BOB ABERNETHY, anchor: Top Roman Catholic and Anglican leaders from around the world this week launched a new effort to support Christians in the Holy Land who are caught in the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. They also called on politicians to jumpstart the stalled Middle East peace process. The new campaign got underway at a high-level meeting in London. Kim Lawton was there.
KIM LAWTON, correspondent: Christian leaders from Europe, North America and the Middle East gathered at the historic Lambeth Palace, residence of the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. The meeting was co-hosted by Williams and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols.
ARCHBISHOP ROWAN WILLIAMS, Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury: We cannot wait for the politicians to sort it out before we as civil society, as active agents, as people of faith, get on with making the differences we can make.
Abraham Adiang Ajak, 29, was in the Abyei market when the attackers -- armed militia members mounted on motorcycles and Sudan Armed Forces units -- came in May. "I heard gunfire first and then saw them coming," he said. "There was no way of running. They were too fast."
As Ajak fled south, he saw young children wandering alone, separated from their parents in the mad rush away from the attack. Neighbors sought refuge in United Nations compounds but were denied access and killed by the attackers.
Now Ajak has found refuge in a classroom of the Episcopal school in Agok, the market town in the southern half of this contested region. He has located his parents, who were also displaced in the attack, and is now passing time, unable to return to college to continue work on his degree. Agok is overwhelmed, he says. "Many people have lost their life, but not by the gun -- by disease, by hunger, by drinking water that is not safe. Every family here is grieving."
The Rev. Mary Michael Simpson, the first Episcopal nun to be ordained a priest and the first ordained woman to preach a sermon in Westminster Abbey, died Wednesday in Augusta, Ga. She was 85.
The cause was kidney failure, said Sister Carol Andrew of the Order of Saint Helena, of which Canon Simpson was a member.
Canon Simpson was ordained a priest on Jan. 9, 1977, and installed as a canon of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in Manhattan later that year, when the role of women in the Episcopal Church was a matter of heated debate.
Even though the Church of England said it had no official objection to women joining the priesthood in the Anglican Communion — which includes the Episcopal Church — lay opinion and the private views of the clergy were often more conservative. By 1978, women had become priests in Anglican Communion churches in the United States, Canada and New Zealand, but not yet in the United Kingdom.
Kyle Wagner plays video games and listens to Tupac. He is amped to buy a motorcycle once his student loans are paid off. He wears dark shades and a shirt with a popped collar, but not the preppy frat-boy kind.
The 28-year-old is an ordained Anglican clergyman and an honest-to-God rap sensation.
That makes him the rappin’ Reverend Wagner, a pastor who busts rhymes to connect with the kids and have a little fun with religion.
“I’m a young priest who is fightin’ the beast,” he raps to a group of people lined up in church pews in a music video posted on YouTube (embedded below). “And I wantcha to know that my church is fly.”
Father Albert Cutié knows all about marriage. The Catholic-turned-Episcopal priest, who married his long term clandestine girlfriend, Ruhama Buni Canellis, after paparazzi snapped photos of them sun bathing on South Beach, says he thinks Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony should take “time to process the pain” of their failed seven year marriage.
“The fact is divorce is like a loss,” Cutié told Fox News Latino exclusively. “You experience the same thing as if you lose a loved one. There’s a grieving process that requires time and healing.”
Father Oprah, as he is called due to his newly released talk show, recalls how distraught he felt upon learning that Lopez and Marc Anthony were calling it quits.
“I was sad for them,” Cutié told Fox news Latino exclusively. “Their family and relationship stability is always at play… in more vulnerable situations than your typical couple because of their lifestyle.”
Cutié adds that he believes J.Lo and Marc “are seeking to have a normal life like any other couple and a normal marriage,” he stresses what has helped him and his wife get through the hard times.
The Episcopal Church Office of Communication July 20 issued a White Paper to guide congregations and to assist them in understanding the many potentials available for growth, expansion and telling their stories through social media, according to a press release from the Office of Public Affairs.
"So much of the information out there about using web and social media marketing is geared towards selling products and services," said Jake Dell, Episcopal, the church's senior manager of digital marketing and advertising, in the release. "We saw the need to write a guide that Episcopal congregations could use and would speak to them, but at the same time we wanted to ‘borrow’ as much as we could from the business world. We didn’t see a need to re-invent the wheel."
Included in free Social Media and the Episcopal Church are: six best practices;"how to" tips for each practice; and separate sections on church websites and dealing with negative social media. As of mid-afternoon July 21, the white paper was downloaded close to 600 times.
Stephen Pepe, co-owner of Clos Pepe Vineyards, has announced an impressive list of rare and fine wines to be auctioned July 30 to benefit St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church and its extensive community programs and services.
The public is invited to attend the second annual St. Mark’s Cellar Classic from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 30, in the garden courtyard and adjacent Stacy Hall at the church, 2901 Nojoqui Ave. in Los Olivos.
Proceeds from the silent and live auctions will help support St. Mark’s, which provides a facilities for the area’s Jewish congregation, Santa Barbara County FoodBank, recovery groups and Valley Community Theatre.
“We also actively support the arts with free musical concerts, exhibitions of painting, photography and sculpture,” said the church’s rector, the Rev. Randall Day. “Our preschool provides top-flight early childhood education. We embrace a spacious Christianity where there is room for absolutely everyone, and we honor people of all faiths or none. Everyone is invited to attend the Cellar Classic, truly a community event.”
Until a decade ago, Valerie Bailey Fischer was living a double life.
Valerie Bailey Fischer was chosen in a nationwide search to be the seventh rector of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Teaneck. Starting during her undergraduate days at Penn State, and continuing in the years after graduation, she split her time between journalism and religion, writing for newspapers in two states while working as a campus chaplain.
She enjoyed both, but increasingly recognized that her life's calling was in the church. So with encouragement from close friends, she gave up journalism and enrolled at the Union Theological Seminary in New York in 2001 as the first step toward becoming an Episcopal priest.
Now she's making another major move. After serving as assistant rector of two churches in the Boston area, the Rev. Valerie Bailey Fischer has accepted the call as the seventh rector of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Teaneck.
A conference on Christians in the Holy Land, hosted for the first time, by Anglican and Catholic church leaders, Archbishop Rowan Williams and Archbishop Vincent Nichols, concluded yesterday. Throughout the two-day event at Lambeth Palace, participants heard from Christian, Muslim and Jewish religious and community leaders, describing the challenges of living in the Holy Land, and examining practical ways of building peace and providing a sustainable future for all.
The conference promoted the charity Friends of the Holy Land, which runs a centre for the elderly in Bethlehem, distributes food and medicines,and funds a project to develop new businesses offering employment, especially to young people.
Bishop Stacy Sauls, Episcopal Church chief operating officer, said July 19 that he has created a new position at the Church Center and reconfigured part of the center's mission staff. Sauls named Canon Sam McDonald, who served as his canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of Lexington, to be deputy chief operating officer and director of mission, according to a press release from the church's Office of Public Affairs.
In addition, Antoinette "Toni" Daniels has been named associate director of mission for administration and the Rev. Margaret Rose has been named associate director of mission for program.
The changes are effective Sept. 1, according to the release.
"These appointments are intended to help all of us work most creatively as we seek to better serve the church," Sauls said. "I look forward to working closely with Sam, Toni and Margaret as we focus on the mission work for the Episcopal Church."
McDonald will oversee the church's mission programs and manage the work of the Episcopal Church Center's mission funding, human resources, information technology and building service departments, the release said. Prior to serving in Lexington, he worked with youth in churches in the Diocese of Ohio and has been a General Convention Deputy since 2003.
In the wake of gay marriage soon becoming a legal institution in the state of New York, the Episcopal Bishop of Long Island, has ordered that homosexual priests wed their partners.
Long Island Episcopal Bishop Lawrence Provenzano has put his foot down against gay clergy who residing in homosexual relationships, and has given a nine month deadline for them to either get married or stop living together, according to the News Observer.
“I need to be mindful that the church has always asked people to live in committed monogamous, faithful relationships. I won’t allow heterosexual clergy to live in a rectory or church housing without the benefit of marriage. When one puts it in that context, then you see how it all begins to make sense,” said Provenzano.
Reverend Christopher Hofer, pastor of the Episcopal Church of St. Jude agrees with Provenzano, “I think his statement was not only fair, but beyond generous. It gives people time, acknowledging that there’s a financial component involved and recognizing that some may not choose to live together.
RELIGIOUS history has been made with the first ordination of a former Anglican clergyman in Scotland into the Catholic priesthood. Father Len Black, 61 and a grandfather of two, was ordained into the priesthood this weekend, at a ceremony at St Mary's Church in Greenock performed by Bishop Philip Tartaglia of Paisley.
He is the latest former Anglican clergyman in the UK, and the first in Scotland, to be ordained into the Roman Catholic Church under the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, the body set up earlier this year by Pope Benedict XVI to receive those leaving the Anglican Church because of the consecration of women bishops.
Father Black was an Episcopal minister for 30 years before converting to Catholicism. Until recently he was the minister at St Michael and All Angels in Inverness and was also the regional dean of Forward in Faith, the leading group of traditionalist Anglicans.
They raised $600 in a car wash. They ordered equipment for the work. They saved up $150 each for their room and board. They are getting ready to enjoy a last long, hot shower before embarking on their 10th trip to the Appalachian region of southwest Virginia.
What is ahead? A 12-hour road trip, sleeping in a bunkhouse, hard work, high temperatures and humidity, and a week of living in a loving community that makes it so hard to leave on the seventh day.
What keeps the workers from St. James’ Episcopal Church coming back year by year is not just what they give, but what they receive. “We are overwhelmed by the graciousness of the people we meet in our work,” says Barbara White, veteran of nearly every annual trip. “On first glance, you would describe them as materially quite deprived. That may be true; but their humility and faith and care for their neighbors and welcome to us are awesome.”
On the streets of Juba, jubilation rang out the night before independence day. There were shouts of joy, women ululating, car horns blaring, drums beating, flames fired from aerosols, freedom chants, waving of arms, dancing and praising of soldiers.
This massive street party started on Friday from about 10pm and continued to about 2am on the morning of Saturday 9 July, the day of independence. With six others – a mixture of locals and visitors – I was standing on the back of a pickup truck, belonging to the Episcopal church of Sudan. Halfway through, we stopped at the cathedral for an extraordinary service leading up to midnight, the birth of a nation: South Sudan. Then back on to the streets again, and we were drenched with water from water bottles: baptism after new birth.
Cynics said the five-year comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) would not last. It did. Detractors opined that the referendum set for 9 January 2011 would have to be postponed. It wasn't. Expatriates reckoned that the plans for the independence celebrations would not be completed in time for 9 July. They were. Africa and the world were witnesses.
This was good news for Africa: not the usual bad news of famine, war and HIV/Aids, but news of liberation and freedom. Her leaders turned out in great numbers to celebrate at the arena of the mausoleum of Dr John Garang de Mabior, the leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) who died tragically three weeks after the signing of the CPA. His statue was unveiled as the ceremony began.
I sat next to the archbishop of Sudan, Dr Daniel Deng, and his wife, Mama Deborah, as the representative of the archbishop of Canterbury and of the diocese of Salisbury, which has had a 39-year link with the Episcopal church of Sudan.
A cathedral dean rarely chooses to return to a former parish as priest-in-charge, but for the Very Rev. Samuel T. Lloyd III that transition was an answer to prayer. Lloyd, dean of Washington National Cathedral since 2005, will return in October to Trinity Church, Boston, where he was rector from 1993 to 2005.
“My fundamental calling is as a priest — a preacher and teacher and pastor,” he said. “And the decision for me was to let go of this large, complex, exciting place” and to focus on a pastoral ministry. While he said that returning to his former parish “was a surprise” and “not part of the plan,” the possibility began to emerge as he thought about and prayed about his perceived calling to return to parish ministry.
“I’m not in this business to step up,” he said. “Every step has been to ask what with my gifts I’m being called to do.”
Lloyd sees himself on a journey, and his Boston position will be the next step in that journey. While Lloyd was discerning his future, Trinity Church was searching for a priest amid the retirement of the Rev. Anne Bonny Berryman, who succeeded Lloyd as rector in 2006. The two periods of discernment seemed to converge according to God’s plan.
The dean said his new position as priest-in-charge at Trinity Church entails a structured three-year commitment. Becoming the rector again “is certainly a possibility, but it needs to be prayed through and make sense on both sides.”
It would seem unlikely that a man who wrote Romeo and Juliet, Measure for measure, Twelfth Night, King Lear, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Othello, and Richard II would be ignored by the translation committee to participate in the translation of the King’s Bible.
He was at the apex of his writing acumen in 1604 when the KJV was initiated.
An interesting story involving Shakespeare (1564-1616) as a possible translator of Psalm 46 has become a part of historical lore.
If you count in the KJV 46 words from the beginning, you arrive at the word shake in the phrase, “the mountains shake.” If you count 46 words from the end backwards you arrive at the word speare” in the phrase, “cutteth the speare in sunder.”
Shakespeare was baptized in 1564 (birth date unknown) this would make him about 46 years old, if baptized as an infant, when the KJV was published. Does this invite the imagination to surmise that William Shakespeare the greatest writer in English literature translated some of the Psalms?
I SAY, I say, I say - did you hear the one about the newest vacancy in town?
Buckingham has lost its jester - a bit careless you may think, but the current incumbent Sam Cross is leaving to study theology at Oxford and to fulfill his calling to be an Anglican priest.
Mr Cross, from Granborough, became the town jester three years ago to bring back the profession made popular in the Middle Ages.
The Magic Circle member took an interest after reading about the history of King James VI’s jester, Archy, who had a long-running feud with George Villiers, the first Duke of Buckingham.
His departure leaves the town council with a vacancy and the search is on for someone with the right skills - juggling, stilt walking and acting the fool - who is prepared to wear the suit on a voluntarily.
Mayor, Mike Smith, said: “Sam added greatly to the abundant humour already in our town, and his gentle buffoonery reminded us of another aspect of England’s rich heritage that is too often overlooked.
In 1998, four years after he was received into the Catholic Church, Charles Moore had an audience with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. He gave the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith a copy of an article he had written describing his journey from Anglicanism to Catholicism.
“Rather than just putting it in his pocket and throwing it away he read it on the spot,” he recalls. “It felt like having a tutorial. I mean, he didn’t cross-question me but I was rather embarrassed that this great mind was poring over my words.”
Few Anglican converts, of course, are lucky enough to receive a personal welcome from a future pope. For many, leaving a familiar world of altar rails and embroidered kneelers involves considerable upheaval. That is why Moore has agreed to become a patron of the Friends of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, launched this week to support ordinariate members.
Moore’s patronage is a coup for the Friends. He is, after all, one of Britain’s most respected journalists. He writes three columns a week: two for the Daily Telegraph, one for the Spectator. In his spare time he is working on the second volume of an authorised biography of Margaret Thatcher (both volumes will be released after her death).
The archbishop of Canterbury's spin doctor is to leave after just nine months in the role and following Tory protests over a controversial magazine article condemning the coalition.
George Pitcher, an Anglican priest and former journalist, was hired last October as public affairs secretary at Lambeth Palace and engineered Rowan Williams's stint as guest editor for the New Statesman last month, which saw the archbishop launch a sustained attack on the coalition.
His criticism, seen by Whitehall as the most outspoken by an archbishop in a decade, pitted him against the government and left Lambeth Palace scrambling to minimise the damage as Conservative politicians and peers berated the archbishop either through the media or through channels at the Church of England.
Sunday, Lambeth Palace confirmed that Pitcher was leaving, but refused to say whether the New Statesmen stint had anything to do with his exit. "George was contracted to advise the archbishop on public affairs issues and that contract expires on 30 September when he will have completed projects he was asked to undertake. "When approached by the Guardian about his departure Pitcher said: "I am returning to journalism, a culture to which I am better suited."
Slightly off topic (as if we had one) but interesting-
It was 100 years ago today that the federal government last held Pittsburgh's "H" hostage.
The U.S. Board on Geographic Names stripped the city of its last letter in 1890 as part of an effort to standardize the spelling of places across the country. The board dictated that places pronounced "berg" would be spelled "burg," sans an H. A lobbying effort won the letter back on July 19, 1911, when the board relented under pressure from the city's postmaster and U.S. Sen. George T. Oliver.
"It's an interesting, quirky thing about us," said Craig Davis, vice president of sales and marketing for VisitPittsburgh, "and I think most people who live in Pittsburgh are very protective of their 'H.'"
News of the official spelling change made the front page of the Pittsburgh Post a few days later, squeezed next to a report of screaming passengers aboard a runaway trolley car that scattered "cows, horses, chickens and other domestic animals" as it tore through a Bucks County barnyard.
Trinity Episcopal Church, located at 318 S. Duchesne Drive in St. Charles, is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year with several events, many focusing on St. Charles history.
The next event will be at 5 p.m. Aug. 14 at the church. Pastor James Vargo and others will speak on the "Founding Women of Faith in St. Charles County." The panel will discuss such noted St. Charles women as Mary Sibley, founder of Lindenwood University, and Rose Philippine Duchesne, a member of the Sacred Heart Order and founder of its St. Charles congregation in 1818.
"Our previous event topic was the Civil War and its impact on local churches," says Keith Hazelwood, chairman of the committee organizing the Historical Speaker Series. "St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann, who has written a history of St. Charles County and is a noted St. Charles County historian, spoke about the histories of St. Charles Borromeo, St. Peter's Catholic Church on First Capitol Drive and St. John's United Church of Christ on Fifth Street.
"The Civil War put St. Charles County residents in positions of conflict among family members, friends and neighbors. Mr. Ehlmann's comments spoke to the types of assistance each church offered its congregation and, as a special part of the presentation, there was a 6-minute segment from a forthcoming video (featuring many photos) created by St. Charles County relating to the Civil War in the county, which will be released later this year. There was a large turnout, a lively presentation and much audience participation, both in the form of comments and questions."
The Mill Street property that was once home to Lola Montez, and now houses the Grass Valley/Nevada County Chamber of Commerce, in downtown Grass Valley is now in escrow to be sold to a neighboring church.
Emmanuel Episcopal Church, which is located at 235 S. Church St. and shares a parking area with the chamber, has agreed to purchase the 248 Mill St. property, according Rev. Seth Kellermann.
“Basically, Emmanuel Episcopal is in a real period of growth and expansion right now,” Kellermann said. “We just felt it would be in our best interest for us to purchase it.”
Kellermann and representatives of the Pioneer Association of Nevada County Trust, which owns the property, would not reveal the sale price but did confirm a price has been agreed upon and the property is now in escrow.
The sale price will be available once the escrow has closed, said David Scinto of the Pioneer Association, who said the Grass Valley Downtown Association had also made a bid on the property.
The church has no immediate plans to make use of the property, Kellermann said, and does plan to continue to lease the building in the “near term.”