Saturday, April 13, 2013

Makandiwa wants Daily News closed

From Zimbabwe-

Self-proclaimed prophet, Emmanuel Makandiwa, has declared war on the Daily News and effectively wants the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) to shut down Zimbabwe’s top newspaper after encouraging the media body to “punish the Daily News”.
Makandiwa has approached ZMC, the body that is in charge of regulating media houses and accrediting journalists, seeking severe punishment for the paper.

Among its powers, ZMC can deregister newspapers.

The Daily News has previously been shut down by the government. The latest astonishing move by the controversial preacher comes soon after he withdrew his High Court action against the paper.

Following discussions between legal representatives of the Daily News and the preacher, Makandiwa’s team went on a surprising offensive, concocting the can of events that had led to the discussions between the two parties.

In a venom laced letter to ZMC, Makandiwa’s lawyers are nudging the media regulatory body to use its powers under the draconian Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa) to punish the paper for failing to re-publish an apology over an error that appeared on the Daily News’ poster in December last year.

The poster read “Anglican Saga sucks in Makandiwa” instead of “Anglican Saga sucks in Banks.”

More here-

Bishop Decries Attacks

From The Living Church-

The Most Rev. Mouneer Hanna Anis, Bishop of the Episcopal/Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa and President Bishop of the Episcopal/Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, wrote a letter April 11 about recent violence near Cairo:

Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

The situation in Cairo is very sad for us as a Christian community. On Friday, 6 April 2013, sectarian clashes erupted once again, this time in El Khosus, in the outskirts of Cairo. The story, according to the director of the police, started by a 12-year-old Muslim boy drawing graffiti on the wall of an Islamic school. Two Muslim men rebuked him for doing so, and a Christian man also came and rebuked him. This developed into a big argument and fighting between Christians and Muslims in the area. After the Friday prayers in the mosque, a group of Muslims came out and attacked the Coptic Orthodox church in the area. The result of this was the killing of four Christians and one Muslim, and many injured. Many stores were also vandalized and looted. The Grand Imam sent his assistant, together with a Coptic Orthodox bishop, in order to do a reconciliation. However, one hour after things calmed down, the fighting erupted again.

More here-

Two Ways Jonathan Edwards Has Influenced You

From Georgia-

In 1734 in Northampton, Massachusetts, a Congregationalist pastor named Jonathan Edwards had been preaching at the church for several years with average results.

He was a Calvinist, trained at Yale and was convinced of the need for a personal experience of conversion. In 1734, his sermons began to evoke a response that surprised him.

His sermons were not very emotional, although they did underscore the need for an experience of conviction of sin and of God’s forgiveness.

His congregation in Northampton began to respond to his sermons with emotional outbursts, remarkable change in their lives, and increased attention to their devotional lives.

This was the beginning of America’s First Great Awakening – 42 years before we declared our independence from Great Britain. The revival in Massachusetts then spread to Connecticut.

Churches witnessed their members showing a greater devotion and more conscientious study of Scripture.

More here-

SC Episcopal Bishop Sends Letters Clarifying Clergy's Standing

From South Carolina-

The provisional bishop of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina has sent out letters to an estimated 140 clergy seeking clarification as to whether or not they will be departing the denomination.
The Right Rev. Charles G. vonRosenberg, bishop of TECSC, sent out the letters to priests and deacons who had not been in attendance for the conventions held by the "continuing Episcopalians" of the South Carolina Diocese.

"I invite you to make known your allegiance to TEC and, if you wish, to request a time to speak with me about this matter," read one of the letters, according to a TECSC press release posted Thursday.
"You face a very serious decision, with significant consequences for you and for the church, and I encourage your careful and prayerful consideration."

Holly Behre, director of Communications for TECSC, told The Christian Post that the letters varied in their content and were not necessarily exclusively for clergy who had opted to leave The Episcopal Church along with the rest of the South Carolina Diocesan leadership.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Psalm Book Could Fetch Record Price

From The Wall Street Journal

In 1640, Puritans settling in the frontier that became Massachusetts found a fresh way to annoy the Church of England they'd left behind: translating and printing their own book of psalms—including this reworded first line of Psalms 23: "The Lord to me a shepherd is, want therefore shall I not." (Take that, King James.)

Now, Boston's Old South Church is planning to sell a rare copy of the psalms—the first book printed in America—for $15 million to $30 million at Sotheby's in New York this fall. If the church gets its asking price, the Bay Psalm Book will be the most expensive book ever sold at auction, surpassing an $11.5 million copy of James Audubon's "Birds of America" that Sotheby's sold three years ago.

In 1947, the last time another version of the psalm book came up for auction, it sold for $151,000—a record price at the time that topped sales of Shakespeare's First Folio and the Gutenberg Bible. Only 11 copies of the psalm book survive today; Yale, Brown and Harvard universities own other versions, as does the Library of Congress.

More here-

Cycling for poverty on 2500km ride across the country

From Australia-

FIGHTING poverty with a pushbike sounds a bit far fetched, but that is exactly what a team of cyclists are doing.

The team, with an average age of 56, are from the Anglican

Their goal is to raise awareness on poverty in Australia and overseas and will be arriving in the Tweed today about 3.30pm as they head home to Sydney.

Smashing Cycles of Poverty cyclist Patrick Kennedy has pedalled 1600km over the last two weeks and said that motorists had given them an excellent reception so far.

"Motorists are waving, tooting their horns and getting right out of our way," he said.

They are being very gracious.

"We are now beginning the long trek back down the coast towards Sydney thinking about how we might win the next State of Origin series."

Anglican Aid CEO and team member David Mansfield said the group hoped to raise $1 million for the 1.3 billion people in the world who live on around $1 a day.

Aid Smashing Cycles of Poverty initiative and are riding the 2500km return trip from Sydney to Brisbane.

More here-

Thatcher clashed with Church, despite her faith

From The Church Times-

DURING her time in office, Margaret Thatcher's relations with the Church of England were often strained. When Robert Runcie was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury in 1980, it began a decade in which the Church's was often the strongest opposition voice.

As a result, the right-wing press was highly critical. Lord Runcie told his biographer Humphrey Carpenter: "I remember Jim Prior used to say to me: 'It's not that she [Thatcher] initiated the attacks on you in the papers, but she could have called them off at a moment's notice'" (Robert Runcie: The reluctant archbishop (Hodder Headline, 1996).

The inner-city riots in 1981 began a debate about responsibility for the poor. This culminated in the report Faith in the City, published in 1985 by the Archbishop of Canterbury's Commission on Urban Priority Areas. This was described by an unnamed member of the Thatcher Cabinet - widely believed to have been Lord Tebbit - as "pure Marxist theology".

Earlier, Mrs Thatcher was said to have taken exception to the sermon preached by Archbishop Runcie at a service of thanksgiving for victory in the Falklands War, at St Paul's Cathedral, in 1982. Archbishop Runcie remembered the Argentinian dead, as well as the British, and said: "Those who dare to interpret God's will must never claim him as an asset for one nation or group rather than another."

More here-,-despite-her-faith

SC Episcopal groups argue over where lawsuit heard

From South Carolina-

Episcopal churches separated by a schism in eastern South Carolina are facing off in court over a half billion dollars in church property, the diocesan seal and use of the diocesan name. But first attorneys are arguing over which court should hear the matter.

The conservative Diocese of South Carolina split with the more liberal national Episcopal Church last year over a variety of theological issues.

It sued in state court in Dorchester County early this year seeking to protect the property of the now 37 plaintiffs, which include parishes throughout the eastern and lower part of the state.

A state judge in January issued a temporary restraining order barring anyone but the diocese from using the diocesan name and seal.

Read more here:

Episcopal bishop confirms local congregation members

From Dvids- (Japan)

The Rev. Dr. James B. Magness, Bishop Suffragan for Armed Services and Federal Ministries, visited the Episcopal congregation on Fleet Activities (FLEACT), Yokosuka during a tour to churches in Japan, March 27 – 31.

“As the Bishop for the Armed Services of the Episcopal Church, I serve for three government branches, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons,” said Magness. “I am responsible for any priest that is in any one of those services. So, I like to set a goal to see each of them at least once in a two-year period. I also want to meet their congregation, their community and get a sense of where and who the priests are serving.”

This keeps the bishop on the road for many days out of the year. He explained that in his two-week trip, he visited a few locations in Japan where Episcopal chaplains are usually the only Episcopal leader in that area.

Read more:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Outgoing Bishop of Liverpool wants ban lifted on same-sex partnership blessings

From Independent-

One of the country's most senior Anglican bishops came a step closer to endorsing gay marriage after he called for the ban on same-sex partnership blessings to be lifted.

The outgoing Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Rev James Jones, said it was time for the church to consider the blessing of civil partnerships. "We've come to a time now that if we believe that civil partnerships are just then we can't withhold the blessing of God from that which we believe to be just," he said.

Although the remarks fell short of endorsing gay marriage they will nonetheless embolden campaigners. The Church of England has previously ruled out offering blessings to same-sex couples.

Last night Rev James said: "The Church believes there is a difference between marriage and civil partnership, between heterosexual union and same gender intimacy." He told ITV's News at Ten: "While maintaining that difference I personally hope that the Church will find a way to offering the blessing of God on the love of gay people in a civil partnership and in a committed stable relationship."

More here-

High office, low church

From The Economist-

IT IS hard to imagine a prime minister doing such a thing now, and even then it seemed rather surprising. In May 1988 Margaret Thatcher went to the General Assembly of the (Presbyterian) Church of Scotland and gave what would soon be called the Sermon on the Mound. It was an impassioned statement of a certain form of Christianity. The Conservative leader stressed individual salvation over social reform, the legitimacy of moneymaking when combined with altruism, and the “responsibility that comes with freedom and the supreme sacrifice of Christ”.

In religion, as in so much else, Mrs (later Lady) Thatcher was a bundle of paradoxes. She was the last British prime minister openly and emphatically to acknowledge the influence of Christianity on her thinking, in particular terms not fuzzy ones. Her fellow Tories, John Major and David Cameron, have presented themselves as loyal but lukewarm Anglicans. “I don’t pretend to understand all the complex parts of Christian theology,” Mr (later Sir John) Major once said, reassuringly. As for Labour’s leaders, Gordon Brown inherited the ethos but not the zeal of his father, a Presbyterian minister. Tony Blair is passionately religious but was famously discouraged by his advisers from “doing God” in public because of the fear that he might sound nutty.

More here-

Anglican cleric condemns proposed amnesty for Boko Haram

From Nigeria-

The cleric also bemoaned government’s helplessness as vices take over polity.

An Anglican Communion clergy, Godwin Daramola, has condemned the Nigerian government for its inability to prevent many woes befalling the nation.

Mr. Daramola, who delivered the sermon at the 10th year remembrance service held in honour of Atinuke Ige, late wife of the slain Governor of the old Oyo State and former Attorney-General of the Federation, Bola Ige, at the St. Anne’s Church, Molete, Ibadan on Wednesday, identified some of the social ills defying government’s efforts as corruption, insecurity, materialism and selfishness.

He condemned the government’s attempt to consider amnesty for the dreaded Boko Haram, wondering if that would ensure justice in the issues on ground.

Despite the mass-killing of innocent Nigerians in the Northern parts of the country, some Northern leaders had persuaded the Federal government to consider granting amnesty to members of the group earlier described by President Goodluck Jonathan as ghosts.

More here-

White House council calls for action on modern-day slavery

From RNS-

A White House advisory council of religious leaders called for a global fund to address human trafficking and urged a new labeling system to help identify consumer goods that were not created with slave labor.

With a 36-page report released Wednesday (April 10), the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships hopes to build awareness of the estimated 21 million people worldwide who are subjected to sexual exploitation or forced labor.

“Abraham Lincoln said if slavery is not wrong then nothing is wrong, and we know that sadly 150 years later slavery still exists,” said Susan K. Stern, chair of the council and an adviser to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. “Today with this report we say, ‘Enough.’”

More here-

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

UK Catholic lawmakers ask pope to relax celibacy rule

From England (via San Francisco)-

Twenty-one Catholic members of Parliament have written to Pope Francis to ask him to relax the rule on priestly celibacy for Latin-rite priests.

The members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords said in a March 25 letter to the pope that the rule should be changed to allow married men to be ordained priests where pastoral needs required it.

They suggested that it was unfair to allow married former Anglican ministers to be ordained as Catholic priests in England, Wales and Scotland while the church insisted on the celibacy rule for Catholic candidates in those countries.

The letter did not suggest that serving priests should be given permission to marry, and the legislators proposed that the celibacy rule be retained for bishops, as in the Eastern Catholic Churches, which allow married men to be ordained.

They said retaining celibacy for bishops “would signal the continuing high regard we have for those who are able to live a genuinely celibate life.”

“Your two predecessors, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict, guided we are sure by the Holy Spirit, generously permitted the ordination of married Anglican clergy as Roman Catholic priests,” said the letter, released to the media March 27. “These men and their families have proved to be a great blessing to our parishes.

More here-

Anglican Archbishop Offers Words on Death of Margaret Thatcher

From Christian Post-

The head of the global Anglican Communion released a statement expressing sadness over the death of Great Britain's first female prime minister.

"It was with sadness that I heard the news of the death of Baroness Thatcher and my prayers are with her son and daughter, her grandchildren, family and friends," said Archbishop of Canterbury the Rt. Rev. Justin Welby. "It is right that today we give thanks for a life devoted to public service, acknowledging also the faith that inspired and sustained her."

Baroness Margaret Thatcher died earlier this week at age 87 after a series of strokes. She served as prime minister from 1979 to 1990 and was known for her hard-hitting conservative politics, being dubbed "the Iron Lady" by a Soviet paper. After leaving office, Thatcher would become a baroness.
According to the BBC, Thatcher's funeral will take place on April 17 at London's historic Saint Paul's Cathedral following a procession from Westminster Abbey. While not an official state funeral, the ceremony will nevertheless receive the same status as the funeral of Princess Diana.


Vitriol infests Rick Warren family’s grief

From RNS-

Pastor Rick Warren, the best-known name in American evangelism after Rev. Billy Graham, lost his 27-year-old son, Matthew, to suicide on Friday (April 5).

In the days since, uncounted strangers have joined the 20,000 congregants who worship at the megachurch network “Pastor Rick” built in Southern California, Warren’s nearly 1 million Twitter followers and hundreds of thousands of Facebook followers in flooding social media with consolation and prayer.

“Kay and I are overwhelmed by your love, prayers, and kind words,” Warren tweeted on Sunday. “You are all encouraging our #brokenhearts.”

But a shocking number are taking the moment of media attention to lash out at Warren on their digital tom-toms. The attacks are aimed both at him personally and at his Christian message.

Some unbelievers want to assure Rick and Kay Warren, his wife and Matthew’s bereaved mother, that there’s no heaven where they’ll meet their son again.

More here-

Anglican priest charged in credit-card fraud

From Winnipeg-

An Anglican priest, who is the son of a Brandon bishop, is accused of charging more than $190,000 in personal expenses to a church credit card.

Noah James Bernard Njegovan, 30, appeared in Brandon court for the first time on Monday. His next court date is set for May 9.

He is charged with fraud over $5,000. The charge has not been proven in court.

Father Shane Bengry said members of the Anglican Diocese of Brandon have been notified of the accusations.

"We wanted to be as transparent as possible to our congregations... We tried to keep people abreast of what was going on," said Bengry.

Njegovan is the son of Anglican Bishop Jim Njegovan.

Noah Njegovan was executive archdeacon and assistant to his father at the time of the alleged offence.

Anglican diocese vows to fight church repairs

From Canada-

The Anglican Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador says it will continue to fight any attempt to force it to reattach the steeple and make other repairs to its old church in St. Philip's.

An appeal board dismissed the last attempt by the Town of Portugal Cove-St. Philip's to force the diocese to repair the church because the town did not follow proper procedures.

"They [the town] did not do it right," said Brad Wicks, a chancellor and lawyer with the Anglican diocese.

"They can't compel a private property owner to do things unless they follow the rules. They didn't follow those rules."

Church to investigate ‘crying’ Mary

From The Philippines-

The Catholic church here will investigate the incident involving an icon of the Our Lady of Fatima that allegedly wept blood, drawing attention from residents in sitio Kanhai, Barangay Tisa, on Tuesday.

“Ang unang lakang mao ang pagsusi kon milagro ba gyud o katingalahan lang ang nahitabo (The first step is to look into the incident if it is really a miracle or just a mysterious occurrence),” said Msgr. Esteban Binghay, Episcopal vicar of the Archdiocese of Cebu.

“Careful ang simbahan (the Church is careful in its action),” he added.

Blood reportedly flowed from the eyes of the icon owned by the family of Victor Jude Rayla, 42, in sitio Kanhai.

“Milagro gyud ni (This is a miracle),” said Efren Cabrera, 61.

But neighbors who flocked to see the foot-long porcelain statue mocked Cabrera and other believers.

A man drinking beer with friends shouted: “Pagbag-o namo (Mend your ways)!” His words apparently fell on deaf ears for other people proceeded to take pictures of the Virgin Mary and wipe the statue with their handkerchiefs.

More here-

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Clerics say Millennium Development Goals must be reached

From The Washington Post-

With fewer than 1,000 days left to meet the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, religious leaders from the G-8 countries are pushing heads of government to renew their efforts to meet the anti-poverty benchmarks by 2015.

The MDGs are eight development targets that were established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000 and include targets on reducing extreme poverty, improving child mortality and combating HIV/AIDS.

In an April 5 letter to the Financial Times, the 80 religious leaders said “meeting the targets is possible but only if governments do not waver from the moral and political commitments made over a decade ago.”

The letter was signed by Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, newly installed Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and other clerics from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the U.S.

The letter focused on the need for tax reforms, free trade and business transparency in order to strike at the underlying causes of poverty. It also called on all G-8 countries to fulfill an existing commitment to devote 0.7 percent of their national incomes to aid.

More here-

Making Room for Conservatives

From The Living Church-

By Christopher Wells

Revision of remarks on the question “Does the Episcopal Church Still Have Room for Conservatives?” made at Virginia Theological Seminary, February 2012; first in a series

I will take the word conservatives in the question posed to mean theological traditionalists, which strikes me as a useful handle. Theological conservatism should be distinguished from various forms of cultural and political conservatism, not least in the contemporary American context; orthodox Christian doctrine, to employ an additional term, does not map perfectly onto any particular party or platform in the secular world, and may depart significantly from the lexicon of our fleeting moment in history. Moreover, theological conservatism admits of degrees and shades, as well as schools. Distinguish, for instance, the traditionally Catholic and evangelical streams within Anglicanism, and their varieties, converging and diverging in one and another time and place.

With that said, let me propose what I take to be a useful hermeneutic for “conservative” self-reflection and -identification, in the form of a thesis: Conservative Episcopalians will, or should, be those who define and approach all things ecclesial in a steadfastly theological way, by asking first about God’s character, his person and promises, his history and the record of his actions, so that all else is tied to, interpreted in light of, and otherwise subjected in obedience to him.

More here-

Local Episcopalians march in Washington to address 'culture of violence' in America

 From Connecticut-

Barbara Campbell, poet for the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, shared the goals of the “Way of the Cross” march in Washington D.C. late last month.

The march was meant to address what the Episcopal Church sees as a “culture of violence” in America, she said at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.

It was also a re-enactment of the “Stations of the Cross” ceremony, in which participants ceremonially walk with Jesus and offer prayers inspired by events that occurred as he carried his cross to his crucifixion.

The public policy page on encourages individuals and congregations to support “social justice” issues.  Last year in Hartford Campbell participated in a march against Capital Punishment. In the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, Campbell has voiced her support for gun control.

“I think what Newtown has brought to the forefront in my mind, and in many people’s minds, is the prevalence of violence in our society,” said Campbell. “I hope that the church as well as others will look closely at that and hopefully begin to change the culture of violence.”

Campbell’s goals as a gun control advocate are to establish universal background checks, impose a limit on magazine size, and ban assault weapons. She also hopes to reduce gun violence through additional funding of metal health care institutions.

More here-

$2.5 million gift to endow center at Episcopal seminary in Austin

From Austin-

The Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest in Austin has received a $2.5 million gift to fully endow its Center for Christian Ministry and Vocation.

The seminary learned of the gift from the Richmond-based Henderson-Wessendorff Foundation in late March, but disclosed details more recently.

The center offers degrees in chaplaincy, spiritual formation and counseling. It will be renamed the Loise Henderson Wessendorff Center for Christian Ministry and Vocation at a ceremony in September, said Tara Elgin Holley, vice president for institutional advancement at the seminary.
The Henderson-Wessendorff charitable foundation includes the estate of Loise Henderson Wessendorff, who died in 2008. Created in 1972, the foundation is the successor to the Robert W. Henderson Foundation established by her father, Houston businessman Robert Wilson Henderson, in 1956, according to the foundation’s website.

The director of the Center for Christian Ministry and Vocation at Seminary of the Southwest, Dave Scheider, said Henderson Wessendorff’s passions included psychology and spirituality.

More here-

Episcopal dispute may play out in two courts

From South Carolina-

An official with the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina said Monday he believes the dispute over who has the right to claim the centuries-old diocese name and properties in the Lowcountry should be decided in state court, not federal.

“We believe the issues belong in state court,” the Rev. Jim Lewis, Canon to the Ordinary, said. “We certainly have plenty of state precedent in our favor.”

Bishop Mark R. Lawrence led a majority of clergy and parishioners out of the national Episcopal church (TEC) last year, igniting a battle with those congregations remaining behind over who may claim themselves as the Diocese of South Carolina.

Those clergy and congregations remaining with the national church, now operating under the name The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, filed a motion last week to move the question into the federal court arena. Bishop Charles vonRosenberg was elected bishop of those congregations at a Jan. 26 convention in Charleston that drew the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church.

“We have carefully examined the claims made against The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, and inherent in all these claims are federal statutory and constitutional issues that must be decided in a federal court rather than in South Carolina state court,” Thomas S. Tisdale Jr., chancellor of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina, said.

Read more here:

Monday, April 8, 2013

St. Phillip's church debacle drawn out again

From Canada-

An appeal board has overturned an order by the town of

The town declared the old building a heritage structure to prevent the parish from demolishing the building in order to build a new one.

Portugal Cove-St. Philip's to the local Anglican parish to repair the slowly deteriorating church.

However, the parish, which still has ownership of the building, refuses to make repairs and it has been rotting for three years.

Last year, the town ordered the parish to put the steeple back on the building and do any other necessary repairs, but the order had a number of technical flaws and an appeal board declared it invalid.

More here-

Alison Taylor consecrated bishop in Brisbane

From Australia-

Close to 70 Victorians travelled to Brisbane for the consecration of Alison Taylor as a bishop in St John’s Cathedral on Saturday.

They included Archbishop Philip Freier, Bishop Barbara Darling, Bishop Peter Hollingworth, Bishops John McIntyre, John Parkes and Garry Weatherill, The Dean of Melbourne Dr Andreas Loewe, Melbourne Archdeacons Neil Hicks and Richard Condie, numerous clergy, and more than 50 parishioners from Alison’s former parishes of St Dunstan’s, Camberwell and St John’s, Camberwell.

Former Melbourne archbishop, Bishop Peter Watson, now living in retirement in Sydney, took part in the laying on of hands by a total of 22 bishops assisting the chief consecrator, Brisbane Archbishop, Dr Phillip Aspinall.

A former Victorian, Bill Ray, now the Bishop of North Queensland, preached at the service in the packed Cathedral.

Bishop Taylor is the fourth Australian woman bishop, and the 35th in the Anglican Communion. As well as Bishop Darling, Bishop Kay Goldsworthy from Perth and Bishop Genieve Blackwell from Canberra and Goulburn also participated.

More here-

Anglican Church wrong to use insurance money on cardboard cathedral

From New Zealand-

A High Court Judge says the Anglican Church was out of line when using insurance money on Christchurch's transitional Cathedral, but notes it was acting in good faith.

The Church decided to build the cardboard cathedral to act as a place of worship and gathering while the Christ Church Cathedral is out of action.

It went to the High Court for clarification as to whether the use of more than four million dollars worth of insurance money was allowed.

Judge Pankhurst says the Trustees were confronted with extraordinary issues in extraordinary times, and he's asked for more information before deciding on the next step.

Bishop Victoria Matthews says they had to go on providing a place for the people as the transitional cathedral nears completion, it's a sign of hope for the city.

Reverend Leon and Obama Wrong on Easter

From Town Hall-

A controversy exploded into the national forum when President Obama and his family crossed the street to attend Easter services at St. John’s Church, an Episcopal church attended by every President since James Madison. In the end both the Reverend who delivered the sermon and the President were wrong.

In the sermon, Reverend Luis Leon lurched into a political diatribe against conservatives. He is quoted as saying “It drives me crazy when the captains of the religious right are always calling us back…for blacks to be back in the back of the bus, for women to be back in the kitchen, for gays to be in the closet, and for immigrants to be back on their side of the border.”

First, Leon is wrong on the facts. Maybe he needs a primer on history. As for Blacks, he could just watch the recent movie Lincoln where he would see it is Republicans who lead the fight for the emancipation of Black people. He could go back to 1964 where the people stonewalling against The Civil Rights Act of 1964 were Democrats. Or he could take measure of the recent Supreme Court case regarding Gay Rights. The centerpiece of the case was a woman who was unable to inherit her partner’s assets upon her death in the same manner as heterosexual couples. The Reverend should look at who has tried to eliminate the Death Tax and which party has kept Gays from equal rights on inheritance – Democrats. Lastly, Leon should point out the Conservative or member of the religious right that has ever spoken negatively about legal immigrants to this country. He would be hard-pressed to find one.

More here-

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Christian example: A valuable Pittsburgh ministry is saved by charity

From The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-

Shepherd's Heart Fellowship, an Anglican church in Uptown, ministers to Pittsburgh's homeless in an old-fashioned way -- it feeds, clothes and comforts those who seek shelter under its roof. That's why the ministry, which draws up to 160 people for its evening service and dinners, has been an oasis of hope for society's most despised and dispirited since its founding at an Oakland storefront in 1993.

Every day, the drop-in center offers breakfast, showers and laundry facilities to the homeless -- the very things that help them retain their dignity. When doctrinal infighting over the ordination of gay clergy and other issues resulted in a split within the Episcopal Church in 2008, Shepherd's Heart chose to affiliate with the newly formed and theologically conservative Anglican Church in North America. Left unresolved until recently was the disposition of the ministry's property and assets.

Because the Anglican Church in North America broke away from the Episcopal Diocese, its congregations have had to go to court to seek the title over their properties. Shepherd's Heart Fellowship was in danger of becoming homeless itself.

But because of the effectiveness of the ministry and the high esteem with which it has always been held, the Episcopal Diocese agreed to give Shepherd's Heart clear title to its property and assets in October. It was a powerful gesture of Christian charity during an otherwise bitter denominational breakup.

Read more:

The Anglican iron lady

From New Zealand-

She polarises and perplexes as many as she charms. PHILIP MATTHEWS meets Christchurch's Iron Lady.

Is this the monster? If you were to believe the worst of everything you ever heard and read about Victoria Matthews, Anglican Bishop of Christchurch, you would expect to meet a terse and autocratic figure, dismissive of contrary opinions and impatient with the public.

In person, Matthews is none of those things. Instead, she is charm itself. She is funny, unpretentious and refreshingly direct. Perhaps it is her tendency to be direct and certain that has got her into trouble. Her easy sense of humour may not always come across either.

Not every reputation squares with reality, of course. But how did this relationship go so wrong?

A year on from the worst of it, Matthews reflects on the vilification that she went through as one of the "lightning rods" for Christchurch anger.

"It's been a time of raw emotions right across the city," she says. "I keep saying it, but I still believe it: You can't get angry at an earthquake. It's just not satisfying. I know that people have been shaking their fists at the heavens since time immemorial but you can't kick God and you can't kick an earthquake. You can weep and you can shout, but you're more likely to focus on a human being and so I've become one of the lightning rods, and along with that has come a number of accusations. And it's actually become quite personal."

More here-

'The most inspiring journey': Nashville priest reaches out to women on street

From Pensicola-

The Rev. Becca Stevens bills herself as a seller of “snake oils,” a term usually associated with people selling fraudulent or unproven health potions and serums.

But Stevens, an Episcopal priest, wants to reclaim the term.

“It’s about taking back an old term that has a bad rap,” Stevens said from her home in Nashville, Tenn. “But we’re making oils and using them with a story to bring about healing.”

Stevens is the founder of Magdalene and Thistle Farms, Nashville programs that help women recover from violence, prostitution, addiction and life on the streets.

She will speak about the programs at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Christ Episcopal Church, where she will also sign and sell copies of her recent book “Snake Oil: The Art of Healing and Truth-Telling.”

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Pastor Rick Warren's son, Matthew, commits suicide, church says

From NBC-

The youngest son of Rick Warren, author of "The Purpose Driven Life," has committed suicide, the evangelical pastor said in a letter to members of his church on Saturday.

Matthew Warren, the youngest son of Warren and his wife Kay, died after a long struggle with mental illness, according to the statement from Saddleback Valley Community Church in Lake Forest, Calif. The church asked for “everyone to join us in praying for the entire Warren family” on Saturday.

“At 27 years of age, Matthew was an incredibly kind, gentle and compassionate young man whose sweet spirit was encouragement and comfort to many,” Saddleback Church said in the statement. “Unfortunately, he also suffered from mental illness resulting in deep depression and suicidal thoughts.”

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