Saturday, March 22, 2014

“If anyone would come after me..."

And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? -Mark 8:34-36 image

Come and let us consider together what it means to follow Jesus.
Join us for worship this Sunday at 10:30 am!

Church of the Holy Trinity
Biblical + Liturgical + Spirit-Filled

The chapel at the Slavic Full Gospel Church
3528 E Genesee Street, Syracuse, NY 13214

Anglican Unscripted Episode 95

March  21, 2014
Anglican Unscripted is the only video newscast in the Anglican Church. Every Week Kevin, George, Allan and Peter bring you news and prospective from around the globe.

00:00 The Pope a year in review
10:00 Global South adopts Diocese of South Carolina
18:10 ABC Canterbury year in review with Peter Ould
29:11 Why would anybody bring charges against Saint Schori?
38:14 R.I.P Terry Fullam
45:57 Closing and Bloopers

Friday, March 21, 2014

Love ever gives...

Love ever gives, forgives, outlives,
And ever stands with open hands.
And while it lives it gives.
For this is love's prerogative,
To give, and give, and give.
...John Oxenham image

Around the web....March 21, 2014

New, Critical Conversation Brewing on Birth-Control Usage in the U.S
...According to pro-life activist and registered nurse Jill Stanek, the Merck lawsuit is just the latest evidence about the harmful effects of contraception usage.

“In 2005, the World Health Organization classified the morning-after pill as a Class 1 carcinogen — as dangerous as cigarette smoke and asbestos,” Stanek said. “With all of the studies showing links between oral contraception and greater chances of glaucoma, heart risk and breast-cancer risk, it's amazing any women use them. And the NuvaRing lawsuit shows how dangerous hormonal contraception is.”

“The American people are belatedly finding out from the mainstream media just how far we've gone off the path of proper care of the bodies of women,” stated Stanek. She said media attention to the issue, as well prominent political attention to issues like the HHS contraception mandate, has created “a perfect storm for greater knowledge by women about why they should use better wisdom and responsibility in their sexual practices.”

Part of the increased media attention is coming from an unlikely source — former talk-show host and Hairspray star Ricki Lake. Lake is involved with a new documentary on the harms of hormonal contraception. Lake and her director, Abby Epstein, say the goal of their documentary is simple: to “wake women up to the unexposed side effects” of contraceptives. According to Lake and Epstein, “in the 50 years since its release, the birth-control pill has become synonymous with women’s liberation and has been thought of as some sort of miracle drug.”...

Vatican Library to digitise archives with Japanese support  The Vatican Library has begun digitising its priceless collection of ancient manuscripts dating from the origins of the Church.

The first stage of the project will cover some 3,000 handwritten documents over the next four years.

The cost - more than $20m (£12m) - will be borne by Japan's NTT Data technology company.

Eventually, the library says it hopes to make available online all its 82,000 manuscripts... image

Abortion Clinic Found Storing Remains of Aborted Baby in Fridge With Medications
Police executed a search warrant on Ulrich G. Klopfer’s Women’s Pavilion abortion clinic in South Bend, Indiana, seizing documents and other property on Wednesday, March 19, 2014.

Police from the St. Joseph County Special Victims Unit participated in the raid. It is unknown exactly what kind of documents or other evidence the search warrant allowed police to take. According to news reports, the police apparently made copies of the seized documents and returned the originals to Klopfer on Thursday.

Klopfer has faced a complicated tangle of legal issues in recent months...

Albert Mohler: Fred Phelps and the Anti-Gospel of Hate—A Necessary Word
Fred Phelps is dead. The fire-and-brimstone preacher, who for many years was pastor of the institution known as Westboro Baptist Church, died late Wednesday in a hospice in Topeka, Kansas. The announcement was made on his church’s website. The wording was simple: “Fred W. Phelps Sr. has gone the way of all flesh.” Thus brings to an end one of most bitters lives in modern history — and one of the most harmful to the Gospel.

Fred Phelps became infamous due to one central fact — he was a world-class hater. He brought great discredit to the Gospel of Christ because his message was undiluted hatred packaged as the beliefs of a church. Even Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center referred to Westboro Baptist Church as “this so-called church.” The damage was due to the fact that his platform for hatred was called a church. That provided the watching and listening world with a ready target and case study for the accusation that Christian conviction on questions of sexual morality is nothing more than disguised hatred for homosexuals. And, like radioactivity, Fred Phelps’ hatred will survive in lasting half-lives of animus.

The media made Fred Phelps into a public image, but they could hardly ignore a prophet of antipathy who showed up with his followers in public demonstrations and took his case for public protest all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court. Phelps and the media needed each other and fed each other. The New York Times described Phelps as “a loathed figure at the fringe of the American religious scene,” but he was not a fringe figure in terms of media attention. I have done my best not to add to his publicity, but as calls from the media in recent days made clear, the time has come for a necessary word...

Hate and How to Overcome It: How Should We Respond to the Tragic Death of Fred Phelps?
Death is always a tragedy. Hate makes it more so.

Today, a man known for hate died. CNN concluded that his infamy was worth a breaking news alert.

But how do we respond? How does this breaking news relate to the gospel's good news?...

Rahm Emmauel: You Know What School Children Need? More Condoms!
Teen pregnancy rates and STD's are so rampant in Chicago that Mayor Rahm Emanuel has decided to put free condoms in the high schools. Perfect! Let's give young hormone crazed teens a false sense of security and a wink and a nod to some profoundly bad decision making...

A.S. Haley: Texas Supreme Court Denies TEC Motion for Re-Hearing

March 21, 2014

Today the Texas Supreme Court denied the losing parties’  petitions for rehearing in the two ECUSA cases pending before it: No. 11-0265, Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, et al. v. The Episcopal Church, et al.; and No. 11-0332Masterson v. Diocese of Northwest Texas. The Court had delivered its opinions in the two cases last August 30. In the first case, the Court had sided with Bishop Iker’s Diocese by a closely split vote of 5-4, reversed the summary judgment of Circuit Judge John Chupp which had awarded all of the property and assets of Bishop Iker’s Diocese to the Episcopal Church and its rump diocese, and sent the case back to the trial court. The majority held that the trial court had improperly failed to apply a “neutral principles of law” analysis to the issues. The four dissenters did not disagree with that result, but instead believed that the Court lacked jurisdiction to hear a direct appeal from the trial court’s judgment in the case.

In the second case, the Court by a vote of 7-2 reversed the Court of Appeals’ decision requiring the Church of the Good Shepherd in San Angelo to turn over its building and all other assets to the Diocese of Northwest Texas. The Court definitively ruled that all Texas courts must follow “neutral principles of law” (rather than deferring to an ecclesiastical hierarchy), and that based on such an analysis, the Dennis Canon was not effective under Texas law (or that if it were effective to create a trust, the trust was not expressly irrevocable, and so could be revoked by the parish in question).

Both cases now return to their respective trial courts for further proceedings—but in a new environment: not “deference to hierarchy,” but “neutral principles of law,” will govern the Texas courts from this point onward. And given ECUSA’s complete lack of ability to prove any ownership interest in diocesan or parish property under the latter standard, the odds favor Bishop Iker and his diocese, as well as the Church of the Good Shepherd in San Angelo. Here

Comments at Stand Firm

Thursday, March 20, 2014

AnglicanTV: 2 Interviews: Bp. Mark Lawrence & Fr. Tory Baucum

Mar 19, 2014
Kevin Kallsen interviews Bp. Mark Lawrence about last week's Diocesan Convention and the future of the Diocese of South Carolina.

Mar 20, 2014
Kevin Kallsen interviews Fr. Tory Baucum about his new appointment as a Sixth Preacher at Canterbury Cathedral and his current work as a Peacemaker in the ACNA.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

TEC appeal rejected in South Carolina case

18 Mar 2014
Diocese of South Carolina

CHARLESTON, SC, March 18, 2014 – The South Carolina Court of Appeals today rejected an appeal that would have delayed a trial in the Diocese of South Carolina lawsuit to protect diocesan and parish property from seizure by The Episcopal Church (TEC) and its local group, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC).

The Court decided that TEC and TECSC could not appeal a lower court ruling on the process to be used in discovery.

The Court of Appeals effectively said it will not tolerate legal shenanigans to delay a trial to decide whether the denomination may seize South Carolina property, including churches and the diocesan symbols. In asking the Court of Appeals to dismiss the action, the Diocese of South Carolina argued that TECSC is appealing a court order that is “unappealable”.

South Carolina’s Court of Appeals justices agreed.  the rest

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

There is a certain extravagance in love...

There is a certain extravagance in love. The alabaster phial of perfume was meant to be used drop by drop; it was meant to last for years, perhaps even a life-time; but in a moment of utter devotion, the woman poured it on the head of Jesus. Love does not stop nicely to calculate the less or more; love does not stop to work out how little it can respectively give. With a kind of divine extravagance, love gives everything it has and never counts the cost. Calculation is never any part of love.
...William Barclay image

Murderous Regimes and the Churches; Muslim herdsmen kill 100 Christians in Nigeria; Walking the Labyrinth at Duke Chapel?...more

The Hidden Costs of Surrogacy
...How then are the children from such arrangements faring? Sally claims they’re beautiful, healthy, and happy. And I sincerely hope that they are. But a major study released in June 2013 in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry that examined 30 surrogacy families evidences that surrogate children, while not suffering from psychological disorders, show elevated levels of adjustment difficulties. Moreover, the lack of a “gestational connection” to their biological mother or father may place children at increased psychological risk...

Assistant Professor of Philosophy Wants to Jail Global Warming Skeptics
...We have good reason to consider the funding of climate denial to be criminally and morally negligent. The charge of criminal and moral negligence ought to extend to all activities of the climate deniers who receive funding as part of a sustained campaign to undermine the public’s understanding of scientific consensus...

Why don't people go to church?
The church has been such a central part of my life and my family. I can’t image life without church. I came to faith in Christ through the church. I was discipled through the church. I met my husband in church. My husband and I were married in church. Both my daughters came to faith in Christ through the church and were discipled through the church and married young men in the church. Did I mention, I love the church? (Okay, to be honest, there have been a few seasons when it was hard to go.)

But many people don’t love the church. Some because they don’t know Christ, some because they have been hurt by the church, and others simply don’t find it necessary for their lives. Research has been collected and books have been written on why people don’t go to church. I did a little research on my own and asked my twitter followers to help me answer the question, “Why don’t people go to church?” Here are a few of their answers...     image

Feminist Studies Professor Who Accosted Pro-Life Students Charged With Assault
...As seen in a video at the YouTube site of the Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust (warning: profanity), a UCSB assistant professor took a sign away from a participant in a campus pro-life outreach effort. Flanked by two students, she took the sign back to her office and destroyed it.

Now feminist studies Associate Professor Mireille Miller-Young “is facing vandalism, battery, and robbery charges.”...

Murderous Regimes and the Churches
This stunning recent graphic  offers victim numbers on modern history’s greatest mass murderers. Each blood drop represents one million killed. China’s Mao Zedong ranks “first” with 78 million, followed by the Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin with 23 million and Nazi Adolf Hitler 17 million.

“These cold-blooded dictators do not care for the value of life as much as they do achieving their selfish motives of domination, power, and immortality,” the grim graphic aptly summarizes.

Interestingly, Belgium’s notorious King Leopold is fourth with 15 million who died in the Belgian Congo under his brutal colonial exploitation. Then there’s Japanese World War II militarist Tojo with 5 million, and Turkey’s WWI chief Enver Pasha with 2.5 million and Cambodia’s Communist despot Pol Pot with 1.7 million. North Korea’s founding tyrant Kim Il Sung is next with 1.6 million, then Ethiopia’s Mengistu with 1.5 million. Nigerian dictator Yakobo Bowon (1966-1975) is the final listed villain with 1.1 million...

Muslim herdsmen kill 100 Christians in Nigeria
Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed more than 100 Christians and destroyed homes in Kaduna state in North-Western Nigeria Friday (March 14), Morning Star News reported.

Scores of the herdsmen simultaneously attacked the Christian villages of Ugwar Sankwai, Ungwar Gata and Chenshyi for about four hours. Yakubu Gandu Nkut, chairman of the Zankan area chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, said a pastor's wife and her three children were among the dead, according to Morning Star News...

Actor Who Called His Own TV Show ‘Filth’ Explains Why He Abandoned Hollywood for His Christian Faith
...Jones, who played the character Jake Harper in the sitcom, was still an active “Two and a Half Men” cast member when he called the program “filth” and announced that he no longer wanted to be a part of it. He ended up apologizing over his comments, though he later left the cast in 2013.

One year after exiting, Jones is going to school in Colorado and speaking to church audiences about his experience getting closer to God and leaving Hollywood....

Walking the Labyrinth at Duke Chapel?
...The website calls walking the 40-foot circle with a winding path an “ancient spiritual practice of meditation and self-centering found in religious traditions from around the world.” This claim is at least laudably vague. More commonly labyrinth church enthusiasts claim it’s an ancient Christian practice or at least dates to the Middle Ages.

Except there’s no evidence Christians walked labyrinths before 1990, starting primarily at San Francisco’s ultra liberal Grace Episcopal Cathedral, whose canon, Lauren Artress, also a psychotherapist, popularized labyrinths with her 1990s book: Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Practice. The book speculates but admits there’s no evidence that medieval Christians as a spiritual practice walked labyrinths embedded on the floors of some medieval cathedrals, as at Chartres.

In 1996 Artress, who espouses a sort of New Age mysticism, launched her World-Wide Labyrinth Project to “pepper the planet with labyrinths,” which has been hugely successful, although I think the movement peaked some years ago. On her website she credits as architects of the modern labyrinth movement three practitioners of geomancy, a sort of Western form of Feng Shui that, ironically, the medieval church condemned as pagan...

Monday, March 17, 2014

Anybody who lives beneath the Cross...

Anybody who lives beneath the Cross and who has discerned in the Cross of Jesus the utter wickedness of all men and of his own heart will find there is no sin that can ever be alien to him. Anybody who has once been horrified by the dreadfulness of his own sin that nailed Jesus to the Cross will no longer be horrified by even the rankest sins of a brother. ...Dietrich Bonhoeffer image

Misconduct charges filed against Katharine Jefferts Schori

American Anglican Fellowship
The American Anglican Fellowship Inc. (AAF) believes it necessary to post  this letter because a leaked copy is currently circulating the Internet. We regret this happening, however to insure accuracy and the purpose and intent of AAF action, the following is a true copy of the AAF  letter dated 12/19/2013 reporting possible violations of the Constitution and Canons by the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church sent to the Intake Officer.  Hyperlinks  refer to published public reports and articles. None of the published reports or articles used as information to the Intake Officer is confidential or privileged, neither civil or criminal, but ecclesiastical in nature. The public articles and reports referred to in this letter are not  necessarily the opinion of AAF Inc.

AAF understands the Intake Officer will perform a preliminary investigation to determine if the information is  true, it would or would not, constitute a violation of the Title IV Disciplinary Canons. We await his decision.

American Anglican Fellowship Inc.
P.O. Box 434
Brandywine, MD 20613

December 19, 2013                                                                        
Dear Bishop Matthews,

The American Anglican Fellowship, Inc. (AAF), an organization of current and former members of The Episcopal Church (TEC), submits this Information to you regarding possible violations of the Constitution and Canons by the Presiding Bishop in accordance with Canon IV.6.2 and with the understanding that, “by virtue of Baptism, all Members of the Church are called to holiness of life and accountability to one another” (Canon IV.I).

Many Episcopalians believe TEC has departed from the traditional faith held by the consensus of the Anglican Communion and world Christendom.  To remain in unity with the “one holy catholic and apostolic church” (Nicene Creed, John 17:21-23, 1 John 1:3), some transfer to another Anglican body (e.g., Anglican Church in North America) or to another denomination. Some parishes have departed TEC with their properties after diocesan negotiations.  However, in the vast number of situations, the Presiding Bishop and various bishops (her assigns) have filed lawsuits to seize these properties and taken action to extinguish TEC clergy from the ordained ministry who have transferred to another Anglican Church.

petition by more than 5,000 Christians, including 697 clergy and 24 bishops, unsuccessfully sought to obtain an explanation from the Presiding Bishop concerning the litigious actions that have squandered an estimated $21.5 million in Church funds – money that should be used for traditional Christian purposes.

The litigation and punitive administrative actions are a discredit to all as they contradict (1) Christ’s teaching to be charitable and loving towards fellow Christians (Mt. 5:43-48); (2) apostolic instructions not to sue other Christians (1 Cor. 6:1-7); (3) policies of past Presiding Bishops allowing parish departures with property; and (4) practices of other denominations (e.g., Presbyterian and Lutheran).  When the Israelites were called by God to leave Egypt, they were allowed to leave with their property (Ex. 12:31-36).  TEC should do nothing less.  Pharaoh’s attempt to get the Israelites and property back had disastrous consequences.  The same can happen to TEC.  With departing parishes, TEC should have the spirit of Gamaliel -- if it is God’s will, these parishes and TEC may someday re-unite (Acts 5:38-39).  In the Civil War, TEC split between North and South.  After the war, parishes and dioceses re-united.[1]

Title IV, “Ecclesiastical Discipline,” establishes procedures whereby Members of the Clergy “shall be subject to proceedings” for “knowingly violating or attempting to violate, directly or through the acts of another person, the Constitution or Canons of the Church or of any Diocese” (Canon IV.3.1(a)).  Members of the Clergy “shall be accountable for any breach of the Standards of Conduct set forth in Canon IV.4” when they are “material and substantial” or “of clear and weighty importance to the ministry of the Church” (Canon IV.3.2-3).

A number of public reports and articles have been issued over the past few years describing conduct alleged to violate TEC’s Constitution and Canons.  Based on this information and belief, descriptions of six alleged offenses are provided below...

the rest at Anglican Ink

Earthquakes LA and Peru; Religious hostility in the newsroom; Iraq mulling law allowing men to marry 9-year-old girls...more

Earthquake: 4.4 quake strikes Los Angeles, no reports of injuries
...According to the USGS, the epicenter was six miles from Beverly Hills, seven miles from Universal City and seven miles from Santa Monica...

Magnitude 6.3 earthquake strikes northwestern Peru
A magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck northwestern Peru near its border with Ecuador on Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported....

My cross to bear: Religious hostility in the newsroom
...As the years went on, and my crosses hung in my jewelry box, I realized that I didn’t even feel right wearing them outside of the TV station either. In my head, the unofficial work rule bled into my personal life, taking me farther away from God. Somehow, I thought, someone will see me wearing a cross in a grocery store and decide that I’m not objective, and then I’d be denied the ability to report the news, a job I loved.

The unspoken and spoken bias meant that I didn’t talk about my faith at work. And I certainly didn’t talk about my volunteer work at a pro-life pregnancy center where we collected clothes for babies, and talked to women about adoption alternatives.

A nagging feeling of guilt (another tried and true Catholic tradition) always lurked in the back of my mind. I was ashamed of myself for tossing aside my faith in God, my belief in Jesus Christ as my Savior. It wasn’t lost on me that all around the world Christians die for the right to bear witness in public, and, yet, in our free country, I hid my beliefs in the name of the news gods...

Iraq mulling law allowing men to marry 9-year-old girls
A contentious draft law being considered in Iraq could open the door to girls as young as nine getting married and would require wives to submit to sex on their husband's whim, provoking outrage from rights activists and many Iraqis who see it as a step backward for women's rights.

The measure, aimed at creating different laws for Iraq's majority Shiite population, could further fray the country's divisions amid some of the worst bloodshed since the sectarian fighting that nearly ripped the country apart after the U.S.-led invasion. It also comes as more and more children under 18 get married in the country.

"That law represents a crime against humanity and childhood," said prominent Iraqi human rights activist Hana Adwar. "Married underage girls are subjected to physical and psychological suffering...

The hidden rot in the jobs numbers
Hours worked are declining, resulting in the equivalent of a net loss of 100,000 jobs since September...

8 Ways to Get More Done This Week
...Like everything else in the world, your ability to get things done is always spiralling toward chaos. If you allow yourself to coast for a few weeks, your life will get less orderly, not more orderly. Not only that, but you will soon find yourself neglecting the important tasks in order to focus on the urgent tasks. Before you know it, you’ll be off-focus and out of control.

Here are 8 ways to take control and get more done this week (and every week)...

Douthat: The Age of Individualism
...In the increasing absence of local, personal forms of fellowship and solidarity, he suggested, people were naturally drawn to mass movements, cults of personality, nationalistic fantasias. The advance of individualism thus eventually produced its own antithesis — conformism, submission and control.

You don’t have to see a fascist or Communist revival on the horizon (I certainly don’t) to see this argument’s potential relevance for our apparently individualistic future. You only have to look at the place where millennials — and indeed, most of us — are clearly seeking new forms of community today.

That place is the online realm, which offers a fascinating variation on Nisbet’s theme. Like modernity writ large, it promises emancipation and offers new forms of community that transcend the particular and local. But it requires a price, in terms of privacy surrendered, that past tyrannies could have only dreamed of exacting from their subjects...

Phil Martelli's Grandson