Archive for December, 2009


Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

BY FAR the most significant thing about the case against Benjamin and Sharon Vogelenzang was that it reached a court of law in the first place. This evangelical Christian couple who run a hotel were accused of making derogatory remarks about the religion of one of their guests, Ericka Tazi, a Muslim convert, and thereby spreading religious hatred and contempt.

Mrs Tazi was found to have exaggerated the couple’s verbal abuse grossly but the fact that the case was thrown out of court should not blind us to the insidious and creeping reign of terror that the Government has introduced in Britain by facilitating this kind of prosecution.

While the criminal justice system actively promotes real crime by its refusal to repress it vigorously, it attempts to make criminals of Mr and Mrs Vogelenzang because they expressed forthright Christian beliefs.

For myself I do not much care to be buttonholed by religious enthusiasts but in a free country that is a situation with which citizens must be expected to cope on their own without resort to the courts.

Apart from this, however, there is the strong suspicion that if the boot had been on the other foot, if the Vogelenzangs had complained about remarks made by Mrs Tazi about their religion, no case would have come to court.

THE reason for the difference in approach is an officially-sponsored indifference or hostility to anything which might be considered part of the European and British cultural and religious heritage, combined with a tender regard for any non- European and non-British cultural heritage. Read more

Alpha course is taking on England’s state schools

Friday, December 11th, 2009

December 10th, 2009 Posted in Education, Evangelism |

From Times Educational Supplement

Secularists warn hardline proselytising on school premises

Original paper headline: The Alpha movement has persuaded millions back to church globally. Now it’s taking on England’s state schools ..

Growing numbers of Alpha courses are being run in schools to give pupils the opportunity to explore Christianity, The TES has learnt.

The courses, which have been criticised by religious bodies and secular campaigners, are taught in lunchtime and after-school sessions.

Youth Alpha courses, designed for 11- to 18-year-olds, encourage pupils to consider questions such as “Who is Jesus?” and “How can I resist evil?”

They are based on popular adult Alpha courses, run in churches, universities and prisons, which organisers say have been completed by more than 13 million people around the world.

Archbishop Blanch CofE High School in Liverpool, now in its third year of running Youth Alpha, has had almost 300 pupils complete the course. It runs for eight weeks in lunch hours. Attendance is voluntary but the sessions are promoted around the school, including during assemblies.

Head Jane Griffiths said: “It is a hugely successful and popular part of our church life here. There were girls who were asking questions about the Christian faith.

“We feel it’s great for children whose own churches don’t offer Youth Alpha and for children who are not Christians.”

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Born in the Church or born into Christ?

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Writing for the diocesan iindada newspaper Bishop Bethlehem Nopece in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, made these comments in speaking about the Christmas story.


“…It is with great amazement to notice the difference between being ‘in church’ and ‘in Christ’.

We may be born in the church and grow in her officialdom with long robes and good works, but if we have not found the Babe in the manger of our hearts, it profits us nothing. It is the visitation of justice, love and mercy. It is the kairos of God’s transforming love for each individual and fellow humans. Yet more time is spent by church people back-biting and slandering one another causing unending hurts. We are given a new Command to Love one another. Christmas is that time to love and to embrace; to build and to uplift. Should you have anything against any one, do not hesitate to go (Mtt.18:15-17).”

The Bishop was just as critical of priests and lay leaders when he writes:

“….Yet rejection of one another on racial lines with lots of denials is absurd. This is more vividly displayed amongst the leadership we have in some parishes as we seek to appoint clergy. Some times we often wonder whether we have churchwardens who are ‘officers of the Bishop’ – or wardens of their own self interest and love of power and control with an obscure vision of an incarnate Christ. When shall Jesus live among us in order for him to live in our communities?”

Read the whole letter…

FCA – Just for a moment like this !!!!!!!!

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Archbishop Peter Jensen on Los Angeles Bishop’s election

Statement by the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen, on the Episcopal election in the Diocese of Los Angeles.

“The election (yet to be confirmed) of a partnered lesbian as Bishop in the Episcopal Church (TEC) is sad but not surprising.

Confirmation of this election will make clear beyond any doubt whatsoever that the TEC leadership has chosen to walk in a way which is contrary to scripture and will continue to do so.

This settled path that the TEC chooses is contrary to the expressed will of the majority of the Anglican Communion.

Further, it confirms the rightness of GAFCON in producing the Jerusalem Declaration and establishing the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA).

The aim of the FCA is to recognise and give fellowship to those who wish to remain faithful to God’s revealed word and also to defend and promote biblical teaching throughout the Communion.

It is all the more urgent that those who share the aims of the FCA should associate themselves with the movement and express their disapproval of actions which are contrary to scripture and contrary to historic Anglicanism.

Further, this gives the Archbishop of Canterbury every reason to act decisively and dissociate from the Episcopal Church and to recognise the Anglican Church of North America.”

Hat-Tip: Anglican Church League

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

Lesbian Episcopal priest elected LA assist. bishop

December 6th, 2009 Posted in TEC |

Revd Mary D GlasspoolAssociated Press

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles has elected the second openly gay bishop in the national church and the world Anglican fellowship.

The Rev. Mary Glasspool of Baltimore won election as assistant bishop in Los Angeles in voting Saturday. The first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, was consecrated in 2003.

The Episcopal Church is the Anglican body in the United States. The election of Robinson already has deeply fractured the global Anglican Communion.

Within the United States, theologically conservative Episcopalians this year formed a rival church, called the Anglican Church in North America.

Glasspool lives with a female partner. Her election as assistant bishop must be approved by a majority of national church leaders.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — An openly lesbian priest is among the candidates for assistant bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. If elected Saturday, she would become the second openly gay bishop in the national church and the global Anglican fellowship.

Two rounds of voting at the diocese’s annual convention late Friday did not produce a winner. Balloting resumed at 9 a.m. Saturday.

When voting ended Friday, the Rev. Mary D. Glasspool of Baltimore, who has a female partner, was drawing a large share of votes. Another gay candidate, the Rev. John L. Kirkley of San Francisco, withdrew late Friday, winnowing the original field of candidates to five.

The Episcopal Church, which is the Anglican body in the United States, caused an uproar in 2003 by consecrating the first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.

Breakaway Episcopal conservatives responded by forming a rival church, the Anglican Church in North America. Several overseas Anglicans have pressured Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the Anglican Communion’s spiritual leader, to recognize the new conservative entity.

Anglican leaders in 2004 had asked the Episcopal Church for a moratorium on electing any more gay bishops while they tried to prevent a permanent break in the 77 million-member fellowship. However, last July, the Episcopal General Convention, the U.S. church’s top policy body, voted that the job of Episcopal bishop was open to priests in same-sex relationships.

The Los Angeles diocese had openings for two assistant, or suffragan, bishops.

In the election for the first vacancy Friday, the winner was the Rev. Diane M. Jardine Bruce, rector of St. Clement’s-By-The-Sea Episcopal Church in San Clemente. She will be the first female bishop in the diocese.

The Los Angeles diocese has 70,000 members and covers six Southern California counties.

Massachusetts Episcopal Bishop Approves Solemnizing Same-Sex “Marriages”

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

December 1st, 2009 Posted in Gay Marriage |

BOSTON, December 1, 2009 ( – Episcopal priests in the eastern part of Massachusetts, the birthplace of same-sex “marriage” in the United States, now have permission to “solemnize” the marriages of “all eligible couples,” including those entering same-sex unions, according to a new pastoral directive from the local Episcopal bishop.

Bishop M. Thomas Shaw III, consecrated the 15th bishop of Massachusetts in 1995, releaseda letter to all priests and parishes in the diocese on Sunday, informing them of the decision. Shaw, who is also a member of the religious order Society of St. John the Evangelist, defended his decision, citing a July resolution from the Episcopal Church’s General Convention that recommended: “bishops, particularly in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same-gender marriage is legal, may provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this church.”

“Christian marriage is a sacramental rite that has evolved in the church,” wrote Shaw, adding that marriage “must be open to all as a means of grace and sustenance to our Christian hope.”

In this vein, Shaw indicated that both heterosexual and homosexual “marriages” are “characterized, just as our church expects, by fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, and the holy love which enables spouses to see in one another the image of God.”

Shaw made no mention in his letter of “procreation” as an essential component of Christian marriage, geared toward the rearing and education of children. Instead Shaw emphasized marriage as primarily an institution of mutual fidelity and commitment without its traditional reference as a good ordered to the begetting and raising children.

“It’s time for us to offer to gay and lesbian people the same sacrament of fidelity that we offer to the heterosexual world,” Shaw explained to the Boston Globe on Sunday.

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ARKANSAS: Episcopal Priest Praises Mohammed, Vishnu, Buddha, Confucius in Rogue All Saints Liturgy

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

And there was little old me thinking we  “praise God for the exemplary lives of the Saints” No!! it appears we praise them for their holiness and it seems I missed a whole lot of saints in my upbringing!!!  Fr Gavin

By David W. Virtue
November 20, 2009

When parishioners filed into St. John’s Episcopal Church in Harrison, Arkansas, on All Saints Sunday, November 1, they were handed a bulletin that sent shivers down the spines of many of the congregants. It was a case of inclusion gone wild.

The “Litany of all the Saints of God” part of their Sunday liturgy read as follows:

Litany of all the Saints of God

CELEBRANT: Blessed are all you holy ones, the saints, you who have done the will of God, and now rejoice in the reward of Eternal joy.

Holy men and women who worshipped the All Holy One as Rama, Vishnu or the Lord Krishna, forest hermits, ascetics and wise ones whose lives were incarnations of the holy books the Vedas, Upanishads and Gita –

ALL: All you Hindu saints; we praise you for holy are you.

CELEBRANT: Monks, nuns and all holy followers of the blessed Buddha, who, in the peace of Zen, created peace in others; All who sought the bliss of Nirvana with dedication and practiced justice and compassion toward all.

ALL: All you Buddhist saints, we praise you for holy are you.

CELEBRANT: Chosen people of God, children of Abraham and Sara, saints Moses, Ruth, and Rebeccas, holy prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah, all prophets and prophetesses, all you martyrs of Dachau and Buchenwald,

ALL: All you Jewish saints we praise you for holy are you.

CELEBRANT: Saints Confucius, Lao Tzu and Chaung Tzu of China, all holy men and women of the Orient, you who lived lives balancing the yin and the yang, and all who found wisdom and grace in the Tao.

ALL: All you Chinese saints, we praise you for holy are you.

CELEBRANT: Holy prophet Mohammed and all holy saints of Islam, all who surrender to the will of Allah: Holy Martyrs of Islam, who with your lives declared the Allah is One and only One, all you whirling dervishes and mystic Sufis, you ecstatic lovers of the divine Beloved.

ALL: All you saints of the Koran, we praise you, for holy are you.

CELEBRANT: All you Incas of Peru, holy Mayans and Aztecs of Mexico, all you Native children of the sun and stars, you who with creative love and sacrifice raised up wondrous temples to your God, holy followers of Lord Khonvum, God of the Pygmies, holy ones of Tane, god of the Polynesians

ALL: All you saints of all tribes, we praise you for holy are you

CELEBRANT: Saints of the Iroquois, Delaware, Dakotas, Hopi and Sioux, holy ones of the Cheyenne, Navajo and Pawnee, Medicine men and women, visionaries and healers, all to whom the animals, fish and trees spoke

ALL: All you Native saints; we praise you, for holy are you

CELEBRANT: All saints of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Gospel, holy husbands and wives, nuns and monks, clergy and missionaries and people of God, all you who lived gospel lives serving others, caring for the poor, the abandoned, and the sick; All you reformers, preachers and teachers, all you holy hermits and mystics. All you Christian saints, we praise you, for holy are you.

All you saints in heaven, we praise you; all you saints on earth we praise you; all you canonized and uncanonized saints, we praise you; all you struggling to be saints, we praise you; all who are unaware that you are saints we praise you; Blessed be all you inside-out saints who are presently sinners, And blessed are all you who believe in the Communion of saints.

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