Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cat and green apples

Man Can Keep Up Billboard Condemning Girlfriend’s Abortion

by Steven Ertelt 7/29/11

A state judge in New Mexico has ruled that a man can keep up, for now, the billboard he paid for that condemns his girlfriend’s apparent abortion — an advertisement that has generated national controversy.

Greg Fultz erected the billboard weeks ago with the words, “This Would Have Been A Picture Of My 2-Month Old Baby If The Mother Had Decided To Not KILL Our Child!” The billboard shows a picture of Fultz holding an outline of a an infant.

Fulz’s girlfriend, Nani Lawrence, has sued and claims the billboard violates her right to privacy and a local court has suggested that the billboard be removed. Fultz and his attorney have appealed the restraining order saying that his rights to free speech are abridged by it. Also at issue is whether Lawrence ever had an abortion — she contends she did not and the baby may have died as the result of a miscarriage. the rest

Abortions decline in wake of "fetal pain" law

July 28, 2011

No one needed a crystal ball to foresee a decline in abortions would be reported to the state Department of Health and Human Services for the first six months of this year.

There were 135 fewer abortions from January through June this year than for the same period in 2010.

Nebraska broke new ground nationally with the enactment last year of a so-called “fetal pain” law. It barred abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, based on the disputed theory that a fetus can feel pain at that stage.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the standard for limiting abortion has been the viability of the fetus – its ability to survive outside the womb. That standard has generally been seen as 24 weeks. During the first trimester, a decision to abort a pregnancy has been up to a woman and her physician.

Preliminary reports from doctors to the department note 1,153 abortions for the first six months of 2011, compared to 1,288 for the same period in 2010 – a decrease of 9 percent. the rest

John Stott: "A walking embodiment of the simple beauty of Jesus"

Sharon Autenrieth
Friday, July 29, 2011

Fifteen years or so ago I purchased a copy of The Cross of Christ by John Stott. I'd heard his name, knew he was "famous" in evangelicalism, but had never read any of his writings. It took only a chapter or two in The Cross of Christ for me to be won over to Stott's style of writing. He was intellectually rigorous but clear and accessible. More than that, though, I was drawn to the devotion that permeated Stott's writing. It was contagious, the passion he had for Christ and His church. I wanted it to characterize my own spiritual life.

John Stott was 90 years old when he died in London on Wednesday. Surrounded by friends, Stott passed away listening to "Handel's Messiah" and the reading of scripture. If there is such a thing as a good death, it sounds like a good death to me. In life and in death, John Stott's was soaked in scripture and dedicated to Christ the Messiah. the rest

Evangelical Leader John Stott Dies at 90
...Stott was somewhat unique in his call for evangelicals to move their faith beyond the four walls of the church, “to take more responsible attitudes toward economics, the arts, politics, and culture in general,” recalled Mark Noll, a University of Notre Dame professor and scholar of the evangelical movement. Perhaps most importantly, Noll told the Times in a 2007 interview, Stott served as a “patron, mentor, friend, and encourager of thousands of pastors, students, and laypeople from the newer Christian parts of the world,” becoming a link “between the West and the rising Christian world.”...

Christians hail John Stott’s legacy

Noonan: They've Lost That Lovin' Feeling

They've Lost That Lovin' Feeling Obama still has supporters, but theirs is a grim support.
JULY 30, 2011
by Peggy Noonan

But that actually is not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about something that started to become apparent to me during the debt negotiations. It's something I've never seen in national politics.

It is that nobody loves Obama. This is amazing because every president has people who love him, who feel deep personal affection or connection, who have a stubborn, even beautiful refusal to let what they know are just criticisms affect their feelings of regard. At the height of Bill Clinton's troubles there were always people who'd say, "Look, I love the guy." They'd often be smiling—a wry smile, a shrugging smile. Nobody smiles when they talk about Mr. Obama. There were people who loved George W. Bush when he was at his most unpopular, and they meant it and would say it. But people aren't that way about Mr. Obama. He has supporters and bundlers and contributors, he has voters, he may win. But his support is grim support. And surely this has implications.

The past few weeks I've asked Democrats who supported him how they feel about him. I got back nothing that showed personal investment. Here are the words of a hard-line progressive and wise veteran of the political wars: "I never loved Barack Obama. That said, among my crowd who did 'love' him, I can't think of anyone who still does." Why is Mr. Obama different from Messrs. Clinton and Bush? "Clinton radiated personality. As angry as folks got with him about Nafta or Monica, there was always a sense of genuine, generous caring." With Bush, "if folks were upset with him, he still had this goofy kind of personality that folks could relate to. You might think he was totally misguided but he seemed genuinely so. . . . Maybe the most important word that described Clinton and Bush but not Obama is 'genuine.'" He "doesn't exude any feeling that what he says and does is genuine." the rest

AnglicanTV: Anglican Unscripted July 29, 2011

George Conger and Kevin Kallsen discuss this day in History and the death of John Stott. This week we also have two contributors - AS Haley delves into New York states new same sex marriage law and Bishop Love discusses how this new law affects the Diocese of Albany NY. --Oh and for the curious.... we have the blooper reel at the end of the show.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

John Stott: The Christian community is a community of the cross...

The Christian community is a community of the cross, for it has been brought into being by the cross, and the focus of its worship is the Lamb once slain, now glorified. So the community of the cross is a community of celebration, a eucharistic community, ceaselessly offering to God through Christ the sacrifice of our praise and thanksgiving. The Christian life is an unending festival. And the festival we keep, now that our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed for us, is a joyful celebration of his sacrifice, together with a spiritual feasting upon it.
...John R. W. Stott  image

Online Remembrance Book

Tomb of St. Philip the Apostle discovered in Turkey's Denizli

D'Andria said the structure of the tomb and the writings on it proved that it belonged to St. Philip the Apostle, who is recognized as a martyr in the history of Christianity
27 July 2011 Wednesday

The tomb of St. Philip the Apostle, one of the original 12 disciples of Christianity's central figure Jesus Christ, has been discovered during the ongoing excavations in Turkey's south-western province of Denizli.

Italian professor Francesco D'Andria, the head of the excavation team at the Hierapolis ancient city in Denizli, told reporters on Tuesday that experts had reached the tomb of St. Philip whose name is mentioned in the Bible as one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus.

Professor D'Andria said archeologists had been working for years to find the tomb of the Biblical figure, and finally, they had managed to reach the monument while working on the ruins of a newly-unearthed church in Hierapolis. the rest

U.N. Group Calls for Abortion as Human Right for 10-Year-Olds, Decriminalization of Prostitution for Youth

Thursday, July 28, 2011
By Tierney Smith

Y-PEER, a youth initiative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), has issued a call to make access to abortion and contraception an international human right for children as young as 10 years old.

The U.N.-affiliated group also issued what U.N. analysts say is a call for the decriminalization of prostitution and drug use, and for “confidentiality” in health-care services for youth.

The “Joint Youth Statement on the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Young People” was released in preparation for the U.N. Youth Conference, which began Wednesday in New York.  the rest
Rondeau said the organization appears to be “one more front group -- wittingly or otherwise -- for sex-based profiteers and cultural revolutionaries posing as concerned global citizens.”

“Within the statement absolutely stuffed with gobbledygook, it calls for disordered sexual behavior, prostitution, and IV drug use to be decriminalized,” he said. “Yet the leading cause of the spread of AIDS is sexual promiscuity followed by sharing needles in IV drug use. So, who benefits from decriminalizing these behaviors: youth or sexual health agencies, providers, and pharmaceutical companies?”

Abortionist admits: babies sometimes born alive and left ‘wiggling around in the toilet’

by Kathleen Gilbert
Tue Jul 26, 2011

( – In disturbing testimony during court proceedings against a well-known Florida abortionist, a fellow abortionist reportedly admitted that some aborted children are delivered alive and left “wiggling around in the toilet,” where they are allowed to die.

The testimony occurred during proceedings against abortionist James Pendergraft, who was forced to pay over $36 million last week for a botched procedure that left its intended target alive, but severely disabled.

Pendergraft, who was convicted of felony extortion in 2001, was told by an Orlando County jury to pay $18 million in the civil suit itself and another $18 million in punitive damages, totaling over $36 million.

Michele Herzog of Pro-Life Action Ministries, a witness in the courtroom, said that jurors listened as abortionist Randall Whitney, one of Pendergrast’s accomplices, “cavalierly stated that yes, babies are delivered in the toilet all the time and many times are still alive, wiggling around in the toilet.” the rest

One Man, One Woman, and the Common Good: Marriage’s Public Purpose

The state should uphold the Defense of Marriage Act, because the state’s interest in marriage is fundamentally about public, not private, purposes for marriage. Adapted from testimony delivered before the United States Senate.
by Austin R. Nimocks
July 27, 2011

Marriage doesn’t proscribe conduct or prevent individuals from living how they want to live. It doesn’t prohibit intimate relationships or curtail one’s constitutional rights. Federal legislation that protects marriage as a binding, exclusive, and procreative relationship has the public purposes of marriage—most notably, to continue human existence—at heart. The effort to repeal DOMA, however, tries to replace these essential public purposes of marriage with various private purposes. Our discussion of DOMA and its repeal should not be about the private reasons why individuals marry, why the institution of marriage benefits any particular couple, or why any two people should or should not marry. Instead, we must speak about social policy for our country as a whole and the government’s interest in marriage as an institution.

Due to the public nature of the government’s interest in marriage, a couple’s entrance into marriage has never been conditioned on the couple’s ability and desire to find happiness together, on their level of financial entanglement, or on their actual personal dedication to each other. Because the scope of due process rights is determined not by anyone’s individual circumstances, but by the country’s history, traditions, and legal practices, marriage laws stem from the fact that children are the natural product of sexual relationships between men and women, and that both fathers and mothers are viewed to be necessary and important for children. Thus, throughout history, diverse cultures and faiths have recognized marriage between one man and one woman as the best way to promote healthy families and societies.

Moreover, studies and data from the social sciences have long demonstrated that for children, the ideal family structure is one headed by two opposite-sex biological parents in a low-conflict marriage. Even President Obama supports active and involved fatherhood for all children; he knows all too well the pain of not having a father during his childhood, even though he was raised by a loving mother. As he stated:

We know the statistics—that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and twenty times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.

Likewise, a child psychologist who testified in support of a lawsuit that would judicially impose same-sex marriage on California citizens wrote, “Both mothers and fathers play crucial and qualitatively different roles in the socialization of the child.”

But advocates for redefining marriage are asking you to cast aside the natural attachment of parents to their own children, and the natural desires of children to know who they are and where they came from. These advocates are asking the whole of society to ignore the unique and demonstrable differences between men and women in parenthood: no mothers, no fathers, just generic parents. image by April Killingsworth

Full Essay

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

John Stott, Renowned Evangelical Leader, Dies at 90

Wed, Jul. 27 2011
By Daniel Blake

World-renowned evangelist and Biblical scholar John Stott died Wednesday at 3.15 p.m. local time in London (10.15 a.m. EST), according to John Stott Ministries President Benjamin Homan.

Homan has reported that Stott’s death has come following a few weeks of discomfort, and that the death was simply related to complications related to old age.

Stott, who died at 90, retired from public ministry in 2007 when he was 86 years old. He spent his retirement in the College of St. Barnabas, Lingfield, which is a residence for retired Anglican clergy.

The English Anglican leader is revered for his ministry life. The world famous evangelist, the Rev. Billy Graham, described him as "the most respected clergyman in the world today." the rest

Christianity Today: John Stott Has Died

Rest in Peace, John Stott

Evangelical great, John Stott, dies at 90

John Stott's Impact
The core elements of Stott’s leadership-by-truth-telling are within our grasp immediately, and Stott would probably be the first to say so. We must…

1. Make personal devotion to God in Christ our highest priority.

2. Live consistently, with integrity. Resist the temptation to develop a public persona.

3. Develop core disciplines like Scripture reading and mediation, prayer, work and rest.

4. Trust in the unchangeable truth of Scripture. Go deep in our study of it.

5. Prepare public talks with a focus on substance. Look for the connections and orders of our ideas.

6. Value relationships with other leaders. Be a mentor without having to be called a mentor. Follow natural patterns. Don’t reduce discipleship to a program.

7. “Read” the truth of God written in the natural world. Stott was an avid ornithologist. His cumulative knowledge made him a world expert. This was both an avocation and an act of worship. Like many other Christian leaders, Stott practiced a full awareness of God’s presence and work, and that included participating in the Creation with a developing sense of awe and wonder....

Diocese of CNY: Save sex for the person you love most, says Episcopal priest

Wednesday, July 27, 2011
By Rev. G. Thomas Luck

Rev. G. Thomas Luck is dean and rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Syracuse and canon theologian of the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York.

I am a priest of the Episcopal Church who is married and who has raised three children with my wife, who had been widowed when the children were young. I am an advocate for marriage, whether same- or opposite-gender marriage.

I celebrate that people may now enter into marriage with people of the same gender, and that the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York is allowing priests to bless these marriages in the name of God and the church, and as agents of the state of New York.

Contrary to what some have said, this does nothing to tear apart marriage, but actually allows a whole population of people to enter marriage, giving them the traditional rights and responsibilities of marriage, thus strengthening the role and place of marriage in society and the church. As one population within our society celebrates the right to enter the sacrament of marriage, this is a great time to celebrate marriage as the best context for sexual relations. the rest
Sex is good, and in marriage it is great. I wish to call all people to use their God-given gift of sexuality for relationships that are mutually fulfilling, joyful, committed for life, faithful and sanctifying, recognizing that there are stages on the way to discerning marriage, and accept that for most people sex is part of that discerning.

Study: ObamaCare costs grossly underestimated

Bill Bumpas

New research suggests that assumptions made in ObamaCare about employee behavior aren't realistic and thus could cost taxpayers billions of dollars.

Earlier this month, the non-profit Employment Policies Institute (EPI) released new research from economists at Cornell University and Indiana University that suggests the healthcare law could be quite expensive for the U.S. Mike Saltsman, an EPI research fellow, explains to OneNewsNow why the economists were so pessimistic.

"A lot of people who are currently insured by their employer under this new system may find it in their best interest to actually leave their employer's coverage and go get their insurance through the insurance exchange," he explains. "What that could mean is that a lot more people are sort of getting subsidized insurance coverage -- and it could mean a higher cost for taxpayers than originally projected." the rest

Hundreds of thousands of human embryos discarded

July 25th, 2011

The scale of wasted human embryos as a result of IVF treatment has been revealed after a written reply was given to a question asked in the House of Lords.

Department of Health figures show that over 30 embryos are created for every successful IVF implantation in a woman.

3 million embryos have been created for IVF purposes since 1991 when the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act made the practice legal.

Of these, fewer than 100,000 have been successfully implanted and resulted in live births, nearly a million and a half have been discarded, around three quarters of a million have been frozen for later use and 100,000 were given for use in experiments where the embryos were destroyed.  the rest

UK: Doctors can pray with their patients, says medics group

Wed, 27 Jul 2011

GPs are free to pray with their patients as long as they are receptive to the offer, the UK’s leading medical defence group has said.

The Medical Defence Union’s new guidance quotes a senior figure at the General Medical Council (GMC) saying that a “tactful” offer to pray could be appropriate.

The news follows a number of cases where Christian medics have faced disciplinary proceedings for mentioning their faith at work. the rest

Mobile ultrasound unit rescues '2 babies & 2 souls' in 1 day

Jul 26, 2011
by Staff

ORLANDO, Fla. (BP)--A mobile pregnancy care resource center may be relatively new for the Florida Baptist Children's Homes, but it already has become a strategic advocate for life and the health of the unborn.

"Two babies and two souls were saved" when the unit was stationed next door to a Planned Parenthood clinic in downtown Orlando in late June, Mary Lou Hendry, director of sanctity of human life for the children's homes, reported.

The two women intended to get abortions but instead, by divine appointment, each was able to see her baby on an ultrasound machine screen provided by gifts to the Psalm 139 Project of Southern Baptists' Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. the rest

Monday, July 25, 2011

We must not conceal from ourselves that true Christianity...

We must not conceal from ourselves that true Christianity brings with it a daily cross in this life, while it offers us a crown of glory in the life to come. The flesh must be daily crucified. The devil must be daily resisted. The world must be daily overcome. There is a warfare to be waged, and a battle to be fought. All this is the inseparable accompaniment of true religion. Heaven is not to be won without it. Never was there a truer word than the old saying, “No cross, no crown!” If we never found this out by experience, our souls are in a poor condition. ...JC Ryle image

Contracepting Conscience

by Helen Alvaré
July 25, 2011
The new, pro-contraceptive recommendations by the Institute of Medicine endanger the health and well-being of women.
Richard John Neuhaus once commented that the “philosophes” of the French Revolution would turn over in their graves to discover how the Catholic Church had become the chief defender of the place of reason in the public square in the late 20th century. Today in the 21st century it is the feminist revolutionaries of the 1960s who are squirming in their rocking chairs as the Catholic Church dares to defy “the establishment” to stand for the freedom of women and of conscientious objection to federal mandates.

The greatest attack on women’s freedom is last week’s recommendation by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that the new health care law should mandate “the full range of FDA-approved contraceptive methods [and] sterilization procedures” as “preventive services.” This means that every health insurance plan must provide these services without co-pays or deductibles. “Grandfathered” employer plans are exempted, but these lose their “grandfathered” status if the plans are significantly changed; HHS estimates that by 2013, about 88 million Americans’ preventive services coverage will be affected by federal decisions. The Secretary of Health and Human Services has solicited IOM’s recommendations and will render a final decision August 1.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops responded immediately that the new threat to religious conscience posed by this recommendation fails women. He noted further that the “FDA-approved” category includes even abortion-inducing methods (such as Ella), and that IOM’s report appeared to be driven by ideology, not science or care for women’s health.

If you want to give new meaning to the word “outsider” in Washington today, identify yourself prominently as a conscientious objector to birth control as a tool in the “war against unintended pregnancy.” A giant federal health care bureaucracy becomes your enemy. So does one of its closest collaborators, the self-described champion of all things female, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The IOM’s report gave Planned Parenthood everything it lobbied for—even the opinion that abortion, too, is a form of preventive health care, but one that the IOM believed it could not recommend in light of extant law. the rest
It is no surprise, then, that the rates of every outcome harmful to women—uncommitted sexual encounters, sexually transmitted infections, nonmarital births, and abortion—have climbed precipitously during the decades that the federal government has escalated both public and private support for contraception. Yet the IOM report—a report on women’s health—makes no reference to this substantial body of literature.

Diocese of Long Island: Bishop Tanglefoot

Monday, July 25, 2011
Matthew J. Franck

I learned this morning from a friend of the pastoral letter recently issued by the Right Reverend Lawrence C. Provenzano, the bishop of the Episcopal Church’s Long Island diocese, to be read aloud at all services on Sunday, August 7. The letter, an effort to adapt to the new law establishing same-sex marriage in New York, is such a welter of confusion it will take your breath away. One might say Bishop Provenzano is trying to make the best of a very novel situation, in a church that has already gone far in the “progressive” direction. But when you let the city of man tie your shoelaces, Bishop, you’re bound to find your feet tied together and forward movement very difficult.

The first half dozen paragraphs have their share of cringe-making turns of phrase. We’re told that a marriage can be solemnized in the Episcopal Church if it “conform[s] to the laws of the State and the canons of the Church.” Just which canons of the Church already contemplate the legitimacy of a same-sex union, he does not say–but I have not tried to keep up with Episcopal progressivism.

We are further reminded that in Episcopal doctrine, “the couple administers the sacrament [of marriage] to each other,” while the priest is “present to witness and bless, and, when included, celebrate the Holy Eucharist.” These practices will now be extended to “same-gender” couples, in “conformity with the timeless and universal theology of the Church concerning marriage.” How making way for men to marry men and women to marry women, in a “sacramental” rite of Christians, is in keeping with a “timeless and universal theology” that never heard of such things until just yesterday, the bishop never explains.

But it’s in the seventh and eighth paragraphs that the bishop trips and stumbles. Here’s the seventh:
As has always been the practice, no priest will be required to officiate at any particular marriage. It will remain the obligation and pastoral duty of our priests who will officiate at marriages (either gay or straight) to fully prepare all couples, whether gay or straight, for marriage in similar fashion. No one is entitled to have his or her marriage blessed by a priest of the Church, unless he or she is willing to profess to holding true the teachings of the Church regarding marriage. Clergy wishing to bless and celebrate the marriage of those previously married and whose spouse is still living, whether gay or straight, will require the permission of the Bishop Diocesan for such marriages, as in the past.
the rest

Conflict in NY -- religious beliefs, 'gay' agenda

Charlie Butts

Alliance Defense Fund is attempting to help New York clerks who -- on firmly held religious grounds -- don't wish to issue "marriage" licenses for homosexuals.

Same-gender marriage became legal Sunday in New York -- and Holly Carmichael, an attorney with ADF, says there is clearly in New York law a requirement that an employer provide a religious accommodation. That has been confirmed by the state Supreme Court.

“Even though the same-sex marriage law doesn't provide adequate protection, other laws in New York echo what their highest court has said and requires these religious accommodations for people who are caught between their beliefs and what their employer is asking them to do,” says Carmichael.

It would be up to the town clerk, however, to take the first step towards legal protection, she explains.

“A religious accommodation requires the individual to ask, in this case, the town board to make an accommodation,” the attorney states. “New York law also specifically allows clerks to delegate their authority for certain tasks, including issuing a marriage license, to a non-objector.” the rest

Cash for admissions scandal rocks Church of South India

July 24, 2011
by George Conger

Officials of the Diocese of South Kerala have been accused by an Indian television network of selling admissions to a church-affiliated medical school. The scandal over the sale of admissions has prompted a walkout of the opposition in the Kerala Assembly and appears to have implicated leaders of the Church of South India (CSI) in another corruption scandal.

Last week the Asianet broadcasting network reported that it obtained a list of 50 students admitted to the church-affiliated Dr Somervell Memorial Medical College located on the grounds of the London Missionary Society (LMS) hospital in Karakonam. However, the admissions list was drawn up two days before students sat for their entrance exams.

A reporter for Asianet, posing as an official of the Church of South India (CSI), contacted the students on the list and learned that each had made cash payments of up to Rs 50 lakh (£70,000) for a place in the college. However, the payments were not considered tuition payments and were “off the books.”
the rest

Church of Nigeria Consultation on Human Rights

July 25th, 2011
Anglican Mainstream

In 2010 Archbishop Nicholas Okoh of Nigeria reacted to activism by United Nations bodies on behalf of homosexual rights by noting that this activism went beyond the issue of rights and appeared to support the advancement of homosexual lifestyles in Africa. He said that if the United Nations Organisation was now an organ for advancing homosexual lifestyle, it was time Nigeria pulled out of that organization to protect the moral health of Nigeria.

This raised the question of the relationship between Human Rights and the Church. The Church of Nigeria convened a National Consultation on Human Rights from June 27 to July 1 2011 in Abuja. Participants attended from South Africa, Sudan, Zambia, Mozambique, India, Brazil, the UK and the USA with High Court Judges, State Governors, two former Cabinet Ministers, archbishops and theologians from the Church of Nigeria.

Its communiqué ( see here) reports that the consultation was held to: protect the moral health of the Nation in the light of the UN Human Rights Groups’ approach to promoting vices as rights in Africa; undertake a comprehensive overview of the foundations and ideology of rights as globally understood; identify the role of the Church in shaping the discourse and policies on human rights in Africa; examine the Biblical resources for understanding human rights and how human rights are framed, promoted, protected and to some extent, violated within the context of the African culture.
The communique reports that “Each person is entitled to human rights just as he/she has a responsibility to respect the rights of others. Human institutions are called upon to preserve and implement them.”

“The Church’s commitment to human rights rooted in the Biblical founding of human dignity is amplified in God’s covenant promises and supremely revealed in the incarnation of Jesus as the true image of God. Our understanding of human rights must be measured by the Bible’s revelation of human worth. the rest

Norway grieves for massacre victims at memorial services

Monday, July 25, 2011

The mood was solemn across Norway on Sunday as the nation turned out to memorial services to remember victims of Friday’s twin terrorist attacks.

A memorial service at Oslo Cathedral was joined by members of the royal family and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

Mr Stoltenberg told victims’ families: “We’re crying with you.”

He said: “Every single one of those we have lost is a tragedy in itself. Together the loss is a national tragedy.

“We are still struggling to understand the extent of this tragedy.
 the rest

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Devotional: Fear not the storm...

File:Backhuysen, Ludolf - Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee - 1695.jpg
Fear not the storm, it brings healing in its wings, and when Jesus is with you in the vessel, the tempest only hastens the ship to its desired haven. ...CH Spurgeon image

Phil Ashey+: Why does a 21 year old go to church?

(Part 1)
July 10, 2011

The following is from the Friday, July 8 edition of the AAC's Weekly Email Update. Sign up for the AAC's Email Update here.
[This is excellent-esp. Part III!-PD]

Dear friends in Christ,

Our family has just returned from a week-long visit with our son, Jake, in Chicago. We managed to see as much of Chicago as Jake could squeeze us into - Wrigley Field (the Cubs won!), Northwestern, the Magic Mile, Navy Pier, architectural tour up the river and out onto Lake Michigan, a comedy-improve show at the IO, and much more. The best part, of course, was just being together as a family, and with our children - hanging out, laughing, playing games and stealing away for one on one conversations and catch up time with each one.

One of the highlights came on our first day when Jake took us to the church he now attends in Chicago, Park Community Church. It is not an Anglican Church: it is a church plant some 13+ years old that has helped revitalize and transform one of the most challenging neighborhoods in Chicago, Cabrini-Green. Thirteen years ago Julie and I attended an urban missions conference at Moody Bible Institute and visited Cabrini-Green. At that time, it was an impoverished neighborhood marked by violence, drugs, despair and deteriorating housing projects. Where once stood burned out and decaying buildings now stand new townhomes and green spaces. This time I saw people walking their dogs and strolling with their children - still many blocks in need of renewal, but this time there is a palpable sense of a hope and a future. From conversations with an usher, I discovered that a number of young couples from Park have chosen to live in Cabrini-Green and raise their children in this neighborhood rather than the suburbs as a direct result of Park's commitment to invest in the community.

Like most 21 year olds, Jake lives a full life. He works full-time in a Starbucks and chose Chicago because it holds many opportunities for those who want to break into comedy and the arts (as he does). Between work, evening performances, events in the city and friends, he has very little discretionary time. So even though he has a solid foundation in Christ, Julie and I were impressed when he found this church on his own and committed to membership. Most Sundays he attends the "Near North Campus" where we worshipped together. It takes him 45 minutes - an L train ride, a bus ride, and a good walk - to get there. When he works on Sundays, he often attends the Saturday evening service. Most weeks he also attends a small group, part of the process for joining Park as a member. the rest

Part II     Part III

Canon Phil Ashey is Chief Operating and Development Officer of the American Anglican Council.

Anglican Report With Kevin Kallsen and George Conger