Saturday, October 15, 2011

National Cathedral Repair: 2-Ton Pieces To Be Removed From Church

From Huffington-

Damaged portions of a Washington National Cathedral pinnacle will be removed from the church temporarily after it was damaged by a 5.8-magnitude earthquake.

The pieces weighing 2 tons will be removed Thursday morning by crane from the southeast grand pinnacle of the central tower. The pieces were damaged by an Aug. 23 earthquake.

Church officials say the pieces are being removed to make the pinnacles and central tower more stable until stonework can be repaired. Then they will be put back in place.

The Cathedral has also arranged with a rappelling team of engineers who inspected the Washington Monument's earthquake damage to also evaluate damage to the gothic cathedral. It's not clear when that work will take place.

The cathedral was completed in 1990 after 83 years of work.

More here-

Church Attorney Recuses Herself

From The Living Church-

Bishop Dorsey Henderson sent this message to members of the Disciplinary Panel for Bishops on Oct. 14, and released a copy to The Living Church.

Sisters and Brothers, today I have accepted the withdrawal of Ms. Josephine Hicks from further participation in the matter before us regarding Bishop Mark Lawrence.

Ms. Hicks has withdrawn from all involvement in the Board’s investigation and/or consideration of the Bishop Lawrence matter because unanticipated circumstances have created the possibility of a conflict arising regarding fiduciary responsibilities for members of her law firm as matters develop. For reasons of professional responsibility, she is not at liberty to disclose any details concerning that possibility.

You know as well as I that she has never been a member of the Disciplinary Board. We retained her to serve as the Board’s attorney as one of the decisions we made during our organizational meetings, conducted by conference call. However, the roster of the Board’s membership on the General Convention web site includes her name — obviously a clerical error. (I have requested that this error be corrected, and Canon Straub, Secretary of the General Convention, has assured me that this has been done.) Any apprehension, implication or suggestion that Ms. Hicks’ work would not be impartial is unfounded, just as the claim that she served as a member of the Board is unfounded.

More here-

Church opens heart, land to the community

From Florida-

Saint Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church on Old Bainbridge Road doesn't have a lot of members, but it has an abundance of land.

And the congregation wants to share it.

Today, they invite visitors to walk on a recently installed labyrinth (which from now on will be open day and night), adopt a plot in the community garden, and see the beginnings of a walking trail that will eventually wind around the former 7-acre pecan grove.

"We hope people will use this," said the Rev. Patricia Sheppard, who became pastor of St. Francis in April, as she walked around the property. "This won't be locked, it will never be closed."

She hopes the land will attract people that might not otherwise visit the church.

More here-

Friday, October 14, 2011

Zimbabwe's Anglicans in rare victory following Archbishop of Canterbury visit

From The Telegraph-

Zimbabwe's Anglicans have won back control of a mission school previously taken over by a renegade bishop in a rare court victory, just days after the Archbishop of Canterbury visited to try to resolve the rift in his church.

A High Court judge sitting in Harare ruled that 14 members of staff, including the headmaster, house masters, a nurse and teachers, who were evicted last month should be allowed to return to their posts at Daramombe Mission School immediately.

The group were to forced to leave on September 6 after Dr Nolbert Kunonga, a former Bishop of Harare who split from the main church in 2007 over the ordination of homosexuals, declared a takeover of the school.

Dr Kunonga has seized an estimated 40 per cent of church property since he appointed himself Archbishop of the Province of Zimbabwe in 2008. When priests, teachers and nurses refuse to join his faction, they have frequently found themselves forced out, often with the backing of police.

Last week, Dr Rowan Williams gave a powerful sermon in Harare in which he denounced the "injustice and the arrogance of false brethren" and their "Godless" assaults on members of Zimbabwe's 350,000-strong Anglican church.

More here-

Saved from immersion

From The Church Times-

A CANON of Exeter Cathedral conducted the baptism of the daughter of an RNLI lifeboatman on board the lifeboat Margaret Jean in Exmouth last month.

Canon Ian Morter, a boating enthusiast, baptised Molly, the seven-month-old daughter of Roy and Alice Stott, on 24 September. Mr Stott is an RNLI crew member. Mrs Stott is a member of the same boat-racing team as Canon Morter.

Canon Morter said that he had been asked to preside at the marriage of Mr and Mrs Stott last year, when he was Rector of Holy Trinity, Ex­mouth, but had had to cancel after breaking his hip.
When the couple asked him to baptise their daughter this year, he had become Canon Treasurer and Pastor at Exeter Cathedral; and, not wanting to encroach on his successor at Holy Trinity, he suggested that the baptism be performed on a lifeboat.

“There has always been a tradition with the RNLI that a mem­ber of crew can request a baptism to take place on board,” Canon Morter said. “You invert the ship’s bell to become the font.” He said that many of the guests had “sea-related jobs”. Spectators gathered in the harbour area to watch the baptism.

“The weather was very good, the sun shone, and it was reasonably warm,” Mr Stott said. “Molly was well behaved, and smiled through­out, with only a few tears when baptised with cold water.”

More here-

Episcopal future: S.C. bishop accused of abandoning church; clergy gather to discuss allegations, investigation

From Charleston-

The conservative Diocese of South Carolina said Wednesday that its bishop, Mark Lawrence, is being accused of abandoning the Episcopal Church in a process that doesn't allow him to know his accusers.

But the president of a national church board looking into the matter says those names will be made known to him if the panel decides there is abandonment.

Lawrence was recently contacted by the church's Disciplinary Board for Bishops. He was told that, based on information from churchgoers in the diocese, it is investigating whether he has abandoned the doctrine, discipline and worship of the church.

The Diocese of South Carolina has distanced itself from the national Episcopal Church in part because of the national body's stance on ordaining gay bishops and sanctioning same-sex unions.

Bishop Dorsey Henderson, president of the disciplinary board, said Wednesday that if the panel decides there is abandonment, Lawrence will be given the names of those who raised the issue.

Read more:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Washington cardinal confirms members of former Episcopal community

From Maryland-

During a Mass marked by a joyful homecoming of faith, Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl welcomed 71 members of a former Episcopal parish into full communion in the Catholic Church with the rite of reception Oct. 9 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.

"Today is a day of rejoicing for all of us," Cardinal Wuerl said in welcoming the St. Luke community from the Maryland suburb of Bladensburg at the beginning of the Mass in the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

He noted that during that Mass, the new Catholics from St. Luke, and the other Catholics in attendance, could come together "to the altar of the Lord, filled with joy and gratitude."

"The church is the body of Christ, the beginning of the kingdom, the family of God, and the way to salvation," the cardinal said in his homily. "Today, as part of your faith journey, you come to the church to complete your initiation into the body of Christ."

More here-

South Carolina Episcopal diocese sees crisis over gay rights

From Reuters-

The national Episcopal Church's acceptance of homosexuality has plunged it into "crisis," the South Carolina Episcopal diocese said on Wednesday, and the conservative diocese suggested that it could break from the national church.

"The question is not whether we can stay. It is whether they will let us stay and follow what we believe," the Rev. Jeffrey Miller of the South Carolina diocese said in the statement.

The statement followed the national church formally charging South Carolina Bishop Right Reverend Mark J. Lawrence recently with "abandonment" of the church's doctrine, discipline and worship.

Lawrence and many in the South Carolina diocese disagree with the tolerance of the national denomination for gays in the church.

The South Carolina bishop accused the national church of preaching a "false gospel of indiscriminate inclusivity ... that has suffocated the mission of the Church," according to the charges leveled against Lawrence.

About 100 clergy members met Tuesday in Charleston to respond to the charges. The South Carolina diocese is one of the conservative Episcopal groups distancing themselves or leaving the national church over the issue of allowing homosexual ministers, and other disagreements.

More here-

also here-

Bishop urges calm over Lawrence inquiry

From South Carolina-

Retired Episcopal Bishop Dorsey F. Henderson Jr. sought Wednesday to quell tensions among S.C. Lowcountry clergy, saying the national church is not attacking its bishop, the Right Rev. Mark Lawrence.

Henderson, who heads the national Episcopal Church’s Disciplinary Board for Bishops, told Lawrence Sept. 29 that the board is investigating allegations, made by churchgoers within Lawrence’s diocese, that he abandoned the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church.

But Wednesday Henderson made clear that the inquiry is in its earliest stages and in no way implies that Lawrence may have committed any wrong. Henderson said he notified Lawrence and shared all the information the board had received.

“I thought he needed to know,” said Henderson, who led the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina until his retirement in 2009. “I thought it was only fair for him to know that we had this information and that we were studying it.”

Lawrence has been at odds with the national Episcopal church over the ordination of gay bishops and its movement toward a more liberal view of homosexuality and same sex unions. But Lawrence has always insisted that he has no plans to leave the Diocese of South Carolina, which includes 75 parishes and about 28,000 members in the lower and eastern parts of the state, out of the national church.

Read more:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Zimbabwe Anglicans Optimistic Following Visit by Archbishop of Canterbury

From VOA-

The Archbishop of Canterbury left Zimbabwe early Tuesday for Zambia, the last stop on a pastoral visit to Southern Africa, following a two-hour meeting Monday with President Robert Mugabe during which he appealed to the head of state to intervene to resolve a long-running, bitter and at times violent struggle between Anglican factions.

Dr. Rowan Williams presented Mr. Mugabe with a dossier detailing the abuse and intimidation of Anglicans in the troubled Harare diocese by loyalists of excommunicated former bishop of Harare, Nolbert Kunonga, who has close ties to the president.

Cases in the dossier included the murder of an Anglican parishioner named Jessica Mandeya who refused to comply with demands that she line up behind Kunonga instead of Bishop Nicholas Chad Gandiya, who was appointed in 2010 to head the Harare diocese by the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa.

More here-

Tireless Squirrel Hill volunteer not afraid to get hands dirty Read more: Tireless Squirrel Hill volunteer not afraid to get hands dirty

From The Pittsburgh Trib (she was a great lady)

Spending an afternoon with Audrey Hilliard could mean volunteering in a soup kitchen.

"That's what happened to my sister, Peggy, when she went out with our mother one afternoon," said James F. Hilliard of Fox Chapel.

Feeding those who needed a hot meal was only one way Mrs. Hilliard gave back to her community, her son said.

Audrey Hillman Hilliard of Squirrel Hill, a past president of the Garden Club of Allegheny County, died on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011, in her home. She was 86.

It was the support she received from her husband, Thomas J. Hilliard Jr., that enabled her to devote time and money to her humanitarian endeavors, said her son. "When my mother was asked to participate in any volunteer commitment, her answer would be, 'Let me check with Tommy.'

"The beautification of Pittsburgh was one of the focal points in her artistic life. One afternoon, she drove me to the Phipps Conservatory in Oakland, where she had me working on the Outdoor Garden.

"My mother was a hands-on volunteer. Almost all of her volunteer commitments were labor intensive."

And in order to enrich the lives of youths living in the inner city, Mrs. Hilliard, a devout Episcopalian, volunteered with the Calvary-Lincoln After School Program, which involved members of Calvary Episcopal Church in Shadyside and officials at the Lincoln School in East Liberty, said her daughter, Constance Coyne of St. Paul.

Read more:

Is God a Tigers fan?

From Detroit-

From its outdoor electronic sign to its noon, workday service, the congregation of St. John's Episcopal Church in downtown Detroit obeys the second commandment.

God "does tell us to love our neighbors as ourselves," said the Rev. Steven Kelly, rector of the 150-year-old church on Woodward, across a parking lot from Comerica Park. "And the Tigers are our next-door neighbors, and one of the ways we love them, is to pray for them."

At Tuesday's service, ahead of Game 3 of the American League Championship Series, Kelly intoned a prayer before the handful of churchgoers asking "for blessings for the Tigers that they may play to the best of their abilities and injury-free." He will put in another prayer at noon today.

But is God really a Tigers fan?

As the home team continues its quest for a place in the World Series, metro Detroiters surely hope so.


More here-

Cardinal Wuerl: Why hope springs anew for the Church

From Scotland-

SCO editor LIZ LEYDON, discovered US Cardinal Donald Wuerl’s Scottish connection, and a great deal more on New Evangelisation, Liturgy, religious liberty and the US ordinariate, when she caught up with the Archbishop of Washington DC during his visit to recent Scotland

The arrival of late Indian summer sunshine in Stirling provided Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington DC, with the ideal backdrop to talk about ‘the new Spring, the new birth,’ for the Church that New Evangelisation is heralding.

“I think this is a whole new moment in the life of the Church,” Cardinal Wuerl said. “There is a generation coming along that realises there is something missing, that the secular and the material cannot answer every question. And so this is our time to tell them all over again about Jesus.”

After two informal and enlightening sessions with the National Conference of Priests and Permanent Deacons of Scotland on September 28, Cardinal Wuerl, 70, agreed to expand on the topic—and on several related areas—for the SCO.

Early career

Cardinal Wuerl was ordained a priest for Pittsburgh on December 17, 1966. Because the then Cardinal Wright of Pittsburgh had to use a wheelchair due to his severe arthritis in 1978, Fr Wuerl, as Cardinal Wright’s secretary, was one of three non-cardinals permitted inside the conclave that chose Karol Wojtyla as Pope John Paul II, the Pope who went on to call for New Evangelisation in countries where Catholicism was showing signs of decline.

More here-

Clergy discuss claims about SC Episcopal bishop

From The Washington Examiner-

Clergy of the Diocese of South Carolina gathered Tuesday behind closed doors to pray and discuss an investigation by the national Episcopal Church into allegations that their bishop has abandoned the faith, as the denomination continues to wrangle over the ordination of gays and the recognition of same-sex unions.

The Rev. Kendall Harmon, canon theologian of the diocese, said about 100 clergy from the diocese in the eastern and lower part of South Carolina attended the meeting called by Bishop Mark Lawrence.

Lawrence was recently contacted by the national church's Disciplinary Board for Bishops. That panel said that, based on information from churchgoers in the diocese, he is alleged to have abandoned the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church.

The state diocese has distanced itself from the national church because of the national organization's policies of ordaining gay bishops and sanctioning same-sex unions.

Lawrence, who has not commented publicly on the allegations, is expected to issue a statement on Wednesday, Harmon said.

Read more at the Washington Examiner:

also here-

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Rowan Williams hands Robert Mugabe Zimbabwe abuse file

From The BBC-

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has met President Robert Mugabe and presented him with a dossier of alleged abuses against Anglicans in Zimbabwe.

Dr Williams told reporters Mr Mugabe had agreed to speak to a rebel bishop accused of inciting violence against Anglicans who do not support him.

Britain's relationship with Zimbabwe and EU sanctions were also discussed.

The archbishop said the Harare meeting was "very candid", with disagreement expressed clearly but peacefully.

Dr Williams, the head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, was joined by the archbishops of Central Africa, Southern Africa and Tanzania at the meeting.

More here-

No simple solutions for Jerusalem, PBS correspondent Ray Suarez tells Philadelphia forum

From ENS-

Just inside the door of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is the Stone of Anointing on which tradition says Jesus was prepared for burial. Watching pilgrims from all over the world fall to their knees to kiss the stone "makes you reconsider what it all means to them to you, to the people who live there, to the people who live far away," according to Public Broadcasting Service Senior Correspondent Ray Suarez.

Suarez made his remarks Oct. 7 at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in the historic part of downtown Philadelphia. His talk was hosted by the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem with the sponsorship of Philadelphia Theological Institute, the Diocese of Pennsylvania's Middle East Study Group and St. Peter's Church.

In 2009 Suarez hosted a PBS documentary, "Jerusalem: The Center of the World," which gave viewers a historical look at the city where Jews, Christians and Muslims have come for centuries to look for God. His presentation in Philadelphia highlighted the process of making the film and his observations about the disputed city and its fate.

Those observations, he acknowledged, stem in part from his faith and thus present a greater challenge than does his reporting of other stories during which "by professional habit and by temperament and by a lifetime's practice I keep careful arm's distance to all of it."

More here-

Would Jesus Retire? How The Recession and Inadequate Pensions Force Aging Clergy to Work Longer

From Huffington-

In 1914, as the Episcopal Church wrestled with creating a pension system for clergy, Bishop William Lawrence argued that caring for aging ministers was a moral responsibility and essential to the future of the church.

The choice, he said, was often between having clergy hanging on to pastorates rather than depend on charity or providing pensions "which will place the clergy and their dependants in a position of far greater buoyancy, cheer, and dignity; which will enable men of weakening powers to give place to those younger and stronger; which will keep our parishes manned with vigor."

Today, nearly a century after his article in the Harvard Theological Review, the religious community faces a renewed challenge in a continuing recession to meet the needs of older clergy while making room for younger leaders.

Like their secular counterparts, many clergy who devoted their attention to less temporal matters than financial planning now find themselves amid shrinking church budgets and a poor economy being forced to work beyond traditional retirement ages.

More here-

Clergy of Diocese of South Carolina meet for discussion of allegations against local bishop

From AP-

Clergy of the Diocese of South Carolina are meeting to discuss an Episcopal Church investigation of allegations against the local bishop.

The closed-door meeting is scheduled for Tuesday with Bishop Mark Lawrence so he can brief the clergy on the situation.

Lawrence was recently contacted by the Disciplinary Board for Bishops of the national church. The board said that, based on information from congregants in the diocese, Lawrence has abandoned the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church.

The diocese has distanced itself from the national church because of its policies of ordaining gay bishops and sanctioning same-sex unions. The national church also wants to see records from the diocese comprised of 28,000 parishioners in 47 parishes in eastern and lower South Carolina.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Roseville prayer shawl ministry knits threads of hope

From California-

Four years ago, when they started, some of the women had no idea how to knit. Jenny Newcomb had never picked up knitting needles and the first shawl she made was a mess. The second was better, and soon she figured it out, stitch by stitch.

Newcomb had to learn. She had given her word.

What started as a promise to a beloved friend at St. John's Episcopal Church in Roseville is now a powerful ministry that has spread to other churches across the country.

The shawls, each handmade, are given to the sick and to their caregivers. They are beautiful. But what makes them special, and why people from all over request the colorful shawls, is this: Every recipient is prayed for daily by the women of Noël's Prayer Shawl Ministry.

Read more:

What do you call a female Episcopal priest who converts to Roman Catholicism?

From Beliefnet-

You’ve probably heard about the married Episcopal priests who converted to the Roman Catholic Church — and now are serving as non-celibate Catholic priests.

So, what happens when a female member of the Anglican clergy turns Catholic? What do you call her?

A church member.

That’s Una Kroll’s title. After a lifetime of spiritual searching, which included 10 years as an Anglican priest, she shocked family and friends by giving up her ministry to become a Catholic. Recently she explained her move in the British magazine the Tablet.

She tells how in January 1997 she was ordained a priest in the Church of Wales by the Bishop of Monmouth. Several happy pastoral years followed, then “just before Advent 2008 I became a Roman Catholic, not on impulse but after at least five years of trying to discern God’s will…”
She writes that her parish priest exclaimed, “Why are you joining a Church whose Pope and Vatican leaders are resolutely opposed to women priests?”

She replied: “I’m sorry, but I have to.”

Read more:

Episcopal parish in Bladensburg converts to Roman Catholic Church

From The Washington Post-

The Rev. Mark Lewis awoke early on the last morning of his life as an Anglican priest and dressed in a suit and tie instead of his usual priestly regalia. That’s different, he thought, for the first of many times on a day when so much was different for St. Luke’s, the small Episcopal church in Maryland where Lewis had been rector since 2006.

On Sunday — with Lewis wearing lay clothing and sitting with St. Luke’s parishioners inside the Crypt Church at Washington’s Basilica of the National Shine of the Immaculate Conception — most of the parish from Bladensburg converted to Catholicism.

In doing so, St. Luke’s became the first Episcopal church in the United States to convert under new Vatican rules meant to attract disaffected Protestants.

“This truly is a historic moment,” said Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, who led Sunday’s conversion Mass, which he called “a joyful moment of completion.”

More here-

Also here-

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Zimbabwe Church row as Archbishop of Canterbury visits: meet the child orphans who are its victims

From The London Telegraph-

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, arrives in Zimbabwe on Sunday in a bid to heal a growing rift in the country's church. Aislinn Laing visited an orphanage where 80 unhappy children are among its victims.

For decades it provided a secure if shabby home to up to 80 orphaned children, and the three Anglican sisters who helped to run it gave all the love and encouragement they could to their vulnerable young charges.

But last month the Shearly Cripps Home in Mashonaland East, 35 miles northeast of Harare, became the latest victim of the debilitating feud that has torn the church apart in Zimbabwe over the past four years.

Nolbert Kunonga, a renegade bishop backed by Zimabwe’s president, Robert Mugabe, against the mainstream Anglican church, issued a first eviction order to the three women in person in early September. A week later, at 6am on September 16, the area's deputy sheriff arrived to carry out his order.

More here-

Bishop of Episcopal Church coming to Diocesan Convention

From Northern Indiana-

When Katharine Jefferts Schori was elected presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in 2006, Episcopalians everywhere gasped.

Then many cheered while others objected.

Jefferts Schori had become the first woman to lead the national church. Her gender alone drew opposition from conservatives, but so did her feminist views and pro gay rights stand.

In the five years since, Jefferts Schori says she believes the opposition has softened.

“I do think the anxiety has gone down as people have realized that I am a follower of Jesus and that I strive to preach the same good news he proclaimed,” said Jefferts Schori, who will make her first visit to South Bend this week.

The presiding bishop will participate in the 113th annual Convention of the Diocese of Northern Indiana. The diocese consists of 36 churches, including the host church, the Cathedral of St. James.

Her roles here will include officiating a Eucharist at 10 a.m. Saturday and participating in an open forum at 1:30 Saturday, both at Century Center, as well as a media event at 6 p.m. Friday at the downtown South Bend Chocolate Cafe.

More here-,0,4521512.story