THE leader of Singapore's 30,000-strong Anglican Church was elected chairman of an international body of Anglican churches this week.
Archbishop John Chew, 62, now leads the Global South Anglican Communion, a group comprising bishops from 20 of the 38 provinces of the Anglican communion, representing about 75 per cent of Anglicans globally. The 20 provinces are in Asia, Africa and South America.
The post was previously held by Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria.
Dr Chew, who has led the Anglican Church here since 2000, is also the president of the National Council of Churches of Singapore.
The election took place on Wednesday amid week-long meetings in Singapore aimed at building ties among the leaders.
The 130 delegates, who have been meeting at St Andrew's Cathedral in Stamford Road since Monday, issued a joint summary of the conference yesterday.
The public is invited to the first “Blessing of the Bicycles” by St. Alban's Episcopal Church at 1 p.m. sharp on May 1, rain or shine.
Based on the annual tradition begun at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City and popularized around the country, the event will be brief. Bikes will be blessed by the Rev. Sara Potter, rector at St. Alban's, and prayers will be offered for those injured or lost during the past year.
All ages and levels of experience, from children learning to ride bikes to career cyclists to those for whom a bicycle is a primary mode of transportation, are encouraged to attend. Regardless of one's religious beliefs, all are welcome to join in community and fellowship to offer thanks and prayers for both cyclists and bicycles.
The event is free and open to the public. Feel free to wear your bicycle attire. Gather in the inner parking lot in front of the church at 1675 Chester Ave. in Arcata. Organizers will “pass the helmet” and if you wish to make a donation (perhaps as much as you spent on your last snack break while out riding), it will go directly to St. Alban's community outreach programs.
A communiqué issued April 23 at the end of the Fourth Anglican Global South to South Encounter in Singapore called on Anglican Communion provinces to "reconsider their communion relationships" with the Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church. The communiqué said the two provinces must show "genuine repentance" for actions that it said show they "continue in their defiance as they set themselves on a course that contradicts the plain teaching of the Holy Scriptures on matters so fundamental that they affect the very salvation of those involved."
The statement contrasted the work of two Nepalese Anglicans, whom the communiqué said were bringing the gospel to that "principally Hindu and Buddhist nation," with the Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada "and all those churches that have rejected the way of the Lord as expressed in Holy Scripture."
The only action specially mentioned in connection with such rejection is the Episcopal Church's recent consent to the ordination and consecration of Diocese of Los Angeles Bishop-elect Mary Glasspool, a partnered lesbian, which the communiqué said "has demonstrated, yet again, a total disregard for the mind of the Communion."
Some 130 delegates from 20 Anglican provinces in Africa, West Indies, Asia and South America attended, according to the communiqué, along with what it called a number of "our partners in the Gospel" from Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. The statement welcomed two Communion Partners bishops from the Episcopal Church and "acknowledge[d] that with them there are many within TEC who do not accept their church’s innovations. We assure them of our loving and prayerful support."
The "Fourth Trumpet" statement from the Global South to South Encounter has called called for greater holiness, purpose and discipline after acknowledging two decades of conflict and controversy has affected their ability to fulfil the Great Commission.
Delegates at the Fourth Anglican Global South to South Encounter meeting said today that for two decades they have been "distracted by conflicts and controversies" that had kept them from effectively fulfilling the Great Commission. However, they stated a "renewed determination" to assist each other "...to make disciples of all nations and to do all that Christ has commanded." In the meeting’s "Fourth Trumpet" statement, the more than 130 attendees from 20 Provinces at the Singapore meeting called for a "new quest" for personal and corporate holiness in the Communion. They also encouraged Provinces to both develop plans and structures for Church growth in today’s post-Christendom context and to find ways to better understand and reach out to young people.
"The future of the Communion lies in winning the next generation for Christ," said the statement. "We urge each region to adopt initiatives to better understand the needs and characteristics of this new generation so that we might better communicate the Gospel and Christian values to them. It is essential that the ethos and traditions of the Church be imparted to the youth in creative and dynamic ways so that they will be equipped to live for Christ for their generation and beyond."
The group said that during their plenary sessions, bible studies and small group discussions they were "drawn back to a fresh vision of God, of the Church and of Christian leadership."
The Pittsburgh Baseball Club has played in these parts for 124 years, from coal miners to millionaires, from Honus Wagner to Roberto Clemente to Willie Stargell, from five World Series championships to 17 consecutive losing seasons.
And never, never was there a loss among the franchise's first 18,813 games to rival the one displayed on PNC Park's video scoreboard at 4:04 p.m. Thursday:
Milwaukee Brewers 20, Pirates 0.
Worst loss ever.
Their previous largest margin of defeat was by 18 runs, set twice: The first came nearly a century ago, 18-0 to the Philadelphia Phillies on July 11, 1910; the other was by 19-1 to the Cincinnati Reds on July 14, 1955.
"Today was an embarrassment," reliever Brendan Donnelly said, snapping off each word in an otherwise silent clubhouse. "We should all be embarrassed to have Major League Baseball uniforms on our back today. It was an atrocity. We set a record. We should all be embarrassed about it."
Of note: Oswalt, Houston's longtime ace, has pitched well enough to win all three starts -- 17 strikeouts, four walks in 19 innings -- but has received only seven runs of support. In 25 starts vs. the Pirates, he is 13-7 with a 2.62 ERA.
"I got nothing," right fielder Ryan Church said, declining an interview request while staring into his stall. "I'm embarrassed."
During my childhood, I hated England. It’s a post-colonial thing. The Opium War left a bitter aftertaste in my cultural memory. If you grew up in America reading about the exploits of Paul Revere, you thought of the British as the redcoats. But since I grew up in China, I thought of them as top hat-wearing drug dealers who peddled yapian by the boatload.
In an ironic twist of fate, I became Episcopalian — just about as English as you could get in the U.S. (Reading Harry Potter and talking in a faux British accent doesn’t count!) I read from “The Book of Common Prayers”, sang hymns composed by Vaughan Williams and chanted liturgy penned by Thomas Cranmer. I even served a short stint in the choir until I realized I will never be as good as those prepubescent boy sopranos at Christ Church, Oxford.
In America, most people associate the Episcopal Church with white, middle-aged or elderly congregants. But actually, the community of Anglican churches worldwide, encompassing some 70 to 80 million people, is a lot more diverse. Many of these member churches are located in former British colonies, including Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda. While member churches have their own leadership and differ somewhat in how they worship, they share a common investment in authorized prayer books. Meanwhile, the Church of England serves as a mother church, hosting an international conference of bishops every ten years. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is the symbolic head of the Anglican community.
As the British Empire dissolved gradually after WWII, the role of the Church of England evolved. Gone are the Victorian days when English missionaries became bishops in Uganda. Nowadays, locally elected bishops often hold positions contrary to that of the Church of England. Take for instance, the ordination of women. The first female priest in the Anglican community was Li Tim-Oi, who was ordained in 1944 in Hong Kong. It took fifty years for the Church of England to begin ordaining women, later than the Episcopal Church in America and the Anglican Church of Canada. At the same time, some member churches, such the Church of Nigeria, still do not allow female priests.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is impressed with how St. John’s Episcopal Church on Fairfield Avenue is reaching out to the community that surrounds it.
“You see how they, through the ministry’s involvement, are contributing to a revival in the community,” Jefferts Schori said while touring the church’s Family Center on Friday.
The presiding bishop, who oversees the Episcopal Church in the United States and 15 other nations, also stopped at St. Mark’s Day Care Center in the East End and St. Luke/St. Paul Episcopal Church on the East Side during her visit to Bridgeport.
All three sites have been designated by the Episcopal Church as Jubilee Ministry Sites due to their work with the poor.
The St. John’s Family Center offers programs such as parent-children play groups, computer lessons, support groups, English classes, health screenings, community suppers and a food pantry. All services are free to low-income and at-risk families from Bridgeport.
A Belgian bishop has resigned in connection with the abuse scandal that has shaken the Catholic Church, local media reports say.
The name of the bishop and the details of the case are due to be given in a press conference by the Belgian episcopal conference.
The move would be the latest in a series of bishops' resignations. The Church has come under severe pressure over child sexual abuse allegations emerging across the world.
In Germany, where recent allegations have caused widespread anger, Church figures were expected to participate in a round-table discussion about widespread abuse in schools, mainly in the 1970s and 1980s.
It was announced on Thursday that the German bishop of Augsburg, who had been accused of beating children at a Catholic children's home during those decades, had offered his resignation to the Pope Benedict XVI.
Bishop Walter Mixa, who has not been accused of sexual abuse, has also been under pressure over allegations of finanicial irregularities at a children's school under his responisibility.
From June 3 to 11, more than 500 people will gather in Halifax, N.S. for the national triennial meeting of the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC). Uniting under the nautical theme "Feeling the Winds of God—Charting a New Course," General Synod members will make decisions about the national church in the context of worship and prayer. The approximately 300 General Synod members, elected by their dioceses, will tackle a full agenda including a proposed strategic plan—Vision 2019—and changes to the governance structures that include official recognition for the national Indigenous ministry and the role of the National Indigenous Anglican Bishop. Members will also discuss the Anglican Covenant, a document that describes relations between provinces within the Anglican Communion.
General Synod members will also be asked to discern next steps around human sexuality issues, and will hear presentations from various church groups, including the new Department of Philanthropy, the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund, and Fresh Expressions (PWRDF).
Each day at General Synod will be shaped by worship, including morning prayer, Bible studies, and daily Eucharists. On Sunday, June 6, General Synod members will join with local Anglicans for a special service to celebrate 300 years of continuous Anglican worship in the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
As the Anglican Communion continues to deal with divisions and tension within the global body, the Archbishop of Canterbury reminded leaders on Tuesday that there are no quick solutions for the wounds.
"It is the work of the Spirit that heals the Body of Christ, not the plans or the statements of any group, or any person, or any instrument of communion," Dr. Rowan Williams said in a video address to the Fourth Global South to South Encounter.
Dozens of conservative Anglican leaders opened a five-day conference Monday in Singapore. Participants intend to build on the vision of the "One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ" as they confront the brokenness of the 77 million-member body.
They are there to discuss the Anglican Covenant – a document aimed at preventing a split in the Anglican Communion.
"Initially, it was felt that a comprehensive Anglican covenant would help heal the wounds and restore confidence in our relationships within the Anglican family, as it would provide for accountability," said retired Archbishop of Nigeria the Most Rev. Peter Akinola in his opening address Monday.
"But as things stand today in the Communion, this Encounter gathered here in Singapore needs to assure itself if the proposed covenant offers any such hope."
The executive committee of General Theological Seminary's board of trustees said April 19 that the school may have to sell some of its property to raise enough money in order to pay its bills after mid-November.
The Rev. Canon Denis O'Pray, chair of the trustees, said in a news release that the committee considered merger or collaboration with other entities, as well as the likelihood of "immediate philanthropy," before coming to the conclusion that selling property was the "most reasonable source" of money. He did not say what property might be sold.
The executive committee concluded that the school's "first priority" must be to "develop a source of immediate cash relief so that seminary operations can continue and debt be serviced until a long-term strategic financial plan can be designed and implemented," O'Pray said.
"Should the sale of assets or significant philanthropy ease the seminary's immediate cash shortage, the longer term need to reduce the cost of debt service remains a significant challenge and must still be addressed," O'Pray said.
The committee said it had also assigned trustees to meet with other Episcopal institutions to "understand more clearly the level of willingness" of those institutions to discuss "consideration of financial cooperation, program collaboration, merger, or other mutually beneficial relationships."
A public garden open to area residents wishing to grow their own produce and vegetables this summer is again being sponsored by Saint Gregory’s Episcopal Church, 480 South Beverwyck Road in Parsippany.
Plots are 10 feet by 10 feet and will be assigned on a first-come, first-grow basis. Gardeners should contact the church at 973-887-5879 and get their name on the list as soon as possible. For specific questions regarding Saint Gregory’s public garden, call 973-270-4939.
Participation in this year’s public garden program is free, although the church does ask that a donation of fresh produce be made to the Parsippany Food Bank. Saint Gregory’s will insure that these donations are delivered. Participants will be responsible for their own fertilizer, plants, tools, etc.
Garden hours will be from dawn to dusk. The entire area has already been tilled and is ready for planting. Beginning gardeners are welcome.
Saint Gregory’s will also offer eight free workshops dedicated to the successful tilling, planting, maintenance and harvesting of a garden. These workshops will help all attendees have a successful garden this year. The first of these is tentatively scheduled for April 24 at 9 a.m. Call the church for more details and to register.
All unclaimed plots after May 9 will be devoted to growing food by Saint Gregory’s for the Parsippany Food Pantry.
From Modesto- The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin filed a lawsuit last week against St. James Anglican — the historic Red Church — in Sonora. It was news to St. James' priest, the Rev. Wolfgang Krismanits, on Monday afternoon."We've had no word whatsoever," he said. "I've seen nothing yet. I didn't get an e-mail. I didn't get a phone call."
When told that a news release dated Friday said a lawsuit had been filed against his congregation, Krismanits replied with frustration: "This is what (the Episcopals) are doing. They're telling everyone else, but they're not contacting the congregation until after it's done."
Episcopal Bishop Jerry Lamb was at his home in New Mexico and unavailable for comment.St. James, started in 1860, is the fifth incorporated parish in the San Joaquin Diocese to be sued by Lamb since the 2007 diocesan split from the national church over differences of biblical interpretation, such as whether Jesus is the only way to salvation and whether homosexuals should be ordained.
Anglicans hold to a traditional interpretation, while Episcopals tend toward more a more liberal theology, as evidenced by the 2003 ordination of V. Gene Robinson, an openly gay man.About 40 parishes in the San Joaquin Diocese followed Bishop John-David Schofield to oversight under an Anglican province in South America. About six parishes remained Episcopalian.
Cynthia Brust sent the following correction to yesterday's post about Rwanda-
An allAfrica news article has erroneously reported that Bishop-elect Louis Muvunyi has been elected to succeed Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini as Primate of the Province of the Anglican Church of Rwanda. Bishop-elect Muvunyi will be consecrated this summer and assume his position as Bishop of the Kigali Diocese upon Archbishop Kolini’s retirement, but there has NOT been an election for the position of archbishop.
JEFFREY BROWN: Next: American Catholics respond to the troubles of their church.
At the Vatican today, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated his fifth anniversary as pontiff with a private lunch with cardinals. The official Vatican newspaper reported the pope spoke of the church as a -- quote -- "wounded sinner," words that came as he and the church continue to face criticism around the world for the way they have handled the sexual abuse cases.
NewsHour correspondent Tom Bearden looks at how Catholics in the Denver area are reacting.
TOM BEARDEN: Gwyn Green grew up Catholic, attended Catholic schools through college, and considered priests and nuns her friends. She goes to church regularly...
GWYN GREEN, churchgoer: The first reading is from the Acts of the Apostles, chapter nine, verses one through 20.
TOM BEARDEN: ... but not to a Catholic Church. This is Saint Joseph Episcopal Church in suburban Denver. She says she made that decision because she believes the Catholic hierarchy deliberately covered up the fact that priests were abusing children.
GWYN GREEN: I know I am not the only person who feels betrayed by the hierarchy. And I am certainly not the only person who feels they can no longer attend mass. And I would say that I feel like I'm in exile. That's exactly how I feel. It's very hard, because I love my church.
Rev. Fr. Herman Beseah Brown was on Sunday, April 18, 2010 inducted as the fifth Dean of the historic Trinity Cathedral of the Episcopal Church of Liberia on the Church's edifice on Broad Street in Monrovia.
Speaking at a well-attended ceremony, the Bishop of the Episcopal Church of Liberia, the Rt. Rev. Jonathan B.B. Hart, called on the new Dean to care for and shoulder the responsibility for all in the Church.
According to Bishop Hart, as the chief of the Cathedal, the new Dean must care for all whether poor or rich, whether weak or strong, whether old or young as all of them are one in the sight of God.
The Episcopal Church Bishop further advised the new Dean to consider his installation as a challenge to serve and a mission to carry on in accordance with the scriptures. Bishop Hart said the Episcopal Cathedral is not there to host the clergy but the Christian congregation that comprises peoples of all walks of life.
Making some scriptural analysis, the Bishop said just as Saul who became Paul was called to serve God's people and win souls for the Lord, so are clergymen called to the Ministry to serve the congregation.
Archbishop tells global south gathering: "There are no quick solutions for the wounds of the body of Christ."
The Archbishop of Canterbury has used his video address to the Fourth Global South to South Encounter meeting in Singapore to emphasise that it is the work of God’s Spirit that can heal the tensions within the Anglican family.
Dr Williams was speaking specifically to two items on the meeting’s agenda: challenges for the Church’s mission and the Anglican Communion Covenant, which he described as a new way of "grounding our mission".
He went on to say that the Anglican Communion had been reflecting on the need for a covenant "in the light of confusion, brokenness and tension within our Anglican family – brokenness and a tension that has been made still more acute by recent decisions in some of our Provinces.?
"In all your minds there will be questions around the election and consecration of Mary Glasspool in Los Angeles. All of us share the concern that in this decision and action the Episcopal Church has deepened the divide between itself and the rest of the Anglican family. And as I speak to you now, I am in discussion with a number of people around the world about what consequences might follow from that decision, and how we express the sense that most Anglicans will want to express, that this decision cannot speak for our common mind.
Welcome to the echo chamber. If you tuned in to the fierce battle over gay bishops in the Episcopal Church -- whether it would fracture the U.S. branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion and maybe the Communion as well -- you will certainly hear a familiar clashing sound if you pick up the latest New Yorker.
In the context of a massive look at the history, status and struggles of the Church of England (miniscule church attendance, immigration, rising fundamentalist and charismatic Protestantism), writer Jane Kramer examines its current fight over whether to ordain female bishops.
Things are slower over there. It took England nearly two decades longer - until 1994 -- to allow female priests in the Church of England. The Episcopal Church ordained women officially in 1976 (although 11 were "unofficially" brought to the pulpit in Philadelphia in 1974). While that the CofE's governing Synod will debate female bishops at its July meeting, the Episcopal Church already is led by one, presiding bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori.
The going is bitter. According to the piece, nearly a third of the CofE's working priests are female, a status that took the Synod 17 years of "wrenching" fights to permit and even now there are "flying bishops" who zip around England filling in at parishes that refuse to accept the faith from a female.
In welcoming remarks to the fourth Global South Encounter, both the current and recently retired archbishops of Nigeria referred to the turmoil of the Anglican Communion.
“Everyone thinks it is the other person who needs to repent, but it is all of us,” said the Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh in the conference’s first plenary address.
Okoh succeeded the Most Rev. Peter J. Akinola in March.
Turning to the theme of transformation, Okoh added: “We must reject the so-called ‘gospel’ which encourages a man or woman to remain and feel good and fulfilled in a state of sin from which he/she should seek gracious escape in Christ. But it must be emphasized that this transformation is not just a matter of personal devotion and piety. It must be made to affect individuals — building families and societies, especially fighting corruptions, poverty, despotic and greedy government, polygamy in Africa as well as serial monogamy elsewhere — some of whom make profession of faith.”
Similar themes appeared in a Participants’ Handbook and Journal.
“There is a battle going on in our beloved Communion and so there is a desperate need for an authentic and passionate proclamation of the truth of God,” Akinola wrote. “People are perishing and we dare not remain silent. We must proclaim the word that brings life and hope. I pray that we will have the inspiration and courage to do so.”
Leaders at the conference are “keenly aware of the current issues and deepening crisis and challenges facing our Communion,” wrote the Most Rev. John Chew, Archbishop of South East Asia, General Secretary of the Global South Primates Steering Committee and host of the international gathering. “There is no denying that these issues will inevitably be of great concerns in our minds, prayers and conversations. We have the challenge of how we will respond to the Anglican Covenant. It is important that we can share our respective views, even if we differ.”
The conference continues at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Singapore, until April 23.
A must-read for Sunday: Hans Kung's devastating indictment of his former theological partner, Joseph Ratzinger. It's an open letter to the bishops. Money quote:
Missed is the opportunity to make the spirit of the Second Vatican Council the compass for the whole Catholic Church, including the Vatican itself, and thus to promote the needed reforms in the church.
This last point, respected bishops, is the most serious of all. Time and again, this pope has added qualifications to the conciliar texts and interpreted them against the spirit of the council fathers. Time and again, he has taken an express stand against the Ecumenical Council, which according to canon law represents the highest authority in the Catholic Church:
He has taken the bishops of the traditionalist Pius X Society back into the church without any preconditions – bishops who were illegally consecrated outside the Catholic Church and who reject central points of the Second Vatican Council (including liturgical reform, freedom of religion and the rapprochement with Judaism).
He promotes the medieval Tridentine Mass by all possible means and occasionally celebrates the Eucharist in Latin with his back to the congregation.
He refuses to put into effect the rapprochement with the Anglican Church, which was laid out in official ecumenical documents by the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, and has attempted instead to lure married Anglican clergy into the Roman Catholic Church by freeing them from the very rule of celibacy that has forced tens of thousands of Roman Catholic priests out of office.
He has actively reinforced the anti-conciliar forces in the church by appointing reactionary officials to key offices in the Curia (including the secretariat of state, and positions in the liturgical commission) while appointing reactionary bishops around the world.
The principal of Kigali Anglican Theological College, Louis Muvunyi, will be soon consecrated as the next Anglican Bishop of Kigali Diocese and Archbishop of Anglican Church in Rwanda after being elected by the House of Bishops to replace Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini who has reached the retirement age of 65.
"I am looking forward to see the Church in Rwanda fulfilling its mission and contributing to the healing and the revival of our nation," Muvunyi said in an exclusive interview last week.
The out-going Archbishop, Kolini, described his would-be successor as a deeply spiritual person, theologically able and a humble man, who is widely respected both among his fellow bishops and the entire population.
"I'm so excited that such a disciplined and inspirational figure has come on board; I believe he's a blessing to this nation," Kolini said.
Muvunyi holds a diploma in theology from Mwanza Bible College, Bachelors Degree in Theology from Mukono Christian University in Uganda and a Masters Degree from the International Christian College in Scotland.
Bishop Kolini's retirement is inline with the denomination constitution that mandates the bishops to retire at 65.
"I think I have done my part and it is time for me to pass on the mantle I am an old man who needs to grow old a happy man because those that passed through my hands are now responsible people, I now have a reason to thank God for the gift of the ministry he imparted in my life" Kolini said.
Motorcycle riders flock to Ocean Beach in New London Sunday, April 18, 2010, for a bike blessing at the New London Motorcycle Club's 4th annual "Season Kickoff."
The Rev. Michel Belt of St. James Episcopal Church in New London, blesses motorcycles and riders as they pass by him during the 4th Annual New London Motorcycle Club "Season Kickoff" at Ocean Beach in New London Sunday, April 18, 2010.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu left no gray area when it comes to what Bishop Ian T. Douglas must do in his new ministry.
“We are thrilled that God called you to be a bishop here to remind us that we are all God’s children,” preached Tutu, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his reconciliation work after the dismantling of apartheid.
“Ian, please tell the children of God, each one of them is precious, the preciousness that cannot be computed. ... Each one of them is a member of God’s family in which there are no outsiders.
“Each one ... those louts on the street corner, the down and outs, the drug addicts. It was for them Christ died. ... Tell them that Jesus loves them. Tell them that they matter.”
Douglas, 51, was consecrated Saturday the 15th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut in a nearly three-hour ceremony attended by 2,000. St. Luke’s Church of New Haven’s steel drum band played at the beginning and end of the service, adding to the joyous air.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefforts Schori led the ceremony, in which numerous bishops laid their hands on Douglas, signifying the unbroken line of bishops stretching back to Jesus’ apostles.
Pastor Wale Adefarasin is the General Overseer of Guiding Light Assembly Church, Ikoyi, Lagos. He’s also the General Secretary of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN). In this interview with
Segun Otokiti, he spoke on some of the burning issues that are almost tearing the church apart today. Excerpts:
Many a Christian are confused about Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)and Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN). What is the difference between them?
Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is an umbrella for all Christian denominations, so it’s membership actually consist of 5 blocks which are; Roman Catholic, Christian Council of Nigeria which consists of Anglican Church, Methodist Church, Baptist Church and other Orthodox churches. Other blocks are PFN and CPFN, The Apostolic Faith and some other churches, the OIC which comprises of Celestial churches and the Cherubim & Seraphim churches, and finally ECWA and TECAN, which are churches that generally represent the North. PFN is a constituent part of CAN. The church does not belong to CAN, it belongs to one of the five blocks and the five blocks belong to CAN. So we are working hand in hand.
Why is it that in spite of the large number of churches in the country, immorality, corruption and evils are on the rise?
I agree with you. In many churches, corruption seems to be getting worse, morality is lacking. So I agree with you that this problem exists in churches in spite of the large number of churches. But the problem is not the number of churches, the problem is what are the churches doing, how deep is the faith of Christians. And I think this is an important point for leaders of churches to emphasize; raising the character of their congregation. Then they will begin to see a lot of impact because followers trust their pastors and they listen to them. Therefore, if pastor continues to teach them Christian character and values, it will make a tremendous difference in our nation. I think that is where the problem lies; what the people going to church are being taught.
What will you say about women not covering their head during church service and wearing trousers to church?
HALF AN hour into talking to James Jones, the Anglican bishop of Liverpool, about his role as chair of the panel seeking to establish the truth about the Hillsborough disaster, a familiar thought intrudes.
It is, along with the other emotions Hillsborough has always provoked – horror, grief, shame, outrage – one which has only deepened in the years since, as English football has extravagantly rebuilt, hosting its FA Cup semi-finals now at plush, €863 million Wembley. The thought is disbelief.
That at a semi-final one sunny April in modern times, 96 people, mostly young, really did lose their lives. It will be a year since Andy Burnham, then the British minister for culture, media and sport, addressed the Hillsborough 20th anniversary memorial service. The attendance, 30,000, astonished everybody, and the nation witnessed his words of sympathy drowned out by cries for justice.
“When you saw that reaction,” Jones reflects, over a cup of tea at his comfortable Bishop’s Lodge in south Liverpool, “you realised this was a very, very deep wound in the body of this community. It suggested to me there were deep, unresolved questions which needed to be addressed.”
Burnham, with Maria Eagle, the junior justice minister, had called before the anniversary for all official documents relating to Hillsborough to be released, but he decided he should not stress that in his speech at the service. The crowd’s reaction, protesting that this government had done too little to resolve the unanswered questions over Hillsborough and accusations of a South Yorkshire police cover-up, in fact worked in Burnham’s favour. It powerfully demonstrated to Gordon Brown and his cabinet the resentment still burning in Liverpool, prompting them to respond.
With all the pageantry the Episcopal Church can muster, the Rev. Ian T. Douglas was consecrated Saturday the 15th bishop of the Diocese of Connecticut.
The nearly three-hour ceremony brought together about 2,000 lay people, deacons, priests, bishops and seminary professors. Among the musicians, St. Luke’s Church steel drum band from New Haven had many, including Douglas and Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, who preached the sermon, swaying and clapping.
Before numerous bishops laid their hands on Douglas, signifying the unbroken line of bishops stretching back to Jesus’ apostles, the candidate made the promise required of all bishops:
“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, I, Ian Theodore Douglas, chosen Bishop of the Church in Connecticut, solemnly declare that I do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary to salvation; and I do solemnly engage to conform to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Episcopal Church.”
In his sermon, Tutu spoke of how God requires Christians to love everyone, no matter who they are:
“All the poor, rich, white, black, Hispanics, all, all. Clever, not so clever, beautiful, not so beautiful … tea party, Democrat, Republican. This is radical, man. This is radical.