Toymaker Mattell™ would not comment today on reports that Barbie™ has left the toy and fashion world to enter the Episcopal priesthood.
Toymaker Mattell™ would not comment today on reports that Barbie™ has left the toy and fashion world to enter the Episcopal priesthood.
The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, offers her Easter Message for 2010.
The Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa, the Most Revd Dr Thabo Makgoba, has offered his Easter Message:
Rest in Peace, Edward George Harris:
The Very Rev. Edward George Harris, last Dean of Philadelphia Divinity School (1961-1974) and first co-Dean of Episcopal Divinity School (1974-1976, with the Very Rev. Dr. Harvey Guthrie), died at 8:00 am on Palm Sunday, in Pennsylvania.
A passion play will be performed in Trafalgar Square.
About 100 people came to an ecumenical worship service on the green in New Haven, Connecticut, where people's feet ceremonially washed and free foot care was offered by local podiatrist and student nurses. More than thirty pairs of shoes were distributed. The bishop-elect of Connecticut, The Rev. Ian Douglas, preached.
Ruth Gledhill blogs that the Archbishop of Canterbury has commented on the child abuse scandal now rocking the Roman Catholic Church.
The Rev. Dr. Marie Fortune says that if Pope Benedict were to ask her what he should do about the scandal of child sexual abuse in his church, this is what she'd tell him.
As part of the Good Friday observances yesterday, the Diocese of Arizona and the Presbyterian Church in Arizona walked the stations of the cross along the border wall dividing the U.S. from Mexico:
The situation in Rome is becoming more and more tense as Holy Week and Triduum observances are being overshadowed by the scandals of clergy sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic church. The Preacher to the Papal Household in his Good Friday sermon likened the outrage against the Vatican to the anti-semitism of Europe against the Jewish people.
Canon Giles Frazier was deeply moved by Bishop Pierre Whalon's account of his recent visit to Haiti on behalf of the Episcopal Church. Canon Frazier used a detail of the eyewitness account as the jumping off point for a meditation of the work of Christ during the most Holy Sabbath of the Triduum, and the need for new understandings of the Atonement.
Most Episcopal Churches are just now beginning or just concluding their Easter Vigil services. For most of the country it is Easter! And the first part of the service includes the singing of the Exultet. This version, in Spanish, sung at the Roman Catholic Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark NJ is worth your time. Feliz Pacua!
Larry Hurtado considers the question in Slate.
[H]ow Christians have understood Jesus' "resurrection" says a lot about how they have understood themselves, whether they have a holistic view of the human person, whether they see bodily existence as trivial or crucial, and how they imagine full salvation to be manifested.
It's been fascinating to watch Holy Week unfold in the social media sphere. On Facebook, the prayers and meditations coursing through priestly status updates have reached a point where someone is going to need to develop a Facebook liturgy soon. It's culminated today with much call and response on both Facebook and Twitter. Alleluia! Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia!
At first it was just a shell of a notion, but it's beginning to crack into the ranks of Sunday School rooms and homes where Christian formation is taken seriously (but not too). And, it can be laid down with little in the way of eggspence.
Over at Roger Ebert's blog, you can read the simple account of an animal lover, Tom Dark, and his dying horse Clay. Having done all the things that Episcopalians tend to do from the middle of Holy Week through to Sunday, we bet you'll find redemption and delight in it.
Here's a taste.
Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has apologized for saying in passing something that is incontestably true: the Catholic Church in Ireland, which has knowingly sheltered child rapists for decades, has lost all credibility.
I have been turning the phrase “convening the conversation” over in my head lately. Like online banking, the phrase has been around for a while, but I have just begun to take it seriously.
Sheryl A. Kujawa-Holbrook and Fredrica Harris Thompsett quote Jim Kelsey, the late Bishop of Northern Michigan in an article about the ministry of the baptized for the Alban Institute:
Mary E. Hunt, writing for Religion Dispatches, reduces the Catholic child-rape scandal to its essence in this paragraph:
A PSA is going viral today on Facebook in reaction to a comment in the media about Christianity and Social Justice:
Over the weekend there was much talk about the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams' comment on the Irish Catholic Church. The comment was a 14 second bit in a much longer and very interesting program on the church as institution and religion in society with Williams, Philip Pullman (author and critic of the institutional church), Mona Siddiqui (Muslim and academic) and David Baddiel (comedian and atheist).
The Rev. Michael Russell, Episcopal priest in the Diocese of San Diego and essayist for Episcopal Café began his sabbatical Easter Monday. The difference between this one and most others is as follows:
The Spring issue of the Virginia Theological Seminary's News from the Hill raises questions about what is happening at VTS. Although the Dean Ian Markham offers the newsletter in the spirit of open conversation, the voices are particularly one sided.
Bishop Greg Rickel of the Diocese of Olympia is getting creative about church growth and evangelism. The Seattle Times reports:
The Episcopal Forum of South Carolina has announced information meetings for Episcopal Church loyalists in the diocese. The diocese has taken steps towards disengaging from the life of the denomination.
Defending itself in the sexual abuse scandal, the Roman Catholic Church finds itself in the awkward position of claiming it does not control its bishops.
Declaring to be "initially inspired by the 'Manhattan Declaration', which was launched in November 2009 and has now been signed by over 400,000 US Christians", a group of conservative UK Christians has launched "Westminster 2010 [as] a completely independent initiative by UK Christians focused on UK issues."
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has written her fellow Anglican primates regarding the upcoming consecration of bishop-elect Mary Glasspool. The letter is posted at the Diocese of East Tennessee website, and reprinted below:
Is the grass greener on the congregational polity side of the fence? No.
The Wall Street Journal has a review of the current display of "The Mourners:
Medieval Tomb Sculptures From the Court of Burgundy" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: By the time we encounter most older art on display in a museum it's been set up in a context that radically manipulates the ways in which we read it.
From England's "Ekklesia" blog, comes word that Quakers and other religious groups in Britain have welcomed the passage of the Equality Bill:
Faith groups hail new law allowing civil partnerships on religious premises
From Ekklesia (UK)
Go check out the new webpages of the Episcopal Church's President of the House of Deputies, Dr. Bonnie Anderson!
In Newark, NJ, a conference will be held for those working to eradicate domestic poverty and will examine how the church might work more effectively to reach this goal:
The Vatican has entered the Internet Age even more fully by posting 142 years of Vatican documents online:
On this the Thursday of Easter Week, we commend to you the Easter Message of the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti, Jean Zaché Duracin:
'The Lord is with all Haitians,' Bishop Duracin says in Easter message
On BBC Radio 4, Dr. Rowan Williams wades into the issue of religion in Iraq, making the claim that Blair and Bush had merely a partial "Western" experience of Christianity which led to misunderstandings about the role of religion as they waged the invasion and liberation/occupation of Iraq:
Bishop Thomas Breidenthal of Southern Ohio has issued a fifteen page document on "same gender unions," including theological rationale, policies, educational resources, and a trial liturgy.
Update: Never mind. Apparently Orombi has not resigned according to a clarification from his office by Alison Barfoot (she of the Barfoot memo). See the first comment to this post.
When disaster strikes, it usually highlights the faults lines of poverty and class that already existed in a society. We saw this at work in New Orleans after Katrina, but never has this been more apparent than in Haiti.
News reports are hinting that the proposed anti-gay legislation proposed by a member of the parliament in Uganda may be dead. Still clergy around Africa, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, protest the legislation and are leading the fight against draconian anti-gay laws across the continent.
The BBC reports that the Vatican says Pope Benedict XVI is willing to hold new meetings with victims of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests.
If he does, this could signal a new approach in handling the unfolding crisis, especially since reporters are finding more and more documentation that the future Pope's apparent knowledge of many cases around the world.
The Diocese of Utah has announced their four nominees for bishop.
From the report of the Search Committee to the diocese:
Oddly enough, for Easter Week, most of the stories featuring the ministry of the Episcopal Church's congregations seem to focus on our outreach to active duty and retired military personnel. There are stories of congregations taking up special collections for those deployed overseas, supporting their families left here at home and building housing for those living on the street.
There's an old tradition amongst the Orthodox Churches of sharing jokes during Easter season in honor of the great "trick" that God pulled on Death in the resurrection of Christ. Perhaps this story can be read in that light.
The Sudanese are voting this weekend in their first democratic elections in the past quarter century. The voters are electing their next president and the members of the National Assembly. There are elections for the regional government in southern Sudan as well. All of this is happening as a result of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
The Very Rev. Mark Lattime Rector, St. Michael's Episcopal Church, Diocese of Rochester, Geneseo, NY, was elected the next bishop of Alaska on the fourth ballot.
Is there anything Barbie can't do? Of course not.
In the spirit of "Easter Is 50 Days," we're happy to report that last week's solicitation for readers to share their favorite Easter traditions was a rousing success. From hot cross buns to lilies to Easter Egg hunts to bow-ties to favorite Eastertide hymns, many traditions are ones we all know and love.
Worth noting on a day in which we recall both the appearance of the risen Christ to his disciples and the doubt one of them expressed: James Martin writes that Easter has a staying power that withstands our efforts to tame it.
Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens announced this week that he would retire as soon as the Court rises from its current session in late June. The prognosticators immediately got to work, creating a short-list of three. (That was a few days ago. Now the Stevens memorializers are having their say.)
April is Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, and marks the start of a week's worth of National Days of Remembrance.
Katherine Tyler Scott, a deputy from the Diocese of Indianapolis, who is also Managing Partner of Ki ThoughtBridge, tackles the leadership crisis in mainline churches in an essay today on the Washington Post's Web site:
The Virginia Supreme Court hears arguments tomorrow morning in the case of the Diocese of Virginia versus the breakaway parishes of the Anglican Church in North America. In this column for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, G. Wilson Gunn, Jr., general presbyter of the National Capitol Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church, USA, urges the court to rule in favor of the Diocese:
Wiriting for the Alban Institute, Dan Hotchkiss warns congregational leaders not to expect too much too soon when they initiate changes:
The Zimdiaspora reports that excommunicated former bishop Nobert Kunonga, continues to cause trouble for this successor in the Diocese of Harare:
Mark Silk of Spiritual Politics comprehensivley and dispassionately rebuts the efforts of Michael Sean Winters, who has a longstanding habit of peering down his nose at journalists, to blame the most recent episode in the deepening, widening child rape scandal in the Catholic Church on journalists. He concludes:
The Associated Press tells this horrific story via the Boston Herald:
THIES, Senegal — Even death cannot stop the violence against gays in this corner of the world any more.
Suffragan Bishop in Europe David Hamid, blogging at Eurobishop, reviews a new book co-authored by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and Sister Joan Chittister:
The Most Revd Ian Ernest, G.O.S.K, Bishop of Mauritius and Archbishop of the Province of the Indian Ocean has written to the Archbishop of Canterbury asking for a Primates meeting which excludes the Primates of The Episcopal Church and The Anglican Church of Canada, suspending communion with all except bishops who have publicly disavowed TEC and ACoC actions, and calling for a restructure of the Anglican Communion with the Primates in charge.
A group called the American College of Pediatricians has recently issued a press release and sent a letter to every school district in the country. The name is very similar to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and no doubt intended to be mistaken for that body of respected physicians.
From another part of the Anglican Communion, Episcopal News Service reports on a decade long development project in El Salvador being celebrated and featured in bulletin inserts for Episcopal Churches:
The Virginia Supreme Court today heard 90 minutes of oral arguments in the property dispute between the Diocese of Virginia and CANA.
I -- and about 200 or so others -- were present to hear the arguments held before a panel of five justices. The newest justice on the Virginia court, William Mims, recused himself. He had been a member of one of the breakaway churches, and later was in the Attorney General's office which joined CANA's side as a friend of the court. Two other justices recused themselves.
The Oregonian reports that a St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Portland, OR has given the "ghost bike" a home in its bicycle shrine.
From The Guardian
Carole Sharpe lost her sight at the age of 58. But with the help of her dog, she's been able to carry on doing the things she loves.
Michelle Obama accompanied by Jill Biden, the First Lady and the wife of the Vice President, made an unexpected visit to Haiti today. As part of their tour of the country that was devastated by an earthquake in January the two women came to one of the schools run by the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti.
ENS has the following:
In an interesting development today the Secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales issued a statement making clear that in England and Wales, the Roman Catholic church recognizes the sexual orientation has nothing to do with pedophilia. Not surprising, but the timing of the statement is interesting.
One of the common charges made by groups of former Episcopalians as they leave the denomination is that any legal action they attempt to retain property represent a sort of David vs. Goliath struggle given the financial reserves of the full Episcopal Church. Lionel Deimel points out that in the case of the departing people and clergy from the Diocese of Pittsburgh, that's not exactly what happened.
Topic of the day: race.
The day after the presentation of arguments to the Virginia Supreme Court regarding the ownership of church property in the instances when congregations have decided to depart the Episcopal Church, the press coverage has started to appear online.
As an update to our posted story yesterday, Haiti missionary Lauren Stanley has posted photos of the visit by Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden to the Haiti Episcopal School, College St. Pierre:
Before Katrina, workers at Lutheran Episcopal Services was one of the first groups to send volunteers to help rebuild homes and now they are one of the last one's left:
In an effort, perhaps, to clarify recent statements by the Cardinal Bertone's about homosexuality and sexual abuse, Jesuit Father Frederico Lombardi, director of the Vatican Press Office offered a communique which attempts to limit the scope of these statements. However, is this Vatican "clarification" only digging a deeper hole?
Concentration camp liberators gather at the US Holocaust Museum in Washington in honor of Holocaust Remembrance week:
Mark Silk reflects on Rick Hertzberg essay in the current New Yorker on the current Catholic crisis.
Hertzberg on the Church
From Spiritual Politics blog
Why is the Vatican media strategy failing? The BBC online reports that "Gerard O'Connell of the British Catholic newspaper The Universe says the Church's attempts to defend itself often just cause more damage." Read on:
Breaking News: President Obama orders hospitals to grant same-sex couples visitation rights
News Alert: Obama orders hospitals to grant same-sex couples visitation rights
Is the National Cathedral a model of Church-State relations or a great big target that proponents of total separation of faith from civic life have not yet trained their sights on?
What the focus of the military chaplains ministry? Are the beliefs and practices of the chaplains the main thing? Or ought the focus be on the spiritual and emotional needs of the soldier, sailor or marine? A new documentary focuses on the tensions, challenges and important work of US military chaplains.
A Wisconsin federal district court held that the federal statute which designates the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer violates the Establishment Clause.
President Obama plans to issue a proclamation anyway.
Lisa Miller, writing on Newsweek.com, asks why society at large doesn't really care that one of the next suffragan bishops in Los Angeles is a lesbian. Don't blame the Catholics for taking up all the media's attention. Society has really changed. Miller reflects on the fact that sometimes following tradition can take one to unexpected places.
Here is a new video from the United Church of Christ called "The Language of God" as part of their "God is still speaking" series.
Ordained while gay -- it's the new driving while black.
In a revealing campaign, Anglican Mainstream seeks to persuade you that sex with children reveals whether you are gay. And it's using the Catholic sex abuse story to make its claims.
The news on Episcopal parishes some weeks determines the theme: this week that theme is parish decline, transition, survival and recovery -- transitions brought on by declines in church going, changes in age demographics, local economic declines, and the larger current recession.
As we reported on Tuesday,
The Virginia Supreme Court today heard 90 minutes of oral arguments in the property dispute between the Diocese of Virginia and CANA.
A Barna survey says many of the unchurched avoid church because of past negative experiences in church:
1. A tradition of African art that has for centuries looked at, evaluated and selectively embraced the West.
Twitter has been kinda quiet this week. Are you all enjoying the spring weather all of a sudden? But on Facebook, we are rapidly closing in on 3,000 supporters. We've had to do more moderation these past two weeks than in the life of the Cafe on Facebook total, but it's worth it to see the community growing.
Friday saw a synod in Panama of the Iglesia Anglicana de la Región Central de América (Anglican Church in the Region of Central America, or IARCA). The meeting's biggest news was the election of The Rt. Rev. Armando Guerra of Guatemala to a four-year term of office as Primate. (He'll be installed in June.)
Des Moines Register guest columnist Mike Wellman has a point so simple it's easy to overlook when he speaks of the power of religion to create infectious, internecine conflict.
File the following under wearing your heart on your sleeve: from noted blogger Lionel Deimel, a line of "No Anglican Covenant" themed merchandise: shirts, caps, tote bags, bumper stickers ... even an apron:
The Rt. Rev. George Paul Reeves, seventh bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, died Thursday in Asheville, N.C. He was 91.
Tony Judt, the distinguished European history scholar, writes of his fears for the moral direction of the United States in this week's issue of The New York Review of Books:
Among that travelers stranded by the volcanic eruption in Iceland are the 20+ members of the St. Alban's Cathedral Girls Choir from England. They are stuck in Miami Beach with a few chaperones, as the BBC reports here.
In other CofE news, The New Yorker has taken note of the squabble over female bishops.
CORRECTION: Cynthia Brust sent the following correction to yesterday's post about Rwanda: An All Africa news article has erroneously reported that Bishop-elect Louis Muvunyi has been elected to succeed Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini as Primate of the Province of the Anglican Church of Rwanda. Bishop-elect Muvunyi will be consecrated this summer and assume his position as Bishop of the Kigali Diocese upon Archbishop Kolini’s retirement, but there has NOT been an election for the position of archbishop.
Bishop Stephen T. Lane of Maine argues in the Bangor Daily News that climate change is the most important moral issue of our time:
David Gibson, one of the best journalists on the Catholic beat wrote a perceptive essay for The Washington Post's Outlook section yesterday enumerating five myths about the child rape scandal in the church. These include that Pope Benedict XVI is the primary culprit, that gay priests are to blame and that journalists are biased against the church. The article is pointed, yet evenhanded, and well worth a read.
Wayne Whitson Floyd, writing for the Alban Institute:
[W]hy are church gatherings so likely to be homogenous—meetings of the like-minded, celebrations of sameness? Why are churches so often the poster children of the post-modern epidemic of sandbox-intolerance and bad manners?
The Anglican Communion News Service has published the text of the video by the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Global South Gathering. The ABC is in discussions around the world about consequences for The Episcopal Church:
Huffington Post reports on the latest news from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Church Council meeting:
The Singapore Strait Times reports on the Global South Anglican meeting in Singapore
More than 130 delegates are expected to discuss how the various churches can support one another in missionary work and church-building.
Ecumenical News International (ENI) reports on the new head of the Christian Conference in Asia:
From Anglican-Information, a network acting as a free conduit for news and information related to the Anglican Dioceses of Malawi, and the Province of Central Africa:
Waylaid by volcanic ash, Archbishop Orombi's address to the Global South conference was read for him.
We don't want a state church, but we do want state mandated religious education:
Paul Bloom in Nature says while modern psychology may be have it right that a moral sense is biological, it cannot explain how morals evolve:
It wasn't meant to be Henry Luke Orombi day on The Lead, but it's turned out that way.
Box Turtle Bulletin reports,
another American anti-gay extremist, Lou Engle of The Call, [snip] has announced plans to hold a rally in Kampala on May 2 [The Call Uganda] ....
The bishop of the Tanzanian diocese of Central Tanganyika, Godfrey Mdimi Mhogolo recently visited the parish of St. Philip’s on-the-Hill in Unionville, Ont.
1. Did you check "agree" when you installed that last program on your computer? You may have sold your immortal soul.
Protestors get results.
In consultation with His Eminence, Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, The Paulus Institute has agreed to seek another celebrant for the Pontifical Solemn High Mass taking place on April 24th [at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception]. This action will help maintain the solemnity, reverence and beauty of the Mass.
Happy Earth Day!
How are you observing Earth Day?
Do you have spiritual practices related to observing this day?
Jane Kramer's article in The New Yorker on the battle in the Church of England over whether to allow women to be bishops is now available online in full:
A Canterbury Tale
The battle within the Church of England to allow women to be bishops.
by Jane Kramer in the New Yorker
Statement by the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales
Press release Issued by the CBCEW
The Virginia Theological Seminary's Kreitler Environmental Lecture will be live online tonight, on Earth Day (night?), check it out:
From The Dean and President
From Dean Ian Markham's "Dean's Commentary" blog
Professor Patrick Cheng reflects on the "Real Sin of Sodom" over at the Huffington Post:
What was the real sin of Sodom?
By the Rev. Patrick S. Cheng, Ph.D in the Huffington Post
The Rt. Rev. Scott A. Benhase, Bishop of Georgia, wrote to his diocese concerning his decision to consent to the election of the The Rev. Canon Mary Glasspool as Bishop Suffragan of Los Angeles. Here is what he said:
Updated with commentary below the fold.
The Global South Primates have spoken.
Several religious groups have urged Gov. Jan Brewer to veto the controversial immigration-enforcement bill recently passed by the Arizona legislature. Under the leadership of the Arizona Ecumenical Council, heads of more than a dozen groups have written the governor to request a veto, including Episcopal Bishop Kirk Smith.
Episcopal News Service reports:
Members of the Diocese of Vermont's Earth Stewards Committee accepted an Environmental Merit Award from the New England Office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at a ceremony at Boston's Faneuil Hall on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, April 22.
Bishop Kirk Smith writes to the Spanish-speaking Episcopalians of Arizona.
This week the Saturday Collection comes with a theme - Earth Day. Many Episcopal congregations around the country merited notice for their observance of Earth Day this year, and for their ongoing commitment to the environment.
Bishop Alan points us to a video that highlights the difference in popular perception between Jesus and Christians. This person-on-the-street interview says that people both like Jesus and, to a surprising degree, get at least parts of his message and significance. When asked what people think and feel about Christians...well...we don't fare so well.
Diarmaid MacCulloch, author of the newly published Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years, in an essay in today's Washington Post, reflects on the the ways that the Church has understood sexuality and sexual expression over the years. He also writes about the theological ideas that have served to guide that thinking. He argues that because God is Love, the expression of love serves necessarily as an icon of God.
The Church of Scotland's Mission and Discipleship Council has made its report "Being Single, Being Christian: A resource for congregations" available by download.
The feed is piping beautifully into Twitter, so we're not sure why Facebook is having a lovely off and on relationship with it. Resetting it last Sunday worked until... Monday. So again, it's quiet in Facebook. So we're asking a question this week, just in case it's still not working next week. What are your favorite pages and applications in Facebook? Who are your favorite people/entities to follow on Twitter--and why?
Look for your "nominees" to get featured with Facebook tags and "Follow Friday" recommendations this week, too!
From New Zealand, we have word of this resolution passing at the annual meeting of the Maori Anglican diocese which is in the East Coast of North Island in New Zealand.
That Te Hui Amorangi o Te Manawa o Te Wheke receives with thanks the report from Te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa commission on Human Sexuality and moves in principle to adopt the statement on ordination provided that any gay and lesbian (takatapui) candidates/ordinands are carefully and prayerfully selected, supported and encouraged through their discernment process.
Australian priest John Shepherd reflects on the way that trite music may, in fact, block our ability to experience the divine...what do you think?
At the Alban Institute online, Timothy C. Geoffrion reflects on the ways that we might experience spiritual transformation by striving to recognize God's activity and love in our lives:
In Stamford, Connecticut, residents concerned about climate change created a "Human tide line" and "walked along the perimeters of what city experts projected the tides would look like if the sea level around the park rose by 1 meter, or 3.28 feet" where the ocean's tide may rise if we don't lower our carbon emissions:
During her visit to Washington, DC, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori addressed, and assisted in working at the Church of the Epiphany's Welcome Table ministry for the homeless:
Political tension has so deeply penetrated life in this southern African country that when Tendai Mahachi kneels down to receive communion he is making a partisan statement according to the Global Post:
UPDATED: see below
The Church of England in the Diocese of Durham web site, announces that well known New Testament teacher, author and speaker, the Rt. Rev. Dr. N.T. (Tom) Wright is retiring from his position as Bishop of Durham to devote more time to his other work.
The Sierra Vista Herald reports on an Arizona church that is standing for justice in the midst of all the anti-immigrant sentiment by the state legislature and governor:
A new survey by Lifeway Christian Resources reports that most young adults, the "Millennials," don't pray, don't worship and don't read the Bible according to an article in USAToday :
Stephen Prothero, a professor of religion at Boston University, says in the Boston Globe that it is misleading — and dangerous — to think that religions are different paths to the same wisdom.
Voice of America brings the story of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to its listeners around the world:
It's been a busy year for Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.
The presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, Jefferts Schori is the first woman ever elected chief pastor of that denomination, which has over two million members in 16 countries.
What do homosexuality, health care reform, and British advertising standards all have in common? They're all things that have ticked God off, some religious leaders say, and he's venting his frustration with the angry fires of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano.
Dorothy Height passed away a week ago Tuesday.
The funeral is tomorrow at the National Cathedral. President Obama will give the eulogy.
The Rt. Rev. Kirk Stevan Smith, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona, has an essay in Huffington Post on the new state immigration law:
Many religious leaders in this state feel that Governor Brewer and the Republican majority in our state legislature have not only pandered to our residents' pent-up anger, fear, and frustration with Washington's inaction on the immigration crisis, but have done so in a way that betrays our most deeply held values of justice and compassion.
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), Schjødt and his colleagues scanned the brains of 20 Pentecostalists and 20 non-believers while playing them recorded prayers. The volunteers were told that six of the prayers were read by a non-Christian, six by an ordinary Christian and six by a healer. In fact, all were read by ordinary Christians.
A "great fan" of the PBS Newshour, Cardinal William Levada, was interviewed by Margaret Warner in a segment that aired last night. Levada is head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and "a top Vatican official charged with handling the fallout of the church's sexual abuse scandal." From the extended transcript at PBS:
Noise creates excitement and speeds up life:
“I can tell you,” he said, "people don’t want a space that’s really dead quiet, because that feels empty. And if it feels empty, it’s not going to feel successful. It’s not going to feel fun. You know, noise makes a place feel like it’s got a buzz."
Penny Long Marler observes,
According to the Faith Communities Today project (2008), 87% of women clergy (as compared to 71% of men) say that they have participated in a small peer group for continuing education and support in the past five years.
Writing for The Washington Post, John Gehring of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good says:
Cathy Grossman of USA Today has written an excellent summary of the issues involved in the Supreme Court's peculiar ruling yesterday that the cross is not exclusively a Christian symbol.
Bonnie Anderson, President of the House of Deputies, has written an essay on theological education for the laity for Seabury Western Seminary:
Timothy Egan of The New York Times wonders what celebrity athletes have to do to offend the marketing executives at Nike:
The Continuing Indaba Project now has a presence on the internet, with a special page on the Anglican Communion website. The goal is to promote "conversation across difference and upon a diversity of cultural insights to energise local and global mission." Using this model of appreciative listening, the hope is that trust and relationships can be built across the Anglican Communion.
Douglas Harrison, writing on Religion Dispatches, reflects on the gay artists in the Christian pop music scene and what their coming out has to say about the Church, the culture and seeking after God.
Diana Butler Bass, writing in the Huffington Post, says that without a living memory of the Church's history, we risk falling into a kind of "spiritual alzheimers" that will impede our ability to function in the present.
ENS: Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has issued an order for Restoration of Ordained Ministry for retired Bishop of Albany Daniel W. Herzog.
Here are some post cards from the American religious scene.