Daily Archives: June 19, 2008

College for Bishops Improving HOB’s Culture, Director Contends

As a larger percentage of the active members of the House of Bishops completes the three-year program in formation for new bishops called “Living Our Vows,” the Rt. Rev. F. Clayton Matthews, director of the Presiding Bishop’s Office of Pastoral Development, believes the number of deposition threats and inter-diocesan conflict among bishops will start to decline.

Bishop Matthews spoke with The Living Church shortly after the conclusion of the five-day residency training. The remainder of the annual curriculum consists of monthly coaching sessions for a three-year period after consecration. The program became mandatory for new bishops after the 75th General Convention in 2006.

By the end of 2009, Bishop Matthews estimates that one half of the 130 active bishops will be involved in the College for Bishops’ program.

“I am hopeful that we are encouraging our bishops to have a greater sense of community awareness and commitment while they exercise their prophetic role,” he said. “Oftentimes a prophet works outside the community.”

Read it sll.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

Middle East Anglican summit hit by leader's visa problem

GAFCON, which says it represents about 35 million Anglicans mostly in Africa, Asia and Latin America, will be held less than a month before the 10-yearly Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops from around the world opens on July 16.

[Arne] Fjeldstad said [Archbishop Peter] Akinola was not denied entry into Jordan but gave up after several hours’ delay at the border.

“He was kept in bureaucratic limbo,” he said. “They claimed that, as a diplomatic passport holder, he had to give advance warning that he was coming. He decided to go back to Jerusalem.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Global South Churches & Primates, Middle East

The Way, the Truth and the Life Publication Mentioned in this morning's posted Gafcon Press Release

It is a large pdf file which may be found here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, Global South Churches & Primates

Ahmadinejad says West failed in Iran nuclear crisis

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday the West has failed to break Iran’s will in the nuclear standoff, days after world powers presented Tehran with a new offer aimed at ending the crisis. “In the nuclear issue, the bullying powers have used up all their capabilities but could not break the will of the Iranian nation,” Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by state television.

World powers — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States — on Saturday offered Tehran a new package of technological and economic incentives in exchange for suspending uranium enrichment activities.

The West fears the process might be used to make an atomic bomb although Iran insists it only wants to generate nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Iran, Middle East

New Statesman: A discreet wedding?

The final words of the Sunday Telegraph’s coverage of the gay Anglican “wedding” caught my eye. “A champagne reception was held in the Great Hall of St Bartholomew’s Hospital . . .” it said, and afterwards the couple “left in an open landau and headed for the Ivy restaurant with close friends and family”. The order of service that was helpfully printed above made clear that these events happened on 31 May, and I was reading it on 15 June.

Let us get this straight. It is possible to conduct “the Church of England’s first homosexual wedding” – an event so important it is apparently set to cause “an irreversible schism” in the worldwide Anglican community – in London on a Saturday in May, and the national press does not notice for a fortnight.

Footballers and Wags, take note. The ingredients of a discreet wedding, it seems, are these: hold it in one of the country’s best-known churches (featured in both Four Weddings and a Funeral and Shakespeare in Love), with rose-petal confetti, a robed choir, morning suits, bridesmaids and a VIP congregation, and then, after a reception in the historic public building next door, process to dinner at the Ivy in an open-topped carriage drawn by horses.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Sexuality

Church is strong, says Archbishop Rowan Williams to the Diocese of Hereford

He said next month’s Lambeth Conference ”“ a global meeting of Anglican bishops held every 10 years ”“ could prove a turning point.

“My hope is that the conference will be a real trust building event,” said the Archbishop.

“The challenge is whether we manage those issues in such a way that they don’t just split us apart and isolate us from one another.

“I think that we face some very serious choices within the church but I don’t think the Church of England is on the edge of schism.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Lambeth 2008

Julia Duin on the Middle East Meeting of some Anglican Leaders

Many of the people attending these gatherings have smoldered for years over the church’s creeping universalism, the flouting of biblical authority, the increasing numbers of same-sex blessing ceremonies and the tolerance of gay clergy and bishops in the Episcopal Church.

GAFCON also is the conservative Anglican alternative to Lambeth, the once-every-10-years conference of Anglican bishops at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England, starting in mid-July.

Lambeth usually attracts more than 800 bishops, but GAFCON has peeled off about one-quarter of that number who have elected to go to Jerusalem instead.

No doubt the folks meeting in the Middle East have a strategy for Lambeth, a huge world stage where for three weeks every cause imaginable gets huge media exposure.

Unfortunately, this year’s Lambeth was organized to confound the media by avoiding decisive votes and statements. The massive gathering will be organized as a series of private Bible studies among the bishops.

So, no matter where you turn, there are a lot of secret meetings going on. At some point, the smoke needs to clear.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Global South Churches & Primates, Middle East

Will $4 Gasoline Trump a 27-Year-Old Ban?

One was an oilman from Texas, the other a high-paid energy executive. Despite that, or perhaps because of it, for seven years George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have been unable to persuade Congress and the public that domestic oil drilling is an answer to America’s energy needs.

With the clock running down on his presidency, Mr. Bush made one last push Wednesday by calling on Congress to end the 27-year moratorium on most offshore drilling. With oil at more than $130 a barrel, gasoline over $4 a gallon and the broader economy threatened, the White House is betting it can finally break a decades-old Washington deadlock between those who favor domestic oil exploration and those who say conservation is the key.

The question is whether Americans are feeling enough pain at the pump to force their elected leaders to go along, and whether it will make any real difference if they do.

“If Congressional leaders leave for the Fourth of July recess without taking action, they will need to explain why $4-a-gallon gasoline is not enough incentive for them to act,” Mr. Bush said Wednesday in the White House Rose Garden. “And Americans will rightly ask how high oil ”” how high gas prices have to rise before the Democratic-controlled Congress will do something about it.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Politics in General

In the Diocese of Florida, Two Parishes Merge

The Rev. Miguel Rosada read the gospel in both English and Spanish to about 350 worshipers during an unusual service Wednesday night at St. John’s Cathedral in Jacksonville.

The bilingual reading from Luke, in which Jesus commands his disciples to cast their nets wide and deep, marked a new reality for Rosada, his congregation and the Episcopal Diocese of Florida.

“You’ve cast your nets down and taken us up,” Bishop John Howard said to Rosada in welcoming him and his Spanish-speaking flock into the diocese.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Parishes

Tiger Woods won the US Open with torn ligament, 2 fractures

Woods revealed Wednesday he has been playing for at least 10 months with a torn ligament in his left knee, and that he suffered a double stress fracture in his left leg two weeks before the U.S. Open. He said he will have season-ending surgery, knocking him out of the final two majors and the Ryder Cup.

“Now, it is clear that the right thing to do is to listen to my doctors, follow through with this surgery and focus my attention on rehabilitating my knee,” Woods said on his Web site.

He sure wasn’t listening to doctors by playing the U.S. Open, a victory that now looks even more impressive.

Out of competition for two months because of April 15 surgery to clean out cartilage in his left knee, he suffered a double stress fracture in his left tibia two weeks before the U.S. Open.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

Key Document Released as GAFCON moves to Jerusalem

The pre-GAFCON preparatory consultation in Jordan wound up early, and the participants moved to Jerusalem on Thursday, 19th June. Hotel and meeting rooms previously unavailable in Jerusalem became available at the same time GAFCON leaders learned that previously granted permission for the Jordan consultation was deemed insufficient.

The time in Jordan was very valuable for prayer, fellowship, and networking. The group made pilgrimages to Mt. Nebo and the Baptism Site of Jesus. GAFCON Chairman Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, and Archbishop Greg Venables of Southern Cone, were for different reasons unable to be in Jordan. Both are, however, expected to play significant roles at GAFCON in Jerusalem.

GAFCON book, The Way, The Truth and the Life, will be released on Thursday, 19th June, in Jerusalem. A press conference will be held at the Renaissance Hotel on Thursday, 19th June at 19:00 hours.

The 94-page book is published by Latimer Trust and was prepared by GAFCON Theological Resource Team. It provides the theological and historical foundation for the movement of orthodox Anglicans that is meeting in Jerusalem June 22 ”“ 29. More than 1,000 Anglican leaders from 25 countries, including 280 bishops, are expected to attend the conference.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Global South Churches & Primates, Middle East

The Very Rev Professor Henry Chadwick's obituary in the Telegraph

Chadwick was a master of the art. Unlike lesser men who attempted these skills, however, his labours were inspired by honesty of purpose and an apparently genuine conviction that the Anglican Communion had an unassailable integrity.

The limits to his methods, on the other hand, became apparent at meetings of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, in its sessions between 1969 and 1981, and again from 1983 to 1990, when the Anglican penchant for resolving differences by devising accommodations based upon ambiguous verbal formulations had limited effect on the professionals of the Vatican.

Early successes at agreement were over simpler differences; when it came to ecclesiology, to the nature of religious authority, the Anglican methods proved sterile. Chadwick was personally disappointed: an important aspect of what he had correctly seen as a life’s work had driven itself into the sands. He always treasured a vestment which the Pope had given him.

Chadwick lived through huge changes in both the great institutions he served ”“ learning and the Church. He adapted with astonishing ease, especially in view of his seemingly inherent traditionalism.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Theology

Blessings and Anguish for Pastors in California

But in churches that have not resolved their stance on homosexuality and same-sex marriage, the court decision is likely to provoke even more confusion. In the Episcopal Church, bishops in different parts of the state have issued different directives to their clergy members.

Bishop J. Jon Bruno of Los Angeles has authorized clergy members to perform same-sex marriages, said the Rev. Susan Russell, associate pastor at All Saints Church, and president of Integrity, a gay and lesbian advocacy group in the Episcopal Church.

Bishop Marc Handley Andrus of the Episcopal Diocese of California, which covers the San Francisco Bay Area, is urging all couples, heterosexual and homosexual, to first be married in a secular service and then come to the church for a blessing. Since the Episcopal Church does not allow rites for same-sex marriages, he said, this is a way to treat all couples equally.

“Sometimes the church is not quite caught up with the civil society, and this is one of those times,” Bishop Andrus said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Parishes

Sense of Calm as Gay Couples Wed in California

Ariel Owens, 30, and Joseph Barham, 27, stood at Ceremony Location A about 9 a.m. Mr. Barham’s hands shook as Mr. Owens placed a ring on his finger. Moments later, they were pronounced “spouses for life.”

“I don’t know if it is a political statement,” said Mr. Barham, who works in human resources and lives in Richmond, Calif., across the bay. “I’m just marrying the man I love.”

California tourism officials were hoping for an influx of marriage-minded gay couples. Melissa Levine, 43, and Terry Levine, 51, traveled from Tucson to Indio, Calif., east of Los Angeles, with their two sons to apply for a marriage license. They later wed in Palm Springs.

“Why did we come? Because it’s not legal for us to marry in Arizona,” said Melissa Levine, a family physician. “After 18 years together, we thought it was about time.”

Unlike in 2004, time seemed less of an issue for prospective newlyweds. San Francisco had deputized about 40 volunteers, mostly city employees, to perform the marriage vows, but by midafternoon, most sat idly by. Mayor Gavin Newsom, who set off a stampede in 2004 by ordering the county clerk to issue same-sex licenses, even took time to grab a coffee. “Four years ago, I barely got out of my office,” Mr. Newsom said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Sexuality

A study of Newspaper Reactions to California Marriage Cases

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Marriage & Family, Media, Sexuality