Friday, June 24, 2011

Father Albert Cutie: June 23

From New York (with video)

Father Albert Cutie is gearing up for the debut of his new show, Father Albert, beginning July 11 at Noon on FOX 5.

Good Day New York asked the Episcopal priest on Thursday to weigh in on the gay marriage legalization debate in Albany.

"The language (of the Marriage Equality Act) is the problem right now. Churches are afraid, are they going to be legally bound (to perform same-sex marriages)? As for the Roman Catholic Church (of which Father Cutie left when he decided to marry a woman,) the reason (it is opposed to same sex marriage) is that it believes marriage between a man and a woman is part of natural law and it cannot be changed," said Father Cutie.

Equality chief lays into Evangelicals for ‘picking fights’

From The Church Times-

The chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), Trevor Phillips, has been criticised by the Evangelical Alliance and others, after he was quoted as saying that some Christian campaign groups “want to have a fight” in order to gain political influence.

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Phillips said that Evangelical activists seek to “fight, and choose sexual orientation as the ground”. But, he said: “The whole argument isn’t about the rights of Christians. It’s about politics,” and a desire to “have weight and influence”.
He said: “I think the most likely victim of actual religious discrimination in British society is a Muslim, but the person most likely to feel slighted because of their religion is an Evangelical Christian.” He attacked “some Christian organisations”, which he described as “constantly defining the ground in such a way that anyone who doesn’t agree with them about anything is essentially a messenger from Satan”.

He criticised African-Caribbean churches, whose attitude to homosexuality was “unambiguous” and “nasty and in some cases homicidal”. In contrast, he said he believed Muslims in the UK were “doing their damnednest to try to come to terms with their neighbours to try to integrate”.

Mr Phillips also said that he under stood why people of faith felt that they were “under siege” from secularists, and that the EHRC would defend believers who felt they were being discriminated against.

More here-

Amid war, Kadugli bishop finds encouragement in Jesus' words: 'I will be with you always'

From ENS-

On June 22, the day he had planned to return to the Diocese of Kadugli in Southern Kordofan, Sudan, Bishop Andudu Adam Elnail was sitting wearily in a Washington, D.C., law firm conference room drinking coffee from a corporate mug.

Elnail was in D.C. to meet with U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan, Princeton N. Lyman, and other advocacy groups to ask for their help "to stop the war, give humanitarian aid to the people and to bring peace and freedom to the people of the Nuba Mountains."

South Sudan is set to become an independent nation on July 9. Southern Kordofan, an oil-producing state in mountainous central Sudan, will remain under northern control.

Several weeks ago, the Sudan Armed Forces from the north began a series of bombing raids in Southern Kordofan, targeting southern sympathizers, and are now encamped in Kadugli, the region's capital. SAF soldiers and the Sudan People's Liberation Army from the south are fighting on the ground, thousands of people have been displaced, and the United Nations is warning that a major SAF offensive is imminent.

More here-

Tending the Teen Flock: Ron Short Doesn’t Sweat Long Odds

From San Diego-

As the first official youth director of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Ron Short has his work cut out. He plans on teaching the usual things, like the significance behind Christian rituals, and connecting the kids with mentors.

But his first goal is increasing the meager attendance in youth programs.

“I had three students, and it was on a Sunday,” Short said of his first day on the job. “I played games to get to know one another. I passed out Skittles and for each color I had a different question. The last question was when were you baptized and brought it back to the church.”

Short, who moved to La Mesa 18 months ago with wife Becky and daughters Madeline and Campbell, said St. Andrew’s in the past couldn’t really afford to pay anyone for this job. Instead, it relied on interns from Point Loma Nazarene University looking to fulfill graduation requirements.

More here-

Las Vegas priest resigns amid sexual abuse lawsuit

From Las Vegas-

A Las Vegas Episcopal priest resigned from his duties at his church Thursday after his name surfaced in a lawsuit alleging a Missouri monastery covered up sexual abuse by him.

The lawsuit, filed in Missouri by a former choir boy, alleged the Roman Catholic monastery, Conception Abbey, kept secret the boy's 1987 sexual assault by Bede Parry, then a Catholic priest who directed the choir.

Parry, 69, who was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, had been serving as the organist and choir director at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Las Vegas since 2000.

He said he told the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada of his resignation as the Missouri lawsuit became public Thursday morning.

Bishop Dan Edwards, who heads the Nevada diocese, confirmed the resignation and said that because Parry remains a priest, the diocese is investigating internally to determine whether any further action needs to be taken against him.

More here-

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Banal liturgies 'drove Anglicans away': theologian

From Catholic News- An ex-Anglican theologian said the new ordinariate expected next year would likely enhance the liturgical culture of the post-conciliar Catholic Church, reports the Record.

Dr Tracy Rowland, the author of Ratzinger's Faith: the Theology of Pope Benedict XVI and Benedict XVI: A Guide for the Perplexed, said many commentators have observed an affinity between the Anglo-Catholic approaches to liturgy and the Pope's own liturgical theology. "In particular, (Pope Benedict) is very concerned about what he has variously described as 'parish tea party' liturgy, 'pastoral pragmatism', 'emotional primitivism', 'Sacro-pop' and 'utility music'," Dr Rowland told an Anglican Ordinariate Festival in Melbourne on 11 June. Dr Rowland said that, in her personal experience, the barriers to full communion with the Catholic Church are primarily cultural rather than doctrinal.

More here-

Church bans chieftaincy titles, wedding for pregnant women, others

From Vanguard (Nigeria)

The Diocese of Amichi, Anglican Communion, has banned new couples from celebrating church wedding before their traditional engagement.

Couples in Igboland often fixed both church and traditional weddings on the same day to save cost. But the Bishop of the Diocese in Anambra State, Rt. Rev. Ephraim Ikeakor, disagreed with the arrangement, and banned the practise.

Ikeakor, who also banned wedding celebration for pregnant ladies, also declared as unacceptable the conferment on its members with Ozo title, especially those already admitted into Knighthood.

Bishop Ikeakor, who announced these measures at the 3rd Session of the First Synod of the Diocese at Unubi, Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State, also banned its members from collecting goods on credit on behalf of the church during harvest ceremonies as well as shooting of dane guns during burial and funeral rites.

More here-

Birmingham's Linn Park ideal place to protest immigration law

From Alabama-

Birmingham's Linn Park has seen many a protest in its day, including civil rights marches of the early 1960s and the anti-war rallies later in the decade.

It was the scene of attacks by Bull Connor's dogs and fire hoses against peaceful protesters, attacks that created images that defined Birmingham for many years.

And while we are certain there will be no violence when more than a dozen groups march on the park Saturday evening, it does seem an apt venue for a protest aimed at Alabama's harsh new immigration law, which has the potential to stigmatize Hispanics.

Billed as an "interfaith candle march," organizers say the new law is unjust and that they are specifically worried about possible restrictions on church ministries. Among the groups planning the march are the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama, Greater Birmingham Ministries, the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice and the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama.

More here-

Former Bookkeeper To Be Ordered To Pay Back $113,000 To Tustin Church

From California-

Attorneys agreed today on restitution in the amount of $113,000 in the case of a bookkeeper who embezzled money from the Episcopal church in Tustin where she worked, a prosecutor said.

Elyse Marie Kennedy, 37, pleaded guilty March 24 to two felony counts of forgery and admitted sentencing enhancements for taking more than $50,000.

At a restitution hearing today, Deputy District Attorney Sean O'Brien agreed with the woman's defense attorneys that she should pay back $113,000 of the $129,000 she stole from St. Paul's Episcopal Church between 2007 and 2009.

Church members were OK with the restitution amount, and an order from Orange County Superior Court Judge Erick Larsh will be forthcoming, O'Brien said.

It's not known if Kennedy can pay back the money, but the court order prevents her from using a bankruptcy declaration to free her from the debt, and her future wages could be garnished, O'Brien said.

Kennedy, who was sentenced March 24 to nearly three years in state prison, was solely responsible for overseeing the church's financial records and wrote 154 checks to herself from the church's bank accounts, O'Brien said.

More here-

Property Deal Clears Way to Ordinariate

From The Living Church-

St. Luke’s Church will make a pilgrimage from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism without leaving its historic location at 53rd Street and Annapolis Road in Bladensburg, Md.

The Rev. Mark Lewis, rector of St. Luke’s since 2006, praises the Rt. Rev. John B. Chane, Bishop of Washington, for the arrangement, in which St. Luke’s will lease the facilities from the Diocese of Washington and has an option to buy the property.

“We have a relationship that is mutually respectful,” Lewis said in an interview with The Living Church. He appreciates where I am theologically, and I know he appreciates the parish.”

Bishop Chane sounded similar notes in a joint news release issued by the Diocese of Washington and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington.

“This was a transition achieved in a spirit of pastoral sensitivity and mutual respect,” Chane said in that statement. “Christians move from one church to another with far greater frequency than in the past, sometimes as individuals, sometimes as groups. I was glad to be able to meet the spiritual needs of the people and priest of St. Luke’s in a way that respects the tradition and polity of both of our churches.”

Lewis said he felt the bishop’s support as soon as he broached the question of St. Luke’s pursuing admittance to the Ordinariate, which the Vatican has established for Anglicans who wish to join the Roman church while retaining aspects of Anglican piety.

More here-

Rev. Rich Martindale steps down at Trinity Episcopal Church

From Atlanta-

The Rev. Rich Martindale, rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, has resigned after nearly six years leading the historic downtown parish.

He resigned Monday night at his church’s Vestry, or board, meeting. A letter went out to parishioners Tuesday.

“For the last several months, the Vestry, the Wardens and I have been working and praying very hard to discern how best to meet the needs of the Parish and do the work we have been given to do in the name of Christ. At times, that discernment has been exhilarating; other times it has felt like a struggle,” Martindale wrote. “After consultation with the Bishop of Atlanta, the Wardens, and of course, my dear wife, my own portion of that discernment has led me to understand that the time has come for me to conclude my ministry to and with my friends at Trinity.”

Read more:

Abilene church spray-painted with gang-like symbols

From Texas-

Vandals have targeted the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest, defacing the building with symbols in orange and black paint.

Sometime between 10 p.m. Tuesday and 8 a.m. Wednesday, the base of the northeast corner of the building was spray-painted with symbols that Heavenly Rest Administrator Conrad Bratton said he assumes are gang-related.

It's not the first time the church has experienced vandalism, Bratton said.

"We've had this same thing," he said. "We've had broken windows, graffiti. This is bigger than they've ever done."

The church has security cameras, he said, but not near the area where the vandalism took place. Among the symbols sprayed on the base of the church is a swastika.

More here-

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kenya: Anglican Head Backs Graft War

From "All Africa"

The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams began his Kenyan tour on Sunday with a plea to the African church to take a firm stand against corruption.

Speaking at Nakuru's ACK Cathedral in a commemoration of the church's 50th anniversary, Archbishop Williams told church leaders they must stand up against land and money grabbers. "It will pit you against some of the most powerful individuals but God is always on the side of the righteous," the principal leader of the Church of England said.

He said that the church in Africa must be at the forefront in challenging greed and exploitation especially at a time of strife. He said the church in Kenya, Congo, Nigeria, Sudan, Zimbabwe and Pakistan are going through especially tough times and the faith and resilience of the faithful in these countries is a shining beacon to Christians in other parts of the world.

More here-

Man charged over theft of 300-year-old bell

From New Zealand-

An unemployed man has been charged with stealing a 300-year-old ship's bell used to call parishioners to worship in the small King Country town of Otorohanga.

The man, 29, was arrested in Te Kuiti and appeared in the District Court in Hamilton yesterday where he was remanded in custody on numerous charges to appear again next month.

Police said an arrest warrant had been issued for the man before the bell was stolen from St Bride's Anglican church in Otorohanga.

He faced seven burglary, one theft, two driving and one drugs charge.

The bell was stolen last week, and turned up in a Hamilton scrap dealer's yard.

The yard paid $435 for it, then sent it to its Auckland yard for recycling.

A bell enthusiast at the yard in Auckland put it to one side, and the police were called when the theft hit the headlines.

More here-

Episcopal Church Primate calls for action on food

From ACNS-

The leader of the Episcopal Church in the United States has called for G20 agriculture ministers meeting in Paris today for strong action to combat high food prices.

The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal church in the US, has written to the US agriculture secretary Hon John Visak to press for a package of measures including:

More support for small farmers, especially women who produce up to 80 per cent of food in the poorest countries.

Action to stop speculation in food commodities.

An increase in investment in agriculture so that the richest countries in the world keep the promise they made to the poorest in the L’Aquila agreement.

The G20 ministers meet against a background of mounting concern over the price spikes and food insecurity that have left 900 million people around the world hungry. The French President has put food on the agenda for the G20 meeting in November, and next week’s agriculture ministers meeting will seek an agreement on the way forward.

More here-

SUDAN: Kadugli bishop calls for day of prayer and fasting to end violence

From ENS-

Bishop Andudu Elnail of the Episcopal Diocese of Kadugli, Sudan, is calling on Sudanese Christians and churches throughout the world to observe Sunday, June 26, as a day of prayer and fasting for an end to the violence that has plagued the border region of Southern Kordofan for the past two weeks, resulting in a humanitarian crisis as thousands of people flee their homes and find themselves cut off from aid.

"Once again we are facing the nightmare of genocide of our people in a final attempt to erase our culture and society from the face of the earth," said Elnail, who has served as Kadugli's bishop since 2002.

The unrest in the oil-rich Southern Kordofan state began with clashes between the Sudan Armed Forces from the north and the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army from the south. But government forces from the north on June 20 were continuing an aerial bombardment of the region as President Omar al-Bashir, wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity in Darfur, said that he was prepared to go back to war.

Elnail said: "It is not a war between armies that is being fought in our land, but the utter destruction of our way of life and our history, as demonstrated by the genocide of our neighbors and relatives in Darfur. This is a war of domination and eradication, at its core it is a war of terror by the government of Sudan against their people."

More here-

Episcopal priest and former Vietnam POW helps veterans

From Atlanta-

Hurtling through the dark but missile-streaked skies over Hanoi in 1972 after his B-52 bomber was shot down, Robert Certain was pretty sure he was going to die, just like three of the men in his plane had, and remembers praying for his parachute not to open rather than dying in captivity.

Then a 25-year-old Air Force navigator, the Rev. Certain is now the 63-year-old senior priest of St. Peter and St. Paul Episcopal Church in east Cobb, but war is still very much on the mind of the retired colonel.

Now, though, he thinks more about helping the military personnel returning from wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Certain had flashes of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for decades, which is one reason his large church is doing all it can to help returning veterans deal with the problems that cause more suicides among military people today than ever.

The military suicide rate has been rising for five years even though the Department of Veterans Affairs offers more psychological help to vets now than in the past.

More here-

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Love found anew at 90 years old

From The Trib (Just because its sweet)

At 89, Molly Holder didn't have time to wait for love.

"I knew some prince on a white horse wasn't going to ride up and sweep me off my feet, so I had to do it myself," she said.

Acting on a whim, Holder, a widow since 1995, decided to try online dating. She posted a profile on and soon met Edward Nisbett, 82. She sent him a "wink."

Holder, who in 2008 moved from North Huntingdon to Tallahassee, Fla., found that she had much in common with the widowed Nisbett, a retired metallurgist.

"We learned that we both loved grammar and poetry," said Holder, who spent her career as a newspaper columnist at the Irwin Times Observer and Standard Observer.

This past January, after two months of exchanging emails, Holder and her online beau decided to meet in person.

More here-

Church of England to allow gay bishops, sort of

From USA Today-

The Church of England has issued a set of "legal guidelines" that pave the way for openly gay clergy to become bishops — so long as they are and promise to remain celibate.

Details of the internal report, entitled "Choosing Bishops," were carried by Christian Today, an independent London-based publication, on its website on Monday.

The new guidelines aim to bring church policy in line with Britain's Equality Act, passed in 2010, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

The guidance says "openly gay clergy can become bishops so long as they are celibate," according to the Christian Today report. The Equality Act would not allow gay clergy to be prohibited solely because they are gay.

More here-

New Budget Means Grim Outlook For Those In Need, Workers Say

From New Hampshire-

Even before the state’s new budget is formally adopted social-service providers in the North Country were struggling. Now with more cuts expected they are worrying that the new budget will make things much worse.

A dozen or so representatives from various social service agencies got together last Friday in Berlin at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church.

They invited some North Country legislators to discuss what they see as a grim outlook for helping those who are down on their luck.

Jenn Doolan of Lancaster works with a homeless outreach program and she broke into tears.
“We used to be able to put clients up in a motel and purchase them food for the weekend. We don’t have money for food anymore. We don’t have money for motels anymore. We send them to town welfare and they don’t have it either,” she said.

On Friday she was trying to figure out how she could help a family of five from Lancaster that lost their home and were trying to live in their car.

More here-

Colombian refugees struggle to rebuild lives in Ecuador

From ENS-

After an eight-month separation from them, Antonio boarded a plane with his wife and their three children in Cali, Colombia, last winter and flew to Quito, Ecuador, where they petitioned the Ecuadorian government for asylum.

It was the ultimate act in a 10-year-saga that included an attempt on Antonio's life, four internal displacements within Colombia's border and the loss of everything material and familiar. The family landed in metro-Quito in a "safe house" belonging to the Diocese of Central Ecuador.

Colombia's half-century-long armed conflict -- characterized by displacement, violence and human and drug trafficking -- has forced more than 116,000 refugees across the border into Ecuador. They are among the more than 15 million refugees worldwide whose plight is spotlighted each June 20 on World Refugee Day, commemorated annually since 2001.

In May, ENS visited Ecuador and heard the stories of Colombian refugees living there. Their tales reflect the violence and lost homes, livelihoods, families and lives that have characterized the South American country's prolonged war. To protect the refugees from further harm and persecution, their names have been changed.

More here-

Monday, June 20, 2011

Coordinated bell ringing planned for Abilene church

From Texas-

At first, it sounds like a bad pranking spree. There's a group of people driving around Texas, ringing the bells at random churches.

But as it turns out, these people know what they're doing. They're members of the North American Guild of Change Ringers, and on Tuesday, they're coming to Abilene's Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest to show what they can do.

First, a brief explanation: "change ringing" entails the coordinated ringing of church bells to produce a melodic scale or sequence. Teams of change ringers pull on hanging ropes to play the church bells, timing their yanks just so.

One might think that there are plenty of bell towers out there for these unorthodox musicians to practice their trade, but it's quite the opposite. Because so many churches have gone to electronic bell systems, change ringing is something of a dying art.

The Guild of Change Ringers lists only about 50 bell towers in North America that are fit for ringing, five of which reside in Texas.

More here-

New Chicago waterways sewage treatment years away

From Chicago-

Standing on the lip of the murky Calumet Sag Channel in Blue Island, the Rev. Rodney Reinhart blows a ram horn to heal the waters.

“Let us pray to end pollution and for the renewal of life in our environment and our created world,” said Reinhart, the pastor of St. Joseph’s and St. Aiadan’s Episcopal Church in Blue Island.

Gathering with about 15 supporters Sunday afternoon, Reinhart prayed for a world with less pollution and cleaner natural resources.

While Reinhart and his supporters are trying to fix the Chicago waterways spiritually, Chicago’s Metropolitan Water Reclamation District board recently voted to clean up the water with science.

In as few as eight years, the district hopes two sewage treatment plants will have the technology to decontaminate all 250 million gallons of treated sewage that is pumped into the Chicago waterways daily.

Samuel Dorevitch, a visiting associate public health professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said Chicago is one of the only cities nationwide that continues this practice.

More here-

Cafe at New Orleans' St. George Episcopal Church helps feed the hungry

From New Orleans-

Just before 8 a.m. on a muggy Sunday morning, the line snaked around St. George’s Episcopal Church on St. Charles Avenue.

A few bystanders engaged in friendly conversation, but most stood silently beneath the stained glass windows until a police officer opened the door and waved them inside. There, a hot breakfast of eggs, sausage, grits and coffee awaited.

The meal was an offering from the Dragon Café, a volunteer effort run by the church’s parishioners that serves approximately 90 breakfasts each Sunday morning. The ministry is named for the monster the church’s namesake saint killed in legend.

The café was started after Hurricane Katrina to feed those without kitchens, said the Rev. Jim Quigley, pastor of St. George’s.

More here-

Soon, it was serving up to 10,000 meals a year — mostly on Thursday and Friday nights — but as funding dried up, the church cut back to one day a week.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Action of Episcopal Temperance Society is followed by vigorous protests

Episcopal Temperance Society ?- (who would have thunk it ?) But then again they are asking for a modification in the Volstead Act. From 1926.,6178436&dq=episcopal&hl=en

The 1971 Series was played in a different world

Oriels are coming to town-

Charles Manson got the death penalty that spring, though it was later deemed unconstitutional.

The Pirates and the Baltimore Orioles played six World Series games in broad daylight that fall, though daylight in the World Series was later deemed unconstitutional, at least effectively.

Seven thousand people were arrested in one day in one city protesting the Vietnam War that summer, just as the Constitution's 26th amendment was ready to give 18-year-olds the vote.

Forty years may have cobwebbed all of it amid drifts of mental dust, but a lot went down in 1971.

"It did; oh, it did," Al Oliver was saying the other day. "I didn't think much about it at the time, but I do now. I feel fortunate to have been part of history."

The Pirates first baseman/centerfielder, who was delivering line drives the whole summer, was talking specifically about the first day of September 1971, when manager Danny Murtaugh wrote the first all-minority lineup in Major League Baseball history. But he could have been appreciating the entirety of a season when cultural turbulence was little else but America's day-to-day backlighting, and when America's baseball was little short of divine.

Read more:

Diocese of Washington elects Mariann Budde as its ninth bishop

From ENS-

The Episcopal Diocese of Washington, D.C., elected the Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde as its first female diocesan bishop on the second ballot on June 18, pending the required consents from a majority of bishops with jurisdiction and standing committees of the Episcopal Church.

Budde, 52, rector of St. John's Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was elected out of a field of five nominees. She received 102 votes of 163 cast in the lay order and 137 of 175 cast in the clergy order. An election on that ballot required 82 in the lay order and 88 in the clergy order.

The election was held during a special convention at Washington National Cathedral.

Pending a successful consent process, Budde will succeed Bishop John Bryson Chane, who will retire this fall. The service of consecration and installation for the new bishop is set for Nov. 12.

Under the canons (III.11.4) of the Episcopal Church, a majority of bishops exercising jurisdiction and diocesan standing committees must consent to the bishop-elect's ordination as bishop within 120 days of receiving notice of the election.

More here-