Saturday, July 14, 2012

GenCon 2012: Episcopal Church agnostic on the resurrection of animals

Bishops adopt prayers for animals
July 12, 2012
By George Conger

The doctrine that all dogs go to heaven has been placed in limbo by the 77th General Convention. On 11 July 2012 the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church adopted a revised version of Resolution A054 “Authorize Rites and Prayers for the Care of Beloved Animals.”

The question of prayers for the souls of animals was brought to the convention by the Standing Committee on Liturgy and Church Music which submitted the text, “Various Rites and Prayers for Animals” for approval. However, the Convention’s Committee on Prayer Book, Liturgy and Church Music rejected “Various Rites” as a whole, and offered selected prayers for approval by the church.

The Bishop of Missouri, the Rt. Rev. George Wayne Smith said the prayers provided by the Prayer Book committee “no longer express the desire for our animals to be part of the resurrection.”

The committee removed language from the proposed “Burial Office for a Beloved Animal”, that has the officiant say: “Give us faith to commit this beloved creature to your care, and hear our hope that we all may one day be reunited with our animals in the heavenly places, where you live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.”

The new language for the office states: “Give us faith to commit this beloved creature of your own making to your care, for you live and reign for ever and ever. Amen”

After Bishop Smith presented the resolution for debate, the retired Bishop of Alabama, Henry Parsley stated “I welcome the liturgy, but I have a question: Where do they go?”

“To heaven, where else,” the Presiding Bishop said.
 the rest-this is a hoot!

Albany Deputation Statement on the 77th General Convention

GetReligion: Rum, sodomy and the cash: The Episcopal Church
The Wall Street Journal’s “Houses of Worship” column has printed a spirited review of the recent General Convention of the Episcopal Church held 5-12 July 2012 in Indianapolis. The reporter’s style in “What Ails the Episcopalians”  is engaging as is the ebullient energy found in his report on the church’s follies.

Yet, there is a problem — the author’s insights are largely superficial and the reader cannot rely on him as a guide to the deeper meaning of the things he describes. Silly things take place at Episcopal Church General Conventions — I have covered the last six — yet, the Episcopal Church and its presiding bishop are not guilty of the crimes leveled against them in this article...

Transgender Pastors Coming to a Church Near You
To exhibit "inclusion and growth in understanding and appreciation of the diversity of God's beloved human family," the Episcopal Church just voted to allow transgender ministers to occupy their pulpits, shattering all sacred traditions while trading the Silver Chalice for a pink one.

The Episcopal Church, replacing God's way with the politically correct way, also began working on creating a liturgy for same-sex 'weddings'.

The House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church, at their week-long General Convention in Indianapolis, approved a proposal that would amend two canons to "prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression in the lay and ordained ministry discernment process and in the overall life, worship and governance of the church."

Let's get this straight: One should never be discriminated against because they do not have the qualifications for a specific position? This means that if you want to wear that glamorous flight uniform and fly that 747 you should not face discrimination simply because you cannot fly that airplane. Nope, you should be put right into that pilot's seat in the cockpit without delay. Passengers, please board...

The Episcopal Church Resolutions You DIDN’T Hear About
Sure, all the attention went to making Canon law say that you WILL hire a person of unspecified gender and sexual history for your church nursery. That, and giving your bishop a handy dandy little ritual to hand to your priest when the folks who detest marriage as a primitive livestock and rape exchange come demanding to be married. You might be yelling at said priest and bishop about that stuff, but they’re reassuring you, “Hey, it will be only one part of our local missional contextualization. Besides, did’ja hear about all the really great mission and ministry work that General Convention did for us? The stuff those hateful fundy bloggers ignored?”...

A Statement from the Deputation of the Diocese of Central Florida

Episcopalians Call for Repeal of DOMA; Approve Rites for Pet Funerals
Other resolutions passed during the convention include:

• A call to halt the use of racial profiling and the practice of detaining people suspected of being in the country illegally
• A call to Congress to repeal federal laws (including DOMA) that have a discriminatory effect on same-gender civilly married couples
• Creating a task force to "re-imagine" its structures, governance and administration
• A reaffirmation of baptism as the normative entry point to receiving Holy Communion
• Making available liturgical materials to provide pastoral responses to people with animals, including at the time of their death
• Challenging every congregation to use social media...

The Anglican Future: After the Storm
We are in a strange place. After nearly a decade of crisis, the much predicted Anglican schism has failed to materialise, at least in any clear cut way. Significant new structures have been birthed, notably the Anglican Church of North America, but on the whole the drama has subsided.

The Communion lies becalmed and rudderless like a ship after a storm. The Archbishop of Canterbury can no longer gather the Communion and the Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council has announced that it has no set time frame for the adoption of the Covenant. What was once held to be 'the only show in town' is dead even though it officially lives.

How does the GAFCON movement respond now? During the storm it provided a lifeboat for those orthodox Anglicans who were tossed over the side, but now there is an opportunity to get the ship under way again by being a catalyst for the renewal and godly unity of the whole Communion. The preparatory documents for the 2008 GAFCON Conference referred to a fork in the road, but how do we understand that road? We can begin to answer this question by taking a hint from the fact that the GAFCON movement was quite deliberately birthed in Jerusalem and its identity is framed by the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bishops close "Open Table"

Send Baptism before Eucharist resolution back to Deputies with amendments
July 12, 2012
By George Conger

The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church has returned Resolution C029 “Access to Holy Baptism and Holy Communion” to the House of Deputies, removing language from the resolution that would permit clergy to omit out of pastoral considerations the requirement that those who partake of the Body and Blood of Christ at the Eucharist be baptized.

Two resolutions seeking to remove the canonical requirement of baptism being a precondition for receiving Holy Communion and a call to study the question of Baptism and Eucharistic hospitality were presented to the 77th General Convention meeting in Indianapolis from 5-12 July 2012. the rest
The Rev. Susan Buchanan of New Hampshire spoke in favor of the original resolution stating she endorsed it because if offered a “both/and” response to the concerns of the church. She stated the committee had “worked hard” to find an acceptable compromise and added that she held an open table at her church.

"We are crazy Christians." she said and "because we have a crazy God. Many of us do offer open table."

Scrolling around...July 12th, 2012

Planned Parenthood Collected $28M in Medicaid Fraud, Says Former Iowa Director
...Planned Parenthood submitted "repeated false, fraudulent, and/or ineligible claims for reimbursements" to Medicaid and failed to meet acceptable standards of medical practice, according to a lawsuit made public Monday...

Muslims the fastest growing religious group in San Diego
A new census has found that Islam is the fastest growing in the second-most-populous county in California, an increase that has brought new challenges to the Muslim minority in the United States...

U.S. Again Protests Iran's Imprisonment of Christian Pastor
On Monday, the U.S. State Department again issued a statement protesting Iran's continued imprisonment of Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani who, it says, still faces the threat of execution for simply following his faith. Monday marked the 1000th day of Nardkhani's imprisonment...

 Hidden Tax Advantages for Same-Sex Couples
But certain provisions in the tax code actually put same-sex couples at an advantage, because the individuals in these relationships can benefit from one another in ways that heterosexual couples are legally forbidden...

Why Is Obama Offering All Women Free Sterilization?
No previous president ever promoted a giveaway more peculiar than Barack Obama's mandate that all health care plans must offer free sterilizations to all women -- but not all men -- capable of breeding.
This mandate is Obama's defining act as president -- just as his adamant opposition to a bill that would have defined a born baby as a "person" was his defining act as an Illinois state senator.
Obama's Department of Health and Human Services proposed the mandate last August and finalized it in January. It takes effect Aug. 1...

Clinton-era Environmental Rules Increased Wildfire Risks in Colorado
Environmental regulations restricting the construction of forest access roads have limited the ability of the Forest Service to clear combustible brush and trees, adding dangerous fuel to the wildfires that have ravaged Colorado this summer. The so-called “roadless rule,” which was first implemented in 2001 by President Clinton shortly before he left office, restricts and in many cases prohibits local and federal officials from building and maintaining roads that allow firefighters to clear out growth that could instantly become tinder for a new fire...

In Obama's Chicago, A Trayvon Martin Every Day
...People are dying fast and furiously in Chicago, so much so that it caught the CBS eye and prompted "Evening News" anchor Scott Pelley to sit down Monday night with Rahm Emanuel, President Obama's former chief of staff and mayor of this monument to progressive decay, and ask a very pertinent question.

"I got a letter from a viewer the other day who asked us why we were spending so much time at 'The Evening News' covering Afghanistan when more people were dying in Chicago," Pelley said. "Why is the murder rate up 30%?"...

Google pushes porn with TV partnership
Days after Google announced a plan to promote the homosexualist agenda worldwide, a spokesman for the leading U.S. organization opposing obscenity and indecency has drawn attention to the fact that the tech giant is promoting sexual immorality in other ways as well.
Patrick Trueman of Morality in Media pointed to Google TV’s recent partnership with Vivid Video, “the top commercial pornographer in the country.”...

Nigerian Christian Leaders Rip Obama For Deciding Not To Label Islamist Group Boko Haram A Terrorist Organization…
...Testifying on Capitol Hill this week, the State Department’s top official for Africa defended the decision not to designate Boko Haram as a “foreign terrorist organization” (FTO) — but then used the term “terrorist organization” in reference to the Nigerian Islamist group...

Hidden Government Scanners Will Instantly Know Everything About You From 164 Feet Away
From traces of drugs or gun powder on your clothes to what you had for breakfast to the adrenaline level in your body—agents will be able to get any information they want without even touching you...And without you knowing it...

Why is the Episcopal Church near collapse?

by Rob Kerby, Senior Editor
posted July 12, 2012

The headlines coming out of the Episcopal Church’s annual U.S. convention are stunning — endorsement of cross-dressing clergy, blessing same-sex marriage, the sale of their headquarters since they can’t afford to maintain it.

The American branch of the Church of England, founded when the Vatican balked at permitting King Henry VIII to continue executing any wife who failed to bear him sons, is in trouble.

Somehow slipping out of the headlines is a harsh reality that the denomination has been deserted in droves by an angry or ambivalent membership. Six prominent bishops are ready to take their large dioceses out of the American church and align with conservative Anglican groups in Africa and South America. the rest
Likewise, Bishop Edward Little of Northern Indiana stood against the resolution.

“The Christian world is going to understand us as having changed the nature of the sacrament of holy matrimony,” Bishop Little said. “The Christian world will look at that liturgy world and see vows, and exchange of rings, a pronouncement and a blessing and they will understand that to mean the Episcopal Church has endorsed same-sex marriage and changed a basic Christian doctrine. I do not believe that we are free to do that.”

But few observers were surprised by the transgender and same-sex resolutions.

A few years ago, the annual national Episcopal convention overwhelmingly refused even to consider a resolution affirming that Jesus Christ is Lord.

The Episcopal Church is in the news again for the usual reasons.
First, a few days ago it was reported that the Episcopal Church suffered a 23 percent decline in attendance from 2000 to 2010. Second, on Tuesday the Episcopal Church approved rites for blessing same-sex unions. Many commentators made what seems to be an obvious connection supposedly supported by sociology: liberalism in religion leads to the decline and death of denominations. “Conservative churches are growing,” we heard yet again...

Same-Sex Marriage and the Revolt Against Metropolitan Jonah
Fr. Johannes Jacobse, American Orthodox Institute

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

GenCon 2012: South Carolina Deputation Walks Out of General Convention

The deputation of South Carolina have released a statement this afternoon
July11, 2012

Due to the actions of General Convention, the South Carolina Deputation has concluded that we cannot continue with business as usual. We all agree that we cannot and will not remain on the floor of the House and act as if all is normal. John Burwell and Lonnie Hamilton have agreed to remain at Convention to monitor further developments and by their presence demonstrate that our action is not to be construed as a departure from the Episcopal Church. Please pray for those of us who will be traveling early and for those who remain.  Here

Communion Partners Bishops Issue Minority Statement

MCJ: Death Spiral

A.S. Haley: Diocese of south Carolina Fed up with General Convention
News flash: the bulk of the deputation to the House of Deputies from the Diocese of South Carolina has left General Convention one day early, following the actions of the Convention thus far to (a) add transsexual persons to the list of people who cannot be denied work at any level in the Episcopal Church (USA); (b) adopt a rite for the blessing of same-sex unions, in violation of both the Book of Common Prayer and the ECUSA Constitution; and (c) refuse to act at this time on the proposed Anglican Covenant. The deputation issued the following statement:
Due to the actions of General Convention, the South Carolina Deputation has concluded that we cannot continue with business as usual. We all agree that we cannot and will not remain on the floor of the House and act as if all is normal. John Burwell and Lonnie Hamilton have agreed to remain at Convention to monitor further developments and by their presence demonstrate that our action is not to be construed as a departure from the Episcopal Church. Please pray for those of us who will be traveling early and for those who remain.
Bishop Mark Lawrence left the House of Bishops meeting to return home last night. Other bishops report that their attempts to change his mind failed...

George Conger: South Carolina not seceding from the Episcopal Church
The Bishop of South Carolina is not leaving the Episcopal Church, but has withdrawn from the 77th General Convention meeting in Indianapolis out of pastoral concern and respect for the members of his diocesan deputation and over his personal disquiet over the church’s authorization of gay blessings.

On 11 July 2012 the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence said, “I am not leaving the Episcopal Church, but need to differentiate myself” from the actions taken this week by the General Convention, he told Anglican Ink.

At the start of the afternoon private session of the House of Bishops, the South Carolina church leader said he “spoke at some length” to his colleagues about “why his deputation left the floor” of General Convention.

On 11 July 2012, the South Carolina’s four clergy and four lay deputies released a statement saying that “due to the actions of General Convention” the deputation had concluded “that we cannot and will not remain on the floor of the House and act as if all is normal.”...

Reaction mixed to Episcopal Church's approval of same-sex rites

Episcopal approval of same-sex blessings: Will it hurt church's global ties?
The Episcopal Church on Tuesday became the largest US church to authorize blessings for same-sex couples. The historic step marks a victory for activists, observers say, but stands to hamper the church’s already-strained international relationships...

New challenge to CofE as US Anglicans approve gay 'marriage' service
The Church of England’s opposition to same-sex marriage is facing a major challenge from within after Anglicans in the US approved same-sex blessings in churches...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

GenCon 2012: A.S. Haley-House of Bishops Votes for Liturgical Anarchy

July 10, 2012

The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church (USA) is a ship without a rudder. It is adrift on the sea of spiritual platitudes, and at the mercy of the winds of popular culture. Its leaders on the bridge have no idea where it is headed, because they have lost their compass, too. And as for the crew—well, they just keep on doing what they have always been doing, which is to keep their heads down, work at their daily tasks, and hope that they eventually will find a safe harbor, despite having no idea how to get there.

They listen to daily prayers which have no root in the liturgy, but which “sound” quasi-spiritual. “May God be with you,” intoned their chaplain just before they voted to “approve”, 111-41, some kind of liturgy for some kind of mumbo-jumbo to be pronounced over some kind of persons who see themselves in some kind of relationship.

How is the Church to “bless” something which its Book of Common Prayer cannot even define?

The Bishops do not tell us; they just say: “Do whatever your own Bishop may choose to approve in his or her own Diocese. It can be this liturgy, for example; or it can be something someone else has written for this liturgically undefinable occasion, as long as the Bishop says, ‘That’s fine.’ Or it can be no such rites or liturgies whatsoever, if the Bishop says that. Whatever—just go with it, pewsters.”

This is a recipe for liturgical anarchy in the Church, and is symbolic of the systematic damage the Bishops have allowed to eat away at ECUSA’s foundations over the years. The pastors have ignored their real flocks while chasing after particular kinds of sheep (who actually are very few in number). In the process, the fences have all fallen down, and now the pastors can scarcely tell who is in their flock, and who isn’t, while there are no longer any protections against beasts of prey. the rest

HuffPo: Episcopal Church Approves Transgender People Ordination

Monday, July 09, 2012

Scrolling around...July 9th, 2012

The Terrible Management Technique That Cost Microsoft Its Creativity
Vanity Fair has an article in its August issue that tells the story of how Microsoft “since 2000 . . . has fallen flat in every area it entered: e-books, music, search, social networking, etc., etc.”...

Ernest Borgnine dies at 95; won Oscar for 'Marty,' showed comic side in sitcom
The stocky, gap-toothed Connecticut native won an Academy Award for his portrayal of a lonely Bronx butcher looking for love in the 1955 drama 'Marty.' He also starred in the popular TV show 'McHale's Navy.'

Last week, I joined Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, one of our nation’s most brilliant public intellectuals and a leading scholar and teacher of the Islamic tradition, in a letter to the chief executive officers of America’s largest hotel chains asking them to stop offering pornography in their hotel rooms. We wrote as a Muslim and a Christian, but we appealed to the executives “not on the basis of truths revealed in our scriptures but on the basis of a commitment that should be shared by all people of reason and goodwill: a commitment to human dignity and the common good.” We noted that “as teachers and as parents, we seek a society in which young people are encouraged to respect others and themselves—treating no one as an impersonal object or thing.”...

Feds: Airlines Must Let Passengers Fly With Pigs for 'Emotional Support'
Pot-bellied pigs must be granted passage on airplanes if they are used for “emotional support” by their owners, states the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) draft manual on equity for the disabled in air travel...

Pastor Faces Suit for Calling a Man 'Gay' and his Marriage a 'Sham'
A state appeals court is allowing the suit to go forward, the Courthouse News Service reported...

Before Air-Conditioning
...Given the heat, people smelled, of course, but some smelled a lot worse than others. One cutter in my father’s shop was a horse in this respect, and my father, who normally had no sense of smell—no one understood why—claimed that he could smell this man and would address him only from a distance...

Thirty-Six Couples Wait for Every One Baby Who is Adopted
A recent article asked, “Why do more people choose abortion over adoption?” The author, Kristi Brown, commented:
Countless women in the U.S. choose abortion over adoption for their unborn babies every year. When I sat in on counseling sessions at a pregnancy center, I learned that women are often very closed to the idea of adoption. They either want to keep their baby themselves or get rid of the baby now. Adoption statistics are hard to track, since states are not necessarily required to report domestic adoptions. However, the numbers are grim, and much of it is owing to abortion.

Family Christian Stores Releases Its Own Tablet
Capitalizing on the booming e-book market, Family Christian Stores (FCS) has released its own tablet. Edifi is comparable, but a bit smaller—although same screen size—than Barnes & Noble's Nook Color and Nook Tablet and Amazon's Kindle Fire...

GenCon 2012: No censure for Fort Worth 9

Charges fail to gain traction but Title IV process continues
July 9, 2012
 By George Conger

The push by the provisional bishops of Fort Worth and Quincy to censure nine bishops for disloyalty to the Episcopal Church has failed in the House of Bishops and has likely sunk any attempt to discipline the accused through the church’s legal system.

After two and a half hours of discussion over three private sessions at the 77th General Convention meeting in Indianapolis, on 8 July 2012 the House of Bishops responded to claims of misconduct leveled against the nine by the provisional bishops of Quincy and Fort Worth. The House of Bishops responded with a “Mind of the House” resolution proposed by one of the accused, the Rt. Rev. Daniel Martins, Bishop of Springfield, affirming the loyalty of Episcopalians in the dioceses of Fort Worth, Quincy, San Joaquin and Pittsburgh.

The House of Bishops had “no stomach” to discipline Bishop Martins, the Rt. Rev. John W. Howe, retired Bishop of Central Florida, the Rt. Rev. Maurice Benitez, retired Bishop of Texas, the Rt. Rev. Peter Beckwith, the retired Bishop of Springfield, the Rt. Rev. Paul E. Lambert, suffragan Bishop of Dallas, the Rt. Rev. William H. Love, Bishop of Albany, the Rt. Rev. D. Bruce MacPherson, Bishop of Western Louisiana, the Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, retired Bishop of South Carolina and Dean of Nashotah House, and the Rt. Rev. James M. Stanton, Bishop of Dallas, a participant in the 6-8 July meetings told Anglican Ink.

The “Mind of the House” resolution does not end the Title IV investigations into misconduct made against the nine, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori told the bishops. However, by seeking an immediate resolution to the dispute the Title IV process has effectively been shut down as those bishops present in the discussions who serve on the disciplinary board will have to recuse themselves from adjudicating the case. All of the episcopal judges that will hear the case are now disqualified from participation in a decision on grounds of personal involvement. the rest

ACNS: Deputies approve ending bishop consents at General Convention

Virtueonline: The False Theology of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori

Episcopal Church Votes to Allow Transgender Ministers
A day after a legislative body of the Episcopal Church voted to sell the denomination's New York headquarters amid budget cuts and declining membership, church leaders on Saturday adopted legislation to give transgenders the right to become lay and ordained ministers...

Helpful Updates from the Episcopal Church General Assembly from Bishop Greg Brewer
...Anyway, Greg is doing something unique-- creating video blogs from a denominational meeting. They are short but helpful-- explaining the goings on and the meetings as a whole. They are worth watching (and you might consider doing the same at your denominational meeting.)...

Metropolitan Jonah, Archbishop of Washington submits resignation

Longtime friend of ACNA Met. Jonah succumbs to internal pressures and resigns.
July 9, 2012
By Kevin Kallsen

In a letter addressed to the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops dated Friday, July 6, 2012, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah tendered his resignation as Primate of the Orthodox Church in America.

His Beatitude composed and signed the letter at his residence in Washington, DC, in the presence of Archpriest John Jillions, OCA Chancellor.

On Saturday, July 7, the letter was presented to the Holy Synod in the course of a conference call in which all of the hierarchs participated, except His Eminence, Archbishop Alejo of Mexico City.

The text of His Beatitude’s letter reads as follows. the rest