Friday, June 14, 2019

Conservative Anglicans Criticize Church Of England Opening The Door For Marijuana Investments

From England-

Holy smokes! The Church of England is considering investing in the burgeoning cannabis industry. 

The church’s investment arm, the Church Commissioners for England, will reportedly relax its rules against investment in medicinal marijuana companies, according to the Financial Times. The Church Commissioners manage a £8.2 billion portfolio, which funds the ministry of the Church of England.
Despite the recent decision, you shouldn’t expect to see your local prelates lighting up any time soon. 

Believers in ethical investment, the Church Commissioners do not invest in so-called “sin stocks” shares of companies for which immoral products make up at least 10% of revenue. Apparently still a “sin,” recreational marijuana falls under this category, as does tobacco, gambling and pornography. The Church Commissioners have given the green light only to investment in the medicinal cannabis industry. 

More here-

US Episcopal Church builds on tie with South Sudan

From The Church Times-

AN EPISCOPALIAN from the United States has been appointed as a bishop in South Sudan to foster links between the two Episcopal Churches.

He is Canon Patrick Augustine, who has left his post of Rector of Christ Episcopal Church, La Crosse, in Wisconsin, and is now an assistant bishop in the diocese of Bor, in South Sudan.

But Bishop Augustine, who is 69, plans to divide his time equally between the US and Bor diocese, ministering in particular to the South Sudanese diaspora in the US, and trying to strengthen the relationship between the Episcopal Churches in the US and South Sudan.

The appointment was made by the Archbishop of Jonglei and Bishop of Bor, the Most Revd Ruben Akurdid Ngong. He has known Bishop Augustine for many decades; the Pakistani-born US cleric has spent years travelling to and from South Sudan.

Part of Bishop Augustine’s remit will be to try to heal divisions over the US Episcopal Church’s affirmation of same-sex marriage.

More here-

Episcopal diocese welcomes first female bishop

From San Diego-

The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego welcomed its first female bishop on Thursday.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer and other interfaith leaders led a ceremony at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral to congratulate Rev. Canon Susan Brown Snook on her new role.

"It gives you a lot of hope," one church member told FOX 5.

Clergy members and congregants elected Snook in February. She will be ordained on Saturday and will oversee 15,000 church members at 43 congregations.

"Women are 50 percent or more of the population and I believe it’s really important for the leadership of the church and of society to reflect the world around us," Snook told FOX 5. "We need to honor the diversity of our world. And we need to call forward the gifts and talents of every person.”

More here- 

also here-

A summary of Executive Council resolutions

From ENS-

Linthicum Heights, Maryland] During its June 10-13 meeting here The Episcopal Church’s Executive Council adopted multiple resolutions that are summarized below.

Committee on Finance

* Establish Trust Fund 1197, Protestant Episcopal Bishop of San Joaquin for the benefit of Saint Paul’s, Bakersfield, for the Diocese of San Joaquin, California (FIN030).

* Establish Trust Fund 1198, Hunt Bequest-Kitchen STPAAS for St. Peter & All Saints Episcopal Church in Kansas City, Missouri (FIN031).

* Establish Trust Fund 1199, Hunt Bequest-Canterbury STPAAS for St. Peter & All Saints Episcopal Church in Kansas City, Missouri (FIN032).

* Establish Trust Fund 1200, Hunt Bequest-Food STPAAS for St. Peter & All Saints Episcopal Church in Kansas City, Missouri (FIN033).

* Establish Trust Fund 1201, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, for St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico (FIN034).

More here-

The mindfulness conspiracy

From The Guardian-

Mindfulness has gone mainstream, with celebrity endorsement from Oprah Winfrey and Goldie Hawn. Meditation coaches, monks and neuroscientists went to Davos to impart the finer points to CEOs attending the World Economic Forum. The founders of the mindfulness movement have grown evangelical. Prophesying that its hybrid of science and meditative discipline “has the potential to ignite a universal or global renaissance”, the inventor of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Jon Kabat-Zinn, has bigger ambitions than conquering stress. Mindfulness, he proclaims, “may actually be the only promise the species and the planet have for making it through the next couple of hundred years”.

So, what exactly is this magic panacea? In 2014, Time magazine put a youthful blonde woman on its cover, blissing out above the words: “The Mindful Revolution.” The accompanying feature described a signature scene from the standardised course teaching MBSR: eating a raisin very slowly. “The ability to focus for a few minutes on a single raisin isn’t silly if the skills it requires are the keys to surviving and succeeding in the 21st century,” the author explained.

More here-

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Tallahassee church holds service to remember Pulse nightclub victims

From Florida-

People from all over are remembering the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting three years ago. 

There were 49 people killed at Pulse Nightclub that night in Orlando. Wednesday night, each of their names will be read aloud. 

One local church joined hundreds of others across the country in ringing their bells 49 times in remembrance. 

"It is the church's way of acknowledging the lives that were lost senselessly too soon. It is our way of saying that we understand and that we are praying for you as a faith community," said Kathleen Walker, Associate Rector for Pastoral Care and Parish Life at St. John's Episcopal Church. 

More here-

Episcopal Church of SC files complaint against insurance company

From South Carolina-

The Episcopal Church of South Carolina filed a complaint in federal court against its insurance company.
Court documents show the insurance company, Church Insurance Company of Vermont, wrongfully made secret payments to churches that sued the Episcopal Church, helping to fund their litigation against the diocese.
The complaint specifically names St. Philip's in downtown Charleston and seeks actual and punitive damages from the insurance company.
According to the complaint, the church discovered that the company paid insurance proceeds to at least one of the disaffiliated parishes, St. Philip’s Church in downtown Charleston. This discovery came through an annual report published online by St. Philip’s that said “After spending for TEC legal fees, Loan Amortization, and Capital Expenditures, St. Philip’s incurred a net cash deficit of $79,045. However, roughly half of the TEC Legal Fees were eligible for partial reimbursement from the Church Insurance Co. of Vermont, totaling some $111,749.”
 More here-

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The painstaking process of repairing a damaged cathedral

From PBS-

The Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., sustained major damage during a rare 2011 earthquake. Nearly eight years later, reconstruction is still underway at the country's second-largest church. Jeffrey Brown visited the landmark to learn more about the long and painstaking repair effort, including how it has been funded and what steps have been taken to avoid future disaster.

Read the Full Transcript

Pair with guns cause scare at church

From North Carolina-

Greenville police surrounded a church and took two people into custody on Tuesday after an armed man with a ballistic vest showed up there thinking he was to meet a possible scammer.

The man entered a building on the campus of St. Timothy's Episcopal Church, 107 Louis St., after 11 a.m. and spoke to the pastor, John Porter-Acee, according to Greenville Police Department Chief Mark Holtzman.

He told Porter-Acee he had a gun and the vest, that a woman outside had a gun, and that they were waiting to meet someone, Holtzman said.

Detectives later determined that the two were the targets of scammers and "felt compelled to meet an unknown person at the church," according to an afternoon news release.

The man feared for his safety due to the circumstances, and he and his friend armed themselves as a precaution, the release said. No one was injured and the two never threatened anyone.

More here- 

and here-

Mt. Lebanon Episcopal church looks to the heavens for its electricity

From Pittsburgh-

St. Paul Episcopal Church in Mt. Lebanon is the first church in the area to “go solar.” The church’s array of 51 rooftop solar panels were dedicated and blessed with holy water at a recent “moving off the grid” ceremony.

The Right Rev. Dorsey W. M. McConnell, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, and the Rev. Noah H. Evans, rector at St. Paul, dedicated the solar panels at the June 8 event.

The panels were activated at the end of March. For the first full month of use, the church saw a 70% reduction in the amount of purchased electricity. The church, which is a three-story building that is in use seven days a week, previously had a monthly electric bill of $1,000 to $1,300.

Some months, the panels could even make more electricity than the church uses, and generating rebates from the church’s electricity provider, Duquesne Light. So far, the church has received about $400 in reimbursements.

More here-

Council is ‘leading from the future as it emerges,’ mutual ministry review shows

From ENS-

The Executive Council is starting to lead The Episcopal Church toward the future using what is currently happening in the church and in the world, according to a recently completed mutual ministry review.

General Convention in 2015 called (via Resolution A004) for a cross section of council members to do such reviews on a regular basis. The reviews are not meant to be performance evaluations. Instead, they are designed for groups to reflect on their ministry together. A group of 12 council members, including the officers and the six people who formed a transitional executive committee of council between the 2015-2018 triennium and the current 2019-2021 triennium participated in the reviews in late 2016 and 2018.

The reviews are aimed at “looking at the present from the standpoint of the future,” said Matthew Sheep, who teaches management, organizational behavior and leadership at Illinois State University. Sheep, who facilitated both reviews, told the council during the opening session of its June 10-13 meeting here that the participants in the most recent review, which began in November 2018, are open to considering a number of “possible futures.”

More here-

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

No more political speeches in church, ACK bishop says

From Kenya-

The Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) Diocese of Murang’a South has banned politicians from addressing congregants following the disruption of church service on Sunday last week when Kiambu Woman Rep Gathoni Wa Muchomba was booed by people said to be supporters of Kandara MP Alice Wahome.
Bishop Julius Karanu, who is in charge of the diocese, told the Nation that the parish priest of the ACK Mairungi Church has also been summoned to explain the incident that led to the church being unruly, promising to take action should it be found that he could have averted the “embarrassing scenario”.
Bishop Karanu condemned the incident, saying that the political class should observe decorum while in church, adding that since the priests cannot know what the politicians will say, they will now not be allowed to speak inside the church and will instead address the faithful after service away from the church.

More here-

From black water bathhouse to a church, a place for healing in Alden

From Buffalo-

The way Margaret Rose sees it, the building that is home to St. Aidan's Episcopal Church in Alden serves the same purpose today that it has always served.

“It’s been a site of healing for 100 years,” said Rose, the church's warden and worship leader. “There may have been a doorway blocked off, a floor covered, but basically it looks very much the way it used to look.”

But looks can be deceiving. The building that is now a house of worship got its start in life as a much different kind of house: a bathhouse. It was built at a time black water transformed the rural village into a giant health spa, with three bathhouses operating and attracting visitors by the trainload who bathed in a mineral-rich elixir that was known as black water.

Alden will celebrate its bathhouse legacy Saturday when the Alden Historical Society continues to mark its sesquicentennial with a Black Water Day bus tour. The tour from 2 to 4 p.m. will trace the story of the 20th century bathhouse phenomenon.

More here-

Monday, June 10, 2019

Forgiveness at Mother Emanuel

From First Things-

I’ve got something to say.” 

That is what a black minister heard God say to him moments before the minister unexpectedly spoke to Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old white supremacist who had murdered the pastor's wife two days prior. At the conclusion of a midweek Bible study, Roof had opened fire as those gathered in the basement of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, bowed their heads in prayer. Nine were killed. 

The murders happened on June 17, 2015, and shocked the nation.  But what happened on June 19 may have been even more shocking. At a court hearing, with Roof appearing via closed circuit television feed from jail, the judge asked the bereaved families if they had anything to say to the accused. That minister would be among a string of those who looked at Roof and uttered the unfathomable “F” word: forgive.  

Those decisions to publicly forgive may have set Charleston, South Carolina, on a different path than places like Ferguson, Missouri, or Baltimore, Maryland, where racial tensions led to angry protests and riots in 2014 and 2015. That does not mean nothing changed. Within a month of the shooting, the Confederate battle flag—a symbol Roof had adored—was removed from the state capitol grounds. Walmart and Amazon stopped selling items bearing the flag. Thousands marched in a peaceful display of solidarity.

More here-

From royal wedding to Delaware church, Michael Curry spreads message of love

From Delaware--

In an unannounced guest sermon Sunday morning, the Most Rev. Michael Curry, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, told the congregation of St. George’s Chapel that unconditional love has the power to heal the world’s divisions.  

Curry became a household name last May when he delivered a sermon about the healing power of love at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding at another St. George's Chapel, that one at Windsor Castle in the United Kingdom. He also spoke at former President George H.W. Bush's funeral last year.

This time, Curry added to his message, saying the world needs people dedicated to loving their neighbors and serving God to save society from dysfunction.

“This is not about building a bigger church,” Curry said. “This is about making a better world.”

More here-