Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry to hold prayer service at Taylor detention facility

From Austin-

Bishop Michael Curry, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church who spoke at the royal wedding in May, is holding a prayer service noon Sunday at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor.

The prayer service is part of Curry’s trip to Austin for the church’s General Convention, according to a news release.
“We wanted to channel the grief and anger we feel over our government’s inhumane treatment of asylum seekers and other immigrants into an act of prayerful solidarity with the women being unjustly incarcerated at Hutto and other facilities like it,” the Rev. Megan Castellan of Ithaca, N.Y., said in the release. 

Castellan organized the service at the detention center with the Rev. Terry Pierce, vicar of St. James Episcopal Church in Taylor, and others.

More here-


5 facts about Episcopalians

From Pew-

The history of the Episcopal Church is closely tied to the history of the United States. The church was founded after the American Revolution as the successor to the Church of England in the new country. It has often been seen as the religious institution most closely associated with the American establishment, producing many of the nation’s most important leaders in politics and business. Even today, the seat of the presiding bishop of the church, the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., is sometimes called “America’s church.”

On the eve of the Episcopal Church’s 2018 General Convention, here are five facts about Episcopalians:

1. More presidents have been Episcopalian – 11 – than any other Christian denomination. Several of the nation’s earliest presidents, including George Washington, James Madison and James Monroe, were Episcopalians. But since the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1945, the only two Episcopalian presidents have been Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush.

More here-


Is God male? The Episcopal Church debates whether to change its Book of Common Prayer.

From The Washington Post-

The terms for God, in the poetic language of the prayers written for centuries, have almost always been male: Father. King. Lord.

And in the Episcopal Church, the language of prayer matters. The Book of Common Prayer, the text used in every Episcopal congregation, is cherished as a core element of Episcopal identity.

This week, the church is debating whether to overhaul that prayer book — in large part  to make clear that God doesn’t have a gender.

“As long as ‘men’ and ‘God’ are in the same category, our work toward equity will not just be incomplete. I honestly think it won’t matter in some ways,” said the Rev. Wil Gafney, a professor of the Hebrew Bible at Brite Divinity School in Texas who is on the committee recommending a change to the gendered language in the prayer book.

Gafney says that when she preaches, she sometimes changes the words of the Book of Common Prayer, even though Episcopal priests aren’t formally allowed to do so. Sometime she switches a word like “King” to a gender-neutral term like “Ruler” or “Creator.” Sometimes she uses “She” instead of “He.” Sometimes, she sticks with the masculine tradition. ” ‘Our Father,’ I won’t fiddle with that,” she said, invoking the beginning of the Lord’s Prayer that Jesus taught his disciples to say in the book of Matthew.

More here-

Monday, July 2, 2018

Man arrested after shouting ‘womp, womp’ and pulling a gun on immigration protesters

From The Washington Post-

The gathering at a park gazebo in Huntsville, Ala., was by no means the largest of Saturday’s nationwide protests against President Trump’s “zero tolerance” border policies, though it was memorable for other reasons.

It began around noon, as an Episcopal priest delivered a prayer to about 100 protesters gathered around the gazebo and a man marched back and forth in front of her, shouting “womp, womp!”

“Holy and ever-loving God . . .” said the priest, Kerry Holder-Joffrion.

“We pray for the children of this nation and all nations . . .”


More here-

Episcopalians preparing for 79th General Convention in Austin can expect ‘a real Texas welcome’

From ENS-

Is Austin, Texas, ready to welcome thousands of Episcopalians for the two weeks of church business and socializing known as General Convention? Episcopalians from around the church certainly are ready for Austin.

“It is my hope and prayer that this General Convention will truly embody and model what it means to follow the way, the teachings and in the spirit of Jesus of Nazareth,” Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said in a written statement to Episcopal News Service. “That means taking seriously being a part of the Jesus Movement, not only in the church but in the world.

“My prayer is that our GC will truly be a witness to the way of love that Jesus taught us.”

The 79th General Convention officially gets underway July 5 at the Austin Convention Center, though registration, orientation and pre-convention activities start July 1. According to the House of Deputies, this is the first time since 1970, when women were permitted to be seated as deputies, that the deputies will be majority female, and this General Conventions boasts the youngest and most diverse group of legislative committee officers ever.

More here-


Episcopalian couples, advocates hope the church removes gay marriage restrictions

From Tennessee-

Indie Pereira and her wife Pari Bhatt still want a church wedding.

The Nashville couple regularly attends St. Philip's Episcopal Church, but opted for a civil ceremony in the living room of the city's former mayor because their bishop will not permit same-sex couples to have the religious ceremonies in the church. 

Pereira and Bhatt live and worship within the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee, which is one of only eight dioceses in the country where such a ban exists. Their struggle within the church's Middle Tennessee region is illustrative of how views on marriage continue to threaten the unity of the denomination. 

"It amazes me that I could literally go to any other dioceses that touches us and get married," Pereira said. 

But that could change soon.

More here-