Daily Archives: July 14, 2008

Darkest hour at Lambeth

Referring to the ordination of Gene Robinson and the behaviour of the American Episcopal Church, Dr Jensen says in this month’s Melbourne Anglican newspaper: “If we are talking about schism and the break up of the Communion – that’s where it starts and that’s where the responsibility is.”

This is just too simple.

If there is a break-up of the Anglican Communion, then Dr Jensen and the bishops who attended the GAFCON alternative Lambeth, must take some responsibility. There is blood on their hands.

The dual issues of gay priests and female bishops are tearing the Church apart and, indeed, threaten the very viability of Lambeth.

But what do we have?

The Vicar General of Melbourne, Bishop Paul White, writing to all Melbourne clergy, before leaving for Lambeth, said it would be “premature to comment on reports of division in the global Anglican Church”.

This is unhelpful and demonstrates a singular lack of leadership. The Anglican Church is broken and some would argue its very existence is terminal.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Lambeth 2008

Catholicism beckons Anglican clergymen

Jeffrey Steenson’s decision to leave his post as an Episcopal bishop in New Mexico last year came with a steep price.

The former Bishop Steenson, a married father of three who will become a Roman Catholic priest later this year, said his lifestyle was “nothing to complain about.” Along with other perks, he left a $100,000-a-year salary for a pay cut of $75,000.

“It’s a very big step. All the things you took for granted are gone,” said Mr. Steenson, who laughed about his change in financial fortune.

“And if your identity was shaped as a [Episcopal] priest or bishop, that has to be unmade and redone again. That’s a big thing. But I feel being in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church is worth those sacrifices.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, Roman Catholic, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

Christ Church, An Anglican Community, Comes Under the Spiritual Oversight of Uganda

(Press Release)

The congregation of Christ Church, An Anglican Community for the Four Corners, has unanimously affirmed its vestry’s decision to come under the spiritual oversight of the Anglican Church of Uganda. Bishop John Guernsey of Dale City, Virginia, will serve as the new bishop for Christ Church.

Christ Church joins the former Bishop of the Diocese of the Rio Grande, The Rt. Rev. Terence Kelshaw, the Church of the Epiphany in Cloudcroft, New Mexico, and St. Peters Anglican Church in Fort Collins, Colorado, in recently coming under the oversight of the Church of Uganda.

Christ Church was established in February 2007 by a significant core of lay leaders, formerly with St. John’s Episcopal Church, Farmington, New Mexico. By March of that year, other lay leaders, vestry members and the pastoral staff from St. John’s Episcopal Church joined this core group. The Rev. Carl Brenner, Rector of St. John’s Church for almost eight years, was called as Sr. Pastor for Christ Church in July of 2007. Deborah Gregory, former Minister of Worship for St. John’s, was also called to serve as the Lay Pastor for Worship and Administration at Christ Church.

While oversight by the Province of Uganda is considered temporary until an orthodox structure for Anglicans is formed in the United States, Christ Church is eager to build an even stronger partnership with the Church of Uganda.

Along with the churches from Fort Collins and Cloudcroft, Christ Church has been teamed with the Karamoja Diocese in Moroto, Uganda. The poverty and strife of the area provide many opportunities for Christ Church to give support to this host diocese. Yet Christ Church members know they will receive far more in the exchange.

Six members of Christ Church traveled to Uganda on a Solar Light Mission’s trip in August of 2005. They were immediately captivated by the joy of Ugandan Christians, who transcend lives of poverty and disease through a vibrant faith that they quickly share with everyone they meet. That faith is based on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the hope and guidance of Holy Scripture as God’s inspired word for the life and ministry of the Church.

Although the parish leadership is seeking property to establish a physical presence in the community, Christ Church has found a temporary home at Maranatha Fellowship Church, 618 West Arrington, Farmington. Services are being held at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday evenings in the Anglican tradition, with a twist that involves strong lay participation and contemporary praise and worship. For more information regarding the ministry of Christ Church, please contact us by email at christchurch4corners [at] mail [dot] com

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes

Anticipating a different Lambeth: the Primate of Canada reflects

A Youtube Video, three cheers for the Anglican Church of Canada for providing this.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Lambeth 2008

The Latest Newsweek Poll has a statistical Dead Heat between Obama and McCain

A month after emerging victorious from the bruising Democratic nominating contest, some of Barack Obama’s glow may be fading. In the latest NEWSWEEK Poll, the Illinois senator leads Republican nominee John McCain by just 3 percentage points, 44 percent to 41 percent. The statistical dead heat is a marked change from last month’s NEWSWEEK Poll, where Obama led McCain by 15 points, 51 percent to 36 percent.

Obama’s rapid drop comes at a strategically challenging moment for the Democratic candidate. Having vanquished Hillary Clinton in early June, Obama quickly went about repositioning himself for a general-election audience–an unpleasant task for any nominee emerging from the pander-heavy primary contests and particularly for a candidate who’d slogged through a vigorous primary challenge in most every contest from January until June. Obama’s reversal on FISA legislation, his support of faith-based initiatives and his decision to opt out of the campaign public-financing system left him open to charges he was a flip-flopper. In the new poll, 53 percent of voters (and 50 percent of former Hillary Clinton supporters) believe that Obama has changed his position on key issues in order to gain political advantage.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Analysts say more U.S. banks will fail, maybe as many as 150

As home prices continue to decline and loan defaults mount, U.S. regulators are bracing for dozens of American banks to fail over the next year.

But after a large mortgage lender in California collapsed late Friday, Wall Street analysts began posing two crucial questions: Just how many banks might falter? And, more urgently, which one could be next?

The nation’s banks are in far less danger than they were in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when more than 1,000 federally insured institutions went under during the savings-and-loan crisis. The debacle, the greatest collapse of American financial institutions since the Depression, prompted a government bailout that cost taxpayers about $125 billion.

But the troubles are growing so rapidly at some small and midsize banks that as many as 150 out of the 7,500 banks nationwide could fail over the next 12 to 18 months, analysts say. Other lenders are likely to shut branches or seek mergers.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market

Help to save the world, Pope tells Australia

Ten kilometres above the earth, the Pope delivered a message to the people of Sydney: the world is God’s creation and humanity needs to safeguard it against the ravages of climate change.

His message, unexpected and delivered in Italian, called for a spiritual response to the environmental crisis and asked Catholics – especially young people – to find “a way of living, a style of life that eases the problems caused to the environment”.

“We need to rediscover our earth in the face of our God and creator and to re-find our responsibilities in front of our maker and the creatures of the earth he has placed in our hands in trust,” he said.

“We need to reawaken our conscience ”¦ I want to give impulse to rediscovering our responsibilities and to finding an ethical way to change our way of life and ways to respond to these great challenges.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Climate Change, Weather, Energy, Natural Resources, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Four Important Audio Segments from BBC Radio Four's Sunday Programme Yesterday

The first starts about 45 second in and is on the recent vote of General Synod, it includes comments from David Banting and David Holding.

The second starts just past 29 minutes in and has Trevor Barnes having a conversation with women bishops Victoria Matthews, Kate Waynick, Geralyn Wolf, and Sue Moxley.

The third starts about 34 1/2 minutes in and is a conversation with Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales.

The fourth starts a little past 38 1/2 minutes in and is a conversation with the Bishop of Ebbsfleet, Andrew Burnham

Start listening by clicking here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church of Wales, CoE Bishops, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Gene Robinson: The God I know is alive and active in the church, not locked up in scripture

I believe in the living God. Now, that may not seem like a surprising statement for a bishop of the church to make – but as we approach the Lambeth conference of bishops, it may be a crucial belief to reaffirm.

The debate raging in the Anglican communion over the place of women and gays in the life and ministry of the church, and the name-calling about who does and does not accept the authority of scripture, belies a much deeper question: did God stop revealing God’s self with the closing of the canon of scripture at the end of the first century, or has God continued to be self-revelatory through history, and right into the present?

My conservative brothers and sisters seem to argue that God revealed everything to us in scripture. Ever since, it has simply been our difficult but straightforward task to conform ourselves to God’s will revealed there and to repent when we are unable or unwilling to do so.

For me, there is something static and lifeless in such a view of God. Could it be that even the Bible is too small a box in which to enclose God?

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Gene Robinson accuses opponents of 'idolatry'

The openly gay bishop whose consecration led to the crisis over sexuality in the Anglican Communion has accused his evangelical opponents of “idolatry”.

The Bishop of New Hampshire, the Right Rev Gene Robinson, is to defy the Archbishop of Canterbury by turning up uninvited at Canterbury for the Lambeth conference this week.

The Times has learnt that the crisis is likely to worsen, whatever is decided at the conference, because the Episcopal Church of the US plans to overturn its pledge not to consecrate any more openly gay or lesbian bishops.

The US church, which will dominate the conference with 125 bishops attending, is expected then to elect rapidly and consecrate a further five or six such bishops.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lambeth 2008, Presiding Bishop, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts

Walesonline: Stance on gay clergy may split Church

Canon Andrew Knight of Swansea and Canon Tudor Griffiths of Deeside were among five clergy who said in a statement yesterday the appointment of a bishop in a gay relationship could be “church-breaking”.

They said: “The innovation of the American and Canadian Anglicans in the area of teaching on sexuality has already caused enormous damage to their churches. If the Church in Wales were to follow the line indicated by the Archbishop, the same disastrous results could be expected here.

“It is a question of whether the church will or will not remain faithful to the whole teaching of scripture and Christian tradition. The ordination of persons in same-sex relations is, therefore, an issue of church-breaking significance.”

Canon Knight said: “While I am sure the Archbishop is entitled to his own opinions, it does raise the question about how far he represents us all and provides a focus for our unity… I’m not sure what the Archbishop of Wales thinks he’s doing ”“ whether he’s simply wrong about where he feels the community is on that issue, or whether he’s trying to start something.”

The Rev Lorraine Cavanagh, Anglican chaplain to Cardiff University, stressed that Dr Morgan’s comments should not be taken out of context.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Wales, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Carter Attorney General to Head Panel on Death Penalty

Gov. Martin O’Malley tapped a former U.S. attorney general yesterday to lead a panel examining Maryland’s death penalty, opening another chapter in the state’s long-running legal and political drama over the issue.

Benjamin R. Civiletti, who served under President Jimmy Carter from 1979 to 1981, was introduced at an Annapolis news conference along with others chosen by O’Malley (D) and legislative leaders to serve on the 23-member Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment, which the General Assembly created this year.

The diverse group — which includes law-enforcement officials, religious leaders and family members of murder victims — is expected to make recommendations to the legislature before it reconvenes in January, and death penalty opponents try for the third year in a row since O’Malley’s arrival to abolish capital punishment.

“I think the legislature will be very interested in hearing from this commission,” said O’Malley, who has urged a deeply divided legislature to replace the death penalty with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Death penalty proponents did not criticize the commission directly yesterday but suggested that its aim was transparent.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Capital Punishment, Politics in General

The Jerusalem Post talks to David Anderson about GAFCON and the Anglican Communion

GAFCON has been viewed in numerous media reports as an anti-homosexual movement. Is that the case?

In the media there is usually a desire to boil everything down to a couple of attention-grabbing sound bites. And sex and money are the two things that grab people’s attention the fastest. Certainly there is a factor of human sexuality among the issues that are before the Anglican Communion. But they are not primary. They are secondary at best. The primary issues have to do with other questions: Who is Jesus Christ? What did he really do? Was his death really necessary? Did he really rise from the dead? And what authority does he have over men and women today?

And then there is the issue of Holy Scripture. One American bishop has been widely quoted as saying, “The Church wrote the Bible and the Church can rewrite the Bible.” That point of view would represent a number of TEC bishops, although most might be wise enough not to say it so clearly.

On the other hand we have the New Testament scripture in 2 Timothy 3:16: “All Scripture is God-breathed.” There’s a world of difference between those two statements. A big part of the Anglican Communion has chosen to line up with the Episcopal Church, believing that Jesus is optional and that the Bible can be reformulated to suit the culture. That said, it should surprise no one that difficulties arise in determining what is a proper sexual standard.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, CANA, Episcopal Church (TEC), GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

The Lambeth 2008 Daily Programme for Bishops

Read it all by following the link on each day on the calendar.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Lambeth 2008

An Interview with a Western Louisiana Parish rector who went to GAFCON

BJK: What does GAFCON mean for the Lambeth Conference? What about the Covenant process?

GR+: The question, in my mind, and I am speaking as an individual, is how much value does the Windsor Report hold today? Two years after General Convention 2006, where we failed miserably to respond to the Windsor Report, in an adequate fashion, (B003 was not an adequate response by any means), a number of the signatories from the House of Bishops, stated they didn’t intend to comply by it. By the recent actions of the three bishops in California, you can see that is the case. They have already given the green light to their clergy to perform same-sex blessings, without the consent of the wider Communion. Obviously, they don’t intend to comply. If TEC has no intention to comply with the Windsor Report then whatever input TEC has in the Covenant process is going to be just as miserable. By the time the Covenant is agreed upon, if it is ever agreed upon by TEC, it will not be the same instrument that it started out to be. Therefore, I don’t see any value in the Windsor Report or the Covenant at this point. I know the draft will be discussed at General Convention, and I am a deputy, as I was in 2006. After seeing how the convention dealt with the Windsor Report, I can’t imagine that the Covenant will get a better reception.

BJK: What is the next step for the Diocese of Western Louisiana and Grace Church?

GR+: Our Diocesan Convention meets in October and I sit on the executive council of the diocese. The Bishop has told me personally that after Lambeth, the executive council will meet in August. He will then give us his opinion concerning where things are and the options we have for the diocese. It is his desire that IF the diocese chooses to do something that we do it as a whole. I would also prefer that. Being realistic, whatever decision the diocese makes, if we decide to move as a diocese, there will be certain clergy, parishes, and laypeople who will want to remain in TEC. Likewise, if we don’t move as a diocese, there will be clergy, parishes, and lay people who don’t want to stay. That will be a reality after October. The bishop is wise enough, and intelligent enough, to know that is going to happen. No matter what happens at the convention in October, someone will not be happy. There is going to be movement, but the question is where.

Read it all (hat tip: Brad Drell).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates, TEC Parishes