Saturday, October 30, 2010
From Houston Texas-
A couple is suing after being assaulted during a birthday celebration in an Anglican Church.
Chief Hyacinth Ikegbunam and Regina Ikegbunam filed suit in Harris County District Court on Oct. 29, stating that Obiageli Agugo violently attacked and humiliated them during a birthday party being held at All Saints Anglican Church, located in Alief.
In their suit, plaintiffs allege they suffered bodily harm and public humiliation when Agugo slapped and choked them while calling them ugly and offensive names such as prostitute, wayward, useless and less than human. According to the brief, Agugo went so far as to almost rip off Reginas dress and did succeed in knocking off Hyacinths traditional Nigerian Chiefs hat. Because of Agugos threats, plaintiffs now fear for their lives.
It was the responsibility of Agugo, they state, to follow the law by not threatening and assaulting them.
The Ikegbunams are being represented by Houston attorney Edmond Suji. They are seeking a restraining order against Agugo, $150,000 in compensation and court costs.
Harris County District Court Case No. 2010-72006.
From Ekklesia England-
Two major Church of England groups, Inclusive Church and Modern Church, have joined together to campaign against the proposed Anglican Covenant.
In November 2010 the Church of England’s General Synod will be asked to approve the Covenant, which has emerged from attempts by the Archbishop of Canterbury and others to resolve the wrangling in the Anglican Communion over sexuality, authority and related issues - and from the lobbying of conservative hardliners, say critics.
The Covenant was first proposed by the Windsor Report in 2004 to put pressure on the North American churches, after a diocese in the USA had elected an openly gay bishop and a diocese in Canada had approved a same-sex blessing service.
"Many Synod members do not realise it, but it could be the biggest change to the Church since the Reformation," say Inclusive Church and Modern Church (formerly the Modern Churchpersons Union).
The groups charge that the Church of England, if it signs, will become subordinate to a bureaucratic structure and will thereby become more centralised, dogmatic, backward-facing, inward looking and clerically dominated.
Such a retrograde move will hinder ecumenical relations, make the Church more off-putting to young people, and disable effective mission, they say.
From Christian Century-
Chile's leading Anglican bishop has become collateral damage in the border wars between the U.S.-based Episcopal Church and conservatives overseas.
Bishop Tito Zavala of Chile has been removed from an international commission that considers questions of faith and governance in the Anglican Communion, a network of 44 regional churches around the world.
Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the communion, announced Zavala's removal from the Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order on October 14.
Zavala was ousted because his archbishop, Gregory Venables, refused to answer questions about his supervision of conservatives in four breakaway Episcopal dioceses and dozens of parishes, Kearon said in a statement. Zavala himself was not known to be involved in cross-border interventions.
"These decisions are not taken easily or lightly, but relate to the gracious restraint requested [by Anglican leaders] . . . and the implications for communion bodies when these requests are not honored," Kearon said.
Episcopal leaders have long complained about conservative archbishops such as Venables founding new churches and communities for disaffected Epis copalians in the U.S.—a breach of Anglican decorum. But while Episco palians have been removed from top Anglican commissions because they consecrated gay bishops, Zavala appears to be the first person penalized for border crossing.
The PDF can be found here-
Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina Bishop Mark Lawrence has removed four priests from ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church.
The Rev. Kenneth Alexander, the Rev. Anthony Kowbeidu, the Rev. Brian Morgan and the Rev. Steve Wood are four of the five priests on staff at St. Andrew's Church in Mount Pleasant. They were removed on Oct. 21. Wood, St. Andrew's Church rector, posted a copy of the notice Lawrence sent, as canonically required, to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the ecclesiastical authorities of the Episcopal Church and other officials.
The document says that the priests were removed for reasons unrelated to their moral character. During a vote on March 28, 722 ballots were cast by some members of St. Andrew's Church and 703 favored leaving the Episcopal Church, saying they intended to affiliate with the Diocese of the Holy Spirit, which is part of the Anglican Church in North America.
Episcopal Forum of South Carolina cited what they called the diocese's "lack of action" in response to St. Andrew's decision. The group asked the church's Executive Council and the House of Bishops to investigate that and other decisions of the diocese.
During council's recent meeting in Salt Lake City, the members drafted a letter to the group saying that the council and the presiding bishop are "committed to doing what we can to help the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina continue to participate fully in the life, work and mission of the Episcopal Church," but noting that "there are canonical limits to how her office and the Executive Council can intervene." Council member the Rev. Gay Jennings told the council that those limits prevent the investigation that the forum requested.
Reacting to the group's request and refuting the EFSC's charges, Lawrence compared his dispute with the Episcopal Church to a military battle and said the diocese was "engaged in a worldwide struggle for the soul of Anglicanism in the 21st century."
Bishop Jerry Lamb and the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin have raised "grave concerns" about the election and planned March 19, 2011, consecration of the Rev. Daniel Martins as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Springfield, Illinois.
Their concerns stem from Martins' "involvement in the attempted separation of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin from the Episcopal Church" when he was rector of St. John the Evangelist Church in Stockton (1994-2007), according to an Oct. 16 letter Lamb has sent to diocesan bishops and standing committees throughout the Episcopal Church.
The letter calls upon bishops with jurisdiction (diocesan bishops) and standing committees to withhold their consent to Martins' consecration.
Martins, 50, was rector of St. Anne's Church in Warsaw, in the Diocese of Northern Indiana, when he was elected bishop of Springfield on Sept. 18, 2010.
According to the canons (III.11.4) of the Episcopal Church, a majority of bishops exercising jurisdiction and diocesan standing committees must consent to a bishop-elect's ordination as bishop within 120 days of receiving notice of the election.
"Our concern is not about the electing process, but about the suitability of Daniel Martins to be ordained a bishop in the Episcopal Church," the letter states.
"The consent process, as mandated by our canons, is the only way the wider church can respond to the election of a person to be a bishop," the letter continues. "Accordingly, we would ask you to join us in withholding consent for Daniel Martins to become the Bishop of Springfield."
From NW PA-
Only a little more than 120 miles separate Erie and Pittsburgh, but Episcopalians decided a century ago that the regions were too far and too different for one bishop to cover.
So at a convention in 1910, they created the Diocese of Erie from parts of the Pittsburgh diocese.
Now members of that newer entity, which eventually came to be known as the Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania, will celebrate its centennial. The Erie-based diocese also will hold its annual convention here.
"We are in a really hopeful time for the diocese," administrator Vanessa Butler said.
While membership is down to about 4,700, she said, the 34 congregations in the diocese are all working toward the mission of transforming lives and attracting people to the light of Christ.
The diocese also has taken on the healing ministry of its bishop, the Right Rev. Sean Rowe.
Rowe was elected the diocese's eighth bishop in 2007 at age 32, making him the youngest such leader in the Episcopal Church.
Friday, October 29, 2010
The Oct. 22 fire that quickly destroyed the chapel at Virginia Theological Seminary has been ruled accidental.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced its findings Oct. 28. ATF's National Response Team, along with ATF special agents from Falls Church, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., worked with the Alexandria Fire Department to investigate the cause of the fire. The federal response is routine when a fire of this size occurs in a house of worship, the seminary and the ATF said.
The fire began in a trash can left near a heater in the sacristy, Susan Shillinglaw, VTS director of communication, told ENS.
The team of investigators removed the debris from the heavily damaged structure, took photographs, recovered fire debris from the scene for laboratory analysis and conducted more than 40 interviews throughout the campus, according to the ATF.
"It is clear that the fire was not caused by any deliberate or criminal act," the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, VTS dean and president, said in a message posted on the VTS website. "Although the fire was caused by human agency, those involved took 'steps that any responsible person would have taken.' However, these steps were not sufficient to stop the catastrophe that followed."
From Central PA-
After John Hardwood's ordination as an Episcopal deacon on Sunday, the college teacher and administrator will serve in a small Clinton County church.
After Nancy Rementer is ordained a deacon, the retired medical worker will go to work in her own church.
Deacons have "one foot in the church and one foot in the community," said the Right Rev. Nathan D. Baxter, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania, who will ordain six deacons at 4 p.m. Sunday in St. Stephen's Episcopal Cathedral in Harrisburg.
"An Episcopal priest leads by gathering people at the altar," Baxter said. "A deacon leads by taking them into the world."
In addition to assisting priests in worship, Episcopal deacons work in the trenches, doing everything from outreach activities to pastoral visitations. Baxter said the six deacons, trained in the diocesan School of Christian Studies, will fill a special need.
"Small congregations face the challenge of finding affordable ways to provide clergy to serve their people," Baxter said. "A number of congregations are no longer able to afford to pay the salary of a full-time priest."
The new model helps meet the pastoral needs of smaller congregations by using deacons to help out. Deacons work in the world and in their parishes, balancing their secular jobs, family life and church responsibilities.
"I grew up with that model," Baxter said. "People knew my father as a landscaper from the workday world and also as a minister. People felt that 'the pastor is one of us.' It's the same with deacons. Being 'one of us' gives deacons a certain authority and connection. Our new deacons bring a richness to the diocese."
New York Bishop Mark S. Sisk announced Oct. 28 the appointment of retired Connecticut Bishop Andrew "Drew" Smith as assistant bishop effective Nov. 1.
The announcement was made in an e-mail sent to the diocese.
"It has been my intention ever since the retirement of Bishop [E. Don] Taylor to appoint an assistant bishop to share the episcopal duties of the diocese with Bishop [Catherine] Roskam and myself," said Sisk in the e-mail. "This appointment was delayed, inevitably, by the financial uncertainty in which we have recently found ourselves. The need did not diminish, however, and now we feel that the time has come when we can safely, if cautiously, proceed."
Smith, Sisk added, will serve the diocese on a quarter-time basis.
Taylor retired in September 2009; since that time the diocese has cut its annual budget by $3 million. The proposed budget for 2011 is $9.6 million, said Allen Barnett, the diocese's chief of finance and operations, in the latest edition of the Episcopal New Yorker.
Smith served as suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Connecticut from 1995-99 and as diocesan bishop from 1999 until retiring earlier this year.
"I have known Bishop Smith as a colleague in the House of Bishops and as a near diocesan neighbor for many years," Sisk said. "I can confidently say that his joining us is as much a reason for joyful celebration for the Diocese of New York as a whole as it is, for myself, a source of personal delight. We are fortunate indeed to have him come among us."
Thursday, October 28, 2010
From The Living Church-
The Rt. Rev. Rayford B. High, Jr., one of two bishops suffragan in the Diocese of Texas, will retire in January.
The Rt. Rev. Andrew Doyle C. Andrew Doyle has announced that, with the approval of the diocese’s standing committee, he will appoint an assisting bishop to succeed Bishop High. Bishop Doyle will ask the Diocesan Council to approve his selection.
Bishop High, who turns 70 in January, announced his retirement at the annual diocesan clergy conference Oct. 25. He was consecrated in October 2003. The Rt. Rev. Dena A. Harrison has served as the diocese’s other bishop suffragan since October 2006.
Bishop High said that being a bishop suffragan has blessed him and his wife, Pat.
“Each day I offer thanks to the Lord for calling me into ministry, first as deacon, then priest, and now as bishop,” Bishop High said. “I am deeply humbled by God’s call and God’s continuing strength and presence in my life and ministry. What a blessing it has been for me, Pat and my family to service Christ and Christ’s Church and people.”
Religion and Baseball - From the Post-Gazette
It seems unbelievable: A nun, of all people, is likely to come into a six-figure windfall auctioning off an exquisitely rare Honus Wagner baseball card.
But really, it's not much harder to swallow than the life of Wagner himself.
"Every so often his name will come back to the surface because of the card," said Dennis DeValeria of Ross, who wrote "Honus Wagner: A Biography" with his wife, Jeanne DeValeria, in 1996. "I love it because he's a guy who really deserves it."
A native of what is now Carnegie, Wagner is considered to be one of the greatest baseball players ever, receiving more votes than Babe Ruth for the inaugural class of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The former Pirates shortstop also was a movie star, a coal miner and an aspiring politician, not to mention the owner of a chicken farm and a circus troupe.
Despite his accomplishments in baseball, which include 17 seasons in a row hitting above .300 and winning eight batting titles, he is best known these days for the T206 baseball card, released in 1909 by The American Tobacco Company.
Wagner ordered a halt to the production of the card. While the popular lore goes that Wagner stopped the cards because he opposed smoking, it was more just opposition to tobacco products for children, said Mr. DeValeria.
From Anglicans United-
With varying degrees of force, three dioceses – Dallas, South Carolina and Western Louisiana – have expressed their concerns about revisions to Title IV of the Episcopal Church’s canons. All three dioceses express concerns about the revised Title IV granting greater authority to the church’s presiding bishop over other bishops, and to diocesan bishops over their clergy, amid accusations of misconduct.
The Diocese of South Carolina adopted seven resolutions that either delete references to the Episcopal Church’s canons, or specify that the diocese recognizes those canons only through 2006.
The annual convention of the Diocese of Dallas voted to study revisions to Title IV for the next several months and to reconvene in early summer to act on conclusions of that study.
“The more we looked at Title IV, we began to realize what we have here is a constitutional crisis,” said the Rt. Rev. James M. Stanton, Bishop of Dallas. “Much of our concern has to do with due process for clergy and protections for clergy.”
Bishop Stanton said his vocation has been guided by a principle he heard in a seminary course with the Rev. Dr. Massey H. Shepherd: “Canon law exists to protect the people from their clergy and the clergy from their bishops.”
“When you are liable to be charged for failing to report something that may have been an offense, you’re opening the door to all kinds proceedings,” Stanton added. “I think it’s important for every diocese, and clergy especially, to look very carefully at this.”
The Diocese of Western Louisiana adopted a canon that places the diocese in conformity with the new Title IV, but also called on General Convention to reconsider the revisions to Title IV.
On Sunday evening, October 24 Mount Calvary Episcopal Church congregation voted by an overwhelming majority to leave the Episcopal Church and become an Anglican Use parish in the Catholic Church. The decision was not reactionary but came after several years of evaluation, discussion and prayer.
At the beginning of October, I reported on this small Episcopal Congregation in the heart of Baltimore who had begun the process of calling for a vote to leave the Episcopal Church and coming into full communion. This vote is a milestone in the long journey that began three years ago when, during a retreat in October of 2007, the Vestry voted unanimously to explore the possibility of becoming a part of the Catholic Church.
In a letter to the parish immediately following the vote, the Rev. Jason Catania, rector of Mount Calvary Church, wrote, "Needless to say, I welcome this decision of the parish, and I have written to the Bishop of Maryland informing him of my own intention to also enter the Catholic Church and to seek ordination as a Catholic priest. Father Reamsnyder [Editor - The other priest on staff at Mount Calvary] has also written to the bishop stating the same intention.
At St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Wednesday, about 100 people turned up for a free, hot lunch at the 117-year-old building.
But the soup kitchen, which serves more than 100 people six days a week, may soon be moving. The Pleasant Street church is slated to close in the coming months, and the group that runs the program is seeking a more accessible location.
“The operative term is ‘transition,’” said Jill Wiley, president of the board of St. Paul’s Community, the nonprofit that runs the soup kitchen, which is called the Table.
The program has run for nearly 30 years and attracts volunteers and church groups from all over southeastern Massachusetts.
“The Table is something that will continue well into the future and, hopefully, expand; we had planned actually that we would have a hospitality and welcome center (and) activities,” she said. For months, the board has been searching for a new downtown location that is accessible to people in wheelchairs, Wiley said.
The program, which is almost 30 years old, will soon have to move from St. Paul’s, since the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts says the church is no longer affordable.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
From Ft. Worth-
An historic Fort Worth church is suing another church’s bishop, saying that church can't use its name.
“They're spending a lot of time suing people and we're spending a lot of time trying to follow the Lord and pray,” said Bob Ferguson. Ferguson and about 100 other people left All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Fort Worth early last year. Ferguson's group, along with most Episcopal churches in Fort Worth, decided to cut ties with the national Episcopal church. They were upset over decisions to ordain women and gay people.
Ferguson's groups started worshipping in rented space, just down the road from All Saints. “We've grown about 30 percent in membership in the last year,” said Ferguson.
They left the building but kept the name - All Saints’ Episcopal Church. This week, that decision led to a federal lawsuit against the new church’s bishop, Rt. Rev. Jack Iker. The original All Saints’ says having the same name is confusing, and unfair competition. Both congregations have accounts at the same bank.
“I don't think our checks are getting confused with theirs,” said Ferguson. But All Saints’ on Crestline wants to be sure.
More here- (With video)
From The Central Gulf Coast-
The Bay County Health Department and St. Andrew Episcopal Church announce the opening of the Prescription Assistance Program (PAP) – an exciting new community service for the citizens of Bay County. The PAP will officially open on November 1, 2010 at 2pm at 1608 Baker Court, Panama City (behind St. Andrew Episcopal Church).
The purpose of the PAP is to assist low-income individuals obtain necessary prescription medications through the various compassionate care programs offered by the pharmaceutical companies. “It is an honor and a privilege to partner with the Bay County Health Department, and to offer space to help those in our area who might go without their medication due to finances. This helps us as a parish to reach out to those beyond our doors, which is what the Gospel calls us to do,” said Rev. Dr. Margaret Shepherd, pastor of the St. Andrew Episcopal Church.
To use the PAP, clients will need to obtain a prescription from their medical provider and then make an appointment with the PAP. The PAP staff and volunteers will help the client navigate through the requirements of the compassionate care programs to assist eligible clients obtain their medications. Clients will be charged a small administrative fee of $6 per prescription up to a maximum of $20 per visit to help offset the administrative costs of the program.
Presiding bishop discusses courage, challenge and uncertainty of leadership at California women's empowerment conference
Courage and willingness to step out into the unknown are essential leadership qualities, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori told several thousand women Oct. 26 at the "Women's Conference 2010 Main Event" hosted by California first lady Maria Shriver at the Long Beach Convention Center.
"It takes the willingness to challenge people to think in new ways and the willingness to try things in a way that wasn't done before," added the presiding bishop, who was among more than 85 featured speakers and 14,000 women at the Oct. 26 event in downtown Long Beach.
Leadership also involves challenging "people to think bigger than their own particular self-interests," Jefferts Schori said. The panel discussion, "It's Time to Talk About What Happens When Women Lead," incorporated the conference's overarching theme, "It's Time" and featured a conversation about challenges and successes for women leaders.
The live webcast, moderated by CNN anchor Campbell Brown, also included as panelists Carol Bartz, CEO of Yahoo!; Anne Mulcahy, former chairman and CEO of Xerox Corporation; and Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and President of Disney/ABC Television Group.
The day's lineup of speakers included a host of actors, celebrities, newsmakers and activists, including current and former first ladies Michelle Obama and Laura Bush, Dr. Jill Biden, and current and former U.S. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O'Connor, as well as actor Robert Redford and wellness advocate Deepak Chopra.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
From The National Cathedral-
Washington National Cathedral announced on October 26, 2010, the death of former Cathedral Provost Charles A. Perry, who served the Cathedral as chief pastor, administrator, and fundraiser from 1978 to 1990. Perry is credited with saving the Cathedral from $10.5 million of debt during his tenure and additionally with raising the funds to complete the Cathedral’s construction. He died of a heart attack last weekend while on a trip to Asheville, N.C.; he was 81. His funeral will take place Sunday, October 31, at 3 pm, at St. Paul’s Memorial Church in Charlottesville.
The Rt. Rev. Shannon Johnston, bishop of Virginia, will preside. Perry will later be interred at Washington National Cathedral, at a service to be announced. His wife Joy, his son Russell Keith Perry, daughter Dana Leslie Smith, and five grandchildren survive him.
“The entire Cathedral community mourns not only the loss of such a significant figure in the history of this Cathedral, but also the loss of an extraordinarily faithful priest and leader,” Cathedral Dean Samuel T. Lloyd III said. “We give thanks to God for the resolute leadership and devoted service of Charles Perry, one of the Cathedral’s giants.”
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations in his memory to St. Paul’s Memorial Church, Charlottesville, Va., Washington National Cathedral, and Westminster-Canterbury of the Blue Ridge.
From The NY Times-
Desmond Tutu, the former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, has urged an opera company there not to perform in Israel, invoking South Africa’s long struggle against apartheid in criticizing Israel’s policy toward Palestinians, The Associated Press reported. The Cape Town Opera is scheduled to perform “Porgy and Bess” at the Tel Aviv Opera House beginning on Nov. 12. But Archbishop Tutu, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize who retired from his official duties earlier this month, said in a statement that the tour should be postponed “until both Israeli and Palestinian opera lovers of the region have equal opportunity and unfettered access to attend performances.”
“Just as we said during apartheid that it was inappropriate for international artists to perform in South Africa in a society founded on discriminatory laws and racial exclusivity, so it would be wrong for Cape Town Opera to perform in Israel,” Archbishop Tutu said in his statement. He added that it would be “unconscionable” for the opera company to perform “Porgy and Bess,” which he said has a “universal message of nondiscrimination.”
Hanna Munitz, general director of the Israeli Opera, said in a statement that the intent of the collaboration between the companies “is culture and art, and definitely not politics,” adding: “Both houses relate to culture as a bridge, the aim of which is to be above any political dispute. Furthermore, the fact of the matter is that very big performance companies arrive in Israel from abroad all the time.”
A Baltimore church has decided to leave the Episcopal Church and join the Roman Catholic church, citing concerns over the ordination of women and homosexuals as well as fundamental religious differences.
Warren Tanghe, a former Episcopal priest now preparing for ordination in the Catholic church, said parishioners voted Sunday at Mount Calvary Episcopal Church. Tanghe said members were also upset with clergy who questioned beliefs such as the Holy Trinity.
An archdiocese spokesman said the Catholic Church would welcome the congregation.
However, church members will have to negotiate with the Episcopal Diocese to keep their church building. Under Episcopal canons, the property is held in trust for the diocese and national church, but the parish holds the deed.
From LA Times- (Slightly of topic (as if we had one))
Alexander Anderson Jr., a pioneer television cartoonist who created the landmark duo of Crusader Rabbit and Rags the Tiger and two of TV's most enduring characters, Rocky and Bullwinkle, has died. He was 90.
Anderson, a longtime resident of Pebble Beach who had Alzheimer's disease, died Friday at a rest home in Carmel, said his son, Terry M. Anderson.
The nephew of Paul Terry, whose Terrytoons cartoons included "Mighty Mouse" and "Heckle and Jeckle," the Berkeley-born Anderson had apprenticed at his uncle's studio in New Rochelle, N.Y., as a young man before serving in World War II and returned to work there after the war.
With television beginning its domination over radio as the at-home entertainment medium of choice in the late 1940s, Anderson proposed that his uncle begin producing cartoons specifically for the newer medium.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Episcopal Cafe's take on the PB's remarks
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori made some provocative remarks in her opening statement to the meeting of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church, which concludes today in Salt Lake City. ENS has the story.
Here are a couple of passages worth examining:
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori challenged the Episcopal Church's Executive Council Oct. 24 to avoid "committing suicide by governance."
Jefferts Schori said that the council and the church face a "life-or-death decision," describing life as "a renewed and continually renewing focus on mission" and death as "an appeal to old ways and to internal focus" which devotes ever-greater resources to the institution and its internal conflicts.
Does it seem that the presiding bishop is suggesting that the Episcopal Church's democratic governing structure is responsible for its numerical decline? If so, does that seem accurate? And if it seems accurate, what should be done about it?"We need some structural change across the Episcopal Church," she said. "Almost everywhere I go I hear dioceses wrestling with this; dioceses addressing what they often think of as their own governance handcuffs, the structures that are preventing them from moving more flexibly into a more open future."
Buncombe County is full of hidden treasures and surprises. Each untraveled road may result in a new discovery, whether it's a panoramic view of misty blue mountains or a bucolic scene of an old cabin amidst grazing sheep on grass as green and soft as emerald velvet.
I'd lived in Asheville 10 years before I drove north on Riverside Drive toward Craggy Bridge and Old Leicester Highway and noticed an idyllic little stone church high on a hill opposite the French Broad River. It had what appeared to be a hundred steps leading to it.
I noticed the Episcopal Church sign and the name, Church of the Redeemer, and wondered why I'd never heard of it. I'd been attending Asheville Episcopal churches as long as I'd lived here.
Now that I've learned more about it, I wonder how many other people might not know about this special little church.
My mother and I had just moved to the Erwin Hills community. She could not drive and wanted to participate in weekday events at church. Since I had to work, I realized we needed to find a church closer than Trinity, where I had attended for years. There would also have to be members willing to give her a ride.
On finding the Church of the Redeemer, my first thought was, How in the world I would be able to get my 88-year-old mother up those steps? Off Jonestown Road, above the church, I soon found the drive behind the church that led to a little courtyard garden next to the church. There was even a ramp leading to the arched wooden doors of the church.
So, whatever happened to the Hare Krishna movement?
Back in the 1970s, robed members of the sect were frequently seen on street corners, chanting the “Hare Krishna” mantra, with their hair shorn.
These days, you are more likely to see robed Anglican bishops occupying a corner of Bay and Front Sts. and passing out literature.
Krishna devotees haven’t gone into hiding, but they have toned down the missionary zeal from those crazy days of counterculture movements.
As one senior devotee says, “we are now more interested in quality than quantity.”
From Cork Ireland
A meeting of global Anglican leaders in Dublin in January is to be boycotted by conservative Church leaders.
They object to the planned presence of US presiding bi shop Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori, a supporter of the ordination of active homosexuals and same sex marriage.
The primates of the 38 Anglican provinces last met in Alexandria, Egypt, in 2009.
Archbishop Alan Harper of Armagh has said he welcomes the opportunity to provide hospitality to the primates at the ‘‘important meeting’’ in Ireland.
But Archbishop Ian Ernest of the Indian Ocean has already confirmed that he will not attend the Dublin event, due to take place at the Emmaus Retreat and Conference Centre.
Primates of the Global South - which are mainly African, Asian and South American provinces - are now expected to consider whether they will also pull out of the Dublin meeting.
However, the president of the conservative American Anglican Council, Bishop David Anderson, has urged traditionalist bishops to attend and exclude Jefferts Schori from the meeting.
‘‘Even if [Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury] did advise [Jefferts Schori] to absent herself, she will come anyway, for she believes she has a right to attend, has done nothing wrong, and knows that, one on one, she can outtalk him, out-bluff him and out-push him - and frankly, she is right on all three counts," Anderson said.
‘‘He does understand that the African segment of the Communion, as well as some additional provinces, are not on the same page as he is, and the Anglican Communion is in danger of coming unstuck, but he is relying on the ‘muddle through’ principle.
‘‘But without the orthodox primates in attendance, it could be a dangerous meeting, giving opinion and credence to teachings and beliefs that are not representative of orthodox Anglicanism."
The story of Saint Hubert, as told by Father John Sewell, Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church, goes like this:
In the late 600s A.D., a "party boy" named Hubert had given himself to the vanities of life, and was obsessed with hunting. Once, he chose to pursue his sport on Good Friday, "a real no-no in that time," and received an unexpected wake-up call from above.
During his hunt that morning, a vision of the crucifix appeared to Hubert between the antlers of a great stag. Through the creature, God spoke to him and said, "Hubert, if you don't get your act together, you're going to hell."
Sewell and his church celebrated the patron saint of hunters and hunting dogs during Sunday morning's services by blessing hunters, their dogs and establishing the Guild of Saint Hubert, a Christian hunters group that promotes spirituality, safety and respect in the hunt.
"I'm convinced that hunting is actually a spiritual exercise," said Sewell, who explained how hunting can be used as a metaphor for spiritual salvation in his sermon.
"(Hubert) went hunting and got more than he thought he would," he said. "Not only do we go hunting, but God hunts for us."
From ELO- Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori challenged the Episcopal Church's Executive Council Oct. 24 to avoid "committing suicide by governance.
Jefferts Schori said that the council and the church face a "life-or-death decision," describing life as "a renewed and continually renewing focus on mission" and death as "an appeal to old ways and to internal focus" which devotes ever-greater resources to the institution and its internal conflicts. "We need some structural change across the Episcopal Church," she said. "Almost everywhere I go I hear dioceses wrestling with this; dioceses addressing what they often think of as their own governance handcuffs, the structures that are preventing them from moving more flexibly into a more open future."
Later in her remarks, Jefferts Schori said "we need a system that is more nimble, that is more able to respond to change," calling for "a more responsive and adaptable and less rigid set of systems." The presiding bishop, who also chairs the council, issued her challenge during her traditional opening remarks to council's first plenary session, which came in the middle of its Oct. 23-25 meeting.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
From the Washington Examiner-
Local and federal authorities are beginning their investigation into a fire at a historic Alexandria chapel.
The blaze broke out at the 129-year-old Immanuel Chapel at the Virginia Theological Seminary shortly before 4 p.m. Friday.
John North, a battalion chief for the Alexandria Fire Department, said Saturday that preliminary estimates show the Episcopal church may have sustained $2 million in damages.
North said the fire department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives would be investigating the cause of the fire. He said ATF agents often assist in investigations when a fire occurs at a place of worship.
No one was injured in the blaze.
It’s not every day the daughter of a Muslim imam is inducted into the Sacred Order of Deacons.
Episcopalians from across the state dropped into Terre Haute for a weekend of works and one unique celebration.
In addition to other business conducted at the 173rd Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis, the ordination of Fatima E. Yakubu-Madus inside the sanctuary of St. Stephen’s on North Seventh Street drew special attention Saturday.
“She’s going to be serving St. John’s at Speedway,” said the Rt. Rev. Catherine Waynick, bishop of the Diocese of Indianapolis.
Born in Nigeria, Yakubu-Madus moved to America in 1979 to attend school. Earning her undergraduate degree in math and chemistry from Kentucky State University, she went on to earn a graduate degree in pharmacology from the University of Mississippi and currently works in Indianapolis as a scientist and consultant.
And while her family practices Islam, and her father serves in the leadership role of an Imam, Yakubu-Madus converted to Christianity while living in America.
From ELO (This is where I am)
The Episcopal Church's Executive Council began its three-day fall meeting here Oct. 23 with an agenda that includes consideration of a Church Center 2011 budget that is five percent lower than the version adopted by General Convention in 2009.
Revenue in the proposed reduced budget is $2.1 million less than originally projected, with income from dioceses projected at $682,946 less than expected. The revenue reductions come "as a result of an unpredictable delayed payment by one diocese," as well as major cuts in Church Center spending that also will result in less revenue, according to a memo to council members from the church's Finance Office. The specific diocese has not yet been disclosed.
Total revenue is projected to be $37,147,458, while total expenses are budgeted at $36,966,829.
The proposed budget calls for ceasing publication of the Episcopal News Monthly and Quarterly publications; closing the Episcopal Books and Resources retail bookstore at the Church Center in New York City and its online store; and ceasing the resource-shipping operation that serves EBAR as well as Episcopal Church Foundation, Episcopal Relief & Development and United Thank Offering. Those agencies have been offered alternatives for fulfilling their orders.
The proposed elimination of EBAR and the two publications means a loss of revenue, but also reductions in Office of Communications expenses. Proposed expense cuts in the Office of Communication total $812,332.
Episcopal News Service's online operation will continue and is due to be expanded in terms of multimedia. Its stories are available free to other church publications. The "Episcopal Church Welcomes You" signs, currently unique to EBAR, would be available for sale from the Christian Alliance for Media (an Atlanta-based organization that began in 1945 as Episcopal TV and Radio Foundation).