Daily Archives: August 1, 2009

Former Roman Catholic Priest And His Bride Grant First Interview

The scandal that began with a few provocative pictures of a Catholic priest with a woman on the beach ended when the priest stepped down from his duties, joined the Episcopal church and married the woman in the controversial photos.

Now, the newly married couple has granted the Spanish-language version of People Magazine their first interview.

Read it all.

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

Posted in Uncategorized

Episcopal Bishop Andy Doyle Profiled in Texas Monthly

Let’s talk about the sexual orientation of clergy and same-sex marriage, which have been quite controversial in the church and the subject of a few stories in the press over the past few years.

When it comes to us, it seems like the media does what the media does. It has to sell its product. I think if we had more free media it might be different, but we don’t.

I would say, Bishop, that when you have congregations splitting off in protest, that’s worthy of reporting, and it has nothing to do with free versus paid media. So, to finish, I’d like to ask you: Do you have a position on these issues?

The Diocese of Texas is very conservative, and it has a very traditional understanding of marriage. I do not see my work as trying to change that. Even though there is a great diversity of points of view on this topic, the people of the diocese will not see changes in how we look at same-sex blessings or unions, nor on the topic of ordination of bishops. Now””and this is the important part for me””I grew up in a diverse culture and have friends who are gay and lesbian. The reality of our diocese is that we have gays and lesbians who go to our churches. They find their spiritual journeys entwined with our own in this place. So when I make the statement that things will not change, there is a great deal of pain. I am unwilling to pretend that pain is not there. Where there is love, there is always a great deal of pain, and I love the people of the Diocese of Texas. That love is not a love that is bound by issues of sexuality.

Read it all.

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

Alabama Area Reeling in Face of Fiscal Crisis

It is hardly unusual these days for a government building to forgo a fresh paint job or regular lawn care to cut costs. But last week, the director of the Jefferson County public nursing home was told that the county could no longer afford to bury indigent patients.

Across town at the juvenile detention center, the man in charge was trying to figure out how to feed the 28 children in his custody when the entire cafeteria staff is let go. The tax collector warned local school districts to expect a six-month delay to get their share of property taxes. In family court, administrators plan to delay child support, custody and child abuse cases, leaving some children in the hands of the state indefinitely.

In every part of Jefferson County ”” Alabama’s most populous county and its main economic engine ”” government managers have been scrambling to prepare for Saturday, when two-thirds of county employees eligible for layoffs ”” up to 1,400 ”” will be lost in an effort to stave off financial ruin.

“Outside of the city of Detroit,” said Robert A. Kurrter, a managing director with Moody’s Investors Service, “it’s fair to say we haven’t seen any place in America with the severity of problems that they’re experiencing in Jefferson County.” Moody’s rates Jefferson County’s credit lower than any other municipality in the country.

Read it all.

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

Douglas Todd (Vancouver Sun): Homosexuality, religion and acceptance

The polls by the Pew Forum for Religion and Public Life provided crucial background to why North American Anglicans have been among those leading the cause for homosexual rights — and why they’re at loggerheads with evangelicals. The Pew Forum polls also helped explain the headline-making vote last week by a solid majority of Episcopalians (as Anglicans are known in the U.S.) to formally allow the ordination of homosexuals.

The issue had been disturbing some of the world’s 75 million Anglicans since 2003, when openly gay cleric Gene Robinson was elected the Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire.

The Pew Forum found seven out of 10 U.S. Episcopalians/Anglicans believe society should accept homosexuality as a way of life.

That compares to only 50 per cent support among the general U.S. population.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Episcopal Church (TEC), Evangelicals, General Convention, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

Integrity applauds the preliminary slate of candidates for Bishop of Minnesota

Integrity is delighted that The Episcopal Church has opened the way for dioceses like Minnesota to field the best possible slate of candidates for the episcopate. “We hope that other dioceses will recognize that “discern for all people” really means ALL” said Russell, “and that the actions of our General Convention will put a sad chapter of discrimination against the LGBT baptized behind us.”

Read it all and note that I say the slate is preliminary because there is a petition process so there could be other nominees before the election in late October this year.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

Kevin Johnson: Gay clergy making small strides in U.S.

Word came recently that the Episcopal Church national convention plans to affirm gay and lesbian clergy. Some celebrated, while others recoiled. The public pondered.

From the sidelines I say, “Hooray for the steady progress of God’s holy spirit.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Baptists, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Lutheran, Marriage & Family, Methodist, Other Churches, Presbyterian, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

The Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota Announces Finalists for Bishop

From here:

We as a search committee feel confident about our process which was thorough and intentional, and in which we listened intently for the Holy Spirit. The discernment process we followed is fully outlined here. We acted in full accordance with the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Minnesota.

We fully stand behind each of these candidates as possessing extraordinary gifts for episcopal ministry. We also see each of them being a good fit for our diocese, bringing a variety of delightful and profound gifts to share at this stage in our life together.

The three candidates are:

The Rev. Mariann Budde Rector, St John the Baptist Episcopal Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota;

The Rev. Bonnie Perry Rector, All Saints Episcopal Church in Chicago, Illinois;

The Rev. Brian Prior Rector, Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Spokane Valley, Washington.

Read it all and follow the links to the biographies.

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

Jane Holmes Dixon: Time to Recognize Same-Gender Marriage

My own denomination, the Episcopal Church, has had a long and difficult struggle with the issue of same-gender marriage. It is a struggle that I am saddened to say is a dividing force in the worldwide Anglican Communion. However, as sad as that makes me, I am not willing to see us back down from our support for LGBT equality.

Regardless of what my church decides or what any other faith tradition in this country decides, it is long past time for our government to recognize same-gender marriage as a civil right.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Episcopal Church (TEC), Marriage & Family, Sexuality, TEC Bishops

In Northern California Episcopal group returns home After years in limbo

In December 2006, members of the original congregation split from St. John’s Episcopal Church as part of a larger national break by conservative congregations over same-sex blessings, ordination of a gay bishop and the authority of Scripture. The breakaway St. John’s Anglican Church continued meeting in the church, an 1890 shingled sanctuary and rectory.

The remaining Episcopal members re-formed under the Rev. Norman Cram, who came out of retirement to conduct services ”” first in a parishioner’s living room and later at Elim Lutheran Church.

A settlement recently was reached with St. John’s Anglican congregation after a unanimous California Supreme Court ruling involving churches in a similar situation in Southern California.

“To be back home means we can reach outside of our border to the community of Petaluma,” said Cram. “Currently, we have been exploring areas in which there are vacuums in ministry.”

“I think the congregation is counting on us to provide an atmosphere of love and acceptance, as well as a message of hope during these tough times,” he added. “There have been rapid changes in our culture, and we think we can provide a safe place for all people wishing to worship.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes, TEC Parishes

Louisville Courier-Journal: General Convention issues raise tensions among Anglicans

[Bishop Ted] Gulick contended that the 2006 “restraint” pledge remains in effect.

“The moratorium would end at such a time as the Episcopal Church elected a gay or lesbian individual in a partnered relationship to be a bishop, and then consecrated him or her,” Gulick said.

If a diocese did so, bishops and diocesan committees would have to confirm the vote. Gulick said he would carefully weigh the candidate’s faith and “what gifts in ministry they have demonstrated.”

“But then I would also have to in my own prayerful concern take the impact of this on the community into my own discernment,” he added. That impact, Gulick said, was a key reason he recently voted not to approve the ordination of Northern Michigan Bishop-elect Kevin Thew Forrester.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops

Martyn Minns’s Pastoral Call to the CANA Council 2009

Read it all (24 page pdf).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, CANA

Bishop Glenn Davies (North Sydney) responds to Rowan Williams remarks on General Convention 2009

The row is about the authority of Scripture which declares the practice of homosexuality to be a sin. Resolution 1.10 (1998 Lambeth Conference) rejected “homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture”. The resolution “recognises that there are members of the Church who experience themselves as having a homosexual orientation…seeking”¦
pastoral care, moral direction of the Church and God’s transforming power for the living of their lives and the ordering of their relationships”. The clear implication is that these are not practising homosexuals, but “believing and faithful persons”””they believe in the teaching of Scripture and they are faithful to it. The opposition to the blessing of same-sex unions is that such an enterprise would be the blessing of sin, or what Jim Packer has called the ”˜sanctification of sin’.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces

Two Episcopal Parishes in Prince George County Consider Merging to Keep the Faith Economically

At St. James Episcopal Church in Bowie, children are free to roam during services, and they often amble up to the altar and hold the priest’s hand.

At St. George’s Episcopal, three miles down Lanham Severn Road in Glenn Dale, the congregation is an eclectic, quirky collective of straight and gay men and women of various races.

Neither Episcopal parish in northern Prince George’s County wants to sacrifice the factors that make it special. But against the backdrop of the recession, which has tightened parishioners’ pockets and diminished the value of the church’s national endowments, banding together has emerged as the only viable option for the survival of St. James, the smaller of the two churches with just 38 parishioners.

When that became clear to the Rev. Anne-Marie Jeffery, St. James’s rector (the Episcopal equivalent of a pastor), she reached out to St. George’s. Since April, the two parishes have been exploring a merger by having integrated services mostly at St. George’s, which is more modern and has a following of about 70.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Parishes

British Quakers agree to same-sex marriages

British Quakers agreed Friday to celebrate gay marriages and called on the government to recognise same-sex unions as legally valid.

At the religious group’s yearly meeting in York, the Quakers in Britain said they would ask the government to change the law to allow them to register same-sex marriages in the same way as heterosexual ones.

Gay rights campaigners said it was a “trail-blazing decision” after the issue of homosexual unions had opened deep divisions in other faiths.

Since 2005 same sex couples have been able to enter into civil partnerships in Britain which, while giving gay relationships legal status, are not considered a marriage.

The Quakers agreed “to treat same sex committed relationships in the same way as opposite sex marriages, reaffirming our central insight that marriage is the Lord’s work and we are but witnesses,” they said in a statement.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, England / UK, Religion & Culture, Sexuality

Eileen Flynn–Episcopalians' plight: change vs. communion

My new acquaintance, a self-described traditional Christian who has issues with the ordination of women (never mind gays and lesbians), shook his head. From his perspective, the Episcopal Church is out of touch with the majority and has failed to recognize its place in the world.

I would argue that Episcopalians, who number around 2 million in a worldwide church of 80 million, are acutely aware of their place on the global Christian stage….

Episcopalians know [about the global Church shift from North to South]. Whatever their views on sexuality, they speak passionately about the importance of preserving relations and avoiding a major schism.

The question then becomes how to balance the desire to remain in communion with the desire to be fully inclusive of gay and lesbian members.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Global South Churches & Primates