Saturday, October 17, 2009

Devotional: Our Savior kneels down...

Our Saviour kneels down and gazes upon the darkest acts of our lives. But rather than recoil in horror, he reaches out in kindness and says, 'I can clean that if you want.' And from the basin of his grace, he scoops a palm full of mercy and washes our sin. ...Max Lucado image-Tintoretto

Orthodox begin dialogue with Anglican Church in North America

October 17th, 2009
by George Conger
Church of England Newspaper

The leaders of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) and conservative Anglican groups met last week for a two-day conference in Wisconsin, in a bid to restart formal ecumenical dialogue.

Meeting from October 9-10 at Nashotah House Seminary, His Beatitude Jonah, Metropolitan of All America and Canada of the OCA, along with the chancellor of St Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary in New York, the Very Rev Chad Hatfield, met with Archbishop Robert Duncan of the Anglican Church in North America and other conservative leaders for a gathering entitled “In the footsteps of Tikhon and Grafton”.

The 150 delegates to the conference heard presentations on the history of Anglican-Orthodox relations, mission and theological formation. The weekend concluded with the adoption of a Covenant Partnership between St Vladimir’s and Nashotah House – the Episcopal Church’s sole Anglo-Catholic seminary.

Joining Archbishop Duncan and Bishop Iker were the Rt Rev William Wantland, retired Bishop of Eau Claire and Assistant Bishop of Fort Worth; the Rt Rev Keith Ackerman, retired Bishop of Quincy; the Rt Rev Ed Salmon, retired Bishop of South Carolina and the Rt Rev Frank Lyons, Bishop of Bolivia.

Anglican Mainstream

A Maoist in the White House

October 16th, 2009

Excerpt:
In a speech before high school students last June, Dunn spoke passionately about her two favorite political philosophers, “the two people I turn to most” for answers to important questions like “how to do things that have never been done before.” Who are these paragons? One was Mother Teresa. Dunn didn’t have much to say about her. Most of her enthusiasm was lavished upon her other favorite fount of political wisdom: Mao Tse-Tung.

Mao Tse-Tung. That would be the deviant monster who, quite apart from his disgusting personal life, engineered the mass murder of anywhere from 50 to over 100 million people. Estimates vary so widely because murder on that wholesale scale is difficult to tabulate, especially in a country as backwards as China was under Mao’s long reign. But there is little doubt that Mao has the grisly distinction of being the greatest mass murderer in history.

Yet this is the man that one of Obama’s closest advisors commends to an audience with warmth and enthusiasm. In 1947, she tells her audience, Chiang Kai-Shek seemed to hold all the cards: he had the army, the airforce, and yet Mao went on to victory, telling people, as Anita Dunn told her listeners, “You fight your war and I’ll fight mine.” Don’t believe me? the rest image by by peruisay

Big anti-abortion rally in Spain

Saturday, 17 October 2009

More than a million people are said to have taken part in a march in Madrid to oppose government plans to liberalise Spain's abortion law.

Several dozen centre-right opposition party joined the demonstration, which was backed by Roman Catholic bishops.

Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero wants to introduce abortion on demand.

At present, a pregnancy can only be terminated in mainly Catholic Spain under specific circumstances. the rest-video

CDC Report Shows U.S. Pregnancy Rate Plummeting

Friday October 16, 2009
By Kathleen Gilbert
WASHINGTON, D.C.,
October 16, 2009

(LifeSiteNews.com) - A new Center for Disease Control (CDC) report shows that the pregnancy rate in America dropped drastically between 1990 to 2009, by a margin of 11%.

The CDC reports that in 2005 there were about 6.4 million pregnancies in the U.S., or 103.2 pregnancies per 1,000 women between the ages of 15-44, compared to 115.8 pregnancies per 1,000 women in the same age range in 1990.

In 2005, the pregnancy rate dropped to near the rate recorded for 1976 - the year the government branch began collecting pregnancy data. The drop in pregnancies was less steep among married women, who saw an 8% decrease in pregnancies between 1990-2005. Younger teens, between the ages of 15-17, saw a greater decline in pregnancy rate than older teens. the rest

Assisted Suicide Advocates Seek to Euthanize The Rule of Law

By Wesley J. Smith
October 17, 2009

When is suicide, not really suicide? When assisted suicide advocates decide that promoting their agenda requires the deconstruction of accurate and descriptive language.

It is one thing when ideological activists try to redefine terms to win a political debate. It is quite another when a judge does it by judicial fiat.

But that is precisely what may happen in Connecticut. After advocates failed to legalize assisted suicide in the last legislative session, two Connecticut physicians—aided by the assisted suicide advocacy group Compassion and Choices (formerly Hemlock Society)—filed a lawsuit requesting a court order unilaterally changing the definition of suicide. When a doctor lethally prescribes an overdose of drugs to a terminally ill patient for the purpose of self killing, the lawsuit claims, it should not be legally considered a suicide, but rather, “aid in dying.” the rest

Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh names temporary bishop

Saturday, October 17, 2009
By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh has chosen Bishop Kenneth Price, Jr., as its provisional -- temporary -- bishop, and declared its departing, part-time shepherd, Bishop Robert H. Johnson, to be "assisting bishop emeritus."

The diocese is still recovering from a split in October 2008, when a majority of the clergy and laity at its last regular convention voted to leave the Episcopal Church over theological issues. This diocese, which continued with the Episcopal Church, has 28 parishes. The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh (Anglican) has 58 parishes, and is affiliated with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone in South America and the new Anglican Church in North America. Both the Episcopal Church and the Province of the Southern Cone are part of the 80 million-member global Anglican Communion. The Anglican Church in North America hopes to eventually be accepted as a province of the Anglican Communion. The Episcopal diocese recently won a Common Pleas court decision saying it is entitled to centrally held diocesan property, though the matter of parish property remains to be settled. the rest

Robert S. Munday: The Red Queen Writes Again

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Alice began to feel very uneasy: to be sure, she had not as yet had any dispute with the Queen, but she knew that it might happen any minute, "and then," thought she, "what would become of me? They're dreadfully fond of beheading people here; the great wonder is, that there's any one left alive!" — Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland, Chapter 8

Today, a very godly and humble Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Keith Keith L. Ackerman, received communications (here-pdf) from the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, accepting his "renunciation of ordained ministry." There is only one problem: Bishop Ackerman never had any intention of renouncing his ministry.

I know from speaking with Bishop Ackerman that he sent the Presiding Bishop a handwritten letter merely asking to have his credentials transferred to the Diocese of Bolivia. He said that he had no intention of renouncing his orders and that, while he intends to assist Bishop Lyons in work in Bolivia, he also wished to remain available to assist bishops in the United States, as requested.

The Presiding Bishop says that “...there is no provision for transferring a bishop to another province.” But that is not true. Title III, Canon 10, Sec. 2, provides for the reception of “Clergy Ordained by Bishops of Churches in Communion with This Church” by means of Letters Dimissory and states:

(3) The provisions of this Section 1 shall be fully applicable to all Members of the Clergy (emphasis mine) ordained in any Church in the process of entering the historic episcopal succession with which The Episcopal Church is in full communion as specified in Canon I.20, subject to the covenant of the two Churches as adopted by the General Convention. the rest image

Friday, October 16, 2009

Devotional: Assuredly there is but one way...

Assuredly there is but one way in which to achieve what is not merely difficult but utterly against human nature: to love those who hate us, to repay their evil deeds with benefits, to return blessings for reproaches. It is that we remember not to consider men's evil intention but to look upon the image of God in them, which cancels and effaces their transgressions, and with its beauty and dignity allures us to love and embrace them.
...John Calvin
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Bishop Nazir-Ali: A Discussion of Islam and Western Culture

Faith McDonnell
October 14, 2009

The Rt. Reverend Michael James Nazir-Ali, the 106th Bishop of Rochester, spoke at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC on Tuesday, October 13, 2009. The discussion with Bishop Nazir-Ali, “Apostasy, Blasphemy, and Other Sharia laws in the Modern World,” was part of the Hudson Institute’s fall series, Lifting the Theocratic Iron Curtain: Examining the Application of Muslim Blasphemy and Apostasy Rules in the Contemporary World. And who better to speak about the dangerous situation of a largely secular, indiscriminately multicultural western world confronted with by Islam, a system of belief that exploits multiculturalism while having nothing but contempt for the concept, than the man who has earned the title of “most courageous man in Britain,” for his willingness to speak out about the threat of radical Islam?

Here

President Obama celebrates Hindu holiday

Julia Duin on Oct. 14, 2009
Belief Blog

America's minority religions certainly are getting a nice reception at the White House these days, with the latest celebration -- the Hindu holiday of Diwali -- taking place this afternoon in the East Room. Known as the Hindu "festival of lights," it begins Saturday.

One Indian publication noted that while President George W. Bush actually started the observances, he personally never took part and the ceremony was not held in the main White House.

Well, that was then. the rest



Obama's Diwali celebration upsets Indian-American community

ENS: QUINCY: Presiding Bishop accepts Keith Ackerman's renunciation

By ENS staff
October 16, 2009

[Episcopal News Service] Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori notified Keith Ackerman by mail and email October 16 that she has accepted the former Bishop of Quincy's voluntary renunciation of ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church.

In a statement released by the Presiding Bishop's office October 16, JeffertsSchori cited Title III, Section 7 of the Canons: "I have accepted the renunciation of the Ordained Ministry of this Church, made in writing to me in July 2009 by the Rt. Rev. Keith L. Ackerman, Bishop of Quincy, Resigned who is, therefore, removed from the Ordained Ministry of this Church and released from the obligations of all Ministerial offices, and is deprived of the right to exercise the gifts and spiritual authority as a Minister of God's Word and Sacraments conferred on him in Ordinations.”

According to the statement, Jefferts Schori had thanked Ackerman in an October 7 letter "for your follow up note regarding your plans to function as a bishop in the Diocese of Bolivia in the Province of the Southern Cone. As you know, there is no provision for transferring a bishop to another Province. I am therefore releasing you from the obligations of ordained ministry in this Church.” the rest

The Broken Common Bond

Upstate NY: Stimulus creates only 3.5 jobs in Tier's 10 counties

By Doug Schneider
October 15, 2009

Federal contracts related to the president's economic stimulus program are creating or saving few jobs so far across Upstate New York.

In the 10 counties of the Binghamton-Elmira-Ithaca region, contracts for federal projects have created the equivalent of 3.5 jobs, the Associated Press found. Three counties in Pennsylvania's Northern Tier have seen a total of eight jobs created. the rest

ACNA Grows: CANA Congregations now at 90

Friday, October 16, 2009

HERNDON, Va. (October 16, 2009) – The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) announced that 13 congregations from six different states plus one in Canada have joined the orthodox Anglican organization.

The new congregations include CANA’s first church in Canada, Redeemer Anglican Church in Regina, SK. New CANA congregations in the US include as follows: Christ Anglican Church; Marietta, Ga.; Anglican Mission of Southern Maryland, California, Md.; Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Bowie, Md.; Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Hobbs, NM; St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, Roswell, NM; Anglican Community Church, Batavia, NY; Restoration Anglican Church, Arlington, Va.; Holy Cross Anglican Church, Richmond, Va.; Anglican Church of the Valley, Staunton, Va.; Winchester Anglican Church, Winchester, Va.; and New Hope Anglican Church, Lacey, WA. Also added is a satellite congregation in Manassas, Va., being fostered by Church of the Word (Gainesville, Va.).

“We are excited to welcome these new congregations from across North America into the CANA fellowship, a body of orthodox Anglican Christians committed to upholding the Word of God. We as an Anglican body are seeing orthodox Christianity thrive in the U.S. and around the world and are pleased to play a pivotal role in bringing orthodox congregations together. CANA provides an authentic connection to the worldwide Anglican Communion, and our churches offer vintage liturgical worship which is what many Christians are seeking. Each of these new congregations will grow as they prayerfully exercise the ministry of Jesus Christ which is all about radical inclusion, profound transformation, and inspired service,” said CANA Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns. the rest

Women clergy could leave Church of England if plans to resrict powers approved

The Times
October 17, 2009
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

Dozens of women clergy and hundreds of lay members could leave the Church of England if plans to restrict the powers of women bishops are approved.

Supporters of women priests said that female clergy and even male clergy could defect to the Methodist or Lutheran churches.

They could also go to Scotland, a liberal province of the Anglican Communion where two dioceses are seeking new bishops. It is believed that one could make history by electing Britain’s first woman bishop. Some might even emigrate to the United States, which, with Canada and Australia, already has women bishops. the rest

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Devotional: The threefold joy of the Lord...

It is the consciousness of the threefold joy of the Lord, His joy in ransoming us, His joy in dwelling within us as our Saviour and Power for fruitbearing and His joy in possessing us, as His Bride and His delight; it is the consciousness of this joy which is our real strength. Our joy in Him may be a fluctuating thing: His joy in us knows no change. ...James Hudson Taylor image by exfordy

Virginia Supreme Court to hear Episcopal case

By Julia Duin
Oct. 15, 2009

Ever since the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and the Episcopal Church went down to defeat almost a year ago in their efforts to retain the historic properties of several departing congregations, they've been threatening to appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court.

It's not a given that the appellate court will take a case. The court has to be convinced that the petitioners may have a point in their argument that the lower court may have erred. A hearing was slated for Oct. 21 for the diocese to explain why its arguments should be heard. But on Wednesday, the Supreme Court notified the diocese it will hear the appeal, rendering the writ panel hearing unnecessary. the rest

Scientists Make Desktop Black Hole

By Brandon Keim
October 14, 2009

Two Chinese scientists have successfully made an artificial black hole. Since you’re still reading this, it’s safe to say that Earth hasn’t been sucked into its vortex.

That’s because a black hole doesn’t technically require a massive, highly concentrated gravitational field that prevents light from escaping, as postulated by Albert Einstein. It just needs to capture light — or, to be more precise, electromagnetic radiation, of which visually perceived light is one form. the rest

Prayers Requested For Bishop Duncan and His Family

Thursday, October 15, 2009
From Stand Firm

Mr. Robert Duncan, father of the Most Rev. Robert Wm. Duncan, died suddenly yesterday morning from heart-related issues at his Florida residence. Please keep his wife Mary, Archbishop Duncan and his family in your prayers during this time of loss.

May God pour out His love and peace on the family and on Bishop Duncan, as they remember with thanksgiving the blessing of Robert's life and look forward in hope to seeing him again.

China: Members of 'open' and 'underground' communities attend bishop's funeral

October 14, 2009

WENZHOU, China (UCAN) -- More than 20,000 Catholics from both the government-approved and "underground" Church communities bade farewell to Bishop James Lin Xili of Wenzhou on Oct. 10.

Bishop Lin, who had been clandestinely ordained as the first bishop of Wenzhou, died on Oct. 4. at Qiliang church in Yueqing after a long illness. He was 91.

The late prelate was held in high regard by both communities for his tireless work in the diocese. the rest

Democrats to Curtail Free Speech

October 13, 2009

Byron York blows the whistle on Democratic legislation, about to be enacted by Congress, which purports to partially repeal the First Amendment:

The [hate] crime bill -- which would broaden the protected classes for hate crimes to include sexual orientation and "gender identity," which the bill defines as a victim's "actual or perceived gender-related characteristics" -- passed the House earlier this year as a stand-alone measure. But it's never had the votes to succeed by itself in the Senate. So over the summer Democrats, with the power of their 60-vote majority, attached it to the defense [appropriations] bill. the rest

Batavia Episcopal church is losing its pastor

By Joanne Beck
Thursday, October 15, 2009

BATAVIA -- When the Rev. Ronald Guy moved here two years ago, he felt it was something that was meant to be for him and his wife Marisa.

As the head of St. James Episcopal Church packs up to leave, he still sounds like this visit had a purpose. He will be leaving the church due to its inability to afford a full-time pastor.

"I have had the privilege of sharing life's journey with some incredible people I would not have met with otherwise," Father Guy said Monday at the East Main Street site. "You're there because God called you there. Once you're there you get a chance to walk the road. That has been soul enriching."

His walk here isn't finished. The former Texas police officer still plans to fulfill his duties visiting a resident at Crossroads House, conducting a funeral and giving his last sermon this week. He believes that he and his wife may end up in the Nashville area, since pastoral jobs are plentiful and the couple have "friends in the clergy" there.

Also, it doesn't have something that Batavia's parish has at this time.

"It's not in as dire of a financial situation," he said. the rest

CANA Expands Forming New District in the Northeast

Bishop Bena and Fr. Emeka Nwigwe Celebrate the Eucharist

Fr. Jeff Altman (Holy Trinity, Syracuse, NY) teaches a Bible Study

Constitution ratified at inaugural Synod
October 15, 2009

The first gathering of Anglican churches in the northeastern United States affiliated with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) concluded its deliberations Monday, October 12th with the formation of a new district of local churches under the oversight of Bishop David Bena. This group of churches, known as the Anglican District of the Northeast (ADN), is the third such regional organization of CANA parishes which has formed in the last few years. The previous two districts were the Anglican District of Virginia, and the Anglican District of the Great Lakes. Ten parishes from Maine, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York gathered at the Christ the King Spiritual Life Center in Greenwich, New York to adopt a constitution and elected nine clergy and laity to form a governing Synod Council for the new district. This Synod of local churches spent as much time in prayer, worship, and Bible study as it did in the business of electing and appointing leaders and adopting its constitution.

“This was a very prayerful gathering of people who want to see the gospel of Jesus Christ spread in the souls of their brothers and sisters here in the northeastern United States,” commented Bishop Bena upon the conclusion of the Synod meeting. “I am honored to be their bishop and guide them in the years ahead.”

The Anglican District of the Northeast consists of Anglican churches under the spiritual direction of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion. Bishop Bena retired from his position as a suffragan bishop of the Episcopal Diocese Albany in upstate New York to join CANA and the Church of Nigeria. In addition to his involvement with ADN, he is the bishop with oversight of the CANA churches of the Anglican District of Virginia.

The churches which met to ratify the constitution and form the ADN include the parishes of Anglican Community Church in Batavia, New York, Bishop Seabury Church in Groton, Connecticut, Christ Church Anglican in East Haven, Connecticut, Good Shepherd Anglican Church in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Church of the Holy Trinity in Syracuse, New York, Holy Trinity Church in Bristol, Connecticut, Pentecost Church in Manhattan, New York, St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Vestal, New York, and St. George’s Anglican Church in Helmetta, New Jersey. Tremont Congregational Church in Tremont, Maine was also present and is contemplating submitting the membership decision to join the District to a congregational vote. Tremont has been embracing many aspects of Anglican worship for several years.

Sydney: Anglicans hit by $160m loss

VANDA CARSON
October 16, 2009

THE investment arm of the Anglican Church's Sydney diocese posted a $160 million loss for the year ending December 2008 after its highly geared share portfolio crashed amid the global downturn.

The scale of the loss was accentuated by the fact its investment body, the Glebe Administration Board, chose to put most of its money with one fund manager.

The chief executive of the board, Steve McKerihan, said board members chose to invest more than three-quarters of its $388 million of ''growth assets'' with index funds held by Barclays Global Investors. the rest

Pathway for the elderly that leads to legal execution

Being "made comfortable" is no longer the reassuring euphemism it once was
By Liz Hunt
14 Oct 2009

At around 4am on Monday, a friend of mine was woken by a call from the private care home in south-west London where her 98-year-old grandmother is resident.

"Mrs ------- has breathing difficulties," the night manager told her. "She needs oxygen. Shall we call an ambulance?"

"What do you mean?" my friend responded. "What's the matter with her?"

"She needs to go to hospital. Do you want that? Or would you prefer that we make her comfortable?"

Befuddled by sleep, she didn't immediately grasp what was being asked of her. Her grandmother is immobilised by a calcified knee joint, which is why she is in the home. She's a little deaf and frail, but otherwise perky. She reads a newspaper every day (without glasses), and is a fan of the darling of daytime television, David Dickinson. Why wouldn't she get medical treatment if she needed it?

Then, the chilling implication of the phone call filtered through – she was being asked whether her grandmother should be allowed to die. the rest

Mother Says Miss. Doctor Refused Care to Baby Girl Born at 22 Weeks

Guttmacher Abortion Report Flatly "False": Pro-life Experts

Wednesday October 14, 2009
By Hilary White

ROME, October 14, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Allan Guttmacher Institute, a body of the abortion industry giant International Planned Parenthood Federation, has issued a report claiming that "unsafe" abortions are claiming the lives of 70,000 women around the world every year, a number that pro-life advocates have said is flatly false.

According to the abortion industry lobbyists, abortion is made "unsafe" when it is illegal. Institute president Sharon Camp said it is "significant and tragic that while the overall rate of abortion is on the decline, unsafe abortion has not declined." The authors complain that 40 per cent of women "still live in countries where access to abortion is strongly restricted." the rest

British Man Found Free of Cancer Dies after Hydration Removed

Tuesday October 13, 2009
By Hilary White

LIVERPOOL, October 13, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A British widow has won a settlement of £18,000 for the death of her husband, who died after being cured of stomach cancer in a hospice that has adopted the notorious Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) protocol for the terminally ill.

76 year-old Jack Jones had responded successfully to chemotherapy and surgery, but died of pneumonia two weeks after doctors at the Marie Curie Hospice ordered the withdrawal of food and hydration and all medication except painkillers in accordance with what is being called in British media the "death pathway." the rest

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Devotional: Think through me, thoughts of God...

Think through me, thoughts of God,
My Father, quiet me,
Till in Thy holy presence, hushed,
I think Thy thoughts with Thee.

Think through me, thoughts of God,
That always, everywhere,
The stream that through my being flows,
May homeward pass in prayer.

Think through me, thoughts of God,
And let my own thoughts be
Lost like the sand-pools on the shore
Of the eternal sea.
...Amy Carmichael
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Montreal: Offering a monthly communion church service for dogs.

By Jessica Murphy (CP)
posted Oct. 14, 2009

MONTREAL — Montreal is one step closer to being North America's Paris: it's gaining on the City of Lights - a famously pooch-friendly place - by offering a monthly communion church service for dogs..

...Holy communion was offered to all human parishioners, and canines weren't left out. They were treated to a selection of freshly baked dog biscuits - including peanut butter and garlic - and bowls of water.

Take a wild guess as to the denomination...


Albert Mohler: Parents, Obey Your Children?

In today’s picture books, the kids are in charge.
by Daniel Zalewski
Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Literary critic Lionel Trilling once referred to "the dark and bloody crossroads where literature and politics meet." In reality, almost all literature is political in some sense. Oddly enough, the most explicitly subversive literature is often presented to the very youngest among us -- our children. Far too many parents seem not to notice.

In "The Defiant Ones," a recent essay published in the New Yorker, Daniel Zalewski argues that picture books for children now reflect a world turned upside down in terms of the relationship between parent and child. As he explains, in the newest picture books for children, the kids are solidly in charge.

In this sense, the books we read to our children reflect the cultural values of our age. Inescapably, these narratives for children reveal far more than a storyline. Indeed, the books tell us more than we may want to know about the tenor of our times. the rest

Church of England could lose in StuyTown

October 14, 2009
by Gerald Magpily

The list of losers from Tishman Speyer Properties and BlackRock Inc.'s (NYSEBLK) record $5.4 billion purchase of sprawling New York City apartment complex Stuyvesant Town Peter Cooper Village in 2006 is getting longer. With the downturn of the residential real estate market, The Wall Street Journal reports that besides the principal buyers other investors in the deal such as the Government of Singapore Investment Corp., insurance company Hartford Financial Services (NYSE:HIG) and even the Church of England are in danger of losing most or all of their investments. the rest

An Apartment Complex Teeters

Virginia Court Will Hear Appeal in Episcopal Property Battle

By Michelle Boorstein
October 14, 2009

A years-long, multi-million-dollar land battle between the Episcopal Church in Virginia and conservatives who broke away from the denomination is headed back to court.

The Virginia Supreme Court said today that it would hear an appeal by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia (which includes primarily northern and eastern Virginia) and the national church, which got clobbered in Fairfax District Court last year.

The district court judge sided with nine conservative Virginia congregations whose members were fed up with the church's position on biblical literalism, gay clergy and gay marriage. Those conservative congregations voted in late 2006, early 2007 to leave the Episcopal Church, take the millions in real estate and join another, more like-minded branch of the Anglican Communion. the rest

Wind farms interfering with weather radar in NY

Tue, Oct. 13, 2009
WILLIAM KATES
The Associated Press

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Wind farms in upstate New York are interfering with National Weather Service Doppler radars, making it more difficult to detect and assess approaching lake effect snow storms.

The spinning blades on the towering turbines can cause problems by reflecting some of the radar's signal, which can be falsely interpreted as wind or precipitation. The reflections can make storms coming off lakes Erie and Ontario look stronger than they actually are, but the structures can also act like a wall and hide a storm from forecasters.

"It's more of an annoyance than a critical issue," said Bill Hibbert, a meteorologist and radar specialist with the weather service in Buffalo. "But it's a growing problem, and there's not really anything that can be done about it right now."

In western states, where wind farms abound and destructive tornados are a concern, the interference has led to false tornado alerts. the rest image by johndan

Tentative Inspection Program Would Allow Russia to Visit U.S. Nuclear Sites

The plan, which Fox News has learned was agreed to in principle during negotiations, would constitute the most intrusive weapons inspection program the U.S. has ever accepted.
FOXNews.com
Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Russia and the United States have tentatively agreed to a weapons inspection program that would allow Russians to visit nuclear sites in America to count missiles and warheads.

The plan, which Fox News has learned was agreed to in principle during negotiations, would constitute the most intrusive weapons inspection program the U.S. has ever accepted.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said publicly Tuesday that the two nations have made "considerable" progress toward reaching agreement on a new strategic arms treaty.

The 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, expires in December and negotiators have been racing to reach agreement on a successor.

Clinton said the U.S. would be as transparent as possible. the rest

Wrong Lessons Learned

By William L. Saunders
Wednesday, 14 October 2009

On September 15, “StandForMarriageMaine.com” released a television ad. In it, Scott Fitzgibbon, a professor at Boston College Law School (a Catholic institution), argued for the traditional understanding of marriage as between one man and one woman and in favor of an upcoming referendum to overturn a law passed by the Maine legislature legalizing same-sex marriage. The ad unleashed a fire storm, directed at the courageous professor.

Fellow professors at B.C. Law School – one hesitates to call them colleagues – contacted the dean to express their anger. So fiery was the blast that the dean was forced to issue a statement that defended Fitzgibbon’s academic freedom (or right to speak his mind). But the dean also later joined a statement from faculty and administrators assuring homosexual students (and staff) that they were welcome at BC Law. Apparently, it is no longer remarkable that a Catholic law school in this country prides itself upon being “one of the first” to set up a non-discrimination category for homosexuals at a time when everyone, including surely BC law professors, knows that just such a category in federal law will be the nail in the coffin of religious liberty for America’s Catholic institutions.

This is a highly instructive event that invites comment. the rest

Obama and the Lama

Oct 14, 2009
David B. Hart

Excerpt:
For those who missed it, when the Dalai Lama arrived in Washington this past Monday for, among other things, a scheduled audience with the president, it was disclosed that his visit to the White House had been cancelled. And this decision had been taken—there was no attempt to hide this fact—in order to please the Chinese government, which has of late been making a concerted effort to see that the Dalai Lama is made a persona non grata in the halls of power in countries around the world. the rest

The Pastor Who Has Obama's Attention

Chaplain Survived a Tumor and War to Preach at Camp David
By Jacqueline L. Salmon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright is long gone; Rick Warren, just an Inauguration Day memory. The hordes of ministers around town who were hoping they'd somehow wind up with the first family in their pews have (mostly) given up.

The president has been pastorless for quite a while now. Well, sort of.

Seventy miles from Washington's prying eyes, Barack Obama has been attending church from time to time at Camp David, where services are led by a 39-year-old Navy chaplain with a famous last name, a compelling life story and a fervent belief in a God who works miracles. the rest

Facebook: How the Hyperconnected Are Redefining Community

DALLAS, Oct. 14 /Christian Newswire/ -- A revolution is taking place, one profile at a time. Online social networks like Facebook and MySpace are connecting people like never before. With hundreds of millions of users, they're creating almost limitless potential to redefine our personal worlds. It's a movement that's changing how we form relationships, perceive others, and shape our identity.

In his new book, The Church of Facebook (David C Cook, October 2009) author Jesse Rice takes a deeper look at the movement which, at its core, reflects our need for community. "Our longing for intimacy, connection, and a place to belong has never been a secret, but social networking offers us a new perspective on the way we engage our community," Rice states. This new perspective raises new questions: How do these networks impact our relationships? In what ways are they shaping the way we think of ourselves? And how might this phenomenon subtly reflect a God who longs to connect with each one of us? the rest

Pro-Abortion Group’s Report Says Unsafe Abortions Kill 70,000 Women a Year

Tuesday, October 13, 2009
By David Crary, Associated Press

New York (AP) - Increased contraceptive use has led to fewer abortions worldwide, but deaths from unsafe abortion remain a severe problem, killing 70,000 women a year, a research institute reported Tuesday in a major global survey.

More than half the deaths, about 38,000, are in sub-Saharan Africa, which was singled out as the region with by far the lowest rates of contraceptive use and the highest rates of unintended pregnancies.
the rest

Judge: abortion laws protect girl who sought pregnancy-ending beating

By Sheena Mcfarland
The Salt Lake Tribune
10/13/2009

A judge has released a 17-year-old Vernal girl from jail after ruling she did not commit a crime when she allegedly paid a man to beat her in an attempt to end her late-term pregnancy.

The release, which came after the girl's mother obtained a second opinion on her daughter's no contest plea, has incensed some lawmakers who argue the ruling skirts laws governing legal abortions in Utah.

"The judge is absolutely stretching," said Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman. "There's no way the judge believes the Utah Legislature left open this loophole. I guarantee it will be closed this next session."
the rest

Rev. Sun Myung Moon passes the torch

Gives his children control of empire
October 14, 2009
By Julia Duin

The Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church, has turned over day-to-day control of the church and financial empire he founded to a daughter and three sons, one of whom had a brief flirtation with Buddhism during his years at Harvard before returning to the family fold.

The Rev. Hyung Jin Moon, 30, in line to be the church's religious director, donned Buddhist robes and shaved his head for several years after the Oct. 28, 1999, death of a brother, Young-jin, who fell from the 17th floor of a hotel in Reno, Nev. At the time, his father defended him from detractors who wanted the son removed from the church.
the rest image

In swine flu season, sanitizer for the hand of God

Congregations around the U.S. are modifying their rituals to help prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus. A little vodka on the Communion chalice helps.
By P.J. Huffstutter and Duke Helfand
October 14, 2009

Reporting from Los Angeles and Fort Wayne, Ind. - After weeks of listening to parishioners sniffle in the pews, and worrying about the spread of the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend decided its flock needed to make some sacrifices this flu season.

So this week, the priests will be locking up their Communion chalices and, as a precaution against the spread of germs, temporarily stopping the practice of offering wine during the sacrament. the rest

NY court hears case against gay marriage benefits

Oct. 13, 2009
By MICHAEL VIRTANEN
Associated Press Writer

A Christian legal group seeking to stop New York agencies from recognizing same-sex marriages performed outside the state argued in the state's highest court Tuesday that the practice amounts to a policy decision that requires approval by lawmakers.

Attorney Brian Raum told state Court of Appeals judges that a law their court upheld three years ago defines marriage as between one man and one woman, based on "well established public policies linking marriage in New York to procreation and the welfare of children." the rest

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Devotional: Human life stands under God's special protection...

Human life stands under God's special protection, because each human being, however wretched or exalted he or she may be, however sick or suffering, however good-for-nothing or important, whether born or unborn, whether incurably ill or radiant with health -- each one bears God's breath in himself or herself, each one is God's image. This is the deepest reason for the inviolability of human dignity, and upon it is founded ultimately every civilization. When the human person is no longer seen as standing under God's protection and bearing God's breath, then the human being begins to be viewed in utilitarian fashion. It is then that the barbarity appears that tramples upon human dignity. And vice versa: When this is seen, then a high degree of spirituality and morality is plainly evident. ...Benedict XVI image by db

Abortionist Punches Woman in Face in Road Rage Incident

Tuesday October 13, 2009
By James Tillman
Atlanta, Georgia

(LifeSiteNews.com) - Sandy Springs police have arrested abortionist Daniel E. McBrayer, 58, on charges of punching a woman in the face during an afternoon "road rage" incident last Monday.

Regina Ordaz says that McBrayer got out of his car at the intersection of Roswell and Abernathy roads, walked up to her car as she was stopped at a red light, and struck her in the face.

Ordaz says she thought that McBrayer was going to ask her for directions or tell her that something was wrong with her car. She also says that McBrayer had cut her off several blocks previously, but that she didn't know why the physician attacked her. Her 8-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter were in the back seat at the time of the assault. the rest

Two European Nuclear Scientists Arrested as Al-Qaeda Suspects

Nabbed working at one of the most sensitive nuclear facilities in the world, this huge story has received almost no press.
October 13, 2009
by Annie Jacobsen

Last week I was in Las Vegas attending a banquet honoring retired intelligence officers, many of whom once worked for the CIA. Some of the guests were still active. Others currently work for the Department of Defense. There were four of us from the press.

I got to chatting in a three-way conversation with a former U-2 pilot and a current defense contractor who frequents the Pentagon (and therefore asked to remain anonymous).

“What’s going to happen if al-Qaeda gets their hands on WMD?” the pilot asked. the rest

Notre Dame Pays Student Expenses to D.C. March for Homosexual 'Marriage'

Tuesday October 13, 2009

NOTRE DAME, IN, October 13, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The University of Notre Dame gave financial assistance to five students to participate in Sunday's national gay rights demonstration, which was organized in part to advocate homosexual "marriage," a campus newspaper has reported.

The "National Equality March" on Sunday, October 11, in Washington, D.C., was sponsored by Equality Across America, which aims to build a national grassroots network asserting homosexual couples' "right to marry" as well as other demands. The Catholic Church believes that marriage is possible only between a man and a woman.

"Faithful Catholics will ask whether Notre Dame has learned its lesson from the scandalous commencement ceremony last spring," said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society. "What university seeking to reassure families of its Catholic identity would pay for students to attack the family and oppose Catholic teachings on marriage?" the rest

Open Lectures All About Africa

October 12th, 2009

As the world becomes an increasingly interconnected and truly global marketplace, it becomes ever more important to learn and understand the history, culture and economic roles of nations around the world. Africa is no exception, and this collection of lectures, many from renowned scholars, researchers and innovators, will help you better understand the many varied regions of Africa and the continents changing role in the world marketplace. image by babasteve


links here

Norway or the Highway: What the Nobel Peace Prize tells us about Europe's values--and Obama's.

By JAMES TARANTO
OCTOBER 13, 2009

It is agreed by all and sundry that the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama was a rebuke of George W. Bush, private citizen. But who are the members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, what do they stand for, and what does this award tell us about the man who will be America's president for at least the next three years and change?

George Friedman of Stratfor.com analyzes the first two questions. The Norwegian Nobel Committee consists of five current or former members of Norway's Parliament, known as the Storting. We don't know if we like the Storting, as we have never Storted. But each of the committeemen comes from a different political party, and Friedman writes that the panel "faithfully reproduces the full spectrum of Norwegian politics"--although something tells us that that spectrum runs from left to far left. the rest map

Toronto Diocese on target to trim $1 million

Oct 13, 2009
By Stuart Mann

The tree has been pruned for growth. The diocese is on target to trim just over $1 million from its operating budget by the end of 2011 while putting more money back into the parishes for mission and ministry.

The diocese’s 2010 and 2011 budgets, which were approved by Diocesan Council on Sept. 24 and will go to synod on Nov. 21 for final consideration, contain the following highlights: the rest
Found at TitusOneNine

Bishop Bennison’s Attorney Decries ‘Avenging Court’

October 13, 2009

The defense attorney for the Rt. Rev. Charles E. Bennison, Jr., has expressed exasperation with the Episcopal Church’s Court for the Trial of a Bishop as he prepares to appeal his client’s conviction and sentencing.

Most recently the court rejected the bishop’s request for a new trial based on 200 personal letters, which his attorney, James Pabarue of Philadelphia, said conflicted with testimony given in court.

Mr. Pabarue believes the court misapplied Canon IV.14.4 because the case involved Bishop Bennison’s response to sexual misconduct by his brother and not any sexual misconduct by the bishop. the rest

Charges dropped against Iranian Christian women

Tuesday, 13th October 2009
By Paolo Gallini

Release International is reporting that Iran has dropped a major charge of conducting activities against the state against two Christian women who have been detained since March because of their faith.

The two, 27-year-old Maryam Rustampoor, and 30-year-old Marzieh Amirizadeh Esmaeilabad were told by a court to renounce their newfound Christian faith and return to Islam. But they have refused.

They were arrested on three charges: anti-state activity, propagating the Christian faith, and apostasy – leaving Islam. the rest

Rachel Campos-Duffy: Obama's Abortion Position Should Disqualify Him From Nobel

Glendon: The Greatest Grassroots Movement of Our Times

Oct 13, 2009
Mary Ann Glendon
First Things

Excerpt:
After more than three decades of involvement in pro-life activities, I wish I could say that I thought the threats to respect for human life were diminishing. But one lesson we’ve learned is: Do not underestimate the power of the culture of death. We’ve learned that what was unimaginable one day can become reality the next. Today, pressures for euthanasia are building; developments in biomedicine are occurring with such speed that they have outpaced reflection on their moral implications; experiments on human embryos are fostering a mentality that treats the lives of the weak as means to the ends of the strong; and the freedoms of religion and conscience are coming under increasing threat.

Thirty years ago, who could have imagined such a thing as partial-birth abortion! When I ask myself why so many people have been slow to realize how easily today’s atrocity can become tomorrow’s routine, one answer I come up with is that it was due in part to a failure to realize something very important about choice, namely that choices last.

Each time we make policy on abortion, euthanasia, or embryonic experimentation, we are changing the moral ecology of our country. We are either helping to build the culture of life or cooperating with the culture of death. It hasn’t helped that the elite media, the powerful foundations, the sex industry, and the vast profit-making abortion industry have done their best to disguise the truth of what was happening. the rest

Albert Mohler: “Simply Unprecedented” — President Obama and the Gay Rights Movement

Monday, October 12, 2009

"This was a historic night when we felt the full embrace and commitment of the President of the United States. It's simply unprecedented." Those words were spoken by Joe Salmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, just after President Barack Obama spoke to the group's 13th annual national dinner.

The Human Rights Campaign is one of the leading organizations promoting what it describes as "lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights." The group's annual dinner, held Saturday night, featured well-known politicians and entertainers popular in the LGBT community, as well as an appearance by the President of the United States. President Obama's speech was a matter of controversy long before he arrived. Though pledging soon after his election to be what he called a "fierce advocate" for gay rights, the President has frustrated the gay rights community with what they see as inaction and hesitation in dealing with their agenda. the rest

Has Obama Ushered in a New Era for LGBT Rights?
President Obama's speech this past weekend made it "abundantly clear" that America is looking at "a new era for civil rights for LGBT people," said one gay rights advocate.

President Obama Will Not Defend Marriage. Will promote 'Homosexual Equivalency'
What occurred on Saturday night is a very, very serious matter. President Obama has sent the signal. He will not defend marriage.

Come, Lord Jesus

Oh, wait. He's already here.
Carolyn Arends
10/12/2009

I was a guest musician at a church in Winnipeg, engaged in the familiar liturgies of a pre-service prayer huddle. One person prayed for the congregation's safety in inclement weather, another for the technical aspects of the service, and a third kindly remembered my family back home.

When my turn came, I must have used a phrase like, "God, we invite you here among us." I clearly recall the minister's prayer, which followed mine: "We know we do not have to request your presence, because there is nowhere you are not. So we celebrate the fact you are already here with us now."

My head stayed bowed, but my face burned. This guy is correcting my theology with his prayer!
The service went as planned. But throughout the evening, I was mentally defending my choice of words. Of course I know God is everywhere—I've read Psalm 139! I was requesting an extra measure of his presence, an outpouring of his Spirit. Or, if you want to be more precise (and clearly you do), I was praying that God would help us to be open to him. Aren't we just arguing semantics? the rest

Massachusetts plan may place limits on patients’ hospital options

By Liz Kowalczyk
Globe Staff / October 11, 2009

The state’s ambitious plan to shake up how providers are paid could have a hidden price for patients: Controlling Massachusetts’ soaring medical costs, many health care leaders believe, may require residents to give up their nearly unlimited freedom to go to any hospital and specialist they want.

Efforts to keep patients in a defined provider network, or direct them to lower-cost hospitals could be unpopular, especially in a state where more than 40 percent of hospital care is provided in expensive academic medical centers and where many insurance policies allow patients access to large numbers of providers. the rest

Paying the Health Tax in Massachusetts
Be warned: Even people with good insurance will risk fines if mandatory insurance becomes the national law

Obamacare: Cost of Insurance Policies Will Soar
The health insurance industry has issued a report warning that under the current Senate version of Obamacare, the cost of private insurance will soar, apparently because the coverage requirement aspect has been weakened significantly.

Regulatory Czar Sunstein: Remove organs from terminally ill against their wills
President Obama's newly confirmed regulatory czar defended the possibility of removing organs from terminally ill patients without their permission.

Decline Is a Choice: The New Liberalism and the end of American ascendancy

by Charles Krauthammer
10/19/2009

Excerpt:
This deliberate choice of strategic retreats to engender good feeling is based on the naïve hope of exchanges of reciprocal goodwill with rogue states. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that the theory--as policy--has demonstrably produced no strategic advances. But that will not deter the New Liberalism because the ultimate purpose of its foreign policy is to make America less hegemonic, less arrogant, less dominant.

In a word, it is a foreign policy designed to produce American decline--to make America essentially one nation among many. And for that purpose, its domestic policies are perfectly complementary.

Domestic policy, of course, is not designed to curb our power abroad. But what it lacks in intent, it makes up in effect. Decline will be an unintended, but powerful, side effect of the New Liberalism's ambition of moving America from its traditional dynamic individualism to the more equitable but static model of European social democracy. the rest

H1N1 flu risks high for healthy youths

Disease patterns perplex doctors
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
By Ann Geracimos

One of the best aspects of the 2009 novel H1N1 flu virus is that most people infected get nothing worse than the symptoms of a bad cold.

But the worst and most mysterious aspect is that the disease strikes an unusually large number of healthy young people and can be fatal for adolescents and young adults even when they receive intensive care treatment, according to two studies released Monday.

"Young healthy people who have had no underlying condition: that is humbling and mysterious. It is rare, but once you see it, you never forget it. You pour in the antibacterials and pray," Dr. John Bartlett, a professor of medicine and a former director of infectious diseases at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told The Washington Times. the rest

Memoir of a former abortion addict

In 'Impossible Motherhood,' Irene Vilar, now a mother of two, writes of what led her to have 15 pregnancies ended.
By Robin Abcarian
October 13, 2009

Reporting from Denver - Irene Vilar's house, a charming old place on a leafy block outside Denver, is a monument to her mothering. Half the downstairs has been transformed into a preschool, with picture books, educational toys and art supplies in organized disarray.

Outside, her little girls, 3-year-old Lolita and 5-year-old Loretta, are decorating the walkway with brown-eyed susans plucked from the garden. It is a scene of almost magical domesticity.

Inside, their mother, a striking 40-year-old literary agent with big, brown eyes, long, straight hair and a Spanish-inflected lilt that gives away her Puerto Rican roots, is describing how, from the age of 16 to 33, she could neither stop herself from conceiving, nor from terminating her pregnancies. Fifteen of them. the rest