Monday, June 30, 2008

Devotional: Abide in Me...

Abide in Me: These words are the command of love, which is ever only a promise in a different shape. Think of this until all feeling of burden and fear and despair pass away, and the first thought that comes as you hear of abiding in Jesus be one of bright and joyous hope. ...Andrew Murray

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
...Henry Lyte image

Olympic nightmare: A red tide in the Yellow Sea

By Jim Yardley
June 30, 2008

BEIJING: With less than six weeks before it plays host to the Olympic sailing regatta, the city of Qingdao has mobilized thousands of people and an armada of small boats to clean up an algae bloom that is choking large stretches of the coastline and threatening to impede the Olympic competition.

Local officials have initiated an all-out effort to clean up the algae by mid-July. Media reports estimate that as many as 20,000 people have either volunteered or been ordered to participate in the operation, while 1,000 boats are scooping algae out of the Yellow Sea. The official news agency, Xinhua, reported that algae currently covered a third of the coastal waters designated for the Olympic races. the rest

Media Silent on Far-Left Anti-Abstinence Alliance

The ACLU and Planned Parenthood are teaming up to take down federally funded abstinence education.
By Kristen Fyfe
Culture and Media Institute
June 30, 2008

It’s no secret that Planned Parenthood wants the federal government to stop funding abstinence-only education programs, but did you know the ACLU is working with them hand in hand?

The abstinence-themed headlines making the news recently are like the one from an Associated Press story that ran last week in The Washington Times, “States abandon Bush funding for sex education.” The article reports that 17 states, for various reasons, now have refused federal grant monies for abstinence education. For some the grant comes with too many restrictions on what can be taught. For others the fact that the grant program comes up for renewal annually and there is no guarantee it will pass. Still other states cannot come up with the matching funds required. the rest

Canadian Pro-Life Groups Appalled that Abortionist Morgentaler May be Awarded Order of Canada July 1st

By Steve Jalsevac

OTTAWA, June 29, 2008 ( - Various sources are reporting that Canada's Governor General intends to approve a bypassing of normal routine and bestow the Order of Canada on abortionist and militant atheist Henry Morgentaler on Canada Day, Tuesday July 1st. More than any other single person, Dr. Henry Morgentaler, who is referred to as Canada's Father of Abortion and Father of Secular Humanism is responsible for the current Canadian legal situation of no law restricting or regulating abortion.

"It is dreadful that this honour should even be considered for a man who's only claim to fame is that he is a professional killer of defenseless babies in their mothers' wombs," said Jim Hughes, National President of Campaign Life Coalition. "Those who have received this prestigious medal should return it because it will have been devalued and disgraced," he continued.

"If Morgentaler had any integrity he would refuse the medal", said Mary Ellen Douglas, National Organizer of CLC. "This presentation should be given to people who have made Canada a better place to live and the elimination of thousands of human beings who would have contributed to the future of Canada is a disgrace not an honour." the rest

TIME: An Anglican Schism: Headed for US?

Monday, Jun. 30, 2008

A group of conservative bishops meeting in Jerusalem have raised anew the possibility of a schism in the worldwide Anglican church, largely over the contentious issue of gay priests. But a nearly simultaneous court ruling in Virginia has increased the chances that the battle over Anglican unity could come to a head in the United States. Says conservative Canon Kendall Harmon with the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina: "[The U.S.] has become a hot zone, and it's going to become much hotter."

The Global Anglican Future conference (GAFcon), the group of conservative Anglican bishops and believers that ended its weeklong meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday, released a statement that stops short of outright schism with the Anglican Communion. However, it seems to set up an alternative fellowship of conservative Anglicans within the Communion, made up of its own group of key archbishops, or primates. It also states an unwillingness to recognize as fellow Anglicans all whom the Archbishop of Canterbury designates as such. the rest

Presiding Bishop responds to GAFCON statement

June 30, 2008

[Episcopal News Service] Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has responded to the Global Anglican Future Conference with the following statement.

Much of the Anglican world must be lamenting the latest emission from GAFCON. Anglicanism has always been broader than some find comfortable. This statement does not represent the end of Anglicanism, merely another chapter in a centuries-old struggle for dominance by those who consider themselves the only true believers. Anglicans will continue to worship God in their churches, serve the hungry and needy in their communities, and build missional relationships with others across the globe, despite the desire of a few leaders to narrow the influence of the gospel. We look forward to the opportunities of the Lambeth Conference for constructive conversation, inspired prayer, and relational encounters.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church
Here image (I put a different picture in-couldn't resist!)

Comments at Stand Firm

Schori's Easter Cow Message

ACNS: Archbishop of Canterbury responds to GAFCON statement

June 30, 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has responded to the final declaration of the Global Anglican Future Conference with the following statement:

The Final Statement from the GAFCON meeting in Jordan and Jerusalem contains much that is positive and encouraging about the priorities of those who met for prayer and pilgrimage in the last week. The ‘tenets of orthodoxy’ spelled out in the document will be acceptable to and shared by the vast majority of Anglicans in every province, even if there may be differences of emphasis and perspective on some issues. I agree that the Communion needs to be united in its commitments on these matters, and I have no doubt that the Lambeth Conference will wish to affirm all these positive aspects of GAFCON’s deliberations. Despite the claims of some, the conviction of the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as Lord and God and the absolute imperative of evangelism are not in dispute in the common life of the Communion

However, GAFCON’s proposals for the way ahead are problematic in all sorts of ways, and I urge those who have outlined these to think very carefully about the risks entailed.

A ‘Primates’ Council’ which consists only of a self-selected group from among the Primates of the Communion will not pass the test of legitimacy for all in the Communion. And any claim to be free to operate across provincial boundaries is fraught with difficulties, both theological and practical – theological because of our historic commitments to mutual recognition of ministries in the Communion, practical because of the obvious strain of responsibly exercising episcopal or primatial authority across enormous geographical and cultural divides. the rest

GAFCON Final Press Briefing

Audio from the final press briefing in Jerusalem.
Questions answered by Archbishops Henry Orombi of Uganda, Peter Jensen of Sydney, and Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda.


GAFCON: What's in it for me?

Sunday, June 29, 2008
Bobby J. Kennedy

My Rector and Bishop were in attendance at GAFCON this past week. That is well known information. Today, following Mass, a group of us, from Grace Church, met Fr. Riley at the airport as he returned from his pilgrimage in Jerusalem. He was greeted by a warm round of applause, handshakes, and hugs. Hearing him speak about the conference, and hearing his wife speak her second-hand information about the conference, leaves one feeling that there is a new found sense of unity developing among Anglicans who oppose the progressive agenda within the Communion. While many people within the Anglican Communion, on all sides of the issues, expected GAFCON to be the divorce event for Anglicanism, and the beginning of global Anglican disintegration, it seems the opposite is true. In a way, the most unlikely of outcomes has occurred. Who would have guessed that GAFCON would have been a rallying point, or regrouping? For those who are familiar with war films, it is as if the traditionalists were surrounded, and retreat seemed inevitable, but someone picked up the fallen banner, charged the enemy positions, reinvigorated the troops in the trenches, and is now leading a counter attack on the enemy’s front lines. GAFCON has picked up the fallen banner of the Anglican Communion, and positioned itself to faithfully dig in, hold the bridgehead, and move deeper into enemy conquered territory. These are promising days for the future of many Anglicans. the rest (Brad Drell)

Hills of the North: Initial thoughts on GAFCON

GAFCON final day: Making a Statement!

NYT: Anglicans Face Wider Split Over Policy on Gays

June 30, 2008

JERUSALEM — Anglican conservatives, frustrated by the continuing stalemate over homosexuality in the Anglican Communion, declared Sunday that they would defy historic lines of authority and create a new power bloc within the communion led by a council predominantly of African archbishops.

The announcement came at the close of an unprecedented weeklong meeting in Jerusalem of Anglican conservatives who contend that they represent a majority of the 77 million members of the Anglican Communion. the rest

Conservative Anglicans stay with Communion, launch global fellowship

Albert Mohler: A Date with Disaster -- Presbyterians Approve Homosexual Clergy

Monday, June 30, 2008

Meeting in San Jose, California, the Presbyterian Church USA, the liberal branch of American Presbyterianism, moved to approve homosexual clergy on June 27, 2008 -- a date that may well mark a final blow against biblical orthodoxy in that denomination.

The PCUSA has debated sexuality issues for decades now, with activists for homosexual ordination pressing their case until they finally got their way at the denomination's General Assembly. In that historic meeting, the General Assembly actually approved several proposals.

Even before dealing directly with the question of ordination standards, the General Assembly approved a first step toward revising the denomination's official translation of the historic Heidelberg Catechism. Once again, the crucial issue was homosexuality. The question was "complex and multi-layered," as the proposing group admitted. the rest image

Obama's Callous Indifference

June 30, 2008
By Peter Kirsanow

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen declares that Barack Obama is " 'likable enough' -- in fact, so much so that he is the most charismatic presidential candidate I have seen since Robert F.Kennedy." Well, even though I've never spoken with Obama, I don't like him very much (I did testify with him [and a few others] once about a bill he'd sponsored on voter intimidation, but at the time he didn't impress me as unlikable, just a little intellectually lazy) .

This hasn't always been the case. Until early February, I tended to agree with all the news stories that contained the obligatory man-in-the-street quotes proclaiming him "decent," "likeable" and a "nice guy with a beautiful family."

According to the hagiography that passes for reporting about Obama, my attitude is rare. And, admittedly, unsophisticated. After all, I'm black so I shouldn't just like Obama, I should love and praise him. Sure, I'm conservative, but according to a recent AP story the Obama magic is so powerful that even black conservatives are in a swoon. But then, I'm also one of those bitter guys from flyover country.

I disagree with nearly all of Obama's positions, ranging from energy policy to the Iraq war. The National Journal's determination that he's the most liberal member of the Senate is a serious understatement. There may not be a more liberal elected official in all of Washington. But like most people, I like lots of folks with whom I have major policy disagreements. Put another way, if Barack Obama came up to me tomorrow, took my hand, looked me in the eye and said "when I'm president, I'll fight to win in Iraq, beat hell out of terrorists, appoint Supreme Court justices like Thomas and Roberts, cut taxes, secure the border, enact free market health care reform, honor our military and use the bully pulpit to prevent cultural decay,'' I'd still dislike him. Maybe more than I do now. the rest image

Anglican Bishops Say They Are Reclaiming Biblical Position

Julie Stahl
Jerusalem Bureau Chief

Jerusalem ( - Pledging to work against forces of "militant secularism and pluralism" within their Christian denomination, conservative Anglican leaders formed a new umbrella organization here at the weekend.

The Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) -- representing more than half of the world's practicing Anglicans -- wrapped up a weeklong meeting in Jerusalem, where more than 1,100 lay and clergy, including nearly 300 bishops, declared their allegiance to traditional biblical and church teachings and vowed to combat liberal trends, including the acceptance of homosexual leadership.

In a statement drafted after all the delegates were allowed to give input through the week, the leaders said they were grieved by the "spiritual decline" in Western nations where, they said, "the forces of militant secularism and pluralism are eating away the fabric of society," leaving a vacuum filled "by other faiths and deceptive cults." the rest

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Devotional: Joy dwells with God...

Joy belongs not only to those who have been called home, but also to the living, and no one shall take it from us....I don't mean by this something fabricated, compelled, but something given, free. Joy dwells with God; it descends from Him and seizes spirit, soul, and body, and where this joy has grasped a man it grows greater, carries him away, opens closed doors. There is a joy which knows nothing of sorrow, need, and anxiety of the heart; it has no duration, and it can only drug one for the moment. The joy of God has been through the poverty of the crib and distress of the cross; therefore it is insuperable, irrefutable. It does not deny the distress where it is, but finds God in the midst of it, indeed precisely there; it does not contest the most grievous sin, but finds forgiveness in just this way; it looks death in the face, yet finds life in death itself. ...Dietrich Bonhoeffer image

Conservative Anglicans form breakaway church in revolution led from the south

New Hampshire's gay bishop was turning point: move marks power shift to developing countries
Riazat Butt and Toni O'Loughlin Jerusalem
Monday June 30, 2008

Conservative evangelicals representing half of the world's Anglicans launched a new global church yesterday, challenging the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury and vowing to rescue people from the forces of "militant secularism and pluralism" created by a "spiritual decline" in developing economies.

The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, Foca, will sever ties with the main churches in the US and Canada, whose leaders they accuse of betraying biblical teaching. Foca architects will tomorrow go to the conservative evangelical church of All Souls, in central London, to discuss global Anglicanism and English orthodoxy. the rest

McCain meets with evangelist Billy Graham and son

Liz Sidoti
Associated Press Writer

MONTREAT, N.C. - John McCain met Sunday with evangelist Billy Graham and his son, Franklin, at the family's mountaintop retreat.

The Republican presidential candidate, who is actively courting religious voters and trying to reassure skeptical conservatives, visited privately with the Grahams on the grounds of Little Piney Cove in the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina.

"We had a very excellent conversation. I appreciated the opportunity to visit with them," McCain said after the 45-minute meeting. the rest

My other Gafcon

The media says it's a colloquy of Christian fundamentalists. But that misses its vitally personal religious purpose
Sunday June 29, 2008
Anne Atkins

In short, Gafcon is about the Lordship of Christ, the sinfulness of man, the reliability of the scriptures, and what all this means for all our lives. That's what all the talks, seminars, workshops, songs and prayers in Jerusalem this week have been focused on.

I find this utterly thrilling stuff, which is why I was there. It has changed my life, shaped my choices, gloriously enriched my relationships, and most important of all, will get me through the biggest challenge I will ever face: my death and what lies beyond.

But I've never really expected it to go down a bomb in the secular media, to be perfectly frank with you. So I'm not expecting this to be how Gafcon is reported.

Be honest, if you were a hard-pressed, overworked reporter sitting in on a Christian conference all week, would you file back to your editor the essence of the Gospel? Of course you wouldn't.

You'd say, these Christian fundamentalist fanatics believe in converting Muslims. Or you'd say they are opposed to gay rights. Or you might even, if writing for intelligent readers who pick up the Guardian, say they are discussing the political structures of the future of the Church of England.

But please, don't think that's what Gafcon was about.
Full Commentary

Jerusalem Declaration Signals New Reality for Anglican Communion

Anglican leaders representing a clear majority of the world's practising Anglicans, joyously affirmed the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) Statement and the Jerusalem Declaration at the end of the conference on Sunday June 29. The document addresses the crisis gripping the Anglican Communion over scriptural authority. It calls for the creation of a new council of primates overseeing a volunteer fellowship committed to mission and biblical Anglicanism as well as a new structure of accountability based on the Jerusalem Declaration. It also signals the move of most of the world's practicing Anglicans into a post-colonial reality, where the Archbishop of Canterbury is recognized for his historic role, but not as the only arbiter of what it means to be Anglican. the rest

The Jerusalem Declaration

In the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit:

We, the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, have met in the land of Jesus’ birth. We express our loyalty as disciples to the King of kings, the Lord Jesus. We joyfully embrace his command to proclaim the reality of his kingdom which he first announced in this land. The gospel of the kingdom is the good news of salvation, liberation and transformation for all. In light of the above, we agree to chart a way forward together that promotes and protects the biblical gospel and mission to the world, solemnly declaring the following tenets of orthodoxy which underpin our Anglican identity.

1. We rejoice in the gospel of God through which we have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Because God first loved us, we love him and as believers bring forth fruits of love, ongoing repentance, lively hope and thanksgiving to God in all things.

2. We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God written and to contain all things necessary for salvation. The Bible is to be translated, read, preached, taught and obeyed in its plain and canonical sense, respectful of the church’s historic and consensual reading.

3. We uphold the four Ecumenical Councils and the three historic Creeds as expressing the rule of faith of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

4. We uphold the Thirty-nine Articles as containing the true doctrine of the Church agreeing with God’s Word and as authoritative for Anglicans today.

5. We gladly proclaim and submit to the unique and universal Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, humanity’s only Saviour from sin, judgement and hell, who lived the life we could not live and died the death that we deserve. By his atoning death and glorious resurrection, he secured the redemption of all who come to him in repentance and faith.

6. We rejoice in our Anglican sacramental and liturgical heritage as an expression of the gospel, and we uphold the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as a true and authoritative standard of worship and prayer, to be translated and locally adapted for each culture.

7. We recognise that God has called and gifted bishops, priests and deacons in historic succession to equip all the people of God for their ministry in the world. We uphold the classic Anglican Ordinal as an authoritative standard of clerical orders.

8. We acknowledge God’s creation of humankind as male and female and the unchangeable standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman as the proper place for sexual intimacy and the basis of the family. We repent of our failures to maintain this standard and call for a renewed commitment to lifelong fidelity in marriage and abstinence for those who are not married.

9. We gladly accept the Great Commission of the risen Lord to make disciples of all nations, to seek those who do not know Christ and to baptise, teach and bring new believers to maturity.

10. We are mindful of our responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation, to uphold and advocate justice in society, and to seek relief and empowerment of the poor and needy.

11. We are committed to the unity of all those who know and love Christ and to building authentic ecumenical relationships. We recognise the orders and jurisdiction of those Anglicans who uphold orthodox faith and practice, and we encourage them to join us in this declaration.

12. We celebrate the God-given diversity among us which enriches our global fellowship, and we acknowledge freedom in secondary matters. We pledge to work together to seek the mind of Christ on issues that divide us.

13. We reject the authority of those churches and leaders who have denied the orthodox faith in word or deed. We pray for them and call on them to repent and return to the Lord.

14. We rejoice at the prospect of Jesus’ coming again in glory, and while we await this final event of history, we praise him for the way he builds up his church through his Spirit by miraculously changing lives. Here (scroll down)

GAFCON News: Conservatives say not quitting Anglican Communion

Sun Jun 29, 2008
By Ari Rabinovitch

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Conservative Anglican leaders vowed on Sunday to stay in the worldwide Anglican Communion but form a council of bishops to provide an alternative to churches they say are preaching a "false gospel" of sexual immorality.

The Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) said member churches would continue sponsoring breakaway conservative parishes in liberal western member countries and called for a separate conservative province in North America. the rest

Religiouos Intelligence: Conservatives to split -- but only from Episcopal Church
George Conger: Jerusalem: Conservatives will declare a split from the Episcopal Church but will stop short of schism with the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Sydney Morning Herald: Anglicans' new group denounces liberalism

BBC: Anglican conservatives form group

UK Guardian: Conservative Anglicans form global network

UK Telegraph: Anglican Church offshoot founded by traditionalists in Jerusalem

The Living Church:
GAFCON Declaration Calls for Reformed Communion
GAFCON Communiqué Likely to Redefine Relations with Canterbury

Christian Science Monitor: Traditionalists lay out bold challenge to Anglican leadership

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Devotional: Inasmuch as certain men have set the truth aside...

Inasmuch as certain men have set the truth aside, and bring in lying words and vain genealogies, which, as the apostle says, “minister questions rather than godly edifying which is in faith,” and by means of their craftily-constructed plausibilities draw away the minds of the inexperienced and take them captive, [I have felt constrained, my dear friend, to compose the following treatise in order to expose and counteract their machinations.] These men falsify the oracles of God, and prove themselves evil interpreters of the good word of revelation. They also overthrow the faith of many, by drawing them away, under a pretence of [superior] knowledge, from Him who rounded and adorned the universe; as if, forsooth, they had something more excellent and sublime to reveal, than that God who created the heaven and the earth, and all things that are therein. By means of specious and plausible words, they cunningly allure the simple-minded to inquire into their system; but they nevertheless clumsily destroy them, while they initiate them into their blasphemous and impious opinions respecting the Demiurge; and these simple ones are unable, even in such a matter, to distinguish falsehood from truth. ... Irenaeus: Against Heresies image

Anglican conservatives launch liberal challenge

posted June 28, 2008

NEW YORK (AP) — Conservatives from the world's largest Anglican provinces who are angered by liberal thinking in churches in North America and elsewhere plan to create a global fellowship that challenges worldwide Anglican unity but stops short of a formal split.

The plan is expected to be adopted Sunday on the final day of the Global Anglican Future Conference in Jerusalem. The summit was called by Anglican leaders in Africa and parts of North America and Australia outraged by what they consider a "false gospel" in liberal churches. the rest

Ruth Gledhill: Anglicans form 'new church' in gay clergy row

GAFCON Final Statement: New Province in North America

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Please note that uncorrected version of the statement have "Recognise GAFCON Primates’ Council." The corrected text is "Encourage GAFCON Primates’ Council."


Praise the LORD!

It is good to sing praises to our God; for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting. The LORD builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel. (Psalm 147:1-2) Brothers and Sisters in Christ: We, the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, send you greetings from Jerusalem!


The Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), which was held in Jerusalem from 22-29 June 2008, is a spiritual movement to preserve and promote the truth and power of the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ as we Anglicans have received it. The movement is global: it has mobilised Anglicans from around the world. We are Anglican: 1148 lay and clergy participants, including 291 bishops representing millions of faithful Anglican Christians. We cherish our Anglican heritage and the Anglican Communion and have no intention of departing from it. And we believe that, in God’s providence, Anglicanism has a bright future in obedience to our Lord’s Great Commission to make disciples of all nations and to build up the church on the foundation of biblical truth (Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 2:20)...

Another Excerpt:
We believe this is a critical moment when the Primates’ Council will need to put in place structures to lead and support the church. In particular, we believe the time is now ripe for the formation of a province in North America for the federation currently known as Common Cause Partnership to be recognised by the Primates’ Council.

The rest/comments at Stand Firm

Communique and comments at TitusOneNine

Sarah Hey: What I Would Like To See From GAFCON

Saturday, June 28, 2008

I am being quite presumptious in my title, I know, since frankly, nobody -- but perhaps Matt? -- at GAFCON cares what I wish would happen. But I thought I would share my perspective as a Communion Conservative on the event, just for discussion and to have a different outside viewpoint. I recognize that what I say in this article is likely to offend many on all sides of our "conservative debate" -- but at least I'm offending everybody equally. If you find your blood boiling as you read, then read on, and you might quickly turn to chortling and head-nodding, who knows?

I have been watching -- from a far distance and certainly on the sidelines -- the proceedings at GAFCON. In the midst of a heavy work-week I've breezed through a number of blog posts and articles, listened to the hysterics and "all-caps writing" of the Entirely Unbiased Secular Media, and watched a grand total of five minutes of live streaming of the event.Why the far distance? the rest

Gledhill: Anglicans face split

June 28, 2008
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

The Anglican Communion will be split tomorrow when conservatives representing more than half its total membership will announce the formation of a new orthodox body to be a stronghold against liberal views. It will be schism in all but name.

The new global Anglican fellowship will act within the legal boundaries of provinces such the Church of England that make up the existing Communion but, in North America, it will declare its independence from the ultra-liberal Episcopal Church and from the Anglican church in Canada.

The fellowship represents a direct challenge to the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, and the Primate of the US Episcopal Church, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. the rest

Court Order Permits Christian Handouts at Homosexual "PrideFest"

June 27, 2008

( - A federal judge issued an order Tuesday that will permit a Christian ministry to hand out literature and speak about their religious viewpoint at an annual "PrideFest" event celebrating homosexual behavior.

The court order, requested by an Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) allied attorney, restrains city officials from enforcing an unconstitutional policy they used two years earlier at a city park to ban the same group from distributing literature and expressing their views.

"Christian groups shouldn't be penalized for expressing their beliefs," said attorney Rick Nelson, who represents the ministry, Apple of His Eye. "Being threatened with arrest simply for expressing a religious viewpoint is something we'd expect in other nations, but not in the United States. We are encouraged that the court is allowing our client to exercise their First Amendment rights while this case moves forward in court." the rest

Gearing Up for the Pauline Year

Dioceses Prepare for Jubilee of Apostle of the Gentiles
By Karna Swanson
NEW YORK, JUNE 27, 2008

( Maybe nothing can separate us from the love of God, but as the Year of St. Paul gets under way, many dioceses are taking advantage of an opportunity to draw people closer to it.

Benedict XVI will open the jubilee year marking the 2,000th anniversary of Paul's birth this Saturday in a ceremony at St. Paul Outside the Walls. The official end of the Pauline Year will be one year from Sunday. the rest image

GAFCON photos

From the Anglican Church League

Day 2 (Mount of Olives).

Day 3

Day 4

Day 6


Added: GAFCON's public photo gallery at PICASA

Islam is real threat to church, says Synod member

By Martin Beckford
Religious Affairs Correspondent in Jerusalem

Divisions in the Church of England over homosexuality and women bishops are nothing compared with the threat it faces from Islam, a prominent member of its governing body has warned.

More than 1,000 conservative Anglicans have been meeting in Jerusalem this week to develop a new movement within the worldwide Communion, in order to combat liberals who they say are departing from the Bible's teaching by supporting gay clergy.

Next week the General Synod, the Church of England's parliament, gathers in York to discuss the introduction of women bishops without provisions for those who oppose the historic move, which could see dozens of conservative clergy leave the church and claim millions in compensation.

But Alison Ruoff, an evangelical lay member of the Synod and a former magistrate who is at the Gafcon summit in Jerusalem, told The Daily Telegraph that the church needs to get past these divisions and concentrate on fighting the rise of Islam in Britain. the rest

Presbyterian assembly votes to drop gay clergy ban

June 28, 2008

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), bitterly divided over sexuality and the Bible, set up another confrontation Friday over its ban on ordaining non-celibate gays and lesbians.

The denomination's General Assembly, meeting in San Jose, Calif., voted 54 percent to 46 percent Friday to drop the requirement that would-be ministers, deacons and elders live in "fidelity within the covenant of marriage between and a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness."

The proposed change to the church constitution requires approval from a majority the nation's 173 presbyteries, or regional church bodies-a yearlong process that has proven to be a barrier to similar efforts in the past. the rest

Church Times: Dr Nazir-Ali: ‘Inculturation has limits’

by Paul Handley in Jerusalem
27 June, 2008

THE most liberal-sounding speaker at GAFCON by the end of Tuesday was the Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali (pictured at a press conference held on Tuesday).

Dr Nazir-Ali surprised participants on Tuesday by speaking up for inculturation, change, and diversity. But each of these had its limits, he said. The gospel had to be adapted to different cultures, but “capitulation to culture” must be avoided; change and development must be principled; diversity had to be legitimate.

He made few explicit references to existing Anglican polity, beyond saying that the things that bound it together — the Lambeth Quadrilateral, the Instruments of Communion, and “English good manners” — had not proved strong enough to hold it together. the rest

Friday, June 27, 2008

Devotional: "Without Me you can do nothing"

Every now and again, Our Lord lets us see what we would be like if it were not for Himself; it is a justification of what He said - "Without Me you can do nothing." That is why the bedrock of Christianity is personal, passionate devotion to the Lord Jesus. ...Oswald Chambers image

GAFCON Pilgrims Work to Finalize Communiqué

June 27, 2008

The first draft of a final statement was read to participants of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in Jerusalem during a plenary session on June 27. Attendees have been asked to study the document and recommend changes.

While not in final form, there is already general agreement about a number of points, according to a release by conference organizers. At a Thursday press conference, Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi of Kenya, chairman of the GAFCON statement committee, said the final communiqué would include the following themes:

1. There is a passion for the gospel, a determination to stay true to the Bible, to continue the work of mission and to do so as Anglicans. the rest

AnglicanTV: GAFCON Coverage

Rev. Vaughan Roberts

A Jew and A Palestinian

GAFCON 2:00pm Thursday Press Conference

Bp. Chane: We must consider gay marriage

Our church's evolving attitude has led us to the point where we must consider gay marriage
John Bryson Chane
The Guardian
Thursday June 26, 2008

Our evolving understanding of what marriage is leads, of necessity, to a re-examination of who it is for. Most Christian denominations no longer teach that all sex acts must be open to the possibility of procreation (hence, contraception is permitted). Nor do they hold that infertility precludes marriage. The church has deepened its understanding of the way in which faithful couples experience and embody the love of the creator for creation. In so doing, it has put itself in a position to consider whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

Opponents of gay marriage may raise other objections - that it is unsuitable, for instance, to raise children with two mothers or two fathers. I believe these arguments are easily refuted, but they are arguments about effective social policy, not sound theology. Christians who want to deny others the blessings they claim for themselves should not assume they speak for the Almighty. Full Commentary

UK: Force public bodies to promote 'gay rights'

Friday, 27 June 2008

Public bodies like schools, the police, and local councils should be forced by law to promote ‘gay rights’, says Britain’s leading homosexual lobby group.

Homosexual-only shortlists for Parliamentary candidates should also be permitted, Stonewall says.

The comments come in anticipation of the Government’s proposals for a vast, over-arching Equality Bill.

The Christian Institute has raised concerns about how the Bill may impact religious liberty. the rest

Archbishop Jensen - "A Sleeping Giant Awakes"

Sydney Archbishop Peter Jensen - chair of the GAFCON programme comittee - speaking to a news briefing in Jerusalem - saying a sleeping giant has been awaked in the church by the actions of revisionist leaders in North America.

Audio here

Archbishop Venables on the Lambeth Conference
The Primate of the Southern Cone, Archbishop Gregory Venables, speaks to a GAFCON news briefing on Friday in Jerusalem about his feelings on the conference and the fact that he is going to Lambeth.

Audio here

Misunderstanding GAFCON

This global gathering of Anglicans is proving impossible to characterize--at least for now.
Timothy C. Morgan
June 26, 2008

Some 1100 Anglicans from around the world are meeting this week at the Renaissance hotel in West Jerusalem in hopes of steering the Anglican Communion back to the center of Christian Orthodoxy.

But this conference, now entering its fifth day, is in many respects becoming more difficult to understand and thus easier to misinterpret.

If I were writing purely a critique of the mainstream media coverage, my central criticism would be that US and UK media outlets keep driving the political side of the story (Will there or won't there be a schism?). But they are by and large missing the faith side of the story.

It's easy to do. The folks attending the worship events of GAFCON are telling me that these are high water marks in their own spiritual development. Most worship events are well attended and the plenary sessions are standing room only.

I am told the worship service on Wednesday evening at Ophel Gardens, along the southern steps of the Temple, was a stunning display of contemporary Christian worship in an ancient context. Most media skipped that event (myself included) due to scheduling conflicts. the rest

Virginia: CANA Anglican Churches Win on Constitutional Grounds

Va. Court Upholds Constitutionality of Virginia Division Statute to End Episcopal Attempt to Seize Control Over Church Property

FAIRFAX, Va. (June 27, 2008) – The 11 churches sued by The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia celebrated today’s Fairfax County Circuit Court ruling that confirms the constitutionality of Virginia Division Statute (Virginia Code § 57-9). The 11 churches named in the lawsuit are members of the Anglican District of Virginia (ADV).

“We are pleased with Judge Bellows’ ruling today. After meticulous examination, the judge ruled to uphold the constitutionality of the Virginia Division Statute against all of the Free Exercise, Establishment, Equal Protection, and Takings Clause challenges raised by The Episcopal Church (TEC) and Diocese of Virginia. The Division Statute states that the majority of the church is entitled to its property when a group of congregations divide from the denomination. Therefore, TEC and Diocese had no legal right to our property. We have maintained all along that our churches’ own trustees hold title for the benefit of these congregations. It’s also gratifying to see the judge recognize that the statute means what it says—it’s ‘conclusive’ of ownership. We’re thrilled to see this litigation nearing an end,” said Jim Oakes, vice-chairman of ADV.

“While there are some issues that remain to be resolved and we will continue to defend ourselves in court, we are hopeful that TEC and the Diocese will put aside this expensive distraction. While we disagree with their decision to walk apart from the worldwide Anglican Communion, we acknowledge their right to do so. We would hope that they would acknowledge our right to remain faithful to the tenants of faith that have given comfort to our forbearers who built the churches TEC and the Diocese are now trying so hard to take.”

On April 3, 2008, Judge Bellows issued a landmark ruling that acknowledged a division within TEC, the Diocese and the larger Anglican Communion.

TEC and the Diocese abruptly broke off settlement negotiations in January 2007 and filed lawsuits against the Virginia churches, their ministers and their vestries. The decision of TEC and the Diocese to reinterpret Scripture caused the 11 Anglican churches to sever their ties.


Diocese of Virginia's Response

Added: Reuters: Episcopal Church dissidents win court ruling

Washington Post: Ruling Favors Breakaway Congregations in Va. Suit

Added: Washington Times: Court backs Anglican parishes

Chicago Tribune: Va. judge sides with breakaway Episcopal churches

Added 9:45 pm: ENS: Virginia court rules application of 'Division Statute' is constitutional

Stand Firm: BREAKING: Virginia Judge Rules Division Statute is Constitutional

CANA wins the constitutional challenge.

Ruling is here [3mb PDF].

Stand Firm

GAFCON: Anglican Conference preparing statement about state of Anglican Communion

Jerusalem, Jun 27, 2008

(CNA).- At a press conference on Thursday, Kenyan Anglican Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi gave an update on a statement assessing the state of the Anglican Communion, which is being drafted by the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) at their Jerusalem meeting.

Archbishop Nzimbi said that the GAFCON final statement is still being developed, but certain themes are emerging.

“There is a passion for the Gospel, a determination to stay true to the Bible, to continue the work of mission and to do so as Anglicans,” he said. There is also a “profound sadness” about the state of the Anglican Communion and a “sense of betrayal and abandonment” by the exiting leadership and church structures. the rest

Black pastors hit political parties on abortion

Julia Duin
Friday, June 27, 2008

Hoisting signs declaring "abortion is not a family value," about 60 black demonstrators descended on Democratic and Republican headquarters on Capitol Hill Thursday morning to demand that political candidates refuse funding from Planned Parenthood.

Activists and pastors claimed that a disproportionate amount of the nation's abortions are performed on black women, many of them in clinics operated by Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider.

"Planned Parenthood is a lying, racist organization," said Alveda King, niece of civil rights icon Martin Luther King, adding that one of two abortions performed on her occurred at a Planned Parenthood clinic. the rest

Obama's wife says he'll fight for gay equality

June 26, 2008

Barack Obama will fight for equal rights for gays just as he fought to help working-class families overcome poverty, the Democratic presidential hopeful's wife told a gay Democratic group Thursday.

Recalling his past work as a community organizer to help struggling families, Michelle Obama said he would take the same approach as president. the rest image

Bp. Nazir-Ali: Not Compromising the Gospel

By Mark D. Tooley
Friday, June 27, 2008

Pakistani-born Bishop Michael Nazir Ali of the Church of England continues to roil his leftist and Islamist critics by recently defending the right of Christians to share the Gospel with Muslims.

“Just as Muslims have the right to exercise Da’wa - an invitation to Islam - so Christians must have the freedom to invite people to follow Jesus Christ,” explained the bishop at a press conference in Jerusalem on June 24. “Dialogue proceeds on the understanding that each is a missionary faith.”

The bishop had earlier received rapturous applause at the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in Jerusalem, where 300 conservative Anglican bishops, most of them African, were meeting. GAFCON was aimed at bishops distressed at the leftward tilt of British and American Anglicans, especially the U.S. Episcopal Church. In July, the Archbishop of Canterbury will convene the once a decade Lambeth gathering for the global Anglican Communion’s 880 bishops, who preside over nearly 80 million Anglicans. Many conservative bishops, including Nazir Ali, will boycott Lambeth. the rest

HIV Rate Up 12 Percent Among Young Gay Men

Steepest Rise Is in Black Males Ages 13 to 24
By David Brown
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 27, 2008

The number of young homosexual men being newly diagnosed with HIV infection is rising by 12 percent a year, with the steepest upward trend in young black men, according to a new report.

The double-digit increase in young gay men is about 10 times higher than in the homosexual community overall, where the number of new infections is going up about 1.5 percent a year.

The report, released yesterday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, appears to confirm impressions that a "second-wave" AIDS epidemic is underway in gay America. the rest

GAFCON Anglicans faced with Jerusalem Gay Pride Event

By Robert Pigott
Friday, 27 June 2008
BBC Religious Affairs Correspondent, Jerusalem

A few thousand marchers made their way through central JerusalemWhen 303 traditionalist Anglican bishops, together with clergy and lay members of the Church, ascended to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem this week, they were taking the spiritual high ground in the Anglican Communion's dispute over homosexuality.

As they were photographed against a background of the Old City and Temple Mount the symbolism was clear - they were the authentic wing of the Anglicanism, going back to the birthplace of the Church and what they say was the stricter understanding of the Bible of the first Christians.

But to the evident consternation of the organisers of the Global Anglican Future Conference (Gafcon) they had travelled all this way to the Christian Holy City only to find the streets taken over by Jerusalem Gay Pride. the rest

Gay parade sashays through capital

Anglican traditionalists set to form a 'church within a church'

Friday, 27th June 2008
By George Conger

JERUSALEM: Traditionalists are set to form a “church within a church”, keeping in formal relation with the Archbishop of Canterbury but severing ties with the progressive wings of the Episcopal Church and Anglican Church of Canada.

A communiqué being prepared by pilgrims to the Global Anglican Future Conference (Gafcon) will call for new structures to support conservatives and likely formalize a break with the Episcopal Church.

The changes Gafcon sees are new structural relations between Anglican churches including a break with the progressive wing of The Episcopal Church, a common approach to reading the Bible, a new catechism and a new Book of Common Prayer shared by conservatives across the Communion, Nigerian Bishop John Akao said. the rest

Akinola Reaffirms Stand on Scriptural Root of Anglican Communion


Primate of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Peter Akinola has reiterated the stand of the Anglican Communion on the need to restrict activities of its members worldwide to the teachings of the scripture.He also took a swipe at some elements threatening the existence of the church notably unscriptural consecrations and sexual practices without biblical bases such as homosexuality.

Speaking at the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) held in Jerusalem, Akinola denounced the position of the Archbishop of Canterbury which he said was threatening the future of the communion."

The underlying objective of GAFCON necessarily compels a deep and honest reflection on the theological and ecclesiological inconsistencies of the past decade at the highest and most sacred levels of our Communion. While not contesting the right to personal opinions and attitudes to this new situation, we must disabuse our minds of the unworthy views about GAFCON being a monster on the horizon, or even a strange breed of Anglicanism devoid of antecedent factors". the rest

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Devotional: And they will see his face...

And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. Revelation 22:4

When John speaks of the blessings of the heavenly city, the culmination of those blessings comes in the short statement, "They shall see his face" (22:4). When we look into the face of our Lord and he looks back at us with infinite love, we will see in him the fulfillment of everything that we know to be good and right and desirable in the universe...As we gaze into the face of our Lord, we will know more fully than ever before that "in your presence there is fullness of joy, at your right hand are pleasures for evermore" (Psalm 16:11). Then will be fulfilled the longing of our hearts with which we have cried out in the past, "One thing I have asked of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple" (Psalm 27:4)
...Wayne Grudem image

Study: Evangelicals Lesser Known than Homosexuals

By Audrey Barrick
Christian Post Reporter
Thu, Jun. 26 2008

More Americans are acquainted with a gay or lesbian person than an evangelical, according to a recent study.

The latest research by Phoenix-based Ellison Research found that only 24 percent of all Americans who say they are not evangelical know an evangelical person very well and 40 percent have never known any evangelicals at all, even casually. Meanwhile, 53 percent say they know a homosexual person very well and 20 percent know such a person casually.

"The study raises questions about why members of some groups are largely invisible to so many Americans," Ron Sellers, president of Ellison Research, noted. the rest

Apes get legal rights in Spain, to surprise of bullfight critics

Thomas Catan in Madrid
From The Times
June 27, 2008

Spain is to become the first country to extend legal rights to apes, wrongfooting animal rights activists who have long campaigned against bullfighting in the country.

In what is thought to be the first time a national legislature has granted such rights to animals, the Spanish parliament’s environmental committee voted to approve resolutions committing the country to the Great Apes Project, designed by scientists and philosophers who say that humans’ closest biological relatives also deserve rights. the rest ape

C of E bishop will defect to Rome

Thursday, June 26, 2008

At least one Church of England bishop will defect to Rome soon after the Lambeth Conference, I gather from Anglo-Catholic sources. And there could be more to follow.I can't tell you much more than that at the moment, because the negotiations with Rome are so sensitive - and the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales, who distrust Anglican traditionalists, are quite capable of throwing a spanner in the works.

It's shaming to have to admit that the bishops of my own Church are the chief obstacle to a significant move of Anglo-Catholic clergy and lay people into full communion with the Holy See - but that's the way it was last time, in the early 1990s, and it's still the case today. the rest

Court Convicts Bishop Bennison in Misconduct Case

June 26, 2008

The Court For the Trial of a Bishop has found the Rt. Rev. Charles E. Bennison, Jr., Bishop of Pennsylvania, guilty on both counts relating to the way he responded after learning that his brother, John, hired by Bishop Bennison as youth group leaders and Sunday School superintendent, was engaged in a sexual relationship with a teenaged youth group member at the parish where Bishop Bennison was rector in the 1970s.

The verdict on the first count, “contemporaneous failure to respond appropriately,” was unanimous. On the second count, “subsequent suppression of pertinent information,” the verdict just met the canonically required two-thirds majority. Bishop Bruce Caldwell of Wyoming joined with the Rev. Marjorie Menaul and the Rev. Karen B. Montagno in dissenting from the majority decision on the second count. There were no opinions issued with the verdicts.

The standing committee of the diocese in which the convicted bishop resides must consent to whatever sentence is recommended by the court. Punishment can be admonition, suspension or deposition as covered under Title IV, Canon 12, Section 1(a). the rest

Episcopal Church convicts Pa. bishop of cover-up

ENS: Bennison convicted of conduct unbecoming a clergy member

Episcopal Church convicts Pa. bishop of cover-up

posted June 26, 2008

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — An Episcopal bishop in Pennsylvania has been found guilty by a church panel of covering up his brother's assaults of a teenage girl.

Sixty-four-year-old Charles Bennison was convicted of engaging in conduct unbecoming of the clergy. The verdict was revealed by church documents dated Tuesday and released Thursday. the rest

Os Guinness: revisionist religion will fail

Russell Powell
26 June 2008

The theological and intellectual thrust of GAFCON continued in Jerusalem today with a media briefing by respected US sociologist Dr Os Guinness and two noted ecumenical scholars, Dr. Lamin Sanneh and Dr. Salim Y. Muyaner, addressed GAFCON pilgrims on the Gospel and Reconciliation.

Dr Guinness, who gave a keynote address on Monday on the Gospel and Secularism, expanded on that theme for the media at the GAFCON press room.

Contrary to what secularists believe, he said that many of the big issues of this century are deeply religious. the rest

Israel Minister welcomes Gafcon 'pilgrims' to Jerusalem

Thursday, 26th June 2008
By George Conger

JERUSALEM: “Christians and Jews must unite against a common foe” the Deputy Tourism Minister of Israel, Rafi Ben-Hur told pilgrims from the Global Anglican Future Conference in Jerusalem.

Speaking to over 1,200 Anglicans on the southern steps of the Temple on Mount Zion, Rafi Ben-Hur thanked Archbishop Peter Akinola for bringing the Gafcon conference to Jerusalem, and called the gathering a sign of solidarity between the Jewish state and the Anglican world.
the rest

New CofE book demystifies church

A new book from the Church of England aims to unravel the mystery of Sunday service and holy communion in an attempt to woo people caught between fear and fascination.
by Anne Thomas
Thursday, June 26, 2008

A new book hitting the shelves this week flies in the face of gloomy predictions of church decline by setting out exactly why so many people still head to their local churches each Sunday.

What Am I Doing Here? is the latest offering from Church House, the publishing group of the Church of England. It brings together cartoonist Dave Walker and author Hilary Brand to give readers a fresh but no-nonsense explanation of the Anglican faith. the rest book

Two faces of Southern Baptists

Church debates its role while reaching out to a new generation
Thursday, June 26, 2008

J.D. Greear persuaded his church to drop the word "Baptist" from its name, sell its historic building in Durham, N.C., and move into a local high school. Mr. Greear preaches in an untucked collared shirt, sport coat and jeans, and signed a statement urging action on climate change.

Eric Hankins preaches in a suit and tie at First Baptist Church in Oxford, Miss., where hymns like "Brethren, We Have Met to Worship" are the norm. Change for Mr. Hankins means adopting a new discipleship curriculum. He questions whether humans cause climate change.

Both men are Southern Baptist pastors in their 30s and lead growing congregations. Both are theologically conservative and engaged in their denomination. the rest image

Neopaganism growing quickly

By Electa Draper
The Denver Post

Give them that old-time religion — ancient religion — and then watch an exploding population of modern pagans give it contemporary twists.

Their numbers roughly double about every 18 months in the United States, Canada and Europe, according to the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.

Neopaganism, whether a careful reconstruction of ancient practice or a completely modern interpretation of ancient lore, is now among the country's fastest-growing religions. the rest image

American conservatives 'are not bank-rolling Gafcon'

Thursday, 26th June 2008
By George Conger

JERUSALEM: Claims the Global Anglican Future Conference is being underwritten by American conservative money is false, conference leaders tell

Gafcon is the first pan-Anglican congress that is African-led and self-sufficient Archbishop Peter Akinola told delegates, or “pilgrims” to the June 22 to 29 conference in Jerusalem.

During the opening session on June 22, Archbishop Akinola stated the £2.5 million in costs for the June 22-29 conference had been raised in five months, with £1.2 million coming from the Church of Nigeria. Bishop-elect AkinTunde Popoola, the Church of Nigeria’s press spokesman said two donors gave the bulk of the funds. While they were given anonymously, he could confirm they were Nigerian nationals resident in the country, and were not American supporters of CANA. the rest

Breaking the bonds of communion

Father Raymond J. de Souza, National Post
Thursday, June 26, 2008

Formal arrangements have yet to be made, but it now appears that the critical decisions have already been taken for a dissolution of the Anglican Communion. Every 10 years, all the world's Anglican bishops meet at the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lambeth Palace. They are scheduled to meet this summer, but already some 250 have decided not to attend, boycotting because of the failure of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, to discipline American and Canadian Anglicans for blessing same-sex unions and ordaining actively homosexual clergy.

Many of those who are not attending Lambeth are in Jerusalem this week for an alternative meeting, to discuss how they see the way forward. The parallel meetings are a clear manifestation that the bonds of communion have broken down. The Archbishop of Canterbury is not in Jerusalem, and is not welcome there. The breach appears irreparable and therefore the Anglican Communion's days as a global community centred in Canterbury are numbered. the rest

Supreme Court finds individual right to own guns

Thursday, Jun 26, 2008
By James Vicini

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - For the first time in U.S. history, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that individual Americans have the right to own guns for personal use, and struck down a strict gun control law in the U.S. capital.

The landmark 5-4 ruling marked the first time in nearly 70 years the country's high court has addressed whether the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, rather than a right tied to service in a state militia.

In the majority opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia said the Second Amendment protected an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. the rest

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Devotional: Sorrow burns up a great amount of shallowness...

"What shall I say? Father, save me, from this hour? But for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify Thy name."
John 12:27-29

My attitude as a saint to sorrow and difficulty is not to ask that they may be prevented, but to ask that I may preserve the self God created me to be through every fire of sorrow. Our Lord received Himself in the fire of sorrow, He was saved not from the hour, but out of the hour.

We say that there ought to be no sorrow, but there is sorrow, and we have to receive ourselves in its fires. If we try and evade sorrow, refuse to lay our account with it, we are foolish. Sorrow is one of the biggest facts in life; it is no use saying sorrow ought not to be. Sin and sorrow and suffering are, and it is not for us to say that God has made a mistake in allowing them.

Sorrow burns up a great amount of shallowness, but it does not always make a man better. Suffering either gives me my self or it destroys my self. You cannot receive your self in success, you lose your head; you cannot receive your self in monotony, you grouse. The way to find yourself is in the fires of sorrow. Why it should be so is another matter, but that it is so is true in the Scriptures and in human experience. You always know the man who has been through the fires of sorrow and received himself, you are certain you can go to him in trouble and find that he has ample leisure for you. If a man has not been through the fires of sorrow, he is apt to be contemptuous, he has no time for you. If you receive yourself in the fires of sorrow, God will make you nourishment for other people. ...Oswald Chambers

AnglicanTV: GAFCON Tuesday 8:00PM Press Conference

GAFCON Tuesday 800PM Press Conference

Video: GAFCON Rev.David Short

Time: Threat of Anglican Schism Fizzles

Wednesday, Jun. 25, 2008

The would-be Anglican rebels gathered with storm clouds brewing around them. But now, even though the conservative Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFcon) has not concluded its meeting in Jerusalem, the secession it threatened to bring to the 78 million-member Anglican Communion looks like a confused bust.

This all comes as a bit of surprise to the press, which — with ample encouragement from the Church's right — had been framing GAFcon as a decisive step toward schism in the Anglican Communion, the third biggest global religious fellowship. GAFcon seems to be falling apart on several fronts. First came the venue problems: the conference ping-ponged embarrassingly at the last minute from Jerusalem to Jordan and back to Jerusalem. the rest

Anglican conservative accuses 'relic' Williams of colonial mindset

Gallup: Obama, McCain Tied

Obama had held at least a slim advantage for most of June
June 25, 2008

PRINCETON, NJ -- The latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking update on the presidential election finds John McCain and Barack Obama exactly tied at 45% among registered voters nationwide. here image

Poughkeepsie copes with housing fallout

N.Y. town's woes signal rising foreclosures spreading to more U.S. regions
By John W. Schoen
Senior Producer
Wed., June. 25, 2008

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - For Al Russo, a 30-year-old husband and father of two young boys, the trouble started about two years ago, when the shoe repair business he inherited from his parents hit a seasonal slow patch during the winter.

He’d set aside money to carry him over — just as his parents had taught him. But he had to use that money to pay for his mother’s funeral and soon began falling behind on his mortgage payments. To try to head off a foreclosure on the house he and his wife bought in 2005, he filed for bankruptcy this year at the federal court here on Main Street, representing himself. the rest

Slideshow: "I hate to leave everything behind"

Activists call for citizen's arrest of Pope

June 25, 2008

A SOCIALIST youth organisation has called for a citizen's arrest of the Pope when he arrives in Sydney for World Youth Day (WYD) next month.

Resistance, a member of the NoToPope Coalition, is advocating the pontiff's arrest on the basis of his continued stand against contraception.

Resistance spokeswoman Lauren Carroll Harris said the Pope's view constituted a conspiracy to murder, because the church's opposition to condoms leads to more people becoming infected with HIV.

Under Australian law, anyone can make a citizens arrest if they believe, on reasonable grounds, a person is committing or has just committed an offence. the rest image