Saturday, January 10, 2015

Communiqué from the ACNA College of Bishops

January 5th to 9th, 2015

"For the word of the Cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." ~ 1 Corinthians 1:18

Led by our new Archbishop, The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach, we met as a College to worship and pray, to study Scripture and the historic faith, and to pursue our common life as servant leaders. Meeting in Orlando from January 5th to 9th under the Cross of Christ, we sought to deepen our relationships with God and with each other, and learn ways to be more effective and fruitful.
 
Conscious of the weight of our responsibilities as bishops, we spent important time together in prayer, teaching, business, and fellowship; all in light of our recognition of the power of the Cross. Without question, the College emerged from this week stronger and more unified than ever before, sharing a common vision for reaching North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ, and strengthening the bonds of trust.

Prayer

We followed the Anglican patterns of prayer, with both Daily Offices and daily Holy Eucharist. Homilies by several bishops richly added to our worship, inspiring us and challenging us to grow in authentic fellowship and discipleship.
 
Throughout the week, we were blessed by having David Clifton, Minister of Worship Arts at the Church of the Apostles, Knoxville, Tennessee, leading our music. He wove historic and contemporary music in a gentle and powerful way that enriched our time together.
 
On Thursday evening, we held a prayer vigil for our countries and for those issues facing our cultures and the nations of the world.

Teaching

We were enriched and strengthened in our apostolic ministries through the inspiring sessions presented by the Rt. Rev. John A.M Guernsey, Bishop of the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic and Dean of Provincial Affairs, and the Rt. Rev. Dr. Ray Sutton, Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of Mid America (REC) and Provincial Dean.
 
Bishop Guernsey spoke about the importance of a bishop's prayer life and accented his presentations with powerful testimonies of the ways Almighty God had answered prayers of faith and vision. We were reminded that Jesus himself instructed the disciples to pray earnestly to the Lord of the Harvest to send out laborers into his harvest (Luke 10:2). Each afternoon the College of Bishops was enriched by Bishop Sutton's outstanding and anointed teaching on the office of the Bishop. He presented an historical survey of the ministry of the bishop, highlighting many godly examples for us as we seek to live, pray, love, and minister.
 
In surveying seven eras in the history of the Church, from the Apostolic Age of the New Testament to the present day, Bishop Sutton challenged the College to recover the best of the apostolic office as it has been revealed in Scripture and experienced in the life of the Church. His presentation concluded with a tremendously stirring call to us to fulfill our vocations.
 
In small groups, we responded to these presentations by sharing how we had received God's vision for our ministries and discussing the importance of prayerful leadership in the Church.

Fellowship

Guest of the College
We gave thanks for the presence of Bishop Mark Lawrence throughout the meeting. Our prayers continue to be with him and the faithful people whom he leads in the Diocese of South Carolina.
 
Wives' Retreat
Over the years, the bishops' wives have developed warm and loving relationships which were further deepened during the week through sharing and prayer. They also heard Bible teaching each morning from Krista Williams of Monroe, GA.

Business

The business portion of our meeting began with an address from Archbishop Beach, and then proceeded in four parts, each led by one of the Deans. Prayers were offered prior to the presentation of each report, and at the close of each report prayers were offered again for the respective leader and their ministry.

Archbishop Beach's Report

Archbishop Beach gave thanks for the presence and grace of God that has been evident in the first six months of this new ministry. Reaffirming the principle of subsidiarity - that the ministry of the Province is only to initiate or minister in ways that a diocese should not or could not - Archbishop Beach shared some of the unique ministry opportunities of his archiepiscopate that are strengthening both the Province and the larger Body of Christ.
 
These opportunities included his recent trip to Southeast Asia and Australia where our relationships with the Anglican provinces and dioceses in those regions were deepened; sitting down to dinner with Metropolitan Hilarion of the Russian Orthodox Church; and being invited by members of the Canadian Parliament to pray for the nation in the wake of the terrorist attack that affected the capital in October.
 
In discussion, we commented on how encouraging it is that our new Archbishop is being so well received by our international and ecumenical partners.
 
Archbishop Beach expressed his commitment to shared leadership in the College and Province, and demonstrated this commitment by having his four appointed Deans lead the business sessions throughout the week.

College Affairs

The Rt. Rev. Terrell Glenn, Dean of College Affairs, led the sessions on matters that touch upon the College's common life.
 
First, we turned to reflections on the Conclave, and the process by which we selected our new Archbishop. We overwhelmingly affirmed the Conclave's prayerful process.
We then turned our attention to the development of a process for the care of a bishop's soul should discipline be required for an act committed against our Lord and His Church. More information about the process can be found at this link. No member of the College is presently under disciplinary measures, thus making it a helpful time to develop a pastoral process.
 
We spent significant time in small groups, praying together, addressing personal issues, and strengthening relationships. Many commented on the growing depth and genuineness of our life together.

Provincial Affairs

Bishop John Guernsey, Dean of Provincial Affairs, led the sessions affecting the internal life of our Province.
 
Review of the Preface to Confirmation
The Liturgy and Common Worship Task Force submitted to the College a "Preface Concerning the Confirmation Liturgy". The intention is to ensure that each Anglican makes a public profession of faith and receives the laying on of hands by a bishop. After minor revisions, the Preface was adopted. The text is available at this link.
 
Task Force on Marriage
Over the past fifty years there have been massive changes in the understanding and practice of marriage in Western society, including such matters as the sexual revolution, no-fault divorce, same-sex marriage, and abortion. These changes spring from a larger rejection of the Christian worldview in Western society.
 
There is an urgent need for the Anglican Church in North America to review our Anglican teaching and enrich our practice in areas relating to marriage. To this end, the College approved the formation of a task force, to be chaired by the Rev. Dr. Stephen Noll, that will work to strengthen marriage by developing a comprehensive provincial marriage initiative. This initiative will consider marriage from a variety of interlocking perspectives: theological, liturgical, pastoral, legal, canonical, ecumenical, and public policy.
 
Holy Orders Task Force
The Holy Orders Task Force currently is working on Phase Three of its stated procedure. In this phase, the task force is focusing on the manner in which ecclesiology relates to ordination and holy orders. In 2014, the Task Force met on March 20-21 (Ft. Worth, TX), May 14-15 (Bedford, TX), September 25-26 (Pittsburgh, PA), and November 20-21 (Bedford, TX). With the help of several outside scholars, the task force has developed working documents to assist with its task.
 
As was the case with the previous phase, the task force found it helpful to identify and summarize what the formularies say about the particular issues related to this phase of work. This represents the commonly accepted foundation, which forms the basis for discussion. The task force also has been working to identify those perspectives on ordination which lead to divergent understandings within our tradition about the nature of ordination and holy orders. This includes, but is not limited to, women's ordination. By examining the premises upon which varying perspectives are based, the bishops will be in a better position to discuss a way forward in resolving the concerns about how holy orders are understood and function in the life of the Province.
 
Anglican Unity Task Force
The Anglican Unity Task Force reported on its work to facilitate simplifying the overlapping structures of our Church, particularly for the sake of the coming generations of leadership. While the task force does not have authority to mandate realignments, it hopes to foster conversations and create clear processes for local review of parish and diocesan alignments, with a particular focus on times of succession for rectors or bishops.
 
Multi-ethnic Ministry
We discussed our commitment to multi-ethnicity as an essential element of our life as a Church and our witness to the wider North American culture. We celebrated the advances being made by our growing Latino works as evidenced by Caminemos Juntos, gave thanks for developments among our Asian brothers and sisters as led by Bishop Stephen Leung, and gave thanks for the contributions of African-American bishops, clergy and members of our Church. We identified the significant need for growth in our engagement with the greater African-American community, and are planning a symposium to help us chart a faithful way to honor this Gospel imperative and minister to this critical need in our current culture.
 
Other Provincial Initiatives
We received a number of other ministry reports. The Young Anglicans Project shared a short but poignant video about young people who are spiritually lost and unconnected. We were, however, encouraged by a program that is being piloted in the Diocese of Pittsburgh which pairs young people in a one-on-one discipling relationship with an older Christian. The reports of its effectiveness are very encouraging.
 
Our emphasis on church planting continues with some exciting developments, particularly in new work among minorities. The Rev. Dan Alger, Canon for Church Planting, is facilitating the next chapter of church planting in the province, and has begun bringing together key church planting leaders from dioceses and regional networks in order to share wisdom and resources.
 
The Provincial Retirement Fund task force reported on important work being done to strengthen and improve the retirement plan of the Anglican Church in North America by merging the ACNA retirement plan with that of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) and other diocesan and parish plans. This will result in greater buying power in the retirement plan marketplace, reduce management fees, provide superior fiduciary oversight, allow for greater ease of movement within our Province and is intended to improve the rate of return for all plan participants.

International Affairs

A report on international affairs was presented by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Bill Atwood, Dean of International Affairs. His report celebrated the scope of global relationships that bless the Anglican Church in North America. We have relationships of full communion and recognition from the vast majority of the world's Anglicans, and have robust mission partnerships with many Provinces.
 
We heard reports from Sharon Steinmiller on behalf of the Anglican Global Mission Partners (AGMP) and Bill Deiss, Executive Director of the Anglican Relief and Development Fund (ARDF), about the breadth of outreach in which our Province is engaged. There is a large and growing number of missionaries deployed around the world and a host of projects being undertaken. Canon Deiss reported that ARDF has funded over $6.5 million in 133 projects in more than 40 countries. All of these projects have been prioritized and approved by the ARDF board which is made up of Anglican Primates from both the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GFCA) and the Global South. In addition, it was noted that our relationships with leaders from Youth With a Mission (YWAM) have led to hosting a Discipleship Training School program for the Province.
 
We also discussed the grave tear in the fabric of the Anglican Communion caused by decisions of some provinces and dioceses to depart from historic faith and practice. Inspired by the witness of provinces abroad, we are committed to upholding and proclaiming Biblical truth as members of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans.
 
We have also identified "point bishops" to help facilitate communication and relationships with each of the sixteen provinces where we have many friends and joint activities.

Ecumenical Affairs

A report on ecumenical relationships was presented by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Ray Sutton, Dean of Ecumenical Affairs.
 
The Anglican Church in North America is engaged in eight different ecumenical dialogues: Roman Catholic Church, Orthodox Church in America, Polish National Catholic Church, North American Lutheran Church, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, Messianic Jewish churches, Good News Methodists, and Presbyterian Church in America.
 
Each dialogue committee is led by a member of the College, and we heard brief updates on the status of each dialogue. One of the highlights was Archbishop Duncan's reflections on the experience of the seven members of the GFCA who were invited to the Vatican's Humanum Colloquium on the complementarity of man and woman. A second high point in these conversations has been the warming of relationships with the Orthodox Church in America, punctuated in October by a visit with Metropolitan Hilarion (Russian Orthodox) and Metropolitan Tikhon (OCA).
 
Archbishop Beach noted that in an increasingly secular time, it is all the more essential to be working across denominational lines as we seek to reach our culture with the Gospel.

Conclusion

We leave this meeting of the College with hearts that are thankful for God's love for us and for His providential care. As we take the next steps to reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ, we continue to invite your prayers for our Church and for the nations we serve. To God be the glory.

Pictures and videos from the meeting can be found at this link.
 
A PDF of the Communique can be found at this link.
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Friday, January 09, 2015

Even though I am in the midst of danger...

sea
Even though I am in the midst of danger, temptation, sin and sorrow of this world, through Him who gave His life I am saved. The sea is salty and the fish lives all its life in it. But it never gets salty, because it has life. Even so if we receive life from Him, though in the world, we are not of the world. Not only here, but also in Heaven we shall find ourselves in Him.
...Sadhu Sundar Singh image

The Triple-threat to Christianity


Jan 9, 2015

Anglican Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali has for years claimed there is a triple-threat to Christianity in the West:

1 Aggressive Secularism
2. Multi-Culturalism
3. Militant/Radical Islam.

Newsweek becomes Newsweak

Episcopal Bishop charged with manslaughter, DUI in fatal hit-and-run

January 9, 2015

An Episcopal church bishop was charged with vehicular manslaughter, drunken driving and other counts for a hit-and-run crash that killed a bicyclist on Friday, according to Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby.

Mosby says the charges will be filed Friday and an arrest warrant will be issued for Bishop Suffragan Heather Cook. Cook is the second-highest leader of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland.

Mosby says Cook's blood-alcohol level was at .22 after the crash, which is nearly triple the state's legal limit.

Cook's vehicle hit bicyclist Tom Palermo on Saturday afternoon two weeks ago. Officials say Cook left for approximately 20 minutes before returning to the scene.  the rest

Pakistani Muslim beats Christian mother; State can sue florist for refusing ss wedding; Media Are Censoring Charlie Hebdo Out Of Fear Of Islam...more


Robert Spencer on Hannity, January 8, 2015, on Sharia No-Go Zones and the Charlie Hebdo jihadis

Stop Pretending Terrorism Has Nothing To Do With Islam ...Detesting ideas and hating people are not the same thing. Muslims are, and should be, protected equally under the liberal principles everyone else enjoys. Yet, for some reason, when it comes to our discourse, Islam is given a special dispensation from the standards that apply to everyone else who operates under these rules. A criticism of a faith – and the customs and philosophy that go with it – has been transformed into an act of racism.

I’ll never understand why so many on Left feel compelled to provide the most pervasively illiberal ideology on Earth this kind of cover. Nor, for that matter, why so many of my fellow atheists reserve their venom for Christianity (a religion that made secularism possible) while coddling an ideology that would surely destroy it...

At least six people, including children, have been taken hostage at a kosher supermarket in Paris The hostage takers are threatening to kill the captives if police storm the factory where the Charlie Hebdo killers are holed up... Pray!

Atlanta's Fire Chief Fired for Espousing Christian Beliefs  ...Last November the mayor posted a public condemnation of the fire chief on his official Facebook page and suspended him. “I profoundly disagree with and am deeply disturbed by the sentiments expressed in the paperback regarding the LGBT community,” the mayor wrote. “I will not tolerate discrimination of any kind within my administration.”...

State can sue florist who refused flowers for same-sex wedding: Judge   ...Arlene’s Flowers, and owner Barronelle Stutzman, are the centerpiece of a nationally watched battle involving the scope of state anti-discrimination laws and the right — if any — to deny service based on personal religious convictions....

Pakistani Muslim beats Christian mother with bat after she prevented man from abducting, raping daughter ...However, the Bibis would not allow for the girl to be abducted without a fight. The mother and aunt were able to free the girl by coming her to her defense. However, this only enraged Khokhar even more. Khokhar then beat both Nusrat and Rani with the cricket bat. The report indicates that Nusrat, the mother of the molested girl, had received more of a beating than Rani.

The report indicates that after Khokhar was done beating Bibi, he threw her on top of a pile of garbage and he then fled the scene. Due to the altercation, both women had their clothes ripped and both sustained injuries...

Stop Lying: Media Are Censoring Charlie Hebdo Out Of Fear Of Islam   ...There’s one reason and one reason only why we’re not seeing any pictures of Muhammad (and contrary to what many in the media mindlessly tell you, depicting Muhammad is a debated issue among Muslims).

Journalists are absolutely terrified of Islamic extremists...

Christian Scholarship and the Distinguishing Virtue of Humility

Jesus Cross
Matthew J. Hall
January 5, 2015

I never had the chance to meet him in person, but I have become an ardent admirer of Carl F. H. Henry. And while I have come to appreciate his brilliance as a Christian thinker, I am always struck by his humility. Don’t get me wrong, Henry was not reluctant to call a spade a spade or to dismantle erroneous arguments, heterodoxy, or injustice. But he did so with a marked humility that is also evident from the countless anecdotes I have heard from his former friends, students, and colleagues.

D. A. Carson tells of a conversation near the end of Henry’s life, when he asked the aging theologian how he had sought to remain humble. Coming from a giant of evangelical theology, Henry’s response is noteworthy. “How can anyone be arrogant when he stands beside the cross?” I want to be more like that. But I find the rip tide of self-promotion to be a powerful one, pulling me out to an eventual and certain ruin.

Christian scholarship must be, by its very essence, characterized by a love for, and earnest desire to seek, the truth. This means it will by necessity involve conviction, critical thought, and the best tools of research and inquiry. the rest  image
Those called to teach, research, and write, to create new knowledge and transmit ancient wisdom, are fundamentally a called people. Thus we must carry out that vocation in all its aspects with a humble spirit, mindful that it has been entrusted to us by divine grace, no matter how credentialed or accomplished we may appear to be.

"What Is Human?"


This viral video is changing countless minds about abortion

How do abortionists describe preborn children and the violent abortion procedures they perform on them?

Albert Mohler: Theological Extremism in a Secular Age

The Avenue
Thursday, January 8, 2015

Excerpt:
The massacre in Paris is yet another sign that a...good portion of the world’s population operates by a very different worldview and by a very different moral code. There is a form of rationality evident in the Islamic attacks, in the larger context of Islamic terrorism, and in particular in the attack upon the newspaper Charlie Hebdo. But that rationality is the rationality of Islam, not of the Western worldview; certainly not of the modern Western secular worldview.

An example of the West’s confusion is demonstrated in an article that appears in this morning’s edition of the New York Times entitled “‘Dangerous Moment’ for Europe, as Fear and Resentment Grow,” written by Steven Erlanger and Katrin Bennhold. The article cites Olivier Roy, a French scholar of Islam and Islamic radicalism, who defined the Paris assault as “a quantitative and therefore qualitative turning point…This was a maximum-impact attack. They did this to shock the public, and in that sense they succeeded.”

But the New York Times article is notable for the fact that it lacks any moral clarity about how to understand this massacre. The article cites Andrew Hussey, identified as a Paris-based professor of post-colonial studies, who noted, “Politically, the official left in France has been in denial of the conflict between France and the Arab world. But the French in general sense it.”

One of the fundamental problems among Western elites is that they cannot understand a theological worldview—particularly the theological worldview of Islam. Being basically rational and secular in their own worldview, Western elites find it almost impossible to understand the radical actions taken by Islamic terrorists.

For example, Islamic teaching distinguishes the house of Islam (Dar al_Islam)—that part of the world which is under submission to the Quran and Sharia law—from the house of war (Dar al-Harb)—that portion of the world that is not yet brought under Sharia rule. That logic is simply something that the modern secular mind really cannot understand and the American government seems almost resolutely determined to ignore or even to deny.

Speaking on Hugh Hewitt’s radio program yesterday, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina indicated that he believes that what we are witnessing is a religious war. But that statement is not echoed by other sectors of the American government—in particular, the United States State Department and, even more pointedly, the American White House. President Obama continues to refer to the group that calls itself the Islamic State by the acronym ISIL—trying to do anything to avoid mentioning the word Islam.   the rest image

New York Times Reports On Muslim Proselytizing During Charlie Hebdo Attack, Then Deletes It

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Boko Haram Torches Nigerian Town of Baga; 2,000 Missing

January 8, 2015

More than 2,000 people are unaccounted for after radical Islamist sect Boko Haram torched more than 10 towns and villages in Nigeria, a local lawmaker told NBC News. Ahmed Zanna, a senator for Borno state where the attack happened, said the militants razed the town of Baga as well as "10-to-20" other communities in the country's rural northeast over the past five days. "These towns are just gone, burned down," he told NBC News via telephone. "The whole area is covered in bodies."
       
Zanna said he had spoken to residents who fled the towns. They reported that the spree had been ongoing since Boko Haram overran a nearby military base Saturday. During the days-long assault, the militants chased people out of Baga before returning to kill those left and torch the buildings to the ground, according to survivors who contacted Zanna. Some of those who survived fled on foot the 100 miles south to Maidurguri. The BBC spoke to Musa Alhaji Bukar, a senior government official in the area, who also said that 2,000 people had been killed in the raids. "This is one of the worst attacks I've seen because so many people are unaccounted for and feared dead," said Zanna, who was elected in 2011. the rest

Boko Haram crisis: Nigeria's Baga town hit by new assault BBC

Boko Haram: Terrorists reportedly kill 2000 people in Baga

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Anglican Unscripted Episode 143


Jan 6, 2015

Anglican Unscripted is the only video newscast in the Anglican Church. Each Episode Kevin, George, Allan and Peter bring you news and prospective from around the globe.

Paris on Terrorism Alert After 12 Die in Magazine Attack; Egypt's president urges Muslim 'religious revolution' to combat Islamist ideology...more

Paris on Terrorism Alert After 12 Die in Magazine Attack   Paris was put on the highest terrorist alert after France’s worst attack in decades killed at least 12 people in shootings at the office of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in the city’s east.

Four more victims are in critical condition and an additional 20 were injured, police said.

“France is in a state of shock after this terrorist attack,” French President Francois Hollande told reporters. “An act of exceptional barbarity has been perpetrated against a newspaper, against liberty of expression, against journalists.”...

Egypt's president urges Muslim 'religious revolution' to combat Islamist ideology ...According to a translation received by the Washington Post, al-Sisi told an audience at the university: "It's inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world. Impossible!"

Violent Islamist ideology, he said, was "antagonising the whole world". He added: "Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world's inhabitants — that is 7 billion — so that they themselves may live? Impossible!

"I am saying these words here at Al Azhar, before this assembly of scholars and ulema — Allah Almighty be witness to your truth on Judgment Day concerning that which I'm talking about now...
First Things: President Sisi’s Speech

Diocese of Maryland special meeting on Heather Cook   ...The Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, diocesan bishop of Maryland, invited the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland clergy to a closed meeting to give them information about what we know of the tragic accident, including police and church disciplinary investigations. This meeting allowed clergy to express their feelings, ask questions, and get information to share with their congregations...
Church: Md. bishop who left scene of fatal crash was 'in shock'

A.S. Haley: Shooting Fish in a Barrel
No one in his right mind could enjoy "shooting fish in a barrel" -- and that is the point of the metaphor: it is too easy.

That said, I must acknowledge that my own alma mater is coming in for some (well-deserved, IMHO) ridicule for its faculty's belated discovery of the costs added by the coverage mandates of Obamacare...

Episcopal Church Hosting Planned Parenthood Event to Celebrate 42 Years of Abortion ...Why would a church support the nation’s largest abortion business?

One pro-life person called the church and a representative said Planned Parenthood doesn’t do abortions.

The abortion giant Planned Parenthood has released its 2013 annual report and the new numbers indicate it did more abortions than the year before — killing 327,653 babies in abortions while taking in millions in taxpayer funds...

Monday, January 05, 2015

What Christianity Contributes to China’s Economic Rise; Peter Hitchens: Mothers are better off staying at home...more

What Christianity Contributes to China’s Economic Rise ...The ongoing growth of Christianity and the growth of China’s economy may be related, according to a new study in the China Economic Review by Qunyong Wang (Institute of Statistics and Econometrics, Nankai University, Tianjin) and Xinyu Lin (Renmin University of China, Beijing).

Wang and Lin find that Christianity boosts China’s economic growth. Specifically, they find that robust growth occurs in areas of China where Christian congregations and institutions are prevalent...

Did New Jersey’s Assembly approve an assisted suicide bill without understanding it?   ...The state itself could also have fiscal and other motives. By passing the bill, the government has selected a class of citizens it thinks are more in need of suicide assistance than suicide prevention. How enthusiastic will it be about paying for continued care for those holdouts who refuse this aid? Last year, over half the patients who committed assisted suicide in Oregon relied on the government for their health coverage or had no coverage at all. Over three-quarters of those dying under Washington’s assisted suicide law were partly or completely dependent on Medicare or Medicaid. Some cancer patients in Oregon have received letters from the state’s health plan saying that the government will not pay for their doctor’s recommended treatment to extend their lives, but will be happy to pay for assisted suicide...

Peter Hitchens: Here's absolute proof mothers are better off staying at home ...But our near-totalitarian propaganda machine, which pushes its views in school PSHE classes, TV and radio soap operas and countless advice columns, has succeeded brilliantly in making young mothers feel ashamed of being at home with their small children.

And here is the absolute proof of that. A significant number of homes – four per cent – lose money by having both parents at work. Many – ten per cent – gain nothing from this arrangement. Yet they still do it. Many more gain so little that it is barely worth the bother.

The most amazing statistic of the past year (produced by insurance company Aviva) shows that thousands of mothers who go out to work are, in effect, working for nothing. The cost of day orphanages, travel and other work expenses cancels out everything they earn.
Many more barely make a profit on the arrangement. One in four families has a parent who brings home less than £100 a month after all the costs of work have been met...

Sharpton: Race-Hustling for Profit
...Want to influence a casino bid? Polish your corporate image? Not be labeled a racist?
Then you need to pay Al Sharpton.

For more than a decade, corporations have shelled out thousands of dollars in donations and consulting fees to Sharpton’s National Action Network. What they get in return is the reverend’s supposed sway in the black community or, more often, his silence...

Kim Jong Un: Slavetrader ...It gets worse. The North Korean rulers willfully starve the nation’s entire population, using the foreign exchange they get by selling their subjects as forced labor and sex slaves abroad to buy weaponry, palaces, and a fantastic assortment of luxuries for themselves. Rations are so low that the growth of children is stunted, resulting in an average height of North Korean ten year olds being some 8 inches less than their opposite numbers in South Korea. Over the past twenty years, more than 5 percent of the general population has starved to death. Conditions are so bad that men pay government officials heavy bribes in order to be chosen to be sent to slave labor camps in Siberia. In Stalinist Russia, people feared such a fate. In North Korea today, they beg for it...

Archaeologists find possible site of Jesus’s trial in Jerusalem  ...For Shimon Gibson, an archaeology professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, there is little doubt that the trial occurred somewhere within Herod’s palace compound. In the Gospel of John, the trial is described as taking place near a gate and on a bumpy stone pavement — details that fit with previous archaeological findings near the prison, he said.

“There is, of course, no inscription stating it happened here, but everything — archaeological, historical and gospel accounts — all falls into place and makes sense,” Gibson said.

The Rev. David Pileggi, minister of Christ Church, an Anglican congregation whose complex includes a guesthouse and heritage center near the museum, said the discovery inside the prison confirmed “what everyone expected all along, that the trial took place near the Tower of David.”...

Why I Am Becoming Anglican: a Brief Explanation for my Assemblies of God family

January 2, 2015
Jon Ziegler

During this year past year, I made a very difficult decision to leave the only church I have known. I grew up in an Assemblies of God (AG) church. My family has been AG since the 1930s and is one of the oldest Pentecostal families in New Orleans. My father is an AG pastor and I have two brothers who are ordained AG ministers. I have held AG ministerial for a couple of years, but with the recent transition of the New Year (2015), my AG ministerial credentials have lapsed. God willing, I will be confirmed on January 25th into the Anglican Church by Bishop Todd Hunter at Holy Trinity in Costa Mesa.

I am not leaving with hurt, bitterness, or resentment. Quite the contrary, I maintain a deep love and respect for the church that taught me the name of Jesus. The last AG congregation I was a part of (in Pasadena, CA) was a wonderful group of people led by a theologically capable pastor that I appreciate greatly. I am excited about the direction of the AG (under George Wood) and I am confident that it will continue to thrive in the decades to come.

Because of my positive wishes toward my friends and family in the AG, I was not planning on sharing publicly my reasons for leaving. That is, I am not trying to convince people to leave the AG or even that it was a good idea for me to leave the AG. I actually want people to stay and make the AG even better. (I tried myself really hard to stay, and finally had to acknowledge that God was calling to the Anglican Church—or perhaps more accurately, God was making me into an Anglican). However, my friend (and fellow AG minister) Dan suggested that I give a public explanation for why I am leaving. His reasoning was that if people continue to leave silently, how will the AG address those issues which led to their exit from the church? I think Dan is right and so I am taking some time to explain how I became Anglican.  the rest