Beautiful Churches Make Holy Churches
We stepped inside and beauty stirred my heart. Worship seemed the only appropriate response. It was clear that an artist had spent months, even years, with tools that chiselled, adorned, and beautified. Each detail, lovingly and carefully carved. In that room, the light glimmered and shone, reflecting the beauty of His handiwork.
The room I'm speaking of was a school gymnasium.
This past Sunday my husband was guest preaching at a church in Toronto that meets in a school, and their corporate worship service is held in the gym. This gym is a large, light room that is clean and pleasant with large windows lining both sides. It is a simple room that would easily go unnoticed.
But inside that unadorned room was the most exquisite church: people of worship and prayer, people honest about sin, people pleading for God’s mercy, people proclaiming God’s glory, people fellowshipping in His grace. Breathtaking! Yes, I stepped into that church and my heart quickened from the beauty around me—the beauty of God’s holy people...lovely-read it all!
News outlets reject pro-life ad for being “too controversial”
35,000 march in Dublin against Irish abortion bill
...Demonstrators from across Ireland, a predominantly Catholic island of 6.5 million, marched for two hours through the capital to Leinster House, the parliament building, where lawmakers next week are expected pass the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill. Speakers demanded that the government put its bill to a national referendum. "Let us vote!" the crowd chanted...
Obamacare backers launch campaign, want moms to convince their youths to get coverage
The Obama administration and its allies need lots of healthy young adults to sign up for insurance this fall to make the president’s health-care law successful.
So they are going after their moms.
They put up Web ads on Facebook and Allrecipes.com
alongside slogans such as “Moms know best: ‘Get yourself health insurance.’ ” They have enlisted the help of parent-activist groups such as Moms Rising, which has already begun mobilizing its vast network of more than 1 million members and 3 million e-mail subscribers on behalf of the health-care law...
Lumen Fidei: Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict Co-Author Encyclical
Pope Francis is a pope of firsts. His first encyclical, which was issued today, is no exception.
Lumen Fidei, the Light of Faith, is the first encyclical in history authored by two living popes. This is because Pope Benedict XVI began the encyclical before his resignation, and Pope Francis took it up and finished it.
A pope’s first encyclical is usually taken as a harbinger of the directions he will take with his papacy, in particular the areas of the Gospel he feels called to emphasize in light of the times in which he is living. However, this encyclical, coming as it does from the minds of two popes, is more of a bridge between the two papacies... Encyclical here
Lumen Fidei: First Thoughts on Interpretation -First Things
Muslim Brotherhood Claims Early-Morning ‘Massacre’
A violent weekend in Cairo was capped by a deadly clash early Monday morning between security force members and supporters of the ousted president. The latest clash comes amid the ongoing debate over whether last week’s military action constituted a coup and should consequently trigger a suspension of U.S. aid...
Egypt's Coptic Priest Killed in Renewed Attacks on Christians after Morsi's Ouster
Masked men shot dead a Coptic priest and other attacks on the minority group were reported in Egypt after the military ousted President Mohamed Morsi, who is from the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood that now appears to be seeking revenge from Christians for allegedly supporting the "coup."
The priest, identified as Mina Aboud Sharween, was shot dead in the coastal city of El Arish in North Sinai Governate on Saturday.
Gunmen, believed to be from the Brotherhood, came on a motorcycle and killed the 39-year-old priest, according to the local news site Egypt Independent...
Female inmates sterilized in California prisons without approval
...At least 148 women received tubal ligations in violation of prison rules during those five years – and there are perhaps 100 more dating back to the late 1990s, according to state documents and interviews.
From 1997 to 2010, the state paid doctors $147,460 to perform the procedure, according to a database of contracted medical services for state prisoners...
Zimmerman and Obama
In the likely event that George Zimmerman is acquitted, it is also likely that there will be explosions of racial violence all over this country. Even in the event of a guilty verdict, it is possible in this emotional situation that there will be violent actions by those on all sides of this tense issue, whether white or black, liberal or conservative. Sensible folks should be frightened for the fate of our nation now as the Zimmerman case dominates so much of the media.
All responsible Americans have a duty to take whatever action they can to head off this looming set of social catastrophes. The lead in this vital effort must be taken by President Obama and by Attorney General Holder in part because they have a duty to ensure domestic tranquility in all such circumstances. However, they both have a special duty in the Zimmerman-Martin matter because their actions have been instrumental in transforming an ordinary local criminal case into a looming national disaster. In the process, they transformed the public image of an ordinary, Hispanic neighborhood watch leader into that of a violent racial hoodlum. As a result, his life, and that of many of his family members, has been placed in severe danger. Yet, we are all victims of the bizarre behavior of our national leaders...
Child abuse apology from Church of England
The Church of England's parliamentary body has apologised to victims of sexual abuse at the hands of Anglican clergy, noting its failure to prevent it and respond effectively.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, said addressing the issue had been "absolutely agonising"...
The new God squad: what Archbishop Welby and Pope Francis have in common
It’s a few weeks after the election of Pope Francis, and a notoriously leaky church source is talking about the revolution to come. The new leader of the faithful is a sharp operator who finds himself surrounded by ‘a medieval court system of hopeless characters, each jealously guarding their own silos of activity. There’s lots of crap people in key positions.’ Meanwhile, away from the court, bureaucrats churn out windy memos. They may not know it yet, but the process of ‘clearing out the weeds’ will start soon — possibly as early as this August.
That might seem over-ambitious, but we’re not talking about the sleepy Vatican. The source is an Anglican cleric and the ‘medieval court’ is Lambeth Palace; the shinypants bureaucrats are mostly in Church House, Westminster, headquarters of the General Synod. And the new man who can’t abide flummery is, of course, the Most Revd Justin Welby, oil executive turned Archbishop of Canterbury.
The similarities between Archbishop Welby and Pope Francis are almost spooky — once you get past the fact that one is an Old Etonian evangelical Protestant and the other a South American Jesuit who prays in front of garlanded statues of Mary. Archbishop Welby was enthroned two days after Francis was inaugurated. That’s simple coincidence, but the other parallels tell us a lot...
Seattleites celebrate Gay Pride Week by proudly beating up a Christian
Christian arrested for calling homosexuality a 'sin' warns of 'real-life thought police'
Tony Miano, 49, a former senior police officer from the US, was held for around six hours, had his fingerprints and DNA taken and was questioned about his faith, after delivering a sermon about “sexual immorality” on a London street.
Mr Miano, who served as a Deputy Sherriff in Los Angeles County, said his experience suggested that the term “thought police” had become a reality in the UK.
He said he was amazed that it was now possible “in the country that produced the Magna Carta” for people to be arrested for what they say...
CNY: Unconventional priest walked on pews, climbed a ladder during church
...Redfield brought the unconventional into church with his sermons, too. It wasn't uncommon for him to do crazy things to make a point. Among his Sunday sermon stunts were walking across the tops of the pews and climbing a ladder.
So many worshippers at Trinity were interested in meditation that when the church was looking for new space to expand its Sunday school, it included a meditation room. The building the church expanded into across the street in 2008 is called the Nancy Simmons Wisdom House, named in memory of the wife of long-time Syracuse University lacrosse coach Roy Simmons Jr. No religious symbols were hung on the walls of the meditiation room so people of all religions would feel comfortable.
Redfield had planned to retire in a few years to study and teach Wisdom Christianity fulltime. But a friend who'd been studying the practice with him died. Her dying wish was that he continue the study they'd been doing, fulltime. The friend, Helen Daly of Bennington, Vt., left Redfield enough money that he could retire earlier than he planned. He declined to say how much she left.
While Wisdom Christianity sounds a bit New Age, it has its roots in ancient practice and has a follower in Redfield's boss, Bishop Skip Adams. Adams said he often practices "centering prayer," which is a combination of meditation and praying in silence. Adams said that Redfield's focus on Wisdom Christianity and his family's decision to raise their children Jewish enriched what he offered as a priest.
"A part of being a really good Christian is being a really good Jew," Adams said....