Saturday, November 2, 2019

Why the Anglican church must evolve or die

From Australia-

What is the Anglican Church becoming? What does it want to be to the people of Australia? I ask this as a woman who’s invested in Anglicanism but is heartbroken at the way this religion is being riven internally; indeed, it feels vandalised. And by some of its most esteemed church leaders, no less.

The Anglican Church must evolve or die. And right now it feels like it’s being hijacked by bigotry and intolerance in a travesty of Jesus’s teachings. The Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, has a definition of Anglicanism that is not mine and I am willing to speak out about it. Once, women wouldn’t. Once we weren’t meant to have opinions, we were reduced and silenced within the church; in some quarters still are. We were meant to leave it to those men who knew best, who always know best. They sometimes do not.

More here-

Presiding Bishop Curry, preacher at royal wedding, in Pierre to make a new Episcopal bishop

From South Dakota-

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, head pastor of the Episcopal Church, is in Pierre to preside over the ordination of the Rev. Jonathan Folts, bishop-elect of the Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota.
On Friday morning, Curry and Folts held a news conference in Trinity Episcopal Church as priests from around the state asked prepared questions.
Folts, who grew up in West Texas and was 51 when he was elected bishop in May of the 9,000 members of the Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota, is the focus of the weekend as he will be ordained and consecrated a bishop to fill that office.

More here-

Evangelism officer for Episcopal Church lives up to her name

From Arkansas-

Meet Jerusalem Jackson Greer. She's a Southern Baptist preacher's daughter, a mother, crafter, cook, farmer, author and, now, staff officer for evangelism in the Episcopal Church.

Greer, who began the new full-time position in March, lives on a small farm named Preservation Acres in Shady Grove near Greenbrier with her husband, Nathan Greer, and sons Miles, 15, and Wylie, 19, when he's home from college.

In the newly established position, Greer said her job will be to help share "what evangelism means in the Episcopal tradition."

"I help coordinate Episcopal revivals that we have across the country ... create curriculum and other tools to help both individuals and congregations to share the good news of God and Christ through word and example," Greer said as she sat in the library of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Conway.

More here-

Friday, November 1, 2019

I was an Anglican bishop. Then the Pope made an offer I couldn’t refuse

From The Catholic Herald-

It hardly seems possible that it has been 10 years since the publication of the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus. This allowed for a diocese-like structure to be created for former Anglicans so that they could bring into the Universal Church something of the pastoral, liturgical and spiritual traditions which had formed them over the years.

I vividly remember the day of the announcement. It was something that many of us had been praying for, for a very long time.

In my study, there is a large painting of Mgr Graham Leonard when he was the Anglican Bishop of Truro. In the 1990s, when the Church of England decided to ordain women priests, Bishop Leonard wrote a letter to the Catholic Herald in which he expressed the hope that some structure could be formed, perhaps a personal prelature, to allow former Anglicans to enter the Catholic Church corporately. Years later his hopes were fulfilled by Pope Benedict XVI in a way in that we never could have imagined.

More here-

Falls Church Episcopal’s Healing Rector Leaves After 7 Years of Growth

From Virginia-

The Rev. John Ohmer, who for seven years led the recovery of the congregation of the historic Falls Church Episcopal from its many years of exile, held his final service there last Sunday, departing for a new position in Asheville, North Carolina. Over 400 attended his last service and a reception held after.

When Ohmer came onto the scene at the church in September 2012, the property had just been reclaimed by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia from a more than six year occupation by defectors who’d voted to leave the denomination in December 2005, but then continued to occupy the property. They voted to leave in large part protesting the Episcopal denomination’s election of an openly-gay bishop in 2003.

During those years of occupation, whose claim to the property after years of litigation was denied by the Virginia Supreme Court and then went unheard by the U.S. Supreme Court, a small remnant of “continuing Episcopalians” persisted, first meeting in the living room of a lay member and then invited to worship in the fellowship hall of the Falls Church Presbyterian Church across the street.

More here-

Paula White, Trump’s Personal Pastor, Joins the White House

From The New York Times-

Paula White, a televangelist based in Florida and personal pastor to President Trump whom he has known since 2002, has joined the Trump administration in an official capacity, according to a White House official.

Ms. White will work in the Office of Public Liaison, the official said, which is the division of the White House overseeing outreach to groups and coalitions organizing key parts of the president’s base. Her role will be to advise the administration’s Faith and Opportunity Initiative, which Mr. Trump established last year by executive order and which aims to give religious groups more of a voice in government programs devoted to issues like defending religious liberty and fighting poverty.

More here-

Folts to be consecrated bishop of Episcopal Diocese of SD

From South Dakota-

The Rev. Jonathan Folts will be consecrated the 11th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota on Saturday, Nov. 2, in Pierre.
The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Michael Curry, will be in charge. Curry is known as the first African-American to be presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. And he is sort of famous for being invited to preach at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, a U.S. citizen, in May 2018 at Windsor Castle outside London.
Curry is presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, the U.S. arm of the Worldwide Anglican Communion based in England.

More here-

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Low clergy turn up for Bishop Hannington day angers Kadaga

From Uganda-

The speaker of parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has lashed out at some of the Anglican bishops who failed to turn up at the Bishop James Hannington prayer service held in Mayuge district recently.

Kadaga who was presiding over this year’s celebration at the martyrdom site on Tuesday said she was disappointed that the Ugandan clergy hold the day in low esteem, yet the day is highly observed in Canterbury, the headquarters of the Church of England.

“Today is a special day [Bishop Hannington feast day] in Canterbury; October 29,  the Anglican faith hold special prayers in remembrance of Bishop Hannington but people here take this day as a joke yet Bishop Hannington is the first martyr in Uganda,” the visibly irritated Kadaga told worshippers amid cheers.

More here- 

Trials adjourned for Anglican priest accused of multiple sexual offences

From Canada-

Trials for an Anglican priest accused of sexual offences against several teen boys will not go ahead in the new year.

Gordon William Dominey, 67, faces a slew of charges related to alleged abuses against boys aged 14 to 16 who were inmates at an Edmonton youth jail in the 1980s. 

But on Tuesday his lawyer brought an adjournment application, citing his client's poor health.
"Mr. Dominey will not be in a position to travel in 2020," defence lawyer Kent Teskey told Court of Queen's Bench Justice Paul Belzil during a brief hearing.

Dominey, who lives in British Columbia, was not in attendance. In 2018, court heard he was undergoing treatment for cancer.

More here-

Special service marks closure

From The Diocese of Chicago-

A very special service, to be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, will mark the last time that St. Paul's Episcopal Church — the church with the bright red doors located on the corner of Washington and 4th streets in Savanna — will be meeting for worship.

According to Father Bob North, it is the hope of the remaining and former members of St. Paul's, who are preparing a festive reception following the service, that this All Saints' Sunday will be an occasion to honor all those who have attended St. Paul's and served the wider Savanna community throughout the years.

He said a special effort is being made to invite those who have grown up in the church and moved away or remained in Savanna as well as the lay members and clergy of the other churches with whom St. Paul's has worked with over the years in the Savanna Inter Church Community Association.

More here-

Episcopal Woman Priest Says Abortionists are “Saints”

From Patheos--

The National Abortion Federation (NAF) have announced that  The Very Reverend Katherine Hancock Ragsdale is to be their  President and CEO.
“We are pleased to announce that Katherine will be staying at NAF as our President & CEO,” said Sue Carlisle, MD, NAF’s Board Chair. “In her short time at NAF, Katherine has demonstrated her unwavering commitment to serving our members and her great vision for the future of NAF, the NAF Hotline Fund, and NAF Canada. After working with her for the last year, it was clear to the Board that the best person for the job was already leading the organization.”
Ragsdale is an Episcopal priest who has been outspoken about abortion rights, LGBTQ equality, and public policy issues affecting women and families throughout her career. She has testified before the U.S. Congress as well as numerous state legislatures about the importance of abortion access and was a featured speaker at the 2004 March for Women’s Lives in Washington, DC.

More here-

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Anglican Bishop prays for peace during elections

From Namibia-

As eligible Namibians go to the polls on 27 November 2019 to elect a state president and National Assembly members for the next five years, the Anglican Bishop of Namibia, Right Reverend Luke Lungile Pato, has called for peaceful elections.

From its independence in 1990, Namibia has held orderly and fair elections.
In a statement, Pato enjoined Namibians to uphold that peaceful tradition, which he said was essential for socio-economic development.

“Namibia’s democratic architecture has a pluralistic political system characterized by regular, free, and fair elections. Namibia is also known for its political stability and commitment towards the deepening of democracy, which are strongly anchored in its constitution. We, therefore, encourage all eligible citizens to peacefully vote for the leaders of their choice. This would cement the nation-building project in Namibia,” the Bishop Pato said.

More here-

With plans to pay slavery reparations, two seminaries prompt broader debate

From Seattle-

Among elite U.S. universities, Harvard, Yale, Brown, and Georgetown have all admitted in recent years that at one time they benefited financially from the slave trade. 

But two Protestant seminaries have now gone a step further, saying that in recognition of their own connections to racism they have a Christian duty to pay reparations.

Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va., the flagship institution of the U.S. Episcopal Church, announced in September that it has set aside $1.7 million for a reparations fund, given that enslaved persons once worked on its campus and that the school participated in racial segregation even after slavery ended.

Earlier this month, Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, N.J., followed suit with an announcement of a $27 million endowed fund for reparations, from which $1.1 million would be dispersed annually.

More here-

Episcopal Church in Minnesota wants Whipple name removed from immigration court building

From Minnesota-

The Episcopal Church in Minnesota is calling for the removal of Bishop Henry Whipple’s name from the Fort Snelling federal courthouse that processes deportation cases — or the eviction of immigration enforcement offices from the building.

The church and other faith groups denounced the immigration court as a “deportation machine” and pointed out that Whipple, the first Episcopal bishop of Minnesota who died in 1901, was known for his advocacy for Native Americans. He sought clemency for 303 Dakota men set to be executed after the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, though President Abraham Lincoln still approved the killing of 38.

“The activities that go on in this building are a violation not only of the spirit of this sacred land but they are a violation of that name, Bishop Whipple,” said the Rev. Jim Bear Jacobs, director of racial justice at the Minnesota Council of Churches. If the federal government will not evict U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from the facilities, he added, “we demand that you remove … this good name from this horrible building.”

More here- 

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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Church momentarily casts aside 1,000 years of history

From Premier-

The Church of England momentarily omitted a thousand years from its history when a post on the CofE Twitter account claimed: "For 485 years we have been welcoming people to church, and this week we'd love to welcome you too."

It wasn't long before clergy and parishioners who know their history picked up on the error, with Lloyd Llewellen-Jones professor of ancient history at Cardiff University and an Anglian tweeted: "I think that we can trace the roots of the established Church in England to at least 664CE, if not earlier. 485 years? Pah!"

The 664 date refers to the Synod of Whitby, when the kingdom of Northumbria chose to follow Roman rather than Celtic church practices.

Some members of clergy commented an earlier start date to the CofE was accurate. One of Anglican chaplain responded to the tweet: "That's funny, I thought my diocesan cathedral dated to the mid-4th century as a site of Christian worship? Are we simply one of many protestant sects, or Ecclesia Anglican, the Church of England? Please delete this and read the history page of the CofE website."

More here-

Episcopal-Presbyterian representatives meet for Third Round of Bilateral Dialogues

From ENS-

Representatives from The Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) met at Glendale, Ohio at the Transfiguration Spirituality Center from October 7-9, 2019 for the Third Round of Bilateral Dialogues (2019-2024). The aim of these dialogues is encouraging closer relationships between congregations of both denominations.

The mandate of this Third Round of Bilateral Dialogue as approved and authorized in 2018 by The Episcopal Church’s General Convention and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s 223rd General Assembly focuses the Third Round on such issues as what would be needed to lead both Churches towards full reconciliation of ordered ministries, the meaning of membership in a shifting American religious context, analyzing ecclesiological identities and differences using historic and socioeconomic lenses, and working with the respective national offices of both churches to develop guidelines and resources for mutual ministries and missions, particularly in areas of collaboration for new worshipping communities and ecumenical congregations.

More here-

Monday, October 28, 2019

Boris pouring petrol on divided Britain, says Anglican primate

From Australia-

The Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion, has rebuked Boris Johnson, warning the British Prime Minister that the use of “inflammatory” language risks pouring “petrol” on Britain’s ­divisions over Brexit.

Justin Welby said Britain had become consumed by “an abusive and binary approach to political decisions” in which Brexit rivals treated their opponents as “my total enemy”.

The archbishop warned that social media meant it had become “extraordinarily dangerous to use careless comments” in a society that was “polarised and volatile”. He was “shocked” by Mr Johnson’s recent dismissal of warnings about extreme language encouraging death threats against politicians as “humbug”.

More here-

Questions linger about church's knowledge of abuse

From Western North Carolina-

Former Episcopal priest Howard White has finally been brought to justice for sexual abuse crimes he admitted to committing in Haywood, but with civil litigation still pending, the story isn’t yet over.
Last week in Haywood County Superior Court, White, 78, pleaded guilty to the sexual abuse of three youths in the mid-1980s and one more in 2004 and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
The emotional hearing featured not only District Attorney Ashley Welch reading the facts of the cases into record, but also one victim’s powerful statement. Between the two, the details that emerged — details which White agreed were factual — confirmed just how monstrous the crimes committed by the once-respected former rector of Grace Church in the Mountains really were.

More here-

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Fracture in Australia's Anglican church deepens as diocese ALLOWS gay marriages

From Australia-

Newcastle's Anglican diocese has voted to change church rules to allow ministers to bless same-sex marriages and prevent clergy in same-sex marriages from being punished by the church.

More than 200 clergy and lay people voted on the two bills at the diocese's synod on Saturday, the majority in their favour.

One would create a regulation allowing ministers to bless those married 'according to the Marriage Act' - and allow for the blessing of same-sex couples.

No minister would be forced to conduct such a service if it went against their conscience, the bill says.
The other would prevent a clergy member from being disciplined for blessing a same-sex marriage, or for being in a same-sex marriage themselves.

More here-

Old North Church, a cherished symbol, opens up about its link to slavery

From Boston-

The slender white steeple of Old North Church is a cherished symbol of American freedom, the place where two signal lanterns dispatched Paul Revere on his famous 1775 ride to warn the colonists of approaching British troops.

But it’s also a symbol of something else — an American reckoning.

New research shows that Boston slave traders who attended Old North helped build that iconic steeple, and that those parishioners were deeply entwined in a slave-smuggling ring that shipped captive Africans from the British West Indies to notorious Dutch plantations in South America.

Startled by this discovery, the vicar at Old North plans to revamp the tours there, change interpretive signs, and ensure that the 150,000 yearly visitors to this Episcopal church have an opportunity to learn about these newly unearthed connections to Colonial slavery.

More here-