Wednesday, December 31, 2008

May God put His Holy Name on You

January 1st is a new year on the secular calendar. On the Christian calendar, it celbrates the naming of Yeshua... Jesus. This is the Holy Name into which Christians are baptized.

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the Israelites: You shall say to them,
The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
the LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
So they shall put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.
Numbers 6:22-27

As you carry this Holy Name, may you be blessed to represent it well:

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death--
even death on a cross.
Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:5-11

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Christ Child Sits Up

One of the blessed moments of caring for babies comes when you see them lift their heads and sit up. The baby often crowns this great achievement with wide eyes and a big smile toward any witnesses.

Mary and Joseph surely delighted in their first face-to-faces with their child Jesus, as he delighted in sitting up to see the world from a baby's-eye view.

In a Daily Lesson for December 30th, we see Jesus the man use this crib-learned action to protect and liberate a fallen human being:

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, 'Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.' And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus straightened up and said to her, 'Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?' She said, 'No one, sir.' And Jesus said, 'Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.'
John 8:7-11

Dying on the cross, Jesus lifts his head. The Gospels tell of of at least seven times when he lifts his head against the agony and speaks, finally to say It is finished.

As he lifts his head that last time, he protects and liberates all who will meet his gaze of love.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Savior or Consultant?

The problem with the old line/Liberal Protestant churches is that Jesus is not a Savior (as we read, sang and hopefully preached at Christmas).

He is a consultant. He has some useful advice for us from time to time, and we can throw money around to retain his services, but we can always ignore him or bend his words to our own agenda.

'Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth

The thoughts below (in bold), which might have been a sermon text, showed up on Christmas Eve at TitusOneNine. The author signifies as "USMA74."

This message got me thinking about what we've lost as Episcopalians/Anglicans. The church in which I grew held the old Anglican middle way, which steered a course between ardent Puritan doctrines and top-heavy Catholic order. That Anglicanism affirmed our spiritual worth as the highest of God's creatures, with souls loved by God. It also offered the words of the Prayer Book and the Sacraments of the Church to extol our need for a Savior and bring us into the saving work of Christ Jesus.

Current Episcopalianism denies our need for a Savior. We are loved by God because we are entitled to it. We are all fine just because we exist.

In what might be called "reaction formation," traditional Anglicans are adopting a more Protestant expression of our sin, corruption and depravity. It seeks to put the focus back on the glory of God, but as USMA74 points out this approach can have an unintended consequence.

Here is the post (some highlights added for emphasis), worth thinking about in this Christmas season:

One my all time favorite Christmas carols is “O Holy Night.” I look forward to the soloist singing it at church on Christmas eve. I was thinking about it again this year, and discovered the most stunning and disruptive line…

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
‘Til He appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O, hear the angels’ voices!
O night divine,
O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.

The line that absolutely stops me is this: "'Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth."

I don’t know that this happens a great deal at Christmastime actually. You hear a Christmas carol, you see a manger scene in someone’s yard, your attention is turned for a moment to the nativity of Jesus – does it naturally follow in that moment that your soul feels it’s worth? And why not?

I think we celebrate Christmas in a vacuum.

We do our best to turn our attention to Jesus. We meditate on his coming, the circumstances, the gift. But I think we forget what his coming was for.

Christmas is a rescue. God coming to rescue us. It is an act of humility, love and sacrifice unparalleled in the history of the world. But the act does not take place in a vacuum. The act is not primarily to show the greatness of God. It does show his greatness. But the act has a fierce intention to it, the whole drama is fiercely intentional, and the object of this act is you and me; the purpose is our rescue and restoration, to bring us back to God.

Why have we lost sight of that?

I think in part it’s because of a doctrine we’ve embraced – call it the doctrine of “the worthlessness of the rescued shows the surpassing greatness of the rescuer.” It is a very popular doctrine. I think it got in under the belief that in order to promote the glory of God we must give no quarter to any idea that human beings have intrinsic worth. Thus the popular phrase, “I’m just a sinner, saved by grace.” Or, “It’s not about you; it’s about Jesus.”

The doctrine is deeply ingrained in the church, and deeply damaging to our relationship with God. Because it is untrue.

You ask a father to show you pictures of his children. “They are profoundly unworthy,” he says to you. “That is what makes me such a great Father. I love such worthless creatures in order to prove what an awesome Father I am.” What would we think of such a man? What would you think of a person who said to their children, “You are lucky to be here. You ought to thank me because I even care about such a worthless creature as you.” Wouldn’t we call that child abuse? (Even now we bristle at the analogy, because of how deep the doctrine has been ingrained in us. But isn’t it true – wouldn’t you call that kind of parenting abusive?).

Of course we are to worship God. Of course he is worthy to be worshiped. But something has slipped into the Church that is deeply and profoundly damaging, both to our view of God and our relationship with him.

Consider a simple daily kind of rescue. Your car battery is dead; you need a jump. But it’s late at night, and snowing. You call a friend, hating to bother them but in need of help. They jump out of bed and race to your aid. Doesn’t it help you to realize how much you matter to them? Doesn’t it deepen the friendship? And wouldn’t it be death to the relationship if they said to you, “You don’t deserve this. I do this to demonstrate my goodness.” Would you want to call them a second time? Does the relationship even have a future?

Or take the simple words, “I love you.” Doesn’t it do something to your soul to hear those words? You begin to realize how much you matter to the one who spoke them in love. And what would happen if they went on to explain, “It’s nothing in you that makes me love you. It’s my goodness that causes me to love. In fact, your utter unworthiness of my love only proves how good I am for loving you. Keep that in mind.”

“But…but…we sinned. We fell. We didn’t deserve God to come and rescue us.” That is true. But it does not follow that we are worthless, and that it is our utter worthlessness that makes him worthy of praise. The child who turns their back on the family, runs away, winds up in jail doesn’t deserve to be bailed out. But love doesn’t think in terms of deserve or not deserve. Love thinks in terms of precious value – you matter too much for me to leave you there. The lost child matters still to their parents. Matters very much. They may be in a sorry condition, but they have tremendous value and worth. And when they are bailed out the child knows that they matter. They know they are prized.

I think Jesus was speaking directly into this distortion about the heart of God, this doctrine of worthlessness when he told the parable of the prodigal son. The son has a speech about his unworthiness. “Father, I have sinned. I am not worthy to be called your son.” He says it twice. The father pays no attention to the speech at all. He doesn’t even acknowledge it. He says, “Kill the fatted calf! We must celebrate! My son who was dead is alive!”

Something profound takes place in the soul of a person when they know they matter; when they know they are prized. It changes them. All questions of tit-for-tat are swept away; there is no longer any room for fear in the relationship. They know they are loved, and it evokes love in return. Someone who is rescued has a deep and profound gratitude to the rescuer. “You would do this for me?” But if their rescuer said, “I did not do this for you; I did this for me. I did it to prove my greatness. In fact, your complete unworthiness to be rescued is part of my plan to show my greatness.” Could you imagine the relationship having any sort of future?

Christmas is the most stunning rescue story of all time. Under cover of night, in a remote village in Palestine, in a world held captive by the dark prince, God comes to earth as a human being, a little boy. He invades the human race in order to rescue the human race. Satan is furious, he lashes out desperately to try and stop the invasion. The angels go to war. But God cannot be stopped. He will ransom and restore his beloved. The beauty of the act cannot be adequately expressed.

And what are we to think of the ones God would go to such lengths to rescue, and at such a price? How precious they must be. They must be worth a great deal to him. Inestimable worth. And that is why the soul felt its worth. At least, that ought to be the effect of Christmas upon us.

When a great King rescues his beloved, we all know she is precious to him. And we see his greatness. We also see her worth. If that great King were to rescue a potato, we would not think him great at all; we would find it bizarre. So away with this doctrine of “the worthlessness of the rescued shows the surpassing greatness of the rescuer.” That is not how Jesus saw it. That is not the language of love at all. This nativity had an object in mind. That object is you and me.

I think this will help us to celebrate Christmas for what it is – as a daring rescue. Not in a vacuum. In the context of love. I think it will allow us to be stunned at the way God goes about things. To fall in love again with his amazing heart. And to allow ourselves to experience some deep shift in our soul, as we come to feel our worth. We must really matter.

We look at the manger. We see the angels, the wise men. We see the little boy. And then we boldly sing, “and the soul felt it’s worth.”

There are plenty of Biblical passages expressing our worth in God's eyes. Two examples:
...what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet...
Psalm 8:4-6
Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. He says, "I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises." And again, "I will put my trust in him." And again he says, "Here am I, and the children God has given me."
Hebrews 2:11-13

Why an Islamic "Christmas message" was so wrong...

Just in case you missed the news, England's "Channel 4" featured a "Christmas Message" from Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Set aside, if you can, this man's anti-Semitism, his quest for nuclear proliferation (and his apocalyptic purposes for it) and any number of other distasteful political realities. Understand, instead, why an "Islamic Christmas Message" is an oxymoron.

Tomorrow, the First Sunday after Christmas, many churches will hear this same lesson from the Revised Common Lectionary:

Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian.

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

Galatians 3:23-25; 4:4-7
  1. In the birth of Jesus, the religion of legal code is replaced by relationship with the Savior. Islam is a reassertion of "submission" under a new code revealed to its Prophet - it has nothing to do with what Christmas reveals.
  2. The birth of Christ is the turning point of all history. It is God's action in the "fullness of time." There is no need for another revelation or a new Prophet who points to something other than Jesus Christ.
  3. These verses explain the birth of Jesus through the mysterious unity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Father rules all reality, the Son shares our human nature to restore our broken relationship with the Father, and the Spirit of God takes residence within us to complete this work when we receive the Savior by faith. Islam, like all other religions and philosophies besides Christianity, is offended by this revelation of The Holy Trinity and therefore cannot rightly deliver a "Christmas message."

It is true that the Messiah ("Christos" in Greek) is called "Prince of Peace" in ancient prophecies shared by Jews, Christians and Muslims. Jesus blesses meek, merciful and peacemaking people. He is pleased when His people work to be good neighbors, even with those who are hostile toward them.

But this effort to be gentle and peaceful is never meant to be a compromise of Christian faith - this is why Jesus also blesses those who are persecuted "on his account." And this is why a "Christmas Message" by a Muslim, one who holds a minimal, historical "belief" in Jesus but cannot place faith in Him, is so wrong.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Christmas Blessing - May Christ Come to Your Home

Bishop Hare, missionary to the Dakotas, used the traditional teepee of the Plains Tribes in the Niobrara Cross presented to those he Confirmed.

There are four teepees topped by crosses, meaning "Christ has come to your homes."
May Christ, who humbled himself to dwell among us in frail flesh and blood, and left the perfect bliss of heaven to save a sin-sick world, come to your home now and always.

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends."
(Revelation 3:20, NLT)

From Our Morning Lessons - Christmas Prayers for Our Churches

The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come.' Revelation 22:17

Father in Heaven, make this Christmas a season of evangelism - of announcing the Good News of Jesus and inviting others to Him. Let your Holy Spirit open the hearts and minds of visitors and seekers, and let Christ's "bride", the Church, welcome them and speak to their deepest need. We ask this in the Name of the One who called us, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy: 'Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a mighty savior for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old...' Luke 1:67-70

Father, your angel imposed a speechless season on doubting Zechariah, yet restored his voice for joyful news at the right time. Help your Church, especially its ministers who will preach at Christmas, to set aside doubts and busy work, and preach the eternal Good News of your favor. Fill us with your Holy Spirit to proclaim the gift of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

"Hell is an eternal maxed-out credit card. In heaven there are no debts..."

Wow. The Archbishop of York's Christmas guest column in the Times of London has some powerful thoughts and is much better than I was led to believe by a preview yesterday.

It is not a knee-jerk call for "regulation" and government expansion, but a truly Christian critique that asks us all to ask foundational questions about our common life.

Some of my favorite paragraphs:

We have all worshipped at the temple of money and we have all placed beams in our own eyes. In a headlong rush for growth we have lost sight of the moral purpose of money. We have entangled ourselves in the chains of debt, longer than those of Scrooge, or his partner, Marley, with little to show for our enslavement. As Rabbi Abraham Heschel said: “We must remember that in a free society all are involved in what some are doing. Some are guilty, all are responsible.”

In her latest book, Payback, Margaret Atwood, writes: “In Heaven, there are no debts - all have been paid, one way or another - but in Hell there's nothing but debts, and a great deal of payment is exacted, though you can't ever get all paid up. You have to pay, and pay, and keep on paying. So Hell is like an infernal maxed-out credit card that multiplies the charges endlessly.”

At Christmas we are reminded that God invested himself in the most unpromising way - in humanity at its weakest and most vulnerable. We are reminded too that the coming of God offers us the opportunity to begin anew, for our debts to be forgiven and for those beams to be removed from our eyes by God.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Churches default on heavy debts as giving falls

A sobering article from The Wall Street Journal. (h/t Cranium Creek) ...

"There have been too many churches with a 'build it and they will come' attitude," says N. Michael Tangen, executive vice president at American Investors Group Inc., a church lender in Minnetonka, Minn. "They had glory in their eyes that wasn't backed up with adequate business plans and cash flow."

FWIW, the article focuses on an example from Easton, MD, where a continuing Anglican church over-borrowed and now has its property at auction. Easton has a strong Episcopal parish with a believing Rector.

Lest we forget...

That's right, Dec. 23rd is a day for aluminum poles, feats of strength and most of all


Although I'm sure Festivus must be on The Episcopal Church Calendar by now. The sheer dysfunction and lack of overt Christian reference points makes Festivus irresistable.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Joy to the World: good schools, good taste and good looks have come?

The Archbishop of Canterbury and Great Britain's Chief Rabbi recently visited Auschwitz-Birkenau, site of the horrifically large Nazi German death camp and now a memorial to its victims.

The statements of both men are up at the Archbishop's website and are worth reading in full.

These words from Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks caught my attention on first read:

"Yet this did not happen far away, in some distant time and in another kind of civilization. It happened in the heart of enlightened Europe in a country that prided itself on its art, its culture, its philosophy and ethics. More than half of the participants at the 1942 Wannsee Conference that decided on the 'Final Solution to the Jewish Question' –total extermination of all Jews – held the title 'Doctor'. String quartets played in Auschwitz-Birkenau as the factories of death consumed the victims."

It is all too common for certain Western elites to point at "religion" as the source of all intolerance and evil in history. And religion, as The Bible itself warns, can provide all kinds of hypocrisy and ungodliness.

But Rabbi Sacks points out that all human beings are in the same boat when it comes to choices of good and evil. Academic titles, artistic taste and lofty words drip from monstrous people who inflict great horrors on the world. The most prolifically murderous movements in history have espoused atheism or presumed to create an occultism of their own. Evil can manipulate religion or work without it, contrary to what some secularists believe.

As I posted a few days ago, groups of teenage girls have been abusing nursing home residents in two Minnesota communities. Some commenters on the news articles seem perplexed because the girls are attractive, as if good looks preclude ugly deeds.

Paul's Letter to the Galatians 6:1-6 recognizes the reality of evil, our need to confront it, and our need to do so humbly, realizing that we are all capable of the wretched acts we judge in others:

My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are not tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ. For if those who are nothing think they are something, they deceive themselves. All must test their own work; then that work, rather than their neighbour’s work, will become a cause for pride. For all must carry their own loads.

It is because evil is a stain on the human condition that Christians welcome a Savior. If some people were predictably "good" and others not, there would be no need for divine rescue. The perfect people could just clean up the world based on their own superiority.

But the fact that we are all prone to evil, regardless of our religion, cultural trappings, education or any other markers, should lead us to at least consider the Bible's insight, challenge and hope:

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Letter to the Romans 7:21-25a

Lesson in humility

Hey, what does it say about my blogging when my most active thread is a post about the weather?

Northern Plains Anglicans, a place for truly small talk.

A good spiritual lesson for me in there someplace.

@#%@%$@$Z Canadians really harshed my ego, eh.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Anti-religious book stirs up my church members

A large percentage of my adult church members are meeting to read and discuss a challenging book, which relies on eye-witness testimony from the New Testament period to

  • + portray the followers of Jesus as objects of sarcasm and ridicule;
  • + suggest that clergy are a largely self-serving interest group who keep people busy with anything but God;
  • + assert that Jesus himself did not consider his message a coherent, rational philosophy but instead sought to demonstrate its validity with healings, exorcisms and other appeals to the supernatural;
  • + present the first Easter as a scene of confusion.

OK, some of you already rolled your eyes and said, "He's talking about the Gospel of Mark." You got it.

For reasons known but to God, Mark has emerged as my go-to Gospel at turning points in congregational life. A home study of Mark at my last church (along with a goofy softball team) opened up men's ministry and fueled growth. Here at Good Shepherd, Sioux Falls, an eight month study of Mark has generated our first widespread home Bible studies as we seek God's vision for our parish.

My gratitude for Mark was nudged again by one of today's Morning Prayer lessons, II Peter 1:12-21, which includes

I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to refresh your memory, since I know that my death will come soon, as indeed our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things. For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty.

Church history and tradition say that Peter's "effort" to provide "recall" was to share his testimony with Mark, who relied on Peter in composing the Gospel. After reading those verses from II Peter, I immediately emailed them to all of the Bible study group leaders, rejoicing in the work they do to continue this eyewitness testimony to Christ until he comes again.

Back to my teaser points about Mark as an "anti-religious book":

  • + The Apostles are treated with sarcasm and ridicule - by Jesus himself! In one of my favorite examples, Jesus heals various physical impairments, then asks his followers if they "can't see and can't hear" what he is teaching them.
  • + After an array of demons, the next group to attack Jesus are clergy - religious leaders from the capital city start shadowing Jesus to investigate and discredit him. He lambastes them for creating self-serving, hard-hearted rules that distance people from God. (Yes, theological "conservatives" can come up with cold doctrinal slogans and legalisms, but then theological "liberals" are prone to clerical titles, entitlements and elitism. Any ordained person who reads Mark without getting his/her sacred cows killed has a real problem spiritually, IMO).
  • + Mark begins abruptly, with the launch of Jesus' adult ministry (Mark is useless for Christmas pageants). And this ministry consists of preaching, then validating the word with demonstrations of divine power. While John is a more engaging Gospel for the philosophically minded (one of my parishioners has made good use of John for college campus ministry), Mark's presentations of Jesus and faith in him are unapologetic about direct connection to supernatural power.
  • + There is very little disagreement across theological lines that the earliest manuscripts of Mark have a very edgy ending. The tomb is empty, and those who discover it run off in fear and confusion.

There is a strange comfort to be found in these aspects of Mark. Jesus calls people who frequently misunderstand or just plain miss what he's about. Written for persecuted Christians in Rome, for whom the attempt to follow Jesus was anything but tidy piety, Mark must have provided some reassurance that one can be following Jesus while stumbling, bumbling and wondering. Perhaps this gives Mark the potential to provide even greater comfort to disciples in our confusing day.


One discovery in our home groups has been that a monthly gathering (two chapters per month for eight months) has worked waaaaaaay better than the usual weekly model. I know that's heresy, apostasy and who knows what other evil... but there it is.

For some of those who are taking part, once-a-month is making the groups something they look forward to, rather than "one more thing" on already loaded calendars.

There's been zero attrition from the once-a-month groups.

Folks are building relationships and of course they are talking about things more than once a month. They continue to discuss the Gospel at coffee hour and in other meetings.

I think that once-a-month gives God some extra time and space to surprise people with applications of what they've read.

The group leaders meet with me in the first week of each month to study and prepare. We check in as to what's going on in their groups, and then I do a line-by-line exposition of the Gospel chapters. I am often blessed by the leaders' insights. It is a great joy to hear questions and comments that indicate how faithfully they've been reading and grappling with the Gospel.

Finally, the blessing that comes back to me every time I lead a study of Mark is that its brevity allows many people to read an entire Gospel for the very first time. So many people, even in the church, have never read an entire account of Jesus' words and deeds. How blessed am I to help that happen.

Monday, December 15, 2008

%@*#ing BRRRRRR!!!!!


Title's something we used to say in the Army, although Germany had nothin' on South Dakota.
The wind chill in Sioux Falls was actually down to -35F earlier today.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

South Dakota had 15 nominees for Coadjutor

The diocesan bishop election site reports that they have cut that list down to 8.

The goal is a slate of 3 to 5, to be announced in March.

Hope the 8 are watching the Weather Channel this week... weather here has eliminated dabblers in the past.

Friday, December 12, 2008

From the Daily Lessons (Saturday) - Prayer in Preparation for Sunday Worship

Luke 22:31-38 (NRSV)
'Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.'

Jesus, lover of our souls, we suffer Satan's sifting as we wait for you to come again.

Thank you for being our Great High Priest and intercessor at the Father's right hand.

Wherever you have each of us this Sunday - at an altar, in a pulpit, in the pews, in hospital or at home - pray for us and give us faith, repentance and strength by the Holy Spirit, so that we may strengthen your brothers and sisters around us.

We pray this in your Name. Amen.

Teen girls abuse residents at two separate Minnesota nursing homes

The details are graphic and disturbing, so be warned before visiting this round-up of news links.

Really awful news and evidence again of our sin and distance from God.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

And Sioux Falls is getting the least of it...

And I get to work my second job running outdoors to park cars Mon. - Wed.!
At least I'll start in the heat of the day on Monday.

Citigroup Layoffs in Sioux Falls; 3M's Brookings operation will gain jobs

Citigroup's Sioux Falls operations are laying off a number of people. Hard hit were "trainers" in areas where the lending business is tapering back and new trainees are not being added.

Some folks I know said that meetings between management and employees were tense. One of the most emphatic questions was, "How can you take tax-payer bail out money, and then lay off a bunch of tax-payers?"

Meanwhile, 3M is laying off 1,800 people in various locations - but the Brookings, SD plant (mainly makes medical supplies) will probably add a few jobs as the company restructures.

Things to See and Do in Babylon: Start a Neighborhood Watch!

After seven days the Lord gave me a message. He said, “Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for Israel. Whenever you receive a message from me, warn people immediately. If I warn the wicked, saying, ‘You are under the penalty of death,’ but you fail to deliver the warning, they will die in their sins. And I will hold you responsible for their deaths. If you warn them and they refuse to repent and keep on sinning, they will die in their sins. But you will have saved yourself because you obeyed me. Ezekiel 3:16-19

So we've gone to clergy meetings and diocesan conventions, and nobody's listening.

But have we been doing the down and dirty grunt work of moral teaching, correction and encouragement in our own congregations?

This time in exile is a perfect opportunity to get back to some Christian basics. Whether our congregations are able to persevere in The Episcopal Church, or labor on its fringe, or have to leave, we have a chance here to get back to the kind of "watchman" work that was ignored for too long.

For decades, clergy in particular found excuses to not warn people of deadly sin, and lay people made loud opinions, withdrew pledges and participation, and took part in other sabotage to coddle sinful church members (or justify their own sinful behaviors).

So, start your neighborhood watch! Sound the warnings that save the people... but always do this God's way:

Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. Galatians 6:1-3

Thursday, December 11, 2008

More from the Daily Readings: what if God is sending a delusion?

Yesterday featured Isaiah 6, with God's strange command to preach to the rebellious so that they will not hear or understand, and will continue on the path to empty and ruined institutions. What a provocative message for those of us in and around The Episcopal Church.

Today featured II Thessalonians 2:1-12, which says in part,

They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

What are we to say and do if it is God who is sending the delusion among Episcopalians, giving them over to the falsehood that has been enshrined in all our denominational leadership bodies? No wonder church conventions, clergy gatherings and other events seem totally impervious to Biblical truth - that's just the way God wants it for now.

Today also included the first part of Psalm 37:

1 Do not fret yourself because of evildoers; *do not be jealous of those who do wrong.

2 For they shall soon wither like the grass, *and like the green grass fade away.

3 Put your trust in the Lord and do good;dwell in the land and feed on its riches.

4 Take delight in the Lord, *and he shall give you your heart's desire.

5 Commit your way to the Lord and put your trust in him, *and he will bring it to pass.

6 He will make your righteousness as clear as the light*and your just dealing as the noonday.

7 Be still before the Lord *and wait patiently for him.

8 Do not fret yourself over the one who prospers, *the one who succeeds in evil schemes.

9 Refrain from anger, leave rage alone; *do not fret yourself; it leads only to evil.

10 For evildoers shall be cut off,*but those who wait upon the Lord shall possess the land.

11 In a little while the wicked shall be no more;*you shall search out their place, but they will not be there.

12 But the lowly shall possess the land;*they will delight in abundance of peace.

13 The wicked plot against the righteous *and gnash at them with their teeth.

14 The Lord laughs at the wicked,*because he sees that their day will come.

15 the wicked draw their sword and bend their bow to strike down the poor and needy,*to slaughter those who are upright in their ways.

16 Their sword shall go through their own heart, *and their bow shall be broken.

17 The little that the righteous has *is better than great riches of the wicked.

18 For the power of the wicked shall be broken, *but the Lord upholds the righteous.

May y'all have a Psalm 37 day!

Email from a Parishioner

The message in bold below came from a member of Good Shepherd, Sioux Falls, in response to my announcement that we had just paid off the church's line of credit and are back to "debt free."

A couple of things strike me:
  • + We all need encouragement. Consider sending an encouraging word to people in your church, especially leaders. Let them know that their work matters to you.
  • - What's sad is that The Episcopal Church and Diocese of South Dakota consider the people and ministry of this parish expendable.


I'll never forget the look on the face of the banker on the day that XXXX & I worked with him on setting up the initial line of credit 3 years ago. He was a nice gentleman and was very polite. However, I think in the background he was thinking, "here we go, another neighborhood church bites the dust!".

I can't fault him for his rational viewpoint.

I contrast his face to yours. When you stood in front of the parish 3 years ago, you were confident that God blesses his sheep when they try to follow Jesus. You've repeated this similar belief many times.

And here we are....3 years later, DEBT FREE, about double the number of sheep and a very solid building (a roof to keep us dry, windows to keep out the cold, an air conditioner to keep us cool, elevators to transport our seniors and handicapped bathrooms.

3 years ago it did look like we'd be having church in rec room of a retirement community within a few months.

On top of these physical improvements, we are going to need a very big book to list all of the GREAT programs you have brought to us.

The Augie (Augustana College) professor who spoke on the GOOD NEWS of the Gospel...the good news that gives her HOPE as she lost her husband to tragedy.

The amazing Come Grow Celebrate lunch at Skelly's. The sea of Yellow T-shirts proclaiming support of one another! (this was a rally during our capital campaign)

The huge picnic in the backyard this fall. Blow up jumpie toys in the backyard of our church!!! Wow - to see kids playing.

A successful Sunday school.

Heavenly Comforters. Beautiful work!! (this is a quilting group that prays and gives what they make to shelters, Red Cross, baptismal candidates and others)

MAP - 250 volunteers and 32 families served in 9 Months!!!! (this is the Moving Assistance Program)

Salvation Army

Bible Studies

Lay ministers

Women's Group! Awesome work!

Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Moses - school building (supporting a project in South Sudan)

The sign group - youth group from Madison

XXXX and XXXX's website work!

The Christmas Tree lights!

XXXX & XXXX painted the old Sign!!!!

XXXX & XXXX painted the "Church to the left sign', yes we are here!

Parishioners drive from Orange City, Iowa (90 miles), south of Sioux City (100 miles), Alexandria SD (45 miles), Vermillion (55 miles), Garretson (25 miles), and fly in from New York State, to attend your Sunday services!!!

Kayak trips for youth

Horse Trips for Youth

Father's son won the State Championship!!!

Every Sunday the church looks like Easter!!! 100 souls every week getting fed the word.

Laughter every Sunday. Our Father Tim has a great sense of humor.

Laughter at coffee hour every Sunday.

A banner saying "Come Grow Celebrate" strapped to the church. Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!

A welcoming sign on a very busy street encouraging commuters to talk to Jesus.

Parishioners who would do anything to support one another. 100 people who treat each other like uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents. Surrogate family relationships for all us urban folks who live far from family.

Beautiful music at church.

Please take time to celebrate your accomplishments. Thank you for being our shepherd.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

From the Daily Lessons: this is worthwhile for Christians in or around the Episcopal Church

From Isaiah 6

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’

And he said, ‘Go and say to this people:
“Keep listening, but do not comprehend;keep looking, but do not understand.” Make the mind of this people dull, and stop their ears, and shut their eyes,so that they may not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears,and comprehend with their minds, and turn and be healed.’

Then I said, ‘How long, O Lord?’

And he said: ‘Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is utterly desolate; until the Lord sends everyone far away, and vast is the emptiness in the midst of the land. Even if a tenth part remains in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak whose stump remains standing when it is felled.’ The holy seed is its stump.

Unintended Consequences at the Sporting Goods Store: The Prez-elect is Arming the Public

So the older kid and I are at the sporting goods store to get some supplies and ammo for the family AR-15 (the civilian version of the military M-16... popular varmint gun out here as ranchers can take out coyotes at considerable range).

Turns out that .223 ammo, cleaning gear - heck, AR-15s themselves - are in short supply. There's been a "panic buy up" of all weapons and ammo that might come under any kind of "assault weapon ban." Just the hint of a 2nd Amendment-hostile administration is enough to get the guns flying off the racks.

This is a good example of the law of unintended consequences. The mere hint of "assault weapon control" (based on what a gun looks like, rather than any statistical association of a particular weapon with real crime) is actually putting more of these weapons into private hands.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More waste of God's money: official Episcopal fund raising campaign to sue Christians

I kid you not. Stand Firm got hold of the appeal letter and you can see it in all its wretchedness right here.

The Anglican Curmudgeon (prophetically ahead of the release of the lawsuit appeal) has a good piece on why giving to the lawsuit campaign is hypocrisy (if you claim to be a Christian, that is).

If the Episcopal Church thinks its Gay bishop is so great, why are they fudging facts about his impact on the church?

You might have heard the trailer for the Angelina Jolie flic, Wanted. She purrs to a recruit for her secret unit, "Kill one, save a thousand."

The Episcopal Church ordained one actively homosexual bishop in 2003. They seem to have said, "Entitle one, lose a few thousand."

At TitusOneNine, commenters have been analyzing TEC's 1997 - 2007 attendance numbers.

An important observation is at comment #33, by our sometime visitor robroy:

I have been looking at this table for a couple of weeks. I just noted that they calculated the 10 year drop between 1997 to 2007 and the four year change between 2003 and 2007. Why didn’t they calculate the five year drop between 2002 and 2007? In the 1996 to 2006 table, they did calculate the 10 and 5 year drops, er, changes. Very strange.

Since the 2006 data is inflated, the 1997 - 2006 change will be not as bleak as the 1997 to 2007 change.

I checked the
membership page and they seem to have gotten the 10 year drop calculations correctly but they again calculate the past 4 year rather than 5 year drop.
By lopping off 2002 from the drop spread, TEC softens the impact of 2003 (the gay bishop consecration). As I pointed out in my first post on Monday, the stats for just South Dakota show a slow, steady decline over 10 years, with a less severe decline using TEC's chosen focus on '03-'07. When you bring 2002 into focus, you see that the most precipitous decline began with 2003.
By the way, the diocese that elected the gay bishop (New Hampshire) lost almost 1,000 Sunday attenders from 2002-07. Even excluding 2002, the loss since his consecration has been 12%.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Iowa Supreme Court Hears Challenge to State Ban on Gay "Marriage"

Same old same old: activists seek to impose the agenda via the courts.

Episcopal Church Average Sunday Attendance Stats for Last 10 Years: Gay agenda had a negative impact here in SD

First, let me commend the Office of Congregational Development for keeping and compiling honest stats. Not sure how much longer this will continue - for example, The Episcopal Church has been replacing its journalists with public relations people. So much is now geared to "spin" and deception and this is likely to get worse after the upcoming General Convention.

But, while we have 'em, here is the link to the stats going back to 1997, both by province and diocese (pdf file).

In South Dakota, Average Sunday Attendance (ASA) fell

  • - 10% over the ten years (average decline of 1% per year)
  • - 6 % since 2003 (in 2003, TEC consecrated an active homosexual as a bishop in New Hampshire. In South Dakota, ASA fell from 2,839 to 2,677 that year alone, with another decline down to 2,583 the next year)
  • - 1% 2006 - 07.

At the bottom of each Province (regional) bloc, you will find statistical summaries. It is shocking to look at the ASA 2002, and then track what happened thru 2004 or '05. The promise of the Gay activist church leaders was that moving ahead with their agenda would fling open to doors of our churches and fill them with secular folks looking for Bible-free Christianity.

So, the Gay bishop got his title and perks, and now flies all over the world on the church's dime sharing his feelings about being him. And those secular people are still out there being what they were, while the Bible-free church dies.

By the way, prior to our 1979 Prayer Book, Episcopalians gathered with this prayer on the Second Sunday in Advent (yesterday):

BLESSED Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace, and ever hold fast, the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A very encouraging word to Episcopalians from the American Anglican Council

By email from Fr. Phil Ashey. Give special attention to his points from The Book of Daniel...

A personal message from Rev. Phil Ashey, Chief Operating Officer

"Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to [King Nebuchadnezzar]…'If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods, or worship the image of gold you have set up.'" (Daniel 3:17-18 NIV)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, members and friends of AAC, in TEC, Grace and Peace to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! With the formation of the Anglican Church in North America, a “Province in Formation,” many of you are asking, understandably, and with some concern, “What is to become of us who choose to remain in TEC?” What about those of us who are stuck in a heterodox Episcopal church? What about those of us who have had to affiliate for the moment with anothersort of church because there is no orthodox Anglican church in the ACNA within driving distance? Is our only option to stay where we are, in the furnace, and make our stand and our witness like Daniel’s friends?

First, on behalf of the AAC, let me assure you that we are here, just as we have been since our beginnings, to serve you. We understand the conscientious reasons why you have chosen to remain in TEC. We honor your decision. We pray for you. More than that, we stand with you, with resources to help you make your stand in Christ.

Secondly, we believe God has a strategy that involves more than just standing in the furnace and waiting for the fire to consume you. Look at Daniel and his friends, who faced a system and authority more idolatrous and lawless than TEC. They did not conform to the culture they were in,but instead they resolved to witness to it:

  • - by drawing a firm line in conformity with God’s word and not eating at the King’s table (Daniel 1:8),

  • - by learning as much as they could about Babylonian culture (Daniel1:3-4, 17),

  • - by being more excellent (“ten times better”) than anyone else in the kingdom (Daniel 1:18-20);

  • - by being consistent throughout many changes of leadership (Daniel1:21);

  • - by addressing hostile authorities directly, and with wisdom and tact (Daniel 2:14-16);

  • - by avoiding isolation, taking counsel and praying together (Daniel2:17-18);

  • - by asking God for discernment (Daniel 2:19);

  • - by resisting peer pressure, malicious accusations, the temptation to compromise, an unpredictable king, and even a delaying God (Daniel 3:1-18)

By following this strategy, God blessed them in the furnace, brought them out, and used their faithfulness to move unbelieving authorities to proclaim throughout the whole kingdom the uniqueness and sovereignty of our God, “for no other God can save in this way.” (Daniel 3:28-29)

If God has called you to remain in TEC, we believe he has a plan for your time and service, just like Daniel and his friends. And we are here to help you do it.We intend to continue supporting you in every way we can, with resources for mission and ministry at the congregational level, with counsel in regards to TEC canons and other legal issues, and through our presence and activity in the councils of the Anglican Communion.

We will be at TEC General Convention in July 2009, as we have at previous GeneralConventions, to provide a strategic retreat for Biblically orthodox Episcopalians serving as delegates and alternates to General Convention.

We will continue to personally visit our AAC congregations, chapters and affiliates to provide encouragement, equipping, and counsel. (In fact, if you would like a visit, I would be delighted to come to your chapter or congregation.)

If you are experiencing persecution from your bishop and diocese, we will extend our support to you “In Pectore.”

Also, through our weekly e-newsletter and “Salt and Light” column, we will continue to spotlight TEC congregations and AAC members whose ministries witness to a robust Biblical, confessional and missional Anglicanism in 21st centuryAmerica.

If God leads you into the furnace, we will stand with you. And we will discover again, in God’s wonderful saving grace, how God uses that fire to loose us from our chains, and deliver us unharmed on the other side for even greater ministry!

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Phil Ashey

And of course much comes down to perspective...

Amidst all my gyrations over how to be Anglican/Episcopal/functional in North American Christianity, this (by email) was welcome perspective:

Speaking of danger, however, is always relative, because as we receive more news of the slaughter of our brother and sister Anglicans in the Nigerian Diocese of Jos by Muslim activists, we are aware that lives and families and church communities are being shattered by genocide directed atthose who believe in and follow Jesus. Pray for our Anglican family in Jos and the surrounding areas. Pray also that the government will follow through and actually arrest the guilty and punish them instead of letting them go. Muslims killing Christians has to stop being acceptable by governments charged with keeping justice and peace.

The red doors on many Anglican churches in North America are a reminder that the blood of Jesus and the blood of the martyrs have purchased and maintained for us the faith and access to God our Father. We come to the Father through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and the faith is passed down to us and given to us by the faithful witness of those who give their life and blood for their faith in Jesus. May our Lord relieve their suffering,provide for their needs, and give them the courage to continue to stand,and may we be given the courage and faith to stand with them.

Blessings and peace in Christ Jesus,
The Rt. Rev. David C. Anderson, Sr.
President and CEO, American Anglican Council

Friday, December 5, 2008

From the American Anglican Council's CEO - care offered to those still in The Episcopal Church

Bishop David Anderson writes:

With the formation of Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), which is a coming together of Anglican judicatories under an Archbishop, it leaves two of its sponsoring organizations in a here and there situation. Both the Forward In Faith-North America (FIFNA) and the American Anglican Council (AAC) are advocacy and affinity organizations that overlay actual ecclesial judicatories, and although both are presently headed by bishops, the bishops and the members are all embedded in separate actual church structures.

The AAC since its inception in 1996 has worked for reform and renewal in the church. At first it was limited to reform and renewal in the Episcopal Church once referred to as ECUSA, and now more recently as TEC, but since the theological troubles of the last five or so years the AAC has broadened its scope to the entire Anglican Communion, since these are finally Anglican Communion issues.

Presently a fair number of our AAC Board of Trustees, parish affiliates and general membership of individual lay and clergy are in still in TEC and will most likely remain in TEC for the foreseeable future. The ministry and work of the AAC is built to encompass their needs as well as those who are not a part of TEC. Recently the AAC created a specific "Episcopal Church Desk" to handle the issues that were specific to TEC, provide a direct channel for questions and issue to be raised, and to assist with planning for the AAChaving once again a presence at the Episcopal Church General Convention in Anaheim this summer. Additionally the Vice-President of the AAC, the Rt. Rev. Peter Beckwith, Diocesan Bishop of Springfield, will be the Bishop-liaison having chaplaincy to the "Episcopal Desk."

The launch of the new Anglican Church in North America, an outgrowth of the Common Cause Partners Federation, has been positioned such that there is reasonable hope that Primates of the Anglican Communion, perhaps beginning with the GAFCON Primates' Council, might begin to recognize the entity as a Province in the Anglican Communion. The Jerusalem gathering of GAFCON gave a call for such a new province to be formed, and the approval of a Provisional Constitution and Canons of the ACNA is seen as the beginning of this process.

Although the AAC is an original signatory to the Common Cause Partners document going back several years, it is in an unusual category because it is an advocacy organization that exercises a ministry of communication, education, ministry resource and parish advice and counsel and is not an ecclesial judicatory. Among the membership are bishops, priests, deacons and laity from a variety of Anglican affiliations, each of whom has an ecclesial home in an actual Anglican judicatory (parish, diocese, or denomination suchas the Reformed Episcopal Church). The AAC being a co-sponsor of the new hoped for province does not automatically change anyone within the AAC's judicatory membership. In time as the ACNA expands and the Constitution and Canons move from provisional to permanent, parishes and dioceses from all over will have an opportunity to decide and enroll. The AAC as a ministry organization without an internal ecclesial structure does not obligate or move parishes or members into or out of TEC, into or out of Common Cause, orinto or out of the new ACNA. Bishop Beckwith and myself and the other bishops on the AAC Board of Trustees do not have our episcopal orders through the AAC but are and remain tied to the Anglican Provinces that hold our Letters. This means that some of our AAC bishops and members who are in TEC might well remain in TEC for the long term, and those who are in other judicatories might do the same, or might go through a time of dual membership with their sponsoring Province of the Communion and with ACNA as well. In any event, the AAC will keep its distinct and separate life as an advocacy organization working for the reform and renewal of the church, both in TEC and in the entire Anglican Communion.

Because some TEC bishops are hostile to members or congregations joining or remaining a part of the AAC because of our clear stand against the increasing heterodoxy of the Episcopal Church, a new type of membership is available, called "In Pectore," which means in the heart. It will be an unpublished list of members who individually know that they are members, and we know that they are, but no one else but God knows that. This list will be treated as Top Sacred, realizing the danger that is present in TEC for the orthodox today in many dioceses.

h/t Greg Griffith

Leaders in the New Anglican Province: Fantasy and Fact

Who are the people who met in Wheaton, Illinois this week to launch a new Anglican Church in North America?

Let me get the fantasy out of the way first. An Episcopalian propaganda minister says:

"Really, they are just anti-Gay."

So, there ya go. As I said in yesterday's post, The Episcopal religion (TEC) is a single issue advocacy group now. It's all about gays, all the time.

Fact is better stated by Stephen Noll:

Most of these leaders were successful parish priests who in a better world would have been bishops in TEC. Most of them, even the Anglo-Catholics, have a strong commitment to church growth and world evangelization. Many of them and their congregations have made hard choices to leave their property behind and start over. They are risk-takers. And above all, they really do believe in the grace of God working through His Church.

A big fact in TEC's decline has been its clergy selection and deployment process. The push has been to ordain people who are politically correct, who speak the jargon, who comfort the folks who like "church" but not Christianity, who are all about "inclusion and tolerance" (e.g. homosexuality), who reassure their people that all religions (and no religion) are of equal value, etc. etc.

Meanwhile, people with years of fruitful work as evangelists, congregational leaders, ministry developers and with other important gifts are pushed to the side, isolated and passed over.

TEC winds up with little clubs of like minded people, their congregations shrinking away by attrition as they huddle with their oh-so-sophisticated priest to be assured of how much more tolerant, intelligent and just all around better they are than all the stupid Christians out there.

TEC's trash is Christ's treasure.

h/ts MCJ and robroy

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Horrors! A North American Anglican Sect for "True Believers"?

"This statement does not represent the end of Anglicanism, merely another chapter in a centuries-old struggle for dominance by those who consider themselves the only true believers."
Katharine Jefferts Schori

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopalian religion intones a creed: There are bad people who want to "dominate" the church with clear statements of Christian faith and practice - "true believers." Schori wants an open-minded church defined by which of its insiders are entitled to specific territory, property and bank accounts.

The emerging Anglican Church in North America, to the horror of the good Episcopalian insiders, is "based on theology" rather than titles and geographical boundaries.

But it turns out that Schori's Episcopal Church (TEC) is itself based on a "theology for true believers" who share non-geographical affinity.

In 2006, an Episcopalian insider told a Seminary gathering that TEC is guided by a "theology of inclusion" and that the election of Katharine Jefferts Schori herself came from this belief. And this theology is based on affinity groups rather than parishes or dioceses: "I firmly believe we will continue to see the results of this 'mainstreaming' in the flowering of Asian, Black, Latino and Native American ministries along with the growth of women, youth, gay and all ministries which were once marginalized," said the bureaucrat.

But this "theology of inclusion" serves a much narrower group than the lofty words admit. "Youth ministry" is pretty much non-existent in old, gray TEC. Native American ministry is a disaster. Historic Black parishes are shutting down. Notice that the insider did not include un-sexy, inconvenient special needs people in his list of the "marginalized." In fact, TEC as a whole is withering.

If you do a bit of unpacking, you find that the "theology of inclusion" is about the campaign of one small group of "true believers" to dominate TEC - to rid it of inconvenient people and keep lots of money and property to serve itself.

  • Google "Theology of Inclusion" and most of the entries you will find are about giving homosexuals titles in the church.

  • Quoted yesterday in The New York Times, another Episcopalian true believer says that TEC's unique "niche" is to be a place to "worship with gays and lesbians."

If you visit the blogs or attend any Episcopalian functions, you know that I could go on and on listing examples.

The point is this: TEC curses what it has become. It is a narrow sect, dominated by true believers.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Blogger breaks down 2007 SD abortion stats: guess what?

Great work by Dakota Voice.

As if I need to tell you: the overwhelming majority are "because the mother did not want the child."

And most are done around the 8th week of the pregnancy - Dakota Voice does a good job detailing what that means in terms of human development.

New Anglican Province Constitution and Canons Available

Go to the Common Cause Partners site and scroll down below the map for links. (It's loading slowly tonight - probably lots of traffic).

New North American Anglican Province: Press Conference and Worship Service LIVE TONIGHT

Stream Starts around 5:15pm CST.

5:30 CST Press Conference

7:30 CST Worship Service

Can't see the video? Click here and install the latest Flash Player.

Online TV Shows by Ustream

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