All 22 pages of the Windsor Continuation Group's report is here- With Regard to the "new province" in North America-
101. The WCG therefore recommends that the Archbishop of Canterbury, in consultation with the Primates, establish at the earliest opportunity a professionally mediated conversation at which all the significant parties could be gathered. The aim would be to find a provisional holding arrangement which will enable dialogue to take place and which will be revisited on the conclusion of the Covenant Process, or the achievement of long term reconciliation in the Communion. Such a conversation would have to proceed on the basis of a number of principles:
-There must be an ordered approach to the new proposal within, or part of a natural development of, current rules.
-It is not for individual groups to claim the terms on which they will relate to the Communion.
-The leadership of the Communion needs to stand together, and find an approach to which they are all committed.
-Any scheme developed would rely on an undertaking from the present partners to ACNA that they would not seek to recruit and expand their membership by means of proselytisation. WCG believes that the advent of schemes such as the Communion Partners Fellowship and the Episcopal Visitors scheme instituted by the Presiding Bishop in the United States should be sufficient to provide for the care of those alienated within the Episcopal Church from recent developments.
As Barry Bonds prepares to defend his name, the slugger who may eventually surpass him as the all-time home run leader has become ensnared by the Steroids Era: Alex Rodriguez.
Rodriguez tested positive for two anabolic steroids during his MVP season with Texas in 2003, Sports Illustrated reported on its Web site Saturday.
The New York Yankees star has long denied using performance-enhancing drugs. He declined to discuss the tests when approached by SI on Thursday at a gym in Miami."You'll have to talk to the union," he said.
Major League Baseball and the players' union issued statements Saturday, refusing to confirm or deny the report, citing player confidentiality.
An e-mail from The Associated Press to Rodriguez's agent, Scott Boras, was not immediately returned. The Yankees and Rangers declined comment.
Archbishops of Canterbury through the centuries have explained the genius of Anglicanism as subsisting in its nature as a “broad” but catholic church, universal in its inclusivity. The last three archbishops have all told the same jokes: “The Church of England is like a swimming pool, all the noise is at the shallow end.” Or the one about the evangelical, liberal and catholic wings: “Low and lazy, High and crazy, Broad and hazy.”
Then came the debate over homosexuality, and everything changed, not just in England but throughout the 44 provinces and churches of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
After the consecration of the gay Bishop of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson, in 2003 against the wishes of the primates or archbishops of the Communion, schism seemed inevitable as evangelicals stopped being lazy, if they ever were, and began campaigning — with an energy unprecedented among Anglicans in the modern era — for Gospel orthodoxy. Liberals stopped being quite so broad, and began giving evangelicals a hard time, especially in North America. The few old-style Anglo-Catholics left after women priests wondered how to cope with a debate that threatened not only their historical interpretation of orthodoxy but also to stigmatise those shy homosexuals among them who had for years simply got on quietly with a life of ministry and mission, with or without partners.
From Religious News Service in the Winston Salem paper-
Leaders of the Anglican Communion said Thursday that they, not dissident conservatives, will decide what role a newly formed traditionalist North American church will have in their worldwide fellowship.
Concluding their weeklong meeting in Alexandria, Egypt, the Anglican leaders also said that a new North American church should not "seek to recruit or expand their membership" by attempting to convert others.
Conservatives angered by the liberal drift of the Episcopal Church in the United Sates and the Anglican Church of Canada set up a rival church in December. The Anglican Church in North America, or ACNA, led by Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh, aims to be recognized as the official Anglican franchise in North America.
But the 30 or so Anglican primates, or archbishops, meeting this week essentially put a damper on those plans. While acknowledging that "there is no consensus among us how this new (church) is to be regarded," the primates unanimously agreed that "it is not for individual groups to claim the terms on which they will relate to the communion."
The primates also said that "any scheme developed would rely on an undertaking from the present partners to ACNA that they would not seek to recruit and expand their membership by means of proselytization."
Leaders of the two competing Episcopal dioceses of Pittsburgh said they were encouraged by a statement from the world's Anglican archbishops on healing divisions within their fractured worldwide church, the Anglican Communion.
But they focused on different aspects of the statement, drafted this week in Alexandria, Egypt. It called for a "professionally mediated" conversation between Anglican leaders and leaders of a proposed theologically conservative Anglican province for North America, whose archishop-designate is Bishop Robert Duncan of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh (Anglican).
In November, his 74-congregation diocese voted to secede from the Episcopal Church and realign, at least temporarily, with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone in South America. But 28 parishes have remained in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh that is recognized by the Episcopal Church.
The archbishops, called primates, also called for "gracious restraint" by dioceses that want to elect partnered gay bishops, to bless same-sex unions or to cross geographical borders to take charge of parishes unhappy with their own bishop's theology. The splits occurred because conservative Episcopalians believe that many Episcopal bishops no longer uphold biblical authority, classical doctrines about Jesus or traditional Christian sexual ethics.
Nothing confirms an old-age expert's theories like a long life well lived. On February 2, Sister Constance, a noted gerontologist, celebrated 105 years of such life, surrounded by her fellow sisters at Saint John the Divine convent in Toronto. Under the flashing cameras of local journalists, U.S. Consul General John Nay presented a birthday certificate to the tiny sister, who sat primly in a wheelchair, wearing her traditional full black habit. She is the oldest known American living in Canada.
A congratulatory letter from President Obama was also on the way. Sister Constance, whose grandfather was a slave, watched Obama's inauguration two weeks ago in quiet admiration.
In 1904, Constance Elizabeth Murphy was born into a prominent African-American family in Baltimore. One grandfather was a well-known caterer and the other the founder and editor of the Afro-American, a black newspaper. Constance studied education at the University of Pennsylvania, taught school in Baltimore, then answered a long-heard call to religious life. Though her family and most of her friends were lukewarm about the idea, she traveled to Toronto and joined the Sisterhood of Saint John the Divine in 1932.
I have been contacted by the "Fresh Air Fund" which provides a camp experience to New York inner city children. They have asked me to let you all know that they are currently looking for counselors for this coming summer.
Since 1877, The Fresh Air Fund, a not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer vacations in the country to more than 1.7 million New York City children from disadvantaged communities. Each year, thousands of children visit volunteer host families in 13 states and Canada through the Friendly Town Program or attend one of five Fresh Air Fund camps.
This is a wonderful organization and does terrific work. More information can be found here-
How to Give Away Your Faith: Sharing the Gospel on a Personal Level
In the Baptismal Covenant, The Bishop asks, "Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?" And the people boldly promise, "I will, with God's help." But, the truth of the matter is that many Epsicopalians seem to have a lot of trouble with the part about proclaiming "by word."
And yet, St. Paul tells us that, "Faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ."
Featuring: The Rt. Rev. John W. Howe, D.D.
February 27-28, 2008, 5 p.m. Friday to 4 p.m. Saturday
In four sessions over two days, Bishop Howe will invite us to revisit "the dreaded 'E' word" in a retreat format designed to help us become comfortable with sharing our faith with others in a personal and practical way." Session 1: The Right Motive Session 2: The Right Message Session 3: The Right Method Session 4: The Right Model
Breaking up is hard to do. Just ask the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth – both of them.
There was one diocese until November, when a large majority of clergy and lay delegates voted to withdraw from the Episcopal Church. They left over what they saw as the denomination's departure from orthodox faith, including on such issues as ordaining women as priests and accepting an openly gay bishop.
The withdrawing group – led by Bishop Jack Iker – still calls itself the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, though it has realigned with a conservative, Argentina-based province of the Anglican Communion.
On the other side, a handful of Fort Worth-area churches and contingents of several more are sticking with the Episcopal Church. They, too, are calling themselves the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.
The groups are contesting not only the name but ownership of church buildings and other assets across the 24-county diocese.
On Saturday, the presiding bishop of the 2 million-member Episcopal Church, the Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, will be in Fort Worth for the reorganizing of the loyalist diocese, including election of a provisional bishop.
THE PRIMATES have laid down the terms under which the parallel jurisdiction of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) is to be considered by the Anglican Communion. It will be discussed as a matter of urgency in a “professionally mediated conversation” initiated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, they say in a communiqué.
The communiqué was issued at the end of the Primates’ Meeting in Alexandria on Thursday. All the Primates were there bar the Moderators of the Churches of North and South India and Pakistan, and the Presiding Bishop of the Philippines. They shared, the communiqué states, “a strong desire to see our Christian World Communion flourish and remain united”, and experienced “a discernible mood of graciousness”.
The ACNA was set up last year as a coalition of conservative Anglicans in reaction to what they portray as the liberalisation of the Episcopal Church in the US. It has been recognised by a handful of conservative Primates, but not by Dr Williams or the Communion as a whole.
The Primates say that they unanimously support the recommendations in paragraph 101 of the Windsor Continuation Group report, which was published two or three hours after the communiqué. This states that there must be no attempt by ACNA to recruit and expand its membership; nor should it expect to negotiate with the rest of the Communion. “It is not for individual groups to claim the terms in which they will relate to the Communion,” says the report. It recommends finding “a provisional holding arrangement”, to be revisited when the Covenant process concludes or when long-term reconciliation in the Communion is achieved.
A report backed by the heads of all the Anglican provinces around the world has put forward the innovative proposal as a way to settle the dispute between conservatives, who oppose the ordination of homosexual clergy and the blessing of same-sex unions, and liberals.
The external mediators will try to reconcile differences between the Common Cause Partnership, a group of orthodox Anglicans in America and Canada who want to set up a new province, and the national churches from which they have split.
At the end of a week-long gathering of the leaders of the 38 Anglican provinces in Alexandria, Egypt, known as the Primates Meeting, they said in a joint communique: "We request the Archbishop of Canterbury to initiate a professionally mediated conversation which engages all parties at the earliest opportunity. We commit ourselves to support these processes and to participate as appropriate.
"We earnestly desire reconciliation with these dear sisters and brothers for whom we understand membership of the Anglican Communion is profoundly important.
Leaders of the Anglican Communion said Thursday (Feb. 5) that they, not dissident conservatives, will decide what role a newly formed traditionalist North American church will have in their worldwide fellowship.
Concluding their weeklong meeting in Alexandria, Egypt, the Anglican leaders also said a new North American church should not "seek to recruit or expand their membership" by attempting to convert others.
Conservatives angered by the liberal drift of the Episcopal Church in the U.S. and the Anglican Church of Canada set up a rival church in December. The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), led by Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh, aims to be recognized as the official Anglican franchise in North America.
But the 30-odd Anglican primates, or archbishops, meeting this week (Feb. 1-5) essentially put a damper on those plans. While acknowledging that "there is no consensus among us how this new (church) is to be regarded," the primates unanimously agreed that "it is not for individual groups to claim the terms on which they will relate to the communion."
The primates also said that "any scheme developed would rely on an undertaking from the present partners to ACNA that they would not seek to recruit and expand their membership by means of proselytization."
Anglican leaders urged their churches Thursday to maintain a 5-year-old moratorium on consecrating another openly gay bishop and developing prayers for same-sex unions, as they try to restore unity in their fractured fellowship.
An Anglican advisory panel also raised deep concerns about a North American province sought by theological conservatives to rival the Episcopal Church.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the Anglican spiritual leader, will arrange professional mediation for all leaders involved in the North American conflict, leaders said. "If a way forward is to be found and mutual trust to be re-established, it is imperative that further aggravation and acts which cause offense, misunderstanding or hostility cease," the Anglican leaders said Thursday.
The statements were released as the Anglican archbishops, or primates, ended a five-day private meeting in the Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria.
The whole report is at the link. This paragraph deals with the"New Province" and I have followed that with note 11 from the Windsor Continuation group.
14. The Windsor Continuation Group Report examines in Section H the question of parallel jurisdictions, particularly as raised by the Common Cause Partnership, a coalition of seven different organisations which have significantly differing relationships with the Anglican Communion.
The Report identifies some of the difficulties in recognising the coalition among the Provinces of the Anglican Communion. Significant concerns were raised in the conversation about the possibility of parallel jurisdictions. There is no consensus among us about how this new entity should be regarded, but we are unanimous in supporting the recommendation in paragraph 101 of the Windsor Continuation Group Report. Therefore, we request the Archbishop of Canterbury to initiate a professionally mediated conversation which engages all parties at the earliest opportunity. We commit ourselves to support these processes and to participate as appropriate. We earnestly desire reconciliation with these dear sisters and brothers for whom we understand membership of the Anglican Communion is profoundly important. We recognise that these processes cannot be rushed, but neither should they be postponed.
Note  WCG Report, paragraph 101: The WCG therefore recommends that the Archbishop of Canterbury, in consultation with the Primates, establish at the earliest opportunity a professionally mediated conversation at which all the significant parties could be gathered. The aim would be to find a provisional holding arrangement which will enable dialogue to take place and which will be revisited on the conclusion of the Covenant Process, or the achievement of long term reconciliation in the Communion. Such a conversation would have to proceed on the basis of a number of principles:
There must be an ordered approach to the new proposal within, or part of a natural development of, current rules.
It is not for individual groups to claim the terms on which they will relate to the Communion.The leadership of the Communion needs to stand together, and find an approach to which they are all committed.
Any scheme developed would rely on an undertaking from the present partners to ACNA that they would not seek to recruit and expand their membership by means of proselytisation. WCG believes that the advent of schemes such as the Communion Partners Fellowship and the Episcopal Visitors scheme instituted by the Presiding Bishop in the United States should be sufficient to provide for the care of those alienated within the Episcopal Church from recent developments. http://www.aco.org/acns/news.cfm/2009/2/5/ACNS4574#_ftn11
I was alarmed to read somewhere that there would be more updates from Alexandria. Unlike previous Anglican shindigs where there have been an embarassment of riches, this meeting has offered little in the way of hard news.
Why am I here, I wondered, as I stared at the ceiling of my hotel room at the eye-gouging hour of 4am after a day spent dodging security guards, slipping notes under hotel doors like a groupie, lurking in staircases and hurtling towards oblivion in a Lada.
Why are the primates – who normally leak like sieves – so silent? Could it be out of respect for Rowan? Have they learned that loose lips sink ships? Good God. Yesterday the primates came up with a useful course of action – a bundle of initiatives to tackle Robert Mugabe's despotic regime. Cynical Anglican-watchers will say it is a tactic to deflect slow progress in other areas, but not me. Maybe their "unprecedented" statement should have been the top line but it is such an obvious thing to say – how many people don't think Mugabe should be brought to book?
The primates completed their third day of business in Alexandria, Egypt, Wednesday, with work beginning on their final communiqué. The meeting is scheduled to close Thursday with an afternoon press conference led by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.
So far, the primates have issued public statements on the crises in Zimbabwe and the Sudan and on global warming. Accounts of the closed-door proceedings differ, with some primates reporting a positive environment, while others have spoken of difficulties.
In their Feb. 3 statement, the primates asked that Archbishop Williams, in conjunction with the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa, appoint an envoy “to go to Zimbabwe to exercise a ministry of presence and to show solidarity with the Zimbabwean people.” They also urged President Robert Mugabe to step down, and have called upon the international community to intervene in the Zimbabwe crisis.
A large group of church leaders is battling proposed legislation targeting church property rights. They say the measure would cost millions of dollars in property loss and litigation costs.
Leaders of the Episcopal, Roman Catholic, Evangelical Lutheran, United Methodist, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and Presbyterian denominations, along with the Oklahoma Conference of Churches, on Wednesday sent a letter of "unequivocal” opposition to the state legislators who authored House Bill 1725 and Senate Bill 816.
State Sen. Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa, authored SB 816 and state Rep. Pam Peterson, R-Tulsa, authored HB 1725.
Stanislawski said his bill is designed to "define property rights in Oklahoma so that if people in Oklahoma, whether in a church or some other nonprofit, sign on a deed for the land, they own the land. If they ever separate from the parent organization, they own the land.”
There were renewed calls yesterday for the resignation of the Right Reverend Gene Robinson, the openly gay bishop of New Hampshire, and of the clergy those who consecrated him.
The demand came from the Archbishop of Sudan, the Most Reverend Daniel Deng, who last summer shocked Anglicans by issuing a statement condemning the 2003 decision to consecrate Robinson, a non-celibate gay man, and the US bishops responsible for his appointment.
The position was supported by the Episcopal Church of Sudan, which with has four million followers, 300 primary schools and 24 dioceses. It had previously remained neutral on the issue of homosexuality. The unexpected statement was of special concern for the US Episcopal Church, which enjoys close ties to the African country.
On the penultimate day of a meeting between the world's archbishops and senior bishops to address regional and international concerns, Deng was asked whether he had changed his stance on Robinson and the US Episcopal Church.
He replied: "We are asking that within the primates meeting and the situation on the statement remains the same. We have not deviated. What is needed is for churches in the Anglican world to wrestle with these issues so it comes to an end."
Anglicans in Egypt are vital for bridge-building between Christians and Muslims, says the Rev. Paul-Gordon Chandler, an Episcopal Church mission partner who has spent the last five years as priest of a suburban church in Cairo.
"Anglicans in this part of the world have a disproportionate influence, which is a real catalyst for building" friendships and understanding between Christians and Muslims, said Chandler, 44, who explained that after the terrorist attacks in the U.S. on September 11, 2001, he sensed a growing divide between East and West.
Chandler saw an opportunity to do creative things at St. John's Church in Maadi, a community he describes as theologically and liturgically broad. Under his leadership since 2003, the church's three priorities have centered on Muslim/Christian relations, community development, and faith and the arts.
A special court of the Episcopal Church announced yesterday that it has unanimously reaffirmed its decision to defrock the Rt. Rev. Charles E. Bennison Jr., 65, and remove him as bishop of the 55,000-member Diocese of Pennsylvania. Bennison's lawyers said that they were disappointed and that he would appeal.
In June, following a four-day trial, a seven-member Court for the Trial of a Bishop found Bennison guilty on two charges of "conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy" for concealing his brother John's sexual abuse of a minor girl about 35 years ago.
John Bennison was the youth minister in his brother's parish in suburban Los Angeles, where the teenaged victim was a member. He became an Episcopal priest and served in the San Francisco diocese until 2006, when the abuse became public.
The Primates Meeting in Alexandria has heard of major concerns about the impact of global warming on the environment.
The meeting held a discussion, led by Archbishop of Aotearoa and New Zealand David Moxon. Also making a major contribution to the discussion was Archbishop Paul Sarkar of Bangladesh, a nation facing devastation if predictions of global warming are realized.
A PDF of the presentation by Archbishop David Moxon is available here.
Today has been a sad one for our family. Our dog Kuma, who we think was 18 years old, had to be put down. He had become extremely arthritic and was going into congestive heart failure.
Even though it’s a very gentle process its still difficult.
Kuma (which means "bear" in some Native American dialect) came to live with us seven years ago from the Ligonier Camp and Conference Center where he was the "camp dog". They were more than glad to have us bury him there which I did this afternoon. Many thanks to Jim, Larry, and Bill who helped me do the job of filling in a hole (graciously dug by a backhoe operator) which was easily five times bigger than necessary.
Human sexuality was the first order of business at the 2009 Primates’ Meeting at the Helnan Palestine Hotel in Alexandria, Egypt. The primates devoted their first business session to discussions over the effects the disputes over sexual ethics had had on the life and mission of the church.
Following prayers and Bible study, the Primates began work at 11:00 with five presentations from the Primates of Canada, the United States, Uganda, South Africa and Burma. The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams had asked each to address the question “What impact has the current situation had on your Province’s mission priorities?”
This had elicited a “very interesting discussion” the primates’ spokesman Archbishop Philip Aspinall of Australia told reporters, noting there had been a “huge diversity” of responses. However, primates questioned by ReligiousIntelligence.com reported that there appeared to be little shifting of views as the discussions were predominantly restatements of opinion, rather than a conversation. While there had been “much talk” there seemed to have been “little listening,” one primate observed.
A presentation by the Windsor Continuation Group (WCG) to the primates’ meeting was scheduled for two hours on Tuesday morning, but spilled over into the afternoon.
In December, the WCG met at the Diocese of West Texas’s conference center and prepared a final draft of its report to the primates. The report was given to the primates Tuesday, but placed under a media embargo until the close of the conference. The news blackout extended to the day’s press conference, where the primates’ spokesman, the Most Rev. Philip Aspinall of Australia, would say only that the archbishops discussed the report over two sessions.
Primates contacted by The Living Church declined to discuss the issues raised in the meeting, but all agreed the primates had been candid in sharing their views.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams chartered the WCG in the wake of his Advent letter to the primates in 2007. The group was asked to advise him on the “implementation of the recommendations of the Windsor Report, how best to carry forward the Windsor Process in the life of the Communion, and to consult on the ‘unfinished business’ of the report.” The six-member team offered three presentations to the bishops of the 2008 Lambeth Conference.
The Feb. 3 evening session was devoted to the issue of global warming, breaking the primates’ focus on the splits within the Communion.
The Primates of the Anglican Communion, meeting in Alexandria, Egypt on 3rd February, 2009, heard first hand reports of the situation in Zimbabwe, and note with horror the appalling difficulties of the people of this nation under the current regime.
We give thanks to God for the faithful witness of the Christians of Zimbabwe during this time of pain and suffering, especially those who are being denied access to their churches. We wish to assure them of our love, support and prayers as they face gross violation of human rights, hunger and loss of life as well as the scourge of a cholera epidemic, all due directly to the deteriorating socio-political and economic situation in Zimbabwe.
It is a matter of grave concern that there is an apparent breakdown of the rule of law within the country, and that the democratic process is being undermined, as shown in the flagrant disregard of the outcome of the democratic elections of March 31st 2008, so that Mr Robert Mugabe illegitimately holds on to power. Even the recent political situation of power sharing, brokered by SADC, may not be long lasting and simply further entrench Mr Mugabe’s regime. There appears to be a total disregard for life, consistently demonstrated by Mr Mugabe through systematic kidnap, torture and the killing of Zimbabwean people. The economy of Zimbabwe has collapsed, as evidenced by the use of foreign currencies in an independent state.
We therefore call upon President Robert Mugabe to respect the outcome of the elections of 2008 and to step down. We call for the implementation of the rule of law and the restoration of democratic processes.
An official at the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity has denied reports that the Vatican is prepared to accept a large group of conservative Anglicans into the Catholic Church and establish a personal prelature for them. Msgr. Marc Langham told the SIR news agency that "media rumors do not correspond with truth." He added that his dicastery has not been informed of any such Vatican plans-- although he conceded that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith could be involved in talks with the Traditional Anglican Communion. Msgr. Langham observed that "conversion is a personal process," and thus it was highly unlikely that such a large group would be assimilated into the Church. However he also expressed skepticism over claims that the TAC has a membership as large as the 500,000 the movement claims.
Nearly 40 Anglican archbishops have called on Robert Mugabe to stand down as President of Zimbabwe.
Meeting in Alexandria, Egypt, the 38 Primates said yesterday that they "note with horror the appalling difficulties" of the people of Zimbabwe and in particular the plight of many Christians being refused access to their churches.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, who is chairing the meeting, is expected to send an envoy to show solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe.
The Primates also declared Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent, a day of prayer and solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe.
There has been a “pulling back from the language of sanctions and teeth” in the crafting of the Anglican Covenant, the Primate of Australia told reporters at the Primates' Meeting in Alexandria on Feb 2.
The Most Rev. Philip Aspinall said that whereas earlier drafts of the covenant envisioned sanctions for violations, disciplinary mechanisms were not likely to make it into the final draft.
“Hitting people over the head with sticks” was not what the Anglican Communion wanted to do to provinces that violated the Covenant, Archbishop Aspinall said. Instead, the covenant—designed to set the parameters of Anglican life and worship—is evolving into a document about “koinonia…fellowship…of communion” between churches, and would not be a sanctions-based legal code, he explained.
Creating a document whose goal was increased fellowship, but whose ultimate sanction “is not inviting you to a meeting,” was self-defeating the Australian primate observed.
Lorne is an old friend. Please keep him and his family and Christ Church in prayer. From the Treasure Coast Palm-
Citing allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct, an Anglican bishop has suspended the lead minister of a year-old church that broke off from the national Episcopal Church, officials said Monday.
The Rev. Lorne Coyle, of Christ Church of Vero Beach, was suspended effective 2 p.m. Sunday because his bishop received an out-of-state woman’s allegations that she and Coyle, who is married, had an affair, said the church’s senior warden, Jim Reamy III.
The bishop, from Virginia, met with Coyle last week in Vero Beach to inform him of the accusation.
On Sunday, Coyle stood in front of the 400-member congregation and confirmed he had sexual relations with an adult women over a period of years, Reamy said. Coyle left the building before the recessional hymn.
The long-time priest was formerly the head minister of Trinity Episcopal Church, Vero Beach. He was ordained in 1975.
Coyle led the establishment of the Christ Church in response to what he said was the national Episcopal Church’s straying from Biblical scripture.
Christ Church leaders met Monday night to start discussing what to do. They don’t yet know how long the suspension will last and what Guernsey will do.
Archbishops of the Anglican Communion worldwide will tomorrow discuss a proposal that will allow the church to remain united as one body in spite of schismatic differences over the ordination of homosexuals and the blessing of gay marriages.
Archbishops of the 38 provinces worldwide are beginning a week-long meeting in Alexandria, Egypt where they will discuss a proposal to allow Anglican churches to remain "in communion" with other provinces that refuse to sign up to a new "covenant" or unity document.
Discussions to draft the new covenant, which sets out sanctions for provinces that breach accepted Anglican norms on issues such as gay consecrations, are expected to be complete by the summer with the covenant signed up to by provinces and ready for implementation within five years.
The proposal, set out in a document of responses after discussions at the Lambeth Conference last summer on an early draft of the covenant, would enable a split to be avoided with provinces such as Canada, where one diocese, New Westminster, has already authorised same-sex blessings and at least one more wishes to follow suit.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has criticised churches that have too many events on their noticeboards.Churches should concentrate less on activities and more on "praying" he said at a service in Egypt, where is chairing the meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion.
Dr Rowan Williams, preaching at the dedication of the new St Mark's pro-cathedral in Alexandria, also criticised people who back-stab and undermine each other, interpreted as a reference to the internecine Anglican wars which seem to be drawing to a surprisingly peaceful close in this heartland of the Christian Creed.
Dr Williams told more than 30 Primates of the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion who are in Alexandria in an attempt to heal the rift over homosexuality that all churches needed to make more room for prayer and place less emphasis on being so "busy".
The Archbishop, speaking appropriately in the city where the monastic movement was founded just a few centuries after the death of Christ, said: "Years ago I lived in a town where there was a very active church indeed. Outside this church was an enormous noticeboard. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article5649818.ece
The following are excerpts from the homily delivered by the Rev. Wendel W. Meyer, rector of St. John's Episcopal Church, Beverly Farms, Mass., where a memorial service was held Monday for author John Updike:
"We are here today to celebrate the life, work and faith of John Updike. In truth, I would be far more comfortable simply focusing these remarks on John's strong and resilient faith, but that would be separating the inseparable, for in an important sense John was a seamless garment and his faith was delicately and intricately woven into the warp and weft of his life and work. ...
"John Updike, my friends, was a man who lived a life that was inspired and infused by his thirst for the divine, and that longing colored the way he experienced reality and the way he described it. ...
"John Updike accepted the universe because he believed that reality was permeated with the spirit of the Lord who created, redeemed and sustains it. ...
Doctor Aspinall said small group and plenary discussions focused on the way in which scripture is interpreted and how that is affected by local context. “Very powerful analogies were drawn and Archbishop Thabo’s reflections on South Africa and the ethics of armed struggle to overthrow apartheid were powerful. During this real life and death struggle the church stayed together despite deep differences.”
The Australian Primate also spoke of the afternoon session on the Covenant led by Archbishop John Chew. “Submissions will be received from provinces up until 9th of March. A new draft will then be presented to the Anglican Consultative Council.”
Dr Aspinall said there was a general warming to the possibilities of what might be afforded by the covenant and increasing realism about what a covenant can and can’t do.
“I sense a pulling back from language of ‘sanctions’ and ‘teeth’ and there was a discussion on whether that is appropriate language for the body of Christ. “There’s a growing appreciation that what we are talking about is a framework for koinonia, fellowship, for communion, for relationships and if there is a failure in koinonia the way that such a failure needs to be addressed is through further investment in koinonia, fellowship and relationships, not hitting people over the head with sticks.”
Archbishop Aspinall said that provinces are generally committed to the process of a Covenant but none can yet commit to a particular form of covenant because they haven’t seen it.
The archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, is "sensitive" to the limits of his authority and role in the affairs of Anglican provinces, according the archbishop of Brisbane.
Speaking at a press conference in Alexandria today, the scene for a meeting between the world's most senior Anglican clerics, the Most Rev Philip Aspinall responded to a question about whether the assembled primates had discussed the role of the archbishop of Canterbury, who has caused resentment among traditionalists who believe he is too lenient with liberals in North America.
As a sign of protest, the Church of Nigeria deleted references to Canterbury from its constitution in 2005 and, last year, the Global Anglican Future Conference, a parallel network for conservative evangelicals, downgraded Williams' status, saying they did not accept that Anglican identity was necessarily determined through recognition by the archbishop of Canterbury.
Aspinall, who has been appointed spokesman for a meeting that will address divisive as well as less contentious issues, said: "The archbishop of Canterbury is trying to deal flexibly, creatively and responsively to the situation [affecting the communion]. He is very sensitive to the limits of his authority and role in provinces outside his own, [but] the see of Canterbury is pivotal."
A convention to reorganize the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth — including election of a temporary bishop — is scheduled for Saturday, the latest move in a heated dispute between two factions in the diocese.
A majority of delegates in the Fort Worth Diocese voted in November — behind the urging of Bishop Jack Iker — to separate from the more liberal Episcopal Church, which has members in the United States, Canada and several other countries.
Delegates who will meet Saturday did not support the decision and say the convention will be to reform what they say is the true Fort Worth Diocese.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of the Episcopal Church will come to Fort Worth for the convention to recommend the Rt. Rev. Edwin F. "Ted" Gulick Jr. as provisional bishop. If delegates elect him, he will be installed at the meeting. A permanent bishop is expected to be elected in one or two years, organizers said.
Iker and others who left the Episcopal Church oppose the convention. On Jan. 8, Iker sent Schori a letter saying he objected to her planned visit and urged her "not to bring further discord."
Amid all the controversy over the Vatican’s handling of the return of four excommunicated ultra-traditionalist bishops, some newspapers are reporting that Pope Benedict is now preparing to welcome a far larger group into the Church — the 400,000-strong Traditional Anglican Communion. We noted speculation about this last June. The Italian daily La Stampa wrote today that this group would be accepted into the Roman Catholic Church by Easter. Its headline was “Goodbye Canterbury, Benedict Takes Back Even the Anglicans.”
But it doesn’t look like it’s going to be that way. The Vatican can wait, something it normally is very good at. The arguments I’m hearing here against such a move anytime soon are:
Large group conversions can be unwieldy and full of surprises. After the controversy over the botched PR for the lifting of bans on the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) bishops, you can bet a lot more homework will be done on this one first.
The Russian Orthodox Church enthroned the 16th patriarch, the first to be elected since the fall of the Soviet Union, in an elaborate ceremony on Sunday attended by hundreds of hierarchs and Russia's top political leaders.
The patriarch, Kirill I, was elected Tuesday by a council of bishops, other members of the clergy, monks and lay people of the Russian Orthodox Church to succeed Aleksy II, who had led the church out of the Soviet era and died in Moscow on Dec. 5.
In evidence of the changing relationship between church and state, President Dmitri Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin attended the service, standing prominently near the front of Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, a church that was blown up on Stalin's orders in 1931 and lavishly rebuilt after the fall of the Soviet Union.
In a short address at the end of the service, Medvedev said that the enthronement of a new patriarch offered "new conditions for a full-fledged dialogue" between the church and the state.
He also said that Russia's diversity placed extra responsibility on the patriarch. "Russia is a complicated state, inhabited by many different peoples, by followers of different faiths, and in this sense also the mission of the patriarch of Moscow and All Russia is extremely notable," he said, without elaborating.
Here is a series of links to various reports about the beginning of the Primates meeting in Alexandria Egypt.
This from the London Times-
Archbishops of the Anglican Communion worldwide will discuss a proposal tomorrow that would allow the Church to remain united in spite of schismatic differences over the ordination of homosexuals and the blessing of gay marriages.
Archbishops of the 38 provinces worldwide are beginning a week-long meeting in Alexandria, Egypt, where they will discuss a proposal to allow Anglican churches to remain "in communion" with provinces that refuse to sign up to a new covenant or unity document.
Discussions on drafting the covenant, which will set out sanctions for provinces that breach accepted Anglican norms on issues such as gay consecrations, are expected to be complete by the summer and ready for implementation within five years.
The proposal, which follows discussions at the Lambeth Conference last summer, would enable a split to be avoided with provinces such as Canada, where one diocese, New Westminster, has already authorised same-sex blessings and at least one more wishes to follow suit.
With its towering stone steeple, marble steps and crimson doors, Pittsburgh's Trinity Episcopal Cathedral looks every bit a "mighty fortress" of faith. But the 226-year-old cathedral is a house divided, like the denomination that built it.
Since October, Trinity's priests have been saying Sunday Masses for two warring dioceses: the older one composed of 28 theologically moderate or liberal parishes, and one newly created of 66 breakaway conservative parishes. Each claims to be the true "Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh." Each is dug in.
The cathedral parish has not taken sides. "They're both in our prayers," said the Rev. Canon Catherine Brall, Trinity's rector.
Quarrels and schism have been hallmarks of the 2.1-million-member Episcopal Church USA since the mid-1970s, when it began ordaining women and modernized its prayer book. Those changes, coupled with its acceptance of gay clergy in the 1990s, have pulled in new members and driven away traditionalists, including at least three entire parishes in the Philadelphia region.
There's a bit of a celebration going on here today !
It's one for the other thumb.
Santonio Holmes made an acrobatic touchdown catch with 35 seconds remaining in a heart-stopping comeback, allowing the Steelers to become the first team to win six Super Bowls. It earned Holmes a ring and the trophy as the game's MVP.
"It's going down in history," Holmes said after his catch gave the Steelers a dramatic 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII. "All I did was extend my arms and use my toes."
The Steelers, with the league's No. 1 defense, had blown a 13-point fourth-quarter lead as Larry Fitzgerald caught two touchdown passes, giving him a record seven touchdown catches in the postseason.
That lead was built on James Harrison's 100-yard interception return for a touchdown on the last play of the first half, which became the longest play in Super Bowl history.
Brian Rooney commented on Art Rooney Sr., the founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers saying: "My grandfather, Art Rooney, went to church service everyday - no matter where he was or how important any signal game may be. He was always interacting with the players, coaches, and everyone else in the organization. His faith was infectious and still sets the tone for the team today. Before every game we have a family Mass. In fact, when I get to Tampa on Saturday, the first place I will be is the Saturday family Mass before the big game."
Rooney went on to say, "I remember as a young boy, after every game - no matter how big - the team would come into the locker room, take a knee, and recite the Lord's Prayer. Only after the prayer would Coach Chuck Noll, another man of great Christian faith, say his post game comments.
“Tony Dungy was a Steelers player and assistant coach then, and Noll's quiet faith and leadership style shaped Coach Dungy's. It's no accident that Coach Mike Tomlin, a protégé of Coach Dungy's, leads the team in line with how Noll and Dungy led. This has always been the Steelers' way, the Rooney way, which is really founded upon the rock of our Christian faith. No matter who wins the game on Sunday, the Bidwells, Rooneys, and many players on both sides will give thanks to God after, and this says more about our country then the game itself."
The Cardinals' star is quarterback Kurt Warner, an evangelical who mentions God in almost every interview and is often seen with a Bible in hand. Mr. Warner, a rags-to-riches character, was bagging groceries before his NFL career began. He conducts weekly Bible-study sessions during the season, and as many as 20 of his teammates attend.
Pittsburgh has Troy Polamalu, an All-Pro safety with flowing black hair and a reputation for delivering savage hits on enemy players. Mr. Polamalu is an Eastern Orthodox Christian. His voice is little more than a whisper, when he actually speaks. "I feel like faith is the foundation of everything I do on and off the field," he said this week in Tampa. "It determines how you live your life when you love God."
God, it seems, is everywhere at the Super Bowl: in the players' words, in the Bible Mr. Warner carries, in the athlete prayer circles commonplace at NFL games, and on the giant "Super Bowl Champion is Jesus" banner that a retired Tampa pastor has hired a plane to pull across the Florida skies later today.
Most NFL fans are familiar with the sight of Steelers safety Troy Polamalu crossing himself during games, but one subset of fans is gleefully aware that he crosses himself from right to left, rather than left to right.
"Each time there is an important play, he makes his cross the Orthodox way. Nobody else does this, and it is a beautiful thing," said Metropolitan Maximos, of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh, who officiated at the wedding of Troy and Theodora Polamalu four years ago.
Mr. Polamalu, an ethnic Samoan, long has had a strong Christian faith, but was non-denominational until he joined his wife's Greek Orthodox church. The metropolitan is quick to note that Orthodox enthusiasm for Mr. Polamalu isn't intended to denigrate any other branch of Christianity.
"I'm very proud of him. But, to be honest, I don't care if his background is Roman Catholic or Greek Orthodox or any of the Protestant communities, as long as the guy is a faithful person. And Polamalu is that, and his wife is as well," he said.
When football doesn't allow the Polamalus to worship together on Sundays, they make weekday visits to the Monastery of the Nativity of the Mother of God in Saxonburg. Their infant son was baptized there. But the nuns won't be watching him play in the Super Bowl, Metropolitan Maximos said, because they don't watch anything on television that isn't religious.
On the final day of its three-day meeting here, the Episcopal Church's Executive Council passed a draft budget for the 2010-2012 triennium that reflected the effects of the world's financial crisis. The draft budget calls for increasing the draw on endowment income from 5 percent to 5.5 percent, deferring debt repayment, freezing church center salaries in 2010, cutting most non-personnel church center costs by 9 percent and slightly reducing personnel costs.
Episcopal Church Treasurer Kurt Barnes told the council January 30 that the world economy has not been in this sort of financial crisis "since the time of the Depression," and thus the council "must take very, very serious action. We are not forgetting the concept of abundance, but we also cannot forget the concept of being good stewards for all those who come after us."