Saturday, September 5, 2015

Bp. Sutton on Violence & Guns

From Baltimore-

The Rt. Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton,
 Bishop of Maryland, writes in a statement on violence against police officers:

The targeting of police and first responders is not only deplorable, but an attack on the very fabric of the communities most in need of their help. We have many faithful Episcopalians in this diocese who serve as first responders: uniformed and active officers of the law; firefighters, both paid and volunteer; and members of local rescue squads, paid and volunteer. Others have retired from active service or have children and spouses serving in these helping professions. These folks willingly put themselves on the line to respond at all hours, and in all conditions. They are immensely dedicated to their work, and we applaud their courage and service.

More here-

Buhari Congratulates Idowu-Fearon On Elevation By Anglican Communion

From Nigeria-

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Nigeria’s Most Reverend Josiah Idowu-Fearon on his appointment as the Secretary-General of the Consultative Council of the Anglican Communion Worldwide.

In a congratulatory letter delivered to Idowu-Fearon in London today by a personal emissary of the President, Mallam Adamu Adamu, on the occasion of his commissioning into the new post, President Buhari said that Nigerians were proud of his elevation into one of the most important offices in the world of faith.

More here-

Eldridge Pendleton, 75; Episcopal monk inspired with insights

From Boston-

Glancing out the window of his monastic cell in Cambridge, Brother Eldridge Pendleton could sense the divine in something as simple as sycamore trees lining the Charles River. “They are majestic whether in leaf or bare. Their massive trunks and branches reaching to the sky never fail to lift my spirits,” he wrote in a meditation posted in 2007 on the Society of St. John the Evangelist website, adding: “These are trees I want to hug and listen for their heartbeat.”

A few words spoken by the Rev. Pendleton, his Texas childhood seasoning every accent, could inspire anyone he encountered. Though he was a scholar who taught at Princeton University and other colleges before becoming a monk, he drew much of his wisdom and insight from living with an illness. While studying for a PhD in history, he was diagnosed at 30 with heart disease and told he might die in a decade. Instead, he lived 45 more years.

More here-

Friday, September 4, 2015

C of E supports day of prayer for the environment

From The Church Times-

CHURCHES in Britain on Tuesday joined in prayers dedicated to the environment.

The Church of England’s lead bishop in this area, the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, urged Anglicans on 1 September to "stop, fast, think, and pray about the need to care for God’s good but fragile creation".

Bishop Holtam said: "Whatever the scientific, economic, and political difficulties, at root this is a spiritual problem. Prayer helps clarify what we want, and strengthens our determination for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven."

More here-

Trial date moved for Heather Cook

From Baltimore-

The trial date for former Maryland Episcopal Bishop Heather Cook has been moved up a day next week, which is a strong indication a plea deal is nearly done, the WBAL-TV 11 News I-Team has learned.

Cook is accused of killing bicyclist Tom Palermo in December while driving drunk and texting.

She faces jail time, and it's likely that would be a requirement of a plea agreement.

Neither prosecutors nor Cook's defense attorney would comment Thursday.

Archbishop of Canterbury statement on the migrant crisis

From ENS-

In a statement on the ongoing migrant crisis facing Europe and the Middle East, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said today:

“This is a hugely complex and wicked crisis that underlines our human frailty and the fragility of our political systems. My heart is broken by the images and stories of men, women and children who have risked their lives to escape conflict, violence and persecution.

“There are no easy answers and my prayers are with those who find themselves fleeing persecution, as well as those who are struggling under immense pressure to develop an effective and equitable response. Now, perhaps more than ever in post-war Europe, we need to commit to joint action across Europe, acknowledging our common responsibility and our common humanity.

More here-

Diocese offering film, discussion series on race, reconciliation

From South Carolina-

The Episcopal Church in South Carolina invites the community to participate in four opportunities to engage in a film and discussion program where people can explore issues of race, discrimination and the legacy of slavery.

From Sept. 15-19, the diocese will hold screenings of “Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North,” a documentary about the DeWolf family of Rhode Island and its involvement in the slave trade. Each screening will be followed by discussions facilitated by Dain and Constance Perry, a couple who have ties both to South Carolina and the Rhode Island family featured in the film.

Dain Perry, who grew up in Charleston as the son of an Episcopal priest and graduated from Porter-Gaud School, appears throughout the film as one of the 10 DeWolf descendants. His wife, Constance, is a descendant of slaves.

More here-

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Datuk Ng Moon Hing elected Primate of South East Asia

From ACNS-

The Rt Revd Datuk Ng Moon Hing, Bishop of West Malaysia, was elected Primate of the Anglican Church of South East Asia during an extraordinary meeting of the Provincial Synod on 2 September in Sandakan, Sabah.

He will be the fifth Archbishop to serve the Province, which comprises the dioceses of Kutching, Sabah, Singapore, and West Malaysia.

Provincial Secretary Leonard Shim announced that Archbishop-elect Ng Moon Hing’s term of office will begin in February 2016 and continue to 2020.

“On behalf of the Anglican Communion, I extend my warmest regards and congratulations to Bishop Ng Moon Hing on his election as Archbishop of the Anglican Church of South East Asia,” said the Most Revd Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion.

More here-

Church in hot water over football field baptism

From Fox Georgia- (with video)

Asking a Baptist preacher to baptize is like asking Colonel Sanders if he wants a bucket of chicken. Somebody’s going to get dunked.

So when a football coach in Villa Rica, Georgia asked to be baptized on the high school football field – the local First Baptist Church obliged.

At the end of the school day somebody hauled out an old feeding trough, plopped it in the end zone near the field house and filled it with water.

A crowd of about 75 folks, black and white, young and old, gathered in the sweltering August heat to watch the coach take the Baptist plunge.

An outward symbol of being washed anew.

Perhaps inspired by their coach’s public display of his faith, some of the players also asked to be baptized. One by one the teenage boys stepped into the trough – as onlookers prayed and rejoiced and applauded.

More here-

Crucial step for controversial Dupont Circle church-residential development bid

From Washington DC-

The proposed pairing of a new St. Thomas' Episcopal Church near Dupont Circle with a seven-story residential building, a means for the parish to finally replace its historic sanctuary that burned to the ground more than 40 years ago, has advanced to a critical review stage.

Developer CAS Riegler, with St. Thomas Episcopal Parish, has filed an application with D.C.'s Board of Zoning Adjustment to obtain a single zoning variance for the controversial project, slated for 1772 Church St. NW. The property, totaling less than a third of an acre, is located three blocks from the Dupont Circle Metro station.

More here-

Brooklyn priest named as new dean of Episcopal Diocesan Cathedral

From Brooklyn-

A young priest who serves at now-famous St. Luke & St. Matthew Church in Clinton Hill has been named as the new dean of the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Garden City, Long Island. The cathedral is the seat (or See) of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, which encompasses Brooklyn, Queens, and Nassau and Suffolk counties.

The Rt. Rev. Lawrence C. Provenzano, Bishop of Long Island, and Mr. George Tietjen, chair of the Dean Search Committee of the Cathedral of the Incarnation, announced the appointment of the Rev. Michael T. Sniffen, 34, as the cathedral’s next dean on Monday.

More here-

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

2 Letters on St. Paul’s School

From The Living Church-

In separate letters, the Bishop of New Hampshire and two leaders of St. Paul’s School discuss their responses to the conviction of former student Owen Labrie on one count of engaging in sex with a student younger than the age of consent. He was found not guilty on felony charges.

The Rt. Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld, Bishop of New Hampshire, wrote on Aug. 29:

… The Bishop, who does not serve on its Board of Trustees, has no role in the School’s management or operations. The role of the Bishop is limited to the spiritual and canonical oversight of the clergy employed at the School as chaplains or faculty. This relationship is in contrast to the more close affiliation we have with the schools founded by the Diocese — the White Mountain School and the Holderness School — where the Bishop serves, ex officio, as the President of the Boards of Trustees. I have been in contact with the heads of each of these schools about the Labrie case because I feel we need to redouble our efforts to ensure, as best we can, the health and safety of all in our care and to teach holiness in our relationships.

More here-

A Letter to The Episcopal Church From the Presiding Bishop, President of the House of Deputies

From ENS-

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and President of the House of Deputies the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings have issued a letter calling on Episcopal congregations to participate in “Confession, Repentance, and Commitment to End Racism Sunday” on September 6.

The letter follows:

September 1, 2015

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

On June 17, nine members of Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, were murdered by a white racist during their weekly bible study. Just a few days later at General Convention in Salt Lake City, we committed ourselves to stand in solidarity with the AME Church as they respond with acts of forgiveness, reconciliation, and justice (Resolution A302).

Now our sisters and brothers in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church have asked us to make that solidarity visible by participating in “Confession, Repentance, and Commitment to End Racism Sunday” on Sunday, September 6. We ask all Episcopal congregations to join this ecumenical effort with prayer and action.

More here-

Episcopal Church adopts new alcohol policies in wake of Heather Cook affair

From Anglican Ink-

“I am Mark and I am an alcoholic,” the Bishop of Ohio, the Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth, said on 1 July 2015 when he rose to introduce three resolutions brought to the House of Bishops by the Legislative Committee on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

Formed in response to the arrest of the former suffragan bishop of Maryland, Heather Cook, who is currently awaiting trial for killing a Baltimore cyclist whom she struck while driving her car in an intoxicated state, the committee was tasked with offering practical recommendations on addressing drug and alcohol abuse within the church, as well as initiating a process of discussion of the “hidden problem” of addiction that affected many Episcopalians.

The Episcopal Church “must act decisively on matters of alcohol and drug abuse,” Bishop Hollingsworth (pictured) said, thanking the presiding bishop for chartering the committee, whose members he said represented the experience and wisdom of“hundreds of years of sobriety and recovery.”

More here-

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Exterminating Christians in the Middle East

From The Wall Street Journal-

Recently I saw a riveting new play, “My Report to the World: The Story of Jan Karski.” In 1943 Karski, a member of the Polish Catholic underground, was the first eyewitness to the Warsaw ghetto and a Nazi concentration camp to reach the U.S. He sought to convince President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter that Judaism was being systematically wiped out by the Nazis. Frankfurter told Karski he couldn’t believe it because the horror was unfathomable.

A similar story is playing out again, as Christians are being wiped out in the Middle East. On his recent trip to Latin America, Pope Francis said, “Today we are dismayed to see how in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world many of our brothers and sisters are persecuted, tortured and killed for their faith in Jesus.” He continued: “In this third world war, waged piecemeal, which we are now experiencing, a form of genocide is taking place.”

More here-

'Thank you for doing this': Dozens turn out at Pittsburgh rally to raise awareness of addiction

From Pittsburgh-

Earlier in the day, about 50 people gathered for a noon service in front of the red doors of Trinity Cathedral on Sixth Avenue, Downtown. Before prayers and readings of scripture, the church’s bell tolled -- 31 times for the 307 people who died of an overdose in Allegheny County last year.

In the last five years, 1,364 county residents have died of an overdose, according to The Coalition for Leadership, Education and Advocacy for Recovery, which partnered with the Christian Associates of Southwestern Pennsylvania and Downtown churches for the service.

Bishop Dorsey McConnell of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh said recovery is only possible through a higher power, which can provide mercy, healing and strength.

The gathering, he said, also served as an act of repentance on the part of the church, which in the past has sometimes pushed away people with addictions. 

More here-

Episcopal ministries evolving 10 years after Katrina, website says

From New Orleans (with video)

The Right Rev. Morris Thompson Jr. didn't become bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana until 2010. But even five years after Hurricane Katrina, it was still clear that the storm had "deeply wounded" the faithful, he told Episcopal News Service in a video interview.

"I could be in a meeting and say 'Tell me your experience,' and it would just flow out," he said.

More here-

Monday, August 31, 2015

There was a Georgetown presence on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

From Canada-

A Georgetown woman who represented the Anglican Church of Canada during the recently completed Truth and Reconciliation Commission lamented that the damage caused by the abuse of indigenous people in residential schools across the country for decades will likely require many generations to heal.

Henriette Thompson sat in on many conference calls attended hearings and events across the country and as far north as James Bay during her six-year term with the commission, which resulted in the proposal of 94 recommendations named Calls to Acton that were overwhelmingly supported by all provinces, but not as yet by the federal government.

More here-

W.Pa. to observe International Overdose Awareness Day

From Pittsburgh-

The bell atop Trinity Cathedral, Downtown, will ring 31 times Monday — once for every 10 people in Allegheny County who died last year from drugs.

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh will host a prayer service at noon as part of International Overdose Awareness Day.

Nearly 1,400 people died in the county during the past five years from drug overdoses. This year's death toll stands at 140 so far, mostly from heroin and other opiates.

“The problems relating to addiction and overdoses extend well beyond legal issues and medical emergencies. They involve personal, family and community struggles that the local religious and faith communities face every day,” said Andrew Muhl, a spokesman for CLEAR, or the Coalition for Leadership, Education and Advocacy for Recovery, a group working to fight addiction across the region.

More here-

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Faith leaders are 'planting' churches in new fields

From Pittsburgh-

At a Friday night service in the unadorned sanctuary of CityReach Pittsburgh, a North Side church, men and women in jeans and T-shirts raised their hands and sang worship songs before watching a drama group depict Jesus healing the sick and exorcising demons.

On a Sunday morning in Garfield, participants of a church called the Open Door gathered at the church’s hilltop urban farm and mixed farming chores with the singing of hymns and the sharing of communion bread, baked on-site in a wood-fired oven.

On a Sunday evening in Troy Hill, refugee worshipers at Pittsburgh Myanmar Church called out prayers in the languages of Burma and sang hymns in the amped-up style of modern American praise bands.

More here-

The most and least racially diverse U.S. religious groups

From Pew Research-

The nation’s population is growing more racially and ethnically diverse – and so are many of its religious groups, both at the congregational level and among broader Christian traditions.  But a new analysis of data from the 2014 Religious Landscape Study also finds that these levels of diversity vary widely within U.S. religious groups.

We looked at 29 groups – including Protestant denominations, other religious groups and three subsets of people who are religiously unaffiliated – based on a methodology used in our 2014 Pew Research Center report on global religious diversity. This analysis includes five racial and ethnic groups: Hispanics, as well as non-Hispanic whites, blacks, Asians and an umbrella category of other races and mixed-race Americans.

More here-