Thursday, May 5, 2016

Meet Bruce Myers, Quebec's newest Anglican bishop

From Montreal-

It’s not your typical career path.

When Bruce Myers is ordained to the Order of Bishops Thursday evening — a consecration that will also put him in line to become the next Anglican Bishop of Quebec — he’ll surely reflect on the road travelled and, perhaps, his beginnings as a broadcast journalist.

Because that’s where it all started: Myers was a prominent voice on Montreal’s CJAD news talk radio in the 1990s and served as both Ottawa and Quebec City bureau chief, covering the often harsh world of politics.

It was during his time in Quebec City that Myers, 43, said he reconnected with the Anglican Church. The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, a beautiful Georgian cathedral founded in 1804, was a two-minute walk from where he lived.

“It’s with mostly excitement and joy that I’m heading into this, but I think with just the right dose of fear and trembling,” Myers told the Montreal Gazette. “To use a parallel from the life of the National Assembly, it’s like when there’s a change of government.”

More here-

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Episcopal–Methodist Communiqué

From The Living Church-

The Episcopal Church–United Methodist Dialogue Committee has issued this communiqué:

Episcopalians and United Methodists met in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the third session of their Dialogue on Full Communion (April 25-27). The ten committee members, along with staff from each church, shared in conversation, meals, prayer, and a celebration of the Eucharist. It was a time for building relationships between representatives of two sibling churches that have long desired to grow closer in common witness to the gospel of Christ and in mission for the healing of God’s world.

The dialogue session made substantive progress towards a proposal for full communion between the Episcopal Church and the United Methodist Church. Committee members continued to learn about the history, beliefs, practices, and ways of living as church that are found in each tradition. Many are shared in common by both traditions. Dialogue participants also discussed and appreciated our distinctiveness. Among these are the ways our churches have shaped their institutions and approaches to ministry appropriate to their particular missional contexts.

More here-–methodist-communique

For 27 years, these Seattle women have served food and ‘unconditional love’ to the needy

From Seattle-

Every Friday, Nancy Rogers opens the battered, former cream-puff box with the hole cut out of the lid, sits at a plastic-covered table at the back of the room and reads the prayer requests that have been slipped inside by the homeless people who come for breakfast five days a week.

“They’re for housing,” she said of the requests. “They’re for jobs. They’re for a relative who is sick. They’re for getting along with each other.”

Rogers and her colleagues at the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church feeding program bow their heads and pray for all those things and more.

Then they get up and start lunch for the more than 100 people who will come in off the streets of Ballard and beyond — the sixth and last meal of the week made by this army of older women who have never stopped being mothers.

More here-

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Pray for Nigeria's Prosperity, Ambode Urges Religious Leaders

From Nigeria-

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, Monday, urged religious leaders to intercede fervently for the country in bringing about greater economic prosperity, just as he tasked political leaders to prioritize the welfare of the masses.

Governor Ambode, who spoke while declaring open the 33rd Synod of the Lagos Diocese of Anglican Communion, held at the Our Saviour's Church, Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, said the country was in dire need of God's blessings and prosperity at this critical point in time and the church has a great role to play.

The Governor expressed delight at the theme of the Synod which was to discuss the Ecclesiastical business vis-a-vis the role of the church in the country, saying the topic was apt and timely, especially at this trying period for the economy of the country.

More here-

Anglicans at a crossroads

From Canada-

It’s going to be a busy summer for the Anglican Church of Canada. In July, the General Synod meets and one of the most divisive issues will be a motion from the Synod itself proposing to reform the marriage canon to include same-sex couples. In other words, Canadian Anglican churches being allowed — but not compelled — to conduct same-gendered marriages. To pass, it will need a two-thirds majority in all three orders — bishops, clergy and laity — and this result would have to be repeated at the next Synod in three years time. So if all goes well, by 2019 Canadian Anglicans will be able to marry gay couples.

But they won’t. It will be virtually impossible to get all three orders to achieve the required majority. The order of bishops, who are avowed to guard church unity, have already stated they are unlikely to support the motion. So if equal marriage is to progress within Canadian Anglicanism, another approach will have to be found. 

More here-

15 Methodist leaders just came out together to protest church's LGBT policy

From Oregon-

In an open letter to The United Methodist Church, 15 clergy members and clergy candidates came out Sunday as gay, lesbian, bisexual and queer -- a bold act of defiance against a church that defrocks clergy for marrying same-sex couples or coming out.

"We are compelled now to speak out and tell the whole truth of who we are to the wider church," they said in the letter. "Ministry requires honesty, courage, integrity."

The letter comes just one week before The United Methodist Church, the second-largest Protestant denomination in the United States, holds its General Conference in Portland, where representatives will consider new rules allowing clergy to be openly-gay and perform same-sex weddings.

More here-

Postscript: Daniel Berrigan, 1921-2016

From The New Yorker-

He was in the elevator when we got on, riding down from his rooms in the building on 98th Street that housed the priests known as the West Side Jesuits. His hair, thick and black in the old news photographs, had gone gray. Instead of a black turtleneck and suit coat—the outfit with which he had united clerical garb with Beat style—he had on a collarless linen shirt, untucked at the waist. His face was thin and lined. At the time, in the mid-nineteen-eighties, it seemed that the Roman Catholic Church and the gay men of New York City were at war, but he was spending his time ministering to AIDS patients at St. Vincent’s Hospital, in Greenwich Village. He stepped off the elevator, and, as we trailed behind, the Jesuit priest we were with said, a little boastfully: “Dan Berrigan—that was him. He lives with us.”

More here-

Monday, May 2, 2016

Many looking forward to Curry’s visit

From Mississippi-

Vicksburg has been the place to visit for high-ranking clergy recently.

Just two weeks ago, the Rt. Rev. Brian Seage, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi, visited Christ Episcopal Church. While in Vicksburg, Seage spoke with those at Christ Episcopal about his recent two-week visit to Uganda.

Seage said his time in Uganda gave him a fresh, new, joy-filled look at Christianity. He also welcomed all people into the church by saying the Episcopal Church of Mississippi is open to everyone.

- See more at:

Bishop to visit Okatie Episcopal church for final time before retirement

From South Carolina-

The man who helped establish a new church in Okatie will soon visit the congregation for the last time ahead of his retirement.

The Rt. Rev. Charles G. vonRosenberg, Bishop Provisional of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, will make his annual visit to The Episcopal Church in Okatie at 9:00 a.m. Sunday, May 8.

The visit precedes vonRosenberg’s second retirement – he orginially retired as Third Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee in 2011 before being installed in his current role in 2013.

One of the hallmarks of his leadership was his guidance during the establishment of The Episcopal Church in Okatie.

Read more here:

Diocese of Central New York announces bishop slate

From ENS-

 The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York May 2 announced a slate of four candidates for the position of 11th bishop of the diocese, succeeding the Right Rev. Gladstone B. “Skip” Adams, who is retiring after 15 years of service.

The candidates are:

The Very Rev. Dr. DeDe Duncan-Probe, rector, St. Peter’s in the Woods Episcopal Church, Fairfax Station, Virginia;

The Rev. Canon Debra Kissinger, canon for transition ministries and leadership development, Diocese of Indianapolis;

The Rev. Noah H. Evans, rector, Grace Episcopal Church, Medford, Massachusetts;

The Rev. Nora Smith, rector, The Church of St. Barnabas (Episcopal), Irvington, New York

The election will take place Aug. 6 at the Holiday Inn in Liverpool, New York. The ordination and consecration of the bishop-elect is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 3, 2016 at the Holiday Inn in Liverpool, New York.

More here-

Sunday, May 1, 2016

St. George's sex-abuse scandal: Rev. 'Howdy' White's trail of trauma

From Providence-

In December 1966, the Charleston Daily Mail noted the ordination of Howard W. White Jr. as an Episcopal priest in West Virginia.

White, like all other Episcopal ordinates, vowed to follow the teachings of Christ and be "a wholesome example" to his people.

White's first assignment, at Trinity Episcopal Church in Martinsburg, West Virginia, lasted less than a year. He moved, and moved again, from parishes to elite boarding schools, from prep schools to churches, from state to state and within states. New Hampshire. Rhode Island. Virginia. North Carolina. Pennsylvania.

Along the way, White's accusers say, he left a trail of wrecked and broken lives. The allegations of sexual abuse span decades and distance.

More here-

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Holding together in diversity – reflections on the ACC meeting in Lusaka

Justin Welby via ACNS-

Having come back from Lusaka on 20 April, after 16 days in Zambia and Zimbabwe, once again the experience of a big Anglican Communion meeting has had an impact on my thinking about the Communion.

As usual, the impact is largely positive. Any time the Communion gets together, especially the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) which has representatives from most Provinces who are bishops, priests and laity, I am more and more struck that we hold together, more or less, despite our diversity, because of the work of God among us. God is at work in the Anglican Communion, and my awareness of that has grown a lot in the last month. There are plenty of problems, I’ll come to those in a moment, but the central news is that if God, by his Spirit, is working among us, that the future is one of hope, of purpose and of blessing in our call to fulfil the mission of God in the world.

More here-

Anglican-Catholic dialogue coming to Toronto

From The Catholic Register-

One of the most important and troubled projects from the Second Vatican Council arrives in Toronto May 11 for some serious, scholarly and saintly talk.

The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, better known as ARCIC, rolls into town to puzzle over how Catholics and Anglicans make decisions over ethical questions and to find new ways to sum up its work over the last five decades.

ARCIC is the official ecumenical dialogue between the world’s 85 million Anglicans and 1.3 billion Catholics set up by the Vatican and the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1969.

This is the first time ARCIC has met in Canada, and it gives Canada’s own Anglican-Catholic dialogue partners a chance to rub shoulders with their international counterparts.

The public will have a chance to pray with the theologians and bishops involved in the dialogue and then hear them speak about their work for unity on May 11, beginning with a 7 p.m. evening prayer service in the Basilian chapel on the University of St. Michael’s College campus. At 7:30 the ecumenists will walk across the street to Brennan Hall to hear the co-chairs of Canada’s national Anglican-Catholic dialogue and the international co-chairs speak about the state of the dialogue.

More here-

Cathedral reveals letter from ‘Mrs Shakspaire’

From The Church Times-

AS THE world marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Hereford Cathedral has unearthed its own Shakespearean tale.

Two fragments of a letter, written at about the same period that the playwright was alive, were discovered in the binding of a book in the cathedral library. The letter is addressed to a “Good Mrs Shakspaire”, and asks her to pay a penniless orphan boy, John Butts, money that is owed to him by her late husband. It also mentions a “Mr Sparowe”.

The cathedral librarian, Dr Rosemary Firman, thinks, however, that these Shakspaires are not William and his wife, Anne Hathaway. She said this week: “These Shakspaires are said to have once lived on a Trinity Lane, but William Shakespeare is not known to have lived at such an address, and no connections are known between him and anyone called Butts or Sparowe.”

More here-

At Yale, a Right That Doesn’t Outweigh a Wrong

From The New York Times-

 Yale made a grievous mistake this week when it announced that it would keep the name of an avowed white supremacist, John C. Calhoun, on a residential college, despite decades of vigorous alumni and student protests. The decision to name residential colleges for Benjamin Franklin and Anna Pauline Murray, a black civil rights activist, does nothing to redeem this wrong.

It is not a just compromise to split the difference between Calhoun and Murray; there should be no compromise between such stark contrasts in values. The decision to retain the Calhoun name continues the pain inflicted every day on students who live in a dormitory named for a man distinguished by being one of the country’s most egregious racists.

More here-

Friday, April 29, 2016

I'm Ready to Evangelize... About Climate Change

From Soujurners-

Members of the Episcopal Church from around the world are suffering from the dramatic and damaging impacts of our changing climate. Its harshest effects are startlingly discriminatory, often affecting low-income and marginalized people. The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti, stands on the front lines of climate change. Haiti — home to the largest diocese of the Episcopal Church — and our Haitian brothers and sisters are suffering from a severe, relentless drought. As the people of Haiti largely depend upon agriculture for their livelihoods, climate change is threatening the lifeblood of their island-home.

Travel nearly 5,000 miles northwest to the steppes of the Brooks Range in Alaska, and you will find a majority-Episcopal Alaskan Native community of Gwich’in people. The Gwich’in hunt the Porcupine caribou herd for their daily subsistence, but warming arctic temperatures have stimulated new species of plant growth that discourages the caribou from returning to local hunting grounds, leaving the Gwich’in food insecure as winter approaches.

- See more at:

Episcopal saint is namesake of new Yale residential college

From RNS-

A new residential college at Yale University has been named for an Episcopal saint who was the first African-American woman to be ordained an Episcopal priest.

Anna Pauline Murray, known as “Pauli,” was also a civil rights activist who helped shape the legal argument for the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling and a women’s rights activist who co-founded the National Organization for Women. She received an advanced law degree from Yale in 1965 and an honorary doctorate from Yale Divinity School in 1979.

More here-

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Episcopal bishop: Refugee resettlement work in Wichita will continue

From Kansas-

The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas says his church will continue to help resettle refugees in Kansas despite Gov. Sam Brownback’s decision to withdraw the state from the federal resettlement program.

Brownback cited security concerns Tuesday when he announced he was ending the state’s participation in the program, which helps resettle refugees fleeing war-torn nations.

Episcopal Migration Ministries will continue its resettlement work in Wichita regardless of the state’s position, the Rev. Dean Wolfe said in a statement late Wednesday.

“In the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas we will continue to be an advocate for those who have no voice,” Wolfe said. “With the exception of indigenous peoples, we are all immigrants to this great land.”

Read more here:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

What Christians Can Learn from Golf – or any Sport!

From Atlanta-

After seeing 11Alive anchor Jeff Hullinger's "Jeff's Take" on what we can learn from Jordan Spieth's loss at the 2016 Masters Golf Tournament , St. Phillip Cathedral's Rev. Samuel Candler asked for permission to use it in a sermon. This is a reprint of that published sermon.

What Christians Can Learn from Golf – or any Sport!

Okay, for years now, I have not been afraid to make a particular confession, an unusual one, one that not many Episcopal priests can make. I confess: I don’t play golf.

But I know that golf is a great sport! And I know lots of good people who do play golf! So it was that I found myself watching some of the recent Masters Golf Tournament, in Augusta, Georgia, a few weeks ago. Being from Georgia, I have to watch the Masters anyway.

More here-

As Ed Bacon takes his leave of All Saints Church: Larry Wilson

From Pasadena-

When I was visiting with Ed Bacon in his memorabilia-filled office at All Saints Church the other day, and he referred to the time when John Frank Scott was his predecessor as rector there, I asked about what era that would have been.

“Well, let’s see, it was during the FDR years,” Bacon mused. “Funny how I remember it that way. It’s like in the Bible, where something is referred to as in ‘the years when Claritas was a Roman governor.’”

The intersection of government and religion is by no means a foreign subject for anyone who, like the Reverend Doctor J. Edwin Bacon Jr., serves as the rector of All Saints, the most prominent Episcopal church in the West, as Bacon has for 21 years, and whose last service as rector here will be this Sunday, May 1.

For it’s not just the fact that the All Saints campus sits directly across Euclid Avenue from Pasadena City Hall that makes a “public church,” where both religious and very much not people often find themselves gathering.

More here-

Episcopal bishops of North Carolina call for repeal of HB2

From North Carolina-

Bishop Anne Hodges-Copple of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, which includes Charlotte, was among the state’s four Episcopal bishops calling Tuesday for repeal of HB2. Courtesy of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina.
The Episcopal bishops of North Carolina called Tuesday for the repeal of House Bill 2, saying it “overtly discriminates against LGBT persons and goes further by cutting back protection against discrimination for anyone in the state.”

Their statement comes a day after the state’s United Methodist bishops released one that also called on the state legislature to repeal the controversial law.

The four Episcopal bishops said the legislature rushed HB2 into law, not making time to listen to the LGBT community, among others. “The mounting economic losses for North Carolina show this hasty process did not leave room to consider what impact HB2 would have on our state,” the bishops said. “We are all paying the price.”

Read more here:

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Brunswick seek assistance to enhance African American tourism

From Georgia-

Officials and administrators in Brunswick and Glynn County have joined forces to obtain assistance from the Georgia Department of Economic Development to better promote area-wide African American heritage tourist attractions.

“We have a rich African American heritage that has not been drawn out and planned,” said Brunswick City Commissioner Julie Martin. “This is an opportunity for the city, county and the (Golden Isles Convention and) Visitors Bureau to feed into and market that segment of the population.”

Brunswick and Glynn County commissioners recently approved the city’s “Letter of Interest” requesting assistance from the state development department’s Tourism Product Development Team who will come in and help conduct an assessment of African American heritage tourism opportunities. The team will then make its recommendations on how to grow tourism county-wide.

More here-

California bishop represents church at climate agreement signing

From ENS-

Among the hundreds of people present at the United Nations headquarters in New York on April 22 for the historic signing of the world’s first ever comprehensive agreement on climate change, California Bishop Marc Andrus stood out as the only visible religious leader, dressed in a purple clerical shirt and a collar.

“I was there as a witness,” said Andrus, adding that he could not identify other “overtly” religious people in the crowd and that no one was singled out as representing the faith community. “I was the only one, and there where hundreds and hundreds of people, and so I’m so grateful for that. Then I was met with gratitude, people saying ‘I’m so happy that the church is here.’

“I was very careful to step forward saying I’m here to represent the Episcopal Church and Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, and honored to be here partnering with you and we are looking for ways to support this work,” he said during an April 23 interview back in California with Episcopal News Service. Andrus spoke after an EcoConfirmation service, where participants upheld their baptismal vow to “cherish the wondrous works of God, and protect the beauty and integrity of all creation.”

More here-

Monday, April 25, 2016

Charlotte gay wedding defies United Methodist Church rules

From North Carolina-

They knew it could mean a reprimand or even a church trial that might end their careers.

Still, the pastor of Charlotte’s First United Methodist Church and a retired bishop who once did jail time with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. decided to go ahead over the weekend and preside at the wedding of John Romano and Jim Wilborne.

The two Charlotte men became the first same-sex couple in North Carolina to get married – at least publicly – in a United Methodist church.

But the mainline denomination’s Book of Discipline sanctions only marriage between a man and a woman. So there could be consequences for the Rev. Val Rosenquist and Bishop Melvin Talbert – the clergy who performed the wedding – if any complaints are filed with Bishop Larry Goodpaster, who leads the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Read more here:

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Should Christians hold seders?

From The National Catholic Reporter-

The Rev. Ann Fontaine, priest associate at St. Catherine of Alexandria Episcopal Church in Nehalem, Ore., points to the work her denomination's Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music has done in recent years to counter what it calls "Christian anti-Judaism." That includes language often used during the Easter season that make Jews out to be the "bad guys" who killed Jesus, she said.

To Fontaine, Passover "comes from a history of people who have suffered at Christian hands."

"It's a lot like people doing a sweat lodge or sun dance that are not Native American. To me, you haven't walked that path with that people. You're taking the benefits without having suffered," she said. "I don't mind if a Jewish family invites you to a seder or if a Native American group invited you to a sweat lodge -- that's OK. But to start one yourself, that's stealing."

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America also has warned its congregations that "taking a tradition that does not belong to us and practicing it in our congregations could be an imitation that is not welcomed at best and very offensive at worst."

Moffic has heard similar arguments, and he acknowledges people will disagree with him. But, he said, "To me, as a Reform rabbi, I believe our customs and stories are open to interpretation, and Christians can interpret a story just as we can."

More here-
From The Wall Street Journal-

“I know, therefore, that when the Volk passes through these galleries it will recognize in me its own spokesman and counselor,” declared Adolf Hitler with the opening of the “Great German Art Exhibition” on July 18, 1937, in Munich. The presentation, selected by his Nazi associate Heinrich Hoffmann, was loaded with conventional paintings and sculpture, including mythological scenes and portraits of “pure” Aryans.

Opening the next day, also in Munich, was a second show mocking modern art. “Entartete Kunst”—“Degenerate Art”—had been conceived by Third Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels and organized by Adolf Ziegler to show 650 contemporary paintings and sculptures, picked from the thousands of works Nazi forces had seized from 32 German museums, some only days earlier. In his public remarks about the exhibition, Hitler added that these modern “so-called artists” could be treated for “disorders” or as “a matter for a criminal court.”
More here-

St. George’s cancels “healing” session on sex abuse scandal during alumni weekend

From The Boston Globe-

After threats of boycotts and other protests from angry victims of sexual abuse, St. George’s School is altering its plans to hold a “Hope for Healing” session on its Rhode Island campus during an alumni reunion weekend next month.

On Wednesday, headmaster Eric Peterson wrote to alumni about a gathering to “address this deeply troubling and painful chapter in our school’s history.” The session was to be held in the chapel of the Episcopal prep school, during Alumni Weekend, scheduled for May 6-8.

But late Friday afternoon, board chairwoman Leslie Heaney sent out a second letter to alumni, stating that the initial letter about the proposed “Hope for Healing” session had “upset many survivors.”

More here-

Episcopal women revisit Bethesda history

From Florida-

Leigh Anne Brown shared the story of how a soldier in love kept the parachute he used to land in Normandy on D-Day. When he returned home from war, he asked his fiancée to turn it into a wedding dress.

“They enjoyed a beautiful 55-year marriage as a result of that,” Brown said. “Even in spite of separation and war and tragedy, true love wins.”

Brown owns multiple parachute gowns as part of her vintage wedding-dress collection. The Hillsborough County resident displayed 17 pieces Thursday at the annual meeting and tea of the Episcopal Church Women at The Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea.

The ministry of and for women has been active in the community for 126 years, according to Mary Allen, president of the ministry’s board. Episcopal Church Women leaders organize events, raise money for charitable causes and support improvements to Bethesda.

- See more at:

Friday, April 22, 2016

Even a Stopped Clock is Right Twice a Day

From National Catholic Register-

You may want to sit down for this, but once upon a time flamboyantly apostate Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong actually thrilled me with a prescient bit of insight into Scripture! How is this possible?

Well, there is a basic principle at work in the universe called the Gomer Pyle Axiom of High and Low Expectations. It works this way: when you expect great things from somebody, then merely above average performances are often denounced as disappointing failures. So, when Pixar, whose worst movies still tower over the junk Hollywood emits, makes Cars, people groan at what a weak effort it is, even though Cars still dwarfs 99% of all other movies and 99.9% of all other animated films.

But when a guy like Gomer Pyle, from whom nobody expects anything at all, bursts forth in a voice of not-awful-but-certainly-not-very-good tone and talent, he is hailed as a New Caruso because we weren’t expecting anything at all from him.

It’s that “Wow! He didn’t utterly suck!” thrill that I am describing, because John Shelby Spong once, albeit briefly, scaled the snowy summit of common sense. Addressing the sort of people who blindly insist that Jesus never existed, and therefore appearing smart in comparison to them, we discover Spong declared:

"He was no myth," says Spong, who came through Toronto recently to promote his latest book, Jesus for the Non-Religious. "He really existed."

Read more:

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Mugabe had no choice: Anglicans

From Zimbabwe-

On November 19, 2011, the Supreme Court ruled Kunonga was no longer a member of the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) and immediately vested control of Harare Diocese in Gandiya, bringing to a close a five-year acrimonious battle.

Government had, in the wrangle, weighed in behind Kunonga.

However, in a sign of the end of hostilities early this week, Mugabe met Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and Gandiya for the first time since the end of what local Anglicans have come to know as “our years in exile”.

Gandiya told NewsDay yesterday that relations between government and the church had become cordial since the judgment.

More here-