Daily Archives: August 6, 2007

Iran installs Azad Marshall as new Anglican bishop

Bishop Azad Marshall from Pakistan was officially installed as Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Iran during an August 5 service at St. Paul’s Church in Tehran, a turning point for interfaith relations in the Islamic Republic.

More than two hundred people attended the three-hour service, which was marked by singing in Farsi and English by the House of Worship and Messiah Worship Choir and orchestra, according to the Anglican Communion News Service. The congregation included Anglicans, members of the Assemblies of God, Roman Catholics, Orthodox, and Muslims. The service was also attended by a senior official from the office of the President who spoke afterwards of the respect and freedom given to all religious minorities.

Among those attending the installation were Jerusalem Bishop Suheil Dawani; President Bishop Mouneer Anis of Jerusalem and the Middle East; Church of England Bishops Michael Nazir Ali of Rochester and Paul Butler of Southampton; Retired Jerusalem Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal; and Archbishop John Chew, Primate of South East Asia.

According to reports, Marshall said “Iran’s leaders want to open a new chapter with the Anglican Church, nearly 30 years after the Islamic revolution.”

Read it all.

Update: There is a good picture here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Middle East

From AP: Course helps churches handle sex offenders

It was a shocking moment for members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Manchester, N.H.: One of their congregants was accused of sexually abusing an underage relative.
Church leaders gave the man one chance to remain. He had to sign an agreement to stay away from any church setting where there were children, limiting himself to events like adult education classes and one-on-one meetings with the pastor.

He refused and decided to leave, but the ultimatum let the church stick to its mission of trying to minister to all while keeping its children safe.

“We had a policy in place,” said Sandra Greenfield, who was the church’s director of education at the time and now holds a similar job at the South Church in Portsmouth, N.H. “There was no confusion about how we were going to handle the situation.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Sexuality

Diogenes: TEC into the twilight?

Whenever an organization begins to lose its grasp on the message it wants to deliver, it concentrates its efforts on improving the means of delivery. With gratifying timeliness, ECUSA has responded to its identity crisis by developing an Organizational Effectiveness Plan to streamline the ministerial services whose purpose it can’t seem to find.

Read it all.

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

Steve Wood's Sermon to the Special S.C. Convention for the Election of a Bishop

Listen to it all.

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

PCUSA documents on property Revealed

The Presbyterian Church (USA) has selectively disseminated two “privileged and confidential” documents by denominational lawyers calling on presbyteries to use draconian measures when claiming local church property.

The tone of the documents is reflected in the words they use to describe the parties: the “true church” ”“ meaning those who submit to the government and decisions of the PCUSA ”“ versus the “schismatics” ”“ meaning those who believe the denomination has abandoned its Biblical and Reformed roots. One recommendation for presbytery representatives is to portray themselves as the aggrieved party embattling the ungodly ”“ “keep the presbytery in a ‘defensive’ secular legal posture. (Let the schismatics seek Caesar’s help.)”

That proposal is interesting in that most litigation in church property disputes is begun by presbyteries filing civil complaints and congregations having to defend themselves.

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Presbyterian

A life of faith informed by death

Science and spirit. Life and death. The natural and supernatural. The essence of body, the essence of soul. For the Rev. Kirtley Yearwood, it’s the duality of experience that makes life so interesting and meaningful.

As an Episcopal priest, Yearwood has laid his hands on his brothers and sisters in Christ, nurtured their spirits and inspired them to seek the truth.

As a forensic pathologist, Dr. Yearwood has employed scalpel and sight in seeking a different sort of truth, an empirical explanation of death.

It is a dual career that has made him whole, he says. His faith strengthens him as he confronts death, and his medical experience strengthens his faith. They are the yin and yang of his life; two parts of a single enterprise.

‘I have always been drawn to death,’ he says. ‘It’s a holy moment, God is there, the angels are circling. I have learned how fragile and important life is.’

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry

Global warming strategy debated in Pennsylvania

Montgomery County officials are looking into whether a bond can be issued to pay for greenhouse gas reduction projects as part of a larger strategy to fight global warming.

Although local governments regularly float bonds to pay for large long-term projects, it’s not clear if cutting global climate change fits into a pre-existing category.

“The county can only do what the Legislature said it can do in writing. … We just can’t willy-nilly do whatever we want,” Montgomery County Commissioners’ Chairman Tom Ellis said at Thursday’s meeting.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Climate Change, Weather

Mortgage Maze May Increase Foreclosures

In 2003, Dianne Brimmage refinanced the mortgage on her home in Alton, Ill., to consolidate her car and medical bills. Now, struggling with a much higher interest rate and in foreclosure, she wants to modify the terms of the loan.

Lenders have often agreed to such steps in the past because it was in everyone’s interest to avoid foreclosure costs and possibly greater losses. But that was back when local banks held the loans and the bankers knew the homeowners, as well as the value of the properties.

Ms. Brimmage got her loan through a mortgage broker, just the first link in a financial merry-go-round. The mortgage itself was pooled with others and sold to investors ”” insurance companies, mutual funds and pension funds. A different company processes her loan payments. Yet another company represents the investors as the trustee.

She has gotten nowhere with any of the parties, despite her lawyer’s belief that fraud was involved in the mortgage. Like many other Americans, Ms. Brimmage is a homeowner stuck in foreclosure limbo, at risk of losing the home she has lived in since 1998.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy

Anglican TV: All audio & video of ++Venables' Bible Study

For the record, you can now access all three of the talks by Southern Cone Primate Greg Venables at last week’s Network Council meetings. They are available both as videos, and MP3 audio files.

Here’s the link for all 3 Bible Studies.

Posted in * Resources & Links, Resources: Audio-Visual

Sarah Hey interviews Kendall on Leadership

Stand Firm has posted the first two of five clips of a video interview Sarah Hey conducted with Kendall back in April. This elf has watched them both. Sarah’s got some great questions and it’s a wonderful way to learn more about our favorite canon theologian and blog convener!

Here are the first two links. We’ll of course bump this up when the other videos in the series are posted. Each video is about 13-15 minutes.

Video: Kendall Harmon on Leadership, Part 1
Video: Kendall Harmon on Leadership, Part 2

Update: Parts 3 and 4 are now posted:

Part 3
Part 4

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * Resources & Links, - Anglican: Commentary, Resources: Audio-Visual