Category : * Anglican – Episcopal

News and Commentary about the Anglican Communion

National virtual service for Palm Sunday to be led by the Bishop of Manchester

Christians are to be encouraged to make their own paper or card ‘palm’ crosses and display these in their windows in a national virtual church service for Palm Sunday to be broadcast by the Church of England.

The Bishop of Manchester, David Walker, will put a paper ‘palm’ cross in the window of his Salford home in a national service he will lead for Palm Sunday, marking the start of Holy Week and Easter.

The Holy Communion service will be broadcast at 9am on the Church of England’s Facebook page and Church of England website, with readings from the Archdeacon of Manchester, Karen Lund and prayers by Lucy Hargraves from St Peter’s Church in Bolton. All three record contributions from their own homes in keeping with the rules on physical distancing.

In his sermon, Bishop David will speak of the strength and mutual support from the crowd that he addressed in Manchester city centre following the Manchester Arena attack in 2017

At a time when gatherings are no longer permitted in order to stop the spread of coronavirus, he said support and comfort was being drawn from events such as virtual church services and campaigns such as #ClapForCarers to thank NHS staff and key workers.

Read it all.

Posted in Blogging & the Internet, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Health & Medicine, Holy Week, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

A S Haley–The South Carolina Supreme Court Rebuffs TEC Again

How do ECUSA and its attorneys manage to contend that there are any “rulings” in the August 2017 decision capable of being enforced? By vastly oversimplifying the jumble of five separate Justices’ opinions, that’s how.

I have demonstrated in earlier posts just how divided and disunited were the individual Justices (including especially Justice Hearn, who had not yet seen fit to disqualify herself — on the ground that she was an active member of one of the parishes whose property was at stake in the case, and had earlier underwritten the effort by dissident Episcopalians to remove Bishop Lawrence from his position). It is logically impossible to derive any legal result from the five opinions other than that three of the Justices (including the one now disqualified) voted to reverse the trial court’s judgment.

So Judge Goodstein’s judgment awarding the property is now reversed. What comes next? Ah, that is the question — and one looks in vain for a mandate (direction) from any three of opinions as got what the Circuit Court should do on remand towards entering a new judgment. As Judge Dickson said at the outset of the arguments on the motions before him:

The Court: The first motion that I have today, going through the list that y’all gave me the last time y’all were here, and I think the one I am most interested in is the motion to decide what I am supposed to decide. The clarification motion, okay.

In response to the contention by ECUSA’s attorney, Mary Kostel, that the Court’s ruling as to who owned the property was “clear”, Judge Dickson responded: “We would not be here if it was clear.”

And indeed, as pointed out in Bishop Lawrence’s response to the petition for mandamus, just one day before filing its motion for enforcement with Judge Dickson, ECUSA had filed a brief in opposition to Bishop Lawrence’s petition to the United States Supreme Court for a writ to review the August 2017 decision of the South Carolina Supreme Court (p. 4):

On May 7, 2018, Petitioners [in the Circuit Court, i.e., ECUSA and its diocese] argued to the United States Supreme Court that it should not grant Plaintiffs’ Petition for Certiorari because the Collective Opinions were “a poor vehicle for review.” Brief of Respondents in Opposition to Petition for Writ of Certiorari, 2018 WL 2129786 at 23-26. Petitioners [ECUSA and its diocese] contended this was so because the Collective Opinions are based on an “incomplete record”, which “contains significant ambiguities.” Id at 2, 23. The Collective Opinions are “fractured not only in rationale but even on facts.” Id at 2, 9. The absence “of a majority opinion on the standard of review” creates “ambiguities” making it “difficult to discern which of the trial court findings stand.” Id. at 23-24.

This is just another example of ECUSA’s unabashed hypocrisy in making diametrically opposed arguments to different courts, depending on the occasion. (For another egregious example, see this post.) For the US Supreme Court, the jumbled South Carolina opinions were “ambiguous” and “difficult to discern”, but in the South Carolina Circuit Court, just one day later, all was suddenly “clear.”

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Church History, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina

(Church Times) Philip Williamson–A History of Prayer amidst Wars, famines+pandemics

National acts of special worship could be either particular prayers or whole church services. Until the 1850s, the services were for use on special fast or thanksgiving days. These were usually ordered by royal proclamation, for observance by the whole population. As they were often appointed for weekdays, all work was suspended as on Sundays.

In England and Wales, and in Ireland, these prayers and services involved departures from the Book of Common Prayer. New texts were supplied by special forms of prayer, long series of which are often found in parish records.

The original rationale for these occasions was provided by the conceptions of “special providences” and divine judgements, drawn especially from Old Testament examples of afflictions suffered under the kings of Israel. Dislocations in the natural world as well as in human affairs were seen as God’s punishments for the collective sins of the kingdom, to be assuaged by simultaneous penitence, petitionary prayers, and promises of repentance.

A preface in the forms of prayer used during plague epidemics in the 16th and 17th centuries declared:

We be taught by many and sundry examples of holy Scriptures, that upon occasion of particular punishments, afflictions, and perils, which God of his most just judgement has some times sent among his people to show his wrath against sin, and to call his people to repentance and to the redress of their lives: the godly have been provoked and stirred up to more fervency and diligence in prayer, fasting, and alms deeds, to a more deep consideration of their consciences, to ponder their unthankfulness and forgetfulness of God’s merciful benefits towards them, with craving of pardon for the time past, and to ask his assistance for the time to come to live more godly, and so to be defended and delivered from all further perils & dangers. . . (1563)

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer

(Anglican Diocese of SC) South Carolina Supreme Court denies Petition for Writ of Prohibition by The Episcopal Church

The South Carolina Supreme Court announced yesterday that it has denied the Petition for a Writ of Prohibition submitted on February 21st by The Episcopal Church (TEC) and The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC), which sought to prevent Judge Edgar W. Dickson from ruling on the Diocese’s and parishes motion to clarify the Supreme Court’s earlier ruling. If granted, the petition would have prevented Judge Dickson from ruling on the case as he has indicated he was about to do. The Supreme Court’s order succinctly states: “Petitioners seek a Writ of Prohibition to prevent the circuit court from clarifying this Court’s decision in Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of S.C. v. Episcopal Church, 412 S.C. 211, 806 S.E. 2d 82 (2017). The petition is denied.”

This ruling by the Supreme Court allows Judge Dickson to proceed with clarifying the Court’s earlier August 2017 ruling, which was comprised of five separate opinions. That situation is unprecedented in the history of the court. This open-ended denial of the petition by the Supreme Court places no restrictions upon the appropriateness of Judge Dickson’s work in interpreting the meaning of the original ruling.

Ironically, this ruling comes almost exactly a year after TEC and TECSC filed a similar Petition with the high court for a Writ of Mandamus meant to force Judge Dickson to rule in the case. The Mandamus Petition asked the Supreme Court to require the Circuit Court to interpret the Supreme Court’s August 2, 2017 ruling favorably for TEC and TECSC. That petition was also denied by the Supreme Court in July of last year.

As before, the Prohibition Petition was an attempt to end run Judge Dickson’s exercise of his discretion in interpreting the August 2, 2017 decision in a manner that may differ from TEC and TECSC’s interpretation.

The Anglican Diocese of South Carolina welcomes this decision by the South Carolina Supreme Court affirming that the Circuit Court is the proper venue to resolve the many uncertain issues arising from the August 2, 2017 decision.

The Rev. Marcus Kaiser, President of the diocesan Standing Committee observed, “In this time, our focus is on caring for our people and praying for a world deeply rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, we are profoundly grateful that the Supreme Court has denied the request for a Writ of Prohibition, and hope this ruling helps move things along. We pray for Judge Dickson and the complex issues he has to deal with, even as we continue to focus on concerns far more pressing to most people.”

The brief in support of the motion by the Diocese to dismiss this Petition can be found on the Diocesan website, along with further background on the earlier Petition for Mandamus. The August 2, 2017, ruling by the Supreme Court may also be found here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina

A paper from the London College of Bishops:The Eucharist in a time of Physical Distancing

Consistent with this position, we offer several options for parishes as long as the current physical distancing restrictions apply:

  1. Some parish churches may wish temporarily to suspend the celebration of Holy Communion until they are able to meet together in person again. We are already having to cease the practice of public Baptism for the duration due to the restrictions placed upon us, and so a church may choose to do the same with the other dominical sacrament. As one incumbent put it recently: “We will take this opportunity to fast from the Sacrament while we feast on the Word.”
  1. To ensure congregational involvement, where a parish church wishes to continue to celebrate the eucharist within the current advice issued by the London College of Bishops, and only the priest can be present, it should, whenever possible, be livestreamed, so that others can at least (as Cranmer put it) “see with our eyes” even if they cannot “smell with our noses, touch with our hands and taste with our mouths.” This enables the kind of spiritual reception that is at the heart of the sacrament, even if physical partaking is not possible.
  1. If that is not feasible, at the very least, it should be clearly advertised in the parish and among the congregation when the Holy Communion is to be celebrated in the home of the priest, with or without the presence of another member of that household. Such public advertising is insisted on in the ‘Exhortations’ in the BCP that are inserted between the Prayer for the Church Militant and the Confession. This way, others can be invited to pray and perhaps read the Scriptures at that time, so that the service takes place within some kind of extended communal act of worship in that parish, even if dispersed, and does not become merely a private act of devotion. Some prayers that would enable people to take part in such a celebration might be prepared.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Eucharist, Sacramental Theology

The Latest Edition of the Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

Leftover supplies donated by The Anglican Diocese of South Carolina for Hurricane relief last year including 120 N95 respirators, 130 Tyvek suits and five boxes of exam gloves were donated to the Medical University of South Carolina this week. Hats off to Stephen Haynsworth, Diocesan Disaster Preparedness and Relief Coordinator, and Bill Anderson who took the supplies to the hospital.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Media, Parish Ministry

Some Very encouraging news on Steve Wood

Posted in * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Health & Medicine

Prayers for the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina This Day

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

The Latest letter from the Archbishops to the Church of England on the Coronavirus Situation

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Stay home, protect the NHS and save lives

We are writing further to you given the rapidly changing nature of the situation in our country at present. We want to thank you for the ministry you are exercising and for the creative and imaginative ways in which you are responding to the crisis and showing the love and care of Christ to the communities we serve, particularly to the most vulnerable in our society.

As we move towards Passiontide, focussing on what Jesus did for us on the cross, more than ever this is brought into stark focus. We want to reiterate the advice we have already sent. The government is asking us to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. We call upon all our churches and church leaders, clergy and lay, to follow this advice.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, England / UK, Health & Medicine, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Politics in General

(AI) Archbishop Kaziimba’s pastoral letter asking Ugandans to work from home

Dear Bishops, Clergy, and Christians,

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Even in the time of coronavirus and COVID-19, all blessings flow from God and we offer praise to Him because He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13.8) and His mercies never come to an end (Lamentations 3.22).

Today, 25th March, the Ministry of Health has reported five more confirmed cases of coronavirus in Uganda, bringing the total of confirmed cases to fourteen. Yesterday, 24th March, His Excellency, the President of Uganda, addressed the nation and reminded all of us that Uganda can defeat the enemy of coronavirus if all Ugandans will focus on three things:

Distance yourself from people who are coughing or sneezing and reduce all non-essential travel;
Wash your hands often with soap and water;
Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands….

Read it all.

Posted in Church of Uganda, Health & Medicine, Religion & Culture, Uganda

Latest letter from C of E’s Archbishops on how to Proceed given the pandemic and the Government’s instructions

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement last night, it is imperative that for the health of the nation and in order for the National Health Service itself to manage the increase in those
requiring medical help, the Church of England strictly observes the new guidelines on staying at home and only making journeys that are absolutely necessary, such as shopping for essential
items and to take daily exercise.

Our church buildings must now be closed not only for public worship, but for private prayer as well and this includes the priest or lay person offering prayer in church on their own. A notice
explaining this should be put on the church door (please find template attached). We must take a lead in showing our communities how we must behave in order to slow down the spread of
the Coronavirus.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

A message from the Archbishop of Canterbury to school leaders and teachers

This is a particularly unusual and painful time for everyone, not least the many students and staff who have found themselves adjusting to such an unexpected change in educational provision. I know that children and young people will be feeling a range of emotions as they face their school year ending so suddenly and in such uncertain circumstances, and students, teachers and parents remain very much in my prayers.

I know I speak for all the bishops across the Church of England in expressing my heartfelt thanks to all the school leaders and teachers who are working hard in these extremely challenging circumstances to maintain educational provision for vulnerable children and children of key workers. Keeping these children safe in school is vitally important as we fight this pandemic together, and we cannot thank you enough for your continued efforts.

On top of this, you are putting a huge amount of effort in to provide food or distribute vouchers to ensure all those entitled to free school meals receive that support. Schools are also providing resources to help children staying at home to continue learning and make progress in their education. School leaders and teachers are serving their communities and caring for students in ways that are truly inspiring.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Education

Prayers for the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina This Day

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

Places to Find Streaming Worship Services in The Anglican Diocese of South Carolina today

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Blogging & the Internet, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Science & Technology

Coronavirus: Archbishops call for national day of prayer and action

We are good in this country at holding our nerve and steadying one another. But a pandemic is something else; you can’t touch the virus, see it or even know where it is. It may be spread by those who don’t even know they are infected. It is very serious for some, very mild for many. Nevertheless, the effect of the virus could drive us apart. To some extent it must do.

When someone we care for has it they must be isolated. That is particularly so for older people and the most vulnerable, the ones by whose bed we want to sit, and hold their hand, express our love with touch. As in epidemics throughout history the effects of this fear disturb us very deeply, and dread comes upon us.

The answer to conquering this fear is love that we receive. The tears of the child wakened by a bad dream are stilled by the embrace of someone who loves them. The uncertainty of someone of great age is often quietened with a familiar voice. The words of a friend can enable us to challenge the fears of illness to reduce our sense of threat. The UK has a culture of caring, expressed through the NHS, in Social Care, and in many other ways.

All of us, now, face a common threat, COVID-19. The question is, how do we find hope in these difficult circumstances? Hope comes both from what we can do and who we are.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England, Spirituality/Prayer

South Carolina Bp Mark Lawrence–Faithfulness in an Age of Pandemic

Greetings in the strong name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit in whose fellowship we, by the grace of God, are most richly blessed and favored to abide. Peace, hope and love in Christ Jesus!

As the coronavirus COVID-19 has increased its spread we have all received from local, state and national authorities ever more restricting guidelines for gatherings and social distancing. There is something hauntingly biblical as the guidelines have narrowed from 100 to 50 and now to 10 persons for public gatherings. And, of course, we remember St. Paul’s teaching, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.” (Romans 13:1)

In the 12 plus years I have been your bishop, I have known my share of joyous hours as well as those heavy of heart. These last few days since cancelling our Diocesan Convention have fallen in both categories. Giving a further directive to our clergy yesterday to cancel on-site worship services for the next two weeks has been troubling to them and to me. However, it has also been quite encouraging—alive with possibilities. As I talked with our rectors in the Charleston deanery and with the deans of our diocese yesterday, I was heartened as they shared ideas and ways they are pastoring and caring for their parishioners during this season. What a godly and sacrificial group of clergy serve our congregations. Throughout this week, I will continue to have conference calls with the clergy in our deaneries to share ideas for ministry and support.

The church down through the centuries has faced many crises. During the Yellow Fever outbreak in Philadelphia in 1793 Christian clergy and laity distinguished themselves in caring for sick; the plagues that visited London and other cities and towns of Europe during the Middle Ages and later, became the things that saints were made of. During wars and rumors of war, on battlefields and through bombing raids, the church continued to gather, lifting high the cross of Christ. Missionary doctors and nurses, military chaplains, parish clergy, nuns, and mendicants, like St. Francis embracing confidently the leprous, caring for the sick and dying, have been hallmarks of our history that we as believers rightly celebrate.

Nevertheless, I suggest that faithfulness in an age of pandemic means a church united and confident enough not to meet, at least not in the buildings we normally call the church. To live out our faith in our homes and with our families offers us an opportunity to grow deeper in prayer and in the fruit of the Spirit. This time of social distancing, worshipping and keeping in touch with others online and through small group fellowships provide us an opportunity to cultivate the spiritual disciplines of silence, solitude, journaling and reading and mediating on Holy Scripture. Increasing our family time and personal devotions might make this the most fruitful and memorable Lent ever. For the busy parent with children out of school and restless, Brother Lawrence’s little classic, Practicing the Presence of God, might be just the perfect Lenten reading!

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry

Archbishops call for Church of England to become radically different as public worship put on hold to help stem spread of coronavirus

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York are calling for Church of England churches to put public worship on hold and become a “different sort of church” in the coming months to face the challenge of coronavirus.

In a joint letter, Archbishops Justin Welby and John Sentamu said it was now necessary to put public services on hold until further notice.

But they said that far from having to “shut up shop”, the Church of England must face the challenge by becoming a radically different kind of church rooted in prayer and serving others.

It comes after the Government announced unprecedented peacetime measures to try to control the spread of the virus, with restrictions on public gatherings, transport and working.

The Archbishops expressed the desire that church buildings may, where practical, remain open as places of prayer for the community, observing social distancing recommendations.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), Health & Medicine

A Jady Koch Sermon–Good Without God: Romans 5 1-11

Listen to it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology: Scripture

No normal services in the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina for the next two weeks

Christ Saint Paul’stakes the health and well being of our parishioners seriously. With the unknown possibilities of the spread of the coronavirus, the Bishop and CSP leadership has decided for the next two weeks, not to hold our regular services and events.

But we do have new and innovative ways to stay connected to our families to share with you!…

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Blogging & the Internet, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Science & Technology

The Bishop of Clogher’s Pastoral Letter in unprecedented times

So how do we maintain our life of prayer and spiritual solidarity in the midst of it all – especially at a time when prayer is so vital …. For the anxious and suffering, for healthcare workers and medical researchers, for those who must make difficult decisions in public health and in government. I offer but a few suggestions

  • it is hoped that, particularly on Sundays but on other days too, church buildings would be very visibly ‘open’ to be used as places of prayer and peace. Subject to good practice surrounding social distancing and hygiene, resources for prayer might be provided, whether on paper or on screens, reflective music played, etc. And buildings which welcome people in this way should if possible be heated.
  • People should be encouraged to use the worship opportunities provided by national and local broadcasters. On Sunday March 15 for example RTE televise at 1110 a pre recorded bilingual Church of Ireland Eucharist suitable for St Patrick’s tide
  • Many parish clergy will use social media as a means of sharing short acts of worship, reflection and prayer amongst parishioners. This is to be encouraged and our Diocesan Communications Officer Margaret Hawkins is striving to form an overview of initiatives in this area
  • From next weekend and for as long as this situation continues, I intend to offer personally via YouTube and our own diocesan online platforms a short time of reflection and prayer for each Sunday that may be of some modest value around the diocese
  • Parishioners who seek individual ministry of care and prayer must never hesitate to contact their local clergy. In the midst of prevailing circumstances, appropriate ways will always be found to help people realise that they are being prayed for and cared for, that they are never on their own and that definite pastoral need will never be left unaddressed.

No doubt further reflections and ideas will be offered as the situation unfolds. Meanwhile we can but strive to mull over those familiar words which are at the heart of our faith – ‘in nothing be anxious, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which passes all understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus’. ( Philippians 4. 6,7)

Read it all.

Posted in Church of Ireland

Sunday Designated a National Day of Prayer

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The President of the United States has called the nation to a day of prayer regarding the coronavirus this Sunday, March 15.

As a Province, let us join in this effort, whether from Canada, the U.S., or Mexico.

This Sunday, let’s pray and fast for our nations:

  • repenting of our sins and asking God’s forgiveness
  • asking God’s intervention to stop the spread of this virus
  • asking God for healing for those who are sick
  • asking God to use us, his people, as agents of love and compassion
  • asking God to draw people to himself through the saving power of Jesus on the cross.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

The Rector of Saint John’s, Johns Island, South Carolina writes his parish on ministry in the midst of the Coronavirus outbreak

March 12, 2020
Dear Saints of St. John’s,

Grace and Peace to you!

As to the spread of the corona virus Covid-19, the landscape has changed markedly over the last few days, and we would like to make you aware of some changes and concerns and postponements that we have authorized going forward. The World Health Organization has recently declared the corona virus Covid-19 a pandemic. That means that we are in a very different mode of combatting its spread than even a few days ago.

When I (Fr. Greg+) was in my early twenties and working as a Ranger at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, I had the occasion of working as a firefighter on a blaze that threatened the ranch. To my surprise, one of the most effective ways of stopping the fire was not the dousing of a blaze already raging (which could be fraught with danger to the firefighter), but was the building of fire-breaks, spaces cleared of burnable material away from the current blaze and in advance of the rapidly moving fire. Although the chopping down of trees and clearing of ground cover appeared destructive, it saved many more acres of forest than were destroyed in the clearing. This was not done out of fear, but out of wise and prudent management. What we are recommending, and mandating in some cases, are ways to build “fire-breaks” around the spread of the virus. And we do this not out of fear, but out of love of our brothers and sisters in Christ, especially those most vulnerable to the virus, and a love for all of humanity.

In light of rapidly changing health statistics relative to the spread and mortality of the virus, updates from ACNA, WHO, and other public health experts, Archbishop Foley Beach has issued this directive:
“Due to the possibility of the spread of the corona virus, those individuals over age 60 and anyone who is ‘immune compromised’ should consider worshiping at home on Sundays until further notice. Anyone with any symptoms of cold/flu should stay home and self-quarantine. Anyone who has traveled in any affected area of this country, or another country with an outbreak, must stay home and self-quarantine.”

Meetings on the Church Premises
Effective immediately, all Sunday School classes, bible studies, missions meetings, small groups, youth groups, ministry partners, etc. will no longer be meeting on the church premises. The only gatherings will be, at least for now, on Sunday mornings for worship. You will shortly be receiving instructions on how to meet virtually with your small groups. We encourage you to make every effort to meet together on-line, but not in person for the short term. Remember we are building a fire-break.

Sunday Worship
Until further notice, Holy Communion is now to be administered using the Bread only. All who handle and administer the bread and Body of Christ are to privately sanitize their hands before handling (following CDC recommendations on hand-washing), and are not to touch the face or mouth during the celebration or administration of Holy Communion. Again, we are not taking this step out of fear, but for solidarity in the Body of Christ and to respect the whole range of ethical decisions that each of us will have to make in regard to this.
The Passing of the Peace by physical contact is to be omitted. We are asking parishioners to greet one another with a wave of the hand or verbal greeting with no touch.
We will also not be passing the offering plate. The offering plates will be placed at the entrance to the church and we hope that all parishioners will continue to give generously during this time of great need.

Self-Care
Please stay tuned to what is being reported locally and in the state of South Carolina, in respect to the outbreak. Follow their guidelines. Remember, this is not about us; it is about caring for the sheep. Coronavirus.gov is where you stay updated from the CDC and the government recommendations to keep our people and families safe. If you are experiencing symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, cough, fever, or difficulty breathing) which are in concert with those of the corona virus, you can contact MUSC.care for a free telehealth assessment.
As from the beginning of this outbreak, one of the most effective ways of protecting yourself is by washing your hands thoroughly and covering your cough or sneeze when out in public. One parishioner has recommended that we all say the Lord’s Prayer (that takes about 20 seconds) as we wash our hands with soap and warm water.

Daily Pastoral Care Within the Body of Christ
One of our greatest concerns during this time of crisis and needful separation is the possible onset of a sense of isolation and/or depression. We do not want anyone to feel that they are alone. Please contact Fr. Greg (843-367-3342) or Fr. Jeremy (843-364-9381) if you just need to talk or have somebody pray with you. You can call us or send us text messages of particular prayer concerns, or we can even Facetime (see one another visually by phone) if that will help.
Walt Miller, our Community Pastor, is developing a phone care-list for pastoral care, so that everyone who is at risk can be contacted routinely to ensure that all are faring well during this crisis.
For those who are ‘immune compromised’ or just feel that it would not be wise for them to go out, we are setting up teams of people to shop for you or run errands for you, or drive you to a doctor’s appointment. You can contact Walt Miller (843-469-7105) if you need help in this regard. Please do not see this as an imposition…we bless God each time we exhibit the love and caring of the Body of Christ in this. We are indeed One Body.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

We love you and pray that this pandemic will lead to further strengthening of the Body of Christ and give all of us a strong desire to worship together, and make worship more central in our lives, once this crisis has passed.

–The Rev. Greg Snyder on behalf of the Clergy and Staff of St. John’s Parish Church

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry

(Christ St. Paul’s) Father Juan Rivera–Overcoming Satan’s Tactics

You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Parish Ministry, Theology: Scripture

Church of England launches Vision for Higher Education

Speaking at the official launch of Faith in Higher Education, the Church of England’s lead bishop for Higher Education, Tim Dakin, who is the Bishop of Winchester, said:

“Higher Education is at a crossroads. Shaping its overall vision is therefore as crucial as the issues of funding and governance and of recognising anew its contribution to social mobility and economic prosperity.

“This Vision is a fresh articulation of what higher education is for: It offers a faith-based hope for humanising higher education: as enriching both the student and common good of all.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Education, England / UK, Religion & Culture

Anglican Diocese of South Carolina Postpones Convention

Out of an abundance of caution due to the coronavirus, we will meet at a later date.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Parish Ministry

(GR) Ryan Burge on unique coronavirus fears in pews of America’s aging ‘mainline’ churches

Several years ago, I spoke to a rather typical group of Episcopalians in a church forum and I would estimate that roughly 75% of the people in the room were over 60 years of age.

I would love to see more nuanced statistics, at this point in time, because I suspect that the gold 36-64 years old band in the middle of that Burge chart leans toward the older end of that niche. Burge notes that the average Episcopalian is 59 years old. There are now three retired United Methodists for every member under the age of 35. More Burge:

Demography is destiny for many of these denominations. They will become dramatically smaller in the next two decades based on attrition alone, whether or not they are hit by COVID-19.

But if the disease can’t be curtailed, it could become a turning point for some of these denominations: Their houses of worship are prime targets for the spread of disease.

This passage hit me hard, as well:

Connection to their fellow members is especially important for older Americans. Data from Pew Research Center indicates that the average 80-year-old spends at least eight hours a day alone, double the time a 40-year-old does. For many of the older generation, the institutions that held society together for them during the formative years have already crumbled. One of the few things that has remained constant for them is their church home, seeing the same people in the same pews every Sunday, taking the bread and drinking from the cup the same way they have done for decades. They need that consistency and community — and COVID-19 might take that away from them.

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Posted in Episcopal Church (TEC), Health & Medicine, Lutheran, Methodist, Parish Ministry, Presbyterian, Religion & Culture

(Church Times) Withhold chalice and minimise contact during worship, Archbishops tell clergy

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have advised members of the clergy to suspend both the administration of the chalice and physical contact during the Peace, in light of the increase of coronavirus cases.

On Wednesday morning, 387 people in England had tested positive for Covid-19. The total number of cases in the UK was 456. So far, more than 27,000 people have been tested. Six people have died, all of whom are reported to have had significant underlying health conditions.

The previous advice from Church House left it to the priest’s discretion whether to suspend the administration of the chalice and offer communion in one kind only.

A letter to all clergy from the Archbishops on Tuesday, however, said that national suspension of the administration of the chalice and physical contact was “necessary” given the increased infection rate. This puts the Church of England guidance in line with that issued this week by the Church in Wales and Scottish Episcopal Church.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry

(DM) Church of England to launch a ‘Google Maps for graves’ within five years enabling family historians to search for burial records and locations in an online database

Tim Viney, owner and managing director of Altlantic Geomatics, told MailOnline: ‘Across the country there are thousands of burial grounds, each with important assets, buildings and infrastructure.

‘These valuable assets, in particular memorials and gravestones, must be maintained, records kept of where they are, what they look like.

‘The estimated 35,000,000 burial records relating to the Church of England burial grounds are a huge resource yet they are currently difficult to access.

‘We are delighted to be working with the Church of England with whom we propose a systematic approach across the country to map their churchyards.

‘Integrating the map with images of the memorials and the historic records will protect the records but also make them accessible online.

‘We are in discussion with potential partners to source investment to facilitate a rapid deployment across the country.

‘This is certainly an exciting and challenging project”

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

Dean of pioneering training college to be new Bishop of Sherwood

Downing Street today announced that the Revd Dr Andrew Emerton, Dean of St Mellitus College, has been appointed as the next Bishop of Sherwood in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham.

St Mellitus College is one of the largest of the Church of England’s theological training institutions with a growing reputation for pioneering approaches to training. Andy has been involved with St Mellitus since its earliest days, joining the staff team as Assistant Dean in 2008 and becoming Dean in 2015.

As Suffragan Bishop, Andy will work closely with the Diocesan Bishop, the Right Revd Paul Williams, in overseeing the mission and ministry of the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham.

“It is a huge privilege to be called to serve as a bishop in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham,” said Andy. “It will be a delight to work with Bishop Paul and the clergy and lay leaders of the diocese to contribute to the vision for Growing Disciples and to help build confidence in the gospel of Jesus Christ across a diverse range of churches and local communities. I am excited and hopeful about this next stage of ministry.”

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

Your Prayers Appreciated for the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina Convention Later this week

Q. You mentioned the precarious jobs and low wages. An example of that is a much praised film in the UK, titled “Sorry We Missed You”, a story about a man who starts working as a deliveryman in one of the new businesses such as Amazon, Uber… What ‘curses’ come with these new types of jobs linked to mobile phone ‘apps’ and the new ‘needs’ of costumers to have everything as fast and as cheap as possible.

A. Yes, it has been very interesting in the last decade that the combination of the new technologies that developed, especially smartphone apps, and that high unemployment at the beginning of the decade following the financial crisis, created the perfect conditions for what we call the ‘gig economy’ to emerge.

This form of capitalism, if you like, has developed where we have a cultural individualism and a market economy; but the consumer’s choice and freedom are becoming the most important thing of all. So we have 24/7 shopping, and somehow, we accept the ‘curse’ zero-hours contracts. And people who have to deliver this service are people we don’t really see, that are kind of invisible and anonymous. They are working having very anti-social hours and often not given much advance warning, only one day or two before they are told when they can work. This makes the worker in this ‘gig economy’… Well, it is a new kind of oppression, to be honest.

The loss of rights, the loss of freedom, especially for family relationships which came out in the film, is a very high price to pay for this new kind of consumerism – the new way we do buying and selling. So yes, it is something we should look out very critically.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry