Saturday, July 27, 2019

Cuban bishop to deliver sermon at Christ Church in Greenwich

From Connecticut-

Christ Church in Greenwich will host a special visitor this Sunday.

The Right Rev. Griselda Delgado del Carpio, the Episcopal bishop of Cuba, will be the guest preacher at the 10 a.m. service in town. After the service, the bishop will meet with parishioners and interested people at coffee hour.

Delgado del Carpio is the first woman consecrated as a diocesan bishop in all of Latin America.

Pat Cage, who has been working with the bishop to build up the Episcopal faith in Cuba, said she is an inspiring presence.

“She is so lovely and peaceful and gentle, and she draws people to her,” said Cage, a Darien resident who traveled recently with the church leader in Cuba. “She is also very determined and has a wonderful vision, and she has a huge commitment to her flock.”

Cage’s husband, Jeremy, will translate Delgado del Carpio’s sermon into English from Spanish, as she is more comfortable speaking in her native language.

More here-

Friday, July 26, 2019

Former Anglican Dean of Newcastle Graeme Lawrence convicted over sex assault of 15yo boy

From Australia-

Former Dean of Newcastle Graeme Lawrence has been convicted over the aggravated sexual assault of a 15-year-old boy at his private home in 1991.

Key points:

  • Lawrence was found guilty of aggravated sexual assault and aggravated indecent assault
  • The judge found the assault took place in Lawrence's private home
  • He dismissed Lawrence's claim that he had never met the complainant

In handing down his verdict today, District Court Judge Tim Gartelmann said he was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Lawrence took the teen into a room, forced him to the ground and had sexual intercourse without the boy's consent.

The assault took place after a youth band performance at Newcastle's Christchurch Cathedral.
Judge Gartelmann found Lawrence guilty of a total of two charges — one of the aggravated sexual assault and another of aggravated indecent assault.

More here-

and here-

Anglican Church of Canada to remove prayer for Jewish conversion

From Canada-

The Anglican Church of Canada’s move to expunge a prayer for the conversion of the Jews from its liturgy is being hailed as a milestone.

Meeting in Vancouver, the church’s General Synod – its governing body – approved a measure on July 16 to delete an invocation calling for the conversion of Jews from the Book of Common Prayer, and replace it with a prayer entitled “For Reconciliation with the Jews.”

Successful resolutions before a synod must pass in all three of the church’s “houses.” This one was approved with near unanimous support: Among the laity, it passed by a 99 per cent plurality, and by 100 per cent among both clergy and bishops.

The amendment will require ratification at the next General Synod in 2022. But Edward Simonton, the church’s Vicar General of Quebec, told The CJN the resolution’s passage at the next synod will be “just a formality,” given its overwhelming support this time.

More here-

Activist priest wants to be Georgia’s first lesbian state senator

From Georgia-

Jackson is jumping into the race with goals of passing an LGBTQ-inclusive civil rights bill, beating back anti-LGBTQ “religious freedom” bills and protecting women’s reproductive rights.

Jackson, an ordained priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, would become the state Senate’s first out lesbian member if elected. It’s her first run for office, but she had designs on doing so from a young age.

“I knew that I wanted for run for office when I was 13 years old and went to a city council meeting in rural South Carolina,” she told Project Q Atlanta. “I think it was this internal visceral call that I want to be a part of change. That’s where it started.”

Jackson said she’s running now to safeguard the Democratic seat in the district that includes Scottdale, Pine Lake, Stone Mountain, Clarkston, Tucker and Lilburn. Sen. Steve Henson, who also serves as minority leader, will leave the Senate in 2020 after 17 years in office.

More here-

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Judge orders all parties into mediation in South Carolina church property case

From ENS-

After a two-hour hearing at Calhoun County Courthouse in St. Matthews, SC, this morning, First Circuit Court Judge Edgar Dickson ordered all parties—The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) and The Episcopal Church, along with a group that broke away from the Church in 2012—to enter into mediation in the ongoing dispute over enforcing the South Carolina Supreme Court’s 2017 decision on diocesan and parish properties.

The hearing was initially in regard to a lawsuit filed against TECSC and The Episcopal Church by the breakaway group that has come to be known as the Betterments Act case. It was filed in November 2017 and cites the little-used Betterments Act statute to seek compensation from TECSC and The Episcopal Church for the cost of improvements made to the properties over the years. That suit followed a decision by the South Carolina Supreme Court on August 2, 2017 ruling that all diocesan property and the property of 29 parishes is held in trust for The Episcopal Church and TECSC.

During the hearing, attorneys for TECSC and The Episcopal Church argued the grounds for dismissal of the case, per their motion filed on December 15, 2017. During the course of the arguments, Judge Dickson asked several questions on issues surrounding ownership and trusteeship of the involved properties.

More here-

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Sudan Christians may benefit from new accord

From Sudan-

A new power-sharing agreement to establish civilian rule in Sudan is potentially good news for persecuted Christians there, religious liberty watchdog International Christian Concern (ICC) said.

“This could very well be a historic change for the country of Sudan and for its suffering Christian population,” Nathan Johnson, ICC regional manager for Africa, said in a press release. “If the new constitution does not guarantee freedom of religion for all, removing sharia as the guiding force, I fear that Christians will continue to live under tyranny and persecution.”

Christians, long persecuted in Sudan, have suffered during months of protests to establish civilian rule after the April ouster of dictatorial President Omar al-Bashir, a Khartoum pastor told ICC.

“The civil protests have really affected the church socially, emotionally and financially,” ICC quoted the pastor who requested anonymity. “We have been tied for months because of the running battles, extrajudicial killings, failed peace talks, and many people, including our church members, must skip work due to instability.”

More here-

No decision yet on same-sex marriage for local Anglicans: Bishop says more consultation needed

From Canada-

Earlier this month, a motion to add same-sex unions to Anglican Church of Canada laws was narrowly voted down at its General Synod. 

To pass, the resolution required "yes" votes from two-thirds of each of three orders — lay, clergy and bishops.

Eighty per cent of the lay delegates voted to adopt the motion, as did 73 per cent of the clergy. But the bishops were two votes shy of what was needed to enter the proposal into law.

But at the same national gathering, the church also decided to allow individual dioceses — including the local Diocese of Algoma — to make their own determinations on the matter.

Some Anglican dioceses have already issued statements, saying they're going ahead with same-sex marriages, while others have already allowed same-sex marriage for the past three years.

More here-

A Priest in Tucson Abused Him When He Was 12. At 60, He's Finally Able to Sue

From Arizona-

When Charles Taylor was 12 years old and growing up in Tucson in the early 1970s, a priest at the local Episcopal church began sexually abusing him. Although Taylor told the rector, and a church secretary knew about the abuse, the church did nothing.

All of that is according to a new lawsuit that Taylor, who is nearly 61, has filed against Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Tucson and the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona for the two years of sexual abuse he says he suffered as a child at the hands of Father Richard Babcock. 

The suit could be the first of its kind after Arizona changed its law in May to give survivors of childhood sexual abuse more time to sue perpetrators or organizations that knew of the abuse. 

Survivors previously had until the age of 20. The new law gives them until the age of 30 and gives older survivors, who previously were time-barred from suing, until December 31, 2020, to file claims. 

More here- 

and here-

Episcopal Diocese Concerned by Palm Springs Clergy Abuse Allegations

From San Diego-

The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego issued a statement of regret and concern Tuesday regarding allegations against a Palm Springs priest who is the subject of a lawsuit filed by a woman who alleges that he sexually abused her in New York nearly 50 years ago, when she was 19.

The lawsuit alleges that the Rev. Paul Kowalewski — who currently serves as a substitute priest at the Church of St. Paul in the Desert — molested the plaintiff in Buffalo in 1971. He was an ordained Roman Catholic priest at the time, according to the complaint filed Monday against the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, where Kowalewski was affiliated from 2005 to 2013.

The plaintiff, Patricia Harner, alleges that Kowalewski abused her, along with several children and at least one other adult, and that the Los Angeles diocese knew of his alleged history when he joined the diocese.

More here-

Circuit court orders mediation in Episcopal dispute

From South Carolina-

On the heels of the South Carolina Supreme Court on June 28 denying a petition by the Episcopal Church in South Carolina to dismiss the case, 1st Circuit Judge Edgar W. Dickson resumed proceedings on the related legal matters.

A hearing on Betterments Statute issues, which had been canceled in March when TECSC petitioned the high court, was held Tuesday at Calhoun County Courthouse in St. Matthews.

The Betterments Statute, under South Carolina law, provides the means for a party making good faith improvements to property they believe they own, to be compensated for the value of those improvements, if a court makes a final determination that another party is the true owner. Many of the parishes in the Diocese of South Carolina can trace their history back to the colonial era of the state. During that entire time, there has never been any question of their unencumbered title to property or legal identity. All have proceeded throughout their history with the maintenance and improvement of their properties with these assumptions.

More here- 

and here-

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

At national gathering, Arctic Anglicans say no to same-sex marriage

From Canada-

Anglican bishops representing the Arctic and other Indigenous and northern regions played a crucial role earlier this month in blocking a resolution that would have amended the Anglican Church of Canada’s canon law to permit the solemnization of same-sex marriage.

Anglican delegates from every corner of the country took part in a passionate debate on the issue this past July 12, during the church’s triennial synod, or national assembly, in Vancouver.

The resolution would have replaced the words “man and woman” and “husband and wife” with “the parties to the marriage” and would have extended the marriage sacrament to all persons able to get married under civil law.

One of many supporters of the resolution, lay reader Robert MacMillan of Nova Scotia, said he and his partner waited 20 years to get married. But to do that, they had to go to the United Church of Canada—because his local Anglican rector refused to marry them.

More here-

Birmingham church houses beehives to better the environment

From Alabama-

Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church is caring for honeybees as it takes steps to be more sustainable and god to the environment.

The church has three beehives. Church Rector, John Burruss says it’s about more than just keeping bees for honey. 

“One of the values at Saint Stephens Episcopal Church is recognizing that everything in the creative world is sacred. Bees play such a critical role in our health,” said Burruss. “They’re responsible for about 30 to 45 percent of our food. And 90 percent of wildflowers so caring for bees is a way of helping our congregation recognize the importance of caring for creation, and of caring for our food and where it comes from.”

Burruss says the hive is symbolic of the church and its parishioners.

More here-

Man sues Tucson church, Episcopal diocese over abuse allegations

From Arizona-

In May, a big change in Arizona law was made for reporting sexual assault. And less than two months later, a man filed a lawsuit against the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona and a Tucson church. 

Charles Taylor filed the civil complaint in Pima County Superior Court on July 12. 

The complaint states Grace St. Paul's church staff ignored reports of sexual misconduct by an Episcopalian priest in the 1970's. 

Taylor says he filed a complaint in 1991, but it was tossed out, because it didn't meet the statute of limitations. 

At the end of May, a new law went into effect that expands the window for sexual abuse victims.

More here-

Monday, July 22, 2019

Bishop’s words of hope at Christian unity service

From New Zealand-

Auckland Bishop Patrick Dunn spoke words of comfort, reassurance and hope, with reference to Christians working for justice, at an ecumenical service to mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in June. 

Bishop Dunn gave the sermon at the service held at the Anglican Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell on the evening of June 16. 

Others who helped lead the service included Anglican Bishop of Auckland Ross Bay, Fr Bishoy Mekhaiel (parish priest of St Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Church), Rev. Prince Devanandran (director, mission and ecumenical, of the Methodist Church), Most Rev. Fakaofo Kaio (moderator, Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand) and Very Rev. Anne Mills (Dean, Holy Trinity Cathedral).

More here-

Church sex abuse victim says Archbishop of Canterbury has never apologised

From England-

A former vicar who was sexually abused by a Bradford priest as a boy has said the church has never said sorry - despite the Archbishop of Canterbury claiming it has.

Matthew Ineson from Staincliffe, Dewsbury, has waived his right to anonymity to try and expose sexual abuse within the Anglican church.

Mr Ineson was raped by Bradford priest Trevor Devamanikkam in 1984 but he never saw justice after the accused killed himself rather than facing trial in 2017.

Last week Mr Ineson strongly criticised the archbishops of Canterbury and York while giving evidence at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in the Anglican Church.

And following the completion of the public hearings in London he has revealed his fury at comments made by the Most Rev, Justin Welby.

More here-

Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Church of England is no longer fit for purpose

From The  Spectator-

The time has come to disestablish the Church of England. As a deeply partisan Prayer Book Anglican – a churchmanship naturally inclined to support the cause of antidisestablishmentarianism – I say that rather grudgingly. But it pains me to admit the established church and mother church of Anglicanism is no longer fit for purpose.

Atheists, militant secularists and those of non-Christian faiths have long supported my newly-held position, yet they often do so for other reasons, namely declining church attendance. They might claim that the Anglican expression of Christianity has little creditability as a state church if, practically speaking, nobody goes to services on a regular basis. And they might have a point. Other denominations could also make a credible claim as the national church, given that the Roman Catholic church draws more on a Sunday than the Church of England.

More here-