Daily Archives: May 24, 2016

[Andrew Symes] Oxford Clergywoman conducts celebration of same sex marriage ”“ updated

The Revd Charlotte Bannister-Parker, 52, is an assistant priest at St Michael and All Angels Summertown in the Diocese of Oxford, and acts as the Bishop’s Advisor for Special Projects, including inter-faith initiatives. She is an Associate Faculty Member of the Theology Department at Oxford University, and has a long Oxford pedigree, having been previously on the staff of the University Church of St Mary’s.

On 7th May, according to reports in Cape Town’s City Press, she officiated at a same-sex marriage in South Africa. Oxford has a long standing relationship with the Diocese of Kimberley and Kuruman in South Africa. Rev Bannister-Parker lived there for a while in 2008, helping the Church to develop its HIV/AIDS ministry.

Canon Mpho Tutu van Furth, the daughter of Desmond Tutu who has long been an advocate for the Anglican Church to welcome fully same sex relationships and bless gay marriage, was ordained in the Episcopal Church USA and now works as the Executive Director of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation.
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Questions are now being asked about the participants in this story. A licensed clergywoman in the Church of England has conducted what looks very much like a same sex marriage or certainly a blessing of a civil marriage, even though it is in a different Province. Many clergy travel overseas to conduct the increasingly lavish weddings of their parishioners or relatives ”“ when they do so, are they bound by the canons of the Church of England? Were Revd Bannister-Parker’s actions approved by her parish Rector and by the Diocese of Oxford, given the high profile nature of the ceremony? Is there any connection between the Tutu Foundation funds and the Diocese of Oxford’s “Special Projects”?
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Today the media reports that Revd Tutu-van Furth has resigned as a licenced priest in the Diocese of Cape Town, as the Province does not accept clergy in same sex marriages. Rev Bannister-Parker should do the decent thing and do the same, having acted in a manner contrary to her ordination vows where she promised to uphold the doctrines of the Church and abide by the teachings of Scripture.
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Readers may like to read the City Press article and look at the photo again, and decide for themselves what was happening on that day. We are also free to ask whether there will be similar ceremonies taking place in England soon, with equally strong denials from official spokesmen that they have anything to do with ”˜weddings’ or ”˜blessings’.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

[City Press] Mpho Tutu weds in style


…Moments after Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu-Van Furth slipped a ring on Professor Marceline Tutu-Van Furth’s finger, guests at their wedding ”“ on a Boland wine farm ”“ burst out laughing.

And Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s giggle rang out over the Mont Rochelle Hotel’s terrace near Franschhoek, as his wife Leah rocked beside him.

Marceline had been a little overeager, leaning in for a kiss before Reverend Charlotte Bannister-Parker ”“ who led the ceremony ”“ had decreed they were married.

“No! Not yet!” shrieked Mpho.

However, soon enough Bannister-Parker said: “We now recognise you as wife and wife. You may kiss each other.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

[AI] Same-sex ceremony conducted with Oxford bishop's permission

The acting Bishop of Oxford authorized one of his clergy to perform a same-sex blessing. On 3 May 2016 the Rev. Charlotte Bannister-Parker, (pictured) an associate priest at the University Church of St Mary the Virgin in Oxford presided over the blessing of the marriage of the Rev. Mpho Tutu and Dr. Marceline van Furth at Sir Richard Branson’s Mont Rochelle Hotel in the Western Cape.
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A spokesperson for the Diocese of Oxford said: “The Revd Charlotte Bannister-Parker accepted the invitation of Mpho Tutu to lead a celebration of her marriage to Marceline van Furth in her capacity as a friend of the family. She did so with the permission of both the Bishop of Saldanha Bay, the Rt Revd Raphael Hess, and the Acting Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd Colin Fletcher.”

Read it all and an update with some wriggling from the Diocese of Oxford here

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

[Telegraph] Desmond Tutu's reverend daughter marries a woman and loses church licence

..The Rev Canon Tutu is executive director of her parents’ eponymous charitable foundation and divorced with two children. She married her long-time partner Marceline Van Furth, an atheist academic who is also divorced with children, in her native Netherlands in December.

The pair held a second ceremony that was attended by the Tutus and officiated by Revd Charlotte Bannister-Parker, a priest from Oxford, on Sir Richard Branson’s wine farm in Franschhoek earlier this month.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

[Evangelical Alliance] New extremism law is extremely dangerous for religious freedom

The Evangelical Alliance has cautioned against plans for new laws to tackle extremism, announced in today’s Queen’s Speech.

Head of public policy Simon McCrossan commented:

“It’s extreme to try and tell religious groups what they can and can’t teach under the guise of fundamental British values. It’s extreme to threaten to send Ofsted inspectors into churches if they don’t teach British values. This government’s trying to fight extremism with extremism and the main casualty will be our fundamental freedoms.
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“We are deeply concerned that the definitions of ‘extremism’, especially the extension of ‘non-violent extremism’, threaten to trample on the freedoms that have been hard won, long enjoyed, and underpin our democracy. To date, the definitions are so broad there could be many unforeseen consequences to fundamental freedoms in our plural multi-faith society.”

The Evangelical Alliance has previously spoken out against government plans to regulate out of school settings, and the threat of Ofsted inspections over a wide variety of clubs and societies, including churches that provide youth and children’s work in every corner of the UK.

Read it all and there is an article on the context from Lapidomedia here

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

AU 230: ACC, Kenya and Methodists


With thanks to Kevin Kallsen and George Conger at Anglican TV

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

(Bloomberg) Nigeria Says It Plans a Lake Chad Basin Base to Fight Boko Haram

The Nigerian navy will set up an operation base along the Lake Chad Basin to ramp up its fight against Islamist militants, Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Ibot-Ete Ekwe Ibas told reporters Monday in the northeastern city of Maiduguri.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Islam, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Terrorism, Theology

Morning Food for Thought from John Dingell (Via Peter Marty): Position versus Person

From here:

A year ago, retired U.S. representative John Dingell, who for many years served Michigan’s 12th congressional district, was coaching Wisconsin congressman Ron Kind. “Ron,” said Dingell, “never forget that you’ve got an important job, but you’re not an important person. The second you start thinking that you’re an important person, you start to cut corners and think the rules don’t apply to you.”

One doesn’t have to be a legislator or city bureaucrat to risk losing the distinction between one’s self-importance and the important work one is called to do. Would that we all might pull out a report card and do the sort of reflective work Nai-Wang Kwok managed so beautifully.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, House of Representatives, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

For Jackson Kemper’s Feast Day–Gustaf Unonius’ Summary of [some of] his Work

In the course of time almost all the states and territories which at first had constituted a great missionary district under Bishop Kemper’s oversight became separate dioceses which for a time continued under his care but finally selected their own bishops. In this way, after a period of only a few years, Indiana, Missouri, Iowa, and Wisconsin–where, at the time I began my studies at Nashotah, there were only a few scattered churches and mission stations–and finally Minnesota, Nebraska, and Kansas–territories which at that time were hardly known even by name–have now churches and ministers enough to be organized into separate dioceses. In Wisconsin alone there are more than fifty ministers, and an equal number of churches without ministers, belonging to the Episcopal church. All of this, under the grace of God, may be ascribed to the tireless labors if Bishop Kemper and the excellent mission school at Nashotah.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

Greenough White–Jackson Kemper: An Apostle of the Western Church

In the same report a “Catholic feature” of the mission is noted,–classes of adult catechumens, conducted by the brethren; and an intention of having weekly communions, “according to primitive practice,” is recorded. To this end the brothers had sought to secure the services of the good missionary priest, Richard Cadle, and to convert him into the Father Superior of their order,–but the worthy man shied at the novel honor. With funds that Hobart had obtained at the East a beautiful tract of land was bought about Nashotah (signifying “Twin Lakes”), and thither, in August, the mission was moved. The following October, Adams and Breck were advanced to the priesthood, and the latter was made head of the religious house. A few theological students answered to the lay brothers of Vallombrosa; they supported themselves by farm work, etc., according to the primitive method at Gambier. The community rose at five o’clock, had services (lauds or prime) at six and nine in the morning, on Wednesdays and Fridays the litany and on Thursdays Holy Communion at noontide, and services at three and half-past six o’clock in the evening, answering to nones and vespers. Now at length, as Breck wrote home with glee, he began to feel that he was really in a monastery. But within a year from that hopeful start it seemed as if the community would be dissolved. Adams had a severe attack of pneumonia, felt unequal to bearing the business burdens of the house, and returned to the East; Hobart lingered a few months longer, and then followed; and Breck began to think of moving further west.
At this period Kenyon College was in such financial straits that it was in imminent danger of being lost to the church,–but a mighty effort was made, collections were taken for it on a large scale among congregations throughout the eastern dioceses, and it was saved; but the extraordinary exertion resulted in a deficit in the missionary treasury that reduced many a poor minister on the frontier to pinching poverty.

One is startled to hear that in 1843 a medical department was annexed to Kemper College and already boasted of the formidable number of seventy-five students. The attention of the church was called to this Protestant Episcopal University west of the Mississippi, which “promised a rich return for its fostering care,” and seemed destined to “hand down the name of its beloved founder to other ages.” There were but a score of students, however, in the collegiate department, at whose first commencement the bishop presided that summer.

The good example set by his young itinerants in Wisconsin moved him to urge the appointment of two or more missionaries of similar type to operate in Indiana. That diocese now made another attempt to perfect its organization, electing Thomas Atkinson of Virginia as its bishop,–but he declined. Its leading presbyter, Roosevelt Johnson, waived a like offer. Missouri diocese had similar aspirations and electoral difficulties, which it solved by throwing the onus upon the general convention, entreating it to choose a bishop. In 1843, Cicero Stephens Hawks accepted a call to the rectorate of Christ Church, St. Louis; and the favor with which he was received determined the choice of the convention. On the 2oth of October, 1844, (the day of Cobbs’ consecration), and in Christ Church, Philadelphia, he was consecrated bishop of Missouri by Philander Chase, now presiding bishop, assisted by Kemper, McCoskry, Polk, and DeLancey.

With this event terminated what is in one way the most interesting period of our hero’s life,–the dawn, or morning of his episcopate, with its wide and long vistas, its freshness and promise. Wonderful indeed was the accomplishment of those nine mystic years, especially when we consider that it was before the days of railroads,–that he had to toil painfully in wagons, on horseback or afoot along wretched roads over boundless tracts that the traveler now crosses smoothly, gliding at the rate of a mile a minute in a palace car.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Books, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Jackson Kemper

Lord God, in whose providence Jackson Kemper was chosen first missionary bishop in this land, that by his arduous labor and travel congregations might be established in scattered settlements of the West: Grant that the Church may always be faithful to its mission, and have the vision, courage, and perseverance to make known to all peoples the Good News of Jesus Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Scottish Prayer Book

O Lord God Almighty, eternal, immortal, invisible, the mysteries of whose being are unsearchable: Accept, we beseech thee, our praises for the revelation which thou hast made of thyself, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three persons, and one God; and mercifully grant that ever holding fast this faith we may magnify thy glorious name; who livest and reignest, one God, world without end.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology

From the Morning Bible Readings

O LORD, I love the habitation of thy house, and the place where thy glory dwells.

–Psalm 26:8

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Vanguard) Nigeria can’t afford another war says Anglican Church leader

The Diocese of Abuja of the Church of Nigeria, (Anglican Communion), has said that the renewed pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta, was not in the best interest of Nigeria. It therefore urged those behind the bombing of oil installations in the region to desist from the act. The Church called on the Niger Delta Avengers to cease hostility against the government while embracing dialogue, noting that Nigeria, currently engaged in many battles cannot afford to start another one with militants in the Niger Delta. The Primate Of The Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, The Most Rev’d Nicholas D. Okoh, made this remark in his Presidential Address to the 3rd Session of the 9th Synod of Abuja Diocese, held at All Saints Church, Wuse. While urging the Federal Government to also tread cautiously in its attempts to resolve the growing crises in the Niger Delta, the Church called on it to seek collaboration with the host communities in its efforts to secure all pipelines.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Energy, Natural Resources, Law & Legal Issues, Nigeria, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Michiko Kakutani reviews ”˜The Morning They Came for Us’ a Book on the Hell of Syria

The title of Janine di Giovanni’s devastating new book, “The Morning They Came for Us,” refers to those terrible moments in ordinary Syrians’ lives when the war in their country becomes personal. Those moments when there is a knock on the door and the police or intelligence services take a family member away. Those moments when a government-delivered barrel bomb falls on your home, your school, your hospital, and daily life is forever ruptured.

“The water stops, taps run dry, banks go, and a sniper kills your brother,” she writes. Garbage is everywhere because there are no longer any functioning city services, and entire neighborhoods are turned into fields of rubble. Victorian diseases like polio, typhoid and cholera resurface. Children wear rubber sandals in the winter cold because they do not have shoes. People are forced to do without “toothpaste, money, vitamins, birth-control pills, X-rays, chemotherapy, insulin, painkillers.”

In the five years since the Assad regime cracked down on peaceful antigovernment protests and the conflict escalated into full-blown civil war, more than 250,000 Syrians have been killed and some 12 million people ”” more than half the country’s prewar population ”” have been displaced, including five million who have fled to neighboring countries and to Europe in what the United Nations calls the largest refugee crisis since World War II.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Books, Defense, National Security, Military, History, Middle East, Politics in General, Syria, Violence