Saturday, December 14, 2019

Australia‘s Anglican Church ‘ashamed‘ about child abuse

From Australia-

The head of Australia‘s Anglican Church said he was ‘deeply ashamed‘ after a government report found nearly 1,100 people had filed child sexual assault claims against the church over a 35-year period.

The interim report, published on Friday by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, said 1,082 people lodged complaints between 1980 and 2015 that identified 569 Anglican clergy, teachers and volunteers as alleged abusers. There were an additional 133 alleged abuses reported by people whose roles within the church were unknown.

The report also found that most children were approximately 11 years old at the time of the first alleged incident of child abuse, and on average it took 29 years for each incident to be reported.

‘Deeply ashamed‘

Archbishop Philip Freier, the church‘s primate, said Anglicans have been “shocked and dismayed” at the findings of the report.

More here-

Friday, December 13, 2019

Francis becomes 1st pope to visit an Anglican church in Rome

From Rome-

Pope Francis on Sunday became the first Catholic pontiff to visit an Anglican parish in Rome, using the historic occasion to press for greater closeness after centuries of mistrust, prejudices and hostility between the two churches.

Francis and the Anglican bishop in Europe, Robert Innes, prayed side-by-side in the All Saints Church not far from the Spanish Steps.

Innes welcomed Francis by praising the Roman Catholic leader for his solidarity with refugees and migrants.

Anglicans split from Catholicism in 1534, after England‘s King Henry VIII was denied a marriage annulment.

Both churches are working to develop friendly bonds despite obstacles that include deep differences on such issues as ordaining women and allowing openly gay bishops.

More here-

Historic Falls Church Episcopal Celebrates 250 Years Sunday

From Virginia-

The congregation of the City of Falls Church’s iconic, living historical monument, the Falls Church Episcopal Church, will celebrate the church’s 250th anniversary at a series of special events at the church site in the center of the City this Sunday.

The original church was opened in 1734 and the existing historic church building, since renovated and still fully functional, now one of the oldest church buildings in the U.S., was opened on Dec. 20, 1769, prior to the outbreak of the American Revolution, under the leadership of George Washington and George Mason among others. Mason was elected a vestryman of the Falls Church in 1745 and Washington in 1762.

In a proclamation signed by current Falls Church Mayor David Tarter at this Monday’s City Council meeting, it is noted that the Declaration of Independence was read to the public from the steps of the church in 1776 and the church served as a recruiting location during the Revolutionary War.

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.

More here-

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Ordination ceremony will be a first for St. Paul’s Episcopal Parish

From Ohio-

The Reverend Rachel Harrison of St. Paul’s Episcopal Parish in Mount Vernon is like many young professionals. She graduated into the Recession and found her work life unfulfilling. She then went back to graduate school and lived for three years in Austin, Texas. Several months ago, she got a job offer in Mount Vernon, Ohio that was too good to pass up: On Friday, she’ll become the first female Episcopal priest ordained in Mount Vernon.

Harrison’s journey across the country and the Christian faith has brought her to Mount Vernon, where, in line with Philander Chase, she brings a modern pioneering spirit to her ministry. 
Chase did not found St. Paul’s. Even so, the church is intimately connected to Chase and the Episcopal movement that also created Kenyon. The church, originally known as Union Church, has been around since 1825. According to Historian and Keeper of Kenyoniana Thomas Stamp ’73, the first rector of the church was William Sparrow, who was also Kenyon’s first professor. 

More here-

Obituary: Rev. Canon Donald A. Nickerson, Jr., D.D.

From Maine-

On Dec. 9, 2019, the Reverend Canon Donald A. Nickerson, Jr., D.D., 80, died after a 33 year struggle with Parkinson’s Disease.  After his diagnosis at age 47, Don and his wife Susan Martin worked with many neurologists to successfully manage the illness and further his ministry in the Episcopal Church and to their beloved Camp O-AT-KA until his short time in hospice care at the end.

Don was born in Boston, Mass. on May 19, 1939 to Mildred and Dr. Donald Nickerson of Melrose, Mass.  After graduating from Melrose High School, Don attended Springfield College and Berkeley Divinity School (Yale) before starting his ministry in Newton Center, Mass. (1964–1966).  Don then served as parish priest for Christ Church in North Conway, N.H. (1966–1974) and St. Paul’s in Brunswick (1974–1986).  In recognition of his leadership in the church, Don was asked to move to New York City to become the Executive Officer of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church (1986–1998), one of the largest legislative gatherings in the country.  Don received an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Yale University for his life’s work.  In retirement, Don and Susan lived in Intervale, N.H., Castle Rock, Colo., and Brunswick, Maine.

More here-

N.H. Episcopal Church Wants To Make It Easier To Become a Priest

From New Hampshire-

The Episcopal Church of New Hampshire is launching a new training program that it hopes will make  becoming a priest easier for people in different stages of their lives.

Rather than the traditional three years of training at seminary school, the diocese in New Hampshire will begin offering a certificate program next year that requires students to attend in-person trainings nine weekends a year while completing coursework independently from their homes.

“This really makes it easier for people to answer that call, whether that call to ministry comes in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, we even have people doing this post-retirement,” says Tina Pickering, who works in ministry development for the Episcopal Church of New Hampshire.

More here-

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Pittsburgh Episcopal bishop to retire

From Pittsburgh-

Bishop Dorsey McConnell of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh has announced plans to retire in April 2021 after nearly a decade as the diocese’s first permanent bishop since a major 2008 schism.

“I have not come to this decision lightly,” Bishop McConnell, 66, wrote to Pittsburgh’s Episcopal community on Wednesday. “I have prayed long and hard over it. ... But I know that by April of 2021, I will have done what God called me here to do. We have built a beautiful vision together, and you will need a leader who will have the energy and stamina to carry it forward over the next several years.”

Bishop McConnell was installed in 2012 as leader of the diocese, which reports having more than 8,600 members in 36 congregations.

More here-

Confirmation of Confirmation

From The Living Church-

There is no shortage these days of crises and semi-crises with which Episcopalians and other varieties of Anglicans can amuse themselves. The sexuality wars seem to have ebbed — sadly, not through reconciliation, but through one side achieving commanding victory. Continuing shrinkage of attendance and membership periodically sounds fresh alarms. The legitimacy of offering Holy Communion to the unbaptized is sure to raise hackles well into the future. Conversation around liturgical revision is continuing to grow in intensity.

In the midst of all this ferment, the subject of the “sacramental rite” (per the 1979 BCP) of confirmation remains an enduring presence, though it rarely achieves top-tier status. Lots of Episcopalians, lay and ordained, seem to think they know what confirmation is, but our canons and liturgical forms are, at best, ambiguous, and there’s nothing approaching broad agreement about how to interpret them. If one were pressed to describe a practical consensus on the issue, it would probably be something along the lines of “Confirmation is the sacrament of becoming an Episcopalian.” I suspect nobody would actually ever teach such a thing formally, but as we actually go about our life together as a church, that’s what it appears we believe.

More here-

Mass. church ministry ‘Love in a backpack’ helping women released from prison

From Christian Post-

A ministry led by a Massachusetts congregation has been helping former female inmates begin a new chapter of their lives by providing them with backpacks full of supplies upon their release.
St. John's Episcopal Church of Ashfield has been overseeing a ministry known as “Love in a Backpack” for the past three years with the goal of ensuring that women recently released from prison receive basic necessities.

Each backpack has three bags of items: one bag is filled with personal care and toiletries, a second bag contains food and water, and a third bag includes a Bible and a personal note of encouragement.  
Mary Link, who helps to lead the ministry, told The Christian Post on Monday that the project has “deepened and grown over the years.”

More here-

Church Unearthed in Ethiopia Rewrites the History of Christianity in Africa

From Smithsonian-

In the dusty highlands of northern Ethiopia, a team of archaeologists recently uncovered the oldest known Christian church in sub-Saharan Africa, a find that sheds new light on one of the Old World’s most enigmatic kingdoms—and its surprisingly early conversion to Christianity.

An international assemblage of scientists discovered the church 30 miles northeast of Aksum, the capital of the Aksumite kingdom, a trading empire that emerged in the first century A.D. and would go on to dominate much of eastern Africa and western Arabia. Through radiocarbon dating artifacts uncovered at the church, the researchers concluded that the structure was built in the fourth century A.D., about the same time when Roman Emperor Constantine I legalized Christianty in 313 CE and then converted on his deathbed in 337 CE. The team detailed their findings in a paper published today in Antiquity.

More here-

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Episcopalians meet bishop candidates: Election is Saturday at St. Paul's Cathedral

From Oklahoma-

Episcopalians around the state had an opportunity last weekend to meet and talk with the two men seeking to become the next Episcopal bishop of Oklahoma.

The Rev. Scott A. Gunn, executive director of Forward Movement in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the Rev. Poulson C. Reed, rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church and Day School in Phoenix, Arizona, spoke at three gatherings called "walkabouts" held in Lawton, Tulsa and Oklahoma City. The Tulsa and Oklahoma City gatherings were also livestreamed.

The gatherings were designed to give Oklahoma Episcopalians opportunities to interact with the pair before the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma's election convention at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Oklahoma City. A group of lay delegates and all Episcopal clergy in the diocese will vote to determine whether Gunn or Reed will become the diocese's next leader.

More here-