Daily Archives: October 4, 2007

It's THAT season again… Diocesan Conventions Galore

Whew. It’s time to gear up for the annual fall Diocesan Conventions spree. Forty-three conventions scheduled for October!!

We elves probably won’t have time to do the exhaustive coverage we attempted at least for part of the convention season last fall. We need readers’ help. PRIOR to your diocesan convention, please send us any important info on resolutions or budgets for your diocese. And then AFTER convention, send us info on what resolutions passed, your bishops’ convention address, etc. We’re counting on you!

Here are the list of October Conventions:

10/4/2007 – 10/7/2007 Alaska (St. Matthew’s Church – Fairbanks, AK)
10/4/2007 – 10/7/2007 Wyoming (Jackson, WY)
10/5/2007 – 10/6/2007 Colorado (St. John’s Cathedral – Denver, CO)
10/5/2007 – 10/7/2007 Montana (Copper King Hotel – Butte, MT)
10/5/2007 – 10/6/2007 North Dakota (Kelly Inn – Bismarck, ND)
10/5/2007 – 10/7/2007 South Dakota (Oacoma, SD)

10/12/2007 – 10/13/2007 Bethlehem (Cathedral Church of the Nativity – Bethlehem, PA)
10/12/2007 – 10/14/2007 Eastern Oregon (St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church – Prineville, OR)
10/12/2007 – 10/13/2007 Milwaukee (Italian Community Center – Milwaukee, WI)
10/12/2007 – 10/14/2007 Nevada (South Point Hotel – Las Vegas, NV)
10/12/2007 – 10/14/2007 Northern Michigan
10/12/2007 – 10/13/2007 Western Louisiana (Holiday Inn Convention Centre Hotel – Alexandria, LA)

10/18/2007 – 10/21/2007 Churches in Europe (American Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Paris.)
10/19/2007 – 10/20/2007 Arizona (Sheraton Crescent Hotel, Phoenix)
10/19/2007 – 10/20/2007 California
10/19/2007 – 10/20/2007 Connecticut (Christ Church Cathedral – Hartford, CT)
10/19/2007 – 10/20/2007 Dallas
10/19/2007 – 10/20/2007 Eastern Michigan (St. John’s Church – Saginaw, MI)
10/19/2007 – 10/20/2007 Fond Du Lac (Liberty Hall – Appleton, WI)
10/19/2007 – 10/20/2007 Kansas (Kansas Expocentre – Topeka, KS)
10/19/2007 – 10/20/2007 Quincy (Christ Church – Moline, IL)
10/19/2007 – 10/20/2007 Rio Grande (Cathedral Church of St. John – Albuquerque, NM)
10/19/2007 – 10/21/2007 Spokane (Termplin’s Red Lion Hotel on the River – Post Falls, ID)
10/19/2007 – 10/20/2007 Western Kansas (Garden City, KS)
10/20/2007 – 10/20/2007 Southwest Florida (Venice Community Center – Venice, FL)
10/21/2007 – 10/21/2007 Puerto Rico (Coliseo Juan “Pachin” Vicens – Ponce, Santa Eucaristía – Puerto Rico)

10/26/2007 – 10/27/2007 Hawaii (St. Andrew’s Cathedral & Prince Kuhio Hoten – Honolulu, HI)
10/26/2007 – 10/28/2007 Idaho (Idaho Falls, ID)
10/26/2007 – 10/28/2007 Indianapolis (Holiday Inn Conference Center – Columbus, IN)
10/26/2007 – 10/27/2007 Maine (Bangor Civic Center – Bangor, ME)
10/26/2007 – 10/27/2007 Michigan (Holiday Inn South – Lansing, MI)
10/26/2007 – 10/27/2007 Minnesota (St. Paul River Centre – St. Paul, MN)
10/26/2007 – 10/27/2007 Nebraska (corrected per comment below)
10/26/2007 – 10/28/2007 Northwest Texas (San Angelo, TX)
10/26/2007 – 10/27/2007 Rhode Island (The Biltmore Hotel – Providence, RI)
10/26/2007 – 10/27/2007 San Joaquin
10/26/2007 – 10/27/2007 Upper South Carolina (Christ Church – Greenville, SC)
10/26/2007 – 10/27/2007 Utah (Cathedral Church of St. Mark – Salt Lake City, UT)
10/26/2007 – 10/27/2007 Western Massachusetts (Springfield Sheraton – Springfield, MA)
10/26/2007 – 10/27/2007 Western New York
10/27/2007 – 10/27/2007 El Camino Real (Sherwood Hall – Salinas, CA)
10/27/2007 – 10/27/2007 Northern Indiana
10/27/2007 – 10/28/2007 Springfield (Trinity – Jacksonville, IL)

You can find a list of all conventions here: by date, by diocese.

All the T19 diocesan convention posts will be under this category link

Update: We’re putting together an Excel Spreadsheet. It will have any links we find to the diocesan convention website, proposed resolutions, and then post-convention materials (final resolutions, bishops’ speech) if/when they are posted online. Here’s the link.

We’ll try to update it regularly. (So far we just have a few links for this weekend’s conventions. But we will add more over the weekend)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Resources & Links, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

Episcopalians in Quincy updated on possible split with main denomination over homosexuality

Local Episcopalians were briefed this week on where the long-simmering dispute involving the church’s stance on homosexuality stands, specifically the ordination of homosexuals.

The Rev. Lewis Payne of Quincy, a retired Anglican priest, presided over a general information meeting.

“It was nothing major, there was nothing new,” Payne said. “These kinds of meetings are always held a couple of weeks before the (state) convention in each of the deaneries, or regional units.”

This year’s convention is scheduled for Oct. 19-20 in Moline.

The dispute over homosexuality in the church, which has been going on for at least 30 years, has worsened in part because of a larger clash about biblical interpretations. Tensions heightened in 2003 when the Episcopal Church consecrated an openly gay man, V. Gene Robinson, as bishop of New Hampshire.

At that time, St. John’s Episcopal Church of Quincy was part of a growing number of churches, parishes and dioceses around the country taking the first steps toward breaking away from the mainline denomination and placing themselves under the authority of a foreign bishop, most of them in Africa.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

Gavin Dunbar: New Orleans and Savannah

It was hardly a surprise but a cause for sorrow nonetheless: the House of Bishops, meeting in New Orleans, made a response to the requests of the Primates at Dar Es Salaam that offered little to repair the “tear in the fabric of the communion” caused by the consecration of Gene Robinson. They did pledge compliance in the election of bishops (no more Gene Robinsons) ”“ but then demanded that Gene Robinson be invited to Lambeth Conference in 2008. Their convoluted pledge not to authorize same-sex blessings is surely designed to permit local option (as is already happening). They demanded that the Global South Primates stop their pastoral interventions, but they had nothing serious to offer the conservative dissenters the Primates are trying to care for: the Pastoral Council proposed by the Primates was refused in favour of window-dressing; and the destructive policy of aggressive litigation against conservative dissent was not even addressed, let alone restrained.

Some will adjudge the result the best that could be hoped for under the circumstances. Others will even eagerly claim to find it satisfactory. But who really believes that is true? These are grudging assurances in words that inspire no trust, weasel words with built-in wiggle-room, a tactical maneuver, not a change of heart. The House has not renounced the imagined right of the Episcopal Church to do as it pleases, unconstrained by the teaching of the Bible, the historic Faith, or the Communion’s “bonds of affection”. They have not healed the breach their arrogance opened up, and that means it will only get worse.

The breach has now come to Savannah, in the decision by the Vestry of Christ Church to secure its future in the Faith, in the Anglican Communion, by placing the parish under the pastoral care of John Guernsey, a Virginia priest recently made bishop of the Anglican Church of Uganda in North America. This decision, made in conscience, cannot have been easy to make, and it deserves respect even from those who disagree with it. St. John’s Vestry has made no such decision, but I can testify to our respect for theirs; and also our continuing fellowship with them in the historic faith, and in “the bonds of affection”.

In response Bishop Louttit has asserted the Episcopal Church’s claim to Christ Church’s real property, on the grounds that parishes are “integral and constituent parts of a diocese and of the larger church.” But the obligations of “constituent” membership in the “larger church” run both ways. The constitutional obligations of the Episcopal Church – to uphold the Bible’s teaching, the Church’s historic Faith and Order, and membership in the Communion ”“ are the covenantal basis of its canonical claims to parochial real property. If it cannot fulfil the former, then the moral basis for the latter disappears.

–The Rev. Gavin Dunbar is rector, Saint John’s, Savannah

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Sept07 HoB Meeting, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Georgia, TEC Departing Parishes

School Keeps Christmas, Halloween; Adds Ramadan

Following a school board meeting where parent complained about what the saw as an assault on traditional American celebrations, an Oak Lawn school district has decided to keep observing Halloween and Christmas, but only on the condition that Muslim holiday Ramadan is celebrated as well.

The school district had asked principals to tone down all holiday celebrations after a Muslim mother requested that her children be separated from others during lunch for the Ramadan fast.

But after heated remarks from many parents at the meeting Tuesday, the school board changed its position.

“Everything is staying the same,” school board member Dave Lis said. “Christmas is still Christmas, and Halloween is still Halloween.”

That’s good news to fifth-grader Samantha Ramirez, who looks forward to Santa’s annual visit to Columbus Manor School.

“We should be able to celebrate our thing, and they should be able to celebrate theirs, too,” the 10-year-old said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Education, Religion & Culture

Can Doesn't Equal Should Says Cardinal

Everything technologically possible need not be ethically permissible, and for this we need a bioethics that is open to the transcendent, said a Vatican official.

Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán, the president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, said this during a conference co-sponsored by the Vatican dicastery and the Acton Institute, titled “Health, Technology and Common Good.” It was held at the Pontifical Gregorian University on Friday.

In his lecture titled “The Future for Health Care: Putting Technology at the Service of Man,” the 74-year-old cardinal said: “We know that biomedical technology holds a great deal of promise in the areas of diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

“But we must also be aware of the fact that technology and medicine are only a part of the health care system and undue insistence on their capabilities may give more emphasis in meeting the demands of the providers than that of the human persons.”

Cardinal Lozano Barragán continued: “The ultimate criterion in the use of all technologies must be the good of man.

“In discussing the sciences of life and reflecting on the experimental sciences that manipulate life, one wonders about correct human behavior in relation to human life, deficiency in human life, increase in human life, improvement in human life, procedures to be followed to obtain this improvement and deviations to be avoided.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Science & Technology, Theology

William Witt on the JSC Report on the New Orleans Bishops Statement

From here:

The questions about who signed and who didn’t sign are all very interesting, as well as the discussions about conflict of interest, … [edited]

Regardless, the crucial issue here is that the JSC Report is a rather bald-faced lie. The requirements of Dar Es Salaam were quite clear, specifically:

That the HOB make itself clear that GC2006 meant that no bishop living in a same-sex relationship would be approved (not “exercise restraint”).

That the HOB make itself clear no same-sex blessings would take place, whether public or private.

That the Primatial Vicar scheme would be implemented–not another DEPO.

That lawsuits would cease.

Unless and until all these requirements were meant, border crossings would continue, with the approval of the Primates who agreed to DES.

The reappraisers understood this. I would ask the reappraisers to jog their memories to recall some of the rather vigorous opposition they offered to the DES Communique when it first come out.

None (I repeat, None) of the above requirements were met at NO. And everyone knows this. Why then, the reappraisers are so happy about the JSC Report is baffling to me. Either, the reappraisers are thrilled that the HOB was given a pass on a blatant deception. Or, the HOB was not being deceptive, in which case the reappraisers are thrilled because the JSC is lying when it says that the HOB said something they did not say.

Or the reappraisers are thrilled because they are being portrayed as illiterates. All your vigorous opposition to DES back in February was based on a misreading? DES really didn’t ask for the things that you all were so upset about? And your rejoicing at KJS’s claims that she didn’t actually sign anything were misplaced?

Of course, the other possibility is that the JSC is just as blatantly dishonest as the HOB statement coming out of NO. And the reappraisers are thrilled either because they approve of the deception, or they are thrilled because all that matters is a Lambeth invite, and if deception is the necessary price for a ticket to Lambeth, it is an expensive price, but one worth paying.

And the sad thing is that the latter is the most plausible likelihood.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Sept07 HoB Meeting, TEC Bishops

Letters from the Grieving Amish

We are indebted to Terry Mattingly at Get Religion for bringing this story from the Baltimore Sun to a wider audience. The Baltimore Sun article is unique because it is based on letters to the editor to an Amish newspaper during the last year, many from the relatives of the girls who were killed or injured. The letters and thus the article are deeply moving. Here’s an excerpt from TMatt’s blog entry on this. The link to the longer original Baltimore Sun piece is at the end. We agree with Terry. The article is really must reading.

But the newspaper letters also offered insights into the lives of the children who survived, which is a side of this drama previously kept private. Four of the girls were quickly back in school, even as they continued to recover from their wounds. But that is not the end of that story:

A fifth girl, 7-year-old Rosanna King, suffered a serious brain injury. She was removed from life support within two days of the shooting and was expected to die. Instead, she has become a living miracle for the Amish, who found inspiration as she progressed from bed to wheelchair and began to recognize family members and laugh out loud. But progress has been slow. . . .

One writer wondered whether the community could do more for her.

“Maybe we are not praying hard enough,” wrote Yonie Esh of Georgetown. He seemed to hesitate at the idea. “But then again we want to say, ”˜Thy will be done.’ If I write something that I should not, I do apologize. I certainly do not want to offend anyone.”

When Rosanna returned to church for the first time after the shooting, the moment generated considerable excitement.

“She doesn’t talk . . . but so precious to have her around,” wrote Susanna Stoltzfus.

This is a very simple story, based on these letter from inside a community that prefers to keep its sorrows and joys private. The simplicity is what makes the story so powerful.

Life continues in Nickel Mines. It was fortunate that the Sun found a way to take readers inside that story, without violating the lives of those who are living it. This is must reading.

Here’s Terry’s blog entry.

Here’s the full Baltimore Sun feature article by Julie Scharper.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Death / Burial / Funerals, Other Churches, Parish Ministry

Savannah News: Christ Church braces for uphill battle

Christ Church leaders say biblical authority rests at the center of their decision to leave the Episcopal Church.

But now that they’ve left, the only question remaining is: Who gets the property?

According to attorneys with experience in church property laws, the odds are stacked against Christ Church.

However, church leaders say historical and current documents clearly list the wardens and vestry as its owners.

The Episcopal Church claims ownership to all church properties. The denomination considers individual parishes to be held in trust by the congregation.

Macon attorney W. Warren Plowden Jr. said he has argued cases for the United Methodist Church, which also operates under a hierarchical governance system.

“In Methodist cases, the courts will look at deeds, the discipline of the United Methodist Church and, if it’s incorporated, the corporate documents,” he said.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Georgia, TEC Departing Parishes

Savannah News editorial: Unfortunate split

CHATHAM COUNTY tax documents show the Protestant Episcopal Church owns six local properties. Christ Church is not one of them.

Both the Bull Street church building itself, and the nearby structure that holds the parish house, offices and children’s school are owned by the Christ Church wardens and vestry.

That’s an important bit of information, considering the local congregation’s recent announcement that it intends to separate from the Episcopal Church of the United States.

Christ Church, the 274-year-old “Mother Church of Georgia,” has had a long-running dispute with church leaders over scriptural issues.

Nationally, much press has been given to arguments over the ordination of women, the blessing of same-sex marriages and the ordination of practicing homosexuals into the ministry.

However, Christ Church pastor Rev. Marc Robertson said those issues are not central to the local church’s concerns.

Instead, they focus on the greater Episcopal Church’s unwillingness to unequivocally back such basic tenets as the authority of scripture, the divinity of Christ and the availability of salvation through Christ’s sacrifice.

American Episcopal leaders have been fairly heavy-handed in addressing those concerns.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Georgia, TEC Departing Parishes

David Phillips: ACO Manipulating the Communion

From here:

The Anglican Communion Office has issued a report, purportedly from the Joint Standing Committee of Primates and the Anglican Consultative Council essentially affirming the US House of Bishops statement of last week. In an astonishing piece of manipulation the one conservative (Mouneer Anis) who had attended the meeting in New Orleans was squeezed out of the drafting process whereas the US Presiding Bishop was included. The ACO is heavily funded by the US Episcopal Church and has for a long time been considered to be manipulating agendas and events in order to promote the revisionist cause. This latest move adds weight to the concerns and destroys any credibility the report might have had.

The report has been posted on the ACO website should anyone think it worth reading. As we predicted beforehand it is taking the view that the US Bishops did just enough (which they didn’t) in order to satisfy the requirements made of them. Clearly it had already been agreed what the report would say and how the US Bishops would have to phrase their response in order to match it.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Sept07 HoB Meeting, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

Bay Area Reporter: Presiding Bishop pledges support for gays

Jefferts Schori, who was in San Francisco to help celebrate the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, voiced her support for gays and lesbians several times during her visit. However, at a church forum Sunday morning, parishioner Christopher Hayes ”“ who’s in a long-term same-sex relationship ”“ told her, “I want to hear that we’re not satisfied with where we are right now.”

The Reverend Susan Russell, president of Integrity, a national organization of LGBT Episcopalians and their straight friends, told the Bay Area Reporter the bishops’ pledge treats gays and lesbians as “expendable.”

Tom Jackson is the president of Oasis, the LGBT ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of California. The diocese consists of San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa and Marin counties, and part of Santa Clara County. The diocese, which has 27,000 members, has seen many blessings for same-sex unions over the past 30 years.

The church’s next general convention is in July 2009. Jackson said the bishops’ controversial pledge has “energized a lot of people.” Russell said Integrity is working with other organizations to address same-sex unions at the convention. Many have expressed optimism that things will change after that meeting.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

LA Times: Anglican leaders urge unity

In its report, however, the Anglican panel said the bishops’ pledges had “clarified all outstanding questions” and given the needed assurances.

At the same time, the panel urged the Episcopal Church to do more to provide pastoral care and oversight to disaffected conservatives within its ranks. At least four dioceses, including Fresno-based San Joaquin, are taking steps to break with the national church and align with conservative Anglican bishops abroad. More than 50 Episcopal parishes, including several in Southern California, have done the same.

Unless adequate reassurances can be given to dissident congregations and dioceses, “there will be no reconciliation either within the Episcopal Church or within the wider Anglican Communion,” the report said.

But the panel also appeared to rebuke several Anglican primates who had established networks of breakaway Episcopal parishes in the United States, calling for an end to such practices. “We believe that the time is right for a determined effort to bring interventions to an end,” the report stated.

The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, said in a statement Wednesday that she was pleased with the committee’s finding that the church had fulfilled the primates’ requests.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Primates, Episcopal Church (TEC), Primates Mtg Dar es Salaam, Feb 2007, Sept07 HoB Meeting, TEC Bishops

Ottawa synod to consider blessing same-sex couples

The diocese of Ottawa’s regularly scheduled synod will decide Oct. 12-13 whether to request its bishop to grant permission for clergy to bless same-sex relationships.

It is the first diocese to consider the matter since the triennial General Synod, the Anglican Church of Canada’s national governing body, agreed in June that same-sex blessings are “not in conflict” with core church doctrine, but declined by a slim margin to affirm the authority of dioceses to offer them.

The Ottawa motion, moved by Ron Chaplin, a member of the diocese’s branch of Integrity, a support group for gay Anglicans, and Canon Garth Bulmer, rector of St. John the Evangelist, reads: “Be it resolved that this synod requests that the bishop grant permission for clergy, whose conscience permits, to bless duly solemnized and registered civil marriages between same-sex couples, where one party is baptized; and that he authorizes an appropriate rite and guidelines for its use in supportive parishes.”

The new diocesan bishop, John Chapman, said in a statement that if the motion passes, “it will leave the matter with the bishop to render a decision.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Leander Harding: Response to the Report of the Joint Standing Committee of the Anglican Primates

Response to the Report of the Joint Standing Committee of the Anglican Primates On The Reply of the American House of Bishops

The JSC has determined that the American HOB has responded adequately to requests from the Anglican Primates for clarification of their response to the Windsor Report both in terms of the approval of additional bishops in committed same-sex relationships and the approval of same-sex blessings.

The JSC concludes that a majority of bishops have committed themselves to withhold consents to election of candidates for bishop in same sex relationships. This is I believe actually the case. The meeting in New Orleans did express a consensus that consents would be withheld at least until after the next General Convention. I suspect that if there is a Lambeth Conference in the offing the HOB will in all likelihood refrain from giving the necessary consents until after Lambeth.

The JSC has accepted the declaration of the HOB that TEC has not authorized public rites for same-sex blessing though reserving the right for private pastoral response. The JSC makes clear that “we believe that the celebration of a public liturgy which includes a blessing on a same-sex union is not within the breadth of the private personal response envisaged by the Primates in their Pastoral Letter of 2003, and that the undertaking made by the bishops in New Orleans is understood to mean that the use of any such rites or liturgies will not in future have the bishop’s authority, ”˜until a broader consensus emerges in the Communion, or until General Convention takes further action.’”

At this point the statement becomes really an exercise in subterfuge….
The JSC accepts the undertaking made by the HOB in terms that the HOB never set and which are contradicted by numerous facts on the ground and the explicit statements of many bishops. By saying that such blessings when they take place are “without the bishop’s authority” the JSC is replaying on the communion wide stage the comical picture of LA bishop Bruno denying that the same-sex blessing described in the New York Times announcement page was going forward with his knowledge or authority. This is an attempt to finesse an issue that even the secular press will find duplicitous. It is inconceivable the HOB would discipline any of its members for allowing public same-sex blessings. A real undertaking not to authorize would mean to discipline those who take unauthorized action. This seems an attempt to generate a legal fiction for the purpose of giving TEC a pass by virtue of living into a legal fiction that it did not in its deliberations agree to. Meanwhile the spirit of Windsor cooperation which is what is really needed has been simply repudiated. The JSC is trying to give the HOB a way of playing the character Sargent Schultz from the sitcom Hogan’s Heroes. Schultz the German guard turned a blind eye to the shenanigans of the prisoners and when asked by his superiors about transgressions said famously, “I know nothing, I know nothing.” By its finesse and fine parsing of language the JSC is helpfully feeding the HOB this line. They are saying in effect, “we are going to say we take it in this way, you don’t protest and you will be able to say, ”˜we know nothing.’”

The JSC also takes up the issues of alternate Primatial Oversight. It encourages the Presiding Bishop to consult further with dissenting groups but “we believe the Presiding Bishop has opened a way forward. There is within this proposal (the plan announced at NOL) the potential for the development of a scheme which, with good will on the part of all parties could meet their needs.” So they ask the Archbishop of Canterbury to use his office to bring together the leaders of TEC and the dissenting dioceses for further negotiation but put their prestige behind what the PB has put on the table. They suggest that possibly the Panel of Reference might be resurrected.

They encourage the ABC to use his office to discourage law suits on all sides. This is the single positive contribution in the report.

The JSC scold those primates who have offered emergency pastoral care to American parishes for not abiding by the Windsor Report and call for a determined effort to bring interventions to an end. They ask the ABC to convene talks between the intervening bishops and the TEC bishops of the diocese in which the interventions occur.

The JSC commends the listening process called for by Lambeth.

The JSC suggests that the there is an emerging consensus in the communion “which says that while it is inappropriate to proceed to public Rites of Blessing of same-sex unions and to the consecration of bishops who are living in sexual relationships outside of Christian marriage, we need to take seriously our ministry to gay and lesbian people inside the Church and the ending of discrimination, persecution and violence against them. Here The Episcopal Church and the Instruments of Communion speak with one voice.”

The essence of the JSC report is to try to sell on a Communion wide basis the American HOB fiction that because no new liturgies have been authorized and no new elections consented to the American Church is Windsor compliant.

There is a willful distortion of reality in this report that raises the most serious questions about whether the Primates can themselves be an instrument of unity and exercise meaningful authority in the communion. This report will not help the communion stay together. It is in every way a clever and artful (in the sinister sense of that word) document designed to deceive and cry peace where there is no peace. It can only seem odious to plain speaking people looking for plain talk about the really somber prospect of the break up of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. The ABC and the Primates have been badly let down by this report. I look with anticipation for a minority report from Bishop Mouneer Anis.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, - Anglican: Commentary, Anglican Primates, Episcopal Church (TEC), Primates Mtg Dar es Salaam, Feb 2007, Sept07 HoB Meeting, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

New York Times: Panel Says Episcopalians Have Met Anglican Directive

The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, said she was gratified by the panel’s conclusions. “The Joint Standing Committee report has recognized the hard work of the House of Bishops,” Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori said in a statement, “and that our responses reflect our repeatedly expressed desire to remain in full communion with the rest of the Anglican Communion.”

But a conservative member of the committee immediately took issue with the report, saying his input was not included.

“The response of the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church represents a superficial shift from their previous position,” the committee member, the Most Rev. Mouneer Hanna Anis, primate of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, wrote in an e-mail statement. “Therefore I strongly disagree with the report.”

Committee members traveled to New Orleans with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, the communion’s spiritual leader, to talk to the Episcopal bishops about the tensions in the communion.

The Joint Committee submitted its report to Archbishop Williams, and he has sent it to all the primates and members of the Anglican Consultative Council, a representative body of bishops, priests and lay people. They are to respond to the archbishop by the end of the month.

“This is one voice, and other voices need to come in and say whether the Episcopal Church has indeed satisfied” the primates’ demands,” said Canon James M. Rosenthal, spokesman for the Anglican Communion Office.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News, Episcopal Church (TEC), Sept07 HoB Meeting, TEC Bishops

The Agony of the Cubs

The Chicago Cubs begin their century-long quest for a World Series title in earnest today in the shadow of one Steve Bartman.

Few fans will forget the earphones, the hat, the sweatshirt, the cursed right arm that reached over the Wrigley wall to deflect a ball away from Moises Alou in Game 6 of the 2003 N.L.C.S.

“This preceded a cascade of plays and misplays that squandered the team’s best chance to reach the World Series since 1945,” writes The Times’s Joe Lapointe, who describes the Cubs as “the most hexed and vexed team in American sports.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

Two court employees suing over Bible study

Two San Diego court employees are suing the Superior Court because they say they have been prohibited from holding a lunch-hour Bible study in the courthouse.

The federal civil rights suit claims court officials unfairly denied the group’s request to meet in an empty courtroom or jury deliberation room.

The lawsuit says the Bible study group had met in the courthouse regularly since 2000, but in April 2006, court officials banned the meeting, saying it violated court policy.

Mindy Barlow, one of two plaintiffs in the case, said yesterday that the lawsuit isn’t about money.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

Star-Telegram: Fort Worth Panel advises splitting from U.S. Episcopal Church

A committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth recommended Monday that the diocese leave the U.S. Episcopal Church and affiliate with another province of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Because the proposal involves a constitutional change, it would first have to be approved at the diocese’s annual convention Nov. 16-17 and again in 2008, Bishop Jack Iker said.

“This is just a first step,” Iker said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Latest News, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, TEC Polity & Canons

Time: Christianity's Image Problem

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture

Liberal religion, contraception is forum topic

As part of Plan A, its nationwide campaign to foster access to safe and affordable contraception, the National Council of Jewish Women has been encouraging local communities to tackle the topics that stir controversy ”” like religion, emergency contraception, and insurance coverage.

Those will all be up for discussion on Wednesday evening, Oct. 10, at a forum sponsored by NCJW’s Union County Section, and hosted by Congregation Beth Israel in Scotch Plains. The program is open to the community.

The speakers will include two religious leaders known for their willingness to engage in open debate: Beth Israel’s Rabbi George Nudell, who will discuss Jewish perspectives on birth control, and Rev. Geoffrey B. Curtiss of All Saints Episcopal Parish in Hoboken, who will offer a liberal Christian perspective….

Curtiss will represent the New Jersey Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, the state branch of a national interfaith clergy association founded to defend the constitutional right to abortion.

Earlier this year, Curtiss was one of the RCRC experts who developed “In Good Conscience: Guidelines for the Ethical Provision of Health Care in a Pluralistic Society.” The guidelines were in part a rebuttal to what it called “sectarian restrictions imposed on health care,” including the Catholic Church’s directives banning abortion services at Catholic healthcare institutions.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Life Ethics

Irenic Thoughts: Synonymous with Anonymous

Chuck Feeney became a billionaire in the duty free shop business. Then he gave away $600 million anonymously. As the Daily News wrote of the reclusive philanthropist,

Chuck Feeney is what Donald Trump would be if he lived his entire existence backward.


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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Personal Finance & Investing