Saturday, August 27, 2011

The National Cathedral is shaken, and so am I

From Episcopal Cafe-

By Ellen Painter Dollar

I spent much of the final week of August in a vacation bubble, ignoring the bad news that showed up on my iGoogle news feed each morning. Instead, I pondered such vital questions as where my family should get our daily ice cream fix or which Cape Cod beach to explore. But one news story pierced my bubble and left me shaken—the photos of the National Cathedral, its spires decapitated, crooked, and cracked after the Virginia earthquake.

Twenty-one years ago, I arrived in D.C. after college graduation to be part of the Cathedral Volunteer Service Community (CVSC), a now-defunct program that provided housing, a small stipend, and a spiritual adviser to six young people every year. We shared a Cathedral-owned house on Woodley Road (which flanks the Cathedral’s north side) and worked full-time as volunteers for various urban ministry agencies.

In college, my primary community had been InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF). At IVCF, I found the ease with which people talked about Jesus and their faith refreshing, after growing up in an Episcopal church where my faith walk was centered more on singing in the church choir than on exploring what it means to follow Jesus. Through IVCF, I learned to pray and to read the Bible, to claim Jesus as my savior, to explore how my faith intersected with daily life, and to love a rousing guitar-accompanied, hand-clapping praise song.

But my formative Episcopal childhood lingered. I could not embrace my IVCF friends’ positions on many social issues. Attending a nondenominational church decorated in shades of mauve with all the charm of a doctor’s waiting room, and where sermons took the form of plodding 45-minute “teachings,” I missed the structured liturgies, artful spaces, and poetic language of Episcopal worship. I was also seeking more guidance on how to model Jesus’ ministry with the poor, the sick, and the outcast. In my sheltered college world where “mission” involved mowing elderly people’s lawns and going to Fort Lauderdale over spring break to talk to drunk people about Jesus, there was little opportunity to explore Christian responses to poverty and related issues.

More here-

Relationship, Definition, Accountability

From The Living Church-

By Nathaniel W. Pierce

I have a special place in my heart for the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. I was given a copy at birth, and baptized and confirmed in liturgies from its pages. It guided me to ordained ministry, planted the seed of liturgical renewal, and prepared me for the 1979 BCP. There we were introduced (liturgically speaking) for the first time to the “C” word, prominently displayed in the two sections of the BCP most used by Episcopalians who do not attend church services regularly. I am, of course, referring to “The Baptismal Covenant” and “the bond and covenant of marriage.” At its simplest level the concept of “covenant” includes three characteristics: relationship, definition, and accountability.

In baptism and marriage all three basic elements of a covenantal relationship are clear. The one being baptized enters into an explicit relationship with God; marriage is a public, explicit, lifelong, and mutual commitment by two persons to each other. The understanding of that relationship, its definition, is clearly stated (see the Baptismal Covenant, pp. 304-5, and the marriage vows, p. 427). Our sense of accountability is expressed every time we renew our own baptismal covenant and (for some) our own marriage vows.

What does this thinking mean for the proposed Anglican Covenant? Surely Episcopalians’ difficulties do not arise out of any disagreement about our desire to be in relationship. The preamble of the Constitution of the Episcopal Church clearly states our self-understanding as a church: we are in relationship with the Anglican Communion, something most Episcopalians value and cherish. (The constitution’s preamble eassentially quotes a portion of Resolution 49 of the 1930 Lambeth Conference.)

More here-

Zimbabwe Anglican Church Appeals Property Ruling to Constitutional Court

From Zimbabwe-

The Anglican Diocese of Harare in the Church of the Province of Central Africa has appealed a recent chamber ruling by Zimbabwean Supreme Court Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku giving former Harare Bishop Nolbert Kunonga custody of all church properties.
The full bench of the Supreme Court sits as constitutional court in such matters.

Lawyers for the Anglican diocese on Wednesday filed the appeal arguing that Chidyausiku’s ruling is null and void because it contravenes sections of the constitution. It said Kunonga voluntarily left the church only to return with the support of the Zimbabwean police to eject Anglican parishioners from their longstanding places of worship.

The diocese charges that Kunonga’s agents, which it alleges are hired thugs, have threatened and harassed diocese clergy aiming to drive them out of churches and houses they occupy.
A statement issued by the diocese said Reverend Jonah Mudowaya was severely assaulted in Chinhoyi, the capital of Mashonaland West, on Wednesday this week.

More here-

Will All Saints expansion clash in Pasadena's historic core?

From The LA Times-

A decade after announcing an ambitious expansion effort, one of Pasadena’s oldest and most widely known churches is on the brink of breaking ground on the $45-million project.

But now some city preservationists are worried that the proposed buildings at All Saints Episcopal Church will clash with the majestic look of the surrounding architecture in the city’s historic core.

All Saints officials expect that by October they will have the final environmental impact report for the project, which includes four multi-story buildings for classrooms, offices and event space; a columbarium; and a one-level subterranean parking lot.

“We have such a desperate need for the buildings and desire to get it done; it’s a shame it’s taken this long,” Bob Long, a member of the parish’s building committee, told the Pasadena Sun.

Long said the church has raised nearly half the $45-million construction cost, but has now suspended the fundraising campaign until the environmental review process is complete.

Sue Mossman, executive director of the preservation group Pasadena Heritage, is concerned the new structures won’t be compatible with the architecture in the Civic Center area. Pasadena Heritage put the church, built in 1924, on its 2011 watch list of endangered landmarks.

More here-

Termites played big part in Maumee church’s story

From Toledo-

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Maumee is celebrating its 175th year, but the historic Gothic Revival church came perilously close to being razed when termites caused extensive damage to the sanctuary floors and walls more than 50 years ago.

Parishioners were forced to decide whether to demolish the building and erect a new one or to preserve the church and invest in a renovation.

The choice was made even more difficult because St. Paul’s was going through a growth spurt, and some parishioners felt it would be wise to build a larger sanctuary. The preservationists prevailed, however, and the renovated sanctuary reopened in 1961.

“The renovation was expensive, but we didn’t want to leave that church. We love it so much,” recalled Mary Spangler, 88, who joined the congregation after being married at St. Paul’s in 1946. “The renovation has held up very good over the years.”

Jane Weber, whose father, the Rev. Howard Graham, was rector of St. Paul’s from 1966 until 1986, said parishioners were willing to put up with the inconvenience of overcrowding.

More here-

Friday, August 26, 2011

Stargell honored on 2012 All-Star stamp set

From Pittsburgh- (and if he hadn't played in the "canyon" that was Forbes Field he would have had well over 500 HR. 456 ft to straight away center? Give me a break)

Pirates legend Willie "Pops" Stargell, who intimidated opposing pitchers by swinging a sledgehammer, will be immortalized on a "Forever" postage stamp in 2012.

"It's an extraordinary honor for an extraordinary human being," said Stargell's widow, Margaret, 52, of New Bern, N.C. "I know Willie would be very humbled."

Stargell died in 2001 at age 61. The stamp will be part of the Postal Service's Major League Baseball All-Star Stamp set.

The slugger, who played 21 seasons from 1962 to 1982, led the 1979 "We Are Family" Pirates to a World Series championship and hit 475 career home runs. He pounded 2,232 career hits and twice led the National League in home runs -- 48 in 1971 and 44 in 1973. Baseball's Hall of Fame inducted him in 1988.

He joins Joe DiMaggio, one of the game's most graceful athletes, and Larry Doby, the American League's first black player, in the All-Star set. The postal service will announce a fourth stamp on Sept. 2. Los Angeles artist Kadir Nelson based their designs on historic photos.

Read more:

Munchmobile 2011: Pasta road trip

From New Jersey-

After another long, laughter-filled, lazy (for everyone but the driver) Munchmobile season, it was time to go to church.

No, really.

Bart's Restaurant, located in the former Trinity Episcopal Church in Matawan, provided a serene, stately backdrop on our quest for quality Italian food, particularly ravioli.
You almost wanted to speak in whispers, or genuflect in front of the penne pasta with lamb ragu, guaranteed to be on my list of top 20 foods all summer.

We went to church, we went to a strip mall, we even went to a hotel on this trip.
It’s not what you may think; Bella Piazza, one of six stops, is located inside the Comfort Inn on Route 46 in Fairfield.

More here-

Diocesan Profile available for Pittsburgh's Bishop search

From Pittsburgh

The Search/Nominating Committee and the people of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh of the Episcopal Church prayerfully offer this profile in hope that persons considering a call to our diocese, or persons considering the name of a potential candidate to submit, will learn about us and our values, our experiences, our hopes, and what we discern to be what God wills for the eighth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.

The committee will receive names until September 30, 2011.

The committee will make recommendations for the slate to the Standing Committee on or before January 15, 2012, and there is a canonical provision for nomination by petition thereafter.

Please prayerfully consider if you or someone you know might be a good fit. Read the profile carefully before you submit a name. Should you have questions please contact Dana M. Phillips, Nomination Committee Chair, at

We ask your continued prayers for this search process – for the search and transition committees, for those who submit names, for those whose names are submitted.

The profile can be found here-

Anglican Church house turned into a brothel

From Zimbabwe-

A house at the Anglican Church in Rugare is said to have been turned into a love nest. This comes amid speculation that the caretakers at the church site are offering lodging services to local prostitutes so that they can have 'quickies' in the Holy house.

Impeccable sources who stay near the church informed this paper that ladies of the night would use the church house as a love nest of having sexual contracts with their clients. "The house at Anglican Church is being used as a love nest and the caretakers (sic) are charging a fee for the service," said an H-Metro source.

"We are certain that this is happening because well known prostitutes in our area are coming to the church with different men from the bar and has been happening for some time now. Several prominent people are also coming with these prostitutes to the church house" said the sources.

Residents also said that the Father of the church Father Mutasa was collecting money for rentals from the church house but wondered whether he knew what happened in the still of the night at the behest of some of his tenants.

More here-

Anglican Church Fights to Reclaim Its Properties and End Attacks

From Zimbabwe-

Beatings and evictions of Anglican priests in Zimbabwe have caused the Church there to appeal a legal decision to give custody of its property to excommunicated bishop Dr Nolbert Kunonga.

The Church's decision to instruct its lawyer to file a Constitutional appeal against the August 4 ruling by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku comes after a string of successful and attempted evictions left one priest homeless and another hospitalised with a head wound.

A press release from the Diocese said: "Clergy and members of the laity belonging to the Anglican Diocese of Harare (CPCA) across Harare, Mashonaland West, East and Central have been receiving threats, constant harassment and lately severe beatings from Kunonga's hooligans, masquerading as clergy, accompanied by 'certainly hired thugs'.

"The latest casualty is Reverend Jonah Mudowaya who was severely assaulted in Chinhoyi on Wednesday 24 August.

More here-

Demand outstrips supply in world’s biggest aid camp

From The Church Times-

THE POPULATION in the Dadaab refugee camp in eastern Kenya is estimated to have swelled to about 450,000. About 1000 refugees continue to arrive each day at the camp, which is the world’s biggest, as the drought in the Horn of Africa goes on.

The associate director of World Vision in Kenya, Tobias Oloo, visited the camp last week. It opened in 1991 and was intended to hold 90,000 people. He said that a stream of weak and malnourished refugees were still flooding into the camp, mainly from Somalia.

World Vision, in partnership with Shelter­Box, has donated 5000 tents. Mr Oloo said that they were also providing new arrivals with kits containing cooking utensils and mosquito nets. “No one knows the exact number [of refugees], but it’s more than 400,000. People keep coming in. There are many women and children who are sick and tired and malnourished. Some have TB.
“There are a number of ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors. One ‘push’ factor is the conflict in Somalia, while the ‘pull’ factor is the security and food on offer in Kenya.”

He said it was vital that the root causes of the disaster be addressed by aid agencies and world governments. A political solution to the conflict in Somalia needed to be a priority, and food-security programmes needed to be improved in the region, so that “we do not find ourselves in this situation again.”

More here-

Rogers' Anglican community on journey to Catholic Church

From Arkansas-

St. George Anglican Church in Rogers is one of 100 traditionalist Anglican parishes in the United States seeking to join the Catholic Church as a group.

According to Father Bob Hall, pastor of St. George Anglican Church, the small parish of 17 members was established in 2004 when the ordination of women and the ordination of an openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church came into the public spotlight.

The Traditional Anglican Communion, which St. George Church belongs, is a group of churches that separated from the worldwide Anglican Communion in 1991. It claims 400,000 members worldwide, including Australia, Canada, Puerto Rico and England.

In October 2007, bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion in Portsmouth, England, petitioned the Holy See to come into full communion with the Catholic Church, while retaining Anglican traditions and liturgy.

Pope Benedict XVI responded on Nov. 4, 2009, with the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus ("Groups of Anglicans"), which provides for a personal ordinariate -- a geographic region similar to a diocese -- that would allow former Anglican parishes or groups to come into the Catholic Church while preserving their Anglican liturgical practices and heritage. An ordinariate is already approved in England and are in the works in Australia, the United States and Canada.

More here-

Sea eagle attacks and wounds clergyman

From The "You Can't Make This Stuff Up" Department - Australian Division

A PERTHSHIRE clergyman was this week recovering from wounds which he sustained under attack by a sea eagle which had preyed upon his show poultry, writes Philippa Stephen.

The Very Reverend Hunter Farquharson, Provost of Perth’s Episcopal Cathedral, had tried to scare away the bird after it attacked and killed his prized Toulouse goose, Beatrice.

“I returned home to find a goose with its face ripped to shreds,” reported Mr Farquharson. “The remaining geese were badly traumatised. I found them cowering in the long grass. A short while later the sea eagle returned and chased a gander into a hut. I went over to see it off and it turned on me.”

The attack left him with cuts on his head, hands and a four inch cut across his back.

The sea eagle, one of the UK’s biggest birds of prey, was later trapped and returned to the RSPB, who are running a reintroduction programme of the species with Scottish Natural Heritage – a project that has faced consistent opposition from some farmers and crofters who say the birds frequently attack and kill livestock.

More here-

Washington cathedral faces millions in repairs after quake

From the Anglican Journal-

The iconic Washington National Cathedral, already struggling with financial problems, faces millions of dollars in repair costs from the damage inflicted by the Aug.23 U.S. East Coast earthquake. And nothing is covered by insurance, according to a church official.

Clergy and a team of architects and engineers spent the day after the magnitude 5.8 quake assessing the cathedral, and found significant damage, including fallen carved angels on the church's roof, cracks in flying buttresses, and missing finials from the pinnacles of the central tower, Religion News Service reports.

"We run a very tight budget here at the cathedral and we have had our financial challenges that we've worked through very well," the Very Rev. Samuel Lloyd, dean of the cathedral, said on Aug.24. "But there is nothing in our budget that would allow us to step up and do this," he said.

Joe Alonso, the cathedral's head stone mason, said it will take years to complete the repairs. "It's going to be millions, no doubt about it. Millions," he said. "As large as this structure is, it's all hand made."

More here-

Pamela Chinnis, first female House of Deputies president, dies

From ENS-

Pamela Chinnis, who was the first woman to lead the Episcopal Church's House of Deputies, died Aug. 24 at her home in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She was 86.

Chinnis served three terms as president of the House of Deputies from 1991 to 2000, the maximum allowed. She was first elected by acclamation in July 1991.

Current House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson, the second woman to lead the approximately 880-member house, said in a statement that "my deepest sympathies and prayers are with her family and her friends across the church," adding that Chinnis was "one of my role models and has inspired my ministry."

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said "we give thanks for the ground-breaking ministry of Dr. Chinnis as president of the House of Deputies, and give thanks for her life. We hold her and her family in our prayers in this time of grief and thanksgiving for a life well lived. May she rest in peace and rise in glory, and may all who mourn find comfort in the assurance of resurrection."

More here-

Executive Council draft triennial budget preparation process underway

From ENS-

In preparation for the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in July 2012, the year-long budget preparation process for funding the mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church has begun, according to a press release from the church's Office of Public Affairs.
The Executive Council Aug. 25 announced a new approach to solicit input broadly from across the church on what the church's funding priorities ought to be and what the program section of the draft budget.

"Changing and challenging financial realities at the churchwide level and for dioceses and congregations demand that a reassessment be done," the release said.

The triennial or three-year budget, to be adopted by 77th meeting of General Convention in July 2012 for the years 2013-2015, will fund the governance, mission and ministry work of the Episcopal Church. The budget for the Episcopal Church serves as the blueprint for the mission and ministry that happen on a churchwide level between meetings of General Convention, the release said.
Seeking input

According to the release, the Executive Council wants to hear the voices of the church: elected deputies to the 2012 General Convention; bishops; members of the church's commissions, committees, agencies and boards; diocesan organizations such as diocesan councils and standing committees; and diocesan staff members.

More here-

Ex-Sewanee student says harmed by rape finding

From Houston-

A former student at Sewanee: The University of the South testified Thursday that university leaders damaged his future when they wrongly decided that he raped a female student in his dorm room.

Identified in court only as John Doe, the former student at the private, Episcopal campus in southeastern Tennessee was never criminally charged. A university disciplinary panel in 2008 decided that he raped a female student who later told them she has prescriptions for mood-altering medications, had been drinking alcohol and was incapacitated when assaulted.

At the request of the former student's attorneys, U.S. District Judge Sandy Mattice is allowing him to conceal his identity as he asks a jury to force the university to pay him at least $1 million in damages. His testimony resumes Friday.

The former student contends the female student consented to having sex with him in his dorm room.

More here-

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson Reflect on Dr. Pamela Chinnis

From ENS-

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and President of the House of Deputies Bonnie Anderson have extended their condolences and offered reflections on the August 24 death of Dr. Pamela Chinnis, former President of the House of Deputies.

Chinnis was a lay person and the first woman to serve as the President of the House of Deputies, in 1991, 1994 and 1997. (For more information on Dr Chinnis see Episcopal News Service,

From Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori:

We give thanks for the ground-breaking ministry of Dr. Chinnis as President of the House of Deputies, and give thanks for her life. We hold her and her family in our prayers in this time of grief and thanksgiving for a life well lived. May she rest in peace and rise in glory, and may all who mourn find comfort in the assurance of resurrection.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate

From House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson:

Dr. Pamela Chinnis was one of my role models and has inspired my ministry. She has given me courage when the going has been rough, and I will miss being able to hear her distinctive voice speaking truth with humor and wisdom. My deepest sympathies and prayers are with her family and her friends across the church.

Dr. Chinnis was a tireless advocate for the full inclusion of women in the life and leadership of the Episcopal Church, and for that we owe her a debt of gratitude.
She also was a champion of including the voices of all the baptized in the governance system she cherished and helped to lead.

More here-

Video: Damage at the Cathedral

From The Living Church-

Bone found in Norwich church cellar linked to cemetery move in 1846

From CT-

A research project to study dozens of Colonial and early 19th century gravestones in the cellar of Christ Episcopal Church halted abruptly earlier this month when historian David Oat spotted what he thought could be a human finger bone in the dirt near a pile of gravestones.

Church history says the gravestones were removed from the old cemetery, and the bodies of church founders and their descendents placed in a mass grave at the side of what was to be the new church built in 1846 on lower Washington Street.

The gravestones were placed in the foundation basement of the new church and remained there, in stacks and piles, partially covered by loose dirt, some broken, others in beautiful condition for the past 1½ centuries. Oat started his research project in June to document the stones and match them with church written records.

Oat immediately stopped work when he saw the small bone and called state Archaeologist Nicholas Bellantoni to determine if he was indeed working atop a portion of the former churchyard cemetery.

More here-

Culpeper buildings may have to be demolished

From Fredericksburg VA-

There was good news and bad news yesterday for Culpeper about Tuesday's earthquake.

The good news was that St. Stephen's Episcopal Church sanctuary, which dates to 1821, is repairable.

The bad news was that one historic Main Street building-- possibly two--will need to be torn down.

In addition, a small restaurant in a converted alleyway between the two unstable structures also will be razed.

According to Bob Orr, head of the Culpeper County's building department, St. Stephen's sanctuary has cracks in its walls, but engineers should be able to find ways to make necessary structural repairs.

The Levy Building (the former Ritz Hi-Hat Restaurant) on North Main Street was not so lucky. Inspections yesterday confirmed what officials initially feared: The circa 1858, two-story structure cannot be saved.

More here-

Damage from Virginia quake appears to hit churches hard

From Catholic News-

Historic churches in Washington, Maryland and Virginia were among buildings with the most serious damage after the unusual Aug. 23 magnitude 5.8 earthquake shook the region.

The temblor could be felt as far away as Detroit, north of Toronto and into Florida.

The archdioceses of Washington and Baltimore each reported damage to several churches. But in the Diocese of Richmond, Va., where the quake was centered near the town of Mineral, that town's St. Jude Church had the only reported damage in the diocese, and that was relatively minor, according to its pastor, Father Michael Duffy.

He told Catholic News Service a couple of hours after the quake that some pictures fell off the walls and smashed and holy oils fell out of the ambry. He said also said there were cracks in the plaster, a broken water pipe and some damaged light fixtures.

Father Duffy said he felt the quake in the rectory, while he was meeting with an insurance adjuster about another matter. "The whole house shook," he said.

He said there appeared to be no structural damage, but "a lot of messy damage" at the church and rectory. He said that the area's older mission church, Immaculate Conception in Bumpass, also appeared to be fine. It was built in 1876.

National Cathedral damage assessed

From Washington DC (with video)

Structural engineers and stone masons toured the National Cathedral Wednesday to assess the damage from yesterday's historic earthquake.

The 5.8 tremblor shook several of the finials off the central tower of the century old gothic church.

While a small amount of debris fell to the ground 30 stories below, much of it was contained on the roof of the tower. Several of the spires were also shifted or twisted by the quake.

Some who have worked at the Cathedral for decades are still in shock that the stone structure could crumble in just seconds.

Cathedral Mason Joseph Alonso said there is a "massive amount of work" to be done to fix this damage.

“This is unbelievable,” Alonso said. “We've got serious work now to get up here and move these stones and get them off here.”

More here-

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Churches take hit as quake shakes East Coast

From Belief Net-

Churches seemed to bear the brunt of Tuesday’s 5.8 earthquake on the East Coast.

Damage was reported to Washington, D.C.’s National Cathedral and St. Peter’s Catholic Church, historic St. Patrick’s Church near Baltimore, and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Culpepper, Va., close to the Mineral, Va., epicenter.

“The damage is severe and we have three buildings condemned,” said Culpeper County building inspector Bob Orr said. “St. Stephen’s has structural damage inside.”

Also closed to the public, he said, were Culpeper Christian Assembly and an Italian restaurant. At St. Stephen’s, Rector Michael Gray said he had not been allowed into the main sanctuary, which was built in 1821, to see the damage, but early assessments indicated it could be repaired.
“He said a structural engineer would offer his assessment Wednesday,” reported Rhonda Simmons, Steven Butler, Allison B. Champion and Jeff Say for the Culpepper Star-Exponent newspaper.

Gray said it’s not the building that makes the church.
“The people are the church,” Gray said. “We are doing fine – that’s the main thing.”

Read more:

Clergy Sues To Stop Alabama's Immigration Law

From Alabama- NPR

Alabama's new immigration law gets its first test in federal court Wednesday.

The Justice Department and civil rights groups are suing to stop what's considered to be the toughest illegal immigration crackdown coming out of the states.

But the law is also being challenged from a Bible Belt institution.

'It Goes Against Tenets Of Our Christian Faith'

At First United Methodist Church in downtown Birmingham, clergy from around the city take turns leading a prayer service called in response to the new immigration law.

Episcopal priest Herman Afanador, Baptist pastor Amanda Duckworth, and Methodist minister Melissa Self Patrick are part of a growing chorus of critics who say the Alabama law goes too far, criminalizing all kinds of contact with undocumented residents. It's illegal, for example, to knowingly enter into a contract with, to rent to, to harbor or to transport illegal immigrants.

More here-

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Jacuzzihidive to Hold Concert at Local Church to Benefit Somalia Relief Efforts

From New York-

Nearly 500,000 children in Somalia are on the brink of starvation and drought is increasing the numbers of deaths each day.

The Christ Episcopal Church in Clayton has been following the crisis and doing their part to raise money through a concert for their Episcopal Relief and Development Organization. They have invited Jacuzzihidive to play a benefit concert where all money raised will be sent to Somalia to help with current relief efforts.

The band will be playing at the Christ Episcopal Church, 412 Hugunin Street in Clayton, starting at 8 p.m. until 11 p.m. Cost to attend consists of a suggested $5 donation to go towards raising money for Somalia relief efforts. Other donations will be accepted at the event.

North Country Native Aram Blassingame and Aily Iglesias, originally from Puerto Rico, make up the members of Jacuzzihidive, a digitally collective band that works to synthesize past, present and future sounds.

More here-

Smyrna church shines light by turning off the lights

From Georgia-

A small team of about 10 people at St. Benedict’s Episcopal Church is doing its part to make the church, and eventually the entire community, a greener place with the help of Georgia Interfaith Power and Light.

St. Benedict’s is a relative newcomer to Smyrna. The church formed about three years ago and before the congregants even had a building they had a Green Team, a group whose focus is to make sure the church takes steps toward sustainability.

“Part of what we wanted to do is educate the church and make St. B’s be the green church and sort of identify itself this way,” said Clark Efaw. “If you’re going to do that you have to promote awareness.”

Some of the steps Efaw and the Green Team have taken to promote this sense of awareness include partnering with Georgia Interfaith Power and Light, a state chapter of Interfaith Power and Light, a nonprofit, non-sectarian faith organization that helps all communities of faith be responsible stewards of natural resources.

More here-

Monday, August 22, 2011

Signs signs everywhere signs #32


Anglicans sing to fight malaria – but call for more research

From Mozambique-

Anglican choirs in Mozambique are singing to raise awareness of malaria.Anglicans in Mozambique are spearheading a campaign to combat malaria – but say developing countries are struggling because global medical research is focused on the west.

One successful part of the malaria campaign in Mozambique saw Anglican choirs singing about malaria while competing in TV talent shows – and winning.

The Rt Revd Dinis Sengulane, Bishop of Lebombo, said: ‘Young people are very involved in the church and there has been a wonderful growth of choirs. They compete on TV and often come first or second. Recently they were singing about malaria.’
He added: ‘Malaria is a killer. We need to educate people and explain the implications.

Anglicans are at the forefront of this campaign, with other religious groups participating.’
But Bishop Denis believes the global community should do more – rather than focusing on medical concerns that affect the west. He said: ‘It is disheartening when you consider how little is happening with malaria in our country, then see the massive global response to something like bird flu, which wasn’t nearly so severe.

More here-

Parish splinter group to file appeal

From Canada-

The trustees of a breakaway Anglican group are filing an appeal after a Superior Court ruling rejected the group's bid to take over St. Aidan's Church.

Ontario Superior Court Justice T.D. Little ruled last week that the church and a financial trust belonging to the parish must remain with the Anglican diocese of Huron.

In the last few years the diocese and breakaway parishioners have operated under a split arrangement, allowing them to worship in the church.

Within hours of the decision, the Diocese of Huron changed the locks on the building and asked the breakaway group to remove all personal belongings, Cathy Knight, a leader of the group, said in a statement Sunday.

Rev. Tom Carman, rector of St. Aidan's, said the breakaway group was "astounded by this unnecessarily hasty and harsh action, expecially since they have little need for the building for their small congregation.

Read more:

Anglican Bishops condemn Islamic banking

From Nigeria-

The over 20 Bishops of the Anglican Diocese of Sapele, weekend, condemned the introduction of Islamic banking in the country.

In a communique issued at the end of their First Synod held at St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Ogharefe, Delta State, the bishops urged the government to “review the conditions for the approval of non-interest banking and make all possible amendment that would ensure the interest of every religious group in Nigeria”.

The communique read by the host, Bishop Blessing Avbenayaeri Erifeta, also tasked political leaders to alleviate the sufferings of the masses, as this is their service to God.

The Ccommuniqué signed by Bishop Erifeta and Rev. Canon T. O. Usikaro, the Synod Clerical secretary, also condemned Boko Haram extremism, the wanton killing of NYSC members in some states, ritual killing and kidnapping in Nigeria.

More here-

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Seychelles government minister leads church service for families of shark attack victims

From Seychelles-

Representatives from both the Catholic and Anglican churches were present at the service, at 1400 hours on Friday, August 19 at the beach where the attacks took place, first claiming the life of a French national, 36-year old Nicholas Virolle, and then British honeymooner, Ian Redmond, in freak incidents totally out of character with the benign nature of Seychelles’ marine environment.

Alain St.Ange, CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board; and his Deputy, Elsia Grandcourt; Sebastien Pillay, the Director General in the President’s Office; Jenifer Sinon, the CEO; and members of the Hospitality and Tourism Association, police, government, and members of the public all attended the service in support of and in sympathy with the families of the two victims.

Seychelles’ last reported incident involving a shark took place almost half a century ago, and the twin attacks in the space of a month have taken the entire country by surprise. The authorities have asked for assistance from South African shark experts who are expected to arrive in the country tomorrow to assess a situation, which has no precedent and no obvious explanation.

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Lower Manhattan rises again

From New York-

St. Paul's Chapel, a small Episcopal church built in 1766, survived 9/11 just across the street from the World Trade Center. Through May 2002, volunteers ministered around the clock to ground zero workers at the chapel. Now on display, the exhibit "Unwavering Spirit" includes one of many cots set up with hand-knit blankets and stuffed animals during the harrowing work. A collection of uniform patches paying tribute to volunteers from around the world still smells of smoke. Enter through the graveyard, on Church Street, between Vesey and Fulton.

Part of the same Episcopal parish, Trinity Church at the corner of Broadway and Wall Street was another nearby refuge for relief workers. A sculpture out front was made out of a giant sycamore tree destroyed on 9/11.

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