Thursday, May 31, 2007

Believe that when you come into the presence of God you can have all you came for. You can take it away, and you can use it, for all the power of God is at your disposal in response to your faith. ...Smith Wigglesworth photo

New Hampshire adopts law allowing gay civil union
By Brian Early
May 31, 2007

CONCORD, New Hampshire (Reuters) - New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch signed a law on Thursday allowing same-sex civil unions that give gays and lesbians nearly the same rights as married couples.

The measure will take effect January 1 and make New Hampshire the fourth U.S. state to allow same-sex civil unions, marking a transformation in the traditionally conservative state.
the rest

Notorious spammer arrested
June 1, 2007

A man described as one of the world's most prolific spammers was arrested, and US authorities said computer users across the Web could notice a decrease in the amount of junk email.

Robert Alan Soloway, 27, is accused of using networks of compromised "zombie" computers to send out millions of spam emails.

"He's one of the top 10 spammers in the world," said Tim Cranton, a Microsoft Corp lawyer who is senior director of the company's Worldwide internet Safety Programs. "He's a huge problem for our customers. This is a very good day."
the rest

Common Cause Council of Bishops Set for Sept. 25 - 28
May 31, 2007

Bishops from the Anglican Communion Network, the Anglican Mission in the Americas (including the Anglican Coalition in Canada), the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, the Anglican Network in Canada, the Anglican Province of America, Forward in Faith North America and the Reformed Episcopal Church are invited to attend the first-ever Common Cause Council of Bishops in Pittsburgh, PA, September 25-28.

Two of the Common Cause Partners, the American Anglican Council and Anglican Essentials Canada, are not ecclesial jurisdictions and do not have bishops. Several other Anglican jurisdictions are currently in the membership process.

Since its formation in 2004, Anglican bodies connected to each other through Common Cause have committed to working together for "a Biblical, missionary and united Anglicanism in North America." Together, they have crafted a common theological statement and articles of federation. Both are being considered and adopted by each Common Cause Partner."

By the time we meet, the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church will have given its response to the Anglican Communion as to its decision to 'walk apart.' By contrast, I expect our gathering to signal a new level of 'walking together' both with each other and with the wider Anglican world," wrote Anglican Communion Network Moderator and Common Cause convener Bishop Robert Duncan. The meeting, said Bishop Duncan, is the result of many years of work toward Anglican unity, work responding to resolutions of both the Lambeth Conference of Bishops and The Episcopal Church's General Convention.

the rest at Virtueonline

Mexico's High Court Will Hear Case Against Abortion Law
By The Associated Press

Thu, May. 31 2007

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's Supreme Court said Tuesday it will hear a legal challenge to a landmark Mexico City abortion law while the capital's mayor promised hospitals would carry on performing abortions until judges ruled on the case.

Supreme Court Justice Sergio Salvador Aguirre said arguments that abortions violate the constitutional right to life were strong enough to warrant a full review that could lead to the law being thrown out. The court did not announce a date for opening deliberations.

The heated debate over abortion pits Mexico City's leftist government against conservative President Felipe Calderon and the influential Roman Catholic Church. The legal challenges were filed by two federal agencies, the Attorney General's Office and National Human Rights Commission.

The law allowing abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy was approved last month by the leftist-dominated Mexico City assembly.
the rest

Mitt's Mormonism and the 'Evangelical Vote'
Can conservative Protestants vote for a member of what they consider a cult?

Robert Millet and Gerald McDermott

As we enter the summer, Mitt Romney remains the most conservative among the top three candidates for the Republican presidential nomination. But can Romney get the votes of evangelicals, whose support is essential to winning the nomination?

Romney is attractive to evangelicals for a number of reasons. Unlike Rudy Giuliani and John McCain, Romney is clearly conservative on both social and fiscal issues. He talks about the need to protect traditional marriage and is opposed to abortion on demand and stem-cell research. He was also a successful venture capitalist who, after running his own company, rescued the 2002 Winter Olympics from financial disaster. Furthermore, Romney can claim political success. As a conservative governor in liberal Massachusetts, he eliminated an inherited deficit and pushed through major healthcare reform.

the rest

'Jane Roe' wants Sam Brownback in the White House
Jim Brown
May 31, 2007

The woman who was at the center of the Roe v. Wade court decision legalizing abortion more than three decades ago is endorsing Kansas Senator Sam Brownback for president.

Norma McCorvey -- "Jane Roe" in the landmark Supreme Court case -- was once an abortion activist but is currently living a life dedicated to overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling. Two years ago, McCorvey unsuccessfully petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn the infamous decision. Now she is backing the one GOP presidential candidate she believes would succeed in outlawing abortion -- Sam Brownback, the senior senator from Kansas.
the rest

Malaysia Top Court Doesn’t Honor Muslim’s Conversion
Published: May 31, 2007

Malaysia, May 30 — Malaysia’s highest court on Wednesday refused to recognize the conversion of a Muslim-born woman to Christianity, ruling that the matter was beyond the jurisdiction of the country’s civil courts and should be handled by religious authorities.

The Federal Court was divided 2 to 1, with the only non-Muslim judge, Richard Malanjum, dissenting forcefully and arguing that the Constitution must remain the supreme law of the land.
Muslims, who make up about 60 percent of Malaysia’s population of nearly 25 million, have coexisted with Buddhists, Christians, Hindus and Sikhs for decades in one of the world’s most progressive and modern Muslim democracies. But the ruling underlined the increasing separation of Muslims from others and reinforced the notion that Islamic law should have primacy over secular laws in certain aspects of Muslims’ lives.
the rest

NYT: Christian Convert May Leave Malaysia

Google Maps Show Faces On Streets
Wednesday, May 30, 2007

BoingBoing reader Mary Kalin-Casey says, The new Google Maps zoom feature zooms all the way into my living room window. See cat on cat perch. I'm all for mapping, but this feature literally gives me the shakes. I feel like I need to close all my curtains now. I'm going to look into whether it's possible for a person to have pictures of their home removed from Google Maps. Meanwhile, I'm happy to show bb readers the photo in the interest of illustrating creepy privacy violations. Heck, the whole world can see him anyway.
Boing Boing

Click Here For The Full Story



Wisconsin Pro-Life Group Wins Court Case on Judicial Election Info
by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 30, 2007

Madison WI ( -- When most candidates for elected office throw their name in the hat, it's easy for pro-life organizations like Wisconsin Right to Life to ask them where they stand on important pro-life issues. The answers to the questions guide pro-life voters, but the group can't ask candidates for judicial offices the same sorts of questions.

That problem could change now that the pro-life group has won a victory in court.

Federal District Court Judge John Shabaz has granted a permanent injunction against provisions of the Wisconsin Code of Judicial Conduct that prohibit state court judicial candidates from responding to a questionnaire asking their views on legal and political issues.
the rest

Brazil Ignores Pope, Subsidizes Birth Control
May 30, 2007 - Brazilians may soon have their government help pay for birth control pills, despite objections from the Pope in this predominately Catholic country.

Less than a month after Pope Benedict XVI condemned state-funded birth control measures during a visit to Brazil, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva unveiled a new program to provide cheap birth control pills at 10,000 drug stores.

Silva's program aims to sharply decrease unwanted pregnancies in Latin America's largest nation, he said. Silva says the plan gives poor Brazilians the same right to plan children as the wealthy.
the rest

Anglican Communion Looks to Develop Theological Education
Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2007

As part of its commitment to helping to strengthen Anglican theological education on a regional basis, TEAC, the Primates Working Party on Theological Education, has announced that three part-time Regional Associates have been appointed to work with and alongside TEAC's Secretary, Clare Amos.

The three Regional Associates were selected for their roles on the advice of their Primates or senior Provincial colleagues. All three made a valuable contribution to the recent TEAC 'Anglican Way' meeting held in Singapore.

Archbishop Rowan Williams and the other members of TEAC present in Singapore welcomed the appointment of these talented and enthusiastic people to these key roles supporting theological education in the Anglican Communion.
the rest

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Prayer pulls the rope below and the great bell rings above in the ears of God. Some scarcely stir the bell, for they pray so languidly. Others give but an occasional pluck at the rope. But he who wins with heaven is the man who grasps the rope boldly and pulls continuously, with all his might. ...Charles Spurgeon photo

CANA Welcomes Recent Growth

Members of four former congregations of The Episcopal Church were among six churches welcomed into the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) recently, according to a press release.

Trinity Church, Bristol, Conn., is one of the so-called “Connecticut Six” parishes that have been involved in a public dispute with the Bishop of Connecticut, the Rt. Rev. Andrew D. Smith. The parishes have not supported the diocese financially for the past two years. The Rev. Donald Helmandollar, rector of Trinity, told the Bristol Press he had sent a letter May 29 informing Bishop Smith of the parish’s decision. Bishop Smith said he had not yet seen the letter and therefore had no comment.

The parish of Trinity was founded in 1754, prior to the organization of The Episcopal Church. The Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns, missionary bishop of CANA, told the Press that the congregation probably would claim ownership of the church property.
the rest

Mass. 'gay marriage' numbers plummet
Posted on May 25, 2007
by Michael Foust

BOSTON (BP)--Following an early rush to city hall, the number of "gay marriages" in Massachusetts has plunged dramatically, and continues to decline, since such unions were legalized three years ago.

In the last seven and a half months of 2004 -- "gay marriage" became legal in mid-May that year -- 6,121 homosexual couples received marriage licenses from the state. But in 2005, that number dropped to 2,060, and in 2006, to 1,427.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health statistics, cited first by Newhouse News Service, show that of the 9,608 total "marriages" performed from 2004-2006, 64 percent were performed in the first year alone -- despite the fact it was legal for just half of that year.
the rest

Court Case Over Frozen Embryos in Texas Could Have Implications for Roe v. Wade, Los Angeles Times Reports
[May 30, 2007]

A case before the Texas Supreme Court over what should happen with three frozen embryos could have implications for Roe v. Wade -- the 1973 Supreme Court case that effectively barred state abortion bans -- the
Los Angeles Times reports. The embryos were created by a Texas couple who divorced before the woman underwent in vitro fertilization. According to the Times, several hours before Augusta Roman was scheduled to undergo IVF, her husband at the time, Randy Roman, insisted that the procedure be canceled and that the embryos be frozen. The couple later began divorce proceedings. In the case, Augusta Roman is seeking to have the three embryos that survived the freezing process implanted, and Randy Roman is seeking to have them destroyed or to remain frozen indefinitely. the rest

Matt Kennedy: Hospitality and Heretics: The Necessity of Discipline in the Anglican Communion
May 30, 2007

"We can have all the structure in the world, but if there is no core faith to uphold; no articulated standard, the structure will only serve to promote and enforce the viewpoints and positions of the most powerful party. And as various parties vie for positions of power the structure will become corrupt and useless as a vehicle for the spread of the gospel. In fact, since such a system necessarily tolerates heresy so long as heretics follow proper Communion procedure, the structure will ultimately fall prey to precisely the sort of infectious poison against which Paul and John warned so severely."

the rest at Stand Firm

Islamists to impose the veil on Iraqi women
Christian women are being warned in a letter issued by the extremist Mahdi Army to adhere to Muslim practice of wearing the veil in public. Iranian-backed cleric Moqtada al-Sadr may be involved. Mahdis demand payment from Christians.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Asia News

“Extremist Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq are at war over everything, but united by one common denominator: the persecution of Christians”. So say the faithful of Baghdad. A letter is circulating the capital, warning Christian women to wear the veil in accordance with domestic segregation. The letter is signed by the Mahdi army, linked to Moqtada al-Sadr, the radical Iraqi Shiite cleric, who the US considers the greatest threat to security in the country. Upon till now the Sunni group of “the Islamic State in Iraq” was the most violent threat to the Christian community: from their imposition of the jizya – the “compensation” demanded by the Koran from non Muslim subjects – to their expropriation of property and forced conversions to Islam. the rest

Around the World:

Eritrea Installs Controversial New Orthodox Patriarch

Belarus Church Raided Pastor Arrested on Pentecost

Evangelicals, Activists: Stronger Actions Needed in Darfur

Canada: MPs assail CBC for 'sacrilege'
By Deborah Gyapong
Canadian Catholic News

OTTAWA -- TWO Conservative Members of Parliament will seek to have the
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) answer to a House of Commons committee for a television program the Catholic Civil Rights League has described as blasphemous.

"At various points in the program, the Communion host is depicted as munchable snack food, possible poker chips and a repository for drops of LSD. Drug-laced hosts are left in the confessional for pick-up," said a May 15 League
news release about The Altar Boy Gang, a CBC television pilot aired May 11. the rest

Methodists tackle transition issue in clergy sex changes
By Julia Duin
May 30, 2007

The reappointment of a Baltimore pastor who underwent a sex-change operation is forcing local Methodists to grapple with a new issue: What to do when clergy begin their careers as one sex, then switch to the other?

The issue came to a head last week when the Rev. Drew Phoenix, 48, pastor of St. John's United Methodist Church in north Baltimore, asked to have his appointment extended through a second four-year term. Clergy appointments are routinely reviewed at annual conferences such as last week's gathering of the Baltimore-Washington Conference (BWC) at the Wardman Park Hotel in the District.
the rest

Albert Mohler: A Transgender Pastor in the Pulpit?
Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What do you do when your pastor shows up in a new gender? That question is now faced by a United Methodist church in Maryland, and the issue of transgender persons is soon to confront all churches and denominations.

The Baltimore Sun reports, the Rev. Ann Gordon is now presented as Rev. Drew Phoenix. the rest

Increase in abortions in Scotland
Tuesday, 29 May 2007

The number of abortions carried out in Scotland is continuing to rise, according to official figures.

An all-time high of 13,081 pregnancies were terminated in 2006, compared with 12,603 the previous year.

The rate of abortions was highest among women aged between 16 and 19. The NHS Tayside area had the highest figures for those aged from 15 to 44.
the rest

Jerusalem Police Authorize Gay Pride Parade But Legislation May Block Event
By Gudrun Schultz
May 29, 2007

( - Israeli police issued a preliminary letter of permission last week for a homosexual pride parade in Jerusalem, Ynet News reported May 24, but a draft bill coming before the Knesset tomorrow may block the event.

The Ministers Committee for Legislation voted Sunday to approve a bill that would give the city’s council power to ban events deemed dangerous to the public or offensive to religious groups. If the measure passes a vote in the Knesset on Wednesday, it would effectively make the gay pride parade planned for June 21 an illegal event.

“Government support for the legislation would allow the Jerusalem municipality to ban parades and marches that harm the public’s feeling and therefore prevent the humiliation of the holy city by devious and marginal groups,” said Minister Eli Yishai.
the rest

4000 Protest Against Christian Persecution in India
Wednesday, May 30, 2007

More than 4000 protesters took part in a rally in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday to demand that the Indian Government acts to quell the recent increase in violence against Christians, which includes two attacks broadcast on national television.

The rally started at 10am local time and at 1pm the protesters marched toward the Indian Parliament. Organisers also released an open letter to the Government outlining their demands.

The rally was called in response to two attacks against Christians which were televised on several news channels. Christian leaders are concerned that copycat attacks could take place in the future unless the Government vocalises opposition to these and other similar attacks, many of which are committed with impunity, Christian Solidarity Worldwide has said.
the rest

Malaysia rejects Christian appeal
Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Ms Joy was disowned by her family and forced to quit her jobMalaysia's highest court has rejected a Muslim convert's six-year battle to be legally recognised as a Christian.

A three-judge panel ruled that only the country's Sharia Court could let Azlina Jailani, now known as Lina Joy, remove the word Islam from her identity card.

Malaysia's constitution guarantees freedom of worship but says all ethnic Malays are Muslim. Under Sharia law, Muslims are not allowed to convert.

Ms Joy said she should not be bound by that law as she is no longer a Muslim.
the rest

Anglican Church in a 'mess' over gay bishop row
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent

A senior Anglican conservative witheringly described the state of the worldwide Church as "a mess" and "awful" yesterday as the Archbishop of Canterbury prepared to take a three-month break.

The criticism will come as a blow to Dr Rowan Williams, who last week attempted to placate the Church's conservative wing by snubbing the Church's first openly gay bishop.

Dr Williams announced that Bishop Gene Robinson
will not be invited to next year's Lambeth Conference, the 10-yearly gathering of all the Church's 850-plus bishops in Canterbury.

the rest

Polls: Most believe Bible as God's word
By Jennifer Harper
May 30, 2007

More than three-quarters of Americans believe the Bible is literally the word of God or inspired by the word of God, according to a trio of Gallup surveys, with 19 percent saying the Good Book is a compendium of myth and legend.

The three surveys found that an average 31 percent of the respondents said that "the Bible is absolutely accurate and should be taken literally word for word," according to Frank Newport, editor in chief of the Gallup Poll.

Forty-seven percent said the Bible was "the inspired word of God," and 19 percent said it was a book of ancient fables, history and "moral precepts" recorded by man.
the rest

After schism, Connecticut church becomes ally of Nigerian sect
May 30, 2007

BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) _ One of the six Episcopal churches in Connecticut that tried to break ranks with the state's bishop after the appointment of an openly gay bishop has joined the more conservative Anglican Church of Nigeria, church officials said.

Trinity Episcopal Church in Bristol, as of Sunday, became part of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, said Trinity's rector, the Rev. Donald Helmandollar. The convocation is a self-described mission of the Nigerian church serving Episcopalians who hold traditional beliefs.

"We have remained with the Anglican Communion. The Episcopal Church has demonstrated, continues to demonstrate, that they are walking apart from the communion," Helmandollar said.
the rest

CANADA: Orthodox Anglican Theologians Weigh in on ACC Sexual Ethics Resolutions
New Westminster Bishop Michael Ingham Singled Out

Pentecost 2007

Dear General Synod Delegates,

We are a group of academic theologians serving in parishes or theological institutions who are committed to the welfare of the Anglican Church of Canada, and we are writing to you out of grave concern for the integrity of our Christian community. We are disturbed by the proposed motions coming out of the Council of General Synod's March meeting. We believe that these motions do not reflect the implications of the St Michael Report, and that even to treat them as legitimate options is to neglect the kind of discussion the Report encourages and our Church deserves. In particular, we affirm the following:

1. Sexual ethics is a doctrinally serious matter. Bishop Ingham has recently said, 'Christianity as a religion stands in need of a better theology of sexuality, a better understanding of the complex role sexuality plays in our human nature, and of the purposes of God in creating us as sexual beings, [. . .]' (address delivered in Ottawa on 7 March 2007). The St Michael Report could have been cited in support of this statement, and the question of 'the purposes of God in creating us as sexual beings' is the subject of over half of the Report. Indeed, the Report identifies six central doctrines that must be engaged in any discussion of sexual ethics, and it classifies the matter of the blessing of same-sex unions as doctrinally 'important' (§ 3). We submit that a matter of this gravity should not be dealt with in the manner of a simple resolution.

the rest at Virtueonline

Breakaway Anglicans 'Glad' to be Out of Episcopal Church
The latest withdrawal from The Episcopal Church has left the breakaway Colorado Springs parish divided between congregants assured of their split and others who are confused.

by Lillian Kwon, Christian Today US Correspondent
Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The latest withdrawal from The Episcopal Church has left the breakaway Colorado Springs parish divided between congregants assured of their split and others who are confused.

A day after a vote to break away from The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Colorado, Grace Church and St Stephen's Parish held its three weekly worship services on Pentecost Sunday with over 500 parishioners who agreed with the vote. Although the congregation was reduced by about 27 percent, the spirit of the breakaway church was anything but sombre.

Parishioners carried the Anglican Communion's Compass Rose flag, replacing the flag of The Episcopal Church, in a procession as the congregation celebrated their continued commitment to the Anglican Communion. The Rev Don Armstrong, rector of the church, met applause from the congregation when he announced the final votes and again after he finished delivering his sermon on Pentecost.
the rest

Christians in China border valley keep sweet faith
By Emma Graham-Harrison
May 30, 2007

GONGSHAN, China (Reuters) - When China's communist army razed his church, Jesse's grandfather climbed into the forests stacked up above his valley and carved a hole in the trunk of a tree to hide his bible.

Half a century later the wilderness is retreating but his grandson, sitting in front of the church and scripture school rebuilt from scratch, no longer needs it.

His unusual Protestant faith -- which bans smoking and drinking, celebrates the most sacred communion ritual with honey instead of wine and calls followers to five singing and dancing services a week -- is spreading fast.

"I heard the music when I was walking past the church, it drew me in," says weatherbeaten farmer He Chunhua, a recent convert and the only Christian in his family.
the rest

Ugandan Primate Restates Intention to Boycott Lambeth

The Church of Uganda will boycott the 2008 Lambeth Conference if the bishops who participated in the New Hampshire consecration are seated at the gathering of bishops from across the Anglican Communion.

In a statement released on May 30, Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda stated that as Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams had extended invitations to “all the American bishops who consented to, participated in, and have continued to support the consecration” of Bishop V. Gene Robinson in New Hampshire, the Church of Uganda would honor the commitment it made last December and not attend.

On Dec. 9, the Ugandan House of Bishops unanimously endorsed "The Road to Lambeth", a
statement prepared by the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA), which stated its members “will definitely not attend any Lambeth Conference to which the violators of the Lambeth Resolution [1.10] are also invited as participants or observers.” On May 22, Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria noted his church’s participation in the conference was also in doubt because of its affirmation of the CAPA statement. the rest

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

"At that day ye shall ask in My name . . ." "The Father Himself loveth you." John 16:26, 27

"At that day ye shall ask in My name," i.e., in My nature. Not - "You shall use My name as a magic word," but - "You will be so intimate with Me that you will be one with Me." "That day" is not a day hereafter, but a day meant for here and now. "The Father Himself loveth you" - the union is so complete and absolute. Our Lord does not mean that life will be free from external perplexities, but that just as He knew the Father's heart and mind, so by the baptism of the Holy Ghost He can lift us into the heavenly places where He can reveal the counsels of God to us.

"Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name. . . ." "That day" is a day of undisturbed relationship between God and the saint. Just as Jesus stood unsullied in the presence of His Father, so by the mighty efficacy of the baptism of the Holy Ghost, we can be lifted into that relationship - "that they may be one, even as We are One."

"He will give it you." Jesus says that God will recognize our prayers. What a challenge! By the Resurrection and Ascension power of Jesus, by the sent-down Holy Ghost, we can be lifted into such a relationship with the Father that we are at one with the perfect sovereign will of God by our free choice even as Jesus was. In that wonderful position, placed there by Jesus Christ, we can pray to God in His name, in His nature, which is gifted to us by the Holy Ghost, and Jesus says - "Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you." The sovereign character of Jesus Christ is tested by His own statements.

...Oswald Chambers photo

CANA Welcomes New Congregations
Three Congregations Join CANA on Pentecost Weekend

(Fairfax, Virginia) Congregations in Connecticut, Florida, and Colorado have joined the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) during the past several days. CANA now has 37 registered churches in 15 states plus the District of Columbia, plus several non-parochial priests ministering in Iraq, Israel, and the United States.

the rest

Trinity Seminary Names AMiA Bishop Rodgers Interim Dean

The Rt. Rev. John H. Rodgers, Jr., has been appointed interim dean at Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry. He will serve for one year beginning Aug. 1 while Trinity searches for a permanent successor for the Very Rev. Paul F.M. Zahl, who announced May 10 that he would resign effective at the end of July.

Bishop Rodgers is dean and president emeritus, having served as dean of Trinity from 1978 to 1990. He is also a trustee emeritus at Trinity and a former member of the faculty at Virginia Theological Seminary.

In 2000, Bishop Rodgers and the Rt. Rev. Charles H. Murphy III were consecrated bishops for the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA), part of the Anglican Church of Rwanda. Bishop Rodgers previously retired from active service with the AMiA.
the rest

US isolates traveler infected with super-TB
Tue May 29, 2007
By Will Dunham

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has isolated a man who may have exposed fellow passengers on two transatlantic flights to a strain of tuberculosis that is extremely hard to treat, officials said on Tuesday.

It was the first time the federal government has issued such an isolation order since at least 1963, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding said authorities were trying to notify passengers who traveled aboard Air France 385 from Atlanta to Paris on May 13 and back to the United States from Prague on Czech Air Flight 0104 on May 24. the rest

Mild Bird Flu 'Could Cause Pandemic Too'...

Museum opens to defend biblical creation account
Allie Martin
May 28, 2007

Gary Moore is Judge Executive of Boone County . He said the museum will impact much more than just the local area.

"We know that the message that you will promote here and that you will teach here is a message that our world needs to hear today," Moore said. "And I thank you for that."

The 60 thousand square foot museum features a walk-through exhibit of Biblical history, including a model of a portion of Noah's Ark, animatronic dinosaurs and a planetarium.
the rest

Get Religion: Baltimore Sun ‘perceives’ an Episcopal trend
Posted by tmatt
Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Clearly, the
Anglican vs. Episcopal warfare is just getting started at the local level here in the United States, which means that more and more religion reporters are going to have to wade into this journalistic swamp in the weeks, months and years ahead.

This time around, it was reporter Liz F. Kay of the Baltimore Sun,
writing about a Pentecost service attended by Anglican Bishop Hector Zavala of Chile, who was visiting a missionary parish of his diocese that is located in Baltimore County.

The heart of the story comes early, in the grit-your-teeth-and-write-it background paragraphs that reporters simply have to write in order to help readers understand what is, supposedly, going on. So here is Kay’s shot at this almost impossible task:

The Church of the Resurrection is one of many in the United States forming relationships with foreign bishops after growing increasingly dissatisfied with the perceived liberal direction of the Episcopal Church, the U.S. arm of the international Anglican Communion.

For several Resurrection members, the 2003 election of the Rev. V. Gene Robinson, who is openly gay, as bishop of New Hampshire was a recent — but not the only — evidence of a church straying from biblical values and truths.

Reisterstown resident Vince Clews, a founding member of Church of the Resurrection, said its formation after Robinson’s election may imply homophobia but had more to do with public statements by Episcopal bishops who don’t believe in tenets such as the divinity of Jesus, his resurrection or virgin birth.
the rest

Christian Colleges' Green Revolution
From the cafeteria to the classroom, students are learning to be environmentally conscious.

Cindy Crosby
posted 5/25/2007

Flush twice. It's required at Calvin College's Vincent and Helen Bunker Interpretive Center's restrooms; once before, once after. The flushed water, which is the consistency of a bubble bath, washes waste to an underground room. There, preserve manager Cheryl Hoogewind and I climb up on a metal receptacle and look into a huge bin of waste that smells pleasantly of wood chips. This compost will eventually be spread as fertilizer on the college grounds.

Above us in the 5,000-square-foot building, a student-designed solar photovoltaic system generates electricity from sunlight; meanwhile, gray water from drinking fountains and sinks nourishes plants lining the classroom windowsills. It's all part of the Bunker Center's environmental sustainability.
the rest

Bhutto calls for protection of Christian
May 28 2007

The leader of Pakistan's largest opposition party, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, on Monday demanded government protection for the country's minority Christian population following bomb threats by Islamic extremists.

"The primary aim of a government is to provide protection to the life, liberty and pursuit of livelihood of the citizens," Bhutto said in a statement. "Any government who cannot do this, must resign and make way for another that can give such protection," she added.

More than 500 Christians living the cities of Mardan and Charsadda in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) in recent weeks received written threats that they would be targeted in suicide attacks if they did not convert to Islam.
the rest HT magic statistics

Asian Americans Fast Becoming Dominant Face of Elite Campus Evangelicalism
Top U.S. Campuses Seeing Rise of Asian American Evangelicals
Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Thu, May. 24 2007

On many of the nation's elite university campuses, Asian American evangelicals have increasingly become exemplars of evangelical piety. They're fast dominating Christian campus groups and campus fellowship leaders say they're just touching the tip of the ethnic group.

Asian Americans make up 4.4 percent of the U.S. population. At Ivy League colleges like Yale, Harvard, and Columbia, they constitute more than 15 percent of student enrollment and over 40 percent at UC Berkeley, UCLA and UC Irvine, according to Rebecca Y. Kim, author of God's New Whiz Kids?.

And many of the Christian fellowships on campus that were predominantly white are now predominantly Asian American. There are 50 evangelical Christian groups at UC Berkeley and UCLA alone, and 80 percent of their members are Asian American, Kim wrote.
the rest

Little Stone Bridges:
A book by Sarah Hey from Stand Firm

This is what The Rev. Canon Ashley Null writes about it:

"This is the one book that 'progressive' Episcopal rectors will learn to dread falling into the hands of their parishioners. Its theology is biblically sound, its analysis politically shrewd, and its strategies thoroughly practical. Above all else, however, it is deeply pastorally sensitive. No proud, preening, holier-than-thou attitudes here. Only a humble honesty that all sides in the current battles need the ongoing, transforming love and forgiveness found only in Jesus' death and resurrection."

Order Here

Original essay at Stand Firm

Newspaper to city: Quit attacking pro-lifers
Editorial says protesters have constitutional rights, too

Posted: May 29, 2007
By Bob Unruh

The ultrasound van Small Victories parks in front of Granite City's abortion clinic
A newspaper in the greater St. Louis area is calling for officials in suburban Granite City, Ill., to cancel their war against pro-life protesters from the
Small Victories ministry, whose members have been battling a major abortion behemoth.

The city of Granite City recently lost a
long-running federal court battle to ban the pro-lifers from appearing with their anti-abortion posters at local parades, an effort Small Victories spokeswoman Angela Michael told WND is valuable because it is one of few opportunities of reaching many of the region's politicians.

Now the editorial board from the nearby
Belleville, Ill., News-Democrat is calling for a halt to Granite City's attacks. the rest

Split Church Starts Worships in New Place
Kristin Smith
First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- The Church of the Redeemer is worshipping in its new digs - the Beth Israel Jewish Temple on Baymeadows Road. Beth Israel is accomodating the church as a temporary place of worship.

Last Sunday was the churches last day worshipping in the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer. They had to move locations after a state judge decided the Episcopal Diocese of Florida owned the land.Because Church of the Redeemer split from the Episcopal Church, they had to find somewhere else to worship.

The split started about two years ago, when the Episcopal Church appointed a gay bishop in New Hampshire. The Florida bishop ruled in January, 2006, that the dissidents here would no longer belong to the Episcopal Church.
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Albert Mohler: "Promiscuous Teleology" -- Is This Why So Many Reject Evolution?
Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A pair of psychologists at
Yale University have a new explanation for why so many people reject the theory of evolution -- our minds are hard-wired from birth to see design in the world around us. Paul Bloom is a psychologist at Yale and Deena Skolnick Weisberg is a doctoral candidate in psychology. Together, they argue that the roots of an anti-evolutionary impulse lie in childhood.

Their argument, found in the essay, "
Why Do Some People Resist Science?" is published at Edge: The Third Culture, a Web site associated with a group known as The Reality Club. That organization, by the way, humbly describes itself as including "some of the most interesting minds in the world."

Those interesting minds are interested in knowing why so many Americans reject the theory of evolution.
Bloom and Weisberg acknowledge that most evolutionary scientists assume that the rejection of evolution is rooted in theistic beliefs and a lack of scientific knowledge. If these were the reasons for this rejection, the advance of secularization and the massive increase in scientific knowledge should overcome this rejection. It is not happening that way. the rest

Gasoline message heard clearly
Lawmakers grasp at near-term solutions as prices upset motorists
Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, was about to board a flight to Washington at George Bush Intercontinental Airport last week when she got an earful from some airport workers.

"As I got on the plane, their last word was, 'Can you do something about gasoline prices?' " Jackson Lee said.

Voters are steamed about the record prices they're seeing at the pump, just as the summer vacation season is getting under way.

And lawmakers are scrambling to do something, anything they can to help.
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Outcry over TV kidney competition
Tuesday, 29 May 2007

A Dutch TV station says it will go ahead with a programme in which a terminally ill woman selects one of three patients to receive her kidneys.

Political parties have called for The Big Donor Show to be scrapped, but broadcaster BNN says it will highlight the country's shortage of organ donors.

"It's a crazy idea," said Joop Atsma, of the ruling Christian Democrat Party.

"It can't be possible that, in the Netherlands, people vote about who's getting a kidney," he told the BBC.
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Swiss move to ban minarets
By Imogen Foulkes BBC News, Berne
Monday, 28 May 2007

A row is brewing over religious symbolism in Switzerland.

Members of the right-wing Swiss People's Party, currently the largest party in the Swiss parliament, have launched a campaign to have the building of minarets banned.

They claim the minaret is not necessary for worship, but is rather a symbol of Islamic law, and as such incompatible with Switzerland's legal system.
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Nigerian Church Leader May Lead Boycott of Decennial Anglican Gathering
By Daniel Blake
Christian Post Correspondent
Tue, May. 29 2007

Archbishop Peter Akinola, the leader of Anglican churches in Nigeria, may lead a boycott of the 2008 Lambeth Conference, following news that two controversial bishops did not receive invitations from the Anglican Communion’s spiritual leader.

Akinola revealed he was greatly upset that Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams did not issue an invitation to Bishop Martyn Minns, the “missionary bishop” of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) - an orthodox Anglican splinter group and offshoot of the Church of Nigeria. He had said the failure to invite Minns could be “viewed as withholding invitation to the entire House of Bishops of the Church of Nigeria.”

The first set of invitations for Lambeth 2008 – the Anglican Communion's global decennial gathering – were sent out by Williams to more than 850 bishops last week. Openly gay Bishop V Gene Robinson of New Hampshire was also not invited to Lambeth 2008.

Akinola warned that he might now refuse to attend the Lambeth Conference, and encourage all other Nigerian prelates to join him in boycotting the meetings.
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Monday, May 28, 2007

Be still, and know that I am God" (Ps. 46:10)

Is there any note of music in all the chorus as mighty as the emphatic pause? Is there any word in all the Psalter more eloquent than that one word, Selah (Pause)? Is there anything more thrilling and awful than the hush that comes before the bursting of the tempest and the strange quiet that seems to fall upon all nature before some preternatural phenomenon or convulsion? Is there anything that can touch our hearts as the power of stillness?

There is for the heart that will cease from itself, "the peace of God that passeth all understanding," a "quietness and confidence" which is the source of all strength, a sweet peace "which nothing can offend," a deep rest which the world can neither give nor take away. There is in the deepest center of the soul a chamber of peace where God dwells, and where, if we will only enter in and hush every other sound, we can hear His still, small voice.

There is in the swiftest wheel that revolves upon its axis a place in the very center, where there is no movement at all; and so in the busiest life there may be a place where we dwell alone with God, in eternal stillness, There is only one way to know God. "Be still, and know." "God is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him." --Selected

"All-loving Father, sometimes we have walked under starless skies that dripped darkness like drenching rain. We despaired of starshine or moonlight or sunrise. The sullen blackness gloomed above us as if it would last forever. And out of the dark there spoke no soothing voice to mend our broken hearts. We would gladly have welcomed some wild thunder peal to break the torturing stillness of that over-brooding night.

"But Thy winsome whisper of eternal love spoke more sweetly to our bruised and bleeding souls than any winds that breathe across Aeolian harps. It was Thy 'still small voice' that spoke to us. We were listening and we heard. We looked and saw Thy face radiant with the light of love. And when we heard Thy voice and saw Thy face, new life came back to us as life comes back to withered blooms that drink the summer rain."
...Streams In the Desert photo

New Study Finds Strong Evidence for Abortifacient Effect of Plan B “Emergency Contraception”
Analysis by Dr. John B. Shea, MD. FRCP(C)
May 28, 2007

( – In a recent article in Fertility and Sterility R.T. Mikolajczyk and J.B. Stanford proposed a model experiment that estimated the effectiveness of the disruption of ovulation by Levonorgestrel used as an "emergency contraceptive," based on the prevention of fertilization.

They also demonstrated what was termed the "effectiveness" of levonorgestrel with or without "mechanisms acting after fertilization." If disruption of ovulation were the only significant mechanism of action of levonorgestrel, its "effectiveness" could not be much more than 50% if given immediately after intercourse. With delays in its administration, it would be substantially less.

This finding contrasts sharply with "effectiveness" rates reported in clinical trials, where rates as high as 95% are reported if administered within 24 hours after intercourse.
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Live from Jerusalem, it's GOD TV!

In a small mall in downtown
Jerusalem are the plush new headquarters of an Evangelical media empire. Large television screens in the entrance display charismatic Christian ministers delivering a passionate message around the globe.

It's called nothing less than GOD TV, and its founders, Rory and Wendy Alec, are in Jerusalem to conduct a live broadcast for a "Global Day of Prayer" on Sunday.

GOD TV's "global transmission center" in Jerusalem beams up satellite feeds of "a new breed of Christian broadcasting" to some 200 nations and territories 24 hours a day, claiming a potential viewership of up to half a billion people.
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Anglican Conflict
The recent non-invitation of two wayward bishops to a decennial global Anglican meeting produced a media frenzy this week. But what does all this mean
By: Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Correspondent
Monday, 28 May 2007

The recent non-invitation of two wayward bishops to a decennial global Anglican meeting produced a media frenzy this week. But what does all this mean?

"First of all, it is clear that the Archbishop of Canterbury faces an impossible task – he is confronted by two irreconcilable truth claims," stated Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns, newly installed missionary bishop of CANA (Convocation of Anglicans in North America) – an orthodox Anglican splinter group and offshoot of the Church of Nigeria.

Minns was one of the bishops whose name was not included in the first batch of invitations to the Lambeth Conference (2008) that were sent out on Tuesday. He oversees some 34 congregations that have split with the Episcopal Church – the U.S. arm of Anglicanism – and placed themselves under the leadership of Archbishop Peter J. Akinola of the Church of Nigeria. The breakaway group of Anglicans had departed from the Episcopal Church because of the church body's departure from Christian orthodoxy, which was highlighted by the 2003 consecration of an openly gay bishop. the rest

Historic Colo. Parish Breaks from Episcopal Church
Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Mon, May. 28 2007

One of the oldest Anglican churches in Colorado overwhelmingly voted on Saturday to break from the Episcopal Church and join a conservative Anglican group.

Over a month after the governing board (vestry) of Grace Church and St. Stephen's Parish voted to secede from the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado, 93 percent of the 370-member congregation agreed to break away and join the Convocation of Anglicans in North America – a splinter group and offshoot of the Church of Nigeria. Another vote revealed the majority of the parishioners wanted to keep the church property.

"The congregation’s decision to join CANA is the most important decision in Grace Church and St. Stephen’s 135 year history," said Jon Wroblewski, senior warden of the parish's vestry. "We have decided to remain true to the faith of our ancestors and the founders of this parish even as the Episcopal Church departs from the faith and the Anglican Communion.”
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Also: Secession leaves a fractured flock in Springs

Nigerian Anglican leader may boycott Lambeth conference
Lagos, May. 28, 2007

( - A conservative Anglican prelate in Nigeria has warned that he might lead a boycott of the Lambeth Conference, the worldwide gathering of Anglican bishops, when it convenes at Canterbury in 2008.

Archbishop Peter Akinola, the Anglican primate of Nigeria, said that he was upset by the news that the Archbishop of Canterbury, had not issued an invitation to Bishop Martyn Minns.

Archbishop Akinola has been the prelate most outspoken in criticizing the acceptance of homosexuality by some leaders of the Anglican communion. He traveled to the United States to ordain Bishop Minns as a "missionary bishop" serving the spiritual needs of like-minded Anglicans in America.
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In China, a Catholic group tests changing waters
Mon May 28, 2007

Chinese Catholics are also confronting their own inner divide, and groups like Jinde, which takes its name from a deceased local bishop, offer clues to how the rift may be narrowed, said observers.

The country's 12 million or so Catholics are split between state-registered churches and "underground" ones that reject state ties. Pope Benedict is due to issue a letter soon on the future of China's church, urging reconciliation between both.

The "above-ground" side also generally honors the Pope as a spiritual leader and most of its bishops now have Rome's blessing. But the government restricts official church contacts with Rome, which has not had diplomatic ties with Beijing since 1951.

Tensions run deep in Hebei, home to about 1.5 million Catholics and a stronghold of those who regard the "above-ground" church as illegitimate. Detentions of underground priests have been common in the province.
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Benedict’s Evangelical Blitzkrieg
By Ron Fraser
Monday, May 28, 2007

From his onslaught on liberalism during the papacy of John Paul II, Joseph Ratzinger, the current Pope Benedict XVI, has possessed a determination to return Roman Catholicism to the global influence it exerted during medieval times.

Any astute observer of Joseph Ratzinger is aware of his deliberate and calculated agenda to wind back the clock during his papacy. He wants the Roman Catholic Church to reverse the damaging liberal social politics and rationalist theology that so weakened its political and moral authority in the decades following World War ii and return to the position it once enjoyed at the peak of its power.

Ratzinger accomplished much of this agenda in tandem with Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul ii. The closeness of the relationship enjoyed by the Polish pope and the Bavarian cardinal was evident by how religiously they adhered to their weekly scheduled private Friday meetings, and the fact that Ratzinger was the only cardinal permitted to address the pope in his native German tongue.
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Sunday, May 27, 2007

The divine awakening produces in the soul of the perfect a flame of love which is a participate of that living flame which is the Holy Spirit Himself...this is the operation of the Holy Spirit in the soul that is transformed in love, that His interior actions cause it to send out flames...This flame wounds the soul as it is given, but the wound is tender, and, instead of causing death, it increases life; for the soul is holiest that is most wounded by love. ...John Of The Cross photo

From the NYT society pages: Mark Lewis, Dennis Winslow
Published: May 27, 2007

The Rev. Mark Alan Lewis and the Rev. K. Dennis Winslow, Episcopal priests, were joined in civil union on Tuesday. The Rev. Tim S. Hall, also an Episcopal priest, officiated at the couple’s home in Union City, N.J., assisted by his wife, the Rev. Jacqueline Schmidt.

Mr. Lewis (above, left), 47, is the vicar at the
Episcopal Church of our Saviour in Secaucus, N.J. Mr. Winslow, 57, is the rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in New York. They both have master’s degrees in divinity, Mr. Lewis from the Virginia Theological Seminary and Mr. Winslow from Nashotah House in Wisconsin.

Mr. Lewis graduated from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn. He is the son of Willie Mae Bell and Gary L. Lewis, both of West Plains, Mo., and the stepson of Phyllis D. Lewis and of James H. Bell.
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The McJesus Seminar
Marsha West

May 25, 2007

Excerpt: "The Jesus Seminar (JS) was founded by the late Robert Funk of Westar Institute in 1985. What was Funk's purpose for forming the group? To quote from Greg Koukl's article, The Jesus Seminar Under Fire , Funk said, "It is time for us [scholars] to quit the library and study and speak up....The Jesus Seminar is a clarion call to enlightenment. It is for those who prefer facts to fancies, history to histrionics, science to superstition."

Included in those who "prefer facts to fancies" are 135 "unbiased scholars," mostly men and a handful of women, who meet twice a year to "evaluate the historical significance of every shred of evidence about Jesus from antiquity." Basically their goal is "distinguishing historical fact from rumor & speculation."

The diverse group includes Protestants, Catholics, Jews, atheists, university and seminary professors, even a Hollywood film director whose scholarly films include Basic Instinct, Showgirls and Total Recall.

The JS reject 82% of the teachings attributed to Jesus and say that only two words, "Our Father," of the Lord's Prayer are authentic. They also reject: The virgin birth; Christ's resurrection from the dead; the Gospel miracles. They claim the historical evidence for these beliefs is lacking.
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Stand Firm: Dr. Stephen Noll: Open Letter on Theological Education to Network Bishops and Common Cause Partners

Pentecost 2007

Dear Colleagues in the Gospel,

I write you about an issue close to my heart: the sustenance of orthodox Anglican theological education in the USA . As many of you know, I worked for 21 years at Trinity School for Ministry to fulfill its vision to reform and renew the Episcopal Church. Sadly, we failed. Any failure has multiple explanations, but I am convinced that one of them is the failure of conservative bishops to see the urgent need to send ALL orthodox and evangelical students to Trinity. Instead many naively accepted a pluralistic approach to theological formation. Trinity was seen as a nice new dish at the Episcopal smorgasbord, catering to certain renewal people, not the necessary remedy to a radically sick denomination.
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Kevorkian's Cause Founders As He's Freed
May 26, 7:56 PM

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - For nearly a decade, Dr. Jack Kevorkian waged a defiant campaign to help other people kill themselves.

The retired pathologist left bodies at hospital emergency rooms and motels and videotaped a death that was broadcast on CBS'"60 Minutes." His actions prompted battles over assisted suicide in many states.

But as he prepares to leave prison June 1 after serving more than eight years of a 10- to 25-year sentence in the death of a Michigan man, Kevorkian will find that there's still only one state that has a law allowing physician-assisted suicide - Oregon.

Experts say that's because abortion opponents, Catholic leaders, advocates for the disabled and often doctors have fought the efforts of other states to follow the lead of Oregon, where the law took effect in late 1997.
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Razor-thin TV screen you can wear as a T-shirt
27th May 2007

In the race for ever thinner displays for TVs, cell phones and other gadgets, Sony may have developed one to beat them all - a razor-thin display that bends like paper while showing full-colour video.

Sony Corporation posted video of the new 2.5 inch display on its' web page.

In the video, a hand squeezes the 0.3 millimetre (0.01 inch)-thick display, which shows color video of a bicyclist stuntman, a picturesque lake and other images.
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Medical experiments to be done without patients' consent
Five-year project aims to improve car crash, cardiac, other treatments
Washington Post

May 26, 2007

WASHINGTON — The federal government is undertaking the most ambitious set of studies ever mounted under a controversial arrangement that allows researchers to conduct some kinds of medical experiments without first getting the patients' permission.

The $50 million, five-year project, which will involve more than 20,000 patients in 11 sites in the United States and Canada, is designed to improve treatment after car accidents, shootings, cardiac arrest and other emergencies.

The three studies, organizers say, offer an unprecedented opportunity to find better ways to resuscitate people whose hearts suddenly stop, to stabilize patients who go into shock and to minimize damage from head injuries. Because such patients are usually unconscious at a time when every minute counts, it is often impossible to get consent from them or their families, the organizers say.

The project has been endorsed by many trauma experts and some bioethicists, but others question it. The harshest critics say the research violates fundamental ethical principles.
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Episcopal Church ordains new diocese bishop
By Natasha Altamirano
May 27, 2007

The Rt. Rev. Shannon Sherwood Johnston was consecrated as the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia's new bishop yesterday during a celebratory service at the Washington National Cathedral.

Bishop Johnston, who eventually will succeed Virginia Bishop Peter James Lee, begins his post as bishop coadjutor as the diocese wages multimillion-dollar lawsuits against 11 of its breakaway parishes.

His consecration sends a positive message to the entire 2.3-million-member Episcopal Church, said the Rt. Rev. J. Neil Alexander, Bishop of Atlanta, who delivered a sermon to the roughly 3,000 Episcopalians gathered at the cathedral.

"The ordination of a new bishop is an act of faith," Bishop Alexander said. "It is a sign of hope. It is a living reminder of the mission that ... Christ has given the church."
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Low caste Indians seek to convert
Sunday, 27 May 2007

The conversion is expected to be the largest in modern timesThousands of tribal and Dalit Hindus in India have gathered in Mumbai to convert en masse to Buddhism.

The ceremony, at which ten of thousands are expected to embrace the Buddhist faith, is being billed as the largest religious conversion in modern India.

The converts hope to escape the rigid caste system in which their status is the lowest.the rest
Right-wing Hindus have often opposed conversion, pushing some Indian states to restrict legal changes of faith.
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Christmas comes late to DR Congo
By John James BBC, Kinshasa

Friday, 25 May 2007

Millions of members of a Democratic Republic of Congo sect have been celebrating Christmas.
Members of the Kimbanguist church believe Jesus Christ was born on 25 May and not 25 December.

Followers, wearing green for hope and white for purity, have spent the day eating, praying and dancing at a centre in the capital, Kinshasa.

The church has around three million believers, mainly concentrated in central Africa.

It was founded in 1921 by Simon Kimbangu, a self-styled healer and prophet, who was educated by Baptist church missionaries in the west of what was then the Congo Free State.
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Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called on Africa's Anglican church to overcome its "obsession" with the issue of gay priests and same-sex marriages.
Saturday, 26 May 2007

He said they should spend time on more pressing issues in the region.

Speaking to the BBC World Service, the South African bishop said Zimbabwe, HIV/Aids and the crisis in Darfur were not getting sufficient attention.

Zimbabwe's Anglican church also lacked courage to stand up to President Robert Mugabe's regime, he said.
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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Veni, Creator Spiritus

Creator Spirit all Divine,
come visit every soul of Thine.
And fill with Thy Celestial Flame
the hearts which Thou Thyself did frame.
O Gift of God, Thine is the Sweet
consoling name of Paraclete.
And spring of life and fire of love,
and unction flowing from above.
The mystic seven-fold gifts are Thine,
finger of God's Right Hand Divine.
The Father's Promise sent to teach,
the tongue a rich and heavenly speech.
Kindle with fire brought from above
each sense, and fill our hearts with love,
And grant our flesh so weak and frail,
the strength of Thine which cannot fail.
Drive far away our deadly foe,
and grant us Thy true peace to know,
So we, led by Thy Guidance still,
may safely pass through every ill.
To us, through Thee, the grace be shown,
To know the father and the Son,
And Spirit of Them Both, may we
forever rest our Faith in Thee.
To Sire and Son be praises meet,
and to the Holy Paraclete.
And may Christ send us from above,
that Holy Spirit's gift of love. AMEN.
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