Saturday, March 2, 2019

Anglican Conference Too Gay For Traditional Bishops, Not LGBT Inclusive Enough For Liberal Bishops

From The Daily Caller-

Liberal and traditionalist bishops alike are decrying an upcoming Anglican conference, with traditionalists threatening to boycott over LGBT acceptance and progressive bishops angered by gay spouses’ disinvitation.

Traditionalist bishops belonging to the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) previously decided to boycott the Anglican Communion’s Lambeth Conference in July 2020 to protest the North American and Scottish Episcopal churches’ acceptance of gay marriage. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s recent decision to disinvite the spouses of gay bishops, however, also angered the progressive bishops who will be attending the conference.

“Invitations have been sent to every active bishop. That is how it should be — we are recognising that all those consecrated into the office of bishop should be able to attend,” reads an announcement of the decision by Anglican Secretary General Josiah Idowu-Fearon. “But the invitation process has also needed to take account of the Anglican Communion’s position on marriage which is that it is the lifelong union of a man and a woman.”

More here-

Gay Methodist clergy in Colorado vow to remain “out and loud” after church strengthens LGBTQ restrictions

From Colorado-

After the vote came down Tuesday at the United Methodist Church’s general conference in St. Louis, Greenwood Village-based Bishop Karen Oliveto looked around the room.

She saw bishops crying. Consoling one another. Praying.

The denomination’s first openly gay bishop, Oliveto saw the realization ripple around the room: The church had just voted to strengthen its ban on gay and lesbian clergy and same-sex marriages.

“The church that has nurtured us, taught us about God’s grace and unconditional love, all of a sudden is narrowing who gets to experience that love,” Oliveto told The Denver Post on Thursday.

“That’s not been our tradition.”

More here-

Congregations Mull How to Keep Sacred Spaces Safe

From Erie-

While the Pittsburgh shooting was the latest and the closest to home for Erie-area congregations, many were already thinking about security before the 2018 massacre.
The Rev. John Downey, dean of Erie's Episcopal Cathedral of St. Paul, said his church hasn't made recent changes to security measures, some of which have been in place for about a decade. They include security cameras and a hired security person who watches the doors during Sunday services.
Downey said the cathedral has so far resisted putting up barriers to people by locking doors during the day, except if only one or two staff members are present.
"We're the kind of place that gets walk-ins," he said.
But he understands sites that have locked their doors.
At Almakarim Islamic Foundation, also in Erie, nothing was changed as a result of the Pittsburgh shooting.

More here-

Reddall to be ordained Episcopal Diocese Bishop in Paradise Valley

From Arizona-

The Episcopal Diocese of Arizona has elected Jennifer A. Reddall as the sixth bishop, making her the first woman to hold the title in this diocese.

Her ordination and consecration will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 9 at the Christ Church of the Ascension, 4015 E. Lincoln Drive in the Town of Paradise Valley.

Ms. Reddall was elected as bishop during the 58th Annual Diocesan Convention in October 2018, according to a press release.

Her consecration service — which includes a central prayer accompanying the laying on of hands in the ordination of bishops, priests, and deacons, and is called the prayer of consecration — will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at Church for the Nations, 6225 N. Central Ave. in Phoenix.

More here-

Episcopal Diocese of Kansas to ordain its first female bishop Saturday

From Kansas-

The Episcopal Diocese of Kansas will make history Saturday -- consecrating its first female bishop.

It’s a sign the stained glass ceiling is breaking for women in the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas.
Reverend Cathleen Chittenden Bascom will be the first woman bishop in the diocese's 160 year history and says she feels privilege to take on the role.

"Jesus used everyone,” Chittenden Bascom said. “I am receiving the privilege where women before me did not get this opportunity, and as much trepidation and joy that I have in it that, I have the privilege to do it where African American people were not, gay and lesbian people were not, all those people who were not given the chance to use their gifts. I just feel so blessed."

More here-

Letter about Lambeth from Diocese of New York

From New York-

To Our Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Diocese of New York,
Many of you will have learned by now that Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has invited all active bishops in the communion, including gay bishops, to attend the 2020 Lambeth Conference. That is a positive development, since that was not true of the last Lambeth in 2008, when Bishop Gene Robinson was pointedly not invited to attend and participate. However, we are alarmed that at the same time he has said that spouses of bishops who are in same-sex marriages will not be invited. As of this writing that ruling affects a single bishop and spouse in the Anglican Church of Canada, and a single bishop and spouse in the Episcopal Church - Mary Glasspool and her spouse Becki Sander of our own diocese (though note that the bishop-elect of Maine is in a same-sex marriage, and when he becomes the bishop, this will apply to his spouse as well). 
In two weeks the House of Bishops will hold our spring meeting in North Carolina, and we expect this matter to occupy some of our time. However, as so many of you have contacted us to know the response we will make from this diocese, we are writing this letter now to inform you of our thinking, understanding that we have not yet been in conversation with the full community of our fellow bishops. 
More here-

Friday, March 1, 2019

MP says Lambeth Conference should face court over ban on gay partners

From Premier-

The organisers of an international Anglican summit should be taken to court over their ban on gay bishops bringing their same-sex partners as guests, an MP has claimed.

Nigel Evans believes the rule, which was announced ahead of the 2020 Lambeth Conference in Canterbury next year, could equate to workplace discrimination.

The Conservative representative for Ribble Valley told The Daily Telegraph: "I'm wondering whether that's discrimination. It could be tested in the courts.

"If it wasn't for the gays in the Church, the Church would crumble!

"If it is tested in the courts, we would be doing the Archbishop of Canterbury a favour."

The newspaper also quoted an employment lawyer who suggested the bar on gay spouses could contravene the Equality Act of 2010.

More here- 

and here-

Anglican, Catholic Dublin bishops appeal for return of 800-year-old mummy

From Ireland-

Archbishops Diarmuid Martin (right) and Michael Jackson – the Roman Catholic and Anglican Archbishops of Dublin – outside the crypt of St Michan’s Church in Dublin. (Photo Credit: United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough/

Church leaders have, in an ecumenical gesture, come together in Dublin to appeal for the return of the head of an 800-year-old mummy that was stolen from a popular tourist site over the weekend, one of two thefts of historical antiquities in recent days.

Catholic Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin and Anglican Archbishop Michael Jackson of Dublin issued their public appeal on Feb. 27, reports.

They asked the public to report any clues relating to the identity of the attackers or the whereabouts of the looted head of the mummy, known as "The Crusader," taken during a raid on the crypt of St. Michan's Church.

More here-

Episcopal Archbishop Jonathan Hart to Be Consecrated Sunday as Primate and Metropolitan Archbishop of the Anglican Church, Province of West Africa

From Liberia-

The Bishop of Liberia, the Most Reverend Jonathan B.B. Hart, who is Archbishop of the Internal Province of West Africa, will this Sunday, March 3, 2019, ascend the office of Primate and Metropolitan Archbishop of the Anglican Church of the Province of West Africa. He will be the 11th person to hold that office, which is the highest position in the Anglican Province of West Africa.

This historic and colorful ceremony will take place at Trinity Cathedral, on Broad Street, Snapper Hill, Monrovia, beginning at 10 o’clock a.m., a release has said.

Episcopal Archbishop George Daniel Browne, also of Liberia, was the sixth head of the Province of West Africa.

More here-

More than a century and a half later, it's still a "pipe" dream

From Central Gulf Coast-

Trinity Episcopal Church in Apalachicola first opened its doors in 1837.

The wooden church was pre-constructed in White Plains, New York, taken back apart, shipped down by boat, and put back together again. Its charm on the outside may only be outdone by its grandeur on the inside.

But the church’s pride and joy makes its home off to the right, an 1859 Erben “Tracker” model pipe organ.

"It’s [the pipe organ] easy for me to play,” said Ina Meyer, the church's organist. “They don't make organs like this anymore. I mean unless you spend a lot of money.”

Meyer began playing a different organ at the church in the 1960s, a Pilcher model, which replaced the Erben.

“They put it [the Erben] up in the balcony and it just stayed up there for years,” said Meyer.
The Erben sat idly by in the church’s balcony looking down with envy as the Pilcher stole the limelight for more than 50 years beginning in 1921. But in the mid-1970s, church leaders decided for historical reasons the Erben had to return to its rightful place at the front of the church’s sanctuary.

More here-

Thursday, February 28, 2019

‘Fight crime – return to God’

From Barbados-

Anglican Bishop Rt Rev Michael Maxwell has said society’s move away from God and a failure to address the young people’s problems are to blame for the crime wave sweeping the country.

And he has called for early intervention in homes and schools to fight a “systemic problem” and for Barbados to return to God.

Bishop Michael said: “I firmly believe that we are faced with a situation where Almighty God and the things of God are no longer taken seriously, no longer acknowledged and regarded as important, hence the economic, the social and the moral issues facing our nation as a result.

“As a result, many of our young men and women have not been nurtured, have not been guided by the basic tenets of love and respect for their lives and for the lives of others, nor even for the love and respect of their creator God.

“They are not being so nurtured because of the breakdown and failures of our societal system in terms of the important role that the home and the religious institutions and the school system and even the political structures have failed to offer our young people.”

More here-

Bishop who spoke at Prince Harry, Meghan Markle's wedding coming to Maryland

From Easton-

The American bishop who received worldwide attention after speaking at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding is coming to the Eastern Shore. 

Rev. Michael B. Curry will present with the Episcopal Diocese of Easton on Sunday, March 3 at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge. Curry will help wrap up the diocese's year-long commemoration and celebration of the 150th Anniversary of its founding, according to a news release. 

"We consider ourselves truly blessed to have him with us for this great celebration and hallmark moment in the life of our diocese," the diocese stated in a news release. 

More here-

Why I Would Refuse Communion to the President

From The Living Church-

As a priest I would happily welcome President Trump to any service, but I would refuse to give him Holy Communion.

When President Trump is in Palm Beach he occasionally attends services at Bethesda-by-the-Sea Church, where he and Melania were married and where his son Barron was baptized. In the capital he sometimes attends services at St. John’s Church on Lafayette Square and at Washington National Cathedral, both of which are Episcopal churches.

For a priest to refuse anyone Holy Communion is not only unusual but practically unheard of. Most view Communion not as something to be earned, but as a sort of medicine for the soul — something that will help us deepen and strengthen our relationship with God.

So, why would I refuse to give Communion to President Trump? Not because I think he needs no medicine for his soul, but because he is a notorious sinner whose biography — and sins — are quite well known.

More here-

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Bishop to attend Lambeth Conference without wife in protest at bar on gay clergy partners

From Liverpool-

The Bishop of Liverpool has said he will attend an international summit of Anglican leaders without his wife next year, in protest at a bar on the partners of gay clergy.

Rt Rev Paul Bayes described the decision to prevent same-sex partners of clergy from attending the 2020 Lambeth Conference as an "act of exclusion".

In a message posted on Twitter, he said: "I deeply regret that, in the fractious complexities of our life as a worldwide people, this act of exclusion has taken its place.

"It is a grief to me and to my wife, and to many others. Despite this, I aim to attend the Conference, alone, in the hope of a common future."

The Anglican Communion - which includes national churches from 165 countries - was forced to clarify its stance on the matter last week, following "misunderstanding".

More here-

Decision to be be made on Anglican Church of Tasmania's Participation in redress scheme of child sexual abuse survivors

From Tasmania-

Under legislation, a national company had to be formed by the church to handle redress payments.

Tasmanian Anglican Bishop Richard Condie said he expected the state sector of the church to be part of the scheme by the end of March after documents were provided to the Social Services Department.
It is anticipated the church would need to provide $8 million to successful applicants to the scheme.

Reverend Condie last year criticised the framework used to calculate scheme repayments and said it wasn't in line with that recommended by the Royal Commission.

A maximum payment for an abuse survivor is set at $150,000 for penetrative abuse.

More here-

Desmond Tutu's daughter leaves clergy after marrying female partner

From The Guardian-

The daughter of one of the world’s best-known Christian leaders has given up her right to officiate as a priest in South Africa following marriage to her female partner.

Mpho Tutu-van Furth – whose father, Desmond Tutu, won the Nobel peace prize in 1984 for the struggle against apartheid in South Africa – said the move had been forced on her following her wedding to a Dutch academic.

“The canon [law] of the South African church states that marriage is between one man and one woman,” she said in a statement. After her marriage, the South African bishop who had given her permission to officiate as a priest in his diocese “was advised that he must revoke my licence. I offered to return my licence rather than require that he take it from me,” she added. 

More here-

Bishop Will Willimon on why no plan can unite United Methodists

From RNS-

Will Willimon, a prominent theologian and a retired bishop of the United Methodist Church’s North Alabama Conference, has some choice words for a denomination in disarray over its views on sexuality.

Willimon, like other bishops, couldn’t vote on any of the plans presented this week at the special denominational session in St. Louis — one that would continue to restrict church leaders from ordaining or marrying LGBT people, and another that would allow local congregations to make their own decisions. Church rules don’t give bishops a voice or a vote. The session’s 864 delegates are made up of clergy and lay people from around the world.

But as a lifelong Methodist, he said, he saw an unmistakable change in the attitudes of the delegates at the special session in St. Louis. People on either side of the issue talked of breaking away from the 12 million-member global denomination. Willimon, who now teaches at Duke Divinity School in Durham, N.C., left St. Louis on Tuesday (Feb. 26) before the final vote.

More here-

It’s Official: UMC Votes for Traditional Marriage, No Gay Clergy

From Church Leader-

In the final day of the United Methodist Church’s Special Session of the General Conference, the denomination voted to take an official stance on homosexuality. After decades of ambiguity, the UMC’s General Conference has voted to hold a traditional approach to marriage and ordaining clergy. 

Moving forward, the UMC will not allow same-sex weddings, nor will it ordain LGBTQ+ clergy.
“We do not want to force any church to leave the denomination,” Beth Ann Cook told a raucous crowd after the final vote was settled. 

Despite the bishops’ attempt to address the elephant in the room graciously, the backlash from those opposed to the Traditional Plan made it clear that this vote will cause many churches (particularly in the U.S.) and LGBTQ+ clergy members to leave the denomination.

While most delegates from the Central Conference of the UMC, which represents churches in Africa, Europe and Asia, rejoiced over the decision, the general feeling of the delegates from the U.S. was one of dismay. 

More here-

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Former priest with Anglican church arrested for sex crimes, police say

From San Joaquin (ACNA)-

A former priest with the Anglican church is now facing charges of sexual abuse. 

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer held a joint news conference with Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp on Monday, to discuss the charges against Jesus Antonio CastaƱeda-Serna.

Serna was arrested on Sunday, February 24th after complaints were filed with the Fresno Police Department.

Police say four accusers have come forward, but they are certain there are many more.
"Serna has preyed on undocumented males, and perhaps an undocumented female, knowing they'd be reluctant to go to police," Dyer said.

More here- 

and here-

and here-

and here-

Kathryn Ryan elected bishop suffragan for Texas’ western region

From ENS-

The Rev. Canon Kathryn ‘Kai’ Ryan was elected Feb. 22 as bishop suffragan for the western region of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.

Ryan, 54, currently serves as Canon to the Ordinary for the Diocese of Texas. She was elected to become the next bishop suffragan as lay and clergy delegates gathered at the 170th Diocesan Council at The Woodlands Waterway Marriot. Ryan received 283 of 441 votes cast in the lay order and 137 of 235 cast in the clergy order on the first ballot.

The other candidates were:

The Rev. Hannah E. Atkins Romero, Rector, Trinity Episcopal Church, Houston, Texas.
The Rev. Canon Glenice Robinson-Como, Canon Missioner for Outreach and Justice Ministries, Christ Church Cathedral, Houston, Texas.

By canon, a bishop suffragan will serve “under the direction” of Diocesan Bishop Andy Doyle and will have oversight of congregations in the western region of the diocese, with an office in Austin.

More here-

United Methodist committee rejects One Church Plan, which would allow LGBT clergy

From Religous New Service-

In a surprise, the plan recommended by the United Methodist Church’s Council of Bishops was rejected Monday (Feb. 25) by the denomination’s decision-making body.

The so-called One Church Plan did not pass out of General Conference’s Legislative Committee to be considered by delegates Tuesday during the plenary session.

But that doesn’t mean the proposal is dead, according to supporters.

Reconciling Ministries Network, a movement advocating for the full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the church, tweeted after the vote that the rejected plan will “almost certainly still come up” as a minority report on Tuesday.

Neil Alexander — co-convener of Uniting Methodists, a group supporting the One Church Plan — confirmed a minority report including the plan has been filed in opposition to the Traditional Plan.

More here-

and here-

Monday, February 25, 2019

As the number of organists continues to fall, churches employ technology to keep the hymns playing

From Reading-

It's no secret that church organists have become scarce these days, as fewer young people are interested in studying organ, and older organists are retiring.

An article by Jonathan M. Pitts in the Baltimore Sun on April 7, 2017, tells of a 200-year-old Episcopal church whose organist retired, and a six-month search turned up only one applicant. Pitts also cites a 2015 survey by the American Guild of Organists showing that 60 percent of its 16,000 members were 58-plus, and only 11 percent were younger than 37.

So what are churches in which organs have always been a staple of their worship doing?

The congregation of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Morgantown, has found one solution that fits its small group perfectly: a Rodgers digital organ that has the technology to store and play, with a simple touch of a button, hymns, preludes and postludes even when there is no organist available.

More here-

Bishop of royal wedding fame to visit Shore

From Easton-

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, who gained international attention and fame when he preached at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, will be present with the Episcopal Diocese of Easton at noon Sunday, March 3, at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge.

Attendees are asked to wear their red, white, yellow or blue anniversary shirts to the service.
The Episcopal Diocese of Easton refers collectively to the over 40 Episcopal faith communities on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Curry will be with the diocese as it wraps up its year-long commemoration and celebration of the 150th anniversary of its founding. The Episcopal Diocese of Easton was founded in 1868, shortly after the conclusion of the Civil War.

Curry is scheduled to preach and to celebrate the closing Eucharist with about 1,000 people from around the entire diocese.

More here-

A summary of Executive Council resolutions

From ENS-

During its Feb. 21-24 meeting here The Episcopal Church Executive Council adopted multiple resolutions that are summarized below.

Committee on Finance
* Establish Trust Fund 1194 as an investment account for St. Brendan’s Episcopal Church of Juneau, Alaska (FIN015).

* Extend its thanks to those who have included The Episcopal Church in their wills (FIN016).

* Recognize the “diligent and effective work” of its Investment Committee, thank for their service Michael Kerr, David Lorenzo Alvarez-Roldan, Bishop Clifton Daniel, Bishop Rodney Michel, Dena Frith Moore, B. Waring Partridge IV, Maibeth J. Porter and Ronald W. Radcliff, Jr. (FIN017).

* Thank retiring members of the Economic Justice Loan Committee Diane Aid, Kim Jackson, Bishop Rodney Michel (FIN018).

More here-

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Thirty six per cent of Anglican congregations have no parishioners under 16-years-old

From The Telegraph-

Thirty six per cent of Anglican congregations have no parishioners under 16-years-old, the Church of England has revealed. 

Describing the situation as “shocking” Canon Mark Russell, chief executive of the Church Army, told the Church’s General Synod that only six per cent of Anglican churches have more than 25 under 16-year-olds. 

The new figures came during the Synod debate on the future of youth evangelism in England, in which the Church agreed to prioritise recruiting more youth workers and being inclusive of LGBT teenagers.

Lucy Gorman, a parishioner from the Diocese of York, said diversity and inclusion is an issue within the Church’s recruitment problem, adding: “When one in 25 young people identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual we need to speak into the silence and connect with them to include them in the life of the Church.”

The debate followed a motion on tackling gambling adverts in which the Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, said children have become “conditioned” to enjoy sport by betting on who will win. 

More here-

First woman Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas stops by Emporia church

From Kansas-

When she was studying at the University of Kansas, The Rev. Cathleen Chittenden Bascom heard a calling to the ministry — a surprise, since her family wasn’t especially “churched.”

Now, she’s the 10th Bishop-Elect of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas and the first woman to earn that position in its entire history.

Emporia falls under her jurisdiction and she plans to spend time in town, as she last week.
While there, she took time to tell The Gazette her story — how she went from a college student just learning to pray to a member of the clergy to a bishop over the past 28 years or so.

She has claimed numerous firsts over her career — this position as bishop is just one of them. The first church she served was in the Diocese of Chicago, in 1990.

More here-