Saturday, February 20, 2016

Welcome home, returning Anglicans to the Catholic Church.

Bloggers News Network-

The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Peter is a mouthful for the new Catholic bishop that has the pastoral responsibility for Anglicans coming into the Roman Church since permission was granted by Pope Benedict XVI with his establishment of an ordinariate for Anglicans that sought to reunite with the Roman Catholic Church. Most Catholic don’t even know that these three ordinatiates even exist.

In November 2009, in response to these inquiries from Anglican groups worldwide, Pope Benedict XVI issued an apostolic constitution, Anglicanorum Coetibus. This document authorized the creation of “ordinariates” — communities that would be fully Catholic yet retain elements of Anglican heritage and liturgical practice.

More here-

Christian Coptic church headed to Wayland

From Massachusetts-

When the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit in Wayland closed its doors last summer after nearly five-and-a-half-decades, the future of the iconic building on Rice Road, with its curved eaves, high peaked roof and woodsy setting, was uncertain.

The speculation has ended with the recent announcement that a Christian Coptic Orthodox church has bought the premises and will hold its first liturgy there in early March.

The purchase came about by connections made through the Massachusetts Council of Churches. As the Coptic representative on the council, Father Samuel Hanna of St. Mark’s in Natick heard about the available property. Episcopal Bishop Gayle Harris, president of the council, was enthusiastic and encouraged all the parties involved.

“The appraised value was $2.2 million,” Father Samuel Hanna said, “but we paid a little less than that. It was a very Christian transaction, not like a strictly business deal.”

More here-

Katharine Jefferts Schori named Stanford Baccalaureate speaker

From Stanford-

The Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first woman to serve as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, has been named Stanford's 2016 Baccalaureate speaker.

Baccalaureate is a multifaith, end-of-the-year celebration for graduating students, their families and the university community. The event, held the day before Commencement, is student-led and designed to recognize the vital role of spirituality in education. Organized by the Office for Religious Life, Baccalaureate will be held June 11 at 10 a.m. on the Main Quadrangle.

For nine years (2006-2015), Jefferts Schori served as chief pastor to the Episcopal Church's more than 2 million members in 17 countries and 109 dioceses. As presiding bishop, she was responsible for initiating and developing policy for the Episcopal Church and for speaking on behalf of the church on issues ranging from the church's mission to its commitment to alleviating poverty and combating climate change. As such, Jefferts Schori was one of the most visible women in Christianity worldwide.

More here-

Mississippi Episcopal Diocese supports changing state flag

From Mississippi-

The Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi has issued a call for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the state’s flag, and the creation of a new state banner which “represents, unites, and respects the dignity of all the citizens of Mississippi.”

A resolution, recently approved by the 189th Annual Council of the diocese, supports the position of religious leaders who demonstrated at the State Capitol on Thursday.

More here-

Friday, February 19, 2016

Senator says LDS Church ‘snuffed out’ hate crimes bill

From Utah-

While the LDS Church may not be in support of the bill, the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City and the Episcopal Diocese of Utah joined Thursday's news conference to offer their support. So did people who said they were victims of hate crimes.

Rusty Andrade and Maxwell Christen said they were attacked outside a gay bar shortly after Utah's same-sex marriage ban was overturned. State and federal prosecutors explored whether they could pursue a hate crime charge -- but ultimately decided there was nothing they could do.

"It hurts knowing the LDS Church doesn't want to protect Utahns in this sense," said Christen.

More here-

Synod votes to press on with Scottish talks, despite Episcopalian unease

From The Church Times-

THE General Synod has ignored pleas to heed the “pain” of the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC), and voted to continue the ecumenical talks with the Church of Scotland which had prompted dismay in some Scottish Episcopalians.

After hearing a presentation from the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Very Revd Dr Angus Morrison, Synod members debated a motion that welcomed the joint report produced by the Churches of England and of Scotland, and called for more discussions in a permanent contact group.

Dr Morrison told the Synod that, “The strengthening of the bonds that already exist between us can only serve the ‘advance of the gospel’, which is our united desire and aim.”

A number of speakers, however, argued strongly against the report, saying that some people within the SEC had been hurt by the C of E’s actions, and by the way the report had come to light just before Christmas (News, 8 January).

More here-

Priest Elected First Latina Dean Of Episcopal Christ Church Cathedral In Hartford

From Hartford CT-

As an 8-year-old girl in the Dominican Republic, Miguelina Howell said she was known for "playing Eucharist" as an acolyte in her church.

Thirty years later, Howell was elected the 10th dean of Christ Church Cathedral — the first Hispanic woman to be elected a cathedral dean in the Episcopal Church in the U.S.

"It's a reflection of the diverse, evolving nature of the very fabric of our society," Howell said this week. "In secular and religious settings, there is a growing number of women elected or appointed in positions of leadership. It seems to me that this has been a growing trend in the past two decades and there is still relevant work to be done to assure that all God's children have a place at the table."

More here-

Thursday, February 18, 2016

What conservative gay Christians want

From The Spectator-

The LGBT rights movement — so the story goes — has split the Christian churches in two. On one side are the progressives, who believe that Christianity should accept gay people and recognise gay marriage. Lined up against them are the conservatives, who hold fast to the belief that being gay is sinful. It’s not entirely false, that story. There are just a vast number of Christians who don’t fit into it.

Ed Shaw is an evangelical pastor in Bristol and is gay — or, as he puts it, he ‘experiences same-sex attraction’. It’s a less misleading term, he tells me. ‘If I say to people in conversation, “I’m gay,” they tend to presume that I’ll be delighted if they match me up with their gay friend Barry.’ Which isn’t what he’s looking for: ‘I’d love to meet any of their friends, but I don’t want to be match-made with people because I’m not interested in that sort of relationship.’

More here-

Pastor quits under cloud

From Maine-

Police are investigating allegations against a Southwest Harbor man who recently resigned as pastor of the Tremont Congregational Church and St. Brendan’s Anglican Mission.

In a press release, the Rt. Rev. Julian Dobbs, diocesan bishop of the Convocation of Anglican Church in North America, wrote that Wayne Buchanan resigned as pastor of the church on Jan. 7.

“In January, law enforcement contacted Dr. Buchanan regarding a matter unrelated to his ministry as a pastor,” the press release states.

Buchanan, the release continues, has been “removed from his holy orders in the Anglican Church by action of the bishop according to the canons of the church and no longer is a member of the Anglican clergy.”

More here-

In Uganda, Anglicans Are Casting Out Demons

From Charisma-

Last Friday in the dusty town of Kabwohe, Uganda, more than 5,000 people crammed into an enclosed field to worship Jesus. They stayed from 7 p.m. until 6:30 a.m. for an all-night celebration that included dancing, singing, shouting, speaking in tongues and an altar call that resulted in dozens of conversions. A few times during the evening, someone was set free from demons.

You might expect this in Africa, where Pentecostal churches have been growing for decades. But this event, which happens in Kabwohe once a month, is sponsored by All Saints Anglican Church. Right after a demonized woman was carried away from the rickety wooden stage, Rev. Gordon Karuhanga led the congregation in the Apostles' Creed. Then he and other robed clergy served Communion.

More here-

Former church leader investigated for sexual misconduct

From Western North Carolina-

Rev. Howard “Howdie” White, former rector of the Episcopal Grace Church in the Mountains in Waynesville, is being investigated in two states after being accused of sexual misconduct with minors.

Waynesville Police Department began an investigation Feb. 3 after an alleged victim came forward claiming White sexually abused her as a minor during his tenure at the church.

White served as the rector at Grace Episcopal Church from 1984 until he retired in 2006, but before coming to Waynesville he was employed at a private prep school in Rhode Island — St. George’s School.

More here-

Also here-

Episcopal Diocese Makes Plans to Preserve Burlington's Rock Point

From Vermont-

Religious organizations own roughly 6,000 acres of land in Vermont, which ranks among the most secular states in the nation. But those churches are losing ground.

Six years ago, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington sold 33 acres of lakefront real estate to Burlington College to settle multiple priest-abuse lawsuits. The school, also cash-strapped, then resold most of the land to a housing developer, despite fierce opposition from those who wanted it to be conserved.

Just north of that property is an equally breathtaking tract that is still under ecclesiastical ownership. For years the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont has insisted it has no desire to sell the peninsula known as Rock Point. But it's never been clear how the diocese would be able to hold on to 130 acres of forest, open fields and steep cliffs surrounded by Lake Champlain.

More here-

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Old North Church work uncovers decorative wall art

From Boston-

Boston’s historic Old North Church is uncovering ornate paintings unseen in more than a century with an $8 million renovation that started earlier this year – the church’s third major renovation in its nearly 300-year history. 

Part of the work on the North End neighborhood structure – known best for the tower where Paul Revere’s two lamps were placed to signal the British army’s movements toward Lexington and Concord on April 18, 1775 – will be to undo an earlier paint job. 

Built in 1723, the city’s oldest surviving church received a whitewash in 1912, a treatment popular during the colonial revival architectural phase of the early 20th century. But the interior walls of the sanctuary had previously been decorated with paintings of cherubs and patterns. 

More here-

Moderator: Link between Kirk and Church of England embedded in DNA of both

From Scotland-

The Moderator of the Kirk has said its relationship with the Church of England is "one embedded in the DNA of both" in an historic address before the General Synod in London.

The Rt Rev Dr Angus Morrison, who met the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, also moved to help mend “misunderstandings” over the cross-border pact between churches that had prompted concern among Episcopalians.

Most Rev David Chillingworth, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, said after yesterday's event he welcomed the apology from the Archbishop who accepted there had been a "cock-up" over the release of information about the plan.

More here-

Also here-

and here-

Diocese Drops Marriage Canon

From The Living Church-

The Diocese of Texas has removed a canon that said its clergy “are to abstain from sexual relations outside Holy Matrimony” and defined matrimony as “the physical and spiritual union of a man and a woman.”

The diocese’s 167th Annual Council, meeting Feb. 12-13, removed Canon 43 at the urging of the Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, Bishop of Texas since 2009. The diocese had adopted the canon in 1997.

Much has changed in even in the past year, as the U.S. Supreme Court has declared marriage for same-sex couples a constitutional right and the Episcopal Church’s General Convention authorizing wedding rites for same-sex couples.

Bishop Doyle said in his address to the council that Canon 43 has caused regular conflicts since its adoption, and that he has worked to defuse those fights.

More here-

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Pre-packaged Communion now available for priests

From the "You Can't Make This Stuff Up" Department- (The Telegraph)

Priests can now give out Communion to churchgoers in a timely manner with wafers and ‘wine’ presented in a plastic package.

A church has embraced change by handing out pre-packaged Communion wafers and ‘wine’ to the congregation.

Priests can save a little time with the plastic Communion packages which have been a talking point since a photo was shared on Reddit.

It is unclear exactly which church distributes the pre-packaged product available to buy online and shown in a photo which has racked up more than two million views in less than 24 hours.

More here-

Gay rights and same-sex marriage will dominate C of E summer synod

From The Guardian-

The Church of England is to hold intensive discussions on homosexuality and same-sex marriage behind closed doors in an effort to overcome deep divisions and move towards a settled policy.

The July session of the synod, or general assembly, will spend two days in small groups and plenary sessions from which the media and public will be banned. Synod members will be urged to refrain from disclosing the content of discussions on social media.

Analysis How issue of gay rights has racked Anglican churches for decades
Conflict over same-sex marriage and gay rights has led to soul-searching and could trigger split in global communion

The issue of homosexuality and same-sex marriage has dominated the church for the past two decades. Despite the legalisation of gay marriage in the UK in 2014, the C of E refuses to perform same-sex wedding services in churches, saying that according to the Bible marriage is a union between one man and one woman. Gay clergy are also banned from marrying.

More here-

Video: Archbishop Justin Welby unpacks Primates’ communiqué

From ENS- (with video)

 The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has used his presidential address to the Church of England’s General Synod to update members on last month’s Primates Meeting and Gathering in Canterbury. He also gave his impression about the current state of the Anglican Communion.

The Primates’ Meeting held in Canterbury between 11th and 15th January 2016 occasioned much comment and even more misrepresentation. It has been spun more than Donald Trump, and you would be well advised to set your spin meters to “detect” as I am hoping both to say something about what happened, at least from my point of view… and more importantly, why and what it says to us. I have no doubt most people will disagree with one or the other aspect, or all of them.

More here-

Georgia passes bill to protect pastors from forced participation in gay ‘marriages’

From Life Site-

Clergy in the state of Georgia are one step closer to reinforced conscience protection after legislation passed by the Georgia House Thursday.

House Bill 757, also known as the Pastor Protection Act, protects religious officials from being forced to imitate marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples and was approved in a 161-0 vote, moving on now to the Georgia Senate.

"Religious officials shall not be required to perform marriage ceremonies, perform rites, or administer sacraments in violation of their legal right to free exercise of religion," the bill states. It also says refusal by an ordained person shall not result in a civil claim or cause of action against him, nor result in any state action of retribution toward him based on the refusal.

More here-

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry speaks on Primates’ statement

From ACNS-

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in America, Michael Curry, has given a detailed response to the statement about the Episcopal Church issued at last month’s Primates Meeting. Bishop Curry was answering questions at a Newsmakers event at the National Press Club in Washington DC last week when he was asked for clarification about the consequences of the statement for the Episcopal Church.

“Firstly, the Primates understood clearly that we as the Episcopal Church are committed to the Anglican Communion but we are equally committed to being a House of Prayer for all people,” he said. “And as I said to [the Primates in Canterbury], we believe in full inclusion and marriage equality . . . not as a social programme but we believe in it because the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross are really about welcoming and embracing us all and that we are all the children of God, created in God’s image and likeness. And I believe that that’s what love bids us do.

More here-

Monday, February 15, 2016

Church of England defends pray tweet for atheist Richard Dawkins after trolling claims

From Australia-

The Church of England has defended tweeting a prayer for outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins after it was accused of trolling him.

A short tweet stated that the Anglican Church was praying for the secularist scholar, evolutionary biologist and author of The God Delusion after he suffered a stroke on Friday.

Professor Dawkins, 74, is expected to make a full recovery but was forced to cancel his Australian and New Zealand tour, including an appearance at the Sydney Opera House on February 28.
More here-

Church leaders: Christians a 'minority' in U.K.

From One News Now-

Senior clerics in the United Kingdom attest that practicing Christians are now a minority on the island nation.

Secularization has permeated all reaches of Great Britain, say Anglican Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, and Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Cardinal Nichols.

The two top clerics insist that Bible-believing Christians in the U.K. have fallen from majority status and are being marginalized, closely resembling what happened to the Roman Catholic minority following the 16th Century English Reformation.

“[Catholics are now contributing to British life as a “significant minority,” Nichols declared, following a historic meeting at Hampton Court Palace — the former home of England’s King Henry VIII — according to The Telegraph.

More here-

Fresh damage to Christ Church Cathedral to be assessed

From New Zealand-

The Anglican Church plans to get a fresh assessment of Christ Church Cathedral amid concern the Valentines Day earthquake has further damaged the building.

Sunday's 5.7 magnitude earthquake appeared to cause more of the historic cathedral to crumble and fall away from the steel props that have held up the front of the building for the past few years.

Reverend Jayson Rhodes, spokesman for the Anglican Church, said some Church Property Trustees had done a walk-by of the cathedral after the earthquake, but a thorough inspection had yet to be done. 

More here-

Pentecostal/Anglican cooperation? New horizons in mission

From The Living Church-

Could the Anglican Communion be a “broker” for global mission?

This question was raised by the Rev. Dr. Wonsuk Ma, director of the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, at the most recent seminar of Mission Theology in the Anglican Communion. From various corners of the church, thirty attended the meeting convened at Lambeth Palace by Bishop Graham Kings: church planters in London and Somalia, theologians, clergy from various dioceses (priests, archdeacons, canons, bishops), lay workers, and at least one principal of a theological college.

Dr. Ma’s talk on the “Growth of Global Christianity: Shape and Significance for Theology” ranged across various bits of data and historical record. Two of the most striking things he discussed, however, are the much-noted shift of Christianity’s center of gravity to the Global South, especially Africa, and the burgeoning numbers of Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians, expected to make up 9.8 percent of the global population within the next nine years.

More here-

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Forty years after death, Kathryn Kuhlman still inspires a small but steady flock

From Pittsburgh-

Even now, pilgrims make their way in small but steady numbers beneath the soaring gothic vaults of the historic First Presbyterian Church in Downtown, seeking out the unlikely shrine to a one-time tent revivalist, hoping to pray where she preached.

When she died 40 years ago this week, Kathryn Kuhlman was the most famous woman evangelist in the world. Time magazine called her a “one-woman shrine of Lourdes” for the miracle cures she and her devoted followers claimed at her mass revival meetings — even as she scorned the label of “faith healer,” which stalked her through life and into the headline of her obituary.

More here-