Saturday, March 6, 2010

NZ gets new Anglican cathedral

From New Zealand-

The first new Anglican cathedral in the world for more than 80 years has been consecrated in Taranaki.

The 165-year-old St Mary's Church in New Plymouth was afforded the honour on Saturday.

The site of St Mary's was chosen for a cathedral by Bishop Selwyn in the early 1840s but it never happened as St Mary's became embroiled in the land wars.

Maori subsequently shunned the church because of its link to the British garrison and the land wars.

Bishop Sir Paul Reeves hopes the consecration of the church as a cathedral will re-unite them.

"My Maori relatives would remind me that St Mary's was the place where they stored the ammunition and cannonballs that we used to fire on the Maori people," says Reeves.

But on Saturday, Sir Paul and Britain's Archbishop of York Dr John Sentanu joined to celebrate the new cathedral and install the new bishop of Taranaki, Phillip Richardson.

More here-

100 US Anglican parishes convert to Roman Catholic Church

From The London Telegraph-

They have voted to take up the offer made by Pope Benedict XVI in November that permits vicars and their entire congregations to defect to Rome while keeping many of their Anglican traditions, including married priests.

By issuing the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus (on groups of Anglicans) the Pope was accused of attempting to poach Anglicans unhappy about decisions taken in their Church to ordain women and sexually-active homosexuals as priests and bishops.

But the Vatican insisted that the move to create self-governing "personal ordinariates", which resemble dioceses in structure, came as a result of requests from at least 30 disaffected Anglican bishops around the world for "corporate reunion" with the Catholic Church.

The Anglican Church in America (ACA) will now enter the Catholic Church as a block, bringing in thousands of converts along with their own bishops, buildings and even a cathedral.
They will worship according to Anglican rubrics, and use the Book of Common Prayer, but they will be in communion with the Pope, recognising him as their leader.

The decision was taken by the House of Bishops of the ACA during a meeting in Orlando, Florida, earlier this week.

More here-

WEST MISSOURI: Bishop search open; nominations, applications invited

From Episcopal Life Online-

The nomination and application process for the election of the eighth bishop of the Diocese of West Missouri will close March 22, according to the chair of the bishop search committee.

"The diocese is in a good place. We have interesting potential for the future," said Dr. Linda Robertson, chair of the 14-member search committee, during a March 5 telephone interview.
"We need someone who can be flexible and creative and a good pastor to us all. We don't have some of the problems that other dioceses have had but, like everyone else, we're facing budget and other issues," she added. She said that separate nomination and transition committees are already in place.

"They're made up of people who have been very involved in the church and are serious about calling the best possible individual to help lead us into the future."
Retiring Bishop Barry Howe was elected in 1997 and consecrated in 1998. The Diocese of West Missouri was formed around 1889-90 when the Diocese of Missouri, which had included the entire state, was divided along a north-south line roughly in the middle of the state.

The diocese encompasses 51 congregations in a relatively large geographical area and has a large impact on the community through its feeding and caring ministries.
Once the nomination and application process closes, additional candidates may be nominated by petition. That process will end sometime in September, according to the diocesan website. The election of the eighth bishop will occur at the 121st convention of the diocese, held Nov. 5-6. A March 5, 2011 consecration is planned.

More here-

Episcopal faith values questions, service

From Maryland-

What if Jesus were living in today's society, observing the teachings of churches?

The Rev. David Dingwall leaned back in his chair and thought for a moment.

"I wonder if Jesus would recognize much of what is being said and done in his name," he said. "Some of it, he would say, 'Yes. You get it.' But certainly not everything."

Soft-spoken, with a depth of thought, an easy laugh and prone to toying with his moustache when formulating an idea, the pastor of St. Paul's by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in downtown Ocean City said he believes Jesus was militant, a radical, intensely political, but not violent. Jesus issued an invitation -- experience a new way of life.

It can be summarized by reading The Sermon on the Mount, recorded in the fifth chapter of the Biblical book of Matthew, one of the gospels.

"The beatitudes are in the Sermon on the Mount. 'Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.' It contrasts what society values today," Dingwall said. "Jesus was a militant, but many churches have domesticated his personality. I don't think Jesus founded an institution. I think Jesus founded a movement ... if you are not making a difference, having a positive impact on the community, if you are not there to serve, then you're a social club for the like-minded. I don't think that's what Jesus meant."

More here-

Friday, March 5, 2010


From The New York Times-

As an Anglican archbishop who spent decades working to defeat apartheid and is widely considered the moral conscience of South Africa, what do you make of your country’s current president, Jacob Zuma, who is in the headlines again for fathering a child out of wedlock?

I think we are at a bad place in South Africa, and especially when you contrast it with the Mandela era. Many of the things that we dreamt were possible seem to be getting more and more out of reach. We have the most unequal society in the world. We have far too many of our people living in a poverty that is debilitating, inhumane and unacceptable.

But why is Zuma still president? He sets such a poor example — a polygamist with three wives who just fathered a 20th child with yet another woman. Why is that tolerated?

It’s not. Two of the major churches have spoken out very strongly. The Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Church have said that he’s undermining his own government’s campaign to deal with the H.I.V. pandemic. That campaign speaks about being loyal to one partner, practicing safe sex and generally using condoms, and he hasn’t done that.

More here-

U.S. Traditionalist Anglican Group Votes to Enter Catholic Church

From Orlando-

The Anglican Church in America (ACA), the U.S. branch of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), announced yesterday that they will seek communion with the Roman Catholic Church under new Vatican guidelines released in the fall.

The TAC and Forward in Faith are part of a movement of Anglicans seeking a more Biblical and traditional Christianity than what has come to be espoused within the Global Anglican Communion. They have reacted in particular against the Communion's decision to ordain women as priests and bishops, as well as the approval of homosexual activity, such as the ordination of practicing homosexuals and the blessing of homosexual unions.

The ACA's House of Bishops met this week in Orlando with the Primate of the TAC, Archbishop John Hepworth. They were also joined by representatives from Forward in Faith UK and from “Anglican Use” Catholic parishes, the latter who have already united with Rome under previous pastoral provisions.

“At this meeting, the decision was made formally to request the implementation of the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus in the United States of America by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,” a press release reads.

Anglicanorum coetibus was released in November, as promised by the Vatican in October. The Constitution provides for the mass entrance of groups of Anglicans through the creation of personal ordinariates that would allow them to preserve much of their Anglican tradition.

The Vatican constitution was a response, in particular, to a request from the ACA's umbrella group, the Traditional Anglican Communion, for such a means of corporate entrance into the Church.

More here-

Letters Discuss Consents on Glasspool

From The Living Church-

The Diocese of Los Angeles has announced that the Rev. Canon Mary Glasspool, bishop-elect, is within one vote of receiving consents from a majority of standing committees. The diocese elected Canon Glasspool on Dec. 5 as one of two suffragan bishops.

The canon must also receive consents from a majority of bishops. The office of the Presiding Bishop tracks bishops’ consents. By tradition, the office does not reveal bishops’ votes until sufficient consents arrive or the deadline for receiving consents has passed. May 5 is the deadline for consents to Glasspool’s election.

Some bishops and standing committees have issued public statements about their decisions.

The Rt. Rev. Herman “Holly” Hollerith IV, Bishop of Southern Virginia, wrote of his decision to deny consent.

“I believe she would make a wonderful bishop and that she is an excellent match for the Diocese of Los Angeles. Her election there was logical and appropriate,” he wrote to the clergy of his diocese on Feb. 4.

“Nevertheless, it is clear to me that the ordination of an openly Gay woman to the episcopate will — at this time — have a serious negative impact on our relationship with the wider Anglican Communion, and that it may very well strain — to the breaking point — those bonds of affection which we have come to value with others, even with those who may agree with us.”

More here-

Catholic, Episcopal conversions on the rise

From Maryland-

Harry Wallace, of Harper's Choice, was what he called a "cradle Episcopalian," a person baptized and raised in the Episcopal Church. As a youth, he was an altar boy and later served as a Eucharist minister in the church.

But Wallace, 53, said he and his wife, Pam, became increasingly disturbed in recent years by the liberalization of the church. As the church hierarchy moved toward accepting gay unions and ordaining gay priests, Wallace began to feel more and more uncomfortable.
"The angst and the division was troubling," Wallace said. "In our tradition and our belief set, we were becoming more and more marginalized."

Last year, Wallace and his wife converted to the Roman Catholic Church.
Their decision was hardly unique. Such conversions are part of a trend encouraged and recognized by the Catholic Church -- a trend that also is a two-way street, as even Catholics concede.

"We lose Catholics on the liberal side," noted Peter Berbenitz, who does outreach for St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, in Wilde Lake. "For everyone that goes, another one comes back."

More here-

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Virginia Supreme Court to Hear Episcopal Diocese of Virginia Appeal the Week of April 12, 2010

From Virginia-

The Supreme Court of Virginia has notified the Diocese it intends to hear arguments during the week of April 12-16, 2010 in the case The Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Virginia v. Truro Church, et al. The Diocese is challenging the constitutionality of Virginia's one-of-a-kind division statute (Va. Code § 57-9(A)) and the rulings of the Circuit Court, which allowed former Episcopalians to claim Episcopal Church property as their own.

"We welcome this news and the opportunity to appear before the Court a little more than a month from now," said Henry D.W. Burt, Secretary of the Diocese. "We believe this law is clearly unconstitutional and there is too much at stake - for all churches in Virginia - to let it remain in effect. 15 other churches, dioceses, judicatories and national denominations, both hierarchical and congregational in structure, have submitted briefs as amici curiae, or 'friends of the Court,' in support of the Diocese's position on the need to strike down the Division Statute. We are deeply grateful for their support."

Mr. Burt noted further, "For more than 200 years, the Episcopal Church has had the freedom to govern itself without government interference. We look to the Court to protect the religious freedoms upon which this Commonwealth and our nation were founded."

Links are here-

Bishop: Aid helping to rebuild Sudan

From The Diocese of Bethlehem-

Episcopalian Bishop Anthony Poggo of Sudan says the Third World country in northeastern Africa has made progress since the civil war ended a few years ago.
Poggo, who visited St. Stephen’s Episcopal Pro-Cathedral, spoke Tuesday evening about the peace accord and the progress being made by the Diocese of Bethlehem to build new schools in his country.

The Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem has raised $3 million to build a college and five primary schools in Sudan.
“We’re starting from zero,” Poggo said. “This is a region where we have been fighting for over 30 years. The entire infrastructure has collapsed.”

Roads, schools and basic resources have had to be rebuilt from scratch since the war ended in 2005, the bishop said.
A college, library and dormitories have also been built in the new Sudan. Poggo, who last spoke in 2007 at St. Stephen’s and other churches in the diocese, said the people in Kajo Keji are appreciative of the support. “It’s giving us hope in a situation of hopelessness,” he said.

More here-

Connecticut Samaritans Build Haitian Relief Networ

From Connecticut-

Grass-roots efforts to help Haiti since its devastating earthquake are flourishing in Connecticut, but it's hard to imagine any eclipsing the scope of the Good Samaritan Rebuilding Project.

Within a week of the Jan. 12 disaster, a small group of people connected to two Episcopal churches — one in Stamford, the other in Bloomfield — had grown to more than 100 volunteers from throughout the Northeast and Canada.

And the group's initial efforts to save a single school that has been partially funded by the Bloomfield church have evolved into a virtual pipeline of jets and supplies heading regularly from JFK International Airport to the Dominican Republic and then to Port-au-Prince, Haiti's devastated capital. From there, the pipeline extends 10 more miles to Carrefour, an impoverished town that had been the site of Ecole le Bon Samaritain, or Good Samaritan School, which was started in 1996 by two priests.

Much of the Good Samaritan project's success can be traced to word of mouth and the Internet. But it all goes back to a friendship between those priests — Puck Purnell and Jean-Elie Millien — that started in Stamford about 15 years ago.

Purnell and Millien met while both were working as priests at Episcopal churches in Stamford. Purnell was at St. Paul's, and Millien formed l'Eglise de l'Epiphanie, a Haitian congregation housed in St. John's. Millien retired and returned to his native Haiti, but his family remained close to Purnell, who moved to Bloomfield to lead Old St. Andrew's. The family friends started Ecole le Bon Samaritain in Carrefour, and Old St. Andrew's has helped support the school since.,0,7973463.story

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Zambia: Question Character of Presidential Aspirants - Anglican Church

From "All Africa"-

THE Anglican Council of Zambia (ACZ) has appealed to Zambians to scrutinise political leaders aspiring for the Republican presidency so that people with questionable backgrounds do not occupy the highest office of the land.

ACZ presiding Bishop Robert Mumbi said the people of Zambia and the Church should screen politicians and ensure that they elect morally upright people as president.

Bishop Mumbi said the Church did not ordain people with questionable morals as clerics and that should also apply to politicians aspiring for national leadership.

He said issues of morality were for Zambians to decide, based on the country's values, and that, just like in the Church, the citizens should give specific guidelines on the moral requirements for public office.

"The Church requires that those that are ordained as clergy are morally upright, with one wife, sound mind and various other requirements, and they are offered to the public for scrutiny," he said.

Bishop Mumbi said Zambians should similarly decide the calibre of people to lead the country.

He said if possible, matters of morality should be contained in the Republican Constitution, although not as a way to bar some individuals from holding higher political offices.

More here-

Ugandan anti-homosexuality bill won't be dropped: Parliament speaker

From The New York Daily News-

Parliament Speaker Edward Ssekandi has told critics of the anti-homosexuality bill that it won't be withdrawn.

Proposed in October, 2009, the measure would broaden the criminalization of homosexuality and introduce the death penalty for those who have previous convictions, are HIV positive or engage in homosexual sex with people younger than 18. Gay sex already is illegal in Uganda.

Ssekandi suggested those opposed to the bill present views to the parliamentary legal affairs committee.

"We shall consider your views, but we cannot withdraw the bill," Ssekandi said Monday. "It has to follow proper procedures."

Ssekandi was responding to a petition presented to Parliament by a group that described itself as AIDS service providers, spiritual mentors and counselors. It is headed by the Rev. Gideon Byamugisha. More than 450,000 people have signed an online petition against the bill.

Also present were HIV/AIDS activist Rubaramira Ruranga, Bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo and Florence Baluba.

Read more:

Va. Episcopalians backpedal on gay unions

From The Washington Times-

The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia has backed away from recognizing same-sex unions, instead voting over the weekend to form a panel of laity and clergy that will set standards for church-sanctioned blessings of such unions should they be approved by the entire 2-million-member Episcopal Church.

About 346 delegates to the diocese's annual council meeting at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria narrowly voted — by a show of hands — to form the panel, which will also include lawyers who specialize in church law.

A substitute amendment suggesting the diocese allow openly gay clergy and same-sex blessings failed after a lengthy debate.

Saturday's vote was a less radical choice for the 80,000-member Virginia Diocese, the largest in the Episcopal Church; signifying a slowing down in the momentum that is propelling the entire denomination toward eventually allowing same-sex unions. Several dioceses, although not Virginia, allow actively gay clergy, and the denomination's second openly gay bishop, Canon Mary Glasspool of Baltimore, is expected to be consecrated this May in Los Angeles.

More here-

Episcopal cathedral celebrates restoration, return of copy of painting

From Dallas-

After 18 months of painstaking restoration, a 19th-century reproduction of Spanish painter Bartolomé Murillo's The Holy Family was reinstalled Tuesday in St. Matthew's Cathedral in Old East Dallas.

The 6-foot-by-8-foot oil painting, purchased in 1873 by a New York woman traveling through Europe, was a fixture at the Episcopal church for more than 70 years until it was taken down to be cleaned.

"It's like an old friend coming back to us," said the Rev. Kevin Martin, dean of the cathedral.

The painting depicts Mary and Elizabeth with their young sons, Jesus and John the Baptist. Above them are the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove and God as a bearded figure with hands outstretched. Murillo's 1620 painting, also known as The Virgin of Seville, is part of the Louvre's collection in Paris.

More here-

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Roy Turner Sr. dies; Episcopal priest, civil rights activist

From The Washington Post-

The Rev. Roy Stanford Turner Sr., 81, an Episcopal priest for 55 years who manned first-aid stations during the 1968 riots in Washington, died Feb. 23 at Potomac Valley Nursing Center in Rockville. He had Alzheimer's disease.

Rev. Turner, who had been active in the civil rights movement since the early 1960s and marched in demonstrations throughout the South with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., was pastor at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Bethesda from 1966 to 1979.

He was a founding member of St. Luke's House, which was established to provide housing for patients released from state psychiatric hospitals.

Born in Cheyenne, Wyo., he graduated from the University of Kentucky, where he was a wrestling champion and a catcher on the baseball team.

He earned an additional bachelor's degree from the General Theological Seminary of New York City and studied at Nashotah House Seminary in Wisconsin. He received a master's degree in counseling psychology at Frostburg State College in 1986.

More here-

High court won't hear church's case

From California-

The breakaway Anglican congregation that was forced to move out of the historic St. Luke’s church on Foothill Boulevard hit a legal wall Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the case.

The California Supreme Court last year upheld a Los Angeles County Superior Court ruling in 2007 that the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles had the right to restore the St. Luke’s church under its authority after the Anglican congregation severed ties several years earlier.

The Anglican congregation, which was forced to vacate the property months later, petitioned the Supreme Court in December, seeking an opinion on whether the state court decision violated the First Amendment.

With the high court declining to review the matter, the St. Luke’s Anglican Church would now shift its focus off the protracted legal battle and onto securing more permanent worship facilities, said the Rev. Robert Holman.

“We’re functioning as a church, just without the property,” he said. “The church, in the end, is the people. This is regroup time.”

The congregation has been renting space from the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Glendale, and recently signed a lease for an office on Foothill Boulevard, he said.

“We lost the property, and we’re moving on,” Holman said.

The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles on Monday released a statement affirming its property rights on all parish assets. Breakaway congregations have argued that, after spending decades using and maintain their facilities, they are the owners. But the courts have so far ruled that the properties are essentially held in trust by a parish under the wider church.

More here-

Former rector nominated for bishop suffragan post

From Palm Desert-

The Rev. Robert Certain, former rector of St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, has been nominated to the post of the Episcopal Church's bishop suffragan for federal ministries.

Certain retired from St. Margaret's in 2007 and is now rector the Episcopal Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Marietta, Ga.

The bishop suffragan oversees and ministers to chaplains serving the armed forces, Veterans Affairs hospitals and federal prisons.

The Episcopal House of Bishops is expected to name a new bishop suffragan when it meets March 18-24 in Camp Allen, Texas.

The current bishop suffragan, the Rev. George Packard, is retiring.

Certain declined comment on the nomination.

Certain is a retired Air Force colonel who served in Vietnam, where he was shot down and held in a North Vietnamese prisoner of war camp.

During Certain's time at St. Margaret's, he became personal pastor to former President Gerald Ford and first lady Betty Ford.

Following Gerald Ford's death in December 2006, Certain gained national prominence when he led funeral services for Ford and was later appointed to the Defense Health Board, a high-level federal commission working on military health issues.

More here-

Episcopal Relief and Development reaches out in wake of Chilean earthquake

From Episcopal Life Online-

Episcopal Relief and Development is reaching out to dioceses affected by the magnitude-8.8 earthquake that hit Chile on Saturday, Feb. 27, killing at least 700 people.
The quake struck off the Pacific coast at 2:34 a.m. local time at a depth of nearly 22 miles. The epicenter was approximately 60 miles northwest of Chillan, Chile and 220 miles southeast of Chile's capital, Santiago. Chile is located along the Pacific Rim's "Ring of Fire," where the Nazca and South American tectonic plates cross.

The agency reported that the capital lost basic services such as water, electricity and telephones, and that Chilean authorities are working closely with emergency crews to address local needs. The quake affected an estimated 2 million people.

Some 90 aftershocks have been reported, including a 6.3-magnitude quake in Argentina.

A tsunami warning issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center for the entire Pacific region has been canceled, but residents of many affected nations are still waiting to return to their homes around coastal areas. Caution has been advised as changes in sea level and unusual currents may characterize Pacific waters in the coming days.

Episcopal Relief & Development said it is "reaching out to dioceses in the affected areas to determine the best course of action," and asked for continued prayers for those affected.

The Diocese of Chile is located in the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone of America, which also includes dioceses in Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.

More here-

Monday, March 1, 2010

Oklahoma City Episcopal church glad to get room to expand Read more

From Oklahoma-

A growing Hispanic congregation in south Oklahoma City recently moved from cramped quarters to a larger church building.

Iglesia Episcopal Santa Maria Virgen, led by the Rev. Leonel Blanco Monterroso, held its first worship service in its new home Feb. 7. The building at 5500 S Western formerly housed Grace Lutheran Church.

Monterroso said the sanctuary at the church’s previous building at 2141 SW 25 could house no more than 200 people, while the new building’s worship area easily accommodates about 500.
The larger complex came at just the right time, he said.

Monterroso said the church’s first service in the new building drew about 585 people.
One of the church’s Sunday services draws about 200 people each week, and the number is expected to grow.

The Rt. Rev. Edward Konieczny, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma, said the predominantly Hispanic church continues to be the fastest-growing congregation in the diocese.

Read more:

Uganda gay bill critics deliver online petition

From The BBC-

Campaigners opposing Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill have taken an online petition to parliament, signed by 450,000 people from around the world.

The petition is the latest attempt to halt the bill, which carries the death penalty for some homosexual acts.

US President Barack Obama has called the proposed legislation "odious".

The European Union has also condemned the bill, as did Britain's Africa minister, Baroness Kinnock, when she visited Uganda last week.

The petition was delivered by counsellors, who could face jail for failing to inform the authorities if somebody confided their homosexual activities to them.

"This is a bill that requires various members of community, family members, service providers and spiritual mentors to "spy" on one another," a letter accompanying the petition reads.
The campaign is being led by Anglican priest Canon Gideon Byamugisha and he has been joined by HIV/Aids activists and civic organisations.

More here-

Reports of church extinction exaggerated

From Canada-

It is often said that at some time in our lives we will all get our 15 minutes of fame. Mine came this month.

You might have heard me interviewed on CBC or seen my face peering out at you from the Globe and Mail or Times Colonist. You might have caught my appearance on CHEK news or read my words in weekly papers. This surely qualifies me for "celebrity status."

No, I am not an Olympian. My claim to fame is that I have become the poster boy for the extinct church. The pictures have mostly featured me sitting, lonely and slightly depressed-looking in an empty church. The questions I have been fielding from reporters have generally been some version of, "How does it feel to be part of a church that is threatened with extinction?"

My reality is different than the impression you might have received from the media coverage.

My reality includes a group of children at the church where I work gathering for a Pro-D Day camp to learn about respect for people who live and play in different parts of the world. It includes a group of children in Sunday's service teaching a song about the gift of love that grows when shared and a massive collection of felt and towelling in the entranceway of our church to be used for sewing bibs for children with disabilities in an underdeveloped country.

Read more:

New Anglican bishop ordained

From New Zealand-

The church's essential mission is to "proclaim the Kingdom of God", the Right Rev Dr Kelvin Wright, the newly ordained Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Dunedin, says.

Dr Wright, who previously spent 11 years as vicar of St John's, Rosyn, was ordained the ninth bishop of the diocese in a ceremony attended by more than 400 people who almost filled St Paul's Cathedral on Saturday afternoon.

Some travelled from various parts of the North Island to attend and one person came from the Middle East.

"We have to proclaim the Kingdom of God," Dr Wright said after being formally ordained as bishop.

"All of us are loved by God and accepted by God."

That simple truth had huge implications which many people still found hard to accept, he said.

He knew there were expectations for him to "get more people in church" and to "repair the lack of money in the Church".

"Money and people are problems that will disappear if you ignore them, "If we get on with the business of proclaiming the gospel, the rest takes care of itself."

He earlier paid tribute to several of his predecessors as bishop, and acknowledged the careful and thorough work done by his immediate predecessor, Bishop George Connor, who retired late last year.

More here-

A delightful ecumenical gesture from the Anglican Church in Wales

From The London Telegraph-

As I mentioned the other day, a group called Friends of the Ordinariate (FOTO) has been set up by Anglicans in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Their website displays the logos of their respective Churches. Membership of the Friends does not imply a firm intention to convert, but obviously the bulk of members are interested in Pope Benedict’s offer to Anglo-Catholics who feel compelled to make this spiritual journey. Most Anglicans, to their credit, have shown sympathy and generosity towards those of their brethren considering this move.

Most, not all. The other day, Friends of the Ordinariate received a charming communication from the Anglican Church in Wales, underneath this logo:

More here-

Trinidad PM: Spiritual adviser gets no gov't help

From Trinidad-

Trinidad's prime minister delivered a fiery, hour-long speech on church-state relations Friday while flatly denying that his spiritual adviser travels with him at the expense of taxpayers.
This Caribbean island is a highly religious society of Roman Catholics, Hindus, Anglicans, Baptists and Muslims. Religion plays a prominent role in politics, and any government official seen with a religious adviser is highly regarded.

However, residents and local media have recently questioned whether Prime Minister Patrick Manning's spiritual adviser has been receiving state money.

Manning, who has not identified his adviser or even confirmed that she travels with him, denied she is compensated with state money and told lawmakers he is being persecuted for his religious beliefs

"It is my right to have a spiritual adviser, and I shall not be deterred by the slings and arrows," he said.

Manning, who was raised an Anglican and plans to become a minister when he retires from politics, also rejected criticism over funding for construction of a church on state-owned land that is led by a female pastor who is thought to be his adviser.

More here-

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tom Ehrich: Faith grows forward

From Springfield IL-

A church conference here was a stark contrast to rage-filled political conventions taking place elsewhere.

Facing the same economic frustrations and cultural worries, and a grinding internal “recession” in church membership, Episcopal leaders from southern Ohio gathered with enthusiasm about tomorrow, trust in their leaders and a palpable desire to make the necessary changes for better days.

By contrast, recent political gatherings have dissolved in rage, calls for anti-government violence, a rush to arms and a surge in intolerance toward any views but their own.

Same conditions. Same angst. Same sense of disarray. And yet such different responses. One is filled with courage and grace; the other with fear and vitriol.

If you ever wondered why it matters that we nurture healthy faith communities, here was a powerful sign.

The political arena has become toxic, paralyzed and polarized by angry partisanship and weak politicians whose only goal is to prolong their incumbency.

It was shocking to hear politicians urging conservatives at recent meetings to take arms against their own government, as if violence held an answer to citizens’ worries. Where can such irresponsible demagoguery lead except to more incidents like the angry taxpayer in Texas who flew an airplane into the local IRS office?

More here-

Video Review: Educating Anglicans

From The Living Church-

What does it mean to be an Anglican Christian? If you put ten Anglicans in a room and ask each of them, you are likely to get 11 different answers. Part of the problem, argue the theologians of the Anglican Communion Institute, is simple forgetfulness.

While we Anglicans have been blessed with a rich and deep heritage, all too often we have allowed our spiritual treasures to molder away in history books. The prayer book, hymnody, Scriptural piety, evangelism and mission, classic Anglican divines like Cranmer, Hooker, and Charles Simeon — all of this is part of who we are, and the more we steep ourselves in our common tradition, the better we will understand both where we are now and where we are going; or, perhaps better put: the more we will begin to understand what God, in his providence, has been doing all along with the portion of his one, holy, and Catholic Church that is called Anglican.

To this end, the Anglican Communion Institute has produced a handsome DVD series, titled Anglicanism: A Gift in Christ.

Designed for adult education purposes, the set is composed of a series of talks given by renowned Anglican scholars and pastors. With Sunday morning or weeknight parish education sessions in mind, each lecture covers a key facet of Anglican faith and life: Bishop N.T. Wright on the New Testament, Dr. Jo Bailey Wells on the Old Testament, Dr. Edith Humphrey on Anglican hymnody, Dr. George Sumner on parish renewal, Dr. Ephraim Radner on mission, Dr. Philip Turner on Christian ethics, Bishop Anthony Burton on the prayer book, Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon of Nigeria on the church in the Muslim world, and former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey on the Anglican Communion, among others.

More here-