Friday, June 5, 2020

Singing might not be so great a risk, after all

From Church Times-

NEW scientific evidence from Germany has cast doubt on the claim that singing constitutes a high-risk activity in the transmission of Covid-19.

This and other evidence suggests that, with adequate risk assessment and social distancing, singing could be restored in some contexts as part of church life in the UK.

Stories about the danger of transmitting the coronavirus through singing have proliferated since the widely reported outbreak of Covid-19 in Washington State, where 53 of the 61 members of the Skagit Valley Chorale fell ill after rehearsals on 3 and 10 March, immediately before lockdown measures. The incident was subsequently correlated with two other “super-spreader” events involving choirs in Amsterdam and Berlin (News, 29 May).

An investigation by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, however, established that Skagit Valley choir members were sitting six to ten inches from one another, and sharing snacks and stacking chairs together, and that 19 members with “probable symptoms” were never tested.

More here-

Thursday, June 4, 2020

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church to keep graffiti tagged during Richmond protests: ‘I consider these memorials’

From Richmond-

Many businesses and public buildings have been tagged with graffiti during the days of protests in Richmond, including places of worship. One church is choosing to keep the graffiti in place.

Charlie Dupree, Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, said the graffiti, which reads things like “I can’t breathe,” and “George Floyd” is a reminder that change is needed. George Floyd died after a police officer knelt on his neck in Minnesota. 

“I consider these memorials. They represent those people who have lost their lives to injustice,” Dupree said.

Dupree told 8News the spray painted messages will be staying put for now. “We don’t know how long, but we feel like to race to get rid of it, to rush to either spray wash off everything, just kind of sweeps the conversation under the rug and it’s a conversation that’s been swept under the rug for far too long,” he said.

More here-

Maine’s Episcopal Bishop stands with protesters, decries Trump’s church photo-op

From Maine-

New England’s Episcopal bishops unanimously are calling out President Donald Trump’s appearance in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., on Monday as “disgraceful and morally repugnant.”

In an unprecedented move, they released a statement on Tuesday, also condemning law enforcement use of force and tear gas to clear a path for the president through peaceful demonstrators.

New England bishops wrote that the real injustice is the continued oppression of and violence against people of color in the United States.

Bishop Thomas Brown of the Maine Episcopal Church echoed the need for healing.

“The real concern here is addressing the inequality and the pain that people throughout this land have been trying to say and have been wanting us to address,” he said. “So, we who are white, we who have authority and privilege — we need to be listening, and we need to be bringing people together.”

More here-

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

They turned holy ground into a battleground': clergy teargassed by Washington police

From The Guardian-

Episcopal clergy linked to St John’s church in Washington DC were among the peaceful protesters violently swept out of the way by police so that Donald Trump could pose in front of the building on Monday evening, and they have condemned the US president’s behavior.

The Christian leaders were teargassed along with protesters and journalists, some of whom were also shot with rubber bullets and punched by officers as they cleared a path to the church from the nearby White House.

“They turned holy ground into a battleground,” the Rev Gini Gerbasi said.

Gerbasi is the rector of nearby Saint John’s Episcopal church in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, a sister church of St John’s Lafayette that is better known as the Church of the Presidents because every one since James Madison has attended services there.

As Trump spoke at the White House, where he threatened to unleash the US military on protesters if state governors don’t crush unrest triggered by the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, riot police attacked the crowd outside the church.

More here-

‘His tactic was obvious’: New England Episcopal bishops lambast Trump for ‘cynical’ Bible photo-op

From New England-

Nine bishops from across the Episcopal Church’s New England dioceses slammed President Donald Trump on Tuesday for posing with a Bible in front of a church in Washington, D.C., calling the move “disgraceful and morally repugnant.”

“His tactic was obvious,” the bishops who helm the church’s Province 1 dioceses said in a joint statement. “Simply by holding aloft an unopened Bible he presumed to claim Christian endorsement and imply that of The Episcopal Church. Far more disturbingly, he seemed to be affecting the authority of the God and Savior we worship and serve, in order to support his own authority and to wield enhanced use of military force in a perverted attempt to restore peace to our nation.”

More here- 

and here-

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s statement on President Donald Trump’s use of St. John’s, Holy Bible

From ENS-

The following is a statement from Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry:
This evening, the President of the United States stood in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, lifted up a bible, and had pictures of himself taken. In so doing, he used a church building and the Holy Bible for partisan political purposes. This was done in a time of deep hurt and pain in our country, and his action did nothing to help us or to heal us.

The bible teaches us that “God is love.” Jesus of Nazareth taught, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The prophet Micah taught that the Lord requires us to “do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.”

The bible the President held up and the church that he stood in front of represent the values of love, of justice, of compassion, and of a way to heal our hurts.

We need our President, and all who hold office, to be moral leaders who help us to be a people and nation living these values. For the sake of George Floyd, for all who have wrongly suffered, and for the sake of us all, we need leaders to help us to be “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”

More here-

Priests reveal they were teargassed by cops clearing a path to St. John's Church for Donald Trump to have his photo taken as cops who fired the gas are pulled out for being misused and Bishop slams the president

From The Daily Mail-

Priests have revealed they were part of a peaceful crowd teargassed by cops who were clearing a path for President Donald Trump so he could take photos in front of St. John's Church in Washington DC. 

On Monday Trump left the White House and walked across the street to the historic church, which was partially burned in protests the night prior, to pose for photos with a Bible in hand. 

Trump was allegedly angry about news coverage that he fled into a White House bunker on Friday during George Floyd protests, and told his aides he wanted to be seen outside the White House gates, prompting his walk to St. Johns, according to CNN White House Correspondent Kaitlin Collins. 

But his photo shoot triggered outrage from church leaders and rival politicians, and led Arlington County police to pull their officers out of the capital after they were used to charge at protesters. 

More here-

Monday, June 1, 2020

Historic St. John's Church near White House set on fire in DC riots

From Washington D.C.-

The parish office at the historic St. John's Episcopal Church in Lafayette Square near the White House in Washington, D.C., was torched as riots escalated Sunday night.

Fox News White House correspondent Kevin Corke was at the scene to report that the church had been vandalized with graffiti and set on fire.

"It does appear that St. John's Church is on fire, the parish office," Corke said. "We went downstairs, and it is on fire."

"This is awful. We saw graffiti, once the door was broken, we saw something similar happen earlier, and as you can see there's definitely a fire here," he said a half-hour before the city's 11 p.m. curfew.

More here-

and here- 

and here-

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Gathering the flock: Services to return, with restrictions

From New Hampshire-

Bishop A. Robert Hirschfeld, who heads the Episcopal Church of New Hampshire, said he wants to “move incrementally, very carefully” in returning to public worship.

Hirschfeld said he’s still putting together guidelines for Episcopal churches here, but he expects those will be more restrictive than what the state has provided. In considering “the way of love,” public welfare must be of supreme importance, he said.

“We don’t believe that the risks of coming together ... outweigh the joy we have in gathering right now,” he said. “It just doesn’t seem prudent.

More here-

New Episcopal bishop consecrated at Savannah’s historic Christ Church

From Georgia-

Following a holy ceremony combining centuries-old traditions and modern technology to abide by COVID-19 precautions, Frank Logue was ordained and consecrated as the 11th Bishop of Georgia at Savannah’s historic Christ Church Episcopal on Saturday, May 30.

After the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia elected Logue to lead as bishop in November 2019, Saturday’s ceremony was originally scheduled to take place at Savannah’s Johnny Mercer Theater to accommodate a large audience. However, after the ongoing pandemic precluded crowded gatherings, the ceremony was moved to Christ Church on Johnson Square, according to Rev. William Willoughby III of Savannah’s Collegiate Church of Saint Paul the Apostle.

On Saturday morning, Christ Church was equipped with multiple cameras so that the ceremony could be livestreamed on the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia’s YouTube channel, while chorus and clergy members participated in the ceremony online from remote locations. Bottles of hand sanitizer were placed around the pulpit, and Logue wore a face mask during the proceedings.

More here-