Saturday, June 27, 2020

First Woman To Lead The Episcopal Diocese Of Alabama

From Alabama-

The Episcopal Diocese of Alabama will consecrate a new bishop on Saturday, and for the first time that bishop is a woman. Rev. Glenda Curry will serve beside the current bishop until becoming the sole leader of the diocese in January. In an interview with WBHM’s Andrew Yeager, Curry said it’s an important step for women in the church.

Using her experience as the first woman president of an Alabama four-year university:

I have the experience of being the first woman in a room that’s usually occupied by men. I imagine [there will be] some of the same challenges, but at the same time it’s been a number of years, so I think our culture has become more accepting of women in leadership roles. I’m looking forward to it and I’m not anxious.

More here-

Friday, June 26, 2020

Rt. Rev. Deon K. Johnson ordained as bishop of Episcopal Diocese of Mo

From Missouri-

The Rt. Rev. Deon K. Johnson was ordained as the 11th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri, representing more than 10,000 worshipers from 42 parishes throughout the eastern half of the state. He is the first black, openly gay bishop in the diocese’s 179-year history.

“To find ourselves in this moment, the ancestor of a slave, to be called to be the Bishop of Missouri – God is good!” said Bishop Johnson during his ordination service. “To the people of Missouri, we have a whole new story to tell and a whole new boldness to tell it with. So, I look forward to the adventure.”

Before two dozen worshipers and Episcopal clerics at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown St. Louis, Johnson was consecrated as the spiritual leader of eastern Missouri’s congregants during a service that was livestreamed on the diocesan Facebook page.

More here-

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Here’s why a fence went up around St. John’s Church at Black Lives Matter Plaza

From D.C.-

The Metropolitan Police Department has opened the entirety of Black Lives Matter Plaza back up to protesters. However, people who visit the site may notice one big change.

A fence now surrounds St. John’s Episcopal Church at the corner of 16th and H Streets NW. The parish is also now guarded by MPD officers and concrete barriers.

Crowds have gathered around the church, next to Lafayette Square, over the course of this summer’s protests. It has been a site for vigils and rallies. On a few occasions, it has also been vandalized.

Ultimately, the new fence around the church was set up at the direction of District leaders. Kevin Donahue, Deputy Mayor for Public Safety, released the following statement.

“The District of Columbia Government coordinated the fence on the public space around St John’s Episcopal Church to protect the buildings from any further damage. We will continue to be in communication with the immediate neighbors of the site to minimize any inconvenience.”

More here-

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

A call for moral leadership

From RNS-

Six divinity school deans and seminary presidents release a joint statement on the state of our national leadership

Joint Public Statement

America is facing three immense and immediate crises. Each has a critical moral dimension that has been notably neglected from much of our national leadership.

The first of these crises is the health crisis created by COVID-19 that has sickened more than 2 million Americans and killed 118,000 to date and counting. For many of us, these are not statistics, but members of our families, houses of worship, and cherished friends.

The second is the economic crisis brought on in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease. The necessary shelter-in-place orders under which we have all lived have led to an economic disruption that has caused more than 40 million Americans to file for unemployment since mid-March, taking the unemployment rate from its lowest level in half a century to a level unprecedented since the Great Depression. These are not simply numbers released weekly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they are people struggling to keep their homes.

More here-

St. John’s Church in Washington vandalized again

From ENS-

St. John’s Episcopal Church, the “church of presidents” in Washington, D.C., that has become a major flashpoint during weeks of unrest related to systemic racism and police brutality, was vandalized again on June 22 during another night of clashes between police and protesters in front of the White House.

“BHAZ” was spray-painted on the 204-year-old church’s columns, The Washington Post reported. The acronym was also spray-painted on a piece of plywood nearby, accompanied by “Black House Autonomous Zone,” an apparent take on the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone in Seattle, Washington. That area, also called the Capitol Hill Organized Protest, is comprised of several blocks that were taken over by protesters and abandoned by police on June 8. One person was killed and two were injured in shootings there this past weekend.

More here- 

and here-

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

‘Seek repentance’: Clergy group calls on Mississippi to remove Confederate symbol from state flag

From Mississippi-

Episcopal Bishop Brian Seage of the Diocese of Mississippi told Episcopal News Services that he believes the flag “belongs in museums and in archives and in history books.”

“When we see the Confederate battle flag, yes, it represents history, but it also represents a painful period for folks — a really painful period for many of our African American brothers and sisters, of injustice and an intention to not really see their full humanity," said Seage.

The Rev. Jason Coker of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Mississippi expressed his support for removing the Confederate symbol from the state flag at the press conference.

“Jesus said love God and love your neighbor,” stated Coker, as reported by local media outlet WLBT. “And I think we can do this if it’s an act of love to neighbor.”

More here-

SC judge rules breakaway Diocese in Episcopal split can keep properties

From South Carolina-

A South Carolina circuit judge ruled Friday congregations that broke away from the Episcopal Church in 2012 can keep their properties, a decision likely to setup another legal skirmish in the multi-year dispute. 

First Circuit Judge Edgar W. Dickson granted the motion by the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina asking for clarification on a 2017 ruling involving the schism between the Diocese and the defendants, The Episcopal Church and The Episcopal Church in South Carolina. 

The ruling, which involves 36 properties from the Grand Strand to the Lowcountry and valued at $500 million, orders the plaintiff parishes be “affirmed as the title owners in fee simple absolute of their respective parish real properties.”

More here-

Coronavirus Outbreak Linked To West Virginia Church Grows To Over 40 Cases

From West Virginia-

A coronavirus outbreak linked to a church in southern West Virginia has grown to at least 41 cases, officials said Monday.

The caseload connected to the Graystone Baptist Church in Lewisburg increased after several tests came back positive over the weekend, Greenbrier County health officials said in a statement.

The state has seen multiple outbreaks this month connected to church services and tourism travel to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Health officials are urging residents to wear face masks and follow safety precautions.

Preston County has reported at least 26 cases stemming from trips to Myrtle Beach. Cabell and Kanawha counties have also reported spikes after residents traveled to the popular beach getaway.

More here-

Monday, June 22, 2020

From Tennessee-

According to research from the university, the men who founded Sewanee: The University of the South for the Episcopal Church in 1857 did so to maintain slave-holding society.

Practically every church in the South that was erected before the Civil War has symbols of the Confederacy or complicated histories with race, said the Rev. Claire Brown, associate rector at St. Paul's Episcopal Church. During the war, many churches supported the Confederacy and believed God was on their side.

In Brown's own church — the congregation of which was established in 1852 — there still hang portraits of Episcopal bishops who were slave owners, she said.

"Race as a social category was created to justify that exploitation and it was within the same breath that people were saying that it was God-ordained that some groups of people would be inferior to others," she said. "And it got twisted pretty much immediately to be unto the glory of God."

More here-

Get to church or synagogue early; houses of worship open in Phase 2 at 25% capacity

From New York-

The Episcopal Diocese of New York will open its churches on July 1, according to

After July 1, state guidelines will determine the number of people allowed to gather for in-person worship. Masks, hand sanitizer, and social distancing will be required at houses of worship, according to the website.

It’s recommended you check your individual house of worship for guidelines.

More here-

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Fact check: Trump falsely claims 'insurance reasons' prevented him from entering St. John's Church

From CNN-

More than two weeks after his controversial photo-op outside a Washington, DC, church, President Donald Trump offered a new explanation last week for why he didn't enter St. John's Episcopal Church. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday Trump said there were "a lot of insurance reasons" for why he couldn't go in.

That isn't true.
Facts First: "There were no insurance reasons" why Trump could not have entered St. John's Church, Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington told CNN on Friday. She said only a small room in the basement of the church, a nursery, had been damaged in a fire the day prior, and "the main sanctuary was not harmed at all."
Trump has faced criticism not only because police used force to clear peaceful protesters out of the way before the photo-op but because he merely brandished the Bible without opening it, offering a prayer, or going into the building.
More here-