Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Anglican Church names new Bishop for Jerusalem

From Jerusalem-

Michael Augustine Owen Lewis, diocesan bishop of Cyprus and the Gulf has been named as the new president bishop of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East.

Archbishop Michael, as he will be known henceforth, succeeds the Most Reverend Suheil Dawani. 

Michael will take up his duties on Sunday 17 November 2019, according to a statement by provincial secretary, Georgia Katsantonis.

Lewis has held the position of diocesan bishop of Cyprus and the Gulf for the past twelve years.
Prior to that he was for eight years Bishop of Middleton in the Province of York in the United Kingdom.

More here-


Perhaps The Time Has Come

From The Living Church-

It is an idea which has been mooted on each side of the marriage debate aisle. It has in the main garnered no popular support. But the time has come once more within the Church to debate whether we should cease to perform any marriages—whether same-sex or traditional—which are also legal acts of the State. Should we cut the final Constantinian tether by which the priest serves simultaneously as civil agent? Should we “go European” such that the couple would be declared to be married when they go to get their license, and then receive a blessing, with vows and rings, in a nuptial liturgy in Church.

Let me clear up some immediate misunderstandings. Yes, your child can have the very same service (and reception), except for a few small liturgical emendations. And no, this does not really change much the divide between traditionalists and progressives on marriage.

More here-



From Boston-

Just over a year ago, the day after the deadly mass shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue, more than a thousand locals gathered together on the Boston Common to mourn and pray.

As Rev Amy McCreath, dean of the historic St Paul Cathedral that overlooks America’s oldest park, watched people of various faiths unite once again to mourn another national tragedy, she was hit with an emotional realisation.

“I looked out over the crowds of people, and it was so clear that all of them really want a peaceful future,” she remembered. “We want to work together against violence, but we don’t even know each other. Unfortunately, the odds are good that something like that will happen again, and we need to be prepared to support one another and defend one another."

That’s part of the reason the Episcopal cathedral agreed to host a new interfaith art exhibit that explores the faith and life of Abraham, the shared spiritual forefather of the world’s three largest monotheistic religions - and launched an accompanying interfaith book study to spotlight Abraham’s wives, Sarah and Hagar.

More here-


Emmanuel Episcopal holds Underground Railroad program


The spire of Emmanuel Episcopal Church is a beloved landmark at the top of the hill that overlooks Cumberland downtown.

According to local oral history, Emmanuel was an important landmark for African Americans escaping slavery.

The tunnels under the church were a station on the Underground Railroad and provided refuge for those on their way to Pennsylvania.

Emmanuel held a celebration of the Underground Railroad in the local area as well as a commemoration of the anniversary of Emancipation Day on Nov. 1. Maryland was one of the earliest states to abolish slavery — a full year ahead of the 13th Amendment.

More here-


Monday, November 11, 2019

Maine’s Episcopal bishop praises St. Philip’s Church’s community work

From Maine-

“Serving others is a particular strength of St. Philip’s” Episcopal Church in Wiscasset, Bishop of Maine Thomas Brown told attendees at the Hodge Street church Sunday.

Brown told them their work for others is one of the ways they are living their lives without regret and worry. Too often people spend too much time thinking about life after death and not enough on living their lives right now, he said.

Missions based at St. Philip’s include Help Yourself Shelf (HYS) food pantry, Bargain Basement and – with First Congregational Church of Wiscasset as an equal sponsor – Feed Our Scholars and Feed Our Scholars/Set for Success, longtime member Gretchen Burleigh-Johnson said. First Congregational also heavily supports HYS, she said. And from 4 to 5 p.m. Nov. 14, a Souper Supper of broccoli cheese soup, breads, dessert and drink is planned. “All are welcome, no charge. There is a can for donations if people choose to support the events,” she said about the suppers held the second Thursday of the month, through March. St. Philip’s members and other volunteers put on the suppers at the church, 12 Hodge St., St. Philip’s senior warden Jon Young said.

More here-


Caswelll Cooke seeking to 'save a church in decline' with new book

From Connecticut-

Concerned about the survival of the Episcopal Church and alarmed by the downward trends in church attendance, a local man felt the need to sound the alarm and "save a church in decline."

Caswell Cooke Jr., who serves as junior warden on the vestry at Christ Episcopal Church in Westerly and is a seven-term member of the Westerly Town Council, just completed his first book, "The Death and Resurrection of the Episcopal Church (And other Mainline Protestant Denominations) — How to Save a Church in Decline."

Next Sunday, following the 10 a.m. service at Christ Church, Cooke, a lifelong Episcopalian, will talk about his book and sign copies for people interested in buying a copy and learning how to help save churches.

More here-


Sunday, November 10, 2019

‘Wake-up call’: CoGS hears statistics report on church membership decline

From Canada-

The Anglican Church of Canada’s first reliably-collected set of statistics since 2001 show the church running out of members in little more than two decades if the church continues to decline at its current rate, the Council of General Synod (CoGS) heard Friday, Nov. 9.

“We’ve got simple projections from our data that suggest that there will be no members, attenders or givers in the Anglican Church of Canada by approximately 2040,” the Rev. Neil Elliot, a priest for the diocese of Kootenay seconded in 2016 by the national church to collect a new set of statistics, told CoGS. Elliot, who reported on 2017 data collected from all of the church’s dioceses, also told the group about ongoing efforts to expand and diversify data collection.

More here-


Saturday, November 9, 2019

Church of England explains 'official position' on yoga ban

From England-

The Church of England has reacted officially to a  Devon yoga teacher being banned from giving classes in a local church hall for religious reasons.

Yoga teacher Atsuko Kato, 54, said she was told yoga was "not compatible with Christian beliefs".
Atsuko,  who has been teaching yoga for 25 years, was trying to book the church hall at Pilton in Barnstaple last week for a new class.

The Reverend Nigel Dilkes of Pilton Church said: "Pilton church hall is a church property and under the terms of the Trust Deed it is to be used for activities which are compatible with Christian faith."

More here-


Clergy visit highlights Pittsburgh-Ireland ties

From Pittsburgh-

Pittsburgh’s connections with Ireland may not seem apparent at first, but they are deep and ongoing — well beyond the late Pittsburgh Steelers President Dan Rooney’s stint as U.S. ambassador.

An Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh event at the Duquesne Club in Downtown Pittsburgh on Nov. 6 provided an introduction to that relationship with a visit from an Irish delegation.

The visitors were the Rev. Gregory Dunstan, dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral Armagh, and Francis “Frank” Costello, an American historian and author who has lived in Belfast for 21 years.
“Pittsburgh’s been a really important place on what is the long traditional, cultural and economic link [with Ireland],” Costello said.

The Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh has been organizing student and professional exchanges between Pittsburgh and Ireland since 1989. “We’re forever bringing people in, helping people from Pittsburgh go there, on different kinds of projects,” said James Lamb, institute president.

More here-


Friday, November 8, 2019

Be careful who you call ‘Anglican’

From The Church Times-

THERE is a long history in common-law jurisprudence attached to the idea of “genericisation”: that tipping-point moment when a name one has applied to a specific type of something (usually a brand name) becomes the generic stand-in for all examples of that type. Think of Hoovering up something, or using a Kleenex

In the coming months, as the next Lambeth Conference approaches, “Anglican” is a word in peril of being genericised — and drained of whatever meaningful content it hopes to retain. The basic problem is simple and sharp: “Anglican” is a word without any police to guard it or boundaries to contain it. The result is that it is opportunistically used, loosely applied, and fiercely (and often falsely) claimed.

By now, it is at least clear what “Anglican” is not. It is not a word that describes unity of theological thought or interpretation. It does, perhaps, describe certain theological emphases, or paths of interpretation. It does not (at all) describe a common pattern of ecclesiastical governance or arrangements for polity. And, even in this moment of dreamy, Brexit-induced visions of British cultural superiority, it is not an accurate shorthand for describing one Church more accurately known as the Church of England.

More here-


Pathways out of homelessness, serving the community

From California-

On any given day in San Francisco, roughly 8,000 people experience homelessness. The pathway that individuals and families embark to this situation is as varied as people themselves. People experiencing homelessness not only come from all education levels, races and ethnicities, ages, family structures, sexualities, and genders, but they also arrive at homelessness for a variety of reasons, including eviction, health and medical changes, loss of income, abuse, and abandonment. 

Founded in 1983, Episcopal Community Services of San Francisco (ECS) creates innovative models for addressing homelessness that honor the innate dignity of all people. ECS is San Francisco's largest provider of supportive housing and homeless services. Its continuum of care includes crisis intervention, supportive housing, senior services, workforce development, and soon re-entry.

More here-

Episcopal Diocese of Maryland presents dialogue on reparations

From Maryland-

The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland Truth and Reconciliation Commission hosted the “2019 Trail of Souls Dialogue on Reparations” on Saturday, Nov. 2 at the Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church. 

Featured speakers included: Morgan State University School of Community Health and Policy Associate Professor Lawrence Brown; President of the D.C. chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians Rev. Gayle Fischer-Stewart; and Messiah College Assistant Professor of Theology Rev. Drew Hart.

Episcopal Bishop of Maryland Eugene Taylor Sutton and Maryland Institute College of Art Professor of Spoken Word Kenneth Morrison also spoke at the event.

Sutton opened the discussion on reparations by arguing for the need to reframe slavery as a form of thievery that continued long after the Fourteenth Amendment was passed. 
He contended that reconciliation will never occur unless large-scale restitution to black individuals occurs first. 

More here-


Thursday, November 7, 2019

City’s Anglican churches plan to merge

From Canada-

One of St. Thomas’s oldest congregations plans to merge with another city church because of escalating costs and a decline in the number of parishioners.

Trinity Anglican Church on Southwick Street and St. John’s Anglican Church on Flora Street each held a meeting recently with parishioners and decided to merge.

The Diocese of Huron will make the final decision Dec. 6 on the proposed merger.

“Both churches have decided to become one church,” said Malcolm Wood, rector warden of Trinity Anglican Church. “In our particular case, what we’ve decided to do, is we’ve decided to reorganize the churches.”

Trinity Anglican Church and St. John’s Anglican Church would cease to exist, and a new name for the merged congregation would be chosen, if the diocese approves the plan.

More here-


Pretoria Anglican priest pleads guilty in sex scandal

From South Africa-

The head of the Anglican Diocese of Pretoria, Bishop Allan Kannemeyer, said it was a sad day that a church tribunal would decide on the fate of a priest facing charges of sexual misconduct. 

Kannemeyer said he was disappointed and angry that one of their priests had pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct with a member of the church.

He said he was sad that one of their own meant to provide guidance and counselling had opted to take advantage of his authority instead.

Kannemeyer was responding to information that the church was yesterday on its second day of a three-day tribunal looking into sexual allegations against one of the clergy.

According to emails sent to the victim, which the Pretoria News has seen, the church acknowledged it had instituted the Diocesan Tribunal to deal with allegations levelled against the priest.

More here-


and here-


Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Row over hijab sparks violence in Malawi

From Malawi-

Blantyre - An ongoing dispute over the hijab - a scarf worn by Muslim women and girls - took a violent turn in eastern Malawi leaving three people injured and property damaged, police confirmed on Tuesday.

"Windows at a mosque and the local priest's home were smashed and three people were hurt during the incident," regional police spokesman Joseph Sauka told dpa.

The clashes - between members of the Anglican church and their Muslim counterparts - erupted on Monday after young men, reportedly from the church, snatched hijabs off the heads of pupils on their way to school in M'manga, about 100 kilometres from the city of Blantyre, he said.

Parish priest Mphatso Bango told dpa that he was living in fear.

"I did not sleep at home as the people destroyed windows of my house," he said, adding that the tense situation was not normal and schools would remain shut.

More here-


Anglican church apologises for fashion show

From Trinidad and Tobago-

THE ANGLICAN CHURCH issued a public apology to Anglicans, religious organisations and the general public for what they called “misuse” of the church.

This comes in the aftermath of a fashion show staged over the weekend at the Trinity Cathedral in Port of Spain.

The fashion show raised the ire of several religious bodies and members of the general public after images of scantily-clad women in the church displaying bikinis designed by locals began circulating on social media.

In the release, Bishop Claude Berkley said the church “missed the mark” with the show and what it featured, and expressed regret and remorse.

More here-


and here


and here-


and here-


Central New York priest under investigation for alleged financial misconduct

From ENS-

An upstate New York priest accused of financial misconduct is now being investigated by law enforcement, according to the Diocese of Central New York, which announced on Oct. 31 that it had turned over the results of its own investigation to police.

The Rev. Joell Szachara had been serving as the rector of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in New Hartford but resigned at the direction of Bishop DeDe Duncan-Probe, the diocese said in late September. At that time, Duncan-Probe placed Szachara on administrative leave, restricting her from engaging in ministry, while a forensic audit was conducted on the finances of St. Stephen’s.

With the audit complete, the diocese – which did not specify the type of financial wrongdoing Szachara has been accused of – referred the case to law enforcement as it continues its own investigation through the Title IV disciplinary process, Duncan-Probe wrote in an Oct. 31 letter to the clergy and wardens of her diocese.

More here-


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Archbishop demands action on campus "intimidation" and "lack of free speech"

From Premier-

The Archbishop of Canterbury has called on the Government to put pressure on universities over reports of "no-platforming, intimidation and lack of free speech".

The Most Rev Justin Welby told ministers at Westminster that "mere exhortation" was not working.
The leading Anglican made the intervention as peers heard just five universities were known to have adopted an agreed definition of anti-Semitism.

The archbishop, who is President of the Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ), said: "We hear numerous reports of no-platforming, of intimidation and lack of free speech.
"I accept fully that the universities are autonomous but will the minister look for ways in which pressure can be applied to ensure these standards are kept?

"Because mere exhortation, would she agree, is not really working."

More here-


Anglican Dean: ‘I tried to stop them’

From Trinidad and Tobago-

 Dean and Rec­tor at the Holy Trin­i­ty Cathe­dral, Rev­erend Shel­ley Ann Tenia said she was dis­ap­point­ed that the ac­tion of one de­sign­er taint­ed the pub­lic’s view of an event meant to help with the restora­tion of the Port-of-Spain church.

The church was dam­aged by a pow­er­ful earth­quake on Au­gust 21, 2018, dur­ing which the steeple of the church was bro­ken.

Three fash­ion shows were host­ed by Style­Week Port-of-Spain on Fri­day, Sat­ur­day and Sun­day at the An­gli­can church, to raise funds for the church’s restora­tion.

How­ev­er, sev­er­al swim­suit mod­els were cast in the show, which caused an up­roar among many who saw it as a des­e­cra­tion of a holy site.

Rev­erend Tenia ex­plained that there were guide­lines that were agreed to by the or­gan­is­er for the event when they ap­proached the church to use the venue. 

She said based on her in­for­ma­tion, it ap­peared on­ly one of the de­sign­ers went against the church’s guide­lines for the event.

More here-


and here-


Richard Hooker and the Historic Episcopacy

From The Living Church-

Today we commemorate Richard Hooker. In the words of today’s collect, he arose “in a day of bitter controversy to defend with sound reasoning the great charity of the catholic and reformed religion.” I want to consider how the “great charity” of holding the Catholic and Reformed streams together uniquely shapes the Episcopal Church’s ability to engage in ecumenical dialogue. More specifically, I want to explore how Hooker’s argument for keeping the historic episcopacy in his day should influence questions of polity in ecumenical discussions of our own day.

Although Hooker argued for the continuation of the historic episcopacy, it is not clear that he gave an unqualified defense of the episcopacy for all times and places. Yet in the preface to his 19th century collection of Hooker’s Works, John Keble enshrined Hooker’s reputation as the great defender of the historic episcopacy. Keble wrote that although “on the whole, it should seem that where he speaks so largely of the mutability of church laws, government, and discipline,” the actual substance of Hooker’s views were that the “episcopacy grounded on apostolic succession was of supernatural origin and divine authority” (lxxiv–lxxv). In other words, although Hooker entertained the possibility of reform, in Keble’s interpretation, when it came to the question of the historic episcopacy, Hooker spoke only from the Catholic stream and argued that bishops were instituted by divine law.

More here-


In Year of Apology for its Role in Slavery, New York Episcopal Diocese to Revive Rejected Anti-Slavery Motion from 1860

From New York-

In September 1860, John Jay II—grandson of the founding father and first US supreme court chief justice—introduced four resolutions condemning slavery and the slave trade (see link below) at the Episcopal Diocese of New York's annual convention in New York City

Although the slave trade had been illegal in the state of New York since 1799 and the last enslaved persons had been freed in 1827, Jay's resolutions—so uncontroversial today—did not pass.

Instead, they were tabled, in the face of insuperable opposition from an overwhelming majority of the assembled Episcopalian clergy and laity, many of whom continued to have an interest in the slave trade, which in 1860 continued unabated in the port of New York in spite of its illegality and violation of the "teachings of the Church …and the laws of God."  

More here-


Monday, November 4, 2019

Swimsuit models in Cathedral cause uproar

From Trinidad and Tobago-

Pho­tographs of mod­els in bathing suits walk­ing down the aisle of the Holy Trin­i­ty Cathe­dral went vi­ral on so­cial me­dia yes­ter­day as peo­ple ques­tioned the ap­pro­pri­ate­ness of the sit­u­a­tion. The pho­tographs were tak­en dur­ing a fash­ion show which took place at the main church of the An­gli­can dio­cese in T&T on Sat­ur­day night as part of Style Week, Port-of-Spain.

Flags ad­ver­tis­ing the event’s main spon­sor, the Na­tion­al Lot­ter­ies Con­trol Board (NL­CB), were al­so dis­played on the church’s fence.

De­spite the on­line back­lash, how­ev­er, an­oth­er Style Week run­way show was held at the Cathe­dral last night which in­clud­ed on­line swimwear bou­tique, Gen­e­sis Swim.

El­lis Brig­gs, chair­man of Zetick Caribbean Lim­it­ed, the or­gan­is­er of Style Week, told Guardian Me­dia those hav­ing an is­sue with the fash­ion show at the church were just be­ing “hy­per­sen­si­tive”.

More here-

Ordinariates Mark 10 Years of Anglican Traditions and Catholic Communion

From National Catholic Register-

Ten years is not a long time in the life of the Church, but in that time since their founding under Benedict XVI the Ordinariates, three Catholic dioceses with Anglican traditions situated across the globe, have worked with dedication to advance the Church’s Gospel mandate.

On Nov. 4, 2009, Benedict XVI issued his apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, allowing a wave of Anglican and Episcopal congregations and priests to become fully Catholic and keep their Anglican traditions. Pope Francis has also further advanced what Benedict XVI started, unleashing the Ordinariates for greater Catholic evangelization, witness, and growth.

In this interview with the Register, Bishop Steven Lopes of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, which covers North America, discusses the jubilee year the Ordinariates are now celebrating. He shares the reasons behind the Pope’s strong support, the challenges of the past 10 years, and what lies ahead for the evangelical and ecumenical mission of the Ordinariate.

More here-


Catholic priesthood is based around a 'fundamental lie', says former president Mary McAleese

From Ireland-

Former president of Ireland and the new Chancellor of Trinity College Dublin, Professor Mary McAleese has said she believes the Catholic priesthood is based around “a fundamental lie”. 

She told a conference in TCD on Saturday attended by up to 400 people, including the Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast, that a clericalised priesthood was not attracting vocations today and that many of those who are attracted to priesthood have a “deeply problematic” sexuality because the Church demands that those priests and seminarians who are not heterosexual pretend to be.

Recalling the six years she spent studying for a doctorate in canon law in Rome, living in the environs of a seminary and monastery, she said she had encountered many young seminarians and priests.

“I became very much aware of the dysfunction at the heart of seminary life and the dysfunction at the heart of much of the priesthood.”

More here-


Folts ordained 11th bishop of Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota

From South Dakota-

Minutes after he had hands laid on him by bishops passing on apostleship from the beginning of the Christian church, newly made Bishop Jonathan Folts told his new flock they were part of Episcopal history being made on Saturday in Pierre.
“Today is the beginning of a new chapter in the life of the Diocese of South Dakota,” he told the congregation of about 320 in the theater at Riggs High School in Pierre. “It’s not a new story.”
Folts and the two-hour ceremony and worship service on Saturday, Nov. 2, told the old story, that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been handed down from the beginning until today.

More here-


Sunday, November 3, 2019

Six years ago, he walked into a homeless center seeking a hot meal. Now, he’s the executive director.

From D.C.

On Friday, Cox started a new and important job, taking on a role that, at once, is distant from the night he slept in a bank lobby and a unique fit because of it. The 54-year-old is the newest executive director of Charlie’s Place, a drop-in center for the homeless in Northwest Washington.

He steps into that position just six years after first walking into the place as a homeless man.

Not long after that night next to the ATM, he started sleeping on benches in Lafayette Square. There, he met a police officer who told him about Charlie’s Place, an outreach arm of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church. He says he didn’t go that day. But eventually, he walked through the doors, seeking a hot meal.

More here-

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Why the Anglican church must evolve or die

From Australia-

What is the Anglican Church becoming? What does it want to be to the people of Australia? I ask this as a woman who’s invested in Anglicanism but is heartbroken at the way this religion is being riven internally; indeed, it feels vandalised. And by some of its most esteemed church leaders, no less.

The Anglican Church must evolve or die. And right now it feels like it’s being hijacked by bigotry and intolerance in a travesty of Jesus’s teachings. The Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, has a definition of Anglicanism that is not mine and I am willing to speak out about it. Once, women wouldn’t. Once we weren’t meant to have opinions, we were reduced and silenced within the church; in some quarters still are. We were meant to leave it to those men who knew best, who always know best. They sometimes do not.

More here-

Presiding Bishop Curry, preacher at royal wedding, in Pierre to make a new Episcopal bishop

From South Dakota-

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, head pastor of the Episcopal Church, is in Pierre to preside over the ordination of the Rev. Jonathan Folts, bishop-elect of the Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota.
On Friday morning, Curry and Folts held a news conference in Trinity Episcopal Church as priests from around the state asked prepared questions.
Folts, who grew up in West Texas and was 51 when he was elected bishop in May of the 9,000 members of the Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota, is the focus of the weekend as he will be ordained and consecrated a bishop to fill that office.

More here-


Evangelism officer for Episcopal Church lives up to her name

From Arkansas-

Meet Jerusalem Jackson Greer. She's a Southern Baptist preacher's daughter, a mother, crafter, cook, farmer, author and, now, staff officer for evangelism in the Episcopal Church.

Greer, who began the new full-time position in March, lives on a small farm named Preservation Acres in Shady Grove near Greenbrier with her husband, Nathan Greer, and sons Miles, 15, and Wylie, 19, when he's home from college.

In the newly established position, Greer said her job will be to help share "what evangelism means in the Episcopal tradition."

"I help coordinate Episcopal revivals that we have across the country ... create curriculum and other tools to help both individuals and congregations to share the good news of God and Christ through word and example," Greer said as she sat in the library of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Conway.

More here-


Friday, November 1, 2019

I was an Anglican bishop. Then the Pope made an offer I couldn’t refuse

From The Catholic Herald-

It hardly seems possible that it has been 10 years since the publication of the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus. This allowed for a diocese-like structure to be created for former Anglicans so that they could bring into the Universal Church something of the pastoral, liturgical and spiritual traditions which had formed them over the years.

I vividly remember the day of the announcement. It was something that many of us had been praying for, for a very long time.

In my study, there is a large painting of Mgr Graham Leonard when he was the Anglican Bishop of Truro. In the 1990s, when the Church of England decided to ordain women priests, Bishop Leonard wrote a letter to the Catholic Herald in which he expressed the hope that some structure could be formed, perhaps a personal prelature, to allow former Anglicans to enter the Catholic Church corporately. Years later his hopes were fulfilled by Pope Benedict XVI in a way in that we never could have imagined.

More here-