Saturday, February 13, 2010

Devotional: But Christ's love sees us with terrible clarity...

Romantic love is blind to everything except what is lovable and lovely, but Christ's love sees us with terrible clarity and sees us whole. Christ's love so wishes our joy that it is ruthless against everything in us that diminishes our joy. The worst sentence Love can pass is that we behold the suffering which Love has endured for our sake, and that is also our acquittal. The justice and mercy of the judge are ultimately one.
...Frederick Buechner image by Resclassic2

Pope to Meet With Bishops on Sex Abuse Scandal

Feb. 13, 2010

As the increasingly vocal survivors of Ireland's Catholic sexual abuse scandal wait for answers and apologies, Pope Benedict XVI will hold an unprecedented two-day summit with Ireland's bishops at the Vatican starting Monday. The Pope's direct involvement marks a milestone in a crisis that has deeply marred the Catholic Church's image in what was once one of its most devoted countries.

The meeting comes a little more than two months after the release of a devastating investigation, known as the Murphy Report, revealing the scope of child abuse by priests in the diocese of Dublin. Like previous reports on other parts of the church in Ireland, it laid out how for decades the Catholic hierarchy appeared primarily concerned with covering up the crimes of its priests. the rest

Methodists likely to merge with Church of England

The Methodist Church is on its way to rejoining the Church of England in a historic move.
By Martin Beckford
12 Feb 2010

The head of the non-conformist denomination said it was ready to come back to the national church after 200 years apart, if it would help spread the word of God.

A merger would have profound implications not just for both sets of worshippers but also the finances of the united Christian church and its property portfolio.

The Methodist Church of Great Britain has just 265,000 members compared with the 960,000 who attend Sunday services each week in the Church of England. the rest

Openly Gay Episcopal Priest Receives More Nods

Sat, Feb. 13 2010
By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter

A controversial priest who has a lesbian partner has so far received more than half the votes she needs to be consecrated as an assistant bishop.

And the 120-day consent process began just a month ago.

The Rev. Canon Mary Douglas Glasspool has 29 consents to become bishop suffragan, according to a recent report by the Diocese of Los Angeles. She needs 56 to be confirmed as the second openly homosexual bishop in The Episcopal Church.

"Throughout her 30 years of ordained ministry, the Rev. Mary Glasspool has been faithful and consistent to the ministry, doctrine and teaching of the Episcopal Church," Bishop Nathan Baxter of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania wrote in a pastoral letter indicating his consent. the rest

Friday, February 12, 2010

Feds admit they wronged pro-lifers

Charlie Butts
OneNewsNow
2/12/2010

Pro-life Wisconsin is raising serious questions about information gathered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) since information was inappropriately shared with the Middleton (Wisconsin) Police Department.

Peggy Hamill, director of Pro-Life Wisconsin, tells OneNewsNow the federal agency has acknowledged the "threat assessment."

"The Homeland Security Civil Rights Department concluded that the investigation had been an improper use of department resources and also inappropriately directed against activities protected by the First Amendment," she reports.

The agency concluded law enforcement inappropriately engaged in the collection, retention, and sharing of information on groups protesting a University of Wisconsin abortion facility. the rest

Iran accused of jamming foreign broadcasts

AFP
posted February 12,2010

LONDON — Three international broadcasters on Friday accused Iran of deliberately jamming their output.

Britain's BBC, German broadcaster Deutsche Welle and the Voice of America said the interference began on Thursday as Iran celebrated the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

They accused Iran of broadcasting freely around the world while denying the Iranian people programmes coming from outside the country.

BBC World News was the latest TV channel to be jammed this week. the rest

Schools close as South starts getting rare snow

By MELISSA NELSON, Associated Press Writer
posted February 12, 2010

PENSACOLA, Fla. – It took back-to-back blizzards to paralyze the nation's capital, but in the Deep South it only takes a couple inches of snow.

Flakes were falling — or threatened — Friday from Texas to the Florida Panhandle and then up along the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina, bringing a rare white landscape to spots that haven't seen snow in a decade or longer. The storm was crawling east out of Texas, where it left the Dallas area with more than a foot of snow, nearly 200 traffic accidents, thousands without power and hundreds of canceled flights. the rest

Deep South braces for big snow

Rare snowfall in Rome as cold snap grips Italy

Vatican newspaper calls new stem cell source 'future of medicine'

'We are studying a particular type of stem cell, the amniotic stem cell, that represents a 'first' in the course of our existence.'
2/5/2010
Catholic News Agency

ROME, Italy (CNA) - The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano republished an interview on Wednesday detailing current research on a new source of stem cells that is being called "the future of medicine."

According to the Vatican newspaper, the pioneering research is presently taking place at the Biocell Center of Busto Arsizio in Milan and involves using stem cells taken from amniotic fluid to create a retinal regeneration therapy. This stem cell source is considered morally licit as it does not require the destruction of human embryos.
the rest

Russian Call For 'Postnatal Abortion' Sparks Furor Among Parents Of Disabled

February 08, 2010
By Claire Bigg, Lyubov Chizhova, Aleksandr Kulygin

In late December, Snezhana Mitina received a tearful phone call from her friend Svetlana. Sobbing, Svetlana explained she had just read a newspaper article calling for babies with mental disabilities to be killed at birth.

The author, Aleksandr Nikonov, used the word "debil" -- a deeply offensive term in Russian -- to characterize such children. He argued that parents should have the right to euthanize newborns diagnosed with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities. the rest

Albert Mohler: Vanishing Christianity — A Lesson from the Presbyterians

Thursday, February 11, 2010

"Liberal Protestantism, in its determined policy of accommodation with the secular world, has succeeded in making itself dispensable." That was the judgment of Thomas C. Reeves in The Empty Church: The Suicide of Liberal Protestantism, published in 1996. Fast-forward another fourteen years and it becomes increasingly clear that liberal Protestantism continues its suicide -- with even greater theological accommodations to the secular worldview.

The latest evidence for this pattern is found in a report just released by The Presbyterian Panel, a research group that serves the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) [PCUSA]. The panel's report is presented as a "Religious and Demographic Profile of Presbyterians, 2008." The report contains relatively few surprises, but it is filled with data about the beliefs of Presbyterian laypersons and clergy. the rest

But this report points to the most devastating reality among these churches -- the loss of faith and doctrinal conviction among church members. Theological compromise appeared first among the pastors, theologians, church executives, and seminary professors. Denominational bureaucracies again and again prove themselves resistant to correction. For years, the hope had been that laypersons -- the church members themselves -- would force a correction and lead a return to evangelical conviction.

Closing the New Frontier

February 12, 2010
By Charles Krauthammer

WASHINGTON -- "We have an agreement until 2012 that Russia will be responsible for this," says Anatoly Perminov, head of the Russian space agency, about ferrying astronauts from other countries into low-Earth orbit. "But after that? Excuse me, but the prices should be absolutely different then!"

The Russians may be new at capitalism but they know how it works. When you have a monopoly, you charge monopoly prices. Within months, Russia will have a monopoly on rides into space.

By the end of this year, there will be no shuttle, no U.S. manned space program, no way for us to get into space. We're not talking about Mars or the moon here. We're talking about low-Earth orbit, which the U.S. has dominated for nearly half a century and from which it is now retiring with nary a whimper. the rest image

Noonan: The Off-Center President

Obama says he'd settle for a single term—and seems to mean it.
FEBRUARY 11, 2010

There is, I think, an amazing political fact right now that is hiding in plain sight and is rich with implications. It was there in President Obama's Jan. 25, pre-State of the Union interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer, who was pressing him about his political predicaments. "I'd rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president," he said. "And I—and I believe that."

Now this is the sort of thing presidents say, and often believe they believe, but at the end of the day they all want two terms. Except that Mr. Obama shows every sign of meaning it, and if he does, it explains a lot about his recent decisions and actions. the rest

Feds push for tracking cell phones

February 11, 2010
by Declan McCullagh

Excerpt:
Even though police are tapping into the locations of mobile phones thousands of times a year, the legal ground rules remain unclear, and federal privacy laws written a generation ago are ambiguous at best. On Friday, the first federal appeals court to consider the topic will hear oral arguments (PDF) in a case that could establish new standards for locating wireless devices.

the rest

NH Legislators Poised to Pass Pro-Gay School Law

Feb 10, 2010 by Candi

If you live in New Hampshire, promotion of homosexuality and transgenderism could be coming to a classroom near you.

That’s because liberal legislators and gay activists in New Hampshire are dead set on pushing through a state law that calls for school districts to include those themes in curricula.

And yet again, this is being done in the name of “safety” and preventing bullying. the rest

Not only does this proposed legislation, H.B. 1523, mandate that all school districts insert the terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity and expression” into their bullying policies, but it also calls for schools to integrate those policies into curriculum.

Breakaway Episcopalians get sympathy in England

Thursday, February 11, 2010
Julia Duin

The Church of England threw a lifeline to a breakaway group of former Episcopalians on Wednesday, saying it "recognizes and affirms" the aim of the fledgling Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) to be part of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

After hours of wrangling and debate in London, the Church of England's General Synod signaled that it sympathized with conservatives who have left the U.S. Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada over radically different views on biblical authority, same-sex unions and the elections of two gay bishops.

But the synod stopped short of doing what several African and other developing provinces have done -- formally recognize the 100,000-member ACNA, which was formed in June as a parallel Anglican body of 28 member dioceses with 742 parishes and 800 clergy. the rest

Saudi Arabia’s religious police out in force in run-up to Valentine’s Day

From The Times
February 12, 2010
Hugh Tomlinson in Dubai

If you can’t stand shops filled with roses, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, teddy bears, cards and novelty gifts, Saudi Arabia is the place to be this Valentine’s Day.

The country’s feared muttawa — religious police — have launched a campaign to banish from the shelves anything that could be construed as a romantic gift. As Sunday approaches, they have been patrolling the shops and posting warnings in local newspapers to remind traders that anyone caught violating the ban will be punished. the rest image by Sister72

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Church grants full pension rights to gay clergy partners

by Maria Mackay
Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Church of England's General Synod voted in favour of expanding full pension rights to partners of deceased gay clergy.

The Church of England’s governing body has passed a motion in favour of giving civil partners of deceased gay clergy the same pension entitlements as heterosexual widows or widowers.

The motion was put forward by the Rev Mark Bratton, priest at St John the Baptist church in Berkwell, near Coventry. It asks the Church of England Pensions Board to go beyond the requirements of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 and pay pension benefits to surviving civil partners of deceased clergy on the same basis as surviving spouses.

Under the terms of the Act, surviving civil partners are not entitled to benefits if their deceased partner ceased pensionable service before December 2005. At present, a widow or widower is entitled to a pension based on all of their deceased spouse’s pensionable service. the rest

Some Presbyterians see salvation by other faiths

By DYLAN LOVAN (AP)
Wed Feb 10, 2010

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Presbyterian Church USA's statement of faith says God through Jesus Christ delivers followers "from death to life eternal."

But one in three members of the nation's largest Presbyterian denomination seem to believe there's some wiggle room for non-Christians to get into heaven, according to a recent poll.

The Presbyterian Panel's "Religious and Demographic Profile of Presbyterians" found that 36 percent of members disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement: "Only followers of Jesus Christ can be saved." Another 39 percent, or about two-fifths, agreed or strongly agreed with the statement. the rest

Episcopal diocese sues, seeks church property

Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010
By Sue Nowicki

The Episcopal-Anglican battle in Stanislaus County got very personal on Monday, as the Episcopal faction filed a lawsuit against St. Francis Anglican Church in Turlock.

The suit, filed by the Rev. Jerry Lamb, bishop of the Modesto-based Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, names the Rev. Gerald Grossman and nine members of the church's vestry, or ruling body, as well as the St. Francis parish as defendants.

No monetary damages are mentioned. Instead, the lawsuit seeks "to return control of the parish premises and other parish assets to the plaintiffs in the matter." the rest

Don't count on Third World to bail out ecumenism, Anglican says

by John L Allen Jr
Feb. 10, 2010

This week, the Vatican’s office for ecumenism, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, is hosting a summit titled “Harvesting the Fruits," bringing together leading lights from the Catholic church, Anglicanism, Lutheranism, Methodism, anbd the Reformed churches. The idea is to figure out how the movement for Christian unity can move into what Cardinal Walter Kasper, the council’s president, calls a “more mature” phase, despite what many perceive as a big ecumenical chill. In addition, the hope is also to hand the torch to a new generation of leaders, given that many of the pioneers of the ecumenical movement are now passing from the scene.

One of those prospective new leaders in Rome this week is Anglican Rev. Ephraim Radner, a professor of theology at the Wycliffe College of the University of Toronto. Radner helped draft the “Anglican Communion Covenant,” an attempt to respond to deep divisions within Anglicanism over matters such as homosexuality and women bishops by identifying sources of authority with real teeth. (The covenant, issued in December 2009, offered four such pillars: the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council, and the Primates’ Meeting.) For himself, Radner has taken the view that homosexuals should not be ordained, nor should their partnerships be affirmed, for “Scriptural, traditional, and moral reasons.”

Radner sat down with NCR on Feb. 10 to talk about this week’s summit, as well as the fate of the Anglican Communion. The following are excerpts from that interview. the rest

UK: Marriage rate falls to lowest level since records began

Thursday, 11 February 2010
BBC

Marriage rates in England and Wales have fallen for a fourth year to reach their lowest level since records began.

A total of 232,990 couples wed in 2008, down 1% on the year before, Office for National Statistics figures showed.

For every 1,000 adult men, 21.8 married in 2008, compared with 22.4 in 2007. For women aged over 16 it was 19.6 per 1,000, down from 20.2 the year before.

The Church of England said marriage was now seen as the crown of a relationship rather than a gateway to adulthood. the rest

Christian churches in Canada fading out: USA next?

Feb 11, 2010

Olympics fans heading to Vancouver might want to visit a vanishing cultural treasure while they're in Canada -- local churches.

Canada has become a "post-Christian society" where once-dominant Anglicanism has "moved to the margins of public life," according to a bleak study reported by Michael Valpy at the Globe and Mail.

A new assessment of the state of the church in Canada looks at the Anglican Diocese of British Columbia and then across the country and concludes that,

... at the present rate of decline -- a loss of 13,000 members per year -- only one Anglican would be left in Canada by 2061.

... Nationally, between 1961 and 2001, the church lost 53 per cent of its membership, declining to 642,000 from 1.36 million. Between 1991 and 2001 alone, it declined by 20 per cent.


the rest

AnglicanTV: ACNA Press Conference

Church of England stops short of links with breakaway U.S. Anglicans

Reuters
Feb 10, 2010

The Church of England stopped short of recognising a new conservative church in North America on Wednesday, avoiding possible embarrassment for the main Anglican church in the United States.

But some evangelicals in the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) said they were encouraged by the decision of the General Synod, the CoE’s parliament, for the archbishops of Canterbury and York to report back on the break-away church’s progress next year.

Some members of ACNA, formed in opposition to pro-gay members of the official Anglican body in North America, said they had not expected any kind of recognition from the Anglican mother church for another five years.

“We are hopeful on this,” Kevin Kallsen, an ACNA member from Connecticut, told Reuters. the rest

Duin: Breakaway Episcopalians get sympathy in England

A.S Haley: What in the World Is Going on in South Carolina?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Things are about to get a whole lot more interesting in South Carolina. Bishop Mark Lawrence and the Standing Committee of the Diocese have announced a postponement of the annual convention which had been scheduled for next month. The reason for the postponement is a series of letters written by South Carolina attorney (and former diocesan chancellor!) Thomas S. Tisdale, Jr. to the current chancellor of the Diocese, Wade H. Logan, III.

The letters constitute truly one of the most remarkable sets of communication from one church attorney to another that this church attorney has ever seen. The first is dated January 25, and starts out as though it were just one colleague writing to another -- not on behalf of any particular client, mind you: the rest

Nevertheless, under the current regime at ECUSA, we must assume that the letters from former chancellor Tisdale are the precursors to an attempt to depose Bishop Lawrence on (false) charges of "abandonment." There would otherwise be no reason for the Presiding Bishop or her chancellor to agree to pay Mr. Tisdale to write no less than eight separate letters to try to gather the "evidence."

And if the Presiding Bishop thinks she can accomplish in South Carolina what she did in Pittsburgh -- depose the sitting bishop, and install a puppet who can serve as a figurehead in any lawsuit -- then that is just what she will try to do.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

NYPD releases new World Trade Center 9/11 aerials.

The photos...depict the horrible images of the September 11, 2001 attacks and the aftermath of the recovery efforts where some 2800 innocent people died, including those aboard hijacked flights American 11 and United 175. ABC News recently obtained these images after filing a Freedom of Information Act request in 2009 with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which had collected as part of an investigation into the collapse of the World Trade Center

Here

Churches feel fallout of Lutheran sexual orientation vote

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Nebraska and Iowa are feeling the fallout from a decision by the nation’s largest Lutheran denomination to allow non-celibate gay clergy and church leaders, as well as recognition of same-sex couples.

Thanksgiving! Lutheran Church in Bellevue voted Jan. 31 to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, or ELCA. It takes two votes with at least a two-thirds majority, taken at least 90 days apart, for a congregation to split from the national church.

The Jan. 31 vote was Thanksgiving!’s second vote, so it appears to make the church the first Nebraska congregation to break from the ELCA since a controversial churchwide assembly in August. the rest

IPPF Wants Fifth Graders Taught "The Pleasures of Sex"

Wednesday, February 10, 2010
by Marybeth Hicks

File this under: Unintended irony.

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) today released a report entitled “Stand and Deliver: Sex, health and young people in the 21st Century.”

I’m guessing the title alludes to the critically acclaimed film “Stand and Deliver” starring Edward James Olmos in which he played a dedicated math teacher who challenges his erstwhile high school dropouts to learn calculus. In the movie, these misunderstood yet courageous young people come of age, metaphorically, as they realize their true potential. the rest

Diocese of SC: Convention postponed due to recent actions by TEC

posted February 10, 2010

Recent actions by The Episcopal Church which impact the Diocese of South Carolina have caused the Bishop and Standing Committee to postpone our upcoming Diocesan Convention. Bishop Lawrence has written an important pastoral letter to both the clergy and laity of the Diocese which explain the actions taken. website with links to legal correspondence

Read the Bishop’s Pastoral Letter-pdf

Reaction at TituOneNine and Stand Firm

AnglicanTV: COE 2010: ROWAN'S ADDRESS

General Synod Affirms Anglican Church in North America

Today, the General Synod, the national assembly of the Church of England, meeting in London February 8-12, affirmed the Anglican Church in North America’s desire “to remain within the Anglican family.”
February 10, 2010

Today, the General Synod, the national assembly of the Church of England, meeting in London February 8-12, affirmed the Anglican Church in North America’s desire “to remain within the Anglican family.”

The Most Rev. Robert Duncan, archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, thanked Mrs. Lorna Ashworth of Chichester for bringing the church to the attention of the General Synod. “We are very grateful to Mrs. Ashworth and the scores of other friends in the Synod of the Church of England for all they did to give us this opportunity to tell our story to the mother church of the Anglican Communion. It is very encouraging that the synod recognizes our desire to remain within the Anglican family.” said Archbishop Duncan.

A private member’s motion, put forward by Mrs. Ashworth, and subsequently amended by the Synod, states that “this synod…recognize and affirm the desire of those who have formed the Anglican Church in North America to remain within the Anglican family.” The motion passed by a resounding 309 – 69 margin (with seven abstentions).

The motion was amended by the Right Reverend Michael Hill, the Bishop of Bristol. His purpose, in his own words, was “(1) to encourage those who are part of the Anglican Church in North America; (2) to commend the process of recognition afforded by the Instruments of the Anglican Communion; and (3) to ask the Archbishop of Canterbury to report progress back to Synod in a year’s time.” the rest

Stand Firm:
The English Synod “affirms the desire” of the ACNA to “remain within the Anglican family” and

CoE Synod Vote on ACNA: Roundup of Early Reactions

Added:
Church of England recognises breakaway US Anglicans

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Anglican head warns of 'chaos' over gays and women

(AFP)
posted 2/9/10

LONDON — Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams appealed Tuesday for the Anglican church to resolve its divisions over the ordination of female and gay bishops, warning that they were causing "chaos".

In an address to the General Synod in London, Williams urged the clergy to listen to one another rather than pursue a "zero-sum, self-congratulating" position, and to see how vital unity was to Christian faith.

"Certain decisions made by some provinces impact so heavily on the conscience and mission of others that fellowship is strained or shattered and trust destroyed," he said.

"The present effect of this is chaos." the rest

Blizzard Rearranges Climate Change Announcement

February 8, 2010
By Louise Radnofsky

As D.C. continued to dig out from Snowmageddon and is keeping an eye on another storm system, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was busy making a climate change announcement.

NOAA, part of the Department of Commerce, is going to be providing information to individuals and decision-makers through a new NOAA Climate Service office. “More and more, Americans are witnessing the impacts of climate change in their own backyards, including sea-level rise, longer growing seasons, changes in river flows, increases in heavy downpours, earlier snowmelt and extended ice-free seasons in our waters. People are searching for relevant and timely information about these changes to inform decision-making about virtually all aspects of their lives,” the release says.

Earlier snowmelt? That would be nice. the rest

Skeptics Find Fault With U.N. Climate Panel

Matt Kennedy+: Leaving Home, Part II

Stand Firm
Monday, February 8, 2010

We give you Part II of our on going series "Leaving Home". This installment describes our first Sunday in a new location and for ease of writing (and reading) we have written each from our own perspective. Each section is creatively called 'from Matt' and 'from Anne'.

Here

Part I here in case you missed it.

Two more pro-life Super Bowl ads

Here

Egyptians Rile Over Mosque Cameras

Egyptians are worried security forces are abusing their powers in monitoring mosques with surveillance cameras.
by Rachelle Kliger
Monday, February 08, 2010

Egyptians are protesting against a plan to install surveillance cameras in thousands of mosques throughout the country.

Egypt’s Ministry of Islamic Endowments (Awqaf) denied the existence of such a plan on Monday, but the reports have caused ripples throughout the Egyptian media and the blogosphere.

Critics say the security forces are abusing their power by violating people’s privacy in their efforts to fight terrorism and extremism. the rest

Dominican sisters to appear on Oprah Winfrey Show

Ann Arbor, Mich.
Feb 8, 2010

CNA-The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist have made waves across the nation for their rapid growth and their devout orthodoxy. Now, they are once again in the national spotlight, being featured on the popular Oprah Winfrey Show.

“They phoned us and asked if they could do a program on us with Oprah. That's all we know!” Sister Joseph Andrew Bogdanowicz, OP, vocations director for the community, told CNA in an email.

The show featuring the sisters will air on Tuesday, February 9, 2010. The same day happens to be the congregation’s 13th anniversary. The coincidence is “amazing, as they did not know this when they chose the date -- but God did!” exclaimed the vocations director. the rest

(I might break my Never Watch Oprah rule-it's a tough call.)

Confusing Sociability With Spirituality

Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Joe Carter

Do introverts fit in at church? That’s the intriguing question Richard Beck, an associate professor and experimental psychologist at Abilene Christian University, asks in an important post on introverts and the Imago Dei:

The answer, obviously, is that it depends upon what kind of church we are talking about. In liturgical churches I expect introverts and extroverts fare about the same. But in non-liturgical churches they may fare differently.

Specifically, non-liturgical churches tend to be more sociable churches. So, let’s call them that. That is, there are liturgical churches and there are sociable churches. Sociable churches tend to emphasize relationality among its members. For example, a large part of the sociable church experience involves lengthy greetings (being greeted and greeting others), adult bible classes that are conversational and oriented around fellowship (e.g., in my church we sit at tables drinking coffee, eating donuts, and chatting), and the in-depth sharing of personal prayer requests. the rest

ACNA motion is ‘not attack’ on TEC

by Maria Mackay
Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Bishop of Winchester has said a motion asking the Church of England to affirm it is in communion with the Anglican Church of North America is not an attack on The Episcopal Church in the US (TEC).

The motion, put forward by Lorna Ashworth, is to be debated on Wednesday by General Synod, the Church of England’s governing body.

It asks Synod “to express the desire that the Church of England be in communion with the Anglican Church in North America”, founded last year by breakaway conservative Anglicans angry over the liberal shift in TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada. the rest

Albert Mohler: Where are the Young Men?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

A visit to your local college or university campus is likely to reveal that a revolution has taken place. On many campuses, young women now outnumber young men, and a gender gap of momentous importance is staring us in the face.

This gender gap has been growing for some time now, as successive generations of young women have entered the world of higher education. Yet, no one seemed to see a gap of this magnitude coming -- until it had already happened.

The disparity of enrollment by gender varies by institution, but it is now estimated that almost 60% of all undergraduate students enrolled in American colleges and universities are women. This represents something altogether new in human experience since the rise of the university model as the dominant learning environment for young adults. For the first time, a generation of young women will be markedly more educated than their male generational cohort. the rest

Is this a bad thing . . . a negative development? Yes -- and profoundly so. The problem is not the larger enrollment of young women in colleges and universities. The problem is the phenomenon of missing young men, whose absence spells big trouble for the future.

Friends in odd places

A wide spectrum of groups file in support of the Christian Legal Society’s case before the high court
February 09, 2010
Emily Belz

WASHINGTON—A Muslim group, a gay group, 14 states, and the Conference of Catholic Bishops are among the groups supporting the case of the Christian Legal Society that will come before the U.S. Supreme Court later this term, which extends into the summer.

More than a dozen groups filed amicus briefs supporting the Christian law group, which allows any students to attend its events on law school campuses but requires all officers and voting members of its chapters to sign a statement of faith, recognizing “Jesus Christ as my Savior,” and other basic Christian tenets like “the Bible as the inspired Word of God.” The University of California’s Hastings School of Law refused to officially recognize the group when it formed during the 2004-05 school year because the school viewed the required faith statement as an act of discrimination. So the Christian Legal Society sued to be recognized. the rest

Lightning Reveals Its Power in Slow Motion



More videos here

The Fallacy of "Fairness"

Tuesday, February 09, 2010
by Thomas Sowell

If there is ever a contest to pick which word has done the most damage to people's thinking, and to actions to carry out that thinking, my nomination would be the word "fair." It is a word thrown around by far more people than have ever bothered to even try to define it.

This mushy vagueness may be a big handicap in logic but it is a big advantage in politics. All sorts of people, with very different notions about what is or is not fair, can be mobilized behind this nice-sounding word, in utter disregard of the fact that they mean very different things when they use that word. the rest

Barack Obama faces Armageddon in latest polls

By Nile Gardiner
February 9th, 2010

Excerpt:
Above all, these latest polls are a reflection of America’s overwhelming rejection of big government, and Obama’s emphatic embrace of highly interventionist economic and healthcare policies. As several recent Gallup surveys have shown, the United States is an increasingly conservative country. It is a nation that is actively rebelling against the most left-wing White House in US history. Barack Obama has unwittingly sparked a new conservative revolution, one that has already swept through Massachusetts, Virginia and New Jersey, and has the potential to take America by storm. the rest

Getting It Backwards: Obama misunderstands his constitutional role.

Teacher Claims He Was Fired After Complaining Muslim Pupils Called 9/11 Hijackers 'Heroes'

Monday, February 08, 2010

A British teacher was fired from his job after complaining that some of his Muslim students were celebrating the Sept. 11 hijackers as "heroes," the Daily Mail reported.

Nicholas Kafouris, 40, who taught at East London's Bigland Green Primary School for 12 years, is suing the school for racial discrimination after he was allegedly forced from his post because he would not tolerate the remarks of his students.

Kafouris claims members of his class, some as young as eight years old, openly praised Islamic extremists in his classroom, hailing the terrorists behind the attacks of Sept. 11 as "martyrs," the Daily Mail reported. the rest

Planned Parenthood Pushes Intensive Sex Education for Kids as Young as 10

Monday, February 08, 2010
By Ed Barnes

A new report by the International Planned Parenthood Federation is advocating that children as young as 10 be given extensive sex education, including an awareness of sex's pleasures.

The report, "Stand and Deliver," charges that religious groups, specifically Catholics and Muslims, deny their young access to comprehensive sexual programs and education. the rest

CNY bishop: Church offered assistance to police regarding sexual abuse charges

By Tom Wilber
February 8, 2010

The regional Episcopal church responded promptly to complaints of sexual abuse against a former rector in Owego and continues to cooperate with police on the case, the bishop of the Central New York Diocese said Monday.

"We have a very clear, no-tolerance policy," said Gladstone B. Adams. "We contacted the state police and offered any assistance." the rest

"We are fully cooperating with authorities," he said. "Our concern always is with victims."

Bollinger, rector of the church from 1985 to 2005, said Adams rebuffed him after he reported the complaints against Johnson years ago.

Anglican day of reckoning coming

By Julia Duin
Feb. 8, 2010

On Wednesday, there wil be an important vote in London on whether the Brits will side with a nascent would-be 39th North American Anglican province that has split with the U.S. Episcopal Church.

The General Synod, the governing body for the 27-million-member Church of England (on paper that's who belongs but real attendance is only a few million per Sunday) will vote whether to align themselves with the 100,000-member Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). That is about one-tenth the membership of the U.S. Episcopal Church. Some Canadian Anglicans are part of the ACNA as well. The London Times explains a bit of the background here.

The ACNA, meeting last June in Bedford, Texas, adopted a constitution and appointed its first archbishop (Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh) to head the new church, which is constituted of former Episcopalians who left the denomination over issues of biblical authority, which had been simmering since the late 1960s, and the 2003 consecration of V. Gene Robinson as the denomination's first openly gay bishop. Several Anglican provinces have signified they will recognize the ACNA but the big kahuna is the Church of England. Once the ACNA gets recognized by enough of the current 38 provinces of the worldwide Anglican Communion as a legitimate Anglican body in North America, it's only a matter of time before they supplant the Episcopal Church, which at this moment claims it is the sole approved Anglican presence north of the Mexican border. the rest

Monday, February 08, 2010

Devotional: I will uphold thee...

I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Isaiah 41:10

Fear of falling is wholesome. To be venturesome is no sign of wisdom. Times come to us when we feel that we must go down unless we have a very special support. Here we have it. God's right hand is a grand thing to lean upon. Mind, it is not only His hand, though it keepeth heaven and earth in their places, but His right hand: His power united with skill, His power where it is most dexterous. Nay, this is not all; it is written, "I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." That hand which He uses to maintain His holiness and to execute His royal sentences—this shall be stretched out to hold up His trusting ones. Fearful is our danger, but joyful is our security. The man whom God upholds, devils cannot throw.

Weak may be our feet, but almighty is God's right hand. Rough may be the road, but Omnipotence is our upholding. We may boldly go forward. We shall not fall. Let us lean continually where all things lean. God will not withdraw His strength, for His righteousness is there as well. He will be faithful to His promise, and faithful to His Son, and therefore faithful to us. How happy we ought to be! Are we not so? ...CH Spurgeon
image by Swaity

Rep. John Murtha, Iraq war critic, dies at 77

Feb 8, 2010
By PETER JACKSON
Associated Press Writer

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - U.S. Rep. John Murtha, an influential critic of the Iraq War whose congressional career was shadowed by questions about his ethics, died Monday. He was 77.

The Pennsylvania Democrat had been suffering complications from gallbladder surgery. He died at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Va., spokesman Matthew Mazonkey said. the rest

Church of England disinvests from mining company over ethical concerns

by Charlie Boyd
Monday, February 8, 2010

The Church of England has sold shares in Vedanta Resources over concerns about the mining company’s approach to human rights and local communities.

The decision to sell £3.8 million in shares came at the recommendation of the Church’s Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG) following a six-month dialogue with the company.

The Church expressed particular concern over Vedanta’s alumina refinery in Orissa, India, and a planned bauxite mine in the nearby Niyamgiri hills. the rest

Muslim bus driver locks passengers aboard as he stops to pray

A Muslim bus driver knelt in the aisle to pray for five minutes leaving bemused and anxious passengers trapped in ther seats.
By Heidi Blake
08 Feb 2010

The driver pulled over without warning and rolled out a high-visibility jacket as a makeshift prayer mat before removing his shoes, turning to face Mecca and starting to chant in Arabic.

Passengers said they looked on in stunned silence, fearing the driver may be preparing for a terrorist attack on the bus. No one was able to get on or off the vehicle during the five-minute prayer session. the rest

Tebow's Focus on the Family ad could change future Super Bowls


Sun Feb 07, 2010
By Jay Busbee

At about 6:43 p.m. ET, one simple ad changed the Super Bowl forever. Story

An Open Letter to Planned Parenthood and NOW-Excellent!

Church of England to push ahead with plan for women bishops

From The Times
February 8, 2010
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

The Church of England is to go ahead with the plan to create women bishops without giving in to demands from traditionalists for a separate structure of bishops and archbishops untainted by the hands of a woman.

Traditionalists oppose women bishops because they argue that Jesus had no women disciples and that the apostolic succession of bishops, passed down by the laying of hands at ordination, should therefore be male.

Traditionalists warned last night that the decision, to be announced at the General Synod today, will trigger an exodus from the Church of England of many thousands of priests and lay people. the rest

Federal Grant to Develop ‘Avatar’ Video Game to Teach ‘Sex, Drug and Alcohol Negotiation and Refusal Skills’ to 9-to-14 Year Olds

Friday, February 05, 2010
By Terence P. Jeffrey, Editor-in-Chief

(CNSNews.com) - The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), a division of the National Institutes of Health, is giving Dr. Lynn Fiellin, an assistant professor at the Yale School of Medicine, $3.9 million over five years to develop a video game to teach “sex, drug and alcohol negotiation and refusal skills" to children 9-14 years of age. the rest image

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Two Christians Murdered for Witnessing in Boynton Beach

Why the National Media Blackout?
VISTA, Calif.
Feb. 5, 2010

Christian Newswire- "Anti-Christian hostility is getting increasingly deadly as this week's tragic events demonstrate," said Dr. Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission. "The increasing demonization of Christians in our culture makes some feel its open season on Christians."

According to the Boynton Beach police, simply sharing the word of God on the street is what brought two ministers to the man who killed them. Tite Sufra, 24, and Stephen Ocean, 23, were shot and killed Saturday night after meeting Jeriah Woody, 18. They witnessed to Woody for fifteen minutes when he got a phone call and told the preachers he 'had to go.' As they walked away, Woody suddenly started walking back toward them. Sufra walked up to greet him and was killed with a shot gun blast at point blank range. When Ocean ran, he was shot in the back. After he fell, Woody shot him in the head execution style. Woody was arrested Wednesday and is charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

"As of today, there are no national news organizations reporting this vicious murder of two innocent Christian men. Why?" Cass said, "I'll ask this: If two Muslims, or two feminists or two homosexuals were murdered, wouldn't the media be all over it? These were two fine young black Christian men shot by another black man for their Christian faith, yet the media does not seem to care." the rest

Update: FOX news picked up on the story here.

Dr. Robert Gagnon: Mere Anglicanism Conference 2010



AnglicanTV

Anglican Covenant Flawed. Will Do More Harm than Good, says Theologian

Reflections on the inadequacy of the Proposed Anglican Communion Covenant and what might be done to address it
by the Rt. Rev. John H. Rodgers Jr.
Exclusive to Virtueonline
February 6, 2010

This writer believes that the proposed Anglican Covenant is flawed, and too weak to meet the needs of worldwide Anglicanism.

In Scripture we are exhorted to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the Church; this requires effort, clarity and discipline. I will lift up a few of the paragraphs of the proposed Covenant and then make a comment on them in order to illustrate and present my concerns.

If this proposed Covenant were strengthened and simplified, it could become a workable covenant for the Anglican Communion. I will indicate how this might be done. In its' present form it is inadequate and would only do more harm than good. the rest

Church of England Synod to raise women bishops delay

Sunday, 7 February 2010
BBC

The Church of England's governing body, the General Synod, is expected to hear criticism of delays in introducing women bishops.

The Church has voted in favour of the move but has yet to work out how it will be implemented.

BBC religious affairs correspondent Robert Piggott said liberal Anglicans were impatient to put it into effect.

The Synod, meeting from Monday, will also debate a motion criticising the BBC for cutting religious programming. the rest

Crew of 9 at Episcopal Church Center abruptly fired

Albor Ruiz
Sunday, February 7th 2010

They worked for years cleaning and maintaining the Episcopal Church Center in midtown Manhattan. But after they were fired on Dec. 30, nine hard-working people are in desperate need of divine intervention.

"We came to work on Dec. 30 as every day, hoping to leave a little earlier to celebrate the new year," said Bronx native Héctor Miranda, a father of three. "But when we got to the building we were told that we no longer worked there. Just like that. They picked the date well to fire us.
the rest

"We believe that the Episcopal Church would not want to create more poverty in this world, so we are hopeful that the church will do everything in its power to help us regain our jobs," the letter said. It was signed by, among others, Max Fullner and Raymond Hines, who worked at the church for 42 years; Ives Jean Pierre, 39 years, and Ahmed Alsaidy, 27 years. The way they were just suddenly terminated after all those years of service speaks volumes to the injustice done to them.

Last Thursday, more than 100 people gathered in front of the church to support the workers and ask church officials to help them get their jobs back.