Just a reminder of the agreement signed by the leadership of those in Pittsburgh who are now affiliated with the Southern Cone: Property, Whether real or personal (hereinafter "Property"), held or administered by the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh of the United States of America (hereinafter "Diocese") for the beneficial use of parishers and institutions of the Diocese, shall continue to be so held or administered by the Diocese regardless of whether some or even a majority of the parishes in the diocese might decide not to remain in the Episcopal Church of the United States of America. For the purposes of this paragraph, Property as to which title is legitimately held in the name of a parish of the Diocese shall not be deemed Property held or administered by the Diocese.
It shouldn't be a surprise that Morgan Stanley would want to know who it is that they are accountable to. From the Post Gazette-
Financial services firm Morgan Stanley has frozen the accounts of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh because it is unsure who should be allowed to access them.
In a letter Jan. 13, the firm said it would not allow any further distributions until it received a court order listing those authorized to use the accounts.
The dispute stems from a split in the church. In October, a group that represents about 60 percent of the local parishes voted to join the more theologically conservative Anglican Province of the Southern Cone in South America. That group now calls itself the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh (Anglican).
The original diocese continues to identify itself as the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.
A total of 23 cathedrals – both Anglican and Roman Catholic – are to benefit from the new round of funding from English Heritage and the Wolfson Foundation, a grant-making charity. St Paul's in London will receive the maximum single grant of £250,000 for stonework repairs, as will Truro Cathedral in Cornwall which needs work to restore its central spire and tower. The historic cathedrals in Canterbury and Lincoln will also receive significant funding under the Cathedral Grants Scheme, which began in 1991.
However English Heritage is also providing money to smaller buildings in less-prosperous towns that do not receive as many tourists or worshippers, but which require urgent repairs to leaking roofs and crumbling masonry.
Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe, interim chairman of the Government-funded conservation body, said: "Cathedrals are some of our country's most imposing and beautiful buildings. The excellent craftsmanship demonstrated in these places of worship is something which we must strive to preserve for generations to come. The grants announced today will go some way to helping the custodians of these buildings in this task."
NATIONAL and international discussions about church unity have been largely replaced by local action, church leaders say this week. The Archbishop of Canterbury confesses that he “finds echoes” of impatience with national bodies within himself.
Five church leaders — Dr Willi ams, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Dr Martyn Atkins (Methodist), the Revd Jonathan Edwards (Baptist), and the Revd Roberta Rominger (United Reformed Church) — responded to a set of four questions asked by the editors of the Baptist Times and the Church Times. Their replies are also published in the Methodist Recorder and Reform.
They acknowledge a loss of impetus in national efforts to bring about unity. Dr Atkins talks of “less enthusiasm for unity as an end in itself”; Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor speaks of “a slowing down of progress”, despite increased commitment; and Dr Williams says: “You won’t find much interest in what you might call the ‘negotiating’ side of unity.”
But each speaks of an increase in what Ms Rominger calls “a partnership of purpose and ac tion”. Mr Edwards says: “Baptists are more involved in working with other denominations than ever before.” Dr Atkins says that there is “greater enthusiasm for focused ecumenical action, such as community projects. I think this kind of focus is much more helpful. We can express our unity in constructive ways.”
Dr Williams speaks of “an uncomfortable gap between national bodies and local enthusiasm”. He recalls the former British Council of Churches, and says that “there was some feeling that this was a credible mouthpiece for the Churches on many issues.”
Renowned Christian authors behind the latest in a series of Bible notes from the Church of England, released today, have called for Christians to reconsider the time and energy they spend on daily Bible study and prayer in the same way as they might be reassessing other areas of their lives at the beginning of the year.
“Making daily prayer and Bible study part of your morning routine will improve your spiritual health in the same way as getting more exercise will improve your physical health,” argues the Rt Revd Tom Wright, Bishop of Durham, to mark the launch of the latest in the daily Bible notes series, Reflections for Daily Prayer, by Church House Publishing. “January is obviously a good time to get into positive new habits, and the Reflections series is proving just the right sort of Biblical personal trainer for thousands of Christians.”
Reflections for Daily Prayer is a series offering contemporary, stimulating Bible commentaries in a handy format for each day of the working week, designed to refresh and inspire times of personal prayer. Almost 14,000 copies of previous editions of the series have been sold since the series was first launched at the end of 2007.
The Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee, who has been bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia for 24 years, announced yesterday that he will step down Oct. 1 to make way for a successor who was named in 2007.
The diocese, which covers northern and eastern Virginia and includes 80,000 members, is one of the largest in the Episcopal Church, the U.S.-based branch of the global Anglican Communion.
Starting this fall the diocese will be overseen by the Rt. Rev. Shannon Johnston, 50, an Alabama native who has worked in dioceses in the South and is known for his work in prison, music and HIV/AIDS ministries.
Under the laws of the Episcopal Church, a bishop must retire either by age 72 or no more than three years after a successor is consecrated.
My eldest daughter Jeanne, who I affectionately refer to as "Scout" (after Miss Jeanne Louise Finch) was featured in the Wooster Ohio Daily Record today. This is Scout and our dog Kuma.
College of Wooster students who are homesick for their dogs or other pets while they're away at school can step right into Lowry Center on Monday evenings and get a dose of what they're missing.
Even if they don't have pets at home and just need some of the unconditional affection dogs have to offer, the "Paws to Pet" program is a different kind of extracurricular activity they might want to check out.
"It's a relaxing thing for them -- pet therapy really," said John Trier, president of Paws to Pet. He and his wife, Connie, bring Marley, an Irish setter.
Students may pet them, shake their paws or talk to them.
The dogs used in the program, which runs from 5-6:30 p.m., must be regular therapy dogs, Trier said. "We know their temperament; we know how they're going to behave."
About four to five teams -- dogs and trainers -- regularly participate in the program, and Trier said he doesn't think it is an exaggeration to say 50 to 100 college students take advantage of their visits.
Jeanne Simons, a junior from Ligonier, said she has been visiting with the dogs and their owners since she was a freshman.
"I have a dog of my own who is 18," she said. "I miss him."
Dad's surgery went very nicely today. He was operated on for a series of abdominal aneurisms. The Dr. said everything is fine. The only hitch was waiting five hours to get a room. Thanks for all of your prayers. This is Dad with my daughter Jeanne.
I'm leaving this afternoon to go to my parent's to celebrate my father's 80th birthday. That's him and me a couple of years ago at Fenway Park. The next day I'll spend at the hospital with mom as Dad is having surgery. Mom and Dad have not entered the 21st Century yet so I'll have no internet access. Next posting will be sometime Saturday. Happy Birthday Dad!
No women Bishops? As far as I know only one group in Common Cause Ordains women to the Priesthood. Peter Frank is quoted later in the article as saying "an all-male episcopacy was enshrined in the canons of the proposed province." Enshrined?
Some Anglo-Catholics might be uneasy with the predominance of evangelicals among those seeking a third North American province of the Anglican Communion. But the leadership of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth has thrown its support behind the movement in part because of assurances that there will be no women bishops, according to the Rt. Rev. Jack L. Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth.
“Though we have our continuing differences over the issue of the ordination of women, Bishop Duncan and the [Common Cause Partnership] lead bishops have given assurances that there will be no women bishops in the new province and that the historic, traditional theological position on this matter will be protected, respected and welcomed,” Bishop Iker said.
On the third day of an Israeli-Hamas ceasefire in Gaza, Palestinians were only beginning to realise the scope of their losses from a three-week Israeli onslaught, said the director of the Anglican Al Ahli Arab Hospital.
"Gaza is still full of blood and grief," said Suhaila Tarrazi, who heads the hospital. "People are going to their homes and seeing the losses of their family members. Hundreds [of bodies] are still lying underneath buildings." Tarrazi said, "It is a terrible, horrible situation à Gaza is a real catastrophe."
Along with the other 10 hospitals in Gaza, Al Ahli Hospital felt the brunt of devastating injuries suffered by Palestinians during the three-week war, she said.
In an era beset with complexity, one local group still traffics in a simple pleasure - the irreplaceable privilege of being warm and comfortable.
Almost 30 years ago the St. Andrew Bay Quilters' Guild was formed. Since that time the group has embarked on a charitable mission, transferring an old-time hobby into a tsunami of patchwork blankets for organizations.
"Our philosophy, so to speak, is to gather and quilt to spread the word about quilts, to educate ourselves and the public about quilts and to donate our skills and our time," said Jo Ellen Rogers, president of the guild.
At Wednesday's meeting, held at St. Andrew Episcopal Church, members of the group unfurled 20 quilts for Catholic Charities St. Barnabas House, a shelter for women and children.
The journey from Mormonism, to athieism, to going to church-
I like going to church. I don’t exactly understand why. I am, after all, an avowed, unrepentant atheist. Yet I feel perfectly at home participating in Sunday morning services.
During my recent visit to an Episcopal church, I stood, sang, read the scriptures—even took Communion. But when the pastor had everyone bow their heads in prayer, I looked around at the congregation; I think there’s something revealing about who closes their eyes during the prayer and who doesn’t. (OK, I was also checking out the cute women.)
Raised in the Mormon Church, I was the first of seven children to a pair of Brigham Young University students. I went through the motions of Mormonism’s life plan: I attended church every Sunday, paid a full tithing and attended early-morning seminary classes all four years of high school. At 19, I hopped on an airplane to serve a two-year mission in Peru.
My mission was the path towards atheism. One afternoon, I sat in the newspaper-walled home of a family living in a shantytown near the coastal city of Paita. The lesson was on how God answers prayers if we just have enough faith. Meanwhile, their two hungry, naked toddlers played outside in the dirt street.
Brian Pryor who's quoted here is a friend and the VP o the House of Deputies.
Youth from three Christian denominations spent Martin Luther King Day Weekend exploring commonalities of their respective faiths through worship, education and community-building activities.
Nearly 2,500 students in grades 6-12, group leaders and chaperones traveled to Orlando, Fla., for the Jan. 16-19 event sponsored by The Presbyterian Church (USA), The Episcopal Church and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
The gathering is thought to be the only nationwide ecumenical event for youth sponsored at the denominational level.
"This is the only thing we do that brings young people together with people of other denominations," said Brian Prior, a regional youth ministries coordinator for The Episcopal Church.
Some interesting thoughts on American public prayer and Britain's lack of the same. From the Telegraph in London-
Amid all the human dramas of yesterday’s US presidential inauguration – the fluffed swearing in, Senator Kennedy’s collapse – there is one further human question to ask: Why are Americans better at praying publicly than we are?
Actually, it may not be a question of them doing it better. It’s the fact that they do it at all. And with such gusto and lack of self-consciousness, when at a British public event about all we can muster is a bishop firing off a grace before a state banquet.
At Obama’s big day, Pastor Rick Warren gave a barnstorming invocation, calling down justice and forgiveness, reciting the name of Jesus in several languages and declaring his certainty that Dr Martin Luther King “and a great cloud of witnesses” were “shouting in heaven”.
Civil-rights campaigner Rev. Joseph Lowery gave the blessing at the end, giving thanks for “this extraordinary event” and then made it more extraordinary by asking God for the day “when black will not be asked to give back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man, and when white will embrace what is right.”
Throughout all this heads were bowed, eyes were closed and hands were clasped, though I did see one woman move her daughter’s stars-and-stripes flag from her face when the television cameras were on her, which probably tells us something about the vanity of American public prayer.
If you want to read more on the soccer player mentioned in the previous post and about the rise of evangelicalism in Brazil, this is a nice piece.
Goal celebrations generally fall somewhere in between raw displays of emotion (see Marco Tardelli in the 1982 World Cup final), incredible athleticism (can anyone beat Julius Aghahowa for that?), and sheer ridiculousness (sorry no video available, but see if you can recall Finidi George at the 1994 World Cup getting down on all fours before relieving himself on the corner flag). Recently, however, a new type of celebration has made its way into soccer: the religious celebration. And no player is more overt in praising God after scoring than the Brazilian Kaká.
Kaká’s celebrations initially appear simple. He raises both hands and lifts his head to the sky as he runs away from the goal. But the significance of these gestures is far more than meets the eye and begins to tell the story of one of the world’s most devoted religious soccer players.
A rather cynical (I think) opinion piece in the London Times about faith and reason-
Kaká (pictured) belongs to Jesus even if he will not, after all, belong to Manchester City. This may upset priests here more than City fans, however, given that his evangelism is even more potent than his goalscoring.
The appearance of the AC Milan forward in a Christian advertising campaign in his native Brazil reportedly led to thousands turning to Christ, hundreds more being freed from demonic possession and dozens of drug addicts being cured. It is even said that a former voodoo princess has seen the light, although there are, as yet, no reports of water being turned into wine in downtown Rio.
Kaká became a Christian at 12, but it was not until he was 18 that he fully committed to the Lord after slipping on a swimming pool slide and hitting his head on the bottom of the pool. The injury to his neck could have spelt the end of his career but it healed within two months. “That was when I knew that God was looking after me and that He was on my side,” Kaká said.
Conference focuses on 'Theology of Sustainability'
Two Durham Episcopal churches, St. Philip's and St. Luke's, are serving as partner sites for Trinity Institute's 39th National Theological Conference, beginning tonight.
This is an event open to all interested folks in the area."Radical Abundance: A Theology of Sustainability," Jan. 21-23, will be Webcast live in the parish hall at St. Philip's, 403 E. Main St. Participants will take part in Q-and-A forums via e-mail and reflect on the speakers' presentations in small discussion groups.
In its early phases, environmental theology spoke as if the church could isolate natural environmental policy from issues of social and economic justice, but now the church is recognizing the far-reaching interdependence of social and natural ecology.
A rift in the U.S. Episcopal Church fueled by theological differences on such topics as homosexuality is playing out in Nebraska, in a district court.
The Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska is suing leaders of a breakaway Omaha parish, asking the Douglas County District Court to declare the diocese the rightful owner of the parish's buildings and property. It argues that the parish exists to carry out the mission of the diocese and national church and when that stops, it is obligated to surrender the property's ownership.
But St. Barnabas Parish leaders argue the diocese has no right to the property and the court doesn't have the authority to interpret ecclesiastical matters. They've asked that the lawsuit be thrown out.
It is now almost socially unacceptable, explains Jeremy Vine, to say you believe in God.He is, of course, talking about this from a professional standpoint. In his private life the Radio 2 and Panorama host is a practising Christian but feels to discuss his beliefs on air would be "destructive".
Presumably Coronation Street producers were thinking along the same lines when they covered up a cross so it didn't feature in Molly and Tyrone's wedding scenes - despite the fact the couple were marrying in an Anglican church.You know, those establishments where the image of Christ dying on a cross is symbolic of the Christian faith. Corrie now say they made a mistake. But whatever possessed them to do it?
If they're afraid of offending viewers could they please tone down the ludicrously far-fetched sexual shenanigans between barmaid Bev and Lloyd.That's what I call an unholy alliance.
A commentary from England about Rome's criticism of social networks like face book. (Hey you step away from the computer!)
THE ROMAN Catholic Church has once again revealed how in touch it is with modern times by calling for a ban on Facebook-like social notworking sites.
The Cei (Italian Episcopal Conference) slammed social networks a day after opening a site of its own. Apparently the fear is that people who use social networking sites will turn into individuals who will start to think for themselves.
Archbishop Pompili hit out about what he called "networked individualism" which he said creates people who "terminate links with the surrounding area". We guess the Archbishop thinks that the only people who are supposed to live in such unhealthy isolation and "live in the world but [...] not of it" are monks and nuns.
He warned that relationships formed online were not real. Well, not as real in the same way as such important things like an invisible gods, angels, virgin births and Papal infallibility. Facebook and its ilk create an "online egocentrism" and are responsible for drying up of real relationships, he said. Although asking a celibate priest about relationships is like asking a vegan about the best type of meat feast pizza to buy.
On Monday, she was at Trinity Episcopal Church, knitting a scarf to be donated to Shelter House.
"They have so much yarn here, so I thought somebody had better get knitting," she said.
Cook was among more than 125 people who showed up to the downtown Iowa City church to help make quilts, bake cookies and other treats, assemble toiletry kits and knit scarves and hats for the residents of Shelter House. The volunteer work, done by those from groups such as the University of Iowa, RSVP and Big Brothers Big Sisters, is part of the Shelter from the Storm program in conjunction with the National Day of Service as part of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
St. Martin’s seeks people to experience homelessness
St. Martin’s Hospitality Center is using an interesting method to raise funds in these tough economic times, and to put donors in touch with its mission.
The center is seeking 12 people who want to experience what homelessness is like for themselves by offering a “Street Retreat.” It’s a practice that has been widespread among some nonprofits since the early 1990s, said Tracy Alexis, development director of St. Martin’s, which is one of the largest providers of services for the homeless in New Mexico. It was founded by volunteers from local Episcopal churches.
The “Street Retreat” experience lasts for three days and two nights, Jan. 28-30. Participants eat in soup kitchens and sleep outdoors, although the group will stay together for safety, Alexis said. The idea is not to take up shelter beds that are already scarce in the city, she added.
St. Martin’s asks each participant to gather 12 sponsors. Each sponsor pledges to support the participant for the three days with a $100 per-day-commitment.
Another property dispute, this time in Nebraska. This parish is still opposed to women's ordination and is using the Tridentine liturgy from the middle ages.
When a parish breaks up with its church authority, who gets the house of worship?
That's a fight taking place in courthouses coast to coast and now in Nebraska as part of the Episcopal Church's schism over issues of scriptural interpretation and homosexuality.
The Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska is suing the rector and lay leaders of a breakaway parish, St. Barnabas. Diocesan officials want the Rev. Robert Scheiblhofer and company to leave the historic church at 129 N. 40th St. and the rectory next door, now that the parish has rejected the authority of the Episcopal Church. The diocese contends it is the rightful owner of the property under church rules and state law.
Scheiblhofer and other parish leaders say they aren't going anywhere. They contend that the property has always belonged to the parish, that it still does and that the diocese has no claim to it.
The diocese has asked the Douglas County District Court to resolve the dispute. An attorney for Scheiblhofer and St. Barnabas' vestry, or governing body, is seeking to have the suit thrown out. The first hearing in the case is set for Wednesday.
Scheiblhofer said St. Barnabas historically has had differences with Nebraska Diocese officials. The parish was founded in 1869 as part of the Oxford Movement, a strain of Anglicanism that identified more than most with the faith's roots with the Roman Catholic Church.
To this day, St. Barnabas uses the Tridentine Mass, a dramatically scripted liturgy that dates to the Middle Ages. It's the same liturgy used by an organization of Roman Catholic priests who have a seminary in Denton, Neb., who are trying to bring back the Latin Mass.
St. Barnabas conducts its services in English. It also has a weekly Spanish Mass.
Today is the inauguration at noon for the 44th president who's looking really good in that hat.
With Barack Obama set to be inaugurated today as the nation's 44th president, the day figures to be one of the most-covered live events ever in television history. For Obama's swearing-in at noon, estimates put the potential worldwide audience in the billions. That figure that could dwarf viewership numbers for the Super Bowl and Academy Awards and reach heights ordinarily seen only for the Olympics and the World Cup.
Here's an hour-by-hour account of what to look for:
Today, members of the chapter of Trinity Cathedral, Pittsburgh, met for their annual retreat, seeking to discern the new fields of mission to which their Lord was calling them. No great novelty, except for the fact that attendees included elected representatives of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh (Southern Cone) and the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America and – seated next to one another – Bishop Robert Duncan of the Province of the Southern Cone and Assisting Bishop Robert Johnson of the Episcopal Church. Back in June, when we first passed our now infamous resolution pledging continued participation in both prospective Anglican entities, few would have imagined such a gathering, yet here, in the shadow of renewed legal rumblings in Pittsburgh, Trinity Cathedral continues her mission as mother to, as Bishop Duncan put it, “two children it both wants to prosper.”
This gym at Conklin Avenue Baptist is the Church of the Good Shepherd's new home of worship; at least for now.
Sunday was the congregation's first service since being evicted last week.
"At first, when it started, I felt kind of empty. Because it's a gym and I've never been here before, but as the service took place and with the music going and the communion, it just brought us back together as a whole," said Pauline King, who has attended services at Good Shepherd for more than 45 years.
The Binghamton-based congregation was forced from its Conklin Avenue church by the Episcopal Diocese after a court ruling last month.
The Steelers hadn't been able to celebrate an AFC championship at home in 13 years, and a record crowd at Heinz Field stayed into the night to savor the 23-14 victory against the Baltimore Ravens that punched the team's ticket to the Super Bowl for a seventh time.
"This is for you," owner Dan Rooney said to the fans at a mid-field ceremony punctuated by Zambelli fireworks lighting up the wintry sky last night.
The Lamar Hunt Trophy presented to the AFC champions was handed over by Rod Woodson, who with Dermontti Dawson served as honorary co-captains for the game.
Had it not been for a super play by super safety Troy Polamalu, the outcome could have been an Edgar Allan Poe-like horror.
With the Steelers nursing a two-point lead in a game that was way too close for comfort, Polamalu intercepted a pass and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown with 4 minutes, 24 seconds remaining. It was the final score against the rival Ravens, who lost three times to the Steelers this season.
"That's Troy," said quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who dedicated the victory to the troops serving overseas. "He comes out of nowhere. I was just so happy that he scored."
I think its interesting that the diocese of Utah is smaller than the Diocese of Pittsburgh (TEC). By the way, the rock formation is called "Mexican Hat" in Utah.
Utah's Episcopal Bishop -- the first woman to serve in that position west of the Potomac River -- announced Sunday she would retire in 2010.
Congregations were told that Rt. Rev. Carolyn Tanner Irish would step down during her 14th year of service.
"It will be a retirement well-earned," said Rev. Mary June Nestler, who has worked with Irish over the past 2½ years. "Few people work harder. She is unfailingly kind and compassionate, and it has been a great pleasure for me to be a part of her team."
In 1996, Irish became one of the first woman bishops in the Episcopal Church, and the first female bishop west of the Potomac River. Nestler called Irish's appointment an "incredibly important" accomplishment.
"It was something of a miracle in Utah," Nestler said. Irish broke new ground for women, allowing the possibility of future female nominees, she said.
Irish has overseen 22 parishes and more than 6,000 members across Utah and northern Arizona.
Civil Rights in Central Virginia (sixth and last in a series): With Barack Obama poised to become the nation’s first black President, The News & Advance looks at significant post-1950s civil rights moments in Lynchburg.
In 1961, the Revs. Virgil Wood and John Teeter stood together to voice a shared frustration and outrage over the segregation of Lynchburg.
It “makes you so blasted mad that the police think they can get away with this type of thing,” said Teeter, who just hours before was forcibly ejected from the local courthouse after challenging its color barrier.
Wood, a close colleague of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., condemned the court’s “Gestapo tactics” and urged listeners to don black armbands to mark the occasion.
“The hour has come to show our true colors and stand up to be counted,” he said.
Wood, a black Baptist minister, and Teeter, a white Episcopalian, both made headlines throughout their tenures here for their work in civil rights. A newspaper article on their respective departures from the city, just months apart, observed the two were “closely associated.”
Randy Moss stopped by a Charleston church to hand out food and clothing.
The New England Patriots wide receiver donated sweatshirts and baseball caps from his clothing line at St. John's Episcopal Church. He also provided a free roast beef meal.
Like Friday's event, Moss' generosity in his home county often goes unadvertised. He holds autograph sessions every summer and often takes busloads of kids to amusement parks and professional sporting events.
The former Marshall standout grew up in Rand, just outside of Charleston. He owns two IntaJuice franchises in Charleston.