Saturday, May 13, 2017

Newcastle priest could start split in Church of England over issue of homosexuality

From England-

A North East priest is at the centre of a religious row which could split the Church of England over the issue of homosexuality.

The Reverend Jonathan Pryke was earlier this month consecrated an Anglican bishop by the leader of a hardline Anglican church in South Africa at a ceremony in Newcastle .

Church of England officials say they knew nothing about it and see it as a challenge to their authority.

The Rev Pryke, 57, is curate at Jesmond parish church in Newcastle and has ‘orthodox’ views on homosexuality and is against same sex relationships.

While the Church of England does not support same-sex marriage it has called for a more welcoming attitude towards gay worshippers.

More here-

Ecclesiastes Is All We Need

From Patheos-

When I’m down, I always turn to Ecclesiastes. Without fail, the wisdom of Qoheleth becomes what in the 90s people called Chicken Soup for the Soul. But, unlike such self-help books, Ecclesiastes doesn’t talk up existence or tell me to buck up; no, it lays out the ways of the world before my eyes. It says: “this is how it is, and it ain’t great, but it’s what we’ve got. Disaffection is part of what it means to live, and, once you clear all the chaff away, sit down, eat your bread, and give thanks to God.” It practically starts with an upfront dismissal of all that we might think worth our time:

What profit have we from all the toil
which we toil at under the sun?
One generation departs and another generation comes,but the world forever stays.

More here-

Convicted pedophile ex-priest subject of class action lawsuit

From Canada-

A $110 million lawsuit has been launched against Ralph Rowe, Scouts Canada and the Anglican Synod of the Diocese of Keewatin, alleging the two organizations’ “systemic negligence and breach of fiduciary duty” led to hundreds of indigenous youth being sexually abused by the former priest and Scout leader.

The statement of claim filed for the class action lawsuit filed at the Superior Court of Justice in Thunder Bay on Thursday seeks compensation for all people who allege they were sexually abused by the Rowe within the geographic boundaries of the Anglican Diocese of Keewatin between 1975 and 1987.

Rowe was convicted or pleaded guilty to nearly 60 sexual offences committed on dozens of victims, serving less than five years in prison.

He used his role as priest and Scout leader to lead religious services and character building activities as well as provided training and leadership skills that were “motivated by a sinister desire to gratify his improper sexual appetite for young boys,” the legal filing charges.

More here-

Region’s largest Anglican church being built in Abu Dhabi

From Abu Dhabi-

In a testament to the UAE’s multicultural tolerance, the region’s largest Anglican church is currently being built in Abu Dhabi, with the land for the church donated by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Currently under construction in Musaffah, the All Saints Anglican Church will be able to accommodate over 4,000 worshippers when complete. The church is currently looking to raise Dh8 million to reach its target of Dh20 million, which is the total cost of the church, and it expects to receive its final funding by December.

“At a time when walls are being erected between different faith communities in the world, the UAE continues their tradition of welcoming people of different faiths as a genuine and mature expression of their Islamic hospitality,” said Reverend Andy Thompson, senior chaplain in charge of Anglican churches in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

More here-

Some pastors praise Trump order, others worry over integrity

From Minnesota-

All Saints Church in Pasadena, Calif., felt the Johnson Amendment’s effects firsthand. The IRS investigated the liberal Episcopal congregation over an anti-war sermon by a former rector days before the 2004 presidential election. That pastor did not endorse a candidate but suggested Jesus would condemn the Iraq War and then-President George W. Bush’s doctrine of pre-emptive war.

The church was not penalized, but it racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees over three years.

The current rector, the Rev. Mike Kinman, said the church supports the rule and that the clergy’s task “is to interpret our faith for the common good,” not to entangle faith in partisan politics. He called Trump’s order “supremely unhelpful” and said it could open the door to people who want to buy endorsements or route money to political campaigns.

More here-

Jesmond robust in defence of its new curate-bishop

From The Church Times-

JESMOND Parish Church is at the centre of a row over its assistant curate, the Revd Jonathan Pryke, after he was consecrated bishop by a breakaway South African Church last weekend.

The action was taken without the knowledge of the diocese of Newcastle or its Bishop. But the Vicar, the Revd David Holloway, has dismissed a firm reminder of Bishop Pryke’s legal obligations, issued by a C of E spokesman, and threatened “reciprocal heresy trials” if action is taken against his curate.

Mr Pryke, has served at Jesmond Parish Church, the Clayton Memorial Church, in Newcastle, since 1988. He was consecrated as a “bishop in the Church of God” by the Presiding Bishop of the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa (REACH-SA) at a service in Newcastle on 2 May, a statement from the church said.

More here-

Episcopal bishop, in return to Baltimore, urges return to values of early Christianity

From Maryland-

Speaking in his onetime hometown of Baltimore on Friday, the leader of the worldwide Episcopal Church urged his nearly 2 million-member denomination to return to the values of early Christianity.

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, former rector of St. James Episcopal Church in Lafayette Square, is the first African-American to serve as the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. He told more than 400 attendees at the annual convention of the Diocese of Maryland that it was time for Episcopalians to turn their focus away from worldly preoccupations to the sorts of radically humane ideas Jesus preached and lived.

Jesus, he said, inspired his first followers to "reorient their lives" around such proclamations as "blessed are the poor in spirit' and 'blessed are those who are persecuted just because they love somebody,'" he said.

More here-

Charlotte church leader resigns after ‘conduct unbecoming’

From North Carolina-

The rector of Charlotte’s second largest Episcopal church has agreed to resign from his post after a diocesan panel concluded that he engaged in “conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy.”

The Rev. Paul Winton has been the chief minister at St. John’s Episcopal Church on Carmel Road for seven years.

In a Friday letter to the church’s 2,000-plus members, Bishop Anne E. Hodges-Copple of the Raleigh-based Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina shed no light on the allegations that cost Winton his job.

“The nature and details of those offenses are confidential,” she wrote.

Read more here:

Friday, May 12, 2017

Why now? The deeply strange timing of the renegade conservative Anglicans

From Christian Today-

The leader of my Church is distinguishing himself in the Middle East. Compassionate, astute and politically savvy, he's meeting with spiritual and secular leaders in an attempt to draw attention to important causes.

Meanwhile, my Church is in the vanguard of a monumental programme of prayer which will take place in the 10 days between Pentecost and the Ascension. Crossing ecumenical boundaries and taking in congregations small and large, Thy Kingdom Come is a hugely exciting project.

There's much quiet work going on. Clothing and feeding destitute people, helping couples prepare for marriage, providing youth services, night shelters, credit union access points, post offices and a whole lot more.

In other words, reports of the death of the Church of England have been greatly exaggerated. Yes, we're struggling for numbers in places and yes, there are difficult decisions ahead, but we have wise leadership, active local congregations, and great relationships with other churches.

More here-

Newcastle Anglican church may sell some assets to pay abuse victims

From The Guardian (Australia)-

The Anglican church of Newcastle has told its members it may sell some of its assets to meet redress payments for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.

In a background briefing document sent to the church’s members before a Synod meeting on 27 May, the bishop Peter Stuart said the Synod must renew its commitment to facing abuse within the church.

“We fully support the establishment of a best practice Commonwealth Redress Scheme for abuse survivors and will do all that we can to enable the Diocese to exercise the option to ‘opt in’ into the scheme,” the document, seen by Guardian Australia, says.

More here-

Presbyterians Approve Ordination of Gay People

From The New York Times-

After 33 years of debate, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has voted to change its constitution and allow openly gay people in same-sex relationships to be ordained as ministers, elders and deacons.

The outcome is a reversal from only two years ago, when a majority of the church’s regions, known as presbyteries, voted against ordaining openly gay candidates.

This time, 19 of the church’s 173 presbyteries switched their votes from no to yes in recent months. The Twin Cities presbytery, which covers Minneapolis and St. Paul, cast the deciding vote at its meeting on Tuesday. The vote was 205 to 56, with 3 abstentions.

Cynthia Bolbach, moderator of the church’s General Assembly, its highest legislative body, said in a phone interview from Minneapolis after the vote: “Everyone was civil. There was no applause, no cheering. It was just reflective of the fact that we are moving forward one other step.”

More here-

Pope Francis: The death penalty is a “mortal sin” and “inadmissible”

From American Magazine-

Faith is a journey guided by the Holy Spirit, who helps the church grow in understanding the sinful nature of once-accepted practices like slavery and the death penalty, Pope Francis said.

While people once even used religious reasons to justify practices such as slavery, the death penalty and "wars of religion," over time the Holy Spirit has deepened the church's understanding of the Gospel, the pope said on May 11 in his homily during morning Mass at Domus Sanctae Marthae.

Slavery "is a mortal sin; today we say this. Back then, some would say that this could be done because these people did not have a soul!" he said. The number of people enslaved today is "even more, but at least we know that it is a mortal sin. The same goes for the death penalty; for a time, it was normal. Today, we say that the death penalty is inadmissible."

More here-

An open letter to pastors (A non-mom speaks about Mother’s Day)

From Time Warp Wife (Blog)-

Dear Pastor,

Tone can be tricky in writing. Picture me popping my head in your office door, smiling and asking if we could talk for five minutes. I’m sipping on my diet coke as I sit down.

You know that I’m not one to shy away from speaking my mind, part of the reason you love me (mostly!), so I’m guessing that internally you brace yourself wondering what might be next.

I set my can down and this is what I’d say.

A few years ago I sat across from a woman who told me she doesn’t go to church on Mother’s Day because it is too hurtful.  I’m not a mother, but I had never seen the day as hurtful. She had been married, had numerous miscarriages, divorced and was beyond child bearing years. It was like salt in mostly healed wounds to go to church on that day. This made me sad, but I understood.

Fast forward several years to Mother’s Day.  A pastor asked all mothers to stand. On my immediate right, my mother stood and on my immediate left, a dear friend stood. I, a woman in her late 30s, sat. I don’t know how others saw me, but I felt dehumanized, gutted as a woman. Real women stood, empty shells sat. I do not normally feel this way. I do not like feeling this way. I want no woman to ever feel this way in church again.

More here-

Thursday, May 11, 2017

China is becoming hooked on the opium of the people

From The Spectator-

One afternoon in August 1978, Geoffrey Howe and Leon Brittan were flying from Beijing to Shanghai. They were on the last leg of what was for both of them the first of many official visits to China. Soon they would be ministers in Margaret Thatcher’s first government, but at the time they were still in opposition. As first secretary in the British embassy, I was accompanying them, and I told them that I had heard on the grapevine that Holy Trinity’s Anglican cathedral in Shanghai was in the process of being reopened after 12 years in which every place of worship in China had been closed, and every faith persecuted. ‘Roger, that cannot be right,’ Geoffrey Howe declared; ‘this is a communist country.’ But we asked our Chinese hosts about it, and within an hour of landing we were ushered into the soaring Gothic cathedral. Over dinner, the deputy mayor of Shanghai assured us that the reopening was in line with government policy. The Reform Era was getting underway.

Since then, China has moved from zero tolerance of worship to more than 350 million believers in Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity and Islam.

More here-

Blueprint for Church schism revealed as conservative Christian leaders plot separate Anglican structure

From Christian Today-

A blueprint for schism seen by Christian Today reveals extensive plans by conservative evangelicals to form a rival Anglican structure to the Church of England in the UK.

The proposals, born out of concerns about liberal teachings on homosexuality, include suggestions for a new synod, new liturgy, an appointments system for new bishops, new church canons and new statements of belief.

First mooted at ReNew, a conference of traditionalist church leaders last autumn, the 15-page discussion document outlines how the new faction could take shape and establish credibility as an alternative Anglican church.

'Widespread credible bishops serving conservative evangelicals here in England today seems an unlikely dream,' the document notes before going on to outline how traditionalists concerned about a liberal drift on issues like sexuality could appoint their own bishops.

Entitled Credible Bishops, the document defends the role of bishops to ordain 'biblically faithful' church leaders and says this is not always possible within the CofE.

More here-

Trump's Middle East visit could be decisive, says Justin Welby

From The Guardian-

Donald Trump and his team could tip the scales in favour of Israeli-Palestinian peace prospects when they arrive in Jerusalem in less than two weeks, the archbishop of Canterbury has said.

Speaking on the penultimate day of his 12-day tour of the region, Justin Welby said: “We know from history in this region that determined leadership by the president of the United States, together with patient working by lots of other people in the background, often unknown, can tip things very, very decisively.”

He said: “People have lots of views about President Trump but when he comes here my prayer for him is that he will be filled with determination and courage and be given gifts of wisdom that will make a difference.

“His office has the capacity to make a difference. It’s one of the very few offices in the world outside this region that does. And so we pray for him to be able to do that.”

More here-

Franklin Graham calls persecution of Christians ‘genocide’

From RNS-

Also speaking at the opening of the summit: Metropolitan Tikhon, primate of the Orthodox Church in America, and the Rev. Mouneer Hanna Anis, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Egypt, who stressed that Christians have shown love to the killers of their relatives.

“The forgiveness that has been expressed by families of martyrs is the most powerful witness in the face of terrorism,” he said.

Forgiveness and Christ’s call to love one’s enemies were invoked during the evening far more than Islamic militants were blamed for the sufferings of Christians. But Graham, at one point in his 25-minute speech, presented Islamists as threats to Christians globally.

He said the Islamic State fighters who beheaded Coptic Christians on a Libyan beach in 2015 had then promised to conquer Rome.

More here-

Motorcycle ministry: First female bishop of CNY Episcopal Diocese to bless bikes, join ride in Jordan

From Central New York-

When Jesus Christ sent out his disciples to spread his teachings in what the Bible calls the Great Commission, they might not have envisioned going out on motorcycles.

But that is exactly what the Rev. DeDe Duncan-Probe does, and will do again Saturday, May 13, when she participates in the annual Blessing of the Bikes at Christ Episcopal Church in Jordan.

The event will begin at 10 a.m. with a brief worship service in which the bishop blesses the riders and their motorcycles. Then, she will join them on her black Harley-Davidson Softail Slim S — a birthday gift from her husband, she said — and take part in the one-hour ride before returning to the church. Riders are expected back at the church by 12:30 p.m. for a barbecue lunch, and all bikers, family, friends and motorcycle enthusiasts are invited to participate in the free event.

More here-

The Rev. Mrs. Fleming Rutledge is Not Ashamed of the Gospel

From Mockingbird-

For several years now, people have been saying to me, “Sarah, you’ve got to read the Rev. Fleming Rutledge.” And for several years now I’ve politely nodded and thought to myself, “Sure, I’ll add him to the list of ordained dudes whose books I need to read.”

That was, until last year, when I heard about Fleming Rutledge’s latest book, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ. I googled this Fleming character and much to my surprise, this photo appeared:

The beautiful hair, the earrings that can only be described as “earbobs,” and that scarf draped with the dignity of a woman who radiates, “Come at me world, I’m here to read you.” I remember gasping aloud and saying with total excitement, “WHOLE UP. HOW COME NONE OF YOU FOOLS TOLD ME FLEMING IS A LADY?!”

More here-

Social Justice Is a Christian Tradition — Not a Liberal Agenda

From Sojourners-

Many Christians are wary of participating in social justice because of a deep-rooted fear of being labeled “liberal,” “progressive,” or “secular.” They don’t want to be associated with “secular” movements, and are uncomfortable delving into issues that go beyond their cultural comfort zones.

But the Bible tells us that Jesus cared deeply about the social causes around him.

Instead of saying all lives matter, Jesus said, “Samaritan lives matter.”
Instead of saying all lives matter, Jesus said, “Children’s lives matter.”
Instead of saying all lives matter, Jesus said, “Gentile lives matter.”
Instead of saying all lives matter, Jesus said, “Jewish lives matter.”
Instead of saying all lives matter, Jesus said, “Women’s lives matter.”
Instead of saying all lives matter, Jesus said, “Lepers’ lives matter.”

Even though Jesus loves everyone, even to the point of dying for their sins, he went out of his way to intentionally help specific groups of people — the alienated, mistreated, and those facing injustice.

More here-

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

CofE responds after priest made bishop by breakaway group

From Premier-

The Church of England has responded after a minister at Jesmond Parish Church was made a bishop by a breakaway Anglican group in South Africa.

Rev Jonathan Pryke has been consecrated as a "bishop in the Church of God" by the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa.

His church has confirmed he will continue to work in his parish but will also look to establish new churches in England.

The move hasn't been done with the support of the Church of England with some describing it as a further split on the issue of sexuality.

In a statement, a Church of England spokesman said: "It is the clearly established law of the land that no one can exercise ministry in the Church of England without either holding office or having the permission of the diocesan bishop.

"It is also the case that no overseas bishop may exercise episcopal functions within the Church of England without the express permission of the Archbishop of the province and a commission from the Bishop of the diocese in which they wish to minister.

"In this case neither has been sought."

More here-


From The Tablet-

One of the Vatican’s top legal minds has opened the way for a revision of the Catholic position on Anglican orders by stressing they should not be written off as “invalid.” 

In a recently published book, Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, calls into question Pope Leo XIII’s 1896 papal bull that Anglican orders are “absolutely null and utterly void.”

“When someone is ordained in the Anglican Church and becomes a parish priest in a community, we cannot say that nothing has happened, that everything is ‘invalid’,” the cardinal says in volume of papers and discussions that took place in Rome as part of the “Malines Conversations,” an ecumenical forum.

“This about the life of a person and what he has given …these things are so very relevant!”

For decades Leo XIII’s remarks have proved to be one of the major stumbling blocks in Catholic-Anglican unity efforts, as it seemed to offer very little room for interpretation or revision. 

More here-

Evangelicals and the Supreme Court

From Colorado Springs-

Some of us are curious about Neil Gorsuch’s religious convictions.

The new Supreme Court Justice was raised Catholic, but he now attends Episcopal worship services. Is that evidence that he now thinks of himself as a Protestant? Well, it isn’t clear. His wife is a devout Anglican—they met when he studied in England—and he may be accommodating himself to her Protestant preferences while still nurturing strong Catholic convictions.

Why the curiosity about this? It isn’t as if knowing the answer will add anything interesting to what we already know about his judicial philosophy.

The curiosity has to do with a minor historical point that is of interest mainly to folks like me, who actually go through the periodic reports listing the religious affiliations of members of Congress.

More here-

Early parole rejected for former Bishop Heather Cook

From The Baltimore Sub (more links below)-

The Maryland Parole Commission on Tuesday denied the parole request of Heather Cook, the former Episcopal bishop who is serving a seven-year prison sentence for the drunken-driving crash that killed a bicyclist in 2014.

Commission chairman David Blumberg said the two commissioners who ruled on the case told him they denied Cook parole in part because she "took no responsibility" for her actions and displayed a "lack of remorse" during the 90-minute hearing at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women in Jessup.

Cook's attorney for the hearing, Hunter L. Pruette, left without addressing reporters and could not be reached for comment.

Cook, 60, pleaded guilty in 2015 to charges of vehicular manslaughter, drunken driving, driving while texting and leaving the scene of an accident in the crash that killed 41-year-old Thomas Palermo on Dec. 27, 2014.

She will no longer be eligible for parole.

More here-

From ENS-

News Now-

ABC (with video)-

Washington Post-

Baltimore Brew-

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Archbishop of Canterbury says Mideast peace talks may need to include Hamas

From Israel-

The Archbishop of Canterbury said Monday that in order for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks to reach a deal there may need to be a seat at the table for the Hamas terrorist group, but cautioned the timing must be right or disaster could ensue.

Justin Welby, on a 10-day tour of the holy land, spoke to the British Guardian newspaper and Christian Today, after having visited the Gaza Strip last week.

“The archbishop said the time may come when parties seeking a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict needed to include Hamas in talks,” the Guardian reported, and then quoted Welby saying: “In any place where there’s serious conflict, there’s a point where you need to talk to everyone, but it has got to be the point where you can make some progress.”

Including extremists in talks — both Palestinian and Israeli — should be kept as an option, Welby reportedly suggested, apparently referring to hard-line settler groups on the Israeli side.

More here-

Church of England investigates appointment of rogue bishop in sign of conservative breakaway

From Christian Today-

A senior minister at Jesmond Parish Church, Pryke was consecrated by a bishop from the deeply conservative Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa in a special service last Tuesday.

The move caught Church officials by surprise and the Bishop of Newcastle is looking into what happened.

Motivated by fears of a liberalising trend within the CofE over sexuality, one conservative grouping, GAFCON UK, are threatening to plant a 'missionary bishop' to oversee evangelical parishes in the UK.

But Pryke's appointment appears to be something different with GAFCON's head, Archbishop Peter Jensen, denying they were responsible.

'This is not exactly parallel to the GAFCON initiative, and indeed is entirely independent of it. But it does show, I think, that the situation in England is becoming very difficult for those who want to hold the traditional and biblical view,' he told Anglican.Ink.

Pryke is a member of Anglican Mission in England – another conservative breakaway movement – but his consecration as bishop was not under their authority.

More here-

Churches help homeless with laundry, other needs

From Hawaii-

St. Mary of Moiliili Episcopal Church near the old stadium park might only have 70 worshippers on an Easter Sunday, but pastor Gregory Johnson says his small congregation provides a multitude of services to the homeless and working poor — including much-needed laundry assistance.

He often refers to his church as “little old St. Mary,” but it’s a point of pride. “You don’t need to be a big giant community to make a difference in the community,” Johnson said.

Two years ago St. Mary started a “one-stop pop-up” service every month in partnership with a plethora of providers, including the Institute for Human Services, the University of Hawaii medical school and the Legal Aid Society. Hot meals are served, and bags of groceries are handed out. The number of people served has grown to 90 from 30.

More here-

Parole hearing for former Bishop Heather Cook set for this morning

From The Baltimore Sun-

A parole hearing is scheduled for 9:30 Tuesday morning for Heather Cook, the former Episcopal bishop who pleaded guilty to four criminal charges in connection with a drunk-driving crash that killed a married father of two.

Cook, 60, is serving a seven-year prison sentence on charges of vehicular manslaughter, driving while drunk, leaving the scene of an accident and texting while driving in the crash that killed Thomas Palermo as he cycled in North Baltimore.

Because Maryland law does not classify vehicular manslaughter as a violent offense, Cook becomes eligible for parole upon serving 25 percent of her sentence. She is set to reach the milestone in July.

It will be Cook's first opportunity at parole since she was sentenced and imprisoned on Oct. 27, 2015.

More here-

and here-

and here-

and here-

Married Episcopal priests dedicate lives to serving others

From Connecticut-

It would be an understatement to describe the lives of the Huber family as busy.

The Rev. Ellen Huber and her husband, the Rev. Kurt Huber, are the parents of five children, and they minister to the needs of parishioners in two local churches.

Ellen Huber has been rector of Christ Church in Easton for 12 years, and her husband has served as rector of St. Peter’s Church in Monroe since 2002.

“Both of us have deeply spiritual lives and have a calling to serve others,” Ellen Huber said.

The Hubers adopted their children — Jared, 20, Aidan, 18, Rowan, 15, Hannah, 13, and Norah, 5.

“They are such a blessing,” Ellen Huber said. “Ever since I was a little kid, I always wanted to adopt. It’s always broken my heart that there are children who needed a home. Our children needed a family.”

More here-

Missionary bishop for Britain consecrated at Jesmond

From Anglican Ink-

A missionary bishop has been consecrated for evangelical Anglicans seeking a reformation for the reformed catholic faith in England. Participants in the 2 May 2017 consecration of the Rev. Jonathan Pryke at Jesmond Parish Church in the Diocese of Newcastle by bishops of the Church of England in South Africa (CESA) hope their ceremony will see a renewal and rebirth of the faith in England.

However, critics within the conservative movement warn this may be the start of the fracturing of the traditionalist coalition in the Church of England, with each faction opposed to the recent innovations of doctrine and discipline forging their own way forward.

Sources close to the participants in the ceremony state the decision to consecrate Bishop Pryke (pictured) was taken against the counsel of GAFCON-UK. At their meeting in Lagos last month, the GAFCON primates called for the consecration of a bishop to support members of the Scottish Episcopal Church who could not continue in that denomination should it enact legislation permitting same-sex marriage this summer, and for Anglicans alienated from their bishops in England over doctrine and discipline.

More here-

Why Do We Think the Bible is Against Same-Sex Marriage?

From Wesley Hill-

There’s so much I could say about our conversation, and maybe I will say a bit more in the coming days and weeks, but I simply want to offer one thought for now.

I had a sort of “aha” moment as Justin was speaking. In the middle of the portion of the event when he and I were debating how the Bible speaks to these matters, Justin made a statement to the effect of, “I think the only reason we are having this debate is because of the so-called ‘clobber passages’ [Genesis 19:1-29; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Timothy 1:10-11] each one of which is somewhat obscure and addresses specific cultural matters of its time. If those passages weren’t in the Bible, nothing else that’s in the Bible would make us think God was against same-sex marriage.” (Again: that’s the gist of what he said, and he can correct me if I got him wrong.)

But here’s the thing: I realized as soon as he said it that I basically think the exact opposite: I think there is a consistent Scriptural teaching on marriage—aptly summarized by Augustine’s three “goods” of fidelity/exclusivity, procreation, and sacrament, and traceable from Genesis to Revelation—and that the so-called “clobber passages” are merely ancillary confirmation that same-sex sexual intimacy is ruled out of bounds for Christian believers. Even without those passages, I’m convinced I’d still hold the views I hold about marriage: that is a covenantal bond between a man and a women, ordered to procreation, and bearing witness to Christ’s love for the church.

More here-

Monday, May 8, 2017

Archbishop of Canterbury to meet Palestinian and Israeli leaders

From The BBC-

The Archbishop of Canterbury is to meet Palestinian and Israeli political leaders as part of a 12-day tour of the Holy Land.

His visit comes two weeks before US President Donald Trump is due to arrive in Jerusalem to try to revive the moribund peace process.

However, the Most Reverend Justin Welby indicated there should not be too much significance read into the timing.

"I come to pray, to share, to listen, to encourage," he told the BBC.

"It would be very presumptuous to go further. You cannot, in a place as complicated as this, go and lecture people."

More here-

Church of Ireland refuses to apologise to gay couples for hurt caused

From Christian Today-

The Church of Ireland has refused to apologise to gay couples hurt by the lack of blessing for their relationships.

A motion calling for the Anglican body to acknowledge the hurt felt and asking bishops to look into prayers and thanksgiving services for LGBT couples was rejected by the Church's synod last Friday.

After splitting into their three separate factions – bishops, clergy and laity – to vote, the motion was defeated by 72 to 56 in the clergy and by 104 to 90 in the laity. The bishops opted not to vote.

Tabled by Dr Leo Kilroy and seconded by Rev Brian O'Rourke, both members of the select committee looking issues surrounding same-sex relationships, the private members motion did not look to change church teaching.

Instead it asked the synod to acknowledge 'the injury felt by members of the Church who enter into loving, committed and legally-recognised, same-sex relationships, due to the absence of provision for them to mark that key moment in their lives publicly and prayerfully in Church'.

More here-

Trump order lets faith leaders blend politics in sermons

From California-

The Very Rev. Paul Blanch from the All Saints’ Episcopal Church is also part of the same forum. Blanch hails from the United Kingdom and has been in Redding for two years, and although he’s not yet an American citizen, he knows what it’s like to live in a country where faith and politics cross.

“I come from a country where church and state are intertwined,” he said. “In the U.S., the strength and the genius of the Founding Fathers was the separation of church and state.”

From his standpoint, Blanch believes the order promotes bigotry, especially against women and LGBTQ groups. And having served and counseled a diverse crowd of people in the past, especially those who were asked to leave their church because of their sexual orientation, he sees the order as “contrary to the gospel” serving only white Christian Americans.

“It will give people legally the right to exercise prejudice,” he said. “It makes me question how long I can stay in the US.”

More here-

also here-


From Houston-

"Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you," Reverend Doctor Clay Lein recites scripture as he sits in the pews of St. John the Divine Episcopal Church in River Oaks.

For Rev. Lein, the passage has personal meaning, perhaps a guiding principal in his life.

"I'm where God wants me to be," said Lein, the rector of the church.

A man of deep faith, he said "I 'm all in or I'm all out."

That is how he is now. However, for years Clay Lein was not a believer. He was focused on career and advancement and on Sundays, he liked to sleep in.

"I had a great plan for my life, it just turns out it wasn't his plan for my life," Lein said as he reflected on his first career.

He was an Atheist with a successful career as an electrical engineer.

More here-

Former Episcopal Bishop up for parole after killing cyclist while driving drunk

From Baltimore- (with video)

Cycling advocates are calling on Maryland officials to deny parole for a former Episcopal bishop serving a seven-year prison term for killing a bicyclist while driving drunk.

A parole hearing is scheduled Tuesday in Jessup for Heather Cook, who pleaded guilty in 2015 to manslaughter, leaving the scene of a fatal accident, driving while intoxicated and texting while driving.

Cook, then a newly installed bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, struck 41-year-old Tom Palermo on his bicycle on Dec. 27, 2014.

Cook resigned from her post as bishop shortly after being arrested, and the Episcopal Church revoked her clergy credentials.

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From The Living Church-

It is not clear whether the organizers of Evangelism Matters scheduled the conference at the conclusion of the Church year so that participants would hear the Passion narrative the next weekend. This gospel bookends time to tell us that there is nothing before or after Jesus. As soon as we have spoken the final word, that Jesus is Lord, we turn again to our beginning and look for his coming. In all events, the timing was providential, putting into sharp focus both the promise and limitations of the conference.

The promise of Evangelism Matters is that it marked a step toward clarifying and enacting the Episcopal Church’s mission. Every speaker and panelist made the point that sharing the faith really is the Church’s mission, even in (gasp!) the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement. The implication, which occasionally rose to an outright allusion, was that the Episcopal Church has for too long had a culture of squeamishness about evangelistic mission.

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Sunday, May 7, 2017

Archbishop of Canterbury in Jerusalem laments 'suffering and persecution,' says Christians can hep heal the region

From Christian Today-

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has preached a powerful sermon in Jerusalem declaring that the presence of Christians is 'essential to the life and hope of this whole area'.

Addressing the Anglican faithful at a packed St George's Cathedral in east Jerusalem, the Archbishop lamented the 'all consuming' suffering felt by the church in the region, where 'Christians especially are experiencing persecution' and 'are especially threatened'.

But in an ultimately uplifting ten minute sermon based on the theme of 'abundant life' promised by Jesus and delivered hours before he was to be installed as an Episcopal Canon at the Anglican Cathedral, Archbishop Welby said: 'The life of Christ changes everything, every aspect of our lives. It is not only in the areas of prayer and worship, not for the internal life of the church only'.

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Meet the Candidates for the 11th Bishop of Delaware

From Delaware-

Thomas said, “Jesus, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” As we continue our journey in the search for our 11th bishop together, we may feel Thomas’s desire for good, orderly direction. Well, we are moving along in the process, keeping open to the Spirit’s work alongside our work. The Search Committee has been tirelessly and diligently moving toward the announcement of the nominees. So, as Jesus responded to Thomas, I ask your prayers alongside all who have been called by your diocese to this holy work – “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Walking in this ever present grace, all will be well … We will be well. Now is the time to meet the candidates.

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Andrew Garfield played a Jesuit in Silence, but he didn't expect to fall in love with Jesus.

From America Magazine-

People make the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola for a variety of reasons. Preparing to play a featured role in a Martin Scorsese film is not one you hear often, but it's probably not the worst reason. Men and women often make retreats to find some clarity about who they are or who they’re called to be. I suppose it was so for Andrew Garfield when he asked America’s James Martin, S.J., to guide him through the Exercises as he prepared to play the lead role in Mr. Scorsese’s new film, “Silence.”

Father Martin was hesitant at first. But Garfield was looking for something. Or someone. And that’s not a bad reason at all. In the end, it was enough for Jim. And more than enough for God.

It was a rainy day in Los Angeles when I had lunch with Garfield to talk about his experience of the Exercises. We met in a small bustling restaurant in Los Feliz, an old L.A. neighborhood that sits below the iconic Griffith Observatory just east of Hollywood. I was early. He was on time. We were both hungry.

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