Saturday, November 1, 2014

Asantehene welcomes Archbishop of Canterbury

From Ghana-

The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has rolled the red carpet for the Archbishop of Canterbury with a splendid royal ceremonial welcome to his Manhyia Palace.

A colourful durbar was organized, on Thursday, by the King in honour of the Most Reverend Justin Welby, who is in the country for a pastoral visit to the Church of the Province of West Africa.

The visit which was his first to the country by the Archbishop of the worldwide Anglican Communion comes at a time when Kumasi has become the seat of the Province- with the Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Yinkah-Safo as its Archbishop and Primate.

More here

Bend church recovers from fire

From Oregon-

Peter Lovering stopped a tour of Trinity Episcopal Church’s main building in downtown Bend so he could admire some of the embellishments a Kirby Nagelhout Construction contractor put on an archway that led into the church’s upstairs chapel.

This room and the church’s main sanctuary or nave — which in their original form date back almost 90 years — were almost destroyed by a pair of fires set on March 6, 2013, that also damaged St. Helens Hall, an axillary church building just across the street.

“It started right here,” Lovering said as he pointed to a ladder that unintentionally marked the blaze’s ignition point. “They smashed the windows, got inside (this building and another church building) and started two fires at the exact same time.”

More here-

Friday, October 31, 2014

Pope Francis is late to the party

From The Globe and Mail-

Is the Pope Catholic? You might not think so if you’ve perused the headlines this week, as Pope Francis, who’s been making more news than Justin Bieber of late, set the media abuzz with his supposedly heretical bons mots on evolution and the Big Bang theory.

Cautioning against a literal interpretation of the Bible, the Pope told the Pontifical Academy of Sciences that “evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.” Yet if we read Genesis literally, “we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything.” And this image of God-as-Harry-Potter would be idiotic, wouldn’t it?

More here-

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Anglican Bishop: Christians Look to Rome for Leadership in the Face of Radical Islam

From The Trumpet-

All Christians, regardless of their denomination, look to the Catholic Church to lead the defense against radical Islam, according to Church of England Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali.

His October 2 speech is not available online, but the press release published by the event’s organizer states:

Bishop Nazir-Ali said that with the growth of Islamic militancy and the persecution of Christians worldwide, many people were now looking to Rome as the voice that could stem the tide. He said these people included many Evangelicals he knew who never, in the past, would have thought about Rome. “So the Catholic Church has both a great opportunity and also a great responsibility.”

More here-

Program, Budget and Finance begins triennial budget work

From ENS-

The Episcopal Church’s Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance (PB&F) has begun the many months of work that will result in a 2016-2018 budget being proposed to the 78th General Convention in July 2015.

PB&F members spent the bulk of their Oct. 27-29 meeting getting a crash course on how the triennial budget has been constructed in the past and how the process has been changed this time around.

More here-

Episcopal bishop leaves legacy of caring

From South Dakota-

Twenty years after choosing law over religion, Creighton Robertson changed course once more and enrolled at the University of the South's Episcopal seminary.

He had been a trailblazer as an attorney, graduating from the University of South Dakota School of Law in 1976 and becoming one of only a handful of Native Americans with that distinction. Robertson also was the first law-trained magistrate in tribal courts.

As an ordained Episcopal priest, Robertson continued to make history. His consecration as the ninth bishop of the Diocese of South Dakota on June 19, 1994, marked the first time it was served by a Native American diocesan bishop.

More here-

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

New Poll Finds Evangelicals’ Favorite Heresies

From Christianity Today-

Most American evangelicals hold views condemned as heretical by some of the most important councils of the early church.

A survey released today by LifeWay Research for Ligonier Ministries “reveals a significant level of theological confusion,” said Stephen Nichols, Ligonier’s chief academic officer. Many evangelicals do not have orthodox views about either God or humans, especially on questions of salvation and the Holy Spirit, he said.

Evangelicals did score high on several points. Nearly all believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead (96%), and that salvation is found through Jesus alone (92%). Strong majorities said that God is sovereign over all people (89%) and that the Bible is the Word of God (88%).

More here-

Episcopal Church, African primates, bishops issue communique

From ENS-

 The following is a communique issued by Primates and Bishops of Africa and The Episcopal Church on a recent groundbreaking meeting.

A Communique: Transformation through Friendship

October 8-10, 2014

The General Theological Seminary, New York City

We speak as six Primates representing Burundi, Central Africa, Southern Africa, Tanzania, West Africa, and The Episcopal Church, and as four Bishops of The Episcopal Church representing both U.S. dioceses and Haiti.  Two of us participated by Skype while attending another meeting in Bujumbura.  We gathered together at the General Theological Seminary in New York City from October 8-10, 2014.

More here-

America isn’t a ‘Christian nation,’ and never has been

From RNS-

Right-wing Christians and the politicians who pander to them like to say that the United States was, is and always should be a “Christian nation.”

Why, then, are they so obsessed about money and political power and so determined to make people afraid?

After all, Jesus spent an estimated two-thirds of his teaching time on wealth and power. His message was clear, if radical: Give wealth away rather than build bigger barns. Submit to others rather than seek power. Love your enemies rather than smite them.

More here-

Beatifying Pope Paul VI may be a signal: Don’t expect radical changes

From Crux Now-

The recent Synod of Bishops on the Family concluded with a Mass in which Pope Francis beatified one of his predecessors, Pope Paul VI. Was staging the ceremony at the end of that tumultuous summit an indirect way for Rome to dampen expectations of radical change under Francis? It would seem so.

Giovanni Maria Montini, the given name of Paul VI, was a former archbishop of Milan and the Vatican’s former Secretary of State. He brought the Second Vatican Council to a conclusion in the mid-1960s, in a period marked by immense social change.

More here

Episcopal, Evangelical Lutheran, United Methodist bishops, other clergy issue joint statement to repeal casino gambling in state

From Massachusetts-

 Four bishops, including the Right Rev. Douglas J. Fisher, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts, the head of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ, and clergy from the Massachusetts Council of Church and the Presbytery of Boston of the Presbyterian Church (USA) have signed a joint statement urging "all voters to vote Yes on Question 3."

The 2011 Expanded Gaming Act invited casino companies to do business in the commonwealth, and its repeal is Question 3 on the Nov. 4 ballot.

More here-

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Social issues attract Executive Council’s attention

From ENS-

In addition to working towards a draft proposed 2016-2018 budget, the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council Oct. 27 approved resolutions on a number of social issues facing the church and the world.

Prompted by the work of its Joint Standing Committees on Advocacy and Networking (A&N) and Local Mission and Ministry (LMM), council went on record as:

opposing for-profit prisons and directing the treasurer to avoid investment in companies that own and operate for-profit prisons and detention centers;

More here-

Monday, October 27, 2014

‘Do not use witchcraft to pass exams’

From Uganda-

The Anglican bishop for Mityana diocese, Dr. Stephen Kazimba, has asked Primary Seven (P7) candidates not to heed their parents who tell them to use witchcraft to pass exams.

“I know some parents who always call their children and give them ancestors’ blessing. If you hear any parent or guardian calling on the ancestors to guide you in your exams, say ‘no I will not take your blessings in Jesus’ name’.

“Some of those ancestors went as far as Primary One, others did not see any blackboard, so if you take such blessings, be assured of failure,” he said.

More here-

Boston History, Underground

From Boston-

Walking past the granite fa├žade of King’s Chapel on Tremont Street, it’s easy to miss the narrow, dark path that snakes around the building. The path leads to a large iron gate, and behind that gate lies one of Boston’s most fascinating historical artifacts—a crypt containing, among others, a French knight and a poisoned adulteress.

Somewhere between 100 and 150 people are buried beneath the floorboards of the historic chapel, the first Anglican church in New England when it was consecrated in 1689. The present-day chapel was completed in 1754, and it was the place of worship for British Loyalists during the American Revolution. When King’s Chapel reopened after the war, in 1785, it was the country’s first Unitarian church and today boasts an active congregation. Throughout its history, many members of the congregation chose to be buried on site in the chapel’s crypt.

More here-

West Texas elects David Mitchell Reed as bishop coadjutor

From ENS-

The Rt. Rev. David Mitchell Reed was elected as bishop coadjutor of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas at the Special Council of the diocese on Oct. 25, held at TMI – The Episcopal School of Texas in San Antonio.

Reed, 57, is currently the bishop suffragan of the diocese, and was one of six nominees. As bishop coadjutor, Reed will continue to serve alongside Bishop Gary Lillibridge. Upon Lillibridge’s retirement in 2017, Reed will become the 10th bishop of the Diocese of West Texas.

More here-

Has the Last Episcopalian Been Born?

From The American Conservative-

Philip Jenkins, a scholar and Episcopal layman, does the math and finds out that at the Episcopal Church’s current rate of decline, there will be no more Episcopalians by the end of this century. Excerpt:

If we extrapolate that rate into the not-too-distant future, then the number of people attending Episcopal churches on a typical Sunday will be negligible by mid-century, typical of a tiny sect rather than a great church or denomination. It won’t reach zero for a while, but in effect, the church will cease to exist. We might need a new vocabulary of religious decline. How about church evaporation? That mid-century date is really not far off. In fact, the baby baptized at my church last Sunday will by that point only be a young adult in her 30s. Non-attending notional members will persist for a few years longer, but by the end of the century, we should be talking total disappearance. In that scenario, America’s last Episcopalian walks among us today. At some point, young people contemplating a clerical career will have to consider just how long there will indeed be a church for them to serve.

More here-

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Bruton Parish Church celebrates the 300th anniversary of its building

From Willamsburg-

George Washington stood here. Thomas Jefferson sat there. Strolling around the sanctuary of Bruton Parish Episcopal Church is a walk through America’s history.

“It goes on and on,” marveled the Rev. Christopher L. Epperson, the church’s rector. “There’s no place quite like it.”

This month, the church kicks off a 15-month celebration of the 300th anniversary of its building on Duke of Gloucester Street.

More here-

Nashotah House Episcopal seminary appoints president from within

From Milwaukee-

Nashotah House Theological Seminary in Waukesha County has tapped one of its own, the Rev. Steven Peay, as its next dean and president.

A professor of homiletics and church history who serves as dean of academic affairs, Peay was elected by the Nashotah's board of trustees last week and is expected to be installed in the spring.

He succeeds the Rev. Edward Salmon, retired bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina, who has led the Episcopal seminary since 2011.

"Steven Peay is an excellent choice to lead Nashotah House," Bishop Steven A. Miller of the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee said. "Dr. Peay is a highly respected educator and priest and a faithful servant of Christ."

More here-