Saturday, February 2, 2019

Pakistani Supreme Court recognises the civil value of Christian marriages

From Pakistan-

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has restored the value and the civil effects of Christian marriage, by ordering the “National Database and Registration Authority” of Pakistan and the Punjab government to reactivate the official registration of marriages celebrated in churches by Christian citizens.

‘Zenit’ reported that the decision was welcomed by Christians in Pakistan. “This marriage registration provision existed before 2013”, said Kashif Aslam, coordinator of the program of the National Commission for Justice and Peace. “Local governments had suspended it, along with a package of other measures, but now the Supreme Court has restored it. The registration of Christian marriages will help to complete the data of marriages in Christian communities.”

The order of the Supreme Court is the result of the appeal presented by Pastor Shahid P. Meraj, dean of the Anglican Cathedral Church of the Resurrection in Lahore. “The lawsuit began in 2018 because the fact that marriages celebrated by Christians had no legal and civil value was considered serious,” Pastor Shahid Meraj told Fides News Agency.

Anglican Bishop Alexander John Malik, at the head of the Anglican Church in Pakistan said during the trial: “According to the Christian Marriage Act of 1872, marriages celebrated in the Church, once completed the register of marriages, are transmitted to the General Chancellery of Births, Deaths and Marriages. This process went on for many years without any problems, however, once the Union Councils on a provincial basis were established, births, deaths and marriages records are transmitted to the Councils of Union, which started, however, not to register Christian marriages anymore.”

More here-

'Royal Wedding' Episcopal Bishop Michael Curry visits Tallahassee

From Florida-

“The Royal Wedding Preacher” is on the way visit  three Episcopal churches in Tallahassee next week.

St. John’s Episcopal Church announced this week that due to Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s popularity, they will partner with WFSU-TV to livestream the service of Choral Evensong on Monday, Feb. 4.

“Bishop Curry is a dynamic preacher and we are very excited about his visit,” said the Rev. Dave Killeen, rector at St. John’s Episcopal Church. “The presiding bishop is so popular, when we opened our seats to parishioners, they were all taken in 22 minutes.”

Bishop Curry also will be speaking at a special Chapel service at 10:15 a.m.Tuesday at  Holy Comforter Episcopal School and attending a lunch hosted by St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church on Tuesday.

More here-

Court of Review for Bishops upholds retired Los Angeles bishop’s three-year suspension

From ENS-

An Episcopal Church court has concluded that retired Diocese of Los Angeles Bishop J. Jon Bruno was properly suspended from ordained ministry for three years because of misconduct.

The Court of Review for Bishops said it made the three-year suspension retroactive to Aug. 2, 2017, the day a hearing panel originally recommended the sentence, rather than with the court’s Jan. 31 order.

The case against Bruno involved his unsuccessful 2015 attempt to sell the property of what was then known as St. James the Great’s in Newport Beach, California, to a condominium developer for $15 million in cash. That effort prompted some St. James members to bring misconduct allegations against Bruno, alleging he violated church law.

More here-

Friday, February 1, 2019

Anglican Bishop: Get guns off the street

From Trinidad and Tobago-

There must be a con­cert­ed ef­fort to get il­le­gal firearms off the streets and some kind of com­mu­ni­ty pro­gramme must be im­ple­ment­ed to re­duce crim­i­nal vi­o­lence.

This was the ad­vice giv­en by An­gli­can Bish­op Claude Berkley on the heels of Tues­day’s “in­no­cent” shoot­ing and wound­ing of one of the rev­erends in the An­gli­can Church in T&T, Ger­ald Hen­drick­son.
Hen­drick­son, 54, was in­no­cent­ly shot and wound­ed dur­ing a gun chase by two men in Port-of-Spain on Tues­day at about 2 pm. Hen­drick­son is cur­rent­ly as­signed to the St Mar­garet of An­ti­och An­gli­can Church & St Jerome's Mis­sion in Bel­mont.

Berkley said, “One of the is­sues that we have to deal with is tack­ling the feel­ing that peo­ple can get away with the com­mis­sion of crimes or that they will not be caught. That kind of urge and feel­ing has led to a sense of brazen­ness and dis­re­spect for law and or­der and seek­ing to pro­mote some chaos on our streets and in our com­mu­ni­ties.” 

More here-

Church of England to Reconsider Transgender Affirmation Guidance

From Christian Headlines-

The Church of England says it is giving “serious consideration” to an open letter from more than 2,000 clergy that says the church’s guidance on transgender affirmation needs to change.

The letter, which was signed by 2,251 clergy, asks the Church of England’s House of Bishops to “revise, postpone or withdraw” the pastoral guidance released in December. The guidance allows Anglican clergy to perform Affirmation of Baptismal Faith ceremonies that symbolize a person’s gender transition.

In the Church of England, the Affirmation of Baptismal Faith is for Christians who have already been baptized but want to reaffirm their dedication to God.

In a statement, the Church of England said the bishops would discuss the clergy’s concerns to prepare for the church’s release of a set of teaching and learning resources on identity, marriage, sexuality and relationships.

More here-

More than 40 faith leaders oppose efforts to 'delay or limit' Utah's Medicaid expansion

From Utah-

More than 40 Utah faith leaders have signed on to a letter released Thursday urging Gov. Gary Herbert and Republican legislative leaders to oppose efforts "to delay or limit" the full Medicaid expansion approved by voters.

A bill backed by House and Senate GOP leadership, SB96, has already received initial approval in the Senate, but a final vote that had been expected as soon as Thursday has been delayed.

Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, the sponsor of SB96, said he has issues with the fiscal note detailing how much the bill will cost taxpayers. That note has not yet been made public and Christensen declined to specify the bottom line.

More here-

Avison Young Brokers Manhattan Retail Lease

From New York-

The Domestic and Foreign Mission Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church has signed a 3,463-square-foot retail lease with Midtown Hardware at 815 Second Ave. in Manhattan. The True Value-owned hardware store will occupy 1,807 square feet on the ground floor and 1,656 square feet on the mezzanine, relocating from the Teacher’s Insurance building at 730 Third Ave.

Situated in the borough’s Midtown East neighborhood and known as the Episcopal Church Center, the building is within walking distance of the United Nations Headquarters and Grand Central Terminal. Multiple subway lines, including 4, 5, 6, 7 and S, as well as Metro-North’s Harlem, Hudson and New Haven train stations, provide easy access throughout the entire area.

According to Yardi Matrix data, the 11-story property encompasses 137,784 square feet of office and retail space. The new tenant plans to connect the floors it occupies through a staircase. Other notable tenants include The Lyceum Kennedy International School, The National Association of Episcopal Schools and Consulate General of Haiti.

More here-

Thursday, January 31, 2019

‘We must Fix Ourselves, In Order to Fix Our Country’ – Prelate Urges Liberians

From D.C.-

In order to fix our country and society, we must first begin by fixing ourselves”.  The clarion call came in a powerful message delivered by the Rev. Canon John T.W. Harmon of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington DC as he delivered the message to Liberians at the first Annual National Day of Prayer Service held Sunday at the Bethel World “City of Faith” Sunday in Olney Maryland near Washington DC.
The event which brought together a cross-section of Liberians from various parts of the U.S. was attended by an array of dignitaries including the Charge d’ Affairs of the Liberian Embassy in Washington, and the diplomats, as well as civic and religious leaders. 

Prayers were offered for the three branches of the Liberian government, while supplications were made for deliverance of the people of Liberia from perpetual hardship as clergymen sought divine direction for love, and unity amongst Liberians at home and abroad to achieve progress for their country. 

In his message, Cannon Harman noted that in order to change Liberia, Liberians must begin by uniting in prayer to attain divine direction but in that process, he cautioned that Liberians must pray to first change themselves, adding “you must pray to change yourselves first before you can change others”. 

More here-

Former archbishop under investigation for failing to report all child abuse allegations

From Australia-

One of the Anglican church’s most senior figures, the former archbishop of Perth Roger Herft, is under internal investigation for failing to report all allegations of child sexual abuse to the police while he was bishop of Newcastle.

On Thursday the church issued a statement confirming Herft is being investigated by the Episcopal Standards Commission, the Anglican body for dealing with allegations about bishops.
“The Episcopal Standards Commission is investigating the many issues which arise from the information it has received. It will determine its course of action as soon as it can,” a church spokesman said.

Herft’s conduct while he was the bishop of Newcastle between May 1993 and February 2005 was scrutinised by the child sexual abuse royal commission, which delivered its final report in December 2017.

It comes almost three years after Herft gave evidence to the royal commission that while he understood matters of child abuse should be reported to the police, he believed he was only obliged to report when he received a complaint of substance, and if he knew the name of the complainant.

More here- 

and here- 

and here-

Diocese of Arizona notified of successful canonical consent process

From The Episcopal Church-

The Episcopal Diocese of Arizona has received notification from Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael B. Curry and Registrar of General Convention, the Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe, that Bishop-Elect Jennifer Anne Reddall has received the required majority of consents in the canonical consent process detailed in Canon III.11.3.

In giving consent to her ordination and consecration, Standing Committees and bishops with jurisdiction attest to knowing of “no impediment on account of which” Bishop-Elect Reddall ought not to be ordained as bishop, and that her election was conducted in accordance with the Canons.

The Rev. Jennifer Anne Reddall was elected Bishop on October 20.  Presiding Bishop Curry will officiate at her March 9 ordination and consecration service.

More here-

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

2,000 clergy sign letter saying welcoming trans people into the Church may 'harm' children

From The Telegraph-

A new Church of England service for transgender people could “harm” children, an open letter signed by more than 2,000 clergy has claimed. 

Some 2,155 bishops, priests and lay members of the church have added their names to the letter which condemns new guidance released last month on gender transition.

In December, the church announced vicars would now be able to hold a special service so transgender people could celebrate their new identities.

But there has been a steadily growing backlash to the proposals, culminating in the open letter which attacks them as “deeply concerning” and “lacking in serious theological analysis”.

The signatories caution rapidly-developing theories about gender could cause “more harm than good” to children experiencing gender dysphoria and call on the Church of England’s House of Bishops, which approved the reforms last year, to “revise, postpone or withdraw” them until concerns have been addressed.

More here- 

and here-

Brexit shines light on Church of England rift between leadership and Anglican majority

From The Conversation-

Two recent statements from the leader of the Anglican church, Justin Welby, reflect a growing division in the church between a charismatic-evangelical party and a more mainstream majority. The latter are stronger in numbers but the former are now in power.

Welby’s first statement, issued jointly with his number two, the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, called for a “fresh and uniting vision for all in our country”. It came amid increasingly heated debate over Brexit and their much more neutral stance contrasts with the fervour with which both archbishops backed Remain at the time of the referendum.

The second statement was more theological. Welby told a Christian radio channel that he prays in tongues every morning. Like a masonic handshake, this identified Welby to his fellow charismatic Christians as one of them. Both archbishops are part of this revivalist form of Christianity, which identifies the gift of tongues (praying in a language they believe is given to them by God) as a sign of possession by the Holy Spirit and of being “born again”.

More here- 

and here-

Former Episcopal Church bishop Heather Cook seeks to serve rest of sentence for drunken-driving death at home

From Maryland- (more links below)

Nearly three months after a Baltimore judge turned down her request for early release, former Episcopal Bishop Heather Cook asked again to serve the remainder of her prison sentence at home for the hit-and-run death of a bicyclist while she was driving drunk.

Cook, 62, is being considered for home detention status, according to a letter sent to the victim’s family from the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services and shared with The Baltimore Sun.

She was sentenced to seven years in prison after killing cyclist Tom Palermo with her car in December 2014 on Roland Avenue in North Baltimore while driving drunk and texting.

Palermo, 41, was a senior software engineer for Johns Hopkins Hospital, a husband and a father of two young children. His sister-in-law said she “vigorously” opposes Cook’s request.

More here-

and here-

and here-

and here

and here-

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Suspected armed robbers beat Anglican Priest to death in Delta

From Nigeria-

The Presiding Priest of St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Orhoakpor Community, Ethiope-East Local Government Area of Delta State has died after he was allegedly attacked and beaten seriously by suspected armed robbers at his residence within the Church’s premises.
It was learnt that the suspected armed robbers allegedly burgled into the priest’s apartment and attacked his family.

In the process, the suspected armed robbers stole unspecified amount of money and carted away television set and other personal belongings before beating the Cleric seriously.
The demise of the priest has left members of the church in a mourning state.

A prominent priest of the Anglican Communion in the area, who craved anonymity with DAILY POST, confirmed the report but refused to disclose the name of the deceased Cleric.

More here-

The Utah State Legislature opens to protests over Medicaid ballot initiative repeal bills

From Utah-

The 2019 Utah State Legislature opened with protests over bills that would repeal voter-approved Proposition 3.

Hundreds packed the Utah State Capitol rotunda to demand lawmakers enact what they voted on.

"We decided to take it into our hands as voters and the people of Utah!" said Stacy Stanford, who racked up $250,000 in medical expenses and lived in the coverage gap.

Bishop Scott Hayashi of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah warned lawmakers that if Prop. 3 isn't put into place, "people will die."

Prop. 3 passed in November with 53% of the vote. It implements a sales tax hike to cover thousands of Utah's poorest by providing them with Medicaid.
But lawmakers fear it will be a budget buster. They worry the sales tax hike that voters approved will not cover ballooning costs.

More here-

Volunteers work to combat sex trafficking before Super Bowl

From Orlando-

"We are here to save our adolescents from prostitution and we know with the Super Bowl coming, many of these children will be coming through your hotel," one volunteer told a hotel clerk.

t's called the SOAP project or Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution.

Theresa Flores, a survior of child sex trafficking and the founder of Traffick Free, partnered with the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta to bring the SOAP Project Initiative to Atlanta for the Super Bowl.

"It is our job as citizens to number one keep Atlanta safe and then also to protect those women who are being brought in," Flores said. "We know any time an event comes to town – and it doesn't have to be the Super Bowl, it can be the Final Four it can be a NASCAR race – any time an event comes to town the numbers for the demand for women quadruples."

More here-

Monday, January 28, 2019

Reverend Michael Maxwell ordained Anglican Bishop

From Barbados-

Scores of people gathered at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex on Saturday evening to witness the ordination of Reverend Michael Bruce St John Maxwell as the 14th Bishop of Anglican Diocese of Barbados.

Maxwell, the rector of the Holy Trinity Church, was appointed last November by the regional House of Bishops after elections between with the Dean of the Cathedral of St Michael and All Angels, the Very Rev. Jeffrey Gibson and the rector of St George Parish Church, the Rev. John Rogers ended in a deadlock several times.

His ordination and consecration comes 11 months after former Bishop and Archbishop of the West Indies The Most Reverend Dr John Holder retired on February 28, 2018.

Hundreds of the Anglican faith were present to watch as the rector of Holy Trinity Church in St Philip received the pectoral cross, ring and staff from Senior Bishop Reverend Errol Brooks, Bishop of North Eastern Caribbean and Aruba.

Governor General Dame Sandra Mason, Chief Justice Sir Martson Gibson, and other dignitaries including Minister of Labour, Social Security and Human Resources, Colin Jordan; Minister of People’s Empowerment and Elder Affairs Cynthia Forde, and former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, attended the ceremony.

More here-

‘What a miracle’

From East Carolina-

Power of prayer is an important thing, no matter when or where.

Many prayers were offered this past week for the safe return of a little boy who got lost in the woods.

By now, 3-year-old Casey Hathaway’s story is known by folks from coast to coast about the search effort that, let’s face it, was made scary because of Tuesday’s frigid temperatures and some of the monsoon rains that poured across Eastern North Carolina on Thursday. This nightmarish scenario for the family was something everyone understood when hoping for a miracle.

For two and a half days, people refused to give up hope or stop praying for the boy’s safe return.
Perhaps God heard those prayers loud and clear.

“I think the power of the prayer is incredibly important,” said Reverend Paul Canady of Christ Episcopal Church of New Bern. “My belief is that in God, hearing our prayers is a reminder to ourselves that God is at work in what is going on in both the joyous and the tragic.”

More here-

Losing Anglicanism, and Finding Repentance

From The Living Church-

I don’t care much for work travel. I am loath to be away from my wife and three children in Wichita, Kansas, for much more than a weekend, and on those few occasions when my work requires it I tend to approach the ordeal with all the enthusiasm of a condemned man approaching the scaffold.

When I was sent in mid-December to spend 12 days in Dallas, however, a real measure of anticipation offset my usual sullenness. As a theological conservative, I was glad for the chance to worship in the Diocese of Dallas, a diocese not only founded and built by one of my heroes (Bishop Alexander C. Garrett), but one in which several contemporary leaders and writers I highly esteem are resident: Bishop George Sumner, Victor Lee Austin, William Murchison, as well not a few regular contributors to Covenant and The Living Church.  

I planned to spend my Sunday in town at Church of the Incarnation, a large parish near uptown Dallas. As a lover of the Anglican choral tradition, I had long wanted to hear its renowned choir. My excitement only increased when I found the parish would offer its annual service of Nine Lessons and Carols that Sunday. The service did not disappoint, and I called my wife afterward, flooding her with adjectives of increasing superlative intensity and insisting that henceforth we just had to make visiting Incarnation it a yearly occurrence.

More here-

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Dallas church overflows with ceremony featuring same-sex couples' vow renewals

From Dallas-

Bryant Surley-Strong was skeptical he’d ever see the day when he could get married in his own church.
“I know the congregation was always supportive, but it just wasn’t allowed,” Surley-Strong said.
But those worries are gone — forever — after he and his husband and 14 other same-sex couples who were originally married outside the church renewed their vows in a boisterous gathering at Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration.
“We’re just doing a little something tonight, no big deal,” the Rev. Casey Shobe told the hundreds who packed the sanctuary at the Far North Dallas Church.

WRAL’s David Crabtree admits on-air to ‘inappropriate’ relationship, cites church fallout

From Raleigh-

WRAL-TV lead anchor David Crabtree surprised viewers Friday night with a personal announcement delivered at the end of the station’s 6 p.m. newscast.

Crabtree announced that he had lost his position as a member of the clergy in the Episcopal Church because of an inappropriate relationship that violated church rules.

Crabtree’s statement was also posted online on the WRAL website:

“You may know that I am a member of the clergy in the Episcopal Church. On Friday, the church announced I have lost that position because I violated church rules.

“Years ago, I had a consensual relationship with a woman ... A relationship the church deemed inappropriate.

“I accept the decision. My actions were unacceptable. I apologize.

“My faith remains strong. I seek God’s forgiveness. I hope that, in time, I might earn yours.”

More here-

World-renowned Episcopal bishop urges Roanoke to "march into a new future"

From Southwestern Virginia-

To change its future, a community must first face its past.
“Forgetting begets repeating,” said the Most Rev. Michael Curry, an Episcopal bishop who gained international recognition preaching at a royal wedding last year.
“By facing the past, then learning from it, you turn in a new direction. Facing a rising sun as the song would say,” he recalled with a smile. “Then, you march into a new future.”
Looking out over the crowded room before him, Curry added, “I see you here building that new future.”
Curry, presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, spoke Saturday to a packed auditorium of congregants and community members who had come together to shed light on Roanoke’s history of urban renewal — or urban removal as it’s remembered by some of the neighborhoods it decimated.

More here-