Saturday, October 24, 2009

Devotional: At the heart of the cyclone...

At the heart of the cyclone tearing the sky
And flinging the clouds and the towers by,
Is a place of central calm;
So here in the roar of mortal things,
I have a place where my spirit sings,
In the hollow of God's palm.
...Edwin Markham image by ideowl

Prayer for Nigel+: Notes from the Front Line

Please go to this post at Albany Intercessor and read all the emails, prayers and comments from intercessors for Nigel Mumford+.

It will bless and encourage you!

Continue in prayer!

Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

posted October 24, 2009

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama declared the swine flu outbreak a national emergency, giving his health chief the power to let hospitals move emergency rooms offsite to speed treatment and protect noninfected patients.

The declaration, signed Friday night and announced Saturday, comes with the disease more prevalent than ever in the country and production delays undercutting the government's initial, optimistic estimates that as many as 120 million doses of the vaccine could be available by mid-October.

Health authorities say more than 1,000 people in the United States, including almost 100 children, have died from the flu, known as H1N1, and 46 states have widespread flu activity. So far only 11 million doses have gone out to health departments, doctor's offices and other providers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials. the rest

Fr. Nigel Update 11:37 am

Update from Fr. Haskell
11:37 AM, Oct. 24, 2009

Nigel's fever came up again some during this morning.
Still critical and fragile, KEEP PRAYING.

Lynn Mumford has asked prayer that the fever would go down and that Nigel's lungs would clear.

Lynn also remember the passage where Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law and she was able to immediately serve them: "Now when Jesus had come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother lying sick with a fever. So he touched her hand, and the fever left her. And she arose and served them. When evening had come, they brought to him many who were demon-possessed. And he cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: 'He himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses.'" (Matthew 8:14-17)

Jesus, we pray that you will touch Nigel and raise him to serve you once again.

Albany Intercessor

Albert Mohler: Feminism Unfulfilled — Why Are So Many Women Unhappy?

Friday, October 23, 2009

"The woman's movement wasn't about happiness." That judgment, attributed to feminist Susan Faludi, seems to be the blunt assessment shared by many other women. As numerous recent studies now indicate, a remarkably large percentage of women describe themselves as increasingly unhappy.

This issue came to light last month in a fascinating essay by Maureen Dowd of The New York Times The New York Times. Dowd, whose columns often reveal the nation's Zeitgeist, cited the fact that a number of major studies indicate that "women are getting gloomier and men are getting happier." She asked: "Did the feminist revolution end up benefiting men more than women?"
the rest image

Gay hate-crimes bill could punish Christians, foes say

Oct 23, 2009
by Tom Strode

The hate crimes language, however, could result in threats to the freedoms of those with biblically based convictions regarding homosexual behavior, some of its foes said afterward.

The legislation has the "potential for chilling religious speech regarding homosexuality," said Barrett Duke of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC).

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said in a written statement the bill "is part of a radical social agenda that could ultimately silence Christians and use the force of government to marginalize anyone whose faith is at odds with homosexuality."

The hate crimes provision in the defense bill would add "sexual orientation" and "gender identity," as well as disability, to the current categories -- such as race, religion and gender -- protected from hate crimes. "Sexual orientation" includes homosexuality and bisexuality, while "gender identity," or transgendered status, takes in transsexuals and cross-dressers. the rest

What the Vatican's welcome of Anglicans means

One caution: Many of the details remain up in the air
Oct. 23, 2009
By John L Allen Jr

This week's big Vatican story is obviously the decision to create special structures, called "personal ordinariates", to welcome Anglicans seeking to join the Catholic church. In some reports, the move was touted as a bold gambit to end the schism that began with the English Reformation in the 16th century -- a dubious bit of spin, given that the actual number of Anglicans likely to sign up for one of these ordinariates will almost certainly be quite small.

When the dust settles, the centuries-long breach between Rome and Canterbury will remain intact.

More in the realm of reality, the move was styled as Rome rolling out a welcome mat for "disaffected Anglicans," meaning conservatives unhappy with the ordination of women as priests and bishops, the blessing of same-sex unions, and the ordination of openly gay clergy. That's indeed likely to be the constituency most disposed to take up Rome's offer, but in principle these new structures will be open to all Anglicans, whatever their position on the culture wars. the rest

The Pope Lets a Thousand Liturgies Bloom
The Vatican's announcement this week that it will allow former Anglicans who join the Catholic Church to retain a collective identity, using many of their traditional prayers and hymns in their own specially designed dioceses, is an event with profound implications for both Anglican and Catholic life.

Archbishop's treasure found in river

A number of valuable ecclesiastical treasures given to a former Archbishop of Canterbury have been found dumped in a river.
By Paul Stokes
23 Oct 2009

A haul of 32 artefacts, including gifts from Pope Paul VI and a commemorative medallion presented to the bishop for the Queen's coronation in 1952, have been recovered from the River Wear in Durham.

They had been in the possession of Michael Ramsey, the 100th Archbishop of Canterbury, who spent part of his retirement in the northern city where he served as bishop.

One theory is that he may have cast the items into the water himself at various times, having a reputation for eccentricity before his death 21 years ago at the age of 83.

Another suggestion is that they may have been stolen before being discarded by thieves for some reason as they crossed Prebends Bridge. the rest

S.C. Episcopalians meet to discuss 5 resolutions

"If the assembly votes in favor of these resolutions, it will be a "protest of conscience," and a pullback from the national church, but not a full disassociation, Bishop Mark Lawrence said."
Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009
By Adam Parker
The Post and Courier

CHARLESTON -- Officials of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, which oversees more than 70 parishes along the coastal half of the state, meet today for a special convention that could significantly change the nature of the diocese 's relationship with the national church.

Concerned over what many diocese officials say is the liberal trajectory of The Episcopal Church, they have proposed five resolutions to be voted on. the rest

Check out TitusOneNine for up-to-date news

Vatican-Anglican: where in the details will the devil be hiding?

October 24th, 2009
Tom Heneghan

If “the devil is in the details” when two groups seek a merger, where will he be hiding when the Vatican talks with disaffected Anglicans who want to join the Roman church? Neither the agenda nor the schedule for these talks are clear, but some issues are starting to emerge as possible hurdles to a smooth switchover for Anglicans who want to “swim the Tiber.”

There is little clarity yet on either side. The Vatican has not spelled out the conditions of the “Apostolic Constitution” to accept Anglicans who want to join Catholicism while maintaining some of their own traditions. Additionally, there are varied faces of Anglicanism, which in its dogmas and practices stands somewhere between Roman Catholicism and Protestant traditions such as the Lutheran or Reformed churches. This will clearly take a while to work out. the rest

Nearly 40 Congregations Join the Anglican Church in North America

October 23, 2009
In just three months, the Anglican Church in North America has welcomed 39 new congregations. When the Anglican Church in North America officially launched in late June, it included 703 churches in the United States and Canada. Today, there are 742 congregations affiliated with the Anglican Church.

“We have an ambitious goal of planting 1,000 new churches in the next five years. It is very encouraging to see how much progress has already been made,” said Archbishop Robert Duncan.

Some congregations have joined the Anglican Church in North America with a well-defined identity and history. Christ the King Anglican Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, represents the leadership and a large majority of the people of an Episcopal Church parish. The congregation, which walked away from property and endowments valued at more than $2 million, has been in the words of its rector, the Rev. Roger Weber, “overwhelmed by God’s provision.” the rest

Fr. Nigel Update from last night

Fri, 23 Oct 2009
Robert F Haskell+

Dear Prayer Warriors-

As of 10 pm on Friday, our brother Nigel’s condition has been described as critical and fragile. On the good side, his blood oxygen levels have come up this evening. However, he has also developed a fever. Please pray that the fever go down and that he be filled with health by the power of our Lord Jesus.


Albany Intercessor

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fr. Nigel’s condition worsened overnight: fast and pray

Update from Fr. Haskell
11:30 AM, Oct. 23, 09

Request from family:

Pray hard for Fr. Nigel. His condition worsened overnight. He is now back on 100% oxygen.

From the Haskells at 11:55 am:
The family received a word from Judith McNutt: People should fast and pray for Fr. Nigel.

Albany Intercessor

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fr. Nigel Mumford update

October 22, 2009, 8 pm
From: Robert F Haskell+

As of 7 pm on Thursday, Nigel’s condition is about the same as yesterday, “critical, but stable”. He continues to breathe a 90% oxygen mixture. The family asks that we continue to pray for his healing.

More at Albany Intercessor

Also check Lent and Beyond

Christ the King Spiritual Life Center

"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.

With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."
Psalm 91:14-16

Senate Approves Broadened Hate-Crime Measure

October 22, 2009

WASHINGTON — The Senate voted on Thursday to extend new federal protections to people who are victimized because of their gender or sexual orientation, bringing the legislation close to reality after years of fierce debate.

The 68 -29 vote sends the measure to President Obama, who has said he supports it.

The measure, attached to an essential military-spending bill, broadens the definition of federal hate crimes to include those committed because of a victim’s gender or gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. It gives them the same federal safeguards already afforded to people who are victims of violent crimes because of their race, color, religion or national origin. the rest

Atheist sees global faith revival

By Julia Duin
October 22, 2009

Although I think religion is the queen of beats, it's not often I hear journalists from other disciplines admit how important covering God really is.

Which is why I was glad to see two editors from the Economist magazine release "God is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith is Changing the World" earlier this year. Co-author Adrian Wooldridge said he and John Micklethwait got the idea while compiling their 2004 book "The Right Nation," about America's conservatives. It struck them that religious observance is increasing worldwide and that irreligious Europe, not America, is the exception.

"Religion now goes hand in hand with modernity," he said. "Something happened from the 1970s onward that put that [into action] and now the world is going in the American direction."

I told him that the Jesus movement and Pentecostal/charismatic revivals of the 1960s and '70s, which originated in the United States, may have had something to do with that. the rest

A.S.Haley: P.B. Explains Bishop Ackerman’s ‘Renunciation’

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It is bad enough that the Episcopal Church (USA) has been saddled with a Presiding Bishop who cannot, and will not, recognize the limitations on her authority imposed by the Constitution and Canons of the Church. (If you have not done so already, please read Mike Watson's outstanding paper (here) on the PB's authority, and her abuses of it, posted at the ACI website.) Now, in the case of Bishop Keith Ackerman, we have crystal-clear proof of the fact that she has arrogated to herself all the functions of the Court for the Trial of a Bishop. (Bishop Bennison was lucky, as it turns out. He was probably the last bishop in ECUSA to receive a full-blown trial by (and appeal to) a court of his peers.) the rest image by Hare Guizer

When Atheists Believe

The confounding attraction of the Christian worldview.
Chuck Colson with Catherine Larson

In recent years Great Britain's chief export to the U.S. has been a payload of books by atheist authors such as evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and literary critic Christopher Hitchens. They contend that faith is irrational in the face of modern science. Other prominent British atheists seem to be having second thoughts. Is there some revival sweeping England? No; they are examining the rationality of Christianity, the very beliefs Dawkins and others are so profitably engaging, but are coming to opposite conclusions.

Well-known scholar Antony Flew was the first, saying he had to go "where the evidence [led]." Evolutionary theory, he concluded, has no reasonable explanation for the origin of life. When I met with Flew in Oxford, he told me that while he had not come to believe in the biblical God, he had concluded that atheism is not logically sustainable. the rest

The Pope Beckons Anglicans

Senate Health Care Bill Now Available Online


Africa's Anglicans Weigh Vatican Offer

OCTOBER 21, 2009

LAGOS, Nigeria -- The Vatican's invitation to Anglicans could have far-reaching repercussions across Africa, where about half of the world's 80 million Anglicans now live.

African clergymen have been some of the harshest critics of their Anglican colleagues in the West, whom they accuse of liberally interpreting the Bible. But it's far from clear whether churches here, many of which have already distanced themselves from Anglican churches in the U.S., Canada and England, would see the need to embrace the Vatican's offer.

Unlike the more tightly controlled Catholic Church, Anglican churches in Africa are largely autonomous, operating with a level of freedom that they wouldn't likely enjoy under Rome's fold.
Archbishop Peter Akinola, head of the Church of Nigeria, and the spiritual leader of Africa's 40 million Anglicans, is "still weighing the implications of the Vatican's offer" and is consulting with colleagues, according to an aide reached by telephone Wednesday. the rest

Vatican Complicates Anglican Leader's Job
Archbishop Williams is the top official in the Church of England and the "first among equals" of the global church leaders that guide the 80-million-strong Anglican Communion. That puts him in the crucial position of holding the Anglican faithful together in the wake of the Vatican's surprise move this week to make it easier for disgruntled Anglicans to convert to Catholicism.

Hundreds of Anglican clergy to meet after Vatican offer
About 500 members of Forward in Faith, the leading traditionalist grouping, will be in London to debate Pope Benedict XVI’s offer of an Anglican “ordinariate” or diocese to operate under a new Apostolic Constitution.

Will Michael Nazir-Ali go to Rome?
A former Catholic, he was received into the Anglican church into his country of birth, Pakistan, at the age of 20. He is married with two children and has just retired as Bishop of Rochester in order to work with the persecuted church.

Rome's Anglican option may change both churches
But the Pope has made a decision that may bring about the most profound change in relations between Rome and Canterbury since Henry VIII repudiated papal authority in the 16th century.

Priests in London and Yorkshire say they are tempted to join Rome
The three parishes in the united benefice voted in the 1990s for resolutions granting them distance from the Bradford Diocese. Now the three parochial church councils may face a further vote: whether to join their priest and defect en masse to Rome, albeit a version of Roman Catholicism that would allow them to maintain much of their Anglican identity.

Anglican leaders welcome new Catholic structure
"We rejoice that the Holy See has opened this doorway, which represents another step in the growing cooperation and relationship between our Churches," commented the Most Rev Robert Duncan, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh (Anglican).

Ecclesiastical Pick up Stix

How will the Vatican deal with the disparate Anglican groups that may now wish to join the Church of Rome?
October 21, 2009
Fr Dwight Longenecker

You may remember a game from childhood called 'Pick Up Stix'? A collection of colourful sticks that looked like big toothpicks would be dropped on the table and each player had to remove them one by one and place them back in the can. You had to pick up the stick in such a careful and delicate manner that you would not disturb any of the other sticks. This is not a bad analogy for the Vatican's attempt to pick up the increasingly disordered chaos that is the Anglican Communion.

It is common to think of the Worldwide Anglican Communion as a Protestant form of the Catholic Church. Catholics have their HQ in Rome. Anglicans have theirs in Canterbury. Catholics have the Pope. Anglicans have the Archbishop of Canterbury... and so forth. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Anglican Communion is more like a confederation of contradictions than a communion of the saints. At one point Anglicans worldwide were united in their shared understanding of the historic Christian faith and their shared ancestry in English language and culture. As time has progressed like an ever rolling stream the Anglican Communion has become more and more disparate. Now there are Charismatic Anglicans, Traditionalist Anglicans, Catholic Anglicans and Protestant Anglicans and New Age Anglicans and Liberal Anglicans.

In the developing world native cultures and separate political development has meant that the African, American and Asian Anglican Churches are now more African, American and Asian than Anglican.The structure of the Anglican Communion is that each national church is an independent province. They look to Canterbury for a figurehead of unity, but the Archbishop of Canterbury has no more than symbolic power. the rest

The New Roman-Anglican Initiative: Significant for Lutherans?

By Michael Root
October 21, 2009

The initiative of Rome to receive bodies of Anglicans, priests and laity, and permit them a ongoing corporate existence as “personal ordinariates” with distinct traditions may be of great significance for Lutherans and for all Western Christians – or it may not. (For details, go to the source and read the Vatican statement). In short, structures will be set up within the Catholic Church whereby parishes and priests would be under an ‘ordinary’ (the Vatican statement says a priest or a bishop) from the Anglican tradition. Such ordinariates would preserve Anglican liturgy and spirituality. Their priests could be married, but not the bishops. Anglicans could thus enter communion with Rome, while preserving many aspects of Anglican worship and spiritual life.

The apostolic constitution that will set the details for how such personal ordinariates will function has not yet been made public, which accounts for some of the present uncertainty. The term ‘personal ordinariate’ is not in the Code of Canon Law. Just how much independence will the personal ordinariates have? Larger uncertainties about the significance of this new move, however, can only be clarified by time and further developments. Will large groups of catholic-minded Anglicans who so far not left their churches now move in this direction or will the ordinariates remain small? Will such personal ordinariates be intellectually and spiritually lively or will they become museums of Anglo-Catholicism of a particular date? Will these ordinariates be strong only in a few countries (perhaps England) or will they gain a foothold in the US and, more importantly, Africa? There is no way of answering these questions now. the rest

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Devotional: Distress of soul and grief of heart...

Distress of soul and grief of heart can only bring on destruction of body. Joy alone is a healer, and ye can have it in the darkest hour if ye will force thy soul to rise to Me in worship and adoration. I have not failed thee and ye have not failed Me. Remember that I am in the midst when ye praise me. Never let any kind of anxiety crowd out thy praises. ...Frances J. Roberts
image by BobbyProm

AZ: Iraqi man runs down daughter for becoming too 'westernized'

Police seek suspect, victims hospitalized
October 21, 2009 10:38 AM
Staff report

Peoria police are searching for a man they say ran down his 20-year-old daughter in a parking lot for becoming “too 'westernized’ and ... not living according to their traditional Iraq values.”

Noor Faleh Almaleki of Surprise was taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries, police said. Another woman, Amal Edan Khalaf, 43, of Surprise also was struck and is in the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. the rest

Boston Muslims planned to open fire at mall

Prayers Requested For Nigel Mumford

Stand Firm

URGENT - A veteran in ministry to wounded and traumatized veterans needs our prayers:

Bishop Bill Love (Albany, NY) requests immediate prayers for Fr. Nigel Mumford. Fr. Mumford in in ICU and has taken a turn for the worse. He is on 100% oxygen. More is needed. Pray with hope and expectation. Bishop Bill is on his way to the hospital.

Fr. Nigel is a retired British officer with a powerful anointing for healing who is involved in a ministry called Welcome Home Initiative that ministers to military dealing with post-war trauma.

They have been trying to develop the ministry on a national and international scale and Fr. Nigel met this month with top military chaplains at the Pentegon who were very excited about this ministry.

Fr. Mumford and Bishop Bill are scheduled to lead a Welcome Home Initiative retreat on Oct 26-28.

For today’s updates go to Lent and Beyond.

( I have been the recipient of healing prayer by Nigel+ several times. The Lord has used him powerfully in healing ministry both at Christ the King Spiritual Life Center in Greenwich, NY and all around the world.
Please pray! -Pat Dague)

Fr. Nigel update
8:30 pm, October 21, 2009

I just talked with Fr. Haskell. He gave me the follow update on Fr. Nigel. This report was given to him at 5 pm.

There is no appreciable change in Fr. Nigel's condition. He is still "critical but stable." He is still getting oxygen at 90%. The nurses reported that last night "was the best night he has had."

Pray that the fluid in his lungs would go away. Pray that Jesus would be in charge of this whole situation and that Fr. Nigel would be returned to the ministry that God has prepared for him.

The wife of a deacon in the diocese received this prayer for Fr. Nigel: "The glorious light of the Resurrection encircles and empowers me, destroying all death."

Over 140 people that I know of have been praying for him. I also know that many others in this and other countries have been praying for him.

Torre Bissell, Albany Intercessor

Robbery victim talks about praying with suspect

Oct 21, 2009

A terrified woman's compassionate words brought an armed robber to his knees in prayer.


Kendall Harmon: Comments on the Latest Move from Rome

October 21, 2009

I have a slew of emails and telephone calls asking what I think of this latest development. Herewith a few thoughts for starters.

(1) It represents a huge indictment of the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Many people question Rome's motivations, but I believe Rome, which has been watching Anglican developments like a hawk in recent years, wanted Anglicanism globally to succeed. Their response to the Windsor Report, for example, was quite favorable. This move to me shows they do not believe the Anglican moment in history to help global Christianity can take place sufficiently under Rowan Williams.

(2) It represents a sweeping judgment on Anglicanism in particular. Rome believes, as John 17 says, that the world may know the gospel if Christians are one as Jesus and the Father are one. Such a unity is only possible through a church with catholic order and evangelical faith. Rome has watched global Anglicanism evolve and has seen the Instruments of Unity be used repeatedly, over a period of time, and they have judged that Anglicanism itself is not and will not work for the cause of real global Catholicism going forward.

(3) It repesents a judgment that the real story going forward is between Rome and the East. Do not underestimate the significance of the fact that in this present unusual "arrangement," if I may call it that, Rome has drawn the line at Episcopal celibacy. That is a gesture Eastward, among many others things.

(4) It represents a sense that only a external action will have any benefit to Anglicanism going forward. Let us not kid ourselves. Rome put a lot into ecumencial conversations with Anglicans because they believe that more internal mechanisms and persuasions were possible. Now, in their judgment, they are not. They don't see a future of greater Anglican unity they see one of greater Anglican splintering. At this level, it represents a shout which one wonders if any Anglicans will hear--KSH. link/comments

WSJ: Vatican in Bold Bid to Attract Anglicans
A newly created set of canon laws, known as an "Apostolic Constitution," will clear the way for entire congregations of Anglican faithful to join the Catholic Church. That represents a potentially serious threat to the already fragile world-wide communion of national Anglican churches, which has about 77 million members globally.

Gledhill: Pope's gambit could see 1,000 quit Church of England
As many as 1,000 priests could quit the Church of England and thousands more may leave churches in America and Australia under bold proposals to welcome Anglicans to Rome.

Fr. Steenson: Policy Reflects Pope’s Passion

October 20, 2009

Even as he studied at the Pontifical Irish College in Rome last year, the Rev. Jeffrey Steenson did not know just how much the Vatican was preparing to widen its arms to Anglican pilgrims like himself.

Fr. Steenson, as he is now known again, served as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande from 2005 to 2007, when he resigned to join the Roman Catholic Church. He now teaches theology at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas.

“I was certainly aware that there were very significant conversations going on at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, but I didn’t know the scope of things,” Fr. Steenson told The Living Church. the rest

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Devotional: You are the shade in the heat...

You are the shade in the heat,
You are shelter in the cold,
You are eyes to the blind,
You are a staff to the pilgrim,
You are an island in the sea,
You are a stronghold upon land,
You are healing to the sick.
You are the luck of every joy,
You are the light of the sun's beam,
You are the door of lordly welcome,
You are the pole star of guidance,
You are the step of the roe of the height,
You are the step of the white-faced mare,
You are the grace of the swimming swan,
You are the jewel in each mystery.
Gaelic prayer
image by jeffwilcox

The Most Amazing Medical Images of 2009


Albany Standing Committee endorses Anglican Communion Covenant

Letter from Bishop Love
(via email-diocesan newsletter)

October 20, 2009

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

During its regularly scheduled October 5th meeting, the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Albany passed a resolution endorsing the four sections of the Third (Ridley Cambridge) Draft of the Anglican Communion Covenant. In addition, the Standing Committee is recommending that the same or a similar endorsement be placed before the Diocesan Convention for adoption.

As the Bishop of Albany, I concur with the resolution passed by the Standing Committee and its recommendation that a similar resolution endorsing the Anglican Communion Covenant, (once it appears in its final form) come before the Diocesan Convention for approval. In preparation for that, in the coming months, we as a Diocese, will study and discuss the proposed Covenant in order that we can make an informed decision at Diocesan Convention. A copy of the Third (Ridley Cambridge) Draft of the Anglican Communion Covenant can be found on the Anglican Communion Official Website: Here

Part four of the Ridley Cambridge Draft is currently under revision. By Thursday, we will have it posted on our website and any changes will be posted as we receive them.

The Reverend Paul Hartt, President of the Standing Committee, sent a letter to Archbishop Rowan Williams and The Reverend Canon Kenneth Kearon at The Anglican Communion Office, informing them of the Standing Committee’s endorsement of the Third (Ridley Cambridge) Draft of the Anglican Communion Covenant and their hope that it would be adopted by every province of the Anglican Communion. A copy of the letter was sent to Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori.

I conveyed my personal support of the Third (Ridley Cambridge) Draft of the Anglican Communion covenant, to Archbishop Rowan Williams and the Reverend Canon Kenneth Kearon when I and six other bishops of The Episcopal Church met with them seperately in London during a private meeting on September 1st.

Faithfully Yours in Christ,

+ Bill

CANA: Vatican Move Recognizes Reality of Anglican Divide

via email

(October 20, 2009) – Bishop Martyn Minns, Missionary Bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), issued the following response to the newly approved church provision, announced today by the Vatican, that allows Anglicans to join the Catholic Church.

“The Vatican is opening a door for Anglicans who sense a call to be part of the Church of Rome to join that body and still maintain Anglican traditions. This move by the Catholic Church recognizes the reality of the divide within the Anglican Communion and affirms the decision to create a new North American province that embraces biblical truth. While we welcome the positive response from the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury regarding the Vatican ’s provision, we urge Lambeth Palace to move swiftly to fully endorse the efforts of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and the Anglican Church in North America to keep the Anglican family together,” said Bishop Minns.

“ Rome is reminding Anglicans that our historic, orthodox faith is more important than culture and more important than geography. CANA itself bears witness to the fact that God’s church is made up of believers across the globe. The centrality of Jesus Christ and the authority of Scripture are the unwavering bonds that have drawn CANA churches and others within the Anglican Church in North America together. Our continued prayer is for Anglicans across the world to be able to stay faithful to orthodox beliefs,” Minns concluded.The church provision, known as an Apostolic Constitution, allowing Anglicans to join the Catholic Church was announced by Cardinal William Levada. An Apostolic Constitution is the highest level of decree that the Pope can issue and underscores the historic nature of this action.
The Convocation of Anglicans in North America

Anglican Church in North America Responds to Vatican Announcement

See this post for updated information on the Vatican/Anglican announcement.

YouTube video records attack on pro-life advocate near abortuary

Fresno, Calif.,
Oct 20, 2009

(CNA).- A Latino pro-life advocate participating in the 40 Days for Life campaign outside a California abortion clinic was assaulted last Thursday by a pro-choice woman who cut his arm while going on an obscene tirade. Video of the attack has been posted on YouTube.

Victor Fierro, director of Latinos4Life, was outside the Planned Parenthood Mar Monte affiliate in Fresno, California when a woman passed by and shouted obscenities at him. She also called him a “fascist” who “hates women’s rights.”

According to audio of the off-camera incident posted on YouTube, one man chuckled in reply, saying “Thank you very much and God bless you.”

Soon after, the woman returned. She cut Fierro's arm with an unknown object, drawing blood, before returning to her car and fleeing the scene. The attacker’s face and license plate were captured on camera.
the rest Video-strong language!

Obama’s Moral-Leadership Balloon Crashes

Realpolitik and misplaced faith in diplomacy keeps trumping human rights.
October 20, 2009
By Mona Charen

The world thinks better of the United States, we are told, because Barack Obama is in the White House. Maybe the world is wrong.

It’s fanciful, of course, to speak of what “the world” thinks about anything. It’s safe to say that among Norwegian prize-givers and Canadian avant-garde filmmakers, Obama is extremely popular. And certainly among bien pensant Americans, the advent of Obama is viewed as the moral pinnacle of American history. It has always been a particular vanity of the Left to believe itself morally superior to others. But the claims for this presidency have been beyond extravagant. Global human rights, morality, and justice took a “great leap forward” (as Anita Dunn’s favorite political philosopher might say) on January 20. But in the space of just nine months, the Obama administration has betrayed the cause of human rights around the globe.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton helped set the tone in February by swatting away a question about human rights abuses in China. Those issues, she said, “can’t interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis, and the security crisis.” Political prisoners, Tibetans, and religious minorities may have been dejected by this stony dismissal, but the Chinese government was delighted. “This type of realistic attitude could be followed by other Western leaders,” an official newspaper noted with satisfaction. the rest

UCLA Study: The Internet Is Altering Our Brains

Monday, October 19, 2009

Adults with little Internet experience show changes in their brain activity after just one week online, a new study finds.

The results suggest Internet training can stimulate neural activation patterns and could potentially enhance brain function and cognition in older adults.

As the brain ages, a number of structural and functional changes occur, including atrophy, or decay, reductions in cell activity and increases in complex things like deposits of amyloid plaques and tau tangles, which can impact cognitive function.

Research has shown that mental stimulation similar to the stimulation that occurs in individuals who frequently use the Internet may affect the efficiency of cognitive processing and alter the way the brain encodes new information. the rest

Study Shows Adult Stem Cell Grafts Help Paralyzed

Sunday, 18 October 2009

In the study, 20 patients with severe chronic spinal cord injuries received a treatment combination of partial scar removal, transplantation of nasal tissue containing stem cells to the site of the spinal cord injury and rehabilitation. All of the patients had total paralysis below the level of their spinal cord injury before the treatment.

“This may be the first clinical study of patients with severe, chronic spinal cord injury to report considerable functional improvement in some patients with a combination treatment,” Peduzzi-Nelson said. “Normally, in people with spinal cord injuries that happened more than 18 months ago, there is little improvement.”

The injuries in the study patients were 18 months to 15 years old. The patients, ages 19 to 37, had no use of their legs before the treatment. One paraplegic treated almost three years after the injury now ambulates with two crutches and knee braces. Ten other patients ambulate with physical assistance and walkers (with and without braces). One 31-year-old male tetriplegic patient uses a walker without the help of knee braces or physical assistance. When the stem cell transplant and scar removal process was combined with an advanced form of rehabilitative training that employs brain-initiated weight-bearing movement, 13 patients improved in the standard measures used to assess functional independence and walking capabilities. the rest

Albert Mohler: The Battle is Over? — Bishop Spong Exits the Debate

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"The battle is over. The victory has been won. There is no reasonable doubt as to what the final outcome of the struggle will be." Those are the words of John Shelby Spong, the retired Episcopal bishop of Newark, New Jersey. In his recently released "manifesto," Bishop Spong declares, "it is time to move on" and pledges never again to debate the issues of homosexuality or homosexual rights.

John Shelby Spong's new manifesto is a sign of the times. For the past three decades, Bishop Spong has staked out a theological position that is so far outside the realm of Christian orthodoxy that it defies description. In a succession of notorious publications, Spong has denied virtually every conceivable doctrine and has embraced almost every imaginable heresy. His abandonment of biblical Christianity is both intentional and straightforward -- what this bishop demands is nothing less than the total reformulation of the Christian faith. In other words, Bishop Spong would replace Christianity with a new post-Christian religion while continuing to be recognized as a bishop of the Episcopal Church. the rest image

Bishop Ackerman Responds to ‘Renunciation’

October 19, 2009

The Rt. Rev. Keith Ackerman expressed dismay on Monday that the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church has described him as renouncing his orders as a bishop. Bishop Ackerman resigned from the Diocese of Quincy in November 2008.

“I did so for reasons of physical, spiritual and emotional distress, related to the ongoing demise of the Episcopal Church,” he said in a statement that he read at the beginning of a conference call arranged by Anglicans United, which is based in Dallas, Texas.

Now that Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has described him as renouncing his ministry, “I cannot go back to the church of my childhood and perform a funeral,” Bishop Ackerman said. “There has been absolutely no pastoral concern or pastoral care.”

Bishop Ackerman said he would not have responded to the Presiding Bishop’s actions if she had not gone public with the matter. He said that publicity prompted many people to ask whether he had indeed renounced his orders as a bishop. the rest

A.S. Haley: Ms. Jefferts Schori, Produce the Letters!
"It is clear that either the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church (USA) or Bishop Ackerman must be lying. The one person who can clear this up is the Presiding Bishop: since Bishop Ackerman says he kept no copies of his handwritten letters, the Presiding Bishop should produce them for everyone to see exactly what they said, and exactly how they constituted a statement of renunciation. An official statement of renunciation is not the same thing as a private letter: it forms a part of Bishop Ackerman's record at ECUSA, and since it was the basis for removing him from his ministry, it should be open for anyone to inspect.

Ronald Reagan famously said: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

I am not the president of anything, but as members in good standing of the Episcopal Church (USA), any of us can say to the Presiding Bishop: "Ms. Jefferts Schori, produce those letters!"

Will some bishops who do have regular access to the Presiding Bishop please join us in demanding to see the letters?

There is the stuff of a presentment here, if it should be clear from the letters that the Presiding Bishop has lied in order to remove a bishop from the Church."

Joint Statement by The Archbishop of Westminster and The Archbishop of Canterbury

October 20, 2009

Today's announcement of the Apostolic Constitution is a response by Pope Benedict XVI to a number of requests over the past few years to the Holy See from groups of Anglicans who wish to enter into full visible communion with the Roman Catholic Church, and are willing to declare that they share a common Catholic faith and accept the Petrine ministry as willed by Christ for his Church.

Pope Benedict XVI has approved, within the Apostolic Constitution, a canonical structure that provides for Personal Ordinariates, which will allow former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of distinctive Anglican spiritual patrimony.

The announcement of this Apostolic Constitution brings to an end a period of uncertainty for such groups who have nurtured hopes of new ways of embracing unity with the Catholic Church. It will now be up to those who have made requests to the Holy See to respond to the Apostolic Constitution.

The Apostolic Constitution is further recognition of the substantial overlap in faith, doctrine and spirituality between the Catholic Church and the Anglican tradition. Without the dialogues of the past forty years, this recognition would not have been possible, nor would hopes for full visible unity have been nurtured. In this sense, this Apostolic Constitution is one consequence of ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.

The on-going official dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion provides the basis for our continuing cooperation. The Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) and International Anglican Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) agreements make clear the path we will follow together.

With God's grace and prayer we are determined that our on-going mutual commitment and consultation on these and other matters should continue to be strengthened. Locally, in the spirit of IARCCUM, we look forward to building on the pattern of shared meetings between the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales and the Church of England's House of Bishops with a focus on our common mission. Joint days of reflection and prayer were begun in Leeds in 2006 and continued in Lambeth in 2008, and further meetings are in preparation. This close cooperation will continue as we grow together in unity and mission, in witness to the Gospel in our country, and in the Church at large.

+ Vincent + Rowan

(*I will be adding to this post as I come across related stories-PD)

Pope Benedict to Anglicans: Come Home to Rome
October 20, 2009, will go down in history as a turning point in Catholic-Anglican relations. This morning, at 11 A.M. Rome time (5 A.M. EDT), the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith announced new procedures through which entire congregations of Anglicans can be reunited to the Catholic Church.

Pope Benedict XVI has approved a structure for admitting large groups of Anglicans wishing to come into communion with the Catholic Church
The Apostolic Constitution, which Cardinal Levada said “provides a reasonable and even necessary response to a world-wide phenomenon”, will be a “single canonical model for the universal Church which is adaptable to various local situations and equitable to former Anglicans in its universal application.

Anglicans 'welcomed' by Catholics-BBC
Anglican clergy and worshippers can join the Roman Catholic church but maintain a distinct religious identity under changes announced by the Pope.

Gledhill: Pope unity move 'not act of proselytism or aggression' says Rowan Williams
"It remains to be seen what use will be made of this provision, since it is now up to those who have made requests to the Holy See to respond to the Apostolic Constitution; but, in the light of recent discussions with senior officials in the Vatican, I can say that this new possibility is in no sense at all intended to undermine existing relations between our two communions or to be an act of proselytism or aggression."

Vatican opens the doors to Anglican traditionalists
Religious Intelligence: BY THE TIME Pope Benedict XVI descends on England next year, swathes of Anglican clergy and parishioners could have flocked to the Roman Catholic Church following a new Apostolic Constitution devised by the Holy See to welcome disgruntled Anglicans.

Rome converts urged to decide by February 22

NYT: Vatican Creates New Structure for Anglicans
The new Catholic church structures, called Personal Ordinariates, will be units of faithful established within local Catholic Churches, headed by former Anglican prelates who will provide spiritual care for Anglicans who wish to be Catholic.

The Anchoress: Pope: Anglicans, Liturgy, Welcome!

Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans Entering the Catholic Church
In this Apostolic Constitution the Holy Father has introduced a canonical structure that provides for such corporate reunion by establishing Personal Ordinariates, which will allow former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony. Under the terms of the Apostolic Constitution, pastoral oversight and guidance will be provided for groups of former Anglicans through a Personal Ordinariate, whose Ordinary will usually be appointed from among former Anglican clergy.

The Living Church: Rome Welcomes Sojourning Anglicans

Telegraph: Pope's decree leaves Archbishop's hopes in ruins

Zenit: Pope Paves Way for Anglicans to Enter Church

Monday, October 19, 2009

Devotional: The boundless stores of Providence...

The boundless stores of Providence are engaged for the support of the believer. Christ is our Joseph, who has granaries full of wheat; but He does not treat us as Joseph did the Egyptians, for He opens the door of His storehouse and bids us call all the good therein our own. He has entailed upon His estate of Providence a perpetual charge of a daily portion for us, and He has promised that one day we shall clearly perceive that the estate itself has been well-farmed on our behalf and has always been ours. The axle of the wheels of the chariot of Providence is Infinite Love, and Gracious Wisdom is the perpetual charioteer.
...CH Spurgeon
image by mr.bologna

New Research Explores How Different Generations View and Use the Bible

Barna Group
October 19, 2009

However, despite these similarities, the Barna studies show that the youngest generations are charting a new, unique course related to the Bible. Here are the types of changes being forged by young adults:

■Less Sacred – While most Americans of all ages identify the Bible as sacred, the drop-off among the youngest adults is striking: 9 out of 10 Boomers and Elders described the Bible as sacred, which compares to 8 out of 10 Busters (81%) and just 2 out of 3 Mosaics (67%).

■Less Accurate – Young adults are significantly less likely than older adults to strongly agree that the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches. Just 30% of Mosaics and 39% of Busters firmly embraced this view, compared with 46% of Boomers and 58% of Elders.

■More Universalism – Among Mosaics, a majority (56%) believes the Bible teaches the same spiritual truths as other sacred texts, which compares with 4 out of 10 Busters and Boomers, and one-third of Elders.

■Skepticism of Origins – Another generational difference is that young adults are more likely to express skepticism about the original manuscripts of the Bible than is true of older adults.

■Less Engagement – While many young adults are active users of the Bible, the pattern shows a clear generational drop-off – the younger the person, the less likely then are to read the Bible. In particular, Busters and Mosaics are less likely than average to have spent time alone in the last week praying and reading the Bible for at least 15 minutes. Interestingly, none of the four generations were particularly likely to say they aspired to read the Bible more as a means of improving their spiritual lives.

■Bible Appetite – Despite the generational decline in many Bible metrics, one departure from the typical pattern is the fact that younger adults, especially Mosaics (19%), express a slightly above-average interest in gaining additional Bible knowledge. This compares with 12% of Boomers and 9% of Elders. the rest image by trazomfreak

Pro-Life Students on Over 3,000 Campuses to Go Silent

By Audrey Barrick
Christian Post Reporter
Mon, Oct. 19 2009

Students in more than 3,000 schools will stick on the familiar red tape over their mouths on Tuesday to stand up for the thousands who are silenced every day by abortion.

The Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity is in its sixth year and is a powerful testament to the widespread pro-life attitude among teens and young adults.

"It's our way of speaking for those who can't," Brittany Shepherd, 15, of Challenger High School in Hickory, N.C., told the Hickory Daily Record. "It's to show our respect to those who didn't get to live."

Adorned with red arm bands and duct tape that say "Life," thousands of students from public schools and homeschools will distribute fliers explaining why they are silent and to educate their peers and others about the more than 50 million babies that have been aborted since the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling. the rest

Announcement tomorrow on Catholic-Anglican relations

Archbishops of Canterbury and Westminster at joint press conference
By Damian Thompson
October 19th, 2009

UPDATE: Fr Z is speculating that tomorrow’s press conferences will confirm that the Traditional Anglican Communion, a rebel Anglican group that left the Anglican Communion many years ago, is to be received into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. That makes sense, as the TAC has been dealing with the CDF, which it trusts more than the Vatican’s professional ecumenists. If Fr Z is right, then +Rowan and +Vincent may put on a show of (partial) unity in order to prevent talks of splits, mainstream Anglicans “coming over”, etc. We shall see.

Something big seems to be brewing in Rome and London. the rest

Italian media speculates: Vatican will announce massive reception of Anglicans into Catholic Church tomorrow

Stem Cells from Fat Used to Grow Teen's Missing Facial Bones

Surgeons report success in first human bone growth procedure using fat stem cells--with no culturing necessary
By Katherine Harmon
October 15, 2009

Stem cells so far have been used to mend tissues ranging from damaged hearts to collapsed tracheas. Now the multifaceted cells have proved successful at regrowing bone in humans. In the first procedure of its kind, doctors at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center replaced a 14-year-old boy's missing cheekbones—in part by repurposing stem cells from his own body.

The technique, should it be approved for widespread use, could benefit some seven million people in the U.S. who need more bone—everyone from cancer patients to injured war veterans.

"This is sort of the holy grail for a number of different surgeons," says Jesse Taylor, a surgeon and researcher in the hospital's Division of Plastic Surgery and one of the procedure's lead physicians. The procedure could be used in plastic, orthopedic and neural surgeries, he notes. Some bone tissue had previously been generated from stem cells in the lab, but this marks hope for a surgical solution for those who need additional bone. the rest

Five Nominees Oppose Same-Sex Blessings

October 19, 2009

All five nominees in the Episcopal Church’s Diocese of Upper South Carolina’s search for an eighth bishop say they would not counsel a rector to proceed with blessing a same-sex couple.

Three of the nominees — the Very Rev. John B. Burwell, the Rev. Canon Neal O. Michell and the Rev. Jerre Stockton Williams, Jr. — advise against the practice because the Episcopal Church is part of the Anglican Communion. The other two nominees – the Rev. David F.O. Thompson and the Rev. W. Andrew Waldo — advise against the practice because General Convention has not formally authorized such blessings.

General Convention said, in Resolution C056, that “bishops, particularly those in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same-gender marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships are legal, may provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this church.” Such services have occurred openly in the dioceses of California, Massachusetts and Minnesota since General Convention. the rest

Lord of the Wedding Dance

What a Christian marriage ceremony is all about.
A Christianity Today editorial

It's you and me, moving at the speed of light into eternity …." So begins this past summer's viral YouTube video, "Jill and Kevin's Wedding Entrance."

What at first seems like a somber church processional becomes choreographed exuberance, as the couple and their friends shake and boogie down the aisle to Chris Brown's club hit, "Forever." Little did Jill and Kevin know that 22,875,767 others would join those in the pews to watch the show.

The video has triggered varied responses from evangelicals. Many have compared the couple's dancing to King David's joyful jig, while others have questioned the couple's silliness upon entering such a serious affair. Others just turned their speakers up and watched again, "because it just makes me feel so darn good!" as one commenter put it. In the midst of this, perhaps it's time for the church to ask, What is the purpose of the wedding ceremony, anyway? the rest

Colorado insurers say health care bill would lead to "system collapse"

Executives, who critics say are using scare tactics, contend proposed penalties for opting out are too low.
By Jennifer Brown
The Denver Post

Colorado insurance executives, cautious supporters of health care reform throughout the past year, are now warning that current proposals could cause a "system collapse."
At issue are what insurance companies consider absurdly low penalties for people who choose not to buy health insurance.

Their concern: People will buy insurance only when they desperately need it, such as after they're diagnosed with cancer or heart disease.

Healthy people might choose to pay the penalty, now proposed at a few hundred dollars per year, because it is far less expensive than buying insurance. the rest

Franklin Graham Preaches to 10,000 at China Megachurch

By Ethan Cole
Christian Post Reporter
Mon, Oct. 19 2009

Before the overflowing crowd at Bethel Church of Baoding, located about 120 miles south of Beijing, Graham stressed that each person there isnot just one figure in China’s 1.3 billion population nor too insignificant to meet God. To the Almighty Lord, each of them is important as was Zacchaeus, who was given the choice to accept or reject Jesus’ invitation to come down and meet him.

“I’m here today to tell you that not only does God know who you are, He loves you,” the evangelist said, according to Decision Magazine, the publication of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA).

Sunday's appearance marked the second time in the past two years that the American evangelist has preached to thousands in China. Last May, Graham preached the Good News to some 12,000 people in mainland China's largest church, Hangzhou Chong-Yi Christian church. the rest

‘Oba Mao’: Chinese Grab Gear Depicting Obama as Communist

The Persecution of Belmont Abbey

Obama's EEOC doesn't believe in religious liberty.
by Charlotte Allen
10/26/2009, Volume 015,

On July 30 of this year, a regional office of the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) notified Belmont Abbey College, a small Catholic institution not far from Charlotte, N.C., that its policy of not covering contraception in its employee health insurance plan violated Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the landmark law forbidding discrimination in employment on the basis of race, sex, and other characteristics. The letter, sent by the EEOC's district office in Charlotte, informed Belmont Abbey that the EEOC had made a "determination" that by "denying prescription contraceptive drugs," the college was "discriminating based on gender because only females take oral prescription contraceptives."

The letter came as a shock to Belmont Abbey, because a little less than five months earlier, on March 12, that very same EEOC district office had issued a completely different determination: telling the college that its investigation had left it unable to conclude that there were any "violations of the statutes." The commission dismissed the complaint brought by eight members of the Belmont Abbey faculty challenging the legality of Belmont Abbey's anti-contraceptives policy. the rest

Benedict XVI to visit Lutheran Church of Rome

Vatican City
Oct 16, 2009

(CNA) During the presentation of the book, “Harvesting the Fruits. Fundamental Aspects of the Christian Faith in Ecumenical Dialogue. Consensus, Convergences and Differences,” the president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, Cardinal Walter Kasper, announced that Pope Benedict XVI will soon visit the Lutheran Church of Rome.

During the ceremony, Cardinal Kasper explained that “the Pope has the intention of visiting the Lutheran Church of Rome,” although a date has not yet been set. the rest

Attempt to Ban Minarets Sparks Censorship Controversy in Switzerland

Monday, October 19, 2009
By Patrick Goodenough, International Editor

( – Supporters of a bid to outlaw minarets in Switzerland have been accused of undermining free expression, but they now accuse their critics of doing the same thing by banning a poster promoting the campaign ahead of a referendum next month.

Calling the posters discriminatory, a number of Swiss local authorities have prohibited their display in public locations. The poster depicts a burqa-clad woman alongside a Swiss flag pierced by minarets.
the rest/image

Queen Elizabeth asked to convert to Islam

"Britain does not need a new leader, it needs a revolution - an Islamic revolution."
Oct 19, 2009

A Muslim preacher has sparked controversy after asking for Britain's Queen Elizabeth to convert to his faith.

Anjem Choudary claims the only way the 83-year-old monarch, who is head of the Church of England, will be sure of a place in heaven is if she becomes Muslim.

He said: "We invite everyone from the queen, to the ministers, to the Parliament, to the aristocracy, to the ordinary person in Britain to embrace Islam.

"Save yourself and your children in this life from misery and prepare them for a great destiny in the hereafter." the rest

Sydney diocese's $160 million financial loss

October 20, 2009

THE shaken Anglican Archbishop of Sydney admits he has wondered whether God had decided to punish his diocese.

Peter Jensen confessed yesterday to being grief-stricken by the size of the diocese's $160 million financial loss and called on his faithful not be panicked or paralysed by the money crisis but to turn to God in ''active faith''.

In an impassioned speech aimed at lifting morale at the annual synod, Dr Jensen said he had been struggling emotionally to come to terms with the losses which have triggered cuts to ministries and jobs, including senior clergy positions. He believed the loss could be a warning to the wealthiest Anglican diocese in Australia not to rely on its wealth. the rest

Australia: Non-Christians to marry in Anglican churches

Caroline Overington
October 20, 2009
The Australian

AUSTRALIA'S largest and most conservative Anglican diocese will tomorrow approve changes that would permit couples to marry in church, whether or not they are Christian.

The change to be passed at the Sydney synod tomorrow makes the diocese the 14th of the country's 23 to approve the reform that would allow an unbaptised Australian to be married in church provided he or she meets the basic standards for civil marriage: a union between a man and woman voluntarily entered into for life.

The change was first mooted at the Anglican general synod in 2007. It has since been put to the different dioceses for agreement and will go back to the national synod next year. Of 16 dioceses that have so far considered it, 13 have agreed, including Melbourne and Adelaide, with Sydney to follow tomorrow, breaching the halfway mark.

The reform drops the "faith requirement" promulgated in 1981 that requires at least one half of the couple be baptised into the Christian faith (not necessarily Anglican). the rest

A.S. Haley: ECUSA Succumbs to the Second Law

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Episcopal Church (USA) is no exception to the Law. I submit that all of the outward signs point to a draining from it of people and energy which at the moment is very much greater than what it is managing to attract to itself.

There is no glee to be had here, no Schadenfreude. I am an Episcopalian -- a member of a Church that is in free fall, and whose current leadership is a disgrace, as they say, to the profession. Consider the fifty-year trend in its numbers, as vividly portrayed by Bishop FitzSimons Allison in this brilliant analysis of what that leadership has done wrong -- and continues to do wrong, as borne out by the latest figures. Consider the huge drain on its reserves caused by that leadership's decisions to go to court wherever and whenever they think another parish (or diocese) must be sued for its property.

And last, but by no means least, consider the self-inflicted wounds caused by the Church's deposition of more than 200 of its clergy in just the last eight years -- every one of them unnecessary when simple letters dimissory would have sufficed. Add to this, now, the arrogant and lawless leadership of the Chief Kaitiff (for so I must call her when she acts in this way) -- whose respect for the Church's Canons is as non-existent as is her understanding of them. the rest

Meeting considers future of SC Episcopal diocese

Associated Press Writer
Monday, Oct. 19, 2009

CHARLESTON, S.C. South Carolina Episcopalians this week consider a resolution to withdraw from the national Episcopal Church.

The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina made up of churches in the eastern and lower part of the state meets in Mount Pleasant on Saturday.

One resolution would authorize church leaders to begin withdrawing from the national church. the rest

Episcopal Church reluctant to release Sunday attendance figures

Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori stated she was “not able to comment” on what the numbers were, as “I don’t have it in my head.”
Monday, 19th October 2009
By George Conger

The Episcopal Church’s membership and Sunday attendance statistics for 2008 have been distributed to members of its national Executive Council, but the church has declined to release the numbers to the public.

Average Sunday attendance grew slowly from 1997 to 2002 in the American Episcopal Church, rising from 841,445 to 846,640.

However in the five years following the consecration of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire and an intensification of the church’s internal divisions, attendance has declined by 14 per cent to 727,822. However, some liberal leaders have claimed the decline has been stemmed. Speaking to the New York Times at the July 2009 General Convention, Bishop Robinson said his diocese was bucking national trends and had grown, and numbered “15,000 people.” the rest

"You can't teach the Ten Commandments in public schools. But teaching the five pillars of Islam is A-OK."

October 16, 2009

A few weeks old, but still current -- the stealth jihad to whitewash Islam and propagate it in the public schools still continues. "Schoolhouse Shariah," from Investor's Business Daily, September 24 (thanks to Allyson):

Multiculturalism: California's educrats have put out new rules for teaching Islamic studies to seventh-graders in public schools, and they are as biased as ever. They'll also likely spread eastward.

The lesson guidelines adopted by the bellwether state whitewash the violence and oppression of women codified in Islamic law, or Shariah. And they're loaded with revisionist history about the faith. the rest