Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Archbishop of Canterbury: Dissolving the Anglican Church to Save It

From The Atlantic-

Justin Welby was named archbishop of Canterbury with high hopes that he was the man who could save the Anglican Communion. Now it appears he may oversee its breakup—a calculated destruction intended, paradoxically, to save it.

Welby heads the Church of England, making him also the titular head of the affiliated Anglican churches around the world, including the Episcopal Church in the U.S. The umbrella group, the worldwide Anglican Communion, has been shaken by conflicts over the ordination and consecration of gays and women and over same-sex marriage in the U.S. and U.K. According to reports in British media, Welby will propose reorganizing the Communion as a looser affiliation at a January gathering.

More here-

Anglican-Oriental Orthodox International Commission publishes historic statement on Christology

From ICN-

Historic agreements have been signed between Anglican and Oriental Orthodox Churches helping to heal one of the oldest continuing division within Christianity. An Agreed Statement on Christology, published in North Wales this week by the Anglican-Oriental Orthodox International Commission, heals the centuries-old split between the Anglican Churches within the family of Chalcedonian Churches and the non-Chalcedonian Churches over the incarnation of Christ.

In addition, the Commission has made substantial progress on issues concerning the Holy Spirit, which have continued to keep the Churches apart over the centuries.

Leading clergy and theologians from both Christian traditions from around the world have been meeting at Gladstone's Library in Hawarden to engage in theological dialogue, while at the same time forging deeper bonds of faith and mutual support.

His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy from the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria in Egypt and Co-Chair of the Commission said: "With this agreement we are able to heal the cause of the division between the two families of the churches worldwide which started at Chalcedon.

More here-

Bike tour brings human trafficking to light

From San Joaquin-

Six exhausted bike riders rolled into Porterville Wednesday with a message to end human trafficking.
The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, led by Bishop David Rice, is holding The Tour Against Trafficking. The group of bike riders, which varies by day from two dozen riders to a half dozen, launched the tour on Oct. 2. It ends Oct. 23 in Modesto.

“My quick response is God,” said Rice, when asked why they are trying to raise awareness of human trafficking. “We need to be aware of the needs of people in that context,” he added.
Plus, he said, “We strongly believe this is an issue the church needs to address.”

More here-

Civil Rights Activist Honors Man Who Died Taking Bullet Meant For Her

From Huffington-

In 1965, Ruby Sales was just 17 years old when Jonathan Daniels, a 26-year-old Episcopal seminary student, stepped in front of the bullet that would have likely killed her. Both of them -- Sales, a young black activist from Alabama, and Daniels, a white man from New Hampshire -- were devoted Civil Rights activists fighting against segregation in Alabama, but only one of them would live to see the end of that year.

Fifty years after that act of selflessness, Sales will speak about Daniels' legacy on on Sunday, October 11 at the Washington National Cathedral, which just completed a limestone bust of Daniels in August.

“You have to understand the significance of Jonathan’s witness,” Sales told The Washington Post in July. “He walked away from the king’s table. He could have had any benefit he wanted, because he was young, white, brilliant and male. ”

More here-

Friday, October 9, 2015

NC Episcopal bishop prepares for new national role

From North Carolina-

Rev. Michael Curry's congregation just got a lot larger, as the North Carolina bishop will take on the nine-year role as the presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Nov. 1. 

Curry, the first African American to hold the national title, has led congregations statewide for 15 years as the bishop of North Carolina. Rev. Tambria Lee, the associate for campus ministry at The Chapel of the Cross — located on Franklin Street. — said Curry is a Moses-type leader of the church. 

“What you see is what you get,” she said. “He has no public persona or private persona, just a persona.”

Read more:

Prison for Bishop Peter Ball, but victims still seek justice

From The Church Times-

THE sentencing of the former Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Revd Peter Ball, to 32 months in prison for a series of offences against teenage boys and young men has caused “deep shame and regret”, the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, has said.

Bishop Ball, aged 83, was jailed after a hearing at the Old Bailey by the Hon. Mr Justice Wilkie on Wednes­day after pleading guilty last month to two charges of indecent assault against two boys in their teens in the 1980s, and also a charge of mis­conduct in public office (News, 11 September).

The second charge relates to “manipulative behaviour, including several specific sexual offences, against 16 young men in their late teens or early twenties”, Sussex Police said at the time.

More here-

Episcopal Asiamerica Ministries Holds International Consultation At The Anglican Church In Korea With The Theme ‘Celebrating Our Partnerships; Uniting Our Mission’

From Korea-

In response to the invitation from Most Rev. Paul Kim, the Episcopal Asiamerica Ministries has chosen the Cathedral of St. Mary and St. Nicholas to be the venue of International Consultation that is scheduled from September 30 to October 5.

The consultation bears the theme, "Celebrating our Partnerships; Uniting Our Mission." EAM council president Rev. Bayani Rico says Most Rev. Kim invited them to join the celebration of the 125th foundation anniversary of Anglican Church in Korea, which is why the EAM has chosen to hold the consultation in Seoul.

"I am so excited about this consultation in Korea and it would not have been possible without the support from the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society," says Rev. Rico, as noted by Episcopal Digital Network on Tuesday.

More here-

Q&A with Professor Mathew Sheep: Why didn’t Episcopal Church split after election of gay bishop?

From Illinois-

The 2003 election of Rev. Gene Robinson as the Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop set off an internal debate that led a number of members within several conservative dioceses and parishes to leave the church.

But in the end the church retained about 90 percent of its membership, including many conservatives who opposed Robinson’s consecration as bishop. How did Episcopalian leaders and members reconcile their church’s identity with such a momentous change?

For the past decade, Illinois State Business Professor Mathew Sheep has worked with four other researchers from across the United States to study how the church viewed itself during this period. Their study has been accepted for publication in the Academy of Management Journal.

More here-

Thursday, October 8, 2015

South Africa: Archbishop Desmond Tutu marks 84th birthday by attending anti-corruption lecture

From USNews-

South Africa's Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu marked his 84th birthday on Wednesday with one of his first public appearances since being hospitalized for a persistent infection.

Tutu, who won the Nobel in 1984 for his crusade to end apartheid, South Africa's now abolished system of white minority rule, attended the fifth annual Desmond Tutu Peace Lecture at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town. Thuli Madonsela, South Africa's Public Protector, known for her work against corruption, gave the speech.

Walking with a cane and looking a bit frail, Tutu walked onto the stage with his daughter, Rev. Mpho Tutu. Tutu, a retired Anglican archbishop for Cape Town, has been hospitalized several times since July.

More here-

Former Anglican Bishop Sentenced for Sex Assaults on Teens

From ABC-

A former Anglican bishop was jailed Wednesday for sexually assaulting teenagers and young men, two decades after he was first accused. At the time, powerful figures in Britain spoke out in support of the bishop, Peter Ball, and he was not charged.

The former Bishop of Lewes, Ball pleaded guilty last month to misconduct in a public office and indecent assault. Prosecutors say he abused 18 victims between the 1970s and the 1990s, all religious young men or aspiring priests.

The first victim came forward in 1992, but Ball, now 83, denied the allegation. Prosecutors say lawmakers, a lord and an unidentified member of the royal family phoned police or wrote letters of support.

More here-

Regina Anglican priest wears hijab for a day

From Canada-

Concerned with what she calls the "increasing rhetoric about the wearing of the niqab by Muslim women," an Anglican priest in Regina decided to take matters into her own hands. She wore a hijab for a day to see what's like.

In a post on Facebook, Cheryl Toth said she's "uncomfortable with the way the debate focuses on what women wear (or decide not to wear). I am afraid that [the rhetoric] will increase hostility towards women who choose to wear a hijab, a niqab or a burka."

She said she sees her trial run with the hijab as a way "to contribute to the conversation."

She wore it around Regina including on campus at Luther College, walking around her neighbourhood, at a public lecture and while shopping at a mall.

More here-

In Good Faith: Seeing the big picture

From Massachusetts-
 When I was a kid my parents often dragged me and my brother to museums. It wasn’t just that they were trying to ram some culture down our throats, they were genuinely inspired by art and wanted to share that passion with their children. Much of which was lost on the two of us, who whined and complained our way through centuries of magnificent works of art until we reached the great pinnacle of the museum experience: the gift shop.

But I remember being fascinated with one particular style of painting known as pointillism. That’s the medium in which small distinct dots are placed in patterns that make up images. When you stand up close all you see is a bunch of dots. But as you back up, the figures and background begin to emerge. At a certain distance you can no longer even tell that there are any dots at all. They blend together to form what looks like a typical painting.

More here-

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Q&A: The spiritual revolution taking place away from church pews

From The Washington Times-

Americans’ search for the divine is alive and well, although it looks different than it has in the past, according to Diana Butler Bass, a prominent commentator on religion and culture, and author of nine books about American Christianity.

Her latest book, “Grounded: Finding God in the World — A Spiritual Revolution,” published Oct. 6, explores how people are finding God in nature and fellowship with friends and neighbors, whether or not they attend church.

More here-

Archbishop of Canterbury and Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church to Attend the Consecration of Immanuel Chapel at Virginia Theological Seminary

From Virginia-

Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) announces that the Dedication and Consecration Service of its Immanuel Chapel and a special Choral Evensong will be streamed live on Tuesday, Oct. 13. Streaming for the consecration begins at 10 a.m. and for Choral Evensong at 4 p.m.

The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, the 26th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, will be the celebrant for the consecration. The Most Reverend Justin Welby, the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury, will deliver the sermon during this historic event in the 192nd year in the life of the Seminary.

The ceremony is expected to draw approximately a thousand invited guests to campus including church leaders, alumni, friends, chapel artisans, and builders. The event marks the official completion and blessing of Immanuel Chapel. The Chapel, designed by New York-based Robert A.M. Stern Architects, was built to replace the Seminary's 1881 Chapel that was destroyed by fire in October 2010.

Read more:

Trailblazing Sacramento Episcopal priest Winifred Gaines dies at 87

From Northern California-

Memorial services are scheduled Friday for the Rev. Canon Winifred B. “Winnie” Gaines, the first female priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California.

The Rev. Canon Gaines, who had suffered strokes in the past few years, died Sept. 30 at the age of 87. Services for the retired priest are scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Trinity Cathedral, 2620 Capitol Ave.

“The same attributes as a mother also made her a good priest,” said her son, state Sen. Ted Gaines, R-El Dorado Hills. “She was a loving, nurturing mother. She treated her congregation the same way.”

In addition to being the first woman ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California, the Rev. Canon Gaines was also the first female chaplain of the California State Senate, her son said.

Read more here:

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

How should church and state balance looking after the poor?

From The New Statesman-

The Labour party, it’s often said, owes more to Methodism than Marxism.

That historical one-liner has, under the Coalition and now under our new, Conservative-only government, become an increasing truth of the welfare system under David Cameron.

Marxism – or at least, state-backed social democracy – is out. Methodism – in the shape of food banks and other voluntary organisations, largely run by the Trussell Trust and other organisations which might not have a proselytizing mission, but they are overwhelmingly run by both staff and volunteers who are driven by a faith-based mission – is in.

More here-

Cricket and Good Will

From The Living Church-

Pope Francis is said to know little about cricket. Courtesy of his South American roots, soccer is his game. Cricket, however, now has a place among the Vatican’s diplomatic endeavors. Last September the St. Peter’s team, Rome-based players mostly from the Indian subcontinent, visited England and narrowly lost to a team representing the Archbishop of Canterbury. This month they return.

Matches are arranged against the Church of England and the Royal Household. But catching most media headlines is a match against an all-Muslim team, Mount Cricket Club from Batley, Yorkshire, on October 17. Organizers hope it will draw still more headlines in cricket-playing Muslim countries.

More here-

Korean Anglicans celebrate 125 years of mission, ministry

From ANS and ENS-

Korean Anglicans welcomed friends from across the communion Oct. 3 as they celebrated 125 years of ministry based in inculturation, mission and evangelism.

The festive Eucharist at the Cathedral of St. Mary and St. Nicholas in downtown Seoul drew an overflow crowd. Many people sat on blue stools in the courtyards outside Romanesque church watching the proceedings on three enormous video screens. Many wore blue paper visors that were handed out with the order of service booklets to shield themselves from a warm October sun.

A street fair of sorts lined on side of the lower courtyard and the cathedral’s Café Grace coffee shop under a large tree in that courtyard was open for business. The café is a mission of the cathedral that helps women refugees from North Korean get settled into society in the South. Communion was served to those sitting outside.

More here-

Monday, October 5, 2015

Archbishop of Canterbury launches review of sex abuser bishop case

From Christian Today-

The Archbishop of Canterbury has commissioned an independent review into how the Church of England responded to abuse allegations against the disgraced former Bishop of Gloucester Peter Ball.

Bishop Ball, a former Anglican monk who set up his own religious order, pleaded guilty last month to two charges of indecent assault against young men and one charge of misconduct in public office by sexually exploiting 18 men who sought religious guidance from him. Two indecent assault charges against boys aged under 16 were left on file. He is due to be sentenced at the Central Criminal Court in London this week.

More here-


From Breibart-

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby has spoken out against the forces of secularism, on the one hand, seeking to force religion out of the public sphere, and extremism, on the other, seeking to replace mainstream religion with a radicalised version twisted to fit their own agenda.

In a hard hitting speech, he also urged Muslim leaders to do more than simply condemn terrorism; they should also promote an alternative, peaceful version of their religion.

On Friday Welby joined the Anglican Archbishops of Wales, Scotland and Ireland, and members of the Welsh Muslim community at a meeting to mark the 10th anniversary of the Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK, based at Cardiff University, where he made his remarks.

More here-

Curry offers possible preview of agenda as new presiding bishop of Episcopal Church

From Charlotte-

North Carolina Bishop Michael Curry, who will be installed next month as the new head of the Episcopal Church in the United States, offered a possible preview Sunday of his agenda. Topping the list: Promoting a form of evangelism that calls on members to listen to others’ faith stories and then share their own.

He also wants to stress the love of Jesus, foster social justice, work for reconciliation – racial and otherwise – and preside over a church that’s open to all, including both supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage.

Curry, an outgoing preacher and author of “Crazy Christians: A Call to Follow Jesus,” will be the national church’s first African-American presiding bishop. In a Q&A with parishioners at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in uptown Charlotte, he said that Episcopalians have been so shy about advertising what their tradition has to offer – including its liturgy, its sacraments and its commitment to social justice – that many people don’t know the denomination exists.

“We’ve got to get to the day when the average Episcopalian is in touch with their own faith story and faith journey and is able to share that appropriately and authentically,” Curry said. “That may be the game-changer. … We’re good about doing. We’re nervous about talking.”

More here-

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Church and sex scandals

From Zimbabwe-

Congregants should also raise alarm whenever “holy men” hide behind the Scriptures to win sexual favours. This was said by Anglican Church Harare Bishop (Central Africa Province) Chad Gandiya in a frank discussion on sex scandals rocking the Church.

He also spoke of how Anglicans in the capital have set up a “Gender Desk” to help victims, and the rigorous vetting that would-be priests go through.

For years, various churches across the globe have been grappling with improper conduct involving some of their leaders.

Though statistics are not readily available, Zimbabwe’s courts and church tribunals have handled their fair share of such cases. Most accounts have culprits abusing their immense influence to push sex as a gateway to prosperity and spiritual healing. The victims are largely vulnerable women desperate to escape problems.

More here-

Technology updates pipe organs, but not without controversy

From Boston-

 Doug Marshall wasn’t thrilled with what he heard.

Seated at a makeshift desk at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, the organ maker ascended the keys of a plastic keyboard he’d propped on a pew to his side. A laptop glowed before him. But the real object of his attention stood by the altar: Opus 10, his newly minted digital organ with four keyboards, a gleaming shell of burnished wood, and the full sonic force, filigree, and thunder of 9,000 pipes — all without a pipe to be found.

Along with his business partner, David Ogletree, Marshall had been at work on the instrument for more than a year, their crew soldering components, wiring circuitry, and fine-tuning software. All told, the organ boasted more than 6 miles of wire, 72 speakers, and 18,000 watts of power. Now, as Marshall sat in St. Matthew’s 19th-century nave, their work was nearing completion: Opus 10 (the 10th instrument they’ve built together) would finally — finally! — receive its voice.

More here-

Pope asserts marriage is forever at start of family meeting

From Albany-

 Pope Francis opened a divisive meeting of the world's bishops on family issues Sunday by forcefully asserting that marriage is an indissoluble bond between man and woman. But he said the church doesn't judge and must "seek out and care for hurting couples with the balm of acceptance and mercy."

Francis dove head-on into the most pressing issue confronting the meeting of 270 bishops during a solemn Mass in St. Peter's Basilica: How to better minister to Catholic families experiencing separation, divorce and other problems when the church's teaching holds that marriage is forever.

More here-