Saturday, April 28, 2012

From Los Angeles-

The diocesan community stands in prayer with Bishop J. Jon Bruno who today received a diagnosis of acute monocytic leukemia. He will begin treatment immediately. Bishop Bruno has issued a statement to the diocesan community; the full text is below.

April 26, 2012

My dear friends,

As we move close to the 12th anniversary of my consecration on April 29, I am looking forward to the future, yet any time we make too many plans, we have to wait and listen for God.

Having had what I thought was a bout of pneumonia since the House of Bishops last met in March, I have gone back into the hospital to determine what this nagging problem has been.

With the great assistance of Dr. David Cannom of Los Angeles Cardiology Associates, Dr. Glenn Hatfield of The Medical Group, Dr. Lasika Senevirante of the Los Angeles Cancer Network, and the staff of Good Samaritan Hospital, I have discovered that this nagging problem is more than I thought it was. But I have been convinced by Dr. Cannom and Dr. Senevirante that I am too stubborn to let this go by the wayside, so we will start immediately to begin aggressive treatment for Acute Monocytic Leukemia (AML M5).

More here-

Lord picked to choose Archbishop

From ITV-

A crossbench peer and former Conservative minister has been appointed head of the commission to choose the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

Lord Luce will chair the Crown Nominations Commission, charged with finding a successor to Rowan Williams who is stepping down after a decade as the Church of England's most senior cleric.

The peer's appointment, by David Cameron, was announced by Downing Street today. The nominations commission will put its recommendation to the Prime Minister who will then seek the Queen's approval. An announcement is expected in the autumn.

Dr Williams revealed last month that he would be leaving his post at the end of December in time to start a new role as master of Magdalene College, Cambridge next January.

Lord Luce, 75, was a Tory MP for 21 years and served in Margaret Thatcher's government, including as minister of state at the Foreign Office until he resigned over the 1982 Falklands invasion.

He also spent six years as Lord Chamberlain to the Queen until 2006. He was appointed to the House of Lords in 2000 and sits as a crossbencher.

More here-

We should elect our chair, say Primates

From The Church Times-

THE Primates of Nigeria and Kenya suggested this week that the Archbishop of Canterbury should no longer chair the Primates’ Meeting. The chairman should instead be elected by the Primates themselves, they said.

The Archbishop of Nigeria, the Most Revd Nicholas Okoh, and the Archbishop of Kenya, Dr Eliud Wabukala, suggested the idea at a press briefing on Monday, shortly before the start of a leadership conference of the Fellow­ship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) at St Mark’s, Battersea Rise, in London (News, 6 April). A spokesman for the FCA said that dele­gates from about 30 countries were at­tending the conference, representing about 55 million “of all churchgoing Anglicans”.

Archbishop Okoh said: “My thought is that it will be better to have an Archbishop [of Canterbury] who is respected, honoured, for historical reasons, but that the Anglican Com­munion eventually should think about organ­ising itself around a chairman, who will have a tenured office, of four or five years, and then hand over to another person.”

He continued: “It seems that the Church of England is not carrying along everybody in the Communion, and that is why you can see there is a crisis; if we will solve the problem, we have to change the system.”

Archbishop Okoh noted the way that the Commonwealth now elects its leadership. “It is the same thing; the Church of independent countries — no longer the British Empire — must make some changes. It is not something that should remain permanent that the Arch­bishop of Canterbury, whether he understands the dynamics in Africa or not, remains the chair, and whatever he says, whether it works or not, is an order.”

More here-

Convention to consider position on proposed Anglican Covenant

From ENS-

The Anglican Covenant has been variously rejected, affirmed, approved and subscribed to by some Anglican Communion provinces, and even been given an “amber light” by one. The Episcopal Church will soon consider its own formal response to the document which supporters say offers a way to bind Anglicans globally across cultural and theological differences

At present, three resolutions, each calling for partially different responses to the proposed covenant, will be proposed to the 77th General Convention when it meets July 5-12 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Episcopal Church’s Executive Council announced last October that it would submit a resolution (A126, found on page 590 of the Blue Book) to convention that would have the church say it is “unable to adopt the Anglican Covenant in its present form.”

In recent weeks, two additional resolutions — from different groups of bishops — have been submitted to convention. Those two resolutions will be posted here soon.

More here-

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Archbishop of Sudan appeals for peace as tensions rise between neighbouring countries

From ACNS-

The Anglican archbishop who was instrumental in delivering peace to Sudan has raised the spectre of full-blown war and appealed for restraint from the presidents of Sudan and South Sudan.

Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul Yak, leader of the Episcopal Church of Sudan, urged the two presidents to pursue peace in spite of the difficulties following the major clashes threatening the fragile peace that churches helped to broker in 2005.

In a statement released Monday, he wrote that he was deeply concerned that the conflict between the two countries has escalated close to full blown war. The current civil war began in 1983 and is one of the longest running conflicts in the world, costing nearly two million lives.

After a long history of violence and war since independence, a second major conflict broke out in 1983 between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and the Government of Sudan.

Archbishop Daniel’s statement comes at a low moment in the peace process. The signatories of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the agreement which provided the path for the countries to separate last year, have lost momentum to follow through with their commitments.

More here-

Bishops File Brief in Texas

From The Living Church-

Seven bishops and the Dallas-based Anglican Communion Institute filed a brief with the Texas Supreme Court Monday regarding The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth v The Episcopal Church.

“These amici remain in The Episcopal Church and submit this brief solely because they disagree with the characterization of the governance of The Episcopal Church as submitted in support of the motion for summary judgment that the trial court granted in this case,” the brief says. “The amici oppose the decision by the Appellants (‘Diocese of Fort Worth’) to leave The Episcopal Church, but in its ruling against them the court has misunderstood, and thereby damaged, the constitutional structure of The Episcopal Church.

“These amici curiae support the traditional polity of The Episcopal Church founded on the autonomy of its constituent dioceses and therefore submit that the trial court erred both as a matter of fact and as a matter of law when it found that The Episcopal Church has a hierarchical authority superior to the diocese and its bishop.”

More here-

Ground broken for cardboard cathedral

From UPI-

Ground has been broken for a temporary Anglican cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand, to replace the building damaged in last year's earthquake.

The building designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has been nicknamed the "cardboard cathedral," because its materials include cardboard tubes, the Wellington (N.Z.) Dominion Post reported. It also includes more conventional materials like steel and glass.

"It's a time of celebration and joy and we are full of hope," Bishop Victoria Matthews said as she sprinkled holy water on the site.

The original cathedral, which was built between 1863 and 1904 and designed by British architect Gilbert Stuart Scott, suffered so much damage in the earthquake that church officials decided to demolish it, arguing building a new cathedral would be less expensive than reconstructing the old one. That decision is being challenged by heritage groups.

Read more:
From Christian Concern-

Church leaders representing 40 million Anglican churchgoers met this week to discuss the “crisis” in the Anglican Church.

The three day meeting, organised by the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, brought 200 clergy and laity from 30 countries together in London to address what they criticised as the attempt to “turn Christianity merely into a movement for social betterment”.

They said it was clear that the leadership in England had failed to hold the 77 million-strong worldwide Anglican Communion together and suggested that the Archbishop of Canterbury should in future be replaced with an elected chair.

Keynote Address

Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, leader of Kenya’s 13 million Anglicans and Chairman of the Primates Council of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, gave the keynote address. He said:
“Some sections of the Anglican Communion have been echoing the words of the serpent; ‘has God really said…?’ And their strategy has been to continue this dialogue endlessly in order to wear down resistance while all the time pursuing their self determined mandate of radical inclusion.

More here-

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

‘Blue Book’ reports posted on General Convention’s website

From ENS (So what makes it blue?)

The Blue Book, the collection of reports to the Episcopal Church’s 77th General Convention of the work completed by its committees, commissions, agencies and boards (CCABs), during the 2010-2012 triennium, is now available to download here.

The book, at more than 750 pages, also contains more than 150 “A” resolutions that the CCABs have proposed to the General Convention, which meets July 5-12 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, in the Diocese of Indianapolis. (Legislative committee hearings and some other convention activities begin July 4.)

Most, but not all, “A” resolutions are contained in the Blue Book. For example, the church’s Executive Council agreed April 20 to submit three A resolutions to convention. Those three resolutions can be found in a list of all council action here.

Resolutions may also be submitted to convention by three other groups: bishops (B resolutions); dioceses (C resolutions); and deputies (D resolutions). Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson assign each resolution as it is received to one of the convention’s legislative committees. Once those assignments are made, resolutions are posted here. The deadline for filing any type of resolution is 5 p.m. EDT July 6, the second official day of convention.

More here-

Last service held at 290-year-old RI church

From Rhode Island-

Parishioners at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John in Providence cried and hugged as the 290-year-old church held its final service and prepared to close.

The pews were packed Sunday as the Rev. David Joslin urged the crowd to temper their grief and disappointment with faith. He said how one handles disappointment leads to a "maturation of faith."

The fourth-oldest church in the Rhode Island Episcopal diocese needs millions of dollars in repairs and there isn't enough money to keep the nearly 200-member congregation going.

Parishioners will be joining other congregations. Church officials say they'll be securing the building and maintaining it, in case it reopens in the future.

The church was known as King's Church when it was founded in 1722.

Danvers church to hold public marriage vow renewal ceremony

From Boston-

The Calvary Episcopal Church of Danvers is offering a public, town-wide ceremony for couples to renew their marriage vows on Saturday, June 16, as part of the Danvers Family Festival.

All couples—those of all faiths, including those married in a religious or civil ceremony—are invited to renew their vows with a blessing from Reverend Thea Keith-Lucas at the Pavilion of the Peabody Institute Library of Danvers, followed by a free reception across the street at Calvary’s Parish Hall.

“In the regular Sunday service I always invite people if they have a birthday or wedding anniversary, or if they have something else they want to celebrate to come forward,” Keith-Lucas said. “So that’s been a part of the church’s life since before I started with them.”

“It’s going to be pretty cool,” said Fran Weil, the church’s events coordinator. “We just thought it was a great way, what better way to celebrate the Danvers family festival than by offering a blessing for the ultimate commitment—marriage.”

More here-

Monday, April 23, 2012

Virginia diocese elects Susan Goff as bishop suffragan

From ENS-

The Rev. Canon Susan Ellyn Goff was elected April 21 as bishop suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.

Goff, 58, canon to the ordinary of the Diocese of Virginia, was elected on the fourth ballot out of a field of three nominees. Two other nominees withdrew after the second ballot and another withdrew after the third. Goff received 148 votes of 207 cast in the clergy order and 164 of 258 cast in the lay order. An election on that ballot required 104 votes in the clergy order and 130 in the lay order.

The election was held at a meeting of a special council for the election of a bishop suffragan at St. George’s Church in Fredericksburg.

Goff will serve under the Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston, bishop of the Diocese of Virginia, who was consecrated in 2007. The Rt. Rev. Edwin F. “Ted” Gulick Jr. serves as assisting bishop.
“I am excited to be able to welcome Susan to the Virginia episcopate,” Johnston said after the election. “In her work as canon to the ordinary, she brings much wisdom, grace and discretion, qualities that I know will translate well in the role of bishop suffragan.”

More here-

Western Louisiana diocese elects Jacob W. Owensby as bishop

From ENS-

The Very Rev. Jacob W. Owensby was elected April 21 as fourth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Louisiana.
Owensby, 54, dean of St. Mark’s Cathedral in Shreveport, Louisiana, was elected on the sixth ballot from a field of three candidates. One other nominee withdrew after the second ballot, two others withdrew after the third, and a fourth after the fifth. Owensby received 78 votes of 143 cast in the lay order and 30 of 58 cast in the clergy order.

The election was held at a special convention at St. James’ Church in Alexandria. Delegates participated in a service of holy Eucharist before balloting began.

Owensby will succeed the Rt. Rev. D. Bruce MacPherson, who will retire in July after 10 years as bishop of the diocese.

Shortly after his election, Dean Owensby said: “I am humbled to be called to be the fourth Bishop of Western Louisiana and filled with affection for the good people who make this part of our state their geographical and spiritual home. Joy, excitement, and anticipation have me a little tongue-tied right now. But I can say that my first and most important job is to love the people of this Diocese and to help them grow in their witness to the extravagant love of God in Jesus Christ. I am especially looking forward to building deep relationships with my fellow clergy, visiting with our congregations and helping them to grow in vitality, and serving our Lord together with these wonderful people.”

More here-

Grass roots vs. hierarchy: Spirituality, religion collide

From Daily World-

Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury, recently announced that he would step down by year's end. A few days later, the Church of England rejected a Williams-backed unity plan for global Anglicanism, a church fractured by issues of gender and sexual identity. The timing of the resignation and the defeat are probably not coincidental. These events signal Anglican's institutional failure.

But why should anyone, other than Anglicans and their American Episcopal cousins, care? The Anglican fight over gay clergy is usually framed as a left and right conflict, part of the larger saga of political division. But this narrative obscures a more significant tension in Western societies: the increasing gap between spirituality and religion, and the failure of traditional religious institutions to learn from the divide.

Until recently, the archbishop of Canterbury was chief pastor for a global church bound by a common liturgy and Anglican religious identity. Expectations for religious leaders were clear: Run the church with courage and vision. Bishops directed the laity, inspiring obedience, sacrifice and heroism; they ordered faith from the top.

More here-

A Female Episcopal Priest Visits a Mormon Temple

From Missouri-

As I stood in front of the new Mormon Temple in Liberty, Mo., it struck me as ironic that close to 175 years ago, Mormons were forced out of this same state.

Whereas the Missouri public once urged their governor to force Joseph Smith and his followers out of the area surrounding Kansas City, Mormons began to return to the region in the 1900s, eventually gathering in such large numbers that the Church organization decided the region needed a temple.

Which is why I came to visit.

Latter Day Saints restrict temple access to members of their denomination who have proven themselves to be faithful and dedicated adherents. Because Mormons believe temples are the most sacred places on earth, one needs to be prepared to enter them by being an active member of the Church. (In contrast, chapels, where Mormons hold Sunday worship, are open to everyone. Temples are used only for certain rituals and are not open on Sunday so that Mormons can be at their chapel services.)

When a new temple is built, anyone may enter prior to its dedication. So, always curious to learn about the faith of others, I didn't want to miss an opportunity to see a site normally closed off to an Episcopal priest like myself.

More here-

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Episcopal Diocese chooses bishop

Longer version of the article below- Additonal links follow-

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh has elected a Yale-educated former agnostic and one-time horse wrangler as its next bishop, choosing a theological conservative known for building relationships with those on the other side of divisive theological issues.

Bishop-elect Dorsey M.W. McConnell, 58, rector of a parish in Chestnut Hill, Mass., said he was overjoyed, and spoke of reconciliation in a diocese wounded from a bitter split in 2008.

"Pittsburgh is the city of bridges and the gospel is about the bridge that God has made to us in Christ," he said. "In the city of bridges, of all places, we ought to be able to heal the divisions not only in our church but within the city itself. I look forward to finding out how God is going to use us in the midst of that."

Pittsburgh is the first of four split dioceses to elect a new bishop. Bishop Kenneth Price Jr. has served as an interim. The 11-county diocese has nearly 9,000 members in 33 parishes.

From Boston

From ENS-

From The Tribune Review-