Saturday, October 20, 2012

Study Tour

Well, this seems like a good time to take a couple of weeks and help to lead a study tour of Turkey and Israel. We'll see you all in November.

Episcopalians gather for consecration of new bishop

From The Post-Gazette-

One thousand Episcopalians packed Calvary Episcopal Church Shadyside to consecrate and welcome their new shepherd, Bishop Dorsey McConnell.

Bishop McConnell, 58, is the first tenured bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh since its last one led a schism over theology and sexual ethics in 2008. Pittsburgh is the first of four such split dioceses to elect a new bishop. A fifth diocese, South Carolina, announced this week that it also would leave the Episcopal Church.

But the theme of Bishop McConnell's consecration was unity and bridge building. At one point the Yale-educated former actor played the part of a bridge-builder in a surprise skit set amid the Flood of 1936.

At the end of the service he told local officials present that he was grateful for anything that raised consciousness of the need for bridges.

"I want to thank the government of Allegheny County for closing the Squirrel Hill Tunnel in honor of this day," he said to shrieks of laughter and applause from the congregation.

Read more:

Episcopalians install new bishop in tradition-bound ceremony

From The Pittsburgh Tribune-

A church rocked by divisions over beliefs came together in jubilation on Saturday as leaders of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh consecrated the Rev. Dorsey McConnell as its first permanent bishop since 2008.

“The last four years have been trying, but it’s wonderful to have someone here now, especially a man like Bishop McConnell,” said Judith Waldorf, 62, of Shaler, who was among 400 people who filled Calvary Episcopal Church in East Liberty for the ceremony. “This is a wonderful day and I’m blessed to be here.”

Church leaders elected Mc-Connell, 58, to bishop in April. He previously served as rector of Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill, Mass. He succeeds the Right Rev. Kenneth L. Price Jr., who served as provisional bishop since 2009.

“The people have chosen you and you have affirmed their trust in you,” the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, the presiding bishop, told McConnell. “You are called to guard the faith, unity and discipline of the church; to celebrate and to provide for the administration of the sacraments of the New Covenant; and to be in all things a faithful pastor and wholesome example for the entire flock of Christ.”

Conservative congregations split from the diocese in 2008 and formed a rival denomination in response to the church’s stance on same-sex unions and the 2003 ratification of an openly gay man as bishop of New Hampshire.

Before the schism, the diocese had 66 parishes and 20,000 members. Today, the diocese includes 33 active congregations and 9,000 members in
11 counties.

Read more:

Friday, October 19, 2012

Episcopal bishop ready for life in Pittsburgh, post-schism

From The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-

When Bishop-elect Dorsey McConnell was chosen to lead an Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh still deeply wounded from a 2008 schism, he prepared to face anger, resentment and grief. He wasn't prepared for the drivers.

"I had to get used to driving here because people are so polite," said the bishop-elect, who hails from Boston. "I've been unnerved by the kindness of people in traffic. They let you turn left in front of them. I love this city."

The question is whether the diocese will turn left. Pittsburgh has been among the most theologically conservative dioceses in an increasingly liberal denomination. That culminated in a 2008 split in which its last tenured bishop led a majority of parishes and clergy out of the Episcopal Church in a dispute over biblical theology and gay ordination. But some conservatives believed schism was wrong and remain in the Episcopal diocese, which is still fairly conservative by Episcopal standards. It has 9,000 members in 33 parishes.

In the interim it was led by provisional Bishop Kenneth Price Jr., who is credited with helping the shattered diocese to heal. It is the first of four split dioceses to elect a permanent bishop. Bishop-elect McConnell will be consecrated Saturday in Calvary Episcopal Church, Shadyside.

Read more:

Executive Council pledges to reconsider budget process for 2015

From ENS-

This may be the first meeting of the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council since General Convention in July but, the members looked ahead to the 2015 convention and the 2016-2018 budget.

Diocese of Ohio Bishop Mark Hollingsworth, chair of council’s Joint Standing Committee on Finances for Mission told the council that FFM “discussed at length the budget-building process.”

During those discussions, the committee agreed that the process needs to be changed, even though a special task force on the structure of the church, that will begin meeting in 2013, will no doubt discuss budgeting issues. That task force is due to be named in early December. The task force will bring its recommendations to the 2015 meeting of General Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the 2016-2018 budget process must begin during this triennium.

The FFM budget-process subcommittee, Hollingsworth told the council, will include FFM members Susan Snook as chair, Tess Judge, Francisco Quinones, and the Rev. Canon John Floberg. They will also ask the chairs and vice chairs of council’s Joint Standing Committee on Governance and Mission and the convention’s Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance to join the subcommittee, Hollingsworth said.

More here-

SC diocese finally breaks with Episcopal Church

From San Francisco-

After years of controversy over ordination of gays and other issues, the conservative Diocese of South Carolina has finally split from the national Episcopal Church.

The split with one of the oldest dioceses in the nation came this week after the conservative leader of the diocese, Bishop Mark Lawrence, was notified by the national church's Disciplinary Board for Bishops that he is considered to have abandoned the national church. A board considered similar issues a year ago and concluded he had not.

But in an Oct. 15 letter from Katherine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the national church, Lawrence was informed that he is considered to have abandoned the church and is barred from performing any "Episcopal, ministerial or canonical arts" while the full House of Bishops investigates.

Read more:

S.C. diocese defecting from the Episcopal Church

From The Washington Post-

The Diocese of South Carolina announced on Wednesday (Oct. 17) that it has disaffiliated from the Episcopal Church, escalating a long-running skirmish and setting the stage to become the fifth diocese to secede from the denomination.

South Carolina said the split was triggered by disciplinary action taken against Bishop Mark Lawrence, its conservative leader. The diocese passed a resolution on Oct. 2 stating that it would immediately secede should the Episcopal Church “discipline, impair, restrict, place on administrative leave, charge, derecognize” or otherwise inhibit the diocese or its leaders.

Twelve lay Episcopalians and two priests in South Carolina brought the charges against Lawrence. The denomination’s 18-member Disciplinary Board for Bishops found him guilty of abandoning the Episcopal Church and renouncing its rules in September.

Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori informed Lawrence of the guilty verdict on Monday, curtailing his ministry and prohibiting him from acting as an ordained Episcopal priest.

more here-

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Anglican Consultative Council meeting is vital for our whanau – NZ Maori archdeacon.

From ACC-

The upcoming meeting of Anglicans from around the world is important not only for those attending but also for the person in the pew, according to one of New Zealand’s Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) members.

The Revd Turi Hollis, an Archdeacon from the Maori Anglican diocese of Te Waipounamu, said the whanau or Anglican family could hardly exist without meeting together on occasion.

“In the New Zealand Prayer Book/He Karakia Mihinare one of the Eucharist services begins with the words: E te Wh?nau a te Karaiti, ko tatou nei tana tinana e mahi nei i te ao. (We are the family of Christ; we are his body at work in this world.) For me, then, the Anglican Consultative Council is a gathering of my Anglican brothers and sisters, and friends, from across the world. How can a whanau exist if it does not get together when it can?

“We live in a big world and it is not possible for all Anglicans to hui (gather, meet, conference) but the man and woman in the pews should not be forgotten. After all, they are also members of te Whanau a te Karaiti (the family of Christ) just as we are who have the privilege of being on the ACC. This is why, despite all the diverse theological, biblical and political views that can be found in any whanau, the ACC needs to maintain and sustain the bonds that tie our Anglican whanau together.”
Archdeacon Hollis is one of more than 80 ordained and lay delegates who are sent to the meeting by the 38 Provinces of the Anglican Communion. Along with the Lambeth Conference and Primates’ Meeting, the ACC is one of the Instruments of Communion. It convenes every two or three years as a key moment of reflection and fellowship for the Anglican Communion. It is an opportunity for representatives of all the Member Churches to reflect on the life and mission of the Anglican Communion, and consider future priorities and activities.

More here-

‘Persecuted’ Anglican priest turns Pentecostal

From Uganda-

A senior West Ankole diocese priest, who recently crossed to the Pentecostal church, has been baptized.

Rev. Canon Benon Byamugisha was baptized in the Ekiyanja Ky’omugabe Lake in Mbarara district.

He and other 13 converts from Islam, Roman Catholic and Anglican faiths were baptized by Pastor Norman Mugarura of Daystar cathedral in the presence of the church’s bishop, Nathan Turyamureeba. 

Byamugisha, 54, served as the diocesan health coordinator in the diocese at Bweranyangi in Bushenyi district.

He accused fellow priests in the diocese of persecuting him.

He said he had suffered from a strange ailment that had blocked his digestive system, forcing him into a month of not being able to eat.

But when a Pentecostal pastor, Wilberforce Ssamanya, prayed for him, he “got well”.

More here-

Presiding officers to appoint structure committee on or about Dec. 1

From ENS-

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and the Rev. Gay Jennings, president of the House of Deputies, said Oct. 17 that they expect to announce on or about Dec. 1 the names of the members who will make up a special task force to re-imagine the workings of the Episcopal Church in the 21st century.

General Convention called in July (via Resolution C095 for a group to research and present to the next meeting of convention in 2015 “a plan for reforming the church’s structures, governance, and administration.”

The task force will gather ideas from all levels of the church about possible reforms to its structures, governance and administration. Its work will culminate in a special gathering of people from every diocese to hear what recommendations the task force plans to make to the 78th meeting of General Convention. Its final report is due by November 2014.

Resolution C095 called for the presiding bishop and the president of the House of Deputies to appoint the task force, which can include as many as 24 people, by Sept. 30. However, the statement noted that more than 450 people were nominated for those seats and Jennings said Oct. 15 during the first day of the Episcopal Church Executive Council’s four day meeting here that the two of them have been working their way through those nominations since Jefferts Schori returned in early October from sabbatical.

More here-;postID=6333519163839858272

Bishop-elect to take reins of Pittsburgh's divided Episcopal diocese

From The Pittsburgh Tribune Review-

While the Rev. Dorsey McConnell is getting to know the windy roads and unusual landscape of Western Pennsylvania, he said he’s learned, “if you make a wrong turn, you don’t regret it.”

McConnell’s path to religion has had similar detours, all which led to his role as bishop-elect of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.

McConnell will be consecrated on Saturday in Calvary Episcopal Church in East Liberty. The diocese has 36 active congregations in 11 counties.

“The first thing is to get to know the people,” said McConnell, 58, who moved to Edgewood in August. “A lot of time will be spent the way I like it — getting out to meet people and listening to their stories.”

Church deputies, clergy and designated diocesan leaders elected McConnell, rector of Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill, Mass., to the position in April. He succeeds the Right Rev. Kenneth L. Price Jr., who has served as provisional bishop since 2009.

Read more:

Disciplinary Board says South Carolina bishop has abandoned church

From ENS-

The Disciplinary Board for Bishops has certified to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori that Diocese of South Carolina Bishop Mark Lawrence has abandoned the Episcopal Church “by an open renunciation of the discipline of the church.”

The presiding bishop spoke by phone to Lawrence on Oct. 15 to inform him of the Disciplinary Board action and to tell him that, effective noon of that day, the exercise of his ministry was restricted, according to an Oct. 17 press release from the church’s Office of Public Affairs. He is not permitted to perform any acts as an ordained person.

Lawrence has 60 days to respond to the allegations in the certification, the release said.
“These actions make it clear the Episcopal Church no longer desires to be affiliated with the Diocese of South Carolina,” the diocese said in an Oct. 17 statement on its website.

The diocese said that the action “triggered two pre-existing corporate resolutions of the diocese, which simultaneously disaffiliated the diocese from the Episcopal Church and called a special convention.” That convention will be held Nov. 17 at St. Philip’s Church, Charleston.

more here-

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New York's Trinity Church forced to cancel Halloween fest over Occupy Wall Street camp

From Fox news NY-

Occupy Wall Street campers have made Halloween at a church in lower Manhattan simply too scary, church officials told

Citing an “abundance of caution,” the Rev. James Cooper of Trinity Church said the Episcopal parish at Broadway and Wall Street in Manhattan has canceled it popular Halloween activities due to safety issues arising from a sidewalk encampment in front of the place of worship.

“Canceling a beloved family event is not a decision taken lightly,” Cooper said in a statement issued Sunday. “Last year, more than 1,200 people took part. However, we are deeply concerned about the escalating illegal and abusive activity the camp presents.”

Linda Hanick, a spokeswoman for Trinity Church, said nine people have been arrested in connection to the encampment in the past two weeks, including a man who was arrested after he put an air horn to the ear of a longtime maintenance superintendent at the church on Oct. 11. The maintenance worker was “traumatized” by the incident, she said.

Read more:

Executive Council gets glimpse of work done at church center

From ENS (What I'm doing)

The members of the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council got a crash course on the work of the church-wide staff Oct. 16 during a visit to the Episcopal Church Center in New York.

During the morning, the council split into five groups and toured the building, meeting with members of the mission staff who work both in the New York location and across the church. They also heard from the mission support staff, including the Office of Communication, treasurer’s office, and human resources.

The visit to the church center was significant, in part, because General Convention said in July (via Resolution D016) that “it was the will of this Convention to move the church center headquarters away from the church center building.” That statement came after the House of Bishops rejected a call by the House of Deputies to sell the building at 815 Second Ave.

A comprehensive study of real estate owned by the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Episcopal Church is being conducted by the real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield and funded by Diocese of Los Angeles Bishop Jon Bruno. The study involves both the Episcopal Church Center at 815 Second Ave. in New York and a city block in Austin, Texas, that was purchased with the intent of constructing a new building for the Archives of the Episcopal Church. The study is also meant to explore the cost of relocating the church center and its impact on the staff.

more here-

Monday, October 15, 2012

Divided dioceses team to support ministry for homeless, hungry

From Pittsburgh-

Two factions that divided the Episcopal church in Pittsburgh four years ago as part of a national schism have agreed to work together to support a ministry for homeless veterans and others in need.
An accord between the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh and the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh clears the way for Shepherd’s Heart Fellowship to take title to all property at its Uptown location and to seek a more favorable financing of its debt.

The Episcopal Diocese considers the ministry of paramount importance, spokesman Rich Creehan said.

Attorney Andrew Fletcher, representing the Anglican Diocese, could not be reached for comment.
Shepherd’s Heart, which joined the Anglican Diocese, feeds the hungry, homeless, poor and addicted. The second floor of the church at Pride Street and Forbes Avenue includes 15 beds, a kitchen, living room, showers and a computer room. It provides transitional housing for homeless veterans.

An estimated 500 to 600 veterans are homeless on any given night in Allegheny County, said Michele Margittai, director of development and community relations at Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania, a South Side nonprofit that helps veterans and their families.

Read more:

Tales from the Vault: The battle of the bishops

From British Columbia-

Disputes in the Anglican Church tend to be quiet affairs. Strongly held views on various topics certainly exist, but debates mostly occur in hushed tones over teacups. This was certainly not the case in early Victoria.

Church membership was far more widespread than it is today, and opinions on church life and conduct were part of everyday life. So when the two most senior and respected clerics held different views on the conduct of church services, there was bound to be trouble. And in the early 1870s, trouble did erupt.

The man at the centre of this dispute was the Very Reverend Edward Cridge, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral. Cridge had come to Victoria in 1855, in response to a request from the Hudson's Bay Company. The company needed a clergyman for its Pacific Northwest base, Fort Victoria. Cridge and his wife Mary came, and quickly became essential members of the community.

They wound up doing several jobs simultaneously.

Read more:

Germanton church move stirs up conflict

From North Carolina-

More than 120 years ago, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church was built in Germanton, N.C.

Next month, the church will make the nearly 100-mile trek to its new home in Chapel Hill.

The building will be used by The Episcopal Church of the Advocate, which has been looking for a permanent location since 2003.

But Germanton residents who grew up in the church are opposing the relocation of what they call a historic landmark.

“The people who have cared for the church for the last 20 years had no idea it was going to be sold until after the decision was made,” said Caroline Armijo of Friends of St. Philip’s Church, a group created to protest the move.

A new place to worship

In 2011, the The Episcopal Church of the Advocate — which had previously rented several facilities — made plans to build a new place of worship near Homestead Road.

More here-

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Old church records tell historic tale -- with rum

From New Jersey-

The year was 1769 and a group of Anglicans was forming its own church in the 14-year-old county of Sussex.

Their first purchase was to have tickets printed up for a lottery, their way of raising money to support the new church.

Their fourth purchase was 1 pound, 3 shillings paid to Henry Hairlocker for entertainment for a "frolic," the Colonial equivalent of a party. The notation doesn't specify what the entertainment was to be except to note "including one gallon and a half of rum."

The minutes of that first meeting were among a bundle of documents "lost" in plain sight at Christ Church on Main Street that were discovered by the Rev. Robert T. Griner, the church's rector, when he was looking for something else about two years ago.

In the church office is a large safe that held some of the older records of the church. The safe backs against a wall that had a counter with doors and drawers under it and several cabinets above them.

Griner re-created the discovery last week as he climbed onto a chair he had pulled from a nearby office, and opened the door.

More here-

Atlanta's Episcopal Church ordains new bishop

From Fox Atlanta-

The Episcopal Church and its 50,000 followers in north Georgia have a new leader this weekend.

Robert Wright became the first African American bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta in a ceremony Saturday on the Morehouse College campus.

Former United National Ambassador Andrew Young delivered the sermon during the ceremony.

Wright studied the Civil Rights Movement at Howard University. He spent the last ten years at Saint Paul's Church in southwest Atlanta.

He is the 10th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta.

A former Navy veteran, Wright is married with five children.

The Episcopal Church, faith, and U.S. Politics, defying the defiers on “Pulpit Freedom Sunday”

From God Discussion-

According to the Episcopal News Service (ENS) over 1500 clergy defied Separation of Church and State on “Pulpit Freedom Sunday”, but ministers of the Episcopal Church allegedly defied the defiers by staying non-partisan and continuing to preach on non-partisan topics, encouraging their congregations to protest war, fight poverty, and support women’s health care, as well as LGBT issues.

Some of the ministers defying the IRS told their congregations that if they voted for a particular candidate, they would go to hell.  Others told their congregations if they support particular issues, they are going to hell or called sinful for voting for Obama.  The Alliance Defending Justice does so, in an effort to challenge the IRS, according ENS.

However, Rev. Ed Bacon, rector of All Saints Episcopal Church, did the opposite and even went as far as telling the story of the IRS attending church, in the second video, and accusing the church of practicing politics during an election season.  The IRS, after demanding the church admit to it, with the church refusing to do so, dropped the inquiry after two years.  The sermon in question dealt with peacekeeping, justice, inclusion, compassion, healing, and environmental justice, critiquing various politicians and government policies.  In the video below, the minister did state whom they endorsed, reminding people, “Faith without works is dead” and “spirituality without action is fruitless” and “social action without spirituality is heartless”, adding that they are political without being partisan, acting daringly.

More here-