Posted by Kendall Harmon

(Michael Carreker was rector of Saint John's, Savannah Georgia at the time this was written--KSH).

The workings of God’s good providence are never failing and always glorious, but none more so than the events of these last two weeks. This past weekend we hosted a conference of the Georgia Chapter of the American Anglican Council, followed by the southeastern convocation of the Anglican Communion Network, and this coming weekend is the dedication of our newly refurbished building for Christian education, Cranmer Hall.

In the first instance, it was a joy to sponsor these conferences along with Christ Church. An enormous amount of good will was shared between our parishes: extensive preparation and flawless execution. Mostly responsible for this were Patti Victor of St. John’s and Carol Rodgers Smith of Christ Church. While significant differences distinguish our churches - in a very inadequate way we might refer to us as Anglo-Catholic and to them as Evangelical - we stand together now in solidarity with those who claim the essentials of what it means to be within the Anglican Communion and the Church Catholic.

All of this might not have been possible for our churches, if by God’s good providence, Dr. [Marcus] Robertson [of Christ Church, Savannah at the time] and I had not shared in a theological seminar for a year before the chaos of General Convention 2003. That seminar, as does all proper theological thinking, helped to establish trust, charity, and mutual joy.

The meeting of the Georgia Chapter of the American Anglican Council was very encouraging. There were a number of parishes represented from the Diocese of Georgia, and a few from the Diocese of Atlanta, as well as some from outside Georgia. We also heard from a young, courageous priest (an old friend from North Fulton High School in Atlanta), Dr. Foley Beach. His story of the gradual decline in the Diocese of Atlanta away from the Catholic faith was sobering indeed. But the story of how his faithful parish has come under the pastoral oversight of an orthodox bishop, the Rt. Rev. Frank Lyon of the Diocese of Bolivia, was inspiring and hopeful.

On Monday, at the meeting of the Anglican Communion Network, Dr. Beach’s story was put in a much broader context when the Rt. Rev. Alex Dickson, retired bishop of West Tennessee, recalled for us the history of the past forty years and the gradual doctrinal decline of the Episcopal Church, something we have all come to recognize has come full force with ECUSA’s action in New Hampshire.

But what was most gratifying to me was the evidence of providence again, when we had the Rev’d Canon Michael Green, Senior Research Fellow at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, preach for us

at Evensong. Lynne and I attended St. Aldate’s Church at Oxford in the late seventies when Canon Green was the rector there. It was the time of Professor Maurice Wiles and the infamous publication of his The Myth of God Incarnate, to which, in a miraculous six weeks, a volume was published refuting Wiles’ book, entitled The Truth of God Incarnate, edited by Michael Green. He was a defender of the faith then and he is now. His sermon and the most exquisite Evensong of the Choir was another glistening of our Lord’s providence.

The rest of the Anglican Communion Network meeting saw a resolve for us to embrace the recommendations of the Windsor Report. The ACN has as its primary goal to be an orthodox Christian fellowship which holds to the supremacy of Holy Scripture, the historic formularies of the Anglican Church, and is in communion with the worldwide Anglican Church.

As for this coming Sunday, we dedicate our newly refurbished Christian education building, Cranmer Hall. I believe this must be seen within the larger context of what St. John’s has been, is, and shall be.

Our church has been devoted first of all to the worship of Almighty God. It is wonderful when you hear, as I did the other night, people speaking of Bible studies and study groups in which they have discerned through the Bible and elsewhere that the first need that they have is the worship of God. That is why St. John’s has not given herself over entirely to practical concerns, but keeps the focus of worship primary.

Cranmer Hall represents now the commitment to educate ourselves and our children more completely in the orthodox Christen faith. Its Rose window is s symbol of what such teaching means.

At its center is the Holy Family, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, enveloped by the Triune God. From this center, the window moves outward through the symbols of the twelve Apostles to twelve saints and worthies who made a profound influence on the development of Anglican spirituality. It is our intention to live into that heritage more fully and to share and teach it as well.

But more is required. We as a parish must prepare ourselves for greater mission work than in the recent past. We sometimes forget that St. John’s was a mission of Christ Church, and that St. Paul’s (originally St. Matthew’s and later renamed) was a mission undertaken by St. John’s. It is time now for other mission churches to be founded and for greater cooperation with Anglican Churches throughout the wider Communion. The ministry of Elliott House is set and on its way with our fourth theological seminar coming up in January. But now it is important for us to reach out in other ways to establish Christian mission in the Anglican Way. That will not happen unless we live into the theme of the Rose Window, and cultivate our heritage as orthodox Anglican Christians with missionary fervor.

Finally, the work of the Building Committee has now come to a very happy end. We should all be grateful for the many gifts and hours of labor, a labor of love, that the members of the committee have offered to the Lord and to their Church. Our Senior Warden and I have asked George Fawcett to oversee the final interior details of the building, and Martha has graciously consented for him to do so. As George represents a long family history at St. John’s, this too is a remarkable testimony to the good providence of God. And so with our profound thanksgiving, Soli Deo Gloria.

(My emphasis--KSH)

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)General Convention TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: GeorgiaTEC Departing ParishesTEC ParishesInstruments of UnitySexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessingsWindsor Report / Process* Theology

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Posted June 22, 2014 at 4:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Jones has been dean of the historic downtown cathedral since July 2012. Trinity is the oldest Episcopal congregation in Columbia and the only cathedral in the diocese. As dean, Jones holds one of the most influential positions in the diocese.

Jones was among 11 clergy and lay people who served on the bishop’s task force, which was established by Waldo to address the blessing resolution passed by the 2012 General Convention of the U.S. Episcopal Church.

Jones’ decision on the matter was swift but not unexpected. The task force included conservatives and liberals and those in the middle, and after many months of dialogue, “I don’t think anyone’s opinion changed,” Waldo said in an interview Wednesday.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ParishesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* South Carolina* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

5 Comments
Posted May 12, 2014 at 6:10 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As to my own prayerful reflection on this important issue, I do not believe that Scripture, Christian tradition, nor the Book of Common Prayer authorize me to bless same-sex relationships. I know well, from years of conversation and study, the arguments brought forward by those who advocate such a blessing, but I have not been persuaded. I am committed, as always, to the full welcome in our parish of all, regardless of sexual orientation. The church has, to my sadness, failed too often to do so.

While I will not authorize same-sex blessings at Trinity, I am committed to our having respectful conversations. Such discussion may not be always comfortable. It often requires sacrificial love. We will offer opportunities for
such conversation, using the curriculum developed by the task force for groups that will meet for six to eight weeks. That resource affirms that Scripture is our ultimate authority, and asks how we are to understand and apply
it in dialogue with tradition and with one another.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ParishesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* South Carolina* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

3 Comments
Posted May 12, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Three Episcopal churches in Easton, Mansfield and Taunton will close this spring and be put up for sale while their congregations merge into the Bristol Trinity Episcopal Church.

A series of farewell services began Sunday at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Easton.

Others will be held in the coming weeks at St John’s in Taunton and St. John the Evangelist in Mansfield.

Rising costs to maintain and repair the church buildings led to the decision in March to merge, said Bristol Cluster Episcopal Ministry Council representative Sandy Rollo of Easton. The decision to close all three and find a new locale was made just two weeks ago.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry

3 Comments
Posted May 6, 2014 at 3:21 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In December 1812, the theocracy that was still New Haven for the first time voted to let a church of another denomination – the Episcopalians, descendants of the dreaded and reviled Anglican Church of England – build a house of worship on the Green. And that’s how the Constitutionally guaranteed separation of church and state began to come to pass in our now (most of the time) religiously tolerant state and burg.

That’s at the heart of the story that Elizabeth DePiero, Peg Chambers (pictured) and their fellow parishioners at Trinity Episcopal Church want to tell on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone for their beautiful Ithiel Town-designed church at Temple and Chapel streets.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History

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Posted May 3, 2014 at 12:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On Saturday, former Glen Ellyn, Ill., priest [Matthew Gunter] was consecrated and ordained as the eighth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac, which is based in Appleton. The diocese has more than 5,700 members at 38 locations across the northeastern third of the state.

Those churches are a smorgasbord. Some are big, some small; they’re urban and rural. They’re not all economically vibrant, and perspectives vary both theologically and socially.

“But what I haven’t seen and haven’t heard is any evidence of deep divisiveness,” Gunter said. “There’s definitely disagreements about various things, but folks seem to be willing to engage one another with gentleness and reverence. I want to build on that, too, and figure out how to have conversations that might need to be had in ways that can bring us all together and move us forward together.”

Read it all from the Post-Crescent in Wisconsin.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC Parishes* TheologyPastoral Theology

2 Comments
Posted April 30, 2014 at 3:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It's something you don't think of together very often: beer and Bibles. A Shreveport group says the combination is breaking down traditional church walls, allowing their faith to become bar talk, with no judgments. After all, the Bible says Jesus turned water into wine.

"If we have a beer with someone, and you're just going to be talking, the conversation happens to be about Jesus and God and how it applies to our lives in a very comfortable, casual setting," explains Brooks Boylan with Shreveport's St. Mark's Cathedral.

Boylan says Ale and the Almighty is a new type of bible study in Shreveport, where the group pops open bottles of wine and beer before sitting down to discuss what theology is on tap. "I thought it was really appealing because it's kind of not the stuffy church thing people think of sometimes," says David Roberts, who has shown up to join in the conversation.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchAlcohol/DrinkingReligion & CultureYoung Adults* TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted April 30, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Brunswick Episcopal priest is exploring a new way to reach busy people at the start of the Lenten season.

On Ash Wednesday, the Rev. Lisa O’Rear-Lassen conducted an “Ashes to go” drive-through in front of St. Patrick Episcopal Church on Center Road.

The drive-through was open to anyone of any religion.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Theology

2 Comments
Posted March 6, 2014 at 5:59 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Episcopalians are obliged to violate earthly laws in order to advance the higher law established by God, the dean of Washington National Cathedral said on February 24. During a panel on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” the Very Rev. Gary R. Hall cited the actions of Episcopalians in the 1960s to desegregate the racially divided church.

Hall said every faith community has to decide whether it is prepared to engage in “disturbing the peace.” Otherwise, he asked, “Are we protectors of the status quo?”

“The church sometimes has to break the law,” he said, “in the service of a higher law.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesRace/Race RelationsReligion & Culture* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted March 1, 2014 at 9:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Jervis] Zimmerman paints a compelling portrait of a hard-working but combative parish priest, quick to take offense, and often at the storm center of controversy. Prescott was subjected to four successive heresy trials in Massachusetts between 1850 and 1852. Again, he was put on trial in Pennsylvania for his ritual practices at St. Clement’s in 1880. At the same time, his relations with Fr. Benson, superior of the SSJE, deteriorated; Benson secured Prescott’s resignation from St. Clement’s in 1880 and released him from his life vows in 1882. Prescott served a variety of parishes in his 53 years of ordained ministry, but often stayed no more than two or three years in one place. His longest tenure was as rector of the African-American parish of St. Luke in New Haven, where he served seven years until his retirement in 1900.

Always professing his loyalty to the Episcopal Church, in times of controversy Prescott also insisted on his rights according to the canons. At least twice he resigned as rector because of what he saw as vestry violations of his canonical prerogatives. When bishops tried to suppress his ritual practices, he argued that such practices were nowhere forbidden by the church’s formularies and that his duty was to defend his parish’s rights against infringement by low-church bishops, who tended to argue that what was not explicitly authorized was forbidden. In other words, Prescott consistently resisted rule by the personal whim of those in positions of ecclesiastical authority. Tellingly, his fundamental disagreement with Benson arose from the latter’s refusal to provide a written constitution for the SSJE despite earlier promises to do so.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC ParishesTEC Polity & Canons* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish Ministry* Culture-WatchBooks* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

1 Comments
Posted February 19, 2014 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I’m often the first to defend Episcopalians when people joke about what they see as excessive people-pleasing and inclusivity. Though I’m an atheist, I consider myself a “cultural Episcopalian” due to my upbringing. I find their consistent adaptation of doctrine and policies that open the church up rather than close it off not as people-pleasing but as measures to be more loving and Christ-like. But even I have to shake my head sometimes when the church does something so clearly aimed at getting people to like them. Such is the case of the seashell adorning The Episcopal Cathedral Church of St Paul in Boston.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchArt* Theology

6 Comments
Posted February 19, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...have the Anglican wars played a part in the cathedral’s financial problems? While the amount of money generated by those worshiping on site has grown, giving to support the cathedral from the wider Episcopal world has fallen off. Why? The article states fundraising was easier for the cathedral when it sought to finish construction — an 82 year building campaign.

Could the cathedral’s whole-hearted adoption of the progressive religious and political agenda have anything to do with the little old ladies in Alabama cutting back on their gifts? The article does not ask this question.

As written, the article could have described the problems facing any graying urban institution. Swap out the names and you could recycle this as a story about an art museum, library, orchestra, ballet or other worthy cultural institution. Perhaps the real story here is that the Washington National Cathedral is not seen as a religious institution by the Post but as a temple of ethical culture?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* Theology

2 Comments
Posted January 23, 2014 at 3:39 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

What began as a woman’s request that her daughter be baptized has turned into a longtime downtown Springfield institution.

Christ Episcopal Church, at the corner of Kimbrough Avenue and Walnut Street, was founded in 1859 when Marie Burden asked the Rev. Montgomery Schuyler, rector of Christ Church in St. Louis, to help in the baptism of her daughter, Nellie, according to a history book published by Christ Episcopal.

Schuyler sent an assistant, the Rev. T.I. Holcombe, to Springfield. He baptized Nellie, and that was the beginning of the church.

Christ Episcopal celebrates its 154th Christmas this year with services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish Ministry

2 Comments
Posted January 14, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When Stephanie and Robin came to see Episcopal priest Ali Lufkin, they were not thinking about arranging a commitment ceremony. They simply wanted Lufkin to help them work through the difficulties that their very different backgrounds and histories brought to their relationship.

Stephanie had been married to a man and raised three children. Robin had struggled for years with living out her sexual orientation while belonging to a religious community that disapproved of it. “We wanted to draw wise people around us,” Stephanie said, “who might help us to see what we might not be able to see.”

Eventually, however, the two decided they wanted a covenant ceremony, and this led to a new set of questions: What would the ceremony look like? What would their vows say? How did they each interpret the meaning of a covenantal relationship? How would friends and family respond to their relationship and this public witness to it? There wasn’t a script already written for them.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyPsychologyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture


Posted January 8, 2014 at 5:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At Christmas, thoughts at many churches turn to a certain star.

At Grace Church in Brooklyn Heights, thoughts are of a thousand stars or more.

That’s how many long-hidden stars have been uncovered in the ceiling of the building, a 165-year-old Episcopal church at Hicks Street and Grace Court, under a $5 million renovation that includes a new copper roof, new insulation, new lighting, new wiring and a much-needed cleaning of many of the 3,200 organ pipes.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchArt* TheologyEschatology

3 Comments
Posted December 29, 2013 at 12:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)General Convention TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry

4 Comments
Posted December 11, 2013 at 4:25 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Facing a $26 million earthquake repair bill and years of persistent deficits, the iconic Washington National Cathedral will start charging visitors in 2014, an abrupt change that cathedral officials had long resisted.

Adults will be charged $10, and seniors, students, children, veterans and members of the military will be charged $6, according to cathedral officials. Regular worship services and Sundays will remain free of charge; the ticket plan is scheduled for a six-month trial run starting in January.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

14 Comments
Posted November 26, 2013 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

During worship, the Rev. Robert Two Bulls covers the altar with a star quilt. Instead of burning incense, he opts for sweet grass.

Two Bulls is a fourth generation Episcopalian. He’s been a priest for 13 years. Yet he’s frequently asked if he truly wants to be a Christian.

His answer is always the same.

“I’m a follower of Jesus Christ,” he told Minnesota Public Radio. “That’s kinda what it boils down to, you know.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Theology

1 Comments
Posted November 23, 2013 at 9:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, will be at Trinity Episcopal Church, 200 High St., Hampton, on Saturday, Nov. 16 to sign the recently adopted Shared Ministry Covenant between that church and Christ Episcopal Church in Portsmouth.

Holy Eucharist with the signing of the covenant will be held at Trinity Church at 5 p.m.; a celebration dinner will follow in the church's Hobbs Hall at 7 p.m.

All are welcome as the two churches celebrate the culmination of many months' work — and many years' anticipation.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry

0 Comments
Posted November 16, 2013 at 10:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rev. Michael Last, retired bishop of the Western Iowa Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, has been called as the interim rector of St. John's Episcopal Church.

Last, 67, began his new position on Nov. 1.

The previous rector, the Rev. Wendy Abrahamson, left at the end of April to become rector at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Grinnell.

Read it all and the parish website is here.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesLutheran

1 Comments
Posted November 9, 2013 at 1:21 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Andrew is married to Lauren Saddler Pearson, and they have three daughters, Lily, Mary Cabell, and Ware.

Dean Limehouse will continue to serve as Dean until mid-January, 2014.

Read it all (and enjoy the picture and the linked letter to the parish).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained

1 Comments
Posted November 7, 2013 at 5:55 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Andrew] Pearson has been on the clergy staff since Nov. 6, 2011, serving as canon for parish life and evangelism at Cathedral Church of the Advent. He was elected dean in a special meeting on Nov. 5, 2013.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained

0 Comments
Posted November 7, 2013 at 5:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“It’s something that had to happen,” said senior warden Calvin Hefner. “The finances were a small portion of our problems. We simply were not able to move forward as a vestry.”

The Rev. Canon Michael Hunn, who represents Bishop Michael Curry and also is in charge of church transitions, says the diocese had worked with the congregation, including a series of meetings held over the last year.

“We were aware because of recent history that the finances were in dire shape,” Hunn said. However, he acknowledged problems within the church went further than the ledgers: “It’s been a struggling situation for some time.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC DataTEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture

1 Comments
Posted November 7, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As posted on the TREC website: “The members of the Taskforce want to hear the memories, hopes and dreams that people have for The Church. We are trying to reach as many people as we can over the next few months. We will use what we hear to help us shape recommendations for The Church’s structure, administration and governance.”

TREC member the Rev. Joseph M.C. Chambers pointed out, “The Engagement Kit on the web offers an opportunity for people to participate as individuals, even though it was designed for in-person gatherings. “

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC DataTEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetPsychologyReligion & CultureScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Theology

2 Comments
Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Vicar Battle is a theologian, priest, well-known author, speaker and retreat leader. His ministry focuses on Christian non-violence, human spirituality and African Church studies.

Author of nine books, he has served as vice chairman of the Mahatma Gandhi Institute, assistant professor of Moral and Ascetical Theology at the University of the South, assistant professor of Spirituality and Black Church Studies at Duke University, rector of St. Ambrose Episcopal in Raleigh, academic dean at Virginia Theological Seminary, rector of Church of Our Saviour in San Gabriel, Calif., and Canon Theologian for the Diocese of Los Angeles.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained

0 Comments
Posted October 1, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It’s a grand opening three months in the making. The city’s oldest church welcomed parishioners back inside this weekend.

Gigi Barnett reports the Old St. Paul’s Church has a brand new look.

Trumpets marked the occasion at Old St. Paul’s Church in the heart of Baltimore. After three months of renovations, the city’s first and oldest church reopened this weekend.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted September 30, 2013 at 3:19 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Time flies whether you are having fun or not.

A row of clock-shaped tombstones in Milford Community Cemetery brings the point home, a different hour represented on each one. Southern Delaware cemeteries have an equal mix of history and mystery. Small and large, they are worth visiting.

The peaceful churchyard at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Lewes is the final resting place of some of Delaware’s earliest residents, among them Maulls, Virdens, Cullens and Paynters. Thanks to the Lewes Historical Society, the rich history of Delaware cemeteries is well documented and takes little effort to experience and enjoy.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted September 25, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“I was really attracted to this place. I felt like I was being called to come to Block Island,” said [Eileen] Lindeman, who moved here from near San Francisco in late August and now works part-time as vicar, also known as the priest, of St. Ann’s.

Lindeman’s duties involve leading the Sunday worship services, which begin at 9 a.m. each week and last about an hour. At the service, she leads the prayers, “consecrates the elements” (preparing for the holy communion, Lindeman explained) and she also delivers a sermon. She helps lead a monthly Taizé prayer service, which happens the fourth Wednesday of each month. She also performs weddings, funerals and baptisms — the first Saturday of her job she said she performed renewals of marriage vows for two couples.

Aside from these roles, Lindeman said she really wants to be there for her congregation, and for the community as a whole, regardless of a person’s religious denomination. She said that often people call or visit with specific situations or concerns — sometimes they just want to talk, she said — and she wants to have enough flexible time to be there to accommodate each person. According to Lindeman and Parish Administrator Erica Tonner, for a little over a year, St. Ann’s has had an interim priest who has not lived on the island year-round.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchRural/Town Life* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyPastoral Theology

2 Comments
Posted September 18, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The 50 members of All Saints Episcopal Church in Hitchcock, Texas, are looking forward to December, when Mark Marmon will be ordained their priest.

One reason for the excitement? They won’t have to pay him.

A 57-year-old fly fishing guide, Marmon, whose wife is a lawyer, says he doesn’t want or need a church salary. He belongs to a growing breed of mainline Protestant clergy who serve congregations in exchange for little or no compensation.

“We’re the frontline,” Marmon said. “If it weren’t for us, these churches would just roll up and die.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedStewardship* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther Churches

12 Comments
Posted September 18, 2013 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Check out the material in the top links under each category and see what, if anything else, you observe.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC DataTEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry

3 Comments
Posted September 18, 2013 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Saying in a statement that church members reacted with "shock and sadness" to the violence, the church's dean, the Rev. Gary Hall, said, "we mourn for those who have died, and we continue to grieve the persistence of gun violence in our nation." He added that the cathedral "will hold the victims, first responders, and the Navy community in prayer, while also making the cathedral’s space and its ministries available today to all who seek consolation and refuge from this loss."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted September 17, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Rachel Knowles is getting married next month.

It’s the final stretch before the Phoenix resident’s big day. Knowles and her fiancee, Rebecca Reeder, met with the photographer on Friday. The flowers will be peach and cream roses to match their wedding colors. The music will be a mix of ’80s hits....

The wedding will be a first for the Rev. Doug Bland of Community Christian Church in Tempe. He has never officiated a ceremony for a same-sex couple.

“They’ve chosen to call it a wedding even though it’s not in the eyes of the state,” Bland said. “They want to use the language of wedding rather than a union ceremony because ... their relationship is a public commitment to each other.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* Religion News & CommentaryOther Churches* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted September 17, 2013 at 5:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Dr. Khamis Abu-Hasaballah, president of the FVAMC, told The Christian Post that they are "thrilled" by the interfaith partnership and plan to move into the Avon property soon.

"We hope to move in in the coming weeks. Since we're leasing the facility, we're keeping the modifications to the bare minimum needed to accommodate our activities," said Abu-Hasaballah. "The facility has been de-consecrated by the bishop and the altar removed. We are also relocating some pews to free up enough space for Muslim congregational prayers."

Prior to the agreement over the building, FVAMC members had used various the church's facilities for events and prayer, Abu-Hasaballah told CP.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations

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Posted September 10, 2013 at 4:42 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Cleaning crews are working feverishly to remove soot from the sanctuary of Grace Episcopal Church, in Syracuse, after a late-night fire destroyed the kitchen there.

"I'm still at a loss," Rector Johanna Marcure said this afternoon. "But I can still feel God working. There's much to be grateful in the midst of this. The structure of the building is sound."

Marcure is determined to have 9:30 a.m. service Sunday in the sanctuary, despite major smoke damage from the 10 p.m. fire.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry

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Posted September 10, 2013 at 3:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Two Episcopal bishops will hold Sunday services this fall at The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, a new worship community in Summerville.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC Parishes* South Carolina

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Posted September 9, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Another historic Euclid Avenue church is facing demolition, now that a marketing effort by the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio appears to have netted a big buyer: the Cleveland Clinic.

The diocese recently applied for a demolition permit for the Church of the Transfiguration, a shuttered Gothic Revival building that occupies 0.83 acres on the northwest side of the Clinic's main campus. The Cleveland Landmarks Commission, which exerts some control over significant buildings and historic districts in the city, expects to consider the demolition request at its Thursday meeting....

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeHousing/Real Estate Market

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Posted September 7, 2013 at 12:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This year, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Steamboat Springs celebrates its centennial, but as far back as 1889, a group of Episcopalians would meet in Steamboat Springs for services whenever a bishop happened to be in town. The group met in whatever space was available, and as was true of most gatherings among the earliest settlers, the ladies always brought food to share and provided a warm bed for the traveling clergy, who braved the weather to visit their far-flung flocks.

#At the turn of the century, the population of Episcopalians in the western U.S. was so sparse that Utah, Nevada and western Colorado were administered by one bishop, the Right Rev. Abiel Leonard. In 1897, he provided funds to the Steamboat congregation for two building lots at Ninth and Oak streets in hopes of establishing a mission there....

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish Ministry

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Posted August 25, 2013 at 1:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A historic Episcopal chapel in Dunn County could be demolished if no one comes forward to claim it.

Once owned by the Episcopal Diocese, the chapel is on the property of Bundy Hall, a Menomonie mansion that spent three years on the market before being purchased for a retreat center.

The Buddhist organization that bought the hall uses the conference room for meditation, according to real estate agent Pat Sabota of Andale Real Estate.

They have no need for the chapel and can’t afford to maintain it, she said, so the buyers, Sabota and the Episcopal Diocese are seeking someone to move the structure off the property.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History

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Posted August 21, 2013 at 3:46 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bexley Seabury is an innovative federation formed by the Episcopal Church’s two Midwestern seminaries. Ferlo says the pairing “with the Bexley site with the masters of divinity program and the Seabury site with all of these possibilities for leadership training, seems to be a really great combination.”

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

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Posted August 21, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Huston received her Master of Divinity from Seminary of the Southwest in Austin in 2010. She has worked as a hospital chaplain and as Interim Coordinator of Adult Christian Formation at Austin’s Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd.

“We’re thrilled to have Mary Ann at St. Mark’s,” said the Rev. Patrick J. Miller, rector of the parish. “She brings us exceptional capabilities. She’ll work with parishioners in the Welcome Ministry, overseeing welcome events and working with the lay committee to develop an overall strategy of welcome, inclusion, and involvement in the parish. In addition, she’ll oversee adult formation, including Sunday classes and possible mid-week offerings.”

Read it all and the church website is there.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained

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Posted August 21, 2013 at 5:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes

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Posted August 17, 2013 at 12:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

If, as followers claim, Christianity is a story of victory, today’s service at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd offers a pretty resounding amen.

Tucked into the far northwestern corner of Highland County, the tiny church is celebrating its 20th anniversary, marking two decades of determined stewardship and refusal to acknowledge the grim facts of life for mainstream religion today.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry

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Posted August 17, 2013 at 12:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rt. Rev. Lawrence C. Provenzano, Bishop of Long Island, ordained melton, who has served the parish as a Deacon since May 1.

“It is a profound blessing to me to serve at Christ Church. Here, I have discovered a faithful community of people who love and care for each other and their neighbors, and who deeply love God,” said Melton.

Parishioners shared his enthusiasm and hope for the future. “We are all so excited about our new Priest-in-Charge, Fr. Melton, who is full of energy and new ideas. Since coming here in May, we have grown in many ways. We are looking forward to growth and renewal in the coming years under his leadership.” said Co-Churchwarden Marilyn Adamo.

Read it all and the parish website is there.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained

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Posted August 15, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

St. Pierre's Episcopal Church, near Bayou Pierre in Gautier, has a colorful history. Built in 1921, the church was the brain child of the Rev. Theodore DuBose Bratton, who served as the third bishop of Mississippi.

Bratton had a summer home near Oldfields in Gautier.

In 1921, Gautier was a simple railroad community with no church. St. Pierre's became a community project as more and more people jumped on the bandwagon to help get the fledgling church built. Rev. John Chipman, vicar of St. John's in Pascagoula, drew up the plans, and his son carved the date on the cornerstone, Nov. 12, 1921.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes

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Posted August 10, 2013 at 10:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In its passion to pursue a progressive theological paradigm embracing cultural sensitivity (inclusiveness) and intellectual freedom, TEC cast aside fundamental Christian doctrines, professing, among other things:

* Jesus was not born of a virgin, was not God incarnate, and his resurrection is questionable at best;

* Man needs enlightenment, not salvation; we are to reconcile ourselves with one another, not with God;

* Scripture is not authoritative nor the revealed word of God, but rather metaphorical.

Simply put, Anglicans left TEC because of their faithfulness to the fundamental and historical Christian foundation that the Holy Scriptures are the final authority of its faith.

The tragic fallout of this split is multifaceted. A lady I have known and worshipped with for 30 years approached me, saying homosexuals were not welcome at St. Paul's. I was taken aback by her misconception. I reminded her that on every Sunday, the priest who is celebrating Holy Communion invites "all baptized Christians as being welcome here at the Lord's table." Not blessing same sex unions is an unrelated issue.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: San JoaquinTEC Departing ParishesTEC Parishes* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* TheologyChristologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

12 Comments
Posted August 9, 2013 at 6:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

St. Aidan’s used to be looked down upon. Just 10 years ago it was in danger of having its doors shut for good, and now it’s being lauded as an example of what’s possible.

“We proved that we could do it,” Wheeler said. “The bishop kept our doors open, and we are thriving now.”

That focus on volunteering and service has grown from seeds planted by Sifers almost nine years ago. Now, service is the cornerstone of the St. Aidan’s community.

Read it all. For those interested, a graph of some of the statistics for this parish over the last decade may be found there.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry

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Posted August 8, 2013 at 3:11 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Former U.S. Senator Harry Byrd, Jr. was buried on Saturday in Winchester Virginia after a brief funeral at Christ Episcopal Church, with which the Byrd dynasty was long associated. Presiding at the funeral was his former colleague retired U.S. Senator John Danforth, an ordained Episcopal clergyman who also presided at President Reagan’s funeral....

At the funeral at Christ Episcopal, Danforth, who said Byrd invited him to conduct his funeral several years ago, hailed Byrd for his “cheerfulness and civility.” The old Episcopal elite is largely fading from the scene, as that denomination becomes marginal, and its historic ethos, once rooted in Virginia’s socially stratified agrarian Tidewater, is mostly forgotten in the modern world of suburbs and megachurches.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

2 Comments
Posted August 8, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Officials at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Cathedral in Laramie are pleased to announce that they have named the Rev. Canon Stephen Askew of the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Tennessee to serve as their dean. Askew will be joining the cathedral on Oct. 1, and will be seated as the dean on Oct. 11. Askew is replacing the previous dean, the Very Rev. Marilyn Engstrom, who retired on July 31, 2012.

According to Taimi Kuiva, senior warden at St. Matthew’s, the cathedral’s selection of Askew was received with excitement and hope at the church.

“The St. Matthew’s community is very excited to have Father Stephen joining us. Stephen shares our commitment to outreach and ministry beyond our four walls. Like the cathedral, Stephen truly embraces our theology of welcoming all at God’s table, which is not only important to St. Matthew’s but to Laramie as well. We look forward to the years ahead as our community and Stephen grow into the image that God has called us to be,” Kuiva said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained

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Posted August 5, 2013 at 5:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Rising healthcare costs for needed items such as shower chairs and grab bars gave parishioners at Immanuel Episcopal Church in Bay Minette the impetus to begin a new outreach ministry.

Offered as an idea at a church retreat held this past spring, the plan has developed into an active ministry with shower chairs, grab bars and commode chairs delivered and more shower chairs, commode chairs and grab bars purchased and ready for delivery.

“After a lifetime spent working hard, raising a family and contributing to their community, many of these people now face multiple health problems and mounting healthcare costs,” said Ryan Gillikin, Immanuel vestry member and coordinator of this ministry. “While Medicare and insurance cover many of these costs, there are certain things like shower chairs and grab bars that are no longer covered. These items can increase a person’s independence, improve quality of life and decrease fall risk.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchAging / the Elderly* TheologyAnthropologyPastoral Theology

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Posted August 5, 2013 at 4:09 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Few dioceses, only 12% of the full sample, report that any congregation they started within the last five years is now self-supporting, although another 16% expect that they will have at least one new start independent within three years. On the other extreme, nearly a fourth (23%) of the dioceses responding report that they have at least one new start they do not anticipate will be self-supporting within even ten years. Three dioceses describe a congregation established within the last five years that has already been closed. Given this diversity in projections of financial independence, it is further understandable why dioceses are going the renting route in addition to or instead of buying much property.

Read it all. Readers may also be interested to note that according to TEC's own statistics the number of parishes has gone from 7,055 in 2007 to 6,736 in 2011.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth

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Posted August 4, 2013 at 1:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The speakers are Anthony Chiffolo, author and publisher, and Rayner “Rusty” Hesse, a chef and Episcopal priest. They are coauthors of "Cooking with the Bible: Recipes for Biblical Meals" and, most recently, "Cooking with the Movies: Meals on Reels."

“Food connects us to one another,” Chiffolo says. “Since biblical times, the Judeo-Christian lifestyle has centered on meals. Extending hospitality to both friends and strangers was a divine command, and an invitation to dine was sacred.” Hesse adds, “The Judeo-Christian Bible is peppered with stories of meals; these range from simple meals put together quickly in order to feed a few unexpected guests to elaborate feasts carefully prepared to please dozens of partygoers for many days. In the Middle East, eating was not and is not for daily sustenance alone - it is a way of life.”

The book, which was the product of three years of research into what people actually ate in the times recounted in the Bible, provides more than modern adaptations or interpretations of biblical fare; it is as well a discovery of the daily lives of the peoples who inhabited the crossroads of civilization and a lesson about the exchange of foods across vast distances, from Egypt in the west to Persia in the east.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Culture-WatchDieting/Food/Nutrition

4 Comments
Posted August 3, 2013 at 5:18 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Washington police arrested a 58-year-old woman after two chapels in the Washington National Cathedral were defaced with green paint Monday afternoon.

The arrest follows similar vandalism Friday to the Lincoln Memorial and a statue near the Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall. Police are testing paint samples to determine whether the three incidents are connected.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireUrban/City Life and Issues

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Posted July 30, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As a portion of my work involves finding strategies to build up the congregations in our own Diocese, my recent trip to Okatie begs the question, “What can we learn from the Church in the face of Adversity?”

I submit that there are several lessons that we can learn from such churches, and if we can find a way to incorporate those lessons into our own congregations, we stand to grow at an unprecedented rate. Some of the lessons we all know but have not found a way to embody. Some of these lessons are what I like to refer to as “blinding glimpses of the obvious,” and some of these lessons will be new to many of us.

We worship God, not buildings. The people of the Episcopal Church in Okatie came from an historic building in which their families had worshipped for generations. As painful as it was for them to leave that building, they quickly realized in a visceral and personal way that the Church truly is comprised of the people. As comforting and meaningful as their historic home had been to them, they learned that it was in the liturgy (performed anywhere) and in the act of being joined together in the Holy Sacrament, and in the bond of fellowship that is often sealed in crisis that the true Church exists.
The laity is the highest order of the Church. There is no question that strong and competent clergy leadership can effect great change in a congregation.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* South Carolina

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Posted July 26, 2013 at 3:58 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

With financing in place and zoning approval obtained, work is underway to transform a vacant Germantown church into a private school.

Developer Ken Weinstein has purchased the former St. Peter's Episcopal Church, located at the corner of Wayne Avenue and Harvey Street, and is beginning restoration on the site. The two-acre grounds will become the new home to the independent Waldorf School of Philadelphia, currently located in Mt. Airy.

On Friday, Weinstein told NewsWorks that he took acquisition of the site in June at a price tag of $435,000. His organization, Philly Office Retail, will lease the campus to the school for at least 10 years, beginning in 2014.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Economics, PoliticsEconomyHousing/Real Estate Market

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Posted July 15, 2013 at 3:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Jesse Zink’s “Why Provinces Matter” and the responses from William G. Witt and Colin Podmore [TLC, May 26] illustrate the range of opinions on what South Carolina’s ultimate ecclesial structure should be, from standalone province to joining the Anglican Church in North America. One thing in common to all of the initial essays, however, was the recognition that any decision on ultimate structure might still be some time away.

This recognition has also been the starting point of the Anglican Communion Institute in our work on this issue in the last several months. We believe that South Carolina’s current status does not necessarily present a problem in need of immediate resolution, but rather inheres in the nature of this dispute. Taking our cue both from Bishop Mark Lawrence and the Instruments of Communion, we have proposed that the guiding principle of the next season for South Carolina is “provisionality.” During this period ultimate decisions are deferred precisely because they are premature. Bishop Lawrence has stressed this on many occasions. The rupture with the Episcopal Church is too fresh with many unresolved issues; the ensuing litigation is only beginning, not nearing an end. This is not the time to make such a momentous decision as that regarding the ultimate future of this diocese, which predates the formation of the Episcopal Church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South CarolinaTEC ParishesTEC Polity & Canons* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* TheologyEcclesiology

2 Comments
Posted July 2, 2013 at 3:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

St. Francis was packed Sunday, with about 140 people filling every pew and the choir area, with visitors from Bakersfield to Lodi. The crowd fit the theme of the day, from the opening hymn to the sermon: "All Are Welcome."

"What a joy it is to be here in St. Francis Church," Talton said during his sermon. "This is the church, St. Francis, a part of the Diocese of San Joaquin and a church cannot be divided. We affirm that, praise God."

But division did hit the parish in 2007, when the San Joaquin Diocese and 40 of its 47 parishes, including St. Francis, voted to leave the theologically liberal national Episcopal church. It became the first diocese in the nation to do so and renamed itself and its parishes Anglican, remaining with the worldwide Anglican Communion, to which the Episcopal church also belongs.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: San JoaquinTEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues

4 Comments
Posted June 10, 2013 at 7:59 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

His planned departure next May will bring to a close an eventful 12-year chapter in the history of the church, in which he has overseen the installation of a geothermal heating and air-conditioning system, but has clashed with his more conservative congregants at times over his outspoken sermons on political and social justice issues.

Tunkle, a former Jew born in the South Bronx, N.Y., said he and his wife, Judy, are moving to Dresden, Maine, near Augusta. That will bring them back to the state where they lived for the first nine years of their marriage, where Tunkle was baptized, where their three children were raised, where he graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in Business Administration and Accounting, and where the Episcopal Diocese of Maine sponsored him for seminary, starting a three-decade career as a rector, he said.

There, they plan to build a house fully powered by solar energy, on 38 acres of undeveloped woodland, he said, adding that they look forward to "living in a way that is congruent with our values."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Theology

6 Comments
Posted June 10, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship

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Posted June 9, 2013 at 12:28 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Gary Hall’s pressed blue dress shirt and white clerical collar wasn’t the most head-turning look in a crowd that featured a lot of drag queens with towering bouffants, but his presence in Saturday’s gay pride parade through Washington was still a stunner for some.

The Very Rev. Gary Hall, as he is formally known, led the first ever official contingent from Washington National Cathedral in the annual celebration of gay life in the District.

“I won’t be walking bare-chested. I’m kind of a reserved person,” Hall said with a laugh before setting out from the staging area just west of Dupont Circle. “But if my being seen in the parade is a visible sign that God loves and accepts people across the full spectrum of human sexuality, it will have achieved its purpose.”

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilySexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Religion News & CommentarySexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture


Posted June 9, 2013 at 7:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Constructed in 1903, it is a brick and stone building designed in the late Victorian Gothic style, according to a news release from the Alabama Historical Commission.

In 1963, the Episcopal Diocese sold the building and parishioners moved to a suburban location. Various congregations used the building.

Most recently, the building was purchased by a Muscle Shoals couple who removed some of the architectural elements for salvage and later donated the building to the Colbert County Historic Landmarks Foundation.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes

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Posted June 3, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read the whole letter to Christ Church Episcopal, Greenville here. It is interesting that given a choice the rector of the largest parish in the diocese will not allow such blessings in the parish in which he serves.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ParishesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

38 Comments
Posted June 2, 2013 at 10:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Members of a local congregation are finding themselves without a church.

Saint Andrews Episcopal Church in east Charlotte shut its doors this week, catching many people by surprise.

"It's terribly disappointing, terribly disappointing," said Tom Brice, a church member.

Tom Brice says he's shocked and hurt over the news that St. Andrew's Episcopal Church is shutting down.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues

7 Comments
Posted May 31, 2013 at 4:16 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Cyclists gearing up for summer bike rides can take a detour to the Blessing of the Bicycles on June 2, when four local churches will offer a few spiritual and inspirational words for bike enthusiasts.

The Blessing of the Bicycles kicks off Walk and Bike Month and also serves as a bicycle parts drive for Community Cycles, a bike advocacy nonprofit group.

"My road and mountain bikes are my beloved friends, and as an older cyclist riding on busy roads, I can use all the prayers and blessing I can get. I thought there must be other people out there who would feel likewise," said the Rev. Susan Springer, rector at St. John's Episcopal Church, who established the bicycle blessing.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureSports

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Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The organ at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Sandusky is the voice of the church, according to Nicholas Schmelter.

“My experience playing on the instrument … the instrument has a very sweet, unforced, mellow sound that is almost ... unheard of these days,” he said.

Schmelter is the dean of the Saginaw Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and director of music ministries at First Congregational Church in Saginaw. He will be playing St. John’s 1898 Moller tracker organ during a special Evensong service at 3 p.m today....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

0 Comments
Posted May 18, 2013 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Anthony J. Burton, Rector of The Church of the Incarnation, said in a statement that despite the encouraging numbers his congregation's focus "is not about growth, but changed lives."

"Size does not make a church better, but if its clergy and parishioners are sensitive to the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives, God can cause their work in His name to grow a parish that is a resource of great blessing to its community and denomination," said Burton.

Based in the Uptown neighborhood of Dallas, The Incarnation is looking to add three new buildings: another worship facility, a welcome center, and an educational facility.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth

0 Comments
Posted May 14, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Molly Ethridge, a Winnetka resident of 25 years, feels at home sitting on the church steps.

Yes, Christ Church at 470 Maple St. has been a home away from home for the 23 years she’s worked here as parish administrator.

Fittingly, at Easter this year, Ethridge celebrated her retirement among friends, colleagues and loved ones. Her accomplishments include comforting parishioners at very difficult times, often during devastating situations such as the death of a child. She has received several national awards through Episcopal Communicators, a professional organization. Her graphics art skills have assisted in the publishing of two Christ Church books with author and historian Bob Bradner.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Laity

0 Comments
Posted April 30, 2013 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There has never been any doubt that Trinity Church is wealthy. But the extent of its wealth has long been a mystery; guessed at by many, known by few.

Now, however, after a lawsuit filed by a disenchanted parishioner, the church has offered an estimate of the value of its assets: more than $2 billion.

The Episcopal parish, known as Trinity Wall Street, traces its holdings to a gift of 215 acres of prime Manhattan farmland donated in 1705 by Queen Anne of England. Since then, the church has parlayed that gift into a rich portfolio of office buildings, stock investments and, soon, mixed-use residential development.

Read it all from today's New York Times.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsHousing/Real Estate MarketStock Market* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

13 Comments
Posted April 25, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

St. Peter's by-the-Sea's commanding bell tower overlooking Shore Road in Cape Neddick is shrouded behind scaffolding as contractors work to replace rotting timber against a bride's June deadline.

The summer Episcopal chapel will open for its first service of the year Sunday, June 2, and must be ready for its first wedding of the season by Saturday, June 1, according to Norman Storrs, president of the St. Peter's board of trustees.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry

0 Comments
Posted April 17, 2013 at 5:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

After the closure of Christ Episcopal Church in Avon, the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut is beginning the process of deciding what to do with the property.

And that all starts with a community conversation Wednesday night.

“The purpose of tomorrow night’s meeting is not to decide what to do with the church at all," Audrey Scanlan, the state diocese's canon for mission collaboration, said Tuesday morning. "The purpose of tomorrow night’s meeting is to have a conversation about Avon.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry

1 Comments
Posted January 30, 2013 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Allahpundit is obviously right about the ceremonial deism part. And I’ll be the first to admit that this strange American habit is bad for church and state alike.

But it’s absurd to suggest that the National Cathedral is only “nominally Episcopal.” It’s the seat of the Bishop of Washington, who leads a large diocese. It’s the seat of the presiding bishop as well. A whole lot of people worship there each week, at services that would be hard to mistake for blandly nondenominational....

...the construction of the cathedral was a joint effort between the Episcopalians and civil authorities. It’s an institution that has long had both a sectarian function and a secular one.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish Ministry* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* Religion News & CommentaryOther Faiths* Theology

13 Comments
Posted January 17, 2013 at 8:25 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

David Bains, a religion professor at Samford University in Alabama who has researched and written extensively about the cathedral, said the church’s leaders have worked for years to balance serving their congregation in the nation’s capital, where gay marriage has been legal since 2009, and being a beacon for Episcopalians across the country....

In almost three decades as dean of the cathedral, he said, the Rev. Francis B. Sayre Jr. sermonized until his retirement in 1978 on subjects such as racial injustice and the Vietnam War. More recently, the Rev. Gary Hall, current dean of the cathedral, declared that “enough is enough” after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in December, and said it was time for the church to take up the issue of gun control.

“This current action, however, is probably the most potentially divisive act the cathedral’s leadership has taken in its history,” Mr. Bains said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ParishesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilySexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

2 Comments
Posted January 14, 2013 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bishop Michael L. Vono of the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande, which includes El Paso, said the liturgy is an issue of human dignity that breaks barriers for the gay community.

"I'm very positive about it," he said. "We live in an age where there is still a lot of judgment, still a lot of discrimination that happens within Christianity. We exclude people that are not like ourselves.

"So this may be the Jesus thing to do in our age because Jesus forced the issue that no one is rejected by God and that all people are loved. And if you have two responsible people, whether heterosexual or gay, who love in a Christian way -- which is responsibly and exclusively monogamous and help each other and forgive each other -- what more can we ask for?"

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)General Convention --Gen. Con. 2012TEC BishopsTEC ParishesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

6 Comments
Posted January 14, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Borough resident Shirley Gerhardt, 88, remembers her early days at the Christ Episcopal Church on Totowa Road. She started going there as a teenager.

"My father used to say I spent more time there than I spent at home because I used to do yard work in the garden, planted plants and all kinds of stuff, in addition to actually worshiping there," Gerhardt said.

She would go on to represent the church before the Diocese Council, which with the working group that governs the church, and last week recalled some of the outreach efforts that the church conducted in its prime.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture

4 Comments
Posted January 11, 2013 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“Catholic teaching maintains that marriage is a faithful, exclusive and lifelong union between one man and one woman joined in an intimate partnership of life and love—a union instituted by God for the mutual fulfillment of the husband and wife as well as for the procreation and education of children.

“Partnerships of committed same-sex individuals are already legal in California. Our state has also granted domestic partners spousal-type rights and responsibilities which facilitate their relationships with each other and any children they bring to the partnership. Every person involved in the family of domestic partners is a child of God and deserves respect in the eyes of the law and their community. However, those partnerships are not marriage—and can never be marriage—as it has been understood since the founding of the United States. Today’s decision of California’s high court opens the door for policymakers to deconstruct traditional marriage and create another institution under the guise of equal protection.

Read it all (note it is my emphasis) and check out the comments and look at the related postings here,here, here and there. Also, check out this valuable posting and the comments also.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ParishesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted January 10, 2013 at 3:51 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The above is quoted from an email received today in reference to the decision of the Washington National Cathedral--KSH.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ParishesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted January 10, 2013 at 3:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Washington National Cathedral had been ready to embrace same-sex marriage for some time, though it took a series of recent events and a new leader for the prominent, 106-year-old church to announce Wednesday that it would begin hosting such nuptials.

The key development came last July when the Episcopal Church approved a ceremony for same-sex unions at its General Convention in Indianapolis, followed by the legalization of gay marriage in Maryland, which joined the District of Columbia. The national church made a special allowance for marriage ceremonies in states where gay marriage is legal.

Longtime same-sex marriage advocate the Very Rev. Gary Hall took over as the cathedral’s dean in October. Conversations began even before he arrived to clear the way for the ceremonies at the church that so often serves as a symbolic house of prayer for national celebrations and tragedies.

Read it all.

Update: An LA Times article is there also.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ParishesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

6 Comments
Posted January 9, 2013 at 3:21 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

St. Matthias Episcopal Church property, including two buildings and a half-acre lot, has been offered to the town for free.

The church's dwindling congregation voted last May to cease holding services at the church at 15 Spruce St., according to a spokeswoman for the Episcopal Diocese of Maine.

Church officials said they offered the church and another building on the same lot to the town, hoping the property could continue to serve the community. One possibility might be as a food pantry, for which it has been used previously, said Heidi Shott, a diocese spokeswoman.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Culture-WatchRural/Town Life

1 Comments
Posted January 8, 2013 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

You can read the notice here and check some statistics there.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry

3 Comments
Posted January 8, 2013 at 6:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Two long-established Episcopal congregations have become one in an effort to continue their South County ministries and eventually build a new church.

St. George's Episcopal Church of Lee and St. James Episcopal Church of Great Barrington have merged, spiritually and financially, to become Grace Church.

The Rev. Frances A. Hill is the church rector, having been St. James' rector for nearly five years and vicar of St. George's for two years.

On Jan. 20, the newly formed 91-member congregation is scheduled to hold its inaugural meeting to elect lay leaders and conduct other church business.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry

1 Comments
Posted January 7, 2013 at 3:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The announcement comes six months after the General Convention of the Episcopal Church approved a liturgy enabling priests to bless same-sex relationships with the approval of their bishops. The blessings are allowed both in states where same-sex marriages are legal or, as in the case of New Mexico, where they are not.

“It’s not a marriage in any way,” Vono said in an interview Sunday. “It’s not a legal marriage. It’s not a marriage in the church. This is a recognition of a commitment, which is a covenant, of two people who vow to live their lives in a monogamous relationship.”

The Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande includes close to 60 congregations in New Mexico and part of western Texas.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)General Convention --Gen. Con. 2012TEC BishopsTEC ParishesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

7 Comments
Posted January 7, 2013 at 7:39 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The trust and conviction behind these pastoral guidelines reflect the belief that the faithful, loving, and lifelong union of two persons of the same sex is capable of signifying the unconditional and never-failing love of God in Christ. I have come to both trust and believe that such unions can be sources and signs of grace and reconciliation not only for the church and the world, but also for a faithful couple seeking a covenanted spiritual life together in Christ. All baptized persons who confess the faith of Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior appropriately need to be surrounded by the prayers, witness, love, and fellowship of the Christian community. The body of Christ is one in witness to the Church’s baptismal promises. Diversity of perspectives and contrary mindedness on any particular contemporary or historic church issue does not divide us, but rather reveals the unique Christian charisma of our oneness in Christ within our diversity. As St. Paul teaches, the body can only function as wholeness within its unique differences.

For more than a century an historic shift and change, not unlike others in Church History in discerning Scripture, Tradition, and Reason, intentionally has been under way. Holy Scripture and human sciences have been in serious dialogue in addressing the mystery of human nature, human relationships, and the moral and ethical dignity of Christian intimate behaviors. The blessing of same-sex unions represents a shift from centuries of what the church and various societies in their cultural contexts have judged to be unacceptable. Yet, as we are all well aware, there have been several other highly historic controversial shifts in our church and world culture. In hindsight, these shifts have come to be seen as faithful responses to a deepening understanding and revelation of what it means to be human. These shifts revealed how God in Christ is reflected in loving human relationships and in community.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ParishesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

3 Comments
Posted January 7, 2013 at 7:22 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

While the Anniston church is a local architectural and historical treasure and it has some endowment money for help with the upkeep and preservation, the church’s spiritual presence faces a more challenging future.

Not only are mainline denominations like the Episcopal church facing declining attendance numbers, but the Anniston church is located in a secluded and not as fashionable location away from suburban growth or a main downtown street.

Dr. [Hugh] Jones said the church averages about 80 in attendance on an average Sunday, although it had a good crowd on Christmas Eve. Besides catering to its regular worshipers, the church also has some outreach ministries that involve even better its immediate neighbors who may be struggling financially or in other ways.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish Ministry* Culture-WatchArchitecture

2 Comments
Posted January 3, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The parishioners at St. George's Spesutia Church were not celebrating Christmas on Sunday morning, the Rev. Bill Smith told them amid poinsettias and holiday decorations, but rather The Incarnation.

"We tell it over and over and over again for one reason: so we can become part of the story," he said about the tale of Christmas.

But for those gathered at the Perryman church, the oldest Episcopal parish in Maryland, Sunday's service was the end of one part of their story.

The Eucharist service is expected to be the last one to be held at St. George's, after The Right Rev. Eugene Sutton, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, ordered an end to the parish's services earlier this year.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry

0 Comments
Posted January 2, 2013 at 3:21 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Is the primary problem TEC faces today a “structural problem?” While we clearly have structural issues, I do not think we have yet come up with the right diagnosis. I would point to two issues that are symptomatic of our situation.

First, we have been involved in serious conflict for the past decade that has held the attention of our leadership, led to an acceleration of our decline and costs us millions of dollars in litigation. Like it or not, this conflict is related directly to our theological and missional identity, namely who are we and what we are called to do. I would caution that just because one side in the conflict seems to have won, this does not mean that we have determined an identity and way forward, especially a way that is significant to our wider cultural context. If the Episcopal Church is to have a future other than shrinking numbers, budgets, and congregations, we must be able to reach people in our society and draw them into this part of the body of Christ.

Second, there continues to be a major disconnect between our corporate structures and the local congregation. We continue to hear from denominational leaders that recent decisions have made us more viable to new generations and new ethnic groups which is making us a more inclusive and multi-cultural church. However, the numbers of declining congregations and the reality in the field is that local congregations are not, nor are most becoming, the kind of church that General Convention and the Executive Council say we are. Of course, we have some congregations that reflect this, but they are far from the norm of our local congregational life. I have spent much time over the last ten years visiting Episcopal Churches and making presentations on congregational development. I observe that many of our congregations are struggling with basic survival issues.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC DataTEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeMissions* TheologyEcclesiologyPastoral TheologySoteriology

3 Comments
Posted January 2, 2013 at 5:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

What do you find most discouraging in trying to follow those models and goals?
I get discouraged when I see people who think that the way of the future in the Church is to abandon the past. I find it enormously discouraging to encounter the idea that progress somehow means perpetual revolution. I think that our programs here have shown me that people are yearning — deeply yearning — to touch something authentic. They don’t want one more place that “markets” to them.

And what makes you hopeful?
What makes me hopeful is the number of young people bringing so much energy into the church. When you come to Compline at Christ Church and see 150 young adults sitting there praying, engaged in adoration, you can’t help but be hopeful about the future of the Church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained

0 Comments
Posted December 22, 2012 at 10:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Focusing Wednesday afternoon's service on the victims is a way for some to get through the tragedy, [the Rev. Stephen] McKee said.

"Lighting a candle, there's something tactile about that," he said. "After we leave, those candles will go on. Religion is supposed to bring people together."

He noted that one thing the service at Trinity - or any service or vigil - can't do is explain why it happened.

A important thing to remember is that death and violence didn't just happen on Friday in a small town in Connecticut. Acts of violence occur often, and he noted everyone should work together to prevent them.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchChildrenEducationViolence* TheologyTheodicy

0 Comments
Posted December 21, 2012 at 6:08 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The insurance company that represents Trinity Episcopal Cathedral will pay $75,000 to the wife of former Dean Philip C. Linder, to settle a civil lawsuit related to his ouster from the cathedral’s top post in July 2010.

Ellen Linder filed suit in Richland County in October 2011 against the cathedral and Bishop W. Andrew Waldo of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina, claiming the church and bishop had inflicted emotional distress and defamed her during the Linders’ painful and public departure from the church.

The cathedral and the bishop had maintained there was no merit to the case.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & Family

0 Comments
Posted December 17, 2012 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Saint Philip’s Episcopal Church is ready to begin the final stages of its move to Chapel Hill from its original historic location in Germanton, North Carolina and will now be named the Episcopal Church of the Advocate.

The vicar of the Episcopal Church of the Advocate Lisa Fischbeck speaks about the churches arrival.

“The church left Germanton on Thursday the 29th of November and it arrived in Chapel Hill on Saturday December the eighth,” Fischbeck says. “That was a big day for us.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry

0 Comments
Posted December 13, 2012 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This is a difficult time for the wider church, not just St. George's. The diocese is looking at all of our ministries and what our response might be to the world in which we now find ourselves witnessing. One thing is certain, the way we have done church the past 200 years is not working now.

Given your family history at Spesutia Parish, I can only imagine how this must feel. Just as your ancestors were the leaders who made decisions in their time, this is our time. We are the leaders who have been entrusted with the stewardship of the church. As the chief steward of the diocese, the bishop takes very seriously his charge.

That episcopal stewardship extends to all property in the diocese. Each parish holds its property in trust for the diocese and each diocese, in turn, holds all church property in trust for The Episcopal Church. That is a matter of canon law.

Read both letters carefully.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship

4 Comments
Posted December 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Christ Episcopal Church in Avon has announced it will be closing its doors for good at the end of this month.

According to Marge Griffin, senior warden at Christ Church, 35 members in good standing of the church voted at a special meeting on Nov. 18 to dissolve the parish. Years of declining membership, financial issues and changing demographics were given as the reasons for the closure.

David Paye, Christ Church assistant treasurer, said that in the beginning of 2012, membership totaled 110 people. That number has dropped throughout the year to below 100 people, he said. Griffin said 64 members left in 2010-2011 – many of them with children in search of a church with more young families. At one point in the church’s history, said Karin Hamilton, director of communications for the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, membership was as high as 223 families.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture

2 Comments
Posted December 12, 2012 at 3:50 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The decision to allow same-sex blessings did not surprise St. James Episcopal Reverend John Mark Wiggers.

"Our church was moving in this direction for a while and so I expected this to happen, that we would approve a rite of same-sex blessing," he said.

He said the church's evolution has also impacted whether some of it members stay loyal to its teachings.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ParishesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

3 Comments
Posted December 11, 2012 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A committee has been formed to create recommendations for how Oklahoma Episcopalians will respond to a same-sex liturgical blessing approved by the Episcopal Church USA earlier this year.

The Rt. Rev. Edward Konieczny, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma, said he created the committee of clergy and lay people to ensure that Episcopal parishioners across the state have a say in how the same-sex rites are administered in the diocese. The committee is set to meet for the first time in a retreat Friday through Dec. 15....

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)General Convention --Gen. Con. 2012TEC BishopsTEC ParishesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

2 Comments
Posted December 11, 2012 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Louis C. Tiffany is perhaps best known for his intricate glass lamps, but a new exhibit at the Museum of Biblical Art reveals a spiritual side to the master designer and craftsman whose studio single-handedly shaped the image of American churches.

"Louis C. Tiffany and the Art of Devotion," which runs through Jan. 20, 2013, centers on the religious memorials and decorations that Tiffany and his firm created for American congregations for about a half century, beginning in the 1880s.

"We know Tiffany for his lamps, but what we overlook is that Tiffany was most prolific for his work in houses of worship," said curator Patricia Pongracz, the museum's acting director.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchArtReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted December 6, 2012 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Gay couples who seek spiritual affirmation of their relationships can now sanctify their unions with special blessings at South Florida's Episcopal churches.

Priests in the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida have been given permission to perform a distinct rite, different from the marriage between a man and a woman. Called "The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant," the ceremony, to be introduced this month, was approved by national convention delegates over the summer.

South Florida's Episcopal priests had been performing a locally approved liturgy for the past two years for couples who have been married in other states, Bishop Leo Frade said. Florida law does not recognize same-sex marriages.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)General Convention --Gen. Con. 2012TEC ParishesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

2 Comments
Posted December 3, 2012 at 4:42 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)General Convention --Gen. Con. 2012TEC BishopsTEC ParishesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted December 3, 2012 at 4:09 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Check out all the links noting especially this one.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ParishesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

5 Comments
Posted December 3, 2012 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This morning, if all goes as planned, the new old church of the Episcopal Church of the Advocate will begin its journey from Germanton to Chapel Hill. Built in the early 1890s, the historic St. Philip’s Episcopal Church will take nine days to get here, traveling mostly rural roads.

Blake Moving Company is moving the building, which is scheduled to arrive on Dec. 8. Episcopal Church of the Advocate member Sam Laurent will be there to greet it. He’s a founding member of ECOTA, which, with the arrival of the chapel, will have its first real home.

“We call ourselves a nomadic church a lot of the time,” Laurent said.

Read more: The Herald-Sun - Episcopal Church of the Advocate gets a new old church

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Economics, PoliticsEconomyHousing/Real Estate Market

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Posted December 1, 2012 at 10:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When the Rev. Harold T. Lewis became rector of the mostly white and wealthy Calvary Episcopal Church in Shadyside in 1996, the city was reeling from racial turmoil, and Father Lewis, who is African-American, was expected to be a leader in addressing social injustice.
But circumstances have led him to retire as a renowned advocate for Episcopal canon law.
Five years before the 2008 schism in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, he filed a lawsuit to stop anyone from taking property out of the Episcopal Church.
"If you had asked me when I was ordained ... if I would ever sue my bishop, I would have said you were crazy," said Father Lewis, 65, who retired Sunday.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: PittsburghTEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained

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Posted November 26, 2012 at 11:04 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

According to the U.S.Census Bureau's figures, the state of Missouri has grown in population from 5,595,211 in 2000 to 5,988,927 in 2010. This represents a population growth of approximately 6.6% in this time frame. Please note, however, that there are two Episcopal dioceses in Missouri and that this one encompasses the eastern portion of the state and its see city is Saint Louis. According to the U.S.Census Bureau's figures, Saint Louis as a city went from a population of 348,189 in 2000 to a population of 318,069 in 2010, a decline of about 9.5%.

According to Episcopal Church statistics, the Diocese of Missouri went from Average Sunday Attendance (or ASA) of 5185 in 2000 to 4128 in 2010. This represents a decline of 20.4% during this decade. Doing some historical digging, I noticed that the Average Sunday Attendance (or ASA) in 1994 for Missouri was 5644.

To see a pictorial representation of some of the statistics for the diocese of Missouri you may examine the graph here.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC DataTEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry

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Posted November 19, 2012 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This is crucial. We, as a Church, need to get leaner (though not necessarily meaner). The days of top heavy corporate-style hierarchies are over. We must be focused on mission, not governance. We must be outward focused at every level of the Church, having enough governance for the marshaling of resources, enough committees for organizing ministry, enough hierarchy for holy decision making . . . but no more!

The Church must be — from congregations to General Convention — committed to God’s Mission, not our favorite political agenda. God’s Vision for the world; not business as usual.

God has blessed his Episcopal Church with abundant resources, and through the years the Church has tried to be faithful. The time is now upon us to renew faithfulness and be a leaner, more mission-focused Church.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)General Convention --Gen. Con. 2012TEC BishopsTEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan CouncilsTEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship

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Posted November 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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