It’s been a long time since I’ve seen any fighting. I can’t remember my last shootout: it’s been months. The nightmare is ending. Al Qaeda is being crushed. The Sunni tribes are awakening all across Iraq and foreswearing violence for negotiation. Many of the Shia are ready to stop the fighting that undermines their ability to forge and manage a new government. This is a complex and still delicate denouement, and the war may not be over yet. But the Muslims are saying it’s time to come home. And the Christians are saying it’s time to come home. They are weary, and there is much work to be done.
Daily Archives: November 17, 2007
Too few people know about this wonderful ministry. They held their recent summit in South Carolina and kindly asked me to preach. I went early and had dinner with them and listened to their first session and was completely blown away by the deidcation, spiritual seriousness, and energy of these young leaders. We do not deserve them, they shouldn’t be there, but God is raising them up any way–KSH.
After years of rancor and recriminations, the Fort Worth Episcopal Diocese could take the first step this weekend to severing ties with the Episcopal Church in the United States of America.
Though some delegates to the diocese’s annual convention remain supportive of the national church, a standing committee of the 24-county diocese has recommended giving tentative approval to leaving the more liberal Episcopal Church and joining with another province in the worldwide Anglican Communion.
The Episcopal Church — the U.S. body of the Anglican church –is at odds with some of its own members and the worldwide church over such issues as the national church’s confirmation of an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire in 2003. Conservatives within the Fort Worth Diocese have other differences with the Episcopal Church, including the 2006 election of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. Opponents say a woman in that position is unbiblical.
The matters of ordination of women and gay men and of same-sex unions have also caused turmoil in other mainline denominations.
Fort Worth is one of three Episcopal dioceses in the United States that do not ordain women as priests, diocese leaders say.
About 350 lay delegates and clergy will vote Saturday on committee recommendations during the convention at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth.
A second, final vote will be taken in November 2008, said Suzanne Gill, communications director for the Fort Worth Diocese.
A Statement to the Church From the Council of General Synod
November 16, 2007
The Council of General Synod, meeting in Mississauga, Ontario, from November 16th ”“ 18th 2007, has received with concern the news that Bishop Donald Harvey has voluntarily relinquished, effective immediately, the exercise of ordained ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada, and intends to be received into the Province of the Southern Cone (in South America). Bishop Harvey, retired bishop of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador, has been a valued member of our church, and his decision is a source of sadness.
The Anglican Church of Canada welcomes and respects freedom of individual conscience and the theological convictions of its diverse membership. Our General Synods have consistently sought to honour every voice as we work patiently through contentious and difficult issues before our church. Our bishops have made adequate and appropriate provision for the pastoral care and episcopal support of all Canadian Anglicans. We value and respect the diversity of the worldwide Anglican Communion and have expressed our commitment to its ongoing life, even as we also ask for respect and understanding of our own.
To this end we wish to make clear that interventions in the life of our church, such as ordinations or other episcopal acts by any other jurisdictions, are inappropriate and unwelcome. In particular, we cannot recognize the legitimacy of recent actions by the Province of the Southern Cone in purporting to extend its jurisdiction beyond its own borders. We call upon the Archbishop of Canterbury to make clear that such actions are not a valid expression of Anglicanism and are in contravention of the ancient and continuing traditions of the Church. They aggravate the current tensions in the Anglican Communion.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is good news for the world, and our primary task as Christians is to make this Gospel known through action and word. We strongly support our Primate’s view that the Church in Canada and throughout the world should make Christ and His mission its central focus. We therefore call upon all our members, lay and ordained, to commit themselves to this priority, and to respect the structures and authority of the Church.
We ask your prayers for our continued fellowship in the Spirit and our unity in the bond of peace.
Bishop Donald Harvey has been received into the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone under Primate Gregory Venables. The Southern Cone encompasses much of South America, from Tierra del Fuego in the south to Peru in the north.
In becoming a bishop of the Southern Cone, Bishop Harvey has come out of retirement and is resuming full-time episcopal ministry. He will now be free to offer episcopal oversight to biblically faithful Canadian Anglicans who are distressed and feel they no longer have a home in the Anglican Church of Canada.
“By receiving Bishop Harvey upon his departure from the Anglican Church of Canada, the Province of the Southern Cone is responding to the ongoing crisis and brokenness in the Anglican Communion,” said The Most Revd Gregory Venables.
Update: There is more here.
At least 30 members of a Russian doomsday cult have barricaded themselves in a remote cave to await the end of the world and are threatening to commit suicide if police intervene, officials and media said Thursday.
“They have covered the entrance and refuse to come out and are threatening to blow themselves up,” an official in the local prosecutor’s office told Reuters by telephone. “They threaten to detonate a gas tank and blow themselves up.”
The cult members, who include 29 adults and four children, are hidden inside a snow-covered hillside in the Penza region of central Russia. A Penza police spokeswoman said they had moved into the dug-out on November 7.
What was it Jesus said on this subject? “But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch; for you do not know when the time will come” (Mark 13: 32,33)–KSH.
The cancer recurred three or four months later and more surgery was required, followed by chemotherapy. The 15-year-old who loved to dance, and who wasn’t sure whether she wanted to be a model or a pediatric nurse, was now having to battle for her life like a warrior in combat.
The next round of bad news came in a double dose. One night, after coming home from school, Brittney suddenly found that she couldn’t walk. The cancer had attacked her spinal cord. As the doctors geared up to treat this new disaster, Ms. Hightower received word that her insurance policy had maxed out. The company would not pay for any further treatment.
Ms. Hightower was aghast: “I said, ”˜What do you mean? It was supposed to be a $3 million policy.’ ”
She hadn’t understood that there was an annual limit of $75,000 on benefits. “It was just devastating when they told me that,” she said.
Most of the debate about access to health care has centered on people without insurance. But there are cases like this one all over the country in which individuals are working and paying for coverage that, perversely, kicks out when a devastating illness kicks in.
Americans with inadequate health coverage ”” the underinsured ”” are a major component of the national health care crisis. Like the uninsured, they can be denied desperately needed treatment for financial reasons; they often suffer financial ruin; and in many cases they die unnecessarily.
“This is a very significant problem,” said Daniel Smith, president of the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network. “We want to help educate Americans more broadly about the idea that while they think they might be insured, when they’re diagnosed with something as devastating as cancer their policies may not give them the coverage they need.”
The Earth is hurtling toward a warmer climate at a quickening pace, a Nobel-winning U.N. scientific panel said in a landmark report released Saturday, warning of inevitable human suffering and the threat of extinction for some species.
After five days of sometimes tense negotiations, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change adopted its fourth and final report this year, along with a summary, on the science of climate change and the effects of human-produced greenhouse gases.
It lays out blueprints for avoiding the worst catastrophes – and various possible outcomes, depending on how quickly and decisively action is taken.
The document says recent research has heightened concern that the poor and the elderly will suffer most from climate change; that hunger and disease will be more common; that droughts, floods and heat waves will afflict the world’s poorest regions; and that more animal and plant species will vanish.