Saturday, November 23, 2019

Prince Charles now 'royal patron' of ChristChurch Cathedral rebuild

From New Zealand (with video)-

Prince Charles has thrown his support behind the reinstatement of one of New Zealand's iconic landmarks, as the week-long royal tour nears an end.

The ChristChurch Cathedral is in a state of disrepair following the Christchurch earthquakes.
The future king is stepping in, announcing he'll become the royal patron of its reinstatement.
The royal patronage recognises and reinforces the significance of the cathedral as the centre of Anglican worship in Canterbury, a heritage treasure, and city icon," said Rev Peter Carell, bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch.

"We are thrilled that the Prince of Wales has also made a substantial donation to the project, which we hope will encourage others. His Royal Highness' commitment to our special place will enhance interest in the cathedral nationally and internationally."

More here-

New Orleans church making sure victims of gun violence aren't forgotten

From New Orleans-

New Orleans has one of the highest death rates tied to gun violence in America. 

Like many places, gun violence in “The Big Easy” is often defined by numbers. 

St. Anna’s Episcopal Church is making sure the names of the victims aren’t forgotten and that people take notice of the issue that advocates are fighting to stop. 

“This city is still killing over a hundred people a year,” said Father Terry. “Numbers dehumanize, names humanize.”

Since 2007, Father Bill Terry has written the name of every murder victim in the city on what he calls the murder board, outside the church. 

“I would say 95%, if we look at the murder board, of homicides are done by guns,” said Father Terry. 

More here-

Friday, November 22, 2019

N.T. Wright explains the world of the New Testament in new book

From RNS-

New Testament scholar N.T. Wright has spent most of his life teaching people how to study the New Testament.

And the most important thing, he says, is getting the context right.

Without that context, it’s “fatally easy for people to distort bits of Christianity,’” Wright said.

“If we ignore the context, we can make the New Testament stand on its hind legs and dance around the room and play to our tunes — and that that has always been the case, no doubt,” he told Religion News Service in a recent interview. “But the correction is always to go back to, ‘What was the context?’”Wright, a retired Anglican bishop and now chair of New Testament and early Christianity at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, is author more than 80 popular and academic books about Christianity and the Bible. The latest — co-authored with fellow scholar Michael F. Bird — is “The New Testament in Its World: An Introduction to the History, Literature, and Theology of the First Christians.”

More here-

Investigation continues into church fashion show scandal

From Trinidad-

The An­gli­can Church is still in­ves­ti­gat­ing the fi­as­co sur­round­ing the Style­Week Port-of-Spain fash­ion show at the Trin­i­ty Cathe­dral.

When con­tact­ed for an up­date on the sit­u­a­tion yes­ter­day, Bish­op of the An­gli­can Dio­cese of T&T Rev­erend Claude Berkley said the church was still com­pil­ing in­for­ma­tion on the in­ci­dent be­fore mak­ing a de­ci­sion.

“There has been no de­ci­sion. No de­ci­sion has yet been made. And the per­sons in­volved are pulling their ma­te­r­i­al to­geth­er. In­ves­ti­ga­tion, as I have in­di­cat­ed, is in progress and it has not been com­plet­ed,” said the Bish­op.

Bish­op Berkley, how­ev­er, re­mained tight-lipped on the mat­ter yes­ter­day, and pre­ferred that the church came to a firm de­ci­sion be­fore speak­ing fur­ther on the mat­ter.

“It is a very volatile sit­u­a­tion, it has been and prob­a­bly con­tin­ues to be and there­fore, let me have what is a doc­u­ment or some­thing that in­di­cates where we are,” he said.

More here-

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Church of England says Christians must repent for past antisemitism

From The Guardian-

Christians must repent for centuries of antisemitism which ultimately led to the Holocaust, the Church of England has said in a document that seeks to promote a new Christian-Jewish relationship.

However, the church’s move to take responsibility for its part in Jewish persecution was impaired by stinging criticism by the chief rabbi of the continued “specific targeting” of Jews for conversion to Christianity.

The document, God’s Unfailing Word, is the first authoritative statement by the C of E on the part played by Christians in the stereotyping and persecution of Jews. Attitudes towards Judaism over centuries had provided a “fertile seed-bed for murderous antisemitism”, it said.

Theological teachings had helped spread antisemitism, and Anglicans and other Christians must not only repent for the “sins of the past” but actively challenge such attitudes or stereotypes.

More here-

How A Doctor and A Reverend On Oahu Became Climate Warriors

From Hawaii-

“It is a true public health emergency,” declares a call for policy action issued this year by the American Medical Association and 73 other medical groups.

Religious leaders are also driving action for climate justice. While many evangelical Christians reject the premise of climate change as a crisis spawned by humans, other Christian congregations are mobilizing to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

The Episcopal church, notably, has called out climate change denial as immoral. Regardless of the official U.S. stance on the Paris climate agreement, the church maintains that it’s still committed to the international solutions deal.

Civil Beat talked to a Honolulu doctor and a Kailua Episcopal reverend who are taking new approaches to their work in the face of a warming climate.

More here-

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Archbishop Justin Welby urges parties to make reassuring Jews and Muslims who are 'living in fear' an 'absolute priority' during the general election

From The Daily Mail-

The Archbishop of Canterbury yesterday urged all parties in the General Election to make 'an absolute priority' of reassuring minority groups.

The Most Rev Justin Welby said politicians must 'avoid anything that increases the perception of fear'.

His intervention, which is backed by the Archbishop of York, the Most Reverend John Sentamu, followed accusations from Jewish groups of anti-Semitism among Jeremy Corbyn's supporters.
The Church of England's two most senior archbishops said that 'several groups, especially in Jewish and Muslim communities, feel threatened and are in much anxiety. 

More here-

Philadelphia’s Christ Church preserves historic steeple

From Philadelphia-

A centuries-old artifact of architectural, church and American history is being restored.

Philadelphia’s Christ Church steeple design dates back to 1754 when Scottish immigrant and architect Robert Smith completed the project.

“It was the Comcast Tower of its time,” said Christ Church rector, Rev. Tim Safford. “It put Philadelphia on the map. It proved to the European world that Philadelphia was a first-class city.”
It was America’s tallest structure until 1810, with a weather vane reaching 196 feet.

Church officials knew in the early 2000s that the tower and steeple would need work. It’s leaning almost two feet. That’s bothered Rev. Stafford every time he crossed the Ben Franklin Bridge. The restoration will stabilize the structure from further deterioration, though it won’t straighten it. Pulling it on one side of the structure would threaten the structural integrity of the entire building. 

Scaffolding was erected around the tower and steeple in August, and restoration — including repointing, shingling, and reinforcement with steel beams to prevent further leaning. This is all being done with help from a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

More here-

Longtime member of St. John’s Episcopal Church ordained to priesthood, installed as new rector

From New York-

A longtime member of St. John’s Episcopal Church was ordained to the priesthood and installed as the church’s new rector during ceremonies on Saturday afternoon.

Sonya A. Boyce was ordained by William Love, bishop of Albany, during the ceremony, which was attended by a full church of family and friends.
Among those in attendance was the Rev. Elizabeth Papazoglakis, who led St. John’s from 2013 to 2015.
“I cannot begin to tell you what a joy it is to be here today at St. John’s in Massena,” the Rev. Mrs. Papazoglakis said.
The Rev. Mrs. Papazoglakis said she had sensed that the Rev. Mrs. Boyce was a perfect candidate for the ministry.

More here-

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Bishop decries fraudulent clerics

From Uganda-

Bishop of Soroti Diocese Hosea Odong has criticised what he called the extortionist behaviour among fellow bishops who fleece their flock to live a luxury life.
While preaching at the Iteso annual Church service at Namugongo Anglican Shrine yesterday, Bishop Odong said there are bishops whom Christians adore because they are living larger than life by fleecing their flock. He did not name the culpable bishops.
He also said many Christians nowadays attend Church but when they return home they revert to their satanic ways. 

More here-

Sowore: Archbishop of Canterbury replies SERAP

From Nigeria-

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd Justin Portal Welby, has responded to an open letter by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP) urging him to use his good offices and leadership and his “friendship with President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on him to obey court orders most recently involving activists Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare, who remain in arbitrary detention despite a court order for their release.”

This development was disclosed on Tuesday in a press release by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare.

SERAP had in the letter to Archbishop Welby expressed “serious concerns about the disturbing trends by state governments and federal government to use the court as a tool to suppress citizens’ human rights.”

Responding on behalf of the Archbishop through an email last night, Dominic Goodall, the Chief Correspondence Officer at the Lambeth Palace, said: “Thank you for your recent letter. Much as he would like to, the Archbishop is unable to respond personally in detail, so I have been asked to reply to you on his behalf.”

More here-

Are Church of Ireland bishops about to fail their vast middle ground?

From Ireland-

On Wednesday the House of Bishops will decided whether to affirm the appointment of Archdeacon David McClay as Bishop of Down and Dromore, the largest diocese in the Church of Ireland.

Although respect is due to his work as a rector, his election as bishop is deeply troubling, and many people from all over the island have written to the bishops to express their grave concern.

Archdeacon McClay is a member of the council of Gafcon (Global Anglican Future Conference) Ireland, an organisation which opposes amongst other things same-sex marriage and the ordination of homosexuals.

So why object to Archdeacon McClay’s appointment? Because the policy and doctrine of the Church of Ireland are decided by the General Synod.

That the Church of Ireland is Irish seems a truism. Currently we are celebrating the 150th anniversary of disestablishment or break from the Church of England. An Ireland-wide synodical structure was hewn out to give representation to every church member from Belfast to Ballybunion.

More here-

Scranton Church Launching Bakery to Help Former Prisoners

From Pennsylvania-

A church in Scranton is getting into the bakery business. It is who the bakery will employ that makes this project unique.

St. Luke's Episcopal Church has been on Wyoming Avenue in downtown Scranton since 1852. Its basement hasn't been occupied for at least the last 15 years of its storied history, but the church has plans to turn the space into a commercial bakery.

It won't be a revenue source for the church. Instead, it will be a nonprofit that hires only former convicts.

"We've got to work through the stereotypes so that we can start welcoming folks back into society that really want to come back and support themselves and their families," said Helen Wolf.
They're modeling the bakery on a similar nonprofit in California. The idea is to provide jobs and training to former convicts who are having trouble getting back into the workforce.

More here-

Monday, November 18, 2019

Church of Ireland clergy object to conservative bishop’s appointment

From Ireland-

Thirty-six senior Church of Ireland clergy have put their names to an open letter objecting to the appointment of the newly elected Bishop of Down and Dromore due to his involvement with a conservative Anglican group.

In a letter to the church’s House of Bishops, the signatories say they are concerned Archdeacon David McClay may not be an appropriate choice due to his membership of the Gafcon (Global Anglican Future Conference) Ireland movement.

They believe the group’s policies are “antithetical” to the principles a Church of Ireland bishop must commit to in the rite of consecration. These include “fostering unity, care for the oppressed, and building up the people of God in all their spiritual and sexual diversity”.

Gafcon was founded in 2008, originally to oppose same-sex marriage and the ordination of LGBTQ+ people. It has proclaimed itself as a unique upholder of biblical orthodoxy and as “a global family of authentic Anglicans standing together to retain and restore the Bible to the heart of the Anglican Communion”.

More here-

Episcopal deacon finds home in Savannah homeless camp

From Georgia-

Kevin Veitinger’s pulpit is not in one of Savannah’s ornate Episcopal churches.

Instead, the newly ordained Episcopal deacon holds forth on Sundays in one of Savannah’s homeless camps off Louisville Road as part of his “street church” ministry.

It is part of his journey that has taken him from his United Methodist Church roots to finding a church home in the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia where he will become a priest in about six months.

“I’ve done work with people in poverty most of my career,” Veitinger, 43, said during a chat at the diocesan office on East 34th Street in Savannah. “Homelessness is not about lack of having a paycheck, it’s about a lack of relationships. It boils down to relationships.”

When Bishop Scott Anson Benhase and the Rev. Frank Logue presented him with the homeless ministry option last year, Yeitinger said it seemed like a perfect fit.

“This opportunity presented itself,” he said. “I really think it’s kind of a God thing.”