Saturday, January 25, 2020

Southern Virginia’s first female bishop to be consecrated

From Southern Virginia-

Hundreds of Virginians and bishops/dignitaries from across the United States will participate in the ordination and consecration of Rev. Susan Bunton Haynes as 11th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia. The event will take place Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020 at 11 a.m. at Williamsburg Community Chapel, 3899 John Tyler Highway, Williamsburg.

Haynes will be the first woman to serve as chief priest and pastor of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia. The diocese stretches more than 300 miles from the Chesapeake Bay westward to Dan River and from the south side of the James River at Richmond to the North Carolina border, encompassing Hampton Roads, Petersburg, Hopewell, Chesterfield County, Farmville, Danville, and all of Virginia’s Eastern Shore. It includes approximately 30,000 Episcopalians in 101 congregations.

More here-

Pastor eaten by crocodiles while trying to walk on water like Jesus

From The "You Can't Make This Stuff Up" Department (Nigerian Division)-

A pastor who tried replicating the Biblical story of Jesus Christ walking on water has been eaten by crocodiles.

The pastor, identified as Jonathan Mthethwa, of the Saint of the Last Days Church, tried the demonstration at a river known as Crocodile River.

Mthethwa, from a local church in White River Mpumalanga died Saturday morning trying to demonstrate the biblical miracle to his congregants.
According to The Herald Zimbabwe, he drowned into the Crocodile River and was seen by his church members getting eaten by 3 crocodiles.

Deacon Nkosi, a member of the church, told the newspaper, “The pastor taught us about faith on Sunday last week.

More here-

Hearing date set for Episcopal bishop who defied same-sex marriage order

From Albany-

The Rev. William H. Love will stand before a five-person disciplinary board in April to explain his refusal to follow an Episcopal Church resolution forbidding bishops from stopping same-sex weddings.

In a letter addressed to his diocese earlier this week, Love said the hearing will be held at the Desmond Hotel April 21. A start time has not been given, but Love said he expected the hearing to start mid-morning and last a few hours.

"Both sides have agreed that there are no contested facts regarding my actions and neither side will be presenting witnesses," Love wrote. "Instead, the attorneys will be making arguments as to what the canon law requires."

More here-

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Sex is for male-female marriage only, Church of England confirms

From Christianity Today-

Sex only belongs in heterosexual marriage, a new statement from the Church of England's House of Bishops has declared.

In a document responding to the introduction of mixed-sex civil partnerships, the Bishops say: "For Christians, marriage – that is the lifelong union between a man and a woman, contracted with the making of vows – remains the proper context for sexual activity.

But they also add: "In its approach to civil partnerships the Church seeks to uphold that standard, to affirm the value of committed, sexually abstinent friendships and to minister sensitively and pastorally to those Christians who conscientiously decide to order their lives differently."

The statement affirms: "Sexual relationships outside heterosexual marriage are regarded as falling short of God's purposes for human beings. The introduction of same sex marriage... has not changed the church's teaching on marriage or same sex relationships."

More here-

Southern Virginia moves female bishop’s consecration in response to backlash from Roman Catholics

From ENS-

The Diocese of Southern Virginia announced Jan. 17 that it would change the location of its Feb. 1 consecration of Bishop-elect Susan Haynes from a Roman Catholic church in Williamsburg in response to backlash from some Roman Catholics who said they were disturbed by the ordination of a woman bishop.

St. Bede Roman Catholic Church originally was chosen as the location because the Diocese of Southern Virginia doesn’t have a church large enough to host the 800 to 1,000 people expected to attend the consecration, said Ann Turner, the diocese’s communications officer. The consecration is now scheduled to take place Feb. 1 at 11 a.m. at the interdenominational Williamsburg Community Chapel. The consecration service will be live-streamed on the diocesan website.

“The decision to change the location from St. Bede Catholic Church in Williamsburg arose out of concern and respect for the ministries and leadership of both the Catholic parish and the Catholic Diocese of Richmond. Learning that its intended use of the building was causing dismay and distress, the Episcopal Diocese withdrew from its contract with St. Bede,” read the diocese’s press release announcing the change in venue.

More here-

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

St. Stephen’s Episcopal School scrambles for solution as access to free breakfast, lunch program ends

From Central PA.-

St. Stephen’s Episcopal School is appealing for community support after learning that funding soon will end for its free breakfast and lunch program.

The school recently lost its “at risk” status due to changes in federal regulations, said Head of School Ellen Hartman.

“We’re truly an inclusive school, where you can attend regardless of your socioeconomic status,” she said. “That’s why we deal with issues that so many other private schools don’t have. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution here.”

Of the 145 students who attend the pre-K-8 school, about 40 children are in the breakfast program and 60 children in the lunch program, she said. As of Jan. 31, those programs will end, as the federal government continues to tighten regulations for its food programs, including the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program.

More here-

Former Female Episcopal Priest Links Women’s Ordination to LGBT Activism

From Church Militant-

A former Episcopalian female "priest" is warning of the "grave danger" of women's ordination as it is inextricably linked to homosexual activism, rooted in feminism and perpetuates confusion about gender and the Eucharist. 

Ordaining women priests is a revolt against Catholic orders, a rejection of the Fathers' teaching and a denial of the authority of Scripture, writes Alice Linsley in a hard-hitting essay in the Anglican journal Virtue Online.   

Linsley, who served as a priest in the Episcopal Church of the U.S.A. (ECUSA) for 16 years, renounced her orders and quit her denomination "as it moved toward a radical revision of the Gospel, setting aside the apostolic Tradition for its social justice agenda."  

More here-

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Trinity Church Wall Street: Can reporters solve the case of the missing Episcopal rector?

From Get Religion-

It was a strange way to announce one’s resignation, I must admit.
On Jan. 5, the rector of the richest Episcopal church in the country was standing before his congregation in downtown Manhattan giving some rather banal parish announcements. Then, he added, he knew that some folks had heard that he was leaving and yes, this would be his last Sunday there. Comparing himself and his wife to the Mary, Joseph and Jesus trio in terms of being on the move toward Egypt (and away from Herod, one supposes), he said they were going to take a sabbatical and that he wished the church well.
It was clear that many in the church had no idea what was going on, including the choir that was awkwardly standing by, waiting to sing an anthem during the offering. (You can see all this go down in this video. Start at the 50-minute mark).
More here-

'My People Still Are Not Free,' Rep. Ayanna Pressley Says At 50th MLK Breakfast

From Boston Public Radio-

The breakfast's keynote speaker, Bishop Michael Curry of the Episcopal Church, invoked King via Thomas Jefferson. He acknowledged the hypocrisy of Jefferson — a slaveowner who fathered children with one of his slaves, who also wrote the Declaration of Independence.

"He may have been wrong, but the words were right,” Curry said. “’We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’”

“Human equality, human dignity, is not conferred by Congress,” Curry added, “it is decreed by the Lord God Almighty.”

More here-

Veterans group's criticism over Bible in Space Force ceremony sparks outrage

From D.C.-

A veterans group that opposes religious displays in public areas has sparked outrage over its criticism of the use of a Bible in a blessing ceremony for the newly created U.S. Space Force at the Washington National Cathedral.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation objected to a ceremony this month at the Episcopal church that featured the Air Force’s top chaplain and a King James Bible donated by the Museum of the Bible. In a since-deleted tweet, the National Cathedral said the Bible would be used to swear in “all commanders” in Space Force.

Foundation founder Mikey Weinstein said in a letter last week to Defense Secretary Mark Esper “this ‘blessing’ event and its concomitant widespread dissemination, publicized as an official U.S. armed forces event, is in practical effect declaring the newly formed United States Space Force to be a uniquely and exclusionary Christian military service.”

More here-

Larger-Than-Expected Response To Gun Buyback Program Leaves Church Asking For Donations

From Pittsburgh-

Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Homewood is asking for donations to keep their gun buyback program up and running today due to such a large response.

The church planned to hold the event through 3 p.m., but less than an hour in and the money ran out.

The gun buyback is in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and spreading his message of non-violence.

The church was offering up to $100 per firearm, thanks to funding from various local organizations like the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.

However, organizers tell KDKA that they’ve already gone through $5,000.

More here- 

and here-

Monday, January 20, 2020

Walk with Bishop Michael

From England-

People are being invited to join the Bishop of Lichfield on a walk which will call at ten churches in rural mid-Staffordshire on 8 and 9 February.

The Rt Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave will cover 30 miles in the two-day walk around the Mid-Trent Benefice. Walkers will call at Sandon, Salt, Hopton, Burston and Milwich on Saturday 8 February followed by Gayton, Weston, Hixon, Stowe-by-Chartley and Fradswell the following day, finishing with a Team Service at All Saints Church, Sandon, at 6pm on Sunday 9 February.

Everyone is welcome to cover the whole route – which is mostly on field paths, tracks and quiet roads – or for just one or two sections. There will be refreshments at all of the churches for walkers and non-walkers. There is no charge and families, community groups and walking groups are all invited to join in. There will be brief prayers at each church and time to learn more about the buildings. Toilets are available at Sandon, Salt, Burston, Milwich, Weston and Hixon churches.

More here-

In second whitest state, racial justice leaders urge inclusion of diverse voices

From Vermont-

At the state level, newly named Vermont Episcopal Bishop Shannon MacVean-Brown is sharing her experience as the first African American woman to serve in a post initially held by John Henry Hopkins, who offered the 1851 lecture “Slavery: Its Religious Sanction, Its Political Dangers, and the Best Mode of Doing It Away” before helping to end the division between northern and southern dioceses after the Civil War.

“Clearly it’s not the only story that should be told in this diocese,” MacVean-Brown said at her ordination, “but it is part of our story. It holds importance in relationship to my presence and future ministry here.”

As Vermont’s first executive director of racial equity, Davis is addressing issues in state government.
“I worry that people assume this work is all taken care of because we now have one person in a position,” she says. “It’s everybody’s work.”

Davis isn’t simply seeking a display of greater diversity.

More here-

Pittsburgh church fighting gun violence by buying back guns

From Pittsburgh (with video)-

A gun buyback program will take place at the Holy Cross Episcopal Church on Monday -- the holiday that honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his message of nonviolence.

In November 2019, it was the scene of a double homicide on the corner of Kelly and Collier streets in Homewood, just outside the church.

“Does anyone not understand that to reduce gun violence, we need to get some guns off the street?” said Leon Haley, of the Episcopal Lutheran Alliance.

More here-

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Head of US church reaches out to Harry and Meghan to offer support

From Page Six-

The head of the Episcopal Church, who delivered a powerful sermon on the “power of love” at the 2018 wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, has reached out to the couple after their break from Britain’s royals.

US bishop Michael Curry, the first African-American to lead the Episcopal Church, is offering his “pastoral care” as Meghan Markle and Prince Harry settle in to their new life in Canada, according to the Times of London.

Citing civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., the Chicago-born Curry gave a rousing sermon at the couple’s lavish wedding at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor. His 14-minute speech, which drew smiles and some confused looks from the assembled royals and the couple’s celebrity guests, touched on themes of reconciliation and harmony in families — sentiments that seem oddly prescient today after the couple’s bombshell break with the Queen.

More here-

First woman bishop elected for Episcopal Diocese of Alabama

From Alabama-

The Episcopal Diocese of Alabama on Saturday elected its first woman bishop.

The Rev. Glenda Curry, rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Homewood and former president of Troy University in Montgomery, was elected to succeed the current bishop, who is retiring.

Bishop John McKee “Kee” Sloan, head of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama, announced last year he was retiring.

He called for the election of a bishop coadjutor, who would assist him and then succeed him when he retires at the end of 2020.

More here-