Saturday, August 28, 2010

African bishops conference: an apology from CAPA

From Thinking Anglicans-

In a 27th August letter to Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi, Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, the Most Rev. Ian Earnest, Chairman of CAPA (Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa), apologized for “embarrassing” the Church of Uganda when CAPA received a $25,000 grant from Trinity Grants (USA) for the All Africa Bishops Conference taking place in Uganda. (Letter is attached.)

In 2003, the Church of Uganda broke communion with the Episcopal Church (TEC) over their unbiblical theology and immoral actions that violated historic and Biblical Anglicanism and tore the fabric of the Communion at its deepest level. At the same time, the Church of Uganda resolved to not receive any funds from TEC.

The 2nd All Africa Bishops Conference was hosted by the Church of Uganda, but the programme and speakers were chosen by CAPA. The Church of Uganda received no outside funding for its role in hosting the 400 Bishops and other participants in the week-long conference. All funds were raised locally within Uganda.

Archbishop Henry thanked Archbishop Ian for acknowledging the awkward position CAPA had put the Church of Uganda in and appreciated his humility and generous spirit in writing.

More here-

Clergy, Heal Thyselves

From Huffington- (That's what I need some atheist friends-then I'll feel less stressed)

A few weeks ago, there was a rash of media coverage of a Duke University study that told a lot of us clergy what we already knew: those charged with shepherding the sheep are often not men and women who are good at taking care of themselves.

Many are overweight, suffer from high blood pressure, and grapple with depression at higher rates than the average American. Ask your pastor about her stress level, if you can catch her or her moving from worship service to coffee hour to adult study in the space of two hours, all the while trying to come up with memorable pastoral advice for each of the 300 congregants who wants her undivided, Zen-like attention.

No matter what you may have heard, ordained folk do occasionally step outside the sanctuary and go to the doctors to be weighed and warned, so we aren't oblivious to the toll parish life and our own expectations can take upon our mental and physical health.

But what are some of the more creative ways in which we collared ones are taking care of ourselves? I thought I'd ask a few of my colleagues.

Which is where I ran into trouble: they were on vacation, just one step ahead of me. But when I finally ran a few to earth, here are a few tips they shared for staying sane in a crazy family system.

Cultivate some atheist friends, advises Barbara Crafton, an Episcopal priest, conference leader and author. Take naps, she adds. And stay away from the choirmaster.

More here-

Texas church volunteers help White Shield church

From North Dakota-

A White Shield church is getting help with the construction of an addition to its building, thanks to six volunteers from a church in Midland, Texas.

The six men from Christ Church Midland arrived Thursday to start work on the addition to St. Paul's Episcopal Church, southwest of the community of White Shield on the Fort Berthold Reservation.

For one of the Midland men this is his second trip to White Shield this summer. Tom Talbot, the youth minister at Christ Church Midland, was in White Shield in July with a ministry team of high school and college students and adults, running a Bible camp at St. Paul's and other activities in the community. Talbot has led youth volunteer groups to St. Paul's for 12 years the past three years with Christ Church Midland.

The Midland volunteers' project is to build the main structure for the addition to St. Paul's. On Friday, the volunteers John Holmes, Shannon Smith, John Brenner, Gary Oknefski, Carl Englestad and Talbot had the project under way.

The volunteers have various expertise in building. Some of the volunteers have done similar work, including two of them who built a youth center in Guatemala and another who has built homes for Habitat for Humanity.

More here-

Katrina memories mix with spill worries

From ELO-

If you live on the Gulf Coast, says the Very Rev. James "Bo" Roberts, it's not a question of whether a natural disaster will strike, but rather when the next one will come.

Roberts knows what he's taking about. He is the rector of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Gulfport, Mississippi, one of six churches along the Gulf Coast portion of the Diocese of Mississippi that Hurricane Katrina destroyed on Aug. 29, 2005. He began his ministry at St. Mark's in April 1969, "right before [Hurricane] Camille came and tore it all up in August of that year, so I have rebuilt completely twice," along with making lots of repairs after other storms in between.

Nell Bolton, executive director of Episcopal Community Services of Louisiana, which grew out of the Diocese of Louisiana's early post-storm disaster-relief efforts, recites the events of the last five years almost like a litany: "Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike, and the economic downturn and now the oil spill."

More here-

Friday, August 27, 2010

African bishops chide Anglican leader on homosexuality

From CNN-

Conservative Anglican bishops pressed the head of the worldwide church over homosexuality at a conference this week in Uganda, demanding he "sort out" the crisis facing the world's third-largest Christian denomination.

Bishops from Singapore, Southeast Asia and Africa told Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams in closed-door sessions Tuesday and Wednesday that there should be no more diplomacy on homosexuality, an issue that has split the Anglican communion.

Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi, head of Uganda's Anglican church and the host of the week-long All Africa Bishops Conference, said the Archbishop of Canterbury (pictured administering communion at the conference) faces a complicated task in trying to reunite the church.

"He (Williams) spoke what was on his mind and we also spoke. We impressed it on him that he had totally gone in a different direction and he has to sort it out," Orombi told journalists after their closed-door meeting on Wednesday.

"We sympathize with his position as head of the Anglican communion suffering disunity on moral grounds and teaching of the scripture. It's like having unruly kids in his house and he can't sit down to eat food."

More here-

Dr Williams warns African bishops to listen and take risks

From The Church Times-

THE Archbishop of Canterbury has called on African bishops to listen more to the people they lead, and to put themselves at risk for the sake of their flock, as he addressed the first All Africa Bishops’ Conference to be convened in six years.

In his sermon at the opening eucharist on Tuesday, at the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA) gathering in Entebbe, Uganda, Dr Williams said: “We listen to Jesus, and then we must learn to listen to those we lead and serve; to find out what their own hopes and needs and confusions are. We must love and attend to their humanity in all its diversity, so that we become better able to address words of hope and challenge to them. We cannot assume we always know better.”

Although he did not mention homosexuality, many of his audience interpreted his words in that context.

Afterwards, the Archbishop of Uganda, the Most Revd Henry Orombi, who is hosting the conference, said that he welcomed Dr Williams’s attendance. “We are going to express to him where we stand. Homosexuality is incompatible with the word of God.” The Anglican Communion was already broken, he said.

The chairman of CAPA, the Arch bishop of the Indian Ocean, the Most Revd Ian Ernest, told a press conference: “Today, the West is lack ing obedience to the word of God. It is for us to redress the situation.” He said that he had severed all ties with the Anglican Churches in the United States and Canada because of their homosexual clergy.

More here-

UGANDA: Archbishop of Canterbury reflects on CAPA bishops meeting

From ELO-

The All Africa Bishops Conference comes at a "significant moment ... with Anglican churches in Africa putting development issues at the top of their agenda," Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said Aug. 26 after he returned from a three-day visit to Uganda.

More than 400 Anglican bishops from Africa are being joined by international partners, diplomats and representatives from relief and development organizations for the Aug. 23-29 conference in Entebbe, Uganda, to focus on issues of conflict, poverty, corruption, disease, and effective leadership for sustainable development.

Williams said that the bishops' desire to make development issues a priority "has been welcomed by other churches and politicians in the region and internationally, as they recognize that the African church has the willingness and the skills to make them best placed to set their development agenda. Their challenge will be in finding the imaginative opportunities for unlocking this potential."

Convened by the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa, the conference theme is "Securing the Future: Unlocking our Potential," based on the biblical text from Hebrews 12:1-2.

"I valued opportunities to hear from bishops ministering in the heart of conflict situations in countries such as Sudan, DR Congo, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, and learned much from presentations on the serious threats to the well-being of women and children, as well as the potential of the church to respond to these issues."

More here-

Church's Undie Sunday' a success

From the "You Can't Make This Stuff Up" Department -

At first, the idea of "Undie Sunday" unsettled some members of St. Mary's Episcopal Church.

Tighty-whiteys and the Lord's house, after all, are not a natural fit.

"Some of the older people were saying, 'How can you talk about underwear in church?' - but once they realized there was such a need, everyone got around it," church member and collection organizer Lelia Druzdis said Tuesday.

Billed as "a project we can get behind," the collection of new briefs, boxers and panties took off, and laundry baskets in the church narthex quickly filled. By the end of July, St. Mary's members had collected about 1,200 pairs of underwear for homeless and needy men, women and children, Druzdis said. People also gave other items, including bras, and the Manchester BJ's Wholesale Club and Target store donated gift cards.

At the annual Cruisin' on Main event on Aug. 1, the church - touting the theme "What's under the hood?" - made a high-profile handover to Manchester Area Conference of Churches Charities.

"There was a lot of visibility of underwear that day," said Jacki Campion, MACC Charities director of volunteer and community services.

Read more:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

College Trip

I'm taking my youngest (Lindsey) off to college today so we might be a bit light on the posts over the next day.

African Bishops to Re-Examine the Issue Homosexuality

From All Africa-

THE All African Bishops International Conference kicked off yesterday in Entebbe, Uganda with the clerics promising to strengthen their position on intolerance of homosexuality in the Anglican Church.

The one-week conference being held under the theme; "Securing our future; Unlocking our potential," is jointly organized by the by Church of Uganda and the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA).

The Bishop of Butare Anglican Diocese, Nathan Gasatura, who is among the twelve Bishops representing Rwanda at the conference, said that the meeting would also reinforce the need for a common voice among African bishops.

"We shall consolidate our position to really stand against homosexuality now with one voice," he told The New Times in an interview yesterday.

"Sometimes we have been speaking with dissenting voices because this is one of the planned topics that is going to be consolidated."

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, was the lead preacher at the opening of the Conference which was characterised by sermons and prayers to address development challenges that Africa faces.

Many African Bishops are unhappy about Williams' perceived tolerance of homosexual behaviour in the Anglican community.

More here-

Ugandan archbishop urges African clergy to re-evangelise Anglican church

From The London Guardian-

The archbishop of Uganda yesterday urged hundreds of African bishops to shake off their fears, shame and superficial dependency and re-evangelise the "ailing" churches of the west.

In a rallying cry to the biggest constituency of the Anglican Communion, the Most Rev Henry Orombi said it was time for Africans to "rise up and bring fresh life in the ailing global Anglicanism".

His call came on the same day that US Episcopalians published a guide on liturgical and ceremonial resources for clergy and same-sex couples. Orombi was addressing the 400 bishops who are in Entebbe, Uganda, this week for the second meeting of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa. He told them the "potentials" attending the conference must be free to go to Europe and the US and revive the "Mother Church desperate for the gospel".

One of those listening was the Archbishop of Canterbury, who faces an awkward week as he visits Uganda for the first time since he took office in 2002.
According to a report in the Kenyan newspaper the Daily Nation African church leaders will use the meeting to reiterate their concerns about homosexuality and criticise the archbishop for failing to punish communities that welcome gays and lesbians into the pews and priesthood.

More here-

Once a victim, St. Thomas' Parish rebuilds

From The Washington Post-

Many churches sit next to graveyards; in that way, St. Thomas' Episcopal Parish in Dupont Circle isn't special. But it's not former parishioners that haunt the space, rather the grand Gothic wonder that existed there from 1893 until arson in 1970.

The first alarm came at 3:26 a.m., the next at 3:29, then 3:33. Henry Breul, the priest and former Army ambulance driver in far-flung war zones, raced in his blue ragtop Mustang to be there, to witness it, even if he was helpless. He was joined by 125 firemen and 20 pieces of equipment from 13 engine companies and 6 truck companies, blocking Massachusetts Avenue between 17th and 18th Streets. It smelled like campfire ash, wet hymnals burning so smoky with molten stained glass. By 8 a.m., it was doused. That hot August 24 morning, the building that The Washington Star in 1923 called "one of the most beautiful edifices in the country" was ordered razed. The next day the church paid $50,000 to demolish itself. Only a social hall and part of the sacrificial altar remained; the rest was converted to a private-but-open park in 1974.

Now, 40 years later, St. Thomas' is in the throes of a decision that will change it and its congregation forever: It is rebuilding to accommodate its growing congregation, hoping to raise $5.72 million.

More here-

New survey probes what Americans think, or know, about Islam

From USA Today-

The new poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, was conducted Aug. 19-22 among 1,003 adults. Last week Pew released a survey that found 18% of Americans think President Obama, a Christian, is a actually Muslim.

Meanwhile, Catholic Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan told the Associated Press today he is apprehensive that New Yorkers noble values of tolerance "may be a bit at risk in the way this way conversation and debate about the mosque are taking place."

And the Episcopal Bishop of New York Mark Silk issued a letter about his warm personal endorsement of the imam behind Park51.

At the Episcopal Diocese of New York we know the leaders of this project, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his wife Daisy Khan. We know that they are loving, gentle people, who epitomize Islamic moderation. We know that as Sufis, they are members of an Islamic sect that teaches a universal belief in man's relationship to God that is not dissimilar from mystic elements in certain strains of Judaism and Christianity. Feisal Abdul Rauf and Daisy Khan are, without question, people to whom Christians of good will should reach out with the hand of hospitality and friendship, as they reach out to us. I understand and support their desire to build an Islamic center, intended in part to promote understanding and tolerance among different religions.

More here

Episcopal diocese sues another Anglican church

From Central California-

The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin is suing the members of St. Paul’s, Bakersfield. The lawsuit is the latest in a series of suits stemming from the original diocese splitting from the national Episcopal Church and aligning itself with a more conservative Anglican order.

The congregations being sued occupy what the Episcopal Diocese contends is church property that it owns. The Anglicans dispute that argument. There was no immediate comment from the Bakersfield church about the lawsuit.

Similar cases are pending against the former members of St. Francis, Turlock; St. Michael’s, Ridgecrest; St. John’s, Porterville; St. James, Sonora; Redeemer & Hope, Delano; St. Columba, Fresno and St. Paul’s, Visalia.

“It is particularly disappointing given the recent and unequivocal decisions of the California Supreme Court and Court of Appeals’ rulings that the properties and assets are held for the Episcopal Church and its dioceses,” says Diocesan Chancellor Michael Glass.
Mr. Glass says that the litigation will not be initially seeking monetary judgments against individual defendants “unless it becomes evident that such defendants have diverted parish assets to other purposes or parties.”

More here-

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

400 African bishops meet in Entebbe

From New Vision (Africa)

ABOUT 400 African bishops begin a seven-day meeting in Entebbe today for the second All Africa Bishops Conference. The theme of the conference, organised by the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA), is “Securing the future, unlocking our potential”.

President Yoweri Museveni will officially open the conference tomorrow.

The conference takes place at Imperial Resort Beach Hotel. Yesterday, the lobby of the hotel was a beehive of activity, as delegations of clergy from Burundi, Central Africa, Congo, Egypt, Indian Ocean islands, and Kenya checked in for registration.

Others from Nigeria, Rwanda, Southern Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, West Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Togo, Comoros and West Saharawi arrived.

More delegations were still streaming in by press time.

The hotel was fully booked, forcing other delegations to book into nearby hotels.

Prayers, the Holy Eucharist and Bible study sessions will be held every morning from the conference hall.

The CAPA general secretary, the Rev. Canon Grace Kaiso, said Uganda was chosen by vote as the venue for the conference by the standing organising committee on the sidelines of the first conference that sat in 2004 in Abuja in Nigeria.

“It is interesting that we are having the second African bishops conference in Uganda just after the African Union summit. Those of us who believe in God think this is a message in terms of the privileged place Uganda occupies on the continent,” he said.

More here-

Anglican Church must be practical

From Uganda-

Your Grace, The Most Rev Luke Orombi, I have chosen to publicly address this communication to you as the Honourable Host to the 400 African Anglican bishops who are coming to Uganda this week. We are informed the purpose of their coming here is to discuss a host of issues affecting the continent. Among the issues are poverty, diseases, matters of justice and peace, wars, ethnic cleansing, genocide; and the relationship between the Church and the State. This is a tall agenda.

According to Amanda Onapito, the public relations officer of the Province of the Church of Uganda, “It is time believers combined their efforts to find solutions to problems that affect Africa.” I am hopeful of all attempts to do so.

It is precisely in this spirit that I am taking this opportunity to write to you and to your guests. As I spent almost 30 years of my life serving the Church of Uganda, I feel that my experience and commitment to the Church allows me to respectfully make some comments and proposals. I cannot help but notice that our church leaders on the continent delight in attending conferences where lofty statements, declarations, and resolutions are made.

In my life of 82 years, I have attended many of these church meetings.

Good intention compels church leaders to meet and talk – but then nothing tends really to follow thereafter. For instance, 36 years ago, Church leaders and their representatives—about 500 persons met in Lusaka, Zambia, and after several days of deliberations, issued a statement which called for action. I quote to avoid misinterpretation:...

More here-

Texas school rejects 4-year-old over lesbian parents

From Ft. Worth (even though it says Dallas)-

A private religious school in Texas has denied admission to the daughter of a lesbian couple who wanted to enroll the child in preschool, citing its "clear teaching of the Christian faith" for the refusal.

In a statement e-mailed to CNN sister network HLN, the dean of St. Vincent's Cathedral School in the Dallas suburb of Bedford, Texas, said the school is standing on its principles "in matters of marriage and sex outside of marriage" by refusing to seat 4-year-old Olivia Harrison.

"St. Vincent's School as a ministry of St. Vincent's Cathedral upholds the clear teaching of the Christian faith, the Holy Bible, and the Anglican Church in North America," the Rev. Ryan Reed said.

"We based our decisions about enrollment on what is best for the children of St. Vincent's as a whole and in conformity with the above standards," he said. "We regret the disappointment the mother feels, but also do not understand why she would want to enroll her child in a school that would undercut her own personal values at home."


St. Vincent's is part of a conservative movement that broke away from the U.S. Episcopal Church in 2008, in part over the Episcopal church's positions on gay and lesbian rights. The Anglican Church in North America claims about 100,000 adherents.

More here-

PENNSYLVANIA: Bennison trial witnesses concerned by review court verdict

From ELO-

Five witnesses who testified at the trial of Pennsylvania Bishop Charles Bennison have expressed "great sorrow" that a review court verdict has enabled him to return to work despite agreeing that he failed to respond appropriately when he had reason to believe that his brother, John Bennison, was engaged in sexual misconduct with a young girl in his parish.

The letter, which was addressed to the people of the Diocese of Pennsylvania, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, members of the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies and Episcopalians everywhere, was signed by Martha Alexis, the abuse victim; Julia Alexis, her mother; Maggie Thompson, John Bennison's ex-wife, to whom he was married when the abuse began; and two other witnesses.

Bennison resumed his role as bishop after the church's Court of Review for the Trial of a Bishop overturned a lower court's finding that he ought to be deposed (removed) from ordained ministry because he had engaged in conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy. The review court agreed with one of the lower court's two findings of misconduct, but said that Bennison could not be deposed because the charge was barred by the church's statute of limitations.

"The statute of limitations regarding sexual abuse needs to be removed entirely," the letter said. "The crime of complicity and cover-up needs to be regarded as equal in seriousness to that committed by the perpetrator because it allows the abuse to continue. Further, in matters of clergy sexual abuse, there needs to be a church-wide mechanism that supersedes the autonomy of individual diocesan bishops. At stake are the safety of the people and the credibility of the Episcopal Church as a whole."

More here-

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Book Of Common Prayer, part 1: An English ragbag

From The London Guardian-

Steven Sample, the recently departed president of the University of Southern California, used to play a mean trick on his graduate students. He restricted MBA class reading to books that been in print for at least 250 years. Anything that had remained in constant use for that long, he argued, must have something about it. Thus airport bookstall how-to paperbacks yielded to Shakespeare, Milton and Machiavelli, all of whom students had heard of, but seldom read. For many today, including Church of England clergy, the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) occupies a similar niche in their consciousness.

Supplemented by newer liturgical compilations, the BCP remains the normative liturgy of the Church of England. It has been translated into over 150 languages. Its words have resonated through almost 450 years of English life and culture. Now it has been placed online, in its entirety, by the Church of England.

The BCP was a bold attempt, on a national level, to bring together a whole community around what was then a new concept of uniformity. This powerful notion was enacted for the Latin church 21 years later when the Council of Trent delivered the Missal of Pius V. The BCP allowed for celebrations in Latin (indeed there is one termly in Oxford to this day), but required that worship should normally be conducted "in a language understanded of the people". Vernacular liturgy was a reform for which Roman Catholics had to wait another 400 years.

More here-

African bishops, global partners head to Uganda for weeklong meeting

From ELO-

More than 400 Anglican bishops from Africa are being joined by international partners, diplomats and representatives from relief and development organizations for a weeklong gathering in Entebbe, Uganda, to focus on issues of conflict, poverty, corruption and disease on the continent.

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni is scheduled to address the All Africa Bishops Conference on Aug. 25 and Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams will be the guest preacher at the opening Eucharist on Aug. 24. Williams' attendance at the gathering marks the first time he has visited Uganda since he became archbishop of Canterbury in 2002.

The gathering brings together bishops from the 12 Anglican provinces in Africa -- Burundi, Central Africa, Congo, Indian Ocean, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Southern Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and West Africa -- as well as the Diocese of Egypt.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori sent a greeting to the gathering, which is sponsored by the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) and whose theme is "Securing the Future: Unlocking our Potential," based on the biblical text from Hebrews 12:1-2.

"The Episcopal Church holds you in prayer as you gather as the Anglican provinces of Africa," said Jefferts Schori in her letter. "May you be equipped for the challenges of building the reign of God ... casting aside the burdens of colonial histories and the current political realities. May your ministries be a blessing to a hungry world."

The Rev. Canon Petero Sabune is among the attendees from the U.S.-based Episcopal Church, which has longstanding partnerships with most of the Anglican provinces in Africa. Sabune, the Episcopal Church's Africa partnerships officer, told ENS that Jefferts Schori's message sums up why he is attending the conference.

More here-

'The Bible in 90 Days' coming to Neahwa Park

From Up-state New York-

Have you ever wanted to read the Bible from cover to cover like a novel?

Well, The Susquehanna Valley Association of Evangelicals is inviting the public to gather under a big tent in Oneonta to learn how to do it in 90 days.

The association is a loose collection of more than a dozen area churches, and the group is hosting "The Bible in 90 Days" at 5 p.m. Sept. 12 in Neahwa Park.

The program was created by Ted Cooper Jr., a Texas man who read the Bible to cover-to-cover in 1999, the Rev. Kenneth Hunter, pastor of St. James Episcopal Church, said.

The program involves reading the Bible like a novel and discussing it in weekly support groups, Hunter said.

"The support is what really helps people," Hunter said. "You can do it all on your own, but it's a heck of a lot easier when you have a group that is supporting you and you can do it along with them."

Church seeds school for Kenyan orphans

From New Hampshire-

The Rev. Peter A. Stebinger, rector of Christ Episcopal Church, recently traveled to the poverty-stricken town of Namble, Kenya.

Stebinger was there to celebrate the first Prize Giving Day for the Nambale Magnet School.

What he got, however, was a prize of sorts.

According to him, after just one year, the Nambale Magnet school, is doing “better than expected” and has a higher than expected number of paying students.

The Nambale Magnet School aims to provide excellence in education and nurture at-risk children in Kenya. It teaches children in pre-kindergarten to eighth grade.

Stebinger and Christ Episcopal Church have been working on the Nambale Magnet School since 2004, with the Women’s Initiative for Knowledge and Survival, also known as WIKS, a Kenyan non-governmental organization, according to Stebinger.

The church started raising money to buy land for the school in 2004, said Stebinger, and in 2008 construction began.

More here-

Sunday, August 22, 2010

‘There are evil cabals of church pastors’

From Nigeria-

Rt. Reverend Isaac Olatunde Olubowale is the Bishop of the Diocese of Anglican Communion, Ekiti-Oke, in Ekiti State. In this interview conducted by IDOWU ADELUSI, the Bishop bares his mind on the 2011 election, issues in the church and national matters. Excerpts:

In October, Nigeria will be 50 years old. A golden age for that matter. Doesn’t it call for celebration?

It is just a simple rational way of thinking. Getting to Ibadan from Ekiti. Go and see Ilesha — Ife — Ibadan expressway. There are gullies on the heart of the roads. What are we celebrating? I doubt if we can have 24 hours electricity supply. What are we celebrating? Workers from the local government to the state and federal cannot boast of having regular salary. The resident doctors are contemplating embarking on industrial action.

There is no security anywhere. People are being killed by assassins, many are being kidnapped for ransom. Armed robbers cannot allow people to sleep well in their houses. Is it not madness to say we are celebrating and to even vote such huge amount for it. Many jobless school leavers and graduates are roaming the streets searching for jobs. Our schools are under-funded. We need to know what we are doing.

More here-

Sins of omission

From Philadelphia-

The case against local Episcopal Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr., who returned to his duties Monday, has lifted the veil on decades of silence and inaction toward sexual abuse of minors that reaches to the highest rungs of the church hierarchy.

The bishop had been inhibited for almost three years from functioning as leader of the five-county Diocese of Pennsylvania because of charges that he failed to act when his younger brother John, then a youth leader in Charles' parish, was accused of sexually preying on a teenage girl.

The ecclesiastical appeals court agreed with a 2008 church ruling that Bennison was guilty of "conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy," but in reversing a ruling that he be defrocked, the court pointed out that because Bennison was not the abuser the statute of limitations on his misconduct had run out.

In explaining its ruling, the court pieced together a damning picture of an ineffectual church hierarchy that often seemed to prefer silence and collusion to the truth. But the court also pointed out - in my opinion with justice - that to be silent or even possibly willfully ignorant of abuse, as his opponents argue Bennison was, still doesn't make him a perpetrator.

Read more:

Western Kansas diocese elects Michael Pierce Milliken as bishop

From ELO-

The Rev. Michael Pierce Milliken was elected Aug. 21 as the fifth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Kansas, pending the required consents from a majority of bishops with jurisdiction and standing committees of the Episcopal Church.

Milliken, 63, rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Hutchinson, Kansas, since 1998, was elected on the second ballot from a field of three nominees during a special electing convention at St. Michael's Church in Hays, Kansas. He received 33 votes in the lay order and 22 in the clergy order. A simple majority of votes in each order was needed to elect.

Pending a successful consent process, Milliken also will continue as Grace's rector while serving as diocesan bishop, according to the Rev. Laird McGregor, vicar of St. Anne's Church in McPherson and a member of the diocesan Standing Committee.

Though the exact details of that arrangement have yet to be worked out, such a division of time, duties and salary between the diocese and a local parish or mission has been seen as a likely outcome since the bishop search process began last spring, McGregor explained.

Following the election, Milliken said juggling the duties of bishop and rector would be a challenge. One of his first priorities as bishop is to build community among congregations of the geographically large diocese.

More here-