Saturday, September 14, 2019

‘Wai’ now Bishop Quayle

From New Zealand-

A moving powhiri on a dazzling spring day, a haka and the ordination of the first Maori Woman to the bishopric of the New Zealand Anglican Church happened at Rathkeale College on Thursday.

Waitohiariki Quayle will be known as Bishop Quayle of Upoko o Te Ika [lower North Island] and serve the Maori Anglican bishopric of the lower North Island.

Hundreds of people from around the North Island came to witness this historic event.
Bishop Quayle said she felt the “wairua [spirit]” present and felt, “very emotional as a servant of God”.

Quayle did need to dry her eyes during the ordination.

“It’s very personal,” she said, saying it was a significant day for New Zealand women.

More here-

The Jallianwala Bagh stain: Archbishop of Canterbury’s act of repentance speaks to his larger project of interfaith reconciliation

From India-

The dramatic image flashed across the world. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the Protestant church in England and spiritual leader of the global community of 85 million Anglican Christians, lay prostrate in front of the memorial to the victims massacred a century ago by troops of the British Indian army in Amritsar. It was, as he intended, a visible symbol of repentance for an action that since 1919 has left a stain on Britain’s relations with India.

It was not a formal apology. The most revered Justin Welby said that he was a religious and not a political leader, and therefore could not speak for Britain or its government. But he condemned the shootings as a crime and a sin, and said he was “personally very sorry for this terrible atrocity”. He felt a “deep sense of shame” when visiting the Jallianwala Bagh park.

His prostration, in the searing heat, was compared by many to the gesture of repentance by Willy Brandt, the West German chancellor, who spontaneously fell to his knees in 1970 in front of the former Jewish ghetto in Warsaw when he offered an apology for the Nazi atrocities committed there during the Second World War.

More here-

Prince Charles plans to attend Cardinal Newman’s canonization

From England-

Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, plans to attend the October 13 canonization of Blessed John Henry Newman, the prince’s office announced Friday.

Charles will travel to Rome for the event and, following the ceremony, attend a reception at the Collegio Urbano, part of the Pontifical Urban University, and the institution where Newman studied to become a Catholic priest.

Queen Elizabeth, 93, no longer travels abroad, so the Prince of Wales is the highest royal available to be on hand for the ceremony in St. Peter’s Square.

Expected to become king upon his mother’s death or abdication, Charles also will become head of the Church of England. The soon-to-be St. John Henry Newman is one of the highest profile converts from the Church of England to the Catholic Church. He will become the first English non-martyr saint since the Reformation.

More here-

Springfield protest calls on Smith & Wesson to help prevent gun violence

From Western Massachusetts-

Numbering about 60, a coalition of youth groups and concerned citizens gathered at Memorial Field across Roosevelt Avenue from Smith & Wesson headquarters Friday afternoon to call on executives to work with them to address gun violence.

Joining the groups were two of the state’s Episcopal bishops and a co-founder of Bishops United Against Gun Violence.

Bishop Douglas Fisher of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts said he invited fellow bishops to join him to back up youth groups such as Campaign Nonviolence, the Pioneer Valley Project and B-Peace for Jorge as they demonstrated.

More here-

Bishop suspended child porn suspect Rev. Gregory Lisby from Worcester’s All Saints Episcopal Church in 2018 over ‘inappropriate relationship’

From Western Massachusetts-

The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts on Friday sent a letter to all congregants lamenting the arrest of the Rev. Gregory Lisby on a child pornography charge last night, highlighting that Lisby has been banned from all contact with the church.

FBI agents raided Lisby’s Worcester home — an Episcopal rectory where he lives with his husband and the couple’s two daughters — on Sept. 11. Lisby was a newly minted kindergarten teacher in Holyoke when the government closed in. He resigned his position at the school in an email sent to a Holyoke schools official at 2:30 Thursday morning.

Lisby was arrested last night in Northborough, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston. He will be arraigned in a federal court in that city this afternoon. Lisby has been charged with possession of child pornography after agents recovered more than 180 photos and 15 videos from his computer, according to court records. That charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

More here- 

and here-

Friday, September 13, 2019

Church probes anonymous letters targeting bishops

From Uganda-

The Anglican Church is investigating anonymous letters threatening the outgoing and incoming bishops of West Lango Diocese. 

The leaflets were discovered dropped in Apac Municipality, Aduku Town Council, Oyam Town and Kole Town on September 2.

The letters questioned the integrity of outgoing bishop Alfred Acur Okodi and bishop-elect Julius Caeser Nina. The letters also rejected the incoming bishop.
The leaflets that were reportedly dropped in the compound of St Peter Church of Uganda and the diocesan headquarters of West Lango, warned Bishop Acur Okodi not to step foot in the church.
“Bishop Acur should not step foot in Aduku. Consecration of bishop, don’t try. No consecration of Rev Nina in West Lango,” the circulated leaflets read in part. 

More here-

FBI child porn raid at Worcester church rectory leads to Holyoke kindergarten teacher’s resignation

From Western Massachusetts-

A Morgan School kindergarten teacher under investigation for child pornography has resigned after the FBI raided the rectory of a Worcester Episcopal church where he lives.

Holyoke Public Schools Receiver Stephen Zrike Jr. told parents about the investigation involving Gregory Lisby in a letter sent on Thursday.

“We know that this is troubling news, and we understand that this will prompt many questions from the community,” Zrike wrote. “As this is an ongoing investigation, we do not have any additional information to share at this time.”

The rector of the church is Lisby’s husband, the Rev. Timothy Burger. Lisby is also an ordained minister and served as the rector of a different Episcopal church in Worcester from 2015 to 2018 but is no longer working as a minister, the search warrant application said.

Lisby’s Linkedin profile said he was the rector of All Saints Episcopal Church on Irving Street. 

More here-

In slavery, her family was owned by his. Now they attend a Baltimore church seeking to atone for its past.

From Baltimore-

The Rev. Natalie Conway’s tenure as the new deacon of Memorial Episcopal Church in Baltimore’s Bolton Hill was by all accounts going well last year when she received news that sparked a personal crisis and sent shock waves through the congregation.

One of Conway’s siblings, who was conducting genealogical research on their family, told her that some of their forebears had been slaves on a local plantation — and the people and the land were owned by none other than the extended family of Memorial’s founding pastor, 19th-century cleric Charles Ridgely Howard.

If that weren’t disorienting enough, a current parishioner at Memorial — a man Conway had known for years and respected — was a descendant of the slaveholding clan.

The cascade of revelations at first overwhelmed the lifelong Episcopalian and native of Baltimore.

More here-

Thursday, September 12, 2019

The suffering of migrant children and families in detention demands action

From San Francisco-

Like most people in this city and across the country, I have been reading with continuing, ever- increasing dismay the news of the government’s actions at the borders. Last week’s policy announcement allowing indefinite detention of migrant families and children is yet another tragic development. The distressing images of children huddled in cages; of pre-teen children, themselves frightened and afraid, caring for young infants; of heartbroken parents crying for their daughters and sons – these are lodged in my heart as in the hearts of so many.

As a priest, as for teachers, medical professionals, social workers, first responders and numerous other professionals, I am a mandated reporter of child abuse. The California Department of Education states: “All persons who are mandated reporters are required, by law, to report all known or suspected cases of child abuse or neglect.”

It is against the law for me and other mandated reporters to NOT report any case of child abuse that we suspect is happening. If this is true of what we suspect in family homes, how much more it must be true of the abuse we see happening on such a brutal scale at our borders!

More here-

'This isn't f---ing Disneyland!': Drunk man storms English cathedral over mini-golf course

From England-

An intoxicated Englishman was charged with common assault after he flew into a rage at the installation of a miniature golf course in U.K.'s Rochester Cathedral.

Michael Feeney, 67, delivered an impassioned rant last week against what he regarded as a flippant display in the 13th-century church where he occasionally goes to pray, according to the Independent. Rebuking visiting chaplain Margaret Moore, he yelled, "This isn't f---ing Disneyland! This is a f---ing cathedral! It's a f---ing disgrace!"

Upon sobering up, Feeney expressed remorse for his actions before the magistrate, saying, "I am extremely sorry, I am extremely ashamed about it. I am trying to be a nice person." His lawyer said "he just found that there was something wrong."

More here-

Religious, education leaders stand against racism at Buffalo Athletic Club, 1968

From Buffalo-

For the last 39 years, heading to the Buffalo Athletic Club meant you were heading to the gym. After the original BAC fell on hard times, the club’s majestic E.B. Green-designed home was renovated into a modern health club with exercise facilities for both men and women.

For decades before it was just a gym, it was a private men’s social club. Very private.

When Episcopal Bishop Harold Robinson was given an award by the Erie County Bar Association at a banquet held at the club, a group of Episcopal priests signed a letter protesting the prelate’s attendance, saying in part, “We are … concerned that any of our church's leaders can allow themselves to be honored at a reception in a club that segregates by membership and from an association that meets in facilities segregated by membership. This situation is deeply confusing when religious leaders are expected to provide the leadership and personal example in the most pressing of the country's domestic crises — the breakdown of communication and relations between black and white citizens.”

More here-

Episcopal Seminary in Virginia Starts Slavery Reparations Fund

From NPR (with audio)-

What kind of reparations could begin to make amends for slavery?

In Alexandria, a new $2 million effort is underway.

As the Virginia Theological Seminary reaches its milestone 200th anniversary, Dean Ian Markham says there’s a growing awareness on campus of that the story of the Episcopal seminary is a mix of grace and sin. 

“And part of that sin is the history of racism, which includes the use of enslaved persons on this campus and our participation in segregation and Jim Crow," Markham admits. "The purpose of the reparations fund is literally to repair some of that damage.”

More here-

also here-

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Anglican Diocese of Western Newfoundland votes to allow same-sex marriages

From Canada-

A step toward healing and moving forward within the Anglican Church took place in Corner Brook Sept. 3 when the Diocese of Western Newfoundland voted to allow same-sex marriage.

The motion to allow same sex-marriage by consenting clergy, and including protection for non-consenting clergy, was accepted by 93.4 per cent of the 79 delegates. 

Bishop John Organ said the result was both positive and affirming.

“It doesn’t matter what particular issue it is in any organization or community, not everybody is of the same mind. But this is a way that we can walk together in unity and respect our differences,” he said.
He said the synod delegates expressed courage and a genuine concern and pastoral concern for all people and the vote sends a positive message that all people are included. “That God’s love is for everyone, no matter the colour of their skin or their sexual orientation.”

Organ said the group of 30 clergy and 49 lay delegates met for five and half hours to discuss the issue and the conversation was a good one. 

More here-

Gay Anglican priests fight to get church blessing of their same-sex marriage

From Australia-

It's a unique love story. Two gay Anglican priests from opposite sides of the world who meet and fall in love.

Father John Davis and Father Rob Whalley met two decades ago in California.

Father Whalley said it was love at first sight.

"I looked at him and I thought, I could be with this guy for a long time, we actually see the world in much the same way," he told 7.30.

"I said to myself, 'There's no future in it at all. This is an absolutely global impossibility. You're from Australia. I'm from California.' And he looked at me at that moment and said, 'I love you'.
"And I said, 'Well, there is that'."

On Tuesday, exactly 20 years from the day they first locked eyes, they tied the knot in a small civil ceremony in Melbourne.

They had hoped to have their matrimonial union blessed this weekend at a small country church service, but now a major church legal challenge is standing in their way, with the matter referred to the church's Appellate Tribunal.

More here-

The Roberson Project seeks to reconcile with Sewanee’s slave-holding history

From Sewanee-

The Roberson Project on Slavery, Race, and Reconciliation, formerly known as the Sewanee Project on Slavery, Race, and Reconciliation, entered its third year on July 1. The name change honors Sewanee’s first tenured African-American professor, Houston Roberson, who passed away in December 2016. Dr. Roberson was also responsible for focusing on African-American studies to Sewanee’s curriculum when he joined the faculty in 1997.

“He was a very close friend, so when he died, it was a very personal as well as professional loss,” Dr. Woody Register (C’80), director of the Roberson Project and Professor of American history says.

The name change also seeks to memorialize Dr. Roberson’s legacy. “Now I get to say Dr. Roberson’s name all the time. Most memorials are stone or bronze things that don’t speak, and people come to ignore them,” Dr. Register says.

This project began with a group of other universities seeking to understand how slavery contributed to their institutions. 

More here-

Former Bishop's School student sues over alleged sex abuse

From San Diego-

Attorneys for a former student of the Bishop’s School in La Jolla announced Tuesday a child sexual abuse lawsuit against the elite private school and the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego. 

The man claims he was repeatedly molested by a female computer science teacher starting when he was 16 years old. 

10News has reached out to the San Diego Police Department and The Bishop's School about the allegations but neither have commented at this time. Calls to the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego were unanswered Tuesday afternoon.

The alleged abuse included sexual intercourse on campus, at [the defendant's] house, and other La Jolla and San Diego area locations, the lawsuit states. 

More here-

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Village outraged by diocese's plan to sell heritage-listed church to pay compensation to child sex abuse victims

From Australia-

Judgement day has come for the sins of the fathers.
Tough decisions are being made by religious hierarchies around the country on how they pay restitution to victims of pedophile priests - and for all those lawyers they've engaged.
The Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse went on for many years and uncovered a disturbingly high number of cases of abuse of vulnerable children by some members of the clergy.
Now it is time to pay - financially.
So we might be seeing a lot more of what's happening in Carcoar, a village in the central west of New South Wales.
Carcoar is a pretty little place. So much so, the entire village has a heritage order on it because of the number of intact 19th-century buildings that line its streets. 

More here-

Shadyside church to host Tree of Life's High Holy Day services

From Pittsburgh-

An unusual sound echoed Monday through the cavernous walls and gothic vaults of Calvary Episcopal Church in Shadyside — the sonorous reveille of a shofar, or ram’s horn, used to mark the start of the Jewish new year.

The new year hasn’t arrived quite yet, but several members of the Tree of Life / Or L’Simcha Congregation were preparing for it.

They were visiting Calvary to learn about the place where they will be commemorating Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the High Holy Days of the Jewish religious calendar, for the first time since their synagogue was attacked by an anti-Semitic gunman Oct. 27.

The Tree of Life members have been conducting weekly worship at another synagogue, Rodef Shalom Congregation of Shadyside, since Oct. 27. On that date, an attacker killed 11 worshipers from three congregations who were observing the Sabbath at the Tree of Life building.

More here-

‘God is in the house’: Christ Church Cathedral remixing Mass with hip-hop

From Connecticut-

Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford has English-language Masses with no music, Masses with choral music and Spanish-language Masses with a live band. On Sept. 15, a fourth option is being added to the mix: hip-hop Masses.

In this Episcopalian congregation, "God is in the house. ... You down with us and we down with you cause you got the back of every and each.”

That passage, and all the other liturgical passages in the Mass, will be taken from “The Hip Hop Prayer Book: The Remix,” published in 2006 by Timothy Holder, an Episcopal faith leader in the Bronx.

The Very Rev. Miguelina Howell, the cathedral’s dean, will preside at the Mass, reading Holder’s liturgy. Her husband, Daniel Howell, and Hartford rapper and spoken-word performer Oktober Brown will do the musical portion of the service, accompanied by DJ Michelle Brown. The Rev. Rebekah Hatch of St. Alban’s in Simsbury will deliver the sermon, which will focus on inclusion.

More here-

Slaves helped build Virginia Theological Seminary. The school will spend $1.7 million in reparations.

From The Washington Post-

From their offices in a building erected by slaves, leaders of the Virginia Theological Seminary announced early this month they have created a $1.7 million fund for reparations, putting one of the oldest Episcopalian schools at the forefront of a movement among universities and other groups seeking to reconcile slavery’s enduring legacy in their organizations.

The endowment fund offers a model at a time when lawmakers and presidential candidates are studying how reparations may work nationally. At Virginia Theological Seminary — a school that did not admit black students until 1951 — the plan involves more than just writing a check.

The pot of money will be used to address “particular needs” of descendants of slaves who worked at the seminary, to create programs that “promote justice and inclusion” and to elevate the work and voices of African American alumni and clergy within the Episcopal Church, especially at historically black congregations.

More here-

Monday, September 9, 2019

Archbishop of Canterbury underlines guarantees in statute

From India-

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, on Sunday sought to encourage Indian political and religious leaders to maintain the provisions of the Indian Constitution that guarantee freedom of religion and belief to all citizens.

The global head of the Anglican Communion was responding to a specific question at a media conference. He added that the purpose of his visit was “prayer, pilgrimage and pastoral” and that he was not visiting India as a political leader.

“India has the incredible tradition of diversity of faiths within its history and in its ancient civilisation. Section (Article) 25 of the Indian Constitution provides for all freedom of religion and belief. So it is deeply in the law… it is deeply in the culture…. And as a religious leader, I would want to encourage all political and religious leaders to seek fairly the maintenance… of that Section 25,” the Archbishop said during an interaction with journalists at the Bishop House of the Calcutta Diocese of Church of North India (CNI).

More here-

Arrest & prosecute xenophobia cases: Anglican archbishop

From South Africa-

Anglican archbishop Thabo Makgoba said on Sunday he was “appalled and ashamed” at the violent attacks on foreigners in South Africa last week, as well as the ongoing attacks on truckers.

Preaching at church services in Cape Town, the archbishop urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to “demand that the responsible branches of government act firmly, and especially that those who attacked people and looted their homes and businesses will be arrested and prosecuted”.

“We [in the church] are deeply disturbed by the recent orchestrated attacks on citizens from outside our country – sadly called foreign nationals – for no one is foreign, all are  God's people and all are Africans. I am appalled and ashamed by the violence meted out against them, especially against truck drivers, and at the prejudice voiced against these vulnerable people who come from beyond our borders."

More here-

In Wisconsin, An Enduring Sanctuary Was A Pioneer Dream

From Wisconsin-

The small wooden church is half-hidden, nestled on a hill in southeastern Wisconsin in the city of Delafield. St. John Chrysostom Episcopal Church was built in 1851, one of the historic "carpenter Gothic" churches surviving in the United States, and on the National Register of Historic Places. It's such a quiet place residents often forget it's there, though it was established by the pioneer founders of the city.

As a girl in Delafield, I wondered about its strange name, and the tombstones that went from the graveyard up to the door. I was lucky enough to meet Father Steven Peay, who fills in sometimes for the regular rector. St. John Chrysostom, Father Steven Peay explained to me, was the name of a 4th century bishop of Constantinople. He was the patron saint of preachers, and the Greek name "Chrysostom" was given to him because it means "honeyed mouth" or the "golden-mouthed one." Steven Peay is an emeritus dean of nearby Nashotah House Theological Seminary, which is an influential, "high church" Episcopal seminary. While there, he taught church history and homiletics — the art of preaching and writing sermons.

More here-