Saturday, June 3, 2017

We’re still in the Paris Accord, says Episcopal Presiding Bishop Curry after Trump withdraws

From The Church Times-

“WE’RE still in,” was the message of the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States this week, after the President, Donald Trump, announced the country’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The President’s announcement, which fulfills a campaign pledge, drew condemnation from charities, business leaders, and politicians. The Paris Agreement, signed in 2015 by 196 nations (News, 11 December 2015), includes a commitment to decreasing carbon emissions and limiting global warming to 2°C , and to providing $100 billion in aid to developing countries to cope with climate impact.

Faith bodies were heavily involved in campaigning for the deal.

More here-

How Pope Francis, Archbishop of Canterbury inspired a prayer service in Tennessee

From Tennessee-

Inspired by an evening prayer service presided over by Pope Francis and Archbishop of Canterbury John Welby, Episcopalians and Roman Catholics in Middle Tennessee will set aside their differences and pray together on Sunday.

Two clergy from the Episcopal Dioceses of Tennessee — Bishop John Bauerschmidt and the Rev. Clint Wilson — attended that October vespers service in Rome. It was a part of a summit in Canterbury and Rome that marked half a century of unity between the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church. 

"We thought, well, if Pope Francis and Archbishop Welby can do this, there's no reason why we can't do that locally," said Wilson, the associate rector of St. George's Episcopal Church in Belle Meade.

More here-

How the Bible Belt lost God and found Trump

From The Financial Times-

He’s a divorced adulterer who ran a gambling empire, so how did America’s Moral Majority get so evangelical about Donald Trump?

I went down to Alabama a few weeks ago and had a religious experience. A man of God welcomed me into his home, poured us both cups of English tea and talked about what has been happening to Jesus Christ in the land of Donald Trump. My host was Wayne Flynt, an Alabaman who has made the people of the southern US his life’s work. A 76-year-old emeritus professor of history at Auburn University, he has written empathetically about his region in books such as Poor But Proud. A Baptist minister, he still teaches Sunday school at his church and delivered the eulogy at last year’s funeral of his friend Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird.

More here-

Goats hired to clear Utah church’s weedy lot become unexpected evangelism tool

From ENS-

The Rev. Mary Janda has new perspective on Matthew 25:33. If God is to separate the righteous from the cursed like sheep from goats, Janda’s recent experience at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in West Valley City, Utah, has gotten her thinking Matthew was a bit unfair to the goats in destining them for eternal punishment.

“I mean, give the goats a break,” said Janda, the vicar at St. Stephen’s.

Janda is not alone in her newfound affection for these biblically maligned animals. She, her congregation and its neighbors spent nine eventful days in May getting to know a flock of 108 goats – give or take a few, due to one death and three births. The goats proved surprisingly useful in taming the church’s field of weeds, when they weren’t escaping and getting into mischief in the neighborhood.

More here-

Friday, June 2, 2017

Maybe it doesn’t sound like it, but it is the Church of England

From The Church Times-

SUJATA BHATT’s poem “Search for my Tongue” is a meditation, written partly in Gujarati, about what it is like to have “two tongues in your mouth”. The conflict that it describes is likely to resonate with an increasing number of wor­shippers in the C of E, who are listening to services in English, a foreign tongue.

“Crying and hoping together to­­wards God is something which is so strong and powerful,” the Assistant Curate at St Laurence’s, Catford, the Revd Hugo Adán-Fernández, reflects. He helps to lead a Hispanic mission: “It is a challenge to do that in a differ­ent language.”

One in eight people in the UK were born abroad, and eight per cent have a tongue other than English as their main language. So churches are increasingly investing in ways to en­­sure that language is not a barrier to worship for the souls in their care. At the same time, they are reflecting on how to balance this with the need for integration.

More here-

Churches, immigrants, and sanctuary

From The Boston Globe-

For some immigrants now facing arrest or deportation because of their immigration status, there may be only one safe place left: a church.

Massachusetts experienced a first this week when an immigrant and her two children took refuge in a Harvard Square church.

Here is a look at the history of churches as a sanctuary, as well as examples of current immigrants seeking help in places of worship around the country.

The sanctuary movement serves to counter a crackdown on illegal immigration by the administration of President Trump. But the idea of sanctuary goes back to the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans, when accused criminals would flee to a temple to avoid authorities.

More here-

Scottish Episcopal Church Expected to Begin Officiating Same-Sex Weddings by Fall

From Scotland-

Same-sex couples will likely be able to wed in the The Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) by this fall, less than a year after church leaders voted to remove a clause in its law stating that marriage is a union of a man and a woman.

According to the Herald Scotland, the SEC is expected to become the first major denomination to take the controversial step after its General Synod backed a motion to officiate gay marriages.
Last year, synod members voted to delete the first clause of canon 31, which states: "The doctrine of this church is that marriage is a physical, spiritual and mystical union of one man and one woman." In March, six of the seven synods voted in favor of a proposal to amend canon law to allow clerics to conduct marriages for same-sex couples in church.

More here-

and here-

and here-


From The Living Church-

My social media feed was all atwitter this week with the story of a 38-year-old British woman named Sophie Tanner who “married herself” in a ceremony two years ago. She has recently released a book related to the experience.

“I literally had the idea when I was lying in bed recovering from flu and a bad relationship,” says Tanner about her decision to say I do to herself. “Everyone celebrates getting together with someone and getting married, but there’s no milestone in society that celebrates escaping something awful or returning to your own happiness and contentment.”

For Tanner, this action, which she initially considered “lighthearted” but came to find more deeply meaningful, is a way of coping with dashed expectations. Western society has become increasingly individualistic, but the pressure to marry has continued, despite high divorce rates and changing attitudes about sex. Marriage is often presented today as the answer to loneliness, the happy elixir that can fill the emptiness that so many of us experience. “Love is love,” say advocates of various kinds of changes to our understanding of marriage, but hidden behind that assertion is the notion that “happiness is happiness.” This is the fundamental idea behind almost all modern thought about marriage. Stripped of its procreative and unitive principles, all that remains of marriage is the hope that Individuals might find a way to share in a feeling of contentment. And, it is cruel for us to deny anyone opportunities for happiness, whatever those opportunities may be.

More here-

Wyoming ordains its first Native American female priest

From ENS-

On May 26, the Rev. Roxanne Jimerson-Friday became the first Native American woman from the Wind River Indian Reservation, in the state of Wyoming, ordained to the priesthood of the Episcopal Church. The ceremony took place at Our Father’s House Episcopal Church in Ethete, with the Rt. Rev. John S. Smylie, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming, presiding. The Rev. Tommy Means gave the sermon. Jimerson-Friday is the first woman Shoshone tribal member to be ordained to the Episcopal priesthood.

Jimerson-Friday is part of the Seneca Nation of New York, on her father’s side, and part of the Shoshone Tribe of Wyoming, on her mother’s side. She was born in Lander, grew up in New York until she was 10, and then moved back to Wyoming. She currently lives in Ethete with her husband, Aaron Friday.

More here-

New Prime Bishop of The Episcopal Church in the Philippines

From ACNS-

The Rt. Revd Joel A. Pachao has been elected as the 6th prime bishop of The Episcopal Church in the Philippines. Revd Pachao, 61, is currently the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Central Philippines, based in Baguio City in Benguet Province. He was one of three nominees.

In order to be elected, a candidate needed to receive a simple majority of votes from both clergy and the lay delegates, voting separately on the same balloting round. Revd Pachao was elected on the second ballot, receiving 44 clergy votes and 39 lay votes, with 36 and 32 needed, respectively, for election. The election took place during the church’s 10th Regular Synod being held last week.

More here-

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Shocking: 13 church members allegedly steal N1billion from their church

From Nigeria-

High Court, sitting in Port Harcourt, has granted bail to 13 members of the Saint Mathew’s Anglican Church, Nkpogu, Rivers State, in a case bordering on conspiracy, assault and stealing of about N1bn belonging to the church.

The 13 members of the church, who were arraigned on 22 counts on Wednesday, were alleged to have, among other offences, assaulted Venerable Chimela Samuel while he was officiating as a priest in charge of the church.

Justice Crescent Dappa-Addo granted the defendants bail in the sum of N100,000 each with sureties, who should be prominent members of the church and residing within the jurisdiction of the court.

In the case instituted by the Inspector-General of Police, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the 22 counts read to them by the court clerk, including that of unlawful transfer of money from the church account to personal accounts.

More here-

Anglican Diocese welcomes its first female Bishop

From New Zealand-

The Rev Canon Dr Eleanor Sanderson has been elected to serve as Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Wellington a move which will make her the first female Bishop in the Diocese since its establishment.Thursday, June 1, 2017

Anglican Diocese of Wellington welcomes its first female Bishop

The Rev Canon Dr Eleanor Sanderson has been elected to serve as Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Wellington – a move which will make her the first female Bishop in the Diocese since its establishment.

Dr Sanderson, who serves as the Vicar of St Alban’s, Eastbourne, is also chaplain of Wellesley College in Days Bay. She has served in various roles in the Diocese of Wellington over 16 years and was ordained to the priesthood in 2006.

Dr Sanderson will be ordained as bishop at a public ceremony at the Cathedral of St Paul on Friday. She will also be the fourth female bishop in New Zealand history.

“It’s a really exciting time to be a part of the church. There’s not many women globally in this role,” she says. “It’s not about being the first or the last but it’s about the changes that have happened to allow us to get to this point. This is a huge testament to the amount the work that women and men have done in this country.”

More here-

New Jewish congregation finds home in Episcopal church

From Rhode Island-

Gaspee Days is a good time for a fresh beginning.

Beth Veltri hadn’t thought of it that way, but the timing for a new Jewish congregation to move from its former temple in Warwick to Trinity Church in Pawtuxet coincides with the day for the closing of the celebration of the colonial defiance of British rule in 1772.

On Sunday, June 11 at 1 p.m. Veltri, who is president of the Or Chadash Congregation, and an estimated 30 members in addition to untold others from the Episcopal Church and the community will assemble near Pawtuxet Park. The park should be busy. There will be a colonial encampment with tents with local militia. There will be games for the kids and at 4 p.m. people will focus on the cove where a group will set fire to the Gaspee.

By then Or Chadash, New Light in Hebrew will be ensconced in Trinity Church. The congregation will occupy a classroom in the church that had formally housed day care. The congregation will have access to church facilities including the kitchen and meeting room.

More here-,124821

Undocumented Grandmother Taking Sanctuary in Episcopal Church

From North Carolina-

Juana Luz Tobar Ortega sought sanctuary behind the doors of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church on Wednesday morning as her supporters took their fight against her deportation to the public.

Ortega is the latest in a number of high-profile cases across the country that have rallied supporters to take drastic steps against what they see as unfair immigration policies that separate families and return people to situations many had fled out of fear for their lives.

Ortega, who works as a seamstress, is thought to be the first person in North Carolina to seek sanctuary from U.S. immigration officials at a church.

At St. Barnabas, that has meant installing a shower and converting offices into a bedroom and sitting area for what some might see as both shelter — and prison.

More here-

and here-

and here-

and here-

Dear Christians in America: never forget how easy you have it

From The Blaze-

You don’t expect these sorts of stories to get a lot of attention, but that doesn’t make it any less outrageous when they’re ignored.

A few days ago, 29 Christians were murdered by Islamic terrorists in Egypt.  This follows the Palm Sunday attacks on Coptic churches that killed almost 40 people, which were themselves just another in a never ending string of brutal assaults on Egyptian Christians, and all Christians throughout North Africa and the Middle East, by Islamists. But the most recent incident was particularly notable for two reasons:

First, the timing. It came just days after the Manchester bombing, and it killed more people, yet it received considerably less than 1/100th of the coverage. There isn’t any acceptable explanation for why the continued eradication of Christians can rarely seem to break into the headlines, yet any terror attack in a European city will be the only thing we talk about for days. I understand why attacks against Americans will obviously receive more attention in America, but why should attacks on the French or the English spark more of our ire than the systematic martyrdom of our Christian brothers and sisters a little further to the east?

More here-


From Episcopal Church Foundation-

The Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) has named five 2017 Fellows - Jennifer Adams-Massmann, Stewart Clem, Ashley Graham-Wilcox, Renee McKenzie-Hayward, and David Peters.

The Fellowship Partners Program is ECF’s longest running program and has supported emerging scholars and ministry leaders across the Episcopal Church for more than fifty years. Established in 1964 to identify academicians who intended to teach in seminary classrooms, the program continues to support emerging scholars and ministry leaders who have a passion for forming the next generation of leaders in the Episcopal Church. A full list of past recipients is available here.

ECF President Donald Romanik extended his congratulations to the 2017 Fellows saying, “The Fellowship Partners Program embodies ECF’s vision for the future of the Church, fostering theological formation and ministerial leadership, while supporting innovative scholars and leaders as they bring their passionate vision to life. This year’s Fellowship recipients are involved in a variety of initiatives that will help the Church move into exciting, new directions. We look forward to partnering closely with them over the next three years.”

More here-

The case for dragging your bored teens (and tired self) to Mass

From American Magazine-

My two teenage boys don’t like going to Mass. They never have. When he was 4 years old my now 16-year-old used to stage-whisper the question “How much longer until the doughnut part?” every few minutes. So closely was Mass linked in his mind to the sweets he got at the end, that once when he heard a song on the radio that sounded like a hymn he asked, “Is that doughnut music?” Now that they are older, my boys no longer cry when they have to go to Mass, and they do not have to be bribed with doughnuts (though they never skip them). But their resistance can still be fierce.

On Ash Wednesday this year, none of us wanted to go. I was tired from teaching and stressed from my long commute home in a snowstorm. I wanted to put my feet up and watch the news. The 13-year-old felt he should be excused because his braces, which had been adjusted that day, were making his teeth ache. I believed it. The 16-year-old had a lot of homework and, really, really didn’t think he should be forced to go. He argued that he was old enough to make his own choices. I nearly caved. But instead, we got into the car and set out in the storm, both of them texting silently all the way, no doubt about the unfairness of it all.

More here-

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Tiny Church Sits On Britain’s Oldest Site of Continuous Worship

From Smithsonian-

Starting in the Reformation period, the building was used as an Anglican place of worship, according to the website of the Shrewsbury Orthodox Church, which purchased the property for £50 in 1994. The church was not used for much of the 19th and 20th centuries, but the community would periodically congregate there. “I'm told by the parishioners that once a year they held a service there in order to retain its consecrated status,” Green says. “Although it was in a poor state of repair, a service was still conducted there. So it was still for all intents and purposes a functioning church.”

While a window has been opened into the site’s expansive history, the area remains mysterious. Recently, for instance, archaeologists unearthed a series of animal graves containing the remains of a calf, several birds, a pig and a dog that appeared to have died while giving birth. Based on their location within the stratigraphy, Green believes that these bones date to the medieval period. And that makes them a highly unusual discovery; animal remains are not typically found on consecrated grounds.

More here-

Christchurch religious leaders rally for Anglican bishop Victoria Matthews

From New Zealand-

Christchurch religious leaders have rallied to support Anglican bishop Victoria Matthews in her battle over the Christ Church Cathedral.

Eight religious leaders from all the major Christian denominations – including Presbyterian, Methodist and Catholic – have written a letter to The Press calling for Anglicans to be "left to make decisions as to the future of the cathedral".

"The role of the wider community (including other Christian denominations) is to respect their decision (whatever it might be) as being one that is true to their understanding of their call from God, in this place, at this time," the letter states.

More here-

Pope Francis won’t go to South Sudan; proposed trip too dangerous

From Crux-

A proposed visit by Pope Francis to South Sudan, originally planned for the fall, has been postponed indefinitely.

Reports first appeared on Monday in the Italian daily Il Messaggero, stating the worsening security situation in the country made the proposed visit - which would have been an ecumenical event with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby - too dangerous to undertake.

In October 2016, Catholic Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro of Juba; Reverend Daniel Deng Bul Yak, Archbishop of the Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan; and Reverend Peter Gai Lual Marrow, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan, traveled to Rome at the invitation of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, today part of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development.

More here-

Egypt bus attack victims refused to renounce Christian faith before being shot, bishop confirms

From Christian Today-

Victims of ISIS' deadly attack on a bus in Egypt were asked to renounce their Christian faith and when they refused they were shot dead, a senior Coptic bishop has confirmed.

Girls as young as two were among the 29 killed as militants targeted pilgrims en route to a monastery near the town of Menya in southern Egypt.

Bishop Makarios, the top Coptic Orthodox cleric in Minya, said the assailants ordered victims off the bus and told them their lives would be spared if they converted to Islam.

'They chose death,' said Makarios, according to the Associated Press.

'We take pride to die while holding on to our faith,' he said in a television interview, the agency reported.

More here-

RIP: The Rev. Carlson Gerdau, canon to Presiding Bishop

From ENS-

The Rev. Carlson Gerdau, who served for a decade as canon to the presiding bishop under the Most Rev. Frank Griswold and the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, died May 27 at age 84.

Gerdau’s work for Griswold dated to 1988, when Griswold as bishop of the Diocese of Chicago hired Gerdau as the diocese’s canon to the ordinary and director for ministry, deployment and communication. When Griswold was installed as presiding bishop in 1998, Gerdau joined him in New York.

After Jefferts Schori took over as presiding bishop in 2006, she asked him to stay on for the transition. Gerdau retired a year later.

“You never know what’s to be ahead of you, but it’s been a wonderful journey,” Gerdau told the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council in 2007 on his retirement.

Griswold will deliver the sermon May 31 at Gerdau’s funeral service (details below). “He cared deeply about the church and her institutions,” Griswold says in a copy of the sermon provided to the Episcopal News Service in advance.

More here-

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Tens of thousands of Christians around the world join in prayer for 'Thy Kingdom Come'

From Sight-

Tens of thousands of Christians in the UK and around the world have been taking part in a 10 day prayer initiative aimed at encouraging evangelism which comes to an end this Sunday.

The Thy Kingdom Come initiative, which runs between Ascension Day (25th May) and Pentecost Sunday (4th June), has been developed by the Church of England and championed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu.

Last year more than 100,000 people joined in the initiative which Archbishop Welby said, speaking prior to the initiative, is not a "Church of England thing" or an "Anglican thing" but a "Christian thing".

"Jesus prayed at the Last Supper that we, those who follow Him, might ‘be one that the world might believe’," he said. "We are invited to make a lasting difference in our nations and in our world, by responding to his call to find a deep unity of purpose in prayer."

In a further statement made on 25th May, Archbishop Welby said prayer not only moves us closer to God but with each other. "It connects us with those whom we otherwise cannot see," he said. "Prayer breaks down division, in prayer we take each other’s hands and find our safe stronghold."

More here-

Also here-

Anglicans and Roman Catholics agree statement on ecclesiology

From ACNS-

Anglicans and Roman Catholics should see in each other “a community in which the Holy Spirit is alive and active,” the latest communiqué from the official ecumenical dialogue between the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church says.

Members of the third-phase of the Anglican – Roman Catholic International Commission (Arcic) met in the central German city of Erfurt early this month for their seventh meeting. They chose to meet in the city to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation – it is here that Martin Luther was ordained and lived as a monk.

During their meeting, the members of Arcic agreed the text of a new statement looking at Anglican and Roman Catholic ecclesiology. Walking Together on the Way: Learning to be Church – Local, Regional, Universal, to be known as The Erfurt Document, will be published next year.

More here-

Rev. Frank Alagna talks about what led to letter seeking to make Kingston a sanctuary city

From New York-

For the Rev. Frank Alagna, it was seeing the fear in the eyes of some local children that prompted him to take action on the issue of sanctuary cities.

“I saw fear in the eyes of some children in our congregation that I hadn’t seen before,” Alagna said Friday. He said the Latino children began telling stories about how they were harassed and bullied at school just because of the color of their skin. It had not been part of their experience before, Alagna said.

One child told his parents he was never going to school again and, when asked why, he said it was because a group of his peers had gotten together and told him he did not belong, Alagna said. He said the other students told that child he would soon be sent back to where he came from.

“The kid was born in Kingston Hospital,” Alagna said.

More here-

Danforth deservingly recognized with Churchill award

From Missouri-

Congratulations to John Danforth, a former Missouri attorney general, U.S. twice-elected senator and U.N. ambassador, who is the latest recipient of the Winston Churchill Leadership Medal. The award comes from the National Churchill Museum at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, from which Churchill delivered his "Iron Curtain" speech in 1946.

According to the National Churchill Museum website, the Churchill award, "its highest honor," is bestowed upon "individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership."

The website highlights Danforth's work toward peace. President Bush selected him to be a special envoy for peace in Sudan in 2001. His assistance helped usher in peace there in 2005, ending the 20-year civil war.

Perhaps not as well known is Danforth's role as an ordained Episcopal priest.

More here-

also here-

Norfolk church finds a low-cost way to help the homeless and clean the streets of Ghent

From Norfolk-

Larry Williams picked up an empty water bottle on the steps of a church in Ghent and dropped it into one of his large garbage bags. Behind a pair of sunglasses, he pivoted toward the intersection of Stockley Gardens and Raleigh Avenue, scanning for fast-food bags, discarded clothes or other small crud.

“I wish I had a job,” said the 54-year-old Norfolk native, wearing a bright yellow vest with “Volunteer” on the back. “I don’t like asking for money.”
He didn’t have to one recent afternoon. Picking up trash would earn him $10, courtesy of a nearby church.

The program is the brainchild of Jim Bickford, a congregant at Christ & St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Ghent. He wanted to engage the people who came to the church’s weekly midday meal. Many are homeless, the working poor, or otherwise trying to ward off hunger. They could use pocket change for bus tickets, prescriptions and other necessities.

More here-

The Awful Pleasures of Spiritual Pornography

From LA Review of Books-

Being compared to Nazis is a wonderful goad to research, and I immediately read Dreher’s recent best seller The Benedict Option and a similar book by Anthony Esolen, Out of the Ashes. Both see secularism as an existential threat that has already begun to decimate the West. While Esolen thinks there’s a chance of “rebuilding American culture,” Dreher is less optimistic, instead recommending the formation of tightly knit communities where, as Benedictine monks once did, true spiritual seekers may keep the candle of Christian culture burning through the new Dark Ages, interacting with mainstream culture but protected from it by the strength of their faith.

I struggled to feel spiritual regret, and on occasion succeeded. Dreher’s descriptions of monastic practices are moving, and I am happy there are people like him who believe “everything is a gift from God and is meant to be treated as sacred.” Esolen writes eloquently of the beautiful and — to me — alien promise of Christian faith: “Everything that we have loved in the flesh will be restored to us, cleansed, perfect, never to be lost.” I was grateful for these echoes of a Christian wisdom that has always challenged my own agnostic convictions: a wisdom that I regret not being able to experience fully.

More here-!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Christians Walk to Mark Martyrs Day

From Uganda-

More than 500 pilgrims from different corners last Saturday participated in 'The Walk of Faith' to mark Uganda Martyrs Day.

According to Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, the walk is part of the spiritual preparation for the Martyrs Day Celebrations on June 3.

The 'Walk of Faith' was flagged off at Munyonyo Martyrs shrine by Archbishop Dr Lwanga and the first Deputy Prime Minister, Gen Moses Ali, who represented the Prime Minister Mr Ruhakana Rugunda.

The symbolic pilgrimage kicked-off at about 9.00am from Munyonyo Martyrs Shrine with a word of prayer and ended at St. Matia Mulumba Parish in Old Kampala.

"The symbolic pilgrimage walk under the theme; " Stand firm in the faith that we have been taught" (Colossina 2:7) which calls on the faithful and pilgrims to be strong witnesses in faith, personal lives, families, places of work and all areas that their daily lives influence," Archbishop Lwanga said.

More here-

Church of Scotland to Allow Gay Marriage?

From Christian Post-

A leader of the Church of Scotland, who convenes the church's Theological Forum, told the General Assembly there is no theological reason to oppose same-sex marriages in the Church, as he presented a report that proposes the governing body approve a detailed study of how such ceremonies could be allowed.

"We see this as permissive rather than directive," the Very Rev. Iain Torrance told the assembly, according to BBC. "We say that after reflection we can see no sufficient theological reason for the Church now not to authorize specific ministers to officiate at same-sex weddings, if doing so does not prejudice the position of those who decline to do so for reasons of conscience."


The Road (to Canterbury) Goes on Forever: Gregg Allman the Unlikely Episcopalian

From Mockingbird (Blog)-

I just finished reading Gregg Allman’s really-pretty-good new memoir, My Cross to Bear, and the final chapter contains a revelation too unexpected not to share here. Which isn’t to say the first eighteen chapters aren’t full of remarkable twists and turns as well. There are more than enough anecdotes to support the Almost Famous-Allman Brothers connection, and let’s just say that Gregg’s legendary proclivity for female, er, attention does not go undocumented. Nor does his distaste for one Mr. Richard Betts. But as much as debauchery and dysfunction serve as touchstones, so do sorrow and tragedy–which you might expect from the man who wrote “Whipping Post.” His brother Duane’s death in 1971 is just one in an absurdly long line of tragedies that have shaped his life (beginning with his father’s murder when Gregg was 2). Then there are the addictions. You name it, he was hooked on it, the narcotic known as Cher being only one particularly well-known example.

More here-

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Coconut On The Head Of Nigerian Christianity By Pius Adesanmi

From Nigeria-

Ambode versus Chaplain...

The media is reporting that Ogbeni Ambode fired a Chaplain for not anointing his wife first or something to that effect. I haven't seen Ambode's denial or clarification. I haven't heard his own side of the story. We also haven't heard from Mrs. Ambode.

If the available and, as yet, uncontested version of this story is true, it is a case of Gambari pa Fulani. I don't see why ordinary Nigerians should be unduly exercised, expending valuable energy on a family affair between Nigerian Christendom and power. Go and spend your energy on coping with recession and stop trying to take sides between Ambode and a Pastor.

What exactly does Nigerian Christendom expect from a Frankenstein she has created and nursed since the 80s? I've been criticized for writing that Christianity died in Nigeria somewhere before the mid-80s.

The beginning of polygamy for Nigerian Christendom. Unable to divorce from the Bible, Nigerian Christianity took a second wife: the politician, the man of power.

More here-

Why young South Koreans are turning away from religion

From South Korea-

 On a warm spring Sunday morning, the rows of pews inside Seoul Cathedral Anglican Church were nearly full with congregants singing a traditional hymn accompanied by a blaring organ.

Among the attendees was Park Hyun-jung, a simply dressed woman in her early 30s, currently taking time away from her career to raise her children, aged two and six.

Park comes from a devout Anglican family and attended church regularly while growing up in Seoul. As she entered adulthood and the challenges of completing university, finding a job and marrying came to dominate her schedule, she started going to church less often. She now only goes two or three times a year.

"I'm so busy trying to raise kids and manage our household. I can't find time to do everything," Park said.

More here-

Process begins to choose next bishop

From New Zealand-

More than 100 Anglican representatives converge on Mosgiel this weekend to start the process of appointing a new bishop of Dunedin.

Dunedin diocese ministry educator Alec Clark said the electoral synod would include priests, ministers and other representatives from churches in Otago and Southland.

The group would gather at Burns Lodge in Mosgiel tomorrow evening, with proceedings running across the weekend until a decision was made about who would replace retired bishop the Right Rev Dr Kelvin Wright.

However, if a decision was not made by Sunday evening, the group would "all go home", Dr Clark said.

Three candidates were in the running for the highest role in the Dunedin diocese and information on them would be presented to those  gathered for discussion, he said.

More here-

Reverend Phillips Emmanuel Adeyemi: An Anglican priest without guile

From Nigeria-

The Church of Nigeria has indeed enjoyed unalloyed fellowship and leadership of distinguishable and irredentist apostles since its inception, from Henry Townsend, who in 1842 led the Church Missionary Society to sow the seed of Anglicanism in Nigeria. This was followed in 1846, by the Great Rev. Samuel Ajayi Crowther, who with the efforts and support of the pioneer Rev. of the Anglican Church in Nigeria, Rev. Henry Townsend, Rev. Colmer and Rev. Phillips worked together to consolidate the CMS Missions across Nigeria. These apostolic geniuses laid the solid foundation on which the church today stands, especially among the Yoruba of Southwest Nigeria. Through their efforts, the Anglican Church secured its base in Lagos and the Lagos church became a Diocese on December 10, 1919, with F. Melville Jones as Bishop and Isaac Oluwole, Assistant Bishop. Rev. Leslie Gordon Vining succeeded Jones as Bishop of Lagos in 1940, and thus the Anglican Church in Nigeria begun a new life of training and impacting the young and ebullient faithful, many of whom have continued to fly the flag of the gospel of Anglicanism.

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Congregation celebrates groundbreaking of new mosque

From Texas-

Rev. Stephen Carson, of St. Francis Episcopal Church, said he was compelled to attend Saturday's ceremony not only by his faith but also by his humanity.

"There is a lot of ill will for the religion right now," he said. "I would like for them to at least see that not everyone feels that way."

The demonstrations of support by Carson and other Victoria residents was enormously encouraging for many mosque members, Ajrami said.

Ajrami said he is not passing judgment on the person who set the mosque on fire, but he did condemn the act as evil.

Although Victoria resident Marq Vincent Perez is not charged with a crime stemming from the arson, federal investigators have testified that he set the fire. A federal grand jury is currently investigating whether he had a role in the fire, according to court documents.

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Coptic Christians: Islamic State’s ‘Favorite Prey’

From The New York Times-

“At this rate Copts will be extinct in 100 years. They will die, leave, convert or get killed,” a friend wrote on Facebook as news broke of the latest bloody attack on Egypt’s Coptic Christians. Less than two months ago, while attending church in Cairo on Palm Sunday, my friend told me she’d mused to herself that it was a blessing her daughter wasn’t with her: If there was a bombing, at least her child would survive. Forty-five Copts were murdered that day by the Islamic State in churches in Alexandria and Tanta. Such are the thoughts of Coptic parents in Egypt these days.

The terrorists chose today’s target well. The Monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor, which I visited a decade ago, is very hard to reach. One hundred and ten miles on the Cairo Luxor desert road, you make a right-hand turn and for the next 17 miles drive on an unpaved road. The single lane forces cars to drive slowly, and, as the only route leading to the monastery, the victims were guaranteed to be Copts. Friday is a day off in Egypt, and church groups regularly take trips there. Outside of a few policemen stationed out front, there is little security presence.

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