Daily Archives: March 22, 2009

ACNA Expects at Least Five Inaugural Dioceses

Bishop [Robert] Duncan is Archbishop-designate of the ACNA and Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh that is now under the auspices of the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone. The Rev. J. Philip Ashey, chief operating officer and chaplain for the American Anglican Council, told The Living Church that Pittsburgh is one of the five applications for recognition as an ACNA diocese that have already been received. The deadline for applications is April 15.

Earlier this month, the Rt. Rev. John H. Chapman, Bishop of Ottawa in the Anglican Church of Canada, said he would authorize a congregation under his oversight to begin performing same-sex blessings in part because “while our church struggles to honor the call for gracious restraint in blessing same-sex unions, those who are proponents of cross-border interventions have and continue to show no restraint.”

That view was echoed this week during the House of Bishops’ spring retreat by Bishop Dan Edwards of Nevada. Bishop Edwards posted a blog entry noting that a number of bishops are considering the repeal of Resolution B033 because of what they perceive as a lack of reciprocal restraint by the ACNA.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Proposed Formation of a new North American Province, Common Cause Partnership, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh

Church Times: Inspectors question the mood at Oxford theological colleges

Fallout continues from the changes of “four testing years” at Wycliffe Hall, the theological college in Oxford…where there are “some deeply wounded spirits”, says an inspection report prepared for the House of Bishops.

The five-yearly reports on theological colleges used to be confidential. The Wycliffe report was published on the Church of England website this week, along with one on St Stephen’s House, Oxford. The colleges were graded in 13 areas with “Confidence”, “Confidence with qualifications”, or “No confidence”.

The Revd Dr Robin Ward, Principal of St Stephen’s House, said on Wednesday: “We were of course surprised that the reports came to be published in full, with unexpected assessment criteria, which we didn’t know until after the inspection process had finished.”

Both colleges are declared “fit for purpose”.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

In Massachusetts St. Andrew's pastor to be L.I. bishop

“It’s very exciting,” [Lawrence] Provenzano, 54, said Saturday night, though he added “there’s kind of a bittersweetness to all this.”

“There’s a sadness. Longmeadow’s been home for over 14 years,” said Provenzano, who will remain at St. Andrew’s until at least summer. He became pastor in January 1995.

Because the election falls within 120 days of the General Convention, Provenzano must receive the consent of the General Convention (the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops).

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops, TEC Parishes

Banker fury over tax ”˜witch-hunt’

Bankers on Wall Street and in Europe have struck back against moves by US lawmakers to slap punitive taxes on bonuses paid to high earners at bailed-out institutions.

Senior executives on both sides of the Atlantic on Friday warned of an exodus of talent from some of the biggest names in US finance, saying the “anti-American” measures smacked of “a McCarthy witch-hunt” that would send the country “back to the stone age”.

There were fears that the backlash triggered by AIG’s payment of $165m in bonuses to executives responsible for losses that forced a $170bn taxpayer-funded rescue would have devastating consequences for the largest banks.

“Finance is one of America’s great industries, and they’re destroying it,” said one banker at a firm that has accepted public money. “This happened out of haste and anger over AIG, but we’re not like AIG.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, House of Representatives, Law & Legal Issues, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Stock Market, Taxes, The 2009 Obama Administration Bank Bailout Plan, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

AP: Treasury's toxic asset plan could cost $1 trillion

The Obama administration’s latest attempt to tackle the banking crisis and get loans flowing to families and businesses rely on a new government entity, the Public Investment Corp. to help purchase as much as $1 trillion in toxic assets on banks’ books.

The plan that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner intends to announce Monday aims to use the resources of the $700 billion bank bailout fund, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Federal Reserve, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, The 2009 Obama Administration Bank Bailout Plan, The Banking System/Sector, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

Central New York Episcopal Diocese sues former parish again

Back in 2003, the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York consecrated a gay bishop and allowed others to perform same-sex blessings.

The Church of the Good Shepherd in Binghamton, an Episcopal parish at the time, disagreed with this move and severed ties. Last year, the Diocese sued for Good Shepherd to leave the church building on Conklin Avenue, and in December, a state Supreme Court judge ruled in their favor.

On Friday, both sides were back in court.

“We’ve kind of moved on as a congregation and this is almost looking backwards now. So we were dreading it but here it is,” said Father Matthew Kennedy, Good Shepherd’s head pastor.

This time, the feud centers around a will by former Good Shepherd member Robert Brannan. He died in 1986 and left behind money in a trust fund for his parish.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Central Florida, TEC Conflicts: Central New York, TEC Conflicts: Colorado, TEC Conflicts: Connecticut, TEC Conflicts: Florida, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth, TEC Conflicts: Georgia, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles, TEC Conflicts: Ohio, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh, TEC Conflicts: Rio Grande, TEC Conflicts: San Diego, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin, TEC Conflicts: Virginia, TEC Data, TEC Departing Parishes, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, TEC House of Deputies

Thomas Friedman: Are We Home Alone?

I ran into an Indian businessman friend last week and he said something to me that really struck a chord: “This is the first time I’ve ever visited the United States when I feel like you’re acting like an immature democracy.”

You know what he meant: We’re in a once-a-century financial crisis, and yet we’ve actually descended into politics worse than usual. There don’t seem to be any adults at the top ”” nobody acting larger than the moment, nobody being impelled by anything deeper than the last news cycle. Instead, Congress is slapping together punitive tax laws overnight like some Banana Republic, our president is getting in trouble cracking jokes on Jay Leno comparing his bowling skills to a Special Olympian, and the opposition party is behaving as if its only priority is to deflate President Obama’s popularity.

I saw Eric Cantor, a Republican House leader, on CNBC the other day, and the entire interview consisted of him trying to exploit the A.I.G. situation for partisan gain without one constructive thought. I just kept staring at him and thinking: “Do you not have kids? Do you not have a pension that you’re worried about? Do you live in some gated community where all the banks will be O.K., even if our biggest banks go under? Do you think your party automatically wins if the country loses? What are you thinking?”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, The 2009 Obama Administration Bank Bailout Plan, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package, The U.S. Government, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

James Scott Mayer is ordained new bishop of Episcopal Diocese for Lubbock area

In the presence of Almighty God, in the borrowed sanctuary of First United Methodist Church, 1411 Broadway Ave., and turned out in their Sunday best on a Saturday, a near-capacity crowd of Episcopal clergy and laity welcomed the Rev. James Scott Mayer as the new Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northwest Texas late Saturday morning.

Mayer is a 1992 graduate of the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, and a 1977 graduate of Texas Tech.

On Nov. 22, 2008, he was elected by a constitutional majority of electors inside the sanctuary of St. Paul’s-on-the-Plains Episcopal Church, 1510 Ave. X.

The first ballot earned him 34 of the 47 clergy votes, but only 65 of the 141 votes cast by the lay electorate – six shy of the necessary majority. The results of the second ballot weren’t even close: 38 votes from the clergy order, and 90 from the lay.

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

Notable and Quotable

Moses, therefore, tells us that, since God had forbidden them to pass the borders of Edom, they went by another way; but immediately afterwards he adds, that they basely rebelled, without being provoked to do so by any new cause. They had before been rebellious under the pressure of hunger or thirst, or some other inconvenience; but now, when there were no grounds for doing so, they malignantly exasperate themselves against God.

–John Calvin commenting on Numbers 21, the Old Testament lesson for today; this was quoted by yours truly in the Sermon this morning

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Obama Seeks to Increase Oversight of Executive Pay

The Obama administration will call for increased oversight of executive pay at all banks, Wall Street firms and possibly other companies as part of a sweeping plan to overhaul financial regulation, government officials said.

The outlines of the plan are expected to be unveiled this week in preparation for President Obama’s first foreign summit meeting in early April.

Increasing oversight of executive pay has been under consideration for some time, but the decision was made in recent days as public fury over bonuses has spilled into the regulatory effort.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama