Saturday, November 17, 2012

Archbishop Justin Welby will try to be all things to all men

From The Daily Mail-

'The archbishop/Is the King's hand and tongue; and who dare speak/One syllable against him?'

So asked Sir Thomas Lovell in conversation with Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, in Shakespeare’s Henry VIII.

We know, of course, how things turned out for that King’s ‘hand and tongue’ under the next Queen – ‘Bloody’ Mary.

Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, architect of the Church of England’s XXXIX Articles and author of the vernacular Book of Common Prayer, went on to have a great many syllables spoken against him, principally by those who were suddenly aware that royal patronage had shifted, religion reverted, and those whose theology and beliefs were once in favour became the new outcasts and heretics – ‘a pestilence/That does infect the land’. Such is the ebb and flow of spiritual myopia and religious fanaticism.

Of the next Archbishop of Canterbury, the Rt Rev’d Justin Welby, I wrote back in September:

'If, however, the (Crown Nominations) Commission is concerned to appoint God’s choice – a thoughtful and gifted communicator, deeply committed to upholding the orthodoxy of the Christian faith – ‘the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints’ – in the fraught context of cultural diversity, social upheaval, political cynicism and theological conflict, the lot must fall to Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham.'

More here-

Whittaker: Next Archbishop of Canterbury took unusual path

From Massachusetts-

Although I am not inclined to betting, I admit that I have been checking the odds recently. But the particular horse race I have been following involves not colts but bishops. Until last week, Ladbroke’s and other British bookmakers were accepting bids on who would be appointed the next Archbishop of Canterbury. The bidding ended with the announcement a week ago that Justin Welby, who is currently Bishop of Durham, had been chosen to be the new archbishop and, as such, the first among equals in the worldwide Anglican communion – which includes The Episcopal Church in this country – a confederation of more than 80 million Christians.

If it seems strange that betting shops more used to taking bets on the Derby allowed people to place wagers on the identity of a new archbishop, that is only one unusual aspect of the selection of a spiritual leader for a group of Christians that in sheer numbers is second only to the Roman Catholic Church. The 44 member churches of the Anglican Communion are found in 165 countries around the world where Britain once held colonial sway or other political influence. As the countries became independent, so did the churches (for example, The Episcopal Church in the United States was established in 1789 in the wake of the American Revolution). But the churches maintained their ties to one another and to the Church of England that had spawned them.

More here-

SC diocese meets after break with national church

From AP-

The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina is holding a convention to chart a future course after its split with the National Episcopal Church over issues including ordination of gays.

Delegates from many of the approximately 70 congregations in eastern and southern South Carolina are slated to gather Saturday at Saint Phillip's Church in downtown Charleston.

Last month, 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 letter from the national bishop barred him from performing any ministerial acts.

But the leaders of the local diocese also last month passed a resolution saying it would disaffiliate from the national church if it took any action asserting authority over the diocese, its leaders or members.

Read more:

Episcopal Presiding Bishop Sends Letter to Defecting SC Diocese

From Christian Post-

The Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church has sent a pastoral letter to the members of a diocese whose leadership is defecting from the denomination.

The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori sent the letter to the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina on Thursday, writing that she wants the Diocese to remain part of the Church.

"Your presence adds to the ability of this community to discern the will of God, even if you disagree vehemently with one or another resolution passed by a particular General Convention," wrote Schori.
"Never in the history of Christianity have all the faithful agreed about everything, and I doubt very much that we will come to full agreement about everything before we join the saints in light at Jesus' Second Coming."


Episcopal leader says S.C. diocese can't secede

From South Carolina-

While clergy and parishioners from one of the nation's oldest dioceses meet to chart a future outside the Episcopal church, the church's national bishop has issued a pastoral letter saying the Diocese of South Carolina can't leave the mother church of its own accord.

"While some leaders have expressed a desire to leave the Episcopal Church, the diocese has not left," Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori wrote in a letter Thursday. "It cannot, by its own action. The alteration, dissolution, or departure of a diocese of The Episcopal Church requires the consent of the General Convention, which has not been consulted."

But leaders of the diocese, who have split with the national church over issues including ordination of gays, do not see it that way.

In an Oct. 15 letter, Jefferts Schori informed diocesan Bishop Mark Lawrence 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.

More here-

Friday, November 16, 2012

God in a mod world

From Australia-

The story goes that a former archbishop of Canterbury once found himself the target of outrage in the British popular press for something he had said. One newspaper attacked him under the headline ''The Archbishop Must Go!'' A few weeks later he again attracted the ire of the newspaper and the headline was ''The Archbishop Has Gone Too Far!'' The present archbishop can relate to that experience.

Rowan Williams is the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual leader of the Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion which numbers about 80 million people across the world. As he writes in the preface to Faith in the Public Square, he is expected to have comments on the public issues of the day such as the environment, living in a multi-faith society, issues of human rights, sexuality and secularism. Speaking from experience, he writes bluntly that when he does so he is doomed to fail in the eyes of most people.

Read more:

Tough Path Ahead for New Anglican Leader

From VOA-

The newly appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, the spiritual leader of the global Anglican Communion, faces major challenges in uniting the faith’s increasingly divided church. For church members in Africa - where more than half of Anglicans live - opinions vary about how Justin Welby will weather the storm.

Welby will take up his new position as the Archbishop of Canterbury early next year. It will be a remarkable undertaking for a man who began his career in the oil industry before becoming a parish priest in the Church of England. He has only been a bishop for one year.

South African theologian Barney Pityana said many African Anglicans in his region do not know anything about Welby.

“There is a little bit of apprehension over the appointment of somebody with so little episcopal experience,” said Pityana.

More here-

Reconciler Welby to take over in Canterbury

From The Church Times-

HIS initial reaction to a call from the Prime Minister's appointments secretary last week had been, he said, "Oh no!"

On Friday morning last week, the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Justin Welby, appeared before the press at Lambeth Palace, more than 24 hours after the first reports of his appointment as Dr Williams's successor had been published. It was, he said, with a sense of irony, "the best-kept secret since the last Cabinet reshuffle".

The announcement brought to an end months of speculation about who might be the next Archbishop, which intensified in September after it was inferred that the Crown Nominations Commission had failed to agree on a candidate, at what was planned as its final meeting.

More here-

Restricted SC bishop: We are still here

From South Carolina-

"We are still here and by God’s grace we shall not only endure we shall prevail,” was the message in an open letter from The Right Reverend Mark Joseph Lawrence, Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina to parishioners around the state. 
Thirty-four Rectors and Vicars who affirmed their support of and stand with the Bishop signed the letter. Originally only Rectors were invited to sign onto the message and as clergy request it, their names are being added.

The open letter, which is being distributed to South Carolinians by email, by individual parishes and in a full-page advertisement the Charleston Post & Courier addresses, “an intentional effort by the ill-advised [The Episcopal Church] organization to assume our identity, one that we have had since 1785,” and clarifies that “we continue to be The Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina, known also to our parishes and the wider community as The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, and more simply, the Diocese of South Carolina of which I am the XIV Bishop in succession.”

More here-

Letter is here-

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Anonymous donation brings 2,000-pound bell to St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Lakewood

From Ohio-

Having gone nearly a century without a bell in their church’s bell tower, parishioners of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Lakewood are now celebrating a ringing achievement.

Last week, workers turned out to install a 2,000-pound bell at the church. The job brought an end to decades of dreams about what could be accomplished with the tower.

“It’s been ready for a bell since the building was built in 1927,” parishioner Lorna Jordan said.
After the church’s initial construction, the forthcoming Great Depression and World War II hindered finances and likely discouraged the purchase of a bell for years.

An anonymous donor recently sent the church $37,000 – enough to purchase a bell and fund the construction work and installation process necessary to get it inside the tower.

More here-

Bishop Hart Leads Episcopal Delegation to The Gambia

From Liberia-

Episcopal Bishop Jonathan B. B. Hart will today lead a team of 13 officials, including five clergymen, to Banjul, The Gambia.
The intent of the visit, according to Bishop Hart, is to afford the Liberia team a chance to witness and participate in the ordination ceremony of Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of West Africa, Dr. Solomon Tilewa Johnson of The Gambia.

According to Bishop Hart, the delegation includes the Dean of Trinity Cathedral, Rev. Dr. Herman Browne, who will also serve as guest preacher for the occasion.

Bishop Hart furthered that women of the Monrovia Diocese will also be represented by their president and are expected to actively participate in the ceremony for the togetherness and uniqueness of the Episcopal Church.

Commenting on the importance of the upcoming program, the Episcopal Bishop intoned that it will strengthen and cement the relation between Episcopal churches in the sub-region, particularly those of Ghana, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, The Gambia, Guinea and Liberia.

Archbishop Johnson was recently elected to lead the West African Diocese in order to foster unity and spread the Gospel across the region in one voice.

More here-

Augusta priest charged with smuggling drugs into Wiscasset jail

From Maine-

A priest who has been serving St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Augusta is on administrative leave after police charged him and two inmates at a regional jail with trafficking drugs there.

Meanwhile, a retired Augusta minister said she warned the priest not to initiate the friendship with one of the inmates he's accused of giving drugs to.

The Rev. Stephen Foote, 70, of Bremen, faces a Class C charge of trafficking in prison contraband at Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset, the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday. Charged with Class D counts of attempted trafficking in prison contraband are jail inmates Joshua Theriault-Patten, 25, of Bremen, and Adam Shawley, 27, of Newport.

Authorities said the arrests and charges stemmed from a joint, monthlong investigation involving the sheriff's office, the jail and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.
More here-

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Priest barred for interfering in S'pore's politics

From Singapore-

The Government has barred Australian clergyman James Minchin from entering Singapore as he "has interfered in Singapore's domestic politics", the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in a statement on Sunday.

An author and Anglican priest, Mr Minchin arrived in Singapore from Australia on Nov 7, and was turned back at Changi Airport, The Straits Times online reported.

In August last year, while on a social visit to the Republic, he spoke at a political forum "where he alleged that the rule of law was bypassed and corrupted in Singapore, and questioned the independence and integrity of the judiciary", MHA said.

He did not have a permit to speak.

All foreigners who are involved in activities directly related to the "organisation or conduct of any seminar, conference, workshop, gathering or talk concerning any religion, race or community, cause or political end" must hold a Miscellaneous Work Pass, The Straits Times report added.

Recently, Mr Minchin, a controversial figure from Melbourne, came to Singapore again on a social visit and gave a "political interview" in his capacity as a clergyman.

More here-

Having lived through hell I hope true light is now about to shine

From The Telegraph-

WHEN I saw Prime Minister Julia Gillard on TV announcing there would be a royal commission into child abuse in churches and other institutions I was overwhelmed.

I wept uncontrollably. I became breathless. I walked the floor struggling to breathe, trying to comprehend what I had heard.

It was later I realised it was about time the truth was revealed, perhaps it was time for hope and happiness, not sadness.

I lived in the Church of England North Coast Children's Home in Lismore from 1949 to 1964. Most of those years were full of hatred, bloody brutal floggings, bashings, starvation and sexual abuse. It was a home of hell and fury.

In the time I was there more than 200 innocent children were verbally, physically and sexually assaulted. Fear ruled our lives.

Children were abused, many savagely beaten by the matron, staff and Anglican clergy using belts, electric cords, pony whips and small flexible branches which at times we were ordered to fetch from the backyard.

Unable to do anything, I stood helplessly and watched in fear.

I also watched helplessly as my little mates were violently beaten, screamed at and dragged by the hair to their beds.

More here-

Relaunched Anglican World magazine bids farewell to one Archbishop of Canterbury, welcomes the next

From ACNS-

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams has spoken about the ‘state of the Communion’ in the official magazine of the Anglican Communion, relaunched at the recent Anglican Consultative Council meeting in New Zealand.
Writing in the first edition of Anglican World magazine Archbishop Williams said he “hopes and prays” the Communion will always be in the ‘state’ that he describes: one in which “the Church works to uncover the image of God in those around them.”

The article, in the magazine’s Last Word section, is one of Archbishop Williams’ final messages in his role as spiritual head of the Communion. He steps down on December 31, 2012 to be succeeded as Archbishop of Canterbury by Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Justin Welby.
Co-editor of the magazine and Director for Communications of the Anglican Communion Jan Butter said he was delighted the magazine was relaunched in time for Archbishop Williams’ to write a farewell to the Communion.

More here-

Harvard, Yale And The Puritans

From Connecticut-

Each November, Thanksgiving focuses attention upon the Pilgrims, that group of courageous English dissenters who came to New England in 1620. They were the vanguard of the Puritan influx, Calvinists who rejected ceremonialism in worship and insisted on a congregational form of church government. Ironically, while they sought to practice their religion freely, they soon exhibited reluctance to grant that right to other faiths .

One of their major concerns was education. The Reformation emphasis on reading the Bible meant that their offspring must be literate, and soon one-room schoolhouses were found throughout their early settlements. It is no coincidence, either, that both Harvard and Yale, arguably the best-known of American universities, were established by the Puritans.

Harvard was founded in 1636 at New Towne (later Cambridge), Massachusetts, primarily to train clergy. An early anonymous description of the college’s origin recalled: “After God had carried us safe to New England … dreading to leave illiterate Ministry to the Churches, when our present Ministers shall lie in the Dust…it pleased God to stir up the heart of one Mr. Harvard, a godly gentleman and a lover of give one half of his estate…towards the erecting of a college, and all of his library.”

More here-

Fort Worth 7 indicted on charges of failure to inform on other bishops

From Anglican INK-

The episcopal defendants in the Fort Worth 7 case have been charged with fraud, financial misconduct and failing to inform on their fellow bishops  who held opinions on church order contrary to those advocated by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

In an email dated 2 Oct 2012 seen by Anglican Ink the Fort Worth 7 were informed of the specific canonical violations they had committed by filing an amicus brief in the Fort Worth case before the Texas Supreme Court.

The intake officer for the House of Bishops, the Rt. Rev. F. Clayton Matthews told the seven:

"The complaints were filed by the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Fort Worth and Mr. Paul Ambos, a member in good standing of Christ Church, New Brunswick, New Jersey and a Deputy to the 77th General Convention from the Diocese of New Jersey.  They allege you violated Canons IV.3.1, and Canons IV.4.Sec1(c),(e),(g),(f),(h)(6),(h)(8), and possibly IV.4.Sec.1(h)(2).”

More here-

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Christianity as threatened by liberalised doctrine as by Islamic violence: Nigerian Anglican Primate

From Nigeria-

 Christianity is an “endangered species” in Africa, pressed between violence from Islamist terrorism on one side and doctrinal and moral “disunity” among Christians on the other, a leading Nigerian Anglican bishop has said.

The Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, the Anglican Primate of Nigeria’s 18 million Anglican Christians, warned the other African nations that doctrinal relativism, which he called “nominalism,” and the “doctrine of prosperity” – the idea that God rewards the morally upright with material wealth - are creating as serious a threat to the continuance of Christianity as Islamic violence on the continent.

Okoh was speaking at the 2012 Divine Commonwealth Conference in Abuja, on the theme: “Contending For The Faith.” He said that for Christianity to survive in Africa, all Christians everywhere must adhere to a common Christian faith in line with the Bible.

Okoh referred to the Islamic terrorist organisation Boko Haram, which has gone on killing sprees throughout Nigeria and is particularly known for attacking Christian worshippers at services at Christmas and Easter time.

More here-

Anglican Diocese of Accra inaugurates new Bishop

From Ghana-

The Anglican Diocese of Accra, Church of the Province of West Africa, on Sunday inaugurated the Episcopal Ministry of Right Reverend Dr Daniel Sylvanus Mensah Torto, as the ninth Diocesan Bishop of Accra.

Dr Mensah Torto succeeded the Most Reverend Justice Ofei Akrofi as Archbishop and Primate of the Church of the Province of West Africa, following his retirement on October 29, after serving for 16 years.

Most Reverend Ofei Akrofi, in his message, advised the new bishop to use spirituality as the tool to do the work that God had entrusted into his hands.

He called on other bishops in the Church to welcome him and create space for him to be God’s agent and instrument in building God’s household.

Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, Presiding bishop of Methodist Ghana, said there was the need to re-imagine the future based on hope in God who in Christ came to rescue us from sin and restored us to a new relationship with him.

“This means we have to rediscover the mission of Jesus Christ, for we don’t really know Christ till we participate in and live out his mission”.

More here-

Houma church starts rebuilding after fire

From Louisiana-

During a Sunday worship service two years ago, pastor Craig Dalferes read a Bible verse to the congregation of St. Matthew’s Church.

“ ‘Do you see all these things?’ ” Jesus told his disciples as they looked at the magnificent temple in Jerusalem.

“ ‘Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

Dalferes said it was a difficult verse to preach about on a normal Sunday. But that was no ordinary Sunday — only a few days earlier, he had been standing in the ashes of the church’s landmark, century-old sanctuary in downtown Houma.

This Sunday, Dalferes stood in the grassy field where those ashes had been and read a different verse.

More here-

Q&A with disaffected Episcopal diocese: Officials explain status and positions

From South Carolina-

On Sunday, The Post and Courier reported that both the breakaway diocese and the continuing diocese of The Episcopal Church had announced meetings meant to define next steps.

The majority of officials and worshippers in the Diocese of South Carolina appear to be aligned with the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence, who has severed his ties with the church because of long-standing disputes over theology and administrative authority.

On Thursday the breakaway diocese issued a strongly worded statement critical of those who have formed a new steering committee in order to reconstitute the “continuing diocese” of The Episcopal Church. At least 12 parishes and hundreds of parishioners throughout the diocese have chosen to remain part of the church. The intact diocese included a total of 70 parishes.

For “the other side of the story” — a timeline of events concerning the Diocese of South Carolina that was prepared by The Episcopal Church — go to

The exchange last week prompted The Post and Courier to seek some clarification. Answers were assembled by Joy Hunter, communications director for the disaffected diocese.

More here-

Monday, November 12, 2012

Stormy see

From Irish Post-

The Church of England was once described as “the Tory Party at prayer” – not so, these days. The new, 105th Archbishop of Canterbury, although a former oil company executive with strong business credentials and more pragmatist than radical, is what the Financial Times describes as “a trenchant critic of the excesses of capitalism”. His views on social issues such as gay priests – against – and women bishops – in favour – that are dividing the church reflect a more cautious centrism.

Bishop of Durham Justin Welby will take over the archbishopric and with it the role of titular head of the 77 million-strong Anglican communion worldwide at a difficult time for the church. But there is a worldliness and pragmatism about him that marks him out from incumbent Rowan Williams, a brilliant academic and theologian. The latter may have, as one newspaper put it, “made the country a more thoughtful place”, but he struggled to keep the church united. Welby had a record in the oil business as a conciliator and says he has a “passion for reconciliation”.

Eton- and Cambridge-educated, he has had a fast rise in the church since he abandoned business for Holy Orders. He was elevated to bishop only last year, scarcely time, unlike rivals, to antagonise any of his brothers.

Welby was recently appointed to the parliamentary committee into UK banking standards, specifically the lapses which led to the Libor scandal, and is expected to retain his place on the committee where he has impressed politicians with his expertise.

More here-

Give Archbishop bet winnings to the church - Welby

From Durham-

HAVING been unveiled as the next Archbishop of Canterbury in London on Friday (November 9), Justin Welby returned to his day job at the weekend – still displaying the mix of humour and drive which has fuelled his rapid rise to the top of the Church of England. Mark Tallentire reports.

“BECAUSE speaking generally, I’m not a horse. I think that’s a really important point to get across.”

Perhaps not words you would expect from the next head of the worldwide Anglican Church; but then Justin Portal Welby, still for a few months the Bishop of Durham, is perhaps not whom you would expect, either.

His appointment to succeed Rowan Williams is still a surprise even to him, he says, and still hasn’t sunk in.

More here-

Jonathan Congratulates New Archbishop Of Canterbury

From Nigeria-

PRESIDENT Jonathan on Saturday congratulated the Bishop of Durham, Right Reverend Justin Welby, on his appointment as the Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Anglican Communion worldwide.

In a congratulatory letter to Bishop Welby, Jonathan said he was confident that, with his “inspiring antecedents,” he would achieve “astounding success” in his new assignment.

Speaking in the same vein, the Bishop of Kaduna Diocese of Anglican Communion, Dr. Josiah Idowu-Fearon, said with his background in resolving the insecurity problems posed by Islamic militant sect, Boko Haram, Welby is equipped to bring peace to all parts of the world.

The Archbishop of Canterbury was recently in Nigeria as part of efforts to end the Niger-Delta debacle, Jos crisis, Kaduna violence and Boko Haram insurgency. With this background, Idowu-Fearon believes his new position would serve as added advantage to further promote peace not in Nigeria, but Africa and the rest of the world.

Idowu-Fearon, who spoke in an interview with The Guardian on the appointment of the Archbishop of Canterbury, pointed out that Webly has contributed immensely to the Federal Government’s struggle to bring an end to violence in the Niger Delta and Kaduna.

More here-

Can new Archbishop of Canterbury help resolve Anglican Communion's problems?

From Alaska-

They will be praying for Justin this Sunday in parish churches around England. Justin Welby, currently Bishop of Durham, has been chosen to be the new Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the worldwide Anglican communion — which includes America's Episcopal churches — a group of more than 80 million Christians.

It is one of the many quirks of the job that his surname will go when he puts the mitre on his head. He will be called Archbishop Justin by his bishops, priests, deacons and congregations. An odd bit of informality at odds with the responsibilities he is taking on. He is the 105th person to hold the position in a line that goes all the way back to St. Augustine, Apostle to the English, who is not the St. Augustine who prayed, "Grant me chastity … but not just yet." Although in some ways, Welby's life before becoming a churchman lives out that prayer. He was very worldly before putting on the collar.

Justin Welby is a son of privilege and connections. His father, Gavin, was a bootlegger during prohibition and made the acquaintance of the Kennedy family. It is reported that Gavin Welby introduced Jack Kennedy to his first mistress.

The new Archbishop's parents divorced when he was two, and his father dated Vanessa Redgrave for a while. His mother married Lord Williams of Elvel.

More here-

Emotional Norwalk ceremony honors veterans

From Connecticut-

David Cole sat proudly in his Army uniform at the front of the congregation at Christ Episcopal Church Sunday services. Turning his wheelchair to face the congregation squarely, Cole's dignity and pride in his service was evident as he introduced himself to the congregation at the Church's annual Veterans Day tribute mass.

"I was in the United States Army from 1953 to 1973," said Cole. "I was a lieutenant colonel and served in the special forces. I very proudly wear my green beret. I loved every minute of being in the military."

Cole was one of invited veterans from all branches of military service at the mass conducted by church vicar Reverand Colonel Frank Wismer, a recently retired senior Army reserve Episcopal chaplain. Wismer, as a veteran of Desert Storm, Operation Joint Force in Bosnia, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Camp Arifjian in Kuwait feels a strong affinity for, and appreciation of the military.

More here-

Presiding Bishop backs ecclesiastical coup in South Carolina

From Anglican Ink-

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has declared the ecclesiastical authority of the Diocese of South Carolina vacant and has backed a faction within the diocese that is seeking to fill the “vacuum” created by the suspension of Bishop Mark Lawrence.

The loyalist “Transitional Committee” has also declared the South Carolina Standing Committee to be vacant and has formed a “steering committee” to act in its place. 

On 11 Nov 2012, the steering committee announced that it had taken charge of the diocese. “We write to assure you that The Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina is continuing,” they said, noting they had formed a “steering committee of faithful Episcopalians” to “reorganize our continuing Diocese over the next few months. This committee will serve as the broad-based group in the Diocese that communicates with the Presiding Bishop during this period when the Diocese has no functioning ecclesiastical authority.”

 More here-

Sunday, November 11, 2012

New church to rise from ashes of disastrous fire

From Louisiana-

Two years to the day after their historic church in downtown Houma burned to the ground, parishioners of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church will break ground on a new building in a ceremony Sunday.

After lengthy fundraising and planning, construction of a building to replace the landmark Barrow Street sanctuary will soon be under way.

“This is hugely significant for us,” said the Rev. Craig Dalferes, the church's pastor. “It's highly symbolic that on the very day we lost our church we can have a ground-breaking ceremony.”

The church will start with a worship service at 10 a.m. in the tent that has stood for almost a year near where the church once stood. The church will set up several extra tents to accommodate the 150-200 people it expects to attend. A public ground-breaking ceremony will follow afterward.

More here-

Eau Claire diocese elects William Jay Lambert as bishop

From ENS-

The Rev. William Jay Lambert was elected Nov. 10 as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Eau Claire, pending the required consents from a majority of bishops with jurisdiction and Standing Committees of the Episcopal Church.

Lambert, rector of St. James’ Episcopal Church in Leesburg, Florida (Diocese of Central Florida), was elected on the second ballot out of a field of four nominees. He received 26 votes of 48 cast in the lay order and 18 of 27 cast in the clergy order. An election on that ballot required 25 in the lay order and 14 in the clergy order.

The election was held during the diocese’s 84th annual convention at Avalon Hotel and Conference Center in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.

Pending a successful consent process, Lambert will succeed the Rt. Rev. Keith Whitmore, who resigned as Eau Claire’s bishop in 2008 to become assistant bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. The diocese has been led since September 2010 by Bishop Provisional Edwin Leidel, Jr, former bishop of Eastern Michigan. Eau Claire’s Standing Committee served as the ecclesiastical authority during the period the diocese was without a bishop.

More here-

Pine church turns parable into project

From Pittsburgh-

The Aug. 19 sermon at New Community Church in Pine began as a stock lesson on building God's kingdom, using Jesus' parable about a boss who gave each of his managers money to invest in his absence, rewarding those who increased it but firing a man who buried the sum to protect it. Then the pastor asked for volunteers, without saying what they were volunteering for. After they came forward, he handed 100 people a $100 bill.

He told them it was God's money not theirs, that they were to invest it for his work and report back in three months.

"It was risky. But it has so exceeded our expectations," said the Rev. Mark Bolton, senior pastor of New Community, an independent evangelical church with about 750 members.
Some recipients multiplied the money as much as one hundredfold. Someone launched a fund for adoption expenses, others raised money for water wells in Sudan, a man gave hoodies to the homeless in Pittsburgh.

The stories will be told at the 9 and 11 a.m. Sunday services today through Nov. 25.

Read more: