Saturday, April 7, 2012

Anglican bishops call for fairness in pipeline environmental hearings

From Canada-

Six Anglican bishops from across British Columbia and Yukon came together on Good Friday in a call for the environ-mental review hearings on the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline to remain fair and free from political pressure.

"There's some concern that the decision's already been made and that the review process is just a rubber stamp," said Bishop Michael Ingham, of the Diocese of New West-minster. "I think what we're trying to do is call upon the panel itself to resist pressure - political pressure, industry pressure - and to come to a fair, balanced and thorough set of recommendations."

Ingham signed the statement, which he said was prompted by bishops being inundated with concern for the process from members of their dioceses.

"We're not directing this at any one group - except the panel itself," Ingham said. "We hope they might receive it as a supportive thing, to maintain their independence and, there-fore, credibility."

Read more:

African archbishop John Sentamu tipped as next Anglican leader

From Australia-

OUTSIDE of the west end of York Minster today, 13 willing volunteers from local churches will be submerged in a tank of water in a series of open-air baptisms that have become a hallmark of John Sentamu's time in the Church of England's northern province.

The Archbishop of York, who will preside, said: "These people are very brave - not just because they're getting baptised outdoors in the Yorkshire spring but because they are publicly declaring that they are making a U-turn from sin, evil and the ways of the world and becoming followers of Christ.

"From now on they will, by the help of the Holy Spirit and members of the church, do things differently."

He may have been speaking of the hardy souls braving the water, but could just as readily have been thinking of his own journey. Since the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, announced his resignation, Dr Sentamu has emerged as the frontrunner.

The "Anyone But York" campaign, disseminated by liberal opponents in the immediate aftermath of Dr Williams's announcement, shows signs of running out of steam.

More here-

Church blends music of U2 in traditional service

From Missouri-

I have run

I have crawled

I have scaled these city walls

These city walls

Only to be with you

But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for

Is the singer of these lyrics proclaiming his feelings toward a romantic or a spiritual relationship?

Twelve years after the song’s release, in 1999, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” was used in the opening scene of the Julia Roberts’ movie “Runaway Bride” as she runs away, on horseback, from a wedding.

But for Mitch Jarvis, senior pastor at First United Methodist Church in Independence, the song’s spiritual connection is clear.

More here-

Christ Episcopal members plant vegetables to feed poor

From Alabama-

Christ Episcopal Church is celebrating the season of Lent in a new way.

A “Glory Garden” has been set up in the courtyard of the church. Vegetables grown in the garden will be donated to people in need, and church members have planted the seeds and nurtured the plants’ growth.

“God’s people were always connected to the land,” said the Rev. David Meginniss, the church’s pastor. “Those of us who are not part of that small group of people still working the land have lost that connection.

“We should always be connecting to God in this way, and maybe in the future we will be able to share our experience with the community,” Meginniss said.

Ashley Ferry, a coordinator of the garden event, said members will also forge a connection with their community.

More here-

Steps taken to move St. Philip's

From North Carolina-

An Episcopal church in Chapel Hill is clearing the way for St. Philip's Church to move 160 miles east of its longtime home in Germanton.

The town of Chapel Hill recently approved a modification to a special-use permit needed to relocate the 120-year old church to 15 acres owned by The Advocate, a small congregation in Chapel Hill.

The decision sets in motion The Advocate's plan to have the church on its property by late 2012, said the Rev. Lisa Fischbeck.

The proposed move has upset some current and former residents of Germanton, who consider the architecturally important church a crucial part of the town's character.

Located on Germanton's main strip, the church was built in a Gothic Revival style that features pointed arched windows and board-and-batten siding. But the church never flourished, reaching its peak of 22 members in 1890, and closed in the early 1980s.

A group of citizens has formed Friends of St. Philip's Church of Germanton to keep the church in Germanton.

More here-

Becoming Episcopalian : Tomorrow night

From Chicago-

How do I feel about reaching this point in my faith journey? It's hard to say. It feels rather anticlimatic. It was what I needed to do. Also, becoming Episcopalian is hardly that big of a change. The Episcopal Church is the via media, the middle way, between Catholicism and Protestantism. As I told someone on Facebook, I still feel Catholic. I'm just not Roman Catholic anymore.

I do feel a little bit sad. It's sad when you end any relationships, even when it's clear it wasn't working out. To end the relationship with my church of second baptism...well, there's definitely a bit of sorrow. (And yes, I did say second baptism. I was baptized as an ELCA Lutheran as a baby, but then my parents thought that wasn't good enough, and baptized me Catholic when I was 2. I asked the pastors if they wanted to baptize me a third time just to make sure, and they thought I was good to go, ha.)

I am happy, too. It's nice to be part of a family that welcomes you even if you disagree--no matter how big the disagreement, or how small. It's nice to be part of a family that doesn't judge you. You won't hear the phrase "cafeteria Episcopalian" uttered except in jest. It's nice to go to church and not be afraid that intolerance, disguised as doctrine, might be printed in the bulletin or talked about during the homily. It's nice to be part of a church that gives you latitude to question, to discern, to grow spiritually, while giving guidance that doesn't hinder growth.

More here-

Fire is in Episcopal tradition for Easter

From Missouri-

While Easter is most often associated with sunrise services, lilies, bunnies, and dyed eggs, our family celebrates Easter first with fire.

In the Episcopal Church tradition, a fire is lit on Saturday evening during the Great Vigil service to commemorate Jesus’ passing from death to life. This new fire is blessed with water and is used to light a Pascal (Easter) candle to start the first celebration of Easter with these words:

O God, through your Son you have bestowed upon your people the brightness of your light.

Sanctify this new fire, and grant that in this Pascal feast we may so burn with heavenly desires, that with pure minds we may attain to the festival of everlasting light.

Our family delights in bringing this new fire home in a glass jar candle to illuminate our darkness and to reminds us always that Christ lights the way to eternal life. We keep the flame from the Pascal candle burning safely during the night and throughout Easter Day to recall the words of the Exsultet, one of the oldest songs in Christendom that is sung during the Great Vigil:

More here-

Friday, April 6, 2012

Fifty former Anglicans from one parish join Ordinariate

From England-

More than 50 people from a single parish in Darlington, northern England, joined the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham last night.

Led by Fr Ian Grieves, who has served at the Anglican church of St James, Darlington, for 23 years, 58 Anglicans formally joined the Ordinariate at the Catholic church of St Anne, Darlington.

In his homily, Mgr Newton said: “The journey you embarked upon on Ash Wednesday through the days of Lent to your reception into the full communion of the Catholic Church this evening is a model of the whole of your Christian life. It has meant for each of you, in a particular way, leaving behind what has been comfortable and familiar and stepping out in faith,certain in the knowledge that we do so in company of Jesus who prayed the night before he died that his disciples might be one.

“It is a journey that must be total and complete. But like all journeys in the faith it is one leading to joy and fulfilment.”

More here-

Anglican Primate Lampoons ACN Over Jonathan

From Nigeria-

Primate of the Anglican Church, Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh, Thursday took a swipe at the leadership of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) over its recent call on the National Assembly to commence impeachment proceedings against President Goodluck Jonathan over the recent church building donated to his Otuoke community in Bayelsa by an Italian Construction Company.

Okoh, who addressed newsmen in Enugu, said the call by the opposition party was not only satanic and barbaric, but equally ungodly as it was a direct attack on Christianity in the country, noting that the call was capable of further causing further religious implosion in the country already bugged down by problems that bothered on security.

The Anglican Primate, who spoke through the Anglican Bishop of Enugu and Chairman of the South east zone of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop Emmanuel Chukwuma, noted that such call for an impeachment proceedings against the president should immediately attract an unreserved apology from the leadership of the ACN.

More here-

Parting With the Parsonage

From The New York Times-

Sky-high housing costs “price pastors out of the market except for the largest congregations,” Mr. Tammen said. “If the person from God you want to call is in Minneapolis, if you don’t have a manse, you can’t call them.”

Another benefit to having a manse, he said, is that it allows members of the clergy to live in the community they are serving, sometimes on or right next to church property. Congregants “want to see them at the grocery store,” he said.

Episcopal churches with rectories are likely to keep them, said the Rev. Canon Shawn Duncan, the chief information officer for the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, counting 29 out of 40 Nassau churches and 26 out of 43 Suffolk churches with rectories. “Nationally the trend is to have rectories in those areas that are expensive to live,” he said. The church contributes to an equity allowance for priests living in the rectory, with the goal that when they retire they will have a down payment for a house. Those that sell are typically shrinking congregations that no longer have full-time clergy, he said.

More here-

San Diego Bishop to wash feet of Ocean Beach homeless

From San Diego-

The Ocean Beach branch of the Episcopal Church is holding a special event this morning – Thursday, April 5th.

The Episcopalian Bishop of San Diego is coming to OB to wash the feet of homeless people in our village. And it’s all being done to raise awareness about the homeless, homelessness, and the homeless population that seem to be “invisible” to the rest of society.

Bishop Jim Mathes will also put on new shoes and socks on them. Legal, medical and social services will also be available.

Where: The Episcopal Church Center, 2083 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, San Diego, in the courtyard

When: Thursday, April 5, 10:00am – 1:00pm

Why: To raise awareness about homelessness and to let our homeless population know they are not invisible; they are loved.

The bishop will wash the feet of homeless people and put new shoes and socks on them. We’ll also connect them with legal, medical and social services to help with permanent change in their lives.

Church featured in national documentary

From Alabama-

When Bill King came to Trinity Episcopal Church nine years ago this week, there were only eight people in the pews.

Fast forward to 2012, when the sanctuary was nearly filled for Palm Sunday services.

That growth and renewed vitality has not gone unnoticed — Trinity will be one of just a handful of congregations across the country featured in the Episcopal Church USA’s “Transforming Churches, Changing the World” project.

The documentary project, which is in its second year, highlights churches that are growing and making a difference in their community.

Last year, the short films focused on larger congregations in Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and other cities. However, this year the spotlight will be on smaller churches, much like Trinity.

“(We are) doing profiles of churches that are growing and giving insight into how they are growing,” said Olivia Silver, editor and producer.

More here-

TEXAS: Two local clergy to stand for bishop suffragan election

From Texas-

Two nominations for bishop suffragan for the eastern region of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas were announced on April. 2, following the Standing Committee’s preliminary background checks. The Rev. Beth J. Fain, rector of St. Mary’s, Cypress, and the Rev. Jeff W. Fisher, rector of St. Alban’s, Waco, will stand for election on June 2 at Christ Church Cathedral in Houston. Both will participate in a diocesan-wide “walkabout” event at Camp Allen on May 12, open to all interested persons, beginning at 10 a.m.

The diocese held a completely open nomination process, explained Pam Nolting, chair of the committee overseeing the nominations and election. “We have made our process known throughout the country and have invited anyone who feels called to this ministry to enter that election process,” Nolting said.

Texas Bishop C. Andrew Doyle announced his intention to call for the election at the Clergy Conference in October 2011. At the time he invited clergy (along with their lay leaders) to begin thinking of good candidates and laid out his specific expectations for the bishop suffragan’s position as a regional bishop (headquartered in Tyler).

More here-

Our Father: half 6-12s can’t say it

From The Church Times-

THE Lord’s Prayer should be taught more diligently in schools, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

Dr Williams was responding to a survey conducted by the BBC pro­gramme Newsround, which found that only 55 per cent of children aged between six and 12 knew the prayer. The majority (92 per cent) of adults who were in that age group 40 years ago said that they knew the prayer as a child. The research was conducted with 1000 children and 1000 adults to mark the 40th anniversary of the programme.

The survey also found that 43 per cent of children considered religion important to them, compared with 36 per cent of adults who said it was important to them as children.
Speaking to Newsround, Dr Williams said: “I’d like to see schools introducing children to the Lord’s Prayer, so that they know that it’s there, they know what it means, and know why it matters. Then they may make up their minds about whether they use it.”

The Archbishop also said that he would like to see “insiders” being brought in to schools to help teach religious education, “so that they can quite simply say ‘this is why it matters and this is how it matters.’”

More here-

Midlands Christians meditate upon Jesus’ journey to the cross

From South Carolina-

On this Good Friday, Sandy Rains will join her pastor and fellow parishioners at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in walking the Stations of the Cross, a solemn meditative experience aimed at re-creating Jesus’ own tortured journey from betrayal to crucifixion.

For Christians, particularly Roman Catholics and Protestants steeped in liturgical traditions, the walk is a central element of Holy Week, bringing home the suffering and sacrifice of Christ. Many Midlands churches will hold meditative services today devoted to the Stations of the Cross and Good Friday remembrance.

Rains was raised Roman Catholic and remembers going as a little girl with her mother to the service, lying on the pew as her mother participated in the liturgy.

Read more here:

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Collect for Maundy Thursday

Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Downtown Portland church inspired by North Portland college students rescues Northeast Portland tradition

From Oregon-

When Sue Rossiter read a recent Oregonian story about University of Portland college students saving a Northeast Portland tradition, she had a few thoughts.

One, wouldn't the endangered monthly breakfast for seniors at the Hollywood Senior Center be a wonderful extension of her church's feeding ministry?

And two, wasn't the effort by the college students similar to her son's desire to feed people some years ago?

Rossiter, who is known as "the breakfast lady" at St. Stephen's Episcopal Parish, downtown at 1432 S.W. 13th Ave., said her church's volunteers will take over the senior breakfast when the University of Portland students depart for summer.

That's good news for Amber-Kern Johnson, executive director of the Hollywood Senior Center, who said center visitors appreciate the chance to socialize and enjoy a healthy and economical meal.

More here-

Roger Ferlo’s Venture Capital

From The Living Church-

The Rev. Roger A. Ferlo compares his new calling as the first president of two federated Episcopal seminaries to helping an internet startup firm. Ferlo, Virginia Theological Seminary’s associate dean and director of its Institute for Christian Formation and Leadership, will become president of Bexley Hall and Seabury-Western seminaries beginning July 1.

“It’s kind of like venture capital,” he said. “I’m 60 years old. This is fabulous. I feel like it’s the culmination of my ministry to take these two seminaries and move them to a new place” of ministry.

The boards of trustees for both seminaries announced March 27 that they had approved the federation in unanimous votes. They will share one budget, one president and one board, but continue in their two locations: Seabury-Western in a building shared with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s national office in suburban Chicago and Bexley in its cooperative ministry with Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio.

“I would like to teach at both places once a year,” said Ferlo, who will be based in Chicago. “Because it’s now federated we’ve got the full spectrum of a seminary education.”

“Roger embodies our ideal, and we are eager for him to lead the formation of our next generation of students,” said a joint letter by the Rt. Rev. W. Michie Klusmeyer of Bexley Hall’s board and the Rev. Gwynne Wright of Seabury-Western board.

More here-

Connecticut Senate votes to repeal state's death penalty

From Conn.-

Despite public support for the death penalty, Connecticut may become the next state to abolish capital punishment. The state's Senate approved a bill to repeal the death penalty early Thursday.

Legislative action was delayed last year amid the high-profile prosecution of a death penalty case involving a brutal home invasion that left a mother and her two daughters dead. The Senate voted 20-16 to approve legislation that would replace the death penalty with life without parole, Reuters reported.

"In the state of Connecticut, the death penalty is randomly applied," Senate President Donald E. Williams, Jr., a Democrat, told ahead of the vote. "Police chiefs in recent surveys across the country have said that it's the least effective tool to deter violent crime and it's applied in a discriminatory way, whether it’s racially, economically or geographically.”

More here-

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Nuncio celebrates Mass for ordinariate amid new wave of converts

From Catholic Herald U.K.-

The Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain has celebrated the first Chrism Mass of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Archbishop Antonio Mennini celebrated the Mass on Monday at the church of St James, Spanish Place, in London with 60 former Anglican clergy, including five former Anglican bishops, concelebrating. Hundreds of laity from groups across Britain were in attendance.

Archbishop Mennini celebrated the Mass at the request of the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate, Mgr Keith Newton.

Mgr Newton, who received the Renewal of Priestly Promises and preached at the Mass, said: “The jurisdiction given to me, unlike that of Catholic diocesan bishops, is vicarious on behalf of the Roman Pontiff.

“It is therefore particularly appropriate that our Chrism Mass should be celebrated by the Holy Father’s representative to Great Britain particularly as at this time we celebrate the 30th anniversary of full diplomatic relations between the British Government and the Holy See.”

More here-

March Against The Death Penalty

From Conn.

An Easter Week march in Hartford will highlight opposition to the state’s death penalty law by Connecticut Christian religious leaders.

The Bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut and others are marching beginning at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday from Christ Church Cathedral to the Capitol, where Connecticut legislators are considering a bill this session to end the death penalty for future cases and replace it with life in prison.

Religious leaders say they will enact the Stations of the Cross during the march, with prayers and meditations on the abolition of the death penalty offered at each station. The stations depict the lead-up to Jesus’ crucifixion.

The proposal to repeal the state’s death penalty is awaiting action in the state Senate.

San Diego Interfaith Community to Wash Feet of Janitors to Highlight Health Inequality – April 5th

From San Diego-

On Thursday, April 5, 2012, over 200 union janitors, religious leaders and community members will be gathering at Good Samaritan Episcopal Church, where members of San Diego’s religious community will be washing the feet of our hardworking janitors to draw attention to the impact of inequality of health for both working class and middle class families.

The janitors’ union, SEIU United Service Workers West (USWW), as part of their statewide campaign for a new contract expiring in 2012, released a study that demonstrates that with a better health care system people in middle-class families could live four years longer, and people would live five years longer.

Income inequality has taken center stage in the national discussion since the rise of the Occupy Movement. This second study in the “How Much is The 1% Holding Back Your Family?” series argues that the longer life expectancy of the extreme rich suggests that we can create a healthier California where everyone lives longer and more prosperous lives.

More here-

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lutheran, Episcopal clergies hold joint service for Holy Week

From Pittsburgh-

The service held today at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Downtown, with the blessing of oils and renewal of vows by the clergy, was typical for the start of Holy Week.

But there was a twist.

For the first time in the Pittsburgh region, Lutheran pastors joined with Episcopal priests and deacons in the traditional Holy Week service. It was a demonstration of unity for the two Christian faiths, which have both faced internal divisions in recent years.

"Moments like this are hopefully a reminder to the world that we still stand together as the body of Christ," said Bishop Kenneth L. Price, Jr., of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Bishop Price was the principal celebrant for the service, while Bishop Kurt Kusserow of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America gave the sermon.

Together, they led more than 80 clergy members in renewing their ordination vows and led lay members of the two denominations through a renewal of their baptismal promises.

Read more:

Commission to Communion: "Tell us your views on next Archbishop of Canterbury's ministry"

From ACNS-

Members of the Anglican Communion around the world are, for the first time in history, being invited to share their views on the ministry of the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

he Crown Nominations Commission of the Church of England—the body that nominates the next Archbishop of Canterbury—traditionally asks for the views of all Primates and Provincial Secretaries of the 38 Provinces of the Anglican Communion.

On this occasion, however, not only has a Primate been invited to join the Commission, but a letter has also been sent to Provinces to be read in Anglican Communion churches inviting everyone to share their thoughts about the ministry of the next Archbishop.

The letter, sent by the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion* Canon Kenneth Kearon on behalf of the Commission, states: “The Archbishop of Canterbury exercises many roles—he is Bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury, Primate of the Church of England, and Focus of Unity for the Anglican Communion.

“The process of seeking the next Archbishop is led by the Crown Nominations Commission of the Church of England and extensive consultations within the U.K. have begun with various representatives of the Church of England, other Christian denominations, other faiths and wider church life. Members of the Church of England are also invited to share in this process.

More here-

Anglican Converts Again Among Those to be Received into the Catholic Church in England and Wales

From Catholic Online-

If the numbers are correct, it looks like a large number of men and women will be received during the Easter Vigil as communicants of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

More than 3,600 people took part in the Rite of Election that leads to the final steps toward reception at the Easter Vigil; this number does not represent all those who will be received. This year, the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham is expecting around 200 lay people and 20 clergy to come into full communion from the Anglican world.

Many of those coming in are doing so as individuals but in groups. According to the London Telegraph, one of those groups is made up of the priest and 58 lay people from St. James the Great parish in Darlington, who will be received just down the road at St. Anne's Catholic Church.

An additional 20 from St. James are also being received but will not become a part of the Ordinariate at this time. There are approximately 50 people staying with the Anglican parish.

More here-

Did you ever notice Darth Vader’s helmet on the Washington National Cathedral?

From D.C.

How did a sculpture of Darth Vader end up on an Episcopalian Church at our nation's capital?

This is one of those “once you see it, you can’t unsee” revelations that are both mind-blowing and extremely awesome. If you’re going to Washington, D.C. soon, you must stop by the Washington National Cathedral in the Woodley Park neighborhood. Not only is it an iconic site, you won’t want to miss the site of Darth Vader’s helmet staring down at you as you walk around this Roman Gothic church.

Okay, so we’ve never heard of how Darth Vader was a secret Episcopal in the movies or the comics. Of all of the fathers he was, we didn’t think he was the holy father. So just how did the Sith Lord end up on the pillars of this church?

The answer is in the National Cathedral’s pamphlet, which explains that a competition in the 1980s by National Geographic World Magazine invited children to design a sculpture for the cathedral. Of the many designs it received, the organization selected Darth Vader as its third-place winner. The artist responsible was Christopher Rader of Kearney, Nebraska, who conjured up a “futuristic representation of evil.” Since then, Darth Vader has been watching D.C. across the hilltops for decades.

More here-

Astor Will Bequeaths $10,000 to Briarcliff Church

From New York-

After a five-year-long legal battle regarding her will, former Briarcliff Manor millionaire philanthropist Brooke Astor will be able to say one last thank you to All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Briarcliff Manor and Trinity Episcopal Church in Ossining.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced last week a settlement had been reached “allowing $100 million that had been in limbo to start flowing to charities.” Officials with the vestries for All Saints’ and Trinity confirmed Sunday Astor bequeathed $10,000 apiece to the churches in the will. Astor passed away in 2007 at the age of 105. She frequently attended both churches in Briarcliff and Ossining and supported both organizations through previous donations, officials said Sunday.

Church officials said they were honored to find out about the donations and said they will take the time and care to make sure the money is spent as Astor would’ve intended.

More here-

VIRGINIA: Changed along the way, St. Stephen’s comes home

From Virginia-

More than a few tears were shed and smiles shared by the members of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Heathsville, Virginia, this Palm Sunday, following the resolution of a five-year legal dispute with another congregation over ownership of the property.

One of those members, Meade Kilduff, was baptized in the 131-year-old building in 1918. At the time, Kilduff’s mother traveled over two days by train and by boat in the dead of winter from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to her hometown of Heathsville for Meade’s baptism. Years later, Kilduff would return to raise a family – and to worship in St. Stephen’s.

That’s why this past weekend was a homecoming for Kilduff and other members of the congregation, as they returned to their historic church after worshipping in temporary spaces for the past five years. “I am so overwhelmed,” said Kilduff. “I didn’t realize how much I loved it until I came back. It is so beautiful.”

More here-

Chalice believed to be survivor of deadly 1899 twister

From Milwaukee-

No one knows how it got there, or where it came from, or just what happened to it over the decades.

But parishioners at SS Thomas & John Episcopal Church believe the gleaming chalice now ensconced in a handmade display case is the only surviving artifact of the Episcopal church leveled by Wisconsin's deadliest tornado, a twister that killed 117 people in 1899.

A history of the New Richmond church written in 1986 by its vicar mentioned the discovery of the silver chalice in the wreckage of the building located near where a Methodist church is today. No one knows how many of the Episcopal church's members were injured or killed in the tornado, though much of the community was leveled.

As best as anyone can recollect, the chalice was first noticed several decades ago but was kept in a cloth bag in a cupboard in the church's sacristy, said Father Vern Barber, who became pastor Jan. 1. No one made the suspected link to the 1899 tornado until recently.

"When the church was destroyed, a lot of the members were supposed to transfer to a church in Star Prairie, but we know many did not," Barber said. "We're not sure if someone kept the chalice or if the chalice was transferred to that church in Star Prairie.

More here-

Monday, April 2, 2012

Relationships not punitive measures are the way forward for Anglicans

From Ekklesia-

Better relationships rather than punitive legislation are the way forward for churches, a leading opponent of the proposed Anglican Communion Covenant says.

The comments from No Anglican Covenant Coalition Moderator, the Rev Dr Lesley Crawley, were issued after the defeat of the proposed Anglican Communion Covenant in the Church of England.

“With [last week's] results from the dioceses of Oxford and Lincoln, the proposed Anglican Covenant is now dead in the water in the Church of England. This also poses serious problems for the Covenant in other Provinces as it seems nonsensical to have the Archbishop of Canterbury in the second tier of the Anglican Communion and excluded from the central committees," she declared

Ms Crawley continued: “When we launched the No Anglican Covenant Coalition 18 months ago, we were assured that the Anglican Covenant was an unstoppable juggernaut. We started as simply a band of bloggers, but we would like to thank the hundreds of supporters and our patrons for their dedication to promoting debate. The Covenant needed the approval of 23 diocesan synods, as of today, that result is no longer possible.

“Especially we would like to congratulate people in Diocesan Synods across the Church of England who, despite attempts in many dioceses to silence or marginalise dissenting voices, endeavoured to promote debate, ensuring that the Anglican Covenant was subjected to significant and meaningful scrutiny. We found, as the debate went on, that the more people read and studied the Covenant, the less they liked it.

More here-

In a holy season, faiths share a meal and understanding

From North Carolina-

With plates of horseradish, bitter herbs and boiled eggs set in their familiar places on the table, Jews gathered Sunday for a ritual that broke from tradition in a few notable ways.

For starters, the setting for this Passover Seder was the Irregardless Cafe, a Raleigh mainstay known more for its eclectic menu and music than a role in Holy Week activities.

And among the invited guests were Presbyterians, Baptists and Episcopalians, some experiencing the Jewish holiday of Passover for the first time. It coincided with a day associated with the beginning of their Christian faith, Palm Sunday.

Read more here:

MG Kids follows a donkey through Palm Sunday in Morristown

From New Jersey-

Dixie the donkey returned to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Morristown on Palm Sunday to lead parishioners at two services on a ceremonial reenactment of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Dixie balked temporarily on her first stroll through the graveyard but otherwise took most of the walk in stride, including her journey between the pews through the interior of the church.

MG Kids correspondent Carl Hausman, 11, a parishioner at St. Peter’s, provides a kids-eye view of the day’s proceedings.

More here-

Bishop plans visit to border April 14

From Arizona-

The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church will visit the U.S.-Mexico border to give an address on border and immigration issues and to participate in the seventh “God Has No Borders” Naco Border Procession in April.

Katharine Jefferts Schori is a nationally recognized leader on pressing social issues of the day. She recently gave an interview to the Huffington Post regarding the acceptance of gay marriage, according to a press release from Rev. Seth Polley, director of Episcopal Border Ministries.

The event will start at Turquoise Valley Golf Course and Country Club in Naco, Arizona, at 9:30 a.m. on April 14. The Episcopal Diocese of Arizona and Episcopal Border Ministries will host “Breakfast with the Bishop.” The bishop will make an address on border and immigration issues, respond to questions, and then participate in the border procession.

Participants will walk along the border wall toward the Naco Port of Entry, carrying crosses for the 210 migrants who have died in Cochise County in the past years. The procession continues into Naco, Sonora, Mexico, with a rededication of the Centro de Esperanza, formerly the Naco Migrant Resource Center.

More here-

St. Paul's Episcopal Church has plans to grow in Brighton

From Michigan-

St. Paul's Episcopal Church, one of downtown Brighton's most historically significant buildings, is planning a major expansion to accommodate growth and to better serve the community.

The Rev. Deon Johnson said the church has launched a $3 million campaign for the expansion and renovation, which would create a new worship area, community room and youth room.

"It's exciting and scary," he said. "It's a huge undertaking."

The plans are conceptual, and the church hasn't submitted them to the city yet. However, Johnson has been meeting with city officials to discuss the project in order to create a facility that fits into the downtown landscape. The church sits above the Mill Pond gazebo area, where numerous concerts are held during the summer.

If rain threatened to cancel an outdoor concert, he said, the church's new worship area, with a capacity for 300 people, could be used as an alternative concert site.

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Churches to mark Holy Week with shared celebrations

From The Pittsburgh Tribune-

Holy Week begins on Sunday with area churches and denominations working together in ways they haven't before.

Sunday's featured Palm Sunday speaker at the Hill District's Five N One churches, all Protestant, is David Zubik, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Pittsburgh. The service will be in the Calvary Baptist Church, 2629 Wylie Ave., at 4 p.m. It's the first time that a Catholic bishop has been a featured speaker at this cross denominational group of churches.

"Anything we can do to share our common beliefs is good," Zubik said.

Working together makes all faiths stronger, said the Rev. Thomas E. Smith, pastor at Monumental Baptist Church and one of the Five N One churches.

"Some people have the impression that churches don't get along, and lots of young people have not even had a church. But Easter is a holiday we all recognize, and it's wonderful that we are sharing it in this way," Smith said.

Zubik, 62, marveled at the level of ecumenical worship and interfaith activities compared to the church of his youth.

"That would not have been something many people did, go to a different faith community. That's changed, and it's for the better," he said.

On Monday, about 100 Lutheran pastors and Episcopal priests and deacons will have a first joint ceremony to renew their ordination vows at 10:30 a.m. in Trinity Cathedral, 328 Sixth Ave., Downtown. And next Saturday, Trinity will conduct a joint Easter Vigil at 7 p.m. with First Lutheran Church, 615 Grant St., another Downtown church.

The dean: Offer opportunities to be close to nature

From Iowa-

A gaggle of grade school students swarmed the kitchen of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral one weekday morning to learn about a topic rarely discussed in Sunday services: worm castings, the nutrient-rich material that goes into compost and helps plants flourish.

With students from Des Moines’ Downtown School peeking over the kitchen counter, St. Paul’s Dean Cathleen Bascom spread out a pile of vegetables and plucked off a carrot’s green top.

“If you were going to throw this away, you know who wants it?” she asked.

“The worms!” the children responded. Bascom tossed the carrot greens into a clear container where some worms waited.

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Twin Falls Church Lends Land to Community Gardeners

From Idaho-

The land was just sitting there, sprouting grass. Nothing special.

Parish members from the Episcopal Church of the Ascension knew it could do so much more.

So, they decided to transform the grassy lot into a place people can gather, grow produce and work the soil together.

For the first year, the Episcopal Church of the Ascension, at 371 Eastland Drive N., is lending its land to anyone who wants a little garden to call his or her own.
That might be particularly welcome news in Twin Falls, where the College of Southern Idaho’s community garden has a waiting list for its plots and a city committee hasn’t yet announced a location for its planned garden. City Councilwoman and committee liaison Rebecca Mills-Sojka hopes to get City Council approval on a location this month.

But if you’re interested in the Episcopal garden, there’s no need to wait and wonder.
Twelve 10-by-15-foot free lots on the church’s property are up for grabs. Gardening rookies and green thumbs alike — particularly those without yards of their own — are invited to apply by April 15. For details, call Betsy Wiesmore at 735-1151 or Susan Kelley-Harbke at 734-8969.
The church had already transformed some of its land into soccer fields.

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The Slide: The moment that begat a legacy of losing for the Pirates

Thank you for bringing up such a painful subject. While you're at it why don't you give me a paper cut and put lemon juice in it?

The Pirates of 1992 are not the type to believe in the supernatural. They are tried and true baseball men, believing only that, when round ball hits round bat, anything can happen.

Still, they look for answers - ways to explain the events of an Autumn night in Atlanta that now feels predestined.

"All the stars lined up against us," said Andy Van Slyke, then the Pirates center fielder.

To wonder if the cosmos were working extra hard on Oct. 14, 1992, is understandable. Thursday's opening day at PNC Park will begin the 20th season since the Pirates lost to the Braves 3-2 in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series, and Pittsburgh is still waiting for a winning baseball team to return. Nineteen straight years of losing is inexplicable, but to say it's a curse? No, the Pirates of 1992 won't go down that road.

But they'll live each day with the pain, a loyal companion all these years. Numerous times, Van Slyke, who collapsed in center field of Atlanta Fulton County Stadium when the game ended, has replayed the bottom of the ninth and argued strikes that were called balls. Mike LaValliere, then the Pirates catcher who had the best view of those disputed pitches, has never watched again. Can't. Won't.

More here-