Saturday, July 29, 2017

Higher Calling, Lower Wages: The Vanishing of the Middle-Class Clergy

From The Atlantic-

For someone seeking a full-time job as a church pastor, Justin Barringer would seem to have the perfect résumé. He’s a seminary grad, an author and book editor, and a former missionary to China and Greece. But despite applying to nearly a hundred jobs over the course of two years, Barringer, who lives in Lexington, Kentucky, could not secure a full-time, salaried church position.

So he splits his time among three jobs, working as a freelance editor, an employee at a nonprofit for the homeless, and a part-time assistant pastor at a United Methodist Church. “I am not mad at the church,” Barringer says. “However, I wish someone had advised me against taking on so much debt in order to be trained for ministry.”

Barringer’s story is becoming increasingly typical as Protestant churches nationwide cut back on full-time, salaried positions. Consequently, many new pastors either ask friends and family for donations (a time-honored clerical tradition) or take on other jobs. Working two jobs has become so common for clergy members, in fact, that churches and seminaries have a euphemistic term for it: bi-vocational ministry.

More here-

Episcopal Presiding Bishop Curry: I am compelled to oppose these actions and to affirm the moral principle of equal rights for all persons, including the LGBTQ communities.

From The Epsicopal Church-

“I am compelled to oppose these actions and to affirm the moral principle of equal rights for all persons, including the LGBTQ communities,” Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael B. Curry stated in his statement. “I do so as a follower of Jesus Christ, as Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, and as a citizen who loves this country.”

The Presiding Bishop’s statement follows:

In light of President Trump‘s tweet banning transgender individuals from serving in the military and the Department of Justice’s argument that employers can legally discriminate against people on the basis of sexual orientation, I am compelled to oppose these actions and to affirm the moral principle of equal rights for all persons, including the LGBTQ communities. I do so as a follower of Jesus Christ, as Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, and as a citizen who loves this country.

More here-

Brian Cole elected fifth bishop of East Tennessee

From ENS-

The Rev. Brian Cole was elected the fifth bishop of the Diocese of East Tennessee on the fifth ballot July 28 by delegates gathered for the electing session of the 33rd Annual Convention of the diocese at St. John’s Cathedral in Knoxville.

Cole, 49, has served as rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Lexington, Kentucky, since 2012. He was elected by 85 votes in the clergy order and 141 votes in the lay order. An election on that ballot required 57 clergy votes and 94 lay votes.

“With an open heart, I am both excited and humbled to be chosen by the lay and clergy delegates of the Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee to serve as your fifth bishop,” Cole said. “Susan and I look forward to joining with you all in practicing resurrection, in the apostolic work of revealing the Living Christ to a beautiful but broken world. We will be happy to see you soon as we put down roots in Knoxville later in the year.”

More here-

also here-

Friday, July 28, 2017

Joint statement from Anglican Church leaders on 50th anniversary of Sexual Offences Act

From Independent Catholic News-

The Archbishop of Canterbury and York, Most Rev Justin Welby and Dr John Sentamu, issued the following statement yesterday on the 50th Anniversary of the Act of Parliament passed in 1967, which decriminalised homosexual acts in England.

Today is the 50th Anniversary of the Act of Parliament passed in 1967 which decriminalised homosexual acts in our Country. The Church of England, led by Archbishop Ramsey, was supportive of the Sexual Offences Act.

In January 2016 the majority of the leading Archbishops of the whole global Anglican Communion - almost 80 million people in 165 countries - confirmed the longstanding view of the Communion that diminishing and criminalising homosexual people is wrong.

The Church, not just the Church of England, but all those who follow Jesus Christ and whose lives are committed to his worship and service, has very often been defined by what it is against. It has condemned many things, and continues to do so, very often correctly, for example when they involve the abuse of the poor, or the weak, or the marginalised.

More here-

The Anglican Church Is Forsaking Tradition and Moral Truth

From The National Review-

The Church of England recently held a synod to discuss, among other issues, the place of transgender individuals in the church. The synod voted in favor of a motion to “consider whether some nationally commended liturgical materials might be prepared to mark a person’s gender transition.” One priest implied that this liturgical celebration could be similar to a baptism so that transgender individuals could reenter the church in accordance with their post-transition identity. 

Rod Dreher sums it up more bluntly: The Anglican bishops have declared the church openly welcoming to and affirming of transgendered people, and are considering coming up with a special rite to mark their transition from one gender to the next. That’s right, the Church of England is about to consecrate sex change operations. 

Now it would have been one thing for the synod to stop after the first half of the motion: “recognising the need for transgender people to be welcomed and affirmed in their parish church.” But loving one’s neighbors because they are created in the image and likeness of God doesn’t
necessarily mean affirming their lifestyle.

Read more at:

New finds suggest Second Temple priests who fled the Romans kept up holy rituals in the Galilee

From Times of Israel-

The hometown of the most popular sinner of the New Testament may also have been the seat of one of the priestly families that fled Jerusalem to the Galilee after the fall of the Second Temple at the hands of the Romans.

A combination of recent findings at Magdala — home of Jesus disciple Mary Magdalene (who was recently celebrated by Catholics on her July 22 feast day) and the Jewish historian Joseph Flavius — point to a developed priestly culture with echoes of ancient Jerusalem at the site.

The question scholars are now exploring is just how much of the Temple practice the priests took along with them when they fled.

In 2009, the Israel Antiquities Authority began salvage excavations of the site ahead of the construction of a proposed visitors center and hotel, and found an extremely rare early synagogue. As recorded in a May 2017 article in Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR), “One of perhaps only eight synagogues identified so far in Israel as dating from the first century C.E., it provided one splendid find — the so-called Magdala Stone, a Torah reading table sculpted in stone with reliefs depicting a seven-branched menorah and possibly the Jerusalem Temple.”

More here-

Presiding Bishop Curry Offers Theological Reflection on Transgender Rights

From Olympia-

A Theological Reflection

I offer this brief theological reflection to share some of my thoughts and convictions which informed my decision to join with the President of the House of Deputies as signatories to the amicus brief in the case of Gloucester County School Board v. G.G, which concerns Gavin Grimm, a transgender youth who seeks equal access according to his gender identity, to bathroom facilities in his public school.

“Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’

So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.”
– Genesis 1:26-27 NRSV

More here-

Thursday, July 27, 2017

My brother was the 'priest with Aids' - here's how he turned a whole community around

From The Telegraph-

We learned that my brother, Rev Simon Bailey, an Anglican priest, was HIV Positive in 1992. It was seven years after he was diagnosed. He had told no-one until then, but he was becoming increasingly ill. Our father, a Baptist minister, had died earlier that year and he told my mother first, just before she was due to visit me in London and so she had the task of telling me. (And we could support each other. Simon, the experienced priest, thought like that.) We’d had our suspicions - my sister, a nurse, had checked out his medications, but it was still devastating news. We sat and wept for hours.

Simon had been diagnosed at the age of 30, just a few weeks before he was due to take up his first post as a vicar in the tough South Yorkshire mining village of Dinnington.

More here-

Judge whose body was found in Hudson River committed suicide

From USA Today-

"It's an incredibly sad situation," Eric Phillips, spokesman for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, told USA TODAY via e-mail Wednesday. "The legal community and our entire city are very much reeling from the loss."

Rebecca Wilson, a spokeswoman for Abdus-Salaam's family, told USA TODAY Wednesday that the family had no comment at this time but if that changes, updates will be posted on the website created after the judge's death:

The Court of Appeals did not have a comment, spokesman Gary Spencer said.

The fully-clothed body of Abdus-Salaam, 65, was found April 12 in the water off of West 132nd Street, in Harlem, one day after she was reported missing. There were no signs of trauma or criminality, officials said. Her husband, the Rev. Canon Gregory Jacobs of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, N.J., identified the body.

More here- 

And here (NYT)

Hope for Sudan as Archbishop of Canterbury inaugurates new Anglican province

From Christian Today-

The Archbishop of Canterbury will inaugurate the 39th province of the worldwide Anglican Communion at a service in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, on Sunday. Archbishop Justin Welby will also visit Uganda, home to many hundreds of thousands of refugees who have fled violence in the ongoing conflict in South Sudan.

The Anglican church in Sudan has until now been administered from Juba, the capital of South Sudan, which is the world's newest country and which is predominantly Christian.

The new province, formed out of what was previously called the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan.  will be led by the Archbishop of Sunday and Bishop of the Diocese of Khartoum, Ezekiel Kondo.

Sudan is predominantly Muslim and there are restrictions on Christian activity, such as a ban on the building of any new churches. At least five Sudanese Christians were killed last year alone and 12 imprisoned for their faith, according to Open Doors.

More here-

Lexington to Seek 8th Bishop

From The Living Church-

The standing committee of the Diocese of Lexington has announced via email that it is ready to seek the diocese’s eighth bishop.

The Rt. Rev. Douglas Hahn, the seventh bishop of the diocese, resigned in March, in an agreement he reached with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. Curry had previously placed Hahn on a one-year suspension for failing to disclose an instance of adultery earlier in his vocation.

The Rt. Rev. Bruce Caldwell, former Bishop of Wyoming, is serving as Lexington’s bishop provisional.

Announcing their next step in a letter dated July 26, the six members of the committee write:

The standing committee of the Diocese of Lexington has announced via email that it is ready to seek the diocese’s eighth bishop.

We trust and hope that this letter finds you doing well during a season of the year when schedules and vacations provide a more relaxed and slower pace. Know that you have been kept in prayer during this time and that the Standing Committee has continued to desire your prayers.

More here-

Most White Evangelicals Don’t Believe Muslims Belong in America

From Christianity Today-

As much of American society undergoes a secular shift, most Muslims and Christians continue to attend worship, adhere to tenets of their traditions, and proudly identify with their faiths.

But despite this shared sense of religious devotion, as detailed in a new Pew Research Center report on what US Muslims believe and practice, survey data also show a huge gap in their perceptions of each other.

While Americans overall have warmed up to Muslims in recent years, white evangelicals express more concerns about US Muslims than any other religious group. Two-thirds of white evangelicals believe Islam is not part of mainstream American society and contend that it encourages violence more than other faiths, according to Pew.

Meanwhile, 72 percent of white evangelicals—compared to 44 percent of Americans overall—see a natural conflict between Islam and democracy. And 30 percent of Muslims themselves agree that the two are in conflict.

More here-

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Anglican Bishop Backing Decriminalization of Buggery in Jamaica

From Jamaica-

The Head of the Anglican Church in Jamaica and The Cayman Islands is suggesting that the Andrew Holness government should not bother with a promised referendum on quashing the buggery law, and should instead just strike down the law.

Bishop Howard Gregory outlined his personal position in a written submission to a parliamentary committee examining the Sexual Offences Act and related laws.

“Sexual activity engaged in public spaces is illegal and should continue to be so, whether of and heterosexual or homosexual nature. Beyond that, what happens in privacy between consenting adults should be beyond the purview of the Government,” he wrote.

Read more:

Frank Yamada: In the face of challenges, there is hope for theological education

From Faith and Leadership-

Frank Yamada’s faith journey has been unconventional.
And, he said, it has provided great training for his new role as executive director of The Association of Theological Schools (link is external).

“I have always been someone who was eager to learn about the different ways that Christian faith was practiced in community,” he said. “My faith journey has prepared me well for ATS’ ecumenical work to promote excellence in theological education.”

Raised in a Buddhist family, Yamada became a Christian at the age of 19. This set him on a path that has included a charismatic, evangelical megachurch, a nondenominational church plant, a Korean immigrant church, an Assemblies of God college, Presbyterian and Episcopal seminaries, and ordination in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

More here-


From The Living Church-

Clearly, it hasn’t fared as well as many parts of the Anglican Communion. Does that mean it is “dying”? Or are parts of it dying? And how does the C of E compare with the rest of the Anglican Communion? Many parts are growing. But others are declining, and North American Anglicanism is generally shrinking faster than the C of E. Growth and Decline in the Anglican Communion, 1980 to the Present (Routledge, 2016), a new book by an international team of researchers, sheds light on all these questions.

Questioning “growth” and “decline”

Talking about the “growth” or “decline” of any church body needs great care. Numerical growth is not the be-all and end-all. Growth, for the Christian, means growth in personal holiness and wholeness in Christ, just as much as it means growing in service of others as well as “bums on seats.” But numerical growth of congregations and growth in the number of congregations are a crucial part of Christian life. Scripture, core doctrines, and key figures in the Christian Church — from St. Francis to John Wesley, from St. Cuthbert to St. Irenaeus — urge us to grow churches.

More here-

Second woman bishop enthroned in Wales

From ACNS-

More than 500 people packed into Llandaff Cathedral in Wales at the weekend to welcome their new bishop at her enthronement service. Bishop June Osborne, the 72nd Bishop of Llandaff, spoke of her passion for pastoral ministry within a local context, as she delivered the sermon in one of her first duties as bishop after taking her seat – or ‘throne’ at Llandaff Cathedral.  She told the packed congregation that most of her strategies would be to ‘empower and strengthen the impact of the local church.’

Before the service began,  as part of an ancient tradition, Bishop June had to request permission to enter the cathedral by knocking three times with her staff on the west door. She was then welcomed inside by the Dean of Llandaff, Gerwyn Capon. 

More here-

Elevation Church Debuts Water Slide Baptismal

A little humor to begin the day-

Regular attenders of Elevation Church reported being surprised Sunday morning when they were directed to the “new balcony entrance” for seating.

“We normally get there early so we can sit as close to pastor Steven as possible,” Marie Dotwiler told reporters. “We were all like, ‘What’s going on?'” They did not have to wonder for long.

Pastor Steven Furtick took the stage under a single spotlight, and after some coy banter, he reportedly announced that it was “Baptism Sunday,” but that this was “not your Mama’s Baptism Sunday.” At this cue, a giant water slide, stretching from the balcony down to a small pool of water, was unveiled from behind a large curtain as the worship band began performing TLC’s 1994 hit “Waterfalls.”

More here-

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Queen’s former chaplain leads vicar rebellion over gay marriage

From The Telegraph-

The Queen’s former chaplain is leading a vicar rebellion over gay marriage, as he threatens to break away from the Church of England.

The Rev Dr Gavin Ashenden, who until earlier this year was one of the special chaplains to the Queen, has warned of the prospect of a “declaration of independence” from vicars who feel that those with traditional views are being “marginalised” by the Church establishment.

In a letter published in today’s Daily Telegraph, a group of 23 conservative Anglicans raise the prospect of a split in the Church.

They claim that the most recent meeting of the General Synod - the Church of England’s lawmaking body which earlier this month appeared to signal support for gay marriage - has caused "great concern" to Anglicans, and has deepened tensions between the traditionalist and progressive camps.

“There are times, particularly in the face of social disintegration, when it is the duty of the Church to be counter-cultural," the letter said. 

More here-

House of Deputies Committee on State of the Church issues surveys on Pension Plan, Social Justice

From The Episcopal Church-

The House of Deputies Committee on the State of the Church is asking church leaders to complete two online surveys:  one about the Church Pension Fund and the other about the Episcopal Church’s social justice work. The data that the committee collects from the surveys will be used to prepare its report on the state of the church for the 79th General Convention in 2018.

“The State of the Church committee is canonically mandated to prepare a report on the state of the Episcopal Church for the House of Deputies, which we send to the House of Bishops after we have approved it,” says the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, President of the House of Deputies. “Based on the concerns I’ve heard raised in my conversations with deputies and other leaders at General Convention and as I travel around the church, in 2015 I asked the group to focus on the state of the church in three specific areas:  multicultural ministries, justice and advocacy ministries, and the Church Pension Fund.”

More here-

Diocese of Southern Ohio objects to reinstatement of death penalty

From Southern Ohio-

The Diocese of Southern Ohio, in partnership with other community faith leaders, and a host of death row exonerees, is urgently encouraging Governor Kasich to reconsider the reinstatement of this punishment given the state’s questionable history of wrongful convictions and botched executions.

“While certain crimes can be difficult to forgive, we must remember that we are all children of God,” Bishop Thomas Breidenthal said. “As Christians, we should respect human life as precious, and not sanction death via our very human, and sometimes flawed, criminal justice system.”

Those looking to learn more or get involved with the movement are encouraged to contact their respective congress person or senator and ask them to halt this process, or by signing the petition via the link below:

More here-

Volunteers from All Saints church do laundry for needy

From Hawaii-

When trying to find a way to help the community, the Rev. Ryan Newman of All Saints Episcopal Church wanted to be different.

“While other charitable groups primarily focus on food, we thought we would help out in a different way,” Newman said. “And who doesn’t deserve a shower and clean clothes?”

With that question in mind, church volunteers started helping less-fortunate Kauai residents do their laundry. And last month marked two years of Laundry Love Kauai.

The group meets on the first and third Wednesdays of each month from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Kapaa Laundromat, where they complete around 90 loads of laundry.

David Murray, originally from Washington, D.C., has been volunteering since the program began.

More here-

Draft order calls for Bruno to be suspended from ministry for three years

From ENS-

The hearing panel considering disciplinary action against Diocese of Los Angeles Bishop J. Jon Bruno has drafted an order calling for his suspension from ordained ministry for three years because of misconduct.

The five-member panel concluded in a 4-1 decision that “the scope and severity of Bishop Bruno’s misconduct … have unjustly and unnecessarily disturbed the ministry of a mission of the Church.”
The 91-page draft order specifically rejects calls for Bruno to be deposed, or removed, from ordained ministry. It says that during the three-year suspension Bruno could not exercise any authority over “the real or personal property or temporal affairs of the Church.” A three-year suspension would take Bruno beyond his mandatory retirement date in November 2018, when he turns 72.

The draft order, which is not final, also urges the diocese to let the members of St. James the Great return to their Newport Beach, California, building.

More here-


From The Living Church-

Episcopal evangelicals are a species seldom seen these days. This isn’t new; on the American shore we’ve had a bit of a bumpy ride ever since the 18th century, beginning with the departure of Methodists, and then the independence of the American Colonies. Yet for much of the 19th century evangelicals were the force to be reckoned with, until Tractarians, Ritualists, and Rationalism became too much for them. One-third of all congregations opted in favor of the newly formed Reformed Episcopal Church.

While evangelical Anglicanism continued to flourish around the world, until the 1960s classic evangelicals were barely visible here. This was until the Fellowship of Witness came into being under the guidance of Anglo-Australian scholar Philip Edgcumbe Hughes and Peter Moore, then the Director of FOCUS (Fellowship of Christians in Universities and Schools). John Guest and John Howe, both then at St. Stephen’s, Sewickley, Pennsylvania, were cheerleaders and a lot more. This accelerated an evangelical renaissance: Trinity (Episcopal) School for Ministry was founded, SAMS (now the Society for Anglican Mission and Sending) came into being, and the Canterbury Trail was rapidly becoming a well-trodden path.

More here-

Monday, July 24, 2017

Former Anglican bishop finds a home in the Catholic Church

From Catholic World Report-

Monsignor Keith Newton, 65, is the ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, headquartered in London, England. The ordinariate was established in 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI; its purpose is to reunite Anglicans with Rome while preserving elements of their distinctive Anglican patrimony.

Msgr. Newton was a bishop in the Church of England before being received into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church in 2011. Shortly after, he was ordained a priest and appointed to lead the ordinariate. As he explained, “I have the authority of a bishop, but because I am married, I am not able to be ordained a bishop.” He and his wife Gill have three adult children.

The ordinariate has 90 priests, 11 transitional deacons, and five permanent deacons serving 35 congregations throughout England, Wales, and Scotland. Some of its clergy serve their congregations full-time, others also work in diocesan parishes or as chaplains in hospitals, prisons, and schools.

More here-

Ex-altar boy files sex suit against Portland church

From Oregon-

 A former altar boy at a Portland church has filed a $3.1 million lawsuit against the church contending he was repeatedly sexually abused by a choir director in the early 1960s.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that the Portland man now in his late 60s contends in the lawsuit that the abuse took place at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church.

The lawsuit filed Thursday accuses former choir director Jay Shisler of sexually abusing the man when he was a boy of 11 and 12 years old. Shisler died in 2001 at age 60.

More here-

Activists Plan Pot-Burning Ceremony Inside D.C. Basilica During Eclipse

From The "You Can't Make This Stuff Up" Department. (D.C.)

A group that believes there is an ancient and little-known connection between Christianity and cannabis plans to burn oil full of psychoactive cannabinoids inside the nation's largest Roman Catholic church during the solar eclipse on August 21.

Anne Armstrong, a longtime cannabis activist and leader of Rhode Island’s Healing Church, says she will be shocked if the group’s request for a chapel is denied by the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.

Armstrong believes that “the church will say, ‘Welcome, Deaconess Anne, and what room would you like?’” But if she cannot reserve space, Armstrong says she will simply walk in and use a vacant nook off the cavernous building's central nave.

“It’s a big place, it’s a Monday afternoon,” she says, predicting turnout of about 75 people. "We don't need the basilica's permission to have a prayer service in a chapel."

Armstrong says infused olive oil will be put at the bottom of a metal censer and topped with incense for use during a prayer service. "We're timing it to coincide with the eclipse, there's a lot of interesting astrological things going on," she says.

More here-

Facing Episcopal Church Decline

From The Living Church- (Best analysis I've seen)

New analysis by Dr. Jeremy Bonner, a Durham-based researcher, offers clarity on the numerical fortunes of the Episcopal Church (TEC) in the USA in recent decades. Discussions of TEC’s numerical fortunes usually take place within the context of its divisions, with the result that clarity is often the first casualty. Using a range of measures, looking across a long period of time, and supplemented by the latest data from TEC, Bonner’s work offers an academically robust picture of what has been happening to the main Anglican church in the United States. This is highly significant for American Anglicans, but also for the wider Communion.

Numbers are not the be-all and end-all, but they do matter. If we believe Christian faith is good news, we should be seeking its proliferation, and be worried when it shrinks. Ignoring uncomfortable numbers does no good. Indeed, it only means the problems will have increased by the time we face the true state of affairs.

This article examines TEC using a range of measures, then explores how TEC compares with other denominations. Finally, it offers comments on the causes of these shifts and their wider significance.

More here-

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Anglican Church stops pastor’s wedding after lady allegedly accused him of dating and dumping her

From Nigeria-

Yesterday in Abakaliki, the wedding between Rev. Elvis Opune of All Saints Anglican Cathedral and Grace Chika Olunze of Umuchoke Mbaitolu, Imo State was aborted by the authorities of the church over alleged double dating.

Opune, his bride, and guests had seated inside the church ultra-modern building at 9.30am for the wedding when one of the priests, Ven. Kingsley Okoro, came in to announce that the wedding will no longer hold and asked everyone in the church to leave.

Okoro, who said that the directive to stop the wedding came from ‘above’, did not, however, disclose the reason for the cancellation of the wedding. The cancellation shocked the parishioners, guests and priests inside the church as they came out and started discussing the matter in groups.

One of the parishioners, who simply gave her name as Helen, however, told Sunday Vanguard that Opune had been accused of dating a girl. The girl was said to have lodged a complaint on Friday night that the priest was dating her and dumped her after promising her marriage.

More here-

Episcopal bishop faces suspension over efforts to sell Newport Beach church

From The LA Times-

An Episcopal Church disciplinary panel has recommended a three-year suspension for the bishop who locked worshippers out of St. James the Great church in Newport Beach after a failed sale attempt two years ago.

The panel also recommended that the shuttered church be restored to its displaced members.

The tentative ruling, which came down late Friday afternoon, determined that the Right Rev. J. Jon Bruno, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, was guilty of all allegations brought against him by the congregation during a hearing the panel conducted in March: that he attempted to sell consecrated property without consent of diocesan leadership, that he made several misrepresentations along the way and that he acted in a manner unbecoming of a clergyman.

The Rev. Canon Cindy Voorhees, St. James the Great’s vicar, who has continued to minister to its members, could not be reached for comment Friday evening.

More here-

also here-

Disciples of Christ Elects First Black Female Leader of an American Protestant Denomination

From Christian Post-

The Disciples of Christ have elected an African-American woman to head their church, a first for any Mainline Protestant denomination.

At their biennial General Assembly meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, church representatives overwhelmingly approved on Sunday the election of the Rev. Teresa Hord Owens.

The installation service for Owens was held on Wednesday at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.

Cherilyn Williams, spokeswoman for the Disciples of Christ's Office of General Minister and President, told The Christian Post that the atmosphere for the General Assembly vote was "joyful and hopeful."

"There was no opposition stated in the business session where she was elected and the social media has been overwhelmingly positive," said Williams.

More here-