Daily Archives: October 26, 2008

In Pittsburgh Episcopal split may lead to bitter property dispute

A historic church that counted among its members some of Pittsburgh’s key political powerbrokers of the 1800s will be the centerpiece in a battle over property in the Episcopal Diocese.

Until the issue is settled, Trinity Cathedral, Downtown, will attempt to serve two dioceses, something Episcopal Church officials said has never been done before.

Parishes that voted this month to leave the national church and align with another Anglican province and those who chose to remain in the Episcopal Church aren’t rushing to court to divvy up about $43 million in assets, but that day is coming, observers said.

“The position of the national church has been to encourage dioceses to litigate, rather than settle,” said Valerie Munson, assistant director at the Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy in Minneapolis.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh

In San Joaquin Separate churches seek to move on

On Saturday, delegates at both conventions noticed old friends were missing — and they felt the loss.

“Certainly, when a loved one dies, you want to move on. Yet it’s hard to transition from a deep relationship when they aren’t there,” said the Rev. Bill Gandenberger, assistant to Bishop John-David Schofield, leader of the breakaway diocese that held its convention in Fresno.

“It takes time. You can’t shake someone out of grief,” Gandenberger said.

Bishop Jerry Lamb, leader of the Episcopal diocese that held its convention in Hanford, said he also felt sorrow. Last week, Lamb began the process to suspend 36 priests and 16 deacons over charges they abandoned the Episcopal Church by taking part in removing the diocese from the Episcopal Church and repudiating the authority of the church.

“There’s a lot of personal sadness and sorrow seeing relationships end,” Lamb said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

In Central New York Ordination spotlights Episcopal church rift

Jeffrey Altman will be ordained an Anglican priest today in a ceremony that reflects Central New York’s role in the nationwide growth of a separate Anglican church in the United States.

Altman will lead Sunday services at Westside Anglican Fellowship, a Geddes congregation of about 25 people who began worshipping together after their former congregation, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Syracuse, split from the local Episcopal Diocese. They meet at Syracuse Vineyard Church.

It is one of dozens of breakaway congregations that have started Anglican communities in the five years since the U.S. Episcopal Church consecrated an openly gay bishop….

Read the whole article.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, CANA, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Central New York, TEC Departing Parishes

Garth Minott: The dangers of gambling

Gambling, as a key solution to our economic woes might not be as attractive as the pundits are making it seems. The Church, as well as all other civic groups, needs to remain resolute that the gaining of money at all cost is not in the best interest of our county and citizenry.

Money is a moral, material and spiritual issue. Emphasis on any one or two of these issues will lead to a breakdown in the moral and spiritual fabric of the society. There is evidence that the decay is evident elsewhere so there is no need for us to duplicate the problems and failure of others.

The fact that casino and other forms of gambling have been accepted as government policy does not mean the Church will be silent. On the contrary, the Church will continue to echo the words of the council: “The principle involved in gambling and the attitude to life which it inculcates are wrong. It is a selfish something-for-nothing attitude, and it involves a basic misuse of money and personnel.” Sounds familiar in the present climate.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Theology

N. Gregory Mankiw: Have We Learned Enough from the Great Depression?

Like most economists, those at the International Monetary Fund are lowering their growth forecasts. The financial turmoil gripping Wall Street will probably spill over onto every other street in America. Most likely, current job losses are only the tip of an ugly iceberg.

But when Olivier Blanchard, the I.M.F.’s chief economist, was asked about the possibility of the world sinking into another Great Depression, he reassuringly replied that the chance was “nearly nil.” He added, “We’ve learned a few things in 80 years.”

Yes, we have. But have we learned what caused the Depression of the 1930s? Most important, have we learned enough to avoid doing the same thing again?

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

From the Email Bag with Comments about the Comments from Yours Truly Again

Kendall, Bless you for your work and ministry, but I’m having to take your site out of my news reader and of my bookmarks. The anger of so many commentators has become too much for me, and anger is contagious.

The sheer hatred directed against ++Rowan is especially depressing, at a time when I don’t need anything else Anglican to lower my spirits. I don’t know how we reasserters expect others to be attracted to the Gospel if in “standing firm” for it we exemplify so few of the fruits of the Spirit.

We are going through another one of those cycles again where some commenters are failing to observe the blog guidelines. I know there are stresses in the Anglican Communion and the global economy, and that a major election is roughly a week and a half away. But if you wish to comment could you please–PLEASE–stick to the topic of the thread and keep in mind that what matters is not simply what you say but how you say it. Disagreement–including with yours truly–is fine; I am not running a blog echo chamber here, I expect people to think for themselves and understand I post things I agree with and those I don’t. What I refuse to give up on is the need for courtesy and civility, and with some commenters it is once again falling by the wayside. Thanks–KSH.

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

Posted in * By Kendall, * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet

Lay and Diaconal Eucharistic Presidency resupported in Sydney

Sydney Synod has overwhelmingly restated its principled support for lay and diaconal administration of the Lord’s Supper.

More significantly – in what supporters said is ‘a great outcome’ for women deacons – the motion also ‘accepts’ the argument that there is no longer any legal impediment to deacons officiating at Holy Communion given the wording of The Ordination Service for Deacons Canon 1985 and the repeal of the 1662 Act of Uniformity by a recent General Synod Canon.

However the motion itself does nothing to change the legal situation.

“We don’t make law or change law in a motion,” said the Bishop of North Sydney, Glenn Davies, in moving the motion “we merely express our view.”

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Eucharist, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Sacramental Theology, Theology

A Local Editorial: Voters, not polls, will decide

A Washington Post poll reported a 10-point lead for the Democratic presidential candidate in 13 key “swing” states 16 days before the election. That candidate was John Kerry. That election year was 2004.

When Election Day 2004 arrived, “exit poll” trends reported to the public before the real polls closed also indicated that Sen. Kerry would win the White House. When the real votes were counted, he lost by more than 3 million votes to President Bush, though it took a relatively slim, 118,775-vote triumph in Ohio for the incumbent to win the Electoral College and keep his job.

So despite Sen. Kerry’s apparent inside track to victory, he was not elected president. And despite the significant edge Barack Obama has held over John McCain in most recent polls, particularly in “swing” states, he hasn’t won the presidency yet.

That’s a critical lesson learned across party lines long before 2004.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Sister Emmanuelle, Revered in France for Candor and Caring, Is Dead at 99

“When you hear this message, I will no longer be there,” the voice, characteristically spirited, confident, just a little bit cheeky and familiar to all of France, said on a tape released this week.

The words were those of Sister Emmanuelle, a nun revered for her work with the disenfranchised, especially among the garbage-scavengers of Cairo, and renowned for her television appearances in France as an advocate for the poor. She died Monday at a retirement home operated by her order, the Congregation of Notre-Dame de Sion, in Callian, in the south of France.

She was immediately praised by the Vatican, her work and achievement likened to those of Mother Teresa. A spokeswoman for her charitable organization, the Sister Emmanuelle Association, confirmed the death. She was 99 and would have turned 100 next month.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, France, Other Churches, Poverty, Roman Catholic

The Economist: Into the Storm

For much of the past year the fast-growing economies of the emerging world watched the Western financial hurricane from afar. Their own banks held few of the mortgage-based assets that undid the rich world’s financial firms. Commodity exporters were thriving, thanks to high prices for raw materials. China’s economic juggernaut powered on. And, from Budapest to Brasília, an abundance of credit fuelled domestic demand. Even as talk mounted of the rich world suffering its worst financial collapse since the Depression, emerging economies seemed a long way from the centre of the storm.

No longer. As foreign capital has fled and confidence evaporated, the emerging world’s stockmarkets have plunged (in some cases losing half their value) and currencies tumbled. The seizure in the credit market caused havoc, as foreign banks abruptly stopped lending and stepped back from even the most basic banking services, including trade credits.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Globalization, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

George Conger–The Seinfeld Conference: A Reflection on Lambeth 2008

It could have been called the “Seinfeld Conference.” The once-a-decade gathering of Anglican bishops held this summer in Canterbury””the 2008 Lambeth Conference””was the conference about nothing.

Designed to avoid controversy, Lambeth 2008 set out to make no statements, take no stands, and avoid provoking new conflict within the Anglican Communion. By its own lights, the July 14 to August 3 meeting was a triumph for its organizer and host, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, for during those three weeks the oft foretold crack-up of the Anglican Communion did not happen.

Yet bishops from both the left and right branded the conference a failure. Lambeth 2008 was about nothing, said nothing, and achieved nothing, and by its inaction, the Anglican Communion was left in a worse place than if it had never taken place at all, Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda said.

Divided over issues of doctrine and discipline, with homosexuality garnering the most media attention, the bishops refrained from hurling anathemas at one another and in the end issued a paper expressing mild statements of concern on global warming, poverty, disease, hunger, domestic violence and other generally bad things””while also mildly affirming””in a non-provocative way””generally good things: peace on earth, the brotherhood of mankind, and church unity.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Lambeth 2008

The Rector of Trinity Wall Street talks about the financial crisis, 9/11 and faith

(ACNS) In your experience, do people suddenly discover or rediscover religion during difficult times like these?

I think, generally speaking, religion is either part of your life or it isn’t. What often happens during a crisis like this is that people come to a temple or a mosque or a church looking to identify with that part of themselves, rather than suddenly finding it in the midst. But clearly there will be some for whom this is the moment when that spiritual part awakens for the first time.

Many people are confronting their worst fears about their vanishing financial security and livelihood. I imagine you must be hearing about these concerns in your pastoral role. How do you comfort someone who is facing the loss of a job or life savings?

I think you try to be there with the person – physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually – that’s the first step. And then, out of that conversation, perhaps you try to give some encouragement and direct them toward services that can explicitly help with job transitions, outplacement, that sort of thing.

From a spiritual perspective, what comfort can you offer?

The basic comfort of the Christian tradition is that God is with us. That doesn’t mean that you won’t lose your job. It doesn’t mean that the hurricane is not going to hit your town or that a plane isn’t going to hit the buildings at the World Trade Center. What it means is that God is in the midst of all that, whatever’s happening.

The 23rd Psalm provides the essence of that: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” Why not? Not because it’s all going well in the valley of the shadow of death. The promise is, “I will be with you” to the end of time and through all of this. The theology in the Christian tradition and other traditions as well is that the loving presence of God is always in our lives.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, TEC Parishes, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Theology

Conflict resolution methods recommended for warring Anglican bishops

Warring Anglican bishops could be forced to confront each other in divorce-style “mediation” or conflict resolution, under proposals published today.

Theologians and canon lawyers responsible for drawing up the drafts of a new covenant, a document which is intended to re-unite the divided Anglican Communion around agreed practices and beliefs, have proposed that different forms of conflict resolution be examined to see if any might be suitable for use by Anglican bishops.

The document, drawn up after consultations with the bishops attending Lambeth Conference earlier this year, discusses the various types of conflict resolution that might be suitable.

Possible models include professionals involved in arbitration, mediation and reconciliation.

Read it all and follow the link to the proposals themselves.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Lambeth 2008

Savannah's Christ Church seeks new Anglican alliance

Leaving the Episcopal Church was about more than just leaving a denomination, Gene Prevatt says.

It was also about rejecting “the corruption of the church.”

“One does not have to look too far to see the continuing erosion of our freedoms, rising paganism, and an increasing hostility to the Gospel,” Prevatt wrote in an April church newsletter to fellow members of Christ Church in Savannah.

“God has called us out, and to those who are moving away, we have said, ‘No. We will not go with you.’ This is our turning point in history.”

For Christ Church in Savannah, that turning point began just over a year ago when leaders voted to sever ties with the Episcopal Church, claiming the denomination has failed to honor the authority of the scriptures.

Read it all.

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

Ottawa Anglican bishop seeks OK to bless same-sex marriages

An Anglican church in Ottawa may soon be the second in Canada to bless same-sex marriages.

Bishop John Chapman plans to ask the Canadian House of Bishops next week if he can develop an appropriate rite, then designate one parish — possibly Saint John the Evangelist on Somerset Street — to offer blessings to gay couples already married in a civil ceremony.

He told several hundred people gathered at Christ Church Cathedral yesterday for an annual synod, or general meeting, that he wants to take it slowly.

“We have talked about this issue since I was a seminary student in the mid-seventies. We must ‘experience’ the issue as a church before clarity of heart and mind might be attained. For this reason, I hope to proceed, but slowly and cautiously.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)