Saturday, June 16, 2012

Priest, teacher busted for traveling to meet minor for sex

From Florida-

Investigators in Orange County said a man arrested for traveling to meet up with what he thought was a minor for sex is a father, teacher and Episcopalian priest.

Brian Gerald Shriner was booked Friday into the Orange County Jail. He has since been released on bond.

According to investigators, Shriner sparked up a conversation in May with an undercover Orange County sheriff's detective posing as a minor online.

They agreed to meet up Friday morning in Winter Springs. But when Shriner showed up, he was arrested.

Investigators said Shriner is a teacher at The Geneva School, in Orlando, and assists as a priest at New Covenant Anglican Church, in Winter Springs.

He is also the father of two children, both juveniles.

Detectives said they believe there may be more victims out there, and urged anyone else who has been victimized by Brian Gerald Shriner to call the Orange County Sheriff's Office, at (407) 254-7000.

Texas churches give Malawi Water Well funds to visiting bishop

From Texas and ENS-

The Rt. Rev. James Tengatenga, bishop of Southern Malawi, arrived in Texas on June 13 and immediately began an extensive tour of churches and ministries. As the partner diocese of the Diocese of Texas, many churches work on projects and mission trips to Southern Malawi, especially in building water wells across the country.

Upon arrival, Bishop Tengatenga first stopped at St. Andrew’s, Pearland where the Rev. Jim Liberatore presented him with a check for $8,669 to be used to build a water well in Malawi. Liberatore and Bishop Tengatenga attended seminary together at Seminary of the Southwest in Austin. Tengatenga and his wife, Jocelyn, lived in an apartment above Liberatore’s house. The two have remained connected over the years, and St. Andrew’s has worked on several mission projects in Southern Malawi.

“Clean readily available water is critical to support community life in Malawi,” Liberatore said. The money was raised through a joint effort from St. Andrew’s and St. George’s, Texas City. St. Andrew’s also donated $2500 to form a reserve for micro-loans for women to start businesses in Malawi.
St. Mary’s, Cypress, also welcomed Bishop Tengatenga on the morning of Thursday, June 14 at their vacation bible school. Every year, the children at VBS raise money to help build wells in Malawi. Last year, they raised $1900, and this year, they have already compiled more than $500 through Wednesday.

More here-

Holy See establishes Australian ordinariate for former Anglicans

From Australia-

Pope Benedict XVI has established an ordinariate in Australia for Anglicans entering the Catholic Church and named a former bishop of the Traditional Anglican Communion to lead it.

The new ecclesiastical jurisdiction, formally known as the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, was established on June 15. Father Harry Entwistle, who once served as western regional bishop for the Traditional Anglican Communion in Australia, was ordained to the Catholic priesthood on June 15.

“Ordinariates have thus far been erected in England and the United States and are the response of Pope Benedict to Anglicans who have been petitioning the Holy See to enter into full corporate unity with the Catholic Church while retaining essential elements of their heritage,” the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference said in a statement.

“Pope Benedict has made it very clear that unity between Christians is not achieved by agreeing on the lowest common denominator, and those entering an Ordinariate accept the Catechism of the Catholic Church as the authoritative expression of the Catholic faith,” said Father Entwistle.

More here-

Renegade Episcopal rector to be ordained Roman Catholic church

From Philadelphia-

The Rev. David Ousley was baptized a Methodist in 1951, was ordained a priest of the Episcopal Church in 1979, and left it in 1999 for the Anglican Church in America.

And on Saturday, this 61-year-old married father of three will make one more ecclesiastical leap: he will be ordained a priest of the Roman Catholic Church in a 11 a.m. Mass at Holy Cross Church in Mount Airy.

He is "swimming the Tiber," as Anglicans call conversion to Catholicism — a reference to the river that runs through Rome — but the white-bearded Ousley will not emerge from his swim on some strange and foreign shore.

Even after he becomes a Catholic priest, he can continue to wear his Anglican collar, lead his flock at Vesper services, warble old hymns like "A Mighty Fortress," and read some of the prayers found in the lectionary that the Church of England has been using since King Henry VIII broke with Rome in the 16th century .

After decades of petitioning and negotiating by conservative Anglicans and Episcopalians, Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 approved a constitution, called Anglicanorum Coetibus, establishing the equivalent of national dioceses for disaffected Anglicans such as Ousley. These ordinariates, as they are called, allow laity and clergy from the Anglican tradition to join the Roman Catholic Church while retaining much of their liturgies, calendar, and traditions — including married priests.

More here-

Friday, June 15, 2012

Scots reject Anglican Covenant by 112 to 6 votes

From The Church Times-

THE Scottish Episcopal Church has become the first member of the Anglican Communion to reject the Anglican Covenant at the level of a General Synod. Last Friday, the Synod voted against the adoption of the Covenant by 112 votes to 6, with 13 abstentions.

The Bishop of Glasgow & Galloway, Dr Gregor Duncan, referred to the indaba discussions that had taken place at diocesan synods since the General Synod last year, and suggested that the Church was “as well-informed and prepared to decide as we could possibly be”. Although it was “pointless to deny that since Synod last met the context had changed” — the Covenant had been rejected by more than half of the diocesan synods in the Church of England — it was important that the Scottish Episcopal Church “make our own decision for our own reasons”.

The Revd Professor David Atkinson (Aberdeen & Orkney) suggested that it was possible to reject the Covenant for “positive reasons”. “I will be voting against the motion, not for a negative reason, but because I believe, without being in it, that we will have far more freedom to develop our mission for Scotland.”

Jim Gibson (Glasgow & Galloway) spoke in favour of the Covenant, arguing that it was neces­sary to regard it “from a worldwide perspective”. He warned that “if we don’t adopt it, we run the risk of being seen to be selfish and unhelp­ful,” both to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who “has worked very hard at a lot of personal cost to try and find some way of working together and getting the Com­munion together”, and also to “our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world who, in a time of political and economic uncertainty and difficulty and strife, are looking closely at the lead the Church in Britain is going to give”.

More here-

Ordaining married Episcopal priests as Catholics is a sacrilege

From Baltimore-

As a baptized Roman Catholic who attended a Catholic school for eight years, I was absolutely appalled to read that three Episcopal priests, two of whom are married with children, were being ordained as Catholic priests ("Three Episcopal priests to be ordained Catholic," June 8). Any young Catholic man in the seminary studying to be ordained is expected to remain celibate; why in heaven's name is the Church allowing these ordinations to take place?

Allowing these ordinations to occur is a direct contradiction to the Church teaching that Catholic priests must not marry. It is also a direct slap in the face to young seminarians studying for the priesthood.

Regardless of what alibi the Church offers for these ordinations, the bottom line remains that married Episcopal priests are allowed to be ordained as Catholic. This is a sacrilege.

More here-,0,7383774.story

Bishop unlikely to allow same-sex blessings in Dallas Episcopal diocese

From Dallas-

The heavily LGBT congregation at The Episcopal Church of St. Thomas the Apostle likely won’t be able to bless same-sex relationships even if a resolution allowing the blessings passes at the July General Convention in Indianapolis.

Bishops will decide whether to allow the blessings in their dioceses, making Dallas parishes doubt that they’ll be performing them anytime soon.

The Rev. Stephen Waller, openly gay rector at St. Thomas, said he hasn’t even requested permission from the Dallas bishop to perform the blessing because he doesn’t think it would be granted.

“We would not be given such permission by our diocese,” Waller said. “I can’t speak for the bishop, but I suspect he will toe the line and not grant permission. Our bishop has been pretty clear that he didn’t want to do that.”

Dallas Diocese Bishop James Stanton didn’t return calls this week requesting a comment about the resolution.

More here-

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Summary of the HoD Committee on the State of the Church Blue Book Report

From The State of the Church-

The House of Deputies Committee on the State of the Church is charged with preparing and presenting a report on the State of the Church (Canon 1.6.5b) and with setting the form of the Parochial Report. This triennium's committee decided to add new areas which would enlighten the Church members on how it is fairing moving from a "corporate" mode to a new environment that is and will remain in process for several years.

The report is full of new graphs in different categories that the committee would like you to review prior to attending General Convention. Although the Demographic section is similar to the 2009 HOD State of the Church Report, we were able to add several new graphs which are: Number of Episcopal Congregations by Year Founded: 1610-2010, Change in Key Statistical Areas: 2000-2010, Age Structure of the United States and The Episcopal Church : 2010, Congregations in Financial Stress: 2010, by Size. These graphs can be found on Pages 60 through 64 of the report.

The next category is the Laity. The Demographics of the Laity Graph can be found on Page 64. This report also contains the first survey ever sent to all deputies for their input. We are grateful to President Bonnie Anderson for allowing us access to the list of deputies and alternates. And we thank the deputies and alternates (834) who responded to the survey. The Survey Respondent Data Graph is on page 66. 

More here-

Archbishop of Canterbury's video message for Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development

From ACNS-

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has recorded a video message in advance of the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in which he asks “What kind of world do we want to leave to our children?”

The video message can be viewed here:

“All religious people see the world as a gift from God.  And all religious people are therefore bound to ask: if that’s the gift we’ve been given, how do we make it a gift to others, to the next generation?”
In the video, the Archbishop says that this question poses “a challenge that I think will resonate for absolutely everybody across the world.”

Viewing our environmental and social legacy as a ‘gift’ to be passed to the next generation, the Archbishop suggests that one such gift is “the wisdom of how to inhabit a world, how to inhabit a limited environment with grace, with freedom, with confidence.”

“Are we handing on a gift, both material and spiritual, that really will make them live well, live happily, so that their future will be secure and they too will have a gift to give to their children and grandchildren in turn?”

He highlights the key role that both governments and faith communities play in achieving this vision of justice for future generations, working collaboratively for an equitable and inclusive green economy.

More here-

Church of England faces backlash from own members over same-sex marriage

From Ekklesia- England

The leaders of the Church of England are facing strong criticism from within their own ranks for their attack on same-sex marriage yesterday (12 June).

Eight Christian organisations, all of which include many Anglicans, today issued a joint statement backing same-sex marriage and accusing Church leaders of a “scandalous” failure to consult their own members.

Three of the eight groups to sign the statement are evangelical organisations, disrupting attempts by some to portray the controversy as a dispute between liberals and evangelicals.

The Church of England's statement yesterday was the denomination's official response to government plans to introduce civil ceremonies for same-sex marriage in England and Wales. The eight organisations to sign today's statement insist that “the official Church of England response to the government misses the key point”.

Senior figures in the Church of England – such as its Director of Mission and Public Affairs, Malcolm Brown – yesterday argued that the government's plans would reduce marriage to a “contract” rather than a covenanted relationship. In response, the signatories to today's statement point out that many same-sex couples want to marry precisely because they want to have a relationship that goes beyond a legal contract.

The statement explained, “For many same-sex couples, equal marriage is not about legal rights, but a recognition that marriage offers something more – that marriage embraces something deeply spiritual which strengthens both the couple and society.  In failing to recognise this, the Church of England has impoverished its own teaching on marriage.”

More here-

Good Shepherd Episcopal Church removes its organ; replacement to come in 2013

From Lexington-

While it would seem to the layman that organs, even those in soaring Gothic-inspired churches more than 80 years old, might be fairly easy to remove and replace, that layman would be wrong.

Extremely wrong.

The removal of the organ at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, 533 East Main Street, is an operation that requires a substantial work force and painstaking care, with each bit and tube carefully packed. The silver tubes, laid side by side, have a surprising heft and look a bit like mini-missiles.

While some pieces of the old organ will be used to build the new one, other pieces might be offered as part of a church fund-raiser.

The $1.4 million project to remove and replace the organ with a more powerful model will require some waiting on the part of the 750 Good Shepherd members. The new organ will be installed beginning in January, according to church organist and choirmaster John Linker.

Good Shepherd has raised $1.3 million of the total needed.

Read more here:

Episcopal leaders push to abolish death penalty across the country

From ENS-

When Gov. Dannel Malloy signed a bill in April making Connecticut the fifth state in five years to abolish the death penalty, Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut Bishop Suffragan James Curry’s attendance at the ceremony testified to the influence of Episcopal leaders on ending capital punishment in the state.

Curry and other members of the diocese had worked with the Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty since the 2005 execution of serial killer Michael Ross, the first prisoner put to death in New England in 45 years.

Abolishing the death penalty became “a very, very contentious issue” in Connecticut after two recently released prisoners invaded a home and “brutally murdered” two girls and their mother in 2007, he said.

“In the midst of that, it was very hard to have a conversation in this state about not demanding the death penalty for such horrific crimes,” Curry said. “It was also a time in the church where we started to shift the conversation from that this is punishment to [that] the death penalty is really about the kind of statement we want to make about what we want our society to be.”

More here-

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Churches Challenge British Government Over Same-Sex Marriage

From The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-

The British government was headed for a bruising showdown on Tuesday with Anglican and Roman Catholic Church leaders over Prime Minister David Cameron's contentious plan to legalize same-sex marriage, presaging what some clerics called the most serious rift between church and state in centuries.

Just two days before a deadline for public responses to the plan, the Church of England and Roman Catholic bishops insisted in public statements that marriage was the union of a man and a woman.
Mr. Cameron, who leads a coalition government with the junior Liberal Democrats, has depicted himself as an ardent support of same-sex marriage, going beyond existing laws covering civil partnerships, which were introduced eight years ago.

In some ways, the debate here mirrors arguments in the United States swirling around President Obama's support for same-sex marriage.

The proposal to legalize same-sex unions threatens not only to provoke a clash with church and Muslim leaders but could also divide Mr. Cameron's Conservative Party, adding to a catalog of political woes that has been building over policy reversals and accusations by his critics that the Conservatives are too close to the rich and powerful.

Read more:

Church tunnels were a waypoint on Underground Railroad

From Maryland-

Narrow, low-ceiling tunnels beneath a downtown church are all that remain of a fort built by the Maryland militia before the French and Indian War.

But it was the tunnels' use nearly a century later - as a hiding place for runaway slaves - that is renewing interest in them in this mountain city.

The Rev. David Hillhouse Buel, an abolitionist, came to Emmanuel Parish of the Episcopal Church as rector in 1847, according to the parish website. It's believed he hired a slave escaped from Mississippi, Samuel Denson, as church sexton, and together they helped other fleeing slaves take cover in the tunnels beneath the church.

The border separating North and South, between Pennsylvania and Maryland, was just a few miles away.

"It was a place to hide away and be stored away until it was time to move across the Mason-Dixon line," said Bernard Wynder, president of the Allegany County NAACP.

About 1,000 adults and 500 children visited the tunnels last weekend, which marked Heritage Days here. The church and tunnels gave visitors relief from 90-degree heat and humidity outside, as well as a glimpse into the past that Wynder said should be a point of community pride.

The underground tunnels connect the church, its rectory and the nearby Allegany Academy, now the city's library. The buildings are not far from an area of town once filled with bars and brothels, which was populated by workers on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.

More here-

House of Deputies president election schedule changes

From ENS-

Episcopal Church House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson has announced changes in the timetable for electing her successor.

The schedule for electing a new vice president of the house remains the same.

The up-to-date schedule for the elections, which will take place during the 77th meeting of General Convention July 5-12 in Indianapolis, is here.

Nominations from the House of Deputies floor for the office of president will now open on July 9 instead of July 8. This change appears to allow the deputies to then host a “meet the nominees” gathering the evening of July 9 from 6:30 to 8:30. The location will be announced.

The election for president will take place on July 10. Nominations for House of Deputies vice president will open that same day and that election will take place the next day, July 11.

Anderson announced May 23 that she would not ask convention to elect her to a third and final term as president.

The office of vice president has been open since February 2010 when the Rev. Brian Prior was ordained bishop of Minnesota. There is no canonical procedure to follow in choosing an interim vice president when the office becomes vacant between conventions. Anderson announced that she will follow the precedent established by Pamela Chinnis, who had to decide how to fill a vice presidential vacancy in 1994 during her terms as president of the House of Deputies (1991-2000).

More here

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rector installed at Hamilton's Christ Church

From Mass.-

After leading Christ Church for nearly three years, the Rev. Patrick Gray has become the congregation's permanent rector.

Gray's title changed from priest-in-charge to rector on Sunday, June 3, when he was installed during a service led by the Right Rev. M. Thomas Shaw, the Episcopal bishop.

Gray came to the Asbury Street church in October 2009, just as a large number of its members broke away to form Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church in Beverly.

Under Gray's leadership, Christ Church has grown and flourished since the jarring split. He's started numerous new programs, from a Lego club for children and a dart team for adults to a network of small groups, where church members can form relationships outside of Sunday mornings.

"People are excited, I'm excited and we're looking forward to what God's got in store for us," he said.

Gray is Christ Church's 13th rector. Previously, he was associate rector at the Church of the Advent on Beacon Hill.

More here-

Saginaw woman gives encouragement, comfort through 'prayer shawls'

From Michigan-

Nine years ago, Sue Luxton joined Daughters of the King, a women's group at St. John's Episcopal Church.

The group had formed as a ministry group, making "prayer shawls," colorful knitted blankets which are knitted while praying for the recipient and eventually blessed by a priest, for ill members of the congregation. The group split up, but Luxton kept knitting.

She has knitted 62 shawls since then and keeps a record of every one. In a black three-ring binder, she keeps a numbered list of the shawls, their colors and the meaning behind the color choice, the recipients' names and the reason they needed the shawl. On other pages, she has taped pieces of yarn, labeling them with the meanings assigned to each color.

Some symbolize hope, some encouragement, others peace or strength.

More here-

Occupy protestors on trial for trespass at NYC church lot

From The Chicago Tribune about New York-

Eight Occupy Wall Street protesters went on trial on Monday on trespassing charges for scaling a fence in lower Manhattan to stake a new base of operations for the movement after being evicted from its main encampment late last year.

A retired Episcopalian bishop, George Packard, was among those on trial in Manhattan Criminal Court for breaking into fenced-in Duarte Square, a lot owned by historic Trinity Church, an active Episcopal parish founded in 1697.

They were part of a larger group of 65 protestors who were arrested on December 17, 2011, for pushing their way onto the church-owned land. It was an effort to secure a new base not far from Zuccotti Park, where the original Occupy encampment stood until police raided it in November 2011.

Through its protests, which spread across the country, Occupy Wall Street started a national conversation on economic inequality last fall. But the movement has struggled to maintain its viability after police cleared most of its encampments in various cities.

In his opening statement on Monday, Assistant District Attorney Lee Langston said the protesters made a "deliberate decision" to violate the church's property rights, despite a locked fence and signs warning against trespass.

More here-,0,177112.story

Three Maryland Episcopal Clergymen Join Catholic Church

From Maryland-

Three Maryland clergymen who were originally ordained in The Episcopal Church have accepted ordination into the Roman Catholic Church.

Fr. Jason Catania, Fr. Anthony Vidal, and Fr. David Reamsnyder, all from Mount Cavalry Church in Baltimore, were ordained as priests in a ceremony performed on Saturday at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen.

The three former Episcopal clergymen ordained as priests will become part of the Catholic Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. The Ordinariate is a recently created church territory similar to a diocese yet national in scope. It was created specifically for Anglican clergy and congregations who sought to become part of the Roman Catholic Church while retaining their Anglican heritage.

Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori oversaw the ceremony, which included a total of seven men, the three former Episcopal clergy plus four others.

More here-

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Western Outpost Shrinks on a Remote Island Now in Japanese Hands

From The New York Times (Via the Post-Gazette)

Every morning, as the sun rises over this remote Pacific Island and its tiny port with typically Japanese low-slung concrete buildings, John Washington commits a quiet act of defiance against the famously insular Japan: he hoists an American flag over his inn.

Mr. Washington, 63, whose white skin and blond hair, which is turning white, mark him as something of an outsider, is a great-great-grandson of the island's founding father, an American sailor named Nathaniel Savory who set sail in 1830 with a band of adventurers for this island, which was known as a lawless natural wonder.

These days, Mr. Washington's attempt to evoke that history seems increasingly like an act of desperation. His community -- descendants of those settlers -- is vanishing as young people leave this isolated outpost, a 25-hour ferry ride from Tokyo in a chain once known as the Bonins, or assimilate, dropping the Anglican religion and English language of their forebears.

"I feel it will all die out with my generation," Mr. Washington said. "They don't teach the history of the Bonin Islands to kids, don't teach about Nathaniel Savory. The Japanese hide these things."

Read more:

19th century vampire-hunting kit to go up for auction

From the "You Can't Make This Stuff Up Department"-

A 19th century vampire-hunting kit will be put up for auction later this month.

The collection of vampire-killing tools contains a mallet, stakes, pistol, steel bullet mould, rosary beads, an 1857 Anglican prayer book and a crucifix.

The kit is held together in a mahogany box, and also includes glass bottles with holy water, holy earth and garlic paste, reports BBC News.

The "complete and in good condition" artifact will go on sale at a North Yorkshire auction on June 22, near to where Bram Stoker penned his novel Dracula.

The auction is said to have already attracted international interest.

A local woman was reportedly given the kit through her late uncle's will.

"It's probably a novelty thing. It's playing to people's superstitions," said auctioneer Oonagh Drage.

The kit also includes a handwritten extract from the Bible, quoting Luke 19:27. It reads "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me."

McCutchen powers Bucs to sweep, first-place tie

Further signs of the impending apocalypse - The Pirates are in first place (well tied for first anyway)

A.J. Burnett continued his remarkable pitching renaissance. The lineup at his back continued its abuse of visiting left-handers. As the sum of those parts, the Pirates continued on a roll, steadily gaining both momentum and confidence.

In the latest dose, Pittsburgh completed a sweep of Kansas City with a 3-2 win on Sunday in front of 25,752 in PNC Park. Pending the outcome of Cincinnati's Sunday night game against Detroit, the Pirates will hit the road to Baltimore either tied for the NL Central lead or still one game behind the Reds.

Andrew McCutchen drove in all three runs against Royals lefty Bruce Chen as the Bucs improved to 8-1 against southpaws at home. Overall, the win was the Pirates' fourth straight. It is their second four-game winning streak within a 12-3 run since May 25, the club's best 15-game stretch in nearly a decade.

More here-

Moving an 80-Ton Church

From Ohio-

Trinity Episcopal Church had outgrown its space on Maple Avenue. The parking lots were overflowing, all the way to St Patrick’s. Some in the growing congregation were relegated to sitting on small, uncomfortable seats, pulled out from the sides of wooden pews. And parishioners, including many children, found themselves on the street as they walked to the parish before or after services.

Something had to be done.

So in 1965, after some discussion by church leaders and the diocese, two extraordinary, and what some believed to be impossible, options were on the table: Option A: Rebuild the church to accommodate the growing flock — estimated cost, $1.5 million. Option B: Move the current church to another location where there was room to grow — estimated cost, $54,000.00.

It was a sunny Tuesday, August 24, 1965 when the 80-ton Trinity Episcopal Church was moved three-quarters of a mile from the Maple Avenue lot where it had stood since 1875, to its current River Road location.

More here-

History of Springs Episcopal church gains national attention

From Colorado-

Sitting in the choir section of Grace and St. Stephens Episcopal Church, Marianna McJimsey can’t help but get excited when she talks about the history of the place.

The former Colorado College professor and head of the church’s archival project can spout off facts for hours if given the prompt. She’s not the only one who finds the church significant.

The church was recently placed on the National Register of Historic Places, becoming one of a small handful of churches in El Paso County on the list.

On Sunday afternoon, the sound of McJimsey’s voice in the empty church bounced off of the high arches in the sanctuary – a rare example of gothic revival architecture in Colorado Springs. The light streams in through dozens of intricate stained glass windows, each with a story and commissioned by former parishioners as far back as 1899. And behind her is the large historic organ donated to the church by Alice Bemis Taylor, who also helped create the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.

Read more:

Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania would offer same-sex blessings

From Central PA-

Clergy in the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania soon might have the option of blessing same-gender couples, the diocesan bishop said Sunday.

The Episcopal Church has decided “to take another step forward toward full inclusion of all its members,” the Right Rev. Nathan D. Baxter, bishop of the diocese, said Sunday after the 142nd annual Diocesan Convention that was held during the weekend in State College.

Baxter said if trial liturgy of a same-sex blessing is approved at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, his diocese will use it, too. The General Convention will be held next month in Indianapolis.

“We’ve had a task force working on this issue for some time considering the proposed blessing of same-gender unions prayerfully and thoughtfully,” he said.

Although the Episcopal Church has ordained openly gay bishops in the United States, it has not taken an official stand on gay marriage. The Episcopal Church believes that homosexuality in and of itself is not a sin.

Baxter said that some Episcopal priests and congregations would welcome the new liturgy while others would be uncomfortable with it. Using the same-gender blessing liturgy would be voluntary, he said.

More here-

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Episcopal Church’s presiding bishop visits ND this week

From North Dakota-

The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church will make her first visit to North Dakota as presiding bishop to celebrate the church’s work for flood relief in Minot and attend the Niobara Convocation.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori will attend an Evensong service at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Gethsemane Episcopal Cathedral, 3600 25th St. S. in Fargo.

On Wednesday, she will attend services at St. George’s Church in Bis-marck.

On Thursday, Jefferts Schori will attend the 140th Niobara Convocation, a gathering of Native American Episcopalians at the Standing Rock Reservation.

The Tuesday Evensong traditional Anglican evening worship service is open to the public and features music by the Gethsemane Choir.

This is the first visit to North Dakota of a sitting Episcopal presiding bishop since 2004.

More here-

Nuns' leader seeks dialogue with Vatican to plead case

From The Post-Gazette-

Sister Janet Mock, a Pittsburgher at the center of the dispute between the Vatican and an umbrella group for nuns, is perplexed at the order for an archbishop to oversee her work.

She acknowledges that a few sisters have moved so far outside church tradition that it's difficult to recognize them as Catholic. But the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, of which she is the executive director, didn't encourage that, she said.

"I have been actively involved in LCWR for over 20 years and, for the life of me, I don't know what the myth is that makes it such an ogre in the church," said the Sister of St. Joseph of Baden.
On Tuesday she will meet in Rome with Cardinal William Levada of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle, who is slated to oversee a reform of the LCWR. They will discuss the sisters' concerns that the evaluation is unfair.

Read more: