its diocesan convention today and Saturday to end its affiliation with the national denomination. An overwhelming number of the diocese's 56 parishes and missions have expressed support for the vote, which requires support from two-thirds of the convention to be adopted. The diocese has expressed an intention to align itself with another province in the Anglican Communion, the Argentina-based Province of the Southern Cone.

The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth follows the California-based Diocese of San Joaquin as well as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Quincy, Illinois, in disassociating itself from the Episcopal Church. the rest

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Devotional: In this hour of all-but-universal darkness...

In this hour of all-but-universal darkness one cheering gleam appears: Within the fold of conservative Christianity there are to be found increasing numbers of persons whose religious lives are marked by a growing hunger after God Himself. They are eager for spiritual realities... They are athirst for God, and they will not be satisfied until they have drunk deep at the Fountain of Living Water. ...AW Tozer image

Abortion and Euthanasia Bringing about the Demise of Catholic Health Care

"My point is, what are you going to do when we’ve gone? When there are no more Catholic physicians in the field?”
By Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

ROME, November 12, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Believing Catholics are being pushed out of the medical professions, especially in areas like obstetrics, by the insistence of secularised medical services on “abortion rights,” contraception and, now, increasingly physician-assisted euthanasia, claims a prominent Catholic obstetrician.

Dr. Walley, a Catholic obstetrician, emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Memorial University of Newfoundland and founder of Matercare International, made these remarks during an interview with LifeSiteNews at the 5th conference of Catholic Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in Rome. “There’s a crisis in obstetrics,” said Walley. “People don’t want to go into it. When I started in obstetrics, it was what you might call a glamour specialty, all about delivering babies. Now, with everything being based on abortion and birth control, you’re in a position where people are saying ‘I don’t want to be involved in doing the abortions.”

The physician also drew a parallel between the development of abortion in obstetrics and the ongoing push around the world for medically assisted euthanasia. “You will get doctors who pull out of their specialties because they don’t want to get involved in euthanasia.”

“We might be looking at the demise of any Catholic involvement in health care.” the rest

Robert Gagnon: What Does the Bible Say about Homosexuality?


Pure Passion Season 3 / Episode 2 - Robert Gagnon

from Pure Passion on Vimeo.

'Pastor to presidents' replaced by gay bishop

Jim Brown
OneNewsNow
11/12/2008

A conservative Christian activist says it's a sad omen for the Obama administration and the United States that Barack Obama has been seeking guidance from the Episcopal Church's first openly homosexual bishop.

The Times of London reports that the president-elect sought out New Hampshire homosexual bishop Vicki Gene Robinson for advice three times during his presidential campaign. Robinson, whose ordination in the Episcopal Church has caused a deep rift within the Anglican Communion, was reportedly sought out by Obama to discuss what it feels like to be "first."

Robinson notes in their three private conversations, Obama voiced his support for "equal civil rights" for homosexuals and described the election as a "religious experience." Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, believes Obama's consultations with Robinson show the true tenor of his upcoming administration. the rest

Fort Worth on verge of secession

Thursday, 13th November 2008
By George Conger

Delegates to the Diocese of Fort Worth’s annual synod will decide this Saturday whether to quit the Episcopal Church, a move which would make it the fourth American diocese to secede and affiliate with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.

The stronghold of the Anglo-Catholic movement in the Episcopal Church, Fort Worth has long been at odds with the Episcopal Church over innovations of doctrine and discipline championed by its liberal hierarchy. One of only three dioceses that did not ordain or license women clergy, Fort Worth now remains alone within the American church in rejecting women’s orders, after Quincy quit this past week and San Joaquin left in 2007.

Fort Worth bishop the Rt Rev Jack L Iker said he was “confident” the second reading of the secession bill would pass this week’s synod on Nov 15. The “only question is by how much” he told ReligiousIntelligence.com. the rest

Albert Mohler: The Aftermath -- Two Media Angles

Thursday, November 13, 2008

In the aftermath of the recent election the media, along with the rest of the society, are scrambling to make sense of it all. This has led to some interesting approaches and news stories. I recently was asked by TIME magazine and The Wall Street Journal to comment on the issues of same-sex marriage and abortion in the aftermath of November 4.

Michael Lindenberger of TIME wanted to talk about what the election meant for the issue of same-sex marriage. His questions came right after proponents of gay marriage, stung by their defeat on California's Proposition 8 vote, appealed to the court to overturn the amendment. the rest

1,200-year-old church uncovered in Syria

ALBERT AJI
ASSOCIATED PRESS
November 13, 2008

DAMASCUS, SYRIA (AP) - Archaeologists in central Syria have unearthed the remnants of a 1,200-year-old church believed to be the largest ever discovered in this Mideast country, an antiquities official said Thursday.

Walid al-Assaad, the head of the Palmyra Antiquities and Museums Department said the church, dating back to the 8th century, was discovered recently by a joint Syrian-Polish archaeological team. the rest

More Campaign 2008 Analysis

Posted by Hugh Hewitt
November 12, 2008

“WLS Shipwrecked” writes:

John McCain got 5 million fewer votes than Pres. Bush in 2004. Obama got approx. the same number of votes as Pres. Bush in 2004. Obama got about 3 million more votes than Kerry did in 2004.

What part of these margins came from 1) increased turnout among African-Americans that was certain to happen with the first African-American candidate for a major party ever, and 2) McCain doing worse among Hispanics than Pres. Bush did in 2004?

Taking those two facts into consideration, as well as the fact of McCain’s general lack of substantive appeal to true conservatives, and the numerical outcome of the election shouldn’t be much of a surprise...

...As under -30 voters become over-30 voters they make more money, take on family obligations and mortgages, and begin to realize just how pernicious the high tax rates favored by the Dems are on their ability to support themselves and their family. The reality of wealth transfer between classes and between generations comes better into focus as one seeks to acquire greater wealth.

Those voters will gravitate to the GOP party once it regains its fiscal sanity. That’s the path to victory.
the rest

Obama has first telephone conversation with the Pope

Richard Owen in Rome
Times Online
November 12, 2008

It has emerged that US President-elect Barack Obama held his first telephone conversation with Pope Benedict XVI yesterday, the day a senior Vatican official made clear the Holy See would oppose any changes by Mr Obama in US policy on embryonic stem cell research.

The Vatican said the conversation on Tuesday formed part of the "normal exchanges" between a new American President and other world leaders. Father Federico Lombardi, the Pope's spokesman, said neither the Pope nor Mr Obama had made any reference to the stem cell issue during the call, in which Mr Obama had responded to the Pope's message congratulating him on his election win.

At a press conference on Tuesday the Vatican on infant mortality, Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan of Mexico, the Pope's "health minister", strongly reiterated the Vatican's opposition to using embryos for research purposes when asked about signs that Mr Obama might reverse or relax the Bush administration's executive order banning the use of embryos and limiting federal spending for stem cell research. He said embryonic stem cell research "served no purpose". the rest

Catholic bishops will fight Obama on abortion

Moving On After Barack Obama, How a Disabled Boy Restored My Pro-Life Fire

Bailout Lacks Oversight Despite Billions Pledged

Watchdog Panel Is Empty; Report Is Unfinished
By Amit R. Paley
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 13, 2008

In the six weeks since lawmakers approved the Treasury's massive bailout of financial firms, the government has poured money into the country's largest banks, recruited smaller banks into the program and repeatedly widened its scope to cover yet other types of businesses, from insurers to consumer lenders.

Along the way, the Bush administration has committed $290 billion of the $700 billion rescue package.

Yet for all this activity, no formal action has been taken to fill the independent oversight posts established by Congress when it approved the bailout to prevent corruption and government waste. Nor has the first monitoring report required by lawmakers been completed, though the initial deadline has passed. the rest

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Devotional: One way to recall the mind easily in the time of prayer...

One way to recall the mind easily in the time of prayer, and preserve it more in tranquility, is not to let it wander too far at other times. You should keep it strictly in the Presence of God; and, being accustomed to think of Him often, you will find it easy to keep your mind calm in the time of prayer, or at least to recall it from its wanderings. ...Brother Lawrence image

Dr Rowan Williams to visit Auschwitz with Chief Rabbi

The Archbishop of Canterbury is to make his first trip to the Nazi death camp tomorrow
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent
November 12, 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams will tomorrow visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp for the first time, accompanied by the Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks.

The Archbishop and Chief Rabbi will be joined also by leaders of the Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Baha’i, Sikh and Zoroastrian faiths for the day-long visit, the first of its kind.

The faith leaders will visit the site of one of the worst mass exterminations carried out against the Jewish people as guests of the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Lessons from Auschwitz Project. They will accompany a group of 180 school students aged 16 or more along with their teacher.

“The visit by the UK’s faith leaders will demonstrate their solidarity in standing against the extremes of hostility and genocide which Auschwitz – Birkenau represents and which are represented in Cambodia, Bosnia and Rwanda in modern times,” said a spokesman for the trust. the rest

Quincy Promises 'Christian Charity' for Remaining Episcopalians

November 12, 2008

Along with ending its affiliation with The Episcopal Church during its annual synod last weekend, the Diocese of Quincy established a protocol for clergy and parishes that do not wish to join the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone.

The Rev. Canon Ed den Blaauwen, president of the diocesan standing committee, was named vicar general by Presiding Bishop Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone. Canon den Blaauwen announced that members of the clergy would receive a certificate indicating they are members in good standing of the South American province. Clergy who wish to remain with The Episcopal Church were asked to write the word “rejected” on the certificate, sign and date it, and return it to the diocesan office.

Canon den Blaauwen said the leadership of the diocese would work “diligently, in good faith, and with Christian charity with any member of the clergy who might wish to seek canonical transfer to another diocese of the person’s choice.” He added that parishes have a nine-month grace period in which they may withdraw from the synod, provided that such a move is approved by a two-thirds vote of eligible parish members. the rest

Stand Firm Interviews Bishop Jack Iker

Here-excellent!

Fort Worth diocese will vote on breaking away from Episcopal Church

By TERRY LEE GOODRICH
November 11, 2008

Delegates of the Fort Worth Episcopal Diocese will decide this weekend whether to sever ties with the Episcopal Church — a move that both sides agree would be spiritually devastating and would create conflict over who controls church properties.

At last year’s annual meeting, about 80 percent of the delegates, under the leadership of Fort Worth Bishop Jack Iker, gave initial approval to leaving the Episcopal Church.

The Episcopal Church, with 2.1 million members in the United States and 16 other countries, is part of the worldwide, 77-million-member Anglican Communion. The Episcopal Church is more liberal than the Anglican Communion on issues ranging from same-sex unions to interpretation of Scripture regarding salvation.

Three other U.S. dioceses have voted to leave The Episcopal Church. The most recent was in Quincy, Ill., last weekend. the rest

'The Boy in the Striped Pajamas'

By Chuck Colson
Christian Post Guest Columnist
Wed, Nov. 12 2008

Excerpt:
Sometimes conversations falter for lack of a common starting point. That’s why so many conversations may default to discussing the weather and sports. It’s rare that these conversations take us to anything of much weight or substance. But one place where we can still find a starting point for deeper conversations is at the movies.

That’s one reason why I want to encourage you to go see the recently released film, "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas." The film is brilliantly told through the eyes of 8-year-old Bruno, a young German living in Nazi Germany. And while the film is told through the eyes of a child, I must warn you, this film, rated PG-13, is not appropriate for children.

The film begins with the promotion of Bruno’s father, an SS officer whom Bruno clearly adores. The family moves away into the countryside, settling into a large house at the edge of some woods. Being young, innocent, and largely left in the dark, Bruno has no way of making sense out of what he sees one day when he stumbles across a complex of dingy buildings behind an electric fence.

Seeing a little boy about his age behind the wire, Bruno wonders why the boy, Schmuel, is wearing striped pajamas in the middle of the day. Bruno also wonders about the strange place where Schmuel lives, and why its inhabitants look so sickly. the rest image

Gay couples begin getting married in Connecticut

Associated Press
Nov. 12, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Gay couples began marrying in Connecticut Wednesday after a judge cleared the way for the unions to begin, a victory for advocates stung by California's ban on same-sex unions last week.

With a final order entered, couples marched to New Haven City Hall to get marriage licenses, and less than two hours after the final court hearing, Peg Oliveira and Jennifer Vickery were married in a brief ceremony.

"I feel so happy," said Vickery, a 44-year-old attorney. "It's so much more emotional than I expected."

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled 4-3 on Oct. 10 that same-sex couples have the right to wed rather than accept a civil union law designed to give them the same rights as married couples. the rest

Humanists Launch ‘Godless Holiday’ Ads

Wednesday, November 12, 2008
By Josiah Ryan, Staff Writer

(CNSNews.com) - The American Humanist Association (AHA) announced the launch of a $40,000 “godless holiday” ad campaign in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday in which more than 200 placards will be placed in and on the city’s metro buses.

The ads ask commuters, “Why believe in a god?” and encourages them to “Just be good for goodness sake.”

Some experts from religious groups criticized the AHA’s campaign, saying that morality and the intention to do good is based on belief in God.

“We don’t want atheists to be left alone in their convictions over the holidays,” said Roy Speckhardt, the AHA’s executive director, who announced the ad campaign at the National Press Club. the rest

US Bishops Approve New Blessing for the Child in the Womb

By Tim Waggoner

BALTIMORE, November 11, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In the wake of a US election that saw the most pro-abortion president in the nation's history take to the helm, US bishops are making a concerted effort to dam the pro-abortion tide. Affirming the sanctity of all human life has been a significant focus at the USCCB's 2008 Fall General Assembly, with the latest initiative being a proposed blessing for the unborn.

Although the results of the vote are yet to be released, a spokesperson for the USCCB told LifeSiteNews.com that there did not appear to be any opposition to the pro-life blessing.

The "Blessing of a Child in the Womb," was "prepared to support parents awaiting the birth of their child, to encourage in the parish prayers for and recognition of the gift of the child in the womb and to foster respect for human life within society," according to a USCCB release. the rest

College students 'get away with' poor preparation

By Mary Beth Marklein
USA TODAY
November 10, 2008

Nearly one in five college seniors and 25% of freshmen say they frequently come to class without completing readings or assignments, a national survey shows. And many of those students say they mostly still get A's.

The survey doesn't address whether those students are lazy, busy, intimidated, bored or geniuses. But it supports other studies that suggest a gap between what college professors expect from students and what students actually do.

"College learning is a two-way street," says Indiana University associate professor Alexander McCormick, director of the National Survey of Student Engagement, which conducted the study. "The purpose here is not to dump on faculty, but when a substantial chunk of students come to class unprepared, it suggests that they can get away with it." the rest

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Devotional: Let this be the Christ we receive and love...

Know ye not that ye, made righteous by the obedience of One, are like Him and in Him servants of obedience unto righteousness? It is in the obedience of the One the obedience of the many has its root, its life, its security. Let us turn and gaze upon, and study, and believe in Christ, as the obedient One, as never before. Let this be the Christ we receive and love, and seek to be made conformable to. As His righteousness is our one hope, let His obedience be our one desire. Let our faith in Him prove its sincerity and its confidence in God’s supernatural power working in us by accepting Christ, the obedient One, as in very deed our life, as the Christ who dwells in us. ...Andrew Murray image

From Tiny Sect, Weighty Issue for Justices

By ADAM LIPTAK
November 10, 2008

PLEASANT GROVE CITY, Utah — Across the street from City Hall here sits a small park with about a dozen donated buildings and objects — a wishing well, a millstone from the city’s first flour mill and an imposing red granite monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments.

Salt Lake City, adherents of a religion called Summum gather in a wood and metal pyramid hard by Interstate 15 to meditate on their Seven Aphorisms, fortified by an alcoholic sacramental nectar they produce and surrounded by mummified animals.

In 2003, the president of the Summum church wrote to the mayor here with a proposal: the church wanted to erect a monument inscribed with the Seven Aphorisms in the city park, “similar in size and nature” to the one devoted to the Ten Commandments. the rest

A.S. Haley: The Unvarnished Truth

November 11, 2008

Excerpt:
I conclude that the expressed desire of gays to be allowed to enjoy the state-conferred privilege of “marriage” as their "right"can be, I am sorry to have to say, only a ruse. For if it were just a case of gays desiring greener pastures, then the foregoing argument would be dispositive, and no gay person would wish to argue for the “right” to marry on the ground that “it looks better than a civil union.” But (and based on the recent demonstrations, I defy you to come forward with even one example) there will not be a single activist homosexual who can be convinced, say, by the foregoing argument that the supporters of Proposition 8 actually have a rational (rather than hate-filled, as most are suggesting) basis for their vote. No, the extremely high level of emotion displayed tells me that there are other reasons at stake here---reasons that can only incidentally have anything to do with the enhancement of gay relationships.




The “gay marriage” movement is thus based on ulterior motives---perhaps having more to do with how they see themselves, and how they think others see them, than with any concern for the role that marriage actually plays in a society, based on how it actually evolved. It has gotten as far as it has by confusing what is a “right” in the eyes of the law with what is actually a privilege, and by persuading everyone that there is a right here which is being denied, unfairly (and hatefully) denied. But if what is involved is not actually a "right," then the entire platform of justice is removed from the dispute. We are back to talking simply whether there is a rational basis for society to decide that only certain people may marry---not brothers with sisters, not children with adults, and not men with men or women with women.

I agree that privileges must be rationally based in order to continue to have legal protection and definition. But I have seen no argument to date that shows me that the definition of marriage as given in Proposition 8 is not rational. (To argue, as did four members of the California Supreme Court, that the definition is "discriminatory" is legal flimflam, as I have demonstrated with the series of propositions set out above. Grant that, and its "unconstitutionality" follows as a matter of course.) But to call a privilege "discriminatory" is to say nothing at all. Privileges have to discriminate, since they entail the drawing of lines. If the right not to be discriminated against trumps the right to define a rationally based privilege, then there can be no privileges at all---and that is the definition of anarchy.

If we cannot maintain that basic distinction in our society, if we are going to allow emotion to override it, then we richly deserve the chaos that will ensue. Full Essay

Comments at Stand Firm

The (Episcopal) Snowball Effect

Third diocese votes to leave. Fourth one schedules confirming vote this weekend.
Timothy C. Morgan
November 10, 2008

As expected, the Great Exodus out of the Episcopal Church continues. (See below for a press statement from the Diocese of Quincy, Illinois.) They join the dioceses of San Joaquin and Pittsburgh.

The Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas, will have its annual convention this coming weekend. Considering that on the diocesan website there is an article, "10 Reasons Why Now is the Time to Realign," you can catch the drift here.

Fort Worth Episcopalians are quite likely to vote to leave TEC (The Episcopal Church) for the second time, finalizing a vote from last year.

Here's what Bishop Iker had to say in Reason #7:

7. At this time there is nothing in the Constitution or Canons of TEC that prevents a Diocese from leaving. Oh, I know that General Convention officials claim that dioceses cannot leave TEC, but you will not find that anywhere in the Constitution and Canons as they presently stand. So we have this window of opportunity to do what we need to do, for you can be sure that the next General Convention will close off this option by adopting amendments that will make it even more difficult to separate in the future. the rest

Veterans Day Prayer

God of peace,
we pray for those who have served our nation
and who laid down their lives
to protect and defend our freedom.

We pray for those who have fought,
whose spirits and bodies are scarred by war,
whose nights are haunted by memories
too painful for the light of day.

We pray for those who serve us now,
especially for those in harm's way.
Shield them from danger
and bring them home.

Turn the hearts and minds
of our leaders and our enemies
to the work of justice and a harvest of peace.

Spare the poor, Lord, spare the poor!

Let the peace you left us,
the peace you gave us,
be the peace that sustains,
the peace that saves us.

Christ Jesus, hear us!
Lord Jesus, hear our prayer!
-
Concord Pastor image

Health Care Providers in Washington State Refuse to Perform Assisted Suicide

November 7, 2008

By Jonquil Frankham

WASHINGTON STATE, November 7, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Eastern Washington’s largest hospital system, Providence Health Care, has said assisted suicide will not be permitted in its hospitals.

The owners of Sacred Heart Medical Center and Holy Family Hospital, a branch of Providence Health Care, said, “Providence will not support physician-assisted suicide within its ministries. This position is grounded in our basic values of respect for the sacredness of life, compassionate care of dying and vulnerable persons, and respect for the integrity of medical, nursing, and allied health professions. We do not believe health care providers should ever be put in a position of aiding a patient in taking his or her own life.”

The statement follows the deeply controversial passage of the ballot measure, I-1000, which on November 4th legalized assisted suicide in Washington State. the rest

Episcopal Church split might turn into conflict over property

By Deirdre Cox Baker
Monday, November 10, 2008

Fallout from the weekend decision by the Diocese of Quincy, Ill., to leave the Episcopal Church of the United States may include litigation over millions of dollars’ worth of property and assets.

“We pray there will be no litigation,” the Rev. Ed den Blaauwen said Monday. Den Blaauwen, the rector of Christ Church in Moline, is also the newly appointed vicar general of the diocese that is now aligned with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, based in Argentina.

Church resources would be better used for Christian activities than in the courts, he added.

The Episcopal Church will protect its history and heritage, said the Rev. Charles Robertson, canon to the presiding bishop of the national church in New York City. Church officials will not give away property to a foreign province, he said, adding, “This is our heritage and, more than that, the heritage of those who have not even come our way yet.”
the rest

The Joy of Living Secretly

Margaret Manning

All of us have had experiences of hushed whispers in huddled groups as we pass, or quiet conversations from the office next door, people suddenly becoming quiet whenever you come near, memories from childhood of school-yard whisper sessions between you and your best friend about your ex-best friend, or scenes of whispering classmates pointing and laughing in your direction. Telling secrets can be painful when you aren’t in on the game.

On the other hand, haven’t you also experienced the joy of surprise as a result of the whispering? Perhaps those two friends in the next office were planning to take you to lunch because they remembered it was your birthday. Or you arrive home at your house to find a secret gift left on your doorstep--perhaps these whispers were plans to extend kindness to you without you knowing. Maybe whispering in secret is a way to do good deeds in secret without the very human desire to be publicly rewarded for that good. Telling secrets can be good when the motivation is to practice the discipline of secrecy.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus talks a great deal about keeping things secret. “But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing...but when you pray, go into your inner room, and pray to your Father who is in secret... [B]ut you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that you may not be seen fasting by men, but by your Father who is in secret” (Matthew 6:3, 6, 17-18). In Jesus’s kingdom, there is something to be said for keeping secrets, especially when those secrets nurture humility and protect us from the pride that comes from public lives of righteous living. the rest

First Things: For Pro-Lifers, A New Day

By John Jay Hughes
Tuesday, November 11, 2008

“The worst aspect of an Obama presidency,” I have been telling friends for months, “will be his Supreme Court appointments. They will set the so-called constitutional right to an abortion in concrete for years to come.” While this remains true, Sen. Obama’s victory challenges pro-lifers in two ways.

We need first to recognize that politics is the art of the possible; and that political battles can never be won by attacking our friends. During the annual march on Washington each January, some pro-lifers have had nothing better to do than to stage confrontations with pro-life members of Congress whose support they consider insufficiently militant. I received such an attack myself, during a previous presidential campaign, when a listener found the decibel count of a strong pro-life homily I preached too low. This is madness.

Second, we need to recognize that, for some years to come, abortion will be with us; we must support the kind of limitations on the practice which are in force in most other countries. To oppose such limitations on the grounds that they do not banish all abortions is also madness. the rest

Francis Cardinal George issues blunt challenge to Obama on abortion

The Continuum: Partial Birth Abortion

Inasmuch as there is no medical reason to kill the baby instead of making use of a NICU, it is painfully obvious that the only reason for Partial Birth Abortion is to complete a contract killing. There is never a medical reason to kill the child. Even though this is painfully obvious, a debate about it continues anyway in political circles. There is no justification for the debate itself. The "conservatives" seem unable to put this obvious fact into words, and the "liberals" do not see it at all. This is clearly a spiritual blindness, since no one could fail to see it otherwise.

And, since it is spiritual, and the President-Elect of the United States is among the blind, it is obvious that he needs our prayers that God will convert him, and that the Holy Spirit will change his heart and mind.

Albert Mohler: The Challenge We Face

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The challenge of defending marriage as the union of a man and a woman was on full public display on November 4. The immediate news was very encouraging indeed. Voters in Arizona, Florida, and California all passed measures defending marriage and prohibiting same-sex marriages in their states. These three states, added to the over twenty others that had already passed similar constitutional amendments or similar provisions, have made a massive public statement in support of marriage.

Without question, that is good news. The vote in California was especially significant, as Proposition 8 allowed the citizens of the nation's most populous state to take the issue back from the state's Supreme Court, which had arrogantly usurped the authority of the people in a 4/3 decision back in May. The 52-48 vote was a clear win for marriage, and a geographical vote distribution chart shows that same-sex marriage has support mainly in the Bay area of San Francisco and neighboring communities. The win in Florida was important because the measure needed 60 percent of the votes in order to pass. It received 62 percent of the votes cast. The Arizona vote was similarly significant -- in this case because that state had been the only state to date to have turned down a similar measure in a previous election. the rest

Video Shows Gay 'Marriage' Backers Terrorizing Cross-Carrying Elderly Woman and Reporter


Monday November 10, 2008
By Kathleen Gilbert

PALM SPRINGS, Florida, November 10, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Video footage from KPSP CBS 2 Palm Spring News shows Proposition 8 protesters surrounding an elderly woman and the reporter trying to interview her, shouting and blocking the camera's view of the woman, ultimately forcing the two to flee from the encircling crowd.

Phyllis Burgess, a supporter of true marriage, had been assaulted earlier as she displayed a large cross in front of the protesters. Video footage shows the anti-marriage crowd pushing Burgess, slapping the cross out of her hand and stomping on it as they surround her.

When reporter Kimberly Chang attempted to interview Burgess shortly thereafter, she grew visibly upset as dozens of protesters encircled the pair and shouted them down while blocking the camera with their signs, rendering the interview impossible. the rest

Radical Michigan Gay Group Attacks Christian Church Service

Monday, November 10, 2008

A radical gay group in Michigan crashed an evangelical church service on Sunday.The radicals interrupted the service rushed the pulpit with a megaphone, noise makers, condoms, glitter by the bucket load, confetti, and pink fabric while screaming at the churchgoers.

This was in Michigan. the rest image

Monday, November 10, 2008

Devotional: When night comes, list thy deeds...

When night comes, list thy deeds; make plain the way
'Twixt heaven and thee; block it not with delays;
But perfect all before thou sleep'st: then say,
"There's one sun more strung on my Bead of days."
What's good, score up for joy; the bad, well scann'd
Wash off with tears, and get thy Master's hand.
... Henry Vaughan
image

Almost 90 Percent of Muslims Voted for Obama Despite Differences on Abortion, Marriage

Monday, November 10, 2008
By Kevin Mooney, Staff Writer

(CNSNews.com) – Nearly 90 percent of American Muslims supported Democrat Barack Obama on Election Day -- and did so on the basis of economic and foreign policy concerns, top Muslim groups said in Washington, D.C., Friday.

Muslims overlooked differences they might have had with the President-elect’s positions on same-sex marriage and abortion, just as Catholics and other religious groups did on Tuesday, according to top officials connected with the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT).

Although most Muslims probably voted in favor of the same-sex marriage ban on the ballot in California, a position at odds with Obama's, they found enough common ground with the candidate in other areas that were central to their concerns in the 2008 election cycle, according to Mahdi Bray, executive director the Muslim-American Society Freedom Foundation. the rest

Obama backers bucked religious leaders

Planning under way for Obama holiday

The Capital-Journal
Sunday, November 09, 2008

Plans are being made to promote a national holiday for Barack Obama, who will become the nation's 44th president when he takes the oath of office Jan. 20.

"Yes We Can" planning rallies will be at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. every Tuesday at the downtown McDonald's restaurant, 1100 Kansas Ave., until Jan. 13. The goals are to secure a national holiday in Obama's honor, to organize celebrations around his inauguration and to celebrate the 200th birthday of President Abraham Lincoln, who was born on Feb. 12 1809. the rest image

Michelle Malkin: The adoration of the Obamessiah

Added: Agenda disappears from Obama Web site

Added: Obama's Startling Reaction to Funeral Service for Baby Killed After Failed Abortion Renews Calls for Prosecution Video

Obama Spokesman Says 'Obama Ready to RULE on Day 1'

2 Italian Catholic nuns kidnapped in Somalia

Monday, November 10, 2008
By MOHAMED SHEIKH NOR

Gunmen seized two Italian Catholic nuns from a church in northern Kenya before dawn Monday and took them across the border into a Somali region largely controlled by Islamist insurgents, officials and witnesses said.

The Italian Foreign Ministry said its crisis unit was working with its ambassador to Kenya to secure the nuns' freedom. The papal nuncio in Kenya is also involved, the ministry said.

The nuns were seized from their home in El Wak, on the Somali border about 420 miles (675 kilometers) northeast of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, the Kenyan Red Cross said. the rest

Assisted Suicide: The Wind in Their Sails

By Wesley J. Smith
Monday, November 10, 2008

Between 1994 and last Tuesday, the assisted-suicide movement in this country was moribund. Having passed Measure 16 in 1994 (Oregon Death with Dignity Act), and seeing it go into effect in 1997, despite widespread expectations and notwithstanding myriad state legislative efforts and two voter referenda (Michigan and Maine), no other state swallowed the assisted-suicide hemlock.

Frustrated advocates adopted an “Oregon-plus-one” strategy, believing that if only a second state legalized assisted suicide, it would put the winds back into their sails. That theory is about to be tested. Boosted by a multi-million dollar campaign budget that swamped the opposition—most coming from out of state, some even from out of the country—fronted by a popular former governor who also poured in hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money into the cause, and cheered on by a media all but unanimously in favor of “death with dignity,” Washington State became the “plus one” on November 4, 2008 when Initiative 1000 cruised to a 58–42 victory.

And with that success, the sails of the ghost ship Euthanasia rippled with the briskly rising breeze, and once again began to plow through the waves toward other shores, far and near. Soon, legislation will be introduced to legalize assisted suicide in stated throughout the country—California, Vermont, Arizona, Wisconsin, Hawaii, perhaps Ohio, and others—to make it Oregon-plus-two, -three, -four, and -five. the rest

California: Same-sex marriage backers hit Capitol, churches

John Wildermuth,Demian Bulwa, Chronicle Staff Writers
Monday, November 10, 2008

The backlash against the state's new ban on gay and lesbian marriage intensified over the weekend, with thousands of people gathering around the Bay Area and California during mostly peaceful protests.

Supporters of same-sex marriage questioned whether they had done enough before Tuesday's vote on Proposition 8 and expressed hope that it would be tossed out by the state Supreme Court. They also promised to take the issue back to the ballot.

About 2,500 people gathered on the Capitol steps Sunday afternoon after a noisy, three-hour rally against the marriage ban. About 400 assembled outside Oakland's Mormon Temple, forcing Highway Patrol officers to temporarily close two Highway 13 ramps to protect the marchers. the rest

Added: Protesters March in Front of Saddleback

Anglicans can take a poke

Canadian church seeks attention on Facebook
Nov 10, 2008

The Anglican Church of Canada, looking for a new way to reach the faithful, has launched its own official page on the popular social networking site Facebook.

"It's an exciting new step for us," Brian Bukowski, Web manager for the church, told the Anglican Journal.

"We've been waiting for the right time to step into social networking, and Facebook is so well established at this point. We know our page can be effective there." the rest

Episcopal bishop Duncan stressing ministry

Sunday, November 09, 2008
By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Now that his diocese is no longer torn by internal strife, Bishop Robert Duncan of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh (Anglican) called on parishes to engage in bold, new missions.

"Sometimes we have to stop and heal wounds, but that is not our corporate task now," he told several hundred people yesterday at the Anglican convention in Trinity Cathedral, Downtown. "Every one of our people is called to ministry."

On Oct. 4 the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh voted to secede from the Episcopal Church, which it believed no longer upheld classic Christianity. The majority of 74 parishes joined an Anglican province based in Argentina, amid hope that the global Anglican Communion -- of which the Episcopal Church is the U.S. province -- will create a second North American province for theological conservatives.

About 20 churches have remained Episcopal and are recognized as a diocese by the Episcopal Church. Despite pending litigation over other property, the two dioceses share the historic cathedral. the rest

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Devotional: Here lies the tremendous mystery...

Here lies the tremendous mystery - that God should be all-powerful, yet refuse to coerce. He summons us to cooperation. We are honoured in being given the opportunity to participate in his good deeds. Remember how He asked for help in performing his miracles : Fill the waterpots, stretch out your hand, distribute the loaves. ...Elisabeth Elliot image

Lights on as Jewish world remembers Kristallnacht

Nov 10, 2008
By ETGAR LEFKOVITS

More than 150 Jewish communities across Europe kept the lights of their local synagogues on overnight Sunday, as the Jewish world marked the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht - the Night of the Broken Glass.

The notorious 1938 Nazi pogrom was the first in a series of violent riots that effectively began Nazi Germany's attempt to destroy European Jewry.

During November 9-10, 1938, hundreds of synagogues and Jewish homes were burned down, tens of thousands of Jews were arrested and deported to concentration camps, and over 90 Jews were murdered.

The World Zionist Organization initiative, calling on rabbis and community leaders turn on all the lights in their synagogues - as well as to light candles and torches - was meant to commemorate the pogrom in a highly symbolic way, said WZO official Zvika Klein. the rest image

The story behind Kristallnacht

Monks arrested in J'lem church brawl


Nov 9, 2008
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

Police rushed into one of Christianity's holiest churches Sunday and arrested two clergyman after an argument between monks erupted into a brawl next to the site of Jesus' tomb.

The clash broke out between Armenian and Greek Orthodox monks in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, revered as the site of Jesus' crucifixion, burial and resurrection.

It began as Armenian clergymen marched in an annual procession commemorating the 4th-century discovery of the cross believed to have been used to crucify Jesus. It ended with the arrival of dozens of riot policemen who separated the sides, seizing a bearded Armenian monk in a red-and-pink robe and a black-clad Greek Orthodox monk with a bloody gash on his forehead. Both men were taken away in handcuffs. the rest

As Promised... Obama's First Move-- Expand Abortion Rights

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Do you remember Barack Obama's outrageous and dishonest mock "Pro-Life" websites paid for by George Soros?

Yeah, they were all a lie.One of the first moves by the most radical pro-abortion and infanticide candidate in the last 35 years will be to swell the number abortions both here and abroad.

At least Obama is keeping his promise to Planned Parenthood.Barack Obama is looking to undo some 200 of George Bush's actions and executive orders...Including expanding abortive procedures. the rest

Canada: Anglican leader seeks to 'fire up' people of God

Graeme Morton, Calgary Herald
November 09, 2008

For someone with one of the most daunting jobs in the Canadian Christian world, Archbishop Fred Hiltz seems quietly, calmly rooted in optimism.

"We'll see a new dawn," said Hiltz during a visit to Calgary-area clergy and lay leaders earlier this week.

"We're on the edge of something new. The sun hasn't risen yet, but a new day is dawning."

Since then, Hiltz has travelled the length and breadth of the country, meeting with his sometimes fractious flock. Canadian Anglicans, part of an 80-million-member global communion, are the nation's third-largest Christian denomination behind the Roman Catholic and United churches.

However, both the national church and Anglicans around the world are locked in a divisive battle over the blessing of same-sex unions. Some observers have suggested the liberal and conservative wings of the church have gone beyond the point of reconciliation and that a split is inevitable. the rest

Illinois Diocese Votes to Split From Church

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
November 8, 2008

QUINCY, Ill. (AP) — A third conservative diocese is splitting from the Episcopal Church, the American branch of the Anglican Communion, in a long-running dispute over the Bible, homosexuality and other issues.

The Diocese of Quincy voted Friday to leave the Episcopal Church. It joins dioceses in Fresno, Calif., and Pittsburgh. A fourth diocese, in Fort Worth, will decide next weekend whether to follow suit. the rest

Niagara Diocese moves ahead on same-sex blessings

November 07, 2008
Rachel De Lazzer
The Hamilton Spectator
Nov 7, 2008

After three Anglican churches left its ranks this year over what they saw as a growing departure from biblical doctrine, the Niagara diocese has taken a further step toward conducting ceremonies to bless same-sex couples who have already been civilly married.

The Diocese of Niagara announced yesterday it will discuss its bishop's proposal to proceed with determining the ceremonial process to be used in the blessing of same-sex marriages. The discussion will be held tomorrow at its synod, or annual general meeting.

"This is an evolutionary process and we believe it's our responsibility to continue to discern where we believe God is moving us," said diocese spokesperson Michael Patterson. The resolution to proceed toward same-sex blessings was passed at the diocese's fall 2007 synod. the rest