Saturday, September 10, 2016

Archbishop’s worldwide invitation: “Let’s get together in calling out to God in prayer”

From ACNS-

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is issuing an international call to prayer for evangelism leading up to Pentecost Sunday in 2017. The worldwide roll-out of the Thy Kingdom Come prayer initiative follows the success of a similar scheme this year when churches in the UK and around the world joined in what had been intended as a Church of England initiative.

In February, The Archbishops of Canterbury and York wrote to every incumbent in the Church of England asking them to take part in “a great wave of prayer across our land” in the week leading up to Pentecost Sunday on 15 May. Some churches responded with special prayer events while others focused on evangelism as part of the usual routine of worship.

More here-’s-get-together-in-calling-out-to-god-in-prayer.aspx

Anglican archbishop takes on ‘kill the gays’ pastor

From South Africa-

In what may be another setback for “kill the gays” pastor Steve Anderson’s scheduled visit to South Africa, Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Njongonkulu Ndungane has made a call for all South Africans to support the drive to stop the controversial preacher from entering the country.

Anderson is known for being virulently homophobic – his comment about the Orlando Massacre (“The good news is that there’s 50 less paedophiles in this world”) caused particular outcry from LGBTI and human rights activists.

Ndungane made the call after Anderson posted a video online in which he referred to Home Affairs Minister Malusi Ggaba as a “sodomite” and a “wicked sinner”.

More here-

Christ Church scene of Civil War protest by ladies who were later banished from city

From Mississippi-

Sitting on a quiet spot at the corner of Main and Locust streets, Christ Episcopal Church looks pretty much the same it may have looked in 1863 after the surrender of Vicksburg by Gen. John C. Pemberton to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.

Like many buildings in the city, it sustained damage from Grant’s artillery and Adm. David Dixon Porter’s gunboats on the Mississippi River.

During the Siege, its rector at the time, the Rev. Dr. W.W. Lord, held daily services.

But more than five months after the city’s surrender to the Union Army, Christ Episcopal was the scene of a protest by four women (five, by one account) whose objection to a Union order that violated the Constitution’s provisions on separation of church and state resulted in their being banned from the city for the remainder of the Civil War.

More here-

Metal loving vicar wants to turn Camden church into live gig venue

From Metro UK-

A vicar who wants to make his mark on the ‘cultural map’ has applied for an alcohol licence to
establish a live music venue at his North London parish.

Father Tom Plant of St Michael’s Church has submitted plans to the Camden Council that would see the 19th century Camden church host gigs up to four nights a week, reports The Independent.

If approved, he said the conversion would include new staging and a lights and sound system suitable for up to 300 patrons, alongside licensing to permit a bar stocking local wines and beers, but not spirits.

‘It’s not a place to come and get drunk, but we’re not a church that shies away from alcohol,’ he said.

Read more:

Friday, September 9, 2016

Unity through cricket

From The Church Times-

Next week, 15 September, sees the first-ever three-way T20 tournament between three faith cricket teams at Edgbaston. The Archbishop of Canterbury’s XI are hosting a visiting side from the Vatican, the St Peter’s XI, and The Mount, a Muslim team from Yorkshire.

The matches begin at 10.30 a.m. (ABC XI v St Peter’s; followed by St Peter’s v the Mount; and ending with the Mount v ABC XI); ending at approximately 7.30.

The Vatican team first visited the UK in 2014, a match won in the last over by the ABC XI. Last year the two sides met in Rome, a match won more comfortably by the Vatican side. The two sides meet again next Tuesday, at the Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, in Canterbury, starting at 2 p.m. before travelling to Birmingham for the three-way tournament. Mount Cricket Club approached the Vatican side last year and travelled to Rome to play them. This will be their first match against the Archbishop’s XI.

Finally, Mount Cricket plays the Vatican side at Headingley on Monday 19 September.

More here-

Recalling Constance & Her Companions & the Madam

From Patheos-

Sister Constance, born Caroline Louise Darling in Medway, Massachusetts in 1846, joined Mother Harriet Starr Cannon in the forming Episcopal sisterhood of Augustinian nuns, what we now call the Community of St Mary. She was sent along with other sisters to found a community in Memphis, Tennessee.

In 1878 a terrible yellow fever epidemic swept through the city. Many of those with money fled. With a few notable exceptions who remained to do what they could do ameliorate the suffering.

More here-

Thursday, September 8, 2016

C of E bishops urged to unequivocally welcome gay Christians

From The Guardian

Almost one in three clergy and lay members of the Church of England’s ruling body have signed a letter to bishops urging them to unequivocally welcome lesbian and gay Christians into the church.

Bishops are meeting on Monday to discuss what the church should do following two years of internal debate about sexuality, an issue that has caused deep divisions and threats of splits.

The College of Bishops’ meeting comes days after Nicholas Chamberlain became the first bishop to publicly declare he was gay and in a relationship. Meanwhile, an increasing number of clergy are marrying same-sex partners in defiance of church rules.

More here-

Perth Anglican Archbishop 'seeking counsel' over his future

From Australia-

Archbishop Herft served as the Bishop of Newcastle between 1993 and 2005.

He admitted to the royal commission last month he had been told three times that the defrocked dean of Newcastle Graeme Lawrence had sexually abused children, yet failed to report the information to police.

Archbishop Herft told the commission he gave “incorrect” evidence when he testified previously that no one raised issues of concern with him about Mr Lawrence. In a post on his website, Archbishop Herft said he was conscious of the impact the hearings were having on the survivors of abuse.

More here-

Anglicans look to Pope as role model of Christian leadership

From The Vatican-

Among the thousands of pilgrims and visitors present in St Peter’s Square for the Pope’s general audience on Wednesday was a group of Anglicans from all over the world who are taking part in a week long study course on Christian leadership.

Organised by the Anglican Centre in Rome, the course is based on Biblical scholarship, case studies of exemplary leaders, past and present, and field work in Rome and Assisi.

Participants from the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Nigeria and Myanmar were among those attending the audience, while the director of the Anglican Centre, Archbishop David Moxon and Zambian Bishop William Mchombo of the Central African province were also able to exchange a few words with Pope Francis.

More here-

Longtime rector reveals he will resign at Trinity Church

From Boston-

The Rev. Samuel T. Lloyd III, longtime rector of Trinity Church in Copley Square, announced this week he will retire in June after two tours totalling nearly two decades as leader of the historic church.

In a letter to the congregation released Monday evening, Lloyd, 66, said he had suffered recurrent headaches in the last year. He said that he had responded well to medication and felt vigorous after a good summer but that Trinity needed a leader “at the top of his or her energy level.”

More here-

'I was hungry and you gave me food'

From Anglican Journal-

Take a priest who was a Wisconsin dairy farm boy, instill in him a longing for the fields, place him in one of the most fertile valleys in the Northwest, surround him with Episcopalians and others called to serve their communities, and the yield is more than a million servings of winter squash.

The farmer-priest is the Rev. Jim Eichner, also the rector of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross in Redmond, Washington, a wealthy nexus for technology companies, including Microsoft. The farm is the Food Bank Farm, sponsored by Holy Cross. Food Lifeline, based in nearby Seattle, is the recipient and distributes the produce to its 275 members that run feeding programs.

Eichner and the parish began the farm in 2011 with 12 volunteers, on land in the Snohomish River Valley at Chinook Farms. The 132-acre community-supported swath of land on which niche farmers lease growing ground is owned by Eric Fritch, senior warden at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Snohomish. Eichner and the volunteers took out 3,750 pounds of food from their plot that first year.

More here-

Florida diocese investigating ex-head of Rhode Island school

From Charlotte-

An Episcopal diocese in Florida says it is investigating a former headmaster at the elite Rhode Island boarding school St. George's, which is at the center of an abuse scandal.

The Rev. George E. Andrews is accused of failing to report sexual abuse by a teacher to authorities when he led the school in the 1980s. He now runs a consulting firm that places chaplains at Episcopal and other schools. His son-in-law is the Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, and his daughter sits on the St. George's board.

The Diocese of Southeast Florida opened an investigation into Andrews earlier this year after news broke that dozens of students had been abused at the $58,000-per-year school in Middletown. The church investigation was put on hold while police and independent investigator Martin Murphy looked into St. George's, according to Bishop Peter Eaton of the Diocese of Southeast Florida.

Read more here:

The 'Stained Glass Ceiling' Shatters in Virginia

From Virginia-

But really, we just hired the best priest
Last Sunday, historic Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia welcomed the Reverend Noelle York-Simmons as its 28th Rector. She is also the first woman rector in the church's 243-year history.

It was said that we broke the 'stained glass ceiling' in hiring a woman rector at a cardinal church in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. I'm happy if we lit the path for others. Our goal, however, was always about one thing: hiring the best person to lead our church. As chairman of the Rector Search Committee, I know we all feel blessed to have found her.

During our 18-month national search, our committee reviewed the qualifications of many talented spiritual leaders. We evaluated all candidates in light of the most important gifts, graces and priorities established by the parish and Vestry of Christ Church through our extensive discernment process. Rev. York-Simmons emerged as the best of the best in meeting the present and future needs of Christ Church. The Vestry voted unanimously to approve our recommendation.

More here-

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Top Anglican official backs Bishop of Grantham over sexuality

From Christian Today-

The Bishop of Grantham, Rt Rev Nicholas Chamberlain, has received high-level support from the most senior official in the Anglican communion after controversy erupted over his sexuality.

Chamberlain has been backed by Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the secretary general of the Anglican Communion, who said in a statement: "It is clear that Bishop Nicholas has abided by the guidelines set down by the Church. In fact, his lifestyle would make him acceptable to serve the church at any time in its history. I reject the suggestion that his appointment is an 'error'.

"I do recognise that this is a sensitive area for many people whatever their convictions. It is also a difficult time for Bishop Nicholas with revelations about his private life being made public in such a dramatic way, against his will, by anonymous sources that seem to be out to make trouble."

More here-

White male leadership persists at evangelical ministries

From RNS-

While America’s population is becoming less white and while gender diversity is transforming workplaces, white male leadership persists at most evangelical parachurch organizations — the thousands of nonprofit businesses that carry out various kinds of Christian ministry.

Only one of 33 major national organizations contacted for this article is led by a woman — Jane Overstreet at Development Associates International. And only three are led by nonwhite males.

“Some groups are talking about greater gender diversity, while others talk about racial diversity,” says Amy Reynolds, an associate professor of sociology at Wheaton College in Illinois, a leading evangelical institution that recently appointed its first female provost in its 156-year history. “The question is, what are they willing to do to get there?”

More here-

Nobel laureate Tutu marks 2 weeks in South Africa hospital

From South Africa-

The family of Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu says he is responding well to treatment for an infection after checking into a South African hospital two weeks ago.

The family of the retired archbishop said in a statement Tuesday that the 84-year-old Tutu will undergo a small surgical procedure in Cape Town on Wednesday. The statement does not specify what kind of infection Tutu has.

He was hospitalized several times last year.

Tutu was an outspoken opponent of apartheid, South Africa's former system of white minority rule, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.

Read more here:

Hermosa Beach Rector on Short List to Replace L.A. Episcopal Diocese Bishop

From Patch-

A Hermosa Beach rector was the five candidates named to replace the retiring Los Angeles Bishop Diocesan J. Jon Bruno, the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles announced.

The Rev. Rachel Nyback, the rector of St. Cross, was named as a coadjutor candidate and is up for election at the December Diocesan Convention meeting in Ontario. Nyback, 46, has served in ministry in Southern California and Washington D.C. after teaching in Kuwait. She was the first woman rector in St. Cross' 100-year history.

"I give thanks for the members and work of the search committee, and for all the people who have offered themselves as candidates," said Bruno, who was elected bishop coadjutor in 1999.

More here-

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Secretary general clarifies view after gay English bishop ‘outed’

From ENS-

The secretary general of the Anglican Communion, Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, has moved to clarify any misunderstanding among Anglican provinces around the world after news emerged at the weekend of the first English bishop to declare that he is gay and in a relationship.

The suffragan bishop of Grantham in the Diocese of Lincoln, the Rt. Rev. Nicholas Chamberlain, told the British media he had adhered to church guidelines under which gay clergy must be celibate and cannot marry. He said his sexuality was no secret and was part of who he was – but it was his ministry that he wanted to focus on.

Idowu-Fearon said: “It is clear that Bishop Nicholas has abided by the guidelines set down by the church. In fact, his lifestyle would make him acceptable to serve the church at any time in its history. I reject the suggestion that his appointment is an ‘error’.”

More here-

Servants To All to open overnight homeless shelter

From PA (Trinity Epsicopal is invloved in the project)

Servants To All is opening up an overnight homeless shelter before temperatures drop this fall at the United Presbyterian Church, 214 Mahantongo St., Pottsville. Thirteen beds will be available at the church starting in October, Albert Nastasi, program director, said Wednesday.

“We certainly want to thank the church and the congregation,” Nastasi said.

The shelter will be for men and women and staffed at all times. It will only be open overnight from 8:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m.

More here-

Gay bishop revelation stirs simmering tensions in Church of England

From Crux-

The Church of England faces one of its periodic meltdowns, when deep-seated disagreements between evangelicals and liberals suddenly rise to the surface.

The presenting issue, as ever, is homosexuality, sparked by two revelations: that a bishop of the Church of England is gay and living with his partner in a ‘celibate’ relationship, and that both facts were known to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, when he consecrated Nicholas Chamberlain in November last year.

After a Sunday newspaper threatened to expose him, Chamberlain, who is the Bishop of Grantham, decided to become the first Church of England bishop to declare he was gay and in a relationship.

More here-

The Episcopal Diocese of New York Launches the Harlem Valley Ministry

From New York-

The Episcopal Diocese of New York has launched the Harlem Valley Ministry, an area pastorate that is a collaboration of two Episcopal churches and a mission in Putnam and Dutchess counties.

The three parishes are St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Brewster, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Pawling, and MESA in Dover Plains. MESA stands for Misión Episcopal Santiago Apóstol /St. James’s Episcopal Mission.

The Rev. Jose Martinez is joining the Harlem Valley Ministry to serve as Priest-in-Charge and will lead services at all three churches. He will celebrate Holy Eucharist on alternate Sunday mornings at St. Andrew’s and Holy Trinity, and hold services at MESA on Sunday afternoons. He will be available to each parish for pastoral care.

More here-

Monday, September 5, 2016

Vicar fears gay marriage change could cause society disintegration

From The BBC-

A Jersey vicar has said society could begin to disintegrate if the traditional view of marriage was lost.

The Reverend Canon Dr Gavin Ashenden, Vicar of Gouray, was responding to the appointment of the Bishop of Grantham, who is gay and in a relationship.

Dr Ashenden said it was marriage between a man and a woman that held society together.
"Anglican Christians look to the bible and tradition and say 'we do what we do because God tells us to'," he said.

He said he found it hard to respect Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby's decision to appoint Dr Chamberlain when he knew he was gay and said he thought his sexuality was "irrelevant".

More here-

Bishop David Jenkins obituary: A controversial cleric

From The BBC-

David Jenkins was an Anglican bishop who questioned some of the fundamental beliefs of Christianity.

His views on the virgin birth and the resurrection caused a storm of protest and considerable opposition to his appointment as Bishop of Durham.

His forays into the field of politics saw attacks on both Conservative and Labour administrations for what he saw was their over-reliance on market forces.

An academic theologian, rather than a parish priest, he became for many, the symbol of modernisation and liberal ideas in the established church.

David Edward Jenkins was born on 26 January 1925 in Bromley, Kent, and brought up in a Methodist family.

Confirmed into the Church of England as a teenager, his education was disrupted by World War Two. He was commissioned in the Royal Artillery and ended the war in India.

More here-

Episcopal Church in S.C. welcomes provisional bishop

From South Carolina-

The Episcopal Church in South Carolina welcomes a new provisional bishop on Saturday who will be present for a special diocesan convention and installation service at Grace Church Cathedral in Charleston, 98 Wentworth St.

The standing committee of the diocese nominated the Rt. Rev. Gladstone B. “Skip” Adams III as provisional bishop in June.

Adams replaces Rt. Rev. Charles vonRosenberg, who is retiring. VonRosenberg was elected bishop in January 2013 when the diocese reorganized after a schism.

More here-

Bishop Coadjutor candidates named

From Los Angeles-

The Bishop Coadjutor Search Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles has named five candidates for nomination preceding election by Diocesan Convention meeting Dec. 2 - 3 in Ontario, Calif.

The candidates are the Rev. Paul Fromberg, rector of St. Gregory of Nyssa, San Francisco; the Rev. Rachel Nyback, rector of St. Cross, Hermosa Beach, Calif.; the Rev. Anna Olson, rector of St. Mary's, (Mariposa Avenue) Los Angeles; the Rt. Rev. Pierre Whalon, Bishop of the Paris-based Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe; and the Rev. Mauricio Wilson, rector of St. Paul's, Oakland, Calif.

The coadjutor-elect will succeed Los Angeles Bishop Diocesan J. Jon Bruno upon his retirement.

"I give thanks for the members and work of the search committee, and for all the people who have offered themselves as candidates," said Bruno, who was elected bishop coadjutor in 1999.

More here-

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Even Chamberlain never spoke in terms of “interfaith relations.”

From The American Spectator-

Celebrated British columnist Michael Wharton (“Peter Simple”of the Daily Telegraph) once wrote to the effect that the Anglican Church seemed determined to drag itself down to a level so far beneath contempt that there was no expression to adequately describe it.

Readers may contemplate the following story — I mean “narrative” — and decide for themselves whether or not he was exaggerating.

In Sheikhupur, Pakistan in June, 2009, a poor Christian woman, Assiya Noreen, mother of five children, who were the only Christian family in her village, was harvesting berries in a field with a group of Moslem women. She was asked to fetch water for the others. She did so, but stopped to take a drink from an old metal cup she had found lying next to the well. It turned ouit this was a Muslim cup and her fellow workers attacked her for this. She was said to have declared “I believe in my religion and Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for the sins of mankind. What did your prophet Mohammed ever do to save mankind?”

More here-

Southern Africans Set to Test Anglican Ban on Same-Sex Unions

From Christianity Today-

When the global Anglican Communion censured the Episcopal Church in the United States for redefining marriage eight months ago, it warned that similar actions would be applied to other provinces "when any unilateral decisions on matters of doctrine and polity are taken that threaten our unity."

Next month, the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA) may toe up against that line.

The ACSA—which includes South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, and Angola—won’t allow clergy to marry same-sex couples like the Episcopal Church did, but it announced this week that when its provincial synod meets next month, the province will consider blessing same-sex civil unions and allowing clergy in legal same-sex civil unions.

More here-

Where will the new Anglican jurisdiction lead?

From Christian Concern-

This week, the Telegraph reported that several parishes are preparing for what could eventually be a formal split from the Church of England, over growing concerns about the diluting of its teaching on marriage and other core biblical beliefs, including the authority of Scripture.

Although those organising the initiative have stated they do not wish to leave the Church of England and have no immediate plans to break away, it is entirely possible that this will be the outcome.  

Rev Dr Gavin Ashenden illustrated on Archbishop Cranmer’s website that there are some cases where leaving the metaphorical ‘house’ is vital for survival, because compromise is so pervasive that it has damaged its very foundations. 

More here-

Fourteen gay Anglican priests urge bishops to take lead on inclusion

From The Guardian-

Fourteen Church of England priests who have married their same sex partners have urged Anglican bishops to be bold and take the church forward in its stance on homosexuality and gay marriage.

Their move follows the bishop of Grantham’s disclosure that he is in a same-sex relationship. Nicholas Chamberlain is the first bishop to openly declare that he is gay.

The gay and lesbian clergy, plus an additional eight lay members of the church in same sex marriages, signed a letter to bishops – who are meeting next week – urging them to “give a clear lead that offers a way forward to greater inclusion” of LGBTI people in the church.

More here-

Gay bishop: Appointment of Nicholas Chamberlain 'major error' says Gafcon

From The BBC-

Appointing a gay man as the bishop of Grantham was a "major error", the conservative Anglican group Gafcon has said.

Bishop Nicholas Chamberlain said he was gay and in a relationship on Friday.

He was consecrated last year by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby - who has said he knew about the bishop's sexuality.

Bishop Chamberlain told BBC News: "We are all God's people together... I hope that you will be able to understand."

He also said he understood and lived by the Church guidelines, which say gay clergy must remain celibate.

More here-

Pottstown church helps another in time of need

From Reading-

Christ Episcopal Church in Pottstown has stepped up to help another local church in a time of need.

Since April, First Baptist Church at 301 King St. has been seeking money to demolish a leaning steeple that was deemed a safety hazard.

Worried the stone steeple might fall, Pottstown officials closed off a portion of Charlotte Street between Lesher Alley and King Street.

The church was looking to raise about $600,000, which is a large sum for a small church. But thanks to generosity and good timing, Christ Episcopal at 316 E. High St. was able to put forth about $90,000 for the demolition.

"We're the farthest apart as far as religion, but there are times when that doesn't matter," said Susan Furman of Christ Episcopal's rector search committee.

More here-