Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Kenya: Making of Women Bishops in Kenya

From Kenya-

The recent appointment of the Rev Libby Lane as Bishop Suffragan of Stockport, the first ever woman bishop in the Church of England (CoE), will without doubt excite those who have pushed to have Women bishops in the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK).

This news in equal measure will irritate conservatives within the ACK who had clung to the robes of tradition as their excuse, now that the CoE 'mother church' has changed its long held position on women episcopacy. The import of this appointment is the springing of demands for the same action in the ACK by those who adjudged the moratoria on the women bishops concentration imposed by the house of Bishops and the provincial synod in October 2014 a blockade.

More here-

Strangers become key to family’s survival

From Cincinnati-

A horrible tragedy that changed the lives of a Hartwell family in June 2013 has mobilized a community that helped a mother pick up the pieces for herself and her three young children.

Ornuma Ao‘s husband, Richard Evans, was shot and killed on a summer during a robbery at his restaurant, Cosmic Pizza. His death left her alone, in a foreign country, with no friends or family.

A neighbor who happened to drive past, as Evans fell to the ground, stopped and called 911, then offered comfort to Ao (pronounced “O”) and her children, Jimmy, Zoey and Ashton.

That outreach continues today, and Ao’s circle of friends has expanded beyond her neighborhood, to Wyoming, where members of Ascension and Holy Trinity Church, St. James of the Valley and Wyoming Presbyterian Church have filled every need, and the family had many.

More here-

Episcopal Diocese of Maryland Says They Knew About Heather Cook's DUI Before Electing Her as Bishop

From Christian Post-

As outrage and criticism continue to mount over the hit-and-run death of a cyclist at the hands of Heather Cook, 58, the first female bishop of the Episcopal Church of Maryland on Saturday, the Diocese has revealed that they knew about her 2010 DUI before she was elected as bishop earlier this year.

Cook, who's the second-highest ranking official in the Diocese, hit 41-year-old married father of two, Thomas Palermo, as he cycled on a Baltimore roadway Saturday afternoon then fled the scene as he lay dying. She only returned to the scene later after other cyclists reportedly chased her down. Authorities say they are investigating the incident and have refused to release any details.


 Court records highlighted by the Baltimore Sun reveal that in September 2010 Cook was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, possession of marijuana and paraphernalia in Caroline County. She registered a .27 blood alcohol level, more than three times the legal limit in Maryland.

According to The Associated Press the reporting officer highlighted that at the time of the incident Cook was driving on the shoulder at 29 mph in a 50 mph-zone with a shredded front tire. Her vehicle reeked of alcohol and she had vomit streaming down the front of her shirt. She was so intoxicated, he noted, she couldn't finish a field sobriety test as there were concerns she would fall and hurt herself.

More here-

Left Behind in the Mainline: Witnessing Within The Episcopal Church

From Christian Post-

One such individual is the Rev. Charles D. Alley, Ph.D., of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia.

In an interview with The Christian Post, Dr. Alley explained that when it comes to his congregation remaining in The Episcopal Church, "divorce is not an option for us."

"Each of us individually and corporately must discern the path of obedience that God has willed for us. We have discerned a call to stay in TEC and to provide an example of an authentic Anglican identity," said Alley.

More here-

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Lord Carey and bishop’s chaplain join call for Parliament to re-open Assisted Dying debate

From The Tablet-

Pressure is mounting on the Government to legalise assisted dying after a coalition of public figures, including a former Archbishop of Canterbury, wrote a letter urging parties to commit to a debate regardless of the outcome of the next general election.

Lord Carey, Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain and the philosopher AC Grayling were among 80 signatories to the letter to the Daily Telegraph today.

Canon Rosie Harper, chaplain to the Anglican Bishop of Buckingham, Alan Wilson, also signed the letter.

In it they welcomed the progress that had been made in the campaign to legalise assisted dying in the past year.

More here-

At a Manhattan Soup Kitchen, Food on the Table and Chops on the Piano

From The New York Times- (with video)

The line of men — they are almost all men — backs up around the corner on West 28th Street in Manhattan, turns and follows the iron fence line along Ninth Avenue and through the gates of the Church of the Holy Apostles. A worker at the door hands each a ticket, and from that point on, they are referred to as guests.

They file through a narrow hall and enter the Episcopal church’s sanctuary, an arching vault shot through with color from the stained-glass windows. The men accept trays, and empty plates quickly fill with roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, half-cobs of sweet corn, milk and chocolate pudding.

More here-

Episcopal bishop involved in bicycle crash has DUI record

From Baltimore- (with video)

Moncure Lyon and other bystanders had stopped to help a badly injured cyclist on Roland Avenue on Saturday afternoon when a Subaru with heavy windshield damage drove by. Lyon wondered: Was this the car that had hit Thomas Palermo and left the scene?

There was only one way to find out. Lyon, 65, jumped on his Bianchi Steel Chromo bike and followed the vehicle as it drove away. He caught up with it at a stoplight and continued to follow as the car entered a nearby gated apartment community.

"I thought that car was involved in a potentially fatal hit-and-run of a biker, and I needed to get that license plate number," Lyon said Monday.

More here-

Monday, December 29, 2014

Pope Francis’s edict on climate change will anger deniers and US churches

From Guardian-

He has been called the “superman pope”, and it would be hard to deny that Pope Francis has had a good December. Cited by President Barack Obama as a key player in the thawing relations between the US and Cuba, the Argentinian pontiff followed that by lecturing his cardinals on the need to clean up Vatican politics. But can Francis achieve a feat that has so far eluded secular powers and inspire decisive action on climate change?

It looks as if he will give it a go. In 2015, the pope will issue a lengthy message on the subject to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, give an address to the UN general assembly and call a summit of the world’s main religions.

More here-

The Christmas Truce, 100 Years Later

From Bishop Whalon-

We get “joyous” from “joyeux.” The English say “happy” Christmas, Americans have kept that lovely word “merry” alive. “Noël” is a mysterious word, not Latin or Greek or even Hebrew in origin. Originally it was a cheer when the king visited or the queen gave birth or French arms won a victory. Hooray for the newborn Prince of Peace! Noël!

Joyeux Noël is also the name of a film that came out nine years ago. It depicts an event that happened exactly one hundred years ago today. On Christmas Day 1914, French, British and German troops declared a truce in order to celebrate Christmas together. The high commands hated that it happened, devised policies to stop it from happening again, and did not allow any mention of the truce. Yet rumors were rife, soldiers recorded it in diaries and drawings, and gradually the story came out, well after the Great War was over.

Episcopal bishop tied to deadly Roland Park hit-and-run

From Maryland-

A spokesperson from the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland confirmed that a bishop was involved in a deadly hit-and-run of a bicyclist in Roland Park Saturday afternoon.

58-year-old Heather Elizabeth Cook, Bishop Suffragan of Maryland, was driving a Subaru that struck and killed the bicyclist, 41-year-old Thomas Palermo.

In an email sent to the clergy of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, the Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton told members that Cook "has been placed on administrative leave, effective immediately."

Sutton also said that Cook first drove off after striking Palermo's bike, but then returned to the scene approximately 20 minutes later "to take responsibility for her actions."

More here-

Update here-

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God

From The Wall Street Journal-

In 1966 Time magazine ran a cover story asking: Is God Dead? Many have accepted the cultural narrative that he’s obsolete—that as science progresses, there is less need for a “God” to explain the universe. Yet it turns out that the rumors of God’s death were premature. More amazing is that the relatively recent case for his existence comes from a surprising place—science itself.

Here’s the story: The same year Time featured the now-famous headline, the astronomer Carl Sagan announced that there were two important criteria for a planet to support life: The right kind of star, and a planet the right distance from that star. Given the roughly octillion—1 followed by 24 zeros—planets in the universe, there should have been about septillion—1 followed by 21 zeros—planets capable of supporting life.

More here-

7 Secrets Your Pastors Wish They Could Tell You (But Probably Won’t)

From Church Leaders-

Most pastors I know have clear calls to ministry, work long hours, carry battle scars, sometimes get discouraged, and struggle to balance vocation and family.

They really do have servants’ hearts, but they are human and there are a few considerate things the people in the pews can do to support their pastors. If you could be a fly on the wall when pastors talk amongst themselves, you may be quite surprised by what you hear and how often you would hear the same things over and over.

Here are seven things your pastor would love to tell you (but probably won’t):

Atlanta Bishop: Jesus’ ‘inconvenient’ birth brings people together, lights the world’s darkness

From Atlanta-

Episcopalians gathered Tuesday for 2014 Christmas Eve services at The Cathedral of St. Philip heard their bishop say that the “inconvenient” birth of Jesus gives everyone who gathers in his name the gift of hope for peace in a violent world.

The Right Reverend Robert C. Wright, the son of a church musician, sang verses from Christmas hymns and secular tunes to illustrate to his key points.

“What would Christmas be without music and singing?  O Come All ye faithful, Joyful and Triumphant, come all ye citizens of Bethlehem.  Or, Silent Night, Holy Night, all is calm all is bright,” Wright said. “Or, Augusta Georgia’s own James Brown’s contribution, to Christmas music,“Santa Claus go straight to the ghetto, hitch up your reindeer and go straight to the ghetto.” 

More here-

Episcopal Church Gives Factory New Life

From Connecticut-

On Pratt Street, a three-story building stands alone against the sky. A cross in a top floor window provides a sign that life has returned to this once-dormant factory.

Many in Meriden remember when the sprawling structure housed the New Departure ball bearing company, employing 5,000 during World War II. Today, the top floor is home to the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut.

"When I told the retired clergy that we would be moving to a broken down mill town, they were skeptical," says Connecticut's Episcopal bishop, the Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, of the recent move from Hartford to Meriden. "But as soon as they entered this space, their view changed. They got it! We were able to bring the past, present and future together all in one room."

More here-

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Archbishop of Canterbury has pneumonia, needs 'bed rest'

From Ecumenical News-

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is suffering from pneumonia, it was announced the day after he was forced to forgo preaching at the annual Canterbury Cathedral Christmas service.

On Christmas Day Lambeth Palace had posted a message on its website saying, "The Archbishop had been due to deliver an address on the true spirit of Christmas but cancelled on Thursday morning as he was too unwell."

Read more:

Year of Pope Francis: no wonder Iveagh House wanted to get back in on the action

From Ireland-

When Ireland’s new Ambassador to the Holy See, Emma Madigan, was chatting to Pope Francis in the pontifical library the day she presented her diplomatic credentials last month, the pope at one point told her: “You know, before the conclave last year the bookmakers were quoting me at 25/1, and then look what happened.”

If Francis’s election in 2013 saw the triumph of a 25/1 shot, what price do we put on the rapid turnaround – even U-turnaround – in Irish-Vatican relations now as compared with three years ago? Those were the days when Taoiseach Enda Kenny, rightly in the opinion of many, accused the Holy See of being dominated by a culture of “dysfunction, disconnection, elitism and narcissism”.

More here-

Friday, December 26, 2014

Bill will put women bishops at head of queue for House of Lords

From The Church Times-

AS THE Bishop currently at the head of the queue, the Bishop of Lincoln might have been expected to be a little put-out by plans to enable his female colleagues to enter the House of Lords before him.                   

Instead, as the Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill received its first parliamentary reading, the Rt Revd Christopher Lowson, welcomed the news.

"On the one hand, this is quite frustrating," he said on Thursday, "because greater Lincolnshire is under-represented in the House of Lords. . .

"However, far more frustrating has been the wait for women to be able to be ordained bishop, and for an anachronism to be consigned to history. For that to happen completely, it is absolutely right that women bishops are fully represented in all levels of society, parliament and the Church, and I look forward very much to seeing that happen."

More here-

Daughter of atheists now Anglican bishop tackling poverty

From Canada-

Jane Alexander was a teenager before she set foot in a church, and she wasn’t baptized until she was in her mid-20s with her first child.

Her parents, confirmed atheists, actively discouraged religion but encouraged music in their young soprano. That was her window into Christian faith and it changed her life, eventually.

Soft-spoken with a disarming smile, Alexander has been Edmonton’s Anglican bishop for the past six years. She’s one of a handful of females who hold this prominent job in Canada.

She has also just taken on a major leadership role in the city as head of Mayor Don Iveson’s ambitious task force on poverty.

More here-

End of an era for Jebel Ali Anglican church

From UAE-

 Christmas will be a bitter-sweet affair for Reverend Canon Stephen Wright as the Anglican chaplain draws the curtain on more than a decade of service to worshippers at Christ Church Jebel Ali.

For 11 years Rev Wright, who is married with three children, has overseen a multinational congregation.

“Our congregation ends up being quite multinational. Some of them come because it’s English language. There is a family from Madagascar that comes here because there’s no French service for their children, whereas if you were a Malayalam-language worshipper, everyone [in attendance would be] Indian.

“It doesn’t matter what denomination or sect you’re in, in our congregation we have people from all different groups.”

More here-

Can you question the Virgin Birth and still be a Christian?

From Crux Now-

It’s a tough sell: A young, unmarried teenager gets pregnant, but the father isn’t a man but God himself. And the girl is a virgin — and (some believe) remains one even after she delivers a strapping baby boy.

That’s the story of the Virgin Birth, one of the central tenets of faith for the world’s 2 billion Christians. The story is embraced by every branch of Christianity, from Eastern Orthodoxy to Mormonism, Catholic and Protestant.

More here-

Christmas in Havana

From New Hampshire-

Cuba certainly has been in the news. Having lived there for a year in the 1980’s, traveled to the island many times, and having seen my son just return from his Young Adult Service Corps volunteer year in Cuba this past July, my reaction to the plan to resume diplomatic relations with Cuba is that it may very well be the beginning of a long process of lasting change. In these final days of Advent waiting, expectation and hope, many of us have been waiting and hoping for some good news to come out of Cuba for decades. I thank God for this development. Our five decades long policy of isolation, in my opinion, has not worked. I believe that Americans should be able to travel to Cuba freely, as we do in China and Vietnam. With increased travel and communication the expectation is that seeds of change will be planted.

More here-

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

'Super-astute' Welby faces big challenges ahead

From The BBC-

At an orphanage just outside Freetown in Sierra Leone, the Archbishop of Canterbury looks totally at ease as he not only watches, smiling, but takes part as the children sing to greet him.

Most of them have lost parents to Ebola. Some, though, have survived the virus, but cannot return to their homes because other villagers still fear they might infect others.

It is a brief trip, but there is just enough time for Archbishop Justin Welby to offer a heartfelt prayer to the congregation at St George's Cathedral in Freetown where his visit is warmly welcomed as a sign that the suffering of the people of Sierra Leone - and the over 2,000 who have died of Ebola there - is not forgotten.

More here-

Church of England still homophobic, says bishop

From The Guardian-

The Church of England is still guilty of “serious institutional homophobia” and has yet to overcome “inertia and ignorance” towards same-sex couples, an Anglican bishop has claimed.

Alan Wilson, the bishop of Buckingham, praised gay members of the clergy for showing “considerable courage and determination” as they fight deeply ingrained prejudices to marry.

“In very few years people will wonder what the fuss was all about,” the bishop says in a Christmas sermon for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community recorded for Pink News. He adds: “But for now it’s a path that calls for considerable courage and determination. So please spare a thought this Christmas for them.”

More here-

Pope gives Vatican leadership a withering critique

From The Boston Globe-

At the end of a tumultuous year for the Catholic Church, in which divisions among senior leadership over the direction being set by Pope Francis were at times glaringly apparent, the pontiff on Monday delivered a blistering critique of arrogance, careerism, gossip, and division in the Vatican.

Among other points, the pope denounced what he called “spiritual Alzheimer’s,” meaning “a progressive decline in spiritual faculties,” leading people to “build walls around themselves” and to make “idols” of their personal habits.

More here-

Memorable quotes from Pope Francis in 2014

From USA Today-

Pope Francis had a meaningful year.

He spread goodwill across the world, tweeted inspiration from his handle @Pontifex, remarked on social issues like gay marriage and euthanasia and cast a critical eye onto the Catholic church itself.

Take a look at memorable quotes from his 2014:

1. "Let no one use God as a shield while planning and carrying out acts of violence and oppression," and, "May no one use religion as a pretext for actions against human dignity and against the fundamental rights of every man and woman." - During his September visit to Albania.

More here-

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tallest cross erected on city’s historic church

From India-

The historic Anglican church in the diamond city has been adorned with the tallest 10 feet high illuminating cross.

Thanks to the Friends of Churches (FOC), a small group of Christian youths promoting welfare and development activities of the churches across the state, this is first of its kind cross structure to be ever erected on the church in the entire state.

Samir Frank, president, FOC said, "Erecting 10 feet tall cross weighing more than 90 kilograms on the historic church was quite a challenge for us. But, we accepted the challenge and succeeded in erecting the tallest cross ever in Gujarat. Even after 200 years of its existence, the church structure is well maintained."

More here-

Priest who left ministry to marry replaced by married priest

From Irish Times-

A Catholic parish priest who has left the ministry to marry will this week be replaced in his English parish by a married priest with three children.

Last June, Fr Philip Gay celebrated 25 years as a priest at Coventry’s St Thomas More parish in the Catholic archdiocese of Birmingham. In October his parishioners were told he had decided to stand down from ministry “after careful consideration and for personal reasons”, so he could consider his future.

More here-

Anglican Archbishop Welby Talks Coping With Death of Young Daughter; Says He Doesn't Attempt to Answer Why God Allows Suffering

From Christian Post-

Church of England leader the Most Rev Justin Welby has opened up in an interview about the death of his first born child, 7-month-old daughter Johanna, who died in a tragic car accident. Welby said that he never attempts to answer why God allows suffering in the world, other than to point out that Jesus Christ was also young and unfairly killed.

The Archbishop of Canterbury told BBC Radio 4 that Johanna's death in 1983 is a "constant reminder of the uncertainty of life," and recalled the day of the tragedy, when his wife Caroline was being driven through Paris in the passenger seat, while their daughter was in a carrycot in the back.

More here-

Monday, December 22, 2014

How Dickens and Scrooge Saved Christmas

From The Daily Beast-

When A Christmas Carol was published just in time for the Christmas of 1843, the holiday had been in a long decline in England. The habit of celebrating Christmas had flourished there in medieval times as a wanton combination of marking Christ’s birth, the Roman orgy of Saturnalia, and the German winter festival, Yule.

Although the Anglican Church still held considerable power over the customs of Victorian England the observation of Christmas was, by then, more doctrinal than hedonistic. The folk memory of medieval community life had been wiped out by the industrial revolution. Large swathes of the countryside were depopulated. Rural churches were deserted, and the connection between the land and the bounty of harvests was gone.

More here-

If Mary and Joseph Tried to Reach Bethlehem Today, They Would Get Stuck at an Israeli Checkpoint

From Huffington-

'Tis the season of Nativity scenes. But here's a question to consider: would Joseph and Mary even have been able to reach Bethlehem if they were making that same journey today?
How would that carpenter and his pregnant wife have circumnavigated the Kafka­esque network of Israeli settlements, roadblocks and closed military zones in the occupied West Bank? Would Mary have had to experience labour or childbirth at a checkpoint, as one in ten pregnant Palestinian women did between 2000 and 2007 (resulting in the death of at least 35 newborn babies, according to the Lancet)?

"If Jesus were to come this year, Bethlehem would be closed," declared Father Ibrahim Shomali, a Catholic priest of the city's Beit Jala parish, in December 2011. "Mary and Joseph would have needed Israeli permission - or to have been tourists."

More here-

A Christian leader who is living in the real world

From The Financial Times-

Across much of the western world, Christmas has long lost its connotation as a religious festival and seems increasingly a moment for self-gratification. The UK is no exception in this regard. The number of Britons describing themselves as Christian has slumped dramatically in recent years. Today, only one in five identify themselves as Anglican — or members of the Church of England — down from 40 per cent of the population in the 1980s.

It is all the more remarkable therefore that nearly two years after he was appointed the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the spiritual leader of the Church of England, is becoming an increasingly respected moral voice. An energetic and plain-speaking figure who spent most of his early adult life as an oil industry executive, he is righty gaining in appeal not only among Anglicans but also with people outside the Christian faith.

More here-

Anglican Bishop: Koran Should Be Used at Prince Charles’s Coronation

From The Trumpet-

In late November, Lord Harries of Pentregarth proposed the Koran be used to open the coronation of Prince Charles during a House of Lords debate. It ignited an angry outburst.

The senior Church of England bishop said the Church of England should lead in “exercising its historic position in a hospitable way.” After acknowledging that authorities agreed at a civic service in Bristol Cathedral last year to read the Koran before the service, he said, “It was a brilliant creative act of accommodation that made the Muslim high sheriff feel … warmly embraced but did not alienate the core congregation.”

More here-

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Justin Welby 'trying to bridge gay marriage split'

From The BBC-

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said he is trying to bridge a split in the Anglican Church over same-sex marriage.

The Most Rev Justin Welby told Radio 4's Desert Island Discs he wanted to listen to both sides. He also admitted to moments of frustration on the issue.

He did not discuss his previous opposition to gay marriage, saying it would be "inappropriate" while the Church was debating it.

He also told the programme about growing up with an alcoholic father.

More here-

0 comments 'Literally a miracle:' Episcopal Diocese forgives $93,000 debt owed by independent Saginaw church

From Michigan-

If you ask the Rev. Eugene Burton, miracles are real.

The pastor of Christ Image Community Church in Saginaw will tell you he just experienced an early Christmas miracle when the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan erased a $93,000 debt owed by the independent church.

"It was literally a miracle for our congregation," Burton said.

'Practice what we believe'

Burton and his wife, the Rev. Melissa Burton, entered into a $125,000 land contract with the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan in 2010 to purchase the building at 708 W. Genesee, which formerly housed Calvary Memorial Episcopal Church.

More here-

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Traditional weddings threat as church faces unprecedented insurrection over gay marriage ban

From Scotland-

CHURCH leaders are facing an unprecedented insurrection amongst their own ministry over their gay marriage ban, with signals some clergy will not carry out any weddings until the matter is resolved.

In what has been described as the biggest crisis to engulf it in living memory, over 50 Scottish Episcopalian Church (SEC) clergy - around one in six - have signed a letter condemning the stance of their bishops over same-sex marriage.

Amongst the signatories are some of the SEC's most prominent figures, including current and former deans of three dioceses, essentially bishops' deputies and the equivalent of an archdeacon in the Church of England, and two provosts, the senior priests in Episcopalian cathedrals.

More here-

NH priest anxious to see what changes may come to Cuba

From New Hampshire-

The Rev. Mark Pendleton of Christ Episcopal Church in Exeter said he has witnessed the struggles of the small country, and, like others, he is very anxious to see what happens in its new chapter.

"Cubans, I think, have always done a very good job of distinguishing between U.S. foreign policy and American culture," Pendleton said.

Pendleton has made eight missionary trips to the island country. He said the church has been Cuba's connection to much of the world for the past half century.

"It's been a lifeline for this very isolated country, and hopefully with these changes, we'll be able to draw closer to a diocese that used to be a part of the American Episcopal church," he said.

Read more:

Friday, December 19, 2014

Bishop to continue midnight Mass tradition at Trinity

From Indiana-

 At 11 p.m. Christmas Eve, Bishop of Northern Indiana Edward Little – dressed in the traditional vestments of the ancient church – will carry a small bundle down the long aisle of Trinity Episcopal Church, 600 Franklin St.

In the quiet church lit by the flicker of more than 100 candles, Little will gently lay the figure of the baby Jesus in the manger next to his mother, Mary, starting the celebration of traditional Christmas midnight Mass.

More here-

Presiding Bishop makes historic visit to northern Haiti

From ENS-

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori recently became the first ever primate to visit northern Haiti.

“It is a very significant visit for us,” said the Rt. Rev. Ogé Beauvoir, bishop suffragan of the Diocese of Haiti, during a Dec. 15 interview with Episcopal News Service at the diocesan office in Pétionville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince.

Each Sunday Episcopalians in northern Haiti pray for the presiding bishop, said Beauvoir, who has lived in Cap-Haitien since becoming suffragan bishop in 2012, but with the exception of very few, they’ve never met her. As worshipers were boarding buses following the Dec. 14 Eucharist, they told Beauvoir, “’please express our thanks and love to our presiding bishop, tell her that we love her,’” he said.

More here-

Thursday, December 18, 2014

First woman bishop: ‘Now I hope to see more like me'

From The Telegraph-

She was once the stay-at-home vicar’s wife, putting her career on hold to look after their young children, but now the Rev Libby Lane has leapfrogged her husband to become the Church of England’s first female bishop.

Mrs Lane, 48, priest in charge of two busy parishes near Manchester, has been named as the next Bishop of Stockport, part of the Diocese of Chester, in the process becoming an unexpected symbol of women’s equality

The appointment comes a month after the Church’s ruling General Synod formally enacted a historic change to canon law admitting women to the episcopate.

More here-

First female rector admitted at St George’s Anglican

From The Caymans-

The Rev Mary Graham became the first priest from the Cayman Islands and the first woman to become Rector of St. George’s Anglican Church in Grand Cayman. After serving as Priest-in-Charge for one and a half years, she was admitted as the church’s fifth rector at a special service on Sunday, 14 December 2014.

Diocesan Bishop of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, the Rt Rev Dr Howard Gregory, was the Chief Celebrant, and Archdeacon of Kingston, the Venerable Patrick Cunningham, was the Presiding Archdeacon.

More here-

Anglican Bishops Threaten Showdown Over Deputy Gov’s Slot

From Nigeria-

Anglican Bishops under Enugu Ecclesiastical Province have threatened showdown if the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) failed to field an Anglican as running mate to the governorship candidate of the party, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.

The eight bishops advised the party to make an Anglican the deputy to its candidate if it wants to enjoy the support of Anglicans in the state.

Spokesman of the bishops and the Archbishop of Enugu Ecclesiastical Province, Most Rev Emmanuel Chukwuma, who addressed a press conference in Enugu along with five other bishops, alleged that despite the huge population and contribution of Anglicans in the development of the state, Chime’s government marginalised them in areas of lands, schools and political appointments.

According to him, since Ugwuanyi is a Roman Catholic, it would be wrong to field another Roman Catholic as running mate.

More here-

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Church of England Names Rev. Libby Lane as First Female Bishop

From The New York Times-

The Church of England on Wednesday named the Rev. Libby Lane, a priest for 20 years in the north of England, as its first female bishop, just weeks after church authorities took the final step to reverse centuries of canon law to begin what the archbishop of Canterbury called “a completely new phase of our existence.”

Ms. Lane, 48, who has served as a priest in several parts of the north of England, will be consecrated on Jan. 26, the Church of England said on its website.

More here-

The Telegraph-


From Tom Ehrich-

I wanted so much to applaud the final report issued yesterday by the Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church.

They are good people, they worked hard, and even though they were given an impossible assignment, they seem to have tried for fresh thinking about decline in the Episcopal Church.

As I read the report, I saw glimpses of fresh ideas. But in their actual recommendations, the task force took the easy road: they recommended structural and procedural changes for what are, essentially, not structural or procedural shortcomings. They have answered the wrong question.

In their call for a unicameral General Convention, for example, they raised an interesting model, and by limiting the bishops' participation to active bishops, they addressed a longstanding sore point.

More here-

Episcopalians, Here’s Your TREC Report Summary

From Church Work-

This week in the Episcopal blogosphere, many posts are being written in response to the TREC report. I’m probably going to write one myself fairly soon. Before I do, it seemed important to figure out exactly what the report recommends. And since I’m a blogger, I thought I’d share. Not everybody is going to wade through 70+ pages. Here are the TREC recommendations in less than 1000 words. NB: This is not an official summary.

First, a review:

The Task Force to Reimagine the Episcopal Church was created by a resolution passed unanimously at the 2012 General Convention. A task force was created

"whose purpose shall be to present the 78th General Convention with a plan for reforming the Church’s structures, governance, and administration"

More here-

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Desmond Tutu urges Pope Francis to meet Dalai Lama

From Ecumenical News-

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has appealed to Pope Francis to reconsider meeting the Dalai Lama saying he is deeply saddened by the Vatican's decision.

"I am very aware of the dilemma in which so many have been finding themselves with regard to their relationships with His Holiness and the People's Republic of China," Tutu said in a statement on December 15.

Nobel Peace Prize laureates met in Rome at the weekend but after Pope Francis had refused to grant an audience to Tibetan Buddhist leader the Dalai Lama, the 1989 laureate, for fear of offending China.

Read more:

Anglican Diocese Plans for 2015 Gubernatorial Elections

From Nigeria-

In its bid to promote free, fair and credible elections, the Anglican Church of Lagos Diocese has planned to mobilise, sensitise and monitor the 2015 elections in Lagos State, as indicated by Rev. James Odedeji, the Anglican Bishop of the Diocese.

He disclosed this in a press conference in Ikeja, Lagos, on Monday. He said that the process had been carried out for the past 15 years and it had been profitable to the state.

According to Bishop Odedeji, with the permission of the federal government, "we have set up a forum for candidates running for the Lagos gubernatorial election to say or read to the people their manifesto in their forth-coming Vintage Government Election Debate to hold in January."

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Religious-themed movies – helping or hurting the Christian story?

From ENS-

The latest in a slew of religious-themed films this year, “Exodus: Gods and Kings” starring Christian Bale as Moses, opened Dec. 12, but can it and others of its genre be considered Christian movies? And do they help – or hinder – the telling of the biblical story?

Some Episcopalians, like Faith Bryant of Highland, California, believe Hollywood’s creative license with movies like “Noah,” released in March and starring Russell Crowe as the ark-building patriarch, wreak havoc with beloved Bible stories.

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The Tyranny of Orthodoxy

From Huffington-

Advent is dangerous. In my case I commenced my personal discernment to leave formation to become a Roman Catholic priest.

After 9 years as a member of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) I grew tired of the tyranny of orthodoxy, and deeply frustrated with being forced to live within it. I could not lie about my sexual identity no matter how good an upper middle class lifestyle religious life gave me. I could not be dishonest with the people I'd joyfully serve. To me Advent is a time of birth and new birth, not a season to consolidate groupthink or to publicly worship within a faith system because it feels safe or familiar.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

TREC presents final report for General Convention 2015 consideration

From ENS-

The Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church (TREC) has presented its final report to the 78th General Convention and to the Church, and for inclusion in Reports to General Convention, commonly referred to as The Blue Book.

The report is available in English and Spanish.

TREC’s work was directed by Resolution C095, which was approved by the 77th General Convention in 2012, with the specific task of preparing recommendations to the 78th General Convention for reimaging and restructuring the church.

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