Saturday, August 6, 2016

Meet the Bishop-Elect: The Very Rev. Dr. DeDe Duncan-Probe

From Central New York-

The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York is pleased to announce the election of The Very Rev. Dr. DeDe Duncan-Probe as the new bishop of the Diocese. Duncan-Probe currently serves as the Rector of St. Peter’s in the Woods Episcopal Church in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.

Duncan-Probe was elected today, August 6, 2016 at a Special Convention of the Diocese held at the Holiday Inn in Liverpool, New York. Pending confirmation by a majority of the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church and by a majority of the Diocesan Standing Committees in the church, she will be consecrated on December 3, 2016.

Full press release available shortly.

More here-


From World Religion News-


Balancing spiritual life and work life as a celebrity is a challenge. For Reese Witherspoon, however, this is quite the opposite. Raised in New Orleans in an Episcopalian family, Witherspoon still holds on to her faith strongly and is not ashamed to show her devotion or talk about it in public. A regular attendee at the Episcopal church in Los Angeles, she has also managed to influence the partners she has had to the Episcopal faith.

Witherspoon believes that religion holds the key to much that we are seeking on earth. She believes that she, just like anyone else has many unanswered questions, and a church is a place where people with similar such problems come together. As a result, there is a feeling of community and companionship, as you realize that you are not alone and that there are many people who are having the same thoughts and questions as you.

More here-

Friday, August 5, 2016

Ugandan police break up gay pride event, briefly arrest some

From NBC-

Ugandan police broke up a gay pride event in the capital and arrested about 20 people, a gay rights leader said Friday, in the latest incident highlighting the risks homosexuals face in Africa.

A fashion show was underway at a nightclub in Kampala when police showed up and asked who the organizers were, said Frank Mugisha, who was immediately handcuffed when he identified himself to a police commander as a leader among those attending the event. About 20 others were arrested, put on a police truck and driven to a police station for questioning, he said.

Mugisha said they were released more than two hours later without being charged, although some who had been detained said they had been slapped or pushed around by officers. One man trying to escape arrest at the nightclub had injured himself while jumping to safety, he said.

More here-

Where are we now? The aftermath of the January meeting of primates

From Anglican Ink-

In January this year, the Primates of the Anglican Communion were summoned by the Archbishop of Canterbury to a meeting.  So serious is the crisis in the Communion about the authority of God’s word that almost every Primate attended.

As I have said previously, the result was the mildest possible rebuke over the greatest offence for the greatest offenders, with the hope that there may be repentance.

It is now perfectly clear that the meeting failed in its intention. Far from being rebuked, the leaders of the Episcopal Church said that they intend to continue in their present course and indeed to export their ideas vigorously to the rest of the world.

It seems, from what the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion is communicating, that repentance was never required – which makes the disciplinary measures rather strange.

More here-

Bishop’s post-Hugo housing program a community boon

From South Carolina-

Recently the entire Episcopal community in South Carolina was saddened to learn of the death of the Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, who served as the 13th bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina from 1990-2008. We shared warm remembrances of this great servant leader at the memorial service held at Grace Cathedral, but there’s one area in which Bishop Salmon has not been adequately recognized in my opinion. Indeed, I firmly believe when the Good Lord made Edward Salmon, he threw away the mold.

This is way, this story goes back to 1989, the year that Hurricane Hugo devastated the Charleston area. The bishop’s first year on the job, in the aftermath of Hugo, was filled with travels around the diocese and conversations with the many people inside and out of the church who were trying to make a difference. The bishop came away from that process determined that the church should play an active role in the cleanup.

More here-

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Canterbury Cathedral stone goes under hammer

From The BBC-

Stone removed from Canterbury Cathedral during restoration of a 15th Century window is to be sold at auction.

More than 140 pieces will be sold, some large enough for garden ornaments and smaller pieces that can go in a home.

Heather Newton, head of conservation, said successful bidders would own of a piece of history - the cathedral is mother church of the Anglican Communion and part of a World Heritage Site.
The proceeds will go to the future conservation of the cathedral.

Many of the pieces date back to when the Great South Window was built and show the carvings and markings of stonemasons who have worked on the window over the centuries.

More here-

Priest accused of child sex abuse in NSW may face retrial, hearing told

From Australia (The Guardian)-

An Anglican priest accused of child sex abuse 15 years ago may face a retrial, a royal commission has been told.

The trial against the priest, given the pseudonym CKC, fell over when his defence team, made up of prominent church people, produced a register showing that the abuse could not have happened when the complainant said it did.

CKA, the man who alleged serious prolonged abuse by the priest, told a hearing of the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse in Newcastle on Thursday he would never recover from the impact of the church’s response, which was to throw its full weight behind the priest who ruined his life, he said.

More here-

also here-

American on women deacons panel: ‘I feel like I’ve won the Academy Award’

From Colorado (RNS)-

The Vatican this week unveiled Pope Francis’ picks for a 12-member panel of scholars who will study the question of whether women were ordained as deacons in the early church, and whether they could be ordained in the Catholic Church today — a historic step, if it were to happen.

What will the commission, which will operate under the supervision of an archbishop from the Vatican’s doctrinal office, do?

A few hours after the announcement was made on Tuesday (Aug. 2), RNS spoke with Phyllis Zagano of Hofstra University on Long Island, the leading scholar of woman deacons and the only American woman named to the Vatican panel, which is evenly weighted between men and women.

More here-

Elite R.I. private school and abuse accusers settle

From The Boston Globe-

St. George’s School, reeling after months of allegations of sexual abuse of students, has agreed to what one lawyer called a “very significant” financial settlement with up to 30 alumni, for incidents going as far back as the 1970s.

The settlement, whose terms remain confidential, was announced jointly by school officials and some of the aggrieved former students. It caps a time of tumult at the elite school in Middletown, R.I. The allegations, made by dozens of former students, have led to independent investigations of the school, and to a probe by the Rhode Island State Police. The embattled headmaster, Eric Peterson, announced in June that he won’t seek to renew his contract when it expires next year.

More here-

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Report: Episcopalians May Still Exist

From Babylon Bee-

While many Americans believed the Episcopal Church to be some kind of myth or legend, the religious organization may actually still exist, researchers revealed Monday morning.

The shocking findings came as a surprise to many American Christians, who had thought the denomination to have completely disappeared off the face of the earth, if it had ever existed at all.

“Contrary to popular opinion, yes, we are still around,” Most Reverend Michael Curry, head of the apparently-still-in-existence Episcopalian Church, allegedly said Monday in front of a dilapidated, overgrown church building. “We exist, and we plan to continue not to die. In fact, we are still hanging in there, and to my knowledge, we have not yet ceased to be.” Curry then allowed reporters to touch his hands to prove his existence, though all photos of Curry’s press conference mysteriously disappeared.

The exciting new revelation spurred a flurry of curious sightseers, who began a thrilling hunt to locate actual Episcopal churches in their area in order to take pictures of the rare species of legend while they still exist. But while many people were able to find the rumored church buildings, very few were able to locate any actual Episcopal Church members in order to prove their existence, causing some skepticism regarding the accuracy of the research.

More here-

Refugees turn C of E into fastest growing religious group in Finland

From ACNS-

The Church of England is the fastest growing religious group in Finland, growing by 20 per cent over the past year; the Suffragan Bishop in Europe, the Rt Revd David Hamid, has said. But, writing on his Eurobishop blog, Bishop David explained that much of the growth is the result of the continuing arrivals of refugees – many of whom are Anglican – from Sudan and South Sudan.

“Aid agencies warn that the upsurge of fighting in South Sudan will see the humanitarian crisis affecting millions of civilians worsening, he said. “The Finnish government, working with the UN, continues to offer settlement to Sudanese [and] South Sudanese fleeing the violence and war.”

As a result of the new arrivals, the priest in charge of the White Nile Congregations in Finland, part of the Church of England’s Diocese in Europe, finds his work growing. “Our church is fully engaged in many parts of this Nordic country in providing care, a spiritual home and pastoral accompaniment to the new arrivals,” Bishop David said during a visit to Helsinki where he was confirmed a number of candidates at St Nicholas’ Church.

More here-

Wildfire and providence: The aftermath of the Fort McMurray fire

From The Living Church-

For the past few months, the global news cycle has been filled with a number of violent and awful events.  The Fort McMurray fire now stands as a particular kind of spectacle, one that came with very little cost to human life, but nonetheless placed an entire city under life-threatening duress and unprecedented crisis.

The largest evacuation in Canadian history will be an event that none of us forgets. The visual horror of 100-foot flames climbing into the sky, the haunting darkness that overtook the city in the early afternoon, and the widespread panic of the total evacuation have been traumatic for those who were there that day. School kids had to be reunited with their parents, in some cases it took days; the entire hospital was evacuated by air and land; the elderly from care homes spent hours on buses — every complication one can imagine in emptying an entire city in hours happened on May 3.

More here-

Abuse Royal Commission: Police joked with paedophile priest Peter Rushton

From Australia-

Two police detectives joked with a paedophile Anglican priest about the children “they would have in their tent that night,” a royal commission has heard.

The evidence, given on oath before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse today, is the first time it has heard the child abuse scandal now consuming the Anglican diocese of Newcastle in NSW may extend beyond the church.

Eight current or former Newcastle bishops, including the current Archbishop of Perth Roger Herft, have been called to give evidence during the current hearing. The commission has heard evidence that powerful people within the church were allegedly complicit in the cover-up of child abuse and the diocese is “harbouring a large number of active offenders with little or no accountability in place.”

More here-

also here-

Pastor who won AR-15 may have violated Oregon law

From Oregon-

A pastor in an affluent suburb of Portland may have run afoul of Oregon law when he transferred an AR-15 assault rifle that he won in a softball league raffle to a gun-owning friend for safekeeping without performing a background check.

The Oregon State Police will open an investigation into whether the Rev. Jeremy Lucas violated any law, spokesman Capt. Bill Fugate told The Associated Press on Tuesday, although the decision on charges would fall to the district attorney.

Lucas, of Christ Church Episcopal Parish in Lake Oswego, a suburban town about 10 miles south of Portland, drew national attention recently when he used $3,000 in discretionary church funds to buy as many of the raffle tickets as he could for a softball league fundraiser to send high school students to a regional tournament in California.

More here-

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

South Sudan: Gun Battle Between Government and Rebel Forces Disrupt Anglican Youth Festival

From Christian Daily-

An Anglican youth festival in South Sudan's capital Juba was coming to an end when it became a battleground for soldiers and rebels who shot at each other from different corners of a ground at Munuki suburb.

About a thousand people aged between 18 and 28 were participating in the three-day festival, who were forced to run for cover when the firing started without warning.

No one sustained any bullet injuries, but three people were badly wounded as the crowd tried to run to safety. The gun battle lasted for many hours well into the night, and people took shelter at nearby churches.

More here-

Anglican priest's godson weeps as he tells inquiry of rape by gang of men

From Australia- (The Guardian)

Paul Gray broke down in the witness stand at a royal commission hearing when he told how he was repeatedly raped by a gang of men at a boys’ home run by the Anglican church in the New South Wales Hunter Valley.

Gray wept as he recalled on Tuesday how his godfather, Father Peter Rushton, who was a priest at Cessnock, had anally raped him when he was just 10.

In the mid-1960s Rushton began taking Gray to St Alban’s Home for Boys where he was locked in a room and a number of men would rape or have oral sex with him, the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse was told.

More here-

Also here-

New Castle Herald


Sydney Morning News-

Daily Mail-

St. John's curate cleared of allegation, but will not return to parish

From Massachusetts-

The St. John's Episcopal Church curate accused of drinking alcohol and then driving youths during a mission trip will not face disciplinary action, but that doesn't mean he will continue to serve at the church.

The Rev. Stephen Scarff, whose contract was set to expire at the end of this month, will be on administrative leave until then.

The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts received a complaint about Scarff on July 10; he began administrative leave immediately while an investigation took place.

The incident was said to have happened during a youth group mission trip to Navajoland in New Mexico, according to a letter from Bishop Alan Gates dated July 28.

More here-

Mission to Seafarers welcomes strangers with peace, vegetables

From ENS-

Waterway, in the shadow of tug boats and a grain storage warehouse, is an unlikely sight: eight raised beds of lettuces, green tomatoes and squash blossoms.

There’s a carpet of wood chips. There’s a picnic table and some benches. A small compost bin stands against a chain-link fence. On the other side of the fence grow wild raspberries, cascading toward the waterway where tugboats pass on their way to work in the Port of Seattle.

“It’s spectacular here,” exclaimed Mission to Seafarers Seattle Director Ken Hawkins on a recent afternoon as tugs sounded their horns and traffic on the West Seattle Bridge streamed overhead.

More here-

Monday, August 1, 2016

Mothers Union at 50: First Lady urges Church to uphold family values

From Rwanda-

Calls for church leaders and members of their congregations to uphold family values and pay particular attention to the most vulnerable ones in the community, namely children and the youth, took centre stage as the Mothers Union Rwanda chapter marked 50 years, on Sunday.

From the First Lady Jeannette Kagame, to Dr Onesphore Rwaje, Archbishop of the Province of the Anglican Church of Rwanda (PEAR) and Lynne Tembey, Mothers’ Union Worldwide President, one key statement was emphasised; a need for Church leaders to take lead in upholding family values and inspiring more responsible childcare practices.

While giving a keynote address, at the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Mothers’ Union at Kibagabaga Anglican Parish of Gasabo Diocese, Mrs Kagame noted that a good family allows children to live happily to exercise their full potential — consequently acting as a backbone of a more prosperous and peaceful nation. 

More here-

Lake Oswego pastor could face charges in transfer of AR-15

From Oregon-

The allegations came to light on Friday after Lucas, who passed a background check at a local gun shop before taking possession of the AR-15, told the Washington Post that he and his wife then “drove it to the home of a parishioner, a ‘responsible gun owner,’ Lucas said, who offered to keep the rifle locked up in a gun safe until the pastor is ready to destroy it.”

For that transfer of possession to be legal under Oregon law, the Christ Church Episcopal parishioner should have undergone a background check at a licensed gun dealer while Lucas was present. If that did not happen, Lucas may have committed a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of up to $6,250 and as much as a year in jail.

Johnson said it was up to the Oregon State Police to decide whether to conduct its own investigation or defer to another agency. He did not say how long a state investigation would take, and attempts to reach the OSP on Sunday were unsuccessful.

More here-

'Pokémon Go' a problem & annoyance to some churches, a blessing & opportunity for others

From Christian Times-

"Pokémon Go" annoyed a German cathedral with game players flocking the church grounds while other churches perceive the latest cultural phenomenon as a golden opportunity.

According to the Associated Press, the local Daily Express reported that Cologne Cathedral didn't welcome the mass number of "Pokémon Go" players hunting for the virtual Pokémon on the grounds of the ancient church building and even requested the game's manufacturer to remove the church from the list of PokéStops and gyms.

The church took its legal action Tuesday after the company snubbed its request.

More here-

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Good Shepherd Episcopal Church program ends first year on high note

From West Virginia-

After eight weeks, a group committed to provide positive reinforcement to area children ended its first year on a high note with plans to expand the program in 2017, its second year.

In June, two groups - the Neighbors group in the Parkersburg City Council Fourth District and the Friends of Parkersburg's Parks - launched the Neighborhood Youth Academy at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church at 903 Charles St. in Parkersburg.

For the past eight weeks, the children have seen presentations by firefighters, police officers, EMTs, nurses, people from the U.S. military and even beekeepers and bicycle mechanics as to what kinds of careers they could possibly look to in the future, said the Rev. Marjorie Bevans, rector of Good Shepherd.

More here-