Saturday, January 31, 2015

Now that Anglican has first female bishop

From Nigeria-

The struggle to get women consecrated as bishops in the Church of England came to a close this week as the country had her first female bishop, Elizabeth Jane Holden Lane, consecrated by the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu.

Lane was born in 1966 as Elizabeth Jane Holden in Wycombe, a rural district in Buckinghamshire, England. She grew up in Glossop, Derbyshire.

In 1990, Elizabeth married George Lane, who is also an Anglican priest and currently the Coordinating Chaplain at Manchester Airport. They were among the first married couples to be ordained at the same time in the Church of England. They have two children.

Elizabeth was ordained in the Church of England as a deacon in 1993 and as a priest in 1994. She served as a Curate at St James’ Church, Blackburn.

 Elizabeth was consecrated at York Minster on Monday, 26 January 2015 by Dr. John Sentamu, Archbishop of York.

More here-

Same-Sex Interfaith Couples Face Roadblock to Marriage in Judaism

From The New York Times-

When Julia Spiegelman and Erina Donnelly, two teachers who met as undergraduates at Bryn Mawr, became engaged, they were looking forward to planning a wedding that included elements from both of their religions.

Ms. Spiegelman grew up attending a Reform synagogue in Andover, Mass., and Ms. Donnelly was raised a Roman Catholic.

The two women attend Jewish and Catholic services together, and they had hoped to find marriage officiants from both religions, which they did not think would be difficult. Most non-Orthodox rabbis officiate same-sex weddings, and while they could not expect to find a Catholic priest to officiate, they planned to ask a layperson from Dignity/Boston, a community of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics, to take part.

More here-

Friday, January 30, 2015

Too much ‘claptrap’ in sermons – Justin Welby

From The Telegraph-

The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned vicars against filling their sermons with “moral claptrap” about being “a bit nicer” to everyone.

The Most Rev Justin Welby said religion should never be reduced simply to a code of morality instead of an active faith in which people are willing to “get [their] hands dirty”.

He added that the message of Christianity was so radical that it could be mistaken for a call to “violent revolution”, were it not for its emphasis on peaceful means.

His comments came in a homily at an evensong at Trinity Church on Wall Street New York which has been published online by Lambeth Palace.

Speaking about deprivation and inequality he detailed his experiences in Liverpool, where he served as Dean of the Anglican cathedral for four years, insisting it was imperative for churches to be involved in their communities.

More here-

Sexuality tensions threaten to undermine C of E's 'shared conversations

From The Church Times-

SHARP divisions over sexuality mean that as many as 20 per cent of the Church of England may become disaffected, it emerged last week.

As the Church prepares to begin its "shared conversations", a formal process aimed at reconciling Anglicans with differing views on sexuality, it is being acknowledged that the fundamental nature of the division, rooted in different understandings of scripture, identity, and obedience, is likely to prove too much for those at both ends of the spectrum to agree to differ.

More here-

Historic ordination of first woman bishop in Church of England throws down unity challenge

From The Tablet-

The historic ordination of the first female bishop in the Church of England has already made an impact on ecumenical relations, the Catholic archbishop responsible for dialogue and unity said this week.

On Monday Revd Libby Lane was ordained and consecrated as Bishop of Stockport following the passing of legislation allowing women bishops by the Church of England’s General Synod in July last year. 

But Archbishop Bernard Longley, who is co-chairman of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (Arcic) and leads the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales dialogue and unity department, said:  “Sadly ... Bishop Lane’s consecration at York Minster serves to highlight one of the major challenges that Anglicans and Catholics in England face on the path towards full visible unity.” He added: “The ordination of women to the episcopate presents a further obstacle to achieving that unity among us for which Our Lord prayed.”

More here-

As Part of Deepening Ties, United Methodist Clergy Oversees Communion at Episcopal Church Cathedral

From Christian Post-

For the first time in its history, Washington D.C.'s National Cathedral had a United Methodist minister oversee the sacrament of Communion for an Episcopal service.

The Rev. Canon Gina Gilland Campbell of the UMC presided over the Eurcharist, alongside Episcopal clergy at a service on Sunday.

Although the Episcopal Church and the UMC have had an interim Eucharistic agreement since 2006, the Rev. Campbell's action represents the most notable example of this sharing.

Richard Mammana, Ecumenical and Interreligious Associate with The Episcopal Church's Mission Department and an attendee of the service, described the event as "an event full of joy and hope." Mammana explained to CP that the Interim Eucharistic Sharing guidelines had been approved in 2006 and were part of still ongoing dialogue between the two denominations regarding their relationship.

More here-

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Ugandan bishop willing to defend notorious Lord’s Resistance Army commander in war crimes court

From RNS-

In its heyday, the Ugandan rebel force known as the Lord’s Resistance Army was accused of killing more than 100,000 people, abducting 60,000 to 100,000 children and displacing more than 2.5 million civilians.

But now a retired Anglican bishop in northern Uganda says he is ready to defend one of the LRA’s top commanders, who stands accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Bishop Nelson Onono-Onweng said rebel commander Dominic Ongwen was a victim of circumstance, having been abducted at the age of 10 and transformed into a marauding killer.

More here-

Justin Welby’s Twitter sermon sounds like a plea for ecclesiastical discipline

From The Guardian-

The Archbishop of Canterbury has posted a blog warning Christians not to tweet their disagreements. Electronic communication, he says, lacks the human touch, and in particular the kinds of modulations of tone and the face-to-face aspects of relationships which make it possible to disagree productively.

“Social media does not show tears in the eye, a hand on the arm when saying something painful, body language that speaks of inner turmoil, deep distress – even gentle respect. It is simply there – usually forever,” he writes.

This seems at first sight ungrateful: there must be people who have turned to God because the internet made them lose their faith in humanity. On the other hand, there is no doubt that the schism in the Anglican Communion would have happened much more slowly and perhaps not at all without the help of the internet. Quite possibly the Reformation would never have caught on without the printing press, either. Nothing so promotes self-righteous outrage like the honest communication of sincerely held beliefs.

More here-

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bishop Heather Cook: A request for resignation from the Diocese of Maryland

From The Cafe- (and others)

The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland has requested Heather Cook’s resignation as bishop suffragan in a letter sent through her lawyer on January 27. On Dec 27, 2014, Heather Cook hit and killed cyclist Thomas Palermo, 41, and has been charged by police with vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence, and texting while driving, among other charges.”It was clear that our lay and clergy leaders on the Standing Committee felt that the best interests of the diocese would be served were Heather to resign. 

Since this does not impede the Episcopal Church’s investigation into the matter, it is my hope Heather will see the wisdom in this recommendation,” said the Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, bishop of Maryland.

The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland is acting as swiftly as it can in the context of the Episcopal Church’s disciplinary action, Title IV, currently underway. While Cook cannot resign her orders as a bishop while the disciplinary process is underway, nothing prevents her from resigning as an employee of the Diocese of Maryland.

More here-

From the Sun-

From CBS-

The Brew-

'No zero-sum solution' to Israeli-Palestinian conflict

From ACNS-

In seeking a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, people of faith need to be effective partners committed to hearing multiple narratives, say members of a broad U.S. interfaith delegation, led by Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, during a weeklong pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

The 15-member delegation of Jews, Christians and Muslims engaged in a series of high-level political and religious meetings in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, including with former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres and current Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, to hear a wide range of perspectives on peace, religion and politics and to share their own views about the role the three Abrahamic faiths must play in helping to shape a better world.

More here-

'I never thought it would take more than fifteen years to have women bishops'

From The Guardian-

After years of struggle the Church of England consecrated its first female bishop, Revd Libby Lane, on Monday in York Minster. A momentous occasion for many who have waited for this day Revd Anna Macham, priest-in-charge at St Philip & St Mark’s in Camberwell, shares her view on the ‘new chapter’.

“Yesterday’s consecration meant more to me than I can say. In many ways it was a normal day - but while I was leading school assembly and greeting the mums doing baby Zumba in our church hall, I had half an eye on the photos and excited comments friends and fellow clergy were posting on Twitter. A normal day was rapidly transforming into the best day ever: after so many years of endless arguing, debating, preparing and praying, watching the moment when the bishops laid hands on Libby’s head felt almost life changing in its significance. It was like breathing new air.”

More here-

A spiritual leader’s fall from grace

From Baltimore Brew (In Depth)-

They are not totally silent, the people who knew Heather Cook before December 27 – the terrible day when, texting and severely intoxicated, the Episcopal bishop plowed into a bicyclist pedaling along a Baltimore bike lane and killed him.

Online and in conversations with The Brew, they wrestle with how Cook’s actions that day – in particular, fleeing from the scene of the crash – square with the warm, empathetic, down-to-earth person they knew her to be.

“She’s good people,” said Rev. John Morris, in an online forum, recalling Cook from her days as the rector in charge of a suburban parish in York, Pa.

She was funny and smart, said a woman who knew Cook during her tenure at a Bedford, N.Y., parish in the early 1990s. Looking at her arrest photo posted on the Internet, this person said she wasn’t able to reconcile that image with the Heather Cook she knew.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Libby Lane: First female Church of England bishop consecrated

From The BBC-

The Church of England has consecrated its first female bishop during a ceremony at York Minster.

The Reverend Libby Lane, 48, has been ordained as the new Bishop of Stockport in front of more than 1,000 people.

The Church formally adopted legislation last November to allow women bishops, following decades of argument over women's ordination.

Archbishop of York John Sentamu, who led the service, said he had been "praying and working for this day".

During the two-hour service Dr Sentamu and other bishops laid their hands on Mrs Lane and prayed. This was followed by lengthy applause.

More here-

New Anglican Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe is consecrated

From Ireland-

THE new Anglican Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe has been consecrated at a ceremony at Christchurch Cathedral in Dublin.

Reverend Canon Dr Kenneth Kearon succeeds the Rt. Reverend Trevor Williams, who retired in July last year.

A native of Dublin, and a graduate of Trinity College and Cambridge University, Dr Kearon will be formally enthroned on March 7 at St Flannan’s Cathedral in Killaloe.

At the consecration, in Dublin on Saturday, a number of long serving and retired bishops from across the Anglican Church community were in attendance, including the Archbishop of Wales, the Most Revd Dr Barry Moran, who was the preacher at the service.

More here-

Chapel free for the taking

From San Diego-

Want a North Park historic chapel and $10,000 to move it?

That's the offer from St. Luke's Episcopal Church at 3725 30th St., which says it can no longer maintain its adjacent chapel building.

The 1902 building, designed in mission-style architecture by the early San Diego firm of Hebbard & Gill, had been relocated in the 1920s from its original Hillcrest home.

The church's attorney, Scott Moomjian, posted a notice on Facebook, saying, the church is "offering $10,000 if anyone can take the building to their own lot and hopefully restore it to its full glory." Bruce Coons, executive director of Save Our Heritage Organisation, also has called attention to the chapel.

More here-

Monday, January 26, 2015

Rt Revd Libby Lane consecrated at York Minster

From ACNS-

The Rt Revd Libby Lane has been consecrated as the first female bishop in the Church of England in a packed service at York Minster today attended by more than 100 bishops from the Church of England and women bishops from across the Anglican Communion.

In a statement shortly after being consecrated, Bishop Libby said she had been encouraged by the thousands of messages of support she has received since the news of her appointment was announced. She said:

More here-

Priest tells of kamikaze pilot training during WWII

From Stars and Stripes- (Pretty amazing story)

Paul Saneaki Nakamura prepared three times to carry out a suicide attack for Japan during World War II. It took the country’s near-death for him to find religion and become a priest.

Nakamura recently shared his experiences — which included training as a kamikaze pilot, human torpedo and suicide bomber — with about 300 Marines at Camp Hansen to help them see war from a different perspective.

“I have always thought that my experience might be well compared to the historical Exodus,” he said, referring to the biblical story of the Jews who left Egypt, led by Moses to the Promised Land.

The 87-year-old retired Anglican bishop grew up on Okinawa as militarism swept across Japan. Like many others, he became an ultra-nationalist who firmly believed in selfless devotion to his country. He worshipped the emperor as god; offering his life to the emperor was the ultimate virtue.

More here-

Rev Lane arrives for consecration

From The Daily Mail-

The Rev Libby Lane has arrived at York Minster to be consecrated as the Church of England's first female bishop.

Rev Lane will be consecrated as the eighth Bishop of Stockport in a service conducted by the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu.

She was named as the new bishop last month in a historic move ending centuries of all-male leadership in the Church.

More here-

and here-

Profile: Who is Libby Lane?

From Christian Today-

A saxophone-playing Oxford graduate, Libby Lane was vicar of St Peter's, Hale and St Elizabeth's, Ashley in the Chester diocese at the time of her appointment to Bishop of Stockport.

Because she will not be a diocesan bishop, she will not be among the women bishops that will be fast-tracked into the House of Lords. Bishop of Stockport is a suffragan or assistant bishop post in her current diocese. Southwell and Nottingham is understood to have women on its shortlist for a new diocesan bishop and Oxford is also likely to consider women when its appointments process begins.

More here-

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bishop of Burnley installation: Vicar makes silent protest

From The BBC-

A Blackburn vicar has held a 10-minute silence in protest over the upcoming installation of the Bishop of Burnley.

Changes have been made to the Reverend Philip North's ceremony because of his opposition to female bishops.

The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu said the arrangements were made "for prayer, not politics".

The Reverend Anne Morris, who serves the same diocese as Rev North, replaced her sermon with the protest over the changes, at St Oswalds in Knuzden.

Dr Sentamu, has said he will not take part in the "laying on of hands" - a traditional part of the ordination service - during the Rev North's ceremony at York Minster in February.

On Friday, he said his decision was not due to a "theology of taint".

More here-

Local events to mark 100th anniversary of Thomas Merton's birth

From Pittsburgh-

Religious congregations will be marking the 100th anniversary of Thomas Merton’s birth on Jan. 31 with the program “Praying with Merton: A Book of Hours.” Prayers will be based on “A Book of Hours,” an edited version of Merton’s writings organized around daily prayer cycles.

Gatherings are scheduled as follows:

Dawn (7 a.m.): Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 957 West North Ave., North Side.

Day (noon): St. James Roman Catholic Church, 718 Franklin Ave., Wilkinsburg.

Dusk (4:30 p.m.): Sisters of Mercy Motherhouse, Carlow University, Oakland.

Dark (7 p.m.): Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community, 2700 Jane St., South Side.

More here-

Indiana church sues JPMorgan for millions

From Indiana-

The Rev. Stephen Carlsen went to a seminary, not business school, but he's quickly becoming an expert on how Wall Street works as his church battles America's largest bank.

Carlsen is dean of Christ Church Cathedral of Indianapolis, which is suing JPMorgan Chase for millions.

The church claims that JPMorgan intentionally mismanaged its funds, which shrank in the past decade. Meanwhile, the fees the church paid JPMorgan skyrocketed.

More here-