Tuesday, January 31, 2006

For all the strong and courageous churches taking a stand to remain faithful to Holy Scripture whatever the cost:

One of the greatest obstacles we face in following Christ is fear of the unknown. We yearn to know in advance the outcome of our obedience and where He is taking us, yet we are given only the assurance that He is with us and that He is in charge. And with that, we venture into the unknown with Him.

Abraham modeled the response of a person who is willing to walk with God into an uncertain future. "By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going" (Hebrews 11:8).

Abraham knew that God had called him and had given him a promise—and that was enough. He was willing to entrust his future to the Lord.

We may do the same by trusting our Lord for the future and stepping out in faith. As we stand on the threshold of a new year, may this prayer of faith and anticipation be ours:

O Lord God, who has called us, Your servants,
To ventures of which we cannot see the ending,
By paths as yet untrodden,
And through perils unknown,
Give us faith to go out with good courage,
Not knowing where we go
But only that Your hand is leading us
And Your love is supporting us. Amen.
—David McCasland

Meditation found here
(Thank you David!)

St. Anne's Church Aligns with Worldwide Anglican Communion
News from St. Anne’s Church Contact: Joan Gast
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Phone: 760-966-2950

St. Anne’s Church Aligns with Worldwide Anglican Communion

Oceanside, Calif. – January 30, 2006 – St. Anne’s Church, a biblically orthodox church, affirms its membership in the Worldwide Anglican Communion and will no longer be affiliated with the Episcopal Church USA or the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego. The church is now under the jurisdictional oversight of the Rt. Rev. Frank Lyons, Bishop of the Diocese of Bolivia in the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. The Diocese, and the Province led by Archbishop Greg Venables, are members of the mainstream 77 million-member Anglican Communion which has churches in 164 countries. The Episcopal Church USA only represents about three percent of the Anglican Communion.

St. Anne’s, a church body of 250 members, has remained steadfast and loyal in their commitment to the Holy Scripture, the historic teachings of Christianity and the Anglican Communion for over 100 years. However, the Episcopal Church USA has chosen a path that no longer reflects the membership’s steadfast faith.

“We are a biblically orthodox church that accepts Jesus Christ as the One and Only Lord and Savior, and acknowledges the authority of the Holy Scripture as the Word of God,” said Connie Fowle, a congregational leader. “Our devotion is to God, not to an institution. When an institution no longer represents our understanding of God’s Word and His Will, we must have the courage and faith to stand by our convictions. That time has come.”

The church members and board of directors overwhelmingly made this decision with the support of their pastor, The Rev. Tony Baron, reflecting the desire of the church to stand firm on its religious convictions.
The rest at Connecticut Six

And: Church of the Nativity Disassociates from

Is new AOL IM slogan marketing blasphemy?
'I AM' pitch takes God's name in vain, say some shocked critics
Posted: January 31, 20061:00 a.m. Eastern

When Ian Millar opened up his AOL Instant Messenger program yesterday and linked to the new AIM Triton site, he wasn't prepared for what he saw.

"I have been an AIM customer for many years, and although I do not use AOL for my mail client, I have recommended it for relatives and friends," he said in a letter to top executives of the company. "In general, I appreciate AOL and your business savvy."

But when Millar saw the company's new slogan, he was shocked and disgusted. He was not alone.
The rest

The 10 Most Redeeming Films of 2005
What do exorcists, terrorists, caped crusaders, and a talking lion have in common? They're all characters in some of the year's most redeeming movies, presented here in our second annual list.

posted 01/31/2006

So, we put our heads together to come up with the 10 Most Redeeming Films of 2005, and what a diverse list it is. Our second annual such list includes everything from brutal boxing to wheelchair rugby. Everything from exorcists to terrorists. Everything from a mysterious caped crusader with a penchant for justice, to a wide-eyed young boy with a heart for compassion. And a talking lion.

What do we mean by "redeeming" films? They're all stories of redemption—sometimes blatantly, sometimes less so. Several of them literally have a character that represents a redeemer. And with some of them, the redemption thread is buried beneath the surface; you might have to look a bit harder for it, but it's most certainly there. Some of them are "feel-good" movies that leave a smile on your face; some might leave you with more of a contemplative frown, asking, "How should I process that?"

See the list here

Google Holds Copies of All Emails and All Websites Visited
By Terry Vanderheyden

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California, January 30, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Some commentators are describing Google, the world’s most used internet search engine, as “scary,” after learning that the internet giant stores web search history and e-mails.

The UK’s Times on Line reported that Google keeps an “extraordinary amount” of user information. Google logs searches on its search engine, storing the information “indefinitely.”

“Because every computer has a unique IP (internet protocol) address, every visit to every website can be traced back to the computer making it – a fact which is well known in geek circles but remarkably under-publicised outside them,” the Times article explained.
Google’s alternative to hotmail, their new free e-mail service, Gmail, stores all e-mails indefinitely on their server. The company already admits to scanning e-mails in order to send targeted advertising.

Missionaries of Learning
Why Christians Must Be ‘People of the Book’
January 31, 2006

Ever wonder what Jesus meant when He said, “Let him who has ears, hear?” Well, an experience relayed to me by my good friend R. C. Sproul helps us understand the words of Jesus in today’s culture.

Some years ago, Sproul offered a rigorous course in Romans. Two hundred serious disciples signed up. Half-way through the course, Sproul took a week off to enroll in Evangelism Explosion (EE) courses. When he came back, he told his students about EE, including conversation openers like, “Why should God let you into heaven?” On a whim, he asked class members how they would answer.

Anyone who knows Sproul knows he teaches the great evangelical doctrine in Romans, justification by faith alone, in unmistakable terms. Every student should have known the answer. Not so. There were awkward pauses; some people mumbled about living a good life. Only thirty out of two hundred answered correctly. How could this be?

the rest at Breakpoint

Pro-Homosexual School Posters Fostering 'Intolerance,' Says Family Advocate
CFI Leader Says It's Wrong to Imply Teachers Approve of Dangerous Lifestyle
By Jim Brown and Jody Brown
January 30, 2006

(AgapePress) - A pro-family leader says five public school teachers in the San Francisco Bay area are putting their jobs on the line to protect their students from "propaganda" that homosexual activists have forced into the classroom.

Five teachers at San Leandro High School have refused to abide by a school district order to display a rainbow flag poster in their classrooms. The notebook paper-sized poster sports the logo for the
San Leandro Unified School District (SLUSD) as well as the inverted pink triangle, an international symbol for "gay pride." Addressing itself to "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, [and] questioning youth," the poster reads: "This is a safe place to be who you are. This sign affirms that support and resources are available for you in this school." the rest

Palestinian Christians Need Our Prayers

I have a real burden to ask all of you to write down "Palestinian Christians" on your prayer lists. The reason is because yesterday we found out that Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections instead of Fatah.

This victory for the terrorists Hamas are, isn't good for any Christian who lives in or near Palestine. I'm very concerned.

The only other mention of the concern over the Palestinian Christians I have found is an article written on
AsiaNews.it called Christians Anxious Over Hamas Victory. A few passages from that article follow.

Persecution Blog

By J. Grant Swank, Jr.
Jan 31, 2006

More than a decade after the American public started cruising the Web, it is clear that children can find everything from nudity to sites featuring sexual violence and other extremes. For parents, this creates challenges that never existed before: how to keep porn away from young eyes, and what to do when safety measures fail.

"'Kids are exposed to this at incredibly early ages, when their brains are going through profound developmental changes,' says Michael Bradley of Philadelphia, a psychologist and author specializing in childhood and adolescence. 'This has caught parents off guard. (Porn) has always been there, but it's always been in a lower volume,' according to Linda Spillers, AP.
The rest

Another Warning for Parents About On-Line Pornography
Posted: Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 2:11 am ET
Albert Mohler

Janet Kornblum of
USA Today warns parents that children as young as grade school are often exposed to on-line pornography.

In "
Porn 'Tidal Wave' Puts Parents to Test," she advises: If your child surfs the Web, chances are he or she already has seen pornography -- maybe even hard-core porn. More than a decade after the American public started cruising the Web, it is clear that children can find everything from nudity to sites featuring sexual violence and other extremes. For parents, this creates challenges that never existed before: how to keep porn away from young eyes, and what to do when safety measures fail. the rest

Primary care about to collapse, physicians warn
Group proposes solutions for changing reimbursement policies for doctors
Updated: 3:14 p.m. ET Jan. 30, 2006

WASHINGTON - Primary care — the basic medical care that people get when they visit their doctors for routine physicals and minor problems — could fall apart in the United States without immediate reforms, the American College of Physicians said Monday.

"Primary care is on the verge of collapse," said the organization, a professional group which certifies internists, in a statement. "Very few young physicians are going into primary care and those already in practice are under such stress that they are looking for an exit strategy."

Dropping incomes coupled with difficulties in juggling patients, soaring bills and policies from insurers that encourage rushed office visits all mean that more primary care doctors are retiring than are graduating from medical school, the ACP said in its report.
The rest

Same-sex couple in tax protest
Refuse to pay on $2 million because they can't get married
Posted: January 31, 20061:00 a.m. Eastern

Calling it an act of civil disobedience, a North Carolina man is refusing to pay federal and state income tax on more than $2 million, claiming discrimination because he can't wed his male partner and receive the deductions granted married couples.

"I think it's unfair because marriage is about love, it's not about two people who are different sexually,"
Charles Merrill, 71, told WND. "Two men can love each other, and two men can love each other just as a man and a woman."


Jew to Lead National Prayer Breakfast

The annual National Prayer Breakfast will be co-chaired by Sen. Norm Coleman, the first time in memory that a Jew will lead the gathering, and at a time when some rabbis have expressed misgivings about what they see as the event's overtly Christian tone.

The breakfast is staged without government funding every year by the Fellowship Foundation, an evangelical Christian group. Presidents from Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush have attended, along with members of Congress and world leaders. This year, King Abdullah II of Jordan will give the keynote speech at a lunch following the breakfast, which is scheduled for Thursday.

Although the breakfast has historically been a Christian event, Jews have had more of a presence in recent years, including a speech by Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., an orthodox Jew.

Sweeping anti-abortion laws proposed
Jan. 31, 2006 at 9:28AM

Legislators in at least five states are proposing bold anti-abortion measures as the Bush administration reshapes the U.S. Supreme Court, a report said.

With the goal of challenging the Roe vs. Wade ruling that ensured a woman's right to an abortion, lawmakers in Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, South Dakota and Tennessee propose banning all abortions except when the woman's life is in danger, Stateline.org reported.

If enacted, legal experts said the laws would be the first absolute abortion bans since the landmark 1973 ruling.
The rest

Muslims join plea to reject new religious hatred laws
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
(Filed: 31/01/2006)

An unlikely alliance of humanists, secularists, Muslims and evangelical Christians issued an eleventh-hour plea to MPs to reject the Government's proposed religious hatred legislation.

The appeal will increase the pressure on ministers to make significant concessions when the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill returns to the House of Commons for a critical vote today.

The group say in a letter to The Daily Telegraph today that the Bill, as it currently stands, will undermine free speech in a society where it is vital to allow debate.

"As people with strong views on religion, we know how easy it is to offend those with whom you disagree and how easy it is to resent what others say, and see insult in it," the letter says.

"But we also recognise that a free society must have the scope to debate, criticise, proselytise, insult and even to ridicule belief and religious practices in order to ensure that there is full scope - short of violence or inciting violence or other criminal offences - to tackle these issues."
The rest

Senate confirms Alito to Supreme Court
Tuesday, January 31, 2006 11:27:22 AM

Samuel Anthony Alito Jr. became the nation's 110th Supreme Court justice on Tuesday, confirmed with the most partisan victory in modern history after a fierce battle over the future direction of the high court.

The Senate voted 58-42 to confirm Alito _ a former federal appellate judge, U.S. attorney, and conservative lawyer for the Reagan administration from New Jersey _ as the replacement for retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who has been a moderate swing vote on the court.

All but one of the Senate's majority Republicans voted for his confirmation, while all but four of the Democrats voted against Alito.

That is the smallest number of senators in the president's opposing party to support a Supreme Court justice in modern history. Chief Justice John Roberts got 22 Democratic votes last year, and Justice Clarence Thomas _ who was confirmed in 1991 on a 52-48 vote _ got 11 Democratic votes.
The rest

Monday, January 30, 2006

Oh, it is sad for a poor Christian to stand at the door of the promise, in the dark night of affliction, afraid to draw the latch, whereas he should then come boldly for shelter as a child into his father's house. William Gurnall photo

In Jesus the weak are strong, and the defenceless safe; they could not be more strong if they were giants, or more safe if they were in heaven. Faith gives to men on earth the protection of the God of heaven. More they cannot need, and need not wish. The conies cannot build a castle, but they avail themselves of what is there already: I cannot make myself a refuge, but Jesus has provided it, His Father has given it, His Spirit has revealed it, and lo, again tonight I enter it, and am safe from every foe.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon The Spurgeon Archive

All Saints Priest, Parish Continue To Defy Diocese

(Irondequoit, NY) 01/30/06 -- An Episcopal priest from Irondequoit continues to defy an order to step away from his position.

A few days ago, the Episcopal Diocese Of Rochester inhibited The Reverend David Harnish. He is banned from performing duties or leading Sunday services for the next six months.

However, Harnish says he is now under the Anglican Church of Uganda which allows him to carry on. He has also renamed the church to All Saints Anglican.

"It's unfortunate authority here, former authority does not see and recognize the authority of primate of church," he said.

The dispute between the parish and the diocese began when the parish protested the ordination of a gay bishop in New Hampshire.

The All Saints Property still belongs to the Rochester Episcopal Diocese, but the diocese says it has no plans to lock out Harnish and his parishioners.

Bishop Jack Mckelvey said he is concerned about church records and wants all paperwork about weddings, baptisms, and funerals returned to the diocese.

CoE has 'reaped a harvest of plagues'
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
(Filed: 28/01/2006)

The Church of England has "reaped a harvest of plagues" after abandoning the historic faith and ordaining women as priests, the bishop who leads its traditionalist wing will tell a 2,000-strong rally today.

The Bishop of Fulham, the Rt Rev John Broadhurst, will say that he prophesied 13 years ago that the Church would face serious consequences if women became priests, and worse will follow if they become bishops.

The bishop, who is president of Forward-in-Faith, the traditionalist umbrella organisation, will deliver his warning at a meeting in London a week before a critical General Synod debate on women bishops.
The rest

Episcopal exodus
The exiting clergy and parish leaders say ECUSA has departed from biblical Anglican faith
by Edward E. Plowman

A huge exodus from the Episcopal Church (ECUSA) is underway in the Diocese of Florida, which spans 21 counties across the northern part of the state. Within the past six weeks, more than 20 percent of the diocese's 70-plus congregations from Jacksonville to Tallahassee have voted to leave or announced plans to do so, and still others say they intend to walk this summer, following the ECUSA general convention. ECUSA at that time is expected to reject calls to repent from consecrating an openly gay bishop and from approving blessings for same-sex unions.

The exiting clergy and parish leaders say ECUSA has departed from biblical Anglican faith. They have placed themselves under spiritual oversight of Anglican provinces abroad.

Some of the congregations have voluntarily given up their properties; others vowed to fight to retain theirs. Under church law, the properties belong to the diocese, said Bishop John Howard, who insists he and the diocese are orthodox in faith. He threatened "legal peril" for those who refuse to move out.

D.C. Episcopal diocese OKs same-sex blessings
By Julia Duin
January 29, 2006

The Episcopal Diocese of Washington voted yesterday to approve same-sex blessing ceremonies at its annual convention at the Washington National Cathedral, while the Diocese of Virginia, meeting in Richmond, passed an omnibus resolution that touted unity.

The Washington diocese has unofficially allowed same-sex ceremonies for years, and it has had a same-sex rite on the books since June 2004.

However, that rite has been put on hold until a meeting of the Episcopal General Convention in June in Ohio, when the denomination's future stance on homosexual clergy and same-sex blessings will be decided.
The rest

By J. Grant Swank, Jr.
Jan 30, 2006

When visiting Mennonite friends in central Pennsylvania, they informed us of their grave concern. Because they are born again Christians, life-long Mennonites, they are alarmed at the enemy taking over the Mennonite congregations.

The theological enemy equals homosexuals, practicing homosexuals and those endorsing their lifestyle as God blessed.

So while having breakfast with our friends, Paul showed me a magazine published by the Mennonites. There were numerous letters to the editor exclaiming over the infiltration of homosexuals.

I wondered how this could be. Homosexuals have taken over the Episcopal Church of America so that now the bishop states to media that biblical Episcopalians are "of the devil." The whole apostasy has spread so far as to influence the worldwide Anglican communion.
The rest

Super Bowl Sunday terror chatter high
Release of al-Qaida tapes seen as tip on timing of future attacks
Posted: January 30, 20061:00 a.m. Eastern

WASHINGTON – There is a high likelihood of a major terrorist attack next Sunday, say international terror analysts and intelligence sources.

The warning is made on the basis of several factors, according to
Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin:

There is increased "chatter" in the terrorist world about a major new attack in the West – a sign often leading to an impending strike;
The date Feb. 5 has been specifically referenced in some of this chatter;
The date is significant to Osama bin Laden;
Much of the western world will be watching television that day;
The release of al-Qaida videotapes seems to provide clues about the dates of future attacks and, in this scenario, Feb. 5 becomes the most likely near-term terror strike date.

Terror attacks seem to follow the release of al-Qaida videos by about 30 days. Some intelligence analysts are noting the significance of the release of videos recently by both Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.
The rest

Churches targeted in Iraq blasts

Car bombs have exploded outside the Vatican embassy and near four churches in Iraq, killing at least three people.

The apparently co-ordinated attacks took place within 20 minutes of each other, Iraqi police said.

Three of the bombs went off in the capital Baghdad, while a further two were detonated in the northern oil city of Kirkuk.

All the fatalities reported were in Kirkuk, while at least nine people were wounded in the blasts.
The rest

Man signs voter registration as 'God'
Monday, January 30, 2006 07:25:37 AM

One registered Republican won't be able to vote in the next election unless he appears at a Berks County Elections Board to explain the signature on his registration form.

The man is registered as Paul S. Sewell, but his form is signed "God."

County Solicitor Alan S. Miller said Sewell claims his "God" signature is merely a legal mark like the "X" used by people who are illiterate.

Sewell, 40, said he will be happy to explain. As the owner of a bail enforcement agency, he finds fugitives, he said.

"Whenever I go to arrest somebody, they say, 'Oh, God, give me another chance. Oh, God, let me go. I'll turn myself in tomorrow,'" Sewell said.

He said he thinks his designated mark is legal. "PennDOT accepted it on my driver's license. I have a credit card with it," he said. "It shouldn't be a problem."

Other gods
January 29, 2006 10:44 PM EST
by Erik Rush

Whether one goes back to theater in ancient Greece, the days of Shakespeare, or various other eras, people in the arts have always tended to be eccentric and, well, freaky.

Maybe it’s a left-brain thing. Whether thespians, musicians, comedians, or those in the visual arts, they’ve often tended to lean toward the idiosyncratic and bohemian, libertine lifestyles. Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, depending on their perceived social standing within a culture. Celebrity hasn’t always meant what it does today.

As I have mentioned, I was raised on the arts, and did spend some time in the entertainment industry. I even have a fairly close relative who is a gen-u-ine Rock’n’Roll Hall of Famer. I won’t disclose who this individual is, as I imagine they wouldn’t be any happier about this association becoming public than I would, since we embody antithetical lifestyles and points of view.
The rest

Saturday, January 28, 2006

There is mercy in God like a river, but it is for the penitent believer in Christ Jesus. There is a love in God towards sinners which is unspeakable and unsearchable, but it is for those who hear Christ’s voice and follow him.

Seek to have an interest in that love. Break off every known sin, come out boldly from the world, cry mightily to God in prayer, cast yourself wholly and unreservedly on the Lord Jesus for time and eternity, lay aside every weight. Cling to nothing however dear, which interferes with your soul’s salvation, give-up everything, however precious, which comes between you and heaven.

This old shipwrecked world is fast sinking beneath your feet, the one thing needful is to have a place in the lifeboat and get safe to shore. Give diligence to make your calling and election sure. Whatever happens to your house and property, see that you make sure of heaven.

Oh, better a million times be laughed at and thought extreme in this world, than go down to hell from the midst of the congregation.

J.C.Ryle (1816-1900)

Art: Courtesy of the Digital Image Archive, Pitts Theology Library,
Candler School of Theology, Emory University.

Blessed Clarity
By Matt Kennedy+

Four nominees for the office of Presiding Bishop were announced this week. Of the four, three voted to confirm Gene Robinson’s election as bishop of New Hampshire in 2003. One, bishop Parsley of Alabama, voted no. But don’t let the “no” fool you. Since then he has actively worked to silence the orthodox voices in his diocese as anyone at Stand Firm Alabama will tell you. He may be doctrinally “orthodox” but apparently he won’t let a small thing like that get in the way of institutional loyalty. Hence, the quotation marks around the word orthodox.

Nevertheless, were I a betting man, I’d put my money on bishop Parsley. The self-described moderates and even the orthodox delegates will likely cast their votes for him if Brad Drell’s thoughts are any indication. That should be enough to defeat the other three who are, by all accounts, solid revisionists.

The silver lining in all of this is clarity. Unlike say bishop Jenkins or bishop McPherson, Bishop Parsley will not fool anyone domestically or internationally. He may not be a revisionist personally, but he is most definitely a known collaborator with institutionalized revisionism.

Taken together, the slate of nominees does not signal a compromising stance with regard to the rest of the Communion. Nor does it portend the proverbial and long expected Windsor “fudge”. If this slate is any indication, Columbus will be a clear and defining moment where the deep theological chasm between ECUSA and the rest of Christendom will be revealed. I pray it is so.

Found at ORTHONY

Bishop’s Murder: Anglican Church Calls For Prayers

CHURCH of God Nigeria, Anglican Communion has called for prayers by all faithfuls for God’s intervention that will lead to the arrest of the killers of the Rt. Reverend Elisha Yisa of the St. Pauls Anglican Church Bida in Niger State.

The Anglican communion in a reaction to the cold blooded murder of the cleric said, prayers by all faithfuls would stop people from desecrating the Holy places, once those that committed the murder were fished out.

the rest

Embryonic Human Beings
Robert P. George
McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence
Princeton University

A human embryo is not something different in kind from a human being, like a rock, or a potato, or a rhinoceros. A human embryo is a whole living member of the species Homo sapiens in the earliest stage of his or her natural development. Unless severely damaged or denied or deprived of a suitable environment, an embryonic human being will, by directing its own integral organic functioning, develop himself or herself to the next more mature developmental stage, i.e., the fetal stage. The embryonic, fetal, infant, child, and adolescent stages are stages in the development of a determinate and enduring entity—a human being—who comes into existence as a single cell organism (zygote) and develops, if all goes well, into adulthood many years later.

A human embryo (like a human being in the fetal, infant, child, or adolescent stage) is not properly classified as a “pre-human” organism with the mere potential to become a human being. No human embryologist or textbook in human embryology known to me presents, accepts, or remotely contemplates such a view. The testimony of all leading embryology textbooks is that a human embryo is—already and not merely potentially—a human being. His or her potential, assuming a sufficient measure of good health and a suitable environment, is to develop by an internally directed process of growth through the further stages of maturity on the continuum that is his or her life.
The rest-Excellent!

Pastor to preach, defy Episopal bishop's order
Leader of the former All Saints Episcopal plans to speak Sunday
Marketta Gregory
Staff writer

(January 28, 2006) — The pastor of All Saints Anglican Church plans to preach Sunday even though Rochester's Episcopal bishop has forbidden him to do so.Bishop Jack McKelvey has "inhibited" the Rev. David Harnish, which means Harnish is no longer supposed to lead services, baptize or officiate at weddings.

The sanctions arose because Harnish and his Irondequoit parish have joined the Church of the Province of Uganda, a separate church within the Anglican Communion. Like the Episcopal Church of the USA, it has roots in the Church of England.

The dispute between the Episcopal diocese and All Saints burst into the open in November, with the diocese voting to dissolve the church, formerly All Saints Episcopal, because it was withholding $16,000 from the diocese. The core issue was the diocese's support of the ordination of a gay bishop in New Hampshire in 2003, which caused widespread dissension among Episcopalians.

Va. Episcopalians Struggle With Possibility of Schism
Homosexuality Issue Shadows Convention Debate
By Caryle Murphy
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 28, 2006

Members of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia conclude their annual convention today in Richmond amid growing fears that continuing differences over the 2003 consecration of an openly homosexual bishop will prompt some conservative parishes to withdraw from the diocese.

No parish is threatening to depart imminently. But much depends on the outcome of the 2.3-million member denomination's national convention in June. That assembly is likely to see fierce debate over homosexuality, scriptural interpretation and the importance of American Episcopalians staying in tune with the more conservative views of their larger, worldwide community of Anglicans.

Washington Passes Gay Rights Bill, Protestors Plan Pro-Family Rally
Saturday, Jan. 28, 2006
Posted: 10:16:30AM EST

Lawmakers in the state of Washington passed a gay rights bill Friday that would add sexual orientation to a state law banning discrimination in housing employment and insurance based on gender, religion, and other factors.

The bill passed the Senate with a 25 – 23 vote, with one Republican joining Democrats in voting in favor. The House approved it 61 to 37, and Democratic Governor Chris Gregoire said she would sign it on Tuesday. "We don't choose who we love. The heart chooses who we will love," said the lone Republican senator, Bill Finkbeiner. "And I don't believe that it is right for us to say … that it's acceptable to discriminate against people because of that."

While gay rights activists applauded the measure, which would make Washington the 17th state with laws banning discrimination on the basis of sexual preference, others warned that the law would “trample unrelentingly” on religious viewpoints that object to homosexuality. "

We, the state, are telling people to accept, actually to embrace, something that goes against their religious views," said Sen. Dan Swecker (R- Rochester).

The Women in Christ's Life: Anna, The Prophetess
Kris Swiatocho
The Singles Network Ministries

Excerpt: Anna: A Woman With Purpose

Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher, and was very old. She was a widow, for her husband had died when they had been married only seven years.

She was now eighty-four years old. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about Jesus to everyone who had been waiting for the promised King to come and deliver Jerusalem.— Luke 2:36-38

The rest-it's amazing what we can learn from her life!

EU Approves Ban on 'Homophobia'; Christians Remain Silent
By Allie Martin
January 27, 2006

(AgapePress) - The European Union has unanimously approved a resolution banning "homophobia." A Christian attorney in Mississippi explains why that should concern the citizens of the United States.

The resolution, called "Homophobia in Europe," defines homophobia as "an irrational fear and aversion of homosexuality and of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people based on prejudice, similar to racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, sexism." It calls for action against member states that do not implement programs directed at fair treatment of homosexuals in employment and occupation. It also seeks to "ensure that same-sex partners enjoy the same respect, dignity and protection as the rest of society."

Steve Crampton, chief counsel for the American Family Association
Center for Law & Policy, says although the resolution is not law, it could eventually affect the United States. Story

AFA Lawyer Denounces University's New Pro-Homosexual Healthcare Policy By Jim Brown
January 27, 2006

(AgapePress) - A constitutional attorney says the University of Florida (UF) is seeking to advance a radical pro-homosexual agenda with its new healthcare plan for employees.

Under the UF plan, the so-called "domestic partners" of both homosexual and heterosexual employees are eligible for health insurance coverage as long as they are having sex. In order to qualify, employees must declare they are involved in a "non-platonic" relationship.

Steve Crampton, chief counsel with the American Family Association
Center for Law & Policy, says, in this case, homosexuality appears to be the preferred lifestyle of the State of Florida. He notes that the UF healthcare plan favors same-sex couples over other unmarried people living together in a household for more legitimate reasons.

"So here's a daughter who may be supporting an invalid mother, or a young man who has taken in a dying uncle, unable to work," Crampton posits. "Or how about the Christian who has taken in a homeless man who's out of work and down on his luck, and he's just trying to help him out? Forget it -- you can't get these benefits."
The rest

Diocese of Central NY refuses to accept Rwandan priest

The Rt. Rev. Gladstone Adams, Bishop
310 Montgomery Street
Syracuse NY 13202

January 23, 2006

Dear Bishop Adams:

I am in receipt of the letter of Kathryn Eden dated January 19, 2006 in her capacity as president of the standing committee informing me that the standing committee will not be recommending me for reception into the Episcopal Church and this diocese. When I was before the standing committee on January 10, 2006, I stated that I would be willing to sign the affirmation under Canon III.11.4 to “promise in writing to submit in all things to the Discipline of this Church without recourse to any other ecclesiastical jurisdiction or foreign civil jurisdiction.” In fact, I emphatically stated that I took that promise very seriously. But apparently they did not accept me on my word, since they raise “some unresolved issues concerning the Episcopal Church and [my] connection with the Church of Rwanda.” I want to be clear: while my offer to make the promises required by Canon was very sincere and without reservation, my answers to the other questions posed to me by the Standing Committee are the result of prayerful consideration and I do not foresee my position changing at any time in the future.

As you know from the letters dimissory of Archbishop Kolini which were delivered to you a year ago this month, I am a priest in the Anglican Province of the Church of Rwanda. My parish has never understood the logic of your insistence on a Canon III.11 process for my acceptance into this diocese, since that canon applies only to priests ordained in churches in the historic succession but not in communion with this church. Because the Church of Rwanda is in communion with the Episcopal Church in the United States (at least from America’s perspective) the parish does not see the need for a Canon III.11 procedure, but we were willing to accommodate it at your request. The standing committee’s judgment that “we cannot certify you to continue in the process” puts an end to that Canon III.11 reception process.

Since you have indicated that the recommendation of the standing committee was necessary for my reception, we are apparently at the end of the line. Since you are not willing to accept me under Canon III.12 as a priest in the Church of Rwanda, we would ask that you return to the parish the letters dimissory of Archbishop Kolini.

This action indicates that the Diocese of Central New York is not in communion with the Church of Rwanda, which is an indication that Central New York is withdrawing from the worldwide Anglican Communion. Our prayers continue to be with you and the diocese as you move ahead with your decision, in the words of the Windsor Report, “to walk apart” from the Communion of the wider church. Obviously, we refuse to abandon the Anglican Communion.

If you wish to discuss this matter further, I am available to meet with you at your convenience.

Robert Hackendorf,

St Andrew's, Syracuse, NY

CC: The Rev. Kathryn Eden
The Very Rev. Thomas Luck, Dean
The Rev. John LaVoe
The Rev. Jennie Montgomery, Chair of the COM
The Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Kolini, Archbishop and Primate

Below is the letter from Kathryn Eden, president of the standing committee of the diocese of Central New York informing Fr. Robert Hackendorf that the standing committee of the diocese will not certify Fr. Hackendorf as a priest in the diocese. Bishop Skip Adams established a requirement over a year ago when Fr. Bob came to St. Andrew’s in Syracuse, New York that the standing committee certify him in order to be recognized as a priest in Central New York. Fr. Bob has been the “pastoral leader” of the parish for the last year, but out of deference to the bishop’s request, has until now not celebrated the Eucharist, although he wears a clergy collar, and vests in a stole for all liturgies, preaches, teaches classes, presides over vestry meetings, and does every other thing one sees a rector do in a parish. Fr. Hackendorf has been ordained clergy in the Anglican Communion for almost six years, and is and has been for the last several years canonically resident in Rwanda under Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini. Archbishop Kolni’s letters dimissory were delivered to Bishop Adams just over a year ago, but Bishop Adams, while acknowledging that he got the document, has not officially accepted or rejected them within 90 days as required by canon law. Bishop Adams has not yet responded to the letter of Fr. Hackendorf (above), nor has he responded to the
letter of the wardens of the parish of January 2, 2006 which was written to him concerning the acceptance of Fr. Hackendorf in this diocese. St. Andrew’s in Syracuse with an average Sunday attendance of about 200 people has the largest attendance of any parish in the diocese, and will be starting a third regular worship service on Saturday evenings beginning Saturday, February 4, 2006 to supplement the two Sunday morning services already being held. (Comment by Raymond Dague, chancellor to St. Andrew’s vestry)

January 19, 2006

Dear Robert,

We appreciated your willingness to meet with the Standing Committee on January 10, 2006. As we listened to you speak of your vocation and desire to embrace the Episcopal Church, we felt that you have some unresolved issues concerning the Episcopal Church and your connection with the Church of Rwanda. Title III, Canon 11, section 4 would require “a promise in writing to submit in all things to the Discipline of this Church without recourse to any other ecclesiastical jurisdiction or foreign civil jurisdiction…”

At this time we cannot certify you to continue in the process, however, we are not “closing the door” for a further conversation to reengage the process. We would encourage you to continue to explore your readiness to make the required promise in light of your concerns for some of the positions that the Episcopal Church holds and might continue to hold. We pray for you, for your ministry and for your ongoing discernment.

The Rev. Kathryn Eden
President of the Standing Committee

Diocese of Central NY

CC: The Rt. Rev. Gladstone B. Adams, III, Bishop
The Very Rev. Thomas Luck, Dean
The Rev. John LaVoe
The Rev. Jennie Montgomery, Chair of the COM

Friday, January 27, 2006

Enter then, all of you, into the joy of our Lord.
First and last, receive alike your reward.
Rich and poor, dance together.
You who fasted and you who have not fasted, rejoice together.
The table is fully laden: let all enjoy it.
The calf is fatted: let none go away hungry.

Let none lament his poverty;
for the universal Kingdom is revealed.
Let none bewail his transgressions;
for the light of forgiveness has risen from the tomb.
Let none fear death;
for death of the Savour has set us free.

An Easter Sermon by John Chrysostom
Biography Art

Pennsylvania Bishop 'Committed to Staying,' Won't Resign

The Bishop of Pennsylvania, the Rt. Rev. Charles E. Bennison, Jr., has rejected a
request from the standing committee, stating in an e-mail message to the clergy that he will not resign.

After an all-day meeting with his staff on Jan. 26, Bishop Bennison said his resignation “would not be a solution to the challenges” facing the diocese. Bishop Bennison said the best way forward was to “pursue together a rigorous long-term process for addressing our problems.”

He pledged his cooperation with the reconciliation process and invited “the standing committee and all of you to be part of it.” To comply with the standing committee request would not set a proper example for the Church in the midst of its present difficulties, he said.

the rest-The Living Church

Everyone wants a piece of China, including Christians
By Edmund Chia

Everything seems to be pointing to China being the center of the world in the not too distant future. It is the world's fastest-growing economy today, with the magic figure of 1.3 billion people cited. Wal-mart sees in China 1.3 billion bodies to be clothed; Nike is counting the 1.3 billion pairs of feet; Oral-B has interest in the 1.3 billion mouths. Every entrepreneur drools over the Chinese market.

There should be a little of something for everyone. Yes, everyone, including the church.

That was why about 150 of us gathered last fall at Sant'Anselmo, a Benedictine monastery in Rome. We were Europeans and Chinese and had come for a Europe-China conference. Our conversation centered around Chung Kuok, or the Middle Kingdom, as the Chinese call their homeland.
The rest

Empathy for Sin, Sympathy for Sinners:
Brokeback Mountain and the End of the Spear Controversy
by Marc T. Newman, Ph.D.

Brokeback Mountain, from director Ang Lee, is surprising its critics. Some believed that people would not show up to see a "gay cowboy movie." But after sweeping major categories at the Golden Globe awards and positioning itself for Oscar contention, it seems to be expanding its markets every week. Some argue that it could end up bringing in more that $100 million at the box office.

The other side of the homosexual controversy this week came from an unexpected quarter. When the news broke that martyred missionary Nate Saint and his son Steve were both being portrayed in End of the Spear by Chad Allen, a man who is a homosexual activist, some Christians went berserk. Others called for a boycott of the film, arguing that attending somehow made one complicit in the "homosexualization of America." I have received more hate mail for championing End of the Spear as a God-honoring film (which it is) than for any other piece I have written in the last three years.
the rest-commentary

Billion Soul Pastors Conference Convenes All-Star Cast of Speakers
Friday, Jan. 27, 2006

Posted: 10:05:29AM EST

Nearly 2,000 attendants representing every state and from over 20 countries soaked up the wisdom and insights from key leaders at an event meant to train pastors to plant five million new churches and convert one billion new souls to Christ over the next ten years.

The Billion Soul Pastors Conference is hosting a sold-out crowd at Faith Assembly Church in Orlando, Fla., from Jan. 25-27. Its vision to complete the Great Commission has generated much excitement around the nation since 2002, when the first pastors’ conference drew more than 5,000 pastors. James O. Davis, co-founder, president and CEO of sponsoring ministry, the Global Pastors Network (GPN), said Thursday evening that this is the greatest concerted effort of evangelism in history. He said that with laser-like vision, the Great Commission can and will be fulfilled.

“It starts with a mandate from the Master. God puts vision in our hearts,” said Davis. “When God gives vision, when God puts something in your heart, you’re not chasing every rabbit any more. When He puts it in your heart, your light will be clear, [and] your direction will be crisp. We need to go where God wants us to go – to finish the Great Commission for the glory of God.” the rest

Hamas divulges'peace initiative'
Leader reveals to WND truce plan,but explains aim is to destroy Israel
Posted: January 27, 200612:27 p.m. Eastern
By Aaron Klein

JERUSALEM – Hamas, which catapulted to power in this week's Palestinian elections, will soon make public a "peace initiative" in which it will offer to trade strategic land with Israel, cease attempts to capture parts of Jerusalem, and sign a 10-year renewable cease-fire with the Jewish state, a top Hamas leader told WorldNetDaily during an exclusive interview.

But the Hamas leader said the plan, which he justified using Islamic tradition, is a temporary machination to ease international and U.S. hostility toward his group in hopes of receiving financial assistance, explaining Hamas will not give up its goal of destroying Israel.
The rest

Episcopalians Gone Wild
NBC's "Book of Daniel" didn't get much right about the Episcopal church.
by Mark D. Tooley
01/27/2006 12:00:00 AM

NBC'S lame-duck series Book of Daniel kicked up a lot of controversy during its brief run, but perhaps not for the right reasons.

Starring Aidan Quinn as Daniel, the program centers on an Episcopal priest in a posh Connecticut suburb. His wife is infatuated with martinis, one of his sons is homosexual, the other is sleeping around, his daughter is selling dope, the Jamaican housekeeper is smoking it, his brother-in-law has stolen $3.5 million from the church (after having a threesome with his wife and his secretary), and the lady bishop is having an affair with Daniel's father, who is the presiding bishop of the Episcopal church. Meanwhile, Jesus periodically appears to Daniel to dispense non-judgmental advice, except when it comes to Daniel's addiction to pain killers.

Sleeping around. Homosexuality. Thievery. Ecclesial chaos. Abuse of prescription drugs. Lots of people with more money than common sense. Is this what the U.S. Episcopal Church really looks like?

The American Family Association, an evangelical group, organized a boycott against the program because of its perceived smarmy stance towards Christianity. The AFA helped persuade 11 NBC affiliates not to broadcast Daniel. And three of the show's four major sponsors also withdrew.
the rest-very interesting!

Preaching hatred
By Diana West
January 27, 2006

Abu Hamza al-Masri, the hook-handed former imam of the notorious Finsbury Park mosque -- spiritual home to "shoe bomber" Richard Reid and "20th hijacker" Zacarias Moussaoui -- is on trial this month at the Old Bailey. Charges include nine counts of soliciting to murder, four counts of stirring up racial hatred, and two counts of possession of material related to the other charges, including the 10-volume Encyclopedia of the Afghani Jihad -- a terrorism how-to guide now immortalized in London tabloidese as "Hook's 'Bomb Big Ben' Book."

Jurors in the London case will be listening very carefully to nine audio and video recordings of sermons by Abu Hamza seized by police from the mosque, which, not at all incidentally, has also yielded a trove of weapons, hundreds of suspected forged or stolen passports, even a few hazmat suits. Also seized was a box rather helpfully labeled "jihad."
The rest

Jeffrey John breaks silence on civil partnership
Friday, 27 January 2006

The Dean of St Albans, Dr Jeffrey John, has broken his silence on civil partnerships, arguing that it is a “tragedy” that the Church cannot regard gay relationships as part of God’s work. Dr John says in the foreword to a new book published by
Affirming Catholicism that civil partnerships rightly confer exactly the same rights and responsibilities as heterosexual marriage.

His view flies in the face of Church of England bishops who have been at pains to emphasise that civil partnerships are not the same as marriage. The book is written by Jonathan Sedgwick.

In the book, Civil Partnership: A Guide for Christians, Dr John, who was forced to decline the post of Bishop of Reading after evangelical protests, says: “God made all of us, gay or straight, in his own image to reflect his kind of love.” the rest

Canadian Election Dumps Liberals
Stephen Brown
January 27, 2006

"It’s a very sad day for Canada when the Liberal government has been ousted by the Republican Right.” – Rosie O’Donnell

When an exercise in democracy makes arch-liberal Rosie O’Donnell and others of her ilk unhappy, then you know conservatives have something to cheer about.

And the election in question that has O’Donnell so downcast occurred last Monday when Canadians ended the corrupt, 12-year rule of Canada’s anti-American Liberal Party and handed power over to the America-friendly Conservative Party of Stephen Harper, Canada’s new prime minister. (Contrary to O’Donnell’s expert political analysis, Canada doesn’t have a Republican Party).

The final tally of this encouraging victory saw the Conservatives win 124 out of a total of 308 seats in Parliament, 25 more than the last election two years ago in 2004, and receive 36.3 per cent of the popular vote, enough to form a minority government. By contrast, the Liberals’ seat total dropped to 103 from 135, while they garnered only 30.2 per cent of popular vote. The socialist New Democratic Party and the Bloc Quebecois, the separatist party that campaigns only in Quebec, got 29 and 51 seats respectively, while one independent candidate also won.
the rest

Food for Thought: Whatever Happened To Masculinity?
January 26, 2006 11:24 PM EST

The recent Hollywood infatuation with homosexuality is only the latest example of how true American manhood is being systematically dismantled. Throughout our culture, masculinity is de-emphasized, even scorned.

I well remember how Ronald Reagan was castigated as being "too masculine." Truly, Reagan was the last masculine president America has had (and maybe will have). Can you imagine what today's generation of soft Americans would think of Harry Truman or Theodore Roosevelt?

By masculine, I mean a man who not only demonstrates the physical qualities of ruggedness but who also possesses inner toughness. A man who says what he means and means what he says. A man who recognizes the importance of honesty. A man of noble principle. A man without covetousness. A man who cannot be bribed or bullied. A man committed to manly virtues. A man who is the head of his home and knows how to control and discipline his children. A man who loves justice but also knows tenderness and mercy. A man who fears God and shows reverence for the sacred. A man who knows the difference between the rule of law and the lust for power. On the whole, our society today has little tolerance for such men. Even in our churches, masculinity is dying.
the rest

Thursday, January 26, 2006

God Routs Fear
Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel. (Numbers 23:23)

How this should cut up root and branch all silly, superstitious fears! Even if there were any truth in witchcraft and omens, they could not affect the people of the Lord. Those whom God blessed, devils cannot curse.

Ungodly men, like Balaam, may cunningly plot the overthrow of the Lord's Israel; but with all their secrecy and policy they are doomed to fail. Their powder is damp; the edge of their sword is blunted. They gather together; but as the Lord is not with them, they gather together in vain. We may sit still and let them weave their nets, for we shall not be taken in them. Though they call in the aid of Beelzebub and employ all his serpentine craft, it will avail them nothing: the spells will not work, the divination will deceive them. What a blessing this is! How it quiets the heart! God's Jacobs wrestle with God, but none shall wrestle with them and prevail. God's Israels have to prevail against them. We need not fear the fiend himself, nor any of those secret enemies whose words are full of deceit and whose plans are deep and unfathomable. They cannot hurt those who trust in the living God. We defy the devil and all his legions.

CH Spurgeon

"The Last Word" by Tom Wright. A Review
The Last Word - Beyond the Bible Wars to a New Understanding of the Authority of Scripture.

N. T. Wright (San Francisco: Harper, 2005) US$19.95A

Review by Richard Kew

Five years ago, when it was still possible for those of differing viewpoints have a relatively fair exchange of idea, I was drinking coffee with the rector of a large Episcopal congregation who is on the left hand side of the issues troubling us. One thing we agreed upon was the desperate need to deal with hermeneutics and the authority of Scripture. We both love the bible intensely, and neither of us was necessarily comfortable with the way "our side" handled it, so we felt the time had come to get this skunk out onto the table. Alas, events overtook us, and such a conversation is probably no longer possible in today's charge atmosphere.

Yet having read Tom Wright's latest book on the nature of Scripture's authority, I think we have here a tool which might help break up some of that logjam. In his preface, the Bishop of Durham says he was spurred to write about the authority of Scripture as a direct result of his significant involvement in the International Anglican Doctrinal and Theology Commission, as well as the Lambeth Commission which produced the Windsor Report. He dedicates the book to Bishop Stephen Sykes and Archbishop Robin Eames, the respective chairs of those panels.
The rest

Two Dead after Attack on Church Construction in Egypt

Two Coptic Christians are reported dead and at least ten others were injured when a group of Muslim youths attempted to stop the construction of a new Coptic church building in the village of el-Udaysaat near the southern Egyptian town of Luxor . The attack took place in the early morning of January 19 when the youths set fire to building materials. They claimed the church did not have permission to build. According to reports from the U.S. Copts Association, police officers who arrived at the scene did little to stop the violence or protect the Christians. Those who died of injuries were Kamal Shaker and a thirteen-year-old boy, George Shahata. Shahata is reported to have died as the result of a heart condition that was exacerbated by the attack.


Iraq's WMD Secreted in Syria, Sada Says
By IRA STOLL - Staff Reporter of the Sun
January 26, 2006

The man who served as the no. 2 official in Saddam Hussein's air force says Iraq moved weapons of mass destruction into Syria before the war by loading the weapons into civilian aircraft in which the passenger seats were removed.

The Iraqi general, Georges Sada, makes the charges in a new book, "
Saddam's Secrets," released this week. He detailed the transfers in an interview yesterday with The New York Sun.
"There are weapons of mass destruction gone out from Iraq to Syria, and they must be found and returned to safe hands," Mr. Sada said. "I am confident they were taken over."

Mr. Sada's comments come just more than a month after Israel's top general during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Moshe Yaalon, told the Sun that Saddam "transferred the chemical agents from Iraq to Syria."
The rest

Sleep Disorders Increase After Abortion Says New Study

SPRINGFIELD, IL, January 25, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A new study published in Sleep, the official journal of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, has found that women who experienced abortion were more likely to be treated for sleep disorders or disturbances compared to women who gave birth.

The researchers, David Reardon of the Springfield, Ill.-based Elliot Institute and Priscilla Coleman of the University of Bowling Green, examined medical records for 56,284 low-income women in California who gave birth or underwent an abortion in the first six months of 1989. Researchers examined data for medical treatment for these women from July 1988 to June 1994 and excluded women who had been treated for sleep disturbances or disorders in the 12 to 18 months prior to abortion or delivery.

Christians Angered by Kanye West Mockery
Jason Barnes and Jim Meyers
Thursday, Jan. 26, 2006

Christian activists are outraged by a Rolling Stone magazine cover that depicts rapper Kanye West as a Christ figure with a crown of thorns atop his head.

The image on the magazine's upcoming issue due out on newsstands Friday - shows the controversial Grammy nominee with "blood" streaming down his face, mimicking the passion of Christ during his torture and crucifixion.

Offended Christian groups have called the cover image "sacrilegious" and an insult to Christians. One Christian leader even suggests the depiction is racist.
The rest

Gay Marriage Ban Advances Toward Va. Referendum
Md. Lawmakers Offer Similar Bill
By Chris L. Jenkins
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 26, 2006

RICHMOND, Jan. 25 -- The state Senate all but guaranteed on Wednesday that Virginia will hold a November referendum on whether to amend its 230-year-old Bill of Rights to bar same-sex marriages.

The Senate voted 28 to 11 to follow the House of Delegates in approving the amendment. Though each chamber still must pass the measure adopted by the other, their wording is identical and support among the senators and delegates is strong.
The rest

Islamic fundamental networks are turning Spain into a nursery for martyrs in Iraq
Mélchor Sáiz-Pardo

“Spain has become the centre of a network of Al Qaeda terrorist cells, whose task is to recruit Jihad fighters prepared to die in Iraq.” So said a senior police office last week, and the figures he produces would seem to support his statement. Last year alone, the police disbanded four groups dedicated to the recruitment of ‘martyrs’ for the cause, which is to perpetrate suicide attacks against the occupation forces in Iraq.

More than 50 people have been arrested by the Spanish police since June 2005, accused of belonging to terrorist cells involved in recruitment. It was then that police operations against these terrorists began, with names like Operations Tigris, Sello, La Unión, Jackal, Chameleon and Genesis. The number of recruiters arrested in Spain is almost as large as the number arrested for the same reason in the rest of the entire European Union during the same period.

We are making far too many laws, says Archbishop
By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

TONY BLAIR’S Government was condemned yesterday by the Archbishop of York for passing too much legislation and risking debasement of the law as a result.

The Most Rev John Sentamu, speaking after being sworn in to the House of Lords, made clear that he would be an active member of the Upper House. His background as a lawyer and judge in the Uganda of Idi Amin will make him a valuable addition to the 26 bishops.

The Archbishop said: “What I feel very strongly about is when you make a lot of laws all the time, one has to be extremely careful they are not made in haste.” He called for a study on exactly how many laws had been passed since Labour was elected in 1997. “I think there have been too many,” he said. “The more laws you pass, the greater the insecurity you create in society.”
The rest

Passionate prose is a real revelation
By Ruth Gledhill

I STARTED reading Deus Caritas Est expecting to be disappointed, chastised and generally laid low. An encyclical on love from a right-wing pope could only contain more damning condemnations of our materialistic, westernised society, more evocations of the “intrinsic evil” of contraception, married priests, homosexuality. It would surely continue the Church’s grand tradition of contempt for the erotic, a tradition that ensures a guilty hangover in any Roman Catholic who dares to indulge in lovemaking for any reason other than the primary one of reproduction. How wonderful it is to be proven wrong.

The first half of the encyclical, the part on eros written by the new Pope himself, is a startling revelation, almost akin to reading one of George’s Herbert’s poems on love and God, or C.S. Lewis’ The Four Loves. The language itself verges at times on the erotic.
The rest

Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester Issues Inhibition Against Rector of Embattled Church
January 26, 2006

Contact:: Raymond J. Dague 315-422-2052

The Rt. Rev. Jack McKelvey, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, with approval of the diocesan Standing Committee, today inhibited the Rev. David Harnish, Rector of All Saints, Rochester, charging the priest with “abandonment of communion.” The inhibition attempts to prevent Father Harnish from fulfilling his role and “priestly functions” as rector of All Saints, but it is unenforceable as Father Harnish is currently under the jurisdictional authority of the Anglican province of Uganda, and not under the Diocese of Rochester.

“The Bishop’s action is a little like a nasty employer who claims to be firing an employee after that employee quit last year to work for another company where he would be treated better,” said Raymond Dague, the attorney for the parish. “A priest works for his parish, and not the bishop, but the idea is the similar.”

Bishop McKelvey’s actions follow a trend in dioceses across the country in which revisionist bishops misapply and abuse canon law in order to take disciplinary action against clergy who oppose their revisionism. The charge of “abandonment of communion” is a church law provision applicable in cases of clergy who leave the Episcopal Church to join a different denomination or religion, and a step usually accompanied by a renunciation of their Episcopal ordination vows. Serving under the Anglican Church of Uganda, Father Harnish remains a priest in good standing within the Anglican Communion anywhere in the world. In declaring Father Harnish out of communion with the Diocese of Rochester, Bishop McKelvey and the Standing Committee appear to be declaring themselves out of communion with Uganda.

Bishop McKelvey’s inhibition of Father Harnish is the latest punitive action the diocese has directed toward All Saints and their rector. During the diocesan convention November 18-19, 2005, delegates voted to declare All Saints Episcopal Church “extinct.” In so doing, the diocese violated both its canon [church] law and a New York statute

Canon 13 of the Diocese of Rochester provides for a parish to be declared extinct if and when “it shall appear to the Bishop and the Council that a congregation organized as a parish has ceased to fulfill the requirements under the Religious and Corporations Law of the State of New York…”. The religious corporations law outlines clear criteria for determining whether or not a church can be declared extinct: the church has failed to maintain services for two consecutive years. The statutes specify an additional criteria for Episcopal parishes to be declared extinct: when they have an insufficient number of individuals qualified to serve on the vestry [church board] for two consecutive years. All Saints in Rochester has maintained continuous religious services since it was founded 80 years ago, and held elections last month electing new members to its vestry.

“All Saints is an ongoing parish which in no way meets the requirements of law to be declared extinct,” said Dague. “The bishop has abused his power and run roughshod over canon and civil law in his attempt to destroy a biblically faithful congregation.”

The Episcopal Church is currently recognized as a member of the Anglican Communion, but that status is threatened given the current crisis within the Anglican Communion. Twenty-two of 38 primates have declared broken or impaired communion with the Episcopal Church of the United States of America (ECUSA), and the vast majority of the Communion believes ECUSA has abandoned the faith and practice of Anglicanism as well as historic Christian teaching.

Standing Committee Asks Bishop Bennison to Resign

By unanimous vote, the standing committee of the Diocese of Pennsylvania has asked its Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Charles E. Bennison, Jr., to retire or resign.

In a letter to diocesan clergy dated Jan. 25, Bishop Bennison said he was “seriously praying about the standing committee’s request,” and called for prayer “for me, for our colleagues throughout the diocese, and above all for the unity and health of our diocese.”

In recent years, the diocese has spent $9.6 million in unrestricted net assets in order to meet program expenses as parochial contributions have declined. Bishop Bennison opened the diocese’s 222nd convention on Nov. 5 with a call to affirm his leadership. “If you feel I’m not leading you effectively, tell me, and if I feel it is God’s will, I’ll resign,” he said as reported in the diocesan newspaper, The Pennsylvania Episcopalian.

Convention rejected the proposed $4.8 million budget. It also rejected a proposed mandatory parochial assessment and approved a resolution calling for the election by convention of finance and property committee members, removing their appointment from the bishop’s authority.

On Jan 14., Diocesan Council approved an interim budget, cutting spending by $318,000, and asked that a special convention be held on March 25 to resolve the financial impasse.

The Living Church

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

You can also offer your prayers, obedience, and endurance of dryness to Our Lord, for the good of other souls, and then you have practiced intercession. Never mind if it all seems for the time very second-hand. The less you get out of it, the nearer it approaches to being something worth offering; and the humiliation of not being able to feel as devout as we want to be, is excellent for most of us. Use vocal prayer... very slowly, trying to realize the meaning with which it is charged and remember that... you are only a unit in the Chorus of the Church, so that the others will make good the shortcomings you cannot help.
... Evelyn Underhill

The American Anglican Council Expresses Grave Concern Over Nominees for Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church
January 25, 2006

The Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop for the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) announced today their nominations for Presiding Bishop: the Rt. Rev. J. Neil Alexander, Bishop of Atlanta; the Rt. Rev. Edwin F. Gulick, Jr., Bishop of Kentucky; the Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Bishop of Nevada; and the Rt. Rev. Henry N. Parsley, Jr., Bishop of Alabama. Given the Anglican Communion’s call for the Episcopal Church to choose to walk together or walk apart, the choice of candidates for Presiding Bishop makes a strong statement.

If the Episcopal Church had any intention of repentance, candidates would clearly adhere to the authority of Scripture, affirm the apostolic faith, and commit to the immediate cessation of ordination/consecration of non-celibate homosexuals as well as the blessings of same-sex unions. We are deeply disturbed that the list of nominees does not include any candidate who is representative of orthodox Anglicanism. the rest

New law poses threat to Christian preachers
Date: Jan 27

A “CHILLING CULTURE of intimidation and investigation” could be the result of the Government’s religious hatred law, according to leading opponents after the Bill passed its final reading in the House of Lords this week. Don Horrocks of the Evangelical Alliance criticised the Church of England for “too readily accepting the Government’s line”.

Mr Horrocks said that although the Bill had been amended by the House of Lords with the so-called ‘Lester amendment’, whose key purpose was to ensure that ‘intent’ to incite religious hatred was put on the face of the Bill, the Government had added ‘recklessness’. He said he, and lawyers the EA had consulted, believed that it would be very difficult to defend against such a vague charge like recklessness. “This is a recipe for extremists and martyrs. We already know we have extremists in the Christian community, they are certainly there in the Muslim faith and perhaps other faiths as well,” he said.
the rest