Saturday, March 4, 2017

I’ve worn ash on my head on ESPN for 16 years. This year was different.

From The Washington Post-

I guess I’m giving up silence for Lent this year.

That’s an odd thing to say when you make a living yapping about sports on ESPN. And odder when the show I host, “Around the Horn,” makes a game out of LOUD NOISES. (That is to say, loud, perspicacious noises from the most insightful sportswriters in America!) I press a mute button to shut them down if (when!) our sports debate careens out of bounds (Fake News!). Silence is how I penalize. Silence works. But is silence good?

I’ve been on national television for 16 years and for all 16 I wore an ash on Ash Wednesday. I am grateful to ESPN and fortunate to work in an environment that allows me to be myself. But it’s shocking to me that I’m one of the few faces you see on TV wearing an ash. I did an interview where the reporter told me if you put “The Guy Who Wears Ashes on TV” into Google, I’m the first name that comes up. That’s surprising. (Also true: I’m the first name that comes up for “The Guy Who Proposed In Between The Men’s and Women’s Bathroom at LaGuardia Airport.” Not as surprising.)

More here-

Is New York Times signaling that SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch is pro-homosexual?

From Life Site-

Is the New York Times signaling that Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch is pro-homosexual, in the same way that it reported that then-Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos was a friend of “LGBT rights”?

Conservatives and same-sex/transgender activists are debating the significance of a Feb. 11 article by veteran Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg. It reports that in his personal relationships with homosexual friends and co-workers, Judge Gorsuch has been very approving of homosexual relationships.

Gorsuch also attends a socially liberal Episcopal church in Boulder, led by a pro-LGBT female pastor, Rev. Jill Springer, who reportedly supports homosexual “marriage.”

The Gorsuch confirmation hearings are scheduled to begin Monday, March 20.

More here-

Episcopal Church Leaders Signal Support for Transgender Student in Supreme Court Case

From Christian Post-

Among the briefs submitted in support of Grimm on Thursday was one that included as signatories a number of leaders from Mainline American Christian denominations, including leaders in the Episcopal Church and United Church of Christ.

The brief was signed by the Episcopal Church's Presiding Bishop the Rev. Michael Bruce Curry and the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, the president of the Episcopal Church's House of Deputies.

Both Curry and Jennings serve as the presiding officers of the Episcopal Church's General Convention and are the chair and vice chair of the Episcopal Church's Executive Council who presided over the Episcopal Church's decision in 2016 to adopt a resolution affirming its support for laws that prevent discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression and opposition to legislation that would take away discrimination protections for transgender individuals.

Read more at-

Millennials haven’t forgotten spirituality, they’re just looking for new venues

From PBS-

JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally, as the world’s Christians begin Lent, a six-week period of introspection in preparation for Easter, reflections from Casper ter Kuile, a researcher at Harvard University, who shares his humble opinion on the soul survival happening outside America’s churches.

CASPER TER KUILE, Harvard University: I grew up never going to church.

And as a 30-year-old married man, I still don’t, not because I don’t value reflection, community, even the experience of the divine. I do. But traditional religious congregations don’t appeal to me. And I’m not alone.

Millennials are turning away from religion faster than any other age group. And according to the Pew Research Center, more than a third of Americans between 18 and 35 are now unaffiliated, meaning, when asked on a survey what religious identity they hold, they answer none of the above.

More here-

Special Electing Convention (If you want to follow the election in N.C. the link below has the livestream)

From North Carolina-

The Special Convention to elect the XII Bishop Diocesan is taking place Saturday, March 4 in Phillips Chapel at Canterbury School.

If you are attending the Convention, please plan to arrive at Canterbury no later than 9:15 a.m. to allow sufficient time to park and check in. Everyone must be seated by 9:50 a.m. for the first ballot at 10 a.m.

If you are not attending Convention but would like to follow the day, you can watch it via livestream below or keep an eye on diocesan social media channels where we will post updates throughout the day.

More here-

Vicar faces investigation after placing children’s furniture in chapel

From the, "You Can't Make This Stuff Up Department"-

A Church of England rector could be barred from ministry depending on the outcome of a parishioner complaint after she placed children’s furniture in the 12th-century chapel. From The Telegraph:

Kevin Sims, 67, who has been attending the St Mary the Virgin Church for 20 years, said: “I definitely do not feel the number of children warrants it. My main issues are for aesthetic reasons and reasons of demand.”

Sims fears the addition of the furniture, which was intended to create a space for young attendees, is the start of a slippery slope. Sims says that the report filed by the Reverend Lynda Klimas, rector of St. Mary the Virgin Church (who cannot comment on the situation) was misleading.

Frequently Asked Questions: Episcopal Church and United Methodist Church Dialogue

From the Episcopal Church-

1. Who are the Episcopalians and the United Methodists, and why did we ever split?

In the core beliefs of the Christian faith, we Episcopalians and United Methodists are one. The basis for Full Communion can be found in A Theological Foundation for Full Communion, and the small book That They May Be One is a helpful resource on why Full Communion makes sense.

United Methodists and Episcopalians are “sibling” churches. We are both the children of the 18th-century Church of England. Like all siblings, we are kin, but have our differences. We responded differently to the missionary environment of the United States’ early years. In recent decades, we have begun to rediscover our family resemblances. Many consultations, agreements and concords have been established between international Anglican and Methodist bodies.

More here-

Friday, March 3, 2017

Lambeth Palace letter suggests ‘indistinguishable’ blessing after same-sex marriage

From The Church Times-

A LETTER from Lambeth Palace has said that a church service after a same-sex marriage can be “almost indistinguishable from a wedding”.

The letter was written to Dr Richard and Matthew Edwards, who married last year in Birmingham Register Office. Both are members of the PCC at St Paul’s, Birmingham. Dr Edwards is the treasurer, and Matthew Edwards the vice-chair and a churchwarden. They have been together for five years, and got engaged in 2015. Before they married, they wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury for guidance.

The letter they received in response, written by the Archbishop’s correspondence secretary, Andrew Nunn, demonstrates the Church of England’s ambivalence on the question of same-sex marriage. He states: “marriage in an Anglican church is not an option for you.” On the other hand, he describes the practice of having a blessing in church after a civil ceremony. “The church ceremony can be arranged so as to be almost indistinguishable from a wedding, but without the legalities.”

More here-

Welcome to Canada, Mr. Graham. Please shut up now.

From Canada-

The famous evangelist Billy Graham may not have been to everyone’s liking but the man certainly tried to expunge politics — and even controversial and divisive issues — from his Christian preaching. He once said, for example, that one of his greatest regrets was being too closely identified with President Richard Nixon.

His son Franklin, however, is cut from a different cloth. Rather than distance himself from politics and sensation, he has positively embraced the divisive and the ultra-conservative. He has said that Muslims should be banned from the United States because Islam is “very evil and wicked.” He’s demanded that LGBTQ people be barred from churches because Satan “wants to devour our homes.” And he claimed that the election of Donald Trump was due to the “hand of God” at work.

These and other comments are why Graham’s appearance in Vancouver this weekend at the so-called Festival of Hope is being vociferously opposed by many local Christians. More than 30 leading Christian leaders have issued a public letter expressing profound concerns about his visit.

The list is an impressive one and includes Catholic Archbishop Michael Miller, Anglican Bishop Melissa Skelton, leaders of the United Church and (this is deeply significant) various evangelical leaders. This is arguably the first time such a broad grouping of Christian leaders has come together to stand against such a prominent co-religionist.

More here-

Episcopal Migration Ministries satellite office in Florida to close

From Anglican News-

After more than three decades serving as a model for successful resettlement and integration, the US based Episcopal Migration Ministries’ satellite office in Miami, Florida is to close at the end of July.

The Rev. Canon E. Mark Stevenson, Director of Episcopal Migration Ministries, explained that the closing was due in large part to changing Cuban migrant policy within the United States:  “Episcopal Migration Ministries - Miami began in 1980 in response to the Department of State’s request for assistance in processing Cubans arriving to the United States during the Mariel boatlift” he said, a reference to the mass emigration of Cubans over a six month period in 1980.

Under the direction of Charlande Michel, Episcopal Migration Ministries - Miami has resettled over 3,300 refugees from Cuba, Haiti, Colombia, Venezuela, Kosovo, Bosnia, Vietnam, Iraq, and Burma.

More here-

Nearly 2,000 Religious Leaders Declare Support For Transgender Teen In Supreme Court Case

From Huffington-

More than 1,800 religious leaders threw their support behind a transgender student’s Supreme Court case on Thursday.

They argue that equal treatment for transgender individuals, like Virginia teen Gavin Grimm, does not threaten religious liberty.

Grimm is fighting for the right to use the high school restroom that aligns with his gender identity. The Supreme Court is set to hear oral argument in his lawsuit against the Gloucester County School Board at the end of March.

In an amicus brief filed Thursday afternoon, 15 religious organizations and more than 1,800 individual faith leaders backed Grimm. Clergy from the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, the Unitarian Universalist Association, and Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism were among those who signed the brief.

More here-

also here-

Annapolis church pulls Confederate ceremony over 'connection with racism'

From Maryland-

St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Annapolis has stopped a recurring ceremony honoring a dead Confederate sailor and cut all ties to the group behind the gathering.

The Rev. Amy Richter, the church's rector for the past seven years, said these actions might have come sooner if the church's hierarchy had been aware of the event.

The event, described by participants as low-key in recent years, has been held semi-regularly by the Waddell Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1608.

Members would place a wreath on the grave of Capt. James I. Waddell, the Confederate naval officer who commanded the commerce raider Shenandoah, died in Annapolis in 1886 and is buried at the church's cemetery.

More here-

The Church Pension Fund Serves as Anchor Investor in $60.8 Million Off-Grid Renewable and Climate Action Impact Note

From Yahoo Finance-

The Church Pension Fund (CPF), a financial services organization that serves the Episcopal Church, announced today that it served as an anchor investor in the Developing World Markets’ $60.8 million Off-Grid, Renewable and Climate Action (ORCA) Impact Note. CPF and Wespath Benefits and Investments, a general agency of The United Methodist Church, invested $60 million ($30 million each).

This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here:

The ORCA Impact Note will provide renewable energy finance loans to social businesses in the developing world, and is composed of 11 underlying loans made to inclusive financial institutions and operating companies. These organizations support renewable energy creation and services in nine countries across three continents, including: Ecuador, Guatemala, India, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Rwanda, and Tanzania.

More here-

Thursday, March 2, 2017

San Joaquin poised to take unusual step in bishop election

From ENS-

When the Diocese of San Joaquin meets in convention March 4 to elect a bishop, the path Episcopalians took to get to that moment – and the choice they will make – will be symbolic of the way they are rebuilding their diocese.

In addition to the ecclesial challenges Bishop David Rice has faced with the people of the Diocese of San Joaquin, he also faced a medical challenge. Rice spent more than a month recovering from valley fever, a rare fungal infection endemic to the San Joaquin Valley. 

It has been nearly 10 years since an earlier San Joaquin convention voted to disaffiliate with the Episcopal Church. Then-Bishop John-David Schofield, at odds with the Church over the ordination of women and gay clergy and issues of biblical authority, led the Dec. 8, 2007, action by the Central California Valley diocese.

More here-

Ash Wednesday can be excruciatingly embarrassing if you work in an office

From Metro UK-

So far, five people today have asked if I know that I’ve got dirt on my forehead.

Did I fall on my face in a muddy park? Did I accidentally smear mascara on my forehead? Have I allowed a wandering pen to accidentally draw above my brows?

No. I went to the church opposite the office to be ashed.

A sort of drive-thru for pedestrians, two priests stood outside and rubbed small crosses of palm ash into Christian passersby wishing to observe Ash Wednesday.

And while that’s a pretty standard tradition and one that I’ve participated in my entire life, this year is the first time that I’ve had it done before – and not after – work.

No one seems to have heard of it in this office, or at least seem completely taken aback by my diry appearance.

Read more:

Anglican Bishop urges “prodigal” members to return home

From Ghana-

All aggrieved members of the Sekondi Diocese of the Anglican Church who for one reason or the other left the church years ago have been urged to reconsider their decision and come back home.

The newly ordained Diocesan Bishop, Rt.Rev Alexander Kobina Asmah, made the call last week, by reminding such members that there was no place like home and that "home sweet home.”

Speaking at the first session of the 5th Diocesan Synod, Bishop Asmah said it was about time all aggrieved members buried whatever differences or ill-feelings they might have harboured in the past and come back home to join hands with their brethren in the service of God and humanity.

More here-

Prayer and a Latte: After Sale of Church, OC Parishioners Gather at Starbucks

From Los Angeles- (with video)

The way the Rev. Canon Cindy Voorhees sees it, she's following in Jesus' footsteps by bringing the church to the people. On this Ash Wednesday, it just happens to be inside a Costa Mesa Starbucks.

The Episcopal church leader has been mingling her venti cappuccino and scripture for a while, using the coffee shop for pastoral care and other meetings, because her parish doesn't have a roof to pray under.

Two years ago, the diocese announced it was locking the doors at St. James the Great Episcopal Church. A buyer offered $15 million to tear it down and build condos. Since then, a court has ruled the congregation has no legal say in the matter. They have appealed. Another court ruling gave the diocese the right to sell the land, and that, too, is being appealed.

More here-

Breakaway South Carolina Diocese Joining Anglican Church in North America

From Christian Post-

A diocese that broke away from The Episcopal Church partly over ideological differences will be joining the theologically conservative Anglican Church in North America.

The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, which voted to leave The Episcopal Church back in 2012, is scheduled to formally join ACNA later this month.

In an announcement released Tuesday, the Diocese explained that should the affiliation be confirmed, they "will be the largest Diocese in the ACNA."

The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, which voted to leave The Episcopal Church back in 2012, is scheduled to formally join ACNA later this month.

In an announcement released Tuesday, the Diocese explained that should the affiliation be confirmed, they "will be the largest Diocese in the ACNA."

More here-

U.S.-based, Philippine Episcopal churches enter concordat agreement

From ENS-

When Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and Prime Bishop Renato Abibico recently signed a concordat agreement, they did so as equals.

Longtime covenant companions, the Episcopal Church and Episcopal Church in the Philippines entered a new commitment to remain in partnership and to learn from one another in the areas of program, mission and ministry.

“The [concordat] is intentionally designed as a partnership between two equal partners in the gospel,” said Curry, in an interview with Episcopal News Service, following the document’s signing.

More here-

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Number of Coptic families fleeing North Sinai for Ismailia jumps to 143

From Egypt-

The number of Egyptian Copts who have fled North Sinai to Ismailia after a spate of killings of Christians by militants there has risen to 143 families, a spokesperson for the Coptic Orthodox Church announced on Tuesday.

In an official statement, the Church said the families included 546 members, adding that Ismailia’s Anglican Church was providing support and housing for 54 families, or 146 individuals.

The Church added that the Anglican Church was meeting the daily needs of the 89 other families, which the Egyptian government has taken responsibility for housing in the governorate.

The number announced by the Church is the most recent official estimate of the families that have fled to Ismailia, and does not include other families who were provided shelter by the government in four other governorates, the statement read.

More here-

Maori priest installed as cathedral dean

From New Zealand-

A poignant liturgy characterised by light, song, Māori culture and laughter saw Pa Peter Tipene installed as Dean of the Cathedral of St Patrick and St Joseph in Auckland. Bishop Patrick Dunn was joined at the installation on February 1 by Bishop Denis Browne (who ordained Pa Tipene as priest in 1994), Bishop Richard Umbers from Sydney (who was raised in Papatoetoe) and the Anglican bishop of Te Tai Tokerau, Bishop Koti Pikaahu (a relative of Pa Tipene’s), as well as clergy and parish representatives, especially from Owairaka (Pa Tipene’s former parish) and the Hokianga, plus many from Pa Tipene’s whanau. Also present were representatives from the Anglican Holy Trinity Cathedral and from St Matthew-in-the-City.

After a powhiri, opening prayer and readings, Bishop Dunn gave a homily in which he noted the hopes for cathedral following its renovation a decade ago — that it would be a house of God, an icon of Christ, a place of prayer and an oasis of peace. The hope was that it would be for people of all faiths and none.

More here-

Ecumenism can’t be based on wishful thinking about the past

From The Catholic Herald-

One hopes that the Pope enjoyed his recent visit to All Saints in the Via del Babuino, a rather fine Anglican Church in the heart of Rome, the work of the famous architect G E Street. In the course of his visit, he preached a sermon in Italian. It centred on the blessing of an icon, using language that is more redolent of the Christian East than the Christian West. One wonders who writes these things.

More interesting were the remarks made in a question and answer session, which are reported by Vatican Radio. When wishing to emphasise what Anglicans and Catholics share, the Pope had this to say:

“We have a common tradition of the saints … Never, never in the two Churches, have the two traditions renounced the saints: Christians who lived the Christian witness until that point. This is important.

“There is another thing that has kept up a strong connection between our religious traditions: [male and female] monks, monasteries. And monks, both Catholic and Anglican, are a great spiritual strength of our traditions.”

This is interesting from a historical perspective and suggests that the Pope should perhaps take a close look at the history of England or the Thirty-Nine Articles.

More here-

Episcopal Asset Map Celebrates 99 Dioceses, Invites Full Participation Across Church

From Benzinga-

The Episcopal Asset Map, an online platform showing the location and ministries of Episcopal churches, schools and other communities, is now officially active in all 99 dioceses in the US states. Map participation will expand to Episcopal Church dioceses in US territories and internationally, beginning with pilot programs in Colombia and the Dominican Republic. All Episcopalians are invited to take part in populating the map with information about their congregation, institution or ministry by suggesting updates through an easy online form.

"The Asset Map is an invaluable tool for the Jesus Movement because it uses technology to foster relationships, strengthen communities, and connect people with mission," said The Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Evangelism, Reconciliation, and Creation. "The map empowers caring and passionate individuals and faith communities to learn, collaborate and organize across boundaries and in new and exciting ways. It is my hope that the Asset Map will become the hub of the Jesus Movement; a place to find a new path forward together, united in Christ."

More here-

A Concise Prayer Book.

From The Living Church--

Many wise voices today point out that we do not need to revise the 1979 prayer book, as we do not embody all of what it has made available to us. I agree. In my experience with seminary students, many of our younger generations do not want a new and improved, expanded prayer book. Rather, many want to be reconnected to a tradition from which they feel distanced. They want ancient, connected, continuous, simple, transformative liturgy. That is something we need to remember when we consider any revisions. When we decide that the time is right for prayer book revision, the real work will be to figure out ways to revise the 1979 book so that all of the liturgical gifts it already gives us can be more fully embodied in our churches.

There are two movements, two motions — pendulum swings — that characterize the history of liturgical revision throughout Church history and within the Anglican and Episcopal tradition. One movement pushes boundaries, expands, grows, and adds. As historian Robert Prichard has observed, the other movement looks to contract, to sort, or to shift in order to find lasting value. The 1979 prayer book is an example of pushing boundaries and expansion for the sake of comprehensiveness, experimentation, and even restoring more ancient practices. Due to our culture and the precedent set by the 1979 prayer book, our temptation now is to add, to compose, to proliferate. But the next best move should be toward contraction: not for constriction’s sake, but to progress by sorting and shifting so that we find a selection of liturgy of lasting value, a concise prayer book that contributes to truly common prayer.

More here-

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Pope Says Wants to Make Trip to South Sudan With Anglican Leader

From US News and World (Presbyterian Bishops?)

Pope Francis said on Sunday he wants to make a trip to South Sudan together with the head of the Anglican Church to bring attention to the suffering of people stricken by civil war and famine.

Francis made the disclosure in impromptu comments during a visit to Rome's Anglican church, the first to the parish by a pope, to mark the 200th anniversary of its opening.

"My aides and I are studying the possibility of a trip to South Sudan," the pope said in response to a question about Christian Churches in Africa.

He recalled that last October the Catholic, Episcopalian and Presbyterian bishops came to Rome to discuss the situation in their country and invited him to visit.

Francis said they told him "but don't come alone, come with Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury". Welby is spiritual head of the worldwide Anglican communion, which counts about 85 million members and is the world's third-largest Christian denomination.

More here-

Pope Francis Visits Anglican Parish in Rome

From National Catholic Register (more links below)-

During his Sunday visit to Rome’s Anglican parish of All Saints, Pope Francis voiced gratitude for the good relations Catholics and Anglicans now enjoy and said that on the path toward full communion, humility has to be the point of departure.

“(Humility) is not only a beautiful virtue, but a question of identity,” the Pope said in his Feb. 26 visit to All Saints.

He noted that in evangelizing the Christians in Corinth, St. Paul had to “grapple” with the fact that relations with the community weren’t always good. But when faced with the question of how to carry out the task despite ongoing tensions, “Where does he begin? With humility.”

“Paul sees himself as a servant, proclaiming not himself, but Christ Jesus, the Lord. And he carries out this service, this ministry according to the mercy shown him,” he said, adding that this ministry is done “not on the basis of his ability, nor by relying on his own strength, but by trusting that God is watching over him and sustaining his weakness with mercy.”

More here-

From Catholic Culture-

Catholic Online(with video)- 

From AP-

From Vatican Radio-’s_anglican_community_on_visit/1295262

What is Shrove Tuesday?

From Alabama-

It's Shrove Tuesday today, also known as Shrovetide Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday. So what does "Shrove" mean? And why are some Christians eating pancakes today?

Pancakes were traditionally eaten on the day before Ash Wednesday because they were a way to use up eggs, milk, and sugar before the fasting season of the 40 days of Lent. Liturgical fasting during Lent emphasizes eating plainer food and refraining from "pleasurable" foods such as meat, dairy and eggs. Many people "give something up" during Lent as a way to prepare for Easter.

Shrove is the past tense of shrive, which means to gain absolution of sins by confession and repentance. Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Tuesday in some western European countries. The pancake aspect is not as widely observed in the United States as it is in England.

More here-

Wailuku church celebrates 150 years in Hawaii

From Hawaii-

A church that was founded 150 years ago with the invitation of King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma celebrated its sesquicentennial Sunday with song, dance and the opening of a 107-year-old time capsule.

Nearly 200 people, including regular parishioners and descendants of the first members, filled Good Shepherd Episcopal Church for the special service.

“What’s most exciting for me is to see how (the church is) doing exciting ministries now,” said Rt. Rev. Robert Fitzpatrick, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii. “It’s almost as if 150 years is natural, because as long as you’re giving and caring you have a purpose. A church that stops giving away, stops being part of their community, there’s no reason for them to continue.”

More here-

Jennifer Brooke-Davidson elected bishop suffragan of Diocese of West Texas

From ENS-

The Rev. Jennifer Brooke-Davidson was chosen bishop suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas during the 113 annual Diocesan Council on Feb. 25.

She is the first woman to be elected bishop in the Diocese of West Texas. Brooke-Davidson, 56, is currently the vicar of St. Elizabeth Episcopal Church in Buda, Texas, and was one of seven nominees. Now as the sixth bishop suffragan of the diocese, she will serve alongside diocesan Bishop David M. Reed.

In order to be elected, a candidate needed to receive a simple majority of votes from both the clergy and the lay delegates, voting separately as orders on the same balloting round. Brooke-Davidson secured election on the sixth ballot, receiving 55 number of clergy votes and 153 number of lay votes, with 49 and 151 needed, respectively, for election

More here-

Monday, February 27, 2017

Child sex abuse inquiry public hearings under way

From The BBC-

Former child migrants are to give "very emotional accounts" about the physical and sexual abuse they faced, the first public hearing in the independent inquiry into historical child abuse in England and Wales has been told.

Thousands of British children were sent to Australia and other parts of the British Empire up to 1974.
Inquiry counsel Henrietta Hill QC, said thousands faced "decades of pain".

Its chairwoman praised the "courage" of those who will give evidence.

The first phase of the inquiry is looking at the way organisations have protected children outside the UK.

It will eventually investigate claims against councils, religious organisations, the armed forces and public and private institutions.

More here-

Beware of sycophants, Cleric warms Akeredolu

From Nigeria-

THE Ondo state governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, has been advised not be sectional in his government and be weary of sycophants but should  concentrate towards moving the state to a greater path.

The Archbishop of Ondo Province of Anglican Diocese, Bishop Latunji Lasebikan, who stated this on Sunday during a thanksgiving service at Saint Andrew Anglican Church Owo, also urged the new governor to give priority to the payment of workers salary.

He said ” You are elected to leader the people not a section of the people. If you are doing things for the benefit of a group that will be ungodly. You are the governor of everybody.

“Beware of sycophants who will praise you not because you are doing well. But the day what you do not benefit sycophants; they will turn around to become your biggest critics. When people began to give you adulation as a leader, watch out.

More here-

Humility is the first step to unity, Pope tells Catholics, Anglicans

From Catholic News Agency- (More links below)

 During his Sunday visit to Rome’s Anglican parish of All Saints, Pope Francis voiced gratitude for the good relations Catholics and Anglicans now enjoy, and said that on the path toward full communion, humility has to be the point of departure.

“(Humility) is not only a beautiful virtue, but a question of identity,” the Pope said in his Feb. 26 visit to the Anglican parish of All Saints.

He noted that in evangelizing the Christians in Corinth, St. Paul had to “grapple” with the fact that relations with the community weren’t always good. But when faced the question of how to carry out the task despite ongoing tensions, “where does he begin? With humility.”

“Paul sees himself as a servant, proclaiming not himself but Christ Jesus the Lord. And he carries out this service, this ministry according to the mercy shown him,” he said, adding that this ministry is done “not on the basis of his ability, nor by relying on his own strength, but by trusting that God is watching over him and sustaining his weakness with mercy.”

More here-

From the Washington Post-


The Times London-

Pastor asks, what is prayer anyway?

From Walla Walla-

Not long ago I made a comment on a page favored by atheists. It was not well received. The conversation had been about prayer, particularly about the silliness of naive people making wishes they hoped would be granted by a make believe fairy godfather in the sky. I didn’t ask them to believe in a God they had no intention of recognizing.

What I said was that prayer is something else altogether. It’s conversation, much like the conversation you might have with your closest, most trusted friend about the things most important to you.

I don’t know why that’s such a hard idea to grasp, but it is. Maybe it stems from childhood lessons that taught a formula for prayer: adoration, thanksgiving, petition. It was never a very good formula, even for children, and it’s certainly not appropriate for adults. Still, even lifelong persons of faith sometimes let their prayers descend into repetitive lists of things they want God to do. Admittedly, it has gained popularity among some through the work of religious hucksters promising that if one uses the right words in the right way for the right amount of time (and money), all their wishes will come true. 

More here-

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Rome's Anglican pastor: Papal visit an exciting, but normal, step

From Catholic News Agency-

Pope Francis will tomorrow become the first Roman Pontiff to set foot in an Anglican parish in Rome, marking a symbolic act the church’s pastor said is hugely significant, yet surprisingly normal for two communities that are close to one another.

“Personally, as a parish priest of 17 years in this place, I can’t imagine a more fulfilling moment in my ministry,” Jonathan Boardman, pastor of All Saints Anglican Church in Rome, told CNA.

“It’s the most exciting thing that’s ever happened, except it isn’t,” he said, explaining that it’s a very “natural and normal thing” for a group of Christians to welcome the leader of their brethren to their house.

For Pope Francis to become the first Roman Pontiff to step inside an Anglican parish in Rome, then, is “the most exciting thing, and it’s the most normal thing,” he said, saying it’s a gesture “that explains a truth about our Christian living.”

More here-

Politics in the pulpit: Where to draw the line?

From North Carolina-

 The Rev. Skip Gillikin would prefer counseling parishioners on matters of sin and redemption over sharing thoughts on Democrats and Republicans.

Picking a political candidate “goes beyond my calling as a pastor,” he said.

But the minister for First Presbyterian Church in Weaverville backs a recent proposal by President Donald Trump to "destroy" a 1954 law that says churches and other religious organizations risk losing tax-exempt status if they endorse political candidates.

Several Western North Carolina pastors said they are not interested in preaching politics from the pulpit, but there were different opinions on the idea of doing away with the law.

Gillikin said he would not endorse candidates, but he would like to see the law taken off the books "just so we don't have that heavy hand, or alleged heavy hand (of Internal Revenue Service action) hanging over us."

More here-

Exhibit to reveal history of Episcopal Church in NC

From North Carolina-

The community will have a chance to learn more about the 200-year history of the Episcopal Church in North Carolina on Sunday when an archivist from the state’s diocese visits St. John in the Wilderness in Flat Rock.

Archivist Lynn Hoke will present her Bicentennial History Exhibit in the church’s parish hall located beginning at 3 p.m. The project is part of the celebration of the bicentennial of the Episcopal Church in North Carolina.

Hoke’s presentation will focus on the results of her 10-year study of the growth of the church in North Carolina and will include 10 vinyl panels featuring some of her research.

“There are a lot of pictures, ten placards documenting from 1817 to where we are now,” said St. John's Rector, the Rev. John Morton. “It shows us better where we fit in the big picture. It ties us in and I like that.”

There are three Episcopal dioceses in the state with 243 yearround churches and 83,000 parishioners.

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