Saturday, February 26, 2011

Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem’s visa revoked

From Asia News-

Israel’s Interior Ministry has revoked the permit for the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, The Rt Revd Suheil Dawani, to live in Jerusalem, and has refused requests to reinstate it, in spite of protests by Anglican authorities in the West specifically the United States.

The Bishop is a native of the Holy Land and has spent most of his life and ministry here, but cannot obtain either citizenship or legal residence in Israel, since he was born in Nablus, i.e. in the West Bank, which has been under Israeli occupation since 1967, but has not been annexed to Israel. East Jerusalem, on the other hand, where the Anglican Cathedral and Diocesan offices are situated, was also occupied at the same time, but Israel annexed it and considers it part of its national territory (although no other country in the world recognizes this annexation). Therefore, Bishop Dawani is considered by Israel to be a foreigner who can only visit – let alone live in – East Jerusalem with a special permit, which the Israeli authorities can either grant or deny at their sole discretion. In fact, even the original Palestinian inhabitants of East Jerusalem, and their descendants, are considered by Israel to be foreigners who are no more than possessors of a residence permit, which Israel can revoke.

Since the Bishop has of course remained at his post, in Jerusalem, without the permit, he could be arrested at any moment, be put on trial for being in Israel illegally, be sentenced to a prison term – or simply be forcibly removed from Jerusalem.

More here-’s-visa-revoked-20875.html

Anglican settlement takes hold

From Canada-

The Anglican Church in Ottawa will "disestablish" one parish, and some clergy in another parish will depart the diocese as part of a settlement between the church and two breakaway congregations.

In 2008, clergy and congregations at St. Alban's and St. George's churches in downtown Ottawa voted to join the Anglican Network of Canada because of their opposition to the decision of the diocese and the national church to bless same-sex civil unions. On Jan. 16, after months of negotiations, the diocesan council and the two congregations reached an agreement under which the diocese will disestablish the parish of St. George's, and sell the Metcalfe Street property to the Anglican Network for a "substantial sum of money." The property will be renamed once the sale is completed by March 1.

At St. Alban the Martyr on King Edward Avenue, the Anglican Network clergy and those congregation members who wish to join them will depart by July 1.

St. Alban's is the second-oldest Anglican parish in Ottawa, established in 1865. St. George's began in 1885 with the purchase of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Read more:

Cooley a ‘spiritual rock’

From Colorado- (Andrew and I worked together at Convention on Dispatch- God's Blessings Andrew)

He has been credited with reaching out to other faiths, welcoming gays and lesbians and playing a pivotal role on the national stage of his denomination. And after 16 years, the Rev. Andrew Cooley, rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, will preach his last sermon in Durango on May 1.

“This is totally my initiative to do this,” he said. “There’s no rule for how long to stay, but I’ve seen too many clergy who have been in one place too long, and I didn’t want that to be me.”

When he came to St. Mark’s, Cooley wanted to stay until he was 50 and his daughter had graduated from high school. He’s now 54, and she is graduating from college right after he leaves Durango.

In his next life stage, Cooley will serve as an interim rector at churches in the process of finding a replacement priest.

“I’ll probably do this for the next 10 or 15 years until I retire,” he said. “I’m eager to take the skills I’ve learned here of dealing with people in the midst of anxiety and stress and being an agent of healing and hope.”

An interim pastor will be assigned to St. Mark’s, and the vestry committee will begin a search for a new rector, which will probably take a year to 18 months.

‘Always makes you think’

More here-‘spiritual-rock’

Always a symbol, now one of loss, cathedral to be rebuilt, Christchurch mayor says

From ENS-

The mayor of Christchurch, New Zealand, has vowed that the iconic Anglican cathedral in the center of that earthquake-ravaged city will be rebuilt "brick by brick, stone by stone" because "we need to find some symbols like that."

Bob Parker told the Dominion newspaper that in the wake of the Feb. 22 magnitude-6.3 quake that struck very near Christchurch "we will have to take some bold steps."

On the fourth day after the quake, emergency workers were preparing to begin retrieving an estimated 22 bodies from the ruins of the cathedral. Tourists were in the building at the time, many or most of them in the collapsed tower.

An unnamed search and rescue expert told the New Zealand Herald that a camera lowered into the damaged nave found no signs of life.

"No sound, nothing," he said.

He estimated that stone and rubble filled the building to a height of around 65 feet.

More here-

Bishops oppose immigration bill in Mississippi

From Mississippi-

Leaders from four Christian denominations are calling on Mississippi lawmakers to reject an Arizona-style immigration bill that would let officers check during traffic stops to see if a person is in the country illegally.

Bishops from the Catholic, Episcopal, Evangelical Lutheran and United Methodist churches in Mississippi said Friday that residents must be willing to forgive immigrants who enter the United States without permission.

In an open letter to legislators and Gov. Haley Barbour, the bishops said the U.S. immigration system is "broken and outdated," but should be reformed by the federal government, not by states.

"Comprehensive immigration reform that secures our borders, guarantees fair and effective worksite enforcement, strengthens our economy and provides a means for earned legalization would honor the values of human dignity, family unity, and mercy and forgiveness that our faith traditions demand of us," the bishops wrote in the letter, which was also released to news organizations.

The letter was signed by Bishop Joseph N. Latino of the Catholic Diocese of Jackson; Bishop Roger P. Morin of the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi; Bishop Duncan M. Gray III of the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi; Bishop H. Julian Gordy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Southeastern Synod; and Bishop Hope Ward Morgan of the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church.

More here-

Episcopal pastor gets probation, to pay $99,247

From The Denver Post-

A judge today sentenced the Rev. Donald Armstrong to four years probation for his no-contest plea to one count of misdemeanor theft of funds from the Colorado Springs church where he once served as rector.

Fourth Judicial District Judge Gregory R. Werner also ordered Armstrong to pay restitution in the amount of $99,247 that was diverted to pay for his son's and daughter's college education. The money came from a trust fund originally set up to pay for the education of seminary students.

But Werner rejected a request by a special prosecutor to order Armstrong to repay Grace and St. Stephen's Episcopal Church an additional $191,753 in church funds that also were spent on his children's education.

SC Episcopal diocese responds to national church

From South Carolina-

Officials of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina affirmed this month their sovereignty and discussed the need to encourage growth by starting new congregations.

At the 220th convention, held Feb. 18 and 19 at the Parish Church of St. Helena in Beaufort, delegates voted a second time to pass two resolutions amending the diocesan constitution. The first removes the accession clause to the canons of the Episcopal Church and the second permits the diocese to convene its representatives more than once a year if required.

"These resolutions seek to protect the diocese from any attempt at unconstitutional intrusions in our corporate life in South Carolina and were in response to the revisions to the Title IV Canons of the Episcopal Church," the diocese wrote in a summary of the convention.

The resolutions are part of six drafted last year in response to what the diocese called "far-reaching and polity-changing revisions to the disciplinary canon of the Episcopal Church."
In 2009, the national church body changed a portion of its canon law, clarifying -- augmenting, the diocese argues -- the authority of the presiding bishop with regard to "ecclesiastical discipline." That change takes effect in July this year.

The six resolutions that passed in October at the reconvened 219th diocesan convention delete reference in the diocesan constitution to national church canon law, assert diocese sovereignty and make it easier to change governing documents. They remove the "unqualified accession" clause that recognizes the supremacy of the Episcopal Church's constitution and canons, and delete a section of canon law stating that property is held in trust for the Episcopal Church.

Read more:

Friday, February 25, 2011

Will Traditional Anglicans enter Catholic Church?

From Australia-

The Bishop of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) Torres Strait Diocese, Church of the Torres Strait, The Right Reverend Tolowa Nona, has described Pope Benedict’s offer to Anglicans of full communion with the Catholic Church as “very generous”.

“It is perhaps the most-important development in the Christian history of the Torres Strait since the Coming of the Light,” Bishop Nona said.

For years, traditional Anglicans around the world have been asking the Holy See to consider whether they may be able to enter the Catholic Church, while retaining their liturgical forms and disciplines.

And it seems this may soon come to pass in the Torres Strait.

Bishop Nona recently wrote to his diocese describing the Pope Benedict XVI’s offer as a “wonderful provision”.

However he told the Torres News the Church of the Torres Strait had yet to make a decision on whether to enter into Communion with the Holy See.

“Every individual must first be consulted before any decision can be made,” Bishop Nona said.

More here-

Murder of 89-year-old in Zimbabwe stokes church fears

From The Church Times-

CHURCHGOERS in Zimbabwe should know that they were now an endangered species, the Bishop of Harare, the Rt Revd Chad Gandiya, says.

He was speaking at a press conference after the murder last Friday of Jessica Mandeya, an 89-year-old lay leader at St Lambert’s, in Mrewa.

The Bishop suggests that her murder is part of what he has de-scribed as “disturbing new develop­ments” in the continuing struggle of the Anglican Church in Harare against the excommunicated former bishop, Nolbert Kunonga.

Mrs Mandeya is alleged to have received death threats for her continued loyalty to the diocese of Harare, which is part of the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA). “We are all very shocked by this turn of events,” Bishop Gandiya said in a pastoral letter.

“The faithful in Mrewa are equally shocked by both her un timely death and comments/threats that they will face the same fate if they continue to belong to the Diocese of Harare CPCA. Police are investigating the murder and we hope that the culprit(s) will be apprehended and that justice will prevail.”

More here-

Episcopal Youth Event 2011 registration opens

From ENS

Registration is now open for the Episcopal Youth Event 2011 (EYE 2011), which a press release calls one of the most popular events in the Episcopal Church calendar.

Drawing hundreds of youth from throughout the Episcopal Church, EYE 2011 will be held June 22 - 26 at Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Registration materials, available in English and Spanish, are here.

EYE 2011 is geared for youth who are in grades 9-12 during the 2010-2011 academic year and their adult leaders. "EYE is not a large scale Happening weekend," Bronwyn Clark Skov, Episcopal Church youth ministries officer, said in the release. "Rather, it is a significant opportunity for building, sharing and fulfilling our call to mission in the world."

In addition to the gathering, learning and enjoying, opportunities are available for mission work.

Each diocese is allowed up to 32 youth participants and eight adult participants.

"Diocesan delegations should represent all aspects of the diocese: ethnic, socio-economic, and cultural diversity, and a range of liturgical and theological expressions," Skov said. "They should be able to handle traveling away from home, honoring the community covenant, participating in all aspects of the event, and taking their learning home to their diocese, congregation, and community."

Registration is $275 per participant (youth and adult) which includes meals and lodging.

More here-

The Bible Is No Prop

From Arizona-

The most important object on my desk on the House floor is my grandmother's Bible. It was given to her when she was 11 by her mother, a few months before she lost her mother to the 1918 outbreak of Spanish Influenza.

In the pages between the Old and New Testament are handwritten records of my family's births, marriages and deaths. My grandmother recorded her own mother's death in those pages, and the ink is smeared from her tears as she wrote that devastating event.

In the years to follow, my grandmother Evelyn moved all over the country to stay with relatives in Kansas, New Jersey, Colorado, Ohio, and finally, California. Her Bible always stayed by her side. Her life was hard, but I will always remember her eternally hopeful and positive outlook on life. My visits with her as a kid are some of my most treasured memories -- I loved the stories from her life she shared with me.

Every day when I look at that Bible, I gain energy from the memory of her strength.

More here-

Unable to pay millions needed for repairs, East End church will open doors for last time

From Houston-

As much as Church of the Redeemer's members will miss the glowing mural of the risen Christ, the sanctuary echoing with music, the basement lined with old photos and the historic buildings themselves, they're most heartbroken to leave the place where they served the Eastwood neighborhood for more than 90 years.

Redeemer can't afford the $7 million needed to bring the church up to code, so after Sunday's service, the congregation will move from its crumbling structure to a shared space in a nearby Lutheran church, where a group of small-but-committed parishioners will try to keep up with its outreach programs.

"It's not just about us," said Daniel Coleman, who has led the 70-member congregation as senior warden since September. "We want our congregation to continue the ministries we have here," including gatherings for neighborhood kids, Scout troops, a bike repair shop and weekend meals for the homeless.


Redeemer was one of the first Episcopal churches to bring in guitars and drums to accompany organ music, adopting a Pentecostal-style of worship under the leadership of the Rev. W. Graham Pulkingham, its rector in the '60s and '70s, said Julia Duin, author of Days of Fire and Glory, a book about the charismatic movement.

Pulkingham coordinated communal living for hundreds of recovering drug addicts and ministries like a coffeehouse, health clinic, street-evangelism team, resale store and bike repair shop.

Some of what made Redeemer worship special in its early days has become adopted across Christianity.

"A lot of competition has arisen that wasn't there in the '60s," Duin said. "Why would people want to go to a poor neighborhood in Eastwood when they can just go to … Lakewood?"

More here-

Armstrong claims he skipped raises to put kids through college

From Colorado Springs-

Rev. Donald Armstrong used church funds for his two children’s college tuition in lieu of getting any pay raises for several years, his attorney argued Thursday.

But prosecutors countered they were unable to find documentation of any such arrangement that the former rector claimed he had with Grace and St. Stephen’s Church in Colorado Springs.

The arguments came at the outset of a two-day hearing to determine whether Armstrong must repay the church for restitution.

About 35 church members gathered for the hearing, leading officials to move it to a larger courtroom. Some in the audience had arrived more than an hour before the hearing began, knitting while they waited.

The hearing continues Friday, when 4th Judicial District Gregory R. Werner is scheduled to sentence Armstrong for his plea of no contest to one count of felony theft and a similar plea to one count of misdemeanor theft.

Special prosecutor Stephen Jones of the Pueblo District Attorney’s office told Werner that his office is seeking repayment of only funds used for unauthorized tuition payments. A forensic accountant who testified at the hearing pegged those costs to be $291,000 between 1999 and 2006.

Read more:

Also here-

Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church to visit Richmond

From Richmond-

The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church will lead Sunday worship services at two of the city's historic churches.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, who is the first woman to serve as the church's presiding bishop, will visit St. Paul's Episcopal Church in downtown Richmond on Sunday morning and then will spend the afternoon at St. John's Episcopal Church in Church Hill.

"In my time around her, I've been so impressed with her," said the Rev. Wallace Adams-Riley, rector of St. Paul's. "I'm proud to be a priest in the church that she leads. She is someone we can all admire."

Jefferts Schori is the 26th presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church and serves as chief pastor to about 2.4 million members in 16 countries and 110 dioceses. Previously the bishop of Nevada, she was elected at the 75th General Convention in June 2006 and invested at Washington National Cathedral in November 2006.

Adams-Riley said her appearance at St. Paul's is timely in that it comes in advance of the church's annual Lenten program that begins on Ash Wednesday, March 9. This daily ministry attracts thousands of Richmonders of different faiths. "We're on the cusp of Lent, one of the holiest seasons of the year. It's a natural time for people to be contemplating and reflecting."

More here-

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Judgment day for the Rev. Armstrong

An in depth piece from Colorado Springs-

For the Rev. Don Armstrong, life appears to have rolled along smoothly these past five months.

The rector at St. George's Anglican Church in northwest Colorado Springs has exuded total self-confidence, giving every outward impression that he has weathered the judicial storm over how he handled parish finances during his 20-year reign at Grace and St. Stephen's Episcopal Church.

The 61-year-old is as comfortable as ever in pushing his conservative theology from the pulpit, as in his most recent sermon three Sundays ago when Armstrong chastised the daughters of George W. Bush and John McCain for "speaking out in favor of same-sex marriage," adding, "how quickly we should see it as human-centered thinking, not God's teaching."

Though his tone has grown more strident as the years have progressed, parishioners say, this self-assuredness is vintage Armstrong.

While continuing as rector at St. George's, Armstrong has downplayed any negative ramifications from his plea agreement last September, when he gave a no-contest plea to a felony theft charge and what's known as an Alford plea to a misdemeanor allegation. (An Alford plea is similar to no-contest, wherein you don't admit guilt but acknowledge the case against you.) That was the end result of a 20-count indictment from 2009, which focused on $291,000 in allegedly mishandled Grace Church funds that mostly paid college expenses for Armstrong's children over a seven-year period.

More here-

Zambia: Anglicans Disown Partisan Clergy

From Zambia-

THE Anglican Church has disowned priests who make statements that do not align with the Church's stance of not engaging in partisan politics or uttering antagonistic statements.

And the Church has launched an electoral process training programme for its clergy in Zambia in view of the forthcoming general elections.

Anglican Province of Central Africa acting Secretary William Muchombo said the Church's priests should remain non-partisan and uphold the integrity of the Church.

Bishop Muchombo said the Church did not support any political party but was free to speak on various issues affecting its flock.

He said in an interview that the Church was clear on what conduct it expected from its clergy before, during and after the elections.

Bishop Muchombo said Anglican priests should not be partisan in their conduct and should not make antagonistic statements that bordered on taking sides with any political party.

More here-

New Zealand Anglicans begin to pick up the pieces

From ENS-

Diocese of Christchurch Bishop Victoria Matthews says that in the New Zealand city that is reeling from a magnitude-6.3 earthquake that struck on Feb. 22 just before 1 p.m. local time there "are high, high levels of anxiety, and a sense of despair."

Speaking to Anglican Taonga, the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia's news service, Matthews said that "there are still many people who have been unable to make contact with members of their family and with their closest friends."

In an official statement, Matthews said, "I join you in giving thanks for the extraordinary work done by the emergency workers. This even more devastating earthquake calls us to reach out into the community and make sure no one is overlooked. In short, be calm, be sensible, be compassionate, be a good neighbor. Pray for confidence that God will see us through."

The confirmed death toll stands at 71, but it is expected to rise. For instance, the Very Rev. Peter Beck, dean of Christchurch Cathedral, told Anglican Taonga that when search and rescue teams enter the landmark cathedral, he thinks they'll find victims. The cathedral's spire collapsed during the quake. The cathedral has long been a major tourist attraction and visitors were in building when the quake hit.

"We are very fearful," he said, "that there are some people under that rubble."

More here-

St. Mary's Episcopal Church to Close Sunday After More Than 50 Years

From San Diego-

After first opening its doors in 1960, St. Mary's Episcopal Church will hold its last services Sunday.

The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, who have supported the church financially for decades, said they can no longer afford to do so.

About 10 to 15 families regally attend, said Rev. Peter Tagdulang, who served as the church's leader since March 2009.

"Their hearts are bleeding right now with the closure," Tagulang said. "It's a very sad thing."

Each week the church held healing services on Thursdays and English and Spanish services on Sundays.

Many healing service attendees were not members of the congregation but rather members of the community in search of a healing hand, he said.

More here-

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

S.C. Diocese Revises its Constitution

The Living Church-

The Diocese of South Carolina’s 220th convention has revised six articles [PDF] of its constitution, distancing itself from canon-law revisions approved by General Convention in 2009.

The revisions met the required two-thirds majority for a second consecutive meeting of the diocesan convention, and the diocese’s constitution is now revised.

South Carolina was the first diocese to challenge major revisions to Title IV of the Episcopal Church’s Constitution and Canons, which regards ecclesiastical discipline.

In addition to South Carolina, the bishops and dioceses of Central Florida, Dallas and Western Louisiana have registered their concerns about how the Title IV revisions affect relationships between the presiding bishop and other bishops, and between bishops and the clergy of their diocese. Central Florida has memorialized General Convention to reconsider the revisions to Title IV.

Three men involved in preparing the Title IV revisions — Duncan A. Bayne, vice chancellor, Diocese of Olympia; Joseph L. Delafield III, chancellor, Diocese of Maine; and Stephen F. Hutchinson, chancellor, Diocese of Utah — have launched a website defending its constitutionality. The website features “procedural flowcharts” and a nine-page response to criticisms raised by the dioceses and by the Anglican Communion Institute.

More here-

CANA no longer a Nigeria mission, says Archbishop Okoh

From Nigeria-

The Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, the Primate of Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), says the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), is no longer under the jurisdiction of Nigeria.

Speaking during his recent visit to London , Okoh said: “CANA is now part of the Anglican Province of North America (ACNA).

ACNA is a breakaway province from the Episcopal Church headed by Archbishop Robert Duncan.

“We are not interested in territorial ambition; our main reason for going to America was to provide for those who were no longer finding it possible to worship in the Episcopal church.
“A new structure has been put up in the U.S. which is ACNA.

“CANA now belongs to ACNA even though they still relate to us;but essentially it now belongs to Anglican province of North America,” he said.

CANA was established in 2005 to provide a platform for Anglicans who were alienated by the actions and decisions of The Episcopal Church in the U.S.

CANA was to enable them to practice their faith, without compromising their core convictions.

More here-

Lexington church to help quake victims

From Kentucky-

A Lexington church is planning to help earthquake victims in New Zealand.

Christ Church Cathedral, located on Market Street in Lexington, has a special connection to the New Zealand town of Christchurch, which was hit hardest in the quake. Not only do they share a name with the town, but their sister church there is also named Christ Church Cathedral.

Right now members say they're waiting to hear from their friends in New Zealand to see what they need most.

"We are working with the National Episcopal Church, the Episcopal Relief and Development Fund that will be assisting Christchurch in rebuilding, and assisting in getting medical help to the people of Christchurch," said LaRae Rutenbar, interim dean of Christ Church Cathedral.

The church has experience in helping with earthquake relief. They also have a sister church in Haiti that they helped in the aftermath of last year's devastating quake there.

Virginia, Pittsburgh dioceses announce movement on property disputes

From ENS-

Two Episcopal Church dioceses, Virginia and Pittsburgh, continue to make progress in settling disputes over property.

The Diocese of Virginia announced a settlement with Church of Our Saviour, Oatlands, following a Feb. 20 congregational vote in favor of the move. Our Saviour is one of nine congregations in which the majority of members and leaders left the Episcopal Church in 2006 and then sought to retain Episcopal church property.

According to the announcement the congregation will discontinue its efforts to keep the Oatlands church and immediately conclude all litigation regarding it. Our Saviour will lease the Oatlands church from the diocese for up to five years, and retain the parish funds it has on hand. It will use "a significant portion of those funds" for maintenance and much-needed repairs of the Oatlands church, the announcement said. The congregation will also retain several memorial items.

Church of Our Saviour will also "voluntarily disaffiliate" from any connection to the Convocation of Anglican Churches in North America (CANA), the Anglican District of Virginia (ADV) and the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). In addition, Our Saviour has agreed that no bishop will visit the congregation without the permission of Virginia Bishop Shannon S. Johnston, the announcement said.

"It is truly heartening for us to come to an agreement," Johnston said in the announcement. "This settlement ensures that the legacy entrusted to the Episcopal Church continues, while providing a clear way forward for the Oatlands congregation."

Johnston added that the diocese is "grateful to the leadership of the Church of Our Saviour for engaging in these good-faith negotiations. It is my hope that other congregations in this litigation will consider the benefits of a similar approach."

Our Saviour's members were among those of 11 congregations of the Virginia diocese who broke away from the diocese and the Episcopal Church. In September 2008 the diocese and the Episcopal Church reached a legal settlement with two of the congregations, Potomac Falls Church in Potomac Falls and Christ the Redeemer Church in Chantilly, neither of which held any real property.

More here-

Haiti’s Scars, and Its Soul, Find Healing on Walls

From The New York Times-

Colorful and sad, beautiful but cracked, the three remaining murals of the Episcopal Trinity Cathedral received the soft afternoon sun after last year’s earthquake only because the rest of the church had collapsed.

Haitians walking by looked heartbroken. All 14 murals had been internationally treasured. Painted in the early 1950s during an artistic renaissance here, they depicted biblical scenes from a proud, local point of view: with Jesus carrying a Haitian flag as he ascended to heaven; and a last supper that, unlike some famous depictions, does not portray Judas with darker skin than the other disciples.

“All of this was painted from a Haitian perspective,” said the Rev. David C├ęsar, the church’s main priest and its music school director. He marveled at the image miraculously still standing: Judas, with the white beard and wavy white hair often assigned to God himself.

It was his favorite mural, he said, and now, it is being saved.

In a partnership between the Episcopal Church and the Smithsonian, all three surviving murals are being stabilized and carefully taken to a climate-controlled warehouse in Haiti where they will be protected until they can be redisplayed in a new home.

More here-

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Anglican parish in Va. settles property dispute with Episcopalians

From The Washington Post-

A tiny, 133-year-old conservative Anglican parish near Leesburg has agreed to settle its part of a bitter, costly land dispute with the Episcopal Church. The case drew national attention in 2006 when a cluster of like-minded parishes in Virginia voted to leave the denomination over disputes about scripture and sexuality.

The Church of Our Saviour, Oatlands, was one of nine congregations in Northern Virginia that, until it voted Sunday to settle, was locked in litigation over the nine church properties, which include the large Truro Church in Fairfax City and the Falls Church in Falls Church. Legal fees on all sides are believed to total more than $12 million.

The cases are being watched closely by Episcopalians - the American wing of Anglicanism - and other religious denominations that have seen splits over whether women or gays and lesbians can be clergy and whether Christianity is the sole path to God.

More here-

Oatlands Congregation Settles Property Dispute With Diocese

From Virginia-

The Church of Our Saviour at Little Oatlands south of Leesburg has come to an agreement with the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia over its position as one of nine congregations that left the Episcopal Church in 2006.

The dissenting parishes joined the Convocation of Anglican Churches in North America, the Anglican District of Virginia and the Anglican Church in North America.

In a statement issued by Diocesan Secretary Henry D.W. Burt, Our Saviour's congregation voted Sunday in favor of the settlement. The Rev. Elijah B. White has led the small, traditional congregation for many years.

The Oatlands church was one of several conservative parishes to break with the Episcopal Church following a dispute over doctrinal matters. That split gave rise to the question of ownership of the property. To this point, church property has been held to be owned by the diocese. But, the dissenting parishes maintained the property belonged to the congregation. In the case of some of the larger parishes in the diocese, the value of the assets is considerable and the challenge to ownership remains active before the courts.

Under the settlement announced yesterday by the Diocese of Virginia, the Oatlands church will give up its efforts to keep the property and will cease all litigation immediately.

Our Saviour will lease the Oatlands church for up to five years and retain the parish funds it currently has on hand. A portion of those funds will be used for maintenance and needed repairs. At Our Saviour's request, the church will keep some treasured memorial items, including a flag from the Iraq War and an organ.

Additionally, Our Saviour agreed to disaffiliate itself from any connection to the three Anglican church bodies and that no bishop would visit the congregation without the permission of the Bishop of Virginia.

More here-

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Episcopalians to Haiti: Mission Report

From Alabama-

Who: Members of Church of the Nativity, St. Thomas and other members of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama to Haiti to the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti, where we've had a partnership for five years.

What: Our work was focused with St. Simeon parish, six widespread churches served by Father Fritz Valdema and his wife, Carmel, a Haitian public health nurse.
Work: With our Haitian medical counterparts, we formed a Haitian-American team to conduct four medical clinics during our week in the country. We saw more than 540 patients. Our team also distributed Clorox to purify drinking water during a cholera prevention education session.

More here-

First female episcopal priest blazed trails during life

From South Carolina-

The word that keeps emerging about the Rev. Mellie Hickey is "trailblazer."

The Episcopal priest died in Aiken on Friday at the age of 94, leaving behind a remarkable legacy. When she was ordained as a priest at St. Thaddeus Episcopal Church, Hickey was the first woman in the South to attain that status.

She was 62 at that time, and, over nearly three more decades, she worked in interim capacities at two churches. Hickey was 74 when she and her husband, the late Rev. Howard Hickey, moved for two years to South Dakota, where she directed three churches on the Cheyenne Indian River Reservation.

Even in her 80s, Hickey spent about six years as the All Saints Episcopal Church rector in Beech Island.

In some ways, said son Howard M. Hickey, his mother's spiritual journey that began in late middle age didn't seem to fit her upbringing. She grew up in the small town of Tarboro, N.C., and attended a strict Presbyterian girls' college.

"But over time and by being the wife of an Episcopal priest, she grew to love the church," he said. "She was fascinated with the theological aspects of it and felt there was definitely a place for women's ministry. She was also very academic, always reading."

In 1974, Hickey enrolled at the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, close to her home of her daughter, also named Mellie, in Washington, D.C.

More here-