Daily Archives: May 21, 2008

Middle East Presiding Bishop Bows out of GAFCON

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Global South Churches & Primates, Middle East

40 Day Prayer Effort for GAFCON begins today

Did you know the Common Cause Partnership has a prayer blog? Well, they do. And today they’ve begun posting a series of daily prayer entries for the GAFCON event in Jordan and Jerusalem next month. Here’s the link to today’s entry for Day 1 of this 40 Day prayer effort.

And here’s the background on the call to 40 days of prayer and fasting. Note the specific focus on reading and praying through the Psalms of Ascent:

The bishops have specified that the Daily Office, the Great Litany, and the Psalms of Ascent (120-134) be used during this season. The Psalms of Ascent were chosen because of the impact they had on the Global South meeting in Nairobi out of which GAFCON was birthed. Contributors to the Common Cause Partnership prayer blog will be posting these resources along with reflections, scriptures, collects and other aids to prayer as the 40 days unfold. Participants are invited to report specific needs, praises, and other feedback on the prayer blog.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Resources & Links, Common Cause Partnership, Resources: blogs / websites, Spirituality/Prayer

A NY Times Editorial on the Supreme Court Pornography Ruling

In 2002, the court struck down parts of the Child Pornography Protection Act that banned images that appeared to be explicit depictions of children, even if they were actually pictures of adults or computer-generated images. Banning images in which there are no real children, the court held, violates the First Amendment.

After that ruling, Congress passed a new law with its own problems. One provision punished anyone who “promotes” material in a manner “intended to cause another to believe” it is child pornography. That, once again, sweeps in fake child pornography ”” which is just what the court in 2002 said must be avoided.

This time, the court upheld the law by a 7-to-2 vote. That creates a bizarre contradiction. Fake child pornography is protected, but marketing fake child pornography is not. As Justice David Souter noted in dissent, it makes no sense to criminalize proposing to sell items that are themselves constitutionally protected.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues, Pornography

Get Religion: An imam and a pastor vs. California

But the richness of these quotes highlight the great failure of the piece. Where are the equivalent quotes from the many religious adherents who oppose redefining marriage as a union between same-sex couples?

When 75 percent of the people taking a position in an article about the religious response to redefining marriage support the change, that’s just ridiculous. California has more Roman Catholics than any other state in the nation. I believe that almost one in three Californians is Catholic. California also has more Latter-day Saint temples than any other state in the union save Utah. The idea that the reporters would highlight three Jewish rabbis (all of whom somehow support redefining marriage as a union between same-sex couples), an Episcopal priest, and a Unitarian Universalist Church but only one Christian clergyman who holds the traditional view of marriage as a union of one man and one woman? It would be laughable if it weren’t so offensive and inaccurate.

Back when a Massachusetts court changed the legal definition of marriage to permit same-sex couples to marry, one media critic described the general coverage as “upbeat.” Acting like 75 percent of the clergy are embracing a legal redefinition of marriage to include same-sex unions would have to qualify as more of the same.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Media, Religion & Culture, Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

Doug Leblanc: Asserting their beliefs the right model for church's conservatives

I was fairly sure we did not need another group with a national headquarters, a logo and regular conferences. I believed that conservatives within TEC needed to find some way between the poles of departure and mere acquiescence to the more provocative resolutions of General Convention.

I’ve now heard some encouraging notes for a conservative future within TEC. Two hours of audio, posted on the website of St. Andrew’s Church in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina (PBinSC.notlong.com), suggest that the conservative future sounds assertive rather than aggressive and hopeful rather than despairing.

Those who follow the regular drama of bishops’ elections will remember that that Diocese of South Carolina’s 14th bishop, Mark Lawrence, was said not to have received adequate consents from standing committees after a diocesan convention elected him. The diocesan convention reconvened and elected Lawrence again, on acclamation. After standing committees heard renewed assurances that he had no intention of leading the Diocese of South Carolina out of the Episcopal Church, Lawrence received sufficient consents and was consecrated on January 26 — nearly a year later than the diocese originally had planned.

To expect that this difficult path to consecration would leave Bishop Lawrence haggard or tongue-tied was to misunderstand him. In late February, as part of the Presiding Bishop’s visit to the diocese, Bishop Lawrence devoted two hours of a clergy day to a frank discussion of tensions involving the diocese, General Convention and the Presiding Bishop herself.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop, TEC Conflicts, Theology

Companies discover going green pays off

A growing wave of companies in all sectors ”” technology, financial services, energy, retail, manufacturing ”” are embracing environmentally safe practices and saving hundreds of millions of dollars, according to corporate leaders and an environmental group’s report Tuesday.

SunPower (STI), Sierra Nevada Brewing, Patagonia, Ikea, Nike (NKE), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), UPS (UPS), Yahoo (YHOO) and others are using green practices in their work sites, in product development and packaging, in energy-saving data centers and other technology, according to a report by the non-profit Environmental Defense Fund.

The report was released here at a news conference featuring green-friendly CEOs and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

David Yarnold, the fund’s executive director, says green business practices “can create competitive advantage” and “strengthen the bottom line.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources

Down Under One Minister Takes a Stand Against Gambling

A Sydney Anglican minister plans to be a Christian voice at a community forum on gambling today.

St Barnabas’, Fairfield assistant minister Steve Frederick has been invited to speak at today’s South West Sydney Problem Gambling Summit.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to offer a Christian voice on an issue of such importance for the south west of Sydney,” Mr Frederick says.

Mr Frederick was invited to speak at the summit after writing an email of encouragement to a member of Fairfield Council who came under fire from the rest of the council for an opinion piece he’d written in the local paper.

“In the article Councillor Thang Ngo expressed concern about the disproportionately high number of pokies in Fairfield and the staggeringly high proportion of disposable income that residents of the area spend on them,” Mr Frederick says.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Gambling

FT: Shortage fears push oil futures near $140

Fears of a shortage within five years propelled long-term oil futures prices to almost $140 a barrel, further stoking inflationary pressures in the global economy.

The spot price of Nymex West Texas Intermediate hit a record $130.30 a barrel on Wednesday. On Tuesday investors had rushed to buy oil futures contracts as far forward as December 2016, pushing their prices as high as $139.50 a barrel, up more than $9.50 on the day.

Veteran traders said they had never seen such a jump and said investors were increasingly betting that oil production would soon peak because of geopolitical and geological constraints.

Neil McMahon, of Sanford Bernstein, said: “Peak oil views ”“ regardless of whether right or wrong ”“ are seeping into the market and supporting high prices.”

It feels as if recently every morning I get up and oil is at another record high. Yuck. Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Energy, Natural Resources

From the Morning Scripture Readings

With my whole heart I seek thee; let me not wander from thy commandments!

I have laid up thy word in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Psalm 119: 10,11

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

H.D.S. Greenway: When faith and culture collide

It has been 40 years since Britain’s Enoch Powell made his famous “rivers of blood” speech warning about the social effects of immigration upon his land. Despite some serious riots along the way, Powell’s warning never came to pass. But today the chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Trevor Phillips, is warning of “the emergence of a kind of cold war in some parts of the country where very separate communities live side by side … with poor communications across racial lines.”

The multiculturalism in which Britain put its faith is under attack as having failed.

Britons are wondering if they have gone too far to accommodate minorities, and if society should be instilling Britishness instead? The focus, of course, is on British Muslims, and some Britons are asking, is this a community that British traditions can absorb?

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Europe, Religion & Culture

LA Times: Coming to grips with the same-sex marriage ruling

…at the Islamic Society of Orange County, Imam Muzammil H. Siddiqi told his congregation during Friday prayers that the high court’s decision was a severe disappointment and goes against Islamic teaching.

The ruling “is a violation of God’s law,” Siddiqi, an authority on Islamic law, said in an interview. “I hope all people of faith — Jews, Christians and Muslims — speak up against this.” At Lake Avenue, a large and diverse church that is part of the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference, Waybright told worshipers that he did not want to be “self- righteous or condemn anyone.” Still, he said, “it’s my responsibility . . . to keep pointing you to God’s way.” The Bible, he noted, makes clear that marriage is between a man and a woman.

A mile or so away at All Saints Episcopal Church, the Rev. Susan Russell led a between-services forum on the religious, legal and political ramifications of the court’s decision.

“The justices have ruled in favor of the sanctity of marriage and against bigotry,” Russell declared, as the audience cheered. “This is good news for all Californians.”

But even though All Saints has been blessing same-sex unions for more than 15 years, the ruling unleashed a wave of uncertainty.

“At this point in the Episcopal Church, our prayer book still defines marriage between a man and a woman,” Russell said in an interview. “There’s some question about whether we can, within the canons of our church, extend the sacrament to same-gender couples.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Sacramental Theology, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths), Theology

Obama takes Oregon; Clinton wins Kentucky

Despite Hillary Clinton’s landslide victory in Kentucky, Barack Obama has won a majority of pledged delegates in the race for the Democratic nomination.

Clinton won Kentucky by more than 30 points, but Obama’s share of the state’s 51 delegates was enough put him over the threshold, according to CNN estimates.

Obama is expected to pick up at least 14 delegates in Kentucky, and by CNN estimates, that will give him 1,627 of the 3,253 pledged delegates at stake in all of primaries and caucuses.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Flying Trapeze Artistry

Posted in * General Interest

A Youth Creed from the Toronto Youth Synod

We believe in the God of Life, who creates and loves people, who acts in history and who promises never to leave us alone.

We believe in Jesus of Nazareth, who is our brother, who wants not to be idolized but to be followed.

We believe that we dwell in the presence of the Holy Spirit; without her we are nothing; filled with her we are able to become creative, lively, and free.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Teens / Youth, Theology

Vancouver Area Bishop tells Diocesan Council diocesan property and assets must be protected

Bishop Michael Ingham has told his Diocesan Council that he feels he has no option but to protect the property and assets of the Diocese of New Westminster and the Anglican Church of Canada, and warned that the diocese may find itself in the civil courts to do so.

“If a congregation leaves, then it is the responsibility of the diocese to see that the parish continues, and is available for future generations of Christians,” he told the 45-member body that with the bishop governs the diocese between Diocesan Synods.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces