Saturday, December 1, 2018

Fall from grace: How a beloved priest allegedly ‘looted’ $126,000 from a Huntington Beach church

From Orange County-

Saddened but resolute, Derek Wimmer solemnly stood before the shell-shocked congregation of St. Wilfrid of York church and meticulously detailed the sins of Michael Archer, a disgraced priest accused of malfeasance in the theft of about $126,000 over the past decade. 

“It is abundantly clear that by forging documents, using Photoshopped invoices, lying to those who questioned him, these actions were premeditated and designed to systematically loot the church,” Wimmer, the church’s treasurer, told about 100 parishioners who gathered for a rare town hall meeting on Nov. 25.

More here-

Rev. Mark Cowell consecrated as Episcopal bishop

From Western Kansas-

The ordination and consecration of the Reverend Mark A. Cowell as the Sixth Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Western Kansas took place Friday morning, Nov. 30, at Christ Cathedral in Salina. The Chief Consecrator was the Most Reverend Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church.

In May, the Rev. Cowell was elected to serve as the Diocese of Western Kansas’ sixth bishop. A lawyer who once prosecuted gang members in Dodge City, Cowell is the vicar of Sts. Mary and Martha of Bethany in Larned and of Holy Nativity in Kinsley. He still works part-time as Dodge City’s municipal prosecutor and is serving his second term as Hodgeman County Attorney. 

More here-

George H.W. Bush helped lead GOP toward evangelicalism

From The Washington Post-

George H.W. Bush, who died Friday, was a lifetime Episcopalian, part of the blue blood of America’s founding Christianity. But as a presidential candidate, he was part of a Republican opening to evangelicalism that changed the country’s landscape.

A bombing mission that plunged him into the Pacific Ocean during World War II and his younger daughter’s death from leukemia were among the times when he said he looked to God and prayer.
Bush attended Christ Episcopal Church in Greenwich, Conn., as a child. His father, Prescott Bush, was a Republican senator from Connecticut. The future president’s mother, Dorothy Walker, would read to her family from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer.

More here-

Friday, November 30, 2018

Anglican Church to apologise for takeover of Māori land in Bay of Plenty

From New Zealand-

Tauranga was built atop a broken promise from Anglican Church missionaries and iwi when they sold 540-hectares of land they did not own.  

Now, 152 years later, the Archbishop Emeritus Sir David Moxon will issue a formal apology to Ngati Tapu and Ngaitamarawaho of Tauranga Moana for the actions of the missionaries when they gifted the Te Papa peninsula to the Crown.

The 540 hectare piece of land encompasses modern-day Tauranga's CBD and was purchased in 1838 by the Church Missionary Society (CMS) and had to be used for the "benefit of the native race and the church".

This included building schools and other shared facilities. 

More here-

Brady proposing to kill new tax on churches, colleges, other nonprofits

From Politico-

House Republicans are proposing to rescind a new tax they imposed on churches and other nonprofits.

Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) has introduced an amendment to a pending tax bill that would eliminate a new tax on certain fringe benefits provided to employees of nonprofits.

“We are proactively eliminating any potential uncertainty for our churches and community organizations so nothing distracts them from their core mission,” said Brady.

The levy, created as part of last year’s tax overhaul has outraged religious groups, who complain it will force them to pay taxes for the first time. Killing the tax would cost $1.8 billion, according to Congress’ nonpartisan budget scorekeepers.

Republicans want to delete the charge as part of a year-end tax bill they hope to get to President Donald Trump’s desk before Congress quits for the year.

More here-

Local priest reacts to proposed Ohio 'Pastor Protection Act'

From Ohio-

Ohio House Bill 36 is being considered by the Ohio Senate, after passing the House in June with a vote of 61-29. 

he "Pastor Protection Act" would prevent any ordained or licensed religious official from facing any civil or criminal lawsuits if they decline to perform a marriage that goes against their "sincerely held religious beliefs." 

But this is something Father Cuff, of All Saints' Episcopal Church, doesn't believe is necessary.
The decision to marry a couple or not is already protected by the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. 

He's doesn't think many couples would want to get married in a church that isn't willing to perform their marriage in the first place. 

"The courthouse is three blocks away," Cuff said. 

He believes that the creators of the bill are afraid that lawsuits could happen.
"I'm guessing there has to be some measure of fear behind it," he said. 

But says he isn't worried.

More here-

DEPO and the Personal Ministry of Bishops

From The Living Church-

In the cloistered universe of Episcopalianism, recent news has concerned the Bishop of Albany’s pastoral letter explaining that he will decline to cooperate with the demands of General Convention Resolution 2018-B012, and an announcement from the Bishop of Dallas that he has engaged the services of a bishop under DEPO for three of his parishes. I have a request for DEPO from one of the parishes in the Diocese of Springfield. I am inclined to find a path to Yes, and we are trying to hammer out the details.

Such turns of events force one to make a deep dive — yet again — into the inherent nature of episcopacy. Why is it that a parish holding the traditional teaching on marriage, and whose proper bishop does not, might agonizingly conclude that it needs pastoral oversight from a bishop who concurs with its understanding of the gospel? And why is it that a bishop who advocates for the received teaching (often along with the critical mass of a diocese) may feel the need for some distance from a parish that wishes to hold a wedding between persons of the same sex?

More here-

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Slain missionary John Chau prepared much more than we thought, but are missionaries still fools?

From The Washington Post-

Since John Allen Chau was killed earlier this month while trying to evangelize the isolated inhabitants of a remote Indian island, his story has stirred intense emotions, many negative. While both Christians and non-Christians have raised profound questions about the biblical and ethical appropriateness of pushing into places where you’re not wanted, much criticism of Chau has focused on what appeared to be his lack of preparation.

In his journal, Chau used the word “holler” to describe what he did after sneaking onto the beach of the remote North Sentinel Island in a kayak. The scene of the young American yelling, in English, “My name is John. I love you, and Jesus loves you,” before being killed by a bow and arrow isn’t the most sophisticated image of missionary outreach in 2018.

But new information released Wednesday paints a more complicated picture of Chau, including an interview with Christianity Today. In the interview, Mary Ho, who leads All Nations (the agency that sent Chau on missions), indicated that he was heavily vaccinated and even quarantined before going on the mission.

More here-

Vatican approves second miracle for Blessed John Henry Newman

From CNA-

.- A second miracle attributed to Blessed John Henry Newman has reportedly been approved by the Vatican, fueling expectation that his canonization could occur as early as next year.

Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom wrote in email newsletter to his diocese last week that he had received a copy of the relatio, or official report, about the second miracle needed for Newman’s canonization.

“It looks now as if Newman might be canonised, all being well, later next year,” wrote Egan in the newsletter. 

According Fr. Ignatius Harrison, the postulator of Newman’s cause for canonization, there are now two more steps to be taken before Newman can be canonized. First, a commission of bishops has to approve of the canonization, and then Pope Francis must declare him a saint.

More here-

Nigeria's Christians Brace For Attacks Ahead Of Elections

From Nigeria-

A leading Anglican is warning Nigeria's Christians face escalating attacks by Islamist militants in the lead-up to next year's general election. Archbishop Ben Kwashi is calling on the Nigerian government to provide security for Christian farmers in the north, who are being killed and driven from their homes by heavily armed Fulani herdsmen.

The Archbishop has also criticised inaccurate reporting for paralysing the will to intervene to prevent the Fulani attacks.

The Anglican Archbishop of Jos, Benjamin Kwashi, is a partner of UK-based Release International, which supports persecuted Christians around the world. On a speaking tour with Release, the archbishop has called for the Nigerian government to intervene to protect Christians. The Archbishop has himself survived three assassination attempts.

More here-

Sheepshead Bay church burns down for 2nd time in 11 years

From Long Island- (video)

A fire gutted a church in Brooklyn early Thursday morning.
Flames could be seen shooting from the steeple in Sheepshead Bay.

The parishioners at Emmanuel Episcopal Church on East 23rd Street can't seem to catch a break.

They were still trying to rebuild from a fire 11 years ago, and now they will have to deal with it again.

The sanctuary was destroyed and there is barely a shell of a building left.

Flames spread through the church sometime before 12:30 a.m. and firefighters worked to get the flames under control.

More here- 

also here-

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


From Uganda-

On Sunday, November 25, 2018, Right Reverend Wilson Kitara was enthroned as the third bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Kitgum, during which occasion, he read out his charge highlighting ‘reconciliation and restoration’ of sanity among his flock in his hitherto divided diocese.

“Generally, my thoughts and dreams of how to navigate the Diocese of Kitgum out of development challenges on assumption of office shall be premised on considerations and actions to reconcile and restore the functioning and purposive inspirations throughout the diocese, integrity of the clergy throughout the diocese, repentance and reconciliation across the diocese, re-evangelization throughout the diocese, among others”, reads part of the bishop’s charge statement.  

The Diocese of Kitgum was curved out of the Diocese of Northern Uganda and its first bishop, Rt. Rev. Macleod Baker Ocholla II was enthroned on May 21, 1995. It was established in the middle of the near two decades of civil war which plagued the Diocese between 1986 and 2006.

Its second bishop, Rt. Rev. Benjamin Ojwang was even abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels in early 2000s and spent more than a week in captivity before he was released by the rebels.

More here-

Diocese of West Tennessee elects Phoebe Roaf as bishop

From ENS-

The Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee elected the Rev. Phoebe Roaf, rector of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Richmond, Virginia, as its fourth bishop on Nov. 17.

Roaf will be in stalled in a consecration service May 4 at Hope Presbyterian Church. The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, will preside.

Roaf is a lifelong Episcopalian. She grew up in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. She is rector at St. Philip’s, the oldest African-American church in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, where she has served as the parish leader since 2011. Before St. Philips’s, Roaf was associate rector for three years at Trinity Episcopal Church in New Orleans.

Roaf, who earned a law degree from the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, and clerked two years for Judge James L. Dennis, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, worked in commercial real estate before pursuing a call to serve the Episcopal Church as clergy.

More here-

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Anglicans worldwide join 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence

From Christian Today-

Anglicans around the world are joining together in the 16 Days of Activism movement against gender-based violence.

The global initiative got underway on Sunday, which marked the International Day for the
Elimination of Violence Against Women, and will run until Human Rights Day on December 10.

16 Days is an initiative of The Center for Women's Global Leadership and has been held each year since 1991 with the aim of unifying people around the world in ending gender-based violence.
Gender-based violence can take on many forms, including forced marriages, sexual abuse, domestic abuse, sex-selective abortion and female genital mutilation.

The Anglican Communion is one of over 6,000 organisations in 187 countries taking part in 16 Days and during the campaign period, Anglican churches will be reflecting on the issue of gender-based violence and what action they can take to stamp it out.

More here-

Does Theresa May’s Anglicanism explain her muddled Brexit?

From The Spectator-

Ever since ‘Brexit’ was first breathed, there have been comparisons with Henry VIII’s break with Rome. At first such comparisons seemed a bit far-fetched, for there are some big differences between the Catholic Church and the EU, and between Protestantism and zeal for Brexit. But now they seem uncannily apt.

For it looks as if we are embarking on an almighty compromise, a monster muddle middle-way that will be decades in the making. It was about thirty years after Henry’s break that his daughter Elizabeth started stabilising things. Let’s hope we’re a bit quicker to realise that we must lay aside our purism and channel the Tudor spirit of compromise.

Now, like then, tidy-minded ideologues on both sides scorn the very idea of a middle-muddle way. How can the nation be expected to unite around a compromise? Surely the alternatives, fully in or fully out, are far more attractive? What logical coherence can a third way have? It’s the worst of both worlds! To Reformation purists, it seemed sheer madness to seek a middle course when the salvation of souls was at stake. It seems that most MPs are similarly minded now: auditions for More and Tyndale are in full swing.

More here-

Oklahoma Bishop Konieczny to retire in 2021

From ENS-

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Edward J. Konieczny, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma, has announced his intention to retire on January 1, 2021. Bishop Konieczny was elected and consecrated as the fifth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma in 2007, and at the time of his retirement will be in his 15th year as Bishop.

Bishop Konieczny intends to call for the election of a Bishop Coadjutor to be consecrated on April 18, 2020. A Bishop Coadjutor is elected to succeed a Diocesan Bishop. By electing a Bishop Coadjutor, there will be a time of overlap for the new Bishop and Bishop Konieczny to work together to ensure a smooth transition.

More here-

Monday, November 26, 2018

Christian Zionists are Israel’s political foot soldiers in US

From Middle East Online-

Stephen Sizer, an Anglican minister and author of “Zion’s Christian Soldiers?,” defines Christian Zionists as those who “believe it is their biblical responsibility to support the nation of Israel.” Sizer spoke recently at the Palestine Centre, a small Washington research institute.

A spot check of Facebook is revealing: AIPAC’s Facebook site has 169,000 friends while Christians United for Israel, just one of many like-minded groups, has 1.7 million.

The theology of Christian Zionism is only tenuously connected to the Bible. Adherents claim Christ will return only when the world’s Jews are in Israel but that Jews must then be converted to Christianity. Islam is regarded as a hostile religion and all Arabs — Christian or Muslim — are impediments to the return of the Jews to their homeland. Violence is acceptable if carried out in the name of biblical prophecy. In fact, an apocalyptic battle in the Middle East is to be longed for because God will intervene on behalf of Israel.

More here-

Anglican priest tasks FG on funding of national security

From Nigeria-

Irked by the loss so far recorded by the Nigerian military and other security agencies in the fight against Boko Haram and other criminal elements in Nigeria, an Anglican cleric has called for adequate monetary provision for the funding of national security.

Delivering a sermon at the Cathedral Church of Saint Faith, Awka, Anambra State capital, during a Eucharistic Service to mark the commencement of the 2018 Press Week of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Anambra State Council, Rev. Canon Charles Chukwura, said adequate monetary provision would help in replacing obsolete weapons presently at the disposal of the military and other security agencies.

More here-

The fight to preserve a closed church

From Florida-

Redevelopment has caused a countless number of churches and other old buildings to be erased from cityscapes everywhere.

One of the latest chapters in the age-old battle between preservationists and developers is playing out in Florida, where some hope a historic landmark designation for St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Gainesville can stop a planned shopping development. 

St. Michael’s is empty on Sundays, having closed its doors to worship in 2013, WUFT reported.
The Episcopal Diocese of Florida wants to sell the building and land with the proceeds going toward mission, evangelization and supporting extant congregations. However, some community activists have went through the machinations of the city hall bureaucracy in hopes that a historic landmark designation can keep the former church as-is.

More here-

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Day Anglican priests lay siege to Anambra Government House

From Nigeria-

This certainly is not the best of time for Anambra State government and the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion. If any relationship existed between the two that elicited joy in the past, such seem to have been broken by a festering misunderstanding over issues the church, especially the Diocese on the Niger, is not ready to stomach any longer.

In the last few weeks, the Church had been telling anybody that cares to listen how the state has been divided into denominations, with one of the orthodox churches enjoying undue favour over the others, apparently because the headship of government is its member.

Inkling into the sad development was laid bare during the annual Anambra State Anglican Prayer Rally held recently at the Alex Ekwueme Square, where the Church alleged that employment and political appointments were given based on denominational inclination. The Church said some persons were desirous of rewriting Christianity in the state, using government apparatus.

More here-