Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Archbishop of Canterbury response to US Episcopal Church Resolution on Marriage

From Anglican News-

The Archbishop of Canterbury today expressed deep concern about the stress for the Anglican Communion following the US Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops’ resolution to change the definition of marriage in the canons so that any reference to marriage as between a man and a woman is removed.

While recognising the prerogative of The Episcopal Church to address issues appropriate to its own context, Archbishop Justin Welby said that its decision will cause distress for some and have ramifications for the Anglican Communion as a whole, as well as for its ecumenical and interfaith relationships.

More here-

Monday, June 29, 2015

National Cathedral to remove Confederate images

From CNN-

The nationwide backlash against Confederate symbols continued as the National Cathedral became the most recent institution to announce its intent to remove imagery related to the secessionist states.

The Confederate flag is featured prominently in pictures apparently posted by Dylann Roof in online writings laced with racial hatred. Roof has been charged with murdering nine people at a Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 17.

In his sermon on Sunday, the Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the National Cathedral, announced that he would call on the venerable church's governing body to remove two stained-glass windows put in place to honor "the lives and legacies of Confederate Generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee."

More here-

US Episcopal Church makes history by electing 1st black presiding bishop

From Christian Today-

Following the horrific Charleston church shooting that claimed the lives of nine church members from the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church recently, the US Episcopal Church made history on Saturday as it elected its first black presiding bishop at its general conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Bishop Michael Curry, 62, of North Carolina reportedly won in a landslide vote to replace outgoing Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who was the first female to lead their denomination. Curry was one of the four bishops being considered for the position and he won with 121 votes, while his closest competitor only got 21 votes.

More here-

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Incredible True Story Behind ‘Amazing Grace’

From Time-

When President Obama turned to the soaring lyrics of Amazing Grace to comfort the grieving families in Charleston, South Carolina this week, he was turning to a song that is almost as much of a staple of the U.S. Presidency as Hail to the Chief. Yet, as there is so often when race is the topic, the back story behind the hymn that is suddenly everywhere is not so simple.

Amazing Grace was written by an Englishman who in the early part of his life was an outspoken atheist, libertine, and slave trader. John Newton was born in London in 1725, the son of a Puritan mother and a stern ship commander father who took him to sea when he was 11 (“I am persuaded that he loved me but he seemed not willing that I should know it,” he later wrote).

More here-

Anglican Church blasts greedy presidential aspirants

From Tanzania-

A section of clerics of the Anglican Church in the country yesterday blasted greedy presidential aspirants, politicians and followers of the church, sounding out a strong warning that the church would never support those disobeying public order and legitimate election rules.

Speaking at the commemoration to mark 50 years anniversary of the Dar es Salaam Diocese of the Anglican Church in Tanzania, Bishop Valentino Mokiwa urged Tanzanians to respect and follow election rules and regulations.

He told journalists yesterday that members of the church and the public as well should be ambassadors of peace and they should convey this message to all, so that nothing unbecoming should happen at the polls.

He said that the church will not support those who plan to violate the forthcoming General Elections and the congregation must pray to ensure that every election procedures carried out as planned.

More here-

Funding requests exceed $120 million triennial budget

From ENS-

 Members of The Episcopal Church’s Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance (PB&F) heard a strong call June 26 for reducing the amount of money it asks from dioceses and regional mission areas, knowing that they face an approximately $12 million gap between the funding already included in Executive Council’s draft 2016-2018 triennium budget and additional funding resolutions that have come to convention.

Council’s balanced $120 million budget was passed in January after the church’s committees, commissions, agencies and boards filed their reports to convention containing funding resolutions. Some of those requests have been amended here at convention. Plus, many new resolutions filed since council passed its budget also ask for money to be included in the 2016-2018 budget. They are the ones that account for the $12 million gap.

More here-

Michael Curry Elected PB Round-up

New YorkTimes-





Winston Salem--

Desert News-

Washington Post-

Charlotte Observer-

Buffalo News-


Reflecting on outgoing Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s tenure as Episcopal Church brings in new leader

From The Washington Post-

This opinion piece is by Diana Butler Bass, an independent scholar and expert on U.S. religion. She is the author of eight books, including “Christianity After Religion.”

In 2006, the Episcopal Church elected Katharine Jefferts Schori to serve a nine-year term as the denomination’s presiding bishop, the head of the church, an ecclesiastical position equivalent to the Church of England’s archbishop of Canterbury. The election was historic – she was the first woman elevated to the position, and the only w

And now her term is coming to an end. On Saturday, the Episcopal Church elected a new presiding bishop, Michael Curry of North Carolina. Curry will be the first African American to lead the church, one of the oldest and most historic Christian bodies in the United States.

oman among the senior bishops of the global Anglican Communion.

More here-

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Memo to the Next Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church

From Huffington-

Dear Presiding Bishop nominee:

You are in a group of four fine bishops nominated to serve as our next Presiding Bishop. As a rather new, but very interested Episcopalian, I would like to offer my reflections to you, based on my pastoral experience dealing with people from every corner of the hemisphere, who are still wondering what "Espiscopal" or "Episcopalian Church" or "Presbypiscopal" means. By the way I've heard all of these used to refer to our church and many more variations are out there in English and Spanish... especially by folks in the mainstream media when they refer to our church.

As you read these points, keep in mind that the priest who writes this has a background in media -- secular and religious -- but is wholly motivated by a desire that all may come to know and experience the love of God, way beyond our denominational restrictions and boundaries.

Below are just a few "words from the pews:

More here-

Episcopal Church addresses addiction concerns

From Maryland-

The Episcopal Church’s top legislative body is reviewing its policies on alcohol and addiction as part of a churchwide soul-searching over a Maryland assistant bishop charged with drunken driving while texting and with killing a bicyclist.

Leaders of the Episcopal General Convention, meeting in Salt Lake City, put the topic on the agenda after the criminal case against Heather Cook drew national attention. Cook, who has been defrocked, has pleaded not guilty to vehicular manslaughter, drunken driving and other charges.

More here-

and here

and here-

Friday, June 26, 2015

Episcopal Assembly Responds to Fatal Drunken Driving Case

From ABC-

The Episcopal Church's top legislative body is reviewing its policies on alcohol and addiction as part of a churchwide soul-searching over a Maryland assistant bishop charged with drunken driving while texting and killing a bicyclist.

Leaders of the Episcopal General Convention, meeting in Salt Lake City, put the topic on the agenda after the criminal case against Heather Cook drew national attention. Cook, who has been defrocked, has pleaded not guilty to vehicular manslaughter, drunken driving and other charges.

In committee meetings Thursday, Episcopal leaders discussed updating the denomination's guidance on alcohol use and abuse, which hasn't been changed since 1985. Those guidelines suggest clergy and lay people educate themselves on pastoral support for substance abusers in the church, encourage moderate consumption of alcohol and suggest providing both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages at parish events.

More here-

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Three essays on marriage

From The Living Church-

With General Convention approaching, I have had less time to note new material relevant to the Episcopal Church’s conversation on marriage. I’ll mention three right now to make up for it.

Fully Alive has just released an essay from Derek Olsen, “The BCP marriage service and the shortcomings of Paul and Augustine.” The essay responds to Fully Alive’s ATR paper (“Marriage in Creation and Covenant” or MCC), as well as one of my responses to the ATR respondents (“Augustine, Scripture, and eschatology“) . Olsen’s paper begins with a brief note of appreciation, but moves quickly towards laying out his thorough disagreement with MCC. He has two main concerns.

The first is related to the theology of Paul and Augustine. Olsen states that Paul and Augustine believed women to be culturally, biologically, and socially inferior to men (2-4), indeed, that Paul’s view of marriage portrays “a sacrament of unquestionable domination” (3-4). He says that “Marriage is not, according to the Pauline view, a relationship between equals.”

More here-

'God calling on us to dismantle systems of racism and privilege,' Episcopal leader says

From Salt Lake City-

As the Episcopal Church embarks on its 78th General Convention this week, church leaders are intently focused on healing the world, the nation and the church itself.

At a news conference Tuesday at the Salt Palace Convention Center, the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president of the Episcopal Church's House of Deputies, said people of faith and goodwill have been "electrified" by officer-involved shootings of black men and boys across the country, and more recently "the slaughter of nine black Christians by a white supremacist in Charleston, South Carolina."

"I believe that God is calling on us to dismantle the systems of racism and privilege that are inextricably bound up in the history of the United States and in our church, which was founded … in the early days of the republic," Rev. Jennings said.

The Episcopal Church's General Convention, which is conducted every three years, "is a place where Episcopalians have the ability not only to proclaim that black lives matter, but also to take concrete action for ending racism and achieving God's great racial reconciliation and justice," she said.

More here-

In opening remarks, presiding officers urge church to take risks, soul search

From ENS-

Deputies and bishops gathered in the Salt Palace Convention Center for a joint session the morning of June 24 to hear opening remarks from Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and House of Deputies President the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings.

The joint session, coming a day before the General Convention’s legislative business officially begins on June 25, set a collaborative context for the work ahead.

With all that General Convention has to accomplish over the next nine days, both Jefferts Schori and Jennings focused on The Episcopal Church’s need to cross boundaries into new frontiers, even as it focuses on its institutional structure and governance. 

Opening remarks text here-

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Bishop resigns from seminary board following Orlando baptism flap

The previous post not withstanding-

The Bishop of Central Florida has resigned from the Board of Trustees of the Trinity School for Ministry (TSM) in the wake of the controversy over the baptism of an infant presented by a same-sex couple at the Cathedral Church of St Luke in Orlando.

On 16 June 2015, the Rt. Rev. Gregory O. Brewer met with the the Dean of TSM, the Very Rev. Justyn Terry at an Orlando airport hotel to discuss concerns raised by the board’s executive committee. At the close of the meeting Bishop Brewer, who was the sole serving Episcopal bishop on the seminary’s board, wrote to the board tendering his resignation.

Bishop Brewer, who served on the faculty of TSM twenty years ago and who continues to have close ties to the school, declined to respond to questions about his resignation. No member of the board contacted by Anglican Ink was willing to speak on the record about the incident. Dean Terry also declined to speak to the dispute, but the school’s spokesman, the Rev. Christopher Klukas, gave AI a statement on 23 June 2015. He wrote:

- See more at:

General Convention

We'll see how often TRE can post in the coming days. Pretty tied up with General Convention.

'Vicar of Baghdad' recounts Christian persecution at hands of ISIS

From The Deseret News-

As one of the foremost Christian leaders in Iraq for nearly two decades, Rev. Canon Andrew White is all too familiar with the wave of crises that has hit the country.

But even Rev. White, who was until last year the leader of one of the largest Christian churches in that country and is widely known as the "Vicar of Baghdad," never could have foreseen the naked terror oppressed Christians there now experience at the hands of ISIS terrorists.

"It is happening now in our midst and the persecution of Christians is like we'd never expect would happen," he told several dozen gathered at the Episcopal Cathedral Church of St. Mark on Monday. "All I know is we are not (ceasing) to love Jesus. We are still serving him."

More here-

With exit from imperilment, St. Peter's Episcopal Church moving forward

From The Baltimore Sun-

When members of a historic Ellicott City church were asked at a special renewal service last week if they were ready to continue their ministry with a new priest, they shouted, "We are!" with a thunderous enthusiasm that soared up to the church's cathedral ceiling.

With the ceremonial approval of the Rev. Henry Thomas Slawson III on June 17, St. Peter's at Ellicott Mills Episcopal Church celebrated its exit from three years in imperilment, a state of near-closure that had been declared in January 2012 by the Episcopal Bishop of Maryland, the Right Rev. Eugene Taylor.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Va. Bishops Demur on Canon (Marriage)

From The Living Church-

From the Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston, Bishop of Virginia, the Rt. Rev. Susan E. Goff, Bishop Suffragan of Virginia, and the Rt. Rev. Edwin F. Gulick, Assistant Bishop of Virginia:

At this point, without our knowing the specific form the resolution will finally take, we anticipate that we will vote “no” for the nuanced reasons that we outline below.

1. The three of us cannot vote based solely on our personal consciences in these matters. Because we took unique vows to “guard the faith, unity and discipline of the Church” (BCP p. 518), we must strive to weigh the needs of those who faithfully seek marriage equality with the convictions of those who cannot support such a measure. In addition, we must balance these considerations with the very real concerns of our brothers and sisters across the entire Anglican Communion, being well aware of the social and cultural ramifications of our work across many lands.

More here-

Bishop of Salisbury backs Pope's call for action on climate change

From England-

THE Bishop of Salisbury, the Right Revd Nicholas Holtam, has backed Pope Francis’s calls for action on climate change.

Bishop Nicholas, who was appointed the Church of England’s lead bishop for Environmental Affairs last September, spoke out after last week’s Papal Encyclical on the subject.

The Encyclical, labelled ‘Laudato Si (Be Praised), On the Care of Our Common Home’, put human activities as one of the key reasons for global warming.

Speaking in response to the letter, Bishop Nicholas said: “I wholeheartedly welcome the Papal Encyclical Laudato Si, a major contribution to tackling climate change, which is one of the great moral challenges of our times.

More here-

Ghana’s social, economic misfortunes are caused by moral decadence – Anglican Bishop

From Ghana-

The Right Reverend Festus Yeboah Asuamah, the Anglican Bishop of Sunyani, has said the social and economic misfortunes the country was experiencing were the consequences of moral decadence in the society.

He recounted that indulgences in nepotism, bribery and corruption, greed, selfishness and acts of immorality, had often brought God’s judgment on nations in the past, and the country would not be spared if Ghanaians did not change their negative ways of life.

Addressing the second session of the Fourth Synod of the Diocese in Sunyani, Rt. Rev Asuamah emphasized that the recent flood and fuel explosion in Accra were an indication that the country had lost God’s favour.

More here-

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Corrupt politicians should be killed – Anglican Bishop

From Nigeria-

The Anglican Bishop of Wusasa Diocese in Zaria, Kaduna state, Rt Rev’d Ali Buba-Lamido, has advocated for death penalty to be visited on public office holders found to be corrupt.

The cleric, who spoke yesterday at the
Sixth Synod of the Wusasa Diocese of the Anglican Communion explained that he made the call because corruption kills more people than a conventional weapons.

He stressed that, “The death penalty option is the only way to put public officers in Nigeria in check,”

More here-

Connecticut Episcopal bishop a candidate to lead national church

From Connecticut-

The church no longer stands at the center of American life, but Bishop Ian T. Douglas, one of four candidates to lead the nationwide Episcopal Church, sees that change as part of God’s work in the world.

He says it gives Christians the opportunity to shift from worrying about the church and to focus more on what God wants them to do.

“For me what’s fundamentally important is that our vocation as followers of Jesus is to participate in what God’s doing as far as bringing new life into the world, what I often describe as God’s mission of restoration and reconciliation,” said Douglas. “By virtue of our baptism, we’re called to participate in that work. … But that’s different than keeping the church in business.”

More here-

NC Bishop among 4 nominated to lead Episcopal Church in the United States

From North Carolina-

The Right Rev. Michael Curry, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, was officiating the ordination of a young priest at a Raleigh parish when he spotted a name tag on a church member who was part of the service.

When the service ended, Curry led the ceremony’s participants out. The second the door shut behind them, Curry whipped around to Blake Strayhorn, who heads Durham’s Habitat for Humanity, pointed at the nametag and said, “My mom was a Strayhorn. We’re cousins!”

The complexities of family trees with Southern roots make it possible that Curry, who is black, and Strayhorn, who is white, share some common lineage, and Strayhorn hopes they do. But even if they don’t, Curry’s claim fits the broader theme that has defined his 15 years as bishop: All people are brothers and sisters in the human family of God.

Read more here:

Saturday, June 20, 2015

How Pope Francis Is Reclaiming the Meaning of ‘Pro-Life’

From New York Magazine-

Over the last week, news writers have been calling Pope Francis’s new encyclical on the environment a "pro-life" document because the pope himself equates lack of concern for the future of the Earth with a disregard for “the unborn.” If you say you care about life, he’s saying, you have to care about all life — including both the most microscopic of fetuses and the world in which they may one day live. “Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion,” he writes.

This argument may excite some liberals (seeing the same rhetorical tool with which you’ve been bludgeoned turned against your opponents) and confuse others: What, really, does the term “pro-life,” even mean? Where did it come from and what values does it reflect?

More here-

Camp McDowell dedicates $10.5 milllion expansion

From Alabama-

The Episcopal Church dedicates the new Bethany Village at Camp McDowell on Saturday: a $10.5 million eco-friendly, handicapped accessible expansion of the Diocese of Alabama's camp and conference center.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, will help lead a special service of dedication and blessing beginning at 10 a.m., June 20.

The 1,140-acre Camp McDowell in Winston County is at the southern edge of the Bankhead National Forest between Double Springs and Jasper on Highway 195.

While many church camps around the country are struggling, McDowell has for years been bursting at the seams.  Its facilities have been operating at capacity, with waiting lists. "The expansion will enable us to better serve Alabamians and their neighbors regardless of their religious affiliation," said Bishop Kee Sloan, head of the Diocese of Alabama.

More here-

Friday, June 19, 2015

South Africa: Anglican Environmental Network Chair Welcomes Papal Climate Encyclical

From All Africa-

People of faith need to focus on the moral and spiritual elements of the crisis brought about by rapid climate change, Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba, chair of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network, said today in response to Pope Francis's encyclical on the issue.

In a statement issued from Cape Town, the Archbishop said:

"I would like to thank Pope Francis for this historic, ground-breaking letter. I look forward to studying it in more detail.

"Across Africa and in other developing countries, we are already suffering the impacts of climate change, and the people hit hardest by severe droughts or storms are in our most vulnerable communities.

More here-
From Utah (Since when is the House of Deputies the "lower house"?)

As Episcopal Church leaders prepare to elect a new presiding bishop and vote on a "special liturgy" for same-sex marriage ceremonies and organizational changes to the 1.8 million-member denomination, not all are in agreement over the health and future of one of the nation's oldest Christian faiths.

Some understandable soul-searching has taken place in the wake of the church losing half its membership since 1966, 12 percent in the past nine years alone. The denomination's progressive stances are blamed for much of the exodus by conservatives, while other clergy say the church is going through needed "pruning" as it becomes more inclusive to reflect today's society.

The Rev. W. Frank Allen of Radnor, Pennsylvania, is one of 800 lower-house delegates coming to Salt Lake City for the movement's triennial General Convention beginning Monday. He is pleased the denomination accommodates a diverse following of worshippers.

More here-

Episcopal Church's General Convention to elect new US Primate

From The Church Times (England)

THE Episcopal Church's triennial General Convention will gather in Salt Lake City next week; and among their business will be the election of a new Presiding Bishop to succeed Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first female Primate in the Anglican Communion. Her nine-year term of office concludes on 31 October.

The four nominees to be considered by the Convention are: the Bishop of Southern Ohio, the Rt Revd Thomas Breidenthal; the Bishop of North Carolina, the Rt Revd Michael Curry; the Bishop of Connecticut, Dr Ian Douglas; and the Bishop of Southwest Florida, the Rt Revd Dabney Smith.

The four candidates will be presented to the General Convention next week, on Wednesday afternoon, and the vote itself will take place on 27 June, by the House of Bishops, at St Mark's Cathedral in Salt Lake City, before being confirmed by the House of Deputies.

More here-

Episcopal bishops to lead anti-gun violence march in Salt Lake City

From Utah-

The effort started with four Episcopal bishops who wanted to focus the attention of their church and the broader public on the issue of gun violence.

A short time later, 20-year-old Adam Lanza opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on Dec. 14, 2012, killing 20 schoolchildren and six staff members, along with his mother and himself.

"Within two weeks, we had 25 to 30 bishops who wanted be a part of this, this was in 2013. Since then, we've grown to 60 bishops," said the Rt. Rev. Mark Beckwith, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, N.J., a founder of Bishops United Against Gun Violence.

More here-