Saturday, September 27, 2008

Good Stuff in TEC: Ohio

Church donations delivered to children at Lake Elementary

New Life Episcopal Church in Uniontown delivered hundreds of dollars worth of school supplies, toys and breakfast foods to the elementary school students of Lake Local Schools.

The church chose local school kids as a new giving project for 2008. Members of the congregation purchased school supplies and other needed items throughout the summer. Lake Guidance Counselor Paula Whetstone, who developed the list of needed items for the project, was present when the donated items were collected at the church on Aug. 24 at the Sunday Service.

“I couldn’t believe how much was donated!” she said delighted. “This meets an important need for the many kids who will experience distressing financial or emotional life situations this year.”

Children from Lake, Hartville and Uniontown elementary schools made posters to thank the church for the effort, and presented them to the church members who delivered the donations.
Lynn Gorman, a member of the church who lives in Medina, was enthusiastic about the posters, which were signed by many kids from two of the three elementary schools. “These posters are awesome! Everyone at church will be thrilled to actually see something tangible from the kids,” she said.

You can see all of the Good Stuff posts by clicking on the link to the right, or by typing Good Stuff into the blog's search engine.

Vernon, 2-time AL batting champ, dies at 90

Micky Vernon, who played briefly with my beloved, if hapless, Pirates has died. He was actually with the team in 1960 when we beat the Yankees in the World Series. For you soccer fans out there, the batting title goes to the player with the highest batting average which is the ratio of "hits" to "at bats".

Vernon made his big league debut with the Senators in 1939, and the 21-year-old left-handed first-baseman hit .267 in 79 at-bats. He spent most of the next season in Jersey City and returned to Washington in 1941, when he began establishing himself as one of the league's solid first basemen.

He missed the 1944 and 1945 seasons due to military service in the Navy during World War II. When Vernon returned to baseball in 1946, he had arguably his finest season, winning his first batting title with a .353 average. He had a career-high 207 hits in 587 at-bats and finished with 51 doubles, eight triples, eight home runs and 85 RBIs.

PITTSBURGH: Convention will go forward, Standing Committee says

From Episcopal News service. There are links to the resolutions and other resources (including this one) embedded in the text.

During its meeting on September 23, the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh said that the diocese's previously scheduled October 4 convention would go forward.

Delegates to the convention will be asked to approve three resolutions (see resolutions one, two and three here) re-aligning the diocese with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone of southern South America.

The parish of at least one member of the Standing Committee has announced that it will not support those resolutions. A majority of the vestry at St. Michael's of the Valley in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, said September 23 that if the Southern Cone resolutions pass "we will continue to consider ourselves to be a part of the Episcopal Church of America in accordance with our by-laws." The Rev. Jim Simons, St. Michael's rector, serves on the Standing Committee.

Is competence too much to ask from business?

A commentary by The Rev. Tom Ehrich (Episcopal priest in Indianapolis) on leadership and the economy. From the IndyStar.

Yes, I know we are a fallen breed, and the same depravity that dumped toxic waste into streams is polluting our lives now with shoddy merchandise, half-tested drugs and government bailouts. But insulating systems from depravity is just another business challenge, like balancing risk and assessing global competition. Do we lack the will to keep greed and folly away from the helm?

I also know that any human system is never far from jungle rules.

Business thrives on competition, as it should. But we don't seem to evolve. Today's mansions-and-Prada culture shows little advancement from the Gilded Age, which almost wrecked the Republic. We should know by now that unrestrained jousting and personal excess inevitably lead to recession or depression.

Episcopal settlement involves two churches

This from the Richmond Times Dispatch. I've posted the entire article but the link is included in case you want to see for yourself.

The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia announced yesterday that it has reached a legal settlement with Potomac Falls Church in Potomac Falls and Christ the Redeemer Church in Chantilly. They were two of 11 churches that voted to leave the diocese in disagreement over homosexuality and other theological issues.

The mission churches, which do not hold any real property, will make a payment to the diocese as part of the settlement ending the litigation between the parties, the diocese said.
"The settlement also includes the Episcopal Church," the diocese added.

Under the agreement, the diocese will release the two churches from any claims or future liability arising from the litigation.
The settlement does not include the other nine churches that voted to leave the diocese. -- Robin Farmer

Friday, September 26, 2008

Good Stuff in TEC: Texas

From the Houston Chronicle

Todd Hunter, recently retired president of Alpha USA and founder of Society for Kingdom Living and Three is Enough Groups, will headline the first annual Richard Austin Speaker’s Conference Oct. 24-25 at St. Francis Episcopal Church & Day School campus, 345 Piney Point Road. Conference fee is $45 and includes lunch. This is the first in a series of three scheduled conferences called “Today’s Quest” that honor the late Richard Austin, who shared his knowledge as a family counselor and psychologist during his more than 15 years at St. Francis.

You can see all of the Good Stuff posts by clicking on the link to the right, or by typing Good Stuff into the blog's search engine.

Across The Aisle Web Site up and Running

Across the Aisle, a diverse group of Episcopalians in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, committed to staying in the Episcopal Church, have a web site now. It can be found here -

British Archbishop launches education initiative

Speaking in New York alongside British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and former US President Bill Clinton, Dr Sentamu said: “We are half way to the 2015 MDG targets and yet 75 million children remain out of school completely. Twice as many, mostly girls, go for a short while but then drop out.

"We may think we are making progress on education but the facts are that too many children around the world are receiving inadequate education and in many cases, no education at all.

"This is a scandal for many reasons. If we do not educate our children, what hope can there be for the future? But it is also a scandal because it shows just how wrong our priorities have become.”

Catholic could become king under plans to abolish Act of Settlement

Further signs of the impending apocalypse ! From the London Telegraph -

The plan to abolish the Act of Settlement could ultimately lead to the disestablishment of the Church of England. The Act also prevents Muslims and other non-Protestants from succeeding to the throne.

Scrapping it would also end the practice of primogeniture where male heirs are given priority in the succession. That could pave the way for a first-born daughter of Prince William to ultimately succeed him as monarch.

Anglican priests seek judicial intervention

Apparently there's no shortage of lawsuits to go around. This one from Botswana. Bishop Mwamba pictured.

The licences are given to persons to perform spiritual, pastoral or evangelistic duties as per the Acts, Canons and Constitution of the Anglican Church. The applicants want the court to rescind the decision of the Bishop, as he did not give them a six months notice.

Their counsel, Mr Kgalalelo Monthe argued before Justice Dingake, that such a notice was important because their relationship with the Church was that of employer and employee.
He said the laid off priests could not engage in any other business without the express authority of the Bishop. "The effect of taking away the licences was a dismissal in summary form." He also said the work of a clergyman was not just a calling, it had some rewards as well.

Good Stuff in TEC: New Jersey

Author Tim Shoemaker headlines workshop in Peapack-Gladstone

St. Luke's Episcopal Church in the Gladstone area is inviting the public to a workshop with author Tim Shoemaker, whose activities for sparking discussions about faith and values in families can be a little "zany,'' said St. Luke's children's pastor, Betsy LaVela.

""He uses very innovative and simple ways (for families) to pass on their faith,
ideas that you can't forget,'' LaVela said of Shoemaker.

You can see all of the Good Stuff posts by clicking on the link to the right, or by typing Good Stuff into the blog's search engine.

Archbishops criticise bankers in Wonderland

From The Church Times in England. (I think the banker is wearing the hat)

THE ARCHBISHOPS of Canterbury and York have both challenged the unfettered capitalism that contributed to the current global financial crisis.

Speaking to bankers on Wednesday evening, the Archbishop of York lambasted speculators who last week short sold shares in HBOS as "bank robbers" and "asset strippers". His address was given at the annual dinner of the Institute of Worshipful Company of International Bankers at Drapers Hall, in the City of London.

Dr Sentamu also expressed sympathy for the bankers who were "shooting the financial rapids. . . Markets are in turmoil. Bear Sterns and Northern Rock are etched indelibly in your memory. And now we have the stories of Lehmann Brothers and Merrill Lynch, AIG, and HBOS."

And here's the take from the Financial Times

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Statement from St. Peter's Brentwood

The following was sent ot me by Philip Wainwright Rector of St. Peter's Brentwood (Diocese of Pittsburgh)

St Peter's Brentwood voted tonight (September 24th 2008) to remain in the Episcopal Church regardless of how the diocese votes on October 4th. 83 ballots were cast; 74 voted to stay, 8 to realign, and there was 1 abstention.

The majority of those who spoke expressed disagreement with the direction in which the national church is going, but said they preferred to stay and work for the reformation of the church.

Rowan Williams becomes first ever Anglican leader to accept visions of Virgin Mary as fact

From the Daily Telegraph. Imagine a protestant who can actually say "I believe in Miracles". (Gotta love Errol Brown's hat)

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, was yesterday branded a ‘papal puppet’ after he became the first leader of the Church of England to accept visions of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes as historical fact.

He asserted that 18 visions of Our Lady allegedly experienced by Bernadette Soubirous in 1858 were true.

His words shocked millions of Protestants worldwide because they not only signified a break with Protestant teaching on the Virgin Mary but also Dr Williams’s personal acceptance of the Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, which is explicitly linked to the apparitions.

Pastors plan to defy IRS ban on political speech

LA Times piece about the challange to the IRS in California and the counter group trying to keep politics out of the pulpit. You might be surprised who's on which side.

Meanwhile, a separate group of 180 ministers, rabbis and imams also has sought to counter the "pulpit initiative." Members of the Interfaith Alliance -- which includes the nation's top Episcopal bishop -- have signed a pledge to refrain from electioneering in their houses of worship.

"Political activity and political expressions are very important, but partisan politics are . . . . a death knell to the prophetic freedom that any religious organization must protect," said the Rev. Ed Bacon, rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, who signed the pledge.

All Saints survived a nearly two-year IRS investigation after former Rector George Regas spoke out against the Iraq war on the eve of the 2004 presidential election. Bacon repeatedly said the church did not engage in campaigning.,0,6331764.story

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Good Stuff in TEC: Southwest Florida

Diocese joining fight against human trafficking

The scope and breadth of the problem in Florida is opening eyes within the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida. “I’m just beginning to learn about this problem,” said the Ven. Denis McManis, the diocese’s canon for mission and outreach. “It’s everywhere.”

McManis sees opportunities for the church to help victims of labor recruiting scams and commercial sex exploitation, particularly with temporary housing, transportation, securing social services and counseling. The diocese is forming a committee to assess opportunities for such outreach. The diocese has recently been working with the Coalition and The Salvation Army in a case involving 50 foreign workers rescued from near slave-labor conditions on the other side of the state.

You can see all of the Good Stuff posts by clicking on the link to the right, or by typing Good Stuff into the blog's search engine.

Good Stuff in TEC: Nebraska


The Missionary from the Diocese of Nebraska is The Rev. Daniel Kuot Deng, a native of the Sudan, who is building a mission compound in a remote area of the Sudan called the Boma Region. Fr. Daniel is sponsored by Church of the Resurrection's foundation C.O.R.E. and the Diocese of Nebraska. He spends several months each year raising funds for the mission, and then returns to the Sudan to minister to the people of Boma.

You can see all of the Good Stuff posts by clicking on the link to the right, or by typing Good Stuff into the blog's search engine.

Pittsburgh Standing Committee Unanimously Commits to Convention Going Forward

During their meeting on September 23, the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh unanimously committed itself to carrying forward the annual convention of the diocese in “an orderly and grace-filled manner” on October 4. Since the purported deposition of Bishop Robert Duncan by the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops on September 18, the Standing Committee is serving as the diocese’s Ecclesiastical Authority.

The full text of the Standing Committee resolution follows:

The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh unanimously commits itself to our Annual Convention going forward on October 4th in an orderly and grace-filled manner.

We ask that all members of the Diocese would join us in praying and working toward this end.

The Rev David D. Wilson, President
St. David's Church, Peter's Twp PA

The Rev. Dr. James Simons
St. Michael’s of the Valley, Ligonier PA

The Rev. Karen B. Stevenson
Trinity Church, Washington PA

The Rev. Geoffery W. Chapman
St. Stephen's Church, Sewickley PA

Mr. Wicks Stephens, Secretary
Trinity Cathedral, Pittsburgh PA

Dr. Theresa T. Newell
St. Stephen's Church, Sewickley PA

Mrs. Gladys Hunt-Mason
St. Stephen's Church, McKeesport PA

Mr. Kenneth Herbst
St. Peter's Church, Butler PA

Vestry Statement from St. Paul's Mt Lebanon

It's a year old but still their position.

September 21, 2007

Where St. Paul’s Vestry Stands
We, the members of the Vestry of St. Paul’s, want to make clear to the parish where we stand regarding The Episcopal Church. Our position has not changed on this matter; however, given recent news reports and communications from various sources, we believe it vital to reiterate that position.

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh is an integral part of The Episcopal Church, not an independent entity that can be removed from it by the actions of any body, person, or persons other than the General Convention of The Episcopal Church. Our intention is that St. Paul’s will remain a parish of The Episcopal Church and its Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.

It is our sincere and prayerful hope that our diocese will reconcile with and remain within The Episcopal Church. However, in response to any attempt by diocesan leaders or Diocesan Convention to remove the diocese from The Episcopal Church, the Vestry of St. Paul’s will work diligently to keep the parish in The Episcopal Church. To do so, we will work with remaining members of Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, with the Presiding Bishop, and with other church leaders to restore our diocese to institutional and spiritual health.

We recognize that faithful members of this parish may hold differing and even seemingly incompatible theological views. Not only are we untroubled by this, but we consider such theological diversity to be one of the greatest strengths of authentic Anglicanism. We honor and value that Anglican tradition at St. Paul’s.

It is our intention that St. Paul’s remain a faithful and loving community in which we worship together and discuss our beliefs and concerns without rancor. We pray that such an example will remind others of the reconciling power of Jesus Christ and will help our entire diocese through the difficult times that lie ahead.

The Vestry of St. Paul’s

Good Stuff in TEC: Rhode Island

Helping Hands Hold Food

From the church kitchen, she packs up crackers, spoons and cups. She loads her car trunk, lined with a sheet, and climbs back in her car.

First stop, Narragansett, where the chef at the Galilee Mission for Fisherman has soup hot ready for pickup. With two containers filled with chicken escarole securely in her trunk, she heads south to the docks. She does nothing more than stop her car along one wharf, and then another, open the trunk, and pull out the soup. Slowly, people walk toward her from boats and buildings, approaching from different directions.

“Would you like some soup?”

Archbishop of Canterbury urged to create new province for US conservatives

From the London Times

The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams is facing growing pressure to create a new Anglican province for conservatives after a leading evangelical was effectively defrocked in the US.

In an interview with The Times, the Bishop of Rochester Dr Michael Nazir-Ali said the time had now come for Dr Williams to create a new province for conservatives in the US.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, who is visiting Lourdes this week, made no comment. At Lourdes on Wednesday this week, he will be addressing a pilgrimage of Anglican bishops, clergy and laity. He will be sharing the platform with Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Holy See’s Council for Christian Unity.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Vestry statement from Redeemer, Squirrel Hill (Diocese of Pittsburgh)

(Note: This was just sent to me today)

August 8, 2008

Dear Bishop Duncan,

At the August 3 vestry meeting of the Church of the Redeemer, Squirrel Hill, the vestry, wardens and rector unanimously reaffirmed the statement originally endorsed unanimously by all parishioners attending our January 25, 2004 annual parish meeting.

"We, the members of the Church of the Redeemer, hold diverse views on many subjects. However, we also hold each other in love as brothers and sisters in Christ despite these differences. We are committed to staying in the Episcopal Church of the United States of America and worshipping at the Lord's Table together."

In implementation of this statement on August 3, 2008, the vestry unanimously passed this resolution:
Resolved that the Church of the Redeemer will continue to be in union with The Episcopal Church and General Convention no matter what resolutions or amendments are purported to have passed at the 2008 annual diocesan convention, and that we will work to ensure the continuation of the Episcopal Diocese in Pittsburgh in union with the General Convention of The Episcopal Church.


The Rector, Vestry and Wardens of the Church of Redeemer, Squirrel Hill

Good Stuff in TEC: Minnesota

Bursting at the seams in ministry

A little over three years ago, the Church of the Holy Apostles in St. Paul opened its doors — and its hearts — to hundreds of Hmong Christians. Now these new members are returning that hospitality and kindness. The church building at Holy Apostles may be bursting at the seams, but lack of space has not prevented its members from engaging in work in mission and outreach, especially to the wider Hmong community. Here is an update from this vibrant congregation.

You can see all of the Good Stuff posts by clicking on the link to the right (top) or by typing good stuff into the blog's search engine.

Good Stuff in TEC: Pittsburgh

St. Andrew's in Highland Park is pleased to announce that we are hosting the choir of men and boys from Hereford Cathedral, England this fall.

The choir is steeped in the English Choral Tradition. The cathedral, in the Diocese of Hereford, founded in 676 A.D., makes mention in its statutes as early as 1246 of the existence of a song school for choristers. The choir is known throughout the world through BBC broadcasts, recordings, and participation in the world's longest running music festival, the Three Choirs Festival. Elgar, Vaughan Williams, and Howells are but three composers who
have written music for the choir and conducted it for special performances.

The choir will sing a concert on Tuesday, October 28 at
8:00 p.m. Please contact the church office (412 661-1245)
for tickets.

In addition to the concert at St. Andrew's, the choir will also be singing at the Noonday Eucharist at First Lutheran Church, 615 Grant St. in downtown Pittsburgh, on Wednesday, October 29, as well as Choral Evensong at Calvary Church on Wednesday, October 29 at 6:30 p.m.

You can see all of the Good Stuff posts by clicking on the link to the right (top) or by typing good stuff into the blog's search engine.

A Statement from the Leadership of St. Michael's of the Valley Episcopal Church Ligonier

A Statement from the Vestry of St. Michael's of the Valley Episcopal Church
Ligonier, PA

The Rector, Wardens, and Vestry of St. Michael's of the Valley Episcopal Church in Ligonier Pennsylvania, are aware that at the upcoming 143rd annual convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, resolutions will be considered that will attempt to remove the Diocese from the The Episcopal Church of America and realign it with the Province of the Southern Cone.

We do not support passage of these resolutions and wish to affirm that if they should pass that we will continue to consider ourselves to be a part of the Episcopal Church of America in accordance with our by-laws.

We also wish to affirm our commitment to Christian orthodoxy as contained in the Book of Common Prayer, the Apostle's and Nicene Creed and the thirty-nine articles. As leadership of the parish we reject any teaching or doctrine contrary to this historic faith that may be proclaimed by any national leader or the leadership of other parishes and dioceses. We will continue the Gospel ministry we have been engaged in for nearly sixty years, proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Feast of St. Matthew
22 September 2008

Note: passed by the vestry with two votes in the negative

Why is Rowan Williams going to Lourdes?

Comment on The ABC going to the Roman Catholic shrine from the London Telegraph

They will probably want to know what I want to know. Does Dr Williams believe that Our Lady actually appeared to Bernadette? If so, then in one respect he has moved closer to Roman Catholicism than any Archbishop of Canterbury since the Reformation.

For Lourdes, in south-west France, is the quintessential Roman Catholic Marian shrine, unlike Walsingham, a medieval shrine in Norfolk rediscovered by Anglicans. Whereas the apparitions of Walsingham have a semi-mythical quality, those at Lourdes are believed by most Catholics to be historical events, as are the healing miracles recognised by the Church.

Abraham Lincoln's faith, from his pew

Interesting piece about Abraham Lincoln's faith and religious affiliation.

Wallace gave us a brief overview of Lincoln's religious affiliation: he was born in Kentucky to a family of so-called hard-shell Baptists, who were so strongly predestinarian that they rejected missionary activity; although Lincoln came to reject that strain of Baptist faith, his upbringing gave him a strong familiarity with the Bible, and as an adult he was able to quote large portions of the King James Bible from memory. In Illinois, Wallace said, Lincoln was hostile to "the emotional revivalism that was going around,'' and was viewed by friends as a religious skeptic. He married Mary Todd in an Episcopal Church; she went on to join First Presbyterian Church in Springfield, Illinois, and then, in Washington, New York Avenue Presbyterian. Lincoln never joined either church, but he attended periodically with his family, and, in Washington, he befriended the pastor, the Rev. Phineas D. Gurley, who played a particularly important role when the Lincolns' son, Willie, died in 1862.

Monday, September 22, 2008

This wouldn't be some sort of (not so) subtle metaphor, would it?

Naaah. Probably just my imagination run-a-muck !

Murder in the Cathedral
A cooperative venture between Saltworks Theatre Company and the Episcopal Dioceses of Pittsburgh will present T. S. Eliot's groundbreaking verse drama Murder in the Cathedral at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral as part of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh's Celebrate 250 anniversary.

Performances will be September 25-27, 2008, in the Cathedral.
The focus of the drama is the martyrdom of Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket in 1170 at the height of his church/state conflict with King Henry II.

Church Silence on the Economy

David Waters at the Washington Post takes the church to task for not speaking out on greed and (well you know) sin. Ouch!

"In light of the recent market volatility, the Board and staff of the Church Pension Fund want to reassure participants in the Clergy Pension Plan that the Fund's financial condition remains very strong, with assets well in excess of liabilities," the Episcopal Clergy Pension Board reported.

Last time I checked, assets and liabilities were not how the church measured its work or worth. Greed is still one of the seven deadly sins. Covetousness hasn't been amended out of the Ten Commandments. Depending on your interpretation of scripture, Christianity either strongly cautions against or forbids charging interest and accumulating wealth and debt, not to mention gambling.

The Art of Abandoning Hope

Dan Martins from San Joaquin (actually Stockton) reflects on the current House of Bishop's decision.

I am also sad and angry—well, mystified might be a more accurate term—at the tunnel vision of the HOB majority. It is actually doing harm to their own cause. Before they took on the Duncan matter, our bishops took some time to bask in the afterglow of the Lambeth Conference, wherein they made lots of new friends and reached deeper levels of mutual understanding with their episcopal peers from other provinces. So it is incredible to me that they cannot see how their action in deposing Bishop Duncan is likely to be interpreted abroad as a pre-emptive purge of an annoying colleague, convicting a man for what he thinks and plans rather than for what he has done (shades of the film Minority Report), yet another example of TEC's "progressive" juggernaut steamrolling all opposition. Even a lowly parish priest in a backwater small town such as myself knows the truth of the maxim "Perception is reality." How can our purple-shirted friends be so clueless?

Bishop Duncan Formally Deposed

Bishop Duncan received formal word today that the Presiding Bishop had issued letter of Deposition. The Text of the letter to the Bishop follows.

The Episcopal Church
The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate

September 22, 2008

Robert W. Duncan
125 N. Linden Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15208

Dear Bob,

I wanted to write you personally to inform you that following the House of Bishop’s decision to consent to your deposition, of which you are already aware, I have signed the Sentence of Deposition, a copy of which is enclosed.

I think the press statement following the vote accurately sets forth the prayerful and thoughtful atmosphere of the discussions.

Please know that I urged the bishops gathered to hold you in prayer, and to do what they can to maintain a pastoral relationship with you. I pray that you may know the peace of Jesus Christ, and I remain

Your servant in Christ,

Katharine Jefferts Schori

Actual Deposition is here-

The Across the Aisle press release is here

Pastoral Letter from Bruce Robison

A pastoral letter Bruce Robison (Rector St. Andrews Highland Park, Pittsburgh) wrote to his congregation concerning the developments in the Diocese last week.

This has happened, as most of us are aware, in the context of the effort, led by Bishop Duncan, to promote a resolution at our upcoming convention severing the relationship between the Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh and then “realigning” the diocese with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone of South America. Although that effort has not yet come to its conclusion, the bishops gathered in Salt Lake City for their regular fall meeting decided to act, judging that Bishop Duncan’s actions have already constituted an abandonment of his responsibilities as a bishop of the Episcopal Church.

I want to say a word about what this means and--what it doesn’t mean.

Good Stuff in TEC: New York

From The Church Times in England a report on the Church's response to those losing jobs in the financial district on both sides of the pond.

In New York, Canon Anne Mallonee, Vicar of Trinity, Wall Street, said that there had been a “solemn” atmosphere in the city this week, and some members of the congregation had lost their jobs.

“Of course people are concerned and wondering what will happen next. Some have lost their jobs, and for others there is a sense of foreboding. But we are able to have our doors open every day for anyone to come in and pray and reflect. We have daily services, and attendances have been high this week.”

They also are hosting career work shops for those who have lost their jobs and are struggling with the psychological impact. “We know people are hurting, and as a church we’re equipping the saints to reflect the love of God for the people of God.”

You can see all of the Good Stuff posts by clicking on the link to the right (top) or by typing good stuff into the blog's search engine.

Polygamy in Nigeria: Psychiatric option for deviant behaviour

A Report from the Nigerian National Newspaper about the problem of polygamy in the country and the churches response. It focuses mainly on the response of the Roman Catholics but is an interesting insight into the larger problems in Nigerian Christianity.

A Nigerian polygamist has broken all known records since King Solomon by recently unveiling his eighty-six wives and one hundred and seventy children. The BBC, the Internet and other world media have all been captivated by seat of Alhaji Bello Masaba. Already, 86 lawyers are lining up to defend him.

At about the same time this phenomenal news broke, a seventy two-year-old traditional ruler from Delta State was reported by Daily Champion as spending an average of N720,000 per annum on vitamins and energy-giving tablets. told news men that he had to spend so much because “I have many wives, some of them very young, and I have to satisfy them all.” What a caring and loving husband! With these kinds of developments, including the great exploits of our ruling class, known to keep wives, concubines and lovers all around the globe with stolen funds, one may submit that we have reached a stage where we can begin to export gigolos (male prostitutes) to foreign countries to boost the foreign exchange earnings.

The responsibility of ensuring a nation of balanced citizenry is a collective one of both government and civil society in general. On the other hand, imbalance, stemming from people deviating from established norms and their religious prescriptions, disorientates and militates against progress and responsible citizenship. Imagine the kind of havoc that is being caused presently in our country by unemployed men, suffering themselves from imbalance, but who have taken up the Bible and are now preaching all over the nation, claiming that God asked them to start churches. These pastors even make extravagant claims to “deliver” souls from the devil, with our streets plastered with posters and banners on “deliverance”. It all depicts a degenerate society.

The link seems to work slowly but here it is-

Economic crisis hasn't hit churches yet

A report of the impact (or lack of one) on the economy on church giving.

The Rev. Harold Bishop, interim rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, Chambersburg, said he has seen no impact of the economy on his congregation.

"Maybe it's because of my dynamic personality," he joked.

Speaking seriously, he said contributions are up slightly. As for the economy, he said, "I don't think it's anything to worry about at the moment. Things look pretty decent (in the church)."

Good Stuff in TEC: Michigan

Sudanese priest brings family from refugee camp to Grand Rapids.

Early Sunday, Char, only the second Sudanese priest in the U.S. Episcopal Church, brought his family home, to Grand Rapids. "I didn't lose hope when the process was very difficult," Char, pastor of Sudanese Grace Episcopal Church in East Grand Rapids, said Sunday. "I knew that God will open the way."

Char came to the United States in 2001 with other Lost Boys of Sudan who trekked 1,000 miles to flee civil war in their homeland. He left Thon at Kenya's Kakuma refugee camp where they both grew up but returned in 2004 to marry her.

You can see all of the Good Stuff posts by clicking on the link to the right, or by typing Good Stuff into the blog's search engine.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cubs win their Division

In the category "further proof that God exists", the Cubs win their Division. For you soccer fans out there, the cubbies have to win two more series to go the World Series which they haven't won since 1908 or been in since 1945.

Thousands of fans from across the country and beyond descended upon the quaint stadium in Wrigleyville after the Cubs clinched the National League Central title Saturday evening. As the sun set over the city, fans competed with bucket drummers for supremacy as the voice of victory.

"The atmosphere was electric," said Paul Kovac, who flew in from Georgia to attend the game, in which the Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4. Kovac scanned the boisterous crowd as it yelled incoherent chants and said, "This is baseball.",0,5623642.story