Friday, April 13, 2018

Anglican Church still ‘equality-free zone’ for same-sex couples, says Archdeacon Peter MacLeod Miller

From Australia-

St Matthews Church in Albury has been warned against blessing any same-sex marriages, despite having the support of the congregation.

Archdeacon Peter MacLeod-Miller says he is frustrated and ashamed he cannot marry gay couples who now have the same legal, if not religious rights.

“I’ve been warned that if I was to officially bless anyone that my head is on the line,” he said. “At the moment the church won’t allow it, and that’s not because our congregation won’t allow it or because I’m unwilling.

“I don’t have the religious freedom to conduct it - the church is an equality-free zone.”

More here-

Anglican Communion tasks FG on release of Dapchi schoolgirl

From Nigeria-

DIOCESE on the Niger, (Anglican Communion) yesterday  said that the continued detention of Dapchi schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu by Boko Haram insurgents is confirming the belief by many Nigerians that the violent activities of the  herdsmen and Boko Haram insurgents are aimed at Islamizing Nigeria.

Bishop on the Niger, Rt. Rev. Owen Nwokolo who spoke to journalists in Onitsha yesterday, wondered why weeks after the release of her colleagues, Miss Sharibu is still being held by Boko Haram insurgents. He therefore urged Present Muhammadu Buhari to prove Nigerians who have that belief wrong, by ensuring the immediate and unconditional release of the school girl.

Read more at:

Church hosts barbecue to unite inmates’ families, law enforcement

From Texas-

A pickup basketball game two years ago was the inspiration for a free barbecue hospitality event Saturday to unite two unlikely groups: law enforcement and families of those incarcerated in the McLennan County Jail.

The Holy Spirit Episcopal Church has partnered with the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office to host an event at the Shepherd Mullens Visitation Center, 3241 Marlin Highway in Waco, to help break down barriers. Organizers expect about 100 law enforcement officials and more than 400 loved ones of inmates to attend.

Social service agencies will be on hand to assist with needs families of those incarcerated may be facing, and guests can eat lunch while socializing while they wait to visit their loved one. Organizers are eyeing the forecast as thunderstorms are expected Friday night.

More here-

Gallup asked Americans why they go to church. It’s not for the music.

From Intellectual Takeout-

On Good Friday, Gallup published results of a survey that asked respondents why they go to church (or some other place of worship).

Some fifteen hundred adults across the nation were asked to which degree these seven things were important to them:

1. Sermons or talks that teach you more about scripture;
2. Sermons or lectures that help you connect religion to your own life;
3. Spiritual programs geared toward children and teens;
4. Community outreach and volunteer opportunities;
5. Religious leaders who are interesting and inspiring;
6. Social activities that allow you to get to know people;
7.  A good choir, praise band, cantors or other spiritual music.

As one can see from the results below, respondents identified sermons as the primary factor they go to church.

More here-

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Orlando church helps displaced Puerto Rican families welcome post-Maria babies

From Orlando-

Jinny Santos found out she was pregnant with her fourth child about a month after Hurricane Maria had left her town in the heart of Puerto Rico without power, communication or running water.

Now eight months pregnant, she’s getting ready to deliver her second son in their new home in Orlando with the help of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida, hoping the post-Maria birth can help mark a new beginning.

The church is helping 10 expectant mothers from Puerto Rico cover their basic needs.

On Tuesday, Santos scanned the aisles at a Target on Alafaya Trail, filling her shopping cart with clothes, diapers, nail clippers and tiny hangers. She turned occasionally to her husband, who was carrying their youngest daughter, to make sure they covered the basics.

More here-

Will churches need signs banning guns? STL clergy members speak out against concealed carry bill

From St. Louis-

Religious leaders across denominations spoke out in St. Louis on Wednesday against pending legislation that would allow concealed weapons in places of worship in Missouri without permission of the clergy.

“The bill would broaden Second Amendment rights at the expense of the First Amendment right of religious liberty,” said Most Rev. Robert Carlson, archbishop of St. Louis, who presides over some 500,000 Roman Catholics in the region.

Carlson was joined at a press conference by eight religious leaders representing the Jewish, Episcopalian, Methodist, Baptist and Evangelical Lutheran faiths, among others.

More here-

Seven Types of Atheism by John Gray review – is every atheist an inverted believer?

From The Guardian-

There has been a rash of books in recent years by thinkers for whom the human race is getting nicer and nicer. Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, Matt Ridley and Sam Harris are rational humanists who believe in progress, however many famines and genocides may disfigure the planet. We are en route to a vastly improved future. Perhaps this return to the values of the western Enlightenment is not unrelated to the threat of radical Islam. The philosopher John Gray’s role has been to act as a Jeremiah among these Pollyannas, insisting that we are every bit as nasty as we ever were. If there is anything he detests, it is schemes of visionary transformation. He is a card-carrying misanthrope for whom human life has no unique importance, and for whom history has been little more than the sound of hacking and gouging. One might note that Christianity is as pessimistic as Gray but a lot more hopeful as well.

The answer to the question of whether history has been improving is surely a decisive yes and no. For Marx, the modern age was both an enthralling emancipation and one long nightmare. The wide-eyed optimism of Pinker or Ridley is just as one-sided as the prophets of doom who refuse to concede that there is something to be said for such modern inventions as feminism, spin-dryers and antibiotics. The truth is that everyone believes in progress, but only a dwindling band of Victorian relics such as Dawkins believe in Progress. So this book is really hammering at an open door. How many champions of a vastly improved future are there in a postmodern culture?

More here-

Extraordinarily Ordinary

From The Living Church-

In October 2009, under the direction of Pope Benedict XVI, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) issued an “apostolic constitution” named (as is customary) by its opening words, Anglicanorum Coetibus. This was in response to persistent requests over the years from various Anglican and para-Anglican individuals and groups to enter full communion with the See of Rome, while retaining both married clergy and certain liturgical forms and ceremonial practices that have evolved and become beloved within the broader Anglican tradition.

Anglicanorum Coetibus paved the way for the creation of what are now three personal ordinariates — one each in the United Kingdom, North America, and Australia. These entities function almost as dioceses that geographically overlap the familiar diocesan boundaries of the Roman Catholic Church, with a few key distinctions. (They are analogous but not identical to groups of Eastern Rite parishes within the Roman Catholic Church.)

In the United Kingdom and in Australia, the Ordinary of each ordinariate is a former Anglican bishop, who has all the power and authority of a Roman Catholic bishop, but has not actually been
(re-)ordained to the episcopate, since the accommodation for married clergy in the Roman Catholic Church extends only to priests, not bishops.

More here-

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Polygamy not part of Bible teachings: Bishop Ole Sapit

From Kenya-

The Anglican Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit has said the church will oppose any laws meant to legalise polygamy and homosexuality in the country.

While addressing the press on Tuesday at St Crispin ACK Church in Bungoma town, the leader said that the church will not allow marriage of people of same gender or multiple partners.

“The church is very clear through the teachings of the Bible especially the New Testament that one man and one woman make a family. We want to make it clear from the perspective that as a church, a family is one wife and one husband joined together to form a couple and form a family,” said Mr Ole Sapit.

Last week, Kiambu Woman Representative Gathoni Wamuchomba asked able men from the Kikuyu community to consider marrying many wives, and to also put a brake on family planning.

More here-

and here-

Forget culture. It’s a new theology we need

From The Church Times-

LISTENING to the evidence of abuse and cover-up in Chichester diocese has been a miserable experience. The experiences recounted by survivors were harrowing, the explanations offered by senior clergy were shocking, and the juxtaposition of the two was a lesson in inhumanity.

Nobody who spoke at IICSA, including Archbishop Welby, denies that the problem goes deep and calls for serious reform. Everyone agreed that procedural and structural change was insufficient without a change of culture. But no one drew the obvious conclusion that this must include theology. Operative theologies in the Church of England are part of the problem; so a ruthlessly honest theological audit is going to have to be part of the solution.

An urgent place to start is a Christian understanding of forgiveness. In Chichester, a faulty doctrine of forgiveness was used by abusers to salve their consciences, by church officials to move on without dealing with the problem, and by parishioners and clergy to marginalise “unchristian” victims and whistleblowers.

More here-

Wellington's new Anglican dean was signatory to letter opposing gay blessings

From New Zealand (with video)-

New Zealand's notably liberal Anglican Church has picked a man who opposed same-sex blessings to become the new dean of Wellington.

The Rev David Rowe will head the ministry at the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul, just a stone's throw from Parliament, which this month moved to expunge homosexual convictions, and in 2013 voted to allow same-sex marriage.

In October 2016 a letter from 83 evangelical leaders in Britain urged the Church of England to affirm "the marriage of one man with one woman as the only context in which physical expression is to be given to our sexuality".

More here-

Newport Beach Episcopal church reopens after a three-year battle

From Los Angeles-

They had been waiting for the moment for years.

After the sermon, and before Communion, their priest, the Rev. Canon Cindy Voorhees, stood before them in resplendent white vestments and proclaimed simply but exuberantly, "Welcome to St. James."

From pews that had sat empty for three years, a packed house at St. James Episcopal Church in Newport Beach rose Sunday to embrace Voorhees like a rock star with cheers and whistles.

It was the first service since 2015 at the church, which had been locked and mired in an emotional ecclesiastical and legal battle as the past bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles twice tried to sell the land to developers, incurring church sanctions before his retirement. A flock stayed together, following Voorhees to services at a park, in a museum and, for the last year, a community room at Newport Beach City Hall.

The past was inescapable Sunday, but so was the present.

Sue Rawlings brought her Havanese, Rawlie, as she always does — dogs are welcome at St. James' Mass — and without prompting the little dog, with red bows in her silky ears, trotted down the aisle directly to Rawlings' usual pew — to the right and two rows from the front.

More here-

Appeals court delivers victory for Episcopalians in decade-long church property dispute

From Ft. Worth (I know it's "old" news but still)-

The latest court ruling in the decade-long battle between two groups that both claim to be the true Fort Worth Episcopal Diocese went in favor of the group that has remained loyal to the national church.

But attorneys for the group that broke away in 2008 vow to bring the case back to the Texas Supreme Court for another look.

Both groups call themselves the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and seek ownership of about $100 million in church property in a 24-county area.

The 2nd Court of Appeals in Fort Worth said in a ruling issued Thursday that a lower court overstepped its bounds in 2015 when it overruled the Episcopal Church's decision about which group was authorized to represent the Episcopal Diocese.

Read more here: