Saturday, January 19, 2019

Malawi’s Anglican Bishop Malasa under siege; office sealed

From Central Africa-

Some concerned Christians under the Anglican Diocese of Upper Shire have sealed Bishop Brighton Malasa’s office at the Diocese’s headquarters at Chilema in Zomba, following the collapse of dialogue between the two parties’ representatives.

Before sealing the offices, the disgruntled members presented a petition to a visibly calm Malasa who stood at the gate of his house which armed police officers guarded heavily.

In the letter, the Anglican followers are demanding that Malasa should quit with immediate effect due to alleged mismanagement of the diocese’s affairs as well as corruption allegations.

On Thursday morning, the concerned members were expected to meet the church’s leaders led by Zambia- based Provincial Secretary for Anglican Church responsible for Central Africa, William Mchombo,to address the concerns.

More here-

Victim impact statements delayed in Anglican priest’s sexual abuse case

From Global News-

A former Anglican priest convicted of sexually abusing four First Nations boys decades ago was expected to hear from victims Friday in a London courtroom on Friday, but proceedings have been rescheduled for next month.

David Norton was found guilty of three counts of indecent assault and one count of sexual assault back in November in a case involving men who said the 72-year-old abused them while they were altar boys at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Chippewa of the Thames First Nation in the 1970s and ’80s.

The victims came from troubled backgrounds and grew to see Norton as father figure who provided attention and affection

More here- 

Friday, January 18, 2019

9 couples will have their weddings acknowledged by their home congregation

From Dallas-

Bishop Gene Robinson will be the guest preacher at the Sunday morning service at the Episcopal Church of St. Thomas the Apostle.

Robinson, the first openly-gay Episcopal bishop, will be in town to celebrate the commencement of same-sex marriage in Episcopal churches in the Dallas diocese.

Nine married couples that are members of St. Thomas but married elsewhere will be blessed at the Holy Eucharist Service on Sunday morning at the celebration of “All sacraments for all people.”
“For us, it’s an emotional moment,” said St. Thomas member Carl Youngberg.

He said the former Dallas bishop opposed same-sex marriage, and it was very disappointing when George Sumner was appointed bishop and announced there would be no same-sex marriages allowed in the diocese’s churches.

More here-

This just in: Not all Christians agree on marriage and sex! This schism even affects their schools!

From Get Religion-

How did I miss this story?

Apparently, there is some kind of move afoot in elite media to push for the establishment of the Episcopal Church, or perhaps the United Church of Christ, as the state-mandated religion in the United States. Have you heard about this?

That’s one way to read the remarkable media response to Second Lady Karen Pence’s decision to return to the teaching at an ordinary evangelical Protestant school that attempts to defend ordinary conservative or traditional Christian doctrine on sexuality. (Yes, I am writing about this issue again.)
Why bring up Episcopalians? Well, Episcopal schools are allowed to have lifestyle and doctrinal covenants that defend their church’s evolving pronouncements blending liberal Christian faith with the editorial pages of The New York Times. Private schools — on left and right — get to define the boundaries of their voluntary associations.

More here-

Episcopal Minister Penalized After Prohibiting Pastors in His Diocese From Officiating Same-Sex Ceremonies

From Christian News-

Michael Curry, the presiding “bishop” and primate of the apostatized Episcopal Church, has issued a partial restriction against a New York minister who recently released a directive prohibiting any pastors in his jurisdiction from officiating same-sex “weddings.”

Curry, who had been chosen to deliver a message at last year’s royal wedding in the United Kingdom, recently forbade William Love of the Diocese of Albany from participating in any disciplinary procedures against clergy in his diocese who participate in homosexual ceremonies.

“I am … persuaded that as presiding bishop I am called upon to take steps to ensure that same-sex marriage in The Episcopal Church is available to all persons to the same extent and under the same conditions in all Dioceses of the Church where same-sex marriage is civilly legal,” Curry wrote in a response published by the Episcopal News Service.

He stated that while he believes that Love’s convictions about homosexuality are sincere and of “good will,” he noted that a resolution passed last year at the General Convention, B012, requires ministers who object to same-sex “marriage” to contact another member of the clergy to officiate in their place. Therefore, Love can’t ban all clergy under his authority from officiating such ceremonies.

More here-

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Church of England ambassador to the Vatican clarifies views on Jesus' resurrection

From Premier-

The Archbishop of Canterbury's representative in Vatican City has declared "Christ is risen!" after his views on the physical resurrection of Jesus attracted scrutiny.

Dr John Shepherd, the interim director of the Anglican Centre in Rome, took steps to clarify his stance after a video emerged of him seeming to question whether the resurrection was a "physical event" eleven years ago.

During the Easter 2008 sermon, he said: "The resurrection of Jesus ought not to be seen in physical terms, but as a new spiritual reality.

"It is important for Christians to be set free from the idea that the resurrection was an extraordinary physical event which restored to life Jesus' original earthly body."

In a new statement, Shepherd said: "There has been speculation in the press and on social media about my views on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Part of this is based on a sermon I preached in 2008.

More here-

Anglican Bishop Attacks Gambling Companies That Target Children

From Vegas-

Dr. Alan Smith, the Bishop of St Albans in the UK, has resumed his attack on gambling operators that harm society, particularly by targeting under-18s. In his latest intervention, Smith said gambling had become a “generational scandal,” with at least 55,000 children now identified as problem gamblers.

Smith launched a major attack on the gambling companies in the Express newspaper. He said gambling is now a bigger problem for youngsters than alcohol or drugs, but there is not enough publicity about it.

He commented: “Moaning about gambling isn’t good enough – substantial change is needed. Children are the next target of an industry making billions in profits which shows little inclination to take any form of responsibility.”

He pointed out that youngsters typically are exposed to more than three advertisements for gambling every day. He added that 90% of pubs “fail to stop children from gambling on the fruit machines found in nearly every establishment.”

More here-

The Book of Common Prayer is becoming more common to all

From Ireland-

Though its influence over English life and writing since the reign of the Tudors has been immense, almost as great as the King James Bible itself, the Book of Common Prayer, the essential text for the communal life of the Anglican Communion, has long been misunderstood.

Indeed it is a book which Catholics, especially perhaps those who live in Ireland, are unaware of. This is a pity, if only from the point of view of providing a sense of history and present-day ecumenism. But this may be about to change, even here.

The Personal Ordinate of Our Lady of Walsingham in England and Wales, the ‘home in Rome’ for former Anglicans, is now allowed to use the Book of Common Prayer, making it in effect a document of the Catholic as well as Anglican Church.

So perhaps it behoves Catholics to learn more about it. This new Oxford University Press paperback edition comes with an introduction and notes which will fill in the background and the long and controversial history of the manual.

More here-

Local church helping Coast Guard families affected by government shutdown

From Mobile-

As the government shutdown enters into another day, families affected are working hard just to stay above water.

That's where churches and food pantries are stepping in to lend a helping hand.

Church of the Redeemer’s weekly community dinner is now a spot Kasey Cummings and her family can get a meal while her husband who works for the Coast Guard is not getting paid.

"You have to eat and we're fortunate enough to have this community and church be able to do that," Cummings said.

Cummings brought her two children and invited other Coast Guard families to stop by for dinner.
"We did just miss our first pay check," she said. "So, if you think about it, what do you normally buy with your pay check? Groceries and gas and things to get by on and some people just don't have that anymore."

More here-

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Archbishop of Canterbury's envoy who disputes the resurrection of Christ urged to quit Vatican post

From The Telegraph-

A row has erupted within the Church of England as senior Anglicans are calling on the Archbishop of Canterbury to force his ambassador to the Vatican to resign because he does not believe Jesus rose from the dead.

It has emerged that Dr John Shepherd, an Australian cleric appointed last week as the new representative to Rome, had delivered a sermon in which he said Christians should be “set free” from the traditional view of the resurrection.

The controversial comments, delivered while he was Dean of Perth Cathedral, have been criticised for flying in the face of the most fundamental Christian doctrines.

In a 2008 Easter sermon, he said: “It’s important for Christians to be set free from the idea that the resurrection was an extraordinary physical event, which restored to life Jesus’s original earthly body. The resurrection of Jesus ought not to be seen in physical terms, but as a new spiritual reality.”

More here-

Over 100 Anglican clergy, critical of their bishops’ LGBT guidance, threaten to go elsewhere

From England-

More than 100 Anglican priests in the Diocese of Oxford signed a letter critical of their bishops’ advice permitting active homosexuals to receive communion and to be ordained.

The priests warned their bishops that if they fail to affirm traditional church teaching, many will seek placement outside the Oxford Diocese.

The four Oxford bishops had advised clergy in a letter last fall that “Nobody should be excluded or discouraged from receiving the sacraments of baptism or the Lord’s supper on the grounds of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” while also affirming that “LGBT+ people can be called to roles of leadership and service in the local church.”

In response, the Oxford clergy wrote to express their “grave concern.”

“We are dismayed that nowhere in the letter is there any articulation of the current teaching of the Church of England on marriage and sexual relationships, based as it is on the words of Scripture, nor is there any expressed support for it. Instead, we read references to ‘attitudes changing,’ respect for ‘different views,’ and willingness to ‘listen to different streams in the debate.’”

More here-

North Dakota officials seek dismissal of road closure suit

From North Dakota-

“The plaintiffs’ peaceful protests were disrupted by a violent criminal faction that required responsible public officials to take necessary and appropriate steps to quell a criminal riot, protect private property from criminal activity and to ensure public safety,” Nicolai said.

TigerSwan asked to be dismissed as a defendant, arguing that it had nothing to do with the decision to close the road. Attorney Lynn Boughey also asked U.S. District Judge Dan Hovland to force the plaintiffs to pay the company’s attorney fees.

The three plaintiffs are reservation businesswoman Cissy Thunderhawk, pipeline opponent Waste’Win Young and the Rev. John Floberg of St. James’ Episcopal Church in Cannon Ball. They’re suing the county, its sheriff, Burgum and Dalrymple, and the heads of the state Transportation Department and Highway Patrol.

In addition to the monetary damages, the lawsuit seeks stricter rules for road closures in such instances and class-action status, meaning it would apply to all affected people, if granted.

More here-

Tossing Lines: A forgotten story of intrigue tucked in an attic

From New London CT-

Rummaging through my attic recently, I came upon a battered, weatherbeaten little book, its title long worn off, its pages fragile with age.

It was called “Memoirs of the Rev. Ammi Rogers A.M., A Clergyman of the Episcopal Church,” published in 1832. Rogers’ words on the title page caught my attention: “…persecuted in the State of Connecticut, on account of religion and politics, for almost twenty years” and “Falsely accused and imprisoned, in Norwich Jail, for two years…”

A local reverend persecuted and falsely imprisoned? Intrigued, I found it to be a remarkable local story indicating that the famous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision of 1973 was born right here in our own back yard.

Born in Branford in 1770, Ammi Rogers graduated from Yale College in 1790, and chose to serve the Episcopal church.

Interning under the Rev. Jarvis in Middletown, Rogers initially boarded with the mean-spirited Jarvis family, but soon left in disgust.

This greatly insulted Jarvis, and he committed decades to relentless, cruel retaliation.

Jarvis objected when Rogers was ordained a priest in 1794, and followed him to churches in upstate New York, attempting to sabotage his career and integrity at every opportunity, through outright lies and false documentation.

More here-

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Interim Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome rebuffs “resurrection” criticism

From Anglican News Service (additional link below)

A retired Anglican priest from Australia who has been chosen to lead the Anglican Centre in Rome on an interim basis has sought to rebuff criticism about his beliefs in the resurrection. The former Dean of St George’s Cathedral in Perth, Western Australia, Dr John Shepherd, was appointed as interim director last week following the resignation of Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi.

“Christ is Risen!”, Dr Shepherd said in response to widely reported criticism about his appointment. “There has been speculation in the press and on social media about my views on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Part of this is based on a sermon I preached in 2008.

“It is my faith that Jesus rose from the dead and I have never denied the reality of the empty tomb. The risen Christ was not a ghost – he ate and could be touched – but at the same time he appeared in a locked room (John 20. 26) and vanished from sight (Luke 24.31) and he was often not immediately recognised.

More here- 

and here-

Satan Claims Responsibility For Kale

From Babylon-

Amid claims that the ungodly, disgusting substance could not have possibly been conceived of by a benevolent creator, the great adversary, Satan, published a video claiming he alone was responsible for the violent attack upon humanity known as “kale.”
Authorities had long surmised that whoever invented the bitter, repulsive leaf cabbage did so with malevolent intent, and the dark lord’s statement confirms that kale was in fact designed to be an act of terrorism against mankind.
“Yes, you fools! It was me all along,” Satan said on the video posted to social media Tuesday. “Who else do you think could have deceived people into paying tons of money for horrible, overpriced organic kale chips and salads?”

More here-

Episcopal Church Prepares to Punish New York Bishop for Barring Homosexual Marriages in His Diocese

From CBN-

A New York bishop now faces disciplinary action after barring all same-sex marriages in his Albany-based diocese.

The Rev. William Love claims the church has been "hijacked by the Gay Rights Agenda," according to The Associated Press.

Last week, the Episcopal Church nullified Love's order.  Presiding Bishop Michael Curry wrote that Love's action "may constitute a canonical offense" and referred his case for disciplinary review. While the case is pending, Curry placed restrictions on Love that forbid him from penalizing clergy, laity or worshippers in the diocese for arranging or participating in same-sex marriages.

Last July, church leaders passed a Resolution B012 that gives bishops with theological objections to same-sex marriages the option of having another bishop conduct the wedding ceremony. The new policy went into effect on Dec. 2. 

Love said he would abide by the restrictions against him but would appeal any disciplinary action.

More here- 

and here-

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Leading evangelical bishop apologises for role in gender transition liturgy guidance – and now opposes it

From Christian Today-

A leading evangelical bishop who oversaw the production of controversial Church of England guidance about gender transitioning has apologised – and confirmed that he now doesn't back it.

The Bishop of Blackburn, Julian Henderson, was chair of the House of Bishops' Delegation Committee, the body which oversaw the publication of guidance last month on how to use the existing Affirmation of Baptismal Faith to enable transgender adults to mark their transition.

When the guidance was published, the official Church of England website quoted Bishop Henderson as saying: 'This new guidance provides an opportunity, rooted in scripture, to enable trans people who have "come to Christ as the way, the truth and the life", to mark their transition in the presence of their Church family which is the body of Christ. We commend it for wider use.'

But just a few days later, the Bishop was the lead signatory on a statement from the Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC), of which he is president. The CEEC statement described the guidance as 'highly divisive and theologically and pastorally questionable'. The statement said the guidance 'also risks raising serious concerns both within the wider Anglican Communion and ecumenically'.

More here-

Archbishop of Canterbury's envoy who disputes the resurrection of Christ urged to quit Vatican post

From The Telegraph-

A row has erupted within the Church of England as senior Anglicans are calling on the Archbishop of Canterbury to force his ambassador to the Vatican to resign because he does not believe Jesus rose from the dead.

It has emerged that Dr John Shepherd, an Australian cleric appointed last week as the new representative to Rome, had delivered a sermon in which he said Christians should be “set free” from the traditional view of the resurrection.

The controversial comments, delivered while he was Dean of Perth Cathedral, have been criticised for flying in the face of the most fundamental Christian doctrines.

In a 2008 Easter sermon, he said: “It’s important for Christians to be set free from the idea that the resurrection was an extraordinary physical event, which restored to life Jesus’s original earthly body. The resurrection of Jesus ought not to be seen in physical terms, but as a new spiritual reality.”

More here-

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Episcopal Church to victims of clergy abuse: Come forward

From Olympia-

The Episcopal Church, lifting a statute of limitations on reporting sexual abuse by clerics, has created a three-year window when any allegation of misconduct at any time can be brought forward to church authorities.

"In short, you do not have to wonder if the allegation comes from long ago," the Rt. Rev. Greg Rickel, Episcopal Bishop of Olympia, has written in a pastoral letter to be read in parishes and missions across Western Washington.

The General Convention of the church, meeting in Austin, Texas, last summer, passed a resolution amending church canons (laws) and suspending the statute of limitations on reporting misconduct. It created a three-year period, starting Jan. 1, 2019 and lasting through Dec. 31, 2021.

More here-

U.S. Episcopal Church issues restriction against Albany Bishop

More From Albany- (additional links at the bottom)

The U.S. Episcopal Church, responding to the Albany bishop’s continued ban on gay marriage despite national approval, has issued a “Partial Restriction on Ministry” prohibiting him from penalizing anyone for participating in same-sex rites while his conduct is further examined by the church.

In a statement issued Friday morning, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry announced that Bishop William Love “is forbidden from participating in any manner in the Church’s disciplinary process in the Diocese of Albany in any matter regarding any member of the clergy that involves the issue of same-sex marriage.”

More here- 

And here-

and here-

and here-

and here-

Friday, January 11, 2019

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry partially restricts Bishop William Love’s authority for refusing to obey General Convention

From ENS-

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has temporarily restricted part of Diocese of Albany Bishop William Love’s ministry because of Love’s refusal to allow same-sex marriages after General Convention mandated liturgical marriage equality in the church’s U.S. dioceses.
Love is “forbidden from participating in any matter regarding any member of the clergy that involves the issue of same-sex marriage,” Curry said in a document released Jan. 11. The restriction applies both to the Episcopal Church’s formal Title IV disciplinary process and to any action “that has or may have the effect of penalizing in any way any member of the clergy or laity or worshipping congregation of his diocese for their participation in the arrangements for or participation in a same-sex marriage in his diocese or elsewhere.”
The restriction appears to enable clergy in the upstate New York diocese to solemnize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples, something Love steadfastly refused to allow.
More here-

When Great Writers Wrestle with Faith

 From Christianity Today-

The metaphors we use in given situations show us more about our assumptions than we often realize. In politics, we speak of the “arena,” our “opponents,” or even “battle lines.” Our language betrays a hostile environment filled with warring parties. When we discuss education, we may refer to “values,” “costs,” or “benefits,” revealing economics as our lens for assessing learning.

The title of Richard Harries’s book, Haunted by Christ: Modern Writers and the Struggle for Faith, revolves around two contrasting metaphors for writers and religion. On the one hand, Christ is scary, unpursued, and ephemeral, haunting writers like a ghost. In the subtitle, though, the writers are active agents wrestling with an unknown entity, like Jacob with the angel, for the prize of faith. Harries explores both types of artists in his book, those who flee religion and those who chase it. He focuses primarily on those who lived in the 20th century, starting with 19th-century novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky and ending with modern writer Marilynne Robinson.

More here-

Anglicans mull replacement for conversion of Jews prayer

From Canada-

The Anglican Church of Canada, one of the largest Protestant denominations, is considering replacing a prayer for the conversion of the Jews with a new one calling for “reconciliation” with the Jewish people.

Right Rev. Bruce Myers, Bishop of the Quebec diocese, has proposed that the last vestige of anti-Semitism in the traditional Anglican prayerbook be removed. He was tasked by the church’s leadership to draft a motion to that effect, leading up to the triennial General Synod, the church’s highest governing body, which meets in July in Vancouver.

Inexplicably, the Prayer for the Conversion of the Jews remains in the 1962 edition of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP), more than 25 years after another, more harshly worded prayer that was recited on Good Friday was expunged.

The prayer now in question, which is found on page 41 of the BCP, is apparently not often recited nowadays, largely because the 1985 Book of Alternative Services is often used instead. In addition, unlike the Good Friday prayer, which had roots in 16th-century England and was part of an annual service, the Prayer for the Conversion of the Jews is among about 50 prayers that are used discretionally, Rev. Myers explained.

More here-

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Justin Welby: No-deal Brexit would be 'moral failure'

From Premier-

The Archbishop of Canterbury has suggested a second referendum may be required on the Brexit debate.

Speaking in the House of Lords, Justin Welby also said it would a moral failure should the UK leave the European Union without a deal.

The Anglican leader was taking part in a debate in the upper chamber as MPs continued talks in the Commons next door ahead of a vote on the Prime Minister's plan next Tuesday.

Welby said: "There has to be an agreement in which all accept the need to deliver the will of the people, which was expressed in the referendum. While also recognising that when it was expressed in such a close result there is a duty to build in compromise, an inevitability, albeit unwelcome to some.

"If not there will by default be a no-deal Brexit. That outcome would be not only be a political and practical failure but a moral one, equally as serious as ignoring the result of the referendum entirely.

More here-

Church leader finds internet never forgets

From Eternity News-

The internet forgets little, not even a Easter talk. An old message by Australian Anglican leader John Shepherd, who has just been appointed as Interim Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome – a sort of “embassy” for Anglicans to the Vatican – brings back uncomfortable memories.

Shepherd was formerly the Dean (senior minister) of Perth’s St George’s Cathedral. Back in Easter 2008, he released a video on the resurrection – Jesus’ rising from the dead. In this message, Shepherd appears to deny the physical resurrection of Christ.

“The resurrection of Jesus ought not to be seen in physical terms, but as a new spiritual reality,” Shepherd says on a video released by the Perth cathedral. “It is important for Christians to be set free from the idea that the resurrection was an extraordinary physical event which restored to life Jesus’ original earthly body.”

More here-

Smartphone users warned to be careful of the Antichrist

From The BBC-

People's dependence on smartphones and modern technology could bring about the coming of the Antichrist, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church has warned.

Russian social media users largely responded with humour and scepticism, while some accused the Church of "serving the regime".

Speaking to Russian state TV, Patriarch Kirill said smartphone users should be careful when using the "worldwide web of gadgets" because it represented "an opportunity to gain global control over mankind".

"The Antichrist is the person who will be at the head of the worldwide web, controlling all of humankind," he said.

More here-

Episcopal group says bishop's same-sex wedding policy is five weeks overdue

From Tennessee-

Episcopalians advocating for marriage equality say the bishop for the Tennessee diocese is five weeks late on issuing guidelines for same-sex church weddings.

They mailed letters this week to Tennessee Bishop John Bauerschmidt and the Episcopal Church's presiding bishop, the Most Rev. Michael Curry, taking issue with the delay and calling on Bauerschmidt to act.

"We are gravely concerned that the decision of the General Convention allowing for same-sex marriage rites to be made available to all members of the church has yet to be implemented in the Diocese of Tennessee," the Jan. 7 letter addressed to Bauerschmidt states. 

More than 100 people signed the letters. They are connected to All Sacraments for All People, a grassroots organization pushing for marriage inclusion within the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee, said Connally Davies Penley, who is on the group's steering committee and signed the letters. 

More here-

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Conservative Evangelicals Attempt to Disentangle Their Faith from Trumpism

From The New Yorker-

On a recent afternoon at Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Virginia, Karen Swallow Prior was leading a discussion of Rudyard Kipling’s “The White Man’s Burden” for the seventeen students enrolled in her English course on Victorian literature. Prior, who is fifty-three and was wearing a high-necked floral-print dress, looked as if she might have stepped out of “Great Expectations,” except for her startling magenta lipstick, and her hair, which is dyed bright orange at the crown and a paler blond around her face, resembling an upside-down flame. On the whiteboard behind her in the windowless classroom, she’d written, “Colonialism, Imperialism, Darwinism, Orientalism, Eurocentrism / Anglocentrism.”

She read aloud, “Take up the White Man’s burden— / Send forth the best ye breed— / Go bind your sons to exile / To serve your captives’ need,” then noted, “Kipling was encouraging the United States to use Christianity as a tool of empire.” The aggressive spread of the faith was an ideal of the Victorian age, she went on, but that doesn’t mean that the Bible supports imperialism. During the nineteenth century, Christianity was used as a justification for secular political projects, and this collapse continues today. “So much of what we think is Biblical Christianity is really Victorian,” she said. For example, contemporary Christians often claimed that traditional notions of proper gender roles—such as that a woman’s place was in the home—came from scripture, when, in fact, they were largely products of nineteenth-century European thought. “It’s super important to learn to distinguish between Victorianism and Biblical Christianity,” she said. It was the last day of classes before the Christmas break, and, outside, among the red-brick buildings, carols played from speakers on lampposts hung with wreaths. Students might have been forgiven for paying scant attention to the Victoriana, but Prior’s earnest-looking students, most of them women, were so engrossed in her lecture that, when the class ended, they lingered around her, reluctant to leave.

More here-

The former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has called for the Article 50 process to be revoked to allow the UK to come to a “reasoned sensible conclusion” on Brexit. Dr Williams said he feared the country was approaching a “very dangerous cliff edge” and needed more time to resolve the issues raised by the Brexit debate. The European Court of Justice ruled in early December that Britain could unilaterally revoke Article 50 and remain inside the EU on existing terms.

Read more at:

he former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has called for the Article 50 process to be revoked to allow the UK to come to a “reasoned sensible conclusion” on Brexit. Dr Williams said he feared the country was approaching a “very dangerous cliff edge” and needed more time to resolve the issues raised by the Brexit debate. The European Court of Justice ruled in early December that Britain could unilaterally revoke Article 50 and remain inside the EU on existing terms.

Read more at:
he former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has called for the Article 50 process to be revoked to allow the UK to come to a “reasoned sensible conclusion” on Brexit. Dr Williams said he feared the country was approaching a “very dangerous cliff edge” and needed more time to resolve the issues raised by the Brexit debate. The European Court of Justice ruled in early December that Britain could unilaterally revoke Article 50 and remain inside the EU on existing terms.

Read more at:

Anglican Centre appoints Interim Director

From The Tablet-

The Anglican Centre in Rome has appointed an Interim Director following the resignation of its Director, Bernard Ntahoturi, over allegations of sexual misconduct.

The Very Revd Dr John Shepherd will take on the role as the Interim Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome and the Archbishop of Canterbury's Representative to the Holy See, The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Governors of the Anglican Centre in Rome announced on 8 January.

Dr Shepherd served as Dean of St George's Cathedral, Perth, Western Australia from 1990 to 2014.
He was ordained at St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne in 1966 having completed his BA at the University of Melbourne. He also has a Master of Sacred Music degree from Union Seminary in New York and a PhD from St.Catharine's College, Cambridge.

More here-

Oxford diocese in meltdown as clergy reject bishops' view on sexuality

From Christian Today-

The Church of England's Oxford diocese is facing an uncertain future after a large group of its serving clergy publicly rejected their bishops' views on sexuality.

A letter to the bishops signed by a wide grouping of more than 100 church ministers says that 'the situation [in the diocese] is serious. If not addressed, we would all struggle to support the leadership of our bishops in this matter and a number of our churches may want to seek alternative means of receiving episcopal ministry, in recognition that your position is seriously differentiated from theirs. This would be a tragedy.'

The warning comes in response to the Oxford bishops' offer of 'interim LGBT guidance and support' in their diocese last October, in a move seen by many as pre-empting the outcome of the official Church of England 'Living in Love and Faith' discussions on sexuality, which will not conclude until 2020.

The letter to the bishops was sent before Christmas, and in turn the bishops have responded to the signatories with a statement of their own. Christian Today understands both letters are to be circulated to all clergy in the Oxford diocesan email news today, Wednesday. They are now also in the public domain on the website of the Oxford Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship.

More here-

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Church of England's new 'gender transition service'

From England-

The Church of England issued pastoral guidance last month instituting a new "gender transition service," a move conservative Anglicans decried as contrary to the Bible.

The guidance, published Dec. 11 and approved by the House of Bishops, the upper house of the tricameral Church of England General Synod, laid out a model for a "celebratory" service to mark the church's official recognition of a person as a sex different from that of his or her birth.

The statement, which asserted "unconditional affirmation of trans people," recommended the rite of publicly affirming one's baptism as a way for people who identify as the opposite sex to "rededicate their life and identity to God." It also instructed ministers to lay hands on and pray for the individual using his or her chosen name. The document warned that some transgender individuals will not want their former name or gender mentioned and defended the practice of taking on a new name as a historic Biblical tradition.

More here-

The Church and the Gay

From Namibia-

Namibian Christendom is for the first time confronted by a topic that, until now, as far as the Namibian church establishment is concerned, has always been a straightforward matter: the Namibian Constitution does not guarantee marriage for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons. 

Previously the men and women of the cloth in Namibia were not worried about such a then ‘trivial topic’. It was an issue relegated to South African churches where LGBT marriages are allowed, but the local church must now figure out whether or not to conduct such marriages for their members.

It took a threat of a legal battle by members of the Dutch Reformed Church to wake up the Namibian Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church, and a motion submission by the Anglican Diocese of Saldanha Bay in South Africa to wake up the Anglican Diocese of Namibia. 

Now the Council of Churches in Namibia says it is planning to have an awareness workshop on LGBT issues in the near future. 

More here-

Anglican Church to drill Lagos governorship aspirants in debate Jan 14

From Nigeria-

The Lagos West Anglican Diocese has set Tuesday, January 14 as a day of public debate for governorship candidates in Lagos state.

Bishop of the Diocese, The Rt Reverend Dr. James Odedeji, made this known today while unveiling plans by the Diocese to organize the debate.

Speaking on the planned debate, Odedeji said the task of rebuilding Nigeria was an aggregate duty which ought not to be left in the hands of government officials alone.

“While we continue to pray for peace, progress and development of Nigeria generally, and this state in particular, we also have a duty to watch and serve as light to others,” the archbishop stated.

According to him, the special divinely-ordained and directed debate for the governorship candidates of political parties participating in the 2nd March, 2019 election in the state fixed for 14th of January, 2019, is part of the Diocese contribution to good governance in the state, and the country in general.

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A Christmas Message from Bishop Love

From Albany-

These are the very questions that I recently found myself struggling with as I tried to discern God’s will in knowing how best to respond, as the Bishop of Albany, to General Convention Resolution B012. After much thought, prayer and wrestling not so much with God, but with myself, I issued the Pastoral Letter which I believe the Lord called me to share. It has spread throughout the world touching the hearts and minds of people in ways that I never would have imagined. For many it was seen as an inspiration and encouragement, upholding the faith; for others, unfortunately, it was seen as a personal attack – something I never intended or wanted. K
As I write to you now, I don’t know what the future holds. There is a strong possibility that I may be facing Title IV disciplinary proceedings for my unwillingness to abide by General Convention Resolution B012. As I stated in the Pastoral Letter, it was “not out of mean-spiritedness, hatred, bigotry, judgmentalism, or homophobia” that I have taken the actions that I have, “but rather out of love – love for God and His Word; love for The Episcopal Church and wider Anglican Communion; love for each of you my Brothers and Sisters in Christ, especially love for those who are struggling with same-sex attractions.” Whatever the outcome, I trust and believe that God will use it for His purposes and the benefit of His Church and people.

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Vandals strike Ocean View church again

From Hawaii-

An Ocean View church was tagged with graffiti last week and again during the weekend, said congregation members on Monday. St. Jude’s Episcopal Church, located on Paradise Circle, is regularly plagued by theft and criminal property damage. Congregation member Richard Burt said the building is vandalized monthly.

During the past two weekends, the outside of the church’s sidewalks and sign were tagged with blue spray paint. Burt said graffiti was again found on the concrete ground of the front of the church this Saturday.

“It’s a continuous nuisance,” Burt said. “We try to serve the community, and this is the thanks we get from a couple of people.”

Hawaii Police Department Maj. Robert Wagner confirmed St. Jude’s has a history of vandalism, theft and break-ins. He noted the church’s willingness to help others, such as by offering hot showers and meals, might be attracting “some undesirables” to the area.

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Monday, January 7, 2019

Mutamiri new Anglican bishop

From Central Africa-

Dr Farai Mutamiri was yesterday consecrated as the new bishop of the Anglican Church's Diocese of Harare, Church of the Province of Central Africa at the City Sports Centre.

The consecration was later followed by his enthronement at the Cathedral of St Mary and All Saints in the afternoon. He replaces Bishop Chad Gandiya, who retired at the end of last year.

Bishop Mutamiri's consecration was presided over by Archbishop of the Church of the Province of Central Africa Albert Chama. Bishop Mutamiri was elected on November 27 last year.

Archbishop Chama in his sermon urged Bishop Mutamiri to put the interest of the clergy ahead of his own.

"The church belongs to God and your role is to shepherd his flock and not to personalise the church," he said.

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Anglican Bishop assures congregation of God’s favour

From Ghana-

The Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Tamale, the Right Reverend Dr Jacob Kofi Ayeebo, on Sunday reassured members of his congregation to rekindle their relationship in Christ to win his favour as the new year begins.
He said “It is legitimate as humans to worry about life’s problems. However, as Christians, we have our hopes in Christ and so we need not worry about our health, business, marriage and other things that will deter us from our relationship with Christ”.

The Bishop gave the assurance when he preached the sermon at the Saint Cyprian Anglican Parish in Bolgatanga.

According to the Bishop “We must learn to place our trust in the Lord and commit our problems to him. He is always ready to receive our problems and solve them”.

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Finding home by another way, St. Andrew's congregants say goodbye to church

From Wisconsin-

The congregation of St. Andrew’s celebrated its last service Sunday in the building at 6609 26th Ave., which has been its home for the last six decades.

But the building isn’t the church. The church is its people who will be “going home another way,” said Bishop Steven Miller of the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee, quoting James Taylor’s ballad about the Magi.

Miller presided over the service and closing ceremony on Sunday, also the day of Epiphany, when the Magi, or three wise men, came bearing gifts as they visited the baby Jesus.

“We are those who have made a decision to follow Jesus as savior and Lord in the fellowship of this church, and I want to submit to you that at this time and this place in 2019 that is a culture, counter-cultural proclamation,” Miller told the 60 people who attended the final service Sunday afternoon, about a third of whom are members of St. Andrew’s. “Because following Jesus is very different than the ways of power and the ways of the world.”

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Sunday, January 6, 2019

Anglican priest apologises for 'deeply offensive' comments in which he likened offshore processing of asylum-seekers to the Holocaust

From The Daily Mail-

An Anglican priest apologised after he compared the offshore processing of asylum-seekers to the Holocaust.

At the end of December Father Rod Bower erected a sign outside of Gosford Anglican Church which read 'Manus is how the Holocaust started'. 

With it, Father Rod wrote a lengthy post on Facebook where he explained that a photo of men behind a wire fence on Manus island 'evoked for him a remembrance of photos he'd seen of the Holocaust'. 

More here-

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Today's anxiety, mistrust will pass

From Mississippi-

Last month, a cohort of astronauts and bishops gathered in Washington to commemorate the Apollo 8 space mission’s 50th anniversary.
The Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, said before the ceremony, “The exploration of space is part of the human quest for knowledge, and the human quest for knowledge is to know God’s creation.”
The Apollo 8 mission, taking place Dec. 21-27, 1968, saw the first manned spacecraft break through earth’s lower orbit, orbit around the moon, and come back. The ship’s crew – Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders – became the first humans to see an “Earthrise” and experience the sensation of zero gravity. It set the stage for Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to finally set foot on the moon on the Apollo 11 mission just six months later.
The historical moment of the Apollo 8 mission was a tense one. If you’ll remember, the Apollo missions were part of the Space Race between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.

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Presiding Bishop’s statement on consent process in the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti

From The Episcopal Church-

January 4, 2019
Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has issued the following statement:

Dear Friends in Christ Jesus,

On 3 January 2019, the 120-day canonically mandated period for gathering consents to the ordination and consecration of the Venerable Joseph Kerwin Delicat as the Bishop Coadjutor of Haiti came to a close. I am writing to report that a majority of the bishops with jurisdiction in The Episcopal Church did not consent to the ordination and consecration, nor did the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Haiti provide evidence of consent from a majority of the Standing Committees of the dioceses of The Episcopal Church.

In the coming days I will be in consultation with leaders in the Diocese of Haiti, as well as with others around The Episcopal Church, as we look for the next, best steps forward.

More here-

Friday, January 4, 2019

GACON chair slams CofE transgender guidance as 'false teaching'

From Christian Today-

The chairman of GAFCON, the global conservative Anglican grouping, has hit out at the Church of England over guidance for services to mark transitions for transgender people.

In a message for Epiphany, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Primate of Nigeria, contrasted the 'revealed wisdom of God' and 'the wisdom claimed by secular ideologies'. He said calls for 'dialogue' masked the continuing spread of 'false teaching'.

Guidance issued by the House of Bishops commends the rite of Affirmation of Baptismal Faith as a template for recognising a person's gender transition. Okoh said: 'A form of service which is intended to mark a renewed commitment to Christ and the new life we receive through him is instead used to celebrate an identity which contradicts our God-given identity as male and female (as affirmed by Jesus himself in Matthew 19:4) and is still controversial even in secular society.'

The CofE, he said, was 'rejecting biblical authority' in line with the US Episcopal Church and other 'revisionist' provinces.

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Fallout from books and bombs: 1960s’ Anglican radicalism

From Church Times-

IN MARCH 1963, the SCM Press published John Robinson’s Honest to God, a slim theological paperback that sent shock-waves around the Church of England.

Robinson had become the Bishop of Woolwich in 1959, and he had already achieved national fame by appearing as a defence witness in the Lady Chatterley’s Lover trial of 1960. On the eve of Honest to God’s publication, he outlined his arguments in a widely read Observer article, “Our Image of God Must Go”.

There was now occurring, he argued, a radical revolution in human life. “Modern man” was becoming irreversibly “secular”, and this meant that the Churches needed to embrace “glad acceptance of secularisation as a God-given fact”, abandoning the conventional, theist understanding of God, and shifting their efforts to focus on social activism rather than Sunday services.

These arguments prompted instant controversy. Supportive letters were written to Robinson, and angry letters were written to the Church Times. By December 1963, Honest to God had sold 350,000 copies. Its sales eventually reached more than a million, not including its translations into 17 languages (Features, 26 April 2013).

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Presiding Bishop Appoints New Board Chair for Episcopal Relief & Development as Organization Welcomes New Board Members

From Benzinga-

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church, has appointed Teri Lawver as Board Chair for Episcopal Relief & Development. Ms. Lawver replaces Neel Lane who served as chair from 2015 until the end of 2018.

Episcopal Relief & Development welcomes Lawver and also new board member Matt Silva. Lawver was previously on the board of the organization from 2008 to 2013 and has continued to serve on the Advancement Committee.

"I am thrilled to welcome Teri back to the Board of Directors as Board Chair," said Presiding Bishop Curry. "Teri and Episcopal Relief & Development know each other exceedingly well and I am confident that together with the rest of the board and staff, we will create lasting change."

Lawver was named Board Chair, effective January 1, 2019 as Lane completed his term on the board.

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How this Episcopalian’s own book convinced him to become Catholic

From CNA-

An Episcopalian priest set out to write a book on finding and understanding the Gospel’s truth. Now, after he and his family have converted to Catholicism, he says they have found it.

Andrew Petiprin, his wife Amber, and their two children Alex and Aimee were confirmed into the Catholic Church on Jan. 1, at St. Patrick’s Parish in Nashville, the city where they have lived for the last 18 months.

“I am grateful for 16 formative years as an Anglican, and 8 as an Episcopal priest, most recently as Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of Tennessee. But I am thrilled that the Lord has called me, my wife, and our children into full communion with Rome,” said Petiprin on Twitter.

Petiprin told CNA that his conversion was heavily influenced by questions raised in the process of writing his book “Truth Matters: Knowing God and Yourself,” which was released last April. 

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Thursday, January 3, 2019

Celibacy isn’t the cause of the church sex-abuse crisis; the priesthood is

From The Boston Globe-

Year after year, we seem to reach new depths of priestly depravity in the Catholic church’s “ministry” to children in its charge. After 16 years of bad news on that front, a Pennsylvania grand jury reported last August that more than 1,000 children had been molested by more than 300 priests in that state. 

And now the attorney general of Illinois, Lisa Madigan, has revealed that 500 cases of alleged molestation were kept hidden by Catholic authorities. They were rejected as unproven by their own investigation. But Madigan says these were not real investigations at all, since the clerical bodies involved “will not resolve the clergy sexual abuse crisis on their own.” Civil authorities are needed where spiritual guidance has been nothing but misguidance.

The first instinct of bishops in these scandals was to “lawyer up,” and the first instruction of lawyers was not to show compassion or admit to any accusation. Large amounts of money are at stake here — millions already paid in settlements, with more millions to come. Madigan rightly says: “The priority has always been in protecting priests and protecting church assets.” I have a priest friend who went to console a family he knew when their child reported an abuse, but he was told by his religious superiors to cut it out. He was just lending credibility to the accuser. 

More here-

Preservation board reacts to St. Michael’s demolition

From Florida-

About a dozen people showed up Gainesville’s Historic Preservation Board meeting on Wednesday to talk about the destruction of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, a meeting that was originally scheduled to nominate the site as a local historic landmark.

Most expressed frustration with the process that played out leading up to last week’s demolition, with some pleaded that the board ensure a similar scenario doesn’t happen again.

Last week, the Episcopal Diocese of Florida, which owned the church at 4315 NW 23rd Ave., began demolishing the building the same day it was issued a permit by the city of Gainesville. A group of Gainesville residents were trying to nominate the site as a historic landmark through the city’s historic preservation procedures.

“The process seems extremely flawed,” said board chairman Jay Reeves. ”... I think we need to smooth it out and make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

The preservation board voted unanimously to send a letter to the Gainesville City Commission requesting it expedite future nomination processes and to amend loopholes in ordinances that the Episcopal diocese managed to bypass or expose. The board will also send a letter censuring the actions of the diocese, its attorney and CHW Professional Consultants, a local group working with the diocese and developers.

More here-