Saturday, September 15, 2018

Cardinal Wuerl says he's ready to 'step aside' so the Catholic Church can heal

From Pittsburgh-

Cardinal Donald Wuerl told parishioners Friday that he is repenting for the “wounds that were caused by my bad judgments or failures” as he prepares to discuss his resignation with Pope Francis. 

Wuerl — the archbishop of Washington and former Pittsburgh bishop entangled in two far-reaching child sex abuse scandals — introduced a six-week “Season of Healing” during a special Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C. 

During the homily portion of the service, Wuerl said that he hopes that all church leaders will demonstrate transparency as the Roman Catholic Church moves away “from the darkness of sin and failure — abuse and shame.” 

The remarks during Mass echoed the cardinal’s expression of remorse conveyed in a blog post on Thursday , in which Wuerl said he regrets some of his decisions over the past 30 years. 

More here-

'What We Love, We Will Protect'

From Sojourners-

Churches are typically peaceful. But the silence inside San Francisco’s iconic Grace Cathedral was particularly welcoming last Wednesday.

Hundreds gathered within the gothic building for a Multi-Faith Service of Wondering and Commitment hosted by the Episcopal Diocese of California and nonprofits GreenFaith and Interfaith Power & Light. Participants were invited to reflect on and be inspired by the wonders of creation. But they were also encouraged to make bold new commitments to protect the planet and its inhabitants from the ravages of climate change.

“What we love, we will protect,” the Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, Episcopal Bishop of California, told the estimated 500 attendees. “That’s the spirit that we’re undertaking with this service.

More here-

WATCH: Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry recalls royal wedding sermon

From Allentown-


Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry recalls role during royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during visit to Bethlehem, Pa., ahead of the ordination of the Bethlehem Diocese's new bishop. (Harry Fisher / The Morning Call)

More here-

Friday, September 14, 2018

Church Commissioners defend multi-million pound stake in Amazon

From The Church Times-

THE Church Commissioners have defended their holding a multi-million pound stake in Amazon Inc, after the Archbishop of Canterbury accused the company of “paying almost nothing in tax”.

The Commissioners’ annual report for 2017 indicates that the company is among their 20 most valuable equity holdings.

On Thursday, a spokesman confirmed that, “As a global investor with a diverse portfolio, Amazon is listed as one of our top 20 holdings globally.

“The Church Commissioners have previously been on the record that we consider aggressive tax-avoidance or abusive tax-arrangements to be both a business risk and an ethical issue. As with other issues, we take the view that it is most effective to be in the room with these companies seeking change as a shareholder.

“We continue to work with other shareholders to tackle this issue via engagement with companies and their managers.”

More here-

In letter, Wuerl says he’s prepared to step down ‘to begin the healing’

From Washington DC-

Cardinal Donald Wuerl says he is prepared to step down in the wake of an intense firestorm of criticism over his handling of sex abuse claims dating back decades.

“Those called to serve the Church in a leadership capacity must recognize that we are to lead not only by word, but also by personal action,” Wuerl wrote in the Sept. 13 letter posted on the Archdiocese of Washington’s website. “We must be prepared to do whatever is needed, including stepping aside. This action on my part is an essential aspect of the healing so that this archdiocesan Church we all love can move forward.”

n a letter to priests sent earlier this week, Wuerl said he planned to meet with Pope Francis “in the near future” to discuss his possible resignation. Wuerl, 77, submitted his resignation nearly three years ago when he turned 75, which is customary.

More here- 

and here-

Bishop Michael Curry, preached at royal wedding, to speak in Worcester, Pittsfield

From Western Mass-

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, will visit Pittsfield and Worcester next month.

Curry, who made global headlines as the charismatic preacher at the royal wedding of England's Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle, will preach at the First United Methodist Church in Pittsfield on Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. 

The Most Rev. Douglas Fisher, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts, will preside over the Holy Eucharist service.

Later in the day, Curry will preach at the Hanover Theatre of Performing Arts in Worcester at 5 p.m.
Both events are part of an Episcopal revival sponsored by the diocese and the Episcopal Church.
The revival is being described as dedicated to "spiritual renewal and transformation."

More here-

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Stop criticising building of National Cathedral — Most Rev. Prof. Yinkah-Sarfo

From Ghana-

The Anglican Bishop of Kumasi, the Most Reverend Professor Daniel Yinkah Sarfo, has waded into the argument surrounding the building of the National Cathedral and has urged naysayers who have no idea about the purpose of the edifice to “shut up”.

He chastised those kicking against the laudable initiative.

He said he was baffled how people, including some Christians, were distorting the tenacity of the edifice, which when completed would be used for all religious and state gatherings.

In an interview after the first session of the 19th Synod at the St Cyprian's Cathedral in Kumasi at the weekend, Rev. Yinkah-Sarfo explained that the project was just being facilitated by the government but was being financed by religious bodies, individuals and philanthropists, and declared the spiritual and financial support of the Anglican Church towards the realisation of the edifice.

More here-

Anglican Archbishop Gandiya retires

From Central Africa-

Retiring Archbishop of the Diocese of Harare of the Anglican Church of Central Africa, Archbishop Chad Gandiya, who will be retiring this year, says he is happy that he has served the church faithfully after having been at the helm for nine years.

The ZBC News caught up with Archbishop Gandiya at the church’s annual gathering at Benard Mizeki in Marondera where he spoke on a number of issues including how he wants to be remembered.

He also touched on his relationship with leader of the Anglican Church Province of Zimbabwe, Archbishop Nobert Kunonga, whom he had a six year wrangle over properties.

“I wish Archbishop Kunonga well. We were never enemies but we only had differences .We serve the same God,” said Archbishop Gandiya.

More here-

People of faith urge Trump to admit more refugees

From Presbyterian Outlook-

With a decision looming on how many refugees to admit into the country, and rumors swirling that the number could drop dramatically from this year’s historic low, people of faith are coming together to ask the Trump administration to instead allow tens of thousands more to enter the United States.

Representatives of some of the largest Protestant denominations in the country — including the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Episcopal Church — were planning to gather outside the White House on Wednesday (Sept. 12) to press President Trump to raise the number of refugees admitted in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 to 75,000 people.

And the Evangelical Immigration Table — a coalition that includes the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the country’s single largest Protestant denomination — hosted a call demanding the same.

More here-

Welsh bishops to explore “formal provision” for same-sex couples

From ACNS-

The Bishops of the Church in Wales (CiW) will explore formal provision for same-sex couples in church after a debate yesterday in the Province’s Governing Body. Members of the Governing Body – the Church in Wales’ synod – agreed that “it is pastorally unsustainable for the Church to make no formal provision for those in same-gender relationships.” Following the vote, a CiW spokeswoman said that bishops will now consider “new approaches which could be brought back to the Governing Body for approval at a later date.”

In June 2017, the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) changed its canon law to remove the definition that marriage is between a man and a woman; paving the way for same-sex marriage in Scottish Anglican churches. In October last year, the Primus of the SEC, Bishop Mark Strange, told fellow Anglican Primates’ that he recognised the Church would now face the same consequences that were placed on the US-based Episcopal Church the previous January.

Ahead of yesterday’s debate, Bishop Strange addressed the CiW Governing Body and explained the process that the SEC had followed in reaching its decision .This was followed by a question session with Bishop Mark and an open discussion before a vote on the proposition.

More here- 

also here-

Episcopal Church Donates $45K for Prayer Book Translation in Native American Heart Language

From South Dakota-

The Episcopal Church has approved a project to translate the Book of Common Prayer into the Native American language of Lakota.

The Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota recently received a United Thank Offering grant of $45,000 to translate the BCP into contemporary Lakota.

Archdeacon Paul Sneve of the South Dakota Diocese told The Christian Post in an interview on Tuesday that they were in the beginning stages of the translation project.

"Episcopal Congregants from our nine reservations are submitting names of fluent speakers [and] writers who are also familiar with the English BCP. We have decisions to make especially in regard to how best to accommodate the three dialects spoken here, as well as what to include in book," explained Sneve.

"It has become evident early on that the finished book will be different than the English BCP in that we have liturgies that we use that aren't included in the 1979 book."

More here-

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

How evangelicals took over the Church of England

From Premier Christian-

In 1966 two of the most well-loved and respected church leaders of their day faced off against one another. Speaking at an Evangelical Alliance event in Westminster, famed preacher Martin Lloyd-Jones publicly criticised evangelicals for remaining inside the Church of England, thereby aligning themselves with leaders in the denomination who promoted liberalism. He said evangelicals “scattered about in various major denominations” were “weak and ineffective”. The Welsh minister of Westminster Chapel suggested evangelicals should instead form their own association of churches.

As chair of the event, John Stott was expected to offer his polite thanks to Lloyd-Jones. Instead the rector of All Souls Church issued an impassioned spontaneous rebuttal, arguing that evangelicals should remain inside the Church of England and fight for truth from within. Thankfully the two men were later reconciled after their very public falling out.

More here-

Church of England bishops adopt full IHRA definition of antisemitism

From Jewish News-

Church of England bishops have adopted the full international definition of antisemitism. 

A statement endorsing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, including all its working examples, was agreed during the annual residential meeting of the College of Bishops in Oxford this week. 

This comes after the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, spoke of the need for its full backing during a pre-Rosh Hashanah video shot at the house of Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis.  

The statement “notes the necessity of making explicit its adoption of and adherence to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, including all examples, without qualification or exemption.”

More here-

Gay marriage in Welsh churches? Welsh bishops say it is 'unjust' not to provide for same-sex couples

From Wales-

The Bishops of the Church in Wales say it is “unsustainable and unjust” not to make formal provisions for people who are in committed same-gender relationships.

Members of the church’s governing body will today vote in a private ballot to say whether or not they agree that new arrangements are needed.

This could pave the way for future legislation to open the door to gay marriage in the Church in Wales.

Last year Scottish Anglicans voted to allow gay couples to marry in church however the move would not take effect until after 2021.

A similar vote in Wales in 2016 was in favour of allowing gay marriage in Church but was said to be too narrow to consider change.

More here-

Anniversary of Yellow Fever Epidemic Shows Ongoing Need in Community

From Memphis-

St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral dean Andy Andrews joked with Margery Wolcott over the weekend that her Constance Abbey street ministry has lasted longer than lots of restaurants do at five years.

The ministry is in two houses next to St. Mary’s Cathedral on Poplar Avenue at Alabama Street.

“We offer for the street people, and whoever wants to come, coffee on our porch and we’re open for a couple of hours for a shower and doing laundry,” Wolcott said as she and Andrews talked in Morris Park, the city park across Poplar from the cathedral.

The Saturday, Sept. 8, health fair and block party there was part of the church’s commemoration of the 1878 Yellow Fever epidemic. The cathedral was an important shelter during the epidemic and that day is a feast day in the Episcopal church.

Constance Abbey is named in honor of Sister Constance, an Episcopal nun who was among the nuns and priests who died in the epidemic that devastated Memphis.

More here-

Rector at St. Wilfrid in Huntington Beach under investigation for financial misconduct

From Los Angeles-

The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles is investigating allegations of financial misconduct against the Rev. Canon Michael D. Archer, rector of St. Wilfrid of York Church in Huntington Beach.

“These allegations were reviewed by both the bishop and a diocesan committee and have been deemed serious enough to warrant an investigation,” Joan Pashley-Baynes and Allison Hainlen, wardens for St. Wilfrid’s vestry, said in a Sept. 2 letter to parishioners. The allegations apparently involve Archer’s handling of expense and discretionary accounts at St. Wilfrid’s, according to a statement from the Right Rev. John Harvey Taylor, bishop of the six-county Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.

“Canon Archer has promised to cooperate fully,” Taylor said Monday. “Under the Episcopal church’s canons, respondents are presumed to be innocent until the facts show otherwise.” Archer could not be reached for comment. The diocese did not release further details about the allegations or what prompted the investigation.

More here-

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

More than a footnote: Locals honor the legacy of Margaret Mercer

From Virginia-

Loudoun County quietly forgot teacher and abolitionist Margaret Mercer after her death in 1846, even though she practiced racial integration and STEM education more than a century ahead of her time. On the grounds of St. David’s Episcopal Church and School, all that remains of her work are ruins and an obelisk erected by grateful students.

At least, that is, until now.

Mercer’s legacy returned to the spotlight Sunday, when dozens of public figures from Loudoun and Liberia gathered at St. David’s in Ashburn to dedicate a Virginia historical marker in her honor.
“[Mercer] needs to be remembered and not ignored,” said Ken Courter, a member of St. David’s and one of those who spearheaded efforts to erect the memorial.

More here-

Episcopal Church of South Sudan’s Bishop of Yirol, Simon Adut Yuang, killed in plane crash

From ACNS-

The Anglican Bishop of Yirol, Simon Adut Yuang, was one of 20 people killed when a plane carrying them from the South Sudanese capital Juba crashed into a lake as it attempted to land at Yirol Airport. Reports say that thick fog around Yirol, in the centre of the country, may have played a part in the accident. Only three of the plane’s passengers: two children and an Italian doctor, survived.

Other victims include a member of the Red Cross in South Sudan. “When it arrived the weather was so foggy and when it tried to land it crashed into Lake Yirol adjacent to Yirol town”, regional government minister Abel Aguek was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying. “The whole town is in shock, the shops are closed, some people have taken their relatives for burial. It is a commercial plane that crashed.”

More here-

Episcopal Diocese of Newark to make history with consecration of 11th Bishop

From Newark-

The Rev. Carlye J. Hughes will be consecrated the 11th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark on Saturday, September 22, at 11 AM, at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. She was elected on May 19, 2018 on the first ballot and will be the first woman and first African-American to serve the Diocese of Newark as diocesan bishop.

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, will officiate as Chief Consecrator. On the same day Hughes was elected bishop, Presiding Bishop Curry made headlines around the world for his sermon at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

More here-

Monday, September 10, 2018

The Imperative of the Imperium

From First Things-

In “The End of the Imperial Episcopate,” Fr. Jay Scott Newman speculates about the Church's current situation. One of his premises is that many bishops have become too much like distant managers and administrators, and that this has contributed to today's problems. He also suggests “the clerical culture in which bishops and priests live is in many ways diseased and deformed, requiring renewal.” I fully agree with Newman on these points. We do not need politicians and administrators. We need bishops who act like bishops:  teaching, shepherding, and, when necessary, disciplining like bishops. We need priests who don’t act like camp counselors, committee chairmen, facilitators, or socialites; we need priests who focus on their priestly, liturgical, and sacramental mission. Further, we need religious who remain faithful to the particular charisms of their founders instead of behaving like secular social justice activists.  In short, we need faithfulness to particular callings across the board.

In his article, Newman proposes various reforms. These include requiring bishops to spend more time in their own cathedrals, eliminating the auxiliary bishop model, and reducing diocesan bureaucracy. While I might offer a few caveats, in principle I think these suggestions have merit. Where I believe Newman goes off the rails is in his proposal that certain elements of the “imperium,” such as traditional episcopal vesture and titles, “need to go.” Newman presents some rather specious arguments that are neither consistently applied nor rooted in a fulsome view of Church history or the Christian East. These proposals do not address the current situation, and, if implemented, may even compound the Church's problems rather than eliminate them.

More here-

Honest, direct, yet gentle: Raleigh Episcopal priest pens picture book to explain death, grief to kids

From North Carolina-

The subject of death, dying and grief has intrigued Mary Davila since she was at least an undergraduate student at the University of Richmond, willingly getting up to take an early morning class on the topic during her senior year.
The lessons from the class intrigued Davila - and have served her well in her current career. Davila has been an Episcopal priest for 13 years and served as a children's minister before she went to seminary. Today, she's assistant rector at Christ Church in Raleigh and the co-author of a new picture book called "Grandpa's Tent" about grief.
More here-

Myers-Briggs Doesn’t Know Who You Are

From The Anxious Bench-

Why do we need someone else to tell us who we are? And if we do, why would we choose a “lucrative global corporation” to tell us? What extrovert doesn’t know she is one? What introvert doesn’t know he is one, even before the label is heard?

Merve Emre’s new book about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) refreshes persistent doubts about the test’s scientific validity. Emre calls the test a “flagship product of a lucrative global corporation, one whose interests sit at the shadowy crossroads of industrial psychology and self-care.” Devised in the 1940s by Carl Jung devotee Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers, the test is a favorite evaluative tool in big corporations and the military, in colleges and churches, not to mention the counseling of engaged couples.

More here-

Sunday, September 9, 2018

South Sudan: Several dead as passenger plane crashes in river

From South Sudan-

At least six people died in South Sudan when a small aircraft carrying passengers from Juba International Airport to the city of Yirol crashed, a witness said.

"We are still removing bodies from the water because the aircraft fell into a river," the witness told Reuters news agency. 

"So far, in front of me there are six bodies recovered from the water." 
Other reports said up to 17 people were killed in the crashed. 

Officials said they are investigating the cause of Sunday's crash.

"We have not yet established full details of the airline but what we know it is a 19-seater plane coming from Juba to Yirol this morning," Taban Abel Aguek, regional information minister for the Eastern Great Lakes state, told AFP news agency.
"When it arrived the weather was so foggy and when it tried to land it crashed... Its so sad. Many people on board are feared dead. We are still establishing details," he added.

Anglican Bishop of Yirol, Simon Adut, was confirmed among the dead, according to Abel.

More here- 

also here-