Saturday, May 22, 2010

Utah diocese elects Scott B. Hayashi as bishop

From Utah- ELO-

The Rev. Canon Scott Byron Hayashi was elected May 22 as 11th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah, pending required consents from a majority of bishops with jurisdiction and standing committees of the Episcopal Church.
Hayashi, 56, canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of Chicago since 2005, was elected on the second ballot out of a field of three nominees. A fourth nominee, the Rev. Canon Mary Sulerud, withdrew after the first ballot.

Hayashi received 73 of 128 votes cast in the lay order and 20 of 38 cast in the clergy order at a special electing convention at St. Mark's Cathedral in Salt Lake City. An election on that ballot required 65 in the lay order and 20 in the clergy order.

Pending a successful consent process Hayashi would succeed the Rt. Rev. Carolyn Tanner Irish, 70, who was elected in 1996 and a year ago announced her decision to retire.

During nearly 25 years of ordained ministry Hayashi has served inner city, suburban and rural congregations in California, Utah and Washington.

After his 1984 ordination to the diaconate (June 2) and priesthood (Oct. 1) he served for five years as vicar to two small rural mission congregations -- St. John the Baptist Episcopal Mission in Ephrata, and St. Dunstan's Episcopal Mission in Grand Coulee -- in the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane, Washington.

More here-

Election results here-

Churches and Arizona Immigration Law

From Religion and Ethics Weekly-

LUCKY SEVERSON, correspondent: The reaction for and against the law has reverberated from Main Street through the halls of government to the sanctuaries of churches. This is Bishop Kirk Stevan Smith of the Arizona Episcopal diocese.

BISHOP KIRK S. SMITH (Episcopal Diocese of Arizona): Along with many other religious leaders I think it’s a terrible law. Legal things are important, political things are important, but people’s basic human rights are the most important thing, and that’s where the churches have an obligation, in my way of thinking, to stand up.

SEVERSON: But even among the clergy there is a divide. Religious leaders like the Reverend Tim Smith of Scottsdale, Arizona, support the law. Smith was a nondenominational pastor for 30 years, now a spiritual advisor.

REVEREND TIM SMITH: I think it’s a cry for help from the legislature, from the governor.

More here-

New assistant bishop led multifaith effort in Nebraska

From Maryland-

The Rt. Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, bishop of Maryland, has appointed an assistant bishop to serve full time in the Episcopal diocese for two years, beginning after Bishop John L. Rabb's recently announced retirement takes effect Jan. 1, 2011.
The Rt. Rev. Joe Goodwin Burnett, bishop of Nebraska, will serve as assistant bishop of Maryland, effective April 1, 2011.

"It gives me great pleasure to know my colleague and friend Joe Burnett will be able to accept my invitation to come to the Diocese of Maryland to assist us during these years of transition," Sutton said in a statement accompanying the appointment. "He is known as a leader in the Episcopal Church, whose experience, intellect and wit will be greatly appreciated by everyone here."

Burnett broke the news to Nebraska lay and clergy members in a letter dated May 15 -- coincidentally, his 62nd birthday.

After 44 consecutive years of full- or part-time work in the church as a student pastor and youth minister, seminarian, parish priest, seminary professor and bishop, Burnett said it was time to step back from the all-consuming work of a diocesan bishop. After working approximately two years with Sutton, now finishing his second year as bishop of Maryland, Burnett plans to move toward full retirement.

More here-

Episcopal bishop to be consecrated today

From Upper South Carolina-

Hundreds of Episcopalians, including the leader of the U.S. church, will gather in Greenville today for the ordination and consecration of the Rev. W. Andrew Waldo as the eighth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina.

The diocese includes eight churches in York, Chester and Lancaster counties.

The service at Christ Episcopal Church will draw Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori, presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, leaders and laity from across the diocese, across the U.S. and at from least one foreign country with the presence of the bishop of Haiti.

It also will represent a coming home of sorts for the Georgia-born and Alabama-raised Waldo, who is returning to his native South after years as rector of a Minnesota congregation.
His brother, the Rev. Mark E. Waldo Jr., rector of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Millbrook, Ala., will preach the ordination sermon, and his father, the Rev. Mark Waldo Sr., will read a portion of the liturgy.

Two of the bishop-elect's sons will play musical selections.

Read more:

Episcopal leader Jefferts Schori says anger over gay ordination has eased

From South Carolina-

The Episcopal Church USA and its sister churches in the worldwide Anglican Communion have stronger relationships in many ways now than before the American church angered the more conservative members by consecrating a gay bishop, the church's presiding bishop said Friday.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, the national leader of the Episcopal Church in 16 countries, including its 2.4 million members in the U.S., is in Greenville for the consecration today of a new bishop for the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, the Rev. Andrew Waldo.

She said fallout from the 2003 decision to consecrate Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire appears to have settled out for the most part.

“The reactivity right now is much, much less than it was seven years ago,” she said during an interview at Christ Church, where Waldo's consecration will take place.

“I think the church, and certainly the part of the church in the United States, is reasonably clear about where we're going, even though everybody doesn't agree. And those in the church, I think, are willing to live with that tension.”

Some Episcopalians who believe Scripture is clear in condemning homosexuality have left the church and formed an alternative province, while some parishes, including one in Aiken County, have left the denomination.

More here-

Friday, May 21, 2010

Special Report: Anglican Mission’s Structural Relationship within the ACNA

From The Anglican Church in North America-

For the past year Bishop Chuck Murphy and Archbishop Bob Duncan have been seeking to clarify the Anglican Mission’s structural relationship within the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). This clarification, as required by our original protocol, is necessary as we approach the ACNA Provincial Council to be held June 8 – 9.

By way of background, the Constitution and Canons of the Anglican Church in North America were drafted such that various groups might be integrated into the provincial structure of the ACNA as jurisdictions. In addition, the Canons made provision for another level of association designated as “Ministry Partners”. The Ministry Partner membership status as defined in the Constitution and Canons of the ACNA actually outlines very succinctly the appropriate relationship between the Anglican Mission and the ACNA as they seek to work together in church planting across North America. This status allows for entities such as ministry organizations, dioceses, seminaries and even monastic orders “to support each other in ministry to extend the Kingdom of God”, and the Anglican Mission is happy to join with other groups who have or seek this Ministry Partner status.

As a founding member of the ACNA, the Anglican Mission has invested significant time and energy into its formation and has been strongly supportive of the Province and Archbishop Duncan’s leadership. In light of this support, the Anglican Mission initially chose the jurisdictional option for membership in the ACNA while maintaining its identity as a missionary outreach of Rwanda. This “dual citizenship” approach, however, has resulted in significant confusion within the Anglican Mission and the ACNA regarding membership in two provinces, and more importantly, is inconsistent with the Constitution and Canons of the Province of the Anglican Church in Rwanda. Practically speaking, this jurisdictional/membership status became untenable and non-sustainable.

More here-

Thieves steal historic half-ton bell from church

From Atlanta (I just thought it was interesting)

A copper bell that has been with a local church since its founding in 1868 has gone missing.

The large copper bell, weighing anywhere between 600 and 1,000 lbs, belongs to Antioch African Methodist Episcopal Church. It was discovered missing sometime around April 19 or 20, James Simon, church administrator, told the AJC.

“Some actually cried when we discovered it was gone,” Simon said. “It feels like a part of the church’s personality is gone.”

The bell had been sitting on a pallet in the back of the church since they moved to their current location on S. Hairston Road in 1995. Plans had been to have it remounted at the new location.

“When we moved here from Decatur we had to pay someone to move it,” Simon said. “That’s just how heavy it is.”

More here-

GTS announces financial plan, explores possible sale of property

From Episcopal Life Online-

General Theological Seminary's Board of Trustees has agreed on a series of steps that they say will assure that the Manhattan-based school will continue "for the next several years."

The trustees said in a news release that they agreed May 18 to create a $10 million operating reserve fund that could be built in part by selling as many as four residential apartments in the seminary building known as "Chelsea." The fund will also be built by what the release called "special philanthropic efforts, which have already resulted in $1.5 million in firm commitments."

The apartments, which according to the release have an estimated value of $8 - 10 million, have been rented to outside tenants for the last six years and have never been used for seminary purposes. The trustees approved the steps needed to turn the property into condominiums for possible sale.

The trustees also called for an effort to renegotiate part of the seminary's debt "to reduce interest payments and permit more manageable cash flow," according to the release.

The trustees committed themselves "to pursue all productive avenues for conversations with other seminaries and institutions of the Episcopal Church to consider creative collaborations and common programs," the release said, adding that "such conversations have already begun." No details of those conversations have been released.

More here-

She was naked. He was there

From The Church Times (attached to an article on the move towards woman Bishops)

A WOMAN BISHOP might have been useful during the House of Bishops meeting in York, after a naked woman guest triggered a fire alarm in the early hours of Tuesday morning, writes Bill Bowder. In the event, one of the bishops present offered the woman his dressing gown.

There were about 50 bishops staying at the Park Inn in York. The Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Revd Stephen Platten, reported that they had to evacuate the hotel when the fire alarm went off.

“The alarm seems to have been triggered when two young ladies, who were pickled, came back late at night. One of the two ladies was naked, and one of the bishops had to take his dressing gown off to cover her nakedness. I think the other woman was also trying to take her clothes off, too, but she was stopped in time.”

The Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge, said: “It would be a good ethical test on a board game to ask what you do if you are a bishop and you open the door to find a naked lady outside. I think that throwing your dressing gown out passes the test.”

More here-

Orthodox Anglicans in US and England plan clergy swap

From Christian Today-

Orthodox Anglicans in North America are inviting priests in the Church of England to make a show of solidarity by taking part in a clergy swap.

The Anglican Church in North America was formed last year by Anglicans who broke away from the liberal Episcopal Church in the US. It is proposing the swap in the wake of last Saturday’s consecration by TEC of its first partnered lesbian bishop.

ACNA said the clergy swap would be an opportunity for Church of England parishes and clergy to express their solidarity and friendship with ACNA churches.

Participating clergy will be matched to churches with similar preaching and ministry styles and serve the pulpit for a period of three to four weeks in January and July or August next year.

In a letter of invitation to Church of England clergy, Paul Perkin, Chair of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans in the UK and Ireland, and Secretary Chris Sugden, said the swap would be of “mutual benefit”.

“We are writing in the wake of the letter from the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church to the Primates of the Anglican Communion that her consecration of a woman in a partnered same-sex relationship represents the mind of the majority of elected leaders in the Episcopal Church,” they wrote.

More here-

Displaced Anglican church finds new home All Souls will move into a former home-improvement store.

From Florida-

When the pastor at Mandarin’s All Souls Anglican Church tells his Jacksonville flock to take a hike around 10 a.m. Sunday, it’s OK this time.

They will be going home.

The Anglican church members will walk to a new sanctuary at the former First Coast Home Center at 4042 Hartley Road, a happier walk than many made July 15, 2007, when they left the church they had called home for 28 years due to a split from the Episcopal church.

Home has been Mandarin Middle School for Sunday services since then. Now Sunday’s 1.5-mile hike is to the flock’s future, which was almost under their noses, said the Rev. Gene Strickland.

“We had been looking at other properties, and several parishioners had been driving past it for some time as we prayed for the right place,” said the pastor. “One saw the 'For Sale’ sign that he hadn’t noticed for the year he had driven by it. We stopped to talk to the owner and two days later we had a contract and everything fell into place.”

Looking around the former home-improvement store with a wooden deck, pergolas and seven miniature home fronts that will soon house church offices, member Lynn Lindsey said it seems like the answer to a prayer.

More here-

Resenting African Christianity

From The American Spectator- (I'm not sure the author understands The Episcopal Church's relationship to Anglicanism)

Fast growing African Christianity, both evangelical and Catholic, is transforming global religion and affecting American Christianity, particularly its debates over homosexuality. The U.S. Episcopal Church, of course, has been prominently roiled by controversy since its 2003 election of an openly homosexual bishop, now joined by a newly elected openly lesbian bishop. African Anglican bishops, overwhelmingly conservative, have steadfastly encouraged the global Anglican Communion to sanction U.S. Episcopalians for their heterodoxy. But the Anglican Communion's authority is mostly symbolic, and the Episcopal Church governs itself. A new communion, the Anglican Church in North America, is largely for orthodox former Episcopalians, many of whom have placed themselves under the authority of African bishops.

Considerably less publicized but no less significant is the United Methodist Church, which now almost uniquely among liberal-led, old-line denominations continues to affirm orthodox teachings on marriage and sexual ethics. The traditionalist stance, dismaying to its liberal elites, is thanks partly to the denomination's growing African membership. Unlike the U.S. Episcopal Church, which is almost entirely U.S. members plus some small dioceses from Latin America and Taiwan, United Methodism is more fully international, with about one third of its members in Africa. Amid growing United Methodist churches in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria, among others, and a U.S. church losing about a 1,000 members weekly, the 11.4 million denomination likely will soon be majority African. At the church's next governing General Conference in 2012, probably 40 percent of the delegates will come from outside the U.S., even further diminishing liberal hopes.

More here-

Episcopal diocese to elect new bishop this weekend

More from Utah-

A new bishop will be chosen for Utah's Episcopal diocese Saturday, replacing retiring Bishop Carolyn Tanner Irish, who has served the region for 14 years.

Tanner Irish submitted her resignation in January of last year and was the first woman west of the Potomac River to be elected as an Episcopal bishop, signaling a trend for the ordination of women in the church. Saturday's election, which is the 11th in 143 years, will be the pinnacle of a nearly two-year process that is akin to selecting the Queen of England, since both processes have roots in the Anglican Church, according to Utah diocese spokesman Craig Wirth.

"In the Episcopal Church, the bishop is the liturgical and business leader of the whole diocese," he said. "The bishop really sets the tone for how things are done."

Utah's diocese, he said, has been known as progressive.

Delegates from 25 parishes across the state and in Page, Ariz., will vote on the four final candidates until a majority is reached. Wirth said it is doubtful that a new bishop will be selected after only one vote, and traditionally it takes two or three, "if history repeats itself." As voting continues and if delegates cannot agree on one candidate, candidates have the right to withdraw from the election.

Bishop Carolyn Tanner Irish becomes first woman to win Giant in Our City Award

From Utah-

Bishop Carolyn Tanner Irish became the first individual female recipient of the Giant in Our City Award, presented Thursday by the Salt Lake Chamber.

"When they first announced that, I felt deeply that it recognized all women," Bishop Tanner Irish said. "I still feel that way, and that's why it's important to me. It's not about me. It's about the larger community, not only of women, but all people."

Bishop Tanner Irish is the 10th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah and the first woman to lead a major denomination in Utah. She joined the likes of LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley, Larry H. Miller, Jon Huntsman Sr., Mitt Romney, Ellis Ivory and Roger Boyer when she became the 30th recipient of the award during a reception at the Grand America Hotel Thursday night. According to the Salt Lake Chamber, Bishop Tanner Irish's greatest passion is championing people, which makes her a perfect recipient of the award.

When speaking about her life, she said it's impossible to choose her favorite accomplishment, but she can choose three of her favorites.

More here-

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Newman's universal message

From The London Guardian-

On 10 February 1908, a gang cornered a 38-year-old Indian lawyer in Johannesburg. It beat him so badly that he was unable to speak through the cuts and welts on his face. Friends took him to the house of Joseph Doke, a Baptist minister, where he signalled for a pen and paper. He wrote down three requests. The first was about his struggle for Indian rights in South Africa. The second urged the attorney general to release his attackers without charge. And the third asked Doke's daughter, Olive, to sing his favourite hymn before he rested his bruised body. She was brought before him and began to trill:

Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on,
The night is dark and I am far from home,
Lead Thou me on;
Keep Thou my feet, I do not ask to see
The distant scene – one step enough for me.

John Henry Newman was indeed far from home when he composed those words. The young Anglican priest was coming to the end of a holiday from hell in Italy. The journey home involved a sea crossing from Palermo to Marseilles. During the three-week wait for a boat his servant found him sitting, ill and in tears, on his bed. Newman told him he ached to be back in England. When the boat finally left it ran into difficulty in the treacherous Strait of Bonifacio, between Corsica and Sardinia. Newman wrote the hymn while stranded there for a week.

More here-

Women in the episcopate - House of Bishops’ statement

From Church of England News-

At its meeting in York on 17/18 May, the House of Bishops discussed the Revision Committee’s report on the draft legislation to enable women to become bishops.

The House noted that the forthcoming meeting of the General Synod in July would be a key moment in the legislative process when all 470 members of Synod would have the opportunity to debate the report and proceed to a clause by clause consideration of the draft Measure and Amending Canon. The House believed that the Synod would be helped in its task by the clarity and thoroughness of the Committee’s analysis.

As previous debates have shown, a majority of the members of the House strongly support the admission of women to the episcopate. At the same time there remains a strong commitment on the part of the House to preserve an honoured place within the Church of England for those unable to receive this development. There continues to be a variety of views within the House over the best way of achieving that, while enabling women fully to exercise their new ministry.

The July Synod has the potential to be one of the most demanding meetings of the Synod for many years. It will, in the view of the House, be an occasion when all concerned will need to listen with particular care to those with views that differ from their own and to acknowledge the passion and sincerity with which those views are held.

More here-

Northern Michigan Welcomes Nominees

From The Living Church-

The Diocese of Northern Michigan has released a profile and called for nominations as it seeks an 11th bishop.

The profile repeatedly affirms mutual ministry as central to the diocese’s identity, and it identifies a recurring theme of loss and struggle, including financial stresses during the early 20th century and the death of the Rt. Rev. James A. Kelsey in an automobile accident in 2007.

The profile devotes an eight-page appendix to Kelsey’s last annual address as a bishop, which he delivered in October 2006. Another appendix is a nine-page essay, “Creating a Hospitable Environment for Mutual Ministry,” by the Rt. Rev. Thomas Ray, the diocese’s ninth bishop, and Kelsey. Ray is serving as an assisting bishop until the new bishop begins ministry.

Kelsey’s legacy of a “Christ-centered diocese based on Mutual Ministry had greatly increased the quality of the relationships within the diocese,” the profile said. “Undoubtedly, these caring relationships helped ameliorate the grief we experienced with the sudden loss of our bishop. It also, in retrospect, gave us the courage and dedication to cope with the problems the diocese would encounter in 2009 during the unsuccessful consent process of our newly elected bishop, Kevin Thew Forrester.”

Unlike the diocese’s previous search, this process will result in a slate of more than one nominee, and it provides a two-week period for nominations by petition.

More here-

Anglican Mission, ACNA ‘Clarify’ Their Roles

From The Living Church-

At the request of the Anglican Church of Rwanda, the Anglican Mission in the Americas is seeking a greater distance from the Anglican Church in North America, which it helped found.

The Anglican Mission will ask the ACNA’s provincial council, which meets June 8 and 9, to change its status from jurisdiction to ministry partner. Leaders of both the ACNA and the Anglican Mission said that there was widespread confusion about how the two ministries relate to each other. Both parties said the new arrangement clarifies their structural relationship.

Changing the affiliation “will allow the Anglican Mission to maintain a level of connection to the North American Province, even though the missionary movement will remain under the spiritual and canonical authority of Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini and the Province of the Anglican Church of Rwanda,” said a communiqué from the Anglican Mission. “It also allows for the Anglican Mission to continue to function as a missionary movement committed to church planting as we have for the last decade.”

A communiqué from the Most Rev. Robert M. Duncan, Archbishop of ACNA, said the Anglican Mission’s request for a different affiliation “came as a result of a January resolution by the Rwandan House of Bishops objecting to the dual membership of Rwanda’s missionary bishops in the North American College of Bishops.”

More here-

Nigeria: Anglican Bishop Decries Non-Passage of Foi Bill

From All Africa-

he Anglican Bishop of Okigwe South Diocese, Rt. Rev. David Onuoha, has lamented that the refusal of the National Assembly to pass the Freedom of Information Bill, ten years after it was presented to them, calls for serious concern.

The Anglican cleric, who expressed his displeasure while addressing Anglican faithful at Ihitte Uboma, also wondered why the lawmakers were reluctant to accept most of the vital recommendations of the Justice Uwais report on electoral reform.

"It is not surprising that the National Assembly is not in favour of any radical change in our Constitution, because the status quo favours them," Bishop Onuoha said.

He wondered whether, "most them, who were beneficiaries of our flawed electoral system, can actually give the nation an enduring constitution that can put things right.

"Given the fact that the present Constitution was a product of the military, and also in view of the fact that most members of our various assemblies are not in the true sense of it representing the people, it is therefore, absolutely necessary that a sovereign national conference be convened to give this nation a Constitution that will adequately address our problems."

He also said that for the war on corruption to succeed, the laws must be hard and biting enough.

Nashotah House announces honorary degree recipients

From Episcopal Life Online-

Anglican Bishop and theologian Michael Nazir-Ali is due to receive an honorary degree May 20 from Nashotah House during the Episcopal church-affiliated seminary's 165th commencement.
Nazir-Ali, who will also be the commencement speaker, was bishop of Rochester, England, before resigning last year. He is now president of the Oxford Centre for Training, Research, Advocacy, and Dialogue.

Diocese of Qu'Appelle (Canada) Bishop Gregory K. Kerr-Wilson will also be awarded a doctor of divinity degree along with Nazir-Ali. The seminary will confer the doctor of humane letters degree on Edwina Thomas, who served for 20 years as director of SOMA-USA, a branch of an international Anglican organization devoted to short-term missions.

Nazir-Ali was reported to have been a leading candidate to become Archbishop of Canterbury when Rowan Williams was appointed. He was one of about 230 Anglican Communion bishops who boycotted the 2008 Lambeth Conference of bishops in Canterbury, England. Prior to the start of the conference, he told the Birmingham Post, a British newspaper, that his difficulty with attending the conference centered on "being in eucharistic fellowship with and teaching the common faith alongside those who have ordained a person to be bishop whose style of life is contrary to the unanimous teaching of the Bible and of the church down the ages." Nazir-Ali was referring to the Episcopal Church's approval of the Diocese of New Hampshire's election and ordination of Gene Robinson as its bishop in 2003.

Nazir-Ali currently serves as visiting professor of theology and religious studies in the University of Greenwich and on the faculty of the London School of Theology.

Twenty-two graduates will receive earned degrees and diplomas during the exercises that will be held at St. Jerome Catholic Church in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.

Where God and the Devil Once Lived

From The New York Times-

IS nothing sacred? Once, this neo-Gothic landmark in Chelsea was the Church of the Holy Communion, with Gilded Age titans like Cornelius Vanderbilt among its high Episcopal parishioners.

In the 1970s, its congregation having long moved on to more verdant pastures, the church became a drug rehab center. A decade later, it was Limelight, the nightclub-slash-den of depravity, its strobes and multiple video screens casting an unholy glow on throngs of revelers writhing on the dance floor in a great communal rave.

Today that fabled nightclub is a mall.

The Limelight Marketplace flung open its winglike doors this month to receive the faithful: tourists in scuffed Nikes, teenage boys in hoodies and slouchy jeans, lithe shoppers in pricey tracksuits — all gathered to gape at the fusion of theme park and treat shop housed beneath its roof. Far above them, where scaffolding once climbed, bathed in an infernal light, the walls are tarted up with white lacquer. And Limelight’s former bat-cave interior, once reeking of damp flesh and mildew, has given way to a fragrant retail multiplex scented with lavender candles.

More Here-

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

ENGLAND: Bishops issue statement on women in the episcopate

From Episcopal Life Online-

The House of Bishops of the Church of England has issued a statement in support of a committee report and draft legislation that could pave the way for women to be consecrated as bishops.
The legislation – and its accompanying 142-page report – will be debated at the next session of General Synod, the church's main governing body, when it meets in July.

The bishops, whose statement was issued at the conclusion of their May 17-18 meeting in York, noted that the forthcoming meeting of General Synod would be a key moment in the legislative process when all 470 members will have the opportunity to debate the report and proceed to a clause-by-clause consideration of the draft measure and amending canon.

A measure is a piece of legislation that, once passed by the General Synod, requires approval by the British Parliament.

The bishops said that the synod will be helped in its task "by the clarity and thoroughness of the committee's analysis," noting that "as previous debates have shown, a majority of the members of the House strongly support the admission of women to the episcopate. At the same time there remains a strong commitment on the part of the House to preserve an honored place within the Church of England for those unable to receive this development. There continues to be a variety of views within the House over the best way of achieving that, while enabling women fully to exercise their new ministry."

More here-

Homeless Center May Help Those Downtown

From Kansas City-

A new community center is expected to be announced at Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Cathedral and may be a huge help to the homeless population in Kansas City.

The community center, at 8th Street and The Paseo Boulevard, is part of an idea that has been in the works for seven years. Leaders with the downtown council say hunger and homelessness is a real problem in Kansas City and that many people don't have access to services they really need. Some of the homeless are more than 22 blocks from shelters.

To help, the Downtown Council bought a building three blocks away from all shelters and equipped it with both food and emergency services.

Downtown Council members said it was needed.

"A lot of people were being preyed upon if you will in their search for both food and emergency services and by having this just three blocks from all the major shelters, they're gonna be able to get more counseling services, shower, wash their clothes," Sean O'Byrne, vice president of the Downtown Council said.

More here-

Yankees protest loss to Red Sox


The Yankees played the final four innings of Tuesday's 7-6 loss against the Red Sox under protest, claiming that there was no indication of an injury to starter Josh Beckett when he was removed from the game.

"They signaled to the bullpen before they announced to the umpire that he was hurt," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Beckett left the game after allowing Robinson Cano's two-run double in the fifth inning, which gave the Yankees a 5-0 lead at the time.

Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell visited the mound, and after talking to Beckett, Farrell pointed first toward the Boston bullpen and then gestured to manager Terry Francona, who called in Manny Delcarmen to replace Beckett.

More here-

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Winston Halapua becomes third Archbishop

From Anglican Communion News Service- (this piece is driving the spell check crazy)

At 10.45am on the 12th May Archbishop Brown Turei declared that Bishop Winston Halapua had been elected as the new Bishop of Polynesia – and therefore, as one of the three Archbishops of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

There followed a series of brief but moving presentations from representatives of each of the three tikanga.

These were led by Mrs Lola Kolomatangi, on behalf of the Diocese of Polynesia – who said it was the custom of mothers in the Pacific to gift “a cultural vestment” on its new leaders.
With that, Polynesian women brought forward various gifts and tokens – Tongan tapa, and three garlands, each representing Fiji, Samoa and Tonga, which they placed around Bishop Winston’s neck.

He, in turn, took two of those lei and draped them around the necks of the two existing Archbishops, Brown Turei and David Moxon.

Herewini Parata moved to present the greetings of Tikanga Maori to the new bishop – and then, with the help of Archbishop Turei, he tied a pounamu taonga, a greenstone pendant, around Dr Halapua’sneck.

He led a haka – and then it was Bishop Ross Bay’s turn to present the greetings of Tikanga Pakeha to the new Bishop, with a large floral bouquet.

More here-

U.K. Bishops Pledge Help on Women Bishops

From The Living Church-

In a statement issued May 18, the Church of England’s House of Bishops commended a revision committee’s report that would open the episcopate to women by 2012.

The bishops wrote that “a majority of the members of the House strongly support the admission of women to the episcopate,” and added: “At the same time there remains a strong commitment on the part of the House to preserve an honored place within the Church of England for those unable to receive this development. There continues to be a variety of views within the House over the best way of achieving that, while enabling women fully to exercise their new ministry.”

General Synod, which will meet in York July 9-13, “has the potential to be one of the most demanding meetings of the Synod for many years,” the bishops wrote. “It will, in the view of the House, be an occasion when all concerned will need to listen with particular care to those with views that differ from their own and to acknowledge the passion and sincerity with which those views are held.”

General Synod’s debate will be helped “by the clarity and thoroughness of the Committee’s analysis,” the bishops wrote.

The bishops resisted any notion of allowing the debate to remain unresolved for several more years.

“The House is aware that there are those who believe that the present legislative process does not have the potential to lead to a satisfactory conclusion and that a better outcome is more likely to be achieved in some years’ time,” they wrote. “Most members of the House consider, however, that it is crucial to keep faith with the present process. They see no grounds for believing that the issues with which the Church is grappling will become significantly easier to resolve with the passage of time.”

More here-

Nigeria: Cleric Laments Delay in Schools' Handover

From All Africa-

BISHOP of the Asaba Diocese of the Nigeria Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev Jestus Mogekwu has expressed sadness over the delay in handing over missionary schools back to them.

He lamented that the church was gradually being edged out of decision-taking and deprived of its rights".

The Bishop, who stated this at the 12th Synod of the Diocese in Asaba, however, charged Christians to exhibit the Godly virtues in them, as they were the light of the world in the Bible, adding that it was important that they showed good example.

He said he "it is only when they show and exhibit these virtues that their life will challenge the world".

The clergyman maintained that it was a time for the church to stand up for its right in the interest of the people.

On homosexuality, the Bishop said: "We are aware that bills to declare homosexuality illegal and prescribed punitive measures for it have been presented to the National Assembly. But whether this bill has been killed is any body's guess".

He noted further that for the nation to move forward, electoral fraud and looting of public treasury must be curtailed as well as the issue of 'godfatherism'.

More here-

Punishment without the requisite crime

From Canada-

In the work that bears his name, Gilbert and Sullivan’s wonderfully imagined Mikado purports “To let the punishment fit the crime, the punishment fit the crime.” In their guest opinion column in the Anglican Journal (May 2010, p. 5), Catherine Sider-Hamilton and Dean Mercer have, on the other hand, already decided the punishment– “a second-tier status in the larger Anglican Communion.” It remains only to conjure up the requisite crime.

Their opening gambit is to accuse our church of a “willingness to walk apart from the universal church.” Never mind the long list of Canadian Anglicans who have served and are now serving the life of the Communion. The Anglican Indigenous Network (Donna Bomberry), The Compass Rose Society (Bishop Philip Poole), Theological Education for the Anglican Communion (Archbishop Colin Johnson), the Anglican Covenant Working Group (Dr. Eileen Scully) and Unity, Faith and Order (Alyson Barnett-Cowan) don’t count. And never mind those bishops who have abandoned almost 2,000 years of Catholic ecclesiology to interfere with the integrity of the local church in this and other provinces because they and they alone know how to receive and interpret God’s word revealed in scripture.

More here-

Portrait of the schism tamer

From CNN

“There’s no beast more ferocious than two Christians who disagree.”

It's a quote I stumbled on while reading about religious conflict. I understood it better after covering the Episcopal Church’s decision to confirm the ordination of an openly gay bishop, Eugene Robinson, in 2003.

Church fights can turn vicious. This one was no exception. I saw church leaders plant false rumors about opponents; priests barge into other colleagues churches to insult them; and parishioners shout at each other like kids throwing tantrums.

The Episcopal Church is still grappling with the aftershocks of their decision to accept an openly gay bishop.

I came across a New Yorker article that gives a deft portrait of the man who was forced to referee that church conflict: Rowan Williams, the head of the Anglican Communion.

Williams has been fighting to prevent a schism in the Anglican Communion over the Episcopal Church's decision.The Episcopal Church is the American branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion, an 80-million member association of churches spanning the globe.

More here-

Yukon Anglicans elect new bishop

From Canada-

Anglicans in the Yukon have elected the Right Rev. Larry Robertson as their new bishop over the weekend.

Robertson, who is currently an assistant bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the Arctic in Yellowknife, was chosen over three other candidates at the Yukon diocese's synod Saturday in Whitehorse.

"Somebody came and asked me if I would run, and we prayed about it for a long time," Robertson told CBC News after his election.

"I have a lot of connections with the diocese already, and so we felt it was good to let our names stand."

Robertson's term will officially begin in September. He succeeds current bishop, the Right Rev. Terry Buckle, who has led the Yukon diocese for the past 15 years but said it is now time for a change.

"This certainly will bring, I think, with the new leadership, a new vision and renewed energy, I hope," Buckle said. "That's what we're looking forward to."

Robertson has served as an Anglican minister in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut for almost 35 years.

Read more:

Church group hires pension chief

From New York-

Fred Beaver was named senior vice president of pension services at Church Pension Group, New York, confirmed Nancy Fisher, a Church Pension Group spokeswoman.

Mr. Beaver will be in charge of daily operations of defined benefit and defined contribution plans of the group. One unit of the group is the Church Pension Fund, which administers pension plans for Episcopal Church clergy and lay employees. The Church Pension Fund had $8.3 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, Ms. Fisher said in an e-mail response to questions.

Ms. Fisher said Mr. Beaver took over for another Church Pension Group executive who remains with the company in a different role. She didn't provide details.

Mr. Beaver had been director of the division of pensions and benefits for the New Jersey Treasury Department, Trenton, said Anne F. Keating, managing director and senior partner at Korn/Ferry International, which handled the search, in an e-mail response to questions.

Andrew Pratt, a spokesman for the department, said the department is reviewing applications to fill Mr. Beaver's position, but there is no timetable for a selection; Florence Sheppard is the acting director.

More here-

Episcopal church to celebrate 125 years

From Texas not Kansas- (the picture is still from the other)

When Scott Wooten arrived in Wichita Falls in 2004 to take over as rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd, there was a lot of history to look back on — 119 years to be exact. Now it is six years later and his church will celebrate its 125th year as a vital part of the downtown Wichita Falls community.

The celebration will begin May 23 at the 10:30 a.m. service.

“We’ll start with a prayer from an early prayer book and then walk through the 125 years of the church,” Wooten said. An all-church picnic will be held after the service.

Wooten has been a part of six or seven churches, but places Good Shepherd at the top of the “busiest church” list.

“This is probably one of the more active and busy churches I’ve been a part of,” he said. “The church acts as a family through good times and bad — just like a real family.”

When those members of the church family look back over 125 years, they are proud of their heritage: providing a spiritual home for families stationed at Sheppard Field during World War II; helping form Interfaith Ministries after the 1979 tornado under the direction of Alanson Brown; starting the long-running Episcopal School (now known as Christ Academy); and adding magnificent stained glass windows in the sanctuary.

More Here-

Monday, May 17, 2010

Live From New York (Sort Of)

Hasidim protest the destruction of graves in Ashkelon by the Israeli Government. This afternoon in front of the Israeli Consulate (2nd Ave. New York) It's been going on for an hour and a half.

LATEST NEWS: Repair work to affect St James water supply 12:10 PM Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Follow us on Twitter! ALL WOMAN I'm Catholic, my fianc

From Jamaica -

HE'S an active Seventh-day Adventist and she a devout Anglican, but after 50 years of marriage, three children, two grandchildren and one great-grandchild, Ancille Gloudon and his wife, talk-show-host Barbara, are still together.

The two met in Haiti and while Gloudon had taken a break from the Seventh-day Adventist Church during the first 30 years of the marriage, he subsequently returned to the church and started abiding by the teachings of that denomination. Although both had differing views, the couple didn't allow that to tear them apart.

"Of course there were some misunderstandings as to be expected, until we sat down," explained Gloudon. "But the fact was that we had lived together as man and wife for over 30 years before that happened. So there was that trust, there was that dedication to each other, so that even though it presented some difficulties, they were not unsurpassable. The whole thing depended on trust and a belief in the ability of one to love and still do things that might be contrary to what the other one thinks, but without harming that relationship."

Many denominations warn against faith mixing, as they believe that marrying someone outside your belief system presents problems that can stunt spiritual growth.

"While it may not be a big problem for a mix like say, a Church of God and a Baptist, problems can arise with mixing between groups like Adventists and Pentecostals or Pentecostals and Baptists -- the problems with you believing one thing and your spouse another," said Kirk Samuels, a deacon in a Mandeville New Testament church.

More here-

Technical education must for Nigeria’s development —Anglican church

From Nigeria-

The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has said Nigeria’s quest for technological advancement will remain a mirage until technical education is given its pride of place.

The position of the church was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the third session of its seventh synod in Abuja on Sunday.

The communiqué, which was signed by the Primate of the church, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, and two others, made a case for better attention to be paid to technical education.

It reads in part, “Synod believes that no nation can achieve technological prowess unless technical education is accorded its rightful place.

“Consequently, efforts should be made to ensure that technical education in Nigeria is adequately funded and equipped, while the products of those institutions are properly placed and adequately remunerated.”

The church also lampooned attempts by Anglican parishes in the West counterparts to accord legitimacy to gay marriages.

It denounced homosexual and lesbian lifestyles, describing it as “unbiblical, unnatural, ungodly” and a part of humanity’s continuing rebellion against God.

The church also charged government at all levels to make genuine efforts to provide employment opportunities for Nigeria’s teeming youths, to avoid a total break down of law and order.

More here-

Tutu: Van Zyl Slabbert defied own people

From South Africa-

A memorial service for the former politician and businesman, who died at home with his family after an illness, will be held in Diepsloot , a family spokesperson said. “It took the pioneering and indomitable spirit of many different South Africans to overcome apartheid.

Dr Frederik Van Zyl Slabbert was one of those pioneers,” said Tutu of the former politician who died in Johannesburg last Friday.
“He went against his upbringing, his culture, his peers to offer an alternative, progressive Afrikaner voice to the Afrikaner Nationalist government of the time.” He said that Slabbert had started challenging the status quo when he was a student at Stellenbosch University, where he openly rejected apartheid, and went on to do so as leader of the opposition in the then Progressive Federal Party, and in Parliament.

He resigned from Parliament saying he did not want to be in the slipstream of government’s incompetence and moved on to arrange a meeting between the exiled ANC and a group of about 60 influential white South Africans, most of them Afrikaners, in Senegal.

More here-

For the sake of God, Anglican Church must put aside its differences

From The London Times-

Some years ago, at the Greenbelt Christian rock festival that takes place every August Bank Holiday near Cheltenham, someone close to the Archbishop of Canterbury told me that a person’s view on homosexuality was now what defined them on the Christian spectrum. What this person of considerable authority and intellect was saying was that it was no longer possible to be both pro-gay and evangelical.

In other words, the infighting over homosexuality means that for the 77 million Anglicans worldwide, more important than the Resurrection, the Crucifixion, the Virgin Birth and the Trinity is what one person does in bed with another.

The lines of Christian belief, in the Anglican world at least, have been redrawn around a battle over gay rights that, in the secular world, ended years ago.

Sexuality figures nowhere in the creeds. It is not mentioned in the church’s liturgies. When godparents bear witness to a baby’s baptism they do not swear to help to raise the infant as straight.

More here-

Angola: Anglican Church Organises March in Favour of HIV-Positive People

From All Africa-

The Anglican Church in Angola held Saturday in the main arteries of Ondjiva City, in southern Cunene Province, a solidarity march with people living with HIV/Aids, in light of the celebration of May 15, International Candles Day.

Speaking to ANGOP, the bishop of the Anglican Church based in Angola, Dom André Soares, said the march, which gathered believers from different churches, sought solidarity with those living with HIV/AIDS.

The march was attended by pastors and believers of the United Methodist Church, the Full of God's Word Church, the Congregational church, as well as others based in this region.

The Episcopal example: Courage, cohesion and church schisms

From Oregon-

Five years ago this spring, Eugene-based Episcopal priest Ted Berktold was in the middle of a mess. Gene Robinson, an openly gay Episcopal priest, had been elected bishop of New Hampshire, and the ripple effects were coursing through Berktold's parish of St. Mary's. Several people were threatening to leave.

Back then, Berktold's goal was to keep parishioners together and moving forward in the debate over equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) individuals. The reactions Berktold faced to Robinson's election were significant for several reasons: The national Episcopal Church often serves as a bellwether of broader social change, and Robinson's election seemed to be a statement of principle by American bishops. Those bishops faced a threat of schism from the international Anglican Communion, and they were taking a stand.

I profiled Berktold at that time in 2005 for a regional magazine because I thought him a great lens through which to examine the debates within the national church. Berktold is the smart, humble son of Minnesota farmers, and he studied in the 1960s under renowned theologians at both the Episcopal Divinity and Harvard Divinity schools after leaving Catholic seminary over a growing desire to marry and objections to bias against women. He then became an Episcopal priest, married and spent three decades leading parishes in Minnesota and Oregon.

This spring, Berktold retired from St. Mary's, having successfully avoided schism within his parish, and he handed the church to a 28-year-old priest named Bingham Powell.

More here-

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Viewpoint: Catholic priest defends beleaguered Anglicans in Zimbabwe

From Zimbabwe-

A Jesuit priest working in Zimbabwe speaks up on behalf of the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe, caught up in a dispute with supporters of the rebel former bishop Kunonga. Fr Oskar Wermter SJ writes:

The Anglicans are still being politically abused by the party that continues to rule in contradiction to the General Political Agreement which promised to restore the rule of law.

Most unfortunately, leaders of other Christian churches remain silent and do not declare their solidarity with suffering fellow Christians because they are under the erroneous impression that this is an internal affair of the Anglican Church in which they, naturally, should not get involved.

But the Anglican Church has settled the issue long ago. Nolbert Kunonga was removed from the Harare Diocese and excommunicated. There are no two factions within the Church of the Province of Central Africa. Kunonga, the clergy loyal to him and a few lay members are no longer part of the Anglican communion. There is no dispute within the Anglican Church.

There is a High Court decision which must be adhered to for the time being: the members of the Anglican Church Province of Central Africa (CPCA, under Bishop Chad Gandiya) must have access to church assets just as the followers of Nolbert Kunonga until a final and definite decision is taken about who owns these assets. Kunonga, not being Anglican bishop of Harare any more, has no right to control the assets of the diocese (churches, church premises, etc). It is mischievous for government (through the ZRP) to support Kunonga and bar the Anglican Church proper from its churches and church premises.

Some churches, including Catholic parishes, are playing host to displaced Anglican congregations and associations when asked to do so. There is at least some quiet solidarity at ground level.

More here-

"The Catholic Church Is The Closet Of Gays", Colombian Priest Writes In His Book

From Costa Rico-

Out of frustration at episcopal inaction, a priest of the Colombian archdiocese of Cali, has written a book on the ongoing homosexual scandals among priests of the archdiocese.

Father Germán Robledo, former head of the archdiocesan ecclesiastical tribunal, wrote that the third largest diocese of Colombia is rife with active and uncorrected homosexuals and heterosexual priests who prey upon young people, have fathered children and used parish funds to pay off the extortion demands of their boy-lovers and the fees for procurers.

The priest has kept his writings in absolute secrecy until they were published, calling it a "bomb" for the clergy of Cali.

Fr. Robledo, a priest for 45 years who served on the tribunal for 23 years, said that since he first presented his allegations and evidence of sexual and financial misconduct by priests in the archdiocese, the problems have increased "due to the lack of control and vigilance". He indicated that the Archbishop has done nothing to stop the misconduct of his priests.

The book, titled, ¿Hacia un celo gay? (Towards a Gay Clergy) is intended, Fr. Robledo said, to "denounce a tendency which is presenting itself within the Catholic Church".

"In the past 30 years," he said, "the Church has leaned towards priests with profiles with effeminate traces, sweet, obedient, submissive, uncritical, and who always accept the authoritarian role of the bishop and of the other superiors." He asserts that 30 per cent of the archdiocese's priests are homosexuals.

More here-

Irish Anglicans express ‘sorrow’ over consecration of lesbian bishop in US Church

From Christian Today-

Evangelical Anglicans in Ireland have spoken of their sorrow over the consecration of a second gay bishop by The Episcopal Church in the US.

In a joint statement, the Church of Ireland Evangelical Fellowship, the Evangelical Fellowship of Irish Clergy, New Wine (Ireland) and Reform Ireland said the consecration of Mary Glasspool to bishop suffragan in the Diocese of Los Angeles was “a clear rejection of the many please for gracious restraint” made by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, the Windsor Report and the recent meeting of Global South Primates in Singapore.

They said the lifestyle of Glasspool, who lives in an openly same-sex relationship, was “contrary to the will of God revealed in Scripture” and “both wrong and disappointing”.

They said: “The Episcopal Church (TEC) has taken this provocative step despite knowing the division and difficulties created by Gene Robinson’s consecration in 2003.

“This shows a deliberate disregard for other members of the Anglican family and suggests that TEC does not greatly value unity within Anglicanism and indeed throughout the universal Church.”

The evangelical groups went on to express their support for people within TEC who felt “alienated and hurt” by the consecration as well as conservative Anglicans who had taken the decision to break away from TEC and who are now caught up in legal battles to hold onto their church properties.

More here-