Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Church of England is homophobic, despite Justin Welby's trendy-vicar act

From The Guardian-

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has given an interview to the gay magazine PinkNews. Which is very trendy-vicar of him. He has also said that it was "great" that parliament passed the same-sex marriage bill. Except that that's not what he meant. He meant that it was "great" that parliament makes acts in a general sense. He remains against gay marriage himself. Though he also imagines that he's against homophobia.

Presumably, he thinks "homophobia" is being personally rude and aggressive to gay people because they are gay, but that asking them to kindly observe the "heterosexuals only" sign is fine, as long as one is polite about it. He is wrong. He and his church discriminate against people because of their sexuality, so the Anglican church is homophobic. Since it's an established part of the state, the state is homophobic. In part. It's all a bit of a curate's egg.

More here-

Nigerians must reject corrupt politicians in 2015, says Anglican bishop

From Nigeria-

Nigerians must take  their destinies in their hands and reject candidates without credible pedigrees at the 2015 general polls, the Bishop of Lagos West Diocese of the Anglican Communion, the Rt. Rev. James Odedeji, said yesterday.

He asked Nigerians to “shine their eyes” and make quality decisions that will deliver the dividends of democracy to them.

Odedeji spoke while delivering his state of the nation address at the official opening of the 3rd session of the 5th Synod at Archbishop Vinning Memorial Church Cathedral in Ikeja.

The synod attracted delegates from the diocese, including Bishops and lay members.

The deputy governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, was also in attendance.
Odedeji, who spoke on “We Will Serve the Lord”, said Christians must take more than passing interests in 2015 general elections, but “also shine our eyes to ensure that only credible candidates are elected into office”.

More here-

Statement from the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia

From Anglican News-

Following the sentencing to death of a pregnant Sudanese woman for refusing to abandon her Christian faith, the Anglican Archbishops of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia are calling on all people of good-will to raise their voices in protest.

Archbishops Brown Turei, Philip Richardson, and Winston Halapua, say it is hard to find words to describe the plight of the woman. The Archbishops believe people across all faiths, who seek charity, love, and justice, will find the court’s decision hateful and heartless

Meriam Ibrahim and her Christian husband were married in 2011. They have an 18-month-old son. A court, in the Sudan capital of Khartoum, has sentenced Meriam to flogging for marrying a non-Muslim and to death for abandoning the Muslim faith for Christianity.

More here-,-new-zealand-and-polynesia.aspx

Calif. court’s preliminary decision: return 27 properties to Episcopalians

From ENS (with links to the court documents)-

In a preliminary decision, a California court has ordered the return of 27 properties held by a breakaway group to the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin and has said that dioceses cannot opt to leave the Episcopal Church.

St. James Cathedral, the former diocesan offices, the Episcopal Camp and Conference Center near Yosemite National Park, the diocesan investment trust and 25 other church properties, valued at about $50 million, are included in the May 5 decision.

In the 41-page opinion in a case  brought by the Episcopal Church and its Diocese of San Joaquin, Fresno County Superior Court Judge Donald S. Black also said that “because a diocese is a geographical construct of the Church, it makes no sense that a diocese can ‘leave’ the Church; it does not exist apart from the Church.”

While individuals may exercise their right of freedom of religion to leave and form a new church in another religious denomination, “they cannot tell the Church that it no longer has a diocese in a particular geographical area such as San Joaquin,” Black concluded.

More here-

How N.C.'s next Episcopal bishop will be chosen

From East Carolina-

In the last few weeks, a group of four men and one woman wearing white clerical collars have been on a spiritual road trip of sorts, meeting hundreds of people in Southeastern North Carolina.

With each person they met, the questions followed them – is he (or she) the one?

The four are candidates to be the eighth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of East Carolina. They are: the Rev. Mimi Lacy, rector of St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in Greenville and the only candidate from the diocese; the Rev. David Pfaff, Canon to the Ordinary for the Bishop of Milwaukee; the Rev. Robert Skirving, rector of St. John's Episcopal Church in Midland, Mich.; and the Rev. Stephen Smith, rector of St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Dublin, Ohio.

The diocesan Special Convention to elect the next bishop will be Saturday, May 17, at Christ Episcopal Church in New Bern. You can watch the election results live at

More here-

Friday, May 16, 2014

Missing schoolgirls: Welby warns over difficulties of negotiation with Boko Haram

From Chuch Times-

THE whereabouts of more than 200 schoolgirls abducted in northern Nigeria remain unknown a month after their kidnapping. Never the less, the Archbishop of Canterbury has cautioned against military intervention by Western nations to find them.

Writing in the Church Times (below), Archbishop Welby says that defeating Boko Haram, the Islamist militants who snatched the teenagers from their school in Chibok, would take a combination of local police work, winning the hearts and minds of Muslims in the region, and economic development.

He also writes: "External intervention is always difficult. In the first place, our history as the colonial power, and the role of the USA in Iraq and Afghanistan, makes both countries (and indeed much of the 'Christian West') suspicious for many Muslims."

More here-

Anglicans and Catholics expect rewarding talks in South Africa

From Ecumenical News-

Anglican and Catholic theologians meeting in Durban, South Africa from May 12 to 20 are confident their  dialogue will make significant progress in bringing their churches closer.

The theme for the third phase of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission or ARCIC III is to explore the Church as Communion, local and universal, and how to discern correct ethical teaching together.

Archbishop David Moxon, the Anglican co-chair of the talks, said that new collaboration in mission has progressed. Moxon is the Archbishop of Canterbury's representative to the Holy See and director of the Anglican Centre in Rome, Vatican Radio reports.

More here-

Austin pastors pray for rain as drought drags on

From Texas-

Austin City Hall has looked to conservation and searched for additional sources of water to help deal with the persistent drought. On Thursday, a group of pastors came to City Hall to encourage Austin to appeal to a higher power.

The half-dozen or so pastors, speaking during the invocation that begins council meetings, urged the city to pray for rains that end the drought. Senior Pastor Will Davis, Jr. of Austin Christian Fellowship entreated God to fill Lake Travis so that it reaches 681 feet above sea level, which is considered full.

“Father, we are perhaps more concerned this drought might be from you, that you might be causing it or allowing it,” Davis said. He added that when “people you give favor to get distracted … sometimes you call for the rains to stop, that a people might do what we’re doing right now, stand before you and humble ourselves and return the rain to the land.”

More here-

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Decrying gay marriage, black pastors join legal fight

From USA Today-

 Declaring "the fight is on," a formidable coalition of conservative Christian groups filed legal briefs in federal appellate court Wednesday supporting Michigan's ban on gay marriage.

Representing potentially millions of worshippers in the state, the Michigan Catholic Conference, the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., and a national coalition of Baptists, Lutherans, Mormons and evangelicals led by Catholic bishops filed three separate briefs Wednesday in the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. The briefs back Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette in his efforts to defend the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, which was overturned earlier this year by a federal judge in Detroit.

More here-

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Bishop: Parishioners should switch to different church

From Virginia-

Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo has urged Roman Catholics attending a one-of-a-kind Catholic and Episcopal church to worship at a nearby parish because he has not been able to find a "suitable priest" to serve the blended congregation.

It was the latest round of adversity for a church that has battled to maintain its ecumenical mission in the face of flagging support in the Catholic hierarchy.

In a letter read Sunday to members of the Church of the Holy Apostles, DiLorenzo noted that the 36-year-old congregation's interim Catholic priest is in poor health and has been unable to serve consistently.

A monthslong search for a replacement, DiLorenzo said, has not succeeded. He urged Catholic congregants to "prayerfully consider" attending Holy Spirit Catholic Church a few blocks away on Lynnhaven Parkway until a new priest is found.

More here-

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

ECF Fellows Sportlight: Liza Anderson - Rethinking Vocation & Leadership in the Church

From The Episcopal Foundation (A spotlight on a friend and Executive Council Colleague)-

The ECF Fellowship Partners Program turns fifty this year, and we are marking that milestone with a series of interviews as we prepare to announce the names of the 2014 Fellows. In this third of four interviews, we hear Elizabeth (Liza) Anderson as she reflects on her work, her ECF Fellowship, leadership development and vocation.

The accepted insight that study abroad has a defining influence on the rest of a student’s life is certainly true for 2010 ECF Fellow Elizabeth (Liza) Anderson. A religion major at Swarthmore College, she traveled to Egypt in 2003 for her junior year abroad. “I thought I was going to study Islam,” she says, “but I fell head over heels in love with the Coptic Church.” That unexpected passion marked the beginning of her study of early Christianity, ecumenism, and Christianity in the Middle East.

More here-

Catholics and Anglicans meet for ARCIC talks in South Africa

From Radio Vatican (with audio)

Catholic and Anglican theologians meet together in Durban, South Africa on Monday for the opening of a fourth session of their current dialogue known as ARCIC III. The theme for this third phase of Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission is to explore the Church as Communion, local and universal, and how, together, they come to discern correct ethical teaching.

The new Catholic co-secretary of the dialogue is Fr Tony Currer, in charge of relations with the Anglican Communion at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Philippa Hitchen caught up with him just ahead of his departure for South Africa to find out more about what this meeting can hope to achieve:

More here-

Anglican teachers declare 5-day prayers for safe release of Chibok girls

From Nigeria-

As the world awaits the result of Western intervention on the abducted Chibok school girls, Anglican teachers in the Diocese on the Niger have directed all its members under the diocese to observe a five-day fasting and prayer session.

The directive was given during the 13th annual convention of Anglican Teachers Association held at All Saints Cathedral, Onitsha.

The President of the association, Lady Peace Ofoche, who is also the principal of Anglican Girls’ Grammar school, Nkpor said that the call became imperative following the continued captivity of over 200 young school girls who were abducted from their school in Chibok, Borno State by the Boko Haram militants.

As South Sudan rivals agree truce, church plays pivotal role

From ENS-

South Sudan’s political rivals have struck a new peace deal to end the five-month conflict that has left thousands dead and forced some 1.5 million people to flee their homes.

Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul of the Episcopal Church of Sudan and South Sudan departed early from a London meeting of the Anglican Communion Standing Committee last week when he was summoned to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to take part in the May 9 negotiations between South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his sacked former deputy turned rebel leader Riek Machar.

It was the first face-to-face meeting between the two rivals since the conflict erupted in December after Kiir accused Machar of plotting a coup d’etat. Deng led the two leaders in prayer before they signed the peace deal.

More here-

Monday, May 12, 2014

Vicar calls on Anglican church to approve same-sex marriages

From New Zealand-

The newly appointed vicar of Auckland's Anglican church St Matthew-in-the-City has called on the church to approve same-sex marriages and ordination of gay vicars.

Reverend Dr Helen Jacobi, in her sermon on Sunday, spoke to the church's two-yearly General Synod, being held this week.

Rev Jacobi said the Synod had a clear choice, "they can and try and keep the church locked in the 1950s or the 1850s, thinking they can stop the movement for justice and inclusion of our lesbian and gay sisters and brothers which our hearts yearn to see''.

More here-

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Who came up with the idea of Mother's Day?

From Winston-Salem-

Anna Jarvis is generally recognized as the founder of a national day to recognize mothers.

Before Jarvis, there were other people in the United States who started celebrations honoring mothers in their towns. Mother's Day is celebrated in other countries, too.

Julia Ward Howe suggested a Mother's Day in 1872, and picked June 2 as the day. Howe was horrified by the carnage of the Civil War, and hoped that the idea of a day for mothers would promote peace. For several years, Howe held an annual Mother's Day observance in Boston. Mary Towles Sasseen, a Kentucky schoolteacher, started Mother's Day celebrations in 1887. Frank E. Hering of Indiana started a campaign for a national observance in 1904.

More here-

Churches debate blessing gay couples

From Upper South Carolina-

The bishop presiding over half of South Carolina’s Episcopalians has given permission for clergy to bless the relationships of same-sex couples a little more than a decade since Episcopal churches across the state first began to fracture over the issue of sexual identity.

Ultimately, congregations in the Upstate and the Midlands will make their individual decisions.

They aren’t bound to perform the blessing, which doesn’t carry with it the weight of the ecclesiastical and secular laws of marriage.

More here-