Saturday, March 5, 2016

Christian professor who donned head scarf gets UVA fellowship named for Muslim

From Chicago-

The former Wheaton College professor who sparked controversy at the evangelical Illinois school for saying Muslims and Christians worship the same God has earned a University of Virginia fellowship named for a 19th-century Muslim leader.

Larycia Hawkins will be the Abd el-Kader visiting faculty fellow at the University of Virginia until August, an affiliation she hopes to renew in the fall while she looks for another job as a tenured political science professor. She said the fellowship was the only opportunity she applied for after learning in January that Wheaton was taking steps to fire her.

More here-

Canadian bishops split three ways over same-sex marriage: Hiltz

From ENS-

While the House of Bishops has said that the upcoming vote to allow same-sex marriage in the Anglican Church of Canada is unlikely to get the number of votes it needs from their order, Archbishop Fred Hiltz said it is not a clear-cut division.When it comes to allowing same-sex marriage, the bishops seem to be thinking “yes,” “no” and “maybe” in roughly equal proportions, Hiltz said. A number of bishops in the Canadian church also have a “holy desire” to consider alternatives to a simple yes-no vote on same-sex marriages, he said. Some have given considerable thought to other alternatives, and these are likely to be the main topic of conversation when the House of Bishops next meets in April, he added.

More here-

Friday, March 4, 2016

Nigeria Schoolgirls Kidnapping Update

From Nigeria-

Nigerian police are on the hunt for heavily armed men who allegedly abducted three teenage girls Monday night from a boarding school on the outskirts of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital and largest city. The kidnappers apparently snatched the students from their dormitory at Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary School in Ikorodu, the Premium Times newspaper reported.

“We are working on their rescue,” Lagos State Police Command spokesman Dolapo Badmus told Premium Times Tuesday. “There’s nothing new yet, but we are closing up on them, and we are seriously working on the recovery, and we are still investigating how the occurrence came to pass.‎”

More here-

Japan’s Anglicans call for end to nuclear power: “Fukushima was warning from God”

From ACN-

On the fifth anniversary of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake of 11 March 2011, the Anglican Church in Japan is reissuing its call for a world without nuclear power plants.

The earthquake and subsequent tsunami caused devastation – claiming 15,893 lives, with 2,572 still missing – and triggered a nuclear disaster, with meltdowns in three reactors at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.

A 20km area around the power plant remains off limits due to contamination – and residents outside the exclusion zone are living in fear of radiation poisoning.

Having worked with survivors of the disaster, the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (NSKK, Anglican Church in Japan) is calling on the Anglican Communion to join its call to put a stop to nuclear power.

More here-

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Cool nun wants you to watch movies the Catholic Church condemned

From The New York Post-

Back when I was a boy in Astoria, Queens, the Catholic Legion of Decency’s film ratings were posted right next to the confessional at Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church.

“My mother used to put them right on the refrigerator!” says a laughing Sister Rose Pacatte. Now 64, Sister Rose — a member of the Daughters of St. Paul and founding director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies who’s covered the Sundance Film Festival for the National Catholic Reporter — will host a series of movies that received “condemned” ratings from the Legion, or were altered to avoid one, on Turner Classic Movies every Thursday this month.

“I don’t want to just dismiss the Legion and what they wanted to do,” Sister Rose says of the influential group founded in 1933 to combat sexual material in films, classifying them as A (morally objectionable), B (morally objectionable in part) or C (condemned).

More here-

Women relatively rare in top positions of religious leadership

From Pew-

While many large religious organizations in the United States allow women to be ordained – and to hold leadership positions within the organization – few women have actually served at the very top.

We looked at nine major religious organizations in the U.S. that both ordain women and allow them to hold top leadership slots. Of those organizations, four have had a woman in the top leadership position. And, so far, each of these four has had only one woman in the top position.

Currently, the American Baptist Churches USA and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are the only groups in our analysis with women in their top leadership positions. Susan Gillies is interim general secretary of the Baptist churches and Elizabeth Eaton is the presiding bishop of the Lutheran group.

More here-


From Philadelphia-

When the Wyndham Hotel in Mt. Laurel was replacing some furniture recently, the plan was to rent dumpsters and cart it all away.

But Sales and Marketing Director Vicky McCristal had an idea. Instead of spending $3000 renting trash bins, why not donate these sleeper couches and chairs to charity?

"Not only are they nice for sitting on and large enough for four people, but they serve as beds," said McCristal. "And we know people in Camden that don't have beds."

With permission from the Wyndham's owners, McCristal has been scouting out shelters, senior facilities and churches in the Camden area.

Almost 50 pieces have been donated so far, driven in a truck by Vicky's husband Kyle.

St. Paul's Episcopal Church on Market Street in Camden accepted a room full of chairs, and couches and are now trying to match them with new owners.

More here-

Episcopalian (Sic) Priest Aborted Her Baby So She Could Finish Divinity School

From  Pro-Life Catholic Website-

Abortion advocates across the nation are trying to send the U.S. Supreme Court a message: Women need abortions to be successful.

This insulting notion has been the underlying theme of dozens of stories pro-abortion women have submitted to the high court ahead of its hearing on a Texas pro-life law, which has been credited with saving more than 10,000 babies’ lives. The law is responsible for closing abortion clinics that could not guarantee they could protect the health of Texas women.

The latest pro-abortion story to be highlighted in the mainstream media is that of the Rev. Anne Fowler, an Episcopal priest from New England, who said her abortion allowed her to finish divinity school and become a priest.

Here is her story, according to an amicus brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court:

More here-

Episcopal Relief & Development Exceeds 75th Anniversary Goals

From All Africa-

Thanks to the generous support and coordinated efforts of thousands of Episcopalians and friends, Episcopal Relief & Development's 75th Anniversary Celebration exceeded its goals for fundraising and engagement throughout the Church and beyond. During the 75-week celebration, the organization raised $7.94 million [USD, approximately £5.65 million GBP] as part of a special campaign, and connected with supporters through live events, webinars, stories and a traveling photo exhibition.

"After 75 years of serving millions of people around the world, Episcopal Relief & Development and our faithful supporters had much to celebrate - and what a celebration it was!" said Neel Lane, chair of Episcopal Relief & Development's Board of Directors. "On behalf of our board and staff, thank you to our excellent Honorary and Steering Committees, and to all who pledged themselves this past year and a half toward our shared mission of healing a hurting world."

More here-

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Retired Anglican priest gets 12 months house arrest for assaulting three boys in the 1980s

From Canada-

An Ontario Court judge took a 40-minute recess to collect her thoughts at Chatham court Tuesday before sentencing a retired clergyman to 12-months of house arrest.

Justice Gerri Wong looked at the victims seated in the body of the courtroom as she described their case as one of the most difficult to come before her since her appointment in 2014.

"I doubt there is anything the law allows me to do to give you satisfaction," Wong said.

Earlier, assistant Crown attorney Nick Bazylko took almost 10 minutes to read aloud three victim impact statements.

A publication ban protects their identify, but all three victims, the Crown said, wanted the accused, Harry Brydon, 66, to hear their statements.

"It took every ounce of courage and strength to come forward ... for others to also find the strength," one victim wrote.

Another recalled "attempting suicide so many times I couldn't count.

"You made religion and the church - the devil."

And a third victim wrote: "I have never had a successful relationship."

More here-

'No Jew worthy of the name gives up hope'

From The UK- (BBC with video)

Former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth Lord Sacks has been awarded the Templeton Prize, worth over £1m, in recognition of his contribution to the spiritual dimension to life.

Lord Sacks, 67, a familiar voice on BBC Radio 4, does not believe science and religion live in opposition to one another - rather that "science takes things apart to see how they work. Religion puts things together to see what they mean."

In a secular age, Lord Sacks has been credited with leading a revitalisation of Britain's Jewish community during his service as Chief Rabbi from 1991 to 2013, and urging Britain's Jews to share the ethics of their faith with the broader community.

He promotes respect for all faiths, and argues that recognising the values of each faith is the only way to combat successfully the global rise of violence being committed in God's name.

More here-

New communications director for Anglican Communion

From ACNS-

The Anglican Communion has appointed former BBC journalist Adrian Butcher as its new director for communications. He will take up the post immediately after Easter.

Adrian brings a wealth of journalism experience to the role. He began his career in newspapers before joining the BBC in 1990 as a producer in its national radio newsroom where he wrote and edited news summaries and bulletins across the range of radio networks. He also worked on television, as a producer on the One and the Six o'clock news bulletins, and for the BBC World Service and at the parliamentary unit in Westminster.

“The Anglican Communion is an amazing global family which it will be a privilege to serve,” Adrian said today. “I want to build on the excellent work already done here to communicate what that family is doing – whether it is in the corridors of power or among the world's poorest communities.

More here-

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Uganda: Church of Uganda to Boycott Anglican Summit Over Gays

From All Africa-

The Church of Uganda has said it will boycott a top Anglican Church summit due in April in the Zambian capital Lusaka over failure by the top church leadership in Canterbury to disassociate itself from homosexuality that is threatening the moral fabric of the Church.

In a confidential letter addressed to the bishops, clergy and other Lay leaders in the Church, Church of Uganda Archbishop Stanley Ntagali on Tuesday indicated it had also been resolved by the Provincial Assembly that the Church province of Uganda "will not participate" in any of such conferences of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) until "Godly order is restored."

The ACC is a periodical meeting aimed at facilitating the co-operative work of the churches of the Anglican Communion. The last meeting was held in New Zealand in 2012, while the next is due in Zambia between April 8 and April 19.

More here-

Armed men abduct girls in Anglican seminary

From Nigeria-

No fewer than three students of the Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary (BMJS), Ikorodu have been abducted by gunmen.

It was gathered that the criminals who struck from behind the school, took three girls away at about 8pm on Monday.
The armed men suspected to be dislodged pipeline vandals stormed the school premises located at Agunfoye-Lugbusi village.

It was learnt that the criminals gained entry into the school by breaking the perimeter fence which served as protection for the boarding students from the thick bush surrounding it.

More here-

The PB on Core Doctrine

From The Living Church-

When the Anglican Communion’s primates gathered in January, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry made an early observation: some were keen from the beginning to discipline the Episcopal Church through either suspension or expulsion.

Bishop Curry was just as keen to defend the Episcopal Church’s vote in 2015 to bless same-sex marriage, he told members of Executive Council Friday at their winter meeting in Fort Worth. And he got his chance off the bat: the Episcopal Church’s action last summer to redefine marriage at General Convention was the first agenda item.

Curry’s case for holding the Communion together hinged largely on one plank that says Anglicans may agree to disagree because marriage is not core doctrine.

More here-

Monday, February 29, 2016

Local Reverend talks modern activism and social media’s role

From Maryland-

Black History Month is coming to a close, but the month wasn’t without controversy.

Whether it was the lack of diversity in Oscar nominations or the debate over Beyonce’s video and Super Bowl performance, people quickly and easily spoke out.

WTOP’s Stephanie Gaines-Bryant talked to Rev. Randy Callender, rector of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Annapolis, Maryland, about activism today and the activism of the 1950s and ‘60s.

“Today, with what’s going on with our youth and young adults, young people are just as outspoken and moving the movement — just as in the civil rights movement, when young people were leading and moving that movement,” says Callender. “The difference between then and now is social media.”

More here-

Executive Council starts building infrastructure for new initiatives

From ENS-

The shape, scope and structure of the Episcopal Church’s pledge to address racism, practice reconciliation and become a church of evangelists has begun to be built, the Executive Council learned at its Feb. 26-28 meeting. And the council put some important pieces of that work into place.

In doing so, council began living into a call to action sounded at General Convention last summer. During the meeting, council members “focused greatly on fleshing out how we as a churchwide community will engage the work of evangelism and racial reconciliation,” Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said during a post-meeting news conference, adding that council joyfully embraced that work.

The General Convention in July adopted a 2016-2018 triennial budget that included $3 million for starting new congregations with an emphasis on assisting populations, including Hispanic communities, $2.8 million for evangelism work and a major new $2 million initiative on racial justice and reconciliation.

More here-

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Op-ed: The homeless have names, and at our Centerville church, the name was Dave

From Salt Lake-

Dave was one of us. He wandered into the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Centerville one day, introducing himself and his cause: bringing the lottery to Utah. He wore a leather jacket embroidered with "UTAH LOTTO" on the back. He drove a car, when it was operable, on which he had painted the American flag. He had printed up flyers about his candidacy for the governorship of Utah and fully expected to be elected.

Dave was one of us. He came to church most Sunday mornings, an hour or two early to make himself some coffee. To charge his cell phone. To get warm. He sat as best he could through the liturgy and the sermon and came forward to take holy communion. Whenever he received the bread from me, he said "Thank you." He came to our monthly community dinners, and our fellowship time following Sunday morning service.

More here-