Saturday, February 1, 2020

Church of England launches first global index aligned to the Paris accord in push to address ‘climate emergency’

From Ontario-

The Church of England Pension Board, overseer of the £2.8bn retirement savings pot for the Anglican clergy, will on Thursday launch a passive index aligned with the Paris climate goals on the London Stock Exchange.

The church will invest an initial £600m in the FTSE TPI Climate Transition Index which follows calls from Mark Carney, the outgoing governor of the Bank of England, for pension funds to tackle the financial risk of climate change.

Through its £12bn endowment and investment funds, the Church of England has become a powerful international advocate for sustainable investment and better governance standards. It immediately sold its shares in Brazilian miner Vale after a dam collapse in Brazil that killed more than 200 people, while also ridding its investment portfolio of thermal coal and tar sands.
Starting in 2023, the church will also sell shares in other fossil fuel companies that are slow to respond to global warming.

More here-

Islamic extremists hack 36 to death with machetes, including Christian pastor in DRC

From Christian Post (Congo)-

Suspected Islamist militants hacked to death over 30 people, including an Anglican pastor, in overnight attacks on villages in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

On Tuesday, four villages were raided by the Allied Democratic Forces, an Islamist group, in the west of Beni territory, Reuters reports. The rebel group has its origins in Uganda but is now based in DR Congo's Beni region.

Beni Governor Donat Kibwana told AFP that members of the terrorist group hacked all victims to death with machetes. In total, 36 individuals were killed, including an Anglican pastor. 
The main attack took place in Manzingi, a village northwest from Oicha, while the pastor was killed in the village of Eringeti. 

More here-

CoE Archbishops: Sorry for saying sex is only for married heterosexuals

From Episcopal Cafe-

Thursday evening, Archbishops Welby and Sentamu issued an apology of sorts for the timing of the recent statement on sex outside heterosexual marriage. That statement, however, was not withdrawn. The timing has drawn criticism because it came during a review of the C of E’s position on sexuality – a review forced upon Welby by General Synod against a similar statement.

The Church Times reports:

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have apologised for the release of last week’s pastoral statement on civil partnerships, acknowledging that it “jeopardised trust”. The statement will not be withdrawn, however, after the College of Bishops voted against a proposal to do so. Issued on Thursday evening, at the end of a two-day meeting of the College, the Archbishops’ statement recognised “the division and hurt” the statement had caused.

More here-

Rector 'delighted' to stay: Evan Garner looks forward to serving St. Paul's

From Arkansas-

Evan Garner didn't get the job -- and, he says, he is "more than OK with it. I am delighted."

The Rev. Glenda Curry, rector of All Saints' Episcopal Church in Homewood and former president of Troy University in Montgomery, was recently elected to succeed the current bishop of Alabama, who is retiring. But Garner, who is rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, was on the short list of nominees for the position. Having just moved to Fayetteville when the Rev. Lowell Grisham retired, he wasn't ready to move on.

"When they asked me why I wanted the job, I told them plainly that I didn't," he says of the interview process in Alabama. "I didn't want to be a bishop, and I didn't want to give up the fruitful ministry that I enjoyed here.

More here-

Friday, January 31, 2020

Anglican Bishop Ruwona back in court

From Zimbabwe-

Manicaland Diocese Anglican Bishop, Eric Ruwona, appeared in court on Wednesday for routine remand on fraud charges involving US$700 000 which he, together with three accomplices, allegedly siphoned from church coffers.

He will be back in court again on February 24 when the court is expected to furnish him with a trial date.

Ruwona, who is denying the charges, is out on $15 000 bail.

As part ot the bail conditions he was ordered to report once every Friday at Mutare Central Police Station and not to interfere with State witnesses.

The presiding magistrate, Mr Tendai Mahwe, also ordered him to continue residing at No. 1 Oak Road, Murambi.

Allegations were that the bishop and his three accomplices, who are still at large, hatched a plan to defraud the diocese.

More here-

In Good Faith: Being starstruck is something to be embraced

From Oregon-

Have you ever been starstruck? I remember one year when I was a kid, my father took me to Carnegie Hall for a concert featuring a narration by the Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Fame first baseman Willie Stargell. Being in the music business himself, he knew the conductor and I went that evening with the promise, or at least the hope, that I’d be able to go backstage afterwards to meet this baseball legend. 

I lived for baseball back then. I knew all the stats and all the players’ uniform numbers. Being from Baltimore, I certainly wasn’t a Pirates fan, a team that had beaten the Orioles in the World Series twice in the 1970s.

But still, I was so excited to meet a true superstar, and I even brought one of Willie Stargell’s baseball cards, hoping that he might sign it. My brother still laughs at the sight of me standing before this giant of a man, staring up with eyes wide open, haltingly asking “Mr. Stargell” to please sign an autograph, and then watching me drop the card, not once but twice. He graciously signed it for me, but from a dignity standpoint, this was not my finest hour. 

More here-

Christ Church Episcopal: Weaving the spiritual and social fabric of the community for 200 years

From Greenville S.C.-

“They found it! They found it!” Rector Harrison McLeod rushes into his office at Christ Church Episcopal. “The cornerstone looks like every piece of vertical granite, so it was hiding in plain sight,” he says. “We’re going to dig it up this afternoon for Sunday’s celebration.”

Work crews had located the sacred cornerstone just in time to kick off the first of the church’s bicentennial celebrations that will run through 2020.

To thumb through the archives of Christ Church is to hold South Carolina history in your hands. Diplomat Joel Poinsett, businessman and benefactor Vardry McBee, U.S. Sen. Joseph Earle all have ties to the oldest church in the city of Greenville. For centuries, promises and programs presented from the religious center’s pulpit have canvassed the community, casting a hue upon all that has been as colorful as the nave’s great Ascension window.

More here-

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Corners of France are forever England

From France-

France is home to more than 10 purpose-built Anglican churches. The Connexion discovers more about some of them

Most of France’s Anglican churches were built in the late 19th Century.

This was when strong British communities developed in towns as far apart as Lille, in the north, Dinard in Brittany, Pau and Vernet-les-Bains in the Pyrénées, and Nice and Menton on the Mediterranean.

Christ Church in Lille is planning its 150th anniversary this year and last year Vernet-les-Bains became the first French church to have bells capable of English change-ringing.

St Bartholomew’s Church, in Dinard, Ille-et-Vilaine, recently welcomed a new chaplain, the Rev Gary Wilton, who is delighted with his new parish.

More here-

Mozambique Ordains Its First Women Anglican Clergy

From Mozambique-

Joana Chilengue, Lina Maria dos Santos and Fatucha Rosemary are the first Anglican women clergy to be ordained in Mozambique. The presiding Bishop said the ordination of the three transitional deacons was a "very big milestone" for the diocese as it made plain the church's appreciation of women's ministry

The ordination of women in Southern Africa has been authorised by the Anglican church since 1992. However, it was only in 2015 that the synod of the Anglican Diocese of Libombos, Mozambique made the move to "open the altar to women."

Bishop of Libombos, Monsignor Carlos Matsinhe explained during the ordination ceremony that, "At the level of Southern Africa, the decision to ordain women was made 28 years ago, but each diocese has the prerogative to admit to ordination of women at their own discretion and we have been thinking and thinking for the last few years."

More here-

Bishop Curry Brings ‘More Jesus’ to SE Revival

From Washington D.C.-

More than 3,000 people filled the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Southeast Sunday as the Rev. Michael B. Curry, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, preached during a revival titled “More Jesus, More Love.”

Curry mixed scripture with humor during the revival, which was part of a weekend of meetings and services convened by the Episcopal Diocese of Washington in which Curry preached at venues ranging from the National Cathedral to St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Southeast.

“This is the largest diocesan-wide gathering in our history, and part of an entire weekend of events with the potential to reach every congregation and beyond with a message of God’s love, revealed in Jesus, for all people,” Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, said in a statement.

Curry’s involvement in the 125th Diocesan Convention of the Episcopal District of Washington began Saturday at the National Cathedral.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Hallelujah: New Zealand Anglicans can have sex outside of marriage

From New Zealand-

God has looked favourably upon New Zealand Anglicans this week with confirmation that sex outside of marriage, while not actively encouraged, is not cause for condemnation. This comes days after the Church of England (the mother church of the international Anglican Communion) released pastoral guidance stating that “sexual relationships outside heterosexual marriage are regarded as falling short of God’s purposes for human beings.”

The five-page statement laid out the Church of England’s stance on sex outside of marriage as well as civil relationships, both same sex and opposite sex. On whether or not the church would allow priests to preside over and bless civil relationships (of any kind), “the House of Bishops affirms that clergy of the Church of England should not provide services of blessing for those who register a civil partnership.”

More here-

Hate graffiti hits Seattle's St. Mark's Cathedral over Martin Luther King holiday

From Seattle-

Hate graffiti was scrawled on the outside of three Puget Sound-area Episcopal churches, including St. Mark's Cathedral on Capitol Hill, last week on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The scrawled messages at St. Mark's included "Marxist Idiots," "Wake Up" and "Communism is the sworn enemy of Christianity."

The cathedral has erected a giant banner over the defamatory message. It reads "LOVE WINS."
"What we were teaching obviously struck a nerve with those who do not like the message that Martin Luther King professed and that the Gospel teaches," said Episcopal Bishop Greg Rickel over the phone from the Holy Land where he is leading a pilgrimage. "We must be gathering attention and doing so worries them."

More here-

Integrity’s new president elected unopposed as former presidents call for group’s dissolution

From ENS-

Integrity USA, the nonprofit organization dedicated to LGBTQ advocacy within The Episcopal Church, will have a newcomer as its next president as it continues to grapple with infighting over transparency, procedure and purpose. Ron Ward will take over as president on Feb. 1, the result of a special election to fill the remainder of the Rev. Gwen Fry’s term, which ends in 2021. Fry resigned in November after criticism from members over perceived mismanagement.

Ward was the sole candidate for the presidency, and members have expressed concern and frustration with the election process on Integrity’s Facebook group, with some arguing that Integrity’s reputation is damaged beyond repair, its mission is unclear and it should fold.

Former presidents Susan Russell, Fred Ellis and Helena Barrett have joined the calls for Integrity’s dissolution in recent weeks, with Russell writing on her blog that “it’s time to let it go.”

More here-

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Church of England stance on sex and marriage is staggeringly stupid

From The Guardian-

I am a lifelong member of the Anglican communion. My current situation in life is that I am happily married – have been for over 30 years – to a woman who is also a lifelong member of the Anglican communion. However, in 2014 I transitioned, and changed from my birth gender, as a man, to my present gender, as a woman.

Just for clarity, then, I would be interested to know whether the Church of England’s latest teaching (New C of E statement on sex in civil partnerships condemned as confused, 24 January) says that my marital relationship with my wife is problematic because we are both women? Or whether it says that I am “not really a woman”, and so my marital relationship at any rate is quite unproblematic?
To put it another way, I am wondering whether the church’s attitude to me now is essentially one of homophobia, or transphobia. I look forward to its pastoral guidance on this difficult question.

More here-

Survey: In most areas, smaller congregations every bit as vital as larger ones

From Presbyterian Outlook-

In general, smaller- and medium-sized congregations in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), together with their counterparts in the Episcopal Church, assigned themselves higher scores as part of a vital congregations survey than larger congregations.

On Monday during a brown bag lunch at the Presbyterian Center, Dr. Angie Andriot, a research analyst with the PC(USA)’s Research Services, shared results from the U.S. Congregational Vitality Study. The focus was on how the size of the congregation correlates with its performance in the Seven Marks of Congregational Vitality: lifelong discipleship; intentional, authentic evangelism; outward incarnational focus; servant leadership; Spirit-inspired worship; caring relationships; and ecclesial health.

The survey included 156 churches — 78 from each denomination. Nearly 9,000 members participated, as well as pastors and priests. Those surveyed assigned themselves an overall vitality score of 76, which would equate to a grade of C+.

More here-

Convocation speaker Bishop Roaf speaks on race and reconciliation in the 21st Century

From Sewanee-

On January 17, the University honored six individuals with honorary degrees and 89 newly-gowned students at winter Convocation. Honorary degrees were given to  Dr. Ramona Doyle (C’81), a Rhodes Scholar, practicing physician and professor of medicine; the Rev. Daniel R. Heischman, executive director of the National Association of Episcopal Schools; the Rt. Rev. Samuel Rodman, Bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina; Lee M. Thomas (C’67), former chairman and CEO of Rayonier and former EPA administrator; and the Rev. Francis Walter III (T’57), a long-time advocate for social justice. The Rt. Rev. Phoebe Roaf, who received an honorary doctor of divinity degree, gave the Convocation address.

Bishop Roaf attributes her drive to become a priest to her mother’s time in the church: “She was someone I could look up to… there were no female priests of color to be role models for me,” Roaf said.

More here-

Monday, January 27, 2020

Man seeks damages for alleged sexual, physical abuse in 1980s at Anglican school in Selkirk, Man.

From Canada-

A Manitoba man who says he was sexually and physically assaulted by a teacher at an Anglican boarding school nearly four decades ago is now seeking damages from the teacher and the organizations he says supervised the school.

In a statement of claim filed in Manitoba's Court of Queen's Bench on Jan. 14, the man says he has suffered from suicidal thoughts, depression and alcoholism, following abuse he alleges was perpetrated decades ago by Kenneth Mackinnon Mealey, then a teacher at St. John's Cathedral Boys' School in Selkirk, Man.

The school closed in 1990 because of declining enrolment.

The statement of claim says the man, who now works as a labourer in northern Manitoba, was a student at the boarding school for grades 9 and 10.

More here-

White Episcopal priest proudly sports his dreadlocks

From Jamaica-

A white priest who proudly wears his dreadlocks as he carries out his canonical duties is a rare sight, perhaps never before seen in the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Long Island, New York.
The flowing dreadlocks of Minor Canon Rev Adam Bucko are an indication that the hairstyle associated with Jamaica's Rastafarian movement has crossed religious boundaries, light years away from the time when cops forcibly trimmed Rastafarians of their dreadlocks, then a mark of defiance of Jamaican societal norms.

Rev Bucko has been an influential voice in the movement for the recovery and renewal of Christian Contemplative Spirituality and is co-founder of the Reciprocity Foundation, serving homeless and marginalised youth in New York City. As part of his full-time role, he is involved in the development and launch of the Cathedral's new Center for Spiritual Imagination.

“I am excited and energised to be a part of the cathedral team to work on developing programmes that reimagine what our tradition has to offer to the contemporary world,” said Bucko.

More here-

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Pope Francis prays at St. Paul’s tomb with Orthodox and Anglican Christians

From Catholic News Agency-

Pope Francis prayed at the tomb of St. Paul with Orthodox and Anglican leaders Saturday to conclude the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

“God’s priority is the salvation of all,” Pope Francis in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls Jan. 25.

“This is an invitation not to devote ourselves exclusively to our own communities, but to open ourselves to the good of all, to the universal gaze of God who took flesh in order to embrace the whole human race and who died and rose for the salvation of all,” he said.

On the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, the pope presided over ecumenical vespers with Metropolitan Gennadios, representative of the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch, and Anglican bishop Ian Ernest, personal representative of  the Archbishop of Canterbury.

More here-

Anglican bishops soften stance on Lambeth Conference

From Kenya-

The Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) has softened its position on the forthcoming Lambeth Conference, allowing bishops who wish to attend the once-in-a-decade gathering to do so in their individual capacities instead of a total boycott.
However, Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit says the bishops will be doing so because of the “historic nature of the gathering” and “for exposure”.

The bishops who attend the conference will carry with them the church’s memorandum stating ACK’s position especially with regard to the ordination of gay ministers. Archbishop Sapit is among those who will not be attending the conference.

More here-

New Bishop of Monmouth Cherry Vann can help "unify" Church

From The BBC-

More than 400 people saw Cherry Vann become only the 11th person to hold the position, since the diocese was formed in 1921.

The 60-year-old former Archdeacon of Rochdale replaces the Right Reverend Richard Pain who retired last year.

The Rev Robert Lawrence said Bishop Vann could be a "point of unity" at a time of disunity within the church.

A piano and violin graduate at the Royal College of Music, Bishop Vann has spent the last 11 years in the diocese of Manchester.

She previously said the challenges facing churches in south east Wales were similar to those in the north west of England.

More here-