Saturday, July 9, 2011
From Rhode Island-
With South Sudan set to become an independent nation Saturday, Rhode Island Episcopal Bishop Geralyn Wolf will go to Washington in coming days to advocate for a renewed effort by the United States to secure peace and security in the troubled region.
Bishop Wolf noted that she has been invited by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse to lead the U.S. Senate in prayer at its July 14 session. Following that, she said, she and her husband, Thomas Bair Jr., plan to meet the other members of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation, Sen. Jack Reed and Representatives David N. Cicilline and James R. Langevin, about the problems facing the people of South Sudan.
Bair, who accompanied his wife on a visit to the Diocese of Rhode Island’s companion Ezo diocese in southern Sudan in 2008, says that after 98 percent of the voters in predominantly Christian South Sudan voted in January to break off from the rest of Sudan, many people had assumed the region would enjoy some peace.
Saints Patrick, Aidan and Hilda were most influential before the 9th century, but their lives have inspired deep traditions at one Boulder church.
To honor and explore Celtic Christianity`s history and influence, St. Aidan`s Episcopal Church will host the Celtic Conversations next weekend.
The conference will include Celtic-style worship, small group discussions and several lectures led by retired CU professor Doug Burger. The Community of Aidan and Hilda, an international Celtic Christian order, will sponsor the event.
The historical and spiritual ideas behind Celtic Christianity have a deep impact on Saint Aidan`s Church. The church`s namesake is a revered 7th century Celtic saint said to have won over converts with his ability to talk casually and politely with people in the Northumbrian villages he visited.
Reverend Mary Kate Rejouis said the church is also named after St. Aidan because of his commitment to teaching. St. Aidan`s church is home to Canterbury Colorado, the Episcopal ministry for CU.
From The Chicago Tribune-
The Lexington Theological Seminary has selected its first woman president in the 146-year history of the institution.
The school's board of trustees on Thursday picked Charisse Gillett as the seminary's 17th president. Gillett also becomes the first African-American to hold the top post at the seminary.
Her selection follows the recent naming of the Rev. Canon Carole L. Wade to be the first female dean and rector at Lexington's Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral.
Gillett told The Lexington Herald-Leader news of her selection proved to be an emotional moment and she's excited about the seminary's future.
Gillett, who holds a doctorate in education from Northern Illinois University, had been the seminary's vice president for administration and special projects since February 2010.
From The Chicago Tribune. (While we never met her we worked with her son Mike and daughter-in-law Gayle years ago)
Betty Ford said things that first ladies just don't say, even today. And 1970s America loved her for it.
According to Mrs. Ford, her young adult children probably had smoked marijuana — and if she were their age, she'd try it, too. She told "60 Minutes" she wouldn't be surprised to learn that her youngest, 18-year-old Susan, was in a sexual relationship (an embarrassed Susan issued a denial).
She mused that living together before marriage might be wise, thought women should be drafted into the military if men were, and spoke up unapologetically for abortion rights, taking a position contrary to the president's. "Having babies is a blessing, not a duty," Mrs. Ford said.
The former first lady, whose triumph over drug andalcohol addiction became a beacon of hope for addicts and the inspiration for her Betty Ford Center in California, died at age 93, family friend Marty Allen said Friday.
From The Washington Post
The Episcopal Diocese of Washington says the dean of Washington National Cathedral is resigning his post.
The Very Rev. Samuel T. Lloyd III, who has been the cathedral’s dean for more than six years, will leave Sept. 18 to return as priest-in-charge of Trinity Church, Copley Square in Boston.
The Rt. Rev. John Bryson Chane, bishop of the diocese, will serve as interim dean.
Lloyd established a congregation of regular Sunday morning worshipers in 2007. The group now includes about 1,000 members, and is one of the largest congregations in the diocese.
The cathedral hosted the funeral of former President Gerald Ford and the inaugural prayer service for President Barack Obama.
Friday, July 8, 2011
Several Smyrna churches including St. Benedict’s Episcopal Church, which is holding a July 12 food drive, are helping MUST Ministries restock its food pantry in light of its recent shortage.
About two weeks ago, MUST Ministries announced that its food pantry was running low on supplies. Now some Smyrna churches are answering the call to help.
MUST, which serves residents in Cobb and Cherokee counties, has seen a significant increase in the number of people asking for assistance. The nonprofit organization that operates a food and clothing pantry in Smyrna has witnessed a 35-percent increase over this same time in 2010. On a typical day the MUST food pantry gives out about 2,000 pounds of food.
From The New York Daily News-
Father Alberto Cutié knows something about personal problems, and he figures that will come in handy when he hosts a new daytime talk show.
Cutié was a Catholic priest who left the church in 2009 because he fell in love with a woman. Now married and an Episcopal priest in Florida, Cutié figures having gone through his own struggles will help guests and viewers of "Father Albert."
"I think I'm able to kind of tell them, you know what, you'll be able to get over this," says Cutié, whose show launches Monday at noon on WNYW/Ch. 5. "That's when I pull out that card and say I've been able to overcome and you will overcome it, too."
Cutié was ordained in 1995 and discovered a talent for being media-savvy. Soon, he was hosting Spanish-language radio and TV shows, where he helped people with everyday problems. The new daytime show, in English, is a return to a role he had for a long time before his personal life became a national issue.
From San Diego-
The leaders of two congregations that once made up St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Oceanside said this week that their flocks are looking forward after the split, which saw a majority of parishioners leave the national Episcopal Church in 2006.
Deacon Bob Nelson, the clergy member in charge of the smaller congregation that today meets at the original West Street location, said he has seen membership grow from 18 in September to 50 people today.
A retired city manager, Nelson was appointed by the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego as a temporary administrator and spiritual leader until the church can hire its own priest ---- something Nelson said he expects to happen late next year.
A congregation in the Episcopal Church "usually needs around 135 to 150 members to become financially viable enough to support a part-time priest. And right now, we're at 50," Nelson said. "We're moving in that direction, but we have to be patient, I guess."
The Episcopal Church’s diocese of Nevada sought to calm an uproar over a former Benedictine monk who admitted sexual indiscretions with a parishioner before he was ordained an Episcopal priest by Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who is now leader of the 2.3 million member U.S. church.
“It looks to me like she handled the situation by the book,” Bishop Dan Edwards said of Jefferts Schori’s actions regarding Fr. Bede Parry, a church organist and former Episcopal priest.
Jefferts Schori became the 450-year-old church’s first female leader when she was appointed presiding bishop in 2006.
Parry, 69, is a defendant in a Missouri lawsuit filed last month over his admitted sexual relationship with a male parishioner at a summer camp run by a Roman Catholic monastery. He has since resigned from the priesthood and from All Saints Episcopal Church in Las Vegas, Edwards said.
From The Boston Globe-
A former Manchester, N.H., Episcopal priest is facing felonious sexual assault charges involving two incidents with a child under age 13.
Bedford police charged 78-year-old Franklin Huntress of Marblehead, Mass., after a two-month investigation into incidents in the 1980s. Police say Huntress was arrested on June 30 and extradited to New Hampshire, where he was arraigned Wednesday in Hillsborough County Superior Court. He was released Thursday on $25,000 cash bail.
At the time of the incidents, Huntress lived out of state but was invited back for a community function. Police said Huntress served at Grace Church in Manchester from 1971 to 1975.
Police declined to elaborate on the crimes or victims.
Huntress couldn't be reached immediately for comment. A jail official couldn't say whether he'd retained a lawyer.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Rev. Peter Adebiyi, Bishop of Lagos West Anglican Communion, on yesterday called on northern leaders to come together and deal with insecurity in the area.
Adebiyi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that insecurity in the northern states was becoming worrisome to the entire world.
He said that the leaders should assist the Federal Government in tackling the crisis, adding that if the killings were allowed to continue it would disintegrate the country.
The people of Ifesowapo community in Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State recently woke up to find disaster not only at their doorsteps but equally on the roofs of over 10 houses.
The affected places include the Anglican Church, their only primary school and Community High School, located, at Oluke, the central town of Ifesowapo Community which consists of nine towns and villages.
Most hard hit among the towns were Oyero, Oluke and Arugudu. Eyewitnesses stated that one person died at Arugudu village and has since been buried. Another lost his hand at Okugbolu. Oluke town lost two blocks of six classrooms, and the roofs of the only Anglican Church in the community, and the only primary school that has been serving the whole Ifesowapo community for about 95 years. Oyero town lost about five houses while a prominent indigene, Senator Oyero lost a section of his house to the storm.
The town also lost eight of her buildings to the storm while cash crops on their farms like orange, mango and plantain trees fell in droves. Plantain trees along two kilometres between Oyero and Oluke were twisted out of shape. “The only way to make them fruitful again is to cut them down to allow for fresh growth,” said 85-year-old Chief David Adebesin, one of the affected farmers and an elder in the town.
A visit to the affected areas by this reporter confirmed the reports. “We have never seen it in this fashion before, Chief Adebeshin regretted.
From Florida (some interesting history here)
Maitland’s Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd on Lake Avenue has been a silent observer of Florida’s history for more than 120 years. Like an elderly Southern lady, the church does not shy from showing its age, as if confident in the grace and bearing that age may bestow.
The white and gray wooden sidings and pyramidal roof appear like a scene from a Norman Rockwell photograph and are in contrast to the bright red double doors that beckon in visitors, just as they must have for the first settlers and native Seminole tribes in their day.
Now the Church of the Good Shepherd has solidified its place in the history books. Last month, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
From Geneva Ill.
As Americans celebrated the nation’s independence this week, South Sudan in East Africa is preparing its own independence and part of that story has reached the western suburbs.
The story of South Sudan has nearly become lost in recent weeks with much of our world news coverage focused on economic meltdowns in Europe and the ongoing Arab Spring of revolutions.
Yet, South Sudan has a Geneva connection.
Malith Ajak is a Sudanese refugee who fled the war-torn country as a boy. He now lives in the Geneva area and works at Trader Joe’s and Continental Envelope in Geneva.
Ajak’s friend, Rev. Abraham Yel Nhial (pictured) , is a bishop with the Episcopal Church of Sudan. Nhial recently visited and preached at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Geneva.
Nhial returned to Sudan last week to be a spiritual leader for tens of thousands of Christians ahead of a South Sudan secession on Saturday. South Sudan would become the world’s newest nation, becoming the 193rd member of the United Nations.
Several members of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta will participate in a pilgrimage in remembrance of people killed during the civil rights struggle on Aug. 13 in Hayneville, Ala.
The group will join other Episcopalians from Georgia and Alabama during the annual Jonathan Daniels and the Martyrs of Alabama Pilgrimage. Local involvement is being aided by the Diocese of Atlanta Commission on Anti-Racism. Daniels was an Episcopal seminarian from New England who was shot and killed in Hayneville in 1965 during the civil rights movement.
The pilgrimage will end with a "Service of Remembrance, Repentance and Reconciliation".
Those interested in participating should contact Jenna Strizak by July 29 at 732-221-7285 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
"No litigation can determine the nature and unity of the One Body of Christ," said Bishop Michael Vono after the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande, the Episcopal Church and the congregation currently occupying St. Francis on the Hill Church in El Paso agreed to resolve their differences over the ownership of church property.
The agreement calls for the breakaway congregation currently occupying the church to conduct its final service on July 31, and to vacate the property at 6280 Los Robles, El Paso, that day. The Episcopal congregation, which has been meeting at Mount Sinai Temple, will move back into St. Francis the following week and celebrate Eucharist on Aug. 7, according to a press release from the diocese.
"This agreement acknowledges that the faith of congregants is more important than litigious differences," said Vono, who became Rio Grande's ninth bishop in October 2010.
The rector and a majority of members of St. Francis voted to break away from the Episcopal Church in October 2008 citing differences concerning the ordination of women and gays. The breakaway congregation, which is affiliated with the conservative Anglican Church in North America coalition, filed a lawsuit against the diocese and the Episcopal Church in an attempt to retain church property. Subsequent court rulings have found that the property must be held in trust for the mission of the diocese and the Episcopal Church.
From The Christian Century-
The Episcopal Church is rejecting charges that its top leader, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, mishandled the ordination of a former priest who is now accused of sexual abuse.
Jefferts Schori has remained silent on the matter, which surfaced after an alleged victim filed suit last month against a Benedictine monastery in Missouri where the priest, the Rev. Bede Parry, once lived.
Parry, a former Catholic monk, was ordained as an Episcopal priest in Nevada in 2004, when Jefferts Schori was the local bishop before her 2006 election as presiding bishop.
Her successor in Nevada, Bishop Dan Edwards, said Tuesday (July 5) that a thorough review of church records shows that Jefferts Schori "handled the situation perfectly appropriately."
"The spin on this, that Bishop Katharine failed to follow the rules to protect children, is highly ironic," said Edwards, who noted that the Diocese of Nevada has wrestled with problems of clergy misconduct. "She has done more to clean up this diocese than anybody."
While the Roman Catholic Church has weathered years of allegations from victims and lawyers of mishandling abuse cases, the issue has not similarly roiled the 2.4 million-member Episcopal Church, or Jefferts Schori's leadership.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Kendra Lacy finds inner piece walking the prayer labyrinth at Hope Episcopal Church in Suntree.
"I fell in love with the area immediately," she said.
The labyrinth, created a few weeks ago with a beautification grant from Keep Brevard Beautiful, is part of the church's contemplative outdoor spaces, which includes the Quiet Garden with a hand-built bridge that overlooks a creek bed in the woods behind the church.
The garden is intended as a "plein air" chapel where individuals can find serenity and peace amid nature.
"The labyrinth is just one small part of what we want to offer the community to reflect and pray," Pastor Deborah Vann said.
From Michigan (I think)
St. John's Episcopal Church in Howell sends a huge thank-you to each of you who donated a wedding gown to our project of Wedding Gowns for Malawi.
We thanked you individually when we had a name and address. Some gave one gown, some two, some included veils and shoes, and some gave cash or a check to help with transportation costs. Some left no name with their donation; so this letter is addressed especially to you.
These gowns will be the basis for a woman's microbusiness of readying the gowns for girls and women in a community in this small central African country. It has been found that when women are the entrepreneurs, they put profits back into their home and community providing funds for education, health care, food and transportation. Their business also provides much-needed employment for girls.
From Rio Grande-
The fight over the Westside church on the hill has finally ended.
The Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande has agreed to settle a 2008 lawsuit that challenged the ownership of St. Francis on the Hill Church.
The settlement means the conservative breakaway Anglican group now occupying the church has to be out by the end of July.
It also means a smaller group of Episcopalians who felt forced out of the church a few years ago will take control of the property, but not its financial assets.
The departing Anglicans have found a new home down the hill, off Mesa Hills, at 470 Eagle Dr., where members will celebrate their first service Aug. 7. They’ll call themselves St. Francis Anglican Church, a name that may change.
Lawyer Clyde Pine, an active member of the St. Francis Episcopal congregation, which numbers less than 100, was involved in the settlement talks. He said the dispute among the members of the once tight-knit church has been wrenching for him and others.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
From The Living Church-
Just one hundred years ago, Vasily Kandinsky, leader of the Munich Expressionist group, Der Blaue Reiter, published Concerning the Spiritual in Art. In the last century it has become recognized as a classic Modernist text and has remained a book fundamental to understanding art theory from that period.
In this essay, Kandinsky claimed that atheism, capitalist materialism and the worship of technology had led to a grave spiritual crisis in Western civilization, but that art, as the last bastion of the spirit, might possibly have the power to reverse this tendency toward destruction or, at the very least, help us to cope with it better.
Charlotte Lichtblau paints in a style derived from the historical Expressionism that reached maturity during the decade before the First World War in Munich but which also flourished in Dresden and Vienna, where Lichtblau grew up. The artist was born Charlotte Adleberg in 1925 of an assimilated secular Jewish family living in Austria.
After the annexation of that country by Nazi Germany in 1938, when she was 13, her mother had the children baptized as Roman Catholics and the family fled to the United States. Her work often addresses the plight of the suffering and of the refugee.
The Church of England has published a book of prayers for pilgrims, inspired by the growing popularity of going on pilgrimage. Compiled by the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd John Pritchard, Pocket Prayers for Pilgrims recognises that "record numbers" are going on pilgrimage, and provides spiritual refreshment for those seeking God along the road rather than in the pew.
Bishop John himself is passionate about pilgrimage and has led a number of pilgrimages to the Holy Land and elsewhere.
"On pilgrimage, without our usual defences, we become more open and receptive to God - and now there is a prayer book to refresh us on that journey of insight, wisdom and healing to our chosen destination," he said.
The group of Bethlehem-area churches that runs a winter sheltering program isn’t the first group of Christmas City-area churches to open its doors to the homeless.
In the 1980s, a group of five South Side churches rotated opening their parishes to the homeless for food and shelter. Recognizing a need greater than they could serve, church officials in 1983 petitioned the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem for help.
On Dec. 5, 1985, the diocese opened the door to its first family at the New Bethany Ministries transitional housing facility on Wyandotte Street in Bethlehem.
A few things separate the new talk show "Father Albert" from other daytime fare. Most notably, the host is a cleric who knows his way around controversy.
Two years ago, the Rev. Alberto Cutie watched his life become gossip fodder when photos of the Catholic priest cavorting on the beach with his girlfriend surfaced in a Spanish-language magazine.
Now happily married to the woman in the photos and a priest in the Episcopal Church, Cutie obviously knows something about surviving personal storms.
"This isn't a Dr. Phil or a Dr. Oz," says Cutie, whose show premieres Monday. "I'm not a judge or a lawyer or a doctor. I'm someone who is going to listen to problems, someone who understands the power of compassion. And when people come speak to me, they know they're speaking with someone who has had their own dilemma."
From The Guardian-
I wrote an article on this site a few months ago in which I expressed a change of mind. After many years of kicking against my native Anglicanism, I found that the American version of it, the Episcopal church, was to my liking. I want to follow this up. Let me start with a shocking confession. It has crossed, and recrossed, my mind that maybe I should seek ordination into the Episcopal church. I don't know if they'll have me, but watch this space.
As I previously explained, this church is proof that Anglicanism is not necessarily defined by the intolerable (to me) conservatism of the C of E. There is a world elsewhere. I always vaguely knew this on a theoretical level, but since moving to New York I have experienced its truth.
But there is another factor in the rekindling of my Anglicanism, which I want to dwell on here. Church, the business of turning up on Sunday mornings, and joining in with the goings-on, isn't really so bad. I want to talk about worship! It feels almost taboo to raise the issue in any detail, even on the world's most intelligent and open-minded religion site. Can the atheists handle the provocation?
Monday, July 4, 2011
As we celebrate the 235th anniversary of our existence as a nation, we have many things for which to celebrate and be thankful. One of the bedrocks for our country which I most appreciate is the way we have maintained our sense of religious freedom and kept to the tenets of the First Amendment to the Constitution. Through life experience I have learned that our commitment to religious freedom requires renewal with each successive generation. Never can we take for granted that all of our citizens will understand and appreciate this crucial component of our history.
In the current era of expanding religious diversity and pluralism, a striking number of our fellow citizens are voicing their opinion that we are an exclusively Christian nation with little room for other faith traditions. I have often wondered if there is something more to this attitude than a simple quest for religious purity. Scott Bader-Saye partially addresses this question for me in his book Following Jesus in a Culture of FEAR (Brazos Press, Grand Rapids: 2007).
Bader-Saye raises for me the question of whether such Christian exclusivity could be built upon a foundation of fear, a fear that other religions will push Christianity from the center of the public square. As I read Bader-Saye's book I wonder if such ways of thinking are symptoms of the ever-present fears of life in a post 9/11 world. It seems to me that we may be at a societal crossroads at which we are faced with a choice between the embrace of religious diversity or the development of a Constantine-like city-state that is governed by the tenets of the scriptures. Yes, I recognize that life will never be as simple as an either/or decision, but the implications of these decisions are significant for me.
From Greenville SC-
Sunday's church service included cannon fire, as part of an Independence Day tribute at a downtown Greenville church.
A cannon was fired multiple times, starting around 10 a.m. at Christ Church Episcopal on North Church Street.
"We notified the businesses and residences that it would be happening so that wouldn't startle anybody," Father Harrison McLeod told WYFF.
While the church did not want to scare anyone, McLeod said the cannon fire was aimed at reminding people what it took to be able to celebrate the Fourth of July.
"We remember our independence as a country and the price that we've had to pay for freedom," McLeod said. "We wanted to honor the veterans -- those who have served previously and those who are serving now."
After a day filled with Masses celebrating the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, there was one more group of worshipers eager to fill the pews at Holy Spirit Church in Annandale, Va. on June 26.
Bringing with them their own hymns dating back to the 18th century and prayers devised from the Book of Common Prayer and adapted to Catholic teaching, more than 50 members of Anglican churches from around Northern Virginia gathered together for the first time at Holy Spirit to praise God with the liturgical and musical traditions they’ve held for years and the Catholic theology they have just adopted.
As members of the St. Thomas of Canterbury Anglican Use Society of Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia, these local Anglicans hope to enter full communion with the Catholic Church as a community. Their decision comes after the November 2009 apostolic constitution, “Anglicanorum coetibus,” in which Pope Benedict XVI made it possible for Anglicans, who so desired, to be reconciled with the Catholic Church while maintaining certain aspects of their own traditions.
The children raised their arms as high as they could reach. At the Embangweni School for the Deaf in Embangweni, Malawi, the sign name for Keyon Carter was "very tall."
The 6-foot-8 Carter, who finished his Old Dominion basketball career in March, spent 16 days in the African nation last month, distributing toothbrushes, T-shirts and basketball instruction in one of the least-developed countries in the world.
An hour from the nearest paved road, in a village where most people don't have electricity or running water, Carter was surprised by what he saw and what he took away from the trip, he said.
"To say we don't have opportunities to do things in this country is blasphemy, when you look at those people who are literally imprisoned by poverty.
"You have to be a genius to get out of Malawi."
A chance meeting got Carter in. ODU director of athletics Wood Selig ran into the Rev. Robert Davenport, rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd, an Episcopal parish in Norfolk.
From Pottstown PA (thought this was interesting)
Roller skating today is looked on as an excellent way to combine fun and aerobic exercise. From the popularity it enjoyed in the 1880s, it is obvious that people, at least some of them, enjoyed it.
But many of that era thought roller skating was evil. Actually it probably wasn't that roller skating was evil, but the fact that it was done in skating rinks, buildings where young people were unsupervised and allegedly subject to potential evil influences.
This message that roller skating rinks were dangerous was delivered from the pulpits of churches all over the United States.
On Sunday, Jan. 18, 1885, the Rev. J.P. Miller, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Conshohocken, delivered a sermon that warned his flock to beware of the "folly and dangers of attending skating rinks." He used as his text Jeremiah 5:26, "For among my people are found wicked men; they lay in wait as he that seteth snares; they set a trap; they catch men."