Saturday, February 25, 2017

John Sentamu: Your have my word – female clergy will not be undermined by new Bishop of Sheffield

From Yorkshire-

THE nomination of the Right Reverend Philip North to be Bishop of Sheffield has created quite a stir, but it will not surprise those who have followed the process by which the Church of England agreed to the ordination of women as bishops.

A report in the Guardian yesterday noted that Dr Martyn Percy, the Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, has objected to Bishop North’s nomination because of his opposition, as a traditional catholic Anglican, to the CoE’s decision to embrace women priests and bishops.

These arguments were raised and presented during and before the General Synod debates on this issue in 2014. In supporting the ordination of women as bishops, the Synod did not accept these arguments and favoured a position of mutual flourishing for all in the Church.

More here-

Top Vancouver Christian leaders reject Franklin Graham's crusade

From Canada-

A leadership group representing more than half of Metro Vancouver’s one million Christians issued a public letter on Friday expressing deep concerns about the rally to be held here by American evangelist Franklin Graham.

“Our concern is that the contentious and confrontational political and social rhetoric that Mr. Graham has used has the potential to overshadow the message of Jesus and incite hostility in our highly charged social climate,” said the letter, signed by more than 30 prominent evangelicals, Catholics and mainline Protestants.

Graham — who presided at the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump and attributed the billionaire’s surprise election to “the hand of God” ­­– has frequently denounced Muslims, homosexuals, former president Barack Obama, gun-control advocates and atheists.

“(Graham) has made disparaging and uncharitable remarks about Muslims and the LGBTQ+ community, while portraying the election, administration and policies of U.S. President Donald Trump as intrinsically aligned with the Christian church,” said the clergy’s unprecedented joint statement, which came after almost a year of failed negotations with Graham’s team.

More here-

Anglican Church education program to fight immorality

From Uganda-

Former Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen, has challenged theological teachers to make sure that what they teach impacts on the morals of the community in order to have a loving world.

Jensen is in the country with a number of Anglican bishops and professors to review how the teaching of theology in the different institutions can be improved to ensure that there is an impact to lives of people.

The review meeting being attended by Bishops and professors from across the globe is taking place at Uganda Christian University Mukono (UCU) and is set to end on Sunday.

More here-

St. Paul's considers landlord business to help pay for cathedral's mission

From Buffalo-

St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral has spent a decade trying to figure out what to do with a 121-year-old parish house on Pearl Street that has sat mostly vacant since it moved its offices down the street.

At first, church leaders thought they would sell the four-story building. That wasn't successful.

Then, they looked at all the downtown redevelopment around them and saw a different opportunity to bring in more money – going into the landlord business.

Now, St. Paul's is seeking city approval to renovate the educational and office building at 128 Pearl St. into seven market-rate apartments and a first-floor commercial office suite.

More here-

Refugee ministry won't welcome as many this year

From North Carolina-

President Donald Trump’s executive order to reduce the number of refugees to be admitted to the United States is affecting refugees from all over the world, according to the executive director of an area refugee organization.

Susan Husson, executive director of Interfaith Refugee Ministry Inc., an affiliate of the Episcopal Migration Ministries, spoke Thursday evening at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church about refugees coming to the United States and the work that her organization does to help them.

While many focus on Trump’s order about refugees from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen, he also reduced the number of refugees from all over the world who will be allowed to come to the United States during the current fiscal year, which runs from Oct. 1, 2016, to Sept. 30, 2017.
Trump reduced the number from 110,000 people per year, which was President Barack Obama’s ceiling, down to 50,000.

There already are 36,000 refugees here this year, so there will only be 14,000 more allowed into the country by Sept. 30, Husson said.

More here-

Alabama Episcopal Church says welcome refugees, immigrants

 From Alabama-

The Episcopal Diocese of Alabama has voted to "offer hospitality for refugees, migrants and immigrants in the state of Alabama and offer resources as needed."

The diocese, which includes 30,000 members at 90 parishes in north and central Alabama, passed the resolution supporting refugees and immigrants in its most recent annual convention on Feb. 18 in Birmingham.

"We want to make sure we extend hospitality to every stranger," said lay delegate Janet Pandzik, a member of the vestry at Trinity Episcopal Church in Clanton, which introduced the resolution.

More here-

Episcopal Divinity School trustees vote to pursue affiliation with Union Theological Seminary in New York

From ENS-

The Board of Trustees of the Episcopal Divinity School Feb. 24 voted to pursue an affiliation with Union Theological Seminary that would create an EDS entity to provide Episcopal theological education and other programs at Union’s campus in New York.

The Board of Trustees of Union Theological Seminary has voted enthusiastically to support Union’s leadership in bringing negotiations with EDS to a successful conclusion.

“We are excited to begin negotiations toward an agreement that will allow EDS to achieve the three goals we set for ourselves when we began the process of assuring the seminary’s future,” said the Rev. Dr. Gary Hall, ’76, chair of the EDS board. “EDS will continue to provide theological education within an accredited and degree-granting program, we will carry out our historic mission to place gospel-centered justice at the center of that education, and we will provide financial strength and stability for EDS’s future.”

More here-

3 Episcopal churches combine into one

From Eastern Michigan-

After this Sunday, All Saints Episcopal in Marysville, St. Paul's Episcopal in St. Clair and St. Mark's Episcopal in Marine City will be combining to make a new congregation that for the time being will be called the Blue Water Episcopal Church.

"We're going to be looking forward and as we get suggestions from the congregation we're going to be looking for a new name," said Michael Turnbull, senior warden for the new congregation. "We already have asked for suggestions, and the suggestions are coming in."

The first services for the new church will be March 5 — the first Sunday in Lent — at St. Mark's, 527 N. William St., Marine City. Service times are 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.

The plan for Lent is two services in each of the locations and Easter services at St. Mark's, Turnbull said.

More here-

Friday, February 24, 2017

Aid called for as thousands face famine in South Sudan

From The Church Times-

FAMINE has been formally declared in Unity State, South Sudan: it is the first in the world since 2011.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has called on the Church to pray for peace, as aid agencies warn of a narrow window during which aid can be delivered before the rainy season.

On Monday, the UN reported that war and a “collapsing economy” had left 100,000 people facing starvation. A further one million people are classified as being on the brink of famine. The declaration means that people have already started dying of hunger.

More than 40 per cent of the population — 4.9 million people — are in need of food assistance, a figure expected to rise to 5.5 million in July if nothing is done to address the crisis. More than one million children are estimated to be acutely malnourished.

More here-

No justification for attacks on foreign nationals, say Anglican bishops

From South Africa-

The Anglican bishops of Southern Africa on Thursday condemned an anonymous call on social media that incites citizens to attack foreign nationals living in the country.

The bishops said no grievance justifies violent attacks against foreign nationals living in South Africa.

“We appeal for all to act within the law and not to abuse the right to protest by fomenting hatred, division and violence,” said the church’s Synod of Bishops in a statement.

The Synod of bishops, meeting in Benoni, said it was deeply concerned by the potential for violence during the march against foreign nationals planned for Friday in Pretoria.

More here-

Anglican ministers in Ottawa learn how to use naloxone kits

From Canada-

With reports of opioid overdoses on the rise in Ottawa, members of the city's Anglican church spent Thursday learning how to administer the potentially life-saving antidote.

About 20 clergy members attended a naloxone kit workshop organized by Rev. Monique Stone, the priest at the Anglican Parish of Huntley in Carp.

"We all have a part to play," Stone said. "We have to look at how we create the strongest net to combat this issue, and the strongest net is not something any of us can create in isolation."

More here-

Police cheered at Park City meeting after vowing not to assist feds with deportation efforts

From Utah-

About 300 Summit County residents worried about immigration enforcement found reason to cheer at a meeting Thursday night when two top law enforcement officers vowed not to help with deportations.

Summit County Sheriff Justin Martinez and Park City Police Chief Wade Carpenter told the crowded gathered at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Snyderville that their agencies would not enter into agreements that would “deputize” officers to carry out federal operations.

“I will not be doing that as a sheriff,” Martinez said to loud applause. “I have a responsibility to Summit County. This is a federal immigration issue and therefore I will not be participating in that (and be) deputized.”

Carpenter echoed a similar sentiment.

More here-

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Christians offer national apology to gay and lesbian community

From Australia-

AN Australian Christian group has offered an apology to the LGBTIQ community for ‘discrimination and hurt’ caused by the church and plans a national reconciliation process.

Former NSW Premier Kristina Keneally is one of the supporters of Equal Voices, a non-denominational organisation, which said it would present the document to parliament.

A rally on the steps of St James Anglican Church in King Street, Sydney, tomorrow night will encourage Christians from all groups to sign the apology.

Rev. Dr. Keith Mascord, a founding member of Equal Voices, said: “The National Apology will recognise the discrimination and hurt caused by Christian behaviour and attitudes, particularly in regard to ‘conversion therapy’ and “pray away the gay” movements.

More here-

Vicar admits stealing more than £100,000 from his Liverpool church

From Liverpool-

A shame-faced vicar today admitted stealing more than £100,000 from the Anglican Diocese of Liverpool.

Rev Michael John Fry, 57, stood with his head bowed as he pleaded guilty to eight counts of theft by an employee.

Fry, of Aigburth Vale, Sefton Park, helped himself to thousands of pounds of church funds between December 2005 and January 2014.

Liverpool Crown Court heard how he took amounts ranging from £1,751 to £20,049, adding up to £107,673 in total.

More here-

LGBT: “Glitter Ash Wednesday”?

From TruNews-

LGBT group adds glitter to ash on the traditional cross on the forehead. What's the point, doesn't Ash Wednesday already have an important and powerful message?

The group reportedly indicates that the intention behind adding glitter to the ash on the cross placed on foreheads on Ash Wednesday March 1, 2017, is so that their message is advanced. For Christians, Ash Wednesday already has a very important message for the people, but the LGBT group called Parity feels they have something to add.

The Christian Post reports that the event is known as "Glitter Ash Wednesday," and churches from 21 states and Canada will be taking part in the Ash Wednesday event. "Glitter Ash Wednesday" is being coordinated by the New York-based LGBT group Parity, as well as prominent Episcopal priest, activist and author the Rev. Elizabeth Edman. The Rev. Marian Edmonds-Allen, executive director of Parity, told The Christian Post that the purpose of Glitter Ash Wednesday is to serve as a witness to an "inclusive Christian message."

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Police arrest protesters at Dakota Access camp

From North Dakota (via Utah)-

The group sang songs and prayed as they walked along a highway and over a bridge atop the Cannonball River. On two occasions they had to clear the road to make room for ambulances.

A bus from the United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, along with four vans and a truck towing a trailer from the Standing Rock Episcopal Church, were waiting to transport the protesters. The state arranged for the bus to bring campers to a transition center in Bismarck.

Raymond King Fisher, a protester from Seattle, was one of the leaders of the march. He called it a difficult and emotional day. He ended the parade by saying, "We go in peace but this fight is not over."

More here-

Judge Neil Gorsuch's Anglicanism is still a mystery that journalists need to solve

From Get Religion-

It’s been about three weeks since Neil Gorsuch has been nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court and we’re no closer to figuring out what makes him tick, spiritually. However, there have been a few jabs at trying to gauge the spiritual temperature of his family's parish in downtown Boulder, Colo..

The most aggressive reporting has been by a British outlet, the Daily Mail, whose reporters have shown up at Gorsuch’s parish, St. John’s Episcopal. The Mail has also been sniffing about Oxford University (pictured above), which is where Gorsuch apparently became an Anglican during his studies there. It was also where he met his future wife Marie Louise. Her family is Anglican and the Mail explains that all here and here.

Very clever of them to nail down his wife’s British background and that of her family and to have interviewed Gorsuch’s stepmother in Denver.

They too see a dissonance in Gorsuch’s purported conservative views and the church he attends:.

More here-

Judge remands Episcopal Church case

From South Carolina-

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has refused once again to hear a case accusing Bishop Mark Lawrence of false advertising, remanding it to the U.S. District Court in Charleston.

The suit alleges that Mark Lawrence is committing false advertising by continuing to represent himself as bishop of the Episcopal diocese.

The case has gone before the U.S. District Court in Charleston two times, and both times, Judge C. Weston Houck decided not to proceed with the case, preferring to wait until a separate state lawsuit is resolved that will clarify ownership of property and identities in the diocese.

That state suit now is stalled in the S.C. Supreme Court.

More here-

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