Daily Archives: July 11, 2012

(CSM) Episcopal approval of same-sex blessings: Will it hurt church's global ties?

“For the church to say, ”˜This is an active part of our life in ministry, and we support this,’ is an extraordinarily important step,” said the Very Rev. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale, president of Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass. “It shows that when this church says it welcomes all people, it means it….”

“It means the Episcopal Church is now separating itself that much more from the Anglican Communion,” says Hood College historian David Hein, co-author of “The Episcopalians,” a standard history of the church. “The American Episcopal Church is trying to set itself up as a separate denomination, although they would claim that they’re not.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

Analysts: U.S. has no choice but to deal with Islamists

The victories of Islamic parties in Egypt and elsewhere have forced the United States to embark on an untested strategy to engage with groups that have historically been hostile to American interests, Middle East analysts said.

“From a U.S. perspective, we have no choice but to deal with the Muslim Brotherhood,” said Shadi Hamid, a Middle East analyst at the Brookings Doha Center, a think tank in Qatar. “I don’t see what the alternative is.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Egypt, Foreign Relations, Islam, Middle East, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(Anglican Ink) 12 bishops say no to Same Sex Blessings

The Rt. Rev. Michael Smith, Bishop of North Dakota, rose at the start of the morning session of the House of Bishops today and said:

“Presiding Bishop, thank you for allowing me to rise to speak on behalf of at least twelve members of this House. Those of us known as the Communion Partners have expended a great deal of energy for at least the past six years working to persuade theological conservatives to remain in the Episcopal Church and theological liberals to remain in the Anglican Communion. Two actions of this General Convention have made this task more difficult: the authorization of same-sex blessings through the passage of Resolution 049, and our decision to ”˜decline to take a position on the Anglican Covenant’ by the passage of Resolution D008.”

“We find ourselves between the proverbial ‘rock and a hard place’. We struggle to hold together the evangelical faith of the Church, from which we see this Convention as departing, and the catholic order of the Church, which causes us, for the sake of the unity for which Jesus prayed, to resist the temptation to leave this fellowship.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Kendall Harmon: Four Portraits of Christ

[1] JESUS – BAPTIZER IN HOLY SPIRIT

Jesus – Baptizer in Holy Spirit from Christ St Pauls on Vimeo.

The other 3 videos are below

[2] JESUS – INCARNATE

Jesus Incarnate from Christ St Pauls on Vimeo.

[3] JESUS – LORD OF ALL

Jesus – Lord of All from Christ St Pauls on Vimeo.

[4] JESUS – JUDGE

Jesus – Judge from Christ St Pauls on Vimeo.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Christology, Eschatology, Parish Ministry, Sermons & Teachings, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Seattle PI) It’s official: Episcopalians ratify same-sex “covenants”

The Rt. Rev. Greg Rickel, Episcopal Bishop of Olympia, reflected in an e-mail over his church’s historic votes over the past two days. Rickel voted for the “holy covenant” and has endorsed same-sex marriage, which Washington will vote on this November. He said:

“It had to be a most gratifying day for gay and lesbian people, who share a deep and abiding love, in fidelity, for one another. Their journey has been long and many of them may not feel this is all they would like to see, but most present here are surely gratified this day.”

The clergy delegates to the General Convention voted 76 percent to approve the new liturgy. It garnered a 78 percent “yes” vote among lay delegates. The convention is divided into a House of Bishops and a House of Delegates, the latter elected from each of more than 100 dioceses.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops

(Southern Ohio) Bishop Thomas Breidenthal Writes on Yesterday at General Convention 2012

Sometimes a resolution comes down the pike whose wisdom and beauty is almost breathtaking. This is how the whole House of Bishops felt about a resolution sent to us by the legislative committee on public policy. It concerned Israel and Palestine. Very often such resolutions come across as one-sided and polarizing, even when they don’t intend to be. Not this one. It was all about how the Episcopal Church could help the Diocese of Jerusalem in its work of bringing Jews, Muslims and Christians together in pursuit of peace, and could pursue policies that would favor dialogue over division. This resolution didn’t skirt the profound challenges that face the two-state solution embraced by our church, nor did it avoid naming concrete actions we can take, including positive investment in Palestinian businesses to build up the economic infrastructure that is crucial to any future viability of Palestine as a state. But there was no rancor in this resolution — rather a clearly articulated care for the people on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian divide. Bishops across the whole political spectrum were able to rally around this piece of legislation — not because it offered no challenges, but because it challenged everyone to the hard work of peace-making. This resolution would not have been possible apart from a growing commitment to peace-making within our own church, as we learn to gather at one altar despite our differences.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, TEC Bishops

Today's Edition of Centre Aisle for General Convention 2012

Read it all (pdf).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

The Episcopal Bishop of Texas on Same Gender Blessings Vote(s) at GC 2012

(Written the day before the Deputies Vote–KSH).

As I have explained this will be passed by the House of Deputies. The Diocese of Texas has a plan for dealing with this. Our plan, rolled out in April, communicated to all Diocese of Texas clergy, and posted for the diocese in order to have access to the materials is available at: http://www.epicenter.org/unity

In our plan the progressives will be allowed generous pastoral provisions to respond to gay and lesbians while the traditionalists who oppose the blessing of same-gender blessings are protected by the legislation and by my desire to make room for all people of many views on this subject within our diocese. In the Diocese of Texas we have a way to move forward with our continued work of proclaiming the uniqueness of Christ Jesus and participating in God’s mission of salvation.

Our goal is to keep the church together for the sake of mission. In the past we have not had a plan that enabled us to stay together, so people on all sides have been frustrated, fearful, and suspicious of one another. Traditionalists and progressives alike have left as our church because of a lack of direction. The Texas plan offers a vision of unity for the sake of mission of God; it reminds us that our future resides in the arms of God and God’s kingdom.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops

Bishop Christopher Epting on Recent General Convention Developments

Fears of a “meltdown” here at the 77th General Convention of The Episcopal Church seem today largely unfounded. As I indicated in an earlier post, I have often been amazed that this somewhat unwieldy body of lay persons, bishops, priests, and deacons seems to find a way for common sense and the Holy Spirit to bring us back from the brink time and time again over the years.

At this point, it looks as though we will not only have overwhelmingly passed provisional liturgies for the blessing of same sex unions and made a rational, careful response to the proposal for an Anglican Covenant which will keep us at the table, but will pass a sensible (for now) budget for the next triennium, vote to relocate but not sell the Church Center headquarter in New York, establish a special task force and process for listening to the church and bringing to the next General Convention specific plans for restructure of our administration and governance. Not bad for eight days in the smoldering heat of an Indianapolis summer!

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, TEC Bishops

(Living Church) House of Bishops decline to take a position on the Anglican Covenant

In introducing the resolutions to the house, the Rt. Rev. Ian Douglas, Bishop of Connecticut and episcopal chairman, said the committee was blessed by having seven of the proposers of the eight initial resolutions on it.

As the committee worked, it became clear that “this church holds a wide variety of ecclesiological positions and opinions on the Anglican Covenant and its position in the Anglican Communion,” Douglas said. “As we continued to perfect ”¦ we began to believe that we would be unable to make a positive statement that would not somehow create a significant [number] of winners and losers.”

The committee began to think instead of presenting two resolutions to General Convention. Resolution B005 calls itself, in part, “a pastoral response to the Episcopal Church.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Anglican Covenant, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, TEC Bishops

(ENS) Same Sex Union Blessing rite authorized for provisional use from First Advent

Read it all. It is a nice picture of David Thurlow.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Mark Tooley–A Transgendered Episcopal Church

Even more troubling is the Episcopal Church’s official embrace of transgenderism. Here is essentially a Gnostic faith that mental and emotional self-realization trumps physical reality. Each self-actualized individual can in fact perpetually reinvent himself or herself into endlessly possible new sexual identities. Male today, female tomorrow, then some yet to be determined new gender next week. The Christian hope and understanding that the human body is called to be a sacred temple of the Holy Spirit that will ultimately resurrect, as Christ resurrected, for all eternity is largely lost or ignored under the transgender ideology.

What is the ultimate ceiling or floor of this strange new course upon which the Episcopal Church is launched? Only God knows.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, --Gen. Con. 2012, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, General Convention, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, TEC Parishes, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(USA Today) Episcopal Church approves same-sex blessing rite

Episcopalians approved a churchwide ceremony Tuesday to bless same-sex couples, the latest decisive step toward accepting homosexuality by a denomination that nine years ago elected the first openly [non-celibate] gay bishop….

A spokeswoman for the leader of the Episcopal Church, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, said she would not comment Tuesday….

The Rev. David Thurlow of the Diocese of South Carolina, which has withdrawn from some councils of the national church in protest of its theological direction, said the church was “marching off not only completely out of step with, but completely out of line with, the faith once delivered to the saints.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

(BBC) US Episcopal Church approves same-sex blessing service

The Episcopal Church has become the largest US denomination to bless same-sex relationships.

The policy was overwhelmingly approved in a vote at the church’s general convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Church officials stressed the new ceremony, which includes prayers and an exchange of vows and rings, was not a same-sex marriage.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

(NY Times) Episcopalians Approve Rite to Bless Same-Sex Unions

“This is significant because it’s saying, ”˜This is around to stay ”” this is not a passing fad,’ ” said Mary A. Tolbert, founding director of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry at Pacific School of Religion, in Berkeley, Calif. “It’s making a statement about the continued presence of gay and lesbian people among the congregations of the Episcopal Church, and that their lives need to be marked by liturgy as well.”

At the church’s General Convention three years ago, priests were granted provisional permission to bless gay couples if their bishops allowed it ”” and about 30 bishops did, said Bishop Thomas C. Ely of Vermont, who was among them. But many bishops, he said, have been waiting until the General Convention passed a specific liturgy to give their permission.

The resolution explicitly allows bishops who do not approve of same-sex relationships to prohibit their priests from using the liturgy. It calls the liturgy “provisional,” saying it will be re-evaluated in three years. It also does not refer to the liturgy as a marriage rite, calling it instead “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)