Friday, February 8, 2019

Archbishop spent $473,000 in child abuse inquiry legal fees without proper authorisation

From Australia-

The former Anglican archbishop Roger Herft spent almost half a million dollars for his legal representation before the child sexual abuse royal commission without proper authorisation from the diocese of Perth, which has not asked him to reimburse the money.

Of the $473,707 excluding GST spent by the diocese on Herft’s legal fees, $146,460 went to the law firm owned by Herft’s then deputy chancellor. The deputy chancellor is an honorary, unpaid position, usually held by a senior barrister or judge, who advises the archbishop on legal matters. The payments are detailed in the meeting minutes of the diocese’s annual synod in 2017.

The minutes reveal the money spent representing Herft, one of the most senior figures within the Anglican church in Australia, was not authorised through usual church processes. It came from the diocese’s professional standards budget, but without a written resolution authorised by the diocesan council, which expenditure from this budget requires.

More here-

Presiding Bishop speaks at National Prayer Breakfast, emphasizes love over divisions

From ENS-

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, with President Donald Trump seated at a table to his right, read a passage from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians in brief remarks Feb. 7 at the 66th annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C.

Curry was one of several faith and government leaders asked to offer prayers, scripture readings and blessings at the beginning of the morning program. The presiding bishop, who spoke for about three minutes, noted that the passage from 1 Corinthians 13 often is read at weddings – “Love is patient; love is kind” – but he also explained that Paul was writing about more than a sentimental kind of love.

“He wasn’t thinking about a wedding. He was worried about a community that had divisions in itself. And he wrote to show them the way,” Curry said.

Video of Curry’s remarks can be found here or in the clip below.

More here-

Why The Search For a Church That Meets Your Needs is Futile

From  Carey Nieuwhof-

Any church leader who’s been in ministry for more than a few months has heard different variations of it:

I’m looking for a church that meets my needs.

What are you going to do to better meet my needs?

I’m leaving this church to find one that better suits my needs. 

The longer a Christian has been in church, the more likely it is that they’ve uttered a phrase or two like this from time to time.

I’m not against changing churches. I think everyone has one or maybe two church changes in them. Leaders change. The effectiveness of churches can vary in different seasons. And occasionally a church is downright toxic. I get that.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Court rejects out-of-court settlement of ACK gay case

From Kenya-

A homosexuality case pitting three Anglican Church clerics against Bishop Joseph Kagunda of Mt Kenya West diocese took a new twist Wednesday after a court refused to adopt an out-of-court agreement filed by a mediator.

Justice Abigail Mshila said the agreement drafted by Mr Joakim Mulama Oundo of the court-annexed mediation program could not be legally binding because it was undated and was not signed by the bishop or the church trustees.

The judge further pointed out that two people unknown to the court had signed the document on behalf of Bishop Kagunda and the Church. The two people are Venerable Canon Gerald Muriithi and Venerable Samuel Waweru, according to the document.

“For the mediation agreement to be binding the two respondents, Bishop Kagunda and the registered trustees of the Anglican Church of Kenya, must sign in person. The court does not know the two people and the mediation agreement is also not dated,” said Justice Mshila.

More here-

Anglican Church Calls for Credible Elections

From Nigeria-

With 10 days to the commencement of the 2019 general election, the Primate of the Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, has called for collective efforts for credible elections that will make the country better.

He made the positions known Wednesday in separate addresses delivered at The Standing Committee meeting of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) held at St. Andrew’s Cathedral Church, Warri, Delta State.

The event also had in attendance the vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.

According to the Primate, “every election result should reflect the will of the electorate, otherwise, it becomes a mockery of the whole exercise.

“As we go again for another decisive moment for the future of this country, we appeal to all eligible voters to resist every inducement tended towards buying votes as this will spell doom for all of us in the coming years; we appeal to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not only to maintain the posture of unbiased umpire in this exercise, but to be verifiably seen to be doing so in every part of the country throughout this election,” the Primate said, adding, “If we must have free, fair and credible elections, all security agencies must remain neutral in this exercise; the military, the police, and others must be there to protect the interest of Nigeria as a nation, not individuals or particular political parties.”

More here-

Outrage over Nazi image on pillow from Walmart website

And then there's this from Fresno-

Walmart is under fire after a California priest finds a symbol of hate on a pillow he purchased from the store's website. 

Ryan Newman is a priest at Saint James Episcopal Church in Fresno. 

He and his family just moved to the area and were looking for items to decorate their new home.
Newman did a quick search for "Paris-themed" pillows, and a few minutes later he bought this one from "" 

When the pillow arrived, Newman noticed an Adolf Hitler postage stamp and a swastika symbol, were featured in the design. 

Both he and his wife said they felt violated that the pillow was in their home.
Walmart told Newman that the pillow was listed by a third-party seller, and that it's "in violation" of the store's policy. 

In a written statement, Walmart said quote: "we regularly scan our marketplace for these types of items, but unfortunately, the offensive image wasn't visible on the pillow's photo and we were not aware of it until the customer reached out."

Walmart said it removed the item from its online marketplace, and that it's reviewing other items, listed by the seller.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Land dispute threatens to split ACK church

From Kenya-

Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) is embroiled a land dispute threatening to tear apart the Nairobi diocese headed by Bishop Joel Waweru.

Some members of ACK St Mark Church in Westlands are accusing the diocese of scheming to grab land belonging to the parish. The faithful say the church bought the land, registration number 1870/111/159, way back in 1964. According to members, the diocese is in the process of developing the plot having encroached on the same without the consent of faithfuls of St Marks church. The land in dispute is located along School Lane.

The church puts the value of the plot at Sh500 million, having bought it for Sh100,000. Until 2012, the church generated income from the land through rental lease before the diocese requested to be allowed to carry out its activities on the understanding that the diocese would pay rent.

More here-

Iraq's leader hails peace efforts of Anglican church

From La Croix-

Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi was treated to a guided tour of St. George's Anglican church in Baghdad on Feb. 4 and briefed on the Communion's philanthropic and peace-building initiatives in the country.

Anglican Father Faiz Jerjes, the parish priest, conducted the tour and was praised by the nation's newly installed leader, who rose to the post last October and is under pressure to reform Iraq's political patronage system.

He thanked the priest "and his staff for all they do for the nation," reports.
Iraq has spent years besieged by an offshoot of the Islamic State that has left its already shrunken population of Christians even further depleted.

Partly in recognition of his efforts to heal the ensuing societal and religious rifts, Father Faiz was named one of the Ministry of Culture's Distinguished Personalities of the Year in 2017. 

More here-

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Why is 'separation of church and state' so misquoted?

From WND-

After King Henry VIII broke from Rome in 1534, England began enforcing Anglican religious uniformity. Some wanted to purify the Anglican Church from the inside, being given the name “Puritans.” Others separated themselves completely from the Anglican Church as dissenters. Of those were Thomas Helwys, John Murton and John Smyth, who founded the Baptist faith in England.

Thomas Helwys wrote “A Short Declaration of the Mystery of Iniquity,” 1612, considered the first English book defending the principle of religious liberty: “Queen Mary … had no power over her subjects consciences … neither hath our Lord the King … power over his subjects consciences. … The King is a mortal man, and not God, therefore he hath no power over the mortal soul of his subjects to make laws and ordinances for them and to set spiritual Lords over them. …”

He continued: “If the King’s people be obedient and true subjects, obeying all humane laws made by the King, our Lord the King can require no more: for men’s religion to God is betwixt God and themselves; the King shall not answer for it, neither may the King be judge between God and man.”

Thomas Helwys was arrested and thrown into London’s notorious Newgate Prison, where he died in 1616.

Read more at  

Monday, February 4, 2019

Anglican bishop attributes drugs use to absence of control measures

From Nigeria-

Retiring Archbishop of Kwara Province and Bishop of Kwara Diocese, Anglican Church, Segun Adeyemi has urged the Federal Government to ensure regulated access to drugs and chemicals to reduce the current prevalence abuse drugs among the youths.

He attributed the prevalence of drug addiction and abuse among youth in the country to unfettered access to drugs and alcohol in most parts of the country.

The medical doctor turned clergy, said that poverty among people must be addressed to check drug use, adding that some people would do anything to get money, even rituals, instead of living quality lifestyle.

He described Nigerian politicians as people of same family irrespective of their political leanings.
He said that people should not be fooled by personalities and different political parties in the country.
Bishop Adeyemi spoke with reporters in Ilorin at the weekend as part of activities to mark his retirement from office.

More here-

Westboro Baptist protesters, counterprotesters demonstrate at Gainesville churches

From Florida-

Drivers honked and shouted, but that was about the extent of the reaction to protests in Gainesville Sunday morning from a religious group known for its anti-gay rhetoric and demonstrations against slain U.S. soldiers at funerals.

A heavy police presence kept the Feb. 3 Westboro Baptist Church demonstration peaceful as Westboro members waved signs bearing such messages as “Divorce, remarriage & same-sex ‘marriage’ are all sin” and “God hates workers of iniquity.”

The group protested at First Baptist Church of Gainesville, St. John Baptist Church, First Presbyterian Church, St. Michael Roman Catholic Church, Grace Episcopal Church and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.

They were divided into two teams, with each group consisting of 10 or fewer protestors.

More here-

Outgoing and incoming chairmen of GAFCON at loggerheads

From The Cafe-

The Anglican Church of North America is facing an apparent challenge to its ecclesiastical independence from its sponsor, the Church of Nigeria. ACNA was formed as a so-called orthodox alternative to The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada.

The outgoing and incoming chairmen of GAFCON are at loggerheads over the surprise unilateral appointment of four Nigerian bishops for the Anglican Church of North American (ACNA) by the House of Bishops of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican). ACNA is not part of the Anglican Communion but is recognized by provinces of the communion who belong to GAFCON.

ACNA is led by Archbishop Foley Beach who becomes chairman of GAFCON in April. The current chairman of GAFCON is Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, primate of the Church of Nigeria.

An ACNA news release dated January 2018 states “Conversations between Archbishop Beach and Archbishop Okoh are ongoing as they seek a way forward that honors Christ and his Church, and builds up the Gafcon movement.”

The full statement by ACNA follows.

More here-

Sunday, February 3, 2019

San Diego Elects Canon Snook

From San Diego-

The Diocese of San Diego needed only one ballot to elect the Rev. Canon Susan Brown Snook as its fifth bishop on Feb. 2.

Since 2017, Snook has served as canon for church growth and development in the Diocese of Oklahoma.

The electing convention met at St. Bartholomew’s Church in Poway.

Canon Snook was the sole nominee by the diocese’s Nominating Committee and Standing Committee. During the petition period, the diocese added two nominees: the Rev. Roy E. Hoffman, chaplain in residence at St. Peter’s, Del Mar, and senior chaplain at Naval Base San Diego; and the Rev. Michael S. Tinnon, interim rector of St. David’s, San Diego.

More here-

When Evangelicals go Anglican or Presbyterian

From Euangelion-

The phenomena of Evangelicals (usually of a non-denominational, baptistic, low-church variety) converting to Presbyterianism, Catholicism, Orthodox, or Anglicanism is interesting on theological and sociological levels.

Much has been written about the surge of evangelicals into liturgical churches (see here and here, plus the book Journeys of Faith: Evangelicalism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and Anglicanism) and this phenomenon shows no signs of abating, if anything, it is picked up steam.
For those want to know more (or just keep their disgust fresh), I recommend a few things.

First, Scott Swain discusses his move from Baptist to Presbyterian on the podcast Church Grammar.
Second, a great article Ask an Anglican Pastor where Tish Harrison Warren answers some questions on evangelicals who want to go Anglican. She answers one question with these words:

When I first began attending an Anglican church, there were things I didn’t completely get or resonate with, like making the sign of the cross. I didn’t have a theological problem or any crisis of conscience about these parts of the liturgy; I just didn’t totally understand them, but I simply began to do them anyway, and I’m now very glad I did. Pick 2-3 new liturgical practices and practice them.

More here-