Saturday, January 16, 2016

No, the Episcopal Church has not been suspended from the Anglican Communion

From St. Ronan St. Diary-

Headlines are rarely the place to get a good grasp of a complex story, but yesterday the Washington Post got it more wrong than most ("Anglican Communion suspends the Episcopal Church after years of gay rights debates”), and their clumsy take on the issue seems to exemplify a misunderstanding that needs to be addressed, if Episcopalians and others are to understand our places in the Communion after the Primates' gathering in Canterbury.

More here-

Episcopal Church: In or Out?

From "Long Way Home"

What's going on with the Anglican Communion? In case you haven't noticed, the primates from each autonomous province of the Anglican Communion have been meeting in Canterbury at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury (ABoC) to discuss the future of our shared relationships. Provinces from the "global south" are upset that provinces like the Episcopal Church in the USA (TEC) have continued to advance the cause of LGBTQ equality despite requests to stop. Actually, it's more complicated than that. There's more to it than to say that we disagree about issues of human sexuality. That's true, of course, but the presenting issue that threatens to splinter the Anglican Communion is a disagreement on how we move forward despite those differences.

Previously, groups from across the Anglican Communion have met to try to hold us together. Called "Instruments of Unity," these different entities (ABoC, primates' meeting, Anglican Consultative Council, and Lambeth Conference) have "agreed" on the steps we can take to prevent schism. For example, the Windsor Report called on provinces to stop intervening in other provinces (e.g. African bishops' continued efforts to establish a presence in TEC) and called on provinces to stop ordaining non-celibate homosexual bishops and adopting liturgies for blessing same-sex marriages (e.g. TEC's actions ever since 2003). Like all complex international arrangements, what it actually means to agree is murky. Did TEC agree to stop all ordinations that would seem controversial to others in the Anglican Communion? Did provinces from the global south agree not to accept the requests for oversight from bishops, clergy, and dioceses in TEC? About that, no one seems to agree.

Majority of primates call for temporary Episcopal Church sanctions

From ENS-

A majority of Anglican primates Jan. 14 asked that the Episcopal Church, for a period of three years, “no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee and that while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity.”

Expressing their unanimous desire to walk together, the primates said that their call comes in response to the decision by the Episcopal Church’s General Convention last June to change canonical language that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman (Resolution A036) and authorize two new marriage rites with language allowing them to be used by same-sex or opposite-sex couples (Resolution A054).

An announcement posted on the Primates 2016 meeting website said that “the Primates agreed how they would walk together in the grace and love of Christ.”

More here-

Friday, January 15, 2016

More links on the Primates vote

 Church Times- (This link has the full statement)

Anglican Journal-

Daily Mail-

Fox News-

From Iowa-


From Oregon-

National Catholic Reporter-

Daily Mail-

From Mississippi- (with video)

Christian Post-



From Virginia (with video)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Anglican Communion suspends the Episcopal Church after years of gay rights debates (Round up- lots of links)

From The Washington Post (Plus other links)

The Episcopal Church has been suspended from full participation in the Anglican Communion, the world’s third-largest Christian denomination, after years of heated debates over human sexuality and other issues.

The Anglican Communion of national churches, which includes the Episcopal Church in the United States, have been affiliated for centuries, but they have struggled to stay unified amid divisions. The 2003 consecration of the openly gay pastor Gene Robinson as the bishop of New Hampshire served as a flash point, though tensions were brewing for many years.

More here-

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-

Washington Post

New York Times-

USA Today-




The Guardian-





Christianity Today-

Archbishops 'treated like children' in church sexuality crisis talks

From The Telegraph-

The Archbishop of Canterbury was last night accused treating African archbishops “like children” in an attempt to avoid a full public walkout during make-or-break talks on the future of the worldwide Anglican church.

Sources close to the behind-closed-doors negotiations in Canterbury claimed a handful of clerics had already temporarily taken “time out” from the negotiations but returned to the discussions to avoid splitting the traditionalist camp.

More here-

Growing up with the future Bishop of the Episcopal Church

From Charlotte-

Tears of joy flowed as a group of childhood friends witnessed a history-making event. Our friend, Michael Curry, was about to become the 27th Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church last November.

He would be the first African-American to hold the position.

I distributed tissues before the installation.

A group of us, mostly raised in Buffalo, N.Y., traveled from around the country to attend the service at the Washington National Cathedral. There were family, friends, Episcopal clergy and church members from around the globe, representing a variety of faiths and ethnic groups, among the 2,500 people present.

The seating arrangement for the Episcopal bishops formed a cross.

Read more here:

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Archbishop of Canterbury pushes for reconciliation

From Crux-

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said Monday he hoped this week’s meeting of world Anglican leaders could avoid a split over homosexuality in the worldwide fellowship and lead to “finding ways to disagree well.”

However, Welby said there’s little he can do if some of the 38 leaders quit the meeting in Canterbury. Welby is the spiritual head of the 85-million-member Anglican Communion but, unlike a pope, he has no authority to force a compromise.

“Certainly I want reconciliation, but reconciliation doesn’t always mean agreement — in fact it very seldom does. It means finding ways to disagree well and that’s what we’ve got to do this week,” Welby told the BBC. “There’s nothing I can do if people decide that they want to leave the room. It won’t split the communion.”

More here-

Revelation Of Sexual Harrassment At Traverse City Church

From Michigan-

Members of Grace Episcopal Church in Traverse City learned over the weekend that a former interim priest had sexually harassed three female members of the congregation in 2008-09.

Two of the three women came forward with the news last month after learning the Rev. Bry Dennison had been reinstated "as a priest in good standing" by the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan, based in Detroit.

At the time of the incidents, church leaders notified the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan and "after a prolonged process," which also involved the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan, Dennison was suspended and prohibited from preaching in the Episcopal Church for five years. He was released from that suspension on July 15, 2015.

The news of Dennison's reinstatement "opened emotional wounds and they reached out," says John Strickler, a member of the church vestry – the church's lay governing board – and appointed by the parish to speak on its behalf. The nature of the harassment was detailed by one of the victims, who also was an employee of the church at the time. She described it as "invasion of personal space, unwelcome embraces and some unwelcome kisses," according to Strickler.

More here-

Bruton Parish examines race in three-day event

From Virginia-

Bruton Parish Episcopal Church will host a series of events, "Race and The Church," over Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend. The church invites the community, and other churches, to join in the dialogue.

In reaction to events across the country, particularly the shootings at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., Bruton Parish desired to take action on race relations, said parishioner Isabel Burch, who helped plan the program.

"This is our first step," Burch said.

Bruton Parish coordinated with filmmaker Katrina Browne and Williamsburg's First Baptist Church to present three events from Jan. 14-16.

More here-

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Primates 2016: Archbishop of Canterbury’s address

From Vanguard-

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”

All Christians, but most especially Bishops, in the succession to the Apostles, are people who are sent. We are not our own masters, but we serve another, the Lord Jesus Christ.
We do not choose our actions, but we have a mission, the missio dei, to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God, to make disciples, to know “nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified”.
We do not have our own resources, but we are filled by the Holy Spirit, as the qualification for our actions.

We are not principally impelled by duty, or reason, or power, but “the love of Christ urges us on”

More here-

Anglican summit: Traditionalists' anger over Justin Welby’s federal plan

From The Telegraph-

Fears of a permanent split in the global Anglican Church are mounting amid claims that traditionalists felt they had been lured into attending a make-or-break summit in Canterbury under false pretences.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, has invited the leaders from almost 40 Anglican churches around the world for their first face-to-face discussions for well over a decade in an attempt to forge reconciliation between liberal and conservatives groups.

The 85 million-strong church has been in turmoil turmoil since 2003 when the US branch of Anglicanism – The Episcopal Church (Tec) - ordained its first openly-gay bishop, Gene Robinson.

More here-

Church letter addresses sexual harassment involving former priest

From Michigan-

 Eight years later, a Traverse City church is trying to address a sexual harassment situation involving a former interim priest and several church members.

7&4 News received an anonymous email on Monday that contained a letter from Grace Episcopal Church. The letter is dated for January 6th. Church spokesperson, John Strickler, says the letter was recently sent out to the entire congregation.

"Dear People of Grace," the letter begins.

It's followed by a bible passage, and continues on with, "It is with a heavy heart that we send this letter to you. But we know it is the right thing to do."

More here-

Welby urges reconciliation, not agreement, among Anglican leaders

From ENS-

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is hoping that senior Anglican leaders meeting in Canterbury, England, this week might be able to find a path towards reconciliation rather than schism over deeply held differences of opinion concerning human sexuality issues.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today program ahead of the Jan. 11-16 meeting, Welby said, “Certainly I want reconciliation. Reconciliation doesn’t always mean agreement; in fact it very seldom does. It means finding ways of disagreeing well and that’s what we’ve got to do this week.”

Of the 38 Anglican leaders attending this week’s Primates Meeting, a handful of African archbishops have threatened to leave the meeting unless Welby meets their demands to discipline the Episcopal Church and other provinces whose actions they dispute.

More here-

Open letters, unsolicited advice: the Primates’ Meeting 2016

From The Living Church-

The meeting of the Anglican Primates has started today in Canterbury. Since it was announced, I have struggled over whether and how much this blog (or I) ought to speak directly to the issues facing the Primates this week. Like others, I thought it was remarkable that Justin Welby met personally with all the Primates in the first eighteen months of his tenure as Archbishop of Canterbury, and even more remarkable that he persuaded them to gather in Canterbury this week. I found myself impressed also that he has steadily called the Anglican Communion to prayer over this issue; from the beginning, it seems to me that prayer has continued to be the most adequate response we can offer to this meeting, rather than a series of empty words or recommendations.

More here-

Monday, January 11, 2016

Why the Anglicans’ meeting matters (Plus roundup)

From the Economist but links below to other sources-

ON JANUARY 11th, 38 leaders of Anglican provinces around the world will begin a five-day meeting in Canterbury, the spiritual home of the global Anglican communion. They have been invited by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby (pictured wearing his mitre, above), in what observers are calling a last-ditch attempt to save the third-biggest Christian denomination in the world, with some 85m followers. Why is this meeting so important for Anglicans and what is likely to happen?

Anglican primates usually meet every two years, but have not convened since 2011, largely because of an ongoing dispute about homosexuality. In 2003 the Episcopal Church (the American wing of Anglicanism) consecrated a sexually active gay bishop and last year moved towards allowing its clergy to solemnise same-sex marriage. The Anglican communion cannot excommunicate people or provinces and, as a result, conservative bishops have formed a group, the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), which is threatening to break away entirely. (If this meeting had not been called, they might have done so already.) Another group of conservatives in America has already split away from the Episcopal Church to form the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). At the last primates’ meeting in 2011, a third of the archbishops did not show up, in protest at the Episcopal Church’s stance on homosexuality.

The BBC-


Daily Mail-

The Telegraph-

Sunday, January 10, 2016

As the Anglican World Turns

From Huffington-

While its viewership won't come close to that other famous British drama "Downton Abbey," we are about to begin a new season of the real life soap opera we've come to think of "As the Anglican World Turns."

The new season is being launched with the January 11-16 meeting of the Anglican Primates - an unfortunate term for the heads of the 38 autonomous churches that make up the Anglican Communion. The Archbishop of Canterbury has called the meeting to bring together leaders from around the world-wide communion to prayerfully consider critical issues including religiously motivated violence, the protection of children and vulnerable adults, the environment, and human sexuality.

And therein -- as they say - lies the rub.

More here-

Man Sets Fire Inside Manhattan Church

From New York-

A man set fire to a pew inside a Manhattan church Saturday and was nabbed by police as he tried to flee.

Regis De Foucauld entered the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest on the Upper East Side at about 1 p.m. and began stacking pew cushions on a pew, police said. He added shredded paper and ignited the pile, investigators said.

 More here-

Bishop Leo Frade of the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida bids farewell

From Miami-

Bishop Leo Frade is a true South Floridian.

He says he could easily live off Cuban sandwiches and cafecito, and he isn’t a fan of the traffic on I-95.

“I’m a Miami Boy,” Frade said with a laugh.

Frade, 72, has spent about 15 years serving as the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida. On Saturday, he officially resigned his post, ending his roughly 38-year career. The Right Rev. Peter Eaton will succeed Frade in the post.

“I’m excited,” said Frade before a Saturday morning service at Trinity Cathedral in downtown Miami. “The church is in good hands; we have a good bishop who will help the ministry here. It’s time for a new chapter.”

Frade’s tenure was celebrated by a multi-language service with music and people of various denominations. Miami Mayor Tom├ís Regalado was also on hand, proclaiming the day for Frade.

Read more here: