Carla Long is overcome with sadness every time she sees the unoccupied church building in her East Buchtel Avenue neighborhood.
“It’s heartbreaking. That church has been a beacon of light in this neighborhood,” said Long, 46. “We always called it a hospital because it was a place where you could go for comfort and healing.”
Long is a recovering addict who found support at Holy Spirit Church when it was located at 825 E. Buchtel Ave. The congregation moved out of the building in July, after losing it in a court battle.
The Holy Spirit congregation is among five Northeast Ohio parishes that were displaced after a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge ruled that the church properties they occupied belonged to the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio.
For the second time in a decade, the Rev. Thomas McKenzie has found himself in an ugly church fight.
Back in 2004, it was over sexuality and salvation in the Episcopal Church.
Now it’s over power and money, the spat between leaders of the Anglican Mission in the Americas — made up mostly of former Episcopalians like McKenzie — and the overseas Anglican group that adopted them.
“It’s sinful, it’s ugly, it’s wrong,” said McKenzie, pastor of Church of the Redeemer in Nashville and a former Episcopal priest. “And it doesn’t bring honor to the name of Christ.”
Good Shepherd Episcopal Church will have its last regular worship service Feb. 12.
The Rt. Rev. Barry Beisner, Bishop on the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California, will join the last congregants for a Service of Deconsecration. It will be held at 4 p.m. Feb. 26. Clergy, past members and the Orland community may attend.
The building, built more than 50 years ago with the help of Orland community members, was the congregational home of many who bettered life in Orland through work in a variety of service organizations.
Todd Wheeler was the first senior warden, and through the years, the congregation was led by a few outstanding priests and others. Most recently it has been served by two retired but dedicated priests, the Reverends Gregg Churchill and Diana Lueckert.
In order to help support the church and pay off the building, the congregation, led by Alf Richardson, was the first to sell fireworks in Orland. The church benefited from the community's response and fireworks sold were the "safe and sane" variety, fondly referred to as "Holy Smoke."
Sister Faith Margaret, a Staten Island native and member of the community of the Holy Spirit, was described as “a model of holiness and righteousness” at the 235th convention of the Episcopal Diocese of New York earlier this month, where the Bishop’s Cross was bestowed upon her.
“In the life and ministry of Sister Faith Margaret, we have a living witness to God’s mercy, of a thankful heart, of an example of praise and self-sacrifice, and of a model of holiness and righteousness,” said New York Bishop Mark S. Sisk, bestowing the cross on Jan. 14 in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Morningside Heights, Manhattan.
“She is tireless and gracious in her efforts, professional and devotional in her focus, and merciful in her life,” the bishop said.
Expatriate representatives of several Christian Churches and congregations (including Catholic, Anglican, Protestant and Coptic Orthodox) living in Bahrian spoke at a conference in the European Parliament on Thursday on the topic of "Christians in Muslim Lands: The Example of Bahrain." The event was hosted by Dutch MEP Cornelis De Jong and organized by the think tank Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF).
A press release by the HRWF today said the speakers at the conference described a state of religious tolerance and a positive image which Christians enjoy in Bahrain, a Muslim state. "Bahrain is a positive example and an unmatched model of peaceful co-existence between Muslims and Christians in the Islamic world and within the Arabic Peninsula," stressed Cornelis de Jong.
In describing the constitution and social relations within the small island kingdom, Willy Fautre, director of HRWF, hailed the level of religious freedom in Bahrain. "The constitution recognises the rights of residents alongside those of citizens and respects the sanctity of places of worship," he noted.
The very characteristics that endear clergy to their congregations — constant availability, patient listening, wise counsel and heartfelt praying — sometimes can wear them out.
The Rt. Rev. Nathan D. Baxter, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania, has called Episcopal clergy together to address those issues Feb. 6-8 at its 2012 Winter Clergy Conference at Holiday Inn Harrisburg East, Swatara Township.
Using the theme “Caring For Ourselves So That We May Care For Others,” the conference for Episcopal clergy will focus on the clergy’s duty to take care of themselves so they can minister to others.
Baxter said the diocese has received a grant from the Pennsylvania Episcopal Widows Corp. to design and host a two-year pilot project on clergy wellness.
After more than six years of holding services in sporadic locations, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church has a place to call its own.
The church, which has grown from 12 to about 300 members in that time, this week moved into its new, 9,500-square-foot building, at 6400 McKinney Ranch Parkway in McKinney.
"This is just the first phase of our plan," said Rev. Mike Michie, one of the church's founders. "We have 11 acres of land that really affords us to build a pretty substantial campus."
Church members are likely satisfied just with the beginning, though. They no longer have to meet at the McKinney YMCA every Sunday or guess where their weeknight meetings will be.
Construction began in July 2011 for the new building, which includes a worship center, classrooms and a nursery. The congregation held a capital drive about two years ago and raised enough money for the initial phase.
"That's why this move is so thrilling for us," Michie said. "We haven't had our own place since we started."
The Diocese of Dallas, its Bishop, Rt. Rev. James Stanton, and its church planting commission in May 2005 called Michie to be the founding vicar for St. Andrew's in McKinney. Michie, previously Vicar of Christ the King Episcopal Church in Houston, moved to the city a few months later with his wife, Laurie, and three daughters, Kellie, Jennifer and Mariana.
The recent decision of the Vatican to establish a special diocese in the United States for Episcopal converts to Catholicism has re-opened discussion on several old points of contention.
Among them is the decisions of the Catholic Church to allow married Anglican and Episcopal priests to be ordained on an individual basis in 1980, and the more recent allowance for entire Episcopal parishes to convert en masse in 2009.
The decisions to allow married Anglican and Episcopal priests to convert along with their parishes and subsequently be re-ordained as Catholic priests are not attempts to “steal sheep,” according to the Catholic Church.
Rather, they are a munificent response to a growing sentiment in the Anglo-Catholic portion of the Episcopal community that their denomination is headed in the wrong direction — that is, in the liberal Episcopal acceptance of female and openly gay priests and recognition of gay marriage.
From The "You Can't Make This Stuff Up Department" New Jersey division-
Every time I write one of these columns for the paper, I hold my breath — not knowing for sure how it’s going to look in print. A good rule of thumb is that ministers should probably steer clear of the media, as was proven by this one, recently widowed Episcopal priest who simply wanted to place an ad in the local newspaper. But this is how it appeared:
"The Rev. A. J. Garven has one TV set for sale. Call 789-8989 after 7 p.m. and ask for Mrs. Donnelley who lives with him" — and that’s where Rev. Garven put a period mark so the next word of the next sentence would stand out all by itself: "cheap." All done, end of ad.
Unfortunately, the newspaper left out the period, and so the ad actually appeared: "The Rev. A. J. Garven has one TV set for sale. Telephone 789-8989 and ask for Mrs. Donnelley who lives with him cheap."
Tuesday’s paper immediately offered a correction: "We regret any embarrassment to Rev. Garven caused by a typographical error in yesterday’s paper. It should have read: ‘Rev. Garven has one TV set for sale cheap. Call 789-8989 and ask for Mrs. Donnelley who lives with him after 7 p.m.’"
Wednesday’s paper tried again: "Rev. Garven informs us that he has received several annoying telephone calls because of an incorrect ad in yesterday’s paper. It should have read: ‘A. J. Garven has one TV set for sale cheap. Call 789-8989 after 7 p.m. and ask for Mrs. Donnelley who [and then a careless typing mistake: the word l-i-v-e was mistyped into l-o-v-e] who loves with him.’"
Thursday’s paper posted a response directly from the minister: "Please take note that I, Rev. Garven, have no TV set for sale. I have smashed it. Don’t call 789-8989 any more. I have not been carrying on with Mrs. Donnelley." Alas, for a second time, that’s where Rev. Garven put a period so his next sentence would begin: "Until yesterday, Mrs. Donnelley was my housekeeper." No such luck. Without the period mark the two sentences running together came out: "I have not been carrying on with Mrs. Donnelley until yesterday…"
Father Jeffrey N. Steenson is finding that there are a lot of new roads to travel and new questions to resolve since his Jan. 1 appointment as head of the Houston-based Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter for former Anglicans who want to become Catholics.
The former Episcopal bishop of the Rio Grande, who was ordained a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, N.M., in February 2009, was to be installed in his new post Feb. 12. Also in February, a class of about 40 former Episcopal priests will begin an intensive, Internet-based course of studies to become Catholic priests within the ordinariate.
Father Steenson and his wife, Debra, have three grown children and a grandson. Because he is married, he will not be ordained a bishop, but he will become a full voting member of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
He spoke to Catholic News Service during a busy day Jan. 22 at Mount Calvary Church in Baltimore, where he celebrated Mass, received a group of parishioners into the Catholic Church, performed a baptism and led an evensong service.
More than 300 Episcopal church leaders from across southern and coastal Georgia will gather in Augusta next week for The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia’s 191st convention.
Delegates of the church will elect officers, approve a 2012 budget and pursue a new capital and congregational development campaign called A New Era of Mission.
The program aims to reverse the declines in membership the Episcopal Church has experienced over the past 40 years, said the Rev. Frank Logue, the assistant to the bishop of the Diocese of Georgia.
“It focuses on nine areas of funding, nine priorities for us,” he said. The initiatives aim to increase the membership of congregations throughout the diocese by 5 percent in five years. Churches are also tasked with promoting outreach so that each congregation has at least one signature ministry.
While in Augusta, the delegates will meet for two worship services that are open to the public.
In industrialized nations, a birth certificate is taken for granted, even regarded as a bit of tedious bureaucracy. But in the developing world, the existence of such a record can mean the difference between full participation in citizenship, or barely living.
That's why the International Anglican Family Network (IAFN) has launched a global campaign to register births. The network is calling on Anglican churches to partner with government and other agencies to ensure that babies born in 2012 and after are registered.
"More than just a legal formality, birth registration opens the door to education and healthcare," the IAFN said in a recent news release. "Without it, people may not be able to obtain a passport, own a house or land, or marry."
The network points out that more than one-third of children never have their births registered, "and so are significantly disadvantaged in their childhood as well as in their adult life. They are officially invisible; in a sense they do not exist."
Among the worst outcomes for someone whose birth was never recorded is that they are easily exploited in human trafficking, and as child soldiers and laborers, said the IAFN's Ian Sparks.
In its latest newsletter, IAFN makes clear the problems that can work against birth registration. For example, in Papua New Guinea, registrations are paltry because families have to travel long distances to log a birth. The result there is that only one per cent of the 260,000 children born each year are registered.
A group of local agencies have launched the new Diaper Bank Partnership of Lake County.
The program is an extension of the St. Paul Diaper Bank Partnership started in 2009 in McHenry County by The Rev. Jim Swarthout, former rector of St. Paul Episcopal Church in McHenry. Swarthout now serves as the secretary for the National Diaper Bank and is the executive director of the Samaritan Interfaith Counseling Center of the Northwest Suburbs.
Swarthout said he began organizing a diaper bank after an individual came into the food pantry of his church. While the person was getting food, Swarthout held the baby and noticed the baby needed to be changed.
He told the woman and she said her family could only afford two diapers a day, so she had to clean out the diaper and put it back on the baby. Swarthout began doing research and came across a diaper bank in New Haven, Conn., which he used to start the bank in McHenry County.
“The idea of a diaper bank is to support a person in need during a difficult time,” Swarthout said.
Chaplain Sam Martinez of Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Lake Barrington, also congregational coordinator and Hispanic liaison, said the need for diapers in Lake County was brought to attention by the community.
Three years ago Martice Scales, 24, a boxer, musician and unemployed ex-felon in Racine, Wisconsin, had no job prospects and even less hope.
Then a former teacher referred him to the Racine Vocational Ministry (RVM), an outreach of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and other local agencies and Scales has been on the fast track ever since.
He’s been promoted twice, supervises five employees and currently manages retail operations at a fair trade store at the HOPES Center, which offers social services to impoverished Racine residents.
“I started out as a late night barista,” he recalled. “Within a few months, I was full-time barista and then I got supervisory positions. I could tell they were grooming me for leadership; they were giving me more and more opportunities,” he said during a Jan. 19 telephone interview from Racine.
Somewhere on the cold Atlantic, the Rev. Richard T. Morgan's books, furniture, frying pans, summer clothes, and other trappings of his life in England are making their way to America.
"I'm told it will take about six weeks," said Morgan, 41, sitting in his nearly empty office at Episcopal Church of the Good Samaritan in Paoli.
That seems an eye blink compared with how long it took him, his wife, and five children to cross the pond. The Morgans arrived here last week - 13 months after the parish chose him as its new rector in December 2010.
He will be installed Saturday and celebrate his first Eucharist service Sunday.
"I had supposed we'd be here last Easter," he said.
But Morgan and the evangelical, conservative parish discovered that a Greater Power had to bless his ministry in the United States.
Not the Father, but the Uncle. Uncle Sam.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) takes a longer, closer look these days at foreign clergy seeking permanent residence. Those who pass muster must then seek visas, which can also take months.
Mount Calvary Episcopal Church has been waiting a long time to be received into the Roman Catholic Church. They have had to watch other parishes come in while remaining patiently in a holding pattern until property issues were worked out. 34 parishioners were received on Sunday. Their Rector, Jason Catania and Associates, David Reamsnyder, Anthony Vidal and Dr. John Huntington will begin pre-ordination formation toward being ordained as Catholic priests.
While parishes have previously been received into the Catholic Church in anticipation of the new Anglican Ordinariate, history was made on Sunday, January 22 when the first parish was received by the Ordinary of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Since the Ordinariate's canonical structure is still being established, the parish remains under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Baltimore for the time being.
Mount Calvary Episcopal Church, who had voted to join the Ordinariate in October 2010, had to wait until their property issue with the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland was settled. Fortunately, they were eventually able to keep their building and ended up as the first parish received by the new Ordinary. Their reception took place Sunday morning with a packed out church of parishioners and supporters from the Episcopal and Catholic world in attendance.
Christians have been advised to actively participate in the country’s political process, and elect people with integrity and high moral values as leaders to enhance the development of the country.
They have also been cautioned to reject people who incite violence with the evil agenda to divide the country along religious and ethnic lines for their political agenda.
The Right Reverend Bishop Jacob Kofi Ayeebo, made the appeal at his enthronement and installation as the Diocesan Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Tamale on Sunday. He was installed by the Right Reverend Abraham K. Ackah, Anglican Bishop of the Wiawso Diocese.
Bishop Ayeebo, who was born in 1960 and joined the Christian faith in 1976, served as assembly member for Bawku West District, Chairman, Bawku Naaba Educational Endowment Fund, Chairman, Board of Governors, Clinical Health Training School, Bolgatanga and acted as Chairperson of several rural banks.
Bishop Ayeebo urged the people to remain: “Prayerful, united and unprovocative in our language during the period of campaign and elections to ensure free, fair and transparent elections to preserve the peace of Ghana”.
On Sunday, as part of St. Martin's yearlong birthday party, the spiritual menu went heavy on the fish.
The first reading featured Jonah, he of the whale. The gospel lineup included Simon Peter and brother Andrew, abandoning their nets along the Sea of Galilee to follow another fisherman.
Finally, there was Katharine Jefferts Schori. In an earlier life, she was a Stanford University-trained oceanographer. Since 2006, she has been the presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church. On Sunday, she was guest celebrant at a packed St. Martin's, and the fish metaphor swam through the entirety of her sermon.
Climb in the right boat when choosing a life's path, she told the congregation. Cast your net often for the betterment of the community, lest that connection for a greater good dries up and breaks apart.
"Your net is still catching fish because it reaches out into the community with invitation, not compulsion," she said. "This net is a living organism. ... Your task is to keep it wet and alive."
Each January, many followers of Jesus observe the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. It was begun more than 100 years ago by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. Originally, the friars were an order of Episcopal priests who joined the Roman Catholic Church. Christian unity has been a part of their mission since the order's founding, as it should be for every Christian.
You may have heard that the Episcopal All Saints' Sisters of the Poor in Catonsville were officially received into the Roman Catholic Church. And today, members of Baltimore's Mount Calvary Church, an Anglo-Catholic parish founded in 1842, are being received into the Roman Catholic Church's Anglican Ordinariate.
In 2010, 24 of 28 Mount Calvary members present (out of a congregation of 45) voted to join the Ordinariate, following a long-standing tradition of the Episcopal Church: democracy.
Negotiations over real and church property ensued, and an amicable agreement was reached last month. It states that the Anglican Use Congregation (the term for a Roman Catholic congregation that is able to retain its Anglican worship rites) will be deeded the church building, adjacent offices and rectory; will keep all furnishings and personal property; and will retain the right to use the parking lot shared with Joseph Richey House, a hospice that started as a joint ministry by Mount Calvary and the All Saints' Sisters of the Poor. The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland will receive a monetary sum as part of the settlement, and will retain first right of refusal if the congregation vacates the property. Mount Calvary Church officially ends its 170-year history as an Episcopal parish in the Diocese of Maryland when it joins the Roman Catholic Church.
Virtually the entire American Airlines flight going to San Pedro Sula in Honduras was clad in color-coordinated t-shirts, each representing a group doing good in the Central American country. Medical missionaries from South Carolina. College students from the Northeast. Church groups of kids, parents and pastors from across the country, including ours from St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Coral Gables.
In the six summers I’ve traveled with my family to San Pedro Sula to volunteer at Nuestras Pequeñas Rosas (Our Little Roses), a home and school for abused, orphaned and abandoned Honduran girls, there has never been an empty seat on the planes. A handful of the passengers are Hondurans, the rest are Americans who are building homes and schools, running clinics, distributing food and bonding with the Honduran people.
Yet with Honduras’ per-capita murder rate topping the worldwide charts in 2010 — coupled with the Peace Corps’ decision to leave the country in December after one of its volunteers was shot in the leg in an armed robbery in San Pedro Sula — many are worried about the impact the violence will have on their work.
Until insurance agents got involved, each newly confirmed child in the Parish Church of St. Helena marked the milestone by climbing the narrow steps to the top of its steeple. In Beaufort now, only eagles and osprey get nearer to God.
Back then, the wind would caress their young faces as they squeezed the banister, looked down on mossy trees hiding the downtown, and squinted at water glistening into infinity in the beautiful bay beyond.
The rite was their passage into a church that was formed in 1712 -- a decade before the Old North Church in Boston was established and six decades before Paul Revere's "one if by land, two if by sea" plot depended on lanterns in its steeple.
Today, the Episcopal church in the heart of Beaufort will celebrate its 300th anniversary with a sermon by the Lord Bishop of London.
His visit is made more special by the parade of demands on his time, from conducting last year's royal wedding to this year's Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II and the London Olympic Games. It illustrates the rare story of the second-oldest church in South Carolina, and one of the oldest in America.