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Friday, November 23, 2007

Shortage of priests affects Connecticut

The shortage of priests is hitting West Hartford

Despite an influx of Hispanics, the decline in the number of priests is making an impact even in heavily Catholic Connecticut:

Father Henry Cody has served at St. Timothy's Church in West Hartford for 19 years. He said that in that time, he's seen priests come and go, but lately priests have mostly been going.

"We need priests. We need them badly," he said. "People are concerned because they love their parishes -- they want them to remain whole."

Cody is the only priest at the parish, and serves more than 900 families. He said that he, like several other priests in the town, is considering retirement.

More here from Channel 3.

Flickr photo by Sage Ross; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

A Happy Thanksgiving to everyone - and here are some thoughts appropriate to the day from our first President:

"Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint committee requested me to commend to the people of United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness, now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next, to be devoted to the service of that great and glorious Being, Who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or will be."

Washington's First Thanksgiving Proclamation, October 3, 1789.

Thanks to Patriot Post.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Ousted Portland Selectman speaks out

Back in October we wrote about the case of one of the selectmen in Portland, CT, a Mr. Scott Adamsons, who had dared to say he was acting not just as a responsible public official but as a Christian when fighting so-called "adult entertainment." Mr. Adamsons has just left a very thoughtful comment and I wanted to run his remarks in the posts so that more of you could see his reply.

I am Scott Adamsons and I am a member of the Colchester Bible Baptist Church in Colchester, CT. Being a Christian is more than a choice, it is a lifestyle. While I do not push this lifestyle on anybody else, I do recommend it. On the flip side, I do not wish to have others (the world) push their way of life on me or my family. It is not unrealistic for a community that is comprised primarily by Christians, Jews, and some Muslims to fight against a developer opening an adult-entertainment establishment in their town. In fact, one would expect a fight if their faith is true. If a reader is caught off guard by this position, then they should consider why they have the beliefs that they do and how their daily decisions and actions are impacted by them. Most of us fall short of our beliefs in our daily walk (just being honest here), but where our hearts are directs the path that we go in. It’s a sobering picture some days. Other days are laced with victory.

Those who would use the first amendment of the US Constitution to claim a right to lewd conduct should know that Christians and those people of other faiths have a first amendment right to freedom of religion. How do lewd conduct and explicit images violate my rights? The mere presence of those types of establishments in the public arena assaults my senses, and undermines the values that I am trying to raise my children under. The advertizing of those establishments in public places accomplishes the same result.

If a vast majority of a town's population has beliefs against such behavior, then perhaps the will of the majority should prevail (for once). There are towns where such establishments are allowed. They are nearby and therefore people who have a strong desire to exercise their “right” of expression have existing outlets that they can use. Given this, for a town that has no such businesses, preventing their influx is not a violation of a developer’s first amendment rights.

Another thought: Over the past 200 years our small community has developed with business districts that are essentially integrated into the residential areas/uses of the town. There just isn’t a “good” place for such an establishment to operate in our community, not one that is far away from children anyway.

In conclusion, the comment in the article of being a "career threatening" move was more accurate than you'd think. I was not re-elected last week. As a close friend of mine has said many times over, “It’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.” It is my hope that this position will encourage people in their own communities and on a personal level. What makes you a Christian and why do you have the beliefs that you do? Do your actions reflect those beliefs? It ain’t easy, but it is rewarding.

Respectfully Submitted,
Hon. Scott A. Adamsons
Selectman (out-going), Town of Portland, CT

Pray for our vets

This Veterans' Day, please remember to pray for all our veterans, young and old.

Flickr photo courtesy of Soldiers' Media Center. Some rights reserved.

Photo information:
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Michael Kaman helps secure an area along the Pech River during a meeting between key leaders in the Kunar province of Afghanistan on Feb. 4, 2007. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss local development projects that are a combined effort of the Coalition led Asadabad Provincial Reconstruction Team and local contractors. Kaman is attached to the 1st Battalion, 102nd Infantry Regiment, Connecticut National Guard. DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Gipe, U.S. Army. (Released)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

National Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church this Sunday

Come Brother Andrew speak this Sunday at 7:00 pm at Wintonbury Baptist Church in Bloomfield about secret believers on the National Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.

Brother Andrew is the founder of Open Doors International and author of the international best-seller, God's Smuggler.

This event is free of charge.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The biggest story no one's talking about...

It would be smart to pray about this and what it can mean for our future:

The dollar fell to a record versus the euro and the lowest since 1981 against the pound after Chinese officials signaled plans to diversify the nation's $1.43 trillion of foreign exchange reserves.

The U.S. dollar also declined to the cheapest versus the Canadian dollar since the end of a fixed exchange rate in 1950 and a 23-year low against the Australian dollar. The New York Board of Trade's dollar index dropped to 75.077, the lowest since the gauge started in March 1973.

``The dollar is suffering a confidence crisis,'' said Michael Woolfolk, senior currency strategist at the Bank of New York Mellon in New York, the world's largest custodian bank with more than $20 trillion in assets under administration. ``The dollar is on the ropes. Comments from China about diversification and surging oil prices pushed the dollar to new lows.''

Read the rest here. And then check out this chart showing the strength of the Euro against the dollar.

Garage bands for Jesus

...but with high production values.

Dressed in a faded black T-shirt, jeans and skateboard sneakers, he bent his shaved head. “God,” he said, “I hope these songs we sing will be much more than the music. I know it’s so difficult at times when we’re thinking about chords and lyrics and when to hit the right effect patch, but would you just help that to become second nature, so that we can truly worship you from our hearts?...”

The house bands that play every weekend in High Desert Church — there are a dozen or so — scavenge some of their musical style from the radio and television. They reflect popular taste, though with lyrics about the power of God, not teenage turmoil.

They are not aiming for commercial success. Church-based Christian rock — often referred to as C.C.M., for contemporary Christian music — does not exist primarily to compete in mainstream culture; it exists first to bring together a community.

“When you start a church,” said Tom Mercer, 52, the senior pastor, “you don’t decide who you’re going to reach and then pick a music style. You pick a music style, and that determines who’s going to come.”

Interesting look at modern worship from the New York Times.

U. S. Senate to investigate televangelists

A. W. Tozer said we needed a "baptism of clear seeing." Many will see this as persecution; many others will see it as God having to judge his house because his own people would not.

CBS News has learned Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, is investigating six prominent televangelist ministries for possible financial misconduct.

Letters were sent Monday to the ministries demanding that financial statements and records be turned over to the committee by December 6th.

According to Grassley's office, the Iowa Republican is trying to determine whether or not these ministries are improperly using their tax-exempt status as churches to shield lavish lifestyles.

The six ministries identified as being under investigation by the committee are led by: Paula White, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn. Three of the six - Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar - also sit on the Board of Regents for the Oral Roberts University.

The implications are disturbing, both in terms of what we have already heard about lavish lifestyles, and in terms of increasing government supervision of churches as a result. If things go on as they are, I fully expect churches to lose the tax-exempt status they have enjoyed in the U.S.

Read the full story here at CBS News.

Follow-up story here, and video here.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Episcopal Church seeks to intervene in lawsuit against Bristol church

The saga continues:

The national church has filed papers in court seeking intervenor status in a lawsuit against Trinity Episcopal Church brought by the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut. It accuses the Rev. Donald Helmandollar and church leaders of trespassing on church property.

Members of the Trinity parish voted to leave the Episcopal Church last May because of disagreement over the 2003 election of an openly gay New Hampshire bishop and the church's blessing of same-sex unions. Around the same time, Trinity members voted to join the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, a self-described mission of the conservative Anglican Church of Nigeria.

Read the rest here in the Courant.