Saturday, November 16, 2013

How Lewis Lit the Way to Better Apologetics

From Christianity Today-

In the south transept of London's Westminster Abbey—where for a thousand years the kings and queens of England have been enthroned—sits a crowded collection of statues, plaques, and engraved flagstones. Geoffrey Chaucer, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Charles Dickens are buried there; dozens more are commemorated there. On November 22, 2013, 50 years to the day after his death, C. S. Lewis will join them.

Poets' Corner may seem like an odd place for a writer whose poetry is largely overlooked (though his first two publications were volumes of verse, and Lewis's poetry is far better than many remember or realize). But you needn't be a poet to join Poets' Corner. Musicians like George Frideric Handel and actors like Laurence Olivier mingle with Tennyson and Chaucer. The Corner is devoted to poets in the older, deeper sense of the word. They are "makers" who assemble words (or musical notes or dramatic performances) for artistic ends.

In this older, deeper sense, there is no place Lewis more rightly belongs. Indeed, perhaps we should think of the celebrated Oxford novelist, literary critic, and apologist above all as a poet. For Lewis believed that knowledge itself was fundamentally poetic—that is to say, shaped by the imagination. And his poetic approach to commending and defending the Christian faith still lights the way for us today.

Of course, everyone recognizes Lewis's great imaginative gifts. Often people will say that his great strength was his ability to present Christianity both rationally and imaginatively.

More here-

10 C.S. Lewis Quotes That Show He Was Ahead of His Time

From Relevant-

Fifty years ago on November 22, C.S. Lewis quietly passed away in his home. His death went widely unnoticed, as JFK was assassinated on the same day (Brave New World author Aldous Huxley also died, making November 22, 1963 a truly lamentable day in recent human history), but it left a void that has never been rightly filled.

To whom is there to compare him? He was not a trained theologian (as many trained theologians will hasten to say) nor was he ever ordained. In his lifetime, he was a professor, literary

critic and essayist. 

His dear friend J.R.R. Tolkien said he modeled Treebeard after Lewis. He is best remembered now as a children’s author. But none of those come close to encompassing the unique place Lewis holds in modern Christianity. As an excellent profile in Christianity Today argues, he might be best described as a poet. Someone with a rare gift to channel his mighty intellect and generous spirit through an artful, unparalleled mix of wit, warmth and spectacular clarity.

More here-

Church of England bishops propose no longer making gay clergy promise abstinence

From Patheos-

A panel of bishops is set to spark a fresh row over homosexuality by paving the way for the Church of England to relax its stance on gay clergy.

Sources said the group will recommend that clerics wanting to enter civil partnerships should no longer have to promise their bishops that they will abstain from sex.

Four bishops have been examining the Church’s teaching on sexuality as part of an official commission and will hand over their conclusions in a report to the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby next month.

They will argue that gay clergy should not be treated any differently than other clerics who do not face intrusive questioning about their sex lives – and that they should be able to follow Church teachings without having to make a solemn vow.

But the move is likely to provoke fury among conservatives, who will regard it as another step towards the acceptance of actively gay clergy by the Church.

One traditionalist said: ‘This is a slippery slope. It will mean that gay clergy will have even less incentive to remain celibate. The next step will be gay clergy marriages.’

More here-

Archbishop opens door to church schools admissions reform

From Ekklesia-

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s statement that Church of England schools can move away from religious selection "opens the door" to change, say reformers.

In a recent interview with The Times newspaper, the Rt Rev Justin Welby said: “What you are seeing in the Church schools is a deeper and deeper commitment to the common good. There’s a steady move away from faith-based entry tests.”

He continued: “It is not necessary to select to get a really good school. There are unbelievably brilliant schools that are entirely open to all applicants without selection criteria apart from residence, where you live, and which produce staggeringly good results. It’s a question of – and you can point to them all over the place – it’s a question of outstanding leadership.”

Lambeth Palace immediately put out a defensive statement claiming that in spite of his comments, Archbishop Welby supports the policy of church schools setting their own admissions criteria, including faith-based ones, rather than having to follow non-discriminatory ones.

More here-

Archbishop grilled by students on second day of Cornwall visit

From Cornwall-

First stop this morning on the first visit to the far west of Cornwall by an Archbishop of Canterbury in more than 100 years was Penwith College.

Archbishop Justin Welby’s three-day stay in Cornwall is his first diocesan visit since being enthroned in March and he said he felt Cornwall was a good example for the rest of the Anglican Church to follow.

“It is very distinctive and I wanted to come here early to learn about what Bishop Tim (The Right Reverend Tim Thornton, Bishop of Truro) is doing here,” he said.

“It is very different. There is an extraordinary history of spirituality here which is nothing like the rest of the south of England.

More here

Four women running to be next Vancouver Anglican bishop

From Vancouver-

Four female priests with strong resumes are running for election to be the next Vancouver-area Anglican bishop.

The women are among eight candidates seeking to replace outgoing Bishop Michael Ingham, who became the focus of a storm in the 60-million-member global Anglican communion when he approved the blessing of homosexual relationships.

The women who have been nominated to run for bishop are Rev. Ellen Clark-King, vicar of Vancouver’s Christ Church Cathedral; Rev. Dawn Davis, who is based in Toronto; Rev. Lynne McNaughton, a former Vancouver School of Theology instructor now at St. Clement’s Church in North Vancouver and Rev. Melissa Skelton, an Episcopalian priest and church educator in Seattle, Wash.

More here-

A year on Bp Ellinah is "Anglican but doing things differently"

From ACNS-

The Rt Revd Ellinah Wamukoya is the bishop of Swaziland. She was born in 1951 in Swaziland though she spent a good part of her childhood in South Africa. She completed her university education in 1974 before proceeding to Holland for her postgraduate education.

During the early years of her career, she worked briefly as a teacher and later as a town planner. At the time of her retirement as a civil servant, she had risen to the level of town CEO in the Swaziland capital Manzini and was a holder of a master’s degree as well as several other postgraduate diplomas.

Q: Can you share with us your journey towards becoming bishop?

A: My becoming a bishop was really ordained by God because, despite having a passion for town planning, I got a calling to come and work in the Church. I first become a Mother’s Union member. An elderly priest encouraged me to get into ministry and even asked me to preach at one time.

More here-,-bp-ellinah-is-anglican-but-doing-things-differently.aspx

Connecticut charities stepping up for Philippines

From Connecticut-

Connecticut residents are joining in the outpouring of support for victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, even as charitable organizations based in the state actively participate in relief efforts.

Donations large and small are coming from churches around the state. The three bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut have contributed $2,500 to Episcopal Relief & Development (, a 73-year-old organization with a mission of responding to natural disasters.

The Catholic Church’s Archdiocese of Hartford is also is organizing a special collection among its parishes to assist Catholic Relief Services ( in its response to the tragedy. Catholic Relief Services, in cooperation with its partners, is providing tens of thousands of families with shelter, essential living supplies and clean water and sanitation.

More here-

State of Racism in America: Much progress, much work remains

From ENS-

Racism is ingrained in U.S. culture and, despite substantial progress, Americans must remain vigilant about their tendencies to exclude those they define as “the other,” agreed participants in the Nov. 15 opening session of “Fifty Years Later: The State of Racism in America,” a two-day gathering sponsored by the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Mississippi.

Human history has seen a “lurching expansion” of the categories that previous generations used to define and then exclude, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said in her keynote address.
“There is good news in the increased crossing of old boundaries; there is hope in the shrinking ability of younger generations to recognize those boundaries,” she said. “Yet continued vigilance is required, beginning with our own interior lives.”

How, she asked, does one encounter a stranger and make assumptions that influence how one decides to interact with the person?

More here-

Friday, November 15, 2013

'State of Racism' webcast to originate from Jackson

From Mississippi-

A half-century after the assassination of Medgar Evers and the March on Washington, the Episcopal Church is hosting a Jackson-based, nationwide webcast “50 Years Later: The State of Racism in America.”

“PBS NewsHour” anchor Ray Suarez will moderate the 90-minute forum live at 1 p.m. Friday from St. Andrews’ Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Jackson and will include discussions with Evers’ widow, Myrlie Evers, former Mississippi Gov. William Winter and Randy Testa, vice president for education at Walden Media, which produced the film “The Watsons Go to Birmingham.”

The forum coincides with a recent Harris Interactive online poll that found nearly all Americans feel some discrimination exists.

African Americans were three times as likely as other Americans to feel there is a “great deal” of discrimination.

More here-

Police arrest man suspected of making threats against Denver's St John's Episcopal Cathedral Read more: Police arrest man suspected of making threats against Denver's St John's Episcopal Cathedral

From Denver-

Worship services and other events St. John's Episcopal Cathedral in Capitol Hill have resumed after the Thursday arrest of a man who police said threatened to kill priests and bishops there.

Dominique Richard, 60, also threatened to kill a woman and desecrate the altar at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church at East 20th Avenue and Glenarm Place, according to his arrest affidavit. Richard was jailed on $1,000 bond and faces menacing charges.

Richard on Tuesday called a woman who had been dispersing his Social Security payments and left her voicemail messages. When she called him back, he told her, "It doesn't matter, I'm going to get a gun and come kill you, and I'm killing any priest and bishop from the Episcopal Church, and I am going to desecrate the altar at St. Andrews," according to the affidavit.

More here-

FiF backs women-bishops deal

From The Church Times-

THE hope expressed by the Steering Committee that women-bishops legislation may be passed in the lifetime of this Synod was given a fresh boost this week when Forward in Faith recommended that the current package should progress to revision.

In a statement issued on Monday, the Chairman of Forward in Faith, the Bishop of Fulham, the Rt Revd Jonathan Baker, said: "Though these proposals are still far from what we have long said would be ideal, we believe that they may have the potential to provide workable arrangements for the future, which will ensure that our people, clergy, and parishes have continued access to a ministry that will enable us to flourish within the structures of the Church of England, and make our full contribution to its life and mission.

"Much will depend on the continuance of the atmosphere of trust that has at last begun to be fostered by the process that produced these proposals.

More here-

Life in a Fallen World

From The Living Church-

If God is good, how can there be evil? To many a modern mind, it is the great atheist “gotcha!” And certain presentations of the problem accordingly slouch toward the silly — the notion that a good and omnipotent deity must adjust weather patterns and tectonic plate shifts to account for human demographics, reassign viral and pathogenic physiology to ensure disease only afflicts the wicked, and, of course, make sure the bad guys’ guns don’t work. Serious objections are another matter. One cannot but grieve along with Charles Darwin at the loss of his beloved daughter, and consequent loss of Christian faith, which his scientific work had never even seriously shaken. The cry of souls in distress rings throughout Scripture — from Abraham’s pleas on behalf of Sodom, to Job on the dung heap, through most of the psalms, to Christ on the cross.

More here-

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cannon Ball church rises from ashes

From North Dakota-

After more than a year of rebuilding and planning, St. James Episcopal Church in Cannon Ball will be consecrated.

“When people walk through the door, their first comments are usually ‘Oh my’— then they start commenting on the structure itself and how it looks like a tepee on the inside,” said the Rev. Canon John Floberg of the Episcopal Diocese’s North Dakota Council on Indian Ministries.

“Even though they aren’t using this exact phrase, I’m getting the sense that people have a feeling of coming home.”

That new church on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation will be consecrated at 11 a.m. Nov. 23 with the Rt. Rev. Michael Smith, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Dakota, as the celebrant. Food and a celebration will follow the service.

More here-

Santiago worked for presidents, now preaches in Jeannette

From The Pittsburgh Tribune-

For the Rev. Vicente C. Santiago, the road to the ministry has taken him from his birthplace of Puerto Rico to Washington, DC, and then to Jeannette as the pastor of the Church of the Advent, located on Clay Avenue.

Having been installed in June 2012, about 17 months ago, he responded to the advertised position, while he was the pastor of St. James Episcopal Church. After some rearranging, according to John Hose, church administrator, Santiago set up spiritual residence in Jeannette.

He attended classes in the University of Puerto Rico and, after earning his degree, he began to work in Washington, DC as an electrical engineer for the office of the President of the United States from 1976 to 2000. That is, he worked under the administrations of Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush on the design of Federal Buildings. He said, laughing, “It wasn't as exciting as it sounds.”

More here-

Security threats close Denver's St. John's Episcopal Cathedral Read more: Security threats close Denver's St. John's Episcopal Cathedral

From Denver-

Threats against Denver's St. John's Episcopal Cathedral led to its closure and cancellation of church events Tuesday, until further notice, Denver police said Wednesday.

"The church has received credible threats and has made the decision to cancel events both last night and today," Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson told The Denver Post at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. "It is an active investigation and no further information will be released at this time."

A handwritten note on a church door advised people trying to attend a meeting scheduled for Wednesday afternoon the gathering was cancelled due to "apparent gun threat at the church."

Jackson he could not confirm the nature of the threat.

More here-

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

God Loves Uganda: American Evangelicals Sow Homophobia

From Seattle-

If he’d wanted to go the first-person Michael Moore route, Roger Ross Williams could have gotten some high drama into this documentary. Williams told The Hollywood Reporter that after shooting in Uganda for a few weeks, he was taken aside by a group of bishops who had discovered his sexual orientation. Homosexuality is illegal in that nation, and these clerics had been preaching their vehemently antigay beliefs to him, so the moment was tense. Williams was lucky; the priests began praying over him, the better to cure him.

That moment is not included or described in God Loves Uganda, nor is Williams a presence in the movie (there is no narration). Instead, what he presents is a lucid and appalling portrait of the modern missionary movement and the effect it has had on a single African nation. Although Uganda’s widely criticized (and still pending) legislation threatening the death penalty for homosexual behavior is described in the movie, the broader subject here is the way American evangelicals are pouring money and legwork into the country. Williams tags along with missionaries from a Kansas City megachurch known as The International House of Prayer (yes, they call themselves IHOP) who pour their spiritual syrup over the burgeoning phenomenon of Christian fundamentalism in Uganda. That movement’s leaders, American and Ugandan alike, share a particular enthusiasm for denouncing homosexuality, which the movie connects to the rise in antigay sentiment in the country. The most humane exception is Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, (pictured)

whose sympathy with the LGBT community has made him controversial in Uganda. We also meet Kapya Kaoma, an Anglican priest who particularly notes how much harder it’s been to fight the AIDS epidemic since the instigation of “abstinence-only” policies encouraged by religious groups.

More here-

Archbishop of Canterbury hears of Dubai model of co-existence

From Emirates-

At the General Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Busan, South Korea, the Reverend Dr Ruwan Palapathwala spoke about the promises the UAE holds to the world to His Grace, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of 80 million Anglican Christians across the world.

Dr Palapathwala, the Senior Chaplain of the Chaplaincy of Dubai, Sharjah with the Northern Emirates, was in attendance at the Assembly, which took place between October 30 and November 8.

The WCC is the largest global ecumenical body, represented by 345 member churches, with a membership of over 600 million Christians all over the world.

Representing the Anglican Christians in the UAE and the Middle East at this Assembly, Dr Palapathwala said that he is also attending the Assembly as a voluntary goodwill ambassador to the UAE to share with the 5,000 participants the good news story of the presence of the Christian church in the UAE, and the privilege and freedom to worship the Christians have been granted by the gracious Rulers of the UAE.

More here-

50 Ministers Bless Gay Marriage Of Bill Gatewood And Rick Taylor, Showing Solidarity With Rev. Frank Schaefer

From Philadelphia-

Bill Gatewood and Rick Taylor only needed one minister to marry them at their longtime place of worship, Arch Street United Methodist Church.

Instead, they got fifty.

Risking the loss of their credentials, the ministers came to show their support of same-sex marriage, an issue currently being hotly debated in the Methodist Church, as well as to show solidarity with an embattled colleague who has been personally affected. Rev. Frank Schaefer of Lebanon, PA, will stand trial on Nov. 18 in front of the church because he officiated his son's same-sex wedding, which is currently against church law.

More here-

Episcopal Church Files Suit Against Breakaway Ill. Diocese Figures

From Christian Post-

The Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago have opted to file a lawsuit against a small breakaway Illinois diocese over its property and assets.

Filed last week in Peoria County at the Circuit Court of the Tenth Judicial Circuit, the suit is part of the ongoing legal efforts by the national denomination against what was once its smallest diocese in the United States.

The suit calls for the Court to declare the church properties of the Anglican Diocese of Quincy as belonging to The Episcopal Church.

"Plaintiffs pray that the Court…declare that all property held by the Parishes of the Episcopal Diocese is held for and may only be used for the mission of the Church and the Episcopal Diocese, subject to the Constitutions and canons of the Church and the Episcopal Diocese," reads the suit in part.

More here-

Hawaii legislature gives final nod to legalizing gay marriage

From Hawaii-

The Hawaii Senate gave final legislative approval on Tuesday to a bill extending marriage rights to same-sex couples in a state popular as a wedding and honeymoon destination and regarded as a pioneer in advancing the cause of gay matrimony.

The measure cleared the Democratic-controlled state Senate on a 19-4 vote to cheers and applause from hundreds of supporters in flowered garland leis who filled the visitor galleries and the Capitol rotunda.

Hundreds more danced for joy on the sidewalks in front of the Capitol building.

Governor Neil Abercrombie, a Democrat who called a special session to consider the bill, is expected to sign it into law on Wednesday, an aide to the governor said. That would make Hawaii the 15th U.S. state to legalize gay marriage.

The measure, set to take effect on December 2, rolls back a 1994 statute defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

More here-

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Naremburn Cammeray rector bashed outside his church after intervening in robbery

From Australia-

A candidate to become Sydney’s next Anglican archbishop was viciously bashed outside his church after going to the aid of a pizza delivery driver who had allegedly been robbed by a group of youths.

The Rector of Naremburn/Cammeray, Canon Rick Smith, was punched kicked while on the ground during the attack which was witnessed by two of his sons.

Canon Smith was taken to Royal North Shore Hospital where he was treated for cuts and bruises.

Read more:

Royals visit Anglican church for Remembrance Day service

From India-

The first day of the British royals' visit to Mumbai was marked by gaiety, the second by solemnity. On Sunday, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, attended Remembrance Day service for martyred soldiers at the Anglican Afghan Church in Colaba.

The prince's mother Queen Elizabeth is the supreme governor of the Church of England which is Anglican.

After the service, the royal couple warmly greeted 90-year-old World War II veteran M G Dongre, who holds the title of Burma Star. The Revd R Joel of Afghan Church said, "Around 300 people including war heroes and defence personnel from Navy Nagar attended, which was twice the expected number."

The second Sunday of November commemorates the British-Indian soldiers who were killed in the Afghan war of 1838-1842. In the UK, Remembrance Day or Armistice Day marks the end of World War I at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, on November 11, 1918.

More here-

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pressure to spend at Christmas puts families under too much strain – warns Archbishop

From The Telegraph-

The “absurd and ridiculous” pressure to have a perfect Christmas puts relationships under strain and “spoils life”, the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned.

The Most Rev Justin Welby said consumerism over the festive period is now so “over the top” that couples are left arguing over money and children are shouted at.

He said he would like to tell people to stop giving gifts altogether but accepts no one would listen.
Instead, he urged families to “show” love and affection rather than trying to “buy it”.
Figures last year suggested the average household spent around £1,000 on Christmas.

More here-

Church group loses funds fight

From New Zealand-

Kaitaia priest Canon Dennis Urquhart and 33 supporters have lost their long-running legal battle with the Anglican Church hierarchy over who should control almost $500,000 of church funds.

A decision delivered last week by Justice Sarah Katz after a hearing in the High Court at Auckland in July gave control of the cash to three men recognised by the Church hierarchy as the lawful vestry of the Parengarenga-Ahipara-Peria Anglican Maori Pastorate.

The trio - the Rev. Eru Wright, the Rev. Frank Harrison and Bardia Matiu - were second claimants at the hearing and the Te Hui Amorangi ki Te Tai Tokerau Trust Board was third claimant.

The first claimant, Canon Urquhart and his supporters, asked the court to order the ASB Bank to release money the late Eva Matthews left to the pastorate in 1995 which, with interest and other funds, has since increased to more than $490,000.

More here-

Anglican Communion Women’s Network celebrates WCC appointment

From ENS-

On the first day of their London meeting, members of the International Anglican Women’s Network (IAWN) Steering Group were delighted to learn of the election of Agnes
Abuom as the first woman and first African moderator of the World Council of Churches Central Committee.

IAWN Steering Group member Claudette Kigeme from Burundi, said, “I heard Dr. Abuom speak inspirationally at the All Africa Conference of Churches, when she highlighted, as one of several major challenges, the importance of the church promoting gender justice at all levels, and standing by all who suffer , especially ‘victims of human trafficking, packaged like commodities, sold as parts or pieces –  taking place on our doorstep, like slavery.’”

The IAWN Steering Group strongly welcomes such vision, echoing the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) resolutions committing the Anglican Communion to equal representation of women and men in all decision-making bodies of the church, and to the eradication of all forms of human trafficking.

More here-

Virginia Beach church with Roman Catholic and Episcopal congregation overcomes challenges

From Virginia Beach-

A Virginia Beach church with a blended congregation of Roman Catholics and Episcopalians has overcome a year of challenges regarding its services.

Catholic and Episcopal clergy have performed services together and shared leadership duties at the Church of the Holy Apostles for 36 years.

In November 2012, Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo, leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond, ordered the church to change its worship. DiLorenzo said allowing Catholics and non-Catholics to participate in a combined communion liturgy violated Roman Catholic norms.

Months of discussions were held with theologians and with Catholic and Episcopal diocesan officials before a solution was found, The Virginian-Pilot (( ) reported.

The church now conducts a less formal rite, Morning Prayer, instead of the traditional Mass. It’s followed by the Eucharist with Catholic and Episcopal prayers offered separately at different altars.

More here-

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The ground has shifted on gay rights, and the church needs Pope Francis

Criticism of GAFCON from Kenya-

Iconic German economic and political philosopher Karl Marx once opined that “religion is the opium of the masses”.

You don’t have to be an atheist, or an agnostic, to see the wisdom in Mr Marx’s jarring commentary. Since religion is based on faith – and not science – it’s not always rational.

Obedience to faith is blind, and requires the suspension of reason.  That’s why Pope Francis is such a breath of fresh air – the first Latin Sovereign of Vatican City – has lit the Catholic Church on fire. The man born as Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, Argentina, has declared several of the Church’s teachings as “heresies”. The most significant of these is the official Catholic view on homosexuality.

Strangely, while the Catholic Church appears to be finally “seeing the light,” a benighted group of Anglican Bishops is determined to turn the clock back. Meeting in Nairobi a couple of weeks ago, a rebellious group calling itself the Global Anglican Future Conference, or Gafcon, threatened to overthrow the Archbishop of Canterbury, the overall leader of the global Anglican communion.

More here-

Conservative U.S. Catholics Feel Left Out of the Pope’s Embrace

From The New York Times-

When Pope Francis was elected in March, Bridget Kurt received a small prayer card with his picture at her church and put it up on her refrigerator at home, next to pictures of her friends and her favorite saints.

She is a regular attender of Mass, a longtime stalwart in her church’s anti-abortion movement and a believer that all the church’s doctrines are true and beautiful and should be obeyed. She loved the last two popes, and keeps a scrapbook with memorabilia from her road trip to Denver in 1993 to see Pope John Paul II at World Youth Day.

But Ms. Kurt recently took the Pope Francis prayer card down and threw it away.

“It seems he’s focusing on bringing back the left that’s fallen away, but what about the conservatives?” said Ms. Kurt, a hospice community educator. “Even when it was discouraging working in pro-life, you always felt like Mother Teresa was on your side and the popes were encouraging you. Now I feel kind of thrown under the bus.”

More here-

Openly gay bishop astounded by 'progress'

From Pittsburgh-

Ten years ago this month, Gene Robinson was ordained in New Hampshire as the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church -- and in his own words, "all hell broke loose" in the denomination and among its global partners in the Anglican Communion.

The now-retired Bishop Robinson, speaking to a small but supportive audience at East Liberty Presbyterian Church Saturday, said he's astounded at the changes in the political and religious climate in the past decade.

Gay marriage has become legal in about 15 states -- when Bishop Robinson was ordained a bishop, there was no place in the country where he could legally marry his longtime partner, which he was eventually able to do in New Hampshire. And while homosexuality continues to be debated and opposed in many religious denominations, Bishop Robinson noted that the ordination of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's first openly gay bishop in September in California made a blip in the news.

Read more:

Mentor, predecessor to Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop dies

From New Hampshire-

Douglas Theuner, the Episcopal Church’s eighth Bishop of New Hampshire and the mentor and direct predecessor to the church’s first openly gay bishop, died Friday in Concord. He was 74.

He had been in failing health for some time and had recently entered hospice care, church officials said in confirming his death.

Theuner led the state’s diocese from 1986 until 2003, at which point, amid a wave of global controversy, the rank passed to Bishop Gene Robinson. Robinson, who publicly disclosed his sexual orientation in 1986, had previously served as the state’s Canon to the Ordinary, a sort of chief of staff to the bishop.

“Doug Theuner is the reason I have a life in ministry,” Robinson said. “He was one of the boldest defenders of justice I’ve ever known.”

Originally from New York, Theuner was ordained in 1962 and went on to lead congregations in Ohio and Connecticut, before being consecrated as bishop of New Hampshire.

More here-