Saturday, June 10, 2017

Pastor Caught In Revenge Porn Drama

From the "You Can't Make This Stuff Up Department" (Zimbabwe)

HELL hath no fury like a woman scorned!

True to this, a Chikanga woman who had had enough of her husband’s promiscuous ways decided to revenge by shooting pornographic videos with her lover. The Mapises’ marriage is in tatters after the husband, Pastor Mapise, a cleric with an Anglican church in Harare, came across two pornographic videos and several nude pictures in his wife’s phone.

In an interview with The Weekender, the wife, who only identified herself as Mai Mapise, said there was no proof to show that it was her in the video since faces were not shown. “I only did it to fix him as he has subjected me to a lot of emotional abuse in the 11 years that we were married.  “The videos and pictures that he found in my phone were not even mine, but because he is in possession of such videos of himself and his lovers in his phone I retaliated. I have had enough of his promiscuous ways.”

More here-

The Scottish Episcopal Church votes to allow same-sex couples to be married in church

More on the Scottish Vote- (Starting with The Daily Mail)

The Scottish Episcopal Church today voted to allow same-sex couples to be married in church.
A proposal to amend canon law to permit clerics to conduct weddings for gay couples was backed at the annual meeting of the church's General Synod in Edinburgh.

Under the terms of the vote, clergy who do not wish to preside over same-sex weddings will not be compelled to do so 'against their conscience'.

The historic decision makes the Scottish Episcopal Church the first branch of the Anglican faith in the UK to allow same-sex marriage.

In approving the proposal, church members voted to remove the doctrinal clause which stated that marriage is a 'union of one man and one woman'.
It was replaced with a 'conscience clause' which states: 'In the light of the fact that there are differing understandings of the nature of marriage in this church, no cleric of this church shall be obliged to conduct any marriage against their conscience.'

More here-

Christian Post-



Presiding Bishop: Following Jesus means being a living witness, not a slogan

From ENS-

The Episcopal Church’s Executive Council heard a call to authentic Christian action from its two leaders on the opening day of its June 9-11 meeting here.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry suggested that Episcopalian ought to look to the biblical hero Esther for a model. Set during the time of Jewish exile in Persia, she was initially seen as the beautiful, obedient, and relatively passive woman who was queen to the king of Persia. She came to believe that she was called to save her people and used rhetoric to persuade the king to save her Jewish people living in exile in Persia. Up until then, she had not revealed her Jewish identity.
“I say this with all humility, I really do: Perhaps this Episcopal Church has come to the kingdom for such a time as this,” Curry said.

“Maybe we have had a period of being part of the establishment, which is no longer the case, and maybe we have enjoyed the benefits of being part of that establishment, but it may not be the case much longer,” Curry said.

More here-

GAFCON and ACNA do the Schismatic Two-Step

From Mark Harris-

GAFON said at the 2017 spring meeting of their primates that were going to appoint a bishop for Europe, with particular attention to the British Isles. While they were figuring out just how to do this and who would be the bishop for this effort, another group (CESA) ordained Jonathan Pryke a bishop for similar purposes. One wonders what that is all about.

But now GAFCON has now decided to use the Anglican Church in North America as the vehicle for its efforts to introduce what it considers "true" Anglicanism to England and Europe.

Now there will be two bishops beating the bushes in England and all of Europe, claiming to be true Anglicans but denying the ecclesiastical validity of the Anglican churches already there.

More here-

Friday, June 9, 2017

Christchurch needs a 'sacred space', no matter what its form

From New Zealand-

When Bishop Victoria Matthews, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Church in Canterbury, announced we would have to wait until a meeting of the church's synod in September for a final decision on the fate of Christchurch Cathedral, there was both condemnation and exasperation.

Many, including local politicians, business leaders, developers and media commentators expressed barely concealed fury at yet another delay, accusing the Bishop of placing the central city rebuild in jeopardy.

It would have been easy to join what is a loud and increasing strident chorus condemning the church's lack of progress. After all, the partially ruined cathedral has indeed become a symbol of civic disunity and stagnation at a time when the city is finally embracing optimism and renewal. 

More here-

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Scottish Vote Roundup

From The Mirror (more links below)

The Scottish Episcopal Church has voted to allow same-sex couples to be married in church.

A proposal to amend canon law to permit clerics to conduct weddings for gay couples was backed on Thursday at the annual meeting of the church's General Synod in Edinburgh.

Under the terms of the vote, clergy who do not wish to preside over same-sex weddings will not be compelled to do so "against their conscience".

The historic decision makes the SEC the first branch of the Anglican faith in the UK to allow same-sex marriage.

Equal-rights campaigners were quick to welcome the decision.

However, the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, said the vote puts the Scottish Episcopal Church at odds with the majority stance within the Anglican Communion.

The Independent- 

The Guardian- 

From The BBC- 

The Scotsman- 

US News-


The Telegraph-

Daily Mail-

Silvestre Romero elected bishop coadjutor of Diocese of Guatemala

From Massachusetts (Guatemala)-

The Rev. Silvestre Romero, Rector of St. Peter's-San Pedro Church in Salem, was elected bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of Guatemala during its May 26-27 convention held at the Catedral de Santiago ApĆ³stol in Guatemala City.  Pending the consent process, Romero will succeed the current bishop, the Rt. Rev. Armando Guerra.

"We rejoice at Silvestre's election in Guatemala, and extend our prayers for their future partnership as diocese and bishop.  Silvestre and his family will be greatly missed here in the Diocese of Massachusetts," Bishop Alan M. Gates said.

Text from the official notification from Bishop Guerra to fellow bishops, dated June 7, follows below.

More here-

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Retired Anglican priest accused of sexual assault on teenager is found dead

From The Guardian-

A retired Church of England vicar accused of sexually assaulting a teenage boy more than three decades ago has been found dead after failing to appear in court on Tuesday.

Police discovered the body of Trevor Devamanikkam, 70, when they went to his home in Witney, Oxfordshire, to arrest him.

He had been due to appear before Bradford and Keighley magistrates charged with three counts of buggery and three counts of indecent assault in the 1980s. The charges were brought under the Sexual Offences Act 1956 and related to a time when the homosexual age of consent was 21.

The survivor of the alleged abuse, known as “Michael”, lodged complaints of misconduct last year against the archbishop of York, John Sentamu, and four serving bishops, claiming they had failed to act on his disclosures of rape.

More here-

Scottish Episcopal Church to vote on gay marriage in church

From The BBC-

The Scottish Episcopal Church will hold a historic vote later on whether to allow gay couples to marry in church.

If the vote is passed, it will become the first mainstream Christian organisation in the UK to allow same-sex marriage.

However, it will also leave the Church at odds with most of the rest of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

The motion to change canon law on marriage will be debated at the Church's General Synod in Edinburgh.

The proposal would remove the doctrinal clause stating that marriage is between a man and a woman.
It will only be accepted if it receives the backing of at least two thirds of each house of Bishops, Clergy and Laity.

More here-

Nashville's Episcopal Church remembers 1892 lynchings in city

From Tennessee-

A mob of thousands witnessed and participated in the lynching of Ephraim Grizzard on Woodland Street Bridge in the middle of the afternoon more than 125 years ago.

After seizing him on April 30, 1892 from the Nashville jail — where Grizzard

His story was one of three remembered Wednesday at the "Reclaiming Hope Through Remembering" worship service at the Fisk University Memorial Chapel.

Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee Task Force on Anti-Racism hosted the service in conjunction with the Christian Scholars' Conference at Lipscomb University.

The task force organized the service not only to remember stories like Grizzard's, but also to seek redemption for such atrocities that plague Tennessee history.

was being held for the alleged assault of two girls — the crowd beat him, stabbed him and hung him before shooting him more than 50 times.

More here-

Vatican: Get time off in purgatory by following Pope on Twitter

From CBS-

The Vatican is taking a modern approach to one of its oldest traditions, by offering indulgences to Twitter followers of the Pontifex's social media account.

Aware that some Catholics may not be able afford to travel to Brazil, where World Youth Day is being held from July 23-28, and perhaps also in an effort to modernize himself, Pope Francis is making this first-time offer to the faithful who follow the events in Rio de Janeiro online.

Under Catholic belief, after confessing and being absolved of sin, the indulgences granted reduce the amount of time one spends in purgatory, where one's sins are weighed after death. Under the Pope's new offer, those who follow the week's events on the Twitter feed can get a speedier transit through purgatory, hopefully on the way to heaven.

More here-


From The Living Church-

A significant, if not somewhat controversial, psychological tool was developed by the Swiss psychologist Hermann Rorschach in 1921. The Rorschach Test records and analyses a patient’s perceptions of a series of inkblots. Psychologists use this test to examine personality characteristics and emotional functioning.

Quite a lot of ink was used to prepare the Anglican Communion Covenant, which has also proved to be somewhat controversial. The more I travel and gather Anglican perceptions of the Covenant, the more I am convinced that, like the Rorschach test, it functions like a tool that reflects a variety of ecclesiological characteristics around the Anglican Communion. I come to wonder whether the various reactions to the Covenant perhaps are, perhaps, more instructive about the state of the Communion than the document itself!

More here-

Christian conference attendees walk out after speakers suggest women should grow their hair long, defer to men at work

From Australia-

During a talk about the meaning of Bible verses on male headship — where men are leaders in the home and the church — an image of newly-shorn actress Kristen Stewart flashed onto an overhead screen.

Was this platinum blonde buzz cut, asked the speaker, Carmelina Read, appropriate for a woman? Was it feminine and submissive, or instead flagging independence and rebellion?

As reported by Anne Lim in Eternity magazine, Ms Read, the Dean of Women at the Presbyterian Christ College in Sydney, said "it might be more in line with God's good design to have long hair because it was a visible sign of the difference between men and women in which God delighted".

Elements of the crowd became restive at this point, according to the Eternity report, with some leaving before the talk had ended.

But what disturbed some attendees more — roughly 3,000 Anglican, Presbyterian and Baptist women were there, with an estimated 1,600 watching by livestream — was that another thread had emerged at the Sydney Convention Centre: that women should also consider themselves "helpers" of men in the workplace.

More here-

Ecumenical History Under the Radar

From Sojourners-

The same week that President Donald Trump was meeting with Pope Francis in Rome, another historic event was taking place, as the Global Christian Forum facilitated a groundbreaking encounter with major global bodies representing most every part of world Christianity.

The unprecedented meeting — which gathered leaders from the World Council of Churches, the World Evangelical Alliance, the Pentecostal World Fellowship, and the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity to talk, eat, plan, and pray together — was the result of groundwork laid over decades.

In 1955, Billy Graham, already well known as a young evangelist, traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, to meet with Willem Visser ‘t Hooft, the first general secretary of the newly formed World Council of Churches. A picture in the lobby of the WCC’s Ecumenical Institute at the Chateau de Bossey, where last month’s meeting was held, shows Graham and Visser ‘t Hooft meeting and talking over coffee. But in the years following, relationships between the WCC and the evangelical community went south.

More here-

UI campus minister, church resolve same-sex marriage complaint

From Iowa-

A University of Iowa campus minister has reached “a just resolution” with the United Methodist Church concerning a complaint filed against her for having performed a same-sex wedding in April.

The Rev. Anna Blaedel, executive director of the Wesley Student Center at UI, faced possible censure from the church’s Iowa Conference for having officiated at a wedding ceremony April 4 in Oklahoma for a fellow clergywoman and her wife.

The Appointive Cabinet of the Iowa Conference filed a unanimous complaint against Blaedel, charging the campus minister with practices considered “to be incompatible with Christian teaching.” The cabinet includes the superintendents of the eight church districts within the state.

In a statement released Monday, the bishop and cabinet members determined that no disciplinary action will be taken against Blaedel concerning the complaint. A previous complaint against Blaedel, filed by three clergymen in the conference, was dismissed last year.

More here-

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Church of Uganda Diocese Blocks Retirement of Priest

From Uganda-

West Buganda Diocesan leaders under Church of Uganda have blocked the resignation of a priest who recently announced that, he intends to establish the Orthodox Anglican Church in Uganda.

Rev. Cornelious Kateregga Bakubanja , 60, is a senior pastor attached to Kyampagi Church of Uganda in Kyotera County, Rakai District.

He maintains that after serving in the Church of Uganda, he wants to move on and champion doctrines of Orthodox Anglican Church.

But in an interview last week, Canon Samuel Mwesigwa, the West Buganda Diocesan Secretary said Rev. Bakubanja's resignation caught them by surprise which implies that they need to "study the matter" before a final decision about his retirement is taken.

More here-

Scottish Anglicans will decide this week about same-sex weddings

From The Church Times-

THE Scottish Episcopal Church reaches a landmark moment this week as its General Synod prepares to vote on whether to allow clergy to conduct marriages for same-sex couples in church.

While welcoming same-sex marriage may be the “easier” option, the Church will face challenges whatever the result, the Primus, the Most Revd David Chillingworth, has warned.

“If the vote is approved, we face all the challenges of operating the guidelines which we have drawn up to manage the diversity [of views on marriage],” he said on Monday. “If the vote doesn’t go through, there will be deep distress on the side of those who have been strong advocates of the change.”

Bishop Chillingworth was speaking ahead of the Synod, which is due to gather in St Paul’s & St George’s, Edinburgh, on Thursday. The first session will centre on a second reading of a revised Canon 31 on the solemnisation of holy matrimony, which was produced two years ago by the Faith and Order Board at the request of the Synod (News, 13 June 2015).

More here-

KEEPING THE FAITH: A time to discover our own spirit

From Massachusetts-

Many of us over the past few weeks who have attended church services have been hearing lessons focused on Jesus’ teachings to the disciples as he prepared them for a life without him in their midst. Last week, we heard him tell the disciples that the Advocate (the Holy Spirit) would come to them, to be with them and help guide them, but it would not be until he had left them. Christians around the world, in a few weeks will be celebrating Pentecost, the day on which we celebrate this very event, the arrival of the Holy Spirit upon and amongst the disciples.

Scripture tells us that it arrived with a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire room where the disciples were sitting. It divided itself as tongues of fire, resting on each of them, one of the reasons this day is celebrated with the color red. They were all filled with this Spirit and they began speaking in other languages, as the Spirit gave them the ability. Even more interesting, the people who had gathered around witnessing this heard the others speaking in their native language. And, what they head the disciples reciting in their own languages, was about God’s great deeds and power.

More here-

Presiding bishop of Episcopal Church relies on Jesus to reach nones and millennials

From Richmond-

In 1607, the Prayer Book came ashore at Jamestown with Captain John Smith. The first Anglican service in North America occurred earlier and elsewhere. In 1579, Sir Francis Drake pulled into a Pacific bay to repair a ship. A clergyman aboard celebrated a service while work proceeded. The event took place near the Golden Gate. Jerusalem’s Golden Gate has been closed since the Middle Ages for reasons sacred and strategic. California’s Golden Gate connects San Francisco and Marin. Many have left their heart there and found their souls in the truths Drake’s men heard. The Episcopal Church long has been associated with the American establishment — it has been called the Republican Party at prayer, a designation no longer apt, alas, for a GOP that has strayed. Mischievous wits delight in noting that the Anglican Communion was introduced to the continent by an explorer the Spanish considered a pirate.

More here-

Monday, June 5, 2017


From The Tablet-

Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, preaching at a Pentecost service shown live on BBC One on Sunday (4 June):

“The strongest power in the world is the love of Jesus Christ. It is more powerful than the evil of terror or the profound wickedness of the terrorist. We need the difference Jesus makes, we need the order bought out of chaos, we need the knowledge of an eternal purpose for each of us. We need to know that whatever other people do to us, God loves us for ever.”

He added: “It is not a difference political parties, however sincere and committed, can bring. But the difference that has to come is a difference that can only be made possible by God.”

Southwark Cathedral (Anglican), which remains inside the police cordon and is currently closed, released a statement after the attack:

'The truly shocking events that happened at London Bridge and Borough Market have irrevocably changed the lives of many people and have deeply affected the local community.  Our prayers are with all who have been touched by these events.  At present Southwark Cathedral remains closed but when we re-open there will be the chance for people to come in and pray and talk to our clergy and chaplains.  There will also be books of condolence and a place to leave flowers. Until then we hold all people in our prayers.'

More here-

We Need a More Accommodative Security Plan for Martyrs Day

From Uganda-

Over the weekend, an estimated two million people descended on the Wakiso district suburb of Namugongo for the Martyrs day celebration on June 3, an annual event that continues to grow in leaps and bounds.

The crowd that gathers at Namugongo - at both the Anglican and Catholic shrines - ahead of the often vibrant celebrations is arguably the largest assembly that Uganda hosts in one venue in a single week each year. By comparison, the Namugongo crowd could fill the 40,000-seater football stadium at Namboole 50 times over.

As expected, therefore, a crowd of that nature is guaranteed to pose logistical nightmares for the organisers of this remarkable event and unfathomable dilemmas for the security forces in this era of global terrorism.

In a bid to ease their work, the security agencies have often opted for sweeping measures such as blocking all access roads to the Namugongo area. The result is an indiscriminate refusal to allow anyone using motorized means of transportation to access Namugongo for nearly a week.

More here-


From North Carolina-

Juana Tobar Ortega at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, on June 1. Betsy Blake / American Friends Service Committee

Keeney said that the issue went beyond simple legality and that current deportations policies were “extremely harmful not only to the undocumented population but to society as a whole.”

“Undocumented people are afraid now to even call the police if a crime was committed … or to go to the hospital,” he added.

While Ortega and immigration activists hope ICE will re-evaluate her case, Keeney said the church would continue to protect her “as long as it takes.”

“She’s part of our family now, and we’re going to take care of her and protect her as best as we can, and if ICE comes, we will do the best we can nonviolently to resist that,” he said.

More here-

For such a time as this… an electronic prayer book?

From Episcopal Cafe-

The 1979 Book of Common Prayer badly needs revision:

It is sexist, e.g., in its presumption that clergy and God are male;
It is exclusionary, e.g., the marriage rite is only for heterosexual couples;

It is limited, as evidenced by the proliferation and popularity of authorized alternative liturgies.

Others may add additional theological and liturgical reasons to that list.

Printing a revised Book of Common Prayer is inadvisable:

Many small congregations already struggle financially. Their having to replace the 1979 Book of Common Prayer with a revised book will only compound pre-existing financial problems.

More here-


From The Living Church-

I was recently at a hilltop Ascension Day picnic with some friends from church in advance of the 7 p.m. Mass, and one of the older children (middle school–aged) was having trouble recalling where the Ascension story was told. We had read it aloud from the book of Acts. “But,” he said, “I think it’s also at the end of Luke.”

“That’s right,” I piped up. “Hey J., why do you think Luke tells the Ascension story twice?”

He responded that it probably had something to do with the centrality of the Resurrection for our lives — which was an impressive response. He then asked me why I thought Luke told it twice, and I said something about Luke wanting to begin his second volume where he left off (“last time on Luke-Acts”). The real answer, which I should have given, is that it has everything to do with 40 days, which has everything to do with Pentecost.

So, here’s the answer that I should have given on the hilltop.

More here-

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Pope Francis meets new head of Anglican Centre, AB Ntahoturi

From Vatican Radio-

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s new representative to the Holy See, Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi of Burundi, says his appointment will help Anglicans and Catholics to work more closely together on key issues of reconciliation, poverty and human trafficking.

The Archbishop, who will also serve as director of Rome’s Anglican Centre, says his experience in jail, following a military coup in Burundi, taught him humility and other valuable lessons about the responsibility of religious leaders.

Ntahoturi served as chief of staff to Burundi’s former President Jean-Baptiste Bagaza from 1979 to 1986. Following the overthrow of the government in 1987, he spent almost four years in prison.

More here-,_ab_ntahoturi/1316593

5 Reasons The “Prosperity Gospel” Is Actually A Non-Christian Religion

From Patheos-

Does being a good and faithful Christian result in good health, a long life, having an abundance of possessions, and material wealth?

That’s the subtle/not so subtle belief of a brand of Christianity that’s often called the “prosperity gospel.”

There is a growing number of Christians who believe that– a shocking amount, actually. And not just in the United States, either– this is a growing belief around the world. I think this is happening in large part because charismatic Christianity is the fastest growing brand of Christianity in many places, and the prosperity gospel is something that seems to have infected charismatic circles more than others.

While I believe we as Christians ought be careful about declaring who is in and who is out (I feel the wrath of the heretic hunters, so I know what that’s like), when it comes to this belief system that associates being a good Christian with materialism, health, and wealth, we cannot be silent or tip-toe over words: the prosperity gospel is completely outside the Christian religion. It’s not Christianity, period.

More here-

GAFCON set to reveal missionary bishop to UK

From Premier-

GAFCON, a worldwide group of conservative Anglicans, will this week announce who it has appointed as missionary bishop to oversee churches in the UK.

Last month, it revealed plans to bring in somebody to minister to those who feel the Church of England and the Scottish Episcopal Church have become too liberal in their stance on homosexuality.

Addressing the issue on Premier's News Hour, Most Rev Peter Jensen, GAFCON's General Secretary and a former Archbishop of Sydney, said: "There are many issues that divide us, where we have diverse opinions, and that's OK - but some of them are so important that a stand has to be taken. A painful and costly stand.

"The Primates believe that this present matter is one of those things and the Bible is as clear as can be - that to embrace the view that the practice of homosexuality is OK is wrong according to the Bible.

More here-


From West Texas-

The Rt. Rev. David M. Reed was invested as the tenth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas on Saturday, June 3, during a service held at TMI – The Episcopal School of Texas in San Antonio. Clergy and lay members of the diocese filled the 500-seat chapel. Reed was first consecrated bishop in 2006 when he was elected to serve as the diocese’s fifth Bishop Suffragan. Reed is the first Bishop Suffragan of the diocese to be chosen as Diocesan Bishop.

On Saturday, the Rt. Rev. Gary R. Lillibridge, ninth bishop of the diocese, who retires this summer, presided over the Investiture service for Reed and lead him through the renewal of his ordination vows. During the service, Lillibridge symbolically handed over to Reed the diocesan bishop’s crozier, a crozier that has been carried by bishops of the Diocese of West Texas for 98 years.

More here-

The modern pilgrims retracing Britain's ancient routes

From The Guardian-

In one of the smallest churches in England, a couple of dozen people are taking the weight off their walking boots for a moment of quiet reflection in the cool gloom. Outside, an unlikely April sun pours over the South Downs.

It seemed, says Will Parsons, a good moment to learn the lyrics of John Bunyan’s To Be a Pilgrim – perhaps, he adds, adopting neutral terms “to be more inclusive”.

The group was soon belting out the 17th-century hymn, drawing curious passersby to peer into the tiny hillside Church of the Good Shepherd, in Lullington. Come wind, come weather, regardless of lions, giants, hobgoblins or foul fiends, “there’s no discouragement / Shall make them once relent / Their first avowed intent/ To be a pilgrim”, they sang.

More here-