Saturday, January 28, 2017

Archbishop Morgan Retires (Wales)

From The Living Church-

The Archbishop of Wales, the Most Rev. Barry Morgan, will retire next week after nearly 14 years at the helm of the Church in Wales and 24 years as a bishop.

Morgan, who is the longest serving archbishop in the worldwide Anglican Communion and one of the longest serving bishops, will retire on his 70th birthday on Jan. 31. He will also retire as Bishop of Llandaff after more than 17 years, having previously been Bishop of Bangor for nearly seven years.

More here-

English bishops call for ‘fresh tone’ to sexuality debate

From ACNS-

The bishops of the Church of England have ruled out any change to the Church’s doctrine on marriage and sexuality; while calling for a “fresh tone” in the way the issue is handled. In a report on behalf of the House of Bishops published today (Friday) ahead of next month’s meeting of the General Synod, the Bishop of Norwich, Graham James, said that Anglicanism has always been “a contested tradition” where different views are held together; and he suggests that that this approach should be extended to sexuality. The bishops propose that existing law and guidance should be interpreted with “maximum freedom” without changes to the law, or the doctrine of the Church.

The report will be discussed by General Synod members in small groups on Wednesday 15 February; ahead of a plenary “Take Note” debate.

More here-

Trump's executive orders worry Glen Ridge, Bloomfield churches

From New Jersey-

The Rev. Diana Wilcox of Christ Episcopal Church in Glen Ridge and Bloomfield will serve as a diocesan liaison for Episcopal Migration Ministries, a ministry of the Episcopal Church that assists with refugee resettlement.

“It’s absolutely reprehensible,” Wilcox told the Glen Ridge Voice on Thursday, when asked about her thoughts on the executive orders.

She noted that Jesus and his family had been refugees at one point. Of the need to welcome refugees and immigrants, “It goes to the very core of who we are, as a people of faith,” she said. “That’s what America has been from the start.”

She also observed that refugees entering the United States have to go through a two-year vetting process by the State Department. “They’re the most vetted people in the country.”

More here-

Episcopal Church services resurrected in Telluride

From Colorado-

The Episcopal Church has a long-standing presence in Telluride, dating back to before the turn of the century when Coffee Montgomery “Parson” Hoge traveled by horseback through the San Juans from St. Mark’s parish in Durango, via Mancos and Rico, to visit St. Michael’s parish in Telluride.  

Episcopal services will begin again this Sunday at St. Patrick’s Church at 6:30 p.m. Services will sometimes consist of evening prayer; occasionally communion will be offered.

Dave Lamb, who has lived in this region for 25 years and owns Telluride Music on Colorado Avenue, has conducted extensive historical research on regional churches and is currently involved with a major archival project at St. Mark’s in Durango. St. Mark’s, St. John’s in Ouray and St. Michael’s in Telluride were all established in the 1870s and 1880s. St. Michael’s parish, Lamb believes, was located on North Pine Street. 

When Lamb and his wife, Karen, moved to Telluride in 1992, they tried to re-establish St. Michael’s Episcopal Church.  

More here-

Friday, January 27, 2017

Episcopalians join Trump resistance

From The Church Times-

EPISCOPALIANS across the United States joined protests last Saturday against Donald Trump, the day after he was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.

As President Trump attended a service in the Episcopal Washington National Cathedral, thousands of protesters descended on Washington, DC, for the Women’s March. Similar marches took place elsewhere in the United States, and around the world.

Opening the ecumenical and interfaith service at the Cathedral, the Bishop of Washington, the Rt Revd Mariann Edgar Budde, said: “As we mark this moment of political transition, let us all draw strength and courage from the sacred texts and songs from the many traditions of our land.”

The Dean, the Very Revd Randy Hollerith, who earlier in the week had issued a statement defending the cathedral choir’s participation in the inauguration ceremony (News, 20 January), read a prayer that included a petition to “break down the walls that separate us”.

More here-


From Newsweek-

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health insurers must provide coverage for all FDA-approved birth control methods. Donald Trump has promised to repeal the ACA, but without a detailed replacement plan, access to birth control may be significantly limited in future months.

The fight over birth control access in the United States is not a new one; In 1916, Margaret Sanger was arrested and sentenced to 30 days in jail for opening the country’s first birth-control clinic in the country. Then in 1938, the federal ban on birth control was lifted and by the 50s, Sanger had worked to create the first-ever birth control pill, with the help of biologist Gregory Pincus.

The January 31, 1955 issue of Newsweek ran a column in its medicine section identifying a religious case in favor of of birth control. Reverend James A. Pike, the dean of of New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine and an Episcopal leader, argued that "scientific" birth control is no more "artificial" than many spiritual means to that end. The column is republished in full here.

More here-

Thursday, January 26, 2017

First female bishop in Wales consecrated

From Ireland-

WALES has consecrated its first female bishop in a move hailed as the culmination of a "long and hard journey".

Joanna Penberthy was ordained as the 129th Anglican Bishop of St Davids at a bilingual service at Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff.

The historic moment, conducted by Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan, was watched by more than 500 people, many of whom later cheered her exit, the Church in Wales said.

She was anointed with oil and presented with her symbols of office by Dr Morgan and the Church's five other bishops.

The Church decided to allow female bishops in 2013.

More here-

Defrocking of negligent bishop in child abuse case ‘null and void’

From Australia-

The defrocking of a former Anglican bishop for his mishandling of child abuse complaints has been overturned by a ruling that has led to high-level calls for an overhaul of the church’s disciplinary system.

Former bishop of Grafton Keith Slater was deposed from holy orders in 2015 for failing to follow church protocol in handling historical abuse claims at a children’s home in Lismore, northeast NSW, and keeping Newcastle priest Allan Kitchingman in the clergy despite convictions for child sex offences.

Mr Slater, now living in Queensland after retiring as bishop in 2013, was also found to have failed to report abuse allegations to police as recently as 2011. He was deposed after an internal investigation following damning evidence in 2013 at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse over his handling of abuse claims.

More here-

Troubled times for Anglican Diocese

From Namibia-

Ongwediva-Although Father Lukas Kaluwapa Katenda’s departure from the Anglican Diocese of Namibia is the first one publicised, New Era has learned that other church members had left before him.

Such case in point is the resignation of Father William Festus Shifidi who was in charge of St Andrew’s Anglican congregation in Otjiwarongo. He resigned from the church on June 22 last year.

Answering New Era’s question as to why he left the spiritual service of his congregation, he cited problems and difficulties in the church and the congregation which compelled him to leave.

More here-

Pioneering clergywoman on what history tells us

From Canada-

Truth and reconciliation is a response to colonialism but for individuals it’s a chance to enlarge our viewpoints by hearing experiences of others, a pioneering clergywoman says.

Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, former presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in the U.S., the first woman to be elected a primate in the worldwide Anglican Church, said truth and reconciliation at its most basic, is about listening and respect.

“It’s really an anti-colonialism response,” said Jefferts Schori in a telephone interview from her home in Nevada.

“It encourages people to hear each other’s stories and perspectives and to respect their differences rather than imposing your own view.”

See more at:

Presiding Bishop, other Episcopal leaders call on Trump to maintain refugee resettlement efforts

From ENS-

The presiding bishop and the director of Episcopal Migration Ministries both spoke out Jan. 25 in anticipation of President Donald Trump’s actions on immigration.

In addition, the Episcopal Public Policy Network issued a policy alert offering Episcopalians ways to become advocates on immigration and refugees.

Those efforts came on a day when Trump signed executive orders to begin construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall and block federal grants from immigrant-protecting “sanctuary cities.” The Washington Post reported that Trump, in an appearance at the Department of Homeland Security, also signed the first of a series of directives to put new restrictions on the estimated 11 million immigrants living illegally in the United States.

More here-

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


From The Living Church-

For Michael Ramsey’s The Gospel and the Catholic Church, on this side of the last things, the ecclesial life and the unity of this life are constitutive of the Godward gesture that is the Church’s vocation in history. “This unity is connected with the truth about Christ Himself. It is the unity of His own Body, springing from the unity of God, uttered in the Passion of Jesus, and expressed in an order and a structure” (p. 47). And because ecclesial unity is at once a gift, as well as an historical making-known of the truth of God in Christ, its universality precedes its locality.

Thus each group of Christians will learn its utter dependence upon the whole Body. It will indeed be aware of its own immediate union with Christ, but it will see this experience as a part of the one life of the one family in every age and place. By its dependence upon the Church of history it will die to self-consciousness and self satisfaction. (p. 44)

More here-

New Trinity Cathedral Dean Opposes Christian State

From Liberia-

The newly installed dean of the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Rev. Canon Dr. James B. Sellee, says he opposes the efforts of the National Christian Council of Liberia (NCCL) to make Liberia a Christian state.

Speaking over the weekend during his installation program, Rev. Sellee said there is no time in the history of Liberia when religion caused any harm to the people. "If we Christians want to see Liberia become a Christian nation, we should rather redouble our efforts in evangelizing and winning more souls for

Christ than seeking the assistance of the law to get it done," Dean Sellee pointed out.

People of all faiths in the country have worked together for peace and should continue to work together for the betterment of the country rather than seeing each other as warring factions on a battlefield, he admonished.

More here-


From World Religion News-

The Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee has turned to the National LGBTQ Task Force to review the Church’s ongoing issues with ministers officiating at same-sex marriages. Although the Episcopal Church at the national level has given official permission in 2015 to all Episcopalian churches to accept gay marriages, it had also allowed bishops to choose whether or not they will accept same-sex marriages at the diocesan level or not.

It was under this provision that the bishop of Tennessee, John Bauerschmidt, banned the clergy in his diocese from officiating same-sex marriages. Although he hasn’t said he diocese won’t be accepting these couples, members of the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee feel that the ban is an impediment to the progress the Episcopal church has been making.

More here-

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Theologian: Christian unity possible but not a 'call to ignore realities'

From Pittsburgh Catholic-

The pope traveled in October to Sweden to an event commemorating the Reformation. The 16th-century Protestant Reformation began when in 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg, Germany, separating from the Catholic Church. The event subsequently gave rise to a variety of Christian churches. It also led to violence on both sides.

On Jan. 18, the Anglican archbishops of Canterbury and York in England, while mentioning the blessings of the Reformation, also said the events surrounding it had caused "lasting damage done five centuries ago to the unity of the church, in defiance of the clear command of Jesus Christ to unity in love."

Root, the theologian at the Washington event, said that over the last century, Christian churches have experienced "a renewed commitment to the pursuit of a deeper unity with one another." While it's yielded fruits, it's also important to learn how to "live with the limitations of our pursuit of greater unity. The call to unity is not a call to ignore realities," he said.

Franciscan Father Larry Dunham, guardian of the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land, where the event was held, said the week's theme "Reconciliation: The Love of Christ Compels Us" is not only appropriate given current world and international events but also because this year marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

More here-

Uganda: Bundibugyo Christians Insist On Own Diocese

From Uganda-

Renegade Anglican Christians of Bundibugyo District have resolved to create more archdeaconries and parish headquarters in a bid to meet the standards of a new diocese.

Last week, the council convened a meeting at Bumadu Archdeaconry chaired by canon Wilson Kiiza to come up with a roadmap on how to apply for the proposed West Ruwenzori Diocese.

The Christians early this month made a proposal to split from Ruwenzori Diocese based in Fort Portal Municipality.

However, they faced resistance from the church leadership which argued that a new diocese cannot be created using rebellion.

The leaders advised the Christians on the procedures of having their own diocese, which include having a cathedral, among other physical and human resources.

More here-

Agenda published for C of E General Synod meeting

From ACNS-

 Ecumenism, the Anglican Communion, and legislation will dominate next month’s meeting of the Church of England’s general synod; but it is a “take-note” debate on human sexuality that is likely to dominate the headlines. On ecumenism, the Synod will consider the first draft of new legislation designed to simplify the way the C of E relates to other churches; and will also debate a motion on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The secretary general of the Anglican Communion, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon will address the Synod. And the House of Bishops will report back on their deliberations on human sexuality.

The Bishops of Norwich and Willesden, Graham James and Pete Broadbent, will report to the Synod on the work of the Bishops’ Reflection Group on Sexuality – that group was established last year following the completion of a process of shared conversations throughout the C of E. Synod members will then take part in group discussions before a debate on a motion that “the Synod do take note of [a] Report” from the House of Bishops. That report has not yet been published.

More here-

Warring Anglican Primates Summoned To New Meeting In October

From Christian Today-

The Archbishop of Canterbury has called the heads of warring Anglican factions together for a second meeting in two years.

Justin Welby wrote to the Anglican primates in November, the website Anglican Ink revealed, confirming details of an upcoming gathering in October.

Rather than being an official "Primates meeting" the leaders of the different Anglican provinces will meet "only as Primates of the Communion in 2017", Welby said.

The meeting will take place in Canterbury from 2-6 October and will be the first time all the leaders of the different Anglican provinces have met since January 2016.

That gathering resulted in The Episcopal Church (TEC) in the USA facing "consequences" for changing its teaching to welcome gay marriage.

More here-

Victims of former priest's abuse need Anglican Church to apologize: minister

From Canada-

A long-awaited public apology from the Anglican Church for the rampant sexual abuse perpetrated by former priest Ralph Rowe in the 1970s and 1980s will be vital in helping victims heal, Canada's Indigenous affairs minister says.

The Anglican Church of Canada acknowledged last week the tragic legacy of Rowe, a former Boy Scout leader who abused countless children during the two decades he spent travelling between remote First Nations communities in northern Ontario.

Indigenous leaders have suggested a link between that legacy and the recent suicide deaths of two 12-year-old girls earlier this month in Wapekeka First Nation, a fly-in community about 600 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, Ont.

More here-

Ohio mosque is first to join sanctuary movement

From The Deseret New-

A Cincinnati area mosque announced it would join the burgeoning church sanctuary movement in the U.S., possibly becoming the first Islamic house of worship to do so.

The announcement came on the eve of the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump, who took a hard-line stance on immigration and proposed a national Muslim registry during his campaign.

“It took us no time to decide that this was the ethical and moral thing to do,” said Imam Ismaeel Chartier, leader of the Clifton Mosque, which attracts upwards of 800 people to Friday prayers at its location near the Cincinnati Zoo. “We want to help reclaim humanity for everyone.”

More than 800 U.S. congregations have joined the sanctuary movement — a promise by churches, synagogues and now, mosques, to shield undocumented immigrants from deportation and other government actions, even to the point of violating the law. Rev. Noel Anderson of the Church World Service, which organizes the sanctuary movement, said the Clifton mosque is likely the first mosque to actually open its doors to undocumented immigrants, but that other mosques have supported the movement in other ways.

More here-

Queen’s Chaplain Steps Down, Calls Reading of Quran in Church Service a ‘Fairly Serious Error’

From The Gospel Herald-

One of the chaplains to the queen resigned following his criticism of the reading of the Quran during a church service held at St Mary's Episcopal in Glasgow earlier this month.

The Rev. Gavin Ashenden, in a blog published on his website, explained he needed to resign from his post, which he held for nine years, to avoid any misunderstanding that his statements against what took place in the service were released on behalf of the Queen.

As one of the 33 chaplains to the Queen, his actions could be misinterpreted as representing the monarchy. In choosing to vacate his post, he would be able to freely “speak on behalf of the faith,” he said.

“If I did choose to speak out, as a matter of integrity and responsibility, I ought not to do it while I was in possession of the office of ‘Chaplain to the Queen,’” Ashenden wrote. “Because I think it a higher and more compelling duty to speak out on behalf of the faith, than to retain a public honour which precludes me doing so at this time, I resigned my post,” he continued.

More here-

Monday, January 23, 2017

New Dean of Trinity Cathedral Calls for Peace

From Liberia-

The Episcopalian Trinity Cathedral in Liberia yesterday inducted Dr. James Bombo Sellee, as the new dean, at a well-attended ceremony at the Trinity Cathedral on Broad Street in Monrovia.

Dr. Sellee becomes an ex-officio of the Bishop's Council, the Bishop's Staff Meeting and the Diocesan Synod. He will preside over the Cathedral Chapter to direct the work of the cathedral, and to take emergency decisions on behalf of the Chapter.

In his induction address Bishop Rev. Dr. Jonathan B.B. Hart said, "We do things differently in this cathedral. I say this because I have spent more than 20 years serving here and know what we do and if you are rendering justice, do justice to all without favor or discrimination. Show love to all without discrimination because without love for members of the congregation, the Dean is nothing."

More here-

Bishops to consider dropping celibacy question for gay clergy

From Premier UK-

Gay clergy in the Church of England could no longer be asked whether they're living a celibate lifestyle, under a new proposal by Anglican bishops.

The House of Bishops will consider on Monday whether gay clergy should still be expected to remain celibate but should no longer be quizzed about their personal lives.

Labour MP Ben Bradshaw, who belongs to parliament's ecclesiastical committee and is in a civil partnership, was quoted by The Times as saying such a move would be "progress".

He said: "It is progress for them to stop asking the celibacy question but it still leaves the Church of England policy based essentially on dishonesty and encouraging its clergy to lie.

"There is a growing sense that if the Church can't sort this out for themselves, then parliament may have to do it for them."

Under current rules, gay and lesbian clergy are requested to promise to be celibate when they apply for ordaination or seek promotion to positions such as a bishop.

More here-


From The New Yorker-

What should—what will—protests against Donald Trump be like? I asked myself this question early yesterday morning while riding a bus down to Washington from New York. My bus left from Trinity Church, near Wall Street. On the bus were teen-agers, twentysomethings, parents, children, the late-middle-aged, and a few Episcopal priests. In the front seats, two young women were knitting pink pussy hats; across from them, two more made posters about racial justice. Would the march be cozy or confrontational? Affable or angry?

On the Mall and on the streets, every possibility co-existed. Eras, sensibilities, and aesthetics jostled for attention. A large family clustered around a little girl, perhaps four or five years old; when they said “Smash the—” she shouted “patriarchy!” to general applause. Many people carried signs expressing exasperation and bewilderment: “WTF,” “Shit Is Fucked Up,” “What Have You Idiots Done?” Others, such as the marchers from the International Communist Party, seemed unfazed by Trumpism—like the old pros they were, they led a polished, megaphone-powered march-within-a-march, with its own refrain (“Stand up, fight back!”). A young woman with a Russian accent held a sign with Cyrillic lettering: in Russian, she explained, it read, “Trump, Putin, Fuck Off.” Another sign quoted Dylan Thomas: “Do not go gentle into that good night. / Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

More here-

What Is the True Church?

From Plough-

Ulrich Stadler, a mining official from the Tyrol, became part of the nascent Anabaptist movement in the early 1520s. He led fellow believers under persecution and founded several communal settlements. Together with one of these groups, he eventually joined the Hutterite church. Stadler’s writings demonstrate deep spiritual insight and have been valued by Anabaptists up to the present day. In this teaching, he examines the metaphor of the body of believers used by the apostle Paul in Romans 12.

There is one communion (gmain) of all the faithful in Christ and one community (gmainschaft) of the holy children called of God. They have one Father in heaven, one Lord Christ; all are baptized and sealed in their hearts with one Spirit. They have one mind, opinion, heart, and soul as having all drunk from the same Fountain, and alike await one and the same struggle, cross, trial, and, at length, one and the same hope in glory. But it, that is, such a community (gmain) must move about in this world, poor, miserable, small, and rejected of the world, of whom, however, the world is not worthy.

More here-

Why we should all pray for President Trump

From South Carolina-

President Donald Trump has already begun to set records from the first day he took office.

His inaugural ceremony had the largest number of clergy (six) to offer prayers at a presidential inauguration.

The history of prayers at inaugurations began in 1933 with Franklin D. Roosevelt. The truth may be that we do not remember what they said, let alone what the presidents said in their inaugural addresses. But the clergy’s presence demonstrates the importance of religion in national public events. The diversity of clergy from Catholic and Episcopal priests to Presbyterian ministers of all denominations and rabbis represent an acknowledgment of our nation’s pluralistic religious make-up.

Read more here:

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The role religion played in Trump's inauguration

From The Deseret News-

Donald Trump was sworn in Friday as the 45th president of the United States during a day of ceremony and services where faith played prominently.

Church choirs sang, a half-dozen religious leaders prayed and Trump mentioned God in his inauguration speech.

"There should be no fear. We are protected and we will always be protected. We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement. And most importantly, we will be protected by God," he said.

Trump's religiously rich ceremony was notable for a president whose personal faith wasn't a prominent part of his campaign. He formed a powerful partnership with evangelical Christian leaders and promised to make it safe to say "Merry Christmas," but he sometimes stumbled when asked to share his own beliefs.

More here-

Task force to study Episcopal diocese's same-sex marriage ban

From Tennessee-

Instead of appealing to the national Episcopal church or the bishop to lift his own ban on priests officiating same-sex marriages, lay and clergy members of the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee sent the matter to a task force for further study.

More than two-thirds of the delegates at the diocese's Annual Convention on Saturday supported a resolution that directs the diocese's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender task force to assess how Bishop John Bauerschmidt's marriage restrictions affect congregations and clergy in Middle Tennessee.

By passing the resolution, delegates opted not to take up others that more pointedly addressed the ban.

"Our diocesan convention decided it wanted a more reflective and measured process in considering these matters. In turning to the LGBTQ task force to do further work, it decided that a vote that created winners and losers was not in the best interests of the Diocese of Tennessee. We remain a diverse community of faith," said Bauerschmidt, in an email to The Tennessean.

More here-