Friday, November 03, 2006

November 3, Batch 2 (morning / afternoon)

On a Personal Note

November 3rd, 2006 posted by kendall at 4:23 pm

I am back visiting my mother this weekend in New York. She has had ovarian cancer since 2000. Thanks for your support and prayers.

The Controversy over Ted Haggard

November 3rd, 2006 posted by kendall at 4:15 pm

Haggard resigned Thursday as president of the National Association of Evangelicals after Jones’ allegations were made public.

Haggard on Wednesday denied the allegations, and said in a statement he’s stepping aside to let the investigation run its course.

He could “not continue to minister under the cloud created by the accusations made on Denver talk radio this morning,” he said in a written statement released Thursday.

He said he might talk about the issue later and will seek “both spiritual advice and guidance” until then.

Parsley will take the helm of the church until Haggard’s status has been resolved.

The Haggard story dealt the evangelical world its most serious shock since the 1980s scandals of televangelists Jim Bakker of the PTL Club and Jimmy Swaggart of the Assemblies of God.

Haggard heads Colorado’s largest megachurch and has been an influential leader in the national evangelical movement — a movement some say was instrumental in getting President Bush re-elected in 2004.

Time Magazine named him one of the country’s 25 most influential evangelicals, and Harper’s Magazine called New Life “the most powerful megachurch in America.”

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson issued a statement today saying his organization is “heartsick” over the revelations.

“We will await the outcome of this story, but the possibility that an illicit relationship has occurred is alarming to us and to millions of others,” Dobson said.

Read it all.

Important clarification: the text Kendall has excerpted above is from a much earlier draft of the story. It appears that the Colorado Springs Gazette has continued to modify the story throughout the day. The story that appears when you click on the link is quite different than the text posted above. PLEASE CLICK THE LINK for the latest version.


Reuters: New Episcopal Church head says dissent limited

November 3rd, 2006 posted by kendall at 4:10 pm

The Episcopal Church will not abandon its support for diversity and those threatening a schism over gay issues are a small segment of the membership, the incoming head of the U.S. church said on Friday.

Katharine Jefferts Schori, who will become the first woman to head a branch of the worldwide Anglican Church when she is installed at Washington’s National Cathedral on Saturday, also said the fact that she is a woman has added fuel to the fires of division in the church.

Asked during an interview aired on the NBC-TV “Today” show how she hoped to reach conservative dissidents in the 2.4 million-member U.S. church, she said she would “reach out, trying to accompany them in their pain, to say that I understand how difficult this change is being for you, and to say that we’re not going to abandon anyone.

“We’re going to continue to hold up that blessed diversity that’s been a hallmark of the Anglican way of understanding,” she added.

Read it all.

Abstinence Money Expanded to Include 20-Somethings

November 3rd, 2006 posted by kendall at 4:09 pm

Famous for targeting teens with “no sex before marriage” campaigns, the federal government is now reminding Americans that waiting can work for adults, too.

In a recent program announcement, the Administration for Children and Families highlighted the possibility that federally funded programs to promote abstinence can be used among 19- to 29-year-olds.

Wade Horn, the administration’s assistant secretary, said the shift was simply an attempt to clarify 2007 guidelines for states receiving millions of dollars in grant money through the Title V program.

“What the law says is that Title V funds should be targeted to those age groups that are most likely to bear children outside of wedlock, and this is between the ages of 19 and 29. We wanted to clear up any confusion about whether these funds could be used for this age group,” he said.

Read it all.

Carrie Sheffield: Will a Mormon candidate fulfill Joseph Smith’s prophecy?

November 3rd, 2006 posted by kendall at 12:51 pm

Though his family hails from Michigan and he is governor of Massachusetts, the lion’s share of contributions to likely Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney come from Utah. This is hardly surprising. More than 70% of Utah’s residents are, like Mr. Romney, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). As fellow Mormons, they feel a special kinship with him. Some even see in him the potential to fulfill a 160-year-old premonition by Mormon founder Joseph Smith, known as the “White Horse Prophecy.”

In 1843, according to followers of Smith, he predicted that one day American citizens would be denied their most basic rights and the U.S. Constitution would “hang like a thread as fine as a silk fiber.” “A terrible revolution will take place in the land of America, such as has never been seen before; for the land will be left without a Supreme Government, and every specie of wickedness will be practiced rampantly in the land,” Smith reportedly said.

It would then be up to the Mormon people, symbolized by a white horse, to ride in and save the republic from collapsing. “I love the Constitution; it was made by the inspiration of God, and it will be preserved and saved by the efforts of the White Horse,” Smith purportedly told his followers, borrowing the white horse image from the apostle John in the Book of Revelation.

Susan Easton Black, professor of church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, said the White Horse tale was originally publicized by two devout Mormon men seeking to make money off of the prophet’s narrative. According to Mrs. Black, the men sold the prophecy in a pamphlet to early Utah pioneers.

The prophecy, in various forms, was recounted in contemporaneous personal journals and spread by word-of-mouth among Latter-day Saints in early settlements in Illinois and then Utah. Later tellings of the story escalated its drama, painting pictures of a single Mormon man rushing in like a white knight in shining armor at a time of constitutional crisis.

Read it all.

Anne Atkins: What is the most important decision we ever make?

November 3rd, 2006 posted by kendall at 12:48 pm

True, judgment based on instinct is not enough. People occasionally do strange and unnatural things, as Euripides’ dreadful story of Medea illustrates. But logic in the case against Miss Williams was also lacking, with neither motive nor evidence to incriminate her. If those involved had followed common instincts, then used intelligent logic, none of those mothers so tragically accused in recent years would have come to court.

And what is the most important decision we ever make? A professional sailor once told me no one can exist long at sea without believing instinctively in God; similar edge-of-life experiences seem to have persuaded General Sir Richard Dannatt to Christianity. But faith is also rational. Evidence must be weighed, logic invoked, argument appealed to. Pascal, who understood the rationale of the heart better than anyone, also - mathematician that he was - propounded Christian belief as the most rigorous result of reason.

Read it all.

Who has the Highest Teenage pregnancy Rate in Europe

November 3rd, 2006 posted by kendall at 12:45 pm

Guess before you listen here.

Woman bishop ready for top Episcopal post

November 3rd, 2006 posted by kendall at 12:42 pm

Soon after her election last summer, Jefferts Schori faced a mini-rebellion from conservatives who said she is too liberal to lead the badly fractured U.S. church, and some who said her gender disqualified her from leadership.

As presiding bishop for a nine-year term, Jefferts Schori will be the Episcopal Church’s chief pastor and administrator, as well as the U.S. representative in the global Anglican Communion. The Episcopal Church is one of 38 geographic provinces in the 77-million member Anglican Communion.

She also will be charged with mediating between liberal and conservative factions — both in her church and in Anglicanism at large — at odds over homosexuality and the authority of scripture.

It’s a big job, especially for a “second-career” prelate with just under six years under her belt as bishop of Nevada. But the private pilot and former oceanographer said she thrills to new endeavors.

“I know the learning curve is going to be steep but life is a challenge,” she said in an interview. “We are all called out of ourselves to do new things.”

Among her priorities are fostering reconciliation among Episcopalians and other Anglicans, promoting the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals and working to engage young people with the gospel, she said.

Lower down on the list is asking the church’s executive council to study whether to move Episcopal headquarters from New York to a more geographically central site in the U.S. Jefferts Schori said she will divide her time between New York and Nevada, where her husband, Richard Schori, will continue to live.

Read it all.

NBC Today Show Interview with Bp. Jefferts Schori — link

November 3rd, 2006 posted by admin at 11:45 am

Thanks to the AAC blog, here is a link to a webcast where you can watch Bishop Jefferts Schori’s interview on the Today Show this morning.

Note: you probably need to use Internet Explorer to view this clip.

William Styron RIP

November 3rd, 2006 posted by kendall at 11:12 am

He traveled abroad frequently, especially to France, where he continued to be admired.

Yet if the aura of his life was golden, it was also bordered with dark shadows. At only 13, he suffered the trauma of his mother’s death, which, perhaps because of the time and place he lived in, he was never allowed to mourn properly. A predisposition to depression was evident in his family’s emotional history. For whatever reasons, suicide is a recurrent theme in his fiction. By his own admission, he drank heavily partly to ward off ghosts.

In the summer of 1985, when he turned 60, he suddenly found that alcohol no longer agreed with him. But giving it up brought on mood disorders for which he had to be medicated. These drugs in turn produced destructive side effects, and he was dragged into a deep, prolonged suicidal depression that did not lift until he was hospitalized from December through early February 1986.

He recovered and wrote a harrowing account of his experience, which began as a lecture and became the best-selling book “Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness” (1990). Three years later he collected three stories previously published in Esquire magazine in a volume titled “A Tidewater Morning: Three Tales From Youth” (1993). Each treats the confrontation of mortality, and the title story deals with the death of his mother.

Depression continued to stalk him, and he was hospitalized several more times. In “Darkness Visible,” he concluded, referring to Dante: “For those who have dwelt in depression’s dark wood, and known its inexplicable agony, their return from the abyss is not unlike the ascent of the poet, trudging upward and upward out of hell’s black depths and at last emerging into what he saw as ‘the shining world.’ There, whoever has been restored to health has almost always been restored to the capacity for serenity and joy, and this may be indemnity enough for having endured the despair beyond despair.”

Read it all.

One NJ same-sex case plaintiff is an Episcopal priest

November 3rd, 2006 posted by kendall at 11:02 am

Plaintiff Mark Lewis, whose partner is Dennis Winslow, had two stories to illustrate why marriage was important to him.

“I want to tell you the anecdote that finally made my mother understand, why marriage, why that word, why can’t something else just as good work? [I went to] my college reunion a few years back, and what’s the first ques-tion people you hear from someone you haven’t seen in 20 years? ‘Are you married?’ And instead of being able to say, ‘Yes, here’s Dennis,’ I had to go to into lengthy speeches about the legislative processes and this or that and the other. And really, if you have to go into such a lengthy speech as that, it does nothing but strike you that separate is not equal.”

An audience member broke in to lead a chant: “Say it: separate isn’t equal. Say it: separate isn’t equal.” The audience caught up the chant until it shortly hit a crescendo, and the chant leader said, “Tell everybody, tell your friends, tell your brother, tell everybody who asks ‘why?’ Separate … isn’t … equal.”

Lewis went on after the chant was over, explaining that he and Winslow were both Episcopal priests.

“Dennis and I perform wedding ceremonies for people all the time, and we also perform commitment ceremo-nies for same-sex couples, and when you do both of them, there’s no mistaking which is the second-class one. Be-cause the first-class one has that valuable piece of paper, the marriage license.

Mark Lewis is rector of a church in Secaucus (diocese of Newark). Dennis Winslow is rector of a church in Chelsea, New York.The article is from the Montclair Times, the paper of a northern New Jersey community.

Proposed new canon on Holy Matrimony in Fort Worth

November 3rd, 2006 posted by kendall at 9:58 am

From here:



Section 43.1 As used in this Diocese, the terms “Holy Matrimony” and “Marriage” defined as the exclusive physical and spiritual union of one man and one woman, by mutual consent of the heart, mind and will, and with the intent that it be lifelong.

Section 43.2 The blessing of same sex unions is prohibited in churches, missions and congregations of this Diocese; and clergy resident or licensed in this Diocese are prohibited from performing such blessings in any venue.

You can read all the Fort Worth diocesan convention materials here.


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