Friday, February 5, 2016

Archbishops launch evangelism week of prayer

From The Church Times-

ALL serving clergy in the Church of England will soon receive a letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York asking them to take part in a week of prayer for evangelism at Pentecost.

The event — “Thy Kingdom Come” — will run from 8 to 15 May. Cathedrals and churches across England are expected to hold events to encourage churchgoers to “share their faith with their friends”.

The centrepiece will be “beacon” services in Durham, Canterbury, York, Coventry, St Paul’s, and Win­chester cathedrals, led by bishops, well-known worship leaders, and musicians, including the Revd Tim Hughes, and Martin Smith.

“Thy Kingdom Come” is the fruit of two years’ discussion by the Arch­bishops’ Task Group on Evangelism. Details of the week were given in a report from the group which will be discussed at the General Synod this month.

More here-

First Anglican Ordinariate Bishop Ordained: ‘It Means We’re Here to Stay’

From National Catholic Register-

In a majestic Mass at Houston’s Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart on Tuesday evening, history was made for the Anglican ordinariates established by Pope Benedict XVI: Their first bishop was ordained.
“In a nutshell, it means we’re here to stay,” summarized Msgr. Harry Entwistle, the ordinary of Australia’s ordinariate, which is under the patroness of Our Lady of the Southern Cross.

The new bishop, Stephen Joseph Lopes, 40, a native of California, was in fact instrumental in the creation of the ordinariate that he now leads — the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.

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Church ethos of 'easy forgiveness' failed to stop child sex abuse, says Peter Jensen

From The Guardian-

There was an attitude of forgive-and-forget in the Anglican church that failed to halt abuse by child sex predators, former Sydney archbishop Peter Jensen has said.

Giving evidence to a royal commission hearing on Friday, the now-retired Jensen said even in 2002 senior clergy failed to respond appropriately when faced with reports of abuse.

“There is an ethos in the church of what we may call easy forgiveness ... and I think that’s what was expressed back then,” he said.

Some of the clergy were from a generation when the impact of abuse was not understood, he said.

More here-

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Episcopalians Intend to Vote

From The Living Church-

The House of Deputies Newsletter reports in “Primates Meet, Confusion Ensues” that the Episcopal Church’s members of the Anglican Consultative Council expect to vote when the council meets in April.

In the communiqué they issued on Jan. 15, the primates wrote that, “while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, [Episcopalians] will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity.”

The deputies’ newsletter reports on those who question whether the primates have any authority to make that decision:

Experts across the communion, including Norman Doe, director of the Centre for Law and Religion at Cardiff University and one of the drafters of the proposed Anglican Covenant, argued that they did not. “I find it utterly extraordinary,” he told the Church Times. “No instrument exists conferring upon the Primates’ meeting the jurisdiction to ‘require’ these things. … Whatever they require is unenforceable.”

More here-

Pope Apologizes for Killing Protestants

From The Trumpet-

Pope Francis officially apologized for persecuting Protestants on January 25, as he unveiled plans for a radical push for unity during the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

“As the bishop of Rome and pastor of the Catholic Church, I would like to invoke mercy and forgiveness for the non-evangelical behavior of Catholics toward Christians of other churches,” he said. “At the same time, I invite all Catholic brothers and sisters to forgive if today, or in the past, they have suffered offense by other Christians.”

“Non-evangelical behavior” is an interesting euphemism for the massive violence unleashed in the wake of the Reformation. Modern scholars estimate 50 million died in the religious violence that followed in persecutions, counter-persecutions and religious wars.

But the pope and Protestant leaders are prepared to put all that aside as they get ready for the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

More here-

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Is the Church of England Fit for Purpose?

From Huffington-

That's not news to anybody, but let's start with that. It's not alone - a seismic shift in economy, technology and culture has meant that many institutions are struggling to respond to a landscape utterly transformed.

For many Brits, the rudderless descent into irrelevance matters little. The absurd and cruel delays in gender equality and LGBT rights only cement the image of the church as out-of-date and, if anything, a hateful force in society.

But, unlikely though it may seem to a country where those with no religion are now the majority, the future of our state church should matter a great deal. In spite of its continuing, nearly deliberate, failings, it may be our best hope in building a society of justice, beauty, and love. So to be clear, I'm writing because I care deeply about the future of the church, not to speed its demise.

More here-

Should Episcopalians repent?

From Christian Century-

I was once in the company of an Anglican bishop from Sudan when he was interrupted by an inebriated man who had sought him out for food or money. In responding to the man, the bishop revealed himself to be a masterful and sympathetic pastor—patient, gentle, and firm. Shortly thereafter, our discussion turned to the then-raging Anglican debates over homosexuality and same-sex marriage. “I just don’t understand this whole . . . homosexual thing,” the bishop told me.

I was stunned. This bishop had just shown great pastoral sensitivity, and yet he seemed to speak flippantly about same-sex relations. I gave him the standard arguments, saying that for my own friends who experience same-sex attraction, it isn’t a choice. I said that the members of the Episcopal Church had deeply engaged scripture and tradition in our discernment of this issue and that we viewed affirming same-sex unions as a matter of justice.

More here-

Episcopal Priest Takes Laundry Love to Amagansett

From Long Island-

The Rev. Gerardo Roma Garcia, sent to East Hampton by the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island to oversee the church’s new East End Latino ministry, has a number of outreach efforts planned, but one called Laundry Love is already up and running.

The program is part of a national movement in which laundries and community volunteers work together to help low-income families and individuals save money for other needs by paying to wash and dry their clothes. Locally, Mr. Roma Garcia has partnered with the East Hampton Laundry in Amagansett. On the first Wednesday of each month from 5 to 7 p.m., the laundry provides the soap and fabric softener, while Mr. Roma Garcia and his helpers provide the money for the machines.

It is one small way to ease the burdens on low-income families, and it is open to all people, not only those who speak Spanish, he said.

More here-

Monday, February 1, 2016

Francis is merely following predecessors on ecumenism

From Boston Globe-

Narratives, especially as they come to be shaped in the media, are a funny thing. Every public figure has one, and once they’re set in cement, almost everything that person says or does is seen through its lens.

For Pope Francis, a key element of his narrative is the (often exaggerated) notion that he’s a liberal maverick. Even when he does or says something that other popes have done or said a thousand times before, it’s touted as an innovation.

Recent days have brought examples on the ecumenical front of the push for unity among the various branches of Christianity. Briefly, here’s what’s happened.

■ Francis announced he’ll travel to Lund, Sweden, on Oct. 31, to open a yearlong series of events for the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, together with the Lutheran World Federation and leaders of other Christian churches.

More here-

Vatican veteran poised to lead converts

From Houston-

Steven Lopes was a "cradle Catholic," reared in a family that never acted as if religion stopped at the church door.

Superlatives topped superlatives in a career that brought him three degrees from Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University, stints as a university teacher, secretary posts with key church officials and a leadership role in the Vatican's outreach to Anglicans, Episcopalians and Methodists.

When the Vatican needed someone to oversee melding of Catholic and Anglican liturgical traditions, it turned to the boyish California priest, who, associates said, possessed the rare ability to seem at ease in any situation.

More here-

Historic St. Paul church for sale, including the crypt

From Minnesota-

For sale: A 103-year-old church on St. Paul’s most prestigious street, designed by the same architect who created the Cathedral of St. Paul and the Basilica of St. Mary. Asking price is $1.69 million, reduced from $1.79 million. Great acoustics. Worship home of former governors. Stained glass, pews and organ come with the building. Also included is a body buried beneath the altar.

St. Paul’s on the Hill, a historic Episcopal church, is looking for a new owner. The Summit Avenue church just east of Snelling Avenue was shuttered last year after a dwindling and aging congregation decided it didn’t have the numbers to keep it going as a house of worship.

More here-

Sunday, January 31, 2016

New bishop takes the helm at Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida

From Miami-

Peter Eaton stood in the courtyard of Trinity Cathedral in downtown Miami on Saturday morning, taking selfies, and hugging and kissing those who came to see him become recognized and seated as the fourth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida.

“You want a selfie?” he quipped with a 15-year-old guest. “That’ll be $5.”

Eaton’s witty and down-to-Earth personality helped put those around him in good spirits as they prepared for the ceremony.

Among those in attendance for the occasion were clergy from across the world including the Right Reverend Lord Rowan Williams, who is the former Archbishop of Canterbury, members of South Florida’s interfaith community, and political figures such as Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado.

Read more here:

Where free speech goes to die Political correctness may run amok at liberal colleges, but what about Christian correctness at conservative colleges?

From Pittsburgh-

Trigger warnings, safe spaces, micro-aggressions — over the past year or so, pundits, politicians and other serious people had a lot of fun bemoaning academia as a liberal la-la land where hands are held and minds are coddled. I’m rather old-school when it comes to free expression. I didn’t go for author and Northwestern professor Laura Kipnis’ notorious essay cheering professor-student affairs, but surely it was overkill for grad students to bring charges against her under Title IX for having a “chilling effect” on student victims’ willingness to come forward. Wouldn’t writing a letter to the editor have sufficed? As for dropping Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” from the Literature Humanities core class at Columbia after students demanded trigger warnings about its accounts of rape: Wasn’t it bad enough that Ovid was shipped off to Romania? Must his beautiful poems follow him into exile?

Attacks on “political correctness” champion educational values: the importance of grappling with challenging ideas and texts, mixing it up with different kinds of people, expanding your worldview, facing uncomfortable facts. How will students grow into strong, independent adults in a tough and complex world if they’ve spent four years lying on a mental fainting couch?

More here-