Saturday, June 7, 2014

Mt. Lebanon church channels Hollywood with 'Fault in Our Stars' screening

From Pittsburgh-

It was like Oscar night and prom rolled into one.

Thursday night, men and women of all ages gathered at the Galleria of Mt. Lebanon in anticipation of the night's main event: a screening of the film “The Fault in Our Stars,” adapted from John Green's best-selling teen novel. Wearing dresses and suits — or, for a fancy few, gowns and tuxedos — most of the filmgoers, more than 300, chose to go Hollywood.

But for many of these attendees, the film had added significance in their community. The evening, which began with a gala-style red carpet event before the screening, was organized and planned by St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Mt. Lebanon — which was used as one of the film's set locations. In the movie, main characters Hazel (Shailene Woodley) and Augustus (Ansel Elgort), two teens who meet during a cancer support group that is held within the walls of a church.

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Food for Thought office moves Downtown

From Toledo-

Food for Thought, a local nonprofit assisting area hungry and homeless, has moved its headquarters from Oregon to Downtown Toledo. The group offers several mobile food pantries throughout Northwest Ohio and one in Michigan, and also hosts a popular Downtown Saturday morning picnic where attendees receive free sack lunches.

“When Food for Thought started we had a much smaller network of food pantries,” said Chief Thought Officer Sam Melden. “Over the past three years we’ve added almost 20 sites. In a lot of those, they were more West Toledo and South Toledo, so we thought a more central location would be good.”

New Harvest Church in Oregon had served as Food for Thought’s headquarters since its inception in 2007, but on June 1 the group moved to Downtown’s Trinity Episcopal Church on Adams Street. New Harvest Church was an integral part of the group since the beginning, as several of its members founded the organization.

More here-

Episcopal, ELCA Presiding Bishops issue statement on carbon emissions

From ENS-

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) have issued a joint statement in support of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Rule on carbon emissions.

“The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and The Episcopal Church are eager to collaborate with the EPA and states across the nation to ensure that the carbon rule is implemented fairly, particularly for low-income consumers,” the Presiding Bishops stated. “We will continue to pray that all involved in this good work will be graced with vision, hope, and the search for truth as they seek to implement the carbon rule swiftly and effectively.”

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Friday, June 6, 2014

Bishop of Hull: 'Church has dragged its feet over women bishops

From Hull- (you can Google map it - just like I did)

THE Bishop of Hull has accused the Church of England of "dragging its feet" over the issue of whether to allow women to take up the post.

Speaking to the Mail ahead of an expected vote next month, the Rt Rev Richard Frith revealed there is now widespread support from within the Church for women.

Mr Frith said: "I think we have dragged our feet on this one but I am confident we will get there in the end.

"Every single diocese in England has voted for women bishops, so it would be outrageous if the General Synod were to go against those views."

More here-

Welby prays with Nigerian President for peace in north

From The Church Times-

THE Archbishop of Canterbury paid a whistle-stop visit to Nigeria on Wednesday, to pray with the President, Goodluck Jonathan.

A statement from Lambeth Palace said that the Archbishop made the "last-minute" visit to "offer his heartfelt sympathy for the recent events affecting the country", including the recent bombings in Jos, and the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls last month (News, 2 May).

The Archbishop has previously condemned the kidnapping as an "atrocious and inexcusable act", and called for the schoolgirls to be released immediately, unharmed (News, 9 May).

More here-

Local Church Featured In New Blockbuster Throws Premiere Party

From Pittsburgh-

 Red Carpet. Cameras. Fancy Dresses.

It was a movie gala Mount Lebanon-style.

Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church threw the party at The Galleria to celebrate the church’s role in the new movie “The Fault In Our Stars.”

The movie is based on a best-selling young adult book about teenagers with cancer who meet at a church support group.

Those support group scenes were filmed at Saint Paul’s Episcopal.

So church and community members filled up five theaters Thursday night for a preview of the film.

More here-

St. James Episcopal celebrates 300 years

From Delaware-

A landmark church near Stanton is celebrating its 300th anniversary, a rarity in the First State and its faith community.

Predating the state itself, the church of St. James’ Mill Creek was established by missionaries of the Church of England and became one of the founding parishes of the Episcopal Church after the War of Independence, the Rev. James M. Bimbi tells Delaware Backstory.

Bimbi, rector of St. James Episcopal Church, Mill Creek Hundred, said the congregation began special services and programs in September to mark the tercentennial of the church at 2106 St. James Church Road.

More here-

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Boko Haram Attack in Nigeria Killed 400, Official Says

From Bloomburg-

The U.S. is among several countries to send advisers and military personnel to help with the search for the missing girls.

President Goodluck Jonathan, whose government has come under fire for failing to crush the insurgency or prevent the kidnapping of the girls, has sought to highlight ties between Boko Haram and al-Qaeda, and call it a continent-wide threat. His critics say it’s mostly an internal Nigerian issue.

Jonathan prayed yesterday with Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who visited the capital, Abuja.

The Archbishop, the most senior bishop in the Anglican denomination of Christianity, “paid a pastoral call on President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja to express his personal pain and condolence about the ongoing terrorism affecting parts of North Nigeria,” Welby said on his website.

More here-

New Zealand: Judge lifts stay on Christchurch Cathedral deconstruction

From New Zealand-

It’s one more day in the drawn-out saga of ChristChurch Cathedral. Justice Graham Panckhurst has lifted a stay against the Anglican Church taking down the iconic stone building.

A formal commitment from the church to rebuild a cathedral on the site is reason enough to lift the stay of demolition on the 133-year-old building, according to the judge.

He also has found that the Church Property Trustees have acted honestly and given fair consideration to all the relevant issues, including safety, cost and public opinion in both the church and the wider community.

However, Bishop Victoria Matthews says CPT is under no illusion that it will happen soon. "The consent process lies before us.”

More here
This is from the Sydney Morning Herald - the second link is an apology from "Southern Cross" (Can't find the image in question).

What has got into Anglicans? The cover of this month’s Sydney Anglican magazine, Southern Cross, shows a scarcely clad female in black lycra. Headless and hairless, she kneels full frontal; naked thighs, leather finger-gloves, red nails and, centre page, the coveted "box gap". The graphic focus, where all lines converge in swelling cruciform, is her barely concealed crotch.

Say what? Anglicanism is usually double vanilla. This cover is flavoured somewhere between X-treme workout and S&M. The blood-red headline, stamped across the woman’s ovaries, graphically reinforces this message. But the text tells a different story. The phrase "knee workout" offers its slender pretext for the faux porn: a story on the art of prayer.

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Southern Cross link

Primate’s Daughter Ordained

From The Living Church-

Members of the Episcopal Asiamerica Ministries’ Korean Convocation paused on June 4 during their four-day meeting in Los Angeles to attend the ordination of Yein Esther Kim, daughter of Archbishop Paul Keun San Kim, Primate of Korea.

Bishop Bruno ordained Esther Kim a deacon as her father participated in the service, also attended by Bishops Suffragan Diane Jardine Bruce and Mary D. Glasspool and a number of clergy of the Diocese of Los Angeles.

Hosted by Bishop Bruce, the Korean ministry representatives came from as far away as Virginia, Vancouver, and Korea. In addition to meetings and discussion, they took several field trips to view ministry in action, notably to Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles to witness Korean chaplain interns at work there in a program started in 2012 as the result of a conversation between Archbishop Kim and Bishop Bruce.

More here-

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Rwandan Pilgrims Attend Uganda Martyrs Day

From Uganda-

AT least 300 pilgrims from Rwanda, yesterday, joined thousands of Christians from across the globe in commemorating Martyrs Day, in Namugongo, Uganda.

Antoine Kambanda, the Bishop of Kibungo Catholic Diocese led the delegation of the pilgrims to Namugongo.

Every June 3, Christians from around the world pay homage to 45 Martyrs, who were killed by Buganda King Mwanga II in 1886, for converting to Christianity.

The majority of the pilgrims came from Rwanda, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and DR Congo, besides Uganda.

The Bishop of Kotido Diocese, Giuseppe Filippi, who was the main celebrant preached against immoral behaviors like corruption and called on Christians to emulate the martyrs.

More here-

Church of England to bar clergy from joining parties seen as racist

From England-

The Church of England may dismiss clergy if they back political parties promoting the "sin of racism", its bishops agreed on Tuesday in an unprecedented move by the mother church of the world's 80 million Anglicans.

William Fittall, secretary general of the Church's General Synod, said they would be disciplined if they joined or sought support for the British National Party or National Front, whose views the Church considers incompatible with its teachings.

It was the first time Church of England clergy have been banned from joining a political party.

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Anglican Head Amazed by India's Brand of Secularism

From India-

He may be the spiritual head of the Anglican Communion and chief religious figure of the Church of England, but Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury confessed that he was amazed by the “quality of Indian secularism.” In a short speech, laced with an easy brand of humour, Welby told CSI bishops and pastors from all across the South, “The quality of Indian secularism is one of the gifts of India to the world. In Europe it (secularism) means an opposition of all faiths, but here its an openness that welcomes all religions. And that is truly remarkable,” he said, drawing applause from all the excited clergymen.

Despite his two-day visit being organised by the Church of South India, Welby steered clear of religious discourse and even appreciated the tolerant views set forth by people like the Nawab of Arcot, in that gathering.

More here-

Asheville Episcopal clergy join same-sex marriage suit

From Western North Carolina-

More clergy from national religious denominations and one local Episcopal church have joined the fight against same-sex marriage bans in North Carolina on grounds of religious freedom.

National religious denominations, including the Alliance of Baptists and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, as well as local clergy from All Souls Episcopal Cathedral in Asheville, have been added as plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of North Carolina’s marriage laws.

The suit, General Synod of the United Church of Christ vs. Cooper, was filed in April in the Western District of North Carolina on behalf of the United Church of Christ (UCC) as a national denomination. Several clergy from various faith traditions and same-sex couples also were part of the original suit.Attorneys filed documents Tuesday in federal district court to formally amend the complaint.

More here-

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Archbishop of Cantebury's Aide in Negotiation to Free Kidnapped Girls

From Anglican News-

A friend of the Archbishop of Canterbury has been working secretly to help free the Chibok schoolgirls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists over a month ago, the London-based Sunday Times has revealed.

Stephen Davis, a former canon at Coventry Cathedral, is said to have held face-to-face talks with a senior commander of the group after travelling to its stronghold and sleeping out in the bush.

This is just as the Defence Headquarters (DHQ), through its spokesman, Major-General Chris Olukolade, has revealed that the Nigerian Air Force has flown 300 sorties in the hunt for the girls.

More here-

Eyes on churches as they decide whether to allow guns

From Georgia-

When Georgia’s new comprehensive gun laws go into effect July 1, many churches will opt out of allowing weapons into worship halls.

The Safe Carry Protection Act, sometimes called the “Guns Everywhere” law by opponents, goes into effect July 1. The language of the bill actually prohibits guns inside churches, unless the “governing body or authority of the place of worship permits the carrying of weapons or long guns by license holders.”

But it’s not even a concern for many Christian denominations, including in Catholic, Methodist and Episcopal churches. Leaders in all three organizations have pointed to no-weapons policies, and advised individual churches to follow the rules already in place.

In April, shortly after Gov. Nathan Deal signed the bill into law, the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta’s Bishop Rob Wright released a public letter prohibiting guns in churches.

“My judgment and this policy are based on the normative understanding of the teachings of Jesus as the Episcopal Church has received them,” he wrote.

More here-

New Episcopal Church to Serve Manor Community

From Texas-

On Thursday, June 5 at 7:00 p.m., the community is invited to a groundbreaking ceremony to begin the first phase of the Saint Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church campus, consisting of a chapel and office/education building. The groundbreaking will be held at the site of the new church on the west side of Lexington Street across from the ShadowGlen Golf Club (12801 Lexington Street, Manor, TX 78653). Saint Mary Magdalene has held services at Manor High School for the past four years and due to growth will move to a permanent home. Completion is expected in 7 to 9 months.

“Manor and the surrounding community reflect the growing diversity of our population today; we are thrilled that the congregation of St. Mary Magdalene is an example of this richness,” said the Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, Bishop of Texas. “As we break ground for St. Mary Magdalene and as we plant other new churches, we will continue to welcome all people to our family of faith.”

The Episcopal Diocese of Texas plans to establish 15 new churches in the next five years throughout 57 counties in central and eastern Texas. Plans for the extended campus reflect the Church’s commitment to a faith community and serving the social and health needs of the Manor area.

More here-

Monday, June 2, 2014

Albertans react to Desmond Tutu's visit to oilsands

From CBC- (with video)

Anglican archbishop Desmond Tutu sparked controversy across the province during his visit to Fort McMurray.

Tutu, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the fight against apartheid in South Africa, has taken strong stands on climate change and against projects such as the Keystone XL pipeline. 

"The fact that this filth is being created now, when the link between carbon emissions and global warming is so obvious, reflects negligence and greed," Tutu told more than 200 people at a conference in Fort McMurray Saturday.

His comments have prompted many Albertans to voice their own opinion on the matter. 

More here-

Ann B. Davis dies at 88; actress best known for 'Brady Bunch' role

From The LA Times-

Ann B. Davis, the Emmy-winning actress best remembered as the nutty housekeeper on television's "The Brady Bunch," has died. She was 88.

Davis died Sunday in San Antonio, said her agent, Robert Malcolm. She had fallen Saturday at her home there and did not regain consciousness.

For the last several years Davis had lived in San Antonio with the family of retired Episcopal bishop William Frey, a close friend.

“She was a wonderful, smart, funny woman,” Frey told The Times on Sunday. “She was Alice.”

More here

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Female priests a hard-won fight in Episcopal church

From Scranton-

Thirty-seven years ago, a Bear Creek woman made history at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Scranton.

At a ceremony on May 21, 1977, presided over by the Rev. Lloyd E. Gressle, the bishop of the Diocese of Bethlehem,

The graduate of Epsicopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, knew she wanted to be an Episcopal priest since her college days at Middlebury College in Vermont, according to a Scranton Times article published the day before her ordination.

But it took a close, contentious vote by church leaders from around the nation before she could realize her dream.

In September 1976, delegates attending an Episcopalian legislative convention in Minneapolis approved the ordination of women to the priesthood. Four months later, Jacqueline Means of Indianapolis became the first woman priest ordained in the Episcopal church.

Margaret Lee Ferry became the first female Episcopal priest ordained in Scranton.

More here-

Synagogues struggle in dying mill towns

From The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-

For one evening in mid-April in New Castle, Temple Hadar Israel bustled with the sounds of prayers, the tinkling of glasses and dishes and even the joyful outbursts of a visiting toddler. About three dozen members and visitors had gathered on the first night of Passover over matzo ball soup and other traditional fare for a communal celebration of the ancient Jewish ritual meal.

The chatter and laughter among the mostly older, formally dressed group provided a respite from the reality that the days of the historic synagogue in the Lawrence County city are likely numbered.

Once with about 300 to 400 families in the two synagogues that have long since merged, Hadar Israel is now down to about 70 individual members.

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