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STOCKTON, CA: John’s parish awarded to San Joaquin diocese
By Jennie Rodriguez-Moore
Record Staff Writer
April 12, 2014
A property rights battle over the historic St. John's Parish has ended years after a schism erupted within The Episcopal Church when part of the congregation opposed the church's acceptance of gay pastors.
Superior Court Judge Roger Ross on April 4 awarded the parish in downtown Stockton to the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.
The group that had broken away from the diocese - most of them with a history of multiple past generations in The Episcopal Church - and became aligned with the more conservative Anglican Church of North America was ordered out of the building in the ruling.
While Episcopalians saw the lawsuit as reclamation of a church that belonged to the diocese, the newly formed Anglicans held attachments to the building, where they felt rooted.
Some of them traced family membership back to great-great-grandparents. Some have the remains of loved ones stored in the building and their own resting spot next to family members already paid for.
"They're obviously not happy about the decision," the Rev. Kris Rudell said. "They're grieving, because it's been such a big part of their lives and their families' lives."
Obama Selects First Openly Gay Episcopal Bishop to Lead Easter Prayer
by Andrew Kirell
April 14th, 2014
President Obama pulled a surprise move Monday at the White House’s Easter Prayer Breakfast when he selected Gene Robinson to lead the closing prayer.
Robinson is famously known as the first openly gay Episcopal bishop.
Robinson, 66, became diocesan bishop of New Hampshire in March 2004. He retired in January 2013 and is currently a senior fellow at the progressive Center for American Progress.
A tweet from Robinson, who was in attendance: "POTUS "preaches" at the Easter prayer breakfast. Then, out of the blue, asks ME to close with prayer. OMG!"
TALLAHASSEE, FL: New St. Peter's Church nears completion
New home for Anglican congregation plans to be open for services in May
By Jordan Culver
Democrat staff writer
April 10, 2014
Construction of the 30,000-square-foot St. Peter's Anglican Church is nearing completion. St. Peter's Anglican Church is built in the style of a Gothic cathedral. The building faces east. There are three towers, 24 spires and five Celtic crosses on the church.
St. Peter’s Anglican Church, on Thomasville Road for nearly 10 years, is almost finished building a new, multimillion-dollar home that church officials say will last generations.
The new building, in the 4700 block of Thomasville Road, represents a $12-million investment, with about $7 million of the needed funds raised by church members. The church itself is a massive undertaking — it’s a 30,000-square-foot building that can be seen clearly by passing airplanes.
First gay clergyman to wed plunges Church into crisis: Archbishop under pressure to sack canon who flouted ban on same sex marriage
Canon Jeremy Pemberton married Laurence Cunnington under new laws
New laws allowing same-sex marriages pushed through by PM last month
Now Canon Pemberton from Nottinghamshire faces disciplinary action
By JONATHAN PETRE
April 12, 2014
A senior Church of England clergyman yesterday became the first to enter into a gay marriage – in direct defiance of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby – plunging the Church into a fresh crisis.
Canon Jeremy Pemberton tied the knot with Laurence Cunnington under new laws allowing same-sex marriages pushed through by David Cameron in the face of bitter opposition from backbench MPs and the Church.
But Canon Pemberton, 58, now faces disciplinary action from the Church and could be expelled from his work as a priest because the House of Bishops has barred clergy from entering such unions, saying they undermine its traditional teaching that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.
Canon Jeremy Pemberton tied the knot with Laurence Cunnington, a move that may well cause his removal from the church.
Even LGBT Historians Admit No One Is 'Born Gay'
By ALEX KOCMAN
April 5, 2014
In his article, David Benkof writes, "Sure, there’s substantial evidence of both discreet and open same-sex love and sex in pre-modern times. But no society before the 19th century had a gay minority or even discernibly gay-oriented individuals."
Whether it's Macklemore's "Same Love" or Lady Gaga's "Born This Way," our culture is pretty convinced that homosexuality is inherent from birth.
But as it turns out, those within the LGBT movement aren't that convinced themselves.
In an article in the Daily Caller, gay writer David Benkof presents the solid case of the historians—several of whom are also LGBT—who maintain that the sexual orientation of homosexuality didn't exist until about 150 years ago.
Why Are Marriages Plunging & Unwed Births Soaring?
By Mike McManus
April 10, 2014
The American family is falling apart. Consider two grim trends.
The U.S. marriage rate has plunged 57% since 1970, according to “The State of Our Unions” for 2012. Two-thirds of Americans over age 15 used to be married. Now it is only 48%.
The unwed birth rate was only 5% in 1960 and 10.7% in 1970. However, that figure has soared to 40.8% in 2010. In fact, 53% of all births to women under age 30 were to unmarried women.
What’s gone wrong? Uncle Sugar, as Mike Huckabee puts it, is the culprit.
The tyranny of homofascism must be opposed
By Michael Voris
April 9, 2014
Grab a pen and write the word down as quickly as you can and start using it everywhere – the word is .. homofascists .. as in homofascism.
A working definition you ask? How’s this for starters?
Homofascism – “a way of organizing a society in which homosexualists impose their agenda with which no one is allowed to disagree or have any appeal to the contrary without being subjected to severe consequences of ridicule, slander, libel, fines, public demonstrations, distortions, denial of free speech rights, loss of employment, and having the word “hate” attached to you in some form.”
“Let’s stop talking about sex, and rather talk about Jesus! Let’s stop criticizing the culture, and instead be good news for the culture!” --- Andrew Symes
Dead and risen. If Christ's death was a death to sin (which it was), and if his resurrection was a resurrection to God (which it was), and if by faith-baptism we have been united to Christ in his death and resurrection (which we have been), then we ourselves have died to sin and risen to God. We must therefore 'reckon' (AV), 'consider' (RSV), 'regard' (NEB), 'look upon' (JBP) or *count* (NIV) ourselves *dead to sin but alive to God in*, or by reason of our union with, *Christ Jesus* (Rom. 6:11). This 'reckoning' is not make-believe. It is not screwing up our faith to believe what we do not believe. We are not to pretend that our old nature has died, when we know perfectly well it has not. Instead we are to realize and remember that our former self did die with Christ, thus putting an end to its career. We are to consider what in fact we are, *dead to sin and alive to God* (11), like Christ (10). Once we grasp this, that our old life has ended, with the score settled, the debt paid and the law satisfied, we shall want to have nothing to do with it. --- John R.W. Stott
The word "marriage" was created to identify a union of a man and a woman- just as the word cat was created to identify a cat. You cannot use the word "cat" to identify a dog just as you cannot use the word "marriage" to identify the union of two men or two women. --- John H. Lewis Jr.,
SUDAN: Anglican Bishop follows his fleeing flock across Africa
Refugees from Sudan have fled in several countries because of violent conflict
By Bellah Zulu
April 8, 2014
A bishop in Sudan has bemoaned the worsening war situation in his country. He said the continuing air bombardment on civilians and lack of humanitarian aid has increased the immigration of people from his diocese to neighbouring countries.
Bishop of Kadugli Diocese, the Rt Revd Andudu Adam Elnail said this in a report to highlight activities of “pastoral, administrative work and participation in peace talks between the Government of Sudan and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in North".
THE COST OF SALVATION: Matthew 26:36-38
By Ted Schroder
April 13, 2014
Every Memorial Day we remember the cost of our freedom in the lives of all those who paid the supreme sacrifice for our country. Every war has its cost. Millions have laid down their lives to defend our way of life and to defeat tyrannies. We erect monuments, war memorials, to the fallen. Everything that we value has its cost. Shame on us if we forget or take for granted what we owe to those who have protected us and saved us from our enemies.
Take this sentiment and magnify it a trillion times and we will begin to appreciate the cost of our salvation. In Holy Week we remember what our salvation cost the Son of God. Forgiveness, reconciliation, redemption cannot be achieved on the cheap. Eternal life was purchased at great cost so that it might be freely given to us. Divine love is sacrificial love. How can we count the cost to Jesus? How did he express what it cost him?
FIFTY DAYS OF GLORY: from Easter Morning to the Eve of Pentecost
By David W. Virtue
April 10, 2014
For years the Rev. Canon Mark Pearson had a dilemma, one he shared with fellow clergy of various denominations. He wanted to preach on the earthly appearances of Jesus during that 40 days the resurrected Christ appeared on earth; he wanted to preach on Jesus' Ascension; and he wanted to preach on that week and a half during which the disciples were instructed to remain in Jerusalem prior to the Holy Spirit being poured out on Pentecost.
But he couldn't find a lot of useful material. "There were various bits in commentaries and there were various scholarly tomes, but there was little to help the preacher apply the events to the lives of people today, to their walk with Christ and their work for Christ," Pearson notes.
As he asked others who preach what they consulted in their sermon preparation, Mark discovered many others shared a similar concern: where to find helpful materials? Pearson had already written four well-received books so increasingly he was urged to write a helpful book covering the fifty days between Easter morning and the Eve of Pentecost.
Why 'move on' won't wash over same-sex marriage
By Julian Mann
April 5, 2014,
Such is the huge social pressure now for accepting same-sex marriage that even its erstwhile parliamentary critics are telling voters to move on. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond claims that now Parliament has made its decision opponents of same-sex marriage will 'get used to it'; the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has conceded that Parliament has "spoken very clearly and we accept that and that's right and proper".
But here is why "move on" is a message socially conservative voters are not going to heed. First, a personal political recollection.
In 1986, when the Westland crisis hit Mrs. Thatcher's Second Administration, I, then aged 21, had a vigorous political debate with a friend who later became a Conservative parliamentary candidate. I argued with passionate conviction that the political contoversy over the takeover of the Westland helicopter firm producing the resignation of one of Mr Hammond's predecessors, Michael Heseltine, would be a major issue at the next General Election, which fell in 1987.
NEW ZEALAND: Anglicans propose separate church for gays
By JO MOIR
April 5, 2014
The Anglican Church could disintegrate as a result of differences over the blessing and ordination of gays, according to one of the options it is considering.
Ten options are being considered by a church commission to deal with the differing views over same-sex relationships - of which one would see the end of the church as it currently exists.
The commission, chaired by former governor-general Sir Anand Satyanand, was set up two years ago to "listen, read, discuss, and provide a description of possible options for a way forward".
United Kingdom Koran Censorship
By Andrew Harrod
April 6, 2014
Mark Stephenson confessed at a February 28, 2014, United Kingdom trial “threatening behavior” while watching a December 7, 2013, Birmingham soccer game. Stephenson’s behavior involved Koran desecration, merely the latest case demonstrating deferential British censorship with respect to Islam’s holy book.
According to one news account, a woman gave pages of a Koran taken from her handbag to Stephenson and about 20 other soccer fans during the game. Stephenson ripped the pages and pretended to burn them with a lighter while saying to a stadium worker that he had the “Muslim bible, we hate Muslims.” Another worker overheard fans shouting “Koran, Muslims and burning.”
Stephenson received a £235 fine for a “religiously-aggravated public order offence,” a British hate crime that, among things, encompasses “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behavior.” “We hope that in the future you will not ever, ever participate in any such incident,” Judge Ronald Healey declared in sentencing Stephenson. It is “considered extremely offensive to some members of the community.”
Palm Sunday: Let’s talk about Jesus!
By Andrew Symes
April 8th, 2014
Over the last few weeks, all over the country the church has been engaged in mission. Local churches have been running “Real Lives” and “Passion for Life” events, student Christian Unions have followed up the successful one-to-one “Uncover” Gospel reading programme with the traditional Lent mission weeks. Alpha and Christianity Explored courses have continued to draw in those from the fringes and on the outside of church life. Even some Bishops have been leading evangelistic events, talking about Christ from the Scriptures, sharing their own faith in him, and urging listeners to repent and believe. Congregations have also been demonstrating Christ’s love in practical ways, hosting food banks, debt counselling services, cafes, and parent and toddler drop ins. We look forward to hearing stories of lives transformed and numbers increasing in churches!
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