Monday, November 12, 2018

…Bishop on the Niger faces rage of Anambra youths

From Nigeria-

Over 400 youths in Anambra State took to the street recently, to observe a peaceful protest against the Anglican Bishop on the Niger, Onitsha, Bishop Owen Nwoko, following the deepening rift between the State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano and the Anglican Church.

The protesting youngsters described the Bishop on the Niger as an enemy of the state governor, and one who is unfit to lead the Christian body.

They displayed placards that bore different inscriptions such as: ‘Anambra state is peaceful under Willie Obiano;’ ‘Bishop Owen Nwokolo is a politician;’ ‘We say No to Bishop Nwokolo religious politics;’ ‘We Anglicans youth love Governor Willie Obiano;’ and marched to the headquarters of the Anambra Police Command, Amawbia, Awka, the state capital to express their anger over a rift between the state governor and the Anglican family.

More here-

Anglican Church welcomes state abuse inquiry expansion

From New Zealand-

The Anglican Church is welcoming the Government's expansion of its inquiry into state care abuse to include churches.

Archbishop of the Anglican Church Philip Richardson says they asked the Government to be included in the inquiry, and are pleased it listened.

He says one of the key passages in the New Testament is "the truth will set you free" - and he says they need that.

Richardson told Larry Williams a robust inquiry will be good for abuse survivors, for the Church, and for society as a whole.

"The only of dealing with dark chapters is to bring some light on that. We need to participate in that."

More here-

New Anglican Archbishop announced

From Polynesia-

The Rev Fereimi Cama has been elected as the next Diocesan Bishop of Polynesia. He will therefore become Archbishop and Primate, or joint leader of The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

Fr Cama's election as the seventh Bishop of Polynesia was announced today by his soon-to-be-fellow Archbishops, Don Tamihere and Philip Richardson.

Fr Cama, who is 63, is the Vicar of St Peter's Lautoka, and a former long-serving Dean of Suva's Holy Trinity Cathedral.

He was nominated to succeed Archbishop Winston Halapua at an electoral college held in Lami Bay, Suva, in late October.

More here-

What's left of bishops' moral authority is on the line this week

From NCR-

Greetings from Baltimore! This morning, we are waiting for the address by the papal nuncio, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, as well as the presidential address of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo. After that, the bishops will be engaged in spiritual discernment for the rest of the day.

One of the main issues the bishops will be discerning is how to respond to the clergy sex abuse mess, which requires diagnosing how they got to this point. While there is general agreement on many aspects of what caused the crisis, there are two meta-narratives about causation that are not complementary. Some argue that the core problem is the spread of homosexuality among the clergy, which has been made possible because of lousy moral theology and weak episcopal leadership.

Proponents of this meta-narrative ignore both expert and common opinion. The 2011 John Jay study indicated homosexuality is not a risk factor. Common sense would tell you that priests had access to the boys' room and not the girls' room and that in many of the years surveyed, there were not yet even altar girls. Interestingly, if you consult the news articles published at the time the John Jay study was published in 2011 (for example, this article by Carol Zimmerman published by the bishops' own news service, CNS), even conservative bishops like Archbishops Robert Carlson, Timothy Dolan and Allen Vigneron affirmed the findings and did not question them. The people complaining about the report were SNAP and other victims' advocacy groups, and their complaint was not that the report let gays off the hook.

More here-

Albany Episcopal Bishop outlaws same-sex marriage in his churches

From Albany-

Albany Episcopal Diocese Bishop Rev. William H. Love issued an edict Saturday banning the marriage of same-sex couples in the diocese's churches, writing in a statement that the church has been "hijacked by the 'Gay Rights Agenda,'" and that "Satan is
having a heyday bringing division into the Church."

Love's eight-page statement that accompanied his new pastoral directive comes three weeks before a resolution goes into effect that will allow same-sex marriages to be performed in Episcopal churches nationwide. That day, Dec. 2, is also the first day of Advent, a time observed in many Christian churches in the weeks before Christmas.

More here-

Sunday, November 11, 2018

What World War I Taught the Clergy

From The Wall Street Journal-

The catastrophe of World War I, which ended 100 years ago Sunday, reshaped more than geopolitics. It also transformed a generation of Western Christians from holy crusaders into antiwar activists. This shift in thinking, coinciding with the rise of European fascism, contributed to the outbreak of World War II.

Religious leaders on both sides of the conflict demonized one another and conferred divine legitimacy on their war aims. In October 1914, German theologians endorsed a letter by prominent intellectuals that declared Kaiser Wilhelm II’s war policy a defensive necessity. In turn the Allies, backed by their national churches, characterized the German leader as “the Beast of Berlin.” London’s Bishop Arthur Winnington-Ingram said churches had a duty “to mobilize the nation for a holy war.” Germany, he argued, had abandoned Christianity for paganism. “The god the German leaders worship is an idol of the earth,” intoned G.A. Studdert Kennedy, one of Britain’s best-known chaplains: “a crude and cruel monster who lives on human blood.” 

More here-

Albany bishop draws red line, challenges authority of GC

From Albany-

In a pastoral letter to his diocese, the Bishop of Albany has stated his refusal to live within Resolution B012 (Marriage Rites for the Whole Church) passed at General Convention last summer. The resolution, is scheduled to take effect on Advent 1 of this years and the pertinent sections are in resolves seven and eight;

“Resolved, That under the canonical direction of the Rector or Member of the Clergy in charge and where permitted to do so by civil law, provision will be made for all couples desiring to use these marriage liturgies in their local congregation or worshipping community, provided that nothing in this Resolve narrows the authority of the Rector or Priest-in-Charge (Canon III.9.6(a)); and be it further

More here-

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Rick Warren Rushed to Hospital for Emergency Surgery, Expected to Make Full Recovery

From CBN-

Rick Warren, the best-selling author and pastor of one of the largest churches in the country, has been hospitalized. News of his condition broke after his wife, Kay Warren, was forced to pull out of a speaking engagement in Northern Ireland and return to her husband’s side. Rick, the author of “A Purpose Driven Life,” has had to undergo “immediate surgery” for an “intestinal condition.”

Kay, a leading mental health advocate and well-known public speaker, was due to be the special guest at the “Illuminate” conference in Coleraine, on the north coast of Northern Ireland, before having to pull out. According to the note, Warren heard the concerning news about her husband while “in the air and just a few hours from arrival.”

Encouragingly, the announcement noted that Rick is “expected to recover” from the operation, though it did not give any further details on his current condition, other than confirming that Kay would be “immediately returning to the United States to be with her family.”

The Saddleback Church also told Charisma News Warren's surgery went well and he is out now and is expected to fully recover.

More here-

Friday, November 9, 2018

God will rebuild Nigeria, says Anglican primate

From Nigeria-

The Primate, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, on Thursday, said God’s plan to restore and rebuild Nigeria would manifest soon.

Okoh stated this in Abuja while briefing newsmen on the 2018 Divine Commonwealth Conference (DIVCCON) scheduled to hold at the Ecumenical Centre, Abuja, from Monday to Friday.

He announced the theme of the conference as “I Will Restore”, saying restoration meant returning to original position.

According to him, it also means bringing back what existed before, a return of something to a former or unimpaired position and restitution of something taken away or lost.

“One common denominator in all the meanings of restoration is the return of something to its original form,” he explained.

More here-

Episcopal, Roman Catholic Bishops Call On Their Flocks To Be Compassionate

From Long Island-

Last week, the bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn published pastoral letters regarding the recent shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, and acts of vandalism against Jews in Brooklyn, as well as the then-upcoming elections and national political climate.

The Rt. Rev. Lawrence Provenzano, the Episcopal Bishop of a diocese that includes Brooklyn and Queens, addressed the anti-Semitic attacks. His letter reads, 

“Last week there was the horrendous anti-Semitic attack on worshippers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue. Today [Friday, Nov. 2] there is news of several Brooklyn synagogues and Jewish schools being attacked by an arsonist and Union Temple vandalized by graffiti—additional ugly displays of evil that appear to be on the increase in our nation.

“To counter this evil, I call on the priests and deacons of our diocese and the people of each of our congregations to be the personal, outward and visible expressions of God’s goodness for our Jewish sisters and brothers whose lives and worship are being silenced, threatened or disrupted.

More here-

Canon Janet Waggoner on slate for next bishop of Maine

From Ft. Worth-

The Rev. Canon Janet Waggoner is among the candidates on the slate announced on Thursday, November 8, 2018, by the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine.

The electing convention for the 10th bishop of Maine will be held on Saturday, February 9, 2019 (with Saturday, February 23, as a snow date) at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine.
“I am humbled and delighted to be invited to continue this journey of discernment with Episcopalians in the Diocese of Maine,’ Waggoner said. “I am grateful to the Discernment Committee for their diligence, care and leadership as they have guided the process to this point. I ask your prayers for me and the other nominees, and for all in the Diocese of Maine who are prayerfully engaged in calling their next bishop.”

Bishop Scott Mayer said, “I have full confidence that Canon Waggoner has the gifts and experience to serve the Church as a bishop. Janet, her family, and the Diocese of Maine will be in our prayers during this upcoming period of discernment. May God’s will be done.”

More here-

A Place for Death in the Life of the Church

From Christianity Today--

I remember the first time I touched a dead body. It was at my grandfather’s funeral. You know the scene: attendants in boxy black suits, the cloying scent of flowers, tissue boxes, breath mints, dusty funeral parlor furniture. As the sad murmur of relatives droned all around, I stepped up to the coffin and quickly reached in to touch his embalmed hands, folded nicely on his belly. They felt like cold, soft leather.

That was when death was still an anomaly to me, an outlier. Now it has become familiar, a recurring pattern in recent weeks and months. For the past several years, I’ve served as a pastor in a suburban parish, an evangelical who made his home in a mainline church. I don’t run the show, since I’m a lay pastor, but I’ve been there for most of the funerals. In the past few years we’ve had almost 40 in our parish. Those are a lot of faces I won’t get to see any more on Sunday mornings. Death is no longer a stranger to me; it is a regular part of my life.

This has been one of the more difficult parts of being a pastor, seeing people who faithfully served our Lord over decades take ill and start a steep decline. These deaths don’t have the shock of tragedy, of teenagers hit by cars or babies born without breath. Still, the dull ache of sorrow is there.

More here-

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Archbishop Justin given ecumenical welcome to Norwich

From England-

Archbishop Justin was welcomed by the Catholic Bishop of East Anglia and the Anglican Bishop of Norwich, alongside many other local church leaders in a short service of reconciliation. It is believed to be the first time any Archbishop of Canterbury has spoken at St John's Cathedral.

The service marked the start of a three-day visit to the Diocese of Norwich by the Archbishop, which will also include King’s Lynn on Thursday and Great Yarmouth on Friday.

A 500-strong congregation heard Catholic Bishop Alan Hopes open the service with a word of welcome to Archbishop Justin: “The theme of your visit is reconciliation, so it is hugely significant that you have chosen to begin with an ecumenical act of worship. It speaks clearly of the journey we are all called to make in our search for that unity of the Body of Christ which is in accordance with his will and of the healing of the wounds of past divisions. May your visit bring fresh impetus to that journey for Christians in Norfolk.”

More here-

Anambra: Obiano, Anglican church feud deepens

From Nigeria-

A group, under the auspices of Concerned Christian and Non-Christian Citizens of Anambra State, yesterday, embarked on a peaceful protest to the police headquarters in Amawbia Awka, where it submitted a protest letter to the state Commissioner of Police, Garba Baba Umar.

The group comprising young men and women and bearing placards of various inscriptions, amongst which was, “Bishop Owen Nwokolo is a politician,” urged the Nigeria Police to call the bishop to order.

The group accused the bishop of  blackmail, campaign of calumny and feeding the public with baseless information, which they said were aimed at casting aspersions on Governor Obiano.

The group’s protest letter, jointly signed by the Coordinator, Ernest Anafonye, and the Secretary, Onyedika Nwosu, read in part: “The said Bishop Owen Nwokolo deliberately, with the intention to incite the public, has taken to both the traditional and social media, to spread false rumours claiming that Governor Willie Obiano is marginalising members of the Anglican church in Anambra State.”

More here- 

also here-

‘God Is Going to Have to Forgive Me’: Young Evangelicals Speak Out

From The New York Times-

The role of evangelical Christianity in American politics has been a hotly discussed topic this year, intersecting with front-burner issues like immigration, the Supreme Court and social justice. Often the loudest evangelical voices are white, male and … not young.

With just days left before the midterm elections — two years after President Trump won the White House with a record share of white, evangelical support — we asked young evangelicals to tell The Times about the relationship between their faith and their politics.

Nearly 1,500 readers replied, from every state but Alaska and Vermont. Hundreds wrote long essays about their families and communities. They go to prominent megachurches as well as small Southern Baptist, nondenominational and even mainline Protestant congregations. Some said they have left evangelicalism altogether.

We read every submission and spent many hours interviewing respondents. Here’s what we learned:

More here-

Anti-Semitism in the Episcopal Church

From The Living Church-

After the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, the Rt. Rev. Dorsey McConnell, Bishop of Pittsburgh, released a statement inviting Episcopalians “to refute in every way, in every forum, the philosophical foundations of anti-Semitism wherever they have gained a foothold in our churches and our society.” In the spirit of McConnell’s call for self-examination and repentance, perhaps it is time for the Episcopal Church to reflect on its complicity in anti-Semitism.

This may strike some as surprising since the Episcopal Church seems to be the vanguard of progressive mainline Christianity. Citing the single most-quoted clause of the Baptismal Covenant, Episcopalians have been quick to condemn instances when racists or neo-nationalists have violated the dignity of human beings. Robert Bowers’ deranged attack at the Tree of Life synagogue seems to have been motivated by these forces, lately given new life by the populist politics of the extreme right. However, anti-Semitism is not only a problem of the neo-nationalist right; it is increasingly a problem of the progressive left.

Lord Jonathan Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, describes anti-Semitism, or the attitude that denies the right of Jews to exist collectively as Jews, as a “virus that has survived over time by mutating.” He continues,

More here-

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Former Anglican priest found guilty of sex-related charges

From Canada-

David Norton, a former Anglican priest and pastor at St. Andrews on the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, has been convicted on numerous sex-related charges involving young boys.

Justice Lynda Templeton handed down her verdict at the London courthouse around noon on Tuesday.

She says it was "A difficult and emotional case," but ultimately, "I find that I don't believe Mr. Norton's testimony, his evidence simply did not ring true."

More here- 

also here-

Kenyan court orders mediation to solve Anglican homosexuality dispute

From Kenya-

A long-running dispute over three Anglican clergymen accused of homosexuality will be resolved through mediation, a court here ordered last week.

The three had sued Bishop Joseph Kagunda of the Mount Kenya West diocese in the High Court in Nyeri, challenging their 2015 suspensions over allegations that they were engaging in homosexual relationships and encouraging homosexuality among the church’s youth. They have denied all charges.

But last month, after a nearly three-year court battle, Justice Abigail Mshila of the Nyeri High Court ordered the parties to settle their disagreement by meeting with a mutually agreed-upon mediator. It is the first time mediation has been used to resolve a case of this kind.

“This is what we have been looking for,” the bishop told Religion News Service in a telephone interview on Oct. 26. “When we are in the courts, we cannot respect each other, but when we sit at the table, we come up with a way of working together. We are one people. When we sit at the table, we can start a new journey together.”

More here-

Anglican school leaders withdraw support for gay discrimination exemptions

From Australia-

Last week, the heads of 34 Anglican schools in New South Wales wrote to federal MPs urging them to protect exemptions in the Sex Discrimination Act that permitted them to sack or expel LGBTI staff and students.

Yesterday, the heads of Abbotsleigh private school for girls in Wahroonga and Barker College in Hornsby wrote to their communities, apologising for the distress the letter caused.
In response to criticism, the two school leaders signalled they would support the removal of the discrimination exemptions.

Meanwhile, former students from St Catherine's School in Waverley wrote to the school's headmistress, Julie Townsend, condemning her for a limp response to the backlash.

Dr Townsend, who signed the original letter from the Diocese of Sydney, said the exemptions were the only legislated protection of religious freedom the school enjoyed.

More here- 

also here-

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

500 Anglican priests storm Awka, block Obiano’s office

From Nigeria-

Fully robed priests of the Anglican Church numbering about 500 this afternoon stormed the Anambra State Government House protesting what they described as unprecedented sustained religious bigotry by the Gov Willie Obiano against non-Catholic faithfuls in the state especially the Anglicans.

Wearing long faces chanting popular Christian choruses, intermittently reading from the bible and singing sonorous but heart touching songs from their denominational Ancient and Modern official hymn book, the priests carefully and peacefully blocked the main entrance to the governor’s office and vowed never to quit the scene until Obiano personally addresses them.

They bore many placards with various inscriptions like, “Religious politics in Anambra has no end”, ”Governor Obiano give us back our land and school”, “Bishop Crowder memorial primary school Onitsha belongs to Anglican Church”, “Bishop Crowder is not government’s property”, “Willie Obiano leave our property for us.

More here-

'We are sorry': Anglican school backtracks from letter on gay teachers and students

From Australia-

A prominent Sydney Anglican school has apologised for signing a controversial letter calling on the Morrison government to maintain laws allowing schools to discriminate against gay teachers and pupils, and blamed church leaders for "unintended hurt and division" in the school community.

Faced with a backlash, the head of Barker College, Phillip Heath, pledged his support for removing exemptions to anti-discrimination laws that currently let religious schools discriminate against LGBTI staff and students.

Mr Heath earlier told the Fairfax Media he was "dismayed" by the response to the letter, which was signed by 34 Anglican principals and sent to all federal MPs including Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

On Tuesday, the north shore school went further and apologised to parents, students and alumni in two dispatches to the school community. Barker leaders also appeared to blame the Sydney Anglican diocese for a poorly-timed and poorly-worded communique.

More here-

and here-

and here-

Why this shrinking religious group might be among America’s last “swing voters”

From Vox-

White mainline Protestantism is in decline — at least, that’s been the prevailing narrative for the past few decades. 

White evangelical Christian denominations have ascended to political power, continuing a trajectory that’s been in place since Jerry Falwell founded the Moral Majority movement of the 1980s. Meanwhile, the traditionally politically centrist Protestant tradition — which includes such denominations as Episcopalians, Methodists, Disciples of Christ, and more — has ceded its position of influence in government and media while also hemorrhaging members

Mainline Protestants — 86 percent of whom are white (historically black Protestant churches, like the African Methodist Episcopal Church, are not generally counted among historic mainline denominations) — have historically been about evenly split between Republican and Democratic presidential candidates. But, in an increasingly fractured political landscape, what is next for these relative moderates?

More here-

Ex-Episcopal Bishop Heather Cook to remain in prison

From Baltimore-

A Baltimore judge denied this afternoon a reduction in Heather E. Cook’s prison sentence that would have meant almost immediate release for the former Episcopal bishop who killed a bicyclist while driving drunk in 2014.

Cook’s lawyers argued for mercy, saying the 62-year-old had been rehabilitated.

But Circuit Court Judge Timothy J. Doory refused. He cited the words of a mentor on the bench whose dictum was “concurrent time is no time at all.”

“Can I justify no time at all for leaving the scene [of a fatal accident]? I’m sorry to say, I cannot,” Doory said.

Cook had been asking that two of her four sentences be changed from consecutive to concurrent, a change which Doory said would essentially mean she was never punished for leaving the accident scene.

More here- 

also here-

Monday, November 5, 2018

All Saints Cathedral to hold mass wedding

From Uganda-

Thirteen couples have registered for the corporate wedding organised by the All Saints’ Cathedral in Kampala this month.

The Church’s communications officer, Mr Ivan Naijuka, said the November 23 event is aimed at preventing Christians from cohabiting. 

According to Mr Naijuka, the church always organises mass holy matrimony because weddings tend to be expensive, especially to the youth, as they have to pay for church dues, wedding receptions, food and drinks, which at times leave them indebted.

“As All Saints Cathedral we’re paying for everything for our couples which includes food and drinks, a cake for each couple, 40 people for each couple, decorations, marriage certificates and registering them with government, among others,” Mr Naijuka said at the weekend.

 More here-

A new Anglican Church of Kenya bishop has urged leaders to be accountable to the people and not abuse their power. Speaking during his consecration and enthronement, Maseno South Bishop Charles Ong’injo said those holding public offices must account for every penny disbursed to them. “One of the most serious factors affecting development in the counties and Kenya is the greed of leaders to remain in power forever and failing to deliver diligent services to the people,” he said.
Read more at:

an Church of Kenya bishop has urged leaders to be accountable to the people and not abuse their power. Speaking during his consecration and enthronement, Maseno South Bishop Charles Ong’injo said those holding public offices must account for every penny disbursed to them. “One of the most serious factors affecting development in the counties and Kenya is the greed of leaders to remain in power forever and failing to deliver diligent services to the people,” he said.
Read more at:
an Church of Kenya bishop has urged leaders to be accountable to the people and not abuse their power. Speaking during his consecration and enthronement, Maseno South Bishop Charles Ong’injo said those holding public offices must account for every penny disbursed to them. “One of the most serious factors affecting development in the counties and Kenya is the greed of leaders to remain in power forever and failing to deliver diligent services to the people,” he said.
Read more at:

Ballarat Anglicans may bless gay marriages

From Australia-

Coming almost a year after legislation passed allowing same-sex marriages in Australia, the motion asked that the synod “affirms that all people are accorded equal dignity and are created in the image and likeness of God, regardless of their sexuality or gender”, and acknowledge “the reality of the recent change in Australian marriage law to include same-sex couples”.
It also asked that the synod “commends the pastoral value of a Form of Blessing of a Marriage for optional use within the Diocese of Ballarat alongside, or in addition to, a secular wedding conducted by a civil celebrant”.
While the church will not conduct marriages, it leaves open the option to bless civil marriages.

More here-

Schools' letter misinterpreted as homophobic, Anglican Archbishop says

From Australia-

The Archbishop of Sydney says Anglican schools did not ask for and do not want exemptions from the Sex Discrimination Act but are seeking "a positive right to religious freedom".

Anglican Archbishop Glenn Davies said that a letter to federal MPs asking for exemptions for religious schools under the Sex Discrimination Act to be maintained until alternative forms of legal protection are brought in has been misinterpreted as being homophobic.

The letter was signed by the heads of 34 Anglican schools across Sydney and the Illawarra, and has sparked protests and petitions from nearly 2700 alumni of the signatory schools, who are calling for the letter to be retracted. The heads of two schools, Cranbook and SCEGGS Darlinghurst, reufsed to join the other schools in signing the letter.

"We call on you to retract your open letter and not judge your staff by their sexual orientation but by the quality of their work," the petition states.

More here- 

and here-

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Angry Coptic Christians mourn Egypt bus attack victims

From Egypt-

Angry Coptic Christians on Saturday buried relatives shot dead on a bus carrying pilgrims south of the Egyptian capital, the second such jihadist attack on the country's main religious minority in as many years.

The Islamic State (IS) group said it was behind Friday's attack which killed seven Christians returning from a visit to the desert cemetery of Saint Samuel that was also targeted in 2017.

A security source said another seven people were wounded in the shootings near the city of Minya.
Hundreds of angry Copts gathered in and around Minya's Prince Tadros church from dawn for the funeral of six victims, under heavy guard by masked security personnel.

The seventh victim, an Anglican, was buried Friday evening in a village outside Minya.

More here-

San Diego Churches Taking In Detained Immigrants Released by ICE

From San Diego-

Several local churches in San Diego say they are being overwhelmed with the influx of asylum-seeking immigrant being dropped off on the streets with nowhere to go.

The churches say they have been taking in about 50 people a day in 10 different locations. Their hospitality toward immigrants are needed more than ever as Immigration and Customs Enforcement releases detained families without any plans on where these asylum seekers should go or how they should get there.

"There has been a definite uptake in the number of people that are needing assistance right now," Episcopal Dioceses of San Diego spokeswoman Hannah Wilder said. "My understanding is that ICE is dropping people off without any place to go without any food or money."

More here-

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Over 200 Anglican Clergymen Barricade Anambra government house gate over property seizure

From Nigeria-

Priests of the Diocese on the Niger, Anglican Communion, yesterday in Awka, protested against the alleged forceful seizure of the church’s property by the Anambra State Government in the commercial city of Onitsha. The clergymen, numbering over 200, arrived the Government House gate around 11.00am, carrying placards in protest against the alleged forceful takeover of Bishop Crowder Memorial School in Onitsha.

The placards had various inscriptions, such as ‘Gov. Obiano, stop disrupting our church services and activities,’ Bishop Crowder Memorial Primary School is not government property,’ among others.The priests, who barricaded the entrance gate of the Government House, insisted that only Governor Willie Obiano should address them, adding that no other official of the state government could address us, not even the deputy governor, Dr. Nkem Okeke. 

More here-

From royal wedding to ABQ cathedral

From Rio Grande-

The presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, who gained worldwide attention earlier this year when he delivered a sermon at the royal wedding of Britain’s Prince Harry to American actress Meghan Markle, is in Albuquerque this weekend to ordain the new Episcopal bishop of the Diocese of the Rio Grande.

The Most Rev. Michael Curry will lead the 30 bishops who are here to witness the ordination and consecration of Michael Hunn.

In the Episcopal and Anglican traditions, three bishops are required to consecrate one new bishop. The presence of 30 bishops is a statement of the importance of Hunn and the Diocese of the Rio Grande, Curry said.

Curry, who is based in New York City, is the author of the just released book, “The Power of Love,” a compilation of his most notable sermons, including the one he delivered at the royal wedding.

More here-

Friday, November 2, 2018

Sex conviction comes back to haunt ex-priest David Norton at trial

From London-

Disgraced ex-cleric David Norton said he would never engage in sexual activities with a little boy, and certainly not the altar boys at Chippewas of the Thames First Nation.

“It isn’t the sort of thing I would ever do,” he said during testimony in his own defence at his trial on five historic sex-related charges.

But, the problem, the Crown pointed out, is Norton did.

After his defence lawyer Lakin Afolabi successfully argued Norton’s guilty plea earlier this year to abusing a London boy at St. Mark’s church in 1990s shouldn’t be treated as similar-fact evidence at his trial this week, Norton opened the door for assistant Crown attorney Chris Heron to ask him about that very thing.

It was a colossal blunder in the witness box. With each question from Heron after that moment, it was as if Norton had taken up a shovel to dig a deeper hole for himself.

More here-

US church leaders urge President to restore vital funding to East Jerusalem hospitals

From Lutheran World-

Leaders of Lutheran, Catholic and Episcopal (Anglican) churches in the United States have jointly called on the US President to restore vital funding for four church-associated medical institutions in East Jerusalem. By halting this humanitarian assistance “lives are being threatened unnecessarily,” they say in a joint statement issued today.

The five church leaders, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry (The Episcopal Church), Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops), Bishop William O. Gafkjen (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), and Bishop Joseph C. Bambera (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) say restoring the vital financial support “is a morally correct thing to do” so that patients can “continue to receive the treatment and care they need.”

One of the affected institutions is Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH), which is run by The Lutheran World Federation (LWF). For decades, AVH, St. John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital and Princess Basma Rehabilitation Centre (Anglican /Episcopal), and St. Joseph’s Hospital (Catholic) had been assured of US humanitarian assistance. Recently, President Donald Trump’s administration decided to discontinue such support as part of a wider move to curtail funding towards Palestinians.

More here-

Church-wide Bible Reading Initiative Begins in Epiphany 2019

From The Episcopal Church-

Forward Movement, along with partners from across the Episcopal Church, invites all Episcopalians to participate in the Good Book Club, a church-wide Bible reading initiative. The Good Book Club will focus on Paul’s Letter to the Romans, with participants reading a section of scripture each day during the Epiphany season, starting on January 7, 2019.
 “When we commit ourselves to reading God’s Word, we open ourselves to the opportunity for transformation,” said Richelle Thompson, deputy director and managing editor of Forward Movement. “Although Paul wrote this letter to the Romans, the message of salvation and redemption through the risen Christ is one we all need to hear and embrace today.”

The Good Book Club kicked off during Lent and Easter of 2018, with tens of thousands of Episcopalians reading the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. Survey results from participants showed a hunger and desire to continue the initiative and provide more opportunities for people to read and discuss scripture together. Romans was the first choice of participants for the next Good Book Club.

More here-


Final preparations underway for inauguration of Chile as 40th Anglican Communion Province

From ACNS-

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is travelling to Santiago to officially inaugurate the newest Province of the Anglican Communion. The Iglesia Anglicana de Chile – the Anglican Church of Chile – will become the 40th Anglican Communion Province when it is inaugurated on Sunday. Archbishop Justin will preside over the ceremony, which will be held at the Grange School in the city of Santiago. Usual Sunday services in local churches have been suspended to enable people to take part. The service will also be available to watch via the Facebook Live facility.

“The birth of a new province of the Anglican Communion is moment to rejoice and give thanks and praise to God”, Archbishop Justin said. “It is a hope-filled reminder that God’s vision for the Church is always bigger than we can imagine.

“As followers of Jesus we are called to be part of this ongoing revolution of love that transforms lives and changes the world through dealing with sin and opening the way to salvation. Especially at a time when there is so much in our world that needs healing, here is a sign that the Spirit of God points towards Jesus in his obedience to the Father.

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Thursday, November 1, 2018

Anglican church told to apologise for marriage vote conduct rather than 'legalise bullying'

From The Guardian-

The Sydney Anglican church should apologise for its conduct in the marriage law postal survey, rather than lobby to “legalise bullying against LGBTIQ students”, the independent New South Wales MP and Equality Campaign co-chair Alex Greenwich has said.

Greenwich issued a stinging rebuke after a group of 34 Anglican principals demanded exemptions from discrimination law be preserved until a positive right to freedom of religion was created, saying the church should repair its relationship with the LGBTIQ community after “knowingly” harming it in the campaign.

Greenwich has written to Michael Stead, the bishop of South Sydney, seeking a formal apology from the Anglican church – which donated $1m to the Coalition for Marriage campaign against same-sex marriage – for “harmful and damaging conduct” in the postal survey.

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Where presidents go to pray

From Washington D.C.-

On Nov. 1, 1800, John Adams became the first U.S. president to move into the White House. The following day he wrote a letter to his wife, Abigail, in which he composed a beautiful prayer.

A portion of John Adams’ prayer was inscribed on the mantelpiece in the State Dining Room by President Franklin D. Roosevelt: “I pray Heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.”

John Adams described himself in 1811: “I have been a church-going animal for seventy-six years from the cradle.”

Adams entered in his diary, July 26, 1796: “The Christian religion is, above all the Religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times.”

Beginning with Thomas Jefferson and continuing till after the Civil War, church services were held in the United States Capitol Building. These services were attended by sitting Presidents, being held each Sunday in the U.S. Capitol House Chamber. Attendance reached over 2,000, making it the largest Protestant Sabbath audience in the nation.

After the White House was finished being built, the next building constructed on
Lafayette Square was St. John’s Episcopal Church. James Madison was the first president to worship at St. John’s Episcopal Church, referred to as “the Church of the Presidents.” His wife, Dolley Madison, was baptized and confirmed there. The church’s 1,000-pound bell was cast by Paul Revere’s son.


St. Luke’s Darien Parish pastor leaving parish for new post in Philadelphia

From Connecticut-

The pastor of one of Darien’s largest churches is leaving after being a mainstay there on and off for decades, he announced this week. 
In a letter sent to the parish on Monday, the Rev. David Anderson announced he is leaving the parish after accepting a chaplain job in Philadelphia. 

On why he is leaving, the letter wrote, “I have accepted a call to become the Chaplain of Episcopal Community Services in Philadelphia. I will be working with the Executive Director and the ECS team in an “ambassador” role, linking the diocese, the churches and ECS in the gospel work of addressing both the needs of the poor and the causes of poverty itself.”

Anderson began his ministry at Saint Luke’s, right out of seminary in 1989 as associate rector. In 1992 he left to lead a church in Pennsylvania and returned to St. Luke’s eleven years later, in 2003, to become Rector.

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Bishop takes control of St. Paul’s Church in Darien

From Connecticut-

Months of tension between St. Paul’s Episcopal Church’s parish leaders and rector have ended in all positions being dissolved. The church now falls under the authority of the Rev. Ian Douglas, bishop diocesan of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut.

This comes after repeated mediation between the former vestry, which are the lay leadership of the church, and former Rev. Canon George Kovoor. In June, conflict between the two parties led to an attempt by the vestry to change the locks of the church. A lawsuit was later filed July 6, accusing Kovoor of obtaining his job by providing false credentials.

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Pakistan Acquits Christian Woman Facing Death Penalty For Blasphemy

From Huffington-

A Christian woman who was sentenced to death in Pakistan eight years ago on blasphemy charges has been acquitted by the country’s top court.

Asia Bibi’s release was ordered by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar in a landmark ruling which could ignite mass protests or violence by hardline Islamists.

Bibi had been held at an undisclosed location for security reasons and is expected to leave the country.

The charges against her date back to a hot day in 2009, when she went to get water for herself and her fellow farm workers.

Two Muslim women refused to drink from a container used by a Christian, and a few days later, a mob accused her of blasphemy. She was convicted and sentenced to death.

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Pittsburghers treat each other as one community. We should all learn from them.

From The Washington Post-

The horrific shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh happened on the eve of the anniversary of my own bar mitzvah there, some 51 years ago. Pittsburgh’s Jewish community was then, and remains today, a giant family. Even those of us who moved away have stayed closely connected to it and to each other. Our hearts ache as one.

The synagogue is at the heart of the close-knit Jewish community in Squirrel Hill, a bustling neighborhood filled with tree-lined streets and ethnic restaurants. Pittsburgh is a city where neighborhoods like this are still common, where people get to know one another, where they welcome new neighbors and mourn the passing of old ones. It is a city of grit and compassion, one that can offer a model of how to counter the hatred that is tearing America apart.

The suspect in the 11 synagogue murders was reportedly motivated by anti-Semitism and anti-immigrant hatred. A particular target of his venom, according to news reports about his apparent online posts, was the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, or HIAS, an organization that assists refugees of all faiths. I am proud to serve on its board.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Charles WILL be Defender of the Faith: Prince of Wales is fascinated by Islam and Judaism but will take Anglican vow when he's King, writes biographer ROBERT JOBSON

From The Daily Mail-

Queen Elizabeth II, as we all know, is a devout High Church Anglican. 

Charles, on the other hand, has taken a great interest in other religions, studying both the Koran and Judaism in depth.

In 1993, for instance, he said: 'Islam can teach us today a way of understanding and living in the world which Christianity itself is poorer for having lost.'

This was widely quoted as proof that he had abandoned Christianity, though he remains a practising Anglican. 

Clearly, however, our next Supreme Governor of the Church of England plans to do the job a little differently.

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Anglican principals warn over protections

From Australia-

The federal government will get the balance right in protecting freedom of religion and preventing LGBT teachers from being discriminated against by religious schools, Education Minister Dan Tehan says.

The principals of dozens of Anglican schools in Sydney have written to federal MPs warning against changing anti-discrimination laws to protect LGBT teachers from being excluded by religious schools.

The group says the shift would undermine their faith's core values.

"Until such time as religious freedom is codified in legislation, the exemptions should remain," their open letter states.

The coalition vowed to protect LGBT students and teachers in religious schools after the findings of a review into religious freedom were leaked earlier this month, sparking furious debate about their rights.

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Episcopal Church in Colorado elects first African American woman bishop in its history

From Colorado-

Growing up between two military bases in North Carolina, the Rev. Kimberly Lucas  learned early the values and challenges of diversity. She learned how to garden from a Japanese neighbor and discovered treasures at the local Mexican-Thai bodega.

When she married her husband, Mark, the two had to navigate what it meant to be a multi-racial family in the United States.

For Lucas, diversity has always been an integral part of her past. Now, she plans to brings that perspective to parishioners across Colorado.

On Saturday, Lucas was chosen as the 11th bishop of the Episcopal Church in Colorado, becoming the church’s first woman and first African-American bishop in state history.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

You’re deceitful, join politics, Fayose tells Anglican bishop

From Nigeria-

Embattled former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has rebuked the Bishop of Ekiti State, Anglican Communion, Christopher Omotunde, for describing his tenure as a wasted four years.

In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi, and made available to journalists on Monday, Mr Fayose, who has just been released from detention on bail, said the bishop should remove the “cassock and mount the soap box” so that the whole world would know that he had joined politics.

Mr Omotunde during a thanksgiving service held for the deputy governor, Bisi Egbeyemi, on Sunday in Ado Ekiti, reportedly said Mr Fayose’s tenure was a wasted four years which stunted the growth of the state.

The bishop said Mr Fayose’s daily criticisms and opposition to President Muhammadu Buhari, for instance, denied Ekiti of “many benefits”.
He said while Mr Fayose was busy abusing the president, “other wiser PDP governors were busy attracting projects to their states and financial support from the federal government because of their good relationship with the President”.

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Diocesan convention vote puts Connecticut congregation under direct authority of bishop

From ENS-

On Oct. 26, the highest governing body of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut (ECCT) — its Annual Convention — changed the internal governance of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Darien putting the church directly under the authority of the Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, Bishop diocesan.  This action was taken as a result of the refusal of its elected lay leaders to participate in reconciliation efforts with its rector, the Rev. George Kovoor.

The action changed St. Paul’s status in ECCT from a “Parish” to a “Worshiping Community,” which puts it now under the exclusive supervision, direction, and control of Bishop Douglas. While the change in status does not affect the worship life or the property of St. Paul’s, the change ended the authority of the previous lay leaders of the church, the Vestry and Wardens, whose job it had been to oversee the property and business affairs of St. Paul’s.

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Episcopal church battle over Fresno real estate, gay clergy leads to trial

From San Joaquin-

A national church is suing its former followers in Fresno in a real estate battle launched by the church's decision to accept gay and female clergy members.

Attorneys delivered opening arguments Monday in the case pitting The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of San Joaquin against St. Columba Church and its congregants who split away from the religion.

The Episcopal Church says the administration at St. Columba and its pastor, Rev. James Snell, illegally took possession of the church on Palm and Shaw in 2008.

The diocese's former bishop, John-David Schofield, tried to remove the diocese from the greater Episcopal Church starting in 2006, not long after the national church elected its first gay bishop, Gene Robinson. Schofield handed over control of the property itself to St. Columba before the Episcopal Church removed him in 2008, and he helped move St. Columba into the Anglican Church in North America.

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Kym Lucas elected bishop of Episcopal Church in Colorado

From Colorado-

The Rev. Kimberly (Kym) Lucas was chosen as the 11th Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Colorado during its 131st Annual Convention held at Saint John’s Cathedral in Denver on Oct. 27.

One of two candidates, Lucas was elected on the fourth ballot, receiving 124 of 173 clergy votes and 237 of 306 lay votes. In order to be elected, a candidate needed to receive two-thirds votes from both the clergy and the lay delegates, voting separately as orders in the same balloting round. The second ballot was invalid due to a reporting error after the announcement of the first ballot. The other candidate was The Rev. Ruth Woodliff-Stanley, canon to the ordinary of the Episcopal Church in Colorado.

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'Possible hate crime' reported as Lander Episcopal church is defaced with homophobic graffiti

From Wyoming-

Homophobic graffiti was discovered on the Trinity Episcopal Church in Lander on Friday morning, the same day Matthew Shepard’s remains were laid to rest at an Episcopal church in Washington. The Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming is calling the incident “a possible hate crime,” according to an announcement.
The Rev. Janet Seeley found the graffiti, which includes the phrases “False hope fags,” “Lies” and “Fake,” as well as drawings of male genitalia. There is also an image of a frowning face with the eyes crossed out and “Run” beneath it.
“As Bishop of the Diocese of Wyoming, I personally abhor this act and pray that those responsible will be held accountable and have their hearts changed,” the Right Rev. John S. Smylie, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming, said in the announcement. “I appeal to the people of the State of Wyoming to stand with and to pray for those targeted in the Lander community.”

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Monday, October 29, 2018

How Should Churches Respond to Mass Shootings?

From Christianity Today-

In the wake of this morning’s mass shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburg, faith leaders across the country are once again asking what they can do to keep something similar from happening at their place of worship.

At the same time, the national conversation about gun laws has resurfaced with a renewed sense of urgency both inside and outside these sacred spaces. Dr. Jamie D. Aten had the opportunity to talk about these important issues with W. Craig Fugate, who served under both Democratic and Republican administrations as the head FEMA administrator from 2009-2017 and as Florida’s Emergency Management Director from 2001-2009. During his time at FEMA, he led responses to the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church shooting in Charleston, SC (2015) and the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT (2012).

Below, Fugate shares with Aten his perspective on how churches and houses of worship can have a better conversation about how to move forward and prepare for possible events without compromising their core identity or community responsibility.

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