Category : Scottish Episcopal Church

(The Courier) Split from the Scottish Episcopal Church over same-sex marriage is ‘very sad’, says incoming Bishop of Brechin

“The decision last summer was to come up with the process so that those who in conscience felt they really wanted equal marriage – as this church here does – were given a space to be able to marry people of the same gender. We created a space where those who, in conscience, felt they couldn’t do that, could also with integrity stay in the church.

“It is just sad (what has happened at St Thomas’) because the conversations over the years were to create a space where we could stay together.

“I know the Church of Scotland are trying to go down a route similar where each church, each congregation, each minister, can find a way to follow their own conscience. And a lot of the other Anglican communion churches are doing that as well.

“It is a secondary issue within the church.

“There is a danger that others in conscience may feel that they can’t carry on.”

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Posted in --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Scottish Episcopal Church, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Two New Bishops elected in the Scottish Episcopal Church

The Rev Canon Ian Paton has today been elected as the new Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane, and The Very Rev Andrew Swift has been elected as the new Bishop of Brechin.

The election of the new bishop was carried out by an Electoral Synod in each Diocese (comprising representatives of clergy and lay members from the Diocese). The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Most Rev Mark Strange, says “I am delighted that the Electoral Synods have elected Ian Paton and Andrew Swift as their new Bishop in each of their Dioceses and I thank the members of the Electoral Synod for the work that they have done in this process.

“I look forward to welcoming both Ian and Andrew to the College of Bishops and to working with them, and I am sure that the Diocese of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane and the Diocese of Brechin will look forward to their respective leadership and inspiration in the future development of Mission and Ministry across each of the Dioceses. I ask that we hold them both in prayer as they each move to a new stage of their ministry and prepare for their consecration.”

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Posted in Scottish Episcopal Church

(Christian Today) Could sexuality be a thorn in the side of the Anglican-Methodist unity pact?

What is perhaps a more pressing question is what would happen to the Anglican-Methodist Covenant were either church to change its opposition to gay marriage. Would a sudden change by the Methodist Conference in 2019 or 2020 scupper the long proposed deal…?

It certainly might make the strong conservative base on the Church of England’s ruling general synod less enthusiastic.

But difference in teaching on sexuality is not officially a block on sharing ministry.

The Church of England is already in direct ‘communion’ with its sister Anglican churches in Scotland and the US. This means that priests in both churches are recognised as such by the Church of England and so they can, as long as the local bishop agrees, come and minister in CofE parishes.

Both the Episcopal Church in the US and the Scottish Episcopal Church permit same-sex marriage, and while they faced sanctions from the wider Anglican Communion, they remain in communion with the CofE.

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Posted in Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Methodist, Same-sex blessings, Scottish Episcopal Church, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

Martin Davie–‘Transgender, reality and pastoral care’

The fact that ‘I’ am a unity of body and soul means that it makes no sense to suggest, as we have seen Judith does in the Church of Scotland report, that ‘I was born in the wrong body.’ There is no ‘I’ separable from the body we possess. What ‘I’ means is the person who exists in this particular combination of body and soul. The suggestion that I should have been born in a different body really means that I should have been a different person, but in that case I would not exist, so the suggestion is asking for the impossible.

What is also impossible is for someone to change their body from male to female or vice versa. It is possible through the use of hormones and plastic surgery to change to a certain extent the way our bodies function and their outward appearance, but we cannot change the fundamental character of our bodies as male or female. We can produce what Paul McHugh calls ‘feminized men or masculinized women, ‘ [13] but we cannot make a man into a woman or a woman into a man.

The evidence of Scripture agrees that human beings are bodily creatures that are male and female and are able to reproduce as such, but it supplements the witness of natural reason in this regard in two key ways.

First, it teaches in the creation narratives in Genesis 1 and 2 and also in the words of Jesus in the Gospels (Matthew 19:4, Mark 10:6) that we are not a dimorphic species by accident, but because God in his goodness and wisdom created us as such so that men and women together can rule over and care for the world on God’s behalf and together can produce offspring who can continue this vocation in their turn.[14] Scripture as a whole further teaches that the dimorphic structure of the human species is also the basis for marriage (Genesis 2:23-24) through which human beings are called to bear witness to the marital relationship between God and his people, which has begun in this world, but will be finally consummated in the world to come (see Ephesians 5: 21-33 and Revelation 19:6-9, 21:2-4).

Secondly, it teaches that our bodies are an eternal part of who we are.

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Posted in Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Scottish Episcopal Church, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Psephizo) Ian Paul–Theological Reflection on Male-Female Complementarity

Today, gnosticism also finds expression in identity essentialism, where the body is merely the vehicle and the over-painted canvas of self-identification.

In the SEC Doctrine Committee’s Theology of Marriage, this Gnostic precedence of the mind is continued:

It is the way people treat each other that counts, not the shape of the fleshly tools they use to express this. As we understand circumcision to be of the heart and not the penis, so the way in which we must treat each other sexually is dictated by the heart and the Spirit and not the genitals.

This is an anti-incarnational false dichotomy, which sets up a false distinction between how we should employ both mind and body in relationship to others. It is also Hellenistic virtue ethics, which presumes that evidence (read, any declaration) of a virtuous motivation (‘I ended her life out of compassion. I couldn’t wait for marriage because I was so in love.’) is a true bellwether of right and wrong, rather than the actions in themselves, or foreseeable consequences of them.

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Posted in Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Scottish Episcopal Church, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Anglican Synod of SE Asia is in impaired Communion with Scottish Episcopal Church, Recognizes ACNA “as an Ecclesiastical Province in its own right”

Noting the decision of the Scottish Episcopal Church on 8 June 2017 to change its doctrine of marriage and to recognise same-sex marriages and further to amend its Canons to allow for the rite of blessing of same-sex marriages, which is a contravention of Resolution 1.10 of the Lambeth Conference 1998; and

Recalling that as a consequence of the then Episcopal Church of the United States of America (ECUSA) proceeding with the consecration of Gene Robinson as a Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire in 2003, in contravention of Resolution 1.10 of the Lambeth Conference 1998, the Province of the Anglican Church in South East Asia declared in 2003 that it was in a state of impaired communion with ECUSA (now known as The Episcopal Church)

Now it is hereby resolved,

That the Province of the Anglican Church in South East Asia declares itself to be in a state of impaired communion with the Scottish Episcopal Church with immediate effect….

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Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Eucharist, Sacramental Theology, Scottish Episcopal Church, The Anglican Church in South East Asia, Theology

(Scottish Episcopal Church) Aberdeen & Orkney Bishop Elect prepares for consecration

Preparations are underway for the consecration of the Rev Canon Anne Dyer as the new Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney. The service of Consecration will take place on Thursday 1 March at 1pm in St Andrew’s Cathedral, Aberdeen. Invitations will be sent out shortly.

In addition to a large number of clergy trained by Canon Dyer in both Scotland and England, the Cathedral is also looking forward to welcoming a good representation of people from the churches across the diocese – both mainland and island – to this service. Joining them will be representatives from civic, political, business and education interests across the city and beyond.

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Posted in Scottish Episcopal Church

The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Mark Strange, responds to the protest letter by some in the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney

We have been greatly concerned to receive your letter. We regard it as particularly regrettable that you have chosen to communicate with us by publicly releasing your letter and press release without any prior indication to us of your intentions and we are dismayed at the invidious position in which it places Canon Dyer as the Bishop elect of the diocese. We deplore that you have sought to subvert the outcome of the canonical process which led to Canon Dyer’s election. Members of the College are unanimous in supporting Canon Dyer in her acceptance of election and will continue to support her throughout her consecration and future episcopal ministry in the diocese

The process which has been followed is entirely in accordance with the procedure set out by Canon 4….

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Posted in Scottish Episcopal Church

(Christian Today) Scottish Episcopal Church clergy rebel after ‘divisive’ appointment of bishop to conservative diocese

A major row is erupting in the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) with half the paid clergy in one region rebelling over the appointment of their new bishop.

A letter to bishops of the Anglican SEC on Friday accused them of fostering ‘disquiet and division’ by nominating Canon Anne Dyer, the first female bishop in the SEC who is also strongly in favour of gay marriage, to be bishop of the largely conservative Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney.

Dyer is now being urged to step down from her promotion with clergy protesting her appointment.

Two senior clergy have already quit over the issue and the letter threatens that ‘others are considering similar action’ in a diocese that is already struggling to fill a number of empty posts across its 41 churches.

It comes after the failure of the normal nomination process where church members within the diocese failed to name the required minimum of three candidates. The other bishops in the SEC then took over the process and nominated Dyer, but according to the protesters failed to consult clergy or churchgoers in the diocese first.

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Posted in Scottish Episcopal Church

(Church Times) Aberdeen & Orkney letter questions new Bishop’s election

A protest against the “divisive” and “disrespectful” election of Canon Anne Dyer as Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney (News, 11 November) has been published by priests and lay people in the diocese.

An open letter to Canon Dyer, the first woman bishop in the Scottish Episcopal Church, and the four bishops who elected her, was released on Friday, signed by seven priests. The date fixed for Canon Dyer’s consecration in St Andrew’s Cathedral, Aberdeen, is Thursday 1 March.

The open letter accuses the Bishops of having made an appointment “which directly goes against the established wishes of the Diocese on the views it would hope that our new Bishop would hold, and minister to us from the perspective of them”.

An accompanying press release says that the letter “should not be ‘spun’ in any way which makes it seem to be about women as Bishops or same sex-marriage”.

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Posted in Scottish Episcopal Church

(Herald) After Change in Theology of Marriage, Two Scottish Episcopal Priests Become Roman Catholics Under Ordinariate

Two former Anglican ministers are to be ordained as priests after joining the Catholic Church when Scottish Anglicans voted to embrace gay marriage.

The Rev Simon Beveridge, who lives in Whithorn, Dumfries and Galloway and Rev Cameron Macdonald, who lives in Nairn, were made deacons in June just days after the Scottish Episcopal Church voted overwhelmingly to allow same sex couples to marry in church.

They joined the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, set up in 2011 by Pope Benedict to provide a home for disaffected former members of the…[Episcopal] and Anglican clergy within the Catholic Church.

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Posted in --Scotland, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Scottish Episcopal Church, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(SAN) Christ Church, Harris, In Scotland Accepts Oversight From Bishop Andy Lines

The people of Christ Church, Harris, announced today that they can no longer remain under the oversight of the bishop of Argyll and the Isles, the Right Reverend Kevin Pearson. This follows his decision to support the change to the canons of the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) which introduced the innovation of same-sex marriage.

At a meeting with Bishop Pearson, they explained their decision and asked if the Scottish Episcopal Church would keep the church they have built and the money they have given. The bishop insisted that the SEC would retain all assets. In response the congregation made it clear that they would walk away rather than submit to a decision which departs from scripture, tradition and the teaching of Jesus Christ,

The people of Christ Church will maintain a faithful Anglican witness on Harris under the oversight of the Right Reverend Andy Lines, who was consecrated as a missionary bishop for Europe in June and who will act under the authority of the GAFCON primates.

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Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Same-sex blessings, Scottish Episcopal Church, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

The Scottish Anglican Network Statement on the Partial Meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion

From here:

The Scottish Anglican Network is grateful to the GAFCON primates who gave courageous leadership by not attending the meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion this week. We are thankful too for the GAFCON Primates and others who did attend and who robustly supported the complementary nature of biblical marriage.

The Scottish Episcopal Church now faces the same consequences as The Episcopal Church (USA). Although these consequences are very mild indeed, they indicate that the SEC has departed from the faith once given, and that many provinces are now in seriously impaired communion with it.

We know that, “Godly sorrow brings repentance” (2 Corinthians 7:10a). We hope that the intention of the Primates’ meeting, despite the Scottish Primus’ clear determination to not turn back from the decision of his province, is to allow the Scottish Episcopal Church time to repent of the damage it is doing by its schismatic action. The sad alternative is that this is poor leadership hoping that the problem will somehow go away.

We pray that the Holy Spirit will convict the leadership of the SEC of this need to repent and that the Primates of the Anglican Communion will continue to uphold the orthodox understanding of marriage.

Posted in Partial Primates meeting Canterbury 2017, Scottish Episcopal Church

(AI) Scotland on day one’s docket at the Canterbury Partial primates meeting

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Posted in Anglican Primates, Scottish Episcopal Church

A Video of the Canterbury Partial Primates Meeting Press Conference on October 3

Watch it all for those interested.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Scottish Episcopal Church