— Global Christianity (@CSGC) February 4, 2015
Daily Archives: February 4, 2015
With the question “well, where’s the coffee?”, Anglican Bishop Ian Palmer and his wife Elizabeth made their first stop at St Barnabas Anglican Church on day three of their trek through the central west.
Twenty Orange East parishioners on the corner of McLachlan and Dora Streets gave a cheer and a clap as they spotted their leader make his way up Summer Street East at 10.15am on Tuesday.
They greeted him with morning tea and sent him on his way with a prayer.
Bishop Palmer is moving to Dubbo to take on the duties of parish priest while continuing his work as bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Bathurst.
It’s no secret that mainline Christianity is suffering destruction and rapid decline. I’m not convinced that God is through with us yet. Instead, we’re gradually crumbling for a variety of reasons, many of our very own making. Certainly cultural change is leading many people of faith to find spiritual fulfillment in contexts other than churches.
In the Episcopal Church’s case, millions upon millions of dollars are being wasted to fight increasingly nasty culture wars in secular courts; this is money lost forever to mission and ministry. Court battles, moreover, produce casualties who will never come home. National and diocesan bureaucracies and expenses seem never to mirror numerically declining constituencies. Instead, they keep on growing, which is the nature of all unharnessed bureaucracies. And they increasingly make decisions (e.g., clergy placement, how money will be spent, etc.) for communities about which they know little or nothing.
Perhaps Hanoi’s grassroots revival might provide insights for reimagining the Episcopal Church. What if we suddenly stopped paying for continuous court battles, retired litigation debt, and (as the House of Deputies voted to do in 2012) sold the Church Center? What if we reduced diocesan funding and staff to reflect the actual canonical functions of dioceses, which are really pretty minimal? And what if the national bureaucracy were radically reduced to reflect that the Episcopal Church is now the same size as it was in the 1930s?
. Reat it all at TLC.
Bishop Kee Sloan, head of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama, voted in favor of a new ritual of blessing for same-sex unions that the Episcopal Church approved during its 2012 General Convention.
At the time, he said he wouldn’t allow blessings of same-sex unions in Alabama churches. It was too divisive and the state wasn’t ready, he said. Now, Alabama is ready, he said. “I just needed to wait for the right time,” Sloan told AL.com.
“This is not marriage, and has nothing to do with the federal judge in Mobile or the Supreme Court,” Sloan said. “This is blessing a same-sex union.”
For 50 years, critics and readers have wondered why Harper Lee never wrote a novel besides “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
It turns out she did.
The reclusive Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist announced Tuesday that in July she will publish “Go Set a Watchman,” a kind of sequel to “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The news electrified her fans and the publishing world, which long ago gave up hope of another novel from the beloved author.
Even more surprising than the announcement of the forthcoming book was the revelation that it had been written in the mid-1950s and then, apparently, forgotten.
The collected works of Jonathan Edwards, the 18th-century preacher and one of America’s most famous theologians, are now available for download thanks to Logos Bible Software. But for those who don’t want to cough up $1,289.95 to purchase them, there’s good news: The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale Divinity School lets you view them online for free.
The colonial preacher was instrumental in America’s Great Awakening and is known for fiery sermons such as “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” The 26-volume collection, “The Works of Jonathan Edwards,” comprises more than 10,000 sermons, articles and letters that were indexed from 1953 to 2008.
“Edwards is widely recognized as one of the most important American thinkers and religious figures and as a major figure in the history of Christian thought,” said Kenneth Minkema, executive director of Yale’s Jonathan Edwards Center. “Publication of his works is important for providing resources for those, such as students, who wish to learn for the first time about his influences, thought and legacies.”
The Rev. Jim Lewis, canon to the ordinary, applauded the ruling saying it “protects South Carolina churches from being added to the long list of properties that TEC seized, then either abandoned or sold off. The decision protects our freedom to embrace the faith Anglicans have practiced for hundreds of years ”” and not the new theology being imposed on TEC’s dwindling membership.”
A spokeswoman for local parishes that remain a part of The Episcopal Church declined to comment late Tuesday saying church leaders first needed time to analyze the lengthy ruling.
A South Carolina court has ruled that the Diocese of South Carolina and its parish churches are the owners of their property, not The Episcopal Church.
In a decision handed down Tuesday, Circuit Court Judge Diane Goodstein wrote that the diocese and its churches are “the owners of their real, personal and intellectual property.”
Goodstein wrote that The Episcopal Church “has no legal, beneficial or equitable interest” in the diocese and its property.
Almighty and everlasting God, who didst send thy servant Anskar as an apostle to the people of Scandinavia, and dist enable him to lay a firm foundation for their conversion, though he did not see the results of his labors: Keep thy Church from discouragement in the day of small things, knowing that when thou hast begun a good work thou wilt bring it to a faithful conclusion; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Blessed Spirit of God, come to us in all thy fullness and power, to enrich us in our poverty, to inflame us in our feebleness. Be closer to us than breathing, nearer than hands or feet. As the branches are in the vine, so may we abide in thee. Compass our minds with thy wisdom. Saturate our souls with thy righteousness. Fire our wills with thy might. Melt our hearts with thy love. Do everything at all times to make us wholly thine until thy wealth is ours and we are lost in thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
–The Pastor’s Prayerbook
Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name for ever; may his glory fill the whole earth! Amen and Amen!
Song of Solomon 4:16
[Young Woman] Awake, north wind! Rise up, south wind! Blow on my garden and spread its fragrance all around. Come into your garden, my love; taste its finest fruits.
We invite You, Holy Spirit, to move through the Diocese of South Carolina in this season.
Dear Jesus, You are much loved in the Diocese of South Carolina. Come into Your garden!
Song of Solomon 5:1
[Young Man] I have entered my garden, my treasure, my bride! I gather myrrh with my spices and eat honeycomb with my honey. I drink wine with my milk.
[Young Women of Jerusalem] Oh, lover and beloved, eat and drink! Yes, drink deeply of your love!
O Jesus, drink deeply of Your love in the Diocese of South Carolina!
Song of Solomon 6:2-3
[Young Woman] My lover has gone down to his garden,
to his spice beds,
to browse in the gardens
and gather the lilies.
I am my lover’s, and my lover is mine.
He browses among the lilies.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED,
1. The Plaintiffs are the owners of their real, personal and intellectual property.
2. The Defendants have no legal, beneficial or equitable interest in the Plaintiffs’ real, personal and intellectual property.
3. The Defendant TEC, also known as The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America and Defendant The Episcopal Church in South Carolina and their officers, agents, servants, employees, members, attorneys and any person in concert with or under their direction or control are permanently enjoined from using, assuming, or adopting in any way, directly or indirectly the names, styles, emblems or marks of the Plaintiff as hereinafter set out, or any names, styles, emblems or marks that may be reasonably perceived to be those names, styles emblems or marks . . .
4. The Dorchester County clerk is directed, upon the filing of this order, to refund the sum of $50,000.00 to the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina.
5. The Defendants counterclaims are dismissed with prejudice.
Read it carefully and read it all (it is a 54 page pdf)
ST. GEORGE, SC, Feb. 3, 2015 ”“ In a 46 page opinion, South Carolina Circuit Court Judge Diane S. Goodstein, ruled that The Diocese of South Carolina, The Trustees of the Diocese and 36 parish churches successfully withdrew from The Episcopal Church in 2012 taking with them all their property, including churches, symbols and other assets. The ruling is the result of a three-week trial last summer in which over 50 witnesses testified.
The historic ruling comprehensively resolves the issues surrounding the more than $500 million in property owned by the Diocese and its parishes, which disassociated from the denomination in 2012 after TEC improperly attempted to remove Bishop Mark Lawrence as head of the Diocese.
The judge’s decision found baseless TEC’s claim that it owned the Diocese’s identity and properties. During the trial, the Diocese demonstrated that it existed long before TEC was established ”“ and that it was one of the dioceses that founded the denomination in 1789. It also proved that every diocese is free to associate with a denomination of its choosing.
The Court found that “the Constitution and Canons of TEC have no provisions which state that a member diocese cannot voluntarily withdraw its membership.” The ruling found that had there been such a provision, it would have violated the Diocese’s “constitutionally-protected right” to freedom of association. “With the freedom to associate goes its corollary, the freedom to disassociate,” Judge Goodstein said.
The Court also found that TEC had “no express or constructive trust” in Diocese or Parish property.
The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland suspected that Heather Cook ”” now charged in the drunken-driving death of a Baltimore bicyclist ”” was drunk during her installation festivities this past fall, a new official timeline shows.
Officials with the diocese, which elected Cook its first female bishop last spring, have said for weeks that they knew before her election of a drunken-driving incident in 2010. However, they have declined to answer questions about whether they had any reason to be concerned about her drinking after she was elected ”” until the fatal accident in December.
The timeline, which the Diocese of Maryland said Monday it had added to its Web site, says the head of the national Episcopal Church was made aware that Cook may have been drunk during her installation celebration. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was the leader of the Sept. 6 service that consecrated Cook, or made her a bishop.
Bishop Eugene Sutton ”” who oversees Episcopalians in much of Maryland aside from the D.C. suburbs ”” suspected Cook was “inebriated during pre-consecration dinner,” the timeline says, “and conveys concern to Presiding Bishop. Presiding Bishop indicates she will discuss with Cook. Cook consecrated.”