Saturday, July 11, 2015

Canadian Anglican Development Agency Begins Ambitious Maternal and Child Health Program

From All Africa-

The Primate's World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) is pleased to announce a new joint program with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD). PWRDF will contribute $2,654,612 over five years towards the $17,697,412 project that will focus on maternal and child health in 350 villages in Burundi, Mozambique, Rwanda and Tanzania.

"PWRDF is deeply satisfied that DFATD has approved an ambitious proposal to scale up the work we are presently doing with them in three countries--Burundi, Mozambique and Tanzania--and adding Rwanda. At the three-year mark in our current DFATD programs, we are seeing many of the five-year results we were aiming at, due to our partnership with strong local partner organizations who know their countries, their cultures and their people," said Adele Finney, Executive Director of PWRDF. "As we accompany partners, and they accompany vulnerable people making lasting changes in their communities, we see more mothers and babies living and thriving through pregnancy, childbirth and the first years of life. We see siblings, fathers and families growing their own food with confidence."

More here-

Bishop Whitaker Dead at 88

From The Living Church-

The Rt. Rev. O’Kelley Whitaker, retired Bishop of Central New York and a U.S. Navy hospital corpsman during World War II, died June 25. He was 88.

Born in Durham, North Carolina, Whitaker was a graduate of Duke University and Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. He was ordained deacon and priest in 1952, and served churches in North Carolina and Florida, including St. Luke’s Cathedral in Orlando, before becoming bishop coadjutor in 1981.

More here-

London remembers the victims of 7/7, a decade later

From The Church Times-

THE nation came to a standstill on Tuesday to mark the ten years since the terror attacks in London on 7 July 2005, when 52 people were killed.

At a service in St Paul’s Cathedral, politicians from past and present joined with leaders of religious groups, survivors of the attacks, foreign ambassadors, and members of the emergency services to commemorate the occasion.

The hymns and the readings — read by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, among others — expressed the theme of God’s overcoming the darkness and evil of the world, reminders to his fearful people that he would draw near, comfort them, and bring peace.

Four candles had earlier been lit at the places where each bomb had been detonated: in Tube tunnels beneath Aldgate, and Edgware Road, and between King’s Cross and Russell Square, and also at Tavistock Square, where a Number 30 bus was blown up.

More here-

Friday, July 10, 2015

Episcopal Bishops Did Not Reject Divestment from Israel

From Huffington-

 I like a good headline as much as anyone. Last week The Episcopal News Service ran this headline: "Bishops Overwhelmingly Oppose Divestment in Israel, Palestine".

Except, they didn't.

The Episcopal Church met in its triennial General Convention in Salt Lake City, June 24-July 3. I sat for days in what was reported to me later as the slowest functioning committee of the General Convention, Social Justice and International Policy. It functioned so slowly an intervention was considered.

We functioned slowly because of the fear of talking about the four Israel, Palestine resolutions that we were to consider on behalf of the General Convention and then move to the House of Bishops for initial consideration, and then if passed to the House of Deputies, as had been agreed by the presiding officers of this General Convention.

More here-

Episcopalian convention includes service project on Welfare Square

From Utah-

More than 10,000 members of the Episcopal Church gathered for the faith's 78th annual General Convention in Salt Lake City from June 25 to July 3. It was the first time the convention, held for Episcopalian Church leaders and their spouses, has been held in Utah. As part of the convention, attendees participated in an interfaith service project at Welfare Square with Latter-day Saints to package cheddar cheese, bag and slice bread, and bottle salsa on June 29.

“I think we’ve done a good job,” said Rebecca Thompson of New Orleans, Louisiana, who volunteered to package cheese. “This is an amazingly clean, fresh environment with kindness and hospitality.”

More here-

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Uganda: Archbishop Ntagali Condemns U.S. for Legalizing Same Sex Marriage

From Uganda-

Church of Uganda Archbishop Stanley Ntagali has slammed the US for legalizing same sex marriages.

The US Supreme Court ruled late last month that gay marriage is a nationwide right, a landmark decision in one of the most keenly awaited announcements in decades and sparking scenes of jubilation.

The nation's highest court, in a narrow 5-4 decision, said the US Constitution requires all states to carry out and recognize marriage between people of the same sex.

President Barack Obama praised the ruling, in a fresh victory for the White House.

However, the Archbishop in a statement issued on Tuesday said the decision is grevious.

Read the full statement below:

More here-

Kenyan Leaders To Obama: We’ll Throw Rotten Eggs At You If You Talk About LGBT Rights Here

From Kenya-

Some Kenyans are threatening to meet President Obama with scorn — and rotten eggs — during his visit to their country next month.

“I will mobilize and lead every member of the council, including women and the youth, and Kenyans in general to throw rotten eggs at Obama if he dares introduce the gay and lesbian debate,” a member of the head of a council of elders said on Monday.

Many, including the country’s Deputy President William Ruto, have issued similarly harsh missives to Obama, who will make his first visit to Kenya as president on July 25.

“The Republic of Kenya is a republic that worships God,” Ruto told a Nairobi church congregation in Swahili, according to a video posted online by the Kenyan broadcaster KTN. “We have no room for gays and those others.”

Like more than half of all countries in Africa, homosexuality is criminalized in Kenya.

More here-

St. Martin's Episcopal priest raising funds to help Iraqi Christian refugees

From Pennsylvania-

When most people read about atrocities taking place in a faraway land or see a report on TV or on the Internet, they may be concerned and possibly send in a donation.

But when the Rev. Chris Bishop learned the violent group ISIS was driving Iraqi Christians from their homes, beheading men who refuse to convert to Islam and forcing women and girls into sexual slavery, he had to act.

“The father of one of my parishioners was living and working in Erbil for several years,” said Bishop, who is the priest in charge at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Radnor. Erbil is the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, a place where some 120,000 Iraqi Christian refugees have fled for sanctuary. “He came to see his kids who were in a Christmas pageant. He and I struck up a conversation,” said Bishop.

More here-

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Same Sex Marriage, A Holocaust -Anglican Bishop

From Nigeria-

The Bishop of Anglican Diocese of Enugu North, Rt. Rev. Sosthenes Eze, has described same-sex marriage in the Anglican community worldwide as a holocaust.

Speaking with newsmen at the end of the 17th National Prayer Convocation of Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) in Owerri, Eze noted that almost all the states in America had consented to the bill on same-sex marriage.

He said that out of 55 countries in Africa, only five, including Nigeria, were yet to give in to same-sex marriage.

More here-

South Florida Haiti Project Dedicates Episcopal Church in Bondeau, Haiti

From Florida-

South Florida Haiti Project, a nonprofit outreach ministry based in South Florida, will join in the dedication of a newly built Episcopal church in Bondeau, Haiti, on July 12, 2015. Formerly known as St. Marie Madeleine, the new Bon Samaritan Episcopal Church will hold approximately 800 congregants and will be the largest Episcopal Church in Haiti.

The day-long dedication celebration, expected to draw 1,000 people, will include a worship service, music, food and fellowship. Clergy and laypeople from across Haiti will attend, including Rt. Rev. Jean Zache Duracin, bishop of Haiti. Also in attendance will be Linda Turner, widow of Jim Turner, the first American supporter of South Florida Haiti Project’s outreach to Bondeau.

More here-

US Episcopal Church Rejects Boycott of Israeli Goods from Judea and Samaria

From Jewish Voice-

The General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the United States met in Salt Lake City on Thursday, July 2 and rejected in a voice vote the proposal to divest from businesses that have operations in Judea and Samaria and to boycott products from the region.

At the Church’s 78th General Convention, the House of Bishops, led by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, overwhelmingly defeated the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions resolution.  The Episcopal Church has around 1.8 million members across the United States.

More here-

Episcopal Church makes history electing Durham-consecrated Curry presiding bishop

From North Carolina-

The Episcopal Church made a historic choice by electing its first African-American presiding bishop. Michael Curry, 62, of the Diocese of North Carolina was elected by a landslide at the Episcopal General Convention in Salt Lake City.

His election is a second historic choice for the New York-based church of about 1.9 million members.

He is succeeding Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who was the first female presiding bishop and the first woman to lead an Anglican national church.

During a news conference at the convention, Curry said his selection was “a sign of our church growing more deeply in the spirit of God and in the movement of God’s spirit in our world.”

Read more here:

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Christians share same baptism, must pray together, Pope Francis tells gathering

From The National Catholic Register-

Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox must pray together and work hand-in-hand helping the poor, Pope Francis told thousands of Catholic charismatics and members of other Christian communities.
If the devil "unites us in death, who are we to divide ourselves in life?" he said, adding that all Christians can and must pray together, as they have all received the same baptism and are striving to follow Christ.

More than 30,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square on Friday to take part in an ecumenical gathering of reflection, prayer and song dedicated to praying for unity and for those killed for their Christian faith around the world. Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and Israeli singer Noa were part of the lineup of performers.

More here-

Cut ​your ​jumbo ​pay, Anglican Synod tells National Assembly members, others

From Nigeria-

The third session of the 11th Synod of the Diocese of the Anglican Communion, Akure, has called on members of the National Assembly to heed the call by Nigerians to cut their “jumbo” salaries and allowances to reduce the high cost of governance.

In a communiqué issued in Akure on Sunday at the end of the three-day session, the body of clerics also expressed concerns over the inability of the various state governments to pay workers’ salaries as a result of the current economic crisis.

The clerics urged the various governments to prioritise their activities and focus on liquidating the backlog of salaries owned their workers.

More here-


From First Things-

The Dean of the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, which is an Episcopal Church institution but serves as a place for national religious pageantry, wants to remove two over sixty-year-old stained glass windows honoring Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

“There is no place for the Confederate battle flag in the iconography of the nation’s most visible faith community,” explained Dean Gary Hall in a news release about the windows that include small Confederate flags as part of their interpretation of Lee and Jackson. “We cannot in good conscience justify the presence of the Confederate flag in this house of prayer for all people, nor can we honor the systematic oppression of African-Americans for which these two men fought and died.”

More here-

Monday, July 6, 2015

Steep rise in theft of ancient slabs from churchyards, paths and walls fuelled by homeowners' desire for 'lived-in' stone

From England-

Crosses — hastily engraved — mark each one of the paving stones leading to the entrance of Christ Church in Linthwaite, a village set high in the Pennines of West Yorkshire. They are not intended as a declaration of faith but as a security measure: symbols that will hopefully make the stones less attractive to thieves.

‘It should make them harder to sell,’ explains the Rev Ann Broxham, deacon of the Anglican church. ‘And we have installed some security lights too.’

In January, a gang of men descended upon Christ Church some time after Sunday evensong, when its doors had closed for the night, and dug up 19 paving stones before carting them off in a van. The stone flags had graced the churchyard for more than 200 years, their surfaces worn into smooth undulations by generations of worshippers.

More here-

Selina calls in a ghostbuster to banish spooks in her kitchen

From The Daily Mail-

Former BBC ‘golden girl’ Selina Scott fought a successful battle against ageism in the TV industry and has campaigned on issues including animal welfare and better care for the elderly.

The 64-year-old presenter
Selina has called in a priest who specialises in the supernatural after her home was haunted by ghostly visitors.

has, however, now come up against forces even harder to tackle.

‘I bought an old farmhouse in Yorkshire many years ago and had lived there quite happily until recently when I was aware of fleeting apparitions in the kitchen,’ she tells me. ‘The ghost-like figures leave a sense of the home being visited by some cosmic force.’

More here-

Newport Beach Church Worshipers Hold Sunday Services Outside To Protest Sale Of Building

From Los Angeles- (with video)

Members of a Newport Beach church worshiped outside Sunday in protest of the 70-year-old building’s recent sale.

St. James Episcopal Church on Via Lido was padlocked by LA’s Bishop, John Bruno, last week.

CBS2’s Joy Benedict spoke to congregants who said they vowed to fight the sale in court.

The congregants came to worship like any other Sunday but on this day they weren’t allowed indoors.
“We’re staying together and we are strong,” said Debbie Drummond, a worshiper.

More here-

First African American bishop (sic) sets Episcopal milestone

From Charleston-

The Episcopal Church in the United States and beyond is moving into revival and renewed proclamation of the Gospel and in deed. I grew up in The Episcopal Church and have served it in the Southeast and beyond since ordination in 1979 at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, founded in 1681 and an easy walk from Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, founded in 1816.

The Episcopal Church will soon come under the spirited leadership of Michael Curry, elected Presiding Bishop by his colleagues in a landslide election at General Convention. He is our first African American Presiding Bishop and will follow the first woman in that office.

More here-

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Damaged National Cathedral needs to find its footing, funding

From Columbus-

Its vaulted nave has been the site of presidential funerals and inaugural prayer services for almost a century. Woodrow Wilson is entombed here, as is Helen Keller. Outside, protruding from the intricate stonework of the building’s northwest tower, a limestone Darth Vader watches over the sprawling grounds.

If the United States had a national church, this would be it. Established by congressional charter, the Washington National Cathedral has long been a prominent fixture in the life of the nation’s political elite, who come for rituals of celebration and mourning.

But these days, the scaffolding draped over the more-than-300-foot-tall tower and the fencing around much of its base tell a different story.

Almost four years after a magnitude 5.8 earthquake shook the site, the National Cathedral is struggling to piece itself back together, physically and financially, even as contractors put the finishing touches on the $10 million first phase of repairs to the interior.

More here-

Christians and Jews must fight hate

From The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-

Recently the Catholic Church of the Multiplication at Tabgha in Israel was attacked and badly damaged by arsonists. Two persons were hospitalized and the damage is estimated in the millions of dollars.

The attack was all the more shocking because of the great religious and historical significance of the church, which is built on the ruins of a 4th-century shrine marking the place of the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes on the Sea of Galilee. The church is one of the major Christian sites in Israel, drawing more than 2,000 visitors per day. It is maintained by the Benedictine monks of Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem, who also have a monastery on the site.

In addition to the extensive fire damage from the June 18 attack, Bibles were destroyed and graffiti in Hebrew was spray-painted on the walls accusing Christians of “idol worship.” These actions make it clear that this attack was in fact a hate crime directed against Christians.

More here-