Saturday, September 22, 2018

Archbishop's views on Brexit and welfare are opposite to most Anglicans, poll suggests

From The Telegraph-

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s views on welfare and Brexit do not reflect those of ordinary Anglicans, research has found.

A study found that the majority of Church of England Christians supported Brexit, with 66 per cent of Anglicans voting Leave, compared to a national average of 53 per cent. 

The research, published in the journal Religion, State and Society, found that Church of England Christians were unpersuaded by their bishops, who were overwhelmingly Remain-leaning. 

Identifying as Anglican is "an important independent predictor of voting Leave even when other relevant factors like age and region are corrected for", the paper, by Greg Smith, of the William Temple Foundation and Linda Woodhead, professor of Politics, Philosophy and Religion at Lancaster University, concluded. 

More here-

Episcopal Diocese Hosts ‘Climate Action’ Multi-Faith Service, Procession With Circus ‘Tree Stilt Walkers’

From California-

The Episcopal Diocese of California recently held a multi-faith service in collaboration with the “Global Climate Action Summit,” beginning with a procession that included circus stilt men adorned with leaves.

According to reports, the event was held at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco on Sept. 12 and featured music, dancing, art, and a performance by the Tree Stilt Walkers of Cirque Berzerk, who also walked down the aisle alongside representatives of the Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist religions, among others.“The service includes … video greetings and words of encouragement from global faith leaders including His Holiness the Dalai Lama; His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople (via a representative); the Most Reverend Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church (via video); and members of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s monastic community,” the event website reads.

More here-

Episcopal bishop drawn by sense of new possibilities

From Reading Pa-

"I would say the diocese did a very bold thing."

That was the response of Bishop Kevin D. Nichols of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem when asked about the lengthy process by which he was elected to the post. Nichols was ordained and consecrated as the ninth bishop of the diocese last week in Allentown.

After the 2013 retirement of the previous bishop, Paul V. Marshall, the diocese elected not to immediately seek a successor. Instead, it named the Rt. Rev. Sean Rowe, already the bishop of Northwestern Pennsylvania, to serve as provisional bishop of the Bethlehem diocese during a period of reorganization.

"They (the diocese) said they were going to pause for a season and re-evaluate and discover where God was calling them, saying in essence, 'We need to go on a pilgrimage,' " Nichols said in a telephone interview a few days before his ordination.

More here-

Friday, September 21, 2018

The Church of England’s views rankle with the laity

From The Economist-

“THE heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of a fool to the left,” according to the book of Ecclesiastes. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury (pictured), might not agree. As the head of the Church of England, the former oilman has championed several causes usually associated with the left. This week the Church held a series of meetings to discuss buying the loan book of Wonga, a lender that recently went into administration, in order to prevent the debts of its borrowers being sold to another high-interest loan firm. The previous week the archbishop had compared socialism to the Christian belief that all men and women are created equally in the image of God.

Archbishop Welby is not unusual among the clergy. If anything, he is seen as a conservative. Rowan Williams, his predecessor, was even more outspoken. Bishop Williams styles himself as a “hairy lefty” and as leader of the Church backed calls for a “Robin Hood tax” on financial transactions. In the 1980s he was marked out as “subversive” for his earlier campus activism as a student at Oxford. Those further down the pecking order also lean leftward. In 2015, 84 bishops signed a letter urging the prime minister to increase the number of refugees admitted to Britain.

More here-

Retired bishop Philip Newell bids to stop church disciplinary action after child abuse inquiry

From Tasmania-

A former Tasmanian bishop who was being investigated by the Anglican Church following findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has made an 11th-hour application for proceedings to be permanently suspended.

In February last year, Anglican Bishop Richard Condie revealed he had started a church disciplinary process to investigate Philip Newell. 

That move came after a report released by the royal commission referred to evidence that bishop Newell had been made aware in 1987 that now-convicted paedophile Louis Daniels had sexually abused three boys.

Bishop Newell allowed Daniels to stay in the Church, and promoted him to a high-ranking position two years later on the basis he "amend his life".

The commission found:

More here-

Inmates Beat Guns Into Plowshares

From Connecticut-

Four New Haven Correctional Center inmates literally beat “swords into ploughshares” on Thursday as they forged new garden tools from donated and repurposed handguns, shotguns, and assault rifles.

Outside of the New Haven police headquarters at 1 Union Ave., the four current New Haven inmates worked with blacksmiths from the Colorado Springs-based RAWtools, Inc. to forge two-sided mattocks out of former handguns, shotguns, and assault rifles acquired by the city’s police department through its annual gun buyback program.

The mattocks, which are foot-long garden tools with a hoe on one side and a two-pronged fork on the other, will ultimately be donated to gardening programs at local high schools like Common Ground, Hillhouse High, and Wilbur Cross High, as well as to the New Haven Land Trust, which runs over 50 community gardens throughout the city.

“Today we raise up the symbol that we don’t have to be tied to instruments of death,” said Jim Curry, a New Haven resident and the recently retired former bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut. “We can be tied instruments of life and growing and partnership.”

He quoted the passage from the Book of Isaiah that provided the spiritual inspiration for the enterprise: “They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

More here-

Cooking chicken wings with the Bishop: An ancient Mediterranean love feast

From North Carolina-

During my years as a Ford model in New York City, I met many celebrities but none as memorable as Presiding Bishop Michael Curry of the American Diocese of the Episcopal Church.

On May 19 he captured the attention of 2 billion people via worldwide satellite at the Royal wedding. However, he captured my heart and imagination much earlier as my passionate culinary student. We prepared an ancient Mediterranean meal together for a filming and interview for the N.C. Episcopalian Diocese magazine. 

Bishop Curry “took me to church” the first time I heard him preach at the rural St. Mary’s Chapel in Hillsborough where I grew up. I knew right away that he was not a traditional Episcopal priest. His delivery reminded me more of an evangelical preacher. Flashing his engaging smile, he confessed to me that his grandmother had been a Baptist! His joyous demeanor and contagious enthusiasm were harbingers of more divine appointments to come. 

More here-

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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Garrison Keillor: Old man in his pew among the Piskies

From Garrison Keillor-

A WHOLE STRING of perfect summery September days and we sit outdoors eating our broiled fish and cucumber salad and the last of the sweet corn crop while looking at news of people stranded in flooded towns in North Carolina, unable to evacuate because they are caring for an elderly bedridden relative.

They stand on their porch, surrounded by filthy floodwater, waiting for rescue, and meanwhile we pass a bottle of Pouilly-Fuissé and look forward to ice cream.

This is why a man goes to church, to give thanks for blessings and to pray for the afflicted, while contemplating the imbalance, us on the terrace, them on the porch. And to write out a check for flood relief.

I go to the church where my wife and I were married 23 years ago in New York City. She was raised Episcopalian so I became a Piskie too, out of pure gratitude. Had she been Quaker, I would’ve quaked; had she been Jewish, hand me the Torah, Laura. My evangelical family liked Jeremiah and Ezekiel a lot more than “Blessed are the meek” and if there had been a First Pharisee church in our town, we’d have been there.

More here-

Anglican Church tasks FG on Leah Sharibu, Chibok girls’ release

From Nigeria-

The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has urged the Federal government to ensure the immediate release of Leah Sharibu and the remaining Chibok schoolgirls, especially following the death of a humanitarian aid girl, Saifura Khorsa, who was kidnapped six months ago by the insurgents.

The Boko Haram insurgents issued a statement this week, threatened to harm Sharibu, the Chibok and Dapchi girls.

The Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of the church, the Most Reverend Nicholas D. Okoh, made the plea at the church’s Standing Committee meeting held at the St. Peter’s Cathedral Church in Minna, Niger State.

The Primate maintained that conscious and deliberate efforts should be made to end the ordeal of the captive girls, their parents and families by ensuring the freedom of the innocent girls.

More here-

Yonkers Oldest Church Celebrates 325 Years

From New York-

St. John’s Episcopal Church Getty Square will celebrate its 325th anniversary Sunday, Sept. 23. The public is invited to a Festival Holy Eucharist at 10:15 a.m., an historic tour of the church at noon and a gala luncheon at 1 p.m. at The Riverview. The luncheon will help support a fundraising effort to restore the Clerestory Windows in the church’s 1872 building.

The last opportunity to purchase tickets will be Sept. 17. Tickets can be obtained by calling 914-963-3033.

In September 1693, the church was included in an act during the first session of the Third Assembly, in the fifth year of the reign of King William III and Queen Mary II, joint monarchs of England, Scotland and Ireland, 83 years before the Declaration of Independence. Mentions of the Yonkers congregation, however, date as early as 1684.

More here-

'All you need is love': Episcopal pastor in Covington to lead 'Beatles Mass' featuring Fab Four's songs

From Louisiana-

The Rev. Bill Miller, rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Covington, has made pilgrimages to Jerusalem and such sacred sites as Patrick Mountain in Ireland and the Scottish isle of Iona.

In the summer of 2017, he embarked on a religious journey of a different sort: to Liverpool, birthplace of the Beatles.

“I’d really call it a Beatles pilgrimage,” Miller said. “Some really extraordinary, creative things happened in that place that continue to shape the world. There really aren’t enough superlatives. I had the same feeling that day as when I go to Patrick Mountain or Iona or even Jerusalem.”

Thus inspired, Miller will preside over "All You Need Is Love," a “Beatles Mass” — a service using the songs of the Fab Four instead of hymns — on Sunday at Christ Church (120 S. New Hampshire St. near Bogue Falaya Park in Covington).

More here-

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Anglican Church Declares War on Climate Change Before It Becomes ‘Unstoppable’

From Breitbart-

The global Anglican Church is uniting in a common crusade against “climate change and biodiversity loss” with its “Letters for Creation” campaign that runs until October 4.

The initiative features a series of letters published Tuesday from different provinces of the Anglican communion around the world describing the alleged negative effects of global warming as well as a common effort to combat it.

The letters are meant to promote “the Season of Creation,” a campaign that runs from 1 September to 4 October, in response to an appeal by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby to his fellow Primates to set out what “the care for God’s creation” means in their Province as well as what they wanted to say to the wider Anglican Communion about “the care for our common home.”

More here-

Presiding Bishop, church respond to further cuts to the US refugee resettlement program

From ENS-

The United States was a worldwide leader in refugee resettlement just two years ago, when more than 80,000 refugees were welcomed into the country with help from the nine agencies with federal contracts to do that work, including Episcopal Migration Ministries. That number has dwindled under the Trump administration, which announced Sept. 17 it would reduce resettlement further, to just 30,000 a year.

The Episcopal Church has a long history of standing with refugees, people who are fleeing violence, war and political and religious persecution, and on Sept. 18 the church expressed its disappointment at the reduced cap on the number of refugees.

“As followers of Jesus Christ, we are saddened by this decision,” Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry, said in a written statement. “Our hearts and our prayers are with those thousands of refugees who, due to this decision, will not be able to find new life in the United States. This decision by the government does not reflect the care and compassion of Americans who welcome refugees in their communities every day. Our faith calls us to love God and love our neighbor, so we stand ready to help all those we can in any way we can.”

More here-

I blinked on LGBTQ issues in my church. And I regret it.

From North Carolina-

We fall short as a civil society in our ability to admit mistakes and apologize with the sincere intent to change our behavior. So here goes: I’ve been wrong. And in the reality of human fallibility, I know I’ll be wrong again. The best I can do is move forward, determined not to repeat that particular shortcoming.

The mistake I regret of longest standing dates back 15 years. The Episcopal Church was taking up issues related to our siblings who are lesbian and gay, specifically at that time the consecration of Gene Robinson, an openly gay man, as a bishop. I would consider myself, then and now, someone who believes that all of us are beloved children of God, created in God’s image, and worthy of serving God. 

But faced with division within the church, I blinked. While I wanted everyone to have a path to ordination, consecration, and marriage regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, if it was going to cause conflict, I thought that could wait. 

More here-

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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

‘It is going to wreck my life’: Immigration judge may deport retired Alton priest

From Texas-

Supporters of a retired Alton priest are rallying to raise money for his legal fees as he faces likely deportation because of a mistake he made 12 years ago based on misinformation.

“My immigration lawyer tells me deportation is inevitable and that the position I might be granted is voluntary departure, but it is up to the decision of the immigration judge,” said the Rev. David Boase, 69, who retired in 2014 from St. Paul Episcopal Church, 10 E. Third St.

“Technically, I am not being deported, I will leave on my own account,” he said if the judge allows the voluntary departure for him to go back to England. “I have to leave America — my home, my church and my friends. I’ve been here 14 years. My life is here. It is going to wreck my life. I am so happy here, in the parish, in the community and the area. It is a mess.”

More here-

Why Western Christianity has a death wish

From Australia-

There's nowhere more relevant to the modern world than Grace Cathedral, San Francisco. This Episcopal church advertises yoga and is totally non-judgmental (there's a photo on its website of a man dressed as a nun), and I bet a fun time was had by all at last week's Global Climate Action Summit Multi-Faith Service.

You can watch a video online: down the aisle come clerics, musicians and men on stilts dressed as trees. Notice though, as the camera pans out, that the congregation is a bit thin at the back. And old. It's in desperate need of some new sap.

The wider US Episcopal church is facing extinction: just 500,000 attend its services on a Sunday, which an internal report calls a "profound and shocking decline". Its sister church in England isn't doing much better.

The latest figures suggest that Church of England affiliation has halved since 2002 and that only 2 per cent of young people call themselves Anglican. This is despite the Church of England spending decades chasing cultural relevance. At the weekend, there was a discussion in this newspaper about whether or not God has a gender. "I don't want young girls or young boys to hear us constantly refer to God as he," said Rt Rev Rachel Treweek, the Bishop of Gloucester, because that might alienate people.

More here-

Monday, September 17, 2018

Gonsalves Wants Clarity From Churches About Homosexual Acts Done In Private

From The Windward Islands-

Anglican Bishop of the Windward Islands, C Leopold Friday said that 'while rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture, calls on all our people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn irrational fear of homosexuals'. 

The above statement was quoted by the Bishop from a resolution of the church. 

An investigation has been launched into the physical and verbal assault of two 'openly gay' in Calliaqua and which was circulated via social media showing the men running from thugs in fear for their life. 

Police commissioner Colin John told News784 that the matter was reported to the Calliaqua police station by the two men. 

He said they were given medical forms by the police which was filled out and returned. 

More here-

Church of England should avoid only calling God 'he', Bishop says

From the Telegraph-

The Church of England should avoid only calling God "he", a bishop has said, as a survey found that young Christians think God is male.

Research by YouGov found that almost half of 18-24 year-old Christians believed God to be male, with just one in three over-65s believing the same.

The Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, bishop of Gloucester, the Church of England's first female diocesan bishop, said: "I don't want young girls or young boys to hear us constantly refer to God as he," adding that it was important to be "mindful of our language".

She raised concerns that non-Christians could feel alienated from the Church if its public pronouncements used solely male language to describe God.

More here-

The unfolding Anglican earthquake: a way through?

From Christian Today-

Can Anglicans ever compromise on the vexed issue of sexuality? And if not, is there now a possible way forward?

Many still hope for some kind of compromise. After all, Christians of various denominations disagree amicably on many other things – such as re-marriage of divorcees in church, or whether to baptise children, for example.

But that's probably wishful thinking. That's because the issue of sexuality is different from many others on which Christians have varying practices. Nobody believes, for example, that baptism is a 'bad thing' or that divorce is in and of itself a 'good thing'. The range of practice in relation to each issue does not reflect underlying differences on the rights or wrongs of the thing under discussion itself. For all Christians, baptism is a matter for rejoicing, whereas divorce is sad.

With sexuality, it's different. One part of Anglicanism believes non-celibate same-sex relationships should be celebrated. Another part – by far the majority – believes there is a better story for Christians to tell, and that it doesn't involve jettisoning 2,000-year old beliefs about the uniqueness of male-female marriage and chastity outside that. For each side, compromise is impossible.

More here-

Vote buying, non-payment of salaries, others worry Anglican Church

From Nigeria-

The Diocese of Ekiti West, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), on Sunday advised politicians against making unrealistic promises to the electorate as the 2019 general elections approaches.

It also admonished Nigerians against the practice of vote buying, which it noted, had also been gaining ground in the country, saying that the practice aimed at stifling people from making free choice of their candidates.

These were some of the resolutions reached at the 1st Session of the 7th Synod of the diocese which ended on Sunday.

It was presided over by the Bishop of the Diocese, Rufus Adepoju.

NAN reports that the four-day synod which held at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Idagba, Efon Alaaye, in Efon Local Government Area of the state, had as its theme: “Be Ye Steadfast”.

More here-

Ties that bind — the partnership between HWS, Geneva celebrates 200 years

From Rochester-

In 1818, Rochester was a sleepy little village, as were many of the other towns in this area, and as he searched for a place for his college, Bishop Hobart dismissed them.
But he liked what he saw in Geneva. It was a booming, bustling place. It lay on the “gateway route” to the western frontier. It had a hotel, a municipal water system, a post office, a library, a church and a newspaper. There was an expanding business community and an active social life.
Most importantly it had an Academy. When John Henry Hobart, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, arrived in 1818, he proposed that the Academy become his new college. Bishop Hobart wanted to partner with a place that had local support and the economic ability to support a college that could become a respected institution. He asked the leaders of Geneva to raise money in the community for the construction of a stone building. This was the beginning of a two-century-long partnership with the new college and the Geneva community. It was a partnership the Geneva community actively embraced.

More here-

Feed My Sheep packs food for hungry children in Gardner and Athol

From Massachusetts-

Jean Kunzinger was on hand to greet people who were volunteering their Saturday to participate in Feed My Sheep, a multi-denominational gathering to combat hunger in the area. Kunzinger said 68 people signed up for Feed My Sheep on Saturday, and the crowd was singing as they packed food for those in need.

“It is great to see so many come together,” said Kunzinger as the room broke out in song with “Sweet Caroline.”
The event was the brainchild of a local activist who heard children were hungry.

Susan Hubbard, affectionately called “Old Mother Hubbard,” a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, said that she began bringing the project Feed My Sheep together after attending events where people gathered to pack food for the hungry in other areas. She brought the idea to her church to see if they were interested in making a difference.

“As a church, we decided that we wanted to do something more to help,” she said.

More here-

St. David's Episcopal Church holds last service

From Central FL.

Fewer people are going to church and it's led many churches to close their doors, such as St. David's Episcopal Church in Lakeland.
  • St. David's Episcopal Church to close
  • Last church service held Sunday 
  • Congregation to join St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
According to a 2014 Pew Research Center telephone survey of more than 35,000 Americans, only 36 percent attend religious services once a week.

Several members of St. David's Episcopal Church cried as they celebrated the passing of the peace, the last communion and the last sermon in their church home, a place that opened its doors to worshippers back in 1953.

More here-

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Anglican Church horrified over how redress scheme calculates payments to victims

From Austraila-

As preparations are made for next month's national apology to survivors, the Anglican Church of Australia says it is deeply disappointed with parts of the National Redress Scheme, describing it as unfair. 

Tasmania's Anglican Bishop, Richard Condie, said the final matrix — the framework used to determine a redress payment — wasn't as good as that recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Bishop Condie said when the Anglican Church first saw the matrix, it was horrified, believing survivors would get less money and in some cases, nothing

The Royal Commission's recommended matrix consisted of 100 points — 40 points for the severity of the abuse, another 40 points for the severity of the impact of the abuse and 20 points for other circumstances, such as whether the child was in an orphanage. 

More here-

Knocked sideways by Florence, New Bern rushes to get back on its feet

From Eastern North Carolina-

All through the night as Hurricane Florence began hammering this city near the North Carolina coast, Paul Canady’s phone buzzed and beeped with messages from members of Christ Episcopal Church, where he serves as rector.

A collapsed tree leaned against a nearby house where a husband and wife live. A family huddled in their attic to escape the rising floodwaters. There was no electricity anywhere.
But by Saturday morning, the water was receding, the rain had abated and Canady’s flock appeared safe. So he drove downtown to see how the church itself had weathered the storm.Besides the daylight shining through the stained-glass windows, the building was pitch black. Canady walked to the base of the bell tower, the highest point in New Bern, and climbed two metal ladders with a small flashlight. The wooden floorboards were damp, but everything appeared intact. 
More here-