Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesChurch of IrelandEpiscopal Church (TEC)Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 2, 2016 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Received by email:
Response to the Meeting of Primates in Canterbury, January 2016
The Anglican Communion Institute - Canada


The Rev’d Canon Dr. Murray Henderson
The Rev’d Canon Dr. Dean Mercer
The Rev’d Dr. Ephraim Radner (Senior Fellow, ACI)
The Rev’d Dr. Catherine Sider-Hamilton


If you drop a penny from your hand to the ground, no one notices. Drop it from the 18th floor, and everyone pays attention. If you shoot an arrow from a distance, and it leaves the bow off only by a fraction, no matter how smooth the shot feels, it will still land far from the target.

On first blush, the statement from the Primates has a minimal and precise character that we come to expect of such statements, but this one above all illustrates the importance of precision and modesty. Upon every reading one sees how hard this unexpected penny might land, with two responsibilities in mind as the Anglican Church of Canada enters its deliberations over a possible change to the marriage canon.

First, the statement marks a renewed commitment to the church as a communion and a family rather than a loose federation, merely “our historical cousin” as one advocate for a federation put it in reference to the Communion. The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada deserves heartfelt thanks for holding the course on this point. His reflection is moving:
“This meeting could have been marked by calls for exclusion of the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church and me. It was not. It could have been marked by walk-outs as some had anticipated. It was not. It could have been marked by ranting and raving. It was not. Instead it was marked by perseverance to remain in dialogue that was frank but respectful. It was marked by a generosity of grace and patience, with one another. It was marked too, by renewed commitments in the consideration of matters of doctrine that could be of a controversial nature, to consult broadly in the seeking of advice and counsel.”

This sense of the value that communion holds for us all, bound as we are by the ties forged in baptism, has protected the Communion from a moment of disintegration, an internal threat of which Canada is keenly aware. Many fear that disintegration already has come to The Episcopal Church in the wake of their divisions and may well be permanent. As the presence and participation of Archbishop Foley Beach made clear (he was invited to vote on the statement, though he abstained), the Anglican Communion in the United States is divided. Already The Episcopal Church no longer speaks alone for Anglicans in that country.

Nothing on this scale has happened yet in Canada, though a wealth of clergy and lay members have left for the Anglican Network In Canada churches. A spirit of cordiality among the Canadian Bishops (and, to be candid, a degree of stealth - it is stealth to declare doctrinal statements non-doctrinal; to bless and appoint as clergy same-sex couples who are civilly married) has kept the Canadian Church from a defining and divisive moment. As well, we are keenly aware of declining resources in the Canadian church as a whole. We can't afford division.

At last count, there are 40 ongoing legal disputes among Anglicans in the United States, with a price tag estimated at between $30 to $60 million. Reconciliation in Canada between ACoC and those churches that have already joined ACNA or ANIC would be hard, but nothing like what will required in the United States if reconciliation is taken up.

Secondly, the Primates aimed for the centre. The church’s tradition on life for the married and single was reaffirmed and therefore, an obligation to reckon with this tradition, for those who dissent. What happens if that obligation is ignored, if "unilateral actions" are taken "on a matter of doctrine without Catholic unity"? Nothing less than the current dysfunction of the church, the reason for which the Archbishop of Canterbury called the meeting.

Has anything been taken from the authority of the provinces? No, but central affirmations about the shared convictions and obligations of the family members remind everyone that this is not the cold competition between Rogers and Bell, but rather the personal and intimate relationship between Fred and Justin and Eliud, a bond which from that level extends to us all.

And from the centre, “consequences” were restated if provinces act independently. In a fashion that is typical of the Anglican church, infused with a spirit of generosity and charity that wins deep and profound loyalty, the statement was issued in terms of consequences, not in terms of discipline or punishment. Those who have raised this challenge have been treated with charityand respect.

There was an ugly alternative hovering over the Primates in that crypt, of party competition, factionalism and fragmentation, the spirit of this age to which we are all subject. This statement, by contrast, was cast in terms of family obligations and the obligations of old and precious ties. If a spirit of prophecy has come to The Episcopal Church, it is only fair for the rest of the Communion to state the truth: that spirit has not spoken to the rest. That spirit, in fact, is contested by the majority. Your arrow has hit and hurt people you are not taking into account.

That is the cost of TEC’s prophetic claims. That is the Scriptural obligation on us all - “let the spirits be tested.”

How will the penny land in Canada?

On the one hand, it’s hard to know what the impact will be or when it will be fully felt. But here are three consequences that immediately come to mind.

First, those who uphold and support the church’s formal teaching, and have done so at no small cost in Canada, have been encouraged and emboldened. They are not alone. However marginalised they may be in their own national church and scorned in their society, they have been encouraged once again to stand firm.

Secondly, the Anglican Church of Canada has before it the option of continuing this debate inside or outside of the boundaries for such a debate in the Communion.

There is a reason for restraint with regard to the marriage canon that all can understand. This question was rushed! The church moved, without reflection or preparation, from blessings to marriage. That is apart from the questionable merits of the Primate’s Commission report itself, “This Holy Estate”, which provided a rationale for the marriage canon to be changed.

In a thorough review, which draws in similar reviews of the formal statements of The Episcopal Church and the Scottish Episcopal Church, Martin Davie, (formerly the Theological Secretary of the Council for Christian Unity of the Church of England and Theological Consultant to the House of Bishops), identifies a clear independent streak. Even apparent allies of a rationale for change - TEC, SEC and the ACoC - are developing rationales on their own. The challenge to the marriage canon is not just the work of dissenters, but of sectarians, too. ("A Church of England perspective on Anglican arguments for same-sex marriage,” by Martin Davie,
www.anglicancommunioninstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Davie_ACI_report-1.pdf)

And should the Anglican Church of Canada proceed independently of the communion, they will have a hand in formalizing the division among Anglicans in Canada. Archbishop Foley Beach and ACNA now speak to Canterbury on behalf of Anglicans in the United States. The impact of this has not yet been measured.

Until now, TEC could claim that they represented American Anglicans to Canterbury. That is now past. And so who does TEC represent? Critics have every reason to say: a declining, self-styled progressive denomination who has taken up the questions around human nature and sexuality along lines that match perfectly current social mores. And standing beside and apart from them is a growing and invigorated body who have faced this same challenge from deep within the tradition of their church and communion and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Canada has, in large part, avoided this division and competition. How the ACoC could proceed with a marriage canon change and maintain their integrity - indeed, their existence - as a single broad church beggars the imagination.

Since Lambeth 1998 and Resolution 1.10 and over these last 18 years, this hard debate has been marked by division, enormous cost, and profound discouragement. But consider the hopeful task set out in the conclusion, this challenge for us all: the “restoration of relationship, the rebuilding of mutual trust, healing the legacy of hurt, recognising the extent of our commonality and exploring our deep differences, ensuring they are held between us in the love and grace ofChrist.”

As we approach General Synod 2016, the Primate’s statement asks us in Canada to be temperate, to be patient and to walk together with our brothers and sisters around the world, to find God's future--the truly prophetic way--in solidarity with the communion and the tradition, and not in the tempting boldness of departure from it.

How hard this penny lands! How deep and good its effects might be.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaEpiscopal Church (TEC)* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted January 26, 2016 at 10:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Despite the increasing tension, Bishop Lee is optimistic about the future of the Anglican Communion. "I think the current controversies might well prove to become a breakthrough moment in global understanding and regard for one another," he says.

Lee cites reports from primates who attended the Jan. 11-15 meeting, including a Facebook post from Archbishop Welby which emphasized unity during the tense discussions.

"Despite those differences," Lee says, "two bishops were regarding each other and realizing they were both followers of Jesus Christ. Above and beyond all the disagreements, each trying to work out the implications of their faith in their own context. I think that's extraordinary."

Bishop Lee says the main barrier to resolving this dispute -- and future disputes -- is the human habit of categorizing people according to gender, sexual orientation, race, etc. "As long as those things remain abstractions, it's very easy to speak about who may or may not be in this place or that place," he says. "When they become living realities, when those labels are transformed into living persons standing in front of me, and with whom I have a relationship, that's very, very different."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 25, 2016 at 3:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Anglican Church in North America has received numerous questions regarding whether or not Archbishop Beach was “a full voting member of the Primates Meeting.” Archbishop Beach did not consider himself a full voting member of the Primates Meeting, but with the exception of voting on the consequences for the Episcopal Church, Archbishop Beach participated fully in those parts of the meeting that he chose to attend.

Prior to Primates 2016 he was informed that there may be certain times when the Primates would move into a formal meeting, and, as the Anglican Church in North America is not an official member of the Communion’s instruments, he would be asked to step out of the room. However, he was never asked to leave the meeting.

While at the meeting, he addressed the gathering and participated in various balloting measures that set the agenda, ordered the agenda, and sought to discern the way those in the room wanted to proceed. He did not vote on the consequences for The Episcopal Church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 25, 2016 at 9:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania, Clifton Daniel, echoed this sentiment, suggesting that perhaps it was the role of the Episcopal Church to forge ahead of its more conservative global relations: “Sometimes in family life, members grow and mature at difference paces. I believe this moment in our life is one such instance.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 23, 2016 at 3:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Courage...is the indispensable requisite of any true ministry.... If you are afraid of men and a slave to their opinion, go and do something else. Go make shoes to fit them. Go even and paint pictures you know are bad but will suit their bad taste. But do not keep on all of your life preaching sermons which shall not say what God sent you to declare, but what they hire you to say. Be courageous. Be independent.
----Phillips Brooks, Lectures on Preaching, the 1877 Yale Lectures (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1969), p. 59


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryPreaching / Homiletics* TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted January 23, 2016 at 1:19 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O everlasting God, who didst reveal truth to thy servant Phillips Brooks, and didst so form and mold his mind and heart that he was able to mediate that truth with grace and power: Grant, we pray, that all whom thou dost call to preach the Gospel may steep themselves in thy word, and conform their lives to thy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer

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Posted January 23, 2016 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Members of St. Paul’s Episcopal and Anglican Cathedral on Fifth Avenue learned this week that the congregation’s former dean has been removed from the Episcopal Church’s clergy as discipline for at least one undisclosed offense.

Parishioners received a letter dated Wednesday from San Diego Bishop James R. Mathes informing them of the disciplinary actions against Scott Richardson, 60, who left the cathedral in 2012 to serve as rector at St. Mary the Virgin in San Francisco. He resigned from his position late last month.

Richardson’s wife, Mary Moreno Richardson, who is also a member of the Episcopal Church’s clergy, remains a priest in good standing, according to the church.

“Obviously, this is a grave matter with serious consequences,” Mathes wrote. “Because of Scott’s significant ministry among us, we are all wounded by this.”

Read it all.

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

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Posted January 22, 2016 at 6:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The positive part of the Primate’s declaration is that they unanimously expressed a desire to continue to walk in partnership, joined in Christ in mission and ministry. In my perspective, however, the Primate’s decision to censure The Episcopal Church compounds the pain of discrimination that LGBTQ people have suffered over the centuries and continue to suffer as a result of Church policy. For that pain I am deeply sorry, and as a Bishop of the Church I apologize to all LGBTQ people, especially those of this Diocese.

Discipleship can be costly and sometimes, although we do not want it to be so, relationships are strained as part of that cost. People who love God can honestly disagree on weighty matters, and it is my desire to respect and remain in relationship with those who disagree with me. It is my belief, however, that as I read Scripture, understand the teaching of Jesus, examine the history of the Church, and apply God’s gift of human reason seeking the Spirit’s direction, that the actions of The Episcopal Church moving toward full inclusion of LGBTQ people are of God. The Spirit is calling us to stand by our carefully and prayerfully made decisions.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops

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Posted January 21, 2016 at 10:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bishop Curry was asked directly whether he would contest these “consequences” at the next meeting of the ACC in April. On Wednesday, he would say only: “The ACC is the only formal constitutional body of the Anglican Communion and it will decide what it will do. Our representatives from the Episcopal Church look forward to being there.”

Earlier this week, a prominent canon lawyer, Professor Norman Doe, state that the Primates’ ruling was not binding.... He described it as “completely unacceptable interference with the autonomy of each of these bodies as they transact their own business”.

The ACC is due to meet in Zambia in April. Two US members, the Bishop of Connecticut, the Rt Revd Ian Douglas, and the Revd Gay Clark Jennings, have confirmed that they will attend. Bishop Douglas is also a member of the ACC’s standing committee, and would therefore have to stand down if the ACC chooses to comply with the Primates’ wishes.

In the past, members of the ACC have criticised the Primates for overstepping their remit. In 2006, after the Primates asked the US Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada to voluntarily withdraw their representatives from the ACC, the organisation’s then chairman, the Rt Revd John Paterson, criticised the move as “at least slightly premature, if not coercive and somewhat punitive”....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican Consultative CouncilAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)

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Posted January 21, 2016 at 9:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The most significant outcome of that first GAFCON meeting was the invitation extended to conservative Anglicans in North America to form an alternative province: the Anglican Church in North America. The rending of the Communion through the disobedience of Communion liberals had occurred, and the final steps envisioned in To Mend the Net--the suspension of communion and the establishment of a new, alternative province--had become a reality.

In retrospect, the tragedy of this history can more clearly be seen: the painful departure of thousands of North American Anglicans from their church homes, countless millions of dollars spent in litigation. All of this might have been avoided if the three Archbishops of Canterbury under whose watches all this has occurred had provided faithful, godly, unequivocal leadership.

But there is an even greater tragedy: "For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? (1 Corinthians 14:8). Of the three great streams of apostolic Christianity--Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Anglicanism--two stand unequivocally for historic Christian faith and morals. Only Anglicanism has equivocated at the highest level.

The churches of formerly mainline Protestantism have embraced the zeitgeist. Too many Anglican leaders have chosen the path of mainline Protestantism rather than biblical, apostolic, and catholic faithfulness. And damage has been done to countless souls through the ambiguous or downright immoral witness of these Anglican leaders and church bodies.

Many count it a sign of God's grace that, in this week's meeting of the primates in Canterbury, the GAFCON and Global South primates have finally taken an effective stand to restore godly order and discipline to the Anglican Communion. This is a first step--a baby step--that, though it goes in the right direction, does not go nearly far enough. Will this first step ultimately lead to the restoration of the Anglican Communion to historic Christian faith and morals? For that to happen a lot of hearts will have to be changed.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby--Rowan WilliamsAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Departing Parishes* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 21, 2016 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Last week in Canterbury, though many people were amazed that there were finally some consequences for the Episcopal Church, others were disappointed that the consequences were not more stringent. Certainly, after all the years of flouting Scripture, there is ample reason to be disgusted. Certainly, as more than a dozen Provinces recognized, there was ample reason to eject TEC from the Communion. Unable to win the day on the resolution for ejection, they moved to other expressions of discipline, focusing narrowly on last summer’s TEC General Convention decision to change the marriage canon and prayer book to embrace same-sex marriage. The focus turned to what was essentially described as a failure to consult and a decision to move outside institutional norms. There should not be, however, concern about institutional norms and practice. The greatest offense is that the Episcopal Church is engaging in activities that lead people away from Christ eternally. In other words, the Episcopal Church, rather than being the Ark of Salvation, is the instrument bringing spiritual destruction to people it is literally leading away from Christ and into Hell. Although they are more strident than some other Provinces, there are others doing the same thing. Soon, the focus of discipline needs to be on them as well. Canada is a great place to start the next round!

This Primates’ “Gathering” in Canterbury was the first one to gather a majority of the Primates in years. The reason is that since the Primates’ Meeting in Dar es Salaam in 2007, a deadline was put to the Episcopal Church to return to Anglican faith and practice or “walk apart.” Sadly, following the meeting, the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, unilaterally decided to overturn the hard-fought decision of the meeting and let the Episcopal Church completely off the hook. There is no way to describe gracefully what ABp Williams did. He simply unilaterally decided to declare that the deadline for conforming that had been given to TEC was “not a deadline.” Even worse, he invited errant TEC bishops to the 2008 Lambeth Bishops’ Conference, completely taking the teeth out of what the Primates had decided. From that point, it has not been possible to gather the majority of Primates because the Dar es Salaam decision had not been honored. Many Primates said that they would not attend until the Dar es Salaam decisions were implemented.

The new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, was able to get Primates to come by insuring them that they would have control of the agenda. That is an assurance that several of the Primates I spoke with believe was honored at this gathering. The Archbishops wanted to discuss TEC, and they got to. Sadly, the resolution to completely eject TEC from the Anglican Communion failed, but almost half the Provinces were willing to give them the boot. Though the ejection resolution failed to pass, it was obvious though that the vast majority of Provinces wanted to see TEC disciplined. After lively discussions, the sanctions that were put in place were overwhelmingly approved. I understand that the numbers were 27 voting for sanctions, 3 against, and 6 abstaining. ABp Foley Beach of the Anglican Church in North America refused a ballot on the TEC vote, saying that although he had been completely included in the meeting and all the other votes that took place while he was present, he did not think it was appropriate to vote on TEC, because the ACNA’s status has not yet been formalized.

Now the question is: Were the sanctions enough? The answer is another question: Enough for what? From a spiritual standpoint, both the Anglican Church of Canada and The Episcopal Church (as well as several others) having pursued unbiblical activity without repentance deserve to be ejected from the Communion—at least until they repent and demonstrate suitable fruits of repentance. Is it enough that they have been denied voice and vote in some areas? I believe that it is extremely significant and sets the stage for more to happen with TEC and other Provinces.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby--Rowan WilliamsAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Primates Mtg Dar es Salaam, Feb 2007Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Episcopal Church (TEC)* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologySoteriologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 20, 2016 at 4:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It is unfortunate that a majority of the Primates of the Anglican Communion have told The Episcopal Church to go “sit in the corner.” Regardless, we are still sisters and brothers in Christ with all people in the Anglican Communion, and more importantly sisters and brothers in Jesus. That will never change. Never.

We hope, pray, and trust that the leadership of the Anglican Communion, as well as the leadership of all of God’s people will now devote their resources, energy, and action to combat the true evils of injustice, poverty, suffering, degradation of creation, violence, and discrimination in our broken world.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops

5 Comments
Posted January 20, 2016 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The pain is palpable at St. Mary's Episcopal Church. The Rev. Ted Berktold doesn't need a tearful 75-year-old woman in his cluttered, book-filled office to tell him that. "This is not personal," she says, "but the Episcopal Church is no longer my church."

"My church is leaving me," another elderly congregant tells someone on the staff....

Other challenges will come first: The Anglican Communion's October 2004 Windsor Report calls on the Episcopal Church USA to halt the blessing of same-sex unions, block the potential consecration of openly gay clergy and express its regret for the pain caused by the Robinson consecration. The report is fueling rumors of an official split between the Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church USA.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Conflicts* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilySexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 20, 2016 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I have read the communiqué from their weeklong meeting, and I believe it is important to hear what they have to say in its entirety. First of all, the Primates have voted to exclude the Episcopal Church from the councils of international Anglicanism for a three-year period, during which time there will be continued conversation. This results from the fact that the Primates do not perceive the introduction of same-sex marriage in TEC as a legitimate development of the faith. At the same time, it is important to bear in mind that the goal of the meeting was to maintain the unity of the communion to the extent possible in light of strong differences.

The Primates have also made a number of other important points: they all share a desire to ‘walk together’, as the Windsor Report put it. They have all decried homophobia and laws that discriminate against gay people. They have joined hands on other matters of concern to our world, such as political corruption and ecological degradation. On these matters we strongly applaud their commitments. At the same time, I think it is fair to say that the status of the ACNA was left aside. They were not recognized at this meeting, and their Archbishop wisely did not vote to discipline our church.

Someone called me today and asked ‘Are we still part of the Anglican Communion?’ Constitutionally, we define this in Dallas as communion with the see of Canterbury, and by this measure the answer is an unequivocal ‘Yes.’ However the decision of this past week is, while not surprising, saddening and disquieting. The wound in our communion is real.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Commentary- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops

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Posted January 20, 2016 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)

2 Comments
Posted January 17, 2016 at 1:04 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops

2 Comments
Posted January 16, 2016 at 1:29 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops

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Posted January 16, 2016 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The old saw about the Communion used to go something like this: "The Africans pray, the Americans pay, and the British make the rules." It now appears that the British alone no longer make the rules, and that the Americans are already not paying as much as they did before. (The Africans, it may safely be said, have never stopped praying.) The latest statement from the Anglican Communion Office shows (see the last page of the link) that ECUSA has paid through 2014 less than half of what was requested (£204,772 of £538,280). Thus the withdrawal of all funds by ECUSA may turn out not to be the decisive step that many Episcopalians conceive it to be.

What is certain is that in three years, the Anglican Communion will not be what it is now, nor anything like what it was in 2003: the Episcopal Church (USA) has already seen to that. If the recent sanctions provoke ECUSA to amend the Preamble to its Constitution, and to cease proclaiming itself as "a constituent member of the Anglican Communion", both the Communion and ECUSA would be the better for it.

ECUSA as a former Anglican province has long since decided to walk apart from its fellow Anglican provinces, in its single-minded elevation of human justice over God's justice as expressed in unequivocal Holy Scriptures. It is time to stop the pretense that it remains willing to be "in communion" with the See of Canterbury -- at least, so long as Canterbury remains faithful to Lambeth 1.10, and especially if ECUSA withdraws its financial support (as, in all honesty, it should once it withdraws its membership). Let it find its new communion partners among those who likewise think the Holy Spirit is doing a "new thing" among them, and let the test of Gamaliel (Acts 5:34-39) decide who, ultimately, is in the right.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Analysis- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 16, 2016 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The practical consequences of the primates’ action will be that, for three years, Episcopalians will not be invited to serve on certain committees, or will be excluded from voting while they are there. However, the primates do not have authority over the Anglican Consultative Council, the worldwide body of bishops, clergy and lay people that facilitates the cooperative work of the churches of the Anglican Communion. I serve as a representative to that body, along with Bishop Ian Douglas of Connecticut, a four-time deputy before his election as bishop, and six-time Deputy Rosalie Simmonds Ballentine of the Virgin Islands, and I am planning to travel to Zambia for our scheduled meeting in April and to participate fully.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted January 15, 2016 at 3:11 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bishop Dorsey McConnell of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh was encouraged that the primates “unequivocally stated their unanimous desire” for unity. “Given recent developments in the Episcopal Church, we can’t reasonably represent the majority opinion of the primates on external bodies or even internally, and that this statement simply acknowledges that reality,” he said.

In 2008, much of the local Episcopal diocese broke away to join the new Anglican Church in North America, whose founding leader was Bishop Robert Duncan.

Bishop Duncan, who completed his term in that leadership role but is continuing to lead the Anglican Church in North America’s Diocese of Pittsburgh until his retirement later this year, called the primates’ decision “stunning.”

“All the price we paid here for standing as we stood, there’s some measure of this decision saying the world stood with us,” he said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)

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Posted January 15, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“Many of us have committed ourselves and our church to being ‘a house of prayer for all people,’ as the Bible says, when all are truly welcome,” [Presiding Bishop Michael] Curry said in remarks he later made available to Episcopal News Service.

“Our commitment to be an inclusive church is not based on a social theory or capitulation to the ways of the culture, but on our belief that the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross are a sign of the very love of God reaching out to us all. While I understand that many disagree with us, our decision regarding marriage is based on the belief that the words of the Apostle Paul to the Galatians are true for the church today: All who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female, for all are one in Christ.

“For so many who are committed to following Jesus in the way of love and being a church that lives that love, this decision will bring real pain,” he said. “For fellow disciples of Jesus in our church who are gay or lesbian, this will bring more pain. For many who have felt and been rejected by the church because of who they are, for many who have felt and been rejected by families and communities, our church opening itself in love was a sign of hope. And this will add pain on top of pain.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)

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Posted January 15, 2016 at 5:36 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“This is not how Anglicans should behave,” said Christina Rees, a member of the General Synod, the governing body of the Church of England. “It’s awful. It’s a terrible outcome to the meeting of the primates in Canterbury. What action will now be taken against all those churches in the Anglican Communion who treat gay men and women as criminals? Will they be suspended for three years, too?”

Jim Naughton, former canon for the Archdiocese of Washington and now a communications consultant specializing in the Episcopal Church, called the sanctions a “weird” attempt by the primates to take power away from elected bodies and claim it for themselves.

But Naughton expects no impact in the life of the Episcopal Church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 14, 2016 at 3:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The primates of the Anglican Communion have suspended the Episcopal Church from full participation in the life and work of the Anglican Communion. On 14 January 2016 a motion was presented to the gathering of archbishops and moderators gathered in the crypt of Canterbury Cathedral that called for the Episcopal Church to be suspended for a period of three years.

A copy of the resolution seen by Anglican Ink calls for the Episcopal Church to lose its “vote” in meetings of pan-Anglican institutions and assemblies, but preserves its “voice”, demoting the church to observer status..

The motion asks that representatives of the Episcopal Church not be permitted to represent the Communion in interfaith and ecumenical bodies or dialogue commissions, nor serve on the Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council, nor vote at meetings of the Anglican Consultative Council -- whose next meeting is this summer in Lusaka. Unlike the recommendations of the Windsor Report, which called for the “voluntary withdrawal” of the Episcopal Church from the life of the Communion, today’s vote directs the archbishop to discipline the American church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPartial Primates Meeting in Dublin 2011Episcopal Church (TEC)

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Posted January 14, 2016 at 10:10 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury — the figurehead of 85 million-member communion of churches with roots in the Church of England and its blend of Protestant theology and Catholic liturgical traditions — called the meeting and made a major concession to the so-called Global South primates.

Not only did he invite Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, he also invited Archbishop Foley Beach, head of the Anglican Church in North America, whose break with the Episcopal Church was especially significant in the Pittsburgh area. Normally a meeting of primates would only include the top official in each of the communion’s 38 national churches.

In the confusingly overlapping names involved, the Anglican Communion recognizes the Episcopal Church as its U.S. church, rather than the Anglican Church in North America. But the latter has received recognition from Global South Anglicans, made up of primarily non-Western nations.

The primates can’t tell a national church such as the Episcopal Church what to do. But the meeting could see the communion split or redefined as a looser federation.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 9, 2016 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Primates Meeting in 2007 in Dar es Salaam laid out a plan to bring discipline and restore order, and was unanimously supported by all 38 Primates of the Anglican Communion. Sadly, the Archbishop of Canterbury later unilaterally overruled it and did not implement it. This further breach of trust deepened the tear in the fabric of the Anglican Communion.

As GAFCON Primates, we have since met with the current Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, and explained our position – we are not in communion with the Episcopal Church USA or the Anglican Church of Canada (for similar reasons). We, therefore, cannot participate in meetings to which they are invited because that would mean there were no problems in the Anglican Communion. The Anglican Communion has, in fact, experienced a serious rupture and the wound is still deep.

Godly order has not yet been restored in the Anglican Communion and, therefore, as Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, I am constrained by the resolutions of our Provincial Assembly to not participate in a Primates Meeting.

At the same time, the Archbishop of Canterbury contacted me personally, along with every Primate of the Anglican Communion, and invited us to come together for a “gathering” to consider if there was a way forward for the Anglican Communion.

Together with the other GAFCON Primates, we have agreed to be part of a “gathering” of Primates in Canterbury to discuss the future of the Anglican Communion, keeping in mind Paul’s exhortation in Ephesians 4:3, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

As GAFCON, we have a clear vision of the future of global Anglicanism and have been moving forward with that vision since Jerusalem in 2008. The Archbishop of Canterbury understands that the first topic of conversation in the “gathering” of Primates is the restoration of godly order in the Anglican Communion. This is the unfinished business from the non-implemented, but unanimously agreed, Communique from the 2007 Primates Meeting in Dar es Salaam.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby--Rowan WilliamsAnglican PrimatesPartial Primates Meeting in Dublin 2011Anglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaChurch of UgandaEpiscopal Church (TEC)Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 8, 2016 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Via email:
Bishop Donald James Parsons, Thirteenth Dean and President and Professor of New Testament at Nashotah House Theological Seminary, died on January 4, 2016. He was born on March 28, 1922 in Philadelphia, PA. He attended Temple University before matriculating at Philadelphia Divinity School, where he earned a ThB, a ThM, and a ThD in New Testament. He was ordained as a deacon in 1946 in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, and ordained as a priest later that same year in the Episcopal Diocese of Delaware. He served as Tutor of Greek and New Testament at Philadelphia Divinity School while also serving as Curate at Church of the Holy Trinity at Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, PA. He subsequently served as Assistant Rector of Immanuel Episcopal Church in Wilmington, DE, and as Rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Smyrna, DE. In 1950 he moved to Wisconsin to begin serving at Nashotah House, where he was Professor New Testament and Ascetical Theology; his tenure as the Thirteenth Dean and President of Nashotah House ran from 1963 to 1973. He was elected as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy and was consecrated on September 8, 1973; he served as Bishop until his retirement in 1987, and thereafter continued to provide episcopal oversight for a number of congregations. He was the author of The Holy Eucharist Rite Two: a Devotional Commentary (1976) and A Lifetime Road to God (1977). In 1955 he married Mary Russell, who predeceased him; he is survived by his three children, Mary, Rebecca, and Brad.

A Requiem Mass for Bishop Parsons will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (343 Buena Vista Ave., Pekin, IL) on Saturday, January 9, 2016. Visitation will be from 1:00 PM until 3:00 PM and Holy Eucharist will be celebrated at 3:00 PM.

Nashotah House will celebrate the life and ministry of Bishop Parsons with a Requiem Mass in the Chapel of St. Mary the Virgin at 1:00 PM. on Thursday, January 14, 2016, followed by a Committal service at the Nashotah House cemetery. The Right Reverend Daniel H. Martins, Eleventh Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Springfield and Chair of the Board of Directors of Nashotah House, will preside; The Very Reverend Steven A. Peay, Twentieth Dean and President of Nashotah House, will celebrate; The Right Reverend Keith L. Ackerman, Bishop Vicar of the Diocese of Quincy of the Anglican Church in North America and Member of the Board of Directors of Nashotah House, will serve as preacher. A reception will immediiately follow in Breck Refectory, located in DeKoven Commons.



Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

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Posted January 7, 2016 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Psalm 5:11-12 (NLT)

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them sing joyful praises forever.
Spread your protection over them,
that all who love your name may be filled with joy.
For you bless the godly, O Lord;
you surround them with your shield of love.


Our Father in heaven,

Spread Your protection over the congregations and property of the Diocese of South Carolina. Fill them with joy and bless them. We declare, They are surrounded by Your shield of love. Amen.

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for South Carolina here

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

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Posted January 5, 2016 at 10:33 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From Bishop Keith Ackerman:
It is with profound sorrow and deep regret that I inform you of the death of the Right Reverend Donald James Parsons, 6th Bishop of Quincy, former Dean of Nashotah House, and Mentor to generations of priests. He died at approximately 9:30 P.M this evening, More information will be available tomorrow. May he rest in peace and rise in glory. Please pray for the repose of his soul and for his children, Mary, Rebecca and Brad.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

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Posted January 5, 2016 at 12:04 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On the day before Christmas Eve, Reverend Jonathan Erdman had a heavy heart. In a somber letter to his parish, he announced his decision to resign as rector, effective January 10, 2016. Invoking Martin Luther, he explained the issue of conscience which made this decision inevitable. “After prayer and study of scripture, I am not able to approve same-sex marriage as rector of Calvary.” Jonathan would not perform a gay blessing, nor as shepherd of the flock at Calvary, could he allow one to be performed in his parish. In an act of pastoral concern for the few LGBT members of his parish this may affect, he arranged for same-sex members of Calvary to be married by other clergy at the Episcopal cathedral nearby. Predictably that was not enough.

As soon as General Convention allowed for same-sex blessings in the Episcopal Church, certain members of Calvary Church were eager to begin. I’m sure the self-righteous indignation was palpable as Fr. Jonathan informed this vestry--a different vestry from the one in place when he arrived to which his views on same-sex marriage were specifically addressed--that same-sex blessings would not take place at Calvary Church. Fr. Jonathan apparently did not give priority in his ministry to arguing from the pulpit for or against the secular social agenda strangling the ECUSA. An orthodox high churchman, graduate of Yale Divinity School, and former curate at St. Thomas 5th Avenue under the now-retired Reverend Andrew Mead, Fr. Jonathan Erdman loved and ministered to parishioners from all walks of life and of all sexual orientations. There are some that too quickly confuse the difference between withholding judgment of an individual’s sins and celebrating them (or allowing them to be celebrated under your authority) as a sacrament of the Church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted December 30, 2015 at 4:38 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

What was stirring were not creatures.

It was worse. Much worse. The soft patting sounds that the Rev. Stephen Harding and I heard inside St. Peter’s Church Chelsea — the “Christmas Church” that owes its existence to Clement Clarke Moore — came from rainwater. It percolated through the tin-and-timber roof and the lath-and-plaster Gothic ceiling vaults, dripping down to the balcony floor.

St. Peter’s needs a lot of help, about $15 million worth, Father Harding estimates.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchHistoryPoetry & LiteratureReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues

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Posted December 24, 2015 at 5:42 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Today, at a meeting of the Vestry, I tendered my resignation as Priest in Charge of Church of the Ascension, effective immediately. In the following comments, I have attempted to balance speaking the truth in love and telling it "like it is," along with respecting multiple sides of a disagreement and my own sympathies.

It was revealed to me this week that our Special Parish Meeting was orchestrated by members of the "Save Ascension" group, a faction that has existed within the parish since earlier this year. Their goals have changed over the course of this year, but have generally centered around the rehiring of former staff members, defaming previous and prospective clerics, and the restoration of what they call "catholic" liturgical practices. Although the Special Parish meeting did bear some fruit, and gave many a chance to be heard, the facts are that the meeting was approached by a majority present with an agenda to usurp my role as Priest in Charge of the parish, and therefore chair of the meeting.
Read it all (this part is appended at the bottom) and note the parish website is there.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Parishes* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

2 Comments
Posted December 23, 2015 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From the Lower East Side, St. Lydia’s went to a borrowed space at the Brooklyn Zen Center. Two years ago, the church took over a small storefront space, using about $140,000 to renovate the room into a daytime co-working space complete with an open kitchen and windows overlooking the street. Much of St. Lydia’s funding comes from her denomination, and she hopes to grow the co-working side.

Nadia Bolz-Weber, an author and the founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, is part of Ms. Scott’s denomination. She described Ms. Scott’s participatory style of worship as drawing in a generation accustomed to user-generated content.

“There’s a whole population that is culturally millennial that is used to participating in the content of their lives, in a way that a generation before them were only consuming products that religious authorities were distributing,” said Ms. Bolz-Weber.

Yet to create that kind of church, she said, you need a charismatic leader who other people want to hang around. “It demands everything of you,” she said.

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)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and IssuesYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesLutheran* TheologyEcclesiologySacramental TheologyEucharist


Posted December 19, 2015 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Many orthodox Primates did not attend the last Primates Meeting in 2011 under the chairmanship of his predecessor, Rowan Williams. They were not prepared to share in fellowship with provinces like The Episcopal Church of the United States (TEC) which had rejected the clear teaching of Scripture and the collegial mind of previous Primates Meetings and the Lambeth Conference 1998 by pressing ahead with the blessing of same sex unions and ordaining those in such relationships.

This time, GAFCON and the other orthodox Primates are willing to attend, but they know that after many years of debate, action is needed to restore the spiritual and doctrinal integrity of the Communion they care for so deeply. They are clear that their continued presence will depend upon action by the Archbishop of Canterbury and a majority of the Primates to ensure that participation in the Anglican Communion is governed by robust commitments to biblical teaching and morality.

It has been suggested that the way forward is for the Anglican Communion to abandon the idea that there should be mutual recognition between the provinces and that it should instead find its unity simply in a common relationship with the Archbishop of Canterbury.

This is not historic Anglicanism....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaAnglican Church of KenyaChurch of England (CoE)Episcopal Church (TEC)Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyAnthropologyChristologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologySoteriologyTheology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)Theology: Scripture

7 Comments
Posted December 18, 2015 at 11:14 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In a development that few Episcopalians of four or five years ago could have imagined, the Episcopal bishops of the most powerful and financially secure dioceses have begun to turn on their own once-strong, but now severely weakened, parishes. Having driven out all the dissenters at enormous expense to their coffers, these dioceses are increasingly trying to make up their losses by sacrificing valuable real estate -- even if it means turning out previously loyal congregations from their hard-won property. And -- who could have foreseen it? -- the parishes most harmed by the continuous litigation were precisely those with the most valuable properties.

A prime example is the Diocese of Los Angeles, led by the litigious J. Jon Bruno -- he of the forkèd tongue. For nine years he waged war in the California courts against four dissident congregations to prevent them from keeping title to their own parish properties. Using the notorious Dennis Canon, he was singularly successful in having California courts impose an irrevocable trust on the local parishes' real estate, so that when they voted to withdraw from the diocese, they necessarily forfeited all rights to their property.

But his victories came at a tremendous cost: the Diocese had spent more than eight million dollars as of last year, and was still incurring more costs to subsidize two of the remnant congregations in their newly recaptured sanctuaries. Bishop Bruno negotiated sales of two of the properties: the parish of All Saints Long Beach was allowed to purchase their property on a long-term contract, and he sold the church of St. David's in North Hollywood to a private school.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

1 Comments
Posted December 17, 2015 at 5:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I need to inform you that on Wednesday I placed on administrative leave Bishop Stacy Sauls, Chief Operating Officer, Samuel McDonald, Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Director of Mission, and Alex Baumgarten, Director of Public Engagement. This is a result of concerns that have been raised about possible misconduct in carrying out their duties as members of senior management of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society.

I want to be clear. My decision should not be confused with a finding of fault, but is necessary to allow us to find clarity. We are taking these allegations seriously and there will be a full and fair examination of the concerns that have been raised to be conducted expeditiously by an independent investigator. To protect the integrity of that process, we will not be able to say more about the concerns at this time.

I ask that you pray for all who are involved and who are impacted by this situation.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

17 Comments
Posted December 11, 2015 at 12:50 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

New Hampshire Episcopalians just reported a banner year. After a decade of consistent losses under now-retired Bishop Gene Robinson, the small diocese reported a nearly 23 percent jump in attendance.

What is the secret to New Hampshire’s sudden reversal of fortune? The diocese, which Bishop Robert Hirschfeld assumed leadership of in 2013, changed whom it is counting in a practice that has been advocated by some in the dwindling denomination.

A sudden influx of worshipers would seem counter-intuitive: ever since Robinson was consecrated the denomination’s first openly-partnered homosexual bishop in 2003, diocesan membership declined nearly 16 percent, marriages down 37 percent, receptions down 51 percent, children’s baptisms down 57 percent, and adult baptisms down 75 percent. In short, it’s been a tough decade, not only in New Hampshire, but in all New England Episcopal dioceses....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Data* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchEducationReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

6 Comments
Posted December 11, 2015 at 5:41 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The decreasing numbers have had an effect upon the ability of smaller congregations to employ full-time clergy. In a first, a plurality of Episcopal congregations in 2014 (34.5%) have only a part-time or unpaid priest, outnumbering those with a lone full-time priest.

Read it all.

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

8 Comments
Posted December 5, 2015 at 8:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Faith-based agencies that resettle refugees in America stand to gain more than a clear conscience if the United States — after what is expected to be a fierce debate in Congress — accepts a proposed 10,000 Syrian refugees next year.

More refugees also means more revenue for the agencies’ little-known debt collection operations, which bring in upwards of $5 million a year in commissions as resettled refugees repay loans for their travel costs. All nine resettlement agencies charge the same going rate as private-sector debt collectors: 25 percent of all they recoup for the government.

This debt collection practice is coming under increased scrutiny as agencies occupy a growing stage in the public square, where they argue America has a moral obligation to resettle thousands of at-risk Syrian refugees. Some observers say the call to moral action rings hollow when these agencies stand to benefit financially.
.......
In some cases, collections subsidize a church’s various departments and programs. In the Episcopal Church, collections from refugees account for 1.7 percent of budgeted nongovernmental revenues, or $721,000 a year on average. From 2013 through 2015, the haul from refugees was $400,000 higher than expected and helped create a projected $3 million surplus for the church, according to Episcopal Church Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer Kurt Barnes.

At an Episcopal Church board of directors meeting in November, Barnes summed up the process and rationale. He said three staffers at Episcopal Migration Ministries work the phones to collect debt payments from refugees. Their work not only generates funds for the church, he said, but it also helps refugees.

“Some people say, ‘Oh, you’re in the collections business,'” Barnes said. “Yes, but we also prefer to say that we are in the business of providing credit history for new citizens or future citizens.”

Some ethicists say that while agencies and their denominations still have an important moral perspective — even with their 25 percent commissions — they need to be more open about where their money comes from and where it goes.

“You could help refugees build up a credit history, but only take 5 percent off the top as a fee for your collecting the loan,” said Wally Siewert, director of the Center for Ethics in Public Life at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

“What they have to be able to justify is that 25 percent rate. They have to be honest and say: ‘This is what these services have been shown to be worth on the open market, (and) we are using the revenue that they are generating in order to provide all of our services.’ They have to be open about that.”

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)

1 Comments
Posted December 3, 2015 at 5:36 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From the “Welcome to Bristol” sign at the town line, and along Hope Street’s red-white-and-blue stripe to the postcard-perfect Federal-style homes at its center, Bristol wears its Colonial past proudly. But one September evening, about forty Bristolians gathered in St. Michael’s Episcopal Church to talk about a past the town is not so eager to tell — the great crime that built Bristol: slavery.

Slavery was the economic lifeblood of the entire state for eighty years. Rhode Island passed its first law forbidding enslavement in 1652, but the law changed and the practice flourished apace with its profitability. From before the American Revolution to the Industrial Revolution, the slave trade powered Rhode Island’s rum distilleries and the textile mills, spinning cotton picked by Southern slaves into cheap “negro cloth” that was sold back to the South. Slavery employed the carpenters, the clerks, the bankers and the blacksmiths. Everyone made money from the slave trade, but few made more than the DeWolf family of Bristol.

Family patriarch Mark Anthony DeWolf started slaving in 1769. And for half a century, various DeWolfs transported 12,000 enslaved Africans. But it was Mark Anthony’s second youngest son, James DeWolf, who built the family business into an empire that included a bank, an insurance company and a distillery in Bristol, a sugar plantation in Cuba and a stake in Coventry’s Arkwright Mills.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchRace/Race RelationsReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted December 2, 2015 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Following their November 25-28, 2015, meeting, the House of Bishops of the Anglican Province of South Sudan and the Sudan, announced that they have formally recognized the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).

They also recommended that the Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Deng Bul, Archbishop of the Church of South Sudan and the Sudan, forge a closer relationship with the Anglican Church in North America.

The decision to recognize the Anglican Church in North America was made in conjunction with a decision to end formal ties with The Episcopal Church (TEC). In a letter published following their meeting, the Sudanese House of Bishops pointed in particular to two resolutions passed by The Episcopal Church this past summer that redefine marriage. “In our view such innovations are not in conformity with the Scriptures,” the bishops wrote.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Anglican ProvincesEpiscopal Church of the SudanEpiscopal Church (TEC)* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

3 Comments
Posted December 2, 2015 at 3:14 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

About [former TEC Bishop Jeffrey] Steenson, his is an interesting side story because of the politics that got him elected as bishop in October 2004. He was running against five other candidates, one of whom was a northern Virginia cleric called Martyn Minns. Minns pastored the historic –- and sizeable – Truro parish in Fairfax, Va., and looked as though he had the election wrapped up. Then Steenson’s name was put in late in the selection process and a more liberal coalition called Via Media was behind him. Steenson was also a local priest and he ended up winning on the third ballot. Minns was first runner-up.

Minns went in a different direction and got elected an Anglican bishop in the province of Nigeria in mid-2006. That gave him the ammunition to lead 11 Episcopal churches in northern Virginia out of the denomination later that year. His story is too long to go into here but I’ve always wondered what would have happened had Steenson been more honest about his bent towards Rome and refused to run for bishop. Had Minns been a bishop in New Mexico instead of pastoring one of the largest conservative parishes in Virginia, the formation of a powerful counter movement against the Episcopal Church might have gone in a different direction.

I’ve always thought that one reason for the American Anglican split-off from the Episcopal Church nearly a decade ago was not so much the election of a gay man as bishop of New Hampshire in 2003 although that was a huge factor. It was also the politicking that went on in numerous dioceses where qualified conservative candidates for bishop were foiled by liberal groups who found less-qualified moderate candidates to beat them. Northern Virginia was full of such conservative leaders whose orthodox theological stances made them unelectable and there were a lot of priests like them around the country.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC Conflicts* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis

3 Comments
Posted December 2, 2015 at 11:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Darcy Corbitt-Hall recently moved...[to North Dakota] from Alabama.

"Coming to North Dakota and then suddenly realizing I don't have that ability in my church is very upsetting,” Corbitt-Hall says. “I can't align myself with organizations that don't treat everyone the same and don't work for full inclusion."

Along with Darcy, other congregants that attend Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church, share the same beliefs.

Amy Phillips adds, "Marriage equality is a human right. Our church clearly wants to support that right and be able to celebrate the union of all people, any people that want to marry each other."

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ConflictsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchMarriage & Family* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

1 Comments
Posted December 1, 2015 at 8:19 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Economics, PoliticsImmigration* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastSyria* Theology

2 Comments
Posted November 19, 2015 at 11:34 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Right Rev. Stephen Andrews, bishop of the Diocese of Algoma in Canada, gave the sermon Saturday and lauded Sumner’s tenure at Wycliffe College, noting that Sumner would probably play down his achievements.

“But I also know that you won’t begrudge the shameless institutional plug of your Episcopal college,” Andrews joked.

Sumner gave a thumbs-up from his seat.

Andrews said the diocese is in for an exciting new chapter in its history thanks to Sumner’s unique combination of pastoral and administrative talents. He added a small caveat, though: Sumner is a devoted Boston sports fan.

“If it comes down to the finals, you cannot count on his support,” he said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted November 16, 2015 at 1:50 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Eternal God, who didst bless thy servant Samuel Seabury with the gift of perseverance to renew the Anglican inheritance in North America; Grant that, joined together in unity with our bishops and nourished by thy holy Sacraments, we may proclaim the Gospel of redemption with apostolic zeal; through Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer

0 Comments
Posted November 14, 2015 at 7:48 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rev. Philip B. Roulette, the former longtime rector of St. John's Episcopal Church in Glyndon who was co-author with five other Episcopal priests of the Baltimore Declaration, died of cancer Saturday at his home in Rodgers Forge.

Father Roulette died four days before his 75th birthday.

"I have known Philip Roulette a third of my life, and I can say that he was a man of conviction, gratitude and utter integrity in his faith. He was steadfast," said the Rev. William N. McKeachie, former rector of Old St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

"His integrity was rooted in love. He was a person who was strong in the love he received from God. Love was the basis of his strength and faith," said Father McKeachie. "He was a stalwart. He was steadfast. I can't think of anyone else that I can say that about. The love of God was what overruled anything and everything else. That was the witness he was called to do. He was called to the church and Jesus Christ."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsMinistry of the Ordained

1 Comments
Posted November 10, 2015 at 5:29 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC BishopsTEC Conflicts* Theology

0 Comments
Posted November 9, 2015 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For more than a half-century, St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Monroeville has played an important, if not unique, role in the life of our diocese as a whole, as I know it has for many of you individually. Its visibility along the Parkway provided the means to proclaim to thousands of drivers every day that Jesus is alive. It was a Spirit-charged community, and members of our clergy and lay leaders alike have been fostered by that charism. And, it was the final resting place for some of our departed sisters and brothers.

As I am sure you are aware, there has not been an active Episcopal Church congregation worshiping at St. Martin’s for several years and the diocese now intends to sell the property.

Read it all.

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

3 Comments
Posted November 5, 2015 at 3:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Episcopal Church is hardly alone in seeking what Christin Taylor, writing for the liberal Christian magazine "Sojourners," called "The White Church's Second Chance." In the sudden intensification of racial social justice efforts following tragedies in Ferguson, Mo., Baltimore, Md., and many others, some traditionally white congregations see an opportunity to right wrongs that they say they have failed to address in the past.

Christianity has a decidedly mixed past, and possibly present, when it comes to racial justice: throughout the abolitionist movement, Civil War, and Reconstruction, for instance, pro- and anti-slavery Christians alike used Bible verses to support their positions.

Ms. Taylor shares her surprise, and pain, to realize that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous "Letter from Birmingham Jail," describing the urgency of change for African Americans, was written from the Baptist minister to fellow men of faith.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Culture-WatchRace/Race RelationsReligion & Culture* Theology

2 Comments
Posted November 5, 2015 at 11:19 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As the Sunday service began, two leaders stepped forward with pitchers full of holy water from their two churches. As the congregation gave thanks for the gift of baptism, they poured the water into one vessel.

The unusual ceremony was meant to mark the joining of two North Baltimore churches, the Episcopal Church of the Nativity and the Lutheran Church of the Holy Comforter, that had faced declining congregations and financial struggles. The leaders of the two churches see their melding as crucial to their survival and ability to attract new congregants.

"People are saying that we're moving to a post-denominational time, that young people don't care if you're Baptist or Methodist or Presbyterian," said the Rev. T. Stewart Lucas, the rector of Nativity. "They just want good, authentic worship and service to those who are in need. So, in a way, we're going back to the basics of studying the Word, praying together and serving together, and I think there are lot of people who are hungry for that message."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesLutheran

1 Comments
Posted November 3, 2015 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We talk with Michael Curry, who is being installed as the new presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church at a service on Sunday, November 1, at Washington National Cathedral. The work of the Episcopal Church, he says, is “to find ways to be a bridge community that brings differing people together under the rubric of love.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC Bishops

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Posted November 3, 2015 at 6:25 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Two North County Episcopal churches, both over 60 years old, were told last week that due to declining attendance and compounding red ink, the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego has decided to fold them.

The land and the buildings that house St. Anne’s in Oceanside and All Saints in Vista will be sold.

A letter dated October 25 from the Rt. Rev. James Mathes, who oversees the San Diego Episcopal diocese, said that after 15 months “of discernment by clergy and lay leaders of the congregations themselves,” a sale was forthcoming. “The costs of maintaining separate properties, [and] compensated clergy and staff…is beyond the capacity of the congregations themselves and the diocese.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

3 Comments
Posted November 2, 2015 at 4:28 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The public face and style of the Episcopal Church shifted Sunday with the installation of Michael Bruce Curry, the denomination’s first African American spiritual leader.

Curry, 62, a high-energy, evangelical pastor, is expected to bring a positive, Pope Francis-like vibe to a church community marked in recent years by shrinking numbers and legal disputes related to gay rights.

“Don’t worry! Be happy! God loves you!” Curry boomed at the close of his sermon to the 2,500 people gathered in the soaring Washington National Cathedral. Preaching from the elevated Canterbury Pulpit, Curry immediately changed the face of Episcopalianism, historically one of the faiths of the nation’s white elite.

Read it all.

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

1 Comments
Posted November 1, 2015 at 5:11 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Q: What do you see as your primary tasks ahead?

A: I think first to inspire and encourage the church and all of us as part of the church to embrace our vocation as part of the Jesus movement in the world. If 2 million Episcopalians are going out and functioning in this world as people who are actually following the teachings of Jesus and living in his spirit, in his way, they’re going to change some things.

Our General Convention when it gathered this summer really did lift up two critical priorities. One was for us as the Episcopal Church to really embrace evangelism and the sharing of the good news of God’s incredible, reconciling love that we know in Jesus, and that’s a positive evangelism, that’s a gracious evangelism, that’s a generous evangelism, that’s evangelism with a smiling face that’s a real smile.

Q: What was the second priority at the General Convention?

A: The second was to embrace serious work of racial reconciliation, which is the beginning of the work of reconciliation between human beings across all the divides.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Theology

7 Comments
Posted October 29, 2015 at 3:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Former Episcopal Bishop Heather Cook was sentenced Tuesday to seven years in prison for killing a cyclist in a drunken crash in Baltimore two days after Christmas.

The sentence came at the end of a two-hour hearing in which the wife, mother and sisters-in-law of Thomas Palermo directed their grief and anger at the disgraced clergywoman.

Prosecutors said Cook was far above the legal limit for alcohol and sending a text message as she drove her Subaru Forester in Roland Park on the afternoon of Dec. 27. She struck and killed Palermo, a 41-year-old software engineer and father of two young children, as he enjoyed a ride.

She left the scene twice, a fact that weighed on judge Timothy J. Doory.

"Your leaving the scene at that time was more than irresponsibility, it was a decision," Doory said.

Read it all from the Baltimore Sun.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchAlcohol/DrinkingAlcoholismLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology


Posted October 28, 2015 at 5:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

After being without a sanctuary of their own for 2 1/2 years, Trinity Anglican Church members will break ground in December on a new $9 million, 27,000-square-foot complex in the southwest that includes worship space and a preschool.

The ceremony, planned for 1 p.m. Dec. 5 at the northwest corner of Buena Vista Road and Campus Park Drive, will feature a brief prayer service and dedication by Father Karl Dietze, rector at Trinity Anglican Church, and Bishop Eric Menees of Fresno.

It’s just the latest milestone for the congregation, which split from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in a microcosm of the nationwide philosophical schism of the mid-2000s that saw congregations in the valley and around the country leave the Episcopal Church and align themselves with the Anglican Church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: San JoaquinTEC Departing Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Theology

1 Comments
Posted October 28, 2015 at 3:55 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

More than a century of...[Episcopal] worship in Nyssa is coming to a close.

Dwindling membership has led St. Paul’s Episcopal Church to seek permission to close. After several months spent looking for options, the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Oregon has consented.

“There are so few of them,” the Rt. Rev. Bavi Edna “Nedi” Rivera said. “Several of the members are older and some of them have moved away to places where they can get … care or be near family.”

Read it all.

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

5 Comments
Posted October 19, 2015 at 7:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bishop Michael Curry vividly remembers growing up in segregated Buffalo in the 1950s and ’60s, where on one bright morning in 1963, he crossed Main Street from East Buffalo to West Buffalo to attend an integrated school.

As an Episcopal priest and civil rights activist, his late father, Kenneth Curry, helped lead the boycott of the city’s segregated public schools. And yet, like the larger culture at the time, worship in the Episcopal Church he so loved was largely segregated. As leader of a black congregation in Buffalo, he never would have been called to the pulpit of a white Episcopal church.

Five decades later, Kenneth Curry probably would never have imagined that his son would be chosen to lead the entire denomination.

Read it all.

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

2 Comments
Posted October 15, 2015 at 6:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

If we needed any further persuading that there is no hope of holding the Church together over this, we need look no further than the history and example of what has happened in the USA, or indeed in the worldwide Anglican Communion. Whatever the scolding of the arrogant, Western, liberal élite, Gafcon and ACNA are simply not going to compromise or go away. It is clear that if the Church of England goes the way of The Episcopal Church and abandons its historic doctrine and discipline regarding marriage and sexuality a number of both clergy and congregations will secede from the Church here as they have done in the US and Canada.

We feel, and I speak as one of them, that the teaching of Jesus, the witness of Scripture throughout the Bible, and the tradition of the church, is unambiguous: marriage is between one man and one woman, and all expressions of sexuality outside that relationship are sinful deviations from the will of God. Of course, in our different ways, we all fall short of that ideal, but that does not change God’s will and purpose, nor our obligation to maintain our witness to it, both by our doctrine and our practice. We also feel that this is not an issue that can be fudged or relegated to a secondary or minor status, but that it is fundamental to our witness, both for the good of men and women and for the good of society, not least of children.

The only question worth discussing then is how a dignified and respectful separation can be achieved, in such a way that neither side is disadvantaged or penalized.The worst case would be that we repeat the quarreling and litigation that have disgraced the name of Jesus in the USA. Neither would it be sufficient simply to pension off the clergy who decided to leave, as happened over the ordination of women. There are important questions about local church property and funds to be addressed. But perhaps more importantly or more basically there is the matter of honouring the integrity of both sides, however much we may feel that the others are seriously wrong, and leave God to be our judge.

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Departing ParishesGlobal South Churches & PrimatesFCA Meeting in London April 2012Instruments of UnitySexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchMarriage & Family* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted October 14, 2015 at 7:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The bishop-elect of Dallas, George Sumner, observes that comprehensiveness, while often a point of pride for Anglicans, is in fact a difficult achievement, not to be taken for granted (“After Comprehensiveness,” Anglican Theological Review, Fall 2004). He writes:
We see that Episcopalians are fighting over same-sex relationships, and we assume that Anglicanism is comprehensive, and so we ask, what is the intellectual superstructure that allows us now to remain comprehensive? This is surely a mistake; we assume what needs to be shown. Comprehensiveness assumes that common and more central doctrines form a framework, an encompassing context into which lesser disagreements may be placed and so relativized. Such larger, often tacit, agreements keep a tradition in contention from descending into sheer incoherence. Anglicanism shows comprehensiveness when it achieves these goals of showing the more basic agreement, and so of putting disputes in context. Only pride would assume that such success is the essential quality of our tradition.
If what we mean by comprehension is some kind of embrace of a “larger truth” on this issue, Sumner writes, that is the kind of muddled nonsense we must avoid.
Even for Anglicans up is not down, and black is not white; we too should make our yes a yes. We are not exempt from the law of noncontradiction. Either same-sex relationships are a blessing from God, or they are contrary to God’s will. While our tradition may prove comprehensive in many respects, if there is such a disagreement we cannot be comprehensive with respect to it. To deny this is to make of comprehensiveness a kind of transitional object by which we lull ourselves to sleep.Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)General Convention TEC ConflictsTEC Polity & Canons* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilySexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted October 14, 2015 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It would appear that the Revd Rupert Moreton (Letter, 2nd October) has failed to realise the changing reality of the worldwide Anglican family. The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) is part of the Anglican family, whether he, or even the Archbishop of Canterbury, approves or not.

I recently had the pleasure of hosting the Revd Ted Wood from ACNA at Holy Trinity, Woodburn, and welcomed the opportunity to fellowship with him and to listen to him preach at our morning service.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Anglican ProvincesChurch of IrelandEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Departing Parishes* South Carolina

1 Comments
Posted October 12, 2015 at 1:17 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"Despite the tendency of new congregations to grow, the impact of these congregations on the level of attendance in the Episcopal Church is relatively small —simply because there are so few of them."

Take the time to read through it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South CarolinaTEC Departing ParishesTEC DataTEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

2 Comments
Posted October 12, 2015 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Fox News’ highly reluctant Jesus follower has found a new church.
Kirsten Powers, USA Today columnist and contributor to Fox News, announced her decision on a live broadcast of “The Five.”
“Tomorrow night at 7 o’clock, I'm becoming Catholic!” she told viewers.
Powers, who grew up in the Episcopal Church, became an evangelical about 9 years ago, after attending Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York. Listening to Tim Keller preach opened the door for her to believe in God.
“I came to realize that even if Christianity wasn't the real thing, neither was atheism,” she wrote in a 2013 testimony for CT. “I began to read the Bible. My boyfriend would pray with me for God to reveal himself to me.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicalsRoman Catholic* Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 11, 2015 at 3:29 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Statistics released this week by the denomination’s Office of Diocesan and Congregational Ministries indicate that Jefferts Schori is leaving her successor, Presiding Bishop-elect Michael Curry, with decline that is steepening rather than tapering off.

The church’s domestic U.S. membership dropped 2.7 percent from a reported 1,866,758 members in 2013 to 1,817,004 in 2014, a loss of 49,794 persons. Attendance took an even steeper hit, with the average number of Sunday worshipers dropping from 623,691 in 2013 to 600,411 in 2014, a decline of 23,280 persons in the pews, down 3.7 percent.

The numbers are significantly worse than 2013, when the church reported a 1.4 percent decline in membership and 2.6 percent decline in average Sunday attendance. One contributing factor is figures from the Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC), the local Episcopal Church jurisdiction formed after the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina departed the denomination in the autumn of 2012.

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted October 10, 2015 at 9:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

My parish is a short drive from the house. Every Sunday I see the same people at 8:30 a.m.: the older couples whose children are grown, the many young families with their children, the teenagers who came with their parents but who would rather be in bed. This is the Mass I almost always attend alone. There are a few others who are also alone, though not many.

I serve as an acolyte twice a month, and on these Sundays I sit up at the front beside the priest. On other Sundays, I sit near the front of the church with a family I know. Apart from them, I know the director of music and worship, the deacons and the priests. Others in the parish are mainly just familiar faces, although they are the people with whom I take Communion each and every week.

At the end of Mass, I drive home to pick up my wife, Kim, and our three boys for the 10 a.m. liturgy at the Episcopal parish we attend as a family. Like my Catholic parish, this church is thriving, filled with young and old from a variety of backgrounds. There are cradle Episcopalians, ex-evangelicals who found life in the beauty of Episcopal liturgy and disaffected Roman Catholics. Because this is my family’s parish, I know these parishioners more deeply than the ones at my Catholic parish. My children play with their children, and our families regularly hang out together. During the liturgy I sit with Kim and my oldest son while his two brothers are downstairs for Sunday school. When it comes time for the Communion, we process to the altar rail where my wife and my son take Communion together. I cross my arms and am blessed by the priest. Apart from a few children, I’m the only person who does this.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & Family* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 8, 2015 at 12:28 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Americans' search for the divine is alive and well, although it looks different than it has in the past, according to Diana Butler Bass, a prominent commentator on religion and culture, and author of nine books about American Christianity.

Her latest book, "Grounded: Finding God in the World — A Spiritual Revolution," published Oct. 6, explores how people are finding God in nature and fellowship with friends and neighbors, whether or not they attend church.

Nearly 23 percent of U.S. adults did not identify with any organized religion in 2014, a 7 percentage-point increase from 2007, Pew Research Center reported in May. However, only 3 percent of Americans say they don't believe in God, The Associated Press noted earlier this year.

In "Grounded," Bass, who holds a doctorate in religion from Duke University and identifies as Episcopalian, investigates the spiritual lives of contemporary believers, questioning what happens when people expand their search for God beyond church buildings to the world around them.

Read it all from the Deseret News.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchBooksReligion & CultureSociology* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther Faiths* Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 7, 2015 at 5:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

North Carolina Bishop Michael Curry, who will be installed next month as the new head of the Episcopal Church in the United States, offered a possible preview Sunday of his agenda. Topping the list: Promoting a form of evangelism that calls on members to listen to others’ faith stories and then share their own.

He also wants to stress the love of Jesus, foster social justice, work for reconciliation – racial and otherwise – and preside over a church that’s open to all, including both supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage.

Curry, an outgoing preacher and author of “Crazy Christians: A Call to Follow Jesus,” will be the national church’s first African-American presiding bishop. In a Q&A with parishioners at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in uptown Charlotte, he said that Episcopalians have been so shy about advertising what their tradition has to offer – including its liturgy, its sacraments and its commitment to social justice – that many people don’t know the denomination exists.

“We’ve got to get to the day when the average Episcopalian is in touch with their own faith story and faith journey and is able to share that appropriately and authentically,” Curry said. “That may be the game-changer. … We’re good about doing. We’re nervous about talking.”

Read it all from the Charlotte Observer.

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

3 Comments
Posted October 5, 2015 at 4:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Check it out.

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

2 Comments
Posted October 4, 2015 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“As of now, the GAFCON primates have said that if the Anglican Church of Canada and the U.S. is at the table for the January meeting, they will not attend,” said the Rev. Paul Stephens, rector at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Tupelo, “And that’s unfortunate.”

Stephens said that worldwide, the Anglican Communion is connected, but not obligated. The Anglican church was spread through British colonization. Wherever there was a British colony, there is now an Anglican church. Globally, 38 Anglican provinces make up the Anglican Communion, the centerpiece of which is the Church of England.

“In terms of authority, the Archbishop of Canterbury isn’t like the Pope. He doesn’t have the jurisdiction to ‘make’ me do anything, though if he did I would almost certainly acquiesce,” Stephens said. “Anglican provinces have autonomy, and make their own rulings within themselves that don’t have bearing on the others. However, there’s a saying that goes something like, ‘If someone sneezes at an Episcopal church in Corinth, someone at an Episcopal church in Bay St. Louis will say “Bless you.”’”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaChurch of England (CoE)Episcopal Church (TEC)Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)* Culture-WatchGlobalizationMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyChristologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

2 Comments
Posted October 3, 2015 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Watch and listen to it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaEpiscopal Church (TEC)Global South Churches & PrimatesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted October 1, 2015 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There was a report that the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion office was offering “facilitators” for the January gathering of Primates. He may be planning that, but I would suggest that the facilitators get refundable tickets. There is absolutely no chance that the GAFCON and Global South Primates will stand for another meeting where they are “handled” and manipulated by “facilitators” who have a pre-cooked agenda. This upcoming meeting will either be utterly genuine in all the gritty reality that brings, or it will not happen at all. I think it is truly an important gathering and I pray that it will be effective.

When innovations are introduced, it is done with the expectation that there will be unicorns and skittle rainbows. When they are done thoughtlessly, the result can be catastrophic, as it has been with some Provinces who have discarded the historic Biblical teaching on sexuality. I’m sure that they think all will be well because they want it to be; that there will be rain showers of gumdrops and the pot at the end of the skittle rainbow will be found, but in truth, consequences that they did not anticipate or intend are actually driving the train. Superficial solutions never work more than superficially. This is a time in which we need to actually deal with the departures from Biblical faith, with issues of Christology that are being erroneously embraced, and a disastrous sexual ethic that is not bearing godly fruit.

Here is the bottom line. If the January gathering of Primates does not fully address the real issues, the Communion will not survive—nor should it.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaEpiscopal Church (TEC)Global South Churches & PrimatesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

2 Comments
Posted September 29, 2015 at 5:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

They’ll be discussing what unites them and what divides them; whether the Communion ought to continue as it is presently modelled, and whether the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury needs to change. There will be no ‘Continuing Indaba‘ for the pursuit of “cultural models of consensus”, and no meditation on the mission of “mutual creative action”. The days of fudge, patch and hedge are over – unless, of course, all the gathered Archbishops, Presiding Bishops and Chief Pastors determine to ignore the pleas and prayers of the Primus inter Pares.

But (and it’s a very, very interesting ‘but’), Justin Welby has not only invited the 37 recognised primates of the Wordwide Anglican Communion: according to Lambeth Palace (..and here’s the Guardian headline..) he has also written a letter to Foley Beach. That isn’t a cruise-ship resort in sunny Florida: The Most Rev’d Dr Foley Beach is Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), which split from The Episcopal Church (TEC) when The Most Rev’d Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori set her face against social conservatism and theological orthodoxy on matters relating to gender and sexuality. The letter of invitation to Archbishop Foley is significant because ACNA is not a recognised member of the Worldwide Anglican Communion (according to the traditional instruments of communion and the Archbishop of Canterbury).

Yet what credible discussions may take place if he is snubbed, since ACNA is affirmed and recognised by other Anglican provinces, in particular those belonging to GAFCON?

There are clearly provincial fractures and parallel churches already operating throughout the Communion.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaEpiscopal Church (TEC)Global South Churches & PrimatesInstruments of UnitySexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyChristologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted September 27, 2015 at 2:48 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Any global timeline would have to include 1998, when the worldwide Lambeth Conference passed a resolution affirming scripture and traditional teachings on marriage and human sexuality. Then 65 Episcopal bishops sign another statement of dissent. That was also the year when [Bishop John] Spong released his famous 12 theses, beginning with "Theism, as a way of defining God, is dead." In his 10th thesis, he added: "Prayer cannot be a request made to a theistic deity to act in human history in a particular way."

Looking for issues other than sex? Spong was raising some big ones, rejecting most of the basic elements of creedal Christianity.

On a related issue, I have always thought it was crucial that, in 1992, Bishop C. FitzSimons Allison of South Carolina stopped receiving Holy Communion in meetings of the U.S. House of Bishops after several of his colleagues refused to condemn a liberal theologian's statement that she served a god that is "older and greater" than the deity revealed in the Bible.

How much of that needs to be mentioned in a news story? That is a matter for editors and reporters to determine. But the simple fact is that the actual battles over homosexuality began in the late 1970s and efforts to build alternative conservative structures in the United States began in the 1990s. To say that Robinson's election "precipitated" this division is inaccurate. Why settle for flawed or, at best, simplistic language? Why pretend that the battle is about homosexuality, alone?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaEpiscopal Church (TEC)Global South Churches & Primates* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyMediaMulticulturalism, pluralismReligion & Culture* TheologyAnthropologyChristologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted September 24, 2015 at 3:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The misconduct complaint filed against the Bishop of Los Angeles by members of St James the Great Episcopal Church in Newport Beach has been handed back to the national church’s disciplinary panel for bishops after the parties were unable to reach an amicable resolution.

The Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno appears to have adopted a scorched earth in dealing with complaints of bullying and dishonesty levelled against him by ignoring a request for the national church that he not prejudice the proceedings. Though all parties had been charged to “enter into this process in good faith,” the bishop’s attorneys have not relented in their legal campaign, and have sought to depose a Girl Scout leader whose troop had planted an herb garden at the parish, and the daughter of a woman whose ashes are interned at the church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: Los AngelesTEC Polity & Canons* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

5 Comments
Posted September 24, 2015 at 7:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Presiding Bishop hired an attorney in the Diocese of South Carolina, who presented himself as ‘Counsel for The Episcopal Church in South Carolina’. I said, wait a minute, according to our polity we are The Episcopal Church in South Carolina. I am the only one that has juridical or jurisdictional authority here. She has not spoken to me. She has not asked for my permission, and there is no constitutional or canonical authority that the Presiding Bishop has to hire an attorney to investigate me and the Diocese or South Carolina. We called a Special Convention; told the Presiding Bishop to remove the attorney. I have never received any notice from her – it is four years later.

That brought us into a cold war with the national church, and in a cold war the difficulty is everything you do to protect yourself in a cold war, can be interpreted by the person on the opposite side of the cold war as an act of aggression. That goes for me towards them and them towards me and so we have lived with that for three years now.

I need to conclude because our time is all but up, mine is already past. In the Fall of last year, I was informed that there were 12 allegations brought against me that I had abandoned the communion of The Episcopal Church. And after 2 or 3 months, the Disciplinary Board for Bishops came back and said, there is not enough evidence - I think that is the simplest way to put it – that I have abandoned the communion and so I will not be brought up on charges.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Episcopal Church (TEC)General Convention Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC ConflictsTEC Polity & Canons* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted September 24, 2015 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

That left Chief Justice Toal, who despite all the tortuous arguments stuck to basic legal principles and analysis: a trust needs a settlor to be created, and the beneficiary of a trust is perfectly within his rights to quitclaim back to the settlor all of his supposed interest in the trust. (There was thus no "breach of the Dennnis Canon" when Bishop Lawrence signed individual quitclaim deeds to his parishes, on behalf of the Diocese as beneficiary of any trust interest that arguably may still have existed following the All Saints Waccamaw decision.) And South Carolina religious corporations are free to amend their governing documents -- including a complete change in their charitable purpose -- as long as they comply with the formalities required by South Carolina law.

To this observer, it seemed as though the Justices had not discussed the case with each other beforehand. And it also looked as though the Chief Justice had taken on the responsibility of writing an opinion in the case -- since she was the one most weighed down with case files and briefs. But whether her opinion will be the majority one remains to be seen. I believe she has the confidence of Justice Beatty, who followed her before. And she may have Judge Kittredge in her camp, as well.

But both he and Justice Costa Pleicones seemed to have difficulty following the ins and outs of the arguments -- thanks to the constant interjections by Justice Hearn on behalf of the Church of which she is an active member. She practically monopolized the argument with long speeches (not questions) that would have sounded more appropriate had they come from ECUSA's attorneys. The resulting final impression of Mark Lawrence and his Diocese having had a rough time in the Court is almost entirely, in my estimation, due to the attempts by Justice Hearn to derail the case by returning South Carolina to the days of deference, as ECUSA argued in its briefs.

Whether her unprofessional and entirely partial tactics will succeed is a question that will have to await the Court's opinion, which could be months away. I shall have much more to say about those tactics in my following post.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South CarolinaTEC Polity & Canons* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

4 Comments
Posted September 24, 2015 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Diocese argues to South Carolina Supreme Court that a lower court decision dismissing outside claims on local church property is consistent with state law and constitutional precedent.

COLUMBIA, SC (Sept. 23, 2015) – The Diocese of South Carolina today argued to the state Supreme Court that a judge’s February ruling that the Episcopal Church (TEC) has “no legal, equitable or beneficial interest” in the Diocese’s properties was correct and consistent with South Carolina law.

The argument came as the Diocese defended against the latest appeal by TEC, which seeks to seize local property. The denomination’s filings seek control of the Diocese’s 314-acre St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center, the Diocese’s historic identity, its accounts and the properties of 50 congregations that joined the Diocese in disassociating from the denomination in 2012.

During today's appeal hearing, the Diocese and TEC would normally have had 20 minutes to present respective arguments, however due to the number of questions, more time was taken because of the vigorous debate.

“We are hopeful the Supreme Court will protect the fundamental constitutional right of South Carolina institutions and residents to choose with whom to associate,” said Rev. Jim Lewis, canon to the ordinary of the Diocese. “The lower court made clear that the Diocese could leave TEC and take its property. We hope this decision concludes the expensive, distracting efforts by TEC to use what feels like endless appeals to delay the inevitable outcome.”

The History of the Dispute

The dispute began when TEC attempted to remove the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence as bishop in the fall of 2012. The Diocese immediately disassociated from TEC, an action affirmed by its Diocesan Convention in November 2012. At that time 50 of the 72 congregations that made up the Diocese at the time and 80 percent of its members supported the disassociation.

TEC immediately attempted to claim the identity of the Diocese, with a rump group calling itself the Steering Committee using the Diocese’s registered service mark and announcing meetings of the diocesan clergy. In response to the attempted identity theft, the Diocese sought legal protection for the Diocese, its property and that of its congregations.

On Jan. 29, 2013, TEC agreed to a court-imposed temporary injunction preventing its further use of the Diocese’s identity. The final ruling by Circuit Court Judge Diane Goodstein, which supported the Diocese’s request and rejected TEC claims, made that initial injunction permanent and dismissed the TEC arguments "with prejudice".

The Legal Background

TEC’s legal arguments can be distilled down to two related propositions. It claims to be a "hierarchical" church, with complete control of the entire organization located at its very top, much like the Roman Catholic Church, which is led by the pope. It claims that, as a "hierarchical" church, the establishment clause of the Constitution prevents any court from challenging its ecclesiastical decisions.

Courts in South Carolina, Illinois, California and Texas have repeatedly found there are multiple and significant problems with these assertions in this case.

The first is the fact that TEC's organizational structure is irrelevant to this case. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled clearly and repeatedly that in property matters like those involved here, courts may decide them using what is known as neutral principles of law, which means the court may not apply special conditions or rules that are different than those it would apply in normal property disputes.

An example of neutral principles was the 2009 decision of the All Saints Parish Waccamaw case by the South Carolina Supreme Court. The court said judges may decide the matter applying the customary laws of property ownership. The same principles were applied in the case of the Diocese.

Under neutral principles of law, several further crucial legal principles apply. First, it does not matter if TEC were hierarchical or not. That should be irrelevant under neutral principles of law. Second, TEC has no interest in the real, personal or intellectual property of the Diocese because no trust interest has been established to give it such a claim. Under South Carolina law, an express trust requires a written declaration signed by the party conveying that interest. No such document was ever executed by the Diocese or any of its parishes to convey anything to The Episcopal Church.

Similarly, though TEC has asserted trademark infringement as an issue in this case, the only infringement considered at trial was the denomination’s unauthorized use of the Diocesan service marks. The real issue was who has the rights to control the Diocese, TEC or those who have continuously been its leadership, in unbroken succession, all the way back to 1785.

About the Diocese of South Carolina

The Diocese was founded in 1785 by the parishes of the former South Carolina colony. Based in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, the Diocese is one of the oldest religious districts in the United States and counts among its members several of the oldest, operating churches in the nation.

The Diocese of South Carolina is recognized by Anglican Dioceses and Provinces around the world, many of whom have broken fellowship with The Episcopal Church, and in 2013 the Diocese joined the global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and entered into a formal relationship of Provisional Primatial Oversight with Global South Primates.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Polity & Canons* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted September 23, 2015 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

UPDATE: The Hearing today has ended
You may find the link here if you have the capability and time to try to watch it. Please note that there are three cases, and the third case of the historic Episcopal diocese versus the new Episcopal Church Diocese is the third. This means it will not start before 10:30 a.m. EST but it COULD start later as I understand it--KSH.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Conflicts* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted September 23, 2015 at 8:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Spong will lecture on "CHRISTPOWER in the Radical Center of Life--A New Christianity for a New World," followed by a question and answer session with the audience. Spong always promises to provide a provocative, thoughtful, and enlivening experience for seekers from all faiths and denominations (or none) and across all religious and political spectrums.

His appearance in Columbia is a cooperative effort of several local congregations including St. Luke's, St. Martin's in the Fields, Church of the Cross, and St. Simon & St. Jude Episcopal Churches, as well as the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia and the Jubilee! Circle, Columbia.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther Faiths* South Carolina* Theology

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Posted September 23, 2015 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Heading up the panel hearing the case will be Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal, who in that same position authored the Court's unanimous 2009 opinion in the case of All Saints Waccamaw v. Episcopal Church, which I quoted and analyzed in this earlier post. Also serving on the panel will be Associate Justice Donald W. Beatty, who joined in the Waccamaw opinion. It is not known yet whether any of the other sitting Justices have recused themselves (two of them did so in the Waccamaw case); the fifth, Justice Kaye Hearn, assumed her seat on the Court after the arguments in the 2009 case.

Chief Justice Toal, whose religion is Roman Catholic, is no stranger to the concept of what makes a church "hierarchical." In her opinion in the Waccamaw case, Justice Toal noted that South Carolina Courts are required to resolve church property disputes using "neutral principles of law" whenever possible. They may defer only to "the highest religious judicatories" when they have properly decided an issue "as to religious law, principle, doctrine, discipline, custom, and administration." It should be noted that in her written opinion filed last January, Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein expressly found that there were no such bodies in the Episcopal Church (USA) that had outside jurisdiction over either the Diocese or any of its parishes.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South CarolinaTEC Polity & Canons* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryReligious Freedom / Persecution* South Carolina* Theology

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Posted September 23, 2015 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Quinn has been overseeing the Cathedral as Canon to the Ordinary — or assistant to the bishop — since June 2014. The new priest at Church of the Nativity, built in 1908, will be the Rev. Shawn Malarkey, 41.

Quinn, who was ordained on Feb. 1, 1983, will be responsible for all services, events, maintenance and fundraising at the Cathedral, which is considered the center of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.

He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1977 and Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Ambridge in 1982. He's also served as a councilman in Thornburg since 2002, and has three children with his wife, Vera.
Quinn said he first attended an Episcopal service as a Pitt student, when he spent a semester at Gordon College near Boston.

Read it all.

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

1 Comments
Posted September 22, 2015 at 12:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It is also far from clear that such a shift would either get much support (outside some of the liberal Northern primates) or offer a practical solution. Not just GAFCON but many primates from the wider Global South remain of the view that the solution to the continuing crisis (based around a Primates’ Council and Pastoral Scheme for traditionalists in North America) was put forward at the Dar Primates Meeting in 2007 but never implemented, in large part leading to GAFCON forming. The Archbishop has refused to accept their view that this must be the starting point of any new gathering – that meeting will be nearly a decade old once the Primates meet, much has happened, and very few current Primates attended that meeting despite it being one which had a very high number of newly installed Primates. Justin Welby has rightly insisted, following extensive visits and conversations, that the meeting must find its own way forward face-to-face. But in talking of respecting the decisions of previous Primates’ meetings he has shown he is aware how many Primates still think that the proposal put forward there continues to provide a model for how best to proceed.

The sad reality is that support for something like the Dar approach has increased following the decisions earlier this year by General Convention (and to a lesser degree the Scottish Episcopal Church). These demonstrated that some provinces are now seeking to repeat the pattern of taking provincial action which disregards the mind of the Communion but in relation to the even more important question of Christian teaching on marriage. Some Global South provinces who were becoming more amenable to moving on from the painful history since 2003 and starting afresh (particularly with a new Presiding Bishop) are now clear that the fundamental problem of TEC unilateralism remains a serious one. That is one reason they have sought and secured a place for Archbishop Foley of ACNA during the meeting.

The way forward after January is unlikely to be simply a reversion to an earlier attempted solution, whether the Dar Primates’ model or the Anglican Communion Covenant in its present form. It is, however, even less likely to be an agreement from the Primates that they need to embrace a “federation” model of global Anglicanism.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Mtg Dar es Salaam, Feb 2007Anglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaEpiscopal Church (TEC)Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted September 22, 2015 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On May 3, 1817, he conducted the first...[Episcopal] service in Columbus at the Buckeye House hotel.

Four days later, he preached again at the High Street home of storekeeper Lincoln Goodale. “Some of those who came were merely curious. Others believed that God’s inerrant providence brought them to that spot. All listened with reverence as Chase intoned the service from the Book of Common Prayer and preached to them,” Lisa M. Klein wrote in her 2003 history of Trinity Episcopal Church, Be It Remembered.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted September 22, 2015 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the pioneer and perfecter of our faith We give thee heartfelt thanks for the pioneering spirit of thy servant Philander Chase, and for his zeal in opening new frontiers for the ministry of thy Church. Grant us grace to minister in Christ's name in every place, led by bold witnesses to the Gospel of the Prince of Peace, even Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer

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Posted September 22, 2015 at 5:42 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

U.S. Judge Delays Hearing on Episcopal Church Appeal Demanding Identity of Diocese of South Carolina, Pending State Court Decision

Judge refuses to confuse the rightful ownership issue as it proceeds to state Supreme Court this week

CHARLESTON, SC (Sept. 21, 2015) – A federal judge handed the Episcopal Church (TEC) and its local subsidiary, the Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) a setback today when he refused the request to reconsider a decision about who rightfully owns the Diocese of South Carolina identity, trademarks and other intellectual property.

Bishop Charles G. vonRosenberg, who heads TECSC, has repeatedly alleged that the property and identity of the Diocese of South Carolina actually belongs to the Episcopal Church and was wrongfully taken by Bishop Mark Lawrence, who heads the Diocese which left TEC in 2012.

Federal District Judge C. Weston Houck originally dismissed vonRosenberg’s claim in 2013, recognizing that the essential issues of the Diocese’s identity would be resolved by the South Carolina courts. Last February, South Carolina Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein ruled the Diocese of South Carolina was, in fact, free to leave the denomination and keep its property and assets. TEC appealed that decision and the appeal will be heard by the South Carolina Supreme Court on Sept. 23.

Meanwhile, TEC appealed Judge Houck’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The appellate panel ordered Judge Houck to reconsider his earlier dismissal of the case using a different legal standard for that decision. The panel decision was largely procedural. It did not issue any opinions about the merits of TEC’s claim.

In today’s decision to delay any further hearings pending the outcome of a South Carolina Supreme Court decision about the case Judge Houck wrote, “Regardless of the [state Supreme Court’s] ultimate decision, Bishop vonRosenberg’s rights will necessarily be addressed and will be adequately protected in the state court action.”

He referred to the Supreme Court hearing, scheduled for Sept. 23, as “the parallel state court action.”

“Basically, the Judge is saying that if the Supreme Court upholds the state ruling the case will be dismissed,” said the Rev. Jim Lewis, Canon to Bishop Lawrence.

Houck applied the Colorado River Abstention doctrine to conclude that the factors in this case presented the “exceptional circumstances” to warrant abstention.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South CarolinaTEC Polity & Canons* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted September 21, 2015 at 7:35 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Rt. Rev. Paul E. Lambert notifies the diocese that Bishop-elect George Sumner has received consents.
September 15, 2015

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I have been notified, by the Office of the Secretary of the General Convention, that Bishop-elect George Sumner has received the requisite number of consents from the House of Bishops and Standing Committees of the Episcopal Church. We are very pleased by this good news and give thanks to God and the Church for reaffirming our choice for our next Apostolic Father in God.

We will move forward with our plans for the Bishop-elect's Consecration on Saturday, November 14, 2015 at First United Methodist Church Dallas. The service will begin at 11 a.m.

Read it all

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

7 Comments
Posted September 21, 2015 at 7:09 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Including Welby, there are 38 primates. With Foley Beach, that makes 39. Foley's inclusion among the world’s primates, which is something conservatives have been wanting for years, is an admission by Lambeth Palace that the Episcopal Church cannot claim to represent all Anglicans within U.S. borders.

Also, the archbishop’s press release adds that Beach will be invited for “part of the time.”

What does that mean? The Atlantic could have inquired about that and about the obvious point that Welby had to have conferred in private with some of the conservative primates before issuing this call and that Foley’s inclusion in this gathering was the non-negotiable they insisted upon if they were going to show up. The Episcopal sites were commenting on this as were the Anglican ones, so The Atlantic should have picked up on these points, which were easy to find with a few mouse clicks.

The Atlantic did note that the only female primate, Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, will not be at this January meeting because her successor, Bishop Michael Curry, will have been installed. What should have been added is how her absence clears the way for those of the primates who still oppose the ordination of female bishops to attend. Now they will not have to abstain from Communion with someone they regard as having singlehandedly created a scorched-earth policy toward departing conservatives plus contributed to a 12 percent drop in church membership during her tenure. One wonders if Welby timed his gathering with that in mind.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesEpiscopal Church (TEC)Global South Churches & Primates* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted September 21, 2015 at 4:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The church was officially consecrated Dec. 14, 1924, as a mission chapel of the All Saints’ Parish of Frederick. St. Timothy’s ministered to the spiritual needs of the working-class community that grew as light industries did on the east side of the city beginning in the late 19th century and through the first half of the 20th century, said the Rev. Dan Webster.

Webster is the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland’s canon for evangelism and ministry development, and he came on behalf of the bishop of Maryland, the Rt. Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton.

St. Timothy’s membership, once nearly 200, has dwindled to the point that the diocese said the church could not be sustained. Average weekly attendance in the past decade was in the teens or below, Webster said.

“There was a very loyal core group,” said the Rev. Janet Johnson, one of the clergy who returned to the parish where she served periodically in recent years.

Sunday’s sermon, delivered by the Rev. Meredith Kefauver Olsen, directed parishioners’ attention to the possibilities for Christian work and life to transcend the closing of this building.

Read it all.

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

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Posted September 20, 2015 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

My dad was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1970, the same year that he married my mother and began doctoral studies in theology at Oxford. But Catholicism always pulled at him. In Providence, he argued with the Episcopal bishop over the Assumption of Mary — the belief that Mary was assumed body and soul into heaven immediately upon death, part of Catholic dogma but not accepted by all Anglicans.

At Oxford, he devoured the writings of one of England’s most famous Catholic converts, Cardinal John Henry Newman. Even his children weren’t immune. My parents named me Mary Benedicta, a name that evokes images of a wimple-bedecked nun. (They gave my brother the middle name of “Becket” after Thomas Becket, venerated by both Catholics and Anglicans as a saint.) So when Pope John Paul II issued a pastoral provision in 1980 allowing qualified married Episcopal priests to convert to Catholicism and retain their ministry, my father applied. In 1984, after two years of preparation, he was one of the first priests ordained under this process in the United States.

As Pope Francis prepares for his United States visit this week, priestly celibacy is up for discussion for the first time in decades. In February, in response to a question about married priests during a meeting with the Roman clergy, the pontiff stated that the issue was on his agenda. His secretary of state has reaffirmed that celibacy can be discussed because it’s a matter of church tradition, not core tenets.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & Family* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* Theology

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Posted September 20, 2015 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A circuit judge held a three-week trial last year and earlier this year ruled the diocese owns it name, symbols and property.

But The Episcopal Church and The Episcopal Church in South Carolina {who formed a new diocese of their own], comprised of parishes in the area remaining with the national church, have appealed.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: Central New York* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted September 20, 2015 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The challenge to Archbishop Welby and the gathered Primates will be to find a path that will allow the greatest possible number of shattered relationships to heal, and so in time (perhaps) to move the Communion to a new consensus.

But for that to happen, the Anglican Communion Office (through both the Archbishop of Canterbury and its Secretariat) will have to distance itself further from financial and ideological dependency on ECUSA and its wealthy constituents, such as Trinity Wall Street. For too long now, from GAFCON’s point of view, the revisionists have been calling the shots, but now there are signs that they at last are weakening. That is why Archbishop Idowu-Fearon will play a key role, along with Archbishop Welby, in resolving how best to start the realignment the Communion at the upcoming Primates’ Meeting, if that process is to begin at all.

If they try to help ECUSA and ACoC retain their erstwhile roles of influence, they will hasten the eventual disintegration of the Anglican Communion. Likewise, if they listen only to the voices of modernity, according to which each church’s or denomination’s view of Scripture needs to get in step with the culture, then they will seal that disintegration, by recognizing it as a fact that has already occurred. But if they actually listen to the voices that are seeking to hold the Communion in line with its traditional understanding of Scripture—an understanding that stems from the very beginnings of the Anglican Church—they may yet hope to call a halt to the disintegration, and to lay the first firm paving-stones for a Communion that will, one day and once again, derive its strength from its collective faith in the good news of Christ crucified.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaEpiscopal Church (TEC)Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchGlobalization* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted September 17, 2015 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Gracious Lord, we pray that your will would be done through this trial. May we want what you desire. Speak your words alone through Alan Runyan and the other attorneys who represent us. May the courtroom be filled with the pleasant aroma of Christ, and at the end of the day, protect this Diocese and its parishes that we might bring the redemptive power of the biblical gospel to the South Carolina low country and beyond. Let not our fear of outcomes tarnish our joy or deter us from the mission you have given us. Teach us to bless and never curse those on the other side of this conflict. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. And make us victorious over-comers wherever this road leads. For we ask it all in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

It is by God’s grace we have come this far. It is his grace that will bring us home.
On Wednesday, September 23rd, at 10:30 a.m., the Diocese of South Carolina will enter into oral arguments before the South Carolina Supreme Court. The Court has agreed to hear TEC’s appeal of the trial court ruling in our favor that was announced by Judge Goodstein on February 3rd of this year. In that order, Judge Goodstein ruled that the Diocese and its parishes:

• Are the owners of their real, personal and intellectual property.
• TEC has no legal, beneficial or equitable interest in any of those properties.
• TEC and its officers and agents were permanently enjoined from using our names or symbols.
• All the TEC counterclaims in the trial were dismissed with prejudice.

It is our prayerful hope that the state Supreme Court justices will uphold this decision in its entirety....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted September 13, 2015 at 2:25 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Having monitored the Anglican news scene for so long, I am noticing a sea change. Some Anglican news outlets seem to be having trouble finding stories to report. There have been slow seasons in Anglican news before, and the period following the Episcopal Church's triennial General Convention (which we are now in) is often one of those seasons.

But this time it is different, and I find myself questioning whether the Anglican news scene will ever be the same again. In July, I wrote a piece entitled, "Probably My Last Post about General Convention--Ever." I felt safe in entitling it that because, not only has the Episcopal Church moved beyond my ability to care, it has moved beyond the ability to surprise. For something to be newsworthy, there has to be a certain "Man Bites Dog" element to it; and, frankly, we will never see that kind of newsworthiness from the Episcopal Church ever again.

Gay bishops--done that. Gay marriage--done that. Transgendered clergy--done that. Panentheist theology--now so much a part of the landscape that orthodoxy is virtually extinct. Episcopal Church tries to co-opt African churches with its money--entirely predictable. What is left to surprise us? Polyamory? Rewriting the Prayer Book for a gender-neutral or feminine God? These are just the next stops on the train ride

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Episcopal Church (TEC)General Convention * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingReligion & Culture* Theology

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Posted September 12, 2015 at 4:35 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The striking and appropriate terms in which the prophet Isaiah depicts the character and offices of the Messiah, have procured for him, by way of eminence, the title of the Evangelical Prophet. He exhibits a glowing but faithful picture of the character of Christ, and all the humiliating and all the triumphant events of his life. In the chapter which contains my text, the prophet has dipped his pencil in the softest colours, and draws a portrait of the Saviour, which, while it conveys to us the most exalted ideas of his character, is calculated to awaken our tenderest and liveliest sympathy.

Let us then contemplate the character of Christ, as delineated by the prophet under the emblem of "a lamb brought to the slaughter," that our penitence may be awakened, our gratitude enlivened, and our souls warmed with the ardent emotions of love and duty.

Under the character of a "lamb brought to the slaughter," we are led to consider,

The innocence of Christ;

His tenderness and compassion;

His patience;

And, finally, to consider him as the victim for our sins.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* TheologyChristology

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Posted September 12, 2015 at 9:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Revive thy Church, Lord God of hosts, whensoever it doth fall into complacency and sloth, by raising up devoted leaders, like thy servant John Henry Hobart whom we remember this day; and grant that their faith and vigor of mind may awaken thy people to thy message and their mission; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer

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Posted September 12, 2015 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The former suffragan Bishop of Maryland, Heather Cook, has pled guilty to manslaughter and accepted criminal responsibility for the death of a Baltimore cyclist whom she struck and killed while she was driving while intoxicated on 27 Dec 2014. Appearing in a Baltimore City Circuit Court on 8 Sept 2015, one day ahead of her scheduled trial, Cook (58) pled guilty to vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence of alcohol, leaving the scene of a fatal accident and texting while driving. Prosecutors have asked the former bishop, who was deposed from the ministry of the Episcopal Church on 1 May 2015, be sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, with ten years of her sentence suspended, followed by five years probation. - See more at: http://www.anglicanink.com/article/cook-pleads-guilty-vehicular-manslaughter#sthash.S2obYoFU.dpuf

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchAlcohol/DrinkingAlcoholismLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureTravel* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted September 10, 2015 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves



The hearing of the appeal by TEC and its local agents against the Diocese of South Carolina starts today at 10:30 am Eastern Time.
Prayer for the Diocese of South Carolina posted on Wednesday September 23rd

We ponder the mystery that today’s court hearing for the South Carolina dioceses is on Yom Kippur, “the great day of covering over,”
and we honor Jesus, who paid the ransom for our sins with His precious blood.
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
We appeal to heaven and humbly ask for an alignment of this court case with Your perfect justice and righteousness.
We bless the South Carolina Court and Justices, the lawyers on both sides of this case, and the churches they represent.
May Your name be honored in all of the proceedings.
Your kingdom come to this hearing, Lord.
Your will be done as it is in heaven. Amen.

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for South Carolina here



Prayer for the Diocese of South Carolina posted on Monday September 21st

For the LORD’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted inheritance.
You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.
In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste.
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive glory.
He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye,
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power.
like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions.
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive strength.
The LORD alone led him; no foreign god was with him.
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive honor.
He made him ride on the heights of the land and fed him with the fruit of the fields.
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive riches.
He nourished him with honey from the rock, and with oil from the flinty crag,
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive wisdom.
with curds and milk from herd and flock and with fattened lambs and goats, with choice rams of Bashan and the finest kernels of wheat. You drank the foaming blood of the grape.
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive blessings.
Deuteronomy 32:9-14, Revelation 4:11, 5:12

Our Father in heaven,
We loose these songs of Moses and the angels over the courtroom hearings in the South Carolina litigation. Amen.

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for South Carolina here



Prayer for the Diocese of South Carolina posted on Monday September 14th

Ezra 6:22 (ESV)
And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy, for the Lord had made them joyful and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, so that he aided them in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.

Our Father in heaven,
We humbly request that You turn the heart of the judges to the Diocese of South Carolina in the upcoming litigation and aid the Diocese in the work of the house of God. Amen.

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for South Carolina here



Prayer for the Diocese of South Carolina posted on Monday September 7th
Psalm 22:3 (ESV)
Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.


Revelation 4:6,8 (ESV)
And before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal. And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures . . . And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,
“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!”

Our Father in heaven,

Enthroned upon the praises of Israel, enthroned upon the praises of the four living creatures, enthroned upon the praises of those who have been adopted as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ,

Holy is Your name.

We thank You for the blessings that You bestow upon the Diocese of South Carolina each and every day. You are her Provider, her Protector, and her Defender. You are her Good Shepherd.

The Diocese of South Carolina shall not want. You make her lie down in green pastures. You love her with a love that is beyond measure. You know her needs, and You sustain her, even in this season of litigation.

You lead her beside still waters. All of her fountains of joy are in You. You restore her soul.

You lead her in paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake. Your word is a lamp to her feet and a light to her path. Through Your precepts, You give her understanding.

Even though she walks through a valley of litigation, You are with her. She will fear no evil, for You guide her continually and satisfy her desire in scorched places and make her strong. Your rod and Your staff, they comfort her.

You prepare a table before her in the presence of her enemies. She delights in wine and milk without money, without price! She listens diligently to You and eats what is good. She delights herself in Your provision, and You anoint her head with the oil of gladness.

Her cup overflows, and she shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow her, and she shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen.

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for South Carolina here

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

1 Comments
Posted September 7, 2015 at 6:32 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The upcoming hearing of the appeal by TEC and its local agents against the first instance decision in favor of the Diocese of South Carolina is due to start on September 23rd. T19 will be posting prayers for the Diocese of South Carolina and its legal team as well as for the Court, judges and all involved as the hearing date approaches and encourages intercession for the people of God and His mission in South Carolina during this time.
1 Chronicles 27:25 (AMP)
Over the king’s treasuries was Azmaveth son of Adiel; and over the treasuries in the country, cities, villages, and towers or forts was Jonathan son of Uzziah;

Azmaveth–strong as death
Adiel–the witness of the Lord
Jonathan–Yahweh has given
Uzziah–Yahweh has helped


Our Father in heaven,
Your witness, Your help, Your gifts are the treasures of the Diocese of South Carolina.
We thank You for the bounty of Your treasuries.
You are the Lord of life, our Creator, and You overcome death.
Be present to the Diocese of South Carolina during the ongoing litigation, we pray.
Amen.

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for South Carolina here

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

0 Comments
Posted August 31, 2015 at 1:35 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)General Convention Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyMediaReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships

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Posted August 22, 2015 at 1:59 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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