Saturday, June 18, 2016

Methodism’s founder spent some time in Georgia

From Georgia-

Wesley and his brother, Charles, came to the state when the British were establishing the colony. At the time, the Wesley brothers’ sojourn was seen in a less than positive light by many.

John Wesley was an Anglican cleric. He was not always popular with his parishioners. He courted a young woman, Sophia Hopkey. After she broke off their courtship and married someone else, Wesley refused to allow her to take communion.

Charles Wesley, who came to Georgia as secretary to James Edward Oglethorpe, the colony's founder, also served as chaplain at Ft. Frederica on St. Simons. His overly strict religious views brought him into conflict with colonists, and he remained in Georgia only about a year.

More here-

Bishop Nwokolo lauds Buhari’s anti-corruption, anti-terrorism war

From Nigeria-

The Rt. Rev. Owen Nwokolo, Bishop on the Niger (Anglican Communion), has commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s zeal on the war against corruption, criminality and terrorism since his assumption of office. 

Nwokolo gave the commendation on Saturday at the First Session of the 30th Synod at St Andrew’s Church, Obosi, Idemili North Local Government of Anambra. He, however, said that the war should not be selective with regard to those persons, organisations or regimes that should be targeted. “It is regrettable that Nigeria’s natural resources have been so badly mismanaged over time,’’ he said.

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Choose to worship only God

From South Carolina-

450 to 1. These are the odds the Old Testament prophet Elijah faced more than 2,500 years ago.

At that time the nation of Israel was ruled by King Ahaz. Ahaz disobeyed the Lord. He oppressed the people and led them in worshiping agrarian fertility gods – the Baals. The land suffered from drought. God’s people were thirsty, and the crops would not grow. They looked at other nations and saw them worshiping these gods, who supposedly provided for the needs of the crops. Therefore they decided to hedge their bets and worship the Baals in addition to worshiping the Lord. Only Elijah remained true to the Lord.

Because Elijah called the people to repent, King Ahaz believed Elijah was a threat. He had been trying to kill Elijah. But then the Lord appeared to Elijah and told him to go to Ahaz. When Elijah met Ahaz and 450 prophets of Baal, Elijah challenged them to a test to prove who was really God.

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Churches partner to offer widows' retreat

From Western NC-

Members at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and Linville United Methodist Church are partnering to offer a special outreach event to those who are widows.

Registration is now open for a widows’ retreat that will be held on Thursday, Aug. 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

The churches are sponsoring storyteller and certified grief recovery specialist Donna Marie Todd to present her “A Widow’s Tale” program to minister to area widows.

There is a $20 fee per person to attend, which is to defray the cost of food for the breakfast, lunch and celebratory dinner that will be offered at the retreat. The churches also received a grant from the Episcopal Church Women of the Diocese of western North Carolina to help pay for the food.

More here-

Friday, June 17, 2016

Death of an historic Toronto Anglican church

From Toronto-

It is especially sad and painful at St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Carlton Street at Jarvis, to know that in a few months this church will be closed.

The reason: For over 20 years the congregation and the wardens have made several excellent attempts to finance and renovate their beautiful, historic church. None have succeeded.
The original church land was given to parishioners in 1853 by two farmers with the provision to use the land as needed to protect the continuation of the church. That was the original deed. That changed in the 1980s when the Toronto Diocese took co-ownership of all church lands.

In the late 1800s St. Peter’s was a refuge for the Underground Railroad. There is a rich history of Toronto soldiers and veterans from WWI and WWII. It was a meeting place of diversity of farmers, city dwellers, the needy and the wealthy, where coal and potatoes were given out during the depression. The beautiful wood furniture, electric lights and stained-glass windows were donated by families such as the Pellats, Gooderhams, Browns, Midgleys, Davis, Darby, Cosbie, Leacock, Allen and Boddy. It once had a working rectory and a sexton’s house.

More here-

Welby: Anglican Centre must go on ‘needling’ Church

From The Church Times-

THE purpose of dialogue with other Churches is to “rub salt into the wounds caused by our division”, the Archbishop of Canterbury said on Tuesday. “I pray for disruption,” he said.

Archbishop Welby was preaching at an evensong in Westminster Abbey to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Anglican Centre in Rome. The Centre had been set up after a ground-breaking meeting between Pope Pius VI and a former Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey. The Archbishop described the Centre as “a needle to provoke mission, a translator to interpret tongues of difference, a channel of friendship to share hope and strength, a family to celebrate our call as God’s children”.

He warned that “the habits of the centuries render us comfortable with disunity, even more so when there is the apparatus of dialogue. Dialogue can be an opiate, dulling the pain of separation.”

More here-

Pope Francis pets a tiger, and both show mercy

From RNS-

Pope Francis got to pet a tiger cub and was treated to an acrobatics performance on Thursday (June 16) in the Vatican’s latest — and perhaps most unusual — celebration for the Jubilee of Mercy.

The Argentine pontiff smiled as he stroked the 6-month old tiger, though both Francis and the big cat seemed wary of each other at first. But a minder distracted the tiger with a feeding bottle and the pope later joked about the experience.

Francis was also presented with a bird of prey and was given a white magician’s hat, part of the Jubilee for Circus and Traveling Show People.

More here-

When a Priest Files a Lawsuit Against HB 1523

From Mississippi-

Rev. Susan Hrostowski is familiar with fighting for her and her family's rights, even if that means going to court. She was one of the plaintiffs in the case that struck down Mississippi's ban on same-sex adoption on March 31. Less than a week later, Gov. Phil Bryant signed the "Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act" into law.

Hrostowski was a part of the adoption lawsuit so that she could legally do a second-parent adoption and become a legal guardian of her son, but after that victory, Bryant signed House Bill 1523.

"It's a very strange feeling when your own government legislates against you," Hrostowski told the Jackson Free Press.

She said the bill brought into question everything and everyone except those people she already knew.

More here-

The Southern Baptist Convention strikes a blow against racism, but still reaffirms anti-LGBT bigotry

From Salon-

The annual Southern Baptist Convention, a meeting of thousands of church members belonging to the second largest denomination in the country (after Catholicism), is always a fascinating snapshot of what kind of political pressures are weighing on the Christian right these days. This year’s meeting in St. Louis was especially dramatic, demonstrating cracks in the stalwart conservatism that has defined the church for decades.

While the denomination is a robust and diverse one, with many of the member churches leaning liberal, by and large, Southern Baptists are the backbone denomination of the religious right as we know it, which is reflected both in the leadership (two-term president Ronnie Floyd, for instance, claims that we are experiencing “a sexual epidemic of unprecedented proportions in this country”) and in their official political declarations, such as when they SBC infamously declared, in 1998, that wives are expected to submit to their husbands.

More here-

Thursday, June 16, 2016


From The Tablet-

Welby was speaking at an ecumenical service marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Anglican Centre in Rome

Unity between Christians is of vital importance in an increasingly divided world, said Archbishop Justin Welby at an ecumenical Evensong marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Anglican Centre in Rome held at Westminster Abbey this week.

The head of the Church of England said in his sermon on 14 June that in the fifty years since the formation of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (Arcic) and the setting up of the Anglican Centre in Rome much has been done to challenge four centuries of accepted division between the Anglican Communion and Catholic Church.

More here-

Spokane diocese announces 4 nominees for bish

From ENS-

 The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane has announced a slate of four nominees to stand for ninth bishop of the diocese.

They are:

The Rev. Canon Lucinda Ashby, canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of Idaho;

The Rev. Canon Neysa Ellgren Shepley, canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of Oregon;

The Ven. Christopher Athan Pappas, archdeacon for congregational development, Anglican Diocese of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; and

The Rev. Canon Gretchen M. Rehberg, rector, Episcopal Church of the Nativity, Lewiston, Idaho, in the Diocese of Spokane.

Further information about the bishop search and the nominees is available here.

The candidates, as well as any additional names received through the nomination by petition process, will be presented to the diocese the week of Sept. 26-30.

The bishop-elect will succeed the Rt. Rev. James E. Waggoner, Jr., who is retiring after serving the diocese as its bishop since 2000.

The election is scheduled to take place Oct. 14-16 during the 52nd Diocesan Convention in Lewiston, Idaho.

More here-

Mississippi: Episcopal priest sues to repeal anti-gay measure

From ENS-

For the Rev. Susan Hrostowski, suing June 13 for LGBT rights in Mississippi felt like déjà vu all over again.

In April, the Episcopal priest and her wife Kathryn “Kathy” Garner were among four lesbian couples that successfully challenged a state ban on gay adoption.  In 2014, they also challenged the state’s ban on gay marriage.

Now, she has joined a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn another controversial anti-gay measure, known as the Religious Accommodations Act. It allows business owners, based upon their religious beliefs, to refuse service to LGBT persons.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, who signed the measure into law April 5 saying it was intended to prevent religious discrimination, is named in the lawsuit, along with other state officials. The law is set to go into effect July 1.

More here-

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Piers challenges Archbishop of York over gay rights

From ITV-

In the light of the Orlando massacre, there’s been a lot of debate about Islam’s view of homosexuality but these views aren’t limited to just this religion. The Archbishop of York has been at the centre of the debate about gay rights and gay marriage, taking a strong position against it.

Piers asks if it’s time that leaders from all faiths came together and were more tolerant towards homosexuals: "Is it not time for all religious leaders to say ‘we are now going to push for absolute equality and we’re not going to allow anyone to draw any line between people whether they’re straight or gay?'’’

Meanwhile, the Archbishop believes that homophobia and standing against gay marriage are not linked, saying: "You can still have your view in terms of the teaching of the church’s position on marriage and at the same time be intolerant of anyone who is homophobic."

More here-

Anglican priest in Kenya joins lawsuit demanding greater rights for gays

From RNS-

An Anglican priest has joined two gay men and two lesbians in a suit against the state over discriminatory laws that they see as encroaching on the rights and freedoms of sexual minorities in the East African country.

The Rev. Mark Odhiambo and the other plaintiffs charge that gays and lesbians in Kenya are routinely attacked, raped, evicted from their homes and arbitrarily arrested. Odhiambo is a curate, or assistant to the parish priest, in Maseno South, a diocese on the shores of Lake Victoria.

“I serve in the city and I have seen many of them facing serious challenges because their sexual orientation does not conform to that of the general society,” said Odhiambo. “They are subjected to all sorts of violence, both physical and sexual.”

More here-

Voice Buffalo rallies for prison reform

From Buffalo-

Before any of the faith leaders gathered in front of the Erie County Courthouse spoke out about prison reform, they bowed their heads for a prayer. Signs sat by their sides as they closed their eyes, clasped their hands.

Rev. Matt Lincoln, the director of Trinity Episcopal Church, led the invocation.

“Help us to find new ways to uphold justice, to find ways not to tolerate violence against anyone,” he said before the group. “The loss of justice for anyone is a threat to justice for everyone, as Dr. King said.”

Voice Buffalo, an organization comprising 60 faith communities, held its revival rally on Tuesday evening to challenge Erie County officials to reduce its inmate population by 50 percent. Dozens of people crowded onto the courthouse steps, wielding poster boards bearing the names of area religious groups. Some had to stand off to the side as there was not enough room for all.

More here-

Southern Baptists: ‘Discontinue the display of the Confederate battle flag’

From RNS-

The Southern Baptist Convention, born in 1845 in a split over its support for slavery, passed a resolution calling for Christians to quit using the Confederate flag.

“We call our brothers and sisters in Christ to discontinue the display of the Confederate battle flag as a sign of solidarity of the whole Body of Christ, including our African-American brothers and sisters,” reads the resolution adopted Tuesday (June 14) at the convention’s annual meeting in St. Louis.

Former Southern Baptist President James Merritt, who said he was the great-great-grandson of two Confederate Army members, helped draft that language, which included striking a paragraph that linked the flag to Southern heritage: “We recognize that the Confederate battle flag serves for some not as a symbol of hatred, bigotry, and racism, but as a memorial to their loved ones who died in the Civil War, and an emblem to honor their loved ones’ valor.”

More here-

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Episcopal Church Response to Orlando Shootings

From Dioceses around the Country-

Western Mass-

West Virginia-

Western New York


North Carolina-





New Hampshire-

Hundreds attended ‘Episcopal Revival’

From Mississippi-

After months of work, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, joined by the three other Episcopal Churches of Warren County, welcomed the Most Rev. Michael Curry Sunday at the Vicksburg Convention Center.

The Episcopal Presiding Bishop celebrated the Eucharist with hundreds as he delivered a message of love for fellow members of the human race, with special remembrance of the martyrs of Philadelphia, James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner.

The presiding bishop based his homily on a reading from Galatians: You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

More here-

also here-

Monday, June 13, 2016

No Muslim can justify violence in Quran – Most Reverend Idowu-Fearon

From Nigeria-

The Secretary-General of the Consultative Council of the Anglican Communion Worldwide and former Archbishop of the Anglican Communion (Kaduna Province), Most Reverend Josiah Idowu-Fearon, has hinted that the killings in the country by Boko Haram terrorists have nothing to do with Islam.

He stated that he has never justified violence but that the Quran does not support it despite that the killings had always been attributed to Islam.

In an interview with the Punch, the Most Reverend said there is no difference in ethics and values between Christians and Muslims and called on any critic to challenge him over his stand that there is not any difference between Christianity and Islam.

More here-

Desmond Tutu's reverend daughter chooses marriage with woman partner over priesthood

From Christian Times-

Mpho Tutu van Furth, the reverend daughter of the South African Nobel peace prize winner and rights champion, Desmond Tutu, was well aware that she could be losing her priesthood license if she married her woman partner. She decided to marry her, anyway.

"The choice was I can be priest or I can be with the person I love and I don't get to have both," Tutu van Furth shared in an interview with BBC released on Thursday, June 9.

She explained that her decision was simply a matter of choosing love.

"Everything else will fall into place somehow. When in doubt, just do the most loving thing," she advised.

More here-

Pope slams culture of 'perfect' people shunning the disabled

From US News-

Pope Francis scathingly decried the pursuit for perfect bodies on Sunday, saying such obsession leads to society hiding away the disabled to avoid offending sensibilities of what he termed "the privileged few."

In St. Peter's Square, Francis celebrated Mass dedicated to disabled people and their caregivers, then spent time chatting with and hugging many of them at the end of the service.

"It is thought that sick or disabled persons cannot be happy, since they cannot live the lifestyle held up by the culture of pleasure and entertainment," Francis said in his homily. "In an age when care for one's body has become an obsession and a big business, anything that is imperfect has to be hidden away, since it threatens the happiness and serenity of the privileged few and endangers the dominant model."

More here-

Scottish Episcopal church leaps towards allowing gay marriage

From The Guardian-

Scottish Anglicans have taken a historic step toward allowing same-sex marriage, in a move that puts them on a collision course with other Anglican churches across the world.

The Scottish Episcopal church voted on Friday by 97 to 51, with three abstentions, to remove a clause in its canon law that states that marriage is a union of a man and a woman. Before the change can be enacted, it must win a two-thirds majority in a second vote next year.

If it passes, same-sex couples will be able to marry in a church service conducted by Scottish clergy. A conscience clause, however, will allow individual clergy to opt out of conducting same-sex marriages.

More here-

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Church of England leader says will vote for Britain to stay in EU

From Reuters-

The spiritual leader of the Church of England said he would vote in favor of Britain remaining in the European Union, hailing the bloc as a force for peace and reconciliation on Sunday.

Evoking the union's founders' vision of healing the continent in the years after World War Two, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said the choice facing Britons in the June 23 referendum should be made with the same ambition and idealism.

"The EU came together in a Europe broken beyond description by war, and has shaped a continent which until recently has contributed to more human flourishing, and more social care, than at any time in European history," Welby wrote in a Mail on Sunday newspaper article.

A British exit from the EU, or "Brexit", would have far-reaching consequences for politics, the economy, trade, defense and migration in Britain and across the continent.

More here-

‘Let your passion lead you,’ speaker tells graduating Stanford students

From Stanford-

As the sun beamed above the Main Quad, the Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori encouraged graduating students to constantly chase their passions, and in doing so, they will create their own happiness and define their true worth.

“The world around us often judges ‘worth’ in terms of monetary value, but the deeper roots of the word are related to ‘becoming’ and the turning or bending of transformation, with the sense that the worth of something is judged by what it can become,” she said. “What is your life worth, and what is worthy of your life’s full energies?”

More here-

Assistant bishop for Alabama has a new job

From Alabama-

The assistant bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama will be moving to become the bishop of Easton, Maryland.

The Rt. Rev. Santosh K. Marray was elected the 11th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Easton on June 11.

Marray was elected on the third ballot from among four nominees.  He received 69 of 88 votes cast in the lay order and 31 of 51 votes cast in the clergy order.  The election took place at Trinity Cathedral in Easton.

"Lin and I give thanks to Almighty God and the laity and clergy of the Diocese of Easton for this remarkable call to serve and to dream God's dream with the faithful people in the Easton shores of Maryland," said Marray following his election.  "We thank God for ministry in Alabama and the love and care our brothers and sisters have shown us during our ministry here."

More here-