Monthly Archives: November 2007

Notable and Quotable

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us””an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!

That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.

All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

–A section of Romans 8 from Euguene Peterson’s The Message, oh so appropriate for the coming Advent season

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Food Banks, in a Squeeze, Tighten Belts

Food banks around the country are reporting critical shortages that have forced them to ration supplies, distribute staples usually reserved for disaster relief and in some instances close.

“It’s one of the most demanding years I’ve seen in my 30 years” in the field, said Catherine D’Amato, president and chief executive of the Greater Boston Food Bank, comparing the situation to the recession of the late 1970s.

Experts attributed the shortages to an unusual combination of factors, including rising demand, a sharp drop in federal supplies of excess farm products, and tighter inventory controls that are leaving supermarkets and other retailers with less food to donate.

“We don’t have nearly what people need, and that’s all there is to it,” said Greg Bryant, director of the food pantry in Sheffield, Vt.

“We’re one step from running out,” Mr. Bryant said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch

John Andrew Murray: How one man put God into circulation

Fifty years ago, the phrase “In God We Trust” first appeared on our nation’s one-dollar bill. But long before the motto was signed into law by President Eisenhower, it was considered for U.S. coins during the divisive years of the Civil War.

On Nov. 13, 1861, in the first months of the war, Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase received the following letter from a Rev. M.R. Watkinson: “Dear Sir, One fact touching our currency has hitherto been seriously overlooked. I mean the recognition of the Almighty God in some form on our coins. You are probably a Christian. What if our Republic were now shattered beyond reconstruction? Would not the antiquaries of succeeding centuries rightly reason from our past that we were a heathen nation?”

The clergyman surmised correctly. Chase was indeed a Christian.

As a young man at Dartmouth College, Chase had described himself as skeptical of the Christian faith. He had written to a friend, Tom Sparhawk, in 1826: “A [religious] revival has commenced here [at Dartmouth]. I was not taught to believe much in the efficacy of such things but I do not know enough concerning their effects to oppose them.” Not only did Chase tolerate Dartmouth’s revival of 1826, but he emerged as one of 12 new followers of Christ. As Chase wrote to another acquaintance in April of that year, “It has pleased God in his infinite mercy to bring me . . . to the foot of the cross and to find acceptance through the blood of His dear Son.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Church History, Economy, Religion & Culture

National Post: Canadian Anglican Leader In 'Denial'

“[We] deplore recent actions on the part of the Primate and General Synod of the Province of the Southern Cone to extend its jurisdiction into Canada,” the letter said. “This action breaks fellowship within the Anglican Church of Canada and the Anglican Communion.”

The [Archbishop’s] letter goes on to say that the actions of Southern Cone Archbishop Gregory Venables contravene various church agreements, including those in the 2004 Windsor Report, that forbid a primate from one Anglican region interfering in another region.

But critics said the Windsor report also placed a strict moratorium on same-sex blessings, a practice that continues in the Diocese of New Westminster, B.C.

“There is a real study in denial here,” said George Eger-ton, a history professor at the University of British Columbia and a member of the Anglican Network of Canada, which is forming the basis of a parallel conservative Canadian church. “The Windsor Report is only mentioned very briefly in passing and that is with regard to forbidding cross-border [issues]. That’s the only clue that you have that anything larger is happening in the worldwide Anglican communion. You’re in denial here that this is a major crisis that the Church is facing [over the issue].”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Night-shift work linked to cancer

Like UV rays and diesel exhaust fumes, working the graveyard shift will soon be listed as a “probable” cause of cancer.
It is a surprising step validating a concept once considered wacky. And it is based on research that finds higher rates of breast and prostate cancer among women and men whose work day starts after dark.

Next month, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the cancer arm of the World Health Organization, will add overnight shift work as a probable carcinogen. The American Cancer Society says it will likely follow. Up to now, the U.S. organization has considered the work-cancer link to be “uncertain, controversial or unproven.”

Read the whole piece.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine

Church Times: New legislation on sexual orientation may be divisive

ANY uncertainty in proposed new legislation on incitement to hatred on grounds of sexual orientation might provoke attempts to test the law, warned the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church this week.

A joint submission on the Government’s proposed amendment to the Public Order Act 1986 to create a new offence of incitement to hatred on grounds of sexual orientation says there must be “maximum possible clarity”.

The concerns are set out in a memorandum to the Public Bill Committee on the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill, from the Department for Christian Responsibility of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and the C of E’s Mission and Public Affairs Council.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Sexuality

The Archbishop of Canterbury will act 'in collaboration with Primates'

The Archbishop of Canterbury has told the Primates of the Anglican Communion that his response to the American crisis will be taken with their collaboration.

Writing to the Primates on Oct 2 Dr. Williams said he was “seeking the counsel of the Primates in the first instance.”

“My intention is firmly to honour the discernment of all the primates and the wider Communion at this juncture, which is why it is important to me to have frank assessments from all of you at the earliest opportunity,” he said.

“What I am asking for,” Archbishop Williams said, “is an indication of your view as to how far your province is able to accept the JSC Report assessment that the House of Bishops have responded positively to the requests of Windsor and of the Dar-es-Salaam message of the Primates.”

Read the whole article.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury

Pope Offers 'Working Meeting' With Muslims

In response to a letter from Muslim leaders seeking better relations with the Christian world, Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday invited those leaders to the Vatican for a “working meeting” on inter-religious dialogue.

Writing on behalf of the pope, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state, expressed Benedict’s “gratitude” and “deep appreciation” for an open letter that 138 Muslim scholars and clerics sent to the pope on Oct. 13.

That letter invoked the common principles of “love of the One God, and love of the neighbor” as the ultimate basis for peace between Muslims and Christians. Bertone’s reply acknowledged and reaffirmed those points.

“Without ignoring or downplaying our differences as Christians and Muslims, we can and therefore should look to what unites us, namely, belief in the one God,” the cardinal wrote.

Bertone noted that Benedict was “particularly impressed by the attention given (by the Muslim letter writers) to the twofold commandment to love God and one’s neighbor.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

The Archbishop of Canterbury's video message for World Aids Day

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has said that churches need to be brave, imaginative and honest in the fight against the spread of HIV and Aids.

In a message for World Aids Day [Saturday 1st December], issued for the first time as a video available on the internet, Dr Williams said churches are actively engaged in the global response to HIV and described as ”˜a scandal’ the limited access to drugs and treatment in deprived parts of the world.

“It is important that we do not allow ourselves to be paralysed by this challenge; people do not have to die ”“ drugs and treatment are available ”“ the scandal is that access is so often limited and it is hard to see where justice lies in the way resources are sometimes distributed.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury

Church in Burundi must heal hurts from past – Archbishop

Clergymen from the Anglican Church of Burundi gathered last week to consider the role of the church in building and consolidating peace in the country.

The Archbishop of Burundi the Rt Rev Bernard Ntahoturi met with other bishops of Burundi and with over one hundred pastors from all the Anglican dioceses in the country.

The meeting was part of a continued project to increase the capacity of 250 pastors and 250 lay people in a period of two years.

According to the Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS), in his opening speech the Archbishop told the attendants that they had come together as one united Church with the mission to be peacemakers so that God could be honoured in the Church and so that Burundi could experience healing and reconciliation.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, - Anglican: Latest News, Africa

As credit dries up in U.S., concerns mount about recession

Credit flowing to American companies is drying up at a pace not seen in decades, threatening the creation of new jobs and the expansion of businesses, while intensifying worries that the economy may be headed for recession.

The combined value of two key sources of credit – outstanding commercial and industrial bank loans, and short-term loans known as commercial paper – peaked at about $3.3 trillion in August, according to data from the Federal Reserve. By mid-November, such credit was down to $3 trillion, a drop of nearly 9 percent.

Not once in the years since the Fed began tracking such numbers in 1973 have these arteries of finance constricted so rapidly. Smaller declines preceded three recessions going back to 1975.

“This is a very big deal,” said Andrew Tilton, a senior economist in the U.S. Economic Research Group at Goldman Sachs. “You’re basically crimping the growth of the more vulnerable companies. If they can’t borrow the money, their options are much more limited. They’d have to have less ambitious hiring plans, buy less machinery and cancel projects.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy

Setting Dante's journey to eternity to song

Dante’s “The Divine Comedy” is not, at first glance, obvious libretto material for contemporary musical theater. It’s about the Christian afterlife, features tormented sinners condemned to burn in eternal flames, and the grand finale is a hymn to the Virgin Mary and God’s absolute love – hardly a Broadway showstopper.

Yet for the composer Monsignor Marco Frisina, Dante’s journey to the three realms of the dead – Hell, Purgatory and Paradise – was a score in waiting.

“There is a lot of music in ‘The Divine Comedy’ already. Dante wrote it in canticas and cantos; there’s rhythm, a lot of passion. It is the perfect text for a musical work,” said Frisina, who has been chapel master of the Musical Lateran Chapel since 1985.

What “The Divine Comedy, The Opera: Man’s quest for love” (the full title of the production) is not is a musical.

“I see it as Italian opera. I leave musicals to the Americans, who are better at it,” Frisina said in a telephone interview.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Music

Israeli Says Elusive Biblical Wall Found

A wall mentioned in the Bible’s Book of Nehemiah and long sought by archaeologists apparently has been found, an Israeli archaeologist says.

A team of archaeologists discovered the wall in Jerusalem’s ancient City of David during a rescue attempt on a tower that was in danger of collapse, said Eilat Mazar, head of the Institute of Archaeology at the Shalem Center, a Jerusalem-based research and educational institute, and leader of the dig.

Artifacts including pottery shards and arrowheads found under the tower suggested that both the tower and the nearby wall are from the 5th century B.C., the time of Nehemiah, Mazar said this week. Scholars previously thought the wall dated to the Hasmonean period from about 142 B.C. to 37 B.C.

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Israel, Middle East, Theology, Theology: Scripture

The Interim Report of the House of Deputies Committee on the State of the Episcopal Church


”¢ Almost half (49%) of our parishes and missions have an Average Sunday Attendance (ASA) of 70 or less. The norm – nearly two-thirds (63%) of Episcopal congregations–
has an ASA of 100 or less.

Read it very carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry

Austin Bay: Al-Qaida's Emerging Defeat

The postwar relationship between Iraq and the United States is now a broader public topic. This week, the White House and the Iraqi government announced that state-to-state discussions are taking place with the goal of reaching detailed agreements that will govern Iraq and America’s long-term political, economic and military ties. Iraqis have asked for “an enduring relationship with America.”

I use the term “broader public topic” because this matter has been a subject of constant discussion since April 2003, with little of that discussion hush-hush.

When I reported in May 2004 for duty in Iraq, the first document dropped on my desk was a draft of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1546. After reading it with great interest, I discussed it with one of the very smart young majors in the Multi-National Corps-Iraq plans section. The very smart young major was already in the polymathic process of analyzing requirements and aligning “capabilities with tasks” (who will do what) in order to support the resolutions stipulation that Iraq hold “direct democratic elections … in no case later than 31 January 2005.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Terrorism

British teacher sentenced to 15 days in Sudan jail

Gillian Gibbons, the British teacher who allowed her class to name their teddy bear Mohamed, has been sentenced to 15 days in jail followed by deportation from Sudan.

Her lawyers announced that Ms Gibbons was found guilty of insulting Islam. The 54-year-old former Liverpool primary school teacher had faced a maximum penalty of 40 lashes and a six-month jail sentence.

Tonight David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, said he was “extremely disappointed” with the sentence and summoned Omer Siddig, the Sudanese ambassador to London, to the Foreign and Commnwealth Office (FCO) to make Britain’s position clear.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Education, Islam, Other Faiths

Church of England Newspaper: Boycotting Lambeth would be ”˜missing the point’, Bishop says

THE Bishop of Ripon and Leeds has joined the growing chorus of prelates urging their Episcopal colleagues not to boycott next year’s Lambeth Conference.

Speaking during his annual Advent Address at Ripon Cathedral today, the Rt Rev John Packer said bishops threatening to withdraw from the ten-yearly gathering on issues of principle were ”˜misguided and missing the point’.

He said the whole point of the conference was for Anglican bishops to discuss divisions and differences, since its inception in 1867 by one of his predecessors, Charles Longley, the first Bishop of Ripon and Leeds.

Prelates including the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, and the Archbishop of Nigeria, the Most Rev Peter Akinola, may boycott the conference over the gay row which is plaguing the worldwide Commuion.

Bishop Packer gave his unequivocal support to the Conference and said both he and his suffragan, the Bishop of Knaresborough, the Rt Rev James Bell, would be in attendance.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Lambeth 2008

State-Run Florida Fund Hit by Withdrawals

“Our primary goal is to protect our funds,” said Jim Moye, Orange County’s chief deputy comptroller. The county’s school board withdrew $388 million this week, after other governments, including Dade County and Pompano Beach, had taken back investments.

The State Board of Administration manages about $42 billion of short-term investments, including the pool, as well as Florida’s $137 billion pension fund. Almost 6 percent, or $2.4 billion, of its short-term investments are in asset-backed commercial paper that has defaulted.

About $19 billion remained in the pool after the withdrawals, which came after the state overseer reported its holdings of downgraded debt at a public meeting Nov. 14.

Read it all.

Update: Bloomberg has this also:

The pool had $3 billion of withdrawals today alone, putting assets at $15 billion, said Coleman Stipanovich, executive director of the State Board of Administration, manager of the pool along with other short-term investments and the state’s pension fund.

“If we don’t do something quickly, we’re not going to have an investment pool,” said Stipanovich at the meeting in the state capitol in Tallahassee.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy

Ruth Gledhill: Rowan Williams celebrates 'secret' gay communion service

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, today presided at a ‘secret’ eucharist for the Clergy Consultation, as we reported that he would back in September. He gave a talk on ‘present realities and future possibilities for lesbians and gay men in the church.’ The venue, originally at St Peter’s Eaton Square, was switched to another location in London to avoid media attention after new of the meeting emerged first on the Church Society website.

The Clergy Consultation, which has between 250 and 450 members at any one time, was set up in 1976 by three Anglican priests, Malcolm Johnson, Peter Ellers and Douglas Rhymes. Changing Attitude has an interesting paper setting out a theology of sexual ethics around which members of the consultation work today. Many consultation members are married, one with six children, and are faithful to their partners. The organisation helps them cope with staying faithful to what they regard as a Christian lifestyle while dealing with a sexuality that sometimes does not emerge until later in life. Some members but by no means all are ‘out’ as openly gay but it is not difficult to understand why, in today’s Church, most prefer to remain ‘in’.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, views his taking part in the meeting and celebrating the eucharist as part of the ‘listening process’ outlined in Lambeth 1.10. A spokeswoman said: ‘The Archbishop of Canterbury is committed to the listening process which was agreed at the Lambeth Conference as part of the discussions on human sexuality. That means listening to and engaging with gay and lesbian clergy in a pastorally sensitive setting. That is what he is doing.’

Read it all.

I will consider posting comments on this article submitted first by email to Kendall’s E-mail: KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Lambeth 2008

The Ventura County Reporter: The Episcopal Church and the gay dilemma

St. Paul’s in Ventura is a picture of the diversity of opinion on homosexuality in the Episcopal Church, where congregants do feel comfortable speaking out on all sides of the issue, said St. Paul’s Rev. Jerome Kahler.

“That, I think, is the strength of the Church that there is a diversity of opinion in the Church on significant issues without breaking communion,” Kahler said.

“I think the worst thing that Christians can do is to separate rather than to deal with the fact that there is and has always been a difference of opinion, even on critical issues.”

Kahler said about three families have left the church and gone to St. George’s since Robinson’s ordination.

He feels they were being too abrupt in judging the ordination decision.

“To simply say that sexual behavior between homosexuals is a sin is wrong,” Kahler said. “It’s premature to say that because one doesn’t know the nature of the relationship.

“The larger issue that the church needs to deal with as regards to same-sex unions and the appropriateness of sexual relationships is what is loving behavior and what is abusive behavior or exploitive behavior.”

Read the whole piece.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts

A Pastoral Statement from the Primate and Metropolitans of the Anglican Church of Canada

The actions by the Primate of the Southern Cone are not necessary. Our bishops have made adequate and appropriate provision for the pastoral care and episcopal support of all members of the Anglican Church of Canada, including those who find themselves in conscientious disagreement with the view of their bishop and synod over the blessing of same-sex unions. These provisions, contained in the document known as Shared Episcopal Ministry, were adopted by the House of Bishops and commended by the panel of reference appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The actions by the Primate of the Southern Cone are also inappropriate. They contravene ancient canons of the Church going as far back as the 4th century, as well as statements of the Lambeth Conference, the Windsor report and the Communiqué from the Primates’ Meeting earlier this year. Furthermore these actions violate Canon XVII of the Anglican Church of Canada which states that “No Bishop priest or deacon shall exercise ordained ministry in a diocese without the license or temporary permission of the Diocesan Bishop.”

Any ministry exercised in Canada by those received into the Province of the Southern Cone after voluntarily relinquishing the exercise of their ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada is inappropriate, unwelcome and invalid. We are aware that some bishops have, or will be making statements to that effect in their own dioceses.

In the meantime we rejoice in this season of Advent in which we once again begin that great journey of tracing the steps of our Lord’s most holy life through the liturgy of a new year.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Cono Sur [formerly Southern Cone]

Graham Kings Responds to Chris Sugden

This ”˜no longer trusting in the Archbishop of Canterbury’ matches Chris Sugden’s earlier article, ”˜Not Schism but Revolution’, in Evangelicals Now (September 2007), where he stated, after a quotation from Bishop Bob Duncan:

In other words, since the Archbishop of Canterbury has not provided for the safe oversight of the orthodox in the United States, he has forfeited his role as the one who gathers the Communion.

The irony of this, is that the Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone, Greg Venables, has been at pains to point out that he consulted with the Archbishop of Canterbury in September concerning the current events. At least he continues, it seems, to treat the Archbishop of Canterbury as one ”˜who gathers the Communion’.

The consequential question resulting from Chris Sugden’s view concerning the Archbishop of Canterbury is: ”˜Then who does gather the Communion?’ His view leaves a vacuum. It also means that the Primates’ Meeting can’t be gathered, since Canterbury presides at those meetings. It also means the Lambeth Conference can’t meet. Of the Four Instruments of Communion, that leaves only the Anglican Consultative Council and that is not seen as respresentative by him.

Read it all (the comment has a time stamp of 11:49 on November 28th).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Cono Sur [formerly Southern Cone], Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts

Recommended DVD Movie for the Holidays

Genius Products, Inc. is proud to present “Wordplay,” the critically acclaimed documentary, on DVD for the first time on November 7, 2006. “Wordplay” is an artfully constructed film that provides an in-depth behind the scenes view of the New York Times crossword puzzle and the current and historical creative forces that drive its production. Director Patrick Creadon treats this ordinary form of self-amusement as a spectator sport filled with rugged down-and-acrossers in hot pursuit of attaching words to terse definitions.

Elizabeth and Selimah caught this in the hotel room during thanksgiving vacation and I am now watching the DVD which we ordered through Netflix. Well worth the time–KSH.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Culture-Watch, Movies & Television

Scientists Replicate Substance That Extends Life

The scientists who discovered resveratrol, a substance in red wine that let mice live longer, say they’ve developed three drugs that do much the same thing. The most potent of the three controls blood sugar and is believed to fight other diseases of aging. They need regulatory approval.

Listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Life Ethics, Science & Technology

Chris Sugden: Bishops without borders launched in Canada

Revolutionary movements in Eastern Europe in the 1980s and 1990s headed for the TV stations. In the revolution in the Anglican Communion last week, the Anglican Network in Canada launched its parallel Anglican entity in a TV Station in Burlington, Ontario.

260 leaders of congregations across Canada gathered at short notice. Nothing could be finalised until the Province of Southern Cone synod on 5-7 November had re-elected Gregory Venables as Presiding Bishop and permitted North American churches to affiliate with the Province.

Bishop Don Harvey, retired Bishop of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador who takes his retreats at Mirfield, led from the front. He resigned his orders in the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) on November 15, and one minute later was licensed as a Bishop in the Province of the Southern Cone. He spoke of sorrow, not regret: “The most hurtful thing was to hear the letter (from the Primate of Canada) read in church last Sunday (November 18) which declared that my basic right to celebrate the Holy Communion has been stripped from me. There was no “ I regret to have to do this” in the letter. Will all the Southern Cone bishops will be ostracised in Canada as well? ”

Bishop Harvey declared the revolution in his Pastoral Charge to the newly launched Church: “There is no reference in the Bible to a diocese, border, or boundary. I have heard ”˜Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel’. We have lawyers and doctors and engineers without borders. We are launching bishops without borders.”

Bishop Venables addressed the gathering by video and letter. “The division which has led to these moves is a severance resulting from a determined abandoning of the one true historic faith delivered to the saints.”
“Schism is a sinful parting over secondary issues. This separation is basic and fundamental and means that we are divided at the most essential point of the Christian faith. The sin here is not one of schism but of false teaching which is not at its root about human sexuality but about the very nature of truth itself.”
Dr James Packer, now 82, underlined that this was not schism, despite the protestations of his own (former) Bishop Ingham of New Westminster in the press.
Dr Packer said “Schism means unjustifiable dividing of organized church bodies, by the separating of one group within the structure from the rest of the membership. Schism is sin, for it is a needless and indefensible breach of visible unity. But withdrawal from a unitary set-up that has become unorthodox and distorts the gospel in a major way and will not put its house in order as for instance when the English church withdrew from the Church of Rome in the sixteenth century, should be called not schism but realignment, doubly so when the withdrawal leads to links with a set-up that is faithful to the truth, as in the sixteenth century the Church of England entered into fellowship with the Lutheran and Reformed churches of Europe, and as now we propose gratefully to accept the offer of full fellowship with the Province of the Southern Cone. Any who call such a move schism should be told that they do not know what schism is.”
“The present project is precisely not to abandon Anglicanism but to realign within it, so as to be able to maintain it in its fullness and authenticity”
Dr Packer set out the identity of Anglican Network in Canada:
“We are a community of conscience, – committed to the Anglican convictions – those defined in our foundation documents and expressed in our Prayer Book.
The historic Anglican conviction about homosexual behaviour contains three points:
It violates the order of creation. God made the two sexes to mate and procreate, with pleasure and bonding; but homosexual intercourse, apart from being, at least among men, awkward and unhealthy, is barren.
It defies the gospel call to repent and abstain from it, as from sin. This call is most clearly perhaps expressed in 1Cor. 6: 9-11, where the power of the Holy Spirit to keep believers clear of this and other lapses is celebrated.
The heart of true pastoral care for homosexual persons is helping them in friendship not to yield to their besetting temptation. We are to love the sinner, though we do not love the sin.
Second, we are a community of church people, committed to the Anglican Communion.
More than 90% of worshipping Anglicans worldwide outside the Old West are solidly loyal to the Christian heritage as Anglicanism has received it, and we see our realignment as enhancing our solidarity with them. We are not leaving Anglicanism behind.
Third, we are a community of consecration, committed to the Anglican calling of worship and mission, doxology and discipling. Church planting will be central to our vision of what we are being called to do.
Fourth, we are a community of courage, heading out into unknown waters but committed to the Anglican confidence that God is faithful to those who are faithful to him.”
By contrast “Liberal theology as such knows nothing about a God who uses written language to tell us things, or about the reality of sin in the human system, which makes redemption necessary and new birth urgent. Liberal theology posits, rather, a natural religiosity in man (reverance, that is, for a higher power) and a natural capacity for goodwill towards others, and sees Christianity as a force for cherishing and developing these qualities. They are to be fanned into flame and kept burning in the church, which in each generation must articulate itself by concessive dialogue with the cultural pressures, processes and prejudices that surround it. The church must ever play catch-up to the culture, taking on board whatever is the “in thing” at the moment; otherwise, so it is thought, Christianity will lose all relevance to life.
In an interview with 100 Huntley Street, a TV station, Dr Packer elaborated:
“The basic liberal attitude to human wisdom and liberal theology is poison. Poison is a vivid word. It shocks people awake. Poison takes the strength and life out of a system and if not contained is terminal. Liberal theology takes people away from the real knowledge of the real God to imaginary knowledge of an imaginary God. Their imaginary God is dumb. He does not speak. This is a different God. Liberal theology leads people astray and undermines their health. The real God is not taken seriously and is kept out of the picture.”
Bishop Malcolm Harding, who after retirement led Anglican Renewal Ministries in Canada, was appointed a second Bishop of the Southern Cone for Canada. Rev Canon Charlie Masters, the Director of Anglican Essentials Canada was appointed Archdeacon and Mrs Cheryl Chang from Vancouver as Chancellor. Bishop Harvey’s pastoral charge affirmed that “Women have the same status as men in all ministries in ANiC. We have adopted the same rule and policy as Common Cause. There is no second class citizen. We are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Two congregations not currently part of the Anglican Church of Canada, St John’s Richmond and the Church of the Resurrection, Hope, both in British Columbia, were received into the ANiC. Congregations which belong to ACC have to vote as congregations to transfer. Ownership of the properties has yet to be tested in law. But 8 clergy have already been summoned to appear before their bishops, and the Rev Charlie Masters, the Director of Essentials, expects to be deposed this week.
On Saturday December 2 ordinations have been arranged in Vancouver. Dr. Ingham has sent threatening letters to Bishop Donald Harvey, not to ordain priests for conservative parishes in New Westminster, to the potential ordinands (asserting that only his ordinations are recognized in the Anglican Church of Canada and, speaking imperially, the world-wide Anglican Communion), and to conservative priests in his Diocese (not to support any irregular ordinations). The official launch of the Church will be April 25-27 in Vancouver and the first Synod will be held in November 2008.

Revolutions are legitimized through recognition by others. Supportive greetings and recognition were sent to Bishop Harvey and the new entity by the Primates of Uganda, West Africa, Kenya, Central Africa, the Indian Ocean, South East Asia, and by Bishop Mouneer Anis (Egypt), Archbishop Peter Jensen (Sydney), Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti (Recife) and from Bishop Bob Duncan (Pittsburgh), Bishop John Guernsey (Uganda) and Bishop Martyn Minns (CANA) from the USA.

From England greetings were sent from Bishop Michael Nazir Ali (Rochester) and by Bishop Wallace Benn, Bishop of Lewes & President of Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) and leaders from CEEC, Reform, New Wine, Church Society, Anglican Mainstream, Forward in Faith, the Covenant Group for the Church of England, Crosslinks and the 1990 Group of General Synod. (See letters page).

The Conference Presentations on Church Planting, Governance, Structure, and Media Relationships can be found at

–This article sppears in the Church of England Newspaper, November 30, 2007, on page 12

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

In Canada Anglicans set for fight

Canada’s breakaway conservative Anglicans have a million-dollar war chest to fight pending legal battles over church property and have hired a Bay Street law firm, documents from the groups’ recent meeting in Burlington reveal.

“It is possible that we could lose church properties at the end of the day,” reads one of the documents, released this week by Anglican Essentials Canada. “However, that day could be very long coming.”

The document is from a session on the legal implications of separating from the Anglican Church of Canada that was closed to the media. In it, lawyer Cheryl Chang says the group is confident it has sufficient resources to fight any legal battle.

“We feel we have a very good legal case to make and have a substantial commitment for a legal fund in the amount of $1 million,” the document reads.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Law & Legal Issues

Schools told to explain relationships with lenders

Dozens of colleges, universities and trade schools have been ordered to turn over documents to government officials explaining why a single lender at each school handles the majority of federally backed student loans.

The request, sent to 55 schools, comes amid concerns that some colleges might be steering students improperly to lenders who reward schools for the extra business. The schools have until Friday to give federal education officials documents dating to July 1, 2005, that include correspondence with lenders, loan policies and written descriptions of how preferred lenders were chosen.

The targeted schools include large public universities, private liberal arts colleges and career schools where students received at least $10 million in federal loans for tuition and fees during the 2006-07 school year, according to data obtained from the U.S. Department of Education by Gannett News Service under the Freedom of Information Act.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Education

Challenging Tradition, Young Jews Worship on Their Terms

There are no pews at Tikkun Leil Shabbat, no rabbis, no one with children or gray hair.

Instead, one rainy Friday night, the young worshipers sat in concentric circles in the basement of an office building, damp stragglers four deep against the walls. In the middle, Megan Brudney and Rob Levy played guitar, drums and sang, leading about 120 people through the full Shabbat liturgy in Hebrew.

Without a building and budget, Tikkun Leil Shabbat is one of the independent prayer groups, or minyanim, that Jews in their 20s and 30s have organized in the last five years in at least 27 cities around the country. They are challenging traditional Jewish notions of prayer, community and identity.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Judaism, Other Faiths, Young Adults

Foreclosure activity increases 2% in Oct according to RealtyTrac

The national foreclosure rate for the month was one foreclosure filing for every 555 households.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market

The funeral industry increasingly goes digital

When 92-year-old Ruben Edmond passed away this past summer, not everyone could make it to Norfolk, Virginia, to say goodbye to the man whose family includes five children, 28 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren, and five great-great grandchildren.

So while some mourners streamed into the funeral home to pay their last respects, others from North Carolina to Hawaii watched a streaming video of the ceremony online and visited a tribute page produced by the funeral home that helped organize Edmond’s last rites.

“We used technology to pay our last tribute – it was just awesome,” said Edmond’s daughter, Estelle Edmond-Bussey, 64, of Chesapeake, Virginia. Family members regathered later to watch a replay of the ceremony, giving her a chance to remember “the things I was numb to the day of the service.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, Science & Technology