Saturday, July 18, 2015


From South Africa-

As Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu spends a third day in hospital, wishes for his recovery continued to pour in on Friday.

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters said she hoped the Arch would be back on his feet soon.

The 83-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate was hospitalised earlier this week to receive treatment for a ‘persistent infection'.

On Thursday his daughter, Reverend Mpho Tutu, told reporters her father was responding well to treatment and was in good spirits.

The minister’s spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi said, “The minister wishes the Archbishop a speedy recovery from hospital. We are pleased with the news that he is responding well to the treatment that he is receiving.”

More here-

Becca Stevens believes her ‘farmer’s theology’ can change the world

From RNS-

Sometimes creating change in the world is as simple as planting a seed and waiting for growth.

That’s a core belief promoted by Becca Stevens, an episcopal priest and Thistle Farms, a community of women who have survived oppression, violence, and prostitution. Thistle Farms produces quality products and runs a cafe to support the community. Becca’s newest book is “Letters From The Farm: A Simple Path for a Deeper Spiritual Life,” a beautiful collection of stories that promote what she calls a “farmer’s theology.” Here she offers a glimpse into this theology and how it can make a difference.

RNS: Let’s start at the beginning. What is a “farmer’s theology”?

BS: The farm that I am describing in this book is as much a state of mind as a place. The theology of this farm is a call to a more simple and practical faith where practitioners tend the fields with a posture of gratitude. Faith within a farmer’s theology is about the daily practices of water and weeding in our corner of the vineyard. A farmer’s theology is less concerned about dogma and feels like a dogged determination to grow healthy crops that feed people’s hearts and minds. I think a farmer’s theology lives at the intersection of contemplation and justice. It can be a lonely place, but it is communal in nature.

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Oklahoma's Episcopal leader discusses denomination’s gay marriage vote

From Oklahoma-

The leader of Oklahoma's Episcopalian faith community said he wasn't surprised by the Episcopal Church USA's recent historic vote giving the denomination's clergy permission to perform gay marriages. 

The Rt. Rev. Ed Konieczky, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma, said the denomination had been on the path toward such a vote for the last several years and he voted in favor of the same gender marriage resolution. The resolution will go into effect in November.

The vote to allow gay marriage in Episcopal churches across the country occurred July 30 at the Episcopal Church USA's General Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah. The measure came just a few days after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalized gay marriage nationwide and it also meant the Episcopal Church joined the Presbyterian Church USA and United Church of Christ denominations in allowing gay marriages in their congregations.

New Episcopal bishop to be consecrated at Mobile Civic Center on July 25

From Alabama-

The new bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast will be ordained and consecrated at a ceremony on Saturday, July 25, at the Mobile Civic Center Expo Hall in downtown Mobile. The event is set for 2 p.m. and is expected to draw more than 1,000 people.

The Rev. J. Russell Kendrick, who was elected in February, will succeed the Rt. Rev. Philip M. Duncan II, who has served as the diocese's third bishop for more than 15 years. The Central Gulf Coast diocese includes 63 worshiping communities and about 20,000 members in southern Alabama and the Florida panhandle.

More here-

Friday, July 17, 2015

C of E will flex financial muscles to protect planet

From The Church Times-

THE Church of England will continue to invest in fossil-fuel companies, but will pull out its money if they stop listening to its demands to tackle climate change, the General Synod agreed on Monday.

Two motions on climate change were passed with overwhelming majorities, after the Synod heard that climate change was a “spiritual problem” and that there was a “moral imperative” to act. The debates were informed by pleas from Anglicans across the Communion. The Bishop of Fiji had told his counterpart in Salisbury: “The waters are coming up to our necks.”

The first motion, on combating climate change, anticipates the global summit that is due to take place in Paris in December. It urges governments to “agree long-term pathways to a low-carbon future” and endorses the World Bank’s call for the ending of fossil-fuel subsidies. It also looks inward, requesting the development of new “eco-theological resources” and encouraging parishes and dioceses to encourage a fast for climate change on the first day of each month.

More here-

Trail dedicated to eccentric Anglican bishop

From Ireland-

Frederick Hervey, Earl of Bristol and builder of striking mansions and churches along the North Coast, was a wealthy philanthropist and worldly traveller who served as Bishop of Derry until his death in 1803.

A tourist trail from the Giant's Causeway to Londonderry, including some of the key locations in his life, was dedicated today to the man known as the "Earl Bishop".

He built lckworth House in Suffolk where his sculpture stands but this is the first time his legacy has been recognised in this way in Northern Ireland.
Historian Jim Hunter said: "He devoted as much of his time to the Roman Catholic and Presbyterian communities as to his own flock from the Church of Ireland."

More here-

‘Britsburgh’ will celebrate Pittsburgh, British links

From Pittsburgh-

For six days this September, Pittsburgh is going to be transformed into “Britsburgh,” thanks to a group that wants to celebrate the many connections between Greater Pittsburgh and Great Britain.

The British-American Connections Pittsburgh, the former British-American Business Council, is hoping to make new connections, too, by offering Pittsburghers chances to eat British food, drink British beer and whisky, listen to British music and more.

As announced Thursday on its new website,, the group plans to kick off Britsburgh, a “festival of Britain in Pittsburgh,” on Sept. 9, as Queen Elizabeth II overtakes Queen Victoria as Great Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. Festivities will run through Sept. 14, when the acclaimed Choir of Trinity College Cambridge is in town to perform at 5 p.m. at Calvary Episcopal Church in Shadyside (tickets are $25 and $40 via

More here-

Montana Officials Deny Wedding License for Polygamous Man

From Montana-

Montana officials have denied a marriage license to a man who sought to be legally married to both of his wives after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of gay couples to wed.

Deputy Yellowstone County Attorney Kevin Gillen wrote in his letter Tuesday to Nathan Collier that the Supreme Court's ruling last month did not expand the number of people in a marriage and Montana's anti-bigamy laws still apply.

"There is nothing in that ruling that describes the arrangement you seek to establish," Gillen wrote.

More here-

St. James Church Files Complaint Against Bishop

From Newport Beach-

St. James the Great Episcopal Church in Newport Beach has filed a formal complaint with the national Episcopal Church against Los Angeles Bishop Jon Bruno, Diocesan of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, over his abrupt sale of the St. James church, which has resulted in the church congregation being locked out.

According to information received from St. James the Great Episcopal Church, the complaint, called a presentment, went to the national church’s Ecclesiastical Court and could result in sanctions and disciplinary action against the bishop as well as actions to relieve the dire situation of the Newport Beach congregants.

It was signed by dozens of members of the Los Angeles Diocese, including several priests.

More here-

Thursday, July 16, 2015

See what's inside the mystery church in Alabama's Black Belt

From Alabama-

The history of St. John's in the Prairie Episcopal Church (you can just call it St. John's, now) is in some ways in dispute.

Oh, it's clear enough that the old church was built in 1859 just south of Greensboro, and that it was moved across the Black Warrior River to Forkland after the Civil War. But it is in dispute as to why it was transplanted.

Jim Bird – who says he is one of the seven members of the church – argues that a Greensboro planter lost everything during the war, that he brought scraps from his Greensboro plantation house and build a home near Forkland.

More here-

Church-goers file complaint against Episcopalian bishop over St. James site sale

From Los Angeles-

Episcopalians formerly associated with a Newport Beach church have filed a formal complaint against a bishop whose actions have paved the way for the church's waterfront property to potentially become luxury condos.

The complaint, known as a presentment, filed with the national Episcopal church in New York City alleges that Bishop J. Jon Bruno violated church doctrine in May after he put the St. James the Great Episcopal Church's Lido Village property and two nearby parking lots up for sale to a developer, Legacy Partners Residential, which plans to construct 22 homes there.

Among the 147 canon violations levied in the presentment, dated July 6, are "instances of reckless or intentional misrepresentation, conduct unbecoming a bishop of the church, possible failure to get required diocesan approval for the sale and creating or promoting conflict," according to a news release from St. James issued Wednesday.

More here-,0,5410752.story

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Desmond Tutu admitted to hospital in Cape Town

From The Telegraph-

Retired archbishop Desmond Tutu has been admitted to a Cape Town hospital for a persistent infection, his South African foundation said on Tuesday.

The foundation, which is named after 83-year-old Tutu and his wife Leah, quoted their daughter Mpho as saying the family hopes the Nobel Peace Prize laureate will be able to return home in a "day or two."

Desmond Tutu has been treated for prostate cancer for many years. He announced his retirement from public life in 2011 but has still traveled widely and made public appearances.

More here-

Stay Away From Benue, Ortom Warns Homosexuals

From Nigeria-

 Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has cautioned gays to stay away from the state, warning that his administration would not spare anyone caught practising homosexuality in the state.

The governor gave the warning when he hosted the Prelate of the Anglican Communion of Nigeria, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, in Makurdi, the state capital Tuesday.

He said: "Gay lifestyle is alien to the customs, lifestyles, and the belief of Africans and the church, even though it is being promoted in the Western world.

"I sincerely pray that a revival would spring from Benue State and produce evangelists that would drive evangelization in Africa and the Western world because the personal knowledge of the Lord Jesus is the solution to the decadence sweeping across many nations today."

More here-

Convention acts to streamline Title IV process, fund training materials

From ENS-

The 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church, meeting here June 25-July 3, approved several Title IV revisions, including adding sanctions for those who may attempt to delay or disrupt the disciplinary process and allocating money to produce training videos and manuals to help streamline proceedings.

The Standing Commission on Constitutions and Canons (SCCC), one of the church’s interim bodies that worked throughout the triennium and reported its recommendations to General Convention, had proposed some 25 resolutions that were meant primarily to clarify language in the church’s clergy disciplinary canons known as Title IV.

But some significant changes also were approved, including Resolution A127, which added a new section to Canon IV.5 “to provide express authority for the imposition of sanctions upon a party for disruption to the Title IV process.”

More here-

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Church of England leaders call on worshippers to fast for climate change

From Sydney-

The Church of England has pledged to fast for climate change action and pray for the Paris talks to succeed, urging the world's 70 million Anglicans to take up the global warming fight.

The pledge by the powerful English General Synod, which leads the mother church for Anglicans worldwide, follows a similar push by the Catholic Church last month, when Pope Francis released a major encyclical that warned climate change has grave implications and fossil fuel technology must be replaced.

It comes as the Abbott government has come under fire for directing the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to stop investing in wind and small-scale solar projects, throwing doubt on its commitment to renewable energy.

Read more:

US Evangelicals ponder their role, now that gay marriage is law of the land

From Christian Science Monitor-

Like many here in the South, Hilda Wells, a Southern Baptist, takes the Bible at its word.

Given that gay marriage is now the law of the land, Ms. Wells, a Stone Mountain, Ga., businesswoman, admits to a twinge of concern: What she sees as a biblical sin – homosexuality – is now protected as a constitutional right by a landmark US Supreme Court decision.

But at the same time, her love of Scripture isn’t so strong that she can’t see the dignity and desires of fellow citizens with different sexual orientations.

More here-

Fordham's Statement on Professor's Same-Sex Marriage Signifies Inconsistency With Catholic Teaching

From Christian Post-

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court which legalized same-sex marriage throughout the country, one professor got married. His announcement was made in The New York Times for anyone to see. It so happened to be though that this professor, Dr. Patrick Hornbeck II, who is the chairman of the theology department and a professor at Fordham University, married another man.

Dr. Hornbeck and his husband (also named Patrick) got married at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in Manhattan. Same-sex marriage has already been legal in the state prior to the Court's decision, since 2011. The couple married on Saturday, June 27, however, one day after the ruling came, and the couple were able to have their ceremony in the church since the


also Washington Times-

Monday, July 13, 2015

Anglican Church could bring back the power to defrock priests because of sexual abuse of children

From The UK-

The Anglican Church could bring back the power to defrock priests because of the number of clergy involved in the sexual abuse of children.

The Rt Rev Paul Butler, the Bishop of Durham, said the decision to abolish “deposition from Holy Orders” in 2003 may have been a mistake, The Daily Telegraph reported.

He said the move did not appear to have been “wise”, given the extent of abuse. Victims have complained that clergy with criminal convictions can still refer to themselves as priests.

More here-

Diocese of Southwest Florida uses caution on whether to perform same-sex marriages

From Southwest Florida-

Just days after the U.S. Episcopal Church approved a canonical change allowing clergy to perform same-sex weddings in their churches, Bradenton's Episcopal bishop is pondering whether to approve it for the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida.

At its recent General Convention in Salt Lake City, a group comprised of bishops, clergy and lay people approved a resolution to their Constitution and Canons, changing the definition of marriage between a man and a woman to one of gender neutrality.

The resolution further states that Episcopal clergy can refuse to officiate at a same-sex wedding, if it violates their conscience.

Now, Bishop Dabney Smith, who presides over 77 churches, from Brooksville down to Marco Island and east to Arcadia, with almost 31,000 active baptized members, must decide whether to allow his clergy to perform them. He has until the first Sunday of Advent, Nov. 29, when the supplemental liturgy takes effect.

Read more here:

Age and Grace: Episcopal church restoration to open doors in Providence

From Rhode Island-

With chunks of stonework falling from its rear facade and water leaking into a stained glass window this spring, Grace Episcopal Church had reached the point where doing nothing to its 1848 neo-Gothic house of worship was no longer an option.

"Having a historic church is a mixed blessing," said the Rev. Jonathan Huyck, rector of Grace Church, about maintaining the building. "After 167 years it needs some attention."

Three years ago, the city's oldest Episcopal Church, the Cathedral of St. John on North Main Street, was closed in the face of mounting repair costs and a shrinking base of parishioners.

So with that outcome in mind, Grace Episcopal has embarked on an aggressive, multimillion-dollar plan to preserve the Westminster Street church and expand it into a bigger part of the surrounding community.

More here-

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Tennessee Episcopal Bishop Bars Gay Marriage From Diocese

From Christian Post-

The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee has announced that his regional body will not perform gay marriages.

In response to The Episcopal Church's recent vote to recognize rites for gay marriages, the Right Reverend John C. Bauerscimdt released a statement stating that his diocese will not perform such unions.

"In 2012 the General Convention of the Episcopal Church authorized provisional rites for the blessing of same sex relationships, which might be used for the blessing of these relationships in churches under the direction and with the permission of the local bishop," stated Rev. Bauerschimdt.


Election of Black leader helps redeem Episcopal church

From Atlanta-

The recent election of Bishop Michael Curry as the 27th presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church – the first African American to hold the denomination’s highest office – to succeed the church’s first female presiding bishop is expected to help atone for the church’s failure to take a more active role opposing slavery and Jim Crow laws.

Curry, bishop of the North Carolina Diocese since 2000, was easily elected presiding bishop of the 2.5 million congregation on June 27 at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Salt Lake City, capturing 121 of 174 votes in a four-person race. Prior to moving to North Carolina, Curry served 12 years as rector of St. James Church in Baltimore.

Recalling the election of Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori nine years ago as the church’s first female presiding bishop, Curry said: “It was an experience of the Holy Spirit, for real … And today I had that same feeling. And I think that’s a sign of our church growing more deeply in the spirit of God and the movement of God’s spirit in our world.

More here-

Rt. Rev. David C. Bowman, ninth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York

From Buffalo-

The Right Rev. David C. Bowman, the ninth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York, died Fridav in Cleveland. He was 82.Bishop Bowman was born in Oil City, Pa., and attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, where he earned a degree in 1955, and Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va. 

He served in the Army from 1955 to 1957 and was stationed at Fort Jackson, S.C.He was ordained to the diaconate in June 1960 by Bishop Beverly Tucker of Ohio, and later to the priesthood in December 1960 by Bishop Nelson Burroughs of Ohio. Bishop Bowman married the former Nancy Lou Betts in 1962, and the two raised three children.

More here-