This reporter get's it right with regard to which of the competing "Dioceses" is "new".
A dispute over women priests and same-sex marriage that sparked a legal battle over property ownership among higher-up Episcopal church leaders has trickled down to a personal level for a small Tracy congregation.
The fight split in half St. Mark’s Episcopal Church — which has since dropped the “Episcopal” from its title. It has strained friendships, some of which have only recently begun to heal. And it played a part in one man’s decision to convert to Catholicism.
“I got tired of all the fighting,” said Marvin Barth, 78, who enrolled in catechism last year and since Easter has attended St. Bernard’s Catholic Church. “I just wanted to be part of a church with a more conservative theology.”
So did Bishop John David Schofield, who led the ecclesiastical divorce, calling the U.S. Episcopalian Church too liberal.
The Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori in 2006 was voted into a nine-year term as presiding bishop of the entire U.S. Episcopal denomination. For Schofield — who had never in his decades of church leadership appointed a woman to a high rank in the church — Schori’s election was the last straw.
When Schofield broke off from the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin around Christmas in 2007 because he opposed the denomination’s decision to appoint women as bishops and support of same-sex marriage, a handful of churches split with him.
They called themselves Anglican after the schism and claimed membership with a newly formed Fresno-based diocese led by Schofield. Church leaders deemed too liberal by Schofield within the separated diocese were slowly replaced with more conservative leaders.
The Ridley-Cambridge draft of the proposed Anglican Communion Covenant will not be sent to member churches for consideration, pending consultation and possible revision of a controversial section dealing with dispute resolution and the definition of which entities can sign on to the covenant.
After a long, drawn-out debate, and what some delegates referred to as a “confusing” process, the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) on May 8 asked that a “small working group” be appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury to “consider and consult with the provinces” on Section 4 of the Ridley-Cambridge draft, “and its possible revision.” That group was asked to report to the next meeting of the Joint Standing Committee of primates (senior bishops of each Anglican province) and the ACC, which will meet before the end of the year.
The ACC had, by a vote of 47 against, 17 in favour, and one abstention, defeated a section of the resolution that sought to detach the draft’s controversial Section 4, Our Covenanted Life Together, “for further consideration and work.”
The 14th Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) by a tight vote on May 8 rejected a move to add a fourth moratorium on issues related to divisions over human sexuality that would have asked for a “cessation of litigation” among member churches of the Anglican Communion involved in disputes over property.
The ACC, however, said it “affirms” the recommendations of the Windsor Continuation Group (WCG), which included not just moratoria on the blessing of same-sex unions, the ordination of persons living in same-sex unions, and cross-provincial interventions, but also “relational consequences” for those who breach them. The original text of the resolution had used the word “notes,” instead of “affirms.”
The word “notes” had been used to reflect the “range of views” expressed by delegates in discernment groups, said Anthony Fitchett, chair of the resolutions committee and a lay delegate. Opponents said, however, that using a “more neutral” word was not useful, since the ACC “needs to give an indication of how it feels” about the WCG recommendations.
For the second time, supporters of Father Albert Cutié gathered in front of St. Francis de Sales church in Miami Beach, where Cutié used to lead mass. They are demanding not only that the Archdiocese of Miami reinstate him, some are also demanding changes to the entire Catholic religion.
This Friday evening rally looked more like a sermon, with the 50 people gathered to urge the Archdiocese to forgive Father Albert Cutié for possibly breaking his vow of celibacy. The rally and march were peaceful. That's a far cry from Thursday's rally that turned violent, leaving a counter-demonstrator on the ground.
Many who came to the rally were emboldened after seeing a Spanish-language television interview with Father Albert. In that interview with Univision's Teresa Rodriguez, Father Albert said he asked for time away from the church since this scandal broke, but he said, "I'm a priest and I will be a priest until I die."
Meanwhile, the spiritual leader and head of the Episcopal church in South Florida tells CBS4 he believes that popular Catholic priest Alberto Cutié will make a decision soon to become an Episcopal priest.
The Rt. Rev. Leo Frade, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida, told CBS4's Peter D'Oench he's spoken twice with Father Cutié at length since the provocative photos surfaced in TV NOTAS Magazine, showing Cutié kissing and caressing 35-year-old Ruhama Canellis on the beach.
"I think the issue for Father Cutié is one of celibacy," said Bishop Frade. Celibacy is required of Catholic priests. It is not required of Episcopal priests.
From the Dallas Morning News. Notice how in each of the four dioceses that claim to have left that they refer to the continuing TEC Diocese as being "new". Didn't work in San Joaquin.
Late last year, clergy and lay leaders of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth - led by Bishop Jack Iker - voted to withdraw from the Episcopal Church and realign with a more conservative, Argentina-based province of the Anglican Communion. A handful of Fort Worth area churches remained with the Episcopal Church, and parts of other congregations also remained loyal, choosing to meet separately. The Episcopal Church then reorganized the Fort Worth Diocese, with new leaders chosen. And recently the Episcopal Church filed a lawsuit against Iker and other leaders of the breakaway contingent, over church properties and other assets. Confusingly (at least to this reporter) both the seceeding and loyalist groups go by the name Episcopal Diocese of Forth Worth.
Here, from the Rev. Dr. Thomas Hightower, president of the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth - the one that broke from the Episcopal Church - is a response to the lawsuit.
From Time Magazine 1953. It would seem that there was a bit of the prophetic in the hysteria.
From Williamsburg, Va.. where they had met in special session, the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church issued a pastoral letter to their 2,545,000 church members reviewing "the state of the church today."First, said the bishops, there are some causes for thanksgiving. Among them: the "steady and continuous" gain in the number of Episcopal communicants (1.72% in the U.S. between 1951 and 1952); the general increase in church membership in all denominations. But most of their words were devoted to Christian grounds of concern. Despite church gains, they warned, "the outlook for Christianity and for the world from a Christian point of view has rarely been more serious.""Communism, with its philosophy of materialism." the bishops said, is Christianity's greatest avowed enemy. But equally dangerous is "another form of totalitarianism which deifies the state, expressing itself in various forms of national state socialism." The bishops suggested that the U.S. might have some unwitting state deifiers behind recent "broad generalizations and accusations" against the churches—presumably those made by members of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Said the bishops, quoting a speech by Presiding Bishop Henry Knox Sherrill: "We are against trial by uninformed public opinion, against accusations by hearsay . . . The church is equally opposed to what may be described as 'creeping fascism.' " The rest-
In general, this paper is pretty liberal and definitely supports gay rights, within churches as well as outside them. But there has to be a line drawn somewhere, and the Anglican Communion has crossed it. At the opening of their meeting in Jamaica this week, a hymn was sung, to the tune of "Ode to Joy", which may well have the most completely god-awful opening verse ever written. Here it is:
Lord of our diversity, unite us all, we pray; welcome us to fellowship in your inclusive way.
At the ACC-13 meeting in Nottingham a resolution was passed that asked the Secretary General to do a number of things in connection with the Listening Process. They included: To collate relevant research studies, statements, resolutions and other material on these matters from the various Provinces and other interested bodies within those Provinces To make such material available for study, discussion and reflection within each member Church of the Communion
To identify and allocate adequate resources for this work, and to report progress on it to the Archbishop of Canterbury, to the next Lambeth Conference and the next meeting of this Council, and to copy such reports to the Provinces.
As a result of this motion The Revd Canon Philip Groves was hired as the facilitator of the Listening process to work within the Anglican Communion Office. Philip is a canon of All Saints’ Mpwapwa, Tanzania and continues his parish ministry in England. Following his presentation at ACC-14 and the announcement of The Continuing Indaba and Mutual Listening Project. In the podcast that follows he talks about the challenges and opportunities of the listening process and the role the new project will play in assisting people to hear and listen to God and to one another on the subject of human sexuality.
Dominic DiMaggio, the bespectacled Boston Red Sox center fielder who was overshadowed by his older brother Joe’s spectacular career, died early Friday. He was 92.
DiMaggio was surrounded by his family at his death at his Massachusetts home, according to his wife, Emily. She did not give a cause of death but said that DiMaggio had been ill lately.
“He was the most wonderful, warm, loving man,” his wife of 61 years said. “He adored his children, and we all adored him.”
DiMaggio was a seven-time baseball All Star who still holds the record for the longest consecutive game hitting streak in Boston Red Sox history.
Known as the “Little Professor” because of his eyeglasses and 5-foot-9 (1.75 m), 168-pound (76 kg) frame, DiMaggio hit safely in 34 consecutive games in 1949. The streak was broken on Aug. 9 when his big brother caught a sinking line drive in the eighth inning of a 6-3 Red Sox win over the New York Yankees.
The younger DiMaggio also had a 27-game hitting streak in 1951, which still ranks as the fifth longest in Red Sox history. Joe set the major league record with a 56-game hitting streak with the Yankees in 1941 and was elected to the sport’s Hall of Fame.
The oldest of the three center field-playing DiMaggio brothers was Vince, who had a 10-year major league career with five National League teams. Joe died in March 1999, while Vince died in October 1986.
Dom DiMaggio spent his entire career with the Red Sox, 10 full seasons plus three games in 1953. He was teammates and close friends with Red Sox greats Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr and Johnny Pesky.
While Dom did not have the batting numbers of Joe, he was generally regarded as a better defensive player with a stronger arm.
THE Anglican Communion may not survive its current crisis over authority and differing theological perspectives, the Archbishop of Canterbury acknowledged on Tuesday.
But he insisted: “Even if we are separated by a number of canonical, theological determinations; even if we blew apart as a communion in chaos and disruption, which God forbid, sooner or later we would have to hear the voice of Christ say: ‘There’s your brother, there’s your sister, there’s a long journey for you together in the path towards reconciliation.’”
Dr Williams was giving the Anglican Con sul tative Council (ACC) a 40-minute presentation on the recommendations of the final report of the Windsor Continuation Group (WCG), the body created, as he put it, to “con tain the chaos and division” that threatened the Communion over the issue of human sexuality.
The communiqué issued by the Primates after their meeting in February in Alexandria quoted extensively from the report, which recommended a “provisional holding arrange ment” to be revisited when the Covenant process concluded, or when long-term reconciliation in the Communion was achieved (News, 6 February).
Dr Williams told the ACC again on Tuesday that the three moratoriums requested by the WDG and affirmed by the Lambeth Conference — the election of bishops in same-sex relationships, rites of blessing for same-sex unions, and cross-border interventions — be maintained, and that “urgent conversations” should be facilitated in provinces which had a problem with them. He called for shared honesty in the mediated conversations. Critics of North Americans who spoke of the impossibility of going back on the blessing of same-sex unions and ordination of a person in a same-sex relationship should at least listen fully to those who said: “We have discussed this in depth, and have come to these conclusions for our selves in good faith.” Critics of cross-border interventions should listen to those who were saying: “We’ve been trying to respond to manifest distress among other Christians. We are not empire-building: we are trying in conscience to give proper care and attention and some sort of churchly home for people who otherwise feel homeless.”
One of the foremost items on the Anglican Consultative Council’s agenda is consideration of the final report of the Windsor Continuation Group (WCG). During a May 6 press briefing, the Rt. Rev. Gregory Cameron, Bishop of St. Asaph (Wales) and former deputy secretary general of the ACC, said he did not know why a fourth moratorium—on litigation—had been noted in the WCG’s final report but was omitted from the draft resolution of nine recommendations proposed by the Joint Standing Committee of the ACC and primates (JSC) for approval by the ACC.
The WCG was set up by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 2007 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 ACC will be discussing the WCG report and considering a resolution about it on May 8.
ACC representatives approved a series of resolutions on May 5, including one from the International Anglican Women’s Network (IAWN) that “requests that appointments to all inter-Anglican standing commissions, and all other inter-Anglican committees, design groups, or appointed bodies … provide equal representation of women on each body.”
The resolve calling for equal representation on all Communion bodies originally was approved at the last meeting of the ACC in 2005. The resolution submitted by IAWN contained a number of other resolves, including a recommendation to implement “the principles of gender budgeting throughout the Communion, and request[ing] provinces to report on progress made to ACC-15.”
Resolutions submitted by other Anglican networks also were approved, including ones commending a recently published book on canon law “for study in every province,” urging member churches and others to be more assertive in working for peace in the Sudan, and calling on member churches to encourage their governments to sign the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Much happens each day during the Anglican Consultative Council's (ACC) 14th meeting. In addition to Episcopal Life Media's regular coverage, here's some of what else went on May 7, the sixth day of the May 2-12 gathering. Listening Process 'worth trying,' Groves says The Rev. Canon Phil Groves, who facilitates the communion's Listening Process, told reporters during a briefing that the point of the process is not intended to put a gay person in the middle of a room "while everyone else sits around and investigates them."
That model would be "pretty appalling," he said.
Instead, Groves said the intent is for Anglicans to engage in conversations about the issues they face and, through that process, learn more about how they can work together.
That mutual listening process "faces people with hard questions and doesn't presume that we at the communion office have any of the answers, which we don't," Groves said. "Those have to be discovered within the communion rather than imposed in any way from a pre-formed packaged from above."
"I'm not going to stand here and say, 'this is the answer to all our problems' because I think that's too big a claim," he said.
Groves invoked St. Paul's method of dealing with division in the church at Corinth. "It isn't that he sends the issues off to a commission, but asks them to be part of the journey to find out what the truth is," he said.
"I'm not saying this will work; I'm saying it's worth trying," Groves said, calling the Listening Process "a way that explores how we can be the church more fully in the way that the New Testament gives some indication."
Groves was questioned about whether the decision to use what he called "Anglican indaba processes," referring to a Zulu method of decision-making by consensus that was used during the 2008 Lambeth Conference of bishops, made sense in non-African or multi-cultural settings. He told reporters that since the beginning, the church has incorporated "societal models" into its organization and "western cultural models" have predominated. "We have nothing else," he said.
Episcopal Church to distribute meals to kids over summer
St. Paul's Episcopal Church will provide a summer lunch program for kids over the summer at Huntress Park.
The church received approval from the Clay Center City Council Tuesday to distribute meals at the park's shelter house west of the swimming pool 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday starting June 1 and continuing until school starts in August.
In past summers the church has distributed hot dog meals to kids at the Huntress Park swimming pool, but only on an occasional basis.
"The St. Paul's Episcopal Church has determined there is a need in this community for healthy lunches for children who are in and around the swimming pool on a regular basis," a release from the church said. "The swimming pool concession stand provides snacks and candy, but no healthy meal.
The split between the local Episcopal Church has taken a new turn. A judge recently released a preliminary ruling that one side says solves a major issue.
The US Episcopal Church is pointing to a judge's tentative ruling as proof their bishop is the true legal authority. Back in December 2007, a dispute involving gay marriage led Bishop John-David Schofield to break away from his national church. In turn, the national church sued and installed their own bishop who is fighting to be the one and only leader.
Bishop Jerry Lamb said he is very pleased with a nine page tentative ruling. Lamb said a judge recognized him as the legal authority which means if the ruling becomes final Lamb controls all Central Valley Episcopal Churches including Saint James Cathedral. Lamb said, "A lot of people have been hurt on all sides of this question. It's not a time of celebration. It's a time of being pleased that we can go forward."
Right now, Bishop John-David Schofield claims control over Saint James and dozens of churches who followed him after a 2007 vote. Schofield led a movement to separate from the national church and align himself with a more conservative Anglican church. The rift was largely caused by disagreements over the bible and homosexuality. While the recent ruling favors Bishop Lamb, ABC 30 Legal Analyst Tony Capozzi urges caution. Capozzi said, "A tentative ruling means what it says, it's tentative. It's not final. Indeed if either party objects to this ruling, it is no longer the ruling of the court."
The Supreme Court’s ruling broadens the legal definition of marriage beyond that which is currently stated in the Canons of the Church or the Prayer Book which contains our authorized services. Further, the Prayer Book requires compliance with both the laws of the State and the canons of the Church. But the Church’s definition of the sacrament of marriage and the state’s definition of the legal form of marriage now differ. In spite of the good intentions many may have, I am unable to permit Episcopal clergy to sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples. Couples wishing prayers and a blessing therefore must go first to the state to be married or a priest may ask a state official to provide for the vows and the signing of the license.
BETHANY BEYOND THE JORDAN (Reuters) - When Pope Benedict stops to pray at a pool of still green water here on Sunday, his visit will bolster the case that Jesus was baptized at this spot on the east bank of the Jordan River.
The exact location is unclear and a rival spot across the narrow muddy river has long claimed to be the place where John the Baptist and Jesus met for the cleansing ritual.
But for over a decade now, Jordanian experts have unearthed ruins of ancient churches amid the tamarisk trees here and found early pilgrims' writings about the site. Christian denominations have begun building new churches for modern pilgrims nearby.
Rustom Mkhjian, assistant director of the Baptism Site Commission developing the area, said the archaeological evidence showed early Christians saw this as the true site.
The Anglican Consultative Council is currently in the middle of a fortnight-long meeting in Kingston, Jamaica. Made up of representatives from member churches throughout the world, it includes laypeople as well as bishops and other clergy. This gathering will be a test of its ability, amidst organisational politics, to hold on to its ideals and to balance unity with other values. These include justice, mercy and involvement by ordinary Christians as well as senior clergy in making decisions.
Kingston has a rich but troubled history, marked by slavery and colonialism as well as by resistance to these and other forms of oppression. Over 30,000 people filled the newly-built National Stadium in 1962 when independence was declared. There were high hopes of creating a truly independent and just society, but gradually these were blighted and – as in many other ex-colonies – Western economic dominance kept its grip.
Though Kingston was a major cultural centre, high unemployment and poverty remained. Frustration was sometimes violently expressed and gays and lesbians became a convenient target.
Violent homophobia in Jamaica has destroyed people emotionally and sometimes physically and has taught others to hate their gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered neighbours. During a prison riot in Kingston in 1997, warders failed to protect supposedly gay prisoners, several of whom were stabbed or burnt to death. Horrific violence continues, sometimes justified on supposedly religious grounds .
The 14th Anglican Consultative Council today welcomed the proposal for a “Continuing Indaba Project,” the next stage of the so-called Listening Process on the issue of human sexuality in the Anglican Communion. The process aims to listen to the experiences of homosexual persons and the response of various churches to them and the issue.
The project will involve five diverse “pilot conversations,” which would focus on mission issues and would not avoid hard questions related to sexuality, the authority of Scripture, faithfulness to tradition and the respect for the dignity of all. Canon Philip Groves, Listening Process facilitator, said the hope is that these conversations will result in “a depth of agreement and the clarification of disagreements resulting in positive missional relationships.” He did not state where the “pilot conversations” would take place.
Speaking before ACC delegates, Mr. Groves explained that indaba is a Zulu word for “the process of decision making by consensus, common in many African cultures and with parallels in other non-western societies,” like the Sacred Circle, commonly used by native communities in Canada. Indaba was the term used for the process used at last year’s Lambeth Conference. He said that within the African context, indaba “is intended to include all parties” and to result in a common decision. Mr. Groves said the project will adopt the consensus method by “drawing upon Biblical models, the traditions of the church and cultural methods across the Communion.”
There doesn’t seem to be a Church in Christendom that doesn’t utter the cry, “we need more youth” The International Anglican Youth Network (IYAN) is doing something about that. IAYN is a network of persons of the Anglican Communion that are involved in ministry among young people at the provincial level. Among their aims are raising the profile of youth ministry, increasing resources and encouraging the inclusion of young people at all levels in the decision making of the Church.
At a presentation at ACC-14 a resolution was passed that encourages every province to dedicate one Sunday each year as, ‘Ministries with Youth’ Sunday and asks each province to support youth ministry in a variety of ways. The network was able to be present in Lambeth and has held a variety of network meetings in the past few years. Recognizing that nothing works better than face to face meetings a significant part of their planning is a full network meeting in 2011.The Revd Douglas Fenton is a co-administrator of IYAN and talks in the podcast about the origins hopes and future dreams that recognizes a vital ministry in our Church now and in the days to come.
Much happens each day during the Anglican Consultative Council's (ACC) 14th meeting. In addition to Episcopal Life Media's regular coverage, here's some of what else went on May 6, the fifth day of the May 2-12 gathering.
Son of South India representative killed J.M. Richard, the lay representative for the Church of South India (United), has left for home after his 17-year-old son was killed in motorcycle accident. Richard was accompanied on his trip by the Rev. Moses Jayakumar, South India's clerical representative.
The Venerable Paul Feheley, ACC media relations officer, told reporters May 6 that a number of ACC members visited Richard in his room on May 5 to pray with him after they learned of the tragedy. Feheley said some ACC members told him they felt as if they were part of a church congregation trying to comfort one of their fellow members.
The Church of South India (United) continues to be represented at the Kingston meeting by George Koshy, who is ACC vice chair, and Bishop John Wilson Gladstone, who was elected as the church's episcopal representative before he became its primate.
North India representative encounters visa problem Kalyan Peterson, the lay representative for the Church of North India (United), has not been able to get to the Kingston meeting because he was denied a transit visa by the United Kingdom. Feheley said he had no information about the reason for the denial. North India's other representative, the Rev. Ashish Amos, is attending the meeting.
ACC begins budget consideration Anglican Communion Secretary General Kenneth Kearon told the council that it will be asked to request a 10 percent increase in the triennial contribution of the member provinces. Kearon noted, however, that few provinces met a similar request made by the ACC during its last meeting in 2005.
"As a result ACC struggled to balance its [budget] in 2006 and 2007," according to a handout outlining Kearon's presentation. The handout noted that the effort was "not helped by the continuing strength of the pound sterling against the U.S. dollar."
The groom wore a black tuxedo, a damask-rose pink waistcoat and tie, and an ear-to-ear smile. He picked out his wedding outfit at a mall in Virginia -- his first time ever in one of the sprawling shopping centers that are monuments to consumerism in the suburban landscape across the United States.
During his 14 years living homeless on the streets of Washington, Dante White, 28, never realized that so much opulence existed. Nor had he had much luck in love in his life, having been thrown out of his mother's home when he was just 14.
Last week, White married Nhiahni Chestnut, 39, a woman whose battles with drugs and alcohol had left her on the streets of the US capital as well. Both are unemployed.
"I was basically living from day to day, trying to survive, and I wound up meeting him," Chestnut told AFP at the couple's wedding, held in the tiny chapel of Grace Episcopal Church in Washington's Georgetown neighborhood.
"Something clicked, the chemistry was there," said the bride, dressed in a flowing white ensemble with a pink flower.
"We've been together ever since. That was nine years ago. He was outside. It kind of clicked because we were in kind of the same situation. We started hanging out with each other, talking," she said.
The two also frequented a Bible study and meal program run by Grace Episcopal Church on Saturdays. It was there, a few months ago, that White, 28, revealed to a parishioner how much he wished he could afford to marry the woman who had brought light into his life on the streets.
The diversity of members at St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Ankeny has earned it a $25,000 grant to continue integrating different cultures into its congregation.
Families from Lebanon, Sudan, Ghana, Mexico, England, the Philippines, China and Native Americans all call the church home.
By successfully welcoming the various traditions into their congregation, the diversity has earned the 225-member church the grant to continue to grow and share its experiences.
"Rural and metropolitan areas of central Iowa have benefited from an influx of persons from other countries in the last several years," said the Rev. Robert Kem, pastor of St. Anne's at 2110 W. First St.
"It is sometimes difficult for people raised in the Midwest to understand and incorporate these new immigrants into the day-to-day life of the church because they may not understand the immigrants' cultural traditions and beliefs. The congregation of St. Anne's Episcopal Church has been fortunate to have several families from different countries choose to worship with us and make St. Anne's their church home."
The National Episcopal Church has awarded St. Anne's the $25,000 grant.
A Fresno County, California, judge, who tentatively ruled that Bishop Jerry Lamb and not John-David Schofield is the legitimate episcopal authority in the Diocese of San Joaquin, is expected to make a final determination within the next several days.
One day before a scheduled May 5 hearing of the Diocese of San Joaquin v. Schofield, California Superior Court Judge Adolfo M. Corona released a tentative summary judgment, a customary court practice. The full text of Corona’s tentative summary judgment is available here, beginning on page 4. Noting that "the Episcopal Church has spoken as to who holds the position of Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin," Corona indicated that he would rule that Lamb has rights to the diocese's property-holding entities, including the Corporation Sole, the Diocesan Investment Trust, and the diocese's Episcopal Foundation.
Lamb was elected provisional bishop shortly after Schofield and a majority of the diocese’s congregations voted in December 2007 to realign with the Argentina-based Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. They attempted to retain diocesan property and assets.
Corona's temporary ruling indicated that the amendments made in 2006 and 2008 to the diocesan constitution and the articles of incorporation of the Corporation Sole were void. Those amendments had removed all references to the Episcopal Church and instead inserted the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, and removed the required statement that the diocese accedes to the Episcopal Church's Constitution and Canons. The ruling also indicated that another amendment made in 2008 changing the name of the corporation to "The Anglican Bishop of San Joaquin" was void.
The court tentatively ruled that it would defer to the Episcopal Church in issues of governance and administration, including Schofield’s deposition. Schofield had challenged Lamb’s election as bishop on procedural grounds such as notice and quorum, "but this court has no power to rule on the validity of the Episcopal Church’s election of its Bishops," the judge said.
Another important matter to come before ACC-14 is consideration of the final report of The Windsor Continuation Group. The WCG was set up by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 2007 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 Windsor Continuation Group was chaired by Archbishop Clive Handford, the retired President Bishop of Jerusalem & the Middle East.The Group presented a first set of observations at the Lambeth Conference in 2008 and met following Lambeth to prepare a final report. The Primates at their meeting in Alexandria, Egypt in February 2009 received it. At ACC 14 the Archbishop of Canterbury made a presentation on the report and the meeting will be considering a resolution on this subject on Friday May 8.
A press briefing was held on Wednesday May 6 where Bishop Gregory Cameron spoke of the background and importance of the Windsor Continuation Report and answered questions.
International Anglican Family Network Resolved: 05.05.09
The ACC affirms the value of International Anglican Family Network's work to the Communion, particularly the publication of their newsletters, welcomes the network's proposal to hold a third regional consultation on family issues in Oceania in 2010 and urges Provinces to support this proposal in every way they can.
Le Réseau francophone de la Communion anglicane / Resolution of the Francophone Network of the Anglican Communion Resolved: 05.05.09
(en français) Le Conseil Consultatif Anglican demande au Comité Ad Hoc d'explorer les moyens d'encourager la traduction de travaux théologiques anglicans fondamentaux dans des langues autres que l'anglais ainsi que leur dissémination, de même que de soutenir la formation de professeurs pour les collèges théologiques de ces provinces et diocèses dont la langue nationale est autre que l'anglais.
The ACC requests the JSC to explore ways of encouraging the translation of basic Anglican theological works into languages other than English, and their dissemination, as well as supporting the formation of teachers for the theological colleges of those provinces and dioceses whose national language is other than English.
During a 40-minute presentation to participants at the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Kingston, Jamaica, on May 5, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams linked the continuation of the listening process with the continuation of a three-fold moratoria on same-sex blessings, the consecration of homosexual persons to the episcopate, and cross-border incursions by bishops.
Without such a commitment [to listening] “we’re not going to move forward at all in mutual understanding,” and without the moratoria, “it’s unlikely the listening process will go anywhere,” the archbishop said.
Archbishop Williams’ remarks came as he explained the recommendations of the Windsor Continuation Group’s final report. The 22-page document was commissioned to recommend ways in which the Anglican Communion could maintain unity amid a diversity of understanding about human sexuality and theology.
Archbishop Williams said there “may or may not be a lasting division” in the Communion, “but before we do say goodbye to each other in the Communion, we owe it to the Lord of the church to have those conversations and to undertake that effort at listening to one another and taking one another seriously in the gospel.”
During a short question-and-answer session at the conclusion of the archbishop’s address, the Rt. Rev. Ikechi Nwosu, Bishop of Umuahia in the Church of the Province of Nigeria, asked Archbishop Williams to set a time limit on the listening process which he described as endless. Eventually, he said, some decisions would have to be made.
Archbishop Williams refused to set “a possible cut-off point,” noting Jesus’ answer to Peter when he asked how many times he should forgive someone who sins against him.
“The deep business of whether or not we separate structurally, whether or not some local divisions intensify, we are still called to what is implied in that exchange between Jesus and Peter,” Archbishop Williams said. “Even if we are separated by any number of canonical and theological determinations – even if we flew apart as a Communion in chaos and disruption, which God forbid – sooner or later … we would have to hear the voice of Christ say” there’s your brother, there’s your sister, there’s a long journey for you to go and start reconciliation.”
ACC members are spending May 4-6 in sessions that are at times open to the public and at other times closed while they consider the recommendations of the Windsor Continuation Group and the proposed Anglican Covenant. An open “decision-making” plenary session on the covenant and the continuation group’s work is scheduled for May 8.
At 10.30 this morning, the planning committee of Exmoor National Park will sit at its headquarters in an old Victorian workhouse, behind the statue of local heroine Lorna Doone in Dulverton, to decide whether All Saints Church at the top of the hill should be allowed to have a new road put across its ancient graveyard for "vehicular access".
This is a hot issue for the locals of this medieval wool town, just the Somerset side of the Devon border. For metropolitan visitors and tourists, it is the sort of ecclesiastical drama that surely ranks somewhere between Trollope and The Archers.
But it is more than that. The "Grasscrete" and tarmac road into All Saints is a prime example of how the church is torn between modernity and tradition. Unless the church offers access, in every sense, to the community it serves, then it will die as a museum piece. That's one view. Then there's: don't mess with the tranquillity of this beautiful example of our holy architectural heritage.
Government and the Church of England seem inclined to the former view. Last month, culture secretary Andy Burnham proposed the introduction of health surgeries, post offices and day-care centres in churches, an initiative that was welcomed by, among others, Dr Richard Chartres, Bishop of London.
But in a tightly knit market town such as Dulverton, there are resentful mutterings about what this means. To townsfolk it sounds anachronistic, but many of them won't speak out because so much local trade is intimately integrated. And that includes the church.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has called for the schism-torn Anglican Communion to embrace forgiveness, reconciliation and justice.
Dr Rowan Williams said the Church must put itself in order so it can turn outwards and help the needy, the hungry and those nations struggling with conflict and debt. To move forward meant "letting go" of what felt safe, he said.
The Archbishop was preaching before a crowd of about 8,000 Jamaicans in that country's National Arena at the start of an Anglican conference that will prove crucial in determining the future unity of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
Senior bishops, clergy and laity from the 14th Anglican Consultative Council, the Church's central policy-making body, will discuss the third or "Ridley" draft of a new covenant which all 38 provinces will be asked to sign up to in a bid to prevent further splits and damaging disputes over matters of faith, doctrine and order.
Before the Anglican worshippers in Jamaica offered each other the symbolic "peace" - a smile, handshake, hug or kiss depending on which wing of the church a worshipper attends, and done this time to the singing of Bob Marley - Dr Williams urged Anglicans to ask themselves: "Is ours a community in which there are still people in need?”
He said: "Sadly we’re still on our way to becoming a church that God wants us to be.”
He asked for prayers from the Jamaican church so that “in all we do, we may assist our Anglican family to become more deeply a community shaken by the Holy Spirit…Where we seek to create a community in which there is no needy person.”
They have stood the test of time and it seems that today, despite all the changes to church services, men still prefer to sing 'proper macho hymns'.
Nearly 60 per cent of those who took part in a survey said they enjoyed singing - but added comments showing they preferred anthemic songs and 'proclamational' hymns as opposed to more emotional love songs.
Sixty per cent said they did not like flowers and embroidered banners in church, while 52 per cent did not like dancing in church.
Comments gathered from the online survey of 400 UK readers of the men's magazine Sorted also showed many did not like hugging, holding hands or sitting in circles discussing their feelings in church. Most were churchgoers.
The magazine suggested a top ten of male-friendly hymns including: Onward Christian Soldiers, Guide Me O Thy Great Redeemer, All People That On Earth Do Dwell, Amazing Grace and Dear Lord And Father Of Mankind Forgive Our Foolish Ways.
Most of the readers were churchgoers with the majority filling in a survey form online between January and April.
Nearly three quarters, or 72 per cent, said their favourite part of a service was the talk or sermon.
This beautiful image of the opening communion at the Anglican Consultative Council in Jamaica sadly belies what has followed. We've had the Archbishop of Uganda writing a pleading letter about his excluded clerical representative. And now the Archbishop of Canterbury himself has warned of the 'chaos and division' within the Anglican Communion threatening to derail the Covenant process, according to reports coming out of Jamaica this evening. Below you can read for the first time online the full text of the Windsor Continuation Group report to this meeting, and also the draft resolution of the Windsor Consultation Group to the council, a model of restraint and charity but with some potentially sharp disciplinary teeth lurking beneath the inevitable acronyms and jargon.
BabyBlue reports his words from the Covenant discussion: 'The Anglican Communion suffers from a lack of clarity of what kind of fellowship its meant to be. So long as we have that unclarity [yes, it's that word again!] we will be unclear about what we really mean by church.
'The Anglican Communion has never called itself a church. Yet as a world wide communion, it has claimed for itself that it is precisely more than just an assembly of local churches. It has tried go behave in a church like way. Do we want to be a communion behaving in a church like way with some sacraments, ministry, and doctrine, with some clarity …or do we want to operate in a way where Anglicanism is a far more dispersed family …where we no longer act like a unit in the Anglican world.'
'I am not persuaded by that case but its there. It is possible to think about an Anglican future where churches exist in a vague global cluster with no organs for acting together. That is a very significant step away from what we have regular assumed about the communion. I maintain that something more “covenantal” is needed. We are not quite sure what sort of church we believe in for ourselves. It's not as though we had a stead state of Anglican identity. Its not as though if we did nothing it would just go on. I believe our choices re between those two poles – more or less cohesiveness. I want to see a communion that is more cohesiveness and theologically self aware. That is why we’ve got these questions.'
Meanwhile, Anglican Mainstream is reporting stronger language.
From Episcopal Life Online- (interesting that Rowan is talking about saying "goodbye" to those who are agitating for a new province in North America)
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams told the representatives of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) meeting here May 5 that he wants the Anglican Communion be "more cohesive and more theologically aware."
During his 40-minute presentation on the recommendations of the Windsor Continuation Group's final report, Williams said that he does not have "complete and absolute confidence that the Anglican Communion in something like the form it had 20 years ago is going to survive this crisis" over authority and differing theological perspectives.
He told those participating in the May 2-12 gathering that there "may or may not be a lasting division" in the communion, "but before we do say goodbye to each other in the communion, we owe it to the Lord of the church to have those conversations and to undertake that effort at listening to one another and taking one another seriously in the Gospel."
In a short question-and-answer session, Bishop Ikechi Nwosu, of the Church of Nigeria's Diocese of Umuahia told Williams that he must set a time limit on the communion's Listening Process, an effort to hear the experience of homosexual persons and also of those who struggle with the full inclusion of such persons in the life of the church. Nwosu said the process is "endless … it's assumed to continue ad infinitum" and that eventually some decisions have to be made.
One of the most important issues to come before the Anglican Consultative Council is the draft text of the Anglican Covenant. The idea for an Anglican Covenant has been before the Communion for the past few years and it was in 2006 the Archbishop of Canterbury established the Covenant Design Group. The process has been one of evolving texts as ideas suggestions hopes and fears from Primates, Provinces and the Lambeth Conference were shared with the Design group. Just before the Anglican Consultative Council began The Covenant Design Group produced The Third (Ridley Cambridge) Draft .
The Chair of the Covenant Design Group Archbishop Drexel Gomez presented a history of the process and the current text at ACC-14 on Monday May 4th. His address may be found here
On Tuesday May 5 Archbishop Gomez and Bishop Gregory Cameron held a press briefing reviewing the document and Bishop Gregory explained the process that ACC will follow in considering the text and discussed the kind of resolution that would be needed to forward the Covenant to the provinces for their consideration.
For about the past two years, I have had this hunch that sooner or later the US Supreme Court would be presented with a church-property dispute that would sharply question the role of the judiciary in settling disputes between a Protestant denomination and a local parish or congregation.
It looks like 'sooner' has arrived now.
About noon today (May 5), while Anglicans worldwide are watching events in Jamaica, where top leaders are debating the proposed Anglican Covenant, St. James Anglican, Newport Beach, California, released an press statement saying they would be appealing the decision of the California Supreme Court to the US Supreme Court.
Here's some of what the press statement said:
St. James Anglican Church, at the centerpiece of a nationally publicized church property dispute with the Episcopal Church, announced today that it will file a petition for writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court to resolve an important issue of religious freedom: Does the United States Constitution, which both prohibits the establishment of religion and protects the free exercise of religion, allow certain religious denominations to disregard the normal rules of property ownership that apply to everyone else?
I would have to agree the US Supreme Court should address this area. In recent years, the high court has not done as good a job as it might have on mapping the boundaries between church and state.
St. James Anglican Church will take its battle to keep its Via Lido campus after a contentious break with the Episcopal Church to the United States Supreme Court, the Newport Beach congregation announced Tuesday.
The church will ask the court to resolve whether the 1st Amendment of the Constitution protects church property ownership. In the case, the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles claims it has a right to keep St. James’ Newport Beach church after it left the Episcopal Church in 2004 over differing views on theology and homosexuality. The California Supreme Court ruled in favor of the diocese in January.
The case raises questions about St. James’ constitutionally protected religious freedoms, said John Eastman, dean of Chapman University School of Law.
“By taking their church away that makes it hard for them to practice their religion,” Eastman said.
A constitutional law scholar who once served as a law clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas, Eastman has agreed to take the St. James case.
“I think there’s a decent chance that the court will take it up,” Eastman said. “This is a case of consequence not just to the Episcopal Church, but to all sorts of churches that have loose affiliations with national organizations.”
St. James has until May 26 to file with the Supreme Court, and has already set up www.steadfastinfaith.org in support of their push to get the court to take up the case. The church expects to get an answer on whether the high court will hear the property dispute by September or October, Eastman said. The court could reach a decision as early as summer 2010 if it decides take up the matter. St. James also continues to pursue its case in Orange County Superior Court.
Attorney John Shiner, who represents the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, said he hadn’t reviewed St. James’ grounds for taking the case to the Supreme Court, but said he thought it unlikely the court would hear the matter.
The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) is currently meeting in Jamaica. The ACC is a group which co-ordinates action between the different churches of the Anglican Communion around the world. The last meeting was in Nottingham in 2005 (cartoon). The programme for this meeting is here (so you can follow along at home).
As the above cartoon implies a disagreement has arisen. For an official summary see this Statement from the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, or if you'd like more detail this pdf document containing an exchange of letters about it.
There are news reports too - see Episcopal Life Church of Uganda nominee denied participation in Anglican Consultative Council and then the Anglican Journal: Uganda primate protests decision to disallow delegate to ACC
I will post more as the ACC progresses, but those requiring greater detail would do well to follow the coverage on Thinking Anglicans for links, Colin Coward's blog (blogging from Jamaica) and for photographs you can follow the official Flickr stream.
St. James’ Anglican Church, Newport Beach, Calif., announced today that it will file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court in its dispute with The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Los Angeles.
“The constitutional issues St. James’ will raise before the U.S. Supreme Court go far beyond St. James’ or even the Episcopal Church,” the legal team for the congregation said in a news release. “Every local church, temple, synagogue, parish, spiritual center, congregation, or religious group is possibly at risk of losing its property upon a change of religious affiliation. As a result, religious freedom is suppressed, as those who have sacrificed to build their local religious communities are now at risk of having their properties taken based on some past, current or future spiritual affiliation.”
The congregation of St. James’ voted overwhelmingly to leave The Episcopal Church in 2004, and in 2005 a judge in Orange County Superior Court ruled in favor of the congregation, striking the complaint brought by the Diocese of Los Angeles. The diocese appealed, however, and in 2007 an appellate court reversed the lower court ruling. The congregation appealed to the California Supreme Court which found in favor of the diocese in January 2009. The state supreme court ordered the case be returned to the lower court for trial with new instructions. That case has not yet begun.
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear only a small percentage of the appeals made to it. In its release, the St. James’ legal team believes its appeal stands a good chance of being heard in part because there are dozens of church property cases in various state courts, and the local laws regarding the handling of these cases are contradictory.
Sudan is in real danger of sliding back to war, according to the head of the Anglican Church in the Eastern African nation.
On Monday, Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul, Primate of the Episcopal Church of Sudan, wrote a passionate letter to representatives of the international community in the country appealing for their increased support for implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which ended the civil war in 2005.
He said he had recently toured many parts of South Sudan and witnessed first-hand the suffering of the people due to growing insecurity.
"In the Church's opinion, this is the biggest problem in Sudan today, and prevents any further material or economic development, as well as the free and fair elections desperately needed in February 2010 and the referendum on Southern secession scheduled for 2011," the archbishop said.
In Western and Central Equatoria provinces, the people are under attack from the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), rumoured to be supported by certain people within Sudan. A large number of civilians in Eastern Equatoria, Lakes and Jonglei states are armed, the prelate said.
The proliferation of modern weapons has also worsened tribal conflicts over cattle and grazing rights.
RETIRED Bishop Sebastian Bakare leaves his post as Bishop of the Anglican Church's disputed Harare Diocese following the appointment of Reverend Canon Dr Chad Gandiya as the new leader of the Province of Central Africa.
Bishop-elect Gandiya is expected to take up the post in July this year.
Addressing a Press conference in Harare yesterday, Rtd Bishop Bakare said he was leaving the post since he was appointed on an interim basis.
"As a bishop I am passing on the responsibility.
"I was here on a caretaker basis until another bishop was found," he said.
He said he had been disturbed by the battles for control of the diocese that had raged during his tenure.
"I fathered this diocese . . . I shepherded this diocese so I was looking after its sheep," he said.
Bishop-elect Gandiya, who was trained as a priest in Harare, is currently based in the United Kingdom where he has worked as a lecturer at Birmingham University, among other occupations.
The Episcopal Church has prevailed on all issues in its dispute with the former leadership of the Diocese of San Joaquin, according to a tentative ruling for summary judgment issued May 4 by a Fresno County Superior Court judge.
Oral arguments are scheduled for tomorrow, but the summary judgment indicates that the judge intends to rule in favor of The Episcopal Church, barring unforeseen developments.
“The documents are clear,” according to the ruling. “Only the 'Bishop' of the Diocese of San Joaquin has the right to the incumbency of the corporation originally entitled 'The Protestant Episcopal Bishop of San Joaquin, a Corporation Sole' and given the number C0066488 by the Secretary of State. Moreover, the Episcopal Church has spoken as to who holds the position of Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin – Reverend Lamb. Defendants challenge Lamb’s election as Bishop on procedural grounds such as notice and quorum, but this court has no power to rule on the validity of the Episcopal Church’s election of its Bishops.”
The representatives of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) meeting here May 2-12 are considering whether to ask the member provinces of the worldwide communion of churches to sign onto the latest version of the proposed Anglican covenant. After a 40-minute presentation May 4 by retired Province of the West Indies Archbishop Drexel Gomez, who headed the covenant drafting group, the representatives were given a draft resolution to guide their private discussions between now and May 8, when they are due to decide on a course of action. The resolution calls for sending the covenant out for adoption and asks provinces to report by December 2014 "on the progress made in the processes of adoption and response to the covenant."
The resolution came to the ACC representatives from the Joint Standing Committee of the ACC and the Primates, or leaders, of the communion's churches. That committee met in Kingston last week before the ACC meeting.
In presenting the resolution, Diocese of Brisbane Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, said, "Archbishop Drexel has left us with no doubt that there is no matter that will come before us this week that is more important than the question of the covenant," adding that a "solemn responsibility" had fallen on the ACC.
The primate of the Anglican Church of Uganda, Henry Luke Orombi, has written a strongly-worded letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, protesting the decision by the Joint Standing Committee (JSC) not to allow an American priest who was appointed as the clerical representative of the Ugandan church to the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) meeting here.
Archbishop Orombi called the decision “unjust, unbiblical, unconstitutional, …short of imperialistic,” and appealed to Archbishop Williams in his capacity as president of the ACC “to help the Joint Standing Committee understand the limits of their authority.”He asked Archbishop Williams to recognize the appointment of Philip Ashey, a former priest of The Episcopal Church, who is now the chief operating officer of the Anglican American Council (AAC). The AAC is part of the Common Cause Partnership, which is advocating for recognition as a separate province in North America.
The JSC of primates and the ACC said on May 1 that it was “not satisfied” with the qualification of Mr. Ashey because his relationship with the Ugandan church was “a result of cross-provincial intervention,” Canon Kenneth Kearon, Anglican Communion secretary general, told a press briefing.
The Anglican Church on Monday briefed Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on the chaos currently besetting the church in Zimbabwe in which ex-communicated Bishop Nolbert Kunonga is allegedly clinging to the church’s financial books and properties.
The regional synod, officially known as the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) and comprising Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe dioceses, told Tsvangirai that Kunonga was no longer a bishop or member of the Anglican Church as he had been ex-communicated after deciding to withdraw from the church together with Manicaland Bishop Elson Jakazi, a former army chaplain.
Albert Chama, a Zambian bishop who led the delegation that held discussions with Tsvangirai, told journalists at a press conference that the meeting with the Prime Minister was also meant to convey the church’s condolence message in the wake of the death of Susan Tsvangirai and nephew Shaun Tsvangirai.
Kenneth Kearon addresses the media on decision to disallow Ugandan clerical delegate
The Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, addresses the media May 4 regarding the decision to disallow the clerical delegate of the Church of Uganda to participate in the May 2-12 meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council. Former Episcopal Church priest Philip Ashey from Atlanta, Georgia was accepted into the Church of Uganda in 2005.
Kearon said the Joint Standing Committee concluded that his relationship with the East African province is a result of a cross-provincial intervention. Kearon commences his briefing with details about the upcoming elections of the ACC's chair, vice chair, and standing committee.