Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Devotional: Are you seeking great things for yourself?

"Seekest thou great things for thyself?" Jeremiah 45:5

Are you seeking great things for yourself? Not seeking to be a great one, but seeking great things from God for yourself. God wants you in a closer relationship to Himself than receiving His gifts, He wants you to get to know Him. A great thing is accidental, it comes and goes. God never gives us anything accidental. There is nothing easier than getting into a right relationship with God except when it is not God Whom you want but only what He gives.

If you have only come the length of asking God for things, you have never come to the first strand of abandonment, you have become a Christian from a standpoint of your own. "I did ask God for the Holy Spirit, but He did not give me the rest and the peace I expected." Instantly God puts His finger on the reason - you are not seeking the Lord at all, you are seeking something for yourself. Jesus says - "Ask, and it shall be given you." Ask God for what you want, and you cannot ask if you are not asking for a right thing. When you draw near to God, you cease from asking for things. "Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him." Then why ask? That you may get to know Him.

Are you seeking great things for yourself? "O Lord, baptize me with the Holy Ghost." If God does not, it is because you are not abandoned enough to Him, there is something you will not do. Are you prepared to ask yourself what it is you want from God and why you want it? God always ignores the present perfection for the ultimate perfection. He is not concerned about making you blessed and happy just now; He is working out His ultimate perfection all the time - "that they may be one even as We are." ...Oswald Chambers image

Beautiful Minds: Stephen Wiltshire

Fort Worth Bishop Accuses Presiding Bishop of Unwelcome Meddling

April 30, 2008

The Rt. Rev. Jack L. Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth, has responded to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who urged a visiting primate to cancel a planned visit to Fort Worth. The Most Rev. Gregory Venables, Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone, is scheduled to address a special convocation in Fort Worth May 2-3.

“Visiting a special convocation of the Diocese of Fort Worth with the expressed purpose of describing removal to the Province of the Southern Cone is an unprecedented and unwarranted invasion of, and meddling in, the internal affairs of this province,” Bishop Jefferts Schori wrote to Bishop Venables on April 29. “I ask you to consider how you might receive such a visit to your own province by a fellow primate. The actions contemplated by some leaders in Fort Worth are profoundly uncanonical. They also prevent needed reconciliation from proceeding within this province.”

Bishop Iker responded the following day. He described Bishop Jefferts Schori’s letter as rude. “Far from being ‘an unwanted interference,’ [Bishop Venables] is coming at my request as an honored visitor and guest speaker.” Bishop Iker reminded the Presiding Bishop that a diocesan bishop is free to make such invitations and accused her of being disingenuous. the rest

Bishop Iker's letter at Stand Firm

Memo: Presiding Bishop Subverting Constitution and Canons

April 30, 2008

Sufficient legal grounds exist for presenting Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori for ecclesiastical trial on 11 counts of violating the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church, according to a legal memorandum that has begun circulating among members of the House of Bishops.

A copy of the April 21 document seen by a reporter representing The Living Church states Bishop Jefferts Schori demonstrated a “willful violation of the canons, an intention to repeat the violations, and a pattern of concealment and lack of candor” in her handling of the cases of bishops Robert W. Duncan, John-David Schofield and William Cox, and that she “subverted” the “fundamental polity” of The Episcopal Church in the matter of the Diocese of San Joaquin.

Prepared by an attorney on behalf of a consortium of bishops and church leaders seeking legal counsel over the canonical implications of the Presiding Bishop’s recent actions, it is unclear whether a critical mass of support will form behind the report’s recommendations for any action to be taken, persumably as a violation of the Presiding Bishop’s ordination vows. Title IV, Canon 3, Section 23a requires the consent of three bishops, or 10 or more priests, deacons and communicants “of whom at least two shall be priests. One priest and not less than six lay persons shall be of the diocese of which the respondent is canonically resident.” Victims of sexual misconduct and the Presiding Bishop also may bring charges before the Title IV [disciplinary] Review Committee. Title IV, Canon 3, Section 27 specifies that the Presiding Bishop appoints the five bishops to the Review Committee and the president of the House of Deputies appoints the two members of the clergy and two lay members. A spokeswoman said the Presiding Bishop was unable to respond to the charges as she had not yet seen the memorandum.

The Rev. Ephraim Radner, a member of the Anglican Covenant Design Group, said he found the matters addressed by the brief troubling. The lack of a common understanding of the church’s constitution and canons was “tearing apart our very episcopate and the credibility of our church’s ability to make formal decisions,” he said.

the rest at The Living Church

Activitists push for same-sex marriage bill in N.Y.

Star-Gazette Albany Bureau
April 29, 2008

ALBANY -- More than 2,000 gay-rights activists gathered at the Capitol today to urge the legislature to legalize same-sex marriage.

The group of young and old, black and white, male and female straight and gay people from across the state gathered on the Capitol lawn, some dancing and others waving signs. Everyone was cheering for same-sex marriage.

Alan Van Capelle, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, told the crowd that the majority of New Yorkers support gay marriage. Now the legislature has catch up. the rest

Presiding Bishop writes to the House of Bishops

The following letter was sent to the House of Bishops at 10:30 am this morning.

April 30, 2008
For the House of Bishops

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:

Inasmuch as the past several weeks have involved some significant situations, I thought itwould be helpful to review and comment on process. First, regarding deposition for“abandonment of the communion of The Episcopal Church,” it is important to rememberthat such an act is not by definition punitive, but does give formal recognition to a realityalready taking place. Once the Title IV Review Committee has certified that a bishop hasabandoned the communion of this Church under Title IV, Canon 9, the bishop in questionis given sixty days to respond. the rest

Comments at Stand Firm

Comments at TitusOneNine

Catholic Dissenters Should Call the Episcopalians

Commentary
By Hugh McNichol

April 30, 2008 - Rudy Giuliani, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy and a host of other high profile politicians, actors, and social advocates need to clearly understand that the practice of Catholicism is a committed lifestyle of faithful and loving adherence to the Church’s regulations and teachings.

It is indeed the right time for that message to be reiterated to all of our priests, clergy and religious who proclaim in error that the Church’s moral and social declarations on the dignity of human life and the sanctity of marriage are merely subject to personal interpretation. Not so. This viewpoint represents a completely wrong understanding of the mission and message of the Catholic Church’s teaching.
the rest image

CANA: Five New Priests to be Ordained in Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 30, 2008

HERNDON, Va. (April 30, 2008) – The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) will ordain five deacons into the priesthood this week in Ohio . These include Deacon Sean Templeton, Deacon Kevin Maney, Deacon Greg Heath, Deacon David Smith, and Deacon Jeremy Lile. CANA Suffragan Bishop Roger Ames and Bishop Frank Lyons of Bolivia will be presiding over the ordination liturgy this Thursday, May 1 at St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Akron , Ohio .

“It is a sign of new life in the church as we pass along leadership to a new generation. Our prayers and thoughts are with these five special ordinands this week. We are pleased that they will be continuing in their orthodox Anglican faith and that they will be able to minister to their brothers and sisters in Christ,” said Bishop Ames, who is also rector of St. Luke’s.

Once ordained, all five priests will continue as clergy members in their Anglican churches in Ohio: Deacon Lile will continue at St. Luke’s, Deacon Templeton in Holy Trinity in Milan, Deacon Smith in Church of the Good Samaritan in Cleveland Heights, Deacon Maney in St. Matthews in Westerville, and Deacon Heath in St. Anne-in-the-Fields in Madison.

“We are overjoyed over the growth of CANA in Ohio with the ordinations of these blessed deacons to the priesthood. They will no doubt serve as worthy shepherds to the flock of orthodox Anglicans in Ohio who live for profound transformation through Christ. We know that without Christ we are nothing, but with Christ there are no challenges or obstacles that we cannot overcome,” said CANA Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns.

The ordination liturgy will take place this Thursday, May 1, 2008 at 7:00 pm EDT. St. Luke’s Anglican Church is located at 565 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road , Akron , Ohio 44333 . All are welcome to attend.

The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (www.canaconvocation.org) currently consists of approximately 60 congregations and 100 clergy in 20 states. CANA was established in 2005 to provide a means by which Anglicans living in the USA , who were alienated by the actions and decisions of The Episcopal Church, could continue to live out their faith without compromising their core convictions. CANA is part of the Common Cause partnership that includes representatives of more than 250 Anglican congregations that are connected to the rest of the Anglican Communion.

Methodists Poised to Move Beyond Gay Issue

Wednesday, April 30, 2008
By Cary McMullen
THE LEDGER

FORT WORTH, Texas Advocates of gay rights wonder whether this might be the year when the United Methodist Church drops its sanction against homosexuality. A proposal that may be voted on today at the church's General Conference would make the 7.9 million-member church the largest to withhold moral judgment about gay sexual activity.

Almost 1,000 delegates from all 50 states and 66 overseas jurisdictions will conclude a 10-day meeting at the Fort Worth Convention Center on Friday. The conference, which meets every four years, sets policy for the denomination, which has struggled over the role and place of gays for more than 35 years.

The church's current policy declares, "The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching." A legislative committee has proposed a sweeping change to that policy, taking a neutral stance, calling "all members of our community of faith to commitment, integrity and fidelity in their sexual relationships."

The proposal also acknowledges the strong disagreements within the church and asks "the Church, United Methodist and others, and the world, to refrain from judgment regarding homosexual persons and practices until the Spirit leads us to new insight." the rest

United Methodists OK Full Communion with Lutherans

Pope, Iranian Scholars Discuss Christianity, Islam

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI met Wednesday with a group of Islamic scholars from Iran following their talks with a Catholic delegation on issues apparently related to recent tensions between Muslims and Christians.

The Vatican said the pope received the Iranians after his weekly public audience, describing Benedict as "particularly satisfied" with the theme of the meeting.

It examined faith and reason in Christianity and Islam. The joint communique did not mention a speech by the pope in Germany in 2006, when he appeared to associate Islam with violence and irrationality. But the issue of violence was raised.

"Neither reason nor faith should be used for violence; unfortunately, both of them have been sometimes misused to perpetrate violence," said the communique. the rest

Egypt: On the Brink of Revolution?

By Jamie Glazov
FrontPageMagazine.com
Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is John R. Bradley, a British journalist and author. His last book on the Middle East was the critically acclaimed Saudi Arabia Exposed: Inside a Kingdom in Crisis (2005). He joins us to discuss his new book, Inside Egypt: The Land of the Pharaohs on the Brink of a Revolution.

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Economy grows by only 0.6 percent in first quarter

Economy limps ahead at a 0.6 percent pace in first quarter, better pace than expected
Wednesday April 30, 2008
By Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The bruised economy limped through the first quarter, growing at just a 0.6 percent pace as housing and credit problems forced people and businesses alike to hunker down.

The country's economic growth during January through March was the same as in the final three months of last year, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. The statistic did not meet what economists consider the definition of a recession, which is a contraction of the economy. This means that although the economy is stuck in a rut, it is still managing to grow, even if slightly.

Many analysts were predicting that the gross domestic product (GDP) would weaken a bit more -- to a pace of just 0.5 percent -- in the first quarter. Earlier this year, some thought the economy would actually lurch into reverse during the opening quarter. Now, they say they believe that will likely happen during the current April-to-June period. the rest

Tony Blair details role of his faith

Breaking his silence on the topic, the former British prime minister says his belief in God has been an essential backdrop in his public life.
By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
April 30, 2008

LONDON -- A cathedral is an odd place for a coming-out party.But not, as it turns out, if you're a former prime minister of Britain and you're preparing to tell the world that God was one of your senior advisors during your 10 years in power.

Speaking one recent evening under the lofty Byzantine vaults of Westminster Cathedral, Tony Blair ended his self-imposed silence on the subject, declaring that his faith has formed the essential backdrop to much of his political life. the rest image

Albert Mohler: A Tale of Two Nations -- Getting Honest about Sex Selection Abortions

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Prime Minister of India delivered a brave and important speech on Monday of this week. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared his nation's practice of sex-selection abortions to be a "national shame" and called for increased enforcement of laws that would prevent the practice.

Sex selection by abortion is widespread in both India and China, although it is practiced in many other nations as well. In both nations efforts to limit the size of families is part of the equation. In China, the nation's draconian "one child only" policy has led to a dramatic imbalance of males to females. In India, only 927 baby girls are born for every 1,000 baby boys.

Throughout India, ultrasound technologies and other diagnostic procedures are used to identify the sex of the unborn baby. Close nearby are abortionists ready to terminate a pregnancy of the unwanted gender -- almost always baby girls. the rest image

Philip Yancey: The Healing Pen

Philip Yancey writes to save his past—and others' futures.
Tim Stafford
4/29/2008

I met Philip Yancey when we both were 22, newly minted editors at Youth for Christ's Campus Life magazine. He was of medium height, without a single ounce of fat on him, and had sandy, curly hair that would later puff out into a blond Afro. He was wiry—not naturally athletic, but he made up for it with sheer energy. To watch him swim was like watching the Buckingham Fountain at Chicago's Grant Park, water flying everywhere.

He came to Youth for Christ from a fundamentalist Georgia upbringing by way of Columbia Bible College and an M.A. at Wheaton College. His mother raised him as a single parent while teaching Bible classes; he grew up poor, in a trailer. He and his brother were raised to play the piano and to cherish classical music (as Philip does to this day). They learned to work hard and to respect authority, but most importantly, they learned fundamentalist Christianity. Nothing mattered much, compared to that. the rest image

New Archbishop urged to help unify Sudan

Tuesday, 29th April 2008
George Conger

THE PRESIDENT of Southern Sudan has challenged the new Primate of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan, Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul of Juba, to help his government unify the country in the wake of the decades-old civil war with the Islamist government in Khartoum.

In a speech delivered at the enthronement ceremony on April 20 at All Saints Cathedral in Juba, President Salva Kiir Mayardit (pictured) called upon the church to embark on a campaign of school and hospital building, and to help the government establish social services for the war-torn country.

The former leader of the military wing of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), who also serves as Vice-President of the Sudan, President Kiir also urged the church to back plans for the first comprehensive census of the Sudan since Anglo-Egyptian colonial rule. the rest

With Adoption of Second Disabled Child Jim Caviezel Makes Good on Pro-Life Convictions

"You have no idea the blessings that you have coming" says Caviezel to parents considering adoption
By Hilary White

April 29, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Jim Caviezel, the star of the blockbuster film The Passion of the Christ, told an interviewer that he had been challenged by a friend who was not pro-life to live up to his professed pro-life convictions and adopt a disabled child. The friend told Caviezel that if he did that, then he would change to the pro-life position. When Caviezel and his wife, Kerri, went to China to adopt not one, but eventually two orphans suffering from brain tumours, the friend reneged on the deal. Caviezel, however, said, "It didn't matter to me because the joy that we had from (Bo) - he's like our own."

The couple's first child, Bo, had been abandoned on a train, grew up in an orphanage until he was five and was diagnosed with a brain tumour. The Caviezels nursed Bo through his surgeries and he remains today at the centre of the family.

"We took the harder road," the actor said. "That is what faith is to me; it's action. It's the Samaritan. It's not the one who says he is; it's the one who does - and does without bringing attention to himself. I'm saying this because I want to encourage other people." the rest image

Episcopal group against Fort Worth diocese's secession

By TERRY LEE GOODRICH
Star-Telegram Staff Writer
Wed, Apr. 30, 2008

Area Episcopalians who want to stay with the national church if the Fort Worth diocese withdraws have formed an umbrella group to help achieve their goal, the group's leader said Tuesday.

The Steering Committee North Texas Episcopalians hopes to establish "a more tolerant attitude" locally on issues that have divided the Episcopal Church in the United States, committee President Walter Cabe said.

"We might not agree on every position or action, but it's that diversity that has attracted us to remain Episcopalians," he said. "That's an important witness."

Controversial issues include same-sex unions and ordination of gay clergy and of women. The Episcopal church is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion but is more liberal than much of the communion, with the Fort Worth diocese a leader in the conservative camp. the rest

Gene Robinson on Gay Rites and Why He is Entering a Civil Union

In a new book the Anglican clergyman explains why he wanted to formalise his 20 year relationship
Gene Robinson
April 29, 2008

“I always wanted to be a June bride.” As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I knew there'd be trouble. I'd just delivered an hour-long lecture on the relationship between religion and public discourse, and why religious fervour over homosexuality plays such a large and negative role in the securing of full civil rights for gay people.

During the question-and-answer period, someone asked me about the forthcoming civil union between me and Mark, my partner of 20 years. The audience had been welcoming and sympathetic, full of laughter and understanding, and for one moment, I forgot that the C-SPAN cameras were rolling and that every word I said would be parsed by my critics. Within hours, those eight words had made it around the world, thanks to conservative bloggers and the magic of the internet. the rest image

‘Gender havens’ to avert split in Church of England

Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent
April 29, 2008

The Church of England is proposing to tear up hundreds of years of tradition by establishing spiritual havens for opponents of women priests and bishops.

In a desperate attempt to stave off a schism over female ordination, church leaders have suggested the creation of new dioceses based on gender rather than geography.

The proposal – allowing some parishes to flee from the prospect of women bishops to male bishops hundreds of miles away – is one idea intended to preserve the unity of the Anglican Communion amid intense anger among millions of conservative church members. the rest

Archbishop Rowan Williams condemned over gay issue-by Gene Robinson

The Anglican Communion's first gay bishop has criticised the Archbishop of Canterbury for the controversy surrounding his appointment.

American Bishop Gene Robinson said he believed that God would be "very disappointed" with Dr Rowan Williams for his unwillingness to confront negative statements made by some of Bishop Robinson's opponents within the Anglican church. The bishop claimed Dr Williams had failed to be even-handed and crack down enough on the language used by his opponents.

He was elected Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003, becoming the Anglican Communion's first openly gay bishop.

His appointment has caused great friction within the church, attracting particular criticism from Peter Akinola who leads 37 million Anglicans as chairman of the Anglican Church in Africa.

Appearing on BBC's HARDtalk programme, the bishop was asked why he thought Dr Williams had not held to account Mr Akinola and "others who have used such dramatic language against you personally?"

Bishop Robinson replied: "Well, you would have to ask him that - and I think he will have to answer to God about that." the rest

Stand Firm: Good Shepherd and the Diocese of Central New York: Resolution and Correspondance, July 2006

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The following three documents from the Church of the Good Shepherd were produced in July 2006 in response to General Convention.

The rest at Stand Firm

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Devotional: If we would indeed know God in growing intimacy...

If we would indeed know God in growing intimacy, we must go this way of renunciation. And if we are set upon the pursuit of God, He will sooner or later bring us to this test. Abraham's testing was, at the time, not known to him as such, yet if he had taken some course other than the one he did, the whole history of the Old Testament would have been different. God would have found His man, no doubt, but the loss to Abraham would have been tragic beyond the telling. So we will be brought one by one to the testing place, and we may never know when we are there. At that testing place there will be no dozen possible choices for us; just one and an alternative, but our whole future will be conditioned by the choice we make. ...AW Tozer image

Venables predicts end of Anglican Communion

Anne Fletcher
Special to the Journal
Apr 29, 2008

Bishop Donald Harvey, moderator of the Anglican Network in Canada, and Archbishop Gregory Venables, primate of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.

Delta, B.C. The South American primate who has welcomed dissenting Canadian Anglican parishes into his province says he sees the beginning of the end of the world-wide Anglican Communion.

“I believe we’re in the early stages of divorce,” Archbishop Gregory Venables, presiding (national) bishop of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, told a news conference during a meeting of the Anglican Network in Canada from April 25 to 26.

“I think there comes a point when a marriage is no longer a marriage and you have to recognize it,” he said. But Archbishop Venables suggested that Anglican churches could still stay together in some form. “Maybe we can have an Anglican federation,” he said.

In an interview with the Anglican Journal, Archbishop Venables noted that air travel and the Internet have radically re-structured international networks. the rest

AnglicanTV: Live Streaming form the Diocese of San Joaquin

April 29, 2008
Kevin Kallsen

Please stay tuned and remember all times are pacific. At 2:00 pm I will be live streaming a Personal Seminar with Archbishop Gregory Venables. He will be speaking from St James Anglican Cathedral in San Joaquin. This will be a two hour event. Then at 7:00pm I will be broadcasting a Festal Eucharist with Archbishop Venables and Bishop David Schofield.

Here

Hilary vs. Obama: Duke It Out!

Play Here

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Catholic Italy lacks knowledge of faith

Richard Owen of The Times in Rome
April 29, 2008

Italy professes to be a Catholic nation - but a majority of Italians do not know "even the most basic facts" about the Bible, according to a survey.

The international poll, conducted by Eurisko for the Catholic Biblical Federation, showed that in Italy only 14 per cent of those questioned were able to answer a series of questions about the Bible correctly. They included whether Moses or St Paul featured in the Old Testament, whether Jesus had written any of the Gospels, and whether the Gospels form part of the Bible. Another question which defeated most Italians was: which of the following - Luke, John, Peter and Paul - wrote the Gospels?

Among the respondents 88 per cent of Italians described themselves as Roman Catholics, three quarters said they kept a Bible in their home, and 79 per cent said they felt their lives were "protected by God". But only 32 per cent described themselves as "regular churchgoers", and only 28 per cent thought the Bible should be taught in schools. the rest image

TLC: California Special Convention to Consider Governance Changes

April 29, 2008

Delegates to a special convention in the Diocese of California will consider far-reaching structural changes when they meet May 10 at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco.

The change was proposed by Bishop Marc Handley Andrus in his first address to the diocesan convention, according to Sean McConnell, communications officer of the diocese.

“The intent is to create a body of governance that is transparent and accountable to the people of the diocese,” Mr. McConnell said. “I think there was concern that [under the corporation sole model] major decisions could be made by one person with very little consultation. There was also very little interaction between the existing diocesan organizations and concern about a lack of transparency.”

Under the proposed revisions, an executive council would become the board of directors of the diocesan corporation and would be responsible for the operation of the diocese and strategic planning when convention is not in session. The executive council and a newly created investment committee (reporting to the executive council) would assume the responsibilities currently held by diocesan council and the board of directors. the rest

Presiding Bishop in Dallas: “Have You Been Watching San Joaquin?”

April 29, 2008

Using a traditional Rogation service, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori blessed a new community garden at St. Thomas’ Church, Dallas, during a visit to that diocese April 28. About 140 persons from the dioceses of Dallas and Fort Worth attended the blessing. The group met in the parish hall for an informal question-and-answer session after the ceremony, which followed a two-hour session with diocesan clergy in the morning.

Clergy and laity from the Diocese of Fort Worth comprised a little less than half of those attending the reception. Their questions dominated, with some pleading with the Presiding Bishop for “help to get us out of the wilderness we now find ourselves in.” Fort Worth is one of several dioceses that are likely to consider leaving The Episcopal Church when their conventions are held this fall.

Bishop Jefferts Schori assured her questioners that a plan similar to the one employed in San Joaquin has already been prepared. When the Fort Worth delegation declared that they have been forgotten in this battle, the Presiding Bishop replied, “Have you been watching San Joaquin? They were not forgotten and now show dynamic signs of new life. You will not be forgotten, either.” the rest

Anglican Leader Brings Climate to the Pulpit

by Christopher Joyce
Listen now

All Things Considered, April 28, 2008 · One thing climate experts often say is that people need to change their behavior to slow climate change. And they also acknowledge that they still have a lot of convincing to do before that will happen.

One man, Martin Palmer, argues that religion is a better messenger than science and politics — that it can do things the others cannot.

Palmer is the founder of the Alliance of Religions and Conservation, a small group working out of Bath, England. Its credo is that religions from Buddhism to Zoroastrianism are the perfect groups to become climate activists. the rest

Bay Presbyterian negotiating exodus from denomination

by David Briggs/Plain Dealer Religion Reporter
April 28, 2008

The largest Presbyterian church in Northeast Ohio is offering a $550,000 buyout to its denomination so it can move to a more-conservative church body.

Bay Presbyterian Church in Bay Village wants to become part of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, joining other congregations upset with what they consider liberal theological trends and growing acceptance of gay and lesbian clergy in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Unlike the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio, which this year sued several local churches seeking to leave the denomination that approved a gay bishop, the Presbytery of the Western Reserve is negotiating with Bay Presbyterian. Bay spokesman John Fuller said the church has more than 2,000 members, representing about 14 percent of the total membership of nearly 14,000 in the Western Reserve area.

The presbytery negotiating team initially asked for $3 million to be paid over 10 years as compensation for the loss of giving and membership with Bay's departure. The Rev. Elizabeth Hendricks, general presbyter, said Friday the group is still discussing a revised offer. the rest

Oprah and A New Earth

Same Old Earth, New Disguise
By Chuck Colson
Christian Post Guest Columnist
Mon, Apr. 28 2008

You have probably heard of author Eckhart Tolle and his connection with Oprah Winfrey. What with Tolle’s bestselling book A New Earth, its repeated promotion on Oprah’s talk show, and the online course they are running together, they have become pretty difficult to miss.

Unfortunately, for many people, it seems that the true message of A New Earth has proved all too easy to miss.

Let me cut right to the chase: Tolle’s supposedly groundbreaking message is simply the same old New Age thinking in pretty packaging. While Tolle acknowledges something wrong with the human condition (what Christians call “sin”), he preaches the need not for repentance and salvation, but for a new “awakening.” the rest image

India Militants Threaten To Burn Young Missionaries

Monday, 28 April 2008
By BosNewsLife Asia Service

NEW DELHI, INDIA (BosNewsLife)-- Two young women at a Bible college in India's state of Orissa attempted to continue studying Monday, April 28, after suspected Hindu militants reportedly threatened to burn them alive as they did with an Australian missionary and his two children.

The two students, Chunile Wyn and Preeja Sushan, were attacked this month by some 70 "anti-Christian extremists" during a worship service they conducted in Orissa, said mission group Gospel For Asia (GFA), which runs the Bible college. the rest

In France, Prisons Filled With Muslims

By Molly Moore
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Excerpt:
This prison is majority Muslim -- as is virtually every house of incarceration in France. About 60 to 70 percent of all inmates in the country's prison system are Muslim, according to Muslim leaders, sociologists and researchers, though Muslims make up only about 12 percent of the country's population.

On a continent where immigrants and the children of immigrants are disproportionately represented in almost every prison system, the French figures are the most marked, according to researchers, criminologists and Muslim leaders.

"The high percentage of Muslims in prisons is a direct consequence of the failure of the integration of minorities in France," said Moussa Khedimellah, a sociologist who has spent several years conducting research on Muslims in the French penal system. the rest

Ontario Human Rights Tribunal Ruling Denies Christian Ministry's Right to be Christian

Ruling has the Christian community in Canada deeply concerned for religious freedom.
By John-Henry Westen
TORONTO, April 28, 2008

(LifeSiteNews.com) - The ruling of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal against a Christian ministry serving disabled people in Ontario has the Christian community in Canada deeply concerned for religious freedom.

Don Hutchinson, General Legal Counsel for the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, summarized the situation by way of analogy in a article in the National Post today. He wrote: "Imagine that Mother Theresa and her Missionaries of Charity had been told that their ministry in the streets of Calcutta was, in essence, not ministry but 'social work.' In order for the sisters to continue in their work, they would no longer be permitted to require that staff members share their beliefs and ministry commitment."

Christian Horizons (CH), the group in question, describes itself as "an evangelical ministry seeking to reach out with Christian love to people with disabilities." Its services have been so well received by the province that it has become the largest provider of community living services in the province providing care and residential services to 1,400 developmentally disabled individuals with over 180 residential homes across Ontario, and 2,300 employees. CH receives $75 million in funding annually from the Ontario government in order to carry out these services. the rest image

Lorne Gunter on Christian Horizons and Ontario's thought police

Quebec: group urges parents to keep kids out of new religion class

NY Losing Big Business as Taxes Soar

By MELISSA KLEIN

April 27, 2008 -- New York state's skyrocketing business taxes are taking a toll on its corporate dominance.

For the third time, New York has been trumped as the home to the most Fortune 500 companies.
Adding insult to injury, it was unseated by Texas, which can now boast of having fostered the country's most profitable companies, a Fortune list released last week shows.

California topped us in 2003, and Texas beat us by one firm in 2005.

"It doesn't take a corporate CEO to understand that with low business taxes and a zero-percent tax on individual income, Texas is a much more attractive place to locate than New York," said Scott Hodge, president of the Tax Foundation. the rest

Controversial Episcopal bishop scheduled for Catholic book trade conference

St. Charles, IL, Apr 28, 2008 / 08:17 pm (CNA).- A group of Episcopals has invited controversial Episcopalian Bishop V. Gene Robinson to speak during a major Catholic trade show for booksellers. Though Robinson’s appearance is not directly sponsored by the trade show, he is listed in the show’s schedule of events.

The Episcopalian Bishop of New Hampshire, Robinson was ordained a bishop despite his leaving his wife to live in a homosexual relationship. His elevation to the Episcopal Church’s leadership has inflamed controversy throughout the Anglican Communion, and furthered speculation that the unity of the communion could be ruptured by schism.

The Religious Booksellers Trade Exhibit (RBTE) is a major trade show for Catholic bookstores that has been held for 17 years. It meets in St. Charles, Illinois and is open to other religious denominations, including the Episcopalians who invited Bishop Robinson. the rest

Amid turmoil, Episcopal bishop visits Dallas

Tuesday, April 29, 2008
By SAM HODGES / The Dallas Morning News

Why would the busy, some might say embattled, leader of the 2.4 million-member Episcopal Church travel to Dallas for a 300-member congregation's garden blessing service?

"Well, I was asked," said Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first woman to lead the Episcopal Church.

The Episcopal Church of St. Thomas the Apostle invited Bishop Jefferts Schori for what was her first official visit to Dallas.

Wearing sunglasses and a white robe, the oceanographer-turned-priest helped preside over an elaborate afternoon service, blessing a garden whose raised-bed vegetable plots will help supply local food banks. the rest

Monday, April 28, 2008

Devotional: Believer! study the humility of Jesus...

Believer! study the humility of Jesus. This is the secret, the hidden root of thy redemption. Sink down into it deeper day by day. Believe with thy whole heart that this Christ, whom God has given thee, even as His divine humility wrought the work for thee, will enter in to dwell and work within thee too, and make thee what the Father would have thee be. ...Andrew Murray image

U.S. 'sex culture' driving child prostitution

Jeff Johnson
OneNewsNow
4/25/2008

A former federal prosecutor says the easy availability of online pornography is contributing to another, much more dangerous problem.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, in the past ten months police have discovered more than 170 underage children, some as young as 11, being pimped out on the streets of Oakland, California. Pat Trueman, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, is former chief of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section in the Criminal Division of the Justice Department. He believes that the growth of the child prostitution industry can be easily traced.

"What you're finding in today's society is a greater interest in illicit sex than ever before," he laments. "The Internet has caused that because an individual can go on the Internet, see hardcore pornography, see child pornography, and have almost zero chance of being caught. The next thing they want to do, then, is have sex with a prostitute," Trueman contends. the rest

When Young Teachers Go Wild on the Web

Public Profiles Raise Questions of Propriety and Privacy
By Ian Shapira
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 28, 2008

It's almost like Googling someone: Log on to Facebook. Join the Washington, D.C., network. Search the Web site for your favorite school system. And then watch the public profiles of 20-something teachers unfurl like gift wrap on the screen, revealing a sense of humor that can be overtly sarcastic or unintentionally unprofessional -- or both.

One Montgomery County special education teacher displayed a poster that depicts talking sperm and invokes a slang term for oral sex. One woman who identified herself as a Prince William County kindergarten teacher posted a satiric shampoo commercial with a half-naked man having an orgasm in the shower. A D.C. public schools educator offered this tip on her page: "Teaching in DCPS -- Lesson #1: Don't smoke crack while pregnant." the rest

Barack Obama Defends Opposition to Partial-Birth Abortion Ban in Interview

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 27, 2008

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- In a Sunday interview, pro-abortion presidential candidate Barack Obama defended his opposition to a ban on partial-birth abortions. Though he wasn't in Congress at the time it voted on the ban, he said he would have supported it had it contained a health exception.

However, doctors and medical groups readily acknowledge that the three-day-long abortion procedure -- involving the killing of an unborn baby halfway through the birthing process - never helps women medically.

In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Obama said, "On an issue like partial-birth abortion, I strongly believe that the state can properly restrict late-term abortions. I have said so repeatedly. All I've said is we should have a provision to protect the health of the mother, and many of the bills that came before me didn't have that." the rest

CNY Bishop Skip Adams: "The scriptures ... assume that the Earth is flat."

04/28/2008
Video Story by
News10Now (video link at end)
By: Karen Lee

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- The Church of the Good Shepherd was built in the 19th century and has since been a place of worship for its 80-plus members.

"We had generations and generations of people who had come to this church and have put their hard-earned money into maintaining it and keeping it and occupying it," said Matt Kennedy, the Church of the Good Shepherd rector.

But soon, they may all be evicted as the church is being sued by their former denomination, the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York.

The issue traces back to 2003, when the Episcopal Church consecrated a gay bishop and allowed others to perform same-sex blessings. Churches like the Good Shepherd stand firm that the Bible states this is a sin.

The topic of homosexuality is causing rifts among some in the Episcopal Church. The diocese of Central New York is suing a former parish in Binghamton. Our Karen Lee tells us how they want the church to turn over their buildings, as well as their assets.

"There's Leviticus Chapter 18 verse 22 in which God says men are not to lie with other men as they would with a woman," said Kennedy.

But the diocese says that the Bible needs to be matched with the changing cultural context.

"The scriptures for instance assume that the Earth is flat. That's the assumption of the scriptures, that's the world view in which people had. But we know that's not true and so when we get new scientific knowledge along the way, one goes back to the scriptures and say okay we have a new awareness," said Gladstone Adams, the Episcopal Diocese bishop.

They also believe that one does not choose their sexual orientation, therefore stating that homosexuality is not a sin. It's this great divide that triggered the separation.

Good Shepherd since joined the Anglican Church of Kenya and extended two separate offers to keep their building. Both were rejected and in turn, the Diocese proposed to give them up to a year to find a new location. But there was no answer.

"We took their non-response to be a rejection and so we had then to protect the assets of the Episcopal Church, which includes the buildings and other things of the church that we needed to file that complaint with Broome County," said Adams.

The Episcopal Diocese filed its lawsuit on April 15th, giving the Church of the Good Shepherd 20 days to respond. Which now leaves less than a week for a course of action to be determined.

"We just want to keep our building and we're trying to defend ourselves to the best of our ability and to this day, we continue to say to the diocese ' please we'd like to talk and keep this out of the courts," said Kennedy.

While the Diocese says they're willing to compromise on time limits, they remain adamant that Good Shepherd will eventually have to move out.

A similar fate was almost met last year by the St. Andrew's Church in Vestal but they decided to relinquish their buildings. They now share a building with the Memorial Baptist Church.

Read the Article

Watch the Video

Photo of CNY Bishop Gladstone "Skip" Adams

Are the Quakers Going Pagan?

The liberal end of the Society of Friends has long had members who denied God's existence or Jesus' divinity. Now hundreds of pagans call Quakerism home.
Matthew Streib, Religion News Service
4/28/2008

When his partner died in 2004, Kevin-Douglas Olive reached a crossroads in his faith. Even though he had been a Quaker for almost two decades and put his trust in Jesus, he began to explore other ways of tapping into the divine.

"I had this experience of (my partner) after death, and he spoke to me and woke me up out of my sleep," Olive says. "It freaked me out, because I really didn't believe in that stuff; … my faith in God had disappeared when my partner died."

He started to explore Wicca, a nature-based pagan religion, surrounding himself with pentacles, candles and incense. But that didn't stick. "It seemed like more make-believe on top of the Christian make-believe," he says. "I was rejecting one; I didn't want to bring in another."

Even after Olive found his way back to Jesus, he retained some elements of paganism. While he upholds the standard traditions of his local Quaker meeting hall, he privately incorporates pagan ritual into his prayer. the rest image

Diocese Asks Court for All San Joaquin Assets

April 28, 2008

A lawyer for the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin has asked a Fresno County Superior Court to award it all property and assets now claimed by the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin.

“While it is regrettable that legal action is necessary, the diocese and The Episcopal Church have no other viable option but to seek the intervention of the court to recover the property and assets of the diocese,” said the Rt. Rev. Jerry A. Lamb, provisional Bishop of San Joaquin.

Last December, a majority of delegates to the convention of the Diocese of San Joaquin voted to leave The Episcopal Church and affiliate with the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone. “Such actions are contrary to the Canons and Constitution of The Episcopal Church and the diocese,” the media statement from the Episcopal diocese said.

The filing of the lawsuit comes about a week before the scheduled visit to the Anglican diocese by Presiding Bishop Gregory Venables, Primate of the Southern Cone. Bishop Lamb sent a letter of protest to Bishop Venables on April 22 that informed him that his planned visit was a violation of the traditions of the Anglican Communion and of the recommendations of the Windsor Report.

In a statement recently published on its diocesan website, Anglican Bishop John-David Schofield of San Joaquin described the filing of the lawsuit by his former denomination as unsettling, but not surprising. the rest

Bill to Ban Human-Animal Hybrid Creation Introduced in Congress

By John-Henry Westen

WASHINGTON, DC, April 25, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Yesterday, Rep. Chris Smith introduced the Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act, H.R. 5910, to ban the creation of part-human, part-animal hybrid beings. The legislation is timely as researchers are already tinkering with human-animal hybrid technologies. British scientists are actively perfecting the hybrid technique. On April 1, 2008 the BBC reported that, "Scientists at Newcastle University have created part-human, part-animal hybrid embryos for the first time in the UK."

The Act places a ban on the creation, transfer, or transportation of a human-animal hybrid. Human-animal hybrids are defined as:

1) A human embryo into which animal cells are introduced, making its humanity uncertain.
2a) An embryo created by fertilizing a human egg with non-human sperm.
2b) An embryo created by fertilizing a non-human egg with human sperm.
3a) An embryo created by introducing a non-human nucleus into a human egg.
3b) An embryo created by introducing a human nucleus into a non-human egg.
4) An embryo containing mixed sets of chromosomes from both a human and animal.
5) An animal with human reproductive organs.
6) An animal with a whole or predominantly human brain.
the rest

Transgender Teaching on Tap for Maine Boys

By Staff
Apr 28, 2008

The Portland, Maine-based Boys to Men organization has recently publicized a workshop entitled "Queer, Questioning, Quiet: Developing Gender Identity & Male Sexual Orientation" for their upcoming 2008 annual conference. Scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 13 at the Abromson Community Education Center at the University of Southern Maine, the presentation will feature speakers by the homosexual Proud Rainbow Youth for Southern Maine (PRYSM) group.

According to its 2008 Conference website, Boys to Men "is targeted primarily to middle and high school boys and their adult male mentors." The workshop is described as having "speakers from the Maine SpeakOut Project and PRYSM [who] will discuss their own coming-out experiences and use these as a springboard for exploring LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered] issues and resources for youth in Southern Maine." the rest

Justice Scalia On The Record

60 Minutes' Lesley Stahl Interviews The Supreme Court Justice About His Public And Private Life
April 27, 2008

(CBS) Not many Supreme Court justices become famous, but Antonin Scalia is one of the few.

Known as "Nino" to his friends and colleagues, he is one of the most brilliant and combative justices ever to sit on the court and one of the most prominent legal thinkers of his generation.

He first agreed to talk to 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl about a new book he's written on how lawyers should address the court. But over the course of several conversations, our story grew into a full-fledged profile - his first major television interview - including discussions about abortion and Bush v. Gore. At 72, Justice Scalia is still a maverick, championing a philosophy known as "orginalism," which means interpreting the Constitution based on what it originally meant to the people who ratified it over 200 years ago. the rest image

Archbishop Tutu calls for Olympic boycott

Monday, 28th April 2008
By: Manasseh Zindo

Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Sunday April 27 urged world leaders to stay away from the opening ceremony of this summer’s Beijing Olympic Games.

"The leaders of the free world, for goodness sake, don't attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games until it is quite clear that they (the Chinese) mean business and that they will stop the violence against the Tibetans," Archbishop Tutu said at a Cape Town ceremony for an alternative "Tibetan" Olympic torch.

The South African Nobel Peace laureate lit a "Tibetan" Olympic torch, which was kindled in Delhi on January 30 and will travel to cities on five continents before arriving in May back in Dharamsala, India, where Tibet's parliament-in-exile is based. the rest

BBC: Interview with Gene Robinson

Sunday 27 April 2008

The issue of homosexuality continues to tear the Anglican Communion apart in the build-up to the 2008 Lambeth Conference. In June the conservatives who oppose the ordination of gay priests will meet in Jerusalem, in what some see as an alternative conference. Many of these will refuse to go on to Canterbury for the main meeting in July.Meanwhile the gay Bishop, Gene Robinson, whose consecration brought this dispute to a head, shows no sign of backing out of the limelight. His latest book In the Eye of the Storm is published this week by the Canterbury Press. He explained why he wrote it. link image

Listen (6m 50s)

Manchester report on Women Bishops

Report of the Women Bishops Legislative Drafting Group

Here

Painter's 8-year effort at Dallas Orthodox church nearly done

By ROY APPLETON
The Dallas Morning News

Stroke by steady stroke, Vladimir Grigorenko spreads a subtle green near two sandaled feet. "This is the prophet Zechariah," he says, looking up at the robed and bearded likeness on the wall.

"That's Hosea, and that's Jonah," he continues, motioning toward his other creations inside the cupola at St. Seraphim Orthodox Cathedral.

Standing on a metal scaffold, light streaming through window panes of beaded glass, he checks his work with a straightedge – "It's better to be precise" – and brushes on. the rest

Video

Last day to save Christian radio?

FCC rule change seen as threat to licenses of religious stations
April 28, 2008
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

WASHINGTON – Today is the last day for public comments on a proposed Federal Communications Commission rule change some say would threaten the licenses of Christian radio stations from coast to coast.

At issue is a proposal that would require every radio station to take programming advice from community advisory boards representative of the area's population.

Advocates of Christian programming say that would require Christian broadcasters to seek advice from non-Christians and even those opposed to the Christian message. Some radio stations fear organized groups of atheists, for instance, could demand representation on the new FCC-mandated advisory boards that would factor into licensing decisions. the rest

Albert Mohler: The New Face of Gay Marriage

Monday, April 28, 2008

"Honey, we may be married, but we still know how to have a good time, don't we?" That statement was made by Joshua Janson, age 25, to his husband, Benjamin McGuire, also 25. The reality of young homosexual men getting married in Massachusetts caught the attention of The New York Times Magazine and writer Benoit Denizet-Lewis.

The magazine's April 27, 2008 cover article, "Young Gay Rites," offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives of these young men -- and into their understandings of marriage and its place in American life. Reporter Benoit Denizet-Lewis is interested in the story as a journalist who is himself homosexual, but the article deserves attention by a far larger readership. In their own way, these young men are demonstrating something important about marriage in America. the rest

Critics Cost Muslim Educator Her Dream School

By ANDREA ELLIOTT
April 28, 2008

Debbie Almontaser dreamed of starting a public school like no other in New York City. Children of Arab descent would join students of other ethnicities, learning Arabic together. By graduation, they would be fluent in the language and groomed for the country’s elite colleges. They would be ready, in Ms. Almontaser’s words, to become “ambassadors of peace and hope.”

Things have not gone according to plan. Only one-fifth of the 60 students at the Khalil Gibran International Academy are Arab-American. Since the school opened in Brooklyn last fall, children have been suspended for carrying weapons, repeatedly gotten into fights and taunted an Arabic teacher by calling her a “terrorist,” staff members and students said in interviews. the rest

Atheists push own holidays

By Karen Goldberg Goff
April 27, 2008

Now that Earth Day is over, let the planning begin for the summer solstice and World Humanist Day in June.

The Institute for Humanist Studies, an Albany, N.Y.-based nonprofit, is calling attention to its calendar of atheist holidays on its Web site, www.secular seasons.org. The group wants nonbelievers (or at least people who don't celebrate religious holidays) to have a handy reference guide of the calendar of holidays honoring free-thinkers, banned books and nature, among other themes. the rest image

Dissident Anglicans look to South America, Africa for guidance

VANCOUVER — Dissident Anglicans, frustrated with what they feel are the Canadian church's liberal leanings, have found their salvation - and ecclesiastic authority - in unusual places: Africa and South America.

There, the Anglican faith is rooted in traditional, orthodox teachings and is growing in leaps and bounds.

In recent years, 28 parishes have voted to leave the Anglican Church of Canada out of frustration with what they perceive as a gradual departure from core values.

It's a huge change from the traditional structure of the Anglican church, which has been determined through geographic - not ideological - boundaries, says John Stackhouse, a professor of theology and culture at Regent College in Vancouver. the rest

CNY Diocese sues Binghamton parish: "Kennedy is no longer a priest," says spokesperson

by Renee K. Gadoua
posted Sunday April 27, 2008
Syracuse Post-Standard
(update-full version now online-here)

The Episcopal Diocese of Central New York has filed a lawsuit seeking the property of a Binghamton congregation that opposes the denomination's policy on homosexuality.

It's the second such lawsuit filed by the diocese and among dozens of similar cases across the country as the Episcopal Church faces ongoing opposition from congregations that disapprove of the 2003 consecration of New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson. Robinson has publicly acknowledged being in a committed gay relationship.

In August, a settlement between the diocese and St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Syracuse stipulated that the diocese would retain the building at 5013 S. Salina St. while the breakaway parish would be allowed to remain there up to a year.

A third church, St. Andrew's in Vestal, has also broken from the Central New York Episcopal Church.

All three have affiliated with Anglican groups that consider homosexuality incompatible with Scripture.

In the latest case, involving Binghamton's Church of the Good Shepherd, the diocese filed a complaint April 15 in state Supreme Court in Broome County seeking "a full accounting and delivery of real and personal property of the church to the diocese."

The legal action came after the pastor, the Rev. Matthew Kennedy, renounced his ministry with the Episcopal Church and the parish voted to leave the Episcopal Church and affiliate with Anglican Church of Kenya, said the Rev. Karen C. Lewis, assistant to Bishop Gladstone "Skip" Adams. link and comments at the newspaper

The print version of the Syracuse Post-Standard (but not the online version above) cites the Rev. Karen Lewis, the canon to the ordinary for Bishop Gladstone “Skip” Adams, telling the newspaper reporter that “Kennedy is no longer a priest.” Fr. Matt Kennedy still refers to Adams as “Bishop Adams” and to the canon as the “Rev. Karen Lewis” despite their theological differences. But in the world of the Central New York Diocese, once you leave ECUSA for another Anglican jurisdiction (in Fr. Kennedy’s case, the Anglican Church of Kenya) you are no longer clergy. Wonder what the people in the CNY diocesan office would call a native Kenyan priest of the Anglican Communion? Apparently the correspondence to Fr. Kennedy from the bishop and his lawyer calling him “Mr. Kennedy” and “Matt Kennedy,” (see April 15, press release) was a pointed denial of Fr. Kennedy’s ordained status.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Devotional: Before sending Isaiah forth as his prophet...

Before sending Isaiah forth as his prophet, God showed him his glory. Exposed to that radiance Isaiah could only cry out in dismay, "Woe is me!" Prior to seeing the Lord, his lips were already unclean and he had already been dwelling in the midst of a people of unclean lips; yet he was unaware of all this...until that light shone down on him and he saw his actual state and theirs.

How could he now become God's mouthpiece, since his own lips were so defiled? The one thing that made it possible was his response in the face of God's holiness-this cry of "Woe!" Given such self-knowledge, he was ready for the seraph to come from the altar and cleanse his lips. Let us, then, keep the sequence in view, for it is a good one: first the uncleanness, then God's light, followed by the cry of self-knowledge, then the touch of cleansing, and finally the commission to go and serve. ...Watchman Nee
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Muslim Rebel Sisters: At Odds With Islam and Each Other

By BARRY GEWEN
April 27, 2008

AYAAN HIRSI ALI and Irshad Manji are two of the most prominent and outspoken critics of what they and others see as “mainstream Islam.” Brilliant, dynamic women — the overused word “charismatic” is not inappropriate for either one — they have each rebelled against a Muslim upbringing to become public figures with large and devoted followings. Both are successful authors: Ms. Hirsi Ali’s autobiography, “Infidel,” was a New York Times best seller; Ms. Manji’s combination memoir-polemic, “The Trouble With Islam Today,” has been published in almost 30 countries. They are firm and unyielding in their support for the West, feminism, reason, freedom — and they have paid a price: both have been targets of death threats and have required protection; in Ms. Hirsi Ali’s case, around-the-clock protection. the rest

Divine light, camera, action!

The brothers Erwin brothers run a thriving Christian film production company in Bessemer
Posted by Mary Colurso
April 27, 2008

Bessemer is 1,800 miles and a far cry from Hollywood.

Erwin Brothers Motion Pictures likes it that way.

Right here in Alabama, in a nondescript brick building tucked into a small industrial complex, movies are being made.

Quietly and effectively, with a minimum of fuss, Jonathan and Andrew Erwin have been working on projects that range from music videos for Christian artists to short films on Bible stories. The brothers, both of whom are in their 20s, have one documentary to their credit and another in the works.

They've been building a company for several years and, the Erwins say, slowly gaining a foothold in the mainstream film world. the rest

Matt Kennedy+ Sermon: The Consequences of Standing Firm

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The consequences for the Episcopal Church itself are obvious. By every almost every objective measure, aside from money—she has plenty of that—the church is broken, dying, and in decline. And tragically even as she dies, she clings more tightly to the philosophies, worldviews, and priorities that destroy her. She hacks at the pillars of scripture and tradition only to find that she has nothing left on which to stand. It’s common to hear Episcopalian ministers publicly mock core biblical truths;’ pouring scorn on cental doctrines like the virgin birth, the bodily resurrection, the atoning sacrifice of Christ, the fallenness of humanity, the existence of hell and salvation through Jesus Christ alone and then marveling that their churches stand empty. The consequences that come from leading people away from Christ and into falsehood are obvious to anyone with eyes to see. But the consequences we must discuss this morning are not those that follow from rejecting Christ but those that come from following him.

the rest

AnglicanTV: Anne Coletta interviews Bishop Kelshaw

Here

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Devotional: You will never find Jesus so precious...

You will never find Jesus so precious as when the world is one vast howling wilderness. Then he is like a rose blooming in the midst of the desolation, a rock rising above the storm.
...Robert Murray M'Cheyne image

Methodists defend Episcopal Church in land battle

Apr 26, 2008
by William C. Flook
The Examiner

Virginia- The United Methodist Church and a handful of other religious bodies have rallied to the side of Virginia's Episcopal Diocese as it seeks to reclaim millions of dollars worth of property from breakaway congregations in court.

The U.S.-based Methodists, as well as two African branches and the Worldwide Church of God, joined the Episcopal Church this week in challenging the constitutionality of a Civil War-era Virginia law on which the case likely hinges.

"This case raises the question of the appropriateness of the government's intrusion into the freedom of any church body to organize and govern itself according to its own faith and doctrine," top Methodist officials said. the rest

Canada won’t talk to ANiC

April 27, 2008
George Conger

The Canadian House of Bishops has rebuffed a request from the breakaway Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) to negotiate a settlement of property disputes, saying the national church has no power to act.

Property issues “are always resolved within dioceses” Archbishop Fred Hiltz said following the April 15-18 meeting in Niagara Falls, Ontario. “I don’t hold any title to property. General Synod doesn’t hold any title to property,” explained the Canadian church leader.

Bishop Don Harvey of ANiC said he was disappointed the bishops would chose litigation over dialogue, but was not surprised. “I had hoped the Primate would have attempted to facilitate negotiations between the dioceses and the Anglican Network parishes.” Four parishes in British Columbia and Ontario are currently in court with their dioceses, and more lawsuits are expected from dioceses seeking to regain control of breakaway congregations. the rest

Holy See: Biofuels Shouldn't Block Right to Food

BRASILIA, Brazil
APRIL 25, 2008

(Zenit.org).- The Holy See is asking for measures to keep the production of biofuels from bringing about increased food prices to the point of threatening starvation in many countries.

Monsignor Renato Volante, the permanent observer of the Holy See at the Rome-based U.N. Organization for Food and Agriculture (FAO), participated in the FAO Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean, which was held in Brasilia, Brazil, April 17-18.

Monsignor Volante proposed that the production of biofuels should not bring about a decrease in the production of agricultural products destined for the food market. the rest image