Saturday, November 10, 2012

Church buildings in Akron, Fairlawn get new life

From Ohio-

Two church buildings that were once part of a legal property dispute between the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio and two breakaway congregations now have new owners.

Grace Brethren Church of Norton recently purchased the property at 565 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road in Fairlawn that was the former home of St. Luke’s Anglican Church.

In September, Greater Faith Missionary Baptist Church bought the property at 825 E. Buchtel Ave. in Akron, where Church of the Holy Spirit Anglican Church had been located.

The 12-year-old Baptist congregation moved from its Copley Road location in July and completed the purchase of its new property on Sept. 4. The Rev. Shawnte Davon Hardin, senior pastor at Greater Faith, said the congregation moved because it needed more space.

More here-

Va. Beach combined parish worries about future

From Virginia-

When parishioners of Church of the Holy Apostles gathered last week to celebrate 35 years as the nation's first and only combined Episcopal and Roman Catholic parish, it was a joyful occasion, honoring what its founders and others hailed as a bold experiment in ecumenism.

"There's a wonderful spirit of sharing in this place," retired Roman Catholic Bishop Walter Sullivan, who helped launch the parish in 1977, said during an anniversary service Nov. 1. He commended the parishioners for their "vision of solidarity."

The next day, parishioners heard from the current bishop, the Rev. Francis X. DiLorenzo of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond, and the news wasn't good.

DiLorenzo said in a letter that the Rev. James E. Parke, a Roman Catholic priest who shared pastoral duties with the Rev. Michael B. Ferguson, an Episcopalian, was being relieved of his duties.

The bishop gave no reason for Parke's removal. Parke was not reassigned.

The diocese was sending a team to determine whether the way the parish worships is consistent with Catholic doctrine.

"It is our mutual hope that, after this study period, Holy Apostles will continue its ecumenical and ministerial outreach in Virginia Beach, DiLorenzo wrote.

More here-

Justin Welby, New Archbishop Of Canterbury, Watched By Pro-Gay Rights Episcopalians As Church Tensions Continue

From Huffington-

For nearly a decade, the 77 million-member Anglican church has been caught in an internal tug-of-war over gender and sexuality: The liberal U.S. Episcopal Church that forms its American wing appoints gay members to be church leaders and approves blessings for same-sex couples, while the more conservative, traditional wings in the United Kingdom and Africa forcefully protest.

So when the new archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of the Church of England and the symbolic head of the Anglicans worldwide, was named, questions started pouring in. Will the Rev. Justin Welby, the new archbishop who was relatively unknown to most Anglicans before his appointment, be able to maintain unity in the church as it continues to confront increasing internal tensions?

The answer is unclear. In interviews in London on Friday, Welby spoke out against homophobia, but reports said he is against same-sex marriage. He also said that he supports ordaining women bishops. That's long been a non-issue in the U.S., where the highest-ranking Episcopal bishop is a woman, but it's a more contentious one in the Church of England, which is voting on the issue only this month at its General Synod.

More here-

New Episcopal bishop has ties to Fort Worth

From Ft. Worth-

When Bishop Rayford High Jr. was asked to become the provisional bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, he jumped at the chance.

It's a return to a city where he spent some happy times.

"I was at Texas Christian University for my first year of college," he said. "That was during some of TCU's glory years of football. Bob Lilly, Jack Spikes and Don Floyd made the All-American team."

He also attended Fort Worth's Trinity Episcopal Church, was mentored by the TCU Episcopal chaplain and joined the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.

"As bad a rap as fraternities have gotten over the years, they were helpful to me," he said. "I met some neat friends. I was part of a band of brothers, and we had to keep our grade-point averages up or we would be put on probation."

Read more here: 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Ex-oil man and son of bootlegger to be next Anglican leader

From NBC-

A former oil executive whose father was a bootlegger in prohibition-era America and later a friend of the Kennedys, was on Friday named the new spiritual leader of the world’s 80 million Anglicans.

Justin Welby, 56, the Bishop of Durham, who has risen quickly within the Church of England hierarchy since quitting the world of commerce in 1992, will be the next Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Church of England is known in the U.S. as the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America. Its Presiding Bishop is currently Katharine Jefferts Schori.

The change in leadership follows the resignation of the current Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, ending a turbulent era in which the Church of England has been sharply divided on issues such as same-sex marriage, female clergy and gay bishops.

More here-

Former oil exec named new Anglican leader

From ABC-

Former oil executive Justin Welby has been officially named as the next Archbishop of Canterbury, the spiritual head of the world's Anglicans, in a move aimed at healing schisms over gay and female bishop.

Bishop Welby, 56, who only became the Bishop of Durham a year ago, said the announcement by British prime minister David Cameron's Downing Street office was "astonishing and exciting".

He will replace Rowan Williams, who will retire in January after a decade spent battling divisions in the worldwide Anglican communion of around 80 million people.

The prime minister's official Twitter feed said: "Downing Street is pleased to announce the appointment of Justin Welby as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury."

The appointment had been officially approved by Queen Elizabeth II, who is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England as well as the British head of state, Downing Street said in a statement.

More here-

As The Next Archbishop of Canterbury, Can Justin Welby Save The Anglican Communion?

From Time-

It’s a familiar story of privilege in Britain: a well-connected man receives a top-notch, prestigious education before making his name in the high-paying business sector and is eventually selected to fill one of the most prominent roles in British society. But this version of the story has a twist: the man in question, Justin Welby, quit the life of a business executive in 1987 and became a village parish priest in the Church of England instead—and in remarkably short order has risen to be on the verge of being officially named the Archbishop of Canterbury, the spiritual leader of 80 million Anglicans around the world.

After weeks of speculation from the British media and Anglicans around the world, Downing Street announced Friday on Twitter that a group of clergy and lay people known as the Crown Nominations Committee (CNC) had chosen the 56-year-old to be the head of the Church of England. Beyond his background in business, Welby may seem like a surprising choice for the top job for other reasons. Although he was rumored to be a possibility for the leadership of the Church in September when the 16-member CNC met in a secret location to deliberate on their choices, many felt that he was too young and new to the Church. A bit “undercooked”, as Reverend George Pitcher put it when speaking to TIME before the selection was announced. A bishop for less than a year, Welby’s background seems more in line with that of a top political advisor or a flashy CEO rather than the spiritual guide to millions.

Read more:

Recalling 150 Years: Southborough's St. Mark's Church

From Mass-

When Joseph Burnett founded Southborough's St. Mark's Episcopal Church in 1862, the nation was caught in the midst of the Civil War. But Burnett was a forward-thinking man of his time, and sought to establish a church that promised to be "free to all, with no distinctions as to wealth, color or station."

"That was a huge deal then," said property manager Steve Taylor. "I remember going to the Old North Church [in Boston], and depending on how much you gave, it determined where you sat."
One hundred and fifty years after its founding, St. Mark's remains a local landmark, with strong ties to St. Mark's School and Fay School — the former was under the church's jurisdiction for many years before going private.

Taylor, who got involved with the church in the mid-1980's, spent a great deal of time this year researching its history, by way of its archives and artifacts.

More here-

Durham Bishop Justin Welby named 105th archbishop of Canterbury

From ENS-

Following months of anticipation and media speculation, Downing Street confirmed Nov. 9 that the Queen has approved the nomination of Diocese of Durham Bishop Justin Welby as the 105th archbishop of Canterbury.

As the 105th archbishop in a succession spanning more than 1400 years, Welby will assume the multi-faceted role as spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, Primate of All England, and bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury.

Church of England bishops are appointed rather than elected, with a 16-member Crown Nominations Commission putting forward two names — a preferred candidate and a second candidate — to Downing Street. The U.K. prime minister then seeks approval from the British monarch, who is the supreme governor of the Church of England.

Before his ordination to the priesthood in 1992, Welby studied law and history at Cambridge University and then spent 11 years as an executive in the oil industry. After a decade in parish ministry, he was appointed a canon residentiary, and later sub-dean, of Coventry Cathedral. He served as dean of Liverpool Cathedral from 2007-2011.

More here-

St. George's Spesutia, Maryland's oldest Episcopal parish, to end worship services

From Maryland-

St. George's Spesutia Parish in Perryman, the oldest Episcopal parish in Maryland, will suspend holding worship services effective at the end of the year, the Bishop of Maryland has informed parishioners.

In a letter dated Nov. 1, the Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, explained the decision to members of the parish, which has been in continuous operation since 1671.

Sutton's letter, a copy of which was provided to The Aegis by a parishioner, cited a lack of attendance at Sunday worship services, a lack of income from the collection plate and pledges "to sustain a parish financially with your buildings and grounds, let alone to sustain a thriving ministry" and the likelihood that the parish's investments would be depleted within four years if the financial situation continued.

"You have also been inflicted with a history and pattern of conflicts within the parish, and between the parish and the diocese," the Bishop wrote.

More here-,0,854607.story

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Justin Welby set to become new Archbishop of Canterbury

From The BBC- (Other links included below)

Bishop of Durham Justin Welby, a former oil industry worker, is set to become the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

It is thought the 56-year-old will be named on Friday as the replacement for Rowan Williams, who steps down in December after 10 years in the post.

Bishop Welby became a bishop only a year ago when he took up the Church of England's fourth most senior post.

Downing Street sources have confirmed the next archbishop will be formally announced on Friday morning.

On Tuesday, leading bookmakers stopped taking bets on the succession after a run of bets on Bishop Welby.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Bishop Welby has agreed to accept the post. The Times newspaper says he will be named as the new Primate this week.

Justin Welby will bring some unusual qualities to his new role. An old Etonian, he has significant experience in the oil industry and in managing complex processes and organisations.

He said he was called to become a priest following the death of his young daughter in a car crash.

Critics have said that the fact he's only been a bishop for a year may leave him vulnerable when dealing with the Church's various factions.

But he is skilled at conflict resolution, even at one point risking his own life when dealing with warring factions in Nigeria.

He's particularly concerned about the plight of the poor and the moral obligations of the City - so the government can expect him to be just as outspoken as Rowan Williams.

Radio 4 Profile: Justin Welby
Bishop Welby said he was unable to comment on the speculation.

Speaking during a break in the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards inquiry, of which he is a committee member, he said: "I am not able to comment, only Lambeth Palace can."

More here-

The Telegraph

The Guardian-

Daily Mail-

Justin Welby: A TLC Interview

From The Living Church-

The Rt. Rev. Justin P. Welby was consecrated as Bishop of Durham in September 2011, and reportedly has accepted appointment as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury. Daniel H. Martins interviewed his brother bishop by email soon after Welby visited the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops in March.

Two of your predecessors (David Jenkins and N.T. Wright) drew frequent headlines for very different reasons. For what do you hope to be best known, in headlines or otherwise?
My main ambition would be not to be too much in the headlines at all, as given the state of the British Press it would probably mean I had done something immensely stupid. However, if I had to be there are about three areas that really seem to be coming to the fore.

The first is the need for the Church to grow in numbers, and in spiritual depth. I am in the middle of planning, with my colleagues, a long-term program of evangelization which will involve three or four missions a year across the diocese, covering the entire diocese every five years. In each of those, both bishops will live in the area of work and two years will have been spent in preparation. We are trying to avoid an “up with the rocket down with the stick” approach, and going rather for a steady-state push that does not exhaust people but leads to a cultural change that says it is normal for us to share our faith. So that would be one thing.

More here-

Morristown churches come together to feed people still affected by Sandy

From New Jersey-

It was a road trip, of sorts.

Volunteers from St. Margaret’s Church on Sussex Avenue traveled around the Morristown Green on Tuesday, to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church on South Street. They took a turn serving dinner to residents who still are without power in the wake of last month’s Hurricane Sandy.

St. Peter’s began serving these meals on Nov. 2.  Morristown police convened a meeting of area clergy this week, and a number of churches have offered to join the effort at St. Peter’s, which features a large hall and a modern kitchen, named for late parishioner Leni Muscarella.

“We’re very happy to do it,” said the Rev. Hernan Arias, pastor of the Catholic congregation at St. Margaret’s, and an alumnus of Morristown High School. “St. Margaret’s is not just a little church where we gather to do prayers. We also reach out. As Christians, we are to share in the pain and suffering and difficulties of people. This is what it means to be a Christian.”

More here-

PAWLEYS ISLAND,SC: All Saints votes to unite with ACNA

From David Virtue-

Now once again, All Saints parishioners are in the midst of another change, another transition in their quest to follow Christ more perfectly. A congregational vote taken Monday (Nov. 5) has set the church on course to affiliate with the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and come under the provincial jurisdictional authority of Archbishop Robert Duncan.

This was not been an easy decision. Two proposals, each presenting a way for All Saints to step out into the future, were presented. When the vote was tallied, 322 All Saints members voted for Proposal #1 calling for associating with ACNA; while 229 ballots were cast for Proposal #2 to make the Anglican Mission in the America's Society for Mission and Apostolic Works their ultimate spiritual home. Church bylaws dictate that a 51 percent margin, not just fifty-plus-one percent margin, is needed to effect the change of status. The target number was 316.

In recent years, All Saints' Way of the Cross has been painful and difficult as the congregation strove to disengage from The Episcopal Church and find its place in the unfolding Anglican realignment in the United States. In the end, parishioners and vestry members were so divided, as they attempted to discern the Lord's will in their ongoing congregational life, that a large ruckus church-family fight ensued. Lines were drawn, feelings were hurt, misunderstandings cropped up, accusations flew, and the rumor mill was operating at full tilt.

More here-

Episcopal Church ACC members reflect on ‘congenial’ meeting

From ENS-

The 15th meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council that concluded here Nov. 7 (local time) after 12 days was “remarkable,” according to the four Episcopal Church members of the council.
The Episcopal Church was represented at the meeting by the Rev. Gay Jennings of Ohio, Josephine Hicks of North Carolina and Bishop Ian Douglas of Connecticut.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori attended the meeting in her role as a member of the Anglican Communion Standing Committee, which met here before the start of the ACC meeting. Douglas is also a member of the Standing Committee.

Hicks, whose term expired at the end of this meeting, is the longest-serving member, although Douglas has been present at four ACC meetings in various capacities. Hicks’ term began with the 2005 meeting in Nottingham, England when ACC members from the U.S.-based Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada attended as observers after both provinces voluntarily withdrew their participation in keeping with a request from the Anglican Primates — or principal archbishops — to allow space for consideration of sexuality issues.

That first meeting, she told Episcopal News Service during an interview with all four Episcopal Church members before the end of the Auckland meeting, was “exceedingly tense and awkward, although it had its marvelous moments.”

More here-

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Dumbing Abandonment Down

From The Living Church-

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori notified Bishop Mark Lawrence on October 15 that the Disciplinary Board for Bishops had certified that he “abandoned the Church” by certain actions he took in 2010 and 2011. Few would deny that was an eventful exchange: pursuant to the abandonment canon, the Presiding Bishop restricted his ministry, which suspends him until the House of Bishops can meet to vote on whether to remove him completely. These steps immediately triggered existing decisions by South Carolina’s standing committee that separated the diocese legally from the Episcopal Church and called a special diocesan convention within 30 days.

These sudden developments raise many questions, including why the disciplinary board took this step, how those opposed to Bishop Lawrence and South Carolina justify the summary imposition of the ultimate ecclesiastical penalty, and what those sympathetic to South Carolina are to make of the diocese’s response.

The place to start in grappling with these questions is with the specific charges leveled by the disciplinary board, which has welcomed several new appointees as others completed their service. The first charge relates to changes made in 2010 and 2011 to the diocesan constitution that modified but did not remove the “accession clause,” the provision that recites that South Carolina accedes to the Episcopal Church’s constitution. The second charge concerns an amendment to the corporate charter — the diocese is incorporated under South Carolina law — replacing a reference to the Episcopal Church’s constitution with one to the diocesan constitution. Neither of these first two charges was new. Both were considered by the disciplinary board only last year when it refused to certify Bishop Lawrence for abandonment after concluding that those were the actions of the diocese, not the bishop.

More here-

Final day of ACC-15: "About the relationships, always about the relationships"

From ACNS-

On the last morning of the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Auckland, New Zealand the members considered a final set of resolutions, many of which reflected on work and conversations that had occurred earlier in the meeting.

Among the resolutions that were passed were a revision to the Marks of Mission of the Anglican Communion to include references to peace conflict transformation and reconciliation. This had been requested by the last ACC meeting.

The Council unanimously agreed to adjust the wording of the current fourth Mark of Mission to read:
To seek to transform unjust structures of society to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation.

Among the other resolutions passed was a call for an increase of lay participation in the commission, councils and other bodies of the Anglican Communion and the hope that a Director of Theological Education be appointed to the staff of the Communion Office.

Two final resolutions gathered a great deal of support and unanimous agreement.

The first was moved by Harriet Baka Nathan of the Congo entitled “practical strategies for implementing the Marks of Mission”. It called on the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion to identify practical strategies to support the provinces of the Communion in the areas of land disputes; the trade, diffusion and misuse of small arms; border disputes; narcotics and alcohol abuse; youth unemployment and crime; and the trafficking, abuse and abduction of children and women.

More here-

Archbishop of Canterbury: "My successor needs a newspaper in one hand and a Bible in the other"

From ACNS-

Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams said today that his successor was going to have to map the Biblical vision of humanity and community onto the worst situations in society.

Speaking at the final media conference after the end of the Anglican Consultative Council in New Zealand, Archbishop Williams said the issues discussed at the meeting--including environmental change and ending domestic violence--were "actually questions about what kind of humanity we're seeking to promote and serve, which is a deeply Christian question."

He said he thought that when people were probing the church on certain issues, they were actually asking how the church could help them “be really human”.

“We believe as a church we have unparalleled resources for enriching humanity that way.”
In response to a question about what qualities the next Archbishop of Canterbury needs to have, he quoted Karl Barth who he described as "the greatest theologian of the 20th century."

"I think it was put very well by a theologian of the last century who said, 'You have to preach with a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other'.

More here-

‘Communion actually works,’ ACC members conclude

From ENS-

One of the headlines for the Anglican Consultative Council’s 12-day meeting that concluded here on Nov. 7 (local time) ought to be, in the words of one of its members, “the Anglican Communion actually works.”

“It’s alive and well, it’s exciting, it’s mission-focused … I want to honor the fact that this time we are really together,” said Suzanne Lawson, Anglican Church of Canada, during a reflection session just before the end of the meeting.

The Rev. Maria Christina Borges Alvarez of Cuba told the council that the message she will take back home is about “the great commitment the Anglican Communion has in terms of gender justice, the elimination of violence — environment justice as well.”

The council passed resolutions related to each of those issues during its Oct. 27-Nov. 7 meeting held primarily at Holy Trinity Cathedral here.

And while the Very Rev. Herman Browne, Church of the Province of West Africa, said he thought the ACC “is becoming more and more a forum where real diversities can be heard and valued,” the Ven. Canon Moses Chin, Church of the Province of South East Asia, remarked on “how long it takes to agree on anything.”

More here-

Robert W. Castle Jr., Episcopal Priest Who Turned Anger Into Activism, Dies at 83

From The New York Times-

The Rev. Robert W. Castle Jr., an outspoken Episcopal priest in Harlem who was the subject of Jonathan Demme’s acclaimed 1992 documentary, “Cousin Bobby” — and who went on to a film acting career as a result — died on Oct. 27 at his home in Holland, Vt. He was 83.

The death, of natural causes, was confirmed by his family.

Father Castle, who really was Mr. Demme’s cousin, was the rector of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, a largely black and Hispanic congregation on West 126th Street, near Broadway, from 1987 until his retirement in 2000.

There, he ran an energetic ministry in which spirituality and social action were indissolubly linked, relishing his role as “an obdurate whirligig fulminating against the establishment,” as N. R. Kleinfield wrote in The New York Times in 1996.

Mr. Demme, the Oscar-winning director of “The Silence of the Lambs” and other feature films, had been out of touch with his cousin for decades. In the late 1980s, he read a newspaper article describing Father Castle’s practice of plastering irate notices on the windshields of cars that were parked illegally on the church sidewalk, blocking congregants’ access.

More Here-

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Nigerian Christians ask for prayer to end violence

From Christian Today-

Nigerian Anglicans are asking Christians around the world to pray and fast for an end to violence in the country.

Northern Nigeria has been hit by a wave of deadly attacks on churches, mostly blamed on Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

At least seven people were killed and dozens injured in a suicide bombing during mass at a Catholic church in Kaduna last week.

Archbishop Ikechi Nwachukwu Nwosu told the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) meeting in New Zealand that the situation for Christians in Nigeria was "terrible".

He appealed to Christians to lobby their governments to intervene in the situation in Nigeria.

Christians in the country are uniting in a week of prayer and fasting starting on 12 November and they are asking believers around the world to join with them.

Fellow ACC member Abraham Yisa said: "Churches are being bombed every Sunday, especially in the northern part [of the country].

"The situation is that people are refusing to go to church or when they go to church they don’t know whether they’ll return home. Services during the week are disrupted, people are afraid to worship."

More here-

ACC: New members of the Standing Committee appointed

From ACNS-

On the penultimate day of the Anglican Consultative Meeting in Auckland, New Zealand the members of the Council elected six members to serve on the Standing Committee. It is expected that the Standing Committee will hold its first meeting in April or May of 2013.

The council consist of 15 members including:

President: The Archbishop of Canterbury
Chair: Bishop James Tengatenga, Central Africa
Vice Chair: Canon Elizabeth Paver, England
The Rt Revd Ian T Douglas, a continuing member from The Episcopal Church
There are five Primates elected by the Primates:
The Most Revd Dr Paul Kwong (Hong Kong)
The Most Revd Sammuel Azariah (Pakistan)
The Most Revd David Chillingworth (Scotland)
The Most Revd Dr Daniel Deng Bul Yak (Sudan)
The Most Revd Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori (The Episcopal Church)

Thirteen people were nominated and the following six were elected. As part of the nomination process each was asked to share an information paragraph.

More here-

Smart money bets against the apocalypse

From Tennessee-

I recently ran across a very interesting sermon posted on a blog called "Below the Surface," by the Rev. Matthew Dutton-Gillette, rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Menlo, Calif. The sermon is called "Saints, Mayans and the End." It deals with the human fascination with apocalyptic events — the end of time as we know it. defines "apocalypse" as prophetic revelation, especially concerning a cataclysm in which the forces of good triumph over the forces of evil. In the Christian tradition, the word refers to the "Revelation of John." Today, however, the term apocalypse has come to be known as any destructive event that might bring an end to the world.

Predictions of world-ending events have popped up throughout history. The big one making the rounds these days is the one surrounding the Mayan calendar, which some say ends on Dec. 21 of this year, marking the end of civilization.

Some of the remaining Mayan elders say that the end of the calendar signals a new cycle, not a catastrophe — but what do they know? Modern students of apocalyptic events blend together the predictions of Nostradamus, a 16th-century pharmacist who wrote vague predictions in Latin, the Mayan calendar and who knows what other t
raditions as proof positive that things are about to end.

More here-

How Will the New Coptic Pope Deal with the New Islamist Egypt?

From Time-

Transparency on any level has never really been a modern Egyptian strongpoint. Crucial transitional moments — like Hosni Mubarak’s ouster or President Mohamed Morsy outmaneuvering his rival, the Defense Minister who was also head of the military junta, in August — tend to happen behind closed doors. The public generally finds out who the new boss is via opaque communiqué.

So the leadership of Egypt’s Coptic Church gets marks for conducting a truly transparent papal-selection process — literally and physically transparent. On Sunday morning, following a lengthy and lavish special Mass, the names of the remaining three candidates were written on pieces of paper. Each was folded and sealed inside a clear glass ball.

Read more:

also here USA Today

Prominent clergy taking part in Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts on Staten Island

From Staten Island-

Prominent clergy of many faiths have visited areas of Staten Island ravaged by Hurricane Sandy, consoling the victims and raising various donations for the needy.

Episcopal Bishop Andrew Dietsche was at Christ Church New Brighton on Sunday to help sort through donations, including a shipment of clothes collected by the West Side JCC in Manhattan. Deacon Beverly Neuhaus, the director of Richmond Senior Services, took the bishop to visit affected parishioners in South Beach, Midland Beach and Tottenville, including a stop at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Tottenville.

Episcopal Bishop Mark Sisk met the Rev. Roy Cole at St. John's Episcopal Church in Rosebank, which experienced the most storm damage of any Episcopal Church on the Island. The bishop was shown the steeple which was badly damaged by the hurricane. Bishop Sisk and Fr. Cole then visited Midland Beach and St. Stephen's Church.

More here-

Rayford High elected, installed as Fort Worth’s provisional bishop

From ENS-

The Rt. Rev. Rayford High was elected and installed as the third provisional bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth during the 30th Diocesan Convention Nov. 3 at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas.

The convention was voting on the Sept. 19 recommendation of the diocesan Standing Committee, which had called High to serve as its next provisional bishop. High served as bishop suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas from 2003-2011.

High succeeds the Rt. Rev C. Wallis Ohl, who retired as provisional bishop at the end of the diocesan convention. Ohl issued a call for the election of a bishop diocesan, a process that can take more than two years.

More here-

Episcopal Relief & Development supports Sandy relief efforts

From ENS-

Thanks to the generosity of Episcopalians from around the country, Episcopal Relief & Development is in the process of making emergency grants to impacted dioceses in support of parish-based relief activities following superstorm Sandy. In the United States, these funds will help congregations expand feeding ministries and facilitate the provision of shelter and transportation assistance for those in need. In the Caribbean, Episcopal Relief & Development support is helping to secure food, water and building materials for distribution in critically impacted areas.

Superstorm Sandy hit the Caribbean on Oct. 25 before turning north along the U.S. East Coast and making landfall in central New Jersey on Oct. 29, causing severe damage. At least 181 people were killed by the storm, including 110 in the United States. Episcopal Relief & Development has been working with leaders from the heavily impacted Episcopal dioceses of New York, Long Island, New Jersey, Newark and Connecticut to meet community needs. The organization also continues to support the Episcopal dioceses of Haiti and the Dominican Republic as they mobilize local resources and reach out to those hardest hit.

More here-

Monday, November 5, 2012

Five church properties sold, debt erased for Anglican Diocese of B.C.

From British Columbia-

A year ago, the Anglican Diocese of B.C. made the traumatic and dramatic decision to sell nine Vancouver Island church properties or see its $1.2-million debt escalate further.

The move has turned out to be a blessing, despite the turmoil it caused for members whose families had attended the historic congregations for generations.

Five of the nine church properties have sold, the accumulated debt of the diocese is gone, and its financial future and mission potential have been "helped tremendously" for the next several years, said Chris Pease, the diocese's asset manager.

Listed at $175,000 to $1.4 million, sale prices came "very close" to asking prices, he said.

In combination with cuts to expenditures, the diocese has paid off its accumulated debt, and will use some of the proceeds "to finance the annual operating deficit until revenues and expenses are back in balance," Pease said in an email.

Leases and future sales of the unsold properties will support ministry initiatives and upgrade and maintain buildings within the diocese.

Read more:

Archbishop of Canterbury: "Beware the danger of becoming less than we aspire to be as a Communion"

From ACNS-

In his final Presidential address, the Archbishop of Canterbury this evening told the Anglican Communion not to accept second best, but to seek a balance between corrective authority and enabling authority while still doing God’s work.

Speaking in St Mary’s Church1, Archbishop Williams said the fellowship of Anglican churches worldwide needed to “be aware of the danger of becoming less than we aspire to be as a Communion.”

“I think that we do aspire to be a consensual catholic and orthodox family,” he told the members of the Anglican Consultative Council gathered for evening prayer. “I believe we do aspire to be a family that lives in mutual respect and recognition. And to step back from that simply into a federal model...doesn’t seem to me to be the best and the greatest that God is asking from us as an Anglican family."

Archbishop Rowan said he believed Anglicans have a message to give the Christian world about how they can be “both catholic and orthodox and consensual, working in freedom, mutual respect and mutual restraint; without jeopardising the important local autonomy of our churches.”

More here-

Episcopal Relief & Development Supports Impacted Dioceses after Superstorm Sandy

From ERD-

Episcopal Relief & Development is working alongside diocesan and parish leaders to distribute relief supplies, food and water aid to people directly impacted by Superstorm Sandy. The storm system hit the Caribbean on October 25 before turning north along the US East Coast and making landfall in central New Jersey on October 29, causing severe damage. At least 157 people were killed by the storm, including 88 in the US.

In Haiti, those still living in temporary shelters and tent camps established after the 2010 earthquake were among the hardest hit by the storm. The destruction of crops in the agricultural southern part of the country has led to concerns about high prices and potential shortages of fresh food. Episcopal Relief & Development, in collaboration with the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti, is sourcing food and water for distribution in critically impacted areas, and will help communities replace roofing and other materials lost to this latest crisis.

In the Episcopal Diocese of New York, Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting local diocesan and parish leaders in addressing difficulties caused by the fifth consecutive day of widespread power outages and lack of transportation. A major concern for the churches within the City of New York are people who live on upper floors in high rise apartment buildings and are unable to acquire or transport water and food to their homes. Relief efforts are underway to connect those communities in highly vulnerable parts of the New York City with church communities and volunteers who are able to provide and deliver supplies.

More here-

New Haven church without walls serves homeless

From Connecticut-

Don Coviello makes the trip in from Milford every Sunday to worship in the Chapel on the Green.

The outdoor service aimed at the city’s homeless, where they can get something to eat and enjoy the camaraderie of a church community in addition to an Episcopal service, is what spirituality is all about, he said.

“This is a real church,” said Coviello, as he and his grandson, David Rivera, 15, participated in an art project, a special feature offered by Sarah Hovick and Evie Lindemann before the service this week.

The Chapel on the Green was celebrating four years in existence, and hasn’t missed a single Sunday except when Tropical Storm Irene came through last year.

It is part of the programs sponsored by the Trinity Episcopal Church.

“They are ministering to these people who would not have the experience of the Eucharist right outside. Some people feel strange about coming into church,” Coviello said.

More here-

Faith column: Recovering from Sandy

From Boston-

One of the perks of living next door to a church is easy access to candelabra. This may not seem like a big deal unless you're setting up a haunted house in your cellar or doing your best Liberace impression, but it comes in handy when the power goes out.

Here on Boston's South Shore, we were spared the worst of this week's "Frankenstorm," but at the St. John's rectory we did lose power twice for a few hours.

Having gone without power for a week following a hurricane when we lived in New York with two toddlers, the flickering lights still make me twitch.

This time, thanks to a plethora of candle stubs and said candelabra, we were all lit up at the rectory.
And by "lit up" I'm not referring to any pre-Sandy run to the liquor store but having the whole family awash in candlelight.

For me, one of the enduring images of Scripture is Jesus calming a storm on the Sea of Galilee (Mark 4:35-41). Sure, it would have been nice to have had Jesus doing the same down in New Jersey and other places on Monday; to cry out "Be still!" and have the wind and rain obey. While I don't doubt that he could, the danger here is reducing Jesus to little more than a glorified Mother Nature.

More here-

Anglican Consultative Council Digest: Nov. 5

From ENS-

Much happens each day during the Anglican Consultative Council‘s (ACC) 15th meeting. In addition to Episcopal News Service’s other coverage, here’s some of what else went on Nov. 5 (local time), the 10th day of the Oct. 27-Nov. 7 gathering.

Members debrief on weekend ‘Mission Encounters’

ACC members spent two hours discussing at table groups and then reporting a summary of the insights they gained over the Nov. 3-4 weekend as they worshipped with and talked with Anglicans in Auckland and other parts of the province, and learn about their mission and ministry.

“All of us felt we were given a huge gift” during the so-called “Mission Encounters,” said Helen Biggin, ACC member from the Church in Wales. “Many us feel we have a lot to learn from New Zealand.”

More here-

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Red zone like Beirut – Archbishop

From New Zealand (with video)

The head of the Anglican church has seen firsthand the state of Christchurch’s quake-damaged Anglican cathedral.

But Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, wouldn't be drawn on whether he thinks the building should be saved.

Dr Williams says he sent prayers of hope to Christchurch every time he heard there was an earthquake.

Today he saw for himself just what 12,000 aftershocks have done to the city, including the Anglican cathedral.

The Archbishop was taken on a bus tour of the red zone. He says he was stung by the devastation.

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Christians across Pittsburgh help evolve approach to adoption

From Pittsburgh-

Among stacks of movies, family photos and Christian-themed books in Rob and Amanda Szenyeri's Cranberry home is a sign that reads, "Grant me the patience to deal with my blessings."

The parents of four, who adopted an infant from Ethiopia last year, try to live by those words.

On a recent Wednesday evening, Mr. and Mrs. Szenyeri, both 36, prepared dinner for 9-year-old Eli, 6-year-old Hank, 4-year-old Trey and the newest addition to their family: a joyful 20-month-old girl named Sidame, nicknamed Mae.

The couple adopted Mae in September 2011 through All God's Children, a Portland, Ore.-based Christian adoption agency.

"She was meant to be with us," Mrs. Szenyeri said. "God has a plan for her life."

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