Monday, December 29, 2003
The Holy Innocents (Transferred from 28 December)
O ALMIGHTY God, who out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hast ordained strength, and madest infants to glorify thee by their deaths; Mortify and kill all vices in us, and so strengthen us by thy grace, that by the innocency of our lives, and constancy of our faith even unto death, we may glorify thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Mind and character
T H E J O H N S T O T T D A I L Y T H O U G H T
December 27, 2003
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott
The Christian Mind (cont'd.)
607. Mind and character
Faith has to be related to life. A Christian mind is
ineffective without a Christian character.
--From 'Seminarians are not Tadpoles', "Christianity Today"
(6 February 1981).
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 258, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.
'Displaced' Episcopalians gather in New Hampshire
By Jesse J. DeConto
EXETER, N.H. - About 100 "displaced Episcopalians" gathered for a
Christmas Eve service at Phillips Exeter Academy this past week as an
alternative to the mainline Episcopal churches that elected V. Gene
Robinson as the first openly gay bishop in the Anglican Church.
This was the largest gathering of a group called the Seacoast Mission
Fellowship (SMF), which is holding Bible studies in private homes and
providing community for Episcopalians who believe Scripture condemns
Robinson's active relationship with his male partner of 14 years.
"I'm just somebody looking for a new church," said Exeter resident and
SMF member Clayton Ellis, a cradle Episcopalian who left his church of
seven years, Christ Episcopal in Exeter, over Robinson's election.
"It's consoling to know I'm not alone."
Ellis was one of about 10 Christ Church members who left over Robinson's
election, according to Father John Denson, the church's rector.
Exeter resident Charlie Higginson, who's considering leaving Christ
Church after 17 y ears, said the number is closer to.
"We're very sad when anybody feels the need to leave," Denson said. "I
would hope that we could stay together and talk through these things."
Ellis said he and other former Christ Church members have found a
temporary home at All Saints' Church in West Newbury, Mass., where they
can agree practicing homosexuals should not hold leadership positions
in the church.
In October, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, leader of the
Anglican churches worldwide, established a commission to examine the
impact of creating a separate Anglican province in North America for
dioceses and parishes who believe gay and lesbian sex acts violate
Scripture. The commission will report on the potential for avoiding a
split sometime in 04.
With the future of its relationship with the Episcopal Church yet
uncertain, SMF has planned meetings only through January, when it will
gather twice for Sunday worship and three times a week for Bible
Leading the fellowship are two young seminarians from Gordon-Conwell
Theological Seminary, an evangelical graduate school in South Hamilton,
Christopher Klukas, 22, who delivered the Christmas Eve sermon
Wednesday evening, and Esau McCauley, 24, who was visiting his sick
mother in Alabama, a re organizing the temporarily homeless
parishioners into home study classes which they also teach.
Klukas received a standing ovation when he announced he and McCauley a
serving New Hampshire as missionaries of the Saint Aidan's Mission
Society. The men are handling the fellowship's finances through All
Saints' in West Newbury until the group becomes more structured.
"Our relationship with the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion
is still forming," McCauley told the Herald.
Helping Klukas to lead Wednesday's service were his father, the Rev.
Arnold Klukas, a professor at Nashotah House, an Episcopal seminary in
Wisconsin, and Father Donald Wilson, the former priest-in-charge of
Church of the Redeemer in Rochester, whom outgoing New Hampshire Bishop
Douglas Theuner removed last month for insubordination when Wilson
refused to acknowledge Robinson's authority as bishop.
Several Redeemer parishioners attended Wednesday's service, but
afterward said they plan to remain in the Episcopal Church and hope
Robinson will see fit to transfer their church into the care of the
more conservative Diocese of Albany once he takes the bishop's seat in
"Our intention is to stay at our church and take it back," said church
treasurer Kathy Lewis. "We're praying that Gene will be merciful and
cut Redeemer loose to Albany. If he doesn't, we're going to be a thorn
in his side until the day we die."
Another member, Susan Cloutman, said many at Redeemer are skipping the
sacrament of communion and withholding money from the Diocese of N.H.
because appointed interim priests do not share their view of biblical
Father Tim Rich, whose St. John's Church in Portsmouth has lost about
10 members because of Robinson's election, said the SMF will not last
if it coalesces around a negative.
"Your identity can't be sustained by opposition," he said. "That's not
something that, in the long term, I believe can energize folks, can
hold folks together, can create a sense of mission."
Rich said he prays SMF can organize around a positive identity.
During the Christmas Eve service, no one mentioned Robinson, but
Christopher Klukas did allude to the crisis in the Episcopal Church.
"If nothing else, Christmas Eve is about God coming into the world to
save sinners," he said. "Regardless of anything that happens in our
church, we are still Christians, and we are called to proclaim that
Though he's confident Archbishop Williams will establish an orthodox
province in North America and that the Seacoast Anglicans will join,
McCauley stressed SMF did not form in protest of Robinson.
"We're not angry at anyone," he said. "We're not a church that's in op
position to anything. ... We're here strictly to provide a safe place."
Stratham resident Dave Ward, who left Christ Church in Exeter after
four years, said the Episcopal Church in the United States split the
Anglican Communion by endorsing Robinson, and those who gathered
Wednesday are seeking to restore that communion.
"The majority of Anglicans in the world are out of communion with
the Diocese of New Hampshire," he said. "The Archbishop of Canterbury
is not going to side with a few political activists in New Hampshire."
Robinson was not available for comment, but diocesan clergy do
not believe his ascendance to bishop must necessarily divide the
"There are members of my parish who are not happy with the
Bishop Robinson, but they have chosen to stay in the parish," said
Father Hank Junkin, rector of St. Andrew's in Hopkinton and president
of the Standing Committee which advises the bishop. "The bishop only
comes to the parish once a year. You don't need to be here when he's
here. All politics are local , and I think a healthy spiritual life is
local too. From a day-to-day stand point, the bishop's impact is very
When asked whether a gay bishop could shepherd Christians who
believe his lifestyle is sinful, Junkin responded: "It's a substantive
and very good question to ask. I just wish we would be asking that
question from inside t he church rather than outside."
But SMF members no longer believe the Episcopal Church is
providing the sound biblical teaching they expect. Higginson said
Christ Church has two "fine priests, but I think they're misled. I
think they're deceived."
"They have to do away with the scripture that holds the way that
Robin son is living as sin," he said. "In order to justify that,
they're going to have to change the way they teach scripture. What
they're doing is sanctifying the sin, and I can't be part of that."
Catholics Trail Protestants in Church Attendance
by George H. Gallup Jr.
Senior Staff Writer
After dipping to an all-time low in the wake of the recent sex abuse
scandals afflicting the Catholic Church, weekly church attendance among
Catholics appears to be on the rebound. However, historical Gallup Poll
data show that Protestants have now clearly overtaken Catholics in
church attendance, for the first time in Gallup polling history.
Between March 2002, when the news of the scandals broke, and February
2003, weekly church attendance among Catholics fell nine percentage
points to 35%, the lowest measurement since Gallup began asking the
question in 1955. By November 2003*, however, the figure had climbed 10
percentage points to 45%. Protestants' levels of church attendance,
meanwhile, remained fairly stable during this same period.
While it is up from earlier this year, that 45% figure among Catholics
is 29 percentage points lower than the 74% recorded when this question
was first asked in 1955. Comparatively, Protestants' church attendance
is actually slightly higher in November 2003 (48%) than it was in 1955
George Gallup Jr. is the Chairman of the George H. Gallup International
Institute and is recognized internationally for his research and study
on youth, health, religion, and urban problems.
Sunday, December 28, 2003
The Sunday after Christmas-Day
ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us thy only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at this time to be born of a pure Virgin; Grant that we being regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
Saturday, December 27, 2003
Saint John the Evangelist's Day
MERCIFUL Lord, we beseech thee to cast thy bright beams of light upon thy Church, that it being enlightened by the doctrine of thy blessed Apostle and Evangelist Saint John may so walk in the light of thy truth, that it may at length attain to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Friday, December 26, 2003
Saint Stephen's Day
Grant, O Lord, that, in all our sufferings here upon earth for the testimony of thy truth, we may stedfastly look up to heaven, and by faith behold the glory that shall be revealed; and, being filled with the Holy Ghost, may learn to love and bless our persecutors by the example of thy first Martyr Saint Stephen, who prayed for his murderers to thee, O blessed Jesus, who standest at the right hand of God to succour all those that suffer for thee, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen.
Thursday, December 25, 2003
Knowing and reckoning
T H E J O H N S T O T T D A I L Y T H O U G H T
December 25, 2003
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott
The Christian Mind (cont'd.)
605. Knowing and reckoning
The secret of holy living is in *knowing* (Rom. 6:6) that
our old self was crucified with Christ. It is in *knowing*
(verse 3) that baptism into Christ is baptism into his
death and resurrection. It is in *reckoning*,
intellectually realizing (verse 11), that in Christ we have
died to sin and we live to God. We are to know these
things, to meditate on them, to realize that they are true.
Our minds are so to grasp the fact and the significance of
our death and resurrection with Christ, that a return to
the old life is unthinkable. A born-again Christian should
no more think of going back to the old life than an adult
to his childhood, a married man to his bachelorhood, or a
discharged prisoner to his prison cell.
--From "Men Made New" (London: IVF, 1966), p. 50.
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 257, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.
A CHRISTMAS SERMON
By the Rt. Rev. Keith Ackerman
One of the more intriguing questions in our society is, do movies
reflect the culture or does our culture reflect the movies. For
example based on what I have seen on television lately we have moved
from so called “Christmas Classics” such as The Bishop’s Wife and It’s
a Wonderful Life to Bad Santa and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. On
one hand, it may all seem harmless enough in a whimsical sort of way,
but the shift that has taken place shows people who simply never go to
church, do not seem to pray, and make no mention of whose birthday this
really is. Apart from any theological problems this presents, the
reality is that it gives us a Season where there is an emphasis on
feelings, so that if we did not receive the present we wanted, then it
wasn’t a good Christmas. Or if we were sick and unable to go to
someone’s house to open presents, we didn’t really celebrate Christmas.
In fact, it IS Christmas no matter how we may feel about the day,
because Jesus Christ has been born. If one were really strict about
the definition, it would be more accurate to say that those who do not
celebrate the Birth of Christ do not really celebrate Christmas. This
is not meant to be harsh, anymore than it would be to say that those
who did not light candles for the eight days of The Feast of Lights did
not celebrate Hanukah. In other words as the culture continues to
change it is reflected in movies, and movies have influenced the
culture moving us into a very new way to celebrate the Birth of the
That is why when an extraordinary movie is produced that has more than
just entertainment value, it needs to be noted. In a recent television
movie a talented teenage Country-Western Singer left home to pursue her
singing career, and in so doing became estranged from her father, for
she left in spite of his protests. Even after she became one of the
most popular Country Western singers in the nation, there was no
relationship with her father. Years passed, the father attempted to
make contact and not knowing how to call her the father even had to
send a letter to his daughter telling her that her mother had died.
Suddenly the father indicated that he wanted to see the daughter, and
in a panic she left a note on her dressing room door indicating that
she did not want to see him. Then as she rode on a bus, she sat next
to an old man, with a long beard, and a large hat. From the dark
glasses it was clear that he was blind. During a horrendous snow
storm, the bus became lodged in a snow bank, and there was no rescue in
sight. The singer began to shake, and the old man asked her what was
wrong. She indicated to him that she was a diabetic and that in her
rush she had forgotten her insulin. The man responded by telling her
that he was a diabetic, too, and that diabetes was the cause of his
blindness. He then told her not to worry because he had insulin with
him; in fact, he told her he had enough for both of them. Even against
her protests he insisted that she use the injection. They both fell
asleep on the bus, with her head on his shoulder as they awaited a
rescue. When help finally came, it awakened the singer, who was
feeling much better, and she tried to awaken the old man in order to
help him off the bus. She discovered that he was dead, and she saw his
insulin case, and observed that there had only been enough insulin for
one person. The old man shared what he had to the extent that it cost
him his life. With extreme sadness she left the bus feeling quite
guilty that she had left the body of her savior on the bus. Later the
truth was discovered. The man who had saved her life and had lost his
life for her sake, was her very own father whom she simply had not
This man who had been estranged from his daughter all of these years,
who had tried to contact her at various points, whether she had known
it or not, in the end gave everything he had so that his daughter could
At Creation God created a perfect order. By our sin, disobedience, bad
choices, and behavior we caused dis-order. In spite of the alienation
that we caused He sent the Prophets to try to help us return into the
order He had planned for us. When we ignored and rejected His
Prophets, He came into the world Himself in the most vulnerable
conditions possible, as an infant, being born of a young woman, in a
stable in a manger in a strange town. God took on flesh to become
fully human and fully divine in order to reconcile us with Him.
In the movie, if the father had totally rejected the daughter, she
would have died. He could have said, “It serves her right. I wrote
her, I tried to visit her, I called her, and she chose to reject me.
Now she has to live with the consequences.” If God the Father had
totally rejected us because we have rejected Him and His plan for us,
because we had rejected His warnings through the Prophets, then we
would be dead this day. But He sent His only begotten son, or as
Eucharistic Prayer D says, “When our disobedience took us far from you,
you did not abandon us to the power of death. In your mercy you came
to our help, so that in seeking you we might find you. Again, and
again you called us into covenant with you, and through the prophets
you taught us to hope for salvation. Father, you loved the world so
much that in the fullness of time you sent your only Son to be our
Savior.” You see, beloved He was looking for us. He took the first
step when really since we were the ones who caused the rupture in the
relationship, He could have insisted that we take the first step. In
gratitude for even being born, we should have taken the first step.
But we did not. He did. This is why we pray – this is why we come to
Church – this is why we give thanks, because at the Incarnation God
took on flesh and dwelt among us. He came to transform our nature. He
came to give us life that disease was rapidly taking away. He
literally came to save us, and He did so in a manner where we would
need to discover Him. He did not come with trumpets playing to
announce His arrival. He came in the most humble of circumstances, so
that in discovering Him we might be transformed.
And so, how do we live transformed lives? We do so by learning to
forgive each other, forgiving even those who have broken our hearts,
for they have broken the heart of Jesus, too. We do so by reducing
blame, for if blame for bad behavior were the basis for cutting someone
out of our lives, God would have cut us out years ago. We are
transformed by praying first before responding to someone who has
offended us, for we have regularly offended God. We are transformed by
looking for Christ in this broken world, for it was into this broken
world that Christ was born.
Jesus wants to transform our lives (tonight) (today). He wants to
enter our lives as he enters a stable. We are called “temples of the
Holy Spirit”, but if truth be told, we are not the Hilton or the
Holiday Inn, we are more like run down stables, broken and battered.
When God took on flesh and was born in a manger in a stable, no one
noticed how battered the building was. All they saw was Jesus. The
Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph did not apologize for the shabbiness
of the place. All eyes were on the One who was in the manger. As Jesus
Christ is born in our hearts (tonight)(today), no matter how broken we
are, no matter how battered we are by pain, burdens, and disease, this
same Jesus wants to take up residence in us. The world wants to see
Jesus. And in some small or large way, someone you know needs to see
Jesus shining through you. For the one who wishes to reside in you is
also the only one who can save your life.
Bishop Ackerman is the (ECUSA) Bishop of Quincy.
The Nativity of our Lord, or the Birth-day of Christ,
Commonly called Christmas-Day
ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us thy only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at this time to be born of a pure Virgin; Grant that we being regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Wednesday, December 24, 2003
Ebenezer Was Right
Or, how I became a compassionless conservative.
By Jennifer Nicholson Graham
Except for a brief, irrational fling with Jimmy Carter during my high-school years, I've always been a Republican.
Until recently, however, I was a squishy one, teetering dangerously to the left on a few select issues such as coastline management and welfare reform. I want to be a good conservative — really, I do — but I've got this weakness for intact sand dunes and latchkey kids.
But then I met Tiffany. Or, more precisely, Tiffany's mother. And, after a ten-month crash course in why the poor are poor, I am squishy no more.
Tiffany moved to our cul-de-sac in February, the same week that we moved in. Initially, we were thrilled to see another set of movers unloading Little Tykes products a few houses down. But it didn't take long to realize that Tiffany's family were not, as we Grahams lightly put it, PLU: People Like Us.
Tiffany was overweight, but pretty, gifted with luxurious black curls that tumbled to her waist. She was eight, a year younger than my eldest daughter, and waited at the bus stop each morning with us. She was the only child there without a parent present.
Tiffany had a four-year-old brother, Charlie, the owner of a ragged Hot Wheels trike that was frequently left in the street. When we first met Charlie, he had disheveled brown hair that hung below his shoulders. It was not a flattering look. By July, the head was shaven, and when I recovered from the shock of it, and asked Tiffany about the change, she said, with great happiness, that her mother was considering dyeing it so Charlie would "look like Eminem."
Innocently revealing the vast chasm between our families, my daughter asked what color M&M.
When the family moved in, there was the mother, the brother, and Tiffany. Within a month, there was a male "babysitter" living on the premises, ostensibly to watch the children while the mother went off to her pizza-parlor job. Within two months, the fellow was gone, reportedly to jail.
Didn't really matter. The "babysitter" never saw the children, as far as I knew. I heard he played video games. The kids were always at my house. Or wandering the streets alone. Or knocking on neighbors' doors, saying they had nothing to eat. There was no apparent supervision, even when the mother was home.
The neighbors whispered. One woman called social services. A visitor came in a white government van, but nothing seemed to change. The children wore clothing too big, and for the wrong seasons. They came to my backyard every afternoon. They asked to use the bathroom, asked for things to eat. I welcomed them warmly each day and let them stay until Charlie would throw sand in someone's eyes, or hit someone with a stick, or utter a very bad word — it never took long — and then he, wailing, was sent home.
The mother lost her job. She got another one, and was fired again. The phone was turned off, then the cable. She would occasionally ask to use my phone and while here, grumble about her "bad luck." She "borrowed" rolls of toilet paper. Another man moved in. Occasionally a police car would sit outside the house. Once, I thought I heard gunshots late at night.
She got another job, and lost that one, too. We never knew the details, but Tiffany would occasionally mention that her mother was performing "community service" and had to "pay the courts." There were rumors of drugs. The grass went uncut, until the neighborhood association sent a threatening letter. Everyone wondered how she paid the rent in a neighborhood like ours.
Well, it turned out, she didn't, at least not after July. She was told to move out by Halloween. By then, she was pregnant again, the third child by a third man. She was not working and couldn't pay the rent, but she somehow found money for cigarettes.
When they finally moved out — under court order, tires squealing at 6 A.M. on Nov. 1 — we in the neighborhood thought that was the end of it. The next day, I loaded everyone in the car and drove to a playground ten minutes away. To my horror, there were Tiffany and Charlie, ecstatically running towards us — unsupervised, of course. They were hanging out at the park after school, sleeping in a motel at night, at least until their money ran out. After that, they would sleep in the car. Their furniture was in storage.
Two weeks later, the mother was still driving Tiffany to the neighborhood bus stop. It had turned cold, and I pictured them sleeping in the back of the car. Knowing, knowing that I would regret it, but unable to stop myself, I met the mother at the bus and offered to take Tiffany in. Just Tiffany, and just for a week, until she could find an apartment. She hinted that she needed $250 for a security deposit. I ignored that, but when she asked for gas money, I gave her $5, all the cash I had. I made up the couch for my oldest son so Tiffany could have his bed.
Two days later, Tiffany came down with a sore throat, and I hunted down the mother. She wasn't sleeping in the car, it turned out. She was staying with a friend, and the friend told me that the mother was out bowling. Bowling. She'd be back around midnight. I held her sick child and thought morosely of my five dollars.
Two days later, another neighbor told me that the mother is probably going to jail next month. She was caught driving with a suspended license....for the fourth time. She's had two DUIs. The old Mustang she is driving has expired tags. As of this writing, she continues to drive.
When I finally called the school, I was told that Virginia has some sort of homeless act, and Tiffany can continue to attend our school forever, even if she lives in a car. Which, I suppose, is a good thing. It troubles me, however, that the school's response to the rest of the story — the neglect, suspicions of abuse, proof of lawbreaking — was to send the child "home" with a form with which the mother can obtain free Christmas gifts.
And so it is, that on the eve of the merriest of seasons, I have finally become a compassionless conservative, because of a deadbeat mother who bowls. I now stand in defense of Darwin and natural selection, and of Ebenezer Scrooge, the real Scrooge — before he went soft like me — Scrooge, at his noblest, the way he was before the onset of those pesky midnight visitors. I think of him fondly and recall his inspiring words: "Are there no prisons? Are there no poorhouses?"
It's time to rethink old Scrooge. Ebenezer knew the truth: No good deed goes unpunished.
Sure enough, after I fed, nursed, and clothed her daughter for better than a week — after I braided the child's hair, dried her tears, and once took her new clothes at school after a bad nosebleed — the mother retrieved her daughter at the bus stop with nary a word of thanks. She heard — wrongly — that I had reported her to social services. She's furious with me, says a neighbor in the know. The prospect of me getting my $5 back — as well as a dozen or so rolls of Scott tissue — is bleak. The prospect of me getting sugar in my gas tank or slits in my tires is very bright indeed. And yes, Tiffany gave my kids strep throat.
As a mother, I still worry about Tiffany and her brother, but, as a conservative, I know that as long as the neighborhood — the village — cared for them, her mother never would. Maybe, with the help of a jail and a poorhouse, the little family will get it together, discover the value of work. It's a long shot, but, as the magnet on my refrigerator says, "Dreams come true at Christmas."
God bless us every one.
— Jennifer Graham is a freelance journalist who lives in Richmond, Virginia.
Monday, December 22, 2003
Saint Thomas the Apostle (Transfered from 21 December)
ALMIGHTY and everliving God, who for the more confirmation of the faith didst suffer thy holy Apostle Thomas to be doubtful in thy Son's resurrection; Grant us so perfectly, and without all doubt, to believe in thy Son Jesus Christ, that our faith in thy sight may never be reproved. Hear us, O Lord, through the same Jesus Christ, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, now and fore evermore. Amen.
Sunday, December 21, 2003
GAY BISHOP ACCEPTS AWARD FROM SOFT CORE PORN WEBSITE
[Warning: Contains explicit language.]
By David W. Virtue
The Rt. Rev. Vicki Gene Robinson, the newly installed Bishop of New
Hampshire has been named "Person of the Year for 2003" from PlanetOut a
soft core porn website, for his "unprecedented achievement and its
impact on the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community."
According to the Integrity Virginia website, Robinson is PlanetOut's
"Person of the Year" and PlanetOut interviewed Robinson where he
happily accepted the award.
The Advocate the nation's leading gay and lesbian newsmagazine, also
named him "person of the year", giving him a front cover picture in
full bishop's regalia.
PlanetOut describes itself as the leading gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgender online community where you can find news and information,
chat rooms and personals on the latest "Hot Jocks" and their
availability for sexual encounters.
In a by-lined story for PlanetOut by Eric Johnston, the writer cited
Robinson for this unprecedented achievement and its impact on the gay,
lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.
Robinson said the experience was "quite humbling." He told PlanetOut he
knew his installation, as a bishop would be controversial, but he was
amazed that it became such a huge media story, and he was deeply
touched by the impact it had beyond the GLBT community.
Robinson will have difficulty denying knowledge of this website as he
did OUTRIGHT at this year's General Convention. PlanetOut IS a website.
Robinson lives with his partner, Mark Andrew. He's also the father of
two grown daughters, Jamee and Ella.
PlanetOut website offers talk from "aging to wrestling," with Simon
Sheppard leading you through every situation you can imagine -- and
some you probably can't." Also "Sex Tips for Gay Guys" with a guidebook
that leaves no stone unturned.
There are other choice sexual morsels that include 10 things every
lesbian should discuss with her health care provider, with Susie
Bright's "The Best American Erotica". Fairy Butch lays it all out on
the line, from sex toys to bisexuality to "lesbian bed death."
A "HOT JOCKS" section features half clad men announcing their
availability with such pseudonyms as "Boydykechick" and Lipstick
Lesbian offering Gettin' sweaty! with notes that read, "These sporty
gals and guys have no problem warming the bench! We've rounded up a
bullpen full of eager athletes lookin' to play hardball -- to put a
little more swing in your step during the cold, cold holidays. Go deep
with PlanetOut Personals Plus and your bases just might end up loaded."
In something called PlanetOut Cliques a statement reads, "We at
PlanetOut know you're more than just a pretty face -- your interests
and enthusiasms are a key part of your personal charm. So we decided to
round up certain Personals members who shared common hobbies or
activities -- a PlanetOut Clique. We hope it helps connect you with a
future friend -- or find someone you "click" with! Want to start a
Clique of your own? Tell us all about your most pleasurable pastimes
and we may feature you in an upcoming Clique."
There is also a "Links of love" with PlanetOut's hot rocker chicks,
Babes of the great outdoors, and 'Find your own dream jock.'
There is a welcoming section that reads, "Welcome to the first stop
in buying other men's sweaty, stinky, dirty, used and abused
jockstraps, briefs, boxers and more. If you are looking for female
underwear, check out our sister site VilePanties.com. We provide users
a free directory to individuals willing to sell their musky garments
straight from their body to you. Besides linking you to these web sites
and email addresses, we also service your filthy fetish by providing
you with links to buy accessories like related books, lubricant and
free erotic male e-cards to send to your friends."
To get started click the appropriate link above to see our listings...
"If your web site sells men's used jocks and underwear and would like
to be listed in our directory or if you would liked your email address
to be listed so individuals can contact you, click on the sell used
link above. If you're interested, find out how you can get started
selling your dirty duds."
You can also purchase Astroglide a Personal Lubricant for those
necessary moments. Astroglide Personal Lubricant rates 4.7 out of 5
stars, from 18 customer reviews.
You can also buy philosophy falling in love intimacy kitphilosophy
falling in loveintimacy kit, which gets a 3.3 stars out of 5 rating.
But that's not all, PlanetOut, also says that it has over 497,000
profiles, and all the features you need to find your soul mate or a
sexy date, "it's no wonder everyone's using PlanetOut.com."
Under "Used Jocks" you can find a free directory of nasty men willing
to sell their dirty duds! usedjocks.com, with a full bulletin board
that offers news, bulletin boards, chat rooms and discussion. There are
also photo links of shirtless jocks with profiles and jock talk.
You can also find "true Love" on PlanetOut. "It can happen to you -- it
happened to them! Meet real couples who connected on PlanetOut" says
Open homosexual solicitation that has nothing to do with ECUSA's much
vaunted and ballyhooed, permanent, committed, life-long same-sex
unions can be found. It is open season for anybody who wants to
sexually connect, with no limit on age.
A person calling itself Fairy Butch explains that she is THE fairy
godmother of lesbian sexuality, and will explain it all to you. Indeed.
There is also a LETTERS column which invites such questions as what do
you do when you sleep over with your lover and you find someone else's
dirty bed sheets. What is a gay man to do cries one reader?
Answer: Precious, wash them.
The truth is PlanetOut is the reality of both Robinson and ECUSA. It is
the morally bankrupt sludge that has Global South Anglicans weeping,
and orthodox Western bishops, clergy and laity cringing in shame.
It is also another reason why schism is necessary. No honorable,
believing Episcopalian can tolerate this mockery of human sexuality. No
one. And it is time the orthodox in ECUSA said so with one long, loud,
T H E J O H N S T O T T D A I L Y T H O U G H T
December 21, 2003
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott
The Christian Mind (cont'd.)
601. Accepted norms?
The morally 'disordering' influence of television is more
subtle and insidious than direct incitement. What happens
to all of us, unless our powers of moral judgment are acute
and alert, is that our understanding of what is 'normal'
begins to be modified. Under the impression that
'everybody does it', and that nobody nowadays believes much
in God or in absolutes of truth and goodness, our defences
are lowered and our values imperceptibly altered. We begin
to assume that physical violence (when we are provoked),
sexual promiscuity (when we are aroused) and extravagant
consumer expenditure(when we are tempted) are the accepted
norms of western society at the end of the twentieth
century. We have been conned.
--From "I Believe in Preaching" (London: Hodder and
Stoughton, 1982), p. 73.
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", pp. 256-257, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.
As is usually the case, unless I'm supplying somewhere else, I assisted this morning at New Israel Reformed Episcopal Church in Charleston. Upon walking out to process it was great to see the smiling face of the Rev. Dr. Wayne A. Headman, President of and Instructor of New Testament at Reformed Episcopal Seminary in Philadelphia. Wayne and his wife Robin, were in Charleston enroute to visiting her parents in Hilton Head. It was good seeing the Headmans and hearing how things are going up north!
Aid for Uganda
From : Dr.Bill Atwood
Sent : Saturday, December 20, 2003 6:29 PM
Subject : Aid for Uganda
Please distribute the following broadly:
One of the consequences of the current controversies is that none of us
in the strife torn Episcopal Church will wind up paying as big a price
as our Anglican brothers in other provinces will have to pay as a
result of the sin in ECUSA. One of the most graphic examples is the
situation that has arisen in Uganda. These principled leaders are
choosing to forgo aid from ECUSA rather than run the risk of being seen
in support of an agenda that they find unconscionable. As a
result,much needed resources for aid for the refugee camps in Gulu have
Please consider this emergency request to send money to Ekklesia over
the next few weeks. As has been our policy from inception, 100% of
designated funds is sent overseas with no deduction for administrative
overhead. The plan is for these funds to be delivered to the Church of
Uganda in January. We will let you know other needs and projects in
the coming weeks.
The needs in Gulu are great. May God bless you richly this Christmas
as you are a blessing to others.
Please make checks payable to:
Memo-Support for Gulu
PO Box 118526
Carrollton, TX 75011-8526
Ekklesia is a tax-exempt 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation.
Dr. Bill Atwood
The Fourth Sunday in Advent
O LORD, raise up (we pray thee) thy power, and come among us, and with great might succour us; that whereas, through our sins and wickedness, we are sore let and hindered in running the race that is set before us, thy bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us; through the satisfaction of thy Son our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be honour and glory, world without end. Amen.
Friday, December 19, 2003
Pastoral Letter to the Congregations of
The Diocese of South Carolina
December 18, 2003
We live in an age engulfed with information which often times
has nothing to do with communication. The media presents information written
and interpreted by those who are not Episcopalians and have little
understanding of the Church. The New York Times had an article on Wednesday,
December 17th describing the formation of a network of dioceses in the
United States naming the Diocese of South Carolina. Rather than comment on
the article, let me simply give you the facts from the standpoint of my own
When I met at Heathrow Airport in London on November 20th with
Archbishops, bishops and lay leaders from around the Anglican Communion,
four American bishops - Fort Worth, Dallas, Pittsburgh and South Carolina
signed a memorandum of agreement intending to form a network of dioceses in
the American Church under its constitution which would enable us to work
together in the National Church and the Anglican Communion to proclaim the
Gospel as we have received it for about two thousand years. This was at the
suggestion of the Archbishop of Canterbury, it was not decided unilaterally
by us. It was and is the plan to take that back to our Dioceses so that they
could agree or disagree. Our Standing Committee endorsed the idea on
November 25th. It has not as yet gone to the Convention of our dioceses. A
planning session is planned in Dallas in Mid-January. It is a work in
progress within the structure of the church. There are no hidden agendas.
In another matter, I met with Bishop Murphy and Senior Warden
of All Saints' Pawleys at their request on December 13th. The following
Monday I received copies of Vestry minutes from a member of All Saints,
Waccamaw which revealed that in October and December the Vestry had voted to
sever the ties of All Saints Parish, Waccamaw with the National Church and
amend All Saints' charter to eliminate any reference to the canons and rules
of the National Church and the Diocese of South Carolina. No mention of
these actions by the vestry was made to me at the meeting on December 13th.
These actions are schismatic. The Chancellor advised me that it was not
possible to leave the National Church and be a member of the vestry in a
parish in this diocese. The diocesan canons require that wardens and vestry
members must be "confirmed communicants of the Church." Consequently I have
sent a letter to the Senior Warden (by hand) and members of the Vestry of
All Saints Parish Waccamaw advising them that they are no longer members of
the Vestry. I have notified the President of the Standing Committee and will
meet with them on Tuesday. I have declared All Saints Waccamaw to be a
mission and am in the process of naming a Mission Committee.
These are difficult times which require clear communication
and a prayerful and earnest seeking of God's Grace. Please pray for your
bishops, All Saints and the whole church so that our behavior will not
violate our proclamation of the Gospel.
Yours in Christ,
Edward L. Salmon, Jr.
Bishop of South Carolina, XIII
William J. Skilton
Bishop Suffragan of South Carolina
Sunday, December 14, 2003
The Third Sunday in Advent
O LORD Jesus Christ, who at thy first coming didst send thy messenger to prepare thy way before thee; Grant that the ministers and stewards of thy mysteries may likewise so prepare and make ready thy way, by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, that at thy second coming to judge the world we may be found an acceptable people in thy sight, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
Tuesday, December 09, 2003
Carl F.H. Henry, R.I.P.
Carl F.H. Henry, Theologian and First Editor of Christianity Today, Dies at 90
Thinker helped to shape many evangelical institutions and efforts, from higher education to ecumenism.
By Beth Spring and CT Staff | posted 12/08/2003
Theologian, journalist, and evangelical leader Carl F.H. Henry died Sunday, December 7, at age 90 in his longtime home of Watertown, Wisconsin. Henry made it his life's work to present biblical Christianity as intellectually credible and historically true. On the battlefields of modern theological thought, spanning seminaries, denominations, and media, Henry shaped the defenses of evangelicalism with two goals in mind: preserving truth and attracting nonbelievers.
Born January 22, 1913, to German immigrants in New York City, Henry received no religious instruction at home. Growing up on Long Island, he attended an Episcopal Sunday School and graduated from high school on the eve of the Great Depression in 1929.
His first introduction to personal faith in a living God came as he worked at a weekly newspaper office, proofreading galleys with a middle-aged woman, Mildred Christy. When Henry used the Lord's name as an expletive, Christy commented, "Carl, I'd rather you slap my face than take the name of my best Friend in vain."
In 1932, at age 19, Henry became editor of The Smithtown Star and later a stringer for The New York Times. A career in journalism seemed assured. At age 20, he canceled three Saturday appointments in a row with the young man, Gene Bedford, who eventually led him to Christ. After a chance meeting, they again arranged a time to get together. They spoke for three hours about spiritual matters, and then prayed The Lord's Prayer together. When they were done praying, Henry remembered, "I had inner assurance hitherto unknown of sins forgiven, that Jesus was my Savior, that I was on speaking terms with God as my Friend. A floodtide of peace and joy swept over me. My life's future, I was confident, was now anchored in and charted by another world, the truly real world."
Henry became convinced that he should go to college to prepare for a life of Christian service, and Dr. Frank E. Gaebelein, then headmaster of The Stony Book School, gave him a Wheaton College catalogue. After hearing a talk by Wheaton president J. Oliver Buswell, Henry concluded that "faith without reason is not worth much, and that reason is not an enemy but an ally of genuine faith, and moreover that the resurrection of Jesus is an historical event." He entered Wheaton in the fall of 1935, attending classes and teaching typing and journalism. His Wheaton classmates included many who later came into evangelical leadership: Billy Graham, Harold Lindsell, Ken Taylor, and Richard Halverson. Henry met his wife, Helga Bender, at Wheaton.
Once, in a journalism class he taught, Henry orchestrated an unusual final exam. He had Halverson, who would later serve for 15 years as chaplain of the U.S. Senate, burst into the room posing as a masked gunman, demanding Henry's wallet. "After the gunman escaped," Henry recalled, "I told the class to write the story."
Henry pursued graduate studies simultaneously at Wheaton, earning a M.A., and Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, where Henry earned his Th.D. after being ordained a Baptist minister. While still at Northern, Henry endorsed the launch of the National Association of Evangelicals in 1942, served on its Board of Administration, and was book editor of NAE's magazine, United Evangelical Action. Henry eventually taught theology at Northern while pursuing his second doctorate, a Ph.D. from Boston University, which he earned in 1949. Henry also served as visiting professor of theology at Gordon Divinity School and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. In 1947, Henry's first of many major books was published. The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism emphasized the Christian's dual citizenship, challenging the withdrawal of fundamentalists from society. The same year, evangelical leaders approached Henry about their starting a new seminary on the West Coast. In the fall of 1947, Henry arrived in Pasadena to become Fuller Seminary's first acting dean.
Henry continued writing and pursued doctoral studies. "Among my concerns," he wrote, "was to engage evangelicals in a discussion of social and cultural problems and to help define authentic involvement."
In 1955, Billy Graham wrote a letter proposing a new magazine, Christianity Today, to showcase evangelical thought. He sent Henry a copy of the letter, in which he urged Henry to become the editor. The project was conceived as a way to "give the liberally oriented Christian Century a run for its biases," Henry wrote. It was designed mainly as a vehicle to "win a hearing for evangelical orthodoxy from non-evangelical scholars." Months of soul-searching and discussion led Henry to accept the post and make the commitment to leave Fuller and become its first editor.
At the helm of Christianity Today, Henry came into contact with thought leaders worldwide. "My mail involved frequent exchanges with liberals and neo-orthodox clergy, with far left ecumenists and far right fundamentalists, with professors, … with clergy, … and with students," he later said. Henry and the magazine gained international prominence and frequent mention in the media.
Henry delighted in recounting a time when he sparred with theologian Karl Barth. Barth invited questions from a group of 200 religious leaders attending a luncheon in his honor. Henry rose and identified himself as "editor of Christianity Today" before asking Barth about his views on the historical fact of Jesus' resurrection. Barth retorted, "Did you say Christianity Today or Christianity Yesterday?" As the audience howled with laughter, Henry countered, "Yesterday, today, and forever."
In 1968, Henry left his post at CT, but continued to write a column titled "Footnotes." He went on to study at Cambridge, England, and to establish the Institute for Advanced Christian Studies (IFACS). He found himself preoccupied with two concerns: the problem of religious knowledge, and the doctrine of God. He became convinced "that if we humans say anything authentic about God, we can do so only on the basis of divine self-revelation; all other God-talk is conjectural." His musings on this and related theological issues gave birth to his six-volume work, God, Revelation, and Authority, completed in 1983.
He returned to the United States to teach at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 1971 he served as program chairman for the Jerusalem Conference on Bible Prophecy, and he traveled widely in Asia to promote evangelical thought and offer support and encouragement to indigenous evangelical leaders.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Henry helped shape a new generation of evangelical leadership through his participation in conferences and events worldwide. In 1974, he became lecturer-at-large for World Vision International. Henry logged tens of thousands of air miles annually, visiting every continent. In 1983, he returned to teaching as visiting professor of Christian studies at Hillsdale College in Michigan.
Henry helped shape the vision of evangelical leaders such as Charles Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship. He served on Prison Fellowship's board, as well as the boards of the Institute for Religion and Democracy and the Ethics and Public Policy Center, both in Washington, D.C. An able encourager and champion of evangelicals serving in many facets of society, Henry critiqued evangelical accommodation to a society increasingly at odds with biblical standards. In an attempt to unify evangelicalism, which he considered to be splintering over secondary issues, Henry and former Christianity Today editor Kenneth Kantzer co-chaired a conference on Evangelical Affirmations in 1989.
He wrote, "I have two main convictions about the near-term future of American Christianity. One is that American evangelicals presently face their biggest opportunity since the Protestant Reformation, if not since the apostolic age. The other is that Americans are forfeiting that opportunity stage by stage, despite the fact that evangelical outcomes in the twentieth century depend upon decisions currently in the making." The Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals writes that toward the end of his life, Henry was concerned that the movement he helped shape was losing its identity due to uncritical accommodation.
No discouragement ever dimmed Henry's love for his Lord and joy in his faith. Above all else, he viewed salvation as the only hope for human fulfillment, and evangelical theism as its most coherent and truthful expression. He entertained panoramic visions of evangelical cooperation and co-belligerency on behalf of preserving and articulating biblical values; and he insistently called for evangelical repentance and renewal to precede forays into politics, social action, media, and higher education.
On granting Henry the Mark O. Hatfield Leadership Award from the Christian Council of Colleges and Universities in 2000, Union University President David S. Dockery said, "Few people in the twentieth century have done more to articulate the importance of a coherent Christian world and life view than Carl F.H. Henry." "No Christian college or university in North America carries forth the commitment to the integration of faith and learning without Henry's influence, even if many on our campuses are unaware of that influence."
Henry's vital relationship with Jesus Christ informed and animated all his accomplishments and dreams. Of that relationship, he once wrote, "Into the darkness of my young life he put bright stars that still shine and sparkle. … I walked the world with God as my Friend. He prodded me to go to college, to choose my career and my mate and still leads me day after day."
Sunday, December 07, 2003
The Second Sunday in Advent
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.
One of my personal favorite collects.
Friday, December 05, 2003
U.S. Anglican Congress
It was my joy and priviledge to attend the U.S. Anglican Congress in Orlando on 1-3 December. The following statement was approved and signed by almost all (if not all) in attendance:
Articles of Federation for Anglican Jurisdictions and Ministries in North
PREAMBLE: The High Priestly prayer of Jesus makes it clear that the
will of God is that His people enjoy the unity that is modeled in the
Trinity of God, the regrettable reality is a history of fracture and
division. We acknowledge and confess our sin and inability to heal the
wounds in the church caused by our prideful divisions. Having made this
confession, we seek in prayerful humility, by the power of the Holy
spirit, to restore a heartfelt faith in love of the Triune God as
revealed in Scripture, lived out through proclamation, discipleship,
and devoted humble service. In obedience to Jesus Christ, we seek to
respond to His call to unity in the following commitments:
We share a commitment to, and understanding of Anglican identity that
The supremacy of Biblical authority that rises out of relationship with
Christ, Who is the living Word of God.
The necessity to conform to the historic formularies of Anglicanism in faith,
worship, and discipleship including Prayer Book Worship and Ordinal
Three creeds and four undisputed Ecumenical Councils
The momentum of authentic Anglicanism to work and move toward unity with
those who share these values.
Solidarity with faithful Anglicans of the Global South holds spiritual
importance to our common witness and could prove to be more significant than
communion with Canterbury
We are committed to Gospel initiatives, which include:
Biblically faithful and properly ordered worship which honors God in
Word and Sacrament.
Clear evangelistic preaching that is ordered to bring people into the saving
knowledge of Jesus Christ in a godly community of faith
Practical ministries that faithfully manifest care and offer opportunities
for discipleship development
We are committed to collaborative unity to cooperate for mission and
ministry to be conformed to Christ and called to:
Invest the energy and resources necessary to build commitment to one
Mutual recognition of the legitimacy of ministries of the others sharing a
commitment to federation.
A commitment to celebrate each other's various redemptive gifts.
A commitment to honor historic disciplines of worship and perspectives
concerning ordination. (We appreciate the contribution of the substantive study
Report of the Study Concerning the Ordination of Women by the Anglican Mission
An openness to work through the complexities of overlapping jurisdictions,
even to surrender or merge jurisdictions where appropriate.
A willingness to surrender prerogatives, position, or even offices where
strategically warranted to serve Gospel purposes.
We long for the day when our expression of unity in Christ fully honors
God's call to us to be one in Him.
We commend the federation document already approved by the REC and the
Anglican Province of America as a practical way forward.
We commit ourselves to enhanced mutual accountability through an annual
Anglican Congress in North America and other regional gatherings.
Having approved in principle the formation of this federation, and
having committed ourselves to a series of practical steps for its
implementation we invite likeminded Anglicans in North America to join
Signed on December 3, 2003:
The Rev. Nicholas Marziani, Jr. ECUSA
The Rev. Dr. Rodney A. Whitacre, REC, Professor, Trinity School for Ministry
Mr. David S. Arnott, APA Lay Representative
The Very Rev. Erich A. Zwingert, SSC, APA
The Rt. Rev. John H. Rodgers, Jr., AMiA
Mr. Steven G. Brightwell, National Director, for The Church Army, USA
The Most Rev. Walter H. Grundorf, Presiding Bishop, for the Anglican Province of America
The Rev. Father Chandler Holder Jones, Anglican Province of America
The Rev. Canon David R. Mosher, ECUSA
The Rev. Willie J. Hill, Jr, Reformed Episcopal Church
The Rev. Canon J. Ronald Moock, Dean, Cummins Theological Seminary; Canon to the Ordinary, Diocese of the Southeast, Reformed Episcopal Church
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Steven W. Raulerson, Bishop Suffragan, the province of St. Peter, The Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches
The Rt. Rev. Richard J. Boyce, Diocese of the West, Anglican Province of America
The Rev. Jane K. Brock, ECUSA
The Most Rev. Dr. Russell McClanahan, Presiding Bishop, for The Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches
The Rev. Canon Dr. Mark A. Pearson, representative for Anglican Affairs of the International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church
Mr. William E. Ward, ECUSA
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Ray R. Sutton, Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of Mid-America, Reformed Episcopal Church
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Chopin Cusachs, American Anglican Convocation
The Rt. Rev. Larry L. Shaver, Diocese of St. Augustine, Anglican Province of America
The Rev. Canon Rufus Kite-Powell, Anglican Province of America
The Rt. Rev. Clyde C. Brewer, Suffragan Bishop, Diocese of the Eastern U.S., Anglican Province of America
The Very Rev. David B. Collins, ECUSA
The Rev. Father William H. Ilgenfritz, ECUSA, Forward in Faith, North America
Lay Canon Carolyn C. Fouse, ECUSA, Forward in Faith, North America
The Rev. Richard Kew, ECUSA
The Rt. Rev. James C. West, Sr., Diocese of the Southeast, Reformed Episcopal Church
The Rt. Rev. Royal Grote, Reformed Episcopal Church
The Rev. Travis S. Boline, ECUSA
The Rev. Canon Michael E. Hesse, AMiA
The Rev. Charles A. Collins, Jr, S.B.R., Reformed Episcopal Church
Mr. George L. Hooper, ECUSA
The Rev. Douglas McCurry, ECUSA
The Rev. Dr. David L. Moyer, President, for Forward in Faith, North America, ECUSA
The Very Rev. Dr. James W. Reber, Dean, Florida Convocation, Reformed Episcopal Church
The Rev. Shedrick E. Barrow, Reformed Episcopal Church
The Most Rev. Leonard W. Riches, Presiding Bishop, for The Reformed Episcopal Church
The Rev. Canon Dr. Bill Atwood, General Secretary, for the Ekklesia Society, ECUSA
The Rev. Todd H. Wetzel, Executive Director, for Anglicans United and Latimer Press, ECUSA
Mr. William A. Bugg, Jr., ECUSA