Saturday, June 09, 2012

Message from Bishop David Anderson

Posted June 8, 2012

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,

I have spent the last several days, from Sunday afternoon through today [Thursday], at the Anglican Church in North America's (ACNA) Provincial Assembly at Ridgecrest, North Carolina, and can attest that the ACNA is healthy, growing, and exciting. On Monday, the combined Executive Council and Archbishop's Cabinet, of which I am a member, met and covered a great deal of business, much of which would be further dealt with by the ACNA College of Bishops on Tuesday and the Provincial Council on Wednesday. Several layers of agreement were necessary on some issues, and although at times there was a bit of tedium, since I sat through discussion of some issues three days in a row, the process assured that multiple layers of the provincial leadership had a time to discuss, question and vote on things, and arrive at phenomenal consensus.

New dioceses were moved forward from their previous "diocese in formation" stage, other new groups were moved into the "diocese in formation" stage, and the election of a new bishop was approved by the College of Bishops. Detailed reporting is available from the ACNA website, but the overall impression is of an Anglican Province going into high gear. Primates visiting from several other Anglican Provinces were seated in the College and given voice and vote, and their wisdom as representing more elder Anglican Provinces was welcomed.

It would appear that the Anglican Mission Pauley's Island Chairman Bishop Chuck Murphy's desired structure for the Mission - to be an organization perhaps like the Jesuits, but internally structured like a diocese - may have some difficulties. First, no mission organization that we are aware of has been or is structured as Bishop Murphy would now organize the Mission, so how will the outside Anglican world view such a mixture? Second, without an Anglican Province providing the Pauley's Island Anglican Communion connectivity, how would they be any different from other "continuing" churches calling themselves Anglican? The final test of being Anglican is more than using the name in the title; it is being in a relationship with a recognized Anglican Province in a way that provides for Godly oversight and accountability.

For the ACNA that is provided by participation in the GAFCON/FCA Primates' Council, and indeed the chairman of that Council, Archbishop/Primate Eliud Wabukala of Kenya was present and participating in the ACNA meetings and worship this week. After cutting their ties with Rwanda, and having only a brief temporary coverage with the Congo, what will be the Pauley's Island connectivity to a functioning Anglican province in the future? This is at the moment unclear, but tremendously important if the Mission is to stay Anglican.

On Thursday afternoon at the ACNA Provincial Assembly there was a moving and powerful Eucharist, with Archbishop and Primate Robert Duncan both celebrating and preaching. Behind him stood an entire row of Primates and representatives from Global South Provinces, showing the increased support and respect that the ACNA has achieved. At the conclusion of the service, before the Primatial Blessing, Archbishop and Primate of Rwanda Rwaje asked all of the PEAR Anglican Mission bishops, priests and deacons to stand, and he read the Canon Law of Rwanda on transferring ecclesiastical membership, and said that it had been satisfied, and that he was transferring these clergy from one room of the (Anglican) house to the next room, and with that gave their primatial superintendency over to Archbishop Robert Duncan. The entire congregation erupted into applause and praise to the Lord. The PEAR bishops, priests and deacons who requested to be transferred are now canonically under the care of His Grace Robert Duncan, in a transfer that was Godly, Apostolic and Catholic. the rest

Fr. Phil Ashey: Anglican Perspective
Week of June 6, 2012

Subprime college educations

June 8, 2012
By George F. Will

Many parents and the children they send to college are paying rapidly rising prices for something of declining quality. This is because “quality” is not synonymous with “value.”

Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor, believes that college has become, for many, merely a “status marker,” signaling membership in the educated caste, and a place to meet spouses of similar status — “associative mating.” Since 1961, the time students spend reading, writing and otherwise studying has fallen from 24 hours a week to about 15 — enough for a degree often desired only as an expensive signifier of rudimentary qualities (e.g., the ability to follow instructions). Employers value this signifier as an alternative to aptitude tests when evaluating potential employees because such tests can provoke lawsuits by having a “disparate impact” on this or that racial or ethnic group.

In his “The Higher Education Bubble,” Reynolds writes that this bubble exists for the same reasons the housing bubble did. The government decided that too few people owned homes/went to college, so government money was poured into subsidized and sometimes subprime mortgages/student loans, with the predictable result that housing prices/college tuitions soared and many borrowers went bust. Tuitions and fees have risen more than 440 percent in 30 years as schools happily raised prices — and lowered standards — to siphon up federal money. A recent Wall Street Journal headline: “Student Debt Rises by 8% as College Tuitions Climb.”

Richard Vedder, an Ohio University economist, writes in the Chronicle of Higher Education that as many people — perhaps more — have student loan debts as have college degrees. Have you seen those T-shirts that proclaim “College: The Best Seven Years of My Life”? Twenty-nine percent of borrowers never graduate, and many who do graduate take decades to repay their loans.
In 2010, the New York Times reported on Cortney Munna, then 26, a New York University graduate with almost $100,000 in debt. If her repayments were not then being deferred because she was enrolled in night school, she would have been paying $700 monthly from her $2,300 monthly after-tax income as a photographer’s assistant. She says she is toiling “to pay for an education I got for four years and would happily give back.” Her degree is in religious and women’s studies. the rest

Speaker to graduates: You’re not special. (But his speech is.)

June 8, 2012
by Maureen Downey

Lots of discussion nationally this week about this clever commencement speech, delivered last week to Wellesley High School seniors by English teacher David McCullough, Jr. (The upscale, high-achieving school is in Massachusetts.)

While McCullough tells students they are not special, the speech ends up at the usual place: Do good. Do well. Do something. The road to that ending is paved with great lines, including, “The fulfilling life, the distinctive life, the relevant life, is an achievement, not something that will fall into your lap because you’re a nice person or mommy ordered it from the caterer. You’ll note the founding fathers took pains to secure your inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness–quite an active verb, “pursuit”–which leaves, I should think, little time for lying around watching parrots roller skate on Youtube.”

(And, yes, McCullough is the son of the noted historian.) the rest

Planned Parenthood sets up clinic in Los Angeles high school

By Meagan Clark

The controversial abortion and contraceptive provider Planned Parenthood has set up a clinic on a Los Angeles high school campus to provide free and confidential access to birth control, screenings for sexually transmitted diseases, counseling and pregnancy tests to teenage girls. Parental consent is not needed.

The collaboration between Planned Parenthood and the Los Angeles Unified School District is the first of its kind in the country, according to the Los Angeles Times. Family PACT, a family planning program that targets low-income families, pays for the clinic’s services.

Rates of unplanned teen pregnancies statewide have decreased in recent years, hitting a record low in 2010 at 29 births for every 1,000 teenagers age 15-19, compared with 37 in 2005.

But a low-income and Latino neighborhood called Boyle Heights has more teen mothers than most other California counties, a statistic the school district hopes to change.

Planned Parenthood Los Angeles executive director Sue Dunlap told the Times that the families generally have not complained about the clinic, but want access to the services. the rest

“We really don’t experience the traditional narrative of angry parents not wanting access to reproductive care in the schools,” Dunlap said. “It’s really the opposite.”

Friday, June 08, 2012

Live Stream from the ACNA Assembly in Ridgecrest, NC.

Watch live streaming video from anglicantv at

Alan Hawkins named Anglican 1000 vicar
PEAR USA priest to head up the ACNA church planting program

Archbishop Duncan Delivers State of the Church Address to Provincial Council
June 6, 2012

Scotland rejects the Anglican Covenant

Fourth provincial rejection likely to doom the Covenant
June 8, 2012
By George Conger

The General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church has rejected a motion to endorse the Anglican Covenant.

On the second day of the 7-9 June 2012 meeting of the General Synod at Palmerston Place Church in Edinburgh, delegates took up a motion for the church to endorse the pan-Anglican agreement, continuing a discussion began at the 2001 session of synod.

Questions over section 4 of the Covenant on the discipline of errant provinces were raised, as were concerns over the creation of an Anglican curia and the centralization of power in London -- issues raised by the former Primus Bishop Richard Holloway at the 1999 ACC meeting when proposals to enshrine the instruments of unity were rejected. the rest

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Transit of Venus photos


Monday, June 04, 2012

15 killed and dozens wounded in Nigerian church attack

Jun 2012

At least 15 people were killed and dozens wounded when a suicide car bomber drove into a Nigerian church compound and detonated his explosives as worshippers left an early morning service.
03 Jun 2012

The bomber targeted the Living Faith church, in a neighbourhood near the airport in Bauchi, the capital of northern Bauchi state. The timed blast caught many people outside the church without any cover to protect themselves from the explosion, causing heavy casualties, witnesses said.

At least eight people were killed in the blast, as well as the bomber, Bauchi state police commissioner Mohammed Ladan said. He said security personnel stationed near the churches stopped the car from getting any closer to worshippers than it did.

More than 40 people suffered injuries in the blast, the Nigerian Red Cross said.

The powerful blast from the car destroyed part of the Harvest Field Church, sending walls of the building crashing down on worshippers still inside. Others suffered burns in the blast. the rest

Graphic Video: Muslims Slaughter Convert to Christianity in Tunisia
Liberal talk show host Tawfiq Okasha recently appeared on "Egypt Today" airing a video of Muslims slicing a young man's head off for the crime of apostasy, in this case, the crime of converting to Christianity and refusing to renounce it...

Taliban Attack Another Girls’ School With Poison
97 Students Sent To The Hospital, 7 In Critical Condition…

The "Shamscendence" of the Episcopal Church

First Things
Jun 1, 2012
David D. Corey

I’m told that when a man is drowning, just before he succumbs, he sometimes thrashes violently side to side, believing himself to be swimming upward, all the while sinking lower and lower to his death. Something similar seems to be happening with the Episcopal Church today. Its fundamental purpose is to transcend the limits of life on earth by orienting souls upward toward God, but instead of transcendence it deals in “shamscendence,” thrashing sideways from one earthly fad to another as it sinks into decline. Its end must be near.

No one can deny that the Episcopal Church is experiencing a life-threatening decline. According to its own statistics, the past decade alone has seen staggering drops in confirmations (down 32%), child baptisms (down 36%), adult baptisms (down 40%), and marriages (down 41%). According to an outside report, if the Episcopal Church continues declining at its current rate, it will be dead within 26 years.

No doubt the causes of decline are multiple and complex. But let me suggest what is at the core: the theological swindle of ‘shamscendence.’

Shamscendence is bogus transcendence, earthly fads masquerading as heavenly goods. Of course genuine transcendence stands at the heart of the Christian faith. We seek salvation from the futility of earthly concerns, from the corruption of sin, from the finality of death. And the gospel responds to such longings with powerful assurances of eternal life and deliverance. But how often does the Episcopal Church preach the saving message today? It seems rather to say to its flock that such talk of transcendent life is just old-fashioned, “overly sentimentalized” rubbish, and that salvation comes in reality through progressive politics here on earth. the rest image
Isn’t it plausible that the Episcopal Church is declining in large measure because parishioners recognize a theological swindle when they see one?

Bishops Prepare for Largest Civil Disobedience Since the 60s

by Andrew Bair

The United States Catholic bishops are readying American Catholics for what may be the largest campaign of civil disobedience since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s.

In addition to 12 lawsuits against the Obama Administration including 46 plaintiffs from dioceses, hospitals and universities, the US Catholic bishops will urge Catholics to openly defy the Obama HHS Mandate. In June, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will distribute bulletin inserts nationwide, which reference Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his call for civil disobedience in response to unjust laws.

The USCCB bulletin insert quotes “Letter from Birmingham Jail” in which Dr. King writes, “I would agree with Saint Augustine that ‘An unjust law is no law at all.’… A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.”

The Catholic bishops also note in the document, “Some unjust laws impose such injustices on individuals and organizations that disobeying the laws may be justified. Every effort must be made to repeal them. When fundamental human goods, such as the right of conscience, are at stake, we may need to witness to the truth by resisting the law and incurring its penalties.” the rest

New Bible strips 'God,' 'Jesus,' 'angels'

Believers warned: 'attuned to the times' is just 'watered down'
Michael Carl
June 3, 2012

Wells continued, “That’s OK if you read it as a paraphrase. But if you read it as a translation, it is not OK because there is always commentary in the paraphrase. Commentary is OK if it is read as commentary, but it should not be read as the text itself.”

Thomas Nelson gives its reason for the new translation on its website.
One of the byproducts of the information age in the church has been its focus on biblical knowledge. Many Bibles reflect this, packed with informative notes, charts, and graphs. While there’s nothing wrong with having a deep knowledge, a personal connection and deep relationship are far better. This is exemplified by Jesus’ comment to Martha, “Oh Martha, Martha, you are so … concerned about a million details, but really, only one thing matters. Mary has chosen that one thing, and I won’t take it away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42 The Voice).
A theologian and biblical scholar, who asked to remain nameless, said the Nelson comment reveals a major social trend.

“The statement is right in line with a trend in current evangelicalism – [a] trend that says experience with the Scripture is more important than actual knowledge of the Scripture,” the theologian said.

An example of what Wells calls the “Sense for Sense” translation in the Voice is God’s statement to the prophet, Zechariah, in Zechariah 4:6. The English Standard Version (the translation Wells cited) reads as follows:
“Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.”
The same verse in The Voice reads as follows:
“Your strength and prowess will not be enough to finish My temple, but My Spirit will be.”
An example of the change in the names used for God and the emphasis placed on God’s law is seen in Matthew 22:37-40, where Jesus is answering a question about the most important commandment:
And he (Jesus) said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
The Voice version of the same set of verses is as follows:
Jesus (quoting Scripture): “Love the Eternal One your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is nearly as important, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The rest of the law, and all the teachings of the prophets, are but variations on these themes.” 
the rest

Twitter Dynamos, Offering Word of God’s Love

June 2, 2012

Why are some tweets more popular than others?

When a Twitter staff member set out to answer that question 10 months ago, he thought the answer would emerge among posts from N.B.A. players, politicians or actors. Instead, he found a mystery: a set of messages that were ricocheting around Twitter, being forwarded and responded to at a rate that was off the charts.

“They were punching way above their weight,” said Robin Sloan, who discovered the anomaly but did not recognize the names behind the tweets.

Joyce Meyer, Max Lucado and Andy Stanley were not well known inside Twitter’s offices. But they had all built loyal ranks of followers well beyond their social networks — they were evangelical Christian leaders whose inspirational messages of God’s love perform about 30 times as well as Twitter messages from pop culture powerhouses like Lady Gaga.

Fifteen percent of adult Internet users in the United States are on Twitter, and about half of those use the network every day, according to a report published this week by the Pew Research Center. But Twitter is always looking for ways to add new users. And so, with this new insight, the company sent a senior executive, Claire Díaz-Ortiz, on a mission: to bring more religious leaders into the Twitter fold.

“We had looked at different groups, like C.E.O.’s and high-level executives, thinking, oh, do we need to spend more time with them?” she said. “And then this religion thing popped up.”  the rest

LATimes: The single-mom catastrophe

By Kay S. Hymowitz
June 3, 2012

The single-mother revolution has been an economic catastrophe for women. Poverty remains relatively rare among married couples with children; the U.S. census puts only 8.8% of them in that category, up from 6.7% since the start of the Great Recession. But more than 40% of single-mother families are poor, up from 37% before the downturn. In the bottom quintile of earnings, most households are single people, many of them elderly. But of the two-fifths of bottom-quintile households that are families, 83% are headed by single mothers. The Brookings Institution's Isabel Sawhill calculates that virtually all the increase in child poverty in the United States since the 1970s would vanish if parents still married at 1970 rates.

Well, comes the response, maybe single mothers are hard up not because they lack husbands but because unskilled, low-earning women are likelier to become single mothers in the first place. The Urban Institute's Robert Lerman tried to address that objection by studying low-income women who had entered "shotgun" unions — that is, getting married after getting pregnant — on the theory that they represented a population roughly similar to those who got pregnant but didn't marry. The married women, he found, had a significantly higher standard of living than the unmarried ones. "Even among the mothers with the least qualifications and highest risks of poverty," Lerman concluded, "marriage effects are consistently large and statistically significant."

Women and their children weren't the only ones to suffer the economic consequences of the single-mother revolution; low-earning men have lost ground too. Knowing that women are now expected to be able to raise children on their own, unskilled men lose much of the incentive to work, especially at the sometimes disagreeable jobs that tend to be the ones they can get. Scholars consistently find that unmarried men work fewer hours, make less money and get fewer promotions than do married men.

Experts have come to believe that these are not just selection effects — that is, they don't just reflect the fact that productive men are likelier to marry. Marriage itself, it seems, encourages male productivity. One study by Donna Ginther and Madeline Zavodny examined men who'd had shotgun marriages and thus probably hadn't been planning to tie the knot. The shotgun husbands nevertheless earned more than their single peers did. the rest

“Bioethics” Journal Pushes Organ Donations on Living Patients

by Wesley J. Smith

Here we go again! The push to transform the most ill and disabled living human bodies into so many organ farms continues among some bioethicists and within organ transplant ethical discourse. Now, an article in the American Journal of Bioethics, written by organ surgeon and medical professor Paul E Morrissey, urges that patients who are going to have life support removed and then become organ donors after death, instead have their kidneys harvested while still alive. From the Abstract:
Donation after cardiac death (DCD) is associated with many problems, including ischemic injury, high rates of delayed allograft function, and frequent organ discard. Furthermore, many potential DCD donors fail to progress to asystole in a manner that would enable safe organ transplantation and no organs are recovered. DCD protocols are based upon the principle that the donor must be declared dead prior to organ recovery. A new protocol is proposed whereby after a donor family agrees to withdrawal of life-sustaining treatments, premortem nephrectomy is performed in advance of end-of-life management. Since nephrectomy should not cause the donor’s death, this approach satisfies the dead donor rule. The donor family’s wishes are best met by organ donation, successful outcomes for the recipients, and a dignified death for the deceased. This proposal improves the likelihood of achieving these objectives.

Allow me to translate: The author is discussing organ procurement from what is known as ”non heart-beating cadaver donors,” under what I call “heart death” ethical protocols. Done properly, I support the approach. But the temptation to cut corners is very strong. the rest

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Oh, how great peace and quietness...

Oh, how great peace and quietness would he possess who should cut off all vain anxiety and place all his confidence in God. ...Thomas a Kempis image

Albert Mohler: The Seduction of Pornography and the Integrity of Christian Marriage, Part Two

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Christian worldview must direct all consideration of sexuality to the institution of marriage. Marriage is not merely the arena for sexual activity, it is presented in Scripture as the divinely-designed arena for the display of God’s glory on earth as a man and a wife come together in a one-flesh relationship within the marriage covenant. Rightly understood and rightly ordered, marriage is a picture of God’s own covenantal faithfulness. Marriage is to display God’s glory, reveal God’s good gifts to His creatures, and protect human beings from the inevitable disaster that follows when sexual passions are divorced from their rightful place.

The marginalization of marriage, and the open antipathy with which many in the culture elite approach the question of marriage, produces a context in which Christians committed to a marriage ethic appear hopelessly out of step with the larger culture. Whereas marriage is seen as a privatized contract to be made and unmade at will in the larger society, Christians must see marriage as an inviolable covenant made before God and man, that establishes both temporal and eternal realities.

Christians have no right to be embarrassed when it comes to talking about sex and sexuality. An unhealthy reticence or embarrassment in dealing with these issues is a form of disrespect to God’s creation. Whatever God made is good, and every good thing God made has an intended purpose that ultimately reveals His own glory. When conservative Christians respond to sex with ambivalence or embarrassment, we slander the goodness of God and hide God’s glory which is intended to be revealed in the right use of creation’s gifts. the rest

The Seduction of Pornography and the Integrity of Christian Marriage, Part One

Canada's 'Scientific' Museum of Smut

Brent Bozell
May 25, 2012

In Ottawa, the nation's capital of Canada, the Museum of Science and Technology has decided to provide school children with answers in a scientific field where "reliable and comprehensive sources of information are rare or little-known." I don't know if you're familiar with it. That field is called "sex."

As always, society's experts believe parents either faint at the thought of discussing sex with their children or worse, spread ignorance based on allegedly outdated religious texts. But wait until you hear what the Canadian government's subsidized version of "science" looks like.

The exhibit is called "Sex: A Tell-All Exhibition." It is certainly exhibitionist. the rest

Anglican Unscripted Episode 42

Jun 2, 2012

So much news so little time. In this week's Anglican Unscripted Kevin, George, Peter, and Alan bring you the latest Anglican News. Peter brings news of a Diamond Jubilee and Women Bishops in England. Alan delivers the lastest supreme court news from The Falls Church. Kevin and George talk about a cancer in the Anglican Communion and updated betting on the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Rt. Rev. Bill Thompson to Become Full-Time Bishop of Growing Diocese of Western Anglicans

posted June 3, 2012

After devoting nearly four decades of his life to his role as rector of All Saints’ Anglican Church in Long Beach, Calif., the Rt. Rev. William A. Thompson will focus his full attention on being bishop of the Diocese of Western Anglicans.

The Diocese was formed in April of 2009 and includes 28 parishes and church plants stretching from southern California to Washington state and as far east as Wyoming. In addition to his work to support the growing Diocese, Bishop Thompson serves the Anglican Church in North America in numerous ways, including leading the Prayer Book and Common Liturgy Task Force.

“When I was consecrated bishop, I had no way of realizing how consuming it would be. To be fair to both positions, I’m choosing to focus on this role and allow All Saints’ to enjoy the benefits of a full-time rector. We haven’t selected a new rector here since the mid-70s; it’s kind of exciting,” said Bishop Thompson in his announcement to the diocesan House of Delegates.

Bishop Thompson moved into the rector role at All Saints’ just before his 29th birthday. He’s seen the congregation grow and change during his tenure and says, “The parish has always been very strong. While the property litigation we’re facing has been going on now for eight years, we knew the risk of our decision and chose to take a stand for the authority of Scripture anyway.” the rest

Sudan: Starving Its Own Children

June 2, 2012

PERHAPS hundreds of thousands of people here have no food and are reduced to eating leaves and insects, as Sudan’s government starves and bombs its own people in the Nuba Mountains. Children are beginning to die.

“Yes, my children may die,” Katum Tutu, a 28-year-old mother, told me. She recently lost her 2-year-old daughter, Maris, to starvation and has nothing to feed her four remaining children. “I think about it every day, but there’s nothing I can do,” she said.

This week will mark a year since Sudan began its brutal counterinsurgency campaign in the Nuba Mountains, intended to crush a rebel force that is popular here and controls much of the region. Sudan has expelled aid workers, blocked food shipments and humanitarian aid, and dropped bombs haphazardly — and almost daily — on its own citizens. the rest
President Obama, you harshly criticized President Bush for failing to stand up to Sudan’s slaughter in Darfur. So now what are you going to do as Sudan kills again — on your watch?       

Best ventriloquist performance ever by Nina Conti

Jun 3, 2012

This is hilarious!