Monday, July 16, 2018

Bishop Adams: 'Our aim is restoration and unity'

From South Carolina-

The Episcopal Church in South Carolina is, by God’s grace, a part of the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement. We are growing in numbers, in joy, and in our sense of mission. One of our deep desires is that we might be a visible manifestation of reconciliation in Christ. To do that, we are seeking all people of goodwill to join us in conversation about how we might live into what God accomplished for us in the death and resurrection of Jesus.

It is in the spirit of God’s love as shown forth in Christ that we seek to be in conversation with one another, for it is “in him that the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” (Colossians 1:9). We are the common inheritors of that Gospel. Our witness is strengthened if we are a people united in service of God’s mission given to the Church, “to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ” (Catechism of the Book of Common Prayer, page 855).

More here-

https://www.postandcourier.com/opinion/commentary/bishop-adams-our-aim-is-restoration-and-unity/article_7d619a00-85e4-11e8-9604-2f8c81990bde.html

US Episcopal Church moves towards divestment from Israeli occupation

From Middle East Monitor-

The General Convention of the Episcopal Church, with more than 3 million members across the US, has passed a number of resolutions in support of Palestinian rights, including an unprecedented move towards divestment from companies involved in Israeli violations of international law.

At the 79th General Convention, six resolutions on Israel-Palestine made it through both the House of Deputies and House of Bishops, although the latter body failed to follow through on “bolder steps” backed by Deputies.

Issues singled out by the adopted resolutions “including the plight of Palestinian children, the status of Jerusalem, the disproportionate use of lethal force on both sides and ways the Episcopal Church can press for peace through its investment decisions”.

As regards that latter issue, resolution BO16 mandates the Church’s Executive Council’s Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility “to develop criteria for Israel and Palestine based on a human rights’ investment screen”, and “to engage in shareholder advocacy in support of human rights in Israel and the Occupied Territories”.

More here-



General Convention responds to the voices and stories of women

From ENS-

The voices and stories of women played a significant role in the workings of the 79th General Convention, from a liturgy where bishops offered laments and confession for the church’s role in sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse, to Resolution D087 that allows deputies to bring infant children on the floor of the House of Deputies to feed them.

On the night of July 4, before the convention officially opened, a Liturgy of Listening featured stories from women and men who were victims of sexual misconduct perpetrated by someone in the church. Bishop DeDe Duncan-Probe of the Diocese of Central New York, who planned the service, said it was designed to help set a framework for General Convention’s consideration of resolutions dealing with sexual misconduct, exploitation and gender disparity. As part of a response to that liturgy, the House of Bishops on July 8 adopted a covenant that commits them to seek changes in their dioceses to combat abuse, harassment and exploitation. The document, which applies only to bishops, is entitled “A Working Covenant for the Practice of Equity and Justice for All in The Episcopal Church.” Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves of the Diocese of El Camino Real said the covenant grew out of the Liturgy of Listening because it was clear that “there is no way we can do this and nothing more.” She said, “Sexual abuse, harassment and exploitation are part of the system. This is about acknowledging and accepting that.”

More here-

https://www.episcopalnewsservice.org/2018/07/13/general-convention-responds-to-the-voices-and-stories-of-women/

Toward Generous Faithfulness About Marriage

From Springfield-

Beloved in Christ in the Diocese of Springfield,

I am now safely and gratefully back home after serving for 12 days at the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, which was held in Austin, Texas. I was joined there by an outstanding cadre of Deputies elected by the diocese: Kevin Babb and Sharon Hoffman (St Andrew’s, Edwardsville), Randy Winn (Trinity, Mt Vernon), Gerry Smith (Christ the King, Normal), Fr Dick Swan (St John’s, Decatur), Mother Sherry Black (St Mark’s, West Frankfort), Fr Dave Halt (St Matthew’s, Bloomington), and Fr Mark Evans (Trinity, Lincoln). They all did you proud.

The convention considered and disposed of, one way or another, over 4oo resolutions. I wrote about some of them on my personal blog, which I encourage you to look at. In this letter, I will focus on just one, because it deals with the most controversial issue our church has faced over the last several decades, which is human sexuality in general and marriage in particular. and it seems important that I communicate to the clergy and faithful of the diocese about this both promptly and clearly.

More here-

https://www.episcopalspringfield.org/toward-generous-faithfulness-about-marriage/

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry to hold prayer service at Taylor detention facility

From Austin-

Bishop Michael Curry, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church who spoke at the royal wedding in May, is holding a prayer service noon Sunday at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor.

The prayer service is part of Curry’s trip to Austin for the church’s General Convention, according to a news release.
“We wanted to channel the grief and anger we feel over our government’s inhumane treatment of asylum seekers and other immigrants into an act of prayerful solidarity with the women being unjustly incarcerated at Hutto and other facilities like it,” the Rev. Megan Castellan of Ithaca, N.Y., said in the release. 

Castellan organized the service at the detention center with the Rev. Terry Pierce, vicar of St. James Episcopal Church in Taylor, and others.

More here-

https://www.statesman.com/news/local/presiding-bishop-michael-curry-hold-prayer-service-taylor-detention-facility/lqDkgNKyIFvSQk3pQG0ecN/


5 facts about Episcopalians

From Pew-

The history of the Episcopal Church is closely tied to the history of the United States. The church was founded after the American Revolution as the successor to the Church of England in the new country. It has often been seen as the religious institution most closely associated with the American establishment, producing many of the nation’s most important leaders in politics and business. Even today, the seat of the presiding bishop of the church, the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., is sometimes called “America’s church.”

On the eve of the Episcopal Church’s 2018 General Convention, here are five facts about Episcopalians:

1. More presidents have been Episcopalian – 11 – than any other Christian denomination. Several of the nation’s earliest presidents, including George Washington, James Madison and James Monroe, were Episcopalians. But since the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1945, the only two Episcopalian presidents have been Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush.

More here-

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/07/02/5-facts-about-episcopalians/

Is God male? The Episcopal Church debates whether to change its Book of Common Prayer.

From The Washington Post-

The terms for God, in the poetic language of the prayers written for centuries, have almost always been male: Father. King. Lord.

And in the Episcopal Church, the language of prayer matters. The Book of Common Prayer, the text used in every Episcopal congregation, is cherished as a core element of Episcopal identity.

This week, the church is debating whether to overhaul that prayer book — in large part  to make clear that God doesn’t have a gender.

“As long as ‘men’ and ‘God’ are in the same category, our work toward equity will not just be incomplete. I honestly think it won’t matter in some ways,” said the Rev. Wil Gafney, a professor of the Hebrew Bible at Brite Divinity School in Texas who is on the committee recommending a change to the gendered language in the prayer book.

Gafney says that when she preaches, she sometimes changes the words of the Book of Common Prayer, even though Episcopal priests aren’t formally allowed to do so. Sometime she switches a word like “King” to a gender-neutral term like “Ruler” or “Creator.” Sometimes she uses “She” instead of “He.” Sometimes, she sticks with the masculine tradition. ” ‘Our Father,’ I won’t fiddle with that,” she said, invoking the beginning of the Lord’s Prayer that Jesus taught his disciples to say in the book of Matthew.

More here-

Monday, July 2, 2018

Man arrested after shouting ‘womp, womp’ and pulling a gun on immigration protesters

From The Washington Post-

The gathering at a park gazebo in Huntsville, Ala., was by no means the largest of Saturday’s nationwide protests against President Trump’s “zero tolerance” border policies, though it was memorable for other reasons.

It began around noon, as an Episcopal priest delivered a prayer to about 100 protesters gathered around the gazebo and a man marched back and forth in front of her, shouting “womp, womp!”

“Holy and ever-loving God . . .” said the priest, Kerry Holder-Joffrion.


“We pray for the children of this nation and all nations . . .”

“WOMP, WOMP!”

More here-

Episcopalians preparing for 79th General Convention in Austin can expect ‘a real Texas welcome’

From ENS-

Is Austin, Texas, ready to welcome thousands of Episcopalians for the two weeks of church business and socializing known as General Convention? Episcopalians from around the church certainly are ready for Austin.

“It is my hope and prayer that this General Convention will truly embody and model what it means to follow the way, the teachings and in the spirit of Jesus of Nazareth,” Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said in a written statement to Episcopal News Service. “That means taking seriously being a part of the Jesus Movement, not only in the church but in the world.

“My prayer is that our GC will truly be a witness to the way of love that Jesus taught us.”

The 79th General Convention officially gets underway July 5 at the Austin Convention Center, though registration, orientation and pre-convention activities start July 1. According to the House of Deputies, this is the first time since 1970, when women were permitted to be seated as deputies, that the deputies will be majority female, and this General Conventions boasts the youngest and most diverse group of legislative committee officers ever.

More here-

https://www.episcopalnewsservice.org/2018/07/02/episcopalians-preparing-for-79th-general-convention-in-austin-can-expect-a-real-texas-welcome/

Episcopalian couples, advocates hope the church removes gay marriage restrictions

From Tennessee-

Indie Pereira and her wife Pari Bhatt still want a church wedding.

The Nashville couple regularly attends St. Philip's Episcopal Church, but opted for a civil ceremony in the living room of the city's former mayor because their bishop will not permit same-sex couples to have the religious ceremonies in the church. 

Pereira and Bhatt live and worship within the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee, which is one of only eight dioceses in the country where such a ban exists. Their struggle within the church's Middle Tennessee region is illustrative of how views on marriage continue to threaten the unity of the denomination. 

"It amazes me that I could literally go to any other dioceses that touches us and get married," Pereira said. 

But that could change soon.

More here-

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Anglican cathedrals reviving pre-Reformation practices in England

From Aleteia-

Whether it’s being done for evangelistic purposes or to boost the coffers of struggling churches, several Anglican cathedrals in England are reviving practices that had been abandoned since the Reformation.

One is even holding processions in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
British cathedrals are “transforming their genteel image with bright color, noisy processions and drama, reviving long-abandoned practices from the middle ages and drawing in the crowds,” reported the Guardian.

Those “long-abandoned practices” include medieval mystery plays, which were once common features in Christian villages throughout Europe as a way to teach the faith to a largely illiterate populace.

Their revival comes at a time when Europe has one of the lowest rates of Christian adherence in centuries, as well as at a time when smart phone use is at an all-time high.

“We have returned to a very visual culture today, and medieval practices suit that,” said Jeffrey John, the dean of St. Alban’s Cathedral in Hertfordshire who created a modern-day pilgrimage to honor the first Christian martyred in Britain. “And if you have strong medieval roots as so many cathedrals do, you are bound to probe them and revive that heritage.”

More here-

https://aleteia.org/2018/06/29/anglican-cathedrals-reviving-pre-reformation-practices-in-england/

mmigrant family separations turned these Delaware women into first-time protest-starters

From Delaware-

Three different generations of Delaware women — none of whom have ever led a protest before — are the organizers behind a trio of immigration protests across the state Saturday.

After President Trump's "zero tolerance" immigration policy and child separations, the women all had the same reaction: "I have to do something."

Wilmington's Maria Perez, 69, Bear's Joni Newby, 38, and Dover's McKenzie Melvin, 18 — none of whom know one other — each created an event on MoveOn.org as part of more than 600 protests scheduled across the country this weekend.

While their backgrounds may be different — Perez is a doctor, Newby is a social worker  and Melvin is a college student — their message is unified: Stop separating families and treat migrants and refugees with respect.

"A child being separated from their parents is just unthinkable. And for a parent not to know where their child is — it doesn't make any sense to me," says Perez, a longtime member of Milltown's St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, the site of her protest. "I just felt that I needed to do this."

The event organized by Perez will be held at St. Barnabas' Episcopal Church, 2800 Duncan Rd., and starts at 10 a.m.

More here-





Bishops propose solution for full access to same-sex marriage rites

From ENS-

Three bishops have proposed a resolution on same-sex marriage that “seeks to ensure that all of God’s people have access to all the marriage liturgies of the church, regardless of diocese, while respecting the pastoral direction and conscience of the local bishop.”

Long Island Bishop Lawrence Provenzano, Pittsburgh Bishop Dorsey McConnell and Rhode Island Bishop Nicholas Knisely said in a news release late on June 28 that their Resolution B012 is “an attempt to move the church forward in an atmosphere of mutual respect, reconciliation and the love of Jesus Christ.”

The resolution continues to authorize the two trial-use marriage rites first approved by the 2015 meeting of General Convention without time limit and without seeking a revision of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.

“Given our particular time in history, this resolution provides a way forward for the whole church without the possible disruption of ministry that might be caused by the proposed revision of the Book of Common Prayer,” the three bishops said.

More here-

https://www.episcopalnewsservice.org/2018/06/29/bishops-propose-solution-for-full-access-to-same-sex-marriage-rites/

Friday, June 29, 2018

Clergy members protesting immigration policies arrested in Los Angeles ahead of Jeff Sessions visit

From Los Angeles (via NY)-

Nearly two dozen clergy members were arrested in Los Angeles Tuesday as they protested the Trump administration’s immigration policies and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ planned visit to the area.

The religious leaders from different faith backgrounds linked arms to block Spring St. near a federal courthouse as police ordered them to disperse.

With cops threatening immediate arrest, they sat down side-by-side in the street in an act of civil disobedience organized by Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE), a spokeswoman for the group told the Daily News.

Rabbi Aryeh Cohen was one of the clergy members hauled away in plastic cuffs. Speaking to The News after his release, Cohen said he was one of 23 total clergy members cited with an infraction for failing to follow a lawful order.

More here-

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-news-clergy-members-arrested-jeff-sessions-protest-20180626-story.html

Arizona Church Speaks Out Ahead of Expected Melania Trump State Visit: 'Jesus Doesn't Want Kids to Be in Cages'

From Arizona-

First lady Melania Trump was expected to land in Tucson, Arizona, on Thursday, marking her second trip to visit facilities holding undocumented immigrant families. Ahead of the first lady’s visit, a local church hung two banners affirming their position as to where Jesus would stand on the issue of detaining children. 

Saint Philip's In The Hills Episcopal Church, located about 15 miles from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, where the first lady was expected to fly into from Washington, D.C, posted two banners on a wall outside the church facing a busy intersection, according to Fox 11 News. 

The banners show a photo of a young boy standing next to two people, who appear to be border patrol agents, accompanied by the words, “Jesus doesn't want kids to be in cages."

More here-

http://www.newsweek.com/arizona-church-speaks-out-against-detaining-migrant-children-melania-trump-999862

Episcopal Church in the US holds prayer vigil for migrant families separated at the border

From The Church Times-

ON JUNE 21, the longest day of the year, the Episcopal Church in the United States held a prayer vigil for family unity from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in its chapel on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, to call attention to the Trump administration’s policy of separating the children of migrant families. The day was chosen, the Episcopal News Service said on its website, “in recognition of the fact that any day children are separated from their parents is too long”.

Although the President made a U-turn hours before the vigil — after videos showing children held in “tender-age facilities” crying for their parents provoked outrage — the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Revd Michael Curry, said that concerns about the detention of families continued.

In a video message urging people to log on to the prayer vigil, which was screened live on Facebook, he said: “The ways that we implement our immigration concerns, the ways that we secure our borders, need not be separated from our compassion and our human decency.”

More here-

https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2018/29-june/news/world/episcopal-church-in-us-holds-prayer-vigil-for-migrant-families-separated-at-the-border

Episcopal Church in Sc to host open conversations

From South Carolina-

The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) will host three public open conversations held in Conway, Charleston and Bluffton between July 16-18 at 6 - 7:30 p.m.

TECSC is offering the open conversations to provide information and answer questions for people whose churches are affected by recent court decisions giving control of the property of the Diocese of South Carolina and 28 parishes to The Episcopal Church and its recognized diocese, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina.

“We understand this is a time of great concern and confusion for people who care deeply about their faith communities,” said the Right Rev. Gladstone B. Adams III, Bishop of TECSC. “We want to listen well and respond to their questions in order to offer a clear picture of how people can remain in their churches as part of The Episcopal Church.”

More here-

https://www.moultrienews.com/community-news/episcopal-church-in-sc-to-host-open-conversations/article_f1253968-7aec-11e8-9160-1f9f77e21332.html

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Group of bishops proposes compromise on thorny issue of paying House of Deputies president

From ENS-

A group of bishops has proposed a compromise on the question of whether the president of the House of Deputies should be paid, an issue that has proved divisive at previous General Conventions.
The compromise comes as the result of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s desire for the issue to get a “full and fair conversation” in the House of Bishops, Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania Sean Rowe told Episcopal News Service June 28.

That conversation began informally at the March House of Bishops meeting. Rowe and the group then crafted Resolution B014 that would direct the church’s Executive Council to pay the House of Deputies president director’s fees “for specific services rendered in order to fulfill duties required by the church’s Constitution and Canons.”

The resolution, and others related to the issue, will be debated during the July 5-13 meeting of General Convention in Austin, Texas.

More here-

https://www.episcopalnewsservice.org/2018/06/28/group-of-bishops-propose-compromise-on-thorny-issue-of-paying-house-of-deputies-president/

Mainstream Christianity in America has failed. It looks nothing like Jesus.

From Sojourners-

For the last few years Christians have been singing worship songs that include lyrics like “ keep my eyes above the waves, when oceans rise …” and yet have rejected refugees who’ve seen loved ones die beneath waves, who themselves have literally struggled to keep from drowning in oceans. Those American Christians — particularly white evangelicals — continue to sing the words: “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders …” but fail to realize the shameful irony that they’re largely responsible for refusing shelter and opportunity to some of the world’s most helpless and oppressed people.

This represents a predominant theme of Westernized Christendom: proclaiming Christian rhetoric while actively — or passively — practicing the opposite in reality.

Because while the gospels instruct followers of Christ to help the poor, oppressed, maligned, mistreated, sick, and those most in need of help, Christians in America have largely supported measures that have rejected refugees, refused aid to immigrants, cut social services to the poor, diminished help for the sick, fueled xenophobia, reinforced misogyny, ignored racism, stoked hatred, reinforced corruption, and largely increased inequality, prejudice, and fear.

More here-

https://sojo.net/articles/american-christianity-has-failed

Four Nominees in Europe

From Europe-

The Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe has announced four nominees in its search for the next bishop in charge:
  • The Rev. Canon Paul-Gordon Chandler, president and CEO of CARAVAN, an international ministry of building peace through the arts, based in metropolitan Chicago
  • The Rev. Mark D.W. Edington, rector of St. John’s Church, Newtonville, Massachusetts, and director of Amherst College Press
  • The Rev. Steven Paulikas, rector of All Saints’ Church, Brooklyn
  • The Very Rev. Benjamin Shambaugh, dean of the Cathedral Church of St. Luke, Portland, Maine
The election is scheduled for the convocation’s convention, scheduled for Oct. 18-21 at All Saints’ Church in Waterloo, Belgium.

More here-

https://livingchurch.org/2018/06/25/four-nominees-in-europe/

Atlanta churches join in rebuke of federal immigration policy

From Atlanta-

Joining other churches in the Atlanta area, the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church (IHM) and the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany (ECE) have published rebukes of President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

The IHM statement from Father Javier Muñoz states that the “the separation of immigrant children from their parents is countenanced, much less embraced, by anyone in our nation demonstrates how far we have fallen in common decency and respect for the human person.”

Although the current administration has recently shifted its immigration policies and is no longer separating families, many groups still believe that it is not enough.

“As I told our United States Senators, my representative and the White House when I contacted them last week: A letter like this should not have to be written,” the pastor wrote.

More here-

http://www.atlantaloop.com/atlanta-churches-join-in-rebuke-of-federal-immigration-policy/

Convention to face ‘tough societal questions’ confronting the Episcopal Church

From ENS-

When the 79th General Convention considers the resolutions proposed by the House of Deputies Committee on the State of the Church, it will confront “tough questions” facing the Episcopal Church in the current social environment.

The pressing areas of social justice, multiculturalism and ethnic ministries were all examined during the committee’s three-year study of how the Episcopal Church can better equip itself and minister effectively in multiple social contexts in “these deeply troubled and divisive times,” the committee’s report states.

If there is an overarching takeaway, the committee’s chair, the Rev. Winnie S. Varghese of the Diocese of New York, hopes it is that “we need to find more ways to release the gifts of the church from communities that we tend to position as ‘being served’ by the church,” she said in an email in response to questions submitted by Episcopal News Service.

More here-

https://www.episcopalnewsservice.org/2018/06/26/convention-to-face-tough-societal-questions-confronting-the-episcopal-church/

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Anglican bishop riding for reconciliation

From Canada-

The Right Reverend Rob Hardwick is cycling across Canada in the name of unity, healing and reconciliation.

Hardwick, who has served as the bishop of the Diocese of Qu’Appelle for the past five years, knows about the often uneasy relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada.
He says that his diocese, located in southern Saskatchewan, had the longest-running residential school in Canada.

“The pain of that, the pain of that history, is with us,” Hardwick said. “The pain of so many people that have lost their culture and have been abused in various ways.”

“This bike ride is a form of penance, in a way, but it’s also to try and bring reconciliation.”

More here-

Christian “Who Happens to be Gay” Protests the Episcopal Diocese of Florida

From Florida-

When the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church meets this summer, it’s widely expected to pass a measure fully approving gay marriage within the church. It took a big step toward that decision the last time the body met, in 2015. There were, however, some holdouts, including the diocese that encompasses the Episcopalian churches of Northeast Florida.

Lawrence Denton, a lifelong Episcopalian, took it hard when the Diocese of Florida opted out of the church’s 2015 decision to approve “trial rights” for gay marriage. While the Episcopal Church has been far more progressive on the issue than most protestant denominations, the diocese that represents Northeast Florida is part of about 10 percent of dioceses that chose to go in another direction. Denton describes himself as a “lifelong Episcopalian who happens to be gay.”

So in 2015, Denton stopped attending the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Riverside, where he’d been a member since 1997, sending a letter of protest to Bishop Samuel Johnson Howard, as well as to leaders and friends in his home congregation.

Denton has lived in Jacksonville since the late 1980s and has belonged to various congregations, including St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral downtown and the Metropolitan Community Church. He joined Good Shepherd because a friend told him the clergy and members were gay-friendly; the members founded a local chapter of the national group Integrity USA, whose website characterizes it as “working for full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the Episcopal Church and beyond.”

More here-

http://folioweekly.com/stories/christian-who-happens-to-be-gay-protests-the-episcopal-diocese-of-florida,20066

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry meets backstage with U2, Bono to talk about Reclaiming Jesus

From ENS-

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry met backstage this week with U2 and front man Bono at New York’s Madison Square Garden, where the Episcopal Church leader and the globally renowned rockers discussed Curry’s Reclaiming Jesus initiative.

The meeting happened in the evening June 25 just before the first of a series of U2 concerts in New York on the band’s Experience + Innocence tour. A photo released by the band shows the foursome posing with Curry.

“I know of no other group that has sung and witnessed more powerfully to the way of love than U2,” Curry said June 27 in a written statement to Episcopal News Service. “It was a real blessing to sit with them to talk about Jesus, the way of love, and changing our lives and the world. They are an extraordinary community gift to us all.”

More here-

https://www.episcopalnewsservice.org/2018/06/27/presiding-bishop-michael-curry-meets-backstage-with-u2-bono-to-talk-about-reclaiming-jesus/

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Church dedicates free, outdoor food pantry

From Alabama-

Trinity Episcopal Church became the first Clanton church to open a free, outdoor food pantry service developed by Shelby County nonprofit organization Three Hearts One Mission.

Stationed outside the church’s next-door Heflin House, the miniature pantry resembles a large birdhouse on a stand with a glass door offering a sneak-peek at its canned contents.

Co-founder Rachel Davidson of Three Hearts One Mission said the pantry is a safe source of canned goods for the needs of anonymous community members.

“We’re delighted this is going to be the first one, but we’re also looking forward to having more of them in different places and working with you in the years to come,” Janet Pandzik told Three Hearts One Mission founders during a dedication ceremony on June 22.

More here-

https://www.clantonadvertiser.com/2018/06/25/church-dedicates-free-outdoor-food-pantry/

As A Queer Indian-American Christian, This Priest Had To Create Her Own Path

From Huffington-

One of Rev. Winnie Varghese’s proudest moments as a queer priest was being asked to speak to an ecumenical gathering of Christian leaders in India about homophobia in the church.
Starting around 2009, the country started re-examining Section 377, a colonial-era ban on gay sex that is still being debated in Indian courts. During the conference, Varghese stood up and testified to the assembly of mostly male Indian priests about how Christian bigotry has hurt LGBTQ people. 
Varghese said that it was a powerful experience for her ― and one of the hardest things she’s ever had to do. 
“It was just about me as a person,” the 46-year-old said. “It was me as a queer priest saying, ‘This is who I am. And this is what the church demands of you.’”
Varghese, 46, is an Episcopal priest who lives in New York. A queer South Asian woman, Varghese said she’s often called on to perform a “ministry of representation,” showing people what it’s like to listen to a priest with her unique identities.

More here-

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/what-its-like-to-be-a-queer-indian-american-priest_us_5b21783de4b0bbb7a0e449e7

Episcopalians join the Poor People’s Campaign rally, march on Washington

From ENS-

Fifty years ago, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led a Poor People’s Campaign. As part of that campaign, during an April 1968 trip to Memphis, Tennessee, in support of African-American sanitation workers striking for higher wages, King was shot dead. Today, a new Poor People’s Campaign is under way and Episcopalians are getting involved.

“Today you are the founding members of the 21st century’s ‘Poor People’s Campaign:  A National Call for Moral Revival.’ We gather today for a call to action. We gather here declaring it’s time for a moral uprising all across America,” said the Rev. William Barber on June 23. He co-chairs the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, along with the Rev. Liz Theoharis.

“This is not the commemoration of what happened 50 years ago, this the reenactment and the re-inauguration. Because you do not commemorate prophets and prophetic movements. You go in the blood where they fell and reach down and pick up the baton and carry it the next mile of the way. For three years we’ve been laying a foundation from the bottom up, not the top down.”

More here-

https://www.episcopalnewsservice.org/2018/06/25/episcopalians-join-the-poor-peoples-campaign-rally-march-on-washington/

Monday, June 25, 2018

Bishops’ presence at Gafcon an ‘absolute disgrace’

From Ireland-

Attendance by two Church of Ireland bishops at the conservative Global Anglican Future Conference (Gafcon) meeting in Jerusalem last week has provoked deep anger among the church’s clergy.
They have described it as “an absolute disgrace”, “schismatic”, and as illustrating “how utterly out of touch some senior clergy” were with church membership.

Bishop Harold Miller of Down and Dromore and Bishop Ferran Glenfield of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh attended the meeting with other senior clergy from the Church of Ireland and members of Gafcon Ireland set up last April.

Gafcon came into being after the election in the US Episcopal Church (Anglican) of the openly gay Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.

It describes itself as “a global family of authentic Anglicans standing together to retain and restore the Bible to the heart of the Anglican Communion”.

Gafcon includes Anglican Primates from many Africa countries as well as bishops and clergy from Australia, Canada and the US who boycotted the last gathering of the worldwide Anglican Communion at the 2008 Lambeth Conference.

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Punishing pastors - Anglican bishop calls for PM's intervention after RGD institutes charge to register clergy as marriage officers

From Jamaica-

Several pastors across the island could surrender their marriage officer's licences in protest of a decision by the Registrar General's Department (RGD) to charge them $10,000 to register, plus an annual registration fee.

The pastors are also upset about an invitation by the RGD for all marriage officers to attend a training session that costs a further $15,000.

The Reverend Dr Howard Gregory, Anglican bishop of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, raised the issue last week in an open letter to Prime Minister Andrew Holness, seeking clarification.

According to Gregory, attempts to get answers or a resolution have so far been met with promises to look into the matter and, at times, the lack of courtesy of a response.

"He needs to say something as to exactly what is the position of the Government in relation to what is being done in relation to marriage officers, particularly ministers, at this time," argued Gregory.

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http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/lead-stories/20180625/punishing-pastors-anglican-bishop-calls-pms-intervention-rgd