Saturday, May 4, 2013

Thinking the unthinkable

From The Tablet-

Anglican church leaders, who had come sadly to terms with the fact that no further progress towards visible unity with the Catholic Church was likely, have already noted that a change in style in Rome could put organic union back on the agenda. The international Anglican-Catholic theological dialogue is about to resume, and the question of how the two Churches reach decisions on disputed matters is a key one. In Anglicanism the lay voice has a real right to be heard; in the Catholic system this right is purely theoretical. For its own good as well as for the sake of the ecumenical process, the Catholic Church needs to grow structures of dialogue with its own laity – for genuine listening, with a genuine prospect of responding. The Catholic Church in England and Wales has been negligent in this respect, despite the positive encouragement given to participative structures in the Second Vatican Council.

So far, the positive response to the election of Pope Francis by the bishops of England and Wales has consisted of some fine words, an expensive trip to Rome to pay him homage, and little else. History does not relate whether Francis was impressed by their visit, though it is not irrelevant that he discouraged Argentine Catholics from flocking to Rome for his installation, saying they would do better to spend the money on the poor. 

More here-

Archbishop renews abuse apology

From UK-

Some clerical child abusers may have so far gone unrecognised for their historical crimes within the scandal-hit Diocese of Chichester, a report has said.

Its authors also report that other survivors of known abusing clergymen may still feel unable to come forward to report their suffering.

The findings of the report, published on Friday night, prompted the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Justin Welby, to renew his apology to victims of clerical abuse for their "pain and hurt".

Dr Welby said the Anglican church can never ignore the "hurt and damage" committed to victims who should "never have been let down" by people who should have been trusted.

The final report into the operation of child protection policies in the Diocese of Chichester in West Sussex has been published two years after the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, ordered a visitation. It followed a series of scandals involving clergymen within the diocese which has led to several being arrested, charged and convicted for historic sex crimes against children.

The report's authors, Bishop John Gladwin and Chancellor Rupert Bursell QC, said the diocese has "moved forward a very long way" in recent months and has put in place "excellent" safeguarding practices.

More here-

Leap of faith for former Danvers priest

From Massachusetts-

Jurgen Liias’s spiritual journey has led him down an unusual path: Two weeks ago, the former Episcopal priest of Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church in Danvers was ordained as a Catholic priest.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston, ordained Liias as a Catholic priest on Saturday, April 20, at St. Mary Star of the Sea Church in Beverly.

He’ll now spend much of his time leading parishioners at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Ordinariate in Beverly — a church under the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.

Liias will also help out regularly at St. Margaret Church, a Catholic parish in Beverly Farms, and is available to assist in any other parishes in the Archdiocese when needed.

The transition into Catholicism began 25 years ago for Liias. He belongs to a worldwide movement to bring the Catholic denominations back together.

More here-

A new look for a dour old Boston cathedral

From Boston-

A crane lifted the large piece of sculpture and placed it within the empty pediment of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, high above Tremont Street, on a recent sunny morning. A four-man crew fixed the piece in place, attaching it to a bright blue backdrop that will be lit at night when the new look for a very old church is formally celebrated on Wednesday.

In traveling 60 feet skyward, the piece, made of hand-formed aluminum and weighing 650 pounds, completed a journey that, in a sense, began nearly 200 years ago.

Until now, St. Paul’s, with its stately sandstone columns and recessed granite facade, has not had a very interesting exterior, said The Very Rev. John “Jep” Streit, dean of the Episcopal church, as he watched the installation from the sidewalk.

“People think it’s a bank or a courthouse,” said Streit, who wore a Red Sox baseball cap with his khaki suit and clerical collar. “We wanted something that would say, ‘What’s going on in there? Let’s go see.’ We wanted to invite people inside.”

More here-

Episcopal Diocese of New jersey to elect next Bishop

From New Jersey-

The Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey will elect its next bishop today at 9 a.m. at Trinity Cathedral in Trenton. More than 600 clergy and lay deputies representing 150 churches in the state will vote in the election. The nine nominees standing for election are: the Rev. David Anderson, 56, rector of St. Luke’s Parish in Darien, Conn.; the Rev. Dr. Joan Beilstein, 52, rector of Church of the Ascension in Silver Spring, MD; the Very Rev. René John, 52, Dean of Trinity Cathedral in Trenton; the Rev. Canon Donald J. Muller, 60, Rector of St. Peter’s Church in Medford; the Rev. Canon Dr. Francisco Pozo, 56, Vicar of Christ Church in Trenton; the Rev. Dr. Allen F. Robinson, 42, rector of St. James’ Church in Baltimore, MD; the Rev. Canon Melissa M. Skelton, 62, rector of St. Paul’s Church in Seattle, Wash.; and Canon for Congregational Development and Leadership of the Diocese of Olympia; the Rev. Canon William Stokes, 55, rector of St. Paul’s Church in Delray Beach, Fla.; the Rev. Martha Sylvia Ovalle Vásquez, 60, rector of St. Paul’s Church in Walnut Creek, Calif.

“The Bishop election is a hopeful sign of grassroots democracy in the Episcopal Church. The nine men and women standing for election as Bishop is the most diverse slate ever to stand for an election in the Episcopal Church, and we are excited to see men and women of different backgrounds and leadership experiences offering their talents for our discernment,” said the Rev. Gregory Bezilla, chairman of the Transition Committee of the Diocese of New Jersey that oversees the election. “We will be stronger because we have prayerfully and thoughtfully considered their strengths and differences.”

More here-

Friday, May 3, 2013

Los Angeles wins summary judgment in Newport Beach property case

From Anglican Ink-

The Bishop of Los Angeles had no authority to give the parish of St James in Newport Beach a written waiver exempting the congregation’s property from the reach of the Episcopal Church’s Dennis Canon, an Orange County Superior Court Judge has held.

In a ruling for summary judgment handed down on 1 May 2013 Judge Kim Dunning ordered the parish to hand its multi-million dollar properties over to the Diocese of Los Angeles.

The decision was unexpected, Daniel Lula – an attorney for the parish -- told Anglican Ink, as the matter had been set down for trial later this month. In an email to his congregation, the Rev Richard Crocker said: “We have received notice this morning from our attorneys that the court has handed down a significantly negative ruling in our court case. This of course changes the landscape of next week's trial,” he noted, inviting the parish to a meeting with Mr. Lula “to offer explanation of what we know about the ruling at this point.”

More here-

Property loss

From "World"-

The Virginia Supreme Court has mostly affirmed a lower court ruling that granted control of a historic Falls Church sanctuary to the Episcopal Church and the Episcopal congregation that meets at the building. After the majority of the Falls Church congregation, along with six other northern Virginia churches, left the national Episcopal Church in 2006 over concerns related to growing liberalism and affirmation of gay clergy, the denomination began suing the breakaway congregations to seize their properties and bank accounts. The state Supreme Court decision is the latest in a series of rulings nationally that have tended to favor the Episcopal denomination over local congregations, even when large majorities of those congregations have agreed to leave. Falls Church Anglican, the breakaway church, has been worshipping in a high-school auditorium as it awaited the ruling.

In response to the decision, the Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston, the Episcopal bishop of Virginia, said, “We are grateful that the Supreme Court of Virginia has once again affirmed the right of Episcopalians to worship in their spiritual home at The Falls Church Episcopal.” Johnston has been a vocal proponent of adopting a liturgy to bless same-sex relationships, and in December 2012 he ordained a woman who is reportedly a non-celibate lesbian in a ceremony at the Falls Church sanctuary.

More here-

Priest declines Irish bishopric after press highlights his past

From The Church Times-

THE Ven. Leslie Stevenson, who was to have been consecrated this week as Bishop of Meath & Kildare, in the Irish Republic, withdrew on Sunday after a press campaign against him.

His decision to step aside followed two newspaper articles. One in the Dublin-based Sunday Business Post noted that he would be the first divorced bishop in the history of the Church of Ireland, and that he had had a relationship after his first marriage failed.

The second appeared last Friday in the Belfast-based Nationalist daily Irish News, which suggested that Archdeacon Stevenson's consecration was in doubt. It named the woman with whom he had had a relationship, who is now a serving priest in the diocese of Connor.

More here-

Anglican bishops in West Indies denounce Obama blackmail over gay 'marriage'

From The West Indies-

The Anglican bishops of the West Indies have urged their governments to hold fast and resist pressure from Britain and the United States to legalize gay rights and gay "marriage."

In a statement released on April 25, 2013, following the House of Bishops meeting in Barbados, bishops of the Church the Province of the West Indies (CPWI) reiterated their belief in marriage “definedas a faithful, committed, permanent and legally sanctioned relationship between a man and a woman.”

“The idea of such unions being constituted by persons of the same sex is, therefore, totally unacceptable on theological and cultural grounds,” the bishops said. The CPWI consists of eight dioceses: the Diocese of Barbados, the Diocese of Belize, the Diocese of Guyana, the Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, the Diocese of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Diocese of the North Eastern Caribbean and Aruba, the Diocese of Trinidad and Tobago, and the Diocese of the Windward Islands.

The 23 active and retired members of the house of bishops observed that the push to redefine marriage was coming from abroad. There have been “trends within countries of the developing world and international forums, and in which these countries exercise a controlling interest, in which matters related to human sexuality have been elevated to the level of human rights and are being promulgated as positions which must be accepted globally.”

More here-

A spiritual look at gun violence

From New Hampshire-

For the Rev. Robert Hirschfeld, the newly appointed bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, a bumper sticker he spotted said a lot. It read: "Guns don't kill people. Religion kills people."

Hirschfeld was joined by the Rev. Geoffrey Black, national president of the United Church of Christ, Monday evening for a panel discussion exploring a spiritual response to gun violence, held in the Congregational Church of Exeter.

The panel was moderated by Kathy Brownback, the Vira I. Heinz Distinguished Professor of Religion at Phillips Exeter Academy.

It was part of a free lecture and film series by We the People exploring issues at the intersection of current events and religion.

Ironically, in preparing their opening remarks, both leaders chose a passage from Gospel of Matthew: Chapter 26, Verse 52, where Jesus, on the night he was betrayed by his apostle Judas, said, "Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword."

"Long before guns existed, the sword was the gun of the day," Black said.

As a member of the coalition Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, Black joined four dozen other faith leaders to petition both the president and Congress for increased gun violence prevention measures.

"The issue of gun violence takes on many forms," Black said. "(They are) suicide, domestic disputes, situations like Newtown and accidents with guns in the home. Firearms tend to have this impact in our society, and we haven't come to grips with it."

More here-

125-year-old Titusville church links present to past

From Florida-

For more than a century, the small church near downtown Titusville was a place where people such as Dan Megivern prayed through wars, watched weddings, mourned over the space shuttle disasters and cheered on the mission to put a man on the moon.

“I just fell in love with the church. The people there just drew me to it and more than anything it’s a great fellowship. We had our good times and our sad times,” Megivern said of his 30 years as a member of St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church.

This weekend, the 300-member congregation will commemorate its 125th anniversary with a series of events, from a church consecration, to a renewal of wedding vows for nearly two dozen couples and a street fair filled with food and old hymns.

The three-day program begins 6 p.m. Saturday and will include historic displays, tours, period costumes and antique-car rides. An interdenominational choir also will sing some of the old hymns that once echoed through the sanctuary. At the heart of the celebration will be the intertwining of history, faith and commitment. The event is open to the public.

More here-

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Achebe: Tribute To A Crusader

From Ghana-

Where writing meets advocacy, passion meets teaching, and philosophy meets sacrifice, there you find Professor

Professor Achebe did not come to this task from a military background. Indeed he was never part of any pressure group. But he did come from a job in journalism, to be precise, from the post of Editor of University Herald during his third year at University College, Ibadan where his interaction with his white instructors helped him realise that if Africa’s story must be told, it must be told by Africans themselves. According to him, “finding that inner creative spark required introspection, deep personal scrutiny, and conviction, and this was not something anybody could really teach me.” 

Furthermore, he learnt from the shortcomings of his white teachers that despite their excellent minds and backgrounds they were not capable of teaching across cultures. He began thinking about becoming a writer after reading some appalling novels about Africa written by Europeans. These led him conclude”that the story we had to tell could not be told for us by anyone else no matter how well intentioned.” In time, he wrote Things Fall Apart, and with it launched the first salvo in what proved to be a long battle against the white man’s literary imperialism.

 He earned his crust from writing and teaching, but his abiding interest was in advocacy and his gift, or rather one of them, was to defend African art, culture, and people in ways that made sense to non-Africans. Many of them not only understood what he wrote but also became infected with his love of Africa, of its past and of its growing susceptibility to change. For close to 60 years, beginning with the writing of Things Fall Apart, he carried on a legendary one-man crusade against arrogance, prejudice, contempt, levity, racism, ethnicity, and bad governance.

More here-

Hamilton-based Anglican bishop suing blogger

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

The Bishop of Niagara is suing a blogger over online material he claims was fashioned to hold the spiritual leader of 25,000 Anglicans up to ridicule and contempt.

The defamation lawsuit claims that Michael Bird, Hamilton-based bishop for the 90 parishes in the diocese, which includes Hamilton, has been pilloried on the blog as a weak, ineffectual leader, portrayed as a thief, described as having a sexual fetish and labelled an atheist.

A post that photo-shopped Bird’s face onto pictures from the funeral of former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, and a photograph of Bird appearing to wear underwear on his head are among posts identified in the bishop’s statement of claim.

A caption on the underwear post read, “Thief steals knickers from Anglican charity shop ... it could be an undie fetish.”

The lawsuit says another post falsely asserted Bird took delight in the closure of St. Hilda’s Church in Oakville — one of three retained by the Niagara Diocese in a 2012 settlement with breakaway congregations. Another post cited in the suit shows a photo of the bishop under the caption, “Mercedes-Benz Uses Communist Madman to Sell Luxury Cars.

More here-

After 44 years at St. Mark's Episcopal, Roberts plans on traveling with wife

From Mississippi-

The Rev. James "Bo" Roberts oversaw the rebuilding of his church and congregation from two major hurricanes.

Just four months after Roberts became rector of St. Mark's Episcopal, the church was knocked off its foundation by Hurricane Camille. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina, destroyed the building.

Wednesday was Roberts' first day of retirement after 44 years as pastor.

"Two times, he put the church on his back and carried it," said John Harral about the rector's determination in getting the church rebuilt after the hurricanes.

Harral said Roberts has increased membership 800 percent over the years.

"It is impossible to overstate the importance Bo has had in the history of St. Mark's Episcopal," he said.

Patti Sneed, who served as organist from 1973 to 2009, described Roberts as nearly omniscient when it came to keeping track of his flock. She said members could ask him anything, from the status of a sick friend to where to find the church vacuum cleaner, and he always knew the answer.

Sneed said Roberts was always the "go to" guy but there was one challenge that always confounded him. Despite being punctual to a fault, he could never seem to get the 9:30 a.m. service to start on-time.

Read more here:

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Episcopal Bishop Edward J. Konieczny speaks on thin line between God and Guns

From Oklahoma-

Oklahoma Episcopal Bishop Edward J. Konieczny, who once strongly opposed stricter gun control laws, is changing his views.

Konieczny will participate Sunday at Trinity Episcopal Church in an adult forum on gun control titled "The Thin Line Between God and Guns."

A former police officer, Konieczny discussed his changing views on gun control in a recent CNN Belief Blog that drew national attention.

Gun violence is a subject about which he has intimate knowledge.

He worked in law enforcement for 18 years in Southern California before being ordained an Episcopal priest in 1994, three weeks before his 40th birthday. Working undercover in vice and narcotics, he was twice decorated for distinguished service and received an officer of the year award. 

More here-

Baseball and Religion

From PBS-

BOB FAW, correspondent: New York University president John Sexton oversees more than 40 thousand students and a $2.5 billion budget. He’s expanding the university at home and abroad while contending with some faculty members who oppose his high-powered management style.

JOHN SEXTON (President, NYU): (speaking to students) We’re going to do just a little bit of a wrap up.

FAW: And yet, like few university presidents, Sexton also finds time to teach four classes. He is famous for greeting his students and anyone else, for that matter, with a hearty hug, and demanding nothing less than their absolute best.
SEXTON: (speaking to students) Eugene O’Neill famously said he who stops at mere success and does not press on to glorious failure is a spiritual middle-classer. I don’t want you stopping at the easy. None of you. 

FAW: Now the former law school dean and distinguished legal scholar has written a most unusual book: “Baseball as a Road to God.” That’s right, baseball.

SEXTON: The similarities between baseball and religion abound. The ballpark as cathedral; saints and sinners; the curses and blessings. But then what I’m arguing is beyond that surface level, there’s a fundamental similarity between baseball and religion which goes to the capacity of baseball to cause human beings, in a context they don’t think of as religious, to break the plane of ordinary existence into the plane of extraordinary existence. 

 More here-

Also at Slate

Gettysburg Civil War church plans anniversary events

From Gettysburg-

Gettysburg's Civil War memorial church is planning a series of events and commemorations to mark the 125th anniversary of the laying of its cornerstone, an event that coincides with the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Anniversary plans at The Memorial Church of the Prince of Peace, Gettysburg's Episcopal parish, are well along, with additional projects under consideration. Parishioner Mark Purdy has taken on the task of coordinating the various efforts, some of which have been underway for a number of years.

The church, which is home to more than 150 memorials to soldiers and units of both sides of the Civil War, is seeing the addition of the first new memorials placed in the church since 1935. The church stands at the corner of Baltimore and High Streets in Gettysburg.

"Prince of Peace's heritage and that of the Civil War go hand in hand, " according to Bob Gough, senior warden of the parish. Gough noted that, as a gesture of peace and reconciliation, memorials were welcomed for both Union and Confederate servicemen.

More here-

Momentum builds for positive investment in Middle East peace

From RNS

Presbyterians for Middle East Peace commends the Episcopal Church on its commitment to positive investment in Middle East peace.  In a recent news article, the Episcopal Church announced investment in a certificate of deposit with the Bank of Palestine in the West Bank. The investment followed a conference hosted by the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) late last year.

In a news release that was prominently cited in the Palestinian media, HCEF President and CEO Sir Rateb Rabie, KCHS “expressed his appreciation of the decision undertaken by the Economic Justice Committee of the Episcopal Church to invest in the Bank of Palestine, calling this the first as well as a significant step on the road to replacing despair with hope within the Palestinian community. ‘I commend the Episcopal Church’s decision to invest in Palestine for all Palestinians.’”

N. Kurt Barnes, Treasurer and CFO of the Episcopal Church in the U.S. detailed his denomination’s strategy, “The Bank of Palestine: 1) has well-developed corporate-governance and risk-management structures based on best practices generally seen in North America; 2) makes nearly 20% of its $720 million loan portfolio available to micro and small businesses (SMEs) employing over 10,000 Palestinians; 3) has a green loans program, which encourages water wells, wastewater management and alternative energy sources in order to reduce reliance on often unstable Israeli-sourced energy; and 4) contributes 5% of its net profit each year to Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.”

More here-

Bishops who filed lawsuit against Alabama immigration law feel vindicated

From Alabama-

Episcopal, Roman Catholic and United Methodist bishops who filed a federal lawsuit two years ago trying to stop enforcement of Alabama's immigration law say they feel vindicated.

"Our concern was primarily the infringement on the obligation of the church to take care of people regardless of their status," said retired Episcopal Bishop Henry N. Parsley, who still lives in Birmingham. "I feel like our concerns have been upheld by the court process."

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Alabama's appeal of a ruling by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which had blocked key sections of the law that the bishops had opposed. The bishops opposed a section of the law that outlawed "transporting unlawfully present aliens" or "harboring" them, along with a section that outlawed having a contract with illegal immigrants.

The bishops said that ministries to immigrants would be harmed by those provisions and that church employees and volunteers could have been subjected to prosecution.

More here-

Episcopal churches prepare for disaster, create community networks

From ENS-

In the event of earthquake or fires or other disaster, Betsy Eddy will tweet an invitation to San Francisco’s Diamond Heights community, to come to St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church for food and resource information.

It’s just one part of the church’s — and the neighborhood’s — disaster preparedness plan. It makes use of existing resources because “we already have a food pantry every Friday that serves over 100 in our zip code,” said Eddy, a St. Aidan’s parishioner.

“We know there will be a need for food in an emergency situation and we are working with the San Francisco Food Bank so they know we will be a food distribution site in Diamond Heights.”

Collaborating with others in the community is key to the plan — still a work in progress, said Eddy in a recent interview with the Episcopal News Service. She was preparing for an April 24 meeting with the Diamond Heights Disaster Ready Working Group (DRWG), which she and the Rev. Tommy Dillon, St. Aidan’s rector, helped to start about five years ago.

“We’re trying to create this whole network of preparedness and joining together,” she said of DRWG. Its members are neighborhood businesses and organizations that have met regularly since 2008.

More here-

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Clergy blocked from helping Boston bomb victims

From Oregon-

The heart-wrenching photographs taken in the moments after the Boston Marathon bombings show the blue-and-yellow jackets of volunteers, police officers, fire fighters, emergency medical technicians, even a three-foot-high blue M&M. Conspicuously absent are any clerical collars or images of pastoral care.

This was not for lack of proximity. Close to the bombing site are Trinity Episcopal Church, Old South Church and St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine, all on Boylston Street. When the priests at St. Clement’s, three blocks away, heard the explosions, they gathered sacramental oils and hurried to the scene in hopes of anointing the injured and, if necessary, administering last rites, the final of seven Catholic sacraments. But the priests, who belong to the order Oblates of the Virgin Mary, weren’t allowed at the scene.

The Rev. John Wykes, director of the St. Francis Chapel at Boston’s soaring Prudential Center, and the Rev. Tom Carzon, rector of Our Lady of Grace Seminary, were among the priests who were turned away right after the bombings. It was jarring for Father Wykes, who, as a hospital chaplain in Illinois a decade ago, was never denied access to crime or accident scenes.

“I was allowed to go anywhere. In Boston, I don’t have that access,” he says.

More here-

Rules set for Oklahoma Episcopal parishes to offer same-gender blessings

From Oklahoma-

Guidelines have been established for same-gender blessing ceremonies to be performed in Oklahoma Episcopal churches, a state leader with the denomination said.

The Rt. Rev. Ed Konieczny, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma, said three parishes already have expressed interest in starting the process so they can conduct such ceremonies, although he does not believe “there are large numbers of people out there waiting for this.” He declined to name the interested parishes, as they have yet to request formal approval.

“I don't expect that this is going to be a floodgate of things. We will make it available and people will take advantage of it according to who they are,” he said.

Konieczny said the guidelines were developed with help from a committee of lay leaders and clergy, then fine-tuned after several public meetings at Episcopal parishes across the state.

More here-

Monday, April 29, 2013

Diocese of Botswana elects new bishop

From ACNS-

The Diocese of Botswana in the Church of the Province of Central Africa has elected Fr Metlhayotlhe Rawlings Belemi, a priest working in South Africa, as the bishop-elect of the diocese.

Provincial Secretary and Bishop of Eastern Zambia, the Rt Revd William Mchombo made the announcement after the Elective Assembly meeting held at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Botswana capital Gaborone on Saturday.

"I am pleased to let you know that Fr Metlhayotlhe Rawlings Belemi is the bishop-elect of the Diocese of Botswana," said Bishop Mchombo. "The whole programme began with a solemn mass which was presided over by Archbishop of Central Africa Albert Chama."

The Archbishop preached from the Gospel of St Mark and stressed the importance of humility and service for the office of bishop while acknowledging the need for the people of God in any diocese to render support to their bishops.

The election follows the resignation and relocation of Bishop Trevor Mwamba to the UK in February this year. The bishop-elect has since accepted the election.

Fr Belemi is married with three children and currently based in the town of Klerksdorp in the Diocese of Matlosane in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa where he is serving as an archdeacon.
The 51-year old priest was ordained in 1993 and has served the church for the past 20 years in various positions both in Botswana and South Africa.

More here-

Q&A: Bishop Zavala of Cono Sur

From The Living Church-

The Most Rev. Héctor (Tito) Zavala is Bishop of Chile and Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone: Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de América (the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone of America). Elected in November 2010, he is the province’s first Latin American primate, as well as Chile’s first Latino bishop. Sue Careless interviewed him in April at the Eastern Assembly of the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC), where he was the keynote speaker.

Your province covers the lower half of the continent of South America. Is it growing numerically?
Yes. We have about 25,000 members in a continent of 110 million people. The Province of the Southern Cone is made up of six nations and seven dioceses: Chile (with about 100 parishes), Northern Argentina (200), Argentina [from Buenos Aires south] (30), Peru (60), Bolivia (10), Paraguay (50), and Uruguay (20). This November we will meet to decide on whether to form two provinces.

How do you reach your people when they are spread over such a vast expanse?
I live in the middle of Chile, in Santiago, so I travel by car to reach congregations nearby and take the overnight bus to reach more distant parishes. However, I fly to Arica at the top of Chile and to visit the most southerly Anglican parish in the world in Punta Arenas. Every May and November I fly to chair meetings of the executive committee of the province, which moves its meetings around the six nations.

More here-

Some Christian leaders are employing witchcraft in their practices – Rev. Adekunle

From Nigeria-

Respected cleric and Bishop of Egba Anglican Diocese, Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Adekunle, has warned Christians to stop involving in anything fetish and diabolical.

He urged them to keep to the doctrines of the Bible. The cleric said the Mosaic Law had prohibited fetish and diabolic practices such as “magic, sorcery, divination and other practices like spiritism”.

The cleric gave this warning at the opening session of the 2013 Synod of the Diocese of Egba in Abeokuta, Ogun State over the weekend.

Adekunle lamented that some Christian leaders were employing witchcraft in their practices.

The Bishop said, “Medical treatment in the old biblical world often included the use of magic, sorcery, divination and practices of spiritism. The Mosaic Law prohibited such practices. So, they are not biblical and Christian practices. They are inconsistent with the nature of the all-powerful God.”

More here-

Banking on a bishop

From The Economist-

JUSTIN Welby, the new leader of nearly 80m Anglicans around the world, has won a respectful hearing for his ideas on banking and the British economy. Even if they disagree with the details, people have generally not reacted by saying "this man hasn't a clue what he is talking about" or "he should go back to singing hymns."

On April 21st, the archbishop of Canterbury suggested that big, unhealthy banks should be broken up into regional ones, as part of a "revolution in the aims" of banks designed to make sure that they served society as well as their own narrow interests. That sounded very like the proposal made last month by Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, for local lenders modelled on the German system. It comes at a time when the government faces hard decisions about the future of the Royal Bank of Scotland after its rescue by the tax-payer. Given the immediacy of the issue, some people will accuse the archbishop (who lists his hobbies as French culture, sailing and politics) of making narrow political points rather than broad moral ones.

But he also had some longer-term ideas on the financial sector. Drawing on his experience as a member of a parliamentary Banking Standards Commission, he said senior positions in banking ought to form a regulated profession which required qualifications. Partly because of the banking crisis, Britain had fallen not merely into a recession but a longer-term depression. "It therefore takes something very, very major to get us out of it," he told a meeting at Westminster organised by the Bible Society. 

More here-

San Francisco mattress maker McRoskey supplies beds for homeless, low-income residents

From San Francisco-

British royalty, Fortune 500 CEOs and professional athletes catch their zzz’s in luxury beds manufactured by San Francisco’s McRoskey Mattress Co. — and now so do residents of a South of Market low-income housing complex.

In its 113-year history, McRoskey has reportedly sold beds to Prince Charles, the late Steve Jobs and several members of the 49ers, but the company’s best work might be the donations it has provided to the Canon Barcus Community House, a long-term housing center for homeless and low-income families that’s run by Episcopal Community Services.

“It’s a tremendous gesture,” said the complex’s director of development, Bruce Beery. “These are super-high-quality items. It’s jaw-dropping.”

McRoskey has supplied the building with more than 300 beds since its 2002 opening, and continues to do so on an as-needed basis. Initially, Episcopal Community Services had asked members of the St. Francis Episcopal Church to donate comforters, quilts and pillows, but McRoskey President Robin McRoskey Azevedo, a member of the parish, thought she could do more.

“I thought, ‘Gee, it would be great if my company could do the mattresses for them too,’” McRoskey Azevedo said.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Church of England diocese asks for gay-friendly bishop

From The Telegraph-

The Diocese of Manchester has instructed the official panel appointing its new bishop to select someone who can establish “positive relationships” with gay Anglicans and non-worshippers.
The panel, which met on Friday, was told that the successor to the Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch, who retired earlier this year, should build on “significant engagement” with “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities” in Manchester.

The move comes amid growing tensions within the Church over its attitude to gay worshippers and clergy.

Such a public endorsement of working with gay Anglicans by a major diocese will cheer liberals but be seen by traditionalists as a further erosion of their views.

Manchester’s move comes months after the Church dropped its prohibition on clergy in civil partnerships becoming bishops.

A Savannah gathering to find spiritual common ground

From Savannah-

A group of Savannah clergy and lay people has embarked on a simple, yet ambitious, plan to foster a spirituality in their “religious” beliefs that seeks to embrace people of a variety of faiths.

The concept — an interdenominational approach to spirituality — would focus on common goals for a more satisfying existence. The group envisions stimulating critical thinking about religion and its role in society, a “non-anxious journey” beyond narrow, dogmatic religious belief.

An interfaith community event will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Memorial University Medical Center, in the medical education auditorium in the main building, (across from Georgia Eye Institute). Leaders selected a “neutral,” or non-religious, location to encourage community-wide participation. The 1½ hour session will explore ideas in the development of spirituality, and planners suggest, would be “a model for our community.”

The local group is forming under the working title, “The Gathering,” but is patterned on a larger label, “The Emerging Church.” A planning session was held last month at Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church under the guidance of Asbury minister the Rev. Billy Hester, who has been at the forefront of innovative programming in local religious circles since his return here in 1993. Hester will moderate “The Gathering’s” panel discussion.

More here-

Ruddy-cheeked Scot new leader of Dallas’ Temple Emanu-El

From Dallas-

It sounds like the start of a corny joke. Did you hear about the Episcopalian who becomes president of a Jewish temple?

It’s no joke, but Scott McCartney admits, “My family thinks it’s hilarious.”

Let’s just call it deliciously different that a ruddy-cheeked chap of Scottish descent is now leader of Temple Emanu-El, the oldest and largest Jewish congregation in Dallas.

Even he had to poke fun at his “Jewish name” during the installation ceremony earlier this month.
Scott, 53, is the first Jewish convert to head the venerable congregation. And the Temple Emanu-El family seems to know it has a gem in him.

“Scott is universally respected,” said Rabbi David Stern. “He’s caring. He’s smart. He’s dedicated. He’s humble. He’s a mensch.”

I have known Scott a long time, and I have to agree. He is a mensch, though he would bring to mind British long before Yiddish.

More here-