Monday, February 13, 2017

Taking a holiday.

Three Rivers Episcopal will be back Feb. 23rd.

The Guardian view on Anglicans and gay clergy: stop listening, start leading

From The Gaurdian-

George Orwell’s phrase about “the smelly little orthodoxies which are now contending for our souls” was coined at a time of impending global tragedy but it returns as parochial farce to haunt the General Synod of the Church of England. On Wednesday, it meets to consider a report that appears to be a further attempt to avoid a decision about gay people. In fact, the aim appears to be to avoid the words “gay” and “lesbian” entirely .

The official language of the church piles phrases like “experiencing same-sex attraction” over the reality, rather than the plain English that would make its problem clear. There is an obvious explanation for this: the church is facing an existential crisis in membership and credibility, and the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, like his predecessors, is concerned above all to avoid an open split over sexuality or anything else. Since there is no real agreement possible between those who think that gay sex is always wrong and the rest of us, the only way they could even appear to agree is to change the subject. But they can’t. For both sides, this has been the consuming test of Christian values for the past 30 years.

More here-

A 'network of sexual perpetrators' operated in Anglican church youth group, royal commission finds

From Australia-

A "network of sexual perpetrators" used an Anglican church youth group to prey on young boys over a period of decades from the 1970s to the 1990s with church leaders failing to report allegations, a royal commission has found.

In a scathing assessment of Anglican authorities, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found leaders, including former Brisbane archbishop and governor-general Peter Hollingworth, failed to protect children.

The report into Anglican youth group, the Church of England Boys' Society, and the Dioceses of Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Tasmania, comes a year after a public inquiry heard harrowing accounts of abuse by clergy and lay people.

More here-

Column: Prayers for Refugees

From Connecticut-

Let me tell you the stories of the first two refugee families that I and the parish I served resettled in the early 1980’s. The first was a young family of a mom, dad, and child who came from Poland. The dad was very active in the Polish Solidarity union and movement and had his life threatened with some regularity.

The second also included three people, actually three brothers, who had made it out of South Africa in the nick of time; they too were receiving threats on their life from the Apartheid regime that controlled this beautiful country at that time. Both families had fled for their lives. Both had spent a great length of time being vetted by the U.S. State Department, wondering and waiting. But there was one thing that was not similar.  The Polish family had fled from oppressive Communism, the South African family from oppressive racism, one from the left, the other from the right.

Major changes to parishes across the region

From Northwestern

While the Catholic Diocese of Erie is forced to restructure, a church is in the Episcopal Diocese of NWPA is expanding.

Father Don Baxter, St. Mark Episcopal Church, says, "It's great to be able to spread out on this day and celebrate and celebrate the joy of what we've accomplished here."

St. Mark blessed and dedicated the one million dollar renovations - including a larger parish hall and kitchen area - Sunday morning.

Bishop Sean Rowe, Episcopal Diocese of NWPA, says, "We're celebrating the space more importantly the capacity it creates to reach out to the community."

More here-

St. Stephen’s Episcopal sad to see Cambodian refugee retire

From Richmond-

Sun Ho Nuon was smart enough to become a schoolteacher in his native Cambodia.

And he was smart enough not to tell anyone when the Khmer Rouge terrorized the country in the 1970s, arrested those considered professionals and intellectuals, and executed them in the dead of night. Brutality was the Khmer Rouge style, and their implements of death varied. Nuon carried a serious-looking hoe when I met him for an interview last week. By day, he said, such a hoe would have been used to work the fields; by night, it was a killing tool.


He and his family were sponsored by St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church on Grove Avenue. One thing led to another, and Nuon wound up working as a sexton at the church. He retired a few weeks ago as the senior member of the parish staff after more than 35 years on the job. St. Stephen’s held a reception in his honor.

More here-

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Anglicans braced for new clashes over gay marriage in church

From The Telegraph-

The Anglican church is set for a renewed clash on the divisive question of gay marriage this week when its ruling body votes on a key report from the Bishops on same sex relationships.

The Church of England synod, the governing body made up of Bishops, clergy and laity which decides on church law and policy, will vote on Wednesday whether to ‘take note’ - confirm - or reject the report confirming the status quo against gay marriage.

Liberals within the church are hopeful the synod will reject advice from the Bishops’ to leave its policy against gay marriage unchanged.

A vote by the synod in favour of same-sex marriage could eventually pave the way for a fundamental change in Anglican teaching.

That could eventually see gay and lesbian couples allowed to marry in church - something more conservative elements have long resisted.

Liberals in the synod have welcomed the prospect of a vote against the ban on same sex marriage.

More here-

Sermon: Episcopalians do not separate religious, political lives

From Houston-

"The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light," so declares the prophet Isaiah to a people sitting in great darkness.

This prophecy is given as a glimmer of hope and a sense of direction for a people in exile, who are despairing that their lives will ever be different, "The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light."

As the gospel begins, John the Baptist has been arrested, and Jesus, perhaps full of anxiety or confidence, moves to Capernaum, where he begins his public ministry alone. That work doesn't continue alone because immediately he invites people to walk with him along the way. They risk stepping out and leaving what they know to journey with this person who invites them into meaning and purpose and into light, as they heal and preach and learn together.

More here-

Standing Rock clergy took different approaches to protest

From North Dakota-

The Rev. John Floberg was on his way home from a national meeting of the Episcopal Church when he saw live video of protesters squaring off with police at a northern "front line" camp on N.D. Highway 1806.
The conflict was escalating — fast. Disappointed by the violence he saw on both sides, Floberg wanted to slow things down and return to the more traditional civil disobedience seen months earlier. When the Standing Rock-based priest returned to North Dakota, he drafted a callout to clergy around the country.

The gathering drew more than 500 clergy members of different faiths to the Oceti Sakowin Camp. The group walked to the barricade on the Backwater Bridge before turning back, creating a moment many said evoked the march in Selma. No one was arrested, though a few, whose bravado Floberg critiqued, traveled to Bismarck and protested at the Capitol, where they were detained.

More here-