Saturday, August 20, 2011

Diocese of Huron, ACoC Receives Favourable Court Decision

From Canada-

August 15th, 2011 the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has ruled that the buildings and other property of St. Aidan's Anglican Church in Windsor will remain with the Anglican Diocese of Huron. In dismissing an action launched by representatives of a breakaway group, which has since joined the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA ANiC), Justice T. D. Little also ruled that a Charitable Foundation set up by the congregation many years ago, also remains with the Diocese of Huron Parish of St. Aidan's. One hundred and nine members of St. Aidan's voted in 2008 to leave the Anglican Church of Canada and then launched legal action against the Diocese to try and take the property with them.

In his decision, quoting from Anglican history, structure and governance, Justice Little wrote:
“Members can come and go in a parish at any time, but the parish itself remains.

In 1923 there were some 110 people who applied to the Diocese of Huron to become a parish of that Diocese. They were granted that right by the Bishop of the Diocese of Huron and became St. Aidan's Parish of that diocese. The membership changed over the years. The effect of the vote that took place in September 2008 was to indicate that those who voted in favour of leaving the Diocese of Huron were also voting in favour of leaving St. Aidan's Parish of that Diocese. The parish could not sever itself from the Diocese.”

Justice Little stated in several portions of his decision, his agreement with a recent decision between break away groups and the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster. The Anglican Church of Canada Diocese prevailed in that case, which was upheld on an appeal. A request by the break away group for leave to Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada was denied.

More here-

Former Anglican Priests: What About the Families?

From The National Catholic Register-

When Father Ian Hellyer, a Catholic priest in England, figures his personal budget, he faces concerns that are unusual for a Catholic priest: He must consider the needs of his wife, Margaret, and their nine children.

A former Anglican clergyman, Father Hellyer was ordained in June into a Church that by and large has not had to provide for men with families. He is a priest of the personal ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, a newly erected diocese for former Anglicans. It was created under the provisions of Pope Benedict XVI’s Anglicanorum Coetibus, which made it possible for former Anglicans to come into the Catholic Church in groups.

A similar ordinariate is expected to be up and running soon in the United States, perhaps by the end of the year.

Some men who seek ordination as Catholic priests are coming from affluent parishes.
“Episcopal clergy are expected to be paid at a professional level,” said Father Ernie Davis, a former Episcopal priest and father of three.

Read more:

Episcopal sister, 85, was first to be ordained to priesthood

From Georgia-

Today, the sisters of the Order of St. Helena gather to remember the Rev. Canon Mary Michael Simpson, who 34 years ago became the first nun ordained to the Episcopal priesthood.

Simpson, 85, died of kidney failure July 20 in Augusta. She will be buried today on the grounds of the Order of St. Helena in south Augusta.

Simpson moved to Augusta in 2008, when the order relocated some of its sisters from convents in New York to Georgia.

Simpson was a member of the order for more than half a century.
She was born in 1925 in Indiana and served as a college chaplain and missionary to Africa before entering the Order of St. Helena in 1956, according to the Episcopal Diocese in Georgia.

More here-

Friday, August 19, 2011

DEBATE: The Pope's visit: the role of religion today?

From France- Video

Benedict XVI is in Madrid for a four day visit, starting off with World Youth Day. An estimated one and a half million people are expected to visit the event, and with that in mind Laura Baines asks her guests if faith could be the answer to many of the ills plaguing modern society? Or does too much focus on the afterlife mean that we neglect the chance to make life on earth better for everybody?

  • Pierre WHALON. Bishop in charge of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe;
  • Myra MADHY DARIDAN. Egyptian writer, author of "Le Coran raconté aux enfants";
  • Tom HENEGHAN. Religion editor, Reuters;
  • Andrew COPSON. Chief executive, British Humanist Association - from London;
  • Steve MARSHALL. Young participant to World Youth Days - By phone from Madrid.
More here-

Priests forced out of homes as Kunonga wins property fight

From The Church Times-

CLERICS and their families are being evicted from rectories in Zim­babwe, after a High Court decision giving custodianship of church property to Nolbert Kunonga, the excommunicated former Bishop of Harare and ally of President Robert Mugabe.

The distress and chaos predicted by the Bishop of Harare, the Rt Revd Chad Gandiya, became a reality on Monday when Kunonga’s supporters — some accompanied by police — delivered stamped copies of the court judgment to all clerics still in parish rectories.
“They told our priests to move out,” Bishop Gandiya said on Mon­day. “We do not know who he is going to put in these houses.”

The two-part judgment was promised a year ago. The diocese had appealed after attempts were made to stop Bishop Gandiya’s consecra­tion in July 2009, and Kunonga was given custodianship of the properties by Justice Ben Hlatshwayo.

More here-

Nation farewells man of two cultures

From New Zealand-

The variety of Sir Paul Reeves' character - his rascally humour, deep sense of what was right and wrong and strong faith - was celebrated yesterday as the nation farewelled him.

It was a state funeral which melded military, Anglican and Maori tikanga and was lifted to an occasion of joy by little moments of love.

Sir Paul's cortege travelled from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre through the Auckland Domain to be joined by navy, army and air force personnel.

The jaunty Maori Battalion March to Victory and Chopin's Slow March, both personal requests from the former Governor-General, were played by a military band which led him towards the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity.

For a man who by his own admission had a "leg each" in the Maori and Pakeha worlds, the blending of both as he was carried on to the cathedral's forecourt was electrifying.

More here-

United Church Clergy Love Marcus Borg

From The Living Church-

Eight of the 25 favorite theologians cited by clergy in the United Church of Canada have chosen eight Anglicans among their 25 favorite theologians.

Douglas Todd of The Vancouver Sun writes:

If you wondered if the thousands of clergy of the liberal United Church of Canada are always reading the Bible, or, alternatively, tend to steamy sex novels, the truth has been revealed in a worthwhile survey.

The respected United Church magazine, The Observer, surveyed a bunch of their clergy across the country and came up with the top 25 spiritual thinkers they’d recommend to the denomination’s roughly 500,000 members.

The Anglicans on the list, and their ranking in popularity among the United Church clergy, are:

1. Marcus Borg
4. C.S. Lewis
6. The Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor
10. The Rt. Rev. John Shelby Spong
18. Phyllis Tickle
20. The Rev. Matthew Fox
21. The Rev. Dr. John Polkinghorne
25. The Rt. Rev. N.T. Wright

Episcopal Church to mark 10th anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks

From ENS-

Episcopal Church and other religious leaders are planning interfaith events to mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks when almost 3,000 people perished after hijacked planes slammed into the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

The Executive Council, at its June meeting, invited all Episcopal communities "to open the doors of their institutions" during the Sept. 10-11 weekend to commemorate the anniversary "with acts of prayer and remembrance, service, creativity, interfaith cooperation, education, community building, and fellowship, offering our institutions as active, accessible sites of healing for our local communities."

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said in an Aug. 18 statement that the anniversary is "an opportunity for reflection," adding that the Episcopal Church "continues to work for healing and reconciliation."

"The greatest memorial to those who died 10 years ago will be a world more inclined toward peace," said Jefferts Schori, who will preach at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 11, at St. Paul's Chapel in New York, a few meters from where the World Trade Center stood, and at 11 a.m. at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.

More here-

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Theft of $80,000 in items from Cleveland cathedral

From Cleveland- (With video)

Two break-ins occurred at Trinity Cathedral last week and items worth more than $80,000 were stolen.

An investigation is ongoing and the Trinity Cathedral staff is working closely with the Cleveland Police Department.

A dozen items were stolen, including a silver-plated host box with a cross and several chalices, many encrusted with jewels.

"We are deeply hurt by this and we're praying for the perpetrator or perpetrators and hope that their hearts will be changed and that the items will be returned," says the Rev. Canon Will Mebane.

More here-

Zimbabwe: Priest Evicted As Anglican Church Row Escalates

From Zimbabwe-

An Anglican priest in Zimbabwe and his family have been evicted from their home by priests loyal to excommunicated bishop Dr Nolbert Kunonga.

Others across the diocese have also been ordered to leave.

The Rev Dzikamai Mudenda, his wife and their extended family, were forced to leave St James Mabvuku in Harare in the wake of a High Court judgement that Dr Kunonga had interim custody of church properties.

Other priests living in parish rectories have received stamped copies of the High Court judgment from supporters of Dr Kunonga. In some cases, the police accompanied the supporters. The priests, including Friar Joshua from Bishop Gaul College, have been told to move out.

The Rt Rev Chad Gandiya, Bishop of Harare, said yesterday that alternative accommodation has been found for Rev Mudenda and that they are preparing for the eviction of other priests.

More here-

19 years after priest's murder, accused stands trial

From Louisiana-

Jury selection begins Monday in the state's first-degree murder case against Derrick Odomes, a 33-year-old man accused of a 19-year-old murder.

Odomes will stand trial for the death of Rev. Hunter Hudson Horgan III, who was found bludgeoned and stabbed in the St. John Episcopal Church rectory in August of 1992.

As the story of the state prosecuting Horgan's murder reaches its apex, Odomes is facing additional charges stemming from his actions while incarcerated at the Lafourche Parish Detention Center, where he has been held since he was indicted in 2007.

Lafourche Parish District Attorney Cam Morvant II will prosecute the murder case, and New Iberia-based defense attorney Lynden J. Burton will represent Odomes. District Judge John E. LeBlanc will preside over the trial.

Morvant said the 19 years that have elapsed shouldn't have a bearing on the trial, and the state faces the "usual challenges."

"I'm confident that we can present our case to the jury," he said.

More here-

Atheism-combatting academic to speak at St. James Episcopal

From North Carolina-

Despite a sharp drop in national membership and much-publicized controversies, the dean of the Episcopal Church's Virginia Theological Seminary thinks the denomination's future is bright.

"It's a good, healthy robust church," said the Very. Rev. Ian S. Markham, dean and president of the 193-year-old seminary in Alexandria, Va. "I think the future of the (American) Episcopal Church is the future of Anglicanism," the communion of churches with historical connections to the Church of England.

Markham will bring this message to Wilmington on Thursday for a free lecture at 7 p.m. in the Great Hall at St. James Episcopal Church, 25 S. Third St.

The public is invited.

Markham, who has headed VTS since 2007, is recognized as a scholar in Christian ethics with a master's degree from Cambridge and a Ph.D. from the University of Exeter in England.

More here-

Episcopal church marks 175 years

From Toledo-

Deeply rooted in the history of northwest Ohio, St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Maumee has reached out to people in need since the 1800s.

Members in 1860 donated $2.25 for Kansas famine sufferers, in 1862 gave $3.50 for tracts and books for soldiers, and in 1906 gave $12.79 for earthquake victims in California.

Last week, among other St. Paul's programs that assist people in need, the church opened its doors to house and feed the homeless.

"Outreach to the community is the DNA of our congregation," the Rev. J. Paul Board, the church's rector, said.

More here-

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ann Hallisey named dean of students at CDSP

From ENS-
The Rev. L. Ann Hallisey has been named the new dean of students at Church Divinity School of the Pacific, the Episcopal Church-affiliated seminary in Berkeley, California. CDSP's president and dean, the Very Rev. Dr. W. Mark Richardson, announced Hallisey's appointment Aug. 15, the day she began work.

Hallisey returns to serve the seminary where she earned a Doctor of Ministry degree.
In her 28 years of ordained ministry, Hallisey has served as rector and interim in congregations and has developed an independent practice as an organizational consultant, according to a CDSP press release.

She is a spiritual director and retreat leader, and a licensed marriage and family therapist. She is currently working toward certification as a master practitioner in Appreciative Inquiry, described as "the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen a system's capacity to apprehend, anticipate, and heighten positive potential."
"These skills and experiences will be great strengths for her ministry at CDSP," Richardson said in the release.

More here-

Converting pillow cases to dresses for Haiti

From Baltimore-

How much can one little dress do? When it's made from a 100 percent cotton pillow case and lovingly trimmed with rick rack and ribbons, it can delight a little girl in Haiti who may never have had a dress. And it might keep her safe from rape or kidnapping.

That's why Fran Lodder is spearheading a project at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter, in Lutherville, that has dozens of volunteers sewing little dresses destined for Haiti. As of Monday, Aug. 15, they'd made 100 dresses.

Lodder, who lives in Elkridge Estates, patterned the project after one launched by Grace Episcopal Church, in Mansfield, Ohio, in March 2010. Since then, the project has spread to 21 states and produced thousands of dresses.

"Even before the earthquake (in Haiti in 2010), things were in bad shape because of the poverty," said Betty Diemer, who started the Mansfield project. "It's common for children under 11 to run around in nothing but underpants.

More here-,0,4409110.story

After Rembrandt heist, mystery thief finds religion

From California-

An assistant priest at St. Nicholas of Myra Episcopal Church in Encino strolled into his boss' office Monday night and noticed a new framed drawing placed just inside the door.

For a moment, it appeared to be a donation from a parishioner or a new piece of art for the office.

But when he went to admire the drawing more closely, he realized he'd seen it before. This, he was sure, was "The Judgment," the 1655 pen and ink work by Rembrandt that had been all over the news since it was stolen two days earlier from the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Marina del Rey.

Within hours, officials had confirmed that the drawing was indeed the missing Rembrandt, which had been the subject of a high-profile hunt. Detectives expressed relief that the artwork had been recovered but were surprised that a theft that initially appeared so well-orchestrated ended with someone sneaking into a suburban church and leaving the drawing, which is valued at more than $250,000.

More here-,0,716178.story

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Religion and the Cult of Tolerance

From The Wall Street Journal-

Earlier this summer, the chief rabbi for Great Britain warned about a new intolerance being imposed in the name of tolerance.

"I share a real concern that the attempt to impose the current prevailing template of equality and discrimination on religious organizations is an erosion of religious liberty," Lord Sacks told a House of Commons committee in June. "We are beginning to move back to where we came in in the 17th century—a whole lot of people on the Mayflower leaving to find religious freedom elsewhere."

Though not as pronounced on this side of the Atlantic, we can see the same trend that so worries Lord Sacks. Here too the imposition comes in the guise of nondiscrimination laws and codes. Here too the result is the same: Faith organizations are told whom they must employ and what they must assent to, or face being shoved off the public square.

The latest example is a case called Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which the Supreme Court has just agreed to hear. It stems out of a dispute involving a teacher who was replaced at a very small school when she became ill and absent from work. When the teacher threatened to take her complaint to the EEOC, she was sacked.

More here-

Good Samaritan? You have the right to remain silent...

From Alabama-

Ever give someone a ride home from church after Mass? If you didn't stop to check their paperwork first, you might have been committing a crime.

At least, that's the argument over Alabama's controversial new immigration law. The law prohibits transportation or harboring of undocumented persons, and its definition of those terms is sufficiently vague enough that there is concern it could make simple acts of Christian charity result in a one-way trip to the slammer.

According to three bishops who filed a lawsuit (representing the local Catholic, Methodist and Episcopal churches) over the law, it criminalizes "God’s command to be Good Samaritans.”

Of course, the law's backers say that it has nothing to do with punishing Good Samaritans, just your routine "bad guys" like traffickers or employers who try to hire undocumented workers as a way to get around labor laws. But who the law was written for, and who is actually going to be prosecuted under it, is not really the point here.

More here-

Houston church donates a ton of rice and beans

From Houston-

After preaching a sermon on Jesus feeding crowds with fish and loves, the Rev. Robert Wareing, at Houston’s Ascension Episcopal Church, prompted the congregation to follow Christ’s example and collect food for the hungry in their area, according to the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.

The request was multiplied to biblical proportions when the 350-member church collected over a ton of rice and beans in fewer than two weeks.

The food will be donated to West Houston Assistance Ministries, which has fed over 10,000 people so far this year.

“We are moved by the outpouring of generosity from our friends at Ascension,” said Selena Nimchan, the food pantry supervisor told the diocese. “But even despite the enormous amount collected, the need still remains for other kinds of food to feed those who are hungry.”

More here-

Religious items stolen from Point Breeze church

From Philadelphia-

POLICE are investigating a break-in and theft of nearly a dozen religious objects from an Episcopal church in Point Breeze.

Sometime between 2:30 p.m. Sunday and 6 a.m. yesterday, someone broke into the 22nd Street entrance to St. Simon the Cyrenian Church, at 22nd and Reed streets, police said.

A church caretaker reported that 11 bronze items were missing, including crosses, candleholders and collection plates, police said. No estimate of the value of the stolen items was given.

Church officer Helen Johnston said that $200 cash was also stolen from a second-floor office, along with the church's water meter and food from the kitchen.

Johnston said that she didn't know how the church would be able to replace the stolen items, especially the crosses that she carries to the altar during Sunday services. She said that her church would contact other Episcopal churches in the area to ask about borrowing their crosses.

More here-

Mass pays tribute to time period of Shakespeare

From Las Vegas-

Queen Elizabeth I made an appearance in the 21st century at a special mass Sunday sponsored by St. Jude's Episcopal Church.

For 478 years old, her highness, portrayed by Barbara Costa of Las Vegas, was quite lively and animated during the worship service, transcribed from John Booty's "The Book of Common Prayer 1559: The Elizabethan Prayer Book" from the Church of England.

"It's always a delight to come back to what I think of as my church," Costa said in royal character. "I shall see you all again next year."

The form of mass from the time of Elizabeth I is a tradition for Cedar City's Episcopal church to celebrate the time of Shakespeare during the Utah Shakespeare Festival. As such, actors from the festival participated in the service complete with the administration of communion.

More here-

Monday, August 15, 2011

Archbishop Tutu: lingering effects of apartheid include "self-hate"

From ACNS-

Retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu has said apartheid had left South Africans suffering from "self-hate" which is partly to blame for the country's vicious crime rate and road carnage.

"Apartheid damaged us all; not a single one of us has escaped," said Tutu on 11 August during a book launch at Stellenbosch University's Institute for Advanced Study near Cape Town.

The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate said the nation was no longer surprised by statistics of violent crime, murder, rape as "when you suffer from self hate you project it to others who look like you."

As for the nation's high auto accident rates, he said, "we drive recklessly, inconsiderately, aggressively ... because deep down we are angry and so the appalling carnage on our roads during the holidays ... [these] horrendous statistics we just accept."

Tutu, who in 1995 headed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), a restorative justice court, also criticized current politicians, calling upon members of President Jacob Zuma's cabinet, most of whom are black, to show concern for the poor by selling their expensive cars.
Tutu called for a small "wealth tax"on all white South Africans as they had benefited during apartheid, the race based segregation system that operated between 1948 and 1994, according to the Cape Argus.

More here-

Clergy play key role in veterans’ care

From Boston-

Pastor Elizabeth M. Krentz-Wee says that as many as 10 of the 50 worshippers who attend Sunday services at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Norwich, Conn., are veterans.

But like many clergy, Krentz-Wee acknowledges that she has had little experience dealing with mental health problems that plague many of those who have served in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other conflicts.

Now, the military and psychiatrists are engaging spiritual leaders in the region, like Krentz-Wee, saying they are pivotal as first responders in helping soldiers and their families cope with issues like post-traumatic stress.

Though soldiers might refrain from seeing a military psychiatrist because of a stigma that seeking help suggests weakness, they may be comfortable approaching a clergy member, experts said. And reaching veterans sooner rather than later is imperative to recovery as they make the jarring transition from violent battle zones to quiet New England life.

More here-

La Crosse church hopes to bless Kenya village with water

From Wisconsin-

Water is easily taken for granted in a country where it flows freely from faucets and water fountains. That isn't the case in Kenya, a country struggling to cope with an influx of refugees, all hungry and all thirsty.

More than 400,000 are estimated to have fled famine and conflict in Somalia. Both countries have suffered drought.

La Crosse's Christ Episcopal Church is trying to raise $23,000 for a well and is about halfway to its goal.

"People here are blessed with so much water," the Rev. Patrick Augustine said. "We're begging them to come share some of their blessings."

The church was recently visited by Bishop David Mutisya of the diocese of Garissa, Kenya, and the Rev. Diana Gorgos, a former Gundersen Lutheran nurse and member of the congregation.
"We're appealing to people here to enable us to help as many lives as we can," Mutisya said.
Most of the area in Garissa is dessert.

Read more:

Priest keeps Lower 9th Ward community moving forward

From Louisiana-

The Rev. Lonell Wright is on his third career. Wright, 71, once was an executive at a major pharmaceutical company. Then, he was the owner and operator of five New Orleans McDonald’s restaurants. Now, he’s an Episcopal priest at a small church in the Lower 9th Ward with a big mission in mind.

“Our goal is to change the lives of the families we touch. Our mission is to break the cycle of poverty,” Wright said.

All Souls Episcopal Church meets in a converted Walgreens drugstore at 5900 St. Claude Ave., a place known by many as “St. Walgreens.” On Sunday, it’s a worship center. During the week, it’s a community center providing stringed instrument lessons, volunteer coordination for community projects, parenting classes and tutoring.

A recent math camp highlighted the ministry’s seven-week summer program, with volunteers from ministry partner St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church of Dallas.

More here-

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sir Paul Reeves dies, aged 78

From New Zealand-

Sir Paul Reeves, an Anglican archbishop who became New Zealand's first Maori Governor-General, has died. He was 78.

He died overnight after battling cancer.

A statement issued by Sir Paul's family in July said he had been diagnosed with cancer and was stepping back from most aspects of public life.

In a statement this morning, Sir Paul's family acknowledged they were "very aware of the immense grief and loss felt by Maori, the church and the wider community, and there will be time and opportunity for people to pay their respects in the days to come.''

Sir Paul became a deacon in the Anglican Church in 1958, a priest in 1960 and was made the Bishop of Waiapu in 1971, Bishop of Auckland in 1979 and Primate and Archbishop of New Zealand in 1980.

His rise through the ranks culminated in his becoming Archbishop of New Zealand from 1980 to 1985.

More here-