Saturday, September 21, 2019

Anglican congregants exchange blows in service

From Zimbabwe-

An ugly fist fight broke out during service inside St Agnes Anglican Church in Mutare on Sunday, pitting Masvingo Provincial Development Co-ordinator Mr Fungai  Mbetsa, on one side and Mr Tinotenda Magada on the other.

St Agnes Anglican Church for a while has been a hotbed of factional fights and on Sunday a normal praise and worship session came to a halt as members from feuding factions clashed.

Video scenes typical of a nightclub brawl have since gone viral on social media depicting chaos that rocked the church service on Sunday with members insulting, pushing and shoving each other.

Mr Mbetsa concurred that the church session did not come to a logical conclusion because of "political issues in the Anglican church".

More here-

Downtown scaffolding collapse damages church building, crushes cars

From Texas-

Crews are trying to remove a huge mass of scaffolding that was ripped off the side of a downtown high rise and thrown against a church building across the street by strong, gusty winds last night.

The scaffolding that was on the AT&T building now looks like a ball of intertwined roller coasters about four stories high.  It  damaged a VIA bus, crushed several cars, overturned a couple of bus benches and damaged St. Mark’s Episcopal Church parish house.

Three people were hurt while running away from the scene of the collapse last night on East Martin Street between Jefferson and Navarro Streets. They suffered minor injuries and did not require hospitalization.

A man who works at a downtown business told KTSA News the winds picked up and then he heard a loud crash.

“I was working just a couple of blocks away and when I heard it,  we came out and saw what was going on,” he said. “It was pretty indescribable and I’m thinking my car was underneath it.”

More here- 

and here-

Episcopal bishop who refuses to allow gay marriage in diocese to face hearing

From Christian Post-

A bishop of The Episcopal Church who has appealed a punishment for refusing to allow same-sex marriages in his diocese will go before a hearing panel to argue his case.

Bishop William Love of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany was punished last year by The Episcopal Church for refusing to enforce a recently enacted resolution allowing congregations in his regional body to bless same-sex marriages.

In a statement released Wednesday while attending the fall House of Bishops’ Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Bishop Love announced that the Title IV Reference Panel voted to refer his appeal to the Hearing Panel.

More here-

Episcopal House of Bishops September 2019: A Message of Love and Solidarity from the Bishops and Spouses to The Episcopal Church

From ENS-

The House of Bishops and their spouses met for their interim meeting at the Courtyard Marriott in downtown Minneapolis. At their September 20 business meeting, they adopted the following:

A Message of Love and Solidarity from the Bishops and Spouses to The Episcopal Church

For many bishops and bishops’ spouses of The Episcopal Church, next summer’s Lambeth Conference has become the occasion for a mixture of joy and sorrow, hope and disappointment. We cherish the bonds of affection that we enjoy with our Anglican siblings around the world. Gathering in prayer, study, and fellowship with our spiritual family is a gift for which we are profoundly grateful.

We, bishops and spouses choose to remain in community with each other as we navigate this passage in our common journey. We choose to remain one in the love of Jesus.
Our hearts are, however, troubled. The Lambeth Conference 2020 intentionally recognizes and underscores the important role bishops’ spouses play in the ministry of the episcopate. And yet, spouses of bishops in same-gender marriages have received no invitation to participate. Their exclusion wounds those who are excluded, their spouses, and their friends within and beyond the House of Bishops.

More here-

Friday, September 20, 2019

Albany Episcopal Bishop Being Disciplined Over Same Sex Marriage Views

From Albany-

The Episcopal Church says Albany Bishop William Love will face a disciplinary hearing over his views on same-sex marriage.

In November of last year, Rev. Love vowed to continue prohibiting same-sex marriages in defiance of a church resolution.

He wrote that sexual relations between two men or two women were never part of God's plan, and as such, is to be avoided.

That led to controversy, with parishioners burning copies of Love's edict on the steps of St. Andrew's while it was being read inside.

According to the Times-Union the disciplinary arm of the church has voted to refer Love to a five-person hearing panel.

More here-

Bishops step up preparations for Lambeth Conference amid anxiety over spousal invitations

From ENS-

Diocese of New York Assistant Bishop Mary Glasspool left no ambiguity about her plans to attend the Lambeth Conference 2020. She is going, even if her wife was specifically denied an invitation.
“The Diocese of New York needs to be represented. We need to be at the table,” Glasspool said Sept. 19 during an informal group discussion about Lambeth during the House of Bishops’ fall meeting.

The question of whether to go to Lambeth or to stay home has fueled anxiety this week among some of the Episcopal bishops and spouses gathered at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel in downtown Minneapolis. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s decision to exclude spouses of gay and lesbian bishops from next year’s Lambeth Conference sparked an uproar within The Episcopal Church and in some other corners of the Anglican Communion.

More here-

Federal judge rules in favor of Episcopal Church in South Carolina in trademark infringement case

From ENS-

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Gergel ruled in favor of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina today on the trademark infringement and false advertising lawsuit filed in 2013. Saying that “The time has come for this dispute to be resolved,” Judge Gergel granted the plaintiff’s (the Bishop of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina(TECSC)) motion for summary judgement, and declared that the group that disassociated from The Episcopal Church (TEC) in 2012 (and all affiliated churches) can no longer use the name “Diocese of South Carolina” nor use the “diocesan seal” or “Episcopal shield.”

The federal case, known as vonRosenberg v. Lawrence, was filed in March 2013, a few months after Mark Lawrence and a breakaway group announced they were leaving The Episcopal Church. The suit involves a claim of false advertising under the federal Lanham Act. At that time, Bishop Charles vonRosenberg was the only bishop recognized by The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion as bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina. According to the lawsuit, by continuing to represent himself as bishop of the diocese, Mark Lawrence is committing false advertising.

More here-

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Progressive seminary students offered a confession to plants. How do we think about sins against nature?

From The Washington Post-

When I was a child, I spoke to trees. I knew my secrets would be safe with these great green friendly things. And I thought the trees spoke back to me. I’d press my ear against their trunks to hear the reverberating, strangely musical sound of branches knocking against one another in the wind, a sound that seems to be traveling to my ear from the decades coded into each tree’s annual growth rings.

I’m comfortable talking to plants, but I’m not sure if I could do so through a microphone in front of a bunch of seminarians, as a student at Union Theological Seminary is doing in a photo tweeted out Tuesday by the seminary’s account:

Today in chapel, we confessed to plants. Together, we held our grief, joy, regret, hope, guilt and sorrow in prayer; offering them to the beings who sustain us but whose gift we too often fail to honor.

What do you confess to the plants in your life?

More here-

Presiding Bishop’s sermon at opening Eucharist of House of Bishops’ fall 2019 meeting

From ENS-

Good morning.

Welcome to all bishops and spouses, who are here gathered today and thank you to the Diocese of Minnesota for hosting us.

Allow me to interpret one text, actually two, which is not going to be as long as you think. To interpret the epistle and the gospel from the lens of the third text from the Hebrew scripture, from the Epistle from Colossians (3:14, 17)

Above all, “Above all, clothe yourselves in love.  And in everything you do, in word and in deed, do it in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

Above all, clothe yourselves in love, and in everything you do, do it in the name of the Lord Jesus.
And the gospel from John, chapter three.

God so loved the world, he gave His only begotten Son to the end that all that believed in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. God so loved the world that He gave Jesus.

More here-

Disciplinary hearing ahead for Albany Episcopal bishop

From Albany-

The Albany Episcopal Diocese bishop who vowed to continue prohibiting same-sex marriages in defiance of the church's orders will face a disciplinary hearing, the Episcopal Church announced Wednesday.

In November 2018, the Rev. William H. Love spurned Episcopal Church Resolution B012, which had been passed earlier in the year and ordered bishops not to impede same-sex weddings. In an eight-page letter, Love wrote that Episcopalians who embraced same-sex relationships had been deceived by Satan, and said the Episcopal Church and "Western society" had been "hijacked by the 'Gay Rights Agenda.'"

"Sexual relations between two men or two women was never part of God's plan and is a distortion of His design in creation and as such is to be avoided," Love wrote. "To engage in sexual intimacy outside of marriage between a man and women, is against God's will and therefore sinful and needs to be repented of, NOT encouraged or told it is ok."

More here- 

and here-

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Southwark Cathedral criticised for hosting scantily clad London Fashion Week show described as 'antithesis of Christian gospel'

From England-

Southwark Cathedral has been accused of promoting the “antithesis of the Christian gospel” by allowing its nave to be used as a catwalk to sell clothes. 

British designer Julien MacDonald brought his collection to the place of worship on Monday night as part of London Fashion Week, turning the aisle into a parade of scantily dressed models. 
It was described by the 48-year-old British designer as a “celebration of women” and attracted celebrity guests including the actor Ed Westwick and socialite Lady Victoria Hervey. 

However, a leading Anglican clergyman has questioned whether the cathedral should be “giving a platform” to an event which promotes “a narcissistic self-referential display for the very rich”.
High-profile catwalk shows are big money-spinners for fashion houses which build the reputation of designers and cement their links with wealthy and influential customers. 

More here-

St. John the Divine Cathedral Is in Recovery Mode

From New York-

All eyes are on Paris’s fire-ravaged Notre-Dame, which President Emmanuel Macron of France has pledged to restore in five years. But a great cathedral in New York is also recovering from a conflagration that occurred on Palm Sunday — one day before the medieval French Notre-Dame was overcome by flames.

The fire at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, a Gothic-style landmark in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, was far less catastrophic. It was confined to a windowless room in the crypt, and no one was injured. The cause has been declared unknown.

Still, oil paintings and an 18th-century icon were destroyed and other artworks damaged. And the plumes of smoke that rose up through heating vents in the floor into the cathedral’s vast interior left soot everywhere.

More here-

House of Bishop opens fall meeting with discussions of same-sex spouse exclusion from Lambeth 2020

From ENS-

The Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops gathered here on Sept. 17 to begin a four-day meeting where the question of the Lambeth Conference 2020 loomed from the outset, both as a point of punctuation in Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s opening sermon and as the scheduled topic of discussion for the first afternoon.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, in calling all bishops in the Anglican Communion to attend the Lambeth Conference next summer, chose to invite gay and lesbian bishops but not their spouses, a plan he saw as a way to balance the divisions in the communion but one that drew criticism, including from within The Episcopal Church. By the time Lambeth starts on July 22, The Episcopal Church will have at least three bishops with same-sex spouses.

More here-

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Archbishop Okoh: The church is in crisis

From Nigeria-

The Primate of all Nigerian Anglican Communion and Bishop of the Diocese of Abuja, the most Reverend Nicholas D. Okoh has given reasons there is so much crises in the Church today.

At a dedication of a new place of worship for the parishioners of All Saints Anglican Church Wuse Zone 5, Abuja, Okoh blamed the idea of relativism as the main cause of the crisis.

There was a time, he said, when there was a clear cut difference between what is acceptable and what is unacceptable, and what is Christian and what is unchristian.

According to him, today, people have reasoned things so much that anything has become acceptable and people, including those who profess to be Christians, now talk of relativism, whereby there is no absolute truth.

More here-

Being an activist and spiritual often go together

From Austin-

Not long before retiring from the Texas Civil Rights Project and beginning a trajectory toward ordained ministry, I was a panelist at a Concerned Philosophers for Peace conference at Austin Community College. The theme was setting standards for peace in public life.

There were four of us “activists,” as we were called; and we related our hard stories of the difficult struggle for peaceful change in society. During the Q&A session afterwards, a student participant asked us each to explain what kept us going in the face of so many nearly insurmountable hurdles.

I wasn’t sure how to answer. For me, the Gospel had always been my life-long motivation for human rights work; but I was in a secular setting, representing a nonprofit organization. Fortunately, the answers started at the other end of the table, which gave me time to consider my response.

More here-

Living with Dementia: Tracey Lind Tells Her Story From The Inside Out

From New Jersey-

Arden Courts, a memory care community, invited the The Very Reverend Tracey Lind to speak of her journey living with Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) at St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Wayne.
Since Lind's FTD diagnosis, she set out on a pilgrimage with her wife Emily Ingalls, to travel the nation and world to tell their story and help destigmatize the "dementia" diagnosis. Visit her website and follow her blog. Lind was seen on 60 Minutes in May 2019 when they introduced millions of television viewers to Frontotemporal degeneration, the most common dementia for people under 60. [The segment was re-aired on Sunday, Sept. 15.]

"Out of pain comes joy," said Lind. She is facing this disease. "I am going to see what I can do with it. My curiosity is getting me through it. Otherwise I’m going to roll up in a ball." Lind is telling her story and sharing "the lessons I am learning and the gifts that I am receiving and the grace that I'm discovering." She is stimulating conversation with the groups she speaks to.

More here-

Monday, September 16, 2019

ACoM enthrones 7th Archbishop Dawea

From Melanesia-

THE Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM) enthrones Rt Reverend Leonard Dawea as the 7th Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Melanesia in a ceremony in Honiara on Sunday.

The Enthronement ceremony was officiated by the senior Bishop Rt Reverend Nathan Tome and all the diocesan bishops of ACOM at the Saint Barnabas Provincial Cathedral. 

Delivering his address at the ceremony the Most Reverend Archbishop Leonard Dawea thanked the Senior Bishop, the Rt Rev. Nathan Tome for his leadership over the Church for the last seven months of leadership interregnum. 

“It is indeed overwhelming to see for myself so many of you who have come to witness this occasion of another milestone in the life and mission of ACOM.

“I am so assured to see the great support you represent, so let me say this you all; because of your trust and confidence in me, I will do my very best to be your servant shepherd. 

“I wish to thank so many of you who sent messages of congratulations and best wishes and support of prayers to me and family on the occasion of my election.

More here-

Anglican Archbishop Prostrates As Apology For 1919 British Massacre In Amritsar

From The Organization for World Peace-

On the 100th anniversary of the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre, Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury embraced the bold act of prostrating at the site of the Amritsar massacre, as a deeply meaningful symbol of a personal request for forgiveness for the British colonial atrocity. Over 400 were slaughtered and more than 1000 injured on the bloody April day in the state of Punjab, 41 of the victims being infants.

Welby ensured espousing a tone centred on religious and personal forgiveness, choosing to stay clear of hinting at any sign of official government representation,  “I cannot speak for the British government … but I can speak in the name of Christ and say this is a place of both sin and redemption, because you have remembered what they have done and their names will live, their memory will live before God”. More emotively, Welby expressed the yearning of the deceased souls, “…crying from these stones warning us about power and about the misuse of power”.

More here-

The Episcopal Church in Haiti: Stretching towards a new future

From Episcopal Cafe-

The 2018 statistical reports for the Episcopal Church are out. There is considerable wringing of hands and some very enlightening commentary around. Among the most challenging is the commentary by Crusty OldDean, Tom Furgerson.  His conclusions present one sort of challenge for TEC, namely to get off the high horse of acting like a corporation. I hope the General Convention will listen to him. Unfortunately, the track record on critical rethinking by TEC is not good. The last round of efforts to deal with the structural problems of TEC fell decidedly flat.

Hidden in the weeds of the Statistical Reports are interesting bits of information regarding the resilience of at least one diocese in TEC. On the basis of the records received from the dioceses, it would appear that the Episcopal Church in Haiti, with 89,717 baptized members, is the largest diocese in TEC. And, looking at ASA (Average Sunday Attendance) figures, it ranks among the top 10 dioceses. It is among only 8 dioceses that have recorded an increase over the last 10 years, and this in spite of the terrible earthquake of 2010.  It has more members than Province 6 or 9. About one in 20 baptized members of TEC is Haitian.

More here-

Virginia Seminary President On Reparations Fund: 'Apology Is Insufficient'

From Virginia Public Radio-

We're going to turn now to the ongoing debate around reparations. In recent years, a number of universities have tried to confront how slavery shaped their institutions. Now Virginia Theological Seminary is doing the same. The seminary, which is just outside Washington, D.C., announced a plan to create a $1.7 million fund for the descendants of the slaves that helped build the school. We wanted to learn more about that plan and what it went into the decision, so we've called on Ian Markham. He's an Episcopal priest and the dean and president of Virginia Theological Seminary. Thank you for joining us.

IAN MARKHAM: I'm delighted to be here.

MCCAMMON: So what led to the creation of this reparations fund?

MARKHAM: So we're on the cusp of our 200th birthday. And as you do the work of thinking about that milestone, you find yourself reflecting on 200 years. And we're very conscious that the story is one full of both grace and sin. And we need to recognize that sin is part of that story. And a huge part of that story are enslaved persons who built many of the key buildings on the campus. And almost all the faculty for decades had enslaved persons working for them. So we felt it was important that you can't mark an anniversary of such significance without really thinking through how we're going to relate to that complex part of our history.

More here-