Friday, November 1, 2013

Is youth ministry killing the church?

From Christian Century-

After having worked for several years as a youth pastor, I recently accepted a call to be an interim solo pastor. One weekend, Sara, a beloved saint of the church, died after a long battle with Alzheimer's. On Sunday morning I was standing in the choir room discussing plans for the funeral when Jonathan—a high school sophomore—walked in. “Deanne,” he said to the music director, “I heard about Sara, and I thought you might need me to take Libba's spot in the bell choir this morning.” She gratefully accepted his offer and excused herself from our conversation to review the music with him.

It was a pretty mundane exchange, but I was blown away. It's remarkable enough to see a 16-year-old boy drive himself to church early to join a bell choir comprised of adults in their 50s and 60s. But even more intriguing was Jonathan's perceptiveness. Not only did he know that Libba was Sara’s daughter, but life in the church had taught him to anticipate congregational needs. He knew that Libba played with the bell choir, and he realized she probably couldn't play that morning. Unprompted—I checked with his parents—he offered to fill in.

More here-

WCC gets underway in Korea

From ENS-

The 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) opened on Wednesday 30 October in Busan, Republic of Korea under the themeGod of life, lead us to justice and peace.

The opening service of common prayer on the first day of the Assembly honoured diverse faith traditions from around the world. The gathering prayer included deeply moving litanies of lamentations, cries and hopes from the churches in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, North America and the Pacific.

The first plenary session of the assembly welcomed delegates and participants to Busan. The mayor of Busan, Hur Nam Sik, moderator of the Korean Host Committee of the WCC assembly the Rev. Dr Kim Sam Whan and the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit welcomed all the assembly participants.

Tveit expressed thanks to the Korean churches, the city of Busan and the government for their gracious hospitality and welcome. Tveit addressed participants of the assembly which includes some 3000 participants representing 345 member churches of the WCC, including youth, WCC staff members, stewards, co-opted staff, interpreters and more than 1,000 Korean church members and day visitors. All these participants represent more than 100 countries.

More here-

Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh Appointed as Catholic Charities USA's New Episcopal Liaison

From Pittsburgh-

Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), the national representatives of over 160 local Catholic Charities agencies across the country, announced today that the Most Reverend David A. Zubik, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Pa., has been appointed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan as the organization's new episcopal liaison.

"Anyone who has met Bishop Zubik knows him to be a man of great faith who will be a significant contributor to our movement," said Father Larry Snyder, CCUSA President. "I look forward to his presence and guidance as we continue to live out Our Lord's call to service and justice in communities across the country."

Cardinal Dolan, acting in his role of President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, appointed Bishop Zubik to take the place of the Most Reverend Michael Driscoll, bishop of the Diocese of Boise, Idaho, who retired as CCUSA's episcopal liaison earlier this year, after years of service building strong partnerships with other Catholic organizations and support for the Catholic Charities movement across the nation. He received the organization's Vision Award in September, recognizing his lifelong commitment to serving others and sharing the love of Christ with our brothers and sisters in need.

More here-

GAFCON to be ‘an Anglican province’ in all but name

From The Church Times-

THE Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) will effectively provide for Anglican traditionalists the fellowship and support that provinces give to dioceses, Dr Peter Jensen, a former Archbishop of Sydney, Australia, told the Church Times at the close of the GAFCON conference in Nairobi last week (News, 25 October).

The conference adopted by acclamation the Nairobi Commitment, pledging primatial support for an umbrella group for British traditionalists: the Anglican Mission in England. GAFCON would not legally be a province, Dr Jensen said, but "effectively, yes".

More here-‘an-anglican-province’-in-all-but-name

The Episcopal Diocese of NJ consecrates new bishop

From New Jersey-

The Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey will consecrate its 12th bishop at Trinity Cathedral Saturday.

The Rev. William “Chip” Stokes, 56, was elected to become the 12th bishop of the state’s diocese in May and will be consecrated at 11 a.m. at the cathedral at 801 West State St. in Trenton, the diocese said in a news release.

On Sunday, Nov. 3 at 10:30 a.m., Stokes will be formally welcomed into the cathedral and seated in his church, the release said.

The Episcopal diocese that Stokes will oversee is the sixth largest in the nation. It served 47,092 baptized members as of June, and has a 227-year history in New Jersey. Tomorrow’s service is expected to draw more than 1,500 visitors, the release said.

A block party-style reception will take place following the service in and outside of the church, said Jonathan Elliot, the diocese’s director of communication.

More here-

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bishop of St Asaph backs new mixed faith school for Denbighshire

From Wales-

A BISHOP has welcomed plans for a new mixed faith school in Denbighshire.

On Tuesday, the council’s cabinet agreed to work with both the Wrexham and St Asaph dioceses towards creating a new shared Anglican and Catholic secondary school in the north of the county.

The move leaves a question mark hanging over the fate of the two existing Catholic schools, Blessed Edward Jones in Rhyl and St Brigid’s in Denbigh.

Last night, the Bishop of St Asaph, the Right Reverend Dr Gregory K Cameron said: “The two existing schools, which have a recognised Christian character are not Anglican foundations, so the prospect of provision in which the Church in Wales can be fully involved is welcome. 

More here-

Parish provides outpost services to people living with HIV, AIDS

From Tennessee-

Happily engaged in 1999, Sheryl Brown was busy planning her wedding when she got sick. At first she thought it was nothing, a stress-related illness triggered by the rigors of wedding planning.
But when Brown sought treatment at a Florida hospital, the doctor asked if she’d like to take an HIV test. She obliged, and a positive result changed her life.

“How much time do I have to live?” was the first question Brown, now 48, asked.

In 2008, at the urging of her eldest daughter, Brown moved to Clarksville, Tennessee, a conservative community of 142,519 people, 40 miles northwest of Nashville just south of the Kentucky state line.
Before she moved, however, she investigated services, which she found through Nashville CARES, a nonprofit, community-based service organization that provides education, advocacy and support services to people affected by HIV and AIDS.

More here-

Trinity Episcopal donates 1,752 pounds to ICM

From North Carolina-

When Trinity Episcopal Church set out to collect food for Iredell Christian Ministries (ICM) this fall, the congregation hoped to raise 1,000 pounds of food, which would last the food pantry for about a day.

So when the church delivered the food in two pickup trucks and a station wagon after Sunday morning worship last weekend, the members were elated to learn that ICM weighed their donation and the scale read 1,752 pounds.

“I was amazed and more than surprised. I think it’s the largest single deposit of food we’ve gotten from a congregation since we started,” said David Comer, ICM director of operations.

“We usually get three or four hundred pounds of food, or maybe 500, but 1,700 pounds — that’s a hunk of food.”

Collecting almost a ton of food for hungry families in Iredell County took dedication from the church’s entire membership over the course of about eight weeks, said the Rev. Brad Mullis, rector of Trinity Episcopal Church.

More here-

Retired bishop who led split from Episcopal church dies in Fresno

From Modesto-

Retired Anglican Bishop John-David Schofield, who led the Diocese of San Joaquin to leave the U.S. Episcopal Church over Scripture interpretation, died Tuesday morning. He was 75.

Bishop Eric Menees, who was flying home from Rome on Wednesday, said on the diocese’s website that the Rev. Schofield died peacefully at his northwest Fresno home, sitting in his favorite green chair.

“My heart is heavy because I am selfish and desire my brother by my side,” Menees said, “but also joyful because I know that at this moment he has heard the words of our Lord: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’”

Funeral arrangements are pending. There will be an open-casket viewing and vigil from 7:45 a.m. Friday through 8 a.m. Saturday at St. James Cathedral, 4147 E. Dakota Ave. in Fresno.

Read more here:

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bp. Epting: Emergent Cursillo

From The Living Church-

The Cursillo movement, which turns 70 in 2014, is a natural home for people drawn to emergent faith, the Rt. Rev. Christopher Epting said during the annual conference of National Episcopal Cursillo. The conference met Oct. 24-27 in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg.

“You and I are part of the ‘emerging’ church,” said Epting, assisting bishop in the Diocese of Chicago. “We seek to go outside the doors of our churches — into our homes and neighborhoods, our classrooms and workplaces — to make friends, to be friends, and to bring our friends to Christ.”

He added: “In an increasingly secular age, when the Church seems more and more on the margins, rather than at the center of things, it’s surely right for us to focus on ‘mission’ rather than maintenance, and to see our role not so much trying to fill our pews by inviting people in but going out from the doors of our churches and meeting people where they are.”

More here-

Do Churches Alienate Intellectuals?

From Sojourners-

In a world where people are craving inspiration, growth, and information, many churches maintain a cyclical pattern based on redundancy, safety, and closed-mindedness. Unfortunately, many pastors and Christian leaders continue to recycle old spiritual clichés — and sermons — communicating scripture as if it were propaganda instead of life-changing news, and driving away a growing segment of people who find churches ignorant, intolerant, absurd, and irrelevant.

As technology continues to make news and data more accessible, pastors are often failing to realize that they're no longer portrayed as the respected platforms of spiritual authority that they once were.

Instead of embracing dialogue and discussion, many Christian leaders react to this power shift by creating defensive and authoritarian pedestals, where they self-rule and inflict punishment on anyone who disagrees, especially intellectuals.

More here-

What, you gave a schism and nobody came?

From The Guardian-

It started as a split over gay clergy. But now the Anglican Communion is dead.

While yet another evangelical rebellion over gay clergy was gaining zero publicity, a more significant schism has occurred.

What, you gave a schism and nobody came? When six people hold a press briefing and three journalists attend, you know the story is over, and on Tuesday morning that is what happened when the evangelical wing of the Church of England announced – yet again – its plans to rebel against any open accommodation with gay people.

There were two retired bishops. There were three vicars and one of their wives. They talked to three journalists for an hour about their experiences at a conference of conservative Anglicans, called Gafcon, which met in Nairobi last week. This was set up as a protest against the reluctance of the official Anglican Communion to expel the Americans (who pay for it) as a punishment for their enthusiasm for openly gay clergy.

More here-

Church in Southern Africa challenged to care for the environment

From Anglican News-

The Anglican Church in Southern Africa has called on all Churches on the continent to get involved in the care for creation through worship, local church action and advocacy.

The Environmental Co-ordinator for the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA), the Revd Dr Rachel Mash made the call in a statement to ACNS yesterday.

"This can start with a simple energy and water audit to establish the extent of a parish environmental foot-print," she said. "A congregation can also commit to celebrating Season of Creation, or World Environment Day among many other environmental events."

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa Provincial Synod recently passed two resolutions emphasising that environmental issues must become part of the mainstream concern of the church agenda.

More here-
From NBC- (with video)

A young boy joined Pope Francis on stage in front of an estimated crowd of 150,000 people on Saturday, and liked his moment in the limelight so much that he decided to stick around.

The boy hugged the pope's legs as he made his address at an event titled Family, Live the Joy of Faith!

Aides encouraged the boy to return to his seat, but he was having none of it.

more here-

The Anglican Archbishop of Perth rejects formal recognition of same-sex relationships

From ABC Australia-

The Anglican Archbishop of Perth has rejected for the second time a motion by his church synod to formally recognise same-sex relationships.

Earlier this month, the synod voted two-thirds majority in favour of legal acknowledgement of the civil unions of gay people.

The motion was comprised of three elements.

1. That the Church recognise diversity within the Diocese of Perth, both in people's sexual identities and their theologies of human sexuality;

2. That the Church note the support from many within the Anglican Church for committed same-sex couples being able to register their relationships as 'civil unions' in Australia; 

3. That the Church acknowledge that legal recognition of committed same-sex relationships may coexist with legal recognition of marriage between a man and a woman.

More here-

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

John-David Schofield dead at 75

From San Joaquin-

Rt. Rev. John David Schofield has died. He was 75.

In a statement released on the diocesan website on 29 October 2013, the Rt. Rev. Eric Menees, the currenet bishop of San Joaquin wrote that it was with "a heavy heart but a joyful spirit that I must share with you the passing of our beloved brother."

Bishop Schofield "died peacefully at home sometime last night sitting in his favorite green chair and was found this morning by friends," the bishop said.

Archbishop Robert Duncan said the late bishop "was a great man of God.  I – like so very many others – shall miss him terribly.  His spiritual depth twinned with his unparalleled sense of humor made him one of a kind."

Details for the memorial service have yet to be released. Bishop Menees, who was returning to the U.S. from the Gafcon Conference in Nairobi when he learned of the news, stated: Dean Carlos Raines has anointed Bp. Schofield and begun the sad task of making funeral arrangements. We have nothing specific to share with you at this moment, but will let you know as soon as possible what the arrangements are for Bp. Schofield's funeral."

More here-

Why I Still Go to Church

From Relevant-

It's easy to come up with reasons to not go to church.

There are so many. Sleep, football, birthday parties, errands. Theological differences, hypocritical church leaders, spiritual doubts. You want an excuse not to go? It shouldn't be hard to find one.

A recent post titled “Why Nobody Wants to Go to Church Anymore” lists just some of the reasons Americans don’t go to church anymore, many of which are relevant and personally relatable given that I have gone through lengthy periods of withdrawal from religious community.

And yet I still go to church. And, perhaps more importantly, I still want to go to church.

More here-

Unhealthy Churches Should Not Act Like Healthy Churches – Until They Are

From New Small Church-

There are a lot of books and articles about how a healthy church should behave.

That’s appropriate. We should always have a picture of our desired future in our hearts and minds.

But what does a pastor do with an unhealthy church?

I’m going to propose a radical idea that shouldn’t be considered radical at all.

Unhealthy churches should be treated differently than healthy churches.

Why? Because unhealthy churches aren’t like healthy ones. And acting as though they are doesn’t help them, it hurts them.

Some Churches Need a Spiritual ICU

Someone with two healthy legs is able to stand, walk, run and jump. But if your leg is broken, your doctor won’t tell you to act like it’s healthy. Treating a broken leg as though it’s healthy will hurt it, not help it. If the medical issue is serious enough, the patient is put in an Intensive Care Unit, where they can receive closer attention. The same goes for churches – no matter what size they are.

More here-

From ENS-

The Rev. Patrick J. Ward has satisfied the necessary requirements to be nominated by petition as a candidate for election as bishop suffragan, according to an Oct. 27 e-mail from the Episcopal Diocese of New York.

Ward presently serves as interim rector of Christ Church in the Riverdale section of the Bronx.
A petition process for submitting additional candidates closed Oct. 26.

On Oct. 7, the diocese the Standing Committee of the diocese announced a slate of five nominees to stand for election as the diocese’s bishop suffragan.

They are:

The Rev. Kim L. Coleman, rector, Trinity Episcopal Church, Arlington, Virginia;
The Rev. Canon Susan C. Harriss, rector, Christ’s Church, Rye, New York;
The Rev. Kathleen L. Liles, rector, Christ & Saint Stephen’s Church, New York, New York;
The Rev. Allen K. Shin, rector, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Huntington, Long Island, New York; and
The Rev. Mauricio J. Wilson, rector, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Oakland, California.

The nominees will participate in a visit to the diocese Nov. 12-15, during which time they will meet with clergy and lay people of the diocese.

More here-

Convent blesses land of future home in North Augusta

From Upper South Carolina-

Sister Ellen Francis said that The Convent of St. Helena has been referred to as “one of the best kept secrets in Augusta.” On Saturday, that “secret” took its first steps toward coming across the river.

The convent held a blessing of the land ceremony for its new convent on Saturday morning.

Bishop Andrew Waldo, of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina, presided over the festivities.

“We were looking for a new place for a convent that would be large enough for all of us to be in one place,” said Francis, who is one of the three members of the leadership council. “... We weren’t thinking that we wanted to move to South Carolina, but this was the land that we found. We loved it here; it’s beautiful and peaceful.”

Francis, who is joined by Sisters Carol Andrew and Mary Lois on the leadership council, said the land, which is located on 414 Savannah Barony Drive, also would allow for the convent to be a retreat-type space. It would be open for anyone to come and rest.

More here-

Couple holds guerrilla wedding at Art Institute of Chicago

From Chicago-

The location of the civil wedding ceremony for Stacy Alan and John Poole was the groom's choice, one that called for it to be wrapped up in mere minutes.

His appreciation for art and the couple's desire for a simple exchange of vows are what led them, hand in hand, to Gallery 240 inside the Art Institute of Chicago over the weekend.

It was there, in front of French artist Georges Seurat's famous pointillist painting "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte," and two security guards who either looked the other way or didn't notice, that the Chicago couple wed.

There were no gallery reservations or requests for permission sought from museum officials. The Saturday morning ceremony was what their friends described as a three-minute-long "guerrilla wedding" inside of a space the 43-year-old Hyde Park playwright finds sacred.

More here-,0,2679019.story

The Sermon Obama Heard Yesterday: Judge Not

From Time-

President Obama and the First Family attended church yesterday morning at St. Johns Episcopal in Lafayette Square. Rev. Luis Leon preached on Jesus’ parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector in the gospel of Luke, and his message was clear: judgment is up to God alone, Leon said, not to people, either individuals or nations.

Leon’s message focused on Jesus’ teaching about the surprises of God’s mercy. In the parable, a Pharisee, a respected religious leader of his day, prays, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.” By contrast, the tax collector, a political official associated with corruption, prays, “God be merciful to me, a sinner.” Jesus looks at both of them prayers and responds, “All who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Read more:

Monday, October 28, 2013

Haunted Churches Will Give You The Shivers

From Huffington-

Halloween comes just before Dia De Los Muertos, All Saints and All Soul's Day, which are times to remember and honor the souls of those who have passed before us.

However, some churches claim that the spirits of the dead are still hanging around their hallways and graveyards. Mysterious lights, muffled voices, and weird apparitions are just some of the many unexplained phenomena that persist around these places.

From the ghost of a long-dead sea captain in Florida to the phantom of a governess that perished in a house fire, these churches swear that they are haunted by spirits that refuse to leave. Look through them, if you dare..

More here-

North Carolina church plans Halloween Bible burning

From The "You Can't Make This Stuff Up Department" (North Carolina Division)

Marc Grizzard, of Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, North Carolina, says that the first King James translation of the Bible is the only true declaration of God’s word, and that all others are “satanic”.

Pastor Grizzard and 14 other members of the church plan to burn copies of the other “perversions” of Scripture on Halloween, 31 October.

The New Revised Version Bible, the American Standard Version Bible, and even the New King James Version are all pronounced to be works of the Devil by Pastor Grizzard and his followers.
Pastor Grizzard said: “I believe the King James version is God’s preserved, inspired, inerrant, infallible word of God… for English-speaking people.

“We are burning books that we believe to be Satanic.”

More here-

Homosexuality: Anglican Bishops In Africa, Others Threaten To Pull Out Of Church Of England

From Nigeria-

Anglican Bishops in Nigeria and the entire Bishops of Anglican communion in the entire Global South has threatened once again to pull out from the church of England, if the Bishop of Canterbury continues to recognize gay marriages, homosexuality, lesbianism and all other forms of social vices that permits same sex marriage.

The Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Church of Nigeria, Anglican communion, Rt. Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Olisa Chukkwuma, disclosed this to newsmen over the weekend,at Akanu Ibiam international airport,Enugu on his arrival from Nairobi,Kenya,where he attended the meeting of Global conference of all Anglican Bishops,GAFCON.

Bishop Chukwuma, who returned from the conference abode an Ethiopian Airline with some other Anglican Bishops from the Eastern part of the country,said the entire Bishops of Anglican communion under GAFCON,which covers the nations of the ‘Global South’ spoke with one voice,stating that the sanctity of the Marriage institution as prescribed in the Holy Bible,which says it must be between a man and woman,must be maintained without compromise.

More here-

A bishop without a staff: St Paul's Anglican Cathedral hunts for missing crozier

From Canada-

It’s been in the hands of church officials since the 1880’s. But at some point in the last two or three weeks, the crozier—or ceremonial staff used when the bishop is present at a service—went missing.

The Dean of St Paul’s. Anglican Cathedral Mike Sinclair has spent the last week and a half talking with volunteers from the congregation, checking to see if anyone with access to the $15,000 crozier may have moved it somewhere. But to no avail.

“It was a matter of somebody saying ‘Hey, this isn’t where I saw it last.’ And then from there, you try to track back to the last time you saw it,” said Sinclair.

The crozier was gifted to the cathedral over 130 years ago when the first bishop of the Diocese of Qu’Appelle took his position, according to Sinclair. He said the staff-like artifact is an important part of the Anglican tradition, symbolizing the bishop’s power as a ‘shepherd’ of the diocese.

More here-

“I don’t like my priest”

From Massachusetts

You just know they’re talking about their priest.

“I don’t like my priest.” Someone — not one of my own parishioners — said this to me recently. It had nothing to do with what the clergyman in question was doing or failing to do in ministry. By all accounts this person’s priest is quite an effective pastor and leader. The parish is growing and he has a lot of support from various segments of the congregation. The issue, from this person’s perspective, was the priest’s personality. She just didn’t like him.

What happens when you don’t really like your parish priest? Does it matter? We certainly don’t “like” everyone we encounter in this life. Some people just rub us the wrong way. It may be something trivial like their voice or their wardrobe — superficial reasons to be sure but even such small things may mask deeper reasons. We throw labels around all the time when trying to explain what we don’t like about a person: arrogant, glad-hander, bully, suck-up. Often these accusations reveal our own biases or previous life experiences. Granted, sometimes the other person is actually just a jerk.

Read more:

Western North Carolina residents growing increasingly upset with comeback of beavers

From Western North Carolina-

When beavers at Kanuga Conferences started flooding a lake loop trail — as well as threatening the habitat of endangered species in a nearby bog — he worked with Kanuga staff to design and install two pond levelers to lower water levels in the 1-acre bog.

"Water is their security blanket," Williamson said. "When they run out of food, they built their dam higher and that raises the water to bring them closer to food. They want an escape path (to water) that's really close."

Kanuga was home to roughly 20 to 30 beavers in 2007, said Environmental Projects Manager Clint DeWitt. He said the Episcopal Church-affiliated retreat didn't want to eliminate the web-footed animals, only the damage they were wreaking on the bog habitat and the Daisy Lake Trail.

"They're integral to the bog itself, so we want to maintain the beavers," DeWitt said. But he added that spending 10 hours a week breaking up their dams wasn't sustainable. The pond levelers allow water to flow through the beaver dams, without being stopped up by beaver activity.

Relocating beavers is not an option, Williamson said, since that would just shift the nuisance to other areas and perhaps spread disease. He added beavers are highly territorial and would, if transplanted into a new area, likely die from fights with resident beavers or trying to cross roads on their way back home.

More here-

New parish hall for Bethany Beach church

From Delaware-

“Let the doors be opened. Peace be to this house, and to all who enter here.”

With those words on Sunday, the Rt. Rev. Wayne Wright of Wilmington, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Delaware, officially consecrated and dedicated the new parish hall at St. Martha’s Episcopal Church on Pennsylvania Avenue.

A crowd of parishioners led by the parish’s rector, the Rev. Mary Louise Allen, gathered outside the new hall in the clear morning sunlight to pray and participate in the dedication.

Wright marked the threshold of the new building with his pastoral staff and the sign of the cross. The members then joined the bishop in a procession that moved inside to bless the new rooms.

More here-

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Squabbling over a word

From Malaysia-

THE raging controversy over the recent judgement of the Court of Appeal of Malaysia in the case of ‘The Herald’ remains unabated.

That judgement reversing the decision of High Court which had allowed the Catholic weekly publication to use the word ‘Allah’ in its Bahasa Malaysia section has caused much unhappiness among Christians in the country, especially those in Sarawak and Sabah.

The members of the Indian community in Miri have also expressed concern lest they too may get into trouble with the law because the word ‘Allah’ also appears in the Holy Book of the Sikhs.

The Christians are not happy because they think that the ruling of the court prohibits them from using their Bible, prayer books, hymns, standard texts for funeral services, lectures, sermons, and other communications relating to their religious practices. In almost all of these the term ‘Allah Taala’ appears from time to time.

Read more:

Aldous Hulxley: The visionary could yet outlast the fantasist

From The Telegraph-

Aldous Huxley and CS Lewis, both distinguished writers, died on November 22 1963; few took note of their passing. The assassination that day of President Kennedy overshadowed all other news. Commemoration of JFK on the 50th anniversary of the assassination next month will have the same effect, wall-to-wall coverage in the newspapers, on TV, radio and the social media. Huxley and Lewis may again struggle to get a look-in.

Of the two, Lewis is the better-known now, and so the more likely to receive media attention. This is a reversal of how it was once. In the Twenties Huxley was one of the brightest stars of English literature, Lewis a don scarcely known to anyone outside Oxford. Huxley’s early novels – Crome Yellow, Antic Hay, Those Barren Leaves, Point Counter Point – were witty, stimulating, provocative, and successful. In the Thirties he was better known and more admired than Evelyn Waugh. His dystopian novel, Brave New World, offered a nightmare vision of the future. 

He was unusual among English novelists in being fascinated by ideas and by science – not surprisingly, because he was the grandson of the great Victorian scientist T  H Huxley, known as “Darwin’s Bulldog”. He was also the author of sparkling and wide-ranging essays, and his reputation was international. The veteran French novelist, Michel Déon, says that, when he was young, Huxley was his “idol” . If at any time before the Second World War you had put Huxley and Lewis at either end of a see-saw, Huxley would have soared aloft, while Lewis remained grounded.

More here-

Homosexuality Controversy May Tear Anglican Church Apart

From This Day-

No fewer than 331 Bishops of the Anglican Communion drawn from different continents of the globe yesterday sent a warning signal to the Arch-bishop of Canterbury,  Justin Welby,  threatening to pull out of the church if the American and European communion refuse  to renounce homosexuality.

The indication emerged as the second Global Anglican Future Conference, GAFCON, ended in Nairobi, Kenya , Friday,  where 1358 delegates,  including 331 Bishops representing tens of millions of faithful Anglicans worldwide, including Nigeria, attended.

Anglican Bishop of Enugu Diocese and  chairman of the South-east chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Bishop Emmanuel Chukwuma, who disclosed the outcome on arrival at Akanu Ibiam international Airport, Enugu said different Communion of the Anglican  Church may secede if they insist on imposing homosexuality on the church.

Different Bishops of the Anglican Church from the South –east who  arrived the airport from Nairobi aligned with Bishop Chukwuma’s stand   , stressing   they will severe their relationships if their pro-gay Bishops do not back down.

More here-

How One Church Fed An Entire Town Destroyed by Sandy

From Time-

Scott Bostwick knew the situation was grim when he had to park his car at the edge of town. All the roads were blocked, police were checking ID, and a sea of water stretched before him. He put on his hip waders and his wife Karen put on tall boots, and they began wading toward their home in Bay Head, NJ, to see the damage Superstorm Sandy had wrought two days earlier on Monday night, October 29, 2012.

Images of the devastation had already started to spread—home after home was destroyed, roads and bridges washed away. Their home was three blocks from the ocean, next to the bay and a lake, and the water in town was still knee-deep in most places. “We just saw it was going to be terrible before we even opened the door,” remembers Bostwick, 53, head pastor at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. “When we went inside, it looked like a wave had passed through the house. The downstairs was a total loss.” If it was this bad at the parsonage, what would they find at their church?

Scott and Karen waded around the corner toward St. Paul’s, where they have served for 11 years. “As we walked up the steps, I was prepared for the worst,” Bostwick says, “but as we got to the door, you could see the high water mark was actually…underneath the door. We were literally the only dry spot in down.” It was a miracle.

Read more: