Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Herdsmen: What we’ll do to Anglican bishops if they ask Buhari to declare us terrorists – Miyetti Allah

From Nigeria-

MIYETTI Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, yesterday, flayed Anglican Bishops for describing it as a terrorist organisation, saying the group is made up of herdsmen, not terrorists.

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/12/were-not-terrorists-herdsmen-warn-anglican-bishops/
 The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, on Tuesday threatened to institute a legal action against Anglican bishops for describing violent herdsmen as terrorists.


The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, on Tuesday threatened to institute a legal action against Anglican bishops for describing violent herdsmen as terrorists.
Recall that an Anglican bishops in Nigeria had called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare armed herdsmen as terrorists.
However, MACBAN, while insisting they are not terrorists, admonished the bishops to withdraw their remark.

Speaking with Vanguard, the National Coordinator of MACBAN, Alhaji Garus Gololo said herdsmen have the right to graze anywhere across the country.

According to Gololo, “We are not happy with this comment coming from the Bishops who are spiritual heads of the Anglican Church; we want them to withdraw it.

More here-

http://dailypost.ng/2018/12/12/herdsmen-well-anglican-bishops-ask-buhari-declare-us-terrorists-miyetti-allah/


MIYETTI Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, yesterday, flayed Anglican Bishops for describing it as a terrorist organisation, saying the group is made up of herdsmen, not terrorists.

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/12/were-not-terrorists-herdsmen-warn-anglican-bishops/
MIYETTI Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, yesterday, flayed Anglican Bishops for describing it as a terrorist organisation, saying the group is made up of herdsmen, not terrorists.

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/12/were-not-terrorists-herdsmen-warn-anglican-bishops/

Killer herdsmen should be declared terrorists like Boko Haram – Anglican Archbishop tells Buhari

From Nigeria-

The Archbishop of Ibadan Province of the Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Segun Okubadejo, has insisted that armed herdsmen are terrorists just like Boko Haram insurgents.
Okubadejo said this while faulting President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to proscribe violent herdsmen across the country.

Addressing newsmen yesterday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, he said, “Our nation is filled with disturbing evil acts; rapes, ritual killings, kidnappings, armed banditry and herdsmen terrorists.
“Though the president is refusing to declare them terrorists but to us, we know that they are terrorists in disguise just like Boko Haram.

“We say no as things will not continue like this; we need the inward transformation of every Nigerian and unless that happens God may not intervene in our situation.’’

More here-

http://dailypost.ng/2018/12/11/killer-herdsmen-declared-terrorists-like-boko-haram-anglican-archbishop-tells-buhari/

Two vibrant Anglican congregations in Winnipeg

From Canada-

When United Church of Canada minister Paul Derry moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, in the early 2000s, there were seven United Church congregations in his quarter of the city. At the end of 2018, he told me, there was only one. The rest have closed and sold for condos or been merged with other congregations.

Most mainline pastors paying attention these days—in Canada as well as the United States—know that their parish is perhaps ten minutes away from closing. If there is a future for this kind of church, it will be one in which every pastor is something of a church planter, seeding life in the midst of the enormous upheaval in institutional religious life. Not many pastors were trained for this work. How do we do it?

I traveled to Winnipeg because I had heard about two Anglican churches there that were doing innovative things and growing in significant ways. I’d also heard that they represented two opposing wings in the Anglican Church.

More here-

https://www.christiancentury.org/article/features/two-vibrant-anglican-congregations-winnipeg

Episcopal parties seek summary judgment in lawsuit

From South Carolina-

The Episcopal Church in South Carolina and The Episcopal Church have asked the U.S. District Court to grant motions for summary judgment and call a halt to the “pervasive” public confusion caused by a group that broke away from the church yet continues to use Episcopal names and marks.

The motion asks U.S. District Judge Richard M. Gergel to prohibit false advertising and the use of confusing names and marks by the breakaway group and its affiliated churches. A motion for summary judgment is a request for the court to rule that the other party has no case, because there are no facts at issue.
“The public confusion resulting from Defendants’ conduct is pervasive,” according to a memo filed by TECSC on Dec. 7 in support of the motion. “It is undeniably causing irreparable harm to The Episcopal Church, and more locally, to TECSC and its Bishops. All that the Plaintiffs seek in this action is declaratory and injunctive relief, not damages (for which they could easily make a case).”

More here-

https://thetandd.com/news/local/episcopal-parties-seek-summary-judgment-in-lawsuit/article_f6e1198d-1005-52b5-98bf-a77aa1f0020c.html

‘We have saved St. Augustine’s.’ Raleigh university removed from probation.

From North Carolina-

The university has made numerous budget cuts in recent years, such as in 2014 trimming its full-time workforce, not rehiring dozens of adjunct faculty and furloughing employees. In April, the university announced it was laying off 22 employees as part of a restructuring.

Ward said that accreditation agency was impressed by how the university invested $1.7 million in a project addressing its financial processes. He said the university has gone from doing its accounting manually to using software. 

Ward also praised the alumni and the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, which founded the school in 1867, for their financial support. He also singled out the faculty and staff for standing by the university.

“I know how hard it has been and you have stood with us in the most difficult times because you never failed to believe that we would not reach this day,” Ward said.

More here-

 https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article222943610.html?fbclid=IwAR2X5dx2785HL9-Rfzrn_zuC_hmhO2T0cOD_ZSnIMOIezOdnkcZ_aeSVlL8


Read more here: https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article222943610.html?fbclid=IwAR2X5dx2785HL9-Rfzrn_zuC_hmhO2T0cOD_ZSnIMOIezOdnkcZ_aeSVlL8#storylink=cpy

Church of England to offer baptism-style services to transgender people to celebrate their new identity for first time

From The Telegraph-

The Church of England has encouraged its clergy to create baptism-style ceremonies for transgender people to welcome them into the Anglican faith.

New pastoral guidance, published on Tuesday, advises clergy to refer to transgender people by their new name, though it stops short of being a baptism.

The guidance, which was approved by the House of Bishops on Monday night, also details how elements including water and oil can be incorporated into the service.

It also advises that as part of a special service, they can be presented with gifts such as a Bible inscribed in their chosen name, or a certificate.

More here-

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/12/11/church-england-offer-baptism-style-services-transgender-people/?fbclid=IwAR0JgOwDv1rd6qLpBxGnH7-Pr1beTz5MZoc0bQHdB3AATlDEblQuo9DsOt4

Ian T. Douglas: Our job is not to keep the church in business

From Faith and Leadership-

As bishop of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, the Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas takes seriously his administrative duties.

But, he says, he also enjoys “throwing all things up in the air, causing chaos, inviting imagination and encouraging folk, particularly by virtue of their baptism.”

Specifically, he points to efforts, at both the diocesan and the parish level, to send Christians out into the world, open to the work of the Spirit.

“How do we join in that faithfully, and what does it mean to be a disciple, a follower of Jesus today, who is sent into the world as an apostle to join God in God’s mission?” he said.

Douglas, who was elected bishop in 2009, serves approximately 168 parishes and faith communities in the state of Connecticut.

More here-

https://www.faithandleadership.com/ian-t-douglas-our-job-not-keep-church-business?fbclid=IwAR0oqsFB8oK_jDhJXoXwMk-C0qfQXi76L1t8aUwZYZhPlPN-1CYqt3W28RA

Pittsburgh, 9 Churches Settle Disputes

From Pittsburgh-

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh and nine churches of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh announce that they have reached an agreement regarding disputed properties:

“Even though the issues resolved here originated through division and were often the cause of great pain, we know that as Christians we are called to be ambassadors for Christ and ministers of reconciliation, first among ourselves, and then with the larger world. The Episcopal Diocese and the Parishes have come to recognize that our mutual desire to live according to the Gospel and to share with others the Good News of Jesus Christ far outweighs any differences we have with each other, and this agreement frees us to carry out that mission as we believe God is calling us to do,” said Bishop Dorsey McConnell of the Episcopal Diocese.

Bishop James Hobby of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh issued the following statement in support of the parishes entering into this agreement: “I feel that the settlement is quite remarkable, given the litigious culture in which we live. Clearly, hard work and difficult conversations were part of the negotiations. But, biblical principles and a shared commitment to follow Christ provided a healthy context for pursuing the discussions with mutual respect and understanding. A commitment to our fundamental mission was greater than our differences. While differences remain between the parties, I pray that Jesus’ prayer for unity in Him and His truth will one day find expression throughout the Church.”

More here-

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

CONVERSATIONS: LIBBY GILCHRIST, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND AUTHOR

From Australia-

One of Australia's first female Anglican priests when she was ordained in 2005, LIBBY GILCHRIST has recently written a book about her "journey to priesthood" The Tapestry: One Woman's Journey to Priesthood. Having retired in 2010 and now an honorary associate priest at Sorrento/Rye Anglican Parish in Melbourne, the 68-year-old, who with husband Stuart has three children and six grandchildren, speaks about why she decided to write it, the challenges she’s faced on her journey and why it’s important to have women in church leadership…
 
Congratulations on the book. What made you decide to write it? 
 
"Initially I felt the need to write simply to come to grips with the different facets of my journey to priesthood, the difficulties as well as the joys. It is not a history so much as the story of my own personal journey."

Why now?  

 
"I began to write when I retired in 2010. It took me over a year to write the basic story, and then several more years to review and edit it. Once at this point I was encouraged by many people to try to have it published so that the present and coming generations of women, and men, within the church might have some understanding about the history of women’s leadership in the church. It was also so that women and men outside the church may gain an insight into a wider perspective of the often different and difficult path that women are faced with in their life’s journeys. The further years of review were important as they allowed for a process of 'composting' - that is, after some years of retirement, to look hard at what I had written and how I had written it, trying to make sure that it expressed what I wanted and needed to say."


More here-

https://www.sightmagazine.com.au/columns/conversations/10949-conversations-libby-gilchrist-anglican-priest-and-author

Royal wedding bishop reflects on whirlwind 2018 — and reveals the key to marriage

From Today-

The Most Rev. Michael Curry nearly stole the show when he presided over the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in May. 

As part of our Voices series, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church is reflecting on his viral moment and newfound celebrity — and also sharing his best relationship advice, highlights from the year and an update on his health, months after he revealed he had prostate cancer. 

It was really a joy to be at the royal wedding and participate in it. (Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex) sent me a very lovely letter and thank you. Now they go on and live their lives. My job is to bless them from their nest and then they go off and fly on their own.

And I came through prostate surgery and came through it well, and that was a joy. I'm good — had good doctors, good prayers, good people, good family. Put it all together and it spells love.

More here-


 

Aslan Is Not a Tame Lion: The Serious Mistake of Casual Worship

From Patheos-

As a professional Christian, I don’t get many Sundays off. In fact, I tend to take fewer off than I am allowed, since I enjoy my work immensely and am not traveling much these days. But a couple weeks ago I was in Boston on a Sunday morning, and following the recommendation of a few friends, found my way to The Church of the Advent, an Episcopal parish serving Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood since 1844.

Google maps directed me from the T, but once I was within about eight blocks I put my phone away and followed the smell of incense wafting through the brisk New England autumn air.

Worship at Advent differs from common liturgical practice in the contemporary American church, to say the least. It is exceedingly beautiful, sublime even, evoking a sense of transcendence that seems strikingly out of place, even in one of the most historic cities in the country. Continuity and communion with the universal church is palpable.  

More here-

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/ponderanew/2018/10/29/worship-is-not-a-casual-activity/?fbclid=IwAR15J8_BrAg7nLdcF89gaHsfVTaVoN2iH5QTBwSpi22i8dCaOzXbG8cZRIk#TtKmDyhEcRa08DVc.01

America’s New Religions

From New York Magazine- (Andrew Sullivan)

Everyone has a religion. It is, in fact, impossible not to have a religion if you are a human being. It’s in our genes and has expressed itself in every culture, in every age, including our own secularized husk of a society.

By religion, I mean something quite specific: a practice not a theory; a way of life that gives meaning, a meaning that cannot really be defended without recourse to some transcendent value, undying “Truth” or God (or gods).

Which is to say, even today’s atheists are expressing an attenuated form of religion. Their denial of any God is as absolute as others’ faith in God, and entails just as much a set of values to live by — including, for some, daily rituals like meditation, a form of prayer. (There’s a reason, I suspect, that many brilliant atheists, like my friends Bob Wright and Sam Harris are so influenced by Buddhism and practice Vipassana meditation and mindfulness. Buddhism’s genius is that it is a religion without God.)

More here-

‘Silent Night’ turns 200 this year. Is it the greatest Christmas song ever?

From American Magazine-

The hills around Salzburg are alive, we hear, “alive with the sound of music.” Young and old, the people sing and hum and strum. The water in the brooks laughs as it trips and falls downstream. Church chimes sigh with the breeze.

This music, we also hear, has been sung for 1,000 years. Maybe. But one song—probably the most famous—is celebrating only 200 years. On Christmas Eve 1818, in the church of St. Nicholas in Oberndorf near Salzburg, “Stille Nacht” (“Silent Night”) was sung for the first time.

The words to “Silent Night” were the work of the Rev. Joseph Mohr, a young priest in Oberndorf. He wrote them in 1816 as a reflection on peace after a summer of violence in Salzburg. On Christmas Eve two years later, he asked his friend Franz Xaver Gruber, a schoolteacher in the neighboring town of Arnsdorf and also the organist in Oberndorf, to set his words to music. Gruber did so, and together that evening at Christmas Eve Mass, the two performed “Silent Night” for the gathered faithful, Mohr singing and Gruber playing the guitar, since the church organ was not working. “Silent Night” was an immediate sensation.

More here-

https://www.americamagazine.org/arts-culture/2018/12/06/silent-night-turns-200-year-it-greatest-christmas-song-ever?fbclid=IwAR30LXTIwwuXg0YXWm1P2v4yJovxgLtLENwDClFufICoLCd_uWLm4pBy-EA

Monday, December 10, 2018

Two former senior Newcastle Anglicans could be stripped of any positions in the church

From Australia-

Former Newcastle Assistant Bishop Richard Appleby and former registrar Peter Mitchell have told a church tribunal the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse erred in finding they failed in their responses to child sex allegations and abuse survivor Steve Smith.

Bishop Appleby and Mr Mitchell told a Newcastle Anglican professional standards board hearing they were treated “unfairly” by the royal commission. While Mr Mitchell admitted the commission’s finding that he adopted a “deliberately obstructive approach” when police investigated allegations against Newcastle priest George Parker, he denied it in his submission to the professional standards board.

More here-

https://www.theherald.com.au/story/5802607/it-was-unfair-former-anglican-bishop-and-registrar-criticise-royal-commission/

Presiding bishop greets area Episcopalians

From East Carolina-

The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church offered words of hope and comfort Sunday afternoon to area Episcopalians coping with the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.

“We need each other,” Bishop Michael B. Curry told a packed crowd at St. James Episcopal Church’s Perry Hall, citing the passage from Genesis that “it is not good for a human being to be alone.” “We were made for relationships with God and each other.” For those troubled or depressed, he urged, “Do something for somebody else.”

In a lighter mood, the bishop led the crowd in a sing-along of the Bill Withers song “Lean on Me,” with the refrain, “We all need somebody to lean on.”

Curry was touring the region on pastoral visits to those engaged in hurricane recovery and relief. On Saturday, Curry was at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Jacksonville, and Sunday morning, he made an unpublicized stop with parishioners of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Southport.

More here-

https://www.starnewsonline.com/news/20181209/presiding-bishop-greets-area-episcopalians

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Brisbane Anglican diocese welcoming more women than men to the priesthood

From Australia-

In the past decade, 43 women have been ordained in the Brisbane diocese, compared with 35 men.

One of the newest entrants to their ranks is the Reverend Rosemary Gardiner, 30, anointed last weekend before a packed congregation in St John's Cathedral in Brisbane.

She exemplifies the changing face of the church.

Reverend Gardiner is mother to two-year-old Edward, and will soon give birth to her second child.
So why would she want to become a priest?

"The simple answer is because God told me to," Reverend Gardiner said.

She had a Christian upbringing and her mother, Gillian Moses, is also a priest and school chaplain.
Reverend Moses said she was proud of her daughter.

"I think I have seen that interest and calling in her longer than she has, but I never wanted to push her in any particular direction, just to support her in whatever she did."

More here-

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-09/anglican-brisbane-diocese-ordaining-more-women-than-men/10574414

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Minister critical of archbishop’s support for gay conversion therapy ban says he’s now barred from preaching event

From England-

An evangelical minister in the U.K. says he's been barred from preaching at an Anglican cathedral due to his criticism of an archbishop who's opposed to allowing people with unwanted same-sex attraction to obtain counseling, or as it's derisively called, "gay conversion therapy."

Derby Cathedral, the institution in question, has denied that it has barred the Rev. Melvin Tinker, positioning that it has simply chosen not to invite him to preach at the Christian Union carol service.
Tinker, who leads St. John Newland Church in Hull, told The Times that he was refused an invitation by Derby Cathedral for his past criticism of Anglican Archbishop John Sentamu.

“The progressives are continuing to gain ground and the biblical tradition is losing ground,” Tinker said.

More here-

https://www.christianpost.com/church-ministries/minister-critical-archbishops-support-gay-conversion-therapy-ban-now-barred-from-preaching-event.html

Florida bishop had a hand in 'Silent Night' translation

From Florida-

If you look carefully inside St. John’s Episcopal Church on Monroe Street, the red brick edifice that on the busy thoroughfare seems so peacefully removed, you will find a precious photo of an organ.
 It is a special photo of a special organ because the instrument is dedicated to Bishop John Freeman Young.  It was an organ upon which at Christmas time was played what is now the world’s most popular hymn, "Silent Night" — the very hymn translated by John Freeman Young himself, a man with a special connection to Tallahassee.

With original Germanic words, written in 1818 by Austrian Joseph Mohr and set to music by Franz Gruber, "Silent Night" has now been translated into over 300 languages according to FSU Assistant Professor of Musicology, Sarah Eyerly.  John Freeman Young gave us the hymn in English.

Young was born in Maine in 1820 and converted to the Episcopal faith. Following graduation from Virginia Theological Seminary, he made his way South to Jacksonville, Florida, where he served as Deacon at St. John’s Church there.

More here-

Love language: Bishop Curry speaks at St. Anne’s

From Western Kansas-

Every pew was filled at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in McPherson as the Most Reverend Michael Curry, who is the Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church of the United States and who recently delivered the sermon at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, served as the guest preacher on Dec. 2.

Bishop Curry spoke to the congregation about the beginning of the Advent season and how it marks three comings — that of Jesus’ birth, his coming into the heart of a person and also his future return.
″(Jesus) gave his life willingly to show us this is what love does,” Curry said.

Curry encouraged the crowd to follow Jesus’ example and be motivated by love to help others.

More here-

http://www.hutchnews.com/news/20181207/love-language-bishop-curry-speaks-at-st-annes

Chilton Knudsen appointed assisting bishop in Washington

From ENS-

Bishop of Washington Mariann Edgar Budde announced in a Dec. 7 letter the appointment of the Rt. Rev. Chilton Knudsen as assisting bishop in the Diocese of Washington. Read the full letter below.  To read Knudsen’s farewell to the Diocese of Maryland, where she’s served for three years as assistant bishop, click here


Dear Friends of the Diocese of Washington,

I am thrilled to announce that Rt. Rev. Chilton Knudsen will join the Diocese of Washington as Assisting Bishop, effective February 20, 2019. Bishop Knudsen served as Bishop of Maine for a decade (1997-2008) and has since served a missionary in Haiti and as an assistant bishop in four dioceses. She will complete her ministry in the Diocese of Maryland at the end of 2018.

More here-

https://www.episcopalnewsservice.org/2018/12/07/chilton-knudsen-appointed-assisting-bishop-in-washington/

Friday, December 7, 2018

Bishop turnover in US-based Episcopal Church fuels talk of “unprecedented” challenges

From ANS-

The flurry of activity has continued into December, with Western Kansas consecrating a new bishop and Northern California releasing its slate of nominees. With dozens of dioceses embarking on or completing bishop transitions over the past 18 months, the frequency of searches has raised concerns that a limited pool of candidates is being depleted. Diocesan search committees tend to dismiss suggestions that they are competing with each other for applicants, though some dioceses have been open in pointing to what they said is a challenging landscape for bishop searches.

The Diocese of Nevada’s Standing Committee announced in October it was postponing its bishop’s election, calling the search process “challenging in several respects. One is that there were an unprecedented number of bishop searches in process, resulting in a limited applicant pool.”

The Diocese of San Diego made a similar claim after its search committee returned just one finalist, prompting the diocese to extend the deadline for nominees by petition. After a slate of nominees has been announced, search committees typically allow diocesan members to petition to add other nominees. Those nominees go through the same vetting process as those on the original slate.

“This is a time in the wider church when more than 20 dioceses are seeking bishops, and that has presented challenges,” said Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Episcopal Church’s previous presiding bishop who now serves San Diego as assisting bishop.

More here-

https://www.anglicannews.org/features/2018/12/bishop-turnover-in-us-based-episcopal-church-fuels-talk-of-unprecedented-challenges.aspx

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Who Is Reverend Michael Curry? George H. W. Bush Funeral to Be Led by Bishop Who Gave Memorable Royal Wedding Sermon

From Newsweek-

George H. W. Bush has made his final trip to Washington, D.C. for his funeral Wednesday at the Washington National Cathedral. For the past few days as he lied in state, thousands of people have lined up for hours outside the U.S. Capitol building, sometimes late into the night as they waited for their brief chance to bid a final farewell to the 41st president of the United States.

The man who will preside over the former president’s funeral service, Reverend Michael Curry, is also of significance.

Born in 1953, Curry’s descendants came to North America as enslaved Africans via slave routes, according to the Episcopal Church. In 2015, he became the 27th and current presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, part of the global Anglican communion, making him the first African-American to lead the church.

Some of the most zealous causes listed by the Church that Curry has involved himself in throughout his ministry include social justice, reconciliation, immigration policy and marriage equality. His passionate sermon on the "redemptive power of love” at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May captured the hearts and minds of many who bore witness.

More here-

https://www.newsweek.com/who-michael-curry-george-bush-funeral-1245233

Abilene man, a former Episcopal bishop, calls Bush 'man of enormous spiritual treasure'

From Texas-

The minister was in a meeting when a secretary interrupted to tell him the vice president of the United States was on the phone.

“Claude,” the vice president said, “I’ve got a favor to ask.”

Claude Payne, then rector of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, didn’t hesitate in answering, “Of course, Mr. Vice President.”

The vice president was George H.W. Bush, who would be elected President Bush the next day, Nov. 8, 1988. The favor was that Payne would lead a brief service of thanksgiving at St. Martin’s the day after the election, no matter who won.

“It would be a thanksgiving for our country,” Payne said. “That’s a part of his DNA.”
Payne, 86, and his wife Barbara, retired to Abilene, their hometown, after Payne’s career as an Episcopal rector and bishop of the Diocese of Texas.

More here-

Republicans are taxing churches to help corporations. Really.

From The Washington Post-

Republicans tax churches to help pay for big corporate giveaway.

You would be forgiven for thinking this is a headline from the Onion or the fantasy of some left-wing website. But it’s exactly what happened in the big corporate tax cut the GOP passed last year.

Now — under pressure from churches, synagogues and other nonprofits — embarrassed leaders of a party that casts itself as religious liberty’s last line of defense are trying to fix a provision that is a monument to both their carelessness and their hypocrisy.

The authors of the measure apparently didn’t even understand what they were doing — or that’s their alibi to faith groups now. It’s not much of a defense. And the fact that Republicans increased the tax burden on nonprofits, including those tied to religion, so they could shower money on corporations and the wealthy shows where their priorities lie.

More here-

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Westminster Abbey service celebrates Middle East Christians

From Westminster Abbey-

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales attended a service to celebrate the contribution of Christians in the Middle East, at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday 4th December.
The service was led by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, who said in his Bidding:
In this Advent season, as we approach the celebration of Christmas, our hearts and minds turn to the cradle of our civilisation, and in particular to Bethlehem as the birth-place of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
So we pray for all the people of the Holy Land and of the surrounding nations. We pray that they may live in harmony one with another, respecting difference and celebrating common humanity. And we pray for peace within each nation and between all peoples of whatever faith.
The Prince of Wales read a Reflection expressing concern for the difficult situations endured by Christians in the region, and support for those communities most affected.
Further Reflections were read by His Beatitude Theophilos III, Patriarch of Jerusalem; and Maulana Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi, Director General and Chief Imam, Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society.

More here-

https://www.westminster-abbey.org/abbey-news/christians-middle-east/

Author Stephen Mansfield on the quiet, steely faith of George H.W. Bush

From Salt Lake-

With the passing of George H.W. Bush from this life, we will have the opportunity to be stirred once again by tales from his lengthy journey. We will hear of his early heroism at war. We will be reminded of his storied political career. We will be touched anew by his tender 73-year marriage. We will be told of his mistakes, and of regrets of a kind familiar to us all.

Yet we will likely hear little about his religious faith, and this is unfortunate.

The truth is that his deep sense of God’s calling lay beneath all that he was and all that he gave us. We should remind ourselves of this part of him, both because it is an act of honor and because his brand of faith offers a needed antidote to some of the toxins of our time.

More here-

How George H.W. Bush enabled the rise of the religious right

From The Washington Post-

Following Wednesday’s state funeral for George H.W. Bush at Washington National Cathedral, the former president’s casket will be flown to Houston where a memorial service will be held at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church the following day.

Unlike his son George W. Bush, the elder Bush, a lifelong Episcopalian, was less-known for his religious faith. He was certainly not thought of as a champion of the religious right, the powerful political movement most associated with his predecessor, Ronald Reagan.

Yet it was Bush, the moderate establishment Republican whose family helped found Planned Parenthood, who secured the religious right’s permanent place in American politics. While historians largely credit Reagan’s presidency with helping religious conservatives move from the shadows of American public life into its spotlight, it was the Bush presidency, particularly its disappointments and defeat, that entrenched the religious right as the center of the Republican Party and guaranteed its ongoing influence.

More here-

Episcopal Bishop of Long Island leads group to border to aid migrants

From Long Island-

The Episcopal Bishop of Long Island left Tuesday afternoon for the U.S.-Mexico border near San Diego, where he plans to help several thousand Central American migrants who arrived in Tijuana, Mexico, by caravan and hope to gain legal access to the United States.

“I think it is the American thing to do,” said the Right Rev. Lawrence Provenzano in an interview before he left. “I certainly know it is the Christian thing to do.”

Provenzo said he is leading a delegation of about two dozen volunteers from the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island who will travel to Tijuana throughout the week to help the migrants with physical, spiritual and legal needs.

The volunteers include doctors, social workers, clergy and others, along with the Rev. Marie Tatro, the diocese’s vicar for community justice ministry, he said.

More here-

https://www.newsday.com/long-island/episcopal-bishop-border-1.24224343

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

On Kindertransport anniversary, Archbishop urges vigilance on antisemitism

From Jewish News-

The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned that people must be vigilant against antisemitism and stressed British Jews are as British as anyone else. 

The Most Rev Justin Welby was speaking at an event at Lambeth Palace on Monday commemorating the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht and Kindertransport.  

Mr Welby warned that antisemitism can lead to prejudice and discrimination against other religions. 

He added: “We come today to remember and give thanks for the Kindertransport and we come to mourn the events of Kristallnacht, but we also come to say ‘let us be vigilant’.

“We know from that terrible period that if even one religious or ethnic group is targeted, it’s a threat to them all.”

More here-

https://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/on-kindertransport-anniversary-interfaith/

Christians in Middle East at risk of 'imminent extinction,' warns Anglican head

From Christian Post-

Christians in the Middle East are at risk of “imminent extinction” due to the continued “threat of violence, murder, intimidation, prejudice and poverty,” the archbishop of Canterbury has warned.
In a recent op-ed for the Sunday Telegraph, Justin Welby described the “daily threat of murder” 

Christians are experiencing in the Middle East, calling it “the worst situation since the Mongol invasions of the 13th Century.”

"In the last few years, they have been slaughtered by so-called Islamic State, and in many countries they find themselves squeezed between the upper and lower millstones of pressure on them within society and of conflicts that afflict the region.

More here-