Daily Archives: June 25, 2009

From the Do Not Take Yourself Too Seriously Department

My sister-in-law, a professional storyteller, was in Europe speaking at various libraries. Later, she called her mother and told her that she’d just given a speech for 250 librarians.

“Great,” said her mother. “How much is that in American money?”

–David Rumpeltin in the July 2009 Reader’s Digest, page 175

Posted in * General Interest, Humor / Trivia

Long Beach Press Telegram: Anglican church fight goes to U.S. Supreme Court

For a Long Beach Anglican church, all eyes will be on Newport Beach in the coming months.

St. James Anglican Church, which made national headlines in 2004 when it joined with All Saints Church in Belmont Heights in a split from the U.S. Episcopal Church, on Wednesday petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision by the California Supreme Court.

St. James, which along with All Saints and St. David’s in North Hollywood, has been engaged in a drawn-out property dispute with the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles since 2004. It is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the state court decision that it says improperly gives certain religious organizations the power to take property they do not own.

Read it all.

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

CSM: Breakaway Episcopalians install a new archbishop

The Anglican Church in North America currently is made up of 700 dissident Anglican churches, ranging from tiny Southern congregations that meet at Holiday Inns to larger congregations like St. Vincent’s in Bedford.

“The challenge before them is obviously two-fold,” says the Rev. Bill Sachs, an Episcopal priest and author of the forthcoming book, “Homosexuality and the Crisis of Anglicanism.” “How do you meld all of these groups that have prized their particular identity? And the larger challenge is how do you transform a spirit of protest into a positive message that might even attract newcomers?”

Denominational realignment has dogged the Episcopal Church since it broke from the Church of England after the Revolutionary War. But never has such a large chunk of the church broken off in protest. Its intent is to form a polyglot communion with like-minded dioceses spanning from Rwanda to Argentina.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, ACNA Inaugural Assembly June 2009, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

Church of Uganda Declares itself in Full Communion with Anglican Church in North America

(Church of Uganda) The House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda, in its regularly scheduled meeting on 23rd June 2009, made several resolutions concerning the state of the Anglican Communion and the future of global Anglicanism.

The Bishops reaffirmed their commitment to the Anglican Communion and to the GAFCON movement as a force of renewal within the Communion, and pledged to continue to be a voice of orthodox faith, which is the biblical and historic faith of Anglicanism.

The Bishops were deeply concerned that the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) refused to seat the Church of Uganda’s duly appointed clergy delegate, Rev. Phil Ashey, and deprived the Church of Uganda from the representation to which it is entitled. The Bishops said, “The Church of Uganda’s prerogative to choose who should represent us was abused by the ACC by refusing to seat our delegate. We consider this to be a profound violation of our rights by the Joint Standing Committee and the ACC.”

The House of Bishops also reaffirmed its commitment to not receive funds from the Episcopal Church (TEC) and the Anglican Church of Canada, revisionist TEC and Canadian dioceses and parishes, and funding organs associated with them. The Bishops also chastised and called to account those Bishops among them who have violated this collective and long-standing decision.

Finally, concerning the formation of the Anglican Church in North America, the House of Bishops resolved that it warmly supports the creation of the new Province in North America, the Anglican Church in North America, recognizes Bishop Bob Duncan as its new Archbishop, and declares that it is in full communion with the Anglican Church in North America.

Likewise, the Bishops resolved to release, effective immediately, the Bishops, clergy and churches in America under its ecclesiastical oversight and to transfer them to the Anglican Church in North America. The House of Bishops further resolved to continue its partnership and friendship with them in mission and ministry, extends its hand of fellowship, and wishes them well.

Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi said, “This really is the moment we have been waiting for. We have been longing to be able to repatriate our clergy and congregations to a Biblical and viable ecclesiastical structure in North America, and that day has now come. To God be the glory.”

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, ACNA Inaugural Assembly June 2009, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda

St James Church Newport Beach Files Petition for Writ of Certiorari

St. James Anglican Church, which is at the center of a nationally publicized church property dispute with The Episcopal Church, today will file a petition for writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States. St. James is asking the Court to overturn a prior decision of the California Supreme Court, which conferred a special power on certain religious denominations to take property they do not own simply by passing an internal “rule.” The petition asks the Supreme Court to decide whether, under the U.S. Constitution, certain religious denominations can disregard the normal rules of property ownership that apply to everyone else.

Dr. John Eastman, a nationally recognized constitutional law scholar, has joined the legal team to pursue the appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. A response from the Court regarding the St. James petition can be expected as early as October 2009. A decision could be reached as early as mid-2010.

“We will be arguing to the U.S. Supreme Court that the California Supreme Court’s interpretation of state law has violated the First Amendment of the United States Constitution….”

Read the whole thing.

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

Religious Intelligence: New US Province is formed

God, history, and provinces representing the overwhelming majority of the members of the Anglican Communion were on the side of the ACNA, Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan told the 234 delegates drawn from the ACNA’s 28 founding jurisdictions including four former dioceses of the Episcopal Church, representing some 700 congregations and 100,000 Anglicans in the US and Canada.

The break with the Episcopal Church was now complete, Bishop Duncan said. “There is no one here who will go back.”

Delegates attending the June 22-25 convocation formally adopted the ACNA’s Constitution and Canons and were also addressed by Bishop Duncan — who was elected archbishop on June 21 by a meeting of the ACNA’s House of Bishops — and California megachurch pastor Rick Warren, and Metropolitan Jonah, the head of the Orthodox Church in America.

Archbishop Duncan lauded the comprehensiveness and unity of the new province, which bridged the traditional theological divide between High and Low churchmen, Anglo-Catholics and Evangelicals, in addition to the modern question of the ordination of women.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, ACNA Inaugural Assembly June 2009, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

Washington Times: Anglicans end meeting with blow-out service

When it comes to blow-out church services, the Anglicans can sure put on the dog. I’ve been filing stories for the past three days on the constitutional convention for the Anglican Church of North America, the emerging 39th province of the 77-million-strong Anglican Communion. The big party to end it all was Wednesday night (it’s 1:14 a.m. as I type this on Thursday) and it was a splasher.

The site was a Texas megachurch called Christ Church in Plano, a north Dallas suburb. Although I got lost getting there from Fort Worth (first ended up in Garland somehow), I knew when I finally drove up that this was the place. Talk about huge. Buildings everywhere and the sanctuary was cathedral-like in its vastness. All that was missing were side chapels and votive candles. The decor is a bit stark – no Christ on the main cross above the altar which goes along with low-church evangelicalism Texas-style.

Read the whole article.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, ACNA Inaugural Assembly June 2009, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

Post-Gazette: Orthodox extend hand to Duncan's new Anglican Church

The spiritual leader of the Orthodox Church in America offered to begin talks aimed at full communion with the new Anglican Church in North America, then named a series of obstacles whose removal could tear apart the hard-won unity among the 100,000 theological conservatives who broke from the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada.

“What will it take for a true ecumenical reconciliation? Because that is what I am seeking by being here today,” Metropolitan Jonah said to a standing ovation from 900 people assembled in a tent on the grounds of St. Vincent Cathedral in Bedford, Texas.

He spoke of St. Tikhon, a 19th-century Russian Orthodox missionary to the United States who initiated a close relationship with the Episcopal Church that later cooled.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, ACNA Inaugural Assembly June 2009, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Orthodox Church, Other Churches

Star Telegram: New Anglican church will benefit former Episcopalians, Bishop Iker says

The new Anglican Church in North America will give former Episcopalians new confidence and pride in being Anglicans, Jack Iker, bishop of a Fort Worth group that has left the Episcopal Church, declared Wednesday.

“Over the last 30 years, our members have winced or shuddered when they saw a story about the Episcopal Church in the public press,” he said, “because it has usually been about some scandal or outrageous thing one of our leaders has said or done.”

Iker said the new Anglican body “gives mainstream clergy and laity a chance to recover confidence and enthusiasm in being an Anglican Christian.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, ACNA Inaugural Assembly June 2009, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC)

California set to issue IOUs as fiscal crisis weighs

California’s controller said on Wednesday that he would have to issue IOUs in a week if lawmakers can’t quickly solve a $24 billion budget deficit, and the state’s treasurer plans to tap a reserve fund to meet debt service costs.

The measures came as a budget crisis deepened in the most populous U.S. state and the gridlocked legislature failed to pass a proposed $11 billion in cuts.

“Next Wednesday we start a fiscal year with a massively unbalanced spending plan and a cash shortfall not seen since the Great Depression,” Controller John Chiang said in a statement announcing that he would be forced to use IOUs to pay the state’s bills beginning on July 2.

Read it all.

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

More US troops to end Afghan stalemate

Thousands of American troops are being poured into southern Afghanistan to break the “stalemate” in the region, the senior British commander in the country said today.

General Jim Dutton, deputy commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan, denied that the British forces based in Helmand province in the south had been fighting a “losing campaign” against the Taliban.

But he acknowledged that “neither side could progress much” with the present force levels.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, War in Afghanistan

John Dickerson–The disturbing glee at Mark Sanford's downfall

The personal impact of the Sanford affair is more gripping than the political. Sanford has done a horrible thing to his wife and family and friends. He seemed to know and feel this more profoundly than other politicians we’ve seen go through this familiar apology exercise before. That doesn’t excuse him. Not that he was asking that anyone excuse him. He seemed to be trying to take all the blame, as he should. Some might think his explanations were excuses. To me they seemed like a man confessing the details of a crime.

The minute Sanford started speaking, the reviews poured in via e-mail and Twitter. He was rambling, confused. He didn’t tear up enough when talking about his wife. He favored his mistress. He answered the questions too thoroughly. All these judgments seemed absurd. A man standing in front of a bank of cameras in the middle of a complete collapse is going to say a lot of things poorly.

The snap judgments failed to acknowledge a grain of the fundamental human carnage we were witnessing. You can laugh at Sanford, as you can laugh at a video of a wrecked Amy Winehouse falling all over her house. But at some point, even though they did it to themselves, you have to feel sorry for them as human beings. You can do that, I think, and not be a fan of adultery or drug use.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Media, Politics in General, State Government, Theology

The Local Paper Editorial: Sanford's shocker

South Carolina, kept in the dark about the whereabouts of its governor in recent days, now knows where he’s been on many different levels. Mr. Sanford’s revelations at his Wednesday press conference were stunning in their content and by the sudden public presentation of his personal lapses. It’s a scandal for sure, but not necessarily crippling to the remainder of his term.

The governor admitted an extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina and having taken a five-day trip there without telling his staff of the destination. Long viewed as a devoted family man, the governor acknowledged being estranged from his wife, who is living with their four sons on Sullivan’s Island.

Mr. Sanford, normally resolute and self-contained, was clearly embarrassed and shaken by his public confession of the long-term relationship. Nevertheless, the governor managed to make a full explanation of his lapses and convey his commitment to make amends.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, State Government, Theology

The State Editorial: Mark Sanford has much to do to make amends for deceit

In an attempt to conceal this private matter, Mr. Sanford deliberately and willfully deceived the people of South Carolina. He eluded the state’s top law enforcement agency and lied to staff about his whereabouts. And he abandoned his duties and exposed this state in a way no elected chief executive should. By making himself unreachable and refusing to take the simple step of turning his authority temporarily over to the lieutenant governor while he was out of the country, he left more than 4 million South Carolinians unprotected in the event of an emergency that only he had the constitutional authority to respond to, particularly one that would call for the assistance of the National Guard. That is inexcusable.

The governor has decided to resign as head of the Republican Governor’s Association because of the problems, and we believe that is appropriate. There are those in our state who understandably question whether he will be able to continue as our state’s chief executive, and believe he should resign as governor as well. We are not ready to join them at this point.

This story is still unraveling, and we do not know what else might be turned up. Moreover, Mr. Sanford’s own actions in the coming days and weeks will play a huge role in determining whether he is fit to continue as governor.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, State Government, Theology

U.S. Soccer Victory Was a Miracle on Grass

The stunning 2-0 victory by the United States over Spain ”” the best team in the world ”” is probably the greatest victory by the men’s national soccer team.

And when you think of it, the victory Wednesday is probably the second-biggest upset by an American team, behind only the 1980 Miracle on Ice by the hockey team over the Soviet Union in the Olympics.

Those Soviets were state-supported professionals, beaten by amateurs from the United States. On the field in South Africa on Wednesday, everybody was a professional, although just about every Spanish player is employed at a higher level than his American counterpart.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports