Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rev. Kate Spelman is the youngest priest and the first woman to serve as rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Western Springs. Just before turning 30, she became the seventh spiritual head of the 120-year-old parish of 300 families.

Q. Where did you serve previously?

A. My first assignment was three years at Christ Church in Philadelphia, an historic church four blocks from the Liberty Bell. They held the Continental Congress there. It’s a big tourist attraction as well as a lively congregation. It was a wonderful position, sort of a boot camp with all sorts of experiences.

Q. How did you end up in Western Springs?

A. I felt it was time for a change. This was the first place I applied to and the last place where I interviewed, including parishes in California, Philadelphia and Virginia. Almost from the first moment, I felt very much at home and at ease here. It felt right.

Read it all.

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

4 Comments
Posted April 16, 2014 at 11:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A property rights battle over the historic St. John's Parish has ended years after a schism erupted within the Episcopal Church when part of the congregation opposed the church's acceptance of gay pastors.

Superior Court Judge Roger Ross on April 4 awarded the parish in downtown Stockton to the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.

The group that had broken away from the diocese - most of them with a history of multiple past generations in the Episcopal Church - and became aligned with the more conservative Anglican Church of North America was ordered out of the building in the ruling.

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* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues

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Posted April 12, 2014 at 11:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Gates, 56, will lead a diverse and active diocese with 183 congregations and 63,000 baptized members, but one that, like most mainline Christian churches, continues to struggle with attracting young people and with meeting the spiritual needs of a society that has drifted away from institutions and organized religion.

He is no stranger to the area. He attended seminary in Cambridge and started his career as a priest at churches in Hingham and Ware before moving to the Midwest in 1996. In Cleveland Heights, he oversees 2,000 members and a staff of 25 at St. Paul’s Church, and he helped found an interfaith social justice organization.

Before entering seminary, he served as a Russian language translator, researcher, and intelligence analyst for the Department of Defense.

Read it all.

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

2 Comments
Posted April 8, 2014 at 3:19 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In a brief order filed...[yesterday], the Supreme Court of South Carolina has granted the motion filed earlier by Bishop Lawrence, his diocesan trustees and individual parishes to transfer to it jurisdiction of the current appeals brought by ECUSA and its rump group in an attempt to delay the trial of the main action set for next July in front of Judge Goodstein.

The Supreme Court's action came just after ECUSA and its rump group had filed a petition for rehearing with the Court of Appeals, asking a full panel to overrule a single judge's earlier order dismissing that appeal, which seeks review of an order by Judge Goodstein denying the rump group access to attorney-client communications between Bishop Lawrence and his counsel, Alan Runyon.

The appeal raises the question of whether the rump group may be seen in law as the continuing successor to the Episcopal Diocese, or whether it is a new entity that began its legal life with a special convention in January 2013 -- regardless of whether ECUSA treats it for religious purposes as a continuing "diocese" in the Church. The rump group contends that they are the legal successor to the Diocese, and so are entitled to see prior communications between the Episcopal Diocese and its attorneys.

But the Episcopal Diocese is very much alive as a legal entity under South Carolina law, with its same Constitution and Canons (amended so as to remove any affiliations with ECUSA), as the rump group has found out in defeat after defeat these past fifteen months.

Read it all.

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

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Posted April 8, 2014 at 11:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Whether a lesson be mastered in obedience to conscience, or from a dread of punishment, from filial affection, or determination to beat a rival, is a question of little moment, I grant, in reference to the stock of knowledge acquired, but of incalculable consequence when asked in reference to the bearing upon moral character. The zeal to make scholars, should, in the minds of Christians at least, be tempered by the knowledge that it may repress a zeal for better things. The head should not be furnished at the expense of the heart. Surely, at most, it is exchanging fine gold for silver, when the culture of gracious affections and holy principle is neglected for any attainments of intellect, however brilliant or varied. What Christian parent, would wish his son to be a linguist or a mathematician, of the richest acquirements or the deepest science, if he must become so by a process, in which the improvement of his religious capabilities would be surrendered, or his mind accustomed to motives not recognised in the pure and self-denying discipline of the Gospel. Not that such discipline is unfriendly to intellectual superiority; on the contrary, the incentives to attain it, will be enduring, and consequently efficient, in proportion to their purity. The highest allurements to the cultivation of our rational nature, are peculiar to Christianity. Hence, literature and science have won their highest honors in the productions of minds most deeply imbued with its spirit. The effect, however, of exclusively Christian discipline in a seminary of learning, when fairly stated, is not so much to produce one or two prodigies, as to increase the average quantum of industry; to raise the standard of proficiency among the many of moderate abilities, rather than to multiply the opportunities of distinction for the gifted few.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryAdult Education* Culture-WatchChildrenEducation* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

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Posted April 8, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

God of justice and truth, let not thy Church close its eyes to the plight of the poor and neglected, the homeless and destitute, the old and the sick, the lonely and those who have none to care for them. Give us that vision and compassion with which thou didst so richly endow William Augustus Muhlenberg and Anne Ayers, that we may labor tirelessly to heal those who are broken in body or spirit, and to turn their sorrow into joy; through Jesus Christ, who livest and reignest 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* Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues

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Posted April 8, 2014 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

3 Comments
Posted April 7, 2014 at 4:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The South Carolina Supreme Court has intervened in a lawsuit and granted the Diocese of South Carolina’s Motion to Transfer jurisdiction from the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court. This may effectively prevent The Episcopal Church (TEC) and its local subsidiary, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC), from using serial appeals to further delay a trial to prevent the two groups from seizing Diocese of South Carolina property.

The Supreme Court decision comes days after TEC and TECSC filed new appeals apparently aimed at delaying the discovery process in advance of the trial that is scheduled to start on July 7. While the Supreme Court ruling does not prevent the denomination from filing appeals, it eliminates the time-consuming step of first going to the South Carolina Court of Appeals.


Read it all.

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

11 Comments
Posted April 7, 2014 at 2:24 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Early in the 20th century, some Orthodox leaders were willing to accept the "validity of Anglican orders," meaning they believed that Anglican clergy were truly priests and bishops in the ancient, traditional meanings of those words.

"It fell apart. It fell apart on the Anglican side, with the affirmation more of a Protestant identity than a Catholic identity," said Jonah, at the inaugural assembly of the Anglican Church in North America, held in Bedford, Texas.

"We need to pick up where they left off. The question has been: Does that Anglican church, which came so close to being declared by the other Orthodox churches a fellow Orthodox church, does that still exist?"

A voice in the crowd shouted, "It does!"

"Here, it does," agreed Jonah, stressing the word "here."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesOrthodox Church

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Posted April 7, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Expect only a short letter, for I have much to do. It is a stormy morning. Our tent, however, holds well. The trench dug round about it leads off all the water, and we are left within perfectly dry. Our little house was to have been finished,--I mean the shell up, ready for use,--by the 15th of this month; but it has been delayed many days longer; yet we hope to enter it by the middle of this week. Until three or four days since, we had no bedding or buffalo robes. We had two tents loaned to us, but we pitched only one, so we put the other at night on the ground, and slept on it. Tell our excellent neighbor, Mrs. Myers, that both the overcoat and gown, which she gave to me, have been of the greatest service to me at this time. The most of my clothing was boxed up at Nashotah, and sent by another route from that which we traveled, so that I could make no use of it at this time, when it would have been so serviceable; but the above coat was strapped to the top of one of my trunks, and the gown was in it, so I felt thankful to her for several nights of greater comfort than I should otherwise have had. For the bed was rather hard under the best of circumstances; but, after two or three nights, I could sleep as soundly as I have ever, done in the best of chambers, and now it is nothing. This is Monday morning. On Saturday Mr. Merrick accompanied me to Cottage Grove, a point that we had not yet visited. Our road lay through an uninhabited country, which yet is the condition of most of Minnesota. Only here and there is a settler, and occasionally a settlement. This, though harder for us, is better for the Church. I mean to say, dearest Kate, that the earlier the Church enters a new country, the better it will be for the Church, after a few years. But I purposed telling you about our visit to Cottage Grove. This is a settlement of about twenty farmers, within a circuit of about five miles. We had an introduction to one of the settlers, but could not learn from him that there was so much as a single Church family in the settlement. There was no school-house consequently, in the event of an appointment, we should be under the necessity of holding Divine Service in a private house, and this would be rather a favor to us than the contrary. Finding that some one of the denominations had made an appointment for the next day, we made ours by invitation for the Sunday after next at 3 P.M., intending in the morning of that day to celebrate service at Point Douglass, which is eight or ten miles to the south, at the junction of the St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers. We hope, under GOD, to establish the Church at the Grove and other like places, although several years may elapse before we can see churches arise, and communicants surrounding their altars. There is not a church or the first sign of the Church at that point. What a triumph if the Church can be brought to thrive there! With GOD rests what shall be done, yet we must employ our unceasing efforts to bring down the blessing. We had now walked about twenty miles to the Grove. It was also nearly two o'clock. What should be done? The next day was Sunday. Finding that we could not accomplish anything more here at present, we made inquiries after an English family that we learned was somewhere hereabouts, and found them to be living within five miles, and accordingly at once directed our steps thitherwards. Our road now lay over a prairie. The sun was very warm and we were tired, but on we traveled, thirsty enough to drink up rivers, for since morning we had drunk nothing but warm brook water or rain water. At length we reached a house, and calling for water, the man brought us a nice beverage of molasses, ginger and water, excusing himself by saying that the well was out of water, and that which he and the family used was warm. We drank, you may be sure, freely and safely of this. We were now within half a mile of the Englishman's house, about the only English family as yet in Minnesota. We now quickly found our way to the log-cabin of Mr. Jackson, and the result of our visit was, that we remained under his roof the rest of the day and night, and in the morning at 10:30 o'clock held Divine Service, and preached to his family only. No appointment was made for others. Here was 4 quiet missionary visit, a seeking out in the wilderness the lost sheep of CHRIST'S flock. This old man (sixty years of age) for three years--the period that had elapsed since he left England, --had not had the opportunity of the Church's services. He was d communicant, also his wife and daughter (married). The son-in-law had only been baptized in the Church, appeared to be attached to the Church, and engaged in the services understandingly. There was also a son (eighteen years of age) and a grandchild in the house, making six members of CHRIST'S flock under this one roof.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryLiturgy, Music, WorshipMissions* Culture-WatchMarriage & Family* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted April 2, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Teach thy Church, O Lord, we beseech thee, to value and support pioneering and courageous missionaries, whom thou callest, as thou didst thy servant James Lloyd Breck, to preach and teach, and plant thy Church in new regions; 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)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

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Posted April 2, 2014 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Once upon a time, from the UUA on down, “Headquarters” buildings were statements of power: “Look! We are important! ‘Notice us!’” But just as cathedrals don’t tower in an age of skyscrapers, so impressive-looking headquarters no longer draw notice. And “secularization” is only part of the reason for this change.

When we look at secular analogues, we see that newspaper and other publishing empires are down-sizing for many reasons, including digitalization and the demands and opportunities that come with the internet. Today denominational and agency business is largely transacted in ways that permit employees to work from home, committees to meet by Skype, Conference Call, and other digital means. Many in the “secular” public make up their minds about the power and value of religious works and workings not based on images of huge Interchurch Centers or denominational Power Houses, but based on what they do....

Planners in religious agencies may regret turning the key to close the Big House doors for the last time, but wise planners are using their skills and energies to advance their work through non-elite, less-strategically-located bases of operation.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesLutheranMethodistPresbyterianUnited Church of Christ* Theology

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Posted March 27, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bishops are ‘growing together as a house more deeply’

Read it all and you can find more information there.

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

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Posted March 27, 2014 at 5:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In 1899 a relatively obscure priest working in a City Mission in the slums of South Boston was compiling a book on prayer from articles he had written for the Saint Andrew’s Cross, a magazine of the recently established lay order of the Protestant Episcopal Church known as the Brotherhood of St. Andrew. Seven years before, this celibate priest had left the Order of the Cowley Father’s whose House was just across the Charles River in Cambridge. Although he left the order over a dispute between his superior, Fr. A. C. A. Hall and the Order’s Father Superior in England, the young priest never left the inward embrace of the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience—even less did he leave behind the spiritual disciplines of the religious life he had learned so well under Fr. Hall’s steady hand. Somewhere between his pastoral and social work among the sordidness and squalor of the South End—replete with red light district, street waifs, immigrants and vagrants— and his late night vigils of intercessory prayer or early mornings spent in meditation, not to mention the full round of parish duties, he found the time to write. In the final chapter of his little book, With God in the World, he wrote words that now appear as strangely prescient for his own life: “Men—we are not thinking of butterflies—cannot exist without difficulty. To be shorn of it means death, because inspiration is bound up with it, and inspiration is the breath of God, without the constant influx of which man ceases to be a living soul. Responsibility is the sacrament of inspiration. . . . The fault of most modern prophets is not that they present too high an ideal, but an ideal that is sketched with a faltering hand; the appeal to self-sacrifice is too timid and imprecise, the challenge to courage is too low-voiced, with the result that the tide of inspiration ebbs and flows.” He was to parse this belief taking root in his soul, with the phrase “the inspiration of responsibility”. Within two short years he would have the opportunity to test these words with his life.

His name was Charles Henry Brent, born the son of an Anglican clergyman from New Castle, Ontario in 1862. How Charles Brent, a Canadian by birth, came to be a priest in of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts and under the episcopacy of the renowned Phillips Brooks, and later, the almost equally celebrated Bishop William Lawrence, is itself an interesting story we haven’t time to explore. Suffice to say that God seemed to be grooming through the seemingly quixotic twists and turns of providence a bishop not merely for the church or for one nation, but for the world—a man, of whom it could be said, he was Everybody’s Bishop.

You may find Part One there and Part Two here. Take the time to read it all.

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

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Posted March 27, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Your Curmudgeon has just received reliable word that ECUSA and its attorneys intend to ask the United States Supreme Court to review the (interlocutory!) decision by the Supreme Court of Texas in Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth v. Episcopal Church (USA), in which the Texas Court recently denied ECUSA's petition for a rehearing. The decision is called "interlocutory" because it is not a final one -- the case still has to go to trial before Judge Chupp in Tarrant County District Court.

The U.S. Supreme Court, as a rule, accepts review of interlocutory decisions only in cases of extreme emergency, where further proceedings in the lower court could wipe out a party's chances ever to take a future appeal from the final decision, when it is eventually entered. (Recall that the Court denied the petition for review ("certiorari") filed by St. James parish, in Newport Beach, following the interlocutory decision by the California Supreme Court in The Episcopal Church Cases -- which returned those cases for trial, just as in Texas....)

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: Fort Worth* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted March 26, 2014 at 3:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From Gene Robinson:
This column will also go far beyond Christianity. God is infinite, and it comes as no surprise to me that there have developed, over time, many credible and faithful approaches to understanding God. In the end, no religion holds a lock on the reality of God. Each religion grasps only a part of the infinite God and offers insight into God’s reality, and we would do well to exercise a good measure of humility in claiming we know God’s will. Better to begin each pronouncement we make about God with “In my experience…” or “From my perspective…” or simply “For me….” At the end of the day, no matter how much we believe we know God’s will, we must acknowledge that each of us is only doing the best she/he can."
Peter Carrell then responds:
Sounds like Spong. But it is not. More like 'channelling Spong.' The author is a bishop of an Anglican church. To that Anglican church the Diocese of South Carolina once belonged. Here is a useful illustration of why that Diocese has said Enough is enough. A bishop, intended within Anglican polity to be a teacher of the faith, belittles his own religion and its claim to have received the fullness of God's revelation in Jesus Christ by declaring 'Each religion grasps only a part of the infinite God.' Further, as a bishop authorised by the church to proclaim the Word of God, the best he can do is boil down all proclamation of God's truth to 'In my experience.'

This is not Christianity. Nor is it Anglicanism as a manner of being Christian which is both catholic and reformed.
Read it all inclusive of the link and comments.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and PolynesiaEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* TheologyAnthropologyChristologyThe Trinity: Father, Son and Holy SpiritTheology: Scripture

8 Comments
Posted March 24, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From here:
For [the National Episcopal Church at] 815 [Second Avenue in New York City] to continue to pour money into the current property litigation in both those States is nothing less than an actionable waste of charitable resources on a purely punitive mission, and as such is a breach of fiduciary duty at the highest level.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

5 Comments
Posted March 24, 2014 at 6:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In another recent but unpublished decision, the same [South Carolina] Court of Appeals disposed in one paragraph of an appeal by a Baptist Church Conference from a judgment finding it had no ownership or trust interest in the property of one of its churches (Haselden v. New Hope Church, No. 2012-213355, March 19, 2014) (h/t: commenter "Joe"). The per curiam opinion is self-explanatory:
The General Conference of the Free Will Baptist Church of the Pentecostal Faith ("the Conference") appeals the circuit court's order granting summary judgment in favor of New Hope Church ("New Hope") on the grounds that New Hope owned the property on which it was situated free and clear of any legal interest claimed by the Conference. We affirm pursuant to Rule 220(b), SCACR, and the following authorities: Rule 56(c), SCRCP (stating that summary judgment is proper when no genuine issue exists as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law); Jones v. Wolf, 443 U.S. 595, 603 (1979) (stating that when resolving disputes over the ownership of church property, courts must rely "exclusively on objective, well-established concepts of trust and property law familiar to lawyers and judges."); S.C. Code Ann. § 62-7401(a)(2) (Supp. 2013) ("To be valid, a trust of real property, created by transfer in trust or by declaration of trust, must be proved by some writing signed by the party creating the trust."); All Saints Parish Waccamaw v. Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of S.C., 385 S.C. 428, 449, 685 S.E.2d 163, 174 (2009) ("It is an axiomatic principle of law that a person or entity must hold title to property in order to declare that it is held in trust for the benefit of another or transfer legal title to one person for the benefit of another.").

AFFIRMED.
Since it is unpublished, the opinion has no precedential value (i.e., it cannot be cited to any other South Carolina court), but its summary disposition is still a strong indicator of the way the wind blows in South Carolina. The Court found applicable Jones v. Wolf's holding that state courts may apply traditional concepts of trust and property law in resolving church property cases; a South Carolina statute setting out the legal requirements for a valid trust in the State; and the Supreme Court's opinion in the All Saints Waccamaw case, which ruled against a similar argument made by ECUSA and the then-EDSC. Taken together, those three authorities are all a court needs to cite in order to find a Dennis-Canon type of claim invalid and of no consequence under South Carolina law.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: Fort WorthTEC Conflicts: San Joaquin* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted March 24, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Despite losing his orders as an Episcopal priest, the Rev. Brian S. Suntken is continuing his pastoral ministry.

Suntken, who said he resigned as pastor of Christ Church Hudson and renounced his orders from the Episcopal Church in December 2012, officially was “deposed and his ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church ended,” according to a church document dated Dec. 7, 2013.

The document, which was mailed anonymously to the Akron Beacon Journal, was signed by three members of a hearing panel of the Cleveland-based Episcopal Diocese of Ohio who found Suntken guilty of eight of nine allegations against him, including misuse of church funds and dishonesty.

Read it all.

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

3 Comments
Posted March 24, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[TEC minister The Rev. Deon]...Johnson is one of at least three Livingston County clergy members who committed to performing same-sex marriages pending the outcome of the federal case.

He joins the Revs. Yvonne Schumacher Strejcek of the Community Unitarian Universalists in Brighton Township and Lynn Martin of Community Congregational United Church of Christ in Pinckney in agreeing to perform ceremonies, according to an Equality Michigan database.

Across county lines, there are several clergy in the Ann Arbor and Lansing areas who also agreed to perform same-sex weddings. Clergy in Dexter, Wixom, Waterford, Farmington Hills and Livonia, also plan to conduct ceremonies.

Johnson said same-sex marriage was discussed within the Episcopal Church decades before the issue reached the courts.

The church in 2009, spurred by growing acceptance of same-sex marriage, approved a ceremony that recognizes the unions within the church, regardless of legal recognition.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted March 23, 2014 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...the biggest objection to the article is that he never really gets to the meat of why the present crisis is such a big deal. If Anglicanism is a via media between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism as he (thank the Lord) rightly says, then it is not a middle way to nowhere, nor is it a middle way between faith and life, or between all sorts of other false polarities which are suggested in a number of recent discussions. The heart of Anglicanism is as Marco Antonio De Dominis rightly said in essentials unity, in non essentials liberty, and in all things charity. But what happens when the '“big tent” of Anglicanism that comfortably accommodated a full range of conservative and liberal beliefs' accommodates disagreements about matters which are not non-essential?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Episcopal Church (TEC)* By Kendall* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted March 23, 2014 at 3:04 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the vail; whither the Forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus."—HEB. vi. 19, and part of v. 20.

Life is full of changes and chances. It sounds commonplace to say so, and yet more and more one learns to realize that the commonplaces of life are the things we most frequently dwell on, and the things we most often need comfort about. Poverty and riches, sickness and health, prosperity and adversity, joy and sorrow, succeed one another in our lives in a way that men call chance, and Christians know to be the will of God. All external circumstances change and alter; friends fail us or are taken away; death breaks up family circles; we move away from the scenes of youth and dwell in other places; cities and towns lose their familiar appearance; nay, in this our day things that should be most stable shake and totter, and government and order seem about to fail, and the very Church itself partakes of the universal disquiet; and only the eye of faith can discern the sure and immovable foundations against which the gates of hell shall never prevail.

But, even if there were no external changes, the changes within us are still harder to bear. We are not what we were. Time more surely alters our inner selves than even it does what is without us. We do not love what we loved, we do not seek what we sought, we do not fear what we feared, we do not hate what we hated. We are not true to ourselves. However brave a front we may present to the world, we are compelled to acknowledge to ourselves our own inconsistencies. There is often a broad chasm even between the intellectual convictions of one period of life and of another; and our very religious convictions, except they are built on the unchanging rule of the catholic faith, contradict each other; and the weary heart, uncertainly reaching forth in the darkness, longs with an ever deeper longing for that immutable One "with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."

Blessed, then, is it to hear of an anchor of the soul. The imagery is simple enough. The ship, beaten by waves, tossed by tempests, driven by winds, takes refuge in the harbor. The anchor is cast from the stern. The ship rides securely; the danger is over.

Read it all.

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

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Posted March 22, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almighty and everlasting God, the source and perfection of all virtues, who didst inspire thy servant James de Koven to do what is right and to preach what is true: Grant that all ministers and stewards of thy mysteries may afford to thy faithful people, by word and example, the knowledge of thy grace; 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)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 22, 2014 at 6:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Today the Texas Supreme Court denied the losing parties' petitions for rehearing in the two ECUSA cases pending before it: No. 11-0265, Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, et al. v. The Episcopal Church, et al.; and No. 11-0332, Masterson v. Diocese of Northwest Texas. The Court had delivered its opinions in the two cases last August 30. In the first case, the Court had sided with Bishop Iker's Diocese by a closely split vote of 5-4, reversed the summary judgment of Circuit Judge John Chupp which had awarded all of the property and assets of Bishop Iker's Diocese to the Episcopal Church and its rump diocese, and sent the case back to the trial court. The majority held that the trial court had improperly failed to apply a "neutral principles of law" analysis to the issues. The four dissenters did not disagree with that result, but instead believed that the Court lacked jurisdiction to hear a direct appeal from the trial court's judgment in the case.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: Fort Worth* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues

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Posted March 21, 2014 at 4:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Episcopal Church and its local supporters in Fort Worth have suffered a second defeat from the Texas Supreme Court. On August 30, 2013, the high court reversed a lower-court decision that favored TEC’s claim to all church property in the Diocese of Fort Worth, which left the denomination in 2008. Today the Court denied TEC’s subsequent motion to rehear the case which now returns to the lower court for a new hearing and summary judgment based on neutral principles of law, not deference to a hierarchical church. We praise God for this very good news.

Some speculate that TEC will now seek a review of the ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court as a further delaying tactic, but given past decisions on cases similar to this, it is highly unlikely that such a request would be granted. In recent appeals, the SCOTUS has left church property disputes to each state Supreme Court to decide. Moreover, the Texas Supreme Court will issue its mandate referring the case to the trial court, regardless of any such filing.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: Fort Worth* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues

5 Comments
Posted March 21, 2014 at 4:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Elaine] Pagels contended that the gospel of Thomas was intended for those already familiar with a public account of Jesus’ life. Paired with John’s gospel, which the Princeton academic asserted was written in the same tradition, Thomas was written so that readers would have a “new, deeper meaning” “to be read complementarily” with John’s message of salvation.

Pagels speculated that Jesus was “probably illiterate” but memorized scripture the way Jewish boys memorize the Torah. It was “very likely” he quoted them all the time....

Pagels noted that Gnostics typically considered a “gloomy view of the world” and adhered to a “bizarre mythology,” but Thomas, in contrast, “is a simple list.”

“Whoever put John and Thomas together shared the same teaching tradition,” Pagels concluded.

Read it all.

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

3 Comments
Posted March 21, 2014 at 3:48 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As mainline Protestant denominations continue decades of decline, one of the main institutions helping educate its leaders announced Wednesday (March 19) that it will shut its doors.

Since it was founded four decades ago, the Virginia-based Alban Institute has guided mostly mainline congregations through consulting and publishing. Its founder and former president, the Rev. Loren Mead, became well-known for his speaking and writing about the future of U.S. denominations and was one of the first to predict denominational decline.

“When I started as a parish pastor, I found there wasn’t much help or continuing education,” said Mead, a retired Episcopal priest. “I am glad I have been able to contribute to the church, but I have not been able to solve its turnaround.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureSociology* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesLutheranMethodistPresbyterianUnited Church of Christ* TheologyEcclesiology

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Posted March 21, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Seven board members, of which I am one, made a request privately to the Chairman of the Board for a special meeting. That request was denied on both procedural and substantive grounds, with a response to the later questions coming from the Chairman alone even though questions were specifically put to the Dean. The seven then made a second request for a meeting, this time appealing to legal arguments to attempt to affect some discussion. That request was denied by the Secretary on legal grounds, with no mention of the merit of the concerns. One bishop then sent a personal request that we have a face-to-face meeting. The result was an invitation to discussion only, about which I shall say more.

Of the Dean’s video defense of the invitation, the obvious logical and theological issues are manifold and have been covered with far more alacrity and in far more depth than I am able. Suffice it to say that the idea that a seminary’s pulpit is somehow more resilient to heresy than a parish’s is indefensible. The idea that seminarians are more immune to heresy than are “ordinary” parishioners is both demeaning and unjustifiable. If the history of our tradition over the last half century has taught us nothing else, it has at least taught us that our seminaries are precisely where erroneous doctrines are incubated. The idea that professional and courteous attention to one known to present a false gospel will somehow be a witness and corrective thereto defies logic and is in violation of the clear injunctions of Holy Writ.

Read it all.

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

13 Comments
Posted March 19, 2014 at 12:09 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The head of the Episcopal Church in southeastern Michigan announced Tuesday that he strongly supports same-sex marriage, indicating to 70 churches that marrying people of the same in gender is in line with their denomination’s beliefs.

But the Rt. Rev. Wendell Gibbs stopped short of saying gay marriages could be performed immediately in local churches because the Episcopal Church technically still doesn’t formally approve of them, and they are illegal under Michigan law.

Noting that public opinion is shifting rapidly on the issue, Gibbs, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan, said that “picking and choosing whose rights should be protected or which civil rights the church will support is neither American ‘justice for all’ nor supported by the God of salvation history.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted March 19, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Court of Appeals effectively said it will not tolerate legal shenanigans to delay a trial to decide whether the denomination may seize South Carolina property, including churches and the diocesan symbols. In asking the Court of Appeals to dismiss the action, the Diocese of South Carolina argued that TECSC is appealing a court order that is “unappealable”.

South Carolina’s Court of Appeals justices agreed.

“We are grateful that the court recognized that TEC and TECSC are misusing the judicial system to delay resolution of this case,” said the Rev. Jim Lewis, Canon to the Ordinary of the Diocese. “Their strategy of using legal motions to delay court decisions caused eight months to be wasted when they asked the federal court to override the state court injunction. As in that matter, the courts sided with the Diocese of South Carolina.”

TEC has a long history of dragging out legal battles, apparently in hopes of draining the resources of parishes and dioceses it seeks to punish for leaving the denomination. According to the latest published reports, TEC has spent more than $40 million on litigation in the past few years. TEC routinely appeals court decisions in hopes of wearing down its opposition – and to intimidate parishes and dioceses that wish to leave the denomination.

Read it all.

The background to this story is here.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

13 Comments
Posted March 18, 2014 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

3 Comments
Posted March 18, 2014 at 12:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Everett L. "Terry" Fullam, who served as rector of St. Paul's, Darien, Conn., famous as tall steeple parish in the mainline Protestant renewal movement, died today. He was 82.

News of his passing came as a result of Bishop Gregory Brewer, Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida, who tweeted this afternoon, "Just heard that Terry Fullam passed away. A generation ago he was a hero."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* TheologyTheology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)Theology: Scripture

3 Comments
Posted March 16, 2014 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The meeting in Jerusalem this week was called in a sense of urgency that a false gospel has so paralysed the Anglican Communion that this crisis must be addressed. The chief threat of this dispute involves the compromising of the integrity of the church’s worldwide mission. The primary reason we have come to Jerusalem and issued this declaration is to free our churches to give clear and certain witness to Jesus Christ.

It is our hope that this Statement on the Global Anglican Future will be received with comfort and joy by many Anglicans around the world who have been distressed about the direction of the Communion. We believe the Anglican Communion should and will be reformed around the biblical gospel and mandate to go into all the world and present Christ to the nations.
--From the final text on which i will be giving a presentation later today

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Global South Churches & PrimatesGAFCON I 2008Instruments of UnitySexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeMissions* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIsrael* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

1 Comments
Posted March 14, 2014 at 9:04 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, will visit Nashotah House Theological Seminary on May 1, 2014. The invitation was made by the Dean/President the Right Reverend Edward Salmon, Jr at the request of several Episcopal seminarians studying at the House in order that she might become better acquainted with the life, character, and programs of the seminary and its community. Given the untimely and tragic death of one of those students, the Reverend Deacon Terry Star, a second year student from the Diocese of North Dakota who suffered a fatal heart attack on March 4, she has been invited to offer the encomium homily honoring Deacon Star following Evensong.

Deacon Star had served with Bishop Jefferts Schori on the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church. Her visit and homily will give the community unique insights into his promising life of ministry cut short by this tragedy.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

38 Comments
Posted March 13, 2014 at 9:59 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Throughout the rest of the book, Robinson seeks to convince the reader of the need for legal gay marriage in all fifty states and at the federal level. Chapters with titles such as “Why Marriage Now?” “Don’t Children Need a Mother and a Father?” and “What Would Jesus Do?” attempt to counter commonly heard objections to homosexual unions. Robinson concludes the book with his final chapter, “God Believes in Love,” where he makes the case that God’s bountiful love puts no restrictions upon the gender of those expressing their love for one another.

God Believes in Love is a deeply personal story told with conviction, but it comes up short in a number of areas. The most glaring is the undercurrent of self-centeredness which arises from time to time in its narrative. As in all divorce stories told by the uninjured party, Robinson’s is one in which everyone concerned has benefitted greatly from the break up. His wife was freed from a relationship with a man who couldn’t love her in a truly marital way. His daughters benefitted from a happier father, and they built a new and wonderful relationship with their new stepdad, Mark. Above all, Robinson was able to be “true to himself,” the highest in our current table of virtues. But one wonders how his ex-wife and daughters remember those difficult years when Robinson decided to disassemble their family (the children were four and eight years old).

While Robinson served as a bishop in the Episcopal Church, he surprisingly uses far more secular arguments than theological ones.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ConflictsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

3 Comments
Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The young man, weighed down by luggage and despair, was a first-time flier on his way to a funeral in Detroit. His father’s.

He was unaware that most airlines no longer haul checked bags free, and he was short on money. So workers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport did what they often do when passengers encounter a problem: They sent him to the chapel.

The Interfaith Airport Chaplaincy, in the atrium next to a steak-and-brew restaurant, offers more than a two-item menu of spiritual guidance and comfort. It is the concierge for the disconnected. Maj. Larry Cowper of the Salvation Army and the Rev. Donna Mote of the Episcopal Church lent the traveler a sympathetic ear. Then Ms. Mote accompanied him back to the check-in, pulled out the chaplaincy credit card and covered the fee.

Read it all.

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

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Posted March 11, 2014 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Christ Episcopal Church in Marion is inviting the public to attend a special Lenten season program on end-of-life issues and celebrate Holy Week with a symbolic meal.

“This is a season when we think about our own mortality and look at Christ’s last days on Earth,” said the Rev. Emily Edmondson. “On Ash Wednesday, we remember that we were created from dust and to dust we will return.”

Discussions will be held on Wednesday evenings from March 12 through April 9 with different topics each week led by an expert in the field. Each evening begins with a prayer and soup and sandwich dinner at 5:30 p.m. with the program following the meal.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryAdult Education* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal Issues* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted March 10, 2014 at 12:32 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

More than 40 religious leaders from the North Shore and elsewhere in the Chicago area have sent a letter to Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), calling on him to help families struggling with unemployment. The clergy have asked Sen. Kirk to support the extension of emergency unemployment compensation (EUC), a federal program that provides unemployment aid after state benefits have been exhausted. This aid helps families pay bills and put food on the table, while they seek work in a difficult job market. EUC expired last December, and Congress has so far been unable to reinstate it, causing more than 2 million people to lose this vital assistance, including more than 110,000 from Illinois.

Sen. Kirk has twice voted against reinstating EUC, even though the unemployment rate in Illinois is 8.9 percent—the third highest in the nation. The last vote, which happened in February, fell one vote short of passage. Sen. Kirk’s “no” is widely seen as decisive in killing that bill, and he will hold the key vote when the Senate again considers the bill, which may be as early as next week. The letter follows....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPolitics in General

1 Comments
Posted March 10, 2014 at 12:19 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The order list published this morning by the United States Supreme Court shows that, after relisting the case for its conferences four times, it has denied certiorari (review) in No. 13-449, The Falls Church v. Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, et al. Under its rules, the Court grants certiorari when at least four of the nine justices are interested in a given case; it takes five justices to make a majority.

Read it all and and there is a Washington Post article there.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: Virginia* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues

10 Comments
Posted March 10, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde, leader of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, and members of St. Paul’s Parish in Washington, D.C., imposed ashes on commuters and other passers-by on Ash Wednesday (March 5) near the Foggy Bottom Metro station in the nation’s capital. Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent, the period of penance and fasting preceding Easter.

Enjoy all the photos.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture

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Posted March 8, 2014 at 7:46 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

They call themselves the Rectors of Rock. The Fathers of Funk. The Collar Studs.

It's all cheeky fun, but believe it or not, these four Episcopal priests live up to the billing.

Fathers Drew Bunting, Andrew Jones, David Simmons and Don Fleischman are the fab four of Monstrance, a rock, blues and country band more interested in fun than fame, whose members lend their considerable talents to worthy causes throughout the Milwaukee diocese.

"We're not in this to make money. We know we're never going on tour," said Bunting, priest-in-charge at St. James Episcopal Church in Milwaukee, who sings lead vocals and plays bass in the band. "We just want to have a good time. We know we have these gifts, and we want to use them in service of the greater good."


Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted March 7, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent

3 Comments
Posted March 6, 2014 at 12:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Thank you so much for the outpouring of love and prayers today for our community. Our prayers are with the family of Deacon Terry Star. Deacon Terry left this earth for the glories of heaven on March 4. His death was unexpected, caused by a heart attack that likely happened suddenly and peacefully in the night or early morning hours of March 4.

Read it all and enjoy the pictures.

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

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Posted March 6, 2014 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The order list published this morning by the United States Supreme Court shows that it still has taken no final action on the petition for review in No. 13-449, The Falls Church v. Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, et al. Under its rules, the Court grants certiorari when at least four of the nine justices are interested in a given case; it takes five justices to make a majority. The postponement can mean only that either the justices are still discussing what disposition will be made of the case, or that there are one or more dissents from what has been decided (but not yet announced). If the latter is the case, we will eventually learn that less than four justices voted to grant review, and that they were taking the time to write a dissent to be published with the announcement.

As soon as the Court updates the docket sheet, we will have a better idea of which of these alternatives may be the case. The Court's next conference is this Friday, March 7.

Read it all

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

0 Comments
Posted March 3, 2014 at 9:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all and note you can click the profile link for a lot more information.

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

2 Comments
Posted March 3, 2014 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In 1955 Bishop Benitez enrolled in St Luke's School of Theology at the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee to study for Holy Orders in the Episcopal Church. He was ordained in the Diocese of Florida in 1958 and assigned to St James Episcopal Church, Lake City, Florida. For two years (1961-62) he served as Canon Pastor of St John's Cathedral, Jacksonville, Florida, before being called as Rector of Grace Church, Ocala, Florida.
His years in Ocala were challenging ones in the life of the Church. The tensions of the civil rights movement caused Bishop Benitez to receive threats and hate messages as he stood up boldly against segregation. His parish school was the first in the area to be integrated, a step taken well before the public school system did the same. Still, he was held in such wide respect that when the public system's teachers later went on strike, he was asked by both sides to act as mediator of the dispute.
In 1968 he was called as Rector to Christ Church, San Antonio. There he introduced the exciting renewal program "Faith Alive!", which soon spread successfully throughout Texas and beyond. During his time there, he was elected to serve first on the Board of Trustees and then the Board of Regents of The University of the South, Sewanee, TN. He was called to the Church of St John the Divine in Houston in 1974, where he continued to implement popular forms of Christian renewal and evangelism. He served as chair of the diocesan programs of Christian Stewardship in both the Diocese of Texas and West Texas. Both dioceses elected him several terms as clerical deputy (representative) to the Episcopal Church's General Convention.
He was elected sixth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, and was consecrated on September 13, 1980 in Houston. For fifteen years he loved the privilege and responsibility of leading one of the strongest dioceses in the nation. One of his greatest joys was to continue the long example by which Texas presented more people of all ages for confirmation than any other diocese in the Episcopal Church. His first years as bishop coincided with the massive national capital campaign known as Venture in Mission in which the Episcopal Church raised funds for missionary efforts at home and abroad. The Diocese of Texas led all dioceses in total funds raised.

Read it all.



Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rt. Rev. Maurice M. "Ben" Benitez, 6th Bishop of Texas, died Thursday, February 27 in Austin, TX. Please keep Bishop Benitez's daughters, Jennifer Shand, Leslie Benitez, and Deborah Smith, and their families in your prayers.

Two funeral services for Bishop Benitez will be held on Monday, March 3 at 3 p.m. at St. Luke's on the Lake, Austin (5600 Ranch Road 620 North), and on Thursday, March 6 at 12 p.m. at St. John the Divine, Houston (2450 River Oaks Blvd).

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted March 3, 2014 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A special convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem elected the Rt. Rev. Sean Rowe as the provisional bishop of Bethlehem, according to a diocese news release.

Rowe, 39, has been bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania for seven years and will continue in that role. His position in the Bethlehem diocese will be for three years.

"It's a great day in the kingdom," said Rowe, in the release. "I am humbled and count it a privilege to stand before you today as your bishop. I am excited about this opportunity to serve you."

Read it all.

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

3 Comments
Posted March 2, 2014 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Charles VonRosenberg]...emphasized, however, the need for Christian unity among different denominations and groups who might not agree on all issues but who can still operate as a family with common roots and missions of faith and service.

"The spirit of God moves through history in the direction of unity among God's people. I believe that principle," vonRosenberg said. "I pray for our unity, and I encourage you to join me in that belief and prayer."

Read it all.

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

4 Comments
Posted March 1, 2014 at 2:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On the eve of [Melissa] Skelton’s consecration, I caught up with her for some questions:

Q. How do you explain your strong showing in the vote for bishop?

A. I’ve wondered a lot about this very thing. All that I can imagine is this: it had to do with the fact that I’m a woman and that I’ve had significant experience in developing congregations and assisting them to grow spiritually and numerically.

Q. Since Bishop Ingham was a controversial figure in the 70-million member global Anglican communion, how will you handle his legacy?

A. I intend to listen and learn a lot about what this experience has been like for the diocese — the positive parts of this and the more difficult parts. I’m trying to come to this with a real beginner’s mind, not making assumptions about people’s experience. By the way, I’m fully supportive of offering blessings of covenantal relationships between same-sex couples in the Anglican Church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained

0 Comments
Posted March 1, 2014 at 1:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by The_Elves

The docket sheet in the United States Supreme Court tells the tale. After receiving an extension of time, The Falls Church filed on October 9 in the Supreme Court its petition for writ of certiorari (or review) of the decision rendered by the Virginia Supreme Court last April 18 (and its denial of a rehearing on June 14).

The ever-cocky Episcopal Church (USA) and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, following its lead, declined to file responses to the petition. Four amici curiae ("friends of the court", being organizations interested in the case) filed briefs in support of The Falls Church: ACNA, the Presbyterian Lay Committee, St. James Anglican Church in Newport Beach, CA, and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. The case went to conference last December just on those briefs. And -- lo and behold! -- the Court ordered ECUSA and its Diocese to file a response before it ruled on the petition.

Such a request is noteworthy, because the Court's Rules explain that the Court ordinarily does not grant a pending petition without first calling for a response to it. Had the Court taken no interest in the petition, on the other hand, it could have denied the petition outright at its December 6 conference...
...........
Watch for the Court's release of its "Order List" next Monday -- and pray in the meantime that the Court be guided to grant review at its conference this Friday.

Read it all and see also SCOTUS Blog Petitions to watch - Conference of February 28 and Issue and Case File

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

0 Comments
Posted February 28, 2014 at 6:21 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The National Council of FIFNA endorses and affirms the ACNA College of Bishops’ statement (See below) issued on Feb 25, 2014, regarding the invitation to Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori to preach at Nashotah House.

In the interest of restoring “the trust that this particular invitation has seriously shaken,” we request that the invitation either be rescinded or that the venue be changed to an academic lecture by Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori in a non-liturgical context, followed by a time for discussion and response.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

2 Comments
Posted February 27, 2014 at 8:41 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori has not ruled out seeking a second nine year term as Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church of the USA.

Her comments came amidst a wide ranging interview broadcast on 25 Feb 2014 interview Kansas City National Public Radio affiliate station KCUR.

Asked about the sharp decline in membership since the 1960s, Bishop Jefferts Schori said the decline did not worry her. While there were fewer Episcopalians today, they were nonetheless better Episcopalians. The “membership levels of 50 years ago are not reflective of the faith” of the people in the pews she noted.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

3 Comments
Posted February 27, 2014 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Leaders of the Episcopal Church in Alabama were vocal in their belief that slavery was a benign institution. "Its members tended to be disproportionaately slaveowners," Vaughn said. "They believed there wasn't any discrepancy between the Christian message and slave ownership. They didn't see any conflict at all. They were blinded by their financial self-interests."

One of the towering but controversial figures in Alabama's church history was Bishop C.C.J. Carpenter, who was scolded by both the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in "Letter from Birmingham Jail" and by Episcopal seminarian Jonathan Myrick Daniels, who took part in marches in Selma in 1965 and was killed in Hayneville protecting a black girl from a shotgun blast. Daniels defied Carpenter, coming to Alabama in spite of Carpenter's warning to outside agitators. Daniels and other Episcopal seminarians picketed Carpenter House, the diocesan headquarters in Birmingham, and wrote that "The Carpenter of Birmingham must not be allowed to forever deny the Carpenter of Nazareth," in a harsh letter to Carpenter.

"I think Carpenter was a great bishop in many ways," Vaughn said. "He's remembered as a kindly, warm grandfatherly figure. He increased membership; he increased the budget. He just didn't get it though when it came to the civil rights movement."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchBooksRace/Race RelationsReligion & Culture* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 27, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Please take the time to read them in order (from bottom to top). An excerpt follows:
My experience at both Trinity and Nashotah House has led me to conclude:

1. You can be an Anglican seminary outside the control of the Episcopal Church and still survive.
2. You cannot be a seminary in the Episcopal Church and remain orthodox.

In witness to that, I point to the following news I received today: Bishop Iker Resigns in Protest From Nashotah House Board (because Bp. Salmon has invited Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to preach in Nashotah House's Chapel), an event that is shocking and tragic to many alumni.

Just as my "getting the House in Trouble" by reaching out to the AMiA and the ACNA and starting a congregation in the seminary chapel may have been the low point (as some would reckon it) of my deanship, the scandal of inviting Katharine Jefferts Schori to preach in the seminary chapel will probably go down as the low point of Bp. Salmon's deanship. I can only say that I would put the low point of my deanship up against the low point of Bp. Salmon's deanship any day. (I would also gladly compare the high points of my deanship with the high points of his.)

In Bp. Salmon's first interview as Dean and President, Doug LeBlanc reported:
Salmon said he plans to strengthen relationships, both among seminary faculty and staff and between the seminary and bishops of the Episcopal Church. (Emphasis added.)
Well, now we see where that has led, don't we? Salmon is further quoted as saying,
"The name of leadership is relationships - people connecting with each other and working together," he said. "Our broken relationships in the Church are a testimony against the Gospel."
No, Bishop, the heterodoxy of the Episcopal Church, in general, and of Katharine Jefferts Schori, in particular, are a testimony against the Gospel. We are called to separate ourselves from false teachers; and a shepherd, whether of a diocese, a parish, or a seminary, is called to protect his flock from wolves. In the words of the ordination vows Bishop Salmon took: “Are you ready, with all faithful diligence, to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrine contrary to God’s Word; and both privately and openly to call upon and encourage others to do the same?” To lead a seminary like Nashotah House in these days, and to fail to keep that ordination vow, is to see your seminary turn into another Seabury-Western, or General, or worse.



Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori* South Carolina* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologySeminary / Theological EducationTheology: Scripture

48 Comments
Posted February 26, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* Theology

4 Comments
Posted February 25, 2014 at 4:25 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Chris Young will become a pioneer in the Diocese of Davenport this summer when he is ordained to the Catholic priesthood by Bishop Martin J. Amos.

Young, 53, is a married, former Episcopal priest, and Pope Francis has given Bishop Amos permission to ordain for the diocese him under a 1980 pastoral provision admitting former Episcopal priests who have become Catholic into the Catholic priesthood.

Under the provision, more than 100 men have been ordained to the Catholic priesthood in U.S. dioceses since 1983.

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted February 25, 2014 at 3:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Watch it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Analysis- Anglican: Latest NewsEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: Fort Worth* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

0 Comments
Posted February 23, 2014 at 2:04 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Over the past several years, the U.S. Episcopal Church has filed church property lawsuits against churches and dioceses that have chosen to cut ties with the denomination over theological differences. Conservative Episcopalians have left, denouncing what they believe is the denomination's departure from scriptural authority and traditional Anglicanism....

Anglican Church of North America Archbishop Robert Duncan told Institute on Religion and Demography, "This is a tragic and unwise decision that threatens the future of Nashotah House." Duncan also serves on the seminary's Board of Trustees.

The seminary's dean, Salmon, explained that the decision came after Deacon Terry Star of North Dakota, a student at Nashotah and member of the Episcopal Church's Executive Council, said that Schori had advised him against attending the seminary. Two other female Episcopal students said they were also discouraged from attending the seminary. "All three said she should be invited to come and see ACNA and TEC in harmony," Salmon said, according to IRD. "No one here is fighting with anybody."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: Fort Worth* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologySacramental TheologySeminary / Theological Education

6 Comments
Posted February 23, 2014 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

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

3 Comments
Posted February 20, 2014 at 7:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Seen here as well as provided via email through multiple sources:
"BISHOP IKER HAS RESIGNED AS A TRUSTEE on the Nashotah House Board, where he has served for the past 21 years. This action was taken in protest of the Dean's invitation to the Presiding Bishop of TEC to be a guest preacher in the seminary's chapel. Citing the lawsuits initiated by her against this Diocese, Bishop Iker notified the Board that he "could not be associated with an institution that honors her." Similarly, Bishop Wantland has sent notification that he "will not take part in any functions at Nashotah" nor continue "to give financial support to the House as long as the present administration remains." He is an honorary member of the Board (without vote) and a life member of the Alumni Association."


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



Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologySeminary / Theological Education


Posted February 20, 2014 at 4:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Virginia Theological Seminary Dean Ian S. Markham caused a stir last year after giving a provocatively titled address at the Diocese of Delaware convention on “The Myth of the Decline of the Episcopal Church.”

Recalling that the denomination was not in a state of decline in the 1990s, Markham insisted that the Episcopal Church was primed for a turnaround after shedding hundreds of thousands of members in the 2000s. The address was met alternately with appreciation and incredulity from different corners of the Anglican/Episcopal blogosphere.

Markham has been a voice unabashedly predicting a positive future for the shrinking denomination. But now the institution Markham leads – the largest of the Episcopal Church’s 11 accredited seminaries — may itself be seeing a decline in support.

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted February 20, 2014 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

0 Comments
Posted February 19, 2014 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It was 50 years ago that the Rev. Wade Renn, the founder of Montclair Emergency Services for the Homeless (MESH) decided that enough was enough.

The former Boeing and Atomic Energy Commission employee had spent the first part of his life helping to make weapons of mass destruction and participating in research that Renn would only describe as "nasty stuff." His two physics degrees and scientific track record had earned him a spot in a prestigious Johns Hopkins think tank, but none of it brought him satisfaction.

None of it brought him peace.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* Theology

1 Comments
Posted February 18, 2014 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

(Updated Jan. 2014)
In September 2010, I put up an analysis, based on ECUSA's monthly statements and their annual audited statements through 2009, of how much ECUSA and its major dioceses had spent on attorneys' fees and other costs associated with the (then) 60+ lawsuits as catalogued here (see pgs. 23-26). In order to give as complete a picture as possible, I also included the latest ECUSA budget projection of legal expenses through the triennium 2010-2012.

One has to realize that ECUSA does not make it easy to discover the amounts it spends on litigation -- the leadership at 815 Second Avenue would obviously prefer that those who sit in the pews every Sunday and contribute their pledges not be aware of just how many millions have been squandered on ECUSA's scorched-earth litigation policy.

I am fully aware that those are fighting words to all those who support the current administration at 815 Second Avenue: "Prove it!" they say. Well, in the course of this post, I intend to do just that. So please suspend your judgment until you have digested the entire piece, and checked out all the links to my sources -- which are uniformly from ECUSA's own published financial statements and official minutes. I am a lifelong Episcopalian myself, and I am utterly ashamed and outraged by what the Presiding Bishop and her cohorts are doing in our Church's name.

Read it all and see also Allan Haley: Episcopal Church (USA) Annual Litigation Summary 2014

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

2 Comments
Posted February 18, 2014 at 11:09 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

It is a fact well known to certain Episcopalians—both those who have left the Episcopal Church (USA) and those who have remained—that ECUSA and its dioceses have followed a pattern of suing any church that chooses to leave for another Anglican jurisdiction. But the full extent of the litigation that has ensued is not well known at all, either in the wider Church, or among the provinces of the Anglican Communion. (Otherwise -- one would think -- it would never have been deemed to be conduct to be rewarded by this honorary degree, rather than this one.)

Your Curmudgeon proposes to do what he can to rectify this situation, by publishing an annual update on this site of the current status of all past and present cases in which ECUSA or any of its dioceses has been or is involved, from 2000 to date. Feel free to link to this post, to email links to it to other Episcopalians, and to send it to your Bishop -- and feel free to post any updates or corrections in the comments. In another update to be posted in the next few days, I will published a revised total for all of the money spent by ECUSA and its Dioceses to date on prosecuting all of these lawsuits (and, in the case of the second group below, defending them).

The lawsuits initiated by ECUSA and its dioceses to date are first listed below, followed by a list of the seven cases begun by a diocese or parish against the Episcopal Church (or a diocese). The listing endeavors to be as complete as I can make it. The first 83 cases, generally grouped by the State in which they each originated, are the legal actions filed since 2000 (of which I am aware) where the Episcopal Church (USA) and/or one of its dioceses played the role of plaintiff—the party who initiates a case in court by filing a complaint to seize the assets and real property of any church choosing to leave ECUSA. Please note that wherever possible the actual citation of any published decision in the case has been given. Also, please note the dates for the later cases, which demonstrate the acceleration of litigation by ECUSA and its dioceses in defiant rejection of the Primates’ call for a moratorium on litigation at the Dar es Salaam meeting

Read it all

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

1 Comments
Posted February 18, 2014 at 11:04 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Episcopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained

0 Comments
Posted February 11, 2014 at 5:35 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The congregation of about 100, led by the Rev. Paul Cooper, took up residence in the former Crossroads Community Church at the intersection of Rochester and Haine School roads in January, ending its three-and-a-half year journey to find a permanent home.

Formerly St. Christopher's Episcopal Church in Marshall, the congregation was one of 41 to leave the Episcopal diocese in 2008 over theological differences. The congregation joined the more conservative, biblically oriented Anglican Diocese of North America, but legal differences with the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh over property left the parish without a house of worship in spring 2010.

“We just laid down our labors and said, ‘OK we're leaving,'” said Cooper, 41.

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted February 10, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Growing up, Janice Melbourne wanted to be a nun. Instead she became a priest.

Her lifelong journey of discovery began with her birth in Tehran, Iran, where her father was a U.S. foreign service officer. The journey now has come to Rock Hill, where the Rev. Janice Melbourne Chalaron is the rector at the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour.

Her journey of faith began in a “marginally Methodist” family that went to church twice a year, attending Catholic Mass in Helsinki, followed by a return to the Methodist church, then an introduction to the Episcopal church through her husband, Pierre Chalaron.

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted February 9, 2014 at 11:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori* Culture-WatchEducation* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology


Posted February 9, 2014 at 5:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Executive CouncilHouse of Deputies President

0 Comments
Posted February 8, 2014 at 3:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Executive CouncilPresiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori

0 Comments
Posted February 8, 2014 at 2:58 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

CHARLESTON, SC, February 6, 2014 – The Diocese of South Carolina today asked the South Carolina Supreme Court to intervene in an appeal filed “primarily for the purpose of delay” by The Episcopal Church (TEC) and its local subsidiary, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC).

TEC’s appeal challenges a lower court ruling on the process both sides may use in discovery leading up to a trial that will decide whether the denomination may seize South Carolina property, including churches and the diocesan symbols. The diocese argues that TEC is appealing a court order that is “unappealable”.

“[TEC and TECSC] are misusing the judicial system to delay resolution of this case,” says the diocese’s request for Supreme Court action. “Their strategy of appealing an interlocutory order is evidence of that intent. This is the same strategy that caused eight months to be wasted at the start of this case in federal court where they asked the federal court to override the state court injunction.”


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

3 Comments
Posted February 7, 2014 at 8:21 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted February 4, 2014 at 8:55 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureSexuality* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

8 Comments
Posted February 2, 2014 at 11:37 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)House of Deputies President * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeriaUganda

0 Comments
Posted February 2, 2014 at 11:14 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The pediment of The Cathedral Church Of St. Paul in Boston has stood empty for 190 years, as the builders of the impressive Greek Revival structure ran out of money during the initial construction phase. It was finally completed in May of 2013, but since then it's come under fire for its unusual design, which features a backlit nautilus sculpture.

Though the original plans for the Episcopal church called for a classical relief of St. Paul preaching to King Agrippa, the current design is absent of traditional Christian iconography, featuring instead the clean lines of a seashell's interior which allude to Oliver Wendell Holme's poem "The Chambered Nautilus," writes The Living Church in a review.

Reverend and Dean of St. Paul's, Jep Streit, told Radio Boston that the nautilus was "the perfect metaphor for a spiritual journey." He elaborated, "The nautilus is evocative of so much more than the church. It creates its shell by outgrowing each previous compartment. It’s always moving into a new, bigger space, and it can never go back."

Read it all and follow the many links.

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

2 Comments
Posted February 1, 2014 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For the Episcopal Church Office of Communication, 2013 was a remarkable year.

“The year 2013 showed continued dramatic growth in audiences for all of our digital publications, our website and our social media outlets,” noted Anne Rudig, Director of Communication. Our internal and external media relations efforts yielded some significant placements and much expanded activity.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Data* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaReligion & Culture

5 Comments
Posted January 30, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Jan. 19 marked the beginning of the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, and the Most Rev. John C. Wester, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City, celebrated that theme at three faith gatherings while reflecting on the need for Christians to come together.

Bishop Wester began the public portion of his day at the Cathedral of Saint Mark in Salt Lake City, where he preached the Gospel at the invitation of the Right Rev. Scott B. Hayashi, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah, who celebrated the Holy Eucharist at the 10:30 a.m. service.

The two bishops decided the "pulpit exchange" was one way to publicly display their belief that Christians of various denominations share witness and fellowship, and can work together.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPreaching / Homiletics* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

0 Comments
Posted January 29, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Not only were the mainline denominations beset by divisive internal controversy; they were simultaneously smitten by a wasting disease, whose agent is variously identified but whose presence is plain. Their theological, demographic, and financial declines are related and continue unchecked. They are already too internally riven to pay much attention to division from others.

The ecumenical movement centered on “the dialogues” was carried by these now distracted and enfeebled bodies and the Roman Catholic Church. And there is no one to pick up the burden on the Protestant side. Evangelicals are rarely bothered by questions of eucharistic fellowship — or by sacramental matters generally — and when they do think about such fellowship they assume that they are all in it anyway. In the dialogue days, when a meeting included evangelicals they would regularly demand moving from worries about sacramental fellowship to more interesting matters.

So what do we do now? I think the first thing is to remember that we pray for something we will not do: “thy Kingdom come.” God will take care of that, and when he does he will sort out his Church in ways that will surely surprise us. It may happen any minute, so let us keep on praying for the unity of the Church.

If there is to be a long meantime, perhaps we may suppose that God will be up to something in it.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesLutheran* TheologyChristologyEcclesiology

6 Comments
Posted January 23, 2014 at 6:28 am [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 MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

0 Comments
Posted January 23, 2014 at 5:00 am [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

0 Comments
Posted January 23, 2014 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Reverend Thon Moses Chol is a pastor at St Paul's Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Virginia and one of South Sudan's Lost Boys, a refugee to the US....

Read it all and watch the whole video (a little over 2 minutes)

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesEpiscopal Church of the SudanEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchViolence* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 16, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When Congress authorized the creation of Washington National Cathedral in 1893, it envisioned a national spiritual home. Decades later, it became a setting for presidential funerals, sermons by the likes of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and worship services for epic national tragedies such as Newtown and Sept. 11.

But would it have thought of tai chi and yoga mats?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralHouse of RepresentativesOffice of the PresidentSenate* Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 16, 2014 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

U.S. District Judge C. Weston Houck issued a sharply worded ruling today that rebuffed efforts by The Episcopal Church to sidestep a South Carolina Circuit Court injunction preventing the denomination from seizing the identity and symbols of the Diocese of South Carolina.

In his ruling, Judge Houck said, “It appears Bishop [Charles G.] vonRosenberg is using the motion to express his disagreement with the Court’s ruling and to ‘rehash’ previously presented arguments. … As such, Bishop vonRosenberg’s motion is improper and reconsideration is not justified.”

Bishop vonRosenberg had asked Judge Houck to effectively overturn a state court injunction preventing him and his followers from claiming to be the Diocese of South Carolina.

“We are grateful Judge Houck saw through The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) efforts to distract from the real issues in this case,” said Jim Lewis, Canon to the Ordinary of the Diocese. “Their attempt to claim violation of trademark rights was little more than a stalling tactic.

“It’s understandable that TECSC wants to postpone the adjudication of the actual issues involved, but we’re confident the courts will not be distracted,” Lewis said. “Sadly, all the legal shenanigans simply add to the tens of millions of dollars the denomination has spent on legal bills aimed at bullying disaffected members to remain with TEC.”

TEC has historically used the courts to punish parishes and dioceses who disagree with the denomination’s shifting theology. The group has spent more than $22 million on legal efforts to seize individual church property and evict parishioners. At times when judges have ruled against TEC, the denomination has filed time-consuming appeals that have tied up break-away resources and, occasionally, worn down the resolve of individuals seeking religious freedom.

The state court case is scheduled to go to trial in July.

The Diocese of South Carolina disassociated from the Episcopal Church in October 2012 after TEC tried to defrock Bishop Lawrence. Following the Diocese’s decision, 49 churches representing 80 percent of the Diocese’s 30,000 members voted to remain in union with the Diocese and not with TEC.

The Diocese has consistently disagreed with TEC’s embrace of what most members of the global Anglican Communion believe to be a radical fringe scriptural interpretation that makes following Christ’s teachings optional for salvation.

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

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Posted January 16, 2014 at 4:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Good afternoon. Greetings to you in the name of Yahweh the Almighty, in the name of Allah the beneficent and merciful. Greetings to you in the name of the Eternal One who gave the Buddha his great enlightenment, and in the name of the Hindus’ Supreme Being that orders the cosmos.

Read it all

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

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Posted January 15, 2014 at 3:23 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

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Posted January 15, 2014 at 3:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In a Fresno courtroom Monday, Anglican Bishop John-David Schofield's presence loomed large in the long, legal battle between the U.S. Episcopal Church and the breakaway Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin.

Schofield, who died in October, is a key witness in a Fresno County Superior Court civil trial that will determine who owns dozens of pieces of property -- the Anglican diocese or the national Episcopal Church?

The bishop gave his videotaped deposition in late 2011, long after he led 40 of 47 parishes in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin away from the national Episcopal Church to form the Anglican Diocese of the San Joaquin.

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

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Posted January 15, 2014 at 6:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

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

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


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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On Monday of this week, South Carolina Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein denied the motion by the ECUSA parties to expand their counterclaims against Bishop Mark Lawrence and certain of his clergy -- a motion which I previously predicted would be denied in this earlier post. In ruling from the bench, Judge Goodstein noted that the counterclaimants had failed to show any good reason to single out specific members of the clergy for acting in accordance with the wishes of the Diocese they served -- actions that were ratified and approved by literally thousands of its members.

The Diocese's Canon to the Ordinary, the Rev. Jim Lewis, responded to the ruling with this statement: "“We are grateful that Judge Goodstein dismissed this most recent effort to harass our people with time-consuming, expensive litigation. Attorneys for both TEC and TECSC have tried to distract attention from the denomination’s efforts to seize our property by suing our clergy and pursuing our lay leadership. The judge’s decision ends the legal fishing expedition and forces all to focus on the only issue that matters: whether our religious freedom is protected.”

Read it all.

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

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Posted January 7, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

South Carolina Circuit Judge Diane S. Goodstein today denied efforts by The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) to expand its lawsuit by adding claims against four diocesan officials.

The judge, who had only a few months ago rejected efforts by the national Episcopal Church to drag literally all of the diocese’s officers into the suit, said there was no reason to single out the specific members of the clergy for acting consistent with the wishes of the Diocese as approved by literally thousands of members of the diocese.

In November, TECSC had asked the judge to expand its suit to include Bishop Mark Lawrence and three other clerics, alleging that actions they took to withdraw the diocese from the denomination were outside the scope of their legal authority and violated state law. In denying the motion, Judge Goodstein briefly referenced a last minute TECSC affidavit that asserted an early conspiracy to leave TEC. The Very Rev. Paul Fuener, a priest named in the affidavit, observed, “I am confident that his recollection of our interview is seriously in error, if not worse.”

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

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Posted January 7, 2014 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Ms. Tumminio told Anglican Ink that she was “not advocating for a change in The Episcopal Church's teaching on marriage to accommodate plural relationships. If, for instance, I was asked to perform a plural marriage, I would decline, explaining that it is not in line with the Doctrine and Discipline of The Episcopal Church.”

Her support for polygamy was not theological, but based on libertarian principles and a belief in civil religious toleration.

“Like most Americans, however, I do place enormous value on religious freedom, and so I hope that other Americans will be afforded the same freedoms that I am given. To that end, if plural marriage is a central part of another person's traditions, and if they want to practice plural marriage within the boundaries of their own faith and the limits of the law, then I have no opposition to that.”

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

4 Comments
Posted December 20, 2013 at 6:08 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When I heard a federal judge struck down part of Utah’s polygamy law last week, I gave a little squeal of delight.

To be clear, I'm an Episcopal priest, not a polygamist. But I've met the family who brought the suit, and these people changed how I think about plural marriage.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyPsychologySexuality* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

7 Comments
Posted December 20, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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