Thursday, July 31, 2008

Devotional: The Lord always deserves to be praised...

The Lord always deserves to be praised for what He is in Himself, for His works of creation and providence, for His goodness towards His creatures, and especially for the transcendent act of redemption, and all the marvellous blessing flowing therefrom. It is always beneficial to praise the Lord; it cheers the day and brightens the night; it lightens toil and softens sorrow; and over earthly gladness it sheds a sanctifying radiance which makes it less liable to blind us with its glare. Have we not something to sing about at this moment? Can we not weave a song out of our present joys, or our past deliverances, or our future hopes? Earth yields her summer fruits: the hay is housed, the golden grain invites the sickle, and the sun tarrying long to shine upon a fruitful earth, shortens the interval of shade that we may lengthen the hours of devout worship. By the love of Jesus, let us be stirred up to close the day with a psalm of sanctified gladness. ...CH Spurgeon image

'Mini Lambeth' would be the way forward, say dissatisfied bishops

Riazat Butt, religious affairs correspondent
The Guardian
Friday August 1 2008

The once-a-decade gathering of the world's Anglican bishops in Canterbury has been described as inadequate by those attending it, who yesterday recommended that a smaller group meet every three years.

It is thought that a "mini" Lambeth would allow bishops to have more frequent contact and discussions when attempting to resolve disputes over issues such as the ordination of gay clergy.

The suggestion was one of several to come out of an ongoing process, called Reflections, designed to gain consensus from group meetings involving the 670 bishops who have been in Canterbury for more than a fortnight. the rest

Archbishop Orombi: The Church cannot heal this crisis of betrayal

Those who violate biblical teaching must show repentance and regret before we can share communion with them
Henry Luke Orombi
The Times
August 1, 2008

I love the Lord Jesus Christ, and I love the Anglican Communion. So, why did the bishops of the Church of Uganda and I decide not to attend the present Lambeth Conference? Because we love the Lord Jesus Christ and because we love the Anglican Communion.

St Francis of Assisi said: “Preach the gospel at all times; when necessary use words.” We believe that our absence at this Lambeth Conference is the only way that our voice will be heard. For more than ten years we have been speaking and have not been heard. So maybe our absence will speak louder than our words.

The crisis in the Communion is serious; our commitment to biblical and historic faith and mission are serious; and we want to be taken seriously. In 2003 the Episcopal Church in America consecrated as bishop a man living in an active homosexual relationship. This unilateral and unbiblical action was directly contrary to a resolution of the 1998 Lambeth Conference.

I participated in that conference and we overwhelmingly resolved that “homosexual practice is incompatible with Scripture” and the conference “cannot advise the legitimising of same-sex unions”. As a result, the 2003 action of the American Church plunged the Anglican Communion into a crisis that, as the primates of the Anglican Communion said in 2003, “tore the very fabric of our communion at its deepest level”. The crisis is about authority - biblical authority and ecclesiastical authority. the rest

AnglicanTV: Lambeth 2008: 7/31 Round Table

Mary Ailes, Kevin Kallsen , Matt Kennedy+, and Sarah Hey

Lambeth Diary: Rowan accused of 'betrayal'

Ruth Gledhill's blog
July 31, 2008

In a comment piece in tomorrow's Times, the Archbishop of Uganda, Henry Orombi, will accuse the Arcbishop of Canterbury of a betrayal at the very deepest level. He will argue that even the Pope is elected by his peers, but Dr Williams in his office is little better than a remnant of colonialism. 'The spiritual leadership of a global communion of independent and autonomous Provinces should not be reduced to one man appointed by a secular government,' he says. Nor is the absence of Uganda, Nigeria and other Global South churches a sign that they want to leave the Communion. Far from it. It is a sign of how much they care that it endures. Read it all from when it goes online at 2100 BST and in the paper tomorrow, it is strong stuff! the rest

Interview with Bishop Harold Miller of Ireland

Sarah Hey interviews Bp. Harold Miller of the Diocese of Down and Dromore
July 31, 2008

AnglicanTV: Lambeth 2008: Bishop Peter Beckwith


New Commission proposed to save the Communion

Thursday, 31st July 2008
Andrew Carey

A renewed plan for moratoria on same sex blessings, gay consecrations and cross border interventions were outlined at the Lambeth Conference earlier this week.

Together with plans for a Faith and Order Commission, a Pastoral Forum, a safe-space for parishes under overseas oversight until they can be reunited with provincial bodies, the Windsor Continuation Group drip-fed their recommendations into the Conference with a series of three special hearings. Yet American and Canadian Bishops told a hearing this week that dioceses were openly authorizing and allowing same sex blessings and did not intend to stop. Of the African Primates who have crossed borders into the United States to consecrate American missionary bishops, none of them are in attendance at the Lambeth Conference to respond in person to the call for a moratorium on their actions. the rest

Catholic-Anglican relations reach new low over women bishops

Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent
The Times
July 31, 2008

The Roman Catholic Church has finally ended all hope that Anglican priestly orders will ever be recognised as valid.

In an address to the Lambeth Conference of 670 Anglican bishops from around the world, the cardinal who heads the Council for Christian Unity said the dialogue between Anglicans and Catholics would be irrevocably "changed" as a result of the ordination of women and the recent vote to go ahead with consecrating women bishops.

Cardinal Walter Kasper also reiterated the Vatican's stance that homosexuality is a "disordered" condition.

In a well-attended closed session at the conference at the University of Kent University, Canterbury, Cardinal Kasper said relations between the two churches are now deeply compromised. He urged bishops to consider their shared inheritance, which he said was "worthy of being consulted and protected." the rest

Cardinal Kasper's address

Condemn homosexuality, Vatican official tells Lambeth conference
Riazat Butt, religious affairs correspondent
Guardian /Thursday July 31 2008
Homosexuality is a disordered behaviour that must be condemned, a Vatican official said yesterday...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Devotional: So come!

So come! With heads erect, let us advance, ignoring everything, and remaining always satisfied with God and with all that he makes us do and accomplishes within us. Let us take good care not to get foolishly involved in all those fears and doubts which, like paths leading nowhere, only tempt us to wander on and on until we are hopelessly lost. Let us leap over this maze of self-love instead of trying to explore its endless alleys.
...Jean-Pierre de Caussade image

AnglicanTV: Lambeth 2008: 7/30 1:30pm Press Conference

Press Conference: Here

Lambeth 2008: Coming to a Church near you: Here

Doctors may have found a way to destroy HIV

By Lee McGuire
Wednesday, July 30, 2008

“We have found an innovative way to kill the virus by finding this small region of HIV that is unchangeable,” Dr. Sudhir Paul of the University of Texas Medical School at Houston said.

Dr. Paul and Dr. Miguel Escobar aren’t talking about just suppressing HIV – they’re talking about destroying it permanently by arming the immune system with a new weapon lab tests have shown to be effective. the rest image

Daily pill that halts Alzheimer's is hailed as 'biggest breakthrough against disease for 100 years'

The Rev. Todd H. Wetzel on Gene Robinson-the most dangerous man in the Episcopal Church.

July 30, 2008
Canterbury, England

In 2000, I called the Rev. Canon Gene Robinson the most dangerous man in the Episcopal Church.

Before you jump to conclusions, let me say that I was very clear that it was not because I considered him a “bad” person. Quite the contrary, he was (and is) very articulate, a capable and well liked priest, intelligent, reasonably good looking, a skilled consultant who was (and is), by his own admission, non-celibate and a person of homosexual orientation. As a member of the diocesan staff, he was well known locally. I called him ‘dangerous’ because he was elect-able. And, if elected, and consecrated, chaos would emerge within the Episcopal Church and the Communion.

Americans elect their bishops from a slate of candidates. In most cases, the electing convention is made up of members of the parishes and convention officers of the diocese. Each parish selects a given number. Those elected to do the voting meet the candidates in what is called a “dog and pony show.” Often, most if not all candidates, will otherwise be unfamiliar to those doing the voting.

At some times before the election, the candidates are flown in and talk to the electing convention. People with strong views are usually dismissed by the laity who fear they will be “insensitive.” Academic, theologically informed individuals are dismissed as well because they are intimidating to both clergy and laity. More often than not, the candidate who bubbles to the surface is reasonably good looking, one who knows how to work the crowd and engage people in conversation. His or her credentials often involve serial parochial experiences never having been in any parish long enough (usually five or less years) to have been tested in serious leadership issues and styles before moving on to the next size larger parish. They tend to view conflict as unnatural and have, consequently, never gained the skills to work in and through conflict, a skill every bishop needs. the rest

AnglicanTV Live Streaming

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'A Problem of America' at Lambeth

July 30, 2008

Bishop K.D. Daniel of East Kerala in the Church of South India (United) never wavered in his determination to the Lambeth Conference, but that does not mean he is happy with the situation in the Anglican Communion.

“The problem we are basically facing is a problem of America,” he said. “They want to push their problems on to other nations.”

Bishop Daniel was one of 16 nominated to serve indaba group listeners on July 25. This is the group that will prepare the conference “Reflections” paper.

Issues of human sexuality do not predominate in East Kerala, said Bishop Daniel. His diocese is about 360 miles long, but averages less than 50 miles in width. It was created about 25 years ago by dividing the Indian state of Kerala in half. Western Kerala has a prosperous and growing service-sector economy, including tourism, public administration, banking and finance, transportation, and communications. East Kerala is much less developed with large tropical rain forests and agriculture as the primary source of employment. Unemployment is high in East Kerala, Bishop Daniel said. the rest

Belarus: Christians Threatened and Fined for Leading Worship Services

July 29, 2008

Government officials in Belarus are prohibiting three Protestant communities from having church services in Grodno region, northwestern Belarus.

According to Forum 18 News,”On August 3, in the small town of Svisloch, a planned open-air baptism has been banned, despite the attempts of Pentecostals to negotiate with the authorities. They just don’t want to allow it.”

This is the latest incident of Christian persecution in Belarus. Forum 18 News added that in the town of Mosty, a Pentecostal pastor was fined nine months’ wages for leading a small unregistered church. Forum 18 News said, “The court verdict notes as evidence of wrongdoing that ‘at meetings they read the gospel, discussed questions of religious faith, sang songs and conducted religious rites.’” the rest

Albert Mohler: Cohabitation in Contemporary America

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The U.S. Census Bureau has just reported that cohabitation among heterosexual couples has hit record numbers as living together -- as opposed to getting married -- becomes more and more mainstream.

USA Today provides extensive reporting on this issue, along with analysis that seems to celebrate this development.

In one article, "Census Reports More Unmarried Couples Living Together," the paper provides a summary of the findings.
the rest image

Vatican official: Anglican Communion must stay true to Scriptures

Vatican City

(CNS) -- The Anglican Communion needs to find a way to affirm the dignity of all people and encourage the active role of women in the church while remaining faithful to the Christian tradition and Scriptures, said Cardinal Walter Kasper.

The cardinal, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, spoke July 30 at a session for bishops attending the Anglican Communion's Lambeth Conference, which is held once every 10 years, in England.

Offering "Roman Catholic Reflections on the Anglican Communion," the cardinal told the bishops he spoke "as a friend" representing a church committed to dialogue with Anglicans and praying that the Anglican Communion does not split as a result of differences over ordaining women and over homosexuality. the rest

KENYA: Anglican primate rejects call to stop 'intervention' in U.S.

By Fredrick Nzwili
July 30, 2008

[Ecumenical News International, Nairobi] Anglican Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi of Kenya has said churches in Africa and the Global South will not stop setting up parallel church structures in the United States, despite a call at a gathering of Anglican bishops from all over the world for a halt to such "cross border interventions."

"We won't stop going to America to preach the Gospel. We are going to preach the Gospel. We are going to tell the good news to the people," Nzimbi said in Nairobi on July 30 while addressing journalists before being installed as the president of Church Army Africa, a society of Anglican evangelists.

Nzimbi leads one of several churches from the Global South that say they are providing pastoral care to U.S. parishes that broke away from the U.S. Episcopal (Anglican) Church after it consecrated an openly gay cleric as a bishop in 2003. the rest

Bishop Catherine Roskam: Bishops who are wife beaters..

Bishops who give and take a beating
By George Pitcher, Religion Editor in Canterbury

There are moments in any political conference – and I think that we should stop pretending that the Lambeth Conference isn’t a political one – when warring factions show their true colours.

There are times here in Canterbury with the Anglican Communion’s bishops when it feels like a classic Conservative Party conference of the Nineties, with everyone pretending to be united on Europe, until a Portillo-style figure stands up and says that he’d bomb Brussels because it’s full of homosexuals (or whatever).

Such a moment arrived today when the Rt Rev Catherine Roskam, Suffragan Bishop of New York, declared in a liberal magazine article that some of the bishops here at the conference are wife-beaters. the rest

US female bishop Catherine Roskam: male prelates 'beat up wives'
July 30, 2008
Ruth Gledhill
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has challenged an American woman bishop to produce evidence to back up her claim that bishops beat their wives...

Woman bishop claims church leaders from ethnic minorities beat their wives, United Kingdom
A woman bishop has claimed that church leaders from ethnic minorities beat their wives, sparking outrage among members of the Anglican church at the Lambeth ...

This ridiculous comment by American Bishop Catherine Roskam that some of the bishops in attendance must beat their wives is about as stupid a remark as the accusation made at the last Lambeth conference that bishops were bribed with chicken dinners to vote for Resolution 1.10. The not so subtle condescending racism directed toward the Africans apparently continues. These insulting remarks have now become a Lambeth tradition. So much for indaba.
-Raymond Dague

A panel of Anglican bishops share their views with Faith Online

July 30, 2008
We have asked a selection of Anglican bishops attending the Lambeth Conference, a once-a-decade gathering of the Anglican episcopate, to share their views on the meeting as it progresses
Bess Twiston Davies

Bishop Mouneer Anis of Eygpt, Primate of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East:
"I found the presidential address of Archbishop Rowan very clear. He clearly described what is happening and the thinking of people on both sides. I found his address helpful and very honest in expressing both sides of the conflict. While some very positive things are happening at the conference, some unresolved issues are still dividing the Communion. Those issues are still very much unresolved and untackled. I wonder if during the next few days we will do something about these unresolved issues. I have some doubts. The positives are that we are sitting down together, we are studying the Bible together, we are talking to each other and we are listening to each other.

Yet I see that a big wall still divides us. It is big because it involves the essentials, the foundation of our faith. We are not divided by mere trivialities, or issues on the periphery of faith. We are finding it very hard to come together in the essentials. This diversity of opinion is about the heart of our faith, the faith which we received from the saints. I speak the mind of many of my colleagues in the Global South, especially in the Diocese of Eygpt. I am aware that not all of us in the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East have the same mind. I respect and love them.

I find that many of our North American friends blame us and criticise us for bringing in the issues of sexuality and homosexuality but in fact they are the ones who are bringing these issues in. Here at Lambeth, you come across many advertisements for events organised by gay and Lesbian activists which are sponsored by the North American Church. If you visit the marketplace at the conference, you will notice that almost half the events promoted on the noticeboard promote homosexuality and are sponsored by the North Americans. And in the end, we, the people who remain loyal to the original teaching of the Anglican Communion, which we received from the Apostles, are blamed. They say that we talk a lot about sexuality and that we need to talk more about poverty, about AIDs, and injustice. They are the ones who are bringing sexuality into this conference. It’s not us. We want to talk about the heart of the issues which divide us, not only sexuality. That is just a symptom of a deeper problem.

They talk about the slavery and say that 200 years ago Christians were opposed to the freedom of slaves and they compare us to those Christians for our attitude to gay and lesbian practises. To be honest, I think this is inviting us to another kind of slavery, slavery of the flesh, to go and do whatever our lusts dictate. Sometimes, I think that maybe because of the pressure in Western culture to push the practise of homosexuality, our friends in the West are pushing these issues. But, on the other hand, I see many who live in the West and still want to preserve the faith and the tradition of the Church. Should we allow culture to pressure the Church or should the Church be distinctive, light and salt to the world? Cardinal Ivan Dias said that we didn’t bring the Gospel to the culture we could end up suffering from spiritual Alzheimers." the rest

Catharine Roskam, Suffragan bishop of New York
Kirk Smith, bishop of Arizona
Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales
Ian Ernest, Archbishop of the Indian Ocean, Bishop of Mauritius
Todd Mcgregor, Bishop of Madagascar

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Twin baby moose and sprinkler

Very sweet!

Devotional: Christ turned the world's accepted standards upside down...

Christ turned the world's accepted standards upside down. It was the poor, not the rich, who were blessed; the weak, not the strong, who were to be esteemed; the pure in heart, not the sophisticated and the worldly, who understood what life was about. Righteousness, not power or money or sensual pleasure, should be man's pursuit. ...Malcom Muggeridge image

Rowan Williams: Second Presidential Address to the Lambeth Conference 2008

Ruth Gledhill's Lambeth Diary
29 July 2008

‘What is Lambeth ’08 going to say?’ is the question looming larger all the time as this final week unfolds. But before trying out any thoughts on that, I want to touch on the prior question, a question that could be expressed as ‘Where is Lambeth ’08 going to speak from?’. I believe if we can answer that adequately, we shall have laid some firm foundations for whatever content there will be.

And the answer, I hope, is that we speak from the centre. I don’t mean speaking from the middle point between two extremes — that just creates another sort of political alignment. I mean that we should try to speak from the heart of our identity as Anglicans; and ultimately from that deepest centre which is our awareness of living in and as the Body of Christ.

We are here at all, surely, because we believe there is an Anglican identity and that it’s worth investing our time and energy in it. I hope that some of the experience of this Conference will have reinforced that sense. And I hope too that we all acknowledge that the only responsible and Christian way of going on engaging with those who aren’t here is by speaking from that centre in Jesus Christ where we all see our lives held and focused. the rest

Archbishop of Canterbury accuses Anglicans of threatening 'death to each other'

The Archbishop of Canterbury has accused the opposing sides in the Anglican Communion's divide over sexuality of "threatening death to each other", in an emotional plea for peace.
By Martin Beckford, Religious Affairs Correspondent
29 Jul 2008

Dr Rowan Williams warned liberals who have elected a gay bishop and blessed same-sex unions that their actions are felt as a "body blow" by some, and create "literal physical risk" in countries where Christians are persecuted for tolerating homosexuality.

But he also told conservatives, some of whom have defected from their national churches in protest at the liberal developments, that their reactions are felt as an "annihilating judgement" that "pours scorn" on the whole church's legitimacy. the rest

Strong quake shakes Southern California

Jul 29, 2008
Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A strong earthquake shook Southern California on Tuesday, causing buildings to sway and triggering some precautionary evacuations. No immediate damage was reported.

The jolt was felt from Los Angeles to San Diego, and slightly in Las Vegas.

Preliminary information from the U.S. Geological Survey estimated the quake at magnitude 5.8, centered 29 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles near Chino Hills in San Bernardino County. Ten aftershocks occurred in the next dozen minutes, including three estimated at 3.8, and the U.S. Geological Survey estimated the quake was about 8 miles below the earth's surface. the rest

AnglicanTV: Lambeth 2008: 7/28 5:30 pm Press Conference

Stand Firm: First Draft of the Lambeth Reflections document

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Here (PDF)

Comments at Stand Firm

Proposal calls for moratorium on same-sex blessings and gay ordinations

New Westminster’s Ingham calls action ‘punitive’
Marites N. Sison, staff writer
Jul 28, 2008
Canterbury, England

The Windsor Continuation Group (WCG) Monday presented the world’s Anglican bishops with a proposal to create a pastoral forum that would create a “safe space” for conservative Anglicans who have left their churches. It also recommended a “future” and “retrospective” moratorium on same-sex blessings, the ordination of openly gay homosexuals and cross-border interventions by provinces.

Bishop Clive Handford, WCG chair and former primate of Jerusalem and the Middle East, clarified that “retrospective” did not imply that Gene Robinson, the openly gay bishop of New Hampshire, would have to resign.

“We are not anywhere intending to imply that Bishop Gene Robinson should resign. We are aware that (he) was elected bishop according to the processes of The Episcopal Church, whatever we may think of that,” said Bishop Handford. the rest

Remarks by Bishop Michael Ingham

'Time Out' Proposed at Lambeth Conference

July 28, 2008

Private blessings of same-sex unions would continue under a preliminary proposal submitted to the Lambeth Conference Monday by the Windsor Continuation Group. A few hours later, the first draft of the conference’s final reflections paper was distributed. It calls for support of those “who are isolated in their diocese by initiatives such as that by GAFCON (the Global Anglican Fellowship Conference).”

The document from the Windsor Continuation Group was the third to be distributed during the 20-day conference which began July 16 at the University of Kent in Canterbury. As currently configured, the report calls for all to agree to a “time out,” with the one exception being the proposal for the formation of a plan under which dioceses and parishes which already have broken with their province would be held in trust until they were reconciled. the rest

Guardian: Anglican forum to deal with controversial issues in bid to heal rift between factions

Case Attempting to Force Ireland to Legalize Abortion to be Heard in European Court of Human Rights

By Hilary White

DUBLIN, July 28, 2008 ( - A suit brought by an Irish abortion lobby group to demand that the Republic of Ireland drop its legal protections for unborn children will be heard in the European Court of Human Rights. The Ireland Family Planning Association (IFPA) has been told today by the Court that the case, first launched three years ago, will go ahead.

The action in the European Court was brought by the IFPA, a member of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, as only one aspect of a larger legal and lobbying attack on Ireland's constitutional protections for unborn children.

An IFPA spokesman said, "We hope the case will advance quickly through the court, ultimately making a strong recommendation to the Government to reform Irish laws and the current status quo on abortion." the rest

When Mother Comes Home

By Frederica Mathewes-Green
Tuesday, July 29, 2008

In the last thirty-four years we’ve done a great deal of discarding; about forty-eight million little American bodies have gone down garbage disposals, into incinerators, and into landfills. If we stopped for a moment to imagine that some day Mother might be coming home, we might have a prickle of anxiety.

And if the purpose of life is pleasure, what do we do with people who reach an age or a state of health when they are enjoying substandard levels of gusto? The obvious response is to terminate them, right? No one would want to survive in a permanent coma.

No one would want to survive in a conscious state either, I guess, if they were brain damaged. And they probably wouldn’t want to live even if they were fully alert and aware, but quadriplegic.

Paraplegic. Had a limp. I expect some would look at me, a plump, graying grandmother, and find it terribly poignant, suitable grounds for “release.”

These pink billows of compassion flow outward further and further, embracing all the weak and old and unsightly of the world. Tender poison would free them from their misery—or, at least, make their misery disappear. And a world without misery is a perfect world, isn’t it? Last week I saw a young woman with Down Syndrome, and realized how rare it is to see them any more. the rest

Oppose gay bishops, Anglicans urged

Robert Pigott
Religious affairs correspondent, BBC News
Monday, 28 July 2008

A group of senior Anglican clergy has told the Lambeth Conference that liberal churches must end the ordination of gay bishops and stop blessing same-sex relationships if the Communion is to arrest its slide towards a permanent split.

The working party given the task of finding possible solutions to the rift told the 650 bishops meeting in Canterbury that traditionalist churches in Africa must also stop setting up parallel church bodies in the United States as homes for congregations splitting away from the American Church because of the dispute.

The group, headed by the former President Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the Middle East, Clive Handford, said in the long term some sort of statement of shared beliefs and an agreement to abide by them would be necessary. the rest

Anglicans told to stop homosexual consecrations, blessings

In the meantime:
Episcopal Seminarian Releases Gay Christian Poetry Anthology

Dio. of Northern California: Lawsuit against St. John's on hold

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A lawsuit over ownership of a Petaluma church was postponed Monday to await the outcome of a similar case before the California Supreme Court.

Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Lloyd von der Mehden said in a tentative ruling that motions in the case brought by the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California against the breakaway St. John's Anglican Church would be continued to Dec. 2.

The diocese sued the congregation in February after it split from the church in objection to gay ordinations, but retained the 117-year-old church building on 5th and C streets. the rest

Monday, July 28, 2008

Devotional: Deep unto deep, O Lord...

Deep unto deep, O Lord,
Crieth in me,
Gathering strength I come,
Lord, unto Thee.
Jesus of Calvary,
Smitten for me,
Ask what Thou wilt, but give
Love to me.
... Amy Carmichael

Church to set up forum to resolve disputes such as homosexuality

Riazat Butt
religious affairs correspondent
Monday July 28 2008

A pastoral forum is to be set up to resolve disputes within the Anglican communion over divisive issues such as homosexuality, same sex blessings and cross border interventions.

The recommendation was one of several in a key document, issued today to hundreds of bishops attending a landmark summit in Canterbury, and is designed to avoid a split in the 80m-strong communion through the reconciliation of warring conservatives and liberals.

According to the Windsor Continuation Group, which was established to analyse the crisis and proposed the initiative, the "swift formation" of this body would "engage theologically and practically" with situations of controversy as they arose or divisive actions that might be taken.

A forum would act as a "holding bay" for provinces or dioceses wanting to break away from their leadership and its president would be the archbishop of Canterbury, who would also be responsible for appointing its members and a chair. the rest image

Archbishop of Canterbury to create group to punish rule-breaking Anglican churches
The Archbishop of Canterbury is to set up a new group with the power to punish Anglican churches that break rules on ordaining gay clergy and blessing same-sex "marriages".
By Martin Beckford,
Religious Affairs Correspondent
28 Jul 2008

Anglicans to halt gay bishop consecrations and same-sex blessings
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent
Times Online, July 28, 2008

Court Orders that Pro-Homosexual Proselytism by Students be Permitted in Schools

By John Jalsevac

July 28, 2008 ( - A judge in Holmes County, Florida, has ruled that the school board cannot forbid students from "wearing or displaying t-shirts, armbands, stickers, or buttons containing messages and symbols which advocate the acceptance of and fair treatment for persons who are homosexual."

The case that led to the ruling surrounded incidents at Ponce de Leon High School in Holmes County. According to court documents, a 12th grade student - called "Jane Doe" by the court - went to school officials last year to complain that she was being taunted by a group of middle schools students because of her homosexuality.

The complaint was passed on to the school's principal, David Davis, who met with the student after school on September 10, 2007. Davis allegedly questioned Doe about her sexual orientation, and in the process told her that it was "wrong" to be a homosexual. Davis also stated his intention to inform Doe's parents that she was a homosexual. the rest

Bishop hints at legal action after vote on women bishops

Monday, 28th July 2008
Michael Brown

London: A traditionalist Anglican leader has strongly hinted at possible legal action if assets are "stolen" from Anglo-Catholics as a result of the divisive move by the General Synod over women bishops.

The spectre of protracted and costly litigation is held up by the Bishop of Fulham, the Rt Rev John Broadhurst, who leads Forward in Faith, the traditionalists' umbrella body. the rest

Australia was extraordinary: Pope

July 28, 2008

Pope Benedict has described his trip to Australia for World Youth Day as "an extraordinary experience" which demonstrated the youthful face of the Catholic Church.

Speaking before the weekly Angelus prayer at his summer residence outside Rome, he paid tribute to "the multicoloured mosaic created by the boys and girls from every part of the earth, all reunited by one faith in Jesus Christ".

"I still have in my eyes and in my heart this extraordinary experience, in which I was able to meet the youthful face of the church," the Pope said. the rest image

Stand Firm: The Third Report from the Windsor Continuation Group

Sarah Hey
July 28, 2008

I am transcribing it below now and will be periodically updating and correcting.

Windsor Continuation Group
A Presentation at the Lambeth Conference

1) How do we get from here to there?
The various initiatives set out in Part Two and the Covenant is a longer term process to reverse the trends described in Part One; to restore the sense of trust, fellowship and communion on which we thrive. In the period leading up to the establishment of a covenant, however, there are urgent issues which need addressing if we are going to be able to get to the point where such a renewal of trust even becomes possible.

Report and comments

Gledhill's Lambeth Diary: 'Pastoral Forum' proposed

Lambeth Diary: Storm clouds gather

Ruth Gledhill
July 28,2008

This is a crucial week for the Anglican Communion. This afternoon, we get the third document from the Windsor Continuation Group. That could be a reiteration of Windsor, or an attempt to enforce Dar es Salaam, in other words, the removal of rebellious Primates from the councils of the church. Both conservatives and liberals could then be at risk. Then there are the Covenant and human sexuality debates. Liberals are deeply unhappy about the Covenant, in particular the appendix. Read it here and you'll understand why. Conservatives are even more unhappy about TEC resistance to rowing back on human sexuality, as made clear by Bishop Mouneer Anis in his letter back home to Egypt.

the rest

Archbishop Chew: Clarity needed before next ACC

25 July, 2008
by Pat Ashworth

IT WOULD be unwise to dismiss the Sudanese statement and the comment that followed it as solely an African voice.

Archbishop Deng’s suggestion that 500 of the bishops had been present at a meeting of provinces of the Global South on Monday was described by someone who had been there as a huge over-estimate: the number was around 150. But his claim that 17 provinces agreed with the statement was thought extremely likely to be accurate by the Archbishop of South-East Asia, the Most Revd John Chew.

Archbishop Chew has been secretary to the Global South Anglicans since 2003, and is widely respected for the serious theological input that the group has had into matters such as the Covenant and the Anglican catechism that it published two weeks ago.

As a land of ancient civilisations, Asia probably had a longer and wider perspective than Africa, and, because of its presence alongside the other major world religions, did not speak in isolation or in absolute terms, the Archbishop suggested. “We might be saying the same thing, but, because of our context, we say and see it in a different way. the rest

Albert Mohler: Blame Africa? The Anglicans and their Troubles

The Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops is meeting in Britain, even as the worldwide Anglican communion is about to tear itself asunder over issues of homosexuality, gender, and biblical authority. Over 200 conservative bishops are boycotting the conference, and the global media are trying to figure out how to report the meeting.

One of the most creative and revealing attempts at an explanation comes now from The Economist. The London-based periodical reports that the main threat to Anglican cohesion is a group of African bishops who refuse to go along with the flow when it comes to normalizing homosexuality, electing openly-homosexual bishops, and the like.

Here is how The Economist explains the dynamic:

The simplest way of describing the cracks running down the middle of the 80m-strong Anglican family is to say that the traditionalists, reflecting the conservative social mores of Africa, are at odds with liberals from the rich world, especially over the issue of homosexuality. To explain the Africans' conservatism, many point out that they are on the front line of a contest with Islam; and that missionary work in Africa was carried out by evangelicals who reflect a rather fundamentalist strain of British Christianity. the rest

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Devotional: Unity is necessary to the outpouring of the Spirit of God...

Unity is necessary to the outpouring of the Spirit of God. If you have 120 volts of electricity coming into your house but you have broken wiring, you may turn on the switch, but nothing works - no lights come on, the stove doesn't warm, the radio doesn't turn on. Why? Because you have broken wiring. The power is ready to do its work..., but where there is broken wiring, there is no power. Unity is necessary among the children of God if we are going to know the flow of see God do His wonders. ...AW Tozer image

Traditional Anglicans Hear More From Rome

By Randy Sly
Catholic Online

WASHINGTON (Catholic Online) – For several years reports have been floating around the Internet about an independent group – The Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) – seeking full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. Some within the Roman Catholic Church as well as other Anglican groups quickly dismissed the seriousness with which the Holy See would be viewing this.

The TAC recently released a letter they received from Cardinal Levada of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the office responsible for such relationships. The communiqué made it very clear, without going into specific, that the request from the TAC is being seriously scrutinized. The Cardinal also indicated that the recent activities in the Anglican Communion (per se) did complicate the matters somewhat. the rest

A sermon from Jefferts Schori in England

Sun, Jul 27, 2008
The Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, is in England for the once-every-ten-years Lambeth Conference. She preached this sermon today at St Martin in the Fields, London.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church

Good morning. I bring you greetings from Episcopalians in the United States and Taiwan, Nicaragua, Honduras, Ecuador, Columbia, Venezuela, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, -- both the British and US - and a grouping of churches in Europe.

It has been a joy to be in this country for the last two and a half weeks. Two weeks ago I was in Salisbury, where we were celebrating the 750th anniversary of their new cathedral. Part of that celebration involved a pilgrimage - a couple of miles' walk from the ruins of the old cathedral, which has been excavated only in the last few decades, and we walked down into the town that has grown up around the new one. While I was there, the dean drove us past Stonehenge, where archaeologists continue to discover intriguing things about what life in this land was like three and four millennia ago.

The burials that have been excavated are informative, both because of what scientists can learn from those bones, but even more so because of what is buried with the dead - implements of daily life, jewels, weapons - all that variety of items that are hidden in graves to protect, to ward and guide the dead on their next journey. In spite of looters, the treasures hidden in graves like those are valuable for what they teach us about the living. the rest

Comments at Stand Firm

Lambeth Bishops Review Communion’s Legal Principles

July 26, 2008

The Lambeth Conference communications department released a 111-page booklet titled “The Principles of Canon Law Common to the Church of the Anglican Communion” prior to the start of a press briefing July 26.

The purpose of the book is “to stimulate reflection on what it is to be a Communion of ordered churches seeking to live out the Anglican tradition in a world of intensely rapid communication,” said Canon John Rees, convener of the Anglican Communion Legal Advisors’ Network and legal advisor to the Anglican Communion. Canon Rees responded to questions from the media after the booklets were distributed.

“If we are going to be able to continue to work together in response to God’s call and for the good of God’s world, as those who have taken part in these deliberations passionately hope, then we need to keep faith with out Anglican heritage, doctrinally, liturgically and structurally,” he said, reading from a preface to the booklet. “These principles are an attempt to map out what the main legal themes of that inheritance might look like, when some of the peripheral local detail is stripped away.” the rest

Saturday, July 26, 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. ... A.W. Tozer image

Archbishop: Communion Faith and Order Commission Gains Momentum

July 25, 2008

If the Anglican Communion is to survive, another Instrument of Unity may need to be created, according to a paper prepared by the Windsor Continuation Group.

“We commend the suggestion for the setting up of an Anglican Communion Faith and Order Commission that could give guidance on the ecclesiological issues raised by our current ‘crisis’,” the group wrote in a working paper distributed on July 25.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams established the six-member group earlier this year to help implement some of the longer-term recommendations made in the Windsor Report. Archbishop Williams said the plan was a very preliminary one, but that it seemed to have broad support among bishops during a Lambeth Conference media briefing this afternoon. the rest

Vatican approves new English translation for Mass

Vatican, Jul. 25, 2008

( - The Vatican has given formal approval to a new English translation of the central prayers of the Mass for use in the United States.

In a June 23 letter of Bishop Arthur Serratelli, the chairman of the US bishops' liturgy committee, the Congregation for Divine Worship announces its recognitio for the translation, which had already won the approval of the US bishops' conference, despite strong protests from some liberal prelates.

The new translation adheres more closely to the Latin of the Roman Missal. Since the 2001 publication of Liturgiam Authenticam, the instruction on the proper translation of liturgical texts, the Vatican has pressed for more faithful translations of the official Latin texts. the rest image

At nation's churches, guys are few in the pews

By Cathy Lynn Grossman

Churches nationwide are fretting and sweating to reel men into their sanctuaries on Sundays.
Women outnumber men in attendance in every major Christian denomination, and they are 20% to 25% more likely to attend worship at least weekly.

Although every soul matters, many pastors say they need to power up on reaching men if the next generation of believers, the children, will find the way to faith. So hundreds of churches are going for a "guy church" vibe, programming for a stereotypical man's man.

"I hear about it everywhere I go," says Brandon O'Brien, who detailed the evolution of the chest-thumping evangelism trend this spring in Christianity Today. the rest

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules that Homosexual 'Hate Crimes' Law Violates Pennsylvania Constitution

By John Jalsevac

WASHINGTON, July 25, 2008 ( - On Wednesday the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued a short per curiam order, in which it agreed with the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania that the state legislature violated the Pennsylvania Constitution when it added "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to Pennsylvania's "ethnic intimidation" law.

Eleven Christians of the evangelical group Repent America were arrested due to that same law in 2004 for reading the Bible and singing hymns at Outfest, a homosexual rally. Though the case was eventually dropped, Repent America filed legal action in 2005 against the act, citing its unconstitutional nature.

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania agreed last November that the law was unconstitutional and struck it down. On appeal the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania sided with the Commonwealth Court, saying on Wednesday: "The order of the Commonwealth Court is AFFIRMED for the reasons ably set forth in the opinion of the Honorable James Gardner Colins, which opinion is adopted as that of the Supreme Court." the rest

Steven Colbert: The Definitive Commentary on Lambeth

(h/t titusonenine)

Lambeth News at Stand Firm

Book of Common Law Principles Released Here

Saturday Morning Press Conference: On the Reflections Group Members & the Book of Common Law Principles

Release of the Names on the Reflections Group [the group that will be writing the document from Lambeth]

Friday, July 25, 2008

Devotional: Health for the whole man is God's gracious purpose for us...

We should not draw too sharp a distinction between this "barren land" or "wilderness" of our pilgrimage, and the sweet home that God has prepared. We all know the changes and chances of this troublous life; but we can also know in this vale of tears the healthful spirit of His grace. Health for the whole man is God's gracious purpose for us here and now, often frustrated, often prevented by unbelief. The life of the saints in light must not emphasize for us simply the contrast between their state and ours, but rather the beginning of the gift of eternal life and all its benefits of inner strength and peace amid earthly vicissitudes.
... David Head image

Judges Favor The Profane

Friday, July 25, 2008
by Brent Bozell III

For the second time this year, a federal court has ruled against Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and ruled in favor of shattering every barrier of decency on television. A few months ago, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled in favor of fleeting profanities thrown carelessly on network TV. Given that Hollywood could defend all profanities as "fleeting," that ruling opens the door for F-bombs galore, any time, anywhere.

Now, the Third Circuit in Philadelphia has ruled the same for fleeting nudity. Nothing is sacred on television -- except the profane. the rest

Muslims Adopt Megachurch Multi-Site Model for Mosques

By Jennifer Riley
Christian Post Reporter
Thu, Jul. 24 2008

Mosques are multiplying across the country and their inspiration may come as a bit of a surprise – Christian megachurches.

Similar to many megachurches, new mosques are popping up as extension campuses to a main mosque with the stated goal of making it more convenient for Muslims in an area to worship. These extended mosque sites are sometimes referred to as “mosque chains” and tend to be adopted by more progressive Muslim congregations.

"Because of how streamlined we are, you can get off the highway from anywhere and find a mosque that is well-maintained, well-structured and that will always be open," said Abeer Abdulla, media specialist for the nine mosques owned by the Islamic Society of Central Florida in Orlando, according to Religion News Service. the rest

What's tougher to get than a same-sex marriage? A same-sex divorce

By Sue Horton, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
July 25, 2008

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- On the morning of May 26, 2004, Cassandra Ormiston and her long-time partner Margaret Chambers arose early, hopped in the car and raced across the border into Massachusetts.

Then-Gov. Mitt Romney, a staunch opponent of same-sex marriage, had already ordered some Massachusetts cities to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples who lived outside the state, and Ormiston and Chambers hoped to get to nearby Fall River before the ban took effect there. the rest

Beijing smog persists with Games just around corner

Jul 25, 2008

Beijing was swathed in smog on Friday just two weeks ahead of the Olympics as its notorious pollution defied aggressive steps aimed at clearing the air for next month's Games.

However, Chinese officials brushed off concerns over the city's stubborn smog, which has triggered a warning by IOC chief Jacques Rogge that some events could be postponed if air quality is poor.

"Sometimes it looks like it's a foggy day, but the air quality is actually good," Sun Weide, a spokesman for the Beijing Olympic Organising Committee, told AFP. the rest image

He ventured forth to bring light to the world

The Times
July 25, 2008
Gerard Baker

And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.

The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical white person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow.

When he was twelve years old, they found him in the temple in the City of Chicago, arguing the finer points of community organisation with the Prophet Jeremiah and the Elders. And the Elders were astonished at what they heard and said among themselves: “Verily, who is this Child that he opens our hearts and minds to the audacity of hope?”
the rest image

Cherie Wetzel: Friday Morning Lambeth Report

July 25, 2008
Canterbury, England

It has been beehive of activity here since I wrote to you last. On Wednesday evening, Anglican-Mainstream had their reception for orthodox bishops and had 70 Bishops and a few wives in attendance, 10 press and staff from Anglican Mainstream.

After a Bible study on the book of Jude by Bishop Wallace Benn, President of the Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC), we heard from the various bishops who cared to speak. Since the press had been invited, we were asked to stand, introduce ourselves and promise that we would not identify any bishop present or attribute what they said. All the press did so.

Then the fun began. How is the conference? Worrisome. the rest

Rowan Williams backs 'Anglican Inquisition'

By Martin Beckford
Religious Affairs Correspondent
25 Jul 2008

Dr Rowan Williams said there was a "very strong feeling" within the 80 million-strong Communion that guidance is needed on questions of Biblical teaching, which have led it to the brink of schism over sexuality.

He said he was "enthusiastic" about the idea of a Faith and Order Commission that has been proposed by a group set up to resolve the crisis triggered by liberal Americans, who in 2003 elected an openly gay bishop, the Rt Rev Gene Robinson.

But liberals claim the Commission - which would be based on a code of Canon Law and which is being proposed in addition to a new set of rules to bind the provinces of Anglicanism - has echoes of the medieval Inquisition, which was used to enforce Roman Catholic doctrine and punish those condemned as heretics. the rest

CANA: Common Cause Acts on GAFCON

On July 24, 2008, the Common Cause headquarters released a statement seeking to act on the GAFCON initiatives. The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) echoed the Common Cause Partnership’s desire to embrace the invitation by the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) leadership to recognize Common Cause as an Anglican province in North America. Common Cause is petitioning the Primates Council formed at GAFCON for this status.

CANA’s Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns, also a Common Cause Executive Committee member, said, “The Statement on the Global Anglican Future and the Jerusalem Declaration presented at GAFCON has given orthodox Anglicans a path towards the future. As we set forth plans for the future of Anglicanism in North America, our prayer is that our Common Cause federation will continue to grow and mature as an Anglican province. We are living in a critical time in the global Anglican community and we want our future to be secure. Now is the time to lay a foundation that will support generations to come — and given the scores of young Anglican leaders I have met in the past couple years, our future is bright and filled with hope!”

CANA is a founding member of the Common Cause Partnership. Bishop Minns, CANA’s suffragan bishops, and other CANA leaders have invested significant time in the past year building up relationships with Common Cause partner bishops and leaders. Here

Common Cause wants to be Gafcon Province

Dreading Lambeth’s Outcome, and for Good Reason

Andrew Carey
Stand Firm
July 25, 2008

Having spent what seems like years of my life at Anglican conferences I dread them these days. On a spiritual level they are deeply depressing. I found at one point, particularly in the late 1990s and early years of this century that I was swapping my faith and family life for an unhealthy adrenaline addiction to Anglican conflict. The 1998 Lambeth Conference, in particular, was both a high and a low point in my life.

At the beginning of the conference my wife, Helen, and I received an appointment date to attend King’s College Hospital Assisted Conception Unit, to investigate further our childlessness. This felt like something final to us and left us both with a feeling of deep despair. Yet in the final week of the conference we attended the Unit. We were both taken aback when during the first procedure tears came to the eyes of the nurse, and she left the room to get a second opinion from a colleague. We were then told that Helen was in fact pregnant. the rest

Ruth Gledhill: Anglican 'Holy Office'

July 25, 2008

The Anglican Communion is on the rack and the torture continues. It surely cannot be stretched much longer before it is torn apart.

The second observations document of the Windsor Continuation Group has just dropped. It gives more detail of the Principles of Canon Law Project, which we wrote about earlier and which is being talked of by primates as the 'Fifth Instrument of Communion'. I am told it will not be so much a Catholic-style 'Code of Canon Law' as a 'blueprint' of Canon Law. However, comparisons with the Roman Church will become even more inevitable because of another plan, to set up a new Faith and Order Commission. the rest

Palau to distribute 'Friendly Dialogue' book at Olympics

Friday, July 25, 2008
by Michelle A Vu, Christian Post

The Chinese Government has granted a major evangelist permission to distribute a Christian-atheist book to athletes and coaches during the Beijing Summer Olympics.

Evangelist Luis Palau will be giving a copy of his book, A Friendly Dialogue Between an Atheist and a Christian, to athletes attending the Games.

The book records a conversation between atheist Chinese diplomat Zhao Qizheng – a high-ranking Chinese government official – and the Christian evangelist. It offers both the basic beliefs of Christianity and a unique perspective on Christianity and philosophy of religion as seen from Chinese culture and beliefs.

Palau’s distribution approval comes just one month after China announced plans to print and distribute 50,000 Gospel booklets in Chinese and English for the Olympics. China said it will also print 30,000 Chinese-English New Testaments and 10,000 Chinese-English complete Bibles especially for the Games. the rest

U.N. crackdown on Christians to get review?

July 24, 2008
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

"Around the world, Christians are being increasingly targeted, and even persecuted, for their religious beliefs. Now, one of the largest organizations in the United Nations is pushing to make a bad situation even worse by promoting anti-Christian bigotry," the group said.

"We must put an immediate end to this most recent, dangerous attack on faith that attempts to criminalize Christianity." story

Senator Obama and the Wall of the Womb

By Deacon Keith Fournier
Catholic Online

Senator Obama does not acknowledge that an entire class of persons, children in the first home of the human race their mother’s womb, are our neighbors. He speaks of inalienable rights, but fails to include these children in the first among them, the right to life.

He also does not include these little persons in his claims to care about the poor and his concern for the immigrants. Yet, they are, in the words of a great treasure of our age, the late “Mother” now “Blessed” Teresa of Calcutta, the “poorest of the poor”.

These little boys and girls are being evicted from their first home, the womb,every day by the thousands. No, they are actually being killed, burned, and dismembered, in a war being waged upon the womb complete with surgical strikes and chemical weapons. And, he supports it all, calling this evil a “right”. the rest image

FOX News Poll: No Bounce for Obama From Overseas Trip

Hugh Hewitt: Obama In Berlin

Anglican version of the 'inquisition' proposed to avoid future schism

Times Online
July 25, 2008
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

An Anglican version of the Roman Catholic church's "inquisition" is proposed today in a document seen by The Times.

Bishops are urging the setting up of an Anglican Faith and Order Commission to give "guidance" on controversial issues such as same-sex blessings and gay ordinations.

The commission was put forward as a proposal this week to the 650 bishops attending the Lambeth Conference as a way of preserving the future unity of the Anglican Communion. Insiders compared it with the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the body formerly headed by the present Pope as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and previously known as the Holy Office or Inquisition.

This morning's "observations" document is the second in a series of three. The third will be published next week. The document says: "Anglicans are currently failing to recognise Church in one another." the rest

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Devotional: "How vast are the possibilities of prayer!

"How vast are the possibilities of prayer! How wide is its reach! What great things are accomplished by this divinely appointed means of grace! It lays its hand on Almighty God and moves Him to do what He would not otherwise do if prayer was not offered. It brings things to pass which would never otherwise occur. The story of prayer is the story of great achievements. Prayer is a wonderful power placed by Almighty God in the hands of His saints, which may be used to accomplish great purposes and to achieve unusual results. Prayer reaches to everything, takes in all things great and small which are promised by God to the children of men. The only limits to prayer are the promises of God and His ability to fulfill those promises. 'Open thy mouth wide and I will fill it.'" ...EM Bounds image

The Lambeth Conference: Keeping the media at arm’s length

By Pat Ashworth

If you’d seen me sitting on a bench in the sunshine here in Canterbury today, Wednesday, you’d have thought it was a pretty enviable place to be. It’s around teatime. Picture me in a garden space with dappled light on the grass, three plump rabbits motionless under a tree and hymn singing floating out of the Big Top.

It’s important to mention that I’m eating another salad out of another box. This is because I have, upon recommendation, just trekked across the campus to the Keynes building and its Italian restaurant, La Dolce Vita, only to be told by an officious member of the university catering team that I can only eat in the Tex-Mex restaurant in Darwin, the building where I am living in my sixties student room.

But what if I don’t like Mexican – or at least, not every night for a fortnight, I plead? She gives me a cold stare and repeats her mantra: you can only eat in Darwin. She flicks a cloth across the counter and I leave. The restaurant, by the way, is almost empty of diners.

I go into this sorry detail because after a week in residence, I hit a new low tonight. I am hearing the worship borne so tantalisingly on the air but I can’t attend it because journalists are not to be trusted near the bishops when they are worshipping. The paths around the Big Top are ringed with security fencing. We are allowed in for selected plenaries but only with an escort and only en masse. the rest

Covenant is flawed and colonialist, says GAFCON

25 July, 2008
by Ed Beavan

THE GAFCON group has rejected the St Andrew’s draft text of the Anglican Covenant, describing it as “seriously limited and severely flawed”.

The draft forms the latest version of the document which is being considered by the Lambeth Conference as a means to steer the Communion through its current difficulties.

The GAFCON response comes at the same time as its reply to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s comments on GAFCON’s Jerusalem Statement (News, 4 July).

The GAFCON Theological Resource Team says the document is “defective”, “theologically incoherent” and its proposals are “unwork-able”. Their response alleges seven serious theological flaws in the draft, the first being that it does not recognise “the mischief it seeks to address”, which they describe as “a crisis of obedience to scripture . . . or apostasy”, prompted by the “determined departures from the teaching of scripture on human sexuality by the Episcopal Church [in the US] and the Anglican Church of Canada”. the rest

Bishop accuses church of manipulating summit over 'tolerance guide' to gay clergy

Riazat Butt/religious affairs correspondent
The Guardian
Friday July 25 2008

A US bishop yesterday accused his own church of manipulating the Lambeth summit by providing its 125 representatives with briefing notes explaining how to promote liberal attitudes towards gay clergy.

The US Episcopal church has the largest presence at Lambeth, a once-a-decade gathering of the world's Anglican bishops in Canterbury, and has provided each prelate with a "messaging strategy" that tells them how to present a cogent, persuasive argument in favour of diversity and tolerance in their discussions with other bishops.

Liberals form the majority voice in the US church and are eager to liberalise attitudes towards sexuality, given the divisive furore that has ensued following the 2003 consecration of Gene Robinson, an openly gay man, as bishop of New Hampshire.

The document handed out to the Episcopal church's Lambeth contingent encourages bishops to promote the idea of diversity by using examples from the Bible and scripture.

"God made a diverse creation who reveals many gifts but the same spirit. Jesus calls a diverse witness into being and sends them into witness. St Paul called a diverse church to unity in Christ." the rest

Common Cause Partnership Welcomes Jerusalem Declaration

The Common Cause Partnership leaders issued a statement today welcoming the Jerusalem Declaration and the statement on the Global Anglican Future and pledging to move forward with the work of Anglican unity in North America.

We, as the Bishops and elected leaders of the Common Cause Partnership (CCP) are deeply grateful for the Jerusalem Declaration. It describes a hopeful, global Anglican future, rooted in scripture and the authentic Anglican way of faith and practice. We joyfully welcome the words of the GAFCON statement that it is now time ‘for the federation currently known as the Common Cause Partnership to be recognized by the Primates Council.’

The intention of the CCP Executive Committee is to petition the Primates Council for recognition of the CCP as the North American Province of GAFCON on the basis of the Common Cause Partnership Articles, Theological Statement, and Covenant Declaration, and to ask that the CCP Moderator be seated in the Primates Council.

We accept the call to build the Common Cause Partnership into a truly unified body of Anglicans. We are committed to that call. Over the past months, we have worked together, increasing the number of partners and authorizing committees and task groups for Mission, Education, Governance, Prayer Book & Liturgy, the Episcopate, and Ecumenical Relations. The Executive Committee is meeting regularly to carry forward the particulars of this call. The CCP Council will meet December 1–3, 2008.

The Common Cause Partnership links together nine Anglican jurisdictions and organizations in North America. Together, the American Anglican Council, the Anglican Coalition in Canada, the Anglican Communion Network, the Anglican Mission in the Americas, the Anglican Network in Canada, the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, the Federation of Anglican Churches in the Americas, Forward in Faith North America and the Reformed Episcopal Church represent more the 1,300 Anglican parishes in the United States and Canada.

The Common Cause Partnership Executive Committee is:
The Rt. Rev’d Robert Duncan, Moderator;
The Venerable Charlie Masters, General Secretary;
Mrs. Patience Oruh, Treasurer;
The Rt. Rev’d Keith Ackerman, Forward in Faith North America;
The Rt. Rev’d David Anderson, American Anglican Council;
The Rt. Rev’d Donald Harvey, Anglican Network in Canada;
The Rt. Rev’d Paul Hewett, Federation of Anglican Churches in the Americas;
The Rt. Rev’d Martyn Minns, Convocation of Anglicans in North America;
The Rt. Rev’d Chuck Murphy, Anglican Mission in the Americas;
The Rt. Rev’d Leonard Riches, Reformed Episcopal Church;
The Rt. Rev’d Bill Atwood, Anglican Church of Kenya
The Rt. Rev’d John Guernsey, Church of the Province of Uganda.

Comments at Stand Firm

Lambeth: Why many bishops did not come

By Chris Sugden
July 24, 2008

In his opening sermon at the Lambeth Conference, the bishop of Colombo, the Right Reverend Duleep de Chickera, insisted that the Anglican tradition was to welcome everybody. It is, he said, "an inclusive communion, where there is space equally for everyone and anyone, regardless of color, gender, ability, sexual orientation. Unity in diversity is a cherished Anglican tradition."

Given this shared tradition, why did some 230 of the Communion's 650 bishops choose not to come? Because they hold that - above anything else - the unifying, formal commitment of the Anglican Church is to Scripture and its teaching, and that those who are endorsing blessing same-sex relationships and consecrating active gay men as bishops are innovators who are setting the teaching of the Bible aside. For these 230 bishops this is a matter of conscience - obedience to the Bible and the continuous teaching of the Church. the rest