Saturday, October 12, 2019

Prof Mbiti, the Anglican cleric who dared to promote African religions

From Kenya-

“Mbiti” (hyena) is probably the first word that I learnt in Kiikamba. This was back in the late 1960s, long before I had a home in Ukambani. My interest in “Mbiti” was that it was the name of one of my most admired teachers and senior colleagues when I joined Makerere as a graduate student and tutorial fellow. This was the Reverend Canon Dr John S. Mbiti of the then-Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies.
He was later internationally known as Prof John Samuel Mbiti, former Director of the Ecumenical Institute of the World Council of Churches in Regis-Bossey, who passed away in Geneva, Switzerland, at the beginning of this week. At Makerere, where he lectured for some 10 years, Mbiti was one of the small group of young academics, including David Rubadiri, Joseph Ouma Muga, Pio Zirimu, and Ali Mazrui, up to whom we wide-eyed aspiring “scholars” looked as mentors and role models.

More here-

One man, two churches: John Henry Newman’s legacy lives on for both Catholics and Anglicans

From American Magazine-

The Rev. Dr. Will Adam is the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Ecumenical Adviser and Director of Unity, Faith and Order for the Anglican Communion. Dr. Adam was ordained in 1994 and served in several parishes, most recently in London, before joining the senior staff at Lambeth Palace in early 2017. A graduate of the Bossey Ecumenical Institute, he oversees the Anglican Communion’s relations with the Catholic Church and other Christian communions.

In preparation for Pope Francis’ Oct. 13 canonization of Blessed John Henry Newman in Rome, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has announced sending a delegation to represent the Church of England, Newman’s former faith community. On Oct. 9, I interviewed Dr. Adam, a member of the delegation, by email about Newman’s legacy in the Anglican tradition and for ecumenical relations.

What is the significance of the Anglican Communion including John Henry Newman on its liturgical calendar?

More here-

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Utah’s Episcopalian bishop announces his retirement

From Utah-

The Right Rev. Scott B. Hayashi, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah, announced this week that he will be retiring. 

In a letter posted on the Episcopal Diocese of Utah’s Facebook page, Bishop Hayashi, who was consecrated as the 11th bishop of Utah in November 2010, said his calling “has been and continues to be a blessing and joy that I never expected to have in my life.” 

The letter also noted the date of the election for a new bishop has not been firmly set, but will be held in the spring of 2021.

“I pledge to you that I will be diligent in my responsibilities of being your bishop until the ordination of the new bishop of our diocese,” the letter reads.

According to the diocese’s website, Bishop Hayashi, who graduated from Harvard Divinity School, was ordained a priest in 1984 and served as a parish priest Washington, Utah and California. In 2005, he became the canon to the Ordinary — or bishop’s office in the Diocese of Chicago.

More here-

Friday, October 11, 2019

Vt. Episcopal Bishop Shannon MacVean-Brown On Inclusivity, Community And 'Creation Care'

From Vermont-

Rev. Shannon MacVean-Brown is the first black woman to lead the Vermont Episcopal Church, and just one of three black women to hold the title of bishop in New England. MacVean-Brown says that experiencing this "otherness" can be uncomfortable, but it's also what informs her ministry. 

Listen to Rev. Shannon MacVean-Brown speak with Morning Edition host Mitch Wertlieb above.

Church work called to MacVean-Brown from the beginning. She grew up in a religious household, though she said her parents also allowed her plenty of freedom to explore. 

“Even at one point I thought I wanted to be Buddhist,” she said.”But I just kept having conversations with Jesus, and that doesn’t quite work.”

More here-

Thursday, October 10, 2019

St. George's school: Episcopal priest apologizes for racial comments in guest speech

From Memphis-

An Episcopal priest recently gave a speech at St. George's Independent School in Collierville in which he mentioned his past fears of African Americans. His approach struck some in the audience as racist, and the school held a second assembly the same day to apologize to students.

The priest, Rev. Thomas Momberg, has apologized, too.

A student newspaper at St. George's, The Lodge, said Momberg described a 1966 incident in which he felt fearful of three young black men and locked his car door.

The student publication wrote that Momberg seemed to be trying to make a bigger point about fear and racism, but didn't communicate the message clearly, and his delivery left some students feeling confused and hurt.

Head of school Ross Peters wrote an email to parents later that day, Sept. 17.

More here-

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Pittsburgh institute expects rise in Newman interest, visits after sainthood

From Pittsburgh-

The Catholic Church’s newest saint may soon be attracting people to Pittsburgh.

Cardinal John Henry Newman, an Anglican churchman who converted to Catholicism in 1845, will be canonized in Rome on Sunday.

Among those attending the canonization Mass will be Ryan Marr, director of the Oakland-based National Institute for Newman Studies, and institute co-founders the Rev. Drew Morgan and Catharine Ryan.

Founded in 2002, NINS is now the largest curator of digital archives for Newman and the foremost center for Newman studies and research in North America. In August, the institute launched the NINS Digital Collections, an interactive, online platform that is home to more than 250,000 Newman archives. Marr said interest in Newman is booming and is likely to bring Newman-related tourism to Pittsburgh.

More here-

Channel Islands to move Church of England diocese

From The BBC-

The Church of England in the Channel Islands is set to become part of the Diocese of Salisbury.

The islands' 500-year-old relationship with the Winchester diocese was changed in 2014 due to safeguarding concerns.

It followed a dispute between the then Dean of Jersey and the Right Reverend Tim Dakin, the Bishop of Winchester.

Winchester retained oversight and legal responsibility for administrative affairs with the Canterbury diocese taking over other areas.

A report into the relationship between the Channel Islands and the wider church has made seven recommendations, including updating laws about female bishops and safeguarding and appointing local lawyers to supply independent legal advice.

More here-

In Rememberance of the Rt. Rev. Dr. Peter Beckwith

From Springfield-

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Peter Beckwith died on Friday, October 4, 2019 at the age of 80.

As the third longest serving Bishop of the Diocese, he shepherded our communities through challenges both large and small. He believed in the value of full-time resident priests, and initiated The Springfield School of Ministry to address the rural and small town needs within the diocese. Bishop Beckwith emphasized faithful corporate worship and sought to maintain connection to the larger church. On the ecumenical level, this included nurturing an ecumenical connection with the ELCA.

Born in Battle Creek, Michigan in 1939, he attended Hillsdale College where he received a BA in 1961, having majored in Philosophy and Religion. Bishop Beckwith attended seminary at University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, earning his Master of Divinity in 1964. He also earned a Master of Sacred Theology from Nashotah House in 1974. In addition, he held several honorary degrees including a Doctor of Theology from Hillsdale College and a Doctor of Humane Letters from Nashotah House.

More here-

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Three Decades Ago, America Lost Its Religion. Why?

From Atlantic-

The idea of American exceptionalism has become so dubious that much of its modern usage is merely sarcastic. But when it comes to religion, Americans really are exceptional. No rich country prays nearly as much as the U.S, and no country that prays as much as the U.S. is nearly as rich.

America’s unique synthesis of wealth and worship has puzzled international observers and foiled their grandest theories of a global secular takeover. In the late 19th century, an array of celebrity philosophers—the likes of Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Marx, and Sigmund Freud—proclaimed the death of God, and predicted that atheism would follow scientific discovery and modernity in the West, sure as smoke follows fire.

Stubbornly pious Americans threw a wrench in the secularization thesis. Deep into the 20th century, more than nine in 10 Americans said they believed in God and belonged to an organized religion, with the great majority of them calling themselves Christian. That number held steady—through the sexual-revolution ’60s, through the rootless and anxious ’70s, and through the “greed is good” ’80s.

More here-

Cardinal John Henry Newman might well be the patron saint of ecumenism

From Ireland-

Theologian, scholar, educationalist, poet, novelist, convert, cardinal and blessed are some of the outstanding titles of John Henry Newman we can celebrate on the occasion of his canonisation in Rome next Sunday (October 13th).

Yet, 174 years after he converted from Anglicanism to Catholicism, it is his conversion that we remember as the great watershed moment of his life.

Newman, the convert, created a huge stir at the time as did those of his contemporaries who became Catholics in the Oxford Movement. There is no doubt but that the church then, and oftentimes since, saw Newman’s conversion as a boost to Catholicism that evoked a measure of triumphalism in the church.

But there should be no hint of triumphalism in his being declared a saint by the church. It is not the final “one in the eye” for Anglicanism that shows Newman’s conversion as the natural high point of his life. On the contrary, I see him as a saint of Christian traditions Catholic and Anglican.

More here-

The only Anglican priest in Iraq comes to Guildford

From England-

Faez Jirjees, Vicar of St George's in Baghdad, visited Guildford on his first trip to the UK for seven years to speak about the plight of Christians in Iraq and his work bringing peace to the country.

Rev Faez Jirjees is, by any measure, a brave man.

As the vicar of St George's, Baghdad, he is Iraq's only Anglican priest and a member of a dwindling Christian minority that faces discrimination, persecution and violence.

"Any speech that I give that they didn't like, that could turn to violence or threats," he told SurreyLive on a recent visit to Guildford , his first trip to the UK in seven years, where he is spreading the word about the plight of Iraqi Christians and the need for secular government if there is to be peace in the country after 16 years of war. 

"They" turns out to be a wide array of groups who might take exception to a Christian priest calling for a secular state in Iraq.

More here-

Monday, October 7, 2019

Archbishop Gregory to get the trappings of his new office on Thursday

From Jamaica-

Bishops from the eight Dioceses in the Province of the West Indies will be concelebrants at a historic recognition service for The Most Reverend Howard Gregory, Archbishop of the West Indies, on Thursday, at the Cathedral of St Jago de la Vega, Spanish Town, starting at 3:30 pm. 
Also scheduled to attend will be three Bishops of the Episcopal Church in the United States.

Highlight of the service will be the passing of the Primatial Cross by retired Archbishop, The Most Reverend, Dr John Holder, to Archbishop Gregory, signifying his authority as leader and guide of the Province.

This will be preceded by the reading of the Deed of Recognition which ratifies Bishop Gregory's election and appointment to the office of Archbishop of the West Indies, Primate and Metropolitan.

More here-

Religious freedom laws panned by all sides

From Australia-

The Morrison government's proposed religious freedom laws have managed to please few, with religious groups and human rights organisations alike calling for changes.
While religious figures say the laws don't go far enough, secular groups say they override the rights of other marginalised parts of society.
Submissions on the draft religious freedom bills closed last Wednesday, but the sheer volume received means the Attorney General's Department is yet to publish them.
The government hopes to get the legislation to a parliamentary vote by the end of the year.
But with a final form of legislation yet to be settled, only four sitting weeks remaining, and the expectation of Senate committee scrutiny, that looks unlikely.
The Catholic and Anglican churches hold similar concerns about the bill, including that its protections don't extend across the full gamut of religious organisations.
More here-