Saturday, September 10, 2011

'Remember To Love': A Sept. 11 Concert From Trinity Church, NYC

From NPR- (with video)

Located just blocks from the World Trade Center, Trinity Church and its St. Paul's Chapel have been part of New York's spiritual and musical life for centuries. Trinity was chartered as an Episcopalian church in 1697; George Washington worshiped at St. Paul's.

After Sept. 11, the church became an even more beloved focal point for its community. Although it is located just across the street from the World Trade Center, St. Paul's somehow escaped any physical damage. It quickly became an integral part of the recovery effort, and the chapel was a physical and spiritual refuge for rescue workers in the aftermath of the attacks.

The chapel was offered to first responders as a place to eat, rest, sleep and pray. A dedicated roster of hundreds of professional musicians took turns playing for the firefighters, police, emergency workers, construction workers and other professionals and volunteers who gathered there day and night. This musical ministry lasted for eight full months after Sept. 11.

More here-

Friday, September 9, 2011

Anglican Archbishop desires to meet Mugabe

From Zimbabwe-

Dismissing rumours of political motives, the Archbishop of Canterbury has made a request to meet the country’s president Robert Mugabe on his upcoming trip.

It was announced the Bishop Rowan William’s aim for visiting Zimbabwe has nothing to do with politics and is a purely religious one, despite bitter issues parishioners await to inform him which have to do with the ousted ZANU PF aligned bishop Bishop Kunonga.

“The aim of the trip as a whole is a pastoral visit and it’s to show solidarity with Anglicans there, that’s really the aim of the trip,” Dr Williams’ spokeswoman was quoted saying.

“[Dr Williams] will meet with bishops, clergy, and is going to be looking at church development initiatives in all three countries.

No political motives at all...Rowan Williams

The Foreign Office said: “The archbishop’s visit is in a pastoral capacity as the head of the Anglican Church – he is not a representative of the government.

More here-

Forty-eight Hour Eviction Notice To Anglicans And Orphanage

From Central Africa-

The Deputy Sheriff has issued a 48 hour notice to occupants at a Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) Anglican Church and an orphanage here to vacate their premises and make way for sympathisers of ex-communicated Anglican Bishop, Nolbert Kunonga.

In a notice of ejectment dated 6 September 2011, the Deputy Sheriff for Murewa, only identified as Mzingwina, gave tenants at St John’s Anglican Church Mission in Chikwaka including administrators at Shearley Cripps Home, an orphanage housing more than 100 orphans and located about 100 kilometres outside Harare, 48 hours to vacate the premises.

The notice of ejectment came after Kunonga caused the Registrar of the High Court to issue a writ of ejectment against the CPCA from their properties in a fresh assault on the Bishop Chad Gandiya-led church.

Through the writ of ejectment dated 2 September 2011, Kunonga through his Diocesan Trustees for the Diocese of Harare wants the CPCA and occupants at all CPCA Anglican Diocese of Harare properties to vacate the premises and make way for his Diocesan Trustees for the Diocese of Harare.

More here-

Services in memory of 9/11 held in US and across the world

From The Church Times-

CHURCHES in the United States and around the world will hold memorial services on Sunday to mark the tenth anniversary of the 11 September attacks on New York and Washington. The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori, said that the anniversary will be “above all an opportunity for re­flection”.

Dr Jefferts Schori is scheduled to preach twice on Sunday in New York, where 2606 people died in the World Trade Center and on the ground after two hijacked planes crashed into the Twin Towers of the Center. She will preach at St Paul’s Chapel at 7.30 a.m., and at the Cathedral Church of St John the Divine at 11 a.m.

In a statement last month, Dr Jefferts Schori said: “This tenth anniversary is above all an oppor­tunity for reflection. Have we be­come more effective reconcilers as a result? Are we more committed to peacemaking? The greatest mem­orial to those who died ten years ago will be a world more inclined toward peace.”

On Sunday evening, President Obama will speak at Washington National Cathedral during “A Concert for Hope”. The Dean, the Very Revd Samuel Lloyd, said: “Ten years ago at the Cathedral, the nation gathered after tragedy with President Bush; at the Cathedral this year, we mark the passing of a decade since a day that changed the life of every American.”

The Bishop of Washington, the Rt Revd John Chane, will lead an interfaith prayer-vigil at Washington National Cathedral; the Cathedral’s largest bell, the Bourdon bell, will be tolled at the exact moment that the planes struck.

More here-

Texas wildfires prompt voluntary evacuation of Camp Allen

From ENS-

Before voluntarily evacuating on Sept. 8, Camp Allen staff moved resident horses, snakes, and birds to safety, installed sprinklers on roofs and closed up buildings in hopes that the beloved Episcopal Diocese of Texas campground would be spared damage from a devastating wildfire burning a few miles away.

"The smoke is rolling in. All the guests have left. We've moved all the animals off the property for their safety. The staff is outside now, watering down the buildings and closing up, preparing to shut down the camp until Monday," according to Kathy, an employee who asked that her last name be withheld.

"I'm kind of nervous," added the employee, who estimated the fire to be about three to five miles away from the 90-year-old campground, retreat and conference center in Navasota. "I'd hate for something to happen to Camp Allen, it's such a wonderful place.

More here-

Washington National Cathedral moves 9/11 events

From Washington DC-

Washington National Cathedral officials scrambled Thursday to move and reschedule some of the nation’s most high-profile Sept. 11 commemoration events after a towering crane toppled over on the historic grounds a day earlier.

The crane, with a lifting capacity of 500 tons, had been brought in to help reconstruct the more than 100-year-old iconic Episcopal structure after it was badly damaged in the Aug. 23 earthquake. But the machine toppled over just before 11 a.m. Wednesday, and officials say they still have no indication what caused it to fall.

On Thursday, two workers were hospitalizedafter another accident, but church officials said they could not elaborate on what happened.

Events at the cathedral are scheduled to begin Friday. Church officials said they quickly pivoted and started looking for other host sites. The cathedral was not damaged further by the falling crane, officials said, but events were moved because the crane had played a key role in stabilizing spires and statues atop the church that had been broken during the earthquake.

More here-

An ecumenical aftershock of the August earthquake

From South Carolina-

Charlestonians felt last month's 5.8-magnitude Virginia earthquake as a fleeting tremor, if they felt it at all. But at Grace Episcopal Church, the minor temblor appears to have been enough to push the congregation out of its 165-year-old sanctuary at 98 Wentworth St. — at least temporarily.

Church leaders began to take safety precautions two years ago, putting in 20 electronic sensors to monitor motion in the walls. One of the sensors alerted them to a problem last Friday: A clerestory wall (an interior wall held up by columns) was getting thicker, indicating that bricks were delaminating, or separating from each other. If the delamination continues, the wall could collapse.

Grace Church has survived worse: Union bombardment of the peninsula in 1863, the great Charleston Earthquake of 1886, and Hurricane Hugo in 1989. In recent years, the congregation funded a renovation project called Saving Grace, and now it looks like the bill for fixing the clerestory wall is up to them again. The Rev. Michael Wright, rector at the church, says he hasn't found any help from historical preservation societies, "but boy, we're open to suggestions."

More here-

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Archbishop of Canterbury seeks Robert Mugabe meeting

From The BBC

Dr Rowan Williams is visiting Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia in October.

His spokeswoman said the "pastoral visit" was to "show solidarity" with Anglicans in central Africa.

The Foreign Office said as head of the church, Dr Williams' "desire to support them was understandable".

Dr Williams will become the first prominent British representative to visit Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, in a decade.

The country's violent regime has previously come under criticism from the Church.

In 2007, the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, cut up his clerical dog collar in protest at President Mugabe's regime, saying he would not wear it again until the president had left office.

More here-

First quake, now crane damages Washington cathedra

From AFP-

A crane used to help repair the main tower of the earthquake-struck Washington National Cathedral, toppled over Wednesday, inflicting fresh damage at the site of the US capital's best-known house of worship.

A spokeswoman for the cathedral told AFP that the crane fell over at around 10:55 am, crashing into two adjacent buildings: the church house, which is the headquarters of the Episcopal diocese, and the cathedral's Herb Cottage, a popular gift shop on the church grounds.
There were no injuries in the accident, church officials said, and church officials could not provide an immediate estimate of the cost of the damage.

The crane was at the cathedral to repair the roof, which had been damaged in last month's earthquake.

The famed century-old cathedral, situated on Washington's highest point, has been the site for presidential inaugural services and funerals, and hosts prayer services following national tragedies.

More here-

Spirituality forged in smoke and fire

From ENS-

As the senior military chaplain for U.S. Joint Forces Command, I was in Arlington, Virginia, with my colleagues for an annual meeting of the senior Armed Forces chaplains assigned to the command staffs of our nation's Joint, or unified commands. On the morning of Tuesday, the 11th of September, we were riding in a small bus going down the hill from our hotel to the Pentagon where our meeting would be held in an E-ring conference room near the Pentagon Athletic Center entrance.

As stated in the opening sentence of the 9/11 Commission Report, the day "...dawned temperate and nearly cloudless in the eastern United States" (p. 1). Driving past Arlington National Cemetery I recall thinking how placid a place that was. Then I came back into reality and remembered the funerals I had done there as a Navy chaplain who had worked next door in the Navy Annex (to the Pentagon) a couple of years earlier.

We were a few minutes late getting to our meeting because our driver, a man with Middle Eastern features, had missed the turnoff to the Pentagon. We had to go into the District of Columbia, turn around and come back for the correct turn into the Pentagon parking lot.

All in all, it was a pretty normal morning -- until American Airlines flight #77, still almost full of fuel, came in over the northern horizon and slammed into the side of the building. It was only after we had been evacuated from the building that my life began to change. After being sequestered for a few minutes near the Potomac River, it was apparent that what some of us at first thought was an emergency drill had actually been a sizable explosion on the far side of the building. Collectively we knew that the explosion called for a response. We had been called to action.

Through the leadership of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chaplain we were organized into small teams headed by the senior medical officer present. Since all of us had been trained in immediate first aid, we were eager to use our combined medical training and pastoral skills to give aid to the injured and comfort to the dying.

More here-

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

'Gleaners' from South Hadley church raise awareness about hunger and water

From Mass.

On Sept. 25, volunteers from All Saints’ Episcopal Church will take part for the third year in an eye-opening effort to combat hunger in the region.

They will spend a Sunday afternoon collecting produce from a farmer’s field, to be distributed to the needy.

It will cost nothing, except for the labor of the volunteers and the generosity of a local grower.

The veggies are all leftovers, destined to provide a rich fertilizer as they sink into the earth were it not for “gleaners” like those from All Saints’.

“After mechanical harvesters go through the field, we go in and pick what’s left,” said Cynthia Lambert, parish administrator at All Saints’.

Lambert said last year’s expedition, to a farm in Whately, resulted in more than $5,000 worth of organic produce, which was distributed to seven community kitchens – not only in South Hadley, where the church is located, but in such communities as Chicopee, Holyoke and Northampton.

“Not a single tomato was rejected,” said Lambert.

more here-

Episcopal priest: 10 lessons learned in the decade since 9/11

From Minnesota-

It's been 10 years since 9/11, and of the countless lessons we've learned since then, here are 10 of the most important:

1. An open society invites attack. Not only do we present an abundance of targets that we cannot possibly defend, but America's openness is offensive to the repressive, the insular, and the intolerant.

2. An open society won't be easily intimidated or vanquished. Terrorists deeply wounded New York City, but here we are, 10 years later, more alive, more confident, more open than ever. Democracy is a durable system.

3. The issue isn't Islam, but rather religious extremism in any form — Muslim, Christian or otherwise. When one group claims absolute certainty and the belief that all others are infidels or pagans who do not deserve freedom, then the inevitable next steps will be repression and destruction.

4. Common sense is the antidote to such religious extremism. Dueling faiths are not the answer, but rather an awareness that life has many struggles and no easy answers, that more people are decent than not and that things tend to work out when people are free to make choices. Mutual respect will accomplish more than victory in any sandbox.

More here-

Episcopal Diocese of Texas helps with fire relief

From Texas-

The Episcopal Diocese of Texas has been rallying church members to confront a wave of wildfires that have destroyed a 1,000 homes near Austin and are moving closer to Houston suburbs like Tomball.

According to a report by the diocese:

Several parishioners of Good Shepherd, Tomball have had to evacuate from fires northwest of Houston, and parishes in northeast Texas have also felt the effects of fires. In Longview, St. Michael and All Angels’ as well as Trinity Episcopal have reported smoke-filled skies from fires burning near Gladewater.

“Most of us woke up this morning with ash-covered cars,” said Donna Armstrong, Trinity’s parish administrator. “Its a little unnerving, but so far none of our parishioners have been directly affected.”

More here-

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Leeds gets first church minister to its night-time clubs and bars

From England-

Leeds is making an interesting name for itself in religious circles by appointing 'Pioneering Ministers' to a range of communities which the Anglican diocese sees as today's equivalents of the traditional parish.

We've already got Rev Rob Hinton pioneering away in the Business Community – a post created in 2009 – and Rev James Barnett has been doing the same in New Communities since last year.

Now Pastor Beth Tash takes on the most eye-catching job yet, as Pioneering Minister to the Night Time Economy. She'll be commissioned on Wednesday evening, 7 September, appropriately as twilight gathers over the hotspots in The Calls, Lower Briggate and elsewhere.

Tash is 27 and has previously worked as youth pastor at St George's church, famous for its crypt shelter and an immense amount of outreach in central Leeds. She's lived in the city for nine years, initially as a student and latterly in her pastoral role.

More here-

Nigeria: Clergy Sues for Peace

From Nigeria-

Following the spate of violence in some parts of the country, Rev. Ikechi Nwosu, the Arch-Bishop of the Anglican Ecclesiastical Province of Aba, has advised Nigerians to embrace peace.

Nwosu gave the advice in a sermon on Sunday in Umuahia to mark the 20th Anniversary of Abia, and Gov. Theodore Orji's 100 days in office.

He said the spate of violence had militarised the country, adding that Nigerians were no longer free in their homes.

The Clergy expressed regret that some well-placed individuals were using their wealth to oppress the down-trodden, adding: "until we repent, expose wickedness, good things will continue to elude us."

He urged Nigerians to eschew sectional interest and rise to the challenge of being their brothers' keeper, stressing that it was time to "tight the ties that bound us together."

Nwosu said Abia had not done well in its 20 years of existence, and expressed the hope that the state would witness a new dawn of development in the coming years.

More here-

Anglican church in Qatar to be fully operational next year

From Qatar-

The Anglican Centre in Doha's church complex will be fully operational by the end of next year, the church rector has said.

According to Father Bill Schwartz, the 35 million Qatari riyal complex, under construction since 2008, will be ready by the end of 2012 and will offer Christian Protestant denominational groups a location to worship.

"Building is moving ahead apace, and moving ahead in line with our expectations. The building should be usable by Christmas next year," he said, quoted by Qatari daily Gulf Times.

The centre is currently providing space for some 42 different groups, who use the variety of permanent and temporary buildings on a regular basis.

"On a Friday, we have all the groups using the rooms on a rotational basis," the rector said. "Every week we have around between 4,000 and 5,000 people using the centre."

The centre is part of the church complex which was opened in 2008 with the aim of providing a space to worship for the Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Coptic denominational groups, as well as the inter-denominational centre which hosts a number of Indian church groups.

More here-

Safety nets going up in DC's National Cathedral

From Washington DC-

Safety nets are being installed beneath the ceiling of the Washington National Cathedral to guard against falling debris after the landmark building was damaged by the earthquake that rattled the East Coast last week.

Putting up the netting will allow the world's sixth-largest cathedral to be used for events marking the tenth anniversary of 9/11, including a concert that evening at which President Barack Obama will speak.

The cathedral's head stone mason, Joe Alonso, said Thursday that when workers entered the building after the 5.8-magnitude quake on Aug. 23, they found the floor speckled in places with small pieces of mortar that had rained down from the ceiling. The chips of mortar came from between the stones in the gothic cathedral's vaulted ceiling, which is about 100 feet high.

More here-

Monday, September 5, 2011

Signs signs everywhere signs #33

Actually "Deliverance Temple" is pretty funny too.

Songs replace sermon as Searsport churches remember favorite hymns

From Miane-

The first time Lois Malisk walked into a church sanctuary instead of going to Sunday school, “Onward Christian Soldiers” was being played by the organist.

Malisk, 86, of Stockton Springs sang the hymn again Sunday at a combined service of the Searsport and North Searsport United Methodist churches.

“It always inspires me,” she said after the service, which instead of a sermon featured hymns selected by worshippers at the church in north Searsport, located at the intersection of Mount Ephram and Loop roads.

The words to the famous hymn were written by Sabine Baring-Gould in 1865, and the music was composed by Arthur Sullivan in 1871, according to the Center for Church Music in Grand Haven, Mich. The composer was the same Sullivan who composed 14 operettas with librettist W.S. Gilbert, Frank Wareham, 72, of Belfast, who is the pianist for both churches, told worshippers.

Malisk, who first heard what would become her favorite hymn at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Stamford, Conn., had it played at her wedding to Wes Malisk, who was unable to attend Sunday’s service.

More here-

Rain garden reflections: Episcopal parish enjoys plants

From Southwest FL-

St. John’s Episcopal Church in Naples is blossoming with the addition of a new ecological rain garden with all kinds of good motivation behind it.

The garden will serve as a model, the city of Naples hopes, for similar gardens to capture rainwater and reduce chemical-laden runoff into Naples Bay. It will also give the church a newly landscaped area that offers a good spot for outdoor meditation and perhaps even a setting for a few Sunday classes.

Finally, the rain garden may gather the tears of those who mourn for loved ones and heroes lost in 9/11. The first major public gathering will be for a service of reflection and renewal at 10 a.m. on Sept. 11, dedicated to first responders.

The garden, a planted depression that filters rainwater runoff, is also part of a million-dollar interior and exterior renovation project that began for the church, at 500 Park Shore Drive, last year. It may be the largest rain garden in Collier County.

More here-

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Metropolitan Maximos stepping down from post

From Pittsburgh-

Metropolitan Maximos of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Pittsburgh has resigned for health reasons, the Greek Orthodox Archdioese of America announced today.

He is 76 and had led the Pittsburgh diocese since 1979. Born on the island of Chios, Greece, the son of a priest, he went on to become a prominent Orthodox theologian who encouraged a monastic revival in the United States. He has been in declining health since suffering a head injury in a fall six years ago.

Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit, a former chancellor of the Pittsburgh diocese, will serve as locum tenens, or temporary administrator, of the Pittsburgh diocese until a new metropolitan is elected.

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