Saturday, October 5, 2019

Home World South American Church leaders call for 'zero deforestation' following Amazon fires

From Christian Today-

Anglican bishops from across South America have united in a call to governments around the world to implement zero deforestation policies following the devastating fires that have raged in the Amazon. 

In a joint statement, the bishops said that the fires reflected "human pride and disobedience against God's command to be stewards of His creation". 

They want to see governments implement laws and programmes aimed at protecting and restoring the Amazon rainforest as they warned of destruction to biodiversity and homes.

They said that delaying such action could see an increase in natural disasters.

"We believe that without genuine repentance on the part of all of us, we will continue to pay a huge price with greater disasters than those we have recently seen in our countries," they said. 

More here-

Long road to priesthood for family man

From Canada-

When newly ordained Fr. Robert Assaly refers to seeking help from “Mother,” the term is just as likely to refer to his wife Nancy as it is to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
With his family of six children, it’s a natural fatherly thing for the first married Catholic priest in the Montreal archdiocese to say. Such was the case last week during an interview when one of his sons popped into the study in the rectory at St. Thomas More Church in suburban Verdun to ask a question.

“Mum will have it,” Assaly assured the young man.

It was a small, lived moment that illustrated the enormous difference between him and his brother priests. Its daily ordinariness showed the truly unusual character of Assaly: how usual he makes the unusual in his life. 

The evidence? His marital status is but one dimension of that. His ordination on Sept. 20 at age 59 came after 10 years of discernment. That discernment came after 35 years as an Anglican priest, during which he married and began his family with Nancy. It doesn’t end there. The Anglican priesthood beckoned when he was in his mid-20s and an avowedly atheist millionaire stockbroker.

More here-

Friday, October 4, 2019

Breakaway diocese in South Carolina loses legal battle to keep its name

From The Church Times-

A DIOCESE in South Carolina which broke away from the Episcopal Church in the United States after years of disagreements over issues including the ordination of openly gay clerics has lost a drawn-out legal battle to keep its name.

The breakaway diocese was known as the Diocese of South Carolina. It left the Episcopal Church in 2012 (News, 23 November 2012). The parties have since been entangled in a dispute over the right of the congregations of the breakaway diocese to retain their identity and property, including 29 parish churches valued at $500 million (News, 15 June 2018).

On 21 September, however, a district court in Charleston ruled in favour of the Episcopal Church and its diocese — the Episcopal Church in South Carolina — in a trademark case that compelled the breakaway diocese to change its name. The Judge, Richard M. Gergel, issued an injunction which prevented the breakaway diocese and its parishes from using the original seal and names of the diocese. These are: “Diocese of South Carolina”, “The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina”, and “The Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina”.

More here-

‘Royal Preacher’ coming to Upper Peninsula

From Northern Michigan-

The Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan, in partnership with the Northern Great Lakes Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, will welcome the Most Reverend Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop Primate of The Episcopal Church, to the Upper Peninsula on Sunday, Oct.13.

Beginning at 5 p.m. in the ballrooms of the Northern Center on the campus of Northern Michigan University, Curry will lead “Revival – The Way of Love UP North.”
Curry is known for his dynamic preaching and his love and enthusiasm for “The Jesus Movement,” which he describes as “following Jesus and growing a loving, liberating, life-giving relationship with God, with each other, and with creation.”
In addition, Bishop Curry made headlines in the spring of 2018 when he preached at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle. 

The event is family-friendly and open to everyone — Christians and seekers alike. It will feature charismatic preaching, offerings from local artists and musicians, personal testimony and storytelling, invitation to social action and intentional outreach with people who aren’t already engaged in a faith community.

More here-

The Trump Administration and Refugees

From South Carolina-

The Episcopal Church condemns the administration’s decision to reduce the number of refugees and further dismantle the refugee resettlement program. We also strongly condemn the decision to allow states and localities to reject refugees. The historic average for annual refugee admissions has been 95,000. The FY2020 determination of 18,000 refugees is the lowest in the forty year history of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ calls us to welcome the stranger and respect the dignity of every human being. Those fleeing persecution have a particular claim on our attention and concern as they seek a life of dignity and peace in the face of oppression.

“This decision will substantially hamper the vital work of Episcopal Migration Ministries to show the love of Christ to some of the most vulnerable people in the world” said The Rev. Dr. C.K. Robertson, canon to the presiding bishop for ministry beyond The Episcopal Church. “There are millions of displaced persons around the world. The United States has a solemn obligation to do its part to aid this problem by showing generosity to refugees. Security and compassion are not mutually exclusive.”

More here-

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Single, not married, is the new church norm

From Australia-

Does the church have any idea how to treat single people?

Eternity’s With All Due Respect podcast recently welcomed Dani Treweek into the recording studio to help answer this loaded question. Since completing a theological degree and spending ten years in parish ministry, Dani has thrown herself into extensive research about singleness and the church. She is currently undertaking a PhD, as well as a Fellowship at Anglican Deaconess Ministries in Sydney, with the aim of developing a theological and pastoral ethic of singleness. 

She will continue this work in 2020 as Researcher and Writer in Residence at Moore Theological College’s Centre for Christian Living.

Hosts of With All Due Respect, Megan Powell du Toit and Michael Jensen, fired some informed questions at Dani.

More here-

Speaker to explore intersection of religion, climate change

From Western Massachusetts-

The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas believes religion and climate change are not mutually exclusive subjects, but rather that individuals can prepare themselves spiritually to combat climate change in their own lives.

This belief will be the topic of Bullitt-Jonas’ free talk titled “Earth Care, Soul Care: Reflections from the Front Lines,” Thursday at the First Congregational Church in Ashfield. The event, which starts at 7 p.m., will be preceded by a 6 p.m. potluck.

“I’m deeply concerned about the climate crisis,” Bullitt-Jonas said, adding that “I really feel that at this point, we need a power greater than ourselves” to guide our relationships with the Earth.
Her concern about the planet led her to a unique role. In 2013, she became the minister for creation care for the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts. That role turned into an ecumenical one — she is also the minister of care for the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ.

More here-

Worship to continue after piece of ceiling falls at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Stapleton

From Staten Island-

A large piece of ceiling fell at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Stapleton on Tuesday afternoon in a crash that could have been fatal had someone been sitting in the pews, the church vicar told the Advance.

The Rev. Frederick Schraplau said he’s grateful that nobody was sitting on the pews, which are now badly damaged, when the 1-inch-deep and approximately 10-by-10-foot piece of concrete fell from the ceiling on Tuesday sometime in the late afternoon.

“It could have killed somebody,” he said.

More here-

Diocese of Oklahoma names three nominees for bishop

From ENS-

The Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma is excited to announce the nominees for the sixth bishop of the Diocese of Oklahoma. Following a yearlong search and discernment process, the Search Committee announces that the nominees are the Rev. Scott Gunn, the Rev. Greg Methvin and the Rev. Poulson C. Reed.

Gunn is currently the executive director of Forward Movement, based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Methvin is currently the rector of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Frisco, Texas. And the Reed is currently the rector of All Saint’s Episcopal Church and Day School in Phoenix, Arizona.

The candidates will participate in “walkabouts” from Dec 6-8 to engage with diocesan clergy and community members.  The election will take place on Dec. 14 at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Oklahoma City, and the bishop consecration will follow on April 18.

The Rt. Rev. Edward J. Konieczny, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma, announced in November his intention to retire on January 1, 2021. Konieczny was elected and consecrated as the fifth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma in 2007, and at the time of his retirement will be in his 15th year as bishop.

More here-

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Archbishops' movement inspiring Christians worldwide to pray for friends and family

From Christian Today-

An ecumenical movement launched by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York has inspired a fresh wave of prayer among Christians for their loved ones.

In the four years since it was launched, Thy Kingdom Come has seen huge growth, with Christians in 172 countries now taking part. 

This year reached new milestones with endorsements for the first time from Pope Francis and the Queen. 

Earlier this year, thousands of Christians filled Trafalgar Square for a major prayer event in the heart of London on Pentecost Sunday that was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and joined by worship artist Matt Redman. 

There were also contributions from all five presidents of Churches Together in England, as well as the Bishop of London, Dame Sarah Mullally DBE, and the Methodist Church's Rev Trey Hall.

More here-

Religious discrimination bill so flawed it cannot be supported, Anglicans say

From The Guardian-

The flaws in the Coalition’s religious discrimination bill are “so serious” it cannot be supported in its current form, the Sydney Anglican diocese has warned.

Bishop Michael Stead has warned the bill would force Anglican youth camps to host Satanist masses at its campsites and has the “perverse effect” of encouraging companies such as Qantas to threaten to withdraw sponsorship to justify restrictions on religious speech in cases like Rugby Australia’s sacking of Israel Folau.

In a separate submission, the Freedom for Faith group has claimed the bill fails a commitment by the prime minister, Scott Morrison, “that the law would not take faith groups backwards in terms of protection of religious freedom”.

More here- 

and here-

Pittsburgh Synagogue Gets Help From Neighboring Church, 1 Year After Deadly Shooting

From NPR-

Nearly a year after a man opened fire in Pittsburgh's Tree of Life Synagogue, members of the congregation are holding their High Holy Days celebration at an Episcopal church that welcomed them in.


The Jewish High Holidays are here, and we're going to look now at how the synagogue that suffered the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history is marking them. That attack, of course, was in Pittsburgh nearly a year ago. As Bill O'Driscoll of member station WESA reports, the congregation is getting support from Christian neighbors.

BILL O'DRISCOLL, BYLINE: As soon as regular Sunday services ended yesterday, Calvary Episcopal Church volunteers began preparing the 113-year-old sanctuary for a second service. That evening, hundreds of members of Tree of Life, or L’Simcha Synagogue, arrived to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

WILLIAM STEVENS: These will be covered for the next two weeks.

More here- 

also here-

Monday, September 30, 2019

Pondering how to address the reverend clergy

From Baltimore-

Despite commendable efforts at housecleaning in recent years,* the Associated Press Stylebook retains some regrettable relics. For today’s homily, we’ll have a look at Rev.

The stylebook entry states what has long been considered orthodox practice: “When this description is used before an individual’s name, precede it with the word the because, unlike Mr. or Mrs., the abbreviation Rev. does not stand for a noun.”

That is, the word reverend and its abbreviation are adjectives.

There are some problems with this supposed rule, which H.L. Mencken in The American Language traces to nineteenth-century diktats by Richard Grant White (who delighted in inventing rules of grammar and usage) and William Cullen Bryant (who delighted in prohibitions).

More here-

'Long past time,' Anglican priest says of permission to perform same-sex marriage

From Canada-

Some Anglican churches within the diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador have been given the green light to perform same-sex marriages.

The decision comes after the Anglican Church of Canada voted against equal marriage at its General Synod in Vancouver, and opted instead to allow each diocese to make its own independent decision.
Eight local parishes made requests to Bishop Geoffrey Peddle, and late last week he sanctioned the requests and immediately authorized those parishes to perform same-sex marriages.

The Rev. Jonathan Rowe of St. Michael and All Angels Church in St. John's says it's likely that there will soon be even more local churches within the diocese offering equal marriage.

More here-

Calvary Episcopal Church Opens Doors For Tree Of Life Congregation

From Pittsburgh-

The Jewish New Year has begun and with it comes a time of reflection, forgiveness, and new beginnings. 

It comes nearly one year after the mass shootings that took place at the Tree of Life.
The Calvary Episcopal Chruch in Shadyside has opened its doors to the Tree of Life congregation as a place of worship. 

This week, after the final prayers and goodbyes were said, the church covered their crosses, removed the hymnals, and a transformation began to making the church a welcoming home for the Jewish community. 

“Anyway that they would feel comfortable and know this could be their building, they could use it,” said William Stevens, Director of the Calvary Episcopal Church Altar Guild. 

After the tragedy last year, the church offered their space for worship, meetings, and offices. The Tree of Life took them up on the proposal and after several meetings decided to have their High Holiday of Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur at the church. 

More here-