Saturday, April 16, 2011

Episcopal bishop to visit Pittsburgh

From The Tribune Review-

The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States will visit the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh during Holy Week observances.

Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will make her first official visit to the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh on Tuesday with public appearances at a morning Eucharist in St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Wilkinsburg and at an evening forum and reception in Trinity Cathedral, Downtown.

The bishop visited Pittsburgh in November 2008 as a guest of Calvary Episcopal Church, Shadyside. That visit occurred less than one month after many diocesan leaders and clergy left the Episcopal Church. Since then, the remaining congregations have reorganized into a new diocese that includes 29 parishes.

Alliance consultation ends in Nairobi, next one to be held in South America

From ACNS-

The Anglican Alliance’s inaugural assembly ended in Nairobi with a consensus on the way forward in development, advocacy and relief.

The key development priorities proposed by the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) and agreed by the assembly were:

Economic empowerment, with support for micro-finance, including working on a roadmap towards an Anglican bank. (The conference heard powerful presentations on micro-finance from Peterson Kamau of Five Talents, the church’s micro-finance institution, and Moses Ochieng of the CGAP consortium of donors and development agencies.)

Peace and reconciliation, learning from the experience of the church in countries affected by conflict.


The conference included participants from African provinces, South America, the Caribbean, South and South East Asia, the Pacific, Canada and Australia. Included among these were representatives from the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund and AngliCORD. They provided valuable guidance and insights on the role of church-based development agencies.
In inspirational presentations on Friday morning, participants from Haiti, Pakistan and Kenya described how the church had responded to disaster emergencies in the countries. Their messages and experience guided discussions on a strategy for a communion-wide response to disasters. The strategy will be considered at a future regional consultation.

More here-

No Eucharist before baptism, bishops affirm

From Canada-

Meeting in Niagara Falls, Ont., Apr. 11 to 15, the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada unanimously reaffirmed that the sacrament of the holy Eucharist is to be given only to those baptized in the Christian faith. “We do not see this as changing for the foreseeable future,” the bishops said in a statement released Apr. 15.

The affirmation came out of a discussion, led by the Right Rev. James Cowan, bishop of British Columbia on the concept of the "open table," in which Holy Communion is made available to everyone who wishes to participate, whether baptized or not.

After the discussion small working group developed the statement to reflect the mind of the House. It acknowledged that “open table” is already being practised in some parts of Canada and that the practice “arises out of a deep concern to express Christian hospitality.” According to the release, “the bishops will discuss and offer guidance to the church on Christian hospitality and mission and how these relate to the Table of Christ” at their fall meeting, scheduled for October in Halifax.

Never Forget What God Has Done in South Sudan

From The Living Church-

With turmoil and revolution raging across the Middle East and North Africa, the recent triumph of peaceful democracy in South Sudan’s January 2011 Referendum on Secession has been all but forgotten. It was in South Sudan’s vote for independence from Sudan that a true democracy, Africa’s 54th nation, was born. The worldwide Church, and particularly the people of South Sudan themselves, should never forget what God has done for South Sudan. Nor should the rest of Sudan’s marginalized and oppressed peoples be forgotten.

Many doubted that people who have been devastated by decades of genocidal war waged against them by their own government could carry out such an election. There was also good reason to believe that the Sudanese government would interfere with the referendum, which was the culmination of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement. And there were fears that tribal conflict, vote-rigging, and other problems could plague the vote.

But the referendum, bathed in prayer by South Sudan’s Christians and their friends around the world, was conducted with peace, integrity, and dignity. Although ten Southern Sudanese traveling from northern Sudan to vote were murdered by northern Arab Misseriya tribesmen, there were no such incidences within the South. When the votes were tallied in February 2011, 98.83 percent of voters chose independence. And surprisingly, considering its past history of violating and failing to implement peace agreements, Khartoum accepted the results of the vote without dispute.

More here-

Ecumenical Chrism Mass makes full-communion history

From ENS-

A traditional annual Chrism Mass, in which clergy renew their ordination vows and anointing oils are blessed, took on a historic note April 14 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem Bishop Paul Marshall invited the Rev. Samuel R. Zeiser, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod, and the Rev. David E. Bennett, president of the Eastern District of the Moravian Church in North America, to join him in celebrating the Mass at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

"This is history being made," Marshall wrote in his invitation to diocesan members to participate in the gathering.

According to Marshall and others, this was the first time that Episcopal, Lutheran and Moravian clergy concelebrated a Eucharist since the Episcopal Church and the Moravian Church in North America inaugurated their full-communion agreement on Feb. 10. The Episcopal Church and the ELCA are celebrating 10 years of full communion this year. Moravians and Lutherans marked a similar anniversary in 2010.

Marshall presided at the service and Bennett and Zeiser assisted in distributing the bread and wine.

With Marshall seated, the clergy crowded around him in the chancel and on the chancel steps to renew their ordination vows. Then Marshall, who has been Bethlehem's bishop for almost 15 years said: "I, too, before God and you, rededicate myself and reaffirm the premises that I made when I was ordained. I ask your prayers."

More here-

Friday, April 15, 2011

Other Japanese dioceses send people to help in disaster-affected areas.

From ACNS-

The overall impact of earthquake and tsunami according to the government has been:

Death: about 13,200 people
Missing: about 14,300 people
Displaced: about 167,000 people
Totally demolished homes: 52,800 homes

Most damage has been caused by the tsunami rather than earthquake itself. In addition we are facing the potential impact of nuclear radiation caused by malfunction of the nuclear power plant. We are experiencing many aftershocks with some of them causing more damage to already weakened structures.
You can learn more about the scale of this disaster in the media. I, however, will concentrate here on how our churches have been affected and how responding to the needs of those affected, including those who are not Anglicans.

Except in a few places the structural damage to churches and related institutions in the diocese of Tohoku and Kita Kanto is relatively minor. I can report that, miraculously, the tsunami did very little damage to buildings.

In Tohoku diocese Sendai Christ Church building was badly damaged by the earthquake and not the tsunami although parts of the city of Sendai along the coastal line were destroyed by the tsunami. The church building has been designated as unsafe. Therefore services have been held in the parish hall. All other churches in Tohoku diocese have avoided damage from the tsunami because they are located far enough from the shore or on higher ground. They have, however, suffered varying levels of earthquake damage, including cracked or fallen walls and windows, damaged ceilings, broken furniture, etc. None are totally demolished. Many churches in Tohoku diocese have kindergartens attached. Some of the parents of the children who attend these report that they have lost their homes, shops, stores and farmland.

More here-

Nigeria is ‘missing Anglican solidarity’

From The Church Times-

THE Archbishop of the province of Jos, Dr Benjamin Kwashi, said that “solidarity” with Christians in Nigeria, who have been subjected to violence in recent years, “is missing” from the wider Anglican Communion.

Speaking in London on Thursday of last week, during his two-week visit to the UK, Dr Kwashi said that the Primate of Nigeria, the Most Revd Nicholas Okoh, had “shown deep interest and concern over the situation in Jos”. The Primate had “not only visited but . . . made rehabilitation possible for some of the displaced and suffering people.

“Unfortunately, you can’t say the same thing for the rest of the Anglican Communion,” Dr Kwashi went on. “We do get letters and encourage ment, which is wonderful . . . but the solidarity is missing.”

Last year, Dr Kwashi wrote an open letter after more than 500 people were killed after outbreaks of violence in the Jos area (News, 12 March 2010). He accused the government of failing “to provide full security for its citizenry”, which left people “with very little option but to provide for their own kind of security”.

In recent weeks, however, there had been signs of the situation improving. In two attacks on villages, in which several people lost their lives, security forces had shown up within about 15 minutes, he said.

More here-

Writer Julia Duin traces rise and fall of Graham Pulkingham and Houston's Episcopal Church of the Redeemer

From Oregon-

Intentional Christian communities, rooted in the first-century faith experience, come and go. Some fade quietly, others disband dramatically, a few endure.

Writer Julia Duin, who lived in two such communities in Portland from 1979 to 1981, will discuss her new book, which focuses on a third that she encountered as a religion reporter for the Houston Chronicle in 1986. Duin will speak at 6:45 p.m. Sunday, April 17, at Metanoia Peace Community, 2116 NE 18th Ave.

"Days of Fire and Glory: The Rise and Fall of a Charismatic Community" tells the story of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Houston's East End, led by the Rev. Graham Pulkingham. As Duin learned more about the community known for its music and charismatic worship, she discovered Pulkingham's double life -- he died in 1993 after being named in adultery and homosexual scandals -- and the darker side of the modern charismatic movement.

More here-

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sri Lanka: a people on its knees urges the Church to promote real social reforms

From Spero-

The current situation in Sri Lanka, where people are still on their knees after a 30-year war that ended in 2009, is invitation to the Church to promote real social reforms, because the country’s reconstruction cannot be done by works of charity alone, this according to a panel discussion on the ‘Role and responsibility of the Christians in Social Reform’, organised by the Christian Alliance for Social Action (CASA), held on Monday at the CARITAS Sri Lanka (SEDEC) head office Auditorium.

“The Church should take others by the hand,” said Anglican Bishop Emeritus Kumara Illangasinghe. “If we really want to change the situation, we must become main actors in much-awaited change,” he added. “Are the Church and Christians ready to sacrifice their identity when they think about social reforms?”

For Methodist Rev Muthiah Selvarajah, the Church must act as a mediator to protect people’s rights more than promote charity. “Before the war, people were asked with the utmost respect and in a sense of brotherhood: ‘Where do you come from?’ Today, we ask that to see whether someone is dangerous or not [. . .] Thus, we cannot believe those who claim there is no ethnic problem in Sri Lanka”.

More here-

Glastonbury Pilgrimage cancelled

From Belfast-

It is a problem St Joseph of Arimathea would not have had to think about, but soaring petrol prices are being blamed for the cancellation of one of the country's most well-known pilgrimages.
For centuries Glastonbury in Somerset has been one of Britain's most prominent religious sites, attracting thousands of pilgrims.

But this year, organisers of the official annual Anglican pilgrimage, which began in 1924, say it has been cancelled due to the financial strain it would have placed on pilgrims.

According to legend, Joseph of Arimathea, the uncle of the Virgin Mary, visited the site and even brought Jesus Christ to Somerset when he was a young boy.

Read more:

Episcopal Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori in PIttsburgh April 19

From Pittsburgh-

As the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh continues to recover from a 2008 split, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will visit Tuesday, April 19, to encourage its clergy and answer questions from the public.

She will preach and preside at 10 St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Wilkinsburg as clergy renew their vows to local Bishop Kenneth Price, Jr.. At 7 p.m. she will hold a short worship service and an open forum at Trinity Cathedral, Downtown.

"I look forward to joining the clergy of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh as we gather to renew our ordination vows. There is is a particular solemnity about celebrating this rite in a community which has experinced division over those very vows. During Holy Week we remember the difficult road of Jesus, and we continue to look toward the Resurrection which God is already bringing about in our midst," she said,

More here-

Silver relic taken during second such theft at Auburn Episcopal church

From Auburn, NY-

For the second time in five months, burglars stole a sacred item made of sterling silver from the Saint Peter and John Episcopal Church in Auburn, police said.

Church officials arrived Sunday morning to find someone had stolen a 100-year-old ciborium from a tabernacle cabinet, police said. The container is used to carry sacred sacraments during Communion.

The ciborium is valued at several thousand dollars, police said. The burglar came sometime between Thursday and Sunday, likely through an unlocked door. There was no evidence of forced entry.

In November, burglars stole five church relics, including a 10-inch chalice, a serving bowl and a serving plate, in a similar theft, police said.

More here-

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Middleton confirmed in Anglican Church

From England (I feel much better now)

CATHERINE Middleton has been confirmed as a member of the Church of England as she prepares to marry Prince William.

St James's Palace acknowledged today that Middleton was confirmed by the Right Reverend Richard Chartres, the bishop of London, at a private ceremony on March 10.

Chartres, who is dean of the Chapels Royal, also confirmed William in 1997.

As a confirmed member, she is entitled to receive communion in the Church of England.

Confirmation is not necessary to marry a future monarch, who also will be supreme governor of the Church of England.

However, the Act of Settlement of 1700 bars Roman Catholics or the spouses of Roman Catholics from the throne.

Read more:

Bishops married to divorcees 'pose serious challenge to traditionalist Anglicans'

From The London Telegraph-

The announcement from Downing Street that the Revd Nicholas Holtam, currently vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, has been nominated as the next Bishop of Salisbury poses great challenges for traditionalist Anglicans here and abroad, but it also raises serious questions about the functioning of the Crown Nominations Commission, responsible for choosing Anglican bishops.

There have been rumours about Mr Holtam’s appointment for some time, principally because he is married to a divorcee. Oddly enough, although the Church of England imposes certain restrictions on clerical ordination for those in that situation, there was no clarity about the consecration of bishops. At the last General Synod, however, such clarification was urgently sought and the suspicions of many people as to why seem now to have been confirmed.

What is perhaps not realized is that the Church’s historical opposition to divorce goes back to the remarkably hard line taken by Jesus himself. Asked whether divorce was possible for any reason, he answered, “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery” (Matthew 19:9, NIV).

Hence even Henry VIII, in his run-in with the Pope, could only seek an annulment — a declaration that his first marriage was invalid — not, strictly, a divorce.

More here-

Cutie: Episcopal Church is 'where I belong spiritually'

From Florida-

He arrived for his speech at St. Gregory's Episcopal Church in Boca Raton with his wife and new baby, and Father Albert Cutié lived up to his name and charmed an audience by being forthcoming about the scandal that made him a household name in 2009.

"The only thing that was accurate is that I was found on the beach with a woman," said Cutié, rector of The Church of the Resurrection in Biscayne Park, who was there to talk about and sign his book, "Dilemma: A Priest's Struggle with Faith and Love."

Cutié pointed out he's among 125,000 priests who have left the Roman Catholic Church to marry, and in fact there was another man in the audience. But nobody else did it on the world stage, said Cutié, who was the face of the church here and in 22 Latin America countries as the host of "Padre Alberto," a daily show on Telemundo.

He was also on the radio and ran a Spanish-language newspaper. So after a Mexican celebrity magazine ran salacious photos, the scandal made headlines in the U.S., in the Spanish-language media and especially in South Florida, which he described as painful for years.

More here-,0,6293614.story

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Vicar promoted after divorcee move

From Salisbury England. (I had to read this twice before I realized the problem isn't that he's been divorced but that he's married to a divorcee (for 30 years!))

A central London vicar described as a "rising star" in the Church of England is to become the first clergyman married to a divorcee to be made a bishop, it has been announced.

The Rev Nicholas Holtam, vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square, central London, has been approved by the Queen to take up the post of Bishop of Salisbury.

The clergyman was strongly tipped for promotion after the General Synod of the Church of England paved the way earlier this year for the first divorced and remarried clergy to be consecrated as bishops.

The move also allowed clergy to be made bishops who are married to divorcees with a partner still alive.

The Rev Holtam, 56, has been married for more than 30 years to his Quaker wife Helen, who had a brief first marriage as a teenager. Her former spouse is still alive.

The father of four has been described as an "inspirational" preacher, who runs the St Martin-in-the-Fields shelter for the homeless and has successfully masterminded the church's £36 million renovation appeal.

More here-

First Anglican Alliance consultative conference opens, new mapping tools and logo launched

From ACNS-

Delegates from throughout Africa and from all other regions of the world opened the first consultative conference for the Anglican Alliance in Nairobi yesterday (Monday 11 April)

Co-hosting the consultation five-day conference with the Alliance, the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) set out its blueprint for organisation of the church, and its strategy for development, focusing especially on economic empowerment, education and HIV and Aids.
For south east Asia, Ms Elijah Fung from St Johns Cathedral of Hong Kong, set out the development of her region, and her own work on HIV and Aids, focussing especially on services for migrant workers.

Fr Alejandro Manzoni of Promocion Humana, the Anglican development agency in Uruguay spoke of the need to get some regional co-ordination to meet the challenges of the region, which were around exploitation of the environment, and increasing inequalities, despite the economic growth.

His regional colleague Cole Frantz from Haiti described some of the natural disasters which had beset Haiti, culminating in the earthquake. He will be making a presentation on the recovery from the earthquake at a session on emergency relief on Friday. And George Kiriau, from the Solomon Islands, said in his region of the Pacific, the challenge facing small island states was above all to tackle climate change and prevent the wholesale loss of islands to rising sea levels. The Alliance provides the small islands with new hope to tackle some of their major problems resulting from climate change.

Presenting the work of two Anglican development agencies were Alison Taylor of AngliCORD, from Australia, and Adele Finney of the Primates World Relief and Development Fund in Canada.

More here-

Episcopal Trial Widens Issue

From May 3rd 1975 Pittsburgh Press.,483396&dq=episcopal&hl=en

How Quickly We Forget

From Huffington- (Bishop Pierre Whalon)

On Monday last, I went to Charles de Gaulle airport with members of the Association d'entraide aux minorités d'Orient (Organization supporting minorities in the Orient) or AEMO, to meet family members of people wounded in the October 31 attack on the Baghdad cathedral. At the request of the French government, AEMO members had found the wounded in various Baghdad hospitals, and the government had brought 53 people out in an air ambulance on November 8.

With me was the lone surviving priest, Fr. Raphaël Qatin, and some of the wounded awaiting their relatives. Our volunteers have cared for them daily since then, a huge burden on the little NGO I've presided over since its inception, designed to locate Iraqis threatened personally with death for reasons of faith. We have helped mostly Christians, but also Muslims and Mandaeans as well.

As eleven tired travelers strolled out of the customs area, laden with the belongings they could take, the reunions were joyful and terribly sad. One woman, awaiting the 17-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son she hadn't seen since November, was trembling and weeping as she waited. Weeping because her son had never been told that his father is dead, dead of his wounds. She dreaded telling him. It could wait a day, she told me in broken English. Fr. Raphaël embraced an elderly man, red-faced and crying unashamedly, whose son Fr. Wasim Tabeeh was the first to die. As he tried to convince the assailants to leave the church, they threatened him.

When he pleaded that they take him and leave his parishioners alone, they opened fire and actually cut him in two with concentrated AK-47 shots. The gentleman will find his wife, resettled in another city in France. A family of five children and their father impatiently awaited to leave and find their mother and wife, still recovering from her wounds.

More here-

Christian leaders: ban on Anglican bishop and new taxes are unjust

From ACNS-

The heads of Christian churches in Jerusalem have come out against the Israel’ government’s denial of a residency permit in the city to the Anglican (Episcopalian) bishop Suheil Dawani. At the same time, they have renewed their protest against government attempts to impose new taxes on churches, something which was excluded by the UN, and in centuries of their presence had never occurred before not even at the founding of the State of Israel.

In a statement released in recent days, the church leaders (which includes patriarchs, bishops, the head of the Custody of the Holy Land) defend Bishop Dawani’s " right to religious freedom," to “reside with his family in the holy city."

Bishop Dawani was born in Nablus in the West Bank and is considered a "foreigner" in East Jerusalem, a territory occupied by Israel and where the Cathedral and Anglican curia are located. He may reside there only with special permission which has been denied him by the Israeli Ministry of the Interior.

Church leaders are "deeply concerned" by the ministerial decision because it constitutes “a precedent in attempts by the Israeli authorities to deny his residence in Jerusalem at the head of one of the Churches of the Holy City.

According to information gathered by AsiaNews there is already another Christian bishop, threatened with expulsion from Jerusalem for "crimes of opinion". Recently, the Church leaders issued another statement dennouncing "new moves by the Israeli authorities to impose municipal property taxes (Arnona) on church buildings and property" a policy they describe as "an aggressive action".

More here-

Conflict In Zimbabwe Anglican Church Hits Low as Parishioner Denied Burial

From Zimbabwe-

A long-running dispute in the Anglican Church Diocese of Harare, Zimbabwe, hit a new low on Sunday when supporters of former bishop Nolbert Kunonga prevented the burial of a long-time Anglican parishioner because he belonged to a rival faction.

The Kunonga loyalists blocked the burial of lifelong church worker Edward Rinashe, 70, in St. Mary's Cemetery in the Harare satellite town of Chitungwiza, sources said.

Rinashe refused to recognize Kunonga’s authority and attended services led by Bishop Chad Gandiya, designated head of the diocese by the Province of Central Africa.

The Kunonga faction, which has been supported by the police over the years in gaining and maintaining control over disputed church property after Kunonga initially resigned and left the church, claims ownership of all Anglican Church properties.

More here-

2 denominations to celebrate their ‘full communion’

From Buffalo-

The Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America have chosen Buffalo and Fort Erie, Ont., to celebrate a decade of “full communion” between the two Protestant denominations.

The presiding bishops of the denominations will be in the area May 1 to celebrate “Called to Common Mission,” a 1999 document that brought Episcopalians and Lutherans into full communion.

Full communion is not a merger of denominations, but it does allow Lutheran clergy to serve Episcopal congregations and vice versa.

The denominations first celebrated their full communion in 2001 with a special service at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D. C.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and Canadian Anglicans also have had a full communion relationship since 2001, leading the denominations to select Buffalo and Fort Erie for a 10-year anniversary celebration because of the cities’ close proximity to each other on the border of the U. S. and Canada.

More here-

Episcopal Church calls for tolerance and unity

From Sudan-

The Episcopal Church of Sudan on Sunday has called on South Sudanese to let the tenets of loyalty to the region unite them as one people with a common destiny.

Speaking to a congregation in the Episcopal Church in Wau on Sunday Reverend John Deng said there was the need for South Sudanese to eschew corrupt practices and all other negative tendencies likely to bring down the fortunes of the nation and serve the oil producing region of south Sudan with humility and truth to promote the necessary development.

He said the lessons of history was that corruption, indiscipline and recklessness among other vices were recipe for the collapse of many kingdoms, nations and families adding, to avoid it, South Sudanese should rediscover their true humility as created in God’s image.

Rev. Deng expressed concern about political intolerance in the region in recent times, which has manifested in insults in the media, allegations of defection, accusations and counter accusations among politicians.

"South Sudan is the only place we have and it is important for all of us to be tolerant of each other and accept each other’s views so as to ensure peace and national unity." he said.

More here-,38544

Monday, April 11, 2011

Lawrence W. Shepard / Pirates manager in 1968 and '69 also was a respected pitching coach

From The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-

Larry Shepard, the former Pirates manager who coached Roberto Clemente and Bill Mazeroski, died Tuesday in Lincoln, Neb. He was 92.

Mr. Shepard managed the Pirates to an 80-82 record in 1968, and the Pirates were 84-73 when the team fired him in 1969.

"He was so good with young pitchers," said Pirates broadcaster and former pitcher Steve Blass, who played for Mr. Shepard both in the minor leagues and with the Pirates.

"You're just getting started professionally and there's so much to learn. He really helped me stay grounded and learn the secrets of pitching and the instincts and the feel of the game."

Lawrence William Shepard was born in Lakewood, Ohio, on April 3, 1919, and had a 179-84 record as a minor-league pitcher from 1941 to 1958.

He missed the 1942-45 seasons due to military service during World War II.

He became a minor-league player-manager in the second half of his career, managing teams in the Pirates' and the Brooklyn Dodgers' organizations. He led the Billings Mustangs, a Dodgers affiliate, to a Pioneer League championship in 1950, and helped the Lincoln Chiefs, a Pirates affiliate, to a Western League championship in 1956.

More here-

Retired Uganda bishop speaks at UN, calls for global decriminalization of homosexuality

From ENS-

Retired Anglican Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, an outspoken activist for human rights and equality in Uganda, delivered a presentation at the United Nations in New York on April 8 calling for the global decriminalization of homosexuality as a way to make progress in the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

"The criminalization of homosexuality remains the most significant barrier that needs to be dismantled to reduce the spread of AIDS," said Senyonjo, during a panel discussion that formed part of an informal interactive hearing at the U.N. "We need to make our laws and agreements more binding. We need to ask if our laws or beliefs help or prevent the spread of HIV and hinder or support families caring for loved ones."

Senyonjo noted that more than 80 countries still criminalize homosexuality "and see it as a crime against God and nature. Denying people their humanity puts us all at risk because AIDS spreads fast in the darkness of ignorance."

The panel was moderated by Mark Schoofs of the Wall Street Journal, and also featured presentations by Eric Goosby, Global AIDS Coordinator for United States; Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook and executive director of; and Pardamean Napitu, co-founder of Indonesia Social Changes Organization.

More here-

Why Christianity should be taught, properly, in our schools

From Australia-

Christian education in government schools is suddenly controversial, as secularists make it the latest battleground in their efforts to wind back what they see as the malign influence of religion.

A case alleging discrimination has been brought to the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission; interfaith groups and a new multi-faith education network of academics want to end the present system; and the Education Department is under pressure over what seems an odd interpretation of the Education Act, arguing that the phrase "may" provide special religious instruction actually means "must" provide it.

This battle is one the advocates of what is called special religious instruction are doomed to lose, because the high ground belongs to their opponents.

There is also an important battle taking place within secularism as to whether atheism should be an unofficial state ideology; more on that question later.

More here-

Kenyan politicians warned against hate speech

From Kenya-

Leaders have been told to stop politicising the Ocampo Six trials and warned against public utterances likely to rekindle violence in the country.

Anglican Church Archbishop Eliud Wabukala on Sunday told a congregation at the All Saints Cathedral that inflammatory statements could lead to anarchy as Education minister Sam Ongeri warned against hate speech.

“The Ocampo Six and ICC trials should not be politicised. This is a foundation for chaos in the General Election,” Dr Wabukala warned.

He urged the President and the Prime Minister to work together to ensure Kenyans had peace.

He urged Kenyans to pray for peace and displaced people in private.

“I advise them to go to their shrines, if they have any, and pray for the nation. We don’t want to encourage prayer in public as this can ignite violence,” he said.

Dr Wabukala said religious leaders had “a high calling” and should not allow themselves to be used to serve selfish political interests.

More Here-

My Favorite Things, with Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows

Jennifer and I severed on Bonnie Anderson's Council of Advice.

Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows is a church pastor, a triathlete, a food blogger and an urban pioneer.
In short, just your average Renaissance Woman.

Originally from New York City, the 44-year-old came to Central New York to attend Cornell University in 1992. She went to California to obtain a master of divinity degree and has been back and forth between California and here a few times since then.

"I keep boomeranging back to Central New York," she said.

She is rector at Grace Episcopal Church in Syracuse and the Episcopalian chaplain at Syracuse University. In 2005, she started a food blog called "Cookin' in the'Cuse," in which she explores her passion for good food, especially if it's locally produced. She is a contributing editor to Edible Finger Lakes, a bimonthly magazine with the same "local is good" outlook on food.

More here-

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Anglican dispute spills to cemetery

From Zimbabwe-

The Anglican Church dispute over control of church property pitting Bishop Nolbert Kunonga and Bishop Chad Gandiwa Sunday degenerated to unprecedented depths after the burial of a United Anglican Church priest was abruptly blocked by the rival Kunonga camp.

Edward Rinashe, a long-time member of the church, was due to be buried at St Mary’s Cemetery in Chitungwiza but this was stopped by members believed to belong to a faction aligned to Kunonga.

The late Rinashe was reportedly sympathetic to Gandiwa’s cause. He died on Friday. He was in his 70s. Relatives said the burial was blocked because the cemetery is part of the property at the centre of dispute.

More here-

Anglican Archbishop:People going overboard, talking nonsense

From Trinidad

With so much competition for the public’s attention, persons at all levels of leadership including the clergy, are often tempted to go overboard in what they say and do, all be it in the full glare of the media, Archbishop of the Province of the West Indies Reverend Dr John WD Holder said yesterday.

Archbishop Holder was at the time addressing a prayer breakfast meeting at the Oasis Garden Terrace, Circular Road, San Fernando which was held to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Friends of the St Paul’s Anglican Church, San Fernando.

He said, “We live in the world of the dramatic, where there is so much competition in all areas of life, that some people feel pushed to go overboard, to do and talk nonsense. Whether it is a businessman, the television evangelist, or persons of all levels of leadership, there is competition for the public’s attention. We live in an environment, I call it the CNN environment where just being mean is not seen as enough.”

Archbishop Holder went on to say the temptation to become over dramatic and go overboard can be fuelled “by images of ourselves that we draw from the world”.

More here-