Saturday, June 8, 2019

Portland church searching for person who dropped off wedding album at yard sale

From Maine-

Someone dropped their wedding album off at a Portland church, perhaps by mistake, and now church members are trying to find its rightful owners.

The mystery couple’s wedding day was likely 60 or 70 years ago.

Their wedding album was found three days ago in a box of books someone donated to the Trinity Episcopal Church yard sale in Portland.

"It could have come from someone's basement and they didn't realize it was in there,” parishioner Celia Brown said. “Could have come from someone's attic."

More here-

First woman and first LGBT to lead Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

From Detroit-

When she was 16, Bonnie Perry attended a Catholic youth retreat that changed her life. 

"During that retreat I had a profound experience of being loved for who I was, as I was, in the person of Jesus Christ," recalled Perry, who was raised Catholic. "My life has never been the same. ...The reality that Jesus loves me, and you, all of us completely and utterly, that is what fuels my passion for life and for the Gospel and for our church."

But when she felt called to the priesthood while a student at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, she realized she would have to leave since the Catholic Church doesn't allow female pastors. As someone who identified as a lesbian, she said she would feel especially marginalized in the Catholic Church. 

And so she became an Episcopalian pastor and later a rector at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Chicago where she has served for the past 26 years.

More here-

Thursday, June 6, 2019

OPINION: The Anglican Communion must act against the Church of Nigeria’s homophobia

From Thomson Reuters-

Same-sex sexual activity is still criminal in 70 countries around the world. The majority of these are in Africa. Of course, the elimination of criminalisation is not a real measure of tolerance: homosexuality is not illegal in Egypt or Russia, but both countries harass gay people relentlessly.

But Africa is the epicentre of intolerance. And African churches are among the most extreme supporters of anti-LGBT+ actions.

In May, the BBC reported on the expulsion of four clergy from the diocese of Isiala Ngwa of the Anglican Communion within the Church of Nigeria. Bishop Temple Nwaogu said that one canon and three other clergy had been dismissed and their licences revoked after a diocesan board found them guilty of unspecified homosexual practices.

More worryingly still, the report said that the Church of Nigeria would be seeking “special status” in its witch-hunt against LGBT+ people. In fact, Nigeria has some of the most far-reaching and punitive laws in the world against gay and transgender people already.

More here-

The Episcopal Diocese of Michigan Elects First Openly Gay Female Priest as 11th Bishop

From Michigan-

The Episcopal Diocese of Michigan announced last week the election of The Rev. Dr. Bonnie A. Perry, rector of All Saints’, Chicago, as its 11th bishop diocesan.

Perry is the first woman and first openly gay priest to be elected bishop since the diocese was formed in 1836. This also marked the first time in the history of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan that the slate of candidates was comprised entirely of women.

Perry was elected on the fifth ballot of the Special Electing Convention held today in Detroit. She received 64 clergy votes and 118 lay votes. A minimum of 55 clergy votes and 94 lay votes were necessary for election on that ballot.

The other nominees were:

– The Rev. Dr. Grace Burton-Edwards, Rector, St. Thomas, Columbus, Georgia

– The Rev. Canon Paula Clark, Canon to The Ordinary & Canon for Clergy Development, Multicultural Ministries and Justice, Diocese of Washington

– The Rev. Canon Ruth Woodliff-Stanley, Canon to The Ordinary, Diocese of Colorado

More here-

Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania, church goes solar

From Pittsburgh-

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Mt. Lebanon will celebrate its “moving off the grid” when it formally inaugurates its newly installed solar panels during a blessing ceremony to take place on Saturday, June 8 at 3:30 p.m.

Bishop Dorsey McConnell of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh will officiate the service from the roof of the church.

St. Paul’s is the first church in southwestern Pennsylvania to install its own solar panels on-site, while others have switched to solar power through cooperatives or third-party electric providers, according to Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light, a State College-based organization that helps communities of faith respond to climate change.

More here-

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

New partnership agreement for Welsh and Finnish churches

From Wales-

A FORMAL link has been agreed between the Anglican Diocese of St Asaph in Wales and the Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of Helsinki in Finland. 

The Partnership was signed by the Bishops of both dioceses during the visit of a Finnish delegation to North Wales this week 

It will see spiritual, imaginative, sustainable, enriching and joyful links developed between the two Christian communities. 

Sixteen people from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland have been in North Wales meeting counterparts in the Diocese of St Asaph and discussing partnership opportunities. 

More here-

Praying for presidents? That's normal. Praying for Donald Trump? That fires up Twitter

From Get Religion-

Is it controversial to pray for the president of the United States?

Not really. Anyone who knows anything about religious life in America knows that, week after week, people in a wide variety of religious congregations pray for the president (and the nation’s leaders in general) in a wide variety of ways. Sometimes these prayers are short, inserted in a longer litany of concerns (as in the Orthodox Christian parish I attend) and sometimes they are longer and more specific.

Here is a special-use prayer drawn from the world of liturgical mainline Protestantism (The Book of Common Prayer used in the Episcopal Church): 

More here-

Pope calls on all Catholics to join Anglican prayer campaign

From La Croix-

Pope Francis has urged all Catholics to join a global prayer campaign that begins at the end of this month called "Thy Kingdom Come."

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby met with Pope Francis on April 11 at the Vatican and used his smartphone to record a video message from the head of the Catholic Church.

The pope said all Christians seek to embrace the Holy Spirit.

In the video, he prayed this would "expand out hearts and the heart of the Church, from within, so that we could make decisions in obedience and with farsightedness and peace."

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

A different calling? Episcopal Diocese to market Trinity House for leasing or redevelopment

From Pittsburgh-

It has served as a spiritual hub for the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh and a set for “The Dark Knight Rises” movie. Now the Trinity House, a 20,000-square-foot building in the heart of Downtown, is being marketed for leasing or potential redevelopment.

Diocese officials have hired the Colliers International real estate firm to find a potential tenant or a development partner for the early 20th century building at 325 Oliver Ave. adjacent to Trinity Cathedral.

The historic Gothic-style cathedral itself, completed in 1872, is not affected by the decision.
Trinity House currently houses offices for the cathedral and diocesan staff, meeting space, and social services.

Colliers will pursue two separate paths for the building — finding a tenant or tenants to lease the property or a developer interested in partnering with the diocese to redevelop it.

It plans to issue a request for proposals within the next couple of weeks to judge interest from developers in retrofitting the building or perhaps even demolishing it and starting anew.

Also to be investigated is whether air rights — the right to develop above a property — can be used to expand the four-story building.

More here-

Disciplinary action against former Anglican Bishop Philip Newell halted

From Tasmania-

The Anglican Church in Tasmania has been ordered by the Supreme Court to stop its proceedings against the Bishop.

In its 2017 report, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse highlighted failures of the church in Tasmania and criticised Bishop Newell, who allowed a now-convicted paedophile to stay in the church.

The commission referred to evidence he had been made aware in 1987 that now-convicted paedophile Louis Daniels had sexually abused three boys.

He 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 church instituted disciplinary proceedings after the commission's criticisms but last year, shortly before the Diocesan Tribunal was to begin hearing the case, Bishop Newell applied to the Supreme Court for a stay of proceedings based on ill-health.

More here- 

and here- 

and here-

Trump proclaims June National Caribbean-American Heritage Month

From Jamaica-

Singling out Barbadian Joseph Sandiford Atwell, Trump said Sandiford Atwell, “through his dedication to his faith, exemplified the unyielding spirit of Caribbean Americans.”

Born in Barbados in 1831, Atwell moved to the United States in 1863 and attended the Philadelphia Divinity School, Trump noted.

Following the Civil War, he said Sandiford Atwell “went to spread God’s message of hope and love to the emancipated slaves in the South.

“Due to the strength of his ministry, he became the first black Episcopal deacon ordained in the Diocese of Kentucky and went on to become the first black Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Virginia,” Trump said.

More here-

Rev. Bonnie Perry elected bishop for the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

From Chicago-

When the Rev. Bonnie Perry first started working at All Saints Episcopal Church in Ravenswood, she remembers the pews being filled with no more than 30 parishioners during a Sunday service. Now, Perry estimates more than 300 people come to a service.

The secret? Building an active community inside and outside church walls, she said.

“We’re fun, we’re vital, we’re relevant,” Perry said. “We worry about what’s important. When the world is having a hard time, this is a place you can cry. When you’re angry, it’s a place people can express our outrage.”

But after 26 years in Chicago, Perry, who serves as the rector of All Saints, is planning her departure after being elected bishop for the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. She is the first woman and first openly gay priest to be elected bishop in Michigan.

More here- 

and here-

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Oklahoma Episcopal bishop speaks up about LGBTQ issue at Anglican gathering

From Oklahoma-

The worldwide Anglican Communion continues to grapple with the inclusion of gays and lesbians in the church, with mixed results.

The most recent example of the faith group's wrestling with the issue stemmed from a proposal that Oklahoma's Episcopal bishop made at a recent leadership gathering.

In the end, the Rt. Rev. Ed Konieczny's proposed resolution and an ensuing debate resulted in the Anglican Communion's symbolic leader apologizing for snubbing the spouses of gay and lesbian bishops. A promise also was made to develop a format for churches in the Anglican Communion to hear the voices of gays and lesbians and others who bear the brunt of discrimination.

Konieczny, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma, called it a win for the unity of the Anglican Communion and his desire to see that the human dignity of all people is respected in the church.

More here-

Dover’s St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church to offer Open Baptism

 From Massachusetts-

On Sunday, June 9, at 10 a.m., St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church, 18 Springdale Ave., Dover, will hold its first-ever open baptism. The open baptism service is available for anyone who desires to be baptized or have a child baptized regardless of their relationship with the Episcopal Church or any church, for that matter.

Holy Baptism is a rite of welcome into the Christian Church where the baptized are reminded of God’s love for them. Anyone who has never been baptized is welcome to participate.

Rev. Sean Leonard, St. Dunstan’s rector, said, “We are glad to offer this service to our friends and neighbors in Dover. Baptism is a wonderful moment in a person’s life where all are reminded of God’s deep love for them.”

More here-

Frank Allan led church through challenging times

From Atlanta-

In the late 1960s, while rector at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in Macon, the Rev. Frank Allan, who’d later become the eighth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, stood squarely at a crossroads. St. Paul’s already had a smattering of black members. But during a sermon one Sunday, Allan told his congregation that further integration and shifts were imminent and critical.

He was interrupted in mid-sentence by a woman named Hazel Burns, who reportedly stood up and asked, “Are you saying that [as an all-white church) we’ve been wrong all these years?”

He abandoned his sermon and engaged Burns in a dialogue that other parishioners joined. Though she wasn’t present that day, Allan’s longtime friend and colleague, the Rev. Martha Sterne, said the congregation “discussed, argued, discussed some more and some even cried.”

More here-