Saturday, April 30, 2016

Holding together in diversity – reflections on the ACC meeting in Lusaka

Justin Welby via ACNS-

Having come back from Lusaka on 20 April, after 16 days in Zambia and Zimbabwe, once again the experience of a big Anglican Communion meeting has had an impact on my thinking about the Communion.

As usual, the impact is largely positive. Any time the Communion gets together, especially the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) which has representatives from most Provinces who are bishops, priests and laity, I am more and more struck that we hold together, more or less, despite our diversity, because of the work of God among us. God is at work in the Anglican Communion, and my awareness of that has grown a lot in the last month. There are plenty of problems, I’ll come to those in a moment, but the central news is that if God, by his Spirit, is working among us, that the future is one of hope, of purpose and of blessing in our call to fulfil the mission of God in the world.

More here-

Anglican-Catholic dialogue coming to Toronto

From The Catholic Register-

One of the most important and troubled projects from the Second Vatican Council arrives in Toronto May 11 for some serious, scholarly and saintly talk.

The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, better known as ARCIC, rolls into town to puzzle over how Catholics and Anglicans make decisions over ethical questions and to find new ways to sum up its work over the last five decades.

ARCIC is the official ecumenical dialogue between the world’s 85 million Anglicans and 1.3 billion Catholics set up by the Vatican and the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1969.

This is the first time ARCIC has met in Canada, and it gives Canada’s own Anglican-Catholic dialogue partners a chance to rub shoulders with their international counterparts.

The public will have a chance to pray with the theologians and bishops involved in the dialogue and then hear them speak about their work for unity on May 11, beginning with a 7 p.m. evening prayer service in the Basilian chapel on the University of St. Michael’s College campus. At 7:30 the ecumenists will walk across the street to Brennan Hall to hear the co-chairs of Canada’s national Anglican-Catholic dialogue and the international co-chairs speak about the state of the dialogue.

More here-

Cathedral reveals letter from ‘Mrs Shakspaire’

From The Church Times-

AS THE world marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Hereford Cathedral has unearthed its own Shakespearean tale.

Two fragments of a letter, written at about the same period that the playwright was alive, were discovered in the binding of a book in the cathedral library. The letter is addressed to a “Good Mrs Shakspaire”, and asks her to pay a penniless orphan boy, John Butts, money that is owed to him by her late husband. It also mentions a “Mr Sparowe”.

The cathedral librarian, Dr Rosemary Firman, thinks, however, that these Shakspaires are not William and his wife, Anne Hathaway. She said this week: “These Shakspaires are said to have once lived on a Trinity Lane, but William Shakespeare is not known to have lived at such an address, and no connections are known between him and anyone called Butts or Sparowe.”

More here-

At Yale, a Right That Doesn’t Outweigh a Wrong

From The New York Times-

 Yale made a grievous mistake this week when it announced that it would keep the name of an avowed white supremacist, John C. Calhoun, on a residential college, despite decades of vigorous alumni and student protests. The decision to name residential colleges for Benjamin Franklin and Anna Pauline Murray, a black civil rights activist, does nothing to redeem this wrong.

It is not a just compromise to split the difference between Calhoun and Murray; there should be no compromise between such stark contrasts in values. The decision to retain the Calhoun name continues the pain inflicted every day on students who live in a dormitory named for a man distinguished by being one of the country’s most egregious racists.

More here-

Friday, April 29, 2016

I'm Ready to Evangelize... About Climate Change

From Soujurners-

Members of the Episcopal Church from around the world are suffering from the dramatic and damaging impacts of our changing climate. Its harshest effects are startlingly discriminatory, often affecting low-income and marginalized people. The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti, stands on the front lines of climate change. Haiti — home to the largest diocese of the Episcopal Church — and our Haitian brothers and sisters are suffering from a severe, relentless drought. As the people of Haiti largely depend upon agriculture for their livelihoods, climate change is threatening the lifeblood of their island-home.

Travel nearly 5,000 miles northwest to the steppes of the Brooks Range in Alaska, and you will find a majority-Episcopal Alaskan Native community of Gwich’in people. The Gwich’in hunt the Porcupine caribou herd for their daily subsistence, but warming arctic temperatures have stimulated new species of plant growth that discourages the caribou from returning to local hunting grounds, leaving the Gwich’in food insecure as winter approaches.

- See more at:

Episcopal saint is namesake of new Yale residential college

From RNS-

A new residential college at Yale University has been named for an Episcopal saint who was the first African-American woman to be ordained an Episcopal priest.

Anna Pauline Murray, known as “Pauli,” was also a civil rights activist who helped shape the legal argument for the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling and a women’s rights activist who co-founded the National Organization for Women. She received an advanced law degree from Yale in 1965 and an honorary doctorate from Yale Divinity School in 1979.

More here-

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Episcopal bishop: Refugee resettlement work in Wichita will continue

From Kansas-

The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas says his church will continue to help resettle refugees in Kansas despite Gov. Sam Brownback’s decision to withdraw the state from the federal resettlement program.

Brownback cited security concerns Tuesday when he announced he was ending the state’s participation in the program, which helps resettle refugees fleeing war-torn nations.

Episcopal Migration Ministries will continue its resettlement work in Wichita regardless of the state’s position, the Rev. Dean Wolfe said in a statement late Wednesday.

“In the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas we will continue to be an advocate for those who have no voice,” Wolfe said. “With the exception of indigenous peoples, we are all immigrants to this great land.”

Read more here:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

What Christians Can Learn from Golf – or any Sport!

From Atlanta-

After seeing 11Alive anchor Jeff Hullinger's "Jeff's Take" on what we can learn from Jordan Spieth's loss at the 2016 Masters Golf Tournament , St. Phillip Cathedral's Rev. Samuel Candler asked for permission to use it in a sermon. This is a reprint of that published sermon.

What Christians Can Learn from Golf – or any Sport!

Okay, for years now, I have not been afraid to make a particular confession, an unusual one, one that not many Episcopal priests can make. I confess: I don’t play golf.

But I know that golf is a great sport! And I know lots of good people who do play golf! So it was that I found myself watching some of the recent Masters Golf Tournament, in Augusta, Georgia, a few weeks ago. Being from Georgia, I have to watch the Masters anyway.

More here-

As Ed Bacon takes his leave of All Saints Church: Larry Wilson

From Pasadena-

When I was visiting with Ed Bacon in his memorabilia-filled office at All Saints Church the other day, and he referred to the time when John Frank Scott was his predecessor as rector there, I asked about what era that would have been.

“Well, let’s see, it was during the FDR years,” Bacon mused. “Funny how I remember it that way. It’s like in the Bible, where something is referred to as in ‘the years when Claritas was a Roman governor.’”

The intersection of government and religion is by no means a foreign subject for anyone who, like the Reverend Doctor J. Edwin Bacon Jr., serves as the rector of All Saints, the most prominent Episcopal church in the West, as Bacon has for 21 years, and whose last service as rector here will be this Sunday, May 1.

For it’s not just the fact that the All Saints campus sits directly across Euclid Avenue from Pasadena City Hall that makes a “public church,” where both religious and very much not people often find themselves gathering.

More here-

Episcopal bishops of North Carolina call for repeal of HB2

From North Carolina-

Bishop Anne Hodges-Copple of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, which includes Charlotte, was among the state’s four Episcopal bishops calling Tuesday for repeal of HB2. Courtesy of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina.
The Episcopal bishops of North Carolina called Tuesday for the repeal of House Bill 2, saying it “overtly discriminates against LGBT persons and goes further by cutting back protection against discrimination for anyone in the state.”

Their statement comes a day after the state’s United Methodist bishops released one that also called on the state legislature to repeal the controversial law.

The four Episcopal bishops said the legislature rushed HB2 into law, not making time to listen to the LGBT community, among others. “The mounting economic losses for North Carolina show this hasty process did not leave room to consider what impact HB2 would have on our state,” the bishops said. “We are all paying the price.”

Read more here:

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Brunswick seek assistance to enhance African American tourism

From Georgia-

Officials and administrators in Brunswick and Glynn County have joined forces to obtain assistance from the Georgia Department of Economic Development to better promote area-wide African American heritage tourist attractions.

“We have a rich African American heritage that has not been drawn out and planned,” said Brunswick City Commissioner Julie Martin. “This is an opportunity for the city, county and the (Golden Isles Convention and) Visitors Bureau to feed into and market that segment of the population.”

Brunswick and Glynn County commissioners recently approved the city’s “Letter of Interest” requesting assistance from the state development department’s Tourism Product Development Team who will come in and help conduct an assessment of African American heritage tourism opportunities. The team will then make its recommendations on how to grow tourism county-wide.

More here-

California bishop represents church at climate agreement signing

From ENS-

Among the hundreds of people present at the United Nations headquarters in New York on April 22 for the historic signing of the world’s first ever comprehensive agreement on climate change, California Bishop Marc Andrus stood out as the only visible religious leader, dressed in a purple clerical shirt and a collar.

“I was there as a witness,” said Andrus, adding that he could not identify other “overtly” religious people in the crowd and that no one was singled out as representing the faith community. “I was the only one, and there where hundreds and hundreds of people, and so I’m so grateful for that. Then I was met with gratitude, people saying ‘I’m so happy that the church is here.’

“I was very careful to step forward saying I’m here to represent the Episcopal Church and Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, and honored to be here partnering with you and we are looking for ways to support this work,” he said during an April 23 interview back in California with Episcopal News Service. Andrus spoke after an EcoConfirmation service, where participants upheld their baptismal vow to “cherish the wondrous works of God, and protect the beauty and integrity of all creation.”

More here-

Monday, April 25, 2016

Charlotte gay wedding defies United Methodist Church rules

From North Carolina-

They knew it could mean a reprimand or even a church trial that might end their careers.

Still, the pastor of Charlotte’s First United Methodist Church and a retired bishop who once did jail time with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. decided to go ahead over the weekend and preside at the wedding of John Romano and Jim Wilborne.

The two Charlotte men became the first same-sex couple in North Carolina to get married – at least publicly – in a United Methodist church.

But the mainline denomination’s Book of Discipline sanctions only marriage between a man and a woman. So there could be consequences for the Rev. Val Rosenquist and Bishop Melvin Talbert – the clergy who performed the wedding – if any complaints are filed with Bishop Larry Goodpaster, who leads the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Read more here: