Saturday, November 3, 2012

Va. Supreme Court Grants Breakaway Anglican Congregation's Appeal

From Virginia-

A Virginia congregation that broke away from The Episcopal Church over theological differences has been notified that its appeal was granted by the State Supreme Court regarding issues surrounding funds and property.

The Falls Church Anglican, a large congregation in Fairfax County that left the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia years ago along with several other conservative churches in the Commonwealth, was granted its appeal on Friday.

Jeff Walton, Anglican program director at the Institute on Religion & Democracy, told The Christian Post that the Va. Supreme Court's decision was a "positive development."

"This is a positive development for the Anglican group, which seeks to retain financial assets in its accounts at the time of the separation," said Walton.

"By hearing the appeal, the Virginia Supreme Court is allowing that the original case transferring all parish property – physical and financial – to the diocese may not have been correctly decided."


Episcopal Bishop announces retirement

From Wisconsin-

The Right Rev. Russell Jacobus, Seventh Bishop of Fond du Lac, announced today his intention to resign effective Oct. 31, 2013.

He made the announcement at the conclusion of the 138th Annual Convention of the Diocese of Fond du Lac meeting in Manitowoc.

He has served as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese which covers northeast Wisconsin since his election and consecration in 1994. He will also retire from active ordained ministry at that time.

In his comments to the Convention, Jacobus said "what a joy it is being the Bishop of the Diocese of Fond du Lac. As I tell many people – this is a wonderful Diocese."

In addition, Jacobus called for the election of a successor at the next annual Convention of the Diocese in October 2013, noting the business will be held during the day on Friday and election of the new Bishop on Saturday.

Plans are being made to hold this Convention in Fond du Lac so that the election can take place in St. Paul’s Cathedral within the context of the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

More here-

Presbyterian court clears pastor wed in same-sex ceremony

From New Jersey-

The top court of the Louisville-based Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has cleared a New Jersey pastor of charges that she violated church law by getting married to another woman in Massachusetts.

The General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission ruled Oct. 28 that the Rev. Laurie McNeill didn’t violate any church law because she didn’t preside over a same-sex wedding but rather was one of those exchanging the vows, and because no Presbyterian clergy or churches were involved.

McNeill, and Lisa Lynn Gollihue got married in 2009 in Massachusetts, where gay marriage is legal. The ceremony took place in an Episcopal Church on Cape Cod and was presided over by ministers from the Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ. New Jersey allows same-sex couples to have civil unions but not marriages.

The Presbyterian constitution defines marriage as between one man and one woman — although that definition has come under challenge in a denomination that has already began officially allowing the ordination of openly gay ministers — and it forbids Presbyterian ministers for presiding over such ceremonies and the use of Presbyterian churches in hosting them. The church does allow blessings of same-sex relationships as long as they aren’t represented as wedding ceremonies.

More here

Anglican Consultative Council Digest: Nov. 2 Bible project, Christian Zionism report, ongoing environmental responses

From ENS

Much happens each day during the Anglican Consultative Council‘s (ACC) 15th meeting. In addition to Episcopal News Service’s other coverage, here’s some of what else went on Nov. 2 (local time), the seventh day of the Oct. 27-Nov. 7 gathering.

Bible project aims for ‘wider and fuller biblical literacy’

The three-year-old Bible in the Life of the Church project has found “some decline in biblical literacy” around the Anglican Communion but “above all encountered the sense of excitement, discovery and challenge that comes from reading the scriptures together,” according to a report discussed on Nov. 2.

“Deep Engagement, Fresh Discovery” explores the way engagement with and interpretation of Scripture looks like in different parts of the Anglican Communion. The ACC asked for the project at its 14th meeting in 2009 via Resolution 14.06. The report, with resources for Bible studies, is available here.

The project created a network of regional groups across the communion to explore how different regions engaged with and interpreted the Bible. It reviewed what the Anglican Communion has already said about Scripture through Lambeth Conference resolutions, official reports and reports of ecumenical conversations. It commissioned research based on a number of existing studies exploring how “ordinary Anglicans” view and understand the Bible, and it collected a range of resources for engaging more deeply with Scripture.

more here-

ACC-15 told that love can still unite ‘untidy’ Anglicans

From The Church Times-

THE Archbishop of Canterbury said that he was praying for a "Pentecostal experience" at the 15th meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC), which got under way last weekend in New Zealand.

Speaking to ACC members on Saturday, at the TelstraClear Pacific Events Center, in Auckland, Dr Williams said that he hoped that "divided tongues of fire will touch us all in the days ahead; that we shall learn to listen to one another's languages, experience, and insight with all the enthusiasm and eagerness with which we would listen to God's own word".

Preaching a sermon at the opening eucharist of the ACC, in Holy Trinity Cathedral, in Auckland, on Sunday, Dr Williams said that the Anglican Communion should "constantly . . . draw others in".

He continued: "If we are prepared to risk loving the unlovable, knowing that we the unlovable have already been loved, then we'll be the Church, and then, please God, our wonderful quarrelsome, diverse, untidy Anglican Communion will testify in and through the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father."

More here-‘untidy’-anglicans

S.C. Episcopalians say split goes beyond gay debate

From South Carolina-

The night before the Diocese of South Carolina announced its secession from the Episcopal Church two weeks ago, the Rev. Tom Woodle met with members of his Myrtle Beach church, The Well by the Sea.

He wanted to warn them and tell them what he knew. Most of his parishioners were relieved and felt the change was long overdue, Woodle said.

The Diocese of South Carolina severed ties with the Episcopal Church on Oct. 17 after a long battle over theology and homosexuality, particularly the blessing of same-sex unions and the ordination of openly gay bishops.

South Carolina church officials said the final split was triggered by disciplinary action taken against Bishop Mark Lawrence, its conservative leader, who was found guilty of “abandoning the church” by an Episcopal disciplinary board.

Under Lawrence, the South Carolina diocese — which covers the eastern half of the state — has legally and theologically distanced itself from the Episcopal Church, removing references to the the national church in civil and church documents. It has also renamed itself The Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina.

More here-

St. John’s Episcopal Church signs Red Cross shelter agreement

From California-

St. John’s Episcopal Church in Lakeport has signed a shelter agreement with the American Red Cross Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake Counties.

The agreement makes possible the use of St. John’s Carey Hall as a temporary refuge for local disaster victims during Red Cross disaster relief activities.

“We welcome creative use of our sacred buildings and gardens to benefit our neighbors and community,” said St. John’s Parish Priest Fr. Leo M. Joseph, O.S.F.

“We’re pleased to partner with American Red Cross which, we know, provides shelter, food, emotional assistance and basic health care during disasters,” Joseph added.

St. John’s is the presence and ministry of The Episcopal Church in Lake County since 1877. The church building was recognized as a county point of historical interest by California Historical Resources Commission in 1989.

The American Red Cross provides services to individuals, families, and communities when disaster strikes.

More here-