Saturday, May 21, 2011

Virginia Anglicans Vote to Become a Diocese within Anglican Church in North America

Delegates Elect The Rt. Rev. John Guernsey as Bishop

FAIRFAX, Va. (May 21, 2011) – The Anglican District of Virginia (ADV) held a Constitutional Convention on May 20-21, 2011 at Church of the Epiphany in Herndon, Va. At this event, ADV delegates voted to petition the Anglican Church in North America to become a diocese and adopted new governing documents (Constitutions and Canons). Pending approval of the diocesan petition, the Anglican District of Virginia elected The Rt. Rev. John Guernsey to serve as bishop of the diocese, to be named the Anglican Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic.

Bishop John Guernsey has served in various clergy roles during his years of ordained ministry in Virginia. He served as rector of All Saints’ Church in Dale City, Va., for 29 years before serving as the head of the Diocese of the Holy Spirit in the Anglican Church in North America. For more background on Bishop Guernsey and to read his vision statement for the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic, click here.

“Our hope is that the Anglican Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic, under the courageous and blessed leadership of Bishop John Guernsey, will continue to follow the path Christ is setting for us as we strive to grow and share our faith,” said Anglican District of Virginia Chairman Jim Oakes.  the rest

ACNA Statement: Mid-Atlantic Anglicans Vote to Move Forward with Becoming a New Anglican Church Diocese
PITTSBURGH, Pa. (May 21, 2011) – The Anglican Church in North America welcomed the news that Anglicans in the Mid-Atlantic region voted to pursue diocesan status as the Anglican Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic. The group of congregations, currently joined together as the Anglican District of Virginia, also voted to elect The Rt. Rev. John Guernsey as its bishop. If the petition for diocesan status is approved, the formal transition to the new structure under the leadership of Bishop Guernsey will take place this fall.

The votes were taken during a constitutional convention meeting in Herndon, Va., on May 20-21. A special event was also held to express gratitude for the service of retiring Bishop David Bena.
“It is with great joy that we receive the petition from Mid-Atlantic Anglicans to become a formal diocese within the Anglican Church in North America. The growth of the Anglican District of Virginia and its unwavering commitment to planting new churches and winning hearts for the Gospel has been a beacon of light to the whole Anglican Church. The move towards diocesan status serves only to strengthen our existing relationship and would provide a geographic home for orthodox Anglicans throughout the Mid-Atlantic region,” said The Most Rev. Robert Duncan, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America. the rest

Devotional: Thou, who art the true Sun of the world...

Thou, who art the true Sun of the world, evermore rising, and never going down: who, by Thy most wholesome appearing and sight dost nourish, and make joyful all things as well that are in heaven, and also that are on earth; we beseech Thee mercifully and favorably to shine into our hearts, that the night and darkness of sin, and the mists of error on every side, being driven away, Thou brightly shining within our hearts, we may all our life long go without any stumbling or offence, and may walk as in the daytime, being pure and clean from the works of darkness, and abounding in all good works which Thou hast prepared for us to walk in. ...Desiderius Erasmus image by Brian Snelson

Friday, May 20, 2011

Iranian court acquits 11 Christians

Christians in Iran have walked free from court after a judge cleared them of crimes against the order of the country.
Friday, May 20, 2011

The 11 Church of Iran members had been charged with “action against the order of the country” and drinking alcohol, after joining a house church meeting and taking communion wine.

The churchgoers were arrested in April and brought before the Revolutionary Tribunal in Bandar-Anzali for a rushed hearing on May 1.

In its written verdict, the court determined that the group were taking part in a Christian ceremony and therefore within their rights under Article 13 of the Iranian Constitution, which allows Zoroastrians, Jews and Christians to “perform their religious rites and ceremonies, and to act according to their own canon in matters of personal affairs and religious education”.

According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, the judge concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that the group had been acting against national security or the order of the country. the rest

US backing for communion without baptism

May 20, 2011
by George Conger

The Episcopal Church’s national office has given a backhanded blessing to the practice of allowing those not baptized to receive Holy Communion—a practice forbidden by canon law.

Supporters of Communion without Baptism (CWOB) have argued that relaxing the church’s Eucharistic discipline will serve as a recruiting tool for those outside the faith. However, traditionalists have rejected the practice as uncanonical and contrary to church teaching.

Last month the Episcopal Church Office of Congregational Vitality posted a video to the national church’s website highlighting the ministry of parish of St Paul & the Redeemer in Chicago. The congregation “exemplifies transformative work,” the Rev. Bob Honeychurch, the Episcopal Church’s officer for congregational vitality, said, adding that the parish “sees its primary point of contact with the wider community through its Sunday morning experience. The worship becomes its witness to the world.”

“What we do is the Episcopal liturgy,” said parish rector the Rev. Peter Lane. “We just do it in creative ways.”

St Paul & the Redeemer welcomes “everybody. Orthodox believer or skeptic, gay or straight, black or white, rich or poor, everybody is invited to eat at God’s table” Mr. Lane said. the rest

NJ: Muslims/Christians To Worship Together Sunday In Episcopal Church

An interfaith worship service will be held at 10 a.m.
 By Shelley Emling
May 19, 2011

Christians and Muslims will worship together Sunday at St. John's Episcopal Church in Montclair as part of an effort to build sustainable relationships between the two communities.

More specifically, the idea is to counter the country's continuing focus on the radicalization of Muslims.

The 10 a.m. service will be tailored to include both Christian and Muslim traditions, incorporating music and readings from both faiths.

Indeed, organizers say that this "groundbreaking" morning will begin with the adhan, the call to prayer with “Allahu akbar,” (God is greater), ringing out in an Episcopal Church.” During the service, verses from the Holy Qur’an will complement verses from the Holy Bible. Passages from Qur’an will be part of the Communion service as well. The music of the day comes from both faiths and "extols the Almighty One." the rest

"This will be a blending of traditional Episcopal liturgy along with readings of the Qur'an," he said. "It is a blending of traditions. It's not easy to do this. It can be rather difficult ... to be respectful of different traditions. But I think it's important."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Devotional: It is not necessary to maintain a conversation...

It is not necessary to maintain a conversation when we are in the presence of God. We can come into His presence and rest our weary souls in quiet contemplation of Him. Our groanings, which cannot be uttered, rise to Him and tell Him better than words how dependent we are upon Him. ...O. Hallesby image

Priest Threatened with IRS Investigation for Standing Up for Marriage

May 16th, 2011

This is truly amazing. The Minnesota Independent reported last week that Minnesota State representative John Kriesel’s office threatened a priest who sent a letter supporting traditional marriage. Minnesota is considering adopting a marriage amendment in the state constitution and Rep. Kriesel is the only Republican who doesn’t support the marriage amendment referendum. Reverend John Echert, who is the priest of Holy Trinity/Saint Augustine Parish sent a letter to Rep. Kriesel’s office.  the rest

An aide to rep. Kriesel sent the following response to Father Echert:

Mr. Echert,
I would like to respectfully remind you that the Internal Revenue Service frowns upon churches and religious organizations devoting time to influencing legislation. Your admission of the commencement of a politically involved “campaign” will probably violate several state and federal tax provisions.

Rare colour photographs of the era that defined a generation

By Daily Mail Reporter
 18th May 2011

 It was an era that defined a generation. The Great Depression marked the bitter and abrupt end to the post-World War 1 bubble that left America giddy with promise in the 1920s. Near the end of the 1930s the country was beginning to recover from the crash, but many in small towns and rural areas were still poverty-stricken. These rare photographs are some of the few documenting those iconic years in colour. The photographs and captions are the property of the Library of Congress and were included in a 2006 exhibit Bound for Glory: America in Color. The images, by photographers of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information, shed a bleak new light on a world now gone with the wind.

 Wow-don't miss this!

Pakistan 'blasphemy' law used against kids

May 17, 2011
 by Staff/Compass Direct

ISTANBUL (BP)--Pakistan's notorious "blasphemy" laws can put even children at risk, and Christians say the days when they could teach their offspring pat answers to protect them from accusations of disparaging Islam or its prophet seem to have passed.

A 30-year-old Pakistani woman who grew up in Lahore said her Christian parents taught her formula answers to keep from falling prey to accusations under the blasphemy statutes, such as "I am a Christian, I can only tell you about Him." But even then, before militant Islamists began influencing Pakistani society as they have in recent years, schoolchildren were taught not to discuss religion, she said.

"We knew never to get into religious discussions with others," she said. "We had them at home -- our parents would put us through the drill of asking us tough questions to see how we answered. Only now I realize that was practice for school." the rest

Syrian Christians fear the worst
...Syria's minority Christians are watching the protests sweeping their country with trepidation, fearing their religious freedom could be threatened if President Bashar Assad's secular rule is overthrown...

Girl Scouts, No Longer a Family Friendly Organization for 2 Sisters

 May 18, 2011
By Eryn Sun

Two sisters are fighting to stand up for what they believe in, even if it means leaving everything they’ve worked for during the past eight years.

After discovering disturbing connections and curricula of Girl Scouts of the USA, Sydney and Tess Volanski decided to leave their beloved Girl Scout Troop after eight years of involvement, compelled not only to quit, but also to spread the truth about the highly acclaimed organization.

The two Houston siblings share their reasons for leaving in their recently launched site called “SPEAK NOW: girl scouts” and reveal several ways in which Girl Scouts has been promoting Planned Parenthood, promiscuity and abortion to their members.

Trusting that Girl Scouts was a wholesome organization, both Sydney and Tess were extremely hurt when they realized beginning in March of 2010 that they had been unknowingly supporting and promoting a group whose views were in direct contrast with their pro-life, pro-family, Christian views. the rest
“While we recognized the many good things about Girl Scouts, we had to ask ourselves: Will we stand for our beliefs, for the dignity of life, the sanctity of marriage, modesty, purity? Or will we remain true to Girl Scouts? We cannot see any way to truly do both.”

Anglican Diocese of the South Helping with Tornado Relief Efforts


Busloads of Donations Delivered to Relief Centers
May 16, 2011

The Anglican Church in North America’s Diocese of the South is doing its part to help with tornado relief efforts.

Many of those in the path of the devastating tornadoes are just beginning to grasp the full impact of the storms that swept across the South.

The Anglican Church in North America has 18 parishes in Alabama, the state that was hardest-hit by the storms and members across the country have committed to pray and to give through the Anglican Diocese of the South.

The funds are already making a difference. The Diocese, led by Bishop Foley Beach and in partnership with several Anglican Mission in the Americas parishes, has gathered volunteers and delivered two busloads of supplies and food to Northeast Alabama tornado relief centers. the rest

Pope’s 1st chat with astronauts in space will be streamed live by Vatican

By Associated Press
Thursday, May 19, 2011

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican says Pope Benedict’s XVI’s audio and video hookup Saturday with the International Space Station will be streamed live on the Internet site of Vatican Radio and CTV, the broadcasting arms of the Holy See.

While the pontiff is expected to greet all the crew, the Vatican says he will chat in particular with the two Italian astronauts aboard, Paolo Nespoli and Roberto Vittori. the rest

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Beyond irony: Nursing homes need waivers from Obamacare

By: Examiner Editorial
 05/16/11

Above the fold on the front page of the New York Times is not normally where one expects to find a news article that lays bare the mortal threat posed by Obamacare to a key segment of the health care industry and hundreds of thousands of its workers. But the pro-Obamacare newspaper pulled no punches Monday in a column-one story titled, "Nursing homes seek a reprieve from health law."

The focus of the piece was that "many nursing homes and home care agencies, alarmed at the cost of providing health insurance to hundreds of thousands of low-wage workers, have started a lobbying effort seeking an exemption or special treatment that would relieve them of the obligation or help them with the expense." A little further on in the article, Mark Parkinson, president of the American Health Care Association, explained that his industry has to get a waiver from Obamacare because "we do not have much ability to increase prices because we are so dependent on Medicaid and Medicare" for revenue.  the rest

The result, if Obamacare becomes fully operational, will be that thousands of small nursing homes like Gantz's will either have to fire employees and restrict services, be bought out by nursing home conglomerates, or both.
MCJ: FINDING OUT WHAT IS IN IT

Radical Environmentalism: “Rights of Nature” Push Continues

Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Wesley J. Smith
I have been pounding the “nature rights” warning drum for a few years, and most people still yawn thinking, “It can’t happen here.”  (Anyone who would still say such a thing has been making like Rip Van Winkle for the last 50 years.)  The issue is being pushed on the radical environmentalist Australian Broadcasting Corporation (remember the network teaching OZ children when they should die to save the planet?)  by a professor (of course!) named Peter Burdon. From his column, “What if Trees Could Sue?”:
The legal recognition of nature’s rights is a novel but potentially important step toward an ecologically sustainable human presence on Earth. When the legal standing of the entity shifts, so too does our understanding of it. Throughout history, we have seen a continual evolution in the types of things that can be owned, who was considered capable of ownership and the meaning of ownership itself…In a country like Australia, which does not recognise a Bill of Rights for human beings, we are a long way off achieving such recognition for nature. But if nature is recognised as a bedrock value and limit on human activity, then it could create opportunity for a mutually enhancing human-Earth relationship.
the rest

Scholar: China Notices Link Between Christianity, U.S. Economic Success

Wed, May. 18 2011
By Michelle A. Vu | Christian Post Reporter

WASHINGTON – The officially atheist Chinese government is surprisingly open to Christianity, at least partially, because it sees a link between the faith and economic success, said a sought after scholar who has relations with governments in Asia.

China believes that Christianity is responsible for much of the historic success of Western Europe and the United States, said Dr. William Jeynes, senior fellow of The Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, N.J., during a presentation at the Family Research Council on Tuesday.

But while the Chinese government is open to Christianity, it also “wants to control Christianity.” Those in authority are very much aware of the Church’s role in bringing down the Berlin wall and advancing democracy in the Soviet bloc. the rest

China unlikely to ease crackdown on Shouwang Church
China (MNN) ― Making waves on NPR, CNN, BBC and the New York Times, the story of one persecuted house church has struck international chords.


The Shouwang Church in Beijing has been in a battle of rights with China for years, but the struggle has only just come into focus for most. The 1,000-member church was ousted from its building when their landlord was pressured by officials to evict them. For the six weeks following, Shouwang members have been meeting publically outside.

During the first week of meeting, over 160 members were arrested under the auspices of disturbing the peace. Most arrested were released within a few hours, but the church leaders have been on house arrest since.

Each subsequent outdoor Sunday worship service has resulted in dozens more arrests...

A Review of A Queer Thing Happened to America. By Michael L. Brown.

EqualTime Books, 2011.
Bill Muehlenberg
posted May 18, 2011

The fact that this book almost did not get published may be the most telling aspect of this volume. One publisher after another refused to have anything to do with this book. This simply shows the enormous power the militant homosexual lobby now exercises.

The simple truth is, they have effectively imposed an iron curtain of censorship, intimidating and bullying anyone who dares to question their radical agenda. Thus those voices that are willing to stand up and speak truth are few and far between.

Michael Brown is one such voice, and he has done us all an inestimable service by persevering with this book. It is the first major book on this topic to appear for some years now. It is a very thorough, well-researched and well-documented volume which covers most of the bases. the rest

He also examines how the mainstream media has become almost fully homosexualised, and is now continuously in the service of the homosexual activists. Whether it is film, or television, or music videos, or what have you, the media is saturated with pro-homosexual imagery, messages and propaganda.

The same with our schools. Not just our universities, but all education, starting with kindergarten on up, is being aggressively targeted by the activists. There are very few schools that are safe today; most are being exposed to the radical agenda of the activists, and often parents have no say in the matter.
Brown also looks at the issue of ex-gays, something which the activists hate above all else. If they can show that homosexuality is an in-built, immutable condition, then they have a much stronger leg to stand on to promote their radical social agenda. But if homosexuals can and do change, then their whole case is blown out of the water.

Scottish church considers female bishop election

17 May 2011

A Scottish Anglican priest will learn later if she has become the first female bishop of a major UK church.

The Rev Canon Dr Alison Peden is on a shortlist of five hoping to be elected Bishop of Brechin in the Scottish Episcopal Church.

Dr Peden stood for election to be a bishop in 2010 but failed in her bid.

The other candidates are the Rev Canon David Bayne, the Rev Canon Dr Alvyn Pettersen, the Venerable Paul Ferguson and the Venerable Dr Nigel Peyton. the rest

Prayer request for Osama bin Laden at Catholic Church

Priest to honor request at Sunday Mass
05/17/2011
By Marissa Bagg

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The name of Osama bin Laden appears in the Holy Name of Jesus Sunday bulletin. There's a cross next to it.

A parishioner made a prayer request for the mastermind behind the 9/11 attack on America.

A church secretary took the Mass intention a week ago. She admitted she thought it was a joke at first. But few are laughing.

"I think it's totally wrong, he doesn't belong in the Catholic religion. For what he did to Americans, he doesn't belong anywhere," says Lois Pizzano, a Catholic Church member. "It's unconscionable, it's sacrilegious," said Pizzano. the rest

Map of Where the Twelve Apostles Died

May 15, 2011

Updated: Now with Saint Matthis (Judas' replacement). Also, many apostles died far away from their home country and all but one died a violent death. Something to reflect upon.

As a Saturday night project I made this map of locations where the Twelve Apostles of Jesus died. Blue markers represent commonly accepted death locations while yellow markers represent disputed locations. The map can be viewed below, in Google Maps, or can be download from the Google Earth Community Forms.

 From here

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Devotional: Lord of your life...

God is not looking for ways to make you "squirm." He does, however, want to be Lord of your life. Whenever you identify a place where you refuse to allow His lordship, that is a place He will go to work. He is interested in absolute surrender. God may or may not require you to do that very thing you identified, but He will keep working until you are willing for Him to be Lord of all. ...Henry Blackaby image

Adult Stem Cells are Treating Thousands of Patients Now

by David Prentice, Ph.D.
LifeNews.com
5/17/11
Stem cell research continues to move ahead. Not embryonic stem cell research, however, which relies on the destruction of young human life.

After over 30 years of embryonic stem cell research, first with mouse and then human embryonic stem cells, not a single patient has been helped. And while over the past year, three experimental trials have been approved in the U.S., even many embryonic stem cell scientists believe the practical dangers of embryonic stem cells (tumors, incorrect tissue growth, immune problems) make such trials preliminary; simply using patients for experiments. Embryonic stem cells fail on both ethical and practical aspects, and have contributed only hype to the debate and false hope to patients.

Adult stem cells are both successful and ethical. They can be isolated and used without harming the stem cell donor. They can be taken from a host of tissues—bone marrow, muscle, fat, umbilical cord blood—and already have proven success at saving lives and improving health on a daily basis. Over 50,000 people around the globe are treated each year with adult stem cells. The diseases and conditions successfully treated by adult stem cells, as shown by published scientific evidence, continue to expand, with published success for numerous cancers, spinal cord injury, heart damage, multiple sclerosis, sickle cell anemia, and many others. the rest  image

Post-election violence in Nigeria claimed 800 lives

More than 800 people were killed in riots that broke out across northern Nigeria after April’s presidential election, according to an international human rights group.
by Brian Hutt
Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report on Monday that the Nigerian government must move “promptly” to bring the perpetrators of the violence to justice.

The violence was triggered by the re-election of Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from southern Nigeria.

Supporters of his main opponent, Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim from the north, demonstrated against the outcome, saying that the election had been rigged.

The protests quickly turned violent, with Muslims attacking Christians they suspected of having supported Jonathan and the ruling People’s Democratic Party. the rest

Australia Abortionist Infects 50 Women With Hepatitis C Virus

by Steven Ertelt
Croydon, Australia
LifeNews.com
5/16/11

An abortion practitioner in Australia has infected 50 women with the same strain of hepatitis C and the victims are asking officials to charge James Latham Peters saying they don’t think it was a coincidence.

The heath chief of the Australian state of Victoria released the accusations against the abortion practitioner in April of last year concerning the infections at the Croydon Day Surgery abortion business. The health department investigation into the abortion operation where James Latham Peters was the anesthesiologist involved asking as many as 3,600 women who had abortions at his center since 2006 about their experience at the abortion facility. the rest
While victims await word on whether the police will press charges, they have moved ahead with a class action lawsuit against the abortion practitioner and the abortion business. Slater & Gordon lawyer Paula Shelton told the newspaper they are upset by the slow progress in the case since the discovery last year.

Christianizing the Social Network


Tim Challies looks at emerging technology through a theological lens.
Interview by Matthew Lee Anderson
posted 5/17/2011

The Next Story: Life and Faith after the Digital Explosion by Tim Challies

Blogger Tim Challies understands both technology's potential and its potential seduction. He uses emerging tools to keep his 15,000 visitors updated daily at Challies.com. His new book, The Next Story: Life and Faith after the Digital Explosion (Zondervan), considers our reliance on technology and how it impacts our faith. Matthew Lee Anderson spoke with Challies about how Christians might think theologically about technology.

You write that we are "molded and formed into the image of what shapes us." What risks do technologies like Facebook and YouTube pose to the Christian life?

When technologies give us an ability, they also give us a desire. Before Twitter or Facebook, none of us cared about moment-by-moment updates from friends. But with the new tools, we've grown to desire—and sometimes even demand—that sort of information. YouTube heightens and preys upon our desire to see and be seen. It makes us exhibitionists, telling us that any part of the human experience can be someone's entertainment. the rest

But in a world shaped by the Internet, people find their hearts drawn to churches a thousand miles away rather than a short drive away. As a result, they relate to people through chats and forums rather than face to face. It leads to a very mediated form of church community.

Five Signs the Pro-Life Cause Is Winning

Interpreting polls and laws and cultural trends, the author finds five reasons to believe that we have reached a tipping point on the abortion issue.
By Trevin Wax
May 16, 2011

Editor's Note: The article below is published as a part of a symposium hosted by Patheos' Catholic Portal and Evangelical Portal, entitled, "For Life and Family: Faith and the Future of Social Conservatism."
The pro-life cause is winning. In state legislatures, in the media, and in grassroots efforts to reduce the number of abortions, pro-life activists have put abortion rights advocates on defense. The pro-life movement certainly has hurdles to overcome before the United States can become a place where all human life is legally protected. Yet the eventual outcome is certain. Here are five reasons I believe we have reached a tipping point in favor of the pro-life cause.

1) Public Opinion
A majority of Americans surveyed in a recent Rasmussen poll, including a large percentage of those who identified themselves "pro-choice," said they believe abortion is "morally wrong most of the time." Last year, for the third consecutive time, Gallup found that more Americans accept the pro-life label, a result that led the polling firm to acknowledge "a real change in public opinion."

One reason for this shift is the high-tech ultrasound machine that reaffirms what embryology textbooks have told us all along -- that the unborn child is truly a human being. In a recent Washington Post editorial, Frances Kissling, former President of Catholics for Choice, advised abortion-rights advocates to shift strategies: "We can no longer pretend the fetus is invisible." Yet few pro-choice activists seem to be listening to Kissling's advice. They continue to cast themselves as the defenders of "women's reproductive rights." This worn-out strategy fails to resonate with a large number of Americans because it ignores the point of tension. The debate has moved on from "reproductive rights" to the more perplexing question: "What are the unborn?" the rest

Book of Common Prayer goes high-tech with iPhone application developed in OKC


May 06, 2011

A new iPhone application has brought the traditional Book of Common Prayer together with today's technology, courtesy of a group from a Nichols Hills church.

The new app, iPray, became available in mid-April, much to the delight of the group of people who helped create it.

David Hill, CEO of Kimray Inc. and a member of All Souls' Episcopal Church, 6400 N Pennsylvania, came up with the idea for the app as a way to help his children navigate the Book of Common Prayer more easily. the rest

Time Lapse Clouds and Sky Over the Canary Islands


El Cielo de Canarias / Canary sky - Tenerife from Daniel López on Vimeo.

Beautiful! Larger size here

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Red Bull Gospel

It takes more than pizza and video games to give young people a faith that endures.
Drew Dyck
posted 5/09/2011

Good point.

If our strategy is to win young people's allegiance to church by offering better entertainment than the world, then we've picked a losing battle. Entertainment might get kids to church in their teens, but it certainly won't keep them there through their twenties.

And recent studies confirm that they're leaving in droves. The Barna Group estimates that 80 percent of those reared in the church will be "disengaged" by the time they are 29. Barna Group president David Kinnaman describes the reality in stark terms:

"Imagine a group photo of all the students who come to your church in a typical year. Take a big fat marker and cross out three out of every four faces. That's the probable toll of spiritual disengagement as students navigate the next two decades." the rest image
Of course there's nothing wrong with pizza and video games. The real problem is when they displace spiritual formation and teaching the Bible. And ultimately that's the greatest danger of being overly reliant on an entertainment model. It's not just that we can't compete with the world's amusements. It's not only that we get locked into a cycle of serving up ever-increasing measures of fun. Rather it's that we're distracted from doing the real work of youth ministry—fostering robust faith.

“Lesbian Catholic Priest”

Bay Area ‘womanpriest’ has new venue for ‘Masses’
May 16, 2011

Excerpt:
The webpage has this to say about Rue’s visit: “Eucharist with Rev. Dr. Victoria Rue, Lesbian Catholic Priest. MCCSF is thrilled to offer a monthly GLBTQ Catholic Mass or Eucharist (thanksgiving), on the 2nd Saturday of every month. Victoria Rue, a priest ordained in the Roman Catholic tradition (though not officially recognized by the official Catholic Church), will preside. …Rev. Victoria was featured in the recent documentary film, Pink Smoke Over the Vatican, an exploration of the Women Priest movement.”

The announcement underscores a point made in a May 9 California Catholic Daily article: Among dissenting groups, the term “the official church” is increasingly replacing the term “the institutional church.” As dissenting groups and homosexual activists increase their presence in churches, the objection to “the institutional church” appears to be fading, and their enmity is directed toward what they are now calling “the official church.”

Rue also celebrates a “Eucharistic Gathering” in a “house church” in San Francisco’s East Bay. The event is organized by a group called “The Women of Magdala.” The Women of Magdala was organized in 2004 by parishioners from Christ the King Catholic Church in Pleasant Hill, whose pastor, Fr. Brian Joyce, celebrated a now infamous “clown Mass” in 2002. the rest

Chinese teenager carries friend on back for eight years

May 6, 2011

In Hebei, China, a teenager named Lui Shi Ching, 16 years old, has carried his friend to school daily for the last 8 years. His friend Lu Shao has a congenital disorder which makes it difficult for him to walk.

Eight years ago on a rainy day, Lu shao was stuck at school when his mom didn't come to pick him up. Lui Shi Ching, who was smaller than Lu Shao, decided to help and carried him home. Since then, he has carried Lu shao to and from school and even to restrooms. the rest/image

A legal dispute with Episcopal Church hierarchy sends the wrong message

Sunday, May. 15, 2011
By Sherry Heiser

Excerpt:
Under the direction of our Bishop Jack Iker, Father Reed leads our parish in accordance with a scripture-based church constitution. Its policies and programs are reviewed every three years during the General Convention.

During the last convention meeting, disagreement over abandonment of biblical and church traditions within the Episcopal Church resulted in a nationwide division. St. Vincent's attempted to peacefully secede from the Episcopal denomination and join a different Anglican body. The Episcopal Church responded by filing a lawsuit against Iker and others demanding all properties to be vacated including the eviction of priests.

Attorney Roy Golsan of Grapevine estimates the cost required to prosecute this lawsuit is reaching into the millions. In fact, the court file is about 5 feet thick. (Copies of the filings in this lawsuit are available at the Tarrant County District Clerk's office for a fee.)

Representatives of the Episcopal Church implied if they were victorious in the lawsuit and St. Vincent's property was indeed vacated, it would be used for mission work. This was not the case when the building sheltering The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in New York City, valued at $386,400, was forced to be vacated and then sold for $50,000 in order to house the Islamic Awareness Center. Time magazine's David Van Biema reported that Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of the Episcopal Church "would rather see the churches sold and deconsecrated for secular purposes than passed on to the departing congregations."  the rest

Archbishop allows freemason to be bishop

The Archbishop of Canterbury is at the centre of a row after it emerged he had appointed a Freemason to be a bishop.
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones
 Religious Affairs Correspondent
 14 May 2011

Dr Rowan Williams named the Rev Jonathan Baker as the next Bishop of Ebbsfleet despite knowing he was an active and senior mason.

The appointment, announced earlier this month, marked a significant U-turn by Dr Williams who had previously said that Freemasonry was “incompatible” with Christianity and had refused to promote Masons to senior posts.

Last week, as news of Fr Baker’s membership of the Masons began to circulate through the Church, it provoked growing concern and criticism from clergy and members of the General Synod. the rest

He argued that it would not interfere with his role of overseeing traditionalist parishes and said he saw no conflict in being a bishop and a Freemason.

“I’ve never found it to be anything other than an organisation that is wholly supportive of the Church.”

However, yesterday he said: “I have concluded that, because of the particular charism of episcopal ministry and the burden that ministry bears, I am resigning my membership of Freemasonry.”

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin elects bishop

 Saturday, May. 14, 2011
By Paula Lloyd / The Fresno Bee Share 

The Rev. Dr. Eric Menees is the new bishop of the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin, following his election Saturday by clergy and lay delegates at a special convention at St. James Cathedral in east-central Fresno.

Menees, rector of the Anglican Church of the Resurrection in San Marcos in Southern California, will replace Bishop John-David Schofield, who has announced plans to retire in October.

The Rev. Van McCalister, assistant to the dean at St. James, said delegates cast two ballots before a majority vote for one candidate was reached. The other candidates were the Very Rev. Carlos Raines, dean of St. James Cathedral; and the Rev. Dr. Ronald Jackson, chaplain and tutor at Trinity College in Bristol, England.  the rest

NZ: Schools arrange secret abortions

IMOGEN NEALE
15/05/2011

A MOTHER is angry her 16-year-old daughter had a secret abortion arranged by a school counsellor.

Helen, not her real name, found out about the termination four days after it had happened. "I was horrified. Horrified that she'd had to go through that on her own, and horrified her friends and counsellors had felt that she shouldn't talk to us," she said.

She had suspected something was wrong, but her daughter insisted her tears were over everyday teenage dramas. the rest