Saturday, February 21, 2015

Episcopal delegates unanimously approve resolution pressing for reforms in Alabama, Florida prisons

From Central Gulf Coast-

Delegates to the 44th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast approved a resolution Friday to call upon state officials in Alabama and Florida to end inmate abuse in prisons.

The vote was unanimous, said Wayne Verry, a delegate from St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Foley, who introduced the resolution. The convention is being held Feb. 19-21 at Trinity Episcopal Church in midtown Mobile.

The resolution calls upon Gov. Robert Bentley, the attorney general, the commissioner of the Department of Corrections, and leaders of both houses of the Legislature in Alabama and Florida to "continue to take necessary actions to end all forms of abuse in prisons, and to uphold the fundamental dignity of every human being." It also urges other Episcopal diocese to take similar action.

More here-

Friday, February 20, 2015

On Pilgrimage Together

From The Living Church-

In the heat of a mid-summer afternoon below the town of Assisi, pilgrims make their way to one of the remaining leprosaria, La Santa Maria Maddalena. At the front of the procession are two high school boys, one white, one Puerto Rican, warning in loud voices of the leper following close behind. Micah, an African American high-school sophomore, follows with shuffling feet. He is covered with a black cloth, a makeshift pall, draped over his backpack filled with bottled water, a journal, and packets of Nutella. He carries the tentennella, the traditional wooden clapper that warns the locals of his approach.

More here-

Single churchwomen ‘cry inside’ for lack of men

From The Church Times-

SINGLE Christian women may have to choose between marrying a partner who does not share their beliefs and staying single, a new survey suggests. It found that churches contained large numbers of middle-class single women, but few single men.

The research concluded that Christian women had to face up to the possibility that they would go through life without finding a partner who shared their Christian beliefs.

The survey of more than 7200 adults was carried out by YouGov. It found that half a million more women than men were regular churchgoers, and that these single women were very largely middle class.

More here-

Scottish bishops band together to boost full-time ordination training

From Scotland-

The Scottish Episcopal Church's bishops have this year banded together to appeal to its members to invest in the Church's future.

For this year’s Bishops’ Lent Appeals, all seven diocesan bishops have agreed to support the training and formation of those entering ministerial training in the Scottish Episcopal Church.

2014 saw the creation of the new Scottish Episcopal Institute (SEI), which replaced the former Theological Institute of the Scottish Episcopal Church (TISEC).

More here-

Retiring Episcopal Bishop Philip M. Duncan comments on the state of the Church, same-sex blessings and what's needed in his successor

From The Central Gulf Coast-

The first time I met the Rt. Rev. Philip Menzie Duncan II, he was standing outside Trinity Episcopal Church on Dauphin Street on Dec. 26, 2012. An EF-2 tornado had hit midtown Mobile the day before, tearing a hole in Trinity's roof and turning the front of Irving Hall into a pile of rubble.

"Ultimately, property is property," he said at the time. "People are the important thing for me."

After serving for 14 years as the third bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of the Gulf Coast, Duncan, 70, is retiring this summer. His successor will be chosen by votes of the clergy and laity on Saturday, Feb. 21, at the diocese's 44th Annual Convention, being held at Trinity.

More here-

Thursday, February 19, 2015

How a supporter of women’s ordination left the Anglican Church to become a Catholic

From Catholic Herald-

It is always interesting to read the various ways that converts stumble onto the path to Rome. Surely one of the strangest accounts in modern times is that of Dr Una Kroll, whose autobiography, Bread Not Stones, has recently been published by Christian Alternative. Dr Kroll received quite a lot of publicity in the past as an active and vocal Christian feminist. Indeed, she was ordained into the Anglican priesthood as one of the first women priest of the Church of Wales. The title of her book is taken from an incident at the Church of England’s General Synod of 1978. When its members at that time turned down a proposal to prepare women for ordination, Una Kroll shouted from the gallery: “We asked you for bread and you gave us a stone!”

More here-

Bishop apologizes for oversights in Cook case

From The Baltimore Sun-

The head of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland apologized Wednesday for failing to recognize "warning signs" that Bishop Heather Elizabeth Cook — now facing drunken-driving and other charges in connection with a crash that killed a bicyclist — suffers from alcoholism.

"I regret that my sister in faith, Heather, apparently caused so much damage and suffering due to her disease of alcoholism, and [I'm] sorry I was unable to recognize warning signs of her illness," the Rt. Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton said in a message to church members on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, a 40-day season of repentance.

More here-

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Apartments to Replace 146-Year-Old Brooklyn Church

From Brooklyn-

A 146-year-old Bed-Stuy church is being demolished to make room for “middle-income” apartments, according to investors.

St. Stephen and St. Martin's Episcopal Church on Jefferson Avenue is set to be pulled down by the end of February due to a lack of funds needed to preserve the wooden building.

Audley Donaldson, the church's rector, sold the lot to Notias Construction. He made a agreement with the company that a replacement church will be part of the development.

More here-

The Episcopal Church Files Appeal Against Breakaway South Carolina Diocese in Attempt to Takeover $500 Million Property

From Christian Post-

An appeal has been filed on behalf of The Episcopal Church of South Carolina against a diocese that voted to break away from the denomination, and is seeking to takeover the local church's properties that are estimated to be worth $500 million.

A group loyal to the national denomination, called The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, filed the appeal against the Diocese of South Carolina, which earlier this month won a court judgement in which it retained ownership of dozens of church properties.

Although District Court Judge Diane Goodstein ruled on Feb. 4 that the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina rightfully owns the church properties and not The Episcopal Church, it was expected that the national denomination was going to file an appeal in an attempt to gain control of the church's assets.

More here-

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Bishop Made Mission Theologian

From The Living Church-

The Rt. Rev. Graham Kings, Bishop of Sherborne, has accepted a seven-year post as the Anglican Communion’s mission theologian. The new post is a shared venture of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Church Mission Society, and Durham University.

His purpose will be to research, stimulate, connect, and publish works of theology in the Anglican Communion, with particular focus on insights from Africa, Asia, and Latin America, in their ecumenical contexts.

Bishop Kings will take up this new post in July. He will be based in London, visiting Durham University as an honorary fellow and traveling across the Communion. He will convene a series of seminars in Anglican Communion Studies for theologians. The website Mission Theology in the Anglican Communion, launched February 16, will publish the papers. Bishop Kings already has sent various tweets from the Twitter handle of @MissioTheology.

More here-

Uganda President agrees national day to honour Anglican martyr

From Uganda-

Archbishop Stanley Ntagali called today for Archbishop Janani Luwum Day to be declared a national holiday.

His appeal was made before more than 20,000 people gathered in Mucwini, Kitgum, to honour and celebrate the life, ministry, and martyrdom of Archbishop Janani Luwum, the Church of Uganda’s 2nd Ugandan Archbishop.

Former President Idi Amin Dada assassinated Archbishop Janani Luwum on 16th February 1977 after arresting him on false charges. There have been local celebrations of his life and martyrdom around the country since 1977, but today’s commemoration marks the first national and international celebration. His Excellency, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President of the Republic of Uganda, was the Guest of Honour.

More here-

Monday, February 16, 2015

What Would Jesus Do (for Lent)?

From "Mockingbird"-

There is a widely preached theology which tells us that we can somehow identify with Jesus. This lens is all too often used to justify whatever behavior we are interested in spiritualizing. And so we get to be angry because Jesus turned over tables in the temple. We get to invoke righteous indignation at politicians or religious figures because Jesus yelled at the Pharisees and the hypocrites. At Lent, our WWJD theology is allowed to go into overdrive. We must “give up” something in order to identify ourselves with the suffering and self-denial of Jesus in the desert.

While all of this sounds earnest and well-intentioned, this theology misses the point–devastatingly so. Jesus wasn’t just hanging out in the desert, dancing to the beat of a one man drum circle. Jesus was going toe to toe with the Satan himself. And there’s nothing relatable about that for us.

More here-


From Breibert-

This morning, Pope Francis condemned the brutal slaying of 21 Coptic Christians perpetrated by ISIS in Libya over the weekend, proclaiming them martyrs killed out of hatred of their Christian faith.

At 10:30 am Monday, the Pope met with Rev. John P. Chalmers, Moderator of the Church of Scotland (Reformed), along with other representatives of the Church of Scotland.

At the end of his prepared speech, the Pope switched to his native language and continued off the cuff in Spanish, turning to the events in Libya, and said that the witness of these brother Christians should move all Christian communions to draw closer to one another.

More here-

Episcopal Church of South Sudan promotes Lent peace initiative

From Ekklesia-

The Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan’s diocese of Wau has developed a course titled “Reconcile – Moving Forward in Peace”, inviting people to be peace-builders during the season of Lent, which begins this week.

This initiative from the church comes amid the conflict in South Sudan which has gravely affected all communities since the country’s independence from Sudan in 2011.

Written by the staff of the Wau diocese of the Episcopal Church of the South Sudan and Sudan, the course engages the community in discussion and prayer. The content gives an African outlook on Christianity and focuses on issues relating to peace. The course tries to stimulate participation, discovery and tackles faith-related issues. Themes include tribalism, causes of friction, domestic violence and the understanding of peace.

More here-

Local diocese receives $19K Episcopal Church grant

From South Carolina-

Roanridge Trust Award grants are awarded annually for new and creative models for leadership development in small communities. The 2015 grants, totaling $160,369, were announced by Sam McDonald, deputy chief operating officer and director of mission of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society. They will be used in Episcopal dioceses across the United States and in the Dominican Republic and Honduras.

The $19,000 grant to TECSC will be used to start a Lifelong Formation Training Program for clergy and laypeople in the rural sections of the diocese. The program is designed to offer programs for smaller churches to start or enhance Christian formation programs for children, youth and adults.

More here-

Continue the mission: St. James' Episcopal Church looks toward future with capital project

From New York-

What started as a project to replace the 140-year-old roof on St. James' Episcopal Church in Skaneateles turned into an endeavor to ensure the mission of the nearly 200-year-old church continues for many more years to come.

The Rev. Becky Coerper, the rector of St. James', said the vestry — the body that oversees church operations — considered replacing the roof, which is original to the building, for about 20 years before finally taking steps to do something.

"It was leaking pretty regularly," she said. "We were doing repairs on it annually, sometimes as much as $10,000 or $12,000 a year. ... It was in pretty bad shape. It does fall down. We find pieces of it in our driveway all the time."

More here-

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Apodaca: Split has church looking for new members

From Los Angeles-

How does a new church leader fill the pews again after a contentious legal dispute resulted in the departure of nearly the entire congregation?

That was the challenge faced by the Rev. Cindy Evans Voorhees, who took over as pastor at St. James the Great Episcopal Church on Lido Isle a little over year ago after the parish, formerly St. James Anglican Church, underwent a very public split from the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.

The exit from the Lido location was prompted by a Superior Court ruling, after nine years of litigation, confirming that the church property belonged to the diocese. The former St. James congregation had sought to stay at the site after disaffiliating with the Episcopal Church primarily because it disagreed with the ordination of a gay bishop.

More here-,0,1109407.story

Melbourne’s first Anglican female bishop dies

From Australia-

The Right Reverend Barbara Darling, Melbourne's first female bishop and the first woman to be ordained into the Anglican clergy in Australia, died on Sunday aged 67.

Bishop Darling ministerd to the Eastern Region of Melbourne.

She died in hospital at 11.20am on Sunday morning following a sudden stroke on February 7. At the time of her death  she was surrounded by family and friends.

More here-